Beloved Family… I’d like to encourage us all to take stock of our current understanding and knowledge of our wonderful Creator and Provider, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I point this out because of this obvious fact:
The degree and depth of your personal knowledge of Him will cause a direct corresponding impact in your habitual emotional climate and state of being. The depth level at which you know God, will determine what your habitual viewpoints on all other things will be, and how you will automatically react whenever you experience troubles, setbacks, crises and what will seem, to the natural eye, to be humanly hopeless and helpless situations. If your God is Infinitely Perfect, your corresponding sense of Peace, Rest and Joy will be perpetual; but if your god is small, weak and inadequate, then when major troubles engulf you, you will not be able to overcome and survive them.
“When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?”
“Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (NASB. Emphasis added.)
If your habitual way of seeing and thinking about and reacting to God leaves you fear-ridden, cynical and pessimistic, then by Biblical standards, it’s clear that you’re harboring a false god in your heart! The gods people fashion for themselves in their very limited personal thoughts and imaginations will always be severely flawed and lacking in vital areas. Limited human faculties can only produce limited, and therefore false, gods that are always grossly incapable of meeting anyone’s needs. So the demeanor of those who must settle for doing that won’t be able to reflect and embody the True God as He really is. They won’t reflect the Flawless Perfection of His True Nature, as revealed by the Holy Spirit, when all they have to reflect are the false gods they manufacture and revere and harbor in the Darkness of deception that beclouds the imaginations of their own fallen minds!
If our god is a product of our own imaginations, perspectives and feelings, then for sure, our habitual heart climate will be dismally insecure, cynical, and totally bereft of hope and joy. So I urge us all to look closely at what Scripture actually says about God and how He really is! And let’s compare the content of God’s Word, with the content of what we keep saying to ourselves about Him, according to our personal private perceptions, sensations, feelings and self-centered musing. The following reveals the Truth about the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Notice how awesome He is in His Perfect Wisdom and All-Sufficiency:
Genesis 1:31; 2:1-3
“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day… Thus the heavens and the earth were COMPLETED, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God COMPLETED His work, which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He HAD DONE. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He RESTED FROM ALL HIS WORK which God HAD CREATED AND MADE.” (Emphasis added.)
1 Chronicles 16:25-27
“For GREAT is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, BUT THE LORD MADE THE HEAVENS! SPLENDOR and MAJESTY are before Him, STRENGTH and JOY are in His place.” (NASB. Emphasis added.)
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give GLORY because of YOUR LOVINGKINDNESS, because of YOUR TRUTH. Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” (Emphasis added.)
“Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote; therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”
“Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord, and whose deeds are done in a dark place, and they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”
“You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”; or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”? (Emphasis added.)
“Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
“Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” (Emphasis added.)
“In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts the whole earth is full of His Glory.”
“And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Scripture and the personal revelations God gives to certain representative individuals reveal a Living God that is infinitely eternally perfect, in every way. His Wisdom, Authority, Ability, Power, Knowledge, Foreknowledge, Strategy and Kingdom are utterly boundless! Nothing gets past our Creator; everything, past, present and future, is always before Him. He contains Infinite Fullness and Abundance within Himself, and He is never in need of any help, advice or embellishment from any other source we may want to consider.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
“Thus says the Lord, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.
“But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word!” (Emphasis added.)
“Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God. And the Peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis added.)
So, since our God, and His Living Word and Holy Spirit, are Perfect, our faith in Him should reflect and radiate what flows out of His Eternal and Infinitely Complete Nature, rather than reflecting any of the dismal, temporary circumstances that always surround our mortal flesh. And it is upon this awesome adventure of coming to know God, as He truly is, more and more, that our disciple training must focus. God Himself is the Message and the Lesson and the Reason underlying the rigorous training all true disciples must undergo.
And so, in the beginning portions of our earthly journey as followers of God’s Living and written Word, Father puts our levels of faith and ability and personal endowments through a series of tests. He places us in the midst of ever-increasing rigorous challenges that, after some time, prove to us like nothing else could, that in ourselves, we are totally helpless and bankrupt and that our self-driven prospects for the future are hopeless and without any merit whatsoever.
And, as we gradually and finally, learn this lesson, we progressively begin to let go of our former self-adoration and smug independent self-reliance. And conversely, we begin to cling wholeheartedly to our True Living God, and focus only upon Him, and look to Him to be our Sole Source of Provision, Protection and Wellbeing, in the certain knowledge that His Grace is All-Sufficient and Perfectly Adequate, no matter what we may encounter in this time and space dimension!
2 Corinthians 12:6-10
“For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me. Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!
“Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR (MY) POWER IS PERFECTED IN (your) weakness.”
“Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, SO THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY DWELL IN ME!
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
“Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”
“As for the saints (that abide with God in the Heavenly Place, and) who are (simultaneously serving Me by abiding in and obeying and serving My Word) in the earth; they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.
“The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, nor will I take their names upon my lips. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my Heritage is beautiful to me.”
So we gradually learn to give up our habitual striving and conniving as Father weans us of those natural flesh addictions through which we are driven to try to control and manipulate everything. And as that weaning process continues, we experientially die each day to our Self-reliant independent ways… IN ACTUALITY! And when we finally reach ‘the end of our created, Self-trusting rope’, we stop trying to be the star and hero of the show altogether. We die to our Self-life, as it is finally dragged off stage and kept out of sight and out of mind, from that time forward.
And then we can finally begin to learn what it means to REST and REJOICE in God’s Living Word, and to depend on God to provide our daily portions of His Eternally Present Grace and Lovingkindness. And after we embrace our weakness, in Spirit and in Truth, that weakness suddenly transforms into the vivid experience of Almighty God’s overwhelming LOVE POWER! After we’ve truly died to our delusionary Self-life, we begin to experience the overwhelming VOLTAGE AND THRUST of the indwelling Life of our RISEN LORD! Then, finally, we’re in position to begin to experience the vast difference between our former Self-life spasms, as opposed to the indwelling Messiah-Life, whose Fruit we can only grasp and comprehend and begin to bear for Him by the obedience of our faith and rest, and trust in Him!
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on The Rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on The Rock.
“Everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand (of trusting in created things). The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
God puts us to such tests to enable us to see whether or not we are really and truly and finally looking to Him alone for all things. When we look only to Him, we accurately reflect and embody the Truth that He is the one and only Living God of all Creation. And, as we’re learning this awesome lesson, we are enabled to begin to test God – to see for ourselves whether or not His Credibility and Covenant Promises to us can be trusted in Spirit and in Truth!
And then God is able to demonstrate and prove, through us, His awesome Sufficiency and Adequacy and Effectiveness. And the Fruits of His Perfect Finished Works of Creation and Redemption and the Infinite Perfection of His Eternal Covenant’s All-Sufficient Grace are born for all to see, through the willing, wholehearted ‘branches’ of His Infinite and Eternal ‘Vine’. (Genesis 2:1-3; John 19:30; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-28; 37:11-14; John 15). And through such supernatural testimony, the world can finally realize that at all times and in any circumstances, the human race has great cause to rest and rejoice in Him – ALWAYS!
In countries that we would consider to be ‘Third World’ or ‘backward’, the majority of people have much less access than we do to all the digital gadgets and the overwhelming tsunami of Internet-derived ‘information’ to which we have become so addicted. At the same time, the disciples in their midst are very often forced to undergo tremendous persecutions and hardships, for the sake of their risen Lord and their faith in Him.
So they know, right from the beginning of their ‘walk with God’ that they are weak, helpless and totally dependent on something or someone that has to be far greater than they are… something whose resources surpass any contrivance, device or controlling technique they could ever try to come up with in order to meet their own needs. No one has to convince them that they are dead to being radically independent beings. They know they can’t depend on themselves, or any other thing that is created. And so they begin to know God at a profound level, right from the beginning, very soon after He first reveals Himself to them. And that is why the Family of God multiplies and spreads so rapidly in those places. Materially speaking they are impoverished; but spiritually speaking, they are always endowed with the Fullness of God that is imparted to them by their risen Lord!
And so for such humble, materially bereft people, it’s far easier to respond to our God when someone shares the True Crucifixion and Death and Resurrection Gospel with them and testifies to them about all the wonderful things they have experience with and from the Word of the Living God made flesh! As soon as they hear about Him and what He has done for the sake of the people that are sharing this message with them, they immediately believe and cry out to the Lord, because their dire situations make them so needy and desperate that they lose no time in looking to Him and depending upon Him because they have nowhere else to go. So their neediness puts them immediately in touch with the one true Living God!
Thus the Lord has no competition from myriads of created, man-devised distractions. He can make Himself known to them immediately, directly and very deeply, with heart-transforming, life-changing impact! This is why the Body of believers grows and spreads with such awesome rapidity and unstoppable enthusiastic love and devotion to our risen Lord, even when whole governments keep doing everything they can to stamp them out! The Attractiveness and Overwhelming Love of God is felt and seen to be much more powerful and compelling than the taunts and threats of the unbelieving world that surrounds them!
“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly.
When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner!” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today Salvation (Yeshua)has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light!”
In our culture that is literally glutted and sated and jaded by materialism and the pursuit of comfort and pleasure, instead of being perpetually connected to and focused upon God’s Holy Spirit, so that He can make God’s Living Word real and alive and active within us… most of us obsess over our phones, tablets, computers and social media venues and sensual addictions. So in terms of getting ourselves ready for the Last Days tribulations and preparing our souls to be ready when the time for us to enter the Arena of Testimony arrives, we’re handicapped by the enormous varieties of distraction that continually cascade over our overwhelmed senses and befuddled conscious awareness.
Beloved, this is not good! There is no spiritual profit in this whatever! No matter how many created things we amass for ourselves, none of that will ever prepare us to persevere and overcome the powers of Darkness amidst all that is soon to come! All of that glitzy, shallow worldly stuff blinds and deafens our spiritual faculties! It gets in the way of our ability to learn to abide in and interact with the Presence of our awesome God! The ‘marching orders’ that are being followed by the fallen world that is all around us do not come from God. They come from the Father of Lies! So beware of the knowledge of Good and Evil! It comes from a demonic source that always tries to blind us to ‘The Tree of Life’!
“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from Heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
“When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation!” (Emphasis added.)
Our FMM Marching Orders are directives intended for people who are being forced to undergo intense violent persecutions and tribulations. Our training must prepare and equip us to function faithfully and effectively, even amid all kinds of worldly, carnal, demonic horrors, onslaughts and mind-numbing Last Days levels of distraction! Our FMM Marching Orders prepare us to follow our Lord and know Him well enough to be able to interact with Him in the midst of the most dreadful circumstances and intense levels of danger to which our unavoidable circumstances will continually subject us as we approach the Grand Climactic Finale that the Last Days will usher into this poor agonizing world.
This is why all those earthly mind-numbing electronic gadgets will never be fit substitutes for being perpetually connected to our Father’s Holy Spirit! No man can serve two masters! The Spirit of God has been given to us to make God’s risen Living Word real and fully alive within us and through us. God, through the obedient faith of His Word’s disciples, will thus be able to bless and deeply affect the people that are all around us! But how can we focus on allowing God to do that, if we always ignore Him and have our minds mesmerized and our faces stuck to the screens of our smart phones and tablets and other soul-sucking gadgets? Beloved, why should we idolize those created attention-grabbing distractions that force us to ignore and forget about the Perfect abiding Presence and dynamic Grace-filled Lovingkindness of our Awesome God?
The passing, temporal things that are going on around us are not intended to overwhelm and engulf us. We are being trained to learn to use them as ‘raw material’ that we can use to manifest and proclaim the glorious Presence of Yeshua who is The Light of the World! He is our beloved Lord and Messiah. He is always abiding within us so that, through us, He can exchange the living death that grips all the unsaved people around us, for a share in His Eternal Life and its All Sufficient Treasury of Grace that flows out of God’s Perfect Finished Works of Creation and Redemption! Could anything be more important than what God’s Living Word has been sent here to be and do by His Father, for our sake?
The Holy Spirit has been given to us to make God’s Word known! The Spirit seeks out and draws endless numbers of people to the Word’s faithful disciples, because He has already equipped them to know and reveal and proclaim and embody the risen King of kings and Lord of lords on behalf of those that do not yet know Him! So it’s not our job to interact with dumb lifeless ‘smart’ phones! Our job is to interact with Almighty God’s Holy Spirit… who is already here, waiting to get our attention and cooperation. He is here to teach us to abide with, and to draw everything from, our beloved Messiah. He will teach and train us to draw from all the Fullness of God that is in Yeshua… and so our Lord will begin to make Himself known and loved and relied upon by people we encounter. They will be drawn to Him when they can see His disciples trusting and relying upon and drawing everything they need – from Him! This is the witness and testimony we have the privilege of rendering in this world, while it still has time to witness us doing it before their eyes.
Most of the people of our current generation do not yet know Him and how much He values, treasures and loves them. And the time remaining before the Final Judgement arrives is getting very short! So it’s our job to convey our Messiah to them, by allowing them to watch us interact with Him and witness the awesome things that He accomplishes in our midst, and how He responds to our faith and trust in Him. He is our only Hope and our only Salvation! So Yeshua Himself is our Message! He is here to actually transmit God’s Living Presence and Power into this world… if we will wean ourselves from our earthly distractions and begin to allow Him to reach out and connect with those who are around us… through our crucified, yielded, trusting flesh!
“I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me, hear my speech. Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of THOSE WHO TAKE REFUGE AT YOUR RIGHT HAND from those who rise up against them.” (See Colossians 3:1-4.)
“Keep me as the apple of the eye (Father… as I abide… hidden with my Messiah… in You) ; hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
God wants to include us in what He is here on Earth to do, beloved. But for that to happen, we must be operating out of the obedience of faith, which requires us to abide with God in the Highest Place in the Third Heaven, by faith in the revelation of His Word.
On that basis, God gives us the privilege and honor of transmitting what our Lord imparts to us, to the people that come around our Spirit-filled flesh here on Earth! We have the ability to operate in two realms simultaneously! We’re citizens of Heaven and our spirits abide with God’s Spirit before the Throne of Almighty God. But at the same time, our mortal bodies still inhabit the earthly realm and God has commissioned us to be the ‘God Bringers’ who are sent out and deployed strategically, and officially commissioned, to enable the myriads of earthly ‘God Seekers’ to experience and know God’s dynamic Presence and Grace first hand, even amid their dreadful temporary earthly situations and circumstances!
We could never accomplish such Heavenly, supernatural results as long as we allow our electronic gadgets and meaningless worldly pursuits and entertainments to suck us into their dismal deceptions and delusional spiritual-sounding offerings! We will only accomplish it when our Awesome God becomes much, much more real and Present to us, than anything that this fallen world could ever come up with by way of distracting competition.
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them (by your personal example) to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE!” (Emphasis added.)