Capture Their Hearts

As I was praying for a loved one, I prayed for God to arrest their soul and then I thought how odd that sounds. But it is not off-base. Paul wrote and corrected the Corinthians that we must break down every stronghold of reasoning a person has to not believe in God. We don’t do it by pounding them with arguments or force, but by sound teaching. We give them convincing truths that show the doctrine of their life is led by deception and we do so in love. We show them the fallacies in their choices when the opportunity arises, but always in meekness and love.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Many times people get caught up in causes or ideas that consume them and keep them from the purpose of life in general, which is knowing Christ. If they don’t have a personal relationship with him, then the cares of this world, no matter how worthy, can distract them from seeking out God. I have even seen Christians sacrifice time fellowshipping with God to work on a cause they’re passionate about. The problem with this, is without communion or time spent with God and guidance from the Holy Spirit, they eventually burn out. There is nothing in this world that can satisfy us more than our relationship with our Heavenly Father and communing with Him.

Colossians 2:8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.

So when I prayed for God to arrest their soul, what I meant was I wanted him to gain their full attention, so that they would see their need for Him and a relationship. But until they believe in him and receive him, they may not pay attention to our words. This is where our prayers are more powerful than a loved one’s words to them, because God is able to use others to open their hearts. Once that seed is planted, it will grow and eventually blossom. I pray he captures the hearts of those who don’t believe or who have turned their backs on God. I pray that he might send someone who with a simple phrase or action that might open their minds and hearts to Him.

Song of Songs 4:9 You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.

In the verse from Song of Songs, if the church as a whole is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom, then we must remember we already have captured his heart. With one glance towards him, a cry out to him, or one tear – one ‘jewel’ he is there for us.

Think of how even the disciples, who intimately knew Jesus, did not recognize him as he walked down the road with them, after his death on the cross. He appeared to them as a stranger because they were still caught up in their grief. What are we caught up in that we might not recognize his presence in our lives now? Their hope was gone and they had given up. Yet later, they realized he was alive and sought him out and found him with the other disciples breaking bread! It can be that way for every lost person!!

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

May their hearts come alive to the word of God, may he capture their hearts.

A Beautiful Soul

Have you ever had a friend whom you didn’t think was particularly attractive in the worldly sense, but you were drawn to them in some way? Or have your friends chosen mates you didn’t find attractive? Perhaps you’ve had friends who were more popular than you, yet you felt you were more intelligent or attractive, or both. Maybe, we are looking at others with the wrong eyes, and not with God vision. And maybe our friends and acquaintances who are attracted to these others, are seeing beyond what we see. I have noticed some people have a glow about them, they emanate a joy or a confidence that others don’t. I hope that I do. It’s knowing that God has you. It’s knowing that no matter what, we have a place to turn. We have hope. I think this glow, is the light of our redeemed soul.

Have you ever thought how easy it was for Jesus to slip away in the crowd when he needed to? There were times he needed to be alone and when his time hadn’t come. He easily slipped through crowds, unnoticed. Would you know Jesus if you saw him? I hope I would, but would I? I believe if I was allowing The Holy Spirit to control my vision I would. There is a verse in Isaiah that was describing how the Messiah – Jesus would look.

Isaiah 53:2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.

So if Jesus could just blend into his surroundings, he had no majestic countenance or beauty about his appearance, what made him draw so many to him? He had a beautiful soul and he loved us all! What is it that makes others beautiful to us? Is it their outward appearance or their soul? Because even the harshest soul can be transformed through the love of Jesus. So the next time we think someone is unattractive, I challenge you and myself to look beyond their outward appearance and look to their beautiful soul or the possibility of a transformed one! Everyone has a beautiful soul, it just needs to be redeemed. In that light, everyone is beautiful. 

 

 

The Garden Covenant?

God is not chaos; He never has been. He is the one who put things in order. The Creator of this universe, the one who hung the stars and created man; how could that be chaos? The chaos and disease comes from man, starting when we listened to a serpent and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We broke the rules, we usurped authority and have been doing so ever since. We have polluted His divine order. Each generation has corrupted it more and more. A generation in the Bible is 40 years. When it says, “this generation shall not pass” then that portion it is referring to, has already occurred. Think about that when you read the Bible.

Look at the Abrahamic covenant which was between God and Abraham. The only requirement was for Abraham to love God. The Mosaic covenant was one that the Hebrew people asked for, many times referred to as ‘the rules on rocks’ or the Ten Commandments. The Hebrews had rejected the Abrahamic covenant and Moses was trying to rescue his people from their idol worship and sins. When Moses came down from the mountain with the commandments, he saw them worshipping the golden calf and many living in sin. Moses broke the commandments out of frustration. It was a covenant that Moses had asked for, not God, but God in his sovereignty, made a covenant with man as arbiter and punisher, not God’s desire. Other covenants followed this one.

broken-tablets

Erroneously, modern day man looks at the Mosaic covenant or ten commandments – a covenant between God and the Hebrews, as the law on how to live one’s life. God redeemed the Hebrews/Israelis and everyone from the law when he sent Jesus to rescue us from the Mosaic covenant. We don’t have a set of rules to follow, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.

Luke 22:20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people-an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” John 16:7-9 “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.” John 14:17 “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

God made a New Covenant with man that was (simplified version) if we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior we would live an eternal life. This returns us to God’s original purpose — for man to fellowship with God and love Him, very similar to the Abrahamic covenant, but more to the point, to the garden experience. We are joint heirs with Christ, born from above. Just as was said in the beginning, “let us create man in our own image.”

Hebrews 9:11-15 But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the good things to come [that is, true spiritual worship], He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not a part of this [material] creation. He went once for all into the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies of heaven, into the presence of God], and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, having obtained and secured eternal redemption [that is, the salvation of all who personally believe in Him as Savior]. For if the sprinkling of [ceremonially] defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a [burnt] heifer is sufficient for the cleansing of the body, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [Holy] Spirit willingly offered Himself unblemished [that is, without moral or spiritual imperfection as a sacrifice] to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the ever living God?For this reason He is the Mediator and Negotiator of a new covenant [that is, an entirely new agreement uniting God and man], so that those who have been called [by God] may receive [the fulfillment of] the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has taken place [as the payment] which redeems them from the sins committed under the obsolete first covenant. 

Of course, we can look to the ten commandments as a guideline to follow, but the perfect guide is the Holy Spirit, who shows us how to lead our lives when we submit to him. How do we do this? By knowing his voice. By following that conviction we have when we feel that we shouldn’t do something. That conviction is the Holy Spirit telling us not to be involved, not to say certain things, and not to act in a particular way. The more we listen, the more ‘in tune’ we become with his urging and guidance. We walk in the garden covenant, we know when God is near, which is always. We know how to answer every man, we walk in communion with the Holy Spirit and we start to see and use the vision of Jesus, because we see with the eyes of God, because we have the mind of Christ. We have been transformed to our original purpose and the material things of this world matter less and less. 

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.