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Belief in God, the heavenly, or the Devil is rather low these days.
In contrast – Fun fact: when surveyed, did you know that a remarkable 100% of people believe in the wind?
We cannot see the wind, but we see its impact.
And, as the winds of change swirl, blowing where they will, should we accept whichever way the wind blows us?
How can we know that we are headed in the correct direction?
With the winds of change, many panic… many fill their heads with worry.
What solution comes to mind?  Something off the top of your head?  Lose your head.

 
 

Numbers 21:8-9
   And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
   And Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of bronze, he lived.

 
 

You might own your home.  You might own a car.  Or even two cars.
Or perhaps you’re just lucky to have a clean shirt.
From the rich to the poor, we all have our possessions.
You might have a lot or just a little.

But, in a changing and unstable world, those possessions of yours may not be there for long.
Even with great accountants, the taxman may whittle away your savings… or with new authoritarian regimes, those numbers displayed on your online banking statement might disappear into cyberspace.
James 5:1-3
   Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
   Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
   Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

You might have door locks and weapons to defend your wealth.
Proverbs 18:11
   The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

But, the reality is that, even with many security measures and firearms, someone – a gang, the police, the military – someone stronger can potentially arrive at your home and take all you have.
Mark 3:27
   No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

And in a changing and uncertain world, can we be sure that we will not be robbed of everything that we have?
Matthew 6:19-21
   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
   But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

1 Timothy 6:17-19
   Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
   That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
   Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

But you might say that you don’t need much.
Job 1:21
   And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

You might say that all you need is the air that you breathe.
And you will always have that.  (Cough Cough… funny story about that…)

 
     
 

We know that companies like the ones you’ve worked at often shudder their business.
We know that countries’ currencies often fail rendering bank savings futile.
We know that our healthy legs could contrast with us permanently in a wheelchair after a car accident.
History is littered with lives that have been changed irreversibly and disastrously in a day.
But we reasonably trust that our home will not be occupied with armed strangers when we return.
Our bank account and currency still work, and have for quite a while.
We trust that we can still get out of bed under our own power and digest breakfast.  It’s worked so far.
We trust that the sun will rise in east and set in the west.  Probably will happen tomorrow too.
Or will it?
Joel 2:31
   The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Isaiah 13:10
   For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Yes, we know there is certainly corruption at many levels, but we maintain a reasonable amount of confidence and certainty that today and tomorrow will be held up by what held up yesterday.
We have some trust in our institutions, our system, our community authorities.
But should we?

 
     
 

You have unlimited potential.  But, for most, our potential is limited.
We can only go as high as that in which we trust.
Jeremiah 17:5-6
   Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
   For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

When we trust in human institutions, we rise high, but fall when God brings calamity.
Luke 16:15
   And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Psalm 62:10
   Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.

Those who trust in riches will be lifted up for a time, but will fall in perilous times.
Revelation 3:17
   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked

Zechariah 11:4-6
   Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;
   Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.
   For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.

Job 20:5-7
   That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
   Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
   Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?

Hosea 12:8
   And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.

Who we are in our hearts determines if we do indeed have potential that is unlimited, or whether we, at best, rise and fall.
Proverbs 23:7
   For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

And the Lord promises that fall from high places.
Obadiah 1:3-4
   The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
   Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

Psalm 101:5
   Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

We only have unlimited potential when we trust in the Lord.
We only have unlimited potential when our heart is with the Lord.
Psalm 61:2-3
   From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
   For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

Revelation 3:18
   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

 
     
 

Yes, we might have legal papers saying that we own this car or this property or the terms and conditions say that we control the money in this bank account… but in a volatile world, all that could be taken away.
Even our body could fall to disease or a life-changing injury.
Don’t we have a legal right to anything?  What is ours?

God gave the human race dominion over the earth from the territory in which fish swim and upwards to where birds fly – and everything in between.
Genesis 1:26-30
   And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
   So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
   And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
   And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
   And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

In the beginning, we had legal right to the depths of the sea, and as high as the eagle can fly, and everything in between.
But, after we fell under the authority of Satan, we lost this legal right.
Genesis 3:23-24
   Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
   So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Luke 4:5-8
   And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
   And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
   If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
   And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Jesus did not dispute that the Devil had all of these kingdoms of the world delivered to him.
It’s so difficult to keep societies, the whole human race, on a path that will create joy, harmony, forgiveness, love.
When our eyes are opened, and we see good and evil, and we know of all of the permutations of humanity – the complexity that we can create; we stand on the mountain and see so much potential.  We then glory in our own hands’ works.
We invariably focus on what we can do.  We can do so much to save the world.
But so much of what we can do – good and evil and everything in between – is simply not good enough to keep a rickety society healthy.  But with so many angles, so many viewpoints, never have we been able to declare that which matches the triumph of the Word.
With so much complexity, so many permutations as humans, we have so much potential.  But all of it can come crashing down, as we all have seen.
Yes, we build castles to the sky, computing power to the quadrillionth, but so many still exist in pain: starvation, desperation, panic, confusion.

 
     
 

But why does the human race no longer have legal right to the earth, the seas, and the skies?
Genesis 2:16-17
   And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
   But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Because we prioritized the soulish over the spiritual.  That’s who we are.
We had the Word which said that ‘thou shalt not eat of’ that tree.
But, we questioned the Word (prompted by the serpent) backed by evidence of our material/physical/soulish vision.
Genesis 3:1-6
   Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
   And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
   But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
   And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
   For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
   And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

To be the humans that God wants us to be, we can’t rely on what we see with soulish eyes.
The impossible never becomes possible when you see only that which you see.
We do not have unlimited potential when we see a field as a field.
We have unlimited potential when we trust God’s guidance, as he might lead us to build a temple to God in that field – and trust that God will provide the resources to build.

2 Chronicles 2:5-8
   And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.
   But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?
   Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.
   Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants

If Amos continued to look, with soulish eyes, at his herd and his sycamore tree all of his life, his potential would have been limited.  His spiritual quest would have been over.
But Amos trusted God’s guidance, and saw beyond the fleshly/material/physical/soulish to see the man, the prophet, that God wanted.  Amos could grow to be perfected – and soar with unlimited potential, not as a regular herdsman, but as a man linked to God.
Amos 7:14-15
   Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
   And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

 
     
 

While unlimited potential sounds great, if we’re honest, that’s not who we are.
We navigate this world with our senses, and most get by in humdrum, boring jobs, and day to day routines.
The overwhelming majority aren’t attached to God via Grace.  Even professing Christians don’t know what the term ‘grace’ means, and they are like the worldly people with limited potential, and no magic in their lives.
By prioritizing the physical/material/soulish/carnal, rather than spiritual linkage to God – we fall under the leadership of the original rebel against God – the Devil.  That is, we exist in his territory.  We are under his power and his leadership as he is the most power entity of the rebellious nature (that we also have).

Ephesians 2:2
   Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience

Satan is the prince (ruler) of the power of the air.
The Greek term for ‘air’ is aeros.  This refers to the lower atmosphere – breathable air.
The Devil has a legal right to his people – those people who insist on rebelling and tearing down God’s beautiful plans for the saintly.
And the Devil, who always wanted to be like God and have his own people to worship him, has to have time to prepare his own people.
The Devil has 100% legal right to his people, including preparation of his people.
God wants his people to be reliant on God, to fully follow him with all of our heart and soul, to grow with unlimited potential.
Psalm 115:9-14
   O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
   O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
   Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
   The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.
   He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.
   The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.

And Satan also wants his people to be reliant on Satan.
How does Satan prepare his people to trust and rely on him?
He prepares them for life inside the machine.
The Devil is the most powerful entity in what was our territory – from the deep oceans to the lower atmosphere of breathable air.
1 Peter 5:8
   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

Without God’s Grace, we are subject to him and his demonic.
Being the strongman, Satan can take away your car, home, bus pass… all of your possessions, including your body (disease, accidents, drugs).
Matthew 10:28
   And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Yes, the Devil can work miracles... great wonders.
Revelation 13:13-15
   And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
   And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
   And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

You might be very impressed.  His wonders might even take your breath away.

 
     
 

The Devil’s people can look forward to life inside the machine, no longer staring at colored computer screens, but directly linked with their minds to the internet via products from cutting-edge technology companies.
For these people, reality won’t be walking outside and experiencing God’s rivers, forests, and mountains.  Reality won’t be experiencing man’s participation in God’s creation – gardens, cities, houses, altars, temples.
No, the Devil has a different reality for his people.  The airwaves will transmit the news of progress and how we’re making great strides against gender inequality, and saving the environment by getting rid of plastic forks.
Fear not, because those in charge are doing the right thing.  The resistors have been purged.
The war in the Middle East is over… or it just started…  Does it really matter?  You’re going to believe it anyway.  Your new digital reality is your complete reality.  Satan’s people have no reason to leave their homes and figure things out.

God’s people are healed.

Psalm 91:3
   Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

But the Devil’s people have illnesses.
Mark 1:32-34
   And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
   And all the city was gathered together at the door.
   And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

The Devil wants you sick, immobile, with no reason to unplug from the machine.
News is there, you can order food and pharmaceuticals, video games are there, movies and music are there – soulish pleasures.

God’s people have fellowship and the human touch.
1 Thessalonians 5:26
   Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

John 13:23
   Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

God’s people have face to face fellowship.
3 John 1:14
   But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

Deuteronomy 34:10
   And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face

In contrast, to prepare his people, Satan has ensured social distancing and face masks/shields will be the order of the day.
And now we focus on the external, the physical, for cleanliness.
Luke 11:39-41
   And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
   Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?
   But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

Mark 7:8
   For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

You might as well draw your plastic smile on your facemask.
Matthew 15:19-20
   For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
   These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Job 24:15
   The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.

Genesis 38:15
   When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

The Devil, who wants to know all like God, has to have his people only socialize on social media – so the machine can know all that is going on.
Psalm 139:1-4
   O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
   Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
   Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
   For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

With his love of disease to weaken his people, the Devil makes sure that they are reliant on him for their soulish needs and wants.
Being the ruler of the air, the Devil has even the legal right to take away your air supply.
The common cold is a coronavirus, weakening your breathing ability.
Other coronaviruses include MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome), and associated illnesses are bronchitis and pneumonia.

In the Old Testament’s original Hebrew language, the word ‘ruach’ translates to three English words: breath, spirit, and wind.  And Satan wants that spiritual air taken away.  (Example: the "I can't breathe" inspired protests/riots.)

And now we have COVID-19.  This is a bad one, the worst yet – not so much due to the disease, but particularly due to economic shutdown, the rise of authoritarianism, and the 666 agenda of being at one with the machine (stay at home and do everything online).
Matthew 24:7-8
   For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
   All these are the beginning of sorrows.

(And then the next one will be the worst yet.)
(And the next one… and the next one…)
As the sorrows increase, including pestilences/plagues, are you going to settle for your new life at one with the machine or cry upwards for God?

 
     
 

God’s creations have the breath of life.
Genesis 7:15
   And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

But the Devil’s people can look forward to relying on their inhalers and ventilators for breathing.


Christians seek God to heal any infirmities and be shielded from infirmities.
James 5:14-15
   Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
   And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Exodus 23:25
   And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

Psalm 91:10
   There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

2 Chronicles 16:12
   And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

Those who fully follow God make it to the promised land with God’s protection, fighting disease and all enemies.
Psalm 18:30-32
   As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
   For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
   It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Psalm 35:1-6
   Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
   Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
   Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
   Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
   Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
   Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.

But, given that the Devil has legal right to the air we breathe – what do proper Christians do?  Go blue in the face?  (Wrong, but close.)

 
     
 

Bringing heaven to earth means, with a decision from our mind, our soul, that we are to bring the spiritual to the realm of the body, the physical.
Like Jesus, we see all that the Devil can offer as the Lord of this world… and we reject it.
Matthew 4:8-10
   Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
   And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
   Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

With a physical instantiation for all of Creation to see, we do something that doesn’t make sense to the soulish mindset.
We drown in the waters of baptism, giving up the Devil’s power over the air, and only want the washing of the Word to sustain us.

Acts 22:16
   And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

We rise out of the water, confident that the washing of the Word will sustain us, rather than the air we breathe.
Matthew 4:4
   But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Psalm 25:5
   Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

 
     
 

God breathed into man to give him life.

Body:
Ezekiel 37:5-6
   Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
   And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Soul:
Genesis 2:7
   And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

All of life:
Acts 17:25
   Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

But, with the wisdom of King Solomon, Christians see the realm that Satan controls, the breathable air and lower – as futility.  We know there is something better and we want it.
Ecclesiastes 2:17-20
   Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
   Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
   And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
   Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

We all breathe.  Breathable air sustains our body.  And from our soul/mind, we can make decision to breathe more if necessary, or less.
Yet, as we try to move beyond the soulish realm of eating, sleeping, and working to pay the bills, we pursue the higher things of life.
We pursue the ‘isms’ of life – humanism, feminism, socialism, capitalism, communism, tribalism, environmentalism, Anglicanism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Islamism, Catholicism, Atheism, Agnosticism, etc.
We have trouble defining these isms, and debate what they are.  But we can see their effects.
And as we pursue these higher things of life, we end up with the soulish, rather than the spiritual.
As Christians are baptised and physically instantiate dying to this world (bringing desire for the proper spiritual realm to the realm of the body/physical), we pursue something that we cannot quite define, but we can see the effects.
John 3:3-8
   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
   The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

With soulish logic and common sense, technically, we cannot see or hear the wind.  And we cannot sense its reasoning to move where it does.  But we can see and hear its effects.
To be spiritual, rather than soulish, we must be guided by the Holy Spirit towards what God wants for us.

John 16:13
   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

To have a higher meaning in life than just the usual soulish needs and wants, we pursue the complexity of the Holy Spirit as wind blowing in ways that don’t make sense and isn’t predictable to the soulish.
Ecclesiastes 11:4-6
   He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
   As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
   In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

To the soulish King Solomon, cut off from God as of his writing of the book of Ecclesiastes, but still wise, the wind’s movements were futile.
Ecclesiastes 1:6,9
   The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
   …The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

At the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came as wind for all believers – a connection for our spirit to God.
Acts 2:1-4
   And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
   And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
   And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
   And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

With the Holy Spirit, believers exercise unlimited potential, moving above the breathable air of the Devil’s territory.
Acts 2:16-21
   But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
   And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
   And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
   And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
   The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
   And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Rather than relying on our body’s ability to breathe, or our soul’s ability to control the body’s breathing, or even the Devil’s inhaler or ventilator to breathe for us – we walk and breathe with the Lord’s strength – the spiritual.
John 20:21-22                                                                       
   Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
   And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost

Ezekiel 37:7-14
   So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
   And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
   Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
   So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
   Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
   Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
   And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
   And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

 
     
 

You might a proper Christian.
You might be properly repentant, praying and fasting, and seeking the face of the Lord.
You read your Bible regularly and you can even quote scripture.
When you are sick, you proclaim:
Isaiah 53:5
   But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

You curse your ailments.

Luke 10:19
   Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

But you never get healed.
What happened?
God has fellowship with us by knowing our heart.

Psalm 44:21
   Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

Jeremiah 17:10
   I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

We have fellowship with God via prayer, and crying upwards to God.
Conversely:
Isaiah 29:13
   Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men

Now, you might have proper fear of the Lord, and your lips honouring God are not of that false, plastic smile.
Honesty from the heart:
Ecclesiastes 7:22
   For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

When we speak honestly, that comes from the heart.
Luke 6:45
   A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Psalm 37:30-31
   The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
   The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

But even as a Christian with the Holy Spirit inside of you, you might not have seen any miracles, and if you saw any miracles, they were long ago.
What happened?
We look to the reaction of Jesus’ disciples when he walked on water.

Mark 6:49-52
   But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
   For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
   And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
   For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

They were amazed and wondered at this walking on water – this supernatural.
Yet just earlier, they had seen the miracle of the multiplication of fish and loaves.
Mark 6:41-44
   And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
   And they did all eat, and were filled.
   And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
   And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

But they had forgotten about this earlier miracle (because of their hardened hearts).
Deuteronomy 4:9
   Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

When we partake of communion, we examine ourselves, our heart.
1 Corinthians 11:26-28
   For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
   Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
   But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

Is our heart – when we drink of Christ’s blood from his broken heart – a broken heart for a broken law?
Is our heart sensitive to God, or is our heart sensitive to the worldly?
Proverbs 4:23
   Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

When we see the latest fear porn on the news, about how the financial system is in chaos, about how disease and unrest is sweeping the world – can we hear the Lord – can we feel the Lord inside of us?
Are we drawn into the panic culture – or can we show our love for the Lord?
Is our heart sensitive to what the world says on the Devil’s airwaves?
Or is our heart sensitive to the Lord?
Having a broken heart for a broken Law is about rejecting the sinful world.
The sinful going-ons of this world have broken you.
Psalm 86:1-3
   Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
   Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
   Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.

Psalm 31:2
   Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.

Our hearts become sensitive to the Lord and insensitive to the world.
Psalm 143:4-8
   Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.
   I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
   I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
   Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
   Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Psalm 147:3
   He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Like skin healing (scar tissue or calloused hands), the healing thickens the heart’s outer tissue towards the world.
We become unresponsive to the lies and fear porn of the world.
Like with heart attack victims, the heart becomes weakened, and moves to being reliant on the strength of the Lord.
We become more sensitive to God.
But so many Spirit-filled, repentant, fasting and praying Christians never see any miracles.
Why?
Matthew 13:14-15
   And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
   For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

In old-times, a string was dipped over and over in wax to create a candle.
Similarly over time, our hearts grow insensitive to God and sensitive to the world.
The Christian who proclaims:
2 Corinthians 8:9
   For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

…also is reading the panic porn on the news saying that there is an economic recession and you better be worried.
This Christian will wonder what is going on?
The Christian will panic as God promises healing, but the doctor says that cancer is the diagnosis.
“You promised healing, God – but now I have cancer!  What is going on?”
God will say that he already told you not to listen to the worldly fools.
Proverbs 14:7-8
   Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
   The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

Proverbs 22:24-25
   Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
   Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

Instead:
Proverbs 22:17-21
   Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
   For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
   That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
   Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
   That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

God will say that he already gave you power over the Devil’s territory through Christ’s Almighty name – and you are speak to the demonic, commanding them.
Luke 10:17-18
   And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us through thy name.
   And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Mark 16:17
   And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;

Acts 16:18
   But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.  And he came out the same hour.

If you don’t focus on the world, cultivating unbelief and doubt in your heart, and you focus on Christ, you have authority to speak to and move the mountain.
Mark 11:23
   For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

We cultivate being receptive in our heart towards the Lord, and being callous to the worldly.
James 4:7-8
   Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
   Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

If we are double minded, listening to the Devil’s airwaves as well as God – growing our unbelief as well as belief – we will never receive anything from the Lord.
James 1:7-8
   For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
   A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

“But I saw the cancer cells on the report.  They are real.”
Yes, the cancer is real.
Similarly, when the Word of God came through an angel to the wife of Manoah, she could have believed what the doctors said regarding real barrenness or what the Word said.

Judges 13:3
   And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.

God wants you not to stay in the ordinary, day-to-day, humdrum, dull existence.  God wants you to live beyond the ordinary, in the amazing.
Bringing heaven to earth is about bringing the promises of the spiritual to the physical.
If you insist on living in only the physical, and not growing towards God in the spirit – it makes no sense for Jesus to give you healing, as you will just use your new-found strength to ruin the world with renewed strength to sin.

Mark 6:5-6
   And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
   And he marvelled because of their unbelief.

 
     
 

Yes, the cancer is real, but so were Gideon’s low stature and his farming tools.
Yet, the Word from the Lord said that he was a mighty man of valour.

Judges 6:11-12
   And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
   And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

Gideon saw the reality of his poverty and low stature.
And, Gideon also had the Word saying that he was a saviour to Israel and a mighty man.
Judges 6:14-16
   And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
   And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.
   And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

Gideon could never go beyond the ordinary by seeing himself with soulish eyes.
And you’ll never get the Word’s healing by being double-minded with your soulish eyes on the physical.
1 Samuel 12:24
   Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

God wants all of your heart towards him – and for your truth, your reality, to be of him – so that you can bring heaven to earth and have the phenomenal as your normality.
He is a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 4:24
   For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Ezekiel 23:25
   And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears;

Is your broken heart healed by being open only towards God, rather than the world?
Or is your heart shielded from the Lord by greasy fat – loving the lies of the world?

Psalm 119:69-70
   The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
   Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.

 
     
 

1 John 5:19
   And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

The Devil has a legal right to this world.
He can give you the piece of paper in the mail saying that you don’t have any money in your bank account, or that you have been evicted from your home and you’re homeless.
Are you, even as a Spirit-filled Christian, going to fall to pieces and disbelieve God?
Does your decision from your soul/mind/character turn to the physical/carnal/fleshly or towards the spirit?
Are you going to stand up and say that you believe what your spiritual connection to God says via the Word – or are you going to believe the eviction notice?
For separation of the sheep and the goats, God is waiting on your answer.
Is your heart attuned to the soulish only? – or is your heart overcoming the world with:
Philippians 4:19
   But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

The problem of the disciples was that they had a heart that was hardened, not open to God’s miracles.
They reasoned that if they had no bread, then they had no bread.  Who they were in their hearts simply wasn’t open to Jesus’ miracles being a normal reality.
Mark 8:14-21
   Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
   And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
   And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
   And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
   Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
   When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
   And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
   And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

The disciples’ reasoning, thought process, and consideration simply wasn’t open to expecting a normality of miracles.
A baseball pitcher who has an amazing fastball can never refine his abilities to become a fearsome strikeout threat – if he is genuinely shocked and surprised over and over again that he can throw a ball at 98 miles per hour.
A great warrior doesn’t forget his special skills, and go back to the basics of how use a bow and arrow.
He refines his skills, with the amazing becoming normal to him.
1 Chronicles 12:2
   They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.

If we want to walk with the Lord’s strength (being truly purple, linked to God), we should expect God to overcome the cancer and financial difficulties as a normality.  At some point, we trust in the Lord, and not have to go back to Christianity 101, the basics, by being shocked with miracles.
When Jesus walked on water, the disciples were still shocked, as they weren’t considering/pondering/contemplating the previous miracle.  They had hardened hearts of unbelief, doubt – a heart open to the soulish, the physical.
Mark 6:51-52
   And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
   For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

And this brings us to a specific problem and specific question.
How do we solve a problem like Elijah?

 
     
 

Elijah was the first in the Bible to resurrect the dead.
1 Kings 17:21-23
   And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
   And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
   And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

Elijah called fire down from heaven.
1 Kings 18:37-38
   Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
   Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

Like that pitcher with a 98 mile per hour fastball, Elijah was dealing heat.
But the reality is that Elijah was a flame-thrower who simply flamed out.
To solve a problem like Elijah, we have to examine who he was.
Jesus named John the Baptist as Elijah in the New Testament.
Matthew 17:11-13
   And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things.
   But I say unto you, That Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed.  Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
   Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

But, we’re concerned with the Elijah from the Old Testament (Old Covenant).
Elijah killed the false prophets.
1 Kings 18:40
   And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

The false prophets numbered in the hundreds.
1 Kings 18:19,22
   Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
   …Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

Elijah killed hundreds with the sword.
Elijah was skilled with the blade.
1 Kings 19:1
   And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

King Ahab, in his chariot, rode from Mount Caramel to Jezreel (about 20 miles).
But, Elijah ran ahead of the chariot all that distance.
1 Kings 18:44-46
   And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
   And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
   And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

And God sent Elijah from place to place on foot.
1 Kings 17:2-3
   And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

1 Kings 17:8-10
   And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
   Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
   So he arose and went to Zarephath.

1 Kings 18:1-2
   And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.
   And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab.

1 Kings 19:15
   And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria

1 Kings 21:17-18
   And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
   Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria

Elijah got around.  He was quite the runner.
2 Kings 1:3
   But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria…

2 Kings 1:15
   And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.

2 Kings 2:1-2
   And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
   And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel.

2 Kings 2:4
   And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho.

2 Kings 2:6
   And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan.

Elijah appeared out of nowhere, with no genealogy or history, to confront King Ahab.
1 Kings 17:1
   And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

Ahab was Elijah’s enemy.
1 Kings 21:20
   And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?

But who was this King Ahab?
1 Kings 16:30
   And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.

Ahab was a bad one, the worst yet.
1 Kings 16:33
   And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.

1 Kings 21:25
   But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

 
     
 

Elijah doesn’t seem like a problem to be solved.
When Elijah burst upon the scene out of nowhere, he saw with spiritual eyes.
He didn’t soulishly see the physical of the lush, watered vegetation of the land – but with spiritual sight, he believed his received Word of God.
1 Kings 17:1
   And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

Elijah was similar to proper Christians who read the Word and know that Jesus can heal and alleviate financial pressure.
Deuteronomy 28:4
   Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Elijah’s heart was cultivated to be sensitive to God, not to the world’s physical calamities.
When the child died, Elijah was open to God above.
Elijah carried the child up.
1 Kings 17:17-19
   And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
   And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
   And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

Elijah knew that God’s will was not the evil of death on the child.
He instantiated God’s will by communicating with God – and discarding the seen physical, the reality of death.
He knew that God operates through men to bring about God’s will.
1 Kings 17:20-23
   And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
   And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
   And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
   And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

Elijah was similar to Christians who read the Word and know that miracles abound and may have even experienced miracles in their lives.

Why do we have life on earth?  So God can have his own people.
We are to have fellowship with God.
God is not looking to fellowship with men who confront God with: “the piece of paper says I have cancer, and your Word says that I am supposed to be healed.”
God is not looking to fellowship with men who say that “financial collapse is on the news.  How can I possibly live in abundance?”

God is committed to operating on this earth through men.
Exodus 17:11-12
   And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
   But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

1 Timothy 2:8
   I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

John 20:21
   Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

‘Even so’ is very emphatic – meaning that Jesus sends disciples in the exact same way that the Father sent Jesus.

God expects us to be able to operate with what he has given us, without constant minding.
Matthew 25:14-15
   For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
   And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

John 16:7
   Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

But when God stops by, we shouldn’t pelt him with complaints, but have things on earth well managed.
1 Corinthians 4:1
   Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

1 Peter 4:10
   …as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

He expects us to proclaim the Word of God – speaking his permanent world into existence.
Are you going to say what you have – or have what you say?
If you are not proclaiming, your faith will not be effective.
Philemon 1:6
   That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

We can have an enjoyable lunch in fellowship with God.
Genesis 18:1-5
   And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
   And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
   And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:
   Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
   And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts;

We bow to God, but we also stand with fellowship to the Lord.
Ezekiel 1:28-2:2
   This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
   And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
   And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Luke 21:36
   Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

John 15:14-15
   Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
   Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Revelation 11:3-4
   And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
   These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

The sort of people with whom God wants fellowship are those who bring the soulish/physical/carnal/fleshly – including the bad news of the world – into conformity with what God’s Word says.
Conversely, the worldly scientists and the media constantly tell all, including God’s people, that they should be on guard during flu season, and that they better be worried about their banks’ deposit insurance.
Christian cast down that which exalts itself against the Word.
2 Corinthians 10:5
   Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Philippians 4:6-7
   Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
   And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

John 14:27
   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

With inner peace in our hearts – a heart cultivated with sensitivity to the stability of the Lord, and callous to the instability of the world – we have a Grace connection to God.
Colossians 3:15-16
   And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
   Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Hebrews 13:9
   For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Elijah wasn’t all white-knuckled, worried, and sweating regarding whether the prophets of Baal would beat him.
Elijah laughed at them and mocked them.
1 Kings 18:25-27
   And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
   And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
   And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

 
     
 

But – the question remains: how do we solve a problem like Elijah?
Mark 4:3-7
   Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
   And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
   And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
   But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
   And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

We read of the blessings, healings, and miracles in the Bible, and we may even have experienced them in our lives.
We may have victory in the job-market, in our financial situation, but then we become unhealthy.
Or, we recover from the disease, and have great loving relationships, but then we get the eviction notice and we can’t pay the rent.
Even if we believe and have received so much, we fall to pieces as we look towards the soulish/physical, rather than the spiritual.
We are to be in the physical world, and have fellowship with others, but then physician says we have heart-disease, or we get a piece of paper saying that we are in legal jeopardy – and we view our temporary world as the truth rather than seeing the eternal spiritual as the truth.

After so many victories as a man of God, Elijah received a message from a messenger, and he fell to pieces.  Like so many Christians, he received a piece of paper with bad news, or had fellowship with someone with a negative report, and joy was replaced with fear and depression.  Elijah had no stability in the Lord.
Elijah received a messenger who said that Queen Jezebel was sending armed men after him.
1 Kings 19:1-2
   And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
   Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

Elijah used that running ability to get out of there.  He ran from Jezreel to Beersheba (over 100 miles).
1 Kings 19:3
   And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

After this one setback, Elijah was quit.
1 Kings 19:4
   But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

But, the good news was that Elijah then came into the presence of the heavenly.
1 Kings 19:5-6
   And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
   And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.

Actually, the angel of the Lord came twice:
1 Kings 19:7
   And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

Elijah was quit when he came into the presence of the heavenly, but the angel favouring him twice didn’t help Elijah’s negativity.  Elijah was twice as quit now – as, rather than going on the path that God sent him, God had to ask why this Old Blade Runner, Elijah, was in the wrong place.
1 Kings 19:8-9
   And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
   And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Now, Obadiah had earlier told Elijah how prophets of God were hidden in caves.
1 Kings 18:13
   Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD'S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

But Elijah responded to God’s query regarding why he was off course – with some truth, but also with a depressing view to the physical/soulish – the potential killers of Elijah, and this odd idea that he was the only prophet of God.
1 Kings 19:10
   And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

Elijah, who had so many miraculous victories, was like so many Christians who have so much victory in their lives through Christ, but, after one failure – end up blubbering, and whining to God.
Mercifully, God continued his meeting with Elijah, and God again asked Elijah why he was in the wrong place.
1 Kings 19:11-13
   And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
   And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
   And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

But Elijah, for the second time, gave the same defeatist answer.
1 Kings 19:14
   And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

Elijah was quit when he came in here, to his meeting with God, and was twice as quit now.
God then told Elijah to anoint his successor: Elisha.
God also told Elijah to anoint Hazael as Syria’s king and anoint Jehu as Israel’s king.
1 Kings 19:15-16
   And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:
   And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.

Elijah was to anoint regarding the blade, if the enemy runs:
1 Kings 19:17
   And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

But Elijah only anointed Elisha as his successor.
He disobeyed twice.  He didn’t anoint Hazael or Jehu.  He left that responsibility for Elisha.
Elijah was twice as quit now.

Elisha appointed Hazael and Jehu:
2 Kings 8:13-15
   And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.
   So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What said Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest surely recover.
   And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead.

2 Kings 9:1-3
   And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead:
   And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;
   Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel.

 
     
 

With the reassurance of proper fellowship, including Elisha, Elijah was still able to do some blade running for the Lord.
1 Kings 19:18-19
   Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
   So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

2 Kings 1:9-10
   Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.
   And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

Our purpose is to have fellowship with God and man.
Fellowship with your fellow man can be great.
Ephesians 5:21
   Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

But, so many times, our fellowship is about economic recession or depression, disease, difficulties, as we in fellowship speak our temporary hardships into existence.
Just like Elijah, after the marvelous appears with the Word, we receive the messenger of bad news and speak of the horrors of that message, clinging to it as if it were our reality.
Rather than bringing heaven to earth, by speaking, knowing, and trusting in the Word – and being people with whom God can have a Grace linkage via the heart, we pepper God with complaints.  Why would God want fellowship with us after we cling to a temporary reality in the Devil’s legal territory?
Exodus 34:14-15
   For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
   Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;

Having doubt in God, succumbing to moodiness, depression, or fear of the world (all these affections and lusts) is just as much of a sin as adultery, greed, or our desire to be well-thought of by man.
Galatians 5:19-24
   Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
   Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
   Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
   Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
   And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The Lord is a jealous God.  He won’t have fellowship with who those listen to and give credence to the fearmongering on the news – the Devil’s airwaves – about upcoming calamity – and do not trust in God’s Word.
Don’t let the unbelief of looking at the world negate your faith in the Word.

Mark 9:23-24
   Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
   And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Stability:
Isaiah 33:6
   And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

But the reality is that it is God’s will to allow Satan to rule the media with fear porn – news of economic depression, disease, starvation.
Proverbs 16:4
   The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

As Satan makes the world darker and darker, finally even hardcore sinners might see the light of Christ.
The world has to become darker and darker to maximize the number of people who can see a candlelight.

 
     
 

So, how do we solve a problem like Elijah?
Many Christians look to above for more power.
More miracles, more movements from God, more blessings, more dramatic thunder.
Since Elijah was twice as quit now, let’s double the power.
The spirit of Elijah rested on his successor, Elisha.
2 Kings 2:15
   And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.

In fact, Elisha had a double portion.
2 Kings 2:9-12
   And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
   And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
   And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
   And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.

 
     
 

Romans 13:8
   Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

James 2:8
   If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well

As we pursue love, we realize that love is nuanced and multi-faceted, beyond the formulaic family love or neighbourly love from the Hollywood machine.
Similarly, strength, and power are much more detailed and complex than the cartoonish, comic book simplicity that we are endlessly fed.
For Elisha, more power meant doing double the miracles that Elijah did.
For example:
2 Kings 2:21-22
   And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.
   So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.

2 Kings 8:5
   And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.

But, strength, power, love, and the double portion of the spirit are so much more multi-dimensional than our simplistic labels.
Love, as an example, means the necessary option to hate.

Luke 14:26-27
   If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
   And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

And, to properly love your fellow man, you have to be hated.
Luke 21:16-17
   And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
   And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.

Accordingly, Elisha’s heart was sensitive to the Word of God, and not to the material/physical/fleshly temporary reality.
1 Kings 19:19-21
   So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.
   And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?
   And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.

Elisha, when called by God, burned his bridges with his job as a plow-man.
He killed the oxen that he needed to work to give food for the people.
Elisha’s parents might have said to him that he had a secure job with the oxen, plowing away.
But Elisha’s heart of love and power mean that any messages or messenger contrary to the Word of God would be discarded by his callous heart to the physical world.  He didn’t even consider or ponder on that he might fail and need to return to plowing with oxen.
Proper fellowship with man can only come after proper fellowship with God.
Mark 12:29-31
   And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
   And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
   And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Elijah didn’t have many people around him.  And perhaps he was able to succeed for a time in that he was able to shield himself from the dangers of fellowship (negative messages) by convincing himself that he was alone.
1 Kings 18:22
   Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

As God cranked up the power, with a double portion to Elisha, Elisha had the strength of being an individual who, with an unfeeling heart towards the world, didn’t care about being hated.
Proper faith is loyalty to God.  When you’re spat upon by everyone, without one single person who lends help concerning your quest towards God – that is true faith.
Luke 9:58-62
   And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
   And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
   Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
   And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
   And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

By standing alone with the Lord, being the only one with sight linked spiritually to God, Elisha could open the spiritual eyes of his servant.
2 Kings 6:15-18
   And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
   And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
   And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
   And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

Proper strength, faith, power, and love only comes by a cold heart towards the soulish, physical world – combined with a heart that becomes sensitive to the Lord.
And, being silly, stupid, and ridiculous to the common sense of the world, we will be mocked.
But with a double portion of the spirit, Elisha responded to any negative, depressing messages of the world with a middle finger – and power to back it.
2 Kings 2:23-24
   And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
   And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Does this slaughter bother you?  Good.

 
     
 

Our purpose is to have fellowship with our fellow man.
But fellowship – and action in this physical world can be so dangerous to us and all around us.
So many times with fellowship, we end up as a people pleaser, and focus on the physical, rather than God.
We are to prioritize our fellowship with God, and then man.
Matthew 22:36-40
   Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
   Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
   This is the first and great commandment.
   And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
   On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

We enter fellowship with God via thanksgiving and praise.
Psalm 100:4
   Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Nehemiah 12:46
   For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.

Ezra 3:11
   And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Psalm 147:7
   Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God

The same Christians who have put down false gods, are filled with the Holy Spirit, have been baptized, quote their Bible, and are repentant – so many times don’t approach God with thanksgiving and praise.
We work and create in our life, and have fellowship with others, but are no better than King Nebuchadnezzar – who didn’t give God the glory.
Sure, King Nebuchadnezzar praised God…
Daniel 4:1-3
   Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
   I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
   How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

…but later King Nebuchadnezzar took the glory for himself… just like those baptized, Spirit-filled Christians who forget that God has given them so much.
Daniel 4:28-30
   All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
   At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
   The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

Bringing heaven to earth affects the physical world, but begins in heaven’s magic.
Without a Grace relationship to God in our everyday actions, don’t expect to be healed – as you simply don’t have a relationship – proper fellowship with God.
Works in our physical world has to begin with faith, a loyalty commitment, and relationship to God.
The magic happened for Abraham when his works in the physical world started by a faith fellowship to God.
James 2:21-23
   Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
   Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
   And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

The hearts of Rahab’s crowd melted – became sensitive to God, as they recognized works in the physical world that began from above.
Joshua 2:9-11
   And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
   For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
   And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

James 2:25
   Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

The magic worked for Rahab to save her and her family, as her works and fellowship began with that heart relationship to God – and callous to the rest of the world – including her own king and countrymen.
Joshua 2:3-4
   And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.
   And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were

If we want to be in the world, like most professing Christians, with only an occasional relationship to God, we end up like King Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 4:31
   While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

In fact, if our fellowship with God via communion/Lord’s supper is tainted, we become sick and damned.
1 Corinthians 11:29-32
   For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
   For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
   For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
   But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Christians will never get anything from above without having a proper relationship to the above.
Ignore the world and look up:
Mark 8:22-25
   And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
   And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
   And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
   After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

We have to walk in the light of Christ, and have fellowship with man – a relationship with a broken heart – heart not hardened to God.  The opposite of our hardened, callous heart to God is the broken heart of God in human form – resulting in the gushing of blood from that broken heart.
Christ’s blood lubricates our relationship to our fellow man.
1 John 1:7
   But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The blood of the man Christ Jesus supplies our hearts with oxygen (through the bloodstream).
Christ died to this world including the breathable air.
He lives beyond the limitations of this world.
That which is of the flesh, the physical, will return as dust.
Ecclesiastes 12:7
   Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 3:20-21
   All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
   Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

And the Devil has legal right to those physical works that don’t begin with a faith relationship to God.
Isaiah 65:25
   The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat.

If you can only see that field as a field, rather than the built castle – the magic cannot happen in your life.
You will be stuck with the logical, sensible, scoffing, physical, testable reality of “I can’t.”
Science will demand that you prove it first.
John 20:25-28
   The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
   And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
   Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
   And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Blessed are the ones who have not seen, but believe – for unlimited potential upwards.
John 20:29
   Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

See the unseen: the field becoming the cathedral, the Word holding up civilizations upwards.
2 Corinthians 4:18
   While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 
     
 

But our walk in the light is as short as life invariably is.

James 4:14
   For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Job 14:1-2
   Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
   He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.  And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.

Elisha’s ministry resulted in double the number of miracles compared to Elijah’s.
Yet, even with a double portion of the spirit of Elijah, Elisha fell short.  His guidance led the king to only smite three times – short of the five or six times necessary to smite the enemy.  Not good enough.
2 Kings 13:14-19
   And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
   And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.
   And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands.
   And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
   And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.
   And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.

With a double portion of the spirit of Elijah, even the bones of a dead Elisha had the power to resurrect.
2 Kings 13:20-21
   And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
   And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

But even with this increased power, Elisha died of sickness – the shortness of mortal life cut even shorter by illness – like so many Christians who plead the blood of the Lamb.
2 Kings 13:14
   Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died.

You might say that dying of illness is not a big deal… but you can search the Bible, and find very few people of God who die of illness.
Deuteronomy 34:7
   And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.

Joshua 14:10-11
   And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
   As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

Yet, Elisha, like modern-day professing Christians, died of illness.
With constant media advertisements of the latest cold and flu medications, and the worship of the medical profession (our new heroes), many Christians might be surprised regarding how few people of God died of illness in the Bible.
Conversely, towards the end of his life, Paul knew that a crown awaited him.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
   Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

In contrast, we have coronaviruses and associated illnesses like SARS, MERS, COVID-19, the common cold, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.
Why?
Because most have a crown awaiting them.  In Latin, ‘corona’ means ‘crown.’
(The crown name comes from the spikes on the viruses that look like crowns.)

 
     
 

When you see the image of the center crucifix – for whom was this center crucifixion meant?
(Don’t answer too quickly.  It’s a trick question.)



The center crucifix was meant for Barabbas.
With a tradition of releasing a prisoner at the feast, Pilate expected to release Jesus and crucify Barabbas, the criminal.

Matthew 27:15-17
   Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
   And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them,    Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

But Jesus took the criminal’s place.
Luke 23:18-21
   And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:
   (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
   Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.

Since we’ve all sinned, we need Jesus to take our place.
Ecclesiastes 7:20
   For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.
Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with his righteousness.
Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing.
Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.

Matthew 8:16-17
   When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
   That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

With Jesus Christ’s righteousness, the just move to perfection – a separation of the sheep and the goats.
Ezekiel 34:17
   And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.

And the just receive a crown just like Paul did.
James 1:12
   Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

With the fullness of the wicked – they also receive a crown.

Revelation 22:11
   He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

But the wicked, without Christ taking their place, look forward to a different sort of crown.
Mark 15:17-20
   And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
   And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
   And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.
   And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

A crown of pain: corona.
Deuteronomy 28:21-22,59-61
   The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.
   The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
   …Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
   Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.
   Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

 
     
 

But the question remains: How do we solve a problem like Elijah?

The spirit of Elijah is bursting with unlimited potential.
2 Kings 2:11
   And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Chariots, fire, whirlwind:
Isaiah 66:15-16
   For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
   For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

Like the whirlwind, Abraham could go in any direction with unlimited potential.
Genesis 13:14-15
   And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
   For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

God creates and molds his people like potter with his art – the pot.
Lamentations 4:2
   The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!


Romans 9:20-23
   Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
   Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
   What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
   And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory

But how can God’s people not spin out from spinning on the potter's wheel? – splattered as clay against the walls – going northward, southward, eastward, and westward.
Job 10:9
   Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?

Psalm 83:13-15
   O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
   As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
   So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.

Which way will your wind blow?
Will you rush forward to create the latest enterprise software which efficiently raises sales numbers and connects people electronically, but nullifies the human experience?
Will you rush forward to save the world from progressive ideologies, only to narcissistically promote your ‘common sense’ values – which effectively justifies the watering-down of Judeo-Christian values?
Will you rush forward to spread a universal and unconditional love, a love which welcomes every lifestyle and act, but will effectively tear down civilization with a happy face?
Will you rush forward to enforce a set of rules, even if the relevant situation is more complex and nuanced than it first seemed?

As a whirlwind, it’s so easy for our breath of life to spin out.
Job 27:21
   The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place.

We need direction in our life to not go whichever way the wind blows and become part of the air around us – the Devil’s legal territory.
Psalm 1:4
   The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Elijah’s fiery nature, the spinning whirlwind which inevitably flames out…
Job 21:17-18
   How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger.
   They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away.

Isaiah 17:13
   The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

So… how do we solve a problem like Elijah?
The answer is Law.

 
     
 

Sin, by definition, is falling short of the race to completion, fulfilment, maturity, perfection.
The Bible likens these imperfections to ‘spots.’

Ephesians 5:27
   That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

1 Timothy 6:14
   That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ

2 Peter 3:14
   Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

As Christians, we are to make disciples of those who have replicated boringness around the world.
Matthew 28:19-20
   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
   Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15-16
   And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
   He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Luke 24:47
   And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

At Corinth, Paul had to explain the sin of fornication.
1 Corinthians 5:1
   It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

1 Corinthians 6:9
   Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind

With the Law, we can point out the spots.
Romans 7:7
   Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

With the Law, we know sin.
Romans 3:20
   Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

And, transgressing the Law means death.
Ezra 7:26
   And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.

We need Christ to take our place, as we are the criminal, Barabbas.
Romans 3:23-26
   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
   Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
   Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
   To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Protected in Christ (not social distancing), we lay hands on.
Hebrews 6:2
   Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Acts 8:17
   Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Deuteronomy 34:9
   And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.

1 Timothy 4:14
   Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

1 Timothy 5:22
   Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.

Acts 19:6
   And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

The Holy Spirit, being wind, blows to dry our laundry – our clothing, after being washed clean by the Word.
John 15:3
   Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

With the great commission, to make Christian disciples, we point out sins against the Law, and the need to be guided via the Holy Spirit to Christ, the Word made flesh, to save us from the punishment of death from the Law.
How can we summarize this goal of Christians?
You’re gonna spot ‘em, and you’re gonna air ‘em out.

 
     
 

Luke 1:13-17
   But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
   And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
   For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
   And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
   And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

The spirit of Elijah fell on John the Baptist, and, after John’s death, Jesus said that Elijah had indeed come.
Mark 9:13
   But I say unto you, That Elijah is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

Matthew 11:13-14
   For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
   And if ye will receive it, this is Elijah, which was for to come.

How do we solve a problem like Elijah?
Doubling the power didn’t work.
Accordingly, John the Baptist did no miracles.
John 10:41-42
   And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
   And many believed on him there.

How do we solve a problem like Elijah?
The answer is Law.
Mark 12:17
   And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.

God, Caesar, and Satan have a legal right to their respective properties.
And, the tenets of the Law demand execution.

Deuteronomy 21:20-21
   And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
   And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die

Numbers 15:35-36
   And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.
   And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Leviticus 20:27
   A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

We solve a problem like Elijah, this whirlwind of energy and potential, by death.
Elijah was correct:
1 Kings 19:4
   …and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

The Old Covenant has been violated, and the Law demands execution.
1 Kings 19:10
   And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

But with the application of the Law – we have to apply it to ourselves… leading to our own execution.
Matthew 7:1-2
   Judge not, that ye be not judged.
   For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

John 8:4-5
   They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
   Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

John 8:7
   He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

We solve a problem like Elijah with execution.

John the Baptist judged with the Law.
Mark 6:18
   For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.

Accordingly, Jezebel-like female authority received John the Baptist’s death.
Mark 6:22-28
   And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
   And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.
   And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
   And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
   And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.
   And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,
   And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

But with John the Baptist’s death – the Law, as a means towards righteousness, ended.
Luke 16:16
   The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Now every man presses into the kingdom of God.

 
     
 

As Christians, we are part of the womanly body that is bride of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14
   For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
   For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
   For the body is not one member, but many.

But we solved a problem like Elijah by execution.  We are headless – beheaded like John the Baptist.
Matthew 14:10-12
   And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
   And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
   And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

With execution, and headless, Christ as the firstborn of the dead becomes the head.
Colossians 1:18
   And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;

Ephesians 1:20-23
   Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
   Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
   And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
   Which is his body,
the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

We now press into the kingdom of God with Christ as the head.

 
     
 

As we press into the kingdom of God, as the bride of Christ, if we overcome, and keep his works unto the end, we arrive at the party and we get the morning star.
Revelation 2:26-28
   And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
   And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
   And I will give him the morning star.

The morning star is Esther.
And, we can see the parallel and reversal of John the Baptist’s execution in the book of Esther.
Like the daughter of Herodias being properly hot in her dance for the king (Herod) and being favoured by the king – Esther rose by her beauty for the king (Ahasuerus).
Esther 2:7,15-17
   And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
   …And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
   So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
   And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

Esther 7:2-6
   And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
   Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:
   For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.
   Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?
   And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.

The enemy Haman sought to destroy all of God’s people, the Jews, including Jewess Esther.
Esther 3:6
   …wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

The reversal came when Haman was executed (hanged and thus keeping his head for the wicked’s crown of corona – as the rebellious wicked are led by self and not Christ).  Evil Haman was executed by the gallows that he ironically built to execute Mordecai, the Jew.
Esther 7:9-10
   And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.
   So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.  Then was the king's wrath pacified.

The morning star begins with a decree overcoming the rebellious wife whose crime was not showing her beauty when commanded…
Esther 1:11-12,20
   To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.
   But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.
   …And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.

…and the morning star concludes with a decree of victory for God’s people.
Esther 8:11-13
   Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
    Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
   The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

Esther 10:3
   For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.

This final decree reverses an earlier decree of destruction of the Jewish people.
Esther 3:8-12
   And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.
   If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
   And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
   And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.
   Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.

The reversal parallels reversing the Devil’s legal right to the earth, returning the earth to mankind.
Allegorically, King Ahasuerus is God, Mordecai is Christ, the seven chamberlains are the Holy Spirit, Queen Vashti is rebellious mankind, Haman is Satan, and Esther is obedient mankind.

The number seven is associated with God, and the seven Spirits are the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 4:5
   And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Esther 1:10-11
   On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
   To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

The Holy Spirit tries to bring mankind to God, so God can look on mankind with Grace.  But mankind rebels.
Similarly, the seven chamberlains try to bring Queen Vashti to King Ahasuerus to be seen, but she won't follow and display.
Esther arrives and cultivates and displays her beauty.
Mordecai adopts Esther (as she is an orphan) just like God's people are orphans to the world and enter the family of God.

Haman thinks he is going to win his greatest victory by executing Mordecai, just as Satan (and his minions) thought they won their greatest victory by crucifying Christ.
Esther 5:14
   Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet.  And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

But the execution and the decree to destroy the Jews are reversed like the legal right Satan had to the earth by Mordecai’s/Christ’s action.
Esther 4:13-16
   Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
   For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
   Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
   Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

Brave Esther lives on the edge.
The rebellious bride (whore) becomes the obedient bride – a victorious people in the body of Christ.

 
     
 

We are in the world, but we are not to be of the world.
John 17:14-16
   I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
   I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Romans 12:2
   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

When we have a heart that is receptive and sensitive to the world, and callous to God, we endeavour to fit into the world.
We speak our existence (who we are) into being by forming relationships with the world.
To get along, we say what everyone else is saying.  We say: “Thoughts and prayers go out for the victims of this tragedy.”  We, in unison, applaud and clap for environmentalists, healthcare workers, teachers – really – whomever the machine promotes.
We, like trained monkeys, say: “Stay safe,” or we repeat the Church’s acceptable and non-controversial Bible scriptural lines.
We repeatedly shout “Whoo!” at the club like everyone else to signal in a simple way that, of course, we are having fun.
There might as well be an ‘applause’ sign above our heads (like in a television studio) which lights up and tells us how to behave to fit into the world.
Our fellowship is like going to a high-pressure marketing meeting where someone is trying to sell a Timeshare or a new digital currency.
The speaker says “Are you excited?”  “Whoo!” yells the audience.
The speaker says “I can’t hear you!”  The audience yells “Whoo!” louder.
To get along with this crowd, we cultivate this false persona outside ourselves, which is acceptable and doing what is expected, but is not the real you.
If you were actually excited about these new ventures, it would be from your individual interests, which would be explored in a proper conversation that doesn’t necessarily quickly fit in with the worldly interests of signalling dignified tribalism quickly.
In our journey of life, we become, not our true selves, but an external self that is ultimately false, as it’s not who we truly are.  We haven’t bothered to discover who we truly are.  We simply molded ourselves into that world.  And we can never be happy and relaxed with peace, as we are not truly who we are.
If we cultivate a heart that is not receptive to God, we become subject to the world’s methods.
Through the news media, the world can predictably manipulate us like trained monkeys – producing fearmongering and instability.
God, who wants better things for us than the simplistic and unstable world has – only hears us when we shut out the world.
1 John 4:5-6
   They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
   We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.

John 8:23
   And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

How can we summarize this openness of our hearts to the world?  Dignity.
When we cultivate dignity, we have a track record of fitting into our tribe, our community.  We are esteemed and respectable as we have done what the formality of our conservative, liberal, left-wing, Lutheran, Anglican, academic, goth/emo, or skateboarding crowd has expected.
Conversely, proper Christians make Christ their head.  We follow Jesus.
We see our destination from afar.
Matthew 27:55
   And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him

When we press towards the kingdom of God with Christ our head/leader – how we summarize this?
Jesus Christ can be summarized as 1) truth, 2) embarrassing.
The embarrassing truth.

 
     
 

Person A: “How was your morning?”
Person B: “Okay.  And yours?”
Person A: “It was fine.  Jimmy C is on the news – more controversy from him.”
Person B: “What do you think of that celebrity, Jimmy C?”
Person A: “He’s interesting.  A bit wild.  What do you think of him?”
Person B: “Yeah, he’s wild.  But he’s okay.”
Person A: “I guess he’s alright.”

Both Person A and Person B reached fellowship (agreement regarding Jimmy C) without saying much from their true selves, as they just spoke in polite platitudes for tribal agreement.
But, their false selves, which are external to them (as it doesn’t have much to do with their true selves inside) have fellowship.

Person A: “The media loves the latest Jimmy C outrage.”
Person B: “Yeah, what happened to Jimmy pains me, as I did that same thing years ago.”
Person A: “Was it serious?”
Person B: “Yeah, only by the Grace of God did I get out of those dark places.”
Person A: “I guess you never know what it’s like until you fall into that trap.  It must be awful for him.”
Person B: “If Jimmy C was like me – he’s in desolation and evil.  Let me tell you what it was like…”

With Christ’s blood lubricating our relationships – that is, having a soft heart sensitive (not callous) to the ways of God, and a heart callous towards the dignity of the world, we can have real fellowship from our real selves.  We are callous to the plastic relationships of the world.
Jeremiah 24:7
   And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

Ezekiel 36:26
   A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Zechariah 7:12
   Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.

 
     
 

John 18:38
   Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

Defining truth sounds easy, until you try to.
Philosophers for centuries have tried to define what ‘truth’ is, and have never been able to formulate a final answer.
When we press forward with leadership from the head of the body, which is Christ, our quest is towards finding truth.

Jesus Christ is truth:
John 1:17
   For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 14:6
   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Holy Spirt is truth:
1 John 5:6
   And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

John 4:23-24
   But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
   God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The Word is truth:
John 17:17
   Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

James 1:18
   Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Ephesians 1:13
   In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation

Agreement:
John 1:1
   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Luke 3:22
   And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

1 John 5:7-8
   For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
   And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

 
     
 

Life is a quest.
Life is a quest for truth.
Life is a quest for the truth of who you are.
Christianity is the quest of finding the truth of who you are.
How can you find the truth of who you are?  Christ revealed in you.
After execution:

Colossians 3:3-4
   For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
   When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Colossians 1:27-29
   To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
   Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
   Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Galatians 1:16
   To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen;

 
     
 

Luke 21:5-6
   And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,
   As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

The stones of the temple seemed good.  But, for heaven coming to earth: not good enough.
Jesus Christ as cornerstone:

Isaiah 28:16
   Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Matthew 21:42
   Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

We become stones built on the foundation.
1 Peter 2:4-5
   To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
   Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:19-22
   Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
   And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
   In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
   In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11
   According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
   For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

But the foundation, the cornerstone, upon which we are built, was rejected by the world.
Psalm 118:22-23
   The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
   This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

But as we grow in life, we appropriate the soulish, the physical, the fleshly – and the builders of this world have already rejected Christ.
You might live in a Church culture which has moved beyond the Word made Flesh – 66 books of the Bible consolidated in the person of Christ.  Your church has its own culture, doctrines, and rules.

John 1:14
   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

You might be a sports fan, which is fine, except if this sports culture has overwhelmed your relationship to the Lord or replaced that morality.
For example, your fellowship with man might be of “You’ll never walk alone” – the anthem of Liverpool Football Club – a feel-good, fellowship-oriented message – but a replacement of Christ, the Word made flesh.
You might have built camaraderie upon this culture of sports.
Your fellowship might be based on what ‘relationship experts’ on television say, or what Cosmopolitan magazine says, or what the psychologists say.

So many seemingly dedicated Christians can quote scripture, but when looking for advice for a problem regarding relationships, finances, health – immediately they turn to the worldly ‘experts’ on the internet or on the news, rather than even thinking to turn to God.
This you that is built upon these external sports cultures, or relationship advice cultures, or what the news says the latest panic is – is not you.
The you that you have cultivated and built is a replica of everyone else (as it’s not you, just a product of your regional and temporal circumstances).

And this you that you have built is external to you.  It’s subject to the whims of whoever manages these enterprises.  And, ultimately, these enterprises are in the legal domain of the Devil.
If Liverpool FC’s new direction is transgender-friendly, then that’s part of you.  Even if you resist this new direction, you still exist as a derivative (resistance-oriented) of that culture.
If your favourite news station says the economy is in trouble and you better worry – you do – not bothering to read the Word regarding abundance.

This false you (who is external to you) might be a feminist (who is trying to find your place within the constantly changing ism that is feminism), or it might be a nationalist (who is subject to a changing culture of nationalism), or it might be a progressive (who isn’t quite sure what progress is anymore).
Accordingly, human relationships from these external and false realities will always create strife.
Why?
Because we can never be ‘fitly framed together.’
Think of a married couple who deceive each other by being external, false selves.
This marriage will always have problems as they can never relate to each other, as they are trying to relate to a spouse who doesn’t exist as he/she presents himself/herself.
At best this married couple can try for a tribal agreement, where they are both members of the Anglican church and culture, and adhere to its rules and principles.
You both find common ground on which to discuss the problems of Jimmy C.
But those rules and principles are external, and not really who they are.  And this couple is then subject to any church culture changes from the Anglican leadership.  Even if they resist these changes, they built themselves as derivative in opposition of this changing Anglican culture.

You might wonder: “How am I subject to the Devil?  How is Satan my ruler?
I’m just a regular person.  I mind my own business.”
Satan is your master because you have cultivated your heart to be sensitive to the world: the fearmongering news, your banker’s financial information (You’re broke!), the medical community (It’s flu season – you’ll be sick soon!), the politicians (More of your liberties are gone!)… and you didn’t listen to the Word – you didn’t cultivate a heart that was callous to the world and believing the Word made flesh regarding healing, and protection from plagues, and financial abundance, and true liberty.

John 8:43-44
   Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
   Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The powerful entity that is the Devil sways you as he likes – in his legal territory of the world.
If he wants to make you afraid tomorrow with news of a wave of disease, or news of a wave of economic depression – he will do that and laugh at you as you fall to pieces with worry.
Professing Christians are subject to the Devil as they blubber to God: “Oh God, you promised abundance, but the news says that we’re all going to be unemployed.”
God won’t have fellowship if you believe the fear porn over his Word – a Word which you are to proclaim to instantiate, thereby overcoming the world.
By focusing on the things of God, we have peace of mind, believing in a prosperous future.
Isaiah 26:3-4
   Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
   Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength

Philippians 4:7-9
   And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
   Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
   Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

With unlimited potential, our wind can spin in all directions, but, like Adam and Eve, we focus on the external, the physical, the fleshly, the carnal.
We end up chasing all sorts of isms, and end up finding fellowship with each other via tribal agreements on rules, principles, and doctrines.

Our tribe can agree as progressives to tax the rich and we need more freedom to express sexuality.  Another tribe can agree that nationalist artifacts – the flag, our constitution – must be honoured and exalted.
Isaiah 19:13
   The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.

But we cannot fit together as stones for a new heaven.  The mortar holding us together is weak and the stones really do not fit at all correctly.  Why?  Because we are not looking inward to examine who we truly are.
With a death sentence of execution from the Law, the prisoner Paul was oriented towards Christ – as Christ is the head of the body.

2 Timothy 1:8-10
   Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
   Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
   But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel

Philemon 1:1-3
   Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
   And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
   Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

When we are not focused on the external, (perhaps our 'clean' now means sanitizing with Clorox and Lysol), but the internal, through the mirror that is the Word of God – we blade run on our quest towards Christ – the Word made flesh – we discover who we truly are.  Led by the Holy Spirit in our quest, how can we summarize our examination of ourselves in one word?  Embarrassing.

 
     
 

It’s embarrassing to admit sinful acts we have done in secret.
King David admitted his transgression.
2 Samuel 12:12-13
   For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
   And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD.

King Josiah admitted his sin.
2 Chronicles 34:26-27
   And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard;
   Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.

King Manasseh would not admit and repent – so God took him down.
2 Chronicles 33:10-11
   And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.
   Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.

Unrepentant Israelites:
Nehemiah 9:29
   And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

It’s far more easy to create our external, false selves.  We grab a bit of the swagger of the latest rapper, the self-reliance of the scientific community, the repeated mantras of our political leanings regarding ‘closed borders,’ ‘Islamophobia,’ ‘market forces,’ ‘compassionate conservatism,’ or ‘gender-fluidity.’
Our fellowship finds agreement within our tribe, and can enjoy our accusatory nature.
But, the true you is not these external items, or from the programming from your environment.

Just because you grew up in a progressive, left-leaning city, with Black Panther values – doesn’t mean that is who you truly are.
Just because you grew up with science camp, Mormonism, and art school – that isn’t necessarily who you are.
To find the true you, the unique you – you’ll have to look in the Word as the mirror.

After execution from the Law, with Christ as the head of our body, our whirlwind of unlimited potential can be oriented in the proper direction, guided by the Holy Spirit.
In a word, we can describe this as: embarrassing.

Perhaps, you’ve borne a wounded spirit for decades.  Your parents never wanted you as you were another mouth to feed, in poor circumstances.
Proverbs 18:14
   The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

You express yourself in fellowship with atheists, and speak of the wisdom of atheist Christopher Hitchens – or you wrap yourself in the rules of the Seventh Day Adventists, and your fellowship is external to yourself with clothing rules and dietary rules.

But, all this time you’ve carried this wounded spirit – which needs to be dealt with before you can discover the true you.
It’s embarrassing to examine your life via the mirror of the Word and see the condition of your heart.
Proverbs 15:13
   A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 17:22
   A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

To navigate this world soulishly and get respect from our peers – we cannot admit that we don’t have all the answers and we need help for our inner being.  It’s embarrassing.
Psalm 109:22
   For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

Heroes get the job done, as the triumph of the individual.  To ask for help… embarrassing.
With Jesus as our leader, the head of our body – what results?
We have a proper hero who has overcome the world.
John 16:33
   These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Christ has disarmed (spoiled) the principalities and powers (Devil’s) of the world, reclaiming what was the Devil’s legal territory.
Colossians 2:15
   And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

But, Jesus, being committed to operating through man, expects us to administer that victorious reclaiming of the Devil’s territory – by focusing on Christ as the head (Christ revealed in us).
Not external rules:
Colossians 2:8-10
   Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
   For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
   And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power

John 12:31-32
   Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
   And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

In the woman’s genitals, is her broken hymen for the Lord?
In the man’s genitals, is the circumcised foreskin for the Lord?
These ‘secret parts of genitals’ parallel to the heart – a heart, that is sensitive to the Lord – like the sensitivity when the foreskin is circumcised.

Colossians 2:11
   In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ

Deuteronomy 10:16
   Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Jeremiah 4:4
   Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Don’t focus on the outward, the external sensitivity to the world, but the inward sensitivity to God, for the true you.
Romans 2:28-29
   For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
   But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

But how did Jesus Christ overcome?
Matthew 27:39-44
   And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
   And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
   Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
   He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
   He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
   The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

Jesus overcame by losing.
By being that loser… he can be our leader.
We only bring heaven to earth by becoming the stones that fit rightly together: proper fellowship.
We can only become the stones fitted rightly by truly being ourselves.
That means we have to discover ourselves.
We are not some Methodist with rules regarding facial hair, or the product of the latest glossy book from an academic who has given us rules regarding cleaning our rooms.
We are far more complex and detailed – and need true liberty and true freedom of speech to discover ourselves.
When we have Jesus as the head of our body – we can truly examine ourselves.

Philippians 1:15
   Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will

If we are preachers, we examine our motives for proclaiming Christ.
Romans 8:36
   As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

As a preacher, it’s far easier to keep pushing the regular scheduled church program, than admit that we have envy and rivalry motivating us to build our church.
But we can only fit into the new construction properly as our real selves, after cleansing envy and strife.
It’s embarrassing for a preacher to not be exalting himself and expand his ministry.
The worldly expects pursuing of goals of bigger numbers and higher targets.
Philippians 2:3
   Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

But, with Christ as head, we realize that he embarrassingly gave up all.
However, God raised him up above all.
Philippians 2:7-11
   But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
   And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
   Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
   That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
   And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We, following the head that is Christ, realize that we can embarrass and humble ourselves, removing dignity, in order to discover who we really are, and we can be exalted as well.
James 5:16
   Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.

Matthew 3:6
   And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

With true freedom of speech, we can say secrets about ourselves that will cause us to lose popularity and dignity – but with Christ as our leader, we know that we will win in the end.
Following in Christ’s footsteps, we know that we can embrace that which is silly to the world: the strength of yielding, and we will win.
1 Peter 2:21-24
   For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
   Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
   Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
   Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Matthew 18:3-4
   And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
   Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

We have new freedoms to adventure and risk be mocked by the world.
We might now be led by the Spirit to finally learn to garden at the age of sixty, or take up a musical instrument in our senior years.  The soulish may mock, but we’re discovering our true selves.
Perhaps you now have the courage to openly say that you were wrong about some ‘isms’ and other people’s viewpoints and not fear the scoffers.
In times of food shortages, you can be brave and share what little food that you do have with others.  You admit, yes, I have been afraid of starvation and cannibalism, but I’ve nailed those fears to the cross.  Walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, and having died to this world, I know I will win.

 
     
 

When you live in the soulish world – it’s embarrassing when a thief steals a substantial sum of money from the company that you’re running… and you stand on the Word and declare to the staff that the company will get sevenfold back in money by declaring:
Deuteronomy 28:7
   The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

As God spoke creation into being…
Romans 4:17
   and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

…we speak our world into existence.

And, we win with Christ, if we do not waver and stand on the Word, continue our confession in faith, and months later, your financial victory comes to fruition.
Hebrews 10:23
   Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Proverbs 20:22
   Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

Psalm 27:14
   Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Job 27:16-17
   Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay;
   He may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver.

Eternity is a long time – and God’s people need be used to accepting a long-term view of life.
Daniel 10:12-13
   Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
   But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Christians need to have a callous heart to the world for the magic to appear.
With that callous heart towards the world, we are willing to be mocked and bloodied like Christ was, but hold fast our confession of faith.

Embarrassing.

 
     
 

Or is it embarrassing?
No, Sir.  Not embarrassing, ‘cause no one's ever going to find out they're down here.
After walking in the Lord’s strength for a while, and cultivating that callous, hard heart to the world –  eventually you’re not embarrassed, as you don’t have that soulish mindset anymore.
1 John 2:15
   Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

The only way for proper faith: Seek honour from God only – not from man.
John 5:44
   How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

James 4:4
   Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

You’re not embarrassed to be in the light and have your secrets exposed, as you know that exposure will let you discover who you truly are, improve who you are, and open your heart to be guided in the right direction in a magical world.

God forgives and forgets your sins – blotting them out.
Isaiah 43:25
   I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Hebrews 8:12-13
   For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
   In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Jeremiah 50:20
   In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

Jeremiah 31:34
   …saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Put off the old man down here and put on the new man:
Ephesians 4:22-24
   That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
   And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
   And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

John 3:31
   He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

Psalm 139:15
   My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Romans 6:6
   Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Abolish the fleshly, physical, soulish, replicant mindset.
Ephesians 2:15
   Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

 
     
 

Bringing heaven to earth is about going somewhere that you have already been in your mind.
You might say that you just want God to bring heaven to earth and you want to live in that heavenly-earth.
But God wouldn’t do that, as you simply wouldn’t know how to live in that new reality of heaven being on earth.
You haven’t considered, pondered, meditated on the Word of God to know how to operate in that new heaven being on earth.  You’d ruin everything by bringing the blessings of heaven down to the soulish level.

You can’t be tempted with the sinful, if your mind no longer thinks of the sinful.
For that, we need to be callous, unfeeling, cold, unemotional, insensitive, dead to the world – as we focus on the things of God.

When Peter walked on water to join Jesus, Peter only failed when he stopped focusing with faith – but instead looked at and considered the world.  Peters saw the wind.  Well, he didn’t see the wind, but he saw its effects, and like so many of us, Peter fell to pieces considering the various permutations of this world, and how so many of them can lead to disaster.
Matthew 14:28-32
   And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
   And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
   But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
   And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
   And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

Like Elijah having been a part of many miracles, Peter was so close to the Lord when he failed (as Jesus just had to stretch his hand out to grab Peter).
Peter should have maintained focus on Christ, headed towards Christ, to be victorious.

 
     
 

You might be old or injured and have some physical pains.
You are speaking your own difficult world into existence by saying: “Oh, I’m getting old; I hurt.”
“Everything falls apart after you turn fifty years old.”
You are making your own life difficult (cursing yourself) by saying: “That injured knee of mine is acting up again.”
Save your curses for the Devil and your diseases from him.
Proverbs 18:21
   Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Don’t consider, ponder, or meditate upon the pains.
Instead, bless God for healing and renewing your youth.
Psalm 103:1-5
   Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
   Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
   Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
   Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
   Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

And when the Devil comes back with logic and reason to convince you that you didn’t really get healed – hold fast your confession and rebuke him.
Matthew 12:43-45
   When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
   Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
   Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.  Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Hebrews 3:6
   But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Being an elderly couple, Abraham initially laughed when God promised he and his wife Sarah children.  But Abraham repented and believed God.
Genesis 17:15-19
   And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
   And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
   Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
   And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
   And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Romans 4:3
   Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Abraham stood on the Word of God, and didn’t focus and ponder upon the material – that he and his wife were old.
He no longer considered the age of his body or Sarah’s womb, and his faith in the Word was counted as righteousness.

Romans 4:19-22
   And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:
   He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
   And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
   And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

The aches and pains of growing old didn't become a problem for Abraham, as he didn’t think upon that.  He instead thought upon the promises of God.
Similarly, God brought Abraham out of the land of Ur and gave Abraham a land for his many descendants.

Genesis 15:5-7
   And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
   And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
   And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

Nehemiah 9:7-8
   Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
   And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous

Abraham might have become homesick and might have been tempted to return to his homeland.
But Abraham did not put his mind to his old home.
He was not tempted to return, as it was out of his mind.  He didn’t contemplate returning home.
Hebrews 11:15
   And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

What was on Abraham’s mind?  The unseen promises of God.  He meditated on the Word of God. 
Hebrews 11:16
   But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

He was willing to complete his quest in faith – knowing that the unseen (the future) had a better world.
Hebrews 11:13
   These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

 
     
 

You might have, with the benefits of living and working in a country built on Christianity, with so many Christians praying and supporting you – and perhaps even pursing Christ yourself – risen to a very high position in life.
You might be in a very dignified position in life.  You might be a respectable community member, business leader, or even a political leader.
But, your dignity is your enemy.  If you want the Grace to manifest for the magic, you’re going to have to live on the edge, go out on a limb, take what seems like taking chances to the soulish mindset, and speak the Word without wavering.
You might be a Fox News or CNN host, the governor of the state of New York, the U.S. Attorney General, or even the President of these United States of America. 
But, like Peter, you failed in a society held up by the water of the Word.
You, with prosperity and success, like Peter, started to ponder, consider, and open your heart to the world.  You stopped focusing on Jesus and became worried about how the world would react.

You could be a God-fearing head of a household – or all the way up to a God-fearing head of state – and you’re struggling and tired.
Why?
Like so many leaders, you’re focused on the things seen – the financial and environmental reports of doom and gloom.  With dignity, you’re focused on what the people have to say.  You care about their opinions.
When we are buoyed by success as Christians, we can’t rest on our laurels by taking our eyes off the head of the body: the Word made flesh in Christ.
We are to be callous to the opinions of people, and we are undignified.
So many times, a political leader who is Christian, in addition to looking towards Christ, becomes like Peter, and also considers, ponders, thinks upon, values that of the world.
Rather than standing upon the Word, that leader also considers the wind storm: the budget deficit, the latest health crisis, and threats from unfriendly nations – and then also tries to curry the favour of the electorate.
We need to cultivate our belief, not our unbelief.
Matthew 17:20
   And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

A proper Christian (leader or otherwise) is going to laugh at the people on the news who speak of a health or budget crisis, or international unrest.

But you might think that leaders have to be concerned about the polls and the favour of the people who go to the ballot box.
No, God is in charge of setting circumstances to elect leaders.
Romans 13:1
   For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

God will remove and set up leaders as he chooses.
Daniel 2:20-21
   Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
   And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding

If you strive for acceptance with men, you’ll never get acceptance from God.
And if you’re tired and you want rest, you’ve got to stop looking at the panic culture of the world, which will only cultivate your unbelief.
Focus on the things of God, and let God do his work through you.
If you’re looking to the world’s talk of flu season, recession, healthcare crisis – your unbelief will negate your faith.

Hebrews 4:4-11
   For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
   And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
   Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
   Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
   For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
   There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
   For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
   Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Matthew 13:58
   And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

 
     
 

When you trust in institutions such as the banks, or the government, or the infrastructure to bring you to your favourite vacation destination, you can only go as high as those institutions go.
And when the powers in this world decide to wind down or even shudder these institutions, you fall with them back to being dust and ashes.

Luke 12:34
   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

And when you build yourself as that external you – adhering to the world’s labels of being a center-right, Evangelistic, nationalist patriot, or a trendy, liberal with technocratic leanings – you define yourself and adhere to that which is in the Devil’s legal territory.
And when the powers in this world, under the Devil, decide to do what they will with these labels, changing center-right to include chaotic uprising, or changing comic book culture to include gender-fluidity, or changing Evangelistic to include false gods, or changing patriot to include homosexual rights – you have to go along with this – or now define yourself in opposition to it, which, even in opposition, is again being swayed like the wind under the power of external forces.

Ephesians 4:14-15
   That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
   But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ

How do you rise with unlimited potential?  By living.  By being your true self.

If you want to live as a Darwinist, you make sure to not break the rules of speaking about creation beyond randomness.
If you want to live as a Jeopardy! guru, you make sure not speak of the meaninglessness of the word ‘trivia’ by definition (trivial).
If you want to live as a green-energy environmentalist, you make sure not to speak of the effectiveness of fossil fuels.
But who does a better job at maintaining non-controversial fellowship in these subcultures of the world?  Who does a better job at self-censorship?
Who does a better job than you at not breaking the social norms established in these groups that follow false gods?
Go look at a dead body which is ready to be reduced to dust and ashes.
The dead don’t violate any of the rules.
So much of what we pursue looks pretty in the physical world, but is dead.

Psalm 115:4-8
   Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
   They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
   They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
   They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
   They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

No breath:
Habakkuk 2:18-19
   What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
   Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

We need to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, Christ revealed in us, to be alive amongst the silent dead.
Habakkuk 2:20
   But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

 
     
 

How do we solve a problem like Elijah?  The answer is Law.
Pointing out our sin brings us to the death penalty of the Law, whereby we are executed and headless, but led by our new head of the body, which is Christ.
Stop right where you are.  We stop and turn around towards God with repentance.
Law: You know the score, pal.  If you’re not cop, you’re little people.
But, as the Lord passes by, the voice of the Lord isn’t in the shout of the Law.
1 Kings 19:11
   And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

Following Christ, in our quest, might seem like a one-size-fits-all solution.  But Christ in us, a man who taught us we can lose all yet win even so much greater, is the only way that we can be comfortable, with inner peace, at being our true selves.
1 Kings 19:12
   And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

No choice, pal.