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DSC02443 (3)At telling moments our Accuser has made his case for why people like us shouldn’t trust our God— and when that worked—why we shouldn’t believe that our God could possibly love people like us.

In both cases the Great Divider appeals to our imagination. First he stretches our minds to believe that the source of so much good could have a moral flaw. The second challenge may be easier. Once the case is made for our wrongs, all he has to do is to get us to believe that God loves us because of who we are, rather than because of how good he is.

So maybe it’s just as telling that before showing his authority over a demon, the Hope of the World said, “I likewise tell you, ask, and you shall obtain; seek, and you shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened to you: for whosoever asks, obtains; whosoever seeks, finds; and to every one who knocks, the door is opened. What father among you, would give his son a stone when he asks bread; or, when he asks a fish, would, instead of a fish, give him a serpent; or, when he asks an egg, would give him a scorpion? If you, therefore, bad as you are, can give good things to your children; how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him! (Luke 11:9-13).

Now it is our God who appeals to our imagination.

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133 Responses to “Imagination”

  1. saled says:

    I seem to be programmed to imagine the worst instead of the best. I guess that’s the natural man. I just turned 60 and looking back over the years I can see that I have often lived a life of fear instead of faith. Maybe that is what faith is: imagining the best instead of the worst.

    What a wonderful promise: how much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him!

  2. poohpity says:

    Mart, I had one of those days yesterday after watching “12 Years a Slave”. I thought and expressed to my Father again as I often do, how could you let that happen to people. The horrible way people have treated people and He told me that is not what I have desired or wanted then you wrote this this morning. Those people said they were Christians but did the most barbaric things to people of color but that has been the history of mankind more often than not. So when people say things are worse now than they ever have been do not know history very well at all.

    Yesterday was another example to me of how the accuser can creep into my mind with accusation trying to prove that our God is not Good. But then there is always more to the story. Stories of how faith has been developed under fire and testing.

    Or maybe faith is trusting that someone outside of ourselves has the best in mind for all mankind and following His lead rather than our own would prove that but do we listen or are we rebellious?

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Ok since I am coming into this late, I will introduce a quick ‘thought” and get on to my other demanding chores.

    “Imagination” is what “fills in the blank” asks why and can produce an almost limitless list of possibilities.

    With regards to God and our place with Him and His place with us, we have the Bible to center our thoughts and control our imagination.

    I for one have quite a vivid imagination and as a result can end up exploring a great many possibilities. One danger though is in trying to answer for God when we ask for fish and instead get a serpent, or bread and instead get a stone; or so it may seem.


  4. poohpity says:

    Steve, When you ask for the Holy Spirit God gives you something else by what you stated something like a serpent or a stone?

  5. joycemb says:

    “In the night of death, hope sees a star…and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.” ~~Robert Ingersoll~~

  6. SFDBWV says:

    In staying in agreement with Mart’s last comment, the Scripture verse He offered (Luke 11:9-13) as well as John 14:14 leaves our imagination open to great expectations.

    What happens then to some people’s faith when what they expect as what they have ask God for turns out to be something terrible instead?

    Is their faith based only on what God can do for them?

    Our/my imagination can picture clearly what it is I/we may ask from God; but how many of us have received what it is we imagine and especially right away?

    There are some very tough questions believers have concerning God, the worst thing anyone can do is try and explain God, His motives, or His designs from their/our imaginations.

    The Word of God says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 KJV and 1 Corinthians 13:7 KJV says love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

    So you see my answer comes from the voice of God via of His written Word, not my imagination.

    God simply cannot be put in a box of our design.


  7. jeff1 says:

    I have taken this from my Parish News because I believe that I should take heed to what it says.

    It’s the truth but it is so simple and the world I live in is so complex.

    When Satan brings up your past, remind him of what God has said:’I will….remember their sins no more.’ It’s not that God’s forgetful;it’s that He chooses not to remember your sins. And when you choose otherwise, you question His forgiveness, allow the enemy to guilt-trip you, and forfeit the confidence you need to receive what God has promised you (see 1 John 3:21-22). When you keep rehearsing your past you not only keep it alive, you empower it. What you keep on deposit, you’re more likely to withdraw and act on in a moment of weakness. Just as nobody knows when a dormant volcano may erupt, you can’t predict when an unresolved issue will resurface,turning your words into hot coals and your behaviour into a blaze of destruction. Only by accepting God’s forgiveness, and forgiving yourself and others, can you break the hold your past has over you. Shame isn’t a blessing;it’s a weight Jesus bore for you on the cross. So set it down and walk away! God’s Word says,’As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us'(Psalm 103:12KJV). Notice, there’s a North Pole and a South Pole, but no east or west pole. Why? Because that distance is infinite and beyond measure. Are you getting the idea? Any time Satan brings up your past it’s because he hopes you’re ignorant of the truth, or he fears your future and wants to rob you of it. Don’t take the bait! Point him to the cross of Christ, refuse to discuss it further, and keep looking forward.

  8. poohpity says:

    Viv, yes that was so wise from Parish News and shows how Satan can use everything to keep us from experiencing the joy of what we have been given from/by Jesus.

    “If you, therefore, bad as you are, can give good things to your children; how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him!” (Luke 11:13 NIV) Jesus knew we would need help in this life to follow Him. The Holy Spirit gives us our faith to believe in God (Hebrews 11:3 NIV) not to believe that God is like Santa Claus to give us everything we want but to have a firm confidence that God will give us all that we need to have a relationship with Him. My imagination could have never dreamed in a million years that I could know God or that He would even pay attention to or want to know me but I can.

  9. poohpity says:

    It does not seem to be about what God can do for us but who He is and that deserves every ounce of our praise and adoration.

  10. SFDBWV says:

    I am somewhat curious as to why this topic has silenced the crowd.

    Could it be because it was the imagination of mankind that the serpent used in order to make man doubt God?

    Or perhaps that when we begin to use our imagination concerning God we are almost always certainly left dumbfounded.

    Which is why we stick to simple little phrases like “God is love”. When if we dare to look God *is* love, but much more than we can comprehend.

    It is said that the “fear” of God is the beginning of wisdom.

    The problem being that most people think of God as their own personal “genie”. When the truth is that once God has put His hands on you, you are in for a tough ride. The purpose of which is not for you, but for His purposes.

    Look once again to the Scriptures and read the stories of the people God used and see if their lives were paved with rose petals or thorns.

    John the Baptist dedicated his life to God and Jesus said of man there were none better, yet John was thrown into prison and his head cut off.

    Want to use your imagination? Remember then that the world is not about you it is about Him. Imagine how then you can be a better person for His benefit not yours.

    68 overcast with some light fog.


  11. poohpity says:

    Doesn’t God make us better for us to live in this world and go to sleep at night with a clear conscience so that no matter the difficulties we may face or the trials that happen we can trust Him to see us through? Nothing we can do or be can benefit God in anyway since everything comes from Him in some way or another. (Acts 17:25)

    Didn’t John get his head cut off because of someone’s guilty conscience and in retaliation?

    My life since Christ is way better than it was without Him and I never expected it to be a smooth path because I read the promises of God. I never imagined being able to get to know the God who created everything, who knows everything, who is everywhere and knows me better than I know myself and still love me like He does, now that is hard to imagine.

  12. saled says:

    Maybe it’s the word ‘imagine’ that is making readers hesitant to post on this topic. Imaginary means made up, not real. But in regards to this topic, I think ‘imagine’ might mean ‘entertain the thought.’

    Entertain the thought that, as Steve says, God cannot simply be put in a box of our own design. Entertain the thought that all religion has put him in a box.

    Entertain this other thought from Steve that when God puts his hands on you, you are in for a tough ride. This reminds me of one of my favorite parts of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. When asked if Aslan the lion is good, the reply is that “He is good, but He is not safe.”

    I’ve often wondered about these Bible verses that Mart quotes from Luke 11. I believe that God is good, but sometime it seems like what he gives us is not good. And here we go down memory lane again. This reminds me of the most powerful sermon that I ever heard delivered in the little church I used to attend. It was given by a former missionary. He spoke on the verse ” all things work together for good . . .” He and his wife had endured
    many things on the mission field, including the loss of a child. When they returned home, they endured many more things including the mental breakdown of the wife. I will never forget the speaker saying, “After each of these events, I asked myself if it was good, and no it was not good. But it led me to know God better and that is good.”

    Big questions. But in the middle of good or bad, we can entertain the thought that He is here, He is now, and He wants us to seek Him.

  13. poohpity says:

    With the comparison Mart was giving us in how Satan would appeal to our imagination or how God appeals to our imagination.

    Satan appeals to our imagination by trying to get us to think that God’s love has something to do with us and God’s goodness has a moral flaw compared to God who appeals to our imagination by trying to get us to realize how big, deep ,wide and all encompassing His love is for us despite of who we really are.

  14. joycemb says:

    “A tough ride” is right! Peeling away the layers of what we think we know and expect of God is painful as He uses our circumstances to do that. God keeps jumping out of the boxes I build for Him. So much to learn, always.

  15. jeff1 says:

    It is in difficulty that I turn to God yet my initial reaction to God is one of anger and then when I realize I am being selfish I pull in my horns and thank God for being with me in my trouble.

    My difficulties have driven me to God in that I grow to depend on Him and not on my own understanding.

    I trust God more than ever, because the thing about difficulties, you have to come through them and when you do you are usually the stronger for it. Patience and endurance also forms your character but only if I allow God to change me and that in itself can be a struggle if you are self willed like I am.

    What I have learned is that God is always right but it often takes me a long time to see that He is.

    Probably I am a slow learner or else I am just stubborn as a mule but I trust my heart is in the right place or I would not respond to God’s prompting.

    I tend to leave imagination in God’s hands as the truth is it has never been my strong point.

  16. street says:

    well mart many places to go on this topic so i will start with the picture. quite funny to me. looks like a disconnected head with a disconnected electrical service. the two slots in the top remind me of a toaster. yes we were not made to be robots, but we definitely have a chance at being a toaster/toast unless He intervenes.

    you definitely raised my awareness of new idea of God as the Great Divider. very apparent in the Genesis account and the parables.

  17. street says:

    thinking of imagination and emotion are given to man and become a terrible burden when disconnected from God. the way truth and life are what we need, not more of ourselves.

  18. street says:

    In both cases the Great Divider appeals to our imagination. First he stretches our minds to believe that the source of so much good could have a moral flaw.

    could it be that the devil and his stock and trade actually close a mind and doesn’t stretch it at all?

    thinking of adam in the garden alone? would he remain alone if he had eaten from the tree of life prior to the creation of eve? he was utterly free to do so but did not. God said it was not good. the division and stretching began in earnest.

  19. street says:

    ….to believe that the source of so much good could have a moral flaw…..

    it takes my breath away to understand that God is Flawless Holy Good Loving Gracious Merciful……..
    and think about man, my natural reaction is to turn away….my natural reaction is to turn away in order to live and not die. to save my life so i will not die in His presents. the flaw is in us not Him.
    Romans 8

  20. SFDBWV says:

    Thoughts this morning are venturing out in different directions (a casualty of too much imagination) and as ever my attention is constantly pulled away.

    I was reminded this morning of how in these past several years I cannot imagine what heaven is like.

    I read of pearly gates, and streets of gold and how precious stone are used as building material, but the truth is such things to me are not important nor what I would imagine as being eternally ecstatic.

    If it could be captured, the essence of those first moments when a crippled child or adult person is instantly healed could be said for me to be ecstatic and if that moment could last forever then, heavenly.

    That moment in time when all the deaf can hear and the blind see, when all disease and sickness disappear from existence when happiness and joy the only emotions everyone experiences, when death and hell no longer exist.

    That for me could be said to be heavenly.

    I have described what it may feel like, but what it might look like still remains restrained by my earthly imagination. Is it eternally that crisp beautiful October day when all the leaves are in full color under a clear blue sky, with snow covered mountains and lush valleys below?

    Or flowered fields with warm breezes causing the grass to sway in a dance as the wind seems to make the trees talk with the rustling of their leaves.

    Is heaven nature as it was intended? Man as he was intended? And the both of them in a three part harmony with God?

    Well one branch of my imaginings this morning is enough for now, I hope some of you can take your own personal journey of what your own personal heaven may look and feel like and for that moment in time, be in heaven.

    66 and cloudy.


  21. poohpity says:

    I can only imagine what it will be like
    When I walk, by your side
    I can only imagine what my eyes will see
    When your face is before me
    I can only imagine
    I can only imagine

    Surrounded by your glory
    What will my heart feel
    Will I dance for you Jesus
    Or in awe of you be still
    Will I stand in your presence
    Or to my knees will I fall
    Will I sing hallelujah
    Will I be able to speak at all
    I can only imagine
    I can only imagine

    I can only imagine when that day comes
    When I find myself standing in the Son
    I can only imagine when all I would do is forever
    Forever worship you
    I can only imagine
    I can only imagine

    Surrounded by your glory
    What will my heart feel
    Will I dance for you Jesus
    Or in awe of you be still
    Will I stand in your presence
    Or to my knees will I fall
    Will I sing hallelujah
    Will I be able to speak at all
    I can only imagine
    I can only imagine

  22. poohpity says:

    street, I do not think Mart was referring to God as the great divider, that after all is a characteristic of Satan, division. God did say that because of our belief in Him that will cause division in families but God’s characteristics seem more like a restorer and unifier.

  23. jeff1 says:

    We have to accept that we are divided while in the flesh because we live in a fallen world that still has to be redeemed.

    It is about the part we play in helping God to get others to realize the truth about Him.

    So far I am not doing very well as I seem to be too critical and judgemental myself to believe I could influence anyone on the character of God.

    I do agree with you Pooh that God is about restoring and uniting.

    I believe it because my earthly father was such a man but the difficulty for me is that I was always on a different side from my father and that troubles me greatly because I have discovered that my father seen it from God’s view.

    I have followed my religion and culture but my earthly father never aligned himself, but expressed his disapproval of any practice that He did not view as Godly irrespective of his religion or culture.

    My father stood very much on his own when he took this stand but he was correct in his conclusions.

    I am not like my father hence why I seek God to guide me because I wander from His righteousness while my father’s sight was God given.

    I think my father was very much ahead of his time while I seem to be stuck in time as living in the present and leaving the past behind is proving very difficult for me.

    Lead me, oh Lord, won’t You lead me?

    I am tired and need Thy strength and power
    To guide me over my darkest hour
    Lord, just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me, oh Lord, won’t You lead me?

    Lead me, guide me, along the way
    For if You lead me I cannot stray
    Lord, just open my eyes that I might see
    Lead me, oh Lord, won’t You lead me?

    I am lost if You take Your hand from me

  24. poohpity says:

    I wonder as someone else said if we do not try to fit God into our boxes or imagination rather than spending any time to get to know Him better? Just like in a marriage many do not know their spouse very well at all especially if one person is more domineering than the other than the weaker one will do everything to please the domineering one and never feel free to share their true self for fear of causing waves. So the more controlling one thinks they think alike when that is not true at all cause one pulls back and hides.

    That to me is what is so very comforting about God, He wants us to be who He created us to be and to talk with Him honestly and openly without fear of saying the wrong thing or thinking and feeling differently. We can ask questions and bring our complaints to Him because He already knows us intimately anyway but human beings seem however do not put much time in getting to know God better and better. That is shown in what they imagine God to be like rather than finding out for themselves they go on what others say, think and feel.

    Controlling people think God is controlling and has not got our best interests in mind but that we are here to do as He says not living this life abundantly by enjoying all that God has provided. God gave us guidelines so that we may have peace, joy, confidence in Him, hope, reassurance of His great love those things we do not have to imagine because we can experience them in our everyday life. I think the reason we do not recognize those things is because we imagine about God rather than the process of intimately getting to know Him.

  25. poohpity says:

    If anyone has the time this morning check out “Discover The Word” for today.

  26. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Saled: Entertain the thoughts!
    ( I have been busy lately, no time to comment)

    Ask what you want in My name, Jesus said, and you will have it.

    When I was in church, for the oecominical prayer service, we offer up the prayers that people have written in the prayerbook.
    There was a young lady who wrote a prayer:

    Father in heaven, give me a good job, with pleasant people, and then I can be a witness for You.

    Ask what you will, but first we have to be changed at heart,
    Put God’s Kingdom first
    meaning that our will is aligned to God’s will, and then there is a free line to heaven

    I was like that young woman, when I was young, first praying for my circumstances to be changed.
    Now I know that I am changed…. and my prayer is now for the people I meet, people in difficulty, intercessory prayer!

    Pray what you will!

  27. street says:

    and when that worked—why we shouldn’t believe that our God could possibly love people like us.

    well that idea doesn’t work in light of the cross conspiracy.

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Philippians 4:4-7 says “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

    Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thy own understanding.”
    Proverbs 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

    My imagination, the unknowns of my life and how much God is willing to give of Himself to me, I trust to God. I do try and tell Him in my prayers and groaning as to what it may be I ask of Him always anticipating something bigger and better, but what it always comes down to is believing and trusting Him and dealing with whatever it is life presents.

    65 with less than half a moon looking down at me this morning.


  29. poohpity says:

    Steve, God was willing to give you His One and only Son so that you would be called His child and have eternal life. Through that is also willing to give you part of Himself by the Holy Spirit. Who could have imagined we could have all of that? That is sure more than any of deserves.

  30. street says:

    thanks for the post steve.
    thinking that God wants to be are God is not correct, he is are God whether we like it or not. we will like it a lot more when we get past the darkness of ignorance and rebellion. job understood that there is no plan that God can not carry out. thinking this liking will turn to love and a long term relationship at the cross.

  31. foreverblessed says:

    My imagination is about who can I pray for and what to pray for that person, or rather, put it in another way, my imagination is about the effect is of my prayer.
    I now am convinced that God is waiting for my prayer, He acts upon ny prayer. All though that He is all powerful. But He has bound Himself to mankind: Jesus is the Head, the church is His Body.

    Luke 11:9 has so much to do with Hebr 11:1
    When I connecties faith to what I hope for, it is reality in the Spirit world!

    Then I started to think, what do I hope for, and then it is always about the saving of souls of people I know. People I meet.

    Then I start praying, and I know that it is iine with God’s will, that it is about His Kingdom expanding:
    God have mercy on this soul I met just now, and save Him in due time.

  32. foreverblessed says:

    It is about imagining all our prayers flowing through the streets of New Jerusalem, and being poured oug on earth in the Proper time.
    It is faith, sure faith that God is working on my prayer, connected with the hope I have, and it is reality.

    Some tell me: but people have their free will.
    And then I say, Yes, Saul had free will, and look His God grabbed Him, took hold of Him, and he became apostle Paul!
    Paul wrote, if God could save me He can save anybody!

    That is my imagination!

  33. foreverblessed says:

    Him must be him. My autocorrection makes Him all the time of him. I cannot put it off. Sorry

  34. street says:

    forever, yes God wants us to pray, but even more God wants us to be alive to Him, loving Him in Spirit and truth with our whole being. prayer is a part of it, crying out is an act of faith and should not be underestimated. i think of job and his initial response to all that happen to him. he wished he was dead or the day of his conception or birth never happen. it wasn’t till his three friends showed up with bad theology that lit him up. not only did he chafe at it and reject it, it lead him down a dead end street like a lost sheep. the Shepard showed up, because job belonged to him. during the struggle job wanted speak even if he was dead. job wanted to live! he lives because he is a man of faith. job did a 180 in the book, but even greater than that he was a friend of God, not a religious person.

  35. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. I love to ponder Marts blog topics, and I was wondering how the bald manikin head tied into what he shared in his intro comment… So, here goes… As born again Christians, we have the Holy Spirit as our guide, and He provides direction, guidance, stability, comfort, peace, discernment, *protection (*seen and unseen), etc. Without Him we’d be like the empty-headed manikin (with no supernatural power to do spiritual warfare) and the devil would have easy access to our mind (will & emotions). We wouldn’t have the *power* to resist doing his bidding. A well known televangelist (Joyce Meyer) wrote a book titled, “The Battlefield of the the Mind”… Marts blog topic/intro comment makes me want to go buy that book. I’ve always wanted to read it. My thoughts for now…

    83 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  36. joycemb says:

    Good morning all,

    Woke up to another beautiful summery day in northern MN. Beautiful but all too short of a season for most of us. Still, enjoying the day, minute or moment there is time enough for the imagination to take hold. Today I’m imagining how turning my thoughts on the goodness of God, instead of the wearisome and troubling thoughts on the mundane and day to day struggles in life can help me to have a better day. Had a cancer scare this week but thankfully turned out to be nothing. However it sure brings things to a halt for a little bit. Then the thoughts of how am I going to deal with this, will my kids care enough to want to help me out, etc. Being alone in the world is to me the scariest part of living; and it always has been. But it’s just probably my overly-responsible controlling self working overtime again. Die self, die! Live to Christ and for Him alone. What a struggle! (Yet I’m sure looking forward to an end to the struggles here.)
    What a God I serve, Who promises to make it all worth while in the end.

  37. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, God bless you. The book Regina recommended would be a good book for you! All though, you already do what she tells us:
    Turn your thoughts from the worries, and turn to the Good News of life through Christ!
    That stopping of our thoughts is something we have to do ourselves! Stop the negativity, she says that these worrisome thoughts we have are actually a sign that we lack trust in God!

    But I myself, my old man, would very naturally turn to worrying. It has been a long disciplining time, to turn to Jesus instead!
    I joined the worship group of my church, that helped tremendously! Studying on the piano, all these Christian songs, and it even helps better when you sing out loud:
    “Jesus, You are my all in all”

  38. foreverblessed says:

    And that’s what Mart is encouraging us to do:
    Entertain your thoughts on what Jesus promises.
    In spite of the current difficulties that you face.
    Learn to sing praise in all circumstances.
    In good times and in bad.
    Trusting that God is working things out for the good.
    As someone mentioned above somewhere, that the missionary who suffered, said the suffering was bad, but the result was good, it brought him closer to God.

  39. joycemb says:

    Forever I too love the worship songs and psalms full of hope and keep me focused on things above, not on things below.

    I found an book at a thrift shop a couple weeks ago that jumped off the shelf to me. It’s called “As a Man Thinketh”, by James Allen. Just this morning I read, “There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body; there is no comforter to compare with good will for dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow. To live continually in thoughts of ill will, cynicism, suspicion, and envy, is to be confined in a self-made prison hole. But to think well of all, to be cheerful with all, to patiently learn to find the good in all—such unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven; and to dwell day by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring abounding peace to their possessor.”

    As the US in embroiled in battles with who our new president will be I’m praying the new president will only be half as encouraging and uplifting as our current one. Perfect, no, but hope comes from love. Love always hopes, as you have said before, forever.

  40. poohpity says:

    If our current President is so uplifting and encouraging then why is there so much division in our country? He pits parties against one an other, races against each other, religions against each other, gender and stirs up trouble for law enforcement, not enforcing the rule of law which is his primary job?

  41. poohpity says:

    He does not even work together and bring unity to the three branches of government either.

  42. street says:

    poo it’s a sign of the times.

    Matthew 16:3
    and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

    1 Chronicles 12:32
    from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;

    Esther 1:13
    Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times

  43. street says:

    you know poo sometimes God enforces Grace.

  44. poohpity says:

    street, what???? Everything since Jesus was taken up in a cloud has been the end times.

  45. joycemb says:

    Yes street, thanks to God for being alive and well in our country and in the whole world, if we want to see Him. Using our imagination as Mart points out we can see the world through the eyes of grace or condemnation. I choose grace.

  46. street says:

    11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

  47. street says:

    poo as for the present time it is a repeat of something the world has seen before. yet the people see it for the first time since they did not retain the knowledge of God. to understand the times we need to know God and ditch every thought that interferes with Holiness. i am so glad God provides life holiness and righteousness in Christ Jesus because i need it. in away we repeat the rebellion of the past ourselves till we are saved from it. i am beginning to believe that sacrificing our sins on the alter God provides is what He is looking for. the giving of ourselves and what we had held dear, ourselves so that we may recieve Him. we were born sinners and He knew that and He gave Himself to redeem us. He wants us to love too. love that is costly and holy. this love comes from Him not us. sin is the stumbling block. Grace is gift. conform me to the image of your Son.

  48. street says:

    5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

    7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

    Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

  49. poohpity says:

    street it sounds as if you may not understand who you are after accepting Christ. Do you have a hard time believing in His redemptive power as applied to your life?

  50. street says:

    i think it’s like the parable of the wise builder trying to dig through all the sand to get to the rock. keep going till you get there.

  51. joycemb says:

    Good morning friends!

    The last of Luke 9:9-13 stuck out to me this morning about the difference between us giving good gifts and God giving the HS. The difference seems to be that we give THINGS but God gives of Himself. Wow! Now that’s personal

  52. joycemb says:

    Good morning friends!

    The last of Luke 9:9-13 stuck out to me this morning about the difference between us giving good gifts and God giving the HS. The difference seems to be that we give THINGS but God gives of Himself. Wow! Now that’s personal

  53. joycemb says:

    Good morning friends!

    The last of Luke 9:9-13 stuck out to me this morning about the difference between us giving good gifts and God giving the HS. The difference seems to be that we give THINGS but God gives of Himself. Wow! Now that’s personal

  54. joycemb says:

    Sorry about the double post my phone isn’t working correctly, every time it updates something changes on it and today it’s only posting half of what I write. Oh well.

    The other half was a prayer that all could be given the ability to imagine a God who loves us so much more than we can imagine in the flesh alone. A super natural anointing of grace applied on mercy.


  55. jeff1 says:

    Listening to a programme on the radio this morning and the message was about how I can be connected to God but I can also be disconnected.

    I believe that the difficulty for me is recognising the Holy Spirit at work in me while my earthly father did not have difficulty recognising God within him.

    Accepting Jesus is my Salvation does not change my character but awakens me to how much I need my character changing.

    As you say Street it is ongoing and the miraculous work of God and me getting to understand God.

    It can also be painful because in the process I see just how far from God I have wandered.

    I was raised a goody too shoes but God is more interested in redeeming me than He is my ego.

    He goes to the depths that I do not want to go because it is there the poison is and only He can go to them depths because only He understands the depths of my depravity.

    It is not about my sins of commission but my sins of omission.

    I tend to believe that because I did not go out to do wrong that I am better than I am but the truth hits hard and my sins of omission are as destructive to both myself and others.

    God does not get it wrong and I am guilty as charged yet also I am SAVED because God’s forgiveness is unlike man’s forgiveness it does not have conditions to it but is what He says it is ‘A GIFT’

    The message this morning was so true because I spent my life disconnected from God because I was listening to men and not God.

    Living in this world is costly both emotionally and financially and yet God had to let me taste what is bitter in order for me to know what is sweet.

  56. joycemb says:

    Viv I love your statement “let me taste what is bitter in order to know what is sweet”. I think of the 10 commandments that were handed down from God directly to Moses. And how he fumbled them so they broke yet the word of the Lord remains forever, even when we “fumble”. Thank God for sending Himself-Jesus, to atone for our sins. Even when our eyes are focused elsewhere this Truth remains. Thank God it does not depend upon us in any way, shape or form. He knows we are dust and does not expect us to be “gods” or even “demigogs” to receive unmerited favor and grace. Just being ourselves is enough. He likes us besides loving us:-)

  57. street says:

    At telling moments our Accuser has made his case for why people like us shouldn’t trust our God— and when that worked

    programmed to imagine the worst instead of the best. I guess that’s the natural man.

    faith has been developed under fire and testing.

    trusting that someone outside of ourselves has the best in mind for all mankind and following His lead rather than our own

    thinking of the Sovereignty of God…and the will of man

  58. street says:

    poo said,”street, I do not think Mart was referring to God as the great divider, that after all is a characteristic of Satan, division. God did say that because of our belief in Him that will cause division in families but God’s characteristics seem more like a restorer and unifier.”

    i think of God dividing the light and darkness, land sea and air. i thinking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. the ax laid at the root or middle of the tree that holds it up. one more swing and it is felled. thinking of a stump and a little shoot growing up. the shoot/Word of God, springing out of death and bearing fruit to eternal life. yes after the fall there had to be division under the love and care of the Great Divider. the winnowing fork is in His hand one throw and the wheat is separated from the chaff and gathered into His barn. and yes the caff is burned with unquenchable fire.

  59. foreverblessed says:

    I was thinking, God wants us, very close to His heart, but we think (our old man, that is) we know better than God. And that pushes Him away.

    But… when we have found out whatever we try ourselves on our own, in our own strength, and it fails and fails.
    Till we are at the end of ourselves, and stand before God:
    Open arms, open heart: God, You are the only One who knows, I am at a dead end: You show us Your way,
    Or: Lord, have your way with us

    To this man will I look, who is humble, and of a meek spirit.

  60. street says:

    At telling moments….
    thinking of the difficulty of people made in the image of God and having His Word yet not His Holy Spirit. those who kill the children of God thinking they are doing service for Him.

    no Jesus, no God
    know Jesus, know God.
    just ask.

  61. street says:

    Psalm 72:19
    Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.

    Isaiah 6:3
    And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

    Isaiah 44:23
    Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.

  62. poohpity says:

    street, for this topic no matter how you twist it Mart was referring to the accuser or great divider as adjectives used to describe Satan’s work in causing separation between people and God. Please reread the first 2 paragraphs.

    Some of the ways you are using it is more like God showing us a difference in or between dark and light, etc. then the other ways you used it is another time when I must say, WHAT?? again. Then as usual toss a few miscellaneous scriptures in there to prove something unknown with no clear direction or point. I know they mean something to your thinking but more often than not I do not understand how they apply unless you help us know how to untangle your thinking and use of them by maybe just a little explanation.

  63. street says:

    poo the bible refers the Jesus and satan as lions and morning star . it is not a far stretch to call God the Great Divider.

    even paul mentions divisions in the church, the people could see who was concerned. 1 Corinthians 11:17-19

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to “dividing” soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    He truly is the Great Divider and He loves us!

    thinking that sin make people consumer goods. saints are pored out offerings. being disconnected leads to much sin.

  64. street says:

    one of the things i was thinking was satan closes the mind and God has a way of freeing it or opening it. light illuminates everything darkness well that’s another thing, absents of light. i can see why stretch could be problematic since God knows what He is doing. no need to distort like the devil does. but i have to admit when confronted with the truth everything else starts spinning or looks funny in a bad way. i did understand that mart was referring to satan as a the “great deceiver” i just noticed God has been dividing things for eons and i will not refer to satan top billing on this issue. just thinking

  65. joycemb says:

    Pooh said, “unless you help us…”. I for one have no trouble following Streets’ thinking. I really appreciate the different lines of thinking as they expand my knowledge base. I will never know it all. Oh how I try though, LOL!

  66. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Have been camping out of range of wifi and cell phone signal — ahh, sweet peace and quiet! Just stopped by to see how my BTA Friends are doing.

    Mart, you wrote:

    “In both cases (1) distrusting God and 2) questioning God’s pure goodness) the Great Divider appeals to our imagination.

    “First he stretches our minds to believe that the source of so much good could have a moral flaw. (Hence, God, judged by human thinking to be imperfect, is disqualified from judging our sins)

    “The second challenge may be easier. Once the case is made for our wrongs, all he has to do is to get us to believe that God loves us because of who we are, rather than because of how good he is.” (So, vindicating our own immoral thinking and action – making it all “okay,”we displace our Creator and sit down in His seat of judgment)

    It is those in the crowd shouting that Jesus has cast out a demon by the power of Beelzebul whose thinking is divided. And, those who demand of Jesus a sign from heaven are so darkened in their understanding they cannot see that removing the demon from the man is a sign from heaven. (Luke 11:14-20)

    See how Satan, the Great Divider, perverts the thinking of those who doubt God and justify their own sinfulness. Under Satan’s power, we stray into imagining away God’s sovereign power. So, the serpent enters the garden.

    God, through His Son Jesus, gives us only good things, even by testing and troubles.

    Blessed rest to each one,

    14C – clear and breezy here.

  67. poohpity says:

    It is not giving the enemy top billing by understanding how he works if that were so then we would not have been given so much information about him in the bible. Most armies learn about the enemy before they go into battle as a means to be on guard or be aware against his attacks. Our main battle is against the spiritual powers of darkness not against God or others so if we allow the accuser to determine how our imaginations are going to go rather than trying to imagine how much we are loved by God then we are in trouble. Thus God has even given us Armor to go into that daily battle.

    We can only imagine about God’s love because most of us have never really experienced anything quite as all encompassing as that kind of love is. Our love usually has conditions on it but not God’s love, He loves us because of who He is not because of anything we can do and that certainly is not a human action.

    Joyce, I am glad you understand street but it is OK that I don’t and nothing wrong with asking for clarification. That is how adults talk. It is better than calling him names, accusing, jumping to conclusions or not talking to him at all, don’t you think? I only stop talking to those who’s intention it is to harm me in some way, shape or form.

  68. joycemb says:

    Pooh I so agree with you that asking for clarification is good, my point as I stated was the use of the word “us” instead of “I or me”, making it sound as if everyone here has the same issue you have, that’s all. I so appreciate Streets insights and gifts in Spiritual Formation. I’ve learned much as a result and drawn nearer to God because of them. ;-)

  69. joycemb says:

    Love can overcome even a bad intent, don’t you think Pooh? Loving enemies no matter how they harm us was Jesus’ way. I’m still learning myself :-)

  70. joycemb says:

    Pooh another way to think of it is dying to self which is Spiritual Formation. It takes some imagination to live here as Jesus did. We will never get it all right, but our time here is to be lived for God, and not for ourselves. If we truly are His we suffer for the sake of the gospel. Evangelicalism doesn’t like to talk about that much. It prefers to think about “what’s in it for me”. I know I’ve been there and done that myself. “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul; and forget not all His benefits.” His benefits.

  71. poohpity says:

    How many times did Jesus walk away from those who would do Him harm before His time had come? God never called us to be doormats or to be abused by people either physically or verbally. Loving our enemies as in people is to do good to them but we are not called to love Satan but to be diligent to recognize when he comes against us.

  72. joycemb says:

    Satan and people are two entirely different entities. We are not Jesus either as far as being redemptive entities. We are called to love God and love others as much as we love ourselves. For me mostly Jesus in me makes it possible for me to love others, but the more I am loved yes in a paradoxical way I can also love others. Oh God you are so good to us!

  73. joycemb says:

    Seeing Jesus at work (loving unconditionally) in other people has been a great boost for me in my journey through hell on earth. I think it was MLK who said ” Out of the muck I rise” or something similar.

  74. joycemb says:

    Pooh remember Job? Satan does nothing without Gods permission. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not people or self.

  75. joycemb says:

    Ephesians also teaches how to fight Satan, not with human weapons but with Spiritual (Godly) weapons as you learned in the Bible study you talked about here. God gives us many chances for spiritual application. As Viv mentioned, the bitter teaches us to discover the sweet!

  76. street says:

    good post maru. thinking about the door to the garden of our own hearts and the guard we need to keep the snakes out. the Holy Spirit comes to mind. thinking that faith can protect us from what comes knocking. thinking we should be listening for His Voice. i have noticed it is a battle field of waiting patients and perseverance. then thinking I will never leave you nor forsake you. His Sovereignty is a life changer the old is done away with, all things are new. hold on to Him.

  77. street says:

    after thinking about what maru wrote i am thinking with this kinda mindset, how is it possible for anyone to get saved?

    Matthew 19:26
    And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  78. street says:

    i also remember only the sign of jonah would be given.

  79. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    It seems to me, Street, that those shouting in the crowd blaspheming the Son of God — by claiming He removed the demon from the mute man by the working of Satan — and by calling for Him to show them a sign from heaven (which He had just done) — were far from God’s saving grace. (Luke 11:14, 15, 16, 17)

    For those hearing the Gospel today the light revealed in Jesus (Luke 11:35, 36) still shines forth into whoever believes in Him. Even after Jesus rose up from death to New Life, the unbelieving Pharisees did not see the light of something greater. Their eyes saw only darkness, not the Light of the world. So, the sign of Jonah did not ignite their imaginations.

    Jesus saw ahead of time that the temple leaders, in all their years of ministry, did not know how to pray for guidance and discernment. Jesus said, “If you, therefore, bad as you are, can give good things to your children; how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)


    18C and partly cloudy here

  80. remarutho says:

    Let me not dishonor the Pharisees Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. They are two members of the temple leadership who see and recognize Jesus for the Savior He is.

  81. lovely says:

    Imagination , the battlefield of the mind, we call it here the devils playground. His lies and accusation as been ongoing from the fall till today slipping into our society, families and churches, unknown and unseen , his master game is “deception”.Only with the truth that is the word of God can we see that lies and overcome it 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. These are the weapon of our warfare, fighting against an unseen enemy that only Christian with the revelation knowledge given by the Holy Spirit has the power to overcome. All we have to do is renew our mind daily with the Word of God.

  82. lovely says:

    Many people are trap or lost even in a prison unseen ( imprisoned in the mind , held captive by the devil)freedom, as the world offers are actually not freedom at all.Many that we see in this world, without the word of God are dead in the inside but alive in the outside we call that a living corpse. In living a life that is truly free, and abundance is living with God . A wise man who had everything once said Ecclesiastes 2:25 ( For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?)
    Therefore enjoy life with God.

  83. cbrown says:

    Visitation shared by Rev. McCollum in the Prison ministry of our church “Last night was one of those unusual nights of visiting in the prison. I saw 3 inmates, each with entirely different situations of life. One has been in our Faith Base Dormitory several months and in a few months will graduate. He reviewed his spiritual growth since he entered our program. He came in with a lot of bitterness because of cruel abuse from parents growing up and deep envy of those in happy family relationships. This he harbored in his heart and he became hardened and he was mad at the world. But his months of Bible study, attending classes and worship services softened his heart and he became a child of God and became a part of a brand new family of God! Now he is a picture of the peace of God as he shows God’s love to others wherever he goes.’

  84. joycemb says:

    Chris thank you for sharing, and for your work also! God bless in your healing ministry.

  85. street says:

    Now it is our God who appeals to our imagination.

    yes the the devil appealed to our imagination in the fall and that did not work out.

    appealing to us for holy faith, hope, and love.

  86. foreverblessed says:

    Imagine, the first thing that comes to mind today, is that we imagine already are living in the spiritual realm. It takes some imagination, or as Saled put it, entertain that thought, it is a reality.
    If we live in faith in Christ that is. If His life is living in us.
    But I also want to say, that many times we do not align with His life.
    When we have been christians for a long time, there is a time, when the Holy Spirit goes form comforting us when being ill treated to the stage, that we rejoice when we are ill treated!
    The steps that are shown in the Sermon on the Mount, Matt 5:1-12

    Rejoice! When you are being ill treated!
    That needs some imagination!
    Why rejoice! Because the persons that ill treat us, are maybe saved, because of the loveliness of Christ that we show to them in our reaction to them. We rejoice because of the saving of that soul.
    Just as Jesus for the Joy that was set before Him, the saving of all the children of God, that He endured the Cross.

    Just as when Stephen was martyred, his heavenly reaction to the suffering was a witness to Saul, later Paul.
    Acts 7:59,60
    Acts 8:1

    Is that mindset in us?
    Do I take up the sins of others and suffer because of it?
    It is true that only Jesus has redemptive power, but… we are one in Jesus.
    Just as Paul wrote: I take up the suffering that is still lacking in the suffering of Jesus
    Col 1:24

    And he wrote:
    Phil 3:10
    Phil 3:7-9

    Also Peter: 1 Peter 4:1-2
    And Jesus as our Model:
    1 Peter 2:20-21
    1 Peter 2:22-23
    When they hurled there insults at Him, He did not retaliate!
    When He suffered He made no threats!

    Wow, what an example!
    And I do fear the christianity is far away from being like that!

    Street talks a lot about the dying of our old man.
    When we have died to our old self, the second death has no effect on us. And the insults do not bring up the worst in us, we have died to our old self.
    But that is a process, of taking every thought captive, into obedience to Christ. Do we set our minds on rejoicing when ill treated, or do we grumble and groan, and get angry?

    Greatly rejoice when we are being ill treated! Joy, because we see the saving of the souls of the people that insult us! We vision that in our minds, and put them before us!

    Hebrews 12:2

  87. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, I haven’t done yet:
    I came on this blog, because of Oswald Chambers, I read this devotional every morning here. And then found out that Mart was writing here as well! Been thinking.
    But what stood out in Oswald, he often writes about us:
    being broken bread and poured out wine!
    I started reading from January 1, and found out that the frist time he talked about broken bread and poured out wine is on February 2,
    Then he has a topic on February 3 and 4, becoming the filth of the world!
    Imagine, yes, but that is our callimg, all though he says, you do not have to be like that, then you will be saved by the skin of your teeth.
    Compelled by the love of Christ, we live our lifes.
    “We receive everything that happens to us, as if it happened to Him, whether we receive praise or blame, persecution or reward” Because we are a witness TO Him.
    And the next two days are about:
    “Are you ready to be poured out as an offering I and II”

    citing Febr 5
    “It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a “doormat” under other people’s feet. God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased…” (Philippians 4:12). Are you ready to be sacrificed like that? Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket— to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served? Are you willing to give and be poured out until you are used up and exhausted— not seeking to be ministered to, but to minister? ”

    But that indeed takes a christian who is matured in Christ, who has been brought form being comforted by the Holy Spirit, to rejoicing in persecution.

    If you are still in the stage of being comforted, stay there, but know that you have to count the cost when you want to follow Christ to the full.

    But, as I said before, have a vision (or imagine) the souls of all the people that will be saved because they see you suffering and show the sweet grace of Jesus, just as Saul saw that in Stephen, and the seed was laid there for his conversion.

  88. poohpity says:

    From what you are implying that any person in an abusive relationship needs to stay in it rather than walking away to safety. Whether it is emotional abuse or physical abuse staying there so one can be a reflection of God’s grace right? Jesus walked away! Being used as a doormat does not bring Glory to God however walking away and not retaliating but forgiving the person and showing them grace does. Is it showing love to yourself by staying? If we do not know how to love ourselves how can we love others?

  89. street says:

    forever after reading your post this came to mind,

    offing to God a sacrifice of praise.

    the difficult part is offering it in Spirit and Truth.

    lot easier when the old man is dead.

    yet i think God supplies the strength and the sacrifice.

    thinking of abraham and Jesus.

  90. street says:

    Isaiah 65:12
    I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will fall in the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.”

    Jeremiah 15:2
    And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: “‘Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity.’

    thank God for Jesus!

  91. street says:

    do not give up on God! job did not and neither did Jesus.

  92. joycemb says:

    Very good forever! And Pooh you are also right. My experience goes like this; I was married 9 years when Jesus saved me. What I first learned was that I had value and worth as a human being and as a woman. I was married to a controlling, abusive Vietnam vet with PTSD, although we didn’t talk about it back then. I allowed him to control me with money, fear, and being his prisoner at home just as my dad had done. It was what I knew. It was “normal” for me. My pastor/church assured me my husband would get saved if I did all the right things, including praying harder when his abuse became more and more violent. 3 years I endured to the point where one day I broke down and cried all night, knowing I could no longer endure. I had been counseling with a Christian counselor and my pastor the whole time yet neither wanted me to leave him. I was worried as I could see my sons learning to mistreat their sister and she becoming scared also. Desperately I called my pastor and begged him to pray about what I should do. He called me back a half hour later and was shocked to tell me that through scripture the Lord had showed him that we are “called to live in peace”, and to let him go if he wanted. He said “get out of there today!” He said he’d never read that before! God brought me out, providing everything we needed to reestablish a peaceful home. During this time though I learned so much about God through daily Bible study and I can’t tell you how many times the Lord spoke directly to my heart, as He still does on occasion today.

    God can bring good things out of bad circumstances. I think emotional healing can begin whatever the circumstance, but more intense healing needs to take place I think in a loving and supportive environment. As one who suffers with PTSD I can tell you that even though the battle rages God is right there in it with me, all the time. I thank God for His helpers he’s provided along the way. To let you know how difficult it is for me still—I’ve been seeing my current therapist for about 4 years and told him just the other day I finally trust that nothing bad is going to happen when I see him. And I no longer “hate” men and women. These are big changes for this damaged soul. So thankful for Gods faithfulness to me and to all. Quite a process but I would not trade it for any other; nor would I wish it on anyone else.

  93. foreverblessed says:

    Did I really imply that Pooh?
    Thinking of the current topic, I immediately have to think how often I make wrong implications about what God meant, and how patient God is with me.
    Shall I rewrite what I wrote Pooh, or can you take a deeper look yourself?

    Thanks very much Joyce, for your story! I do not think that when you first became a christian you were comforted through and through by the Holy Spirit, it took several years before that was done!

    Wasn’t there a good end to the story? As my memory is failing on this point. But did your ex come to the point of accepting Jesus? Or was that somebody else story on this blog?

  94. poohpity says:

    forever, forgive me I should have said, whoever wrote that Febr 5 that you cited seems like they were implying. I thought that maybe because you used it to cite from, you agreed with them. I was assuming so again forgive me.

  95. joycemb says:

    Forever no he didn’t come to Christ even though several shared the gospel with him, myself included when he came to me asking how to be a Christian after we divorced. He even went to church with me for about a month and went with me to a Billy Graham training for counselors, so had many many opportunities, yet he died alone of a heart attack in his chair, having been dead for a few days when found.
    My son had quit working for him after years of being abused as an adult even and the same with my daughter who managed his books for 10 years. They decided they too had to protect their spouses and children from him. No happy ending as far as in the physical. But David and others in scripture had to also suffer the consequences of bad behavior. God is Holy and can have nothing unclean near Him. Which is why Jesus is so important if we will trust in Him for salvation as you well know. There are no shortcuts or being “grandfathered” in. Jesus never said the whole world was saved, He said “it is finished” it’s done. But we must come to Him.

  96. joycemb says:

    Forever after my husband heard the gospel over and over again he said he wanted me back, but only if I gave up Christ. He wanted to be God in my life. Sad but not a difficult choice.

  97. joycemb says:

    Forever thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share and remember what I went through 30 years ago now as it encourages me in my current struggle with my children. THANK YOU for being so intuned to the Holy Spirit we share. You have blessed me greatly! The road is truly narrow yet His grace is abundant and free, and I’ll choose that anytime. Sending you a virtual (((hug)))

  98. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks for the hug, Joyce, you are a very thankful person!
    May God bless you, may God repay you for all those hard years:
    Joel 2:25-26
    And the end of this section is v27:
    Then you wil know that I am in Israël,
    that I am your God and that there is no other!

  99. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, it is my strong conviction that ” my Utmost” should only be read for those who are mature christians, who know deeply that they are loved by God.
    Who have seen God’s hand in their lives, as I said, who have gone through the motion of Matt 5:3-12
    And I do not know what you think, but God tells us to rejoice in persecution, and if He commands it He will also give the means to do so. Or rather the godly joy and Godly love.
    It isnot a matter of loving ourselves, it is a matter of us giving our lives over to God, and completely trusting Him, that He deals with our lives as He seems best. And in so doing we consequently love ourselves automaticly.
    I do not know why we should rejoice in persecution, but saying we should walk away, is only done when the Holy Spirit tells us so.
    But Peter walked away from the Roman persecution. He left the City of Rome on the Via Appia. And there he met Christ who was walking to the city.
    Then Peter asked his famous question: Quo vadis?
    Where are you going?
    And Jesus answered: To Rome, to be crucified.
    And then Peter knew hus time had come. John 21:18-19
    He turned around, and went back into the city.
    He was crucified, upside down. His remains are somewhere deep down the vaticane hill. That was a hill outside the city in Peter’s time.

    Just to say that the message of Chambers is a tough one. And because there are people who live in abuse, we do not have to set them 1 Peter 2:20-21
    My point is the imagination part: see the saving of souls through your suffering. Not thaty suffering saves, only Jesus Cross saves, but you know what I mean. We have a part in His suffering, and we greatly rejoice. It is insane to the world, this joy, as it is from God, a heavenly joy

  100. foreverblessed says:

    Set them aside

  101. foreverblessed says:

    Not that suffering saves, only Jesus saves

  102. poohpity says:

    Gosh I did not know that mature Christians go to Oswald Chambers to learn from here all along I thought they went to God and are open to learning from Him rather than using a go between. Feeding directly from the source rather than having someone else spoon fed them. I will have to remember reading My Utmost is a way to measure Spiritual maturity.

    There is a vast difference in being persecuted for our faith and allowing others to use us as a “doormat” because of their ego, control, dominance or authoritarianism.

    I will ignore from this time on what Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” or Gal 5:14; Luke 6:31 NIV, since you said, “It is not a matter of loving ourselves”.

  103. foreverblessed says:

    Well, Jesus gave a new command:
    Love others as I have loved you!

    An as of Oswald, my utmost: It is better that new christians not read it.

  104. poohpity says:

    If we love God as most claim to do then they are willing to lay down their life for Him but most do not even share the gospel or the hope they have in Jesus with those who have yet to accept Jesus. They share with other Christians but when it comes to starting relationships with future believers their claims of who they follow are just claims no evidence.

  105. poohpity says:

    The Word of God is to be shared with all because it is God who uses it for people to get to know Him better. Oswald Chambers is not beyond flaws in what he teaches because he is after all just a person that is why it is more important to point people to read the bible for themselves and compare what it says to what anyone else teaches.

  106. foreverblessed says:

    Just lately, when I consider myself as being owned by Christ, and seeing that everything in my life has been arranged by Jesus, so anything that happens to me is because of my faith in Christ, my life has changed:
    If the neighbour’s son has loud music,
    Formerly: I used to think about my own peace of mind. And I would ask God to free me from the noise.
    And it would mean I have to move, in your words: walk away.

    Now: I think God very well knows that I live there, and now He puts this boy into thoughts, as to pray for him!
    God, remember him. Or, God, be merciful to him

    What can I do with:” love your neighbour as yourself”
    Noe, I am busy with the saving of this boys soul, to bless him.

    Instead of thinking about my own well being! No worry about abuse, that is all past and gone.

    Forget Oswald, just read the scriptures I cited. I thoughts it would help my explanation, but in your case, it doesn’t work.

  107. joycemb says:

    Forever unless the Spirit is involved in ones life reading scripture alone means very little actually except to point out what others are doing wrong. As in Pooh’s case. Arguing with the unregenerated mind is fruitless and pointless.

    Thank you for the Joel scripture which has been fulfilled already in my life. Living in that fulfillment can be a challenge some days but we battle on for Christ, our Leader!!!

  108. poohpity says:

    geez forever it is all or nothing? How about going to your neighbor and kindly asking to lower the music and share about your migraines. Then if they take that as offensive and start an argument, or name calling walk away in peace. But the doors to fellowship have been opened and more often than not they will comply. Maybe then saying between such and such hours I do not mind the music being loud which shows the ability to compromise.

  109. poohpity says:

    Joyce your kindness towards me is overwhelming praying you will receive what you have given, overflowing shaken together with abundance. Luke 6:38 NIV

  110. joycemb says:

    Pooh praying you will receive what you don’t deserve. Unmerited favor.

  111. foreverblessed says:

    Well, the migraine has taught me to pray, and pray. And waiting for the Holy Spirit to do His preparotary work, which takes longer time than. Maybe I am not as advanced in my Christian way as you are, I am still on the intercessory prayer.
    (Thanks Joyce, God bless you, and Pooh too)

  112. poohpity says:

    How long does it usually take for the preparatory work before we act on faith and what we believe? Brand new believers usually act right away so I do not know what is meant by being advanced in the Christian way or is that just another derogatory jab?

  113. joycemb says:

    Faith without works is dead.

  114. foreverblessed says:

    I love you Pooh, and no, it was not meant as a jab. I really meant it, all though with a little irony, as you seem to regard “love others as you love yourself” in higher regards as:
    “Love others as I have loved you”.
    The last one being the more advanced christian walk.
    And that brings me to the present topic:
    Imagine how great the love is that God has for me.
    And you.

  115. poohpity says:

    Joyce, if I do not respond on here to what you say to me then you seem to stalk me on other sites, please stop.

    forever, as for your assumption that I consider either of those things in higher regards than the other that is a false statement. Jesus said both and I hold all His words in high regard. I still do not know what is meant by advanced Christian walk? Sounds more legalistic than relational!!! I am glad you feel you have a more advanced Christian walk and are more mature than others that is a very humble place to be.

  116. poohpity says:

    forever if the way you talk to me is how you show love please do not show me any more love because it is causing harm to me and it is not being honest.

  117. joycemb says:

    Honesty, stalking? Are you ok Pooh?

  118. joycemb says:

    Ok I see what’s going on now, pooh. When people agree with what you say they are “dear friends”, as you called me here a few weeks ago. But if they disagree or want to add to your shared-public thoughts they are desparaging stalkers. Hmmm

  119. joycemb says:

    I can’t be a friend to anyone so near-sighted. There’s no love there, at all. Only for the Self.

  120. poohpity says:

    I called you a friend? I would not lie to you whether enemy or friend.

  121. poohpity says:

    People can disagree with me but that does not determine hostility or anger towards them. What a boring world it would be to surround one’s self with only those who agree all the time, no good debates and one could be sure not to grow or learn in any way. It is the manner they disagree if they have to put others down or call names or say demeaning things now that does not make for good conversation or debate. Those are the one’s who do not have substance to anything they say just childish, defensive behavior.

  122. joycemb says:

    Ok, have a good night, Pooh.

  123. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, you say
    I do not understand what you are trying to say.
    That is fair enough.
    Because of that honost question I can try and give an answer.
    But then you add:
    And that changes the atmosphere of the discussion.
    If anything I say is treated like that it is no use to discuss.

    I have to retreat now, and seek the peace that only Christ can give. The love only He could give.
    And then I come back to the current topic, 1 Cor 13:1-13
    That is the way Jesus treats me. And I want to treat you as Jesus treats me.
    But I have to ask Him now how to do this.
    So in the mean time I pray that God will be with you, and comfort you, as I do not seem to be able to do that. He can.
    And also comfort to Joyce, look upon Jesus, fix your eyes on Him, and not on the waves!

  124. poohpity says:

    Jesus treats all of us in kindness, patience, mercy and grace. Think about what is in your heart as you write to me, surely you can recognize whether you feel anger, animosity, disgust or even superiority. Then ask; Do I want someone to talk to me like that? Then go back and reread what was written. Not what I wrote to pick it apart but what you wrote and see if you would want anyone to talk to you like that because you know what is in your heart as you write.

  125. joycemb says:

    Thanks forever. I am always comforted by Jesus. Thankfully the community here doesn’t cause me pain anymore; as God has been faithful to heal more of my heart and mind in that regard. I will never fully understand Pooh, but will leave well enough alone unless God compels me otherwise. I’ve always hated and avoided conflict, but am more and more compelled to speak the Truth as the days are short and we don’t know when He is returning. I had to learn to get over the personal pain inflicted by other xians to see the well-meant intent behind what I used to misconstrue as evil. All our hearts are evil, everyone’s, and some of us who come out of extraordinarily evil situations have more pain than most to work through. But God uses the pain, always. For His glory. (Though it’s hard to fathom when you feel that your guts are falling out of your body.) blessings Foreverblessed :-)

  126. narrowpathseeker says:

    Lord have mercy on us all. I have been reading the comments here for a few days now and have managed to shake off the compelling urge to respond, but this morning I can’t walk away..it would be like walking away from a dead accident victim without any attempt to resuscitate with CPR.

    POOH PITY…. DEB JOHNSON or whoever you are or call yourself……you are either BLIND to your massive offenses towards EVERYONE on this blog or far worse and since you have spit in the face of everyone that tries to shed a little light on your darkness, I would guess that the latter is the case…but before I leave you for dead…..I have to reach back into my memories and go through the massive collection of old shoes I’ve worn. I think this may be the pair that can help me relate to you.

    My Dad was my idol as a child… I wanted to be LOVED by EVERYBODY….but especially my Dad… I don’t remember the specific details of any of these memories ..only the gist of them… my Mom would tell my Dad something I did or didn’t do that I thought would make him angry and not love me….so I would deny…or make up a story….about it. My entire family…siblings…aunts..uncles….could have been witnesses to my wrongdoing…but I would lie, deny, and cry… “I DIDN’T DO IT…..SOMEBODY ELSE DID IT” All because I thought lying, denying, and crying victim would make my father love me more than whatever it was that I did or didn’t do…which could have been something as trivial as taking the last cookie. It wasn’t until my Dad made it known to me how much he hated LIARS that I WANTED to tell the truth. BUT, even then…the truth got stuck in my throat…for fear that he would not love me for the truth …taking the last cookie or whatever….so I would hold back with a lump in my throat….like my Dad couldn’t tell I was lying…when he coaxed the truth out of me…and I found he loved me even MORE and it felt sooooooo good to tell the truth….no more fears of people finding out the truth..no more lumps in my throat….

  127. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh….I don’t think there is anyone here on this sight that wouldn’t look up to you for humbling yourself from your self inflated status…. I believe that you have much to offer in experience…unfortunately I and probably others don’t read most of your messages because they tend to anger and rob peace and joy rather than inspire and enlighten.

  128. joycemb says:

    Pearl what an honest self-disclosure of your struggles early on. And you know what? I don’t hate you or feel disgusted I feel happy and rejoice with you over your victory! Self-protection does no good at all, does it. I found that out also very early in my walk with Christ after reading a book by Larry Crabb -can’t think of the name now- but he pointed out that it actually was a sin to use all the different methods we use to protect ourselves, ways we learned to survive before Christ. I think that if Poohpity were more open to change she would find more love in this world, but she refuses to look at herself in the light offered from other believers so will remain stuck in her miserable, unhappy self-guarded self. I can relate as I struggle myself with what others–especially believers–think of me, knowing my past sin and consequences thereof. No matter how much I believe all is forgiven the enemy knows my weaknesses yet trusting what God says is true I stumble but get up again. Frankly it’s exhausting but it seems for me at least to be my thorn in the flesh, lest pride become my downfall. And for that I am grateful. Underneath the sins of what others have done TO me are my own sins of wanting to be like God, but not in a humble way. To be as God–all powerful and autonomous. Independent of others. Contempt is at the core yet He doesn’t let us get away with it, because He is love. No room for anything fleshly in His kingdom.

    God bless you and have a great day!

  129. narrowpathseeker says:

    TY Joyce…

    I should add that it iscertainly not the last time I lied…I think we may put back on from time to time, the shoes we have found to be uncomfortable in the past….whether we forget or there are mitigating circumstances and the situation seems different and perhaps calling for that pair of shoes. Anyway, I did something (not trivial) as a teenager….lied about it….I was haunted by it for many years and did everything I could to make it up to my Dad and Mom…when my Dad would praise me for all I did for them…I would tell them it didn’t begin to make up for the rotten teenager I had been…when he told me I hadn’t been rotten…I would tell him there were things he didn’t know but wouldn’t tell him….one day I finally did…and while it didn’t remove the deep regrets I have for doing it…I felt better for having no secrets from my Dad.. we both cried…I cried out of deep remorse and Dad cried because I carried that in my heart for so long….but I still do…it just isn’t so heavy knowing Dad forgave me and still loved me even though it wasn’t one the trivial things.

  130. joycemb says:

    Pearl you have a sweet, sensitive heart. Thank God for that. Some are not so blessed. I was thinking this morning about what a roller coaster some of my days are; pain, forgiveness (myself and others) happiness, grief etc. But I recognized with the help of a blogger on Our Daily Bread that even when it feels like my car is under water it will always surface again! No pain will ever keep me down forever! Gods love is so real! As you well know!

  131. foreverblessed says:

    I have said I would retreat, and sit at Jesus feet. I asked Him, “what is wrong with me.”
    And the last couple of days, He showed me what was wrong. I was with family, and making jokes, ,but… using their peculiarities for the joke. There it was as if the Holy Spirit whispered in my ears: “You see what you are doing now? They could have felt hurt.”

    So there I say, sorry Pooh, for denigrating remarks.

    And I am happy, that I now see this clearly, It is me personally that has to change. I can only change myself, or rather ask God to change me.

    And I also must say, that I acted out of frustration, as I felt my comment was being torn to pieces by Pooh. So I said: can you read my comment again, or shall I repeat it here what I said.

    And I will repeat it here: I was very careful to describe to whom my message was, for ones who have been comforted, for the ones who have walked with Jesus, who know that they are loved by Him. And who are at peace with Him. With that I mean, mature christians. Not saying that they are on a higher plane, but on a more secure plane: Closer to Jesus, close to His heart. And then they are moved by what moves Jesus in His heart!

  132. foreverblessed says:

    And what moves Jesus’heart?
    Saving souls!
    And especially the ones that are our enemies, or seem to be our enemies.
    So we are being taken from one plane to higher planes, from those who are at their wits end, Matt 5:3, who have gone to God for shelter, to being comforted by the Holy Spirit, Matt 5:4,
    then up to the next stages, Matt 5:3,4,5,6,7
    and this cycle is repeated over and over again. We not coming to the last parts of Jesus message of the beautitudes.

    But there will be a time that we are being led to that point, and that is when we are mature christians. We are led to Matt 5:10
    And I was busy with Matt 5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you. Rejoice!
    Here I was referring to to make my point

    Imagine these people that insult you, and see their souls, being saved by God, because you, yes -you- pray for them. Isn’t that a joy?
    You look around, and see, who is making your day difficult? Yes, that is the soul God puts in front of you, and says: This one I am going to save, but I am waiting for your prayers.

    Yes, that is our God! He waits for our prayers! And we are part in His saving the world. He has connected Himself to us, He is the Head, and we are His body.
    This is Huge.
    Use your imagination to see this!

  133. foreverblessed says:

    My point was Matt 5:12 Rejoice!
    ..and why we can rejoice:
    because we imagine the souls that God will look after, because we have asked Him in prayer, in faith.
    And when faith is connected to what we hope for, we already have it
    Hebrews 11:1

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