Walking in The Holy Spirit

A Daily Thought Provoker Quote
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
Online Publications of David J. Hall

During our times of Public Discourse, let us be mindful of our partnership with The Holy Spirit:

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: … hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy… and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control… Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”‭‭

( Galatians‬ ‭5:19-26‬ )

#PastorsTip #DTP

Pray 2 Pray

Jesus understands how difficult it is to build a consistent prayer life, beyond those emergency life-or-death situations that provide us with plenty of motivation to pray. He identifies with us in our struggles because He has been there and experienced many of them, though He Himself was without sin. The struggle though was real!

Continue reading

Shrewd Like Serpents & Doves

Do you have “street smarts” that have been developed and sharpened by the Holy Spirit? Do have a grasp on how the real world is functioning, or do you have a closed-eyes approach to navigating this fallen world?

Jesus spoke several times about having a shrewd perspective, understanding, and practice in the real world.

“’… For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.’”

~ Luke‬ ‭16:8‬‬‬‬

Some believe (erroneously) that being “street smart” and “shrewd” does not fit the Sunday School-level concept of real life that they hold to dearly. Their approach remains simplistic, binary, and linear. They assume that being “shrewd” means being unChrist-like and compromising on what is clearly right and wrong.

However, the scriptures both commend and condemn shrewdness on the basis of its context, like motives and actions, and not outright as always being inherently right or wrong. Let’s consider the biblical subject of shrewdness.

Biblical Language Definition of Shrewdness :
  • Astuteness or craftiness in dealings with others, especially in using one’s understanding and judgment to one’s own advantage.
  • Scripture commends it when it is seen in wise words and actions directed towards a worthy goal, but
  • Scripture condemns it when it takes the form of cunning and deceitful scheming for sinful and selfish ends.

~ Dictionary of Bible Themes (Martin H. Manser, Managing Editor)

Jesus’ Call for Us to be Shrewd

Jesus shines His light on the subject, calling for His disciples (i.e. us) to be shrewd (intelligent, tactile, strategic, wise, and understanding human nature) while remaining innocent (a no-compromise life in regard to what is right and wrong).

“’I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.’”

~ Matthew‬ ‭10:16‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Being shrewd is where a person looks at a world-minded human being or group, anticipates their course of action, and then plans their own wisdom-based strategic actions accordingly (without compromising righteousness).

The shrewdness of a snake is referred to, and a dove as being innocent. A common mistake is to misunderstand Jesus’ use of the snake analogy: He is encouraging us to be shrewd like a snake without being a snake, to be shrewd in the right way with the innocence and righteousness of a dove.

If you have thought of “shrewd” as always being wrong and worldly, please consider rebuilding your definition of shrewd, and begin to be more clever and wise with “street smarts.” Pray for God to lead you in developing a godly use of shrewdness that is wisdom-based and that you will use it with godly motives and godly actions.

Shrewdness in Political Season

During this election season, if after praying you do not receive a clear direction from the Lord in your heart as to who should receive your vote, consider looking at the big picture with an eye to exercising godly shrewdness.

Our single vote for president has more impact than just for one candidate. Our single vote can also be used shrewdly as a simultaneous vote against another candidate. This is strategic and shrewd, but only if the vote is applied to a particular candidate.

No, I’m not condoning voter fraud. Vote once, and only once! But our single vote can provide more influence upon the outcome if we cast our vote shrewdly, cunningly, and wisely.

Have I said who to vote for? No. However, if while reading the above paragraphs on shrewdness in voting you seemed to clearly see a potential candidate that fits the picture, perhaps you are having a “shrewd” moment of clarity, and not just a “David” moment through the “power of suggestion.” Let’s vote prayerfully, vote our conscience, and of course let’s vote strategically.

Developing a Shrewd Perceptiveness

Beyond the political election season, consider developing a shrewd-with-innocence perceptiveness and practice at home, at work, and in society. It may take time to change your way of seeing things in the light of shrewdness, but ask the Lord to help you be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2). Ask Him to help you become shrewd in the way that He intended when He says, “Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves’” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭10:16‬‬‬‬‬‬‬).‬‬‬

image-5

#PastorsTip #Shrewd #Wise #Clever #Astute #Snakes #Doves #Righteous #Innocent #Vote #Elections #Politics

Reinstalling Our Factory Parameters

When God created Adam & Eve, He encoded into the man and the woman’s “operating system” a moral code with godly parameters within which desires were to be fulfilled.

Male and Female were designed to enjoy life, liberty, and to love God and each other.

When Adam and Eve abused their liberty by seeking the fulfillment of tempting desires by going outside of the parameters of their God-given operating system, a sin-virus was introduced to their system which corrupted many aspects of their hearts and minds.

Through Jesus Christ we can begin to reinstall the factory parameters of our operating system, thus diminishing the self destructive patterns of our corrupted souls.

This requires a conscious deletion of the corrupted patterns, and a conscious return to godly patterns and parameters.

“Put to death… whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”‭‭

( Colossians‬ ‭3:5-10‬ )

Let’s Reformat, Reinstall, and Reboot our lives in accordance with God’s operating manual, the Scriptures.

image

The Beast of Sin

When God commands us to do something, it means we can do it successfully, He will provide what is necessary for us to win!

In the following passage, we are commanded to rule over sin:

“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

( Genesis 4:7 )

Sin is characterized as a wild animal that is crouching and waiting for the best moment to pounce; like a beast that desires us as prey, and it wants to use its claws and teeth to bleed us dry of our life’s blood and to suck out the very breath of life that God Himself breathed into our being.

When the Beast of Sin tries to lure us with temptation to walk within its pouncing distance, let’s be keenly aware of the dangers that lurk in the darkness of sin’s realm. Let’s recognize temptation for what it really is: A Trap of the Beast of Sin!

God has called us to rule over that beast, not to play with it.

image

#PastorsTip

Evil Fire vs Pure Fire

A Daily Thought Provoker
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
by David J. Hall

Are you having trouble taming your tongue? Do the wrong kinds of words come out, creating damage and even destruction in your relationships?

None of us can tame our tongue… but the Holy Spirit can! As we wholeheartedly surrender to the presence, influence, and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, He will begin to inspire our conversations.

image

#PastorsTip #DTP