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Churchy Things…Is It Really Walking in the Spirit?

Wynema I Clark

Walking in the spirit doesn’t mean doing churchy things. Doing churchy things can and often is very very fleshy. You know as well as I that the more you do the more you feel you have to do. If you pray an hour you feel two is better. If you give there is always more needed and if you go to classes there is always another class to take. Then have you ever tried to step away from these things? Yikes watch out because forget what you have done it’s a perpetual state of do do and give me, give me, give me. This is the life of your everyday enthusiastic church goer. This life is exhausting!

When your churchy actions are done to gain something from God or even keep something bad from happening then you are depending on what you do and that is walking in the flesh…

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Uncategorized

Churchy Things…Is It Really Walking in the Spirit?

Walking in the spirit doesn’t mean doing churchy things. Doing churchy things can and often is very very fleshy. You know as well as I that the more you do the more you feel you have to do. If you pray an hour you feel two is better. If you give there is always more needed and if you go to classes there is always another class to take. Then have you ever tried to step away from these things? Yikes watch out because forget what you have done it’s a perpetual state of do do and give me, give me, give me. This is the life of your everyday enthusiastic church goer. This life is exhausting!

When your churchy actions are done to gain something from God or even keep something bad from happening then you are depending on what you do and that is walking in the flesh.  By definition walking in the flesh is dependance on you and your actions and walking in the spirit is dependence on Christ, who He is and what He has already done.

Walking in the spirit is very simply resting in the finished work of Christ that has already been given to you when you believe. That includes righteousness, favor and blessing. All of this in Christ now, today without doing a single churchy thing. It is faith and rest “in Him” and what He already accomplished. See “you” died with Christ (Colossians 2:20, Romans 6:8, 2 Corinthians 5:14) and then Galatians 2:20 says he gave us Christ life and it’s out of His life that we live. Do you think God is counting how many times Christ is going to church or taking communion? No way, Jose! And His life is your life. That is the life of grace instead of law.

This isn’t laziness or doing nothing, this is the capacity to actually be more productive doing what you were put on this planet to do. It’s the most natural way to live (as a spirit being) and it is all from a place of rest.

Now before you run to FB to set me straight, think of the story of Rachel and Leah. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and worked for seven long hard years to have her. In Hebrew Rachel means “ewe or lamb”. So Jacob worked for the lamb (see the picture). Only when you work to gain the lamb you wake up with Leah. What! After seven years of hard labor Jacob woke up on the wedding night with Leah. Leah in Hebrew means “weary”. That is a dirty rotten trick, but it happened. And that is what you get when you work for the lamb you get weary. After that Laban gives Rachel to Jacob and Jacob works seven years because he has her. So you can work to get and end up weary or you can work because you have and end up at rest. God’s plan is good!

This story illustrates to us that when you work to get you will end up weary. Or you can realize that the lamb is yours, that He loves you already and gave His life as you and for you and to you. The truth is you will get more done from love than from fear and obligation.  It isn’t about your churchiness but about His life in you.

Commentary

Jesus The Builder of God’s House

Do you realize that you are perfectly compatible to be the dwelling place of Christ on this earth?  Did you know that we are called the temple of the living God, as well as the temple of the Holy Ghost?

To be called a temple is a big deal.  Have you ever read the specifications for the tabernacle in the old covenant? I don’t recommend it unless you like lots and lots of details because God was amazingly detailed.  I mean he was pretty clear with Moses that every little stitch had to be perfect or He wouldn’t move in.  Amazingly Moses built everything to scale and God indeed moved in.  Of course that still meant that only the High Priest could talk with Him and that is another story for another day.

I think we have had that same kind of idea about God’s presence.  That we need to make everything ready for Him to come, like our heart, our attitude and we certainly can’t have any un-forgiveness, that’s a deal breaker for sure.  If you have all of these things just right and the mood is properly set you could get a visitation from God.  And some people go from conference to camp-meeting just to be present for one of these visitations.

News flash!!  In the new covenant, on this side of the cross you do not go to a location to meet with God.  In the new covenant, because of Christ and His finished work He made you the temple so that God could move into YOU.  You are His temple.  Where Moses was the builder in the first house, Jesus in the builder of God’s house today and you are that house!

Remember that I said, everything in the first tabernacle had to be perfect on every level and every detail or God would not move in.  Well, Jesus the builder of the last house got every detail right, He finished His job with perfection so that God could indeed move in.  You are that house he finished, every detail of your heart was made perfectly right.  All of your old stuff was moved out and all of God’s stuff was moved in when you believed.  There is no need for visitation because God moved in!

So the next time you are feeling less than right, remember that you are His workmanship, his craftsmanship, that the builder who is Jesus got all the points right, God inspected it and said well done good and faithful servant and then He moved in.  He got rid of all your stuff and brought all of His stuff therefore you must be A-OK!

Reference:  Exodus 25, I Cor. 6:16-20, I Cor. 3:16, Hebrews 3:4, Ps. 127:1, Gal. 2:20, Eph. 2:10

Commentary, Dads, Dating and False Prophets, Life, Religion; spirituality

Dads, Dating and False Prophets

When I was dating my now husband it was no secret that my dad did not like him. Dad was convinced that any young man who played college football and belonged to a fraternity could be after only one thing. He also hated that Jeremy was from a different denomination than us. I was always told that I should not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. Jeremy was a believer, by the way, he just wasn’t of the same persuasion as us. Because my dad was a Pastor of a charismatic church we often had ministers in and out and they often took notice of me because I was the eager and active daughter. One particular set of traveling “Prophets” came through and proceeded to point me out of the crowd and tell me that I was making a huge mistake dating Jeremy. That I would be choosing the wrong path if I continued this way. Because I was terrified of disappointing God and ruining my life by choosing the wrong path I was devastated and confused. I was in love but also, apparently outside the will of God, because the “prophet” said so. I had to break up with him, I couldn’t possibly choose Jeremy over the will of God. My heart was broken. I knew that Jeremy loved the Lord and that he was just raised different. After what seemed like weeks (maybe it was days that felt like weeks) I found out that my dad had lunch with these “so called” prophets and that he had mentioned his distain for Jeremy so this man had done my dad a favor. I was furious but relieved and ran straight back to what I knew was true regardless of the false prophets and the manipulative effort to maintain control of my life.
I say this because so many people are manipulated and controlled by men with fancy religious labels who are nothing more than peddlers of snake oil. If what you are listening to isn’t pointing you to Jesus and His finished work then run like the wind. If your Pastor or anyone with a fancy religious label tries to “thus say the Lord” be sure and check it at the door. If it’s not Jesus and the goodness of what He already did and who He is in you today then click delete and move on down the road. And if you are a minister and you use that office to manipulate and control by beginning statements with “thus says the Lord” you better be careful you may end up with a daughter who knows better and a son-in-law that will take her far away:) By the way we had a great 23rd anniversary yesterday!

Cross, Poetry, Religious

Like The Ocean to The Bay

Not feeling all that poetic
But having much to say
From a passion rising briskly
Like the ocean to the bay

Is the love of Christ my Savior
As my eyes are opened wide
To His mercy and His kindness
And the life He does provide

So complete is His provision
So entire is His being
That it feels the nooks and crannies
And awakens me to seeing

Even with my body weakened
And on earth I live today
His life is like the ocean
And my life is like the bay

It will never be depleted
It will never cease to be
It’s a life that lives forever
It’s His life that lives in me.

So I rest in this knowing
I am righteous, I am pure
I am ever in His pleasure
And poetically secure.

"It Is Finished", Commentary, Cross, Life, Religious

Why Are We Even Discussing Sin?

In response to a ministers attempt to tackle the issue of sin:

Thank God that in Christ God dealt with our sin. Not just the sins prior to Christ but all of them. He even dealt with the nature of sin that was left to us from Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22) and the sin that is a result of the weakness of our flesh (Romans 7:24-25).

The old covenant dealt with each individual sin through the law, but this could never bring righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:22) we now live our lives in a perpetual state of forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7) and in eternal righteousness with God because we are In Christ.

James 4:17 says simply “sin is knowing what you should do and refusing to do it”. In our American culture there are certain sins that repulse people and the church has a hard time loving people in that kind of sin. But it is those very people that Christ died for (Romans 5:8). I heard someone say, but once they come to Christ then they have to change. Ideally yea, but not everyone will and if they don’t does Christ forgiveness stop? Does the blood payment get returned as insufficient? The answer is “No”.

As a brother or sister in Christ begins to grow in grace and an understanding of who they are in Christ the natural progress will be change. When that time comes there are counselors and teachers that are there to help. But if that change were to never ever happen Christ blood is still sufficient, and the forgiveness that he bought continues forever.

Rather than focusing on how the broken people need to be set straight. Perhaps we should ask ourselves how can we see the broken from the eyes of mercy and grace. To bind their wounds and give them a place to heal. Instead of being repulsed by their sin we need to love them as Christ said in John 15:12 “My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you”.

There is a beautiful story in 2 Samuel 9 about a boy named Mephibosheth. He was the only son of David’s blood brother Jonathan. David had a covenant with Jonathan and I believe David is a type of Christ. After the death of Saul (the king) and Jonathan David ascended to the throne and Vs3 of 2 Samuel says this “is there not someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the (unfailing, unsought, unlimited) mercy and kindness of God? Ziba replied, Jonathan has a son who is lame in his feet (in other words he cannot walk this out). David immediately went out to get this boy, brought him back to his house, set him at his table and he lives forever as a child of the King. Vs 13 says “so Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the Kings table, even though he was lame in both feet.

I tell you this story to say that the covenant that we have today is sufficient for all even those who may never walk it out. That is the heart of our loving God. That is how much greater the work of Christ is than that of Adam, than the work of Moses and greater than your finest effort to clean up people’s mess.

That is why we don’t need to worry about sin…

Romans 6:10
For by the death He died, He died to sin[ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life He lives, He lives to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].

Commentary, Religion; spirituality

What I Think of A Rapture

There is so much debate about “rapture” or no “rapture”. There are hundreds of books predicting when and movies made as well as lots of money.

Before you start to label me, hear me out. This is not an article for or against a rapture. This subject has divided so many and I certainly do not want to add to this number. Whole churches have been built on this belief as well as on the arguments against it.

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

I am excited about the Heaven that awaits, I believe it to be a place that our human minds can’t even imagine. We Americans see Heaven as a place full of mansions and gold while in poverty stricken countries people interpret it as a place with huge amounts of food. People have claimed to have gone there and I admit I love to read those stories as much as the next person, cause it’s exciting. But the truth is, what you believe of Heaven isn’t going to change it. It is what it is and we will not know till we get there or till our eyes are opened. What we do know is that it is eternity with God, it is life with Jesus and it is one of two options we are given.

But you don’t choose Heaven you choose Jesus and in Jesus is this place that we are privileged to be a part of, not just when we die but while we live. My challenge is that instead of focusing on escaping to Heaven we focus on bringing Heaven to earth. Isn’t that what Jesus prayed, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. And in the meantime if there is a rapture we go, if there isn’t we are making a difference in this world. In Christ we have everything we need for tribulation, pre or post and come on, a lot of people would agree they have experienced plenty tribulation already. But Heaven is ours today in Christ and Heaven is ours tomorrow, because of Christ.

Conclusion:
Let’s keep the main thing, the main thing, which is Jesus, and if you are in Him you are good. It’s really all about Christ in you the hope of glory. It’s about Him being seen in this earth through people.

Wynema I Clark
10/18/2014

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Pretty Men in Stylish Suits

Pretty men in stylish suits

Dressed to kill with lights and smoke

Flashy people, pretty stages, perfect lives

I want to choke.

Oratory crisp and perfect

emotional, charismatic, convincing, loud

Golden chairs and purple curtains

White attire their coifs a shroud.

A fairy land of false impressions

set about as if it real

Pointing fingers, telling lies

Using Jesus with blood to spill.

Don’t judge my Father by these prophets

they have an image to express

Truth be told the work is finished

But their needs they must address.

No man, no prophet, no televised performance

If He could use a willing ass

Is needed in this life and purpose

So on that show I choose to pass.

Let us stop the masquerade

Strip it down and lay it bare

If what is left is Jesus only

then all your needs will be met there.

Jesus alone is all it takes

to change a world and set things right

Turn off the noise and lies and image

and rest in peace in Him tonight.

Commentary, Cross, Life, Religious, Short Story

Words, Honesty, Apology, Grace

Here’s a bit of brutal honesty. Try as I may, I seem to say something dumb at least once a week. It’s not intentional. It’s born of frustration or emotion and although it’s hard to admit, sometimes it’s just ignorance. Am I alone in this? I think not…I hope not.

The most challenging times are in the passenger seat while my daughter is driving, or in a department store trying to convince her that the lesser expensive pair of sweatpants are equally as good as the ridiculously expensive sweatpants. Truth be told, the expensive sweatpants are probably better, but heck, they are sweatpants and they are ridiculously expensive! So in the heat of the argument I say something that seems appropriate to me but painfully hurtful to her.

Unfortunately my brain doesn’t register, “inappropriate” until she hits back with a verbal upper cut. Suddenly we both find ourselves suffering from emotional internal bleeding. Then it all goes quiet and I know I’ve done it again. I know I’ve spoken out of the heat of the moment instead of the truth.

Once the arguing stops, I explain my point of view. We argue some more and finally I apologize…again. I say “again” because this ain’t my first rodeo. Once we stop and listen to each other, I mean really hear each other out, it ends up in forgiveness. But there is still a deep sense of shame and regret that I’m not aware enough to avoid these mis-steps.

Then I think about my Heavenly Father and the fact that His plan made allowance for my humanity. As if He knew somehow that in the eons of time Wynema and Hannah would need a lot of grace. That because of the blood of Jesus I am allowed to make mistakes and my daughter is allowed to desire the expensive sweatpants and I am allowed to tell her “no”. The emotions of the moment are still real, the words just as painful. But at least I know it’s going to be good, it’s all ok. I think as His grace is working in me, it can work through me toward Hannah or whomever happens to need it at the moment. And hopefully through Hannah toward me who need grace quit consistently. I’m growing, she’s growing, all God’s children should be growing in Grace.

Hannah_Sweet16-27.jpg