Is it better to burn for The Lord or to obey?


Luke 22.33

Many are those that may burn in passionate love for The Lord who sing his praises and cannot be straightened in their zeal for him confessing their fiery love for Him. Yet when it comes to that lonely step of faith of obedience that is met with the icy cold wind of resistance they halt and step back secretly in their heart all the while confessing His Name and His Word.

There are times when the Fire burns in our bosom and we cannot stay but speak and move. But that is the rare blessed exception. To live in awareness of that Flame and it's purifying work is to quench it. To focus on the Flame and not the Still Small Voice of The Word inside of it is to get distracted and be turned aside to the emotion and phenomenon of the Fire & not the command. Though the Burning Flame in the heart of the quickened saint may be a new experience - the Cross must have its deep crucifying affect and separate the emotional feeling of the soul from the burning sensation of the Spirit.

The "ministers of fire" described in Hebrews 1.7 are servants that are aflame but often feel very little as they take faith steps of obedience in great weakness. It is in this great weakness where the soul feeling is divided from the spirit that God is glorified the most and His power is revealed - otherwise if the servant serves in the awareness of the Powerful Burning he is strong in his soulish feeling and weak in his spirit to obedience. We follow, we obey for the utmost of reasons, because of Truth - that is living by "Every Word"

“In Awe of the Exalted” - יִרְאַת הָרוֹמְמוּת - Understanding the Fear of the Lord

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear
the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deut. 10:12)

The word translated “fear" in many versions of the Bible comes from the Hebrew word yirah (יִרְאָה), which has a wide range of meaning in the Scriptures. Sometimes it refers to the fear we feel in anticipation of some danger or pain, but it can also can mean “awe” or “reverence” inclusive of the idea of wonder, amazement, mystery, astonishment, gratitude, admiration, and worship (like the feeling you get when gazing from the edge of the Grand Canyon). Thus at times yirah ought to be translated as “awe" -  "The awe of God is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10)

Some Hebrew Biblical scholars link the word yirah (יִרְאָה) with the word for seeing (רָאָה). Exod. 3:2-5 Moses “turned aside” to see the wonder and awe of the burning bush. When he saw the bush and heard the Voice he trembled with awe and the inner awareness of the sanctity of the Lord and His Calling. Such awe is not the goal of wisdom (like some state of nirvana), but rather its means. We start with awe and that leads us to wisdom - (Heschel). This wisdom ultimately is revealed in the love of God as demonstrated in the sacrificial death of His Son and his resurrection for our justification.

According to Jewish tradition, there are three “levels” or types of yirah:
  1. The tormenting fear of unpleasant consequences or punishment (i.e., yirat ha’onesh: יִרְאַת הָענֶשׁWe anticipate pain of some kind and want to run from it. Note that such fear can also come from what you subjectively believe others might think of you. People will often do things (or not do them) in order to buy acceptance within a group (or to avoid rejection). Social rules are adhered to in order to avoid being alienated or rejected.  One application of this type of fear is as Plato said in his writing "Republic", that people are "too weak to do injustice with impunity". A provoking question that could help us understand if you act or do not act under this type of fear is - would you act differently if you were able to become invisible? Would the "freedom to do whatever you like with impunity" lead you to consider doing things you otherwise wouldn't do? 
  2. The type of fear concerns anxiety over breaking God’s laws (sometimes called yirat ha-malkhut: יִרְאַת הַמַּלְכוּת). This kind of fear drives people to do good deeds because they fear God will punish them in this life (or in the world to come). Even though the fear of God's punishment may deter us from sin and wrong doing in the short run, by itself it is deficient of spiritual life, since it is based on an deficient idea about God. This is the foundational concept of karma (the cycle of moral cause and effect). This kind of fear is founded on self-preservation, though in some cases the heart's motivation may be mixed with a genuine desire to honor God or to avoid God's righteous wrath for sin (Exod. 1:12Lev. 19:14; Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5). 
  3. The third (and highest) kind of fear is a profound reverence for God that comes from rightly seeing. This level discerns the Presence of God in every detail of our life and is sometimes called yirat ha-rommemnut (יִרְאַת הָרוֹמְמוּת), or the "Awe of the Exalted."  Through it we behold God's glory and majesty in all things. "Fearing" (יִרְאָה) and "seeing" (רָאָה) are linked and united. Thus "the pure in heart shall see God". We are elevated to the high road of reverent discernment, sacred affection, and genuine communion with God's Holy Spirit.  This love for divine good creates a spiritual distaste toward evil, and thus, the hatred of evil to fear God
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well- balanced mind and discipline and self- control." - 2 Timothy 1:7amp

The Paradox of His Strength made perfect in our Weakness

Thinking tonight of the great paradox and mystery of the Anointing.  David the shepherd not having the crown but was anointed king yet in great straits of weakness - 2 Sam 3:39a. Elijah, a mighty man of God - the "Prophet of Fire" was "subject (homoiopathḗs) to like passions as we are" - meaning he was liable to be affected by the same thing any human being is. Yet he prayed. Paul though weak with the thorn afflicting him served in the power of his spirit - Rom 1.9 because God's Grace sustained him. Jesus Himself was crucified in weakness yet lives by the power of God...Oh what a paradox! We do not grow stronger everyday with God, but rather as the years pass we grow weaker and weaker - more and more dependent on God, His Grace and His Word to bring us to the end of The Race with joy. "For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you" 2 Cor 13.4 - Thus the power of the Anointing may be of Him and not of ourselves. Otherwise we have no affective ministry to others.

The Doctrine of Familiarity

[Here are a few notes and a draft outline of a message we preached in the Cypriot Bible School - you can hear the 2 part message here: sermon.net/ggcphila - Enjoy!]

Not knowing anyone after the flesh:
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. - 1 Cor 2.2

Familiarity Defined:
  1. Familiarity is a result of the loss of the fear of the Lord and no Cross
  2. All error begins with familiarity with God’s Word
  3. Relationships become soulish when the Cross is removed and familiarity enters.

“Profane” also speaks of forms of familiarity, or taking for granted something that is sacred.

Not knowing Christ after the flesh:
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh:yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more - 2 Cor 5.16 

Familiarity:
Leviticus 21:12
Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane -- the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 44:23-24
And they shall teach -- my people the difference between the holy and -- profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments

Isaiah 52:11
Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.

The Process of Familiarity:
  1. Lack of brokenness 
  2. Dullness 
  3. Carelessness
  4. Breakdown of reverence
  5. Tolerance
  6. Influenced, blinded
  7. Overtaken
"The key that Satan uses to gain entrance to his capacity is familiarity. Satan can only deceive minds that have be- come familiar with what God sees as rare, holy, and set apart for His use alone. Familiarity enters in where holiness has been stolen and eternal purpose has been destroyed, because the Cross (which represents the devil’s defeat once and for all) has been nullified in our experience.” - CHS
When a person becomes familiar the begin to traffic demonic activity unaware: Mat 16.22-24 Peter was sentimental and too familiar with Jesus - he unknowingly became a mouth piece for the Devil thus Jesus’ response “Get thee behind me Satan"

Demons of Familiarity:
Familiar spirit: A demon or evil spirit who creates the atmosphere of being one's friend while being one's enemy, and who ushers in an atmosphere of lack of respect for authority, formality, and ceremony especially when instituted by God or His delegated authority (Leviticus 19:31, 20:6,27, Deuteronomy 18:11, I Samuel 28:3,7,8,9, II Kings 21:6, 23:24, I Chronicles 10:13, II Chronicles 33:6, Isaiah 8:19, 19:3,29:4).

  • Family demon (family demon presented by the family idols): THERAPSIN: II Kings 23:24
    • Against homes and marriages Gen 31:19, 34-35; 35:2; I Sam 19:11-17; I John 5:21
    • Special forces that cooperate with different armies to destroy homes and marriages, by breaking up marriages or making them unhappy.
    • Misrepresents God’s will to the homes and families
    • Domesticate and divide families by wounding people in the families that lack love of the doctrine and don’t have anointing manifested by brokenness.
  • Demon of Familiarity: GNOSTAS: II Kings 21:6 - trafficking familiar spirits - medium
    • Cause people be familiar with the provisions of God
    • Lull people away from thirsting and hungering for the provisions that come through grace and righteousness - spiritual laxity leading to utter destruction of the spiritual life of a person.
    • Inspire people’s psyche with pride
    • Cause familiarity that pulls the plug on fullness of the Body.

Demons of familiarity four-fold strategy in a believer’s life:
  1. by keeping them relating to the past
  2. by tempting them to use knowledge without going through the Cross
  3. by leading them to uncover secrets and sins and cause suspicion ignoring the Blood of Christ.
  4. by instigating disagreements to wound people

Fighting familiarity
  1. Humbling ourselves - James 4.7-8
  2. Hearing, fearing God - Eccl 5.1,2
  3. Rebound and Repentance - 1 John 1.9
  4. Breaking up fallow ground - Hos 10.12
  5. Mind Renewal - Eph 4.23 - Rom 12.1,2
  6. Stepping out in faith in the mission - Rom 1.17
  7. Prayer - Develops discernment

7 Characteristics of Servanthood


Today while my wife and I visited p. Maciek and Renata with their beatuiful church, I preached on the subject of Servanthood. Here below are the notes from the message that you can listen to here: http://bit.ly/19Kw437

John 12:25-26 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be:if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.

Jn 13.12-17 "So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord:and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. 

1. A Servant is powerful:
  • One of the most powerful thing in this universe is life of a servant. One of the weakest things on this earth is the life of a servant. 
  • No one gets the amount of things done in the simplicity and the focus that a servant has. For there is no flesh to complicate matters, relationships, or vision. 
2. A Servant appears mundane: 
  • "In some ways we would prefer to hear Jesus' call to deny father and mother, houses and land for the sake of the gospel than his word to wash feet. Radical self-denial gives the feel of adventure. If we forsake all, we even have the chance at glorious martyrdom"
  • "But in service we must experience the many little deaths of going beyond ourselves. Service banishes us to the mundane, the ordinary, the trivial.”
  • Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Eph 5.21 
3. A Servant is not in control:
  • "It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by God means being a door-mat under other people's feet.
  • Mother Teresa: "I belong to Jesus. He must have the right to use me without consulting me.
4. A Servant choses to be a servant rather than choosing to serve
  • When we chose to serve we are in charge. When we chose to be a servant we give up the right to be in charge. This is great freedom. If we chose to be a servant then we cannot be manipulated. When we chose to be a servant we surrender the right to decide when and where we will serve. That is availability and vulnerability. 
  • There is a natural hesitancy that comes with any serious discussion of serving. Because there is a hesitancy in understanding the cost before jumping in. The fear is that people will take advantage of us
  • Self-righteous service picks and choses whom to serve. "Sometimes the low and defenseless are served because that will ensure a humble image. True service is indiscriminate in its ministry. It has heard the command of Jesus.
5. A Servant has lost his rights because of love
  • The perspective of a slave. A slave sees all of life from the viewpoint of slavery. He does not see himself as possessing the same rights as free men and women. When this slavery is involuntary it is cruel and dehumanizing. When the slavery is freely chosen, however, everything is changed. Voluntary servitude is a great joy.
  • “Bond slave” - a slave that has chosen to be a slave - not to serve. Paul is an example of this: "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” - Phil 2.17
6. A Servant is not bound to himself in self-love
  • "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." - Acts 20.24 
  • Nothing crucifies the flesh like serving, nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh screams for attention and will devise subtle, religious attention to the service rendered.  
7. A Servant serves giving all though the result may be small.
  • There is no demand for great results because it is an anointing upon the servant. 
  • Luke 4.18 - The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised
  • Luke 22.27 - For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 
  • Luke 6.40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.