Part 2: I can’t do it without him!
Christ is the basis of everything, because he is the underlying foundation. He supplies the relationship by which salvation is received.
If we receive salvation without pursuing daily relationship with God,we lose the joy associated with life in Christ.
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.
If we accept the gift of salvation without embracing and moving forward in our new life, we miss the opportunity to bear much fruit!
Life without fruit can exist, but it’s not very enjoyable.
Can a flower be called a flower, without flowers?
It would still be alive, but it would be called a stem. The stem can be healthy, but without the flowers, there is no beauty or fragrance to enjoy.
The sun is light and we need it to live, but without it bringing warmth, we would enjoy it less.
Jesus is the vine, and he is life. We are the branches. If we don’t branch out and grow, we will wither.
Verse 6-8 If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into fire, and they are burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. Herein, is my father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.
Unfortunately, it happens in many followers of Christ. We believe for salvation but we veer of course, before we ever get the chance to enter the joy of our salvation.
If we don’t stay in the new man life, we branch out, or should I say we launch out from the vine.
When we launch out from our salvation and attempt to do life alone, that is when men, ( the natural man, those without new life) will gather us, casting us in the fire and we will be burned.
Think about that! Relationships usually cause the most pain in our lives. It’s not even the other persons fault, it’s ours because relationship with Jesus is the foundation.
We cannot do life without Jesus!
It’s somewhat like being born as infants, and not receiving the proper care.
Infants cannot care for themselves.
The ideal situation is when they have loving parents, or caretakers, that have knowledge of caring for the infant.
Love is the most important thing the new born needs. If that is in place , then meeting the basic needs is a joy.
Most babies accept this love and care without resistance. The result is that they will grow into adulthood with continual love and guidance.
Those who handle life the best, are the ones who remain in relationship and do not resist training. They bring joy to their parents.
Remain in the vine.
When speaking of having new life in Christ, we understand Christ provided all we need to live on earth, as it is in heaven. And if that wasn’t enough, He gave us Holy Spirit as our comforter.
Why then, can’t we accept his love and care?
Why do we move out on our own?
Is it because we are worldly? Maybe, it’s because we resist the faith?
Faith is the system of principals Jesus authored for believers to follow daily.
If we stay in relationship, relying on his written word for guidance, the daily process works to keep justification flowing in our lives.
Justification is ” just as we never sinned.”
If we stay in justification and do not resist the Holy Spirit, we will grow in the love of Christ and bear much fruit. We will bring glory to our father in heaven.
Romans 5:1 THEREFORE BEING justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have access into grace.
We stand and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
We glory in tribulations!
Tribulations will work patience in us.
Tribulation can be seen as growth spurts. In the natural, when children grow quickly, we call them growing pains. Maybe we should see tribulations as “growing pains.”
Growing pains are a part of life, in both the physical and the spiritual. If we aren’t aware of that fact, we may become fearful that something is wrong.
When my son was about 14 years of age, he had severe cramps in his legs due to severe growing pains. Without parental guidance he naturally would have feared he was dying.
When things go wrong in our lives, we have to be determined to look twice at something before going off the deep end, so to speak. We must trust that we will not die physically. And, be willing to kill off natural mindsets.
We leave Romans 5 for a moment, to talk about patience.
Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay or trouble without getting angry, offended or upset.
Getting angry, offended, upset can cause one to move out of the faith required to remain in trust.
James 1:3-4 Know this, the trying of your faith works patience. But, let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
I like the sound of that!
We must let patience have her perfect work that we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Patience then, has a job to do for us. It’s like the saying, “work smarter not harder.”
The word perfect in Christ centered living means to ‘align,’ with God fully. It’s not you being perfect. That’s probably not going to happen. I’m smiling….
If we develop patience it works for us to align us with the wholeness that will supply all our needs in Christ Jesus.
Because God’s supplies liberally when we ask in faith nothing wavering.
His glory is unexplainable in that his love is unconditional. Most of us don’t understand unconditional love.
Nevertheless, we must accept His salvation through his unconditional love of His Son Jesus Christ.
I’m living the dream!
Years ago I went to the beach during the off season so I could write a Bible Study. I titled it, ” Unexplainable Glory.”
At the time, I was on a quest to learn more about the glory of God. Like Moses, my prayer request was continually, “God show me your glory.”
As a reminder of how he answered Moses, we read the passage in Exodus 33:18-23 ” I beseech thee, show me your glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious, and will show mercy, on whom I will show mercy. And he said, Thou canst see my face: for there shall no man see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold there is place by me, and thou shall stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passes by, that I will put thee in a clift of a rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by. And I will take away mine hand, and thou shall see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen.”
We all want to see & experience God’s glory!
I remember saying to God, ” You showed Moses your glory! I know you are not a respecter of persons! Show me your glory!”
Now, I realize I truly did not understand the glory of God. I was asking for something that was prophesied in the Old Testament, yet I was redeemed under the New Covenant.
The mystery the prophets and priest longed for and prophesied about was brought in through Jesus Christ.
Romans 16:25-27 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but is now made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophet, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ.
The glory is revealed through Jesus Christ. I only needed to align my heart with the New Covenant brought in through his birth, death and resurrection.
God had mercy on me and revealed his glory to me during a communion service one Sunday morning.
As I worshiped, I saw a man beaten to a bloody pulp lying on the ground. I knew it was a vision of Jesus beaten, and crucified as they took him down from the cross.
I can explain no further. I just know I cried so much, I became embarrassed, I couldn’t stop crying. This was long before the movie, “The Passion of Christ,” That movie was a depiction of what I saw.
God spoke to me very clearly, in a loving voice that Sunday, saying, ” My glory is not what you thought, is it?”
I will never forget that! Ever! I will never forget what he endured for my redemption!
Jesus was the rock in which God hid Moses.
Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee!
Jesus was the cloud by day and the fire by night that the children of Israel followed in the wilderness.
Jesus is my rock also, in that he is the foundation of my life. My journey is one of freedom. By his Spirit, I know that asking to see and experience His Glory, pleases Him.
He is the very face of God! His Spirit is all the glory I need to know!
The glory of God is His son, Jesus Christ. His dying on the cross for the sins of the world demonstrated the very nature of glory of God. When we have faith in God, his glory is revealed daily!
Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith. When I am weak, he is strong! He is life!
His glory is manifested in Christ birth, death and resurrection.
I see his glory then, in everyday life. When when things get tough, it’s still his Glory!
When things are great, its His Glory. It’s not separate. All things work together for good, for those who love God, and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
The glory is God the father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit in one person!
The glory is like a anointing covering the redeemed like a cloak. Maybe, like the seamless robe that Jesus wore. Because unity doesn’t have separation.
The best way I can explain it is that His glory is unlimited, and like a prism shining light infinitely.
The glory is powerful and yet gentle. It’s ever changing, yet unyielding.
God’s changes not and His word is established, yet he will move a mountain and make a provision for the sake of His Glory.
Perhaps we are his glory as we follow Jesus, and conform to his image. We are those named in the following scripture, those he foreknew, ( forloved), he also predestined.
Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
The word brethren in the Greek means of the same womb. We are the redeemed, and spiritually are of the same womb.
We are born of the Spirit of God and are of the same body when we identify with Christ. We are translated into union with the corporate body of Christ though abiding faith.
If he allows us to experience suffering, he eventually turns it for our good. That’s glorification.
If we separate ourselves, fail to maintain faith in Christ, we will fall short of the glorification of God.
So I encourage you today to hold on! I may not be able to fully explain His Glory, but I know he will never leave us or forsake us!
I hope you are inspired to read and meditate on Romans 8. Especially verse 18, that tells us to consider our present sufferings, as not worthy of comparison of the glory that will be revealed in us!
We can’t lose! This is the hope in which we are saved!
Thanks for listening and the glory is still unexplainable! Let’s just take it step by step daily as we journey in our freedom!
We are serving at Glacier Bible Camp in Hungry Horse, Montana.
The wisdom about treating the janitor the same as the CEO, definitely applies here. Some of Gods Generals are riding golf carts, doing the work of the ministry behind the scenes.
As I listened to one of them this morning in devotions, concerning the mantle of God, I leaned in. I know a word when I hear one.
This man of God spoke of the mantle of Elijah. Though he only mentioned the transfer of the mantle being given to Elisha, and Elijah’s departure, my thoughts went to the prophetic importance of the mantle of Elijah.
It’s a fact that though it was time to impart his mantle to God’s chosen successor, Elijah didn’t see death. Elijah just translated to a even closer walk with God. God was not finished with the person of Elijah.
It is not a stretch to believe that Elijah was translated to heaven, and will in the last days return to earth, and continue to serve God. It takes a lifetime to fulfill the call of God.
Elijah’s ministry was vital to Israel during a critical time in the life of the nation. God couldn’t allow the mantle to leave with Elijah. It had to be carried forward with Elisha.
In one instance, Elijah prayed that God would stop the rain for 3 1/2 years and the rain stopped for 3 1/2 years. It is supernatural to have power over rain.
As I listened concerning the mantle God placed on Elijah, and I thought of the impartation to Elisha, I experienced a ‘aha,’ moment in my own ministry. God has been training me since birth for ‘ such a time as this.’
This experienced leader, in the body of Christ gave his testimony, explaining that each of us as sons and daughters of God, have been given a mantle.
He told us that at times, the mantle will feel, “too big for us. ” He related it to parents buying clothes a little larger for children to grow into as time progresses, so as to not have to replace them.
He described his own life, and how he often felt inadequate to the tasks of God. He said however, that ” his feelings never stopped God from placing him in favorable places to speak.”
He spoke humbly of speaking and praying with dignitaries, in the church, in the military and even in our highest government,
He confided that he always felt his mantle was too big for him. He explained that he understands that is true for all of us. That is so that we never lose our dependence upon the help of Holy Spirit. He encouraged us to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit.
I meditated on his words. As I read the stories of Elijah, I see the bold, confident assurance in his devotion and obedience to God. Yet, I also read of times of uncomfortable inadequacies.
Remember when he ran away to be alone, and thought he was the only one who had not bowed his knee to other Gods?
Remember how God had to straighten out his wrong perceptions?
I wandered how Elijah felt, when God told him to go and anoint the new kings for Israel and Judah?
What went through his mind, when he was told to anoint Elisha as his replacement?
Did he feel adequate to the tasks?
I am almost positive he didn’t know the exact details of his upcoming departure. Though Elijah was powerful and uncompromising under the anointing, he also experienced feelings of inadequacy. Thankfully God let’s us hear about these moments in Elijahs life.
The transparency is a great example to modern day servants. There will be days when we are aware the mantle, “is too big for us.”
Yet, we need to allow those moments. We need to be transparent in our testimonies. We can’t just share the highs! We must also share the lows! It helps us to be effective and real in our lives.
We must show our dependency upon the Holy Spirit, and include others as we grow into our calling. Though we may ‘feel,’ alone, we are never alone.
As I look at the mountains here in Montana, it is no surprise to see there are also valleys.
It makes sense then, that our spiritual mountain top experiences, eventually give way to valley experiences. Just as Elijah’s did.
Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal in a spectacular way, only to feel inadequate afterward.
When it came to his time to leave, it must have been humbling, and maybe even a litttle disappointing, for Elijah to anoint his own replacement. Transition is never easy.
When God calls you to move in a different direction, it’s more than uncomfortable.
I agree with the speaker. The mantle is too big for me.
It should be! Holy Spirit is my help!
He sends me dreams, confirmations, words of wisdom to keep me in His perfect will, as I grow and transition. I know I am not alone.
That’s why I wanted to share this today. I don’t care how long you have been in the ministry, God is always growing you into his call. We will feel inadequate at times.
We need to let God anoint us daily. Be content in, “ who we are, where we are.”
You never know when you could be called upon to speak a right now word, in the right time.
You may also never know, when you are being called upon , to receive his right now word, in a right now time. Remember that the best is yet to come.
Elijah did not experience death and a future sign corresponds with the supernatural ability of Elijah. God has need of his mantle to shut up the the heavens in the future.
Could it be, he will return in the last days along with a another witness, with “power to shut up the heavens, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy. ” Revelations 11:6
I want to encourage you today, don’t listen to your feelings, listen to Gods word.
Depend on the Holy Spirit, remain faithful to your call and grow in your mantle by faith. These are the days of Elijah!
If you feel inadequate, you may be right where you need to be!
We spent the night in Wyoming, just a few miles from the state line of Montana. The West really is a sight to behold. Pictures cannot capture the breathtaking scenery. Yet, we continue to take them, one after another, hoping to hold on to the memories.
There is a serenity involved with the picturesque scenery. It would benefit anyone dealing with high levels of stress, or jaded enthusiasm to take a road trip through the West. The glory of God can only be missed, if, you decide to ignore it.
My father owns the cattle on a thousand hills comes to mind, as we see the wide open ranges covered with livestock. Horses roaming free, even antelope. I have never seen a antelope, but I know know they are not deer.
The whole idea of Psalm 50:10-11, “For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects are mine,” is just another way of saying that everything belongs to God. God is sovereign.
So we ride along like a modern day, ‘covered wagon,’ thinking of songs like, “where the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word,” echoing through our memories.
To some it might sound sentimental, and lame. I couldn’t care less. I loved hearing AB sing, ‘ I should have been a cowboy, I should have learned to rope and ride.’
When we got outside of Billings, Montana, and moved toward Great Falls for the night, we ended up on a road construction project. The road was muddy and now we look like we have been somewhere. It started raining and our rig is more than muddy.
The next morning, we awoke to our heater fan continuously whirring at 5 am. The strange part was that the heater wasn’t on. We were using a electric plug in heater we bought on our last mission trip.
When AB located the problem, it was a leak from the water pipe above the heater, hitting the electric contact. Problem solved.
I couldn’t help but to praise and thank God! Having recently viewed the historic Battlefield of Custards Last Stand, we didn’t wake up to a battle cry, or have to deal with whether the water was pure or poisoned. We have come a long way in history.
I know every century has their problems, but God being faithful to his people is not one of them.
Thanks to Jesus, when we encounter problems, we only have to look for the potential benefit. All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.
More songs slide into to my mind, ‘The Victory belongs to Jesus. The Victory belongs to Him. Also, ‘It may look we’re surrounded, but we’re surrounded by Him. This is how we fight our battles, this is how we fight our battles.’
We give glory to God.
Thanks for listening.
We left Kansas in contrary winds.
Ranging from 22-24 mph, the winds were coming at us, at the front and the side, as if to blow us over, and hold us back.
We soon learned it costs you more to go against contrary winds, but you have to go against them.
It was both hands on the wheel kind of day, and frustrating to watch both the miles per hour and miles per gallon drop down.
The closer we got to our destination, the better it got. The wind changed direction and the wind got behind us.
Suddenly, it was like we were being pushed. It was smooth sailing, all quiet, hardly any effort required.
There was a increase, and we picked up speed and miles per gallon. We couldn’t help but see the spiritual revelations in this experience.
When you are in the will of God, the Holy Spirit has your back. He is the wind at your back. You may have contrary circumstances for a moment, but it’s just a season.
Psalms 37:23 The steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way.
We would like to give a reminder that Gods plan for our lives, is the best and blessed life.
Jesus still speaks to contrary winds. They still obey. He still expect us to speak to the mountains and see them move.
There is a Irish Blessing or Prayer, we pray over you today, as you read it:
May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the Son Shine warm upon your face until we meet again. May the Lord hold you in the palm of His Hand.
Our first stop on our trip to Montana was in Paducah, Kentucky. We pushed a little bit, excited to get to the gateway of the west, so we didn’t get to visit Paducah. Got there late and left early.
Our next stop was Lawrence, Kansas near Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. The two Kansas Cities are 5 minutes apart. Like twins, lol.
The KOA in Kansas City, Missouri was full, because the Royals are playing Houston Astro’s today on Fathers Day. So we stayed in Kansas.
We like to stay KOA because we know what to expect, we don’t need surprises, or poorly run campgrounds.
I always text our son, Donald to let him know where we are stopped for the night. When he found out we were in Kansas, he joked, “keep a eye out for the wizard.”
He didn’t know yet, we were parked on the Yellow Brick Road.
Happy Fathers Day!
God Bless America!