Character

The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Like A Polished Stone

livingstones

1 Peter 2:4-5 says

 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Around 8 or so years ago I was in a prayer meeting and we all sat before the Lord and listened and I saw a vision in my imagination.

I was standing near the throne, which was at the top of a hill, and I turned towards the multitude of people and declared, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a polished stone.”

I understood what it meant when I said it. Polished stones go through a process called Tumble Finishing. This is where many stones (believers) are put inside a barrel (church) with a lubricant (Holy Spirit) and grit (aggravating things) and as the stones  inside the barrel gets tumbled around (life and correction) and they rub together and the grit removes the rough edges while the lubricant  prevent too much rubbing. I guess I could say as stones polish stones instead of iron sharpening iron in this aspect.

I’m also picturing a stream coming from a mountain and as stone make it into the river they get carried and bounce and follow the stream till they are smooth and find their place on the riverbed. Have you felt out of place? Do you seem to just follow where the river goes and never seem to fit in? It could be either you are still in the smoothing process or just haven’t found your designated spot yet. Be content in the river. Be content in the process. Be content and know your place won’t be filled unless you reject the process to get there.

Living stones. Interesting term isn’t it? No wonder why God says the latter Glory will be greater than the former (see Haggai 2:9). The temple used to be a stationary building which people have to travel to worship at (see John 4:21-24). Now the temple has come to you…if you stay in proper fellowship. We are the temple and are becoming the Temple. There are many lone rangers these days…and I understand why. Some have been hurt, others need more, and still others think they are better than the church (see Luke 18:11). I, for one, love the Church for without the church I would have been subject to every wave of deceit the world has to offer. A drifting stone, thinking I’ve arrived while in reality I’ve never left. I know of online churches, which I’m not against, that become a safe place for those hurt by church, which I also am not against, but a computer screen can never take the place of a brother and sister in fellowship with one another face to face. Some even become Christian hermits receiving their own revelation outside of relationship with the rest of the Body. Contemplating your hand will never teach you to walk and it won’t reveal that you have feet. 1 Corinthians 12:21-25 says

 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

Without a corporate man the Head has no place to rest. Where one refuses face to face fellowship, one refusing the working of the Holy Spirit in His body. Hebrews 10:25 has a somber warning and it says

Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.

Light strengthens by number. One cannot put 10,000 to flight. Living stones as in plural. More than one. Many parts. You wouldn’t expect to build a house with one brick would you? The Lord’s candela or candle power strength must come with unity and not disunity. The building God is building in this hour is from living stones, living together, and preferring one another over themselves. We need to allow the plumb line of God to see where we are in relation to where He is and others are. I am guilty of this and I repent for the way I’ve called some “nominal Christians.” These are my brother and sisters whether I like it or not. Let us not reject these “living stones” which the Builder is not rejecting Himself. Submit to the process of polishing for this is the kingdom of Heaven.

We are living and breathing stones which call out the praises of God and are being fitting together for a Holy Dwelling for the God of the universe to dwell in and we need to submit to the process of being built up where habitation is possible. Habitation is possible only by habitat. Buildings are only possible by multiple stones being built together.

 

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Fruit, the foundation for the Gifts

cropped-revival-holy-spirit-on-fire-revive-joy

I’ve been thinking about this the past couple of weeks and I was just listening to a Graham Cooke YouTube which is at the end of this blog and it spurred me onto sharing. I’ll start with one quote from this video he said:

People have destroyed with their character what they have built with their gift.

Another nugget comes from Wade Taylor’s book, “Secret of the Stairs” as least I think so. I don’t want to misquote or say the wrong book but I believe it’s from his book. When walking with God comes a revelation or riser of a stair then a walking out of it first step before a another riser of revelation comes and then walking that out and so on and so on.

So I’ve had this picture of a beautiful house. Decked out on the outside with fancy and exquisite windows, doors, shutters, etc. Looks great from the outside. But when on the inside it’s empty without even drywall or proper supporting beams, trusses, etc. Looks good on the outside but inside it’s full of the bones of dead men, if I may borrow Jesus’ estimation of things. To add some grace, those bones can be seen with flesh and sinew coming back to them.

I do want to say I love those who God is downloading pioneering revelation and preparing the way for His second coming. It’s a hard road to be on when the pioneers are trudging through new territory and the settlers mock them from a distance. We need to intercede for them.

Intercession, my brother, often means bearing the scorn of another’s enlightenment.” – Baxter Kruger

In the Old Testament (Ex. 28) we see the priestly garments had a breastplate, robe, a turban with “Holy to the Lord” written on it and bells and pomegranates attached to the hem of the robe. What I want to focus on are the bells and fruit.

We know they are 9 gifts of the Spirit(that are active on earth now) and 9 fruits of the Spirit(which are active on the earth now). You can’t have one without the other (cessationism is heretical but I’m not going to go there). I grew up in the non-denominational charismatic church all my life with a brief stint in a beautiful Methodist church full of beautiful people. I’ve seen the fruits, flakes, and nuts in Charismatica. I’ve also seen the beautiful bride within cleansing herself of every spot and wrinkle. And I love them all the same. But what I see these days is great and needed but needs refinement. (Heb. 5:14) People are seeking the Father like never before and He is revealing Himself like never before. God is revealing Himself in the Scriptures more and more. God is doing new things and more and more people are stepping into them. But some lose the fruit on account of the gifts.  When the fruit should be the foundation and furnishing for the gifts to operate in full capacity and glory. We see in the OT Tabernacle two tent pegs holding up the tent poles all around. One being Spirit and the other Word. We do not live 50% Word and 50% Spirit but 100% of both. We do not live 50% gifts and 50% fruit but 100% of both. I am sure there are many studies on how the 9 fruit line up with 9 gifts like this one: 9 Gifts and 9 Fruits. This isn’t my teaching and I’m unsure of the other stuff on that site but it’s a reference.

But I would say some walk around as revelation junkies. Almost like a fix. Addiction to experiences can lead to an unhealthy dependency if not fueled by a passion for Presence. We need to seek the gifts! (1 Cor. 12:31). But need to seek the agape Love that God is. They act offensively to expose the religious spirit but, in doing so, expose their lack of fruit. They use middle fingers and equate God with a drug which I believe is offensive and grieves the Holy Spirit. A true father knows the current state of his son and responds to him appropriately.  Nevertheless the Holy Spirit still dwells in them but only in the corner of their housetop (Prov. 21:9). Truth is offensive in and of itself. Let your light shine, don’t make it shine I say. Revelation apart from the testimony of Jesus can lead to an improper balance in life and lead to a twisting of divine truth. (Col. 2:18). That scripture is not say we can’t have visions and walk after what we saw but it must lead to humility and fruit and submission to the character of God. Gifting apart for character leads to pride which is before a fall. Don’t get me wrong there is a grace for pioneering in the Spirit. Almost all pioneers get ridiculed and it’s not my heart to come against them but provide a foundation in which gifting can be supported. Now this isn’t a works righteousness here. All things come through grace and faith. Faith is dead without works because you know them by their fruit. All of us need healing in our lives and without healing, gifts because our validation apart from the approval of God. Be warned though that if you pray for fruit expect the ground around you to become hostile. In order to move in the opposite spirit there must be opposition. We must be broken in the sense that we know why don’t have it all figured out…and there are many who think they have it all figured out, me included. You know how the world will know we are His disciples? By our love for one another! (John 13:35) Yet do we see this today? We build bigger boxes then the next person and point finger while saying, “At least I’m not where that person is” meanwhile we are choking under the weight of own pride. But God’s grace is ever-present to lead us all out of our boxes into glorious liberty which Christ purchased for us. And I speak with three fingers pointing back at me. If you need milk then enjoy it to its fullness but then get on with the meat course. But with meat comes a chewing process. It must be broken down to be receptive. Our experiences and revelation of God must not be a pedestal or esoteric secret knowledge because we are His friends and freely we have received we freely give. The enemy doesn’t attack our gifting, he attacks our character. The world looks at character. The world looks for stability of fruit.

We must walk out our current revelation with character  in order for us to be trusted with the next step. The fruit of the Spirit is the only launching pad where the gifts can fly with accuracy.

You want gifting and revelation and experiences with God? Build a foundation of fruit in your life. Attach some pomegranates to your robe of righteousness. Mellow out your tongues with some love. Show grace. Be love. Be kind. Be gentle. Be self-controlled. Be joyful. Be patient. Be peaceful. Be faithful. Against such there is no law.

I will complete my loving rant with this 🙂 Psalm 103:7 says

He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.

Many seek his hand while denying His face. Moses knew that his face to face relationship was all he needed. Bill Johnson says, “When you catch sight of His Eyes there’s nothing He blesses you with that could ever distract you.”

Relying on gifting promotes your crown while character casts your crown upon the feet of Him who purchased it. For once it’s cast it become refined for a greater measure. And this must be a continual process.

 

 

 

 

 

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