Division. What do you think of when you hear that word? Maybe you think of factions. Separation. Long math problems. A classification in sports.
If you've been around the American church for any length of time, this word probably has a negative connotation. Maybe you've heard that having a different opinion and is devisive. Maybe your leadership has told you that unless you agree with them 100%, you are being devisive.
I have another submission.
There are sixtyone occurrences of the word devision / devisions in the Bible. Out of these, only ten mean to rend or cleave. Out of those ten, only four have to do with division of the body, and out of those four, only one has to do with an individual actively trying to bring division / disjoin / separation (Jude 1:19). That's one out of 61.
The remaining fiftyone uses of the words devision / devisions have to do with allotments, shares, portions, troops, function and charge (as in a person or thing committed to the care of another).
Since most of the references have to do with allotments and funtion than with active separation, has the church missed the point? The outside world sees and watches. They see us tearing at each other, disagreeing and sometimes even cursing one another. Perhaps we should focus more on what our allotment / portion / function is in the body.
1 Corinthians 12 compares the church to a body. Each part functions separately for the good of the whole. In the Old Testament, Israel was divided, but it was divided into tribes. Each tribe had a distinctive flag. It had its own position in the camp, its own name and function. Every tribe even had a distinctive, individual and recognizeable shofar cadence. Yet, as individual as the tribes were, they all followed the same fire and cloud. When the fire or cloud moved, each tribe had a specific role to play.
In our churches we are all following the same God. Each clan, tribe or camp has a definite role to play. Each and every person has a specific function that is essential to the church.
Instead of embracing these differences and roles, we fan the flames of separation. We call out sin where there isn't any. We try to force brothers and sisters into a mold that they were never meant to conform to. We command unity, which becomes a false unity. We want to clone ourselves, demanding that we, and our other clones, are the right ones. We create yes men who say yes, when they have a better idea or method. But, instead of offering that they go along. They say yes, because they know that saying no means being ostracized or labelled a troublemaker. What if creating yes men we limit what God wants to do?
If God can use a jackass to make His point (Numbers 22), then perhaps He can use an outlier with a different method or idea.
What would happen if we began to truly function as a body? How would church be different if we began to recognize and encourage our differences? What would our churches look like if we could have a healthy debate / discussion, like the Jerusalem Council, without making idols of the "boxes" our church has created - "This is the way we've always done it."
I see Christian friends of mine who specialize in certain areas - health, prayer, encouragement, politics - trying to keep the church informed; trying to encourage the church to pray about these issues. What I see happening is that they are attacked, accused of feamongering or ignored. I have seen brothers / sisters brush off information - "Keep your eyes on Jesus. He's working it all out." Yes, He is! But, what if He needs our cooperation to accomplish something?
There is another option. Realize that your brother and/or sister has a unique, almost idiosyncratic, call on his / her life. He is an oddball. He is called to function as one part of the body, while you may be called to function as another. However, because his call is different does not mean it isn't essential. What if, instead of poo-pooing the information, what if you would pray about what they've shared? Just because it isn't in your area of interest, doesn't mean that issue doesn't warrant your prayers.
Maybe I'm living in a dream world. Maybe the church is too "organized." Maybe it's too late. But, maybe....just maybe...there is hope. If you feel you are an outcast because of your call, let me encourage you. Don't forsake the call. Don't relinquish the passion. Keep posting. Keep researching. Whether they know it or not, the body needs you. Without you the body is impaired. You never know who is reading, watching, seeking for another tribe member. You never know who needs you. Be true to your tribe (1 Corinthians 12).
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart. ~ Psalm 17:3
A Heart of gold - we've all heard the saying, heard the song. Spiritually speaking, what does it mean to have a heart of gold? If you can bear with a little chemistry, there are many spiritual applications. I'll try to keep it from being too dry, I promise.
Properties of Gold
Gold makes up only 3.5 parts per billion - yes, BILLION, of the Earth's crust. Platinum constitutes 45 parts per billion and silver 73 parts per billion. Gold is the rarest of the noble metals. That's why gold is so expensive.
Besides its rarity, gold has some other interesting properties. Of all the noble metals, it is the softest. Gold is so soft that in order for it to used commercially, it must first be mixed with other metals. In fact, the more metal that is mixed with the gold, the harder the gold becomes. Surprisingly, the alloys don't effect the color or sheen of the gold - it still looks like pure gold. In it's purest state a nugget of gold the size of a lump of sugar can be hammered int 108 square feet of gold leaf. That's an area that is just over 10 x 10 ft. That gold leaf is so thin that light shines through it. A single human breath can crumple it. That same lump of gold can be drawn out so thinly that it forms thread, which can be used for embroidery. Despite its delicacy, some of golds properties seem the complete opposite. It's extremely resistant to corrosion and oxidation, meaning that it won't tarnish or rust. Acids won't eat it away.
Let's take a minute and make some spiritual applications. Like natural gold, a heart of gold is rare. That rarity makes it very precious. When you turn your heart over to God, asking Him to purify it, it's not something done lightly. Your heart is you store away your real self. There may be areas where no one - not one single person has been allowed access. So when trusting God with your heart, you are entrusting God with your most valuable possession. Like that lump, a willing heart will be pliable and malleable; willing to take on any form God wishes. As stated above, alloyed gold looks identical to pure gold. A person can have a heart that LOOKS pure, but that heart might have added alloys, making it hard. The purer your heart becomes, the less it can be effected by the acid and corrosion of this world.
In the Bible, there are four words that are used for refine: purify, try, purge, and of course, refine. Looking at the Hebrew definition of these words, will give us an idea of what really goes on when God refines your heart.
In ancient days, there were two different methods of refining gold. In the first, the gold and was melted. As it melted, the impurities, or dross, would float to the top. The dross would be skimmed off. This process could be repeated over and over until there was no dross left. In the second method, the gold would be mixed with lead, salt and barley, When this mixture was fired in a furnace, the other ingredients would absorb the impurities in the gold. After five days in the furnace, the lead, salt and barley would be vaporized, leaving a pure lump of gold. Both of these methods involved work and patience. Like God's refining process, both were hot, hard and lengthy.
Our hearts can be refined over and over, so don't think that your last trip to God's refining furnace will be your last. Thankfully, each trip results in a purer heart. The impurities become less and less. The purer your heart, the softer and more pliable it becomes. The downside is that the purer your heart becomes, the more difficult the purging process becomes.
A Source of Light
One of the most amazing things about gold is it's makeup. Ready for some spiritual chemistry? The outer shell of gold's atomic framework has one solitary free electron. When you look at gold, and it's shining and almost translucent, it's that single electron that gives gold that luster. When light hits it, that free electron absorbs the energy from the light. This causes the electron to jump into a higher, faster orbit around the gold atom. The nucleus of the gold atom eventually pulls the electron back into its normal orbit. As the electron falls back into the normal orbit, the extra light energy is is released as visible light. Gold really does emit light.
Now for the spiritual chemistry lesson. A heart of gold will have one single source of radiance. He is the Truth and the Light. (John 14:6) When a golden heart absorbs The Light (Jesus), He is released. If we have a golden heart, then He should be visible to the world through us.
Old Gold and New Gold
In the Old Testament, the most prized possession was The Ark of the Covenant. It must have been beautiful. It was covered inside and out with gold. On top of it was the mercy seat, covered with angel wings, crafted out of gold. The Ark was kept in the Holy of Holies - an area of the temple that only the priests were allowed to enter - and then only one day out of the year. On the Day of Atonement, God would come down, manifest His presence and communicate with The High Priest.
There were three items within the Ark: the stone tablets on which The Ten Commandments were written, a golden pot of manna, and Aaron's budding rod. Most of us are familiar with the stone tablets and manna. Aaron's budding rod was God's sign to Israel that He had chosen Aaron as a priest (Numbers 17:10).
The Old Testament has shadows and types in The New Testament. Some of those parallels can be made between The Ark and our hearts. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says that "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." If your body is the temple, what would be your Ark? Your heart - your soul, will, emotions. The place where God communes with you, is your heart.
Hebrews 10:16 says, "I (God) will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them." His laws are written in you heart, just as they were written on the stone tablets. Also in your heart would be the equivalent of Aaron's rod. Remember, the rod was God's way of indicating that Aaron had been chosen High Priest. The Bible says that we are "a chose generation, a royal priesthood..." (1 Peter 2:9)..In John 15:16 we see that we are "chosen and appointed." Like Aaron's rod, we should be producing fruit (Galatians 5:22-25). Only god can supernaturally transform a dead, dried-up heart so that it blossoms and produces fruit. The last item is the manna. All through John chapter 6, Jesus refers to Himself as "The Bread of Life, which came down from Heaven." He is our manna - our God-sent life-giver and sustenance. We need to partake of His word daily in order to live.
God didn't place any of the items in The Ark for the Israelites. They had to put those items within the box. It's up to each and every one of us to gather up and work at making sure we possess these three things.
The three items - the word, the fruit, and Jesus - are what we need to have in our arks or our hearts. It all seems like a lot of work. It is. Refining a heart takes time and patience. Working hand-in-hand with God, communing with Him, spending time in His word, submitting to His work in our lives, realizing that we will have to allow our hearts to be refined more and more - all this might seem overwhelming. Remember, pure gold is refined more than once. It's a process.
Today's one of those days. Despite the seventytwo degrees and the sunshine there's a reslessness in my soul. It's been brewing for quite a while now. It's so unlike me. I've been starting projects and then leaving them undone (which really drives me insane). This blog has been one of the victims of my malaise. Fired up - write - discouragement - stop.
One moment I'm smiling and the next I'm in tears. Honed in and then suddenly distracted. Loving the hubbub of my new city and the next day wanting to be a hermit. I've been struggling through and puzzling over this unrest for months now. Truth be told, I think it's getting worse instead of better. What am I feeling? Am I the only one feeling this? How long is this going to last? Then, it hit me.
I've been stuggling through the "what ifs and if onlys."
I have a fairly good vocabulary and tend to be a word geek. So when one of my friends would post a little-known word on her Facebook page every day, I was sucked in. One of her words has stuck with me. It's Hiraeth
Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has is no direct English translation or definition. Sometimes English leaves a lot to be desired. Hiraeth is more of a feeling than a word. Oxford and Merriam-Webster define Hiraeth as: (noun) "a homesickness for a home you cannot return to, or that never was." An author on BBC Wales says, "You feel hiraeth, which is a longing of the soul to come home to be safe."
Tim Davis has devoted an entire poem which attempts to describe hiraeth. One of the stanzas states:
Hiraeth beckons with wordless call,
Hear, my soul, with heart enthrall'd.
Hiraeth whispers while earth I roam;
Here I wait the call "come home."
That's it! I remember the first time I felt it. Colorado. When we first arrived, I felt like I had lived there all my life. My soul and spirit witnessed that this was home. The clean air, towering mountains, yellow quaking aspens, the solitude. My spirit said, "YES!" When we left, I cried all the way back home. Hiraeth.
The next time I remember it kicking me in the gut was when my dad passed away. Gut wrenching grief? Yes. But, more than that was a feeling that I never really knew him. I wanted to go back to those times he was silent and seemed so sad to talk to him eyeball to eyeball. I wanted to know what happened to make him so removed and get to know him. Back HOME.
Next? Before our relocation, we left our church. It was our church. We were vital members there for fifteen years. Volunteers, choir members, leaders, teachers, staff members. We left. I won't go into details. Suffice it to say there were many reasons - big reasons - reasons that we had no control over. I had know these people for almost a third of my life. When we left I didn't realize we were also leaving our community. Com - with; unity - together. When we left our church, it didn't suffer. No, it went on with business. People I thought were friends silently disappeared.
No phone calls, no contact via Facebook, no visitors, diverted eyes when an impromptu run-in in the grocery. Business as usual. But my
world had changed greatly. I felt that my spiritual family and home had abandoned me. Maybe a piece of hiraeth is desiring to find out that there is no replacement for you. I've worked through the anger, grief, disappointment. What remains deep in my soul - buried most of the time - is hiraeth. What I thought I had wasn't even there. The place my spirit and soul felt most alive, useful and needed had disappeared.
What I've been struggling through for the last months. Why? We purchased a fixer-upper and relocated almost a year and a half ago. Now that the house is almost done, I have more time on my hands. Time to admit that my soul feels empty.
Maybe I won't feel at home again until I get home. 1 Peter 2:9 says that we are a peculiar people. Chapter 2, verse 11 calls us wayfarers and foreigners. Maybe I'm not supposed to feel at home here. Maybe I'm supposed to feel peculiar and wayfaring.
It's not that I don't know what my purpose is. I do. It's getting past the emptiness to even care about it. At this point it looks like I have two choices: I can be miserable until I do get home OR I can focus on what my calling is. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says that He (God) will comfort us in all our afflictions so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction. Hopefully, realizing that the emptiness is partially due to hiraeth is going to help me feel like the wayfarer I am and not like an outcast.
With all the deluge of bad news in the air today, I'd really rather be snuggling up under a blanket and watching some mind-numbing comedy rather than writing. I'd rather hibernate until the airwaves and media becomes a little more watcher-friendly. However, somewhere in the crevices of my mind, I know that won't suffice. Today, the world is different than it was yesterday. Today, it seems that hatred and evil have risen to the surface like a foul dross that covers the gold in our hearts. Hatred from all sides: hatred directed toward Americans and hatred directed from one American to his brother American. It feels like it's becoming a civil war fought over social media and television.
Today, during a social media volley, the topic of Christian love and compassion came up. This question was asked: "It's just that people are always limiting kindness and help. So I suppose wisdom is good in everything - yes be wise - but is it meant to be limiting?"
According to James 1:5, God is the giver of wisdom - and He gives it "generously to all without finding fault.." The Bible is full of scriptures about wisdom. Psalm 3:14 says that "wisdom is worth more than silver; it brings more profit than gold." Verse 21 says, "My child, hold on to wisdom and good sense. Don't let them out of your sight." Humans have a lot of knowledge, but without wisdom that's all it is: facts and data. Wisdom is knowing how to put that knowledge to use,
Wisdom is not the only trait that Christians are to mirror. Kindness, compassion and love are foundational Christian tenets. The most basic description of God is that He is love (I John 4:16). In many instances, it was compassion that moved Jesus to heal, feed the hungry and teach. So, how are we to use wisdom and still love?
Christian author and teacher, Danny Silk, talks about boundaries. When discussing relationships, he insists, that healthy boundaries establish value for what's "inside" the boundaries. There's a line; a line of demarcation where healthy ends and damage begins. and where safety end and harm starts -where protection stops and recklessness starts. Where is that razor thin edge between loving with abandon and wisdom? Where is cut-off? How lavishly can we love without losing ourselves? The Bible tells us to be" harmless as doves and wise as serpents." (Matthew 10:16) How do those two opposites work together?
We are to be Christlike. That means we are to be helpful, moved with compassion and love. The enemy is completely aware that most Christians will be compassionate.Yet, he will use any ploy for our destruction - including our compassion and kindness. He does not play fair. He is a schemer; a deceiver. His plans for each of us us are very detailed. He is patient and strategic. One of his unchanging ploys is to weave lies into the truth. The truth seems unchanged. In our quest for truth we unknowingly swallow the lies.
Taking this to Paris and the refugees. 10,000 of these refugess are coming into the U.S. The enemy knows that not all, but some of these people are brutal, evil killers. Even if only five of the 10,000 proposed entry to the U.S. Would allowing them entry be compassionate or foolish?
The following clip is from CNN. CNN is known to be very accepting of all ideas/relgions/lfestyles. Watch it. http://www.cnn.com/.../playlists/the-fight-against-isis/ (No, go ahead and watch. I'll wait.)
Do you see how intent and serious these people are about their mission? I understand that the percentage of terrorists hding among the refugees could be miniscule. (2 confirmed so far.) But, do these look like the exercises of friendly and downtrodden refugees?
Flinging the doors open wide could be dangerous. Look at Paris. Just overnight, part of the city was in lockdown due to that miniscule amount of danger mixed in with the safe. Do you want this danger in your city? Citizens of Saint Denis were told to evacuate. Others were told to stay inside! People who adore their city and their life there; people who work, raise their families in Saint Denis - yes, those are the people who were forced to leave their homes. Do you see that? The citizens of Saint Denis suddenly became the displaced ones in their own city! They became the refugees. A portion of their city was thurned into a military zone, complete with bombs, swat teams, armed soldiers lining the streets. Do you want to risk your safety all in the name of being kind?
We have no idea; we can't fathom the sinister and nefarious "normalcy" of terrorists. So, after watching the video, tell me honestly that you would welcome this into your home. Even CNN considers it "a group hellbent in spreading a reign of terror." The refugee issue isn't about kindness or having a Christian heart. This is about the very survival of our "house."
To the person who asked if wisdom should limit love, of course wisdom is meant to be limiting! Without it you would act on EVERY thought and impulse that ran through your head! Jesus had enough wisdom to call out vipers, fools and blindness. All the while He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and forgave. He also sent away the rich young man. He knew, by Godly wisdom, when to extend compassion and when it was wise to withhold it.
Dear Family, This is not what I wanted to do this morning. First, I need to start with the fact that I love the church. But I love the Lord even more. I am a kind and usually gentle person. But, when the Lord shows me something I have to act. I am moved by political and world events, but I hate to jump on bandwagons. They’re loud, garrish and crowded. “When you jump on the bandwagon, it means you begin supporting a hobby, idea, person, etc. after it has become popular or successful. Bright and ornamental, they [the bandwagons] were impossible to miss.” I really don’t care about being popular or successful.
Believe me when I say I’m not anything special. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time on this earth, it’s that everyone has a calling on their lives. That calling is as individual as their fingerprint. Every year, I like a lot of my brothers and sisters ask the Lord for a verse for the year. It seems that mine has been Ezekiel 33:6 - ”...if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life...I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ Actually, it seems that could possibly be my life-span verse. So, my “job” is to WATCH, pray and then inform my brothers and sisters of what the Lord has shown me. Then, their “job” is to pray about that. Others with callings similar to yours will come alongside. Their “job” is to brainstorm, collaborate, agree, hone, solidify, correct. Call me crazy - but, you have your own “job.” Now is the time to step out. Training time is over. It’s time to ACT! Here goes my part!
It pains me to the core to see the world as it is today. This is not the world or the America that my Italian great-grandfather invisioned when he boarded the ship. When he left Naples, and went through hell to become a citizen, I’m sure he didn’t envision a PC world, where the herd mentality would rule; where political and societal bullies would break the playground rules and be rewarded for doing so. I know this isn't the world I envisioned for my kids. They'll never remember a time when they felt safe and completely protected from the horrors that blazon across every medium. How did we get here? There are innumerable thories. Maybe none of them matter. Maybe what matters is what we, The Family, does from this point onward.
The enemy is a pro at mixing just enough truth with the lie making it palatable and tasty. Just today, my brother, Samuel Medina quoted A.W. Tozer - “The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still.” We have been told a gargantuan lie. And the worse thing is - we swallowed it. We have been told that love is mamby pamby. We’ve been shown a picture of Jesus that laughs with us, loves us despite ourselves, and wrestles and tickles us while we squeal with delight. While this visage of Jesus is true, we’ve been convinced that there is not another side of His character. This side, while moved by compassion, was very confrontational and took a stand. Oh, He was loving, but we’ve forgotten that sometimes love has a not-so-politically-correct side. Sometimes it overturns tables and even bucks denominational lines. Sometimes it calls the religious majority fools, whitewashed tombstones, vipers and blind guides. We have traded in our keen vision(s) for blindness. We have accepted the lie that Jesus was only the Lamb of God. He was, but He was also the Lion of Judah.
So, let’s be Jesuslike. We can no longer be “my denomination only” believers. All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved - not only the Southern Baptists or the Nazarenes. We have to have a world view that goes beyond the safe zones of our churches. We can no longer be isolationists, thinking “It’s not in my backyard.” In case you didn’t know, let me inform you that it IS in your backyard, and mine and your family’s. It’s been here, we’ve just been afraid to acknowledge it or bullied into not saying it. It’s time to admit that perhaps we’ve been duped and it’s time to do something about it.
Now, it’s time for me to exercise my gift Here’s the warning.
Ever since the atrocities happened in Paris, there’s been a battlecry to pray. It’s a fantastic cry. We are to pray. It’s probably the most pricipal of Christian responsibility. However, it’s not the only responsibility we have. We need to do more than pray. Prayer is the beginning. I can't think of one great person in the Bible who didn't pray first...but THEN took action as a result having that prayer answered. Whether it's calling D.C., taking a class, witnessing, starting a REAL outreach group in your hometown, showing kindness to strangers, or standing up in the face of evil - PRAYER ALWAYS RESULTS IN ACTION! Faith without works is DEAD. We can have all the faith in the world. We can pray ceaselessly. We can attend every church service and conference. BUT, unless we put that faith to WORK it's DEAD. Unless we're willing to act on the answer to that prayer, we are irrelevant, sissified, whiny babies.
We have had our heads in the sand of our sanctuaries for far too long. Instead of being His hands and feet. We've been sitting with His hands under our our thighs on soft, padded church seats, and we’ve had our feet planted inside our comfort zones. The wolf is huffing and puffing at OUR door! We've become too worried about being thought of as weird. The Word says we are PECULIAR! If you're a Christian, peculiarity is in your spiritual DNA. It's already too late. We're more concerned with being politcally correct and polite than we are with taking the answers to our heartfelt prayers and ACTING on them.
What else are YOU to do? Find, seek, search out where your calling lies. WORK on it. Get out of your safety zone. Are you to pray with that stranger? Start a blog? Write a book? Call D.C? It’s time to find you calling and ACT on it. For what it’s worth, consider this a call to action by a family member. The wolf is huffing and puffing at YOUR door!
Another bucketful has been dumped behind the failing dam. The dam that was holding back the rising water has been breached. Is total failure iminent?
The battle is older than mankind. The spirit has been busy filling and dumping buckets. Not just so that the dam will fail, but to anesthetize the ones that live below, in the flood zone. It’s been busy testing the dam walls, finding the cracks; pushing, probing, testing, inching forward. Its plan? See how far it can encroach into the church’s psyche without any backlash: see if it can cause the dam to fail without anyone really taking notice.
In November 2014, there was a spirit unleashed in the US. Up until then it was testing the water. Since 2014 this spirit has been brazenly, systematically, intentionally and strategically eroding the dam unchallenged. That dam finally has burst wide open.
What was it doing behind the scenes? It’s called the law of “exponential growth.” How does that law work?
“Unfortunately, all too often, by the time people finally do grasp how fast things are progressing…and hope to…avoid being overwhelmed by its growing power, it is too late.”
In the spiritual realm what has happened is that we realize that the water that was at our feet has risen. Now it's lapping at our knees. We find ourselves engulfed in another ever-rising tide of evil. We become desensitized. This new level becomes the new normal.
Yes, we run to our Maker in times of trouble but most of us return to life as usual, waiting for the next rise in the water to drive us to His feet. How long before the water rises over our collective gasping heads? Can we tread water long enough for “normal” to return? How long before the exponential growth of violence undoes us?
Part of the reason that satan has convinced church to accept this new normal, especially in America, is that we've been taught to fear him. Why are we so reluctant to engage in the battle? Fear? Complacency? being labeled as a bible thumping, hellfire and brimstone Christian? How should we treat satan and his minions? Respect him? Yes! Circumvent him? Definitely! Somehow we’ve come to believe that the less we know the better. Somehow we've been fed a lie; and we’ve swallowed it!
That lie is that the enemy is more firghtful and stronger that G-d.
Another lie has been dumped on the Christian psyche. How long, church? How long before that bucket of cold water will wake us up? Which bucket will jerk us back into understanding the spiritual battle in which we are engulfed? How many holes in the cam before we are yanked into the realization that this is not just another random rise in the tide? How long before the church realizes that we “do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places?” (Eph 6:12)
What is the answer?
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand...and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Eph 6:13-20)
Welcome to the Corps!
Reluctant Meragel - The word meragel is Hebrew that implies to walk, go around, be awake and on alert, go on foot (regel/leg - meragel = spy in Modern Hebrew. The purpose of this group is to exchange, discuss and learn various aspects of spiritual warfare.
Over the last 22 years of my Christian walk, I have found myself in some inexplicably odd places; places that I should not have had access to. I've been privy to conversations and interactions that I should have had no part in. I've "discovered" information that was so hidden, it was like Bluebeard's treasure chest. No, it's not because I'm nosy! I've come to realize that it was the Lord that put me in those uncomfortable places. He's the one that opened those doors. It has taken me a long time to realize that one of the assignments He has given me is that of a spy for His kingdom. Now, that might sound strange, but in Scripture, there were quite a few spies and recon men.
Their role was to spy out the land; spy out the enemy; watch for movement of the enemy; overhear the plans of the enemy; go into enemy territory and report back; sound alarms. I think you get the idea! For example, there are the spies in Numbers 13 and 14 that Moses sent into the land. In Joshua 2 there were two spies sent out to "look over the land." In Judges 7:9-16, G-d tells Gideon to go into the Midianite camp; in the middle of the night; the camp was "thick as locusts" with the enemy; their " camels were as numerous as the sand on the seashore. Doesn't that sound like a place you'd want to go? Crazy? Yes!
In warfare, which every Christian is involved in, whether they realize it or not, there are spies on both sides. They are spying on us and we should be spying on them. I don't say this lightly. The battle is real. I have had a pastor warn me that I shouldn't be too intent on what satan is doing. I agree. However, when the Lord says "Go! See what they're up to," to do anything else would be disobedience. I'm just stupid enough to believe that if the Lord is sending me, He's going to cover, hide and protect me. If God is for me, who can be against me?
I think that the belief that spying on the enemy opens doors is based in fear. It can open doors, but only if one goes into the enemy's outpost without being sent. But, IF the Lord sends me into those "dark" places, and ONLY if He sends me, why would He allow harm to come to me? IF He tells me to research a topic, which entails some trolling in some menacing places, would I be disobedient not to do so?
I believe that part of the reason that satan has the the upper hand on the church, especially in America, is that we've been taught to fear the enemy. The idea is the less we know the better. I don't believe so. Somehow we've been fed a lie. That lie is that the enemy is stronger that G-d. I have come to realize that we don't need to fear satan. Respect him? Yes! Circumvent him? Definitely! He's been around a lot longer than any of us. He knows human nature and weakness better than any of us. BUT!!! We have the Almighty on our side!
So, for those of us who have felt outcast for "casting judgement"; if you've felt odd for being the one who is always seeing red flags; if you have felt isolated because you're "always focusing on the enemy"; if the Lord puts you into those odd, uncomfortable, nerve-wracking places, then welcome to the Reluctant Meragel army! Reluctant because I don't know of anyone, unless a crazy vigilante, who would volunteer to go into enemy territory. Meragel because you have a GIFT! The gift of be reconnaissance personnel in the Army of the Lord! So, welcome!
I hope you'll stick around and we can learn from each other. My goal is to facilitate a balanced blog. I don't have a degree.I am no theologian. (Please don't ask me about pre-trib, mid-trib or post-trib) What I do have is life experience, taught by the Lord, which is not equal, just a different method of education. With that said, I hope that all of us can remain humble, respectful, teachable and within scriptural boundaries. If one of us feels someone is out of line, I pray that we can communicate to that person in love. Division is a tool of the enemy and is intolerable. Great debate and sharing will be encouraged. We are here to learn from each other. I pray that this will be a safe place of community: com (with) unity (joined together for one purpose). A place where it is safe to make mistakes, hone our gifts and find our place in the Body.