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In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

5-21-2016  THE MASTER BUILDER Part 3

Fourth, he erects walls, roof and flooring
            God sets the sun, moon and stars in place (Gen. 1:14-19)
And God said “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night and let them as signs for the seasons, the days and he years.  And let them be lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth.  And it was so.  And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night and He also made the stars.  God set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth.  And to rule over the day and over the night and to divide the light from the darkness and God saw that it was good.  And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
God establishes the structure for His creation and the purpose for each.  The sun and the moon define day and night.  They define the passing of time, one day into another, setting the stage for the passing of one season into another and finally the passing of a year.  By establishing the days, months, seasons and years God has set some parameters on His creation and how it should operate.  He established rules (‘laws of nature’ if you will), what happens when those rules are followed and what happens when they are not.  He has established what His creation should look like and now it’s time to do more than just framework.
A man starts building the framework for his house and putting up walls and a roof so his house can start taking ‘shape’, look like a house.  He selects the right size and strength of timbers to shape a solid floor, walls and roof setting up the framework and now that the dimensions (parameters) of his house are set, he’s ready for the next step – roofing and walls and etc..
Though my spiritual foundation has been laid, my ‘Christian’ walk needs to start taking shape, too.  My foundation has been laid, that is I know God created everything, Jesus died on the cross for my sins so I confessed and repented my sins and gave my heart to Him, and I know that I should keep the commandments.  But what does all that really mean?  I need to start getting some spiritual structure into my life.
Knowing what God has done for me and understanding what it truly means is not the same thing.   Even Satan knows what God has done for man and he has a better understanding of what it means than most people.  He is not deaf, he’s not blind nor is he stupid.  He hears what we say.  He sees what we do and he’s smart enough to figure out when what’s going on and when w’re getting closer to God.  If this were not true, he wouldn’t know what our relationship was with God and he would never be able to plan a counter attack to keep us from getting closer to the Lord.
So I build my framework by knowing God’s Word (the bible).  I have to read it, learn it and understand it.  In God’s Word I learn about God’s nature, what can I expect from Him, what He expects from me and about the relationship I should have with the living God who created the heavens and earth.  I have to not just learn what the bible says start applying what I have learned to show myself approved before the Lord!
I need to start talking ‘with’ the Lord.  Anyone can spout off about how he feels or what he wants from the lord and hope God is listening.  Unfortunately for too many, once they’ve ‘spouted off’, their prayer ends and they go on their way.  We can talk ‘to’ God and that’s actually believing He truly hears us but once we’ve said my peace we cap it with “amen’ and thank you Lord’ and go on our way.  Or we can talk ‘with’ our heavenly Father and that means we now have a two way street of communication with Him.  We still have our say, but then we zip the lip and listen to hear what God has to say.  If we have a question, God may send us into the bible to show us the answer.  He may answer us through people or the things around us.  Of course, we have to be sensitive to what’s going on around us.  Or he may speak directly with us.  1 Samuel chapter three, Samuel learns to hear the voice of God and yes we may have to learn how to hear God.  This is why we learn about God’s nature (from the bible) so we can distinguish what may be our own ‘ego’ talking versus God actually responding to us.  Personally, I have a basic structure for my AM prayers.  BUT Father interrupts that structure as He pleases – and He does.  I’ve been in the middle of something when, all of the sudden, Father will use that to spring into something He wants me to learn or understand.  It get pretty neat because after He has had His say, He brings me back to where I was.
My structure is set and my parameters for learning are set as I put into practice what Father has shown me.
God sets the parameters for His creation, how it should look and how it should function.
A man builds the framework for his house setting the parameters for what that house should look like.
We need to read the bible, pray, interact with other Christians and be sensitive to the world around us so we can recognize the parameters Father sets spiritually for us so we can live for and glorify Him.

Fifth,  Man starts bringing ‘life’ into his house – shingles for the roof, siding for the walls and drainage for the floors, all with purpose
God creates the animals, fish and birds and puts them in their respective places (Gen.    1:20-23)
And god said “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life and the fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”  And God created great whales and every living creature that moves, which the water brought forth abundantly after their kind and every winged fowl after its kind.  And God saw that it was good.   And God blessed them saying “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the seas and fowls multiply in the earth.  And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
God starts bringing life into His creation, the birds, animals and the fish, large and small, each designed with a specific purpose.  God’s world is looking more and more like what He wants.  Now when the bible says whales the Hebrew word is tanniym which means whale or dragon or serpent indicating of great size (no extra charge).    
A man adds exterior walls to his house, a roof, floors, interior walls, plumbing and electrical systems so his house can start taking on ‘life’ and be fit to live in.  Of course, he will still need the ‘finishing’ touches – and that is day six.
Spiritually, Father starts solidifying our lives in the things we need to know to continue to grow.  We have a very basic foundation or understanding of our relationship with the Father but now He’s bringing us into a deeper understanding of what that relationship really means.  We know that the greatest commandment is to love Father with all our heart, mind, soul and spirit but what does that really involve?  Jesus tells us that ‘love’ is the basis of everything the prophets talked about, the ‘ten commandments’ and all the ‘explanatory’ commandments that evolved from them.  All of these is an explanation of what God’s love means and how we might implement that love into our lives.  And that takes time.
For me, it has taken more time than I care to admit but I cannot lie it has taken the better part of forty years for me to get to a point in my life so Father can start showing me some deeper things which I need to know.
I was ‘saved’ in a Southern Baptist Church and even though I was learning bible, all I really knew was that Jesus saved me.  I had been ‘saved’ about five years when Father introduced me to the Charismatic movement.  Everyone I met was hopped up on the blessings and promises of God, but something was lacking.  Many whom I encountered in this movement were willing to ‘cut corners’ to make God’s blessing come to pass.  It just didn’t seem right and I never heard them talking about our responsibilities or our obligations towards God and our fellow man.  Even though I had friends who were, I never got very involved with the Charismatic movement.  It just seemed ‘unbalanced’ to me.  Because of this, knowing that Kenneth Hagin was one of the main early proponents of the movement, I steered clear of any and all things that he put out – until 2015.  At that time, at the church I attend, we were doing a study on how to enhance our walk with the lord.  As it turned out a book of requirement was Hagin’s “Understanding the Anointing” and I’m glad to have read it.  I discovered that Hagin’s teaching was very balanced and the things he talked about in the book were things Father had been exposing me to over the past several years, even before I started attending my current church.  Hagin described things I had been learning and experiencing.  My opinion on brother Hagin changed dramatically.
After the Charismatic experience, Father took my family and me through several Pentecostal denominations and independent Pentecostal fellowships.  In between my S. Baptist experience and my current church Father also took me through several ‘mainstream’ churches, Independent Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Catholic.  He was building my roof, floors and walls with an understanding of common denominators and differences between the various denominations. 
He also had taken me on a private study, not just on the Christian denominations but on basic common factors and differences between many of the world’s major religions and though I never attended any I read material from detractors and from that religion’s own sources so that I might have a balanced view of each of those religions. 
Talk show host and news analyst Bill O’Reilly has what he call the ‘no spin zone’.  That is, he tries to give both sides of a subject so the listener can make up his own mind about the subject.  This is kind of what Father was doing with me, giving me pros and cons so I might have a balanced concept in helping me understand why we were making the choices we were making.  And that included even not being in church for more than one season.   Not that I would recommend that, but I just didn’t seem to fit in anywhere at times but I learned a lot.
I am currently in what is considered an Apostolic/Prophetic church.  An independent church but our pastor is responsible to a number of ‘senior’ Christians who advise and counsel her (yes, I have a woman pastor).  As if the Holy can’ do the job, Father has provided these sources to assure she doesn’t get off track.   
Father continues to expose me to ‘new’ things and when He does, He takes me into the scriptures to show me the validation.  I’m lovin’ it!
God brings life to His creation with the birds, animals and fish and gives some fullness to that creation preparing it for the final touches.
A man finishes the basic construction of his house, roof, walls, floors, windows, doors and the like as he prepares to add the finishing touches to help it to look and maybe even function a little better.

Father brings a greater fullness into our lives through our experiences which help us to grow and gain a deeper understanding of our relationship with Him so He can add the ‘finishing’ touches into His temple (us) so we can carry His love to those around us and do it with reasonable knowledge and understanding.  And then, to share it in His love.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

5/14/2016         The MASTER BUILDER  part 2

Second day  is preparing the land to build upon

            God created the firmament (Gen. 1:6-8)
And God said let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God made the firmament which divided the waters which were under the firmament from the water which were above the firmament.  And it was so.  And God called the firmament ‘heaven’ and the evening and the morning were the second day.
Once God found/created the place where He wanted to build He had to first create light and dark, day and night, He then had to prepare the “land” (creation) to accept His building. Now, in verse one we see that God had created ‘waters as well as light and dark.  This word used for ‘waters’ comes the Hebrew word ‘mayem’.  The meaning implies a single body of water, but not just water.  The word also relates to urine, semen, wastewater.  Even though this creates an image of byproducts it also contains things teeming with the building blocks of life.  Now mayem (pronounced mah yim) struck me as to how similar it is to ‘mayhem’, which is chaos or disorder.  So here is this pool of water full of ‘stuff’ which would be very disorganized just waiting for something to happen.  So God does just that.  He starts to bring order into this ‘pool’ by creating a separation, firmament.  The Hebrew word used here is ‘raqiya’ (raw kee ah) which basically means the sky, as we look up and see it.  So God separated the waters above and the waters below by placing a firmament in between, thus using earth’s atmosphere (if you will) to separate the waters above (outer space) from the water below (oceans).  So disorder is now becoming order and God is preparing the place to receive what He intends to build.
Once a man finds that plot of land upon which he desires to build, he, too has to put some order to what is technically chaos.  He would have to clear away any trees, bushes or shrubs from the area where he intends to build his house.  If he plans for a basement, he may have to clear rocks in order to dig an area for his foundation.  He may use bulldozers and backhoes to clear, level and dig the land until he has that clear and open area in which to build.
Now, for me, my land was chosen the day I accepted Jesus into my heart.   Thinking back I realize that Father has had His hand on my life, not only since that day of commitment but even for some time before.
But, clearing the land?  Father forgave me all my sins (up to that point) the day I accepted Jesus.  I say up to that point because I am still human.  Yes, with my confession of Jesus, God redeemed me from my ‘sin nature’ and whether I named sins or set them before Him in a package, He cleansed me from all my sins I had ever committed up to that moment.  However, I am still human and I find my spirit longing for the things of God but my flesh still lusting after the things of the world (Romans 7:14-25).  It is an ongoing war, so I’m still prone to go astray.  My continual redemption here is that as soon as recognize my sin, I acknowledge it, confess it and repent it, that is turn away from that sin and determine not to do it again and then set it behind me, I am one again clean.  King David is my example here.  Read 2nd Samuel chapters eleven and twelve to see how this story concerning David, Bathsheba and Uriah started, unfolded and then concluded.
Father has also shown me that this spiritual walk is like two new newlyweds.  A man and a woman are separate and different persons before the marriage.  Before they lived separate lives and then they brought these two, separate lives together as one.  And that includes all the baggage (from each of their lives).  They struggle to maintain their individuality but also to function as a single unit. This means clearing out the excess, unnecessary, baggage and replacing it with unity.  Spiritually and physically we become one flesh (Eph.5:31, 1 Corinth. 6:17)
Spiritually, even though I’m saved and my sins are forgiven, I still bring some excess baggage into my relationship with Jesus a lot of it which needs to be shed and left by the way side.  After salvation, my first order of business is to clear out as much excess baggage that I can discover (as the Holy Ghost reveals).  The Holy Spirit will show me what I can deal with at that time and the rest can be dealt with over time.  Fair to warn you, shedding all the excess baggage is a lifetime venture which begins with discovery then yielding over to God’s will and continues until the time He calls us home. 
I had always done things ‘my way’ so when my wife and I married, I first had to learn that it was now ‘our way’, what is best for both of us, the whole.  And, frankly, I’m not sure I yet had a good grasp on this when she went to be with the Lord thirty-four years later.  Nonetheless, as Father showed me, I would acknowledge, confess, repent and determine not to do whatever “it” was, again.  My baggage were those things that I carried into our marriage which were not necessary for the ‘whole’ to function well.  My ego, my selfish desires, my selfish wants.  I’ve had to learn that what I do is for the edification of the ‘whole’ body (my wife and I) and not just mine but all those around me. (1 Corinth. 4:12, Ephesians 4:11-13, Romans 15:2)
Clearing my spiritual lot is shedding all those things that are not of God.  Some Father showed me right up front and other things Father would have to reveal to me as I went along (and still is).  Shedding these things is actually admitting that I haven’t been doing ‘things’ in God’s will, and again, confessing, repenting and giving them to Him and I mean ‘giving’ them to Him.  Set them at the foot of the cross, leave them there and don’t look back.  Not looking back involves not even considering getting involved with ‘it’ ever again.  When the temptation arises, resist, the devil will flee (James 4:7)and once we’ve repented, do what God does, put behind His back (Isaiah 38:17) and replace it with something better – God’s Word.  (see the parable of the cleaned house, Luke 11:24-26 & Romans 12:1-2)
God puts some order into the area He intends to put His creation.  Man clears the land and prepares sit to build and me?  I (with the guidance of the Holy Ghost) start an elimination process of ridding my life of the things Father doesn’t want there.

Third day laying the foundation

            God lays the foundation (Gen. 1:9-13)
And God said let the waters under the heaven be gathered together and let dry land appear, and it was so.  And God called the dry land ‘earth’ and the gathering of the waters He called ‘seas’ and God saw that it was good.  And God said “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit each after its own kind and whose seed is in itself, upon the earth ”and it was so.  And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after its own kind, and the tree yielding fruit whose seed was after itself.  And God saw that it was good.  And the evening and the morning were the third day.
God had created light and darkness, He found is plot.  He then separated the ‘waters’ preparing His ‘lot’ and now it’s time to build a foundation for His house to stand upon.
The man looked for his ‘lot’, cleared the land and is now ready to build a foundation upon which to build his house.
I gave my heart to Jesus, finding my ‘lot’, shed excess baggage (as Father revealed) laying a foundation upon which to build the rest of my life.
Laying a foundation for a place for man to live, God gathered the waters upon the face of the earth together so dry land would appear.  He then put sustenance in the sea and put all sorts of plants upon the dry land (earth’) for man’s food.  He also set the grass, trees, mountains and everything else in place for man to enjoy.  The foundation was ready so He could finish building for His pride and joy – man.
A man lays the foundation for his house using brick, block and mortar with baseline framework from timbers to build a solid base upon which to build his home.  He wants his base, foundation, solid, strong and durable so it can stand against the winds of change.
God brought Moses to mind.  We basically know the story of Moses: Miriam watched until Pharaoh’s daughter pulled him from the water, he was raised as a prince of Egypt then he ducked out in the middle of the night because he had killed and Egyptian, 40 years in the making.  Then he went into the land of Midian and tended sheep for another forty years before he was ready to do God’s bidding.  As a prince of Egypt he learned languages, warfare and how to rule and as a shepherd he learned how to take care of what God has given him.  Moses’ foundation was actually eighty years in the making before he went out to perform God’s task (calling).
The man, again, brings in brick, block mortar and timber and whatever else he needs to build a solid foundation.  Once he’s laid out the dimensions of his hone, he then builds that foundation.
My spiritual foundation with the knowledge that I have given my life to Jesus but now I have to truly learn who Father is, who the Holy Ghost is, who I am (in Christ Jesus)  and I need to obtain a reasonable understanding of my relationship with God.  What does He expect of me?  What can I expect from Him?  I need to know, without wavering that He has ‘saved’ me and I know that He is the only true and living God who lives forever and ever.  Without wavering.  Beyond a shadow of any doubt.  Does this mean I live for Him as I should?  No.  like shedding excess baggage, full maturity is a lifelong process. 
In John chapter six, Jesus tells His disciples who He is, who the Father is, who the Holy Ghost is and the type of relationship we should have with the Father through Him because the Holy Ghost now dwells within us.  This is not just confessing Jesus, but understanding the relationship we should have.  And that’s not just living for Him, but walking with Him.  Once we understand the basis of our relationship, we can move to the next step which is continuing to build into the degree of that relationship, understanding what Father expects from us and how we can achieve a lifestyle pleasing to Him.
Jesus tells His disciples that the Father has sent Him and that He does nothing outside of the Father.  I’ve had to ask myself ‘do I do everything according to God’s will for me?’  The answer is no, but that is part of my growth which is included in the next phase of building our house. 
I said my foundation is built – somewhat.  I mean that I’m still learning how weak my foundation has been over the years.  From the day I let Jesus into my heart, I’ve had no doubt that I was heaven bound but my foundation IS the relationship, which has been building, with Father through Jesus Christ because the Holy Ghost dwells within me.  My foundation is strengthened by prayerfully reading the scriptures, that is asking Father to open my eyes and heart so I can learn what He wants me to learn from what I am reading.  It is also my prayer time with Him.  Early on I talked at God, as if He were some mysterious entity way out of reach and I hoped He heard me.  Then I learned to talk to God.  I started believing that He actually heard my prayers and would answer them.  Then I learned to talk with Father, that is I talk, then I listen to hear His response, but I quickly discovered I didn’t know if I heard Him or not.  Often He would take me into the scriptures for my answer and I was cool with that, but as I became more involved, not just in the Pentecostal movement, but the prophetic movement as well, Father took me to Samuel (1 Sam. 3:1-10) where Samuel had to learn the voice of God. 
Father has shown me that when He speaks to us two things are true.  What He says is always consistent with the scriptures (duh!) and He will confirm what He has told us either via scripture or events around us (yes we have to be aware of our surroundings) .
Back in Sept. 2014 Father gave me a prophecy which we called the “Watchman”.  In it He explained some of what He was getting ready to do and the blessing because of our obedience to His Word.  Being in prophetic circles I KNEW one or more of these prophetic people I encountered would give me confirmation of what Father was doing.  Didn’t happen.  I was pretty discouraged.  I was ready to quit.  But iIn Jan. 2015 Father sat me down and replayed the months between Sept. and Jan. showing me how He had confirmed the words of the ‘Watchman’ through all the events around me.  You can read about this in the blog entry ‘Lessons learned’.  I learned to know that it was Father speaking.  My foundation was laid a bit more solid than before.
Now, does this mean I’ve reached spiritual maturity?  Of course not.  There are still many things I need to learn so I can be an effective minister of God’s word and to fulfill the task He has set before me and that is no longer foundation but growth – which we experience until the day the Lord calls us home.
God gathered the waters, brought forth the land and put plants upon it.  A man lays brick and mortar and so forth so it will stand against nature.  I had to get rid of excess baggage when I married my wife, but we had a relationship -  which continued to build until Father took her home.  My foundation, spiritually, has been built on discovering, at a basic level, who God is, who I am and what sort of relationship He desires with me.