THOUGHTFUL MUSINGS to AIR OUT the SOUL
BY: DAVE GARNER
For many years now I have endeavored to seek the Lord to know and experience His presence on a very personal level, so much so that I would be able to breathe Him in at every breath. I yearn to feel the continual abiding comfort of His presence to such a degree that He becomes so real to me that I could say with absolute boldness and complete assurance; I am one with my Father. I so want to know and experience intimately what it means to walk in the joy and the peace that only He can give, a fulfillment that I know an endless number of saints who have gone on before me, have already experienced.
I want to go beyond the endless chatter or rhetoric of words, men’s doctrines, humanistic values, and unproven opinions. There is a place of rest in the heavens that I know I have not yet personally attained. I do have this hope as an anchor, that there is an entrance made in the heavens for me to enter into His rest and possess it as my own. I am not satisfied in my spirit with just thinking that I have arrived into that rest. For if I thought that what I have seen, heard, and experienced, both in my life and in the life of most of the Christians I know thus far was all there is and is the highest manifestation of entering into His rest, then I too am of all men most miserable. I find that I fall far short of experiencing the abiding presence of His anointing to the depth that I know is available and for which I hunger and thirst.
I feel all to often that I cop out from achieving my goal of just immersing myself into all that I know He is and all that I know is available to me through the power of the Holy Spirit, by allowing myself to be caught up in the toil of natural cares and circumstances of daily life around me. I find myself sometimes struggling to hang on to my expectations and hope in God as an overcomer, striving to stand above even the most mundane of circumstances that seem to remain a constant in my path. It is not the desire and aspiration for the things of the world that hinders me from attaining my goal. I do hunger and thirst after His righteousness and find nothing else satisfies that hunger which permeates my inner being. It is however, my unavoidable attachment to living in our modern day environment. It is being caught up in the cares of the world, financial issues, transportation issues, watch my diet, out of respect obligating myself to grunt work for another’s cause or dream or trying to meet the expectation and desires of my children, who are pretty much already grown up and doing their own thing, etc. It is easy to be drawn into sacrificing my personal hopes, aspirations and dreams to attain my vision, and exchange them for doing what my family, well meaning friends, extended family, and church family might feel I should be doing; diverting my attention away from that personal hope and peace that can only be found in daily intimate communion with the heavenly Father.
I have discovered that in some ways I am not a very brave individual, especially when it comes to dealing with issues of the heart. Most of the people I know who are Christians are just as passionate about what they believe, they take their beliefs very personal, and as an integral part of their being, just as I do. One of the most difficult obstacles I have had to overcome is learning how to receive and respond to opposing views, especially those that challenge my faith. I so want to have fellowship with other members of the church body, but it is difficult to find people who just want to sit down with an open heart to reason together just for the sake of searching out the truth.
As a minister I have made it my life’s journey to study to show myself worthy of the calling He has placed within my heart. To be a diligent, acceptable participant in the labor to edify the church body and I have built up an arsenal of information which I feel is truth. I have diligently tried to throw away useless or unsound information, but I found that for the most part, there are not too many ministers who are interested in hearing someone else or who really desire to challenge traditional or accepted theology for fear of offending God, losing relationships, or losing their status.
I am convinced that truth does make a person free, but I am just as convinced that truth does not need my help to make it anymore the truth and does not need me to defend it. If it is truth then it should have enough power to witness of its own reality and glory. I have discovered that if it needs me to defend it, then it is more than likely in some way not truth. Yahweh does not need man to defend His title of being God, so He dead sure does not depend solely upon me to be the torch bearer of His truth. I have resolved in my own mind, that if what I have to say is not able to edify the church body and give glory to the heavenly Father, it is more then likely better that I keep quiet and wait for a time when it is edifying.
Some of the men and women I know who participate in ministering to the body in one way or another, or what I call free thinkers, sometimes present themselves as if they have the corner market on the truth. Many of them have come out of traditional theology and desire to have, just as I do, a more personal depth in their walk as a Christian. Because they are free thinkers, many of them have had to make some heart wrenching decisions to believe what they believe, costing them friends, family, relationships, jobs, and even church families. In the process of challenging the traditional system they have had to endure rejection, contradiction, hard unfair reproaches, and sometimes attacks on their character, and in the process of time have become very strongly independent. In order to be heard they have had to stand up to opposition and defend their right to believe what they believe and over time have developed a self defense mechanism against opposing views. Because of this, most meetings remain either focused upon one particular subject with one or two speakers carrying the meeting on a positional or knowledge level, or it is a whomsoever feels that they want to say something free-for-all type meeting, having no true direction, providing no edification and growth to the overall support of the body.
True fellowship beyond the surface level is almost impossible to achieve in either case because of the diversity of independent thinking and unwillingness to yield to one another because of making oneself vulnerable or seemingly weak. It is impossible to have true fellowship with one another in word only, as it takes the Holy Spirit to open up the hearts and break down the barriers that brings unity and direction to any gathering.
I am not a confrontational type person and tend to draw back and close in when confronted with people who are aggressive and intimidating. Arguing and debating over doctrines is a sign of immaturity to me and it is destructive, not productive and definitely not edifying. I have a difficult time expressing my faith with another person when I know they are adamantly teaching something opposite and would receive what I said as a challenge to their faith and all it would produce is a huge rift in the spirit. It is not that I don’t feel the need to say what is upon my heart; it is just that I hate controversy and debate when I know that all it does is produce strife and hurt feelings, and separation, especially with people whom I count as my friends and family. It has been my experience after being in the ministry as long as I have, that many times Christians, even some of those who have become very dear to my heart, will stop having anything to do with you if you question or do not agree with their doctrine or do not believe the way they do.
There is something good about the approach-ability of a meek, contrite and humble spirit. A pushy, boastful, forward, demanding, arrogant spiritual attitude should never be mistaken for spiritual boldness or righteousness. Righteousness has its own identification marks, according to the words of Jesus, a tree is known by its fruit. If the fruit of the Holy Spirit is not outwardly visible, or in other words the outward signs of a Christian are not being openly displayed, then it is quite obvious that the tree is not mature enough to bear fruit or it is incapable of bearing fruit and is not the good tree of which Jesus was speaking. Either way it is not a tree from which you can pick good fruit. An unyielding, aggressive, independent, confrontational and opinionated spirit does not create an environment for true fellowship and spiritual interchange, nor does it promote unity of spirit.
I have no fear of going into any church and preaching the word, praying for the sick and seeking the Lord for a word concerning any individual. But carelessly hurting another with my actions or my words just because I feel they need to hear what I have to say, or act or believe a certain way, may leave me in danger of finding myself standing alone, separated from the body, depending entirely upon my own resources and understanding of God to spiritually sustain me. It is very obvious that “no man is an island unto himself.”
Luke 6:39-45, “And he spoke a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect (fully grown, mature or spiritually developed) shall be as his master. And why look at the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but perceive not the beam that is in your own eye? Either how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in your eye, when you do not see the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is identified by what it produces. If it does not grow fruit it is not a fruit tree. The kind of fruit a fruit tree grows determines what kind of tree it is. For it is impossible to gather figs from a thorn bush and neither can they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
I have spent a lot of time contemplating the meaning of the word fruit in comparison to works of righteousness, I am of the opinion that they are one and the same. I know that when I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, and the love of God filled my being, that when I am around someone in need, who might be in confusion, hungry, blind, halt, hurting, sick, needy, sad, lonely, desperate, naked or just in need of some love, I can’t help but reach out to share the love of God that is in me to alleviate the pain that I see in them. If I am able to respond to the urgings of the Holy Spirit through the gift of prophecy, I listen attentively to hear a word on their behalf and if I have a word of edification and direction to share with them, I share it. If I feel to reach out in compassion, comfort, counseling, or any words of wisdom from the Holy Spirit, I share it with them for their edification. If I see that they are physically hurting I reach out to them in the prayer of faith, praying for their healing. If they are hungry, I feed them or if they are naked, I do what I can to clothe them. If the Holy Spirit has given me an insight into their heart that might bring deliverance, I speak the word that was given to me. If a word of knowledge is needed or someone is hungry for the word, I share it, but all by the leadership of the one Holy Spirit for the edification of the body.
Scripture does talk about the works of the flesh and they have nothing to do with works of righteousness prompted by the Holy Spirit. The defining line between works of the flesh and the works that should come natural to a sincere Christian are that the works of the flesh are in some way self motivated and performed primarily for self recognition and personal gain, and the works of a sincere Christian are always directed toward edifying or helping others. The primary purpose of the church was to open the blind eyes, restore the hearing of the deaf, heal the sick, raise the dead, open the prison doors and set the captives free. It was to express the grace of God to the lost and the hungry, the confused and the lonely, the bound up, and to restore those who had lost their hope by being ensnared by the trials, tribulations and rudiments of the world, by reaching out in unconditional love.
As for me, I cannot be satisfied to remain a quiet, a bystander watching the visible church world remain in the self destruct mode because strong men are keeping the church body so fragmented and separated by their selfish desire to control the people for their own profit. The word of reconciliation burns in my heart to be declared. In my ever on going search for the reality of truth I am finding more and more of a vulnerable me. Lord, how do I ask questions and expose the innermost thoughts and feelings of my heart, and walk faithfully in the integrity of the word that you have given me without losing my friends or being personally attacked and hurt for daring to challenge the system? It is so easy to be excommunicated even from the “kingdom” circles if you say anything that challenges the revelation or opinions of the established authoritarians.
The Bible records what happened to Jesus when He challenged the theology and traditions of His day. When we decide to focus upon doing and saying what God has called us to do, we should not be surprised at the opposing opinions and anger that will manifest themselves toward us from within church. The church body will never grow to its full potential, if a flow of communication is never allowed among its members outside of the confines of church buildings and denominations, even communication that challenges our sacred theological doctrines, interpretation of scripture, and personal revelations. There is only one channel of communication available to us that has already been established by the death and resurrection at the cross, and that is through and by the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 2:6-12, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
For the most part, I find when you get into the spiritually higher intellectual circles people tend to become more self-focused and oriented toward their own contribution to the Christian society, quickly dismissing any dissenting opinions as being the ramblings of the childish and unenlightened. Yet, I find there are those who choose to remain in the ranks of the traditional, satisfied with the meager offerings given to them week after week by dedicated, and for the most part well meaning shepherds who will not rock the boat and feel no need for change or improvement. Most Christians don’t like being responsible for their own salvation and are often to busy with other activities to find any reason to seek for a deeper understanding and are satisfied with someone else doing it for them. They feel they have a place to live, food to eat, maybe a good job, pay tithes, and go to church when they are supposed to, therefore their future is secure. If they were not then their pastor would have warned them.
Inside most church bodies members are encouraged to remain quiet and to keep their seat and submit themselves to the powers that be, and let the appointed leaders tell them how to behave toward God and what to believe, never swaying from their own traditional interpretations of the Bible. Outside the church system in the so called “kingdom” circles the thought is again, listen or read only the prepared, accepted material from the few exalted ones, who hold the gatherings in a quagmire of educated opinions and exalted personal revelations that have no foundation in the scriptures, the very source that told us that there was such a person as a Christian. All too often there are men and women caught up in receiving personal revelations that only serve to exalt themselves, revelations that are void of the unity and edification to the body which it is supposed to produce. It is only by the anointing power of the Holy Spirit that true unity and edification will take place; it will never happen through empty rhetoric or spiritual supposition and domination.
In a lot of the so called kingdom meetings there seems to be an unwritten understanding not to show any weaknesses, and if you see what looks like one pretend you do not see it, then it really does not exist. They can talk all day on any subject, either conjecture, Biblical or assumed, but the conversion must remain on a camaraderie, intellectual or informational level and must never enter into the heart or emotional realm. The truth is we can never really get past the outer shell and into the truly spiritual until we are willing to put down our walls of independence to reveal the thoughts and feelings of the heart. It is the contents of the heart that has to be revealed and cleansed by the washing of the water by the Word. True spiritual cleansing comes from the inside out, not just by information from the outside in; it is what comes out of a person that defiles a person. In many meetings a person can discuss everything concerning a personal revelation, or a doctrinal opinion if their bold enough to stand up and take the heat from their peers, but confronting and dealing with issues of the heart are almost unheard of and rarely brought up or faced. I have been in many meetings where there have been people who were bound up in fear, hatred, lust, pain, sorrow, bitterness, homosexuality, marital problems, grief, confusion, or low self esteem, and no one reached out to them to bring healing. In most cases it was the general consensus to ignore what was going on in the depths of the heart and just fellowship on the surface with pretence and words. The feeling was that if anything was mentioned about doing something to help set the person at liberty and alleviate their suffering they were being judged and it is not right to judge.
We live in a world full of so many opposing beliefs and doctrines that one wonders how the church will ever come together to be the light that it needs to be in order to shine brightly enough in the darkness to be the beacon of hope and salvation it was intended to be. The maturity level in much of Christianity is so shallow that many Christians really do not have any idea what it means to have a present tense relationship with their heavenly Father. Their hope is always in the future concerning what will be and what they will receive for suffering and sacrificing for being the good and faithful Christian today. There are so few Christians willing, much less mature enough, to set down and calmly and rationally discuss the scriptures without feeling like they are personally being challenged in their faith and their ability to hear from God, it seems too many feel that their beliefs or teachings are beyond question or reproach. Some feel they are being threatened and attacked if they are questioned; especially those who remain tied to traditional theology or are unsettled in their relationship with the Lord.
The more I study and seek the Lord, the more I find that there is a great need for members of the body, people like you and I, to stand up and start asking some difficult questions. It is quite obvious that as long as the church body refuses to take responsibility for their own salvation and challenge the authority and domination of some of the modern day institutions and self imposed leaders, the church body will remain fragmented and powerless to take the necessary steps for effective change. As long as members of the body choose to remain individually opinionated and unwilling to lay down their crowns and swords they will never have the needed edifying spiritual impact upon the world and humanity that Paul was talking about in his letters to the Corinthians and to the Colossians.
1 Corinthians 12:13-28, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
Colossians 2:16-3:3, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
It is the joints and the marrow working together that makes the body function productively; it is not the individual members working independently as the elite. A member separated from the body is useless, as it requires attachment to the body in order for the blood to flow which keeps it alive and makes it functional and productive. Spiritually speaking there is only one body that makes up one church and one head which is Jesus Christ. There are many members of the body who are physically separated from one another by circumstances, conditions, and distance, but this was not the separation that keeps individual members from being part of the body, the body Paul was referring to as being “fitly joined together.” “For by one spirit we are all baptized into one body.” Since it is by one spirit that we are joined, when we are not in the one same spirit, we are separated and there is not one body, even if we are setting together in the same gathering. If one member of the body exalts themselves into a position above the other members, supposing themselves to be the only conduit of the Holy Spirit, then is there not a quenching or limitation of the Holy Spirit? It is the body working together, fitly joined by the one spirit with a sincere desire to submit themselves to the power of the Holy Spirit, giving Him the liberty to move upon and through whom ever He will that the true church that he was talking about is manifest.
Ephesians 4:16, From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
Many of the leaders within the church body, both traditional and non-traditional, are so busy managing the affairs of their church buildings, organizations, positions over people and their personal revelations, that the Holy Spirit is given no room to move outside of their personal control or oversight. The liberty to flow under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit is limited to or extended from the person who exercises the greatest control over each church or group body. The more spiritually mature the leadership is, the greater the liberty given for the Holy Spirit to move and minister to the body through other members. Too many ministers will vehemently defend their right to stand aloof as guard over their sheep and refuse to yield their hard gained authority to anyone else, even the Holy Spirit, only allowing the ignorant sheep to have what they feel they need and only when they feel they need it.
By holding control over all that goes on, authoritarians never let themselves be put into a position of being challenged or questioned. It is far easier to hide behind a pulpit, a particular doctrine or teaching, a position, self control, or a dominating know-it-all personality, then it is to open oneself up and make oneself vulnerable to the scrutiny or move of the Holy Spirit in others. Until the leaders of today’s Christian body are willing to loosen their stranglehold upon the body and allow the Holy Spirit to become a free flowing conduit for communication and fellowship of spirit, allowing an interchange of ideas, questions, and thoughts, the church can never come together and manifest the power it was intended to have. Truth makes you free to walk in the liberty of the Holy Spirit, to learn, to grow, to experience, and to function as a contributing member of the body; it does not bind you to a certain person, sect, group, religion, and religious philosophy and certainly not to the traditional rituals of sacrifice and servitude.
Many well meaning Bible believers attempt to prove that God exist by using the written word they know by heart, but have never experienced as a reality in their lives. They try to prove their brand of doctrine by using the scriptures as their weapon of choice, but have no visible results that what they proclaim as good news is contributing to the edification or building up of the body of Christ. It is easier to hide behind trees of knowledge and high education of good and evil, than it is to expose their spiritual impotency to their peers. Another trap that ministers get into is they begin to believe that they have the corner market on truth and sincerity and that being a Christian means that everyone who claims to be a Christian is going to do and be exactly as they do and are. They present the attitude that they have the keys to the kingdom and the kingdom of God cannot function without them. What was good for me has got to be good for you and what was evil to me must be evil to you. Sadly, what is produced is a whole lot of parrots that are blindly repeating what someone else has said, having no inner strength in their own legs to walk out their own salvation into reality.
I have not met very many Christians, especially those in kingdom circles, who have successfully overcome to become both spiritually and financially independent without having to depend upon secular or traditional resources in some form or fashion. I believe spiritually that I am very stable having the confidence that nothing can separate me from the love of God, yet there is a hunger in me for far greater results then I am seeing. Financially I have never had an over abundance, and I fall far short of fulfilling my expectations, sometimes even my obligations. It is not that I want to get rich, but I must face reality, money is a necessity in life in order to pay for food, utilities, domestic needs, children’s needs, health issues and so on. More often then I have wanted to I have had to sacrifice the spiritual in order to achieve the financial. So, in my quest to enter into intimate communion with my Father, into that place of complete rest, I am torn between the physical and the spiritual, never quite able to harmonize them together. I know I love the Lord with all of my heart and seek for Him, yet for years now I have to all outward evidence, lived a step away from poverty thinking somehow tomorrow will be better. I came to the realization that I had to face facts; if what I was doing was not producing the fulfillment of my hope in Him then I had to be swimming upstream against the flow of the Holy Spirit instead of flowing with it. Lord, how do I flow with you not against you? It was not that I was doing bad things or that I was intentionally sinning against God and He was punishing me, it was that I was focused in the wrong direction. I believe the whole church body is facing this same issue but are ignoring it.
I have heard many say that the church has passed away or is passing away because we have entered into the higher realm of the kingdom, ruling and reigning in Him as kings and priests. Accordingly, there is no reason to support and hold the church as anything more then a passing era and something to despise and let go of, besides she is outdated and too traditional, and we have already grown beyond her and no longer find her appealing. I find this confusing, because even up until now they have not recognized her (the real church body – those being led by the Holy Spirit) nor honored her as anything but something to control and rule over, abuse, cut and tear down.
We have men and women standing in the religious system that is filled with vain wooden, metal, cement and steel buildings that humanity calls the church, filled with pews, symbolic images and tributes to man’s control, but this is not and never has been the church that Paul spoke about and never will be. This corrupted system is passing away, praise God, for it has stood as a false representation of the pure holy Church far too long. That visible establishment calling itself the church is soiled and full of corruption and the high minded, self imposed lords, bearing no resemblance to the “ecclesia” (ekklesia), the called out who have heard the word of God in their hearts who are motivated only by the urging of the Holy Spirit. It should be obvious to any clear thinking individual that we have not yet seen the fullness of the real church body function together, because it still remains drastically divided among its members. It is only by one spirit that we are baptized into one and become members of one body or one church.
It has long held my fascination that God can be, and act, in any way a person perceives Him to be based upon their interpretation and understanding of Him and what He is. People tend to make God the way they would like Him to be and for the most part, measure His person by whatever is in their own heart, based upon their own beliefs, their own understanding, and their own relationship to Him. A self righteous spirit usually promotes a self righteous god that demands strict adherence to its exalted position of enlightenment. A forgiving spirit promotes a forgiving God, but an unforgiving spirit promotes an unforgiving god. A vindictive vengeful spirit promotes a vindictive, vengeful god. If the leader of a group hates the government and sees it as the anti-Christ, the god he worships will also hate the government. The greater the strength of his personality and power and influence over a group of people the greater they will see their god in the same light as he or she does.
Society, as a whole is filled with followers not leaders. If a person has little faith in themselves and their own abilities, then that is transferred to their relationship to God, believing that they themselves are not worthy to receive God’s favor therefore they have little faith and trust in God’s ability and willingness to provide for them and secure their safety. But the same insecure individual will submit themselves to a strong willed, authoritative person and place all of their trust in his or hers ability to spiritually protect and feed them and guide them in the right direction. In this manner, one finds comfort in a visible representation of a God he cannot see and the other is more firmly established feeling that he is God’s representative because of the recognition of his supposed God given authority.
If a pastor or a person holding a meeting has a problem with control issues, their services will reflect their limited understanding or interpretation of what is right and what is wrong. On the other hand, if a pastor is a well organized person, with everything in its place, and his time well ordered, his actions within the gatherings will reflect in how the church services are conducted. If a pastor has a gentle, open spirit, then the church services will reflect his personality, according to his strength and influence over the congregation. People view God according to the strongest visible image they feel represents Him.
It seems to me that if you pour water in a cup to drink and you take it to your lips to drink it is water that you are going to swallow down your throat. If you plant a peach tree seed, after the tree has grown and matured chances are that the tree will bear peaches. If the seed of the righteousness of God, (His anointed word) is planted into a person’s heart then it is obvious that when it is mature it will bear the same kind of fruit as the seed that it came from. If the righteousness of God is not being revealed in a person’s life, chances are that they were not birthed from His seed. The righteousness of God is still revealed or made manifest through the fruit that is produced; acts of love, giving, sharing, being gentle, tender hearted, being compassionate, integrity, sincerity, devotion, stability, helping others, keeping commitments, genuine, and all the other positive attributes that separates a converted heart from pride, arrogance, pushiness, bitterness, anger, hatred, greed, lust, self-righteousness, and all the other conditions that pervade a life living in darkness, separated from the life of God.
Humanity comes to God under two different motivations, either to receive love or because they fear judgment. The visible church system is built more on judgment; if I serve God and do not sin He will love me and accept me. The law of love is right the opposite and it was love that the foundation of the real church was built upon. If there is no love expressed and love is not the motivation, then it is not of God, for God is love. The unselfish expression of love toward others is an identification tag that identifies the presence of God. It is only in love that there is liberty. If judgment is still present, then sin is still present and the motivation of the one being judged is one of expectation of reward and not one of relationship as children toward their heavenly Father.
Of all the things that man experiences through his life time, throughout history it has been the open display of the regenerative power of love toward our fellow man that has always brought healing and restoration. It has been through the outward emotional expression of sincere love and devotion, that genuine heartfelt compassion overpowered indifference and apathy or even brutality. It has been the underlying desire for peace that has brought an end to war and fighting, replacing them unity and purpose. It has been forgiveness that has overpowered resentment and unforgiveness restoring relationships and open doors of communication for restoration. It has been wisdom that has brought balance and set the stage for right decisions to be made and vision restored. It has been knowledge that wiped away ignorance bringing understanding and deliverance to those bound in darkness. It is joy that has brought an end to sadness and despair giving place to laughter and refreshment to the soul and restoring hope to the hopeless. Goodness has always overpowered hatred and brought an end to tyranny and manipulation. All through history it has been kindness, meekness, and tenderness that have been recognized as positive characteristics within a man, all of which have helped promote, sustain, and maintain harmony and unity within the heart of man. It is all that is opposite of the essence of all that God is that has held man in a death grip; hatred, greed, lust, pride, arrogance, bitterness, unforgiveness, unrestrained passions, vengeance, and murder that has brought judgment upon man. Judgment has always brought an end to the wrong, but there has never been any evidence that it has ever been able to sustain or promote life.
It is impossible to know through experience, the steadfast unconditional love of God without the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that reveals the righteousness of God within man. It is only the truly converted heart that gives love without a desire to receive love in return. A true expression of compassion demonstrated toward another is not determined by the receiver’s acceptance or rejection. A true expression of love is given through action without any want of personal benefits for return payment for services rendered. A true expression of living in complete communion with the heavenly Father is when all worldly activity and conditions around a Christian does not alter or deter their expression of love, devotion, and commitment toward humanity in loving thy God with all of their heart, mind and soul and loving their neighbor as themselves. God’s acts toward us are not based upon humanities responses toward Him. If He waited to only love humanity when they returned that love, He would have never sent His son to die on the cross for humanities failure to respond to Him.
THOUGHTFUL MUSINGS to AIR OUT the SOUL [Dave Garner] 1