The Fence.

In the spirit I saw a Fence  fencerowky
And it was without end.
I considered my defense,
But I could not judge.

As in my youth, I pled,
My appeal was not heard.
Who has my heart?
Where is my Love?

Then I heard Him from afar
As He came nigh,
“For I am on the Right side of the Fence
To make your paths straight.”

©RevKMarple

Authority & the Cult Christian

Do Christians believe in cults? Do they participate in cults? But do they believe they are involved in cults?

A cult isn’t always obvious…in fact, they are usually sneaky, which makes sense considering the source. ‘Strange Fire’ was addressed early in the Scriptures [Lev 10:1-3] to let the reader/believer know that bringing anything before the Lord that isn’t holy [false doctrine] will not be recognized by Him. The work of one’s hands is not of Faith, it is worthy of damnation.

The flesh is an ugly thing; God addressed this in Leviticus essentially saying that nothing unholy can be in His presence:

“Aaron therefore went to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, whichwas for himself. Then the sons of Aaron brought the blood to him. And he dipped his finger in the blood, put it on the horns of the altar, and poured the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat, the kidneys, and the fatty lobe from the liver of the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord had commanded Moses. The flesh and the hide he burned with fire outside the camp.” [Lev 9:8-11]

The Prescribed Order of Victory, Christ’s finished Work, does NOT include or allow:

  • Perverting the Truth [2Pet 3:17-18, Acts 13:10]
  • Faith turned into law [Gal 1:6-7]
  • Arrogance, personal agenda, pride or self righteouness [1Tim 6:3-4, Neh 9:16]
  • Ignorance [2Tim 2:22-23]

Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Too many Christians are tempted to add to or subtract from Christ’s Finished Work. It is tempting to abuse our authority in Him to exalt ourselves, but we are called to ‘watch and pray’ rather than divide and conquer.

There are Christians that believe in the Prosperity ‘Gospel’, Calvinism, Mormonism, keeping the Sabbath, etc. But what they are really saying is that what Christ did at the Cross was NOT ENOUGH. They have to add to it to suit themselves, they bring outside authority to it rather than the Godly authority we have in HIM.

Why do Christians add to or take away from the Finished Work of Christ? Even Christians who sit under correct teaching sometimes stir in their own personal authority – or superiority – to what they are being taught, unbeknownst to the teacher/preacher who purports Truth. The teacher/preacher cannot control what the Christians thinks they hear from the pulpit.

Do we have authority or a false sense of authority regarding the word of God? Then, do we abuse the knowledge of the Finished work of Christ by adding our own salt? This why many Christians don’t have or walk in victory.

Christians have authority in the name of Jesus and believing in His Finished Work at the Cross. We do not have authority in changing His Word to suit our agenda. We cannot put our Faith in anything but the Finished Work of Christ or we add salt to an already Perfect Truth.

It is an abuse of power and authority that can make a cult out of truth! Adding your own salt is an improper authority called PRIDE & SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS. We humans are so imperfect that we continue to follow paths that Cain followed. Improper authority killed Abel, improper authority cast out and marked Cain [Gen 4:8-15].

“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” [James 2:20]. AND works without Faith is empty and has no power, only a presumed authority that is not of God.

WE HAVE TO DIE TO SELF [Romans 6], ‘allowing’ Jesus to do what He was called to do by the Father, dying for a people who abhorred Him, spat on Him, abandoned Him. How can anyone add one extra grain of salt to that? How is that NOT enough?

IT IS FINISHED. Once and for all, forever and ever.

 

*EMPHASIS MINE.

The Minimalist.

I have to admit, I love our minimalist life. I feel free of the world and it’s traps. I can’t stand the frivolity of the way some Christians live; we are at war with the devil himself and we clamor for more clutter.

My husband and I, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, have shorn down our life and lifestyle to accommodate our Christian walk. Now some would say that it’s a bit extreme, mostly because way too many Christians still want their one foot in the world. I mean, is it really necessary to have that $500 Coach purse? Did you have to get leather seats in the new car? Just how necessary is the mid-life-crisis Harley? How does anyone NEED a 3000 sqft home unless you’re a Duggar?

This world in which we live allows us – wants us – to go into a debt abyss to have things that others have…not just Christians, ESPECIALLY Christians. We are much more malleable to the government if we have a lot of debt. A lot of believers think that God will provide for their ‘stuff’ – and He will provide….to our NEEDS. We need food, we need clothing, we need shelter. We do not need ‘stuff’.

While having coffee with my husband, we discussed whether Christians should live a lavish lifestyle, whether in or out of debt. My first thought was if this lavishness glorifies God – I don’t think it can. We are to be a light to the world, not a lighting concept: “v14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. v15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. v16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5:14-16.

There is a great peace that comes with having less. We are unencumbered with ‘things’ that have no room in a Christian’s life. By choice we have one vehicle; by choice we do not have cable television. By choice we have a home that is reasonable rather than getting one big enough to store more stuff AND still rent a storage unit to store the rest of it. By choice we choose to have less so we can have more with Christ.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:18-20

Give much? While it is true that God does supply the needs of His people, this is a specific promise that those who are faithful and devoted in their giving to Christ will never suffer lack. God gives us a lot of latitude to do His Will as well as just enough to mess it up. We are OBLIGATED to be the good steward that God wants us to be. He can put money in your bucket OR put a hole in the bottom of it.

And to summarize, 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…”

The Valley Christian

Are you a valley Christian or a mountain Christian? Is God only God when it’s all good? That’s too bad; you’ll never know the fullness of God.

Psalm 23:4-5 says: “v4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of deathI will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. v5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”

I do believe that some of us spend more time in the valley than others because our ‘free will’ is conditioning us to continue to fail rather than learn and get the victory. God wants us to learn from our valley experiences. God does not hate us, He wants us to be victorious…but we keep getting in our own way and blame Him for our own rebellion.

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts.” Isaiah 65:2

The mountain Christian definitely believes in God only when life is going their way, which isn’t very often. Sin has a way of sitting us down a spell. The mountain Christian HATES God in the valley; they truly think that being a Christian gives them a pass. The truth is Christians are tested more after salvation than before. Is that from God? Maybe. Remember, God EITHER causes or allows bad things to happen for His Glory, not ours. He gives us every minute of every day to repent and come back to Him, but most won’t. Being so high-minded is going to get ya a nose bleed, not victory.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

God goes before us, He is there waiting for us, He will protect us.

 “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deut 31:8

The valley isn’t so bad, it’s where God is. Trust God to bring you out of the valley, His promises are sure. Pray for His guidance, not your own.

“v22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. v23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 30

As I wrap up this 30 Days of Parenting Prayer, I am inundated with so many emotions…most of which I brought up during these 30 days. If there is one thing that I can’t say enough [well, maybe two] is that we are parents to our kids forever. They were our children since the beginning of time [Jeremiah 1:5] and will be even into Eternity. The second is that prayer should be the FIRST thing we do, not as a last ditch effort to save the day.

Being a parent is has been the one thing that people take for granted as if it’s a right rather than the privilege that it is. I am PRIVILEGED to be their mother, whether they give a darn or not. It is I that has to answer to God for being their mother, it is I that will ultimately bear the day when I have to answer to God for my parenting.

We take advantage of the system by allowing our own dreams supersede those of our kids; once we do that, we fail. When you hear “You’re pregnant!”, your private, comfortable life is over and a new life is about to embark. We are but vessels, not God.

Secular/worldly feminism has no room in motherhood, but a God-intended feminist does. It’s true: there is such a thing as a God-intended Feminist. She was profiled in the Bible, Proverbs 31. She wasn’t perfect, in fact Bathsheba FAILED…but she was used mightily by God and was blessed to be the intended mother to Solomon.

Bad women do not have to be bad mothers. In other words, I have failed, you have failed…but through the Grace of God we are given chance after chance after chance to do it right. God knows our kids depend on us so He is quite willing to help us to be better. And, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE A BETTER PARENT.

v17 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; v18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 1Peter 3:17-18

Pray for BALANCE. It’s been a great 30 days of reflection but I certainly see how I can do better, even after all these years. God Bless you all.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 24

When dealing with our adult kids, we also deal with their adult spouses….or ex-spouses. Everyone takes a corner in the ring, waits for the bell and it’s been 12 rounds ever since….with every one of them. I lamented in an earlier Prayer Challenge that our grandkids hardly ever see us…but how can they when everyone wants to go to court, sue, take custody, get money, etc. ALL THE TIME. These so-called adult kids are teaching our grandkids how to work the court system rather than play sports or go to camp.

Then, rather than just being a kid, they are taught hate and how to lie. They hear one side bad mouth the other side…on both sides. No child should have to know such information about their parents and family. I distinctly remember my grandmother saying bad things about my dad and I told him what she said. He flipped out, and rightly so. Now, let me explain one thing: She may have been right. But it was not her place to talk over me, at nine years old, to other adults about my ‘lousy’ dad.

We put way too much on our kids when we speak of things that have nothing to do with them. We put the responsibility of knowing such things on tiny shoulders that grow up too fast. They try to understand, they ask questions, and before you know it they are acting out. They consider themselves adults rather than kids.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Even in Christian households we are training up our kids to be lousy adults by keeping them in the loop about things that are none of their business. Christians expect Sunday School to teach their kids about God rather than themselves. Christians aren’t teaching how to be Godly but how to circumvent the system God created.

We have to be the stewards that God made us so that the next generation will have a better chance at making better choices at life.

Pray for the children and their parents; the anger is so great that they don’t see who is in the line of fire. Pray for God’s guidance rather than hoping for the best.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 16

When we have these times of woe with our adult kids it’s so nice to be able to see with mom eyes once in a while. Today is my son’s birthday. Today I remember the day I was blessed with this precious redhead. He’s an adult now with a child of his own, and I’m glad to report that God gave him the same child he gave me, I say with tongue in cheek.

Our blessings are great and few, depending on how you look at it. I am forever my son’s mother, I am forever blessed.

I wish him Jesus. I want him to know an Eternity in Heaven:

“v9 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. v10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

The prayer I pray everyday is for my son’s salvation and sanctification. I want them to know the Joy of the Lord. I wish them to be great men and great fathers and great Christians.

I am forever thankful to God that He chose me to be their mother.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 12

While reading the story of Noah, I noticed parallels with today’s Christian family – the patriarchal hierarchy in which the family assumes salvation through a parent or grandparent; or perhaps aunt or uncle. In my family it was my aunt. We figured she had all the religion stuff covered for us. How far from the truth is that! NO ONE can assume YOUR salvation for you! Our adult kids are riding that wave, the one we created as saved followers of Christ.

The Bible says, “Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God,” [Gen 6:9]. In that bit of scripture it did not say one word about Noah’s family having a personal relationship with the Lord. Then, did his family ride his salvation coattails? I’d say the evidence says yes:

“v20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. v21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. v22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. v23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.” Genesis 9:20-23

Remember, when this happened to Noah, the flood was over, “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth,” [Gen 9:1] – which means that his entire family saw with their own eyes how God saved them from the flood that killed everything on earth. And even that was not enough to bring them to the end of themselves and to the Lord.

Do our adult kids assume salvation through us? I know I did as a young adult, I really thought that I didn’t have to do anything. I pray and pray and pray that my kids will find the Lord, I pray for their protection; these things we SHOULD do. But they have to have their own salvation experience just like we did:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 9

Did you know that we are living IN biblical times? It’s interesting to me that so many Christians don’t think that everything in the Bible is for today, especially our kids. They look at us like we’ve lost our minds because we live by the literal Bible. Quite honestly, that tells me that Christians are trading in their Bible reading for the opinions of self-professed theologians; looking upon what men and women discern rather than God is dangerous. There are no ‘programs’ or upstarts, just chapter and verse. I knew a woman once that refused to read a ‘study’ Bible because she wanted to let the Holy Spirit teach her. I couldn’t agree more. Once we allow ‘fallible man’ in, we have put ourselves in jeopardy.

Our adult kids are following another Jesus: “v13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. v14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. v15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works”, [2Cor 11:13-15]

Our adult kids seem to be in the fire most of the time; well, at least ours seems to be. There never seems to be any rest. Our most precious time spent is trying to sleep. As a Christian, I KNOW that there will be rest that one day but I sure would like to see some of that rest on this side of Heaven. When are children are restless, so are we.

“v22 Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. v23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

v24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”

They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

v25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:22-25

Even in the fiery furnace we have Jesus. The very next time you or your children are in the furnace, remember He is with you: “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed“, [Deut 31:8].

If it weren’t for Him, I really don’t know what I’d do. I just wish I could get my kids to understand that. Looking TO Jesus rather than looking BACK at the worries will strengthen the weakest and bring hope.

Pray for you adult kids; pray for their ‘rest’ rather than opportunities.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: DAY 7

My youngest and I took a ride in the car and I asked him, about five different ways, what are you going to do when you grow up? Crickets….but he did say that he will get a job. A job, I said…but school? College? A family someday? The long pause told me a resounding NO. He really has no plans at all. I can’t tell you how that hurts me as a his chosen mother.

I’ve been 16 before. I remember thinking that life is about to get ‘legal’ for me. Becoming 18 someday scared me to death because I lived in a house where the mindset was ‘getting by’ rather than planning a future. How I HATE seeing this has not changed even though I have begged all of my sons to think at least ONE step ahead rather than none.

While in prayer today, I remembered what God told the Prophet Jeremiah in the first chapter of his book; it spoke of how God CHOSE Jeremiah since before the very foundations of the world had shape:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Each and every child – born, unborn, yet to be born – are known by God with a specific purpose and path chosen by Him. If every one of us just heeded that one line of scripture, I believe we would all stand taller and bolder and PROSPER in Him regardless of the past! We are not an afterthought regardless of HOW we were born. The potential of our children is IMMEASURABLE.

BUT: I can’t make that horse drink. My sons, like most of the people in the world, are scraping by holding out for a miracle. But lately I don’t see even that anymore. People are so forlorn and without hope.

Have we become a society totally without hope? Seeing through the eyes of my youngest son, YES; get a job, live, then die…..next!

WITHOUT God we cannot fathom how important we are and the path He chose for us is in His ultimate plan! We are His workmanship:

v13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
v14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
v15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
v16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139

Pray today that your children, adult or not, understand their importance in His plan. God has never made an imperfect person, ever.