June 6th.

Judges 1 / Isaiah 30 / Hebrews 13

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They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.

Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!"

I know from personal experience that what's naturally in the humans wants what it wants, and loathes what it doesn't want. It squirms and hides, and pretends it doesn't need to have affliction and adversity, that it can get to where it's going the easy way, by hiding and pretending, afraid of what will actually be good for it. That is the way the human doesn't ever choose on its own because it's programmed by the nature that's instinctively plugged into it to run away from adversity and affliction, to protect itself at all cost. It wants to preserve what's inside itself and shy away from anything threatening which is something so ubiquitous in the animals it can be considered like a law, like gravity. It is the curse that keeps the humans from love and being able to love because they can only love themselves.

The LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.

This formula for the sons is like the law of the self-preserving animal nature in the humans, steady and sure—what must be found in them in order to stamp out the animal from inside them so they can have a new nature that can love and receive love. It's pretty simple and straightforward and doesn't need that many words or knowledge to accept it. If the son wants love, and to be able to have the capacity to actually love (other than his own self), then he has to embrace what he doesn't want to embrace.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"

The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, being the food the human spirit hates most, is the opposite for the sons because it can crush the human spirit out of them, the thing that always sets itself up against a knowledge of the Father and a love for the Son.

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

The account of the Israelites' situation in the land is the imperfect that points to the perfect. It's for the sons' good, to learn from the mistakes of those who are the copy. It's the Father's compassion to give His sons examples of what to do and not to do. Over and over, from the mistake of Adam onward, the accounts are recorded and preserved to show the sons what NOT to do. So many examples of unfaithfulness and mistrust as warnings for the sons to be careful not to be given over and become dull because of going away from the Father in our hearts, becoming stiff-necked and arrogant, smug and haughty. That's what God hates to see in His sons' hearts, and He has given us the ability to read so many different yet similar accounts of mistakes to keep us from doing the same and being led astray.

He's also given us the reason they keep making the same presumptuous mistakes, so we can see it not just as some third-party observations, which end up amounting up to conceptual theorizations that have little to do with our actual internal makeup (cursed with the nature that cannot love). We can see why they were led astray, what drove them to constantly turn away from the Father, and what they were turning instead to. We know what God did to the humans in Genesis 3, and we can see the outworking of that condition that was put onto them throughout the scriptures.

We see it over and over again throughout the record, and we observe that same nature of self-preservation in the humans around us who are constantly compelled to choose their own way. When we're able to start to see it in ourselves, then the battle starts because it's easy to observe in the record, and even in the people we can observe. Recognizing it in our own selves is the beginning of being able to help facilitate the undermining of its stronghold in us, which is something the humans never have to face. They can just go through their entire life like all the others, going the way of everything in the earth. The reason the sons can know it is because we are able to see how it completely ruled us before, when we were completely unaware of our condition because we couldn't know it. There were little hints here and there, pointing at it, but they didn't amount to any kind of coherent comprehension about our frustrating yet hidden condition.

That coherent, comprehensive explanation is just now being revealed to us. It started a while ago and then began building itself up in us as we moved along, slowly becoming aware of what we came from and what we're becoming. As we notice how it has a powerful pull over us to lead us away to do its will instead of being faithful to our true Husband and Father—how easily it leads us by the nose despite our desire or intention—we can get an appreciation for the work that Jesus did in denying it the right to lead him, to rule over him. The animal nature wanted to drag him away from his purpose and desire—doing what the Father wanted him to do out of love for Him and His purpose and will to have His family safe surrounding Him—so that it could lead him instead, as it does all the others.

All the mistakes that we can read about, the many instances of unfaithfulness of the people toward God, and the many times we ourselves are led away against our intention to serve our selves instead of the Lord; are all stacked up against the Lord's continued faithfulness to the Father, despite the suffering and shame he endured for the Father and the family's sake. The contrast of the Son's obedience verses all the acts of observed and experiential unfaithfulness produces an awe in the sons, an honor and respect for the firstborn Son because he did what the others continually couldn't do, what we can't do—say no to the animal when it tempts us. We feel ourselves quashed under the power of the darkness and the weight on our heart, while our temptations are tiny by contrast.

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength."

The lie that we can stand up ourselves, by any power we possess, should also be getting quashed along with that nature of self-sufficiency and brute manliness, which is good. The Israelites didn't fight by their own power; the army of God gave the inhabitants of the land over to them. Repentance isn't about our own strength and power, that's just something about the ego. Quiet repentance is listening to the voice of our Teacher teaching us about the animal nature and why it's there and accepting it for what it is, while we are changed and moved away from its domination of our heart and mind, the condition of not being able to know our Father and His love for us.

Trust is accepting the salvation that comes through the good Son for the power he had, and resting in the fact that we cannot do anything out of what we possess within ourselves—that's the way the humans are given over to, and they have no other choice but to embrace it because it's all there is for them. Trusting that this process is all true, and resting in our Father's house, giving up all our various impotent attempts at doing and being anything. Just resting and trusting is what the Father wants, because that's believing.

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

As we see what's true about the animal nature, we see that giving up and dying to its chaos, fear and worrying about the life is the best way. The only real way to do that is to actually trust our unseen Father, which is why the animals can't ever be pleasing to God, because they can't trust anything or anyone unless that can be seen or understood via the earthly, animal senses. That is impossible to do though, given their condition as animals. It's a lot easier to just sit around and theorize about it than to have the life squished out of us in a real way via the bread of adversity and the water of affliction. That's the best way, even though we hate to even think of it because of the natural evil that pervades in us until it gets clamped down on.

When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.

During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

God wants trust and belief from His sons, not power or production, because in their natural condition they're totally impotent and have no way to fight against what will naturally pull them into the ground and consume them. He wants them to see that and believe it, but more to trust and believe that His will is being done in us and that whatever happens is good and okay. If He wants to keep us from something He will, if He wants to use it for our development so that we can trust Him more, He will do that. This is a thing that's a lot easier to believe theoretically and conceptually than actually go through. But go through it we must in order to be purified from what makes and keeps us evil (thinking we're inherently good) and away from what's actually good (only the Father is good).

Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

If the most important thing is to do God's will, and if God's will is to have a family of sons who are with Him forever, and if He is even now gathering them up one by one; then our work and aspirations, which otherwise would always just be centered around our selves, are now moving in the other direction. The son who becomes responsive to the Father also becomes responsive to those the Father has chosen to wear His name. The development of love in the son doesn't happen by theory—remaining theoretical while he goes about his animal life, still concerned primarily and continually with his own situation and whatever's attached to that. That is the old way, the way of the earth and the human animals who rule it, because it's the way of the nature that rules them, which is the devil, the adversary, the deceiver, the enemy of the sons which (who) wants to keep them away from the Father because that's its job, to keep the humans away from God, who only wants to be the Father of those He is choosing, not the entire world of humans who ever had a whim and desire to get something from their gods, which cannot ever be love.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

The understanding of the animal nature is what makes the son aware of his enemy, which is the condition that lives in the humans and drives them to be what and who they are. The son has to see how utterly impossible it is to get to God because of that nature he is born into and plagued with, just like all the creatures in the world. There is no denying its power by pretending it's not there, which is the impulse of the very thing that's there, so there's a circle of suspension that exists in the humans, like the wolf hired to guard the chicken house, like the enemy who's hired to be a lookout. There is only one way to the Father, which Jesus told his disciples. The way to the Father is through him and what he was going to do for them—killing the animal nature and its power in the sons, so that they and we could come out from under the membrane that covers the humans so they cannot get to God. He did that out of love for God, and the sons God had chosen because He desired that they be with him.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"

The only way they can be saved is by his work, as the good Son who does the work of the Father, the good Shepherd who can gather God's sheep and lead them to Him because they can hear his voice. The love Jesus had that motivated him is what the sons' natures become as they also move away from the animal, just as Jesus did. The closer we get to the Father the less the self-loving animal nature will be in us, and therefore the more His love will be in us. Our identity is changed that way, so that we start looking less like the animal we were, and more like the good Son. We take on the work of the good son as we are made good sons, and become shepherds for each other, teaching and exhorting each other out of a genuine love for the Father and His flock.

No love is genuine when it has to be produced as some kind of obligation, or when it can only exist as theory. And no love is in the animal except to love and take extremely good care of its self and the things and people that are directly tied to it (because their own DNA is in them). The love that comes from the Father is supernaturally put into the son, as he becomes more like Him. It's done by the unseen spirit of God who lives in the son's body, unseen. The things that the animal is concerned with, the earthly existence and all its concerns and worries about the present life and surviving, etc., also start falling off as things the son is constantly engaged in. Everything starts to become what the Father wants it to be, concern for His things, His welfare, and faithfulness to Him—all things that are impossible for the animal. Let us go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. He is worthy to have followers who choose to do the hardest thing—to give up what they love most in their life, the things that they secretly love in their hearts more than him. Genuine love that isn't temporary only comes from the Father and only goes to His legitimate sons.

The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

"Woe to the obstinate children," declares the LORD, "to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh's protection, to Egypt's shade for refuge.

Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.

 

 

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