Saturday, December 28, 2019

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed.

A bit ago while I was thinking about things and how God talks with people and why it is so important for people to hear clearly and discern correctly what they hear, the Lord presented me with this analogy.  The waves in the scripture above and the analogy below are all the different trials of life that give us opportunities to put in to practice our thoughts, beliefs, and values.  They are our practice lessons.

"The Lord was showing me how progress, moving in and our of life's trials, and growth is frequently like the waves on the ocean. [S]ometimes [it] look[s] like the wave is coming but it doesn't turn into much or sometimes you catch a wave and it crashes a little too soon [or] you'll end up going a little bit backwards, farther from the shore, while you wait for the next wave.  [When] the next wave comes up it takes you right along with it, moving you closer to the shore. I don't know if you're familiar with boogie boards, but growing up I used to go Boogie boarding all the time at the beach. It's like surfing except for you never get off your belly. [H]ow the boogie board keeps you afloat and allows you to ride the wave is a lot better and more efficient and effective than trying to navigate getting back to the shore using just yourself. The Lord was showing me how following him and being on his path is a lot like Boogie boarding. When you are on the Boogie Board you are staying afloat of the water for the most part, and it allows you to ride on top of the wave instead of inside of the wave.  [I]t takes you nice and smoothly right to the shore and if it happens to crash beforehand, either because of your mess up, someone besides you messes up affecting you, or the wave fails early, you are able to paddle and stay right where you were or even swim closer to the shore waiting for the next wave to come."

That boogie board is the the Lord.  He is the one that will carry you over and through the trials.  He is the one that supports you on your journey.  That is a representation of your commitment and covenant you have with him.  It is based on your devotion to the Lord, following his guidance, and counsel, his devotion is already perfect and given.  Boogie boards also have a line that you attach to yourself for the occasions you get knocked off the board.  

How do you attach that line and climb onto your board?  If board is the Lord and him taking complete care of you, what do you do to obtain that gift?  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith[.]  Go to God and ask.  It is important to understand that He is perfect and his ways are perfect.  Though every person has their own personal journey to him his principles are the same across the board.  He lays them out over and over in the scriptures.  The Savior devoted his life to laying them out.  Doing so specifically through how he lived because he had the same laws to follow to get the promised results as we do.  

In his mortality he taught that we must pray to the Father"[W]hen you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.The words are not nearly as important as accessing your spirit as you pray.  Your heart will burn within you when your prayers are connected with heaven.  There are great eternal reasons why we only pray to one God.  "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you."  We are taught also to pray in the name of our Savior Yeshua Messiah.  Jesus Christ will work (he's very loving and full of grace) however, Jesus is Greek for "Son of Zesus".  He was Hebrew and was born and raised with a Hebrew name Yeshua (Joshua in English, it means savior).   Messiah is similar to the Greek Christ, but far more reaching in its meaning and importance.  

He also laid out the attributes he needs in his followers to live.
  • Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me (broken from life's trials and their weakness in overcoming)
  • And again, blessed are they that mourn (sorrow for the weakness of mortality and the desire for things that work against God's greatest plan)
  • And blessed are the meek (understand that though god blesses them they are no more nor less than all others on the earth)
  • And blessed are all they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness (your greatest desire and moving force is the furthering of God's work and your understanding of truth)
  • And blessed are the merciful (extending unending forgiveness to everyone as God has forgiven you all things)
  • And blessed are all the pure in heart (no desire to do evil, every thought word and action seeks the glory of God and God only)
  • And blessed are all the peacemakers (living in a way that avoids any contention, aka competition with yourself or another person)
  • Blessed are all they that are persecuted for my name's sake; And blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake (allow others to say whatever they will about you.  Their battle isn't with you, its with the Lord.  The Lord will take care of his own battles and is the only one that can do it in a way that has the greatest chance of winning over the accuser to his side.  Let the Lord reign.)
The last thing I am going to mention is this.  Treat all around you as equal to you with the greatest love and attention you have within you.  "Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ "  The Lord is very pointed in his showing that it isn't enough to desire to help these people.  If your desire doesn't turn to action your love was not real, your heart was not pure.  Wickedness never was happiness and the wicked cannot have any place in Heaven.  I have never found a more effective way at understanding the Lord's love than learning to love those I thought, from my own weakness and failing, less than, or separate from me, or just completely unassociated with me.  When we tear down those walls of fear and allow that outpouring of pure love from understanding our equality and the love the lord has for ALL mankind the windows of heaven are opened and God comes through in a great way.

In the boogy boarding analogy the Lord gave, notice that you don't get to skip the waves.  They are there for a reason, they play a very important part in this mortality.  A friend gave this further in site into the trials/waves of mortality.

"You can be a strong swimm[er],  cautious, careful,.... ride the waves pleasantly and body sur[f] for hours and then -out of the blue- one rouge wave can pick you up and smack you on the bottom,  completely filling up your bathing suit with sand and knocking the wind right out of you.... And you weren't doing anything differently a minute before that. It just is."

The waves are influenced by many sources including, in a big way, the agency of mankind.  Though we cannot and will not ever be able to skip the trials of mortality when we connect with the Lord, climb on the boogy board, he will carry us through in a manner that optimizes the whole system for our benefit.  This is his greatest desire.  Do not doubt his willingness and ability to carry you.  That is the greatest gift.  That in your struggles he will carry you.  It has nothing to do with your strength or ability.  Follow those basic principles laid out above and he will show you how to hold on.  He will show you what it feels like to let go of this world and become part of his.  Remember the wonderful miracle the Lord gave to his children in the Book of Esther.  Remember what actions they performed and what they did to turn their hearts to the Lord.  He will give that same attention and devotion to you personally.  You can allow their blessing fill you with hope for your own.

 "Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this Church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance of his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he hath delivered their souls from hell?"  Alma 3

It is God's pattern to speak with His children and teach them.  These people are then asked to go and share very specific things God has taught them.   Their eyes were opened and they get the job of sharing that others eyes may be open if the hearer chooses. Their message is only as good as it is pure and that varies greatly depending in the humility and diligence of the speaker.  The hearer and speaker must know that only God matters and allow him to be the final say.  The God of heaven, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob calls mortals to speak God's word.  The Lord uses these people to call his children out of darkness.  These speakers are NOTHING except what God had given them and then that part is God's, which leaves them NOTHING still.   You owe them nothing, no trust, no aligence, nothing other than gratitude of the part they played in Heavenly Father's plan.

Have you kept in your heart the working of a great God in the weakness of yourself.  A correct memory of how it was God and God ALONE who freed you.  NO man, not even yourself.  All allegiance goes ONLY to God.  He covers our weakness when we rely on him.
God is the one who changes our hearts and awakens us to our blindness and separation from him as we are being pulled down into the hell of this world.  The Saviour, Jesus Christ, is the one who gives the light to break through our darkness and see a better way.  Eventually breaking us out of the hell of this world literally bringing us into the presence of heaven and God, where he has a place for us to stay.  Now THIS is what the word salvation means.  To humble yourself, to put your TRUST in a LIVING God, a God that will become a part of you every moment.  To return to him daily, several times a day.  To make him a part of every thought process.  To let him show his interest in every single thing you do.  To understand that he, as a perfect parent, has more experience than any person on this earth and can see the absolute best path for us.  To ask for his guidance constantly.  To seek HIS teaching constantly.  To be corrected by him constantly, by our own choice, because we know he knows where our success lies.  Then, we must become broken and willing to hear his teachings and instructions (action) through the noise and distractions of this world and our own thoughts.  And sometimes even the persuasion of others.

When you do this he WILL enter into you.  He will fill you with His spirit to bring wisdom and knowledge.  His peace and love will become part of you to the blessing of his children all around you.  You become a beautiful reflection of him.  Similar to looking in a mirror, only it is your actions that are a mirror of him.  And you will KNOW that you have done EVERYTHING to mirror him, even with all your brokenness and weakness.  You will KNOW that he has entered into you and that ALL goodness that comes from you is HIS and you take no credit for his work, only to allow it to flow freely from you that his work may go forward unhindered. 

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

The warning voice of the Lord again goes forth.  It fills the sacred writings and must always be heeded.  This world is filled with men and women who will steal your ability to have a relationship with the Savior to gain greater "love," trust, and dependence on themselves.  Some do it knowingly and most do it because they themselves are deceived.  They set themselves up as a person of favor.  Someone to rely on when you are just learning to hear the Lord.  A person to correct and "help" you along your path back to God.  The scriptures show that God will allow you to do that just like he did with the Hebrews when he had Moses guide them out of Egypt.  However, he was also clear that they had chosen a man (who cannot save) over the God who can save perfectly.  He was displeased.  He was very sore with those who took a role to persuade others to desire trust in person who saw narrowly versus a God who saw perfectly.  He was held back from giving them the great gift symbolized in the promised land because the people didn't want him as their god.

God's love is perfect.  Perfectly filling, perfectly understanding, perfectly correctly, perfectly understandable.  The scriptures say do not fear man, do not call any man good, do not set any person as better than you, do not allow yourself to believe that anyone is more capable of hearing the Lord than anyone else.  If you do you are limiting God in his perfection.  Let him be perfect.  If you tear down how you view yourself and others and you can let God be perfect.    

Many of you God has already called out.  He has taught you.  He is still working to teach you.  However, if you decide to put a person as your examplar, you have pushed God aside and he does step back until you are ready for him to take his rightful desired place as sole teacher.  If you ask to be shown your warning signs for where you may be trusting man more than God, he will answer. If you ask to be taught what to expect when you are fully trusting God, he will gladly show you.  If you don't hold any options back, but give him your full self, mind, and heart to work with, correct, and fill, he will fill it.  He has promised.  He will fill it more than you could ever imagine.  He delights in filling you, his temple.

"...[A]nd the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts."

Thursday, December 12, 2019

I Stand At The Door And Knock Part 1 Hearing

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”Revelation 3:20-22

The Lord compares our victory to his.  Being a perfect being he would only do a perfect comparison.  With that we can trust that if we do as he says, hear his voice and open the door, we will be victorious.  It is sure.

"If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person..."   How do we know we are hearing his voice?  

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.  For the Father loveth the Son and showeth him all things that himself doeth; and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. ... For the Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, That all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father who hath sent him.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He who heareth my word and believeth on him who sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death into life. ...

For I can of mine own self do nothing because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me.  Therefore, if I bear witness of myself, yet my witness is true.  For I am not alone; there is another who beareth witness of me, and I know that the testimony which he giveth of me is true.  Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness also unto the truth.  And he received not his testimony of man, but of God; and ye yourselves say that he is a prophet; therefore, ye ought to receive his testimony. These things I say that ye might be saved.  He was a burning and a shining light; and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.  But I have a greater witness than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.  And the Father himself who sent me, hath borne witness of me. And verily, I testify unto you that ye have never heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape;  For ye have not his word abiding in you; and him whom he hath sent, ye believe not.  

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me that ye might have life, lest ye should honor me.  I receive not honor from men.  But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.  I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.  How can ye believe, who seek honor one of another and seek not the honor which cometh from God only?  Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is Moses who accuseth you, in whom ye trust.  For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

The teachings of the Saviour on how to know when we being taught truth.
  • "For I can of mine own self do nothing because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me."  Humility, meekness, understanding of the goodness, graciousness, and glory of God.  Everything MUST point only to the Father of Heaven.  A complete and full recognition that EVERYTHING we have that is good is from the father and belongs directly to him.  We are not good of ourselves, only as we are connected to God and that goodness is his.
  • "he received not his testimony of man, but of God"  A true testimony will only point to the God of Heaven.  Everything they know and witness about is because the Father has testified of it to them himself.  It can be through his word to their mind and hearts, but it is directly from him.  They are certainly allowed to be learning themself, infact it is vital, but they only teach what the Lord directs them precisely.  There must be NO reliance from the hearer on the speakers knowledge.  Just passing on the word of God so that the hearer can get directly to God and learn from him who is the perfect teacher.
  • "I have a greater witness than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."  The works must be seen and judged.  If there are no works that in itself is a judgement.  If a person preaches a truth that leads to a result and you cannot see that result in that person or those they have taught there is no truth in that teaching.  The Lord will come through to bear witness to the hearer that what they are hearing is true.  He will never ask you to rely on a person.  Therefore he will always come though and bear witness, undeniable witness, that he is in that work.  More than just a mere feeling.  He will give you whatever you need to move any trust in a person over to him who has the power to salvation.  The witness then will be everywhere if it is the Father;s work.  It should be happening in your life repeatedly as soon as you embrace truth and work toward becoming it.  If you do not have many witnesses that is okay you just need to reassess and correct.  The witnesses are a tool to help you know if you're in line with truth.  Seek from the Lord to teach you where He would have you correct first and go from there.  The witnesses will come.  He's really perfect that way.  There is always more to learn and more to correct.  Never stop seeking.
  • "you that ye have never heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape;  For ye have not his word abiding in you; and him whom he hath sent, ye believe not." If you haven't heard his voice or seen his face it is only because you won't believe the truth.  It may be because you haven't heard it/learned it, or it could be because you have turned away from it.  Either way, it is a law that you can only hear the Lord's voice and see/know his face if you believe, unto action, his word/truth.  Be it from himself, or someone called to teach.  Please understand clearly, he does not have favorites.  If you are in the correct line you will hear his voice and come to know his face.  He speaks the same truth to all, but the delivery is as diverse as the people listening.  Seek to know the way he speaks with you.  It will be tailored exactly for you.  There is not exception.  If you cannot hear him and do not have a reliable understanding of how he acts and who he is there is need for correctionnand learning.  Again, this is okay and very very good.  He desires so strongly to have every person in his arms and has given and will continue to give you everything he's got to help you hear him.
  • "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me."  Develop a relationship with the scriptures.  Allow the Lord to work through them to showing you his true character.  He is love.  He is light.  He is the perfect personification of all the beattitudes.  When reading give your heart to the Lord.  Ask him to break down all your ideas of how he works and who he is so that he can come through and build up the correct understanding of all that.  He can and will use the scriptures to do this if you allow him.
  • "How can ye believe, who seek honor one of another and seek not the honor which cometh from God only?"  If you see any person who tells you, or asks you to trust them they are seeking their own honor.  They are asking you to honor them.  The only being that deserves our trust is our Father in Heaven.  It is a very common problem and you can know immediately they have a misalignment if they ever say or think that others need to trust them.  You cannot desire to put your trust in another person or have another person put their trust in you. Even the Savior chastised people for calling him "good" while he was alive on this earth because he knew the weakness of mortal flesh.  How much more we ought to remember that we are weak and fallen and should never trust ourselves to bring anyone to salvation.  That is not our territory.  No one is serving God who asks others to put their trust in themself.  No one is serving God who puts their trust in another human being.
  • "if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"  It is God's pattern to speak with His children and teach them.  These people are then asked to go and share very specific things God has taught them.   Their eyes were opened and they get the job of sharing that others eyes may be open if the hearer chooses. Their message is only as good as it is pure and that varies greatly depending in the humility and diligence of the speaker.  The hearer and speaker must know that only God matters and allow him to be the final say.  The God of heaven, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob calls mortals to speak God's word.  The Lord uses these people to call his children out of darkness.  These speakers are NOTHING except what God had given them and then that part is God's, which leaves them NOTHING still.  This is where the scriptures come from and any person today who is sent with a specific message.  Let them be the tool they are intended to be and NOTHING more.  Believe all truth as the gift from god that it is and rejoice in God's goodness and protection.

Learning to hear God is a process and journey.  It is filled with constant signs and witnesses of his love and devotion to his children.  His only desire is the safety and salvation of his children.  The only way to accomplish that is a personal relationship with him.  I promise you he is vigorously committed to coming to you and having you in his closest circle of love and companionship.  Everyone that will have him.  Give up all your distractions and focus on him.  Its so real and so true.  Hearing is critical to this process.  Everything hinges on how clearly you can hear and know him.  That is the thing that will keep you in his territory.  The devil seeks to distract and destroy you.  He is nothing compared to the love of the Savior.  Hearing him will allow you to discern the tricks and working of the devil.  No need to study all the ways to err, only know the voice of the Lord and you will know when something else comes in as a pretend.  No one could pretend to be your spouse for a day without be detected.  You will have that same kind of relationship with the Lord if you seek it.  He is all in for you already. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Scriptures As An Anchor

"The things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel. For it shall come to pass in that day, that the churches which are built up, and not unto, the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other, Behold, I, I am the Lord's; and the other shall say, I, I am the Lord's. And thus shall every one say, that hath built up the churches, and not unto the Lord; and they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another; and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance. And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel"

Scripture, or sacred writings, have been a tool used for all ages to preserve some of God's more pure teachings.  It is true that many, or most, if not all, sacred texts have been tampered with for various reasons, some more innocent than others.  However, I firmly believe that God still uses them to communicate his desires and word to those who are willing and wanting to hear.  He will break through any barrier to come to those who desire him.  So, why are scriptures so important?  Why isn't going to church or listening to someone talk "good enough?"  First off, sometimes it is.  All scriptures are meant to be holy writings.  So, if the people you are listening to are sharing holy/pure teachings that is no different than reading the holy word on paper.  However, man is weak.

The weakness of man leads him to teach things he/she doesn't fully understand and may insert incorrect ideas in.  That's not pure.  The weakness of man leads him to see the things through his own eyes, experiences, perspective which causes an incomplete view of the whole.  This is not a bad thing, but if it is taught that his views are the only views, that is incorrect and may cause others to drop their ideas when they might be correct and from God as well.  The weakness of man causes him/her to say things in a way to create a picture of their importance or uniqueness.  This causes competition and comparison and is ALWAYS a bad thing in the Lord's eyes.  Some will even go so far as to manipulate the words of God to cause people to want to support, be loyal to, depend on them in their "ministry."  This is grossly wicked and the person will never be blessed by god in that particular area.

Now, back to the scriptures.  When you read the scriptures, sacred texts, with a prayer and yearning for God to come through to you to teach you what he wants you to know from the text you are reading you have opened the door for teaching to come directly from the perfect source.  He will teach you directed to your experiences and understanding.  It will be in a way that will allow you to latch onto the truth at your deepest level.  If you desire it can change you, improve you, every time you read because you have access to the perfect teacher.  

"Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false, and vain, and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark; and the blood of the Saints shall cry from the ground against them. Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted. Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted; and their churches are lifted up; because of pride, they are puffed up."

A word of warning.  If you want to get the most out of your study allow the Lord to show you where you have incorrect ideas and what the correct idea is.  Because we live in a world that has been pulled away from God for so long and despite people's best intentions we can be sure that we have ideas and beliefs that cause a division between us and God.  Some are a bigger deal than others.  If you are willing allow him permission to show you those and help you align with him right off.  The very first thing you will want is to gain a firm and correct understanding of who he is and discerning between him, ourselves, and the devil.  All these things he is very eager, willing, and interested in teaching.  Be sure that He will answer you request.  Also know that we must be willing as well to learn and be changed when he teaches.  If he teaches and we do not allow it to change us for the better he will pull back because we condemn ourselves every time we learn something and do not act, or do not act appropriately with the new gift of knowledge.  Also know that he is beyond quick to return when we are truly sorry for our misdeeds, and show through our actions that we will do better.  Perfection of action is not required, only a devoted heart.

As you study the scriptures in a way that allows the Lord to come through and teach you personally of him and his ways you will begin to see him all over your life.  You will be able to hear him, because he has taught you what he sounds like, tell you what he has for your life.  Where he wants your attention to be.  You may see the scriptures come to life in you personal life. 

Living the life that constantly invites the Lord to teach his most desired teaching will allow you to learn and grow "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are they that hearken unto  my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom: for unto him that receiveth, I will give more; and them that shall say, We have enough;from them shall be taken away even that which they have."

"And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life, but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people over whom I have made thee king, Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honor such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee; neither shall there any after thee have the like."