Kingdom authority

Kingdom AuthorityLaughing I’d sprung up onto the horses back, waiting for my brother to sit behind me.  What a happy day, the day my father bought us the horse; a gleaming chocolate-brown mare called Lady.  I couldn’t wait to learn how to ride her.  Being the eldest I got to sit in front and hold the reins.  Unfortunately the joy didn’t last.

EPSON MFP image

The day we got Lady

The help’s children heard about the horse as soon as their mother got home.  They arrived the next day, all four of them.  I can still see them crossing the creek and running over the paddocks to our place.  I was a timid seven-year old and no match for them.  They were older, aggressive and mean – with a huge sense of entitlement.  The reins were snatched out of my hands as the usurpers helped each other onto her back.  I was left standing by the gate in tears, watching them ride our horse.

It was no good going to my mother.  She had her own problems – bipolar illness and a big family.  The big family wasn’t entirely her fault – after me and my brother were born she had two sets of twin girls.  After the birth of the last set of twins, she was completely unable to cope with us.  I’m not going to go there with the bipolar thing.  All I will say is the day the horse arrived is my only happy memory from that time.

My father hired Miriam, a woman of Samoan/Maori blood to help my mother in the house.  I know we got her and her family the same year as the horse.  I didn’t know Miriam was the help.  I thought she was a friend of my mother and her children were our “friends”, even though they seemed to look down on us.  I foolishly trusted her as an Aunty.  I didn’t know it as a child, but Miriam despised me because in her words “I was always crying”.

There is a proverb which says “A shrewd servant will gain authority over a master’s worthless son and receive a part of the inheritance.” Proverbs 17:2

I went into the house to ask the adults for help.  They told me I had to “share”.  Hearing this and knowing I had no authority as the daughter of the house, Miriam’s children sneered at me and assumed ownership of the horse.  At first I cried and became a victim – but I was a determined little kid.  I wrested control from them after I worked out how to bridle the horse, jump on her back and ride across the paddocks to my grandparent’s place.  I did this until they got the message about who the horse belonged to.

Still I felt worthless and powerless.  I wasn’t allowed to have boundaries.  I lost faith in people and felt I had no one to turn to.  Parents who don’t give their children boundaries send them defenseless into a world full of controlling manipulative people.

So how does this relate to the Kingdom of God?  What would Jesus have done?  He would have put the smallest children on the horse’s back first.  The children of the servant would have had to ask permission to ride.  If we had said yes they would have had to wait their turn.  The Lord is a firm believer in boundaries and treating people with respect.  Boundaries were the first things He helped me construct when He became my King.

https://kingdom777.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/chapter-21-stones/
https://kingdom777.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/chapter-23-rebuilding-the-wall/
https://kingdom777.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chapter-39-mercy-not-sacrifice/

He gives power to the faint; 
and to them that have no might 
he increases strength.  
Isaiah 40:29.

God will help us in our weakness if we recognise His authority.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom.  
Matthew 5:3

There was once a powerful man who recognised his own sin and helplessness.  This man, a roman centurion, saw Jesus and recognised His authority;

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”  Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.”  Matthew 8:9

The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.  We haven’t been left as orphans.  Jesus has given us his authority.  We need to know our authority as sons and daughters of the King and walk in it.

I’ll leave you with a clip of some beautiful horses responding to their master’s authority.  These horses were originally bred as “war horses” in the days of knights and armor.  As armor got heavier, bigger horses were needed and the Friesian almost became extinct.  They are back, and are one of the most beautiful horses in stature as well as gait.   These horses are native to the Netherlands.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Y5XJbSqwriM?rel=0

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May you find your joy in the LORD, and may He cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land … (Isaiah 58:14).

Run

The Gate Keeper

battle-readyWe’re in a war, and it involves our homes.  I should know.  I come from four generations of broken homes on my mother’s side.  I never knew my own grandmother.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.  Proverbs 14:1

I repeated the broken home pattern myself, but unlike my maternal grandmother I refused to abandon my children.

My children did not have an ideal home as the father was missing, but unlike the previous generations, I turned to God and he turned this family around.  He gave me strength, self worth, boundaries and a lot of practical help.  When the children reached their teenage years I was given a second chance at marriage.  The man I married is a good man who loves my children like they are his own.

I put two things on hold while I was raising the children on my own – dating and a career.

Did I earn as much money?  No. Did I have any romance?  No, just temptation.

Was it worth it?  Yes!  I still got to where I wanted to go, my children have safely reached adulthood,  happy and well adjusted.  They are navigating life for themselves now.  I pray to God that the unhappy pattern of divorces has been broken, to be replaced with happy marriages.

I now respect the home maker profession more than any other.  Although I’ve had two careers and now I’m a self employed business woman, I realise it is the most important job you ever get to do.

Satan targets women as they run the most important place – the home.   Mothers have the most influence on children – if a mother is broken and can’t raise her sons and daughters, he wins.

warHe will look for where you are most vulnerable, and tempt you there.  Be careful what you let into your home.

There are lots of sharks swimming in the sea of life, and you don’t always see their fins.

2 Timothy 3:1-9 gives you a list of them.

Here are some I encountered;

1) The narcissist who wormed his way into my home with charm, and destroyed it.

2) Religious wolves dressed as sheep – having a form of godliness but denying its power.  The ones that are easy to spot are the ones who turn up on your doorstep holding Bibles.  Not so easy to spot are the “apostles” who want a percentage of your income as “tithes”.

3) A friend of my daughter who was disobedient to her parents, unholy, and ungrateful.  She tried to get my daughter to shop lift.

4) A gossip who slandered a loved one.  Covered in an earlier post.

1) I invited in, 2) I did not invite in 3) My daughter invited her in 4) Got invited in with a group of people

Have nothing to do with them.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-9 they are described as “the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires …”Tellievision

Ouch, ouch ouch.  I asked myself some tough questions in the next chapter of my story.

Weak willed?  If they gain control, you have been weak willed.

Loaded down with sins?  Is there stuff in your life or family of origin stuff that hasn’t been dealt with?

Evil desires?  Just look at what is on your TV that may sway you, or your child.

So watch yourself.   If you are a mother, you are the gate keeper of the home.  Its dangerous times we’re living in.

Psalm 101 is a great piece of scripture for a gate keeper.  My advice is make it intentional.  Learn it, memorise it, and use it.  If you put it into effect, it will save you a lot of grief.

Also, Gate Keepers need discernment.  You can ask God for this gift.

 

Soul searching and the three treasures

Do you keep meeting the same kind of person?  The root of this problem is in grief.  We are compelled to repeat something until it is resolved.  The best way to avoid being sad is to be mad, at someone else.  If you had a parent figure who let you down, you find someone else like them, and stay mad at them for 40 years!  We are not people who let go of things by nature.

Heart-decisions

There is a proverb about this; As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.  Proverbs 26:11

People with damaged boundaries are perpetually in a state of loss, all the time.  It manifests as depression, rage, resentment, worry.  Depression can keep you on bondage to the person who feels they own you.  Depression is unresolved grief.  I have heard it said that depression is anger without enthusiasm.

Guilt is rage you’re lying about.  People who are really mad at someone, but anger won’t work, put themselves in the victim role.  We like to blame it on someone else, then we can avoid guilt.  If we’re angry at someone who has manipulated us, we have to ask ourselves, “what did I want from them that gave them the power to do that?”

What I have learned is the problem is never the real problem.

The solution is forgiveness, to let go of destructive people so we can receive.  Let it go, cry over it.  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

We need to take ownership of our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour.  These I have learned are called the three treasures.  If you have boundary injuries, so that you can’t take care of these, or you are putting somebody else’s monkey on your back, its because someone has hated your treasures.  Someone wanted your compliance, your going along with something, your being a good student, your helpfulness, your being entertaining or whatever, more than they wanted you to be real, open and grow, and there was a transfer.

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet tells us ““The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?”  Jeremiah 17:9

That’s the human heart.  Deceitful.  Beyond cure.   Not able to be understood.

id ego superego

When I went to back to College to earn my Diploma of Business, the first paper we did was Business Communication.  It confirmed what I’d learned in the years I was rebuilding my life after a marriage breakup and disastrous “relationship” with a narcissist. 

Like an iceberg, most of what affects the soul is submerged.  The decisions we make which are based on our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour are affected by things hidden at an unconscious level.  Isn’t that scary.

God knows how we are wired, even if we don’t.

But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives”. Jeremiah 17:10.

The good news is that the Lord is called “Wonderful Counselor” and He can bring to light those secret motives.  We all like sheep have gone astray.  The Shepherd’s goal is to search for the lost sheep and restore souls.

We want to be out of pain, we’re wanting to be in control, we’re wanting love, for the hurt to stop.  We have all these needs that are good, that want life to be better, a hunger and thirst for righteousness not getting answered.

Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

There is nothing more important in growing and recovery than taking ownership in life of your three treasures.  This will determine how you handle everything; finances, work, family, career, body, spouse, friendships, etc.  Boundaries serve as an assistant to protect these three treasures – our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour.

Boundaries are freedom and freedom is love.  We will never get there until we get to grips with our own sin, to receive grace, so we can give it away.  The pain leads us to the grace.  We can never understand truth until we have the grace first.

Most of what I have written about here was from a tape I was given on Boundaries, which I made a passing reference to it in the part of my book where I started to rebuild my life.

I kept the notes from the tapes and have put them on the blog so it can in turn help you.  He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4.

The three treasures deals with what the Lord taught me here about the hidden things of the heart.

The three treasures

WisdomBy wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures
.”  Proverbs 24:3

After reading these words, Joanna looked at the King sadly.  The rooms of her house in the Kingdom were empty.  In the bad days before she had boundaries, her treasures were often taken from her.  The people who were nearest to her hated her treasures.

They had wanted her compliance, her going along with something, her helpfulness, her skills, her work, her possessions, more than they had wanted her to be real.

Other people made demands she would be paralysed to say no to, because her conscience blocked her from refusing them.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure,” she read; “Who can understand it?”  Jeremiah 17:9

This was the human heart.  Deceitful.  Incurable.  Unable to be understood.  How could she fix what she could not grasp?  She fought a brief feeling of hopelessness, until she remembered the words of the King;

But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives”. Jeremiah 17:10.

It brought to mind the words of Anna, her Great-Great Grandmother who wrote, “the Lord sees into your heart.

Joanna prayed;
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

“Father, I have a problem. I cannot rely on my own conscience. Conscience; meaning moral sense, principles, scruples, still small voice.  It has loaded me down with all sorts of guilt, failed to protect me, and made me responsible for other people’s rubbish.

Now I am building boundaries to keep the bad out, but whenever I build a boundary I experience a feeling of guilt.  Where was this coming from?  I cannot rely on myself!  Granted, with your teaching and influence I am getting better. You never speak to me the way I speak to myself. Help me to guard my heart, and to stand.”

The King heard her prayer, and joined Joanna next to the wall He helped her build.  She was making progress.

He said “This wall is to protect the treasures that lie within.”

“What are these treasures that you speak of, Lord?” she asked.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34

“Basically there are three treasures; three parts of the heart, the soul,” the King replied;
The first treasure is your feelings; your emotions which serve as barometers of the Soul.  They function as a signal.  People who don’t take ownership of their feelings, whose feelings have been violated, lose their sense of self protection.  Ask yourself, do I own my feelings, or do I let other people own my feelings?  Your feelings are our own.

The second treasure is your attitudes; convictions, what you believe, what is real to you and what isn’t, your doctrinal beliefs, what you think is true about life.  You have to stand for what you believe.  You always used to always question if you were right or not” the King stated.  She nodded.  He was right.  “People without good boundaries around their attitudes do that.”

“The third treasure is your behaviour You went through life feeling like someone else was making you do something, because they had some sort of hold over you.  Is that not true?”

She nodded.

“Many people feel like that.  People that always feel controlled by the outside ‘they made me do it’, tend to be people who don’t set good limits, or haven’t been able to set good limits on other behaviour,” the King explained.

guard-your-heartJoanna was reminded that all citizens of the Kingdom would be judged by the King for their actions.

For all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each person may receive what is due for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  2 Corinthians 5:10

“You are going to be called to account at the Judgement for the Believer and your behaviour will be evaluated.  You won’t be able to accord it to anyone else, you will have to say that you stood alone and you made the decisions.”

She nodded, understanding the King was the Judge.  For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him.” John 5:22

Bowing before the King, she asked “For where my heart is, my treasure is.  Please take up the throne in my Kingdom.  Help me to enforce my boundaries so that no one can make me do anything!  I want to be able to own my feelings and trust my decisions.  Teach me to guard my heart so that I can keep the treasures safe.”

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23

Wellspring

Love, not sacrifice

Since time immemorial people have sacrificed to God, or their version of Him.  But did you know that God wants steadfast love, rather than sacrifices?  He told it to Israel in Hosea 6:6 and Jesus confirmed it in Matthew 9:12.

When the King walked the Earth He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9:12

Hosea 6-6

What did He mean by desiring mercy, not sacrifice?  Was it because He wanted a free response from us, not one given under compulsion?

Have you ever given to people because you have felt pressured to, or because you can’t say no?  A yes said compulsively, fearfully, angrily, resentfully, feeling like someone’s prisoner, is not a free yes.

Then you have to hide behind a mask because you don’t have boundaries and you don’t have love.

“Compliants take on too many responsibilities and set too few boundaries – not by choice, but because they are afraid.” – Taken from the book “Boundaries”

Compassionate people are compliant from the inside out.  Sacrificial people are compliant on the outside, and resentful on the inside.

God desires our yes to be yes, and our no to be no.  Only in having boundaries are we able to do this.  The best thing we can give to others, besides love, is boundaries.

What did I do with what I learned?  My book tells the story.  Most of the material for this subject comes from the book “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

Who may enter the Kingdom?

In the next chapter of the Kingdom, as well as building boundaries I had to set limits on friendships.  Who could enter my Kingdom?  I had to pick and choose who would be admitted into my life from then on.  I chose the words to Psalm 101 for my rebuilt Kingdom because God wanted it to be intentional.  I had not been discriminating enough between good and evil.

For now the Kingdom of God is hidden.  Jesus reigns in the lives of His followers, in that we are a new creation who believe in Him and voluntarily obey Him.  We try to implement His will on Earth as it is in Heaven.  One day He will return to Earth and rule as its rightful King, when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he his Lord. (Philippians 2:9-11)  When will He return?  I don’t know, no man knows the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36) , but the Judge is standing at the door.  (James 5:9)

The first thing He will do after sitting on the world’s throne is judge.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.  2 Corinthians 5:10

Sydney Mardi Gras 2008

Would Jesus discriminate?

God has boundaries too.  He doesn’t smile and wink at sin as the liberals would have us believe.  Does he discriminate?  He has set out in His word who will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.   And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  2 Peter 3.

I’m not having a go at anyone.  I fell into one of those categories myself once.  This verse doesn’t mean that anybody who has ever committed one of these sins will be denied entrance to the Kingdom of God.   It means we have to struggle out of all of that, and with God’s help leave it behind us.  Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/not-inherit-kingdom-God.html#ixzz2cgpsUg7k

I have posted about this because a law has just come into effect in my country which enshrines one of these sins.  Our government’s immoral laws will lead many to hell, and I don’t want it to happen.  The King doesn’t want it to happen.  He said “over my dead (crucified) body” and He really meant it.

Judge JudyThe problem is our western societies beliefs and laws are being rebuilt on secular humanism, and have been for years.  Secular humanism has no concern for a person’s spiritual well being.  Cindy Livingstone has described it in her post, POSTMODERNISM “The Spirit of the Age”;

Sin needs to be struggled against and overcome, not celebrated and enshrined into law.

So who may inherit the Kingdom of God?  Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:3)  Poor in spirit in that they recognise they’re sinners who have messed up, in need of a saviour, and like the thief on the cross, they have asked Jesus for salvation.  For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

One of the criminals who hung there (on the cross) hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”  But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?   We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23:40-43

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Hand me another brick

Hand me another brick“Princess Deborah” (my friend and prayer partner) and I had repented of our ways, and were on the rebuild of our lives, starting with our boundaries.  We didn’t even know what boundaries were.  All we knew was, that we had to rebuild like Nehemiah did. 

The Lord was VERY interested in what we were doing.  He was right behind us in our endeavour.  When we needed information about “building the wall,” we asked Him for help.  The information was going to be hard to come by, we thought. It was the nineties, and we didn’t have the internet.

Coincidentally two friends who didn’t know each other, and didn’t know what we’d asked for, brought me a book and tapes, before the week was out.   I could see that the Lord was in the work.  He told me when people come to Him in faith asking Him for help in anything touching His will, He delights in it.

So we went to work.  Nehemiah rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem in 52 days, but it took us longer than that.  The day came when I’d had enough of working on boundaries, and wanted to get on with other stuff in the Kingdom.  I headed around to Deborah’s and what did I see?  A big pile of rocks her husband had bought down from Taupo for landscaping.  Yes, it was a big sign to tell us to keep on with the work!

Boundaries are important because having them gives control over your life, it enables you to say “yes” to the good and “no” the bad.  People without boundaries are often compliant and can’t say no, and they attract controlling people who can’t hear no.  You know, the ones who if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.  This is what happened to me and my friend “Princess Deborah”.

The Bible says “He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28  The Lord wants us, with His help, to have rule over our own spirit.

The book I was loaned is called “Boundaries” by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend.  It was really helpful.  I can now say the word ‘no’ without feeling guilt, and I can now recognise and deal with controlling people.  No is a great word!  The tapes were also really helpful but I can’t tell you who did them, I gave them back years ago.  I did take notes and wrote down some very telling extracts in my chapter about “Rebuilding the wall.”

I’ve also found a good sermon on Nehemiah, Rebuilding Spiritual Walls – by Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church, North Myrtle Beach, SC.  If you have 1/2 an hour its worth listening to.