Category Archives: Spiritual

The Life of Not in Want

The Psa23:1 – “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

The “shall not want” is the Godly contentment of wanting nothing, clarified in Jam1:4.

Jam1:3-4 –

“Kneeowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

This patient Godly contentment that wants nothing is of great gain, according to 1Tim6:6, and is a reality for the believer because of 2 reasons.

1. Man brings nothing into this world and will bring nothing away when they die (1Tim6:7) is an immutable fact.

The first reason is the realization of the futility of being earthbound by material and relational reasons.

 2. The second reason is Psa23:1’s relationship of the Shepherd fulfills all the soul’s and body’s (wanting) desires.

What is the Earthly Life of this Godly Contentment?

1. His grace is sufficient to endure the challenges and human weakness (2Co12:9) and the temporal earthly suffering (Mat5:3-11, 2Co4:16-18).

b. To bear each other burdens to fulfill the Law of Christ (Gal6:2),

c. To avoid evil and do good works of faith (Jam1:22, 1The5:22), and

d. To discipline the body’s desires (1Co9:27)

What are the Motivations to Live Such an Undesirable Earthly Life?

These motivations compensate for the undesirable earthly life and to fulfill the transformed soul’s and body’s wants are –

a. The 1st resurrection of Rev20:6 as a reward (Phil3:10) to rule with Christ in His 1000-year rule and share in His divine nature (2Pet1:4).

b. The eternal rewards of good works of 1Co3.

c. Avoid the 2nd death of Rev20:5, avoid the outer darkness mentioned in the Gospels, and avoid the eternal fate of outside heaven’s gates of Rev22:15.

Conclusion

Without this shepherd relationship, 1Pet2:25 describes the believer as –

“sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (overseer) of your souls.”

The realization of the futility of being earthbound and an intimate relationship with the Lord as the Shepherd are the foundations to live the life of wanting nothing in Godly contentment.

The motivations support this realization and Shepherd’s intimate relationship with the Lord.

Mind and Heart Games – Which to Trust?

Introduction

Derek Prince’s video on “The Enemies we Face Part 2” clarified that spiritual bondage and influences could be external (the focus of the post Spiritual Warfare) and internal (the carnal flesh). See below video link for more details – https://youtu.be/o348jdFeFOI.
 
For the post about Spiritual Warfare, see the link – https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/08/23/spiritual-warfare/.
 
The post titled, Spiritual Warfare, introduced the spiritual weapons of the shield of faith. These weapons are the faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus’ salvation which is Him crucified and His shed blood, as the defensive spiritual weapon employed by the spiritual hosts that wages this spiritual battle.
 
It also introduced the offensive spiritual weapon of the sword of the Spirit, which is the promises of God, the faith-hope in the power that raised Jesus from the dead for the believer’s resurrection, and the power of His coming dominion.

 

The Mind and the Heart

Concerning the internal influences of the flesh, the Bible emphasized that the mind of the soul is where the war is waged, although spiritual warfare affects both the mind and hearts. In fact, the heart is not spared from testing (1The2:4).
 
Example verses to support the above claim
 
1. Rom12:2- transformation by the renewal of the mind
 
2. 2Co10:4 – spiritual weapons destroying the argument and reasoning not of God in the mind, 
 
3. Phil4:7- Peace of God guards our hearts and mind, and 
 
4. Jhn14:1 – Let the heart not be troubled by faith in the Lord.
 
 

The Mind’s Advantage over the Heart

Why does Rom12:2 not say the renewal of the heart but it is the renewal of the mind?
 
Why does 2Co10:4 not say spiritual weapons are destroying the idolatrous heart treasures but destroying the strongholds of arguments and reasoning in the mind?
 
 
It appears the mind has access to a more actively engaging God, and the heart’s access has an element of passivity on God’s part that relies more on man’s initiative.
 
Heb10:16 may explain the reason for the different treatments between the heart and mind.
 
 
Heb10:16 – 
 
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put (PRESENT tense) my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write (FUTURE tense) them;.”
 
The law of Heb10:16 is most likely the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus of Rom8:2 that is synonymous to the law of Christ of Gal6:2, and the law of loving thy neighbor of Rom13:10. And all these are the extension of the 3 love commandments mentioned by the Lord in the gospels.
 
 
The mind has intimate access to the law as God has placed them in mind as a present and ongoing action by God.
 
But the hearts do not have the support of this law as the writing (engraving) of the law has NOT taken place yet, and will likely occur in heaven.
 
Furthermore, while circumcised, the heart is not transformed and has no advantage of the law that the mind has. 
 
The heart remains vulnerable to hardening (Heb3:8), committing an error (Heb3:10), suffering envy and strife (Jam3:14), double-minded (Jam4:8), suffering blindness (Eph4:18), and deception (Jam1:26). 
 
Likely, only the part of the heart that is circumcised (Rom2:29 and Col2:11) is wholly God’s domain. 
 
I speculate that the circumcised heart is where the Holy Spirit and the born-again spirit dwell. In contrast, the rest of the heart is still contaminated by carnality, shackled to the carnal flesh.
 
 

Why has God Given the Mind the Advantage?

Why is the reason for this different treatment? The reason is to honor man’s will and allow God to test man’s soul through their heart, whether their faith and love are sincere, to reward them or their faith and love are carnal, to discipline His sons. 
 
This reward and discipline are necessary to satisfy God’s impartial justice of 1Pet1:17, for it answers the accusing question that Satan placed on Job in Job1:9- “Then Satan answered the [fn]LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing?”
 
 

Conclusion

 
The above long narrative aims to draw attention to the transformed mind of the soul, sensitive to the Law of Christ, as the new man’s Homebase. 
 
The mind must have resolve and endurance to overcome the spiritual influences of the carnal flesh. And be mindful that the mind has a relatively more tremendous advantage over the heart.
 
The heart cannot qualify as a home base for the soul until God writes His laws on it in heaven.
 
In-essence, sober-mindedness that scripture places a premium on ought to be the primary approach in the being led by the Spirit of Rom8:14, when testing for God’s will of Rom12:2, and testing spirits of 1Jhn4:1, all relying in part or whole on the WORD of God illuminated by revelation.
 
The heart could play a secondary role, provided we are confident it is the circumcised heart leading and cast a scrutinizing eye if unsure.
 
If the mind is in cahoots with the carnal flesh and corrupted heart, the evil domain conquers the soul as the spoils of war.
 
Therefore, let the mind of Christ that knows the will of God lead the soul’s mind in soberness. Be guarded against the affections of the heart, for they are deceiving.
 

God’s Faith, Hope, and Love

Faith is about beliefs that have a strong element of assumptions. Man’s knowledge and resources are limited. Much about life is accepted-assumed as true, unchallenged as a given on this basis of faith-belief or assumptions. 

Faith is operative primarily in and for the moment or the present. The Bible says faith brings the intangible hope of something in the future into the present (Heb11:1). 

This process, between faith and hope, makes an intangible hope into something more tangible (still intangible) to satisfy the present.

Hope is about a future goal. It represents man’s purpose, something, someone, or an outcome valued and worth pursuing. It presents man’s values.

There are many ways to express what love is all about. I am by no means competent in this department of love.

To support love’s connection to faith and hope, this post frames love being a decision drawing its strength from the resolve of the faith in the relationship and affection (emotional attachment) with the hope of a desired future arising from that relationship. 

The above describes faith, hope, and love in general terms. 

What is God’s focus or definition concerning these 3 pillars of the Christian faith (1Co13:13)?

Below is an attempt to support clarity in answering this question-

1. FAITH is about belief in the promise of the resurrection (1Pet1:3), the promise of His return (Heb10:37, 1Pet1:7), and the promise of the eternal rewards (Mat16:27, 1Co3:14, Heb10:35).

2. HOPE is about the hope in the resurrection (1Per1:3) realized by FAITH that does not put the believer to shame (Rom5:5).

3. LOVE is about loving the unseen Christ (1Pet1:8) realized by FAITH with joy unspeakable while enduring tribulations (1Pet1:6-7).

Witchcraft in the Church

The video talks about witchcraft in the church drawing from Gal3.

Gal3:1 – “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”

One aspect raised concerns the tension of obedience led by the Spirit after the Law of the  Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus and the obedience after self-works and legalism after the Law of sin and death.

It offers a flavor of what this tension is all about and not how to navigate it.

At the heart of this tension is the central focus, or lack thereof, of Christ, crucified, His death, His resurrection, and His dominion in His return.

It is based on this central focus that the Christian fulfills the Law of Christ of bearing each other’s burdens (moral faults) mentioned in Gal6:2, and not by focusing on the rules themselves.

To do the latter is falling into the Law of Sin and Death, which would make one a victim of witchcraft.

Spiritual Warfare

Eph6:12 – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The unseen realm is where the war over our soul-mind (Rom12:2, 2Co10:3-5, Phil4:7) takes place. 

God wants the believer to be strong in the power of His might to fight this spiritual war, according to Eph6:10. 

What is this might of Eph6:10? It is found in the armor but are there practical truths about Eph6’s armour of God and the Word of God as a sword in Eph6:17 to support, clarify, access, or empower this might? 

Eph6:13-17 presents the whole armor of God. The actions of “stand” and “take” of the armor of God are employed to fight this spiritual battle.

Apart from Eph6’s strategy, one can flee (2Tim2:22) and watch and pray to be aware of the weakness of the flesh although the spirit is willing (Mat26:41).

This post is my noob reflections, taking baby steps in spiritual warfare, where  the focus is on the battle and leaving the outcome to God.

When I say focus on the battle, I do not mean that we are directly waging the battle in the unseen realm, not directly anyway. 

This focus invites and empowers the divine beings to come to our aid. They are the one’s doing the battle while we offer them the weapons of our faith in the Word.

This post explores what about the Word this faith needs to focus on for the spiritual battle.

The Focus

The Bible is overflowing with the consistent theme of God’s love (grace, mercies, and forgiveness) and God’s justice (righteousness, dominion, power, restoration) in His word and life circumstances

Rom10:9-10 Is the core salvation verse. To confess Jesus is Lord is about remission of sins thru His blood, Christ crucified. It is about God’s love.

And to believe in the heart, He was raised on the 3rd day, is about God’s justice, for He was raised for man’s justification (Rom4:15-Rom5:1). 

God’s love is manifested in Christ crucified and His shed blood for the remission of sins and foundation for justification (Rom5:9). 

God’s justice is manifested by the power that raised Jesus from the dead and the promise of His return, the coming of His dominion (His Kingdom come and His Will is done).

The above are the tools or weapons for the spiritual warfare that speaks of the double-edged sword of the Spirit of His Word in Eph6:17.

Drawing from Eph3:20 -” Now unto him, that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”

The “think” is to perceive; visualize, and imagine. I imagine the love of God (faith in the love of Christ crucified and faith in His sanctifying blood) represents the shield (of faith) and is the defensive spiritual weapon for the divine beings (angles and NOT me) to reclaim and make holy the battleground.

This defensive shield, a spiritual weapon, creates a safe space, a clam in the storm offering respite for the weary and troubled soul from the spiritual attacks.

I imagine the justice of God (faith in the power that raised Jesus and faith-hope in His coming dominion) is the offensive spiritual weapon for the divine beings to overcome the forces of darkness (naming the spirits takes place).

Closing Statements

I am a lay Christian. The above are personal thoughts with some scriptural basis.

I embarked on the above after listening to Pt1 and Pt2 of Derek Prince’s video on this subject of spiritual warfare. There are 4 parts to this series.

Part 1 – https://youtu.be/r3q3GgIIONs

Part 2 – https://youtu.be/o348jdFeFOI

Paidon, Teknon and Huois

It takes confidence in God and the relationship one has with Him to uphold His justice and live in His gift of loving forgiveness.

The latter is a comfort zone of “Teknon,” child (not mature) of God, and the former is for matured sons, Huios.

Teknon of Rom8:16 is how the believer relate to God in His gifts, love, and mercies. Come to Him as little children (Mat18:3, the word little children is Paidon in Greek, means infant, little children, which is one stage of life before Teknon) to experience His loving kindness.

In the life of Teknon or Paidon of the Christian, there is abundant God’s love, forgiveness, and restoration.

However, the mature sons of God, Huois, are led by the Spirit (righteous living, heavenward focus) and not after the flesh (carnal living, earthbound) after Rom8:14 and Rom8:9. In the life of Huois, there is discipline, stewardship, calling and rewards.

The complete Christian is a composite of both Teknon-Paidon and Huois. They are manifestations of God’s love and God’s justice. As sons, we emulate and take after our Abba in heaven, the embodiment of love and justice.

There are NO winners, except the evil realm, to marginalize either His love or His justice. Embrace both and live out both.

Que Sera Sera- What Will Be, Will Be – Despair or Hope

This post comes on the heels of the recent post, Truth about Faith.

Once a friend made this statement – “Whatever must come will come”

This statement echoed the song Que Sera Sera. This post captures my thoughts about the wisdom of this mantra.

This mantra has been operating as a reality check, a filter of sorts, for appreciating the current and forecasted events, many of them promoting fearful uncertainty.

Whether mainstream or alternative, the news is rife with flavors of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This daily inundation of fear and uncertainty poisons the soul.

The mantra of “What will be, will be” or “Whatever must come will come” is not a fatalistic attitude given to despair. Instead, it underpins how I do not drown in earthly preparations (which I still make plans within my means) in light of the foreseeable future. It breaks the vicious cycle of the constant flow of bad news that would otherwise overwhelm me with despair and paralysis. My soul stays afloat amidst the stormy sea of negativity because my HOPE is in God’s faithfulness of His eternal promises.

His promise of my resurrection and His return are the source of HOPE, which motivates me to gradually (day by day) let go of this earthly life, weakening its stranglehold that stems from the demands and expectations of the various roles one has in this life.

This letting go involves the weaning of the fear of events, fear of man, and fear of death. Hope fills the gaping void created by the absence of these fears.

It is a balancing act of sorts, having a heavenward mindset while living in the earthly moment, searching and seeking to experience meaning trying to connect to the heavenward mindset. This process requires the spiritual awakening of the soul.

While each person’s life journey is unique, where comparison is meaningless, the journeys share the common experience expressed in these words – enduring patience.

Truth about Faith

Faith is not limited to religious persuasions but is universally embraced by man. However, faith’s purpose, meaning, and significance are not universal. This post explores the purpose, meaning, and significance of the Christian faith; The truth about faith.

Imagine the following two private conversations-

“Have faith,” my best friend offers me these consoling words, with a lump forming in her throat while gently brushing my hand at my husband’s funeral.

“Have faith,” the father smiles with encouragement while his eyes convey worry, comforting the family as his wife undergoes a major operation.

These scenes are repeated worldwide, albeit in different ways but centralized on the issue of faith. Regardless of which religion, this kind of faith is directed at something or someone that transcends the earthly realm.

The Bible, especially the New Testament (NT), reveals many nuances concerning the Christian faith. This post will explore the truth about faith to determine if this truth supports the above two imaginary conversations.

Hope, faith, and love are the pillars of Christianity (1Co13:13). Love has greater clarity and a defined focus. 1Co13 is a whole chapter dedicated to what love means to God.

Moreover, the NT’s only Law is to fulfill the commandment of love (Rom13:10), also known as the Law of Christ in Gal6:2.

The Christian faith and hope in the two conversations have an earthly focus. Does the NT truth about faith and hope support an earthly focus?

Spoiler alert – As this post examines the scriptures for the truth about faith, the truth about hope will also be revealed.

Let’s start with two relatively well-known scriptures concerning faith and two lesser-known ones.

  1. 2Co5:7 – “We walk by faith and not by sight.”
  1. Heb11:6 –“But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
  1. Rom14:23 – “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
  1. 1Pet1:7 –“ That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

Without going into the context (the context will be explored later), the 4 verses above describe faith as a walk (conduct, living the Christian life) that is absolutely essential to please God. Else it amounts to sin. Furthermore, when this faith is tested, its eternal values increase for the Day of the Lord.

To avoid this post becoming an overwhelming Bible study experience, these 4 verses, contextually (meaning when one read the whole chapter), all share one contextual thing in common. They all share the context that this faith is about the belief in the resurrection of Christ and the believer’s resurrection.

The central focus of the resurrection common to all 4 verses is returning to the roots of Christian salvation, which is found in Rom10:9-10 –

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

The belief or faith that saves is meant to have the singular focus on the resurrection of Christ. These 4 verses reinforce the paramount importance of this faith of the resurrection in the Christian walk on the earth that has eternal significance.

As if God is concerned that the importance of the resurrection escapes the Christian awareness, Paul said this in 2Co13:5, where he urged the believer to self-examine whether one is in faith, living by the power of God as displayed in the resurrection of Christ (2Co13:4). Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then says this in 2Co13:8 –

“For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.”

What truth is Paul alluding to? This truth is the truth of the resurrection mentioned a few verses earlier. In other words, paraphrasing 2Co13:8 – to live by the faith in the power of the resurrection is God’s truth concerning the Christian faith.

For those interested in a deeper dive to support the above claim, below explores the supporting context.

  1. 2Co5:1-6 shows the context of the walk of faith in 2Co5:7 is an eternal heavenward’s focus of the resurrection vs. the temporary earthly body (2Co5:1-6).
  1. Heb11:16 shows the context of faith that pleased God in Heb11:6 is the faith in the hope of a better heavenly country (Heb11:16) vs. being a stranger and pilgrim on the earth (Heb11:13). Moreover, the reward mentioned in Heb11:6 would likely be referring to the eternal rewards of the out-resurrection of Phil3:10-11 and 1Co3, derived from the good works of gold, silver, and precious stones.
  1. Rom14:8-9 talks about whether the believers live or die, it is done unto Christ who died and rose again. As the believers are not eyewitnesses to the Lord’s death and resurrection, the believers require faith in this regard for the Lord’s death and resurrection to be real for them.

Therefore, Rom14:23’s “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” has contextual support. This faith is the faith in the death and resurrection of Christ that He loved us. Thus when the lesser faith about eating certain foods is disputed, know that FAITH of the Lord’s death and resurrection compels one to respond in love.

  1. 1Pet1:3-5 talks about the faith in the living hope of the resurrection. 1Pet1:6 discusses how suffering can be experienced in unspeakable joy because of this hope. Therefore, it stands to reason that the context of the faith tested in 1Pet1:7 is the testing of the faith in the living hope of the resurrection on the Day of the Lord.

It should be more apparent now that Christian hope is the hope of the resurrection and not an earthly hope.

Conclusion

The above narrative offers compelling evidence that the Christian faith in God is not about hoping to be healed, to get a better job, or for a soul mate, any earthly needs-wants.

While these are legitimate earthly need-want, this faith that pleases God of the Christian walk focuses on the heavenward goals, especially the resurrection, and not on earthly need-want.

Discipleship – The Need for Spiritual Maturity (Part1 of 3)

This post is partially extracted from the video link – https://youtu.be/lpiQdRd9DSc and blended with personal insights.

The video is about Getting into Word to produce disciples of Christ, Part 1.

The video draws attention to the traits of a disciple of Christ, where their focus is on the divine alignment and divine assignment.

The topic of discipleship is close to my heart for a few reasons. Firstly, making disciples is the great commission of Mat28. 

Mat28:19 does not say to convert the unbeliever by saying the sinner’s prayer of Rom10:9-10 but to make disciples that observe the Lord’s commandments (Mat28:20).

This post is the 1st post of 3 posts.

To support this focus, the video posed the question – what is the critical issue facing the body of Christ (BoC)?

Spiritual maturity is the critical issue and need facing the BoC for the spiritual health of Christ-likeness. Spiritual maturity is not predicated on the age as a Christian or status in the 5-fold ministry.

The opposite of spiritual maturity is spiritual indifference or apathy. Spiritual apathy produces non-disciples believers and pseudo-disciple believers.

A non-disciple is indifferent and avoids the matters of God. Such a person calls on God and avoids the call of God. The pseudo-disciple lacks an adequate spiritual compass.

Spiritual maturity is not-

1.      Spiritual knowledge is not spiritual maturity. A person can have much spiritual knowledge but lead a carnal life.

2.      Spiritual zeal is not spiritual maturity.

3.      Spiritual activism that leads to spiritual titles or valued positions is not spiritual maturity.

4.      Spiritual giftedness is not spiritual maturity.

Spiritual maturity is about divine alignment and divine assignment as measured by the Word of God.

1.      Divine alignment – About submission and obedience to God’s will by valuing the truth in His Word through revelations and spiritual awakening.

This alignment will take the view as created spiritual beings and not only physical beings.

2.      Divine assignment – About living a life of repentance, meekness, and having a servant’s heart. By taking this view, we are carrying out earthly assignments with eternal value.

To expand on the challenges of spiritual apathy, the video draws from the Parable of the Sower expounded  in post 2 out of 3, titled Discipleship and Spiritual Apathy.

Freedom from Slavery- Yes, and No

https://www.theberean.org/index.cfm/main/default/id/3692/ver/NKJV/2-timothy-3-1-5.htm

This article that expounds on 2Tim3:1-5 ended on this note-

“The idea of “servant” becomes clearer when we understand it as “slave.” Slavery is another metaphor for what self-satisfaction produces. Sin puts us in bondage to the cruelest taskmaster in the universe, Satan, the one who generates this host of self-centered attitudes. 

We are completely unable to break free from this bondage without supernatural help, (as said in) Hebrews 2:14-15.”

It is a little appreciated truth that the new man in Christ is still enslaved. 

God describes this freedom from bondage in Jhn8:36 to mean being set free from the old man’s slavery, but the new man remains a slave to righteousness (Rom6:16,22).

The shift of the slave realm of the old man (Rom6:6) subject to the law of sin and death (Rom8:2) to the new man subject to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom8:2) is a clear sign that this new slave relationship with God is not a relationship where anything goes.

For this reason, God says He is not mocked in Gal6:7, for any man that sows to not bear the burdens (moral faults) of others of Gal6:2 and to not bear his own burdens of Gal6:5 (this burden is God’s will for the individual manifested in life circumstances) such shall reap what they sow. (paraphrase of Gal6:7).

It goes back to the article’s focus that man is enslaved by their obsessive entitled sense of “Self Satisfaction.”

The new man operating under the new law of enslavement is the solution for this old disease.