Pastor Lauries Blog
In This Blog I endeaver to share the nuggets OF WISDOM I have received from time spent communing with the lord
1 Cor. 13: 11 - When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man (adult), I put away childish things.
1 Cor. 3: 1 - 3 - And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. Vs. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food (meat), for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able. Ve. 3 for you are still carnal (flesh ruled). For where there are envy, strife, and divisions (walls of divide) among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
Heb. 5: 13 - 14 - For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe (Immature). Vs. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of FULL AGE, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses (soul; i.e the mind, the will, and the emotions) exercised to discern both good and evil.
In church I have been going over the importance of growing up emotionally and spiritually. Learning how to excercise our senses to discern between the soul and the spirit, as well as good and evil. This is not easy. The ability to make these distinctions is the fruit or by product of true maturity.
Why is the distinction between the soul and the spirit so important? -
Much of the activity and programs in the body of Christ can actually be born of our soul rather than the Holy Spirit. When our souls are in an immature, or unhealed wounded state, we can be driven by our SOUL NEEDS, rather then led by the HOLY SPIRIT in accomplishing tasks.
The Lord actually asked me a question to determine the motive for coming up with plans in our church. He would ask, "IS THIS A SOUL NEED, OR A GOD LEAD?" Now I use His question as a rule of thumb before doing anything.
For example: If we haven't mastered the fear of men, and learning how to stand on our own convictions in life, we can be easily swayed to become emotional chameleons with the opinions of others. We see this happening now in our culture more than ever.
Christ is our example in how to stay close to our Father in heaven through true intimacy, while at the same time being totally in touch with His emotions. Jesus never denied them, He was just not ruled by them. He felt every pain we would ever feel, and yet mastered and overcame them. He alone has become not only our savior, but the true lover of our souls! Love compelled Him to face rejection. Love compelled Him to put Himself in our place in hell. Love compelled Him to go to the cross, that we could have the same relationship that He has with His Father in heaven! Love compelled Him to sweat drops of blood in resisting His soul wants, in order to yield to God's higher plans for us! John 17.
By Grace we stand -
Only by staying close to Jesus and exalting the finished work of Christ on the cross, do we have any hope of becoming like Him in the earth. By His grace we stand. Each of us have a lane or sphere of authority that we operate in. I call it our grace place. When we stay within the sphere, or grace place that God has called us in, there is peace, and our relationships can grow.
2 Cor. 10: 13 - We however will not boast beyond measure, (in other men's labors) but within the limits of the sphere which God APPOINTED us - a sphere which especially includes you.
What is the dance of distance? -
The dance of distance is the action of distancing oneself from another, when perceived threats to safety and protection take place. It's an emotionally immature coping mechanism of defense and detachment. This happens when uncomfortable issues in life arise which should be confronted in straightforward truth. The dance of distance is also the walls we build around the soft places of our hearts to keep people from hurting us, or really knowing us. Of course we are not called to open up to everyone. We are only to share deeply with those God has called into the sphere of our lives. Jesus only opened up with those He was called to. To everyone else He spoke in parables.
The down side of keeping the walls of distance around our hearts, is that we block out real love, as well as perceived pain or threats. Nothing can go in and nothing can come out, in a genuine exchange of heartfelt intimacy. People will let Christ in because He is perfect and will never hurt us. Many, however, expect that same perfection from others before they let anyone else in. This is just unrealistic. Christ told us to put our trust in Him, and trust our hearts to Him. He will be our wall of protection. People will fail us at times and we will fail others. Christ will redeem our shortcomings and weaknesses when we focus on His perfection, not our own. This takes a lot of grace, humility and honest soul searching, as to what we do and why.
We are living in a time when the minute we feel pain, either physically or emotionally, we want to escape it. I believe it's why we have such a drug epidemic in our time. We want to immediately stop the symptoms, without getting to the roots of why something is happening in the first place. Many succumb to short term pain relief through the escapism of denial, drugs, workaholism, addictions, avoidance, or the dance of distance. This only prolongs problems for years on end. Mature christians should face issues that arise by overcoming them. This requires getting to the root of issues, which takes time, but will break the cycle of pain and defense.
It takes healthy maturity to grow up in the area of the soul. It requires we tear down the walls of distance, face issues that arise, and learn how to overcome mindsets that sabotage our forward momentum in life. Christ is our best example in doing this. He never backed away from the confrontations of the legalists. He never avoided them through the dance of distance, just to make life easier for himself. He knew that speaking the truth fearlessly, yet in love, was the only way to free a broken humanity.
Examples of people in the bible who used the dance of distance to protect themselves. (Emotional and spiritual immaturity) -
1. Peter - Matt: 26: 69 - 75 -
Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee." 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, " I do not know what you are saying." 71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth." 72 But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!" 73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you are also one of them, for your speech betrays you." 74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly.
Jesus not only forewarned Peter of his betrayal but the root of who was behind it.
Luke 22: 31 - And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift. You as wheat. Vs. 32 "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren. (Peter returned to Jesus after his resurrection and questioning Peter about his love for Him)
Luke 22: 33 - 34 - But he (Peter) said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death." Vs. 34 Then He (Jesus) said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me."
Peter was like many carnal christians of today. One minute he would speak by way of the Holy Spirit, and the next minute by way of his soulish immature emotions. When we allow our emotions to rule, it's an open door for the enemy to influence and manipulate our words and actions. The natural realm is where the enemy tries to influence mankind. When we as Christians stay operating out of our Spirits rather than our soul, it shuts the door to the enemy.
Matt. 16: 15 - 17 - He (Jesus) said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Vs. 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Vs. 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Jesus taught His disciples that He was going to build His church by revelation knowledge from the Spirit of God. This was the way Peter received revelation knowledge of who Christ is.
No sooner had Peter received this revelation by the Spirit of God, did he turn around and speak out of his flesh by way of satan.
Matt. 16: 21 - 23 - From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Vs. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" Vs. 23 But He turned and said to Peter, "GET BEHIND ME, SATAN! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of MEN."
2. Another example of Peter using the dance of distance, even after receiving the new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Gal. 2: 11- 13 - Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; by when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. (The Jewish leaders of his day). 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. (Duplicity)
They were not straightforward about the truth. They feared men and were concerned about their own reputations.
3. Old Testament example of King Saul -
1 Samuel 13: 8, 11- 14 - Then he (Saul) waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel (The Prophet). But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the PEOPLE were scattered from him (Saul).
11 And Samuel said, "What have you done?" Saul said, "When I saw that the PEOPLE we're scattered from ME, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, 12 then I said, "The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord. Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering. 13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your Kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your Kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart.
Saul was more concerned about his reputation before the people, than obeying God. Saul grew impatient when the Prophet Samuel took longer than expected to do the burnt offerings. It was not the jurisdiction of Saul to do the offerings. He was out of order. Saul also feared the enemy as well, so he took matters into his own hands. Like many in the church today, he had grand excuses for going out of his God ordained boundaries. He failed to obey God in following simple instructions. This was due to the pressure of pleasing people and the love for his own reputation above God. This opened the door to a spirit of witchcraft, which began vexing him, shortly after being rebuked by the Lord.
Examples of mindsets that promote the dance of distance -
Many in the body of Christ are great at knowing scripture, great at helping their neighbor and doing external works. They do not, however, know how to intimately know their loved ones, or allow anyone to deeply know them. As soon as a relationship starts to grow deeper, which is supposed to take place in healthy relationships, the dance of distance begins. This also carries over to ones relationship with the Lord.
The mind set usually is: "It's not safe to fully open up to another." Another mindset is: "People can't be trusted with the soft places of ones heart."
Many christians have the toughest time being intimate within their own families and marriages. These mindsets of self protection are not biblical. The mindsets that blockade deep level love are rooted in fear. Fear of being lost in another. Fear of having our soft places harmed. Fear of exposure. Fear of failure. Fear of being wrong. Fear of the loss of control. Fear of rejection. Fear of the opinions of men. Fear of being trapped or confined.
Walls of self protection are deceptive because they promise an image of safety. Only Christ can provide true safety. When we trust in our own self protection, it brings nothing but bondage and idolatry. Bondage: Because anything built on a foundation of fear brings torment. Idolatry: Because we become lords of our own lives when we trust ourselves and not Christ.
Jesus is either Lord of all our lives, or He isn't. He will never compete for the Lordship in our lives. We have to give Him all the areas of our lives, especially the unseen areas of the soul.
When we trust in the arm of the flesh in any area, we come under the curse of the law! -
Jer. 17: 5 - 6 - Cursed is the man who trusts in man. And makes flesh his strength, whose HEART
departs from the Lord. 6. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes.
When anyone trusts in the arm of the flesh, a sort of veil comes over their eyes and ears like the Pharisees. This causes an inability to see, hear or understand correctly.
Why do so many trust in their own self protection? -
Many trust in old childhood patterns of coping with traumas. Many have stories of loss, tragedy or abuse from childhood. These emotional coping mechanisms of detaching from the pain of a moment, shutting down emotions to avoid feeling pain, or just getting lost in imaginary worlds of pleasure or denial, serve people well as children. As adults, however, these same coping mechanisms become prisons, when not confronted and overcome.
Biblical examples of how to stop the dance of distance -
2 Cor. 12: 15 - And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.
Paul learned how to give the God kind of love by laying down his life for Christ in fulfilling the call on His life, regardless of what people gave back to him. This takes spiritual and emotional maturity.
Having the right attitude of giving to others in our sphere, helps. Good parents will lay down their lives for their children, and give regardless of what the children can give back.
Examples of how Peter's mindsets changed when he grew up spiritually and emotionally -
Peter went from the fear of men, and his duplicitous self protective ways, into a dedicated, anointed apostle of Christ. I can see a lot of ourselves in Peter's journey to transformation. The scriptures below are evidence of the transformation that Peter went through in growing up spiritually and emotionally.
1 Peter 1: 6 - 7 - In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, Vs. 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being MUCH MORE precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by FIRE, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1: 9 - receiving the end of your faith - the SALVATION of your SOULS.
1 Peter 1: 22 - Since you have purified your SOULS in obeying the TRUTH through the SPIRIT in SINCERE LOVE of the brethren, love one another fervently with a PURE heart. (This is the key to growing up!)
1 Peter 4: 7 - 8 - But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be SERIOUS and WATCHFUL in your PRAYERS. Vs. 8 And ABOVE ALL things have fervent love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins."
1 Peter 5: 10 - But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, PERFECT, (mature) establish, strengthen and settle you. (Rest)
Growing up spiritually and emotionally with the God kind of love (agape) -
John 13: 15 - 18 - So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of Jonah, do you (agape) love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love You." (Affectionately) He said to him, "Feed My lambs." 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you (agape) love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." (Affectionately) He said to him, "Tend My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you (agape) love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I Love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.
Vs. 19 - "Follow Me"
Jesus, when asking Peter if he loved Him three times, was canceling out his three verbal betrayals. Jesus asked Peter if he loved him "More than these?" More than what? More than Peter's self protective love. More than Peter's self effort in supporting himself in his business of fishing. Also, more than Peter's love of men's opinions. Only the agape, or God kind of love can overcome sentimental or soulish love.
There are four definitions of love in the bible in Greek. There is also a self or narcissistic love that relates to our culture.
1. Eros - Eros is the root word for erotic. This describes not only sexual love but the emotional passionate feelings of love as well. Eros love goes up and down like the waves of the sea and easily changes.
2. Phileo - Phileo love is a brotherly/friendship kind of love and affection. This grows over time, like the steady building of a house.
3. Storgy - Storgy love can be referred to as motherly love, or parental love for dependents. It is also referred to as family love. Storgy is a deeper love because it gives love and requires only one trait of the receiver, that they be the dependent or child. In marriage, however, this can become toxic, because many want their spouses to give like a parental figure, with no responsibility on their part to give of themselves to their partner.
4. Agape - Agape love is the God kind of love, or self-less love. Agape love is entirely about the lover and has nothing to do with the one who is loved. Agape love requires no payment or favor for love given. Agape love has nothing to do with circumstances. It loves because of choice and commitment, unlike Eros or Phileo, that require reciprocation. This kind of love is about a commitment to the very best for another, no matter what emotions or feelings exist.
Mania - Manic love is not a love at all. It is lust.
It is the love of possession. It is an obsession to own something. Another word for mania is manic. A lot of selfish ambition is rooted in this type of mania, or love for success. It is also self or narcissistic love.
Agape love, could also be called perfected or matured love according to 1 Cor. 13. This matured love is supernatural. It comes through time in God's presence. When we behold Christ, we are transformed through the laws of transmission, not through discipline alone, or self effort.
1 Cor. 13: 4 - 8 - Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy, love does not parade itself, (doesn't need to be the center of attention) is not puffed up; Vs. 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own is not (easily) provoked, thinks no evil; Vs. 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Vs. 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Vs. 8 Love never fails.
Agape love is the fruit of true spiritual and emotional maturity. We cannot mortify the deeds of our flesh by shear will power. We must have an intimate relationship with our Lord, revelation of His word, and walk in the Spirit, in order to grow into the agape (mature) love talked about in Ephesians 4.
Galatians 5: 16 - I say then; Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
The fivefold ministry was given to the church to equip the saints for the work of ministry and for the edification of the body of Christ, in LOVE.
Eph. 4: 13 - 16 - till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: Vs. 14 that we should no longer be CHILDREN, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, Vs. 15 but, speaking the truth in LOVE, may GROW UP in ALL things into Him who is the head - Christ- Vs. 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes GROWTH of the body for the edifying of itself in LOVE.