“PRECONCEPTION”

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter (murder) AGAINST the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired (asked) of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way (followers of Christ), whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound (arrested) unto Jerusalem.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus; and SUDDENLY there SHINED ROUND ABOUT HIM A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN: and he FELL to the earth, and HEARD a voice saying into him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said WHO ART THOU, LORD? and the Lord said, I am Jesus who thou persecutest: it is hard to kick against the pricks. (pricks meaning goads, it all meant that was USELESS for Saul to even attempt to resist the Lord)

And he TREMBLING and ASTONISHED said, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and IT SHALL be told thee what thou must do.

And the men with journeyed with him stood speechless, HEARING a voice, but SEEING NO MAN. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.  And he was there three days WITHOUT SIGHT, and NEITHER DID EAT OR DRINK.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; AND TO HIM SAID THE LORD IN A VISION, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he may receive his sight.

THEN Ananias answered, Lord, I have HEARD BY MANY OF THIS MAN, HOW MUCH EVIL (harm) HE HATH DONE to thy saints at Jerusalem: And he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name.

BUT the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my names sake.” Acts 9: 1-16

Now got some serious events going on right there, as we know it as “the conversion of Saul/Paul” God was taking a man whom had made his LIFE all about persecuting Christians and at that time to even bind women and drag them off was especially despicable but what Saul did, he did one hundred percent, and gave it all he had to give.

And the beauty is that his TRUE PREDESTINATION was a total 360 and the cause he so hated would be the cause that he would ultimately and WILLING GIVE HIS LIFE in favor of!

And once his spiritual eyes were OPENED to the Lord, he did not even try to fight it because he knew he had BEEN WRONG and that he was now had. The other insight into all things human with this, is that Saul, whose entire being would be changed, EVEN his name, as he would now journey roads that led to so much greater than Damascus, roads that could only be navigated in his PREORDAINED, DESTINATION of walking those roads no longer as Saul the Enforcer, but as Paul the Apostle and truly remarkably, while Saul was YET blinded, and horrified, in complete darkness, God ALREADY told Ananias His own divine plan for Paul’s mission!

So see, Ananias, even though he was TERRIFIED of Saul, knew the work Paul would do BEFORE Paul even knew! So we are going in this post to the land of preconceptions, you know, that nasty little place that we arrive at when we decide a persons worth based on what we HEAR, just as Ananias had HEARD all these things about Saul, and while these things HAD BEEN TRUE after GOD CHANGED PAUL, they no longer held any merit and often we judge others based on pre-Christ lives and ancient history and how are we benefitting them, witnessing to them, or furthering the Kingdom of God by doing this?

pre·con·cep·tion
[ˌprēkənˈsepSH(ə)n]

NOUN
preconceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun)
a preconceived idea or prejudice.

(from Oxford Dictionary)

I had the most strange encounter, I had recently met a person and pick up no weird vibes or maliciousness coming from them and it happened that another person, I had never met, strikes up a conversation and we start talking and they bring up this other person and that I should know them and they proceed to tell me in about three minutes the entire life history of the other, and of course, the good, the bad, and the most of all the horrific.

And of course I am trying to figure out, in my head, why on earth did they feel the need to tell me all that?

I often remember something the “old-timers” always preached.. that we CAN KILL A PERSON with our words, we KILL their reputation, we KILL their testimony by CHOOSING to share every single detail of their lives NEEDLESSLY and usually those details are never of any good they may have done, BUT all the bad, all the mistakes, and the WORST possible “proofs of character” or rather proof of LACK thereof.

And as I questioned all this, in my heart, the sovereignty of God and goodness of Him came shining through as I actually overheard a conversation between the person “in question” and another, and they were actually talking about GOD, and they used a scripture that they said had helped them through a situation. And all that was said, was all I needed to hear because I know as a minister, that the wording they chose is only chosen by people who truly believe.

So anyway, I pondered the whole deal, and I was like, what was THAT all about?

And I came up with this conclusion, of course sometimes we are WARNED in life, BUT what if, sometimes, we are told things to make us fear another SO THAT WE WILL NOT SHARE THE GOSPEL, things told us so that we will be so guarded and not give a person even a moment, the benefit of doubt and to prevent us from even trying to see WHO they are in Christ, whether of not, they even ARE in Christ YET.

Just as Ananias had to be reassured by the Lord, sometimes we need to ask God to reassure us, we have no business in the pasts of others, we WERE NOT in their past but if God has placed us on the same path, in their present, even for  a moment, we owe them the same respect and opportunity to “prove” their character as we ourselves desire.

Because as the Bible so eloquently states in Romans 3:22,23:

EVEN the righteousness of God which is BY FAITH of JESUS CHRIST unto ALL and upon ALL that BELIEVE: for THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE: For ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME (fall) SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.”

That is the deal, MAYBE God wants us to try to see others AS He sees them, He SEES them as what they CAN be, what He created them to be, in the spiritual work that He predestined and when He forgives, He FORGIVES and FORGETS and He never considers those sins again, so why should we?

Why are we allowed to hold against others actions that we had no stake in or right to accuse now? And if we do CHOOSE to hold those negative thoughts, attitudes, and PRECONCEPTIONS about them, then WE could very well be the ones who cause them to stumble and cause them to stay who they once were rather than being lights and encouraging them to have faith and embrace who they can become in Christ!

And again, I want to STRESS that if you KNOW a person to be in danger through another person, or that they are ABSOLUTELY going to cause harm, BY ALL MEANS warn whoever is in that path, and I want to STRESS, I personally DO NOT BELIEVE we have to be buddies with people who have wrecked our lives, we do have to forgive but we are not required to hang out with them.

BUT please really, really consider what NEEDS to be said about  a person or their past BEFORE saying it, and ask YOURSELF this question, IF that IS who they STILL are, or WHO they STILL want to be, would they NOT STILL BE THERE IN THAT SAME PLACE, SITUATION, OR LIFESTYLE? 

People DO NOT change until THEY WANT to change and we NEED to be discreet in our disclosures (UNLESS, they are warranted) and LET them change!

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed week, Love & Peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

AMONG THE THORNS

“As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters” Song of Solomon 2:2
The beautiful spiritual garden of the Lord, filled with every plant and flower to be imagined and the plot he has chosen for you to grow in.

You have been created in the image of God, the enemy knows this and he knows the value of the true beauty which you possess. He despises it, so he plants his briers in your life to rip and shred that image until there is nothing left but bloody, twisted, painful wounds.

Thorns, the gnarled twisted vines that entangle us and who we believe ourselves to be.

Their razor-sharp points piercing our souls, preventing our movement in either direction for fear of their sharp sting. If left to grow they will completely take over our souls.

“There is that (one who) speaketh like the piercings of a sword.” Proverbs 12:18(a)

We go through some pretty rough stuff in this life but often the real damage to us is not caused by physical sufferings but rather through words. Words are so powerful, that is why Jesus is referred to as “THE WORD”, He spoke everything into existence and the enemy loves nothing more than to battle you with his own perverted, twisted, destructive words.

As the Bible states, those words stab our hearts, souls and spirit to a greater degree than any dagger ever might, because these cuts go straight to the heart.

“Four Eyes”, “Dumb”, “Stupid”, “Wimp”, “Fat”, “Bone rack”, “Flat chest”,” Slut”, “Idiot”, “Cry Baby”, “Should have never been born”, “Never will amount to anything”.

Of course, they are always offered to us with the all too familiar, “YOUR…’ which automatically red flags our minds which have been programmed to the values of this world and our social need to conform to default to self-blame.

It hurts just reading them doesn’t it? These words are so powerful and carry so much force that even not being spewed hatefully at us, they still affect our emotions.

Words piercing our souls, and so many young men and women in our world today have listened to those words and the thorns that accompanied them are now strangling everything a Holy, loving Father has created them to be.

Society has set levels of supposed beauty and social conduct that are both impossible to achieve and disgraceful.
We have all been there at one point or another in life, maybe you are there now and the effects of these words can linger for life.

Self destruct mode takes over when those thorns have convinced us that rather than rid ourselves of them, that we must instead change ourselves to accommodate their presence.

IF we were prettier, more handsome, bigger busted, more muscled, slimmer, sexier, had better skin, whiter teeth, had more friends or could get that perfect date.
Maybe we could fit if we drank more, tried the cool drugs, give our virtue away to everyone who asked, losing a little of our soul each time, joy, self-esteem and self-worth being strangled out, while depression, guilt and shame moves comfortably into their spot.

Achieve one goal and a new one will be set because that score board is rigged and it forever changes to keep the players on the field right where the enemy wants them.

If it is so grand, why do so many celebrities commit suicide and die from drug overdoses?
Their souls have become so covered by thorns even all the money, fame and power can’ take the pain away, they are so miserable inside that they can no longer bear living.

These thorns manifest themselves in many, many ways the most common alcoholism, drug addictions, pornography and gambling addictions, cutting and eating disorders and host of self-destructive behaviors.

We, as Christians must get our heads out of fairy land and see what is really take place in the lives of those Christ sent us to minister to and start acknowledging that these problems are very real and offer help to the untold number of teens and adults that suffer alone in silence, fearing that they will be farther ridiculed if their secrets are out.

We have to teach them that is okay to talk about these things and that there is help and most of all there is hope.
The realization has to come that THERE IS NO STANDARD! We are fearfully and wonderfully  created, completely on purpose by someone who loves and does not make mistakes.

He wants us all to feel beautiful from the inside out and most of that our true value will be found in Him. That we would understand that true beauty comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and personalities.

Just as roses, daisies and orchids are completely different and yet all equally as stunning.
His love is as the lily, the beautiful precious thing, completely surrounded by those thorns.
His love and His love alone is the only force that can cut all the thorns away and allow us to grow in that beautiful garden, being ourselves, just exactly who he intended us to be.

Hold on to God, give him all your pain and trust him because “HE IS THE ROSE OF SHARON AND THE LILY OF THE VALLEYS” and you are beautiful in Him!
Original Post Date:06/06/2014 

All rights reserved. Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

 

ASHES

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Ashes, sometimes all that is all that is left of what once was your life all that was held precious and dear, all that is left of what once was and most importantly what will be never again. Maybe you feel that way today, maybe you have wounds that are so deep, wounds that are […]