Posts Tagged ‘Christian walk’

Did you just say that walking with Jesus is hard?

The Duke was on the right track, but suffice it to saythat’s foolishness.stupid

Do you want to know what’s hard? Walking in the flesh is hard. The truth of the matter is that whenever I conclude my Christian walk is difficult, or challenging, or wearisome, that’s not my thinking — it’s the Holy Spirit reminding me that I’ve crawled back into my old skin. I believe my Father reminds me of this because I routinely ask Him to…

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 23-24

Remember this, Christian: a life lived one hundred percent in the Spirit is the easiest thing we can do this side of Heaven. If somebody tells you otherwise, don’t listen. Don’t listen because they’re either struggling in their flesh and they don’t perceive it or they’re struggling in a sin and trying to justify it. There may be other reasons, but these two seem to be the most significant.

Do I walk 100% in the Spirit?

Not quite yet, but that’s not the point. The truth be told, even as I am writing this, I am walking just a tad in my flesh — I’m the one who needed this counsel this morning, but the meat on this bone is so satisfying, I just had to share it. Recognize that one hundred percent is the ideal. No one has achieved it, but we should try to surround ourselves with those believers who seek it. Do not put yourself under the yoke of those who complain or suggest the Christian walk is hard. That sort of negativity reveals that they are distracted from the goal and to some varying degree, focused on themselves.

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3

Ask yourself this simple question, “Is Jesus a liar?”

Obviously, He is not. So what was Jesus trying to convey when He said…

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

If Jesus said His yoke (that is to say, ‘His way;’ His teaching) is easy, that is exactly what He meant. Jesus qualifies His own remark by adding that with every yoke there comes a burden, but His burden is light.  James told us to be ‘doers‘ of the Word, not just hearers, with the understanding that the ‘doing’ is the light burden Jesus spoke of. The teachings of Jesus, and the application of the word that must follow, is the most rewarding, most manageable, mild, and pleasant thing a person can do (unless of course you’re doing it in your own flesh).

If you think it’s hard, compare His method to the ways of the world. You know, the ways that lead to everlasting death.

Meditate on this passage:

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:11-18


What about it? You do realize that with Christ or without Him, a person will still experience suffering. whineI am here to tell you that any suffering you encounter with Jesus will be far easier than any you undergo without Him. God promises to be with us through every trial. Nobody of this world can make such a claim. So stop whining and start walking in the manner in which He has prescribed for you. And if you should face a situation where you errantly think your Christian walk is hard, rejoice, don’t lament. God is merely revealing to you that you’re entertaining your flesh. Acknowledge and obey the Lord and then share it with someone. Confession is good for the soul!

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:14-16

Christians who embrace hardship are essentially putting off Christ and quenching the work of the Holy Spirit. Nobody who has removed filthy clothes would put them on again, when clean ones have been made readily available. You might even agree that doing so would be stupid, and as the Duke has already pointed out, stupid is hard.

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I write about Jesus and the Christian walk. But if I want a lot of visitors, all I have to do is mention Oprah Winfrey, abortion, homosexuality, or for some strange reason, saxophones. It just goes to show ya that sin is more attractive to sinners than righteousness is. Oh well, be that as it may, today…I got nothin.

I woke up this morning, did a little ministry work and a little worship, but I never got around to opening the Word. As a result, there is no blog today. I was planning to unravel Psalm 51:4, but maybe I’ll get around to it tomorrow or Thursday.

Here’s the verse:

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest.

What are your thoughts on the verse?

If you give me something good (and brief), maybe I’ll use it.

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Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. Nehemiah 3:1

The Gates of Jerusalem

In the story of Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem to rebuild its fortification wall we see that there are ten gates incorporated within the structure. At first glance these gates might not seem very significant to us, after all they’re just gates. However, if we scrutinize the name of each gate and their placement within the story, we discover a kind of blueprint for our Christian walk. Are these names and their order in Nehemiah’s account some sort of coincidence? You be the judge—I’ve listed the gates in the exact order they appear in the Bible..

The Sheep Gate

The repairs to the wall had to start somewhere, right? I feel it is absolutely appropriate that our walk of faith starts here as well—for two reasons. First, we are likened to sheep who have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6) who are exhorted to enter by the narrow gate (Luke 13:24). But more importantly, Who is it that we believe and follow?

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

The Fish Gate

Salvation is found in Christ Jesus alone; there is no work that we can do to earn our deliverance. Nevertheless, the born again believer is grateful and Christian duty is the common reaction to that sentiment. It is in fact our reasonable service (Romans 12:1).

Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17

The Old Gate

Are you beginning to see a pattern emerge?

As we share our faith or as others witness our religious behavior, someone will inevitably start asking questions. That’s a glorious consequence because so many times I won’t have the precise answer they’re looking for. I’m drawn back to the Old Gate, the Bible and as a result we’re both blessed. Jesus Christ is both the Word (John 1:1) and the rejected stone which became the chief cornerstone (Acts 4:11).

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work . 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Valley Gate

Trials and tribulations are a certainty when we walk with Jesus. Oh we’re not being singled out because of our faith for no one is exempt; believers and non-believers have problems to cope with. What we have is the opportunity to manage our problems differently. In our observance God is glorified.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

The Refuse Gate

I must defer to the King James Version because in it this opening in Jerusalem’s wall is referred to as the Dung Gate and as we all know, ‘dung happens.’ The reality is we’re all going to mess up and satan’s going to come along and remind us how dungy our walk is. The key here is to remember that our adversary isn’t pleased when we fall; he’s pleased when we don’t get up.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

The Fountain Gate

Our Savior is the fountain of life (Psalms 36:9), His law is a fountain of life (Proverbs 13:14), and the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:27). The worst we can do is to forsake the Source and hewn for ourselves broken cisterns that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13). After the valley and dung how refreshing it is to come back to the fountain. As we mature in the faith we soon learn that the fountain is portable.

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14

The Water Gate

In the typology we might think the Fountain Gate and the Water Gate refer to the same thing. Well (pun intended), to a certain degree they do. The fountain is the source and the water itself is that which we drink up, soak in, and share with others. It quenches our thirst and cleanses the soul.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word Ephesians 5:25-26

The Horse Gate

Now we’re getting into some exciting stuff, because when I think of horses, I think of Christ’s return. Will you be on one of these mighty steeds?

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints Jude 1:14

The East Gate

And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. (Zechariah 14:4) Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. (Ezekiel 43:1-2)

If you go to Israel today (so I am told) you will see that the East Gate is all bricked up. It’s been that way since the Seljuk Turks sealed it in about 1100 AD. I’m told that they had learned from the scriptures that Christ would be returning via the east Gate and this was their attempt to thwart His arrival. Silly Turks. Little did they know that they merely were fulfilling prophesy. Anybody think Jesus is going to turn away when He finds the East Gate closed? Me either.

Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. 2 And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. Ezekiel 44:1-2

The Miphkad Gate

Miphkad means command from the root word which means the appointed place and it speaks to judgment. Every believer should understand that there are two judgments; God shall judge the righteous and the wicked (Ecclesiastes 3:17). The righteous will stand before the Lord and have their works judged; their salvation however is secure:

Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire1 Corinthians 3:13-15

And the wicked will also be judged. Their eternal future is secure too, however…

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.5 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

The Sheep Gate

Wait a minute; we started with the Sheep Gate. Correct! We have come full circle–the Sheep Gate is mentioned at the very beginning and very end of Nehemiah chapter 3. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come (Revelation 1:8). Our story begins with Jesus and ends with Jesus; that is of course if you want to call eternity in Heaven with Him a finale.

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5:11-12

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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands.

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