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.”

Surrounded

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?’ the servant asked.

“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.‘”

He doesn’t bring us out into the desert to die! You are NOT abandoned! Ask God what He thinks of your situation. Versus trying to figure it out on your own. You need His peace that passes all understanding. Versus the words of a thousand well-meaning people. Don’t look at the waves. Look at The One who walks on all waters.

You are not alone! No, you are LOVED! To the ends of the earth. Around the galaxy and back. Over and over. Ask for Him to help you see. To help you see Him, yourself, and your place in Him. In His heart.

Your strength is not needed. Perfect love casts out fear. Rest. Be still; He is God. Your God. The same God of old. His love never fails. Ask Him to help you see.

2 Chronicles 20. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. You will not need to fight. “when they began to sing…”