Created for Good Works

A state of simple and pure devotion to the Lord God. No longer living for ourselves. Controlled by his love.  In relationship with him. We begin to mend. Recover. Rest. Return to the original.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

The sayings of my mouth.

Expressions that expose what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.

The meditation of my heart.

To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.

My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary]. (Ps 42)

Luke 2:34-35 – and Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, ‘Lo, this [one] is set for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against — (and also thine own soul shall a sword pass through) — that the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.’ (YLT)

This one [Christ Jesus] is set.
Set. To lie outstretched literally or figuratively. To place in a passive or horizontal posture; utterly prostrate.

This one is set for the falling and rising again of many
That the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed. To take the cover off; disclose.

Ps 89:46-48 – How long, O Lord? Will you hide [by covering] yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is! For what vanity you have created all the children of man! What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? (ESV)

For what vaity you have created all the children of man!

Vanity. The sense of desolating, left alone, deserted, laid waste; evil as destructive, literally ruin; morally especially guile, cunning in dealing with others; figuratively, idolatry, as false, uselessness as deceptive.1

When shall I come and appear before God? When shall I see God?

James 4:13-16 – Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (ESV)

You do not know.

What is your life?
Vanity
Idolatry
False
Uselessness
Deceptive
Destructive
Ruin.

You say:
We will live
We will go
We will do

You boast!
In your arrogance you boast
All such boasting is evil.
Vanity.

You do not know.
What is your life?
You are a mist
That appears and then vanishes
Vanity
Self-seeking.

You ought to say. To lay forth. Relate. In words.
You ought to say, “If the Lord wills.”

Will: to determine. As an active option from subjective impulse.2

Subjective: of, affected by, or produced by the mind or a particular state of mind; of or resulting from the feelings or temperament of the subject, or person thinking; not objective.3

Oh, that we would wake up! That we would cease being driven by the thoughts and feelings and passions of the temperament of our vessel of wrath. That we would no longer be controlled by our subjective state of mind. But instead, become actively engaged with Love, Grace and Fellowship, to think objectively.

2 Cor 5:14-16 – For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. (ESV)

Do you still regard yourself according to the flesh?
Do you live for yourself?
Or have you concluded that one has died for you?
Have you concluded that you have died?
Have you concluded that all have died?
Do you see through a new lens?
Do you now live?
Does the love of Christ control you?

If the Lord wills.

If the Lord wills. If the Lord determines. To set limits to; bound; define. To establish or affect the nature, kind, or quality of. To give direction to; shape or affect.3

Eph 2:8-10 – For by grace you have been saved [delivered, protected] through faith [reliance upon Christ]. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift [sacrifice] of God, not a result of works [toil, effort, act], so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ESV

We should/may walk: to live, deport oneself, follow as a companion, a person bound by a vow or promise, a person devoted to a particular object of worship.4

Do you live from a place of vanity, from a subjective state of mind, acting and reacting based on your own feelings, thoughts, ideas, and perceptions?

Or have you begun to see reality objectively?

If the Lord God determines, then I will go, then I will do, then I will prosper, according to his way and purpose. Have you become aware that the Lord God establishes and affects your nature and quality? Do you intentionally investigate and seek the Lord God who gives direction, shapes, moves, stirs, and produces change in you? Do you ignorantly or willfully work against him? Or are you learning to release what you think you know and need and want in order to receive what the Lord God wants for you? Are you bound to him? Are you devoted to him?

2 Cor 11:3 – and I fear that somehow your minds may be seduced away from simple and pure devotion to the Messiah, just as Havah [Eve] was deceived by the serpent and his craftiness. (CJB) 

Seduced. Deceived. Persuaded to be disloyal. The perversity and moral evil of wandering away from truth and life and love and intimate connection. Living for oneself. Vanity. This is the vessel of wrath.

The Lord God’s response to our seduction

What does the Lord God do about our seduction, disloyalty, arrogance, boasting, living for ourselves and the vanity that he has created for all human beings?

1 Peter 1:3-7 – Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven.  Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these trials is so that your trust’s genuineness, which is far more valuable than perishable gold, will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua the Messiah. (CJB)

In keeping with the great mercy of God, Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah

The Lord God has caused us to be born again. He has begotten us again. To bear. To procreate. To regenerate.5

Rejoice in this!

Rejoice in this even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials

The purpose of these trials

Is so that your trust’s genuineness will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Jesus the Messiah.

Trust. Be convinced by argument, true or false. To conciliate. To gain regard, good will.6

Trust

Through the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the dead
The Lord God has caused you to be born again
To a living hope
Vessel of mercy.

Because I lived from a subjective state of mind, and because I’d been deceived just like Eve, I did not see or feel or trust these words. I did not experience the life in these words for years. I did not understand that the hard work was already done! Done by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So, I continued to work hard to save myself. And I became more and more empty and dissatisfied and frustrated and angry, because I didn’t experience the reality of these words.

2 Cor 10:2-6 – I [apostle Paul] beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. For although we do live in the world, we do not wage war in a worldly way; because the weapons we use to wage war are not worldly. On the contrary, they have God’s power for demolishing strongholds. We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah. And when you have become completely obedient, then we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience. (CJB)

Walking according to the flesh
Vanity
Subjective impulse
Idolatry
False
Uselessness
Deceptive
Destructive
Ruin

I had not yet learned to see and hear objectively, from a perspective that was not tainted by my wounded, damaged psyche, or by faulty reasoning through incomplete knowledge and selfish expectations.

The process of overcoming the trap of our subjective mindset

Although we do live in the world
We do not wage war against the adversaries of our soul in a worldy way.
The weapons we use to wage war have God’s power for demolishing strongholds
For demolishing arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God.

God’s power
Every arrogance; every overbearing, unwarranted pride and self-importance.
God’s power
The knowledge of God

We take every thought captive

We make every thought a prisoner of war. We make every thought unable to act independently. We make every thought obliged to listen, whether wanting to or not.

We take every thought captive and make it obey [comply, submit to] the Messiah

Obedience: attentive hearkening, compliance or submission.7

How do we take every thought captive to attentively listen, comply and submit to the Messiah? The Lord Jesus Christ himself explains:

We take every thought captive

Matt 11:29-30 – 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.” (ESV)

Learn from me.
Set. To lie outstretched literally or figuratively. To place in a passive or horizontal posture; utterly prostrate.

And when
When you have become completely obedient
When your obedience is fulfilled
Then
Then we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience.

Completely fulfilled: To make replete, literally to cram; figuratively to furnish or imbue, diffuse, influence, satisfy, execute, finish, verify.8

When your obedience is completely fulfilled, stuffed full, crammed. When your obedience is furnished, supplied, provided, permeating and inspiring with principles, ideas, emotions, etc. When your obedience is satisfied, executed, finished, verified. Then we will be ready.

Be ready. Having. Being able to hold, keep, accompany, relation, begin to mend; conceive, recover, rest, return, vindicate, retaliate, punish.9

It seems that we tend to get the cart before the horse. In our subjective thinking, we expect retaliation and punishment first, to bring about obedience. But the Lord God seems to say the process is the exact opposite.

Completely obedient. A state of simple and pure devotion to the Lord God. No longer living for ourselves but for him who for our sake died and was raised. Controlled by his love.  Accompany him. In relationship with him. We begin to mend. Conceive. Recover. Rest. Return to the original. Cleared from criticism. This is the vessel of mercy. Ready to punish every act of disobedience by bringing every thought captive and making it obey the Messiah by imitating him.

The path to complete obedience

How did the Lord Jesus Christ meet this standard of obedience and this state of simple and pure devotion to the Lord God?

Heb 2:10 – For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. (ESV)

Make perfect: To complete, accomplish, consummate in character, finish.

Make perfect through suffering: To experience a sensation or impression, usually painful. Hardship, pain, an emotion or influence, passion, strong desire or appetite.10

Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.

Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart to spirit. Anticipate unifying of body, mind and spirit to mirror and imitate the life of Jesus.

Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions.

Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.

When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul. Tomorrow, meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)

 

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8)

I encourage you to look for ways and practices to help you become aware of Holy Spirit and to relinquish all that you have and all that you are to Holy Spirit’s convicting, enlightening, restorative ministrations.

A practice that has been life-changing for me comes from Psalm 46:10.

Ps 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)

Be still.
It’s a paradox.
Be still. A state of being. Am. Is. Stay, remain as in was, were.
It’s a process of letting go in order to rediscover Life that was forfeited.
It’s a process of ceasing, stopping, to be destroyed, and dying in order to be redeemed.
It’s a process of abandoning and neglecting in order to be healed and made whole.

It’s a process of opposing, contending, and striving in order to give up, renounce, leave, and abandon self-interest that is death, forfeiture of Life.

It’s a process of becoming weak, feeble, to be wept over in order to return to the original Life that was forfeited, but is bought back by the only One who has Life in himself.

Be still, consequently
Know

Know, not in the sense of accumulating facts and figures, receiving answers about what to do to get a good life, but know as in relationship. Know as in Being. Awareness, consciousness, discernment, recognition, acquaintance, familiar friend, feel, perceive, have respect, have understanding, instruction, presence, fellowship.

Be still.

Letting the vessel of wrath prepared for destruction go in order to know the riches of God’s glory for vessels of mercy.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Vanity: OT:7723 <START HEBREW>aw=v*<END HEBREW> shav’ (shawv); or shav (shav); from the same as OT:7722 in the sense of desolating; evil (as destructive), literally (ruin) or morally (especially guile); figuratively idolatry (as false, subjective), uselessness (as deceptive, objective; also adverbially, in vain): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Will: NT:2309 <START GREEK>qe/lw<END GREEK> thelo (thel’-o); or ethelo (eth-el’-o); in certain tenses theleo (thel-eh’-o); and etheleo (eth-el-eh’-o); which are otherwise obsolete; apparently strengthened from the alternate form of NT:138; to determine (as an active option from subjective impulse; whereas NT:1014 properly denotes rather a passive acquiescence in objective considerations), i.e. choose or prefer (literally or figuratively); by implication, to wish, i.e. be inclined to (sometimes adverbially, gladly); impersonally for the future tense, to be about to; by Hebraism, to delight in: KJV – desire, be disposed (forward), intend, list, love, mean, please, have rather, (be) will (have, -ling, -ling [-ly]). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Webster’s Dictionary.

4We should walk: NT:4043 <START GREEK>peripate/w<END GREEK> peripateo (per-ee-pat-eh’-o); from NT:4012 and NT:3961; to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figuratively, to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.) [And Webster’s Dictionary.]

5Has caused us to be born again: NT:313 <START GREEK>a)nagenna/w<END GREEK> anagennao (an-ag-en-nah’-o); from NT:303 and NT:1080; to beget or (by extension) bear (again):

NT:1080 <START GREEK>genna/w<END GREEK> gennao (ghen-nah’-o); from a variation of NT:1085; to procreate (properly, of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively, to regenerate:

(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Trust: NT:3982 <START GREEK>pei/qw<END GREEK> peitho (pi’-tho); a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

7Obedience: NT:5218 <START GREEK>u(pakoh/<END GREEK> hupakoe (hoop-ak-o-ay’); from NT:5219; attentive hearkening, i.e. (by implication) compliance or submission: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

8Completely. Fulfilled: NT:4137 <START GREEK>plhro/w <END GREEK> pleroo (play-ro’-o); from NT:4134; to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

9Having/being ready: NT:2192<START GREEK>e&xw<END GREEK> echo (ekh’-o); including an alternate form scheo (skheh’-o); used in certain tenses only); a primary verb; to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possessions; ability, continuity, relation, or condition): KJV – be (able,  hold, possessed with), accompany,  begin to amend, can (+-not),  conceive, count, diseased, do  eat,  enjoy,  fear, following, have, hold, keep,  lack,  go to law, lie,  must needs,  of necessity,  need, next,  recover,  reign,  rest,  return,  sick, take for,  tremble,  uncircumcised, use. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

10Suffering: NT:3804 <START GREEK>pa/qhma<END GREEK> pathema (path’-ay-mah); from a presumed derivative of NT:3806; something undergone, i.e. hardship or pain; subjectively, an emotion or influence:

NT:3806 <START GREEK>pa/qo$<END GREEK> pathos (path’-os); from the alternate of NT:3958; properly, suffering (“pathos”), i.e. (subjectively) a passion (especially concupiscence):

NT:3958 <START GREEK>pa/sxw<END GREEK> pascho (pas’-kho); including the forms (patho (path’-o) and pentho (pen’-tho)), used only in certain tenses for it; apparently a primary verb; to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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