Friday, November 09, 2012

I Need His Stigma to Live

Gal.6: 17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the STIGMA of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

And so the dust settles. But instead of repentance and leading sheep out of the wilderness of fallen politics, most religious organizations are doubling down. They will rearm themselves to continue to fight the wrong war. The family unit has become an idol, and abortion, although much less pronounced these days, is a straw man. Like a plumber running to fix each new sprung leak, the church has tucked the gospel safely away in the doctrinal museum while our “time and treasure” are “poured” into temporal issues. And we have become blind to the fact that many of these issues would come into Biblical alignment only through a regeneration process and not the legislation process.

The pungent atmosphere of sadness and even depression leaves no doubt as to where their hearts were invested. And a fallen nation reveals its fallen nature and believers lament, not only the outcome, but openly lament how much of their own resources were wasted. Another example of narcissism and being results oriented. And with “Eternal Father Strong to Save” being played sadly in the background, the church takes a deep breath and heads back to the battle that cannot be won and turns away from the victory that has already been won.

The more layers of nationalism and moralism are uncovered, the more it becomes apparent just how deep are the roots. I have been born again for almost 39 years and I can honestly say I have seen liberalism, I have seen compromise, I have seen higher criticism, I have seen modernism, and I have seen movements like the emergent church and the prosperity message and the Joel Osteens and the Rick Warrens rise to ecclesiastical prominence. But in this last election year I have been taken aback as I have seen not only a revelation of just how invested in nationalism the church was, but I have been astonished as I’ve witnessed just how the church has dug in their heels and become reenergized and fully surrendered to it. The church will parlay this hollow election and double down on the next worthless expression of fallen man attempting to sanitize the culture. And the church will give an account for the obscene amounts of money spent.

Any spiritual awakening will have to be on a one person at a time basis. And when the shepherds have become temporal hirelings, then the sheep are imperiled. But I lift up my eyes because we may not even see another presidential election. And when Jesus Himself begins His last prophetic acts, what benefit will the love of America do for the lost? As believers we must humble ourselves and pray earnestly for the church and all our deceived brethren. I have made a promise to God that I am cutting way down my exposure to the voices of politics both in and out of the church. It does not feed my soul, it does not lead my to the cross, it does not stir up Christ’s redemption inside me, and it only makes cleansing my heart that much more difficult.

I believe this is another step in my own sanctification process. I have always know it was not enough to see nationalism as contrary to Christ, and just refusing to vote cannot be the end all. Jesus must captivate us. He must consume us. He must be our breath, our life. Do these words seems fanatical and ethereal? Have we become so utilitarian that we no longer even believe in a life in the Spirit that actually walks and lives in Jesus? The entire ecclesiastical mess has led millions astray, and it will hold tightly to the constituents it has accumulated. The amount of time and treasure is so great that the church will not, cannot, abandon so great an investment. And so knowing, seeking, and following Jesus must suffer at the hands of carnal dreams and moral pursuits.

Oh it breaks my own heart when I realize how much more I can and should know and even experience Jesus. And just being a spectator watching the worthless activity and hollow rhetoric that emanates from that which purports to follow and represent Jesus is like dying a slow and painful death. The ax head drowns in politics and the search has long since ceased. And if Mitt Romney had been elected, and if many Republicans had won in the senate and house, millions of believers would be rejoicing, falsely believing God had answered prayers and the nation was once again seeking Christ. It is and always has been a fool’s errand which in these later days has become more economic than moral and certainly not spiritual.

What manner of love is this that the Father has bestowed upon us? The Great God has not only prepared a place for us in eternity, but He Himself awaits our entrance into His own dwelling place. And step a little further if you will. We have been made the sons of the Living God and the younger brothers of the Lord Jesus. He is the eternal Son from eternity past through eternity future, but we have been grafted in by God’s amazing grace. It is the miracle of all miracles and we dare not trade it for a mess of earthly pottage.

I Pet.2: 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

I do not belong to any party or any nation. I belong solely to the Lord Jesus. I must be diligent to reveal what God has said about me. Am I peculiar? Do I seek holiness? Does my life show forth His praises or does it show forth earthly issues? We must be completely surrendered, unconditionally surrendered, to Jesus our Lord. And when we are living in that reality it must surely make us that peculiar people the Spirit says we are. It is time to seek and follow Jesus as if we have first seen and known Him. The love of Jesus has grown cold, and we now live unremarkable within the church and the culture. Rejecting nationalism, politics, and war must never be the place where we graze. Jesus must be our pursuit and our life.

This is no trifle or doctrinal tenant. This is a reality which reaches deep inside the love of our God and by faith has produced the fruit of eternal life. This is our life; this is our calling; this is Christ in us the hope of glory. I have not only had enough of earthly pursuits, but I have had enough of following the earthly pursuits of others. It has become to me a redundant drone of worldly allegiances and misguided endeavors. It is all so much dung and it has set itself against the knowledge of Christ. I must reel in what my eyes read and what my ears hear. I have been stubborn, but God has revealed to me that while I see the bondage in others I have in some ways restricted my own spiritual freedom to see the face of Jesus.

I have not prayed for others as I should, and I have communicated with humans more than I have spoken with God. I reject my own shortcomings and ask God to cleanse me from me and set my feet once again upon the Rock. And I desire to know Him in His sufferings and His resurrection. I already know the specifics of the western church compromises, and now the evil one and my own flesh seeks to bind me to that knowledge at the expense of the sacred journey to know Christ in all His fullness. I will still speak what God directs me to, however my heart now turns to seeking Christ with everything I am. I will now be fully aware of providing posts that are overwhelmingly centered on Christ and seeking His heart, and my posts of correction and discernment must be in addition to those posts rather than the preponderance.

My heart grieves today. Not because of anything that has happened, but for my imprisoned brethren. I need to be so much more like Jesus and I am so easily distracted. I need the Spirit to bring me to my own death and there I will be resurrected in Him. But it is so much easier to stay where I am and try and convince myself I am further along than those with whom I once frolicked. I can no longer live that lie, I desire to forsake all and follow Him. I once again stand to me feet and leave the shade of my own resting place and seek the resting place found in His threshingfloor. It is there the Spirit can brand His stigma in my mortal being. Without His stigma I am living unto myself.

That I may decrease and He may increase whatever the cost.

I pray God will do another miraculous work in my life this coming year, and He knows best of all I have proven without controversy I cannot do it in myself. I cannot help but speak those things which I have seen and heard in the Spirit through God’s exalted Word. So in light of that truth, I must see and hear much more. Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.


Anonymous said...

You express my heart cry. Yes and amen!

Lori T. said...

My spirit bears witness with this and as Victoria said, this also is my hearts cry. May we all present ourselves living sacrifices that our flesh be consumed on the altar. Amen.

frmdeath2life said...

This is very good. "I have been stubborn, but God has revealed to me that while I see the bondage in others I have in some ways restricted my own spiritual freedom to see the face of Jesus." How true is that?! We so often follow our strong convictions to the point of blinding ourselves and perhaps leading others to where God is not leading them. There is a way that seems right to a man...... We are instructed to preach the Word, in season and out and encouraging others to seek His face and be led by His Spirit. Even our pride can exhibit itself in a false humility. As long as a spirit remains unteachable and will not allow anyone to disagree with them, it claims to fully know the mind of God and that is dangerous ground to tread. Those of us who love truth and are bold enough to speak it, are most susceptible to this temptation. To "know Him as He is" with complete understanding and perfect interpretation of the Living Word, requires leaving this world and our flesh behind. Even the most sincere believer can be blinded to certain Scriptures that will conflict with a strong conviction of who and what God should or cannot be. "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Eph. 4:1-3 Thank you, Rick, for all your thought provoking posts.

Anonymous said...

Unable to do this in myself. The Lord Jesus will finish His good work in the willing. Am i willing? i pray i am. Only the Lord Jesus can know. His Will be done, no matter the flesh.
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I am learning that to feast and have a steady diet on the destruction of the church and politics will not promote the sanctification process at all, in fact it will hinder it.
It's not that we shouldn't acknowledge the destruction of politics and the saddened state of the church, but getting so wrapped up in the decay of it all will not give Christ any preeminence in our lives. It will not cause Christ to increase and us to decrease.
It is easy to start railing about the terrible Laodicean state of the Apostate Church as it stands today, but in our railing we have to ask ourselves what our motivations are behind the railing? Is our railing even a hint appointed by the need to change the state of the church? The church as many know it today is prostrated by a Babylonian Spirit and although it is easy to come out of the organized structure of Babylon it is a lot harder to get Babylon out of us. So any self appointed attempts to change the state of the Babylon system in the church will ultimately prove futile. Christ is building His Church and He is coming for a spotless Bride.. A remnant... He will have a spotless Bride, untouched by human hands..Amen!!! The Cross is the only remedy for the Babylon religious spirit that controls so many. It must die, so that Christ will live...