First things first ... I'm not sure why this website was down yesterday and most of today. And to be honest, after wrestling with it during the last 24 hours, I don't think I'm responsible for it being back up, but I am thankful it is. So, thank you for your patience, and thank You, Lord Jesus, for hearing my prayers!
Now, for today's thoughts ... My husband, Mark, and I are so blessed to lead a small group of Believers, whose common goal is to first, seek the Kingdom of God in our lives, and then to carry out our assignments to bring the world back into relationship with the One who created it [and us]. We are growing in our recognition that we are all created with an assignment for the Kingdom of God. We are responsible to be accountable for what we achieve for our King while on earth. That sounds like a tall order, and all of us know that we are unable to do it through our own abilities.
We are a diverse group; coming from different religious backgrounds and faith journeys. In fact, we often find ourselves in the midst of deep conversations as we reconcile our belief systems with Scripture, and as we delve into what the Church has often labeled "the mysteries of God, or Christ". Yet, speaking personally, Mark and I have found that God rewards us with increased spiritual insight when we determine to solve those mysteries by understanding His Truth.
In fact, as we have sought to know both the Logos Word and the Rhema Word, it has stirred a desire in our hearts and spirits that cannot be quenched. [NOTE: The Logos Word of God is the ability of the Bible to communicate the logical, literal meaning of God's general will through Scripture. The Rhema Word is when the Holy Spirit "quickens" Scripture to speak to your spirit and, oftentimes, the result is a deeper revelation that is imparted to activate your faith for a specific purpose or understanding]. That searching for more in the Word has lead to a consistent yearning that can best be described by what Jesus says in Matthew 5:6 ... Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...
And because of that yearning, I have come to understand righteousness at a deeper level. It is God's standard of purity; the perfect consistency between His nature and His actions. Our God is Holy, therefore He cannot tolerate sin, and His Righteousness demands Judgment. Only through Jesus can we obtain righteousness that is acceptable to God. It is Jesus's purity that God sees in us, when we receive Him and seek more of Him. And the more I seek Him, the more hungry and thirsty I am for Him! I can totally identify with David, when he declared in Psalm 63:1, O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Simply put, just like David, I cannot get enough of God! This world offers nothing to satiate our hunger, nor satisfy our thirst like what Jesus provides. And that is what each of us in our small Ekklesia share. We may be at different stages in that journey, but it is our hunger and thirst to grow closer to God, and to seek His righteousness, that keeps us in community. And also what makes us different from many of our fellow brethren in faith.
Every so often, someone who has become dissatisfied or disappointed with the mainstream Church will hear of us and visit, with a sincere hope that their discontent can be appeased. We have learned to be upfront and honest in explaining that we go places in Scripture that will most likely be new and even controversial. We are not interested in maintaining traditional doctrine, if it means keeping God in a box and diminishing a fuller understanding of Scripture. We are by no means trying to corrupt or alter Scripture, but rather to strip away any man-made deviations that have obscured God's Truth down through the centuries. That means we may seek answers to our questions in historical documents; apocryphal books of the Bible; Books that were removed from the Canon; the cultural context of Jesus's time on earth; writings of early Church fathers; and other Hebrew and Bible scholars who have studied the etymology of the Bible --- all while taking our findings back to the Bible and comparing them with what Scripture declares as truth.
It is our hope that others, who have the same hunger and thirst to know more of our God, will join us. We are not afraid to discover more of His unlimited nature. We dare to ask the hard questions that are often brushed aside in Western Christianity. And we are brave enough to consider the unconventional answer. We have confidence that the Lord knows our hearts and we trust the Holy Spirit to guide us to a righteous and uncorrupted revelation. If someone who ventures into our group decides such willingness to take bold risks to gain more knowledge of God is outside their comfort zone, we let them know we understand and it is okay. We don't fault them. We know that this remnant is not for everyone. Our goal is not to gain a huge following. It is simply to feed our longing to know God and Christ more.
Ultimately, I can only speak for myself when it comes to the reality of why I think God has created this hunger in me [and I am blessed it is present in my husband, as well]. We discern that now, and continuing into the very near future, it is going to be imperative that we identify the forces coming against God's people on the earth. I want to know God's heart and His will for His people, because our studies of the Bible and its history have shown us that the battle will come against those who have faithfully sought the Lord and His will; those who are able to perceive and enter the realm of His Kingdom here on earth to receive our marching orders. He will need the righteous to stand against Evil as He fights for us. And when we understand how He has acted and revealed Himself through history, ancient writings, and even disputed theology, we will be better equipped to fulfill our assignments and purpose. I pray that those who have chosen to play it safe will awaken in time to join the ranks of the remnant, who, by their steadfast faith, will not flinch or shrink back from their calling.
Lord, let me dwell in Your shelter, but when called upon, let me stand on the spiritual shoulders of those who came before me ... Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, and the prophets; the twelve Disciples; all those who have endured persecution throughout the ages for the sake of declaring mankind's victory in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. While in this life, I hunger and thirst daily for You! Reveal more of Yourself to me so that I may nourish others, and create in them the same yearning for You! Let us quench the needs of our very beings at Your fountain of knowledge and revelation, and come away more convinced than ever of the depths of our God!
Psalm 14:2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there are any who understand (act wisely),
Who [truly] seek after God, [longing for His wisdom and guidance.]