Work

It’s only crazy until you do it. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

Embracing the lessons of rejection. Perfect love casts out fears of failure. Gives you breath to stretch.

One life. What would make this day count? Not for anyone else. Just for you.

Your ego only has as much power as you give it. Surprise, you are human like the rest of us.

What love haunts you?

Uncomplicated

“I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3)

“The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much;” (Ecclesiastes 5)

“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.” (Ecclesiastes 9)

As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” (Ecclesiastes 11)

“Each one repaired the section immediately across from his own house.” (Nehemiah 3:28)

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…” (Colossians 3)

Beyond Belief

“Reason can help you better understand what you see, but it will have a hard time convincing you that you never saw it. So too, emunah endures even when reason can’t catch up… the greatest vitamin you can provide emunah is plain exercise.” – Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

“the basic, root meaning of emunah is trust and reliance, not intellectual acquiescence in the truth of certain propositions… If one disobeys a command and is therefore accused of lack of emunah, it makes much more sense to say that one is being accused of lack of trust in the commander than of quibbling over the accuracy of statements made by or about the commander… loyal behavior, not systematic theology” – Dr. Menachem Kellner

“So you’re impressed with yourselves that with your emunah you can recite the kri’at Shema, nu? O you do so well…why, even the shedim have your da’as and emunah! But they shudder!” – Yaakov 2:19 (Orthodox Jewish Bible)

“The twice daily mitzva of kri’at shema is defined as a declaration of basic tenets of belief…” – Rav Moshe Taragin

Not to be just in our mouth, but more importantly on our hearts. What is inside will come out. Not only in our speech, but also, and more telling, in our actions.

“Therefore, let us approach the Holiest Place with a sincere heart, in the full assurance that comes from trusting — with our hearts sprinkled clean from a bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without wavering; for the One who made the promise is trustworthy.” – Hebrews 10:22-23 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Some say flying, but right now it feels like falling. And yet…

“Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
‘My way is hidden from the Lord,
And my just claim is passed over by my God’?
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:27-31 New King James Version)

“Ani maamin! Help my lack of emunah!” No longer claiming perfect faith. Our heart cries echo his prayer.

Jesus waited until the crowd gathered. They witnessed the blessing of a man who had renounced his independence.

“Peter said to Him, ‘You shall never wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’ Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!'”

And yet there must be something in Jesus telling the father of the sick child that prayer (and fasting) were the keys to deliverance. Is it a greater statement about how His prayer and fasting delivered us?

“And having been made shalem, to all those with mishma’at toward Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, he became the source of Yeshu’at Eloheinu Olamim” (Hebrews 5:9 OJB)

“The feminine noun משמעת (mishma’at), meaning subjects, or literally group of guys who listen.” (Abarim Publications’ online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary)

“Mishma’at refers to the group of people who hearken to the king and are particularly close to him…” – Rav Amnon Bazak

My experience has been that prayer and fasting do not work like sorcery to make things happen. Rather, they realign my mind to hear and see more clearly, spiritually and otherwise.

A study in prayer is desired. But it’s too late and my heart needs time to process just the slightest taste of the glimpse of this magnificence.

“God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: ‘Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me— The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.'” – Isaiah 30:15 MSG

 

Diligent

One time several years ago I went to The Alamo to street witness with a group of people from my church. A friend named Tusi was my witnessing partner that day. We arrived at Alamo Plaza and started talking to people. Tusi saw a snow cone stand and said she wanted to go get a snow cone. My attitude was like, “Tusi, we are here to save people from hell. Not to eat snow cones.”

She stayed with me and we “witnessed” to a few more people. But whenever we weren’t talking to people, she kept talking to me about snow cones. Finally I was like, “Fine! Since your ‘flesh’ is getting in the way of ‘witnessing’, go get your stupid snow cone.” I didn’t say it like that, but it was my attitude.

She left me and went over to the snow cone stand and was taking a long time. I went over to bring her back to “work” and there she was praying with the snow cone people for their business. God, as only God can do, gave me a funny wakeup call that day. Been learning a lot since then.

God participates with us just as we are. Not in spite of who we are. The pressure is off. Holy Spirit does the heavy lifting. There is no competition or condemnation.

“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest…” Hebrews 4

Who Are We Exalting?

Have you ever struggled with condemnation? I thought the message by Nick Padovani in the video embedded at the very bottom of this post was maybe one of the best messages I’ve ever heard in regards to spiritual warfare. I highly recommend it. Goes along some lines of what I wrote in a separate post earlier today. Makes me so excited – Holy Spirit on fire and on the move!

The following are some of my favorite quotes from the message and then some additional information I found elsewhere on Romans 8:1.

“Satan loves to operate through religion. He loves to masquerade through a religiosity… And today, there is so much that’s masquerading as religion that really just wants to condemn and steal. It might look spiritual. It might have all the right words. But underneath that fasting, prophesying voice is many times jealousy, selfishness, and false humility.”

“If satan can get you to allow condemnation in your heart, that’s all he needs to steal joy, peace, and love from expressing itself in your soul.”

“He’s not as interested in the sin itself as in the effect of the sin on your conscious.”

“Satan goes after your heart. He goes after your innocence. He goes after the true identity within. He goes for your heart and he shoots these fiery arrows of condemnation and fear in order to get that guilt process started. The shame which then leads to the condemnation. Which leads to the closing out of life, of your inheritance from bursting forth like a river inside of you. So notice, I’m not saying he actually steals The Spirit from you. He wants you to think that. What he does is he steals the ability for The Spirit to flow freely in your life. So we have to put on the breastplate of righteousness. So another question, is that the breastplate of YOUR righteousness? …The breastplate of righteousness is Jesus’ righteousness. It’s His truth about you. It’s how The Father sees you and feels about you… Have you ever heard the gospel?”

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are IN Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1

Why did I leave off the rest of what you might see of Romans 8:1 in your Bible? I’ll end by asking you to read the following from Precept Austin:

“If you are reading Romans 8:1 in the KJV (translated from the Greek Textus Receptus) you will note the added phrase “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

“The Nestle-Aland and Westcott and Hort Greek texts do not consider this phrase as legitimate. It is probable that a copyist inadvertently picked up the phrase from Romans 8:4 which has the identical wording.”

“Can you see how this additional phrase leads to a slightly different interpretation of ‘no condemnation’? Paul is not basing his declaration of no condemnation upon our conduct, but upon our position (in Christ). While it is true that those who are in Christ should not and do not consistently walk according to the flesh, this is not a condition for their status of ‘no condemnation’ and for that we are thank our merciful Father for the wisdom and perfection of His plan of salvation.”

“The Net Bible also adds this note: ‘The earliest and best witnesses of the Alexandrian and Western texts have no additional words for v1. Both the external evidence and the internal evidence are completely compelling for the shortest reading. The scribes were obviously motivated to add such qualifications (interpolated from v4), for otherwise Paul’s gospel smelled too much of grace.’!”

“Dr Harry Ironside has an interesting thought on the variation in translations remarking that ‘Careful students of the original text discover that the last part of Romans 8:1 in the King James version is an interpolation properly belonging to verse 4 [Romans 8:4]. The magnificent statement that opens Romans 8 – “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” – requires no qualifying clause. Our justification does not depend on our walk. Freedom from condemnation is given to all who are in Christ, and to be in Him means to be of the new creation. A glance at the Revised version or any critical translation will show that what I am pointing out is sustained by all the editors. It was man’s innate aversion to sovereign grace, I am certain, that brought these qualifying words into the text of the King James version. It seemed too much to believe that freedom from condemnation depended solely on being in Christ Jesus and not on our walking after the Spirit.'”

Empty pockets, open hands. 💞💗

Safety

So interesting: I was learning lately about how fruit that is edible by humans is often surrounded by spiky painful protrusions. Think about the pineapple or the edible cactus.

At first glance it might look like God is making it more difficult for humans to get their nourishment. Like a cruel punishment.

But with a little more wisdom, people familar with the bigger picture know that those spiky painful protrusions are actually meant to deter certain animals from eating all of the fruit. That way the humans, with their better dexterity, will be able to harvest the fruit for themselves.

What intelligent design! God never ceases to amaze me.

But we can also probably carry that principle over to other areas of our lives. I always say rejection can be a form of protection. It’s really difficult to believe that sometimes when we don’t have the benefit of seeing the bigger picture.

We are always welcome to ask to see how God sees. But if we still don’t understand, I am finding more and more that I can always trust His character.

“In reality, the truth of God is known instinctively, for God has embedded this knowledge inside every human heart. Opposition to truth cannot be excused on the basis of ignorance, because from the creation of the world, the invisible qualities of God’s nature have been made visible, such as his eternal power and transcendence. He has made his wonderful attributes easily perceived, for seeing the visible makes us understand the invisible. So then, this leaves everyone without excuse.” (Romans 1 TPT)

Sabbath

The Sabbath was for man. Not for God. Maybe we rest our physical bodies every once and awhile, but do we rest inside our hearts, minds, and souls as a way of always being? Or do we refuse to rest? No condemnation. That’s the whole point.

A little doodling tonight as I listened to the message below:

From the “Judgment in Managerial Decision Making” textbook I’m currently reading: “Under the pseudocertainty effect, we are more likely to favor options that assure us certainty than those that only reduce uncertainty.”