Spiritual Static

Have you ever had to put together or replace components of your “home entertainment system” ?  If so you know how challenging this can be.  I remember when it was referred to as A/V equipment-audio/visual.

When I did this, my biggest challenge was sound.  I could get the sound from the t.v. speakers but not from the external ones.  I was able to get sound with static, static only and sound with static.   The static was so bad that it was not worth it to turn the speakers on.   Turns out the amplifier needed to be replaced.  Once that was done, the sound worked the way it was supposed to.

Our walks with God can be like that too.  Sometimes there is static interfering with our ability to her or worship Him.  This static can be from many things: a busy season in life, sin, people  who are around us, the place we worship.

Some of us are good at being able to stay focused on Him despite the static.  Others of us find that we are putting so much energy reminding ourselves to stay focused on Him, that there is little left over for worship or hearing Him.

If you are someone experiencing static from where you worship, a good test to use is this:

Can you honestly say you would feel comfortable with bringing a friend/acquaintance there and would you feel comfortable recommending it to people inquiring about Shabbat and the Feast Days?  If the answer is no and remains that way over a few months time, that is a good indicator that you are experiencing spiritual static.

Shabbat and His Feasts are supposed to be times of rest, joy, delight, and worship of Him.  Static interferes with our ability to do that.

This post is part of Shabbat Shalom Link Up.

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Psalm 99

Beautiful song.

We All Need to Stick Together

I was told this by a well meaning, sweet individual.  I understand the point that was made, but this statement is not true.  There are many times when people of faith did not stick together and the Bible has numerous stories of this.

In my situation, if we had all stuck together, I would not have had the ongoing challenge that I did.  People chose not to stick with me and I am sure some of them are wondering why I am doing or not doing certain things now.  Past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior and I still do not see changes from before so I will continue what I’ve been doing.

Denying Deity

This weeks STLS topic was open-so we could write about anything that was on our minds. I decided to write about a teaching I heard recently.

I heard a guest speaker a while back and found his comments on Matthew 15:22-28 interesting. His conclusion was that it was this incident that made Yeshua realize he was here to minister to all people, not just Israelites.

What?! The first time he said it I asked myself if I had heard correctly. He did repeat the thought a couple more times so I did hear it correctly.

This man does not realize this, but by stating what he did, he has denied Yeshua’s deity. Of course Yeshua knew that he came to die for all people. He had this encounter with the Canaanite woman to see if she was serious about her faith and to show his disciples that they are to take the Gospel to all people.

There are enough people denying Yehsua’s deity already-we certainly don’t need help from within our ranks to deny it too. And the worst thing is that this man does not even realize his thinking is faulty. How many people will he inadvertently turn away from Him by his conclusion?

Pastors and teachers really need to be careful when they study and teach the Word.

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More on Spiritual Gifts

I took both quizzes that Daiquiri had on her site, and compared the results. Interesting. The most interesting thing was that one of the quizzes had me having some gift of mercy, and the other quiz showed me not having any mercy at all.

The other section that had the biggest dichotomy was discernment-one showed that I had it fairly high, and the other one didn’t show me having any discernment at all.

One quiz showed me high in artistic and the other quiz doesn’t even have that as a category.

Like I said, interesting.

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Dancing In The Spirit

This weeks’ STLS topic is spiritual gifts. This is another issue that has been on my mind recently, due to a discussion about “Dancing in the Spirit “I was having on a board recently.

It’s interesting because the posters seem to be evenly split in beliefs. The person who started the post was wondering what we thought about this and if it was possible. It is possible, but what he thinks is of the spirit and what I think are not the same. I’m sure that’s probably not a surprise to those of you that have been reading my other posts in this carnival.

Anyway he was saying that people would run around the place and end up somewhere in the building without knowing how they got there-he also said they’d be crying, shouting. I said that crying and shouting are not dancing-they can be done while you dance, they can be an expression of praise and worship, but by themselves they are not dance. He disagreed that those things weren’t dance.

What bothered me most about this is the “they don’t know how they ended up there”. He also implied that a choreographed, practiced dance could not be of the Spirit since it was a practiced dance. I disagreed and said the Spirit can indeed be felt in a practiced dance.

I also pointed out that in scripture, every time people were moved by the spirit, they knew it. Not once did they say “I don’t know how I got here”, but rather they said “The spirit moved me”:

Ezekiel 37 , Revelation 1:10, 4:2, 17:3 and 21:10 are just some examples of this.

There are also the fruits of the Spirit to consider-namely the self control fruit. God is a God of order, not chaos, so how is it possible to “dance in the spirit” and not know how one got to point b from point a?

I am not against dancing as a way to praise and worship Him. How could I be when I am the co-dance leader in my congregation? But we should be able to recogonize when the His spirit moves us and when it is something else.

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Salvation vs. Sanctification

I missed the last couple of STLS-one due to Shavuot and then the next week I just plain forgot about this carnival. I’m back now and when I saw the topic this week was our choice, I decided on this one.

Truthfully this has been on my mind the past few months, because it has been coming up quite a bit on some boards I read. The most recent instance is a conversation about a certain preacher. I also know people that get the “you are working for your salvation” comment frequently, due to the holidays they celebrate.

Let me be clear-there is nothing any one of us can do to earn our salvation form a holy, perfect righteous God. We can come to Him just as we are. Salvation has always been by faith something the Old Testament (OT) has proven time and again. Remember that in Yeshua and the Apostles time, the only Scripture they had was the OT. The NT was not in existence when they walked the earth and did their miracles. The Scriptures the Bereans sought to see if what the Apostles said was true was the OT.

How did Abraham receive his righteousness:

Galatians 3:6

“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

He believed God-nothing else.

There is however a difference between salvation and sanctification. Most believers seem to have their focus only on salvation and not sanctification.

Sanctification should be the result of salvation. Sanctification means making ourselves more like Yeshua and Jehovah every day. Seeking to be their image of holiness and righteousness. Sanctification takes work. One will not and can not be sanctified-becoming holy-without work.

In the New Testament (NT) there are times when salvation is equalled with sanctification:

Phl 2:12

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

This is a NT verse, not an OT one so it does contradict the thought that one does not work at salvation, does it not?

When we go to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, we have numerous entries for salvation-this is one of them:

“(c)…this present experience on the part of believers is virtually equivalent to sanctification;”

It is also equated with gaining wisdom and is not something to be neglected. Gaining wisdom is also work and we know that the wise man is to be blessed.

When we go to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, here is what it says for sanctification:

“involves more than a mere moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the truth: it is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul
in regeneration. In other words, sanctification is the carrying on to perfection the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man ( Rom 6:13; 2Cr 4:6; Col 3:10; 1Jo 4:7; 1Cr 6:19). It is the special office of the Holy Spirit in the
plan of redemption to carry on this work ( 1Cr 6:11; 2Th 2:13). Faith is instrumental in securing sanctification, inasmuch as it ( 1) secures union to Christ ( Gal 2:20), and ( 2) brings the believer into living contact with the truth, whereby he is led to yield obedience “to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come.”

Perfect sanctification is not attainable in this life ( 1Ki 8:46; Pro 20:9; Ecc 7:20; Jam 3:2; 1Jo 1:8). See Paul’s account of himself in Rom 7:14-25; Phl 3:12-14; and 1 Tim. 1:15; also the confessions of David ( Psa 19:12,13; 51), of Moses ( 90:8), of Job ( Job 42:5,6), and of Daniel ( Dan 9:3-20). “The more holy a man is, the more humble, self-renouncing, self-abhorring, and the more sensitive to every sin he becomes, and the more closely he clings to Christ. The moral imperfections which cling to him he feels to be sins, which he laments and strives to overcome. Believers find that their life is a constant warfare, and they need to take the kingdom of heaven by storm, and watch while they pray. They are always subject to the constant chastisement of their Father’s loving hand, which can only be designed to correct their imperfections and to confirm their graces. And it has been notoriously the fact that the best Christians have been those who have been the least prone to claim the attainment of perfection for themselves.”, Hodge’s Outlines.”

Indeed, that is work. We should be encouraging this work not slapping people who are doing and preaching this with “you’re preaching salvation by works”.

And if salvation does not have work attached to it let’s not forget the words of Yeshua himself in Revelation 3:16-19:

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need
of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

Being tried in the fire-is that not work? And if salvation is not work, why would Yeshua say he would spit those out of his mouth that are lukewarm?

Because salvation in these passages I quoted is being equated with sanctification. Once one has received Yeshua as Lord, then the work is just beginning. There should be a change and if there is not, then people are not working out their salvation with fear and trembling, which is one of the NT scriptural demands.

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