Sneaking in a Covenant

#Covenant #Gibeonites #GodofCovenant #CovenantKeepingGod

“Even though God had not desired of Israel to make a covenant with the Gibeonites, He held Israel responsible to be faithful to it.” Norbert Link and Bill Grams

I am learning a tough class in this season – the kind that puts the fear of God in you, wounds and then heals you. I am learning that God is not really flexible about covenant. No not really. He takes His words serious and expects of us – has indeed loaned us of His Strength – His Might to do the same. We are expected to be on guard over our mouths and watch what we promise others – and even when we have been caught up by the rush of the moment, to release ourselves only by Way of The Redeeming Covenant.

There are these ancient people – and sometimes they are us now – called Gibeonites. They are very good at getting you to agree with them without your having all the facts. You are genuine, they are fearful of you (or the prospect of doing life etc. without you) so they figure out ways to get you to say things you should never say. e.g. ‘I Will…’. Have I said in this post that God is serious about Covenant? If I haven’t, let me just say it here again, for my own sake at least – “GOD IS SERIOUS ABOUT COVENANT”. When we enter into covenant rashly both sides suffer – and greatly so.

So once a king of Israel, their impressive very first king, allowed it to enter his mind that there was an exit clause in which he could do away with the other party – the sneaky Gibeonites – and it would be considered and excused as Kingly so it would not count as the breaking of covenants [and all the other excuses we have for sneaking in a covenant dissolution without consulting God and the other party…]. This king, allowed it to slip from his mind [as we often do] that he was ruler among his brethren, and that he was a parent and grandparent – and more so that God did not share the frailties of man’s ability not to remember the promises he has made, and that He [when referring to God the H is in Caps] – God – Out-began and will Out-end us. So it took three years of a nation’s severe hunger, and restitution which meant the routing out of seven of a dead kings’ flesh and blood to make things right for an entire nation.

Covenants – broken promises, have a way of sneaking in and holding entire nations, families in terrible places. So today – if it means putting on your mask and running very fast for thirty minutes away from the other party as you listen to God’s counsel about the bond you are about to enter into – that alliance – do what it takes. It is far better believe me to look ridiculous now than…yes it is far better. Don’t put yourself in a place where neither God nor yourself ever wanted you to be. Shalom.

Scripture Reference: Joshua 1:3-27, 2 Samuel 21, Isaiah 30:1

“if you have been trapped by the words of your lips, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, for you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go, humble yourself,a and press your plea with your neighbor. Allow no sleep to your eyes or slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” Proverbs 6:2-5

#OpenYourEyes #ThereisYetHope #WeHaveaRedeemer

vipslit@yahoo.ca

Harvest Pursuit

What did you do with your elevation – your promotion? Did you use it to build or destroy lives? When we are or seem to be at an advantage, what we choose to embrace to the harm of another has the tendency of ‘imagining’ that we desire it for ourselves: it then begins its pursuit to be established in our lives – pressed down, shaken together and to the overflow. It’s not therefore always the system, witch or satanic agent pursuing you – but your own harvest. I implore us, to be careful how and what we are tempted to sow into the lives of others especially those we have judged adversely (as forsaken, powerless or wanting in some way)…because Life ensures that we reap…unless of cause, genuine repentance is met by God’s Amazing Grace. Shalom.
 
““Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live,” says the Lord God, “I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.
 
“I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. Then you shall know that I Am The LORD. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.’ Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.”
 
‘Thus says The LORD God: “The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate. As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom—all of it! Then they shall know that I Am The LORD.” “
Ezekiel 35:5-6, 11-15

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, it’s 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 Martyr. 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 Saviour, 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 after all. 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 off 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 can’t 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 defences 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

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