Category: Strength


It would probably surprise some to find the source of scriptural text that produced the inspiration for the above title. It was while immersed in a study of this related text it came upon me and overtook me. We are consistently pressing along a constant continuum of spiritual progression. This progression is toward spiritual maturity and ultimately leads to meeting God’s grand design for our lives. There are times we make great strides and there are times that we seem to regress, however, I find that our ability to move consistently along this progression is directly connected to two separate scriptural passages. I will introduce you to the first of the two on today and I will follow up with the next on tomorrow.

No matter where you are in your “walk” (and this term will be explained within this brief treatise), if you enter this study with an open mind, trusting the Holy Spirit, via His revelatory ministry, to illuminate God’s truth within, you will be empowered through knowledge and direction. You will find that the ground work for your success has been laid well before you were conceived. God has designed a plan specifically for your life that coincides with His divine plan for the entire universe. You may have been struggling to make headway in your incessant desire to be a better Christian, but find yourself always falling short. You have probably begun to accept the worldly view that your humanity bounds you to a life of sinful failure and “thank God for grace” has become your mantra. I want you to know that God has not called you to do anything that He has not given you the power to do.

You do not have to matriculate to any great theological seminary to apprehend the truths that will be presented here today. You simply have to be committed to become submitted to the Holy Spirit and the serious study of the text. I have said this on more than one occasion and I will venture to say it yet once again: The first and greatest responsibility of any believer is the constant, daily, intake, digestion, metabolism and inculcation of Bible Doctrine. Every other responsibility and calling is predicated on mastering the first. When you neglect the Word, you become spiritually emaciated and functionally impotent as a Christian Soldier.

I invite you to take this journey through the word of God and the mind of the Apostle Paul as we uncover this powerful truth that the enemy has successfully hidden from so many through a method I call “Delusional Fixation”. Satan has used the ignorance of believers as it pertains to the Word of God to infiltrate their thinking with false doctrines that are being disseminated from within and outside of the faith. Everywhere you turn there are messages “you are simply human” when the Word clearly states that you are more than a conqueror. It is time that the believer begins to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and shake the limitation of ignorance and fallacious doctrines.

So, let us move into the related text.

16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:16-24 NASB)

Your ability to grasp the truth residing within the composition of the aforementioned words is tantamount to walking in complete victory as you travel this ethereal journey of Christian faith. God has not left you clueless in this journey. He has not called you to greatness and then left you on your own to figure it out. God has ingenuously left you a blueprint to greatness and mission fulfillment. God designed you to be responsive to intellectual stimuli; the infusion of knowledge into your psychological gateways. He then provided that stimuli through his infallible Word to literally lift you into greatness.

Before we can fully understand this particular passage, we must build the context to insure that we do not erroneously apply it.

Beginning with Galatians 5:1 Paul moves from an emphasis on theology towards a focus on ethics, basically taking the Galatian believers from doctrine (the teaching) to practice (the living out of what has been taught.). Up to this point Paul had devoted his Epistle to debunking the theoretical teachings of some teachers that had convinced a great deal of the Galatian Church that they had to follow the tenets of the Mosaic Law in order to be received by God, so Paul immediately engages the Galatians concerning the ease at which they were deceive to move away from what they had been taught concerning grace.

6I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! … 1You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (Gal. 1:6-9; 3:1 NASB)

Paul is addressing the interpolation of legalism into the Gospel of Grace. Jewish teachers had convinced the Galatians that they needed to be circumcised in order to be accepted by God. Anytime legalism is introduced into the plan of grace as it functions within the dispensation of the Church, we encounter massive problems (this is not the focus of our study today, so I will refrain from addressing this at the present moment, but understand that legalism is an extremely destructive force). Paul understood this and immediately moved into the correct the problem.

Paul spent a considerable amount of time and effort explaining the polarity of the Masaic Law and Grace. He cleverly disseminates the doctrine of grace so that the ground work of the Christian walk has once again been laid. Without this ground work being properly laid out it is impossible to adequately advance in this spiritual walk. Paul had effectively ruled out the Law as a regulatory standard in the age of the Church; in other words, the law had no power to advance the Christian way of life. In essence, the law had no regulatory value; in this sense it was useless. This does not mean that we should discard the Old Testament, which would be extremely foolish. What the Law lacks in regulatory value in compensates for in revelatory value. The Old Testament reveals the essence of God, the function of God, the veracity of God, the loyalty of God, the power of God,. Etc.

As Paul moves from developing the theological perimeters of Christian functionality through Grace into the access of grace’s provision of power to live out the Christian life, he interjects a statement that is all in one; a summation of what has come before and a transition into what was to follow.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)”Before plunging into this third section of his letter, Paul interjects a verse that is at once a summary of all that has gone before and a transition to what follows. It is, in fact, the key verse of the entire Epistle. Because of the nature of the true gospel and of the work of Christ on his behalf, the believer is now to turn away from anything that smacks of legalism and instead rest in Christ’s triumphant work for him and live in the power of Christ’s Spirit. . . . The appeal is for an obstinate perseverance in freedom as the only proper response to an attempt to bring Christians once more under legalism.” (Boice, p. 486.)

You must understand that to lean on legalistic tenets and sacraments is to discount grace. It is to say that the magnanimous gift that Christ provided on Calvary was not sufficient that and that we must in some way, add something to it. Grace, by its very definition is a non-meritorious conduit through which God blesses us on the basis on Christ’s saving work at Calvary. The erroneously disseminated doctrines of grace being taught now simply focus on God’s ability to forgive and a cast off the debt of sin for the believer, and though that part of grace has massive implications in the Christian walk, it is only a fraction of the complete function of grace. Graces greatest functions are unity with Christ and all believers, right standing with God (justification), and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (which supplies the power not to sin and to fulfill ones purpose).

Paul did not want the Galatians to get the idea that because they were no longer under the law they could cast off restraint and move into unbridled antinomianism. He wanted them to understand that grace actually brought with it more responsibility. You may ask how; grace inherently provides exceptionally more power in the Church age, and with more power comes more responsibility.

“Christian freedom is not license [sic] to sin for the simple but tremendous reason that the Christian is not the man who has become free to sin, but the man, who, by the grace of Gdo, has become free not to sin. (J. Dwight Pentecost, “The Purpose of the Law; Bibliotheca Sacra 128:511 (July – September 1971) 227-33.

Paul understands that he must now explain how the Galatians will be able to resist the natural inclination to sin (due to an inherent sin nature that resides in all humans since the fall of Adam with the exception of one; [through the virgin birth, Jesus was the only human born without a sin nature] all are inclined to sin.) Paul is about to introduce a truth that when fully apprehended brings full liberation from sin. As a matter of fact, this truth, when put into practice, immediately and automatically eliminates sin. It is only when the believer fails to live within this truth is he even able to sin.

Paul goes on to explain that there is a constant conflict taking place within the believer.

16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. (Gal. 5:16:18 NASB)

He then begins to set out the disparity in what each warring force produces.

19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:19-24 NASB)

It is extremely important that we give this passage quite a bit more attention than we normally do and it is equally important to assign to it an enormous gravity. This passage is not simply assigning deeds and attributes to a particular source. It is providing the format for understanding the status of believers and none believers. It is most importantly, revealing the source through which the Christian lifestyle and walk is accomplished.

We are told first that the “flesh’ strives against the “Spirit” and the “Spirit” against the flesh. That inherent nature within all of us desires to pull us in ways that are contrary to the will of God. It is important to understand that as long as we live we will have to contend with the sin nature residing in us. The sin nature does not leave the believer at any stage of their walk; however, it can be brought into submission and controlled through complete acquiescence to the Holy Spirit. It has been said that this can be analogous to having two dogs that are constantly warring with each other for prominence and position; the one that will ultimately win is the one that you feed the most. Obviously the Holy Spirit is nothing like a dog, but the analogy comes in the fact that whatever you feed grows stronger and whatever you starve grows weaker.

Paul tells the Galatians that if they walk by the Spirit they shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Walking by or being led by the Spirit is living moment by moment in a place of submission to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Anytime that you are not walking in this state of submission you become subject to the yearnings of the flesh. In this case, “walking” is a metaphorical expression used in scripture to express spiritual progression. The modes of transportation in Bible days were definitely not as fast or as efficient as they are today, but walking was still the slowest way to get from one place to the next. As slow as the process of walking may have been, one knew that if he continued to put one foot in front of another he would cover the necessary ground and would eventually reach the desired destination. So, the Christian walk is the progression toward becoming what you were designed and created to be.

Since we have two warring factions within us, Paul wanted to give us an honest way to assess which side is winning. Each of these two warring entities within us produces certain byproducts. In understanding what these products are, we can know where we are in our walk and whether or not we are truly being submissive to the Holy Spirit.

First, Paul reveals the deeds of the flesh. They can be broken down into five basic categories:

Sexual Sins (verse 19) – Immorality, fornication (Greek “porneia”, all types of forbidden sexual relationships from a physical perspective). Impurity, uncleaness (Greek “akatharsia, all moral uncleanness in thought, word and deed). Sensuality, licentiousness, indecency, debauchery, lasciviousness (Greek “aselgeia” the open, shameless display of these sins)

Religious Sins (verse 20) – Idolatry (Greek “eidololatria”, worship of anything other than God and the practices and sacramental rituals involved). Sorcery, witchcraft (Greek “pharmakeia”, attempts to aid the powers of evil and the practices associated with that).

Social Sins – (verses 20-21) – Enmities, quarrels, hatred (Greek “echthrai”, hostilities). Strife, discord, variance (Greek eris, antagonism). Jealousy, envy, emulation (Greek zelos, self-centered animosity). Outburst of anger, fits of rage, wrath (Greek “thymoi”, temper eruptions). Disputes, strife, factions, selfishness, selfish ambition (Greek “eritheiai”, putting others to get ahead). Dissensions, divisions, seditions (Greek “dichostasiai, disputes over issues or personalities). Factions, heresies, party spirit (Greek “haireseis”, divisions over issues or personalities. Envyings, jealousies (Greek “phthonoi”, wrong desires to have another’s possessions). When you examine the force of these deeds and what they will ultimately produce you will come up with one word that sums it all up; chaos.

Intemperate Sins (verse 21) – Drunkenness, drinking bouts (Greek “methai, excessive use of intoxicants). Carousing, reveling, orgies (Greek “ komoi”, parties involving excessive eating and drinking).

Other Sins – Things like these listed (similar violations of God’s moral will).

“The common feature in this catalogue of vices seems to reside not in the precise ways in which these fifteen items manifest themselves but in the self-centeredness or egocentricity that underlies all of them.” (Thomas Constable, Commentaries of the Bible)

Not only do these deeds serve as indicators of a walk on the side of carnality, they also wreak immeasurable havoc on the life of the person perpetrating them.

Then Paul moves to the other side of this polarity transitioning through the use of the conjunction

δέ

de

deh

A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.: – also, and, but, moreover, now [often unexpressed in English].

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries G1161

 

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:22-24 NASB)

 

 

Notice that the “flesh” produces “deeds” and the “Spirit” produces “fruit”, in the Greek

καρπός

karpos

kar-pos’

Probably from the base of G726; fruit (as plucked), literally or figuratively: – fruit.

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries G2590

 

“Fruit is singular signifying a unified Christ-like character; an aggregate affect of walking in the spirit. Let’s take a look at the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in those that are surrendered to His leadership. There are nine that fit into three basic categories.

 

Mental or God-ward Qualities (verse 22) – Love (Greek “agape”, self-sacrificing affection for others). Joy (Greek “chara”, deep-seated happiness regardless of circumstances). Peace (Greek “eirene”, inner quietness and repose regardless of circumstances).

Interpersonal or Other-ward Qualities (verse 22) –  Patience (Greek “makrothymia”, forbearance even under provocation). Kindness (Greek “chrestotes”, benevolence and graciousness). Goodness (Greek “agathosyne, constructive action reaching out to others).

General or Self-ward Qualities (verses 22-23) – Faithfulness (Greek “pistis”, reliability, trustworthiness). Gentleness (Greek “praytes”, acquiescence to authority and consideration of others). Self-control (Greek “enkrateia”, ability to master oneself.

 

Paul has ingeniously provided the blueprint for effective and powerful Christian living. When we walk in submission to the Holy Spirit he not only guides us, but also reciprocates by allowing you to access His power to, not only walk the Christian way, but to fulfill your particular purpose. There are multitudinous individuals struggling through this ethereal journey of Christianity feeling as if there is no possible way to rise up and live the life that they should be living. Many have been taught secular world views such as “once an addict always an addict”, but we find that surrender to the Holy Spirit produces the power to master oneself. There is complete healing available for every illness.

Paul masterfully extracts the built in excuse of humanity from the equation and interjects “grace’s” greatest hidden secret; power. When Paul prayed for the removal of the thorn in his flesh God’s reply was simply, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Wait a minute; what does grace have to do with power? Everything, in its comprehensive definition, grace is all that God is able to do for every Christian based on the work of Christ at the cross. So grace appropriates justification at the moment of salvation. Grace facilitates the purifying and preparative act of sanctification, and grace allows for the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer providing so much in the way of power, revelation, and direction.

You have the power to walk triumphantly and live effectively as a victorious warrior. I urge you to surrender to the Holy Spirit; allow Him to empower and direct you. If you do so, no demon in hell, including the devil himself can stop you from completing the course and fulfilling your destiny.

 

God bless,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes….”(Rev. 21:4 and 7:17)

“And the Lord will wipe away tears from all faces….”(Isa. 25:8)

 

If you are anything like me, you have those moments in which tears begin to well up in your eyes.  You make abortive and bootless efforts to suppress the inevitable tide of physically manifested emotions.  Tears can be brought on by many ardent and effusive forces.  There are tears of regret; when I take a retrospective glance at my life, tears began to flow as I am reminded of the pain that has come to others because of my selfish actions.  There are tears of pain.  The same retrospection that produces regret also paints the malevolent and inclement portrait of abandonment and heartache.  There are tears of Joy, sadness, emptiness and loneliness.  Tears are most often associated with negative emotions.

 

It is a natural human instinct to hold back tears.  Nobody wants to cry.  I took some time to stop by and tell you that it’s okay to cry, your tears are temporary.

            “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…”(2 Cor. 4:17)

 

Jesus promised it, mama confirmed it, and experience has consummated and solidified the fact that this world will bring pain to those that inhabit it.  There is no circumvention of the trials and tribulations of this life.  You will inevitably take some wrong turns that consequently lead to pain.  You will at some point and time experience the heartache brought on by the neglect and betrayal of those you love and hold dear.  There will be a time when you will, just as David, say, “In return for my love there are my love they have become my accusers…”(109:4)  There are men that with every ounce of their being attempt to stem the tide of tears that flow as a result of pains that run deep.  There are women that have sworn that they will not shed one more tear over a man that has repetitively wounded their emotional stability.  Yet, in both instances, these people wake in the morning to find their pillows drenched with tears.

 

Tears are as natural as the instinct to suppress them.  They are a physiological response to invisible emotions; emotions that the majority of us don’t want exposed.  In our culture, tears are considered a sign of weakness, especially when it comes to men.  However, our emotions were never meant to be suppressed, but expressed.  David, Jeremiah, and Jesus all wept.  Very few people understand that crying and weeping are part of the healing process.  Suppressed emotions are never conducive to proper healing.

 

 

 

The most awesome truth about our moments of weeping is that no matter how hard we try to conceal our tears, our weeping is never a solitary experience.

 

“And the Lord said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.”(Ex. 3:7)

 

God acknowledges that He has seen and heard the cries of His people.  He establishes the point that He is not some distant God that is cold and aloof toward His people.  Exodus 2:23 informs us that as the cries of the children of Israel rang out, God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Remembering His promises, God looked upon the children of Israel and acknowledged them.  God has promised us that He will never leave nor forsake us.  This fact should bring solace to every believer.  Though the vault of your emotions has been breached and a medley of emotions cascade through the hollows of your existence, do not despair.  No matter how lonely the moment, irrespective to the current darkness, you are not alone.

 

Not only has God promised never to leave us alone, He has promised to act on our behalf.

            “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”(2 Chron. 16:9)

 

“When the enemy comes in like a flood.  The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”(Isa. 59:19)

 

God did not simply acknowledge the children of Israel and their circumstances, He became personally involved.

“So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians…”(Ex. 3:8)

 

Not only have “I’ heard their cries and seen their oppression, “I” am going to intervene on their behalf.  The God we serve is completely responsive to the needs of His people.  He does not sit idly by while they face the vicissitudes of life.  God responds to those tears with a decisive force, bringing power, joy, and peace.

 

In fact, it is those moments of mourning, weeping, and crying that God moves most awesomely in the lives of believers.  When the pain of the moment has taken control of your life; when the loneliness has consumed you and the manacles of depression have seized hold of you; when no one else seems to care, God hears and God answers.  God responded to the cries of Job, David, Jeremiah and more.  It was the weeping of Mary and Martha that moved Jesus to tears and prompted the resuscitation of Lazarus.  It was the weeping of the nation of Israel that caused God to speak through Ezekiel and promise to bring them up from their graves of despair.  God moves in moments of desperation.

 

Let us look once again at the book of Exodus so that we might closer examine the dynamics of God’s movement in the lives of His chosen.  It begins in Chapter 1.

            “But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty….Now there arose a new king over Egypt…and he said to his people….come, let us deal shrewdly with them….therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens….and they made them serve with rigor…. Then the King spoke to the midwives…and he said, when you do the duties of a midwife to the Hebrew women, if it is a son, then you shall kill him…”(Ex. 1:7-6)

 

The God we serve is a “show up” God, and the show up process begins at the moment of need.  Up to this point, God had sustained His people through providential care.  They had increased abundantly and grew exceedingly mighty, but the moment the Egyptians moved against them, the show up process began.  God’s subtle movements are revealed in His providential provisions.  There is nothing subtle about the show up process; when God shows up He shows out.  He is completely radical in His movement.  He leaves no doubt as to who has brought deliverance.  Your tears are a visible sign that God is about to bust a move in your situation.

 

 

Every oppressive move of the Egyptians drew God closer to His people.  Every lash of the taskmasters whip, every drop of sweat from the brow of an enslaved Israelite, every vociferous cry of a Hebrew woman brought closer the day that God’s inimitable and unsurpassed power would be displayed on behalf of His chosen.  The tears of the believer are like a magnet that acts as a spiritually kinetic force that draws God to the center of the struggle.  Sometimes all you can do is cry.  Your ability to reason has dissipated, rendering you dysfunctional.  You want to pray, but you can’t form the words.  All you can do is cry.  Your soul sinks within you and the questions of why, how and when press their way to the surface.  Why is this happening to me?  How could he/she do this to me?  When will it end?  All of these questions have their place, however, the most pertinent question is not why, how, or when, but who?  Who can I turn to when my attempts to ebb the tides of the tribulation proves futile?  Who can I trust when no one else seems to care?  When those who are normally the pillars of support in my life are being crushed under the weight of life’s realities, to whom can I turn to be the buttress that sustains me in the midst of the storm?

“When I cry out to you, Then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.” (PS 56:9)

“And it will be for a sign and for a witness…for they will cry to the Lord…and he will send them a savior and a Mighty one, and He will deliver them.”(Isa. 19:20)

 

“Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep….So David recovered all…and nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great….David recovered all…”(1 Sam. 30:4, 18-19)

 

 

When there is nowhere else to turn, even when there is “no more power” to weep, God hears our cries, even the silent cries of a desperate soul.  It’s okay, go ahead and cry.  Your tears are a release of the pressures, hurts and disappointments of the moment.  Your tears are a clarion sounding to God that His child is in need.  Your tears are not meant to be quenched or suppressed; they are an expression of the heart’s yearnings.  Your tears are a part of God’s show up process.

 

Isn’t it awesome to be in Love with a God that loves you; a God that becomes personally involved in our lives.  I can’t promise you that there will not be tears, in fact, the one you hold dearest may yet break your heart; the expectations for tomorrow may go unfulfilled; in return for your love, they may become your accuser.  Yet, God, in His bountiful love, sees, hears, and responds to the cries of His people.

 

God, through His Word, has not only promised temporal relief from life’s struggles and disappointments, but an eternal acknowledgment and comforting for every tear shed during this ethereal journey of Christianity.

 

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”(PS. 46:1)

“For the lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”(Rev. 7:17)

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”(Rev. 21:4)

 

In Psalms 46, we find that God is a present help in trouble.  He is there during those bouts with loneliness; He is there when you are grieving and mourning the loss of a loved one; He is there when all you possess is taken away.  No matter what you are going through; no matter how dark the moment, God is there.  Not only is He a present help, but he has promised to bring eternal peace and comfort.  He has promised to wipe every tear permanently away from your eyes, after which there will be no more death, no more sorrow, nor crying.  He has promised that He will personally take away forever, every pain, every heartache, and every tormenting struggle.

 

Isaiah 25:8 says, “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces.  Isaiah 35:10 says, “And the “ransomed” of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing.  With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and singing shall flee away.”

 

“The ransomed” refers to those who have been purchased at a price; those whose debt has been expiated by the Son.  “The ransomed” are those who have been redeemed by the precious “Blood” of the “Lamb”.  Ransomed and redeemed are words meritorious of our concentrated attention.  These words remind us that we have been released from the prison of sin; we have been rescued from the pit of hell; we have been preserved for all eternity; we have been liberated, set free, and cut loose from the shackles of eternal damnation.  God in His matchless love has said, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave…(Hosea 13:14)”

 

 

When we keep in view the fact that we are creatures redeemed by the creator; when we are able to apprehend in full the understanding of the magnitude of the love required for God to redeem us in our sinful state, we will view our trials, sufferings, and disappointments in a different light.  We will view them as Paul did:

 

            “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”(Rom. 8:18)

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed….for our light affliction, which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4: 8,9,17 and 18)

 

Your tears are a temporary response to the reality of the moment.  Your tears are a physical expression of an emotional state.  It’s okay, go ahead and cry, the pain won’t last forever.  God’s on His way and He’s bringing joy with Him.  He’s coming to wipe away ever tear.  You may be crying now, but weeping only endures for a night, for joy comes in the morning.  Cry if you must, but do not despair; the God we serve is a show up God.  He is on His way to deliver, to heal, to liberate, and to exalt.  So, let the tears flow when they come, for soon God will wipe every tear away!

 

May you be richly blessed!

 

Sincerely,

Bishop Rick Wallace

Faith Grows Amid Storms

“He hath acquainted himself with my beaten path. When he hath searched me out, I shall come out shining” (Job 23:10, free translation).

Faith grows amid storms”–just four words, but oh, how full of import to the soul who has been in the storms!

Faith is that God-given faculty which, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view, and by which the impossible things are made possible. It deals with supernaturals.

But it “grows amid storms”; that is, where there are disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere. Storms are caused by the conflicts of elements; and the storms of the spiritual world are conflicts with hostile elements.

In such an atmosphere faith finds its most productive soil; in such an element it comes more quickly to full fruition.

The staunchest tree is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds from every quarter beat upon it, and bend and twist it until it becomes a giant in stature this is the tree which the mechanic wants his tools made of, and the wagon-maker seeks.

So in the spiritual world, when you see a giant, remember the road you must travel to come up to his side is not along the sunny lane where wild flowers ever bloom; but a steep, rocky, narrow pathway where the blasts of hell will almost blow you off your feet; where the sharp rocks cut the flesh, where the projecting thorns scratch the brow, and the venomous beasts hiss on every side.

It is a pathway of sorrow and joy, of suffering and healing balm, of tears and smiles, of trials and victories, of conflicts and triumphs, of hardships and perils and buffetings, of persecutions and misunderstandings, of troubles and distress; through all of which we are made more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

“Amid storms.” Right in the midst where it is fiercest. You may shrink back from the ordeal of a fierce storm of trial…but go in! God is there to meet you in the center of all your trials, and to whisper His secrets which will make you come forth with a shining face and an indomitable faith that all the demons of hell shall never afterwards cause to waver. –E. A. Kilbourne

*************

What an awesome revelation. The Apostles Paul said that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance produces character and character produces hope. Paul said that hope produced through this sequence does not disappoint (Rom. 5:3-5 paraphrased). This type of hope is the product of pure faith. The type of faith is the fruit of a seed that that can only be cultivated within the fertile soil of trials and sufferings. Faith is not faith until it has been tested and proven pure.

6[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,

7So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed. (1 pet. 1:6-7 AMP)

The furnace may be turned up seven times hotter than normal, but understand that you are not in the furnace alone. Just ask Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego about the fourth man that joined them in fiery furnace (Daniel chapter 3). When you allow your faith to be developed in the heat of life’s trials you will see your naysayers and enemies speak just as King Nebuchadnezzar, who had to humble himself before the God of his servants. Nebuchadnezzer came to personally witness the reason for such resolute faith in those three young boys. This faith produced results so powerful that King Nebuchadnezzer said: “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him! And they set aside the king’s command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God …there is no other God who can deliver in this way!” (Dan. 3:28-29 AMP)

Trust God in all that you are going through right now is is worthy, willing, and able to perform His promises. Give God Some glory! ~Bishop Rick Wallace

Fill Your Space

 

I have one thing to say to you: Fill your space. Let me explain. Last year was, by far, the worst year of my life. Not because of anybody else but because of me. This is why: I was not truly successful at anything in particular. I had some decent moments, but nothing great and nothing lasting. For a person that was used to succeeding at everything they attempted this was a struggle. In the month of December the frustration I had been fighting for the entire year was beginning to weigh me down. So, I decided to follow my own advice and take an introspective look at myself.

What I found was that I had not been filling my space. What I mean by filling my space is bringing more to any situation than I took from it. A person that adequately fills their space brings value to every situation they enter into; no matter how large or small the situation. I had always been successful at anything that I set my mind to do, but somewhere I lost sight of why. I just kept waiting for success. I kept doing what I have told people not to do for years, wait on fortune to find me.

Even when I was not completely in the will of God I always filled my space. If I walked in a room I filled my space because I brought a value to that room greater that what I was taking away from it. I could help those in the room elevate themselves emotionally, financially, in self-esteem and so much more. Even when someone paid me for a service, I always gave them more than cash value. They called it a great deal; I called it filling my space. It was a principle at work. I decided in December that it was time to fill my space and that will be my goal from this point forward.

So, I encourage you to fill your space. In fact, do all you can to more than fill your space. This is what I will be striving for in 2012. Filling your space will bring you success. When put out more than you get, when your presence brings about a blessing and worth to anything, that is filling your space. When the lives you come in contact with are better for it, you are filling your space. Greatness comes by filling your space.

I want you to really think about that.

God bless you ~ Bishop Rick Wallace

 

Foundation Scriptures: Hebrews 3,4:1-8; Isa. 26:3,4

Key Verses Is. 26:3

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.” (Isa. 26:3)

 

I have read and believe that a true state of happiness is the most difficult state for a Christian to achieve.  In order to apprehend the veracity in this statement, one must be willing to be honest with themselves; next they must have the ability to detach themselves from the euphoric world in which they have become engrossed.  Allow me to paraphrase: Wake up and smell the coffee! Please understand that I am not saying that it is impossible, I am simply pointing to all that comes against us to rob us of our contentment and joy. We will find out shortly that in Christ all things are possible.

 

Through experiential progression, I have come to the conclusion that no matter how determinedly and agonizingly we strive to escape the pain, heartache and despair that life so opportunistically places at our feet, we will inevitably endure asperity and anguish.  Christians don’t like hearing that.  We want to be told that post salvation life will be a metaphorical cakewalk.  The truth is, we have been promised that there will be a great deal of trials and tribulation.

 

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world.”

(John 16:33)

 

The Greek word used for tribulation here is “thlipsis” which means: pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress.  This word carries the connotation of taking something that is free and unfettered and compressing it with the objective of producing something better.  The same word is used of crushing grapes and olives in a press.  “Thlipsis” is, in essence, spiritual bench pressing, making a stronger and more formidable Christian soldier.  So, our struggles are quite a necessary part of our spiritual progression.

 

This does not mean that inevitable trials and distresses will be easy but they should not produce fear, anxiety, or bitterness.  At the same time Jesus promised tribulation, he also promised peace.  How is this so?

 

“Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone.  And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” (John 16:32)

 

At the time of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion, the disciples would all in some way forsake Him and flee to the safety of their homes.  Though they would leave Him, He would not be alone, because the father would be with Him.  We have the same promise.

 

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ “ (Heb. 13:5)

“For He Himself is our peace.” (Eph. 2:14)

 

Therefore, our peace is not in the absence of trials, but in the perpetual presence of our Lord and Savior.  As believers, we tend to paint illusions of grandeur; we have all the right responses to the struggles and vicissitudes we face.  Painting over the realities of this harsh world, we give the appearance that life is all peaches and cream; when in fact, the pressures against those who believe in Christ are a thousand times greater than those of the unbeliever.

 

At first glance, the aforementioned statements present a gloomy and dark picture and may be somewhat discouraging to those who are new in the faith; However, I believe that it is of vital importance that all Christians face the facts.

 

Fact One: We reside as aliens in a world that is under the rule and Lordship of Satan.  We are considered aliens because although we reside here, our citizenship is in heaven. (Phil. 3:20)

 

Fact Two: The world by its very nature is hostile toward Christians.  Christ declared that since the world hated him, it would hate us also.

 

Fact Three: We are dead centered in the midst of a spiritual warfare, the angelic conflict.  We are both, participants and spoils of this war.  There are spiritual forces that are constantly moving against us.

 

In summary, the Christian is constantly facing tremendous, powerful, insidious pressures, and often, the greater your capacity for service, the greater the believer can be used by God, the greater the pressure on every side — the world, the flesh, and the devil.

 

In the beginning, I stated my belief that a true state of happiness is the most difficult state for the Christian to achieve.  I did not say it was unattainable, for it is very much within the grasp of every believer.  Then why is it so difficult to achieve? It is difficult because believers have taken on the worldly view of ephemeral elation, happiness of the moment.  The celerity at which happiness enters and exits the lives of believers is astounding.  To most, happiness is circumstantial, depending on situational occurrences.  This produces instability and ineffectiveness.  God, through His infallible Word, has promised perpetual joy.  This joy is irrespective in nature; it is not dependent upon external circumstances; it does not dwarf in the face of adversity and it burgeons in response to the development of our relationship with Christ.  This joy is closely related to the peace God has promised.  They are always found in close proximity to each other.  Our joy and peace are produced through constant abiding in Jesus Christ.  So allow me to reiterate this truth: Joy and peace are not produced through the circumvention of life’s storms, but are perpetually present despite them.

 

When your mind is fixed on Jesus; when your heart is settled in love, there is no storm, no disappointment; no heartache that can rob you of your joy and peace, even in the midst of the storm.  We are forever coalesced to the Prince of Peace.  “For He Himself is our peace.(Eph 2:14)  The Greek “eirene” (eye-ray-nay) carries the meaning of state of rest, quietness, calmness, an absence of strife, and tranquility.  It also carries a connotation of “being united with” as well as “to bring an end to hostility”.  So in essence, the peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7) is the culmination of “being united with Christ” whereas he “brings an end to hostility”, thereby creating a “state of rest” in which there is “an absence of strife” and a sense of “calmness” and “tranquility”.

 

 

This union with Christ is birthed through the channel of faith.  God wants to provide a place of rest, but it has to be obtained through the promises of His Word, received by faith.  Let us take a look at Hebrew 4:1,2:

 

“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it, For indeed the Gospel was preached to us a well as to them; but the Word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”

 

 

The first thing we notice here is the conjunctive adverb “therefore”.  This word indicates that there is a preceding clause as well as a subsequent clause.  The subsequent clause is easily identified as it immediately follows the conjunctive adverb, but where is the preceding clause?  The answer is: In the previous chapter.  The original text of the Bible was not separated into chapters or numbered in verse.  This was done later as a means of reference.  So we will have to look beyond the confines of these numbered boundaries.  The preceding clause that completes this statement is found in Chapter 3, verse 19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

 

In Chapter 3, the writer of Hebrews reminds us that the first generation of recently freed Israelites failed to reach the peace, tranquility, and abundance of the promise land.  The writer quotes a passage from Ps. 95:7-11 that reinforces the cause of this failure to reach the promised place of rest.

 

In Chapter 4 he jumps from the past to the present and exhorts or admonishes the readers not to fall short of the promised rest.

 

“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as them; the Word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with “faith” in those who heard it.” (Heb. 4:2)

 

Here lies the very thing that separates those who are able to attain true peace and happiness and those who are not —faith!  They received the promise just as we have, but it did not profit them.  They had the promise, but did not stand on it.  We have thousands upon thousands of promises in the Bible.  It has been estimated that there are in excess of 33,000 promises and of these, over 7,000 promises that God will have a direct and positive impact on those who will trust and believe in Him.

 

The problem with the Israelites in the wilderness was the spiritual ineptitude, the inability to see past their circumstances and trust God to perform that which he had promised.  They received the promise, but it was not encapsulated by faith.  Faith not only empowers, but it protects the promise.  Faith guards against anxiety, doubt, despair, impatience, and fear.

 

We have to face the fact that as Christians, we are going to be tested; we are going to endure trials and tribulations; we will be battered by the storms of the suffering and compounded by the vicissitudes of life; however; God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.  God is saying, “You believed enough to trust Me with salvation, trust Me to provide you with that peace that transcends all understanding.  Trust Me to provide you with that happiness that is inexpressible.  Trust Me to anoint you with the power to fulfill your destiny.”  He is standing before you telling you that His grace is sufficient for you.

 

God has bequeathed us His infallible Word, we only need to take hold of the promises that are before us.

 

When we are able to grasp the understanding that the absence of trials and storms in our lives is not indicative of the potential for joy, peace, and fullness, but rather, our joy, peace and happiness is afforded and sustained despite the presence of life’s trials, we are then able to enter that rest.  We will be able to “count it all joy”.  We will be able to enter into our divine purpose with an unbridled pertinacity, overcoming every trial by faith.

 

As the burdens of this tedious life press us down and drain us of our strength, we can rest in the calm assurance that God’s grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in weakness.  We will be able to withstand the nefarious attacks of Satan while resting under the shadow of the almighty.

 

The Israelites in the wilderness could not enter the rest of the Promised Land because they did not receive the promises of God with faith.  So then faith is a prerequisite for peace, and we know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17)

 

It is time to uncover the secrets of God’s Word.  It is time to uncover the secret that says: “If I delight myself in the Lord, he will give me the desires of my heart.”

It is time to uncover the secret that says: “I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.”

It is time to uncover that secret that says: “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.”

That secret that says: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

That secret that says: If I “wait on the Lord and be of good coverage, He will strengthen my heart.”

I’m talking about joy inducing secrets.

The secret that says: “He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.”

That secret that says: “When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me.”

That secret that says: “No weapon formed against me, shall prosper.”

I’m talking about shackle loosing secrets.

The secret that says: “My defense is of God who saves the upright in heart.”

The secret that says: “Fear not for I am with you.”

The secret that says: “At my first defense, no one stood with me, but God stood with me, and strengthened me.”

The secret that says: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds.”

I invite you to do as I do.  When darkness falls on my life, I call out the name of the Lord.  I can call Him any time of the day.  I will call Him in my moments of weakness.  I will call Him and tell Him about my troubles.  When I call Him, I can say, “Father, I stretch my hands to thee, no other help I know, if thou withdraw thine self from me, where else shall I go.”  I can say, “Precious Lord take my hand lead me on and let me stand.”  I can say, “Guide me over Great Jehovah, a pilgrim through this barren land.  I am weak but thou art mighty hold me with though powerful hand.”  I can say as the Psalmist, “Restore in me the joy of your salvation.

 

I can call Him down in the midst of the storm.  When I call Him, I say, “Lord, I need healing” or can simply speak those two worded prayers: hold me; keep me; protect me; bless me; shelter me; guide me.  No matter what happens I know when I call Him, He answers.  I invite you to join me in this place of rest.

 

May God bless, keep, and prosper you, even as your soul prospers!

 

Sincerely,

Bishop Rick Wallace

 

 

 

 

When Your House Is Not a Home

 

By Bishop Rick Wallace

 

 

 

I want to be very lucid in presenting the fact that I do not write, teach, or preach from a platform of perfection.  As a man I have made mistakes, and those mistakes have at times come at the expense of others.  I have tasted the bitter waters of divorce and staggered through the storm of relational dysfunctionality.  I know what it feels like to have children who are trapped between their love for their parents and the fact that mom and dad are no longer seeing things eye to eye.  No, I don’t write to you this day from the lonely island of perfection, but from the transformed heart of a man of God.  This being the most preeminent of truths: That only through complete surrender to God’s “will” for your life can you find true joy, contentment, and stability in marriage.

 

 

 

As we move forward, we will explore God’s will for marriage, marriage’s function as an institution, God’s role in the home, and lastly, what happens when your house is not a home.  A great deal of what will be addressed will be directed toward men because it is my belief that too many men have fallen away from their God ordained duties, creating a void and an imbalance in the function of the home and many other areas of society.  It is now that the clarion is sounding.  God is calling men to resume their positions as leaders, providers, protectors, and enablers.

 

 

 

This does not, by any means, excuse our Christian women from walking into their callings and ambling into their destinies.  I know that you have been hurt; I know that you have been disappointed; I know that you have been left with the burden of being a single parent.  Your trust and faithfulness has been repaid with disloyalty, malevolence, and abandonment; however, there is still reason to press on.  God is still in control, I know its been strenuous and arduous, yet, on behalf of every man that deemed it acceptable to procreate and then abandon his progeny, for every man that assumed it satisfactory behavior to be physically or emotionally abusive, for every man that thought it to be the proper course of action to tread upon your dreams, I personally apologize.  Yes, you have been hurt, but now its time to let go and move forward.  It is time to rise up and be all that you were created to be.

 

 

 

Men of Power I have not forgotten you. Yes, there are some of you out there that stand strong in your filial responsibilities. There are some of you that refuse to leave your family behind. There are some of you that walk in their God ordained destinies. For those of you that fall into this category, we need your example to shine vividly in this world of diminishing Christian influence.

 

 

 

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  (Col 1:17)

 

 

 

“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.  (Joh 17:5)

 

 

 

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Heb 1:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These scriptural passages reveal the fact that Christ has existed eternally and that all things consist in Him.  This means that all things are sustained and held together by Christ; this includes the institutions of marriage and family, as well as the home in general.  Knowledge of this truth is of massive importance.  First, it establishes the foundation on which marriages and families are built and sustained; Without Christ in the forefront it is impossible to initiate, cultivate, and sustain any relationship.  Secondly, in time of distance, indifference separation, and even abandonment, the knowledge of Christ’s sustaining power carries you through.  So, again I stress that the points made here must be examined in the light of Christianity (as outlined in the Bible) and the acknowledgement of a sovereign God.  Outside of this prospective, one tends to lean toward human viewpoint and logical resolutions to spiritual issues.  No matter how a problem manifests itself in the physical realm of reality, its source is always of a spiritual nature.

 

 

 

For as Paul injects this truth, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).” In 2 Cor. 10:3, he iterates, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.”  The enemy has wreaked immeasurable havoc on the Christian name simply because we did not sense his presence.

 

 

 

God’s Way or Yours

 

 

 

Contrary to secular paradigms, there are only two ways of approaching life; God’s way or mans way.  There are no middle grounds, no place of compromise, or situational exceptions. When I say this, I am not speaking of religious of legalistic rigidity, but a yield to the will of God through love, honor, and reverence.

 

 

 

God establishes through the prophet Isaiah that his ways and thoughts are above ours.

 

 

 

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.  (Isa 55:8,9)

 

 

 

This does not mean that we are to continue to live in the darkness of our finite perspicacity, but we are to draw closer to God and His way as each day passes.  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded (James 4:8).”  I have been and I will continue to emphasize the profound gravity your thinking has on the success of your Christian journey. The first dictum here is to draw near to God.  This calls for a form of self-abnegation of one’s personal views and values in exchange for the perfect and sovereign will of God.  We are also exhorted to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. We do this by forsaking sin, confession of those sins we do commit, and a purification of our thoughts.  In addition, for the second time in his letter, James addresses the state of being double-minded.  Being double-minded is attempting to think and live in two separate ways.  Double-minded is literally translated “two souls”.  If one part of your being is set on the way of God and the other is set on the way of the world, there will be a constant conflict from within with an outward manifestation of perpetual disarray.  This is what Paul says, “16But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

 

17For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

 

When a person is perpetually functioning between the two states I call this state of mind spiritual schizophrenia (a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements).  A spiritual schizophrenic is capricious in his thoughts and vacillating in his actions and beliefs, in fact, the Word tells us that he is unstable in all his ways.

 

 

 

Every relationship, including marriage, must be entered with the understanding of God’s will.  One of the greatest destructive forces known to marriage or any other relationship, for that matter, is self-determination.  So many of us have entered into relationships that God has not ordained, but we are determined to have nonetheless.  All the signs are there, but we choose to ignore the obvious.  If he or she is married, it is probably a good sign that he or she is not the one God has for you.  If he or she is involved in illicit behavior, there’s probably a good chance that they are not the one.  The list of tells is extensive, but the result is the same — Operating outside of the will of God means operating outside the blessings of God.  Allow me to make myself painfully clear, you cannot operate outside God’s will and have the audacity to expect God to bless and prosper your willful disobedience.  You can’t take something that does not belong to you and ask God to bless it. If fact, you can expect to incur a curse for your disobedience (This is addressed in my treatise Covered by Covenant).

 

 

 

With that being said, I must for the sake of doctrinal accuracy, point to the fact that there is no sin that Christ’s magnanimous work on Calvary did not expiate. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. What this means is that when we repent of our sins and confess them before God, He will forgive and cleanse us of the guilt and stain of that sin. There are those that will ask why mention this provision. They will postulate that it promotes sin. I would answer, “Doctrine must be taught in accuracy and balance. We weight our teachings in correspondence to our personal views on certain issues, leaving those we teach with distorted views and inadequately equipped to live the Christian life. This is a disservice to those we teach and a dereliction of duty on our part. Every provision of God’s plan of grace has a purpose and should not be overlooked or denied. So even when one enters into a relationship that has not been ordained by God, God himself, when sincerely approached through repentance and confession, will sanctify that relationship.

 

 

 

The Proper Connection

 

 

 

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Cor. 6:14)

 

 

 

 

 

Though this exhortation extends beyond the institution of marriage, it most definitely applies.  We are not to enter into binding or covenant relationships with those who perpetuate ungodly behavior.  We are the dwelling place of our most holy God and must live a life that honors and glorifies Him.  In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he advises that a saved spouse can sanctify an unsaved spouse;  “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through [h]her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are (L)holy (1 Cor. 7:14 NASB).

 

 

 

 

 

However, here he is speaking of a spouse who became saved during the marriage, not before. Contrary to popular belief, marriage is not the place for a fixer up mentality. What I mean by this is we have a proclivity to think that we can reach out and bring someone into our lives and fix their fallibilities in a manner that suits our desires and needs. Listen very closely to what I am about to tell you. We can only enhance the potential of someone else; we can never create it. Transformation is a human prerogative; it takes the exercise of one’s volition to exact change. Too often we enter into relationships thinking that we can impose our will on our mates and recreate who they are. We see those attributes we are looking for in a mate and totally ignore those characteristics that autonomously express doom.

 

 

 

The point I am making here is that it is of immense importance the manner in which one enters marriage and with whom.  This is not to limit God’s ability to sanctify, but to bring to light the fact that God will not abandon His will to appease yours.  So in this instance, if your house is not a home, it was not meant to be.  Remember, God’s will is sovereign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Laws of Divine Establishment

 

 

 

To truly comprehend the institution of marriage as well as other divine institutions ordained by God, one must first grasp the necessity for each.  We must first understand that God’s plan is eternal.  Because God is omniscient, He is never taken by surprise as it pertains to our actions; He is never surprised by our transgressions.  God, in eternity past, designed a plan by which he would reconcile fallen man to Himself.

 

 

 

Matthew 25:34 says, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

 

 

 

For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,

 

(C)AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,”

 

although His works were finished(D)from the foundation of the world. (Heb. 4:3 NASB)

 

 

 

 

 

We are told that certain things were kept secret from the foundation of the world.  The notion is that because of His omniscience, coupled with His omnipotence, God does not have to wait for us to slip into the pit of despair in order to plan our escape. He has always known that we would fall and has already prepared a way of escape. This, of course should provide a sense of solace, it should establish a foundation of hope.  It should also alert your senses to the truth that there is nothing inconsequential when it comes to a purpose in mind, as we will see.  God is neither frivolous nor capricious in his actions; there is always a purpose —no wasted motions.

 

 

 

Understanding the purpose will assist you in functioning optimally within this system designed by God.

 

 

 

The laws of Divine Establishment are ensconced within the comprehensive expression of the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law is found specifically in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Law is divided into three major division called codices:

 

 

 

Codex 1 is the moral code known as the commandments. This set of rules consists of more than 120 commandments including the Decalogue (also known as the Ten Commandments Ex. 20:1-17; Deut. 5:6-21). Codex 1 establishes and clarifies the moral codes that ultimately proved man is a sinner in need of salvation.

 

 

 

18 For (AD)if the inheritance is[aa]based on law, it is no longer[ab]based on a promise; but (AE)God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

 

19 (AF)Why the Law then? It was added [ac]because of transgressions, having been(AG)ordained through angels (AH)by the [ad]agency of a mediator, until(AI)the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20Now (AJ)a mediator is not [ae]for oneparty only; whereas God is onlyone. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? (AK)May it never be! For (AL)if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness [af]would indeed have been [ag]based on law. 22 But the Scripture has (AM)shut up[ah]everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

 

23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law,(AN)being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our(AO)tutor to lead us to Christ, so that (AP)we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a[ai](AQ)tutor. (Galatians 3:18-25 NASB)

 

 

 

 

 

Codex 1 Also provides the foundation for the laws of divine establishment.

 

 

 

Codex 2 establishes the spiritual ordinances which are shadows and types of Christ as the savior of the world. The ordinances produce the shadows of Christology and soteriology.

 

 

 

For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. (Heb. 10:1 NASB)

 

 

 

Codex 2 is inclusive of the Levitical Offerings, Holy Days, Tabernacle and its functions, dress and modus operandi of the Levitical Priesthood, and liturgy of worship of Israel.

 

 

 

Codex 3 establishes the social code and reveals and presents the laws of divine establishment which are designed to protect freedom and privacy for the entire whole of mankind, believers and non-believers alike. This section of the law delineates the perfect standard for the function of the national entity as well as dietary laws, laws of sanitation, quarantine, soil conservation, taxation, military service, marriage, divorce and more. We find that to insure the proper execution of the laws of divine establishment, God designed four institutions through which the laws of divine establishment would be perpetuated: the individual, the marriage, the family, and the nation.

 

 

 

How do the laws of divine establishment affect and apply to the divine institutions?  “God, in His omniscience has always known that man would choose to sin and consequently acquire a sin nature, giving him the unlimited potential to destroy himself and negatively impact those around him.  In order to conserve, protect, and perpetuate the existence of the human race throughout the history of this spiritual warfare some have dubbed the angelic conflict, God instituted the laws of divine establishment.  The laws of divine establishment are principles and precepts that apply to both believers and nonbelievers alike.  The laws of this nation are based upon the laws of divine establishment.  The laws of divine establishment protect life, stability, freedom, possessions, and provide blessings.  The laws give greater weight to certain human possessions, such as, life and freedom.  An adherence to these laws ensures prosperity in so many aspects of our lives.” (R.B. Thieme Jr. Freedom Through Military Victory)

 

 

 

This system of control functions under the umbrella of legitimate authority.  Legitimate authority is authority ordained and delegated by God in which certain people have responsibility and a particular scope or range of jurisdiction over other members of society.  Authority exists both, in the temporal and spiritual realms, but the laws of divine establishment only apply to the temporal realm.  The Laws of divine establishment can be reviewed in the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy.

 

 

 

The Divine Institutions

 

 

 

 

 

In His infinite wisdom God ordained four divine institutions through which the laws of divine establishment function:  the individual, the marriage, the family, and the national entity.  The ordination, existence, and perpetuation of these institutions are lucidly delineated and symmetrically confirmed by scripture.  God has delegated a primary authority to function within each institution to insure its optimal function: volition for the individual, the husband for marriage, parents for the family, and government for the national entity.  Each of these institutions were a part of God’s plan before the beginning of time, but were revealed at different points in History.  The individual was ordained with the creation of Adam in Geneses 1:26; marriage with the creation of the woman in Genesis 2:23; family with the birth of the first child in Genesis 4:1; the national entity with the formations of nations in Genesis 10:5.  These four institutions encompass the entire human race irrespective to race, religion, gender, social statutes, and all other considerable factors.

 

 

 

The Individual

 

 

 

Though we, at some point, will discuss each of the divine institutions, our primary focus here, is marriage.  However, before we can apprehensively navigate through the many corridors of marriage, we must first gain an understanding of the function and responsibility of the institution of the individual; the reason being that a functional marriage is the production of two whole individuals uniting and becoming one.  One of the multitudinous quandaries of marriage is the individual who attempts to enter marriage as a means of becoming whole, as a solution to their brokenness, and as a substitute for the emptiness within.  Before entering into the institution of marriage, one must be confident in their identity in Christ.  They must be functional, efficient, and effective in their responsibility as an individual before stepping into the massive responsibility and commitment of marriage.  Marriage is not a cure all for those problematic issues in your life, it is not the place to flee to in search of healing for past hurts, it is a graduation of sorts for the person who has come to a knowledge of self and can enter the bond of matrimony as an asset, not a liability.  Remember, we enter into marriage as a contributor.

 

 

 

So, let us take a look at the function and responsibility of the individual.  The individual is the initiator, the foundation on which the other institutions are built. So, it can be said that the strength of any institution can only be as strong as the individual functioning parts.  You can’t take a dysfunctional individual and plug him into a marriage and presume that he will become functional even if the other partner is highly functional.  The marriage, for all it’s worth, may seem to be highly productive; the problem is one person is shouldering the burden.  At some point, the lack of balance and symmetry will cause a breakdown or collapse in some area.  This is not to say that in marriage, one partner at some point or another will not carry a disproportionate share of the burden, however, this should not be characteristic of the relationship.

 

 

 

The first individual, Adam, was created by God, perfect, a trichotomous being, existing of body, soul, and spirit.  When he chose, through his own volition, to disobey God and sin, he became dichotomous —existing of only body and soul, having become spiritually dead.  Adam became spiritually dead, his spirit being replaced with a sin nature, the genetic predisposition to sin. As we are his progeny, seminally present at the fall, the sin nature has been genetically passed on to each of us through male procreation, meaning we are all born spiritually dead.

 

 

 

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned (through Adam). (Rom. 5:12 emphasis added)

 

 

 

Only through regeneration, which comes through faith in Christ, can man be rendered trichotomous, spiritually alive.  Notice, regeneration comes through a volitional act of faith.  The primary authority for the individual is volition.  Volition provides the capacity for man to choose, and is a function of the human will, which is controlled by the human soul.  When the human volition is functioning optimally, it functions under the rationale of the soul, not instinct or emotion.

 

 

 

Understanding the Power of Volition

 

 

 

God’s Biblical mandates are always directed toward volition, making volition a significant and influential force in this spiritual warfare.  The power of choice can never be over estimated or overvalued.  The proper regulation of volition is paramount in the perpetuation of the Christian lifestyle.  We are commanded over and over to choose.  Choose to believe in Christ, choose life or death, and choose to walk in the Spirit.  Make no mistake, the choices you make carry consequence.

 

 

 

So, what, ultimately is the function and responsibility of the individual?  The individual is to display self-discipline, in consistently choosing to do what is required of him by God.  He is to live his life in the awesome power of the Holy Spirit.  He is to walk in the confidence of his identity in Christ.  The individual carries the greatest impact on society, for he is not only the foundation for the other institutions, he is also the only institution that directly impacts all others.

 

 

 

Confederate General, John Brown Gordon once said, “I am reminded of the commonplace but important truth that the aggregate character of a people of any country depends upon the personal character of its individual citizens; and the individual, personal character of it’s people, than it does upon any constitution that could be adopted or statutes that could be enacted.  What would safe guards be worth if the character of the people did not sustain and enforce them?”

 

 

 

So, it’s safe to say that what any individual takes into the bond of matrimony in the form of character, integrity, fortitude, and potential has a monumental and enduring impression upon that marriage. Being somewhat nebulous, a marriage is only capable of producing to the limits and boundaries of its potential; that potential is determined by the individual potential of those that enter this bond of marriage.

 

 

 

The Marriage

 

 

 

As stated earlier, marriage is not a hiding place for a troubled soul.  It is not an arrangement of convenience through which economic struggles may be confronted.  It is not an expedient arrangement by which the human race is propagated.  No, marriage is a divine institution ordained by God.  It is meant to represent Christ’s love for the church.  When people look into the Christian marriage they should see the reflection of God’s love —no relationship bears more importance to social culture and the church than marriage.

 

 

 

Listen to what Biblical scholar R.B. Thieme Jr. has to say about the institution of marriage: “Marriage provides the structure for stability in society, the foundation of civilization.  God’s plan for husband and wife prohibits fornication, adultery, promiscuity, homosexuality, communal living, polygamy, and frivolous divorce.  When the divine design for marriage is spurned by enough people, degeneracy permeates society and the nation declines.” (Freedom Through Military Victory, R.B. Thieme Jr. 2003)

 

 

 

Lucidly speaking, as the respect for the sanctity of God ordained marriage wanes, the moral fiber of our social culture begins to unravel.  This explains why things considered unacceptable by the masses a mere twenty years ago are now commonplace.

 

 

 

As volition is the delegated authority in the individual, the husband is the authority delegated by God in the marriage.  Now, this fact has become quite controversial in today’s social environment.  This Biblical truth has been misconstrued to indicate or express the superiority of the man over the women.  Some have taken it as an attempt by man to oppress and dominate women.  There are those that will insist that the principle of male authority in the home is archaic and no longer functions in contemporary culture; however, scripture does not support this point of view.  The truth is that all of these misconceptions do not align with Biblical mandate.

 

 

 

God, in His infinite wisdom, understands the vast importance of maintaining order, and subsequently designed a system through which order may be sustained, as long as man is obedient to the mandates of the plan.

 

 

 

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church, and He is the Savior of the body.”(Eph 5:22)

 

 

 

“IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,” (1 Peter 3:1 AMP)

 

 

 

These are two very expressive and revealing scriptural passages. One has to have at least a minimal understanding of categorical bible study. Ephesians 5.22 is Paul’s command to wives to submit and in itself bears clarity to a much misunderstood piece of scripture. In Genesis 3:16, God addresses Eve after the fall. He tells her that her pain in childbirth will be multiplied, but he does not stop there. He concludes with the following statement:

 

 

 

“…Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And (R)he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16 NASB)

 

 

 

There are several popular interpretations for the part of the passage, but the proper one is establish and supported by Paul’s exhortation to wives in Ephesians 5:22.

 

 

 

This is what Dr. Thomas Constable has to say about this passage of scripture:

 

 

 

“The ‘curse’ here describes the beginning of the battle of the sexes. After the Fall, the husband no longer rules easily; he must fight for his headship. The woman’s desire is to control her husband (to usurp his divinely appointed headship), and he must master her, if he can. Sin had corrupted both the willing submission of the wife and the loving headship of the husband. And so the rule of love founded in paradise is replaced by struggle, tyranny, domination, and manipulation.” (Thomas Constable, Commentary of the Bible)

 

 

 

If you want to obtain a more detailed explanation of this passage I would suggest you read the article “What is the Women’s Desire” by Susan T. Foh. She gives a very disciplined description in this article. If you would wish, you may email me at rpw@rickwallaceministries.com and I will provide an in-depth anatomization of this scriptural text.

 

 

 

Basically, this conflict in the home is what prompted Paul to address both, husband and wife in Ephesians Chapter five.

 

 

 

Marriage is a relationship that involves mutual submission, and though all Christians are called and exhorted to live in submission to one another, submission is applied in a unique manner to the marriage relationship.  The wife is commanded not simply to submit, but to submit to her husband as to the Lord.  The Greek word used here is (“Hypotasso”) — to put in subjection, subject, subordinate; in the passive, to submit, be subject to.  According to the terminology in scripture, she is to hold him in the highest esteem and regard.

 

 

 

Every well-ordered society rests upon the pillars of authority and submission.  Where there is no submission to authority, anarchy and chaos run rampant.  Submission never implies inferiority; authority doesn’t establish superiority.  Christ was submissive to God the Father, but at no time was he ever inferior, they are both equally God.  Neither is the woman inferior to man or the wife inferior to the husband.  In fact, there are many areas in which the wife may transcend her husband.

 

 

 

I am perfectly cognizant of the fact that the Biblical view is not a popular one, nevertheless, we are not to be conformed to the world but we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  We should not allow the world to influence the stances we take and the way we live our lives.  We are to be the light, the focal point, and the influence that induces a sort of transculturation.

 

 

 

Now if the wife is to submit to the husband, what is the husband required to do?  Luke 12:48 tells us that he who has been entrusted with much, of him much will be required.  Before we progress, allow me to bring elucidation to the principle of partial submission.  When a wife submits to her husband, she is not submitting to the man; she is submitting to the God ordained authority given to the man by the creator.  This delegated authority is revocable and is only active when the husband is operating under the will of God.  Whenever a husband chooses to move opposite the will of God, his wife is not obligated to follow his lead, she is to remain in line with the Word.  This insures the authority of headship delegated by God is not abused or used to Lord over the wife.  The wife is not a slave, but a partner.  I digress.  Shall we continue?

 

 

 

The husband, in a manner of reciprocation or even excessiveness, is called to love his wife, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her.  He is to put aside his own interest in order to enhance hers.  Beyond God, she is to be placed first; her life above his; her needs before his.  His role is to nourish (Greek ekotrphō —to support her growth toward her personal maturity), and to cherish (Greek thalpō —to warmly care for and attend to).  When in the perfect harmony God intended, each partner in marriage proactively and interactively brings the other to his or her full potential in life.

 

 

 

When a marriage is lived out in a mutually loving, supportive, and loyal environment, it mirrors the love of Christ for the church and the love the church is called to have toward Him.

 

 

 

Again, at the risk of being redundant, I reiterate, the submissive woman of the Bible is far from weak.  She is the epitome of strength and spiritual fortitude.  She is the heart line of the home.  She is the source of favor and blessing for her husband.  Proverbs 18:22 says, “he that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”  A Godly wife is the greatest gift a man may obtain from the Lord beyond salvation.

 

 

 

Thus far, we have ingested quite a bit of information, let’s take a moment to allow our souls to digest it.  What can we ascertain from what has been taken in thus far?  First and foremost, marriage is a vehicle through which God reveals his love to a world in desperate need of a Savior.  It is not a place for one to fulfill their selfish desires.  It is a place of giving, caring, loving and so much more.  It is the opportunity to wake up each day and glance over into the eyes of God’s most vivid portrait of His love for you.  It is the opportunity to experience God’s divine favor as it is showered upon your home via deitious promise and divine providence.

 

 

 

The question then arises: If God has established such a lofty status for marriage, why are there so many houses and so few homes?  Why is the divorce rate in excess of 50% of all marriage in the U.S.?  The answer in its simplest form is we are not living our lives in the power of the spirit.  We have not allowed the power of the blood to permeate through every fissure and orifice of our marriage.  We have chosen to position ourselves in the philosophical pool of popularity.  We have engaged ourselves with cosmic philosophies that promote and entice narcissistic behavior.

 

 

 

Please believe me when I tell you that there is no greater, no more of a powerful magnet of God’s blessings and favor than the union of marriage, yet if you are in a marriage functioning outside of the will of God, it can be the most miserable of places.

 

 

 

Though women are not beyond reproach, it is my position that a vast majority of the social and spiritual issues we are confronted with today are due to a falling away of the Christian man.  Don’t get me wrong, I could probably write volumes as to the state of the Christian woman in today’s society, but honestly if it were not for a nucleus of Christian women who have stood firm in the faith despite the antinomianistic environments in which they reside, I’m afraid to think of where we would be in this country.

 

 

 

I want to take time to say that when I speak of Christian living, it is not of lethargic, luke warm Christianity.  I speak of spirit filled men and women who desire nothing more than to please the Father, to walk into their purpose, and fulfill their destinies, I do not speak of fence straddlers, those who live their lives as they please and yet arrogantly expect God to service their needs and desires, with no consequence to their mutinous behavior.  No, I speak of the believer who understands that he/she is the salt of the earth and that low living is not their calling.

 

 

 

Are You The Man You Think You Are?

 

 

 

We, as a nation, as a Christian people, have found ourselves in a very precarious position.  Single parent households are at an all time high.  To exacerbate matters, the men that have fled these homes have defaulted on their promissory oaths and paternal obligations.  Men have, in some way, found it both, easy and acceptable to procreate and then abandon their progeny.  The very foundation of our moral integrity and manly honor has been shaken to the very core.  It would be a foolish assessment to attribute every social issue and all of the enigmatic predicaments that confront us to men, yet, as men; we must face the fact that our leadership is in many ways, faulty.  We have fallen short in the function of our God ordained duties as the head.  We adamantly declare our kingship, but fail to sustain its requisites.  We have too easily become transculturated by the precepts, philosophies and principles of the world around us.  The standard by which we are to be measured and appraised should always be the Word of God.

 

 

 

“But if anyone does not provide for his own and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”(1 Tim 5:8)

 

 

 

These are strong words by the Apostle Paul.  He says failure to take care of your paternal or filial obligations equates to a denial of the faith.  He goes one step further by declaring failure in this area places the believer in a position worse than that of an unbeliever.  This is for the simple reason that there are unbelievers that grasp and embrace the concept of relational responsibilities.  It is easy to see that the Christian man who fails in his responsibilities to his family, not only places his family in a position of suffering; it brings reproach to the faith.

 

 

 

When Things Go Wrong

 

 

 

Please understand that though I cannot condone frivolous divorce, there are times when divorce is the best and maybe even the only option.  I’m sure that there are those that will be critical of the aforementioned statement, however, the fact remains that there are times when we place ourselves in situations that are outside the scope of God’s will for our lives.  But Bishop, Christ emphatically, unequivocally, and explicitly says that divorce is not allowed except for infidelity.  Well, first of all, He did not say infidelity; He said sexual immorality, which extends far beyond infidelity.  Yet, this is not the issue.  If we desire to use the Word to set up loop holes in which we can operate within our own will, we are out of line, but just as dangerous is the one who attempts to use the letter of the law to establish, contrive, or even rebut the righteousness of himself or others.  To do so is to discount God’s grace.  The issue here is the depth of God’s Word and the ability through the Holy Spirit to grasp or apprehend its meaning.

 

 

 

Make no mistake about it; divorce was in no way God’s intention for marriage.  It is and has always been God’s ideal that one man and one woman remain married until the matrimonial bond is broken by death (Rom. 7:2,3).

 

 

 

We find in Malachi 2:16 that God hates divorce.

 

 

 

So then, why did God allow for divorce?  Christ tells us that God, through Moses, gave an allowance for divorce because of the hardness of man’s heart.  Moses‘ law of divorce is in essence, a concession to man’s weaknesses, and was not given to make the act of divorce easier, on the contrary, it was given to constrain the ease in which a divorce is obtained, in actuality, giving the wife a protection she had not enjoyed to that point.  Before the law was constituted, the wife had very few rights of protection; the husband could simply decide he no longer wanted his wife, with little or no provocation and then force her out of the home.

 

 

 

Earlier, I made the statement that there are times divorce becomes necessary.  We know by literal translation that sexual immorality may be used as scriptural grounds for divorce, yet, scripture does not “mandate” divorce in the instance of sexual immortality.  Even in the area of infidelity, if it is possible to save the marriage, it is your responsibility to do so.  The question then arises: are there any other legitimate reasons for divorcing a life partner?  Depending on what Bible scholar you confer with, the answer may vary.  Even when it comes to the stated exception for divorce (sexual immorality), scholars are not in absolute agreement.  Some believe this exception applies to premarital sexual immorality, some postnuptial transgressions.  Most scholars, based on 1 Cor. 7:12-16, believe that divorce is acceptable when a believing spouse is deserted by an unbelieving spouse.  This writer concurs; in fact, I would like to take this particular passage of scripture to make an important and extremely essential point as it pertains to the study of scripture.

 

 

 

In several passages of scripture, however, Paul explicitly says that a believer can be released from the bond of marriage if their unbelieving spouse chooses to leave.

 

 

 

Does this mean that either passage (Christ’s or Paul’s directive’s for divorce. Christ said only sexual immorality and Paul said dessertion) is fallacious or that scripture is contradicting scripture? Certainly not.  It simply points to the truth that the Bible is not comprehensive in scenerio; it does not address every possible scenario on every possible issue, it addresses life in principle.  The Bible points us toward the heart of God, it reveals God and His plan for our lives and addresses issues in principle (e.g. Matt 18:21-22).  In this example, Peter approaches Christ concerning the act of forgiveness; should a man forgive his brother as many as seven times for personal transgressions?  Jesus‘ answer was succinct, yet immensely profound:  “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”(v.22) Was Christ setting the bar at 490? Of course not, He was establishing the perpetual necessity of forgiveness. Jesus is not applying a mathematical formula; he is implying limitless forgiveness.

 

 

 

It becomes obvious through scriptural comparison that divorce is allowed in other situations other than sexual immorality.  So then, why does Jesus only mention one?  Since God is not the author of confusion, we may safely postulate that Christ is not attempting to use omission in an attempt to leave you in a comatic state of ambivalence.  Christ is, in essence, uses sexual immorality, due to its devastating force on all of those it touches, and its significance in biblical times to establish a level of inclemency, volatility, and ephemerality at which the institution of marriage becomes soluble or irreconcilable.

 

 

 

So, what are the other instances in which divorce may be acceptable to God?  There is no way to present an exhaustive list in this matter, but some of the obvious cases would be situations in which there is physical or emotional abuse, where the long term effect could be spiritual deficiency, emotional instability, physical injury or even death.  Any situation in which one partner is being manipulated, dominated or oppressed in a manner that impedes their growth, spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually.  Abandonment, in the sense of emotional or physical separation may be another situation in which divorce is warranted. A situation in which it is determined that a spouse may be dangerous toward the children in the home is an instance that requisites divorce.  Because of God’s matchless and enduring love for His chosen, it is never His will that we languish in any situation that is destructive toward our spiritual growth and continuous progression toward Him and eternity.

 

 

 

Because we once walked in complete carnality and even now stumble into its arena, it is possible to enter into unions that are not conducive to Christian growth nor do they meet God’s approval.  Are we to remain in these non-efficacious alliances?  That is the question.  Keep in mind that when Jesus addresses the Pharisees concerning divorce, He is as in other instances, such as adherence to the Sabbath, addressing the rigidity in which they interpret the law.

 

 

 

Please do not take away from this that I uphold spontaneous or capricious actions that lead to avoidable and unnecessary divorce.  Nevertheless, it is my stand that there are times in which divorce is the proper course of action.  At the end of the day, one must search within and be able to reconcile their actions with God’s will for their life.

 

 

 

This intermittent treatise on divorce and Christianity is not and was not meant to be discursive, but is meant to bring illumination to some very real situations that many are facing today.  What I can say as we prepare to press on is, “God’s grace is sufficient.”  God’s grace is powerful enough to lift the burden of guilt brought on by stumbling or falling in His will so that you may continue in this ethereal journey called Christianity.  Grace is not to be perceived as a crutch that supports unbridled sin, but the force that rescues us from the grave of inevitable failure.  It is grace that reveals the affinity or propinquity of God‘s love for his chosen.

 

 

 

Turning Your House Into A Home

 

 

 

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.”(Taken from: Beautiful Christian Sister By Maya Angelou)

 

 

 

The preceding statement points to what I believe to be the most influential force in determining the outcome of any marriage, the nature of its conception.  I believe the principle injected in this quote applies to men as well as women.  Let’s think about it for a moment: A person’s heart should be so enamored and occupied with Christ that any potential mate must first seek Him to find them.  Abiding in Christ, or as Maya so powerfully stated, being hidden in Him, protects us not only from others, but also from ourselves.  When we walk outside of Christ our judgment, cogitative instincts, and overall rationale becomes nebulous.  We simply function below par.  When it comes to making the most important decision of your life outside of where you will spend eternity; whom you will spend the rest of your life with here on earth, you must be in a state of lucidity.  You must be in a place of clarity that can only be found in Christ.  Furthermore, your options should be reduced to those as occupied with Christ as you.

 

 

 

What is a home and how is one built?  A home is that place in which you find solace from the struggles of the day.  A home is that place where you are able to be you and yet remain secure in your identity.  A home is a place that covers and protects you from the many forces that tend to drain you of your energy and strength.  It is the one place that should always be a safe refuge.  So, how do we build this place of refuge?  Let’s start by inviting Christ to perpetually reside in this place of dwelling.  His presence is paramount.

 

 

 

The Word of God clearly declares that we are to edify one another.

 

 

 

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thes. 5:11)

 

 

 

It is interestingly ironic that the word translated “edify” is made up of two Greek words: “oikos” translated “a home” and “dimeo”, which means, “to build”.  Literally speaking, edify means to “build a home”.  So, one of the most potent forces in building and maintaining a home is mutual edification, the positive development of your mate’s self-esteem.

 

 

 

Whether its self-esteem, self-image, or self-concept, either term is used to describe how a person sees himself, how he feels about himself and the worth or value he places on himself.  To comprehensively address the issue of self-image or self-esteem would require volumes, but I would like to introduce you to its importance in turning a house into a home.

 

 

 

Earlier on, I made the point that marriage is not a cure all for the emotional deficiencies and painful voids one has incurred.  It is still my belief that one should be as complete as possible before entering into marriage.  The responsibilities that accompany marriage are so massive that one must be at full strength to engage them.  With that being said, no matter how well someone seems to be put together, there are kinks in the armor, areas in which they struggle.

 

 

 

 

Where does a person’s self-image come from? It comes from a combination of a cluster of numerous memories, the perception or interpretation of those memories, and the weight and value given to those memories.  How was this person treated by their parents and primary label givers, especially during those impressionable years from self-awareness to adolescence?  A label giver is any person in a position to have a powerful enough impact to influence how you perceive yourself.  In the light of this definition, parents are the most powerful label givers.  Maybe your father was absent, planting a seed that you were not worthy enough in some way, to require his presence.  There are many other ways parents influence the self-image of their children, both, positively and negatively.

 

 

 

How well did this person navigate through the middle school and high school years?  This is a time when one’s peers possess an immensely powerful influence on their lives.  Were you liked or ostracized by your peers?  How are you perceived in the work place and how do you perceive the way you are perceived?  All these situations and more influence a person’s self-esteem.

 

 

 

From a very early age we begin to develop portraits, concepts, and attitudes about ourselves as well as others.  These attitudes form the lens through which we see ourselves.  This is the process in which we are either positively or negatively influenced.  Thus, we are able to see the need for spousal edification.

 

 

 

Founder of “Focus on The Family, Dr. James Dobson emphasizes the importance of building the self esteem of your spouse.  Listen to what he says:

 

 

 

“The most successful marriages are those where both husband and wife seek to build the self-esteem of the other.  Ego needs can be met within the bonds of marriage, and nothing contributes more to closeness and stability than to convey for the personhood of the spouse.” (Focus On The Family, 1985)

 

 

 

Why is it so important to build your mates self-esteem?  One very important reason is the home is the place that the majority of us are most vulnerable. The things like work, sports, and other activities we use to mask our deficiencies are not present in the home.  In the home, one’s ability to perform in the work place, or on the field or court does not come into play.  It is in the home that we are forced to face our feelings of inadequacy and areas of self-doubt.

 

 

 

One of the most powerful gifts we have is our ability to encourage and empower others.  Every person needs at least one person to stand alongside them to build them up. You are that person for your spouse.

 

 

 

We have all heard the saying: Behind every great man is a great woman.”  It may be his mother, or a schoolteacher, but most likely, his wife.  Why is he great?  He is great because she is great.  Why is she great?  She is great because she knows his weaknesses, but instead of exploiting them, she strives to help him strengthen them.  She lifts him up with encouraging words and emphasizes his strengths and capabilities.  She assures him that he is necessary and that he has a place.  He functions with confidence because he no longer feels threatened.  She assures him that she loves him for who he is and accepts him along with his imperfections.  He, in turn, can function in the productive arena of confidence.  I can personally attest to the negative impact of having had a mate that did not believe in me.

 

 

 

Just as a woman plays a major role in the over all success of her husband, the same applies in the reverse.  A woman reaches her full potential in whatever capacity she functions when her husband fulfills his responsibility to support, protect, and empower her. He provides the secure environment she yearns in the deepest recesses of her being. He provides the covering of protection, enhancement, and empowerment necessary for her to function optimally. He provides her with the confidence she needs to fulfill her full potential and reach her destiny.

 

 

 

The awesome rewards of building your mates self-esteem extend beyond the confines of the marriage.  A couple with positive self-images is better equipped to rear children and contribute to society in general.

 

 

 

So, I invite you to endeavor to edify your spouse.  As you, each day build layer upon layer of your mate’s confidence, you are also building the foundation to transform your house into a home, and as you march forward, always remember that it begins and ends with Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

May you be richly blessed?

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

 

Founder and President

 

Rick Wallace Ministries

 

100 Men of Purpose

 

Life Solutions 21

 

The Invisible Father

 

Christian Impact

 

 

 

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

 

Recently I put together an exegesis on Romans 8:28. That analysis of Romans 8:28 brought lucidity to the subject of knowing for whom God works all things for the good. What I aim to do here briefly is give insight to the last word in this passage; purpose.

G4286                                                                                                     

πρόθεσις

prothesis

proth’-es-is

From G4388; a setting forth, that is, (figuratively) proposal (intention); specifically the show bread (in the Temple) as exposed before God: – purpose, shew [-bread].

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

 

The Greek word “prothesis” translated purpose in English connotes something being set forth and placed in view (with the underlying meaning being that it has been set forth with the understanding  and clarity of the reason for which it was set forth). Simply put, purpose means something that has been set forth with clear understanding of its reason. Clear understanding does not constitute easy access, but clarity in the sense of understanding once revealed.

Purpose and its underlying elements have been pondered through the ages. The Great Greek philosophers of ancient times have grappled with purpose and the significance of human life and their modern counterparts have faced the same enigmatic issues that plagued them centuries ago. Freud, Nietzsche, and Foucault have no better settled the quandaries of life than did the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Secular paradigms and cosmic speculations have infiltrated the faith of Christianity and have brought about paradigmatic shifts in the thinking of believers.

 

Understanding purpose carries with it a wealth or benefits in the sense of perseverance through the trials of this life. Purpose steadies us when we begin to waver under the pernicious attacks of the enemy. Purpose sets the resolve necessary to penetrate the darkness of doubt. Purpose makes visible the plan that is unique to each individual’s life. Purpose says that I am here for a reason, and in knowing this purpose I can comprehend the challenges that accompany this life in the sense that they will work toward the fulfilling of that purpose.

There is an inherent desire for significance within each of us. There is a yearning to belong; there is a yearning to matter; there is a yearning to have something for which you can base your life; purpose is the substance that satisfies this yearning. There are many secular systems that have created paradigms that suggest there is no true meaning to life and that our existence is simply the result chance mutation. There are those that speculate because of the size of our planet in relation to the rest of the universe that we have no true significance. It is easy for the finite perspicacity of man to erroneously hypothesize concerning such issues because without knowledge of God there is no true revelation. Without God things just don’t make sense.

To really understand the power in purpose we must understand the following verse of scripture in the Romans 8 passage:

“For those whom he foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (rom. 8:29-30)

“For those whom he foreknew”, introduces the doctrine of foreknowledge which can be defined as the subcategory of God’s omniscience in which he personally knew each believer in eternity past and thereby knew that they would repent and receive The Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. With this knowledge in mind, he set forth an individual plan for the life of each of these believers. Within this plan lies the purpose and destiny of each believer. The setting out of this plan by God is known as predestination (To predetermine or foreordain; to appoint or ordain beforehand by an unchangeable purpose).  In other words, by divine decree, a purpose has been placed upon your life and the emptiness that is within many of you will never be satiated until you began to walk in that purpose.

 

Purpose girds your thoughts when the enemy attempts to infiltrate your mind. Purpose provides the focus that propels you into your destiny with a passion that is undeterred by trials. Purpose speaks to doubt and reminds you that God is behind the scenes holding the plan together.  Purpose reminds you that your destiny has been decreed and that only your dedication to remaining on the path is required. Purpose exposes you to the unlimited assets that God has placed at your disposal. Purpose provides the answer to the question: After salvation, then what?

 

We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). The Greek word [ κατεργάζομαι , katergazomai] which is rendered “work out” means “to continually work to bring something to fulfillment or completion. This is sometimes misapplied to teach salvation by works which would call for us to disregard scriptures such as Romans 3:21-24 and Ephesians 2:8-9). What Paul is teaching is that there is more to salvation than eternal life. Salvation comes with purpose or after salvation we would be immediately taken away to live in eternity. We have been left behind in this hostile world because we have a purpose in it. Salvation is not earned by works, but it is confirmed by them.

 

I urge each of you to search out your purpose and take hold of it; walk in it. Stand in your purpose. Do not relinquish the vision that has been placed inside of you for the vision is inundated with purpose. Do not forsake the constant study of the Word of God, for the Word is saturated with purpose. Do not forgo prayer, for prayer settles you in purpose. Do not forsake the assembly as some do because fellowship exposes the interconnectivity of individual purpose with the universal purpose of the body of Christ.

 

Welcome to your purpose; welcome to your destiny!

 

 

Best regards,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Founder & President

Rick Wallace Ministries

100 Men of Purpose

Life Solutions 21

The Invisible Father

 

 


 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; (rom. 8:26 NASB)

Paul says that the Spirit helps our weakness. The word translated “helps” is the Greek word:

G4878

συναντιλαμβάνομαι

sunantilambanomai

soon-an-tee-lam-ban’-om-ahee

From G4862 and G482; to take hold of opposite together, that is, co-operate (assist): – help.

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

I know it’s a huge word and it carries an equally huge meaning. This word paints the image of someone who comes alongside another to assist them in bearing out a particular task. In essence, the Holy Spirit comes alongside you and yokes up with you to assist in completing the task at hand. In this instance, Paul is speaking of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of intercession. This is where is becomes a part of your prayer life in order insure its efficacy.

It is important to understand that the help that the Holy Spirit provides is not limited to prayer. He is your power source. That’s right I said He. So often we neglect the personage of the Holy Spirit. We often refer to Him as it. We don’t recognize Him as part of the Trinitarian existence of God. Here lies a great deal of the problem of living in weakness and defeat. We have invested too much energy into sacramental rituals and too little into understanding the rite we practice. We will go around putting “anointing oil” on everyone and everything, but we seem to have very little understanding of what it represents. Oil, like water, wind, etc. is a semantic symbol of the Holy Spirit. Oil, represents the Holy Spirit’s anointing power. To anoint means to give power for the fulfillment of a particular task.

Pneumatology, the study of the Holy Spirit reveals an immensity of information about the Third Person of the Trinity. In fact this one chapter (Romans 8) reveals quite a bit about the Holy Spirit. Let take a look at a few:

  1. Verse 2 – The Holy Spirit sets us free from Sin (It was Christ’s death at Calvary that provided the atonement, but it was the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through Him that made it possible). It is the Holy Spirit that works through the redemption of Christ to make you free from and cancel the penalty of sin, which is death.
  2. Verse 4-5 – The Holy Spirit fulfills righteousness.
  3. Verse 9-11 – The Holy Spirit indwells believers.
  4. Verse 10 – The Holy Spirit gives life. (Spiritual life is in view here. We are born spiritually dead; dichotomous beings, only having a body and soul, but at the moment of faith in Christ the Holy Spirit quickens or brings to life our spirit within us).
  5. Verse 11 – The Holy Spirit also quickens our mortal bodies which are dead because of sin. “The Spirit is both the instrumental cause of the resurrection-act and the permanent substratum of the resurrection-life.” Gerhardus Vos, The Pauline Eschatology, p. 169.
  6. Verse 13 – The Holy Spirit mortifies sinful members.
  7. Verse 14 – The Holy Spirit leads the children of God.
  8. Verse 15 – The Holy Spirit adopts into the family of God. It is through the Holy Spirit that you are adopted and grafted into the Royal Family of God.
  9. Verse 16 – The Holy Spirit bears witness to the fact that we are children of God and if we are children of God then we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
  10. Verse 26 – The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.
  11. Verse 26 – The Holy Spirit makes intercession to God the Father on our behalf.

It, by no means, ends here. Galatians 5:22 tells us that the Holy Spirit produces positive life bearing fruit in the life of the believer. Let’s take a look at one more powerful scriptural passage before we move forward.

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] (Eph. 3:20 AMP)

God is able to do things that are impossible for the mind to fathom by the power that works within us. This power is the Holy Spirit. You have not been left alone. In fact, you have been left with an inexhaustible power source. Was it not Christ that promised that he would not leave us as orphans, but would send a comforter?

16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever–

17The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.

18I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.

26But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. (John 14:16-18, 26 AMP)

But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me. (John 15:26 AMP)

7However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. (John 16:7 AMP)

How amazing, Jesus, the great and powerful savior of the world indicates, with perfect lucidity, that He must leave to make way for the coming of the Holy Spirit who will produce powerful results in the lives of believers.

Here’s and interesting point: Theology reveals to us the existence of the Hypostatic Union (Jesus Christ being 100% man and 100% God joined together without mergence). It is important that we understand that it was Jesus the man that paid the price for us on Calvary. Only the death of a perfect man could atone for the sins of fallen man. This is what Paul meant when he called Jesus the new Adam. It would do us well to take notice that Jesus, the man, did not perform one miracle until the Spirit descended upon Him at His baptism. It was the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through Christ that gave him the power to raise the dead, heal the sick, and calm raging seas. If fact, Christ actually means the anointed one; remember the anointing comes through the Holy Spirit.

So Jesus was basically saying that the very power that I used to sustain me in my earthly walk has been made available to you. You are not alone; you are filled with the Spirit of God.

When the resurrected Savior appeared to the disciples, he told them that not many days afterward something awesome would take place in their lives.

1 The first account I [a]composed,(A)Theophilus, about all that Jesus(B)began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He (C)was taken up to heaven, after He (D)had [b]by the Holy Spirit given orders to (E)the apostles whom He had (F)chosen. 3To [c]these (G)He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of (H)the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4[d]Gathering them together, He commanded them (I)not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for [e](J)what the Father had promised, “Which,”He said, “you heard of from Me; 5for (K)John baptized with water, but you will be baptized [f]with the Holy Spirit [g](L)not many days from now.”

6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, (M)is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which (N)the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power (O)when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be (P)My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and(Q)Samaria, and even to (R)the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:1-8 NASB)

Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit gave the disciples His parting orders. So, even then he was being led by the Spirit. He told them that you will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you. Fifty days later on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples, who out of fear had been hiding in the upper room with the door locked. Once the Holy Spirit fell upon them they were transformed into spiritual powerhouses. Those once cowardice men that denied Christ spoke boldly of Him openly. They would go on to accomplish marvelous feats.

I am here to tell you that the same Spirit that filled Peter is in you. The same Spirit that filled Paul is in you. The same Spirit that filled John is in you. Yes, the same Spirit that filled our Lord Jesus is in you. You are not alone. You are filled with power from on high. You have God resident in you. You have His power at your disposal. God has not left you alone. You may not see anyone standing in your corner, but God is with you. You may have spent 2011 in a place of perceived loneliness, but God is with you. The enemy may be whispering the sweet nothings of negativity in your ear, but God is with you.

You are not alone. The Holy Spirit has come alongside you and He is saying to you: “You don’t have to bear this burden on your own. I have yoked up with you and I will help you bear the burden. I will not take it completely away from you, but if you will simply believe it, will it, and walk in it, I will bring you through.

This is a time of power and elevation for you. You simply have to receive it. Stop listening to the naysayers that think they have your destiny figured out. You are a born again child of the King. Walk in your destiny of power and greatness. Walk in your designed purpose. Live in the massive blessings that God has for you. Shake of those feelings of despair. Break free of those shackles of addiction. Power out of the shadows of dwarfed goals and colorless dreams. God is calling you to rise up and live the life of a true believer. No, you are not alone.

May you be richly blessed,

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

As we embark upon this ethereal journey of upward mobility, it is of prodigious relevance to understand that greater than “action” is “process of thought”. The only way to move upward is to think upward. There has to be a change in our thought processes. I will venture to reveal to you in detail the magnitude of proper thinking. You may not be aware of this, your world is based on your thinking. Yes, I said it; your world, not your environment; not your circumstances, but your world. Your world as I present it is your spectrum that encompasses your existence. You control your world. You don’t always control your environment, nor do you have constant control over your circumstance; however, you always have control of how you perceive and subsequently engage your environment and circumstance; this creates your world. If you have ever been exposed to basic psychology or philosophy for that matter, you have heard that perception is reality. Whether you agree with this concept at this time, you better become well acquainted with it.

To clarify, the concepts states that perception is reality, not perception is truth (based on factual or empirical evidence). In other words, what the mind perceives to be real does not have to actually be accurate and true to bring about real and true consequences. There are many that have killed based erroneous perceptions. Why is this important? You psychological response to what your mind perceives to be real is to form actions that correspond with that perception. What this means is that in order to maintain a psychological balance (what is generally known as sanity) the human psyche will perpetuate actions that will correspond with what the mind perceives as real. This is why it is of the utmost importance to control what you allow to filter into your mind. What you hear on the radio, what you see on television, what you read, what you converse about; anything that enters your perceptive gates (eyes and ears) carries an immeasurable impact on the world in which you exist.

Although God’s omniscience has allowed him to know every thought we will ever think (Heb.4:13), he allows us the freedom of choice, However, God holds each of us responsible for what we choose to think. It is amazing that God wired us so that our minds have the power to manifest whatever it perceives to be real. Remember this; it is a reoccurring theme.

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 4:23)

You may be judged by you overt behavior, but make no mistake about it, your mental attitude determines, motivates and influences your actions. I am presenting this fact to you right now: Your thinking, your accepted paradigms, your norms and standards (human conscience), are all direct manifestations of your thought processes. What you have taken to be real and true has an infinite impact on who you are today as well as where you are headed. If you change your thinking, you will change your world despite of your environment or your circumstances. Once you change your world through proper thinking, you will find that you will also be able to positively impact your environment and circumstances.

The Bible relates the thought pattern or process to the right lobe of the soul. In the Bible, the right lobe of the soul is designated in Greek by the word καρδία.

kardia

kar-dee’-ah

Prolonged from a primary κάρ kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle: – (+ broken-) heart (-ed).

In Hebrew the heart is designated by the word lêb

labe

A form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything: –  + care for, comfortably, consent, X considered, courag [-eous], friend [-ly], ([broken-], [hard-], [merry-], [stiff-], [stout-], double) heart ([-ed]), X heed, X I, kindly, midst, mind (-ed), X regard ([-ed)], X themselves, X unawares, understanding, X well, willingly, wisdom.

 

In contrast, the left or perceptive lobe of the soul in designated by the Greek word νοῦς

nous

nooce

Probably from the base of G1097; the intellect, that is, mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication meaning: – mind, understanding. Compare G5590.

 

So that I am clear, I am teaching from a believers point of view. I will speak concerning the receiving and processing of biblical doctrine through the thought processes, but understand the same principles apply to the taking in of negative and erroneous information as well.

When doctrinal knowledge enters the left lobe of the soul it is called (gnosis) or ‘academic knowledge” and once this knowledge is believed and received as truth it is transferred to the right lobe of the soul and becomes (epignosis) or “full knowledge”, This is where knowledge becomes powerful. The mind is the perceptive lobe, it determines what is real and what is not. Whatever the mind perceives to be real immediately has life impact. Once this knowledge is transferred to the right lobe of the soul (kardia [heart]) is enters your frame of reference and memory center.  This is the initial staging area for all knowledge that is perceived to be real.

From the initial staging area it flows into the vocabulary storage compartment which develops the ability to think divine viewpoint (it works the same way for worldview thinking as well). Next, the doctrine or knowledge flows into the categorical storage compartment where concepts and ideas are formed, organized, and accumulated. From these organized thoughts, norms and standards are formed forming the boundaries of your conscience. As you continue to feed this particular line of thinking you began to gain momentum as you move in a certain direction.

 

I hope that I have not been too technical in this explanation, but I wanted to give you a basic foundation on which you can rest your hat as we move forward.  You will find that all the pressing in the world has no power without proper thinking; upward mobility requires upward thinking. Take at look at the following scriptural passages:

 

8 “For My thoughts are not (X)your thoughts,
Nor are (Y)your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “For (Z)as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the (AA)rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing (AB)seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My (AC)word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will (AD)not return to Me empty,
Without (AE)accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isa. 55:8-11 NASB)

 

3For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.

4For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,

5[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

In Isaiah, we see God’s declaration that his ways and thoughts are higher than ours. This is a declaration of transcendence and will have great meaning as we move forward in progression towards our higher calling. God’s declaration also is a call for us to think as he thinks; this is done by thinking Bible doctrine.

For (AE)WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But (AF)we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16)

(I)Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in(J)Christ Jesus, (Phil. 2:5)

When our way of thinking is placed juxtaposed to scripture our thoughts must be in line with the Word of God.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 10 Paul tells us that though we live in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh. Then he lays out the fact that our weapons are not carnal, but mighty in God. What are these weapons? The primary weapon is introduced, but frequently missed by casual Bible Study. “[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) [Verse 5]. As we cast down and refute arguments, philosophies that move against the true knowledge of God we progress in this spiritual warfare. So, the weapon is our thinking. Not some mystic utterance, but controlling our thinking. How do we control our thinking? We control our thinking by casting down any thought that comes upon us that is diametrically opposed to the Word of God.

In summation, we cannot come out of the pits we are in until we change our thinking. We cannot escape our responsibility to man our thoughts. The Bible incessantly points to thinking as being designatory of our fate. If you want an answer to why you are where you are now, you simply need to look at your thinking. Many of you will not receive this, at least not initially. This is because the paradigms that have impacted your way of thinking you have perceived as real and anything that challenges that way of thinking will not be readily received. It is a natural psychological response to resist ideas that challenge your current way of thinking; however, appropriating proper thinking into your life is chief in importance and impact.

When you change your thinking, your thinking will change your attitude and actions, and your revised attitude and actions will result in a change in your life position.

As we move forward you will begin to see your need to change your thinking and you will also come to understand the only true source of proper thinking, the Bible.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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