Well, Satisfied . . . I’m Satisfied

Psalm 34: 12-13

Who is the man who desires life, and loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.

Do you desire good life? Do you desire to have a long life filled with the goodness of God? David tells us in this psalm how to get just that. He instructs us to keep our lips holy unto God. Speak words of life and healing rather than words of death and destruction. Don’t indulge in telling lies or even telling half truths because that is also deceitful.

Every time you open your mouth about a situation you can either give a report on what the devil is doing or you can report on what God is doing. You can say, “Oh, my knee hurts,” reporting on the hard work of the devil. Or you can say, “By his stripes, I am healed,” telling of the good works of God.

If you desire a long life filled with the promises of God, then you need to fill your mouth with the good news of the Lord. Speak out of your own mouth all that he says regarding every situation in your life. Are you broke? Or are you rich? Are you sick or are you healed? What does God say about your situation? Find out if you don’t know and then repeat what he says.

Get a Life

Genesis 6: 3

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

Many of you know that I have been studying diet and nutrition for the last several years. It has been the subject of much of my prayer and conversation with the Father. I have also been very interested in the expected life span of humans. Last week I drove to Huntsville, Alabama for a ministry conference which gave me plenty of time to listen to CD’s. One I listened to was by a doctor. He has no ministry affiliation and his talk was not about the God connection to our health.

Imagine my surprise when he said that we ought to be living to 120 years. Wow! Now why did he pick that number? Does he know what the Bible says? He explained that physiologically humans should be living to 120. Of course, I knew that. God said that thousands of years ago. But, to tell the whole truth, that should be the minimum. You see, in Genesis 6: 3 God was speaking to a disobedient and rebellious people. Today’s verse isn’t really granting 120 years, it is limiting people’s life span to 120 years. Human beings were wearing God out. He said, “I am not going to strive with man forever!” So, he cut their lifespan off to 120 years. Isn’t that amazing? So, this doctor sees physiologically the result of God’s words in Genesis 6: 3.

Now then, the first response I often get when I tell people they should live to 120 years is that they don’t want to live all crippled and feeble. Really? Are you kidding me? Do you really think that was God’s intention? Did God say, “I am going to limit your years on the earth to 120 but I am going to make you decrepit and feeble at 60 or 70.” Of course, if you listen to the world today you will hear that we should begin to fall apart at 50. I’m sorry guys. I am just not going to do it and I hope you will join me. I have a vision for riding my bike at 120 years old. Moses wasn’t feeble at 120 years old and I am not going to be either.

So now let’s allow the big revelation to go off in us. If Moses and all of those rebellious Israelites were allowed 120 years, honestly, what should we, the redeemed of God, expect for a life span. Since we are covered with the blood and resurrection power of Christ our Lord, shouldn’t we have a bigger vision than those desert wandering, lost in the fog, idol worshipping, rebels? I mean, I love them and I want every one of them to be in heaven but they weren’t washed in the blood, were they? Their sin stuck to them whereas ours is washed away. So, if the sin stained live to 120 to what age should the redeemed of Christ live until?

So, sign a new lease on life. Renew for another 50, 60 or 70 years. Renew for 100 if that is what is in your heart. I believe with you. And be healthy until the day you decide to change addresses. Jesus is health as well as life (Psalm 107: 20). Go on, get a new life today!!

For additional insights Please See the Word of the Day for July 22, 2015.

Help, I’m Dying

Romans 6: 4, 6

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life . . . knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him.

I wish to share with you today about healing. Now I realize that the verse I chose in order to discuss health and healing looks more like a discourse on dying. Ultimately that reflects the point I wish to make though. Healing is in death. If you want to walk in all of the enormous benefits of Jesus’ triumph, including perfect health, then you must die.

Galatians 2: 20 reads, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. This is generically spoken of as dying to self. We are to crucify ourselves, our flesh or worldly selves, and take on the life of Christ, joining with him in holy union so that he lives through us and we live in and through him. Ephesians 4: 22 and 24 give us an even more clear understanding: “In reference to you former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” 

Our old self was crucified with Christ and buried with him but we tend to continue wearing grave clothes instead of donning the robes of righteousness given to us by Christ Jesus. The renewed life is in doing as Paul teaches us in these passages; take off the old self and bury the carcass. Then put on Jesus in his fullness and glory. Jesus told us that in the new age, the age in which we are living, that he would live in us, he is the glory and righteousness within us. “In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14: 20). This is the great revelation and triumph of the New Covenant. The Messiah has come, Emmanuel – God with us.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you” (Romans 8: 11). You see, it is God within us which is health and healing to our bodies. The healing power of God is alive in us right now. We just need to live to that truth instead of living in the world and its decay. We shuck off the old self, don the new life in Christ and ask Jesus to fill every cell of our bodies.

If we are inviting Jesus and the Holy Spirit to indwell us then ask them to fill you to overflowing. I am reminded of the freshmen physics course where the professor fills a beaker with rocks and asks the students if it can hold any more. When they answer in the negative he pours in small gravel bits. Oh my, now is it full, can it hold any more? “No,” they proclaim. So the professor trickles in sand. “Okay, how about now?” “Certainly not!” From below the desk top the professor produces a beaker of water and begins to add water to the first beaker.” 

So, I would ask you, “Is the beaker now full?” I suggest that it is not. If the Holy Spirit was the water we could analyze that, as with each medium, the Holy Spirit is filling the negative space or the empty space. I posit, though, that after the water is added to the beaker that there is still room for the Holy Spirit to fit in that beaker. He goes in and fills the molecules and the space between the molecules and he fills the atoms and so on down to the smallest atomic particle. That is the vision I wish to share with you for your body. As you cast off your old self and put on the new self, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you down to the smallest atomic particle. Ask him to saturate every cell of your body with his presence. 

Every day see your old self dead and buried and envision your new life in Christ filled with all that he is. Let your life in Christ permeate you. In death is resurrection. In death is life. I know it is paradoxical but you can handle the paradox because you have the mind of Christ. When you die to self you can live to Christ and when Christ is your life then all of the power of the universe is not only with you but within you. You only have to die.

Knowing Truth

John 11: 35

Jesus wept.

No, I didn’t leave anything out above. That is the entire thirty-fifth verse of John 11. Is anyone other than me surprised? There is no possibility of misinterpretation of this verse; there is no gray area. It’s simple. Jesus was a man who wept; a man who was comfortable in his skin; a man who knew how to express honest emotion.

If you have not read You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza, let me recommend it to you. Within its pages you will learn about the most revealing and amazing biology and neurobiology discoveries of our times. Scientists are uncovering the hidden secrets of human function. They are also discovering that we can determine these outcomes. Our thoughts and emotions play a key role in this self-determination. In the foreword Dr. Dawson Church writes, “Joe is one of the few science writers to fully grasp the role of emotion in transformation” and that you can “heal yourself by simply translating thought into emotion.”

There is a reason God gave us emotional capacity. The expression of legitimate emotions is a critical, if misunderstood, feature of a healthy body and mind. None the less, we are increasingly becoming people of limited emotional content much less emotional expression. Whole countries have adopted a stoic persona. Men are frequently heard to say they are not supposed to show emotion and women have become victims of the same bad teachings. It has become a universal problem. We are living a lie. Our emotional lives are one big, fat lie.

I remember making a decision at age three that crying was “bad” and that I was not going to do it. Bit by bit I anesthetized my heart so that I wouldn’t feel. If I couldn’t feel, then I couldn’t hurt. If I didn’t hurt, I wouldn’t cry. People actually taught their sons not to cry. Then these sons married and their wives were constantly disappointed in the lack of emotional connection they shared with their husbands. These same emotionally bereft humanoids created the world of commerce. Then when woman began entering the business world they were increasingly trained to check their emotions at the door. We didn’t create robots. We became them.

If we would tell the truth, though, not all emotions are banned. The expression of anger is very much in vogue. So, we channeled all of our emotions into expressions of anger. Are you tired, sad, frustrated, intimidated, worried? Then throw a fiery fit in order to release those pent up emotions. Yell, scream, cuss! That is the only viable way to release all of the energy those emotions are bringing to you. You see, the truth is, it is only the tender emotions that we have banned. We’ve made it all but impossible to express gentleness, kindness, empathy, love, concern, caring and all the rest.

And while we are telling each other the truth, let us consider sports. We confess that we are not emotional and yet, has anyone watched a soccer match or a US pro football game? Are you going to try to convince me that the spectators are unemotional and cannot express emotion? Really? Perhaps, though, the fact that people can go to a sporting event and emote all over the place explains their popularity. The arts are dying in this country but sports are ever on the rise. Why?

For my part, I am tired of hearing people confess that they are unemotional or can’t express their emotions. That is a lie right out of the pit of hell and if that is your confession my advice is to revise your confession. Why would you continue to confess something that is in direct violation to the person of Jesus Christ?

In my studies I learned that each time we cry the biochemical make-up of our tears is different. The chemical make-up of our tears is bioengineered by our bodies to counteract the chemicals being released into our body. So, the release of tears, crying, is good for your body as well as your heart. It is detoxifying. God knew exactly what He was doing when He created us.

Let’s get a revelation folks. We’ve been played. Our emotions are God given and God inspired. And here is one other little insight; you are going to have a real difficult time getting close to the Father without a healthy set of emotions because He is one emotional dude. He wants to live in your heart and emotions. If you turn them off where does He go?  

There is help, though. When you truly and honestly open your entire heart to God and quit holding onto the lie, He moves right in and brings healing with Him. He will touch you in the tenderest of ways. Don’t be afraid. You are completely safe and He will give you such security and comfort. You were never made to be strong. You were made in tenderness. Take some time alone with Dad and let Him remove the calluses and fill you with love. It is a great way to live!

Revealed Secrets

Proverb 3: 2

For length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you.

Length of days, years of life and peace are all things most of us deeply desire. Too bad the author didn’t tell us how to receive them. Okay, he did, I’m kidding. It is in verse 1 which reads, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments.” Aw man, it’s the same old drill. God hasn’t changed his mind yet. The benefits of his promises are in following Him. Go figure!

You know, it kind of perturbs me today to listen to people talk about life expectancy and getting old. First of all, most people have no expectation of living long and this is true even of Christians in spite of the many promises from God about long life. The other point that is becoming all too clear to me is that we shorten our life expectancy in so many ways the loudest of which is in not following God. When Jesus left he sent his Holy Spirit to lead us in the way we should go but probably more Christians than not never listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling them much less follow his advice. I know this was true of me and it was really showing in my life and health. But now, I have a new lease on life because I have found God’s secrets. He hid them right where I should have found them but wasn’t looking – between the covers of my Bible. But now the lid is off because I know where His secret stash is and that knowledge is now showing in my body and health too. The comparison, in fact, is like night and day.

The first part of the equation is His Word. Hey guys, it really is no mystery. There is life in that book and as I got back into it and started applying the Word, things began to change. I went from hobbling along like an ancient person to riding my mountain bike 35 miles at a time. Doesn’t that sound like a miracle to you? Well, it is but the key for this one was that I was a participant. I helped Dad bring this miracle about by hearkening to His Word, believing it and doing it.

Do you want to know super huge secret number 2? Can you handle it? Okay. The second mystery is found in the 11th word of verse 1. It is the word “heart”. Do you hate hearing that as much as I used to? No, you guys wouldn’t but it used to make my skin peel back. I just hated all that goo-goo stuff that some preachers spoke, like love and heart. Do you know what I mean? I was so intellectually entrenched that I had lost track of where I had put my heart. And just because I say that I was intellectually entrenched that does not mean that I was all that smart. Obviously, because if I really was smart I would not have made my mind and my thoughts the center of the universe. Really? How smart is that? No, it was just that my approach to the world, to problems and even to God was to think about it, to reason. Wow! Find that in the Bible. Now, however, I am on a heart journey and literally that impacts every area of my life including my health and physical well-being. God is now at work within me healing, guiding and repairing the damage. His Word lives within me, in my heart and it is spreading through me like warm honey. And it really is making a difference in how I feel, how I am able to move and how healthy I am. His Word in my heart really does work. I know Dad has been telling us that for thousands of years now but I just finally heard it so I am catching up.

There is one last thing that I have noticed that damages our life expectancy. While today’s verse is good news there are also the verses that tell us what will happen when we don’t follow the good advice that God is giving us. Just yesterday we looked at Isaiah 41: 11 which tells us what will happen to those who hassle God’s kids or who do not treat us with love. They are going to disappear. And you see, this is even true for Christians who gossip, backbite and deal dishonestly. So one of the reasons that we are seeing people die before they should is because we have not been dealing fairly with each other. Brother, when you talk that negative junk behind someone’s back you are planting a seed that is going to produce a crop that you don’t want. Then when that seed begins bearing fruit folks start blaming God. Hey, we don’t have to blame God. He is telling us up front how to live long, healthy lives. Read the Word and do it. You are going to reap great rewards.

Length of Days

Proverb 3: 1 – 2

My son, do not forget my teaching but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you.

Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible and this has long been one of my favorite proverbs. However, now that I am studying the heart I am hearing everything differently. Before when I have read or even when I have meditated on this scripture I have focused on “keeping His commandments” and the benefit that confers onto me. However, that isn’t really what this passage says. It doesn’t say for me to keep the commandments but rather for my heart to keep them. Why the distinction? Well, anything else would be a work of the flesh. Keeping the commandments might make me a good Pharisee but my heart keeping them makes me a good Christian or “friend of Christ” which is my definition of Christianity.

We can help ourselves to remember His teaching by continuing in Bible study. To keep it in our hearts requires us to spend some time with our hearts. We have learned that God has inscribed the entirety of His word on our hearts as part of the New Covenant which we have become a party to through the new birth. However, there is an uncovering or a discovery of all that is written there that must take place in order for us to actually keep His Word with our hearts. Head knowledge is not going to satisfy the condition precedent for the promise that God has given us in this passage. In order to have fullness of days and length of years we must keep the Word with our hearts. That first means falling in love with Jesus since He is the Word and then it means going into our hearts where God resides and allowing that Word to be revealed in the heart library. It must become real to our hearts and we must guard and keep it with our hearts rather than our brains for it to have power. Everything else is just, as one friend calls it, intellectual Christianity; fun for your brain and intellect but without life and power. The Holy Spirit doesn’t live in your brain.

God isn’t promising to do something for us if we will do what He says. He is teaching us that long life is the natural byproduct of keeping His statutes with our hearts. He isn’t so much giving a promise here as showing cause and effect. When you worship God through and with your heart you touch all that He is and when you do that, your life is always improved. So, open up the library vault of your heart through your discovery of the Word of God. Meditate therein until the indelible ink of God has saturated your being. Then all manner of blessing will flow from it.

You thought this was going to be a devotional on healing, didn’t you? Well, it is. To your good health ….

Holy Health

Malachi 4: 2

But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like claves from the stall.

There is so much to love about this scripture. The image is one of incredible blessing for those who love God. Just thinking about the sun of righteousness rising on you might be enough to dwell on for quite some time. But that the rising of the aforementioned sun brings with it healing is great news. Because you love God, because you have dedicated your life to Him, there is blessing in the wings for you. One of the blessings is that you should live a healed life. You do not have to accept the sickness that the devil has spread. God and Jesus have already provided for your healing and your health. They have so blessed your physical body that as you receive more of the blessing, you will be able to skip around like a calf. You are expected to be spry and agile. Your body serves you. And if you are in Christ then you have your life in Christ and your body is his temple. Your body is dedicated to the service of the Lord and the Lord is responsible for its upkeep. Thank the Lord for his grace and mercy and for the great gifts he has bestowed on us.