Monday, November 30, 2015

Logical Fallacies - Part 1

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:34-35 ESV

I'm going to start a series of posts on logical fallacies. It is what I'm studying these days and it may go on for a while. I am floating a few 'series' these days... 'Loving Dangerous People' is another one. If you lose track or want to go back and see the previous post I try to always put the parts as clear as possible in the index of the blog page. Sometimes it takes awhile to unpack an idea. By God's grace I endeavor to finish each series I start... it just might take awhile. {smile}

The truth sets people free. Truth is always logical. The foundation may be hidden but the structure is ordered. Many times people are in bondage because of illogical biases. The great thing about truth is that it stands up to scrutiny.

THE STRAWMAN FALLACY - Over simplifying an argument or making it two dimensional to make it easier to attack. Don't we see people do this all the time? I look at people's lives and see great complexity. It's true that many things are made overly complicated but isn't it love that simplifies matters. By oversimplifying someones believe system even if it is full of holes we are disrespecting people. When Jesus is presented as He Is He is so 'real' and 'true' that my illusions become transparent in His precedence. I never want to jam the truth down someones throat and demean their experience. I need to see Jesus and His love. It makes me sad and sometimes mad to see people set up a Islamic strawman just so that they can knock it down or an atheist one or a political one. No. I want the real opponents to face one another. The Gospel doesn't need to dumb down everything else in order to win. The cross is lifted up high than the crowd so it can be seen. Jesus' love is unparalleled. His work is unmatched. People try to fictionalize it but the proof is there. It is historically recorded and any honest man must come to the conclusion if he or she looks at the evidence that God's love was expressed on Easter morning in a profound way.

THE SLIPPERY SLOPE - The 'If this happens then that must happen' argument uses cause and effect against someone to try and win them. I love how grace disarms the the slippery slope. Not that I'm endorsing bad decisions but I know so many people who have made bad decisions and are living good lives and vice versa. Karma is fife with loopholes because God is sovereign and has a complex plan. Things don't always add up. Sure there are some real documented consequences to actions and declarations that God makes in the scriptures but if our thinking and reasoning is slippery slope reasoning then we will live out of a deficit motivation and ask others to do so also. If we weigh every decision to heavily on the bad thing that might happen we are being steered by fear and not love. Love is the only thing that will get us where we want to go. Not our love... God's love. We need to know God has a plan and to base our decisions on the content of that plan. God can redeem and He is an expert at it.

I want to be thinking clearly.

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' " - John 8:31-32 ESV

Yes. That means thinking that is free from restraint and not arguments that are struggling to climb a hill that they lack the energy to climb.

Hey! Let's love one another. Let's love the people we agree with and those we don't agree with.

"Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?" - Proverbs 6:27-28 ESV

Lies are going to burn people. We don't want to embrace them but lets be the people who have a salve to sooth the pain of those burns so they can heal and not the folks who pour salt on a wound.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Moving Through The Seasons Of Life

There are things to do in life but those things to only carry us through the season. We need more than what activities can offer.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." - Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 ESV

There is a God shaped hole in each heart. Nothing can fill it but someone shaped like God. Children can't fill it. Romance can't fill it and neither can a career or fame and recognition.

We all know men who just march through seasons of life because they have an activity to keep them going. The job becomes their identity. Their children become what they live for But nothing, nothing, nothing can fill that hole but God.

"A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, 'It is finished,' and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." - John 19:29-30 ESV

The cross was the darkest time in human history. It was all the dying, tearing, hating and war wrapped up into one horrible day. Jesus drank the sour wine of all the worst of our seasons when He went to the cross but He went there to make things beautiful for us.

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." - Ezekiel 36:26 ESV

Activity is a way of coping but relationships are what make things beautiful. If God takes the heart with a hole and replaces it with a new one then we can have relationships and do things for love's sake and we aren't trying to fill a space that can never be filled.

I see people putting on a brave face as they trudge onward and I wonder, 'Will they ever stop doing long enough to just be?' because we all need to just let God love us. Jesus already drank the bitter cup so we can live in the beauty of reconciliation.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

God's Treasure

People are so precious. They are so important. That is the thought a woke with this morning and it dominates my mind and study this morning.

You are important. You are precious. You are God's treasure.

"Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. 'They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.' " - Malachi 3:16-18 ESV

God sees the weakest person that has believed in Him as precious.

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." - Hebrews 11:6 ESV

Then it lists people from Abraham onward in the scriptures culminating here.

"And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets - who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated - of whom the world was not worthy - wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised," - Hebrews 11:32-39 ESV

I am listing the people in my life this morning and thinking... 'This one is precious and I wonder what ever happened to that one?'... Thinking of each one even though I am still sleepy. Old friends and friends I have made later in life. God is here seeing my list. He has a much longer list and He adds to mine. He fills in the gaps of my memory.

You are precious and important. Yes. You. The person reading this right now. You are important to God. You are His treasure. There are some people you don't think so but they are wrong. If God values someone then that person has value and God values you more than you know.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Loving Potentially Dangerous People - Part 2

This morning I am looking in the Hebrew and studying the 'Stranger and Sojourner.' There is so much here about these words and great insight for us in dealing with potentially dangerous people from outside our circle.

Here is a passage where these words refer to Abraham...

"And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead. And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth." - Genesis 23:1-7 KJV

The Hebrew word Ger (Strong's H1616) is often translated stranger from the verb Guwr (H1481) to turn aside on the road (detour). Passages where Abraham stopped somewhere with a different people group such as in Eygpt or with the Philstines seem to use this verb (Genesis 12:10, 19:9, 20:1, 21:23, 21:34)

The other word Towshab (Strong's H8453) is from the Hebrew verb Yashab (H3427) to dwell, to establish or to judge and it is often translated sojourner. The sojourner is just passing through as a lodger but not a citizen.

Israel made a distinction between a citizen with an inheritance and a person who was just passing through. There were certain restrictions but there were also certain provisions given.

If we look at our personal life we can treat it like it is a nation. Is a person applying for citizenship or are they a sojourner? If they are a sojourner that is fine. There are provisions for sojourners but there are also restrictions.

Romantic relationships in modern culture often fail to make these distinctions. Women grant men the rights of citizenship when in truth these fellows are sojourners and strangers. They are just passing through and haven't decided one way or another where they want to be. It is recipe for heartbreak.

It is going to take a while to unpack these words and concepts but notice how Abraham is here in Genesis 23 as opposed to the Hivites in Joshua chapter 9. Abraham is upfront about his intentions. He is staying for a short time and returning to his life.


Monday, November 23, 2015

At The Church

Church is such an interesting place. There is glory, fellowship, illumination and clarity but at the same time there are also often so many needs, pains and unresolved issues. Theology meets sociology at the Church and there are so many that need social services.

Sometimes I have a lot to say at Church but last night God made me very quiet. I sat with people but for the most part I just watched. I watched the Pastor minister. I watched an older man struggle with the dilemma of helping a couple who had been displaced from their home or give two first time visitors that smelled strongly of cheap cigarettes a ride home who had been left without a ride. I saw families living in expectation for a loved one who would return home for thanksgiving and others who had lost loved ones and would never see that person again at a dinner table in this life quietly struggle with that loss. Prosperity walks side by side with poverty at the Church. Wisdom sits next to naive foolishness there. Girls and boys dance the dance of courtship. Friends laugh. People struggle with barely flickering smiles. Translators translate. Some came in rich already but everyone leaves with something eternal. Even those who wonder if anything was there that can help them practically in their barely tolerable situation in this season of life. Eternal words sink deep. Fellowship is eternal.

"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." - Hebrews 12:22-24 ESV

I remember being the stranger coming in the doors of a Church. I rode a bus which brought men from a mission house to this nice white washed Church filled with families and sweet elderly people. I remember being self conscious and feeling like a stranger. I didn't smell like cigarettes but I felt like I did. I had the look in my eyes that I saw in those two men's eyes last night... the ones who needed a ride.

The older man decided he couldn't help the couple but he took the two visitors home and the couple who was displaced got a night, or a couple nights, reprieve somewhere. They got help in the 11th hour.

"We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints - and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you - see that you excel in this act of grace also. I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich." - 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 ESV

It baffles me many times. I am not hard like I once was. People's needs affect me. Like that older man I can't help everyone. Last night I wasn't led to help anyone. I prayed but I wasn't the ride and no one is waking up on my couch this morning who doesn't normally live here. The needs did get met. Those needs might not have been met but they did... at the Church.

Jesus purposely became poor so we could be rich. There is a grace that is only seen at the Church. It is place of great joy and poverty. Sometimes it is hard to be a part of but it is always a great honor to see God do what He does there.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Crisis To Process

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans 12:1-2 NASB

God uses the crisis to brings us into a process. Here is a great quote from a booklet by Dr Carl Stevens.

'In presenting my body, I prove what is the perfect will of God. If I don’t present my body, then I will never prove it. Instead of having His perfect will, it may just be something that I want. If we don’t prove His perfect will, God will send trials to make it happen. The Lord will deliver us through death if we haven’t already been delivered from death. He will bring a crisis into our lives so that He can start the process of victory. If you present your body by faith and by mercy, and do it because of the Finished Work, then anything God does will result in you revealing what has been done. When trials come to those who refuse to present their bodies as living sacrifices, they reveal what hasn’t been done and what they are like. All we can do is patiently sit back and hope the day comes when there will be a conversion. But, when trials come to a Spirit-filled Christian, the trials reveal what Christ has done and Who God is.' - Atmospheric Cycles

God is the faithful one. We can love and help but we don't want to interfere with what God is doing in a person's life.

Grace words renew the mind. Truth that emphasizes the finished work of the cross and keeps God's character and nature as the focus will keep a person and purify a person's thinking in the midst of good times and bad.

In the most difficult situations there is a victory that we can enter into. That victory is an eternal victory.

"But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." - 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 ESV

The flesh needs a veil. It needs to hide in emotionalism and shade from the truth in order to preserve it's illusion that in it's dysfunction it is still somehow acceptable. The flesh needs to just endure as long as it can and rationalize why things aren't the way the should be.

When a person turns to the Lord in a new spiritual identity the veil is removed and transformation can take place. The gap between expectation and perceived reality shrinks. Peace and hope can reign in a person's heart and mind. Then a person can say, 'If I perish then I perish' and really mean it.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Loving Potentially Dangerous People - Part 1

Struggling with this question this morning... How do you love potentially dangerous people?

In 2015 it is Syrian refugees... In 1938 it was Jews fleeing Europe... Both groups could contain spies. Both groups would not be easily absorbed into the culture because their beliefs kept them separate. In the midst of needy people there are also a few dangerous ones. The family seeking to adopt goes and visits an orphanage and looks to see if a son or daughter is there that they can love but one or more of those children might be dangerous because of the violence they had to endure... homeless ministry has danger... prison ministry has danger.

In Joshua chapter 9 Israel took in their Trojan horse...

"But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended, with worn-out, patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes. And all their provisions were dry and crumbly. And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, 'We have come from a distant country, so now make a covenant with us.' " - Joshua 9:3-6 ESV

This is what we all worry about. Who is what they seem to be? Who is safe and who is lying?

"They said to Joshua, 'We are your servants.' And Joshua said to them, 'Who are you? And where do you come from?' They said to him, 'From a very distant country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God. For we have heard a report of him, and all that he did in Egypt...' " - Joshua 9:8-9 ESV

But they weren't from far away. Who are you refugee? Who are you nicely dressed young man coming to our church... Are you here to find God or do you want to corrupt our daughters? Who are you person who wants to rent out my basement apartment... have you cheated the last three families you rented from or are you who you say you are?

"So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them." - Joshua 9:14-15 ESV

Here we see the problem. Israel didn't love with wisdom. Love is dangerous no matter how you do it. People are fallen, broken and damaged. Some need help and some need to loved from behind a locked door because their motives are evil.

We must never stop loving but we must ask God who to love and how to love. That is why Churches have wise watchful men assigned to security.

"Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body." - Hebrews 13:1-3 ESV

Fear can stop us from 'letting brotherly love continue' and we never want that to happen.

Pray, love and get involved. Be very careful and prayerful about who you let live in your basement but that room can't be vacant forever.

There is no clear cut answer in this... God must give us an answer... we can't just harden our hearts without consequences and we can't be naive either. If we are prayerfully involved there might still be hardship but there will also be great fruit.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Eternal Unchanging Favor

Have you ever 'lost favor' with a person or group? One day you are the toast of the town and the next no one wants to give you the time of day. I have. It's an interesting situation.

Here is a passage from the Psalms...

"When I remember God, then I am disturbed; When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint. Selah. You have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old,The years of long ago. I will remember my song in the night;I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders: Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever? Has God forgotten to be gracious,Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah. Then I said, 'It is my grief,That the right hand of the Most High has changed.' " - Psalm 77:3-10 NASB

The right hand of God represents His favor. It is the hand a dignitary raises to greet you and give permission for you to enter his presence. If the hand remains motionless then your audience is rejected.

People give favor because they see something special in a person. They take it away because they thought they were mistaken and are looking elsewhere.

The thing about God is that He is never mistaken. In our grief we think God is fickle like people are but that isn't true.

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." - Colossians 3:2-4 ESV

God has given everlasting favor to His Son. We have favor by association.

"So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 10:32-33 ESV

That announcement is a one time thing. It doesn't fluctuate. The very first moment we believed in Christ and began to function by faith we also gained eternal favor. No one get gets crossed off God's list.

"Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." - Luke 10:19-20 ESV

Our favor with people may fluctuate. Things may be good well for awhile and then they may not but none of that is permanent.

"Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." - Psalm 16:9-11 ESV

Jesus forever sits at God's right hand and those who believe are hidden in that place of eternal favor. That favor will be manifested in the world again and again.

Every time we acknowledge Jesus to men we are making the confession that brought us into the place of favor again. Jesus has completed the work of salvation and has reconciled men to God. God is satisfied and our heart can live in that satisfaction also.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Covering Sins And Exposing Evil

I've been thinking a great deal about God covering us and personal accountability. God covers our mistakes because of Christ. Even our intentional transgressions are covered.

God has other plans for ideologies that oppose Him. He deals directly with people who plan or conspire against Him and those He loves.

"Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool." - Proverbs 17:9-10 ESV

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." - Matthew 18:15-18 ESV

If God has an issue with us He comes alone first and if we will not listen He uses a representative. He is giving us His formula to apply. We proclaim what has been proclaimed in Heaven.

"If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven." - Numbers 15:27-28 ESV

The nation of Israel had an offering for 'unintentional sins.' Jesus has become our once and for all offering. We transgress in ways we can't imagine but God has covered our sin and cast it into the deepest sea (see Micah 7:19).

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." - Psalm 103:11-12 ESV

"If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared." - Psalm 130:3-4 ESV

God has covered sin. Now He wants to break our sin cycles and expose evil plans.

"But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out." - Numbers 32:20-23 ESV

"Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops." - Luke 12:2-3 ESV

If you look at these passages in context you see that God is speaking about individuals or groups of people that are planning or conspiring something. God delights in covering us but He also is glad to expose evil and it's intentions.

"Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities." - Psalm 51:4-9 ESV

"And a ruler asked him, 'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone' " - Luke 18:18-19 ESV

Yes. Yes. Yes. I am determined to live a life of transparency before God. Grace makes that easy because I know my performance is not the issue. God's goodness is the issue. Goodness isn't what I bring to the table... humility is all that I have. God forbid that my attitude should echo the attitude of God's enemies by living in a pre-planned cycle.

"For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?...

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death... For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit." - Romans 7:22-24, 8:1-2, 5 ESV

No condemnation! Shout that from the rooftops. That statement has the power to break any cycle of sin because of the power of the One who covers in the context of Christ's once and for all offering.


Monday, November 16, 2015

High Value

We are just as valuable to God the Father as the Son of God is.

"And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." - John 14:21b ESV

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love." - John 15:9 ESV

Jesus was and Is a representation of God the Father's love and we have become important by association. Believers are His entourage. Where He goes... we go also.

People might say, 'Isn't this true of everyone? Doesn't God love the whole world?'

Yes, God Is love... but God does not know the whole world.

"And someone said to him, 'Lord, will those who are saved be few?'

And he said to them, 'Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us,' then he will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from.'

Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.'

But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!'

In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out." - Luke 13:23-28 ESV

I want to let people know that they are invited and that there is no limit to God's love but there is a time limit for how long that narrow way will be open. Once through that door there is identity, acceptance and fellowship. Outside of it there is weeping and 'gnashing of teeth.'


Friday, November 13, 2015

The Soul

We had a great conversation last night and the memory of the discussion got me thinking about and looking up verses about the soul.

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." - Genesis 2:7 KJV

"Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel." - Proverbs 27:9 ESV

The word translated 'soul' in Genesis 2 and the word translated 'earnest' in Proverbs 27 are both the Hebrew word nephesh (Strong's H5315). Our soul has a form or structure but unlike our body which is made and matter our soul is inter-dimensional. It is more like wind. It has substance and that substance is felt more like an odor or like a breeze is felt on your body or when you look out the wind at the trees and see the leaves move.

We are a soul that has a body. The body ages. The soul does not but the soul does have capacities and incapacitates. It has inter-dimensional form and structure.

"And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all." - 1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV

The word translated 'fainthearted' is the Greek word oligopsychos (G3642) and it can be translated 'small souled'. People can have small souls. There can be damage in the structure of the soul or perhaps it is damage to the connection of the soul to the rest of the person that cuts off the flow. What we see is faintheartedness or as the KJV translates it... feeblemindedness.

A person with no (or little) soul can't cope. Processing reality is diminished or at a low level.

"And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." - Acts 20:32 KJV

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily," - Colossians 2:6-9 ESV

Words of grace are able to build up. Like nutrition is able to build up our body because it is solid. Grace is able to build up our soul which is timeless.

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:29-30 ESV

Yes. In Jesus our soul finds rest.

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish." - Psalm 1:1-6 ESV

I want to be concerned about a person's soul. I want to have a holistic approach to people and to myself. The body is important but so is the soul.

God please teach us to be mindful of invisible things.

"Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel." - Proverbs 27:9 ESV

Thank You for being our sweet friend.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Specific Wisdom

I was thinking this morning about specific reliance upon God... having real proactive reliance where we are seeking Him for specific answers and provisions in circumstances.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." - 1 Peter 5:6-9 ESV

"This God - his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? -  the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip." - Psalm 18:30-36 ESV

Maybe we have been conditioned to mentally beat ourselves up or lament our inability but we can revenge that kind of thinking with faith obedience. We can live saying to God, 'God. Teach me how to do this. I am looking for your wisdom and I believe You will show me something today.'

Faith is the blameless way because faith has integrity and accountability.

"And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." - Isaiah 35:8-10 ESV

The highway of holiness is the path of worship and faith reliance. It is walking in a life of expectation. Fools can be redirected there on that highway.

Hard tasks become easier when a professional shows you how to do something. If that coach stays with you until you get a handle on the technique and checks in on you from time to time you begin to look like an expert also.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you... These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." - John 14:16-17, 25-26 ESV

The Greek word translated helper (or comforter) is parakletos (Strong's G3875). He is here indwelling us to be our coach and defense attorney. He never leaves us or forsakes us. If we lean on the Father in the name of the Son the Spirit will be our support. If we ask the Father in specifics the Spirit will reveal details and methods.

This kind of a mindset coupled with a willingness to open and explore the Bible is a powerful combination.

"You do not have, because you do not ask." - James 4:2b ESV

Thank You God. It is amazing what You have taught me over the years. Today I want to learn. I want to learn how to love. I want to learn how to communicate. Show me how to be a good steward. There are new challenges and I need specific wisdom. Help God. I ask and I know you will answer. Thank You God.

Please help all those who are reading this and asking for Your wisdom. Bless them richly with specifics today and in the weeks to come. Thank You God.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What Does God Require?

What does God require of mankind? If we remove transgressions from the picture we are left with this.

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8 ESV

But transgressions complicate things don't they? When we step over the line in life there are new requirement that get added. Fines. Penalties.

When Adam sinned death was added to the equation.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23 ESV

When Jesus came to Earth He met all of God's requirements in every way. Then in His death He met all of our transgression born requirements also.

"For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." - Romans 6:10-11 ESV

God has only one demand from people. All other demands have been met. It is the lone requirement that takes sin out of the way so that a real relationship can form on His terms.

"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' '... 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.' " - John 3:5-7, 16-17 ESV

We were all born of water. We spent nine months in someone's womb floating in that water. But we must be born of the Spirit by believing in the Son.

Man requires so many things in the name of God and what is right but God has one requirement and He wraps that requirement in a gift and holds that gift out to us and says, 'Please take what my Son has done for you. Take the gift and it will make you clean.'

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8 ESV

Now the passage takes on fresh meaning when we have experienced God's grace and mercy. We walk with Jesus now are He knows all about these three things. He does justly. He loves mercy (kindness). He walks humbly and we walk with Him.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Two Mysteries

"Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." - 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 ESV

"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way." - 2 Thessalonians 2:7a ESV

There is a mystery that transforms but there is also a mystery that corrupts. The mystery of iniquity involves the emotions. The emotions can get corrupted to the point where people form ideas that go against reason. We see that happening in the world. People betray friendships. They abandon marriages and children. They hurt themselves and others because of hate. It is a mystery. They unite in a hopeless cause against what is good and right and call evil good and good evil.

Then there is the mystery of love and transformation. It is the mystery of redemption. In truth it is the mystery of the resurrection. Christ's resurrection was the first domino to fall in a long string of dominoes. Yet this great coming alive is hidden and misunderstood.

People can live their lives baffled by both of these things. Apart from God there is no explanation.

When Christ is revealed then these mysteries begin to be revealed also. These things don't baffle us. We may not like what we see but we know enough about it to identify it as spiritual and not just natural.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Lies And Power

It is no wonder that many politicians are liars. Lying is an extension of power lust.

"Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, 'Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.' But Naboth said to Ahab, 'The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.' And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, 'I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.' And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food." - 1 Kings 21:1-4 ESV

This is where is starts. The King wants something he can't have. People lie to add things to themselves. Convenient things like power or false peace. Wine and grapes often represent happiness in the scriptures. More grapes meant more wine. Ahab wanted to add to his happiness. There was no honest means to do that.

"But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, 'Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?' And he said to her, 'Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' And he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'' And Jezebel his wife said to him, 'Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.' " - 1 Kings 21:5-7 ESV

Here we see the birth a the lie. Reason dances with power and devises a method.

This whole chapter is worth reading but if I quoted it all here this would be a very long post. Jezebel promotes Naboth but she is setting him up to knock him down. Once he is down Jezebel presents the vineyard to Ahab her husband.

"Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 'Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. And you shall say to him, 'Thus says the LORD, 'Have you killed and also taken possession?'' And you shall say to him, 'Thus says the LORD: 'In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.'' Ahab said to Elijah, 'Have you found me, O my enemy?' " - 1 Kings 21:17-20a ESV

Ahab sees the prophet as his enemy that he must coexist with. For Ahab everything was a power struggle.

It is easy to detach ourselves from an account like this but we are kings also in our own circle of influence. Sweet little girls learn to lie. Timid young men do also. We all do. Some embrace the practice more than others but all human beings lie. All except One.

"I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed, even when I spoke: 'I am greatly afflicted'; I said in my alarm, 'All mankind are liars.' " - Psalm 116:9-11 ESV

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned - every one - to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." - Isaiah 53:6 ESV

Powerful people lie but it is also not strange to see that the ones most angry at lies are powerful people also. Power. Morality becomes just another way to enforce order.

God has laid every lie on Jesus Christ. All human lies are already paid for.

Still lies hurt people. They are illusions crafted for gain, protection and convenience.

There are individuals that I know and love who are just not honest with me much of the time. They feel the need to project a persona. I love them. I realize the situation and greatly value them. My desire is not to get them to come clean with me. My desire is that grace would build them up to a point where the persona would melt away and they would be free to live in the truth of what God has already done on their behalf.

There is a little phrase I like... 'I don't do fiction.' It isn't a moral thing. Grace has made fiction obsolete.

The lie creates a covering. It reshapes reality by skewing perception. If the lie is believed there is a false sense of power and acceptance. People lie to impress. They lie to avoid. They lie to get.

The cross throws a monkey wrench into all of that. Human cruelty and God's compassion meet there and burst all illusions. The cross breaks things while at the same time it was the place where the Son satisfied the Father's need for justice and holiness. The cross disassociates us from false identifications.

Grace causes us to connect with a pre-creation identity that is outside of time. It is eternal. New. It is better than fiction. It is higher.

1 John 1:9 is our provision to confess truth and be cleansed. God is faithful to connect us to cleansing and disconnect us from the past.

Grace is God's method with mankind. Grace coaxes us into the light. The cross kills the liar and the rules written against him with Christ on the cross. God adopts the person who used to thrive in misconception and elevates them because they have a new identity in what Christ has done.

God cares for us. I sometimes imagine Him looking at us living in our small world of limited perception with great care and a kind of pity. We jump to conclusions and don't even know it. We rationalize and misunderstand so much. He knows what we are thinking just won't work. He loves us too much to leave us where we are but respects our right to make our own decisions so much that He won't override our will.

That is why Jesus came. That is why (in part) that the Father sent His Son. The truth walked among us to free us from all falsehood. In Christ the need to alter the landscape to gain an advantage disappears. God prospers us in our own vineyard and multiples it's harvest.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Two Small Copper Coins

I want to express love to people while I have the opportunity to do so. When we are in "survival mode" that priority drops lower. We have less and so it seems we have less to give but it is important to resist that resistance.

"And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, 'Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.' " - Mark 12:42-44 ESV

This passage seems to be about money but it has a deep message. Of all the people giving large sums Jesus noticed this person who was loving in a risky way.

One passage from my reading yesterday stuck with me. Perhaps it seems unrelated but it holds great meaning for me.

"I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." - Luke 12:49-53 ESV

Is this the fire of judgement. No. I believe it is this fire.

"I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." - Matthew 3:11 ESV

"He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." - Acts 1:3-5 ESV

"And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." - Acts 2:2-4 ESV

The fire that Jesus wanted to already be kindled is the fire of Love. It is the fire of His Spirit which is not separate from Him. The Father, The Son and the Comforter are individual but One.

The fire would bring separation because paradoxically that is what God's Love can bring. Sentimental human love allows for mixed allegiances because it is shallow. God's love is different. It leaves no room for garbage.

If love remains unexpressed divisions can grow wider. If love is expressed there is the possibility that divisions will disappear.

Oh God... please help us... Help me... Help us to communicate love in creative ways... We want affection and hospitality to flow even if all that we have are two small copper coins... give us the courage to be kind... give us words to say and ways to love... Thank You God for loving us... You love us from the richness of Heaven just as you loved us from the poverty of the cross... thank you... thank you... thank you... You are the awesome God... thank you.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Grace In Luke Chapter 12 - Returning From The Feast

Luke chapter 12 is so interesting. I am reading it over and over and Jesus is painting a picture of several scenes and sides of God's heart.

At one point Peter says this...

"Peter said, 'Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?' " - Luke 12:41 ESV

Jesus is describing aspects of God's gracious character but He Is also describing God's Kingly justice.

If you read the chapter carefully you see each parable is strung together linking different colored stones.

Here is a key passage.

"Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks." - Luke 12:35-36 ESV

The wedding feast in the scriptures is the height of human celebration. It was the event of the year. When a person returns from an event like that they are floating on a cloud. That is the time when they are prone to great generosity.  But, Also woe be upon the head the the person or people that ruin that day for them.

A good parallel that comes to mind is when parents leave children at home and go away on a trip. If the house is clean and in order when they get home life is good but if they threw a party and destroyed the place the penalties would be especially harsh.

Peter wonders, 'Who Is Jesus talking to?' for a good reason.

The Church is at the wedding feast. Believers are not servants minding the store. We are family members traveling with the King.

When I see God's holiness and justice in how He deals with his servants and it comforts me but as a family member it does not scare me. I see His high standard and it does not cause me to strive but as a son added to His family it raises the bar of my thinking.

Grace is a safe place.

"Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure - for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God.' " - Revelation 19:7-9 ESV

The Lamb will have His Marriage feast and then He will clean house on the Earth. Those who receive Jesus now in this window of time will only ever experience His favor.

"I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." - Luke 12:49-51 ESV

Jesus suffered great distress. More distress than an man ever has or ever will. He did it so that man could be on God's 'good side.' The King is not lenient to those who mess with His possessions when He is away.

If you have moment read Luke chapter 12. It is a true work of art.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Grace In Receiving And Grace In Cultivation

Looking at the transition from manna to seeding.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." - John 12:24-26 ESV

"And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year." - Joshua 5:12 ESV

Manna represents the daily supernatural provision that God has for us. We gather new mercy each day. We look at the Bible and God feeds us a fresh provision.

The kernel of wheat that falls into the ground and produces life out of death represents resurrection life. It is a long term investment. It requires cultivation and not just harvesting.

Both are grace provisions. God gives manna and He gives growth.

When Israel left Egypt they left as slaves. They had a slave mentality. God fed them manna and taught them to trust. Later when they entered the promised land there was a transition. Stewardship requires investment.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it." - Revelation 2:17 ESV

A mature believer has moved beyond the old identity and takes this new self into a life of seeding that has hidden manna.

Manna could only be collected for an individual or a family. It is a solitary experience. Seeding cultivates a crop that feeds many people not just the individual.

I have heard people teach grace that emphasizes solitary life. A new identity that is solitary. It is foundational teaching. People need to know who they are and that they have been set free from slavery. They need to develop a strong vertical relationship with God. But there must be seeding grace balance. If folks are isolated they will never learn stewardship. People must learn to live with other people in the horizontal. There needs to be investment that takes time to blossom. Dealing with people requires a death to self that the solitary manna gatherer will not experience unless they make the transition to stewardship.

God has promised hidden manna to those that overcome. It has a daily grace provision that is available during planting, watering and harvesting. He isn't talking about winning on the outside only. He is talking about the battlefield of the mind. The battlefield of the soul. Those who war a good warfare from the new guilt free identity of freedom find manna they didn't see before. It is right there on their doorstep when they wake up. Hidden from the rest of the world but given to them and them alone. It becomes oil for the lantern of the soul.

Every morning can be a morning of new mercy. Lets live a seeding life where we are in the process of long term investments to see redemptive outcomes.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Praying With God

We had a long drive back from a trip today and I was thinking about the difference between praying 'to' and praying 'with' God and how I want to pray 'with' God for people and situations.

When someone is in a crisis and they ask you to pray they give you the details but they also often give you a result that they desire also. Often we see some of the details of what is happening with people or situations but what is the result that is really desirable?

When we are praying 'to' God only we are asking for the result we desire but when we pray 'with' God it is shared. There is a walk together that is happening where we are side by side and He is leading.

I want that... but am I willing to give up what I want to get it. Also do I know or have an inkling of what God wants or thinks?

"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." - 2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV

Two things leap out of this verse to me. God desires that no one would perish and that all would turn to Him and away from whatever is occupying the attention that only He should have.

Someone may say pray for my business, pray for my business partner or pray for my health. We want to pray with them for their desired result but if our prayer is just for what they want then are we praying to God or with God?

We can pray a prayer something like this, 'Prosper their business in your time Lord but let that business draw them close to You. Keep them alive and cause them to live in the midst of the details.'

Jesus prayed with His Father and when He paused to lay hands on a person for healing it was just an extension of that life of communion.

Wow. That's living.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind." - James 1:5-6 ESV

Let's face it. None of us really knows all the details but God may just fill in some of the gaps (on a need to know basis) if we are praying with Him and asking for wisdom then even if we have great gaps God is moving in the midst and answering because we are keeping pace with His mind.