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Humble Beneath the Heavens


We’re told in Psalm 128:2 that when we eat the fruit of the labor of our own hands, we will be happy. The problem happens when people go beyond happy and become arrogant. While God has created the world according to “the law of the harvest,” we must remember that He is still “The Lord of the Harvest.” He allows us to have the fruit of our labors as a blessing, not just because we deserve it.

In today’s Infinite Supply newsletter by Chip Brogden of “The School of Christ,” we get a reminder that God still rules in the kingdoms of men.

Infinite Supply Image for November Fourteenth by The School of Christ

Infinite Supply Image for November Fourteenth 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 14

The Most High Rules

“The Most High rules in the kingdoms of men.”
DANIEL 4:17

Christ is increasing and filling all things. Have you seen this? If you have, then embrace it, submit to it, cooperate with it, be in harmony with it, order your life around it, demonstrate it to the world around you, and pray for its fulfillment.

Get aligned with something and Someone higher and greater than yourself. For when you see God’s Purpose, and you adjust your life according to that Purpose, and you consistently pray for the fulfillment of that Purpose, then His Purpose cannot be stopped; His Will cannot be frustrated; His Kingdom cannot be defeated. Heaven singles you out and Hell trembles with fear. You just became undefeatable! You just joined the Remnant.

Source: The Irresistible Kingdom by Chip Brogden

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The full context of the Scripture referenced by the author is where Daniel interprets two visions of King Nebuchadnezzar where God issues a warning to him about his future. We can see from the king’s personal statement near the beginning of the chapter (Daniel, Chapter 4) that he still doesn’t understand who God really is. He tells the reader, in verse 8, the following…

“His name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God.”

So, he knows that the Creator God is holy, but he doesn’t yet know Him as his own. Daniel warns him that he can repent and stop sinning, and maybe then God will remove the future curse from him, but Nebuchadnezzar doesn’t get it. To the contrary, by verse 30, he says…

“Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

I have built”? “My mighty power”? “For my majesty”? Those things make it pretty clear why the curses from the visions had to come to pass. The king ended up having the mind of a wild animal and crawling around in a wet field until his hair and nails over-grew. By the time it was over, the king knew who God was. In verse 34, he declared something quite different from verse 30…

And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever.

What he first claimed as the result of his own power, he realized was only the result of God’s power–even over a king and kingdom. As God told him in the vision, “The Most High rules in the kingdoms of men.” Even when we work for it and earn it, or even when we receive it as an inheritance or a gift, our position on this earth is never above God and never without God. When we understand that, we will be humble beneath the Heavens instead of feeling the need to exalt ourselves, and our humility will bring us more power. As Chip says, if we align ourselves with God and His purpose, we become part of the remnant of the undefeatable.

November 15, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Nonfiction, School of Christ | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Altar Ego


Altat at Christ Church by Flickr User Seetheholyland.net, CC License = Attribution, Share Alike

Altar at Christ Church by Flickr User Seetheholyland.net, CC License = Attribution, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream with many more Holy Land images at Flickr.

I’m not sure if the close spelling between alter and altar are intentional, but I do find it interesting that we go to an altar in order to alter our futures. Through an altar built to Yahveh, we can alter an attitude, a destiny, or a focus. We can make decisions based on seeking God’s perfect will for our lives simply by using an altar to alter our commitments from self to God.

When I was a kid, I used to like a song by Tom T. Hall called “Me and Jesus.” The last two sentences in the chorus said, “Me and Jesus got our own thing goin’. We don’t need anybody to tell us what it’s all about.” I just liked it as a “Jesus” song with a fun rhythm, but with maturity in God, I now know how self-centered the thought process of that song was. While a man can make an altar out of a stone, and while we need a personal relationship with Christ, we also need humility to surrender to God and let Him run the show. Think of it this way: One word for self is the word “ego.” The letters in the word “ego” can stand for “edging God out.”

In today’s reading from Exodus 27:1 through Exodus 27:8, Moses receives the instructions for building the brazen (bronze) altar. Because the instructions include meat hooks, fire pans, and pots and shovels for removing ashes, this is the altar where sacrifices will alter the destinies of those who would otherwise be condemned by their sins.

Without an altar to change things, men just received the natural recompense for their actions until the sins of the day came to a point of destroying life on this earth. The corruption (moth, rust, dust, disease, etc.) so tainted the life God planned for those created in His image that He had to destroy the earth and all but eight people. But now, He is giving people a definitive set of rules and a way to receive mercy when those rules are violated. Just like the blood that was shed in the garden when God slayed an animal to cover the sins of Adam and Eve, there will now be an altar to receive the blood that will–at least temporarily–cover the sins of the people when a sacrifice is made for those sins.

As with other furnishings, there will be poles and staves to carry this altar from place to place as the tabernacle travels with the people. As with other brass-covered furnishings, the priests are not able to approach the altar without seeing themselves in the reflection of it. This may be similar to the reference in James 1:23-24 where it talks of those who are hearers of the Word but not doers. It says they are like men who behold themselves in a mirror, and then walk away and forget the type of man they just saw. Oh that, instead, we would all approach an altar seeing ourselves in honesty as we make ready to sacrifice and abandon ourselves to God’s perfect will for our lives. That’s an “altar ego.”

February 6, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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