I never noticed that Eve never received the command not to eat of the fruit straight from God, but probably from Adam. In Gen 2:16-18 God gave Adam the authority he had before He even made Eve. Adam had already named and ordered things before she was even created, Gen 2:19-22. It makes perfect sense why Satan went to Eve instead of Adam (Gen 3). Its easier to change the mind of someone who has secondhand information instead of first hand experience. God gave the command straight to Adam, and it was his responsibility to tell Eve, because she came later. God wants the husband to be the head of his wife, but He still wants intimacy with them both (1 Cor 11:3,11-12). Satan saw a window of opportunity in this time of discipleship and took it. This is the reason it is so IMPORTANT, KEY, ESSENTIAL, CRUCIAL, NECESSARY for everyone to have an intimate and personal relationship with the Father. We can’t learn everything from others. Sure we can depend on leaders, elders, or pastors in the beginning. But, if we as disciples of Christ don’t make disciples who seek God first and use others as confirmation, then we have created disciples and adorers of ourselves not Jesus. People who depend on us, depend on the flesh and will be easy pickings for the enemy. They will never have a stable walk, and will always be blown by the popular wind of the day and tossed about like a wave in the sea. People have to have to ability to interpret and hear God’s voice thru the scriptures on their own, if not its only a matter of time before they fall or even worse….give up. If we find hand-me-down clothes undesirable, why on earth would we be satisfied with hand-me-down revelation?
In light of Jacob’s heritage starting with Abram ’til he received the name Israel. (Genesis 11-32)
I hope none of us today would follow the example of a man living in the flesh who was misleading, deceitful, selfish, showing favoritism, and a thief. Yet so often I hear many saying we need to do what Jacob did and wrestle with God. Why??? This man wrestled with a man, not God. The man could not overcome Jacob in the flesh… where Jacob lived and succeeded in dishonest ways. But that is not where this man’s strength lay. The man had the power to hurt Jacob with just one touch, because the man was a representative of God. The man had the Spirit, and that’s where his strength lay. I’m not sure why so many look at this event from the side of the flesh and not the side of God. He had to complete the promise that He made with Abraham, and had to do it with a sinner… a deceptive, deceitful, selfish, showing favoritism, lying thief. This event was the transformation point where God changed more than Jacob’s name to Israel. He changed the person. What Jacob did was wrong. Where does Jesus say to fight with the Father? Or any other Spirit-filled prophet for that matter? Jacob wanted more and more until he was hurt for life.
Is this what you want? If it is…. continue wrestling with God and let me know who wins.
I hope God blesses you today in His will, not in yours.
Mirrando la herencia de Jacob comenzando con Abram hasta que recibió el nombre de Israel. (Génesis 11-32)
Espero que ninguna de nosotros, en hoy día, seguiríamos el ejemplo de un hombre que vive en el carne y quien es engañoso, mentiroso, egoísta, que muestra favoritismo, y un ladrón. ¿PERO porque? muchas veces escucho como necesitamos hacer lo que hizo Jacob y luchar con Dios??? Esta hombre lucho con un hombre, no Dios. Y el hombre no podría vencer Jacob en el carne… donde vivía Jacob y tenia éxito en maneras deshonestas. La fuerza de este hombre no era en el carne. Pero aun el hombre tenía el poder para lastimar Jacob con solo una toca, porque el hombre era un representante de Dios, el hombre tenía el Espíritu, esto era donde estuvo su fuerza. No se porque la mayoría la gente mirra este evento de la lado de la carne no el lado de Dios. El tenia cumplir la promesa lo que hizo con Abraham, y tenia que hacerlo atreves de un pecador… un engañoso, mentiroso, egoísta, mostrando favoritismo ladrón. Esta evento era el evento de transformación donde Dios cambió mas que el nombre Jacob a Israel. Cambió la persona. Lo que hizo Jacob era malo. Donde dice Jesus para luchar con el Padre? o cualquier otra profeta llena del Espíritu? Jacob quizo mas y mas hasta el estaba lastimado por todo su vida.
Many of us desire to have a prayer life that when we ask, we receive. Both Jesus and his servant, James, speak about how we don’t receive because we don’t ask. Then James goes a little deeper talks about asking incorrectly. But what about the times we do ask correctly, believing we will receive, and still nothing?
Could it be: how we do or don’t see things, our impatience, our spiritual blindness, or our point of view?
Think of it through the life of Daniel. In chapter 2, when he couldn’t see, he asked for the interpretation of a dream to save his and his friends’ lives, and received what he asked for that night. In chapter 9 he had to have patience, even though while he was still praying God sent His response. It was, “no, it’s going to be awhile, certain things have to happen.” In chapter 10 he was blinded to what was happening in the spiritual realm while seeking his understanding of a vision. His response wasn’t as immediate because of resistance from the enemy, yet his prayer was still answered. In chapter 6, we can see the same thing, God ALWAYS answers prayers, even if its through a den of lions. But this is where a lot people have problems, even more so than patience….it’s their point of view.
I think many times this passage is overlooked in this aspect- there was an immediate answer. It wasn’t in the sealing of the lions’ mouthes; it was in the protection of Daniel’s integrity and worshiping of God. He was so fervent in his prayer life and so committed, that he sought immediate help from God when it became threatened. Think about the anguish Daniel probably felt. He was a righteous man, not only following God’s laws but also serving the most powerful men on earth that God had established. Remember this wasn’t the first king he served… probably his 4th or 5th (difficult to say exactly). A person in such high position doesn’t last that long by looking out for his own interests. He was faithful to God and his earthly leaders. Remember his first year in captivity? He asked for an exception for his diet so he could be obedient in the eyes of his captors and still follow God’s law. And here he goes again, 60 or so years later, the same predicament- “how do I put God first, but honor the king He established?” Remember, Daniel knew beyond a shadow of a doubt through the visions he had seen that Darius was put in authority over all of the known world by God just as Nebuchadnezzar was. However, this time there was no exceptions, just the completion of the law.
Daniel’s enemies appealed to the king’s pride to push their own agenda, putting a new law into practice for 30 days, saying everyone had to pray to King Darius alone. The consequence for breaking the law was immediate and severe, “thrown into a den of lions.” God’s creativity and wisdom is amazing in the answ
er to Daniel’s request. How better could God of answered Daniel? God allowed Daniel’s enemies/accusers, following their own pride (how ironic?), greed, and impatience, to go and find him on what appears to be the first day. By the end of that day, Daniel fulfilled the consequence by being thrown in the the lions’ den, but without harm. And by the morning of the second day of the 30 day period, he was able to continue his prayers with a clear conscience being obedient to God AND his earthly ruler. Moreover, Daniel’s accusers reaped what they had sown. God allowed the king’s fury to completely destroy all Daniel’s current or future enemies when they and their families received what they intended for Daniel. God was faithful to Daniel because he was faithful to Him.
Let’s face it, not many of us have received God’s responses from angels as Daniel did occasionally. Instead, we receive many of our responses as he did in the lions’ den… through the of events that follow the prayer. We have to learn to interpret them as God intends them, to develop our perspective and point of view seeing it as God allows them. We have to remember WHAT we prayed for, and not focus on how WE want it answered.
Summary: The key in “seeing the answers” lies in James 1:5-8 and Romans 8:28. Daniel knew these promises of God almost a half a millennial before they were written. Remember God always answers the prayers of his children- sometimes it’s delayed by the enemy, sometimes it’s not the answer we were hoping, sometimes it is, but he ALWAYS responds. So I have to look at what happens after I put forth my petitions to see His working and try to understand spiritually what is happening. If your not seeing how God’s answering, seek God more through fasting, reading, more prayer, and meditation, realizing the silence maybe His response. It maybe the time needed to review your standing with your Father.
Daily Application: Increase your faith, believe He will answer, not necessarily how you think, but He will answer. If you don’t believe, why are you asking?
Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.’” Isa 43:7
One morning, Juzzie Smith’s harmonica song was in my head, so I listened to it. The Spirit is always faithful to reveal something… despite how odd or off-subject the song maybe.
I felt Him showing me how we can start with something simple- throwing one ball in the air. With practice and experience we begin to do more- two balls, maybe even throwing them behind our back… then some more- three balls… and more- adding a beat… and more still, even if “it’s a bit tricky”- playing harmonica all at the same time.
Lesson: First, we must not get caught up in the struggle, difficulty, repetition, mundane, or even the frustration (if you allow that sort of thing) that could be in the practice, work and/or training. Instead, we must concentrate on the joyful noise unto the Lord (Ps 98:4) we are making, even if it sounds really rough. Remember, we are a living sacrifice, and its in that working it out and doing it, which is our worship (Rom 12:1). Second, if we drop a ball, pick it up laughing at ourselves- if it’s appropriate. Third, we have to concentrate on the voice of our biggest Fan, the Father, because He’s cheering us on. Lastly, start again, do it over until we get it perfect. He enjoys the music we are trying to make with our lives in and for Him.
Application: So smile; start with something simple- reading His Word. Practice; have a quiet time EVERY day, add what you can. Have a healthy prayer life, and enjoy the music you are making unto the Lord in your walk with Him, even when its tricky or difficult. Put into practice what you are reading and what the Spirit is showing you. And when you drop something, when you make a bad decision or fail someone, don’t get discouraged- don’t think that you are no longer worthy to be called His son or daughter. Pick the ball up and try again; make changes if necessary, but don’t quit (Prov 24:16). Remember, your Father is cheering you on- He is walking with and has promised never to leave you (Gen 28:15). This is just practice- in this life we are to learn what ‘making a joyful noise’ is in our worship to Him through taking up our cross every day and denying ourselves with a willing heart (Luke 9:23-25). He’ll tell you when it’s time for the show- when its time to proclaim His name without being ashamed before others so that Jesus won’t be ashamed to say your name before God (Luke 9:26). He will be there in the front row cheering you on with every note you play- seated in the heavens receiving all the glory and praise due Him (Isa 6:1).
Ps 98:4 (KJV): Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
Rom 12:1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Gen 28:15: I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Prov 24:1: for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
Luke 9:23-26: Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Isa 6:1: In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Purpose: To help get rid of bad attitudes and understand the hope there is in the “Rock of our salvation”
Passage: Numbers 20:1-13
This is the same Bible story as my last blog… how does that make you feel?
Have you ever noticed how bad attitudes are highly contagious and/or extremely draining? You know what I mean. For example, when someone comes to you and begins to complain, nag or talk negatively about someone, something, or some event, and you are not careful you may allow yourself to be infected… jumping on the slam-wagon… or if you CAN resist, after they leave you feel like there is a layer of sludge on you that has to be scraped off… maybe even toxins you have to vomit. If you don’t, you know it will cause you to have a bad attitude all day, focusing only on the negative things.
Should we find comfort in knowing it happened even to the greatest of men, Moses- the friend of God1? He tried to resist but was unsuccessful. Who can blame him, right? He had a multitude of people come against him complaining and quarreling saying they would be better off dead2 than be where they were… not to mention they were at the point of wanting to kill him.3 DO NOT find comfort in it. For it was this very incident Moses, the man inspired by the God to write the Pentateuch, wasn’t allowed to enter the promise land after leading God’s wayward children through the hot, dry desert for 40 looong years. Whoa… why the stiff penalty?
God gave specific instructions to Moses, like usual. He was to speak to the rock,5 strike the rock and honor God who was standing right there with him4– but he didn’t speak to the rock, he struck the rock twice, and gave the glory to himself and his brother.6 Moses’ bad attitude3 caused him to make bad choices; he didn’t follow all of God’s commands. Moses didn’t realize the symbolism he was making. The man who helped establish the Levites as priests and wrote the laws they were to follow, was to strike the rock “once” bringing forth life-giving water to save God’s people from dying in the wilderness. 1400 years later, the relatives of Moses struck and crucified the “Rock7” allowing “living water8” to flow, saving God’s chosen and all peoples who are lost in the wilderness of sin. The Rock of our salvation has been struck once, the next time He comes… He will be victorious and rein forever more.9 We can be assured our eternity is firm in the “Rock of our salvation”10 So we need to stop the bad attitudes!11 There maybe a high price to pay.
Put in to practice:
Begin recognizing negativity and/or bad attitudes right away and the damage they can do to you and others. Do your best to turn the situation or conversation around, and begin to breath life with your words. If you are not succeeding, remain silent12 and at least you will not have allowed the virus to spread. Then, as soon as you can, scrape the sludge off and continue being hope and light in a lost and dark world.
- Exodus 33:11
- Numbers 16:1-38
- Exodus 17:4
- Exodus 17:6
- Numbers 20:8
- Numbers 20:10-11
- 1 Peter 2:6-7
- John 4:13-14
- 2 Sam 22:47
- Revelations 11:15
- James 3:2, 9-12
- Proverbs 17:28
Purpose: To help understand the hope there is in the “Living Water.”
Passage: Exodus 17:1-7
Have you ever noticed how we can be down right rude, ungrateful, or selfish when we become desperate or discouraged? They subjugate our self-control; we are over taken by stress, worry, and anxiety. No longer is the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control of the Spirit manifested in our lives,1 but quite the opposite… we have taken our trust in God and thrown it in the sand only to pick up stones of quarreling, grumbling, and complaining, ready to throw them at anyone we can find to blame. Discouragement WILL come into our lives, but it doesn’t have to stay. If it DOES, we are showing how little our faith in God really is. And, if our faith is little, it is extremely difficult to please God.2
Well, the good news is, God doesn’t want our faith to be small. So He always provides a way out.3 Jesus is that way out. Our faith is to be tested to produce perseverance, so the perseverance can make us complete.4 He knows what it is to be tested; He knows what is to be tempted; He understands our weaknesses, but He did not sin.5 He offers Himself as “living water.” We don’t have to stand in the desert of discouragement or the wilderness of desperation grumbling and quarreling about the thirst we have. We have hope in Christ Jesus. He will quench the thirst if we just believe. He will reach down deep into the well of our soul, restore it, and open a spring of living water so it flows up and out of us.
Passage: John 4:10-13, 7:37-39
Put in to practice:
Begin praising God, constantly.6 Thank Him when things are good; thank Him when things are bad.7 Ask Him for the “living water” so you will never thirst again. And when discouragement and desperation come, you will find they leave faster, and rather you’ll become a source of encouragement to others. You’ll also find you don’t need to toss your trust in the sand and that you never have to pick up the stones of complaining and quarreling. Instead you will be blameless and pure, shining like the stars in the skies. You will be His child.8
- Galatians 5:22-23
- Hebrews 1:6
- 1 Corinthians 10:13
- James 1:2-4
- Hebrew 4:15
- Psalm 71:8
- James 1:2
- Philippians 2:14-15