Jan 29, '08 10:45 PM
Every time I think things are slowing down so I can get back to writing these Coffee Breaks more often, there's another interruption. Guess I'll just grin and enjoy myself until my schedule slows a bit.
Over the past few years, I've mentioned our granddaughter, Serena, on numerous occasions. She's the one -- you'll remember -- who was stricken with Transverse Myelitis roughly five years ago, and has been wheelchair-bound ever since.
Rebekah was telling yesterday about a conversation that Serena had with her school teacher. The teacher repeated the conversation with Rebekah in absolute amazement. It seems that Serena's school has been doing some fundraising for a part of the Heart Association that helps children who have heart disease. They've begun a door-to-door campaign with the kids in Serena's class with the goal of each kid raising $75 as his/her part of the overall objective.
Serena apparently told her teacher that she wanted to participate and go door-to-door (supervised, of course, with the teacher) -- wheelchair restrictions notwithstanding.
She let the teacher know in no uncertain terms that just because she was in a wheelchair didn't mean she couldn't go out door-to-door. The teacher was flabbergasted. "Serena," she said, "why would you want to go out in this kind of cold weather and try to raise money?"
"Because I need to help those kids who have heart problems," she answered. She became very indignant over the suggestion that just because she was in a wheelchair she couldn't help.
It also reflects her own vision of herself. She does not see herself in any way as handicapped. Because of the promise of the Lord to her, Serena sees herself walking. The fact that she is immobilized at the moment by virtue of a lack of nerve and muscle control over three-quarters of her body is only a temporary situation as she sees it. The fact that her legs have grown crooked because of being constantly wheelchair-bound is also irrelevant.
We absolutely agree! Despite facts which appear to be totally contrary, Serena believes the Word of the Lord implicitly, and sees herself through the eyes of the Lord. THAT's faith, folks! She is a constant blessing to the family.
Well, in case you haven't already, get yourself a cup and pour some of that good dark-brewed stuff over there in the French Press. You'll be glad you did. Mmmmm......Mmmmm......Mmmmm!
Got some interesting and pretty varied commentary from various readers on our last post. Some folks suggested that the oil companies were just being greedy and deliberately causing the spike in oil prices in order to line their pockets. Others suggested that the oil crisis was the fault of President Bush. Still others were proposing a worldwide conspiracy, and even a few speculated that this was just the prelude to Armageddon.
Since the Battle of Armageddon doesn't take place until after Believers are taken out (caught up) to be with the Lord, that argument doesn't really gain any traction for Christians who operate within the economy of God's Kingdom.
The conspiracy argument has no place in the vocabulary of believers since the Word clearly instructs us neither to fret about conspiracies (See Isaiah 8:9-14) nor to even let them be a thing to consider.
As far as the so-called "oil crisis" being the fault of President Bush, or even Congress, one only needs to remember the long gas lines in 1973 to realize that this argument holds no water at all. Are there things that the President or Congress could do to ameliorate the situation? Sure. And President Bush has certainly done everything in his power to compel Congress to open ANWR, offshore drilling, etc., in order to increase America's own oil supplies and resources, and he has run into a blockade second to nothing in Congress to repel and block his efforts. But that's another subject, and we won't go there.
Once again, I repeat: everything that comes through the economy of the world today is fear-based. We judge the world system on the basis that it looks for people to blame for problems. That need to put the blame on others for something we have no control over is entirely based in fear. It does not come from God, and it is not a part of the life and character of Jesus Christ, His love, grace or mercy. It must therefore never be a part of us, our conversation or any part of our daily life.
This is a particularly difficult lesson for believers in Christ in today's societies. Because everything around us is so based in fear, doubt and unbelief, and the "blame game" is so much a part of the world's economies, it takes extreme discipline of our minds, our thoughts, and -- most of all -- our mouths to keep from becoming contaminated by fear, doubt and unbelief.
Let's not forget something. Fear, doubt and unbelief are absolutely totally contrary to everything that God is. Since we have, as believers in Jesus Christ, transferred our citizenship into the Kingdom of God, there must of necessity be a corollary transfer of the way we think, the way we speak, the way we conduct ourselves, and the way we do business. The business of the Kingdom of God is ordered by the Lord, under the discipline of His thoughts and controlled and implemented by the Word which He has spoken.
Since our confession, our declarations and our manner of speaking must be homologeo (to say the same thing God says) in order to operate from and with Kingdom authority and power, there can be nothing of this world's manner of speaking contaminating the words that come forth from our mouths. This brings me to the core of today's sharing and discussion.
Most of you will remember the rather lengthy series of Coffee Breaks I did not so long ago titled 15 STEPS, based in the prophetic outline of Psalm 23.
That Psalm begins with, "The Lord is my Shepherd." It is the basis for absolutely everything that happens in the Kingdom of God. Kingdom Economics are predicated in the fact that you do exactly and only what the Lord says. His written Word, and His direct (rhema) Word are the only basis by which we can operate, do business, and expect to see the results promised in the Word.
You'll recall, I'm sure, that when Israel first began to operate and exist as a separate nation, the very first commandment they received from the Lord was,"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (see Exodus 20:3)
The next two commandments cemented the first: (2) "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (3) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
We've already quoted this several times in this series, but here it is again.
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says, and it renders from the Greek text (my translation and amplification) like this: "Seek after and worship God with desire, putting first His royal rulership -- on earth, and in all that you do -- with the goal and objective of living in a manner conformable to His character and makeup; and everything you have need of, desire and command in accordance with His desire will be added repeatedly and consistently, day after day after day after day."
OK, so that's really amplified, but when you read it in the Greek, all that I've incorporated in this amplified translation really exists. The Greek language -- like the Hebrew -- is picturesque, and each Greek word (and its etymology) draws a pretty graphic picture.
What Jesus was saying flows right along with what God commanded Israel. (See Deuteronomy 30:8-10)
"And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul."
Everything -- and I do mean, EVERYTHING -- we ever expect to receive from the Lord is predicated on our making Him Lord of our lives in every area. Obedience to Him and to His specific Word to us is a prerequisite for all that we receive.
If we expect His blessing in our finances, obedience to His Word concerning tithing, the sowing of seed and generous giving are essential.
If we have health issues and we expect to receive healing, we can't ignore God's Word with respect to moderation in the way we eat, the way we drink, and the way we take care of our bodies generally. Apart from that, we can't expect to receive healing for our bodies and then confess ownership of various sicknesses and diseases.
There's another aspect of this as well. We can't turn our hearts to the Lord, mouth our confidence and trust in Him, and then run off and live in sin and expect that He will hear our requests. I could get really graphic here, but I think I'll hold on that for now. The point is that when we knowingly and deliberately disobey the Word of the Lord, we -- not God! -- place ourselves outside of His hearing. He cannot and will not hear sin.
The only prayer God can hear in a case like this is one of true repentance -- and true repentance isn't just the mouthing of "I'm sorry, Lord, please forgive me." True repentance involves an actually turning away from our sin and not running back into it deliberately.
Let me put it to you like this. In his first general epistle to the body of Christ, John writes (and again I'm translating and amplifying at the same time from the original Greek text), "Whoever is regenerated and born [again] of God does not knowingly and deliberately commit acts of sin, because the Word/Seed/Sperm of God remains in him, having become the core of his DNA as a consequence of his having been regenerated [from death to life], re-born and re-created by God [Himself]." (I John 3:9)
This is an important principle for us to understand. John isn't saying that once we've been born again by the Spirit of God that we cannot (and it is impossible for us to) accidentally sin. John is addressing the deliberate disobedience, the act of rebellion that takes us away from God's Word.
It may seem like I've really gotten astray from the subject of Kingdom Economics, but I assure you that I have not. This is the fundamental core of the Kingdom of God and its economic system. The Kingdom of God would not be the Kingdom of God without His absolute rulership. A kingdom -- after all -- is nothing more and nothing less than the domain, the realm, the dominion of a king. A kingdom is a realm or a dimension where a king's word is absolute Law.
The Kingdom of God is no different. There are some absolute Laws that govern the Kingdom of God, and those same Laws are at the core of God's Economic System. The same is true of the economies of Mammon: the world system.
Paul summed up those laws like this. The Law of the Kingdom of God is described by Paul in Romans 8:2 as the polar opposite of the law that governs the world system.
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
Understand? The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is THE LAW of the Kingdom of God. It is the underlying Law of its economy as well, and the way its economy operates. This is not some "doom and gloom" law that hangs over people like the "sword of Damocles." This Law has abundant life at its most basic and molecular level -- not the threat of death!
That's a far cry from the way the systems of this world operate! In the systems and economies of this world, death reigns as the ultimate threat. Screw up and you die. That threat applies both metaphorically and literally. The Law of Sin and Death is that if you live outside of the Kingdom of God, you live under the curse that Adam brought upon the human race -- a curse that causes painful toil and sweat in order to make ends meet, in order to put bread on the table, in order to meet one's most basic needs. The end of that curse is death to the human frame.
Let's get to some nitty-gritty here, folks. We were never designed to die. Mankind was never designed for death. Had Adam and Eve not eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they'd have never eaten of death. There was no reason for them not to live 10,000 years, and even more!
Think about it for a second. God is eternal. He lives and operates in eternity. He created man to live and operate in His image and likeness. Since there is no death in God, there was no reason for death to enter the human frame as it was originally designed, generated and created.
With sin comes death. That's an absolute Law! Outside of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, mankind has no hope of eternity and no hope of being restored to the original likeness and image of God. Hence, the Law of Sin and Death decrees death as the ultimate end for those who live their lives outside of a relationship with the Lord. The Law of Sin and Death dictates physical death -- the death of this flesh and blood body we occupy for anywhere from 70 to 120 years (some folks don't even get to enjoy(?) 70 years depending on the degree of contamination); and it dictates spiritual death -- eternal separation from God.
The governments, the systems, the societies and the economies of this world all -- every single one of them -- operate with a death threat as the ultimate means of achieving their ends. Hence, fear becomes the primary motivating factor in obeying laws and/or living at peace with your government(s); and it governs decisions in the work place, decisions in business and decisions where finances are concerned.
The Kingdom of God, on the other hand, operates out of love, out of an abundant life provided by Christ Jesus and by means of faith. We'll wrap up today's discussion with something I said in our last Coffee Break.
Faith operates out of eternity -- not out of time. Faith is not subject to time like the world's currencies. This is why the operation and use of faith -- the spending of it, if you will -- never fails. Faith is based in love. Faith can only operate where love is the dominant force. And that love-driven faith is the force that enacts literally everything in the Kingdom of God.
See you again in a couple of days. (Promise!)
Citizens of the Kingdom of God are designed, trained and prepared to live a glorious, supernatural life in a natural world so that the world can see what Satan has cheated them out of. We are supposed to be the manifestation of the Glory of God -- not leftover has-beens, used up and discarded by Satan.
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and adds no painful toil and sorrow! Be blessed!.
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