• Category Archives kingdom values
  • Reasoning With God?!

    
    From Free Christian Clip Art www.BibleTriviaTime.com
     
    In this age of instant information and real
    time news reporting and economic and political chaos it seems to me that there
    is more emotional manipulation than there is fact finding and reasoning that
    leads to insight and effective, practical action.

     
    God’s command to Israel was “to occupy” — to make a stand. In
    Matthew 5 Jesus tells us that we are to be salt and light to the world—agents
    of preservation and illumination. But the Church has somewhat backed off from
    preserving and illuminating and is in retreat. We are so busy making a living we forget to make
    a stand. So concerned about keeping our job we keep our mouth shut and forget
    Jesus said that we are to be His witnesses. “They told us we needed to stop praying in school so no one would be
    offended. We didn’t like it, but said, “Well, okay.” They
    said we should not display the Ten Commandments and we didn’t say much. And so it
    went with the pledge of allegiance and the homosexual life style, etc. We
    didn’t take a stand or mount a defense—at least not a very big one.

     

    The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:2,Do not conform
    to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s
    will is.
    There are three
    reasons he would encourage us to do that. We have:

     
    1.      Flabby minds, sloppy
    thinking and reasoning

    2.      Spiritual laziness
    compromised by the world’s values

    3.      Believing the lies of the
    enemy.

     

    Where is this problem coming from that we need to be encouraged to renew
    our minds? The problem is the enemy of our souls. One of his favorite tactics
    is to lull us to sleep, i.e., to have us believe we do not need a strong,
    flexible, agile mind and spirit. It’s okay, we have pastors and leaders who
    can tell us of spiritual danger…we don’t need to learn to discern for
    ourselves, and studying is hard work and we are busy, and so on until we have
    flabby minds, sloppy thinking and reasoning and lazy spirits. We are in a war—not of our making or choosing, but we are still in it. We can either
    embrace our spiritual and mental fitness program, learn to fight by knowing what we believe
    and why and how to defend our faith, or, we can believe the enemy’s lies and stay flabby
    and lazy. There will be one winner and one loser—I read the last chapter!

    Is there a solution? I
    believe we need a focus. If we are serious about our spiritual development
    and desire to be spiritually fit and mature, it would make sense to learn how
    God thinks and to find out what He values and adopt those values and embrace that
    way of thinking.

     

    Since we are all different and have varying capacities
    we are not all to be the same—but we are
    responsible to develop the talents we have and utilize our full capacities.
    Like
    athletes, we need a coach who sees our strengths—spiritual and natural—and
    pushes us to hone our strengths and
    strengthen our weaknesses
    .

     
    Step 1Focus on thinking God’s thoughts and
    embracing His values
    . My first question to Him was, “How can I learn to
    think like You? How can I learn Your values?” I heard a very loud thought in my
    mind, READ THE RED PRINT!” I
    laughed out loud. Jesus said He did what He saw the Father do (thoughts and
    values) and said what He heard the Father say (thoughts and values).
    For I did not
    speak on my own, but the Father
    who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken (
    John 12:49). The words I say
    to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his
    work (John 14:10-11). Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works
    themselves
    (John 14:10-11).

     So, if I turn
    to the Gospels and read the red print I should be able to see how God thinks
    and what He values! Jesus was very clear on what He believed, why He did
    what He did…and He took a stand.

     
    Step 2 — I’ve been reading the red print for the past year. Now
    this New Year He added to the program. He’s been challenging me to formulate a godly thought matrix. As
    far as I have been able to unravel this yarn ball, it looks like He wants me to
    wrestle with building a “Godly logic structure” within which to reason as He
    reasons—that’s daunting. Potential brain strain! You know the verse, “Come now, let us reason
    together…” (Isaiah 1:18 KJV). I have not studied philosophy or logic but maybe
    that’s a good thing; man’s rules of logic probably would not work with God anyway!

     
    I don’t know how many blogs this will take, but I
    would appreciate your feedback during this mental/spiritual workout! Could we
    build this matrix together and come up with a framework within which to reason that
    leads to insight and wisdom? That will lead to taking a stand and mounting a
    defense? I’m going to need all the help I can get! Comments please!

     
    Blessings, Carol Brown…making it plain!

    www.fromgodsheart.com

  • Upside Down Kingdom?

    I’ve been thinking
    that God’s kingdom is rather upside down and backwards. For one thing, up is
    down in His kingdom. The rich are poor and the poor are rich. The foolish
    confound the wise. And the one who wants to be great must be servant of all. We
    are advised to love our enemies and rejoice when they persecute, revile and
    slander us. We are to work to accumulate rewards in heaven and are not to worry
    about food or clothing…getting ahead. Now how does that fit with the social
    norm of being upwardly mobile?

    Maybe it is we who
    are upside down? And maybe backwards?

     
    Ya, the bit about
    backwards! There was a time when I was asking God why I seemed completely
    unmotivated—to do anything! I had no energy, and energy I learned comes from
    joy. I was unable to feel enough joy to motivate myself to do what I needed and
    wanted to do.
    How can I
    be a believer, have Jesus resident in my life, He who is the origin of joy, and
    not be able to experience enough of it to be able to function, at least to a
    minimal level? This is serious in light of Nehemiah 8:10, which says that the
    joy of the Lord is my strength. Not much strength…and the dip stick on my joy
    tank was reading mighty low! His response to my question was quick. I had no
    sooner asked than the following verse came to mind.

     
    “But he said to me, “My
    grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
    Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that
    Christ’s power may rest on me
    (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).

    Well, if that Scripture is true,
    I am in some way not accessing or availing myself of resources that I already
    have. His grace is sufficient, yet I certainly seem unable to boast about or
    glory in my infirmity! How can I be grateful to God for my
    infirmities? What needs to be different?

                 The focus.” What? Say again, God!

    God speaks without words and
    explains: “Your equation is backwards! My equation reads: Weakness
    + abiding in My joy = strength. Your equation reads: Strength + abiding in My
    power = joy.

    “You think I should flood your
    body with strength first, then your life would demonstrate the power of
    God and you could go about serving others, and that would produce joy. However,
    that would actually enable your flawed humanity!”

    “The belief that you must earn
    love and belonging is not the truth, but that is your foundation! If I gave you
    strength and power first, you would have the energy to continue to perform and
    do good works. You would think and feel that you were demonstrating the power
    of God, but you would do so from a foundational belief that love and belonging
    must be earned. Yes, good would happen, but you would also reproduce that
    foundation in others and perpetuate the erroneous belief that love and
    belonging go to those who serve Me.” Pause for a “Selah” moment.

    “I want to give you a new
    foundation, one built on truth. You were first conceived in My mind—I loved you
    then and you belonged to me then—only later were you conceived in your mother’s
    womb! I have given you love and belonging from the moment I conceived you in my
    mind! Nothing you can do will ever make Me love you more—or less!”

    This whole business of thinking
    God thoughts and living God values can turn your life upside down and really
    mess with your mind! It feels to me like God could make some big changes real fast.
    He has pulled up all the tent pegs, thrown all the feathers and fur out of the
    nest and sticks are poking me. I’ve read that eagles make the nest
    uncomfortable like that just before they make the young fly on their own. Change is in the wind. I have
    a suspicion some flying lessons are about to be scheduled; it’s a little unsettling!
    Exciting, but unsettling nonetheless.

    How has God messed you up lately?
    Share with us by dropping a note in the comment box.

    Blessings, Carol
    Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity, Highly Sensitive
    and The Sassy Pants Series http://sassypantsco.blogspot.com
     

  • God Thoughts on Anxiety

     
      
     
    Do not be anxious about your life…”
     
    Jesus admonishes his disciples 5 times
    in Matthew chapter 6 about being anxious! Seriously? Has Jesus looked at my life? Has he seen my husband’s schedule or looked at our checkbook? And now the car dies! Anxiety. Worry. It’s the national pre-occupation, right?
    Everyone does it; and it’s not just an American thing. Obviously it was a problem in Jesus day as well or He would
    not have made such a point about it! He wants us to pay attention. Anxiety is
    not to be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven.

     

    Tension headaches drive you to Advil or Tylenol. It ties your gut in knots,
    turns your shoulders into bricks and stomach acid tries to eat a hole in your
    intestines. Worry keeps you up at night or causes you to grind your teeth. It
    wears out your adrenal glands! When the adrenals go, there is a domino effect.
    Motivation plummets. You battle depression and exhaustion. Anxiety does awful things to your
    body.

     

    Anxiety and worry do awful things to relationships as well. We snap at
    our spouse, our friends, our children. We lash out and say things we don’t mean
    and then have a hard time saying, “I’m sorry.” When we drive ourselves until
    the last nerve is frayed…our child asks a simple question, and appropriately
    so; but we hear it as a demand. It is the straw that breaks us and we behave
    badly. In that moment we are modeling for our child what God is like…but we don’t
    model the truth about God. The sad part is that we reflect back to our child a
    picture of himself that is also not true. He sees in our face that He is a
    bother and a burden rather than a delight.

     

    So
    how do we stop the cycle? First we must understand the problem. The problem is
    that we do not trust God. Ideally, we are to learn to trust God by first
    trusting our parents, then our family, and then we branch out into the
    community. If parents do job well they will be able to soften the blows when
    other family members, friends and classmates turn on us, betray us and
    otherwise let us down miserably. But what if parents leave gaps; sometimes they
    are trustworthy, but other times not so much? That relationship mirrors our relationship with God. First, we learn to not trust
    ourselves or God and then we develop a tentative approach to relationships with
    extended family and most certainly, we are tentative in regard to trusting
    outside the family.

     
    Like it or not, the picture we have of trust within the family
    (especially trust of parents) is projected onto self and God. God wears Dad’s
    face; He wears Mom’s face. Parents talk to us—that’s how we learn to talk. They
    walk us so that we can walk. We trust them; that’s how we learn to trust. If
    they teach us that we should not trust, that trusting is a bad idea…what then?
    We worry. We test the chair before we sit down. We do that because we have this
    wonderful ability to generalize. Rather than, “I cannot trust my parent in
    [this] situation.” We generalize to, “I cannot trust my parents.” It is further
    shortened to “I cannot trust.” And then a funny morphing happens—it becomes a
    command that we give ourselves: “Do not trust!” So we hold our cards close to
    our vest and are tentative and careful as a life stance. Behind that stance is
    a lack of trust that God has our back; a lack of trust that He will provide. We
    have plenty of evidence from abandonment and neglect, to lack of provision,
    from abuse of various kinds to savage betrayal.

     

    Jesus
    tells us plainly how to solve the problem: 
    “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto
    you.
    ” Simple, but not easy. I was complaining to God about the cares of
    this life one day when God told me to stop. He said that was His responsibility
    that He accepted when I accepted Him as Savior. It was His part of that
    covenant. My part of that covenant was to seek Him and develop the maturity and
    character of Jesus as my own. That stopped that whine session! Even though I
    know better, I have whined since then—old habits die hard. We are anxious about
    the necessities of life: food, clothing, housing, cars, bank accounts, etc. but Jesus tells us
    to look around and see the evidence of His provision. Birds are fed without “earning” it.
    Wildflowers are dressed more elegantly than Solomon! He gently encourages us that
    we can solve this problem!
    Here are some other blog that speaks to the issue: http://lynndove.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/interview-with-author-harold-metzel/ and http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/how-stop-trashing-yourself-2012-09/
    So what can we do?

    ·       Don’t deny reality, but take our focus off the problem and put it on God—get to really
    know Him

    ·       Use your Bible as a life manual—read the red print to
    know how God thinks about how to do life

    ·       Don’t give up

    ·       Ask God for someone trustworthy—someone who will present a different picture of Him; someone who can help you sort through the debris

    There is plenty to fuss about in life–but we know Who is in ultimate control. When the waves threaten to overwhelm we can call out to the One who calmed the sea. Are you or have you been an Olympic class worrier?
    Would you share some tips on how you beat the habit?

     
    Blessings, Carol Brown, author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive, and
    The Sassy Pants Series
    for children of all ages!

    Website for more information or to buy books: www.fromgodsheart.com

    Contact via Comments here or Facebook at: http://www.ittybittyurl.com/fhb

    Email with personal questions/comments at godsheart@comcast.net