A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


September 21, 2017

Who Do You Listen To?

     I've done a lot of thinking lately about the different responses we Christians have when it comes to trials in our lives.  Why do some seem so able to hear from the Father or Jesus or the Holy Spirit, and walk out their circumstances in confidence and trust ... while others seem to strive and struggle under a mantle of oppression?  Both sets of Christians love the Lord without question and earnestly seek Him; yet only one overcomes their trials in victory.  What is the difference?  Is one's faith stronger or bigger or more mature? Perhaps. But Jesus says if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can do the impossible (such as telling a mountain to move).
     Before I go on, I would like to say this [about that] ... depending on which version of the Bible you read, that verse can be rendered, "faith like a mustard seed", which implies a different connotation than referring to the size (small) of the mustard seed.  Jesus might have been suggesting that if your faith [acts] like a mustard seed, it will grow from a small seed into a bush 4 feet tall, or a tree 10-15 tall (which are actual sizes of various mustard seed plants), putting the emphasis on the active growth of your faith, [rather than the size], which enables you to move mountains. But back to my original issue...
     Ultimately, I think my question is this:  why do some Christians seem to go from anxiety to anxiety, while others go from glory to glory?  You may be familiar with 2 Corinthians 3:18, which says, And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit (Amplified Bible).  Now, I have heard this verse interpreted like this ... The first “glory” is that of the Old Covenant—the Law of Moses—while the second is that of the New Covenant, the gospel of Jesus Christ. The interpretation goes on to say that it is two different kinds of glory, and the transformation is from the glory of the Law to the glory of faith in Jesus Christ.  The conclusion is that each "glory" refers to something different.  I disagree with this interpretation.
     The word "glory" is from the Greek word dôxa and Strong's Concordance tells us it refers to "what God essentially is and does, as exhibited in whatever way He reveals Himself; the character and ways of God as exhibited through Jesus and through Believers". So, in the case of 2 Corinthians 3:18, those who move from "glory to glory" progressively grow into being like Jesus in every circumstance in their life; revealing the very character of God while walking in the ways of God's own glory.  It isn't a question of two kinds of glory, but rather a measure of growth [through our faith] in becoming more like Jesus in how we respond to trials.
     And that word "respond" correlates to Jesus's model for us.  Jesus always responded to the Father (staying focused on hearing or seeing what the Father communicated), rather than reacting to the dark side.  That allowed Him to walk out God's glory (character and ways) instead of being distracted and turned aside by the temptations of the dark side.  Here lies the difference between those who react to spirits of anxiety [which are the temptations] and those who respond to God's glory.
     Both sets of Christians are new creations when they receive Jesus as their Savior.  They have new foundations from which to occupy this earth.  Those Christians who live in anxiety and oppression have allowed that foundation to become weakened by listening to two eternal temptations that the Enemy presents to them:  1)  The first is what he whispered to Adam and Eve in the Garden ... Can it really be that God has said ....? Today, he asks the anxiety-ridden Christian, Is that really what God said [in His promises over your life]? Can you really trust Him to deliver on those promises?  2)  The second temptation was delivered to Jesus in the wilderness:  IF you are the Son of God ... Today, the same Enemy whispers to the anxious Christian, Are you sure you are a Child of God? Are you confident in who you are?  
     Can you see that if we truly believe the promises of God which are contained in the Bible, and if we are certain of our true identity as a Child of God and Co-Heir with Jesus, then the trials and fiery darts the Enemy throws at us can be defeated by our faith because we stand on a strong foundation of God's glory (His character and ways) as exhibited through Jesus, in whose image we are being transformed.  When you listen to the Holy Spirit, instead of the Enemy, your journey through this life will be from one glory [experience and encounter] to another.
     But if you do not take captive those tempting and persuasive thoughts that the Enemy tosses your way, you will listen to his seductive whispers that cause cracks in your foundation, and you begin to doubt the promises of God and who you are.  I am not saying it is easy!  And I am not condemning those who struggle with these battles of faith.  The Bible says the devil is cunning and intelligent and deceptive.  He prowls around looking for someone who has doubts about God, or who doesn't fully believe the character and ways of God. BUT he is no match for the Christian who recognizes those snares and traps, and who is ready to declare that they are joined to the Lord and are one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17).
     I know from our deliverance ministry how difficult it can be to stop listening to the devil, especially when you have a history of sinning or being sinned against -- and we all have that to varying degrees. But when you accept Jesus as your Savior, you become sealed with the Holy Spirit who will help you to start to renew your mind, so that those old thoughts now come against a mind that is being transformed to the mind of Christ, who resisted those tempting thoughts.  You will be able to fight the way He fought those temptations; each and every one was defeated with the Word of God.
     Believers must come to realize that just because you have been Saved, it does not mean that the devil will quit trying to talk to you.  Salvation does not guarantee a devil-free life.  You are not transported into the magic Kingdom of God, where the devil has no access.  On the contrary, you are now behind enemy lines, because "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19).  In fact, you can expect that you have become an even bigger target for him, and he will use all the tricks and schemes that worked before you accepted Christ to cause a crack in that new foundation.
     So, let us become convicted that we will no longer listen to the devil when he comes knocking on the door to our mind.  We will do what Jesus did ... speak the Word of God as the Holy Spirit inspired His thoughts.  Remember, the Bible says in Matthew 4:1 that "Jesus was led by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil".  Matthew 10:19-20 tells us that when we are handed over to our enemies, we don't need to worry about what to say, "for what you are to say will be given you within that [very] hour; for it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you".  That's what happened in the wilderness, and is our model when our thoughts do not conform to the mind of Christ. Just as the Holy Spirit gave the Word to Jesus to speak to the devil in response to the temptations in the wilderness, so should we seek the Word from the Spirit when that same enemy comes against us.
     Once you begin listening only to the Holy Spirit, and consciously and persistently stop listening to the devil, you will find that the whispers of those spirits of anxiety, doubt, and unbelief will be harder to hear. You will recognize them for who they are, and the Spirit will give you the words to resist them.  Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear ...

Luke 8:18   "Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away."

     

4 comments:

  1. Pam, I respectfully disagree with you. ( not really but I thought that was the 'polite way to start a conversation'. LOL ). Seriously, though, for a moment I will try to be serious at least...
    When you said that we all with unveiled face go from glory to glory, and the interpretation of that is glory of the old covenant to the glory of the new dovenant; could it be that is the correct interpretation for those whom are the 'babes in Him(messiah) and are coming out from that ' old' into the 'newness of His Spirit' ( whether Jew or Greek, circumcised or not yada yada yada) and, Also! The glory of being transformed from a babe into that adolescent whereby we are being that/fulfilling that portion of scripture 'I speak unto you, young men for you are strong in Him and Yada yada ... and then the next glory of 'I speak unto you 'mature'(I just had a hard time saying 'old men' LOL) ...for you know Him and you know no lie is of the truth...
    pardon the paraphrasing and adding line upon line, precept upon precept in there as I did not take time to look them up and quote them (but that is what you have that anointing for- you can go through that-you & Mark, that is, and you chew it down into bite size pieces and serve it to the rest of the body once you have it digested and have spit out the poison or the 'leaven' that got hid in there)Not that I have purposefully put any thing there that I do not believe is of His Word and His pure undefiled spirit but... I always say ' once I thought I was wrong but I was mistaken 😜
    Blessings upon you and Mark. Soon I feel we will meet face to face.

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    1. I can absolutely see the validity of the Old Covenant "glory" to the New Covenant "glory", because our Lord reveals Himself in many layers. In other words, there are so many dimensions to Him that a line of Scripture can reveal different aspects of His nature and His plan for us. But in this instance, when I researched the Greek word for "glory" in this verse, it was not two different words, as suggested by some interpreters and commentators. It was the same word -- dôxa -- referring to God's essential character, which does not change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. That is the point I was trying to make ... but, obviously, didn't quite accomplish it.

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  2. Pam, I wanted to read this last night and took it home with me but fell asleep instead and now, I am picking up on it bit by bit and commenting as I see one portion upon the next portion that you are serving to us (His Body).
    When I read your verse at the bottom here I noticed that was (one of) the scriptures that I always wondered about, i.e., Why? Did He say ''take heed HOW you hear? He did not say 'WHAT' YOU HEAR but 'HOW' YOU HEAR. ''. We were taught the leaven was the thing you hear and to watch out for that, however, HOW would imply ( to my way of thinking) more so along the lines of the scripture that says, '...and when you turn to the left or to the right you will hear a word behind you saying this is the way walk in it. '. He revealed that portion, 'left or right' could be worded, 'good or evil', or, 'truth or lie' etc. 'How we hear' could be more in line with the vanity or pride of man in believing that ''I know what's right? I don't need you to tell me what's right or wrong. It's just '(and I love this phrase') common sense!!!" I love that phrase, 'common sense' because there is no, not one, nada definition of it!!! It means one thing to one man and one thing to another. Those are the lies we listen to, thinking we are being polite or politically correct or even, 'christian' by not calling someone out on that word and asking, "WHAT THE H*** DOES THAT EVEN MEAN''? Pardon the explicative but I have had people claiming to be 'christian' and if I ask them what they are doing/saying/believing etc, they have told me it's 'common sense' and are offended that I would question their integrity or Christianity or etc...
    Now, moving on to.. 'you will hear a word behind you'... I tried turning around to see what was behind me, but I never could find it. Then I tried to jump around so fast that what was behind me could not move fast enough and I could find it. It still was hidden from me... until, that is, I realized maybe 'behind me' was not physical but something else ( and I can hear the groans from hundreds saying, Duhhh! LOL ). Moving right along on that same line of thinking, He added to me this thought, the left and right are mans' choices of choosing the tree of 'knowledge of good and evil' while the ' word behind me' is the tree of life. Let me explain a little more what I mean by adding this thought, 'but what does it say, it will be in you and come upon you and overtake you... ' that is, the word of peace which we preach...'. And when Yahuwshua said, "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God, He was in the beginning with God.' Unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground and die it remains alone. But if it die, it bring forth much fruit." Our fruit is only going to come through us when we DIE to our self( that self that thinks I can choose, it's just common sense what is right or wrong, Yada yada yada... )
    Okay, I will go and read some more and , hopefully, I won't have egg on my face( or too much more ) as He has shown me too many times that I do not have all the leaven cleaned out of me. You need to get to work harder on cleaning that leaven out, after all you are that portion of the body that can sift through this stuff and pull out the toxic stuff and get it cleansed. Mucho bendiciones a ti y a tu ministerio y may agradable eres.
    Shalom and peace, Thomas Nodoubt

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  3. One more thing, ( okay, one more thing after the last one ) last night a man came by who I've met and am attempting to make thirsty for more of the water of the word, and I shared with him part of my testimony of the day I got 'saved' and it was at a church in wimberley, Texas and as I was in the 'service' the Spirit came upon me and convicted me of my sins and I gave my heart and life to him standing in the pew. Then, I heard, 'Go to the front and confess before all.' To which I replied, ' No, they will think I'm crazy. You don't do that in church. (thinking of that, 'let all things be done decently and in order' ) ' Then, somebody pushed me toward the aisle and as I looked back but saw no one, I said, 'okay, okay, I'm going'. Well, when I got up to the front, two men were praying over the communion bread and wine with their back to me and after praying they turned around and so I took communion and then turned around to confess Jesus was my God and Lord now and went to the altar and knealt there for awhile and prayed. Then, when I got up , got back to my seat in the pew and sat down, All H***{pardon the explicative (I flunked social grace 101)} broke loose in my head. I heard, 'you need to go apologize to these people for being so rude and interrupting their service. That's not being a Christian. And then, 'no you're supposed to be filled with the spirit and love' , then, yet again, what's wrong with you don't you know anything about what's right and wrong. And then again, ' Jesus loves you and you are supposed to think upon Him. And yet another thought, it must have gone on for hours until finally, that evening after I was able to talk to John, (an elder at that church and manager of Blue Hole where I had camped out in my van) and just shared with him, questioning what was happening in my head to which all he said was, ' Yeah, Satan is pretty sly.' I shouted, ' that was Satan? You mean he was putting those thoughts in my head?????!!!!!.???
    Well, I realized that I had jumped from the proverbial frying pan and I was now in the fire.

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