The Curse of One Thing

The Philistine Curse is one of those things about which I have thought very deeply, so let me see if I can over-simplify it.
Our definition of the Religious Spirit does need some refining.  We like to define it as not doing the stuffy things that certain denominations do.  And then we list our favorite denominations that exemplify this behavior.  And we bash Catholics, and Anglicans, and Methodists, and Baptists, and anybody except our own favored special group, who somehow does it right and is somehow more special than others.
I define the spirit of religion as “doing everything except the one thing that G-d told you to do”.
Dear Charismatic, if G-d told us to quit engaging in whatever our pet sin is, and we are engaging in this flurry of activity that includes passionate worship, flagging, dancing, prophesying, and a bevy of “spiritual” activity accidentally or intentionally when we should be giving our energies to overcoming whatever that sin is, then that is a religious spirit.  We can claim to be free of a religion and yet change the color of the religion.
In another vein, the religious spirit can also be identified by those who squelch their design and act in a way that is incongruent with how G-d designed them to act.
If G-d told us to quit squelching how He made us, and we accedentally or intentionally do that in order to fit in.
When we squelch our design in order to fit in, and resist doing the One Thing or series of things He is leading us to do, we then are:

    1. Rejecting the One Thing that Father hardwired us to do,
    2. Rejecting our One Principle, One Gift, and One Design,
    3. Rejecting the One Place where we will have disproportionate ROI,
    4. Rejecting the One Reason G-d made us,
    5. Rejecting the One Pathway of His grace flowing, disproportionately in our lives (contra Romans 12:6–gifts given in accordance to the grace in our lives),
    6. Resisting the One Thing that will cause us to possess our birthright,
    7. Resisting the enthronement of the One Man, Jesus, on the land that is our lives,
    8. At risk for Empowering the Religious Spirit, the Spirit of Anything But the One Thing
    9. At risk for Empowering the Philistine Curse, the Curse of One Thing
  1. At risk for Lacking the One Thing that we need constantly, because the One Man is not enthroned in our lives, and we are rejecting the One Key that will turbocharge our lives.
All I can say is, I am guilty of doing this as well, and I am in desperate need of liberation, so I am not throwing stones at anyone before I throw them at myself.

On Some Harsher Sides of Grace

I was reading a thread earlier today in which a colleague mentioned the word “gracious” with reference to the handling of conflicts, while another referred to learning how we should be people of grace.
And I realized that we sometimes have a chintzy, religious, or limited picture of grace sometimes.
Now, granted, I think being people of grace is a good thing.  But I would contend further that the complete picture of grace was Yeshua.
And let me characterize some of those shades of grace in dealing with conflict, some of which were seen in the life of Yeshua.
Yeshua and Peter near Cesarea Philipi in Matthew 16.  Yeshua declared that he was going to suffer, and Peter took him aside to rebuke him.  Yeshua’ response, as harsh as it was, was a reponse of grace, because Peter was being used in that moment by the enemy to sideline Jesus from his birthright, and the necessary path that led to possessing his birthright.
Let that sink in.  Grace does whatever is necessary to bring us into the fullness of our calling, and grace will sometimes respond in anger in order to execute.  Jesus is G-d the Very Picture of Grace.  He was G-d the One Who is Full of Grace and Truth.
Grace will sometimes step up and harshly correct those who are flat-wrong.
Jesus made a whip of cords to get the moneychangers out of the temple.  That was an act of the One Who Is Full Of Grace and Truth.
Grace in the Greek refers to a “gift”.
Holy Spirit comes, and brings with him gifts, which are graces.
The Spirit rushed upon Samson in order to kill Philistines. An act of grace.
Again, we think to act graciously means to bite our tongue when we sometimes should not bite our tongue we it is our time to step up and correct people.
Granted, there is a time when we get the grace to bite our tongues. Ezekiel, for example.
But there are also times when we are given the grace to act, and in that moment the gracious thing may be to correct.
The gracious thing may be to wrestle.
The gracious thing may be to chop the head off of the Philistine.
The gracious thing may be to call that bonehead out on his or her crap that is getting in the blinkin’ way of you doing your job, because your birthright, gifting, calling, and hardwiring are on the line.
There is a time and a place when the Spirit rushes on us and gives us the grace to “be gracious”
But there is also a time and a place where the Spirit rushes upon us and gives us the grace to “muscle in and wrestle” with the archon and the exousia of this present darkness, and to tell that damned imp, critter, jackass, lasagna, rubber ducky, clown (whatever your moniker for the enemy is) to get the hell behind us.
Arthurs last podcast was another flavor of grace.  Grace for dealing with predators, and those predators are going to create a mess, and sometimes we put up with vomit and hell and idiocy when the grace upon us it to tell it to shut up, and its our responsibility to cancel its assignment.
Sometimes the gracious and graceful response, the response where the fulness of G-d’s grace is, is the response that isn’t “gracious” in accordance with how we typically view grace.
Grace is not an attitude.  Grace is a posture that comes in response to the gift of the color, aroma, flavor, shade, and tone of G-d’s grace that that comes from G-d to us in a given day.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

He is full of grace even when He is walking in a G-d-ordained anger.
So should we.
And hell no, it is not grace or gracious to take it on the chin when the grace upon you is to wreck the enemy’s vomit of structures.  Adapt to and embrace whatever the color of grace is for the day, and you will be walking in the gracious response.
Grace, again, is defined as where the L-rd is working and what He enables you to do.  It is not limited to a certain behavior or attitude.
Just some random thoughts to provoke y’all to a grace-based response.
And grace is not defined by meekness or gentleness alone.

Theological Structures in the Mind, the Counsel of Paul in 2 Corinthains 10, And How we See Others As Gifts from G-d

My previous post evokes an unfortunate reality that exists.  For those of you who are familiar with Megan Caldecourt’s work on Structures, this will be a different take on it.
For those of you not familiar with the teaching, let me give you a quick definition and run-down, at least as I understand it.
A Structure, for the purposes of healing, deliverance, and transformation into the person G-d wants us to become, is some sort of object that spiritually occurs and affects our progress toward being made more like the L-rd, who is the model of victorious living as a believer.
There are structures that are positive and structures that are negative.
For the moment, I am not going to expand on the positive spiritual structures, just the negative ones.
Many of these structures can infiltrate places like the mind and wreak nasty havoc on both our thought patterns and our perceptions of reality.
An overarching problem is that these structures are discerned spiritually, but many believers do not walk in, want to walk in, or understand that we can walk in, discernment of the spiritual environment around us, much less the spiritual environment within us that affect our spirit, soul, and body.  As a result, we often tolerate distortions of reality that they produce.
Paul writes about a topic that serves as an excellent jumping-off point for a discussion of structures in 2 Corinthians 10.
Verses 3-6 are familiar to many believers.  That said, I would like to expand the frame a bit, because it would appear that some people treated Paul in accordance with perceptions that were not correctly held. 2 Cor 10:1-10 read:

1 I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!—
2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
7 Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.
8 For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed.
9 I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters.
10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”

2 Corinthians 10:1–10 ESV

Let’s look at this segment-by-segment

1 I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!—
2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.

Paul starts off with imploring the Corinthians by way of an appeal to the meekness and gentleness of Christ.  Translation: if a believer is walking in relationship with Christ and under the leadership of their spirit, then volume of voice does not indicate level of anointing or authority.  The presence of speech, way more than the tone of speech, is what matters, and declaring the word of the L-rd in a gentle tone should be treated with the same accretion of authority as, if not more authority than, the same declaration given in a loud voice.
“…if a believer is walking in relationship with Christ”…grrrr….
It is atrocious that I should even have to qualify the term “believer” with “walking in relationship with Christ”.
“Believer” in its starkest, most accurate, and comprehensive sense, MEANS relationship, yet there are scores of believers who only walk in “decisional regeneration”.
By “decisional regeneration”, I mean the belief that says, “Salvation boils down to a mere decision.  I decide to accept Jesus, repent of my sins, say a prayer, and am suddenly a Christian.  As a result, I can continue living as if I don’t actually have a relationship with Jesus and can continue living as if Jesus does not have any claim on my life, decisions, actions, relationships, or any other part of my reality.”
I may be just spitballing here…but that is a sorry excuse for an attempt at saying you are a believer or follower of Jesus Christ.  Following Jesus really means following Jesus.  It does not mean you qualify the following or determine the parameters of following Him.  When we say salvation is about relationship, then we sure as heaven better follow through and behave as though we are in a relationship.
NEWS FLASH:  If we do not have the compulsion or desire to interact with Christ in the format of some sort of relationship, if we continue living the same crud-filled, hate-filled, debauched life in which we lived before we came to Christ, and if there is not some measure of spiritual growth, then we are in need of a defibrillator.  Someone needs to jump-start our hearts, because in the language of Revelation, we are dead.  If we do not notice some sort of change in how we walk, then we need to ask if the change we sought to appropriate really affected us.
Back to the subject, David.
Paul is crying out to be able to convey spiritual truth to believers without having to using natural modifications to his tone of voice in order to be heard or gain an audience.  It is not about being bold; rather, it is about being heard.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.

Verse 3 is the reasoning for Paul’s appeal; the conduct of our assignment in Christ is not executed better because we modify natural expressions.  Natural tools do not solve spiritual problems.

““Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord?”

Job 41:1 ESV

Same thing applies to Leviathan.  G-d’s monologue to Job was not about the inability to deal with Leviathan, but rather the inability to deal with Leviathan by utilizing natural tools as solutions to the spiritual problem.
Natural weapons and natural solutions do not work against a spiritual foe.  That is why the principle of fasting works, even if “prayer and fasting” was not mentioned the original New Testament manuscripts of Mark 9 and Matthew 17.   The concept of what happens when we pray and fast is covered and expounded on in Isaiah 58 so well that the principle would work even if Mark 9:29 and Matthew 17:21 were not part of canon.
Next, Paul contrasts the walk of the flesh with the warfare in which believers are designed to walk.   Our warfare is not a struggle against those people who are flesh-and-blood.
Now, we might have to correct flesh-and-blood humanity, but assuming the root issue is flesh-and-blood, and the root solution can come from our natural thinking or feeling is about the worst position we take, and yet “believers” take that position of attempting to solve spiritual problems with natural solutions that “make sense” with monotonous regularity.  Sadly, we need the oxgoads.  We need to appropriate the solutions that do not make sense to us, but that make sense to Father.  This is why we need to really get the clue as believers, whether believing Jew or Christian, that part of the package of walking in Christ is actually dwelling with Christ and relating to Christ, Father, and Holy Spirit.  If we do not know how to tell when or that He his speaking to us, then we have to ask if we really belong to Him.  Part of becoming a believer means agreeing with the truth that He will speak to us and we not only can hear Him, but we must hear Him, which means we must work at cultivating the relationship that we have with Him.
I do want to qualify the above paragraph AND the paragraph of not hearing His voice with something:  desire and attempting or efforting to work at listening or hearing the L-rd’s voice.  I have people who are friends, even close friends, who cannot hear the L-rd’s voice or have trouble with hearing that voice, but they sincirely trying to hear, desire to hear, are cultivating a desire to hear, and are hungering and thirsting to hear that voice.
For those people, I have all sorts of grace.  What I have a strong issue with specficially is those who either have never cared or could not be bothered with attempting to hear the L-rd’s voice.  There is a level of work at understanding your unique hardwiring and attempting to hear His voice that is involved and is necessary.  I am not talking about those who are trying.  I am talking about those who reject the work, effort, or attempt to hear.
And for those who have blockages, whether those blockages are demonic, unclean spirits, Leviathan, strongholds, covenants, curses, sentences, structures, or other devices, or something else, I have a deep compassion for them, and an unyielding anger against any clown, donkey, lasagna or other critter that would dare to keep one of my peeps from hearing Dad’s, Yeshua’s, or Holy Spirit’s voice.

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh…

Pretty self-explanatory.  We don’t use natural weapons to tackle spiritual problems.  It is a spiritual solution to a spiritual problem.
Now look at that second portion of the verse.

…but have divine power…

We have weapons that are empowered by a spiritual being.  Therefore, we must conclude that these weapons are spiritual in nature.  We interact with G-d in executing against spiritual forces.  We take the principles that are outlined in Scripture and from our spirits, execute those principles.  Prayer is designed not as a body activity, nor as a soul activity, but as a spirit-derived activity.  Galatains was full of those cause and effect relationships that happen when we try to walk out spiritual truth through natural means versus walking out spiritual truth through spiritual means.
And what do we do with these weapons? Check out the third segment of this verse

to destroy strongholds.

Destroying strongholds.  A stronghold is a type of negative structure that was built and had a designer.  We have righteous strongholds/structures that were built by G-d, who laid the earth in its sockets.
We have natural strongholds that were ordained by G-d as a picture of His interaction with us.  One of these was the Tabernacle.  Another was the Temple of Solomon.  Another was the Temple of Zerubbabel.
So, we are designed with the weapons in hand to demolish the strongholds, or more generally, the structures that G-d wants us to destroy.

5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Paul talks not only about structures that need to be dealt with in others, given the context was dealing with other people, but also with arguments.
Here is the kicker, gang: philosophical and theological mindsets, convicitons, beliefs, and viewpoints, if held so tightly that we do not yield to them, came become structures the enemy can use over time, especially if we hold onto them so tightly that they keep us from seeing the way G-d wants us to see, hearing the way G-d wants us to hear, and interacting with G-d in the way G-d wants to interact with us, in tenderness and intimacy.
Calvinism, Arminianism, Hebrew Roots, Spirit Baptism, Rapture Theories, REVIVAL AT THE EXPENSE OF WALKING IN PRINCIPLES, THE FIVEFOLD MINISTRY, COVERING, the sovereignty of G-d, the free will of man, eschatology and ecclesiaology theories.  If anything becomes a sacred cow, G-d is liable to use someone to shoot the cow and make hamburger and steak out of your cow, gang.
And revival is one of the biggest sacred cows in the church today, specifically when we beg and grumble at G-d to send it when we simultaneously refuse to walk in principles.  This is part of the reason I despise the preaching of revival.  It whips people up into a frenzy so much that they cannot see the underrated principles that form the 90% of what G-d is trying to pour into us as believers.
Theological systems and viewpoints can become negative structures if we hold onto them more tightly than either the vast library of what is possible that we call Scriptures, or our relationship with G-d.
Recently, I had the honor of working with a really precious friend who is a Mercy to help work through some questions that I was dealing with about my human spirit, and how he gives and receives.  This friend who was working through these issues with me offered to bless my spirit, for which I was grateful, and as she began the process of working with my spirit, one of the things she prayed was for structures to be removed, dissolved, destroyed, etc.
As a result of those prayers and interactions, I saw and heard several things. First, I saw a black steel muzzle melt off of my mouth.  I heard the L-rd say “I think steel boils at that temperature”.  I saw an oxyoke made of the same material break from off of my shoulders.  I then heard a voice say, “no more Hannibal Lecter.”
I realized at that point that many leaders and other believers in the Church had viewed me as dangerous, and unstable, and not safe to be around.  And for the majority of my life, I have been seen as weird or unusual in church contexts.  And I have always had to hold back because there were people I just did not trust.
When this thing broke, I felt a straitjacket and a mask like Hanibal wore being removed.
I then realized that the negative view had been broken, but I was also very exhausted, and had felt a lot of things shift internally. My wife noticed a change in me as well.
The following morning, while I was at work, a coworker attempted to draw me into a theological argument about baptism, and I immediately felt something come up in me that told them that the point of contention was their issue, not mine.  I usually don’t think of that sort of response, because I am frequently concerned with constructing the right arugment with the right references and the right logic.  This time, though, I was able to completely shut down their argument with a non-answer.  That almost never happened in my dealings with other believers.
And as I go back to look at what happened, I would say that the Mercy portion of my spirit had engaged in order to remove the problem.
Theology is not a bad thing.  Discussing the Bible is not a bad thing.  The issue is when your motive is off and other believers can discern that your motive for discussing things of a Biblical and theological nature is off.
I have begun to grow into a place where arguing just is not as important.
Now, do I expect people to discuss matters?  Absolutely.
Do I like it when people cite the sources for their information?  Quite.
Do I detest it when people misquote John Wesley? Yes.
But I have had to re-learn what I have always known and never expressed.  Feelings and emotions without context in a given situation can be really accurate barometers for what is going on in a particular environment.
And I have begun to recognize that many of the emotions I have felt and experienced in dealing with the things of G-d are right and as correct as the thoughts I think, or the citations and Scripture addresses I can crank out by the boatload.
But while theology can be a good thing, theology that derives from lofty/haughty opinions and positions that cause us to look down on others made in the image of G-d can be damaging.
So, two thoughts that may seem juxtaposed but are really converses of one another.

  1. People who make theological statements need to do so not from a position of being higher-up than, but from a position of on a level playing field with, the recipients of those statements.
  2. People who are receiving theological statements need to sometimes understand that they are not being talked down to just because someone is more-studied in a topic. Assuming people are talking down to you just because they are speaking with you can be quite toxic.

Ultimately, in this passage in 2 Corinthians, Paul seeks to move believers away from operating in the flesh to operating in accordance with the spirit. He desires to bnring people away from disobedience and everything that flows out from that (walking in the flesh) and into a place of obedience (walking in the spirit).  Our responsibility is to conduct ourselves in accordance with the spiritual realm.  And obedience is a point on the way from bondage (bondage to the flesh, and bondage to attempting to use natural tools to solves spiritual problems) to sonship (using spiritual tools to solve spiritual problems that affect spirit, soul, and body).
The idea is that obedience be made complete.  It will only be complete when we obey the implications of what being a son looks like.  Not just doing what G-d says when he tells us to do something, but enjoying and responsibly stewarding the FREEDOM of choice when Father gives it.  And the freedom to build and to fight.

7 Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.
8 For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed.
9 I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters.
10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”

Paul then moves to the concept in which the Corinthians should already be well-versed: using the eyes to see what is before them and appropriating to other believers the same benefit of the doubt that they apply to themselves.  Paul’s job was not to frighten them but to teach them.  It’s not about the outward appearance, but rather it is about the whole package, including the fact that spiritual authority and spiritual strength may be garbed in an apparent package of weakness or undesirable attributes.
When a believer is focused so hard on the outward appearances or other pizazz, and not inspecting the root and heart of the matter involved (1 Samuel 16:6), then we become as stupid and dull of discernment as Samuel THE SEER was behaving with SEVEN of Jesse’s sons.  It was the little shepherd boy doing the unimportant things that G-d was chasing that had G-d’s heart that G-d wanted to anoint.
And G-d will always hunt for the Shamgars (Judges 3:31) and the Samsons to disempower the Philistines that seek to choke the life out of others.
Paul did not want the Corinthians to view him with merely the natural, carnal, soulish, or mesermized eyes.  He wanted them to see and percieve what appeared before them in the spirit, and the truth that he carried.  His concern for presentation was overridden by a healthy desire for 1 Corinthians 2:9.

“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—”

1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV

G-d has not only prepared a place for us to percieve in more ways than just in the ways of the natural eyes, but also people that he wants us to view with the eyes of the spirit.  It is not just that things and places and times and seasons that are gifts, but also people.
So, when you look at people, walk after the eyes of the spirit and look at the fact that you eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, and your heart has not imagined what these people look like.
And when you discern, do not freeze-frame people in accordance with how you have always known them, but ask the L-rd if something new has happened.
And seek to walk in alignment with the new reality of who they are as a person, and as a gift of the L-rd.
Further, as you are working with people and bringing them into a place of wholeness in Christ, work with those theological and philosophical presuppositions, and ask the Father to liberate them of whatever of those ideas that have become negative structures in the minds and spirits of those you are working with.
As you deal with people, know that your own theological and philosophical views can risk affecting your effectiveness in working with other people, and they can affect your perception of others, IF they are not rooted in a sincere hunger for truth and walking in love and humility and lack of guile–basically walking in the fruit of the spirit–but instead are rooted in agendas of pride, arrogance, control, manipulation, hatred, vengeance, wrath, or love of perversion (anything other than a love of the real version)–basically the works of the flesh.
They also can twist your capacity to see others rightly.  Samuel, because Saul came in one package, assumed the next king would come in a similar package that he could recognize.
The L-rd, however, wanted to provide a package–in the person of David–that Samuel had to discern rightly to see.
The same principle applies to us, the weapons of our warfare, working with other people, demolishing these structures flowing from an unholy motive, and therefore providing a nesting place for the enemy to lob grenades and do all kinds of damage.
So, tribe, be blessed, as you walk out your capacity and desire to see rightly.  See the gift.  See the treasures. See with the right eyes.  See with the spirit, not the soul.  See as the L-rd sees.
Don’t just see people through the lens of a presentation, or the exterior.  Hunt…hunt for the interior.  Hunt for the heart.  It credits your reputation when you do so.  It credits your character when you are relentless for hunting for who a person really is, not merely what you see at first glance.
And as you hunt for the treasure in these people, cultivate a fierce intentionality to reject the temptation to judge based on first perceptions, based on a theological view point or philosophical point that is rooted in a bad motive.

Concerning our identity in Messiah Yeshua/Lightly Edited For Clarity

The following statement concerning one of my exceptionally precious friends who has exceptionally clarified the truth if who we are in Yeshua bears repeating:
For the record, what follows is mildly profane in one place, so if you can’t handle that, then don’t read any further.
With that warning out of the way, read on
Didina BatMelek writes:

I have listened to TOO MANY christian songs and christian preachers and christians, sing, teach, and speak the words “We are not Worthy to be loved
, but he loves us anyway.”
The truth is that WE ARE worthy to be loved. Every single person. We are made in the image of the most High!! He loved us even when we did not know Him.
He relentlessly pursues us.
There are days where I get so mad because words speak life and death into us.|
We do NOT have to tear ourselves DOWN to make YAH GREAT!
We are not worthy of the GRACE that he gives us.
That is truth!!
We screw up and fall down and get ourselves stuck into messes that we cannot get out of without the hand of Grace that reaches down to us.
The enemy has been whispering the lie that we are not worthy of love since we were little. Sometimes shouting it and making it our every day reality.
Somehow christians have taken that lie and turned it into holiness???
To demean ourselves in order to appear holy??
I do not buy into that lie anymore!
Non of us should!
We are made with the hands of love for a purpose far greater then ourselves and YES we are not worthy of HIS grace but we receive it anyway because of what Yahshua did FOR us.

The Redemptive Gift of Mercy

David and Wendy
There is little in the way of a disclaimer, except to say that this post touches me in a deep place the the other six did not…
The woman above is Wendy Falls. Whether or not anyone finds this strange, that woman is my third best friend. My wife, Pam, tops the list. David and I have gone through various shades and hues of hell and back together the last 18 years. And Wendy, who has stood by his side since June 22, 2002, when she could have shriveled up and died many times, is the woman after my wife and a couple of others, whom I hold in the highest regard. She has ALWAYS been there constantly, even when it hurt. This is easily my benchmark for the Mercy Gift.
Safe, worshipping, overwhelming the way she was designed to be, talkative (yes I just used talkative), emotive, gravitating natch toward intimacy, and sensitive.
Mind you, I have listened to a lot of teaching on this gift. Some other precious ladies and gentlemen who are among my group of friends are also Mercies, and I know there are several whom probably come to each of your minds when you think “healthy Mercy”. I have several as well. And doubtless, some of these traits that I mention will doubtless seem unfamiliar to y’all who are Mercies, but for whatever reason, I have come to associate these traits with Mercy.

  1. Mercies are given to helping others to be comfortable. They are often not the heavily, challenging type the way Prophets are.
  2. Mercies often times practice pain-avoidance. They hate causing pain to others and to themselves.
  3. I have heard a lot that Mercies are described as hearing with their spirits first. This is a misunderstanding of the way major teachers have communicated the truth of a Mercy. It is not Mercies alone that hear through their spirits first. It is all the gifts that hear G-d first in the spirits. “G-d deals with us on the level of the spirit, not the soul” (Nurturing Your Spirit, Series 1, I don’t know which Disc or Cut or Timestamp). He deals with ALL of us on the level of the spirit, NOT on the level of the soul. Non-Mercies need to quit assuming they are less legitimate because they have the misconception that only Mercies hear first with their spirit.
  4. The actual difference between Mercies and non-Mercies is not that Mercies hear with their spirits. Rather, it is that Mercies hear through their heart, and lead with their emotions in a situation and many non-Mercies hear through their mind and lead with their thoughts, oftentimes, or their intuitions. Their emotional responses and resonance is a form of discernment.
  5. So, for example, Mercy and Prophet are in a situation where discernment is needed. On the one hand, Prophet begins to feel something out and get objective data (or subjective thoughts, vision, picture, etc. whatever the case) and brings principles to bear. Mercy, on the other hand, “feels” something happening and cannot necessarily put words to it, and sometimes will not realize that what they are doing is discerning, because it comes second nature. This happens to Wendy all the time when she is in a discernment situation with David, her husband. And as she is feeling, those emotions will be radically on-point, and will spill all over the place, and she feels embarrassed because she is emoting all over the place. She won’t realizing that she is discerning something oftentimes and has discounted those emotions regularly. Looking back, David and she have recognized that the problem that was causing her to emote was the same problem for which David got data. It is kind of like a barometer. Looking back on her emotional episode in response to a place, she realizes she was discerning something. I am fairly sure that other Mercies respond like this, and then beat themselves up for having all these emotions.
  6. Unlike Prophets and Teacher and Exhorters who hear with their minds, Mercies hear with their hearts. I realize this is a repeat of a previous point, but it bears repeating.
  7. While we are at it, how about we QUIT saying the heart is more important than the mind and vice-versa? How about we quit with putting one over the other? I am sick to death of the way in which we denigrate the one for the other, and say we have too many strongholds here, and we should lead with our hearts or our minds because one form is more legitimate than the other. Some people are hardwired to lead with their minds and some with their hearts. The trick is blessing both to work together, because G-d put the two together. And our Seat of Dominion is where we do our best thinking, and our heart and reins (kidneys and adrenals) are where we do our best feeling of a situation, and all three are designed to work together. A Mercy is NOT more legitimate because they lead with heart and emotions and a Prophet is NOT more legitimate because they lead with their PC-data-mind or volcanic emotions. And a Teacher is not less legitimate because they lead with their mind, and the Exhorter for their revelation and broad vision, and their capacity to take the concepts of the spirit and quickly weave them together and make them understood in the language of the soul.
  8. Mercies are going to use a vastly different language database then the other gifts. I know that Mac vs. PC can be an effective way to describe the difference, but I honestly thing that Mercies are more like Arch Linux. There is a Simplicity of design, a knowing that a different way is the right way and the best way when all the other gifts have all of this empirical data saying they should go in a different way than the Mercy suggests. See:
  9. If you are going to go a different way as another gift, you sure as heck better have a close friend who is a Mercy, as a trusted advisor, that you can bounce all of your crazy ideas off of and receive feedback from them, even if that feedback is minimal, seems weird or unusual, and involves a caution. Mercies don’t need to necessarily be the chief counsel you use, but they serve a really important function in your constellation. In fact, I trust their input so much that I have several whose input I consider before making a decision.
  10. Mercies, because of the way they get pinged differently from the other gifts, may not see recognize the pingings of the Spirit as pingings of the Spirit.
  11. We live in a society that in many ways has so mangled evaluation of emotions that Mercies may feel invalidated by a typical American evangelical, politically conservative, Christian stance. The other more traditionally abrasive verbal/expressive gifts would do well to take a cue and bite their tongues around their Mercies, and maybe even use some of their fierce intentionality to help deliver and unmangle the Mercy from the assaultive American context in which we find ourselves.
  12. I personally gravitate toward Mercy because, while I can verbally write and express myself well to others, and can become argumentative, I really despise confrontations. I don’t know many Mercies that run confrontational. Additionally, I also find that the following point sums up where I find myself many times.
  13. Mercies approach situations with just a very simple knowing something feels right or wrong, it is not that they have a lot of data to back up what they know, they just know, and are not able to say why.
  14. Mercies can have a number of friends that they enjoy, but precious few they trust and are real and authentic with. With those few people they trust, they are no-holds-barred completely vulnerable.
  15. Mercies can have a whole lot of sexual and moral baggage. Think King David.
  16. Mercies can have a greater sensitivity to other people’s feelings.
  17. Mercies, while not defining the orthodoxy for how the church flows, often are knuckled under by the other more traditionally-seen-as-orthodox gifts into being forced to accept the orthodoxy of the other gifts. And they have one of two choices. Either to accept and go along to get along, or to resist and be considered stupid. They are forced to make this stupid decision if there is not someone who is willing to advocate for them, provide a safe place for them, and say, “hey, what about the Mercies.”
  18. Mercies are shown and told “this is how the church works, this is how Christ works, this is how relationship works, and blah blah blah, this is how all of these things work”
  19. Let me be the first to say that I point-blank do not agree with this idea that the Mercies are the only ones that are wired to hear G-d with their spirits. I don’t think it is a spirit thing. Yes, I know that some could parrot this or that teaching about the Mercy. But I really think it is a heart/emotion thing. Because the other six gifts get the mind of G-d, they hear with mind, and because the Mercies get the heart of G-d, they hear G-d with their heart. G-d, however, deals with all seven gifts on the level of the spirit. We are designed for our spirits to lead, and for our souls to submit and then team up with our spirits. But when G-d drops spiritual truth to each of us, it is on the level of our spirit and somehow has to find a way to translate to our souls in order to find expression on Monday morning. I am fine if people agree or disagree with me, even Mercies, but the communication of our spirit is what happens to all of us, and for some, the transition is easier than others. For example, the Exhorter is eminently designed above all the gifts for communication and designed to take the truth that gets dropped into the spirit and express it in the language of the soul.
  20. But I have watched Mercies respond and lead by having their emotions stirred first.
  21. The slowness of transition in the Mercy from receiving something from the data could be because their resistance to share because of rejection or because of wounding from a culture that doesn’t understand their language. It could also be hardwiring and design. It could also be a lack of trust of some of the people present in the group, because the Mercy might be concerned with how a non-Mercy in the group might respond. But if you watch Mercy after Mercy respond to a situation with a spiritual component, 11 times out of 10, the emotions kick in, likely without accompanying data. That is, the emotions are the data. And if you see your Mercy pulling emotions or emoting, then I am gonna be stern and say you better protect that Mercy’s emoting and treat it with the same value that you treat the expressed Prophet data. Mercy emotions are like a barometer.
  22. David once told me that Wendy would discount her emotions because she thought she was just being emotional. But then, because David specializes in patterns, he noticed the correlation between the Mercy emotions and the spiritual dynamic of what they were dealing with. There is a huge correlation.
  23. And now, this is the part where I drop a bomb into the conversation. And it is my pleasure to do so. Mercies are Verbal-expressive, and overwhelmingly so, if given the latitude to do so, the lack of wounding, and the space to develop their own thoughts. Most would not recognize themselves in this comment and thought, and doubtless, I will encounter some push-back on this. But this is a point I will not concede. I have enough experience from Mercies to know, they can carry a conversation, a deep, meaningful conversation, and they can take you to deep places, if you will allow, foster, and encourage them to. If you will give them a place to put the speech that might come across to others as stupid or lame or without explanation, then they might just surprise you. As kids, a lot of them were very overwhelming and as a result, commanded to clam up, shut up, or treated with contempt.
  24. In our….Prophet nation….that affection toward the tolerating Mercy gets mangled in many places.
  25. The day I drove from Massachusetts to Toronto, I felt the nastiness of the transition on the international border. The land of the U.S. is in many places loud and assaultive. When I crossed the border into Canada, specifically, Ontario, that loudness and assault…..stopped.
  26. Mercies, and Mercy cities are designed to be people and places of refuge. This is where the Mercy and the Teacher can get confused.
  27. Mercies gravitate toward the wounded and the hurting.
  28. People generally trust the Mercy with all sorts of information and insight into their lives, without being able to name precisely why.
  29. Mercies find flow, and if they cannot find flow, they push for looking ways to create it.

For the Mercy, their principle is the Principle of Fulfillment. Meaning they run for something to come to a satisfactory conclusion.
The conclusion of the sex organs is childbirth and pleasure, believe them or not. The fulfillment of a human family is to increase on size.
The fulfillment of a life is to come into full possession of a birthright.
The fulfillment of the tabernacle is so that the L-rd can make his booth, habitation, and sukkah among us (the Mercy Seat, and John 1:14).
The culimnation of design is fulfillment.
The fulfillment of Creation week is resting in that process, knowing that what has been accomplished is immensely satisfying. It is G-d dwelling among what He has made.
The fulfillment of the Exodus is G-d walking mong His people as they worship Him in the wilderness. It is about Him being with them.
It is not about gaining a tract of land merely so they can cease from worrying about food.
See, gerting it twisted, we think the Exodus was about possessing the land frequently, and we MISS the opportunity to dwell with G-d in the wilderness for a season and learn some things about G-d and friendship with Him that will be cut off from us after we enter the Promised Land.
Elijah was taken to either Servant or Mercy land to be fed by Ravens so He could learn to how Rest and Receive from G-d Himself and from G-d’s messengers, the ravens.
Don’t curse the dirt, the wilderness, or the desert.
Isaac used the same desert they cursed in order to MEDITATE!
So, that is my short list. Questions? Comments? Emendations? Things y’all would say differently?

From Carlene Prince: The Most Irresistible Message

One of my dear friends from Montana wrote the following. Enjoy savoring it, gang:

“We have the most irresistible message.”
My heart said “Amen!” when I read that statement on an on-line forum. It immediately brought two follow-up thoughts to mind.
1) The type of message – it IS an irresistible message – a compelling Gospel. What it is NOT is: a Gospel of convenience, a luke-warm Gospel, a Gospel without a cost, a Gospel without follow-through, a Gospel that is weak, a Gospel that is half-hearted, a Gospel that is limp, a Gospel that is unmerciful, a Gospel that is unforgiving, a Gospel that is diluted, a Gospel that is lacking.
My God AND His Word are: inconvenient in the most holiest of ways, on-fire, costly in the most winsome way, one that completely follows through from Beginning to End, strong, wholly devoted and with fullness of heart, sturdy, merciful to outrageous proportions, totally forgiving when repentance is present, concentrated and full of increase, perfect, flawless, lacking in nothing.
If THAT’s what this Gospel is – how could it NOT transform you?
2) We have an irresistible message – but often we may not present it in the most irresistible of ways at times. May the Holy Spirit grant us genuine hearts, full of sincerity, with full portions of salt and light, full measures of kindness and goodness – to not be militant about our presentation – but to present the message fully, completely, in love and with irresistible grace.
May we win others to His fiery heart of love in ways that are attractive – not worrying about the presentation being perfect – for it never will be – but may it be compelling – filled with all the attributes of Heaven that are in full operation even now: Mercy, Grace, Contagious Joy, Unending Love, A state of Peace and and Amazing Rest, the Broad shoulders of Jesus in the Arms of the Father, with the Creativity and Movement of the Holy Spirit – and all the Colors of His Covenant Promises in rainbow-like form, surrounded by the Jewels Of His Presence, to the Lamb Upon the Throne…Now and Forevermore….Amen!
~5/7/14 Author: Carlene “CeCe” Prince

From the Desk of Arthur Burk: CASTING THE TIE-BREAKER

Arthur posted

By Arthur
Someone forwarded me a blog written by Beth Moore about her experiences in the Body of Christ, dealing with males.
Here is a link to her blog.
I read it all and I read the spaces between the lines and know that she only shared about 1% of the junk she has experienced at the hands of “Men of God.”
As one who has championed women in a hands on, tangible way (not just giving lip service to the role of women), I would like to add just a bit to her story.
When Jesus rose from the dead, He had options. He could reveal himself FIRST to anyone He wanted. He choose to reveal himself to a woman.
BUT because Mary who saw Jesus, and the other women who met with an angel in the empty tomb, were women they were discredited.
On the road to Emmaus the two males commented with disdain on some wild rumors floating around, which were utterly discounted because they came from women.
Later that evening, the same two males raced back to Jerusalem to find the ten abuzz with the fact that IT WAS TRUE, Jesus was alive.
How did they know?
The most utterly discredited male of the bunch, Peter, had seen Jesus, and because he was male, you see, his word was utterly believable.
So the spiritual eldership at the foundation of the church was indisputably, incorrigibly, male chauvinist. Horribly so.
And God went out of His way to document for all of time and eternity how utterly wrong the males were to discount the first hand, eye witness account of the females.
God did not disguise at all the warped and disgraceful chauvinism of the ten and their buds.
BUT, in spite of that facet of their world view and of their values, or possibly BECAUSE of it, Jesus choose to reveal Himself to a woman FIRST.
That was deliberate. Intentional. It was a statement for the ages. It can never be erased from the reality of human history. No man can undo the story line and step into first place.
So Jesus cast a vote.
He said “Women are my chosen, trustworthy stewards of first fruits revelation for the Body of Christ and I WILL use this woman, Mary of Magdala, as the very first member of the Body of Christ. The first person to see Me as the resurrected Christ, to believe in Me and to take her place in Christendom.”
Will Mary of Magdala lead the parade into the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, as the first Christian? I wonder.
Now, the spiritual eldership of the Body of Christ has voted against women being trustworthy stewards of first fruits revelation from the hand of God.
It was not just Mary and Beth who have been voted down by the males. Untold times over the years, God has spoken to women first. He has given them the revelation of what is on His heart, and has invited them to birth it into the visible flow of the Kingdom.
Again and again, they have accepted the revelation from God, only to be spurned by the male chauvinist spiritual eldership.
And a few months later, some male stands in a position of spiritual leadership and announces to the world that God has told HIM about this new thing . . .
So the score in 1 to 1. A tied game.
Jesus voted in favor of the trustworthiness of women,
The men voted against.
And in one of the most delicious, monumental ironies of the ages, the women get to cast the tie breaking vote.
So Beth Moore, as a White, male, visionary, passionate, trail blazing, spiritual, authority figure, I publicly celebrate you for casting a tie breaking vote in favor of YOUR design and calling by God.
You decided that you ARE a worthy steward of revelation from God. You decided there IS a space for you to minister the living Word of God to those who wish to sit at your feet. You agreed with God that your gender QUALIFIES you to speak into this culture, at this time, with the revelation God has given you.
Beth, I have never met you. I have never listened to any of your teachings. But we have a saying in our tribe. “You can measure the stature of a man (or woman) in the community by what people behind their back.”
By that standard, you cast a very long shadow. Lots of people have said a lot of things about you to me and those things define my view of you.
In a day and age of staggering slovenliness in the pulpit, what I have heard about you is that you have a remarkable work ethic when it comes to the Word of God.
I have heard that you serve your followers meat and veggies and eschew the cotton candy that is so in vogue these days.
I have heard that you produce measurable, verifiable, sustained change in people’s lives.
I have heard that the women who sit at your feet learn to be reconciled to their design. They walk in dignity because of who God says they are, no longer being yanked around by the opinions of mere men.
Beth, I have no idea what brand you set out to create. But I am deeply impressed with the brand that you have in reality established.
It is no longer the age of spiritual mugging. In this season of church history, people are going to smell the fragrance of Christ.
You are fragrant, as would be expected of one who has long been in the presence of the Lord of the Spices.
And Beth, I know you said you learned to wear flats when you were on stage with small men.
In the event we ever meet, you don’t have to wear your spiritual flats around me. You are free to tower over me, and be every bit of who you are. I am not intimidated by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ expressed majestically through women who are stewarding revelation with excellence.
Thanks for casting a deciding vote on behalf of yourself, and all women called to spiritual leadership.
MY world is a better place because you voted to be big, not safe.
Arthur Burk
Sapphire Leadership Group, Inc.

I have my own post of thoughts to share, but wanted this post to stand on its own.
I agree with every word Arthur posted here.

Sit…The Start of the Personal Warfare For Ourselves.

This is a list of identity for y’all to marinate in. Enjoy it.

A List of the Benefits that Believers have as a Result of the New Birth

******NOTE: Before you go into this list, PLEASE STOP ASKING what is not possible, and begin to ask G-d what IS possible. Stop saying what always happens in your life and start believing for what CAN happen in your life. You can get all the information you want and get this stuff as head knowledge, but until you accept what G-d has promised by faith, it will not come alive in your heart. No eye has seen what is possible, no ear had heard, and it has not entered into our minds what G-d has prepared for us who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9).*********

“He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” -Ephesians 1:3-
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is not variation or shifting shadow.” -James 1:17-

Benefits merely as a result of the New Birth. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your identity as a result of being born again:

  1. We have access to every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3)
  2. We are chosen in Jesus. (Eph 1:4)
  3. We are able to be holy and blameless in Jesus (Eph 1:4)
  4. In tender love, we are predestined to sonship, which is adoption as mature sons that reflect the character and qualities of the Father that adopted us (huios) (Eph. 1:4-5)
    • “Predestined” is broken apart into “destined” and the prefix “pre-” which means, ahead of time. He has a destiny for us that is given to us ahead of time. (Josh. 1:8). That destiny is to succeed and not fail, to increase from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18), and to increase from faith to faith (Rom 1:17).
    • The question is, will we accept that path and destiny, or will we reject it, choosing instead a mediocre life that does nothing, says nothing, and is nothing. He did not call us so that we would constantly struggle with addictive sin, and constant nagging failures and regrets. He called us to a place of transformation (2 Cor. 5:17).
  5. We were predestined according to the kindness of the Father’s will (Eph. 1:5).
  6. The Father bestowed His grace freely upon us (Eph. 1:6).
  7. The Father bestowed this grace on us in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6).
    • If there is any confusion as to the identity of the Beloved, it is the Beloved Son, in whom the Father is well-pleased (Matthew 3:17, 17:5, Mark 1:11, 9:7, Luke 3:22), Jesus.
  8. In Jesus we have redemption through His blood (Eph. 1:7).
    • Forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7, Isaiah 53:5).
    • Healing of sicknesses and deliverance from demonic oppression (Matthew 8:16-17).
    • Healing of sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).
  9. We have forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7).
  10. We have access to the riches of His grace. This grace has been lavished on us (Eph. 1:7-8, 1 Jno. 3:1). Is there anything the L-rd’s grace cannot provide?
  11. We have access to all wisdom and insight (James 1:5, Eph 1:8).
  12. By His wisdom and insight, we have access to know the mystery of His will (Eph. 1:9). As His sons, we have no need to ask, “what is the will of G-d for my life”? He will give us the answer. We will never be left in the dark as to His will (John 10:27).
  13. We have access to this will, specifically as a result of the Father’s Kindness.His will for us as individuals is given with a view to the end of days. He wants to fit His plan for our lives into the larger plan of the ages. We play a part in that plan. But we have to agree and get our will in alignment with His will (Eph 1:10).
  14. We have an inheritance that is multifaceted, comprising many different things (Eph 1:11).
  15. We have a destiny that was written for us ahead of time (Eph. 1:11).
  16. We have been sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13).
  17. The seal of the Holy Spirit is the pledge of our inheritance. He is the Father’s down-payment to us, the first installment, and the entry-point into that inheritance. Hence, we are responsible to get to know Him really, really well. (Eph.1:14)
  18. We have the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation who give us the knowledge of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our knowing G-d does not come merely or only from reading about Him in a book, and acquiring a bunch of information, rules, and regulations. It comes from encountering Him as we read, as we pray, as we worship, as we meditate on Him and the Scriptures. We can know Him. He reveals Himself to us and gives us flowing Wisdom (Eph. 1:17).
  19. Our eyes have been enlightened (Eph. 1:18).
  20. He has a rich and glory-filled inheritance in us (Eph 1:18). Are we using the riches and the glory He has put in us?
  21. The greatness of His power is pointed toward us who believe (Eph. 1:19).
  22. We have working in us the strength of His might (Eph. 1:19).
  23. We have this same strength working toward us and on our behalf (Eph. 1:19).
  24. All demonic authorities and rulers and principalities and dominions are under His feet. We are His body and He is our head, therefore these things are placed under our feet (Eph. 1:21-23)
  25. We have been given Christ, by the Father, as our head (Eph 1:22). If Christ is our head…what are the implications?
  26. Christ fills us with His fullness, therefore nothing in us need be lacking, missing, or incomplete in Him. You are not incomplete until He makes you one with your husband-to-be or wife-to-be. You are complete and fulfilled in Christ, when He comes to live in you. The sad truth is most believers refuse to apprehend that truth, much less appropriate that truth (Eph. 1:23).
  27. You are no longer dead in sins (Eph. 2:1).
  28. You are no longer walking according to the course of this world (Eph. 2:2).
  29. You are no longer children of wrath (Eph 2:2).
  30. You are no longer living in the lusts of the flesh (Eph. 2:3).
  31. You are the recipient of infinite and tenderest affections, and the fullness of His heart. You have unhindered access to the fullness of the depths of the heart of the infinite creator of the universe. This relationship with the Lord can grow like nothing else. Think of the most lush, verdant garden in the midst of spring. This is much greater than that (Eph 2:4, Song of Solomon 4:16, Psalm 23:2-3).
  32. We have been saved by grace, which is more than just freed from eternal separation from God. We are the recipients of a birthright, a calling, a destiny (Romans 8:29), deliverance (See Exodus), healing from all issues emotional and physical, and a whole compliment of commanded blessings (Psalm 133).
  33. We are raised up in Jesus, (Resurrected) and full of the power of His resurrection (Eph. 2:6, Romans 8:11)
  34. We are seated with Jesus (See #23, Eph. 2:6). Given that the L-rd is G-d Most High, and given that Melchizedek was priest of G-d Most High, if we are seated with Christ, and if we are a royal priesthood, then we are seated in the highest places and we are therefore as a result of that, made priests after the order of Melchizedek. We are thus priests after that shadow and type. We are priests of G-d Most High (Genesis
  35. In the ages to come, the Father will show the surpassing riches of His grace and kindness to us. What does that mean now? A portion of those riches, the down payment of His inheritance in us, is available to us now, as this list details. How much of His kingdom is available? Let us see (Eph. 2:7, 1 Cor. 2:9).
  36. We have not been saved by law, though the law is a good thing and not to be despised. We are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8, 1 Jno. 3:1).
  37. We have been given such a large gift of grace from G-d (Eph. 2:9).
  38. We are His workmanship (Eph. 2:10).
  39. We are not separated from Christ (Eph. 2:11).
  40. We are included (part of) in the commonwealth of Israel (Eph. 2:12).
  41. We are no longer strangers to the covenant with Abraham (Eph. 2:12).
  42. We have hope (Eph. 2:12).
  43. We are with G-d (Eph 2:12).
  44. We have been brought as near to G-d as we want to be, so long as we want to draw near, and to the extent to which we want to draw near (Eph. 2:13, Jas. 4:8). We need not fear drawing near to G-d, as if we need to fear Him punishing or spanking us at random or on a whim. G-d is not in a bad mood, nor does He experience mood swings. He is not an absentee drunk, or abuser.
  45. We are not given some ethereal, intangible peace. The Father Himself is our peace, and the Son Himself is our peace. The man, Christ Jesus is our peace. The Prince of Peace is Himself our peace (Eph. 2:14).
  46. We who are non-Jews are made one with those who are Jews (Eph. 2:14-15). He has made peace between Jews and non-Jews.
  47. We have been placed in one body with the Jews because of the cross, and thus have access to the covenants given to the children of Abraham (Eph 2:16, Gal 3:29, Romans 4:16).
  48. We are reconciled with Israel in one body to the Father (Eph 2:16).
  49. We have access by the power of the Holy Spirit to the Father (Eph. 2:18).
  50. We are not strangers, aliens, bastards, or second-class stepchildren who are tolerated a corner in heaven (Eph 2:19).
  51. We are CITIZENS (Eph. 2:19).
  52. We are part of G-d’s household (Eph. 2:19).
  53. We are built on the right foundation in this household (Eph. 2:20).
  54. We are being fit together (Eph. 2:21).
  55. We are fitted with the capacity for growing (Eph 2:21).
  56. We are part of a holy temple, and the temple of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:21, 1 Cor. 3:16, 1 Cor. 6:19).
  57. We are being built into a dwelling for G-d’s Spirit. Combined with #54, this makes us “already” and “not yet” a temple for the Spirit. Scripture is full of many of these “already/not-yet” paradoxes.
  58. If we yield our lives to Jesus, deny ourselves, we have access to become prisoners of Christ Jesus, for whatever people groups He has called us to minister to. (Eph. 3:1). Your “cross to bear” is not a sickness or a mental disorder, or some imperfection, or some handicap. There is only one “cross to bear” according to Scripture. The only “cross to bear” is the cross of self-denial, period. If you take up that cross, and only that cross, you will find the life He has always wanted you to have. The statement “whatever does not kill you only makes you stronger” is not biblical. Whatever does not kill you is not from G-d, because G-d wants to kill you. Deny yourself. A sickness is not you denying yourself. A malady is not denying yourself. A handicap does not make you humble. You can be a quadriplegic and still have pride up to your eyeballs. You can live below the poverty line and still be entrenched in greed as high as the sky. What does the trick in carrying your cross is denying your rights whatever those might be: Your right to fornicate, be offended, walk in pride, walk in lust, etc.
  59. We can receive revelation in order to know the mysteries of G-d (Eph. 3:3).
  60. We can understand insight into the mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4).
  61. We can walk in the same revelation that the apostles and prophets walked in (Eph. 3:5).
  62. We are fellow heirs of the promises given to Israel in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Eph. 3:6).
  63. We have access to the unfathomable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8).
  64. We have access to the manifold wisdom of G-d (Eph. 3:10).
  65. We have access to G-d’s boldness and confident access to the Father (Eph. 3:12).
  66. We can be strengthened with power through G-d’s Spirit (Eph. 3:16).
  67. Christ can dwell in our hearts through faith (Eph. 3:17).
  68. We can be rooted and grounded in love (Eph. 3:17).
  69. We have the capacity to comprehensively know the breadth, length, height, and depth of G-d’s love which surpasses knowledge. We can know what surpassess knowledge (Eph. 3:19).
  70. We can be filled with all the fullness of G-d (Eph. 3:20).
  71. We have access to more than we ask or think according to the power at work in us (Eph. 3:20).
  72. We can walk in a manner worthy of our calling (Eph. 4:1).
  73. We can walk with humility (Eph. 4:2).
  74. We can walk with gentleness (Eph. 4:2).
  75. We can walk with patience (Eph. 4:2).
  76. We can preserve the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3).
  77. We are each given grace (Eph. 4:7).
  78. We have each been given gifts (Eph 4.8).