Of Man’s Judgement

Our ability to intimidate through accusation is stunning; it puts metaphysical reality on display real time. When accused of wrongdoing we’re troubled, so the enemy’s often falsely accusing us (Re 12:10), sometimes in our spirits and often through others. It makes most of us instinctively defensive, for living under unwarranted or excessive guilt or shame can damage us. (Ps 123:3-4) Why is it so powerful?

Evidently, this is one of the primary ways we reflect God’s image; He’s the ultimate Lawgiver, Accuser and Judge (Ja 4:12), and He’s designed us with similar power to create shame in others, even through unjust criticism. (Ps 119:22) Perhaps it’s a hint at what’s to come.

God will ultimately invite saints to preside in judgement over the angels; He empowers believers in community to judge between each other even now. (1Co 6:3) It’s unfathomable authority. In the end, the elect will join with God in condemning all outside Himself. (Lk 11:31-32)

While we all have this power, our judgement is often clouded and biased, limited in wisdom, understanding and justice. (1Co 4:3) When others accuse us we should humbly search our hearts (Ps 119:51) while looking to God for help (Ps 119:39), and comfort ourselves if we can’t yet see how we’re missing God’s standard. (Ps 119:52) Knowing His righteous decree will ultimately prevail and that He faithfully afflicts us (Ps 119:75), we trust He will teach us how to align ourselves with Him. (Ps 119:66)

articles      blog

Seducing Spirits

Our spiritual enemy loves to mix his people in with God’s, especially those in leadership. (2Co 11:13-15) This should come as no surprise, and it shouldn’t alarm or frustrate us; we should be aware of how darkness works, and be on our guard lest we also become his tools. (2Co 2:11)

One of the enemy’s tactics is to deploy evil spirits to seduce us, to make us feel good, holy, righteous, as though we’re living for God even while we’re trampling His ways and laws underfoot. (1Ti 4:1) We can appear to be blessed of God (Ps 119:70) while we live a lie, thinking nothing of destroying others, having our conscience seared, no longer able to distinguish between good and evil. (1Ti 4:2) This is how the most destructive, evil people in the world are deceived into thinking they’re serving God. (Jn 16:2)

It doesn’t matter how good we’re feeling about ourselves, or how often others commend us: all who turn aside from the Way (Ps 125:5) will in the end be cast away. (Mt 7:23)

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, in truth, taking heed to our ways, not comparing ourselves with others but aligning ourselves with God’s standard the best we know how, we can be sure we’re in fellowship with God and that He’s cleansing us from all our sin. (1Jn 1:7)

articles      blog

As the Heaven Is High

We’re prone to comparing ourselves with others, wanting to make ourselves look good by looking down, one soul to another, evaluating, judging. Thinking we’re six foot tall we look for someone that’s five or four, unable to see the little stools we’re standing on. It’s pride, and it’s nonsense. (Ja 4:12)

We’ve no idea how bad we really are, or anyone else for that matter. (Job 15:16) Even if we could evaluate our relative goodness at ground level, it’s pretty much irrelevant looking down from heaven. God’s mercy for the very best of men is infinite. (Ps 103:11)

When God comes to judge, and He’s the only One that’s worthy, He’s not going to be comparing us with each other, but with Himself, with His perfect standard. (Mt 5:48) And He’s so far above us it isn’t funny. (Is 55:9)

As we esteem others better than ourselves we acknowledge that we don’t know enough to be comparing, and that even if we did it wouldn’t matter; we’re all hopeless when it comes to measuring up. On our very best day, we’re absolutely nothing. (Ps 39:5) Without Christ we’d be facing the indignation of the Lord alone. There’s no more dreadful place to be. We should be feeling compassion for God’s enemies (Php 3:18-19), not contempt.

articles      blog

Arming Myself

In spiritual conflict I’ve been thinking the sword of the spirit is the only offensive weapon I have. It’s indeed an awesome piece, but is it my only option?

Evidently, I’ve another awesome weapon in the armory that’s intrinsic to me, one that makes me fierce in combat. “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.” (1Pe 4:1) Willingness to suffer for Christ makes me truly formidable in the spirit; it positions me to take out the enemy … it’s a whole new level of holiness. 

Fearof suffering, that I won’t be faithful, that I will dishonor God, may keep me from trusting that God is good, that He’s faithful, and rob me of faith and joy. In this state I’m easily intimidated in battle, not much threat to the evil one, even with sword in hand.

The reality is that it’s an honor and a privilege to suffer for God. (Php 1:29)For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2Co 4:17) If He allows it, He will have a glorious purpose in it. Getting hold of this equips us to fearlessness.

God arm me with a willingness to suffer for You; help me trust that You will work in me to glorify Your name through any suffering You allow. (1Pe 1:7) Teach me how to take up this weapon in the right way, and to wield it skilfully for Your name’s sake.

articles      blog

Effectual Fervent Prayer

God is pleased as we ask Him to move nations, to intervene so we can live quietly and peacefully in all godliness and honesty. (1Ti 2:1-4) It only takes one righteous soul to change the world: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (Ja 5:16b-18)

img_1429So we are encouraged to pray diligently and earnestly for God’s protection and favor (supplications), requesting His aid (prayers) and praying for (intercessions) and giving thanks for all people, especially those in political power (1Ti 2:1-3), always giving thanks for all things. (Ep 5:20) We are praying for our political leaders, especially for president elect Donald Trump, our society, and our world. Please join us!

Here’s our evolving prayer list:

  1. (Ps 118:8-9) Keep our hope in You, not politics.
  2. (Ps 27:11) Teach our leaders Your ways; deliver them from the wicked.
  3. (Ps 33:10) Overturn the evil schemes of the wicked.
  4. (Pr 20:26) Purge corruption throughout our government.
  5. (Ro 13:4) Punish those committed to evil.
  6. (Pr 25:28) Secure our borders.
  7. (Pr 14:15) Help us see through media propaganda to find truth.
  8. (Pr 14:34) Establish righteousness in our land.
  9. (Ps 11:3) Give us righteous judges.
  10. (Nu 24:5, 9b) Cause us to bless Your people Israel.

articles      blog

Do Good

In this last US presidential election, the Left promoted arguably the most corrupt candidate to ever run for office; the Right offered us (so it seemed) a brash, lying, womanizer promoting conservative values for the first time in his life; the third-party trampled basic Christian morality (pro abortion, sodomy, etc.) and consistently polled below 15%. To say there was mass confusion among US Christians about how to vote, or whether to vote at all, is an understatement; at the voting booth I was still struggling. But I think now I have an insight to guide me next time around.

The essence of loving our neighbors as ourselves is seeking their welfare; God tells us to use every opportunity to do good unto all (Ga 6:10); living otherwise is actually sinful(Ja 4:17)

So if we have an opportunity to vote, we also have a moral obligation to cast our vote such that it will promote the most good (or minimize evil). This might be different than voting for who we like more (or dislike less). Voting for one with no realistic chance of winning is effectively the same as not voting; practically, it does about as much good. Yet the best choice, the one that does the most good, may not be obvious.

cloudcontrastVoting for someone doesn’t necessarily mean we like them, or that we agree with everything they say and do. In a choice between a demon and the devil himself, when a choice is going to be made and we have a voice, doing good means trying to choose the lesser of the two evils.

The enemy is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Pe 5:8); the father of lies leverages every means at his disposal, including politics, to take us down. Through passivity, failing to resist him, neglecting opportunities to do good, we hand him real victories; we must be continually speaking and praying and living to promote the best way … God’s way.

So let’s do good by praying for this new president (1Ti 2:1-3), that God will give him holy wisdom and fierce strength to renounce and expose corruption, and to encourage righteousness and justice in our world. (Is 59:4) Let’s be aware and informed, looking past the media propaganda, willing to get the facts and both admit when he fails and defend him when he does well.

And let’s pray for those who’re thinking differently than we are, or not thinking at all … for those who didn’t vote, or didn’t vote for the collective good. Let’s listen carefully to them and try to understand their point of view in its strongest form. Let’s learn from them, yet also gently challenge them with facts, with reason, prompting them to reconsider. Let’s question them, unsettle them, and encourage them to take a step toward God.

Being wise as serpents yet harmless as doves (Ma 10:16), let’s buy the truth; let’s be informed, understanding the issues facing our nation and our world, in meekness and godly fear ready and more than willing to identify, learn from and answer every divergent point of view. (1Pe 3:15) Let’s promote the kingdom of God, one soul at a time. (Ja 5:19-20)

articles      blog

Precious Promises

YHWH has given us exceedingly great and precious promises so that we might partake of and participate in His divine nature. (2Pe 1:4) What are His promises, and how does receiving them enable us to cleanse ourselves, following after Him, perfecting holiness in the fear of God? (2Co 7:1)

Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransicso

God promises that if we’ll separate ourselves from all uncleanness unto Him that He’ll receive us as His children. (2Co 6:17-18) Knowing He’ll never leave us nor forsake us enables us to be content, freeing us of covetousness. (He 13:5) Knowing God is just, that He’ll judge all according to truth, heals resentment and bitterness. (Ro 2:2) Knowing we’re God’s workmanship (Ep 2:10), that He will complete what He’s begun in us (Php 1:6), gives us confidence and hope. Knowing He’s given us power, love and a sound mind gives us courage and boldness to walk shamelessly in our gifts and calling. (2Ti 1:6-8)

God is able to make all grace abound toward us, to always give us the strength to abound in serving Him and glorifying Him in every circumstance of life (2Co 9:8); He is able to keep us from falling, and to and present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 24) God is able to sanctify us entirely, spirit, soul and body, and to preserve us blameless unto the coming of His Son. (1Th 5:23) God is able to do this, and He will, because He is faithful to His calling in us. (vs 24)

These are but a sampling of His awesome promises! Each one we internalize strengthens us in the nature of God, enabling us to walk more freely of sin, filled with more light and joy, in closer fellowship with Him. (1Jn 1:3) Look for more, contemplating them, feasting on the divine nature. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him! (Ps 34:8As we behold Him we become more like Him. (2Co 3:18)

Rejoicing in and counting on God’s promises honors Him by proclaiming God is faithful; it quickens us to live in strength and power according to His design in us. (Ps 119:93)

articles      blog

A Prating Fool

Twice in a 3-verse passage, God repeats a unique, obscure warning: “a prating fool shall fall.” (Pr 10:8) (Pr 10:10) What’s He telling us? Definitions help.

  • Prate: to talk idly and at length, foolishly or tediously; chatter.
  • FoolOne deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding.
  • Prating Fool: one who jabbers on and on without making sense.
Pulpit Rock, Norway

A prating fool shall fall. God evidently wants us to steer clear of fools and the inevitable collateral damage surrounding them, and to company with the wise. (Pr 13:20) He’s dedicated an entire book of the Bible to help us distinguish between them.

Wise men spare words (Pr 10:19); God exhorts us to measure each one, speaking only as necessary. (Ja 1:19) This is both for our protection (Pr 13:3) and our promotion. (Pr 17:28). Wisdom walks carefully and thoughtfully, aware that missteps are costly.

Life is tough, but it’s tougher when we’re stupid. Let’s not play the fool, or hang out with fools. Let’s enjoy God and His ways, being careful to heed all His warnings.

 articles      blog


As we make our election sure, examining ourselves and proving we’re in the faith (2Co 13:5), consider a vice that God calls variance: enjoying, as an end in itself, being peculiar, divergent, unusual, at odds, estranged, antagonistic, non-conforming, disagreeable, contentious or quarrelsome. Those enjoying living this way as a manner of life have no part in God’s kingdom. (Ga 5:19-21)

lizardcolorIn cleansing our selves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2Co 7:1), we depart the mainstream; in living truth we expose the world’s lies; as we align more and more with God we find ourselves increasingly opposed to an ungodly culture; in pursuing God we find ourselves in rare and precious company; in finding light and life we inevitably abandon the madding crowd to its love of death and darkness. (Pr 8:36)

Yet deriving significance or importance in being outside the mainstream, in belonging to an elite, exclusive club, delighting in finding others in the wrong, exalting ourselves with superior knowledge or beliefs, disdaining those who haven’t found what we have, is in itself death and darkness. (1Jn_3:14b) How easy it is to be immersed in truth while living a lie! (1Jn 4:20)

Finding our significance in the design of God (Ep 2:10), our comfort in the lovingkindness of God (2Co 1:3-4), our hope in the faithfulness of God, our pleasure in pleasing Him, our delight in enjoying Him and His provision, and our passion in helping others find the Way, this is light and life and love. (1Jn_3:14a)

articles      blog

Perfecting Holiness

Holiness isn’t popular, yet only the holy will see God (He 12:14): He calls us to godly fear in perfecting it (2Co 7:1), continually cleansing ourselves of all uncleanness, all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. What does this mean? How do we do it?

Holiness is about our heart’s alignment with God’s Law, Torah, the law of love (Mt 22:37-40); it’s God’s measure of how disposed we are to seek His pleasure, of our inclination and tendency to love others as ourselves in deed and in truth.

So how would we live if we cared deeply for God and others? Perfecting holiness is striving every day to live out our answer to this question, exercising our inner selves, training our souls in godliness, purifying our spirits in seeking and obeying the truth through the Spirit unto authenticity and love (1Pe 1:22), seeking the pleasure of God and the good of others in every thought and choice. It’s continuous improvement for life. (Php 3:14)

Thankfully, the pursuit of holiness is itself the work of God, to make us increase and abound in love toward others, so that He may stablish us unblamable in holiness before Himself. (1Th 3:12) As we wrestle this out in daily life He strives in and through our striving (Col 1:29), ensuring our victory (1Co 15:57): He will be glorified in and through us. (2Th 1:10)

articles      blog