Tag Archive: Spirituality


Define a Spirit Filled Life.

Some will be quicker to respond than others.

Some are looking for external evidence.  Others will dig for the internal proof.

The Charismatic Movement brought the Gifts of the Spirit to the forefront of the Christian mind.  I believe it has prompted a shift in what is evidence of a Spirit Filled Life.

The Charismatic Movement utilizes and values the Gifts of the Spirit identified in 1 Corithians 12.       (I personally think some left wingers have added a few of their own ‘gifts’ to this list)

Those Gifts are:

A Word of Wisdom
A Word of Knowledge
Faith
Healing
Miracles
Prophecy
Discernment
Tongues
and Interpretation of Tongues.

The Fruits of the Spirit are listed  in Gal 5

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

So What is the difference between a Gift and a Fruit?

Gift:

As used in 1 Corinthians 12:4

Greek – Charisma – a favour which one recieves without any merit of his own

              From the Root – Charizomai – to give graciously, freely

              From the Root – Charis – What is due to Grace

Fruit

As used in Gal 5:22

Greek – Harpos – that which originates or comes from something, an effect, result;

              From the Root – Harpazo – to seize

              Derivative from – Haireomai – to take for oneself

              Akin to – Airo – to take upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up – bear

 By definition a Gift is bestowed upon one, and does not require any preparation or input from the recipient.   A fruit on the other hand, is produced by work. 

If an Apple Tree Tree and an Oak Tree are standing next to eachother in the field, God can bestow rain on one and not the other.  The Gift of Water. The trees did nothing to acquire that rain.

That Apple Tree will be working throughout the season to develop Fruit, utilizing the sun, the ground, and the water.  The internal workings of the tree are unseen, and the Fruit develops over time.

But you won’t walk into that field one morning and see a bunch of apples on the Oak Tree.

The Oak hasn’t done any of the work, and will not be bearing any fruit. 

Don’t get me wrong.  The Oak is valuable.  The Apple Tree is valuable.

The Gifts are Valuable.  The Fruit is Valuable.

The Emphasis on  the value of one over the other is detrimental.

I believe the Gifts of the Spirit (operating properly) are evidence of God, not proof of a person’s spiritual maturity.

I believe the Fruit of the Spirit is evidence of God working in a person, as that person surrenders and works in accord with God.

Perhaps the presence of the Fruit of the Spirit is a more accurate gauge of a maturing walk witht the Lord.

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Garden Wedding

I like to make observations of how Adam and Eve interacted, even though there isn’t much. 

And there is something I noticed years ago, that I come back to often, and so I am reminding myself of that idea today, while I share. 

The passage of scripture I am thinking of today is from Genesis 2: 15-22

 God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order.

  God commanded the Man, “You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don’t eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead.”

  God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” So God formed from the dirt of the ground all the animals of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the Man to see what he would name them. Whatever the Man called each living creature, that was its name. The Man named the cattle, named the birds of the air, named the wild animals; but he didn’t find a suitable companion.

 God put the Man into a deep sleep. As he slept he removed one of his ribs and replaced it with flesh. God then used the rib that he had taken from the Man to make Woman and presented her to the Man.

So a recap of the important events:

God puts Adam in the Garden

God tells Adam not to eat from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

God creates women.

The First Garden Wedding ever takes place!

Uhoh, do you see what I see?

Many years ago, when I first began grappling with this idea of submitting to my husband, the Lord showed me this passage in an interesting light.

Adam was there when God layed out the garden rule, but Eve didn’t exist yet, so inorder for Eve to know the rule, Adam had to tell her. 

Inorder for Eve to obey God’s rule, she had to 1) trust that her husband was telling the truth, and 2) be willing to submit to what Adam told her God said.

 Please know that I am not building doctrine here!  I am not attempting to say the only way we can hear from God is by listening and submitting to our husband.  I am certainly not saying that we do not need and have our own relationship with the Lord, in which the Lord speaks to us. (I am going to reindorce that it is neccessary to submit to our own husband!)

I am simply saying, that in this instance, I notice that a simple reading of this text, would indicate to me, that this rule was given to Adam, and passed on by him to Eve.

In this instance, God spoke to Adam, Eve didn’t get to hear from God herself.

I am suggesting, that from the very beginning,in the very first rule spoken by God, that God gave us an example of the importance of order in our marraige, that the husband would be the authority.

Yikes!!!

You mean it wasn’t just Paul’s idea?

Ofcourse we knew it wasn’t Paul’s idea. It’s all God’s plan.

But somehow, seeing it play out in the very first marraige, in the garden of Eden, has an impact on me!

I must warn you, I am on a soap box this morning!!!!

Gossip!

Nobody wants to gossip!  Atleast in Christian circles, no one wants to gossip or be accused of gossip, or slander. 

An admirable goal.  I don’t want to be a gossip either. 

But let us consider Matthew 18 for a moment:  (a brief summary)

Confront a brother privately.

Confront a brother with witnesses.

Confront a brother before the church.

The Church is the body of believers. It is not the staff, it is not the elders, it is not the building, it is the BODY OF BELIEVERS!

So the first stop on my soap box is

1) Why do people stop short of confronting an offender infront of the body of believers?

Why does a pastor, who’s behavior has come into question, have the right to defend himself behind closed doors, and never be confronted infront of the Body of Belivers?

Why are elders and staff pastors busy about protecting the reputation of a lead pastor, and not busy about protecting the sheep in the flock, and even worse, not busy about protecting the reputation of the Lord?

Next Stop on the Sliding Soap Box:

2) Why is it gossip to tell someone, sitting in a body of believers, what is going on in that body?

If it is true, and it concerns the people you are talking to, why is it gossip?

We quarintine people who have diseases, and we tell everyone not to go near them, lest they be infected.  It isn’t gossip, it is sharing relative, valuable information that concerns the people to whom you are speaking.

I am a part of a church, in a relatively small community in Central Oregon that has been on a roller coaster for the past few years. This church started with solid teaching, and a mission to raise up Men of God, that would lead there families, and be a testimony in this fallen world to the truth of God.

 It was truly an Oasis in the desert.

  Our Pastor fell, he committed ‘the ultimate sin’ and our associate pastor took over.  He has changed the dynamic, the teaching is different, the emphasis has changed and one by one, elders are leaving, staff pastors are being let go and recently 3/4 of the church including elders, lay leaders, home group leaders, and staff pastors are fleeing from their positions because they disagree with doctrine, and the direction of the church.  

Hundreds of people, are willing to walk out the door, forsaking their place of fellowship, because they believe the Word of God is being corrupted, they believe God’s honor is at stake, and yet they won’t stand up, infront of the BODY OF BELIEVERS and say a word.  

They just quietly walk out the door, and leave the rest of the flock to discover the wolves for ourselves.

Elders, and pastors, and leaders, and brothers and sisters in the Lord, should care more about one another than that.

Why are you quietly protecting the interests of one man, or even a handful of men, rather than protecing the interests of the Lord?  If it is important enough to leave your fellowship over, isn’t it important enough to expose to the rest of the body?

I won’t leave quietly.  I have heard one side of the story from the horses mouth.  I am seeking to hear the other side of the story from the other horse.  And when I do, I will tell those I care for, who are still sitting in that body, this is the truth of the matter, this is what is going on, and you need to be informed and you need to make a decision. 

We lost our fellowship.  Hundreds of families displaced from our dear fellowship in our small corner of Central Oregon, because no one wanted to take the final step of Matt 18, and no one wanted to gossip.

Do you think the Lord will look upon this and say to those who have walked out the door, leaving others behind to fend for themsleves “well done, my good and faithful servant”?

We have lost our Oasis in the desert, and we didn’t even fight to try to keep it.

Would Eve have taken a bite of the forbidden fruit if the serpent had not had a conversation with her?

If the serpent had kept his two cents worth out of it, would Eve have sinned?

You may be quick to answer,

Quick to say, ofcourse she would have, she was a sinner from the start

Or quick to say, no, she fell when she was tempted.

I say, ofcourse she would have she was in the garden with her spouse. (LOL)

But consider it for a moment, and it may not be that obvious of an answer.

Adam and Eve were living in the garden, with only one tree they were not to eat from, and they had yet to sin.

That’s right, pre-bite of the fruit, Adam and Eve would have been living side by side, perfectly sinless.

Imagine if your spouse was sinless, boy the pressure would be on for you to clean up your act, HUH?

If he always put the seat down, you would always have to put the cap on the toothpaste. 

If he always took the trash out before it overflowed, you would always have to run the dishwasher before it was packed. 

If he always sat down on the couch immediately upon coming home from work to see how your day was, You would always have to hang up the phone from chatting with your girlfriend about the latest town gossip, did i say gossip, I think that is a sin too, which would have to stop if your husband quit cursing at the basketball game.

Imagine Adam, loving Eve perfectly as Christ would one day love the church.  And Eve respecting Adam seamlessly.  Imagine each fulfilling his or her role completely, perfectly, contentedly, without question or conflict.

Hard to imagine isn’t it?  Hard to imagine what it would be like to live along side your spouse sinlessly.

Hard to imagine what it would be like to live in the image God created  you, without the noise of the world encouraging you to be something else.

So back to the question,

The temptation existed from the time God said not to eat from that particular tree.

Did the serpent push Eve over the edge from temptation to sin?

Would Eve have jumped into the abyss of sin of her own accord?

What’s the point?

The point is, we have temptatin before us all the time, is there a serpent in our lives, pushing us over the edge? 

Are we jumping off cliffs all on our own? 

 Are we a serpent in someone else’s life?

 Are we bringing people to the line between obedience and sin, and inviting them to join us, on the wrong side of the tracks?

When you stand before the tree, how do you avoid temptation, serpent or no serpent?

 

1Jn 4:1
  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Mat 24:24
 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders , so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

Todd Bentley…

Pastors and leaders calling and asking “if we come will there be a seat?”.

Dear pastors and leaders inquiring, with all do respect, why would you come?

Watch one video on You Tube and it is painfully obvious that the spirit of this man should be tested.  Watch two videos and the test is over, he can not possibly be a respresentative of the God I know and love!

Signs and Wonders of God by definition are miraculous! 

This laughing in the spirit, which befalls the audience with Todd leading the way, laughing and nodding his head up and down so fast it looks like the video is on fast forward; this is not miraculous; this is just a man,manufacturing a laugh, adding body language, and continuing long enough that the audience is laughing along with him. 

Aside from his antics, What does he say?

In the bible, I see the Spirit move when people are humbly seeking the Lord.  I see miracles happen when Jesus is teaching, and someone humbly approaches,not wanting to even interrupt Him, simply to touch His garment and hope they will be healed.

He was simply teaching the gospel, the truth of who He is, why He came, and teaching those who believed how to continue sharing the truth. 

Jesus performed miracles as a testimony to His power.  The Spirit then operated in and through believers with miracles and signs and wonders and gifts, to testify to the truth (read Hebrews Chpt 2).

The point is, the reason for miracles, and signs and wonders and Gifts of Healing, and allt the other gifts of the Spirit, was to reinforce the teaching of the truth.

I have only watched a couple clips of Todd Bentley, because quite frankly I think he is creeepy, but I don’t hear him teaching the gospel; I don’t see him humble pointing to the Lord.

I see a man, seeking his own fame, telling stories about his encounters with angels;

And let’s talk about those angels for a moment, I remember many instances in the bible where angels came to deliver messages, I don’t remember a time when angels came and camped out with a guy for months at a time, speaking to them daily about random things. 

Angels came in contact with humans for one reason I recall and that was to deliver a concise, clear, message from God!  And the biblical characters who encountered these angels where humbled by the visit and by the message.

I don’t see humility in Todd Bentley; I dont’ see him delivering the clear gospel truth.

I see him offering quite a show, bordering on angel worship (if not already given over to it); I see a man offereing signs and wonders, and miracles and healing, but not offering Christ, and the gospel and salvation.

Believers, we should be seeking after the Lord.

And if He by His grace and mercy should bestow more upon us, we ought offer it back to Him!