Crystal Writes A Blog

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Arrogance in Authority


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference in confidence and arrogance. I worry sometimes when people claim dominion or authority over things in this life and world because God gave it to Adam. That’s just it; God gave it to Adam. To blatantly claim then that we have that same dominion and authority may be based on Scripture, but is it based on context?

More contextual issues arise when I think about the authority Yeshua gave to His disciples. For example, He told them that whatever they bound on earth would be bound in Heaven. Does this give those of us who live today the authority to bind or loose things on earth and claim they are bound or loosed in Heaven? I’m not certain it does, though I still think we have authority but to act as The Lord commands. The latter part is what I feel carries the most weight; as The Lord commands. If God tells an individual that what He binds on earth is bound in Heaven, that person has the authority because God gave it to him.

Today’s Infinite Supply newsletter gives the proper foundation for a life of authority in Christ.

Infinite Supply Image for November Twenty-First by The School of Christ

Infinite Supply Image for November Twenty-First by The School of Christ
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original article at The School of Christ dot org website.

November 21

Better Than “Willpower”

“I die daily.”
1 CORINTHIANS 15:31

Paul might have buckled under the pressure. He certainly grew weary. He certainly was misunderstood, rejected, and persecuted. He suffered so much. What kept him going? Verse 29 of Colossians 1 says, “To this end I labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” He labors, and he strives. That’s the way Paul was. Laboring and striving, even when he was laboring and striving for the wrong things, he was absolutely dedicated to the mission. But there is something more extraordinary at work in Paul, something more than sheer willpower or determination.

I tell you willpower will only take you so far. Willpower is overrated. We need something else, something supernatural, something that does not rely upon my limited willpower. What was it? “I strive according to HIS WORKING which works in me mightily.” It was not the strength of Paul, but the strength of Christ in Paul, and through this Christ, Paul said, “I can do all things” (Philippians 4:13). All things!

Source: The Church in the Wilderness by Chip Brogden

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Context in all things is important. In Scripture, it’s especially important. Without context, we could be thinking that Paul literally lost his life on a daily basis. If we automatically take the words of Yeshua to His disciples as if they are for all of us, then to be in context, we should take all His words to them. For example, if we claim we can bind and loose because they could, then we should never take up a collection for our ministries because the disciples were told not to. Instead, they were to go without script in their purses and trust their hosts to provide their needs. And whatever gospel message we spread, we should begin at Jerusalem.

I know the above paragraph sounds a bit extreme, but considering how extremely to the letter we hold other things, we should consider context in all we claim from Scripture. We should be humble enough to seek the context and foundation behind all our behaviors and rituals, so we can make sure we’re doing them to please God and not men or ourselves. Like Paul, we should die daily to self and ask God for His direction in our lives. It’s better to learn what He would have us do and say and pray rather than to arrogantly claim we have authority just because the Lord gave it to those He sent out.

I don’t find in Scripture where God gave authority to every follower and believer. Those He did give it to were also given instruction to not rejoice in authority but to rejoice that their names were written in The Lamb’s Book of Life. In that, I can see confidence in humility. We realize we only have authority because we have Him. The two cannot be separated, and we should not want them to be. The minute we begin to act just because we think we are something, or have something in and of ourselves, we risk a loss of humility and a gain of arrogance.

Here’s a perfect Scripture to sum this up from 1 Peter 4:11 (NKJV)

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Let us be confident and sure in what He gives us as individuals rather than arrogant in what we think we can proclaim just because we read it in the Bible.

November 22, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Nonfiction, Prayer, School of Christ | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgetting to Remember


Forgot What I Wanted to Remember by Flickr User Flood G, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Forgot What I Wanted to Remember by Flickr User Flood G, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

Oops, I forgot. Oh, I meant to do that, but it slipped my mind. Doggone it; I totally spaced that one. Ugh!

Any of these sound familiar? I’m known for having a good memory, but I get frustrated because sometimes I remember the most mundane details and forget the most important tasks. At times, it feels as if my mind is so full of things to remember that it just has to let some of its content fall out to make more room. It’s like those days when you head to a certain room with a certain task in mind, and when you get there, you stand in the middle of the room just hoping you’ll remember why you’re there. Oh well, a little extra exercise was good for you, right?

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 8:11 through Deuteronomy 9:3, Moses gives the community of Israel some important things to remember, and some extremely good reasons to remember them. He begins by telling them to be careful not to forget The Lord. How could they forget Him? By not following the laws and rules (mitzvot–Hebrew plural for laws) Moses is passing along to them from God.

Moses tells Israel that if they forget God, they will become arrogant. They will live in fine houses, eat and be filled, and have plenty of cattle and flocks, and they will forget Who made it possible for them to have all their goodies. They will start thinking that they gained all their wealth by the power of their own hands when it was God who gave them the ability to earn the wealth and to live comfortably. The Lord is giving them all they will have in order to keep the promise He swore to their ancestors, but pride and self-reliance will make them forget–and with dire consequences.

Moses tells Israel that if they forget The Lord and go after other gods to serve and worship them, they will perish the same way the nations are perishing that God is driving out before Israel’s eyes. Like the other nations, Israel will suffer for not acknowledging Yahveh Almighty as their Creator and Provider, especially after all Israel has seen Him do since He brought them out of Egypt.

The Scripture here reads as if Moses is shouting, “Listen up, Israel! Today is the day of your salvation!” He tells them that on this day, they will cross the Jordan River and go into the new land to dispossess nations bigger and greater than themselves. With all that’s at stake, Moses wants to make sure Israel pays attention and remembers that God Himself is going over the Jordan before them, and He is marching through their new land as a consuming fire to drive out the current inhabitants and make the land ready for His chosen people.

Maybe there’s no comparison here to forgetting why you just walked into the kitchen, but there is a comparison to forgetting who your Provider is as you consume the generous blessings He showers on you. That kind of forgetfulness is arrogant and prideful. And, since pride goes before destruction, it’s not a place we want to be. Whether a blessing has come to us by the power of our hard work, or it has shown up in some miraculous gesture or gift, the source is still Yahveh Almighty, the Father of Lights from whom comes EVERY good and perfect gift that enters our lives.

As I read this portion, I thought of those who try to work or will good into their lives by way of deeds or rituals. Even if they give God the credit in the end, if people think they can pray certain words or perform some ritual behaviors in order to get God to answer them, they are taking credit for something that is beyond their abilities. God doesn’t tell us to ask for our needs because it is necessary for Him, but He tells us we have not because we ask not to increase our faith in how important we are to Him. He wants us to know that He is listening and paying attention to even the smallest details in our lives.

We must not forget to remember that God is God and we are not. Sometimes God says, “No,” but only because He knows there is something better in our future. God is more interested in our faithful obedience to Him than in any work or deed we might do to “win His approval.” God is our Provider, God loves us, God wants to give us good things, and God desires to communicate both ways with us. I think of it like this: It’s all about God, and it’s not about me–except to God.

Also don’t forget to remember: God will not be manipulated, so whether it’s by our sacrifice in a fast, or our pious position in a prayer, our gifts to God should be without strings attached. What we do in words and deeds is to change us, not God. We should give what we give to Him out of thanksgiving and humility for what He has already done, and out of an obedient spirit that yields to His leading for what He wants us to do through Him. In that way, we will not forget to remember who we are in Him, who He is to us, and who we are together with Him.

Amen, and blessings on your week ahead.

August 3, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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