ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: THE PSALM 23 ADVENTURE, Part 4
July 8, 2016
Some of what I've been sharing with you really cuts across some folks' doctrinal understanding. There is no intention to deliberately offend anyone or try to create controversy, but the truth of God's Word is nothing more and nothing less than THE TRUTH!
What we are sharing and discussing in this series should be a revelation to many believers, and it is my hope that the truth of God's Word cuts through religious doctrines and man-made traditions that have no basis in the revelation of Jesus Christ. The Adventure of the 23rd Psalm is really a revelation of the character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ ..... as He develops that character and nature in us!
You see, Truth is not just a collection of facts, historical reference, quoting some Scriptures -- especially out of context, or a compilation of events. The Enemy seeks to distort Truth by taking facts and twisting them out of their original context -- and he especially likes to do it with the Word -- hence some of the crazy, non-biblical doctrines that have crept into the body of Christ.
That said, let's move on with our continuation of I shall not want!
When Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they surrendered control of the Garden -- no, scratch that -- they surrendered control of the Earth to Satan. Genesis 3:24 tells us that God "drove out (of the Garden) the man, and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims (angelic creatures who normally ministered to God), and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the Tree of Life."
(I've often considered that the region today is still marked by the "flaming sword." Modern-day Iraq is in a portion of what once was the Garden of Eden; and the region is burnt to a crisp with daytime temperatures that often reach and exceed 145 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Well, we've sidetracked our discussion on "I shall not want" long enough. I wanted to give you this picture of the Garden, however, so that you would understand God's concept of "blessing" and abundance.
This is the picture we need to have when we visualize the covenant God made with Abraham -- and then extrapolate that covenant to what David understood when he said, "I shall not want."
Consider Abraham. He was easily among the wealthiest men on the planet -- if not THE wealthiest. Abraham lacked for nothing. He enjoyed the blessing of God in a dimension that no human being prior had ever experienced -- save perhaps for Adam. Because God made a covenant with Abraham that would last throughout eternity, that blessing passed on to Isaac -- who became even more wealthy and powerful than Abraham -- and then on to Jacob. Jacob's wealth and abundance virtually doubled that of his father, Isaac, and -- like his father and grandfather before him -- he became a power to be reckoned with in his world.
Jacob's seed -- the nation of Israel -- saw the covenant God made with Abraham renewed, and the promises God made to Abraham amplified with great specificity.
Take a look at Deuteronomy 28. Before we start, notice that it begins with Lordship and Shepherding.
"And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
Is that not the establishing of Lordship and Shepherding? The promise and the Covenant follows our sensitivity to hear His voice, and our diligence to observe AND DO that which He instructs! You see what happens when we establish His Lordship and Shepherding in our lives. I refer to this as the “I shall not want prophecy.”
“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
"Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
“The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
"The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.
“And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
“And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath;
if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them."
Is there anything in this covenant that says anything OTHER than "I shall not want"?
We can go through this list point by point -- and maybe we'll do that a bit later -- but literally every aspect of life is covered in this promise: health, strength, vitality, the work of your hands, your bank account and investments, your personal prestige and recognition in the world around you, your daily movements, your travels, your land, your possessions, your children, your grandchildren (and the generations to follow), the ground you work, your cattle and your sheep -- and it goes on.
This is a perfect description of "nothing lacking, nothing missing, nothing broken." We see the picture of being in authority, having the power the accomplish all you set your hand to, being the lender (or the giver) rather than being one who needs to borrow in order to accomplish your goals. Whatever you can imagine, you can accomplish.
David clearly understood the promises of God. He clearly understood covenant, and he knew the covenant nature of God. The promises God made to Israel were wrapped on both ends with His Lordship in their lives. God had begun His covenant promises to Israel,
"if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth."
Then He wrapped it up with, "And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them."
God's covenant requires obedience on our part. That's not something difficult to do. Once Jesus Christ becomes Lord of our lives and Shepherd, we have given Him total governance. From that point, the whole of the Law becomes simple. Instead of a raft of commandments to follow, we really only have one; and that commandment is summed up in one word: LOVE.
We love the Lord, and we express His love through us to our brothers and sisters and the world around us. It's so simple that the simplicity of it gets lost sometimes for folks who are caught up in religion. You'll hear me say this over and over again, but religion always gives consent to the devil and his words.
You see, the devil wants your mouth. He wants you to confess something that is in opposition to the Word of God. He wants you to confess something that is contrary to the Lordship of Jesus Christ operating in your life. If he can succeed in getting that kind of opposing confession from you, he can successfully rob you of the benefits of God's Covenant with you through Jesus Christ.
Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis and a host of others have made a statement that I positively agree with. It is truth!
WE CANNOT HAVE WHAT WE SPEAK AGAINST!
Satan knows that. Thus, if he can convince you, or trick you into confessing that you "have" cancer, or the flu, or arthritis, or Alzheimer's, or some other disease or affliction, he's just gotten you to confess the opposite of what God's Word says.
There’s a catch here. What folks often forget — and believers especially — is that there is a striking contrast between facts and truth!
Years ago I began writing a book titled, THE PURPOSE OF EKKLESIA. In the preface to that book I wrote the following:
"Truth" is not a collection of facts. And yet it can be.
"Truth" is neither the reciting of history, nor a compilation of events which have occurred. And yet it can be.
"Truth" is not the quoting of scriptures. And yet it can be.
Facts. History. Scriptures. They can all be a portion of truth, but in and of themselves, they are not -- by any stretch of the imagination -- truth.
Facts can be twisted by The Spirit of Error and become a lie. History can be distorted -- and often is -- so that historical facts can be taken out of context to present a false picture. Personal experience, left to stand on its own, can bring wrong conclusions. Scriptures can be quoted to support virtually any stance one desires to take.
Truth, therefore, is not just facts, history, personal experience, or scriptures.
Truth -- the genuine article -- can only come by The Spirit of Truth, which is one of the seven Spirits of God. The Spirit of Truth takes facts, takes history, takes events which have occurred -- either in our lives, or in the lives of others -- or, takes verses of scripture and applies them in a manner which brings life. The Spirit of Truth takes that life and transmits it into the core of our beings.
Satan has been a past master at utilizing facts, factual events, history -- and especially Scripture -- in order to pervert the truth. He especially delights in making those facts, those events, those scriptures, a lie which will divert us from the purposes and heart's desire of the Lord Jesus Christ by simply adding his "twist" to them, or -- as he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden -- causing us to see facts in such a manner as to question the purpose, the integrity, and the desire of the Lord. Witness, for example, the way in which he twisted scriptures in order to tempt Jesus while He was in the wilderness.
Are you seeing what I’m getting at? When the confession that comes out of our mouth is predicated on feelings, it is generally based in emotion and has little to do with the reality of what the Lord has said, is saying, and will say to us! Thus, when we focus on what the doctor says, or what we hear with our ears coming out of the mouths of people around us — including the news media or articles we see — our focus is NOT on Truth!
I remind you that everything we are discussing is predicated on, “I shall not want.” That includes our health, and our physical well being.
We will wrap up this part of the Psalm 23 Adventure next week and move on to the third part of our transformation.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call normally takes place on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Monday, July 11, will be this month's Prayer Call because of the Independence Day 4th Celebration this Monday. Our call-in number is (712) 775-7035. The Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have difficulty getting in to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400. If someone answers and asks what your original call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (605) 562-3140, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can dial (605) 562-3149, enter the same access code and listen in later.
Blessings on you!
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