Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ezekiel 33: 10 - 11

“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’
 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

God here, is saying  much more (See full passage Ezekiel 33:10-20) but I wish to talk about what came to me personally as I read this passage.

I've often thought God must do the work in me. If He didn't turn me away from my unrighteousness and to His way, I was hopelessly lost.  And there is definitely truth in that.  God does the work but He gives me a share in His work.

So,  I am seeing God expects me to do the turning away: from my iniquity, from my unrighteousness, from my sins of omission or commission, or just from my careless wrongdoing.  It's called repentance.

     Repentance is turning away from sin.                     
                        It's a choice.

The bottom line is we always choose first, then we do.  Sometimes after our acts have become a habit, we get to feeling we have no choice but, ever and always, even with a strong habit, we first choose to act  - God's way or my way.

There is an onslaught against all mankind. It is from our great enemy - Satan.  His success is in how he packages his lies. What he offers looks so very glamorous, fulfilling, satisfying, desirable.

However, as there is no TRUTH in him, all he offers is a counterfeit of the reality God offers. 

Satan seeks ever to destroy God's creation. His real issue is with his own creator, the Father God he chose to rebel against. But, since he cannot touch God, he seeks to destroy God's creation.  He seeks to draw us into rebellion against, and independence from our Creator.  But, he is a thief.
                      The thief comes only to steal and kill
                            and destroy.
                            I came that they may have life and 
                            have it abundantly.  (John 10:10)

Once we have formed a negative habit the choice become more difficult because what we are now battling is a stronghold.

God uses no weapons on or against us; no coercion; no manipulation; no intimidation; no distorted truth. He holds out rather:
  Hope   Peace   Joy   Love   To be His very own

Though God never invades our will He has given us weapons (tools) to do His will. We are not left to fight alone.  But to fight is our job, with God’s weapons.

Just remember:
              We are not PROVING ourselves to God.

After all, it is He who reaches out first to us, who has made the first move already.  He tells us in Revelation 3:20 that He is standing at the door and knocking.  So, He is not looking for proof of our success.

             We are not WORKING for our salvation.

For, only the righteousness that He provides is a valid
righteousness. This is not about salvation, but about repentance from our sin/sins.

And in Repentance we are making a CHOICE to agree with Him. With that CHOICE we are giving Him the
right to carry on His purpose in our lives.

What we need to remember is as Christians we have amazingly more power than we sometimes think.  Power in and through Christ Jesus.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rooms by James Rubart

This book reminded me somewhat of Ethel Barrett's Holy War, and in kind, somewhat of The Shack by William Young. Of course, it is unique and not a copy cat of other styles - but I only say the likeness, to show you a bit of how it affected me.

I always love Ethel Barrett's Story, describing  how the enemy attacked the eye gate, and the ear gate etc of the great city, seeking to breech it's walls and take control.

Rooms  on the other hand is the story of a one occupied / filled up by self and where self was overwhelmed by the gods/idols who came along with the territory. It is a story of God's intervention to bring freedom and life.

I admit, even as an avid fantasy reader, it took me half the book to really figure out it's not a straight forward tale of a man's life. It is beautifully written and has the effect of lingering and forcing me to consider it in the light of my own life and walk with the Lord. Below is the Authors own write up about his book. I am eager for his next two projected books to be published.


On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out.

Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend.

When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way.

But as he slowly discovers, the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.

Available in all major bookstores and online.

Order from Barnes & Noble here. Order from Amazon here. Also available online from CBD, LifeWay, Books A Million, Family Christian Stores, and others.

I personally ordered this book at Alibris as my own book seller of choice.