Christian Anti-Christianity: Lessons am Learning

John 3:16 and the principles of 1 Corinthians 13 are so on my mind today. Principles of love.

Many of us, many times change allegiance during our walk with God. Spiritual warfare is interesting. Like all battle actually. You know an army by their modus operandi, by the way they fight. Am currently reading through the book of Romans again, and am daily appalled at how easy it is for us to stray and still think we are following.You see; satanic warfare is about competition, envy, espionage, intrigue…all based on falsehood. Slight or major deviations from Truth. It is about seeing a spirit operating in your neighbour, envying that spirit for its percieved or real merits and then finding a way to take it forcefully or through willing surrender from the owner. In satanic warfare, the strength of wickedness, the way for a soldier to move up the ranks, lies in taking advantage of another warriors weakness in order to grow yours. It does not matter if the warrior is part of ones own army, infact it’s less work if they are. The army marches together bound by mutual hatred, envy and suspicion, knowing that they cannot afford to let their guard down for the many consequences that included a fellow taking away that which makes you strong. You find someone wounded and you suck their lifeblood instead of bandaging their wounds. You discover a limp in your fellow, and you let others know…it may just benefit someone else’ growth – the group discussions on the same.

But Christian warfare MUST operate on Love without which we are nothing. First the acceptance and acknowledgement of the love of God as summarised in that precious John 3:16 verse. That each one, myself included, is considered so precious to God, that while we still operated as His enemy, He laid down a most extravagant gift – 33 earth year of absence from Heaven through His manifestation as God The Son, through the things He endured encompassed in human flesh like you and I, through His betrayal, rejection, and death, and His continual belief that you, me and that person you are thinking about will make it safely to His side. Now He believes we are worth it. When we look at ourselves or others as not worthy to the extent that we seek to topple over their walk with God by placing on them burdens that we are not willing to help them carry, then we are anti His Heart and Mind. Tell me, are we then able to function as His army.

In His army there is no soldier so wounded that they cannot be retrieved. In His army we look directly at the wounds but instead of rejoicing at them or killing the bearer, we stand united with others in the army, bearing faith and hope, and not letting up until the wounded warrior is up and function. Of cause we must look to ourselves and be sure that we dont sin, we dont wound ourselves outside of His Call in the process of nursing the wounded. In the army of God, we take the limping under our wings and in spiritual physiotherapy, train them while shielding them till they are able to walk right again. Without drawing attention to our credit for in doing so, we would shame the one we are attempting to love. In God’s army, every soul won is worth the time, the sacrifice, the effort of constant loving, believing, propping, covering. In God’s Army we grow by the sharing of our strength, our treasure, and not in taking or casting a slur on that of our fellow. We march strong because we recognise that we are only as strong as our weakest link, and that killing our wounded, renders us a dead and hopeless army. WE are not anti the work of Christ, but walk following, imitating Him, as leading servants, always ready to bend our knees in prayer and service to our fellows. Because we have first bent our knees in true adoration and service and loyalty to The Christ – The Servant Leader.

Tell me, whose standard is your life bearing? In whose army are you marching?

vipslit@yahoo.ca

 

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Holding the Spouse of Another 2: The Watchman’s Cry

How do I begin a subject so difficult it has kept me on my belly since God laid it on me to agree with Him, to blow the trumpet and perhaps pull those I can out of fire that is growing by the minute? How do you say something gently when it has the capacity to consume those you love, and those that love those you love as they go about their way, but SHOUT and hope that it will have the effect. I am about to shout, to blow the trumpet, to cry out and am hoping that if we are affected, or involved that we will hear, and turn away permanently from the sin that ails our homes and nations.

About two years ago, God, through a series of events and one vision gave me a chilling word to hold onto and to share: He told me that He was about to come to straighten the ways of His people – whether or not they acknowledged that they belonged to Him. He had noted that for a long time, we had not only gone against His standards for marriages, for relationships between spouses, but were even encouraging others to do the same. Normalizing a substandard existence and keeping God’s beloved people bound, painfully so, in yokes that were selfish. He told me that many were now in unions that were legally described as marriage but were yokes of fornication, adultery and prostitution. He said that He would be coming in to return each man to his wife and each woman to her husband as He had in righteous love, decreed them to be. He said to me, that it would be good for us, if we submitted to His first call, and walked in obedience, but for those who stubbornly held on to the spouses that belonged to others, His judgment would be radical. He said to me ‘Even you my beloved one, if I find you holding onto someone else’ husband, I will take away the breath I lent you.” In the months preceding that call, I saw that He meant business. A lot of things began happening to spouses bent on stubbornly holding onto behavior and attitudes that were displeasing to Him. I have since learnt that marriage is about our covenant to Him FIRST, to treat with His decorum, the human being He has put us in covenant partnership with. The human being He has loved, outdone Himself for, even died for, so that the human makes it safely to His side. If we do anything and become a hindrance to that person’s fluid fellowship with God, then God Himself would arise in defense of what is primarily His territory. Covenant! He repeated this warning yesterday, through a dear friend,  and since I don’t want your blood on my hands, I am shouting….and hoping that you listen and come back to His way. Go home! Stay home!

Let me try say this a little clearly – when one is shouting sometimes they don’t really arrange their thoughts properly, because of the urgency of the situation.

It does not matter what our traditions, our education, our denominations, our relatives, our friends, our hungers and passions define marriage to be if they do not conform to the standards of God, we stand in the path of His discipline and judgment. When marriage is anything other than what God made it to be, then it stands on that path. We think we are in a party, where we can partake of each others lives, and then use ours to bash them into something we can use for our convenience and if they don’t comply, caste them aside where they remain until someone else sees something beautiful in them and picks them up for a repeat of the same process. I am not talking to your spouse, it is you I am addressing.

Have you been…honestly…honorable to your home, to covenant, to the promises you have made before God to that person? The person you think will fit better in that profile[that of an excellent spouse], is a wicked  agent serving you a poison that will not just destroy this part of your life but your eternity as well. And since they are not force-feeding you, you are also responsible for elective suicide. And the murder of the children and the nations that were to come forth from you, had you simply allowed God to finish His processing of your character through the partner He brought your way – and you ACCEPTED –  in the first place.

Where is your spouse beloved? What have you done with and to them? God does not judge in accordance to the traditions of man, according to what is fashionable, He speaks His language, the language that sets standards for abundant life both here and eternity. Stop eating the lie that is being served to you because you don’t want to grow in character…what you are doing to your marriage is not okay. It is going to destroy you if you don’t stop it. What you are doing to someone else’ marriage, is about to destroy you. This is a certainty. God will not allow you to murder another’s spouse, their family, nation and destiny and hold back because it is fashionable. Those belong to Him. Return to Him and let Him help you…get back to the ancient way, that true way, that way decreed by Him.

I care, I don’t want your blood on my hands, I am shouting….and hoping that you listen and come back to His way. Go home! Stay home!

vipslit@yahoo.ca

Holding the Spouse of Another1 : Lessons I am Learning

God is great at tackling hypocrisy in each one of us. We go to Him thinking we have finally ‘reached’. But under the glaring beauty of His Righteousness, we realize that the standards we have been using to measure our own progress, are faulty – they are not His. For being God, Sovereign, Holy, Almighty, He does not really think like us. He is not limited by our limitations.

So here I was thinking how far I have come in supporting the homes and marriages of…just about anyone I know who has a home or marriage. I have prayed, cried, believed, stood in the gap, declared and fled and hid in Him so I would not notice in an envious, lustful, covetous way – the beauty of my neighbors home lest I justify ‘tasting just a little bit’. And honestly speaking, I have done well… avoiding even those that are in relationships that are hurting, and perceive me as a ‘possible exit/way out’ of their misery.

Compared to one or two other people I know [and herein lies a trap/problem] I am doing well. So I come boldly into God’s Presence knowing it’s my time – and that I have done all within my strength and understanding [herein lies another trap] to earn the love of my spouse [dare I say it again…herein lies another trap/problem] or at least God’s attention so that He can bring the man of God and I within each other’s line of vision – at least [I am daring to say this again – another problem/trap].

So we have an eerily familiar conversation with Jesus –“Vip,” He says, “Go fetch your husband” and I respond like a woman of God in the scripture: “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” John 4:17 -18

I am perplexed to say the least. How can He say I have had five, and I have another one now that is borrowed/stolen/thugged/there unwittingly? Is He really  Omniscient, all-knowing? Doesn’t He remember how I have walked alone, solitary, how many days and nights I have wept before Him because I was lonely, and in need of companionship at various levels? Is He not God? Did He throw those moments, along with my sins, into the sea of forgetfulness? But as my vain imaginations begin to get rather fantastically morbid I feel the gentle reigning in of His Character – He is Righteous and He does not lie. He does not think like Vip, His way of thinking is Higher… any wisdom I have is but a speck in the vastness of His. So I submit, ‘Speak Master, Your servant is listening…’ And He does.

Through the pain of the broken hearted He has allowed into my life, He opens my eyes. Through His scriptures and direct words, He uses His bulldozer…loving me, but hating the sin I have embraced. Wanting to bless me with my own spouse, yet hindered because the vacancy in this position is filled by the spouses of others, many, that my words and attitude have held captive to adulterous tendencies [these do not have to be sexual by the way. Any time there is no ‘leaving and cleaving’ on the part of one or both parties in a marriage, adultery already exists] – sin is sin, and we don’t understand God’s love for us, until we understand how much He hates sin, and is still able to love us while we are submerged in it: and even dares to go to hell, to bring us out. He speaks…

Immediately several scenes flash in my mind.

“I don’t think it is God’s will that *Kevin and *Anne get married” *Pamela said emphatically. “I had a dream about him and that girl he used to date, *Connie. Besides, she is the one we liked as a family. She comes from the right background. The background we understand.”

“That man of God is so handsome, how did he end up with such a simple woman. She is nice enough but not really what I expected him to end up with…”

“How can he go back to her, after all he told me about how terrible she was. And after I showed him how different from her I was.”

“ No one can love you like I do. God ahead and marry her/him, but you will remember me…when the storms begin to lash out at your home.”

“You made me pregnant and walked away to marry another/You dumped the baby we made together at my door in order to be free to pursue your dreams and marry another. You will never be happy.”

“He is my son/brother/cousin/relative/neighbor/deskie/ex: she is my daughter/sister/cousin/relative/neighbor/deskie/ex… and I know what s/he needs. S/he will come round…”

And many such cruel things we say and think. The bible is emphatic about the power of our words. Life and death lie within it. Whenever our attitudes or words suggest to another that we have a higher place in their homes, in their relationships, we are dishonoring the marriage bed – the wisdom of God in bringing these two together in HOLY MATRIMONY; we place a wedge between them in the spiritual realm. And the triumph we feel, any triumph we feel at the visible manifestations of these may mask the fact of bareness in our own lives. Of a thirst that cannot be quenched. It can be in our own relationships, with our spouses, with our children, with our colleagues at work: It can be in the patterns of rejection in our own life for God cannot be mocked.

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.’ Galatians 6

It is true that sometimes the unions we are concerned about may be wrong. In the sense of their foundations. Someone makes up their mind that they no longer want to be single, and move outside of God’s path to find the first available ‘victim’. This person is hapless in the face of cunning and deception, and to the real intentions of their intended. “There is a need to be satisfied, and unfortunately for you, you are the one I have chosen… and am a skilled hunter/huntress. I have also called on adverse spiritual support to back up my quest in dismissing your God given purpose because my perceived one is greater – and since am so important, yours must bow and die…” Even here, we must be careful. God still cannot be mocked.

If God has called you Prophet Nathan, to go rebuke King David, He will provide the wisdom you need to bring the king back in right standing with Him. And it begins with your becoming a mirror, messenger, and not bringing yourself into the equation. This applies also when the beloved is someone coming to you for counsel over their hurting relationship – it is not an opportunity to satisfy your need – to help God by being the hankie the person needs by marrying them: or at least, supporting their quest to divorce themselves from the relationship with the person they are grieving. God cannot be mocked.

Ignorance No Excuse

But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die.” To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated… Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.” Genesis 20

So what if you did not know? There is mercy for you. I have learnt that God is not searching for a way to throw us out of relationship with Him…but has and will continue to pay greatly to ensure that we remain in relationship with Him. If we are willing. His hatred for sin, will not wane and there are consequences. But like Abimelech you may require the intervention of the Holy Spirit to redeem you from the effects of your sin. It is sin…even when you don’t know it is. Let go of another’s spouse. Each one of us was created for a purpose. When we marry, into a home that God Himself has built, those marriages build nations. If we stay within them. But when we marry outside of His plan, when we relate with those He did not intend for us to be with, we cause confusion, that ultimately brings down destinies, and nations. He will war with anyone that war’s against His purposes. God cannot be mocked.

Releasing to Receive…or Not…

So how do we correct these? Repent of your words, attitudes and actions.  Speak into the relationships you destroyed by these, the Kingdom of God[Your Kingdom come, Your will be done – for this relationship – on earth as it is in Heaven]. Then sit still, and wait for His vindication. Know that He is true to His Character… if He fought for the marriage/s that you almost destroyed in your time of ignorance or rebellion, He will also fight for yours as you continue to wait on Him. No matter how long it takes. Remember, that holding someone else’ spouse, is not always only about sleeping with them…it includes all acts of selfishness and ill-will on our part. Being lonely, hungry and thirsty is not a valid reason from Heaven’s view. Your bareness will lift only as you walk in God’s standards for you, in His wisdom. So release that man or woman today for God cannot be mocked.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God…But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them…Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.’ Ephesians 5

*fictional names – representing you, others and myself….

vipslit@yahoo.ca

Failing Forward on La Via Dolorosa ( the way of Grief/Suffering)

‘If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.’ Luke 6:29-30, Matt 5:39-40

If the passage above has made you flinch, you are in good company. Forgiveness and Humility are nice enough words until God gives you His definition, His concept – then like Jesus’ disciples we worry with perplexed, wide open mouths–‘who then can be saved?’ This week in particular, its been hard. Especially since I know that my friendship with God has gotten deeper. You see, I am walking differently, accepting as commonplace, the human disdain when acts of obedience to Him, mean that I walk apart from what is considered the norm. I had imagined that because He, God was happy, approving even or my willingness to submit more readily, that everyone else would understand. That there would be a lot more cheering. But watching the life of the One on whose Footsteps I must walk, I realize that the popularity of three years of caring, feeding, healing, justifying, raising the dead, also meant that the cloud of enemies that hated what He stood for – still stands for – had reviewed their options and were desperate. Love that is merely human, is frightened easily, and dies easy…because it depends on perceived benefits – selfish benefits. And when those no longer seem forthcoming, the fear is overwhelming, causing us to retreat to the shadows, or…flee. Just like Jesus disciples did, just like many of those for whom He had been a blessing to during His ministry years, did. It is no wonder that knowing the next phase of His ministry as being most crucial, He cried out deeply with all He was, bloodied sweat trickling down His Face ‘Father if it be Thy Will, take this cup away from me…’ Let me not drink of it unless there is no other way…but then in Being and knowing The Truth, He conceded ‘not My Will but Thine be done…’

I am learning that God is not just about interested in bringing breakthroughs in the way we have been trained to understand breakthroughs: the healing, the wealth, the finances, the car, the spouse, the job, the promotion…all these are well enough, within His Will, but there is a bigger purpose for which we follow Him. We follow Him so that the world may experience the sons of God [Romans 8:19]. The ones that truly walk the narrow road. A few weeks ago, God led me to contemplate the ministry and death of Stephen the Matyr. I was amazed. As they stoned him, he spoke of a sight beyond imagining. The risen and Glorified Jesus standing above before His Throne. The crowd grew incensed, dragging him, stoning him for even this utterance, and as they did, he continued to focus – and the miracle happened. There was no chariot of flaming horses, no heavenly army, no ascension, no ground opening up to swallow his murderers. The miracle here was much greater. It was that in death, his words mirrored those of the One Who held his gaze. The miracle here was a prayer – Forgiveness…even while the offense was still taking place. Stephen’s cross had stayed put on his shoulder so to speak, and his gaze had been set like flint, and his feet, they fit onto those of The One on Whom he laid down his life. And lay down his life he did. The answer to this prayer was powerfully demonstrated in the conversion of the one who had stood back watching approvingly and treated his murderers with dignity and respect: Saul of Tarsus. Saul became Paul when he came face to face with Stephen’s Lord and Savior, while riding a murderous rage against Stephen’s spiritual brethren. He turned from being Challenger, to being their Champion. In a few minutes.

Last year was about Romans 12:2 – God transforming my thinking to His way of thinking. The Alabastron program had a lot to do with this.  From the program I learnt to dump my baggage and change my way of thinking to be more Truth based. But God took over, I didn’t realize the disparities in the way we think – particularly about what I call good or miraculous or even breakthroughs until I learnt to daily surrender to His way of thinking.

So now back to the via Dolorosa, following Jesus with my own cross squarely on my shoulder, much of the time anyway. I realize how often I shout for Him to hold on while I put down my cross, and trade insult for insult; blow for blow with the jearing, mocking crowd and the brutal soldiers. I know who I am in Christ afterall. I shake my shoulders (difficult to do with a cross on) and do a David ‘I killed the lion and the bear…’ statement, not realizing that I must take this test fully to the triumph. It involves a court of false accusation, the stripping down do reveal and parade your nakedness, the sharing of your clothes among those who loath you, whipping, spitting, more false testimonies, people who suspect your goodness and true identity washing their hands of you, denying you or melting in the darkness or watching from afar; it involves you carrying your cross and because you must finish the journey, exchanging close friends for enemies whose only reason for walking beside you is to eventually nail you on a cross, and beyond them, others yelling profanities at you. Once in a while you run into someone, a small group whose hearts break for you, and then eventually they pin you onto that cross strap you so you don’t fall off the nails and put you up, naked, battered, just for the sport of it. And then you die. But there is a miracle in this, before the resurrection, and glorification, the acceptance of this – all of it as part of the cup of which you must drink, and the strength, the might, to resist fighting back, verbally, emotionally, psychologically, physically even though you know you are right, and even, stronger than all your enemy put together. Or what do you think Jesus meant by ‘I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’ in John 13:12-17 and of cause Luke 9:23-25 ‘Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?’

Just a little light…

In learning these, I have had to repeat several lessons. I have shouted back, even gone to the police station to report an offence riding on perplexed offence. I am learning to pay what I don’t owe, not because I cant defend myself, or my country has refused to defend me, but because during the lessons God has been teaching me lately, He is teaching me to understand the times, and the place that am on. The putting down of my cross and yelling my defenses and declaring the offenses of others feels ‘powerful’ when am doing them, but when my eyes meet His again, and I see myself in His Eyes, I understand the feeling of nakedness that caused the disciples turned fishermen to jump into the lake when they saw their resurrected Lord standing at the shores. I want to do this… I want to hear Him say ‘Well done Vip!” and feel His Embrace when I get to heaven, even when there is mercy ahead. I am learning that He thinks pride is an awful thing, and seeing a little clearer with His eyes, I have learnt that it is the thing that causes me to go tell on someone who has wronged me…or simply show their nakedness too. I want to be in Christ’s Hands, in loving and joyful obedience to His Leadership, to be the miracle that causes someone to live so fully for Him, that their legacy cannot be erased from the main story of God’s Triumph. The miracle that causes hardened hearts to worship Him with hearts of flesh. I want to be a miracle, in the way God – The Father, Son and Holy Ghost – define ‘miracle’.

Shalom.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

Further readings: Luke 6: 27-36, Luke 22 -24, Luke 6:40, Proverbs 20:22, Romans 12: 1-2, Isaiah 55:8-9, Acts 6 – 8:1, Acts 9:1-31and I Corinthians 6:7 ‘’The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?’ Assessing the progress of the pilgrim – face down

Ministries of Francis Frangipane: ‘Let us remember that our goal is not only to speak the truth, but to actually communicate it. Christ wants us to reach people. Thus, He calls us to go extra miles, and to turn our cheek when struck. We are to genuinely love our enemies, not just try to correct them. You see, our truth is not just religious dogma; for us, Truth is a person the Lord Jesus Christ..&He seeks to save those who are His enemies’ Facebook Status update for January 14, 2011

Today I need My Friend : A Tribute to Carol Atieno

Today, I need a friend, who will pass by home with a packet of milk, go straight to the kitchen and make us both a cup of tea.Who will sit by me and tell me about her day,who will stand with my children when am not able to; who will pray with/for me, my family,my country; who will stand with me when she percieves am under a threat, cry with me, laugh with me, and when I cant pray for myself call to say “Vips..am praying for you/that is my word too/lets stand on God’s promise.”

I need a friend who will not judge me, who will listen and pray even when she doesnt fully understand what am about. Who is not afraid to sit in the candleLight with me when KPLC withdraws their priviledges or when the landlord is angry and coming at me. A friend who loves me whether I have or dont, and treats me honestly either way. I need a friend who will do battle with me on my knees because the country or church or an individual is in trouble, and who will sometimes change her plans to fit in an appointment with God and I. A friend with whom worship is never about the just the pew but the floors of our houses – where the time taken, was not an issue.

I need a friend who will listen to Leroy and Shuku and hear them in a way am unable…and because she loves me too, tell me what they were saying. I need a friend who will hold devotions with my children when I am away, and teach them from The Heart of God exaclty what they needed to hear for the day. I need a friend who will translate me to my children, because she has heard me and she loves them.

I need a friend who will keep me focused on God The Answer. Today I need a friend who will not take this day for granted…this battle as a small one because I have faced it before..but who will hold my hand and bring me before The Throne of God…and say “Let’s Ask God about that” and then do. Today I need to tell my friend, that my friend has died…and that I have felt weak, cold, unable to move, and could she hold my hand so we could go where people go when their friends are gone?

The usual one left two months ago and is attending an eternal worship service in Heaven. Rest Carol jaber…rest. I dont know if you wear heals in heaven…but I can almost hear yours as you click click click and push past the gate, up the stairs to my old place. I will see you in the morning…

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