I love Memorial Day and all holidays patriotic! I have great memories, just like you, of barbecues, running in the sprinklers, and knowing summer has just begun! But I also have always been taught and reminded the significance of what these holidays mean. Coming from a family with many that have served and are serving our country, and being married to a former marine, I know firsthand-as many others do-what our soldiers sacrifice. Though I have not felt the sting of losing a loved one from war, I have a deep sense of gratitude to those who have fought and died for the freedoms that I enjoy. But, as I have grown older and grown deeper in my relationship with God, I understand even more how precious this freedom is and how important it is to recognize that freedom comes with a cost…and a cross. We don’t all need a history lesson today, but it is important, as we are remembering, to note that our country was based and founded on the Word of God. It was the love for God and the desire to have the freedom to worship Him that caused our founders to fight for independence and to be willing to lay down their lives. Because of their love of God, they surely were reminded of the One who was willing to lay down His life for them. They knew that Jesus willingly went to the cross, in obedience to the Father, to make them free. Free from the bondage of sin. Free to love and serve Him because of the righteousness of Christ.
Today, as you gratefully remember our heroes that have fallen, do not neglect to give thanks to the One who made and has sovereignly ruled this land. Who places kings and rulers and holds them in derision. Who raises up the soldiers and gives them the courage to fight. The One who gives us hope because of Jesus Christ. Hope not based on the security of our nation, our freedoms, or peace. Hope based on the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
Remember, as the early hymn-writer did, the source and reason for our freedom:
“I will GIVE YOU the KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; and whatever YOU bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever YOU loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19, NAS).”
“And He called the twelve together, and gave them POWER and AUTHORITY over ALL the demons and to HEAL diseases…to PROCLAIM the KINGDOM OF GOD and to PERFORM HEALING…He began speaking to them about the KINGDOM OF GOD and CURING those who had need of HEALING…allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and PROCLAIM EVERYWHERE the KINGDOM OF GOD.’ Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 9:1-2, 11, 27, 60-62, NAS).’”
You, blood bought child of the King and Bride of Christ, possess in your inner man the keys to the Kingdom, to rule on earth on behalf of the King with intense power! God has given us His name (authority) through Jesus so that we are equipped to speak and function here on earth as though it was God Himself (power)! Ambassadors speak in foreign lands on behalf of their king and kingdom allowing them to carry the power of the royalty who sent them. From a heart of love of and loyalty to the King, obedience to God through Christ is what ushers the authority to utilize all the power and tools that God has laid before us from His Kingdom. We are strangers in the land called Earth.
In Luke 9, Jesus was asked about “saying goodbye” but He tells them, “Once you start your journey with God’s Kingdom, looking back to the dead or the living is disobedience and you are not fit!” Set your gaze upon the Kingdom of God and purpose in Christ’s strength to never look back. This Kingdom-walk is the most amazing, unearthly relationship with the King of kings; it is unequivocal! Why would any man, woman, boy or girl look back at that which is temporal when we have been given that which is eternal?
Once we’re established, we are to allow Christ, the true Testimony, to exude through our mortal bodies. Our relationship with Him should never be forced or some grueling task as denominational churches have made it. It should never be something based on shame, guilt or condemnation. Romans 8:1-5, KJV reads: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do NOT walk according to the FLESH, but according to the SPIRIT…He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT”
“No more condemnation” comes exclusively through ceasing the lusts of the flesh and seeking the Kingdom of God, His righteousness. He condemned sin therefore, when we are conducting sin (external or internal), condemnation is an automatic reaction. The only exit from it is repentance and forward movement.
Religion brings condemnation even when good intentions are at the heart because its foundation is built on the criteria of the traditions of man instead of the government of God; it leaves God’s people powerless. Love, mercy, grace, self-discipline and things of the like are of the Kingdom of God; they empower God’s holy people.
When our foundation is the Kingdom of God, we will never be destroyed by the destroyer, try though he may. Christ and His disciples preached the Kingdom, not salvation. Salvation is only a part of the sum of the Kingdom. When we pigeonhole ourselves into teaching mere fragments of the Kingdom, we miss the power, the authority, the blessings, and the peace that can stem only from understanding and functioning through the Kingdom of God. When operating in and through God’s Kingdom, we speak things into existence as prompted by the Spirit. Not merely by saying, “I bind…I loose…” but in our everyday language because we speak the language of our Kingdom which is not of the earth.
What language are YOU speaking? What power is moving through you? Do you operate under the power of Holy Spirit of the nature of the old natural man? The choice belongs to you.
I hope you’ll come back next week. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.
Peace and blessings,
Alexys V. Wolf
Matthew 5:25: Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
Just as pride comes before the fall, humility comes before honor. There is no honor without humility first. Humility dictates that a person demands to be judged and reckoned by others. If outward humility is not the result of inward humility, it is very dangerous because it becomes an outward display of deception. To put it another way: the outward expression of humility must always be a result of inward grace at work. Humility is the direct nature of God therefore we are advised to take advantage of every opportunity of humility.
Jesus was humility made manifest in the earth. We all know that if we are accused of something for which we are guilty, we must confess, apologize and make it right – and that’s difficult enough! If we are wrongfully accused, what then? Do we have the right to jump into a debate with someone, yelling (or calmly stating) how wrong they are about us? Absolutely not! Rather, instead of arguing, we should respond by apologizing to them for having given them the impression that we did or said what they think we did or said. Ask how we can make it right. When your opponent is faced with your humility, how can they successfully come against you? This is walking in a perpetual condition of forgiveness before someone offends.
We need to get it in our spirit-man that our Defender is far greater than the offender (Satan). We are never to defend ourselves. Walk away if you must, but don’t get into a showdown of words trying to convince someone they are wrong. When has that ever accomplished anything good? When someone thinks something in their heart, no amount of words you speak can turn them away from their opinion. Only God can change a heart. Don’t waste time and energy, and for heaven’s sake, don’t jeopardize your personal walk with God because someone thinks something incorrectly about you. It isn’t worth it.
God will prove them wrong in time; you needn’t concern yourself with such petty matters because truth will always surface in due season. Keep integrity intact and it will protect you in the long run.
Peace and blessings,
Alexys V. Wolf
By Neil Anderson
If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law
By Neil Anderson
By Neil Anderson
See the above picture? That’s it. That is the actual doorknob that caused so much panic, fear and frustration at my house over a week ago. (Not to mention a few, good belly laughs from yours truly.)
It was hysterical. I had warned people when they first showed up for the party. I had shown them how to use these new doorknobs that were stiffer than molasses on a cold winters night in Alaska. I told them not to worry, that they would not be locked in, even though it would feel like it. They just needed to relax – and get the feel for the doorknob. Once they did, they would be able to open the door and walk freely.
But they didn’t listen. Or perhaps didn’t believe me. And so they panicked and, in the process, got stuck in the bathroom. Like I said, hysterical. Picture it . . .
- People were banging on the door, yelling for help because the bathroom was far from the party and they feared no one could hear them.
- One person actually unscrewed the door lock thinking that was the culprit.
- Another group decided not to close the bathroom door so they wouldn’t have to use the doorknob and instead, had their peeps stand outside the door on lookout.
- Someone else argued with me that he really had been locked in – until I gently showed him otherwise.
I laughed my head off (with great empathy, of course). That precious doorknob made a mockery of even the most secure adult.
In everybody’s panic it probably felt like they were going to be stuck there forever; or at least until the next person would need to use the bathroom, (neither of which would give much consolation). The more stuck they felt, the more fervent they became at trying to force that knob to turn and set them free.
As I was thinking about these scenarios the other day and getting a good chuckle on, it got me thinking: Isn’t this how we are?
- God tells us not to worry about our needs. He will provide. (Matt. 6:25-34)
- He tells us we’re never alone; He will always be with us. (Heb. 13:5)
- He says He will work everything out for good in our lives. (Rom. 8:28)
- He reminds us we don’t have to be anxious because He cares deeply for us. (1 Peter 5:7)
- He says anytime we need mercy and grace we can boldly ask Him. (Heb. 4:16)
On and on, God gives us promise after promise. And yet, when we’re in the middle of our crisis, we don’t listen. Or we don’t believe Him and so we freak out. We pound on doors. We yell for others to help us. We try to force situations which only makes matters worse. We break out in cold sweats, feeling like we’ll be stuck forever.
Do you know the real problem with stiff doorknobs? The more freaked out a person is, the less chance they have of getting out. Panic, by its very nature, cannot produce calm, right thinking or action. Just as well, the more frantic we are, the more stuck we will feel, and the harder it will be for us to move into freedom.
People trying too hard to get out of the bathroom ended up going nowhere. If they would have just trusted me and relaxed and let the doorknob do its job instead of trying to coerce it, force it, or dismantle it, they could have gotten out very easily. And walked free.
We can walk free anytime, too. Even in the middle of our predicament. If we relax. And trust God. He says, I am the doorkeeper. Rest in me and you will be free. Free indeed.