Archive for the ‘Connectedness’ category

The Changed Life Nov 12, 2010

November 12th, 2010

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new —2 Corinthians 5:17

What understanding do you have of the salvation of your soul? The work of salvation means that in your real life things are dramatically changed. You no longer look at things in the same way. Your desires are new and the old things have lost their power to attract you. One of the tests for determining if the work of salvation in your life is genuine is— has God changed the things that really matter to you? If you still yearn for the old things, it is absurd to talk about being born from above— you are deceiving yourself. If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the change very evident in your real life and thought. And when a crisis comes, you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you did it. It is this complete and amazing change that is the very evidence that you are saved.

What difference has my salvation and sanctification made? For instance, can I stand in the light of 1 Corinthians 13 , or do I squirm and evade the issue? True salvation, worked out in me by the Holy Spirit, frees me completely. And as long as I “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7), God sees nothing to rebuke because His life is working itself into every detailed part of my being, not on the conscious level, but even deeper than my consciousness.

Journal 11 12 10 DJR

Often I dont feel I measure up to Oswald’s admonitions.   And then I’m so glad for the grace that He has for our imperfections and the fact that we are still works in progress.     But today I agreed with him that sometimes after a crisis, I look back and see the hand of God in it.   It seems that I see God in my life more in crisis than in the everyday and mundane.    Do I need crisis to show Jesus and to live Jesus?

The longer you live and the more of me that gets deposited in you … the more of me there will be to get squeezed out when you are squeezed by a crisis.   So no, you dont need crisis to show me to the world but it’s something to think about.    Why and Why Not?

I see that there are two ways that you get shown to the world thru my  life:    The Jesus I’ve packed in over the years comes out under pressure.   & the other way is as I live it “On Purpose”    This last way doesn’t work as well as I would like.   I determine to live Jesus and show Jesus to the world and then life happens and I’m back with Paul … doing what I dont want to do and not doing what I want to do.    I suppose my remedy is the same as his.   Thanks be to God thru Christ Jesus….


Wrestling Before God

December 15th, 2009

Take up the whole armor of God . . . praying always . . . —Ephesians 6:13,18

You must learn to wrestle against the things that hinder your communication with God, and wrestle in prayer for other people; but to wrestle with God in prayer is unscriptural. If you ever do wrestle with God, you will be crippled for the rest of your life. If you grab hold of God and wrestle with Him, as Jacob did, simply because He is working in a way that doesn’t meet with your approval, you force Him to put you out of joint (see Genesis 32:24-25 ). Don’t become a cripple by wrestling with the ways of God, but be someone who wrestles before God with the things of this world, because “we are more than conquerors through Him . . .” ( Romans 8:37 ). Wrestling before God makes an impact in His kingdom. If you ask me to pray for you, and I am not complete in Christ, my prayer accomplishes nothing. But if I am complete in Christ, my prayer brings victory all the time. Prayer is effective only when there is completeness— “take up the whole armor of God . . . .”Picture 10

Always make a distinction between God’s perfect will and His permissive will, which He uses to accomplish His divine purpose for our lives. God’s perfect will is unchangeable. It is with His permissive will, or the various things that He allows into our lives, that we must wrestle before Him. It is our reaction to these things allowed by His permissive will that enables us to come to the point of seeing His perfect will for us. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . .” ( Romans 8:28 )— to those who remain true to God’s perfect will— His calling in Christ Jesus. God’s permissive will is the testing He uses to reveal His true sons and daughters. We should not be spineless and automatically say, “Yes, it is the Lord’s will.” We don’t have to fight or wrestle with God, but we must wrestle before God with things. Beware of lazily giving up. Instead, put up a glorious fight and you will find yourself empowered with His strength.Picture 11

Mortals may note:  Wrestling wrongly with God and against God can be hazardous to our health.   Witness Ps 106:15… He gave them the desire of their heart but brought leanness into their souls.    The solution to know how and when to wrestle and when to fight and what to fight and when to give up is found in our COMMITMENT TO CONNECTEDNESS.   We are finding that to be the Umbrella Policy that covers everything.  A trump card that supersedes man’s wisdom because it brings us into connection to His Wisdom, which is higher. djr

Among the benefits of this Connected way of life are two “Dashboard Meters”   The Peace Meter and the Joy Meter.   These metaphors are backed up by real God-Created neurology in the form of Visceral Tension.   Visceral Tension and Peace and Joy dont occupy the same space, so when visceral tension shows up, we note simultaneously that Peace and Joy have left and can take a time out or whatever is necessary to get them back…. usually repent, sometimes surrender, but always regain the connection.  Then, with peace in our hearts,  move forward…. even if it is to continue wrestling.      djr

Individuality 12-11-2009

December 10th, 2009

Jesus said to His disciples, ’If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself . . .’ —Matthew 16:24

I hate this song!  I love this song!   It speaks right to where He has us…… Staying connected to Him and eliminating the obstacles to that pre-eminent objective.   Whatever the cost.  Whatever the collateral damage to my pride or career or….. or…. Bring the Rain… djr

Individuality is the hard outer layer surrounding the inner spiritual life. Individuality shoves others aside, separating and isolating people. We see it as the primary characteristic of a child, and rightly so. When we confuse individuality with the spiritual life, we remain isolated. This shell of individuality is God’s created natural covering designed to protect the spiritual life. Picture 8But our individuality must be yielded to God so that our spiritual life may be brought forth into fellowship with Him. Individuality counterfeits spirituality, just as lust counterfeits love.

Ouch!     I was thinking that individuality was a good thing.   I see that it must be filtered and pummelled by the Holy Spirit if it is to have value in the Kingdom   djr

However, when we think about it individuality….true individuality has no basis in self. We become true individuals when we do not seek to become “different”, we simply seek to become one with God. The character of God shines through, others see it and sense it in us. And true to God’s character, He has once again made us different but the same, …in His image. He made us complex and unique but part of a singular body. God understands our need for individuality and like all our other needs has provided for it. JDV

1 Corinthians 12:18

18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Psalm 139:13 (GN) says this: “You (God) created every part of me. You put me together in my mother’s womb.” In the Living Bible, verse 14 says: Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous.” Job 10:8a (GN) says: “Your hands formed and shaped me.

God designed human nature for Himself, but individuality corrupts that human nature for its own purposes.

The characteristics of individuality are independence and self-will. We hinder our spiritual growth more than any other way by continually asserting our individuality.

Any other way?  Oh crap!  I thought that was my main gift. It is or can be, it simply must be a gift from God and not ourselves. JDV….There is no need to abandon our individuality, we are simply to abandon it to God.

If you say, “I can’t believe,” it is because your individuality is blocking the way; individuality can never believe. But our spirit cannot help believing. Watch yourself closely when the Spirit of God is at work in you. He pushes you to the limits of your individuality where a choice must be made. The choice is either to say, “I will not surrender,” or to surrender, breaking the hard shell of individuality, which allows the spiritual life to emerge. The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (see Matthew 5:23-24 ).

23“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

It is your individuality that refuses to “be reconciled to your brother” ( Matthew 5:24 ). God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but unless you are willing to give up your right to yourself, He cannot. “. . . let him deny himself . . .”— deny his independent right to himself. Then the real life-the spiritual life-is allowed the opportunity to grow.

I wonder what that guy will look like.   I’ve been so individualistic and contrarian and busy making sure I was coloring outside the lines and marching to no freaking drum  and rebelling against authority that I dont know what and where the real me is…. djr No but God knows and that is all that matters. Him knowing and us letting Him exercise His will in shaping us. JDV

I suspect that when God is done with me, there will still be some contrarianism and swimming upstream and going against the grain.  Jesus did that, didn’t he?  But  I see now that my main objective,  His main objective in me is to get me swimming in his current, going with his grain, marching to His drum and then I can color outside all the other lines, swim against all other currents, and disregard all other drummers.   Be contrarian to my hearts content.   But come home to connection with Papa on all the things that are important to His Heart.   djr

True individuality emerges when the Spirit of God is allowed to work in our lives. God shapes us and molds us as he would a snowflake once we let go of ourselves. JDV

Thank you for being with me and blessing me yesterday.  Sneaking up on me.  Pouring blessings on me.   I was, like CS Lewis, surprised by joy.   Let’s go do that again today!   and every day. djr

Yesterday I took courage from God and faced some issues “head on” ……….I did not want to address the issues,  and so I let go of them and God faced them for me. I discovered it was/is OK to be frightened as long as I use it as part of my dashboard to tell me I need to be connected to the Spirit of God in that area of my life. JDV

November 22, 2009 Shallow and Profound

November 22nd, 2009

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,do all to the glory of God —1 Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” ( Matthew 10:24 ).

We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.


JD   This may be the best place to write our initial impressions.   Just write in the edit panel. This would be the equivalent of having the facing page left blank for journalling , which would not be too bad an idea for any devo book.     KISS.

…..this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are…... This was the kicker for me today.   I find myself judging people that I meet.   Like at this travel convention, I notice that many people complain a lot.   It’s a narrow line between just observing that from the balcony….. and judging them or looking down on them.    I think we are on the right track to just “accept without complaint” AND WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.    They just are how they are, God has allowed me to see it for what it is.   So just leave it alone.    Certainly dont want to get like the Pharisee who said, “Oh God, thank you that I’m not like that sinner…..”

I can actually feel it and catch myself when I have a judging thought.    Thank you Lord that the dashboard is still working.  I’ll keep bringing that nasty piece of carnality to the cross where it belongs.  Thanks…..DJR