Essential Knee-ology

The Offensive Pre-emptive Strategy used against the adversary to thwart plans and options.  This strategy is advised throughout the Word of God but our very nature and emotional makeup keep us from using this viable and reliable tactic.
A passage that us oft used to extend the metaphor of warfare as the way of life for believers is Ephesians 6 where Paul describes all of the implements used to defend against our adversary.  The array of implements is defensive including the shield of faith. its use characterized in the King James version as “above all”.  The admonition for prayer is left for after the discussion of the defensive implements.  It reads this way:
         18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).     [AMP]
Prayer changes things, you may be tempted to think that  “the God of the Universe can’t be bothered with such trivial things or this is something that I can handle on my own.  I’ll save prayer for a real emergency”. 
This is human-based thinking, we think that our reliance on God is fleeting, situational, limited.  This is fallacy.  God made us to be totally dependent upon Him.  There’s no limit to our dependence on him nor on how he will help us in time of need.  There are no requests that are too small.  One of my favorite verses from Luke 12: 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.
  or again from Second Peter 1:3: His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. . .
He’s given us all things but we have to ask for them.  He wants to help us through tight spots, but we need to ask him, He wants to help us every day but we have to talk with him and solidify our relationship with Him, regularly.
Essential Knee-ology may also call for a season of prayer that is “in the Spirit” i.e. spoken in an unknown tongue as referenced in I Corinthians 14:14: 
                14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
                15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
In that instance, one prays without even knowing what the prayer is about.  I tend to think and focus on what I pray about but try to remain yielded to the Spirit who is doing all the work.  Why would we do this? 
Romans 8:28  rendered in The Message:
                26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter.  He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
If you have never experienced speech or prayer in an unknown tongue, just ask for it.  It is a gift (Luke 11). Essential Knee-ology is spiritual warfare done through prayer as if one is an instrument working to serve the will of God. 

The Word, The Rhema Word and Reality Exposed

The Word of God is alive; sharper than a two-edged sword but is it really true?
What is truth?
Is the Bible really relevant?
What do you believe – what are you willing to believe?
Jonah and the whale? [This must be a biblical fairy tale]
Dinosaurs – they’re not really in the Bible, so where do they fit?
Tithing [do you actually believe that God will meet all of your needs if you give Him the first 10 percent of your money?]
God’s provision for healing – we know He can, but will He?
Spanking and corporal punishment [it’s in the Bible but it can’t be true –can it?]
Homosexuality [man-made or affliction?]
There are so many dissenting words and diverse meanings in the world. People who say that they are Christians, religious, spiritual but they seem just as if not more confused than we are. Yet another sign that these are the last days – as Paul said there would be people who “have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof” [II Tim 3:5]
Translations, canonical
I believe the Bible but there are some parts that I don’t understand – there must have been something wrong in the translation”.
I have a problem understanding people whose concept is so limited that the Almighty God of Hosts couldn’t make a way for His indelible word to be recorded and available for the entire world, to those who want it.
We must remember I Corinthians 2:14 “. . the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.”
You may need to do a self-check; if you are having such difficulty with believing – It has been said that some Christians believe that the bible is inspired in spots, some spots are inspired by God and others are just wrong.
If you have never taken a language course, especially Aramaic, Greek or Hebrew [the biblical languages] you might need to do so and find out not only the intricacy of the languages, but the clarity of the best known translations. One needs to be very clear that while there may be some difference in the nuance of how a phrase is rendered. There is very little difference between one translation and another in what is literally meant, especially in the exegetical light of historical context.
This is a Faith Fight
Unfortunately, the less you know – the better it is for our adversary, who needs us to be ignorant to our rights, responsibilities and privileges as believers and heirs to the Kingdom. If you remain skeptical about the power of God’s word and its efficacy to assist and to conduct warfare – you will remain powerless.
My one-word synonym for faith is “conviction”. Are you convinced that God can do what He says He will do? Are you convinced that His word is literally true? Do you think that He made promises for poetic value? Have you put God in a box?
The writer of Hebrews states that “The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” [4:2]
The word will only be profitable for us but it can only be if we place faith in it – if we are convinced that God’s word is alive [rendered quick in Heb. 4:12 ];
  • enduring [“But the word of the Lord will last forever” – I Pet. 1:25];
  • and powerful [“He sent his word and healed them and delivered them from all of their destructions” – Psa. 107:20]
In John 6:29, Jesus states “This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent” That is, believe that He is Messiah and ergo, believe in the intrinsic value of the work he performed while on earth.
The trick [if you will] of the work is to remain convinced [without regard to circumstance]. This is more difficult than it sounds. Take for example: The Israelites when they left Egypt, they had just witnessed a great deliverance. They experienced the catastrophe of the Passover and the duress that the Egyptians felt as their sons and livestock died. They left Egypt and faced the first hurdle i.e. The Red Sea. They were ready to go back to Egypt.
The Apostle Paul states: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life” Although spiritually you will try to keep your faith, the nature of the fight continually works to shake your faith and confidence in the promises of God. The circumstances and appearances all work against faith but you have to know what you know. The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
To continue with this metaphor, we are in a fight using the weapons(s) given for the fight. The breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation, loins gird with the truth, above all with the shield of faith.
To open this up even more we need to understand:
1] All items mentioned are defensive armament
Notice how the armor of God is used, the inner most garment is the truth.Jesus said “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32
A fighter who cannot get solid traction will surely get knocked out! The traction is the preparation of the good news of God’s peace with man. Above all using the shield of faith – your key defensive weapon because it’s a fight, a faith fight!!
2] The only offensive weapon is the sword
The word of God is a sword, but not the leather and paper – the word that can be used as a weapon is the word that you have embedded in your heart. How is the word of God used? Mt. 4:4, 4:7, 4:10
Jesus said, “heaven and earth will pass away but my word will not pass away” Mk. 13:31
Reality exposed says that the word of God is real and true.

My, How You’ve Grown

Text: I John 2:12-14
In business, in politics, in any number of human endeavors we work to gauge our progress, our attainment, and our achievement. Many examine bank statements, time measurement, games won, awards garnered and other means by which we determine improvement.
Do we do so in spiritual matters? Is there a way that we can make a statement about the way that we have evolved in our spiritual affairs? While there may be some incremental growth that would be harder to determine over short periods of time, the Lord has provided a way to look at our growth over time that allows us to assess where we are and how we need to think about our next steps.
John describes how there are three major categories in the growth cycle of Christians:
Ø Little Children

Ø Young Men

Ø Fathers
Little Children
Examining the text, we find that the children have some clear defining characteristics. He doesn’t say that they are not saved!
Young Christians may say as the disciples said, “Lord, increase our faith” Luke. 17:5
The bible says that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17
But it doesn’t come overnight, so then we have need of patience Hebrews 10:36
And again, Hebrews 6:12 “ … be ye followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”
Faith and patience are the keys to growth in the long-term. Let’s define what patience is and how it figures into the growth equation. Patience is rendered “endurance and perseverance in many of the translations and dictionaries.
Even Jesus tells us that “In your patience, possess ye your souls” Luke. 21:19
They “have known the Father” and their ”sins are forgiven . . . for his name’s sake”
The trouble with babies and young children is that they are in danger from a number of dangerous things around that could potentially stunt their growth or endanger their lives! We grow on a physical level in spite of ourselves, in contrast with our spiritual selves that only readily grow as we are fed the Word. We can also gauge our growth against our response to life’s circumstances and temptation.
Didn’t Jesus pray “deliver us from temptation” – that we would fall prey to, “but deliver us from evil” Another translation says “Don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” This prayer petitions the Father to give us the daily bread (feeding) that we need that allows us to grow, while asking His assistance to avoid the wrong things that we would encounter during our days on earth.
An interesting parallel verse is found in Hebrews 5:12,13 &14 where the writer explains that a young Christian whose stunted growth has kept him from teaching so he is forced to continue with the first principles (milk) rather than graduate to other profitable principles available.
He goes on to say that strong meat belongs to those who “by reason of use” [who are mature] who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong . . . so then the parallel is in the Peter’s 2nd epistle (1:4-7) where we are admonished to add to our faith virtue [moral excellence], and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness all of this to receive the exceeding great and precious promises.
Baby Christians end up trying to see how much wrong they can tolerate and still be Christians not knowing that these practices and philosophy keep them babies.
Young men
Are said to be “strong’ and have the word of God abiding in them. They also have “overcome the wicked one”.
This is a great testimony and of value as a measuring stick against which to gauge your enlistment in God’s army. Logically, one would have to have had some experience in battle with the wicked one to have overcome him. The experienced spiritual warrior understands the nature of spiritual warfare and is equipped with the tools [the Word] to be victorious.
This warfare means victory but that victory yields us the peace of God to continue in the struggle no matter what you encounter. So then the young men learn little by little, that the tribulations that they suffer is the cause for rejoicing. Romans 5:3-5 tells us that tribulations work patience and patience experience and experience hope,
Hope always keeps us looking at the future where we are expectant that God allows us to overcome once and for all.
Fathers
James writes that we may have a thousand instructors in Christ but not many fathers. Notice the single requirement of the Father – “You have known him that is from the beginning”
The spiritual father has a serene grace to his walk with God. He is not overwhelmed with the trappings of outward appearance. Neither is he trying to prove the veracity of his relationship.
He is much like the Husbandman [farmer] in James 5: 7-8 who waits patiently for his crops to grow. He waits for the rains (the enrichment of the Holy Spirit who acts and creates ways for God’s will to be performed on the earth.
Many of the other translations reiterate you have known him that is from the beginning. [Christ]. This statement begs the question of context. Spiritual fathers have a grasp of the nature of the origin of not only Christ but an awareness of his everlasting, unending nature. This is a source of great peace – because of covenant and relationship. There is no need to fear or be apprehensive. So then as James says early on “let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” One grows perfect and entire, complete and fully-grown. One is not anxious about external issues but assured that God remains on the throne and in charge. Forever! Amen!