Tag Archives: Faith

Royalty Training

We have been studying about the believer’s position in Jesus Christ.  Just where do we stand?  It’s a really cool subject.  The believer is said to be seated “with Christ” in God’s throne room(Ephesians 2:6).  He(in his humanity) is said to be seated  “at the right hand of the Father”(Ephesians 1:20).  This is the highest rank available.  Believers are also said to be “in union” with Jesus Christ both in his death, because our sin natures died with Him and also in His resurrection life where He is right now seated in the highest rank that exists(Romans 6 :3-5).  We get everything He gets, we have everything He has.  We don’t earn or deserve it we simply receive it because at the moment of belief, God the Holy Spirit places us in union with Jesus Christ.  It’s called baptism and has nothing to do with water.  We are identified with Christ, we become inseparable from Him.  We are in Him, He is in us.  We are granted a spiritual royalty. 

Ok, so spiritually,  in the eyes of God, everything that God loves about Jesus is in me and that is what God sees, my position.  Now, on earth, we don’t automatically know that we have this position.  We have to learn about it for one thing and we also have a sin nature that is positionally dead still working in our bodies.  So, sinless perfection is not something we experience here and now although we own it positionally.  Mind boggling!  I absolutely love it. 

I’ve had this analogy floating around in my head of a King who found a scrawny wretch of a young beggar woman and decided to marry her.   It took some time for her to believe it was real because seriously, who would do that?  Anyway, she accepted the proposal, now instantly, she was granted the status of royalty but had no skills either in manners or speech.  The king placed her in the custody of a counselor who’s job was to train the young woman in how to live like the royalty she truly was.  She basically needed a complete education plus learning how to walk, talk, eat, and think like royalty so that she could live and work with the King.   When the training was complete she and the king would be married.  It wasn’t a sham and she had everything to gain.  The training would not be difficult if she believed herself to be in the position of royalty even though she couldn’t perform as such for a long time and even occasionally ran back to her old life when things got difficult.  Apparently this was a VERY understanding king. 

It’s not a perfect analogy by any means, I know, but it made sense to me that we are in something like royalty training.  We have the position but we have to learn how it works.  We are getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit is our counselor who teaches us the word of God which is the very thinking of Jesus Christ. 

I’m enjoying learning about the connection between position and experience and how very rich I am right now.

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Not A Formula For Perfection

I recently purchased a writing course for my son.  The course comes from the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  It’s been a really great curriculum so far and I’ve observed at least a 90% improvement in my son’s writing!  That being said, the writing situation was pretty bad to begin with.  I could barely get him to write more than one sentence and they were awful.  I couldn’t seem to find the words to help him.  Now he is writing whole paragraphs about really interesting subjects or any subject that we might be working on.  I can’t say that he loves it or even likes it but I can see how it is helping him and building confidence.

There is a teacher course that I’m watching alongside the student lessons and while I was listening the teacher, Mr. Pudewa, he made a point that resonated so much with learning doctrine, I had to write it down.   Making sure that we understood that this was a very important point, he said, (I’m going to paraphrase) ” This is not a formula for perfection but instead practice of skills which will make complicated scenarios easier to navigate in the future”.  He was referring to the idea that each skill taught will be required in each piece of writing from lesson one till the student either leaves home or gets a new teacher.  So eventually there may be quite a check-list of skills to apply at writing time.  He was also trying to express that this may not churn out the most beautiful papers you have ever seen but it will create a storehouse of skills to call upon when a difficult piece of writing is required in the future.  I thought of how much like learning doctrine this was.  We learn day by day one skill at a time and from that time on, skill one is required just as much as skill 200.   In just the same way it’s not a formula for human perfection and I often think it is, I get hung up on thinking that the skills I’m using like rebound and the faith-rest drill are leading up to experiential perfection, like shooting a perfect basket in basketball.   The practice of skills is training for our benefit because when we face a complicated scenario, we can look at it and see something in it we have practiced many many times and it becomes less complicated.  The fruit of God the Holy Spirit will be a result of daily training not a result of some system that promises to lead to perfection.  I love the daily aspect because the application of skills learned one by one gets awkward at times and messy but God has a plan that is perfect and I only have to take it day by day. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Resistance to Peace

No sooner do I find a measure of peace in homeschooling and I start to resist it, push it away.  Instead of constant insecurity, I find a new angle to obsess over and dedicate myself to working on, until I have no peace.  It’s like I can’t leave it alone, peace isn’t good enough, I want to DO something.  I’m finding that there is a lot of pleasure in the process of working on an area that usually brings insecurity.  That very process of thinking about it and obsessing over it makes me feel like I’m bringing it under control, that I have power over it. 

What I don’t want to do and what I think I resist most is believing what God says.  It goes back to not faith-resting.  I’m not convinced that I can’t control the outcome so I haven’t stopped trying.  Peace isn’t hard to have when I’m applying faith to God’s word about my life.  What I find interesting is that I don’t want the peace as much as I want control.  Peace is scary, as a friend of mine was pointing out this week.  Not having something to work on and take credit for is so opposite of human values.  I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it.  I’m sort of seeing peace now in the light of it’s always being there, it’s always an option.  The question is am I going to accept it/believe it on a daily basis or am I hoping that it’s a one time fix.  Peace like happiness is learned and is a daily choice.  I find that to be a challenge but I also know that going forward in the word of God day by day under the filling of the Holy Spirit and my right Pastor Teacher, with God as my perfect shepherd,will accomplish His work in me. 

Leaving today behind me and pressing on towards fellowship with God, learning Bible Doctrine, and living in God’s pre-designed plan for my life,

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Finding Peace in Homeschooling

I love home-schooling as anyone who has talked to me knows.  The experience has been equal parts totally awesome and anxiety inducing.  I have wrestled over the last 4 years with feelings of inadequacy and fear of failing.  The lessons from the conference and the current lessons have begun to do what I never thought possible.  I am beginning to be set free from the constant nagging worry that what I’m doing as a teacher is not good enough.  The Faith-Rest Drill is my friend, one that I had not spent much time with when it came to homeschool, I felt that it was all MY responsibility so I had to trust in myself (which of course is just plain idiotic).   Knowing without a doubt that God has a plan for my kids that isn’t dependent on human systems or my ability, is giving me incredible peace of mind.  God’s word is dogmatic in stating that He will accomplish everything that concerns my children and that His plans for them are complete.  I think it’s funny how it’s not the “great” revelations that set me free but the simple basic doctrines, like the Faith-Rest Drill, that set me free time and time again.  I just keep learning them and applying them  on new levels. 

School is also going really well, we took a trip to the zoo today.  The local zoo has a free day each month in the winter, so we bundled up from head to toe and had a little adventure.  My daughter became enamoured with a Radiated Tortoise, named it Slowy, and talked all the way home about how she was going to get a pet turtle when she turned 13.  Caleb has always loved animals and really liked the lizards and snakes this time.  We managed to eat lunch in the Giraffe house since they are indoors this time of year, which was nice since it was so cold outside.  I personally enjoyed the Falcon we saw, the Gorilla, the Giraffes, and my kids.  We had a great day.  Our regular days are going well too, I’ve been given some new ideas for curriculum that I’ve needed but other than that we just take it day by day.

Even with the worrying I wouldn’t give up the freedom and closeness that comes with homeschooling, not to mention that a tailored education is a huge plus.  Without the worrying, I feel very relaxed and confident about the future.  The frustration is gone which means I’m in fellowship and can focus on the Lord’s leading. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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2010 Tucson Bible Conference

The Tucson Bible conference was amazing.  I came home exhausted but at the same time refreshed and more relaxed than I’ve been in a long time.  I’ve tried to get a post out but one thing after another has kept me from being able to write.  I think part of the problem is the inability to sum up.  There just isn’t any way to sum it all up and I’m not sure yet how to express how the lessons from the conference have affected me.  I took some time today to listen again to the first part.  There was something life changing once again in these conference lessons and it was mostly a shift in the way I think.  I don’t know how that will affect application at this point but the change in mental attitude is always first.   I caught a glimpse of how complete in Christ I really am.  I saw how perfect my relationship with God is, right now.  I could see that He has made it perfect, that He didn’t wait for me to get it right or do something worthy of Him.  It is an unfathomable love that would go to such lengths to restore fallen creatures even knowing they wouldn’t all respond.  To understand that we are restored to what God wants, right now, that there isn’t anything left for us to do but live in that truth… it was just amazing.  It was also very freeing to know that God isn’t waiting for me to do a great work for Him, I’m to focus on His great work because it is the only work that matters.  Even the great commission isn’t about a great work that we do but sharing with others His great work.  This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have great plans for us but once again it is His plan and His work that will accomplish it.  I have looked at my performance as not being enough, not enough prayer or application but I failed to look at His work in me as being complete.  He has never seen me as “not enough” after-all He paid an enormous price to make me perfect and complete.  As I go through the experience of having two natures this understanding has the potential to give me complete peace of mind even in great failure.  Another part of the conference that really stands out to me right now was the idea of being convinced about reconciliation and restoration.  Usually what happens is that I understand it but in the face of failing or falling on my face I am not convinced that God really is at peace with me and so it takes me a long time to get back up and go forward with peace of mind.  I can see that God is working on convincing me, that He’s really for me and wants me to live in the freedom He has purchased.

We made some new friends at the conference which was very exciting and we also got to spend time with our dearest friends which was very satisfying.  I may have more to say about it later so I’ll just keep it short today.

Keep Sailing,
Mary

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There Are No Points For Keeping Score

I’ve been blank lately with nothing to write about but I think I may have something finally to share.

  Recently I went through a difficult experience, one that I felt was more of a test for applying doctrine more than anything else.  The most disappointing thing about it was that nothing I did or tried to apply “worked” everything seemed a failure.  I thought, surly by now I should be able to apply doctrine under pressure and when I didn’t and could barely hang on to basic fellowship, I was angry and frustrated.  I found that this attitude leads to a danger zone of give-up-itis.  You hear that there is power and the life of Christ but you have decided that it just isn’t true or isn’t possible(for you).  God didn’t provide what you wanted in the way that you wanted it or in the way you had understood it should happen and so you figure God must be wrong.  I know that sounds ludicrous but in human arrogance we really think that our understanding is the ultimate measurement of truth.  If I understand God to be saying one thing but really I’m only understanding one quarter of it, and things don’t go the way I thought they should, what do I do?  I blame God and I don’t take into consideration that I cannot possibly have it all figured out.  If I daily need to have my mind renewed because I’m daily bombarded by cosmic viewpoint and can’t think divine viewpoint without daily doctrine, how can I think that I have God’s ways all figured out?  I can’t and I’m arrogant to think that I do. 

 In Bible class tonight and last Wed we have been studying what the Bible means by “losing your life” from Mat 10:39.  I can’t say that I really grasp it yet but one aspect really stood out to me, here is a quote “Many believers don’t want to lose the old life because they continue to have confidence in it”  I came to some conclusions when I heard that, and wrote some notes, these are in rough form since I jotted them down quickly:

You value your performance life, so you are bitter that God does not accept it. 

God does not value your performance.  He values your being filled with the Spirit and taking in Doctrine, and Knowing Him intimately.

You are keeping score based on what you think it means to think doctrine, apply doctrine or follow the rules of conduct that you think are the results of spirituality. 

Because I am keeping score and evaluating God’s word based on my own standards and performance during pressure I’m not operating in faith.  It’s much simpler than I’m making it.  Be filled with the Spirit, believe the Word, get to know God and don’t keep score or try and pass the test.  I cannot offer to God my performance as an offering.  He doesn’t want it any more than He wanted Cain’s wonderful vegetables.  He is the goal I’m to be after, not a glorious self. 

How incredible is the power of God’s word to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart, to set right the thoughts of a person and bring them into relationship with God.  He is more incredible than there are words to express it. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Not Lost but Laid Down

At times,there are things we are called upon to lose in this life.  There are things that must be taken away so that new and better things can be put in their place.  There are the days of evidence testing on the witness stand for God in the Angelic Conflict, that only those who have been found faithful can withstand as Job did and be honored.  Not many of us will see that last one but we will all experience loss in some way or another.

When The Lord Jesus Christ was on earth He said “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative…”  Matthew 10:17-18 

In the Lord’s case He had the literal power to stop living when He chose and to stay alive if He willed.  No one had the power to kill Him.  He Himself chose to stop living after His work on the cross was finished, Luke 23:46.  He did know that all along His dying was a part of His Father’s plan.  He accepted and embraced this to the point of laying His life down but He also knew the Joy and new life that was on the other side of seeming loss.

This got me to thinking about how I view calamity, pain and loss in all it’s forms(even the more mild forms).    I have learned and understand( the principle) that suffering and heartache are not random events, I know that they are a very important part of God’s plan to bring me His highest and best.  I would never on my own choose what He knows I need to grow spiritually and gain capacity for the prosperity(physically and spiritually) He wants to bring into my life.  He has carefully chosen the events that take place in my life, not to harm me but to prosper me, even through suffering.   On the one hand, as a human being, I have no control over when or how loss and suffering may strike.  I am completely powerless and must trust in the Character and Nature of God who I have come to know and love.  On the other hand, I do not have to view loss as an unseen hand taking something from me or disaster as something happening to me.  I can lay things down of my own initiative,I can choose to have the same attitude that was in Christ Jesus, knowing that nothing can happen to me apart from God’s loving design.  We actually have the opportunity to partner with God in His plan by living in His viewpoint and laying down our lives.  It is not succumbing, it is overcoming.  God has made us an absolute promise that if we lose our lives for His sake we will find it, Matthew 10:39.

Tears and sorrow are a natural accompaniment and shouldn’t be discouraged.  For eternity there will never be a tear or a sorrow and now in time is the only opportunity we have to glorify God in this way.  In Christ, our gains will always outweigh our losses for ever and ever.

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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