BE DEVOTED

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 11.52.12 AM“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2 NIV

(Plans are laid to be able to finish the video work on Authority in the next few weeks. However, in the meantime, we pick up the passage that follows).

The word used in Greek for “devoted” here is to “persist, steadfast, or wait upon” leaving us with the understanding that to devote oneself to prayer means to continue in it for a long time with a deep emphasis in that action. Most would call this “intercession.” Although I believe in deeply in intercession as we are commanded, this particular scripture is aimed more at the whole body of Christ and not a particular group called to pray for something as in our common understanding.

(A bit of a side point: we are all called to intercession! None of us is exempt in the Body of Christ from this very important prayer instruction. The current understanding we have in the Body regarding intercession is that only those called to do that in a concentrated way are responsible for the intercession needed and commanded. That, in our way of thinking, requires a special gift – the gift of Intercession. That is nowhere in the word, beloved. Intercession, indeed, can be and often is a “call, and a particular appointment,” but nowhere is it listed as a “gift.” We all have various assignments within prayer, and intercession is only one of them).

Now let’s get back to “devoted.” We are commanded to be devoted to prayer and to watching and to being thankful. Let’s just work with “prayer” first. That simply means talking with our Heavenly Father. It means communicating with Him on any and all levels of our being. I think that is fairly simple.

However, such communication is never simple. It takes an openness in the human being to be open, vulnerable, and willing to engage the God of Heaven and Earth. That is simple, but not really. We must also be willing to listen so two-way communication can occur.

You see, in this New Covenant, we have with our Lord Jesus Christ, He has come to live within His earthly temple – you and me – through the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20) Also, we are one in Spirit with Him or “one Spirit with Him” depending on your translation. (1 Corinthians 6:17) So there is really no distance or anything blocking Him unless it is within us. So our reluctance, or unforgiveness, or and the list could go on and on, might well interfere with our ability or willingness, but Jesus has completed all so He could live in us.

So being devoted to prayer is not such a big order, except internally. All matters can be processed in His heart of love and willing openness to you and me. Ours is the easy part – get rid of anything that keeps communication a problem in our minds and hearts. He is so willing to do that with us. Then freely stay in constant touch (that pretty well explains “pray without ceasing”) from moment to moment and begin to enjoy the fruit of such a full, open relationship with one who loves us more than anyone else.

What would such love do within us? Oh, I have found this jewel! Beloved, enter and begin to exchange all for Him only, and amazement will enter as we love and receive – for He constantly loves and receives us. Devotion is so easy in His heart.

All Of A Sudden

During the sermon this past Sunday at my local Body of believers, a guest speaker worked with the concept of intimacy in communication with our Heavenly Father. While on the surface, laughing with all during his insightful illustration, I agreed – !00%!

All of a sudden I was confronted with change. During my “quiet time” the next morning as I was busy with Him,  I realized that even though I agreed with our speaker, I was one of the ones who are formal in my expressions with Him. I use “Father” a lot, seldom “God,” as that could be anyone, but I stay on the “Heavenly Father” side in my expressions.

However, even before the sermon, I was becoming more and more aware of my tendency to be formal Just how formal do I need to be since the Almighty God of the entire universe and everything in it has chosen to dwell in this body of clay, by His own choice?! He has eliminated any definition of distance between us by that action. He has been my source (hence Father), and the lover of my soul (Lord), yet, Abba. If we were in Greece and heard a child running after His Dad using that term (and we probably would hear it for it is common), we would understand that it means “Daddy.”

In the natural, I never called my Dad, Father. I grew up in the Bible Belt, and we just didn’t do that. (I guess it came from a misunderstood interpretation of “Call no man Father.”) So I have always called God my Father all the while knowing it was much too formal for how “we” communicate.

There is nothing I do not share with Him. Not because I remember it all, nor because that is the emphasis of our time, but just because He lives in me and already knows. He blesses, corrects, and loves me moment by moment and second by second. He is indeed my “Dad.”

It is time I begin to make that switch in expression. It is a bit difficult for me, but it will happen. I had already started a switch in my prayer journal for we already have individual names for one another there. This public and, for me, bold step to do so verbally has begun. It is way past time!

Seems like All Of A Sudden, but really, it has been coming. Thank you, Beloved Dad, for making Yourself so real and available.

More on the Way!

Blessings to all my Dear, Dear Readers!

As you know, I have not written in about a month here on Mannaword. I guess I took the month off from blogging. I had not intended to do that, but with all that was needed during that time, I had to let the writing slip to the side.

Now that the weather is getting a bit cooler, (a real key in my being productive in writing) you can expect some videos and some articles as we move forward. Thank you for being with me and for praying when you think of me.

Soon! Blessing you!

Not the Same!

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Not the Same! For many years Christians have confused two words. We think these two words are the same – synonymous: submission and obedience. They are not synonymous at all. Let me explain.

Let’s take a look at them from a Biblical point of view. Submission is an attitude, or position, of the heart. It is a decision that involves every part of a person. Nothing is left out. When one chooses (and it is always a matter of freedom) to live in the heart attitude of submission, nothing is outside of that decision. That decision remains regardless of circumstances, pressure, or people. It is a heart attitude that chooses to prefer another’s will over one’s own. It is a part of the understanding of living in the covenant of love in Jesus, living in the covenant of marriage with one’s mate (regardless of gender), and a by-product of understanding authority in the Kingdom of God. Submission cannot be forced but must be gifted through one’s own will.

Obedience, on the other hand, is merely that. It is sometimes a choice, but sometimes it is not. Obedience can be forced and manipulated. Those who choose not to obey the laws of the land will discover circumstances not favorable to their freedom. Within the covenant in Jesus, obedience is requested and in it flow the power and blessings of our inheritance as sons of God. Without it, love and blessings remain but may not be seen in the circumstances. Obedience is an act of the will, but there are many who obey but hate its very action. That’s rebellion.

As a young married woman, I remember making the comment that I would obey (the men in our church, who were in leadership), but I did not like it, nor agree with whatever it happened to be. My phrase went something like this, “I will submit to this, but I do not think it is good nor right.” Age might say it differently, but the effect would be the same. Boy did I have things mixed up! That was pure rebellion. I apparently had a lot to learn about His love.

Like everything in this relationship in Jesus, it is Him wooing us into His love expression. He does, indeed require obedience, but He wants it through submission. That is a much harder thing to bring about in all of us. When we begin to relax in His embrace and love, then submission to Him and to others becomes an expression of our love for Him. It is a small thing to do, but it requires a substantial heart experience to enable. Submission is not obedience with grumbling, anger, or resentment but instead, that is rebellion, even though we do what has been requested.

Now that we see the difference, it is up to us to choose the time in His love and experience His gentleness and mercy to allow Him to woo us into His heart of submission. This is real freedom, for love responds to love and does what love does. Obedience then flows from the heart – not just from “have-to.”

I am still learning this over and over and over again as I age. The battle in most of us is strong regarding our will and His love. However, He wins – have you noticed? He wins! I am so thankful He does.

Authority – Video #1

It did it! I needed to let it have time, but it did it. This video is not on YouTube, so you won’t be able to find it there. Instead, I was able to change it to a form WP would receive.

The charts and the data from the last post is in this video. Video #2 will come this week. Stay tuned. If you haven’t subscribed – please do so. That will help you know when one is posted as a notice will be sent to your email.

Blessing you today – always!

Servants or Bullies?

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“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:1

The last post left us all hanging a bit only because to deal with how we live our lives in Christ within the home is a massive topic. The Holy Spirit in Colossians is giving a simple summary view of matters that are dealt with in other places much more thoroughly. (See Ephesians 5:22-32). This post is not going to attempt to work with that in detail. Instead, I believe the Lord desires us to examine the pattern in our God which gives us the Spirit and the heart to move into those topics with an understanding that will bless us and not injure our hearts.

Whatever we have in covenantal relationships here on planet Earth, originates in the heart of our Father. He is the origin of all. If we are to move into some sort of Biblical understanding, we must not look to tradition or customs, either of the present or the past, and allow the Spirit of God to teach us what He had in mind when He wrote these words for husbands and wives.

As we look at the original pattern of authority and leadership in our God, we see Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a cooperative fusion. The illustration at the top left gives us a visual idea of how that works in love, care, assistance, and harmony. Each one assisting, loving, caring and helping accomplish what is in the heart of the Father. None is more important to the total than the other. If we observe a human cell, we find it is made of three parts. If one part is killed, the entire cell dies. The same is true of us as human beings. If one part, body, soul, spirit, dies – the whole human dies. We are made in His image. Our nature was designed to work together as one to facilitate life. So it is in the original being. The different elements have various functions, but they are One.

There is not really what we call “rank” among them – due to the ultimate “one” that existsScreen Shot 2018-06-29 at 11.43.16 AM in Him. However, there is, according to His Word, an “Authority Flow,” as seen in the illustration on the right. The Father’s will is ultimate, sent to the Son, enabled in us through the Holy Spirit. So the “One” continues to flow in cooperative fusion to complete all that has been decided upon before the foundations of the Earth. This authority enables and empowers all to occur. Without this authority, we would be mere human beings trying to do out best in such a fallen world. Because of this flow, we as “born from above” people receive all we need to be and to do according to the will of Him who loves us supremely.

Within the church and within the home this understanding of authority helps us work together in that fusion of love and assistance that brings peace and power within our doors.

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However, the understanding needs one more illustration from the life of our Lord Jesus Christ to fully live within the fusion of us and the Holy Spirit in any and all situations. The drawing on the left will help I think. (Forgive my computer drawing of us as stick figures – best I can do). When the apostles were competitive about who would turn out to be the greatest, the Lord settled it all by with telling us that the least would be the greatest, and we must become like small children, etc. He was describing a leadership role that is foreign to our world. In this drawing, you will notice that it is an inverted triangle. Jesus is the one on the bottom. In reality, He is our all in all, the one who feeds us, heals us, prays for us, intercedes for us, etc. Our lives flow from Him. The triangle represents the church/home. The ones who are leading actually “go down” on the triangle, for they are its servants. Jesus, the Servant of all, is continuing His work among us. As each one joins Him in that work, designated leadership, or individual influence – either one, we become servants of others who are in our spheres.

This is the leadership model Jesus gave us. When we see the authority emanating from Him through us to others, then we begin to be and do according to the words of our Lord Jesus. He continues to be our Lord, and He continues to be our servant – enabling our life at every turn and increasing our power, ability, and influence as we move into placement – below others. There is never a time for “lording it over” and “controlling.” It is a servant leadership of willingness. When this is understood, the husband being the authority in the home isn’t a problem – unless that husband expects to legalistically “bully” those who are to receive his care.

So back to our verse, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” When we understand how our God works – cooperative fusion – then we can love one another in truth and not be competitive, nor bullies as we try to order our homes and our church fellowships.

These words are only a small drop in the bucket compared with the massive topics of Biblical Authority. However, a blog is a blog and not a thesis. So I leave this with you, for your prayerful consideration.