Who would you say has been a great leader? Is there a life coach, a financial guru, an historical leader, a political leader, or Religious leader, an author, a sports coach, military leader, or any hero you would follow if you had the chance?
Jesus said, “Follow me.” But what does he offer as a leader? Let’s consider.
1.) He focuses on the eternals, not the dead-ends. Sins forgiven.
2.) He increases the inner life, a focus on spirit, and temperance of flesh.
3.) He gets your mind off yourself. More blessed to give than to receive.
4.) He offers power to transform, and also transform others.
5.) He offers this power in the Holy Spirit. He teaches that the Holy Spirit is a living dynamo, dynamite, in us, if we follow Him.
6.) He stands against wrong, offers light, not darkness; offers truth, not lies; love, not hate; peace, not fear; and empowers us to do the same.
7.) He leads us against the great dragon, enemy of your soul.
8). We are the Lion, the Eagle, the Ox, and the Man. He sends us out like sheep among wolves. But we have power the wolves don’t understand. Sheep have the Shepherd, and follow him. We are gentle as doves but wise as serpents. Even the wolves of Rome could not defeat the sheep of Christ.
9.) We learn of things unseen, and dwell under the shadow of the supernatural.
10.) We learn the power of child-like faith, to move mountains.
Jesus says, “Follow me.” He offers to be your leader.
All Superheroes have a super power, but what did God give you? The very fact you’re not good at a lot of things, but very good at a few, shows where your powers lie. How much are you using them? Do you get to use them?
Obviously I’m not talking about your ability to dodge bullets, leap over tall buildings, or throw cars around, but I’ll bet you’re like me, not very good at a lot of things, but above average in a few, and that’s where you love to live. That’s where you come alive!
I’ve heard people with a gift to sing sending chills up my spine in awe! But I can’t. I’m also not mechanical. I love hot cars but I’ve never had one because I hate working on them! And hiring it done is too expensive! So no sleek muscle car for me. But I can live with that, because those are not my super powers, as much as I might enjoy it if they were.
After all, Spiderman can’t be Wolverine, he has to be Spiderman! And the world needs a Spiderman! How would it look if Aquaman tried to be Thor? Or Black Widow, Captain America? We each must be who we are, not who we are not, and each of us have our own powers.
What would be my top three? I love writing… and teaching spiritual things of God… and I’m pretty good at remodeling a house. I hate working on a car, but I enjoy improving a house. I seem to understand what it takes for a house to work much more than I do a car. I also understand a life that flows in Spirit, walking in the power of God. I understand how God has designed things to work, and I love studying it, digging for deeper understandings.
So what would I choose as my top super power, out of those three? Teaching the power of a life with God. No question about it, that’s me. Even all my writings pertain to that in some way. But I made my living as a truck driver. As of yet, writing and teaching has never paid the bills, but that’s alright, Spidey was under appreciated too, and I still love my powers. In fact, God never meant for our powers to be about the money. For many of us, the lure of money is a danger to the proper use of our super powers.
But why am I bringing this up? To ask you if you’re using your super powers? Do they have a place on a front burner, or are they lost in a life out of control? And are you using your powers for God, the one who gave them to you? Oh you may think you’re just that good! But no, you accidentally fell into a vat of weird unknown chemicals and instead of it killing you, YOU BECAME YOU! I hope you like yourself. God wants you to.
Perhaps you’re not happy with his choices? You’re stuck with being Spiderman and you’d rather be Thor? Well I suggest you get over it! Be thankful you’re still alive! (After falling in that vat!) Start being the best Spiderman you can be. There are a lot of people out there needing what O’Spidey has to offer. They need help and Spidey can save the day, if he will. Get right with God and get those super powers in gear. And don’t forget to thank him for your incredible life. The life you have the chance to live, if you just begin to truly appreciate and develop your God-given gifts. It’s supernatural.
So what’s your top three? And what do you choose as your number one?
This is just something a little different from Soul Sailor tonight. Just the mood I’m in.
I built this teepee as a spiritual get-away. Jesus was both a physical and spiritual carpenter too.
If we are three part beings: physical, mental, and spiritual; which is YOUR dominant trait? Are you a rowboat, motorboat, or sailboat? This is one of my favorite analogies to share. It has delivered clarification and inspiration to my soul many times. It is my constant.
Of course the spiritual person would be the sailboat, driven by theWind. The rowboat is a very physical person, perhaps even one of those very sleek, fast, and fancy rowboats used in the races, or maybe an old beat-up canoe. That leaves the motorboat. This is the mentally dominated person who by the power of the mind invents the gasoline engine to power his boat. Now he can rip and roar by man-made power and ignore the Wind. Whether we like to admit it or not, most people have a dominate lifestyle choice, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. We do choose. We can choose and do choose; with or without the help of God.
So try to envision with me the sweat and strain of the Rowboat, or the noise and power of the Motorboat churning up the waters, or the peace and beauty of the Sailboat. Now I think we all look at the beauty of a Sailboat with great admiration, it touches our soul, but in spite of that, statistics show most of us never become true Soul Sailors, we’ve always been a minority.
It is interesting to note we are currently in a forced event that would test the metal of any Soul Sailor. If you claim to be the Captain of a sailboat, have you felt the strain of staying true to your chosen path? Did you panic over toilet paper? Did you need anti-anxiety meds? Have you gone stir crazy in the house? Did your prayer life grow? Your study time? Your peace? Or have the shipboards been moaning and creaking under the strain? Do not fear brothers and sisters, your sails will see you through long after the Motorboat has been too long at sea and run out of gas, and the Rowboat is adrift, overwhelmed with exhaustion.
Of course this Blog Site is all about being a true Soul Sailor. For those who hunger for such a romantic life at sea, this is the place to be! I take the word “sailor” very literally. In other words, I love those who are so dedicated to the Wind that they have thrown the oars overboard! They have cut the motor loose and watched it sink to the ocean floor! They are true sailors! They are entirely dependent upon their sails catching the power and direction of the Wind! They are in love with the Wind and Sea!
Are we in uncharted waters? Whether we be Rowboat, Motorboat, or Sailboat, I think we are. Rowboats are already busy in the kitchen, perhaps in a panic, trying to work their way through this. Motorboats are studying the stock market and trying to think their way through. But Sailboats? They’re at the feet of Jesus simply in love with his every word.
In some ways, nothing ever really changes for us. And I mean that in a good way. Things outside us change a lot, but that within us has been trained to maintain course. We do not walk by sight, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God! Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. It’s good to have that kind of control, no matter what storms may arise. That which happens around us does not change that which is within us.
Jesus even said once: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.“ (John 3:8)
Many claim to live by the Wind, but their lifestyle, their daily actions, indicates otherwise.
I’m keeping this short because as all of us Captains of the various boats are navigating these uncharted waters, I feel led to delve into this my favorite analogy for a series. This will be the opening article for a series I’m calling: “Soul Sailors” I want to raise up more true spiritual sailors. I want to encourage all those who have a heart like Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, in love with the sea, the Spirit, while Martha raced around in the kitchen worried and fretting over many things. Jesus did rebuke her, you realize. He said it in kindness, but it was a rebuke.
I hope you will enjoy this series and not miss a single beautiful sunrise as we fall more and more in love with life at sea in a sailboat powered by the Wind!
Oh Egypt, you paid such a price that day in your stubbornness against God. Why did your first-born sons have to die in order for a people to be saved from your evil? The picture you did paint for us to see, a picture now thousands of years old, and yet as relevant today as was then! The sound of your weeping filled the air that night! But nary a one of those who embraced the blood of the Lamb.
The first born son of God died so a people could go free. Believers. Is that you and me? But now he has become the FIRST-BORN of many sons and daughters in God! His death brought life! His death brought many spiritual births! His death brought life to the dead! It all happened when he overcame death and rose from that dark place bringing forth God’s Kingdom in power, never to die again! BUT IS THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB ON YOUR DOOR? If so, why not show your neighbors? Why not show your community? Why not show the world? Are you afraid? Embarrassed? Too much effort? Don’t be afraid, but be filled with faith! This is but a baby step! Let it be the first born of many! Let this be your not so silent witness.
So is it just a strange coincidence that every major move of the Old Covenant has darkness connected to it? Please read previous article if you have not, where we began laying a foundation for this teaching, and now we continue, by looking at the individual examples, starting with the fall of Adam and Eve, and where God first mentions one who will come and crush the devil’s head.
Our goal is to point out how darkness was connected to each of the major moves. So with the fall of Adam and Eve, lets set the stage. We’re talking Genesis chapter 3. Eve listens to the snake in the tree, partakes of forbidden fruit, gives to Adam, and he listens to Eve thereby disobeying God and opening mankind up for sin and death! So what is important for our first point begins in verse 8, where it says : “When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden.” (And this is when they try to hide.)
This is also where I first was struck with the idea of Covenant of Darkness, because it seemed logical to me that if it’s already “evening”, cool evening breezes, then by the time God calls Adam out, and each of them try to explain what has happened, and then God begins giving out the judgement for the offense, in which he also speaks of a seed that will be born of the woman to do what? Crush the head of the devil. This is prophetic. It is referring to salvation in Christ, which pertains to both the Old and New Covenants. This is given in verse 15, setting this as the first major announcement of the Covenant. And you can bet Satan knew what this meant and began watching for this child from that very day forward! Perhaps he thought Abel was the one!
But logically speaking, after all this is accomplished, then God made clothes for them from animal skins, and considered what would happen if they ate of the Tree of Life in their fallen condition. After all this, Adam and Eve are finally expelled from the garden. Logic seems to dictate it would be dark by this time. Also, it would be more “fitting” for it to be dark as they are expelled, because they have fallen from the light and entered into darkness. As the gate of Eden opens and they prepare to leave, nothing but darkness is before them. This is what got me to thinking.
Because scripture does not actually say it was dark, it never really occurred to me before. But when it did suddenly dawn on me, my curiosity began to run with this thought. The fact that the Old Covenant only proves man guilty and worthy of hell and darkness, caused me to wonder if God connected darkness to all of it? And it seems he did!
Abraham would be the next major move, and this example is very plain and bold! Almost right in your face! Because there seems to be no good reason to wait for darkness to fall, and yet God does! Genesis chapter 15. This is a major major move! This is where God cuts the Covenant with Abraham. He has him sacrifice several animals and lay the bodies out on the ground, where the two covenant partners will walk through those dead bodies and enter covenant.
According to verse 10, Abraham prepares the sacrifices and all is ready. Now he is waiting. In verse 11, some vultures begin swooping down looking for a free meal, and Abraham has to start fighting them away! Where is God? What is he waiting for?
In verse 12 it plainly says, “As the sun was going down Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him.” (Then God begins speaking to him prophetic words concerning his future family.)
Verse 17 then very plainly says, “After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses.”
“After the sun went down and darkness fell…” God was waiting on the darkness? And Adam and Eve went forth in the promise of a seed of the woman, but they went forth into the darkness? And notice, Abraham himself never passed through the carcasses. I believe the smoking firepot and flaming torch represented God the Father and God the Son as they made covenant between themselves as to the fulfillment of the first covenant and the salvation of man through the second covenant in Christ! God knew man could only fall short. We would never be able to fulfill the standard of that first covenant ourself. That Covenant is only darkness to us, and the promise/hope of a Savior!
But as Abram was fighting off the vultures that day, I wonder what he was thinking? As he grew more and more weary, what was he thinking? What would you be thinking? Everything was ready, and yet where was God? What could possibly be the hold up? And as he fell into unconsciousness, was he worried he might be failing God? The sacrifices might be in danger? And yet it seems God had purpose in it all, and had Abram been privy to what we know today, he may well have known God would not be showing up until the darkness.
So… we have two more major moves yet to come. We will share those in Part 3. And we will also take a very quick look at how every major move of the New Covenant in Christ appears to always be full of LIGHT! I guess it only makes sense, doesn’t it? But to think our God actually goes to such trouble, to set up many symbolic clues for us to see and understand. How many ways does he paint the picture for us, and yet we fail to see the fullness of his greatness. What an awesome God we serve. And to think we were created by Him. We can be born-again into Him. We can be His children. That’s far greater than any lottery a man could ever hit. And we do not have to depend on chance! It is by choice! Our own free choice, God has given! Amen!
Now days I spend most of my time working on my site “Setting Under the Willow Tree”. There has been much written at this site pertaining to deeper things, and there is much for a person to read. But if you would enjoy some things on the lighter side of our Christianity, and with an emphasis on keeping it simple, you are invited to join us under the willow tree by simply clicking on willowtreewisdom.home.blog
“A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” (Proverbs 18:16)
Have you created YOUR room? Perhaps this is a little different spin to the verse, but if you have not created “a” room from your particular gifts, and live in that room, then don’t expect your gifts to ever bring you into great opportunities.
This room must be built from the material of your gifts, and nothing less, but that’s hard to do if you don’t even know what you’re about.
Seek your Vision. Who are you?
Don’t waste your life living in rooms less than who you’re called to be. God placed your foundation stones even before you were born, but you choose what is built from there.
The sun rose amidst the sounds of brightly colored birds cawing and singing, monkeys screaming and hooting, and wild cats snarling as usual in the Amazon. Rain drenched the jungle in the early morning and now the rain forest was a hot steam bath, but all this was normal as Yinney prepared to leave the rubber trees of Bubba and continue his own journey back to his 7th Day Tree.
Bubba and a few monkeys had gathered to bid him farewell, but Bubba also had one last question, “If I may be so selfish to ask one last question as you are preparing to leave, I would be most interested in your answer.”
“Of course,” Yinney agreed.
“It pertains to faith and works,” Bubba began. “You say Buddhism is a religion requiring the devotee to perfect himself, or a salvation by works as you put it. Is that right?”
“Yes,” Yinney confirmed, “And you agree the 8 Fold Path is the target of your discipline to become such a selfless person as if no longer having fleshly cravings, but completely ‘No Self’. Right? And with every reincarnation you hope to finally reach that selfless life.”
“That is correct,” Bubba agreed, “but does not your own religion state that faith without works is dead?” Is that not the same thing?”
“Oh, you are very good, Bubba, and that is such an excellent question. I have so enjoyed our conversations. I do hope you will also visit me at my 7th Day Tree. I would love to teach you deep things concerning God’s REST we enter into. Just as God ceased from his own works after the 6th day and entered REST on the 7th.”
“Adam and Eve were created on that 6th day. So they woke up in all the preparations God had already made. The work was done and they flowed into that 7th day of REST with God, and lived in that until they broke the REST with sin. That was all a picture of reentering God’s REST one day through Christ. Jesus has already made all the preparations. We reenter a spiritual garden with him. When we are born again, we wake up in the 6th day but immediately enter into a spiritual 7th.”
“Faith is a powerful force. If it is true faith it changes what our goals and desires had been before. We suddenly have new focus and new desires. So naturally we begin to move in that direction. This is a form of works, but not because we are trying to save ourself, we REST in Christ for that. It’s actually ‘God at work’ in us. We become a temple of his Holy Spirit, who is like a supernatural gardener! He begins recreating a garden of Eden in us!”
“It is as if he continually works against the weeds in us, and plants new flowers and plants bringing forth good fruit. We begin to live differently as naturally as an apple tree bears apples. It is a form of work, but completely powered by our love for him, and God’s love for us.”
“God told Adam to tend and keep the garden. But it was a perfect garden, so what work was there for him to do? It was about maintaining the spiritual atmosphere. It was about maintaining the Presence of God in the garden, the relationship Adam had with God. There was a certain spiritual table-setting in that place, and Adam allowed Satan a seat at the table. Much like Judas, but Jesus pointed Judas out and maintained his faithfulness to God even though Judas was there. So those scriptures you speak of, is simply the apple tree bearing apples, as it should naturally do, because of God at work in us.”
“Maybe it is hard for you to see the difference, but that is where grace comes in. Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light. It’s not about a bunch of rules and laws anymore. Jesus set us free. It’s about a love relationship in which you delight in pleasing the one you love, and your life flows in that relationship as you walk together with God in the garden.”
Yinney ended his explanation, and Bubba smiled, “Once again you have succeeded in giving me a very deep answer, and yet so simple, my slow moving friend. I understand a garden and gardener. I understand love and relationship, for I lost a very special person in my past. I understand a banana tree bearing bananas, or it is not a banana tree!” Bubba shouted and began laughing again along with all the other monkeys too. “Go in peace my friend. You have given me many beautiful answers, and in my faith we appreciate true beauty. I will visit your tree and learn more of this REST you speak of.”
Yinney smiled and waved good-bye as he began his slow but methodical trip home to his special tree. He had no other encounters and in two days his home came into view. He rested, and then the next day made his dangerous trip to the ground to poo. This special poo which even included nutrients from poisonous leaves only he could eat, would strengthen his tree for days to come.
Yinney was very happy with his first trip out. He had met Cappy the capybarra, Kujo the spider monkey, Bubba the Buddhist and his friends. Word would begin spreading of a sloth and his 7th Day Tree. He would hang his little sign offering spiritual teaching to one and all, and live each day in the glow of slow.