Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Bear with me here. Blogging is where I go when the Lord has given me a word, but I do not necessarily have a platform to scream it from the rooftops yet. This blog is my platform right now, and so I will just have to type it from the rooftops.

For the last nine months the Lord has been taking me through a process of learning about truth vs. counterfeit, honesty vs. deception, God vs. the enemy. Growing up in the Christian faith,  I learned about the two paths one can travel.  There’s the wide path and there is the narrow path. Matthew 7:13 puts it this way: "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.” (NLT)  Robert Frost would go as far to refer to the narrow road as “the one less traveled by.” 

Now, if we were to assign these two options colors, tradition would tell us that the wise decision, the one Jesus would want us to make, would be white, and the other decision, the one the devil hopes we choose, would be black. This is a simple concept that I’ve been taught my entire life, but about nine months ago the Lord brought me new revelation about such decisions. For mature christians, white vs. black is too easy.  For people who really desire to make wise, Christ-honoring decisions, white vs. black is cake. White is obviously the right decision.  Here’s the catch: the enemy’s option is rarely black. Most of the decisions that we make as christians are not white vs. black, but white vs. eggshell white.  The enemy offers the counterfeit of what God offers.  He offers something so close to the real thing that you have to put the two up to the Light to strain to see. The enemy offers a knockoff of what God offers and in the process he steals our authority.  

So the question is this—how can we tell the difference between the Truth and the counterfeit? Simple. Study the Truth so diligently that when the enemy offers the counterfeit we can easily tell the difference.

Now, I’m about to go on a bit of a rabbit trail, but if you hang with me I promise I’m going to bring it all back together.

A few weeks ago I had a conversation outside of Starbucks with a spiritual mentor of mine.  We began discussing a concept that I knew, but never had the exact words to explain. To put it simply: most Christians fall at one place on a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum are Christians who believe in God the Father as an omniscient, all powerful, Creator-of-the-Universe who sent his Son to die on the cross for the sins of the world. They believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose three days later, and the generally believe everything the Bible says (they definitely claim that they do). The problem is that they ignore most things concerning the Holy Spirit. They either ignore the gifts of the spirit (such as prophecy, words of knowledge, tongues, the interpretation of tongues, etc) altogether or they preach against them.  On the other end of the spectrum are Christians who are slain in the Spirit before they make it up the church steps.  They believe (or claim to believe) most of the same things about God the Father and Jesus as the people on the opposite end of the spectrum, however, one will hardly ever hear them talking about those foundational truths compared to the time they spend on the Holy Spirit. They tend to be so focused on encounters with the Holy Spirit that biblical principles regulating such church services are often shucked to the side.

The first end of the spectrum is could be referred to as the “dried up” end of the spectrum because without belief in and experiences with the Holy Spirit (who Jesus left so he could send us!!!!), our lives as Christians are void of the power and authority that is so freely offered to us. The other end of the spectrum could be referred to as the “blown up” end of the spectrum because when experiences aren’t grounded in the Word of God, they are often inflated. Like I said before, most of us Christians can be found at some point on this spectrum. 

Thankfully, in the exact middle of this spectrum a perfect balance can be found. These are the people who believe 100% in the Bible, what it says about the Father, the Son, AND the Holy Spirit. They understand the gifts of the spirit and that they are to be used to build the body of Christ, but they also understand that the use of these gifts is to never be chaotic.  These Christians are growing up.  They are walking in the full authority they have been given through their sonship/daughtership of the God of the heavens and of the earth.  

When Jesus walked the earth, he lived in this perfect balance.  Let’s take a quick look in the Bible:

Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
During that time the devil[a] came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”
Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’[c]”
Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’[d]”
Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
    and serve only him.’[e]”
11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

When the devil tempted Jesus, how did Jesus respond each time? With scripture! Jesus was grounded in the Word of God one hundred and fifty percent! He knew his authority and he knew his identity as the Son of God.  Now, let’s go back to verse one. Who does it say led Jesus into the desert? The Spirit! Jesus was grounded by the word AND empowered by the spirit, and THAT is how he could stand up to the schemes of the devil!
This is where it all gets tied together, so stick with me here. When we as Christians fall anywhere on the spectrum but the middle, we are not walking in our full authority. Instead, we are choosing the devil’s counterfeit: a life living in religious bondage opposed to a life that looks like that of Jesus.

The enemy came to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and yes, at times, that looks like busting your door down, but more often than not it looks like him slithering in without notice.  The enemy is a schemer, he is a snake in the garden that you have no idea is there! Don’t you think he’s going to try his hardest to take you down without you ever realizing you’re falling until you hit the ground? That’s what deceivers do! For Bible believing/obeying christians, the schemes of the enemy will not as often look like being tempted with things that are of the world, (and that’s not to say that Christians are never tempted with things of the world because we absolutely are) rather, they will be sly attempts to keep you from realizing the fullness of the authority you have as a child of the Most High God! Where is that found? In the spiritual things! It is white vs. eggshell rather than white vs. black! When we get caught up at any point on this spectrum other than in perfect balance, then the devil has us ensnared in not only counterfeit christianity, but in the spirit of religion, never realizing our full authority. Living a life of super religious christian activity is the counterfeit of a life walking in the authority that Jesus gives us.

My God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Father to the fatherless and He is a healer! And YES, HE STILL HEALS PEOPLE TODAY.  Not only does he still heal people today, but he still does so through his children! Jesus even tells us that we will do greater works than him! (I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.  John 14:12) For goodness sake, Jesus healed the blind, he healed the lame, he rose the dead! He ascended to heaven so that he could send the Spirit to empower us.  He had authority on heaven and on earth because he was the son of God, but he also gave us that same authority as sons and daughters of God because we were reconciled to God through his death and resurrection (For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19)! Let me repeat that, IN CHRIST, WE HAVE THE SAME AUTHORITY AS JESUS, but that authority is useless unless we choose to walk in it.

My God is also a God of order and peace. He is a not a God of confusion or chaos. (For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God's holy people. 1 Corinthians 14:33) As christians, when we ignore the regulations that God has put in place, we rid ourselves of authority because we are disregarding the Word of God, and God is his Word (John 1:1).

This is ugly. Christians being deceived by the spiritual things is just as, if not more dangerous than being ensnared in worldly sin. But this is also beautiful, because Jesus died just as much so we would have grace in these situations as the black vs. white. 

I can very honestly say that I do not live every day from the middle of the spectrum. From the time that I accepted Jesus as my Savior at a young age I was definitely closer to one of the extremes on the end of the spectrum than I was to the middle.  Thankfully, Jesus, in his infinite grace, standing in the middle of the spectrum, reaches out his hand and says “Follow me.”  He comes over to wherever I am on the spectrum and brings me back to where he is in the middle.  Sometimes I see the error in the ways I used to live in and try to overcompensate, running straight past the middle and closer to the other extreme, and even then, Jesus takes my hand and brings me back in, sometimes dragging behind him.  That is the fierce grace that Jesus offers.

What is Jesus’s will? That we would take his hand as he leads us out of our bondage and into the authority that he died and rose to give us. Does he give us the option to remain in our religious bondage? Yes.  However, if we choose to remain in our religious bondage, we will never remain in the authority that he desires us to have.

Let’s start seeking the word of God. The COMPLETE word of God.  It will not return void and it will never lead us astray (Isaiah 55). Let’s also start tuning our hearts to the Holy Spirit and believing God to be the all-powerful Healer and Miracle Maker we say He is. 

Just like Jesus, when we follow the Spirit’s lead, equipped with the Truth, we will experience our full authority and ensure victory against every single one of the enemy’s schemes. 

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