Category: Prayer



Galatians 3:23-25, “Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”

image

Paul declares that the law, which revealed our inability to be in complete compliance with the law and/or God’s nature, was added so that mankind may see their need for Christ. The law was the birth pains, through which the wonderful promise made known to Abraham became manifest and fulfilled in Christ Jesus, through whom we, in faith, become righteous before God. There is a paradoxical nature within the law concerning both it’s goodness, it being from God and representing holiness, and while at the same time being a burden unto man, for the law condemns and in the law itself, there is no hope, for all have violated the law.

image

Furthermore, the strict obedience to the law, can in fact break the law. Again, this is rather paradoxical, but we can reconcile these seemingly contradicting aspects, not by the law, or through man, but rather in Christ. Some, like the Pharisees, held the law to such a strict standard, that they idolized the law above faith in God, thus breaking the law, of which they claimed obedience. It is possible to worship the law itself and forgetting about the conditions of faith that are proclaimed all throughout the scripture. This is not to say that obedience to the law is bad, for this same law is now upon our hearts, but rather by faith, the law becomes represented through our relationship with Jesus. We do not develop obedience in the law and then acquire faith, it has been designed and purposed by God that it be the other way around. This is implicit in the law, but man lost focus as he put his faith in the commands rather than the author.

image

Realize we still run the same danger today. When we approach the word of God, we need to approach it in and through our relationship with the Spirit, otherwise the Living Word, loses that necessary condition of faith. This is a lesson I need to consistently keep in the forefront of my mind when approaching the Word of God. I study the word, but I have come to understand that the Bible itself can’t save you anymore than the law provided salvation. There are numerous atheists and deists who know the Bible better than some Christians do. Thus, we find that what is contained in the word is a path to Christ, but if we look at the words alone, we are missing the point.

image

I myself love studying the word, but I also love extrapolating the philosophical points behind the Scriptures. As I have stated before, the enemy and the self, can take even the best intentions and askew them. Thereby, there was a time when I saw that my study of the Scripture wasn’t as God has intended. We are to not seek the philosophical points behind the Scriptures, but rather seek God and we should direct our hearts to developing a deeper relationship with Hm. We shall not forget this, for to do so, we are the same as those who study the law, and forego God. We should let the Spirit speak to us through the word, for our study is not study alone, but rather communion with our Lord, and we need to pray and be open unto this while we approach the Word of God.

image

Likewise, man forgot this aspect when they approached the law. They strove to be in compliance with the law, and forgot about the faith represented in the law. All the great men and women within the Old Testament understood this point, that the law reflected our noncompliance, and thus they were brought to faith and reliance on God and His promises, rather than just to the law itself, which again trespasses against the law, for it can idolize the law in a sinful manner.

image

So in Christ, we have a new revelation of faith that we can rest our reliance on. This was purposed from the beginning that the reconciliation between the law and faith, along with justification, would rest on Jesus Christ. Since man mistook the law and did not come to God in faith, He has now revealed a more present object upon which our foundations of faith are built, His Son. In addition, the law showed our great need of the deliverance that God had promised prior to Abraham, and this was purposed to draw men unto the promise by faith. Now, by the new covenant, the promise has been fulfilled and we eagerly await those promises from God that are still yet to come.

image

Advertisements

“Because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” -1 Corinthians 16:9

20120323-005057.jpg

The next several verses, because of a vision I had, are going to concern doors. Why this is I cover in my previous entry. The term, “open door,” in the contemporary lexicon, tends to equate to an opportunity. However, after some study of the Scripture, we come to find this metaphor is nothing new, and has been in the popular lexicon since many generations past. In this verse, Paul uses the analogy, in the popular fashion.

20120323-010837.jpg

Paul tells us about a door that was opened for him that he may accomplish the “effective work,” the Lord had purposed. Furthermore, Paul tells us that this door is large in scale and thereby, not only was Paul’s purpose great, but in addition, it seems that it took a mighty power to budge the door, due to its enormous size. The Lord is the only one capable of opening these great doors of opportunity. If attempted by our own accord, we find the way either blocked by our inability to open such doors, or we find them completely inaccessible.

20120323-011019.jpg

If we do somehow open a door of Godly opportunity of our own accord, we often may find that the door wasn’t as large as we supposed, and our work may be less effective. It’s important to mention that I am not talking about mere worldly doors, as in opportunities in business or human pleasure. Rather, these are Godly opportunities, that culminate in the great works that change lives, instruct, and leads others to the Lord. The greatest commandments as mentioned by Christ say nothing about worldly success or the fulfillment of pride or carnal desires. Instead, we find the two greatest commandments to be the necessary conditions for adding to the population of heaven. To love the Lord with all your being and love others are the main ingredients when embarking on the blessed mission of the great commission.

20120323-011259.jpg

The great door of opportunity which was opened unto Paul, was one that truly was great in scope, for He almost single handedly brought the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Lord is willing and able to open great doors for us concerning this purpose. It may take profound discernment in identifying these doors, but they are there. Pray that the Lord may open these doors for you in order that you might effectively do His work, for if you, again, embark on this because of your your own accord, be warned that the enemy can take even the best intentions and pervert them to do harm.

20120323-011607.jpg

Let the Lord lead you to where you have the opportunity to make the biggest impact in the ministry. In addition, pray that the Lord may open up avenues of conversation that you may effectively share the gospel to another, imploring them to see the Way, the Truth, and the Life, that they might be saved from eternal damnation.

20120323-011826.jpg

Finally, despite our Lord opening these doors, this doesn’t mean that our mission is easy by any means. In fact, as Paul states, many will oppose us, just for our faith alone. Do not lose heart because of challenges or suppose that you made a wrong turn due to them. You may still be exactly where the Lord wants you to be despite the opposition and challenges that arise. The great door of opportunity does not negate hardships, in fact, it may profoundly increase them. Yet, do not despair, for the Lord has His time and season planned out for you, that He won’t spring the door open until you are ready. Pray that the Lord would make you ready and that the great door may be opened for you to take your special place in accomplishing His will.

20120323-012405.jpg


“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” -Revelation 3:8

20120322-004902.jpg

The Book of Revelation is one that is commonly cited in regards to prophecy concerning what is still to come to pass in the end times. Though the theme of Revelation certainly addresses this, there are still many deep and wonderful messages contained within. This verse is certainly no exception, and it spoke to me personally in a profound way. Christ, through John, addresses how He views those that flail about, struggle and falter. Glory to Christ that He still loves us despite our backsliding.

20120322-005339.jpg

While we struggle against sin, we tend to think, without necessarily articulating it, that the Lord pays more attention to our faults rather than our victories. The wonderful message here is the Christ knows and pays attention to everything. The Lord has seen our struggle and seen us denying ourselves in His name, as well as our trespasses, which He forgives us for, if we do not deny Him!

20120322-005828.jpg

I have recently been struggling with this very thing, and the answer came to me in a vision. On the evening of March 10th, I laid down to rest after a productive day of work. There are moments I feel the joy of the Lord, most certainly, but I tend to always feel He is disappointed in me. So as I lay there a clear vision popped into my head of a door opening. It’s hard to describe, realize I only use the word vision, for lack of any better terminology. It seemed to be registered in a visual sense, but was also resonated in my mind and spirit. It would be kind of how you might see a picture within TV static and how your not really sure if the image was there or if your mind produced the image. This is the only example I could really equate it with. Of course, with the vision, I had a certainty that it was there. This fact is further evidenced by what was to come.

20120322-010039.jpg

I realized the lack of the knob is an important piece of the vision, meaning that this door could not be opened by my own accord, but rather had to be opened from the inside. It was one of the most clear visions I ever had and I got up immediately and transcribed the experience. In addition to the vision, there was the idea planted within my head and that it would require more study. I looked in a concordance for “open doors,” and the first verse I came across indicated that the vision wasn’t necessarily directed at me, but someone very close and dear to me. When I shared it with her, she found it as profound as I did and it blessed her greatly. Amen!

20120322-010338.jpg

The second verse I ran across was directed at me, and it is indeed the one I write of today. Not only have I came back under grace as the vision suggests, but the Lord is aware of my efforts. As I have said, I always looked at the disappointment of the Lord, when I fail. Thereby, I have completely forgot the joy of the Lord. How delighted our Lord is when someone turns from sin or temptation in His name! As He says in this verse, “I know your deeds,” He is aware of my victories and failings, and if I feel the Spirit’s conviction through my failings, then it follows that the Spirit is too delighted by my victories. Due to my past and how it torments me, I was unwilling to accept this due to my own feeling of inadequacy, which negates and disrespects the grace offered. While He has forgiven me, I don’t allow this forgiveness to manifest joy in my Spirit. Rather, I keep working for the Lord, as if by my actions He will consider me righteous. Yet, through what action can man be made righteous? The answer is none, and I must allow myself to have the faith in the Lord that produces confidence, hope, and culminates in joy.

20120322-010833.jpg

Despite this realization, it won’t be an overnight change, but the Lord is telling me to find joy in all that He has done for me. He knows my weaknesses, but at the same time has opened the doors into His kingdom and opened the doors of opportunity in my life. Though I haven’t always kept His word, I kept it in my heart and never denied the Lord, but it was through my conversion and the building of a relationship with Him, by which I was granted a spirit that strives to overcome temptation. I am weak but the Lord’s joy is being offered to me, if I choose to accept it.

20120322-011028.jpg

Friends, I pray that you would choose to accept the joy of the Lord in your life. The enemy likes to throw our misdeeds in our face when we approach the cross, so that we hide our face from Jesus, rather than look upon Him as we kneel before the Lamb. The Lord knows your deeds in your life, you have done nothing that shocks Him, and if you are given the opportunity for grace, as the Scripture tells us all are, then it follows that His grace can cover your misdeeds, for He knew of you before His crucifixion. I often wonder when Christ prayed, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do,” if He was only praying for those who nailed Him to the cross or for all man?

20120322-011304.jpg

We know not what we do, but Christ knows. I encourage you, and myself, to step into the joy that Christ grace has offered us. To not only view our shortcomings, but accept when the Lord is proud of us. All this so that the door, which we cannot open, may be opened to you, granting you access into eternal life and a deeper relationship with our Lord and God, amen.

20120322-011540.jpg


“James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.” -Galatians 2:9

image

This verse concerns the authenticity of Paul’s ministry. Contemporary criticisms of the Bible, include one that suggests Paul was a false prophet, and the Gospel never was intended to be offered to the Gentiles. Yet, since even the writing of the Old Testament and the prophecies contained within, the Bible refutes this idea. This verse shows that the apostles welcomed Paul and accepted Him. Not only that, but in addition, it shows a level of discernment, that we should consistently remain in prayer for.

image

Paul tells us, “they recognized the grace given to me.” Paul’s great deeds testify to His close relationship with the Lord and the truth He spoke about, but for a season, he had no fellowship with any of the disciples. Galatians tells us that he learned of the gospel message directly from Christ Himself, and that he didn’t meet any of the disciples until three years after his ministry began. Given that this is true, and I have no reason to doubt, he didn’t learn anything from those who were the closest to Christ during His life, the disciples.

image

The amazing thing is that despite the disciples given the mission to preach unto the Jews, when Paul arrived they were able to recognize a new revelation in Paul, which speaks heavily of the disciples discernment in the Spirit. Rather than considering Paul a false teacher, they recognized Christ within him. This kind of spiritual insight, again, needs to be prayed for and it takes some time, even trial and error, to be able to differentiate between the spirits present in people. What is of Christ and what is not, through the eyes of the Spirit becomes more and more apparent. Pray for this, that you may be protected, embark on doing the will of God, and not be led astray as a sheep to the slaughter. Amen.

image


Greetings friends,

I regret that I can’t update my blog as often as when I first started. Please know that I am currently up in Alaska working on a boat, so my postings may be sporadic, if indeed at all. In addition, my correspondence with those who I have remained in contact with prior, may see a similar effect. Nevertheless, I would like you all to know that your comments are continually uplifting and greatly appreciated.

image

The most difficult thing about my job, is the lack of any fellowship. I would humbly ask that you may remember me in your prayers, that I may be able to rise above the fray. The Lord has thus far held me up remarkably, but there are times where I feel myself slipping. May my feet be steadfast and not be prone to stumbling. May the words of my mouth not become vile or hateful, but may I have humbleness, obedience, and may the Lord Almighty bless the work of my hands. These prayers I humbly request of you, if you indeed remember.

image

I am continuing to write and will post new entries whenever I get the chance. May the Lord bless you all, and I thank you all again for your kind words, encouragement, and exhortations.

In His Name,

–Brandon

image


“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. 15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!” -Romans 6:14-15

image

Once a subject comes to the Lord, and evil’s grasp over a person begins to weaken, the enemy reaches into his well worn bag of tricks to pullout a biggie. Those who come to the cross know that they are forgiven for their sins, and the newly created, not yet having moved onto solid food (Hebrews 5:11-14), may be approached with the temptation that Christ’s blood, which grants righteousness through faith, gives one freedom in sin. God’s perfect word addresses this very thing. Yet, even as I mentioned , that this is a common temptation when first coming to the Lord and knowing only the elementary truths, it can, in fact, afflict even those who have moved onto a more mature diet.

image

As Romans 6:15 urges us not to sin while we are covered with grace, The Book of Hebrews reiterates the danger of using Christ’s blood as an excuse for iniquity:

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” -Hebrews 10:26-27

In Exodus 34:7, there are three kinds of sin that are mentioned. There are those sins, which result from the habitual acts and thoughts of the human nature, more or less, because of our “natural” faulty faculties, by which we fall short of the Glory of God. For instance, catching ourselves cursing at someone in traffic. I will refer to these sins as a “breach.” Though I may give these kinds of sin different terms, this is strictly for the purposes of differentiation, and by no means necessarily reflect how the Lord may judge these sins, which is not for me to say. These are just general categories that seem to be implicit in Scripture.

image

The second category, and addressed throughout this entry, is iniquity. Iniquity is willful sin in the sight of God. The willful sins are of greater consequence. We know this, not only because of the dangers represented through God’s word, but as those who have engaged in willful sin under grace (as I have) should be able to testify, the conviction by the Spirit concerning such sin weighs more heavily than does the conviction of a breach.

image

Thirdly, and yet first in terms of severity, is “transgression,” or willful rebellion. To rebel against the ways of God, is to rebel against the nature of God, and in such sin there is no forgiveness, for there is no repentance. True repentance is not merely the asking for the forgiveness of sin, but turning and walking away from it.

image

The similarities of the last two examples reside in the fact that they are both willful. Yet, in the case of transgression, it is a willful rebellion against God. Between iniquity and rebellion there is a subtle difference, in which the degree of the rebellion is emphasized. In iniquity, while one does certainly rebel in the very act of the willful sin, and in fact all sin is disobedience, the rebellion in the heart may not be to the degree of transgression. The latter is often strove for in a permanent sense, that the transgressor is not willing to give all to God, or even allow God to work in that area of sin.

As with some breaches, iniquity too can be habitual by nature. This is usually due to our indulgences in that sin, either prior to coming to Christ, or those times when people fall away and rebel willingly, as I too am guilty of. So for such people like myself, where is the hope? Does it exist for those like me who, by my own admission, have rebelled and fallen away (more than once) having both iniquity and transgression represented in my life? It is somewhat distressing personally to read verses like the one contained in Hebrews. Is there any hope if one is guilty of iniquity?

By the grace of God, I am here to tell you, absolutely! There is still hope, for as I stated earlier, in regards to the convictions of the Spirit, which are manifest when those sins that reside in the scope of iniquity are committed, the conviction is a lot, “heavier.” By the mere conviction alone, we see the Holy Spirit still communicating with us and weighing a burden of conviction upon our hearts. Taking this into account, and knowing that the Holy Spirit is, “a guarantee of what is to come,” (2 Corinthians 1:22) we know by the Word itself we may still be under grace.

Yet, let us not undermine the danger in such intentional sin and disobedience. As with Samson, the Lord eventually left him, and as the Scriptures tell us, he was not even aware that this was the case, which is the biggest tragedy. Thus, when iniquity becomes so prevalent in our lives, we may not know when we have moved from under grace to under wrath. To which point this occurs is not for me to say, nor would I, lest by doing so I may cause a stumbling block for others, for man has a tendency to push the limits of what is right, edging as close as he can before crossing the ethical boundaries he perceives, or that which have been set by the Lord. This kind of knowledge is reserved for the Lord and is between the Lord and the trespasser. The fact is, with a willful progression and steadfastness in iniquity, Hebrews suggest that by engaging in this with abandon, there is no sacrifice to cover the sin!

However, even to those who have at one time in their life, “trampled on the blood of Christ,” or fallen away, you have hope abounding! This is because of our gracious, merciful God, to whom belongs all the glory! Even Samson, though the Lord left him, at his end called on the Lord, and by doing so, God gave him the strength to destroy the temple. In addition, as the parable of the prodigal son testifies, there is much rejoicing in heaven when a former son, or daughter, returns to the Lord. In fact, more so than that of the righteous.

Our Lord is gracious and loving, but He warns us sternly not to take advantage of the grace He has offered us. It has been wrought with the blood, pain, suffering and humiliation experienced by His one and only Son, our savior, Jesus Christ. Shall we choose to hammer the nails deeper into Christ by continuing to sin, knowing full well what Christ endured on our behalf?

The three types of sin brought up earlier can be recovered by grace with a repentant humble heart. Yet, man in his imperfection still continues to sin, but Christ’s blood has both covered the sins of the past, and of the future. The warning is powerful, as it should be, for as some will testify, including myself, with the indulgence of iniquity you by your own accord have departed from under the cleansing blood of Christ. If this is the case, and I pray it isn’t, then you may find yourself much like Samson, with the Lord leaving you and you being unaware. Woe to the man or woman who in such a state is perishing.

%d bloggers like this: