Today we are living within an upside down world. In many instances what is wrong is embraced as right and what is right is embraced as wrong. This is why it is so very important that you get to know the TRUTH of God’s WORD, firsthand, for yourself intimately and personally! This way you will not be so easily towed right along with everything you hear and see. Paul wanted to alert the Church to see how to recognize and confront “false teaching”. Paul wrote to the Church extensively because he was so concerned that so many were getting caught up with the bureaucracy and the traditions of man. Paul encouraged the Church to preserve, model, embrace and live out Christian principles in every area of their daily life. Today right now we too need to be mindful of these very same things.
Quite often when one reads and visits the corridors of Scripture they see the characters and situations as merely historical and sometimes fictional. This can often cause one to become far removed from the wealth of applicable practical wisdom endowed within the Scriptures and respond in an aloof manner to the lessons presented and overlook the wisdom lessons intended. The people, prophets, priests and kings were real genuine people, from every facet of life with authentic issues no different than what we see today. God really is the same God who always was and always will be! He is eternal; in Him through His Son Christ Jesus we have the gift of eternal life. Time belongs to Him. We have all the time we need to do whatever it is He has created each one of us to be!
The Book of Ephesians is an excellent Book to indulge your mind in for spiritual enlightenment. The Church became embroiled in endless questions, arguments, politics and controversies that took them away from studying Scriptures. We must be mindful that it is so important to not get side-tracked from the intended purpose. It is important to sincerely desire and ask to be filled with His Spirit in order to glean the true intended meaning of the Scriptures so we can rightfully divide and apply its intended purposes. Many strive for popularity, prestige and recognition rather than seek for God’s approval. These things within themselves are not bad, but we must know that man is fickle and inconsistently changes very easily. Therefore it is important to know that through the Lord we really have everything we will ever need. He really does know everything we think, say do or do not do!
Although it may not be readily tangibly present. We can rest assure that His power is always accessible. Ephesians tells us “Jesus Christ has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight…….” Ponder on this passage of Scripture for a while and go deeply into its contents to glean the intended benefits. Let this reinforce within you the security and spiritual significance that rings forth. It says not some but all spiritual blessings. There are benefits in knowing and having a personal intimate relationship with the Lord. These blessings are not always visible where one can see. But they are available and accessible in the eternal heavenly spiritual realm. This means that they are eternal. God chose us and we belong to Him. This all took place way back before any of us even existed. Our little finite minds cannot conceive the totality of God. We are just minute particles in His whole scheme of things. No matter how small, large, visible or unseen it is all relevant to Him.
When any scene or situation presents itself on our life’s canvas we must seek His direction to properly apply and paint the intended strokes. Having the proper attitude about God is necessary to deal with any present injustices. Persecution and misunderstanding will attempt to take a dominant position to etch insecurity and doubt onto the forefront of your life canvas. Yielding subdued hues and shades of gray to subliminally overshadow the main theme. But as you always keep in mind that God knows you, His Light will shine forth in the midst even when darkness tries to impose itself upon you. We cannot predict the future precisely. But we can focus, trust and put our faith in God our Creator and Maker who knows us and will watch over and protect us living in and upside down world.
God allows both good and bad times for all of us. “He is not a respecter of persons.” We must learn to consistently lean and put our faith and trust in Him. In order to not be pulled into whatever is suddenly hurled into your direction even though intended to snarl, derail, discredit our credibility or entrap us, our focus must be on HIM! We must learn how not to allow insults, injustices or any storm or seasonal moment in time define the totality of our existence. When you spend time in His presence you can abide under the shadow of The Almighty because you know that He knows and that is what ultimately truly matters. Ecclesiastes tells us that, “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.” The point that I am trying to make is that life has a much deeper meaning than what man sees. Many seek first as a top priority to be affirmed and recognized in the eyes of man. Momentarily this may satisfy an inner longing, life on this side of heaven is short, there really is a much deeper meaning to life.
If all the wisdom, prestige or power that the world has to offer were available it would be but a minute particle in regards to the infinite wisdom and power of the Lord. Perhaps this is why Jesus Christ made Himself of no reputation? Yes we are “in the world but it is Him we move and live and have our being.” Although often unrecognized or accepted by the masses Jesus did not deter from His life purpose. He remained faithful and committed to the will of His Father in and often, cruel, often harsh upside down world.
God sees and knows it all. It is not merely how things appear or seem. We all will have to stand before an all knowing all wise God who knows where our hearts and minds are as well as our intentions. Know the Lord and His Word so you are not towed along with the “false teaching” of anyone. Ephesians says “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything is exposed to the Light becomes visible, for the Light makes everything visible…” God tells us to live as children of the Light. When you are walking in the Light you know that whatever darkness tries to overshadow your life’s canvas, that your Creator, Your maker, Our heavenly Father is omnisciently aware! You can surely trust Him to keep you right side up, living in and upside down world.
Notice how most animals walk on all fours. God Created us as His children to walk uprightly, our hands should be readily available to reach up and Praise Him! It is important to be aware of what is going on about us. We do not want to live in denial neither is it healthy. Life without God is futile, meaningless. God’s Word is our life manual and essential intrinsic tool to help us navigate through life. We can find hope in the midst of sorrow, joy in the midst of sadness, comfort in the midst of pain, encouragement in the midst of persecution and peace within the midst of an upside down world. Make it a priority to spend some time in His Word not only on Sunday or whatever your designated Bible Study night may be. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us ” Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.” Yes we should be aware living in an upside down world, but not totally alarmed. Through the eyes of God we can see and recognize life problems and realize that God does have a plan to take us through whatever comes our way. Through faith we can trust God and always seek His will for our path forward regardless of where you are in life. God has a plan for the lives of all of His children. God’s plan simply is to live for Him. Ecclesiastes ends by telling us that “Now all has been heard here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE, DUTY OF MAN. For GOD will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” This is true even living in and upside down world.
Spending time with God is one of the most important things you can do. If you read the Scriptures you will find that even Jesus often took time alone to spend with the FATHER! Spending time with God will help you how to respond properly or not to respond at all to others. Spending time with Him yields patience and understanding. The wonderful thing about God is that He has provided so many ways to continually enhance our personal relationship with Him. He has given us His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us to all truth! He has given us His Holy Word to teach us and equip us to do whatever He has planned for our lives. He has even provided spiritual armor to protect us from evil. To even tell us when we are right or wrong! His Word also gives us directions as to what not to do! His Word teaches us how and when to stand in the midst of spiritual warfare! The scripture tell us “trust in the Lord will all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.” He has given us His precious Son Jesus, who will be your personal Savior once you truly invite Him into your heart. It is in Him you will always find victory!
The book of Galatians clearly tells us; “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Christ lived a sinless life! Christ became flesh! He conquered sin in the flesh so He could be our example! He died for us! He did not die for us to continue to make excuses for our shortcomings. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior we are able to rely on Him to “save us from the power of sin in our life”. A truly dedicated life to God will result in an increased ability to exercise self-control! Spending time with God will help you to discern between good and evil. To be as “wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove!” God is aware of everything. He is omniscient! It does not matter how things appear or seem. Neither does it matter when everyone else pretends everything is okay when something is terribly wrong! God knows how things really are! In the midst of a declining world you can still enjoy a wholesome clean life. Spending time with God will also teach and direct you how to be a good steward of the things and people He entrusts to your care! His Word also tells us “He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus! God is a Spirit of TRUTH!
Paul also warns us of false teachings. Spending time with God will help you recognize those who pervert the Gospel of Christ! He even goes so far to tell us that they use it for a license of licentiousness. Which merely means to excuse their loose behavior? He tells us to not receive the message regardless of the person or position. I encourage you to study God’s Word. Listen closely when some one says they have a message from God. Allow the Holy Spirit to sift its contents and validate its Truth. Just ask yourself how often did Jesus talk about how many horses or chariots someone had? How many suits of clothing did Joseph, Priscilla and Aquilla or anyone else for that matter possess? How much money it took to feed the multitudes? I don’t think that Jesus told the woman at the well that He “loved her and all of her faults”. He told her “TO GO AND SIN NO MORE!” Furthermore are you spiritually enriched by the message? Have you been provoked to good works or spiritual growth? Or do you just continue to feel content in disobedience?
Jesus said “If you abide in My Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and truth shall make you free.” Jesus also tells us in His Word; “whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free you shall be free indeed.” The point that I am trying to make is Christ died to make us free! Spending time with God will give you freedom! We must commence embracing a Christ centered life! Christ took back the power the enemy stole! God’s Word really is “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto out path.” Paul goes further to say “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let Him be accursed.” There is much spiritual warfare about us! This is really not a game! We are living in the perilous times that the bible talks about! Please do not settle for a life that pleases man. Commence to really put God first in your life! Man’s approval is not necessary to accomplish God’s will in your life. He will and can make your path straight! God is the source of everything you possibly need to accomplish whatever He has for you to do.
Spending time with God will yield much peace. It will also consecrate your heart and your conscious! God will teach you how to guard your heart! You see God is a Spirit of Truth! I am thankful for His presence in my life! The devil is the father of lies! Deception and trickery are not a part of God’s fruit. Many are greatly deceived. I encourage you to spend some time reading Exodus. It is fear-provoking to know how much time they spent consecrating themselves for worship. They had reverence and deep respect for God. Worshipping God was sacred! Today it is not necessary for many. Many see worship as a time for them to “stand up for their gifts.” In times past God’s presence was earnestly welcomed. God is all knowing! God is truly Holy! God said that the true worshippers “worship Him in Spirit and in TRUTH!” I thank Him that I can freely lift my hands to thank and praise Him for the freedom He has given me.
Spending time with God will teach you how to properly navigate through this world of sin! Spending time with Jesus allows you to be calm in the midst of spiritual warfare. Jesus quite often did not respond to His accusers! You see many times just enough detail was omitted to prohibit the real truth from coming out. They sought to discredit His sincerity. More often than not a one sided story was and is embraced as truth! God is Light in Him is no darkness. “Perfect Love casts out all fear!” Just know it is more important what God knows rather than what others think! We must stand for the TRUTH! Jude tells us to contend for the faith! We must measure what is being taught against the Word of God. There are many false teachers who are misleading those who really need to hear the Gospel! He tells us “ these are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts, and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you beloved remember the words which were spoken before the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how they told you that their would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons who cause division, not having the Spirit.” Jude ends telling us “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding JOY!”
It is very easy to become attached to a spiritual leader. When one has helped you it is natural to feel loyalty. Especially when you have confided in them. Paul warns us against having such pride in our favorite leaders that causes divisions in the church. The Corinthian Church for an example was a very carnal church. It continually indulged in the immorality that was practiced culturally. The culture of that day embraced a temple of prostitution. The Corinthians needed specific instructions because of their immoral standards. Paul tells us “the body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” It was because of their carnality that Paul continuously warned them! It is spiritually dangerous to create an environment that embraces sin and labels it unconditional love. That really worships God in flesh and half truths!
Paul encourages us to imitate Christ because He himself spent time with God and walked closely with Him. I would like to encourage you to commit to spend at least 10 minutes of time alone with God each day! Just you and God with no distractions! Learn how to “ Be still and Know”. Start your personal devotion with prayer & Thanksgiving to give you the proper focus. Then just quietly discipline yourself to listen. To be still. Watch how someone or something tries to distract you. Please do not give up. (You see the enemy is so clever at distracting you.) Remember the idea is to exercise discipline. Increase your time gradually with God. This will also enhance your personal Bible Study time. I assure you any burden you might have will begin to lift. You see God really is a burden bearer. Honoring God by spending time with Him will give you direction. You cannot change anything that has happened but you can begin to really “walk in the light.” End your time Thanking Him for all He has done. Remember when you pray you must obey. To Love God is to obey Him! God’s Word is true!
We too must stand on the Word of God even when we are called anything but a child of God! Spending time with God and obeying His commandments will free you from sinful strongholds! I am thankful that God has provided us with many gifted men and women of God who are committed to spreading the true Gospel! They take seriously their responsibility to present Biblical Truth. A true spiritual leader is a representative of Christ. and has nothing to offer that God has not already given him or her! Loyalty should not cause strife, or slander. The truth can disable slander! God really is a Spirit of Truth! Our deepest loyalties should be to Christ and not to human agents! Those who spend more time debating the importance of church leadership than declaring Christ’s message don’t have Christ as their first priority. God’s Word clearly tells us “that we should not go beyond what is written. Spending time with God will cause you to attach yourself to God, rather than a spiritual leader. Commence to spend time with God “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your path”. When you spend time with God you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free!