A Romantic Affair

Monday, July 22, 2013, 8:42 a.m. – The song “Believe Him” began playing in my mind. I read Philippians 2:1-18 (ESV).

In Full Accord (2:1-11)

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This past week one day I all of a sudden had this notion in my head to trade in my car (a Honda Accord) for a SUV – a Sports Utility Vehicle. I inquired of the Lord as to where this notion could have come from, because it didn’t make sense to me at all. Then, my husband came home from work and told me he was thinking about trading in his truck for a car like mine (a Honda Accord). I thought that was really weird and coincidental. It didn’t make sense to have two different Accords, so we went and looked at a couple of SUVs. I liked the Honda CR-V that we drove, but it would cost us an additional $10,000 to buy one of those, even with trading in my husband’s truck, possibly. It just didn’t make sense to spend that kind of money when we already have two vehicles, which are both completely paid off.

The Lord Jesus used this real life scenario as an allegory to illustrate a Biblical truth here. I believe the Lord Jesus is giving me a picture here first of all of someone thinking of trading in his own life (or his first love) for an “accord,” i.e. for a covenant agreement - like the real one, but not the same “agreement” as the true one - i.e. a trade for a different gospel, and then for a SUV (a diversion for amusement and entertainment). The truck represents a human life, rolling along in an easy-going way, powered by the flesh, hauling the heavy burden of sin. So, the truck represents a non-believer. And then he gave me a picture of a believer in Christ considering trading in her “first love,” i.e. her “accord” (agreement with Christ) for a Sports – diversion; amusement; & entertainment – Utility - something that is convenient and is an instrument – Vehicle - a tool or a medium of some kind.

I believe this is about replacing Christ and his gospel with any other agreement and/or with diversions. None of it made sense to me. Jesus already paid the price in full so we could be free from slavery to sin and self-pleasure, free from eternal damnation, and so we could be free to walk in his truth, love, forgiveness, righteousness, grace, peace, purity and faithfulness. Therefore, it makes no sense at all when we replace him in any way with “other loves,” i.e. with other agreements, such as a false gospel. As well, it also makes no sense whatsoever when we replace him in any way with diversions for our own entertainment and amusement, such as smart phones, IPads, TVs, the internet, movies, sports, video games, etc., or with other relationships. Some of these things may not be wrong for us to use with discretion and discernment, but if they are replacements for our relationship with Jesus Christ, and for our time spent with him in his word and in obedience to his commands, and/or for time spent in ministering to the body of Christ, then this makes NO SENSE!

Paul asked the believers, if they were indeed united (one) with Christ, that they also be in one accord (agreement) with one another. Yet, the unity among the believers must be of the same accord, not two different ones which may have the same name but are two completely different vehicles (means of salvation). We need to make certain, thus, that being in full accord with the fellowship of believers does not involve an agreement with a false gospel (a look-alike). We must know the word of God and what it teaches with regard to the gospel and our salvation so that we are not easily persuaded to “buy” an “agreement,” or a “SUV,” other than what is contained in the original gospel – the New Covenant (cf. Lu 9:23-25; Ep. 2:8-9; 4:17-24; Ro 6; 1 Jn; & Gal 2:20, et al.).

Crooked and Twisted (2:12-16)

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

I woke from a dream this morning. The subject matter was that of a romantic affair (extra-marital). I will try to just share with you what I believe the Lord Jesus is teaching me through this passage of scripture with the use of this dream as an allegory to illustrate a Biblical truth. I believe the “other woman” represents the institutional church (or religion) and/or preachers and prophets in today’s religious movements. The church (the body of Christ) is in crisis, because she is receiving her nourishment, standing, foundation and growth from her “other lovers,” i.e. she has placed her affections and dependency for her fellowship and spiritual nourishment in humans and in humanistic teachings instead of in Christ. The woman was sending handwritten love notes to the house (to the true church), i.e. these “other lovers” are distributing to the body of Christ personal revelations supposedly from God to the body of Christ, but that are not from Christ – our “first love.”

I wondered if the woman was deranged or if this was a two-way relationship. Other words for “deranged” are “crooked and twisted,” i.e. she represents this crooked and twisted generation, which is now permeating the church, so it is a two-way relationship in many instances, though there are certainly many who hold true to the gospel and who continue to follow their Lord Jesus Christ in obedience and surrender to his will for their lives.

To those who have followed after “other lovers,” and who have turned to or who are considering turning to another gospel, or who are involved in or are considering making “SUVs” their gods (Lords), I believe the encouragement here is that we should cease and desist with putting our dependency in humans and in “SUVs”; and desist in trusting humans to be our voices from God and/or to relying upon humans alone to be our source of spiritual nourishment and spiritual growth. There are a lot of voices out there, but they aren’t all from God. Many of them are “the other woman,” so be wise and discerning, and make sure your relationship with Christ is based on Christ and not in humans, and that you are walking in obedience to Christ and to his will for your life.

Paul asked the believers to obey Christ, not just when he was present with them, but when he was not present, i.e. he asked that they be consistent in their walks with the Lord, and that their dependency be on Christ alone, and not on him. This, then, is one of the possible meanings of working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. It is Christ who works in us, so this is not works-based salvation, but it is speaking to our spiritual walks and development as followers of Christ. We must have a holy respect of God which trembles at the thought of giving in to sin, and we must yield our lives completely to the rule of the Holy Spirit within our lives. And, our walks with Christ should not have to be dependent on a particular man or woman, preacher or prophet, but we should depend on Jesus Christ alone to work in us to work out his good pleasure for our lives. Trust God instead of humans!

To those who are obeying Christ and his word, who are walking in the Spirit, who are faithful to their relationship with Jesus Christ as their only “husband,” and who are his hands and feet in sharing his love and his gospel with the world around them, I believe the encouragement here is to be wise concerning “other lovers” (other accords) and the “SUVs” of this life which have the potential for diverting and sidetracking from the Great Commission, and might place our focus, instead, on self-pleasure, just because it is easy and perhaps makes less waves and helps us to blend in better with our surroundings. We may be even persuaded to believe the lie that we must do some of the things the world does just so we can identify with them and reach them. Jesus called us to come out from the world and to be separate, and he has called us to be lights for the gospel to the world, holding (embracing and keeping) fast (firmly and steadfastly) to the word of life (of truth).

Poured Out (2:17-18)

Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

Yesterday we were having a problem with ants coming into our house. They seemed to be attacking my shoes and no one else’s. That seemed odd. I could not find anything on my shoes that would attract them, and then today the Lord Jesus gave me an understanding of this from a spiritual standpoint. My shoes represent my witness for Jesus Christ and for his gospel. Ants are like soldiers, but they are also workers, so this represented an army of workers coming against my witness and testimony for Jesus Christ. They will attack those of us who are ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ in many ways, because they can smell the aroma of the gospel of Christ on our “shoes.” And, they will do all they can to try to get us off course, distracted, or following after “other lovers.” Lord, help me to be sensitized to this so that I am not easily distracted or diverted away from preaching your gospel. Amen!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. – Pr. 3:5-6 (NIV)

Believe Him / An Original Work / July 15, 2013

My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.

“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.

“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.

“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”