We’re going to do the set up first on our way to initiation. Long way round.
“Was I called to this job?”
If God puts you somewhere, you'll naturally want to enhance your position, learn more about the job, make it better than when you got it. Put the icing on the cake that God has given you.
Psalm 84:3-7 outlines what believers do. In that particular case the circumstances are "negative.'" “Blessed is he whose strength is in thee. Who passing through the valley of Baca, makes it a well.” Notice the outcome. That result doesn't come from changing locations. It comes from faithing in that place and receiving God's help/blessing. After physically making that “valley of weeping” a place of springs and rain, verse 7 tells what the result is for the believers. It says they go from “strength to strength,” which applies more to a state of mind, like security, praise, majesty, virtue and valor, as opposed to the “strength” used in verse 5 above. That “strength” is only the raw capacity to do work. This is why we have to be able to get behind the English to the original language.
But it seems, at first, somewhat confusing. Our first impression might be that our strength/capacity to do work comes from God. But that’s not right. Taken literally, the verse says that a man is blessed if he puts his own physical strength in God’s hands. A man that does it God’s way gets blessed, and makes his surroundings a nice place to be.
But don't try to manufacture faith opportunities. It’s dangerous. You only see the things you know about. God sees ALL the other possibilities, too. While you're working your own agenda, you're not able to focus on what God might be sending along. The faithing will show up on its own, event by event. I don't know of any other ways to decide to faithe in advance other than the four I usually talk about. Tithing, Prayer, Fasting and Communion.
The conditions present themselves and then we faithe or not. It's the roller skate on the stair that we didn't see when we started down. The new context calls for a decision. Faithing situations just show up.
I've thought for a while that the Christian walk is more reactionary than initiative. Initiative Equals Agenda. As Christians, we have no agenda. We have God's agenda. Logically, we should be waiting for God to bring us things to do. Then we initiate, but only in the context of what God has brought. Where preaching is concerned, one might say, “Don’t preach till you’re asked.”
So, would it be pre-empting, testing, tempting God by creating a situation whereby I would be relying on him to guarantee work for me over then next 10 years? Would that be acting in a way that is moving away from myself and toward God? Would it be putting my actions where my mouth is, and having a bit of faithe, that he'll deliver the Goods? It's dangerous ground, akin to Satan tempting Jesus in the desert. Is it me, listening out for a sign and getting out of the chair and acting on it? No. I’d be sending myself things to put me at risk. I have a small chance of doing the Right thing, but I’ve left God out of the process. That places God in the role of servant.
No matter how you dress the mannequin, it's still plaster and paint under the clothes. The principle is the same. No matter which end of the spectrum you are on, the name of the spectrum is Tempting God, because you are the one setting up the conditions. That's God's job. Our surrender of Self is paramount; as witnessed by nearly all the major belief systems.
He has a hard enough time with us already. You may not realize how many changes God has to make in order to keep up with the twists and turns we take. He's like some native African brush cutter, clearing the way for a blind Bwana that can't see to stay on the Path.
I'm dead set against taking the initiative. Once the Path is clear, then I don't count following the Path as initiative. I count it as Stewardship. No matter how hard we try, we can never remove all of the agenda from initiative, even with Satan's help.
These "radical" ideas of "pushing the envelope" are accompanied by "fuzzy" rationales. Your "pushing" is acting on yourself, not God. It's your idea to push. Sit there and wait till God gives you something to push.
It’s easy for us to set up a situation so that it can’t be said that it’s specifically is tempting God. We can argue that God has called us to do this activity, probably something long term. But that set up might be founded on such vague principles or abstracts that just a little investigation shows that no one would act on such skimpy, unproven ideas.
If God got you a job, you’re convinced that He set it up for you to work someplace, He “called” you to that job, He's going to use what you've learned. IF He decided to give you some "big gig" then it would be doing something you're already good at. He hasn't trained you this far just to throw that training away. He’s been tinkering with your life since birth. The decision to call you wasn’t made last week. The only loophole is if you are really good at more than one thing. But I mean GOOD, not some entry-level knowledge or skill.
When the Devil told Jesus to jump off the pinnacle, he said, "God said He wouldn't let you get hurt." What was Jesus reply? "Don't tempt God."
You preempt God by setting up circumstances that put you in need. God is the one Who knows what best we need. The only thing we can do is try our best to recognize what God's trying to tell us. As I say, "Wait" is God's middle name.
You're not on your own Path, you're on God's. If you think there's some God-action behind something, let Him tell you more than once. Gideon wouldn’t take “once” for an answer. Wait on Him. Talk it over with Him. Give Him some more time to make the conditions better for you. In the meantime, study some more. That may not sound very exciting, but parts of it are very exciting. I still get excited when I get going on the Lost Tribes.
Someone asked me about how their present situation would relate to the Millennium.
”I've been listening to your millennium teaching, finding out more about what I have to do.. and not so much to find out what it’s going to be like, although I get the impression that this is important in the context for finding out what I'm supposed to do.
Was I called to this job?
This may seem too simple, but what we are "supposed" to do is faithe. If you never gave a thought to anything else but faithing, everything else would fall in line. As I always say, though, the simple things are usually very hard to do. Maybe that's because most of the action is up to us. I guess that most of the time it looks like ALL the action in up to us.
How can you know what to prepare for in the Millennium? We only have the very open term "rule and reign" to go on. The most specific I can get with that is that we'll be part of the government, helping Jesus run things, according to our abilities. What we do here, will be used there, in the Millennium.
The jobs and training that we acquire in the physical will undoubtedly be used in the Millennium. So the formula for the Millennium might be said to be the same as for now. Do the thing that's in front of you, to the best of your ability, faithing that God will fill in the blanks.
If you turn out to be the Mayor of your community, you're going to have a very skimpy-feeling set of rules to follow in carrying out your duties. God's law isn't too complicated for a 12 year old. But, to some today, it contains some very, very harsh penalties.
And while the Devil won't be around to whisper in our ear, we still have our flesh and those other Fleshes around us to deal with. Just because the Devil isn't around doesn't mean I won't like sugar any more. :-)
There will be constant opportunities to faithe on our Millennial jobs. We have to practice, some how, recognizing points of decision that we usually just let go by. One day we wake up to the fact that we've been "stealing" stuff from the office. That's why faithing, on the natch, is so hard. Communion is easy. It doesn't take us by surprise.
The car wreck or the open newspaper machine "falls out of the sky." That's the big one, as I see it. Things that fall out of the sky. It should be instructive to recall the last thing that fell out of the sky on you. If you can. >
I suppose that lots of things fall out of the sky on us every day and we do no more than take a brief notice on our way.
It's what we decide to do with those little events that shapes our greater lives. CS Lewis talks about this a lot. So we better pay good attention to them. The Good things may lead to very Good things, if we would only stop to see the opportunity. The Negative things aren't usually so challenging that we can't "work around" them. Little Upsets that take extra time/money/effort. So that's what we do. We work it out ourselves.
If we were focused on faithing, we'd stop and assess the situation for options, chose the Right one, claim a promise and move. "Ahhhh, but that's takes too much time!"
Yeah, I know. That’s why we don't do it. In reality, it doesn’t take but a couple seconds. But that’s beside the fact that the Right thing is ALWAYS the hardest, most uncomfortable thing to do. So often we just click thru to the easiest, quick and dirty way out. We leave that Hard stuff in the dust.
Does this mean to say that I have been called? Being called is not assessed by specifics, like your job. It’s much deeper than that. Your first recognized act of faithing verifies your calling. That leads to the recognition that ALL the activities of your life are “called” activities. In other words, it’s not up to people to find out what they need to do, and then do it, even if they incorporate all the necessities like faithing.
Again, one doesn't need to find out what they need to do, because the called of God are already doing what they need to do. They are already in the position that God wanted them in. I know there are those stories about dropping one's life completely and starting something else. There may truly be some cases like that. But I bet that investigation would discover that most of those folks were still using the skills they used on the old job. A teacher will be a teacher. It's what I said about the Millennium jobs.
If one isn't called, one doesn't get saved. Contrary to what some believe, all won't be saved. I've heard some take that to the far end and say that even Satan will be brought back into the fold. They say this in the bare face of the book of Revelation. "Lake of fire."
Some aren't called. Don’t' try to figure out God's mind on this. You'll only get your own mind back, and you know what's in there. :-)
I see waiting as a big part of the Walk. It's all over the Bible, people being described as "waiting on the Lord." But I don’t count waiting as sitting still. I've looked at that in my daily experience. The way it shows up is when I give something to God there are two things to do, your best, and stay in the present. Do my very best on what there is in front of me. It doesn't matter if that task seems or is unrelated to what I've given God. What ever is in front of me is probably there fulfilling a prior commitment. What I'm NOT doing, is spending any time/thought in the past or the future. In other words, byI'm not giving any energy to the future, all the scenarios, many of them negative, which could result in this faithing project. I'm not worrying somewhere in the past about having made the right decision or move. What that really amounts to, is waiting.
Sometimes it might be necessary to qualify by adding the specific thing that the waiting is attached to. "I've given it to God. Now I'm waiting for Him to move while I do this part."
The reason I used "part", was because sometimes, many times, that thing in front of me is the first small step on the road to fulfilling the faithing. Not withstanding, there are a few times when there's nothing to do toward the goal. So, Work, while I Wait.
On a personal note, "wait" is one of only two communications to me that may have been from God. Somebody said "wait."
We've heard lots of words dealing with waiting. "Don't go off half cocked." "Give God a Chance." The idea is in any sermon on faith. It's part of the idea of faithing. The faithing comes when we stop trying to "fix it ourselves." Cover all the bases.
We know in our hearts that we can't trust ourselves 100%. We know that we've often fooled ourselves into thinking we were ok on something, only to find later that we were just serving self and spinning our wheels. But when things “fall out of the sky,” things that we had no control over, we better pay attention.
Let me try just once more to make myself clear on initiating some action with another person. The context is that the person is not already in contact with you. Your meeting just “falls out of the sky.”
My only point is about who makes the first contact. It's not supposed to be us. It's supposed to be them, guided by the Holy Spirit. The HS "draws" the person. “No one comes to God save the Father draw him.” Once they are drawn to "Whoever," it's a new situation.
Now that might sound OK until traditional Christian thinking about evangelism comes into play. There’s a vast movement in Christendom to "lead someone to the Lord.' It's become a badge of honor, a scalp on one's belt for all to see and envy.
They think it's OK to stop people on the street, buttonhole people in the checkout line, go knocking on neighborhood doors. That's not letting the HS draw someone to them.
Let's look at Paul. He came to town and made his message available in the local synagogue, and then in the town square. I don't remember him collaring anyone on an individual basis. God brought, to where Paul was preaching, those He wanted to hear Paul's message. Think of Paul as Billy Graham. Billy Graham rents Yankee Stadium, puts out press releases, turns on the lights and goes out and preaches. The people come to him. He doesn't go door to door.
The principle of Initiation also shatters one of the main doctrines of traditional Christianity, especially the Protestant, Fundamentalist frame. Evangelism. For better clarification we need to answer some questions that are addressed in Ephesians, chapter 4. This chapter outlines the hierarchy of the Body of Christ and the objectives of God for the Body. We need to know what the Bible says is the “work of the ministry.”
We find all this in Ephesians 4:8-15.
8 "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivityb captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, (the) apostles; and some, (the) prophets; and some, (the) evangelists; and some, (the) pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:"
What is the job of the Gift, the domata (G1390)? “For the perfecting of the saints,” perfecting means completing, G2677. It goes on to say what that completing results in. For the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Let “work of the ministry” set for a minute while we notice the second part. Edifying the Body, the believers. Edifying is “building up.” G3619 So, the work of the ministry includes building up the believers. For what? To what?
13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." This building up eventually produces little Christs. And notice that the method of the building is listed first. The unity of faith. Knowing that “faith” (G4102) is a verb shows us that the building up is accomplished through faithing, acting in trust of God’s word. This had to do with the implant of God’s Spirit when we faithe. After a while, we have so much of God’s Spirit that we become like God.
The “work of the ministry” is making little God’s. It’s not saving the world by sundown. It’s not leading someone to the Lord. It’s not evangelism.
In reality, the work of the domata AND the saints all ends in the same place. The edification of the Body of Christ. The domata guides the saints. The saints share with other saints. All this edifying is for the rule of the Millennium. These Little Christs are going to be helping God and Jesus rule the earth through the thousand years. They can’t do that as mere human beings.
I see no provision in this passage for either group to make their own decisions. God told the domata to complete the saints so they could help in the completing of other saints. They do this by sharing with other saints and supporting their domata as the domata goes about completing the saints.
In reality, one will find that both are true. The saints will be found sharing and giving money to help their domata reach others. God didn’t appoint saints to evangelize.
By way of adequate witness, Paul repeats this in verses 14 and 15.
14 "That we henceforth be no more children…….. 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."
It’s very interesting that the Evangelist is NOT preaching to lost souls. He is preaching to the “saints-to-be.” He is one of God’s starting points. A place where they saint-to-be can be introduced to God in a non-threatening environment.
But!! It’s the Holy Spirit that nudges the person into going to hear the Evangelist. (John 6:44; Cf :65) “No man can come to me (Jesus) except the Father…..draw him.” God works through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Steward of the Saints.
For the domata, the Holy Spirit gives visions to the Prophets, insight to the Pastoring teachers, passion to the Evangelist. There may not be any Apostles today. The strict definition of Apostle is “sent by Christ.”
For the saints, the Holy spirit draws, strengthens, heals, guides, etc.
Additionally, when the Holy Spirit is in our body, we have Righteous standing with God. We’re saved.
The work of the ministry is making little Christs/Gods. God beings that will take up the Project that was put on hold when Satan rebelled. God is making up a band “better than angles” to continue His Universal Project.
This waiting on God shouldn’t be interpreted as “live my life in a normal way and just wait for someone to finally come up to me and ask me how to find out something about God."
My "normal" life is putting God's truth in front of people. I'm not suggesting that we do nothing but wait for someone to show up. We must be piling of our knowledge and somehow let folks know it's there. As little a thing as putting an ad in a local paper announcing a Bible study qualifies. This is not Initiation on a personal level. It’s giving place to the Holy Spirit.
Yes, the Holy Spirit can still draw someone to you if you have a bunch of God-Truth and never tell anyone you have it, but that's the usual way it happens. God is subtle. His nudge in your direction probably isn't even known by the person. They are just walking around and "stumble" onto your place. That has happened to me many times.
Most recently, a young woman who has only been in this area for a month or so (from Florida), was in a very stressful situation, and blaming herself for things not her fault. She felt lost, couldn't go back where she had been staying, etc., etc., etc. We talked for almost four hours. She had a lot of Bible knowledge, but not some of the key understandings.
Point is, that she was just walking around feeling bad and out of touch with God. My door was open. We know that that wasn't coincidence. God led her to me. I was available.
Lastly, while she was there and we talked, I let her initiate the different topics. I mainly responded as she brought up points. I don't mean biblical references, etc. I mean pertaining to her situation. The reason I mention this is to point out that Initiation Always Has An Agenda. And that agenda can side track the process of communication. And that shuts God out.
Until we can get inside someone's head and see what they're thinking, we'll have to let them tell us what they need. That may take more than five minutes. We have to keep in mind that God brought this person around and that the reason will come out eventually. If I get off on my little evangelism, save-a-soul-before-sunset sales pitch, I'll probably never know why that person came around.
Initiation Isn't Waitng on God.
I’ve been asked, “How do I tell the difference between faithing and Good Works when they look the same?”
The issue of faithing becoming or looking like works is easily resolved permanently by the principle of Initiation. All you have to do is narrow your focus of faithing action to FOOTS.
Fell Out Of The Sky.
If you separate out all the self-initiated actions you do, from the reactions to things that “fall out of the sky,” you'll be more than half way home. There are some self-initiated actions that can be retained and still be sure faithing. Things like Communion and tithing. That is something you decide to do ahead of time. It's not reactive. But when we cross the line into daily activities, it's easy to get confused. Are we making this up in order to faithe? Are we setting up a situation to "force" some faithing? Is this testing God?
Remember that quibble I talked about in the dishes example. If the knives are in the water and I deliberately don't go get the tongs, I'm very close to "tempting God." In that case, I'm setting the parameters of the action. I didn't all of a sudden find myself in this place without any options. My action of getting God's promise of guidance (Proverbs 3:6) was taken in spite of a clear way to reduce my risk myself. Thin ice. "Having done ALL..." ALL includes getting the tongs. This is where the analogy breaks down.
But this shows the two different situations that can help us figure out what is or might not be faithing. Just make a policy, not a hard and fast rule, just a policy that you can't depend a lot on your self initiated action being faithing. The operative word is "depend."
I don't say give up trying to faithe in ALL self initiated actions. As I said, some of them might be true faithing. Just focus mainly on things that fall out of the sky, things your are reacting to.
As the knives are dropping into the hot water, the fact that the knives were even there is a FOOTS. Now it's time for a new decision. That's why FOOTS are the place to start. It's the point of decision that we have to try and grab hold of. A moment’s consideration of any action will bring forth the two ways to handle it: Fear or faith.
Any time I can get just the little tiny way in the process, the part about actually seeing that it's a decision point, I have NO PROBLEM understanding the faithing that might be involved. I can immediately see the hard way and the easy way. I will clearly see the chance to faithe.
That's why faithing is so hard. On top of the fact that it always takes courage to overcome the fear side, the recognition factor comes before the decision. That's a lot harder to accomplish than making the Right choice. Try to imagine this scene.
You open your eyes upon waking, say "Good morning, Lord," and Vow that for the whole day you'll recognize every decision you make and discern the fear or faith involved. See what I mean? Impossible. But that again brings me to FOOTS.
It's not only the whopper things the fall out of the sky that need attention. FOOTS is FOOTS. True, little things that fall out of the sky don't require as much action, but if you're on God's side, then there are no coincidences. And EVERY FOOTS needs examination for the source. The more our awareness of the spiritual realm, the better off we are. If a FOOTS is from God (and I think that most of them are) we have a chance to open the door to a greater blessing. If the FOOTS is from the other side, then we need to be able to reject it at the first possible moment.
ANY energy we put in action based on the FOOTS will result in more of the same, blessing or stress. Of course, we always have the option of not taking any action, period. It's a sure way to avoid trouble. But that'd be like the poor servant who was given one talent to hold for his master. He played it extra safe and buried the money till the master came back.
The other two servants were given rewards for "working" the money. The one-talent guy’s money was taken from him and given to the guy who had increased his share by ten. The lesson: God doesn't like for folks to not take risks. No risk, no faithing. That buried money didn't need any help from God.
Most all our little decisions get by on "history." We do things the way we did before. Habitual behavior. We don't give it second thought. We don't even realize that we've made a decision.
But I've seen over the years that I know, almost every time, when something falls out of the sky. I might, even then, pass up any faithing chances, but I will at least say, "Whoa! What a break," or whatever. FOOTS always stops me in my tracks, as they say.
That gives me a very clear starting point to build from. I can see a time when I recognize every FOOTS and get in a lot more faithing than previously. I might even be blessed to be able to start knowing faithing in the other places, too. Miracles do happen. :-)
Turn your focus on FOOTS and on only reactive actions and let the other stuff wait. You'll start to recognize when you're making a decision and have the chance to choose the Hard thing.
Does this sound familiar?
Why Can’t I faithe!?
”Why do I have to be reminded so much of the basics? Why is it such an intense battle to faithe everyday? Just when I think I have a pattern and maybe I've got it figured out, Satan finds a way to mess me up. “
Boy, do I relate to that. It's like hearing my echo. I'm the first to say that faithing is the hardest thing we can do. It is true that there is some action, some faithing, that is easier than most. For instance, Communion, fasting, and tithing are all a lot easier because we planned these things in advance. We took the time to consider our action and then came to a decision.
I certainly count these things as genuine acts of faith. But even my faithfulness to these actions doesn't seem to reduce my feeling that I'm not faithing.
Mostly, I look at my daily life and am saddened by the lack of faithing. My only fingernail grip is when I remind myself that I do take Communion every day, etc. This is not a new thing with me. I guess I've known since the day I truly understood faithing. And I feel that I know exactly, on a practical daily level, how to remedy my failing faithing.
I have often heard Doc say, "Faithing is an act of the will." Well, all acts of will include a decision. Simply speaking, faithing necessitates focusing on the decisions that flood our daily existence. Now that we know that, we can go have fun. NOT!!!
Simplicity doesn't always result in ease. I've always said that the simple things seem to be the hardest to do. Just knowing that we need to focus on each little decision doesn't mean we'll do it.
Remember our prayer earlier? I bet one could pray every morning that God would give him or her the pause to investigate each decision for the Fear and Faith responses and still cry, in their nighttime prayer, over the fact of all the decisions they missed during the day.
Faithing is hard> to do.
When I try to imagine trying to catch all the little decisions of my day, my mind is boggled. Surely that's an impossible task. Perhaps if a person could do a detailed study of their life, and categorize the different types of decisions, a starting point might be arrived at. The two ways to act, as I see it, are Reaction and Initiation. And most of our Initiated actions fall into the category of “neutral.” Investigating the “neutral” actions may not be necessary.
I mean, deciding what to have for dinner may be "neutral" enough to put aside. I'm sure that a majority of our daily decisions fall into this "neutral" category. Our money decisions is another matter.
But again, I think that of all the categories that can be recognized, the "it fell out of the sky" category may be the most important and probably the most infrequent. I have always tried to give special attention to those things that "fall out of the sky."
But even in this most important category, I often fail to pause and consider it in a timely manner.
Let me repeat, everything depends on the decision process. If we can just take a few seconds to consider each decision in the light of fear or faith, most of our stress would decrease, while most of our challenges would increase. A challenge is only a challenge until we put “what if?” (the future) on it. Then it becomes stress.
It's the fear related decisions that come back to us later on as stress. To be sure, the fear related decision is much less challenging (hard) than the faith related decision.
I think a direct proportion can be seen between the amount of fear and the ease of action. At one end of the Decision spectrum we have Fear. At the other end we have Faith. Underneath the spectrum we have Easy at the Fear end, and Hard at the Faith end.
When Doc talks about the faithing being 90 percent courage, he's making recognition of the hardness. Another way to spell hard is, u-n-k-n-o-w-n. As I have said many times, "No fear, no faithing." That fear is because of the unknown outcome of our decision/action. The easiest way is usually the most predictable. We like to stick to what we know, outcomes we are sure of. So, what's new?
I guess there are no easy answers with God. At least there are no easy answers when it comes to faithing. Even solid knowledge about the mechanics of faithing doesn't supply an answer. Knowledge doesn't always translate into action.
Knowing that the most important things that come our way are those that "fall out of the sky” doesn't mean
that we will give them proper consideration before taking action. Just recognizing that our financial decisions are fertile ground for faithing doesn't mean we'll take the time to figure out if our decision is based in fear or faith.
The fact is, one cannot lock down life. One cannot lock down faithing. Frankly, I think God set it up that way.
How can we ever learn to depend on God if we limit our actions to only those things that are predictable? I believe that our Eternal selves will be 100 percent dependent on God. This appears to me to be the end result of our present, faith-to-faith training. We are learning to trust God. The logical end of that process is 100 percent trust.
Maybe all we have to do is train ourselves to always do the Hard thing. I think that would work. That would take a lot of faith, though. :-)
Don’t Initiate, Only Wait.
Be like a park water fountain. No water comes out unless someone turns the handle. The first move is theirs. And the water shuts off automatically when the handle is released.
“Cleanse Thyself of Decision.” “Let God initiate your good works.”