I’m a good person, but…

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Mark 10:17-18: As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”

Jesus Christ Himself in response to being called “good” said there is NO ONE good but God.” With this, it is clear that when anyone makes a statement for whatever reason of “I’m a good person, but…” they are already on a path to miss the grace of God. I hear it all the time in counseling. They discuss their sin of whatever they’re dealing with and then follow up with “But I’m a good person.”

My response to everyone who says such a thing is simply this: “There is NO ONE GOOD but GOD. Why do you presume to call yourself good?” If we would begin recognize and willingly admit and accept that there is zero good in any of us outside of Christ’s life active through us, we would begin to position ourselves to receive the abundance and fullness of Christ here on earth. Unfortunately, to admit such a fact requires one to look at the bitter truth about themselves. It requires the utmost level of humility which a rare few choose to do. Let’s face it, no one wants to think of themselves as wicked through and through – yet outside of Christ, we all are.

Yet, if we don’t face such truth, we can never fully receive the grace, love, and mercy for which Christ died. He died for sinful man, not for the “good ones.” If any of us were good, death and redemption would not be required. Satan takes God’s truths and distorts them making them into an insult instead of merely a fact. Without the knowledge of Christ, to think of ourselves as not good, aka evil, we fall into a pit of despair and depression. But, when we see the facts outside of emotionalism we are better able to handle truth.

This applies to me as much as anyone. When people say to me “you’re such a good person,” I immediately correct them as I, in and of myself, am no better or greater than the murderer on death row; not because I murdered someone, but because the sin nature from Adam for which Christ gave His life is equally in me as the murderer. It’s a matter of facts, not what makes me feel good or bad.

E.g. if my shirt is red and someone says, “Hey, your blouse is red,” if I am not emotional, it is in no way an insult, but merely a fact and I am in no way insulted or hurt. However, if I am emotionally charged and already insecure about the color of my top, the comment becomes insulting and I am offended.

This is a simple concept, yet altogether difficult to comprehend because the flesh of mankind wants to make itself feel better all the time. If I go around thinking myself a good person, I am not able to accept the magnitude of the sin nature for which Christ died, therefore unable to receive the fullness of His gift of redemption. I’m too busy excusing sin acts based on, “But I’m a good person otherwise.” We must begin to see the filth of the nature of the flesh, choose the death of the flesh for which Christ buried with Him, and then receive the newness of life that we all desperately need. Now, when someone tries to insult me with “You’re no good!” it bears no emotional meaning because I know as a fact that, outside of the life of Christ, they’re correct.

After all, why would we want to receive a new life in Christ if they’re okay with the old one? There is no one good but God.

If you are interested in reading more, check out my website to order my books, or go to my Facebook ministry page where I post regularly. Blessings!

Alexys V. Wolf
http://www.thefierysword.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251
https://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

Understanding Rest

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“My people perish for lack of knowledge,” the Lord makes clear in Hosea 4:6.

Knowledge is the tool to learn the process of dying in the spiritual sense. God calls every Christ-follower to “die to the flesh” which, simply stated, is recognizing the mankind was crucified with Christ and buried with Him. Crucifying the sin nature or rather, giving up self-will for God’s will in all things, is a matter of rendering the lusts of the flesh inactive, immobile, irrelevant. We are not called to harm the physical body as many would believe. The “flesh” is the nature of Adam that draws one to act sinfully; to act outside the perfect will of God.

Dying to the nature of the fleshly man ushers rest to the believer. Dying is the epitome of true rest; death is the deepest level of rest. Where many Christ-followers are about more work, what God calls us to is the opposite. Christ calls us to more rest. In such rest, Christ is allowed permission to manifest His completed work through our mortal bodies. We are to turn all over to the life of Christ. In this, “working hard” to be Christ-like is no longer an issue. We have given Him access to our mortal bodies so as to bring the Kingdom of heaven down to the earth. The burden of work is removed because Christ already fulfilled the Law with His life, death, burial, and resurrection. Having established this, our “six days of work” are over and we can now enter into the “seventh day of rest.” Christ our Sovereign is the Rest. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

Have you ever known a Christian who is all about, do, do, do and go, go, go and don’t, don’t, don’t? We have to do this, and we have to do that, and we can’t do this or that. If we don’t follow certain denominational rules, we aren’t a faithful follower. The problem with this is that this activity wears one out very quickly and easily. When we sacrifice our flesh and allow Holy Spirit to move through us, Holy Spirit flows freely and with great ease out of His people as would water from a waterfall. Witnessing is then no longer a grueling chore – we are the witness because the True Witness is doing the witnessing, so to speak. People in the world, and in the church, will begin to be drawn to the power and authority with which we now think, speak and walk.

The message of Christ doesn’t change, but the ease and method of presentation does. Either we force God’s Word out of ourselves due to obligation and law, or we allow Christ the liberty to transform us into a heavenly being so as to allow Him to do the convicting in those around us. It is the difference between “Jesus lives in my heart” and “Jesus is my heart and life breath.”

Alexys V. Wolf

http://www.thefierysword.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251
https://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

Joy and Gladness, part III

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I have you in my heart…how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus…I pray that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment…TO WRITE THE SAME THINGS AGAIN IS NO TROUBLE TO ME…(Philippians 1:7, 8, 9; 2:20, 26; 3:1; 4:1, 17, NAS)

May I plainly state that this is difficult – the whole “do not speak against one another”? However, when I really begin to understand how God operates in love at all times, you and I will be better equipped spiritually to administer the Word of God without a judgmental or impatient spirit. We must all begin seeing ourselves for just how lowly and forgiven we are personally. It is when we have an opinion of ourselves that is higher than it ought to be that we begin to judge others and grow weary and impatient. I heard a saying while ministering in prison: I’m no one’s judge since I haven’t a heaven or hell to place them. What a simple and brilliant thing to say and understand!

Jesus and His true followers who have gone on before us delivering the message of the Kingdom of God were simply called to walk in and reveal love and truth to the people. Their job was not to force people to get it. Some will receive and some will not. Our concern should not be the outcome, but rather we conduct ourselves in obedience in love. This way, our level of joy will not so easily fluctuate. Our joy will be grounded completely in the Instructor instead the instruction or the instructed and their reception or rejection of it.

What I mean is that, often times, when a person is obedient in speaking a word from the Lord with joy and zeal and a person receives, we rejoice as if we ourselves have accomplished something. Our zeal is through the roof! On the other hand, when a person is obedient to speak a word from God and a person rejects the word, the level of joy plummets to sub-zero. We seem to take it personally as though they have rejected us, when in fact they have rejected God. Our level of joy should not be moved either way. Happiness is emotional and it comes and goes due to circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, is based on faith in who God is and not what goes on around us. The outcome of how people respond for or against us not our concern – it is God’s alone.

Jesus and those who imitated Him walked in pure, joyous love, which kept them balanced; although this does not mean they were necessarily “happy” in every circumstance. Paul said he repeated the word as many times as necessary so that the people would be safeguarded; his concern was for the people and their walk with Yahweh. When we get angry when others don’t receive the word of God we’ve delivered, it is pride in us that brings the irritation. It is us having the poor attitude that they should do as we say, and if they don’t, they aren’t as good as we.

Maintain humility, and our only goal will be to deliver the Word whether people receive or not. We are to keep our eye on being obedient to glorifying Christ. True love does not puff itself. True love is always humble and courteous.

 

“Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins” (Lamentations 3:39, NAS).

 “Do all things without grumbling and complaining” (Philippians 2:14, NAS).

Love, peace, blessings, and Merry Christmas!

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

https://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

Joy and Gladness, Part II

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I have you in my heart…how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus…I pray that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment…who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare…longing for you all…TO WRITE THE SAME THINGS AGAIN IS NO TROUBLE TO ME…my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown…not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. (Philippians 1:7, 8, 9; 2:20, 26; 3:1; 4:1, 17, NAS)

Paul’s objective was always that God be glorified, and that the people were able to grow in Christ. When the people sent him a gift, he was glad simply because it would go to their spiritual account, not for his own selfish gain. He patiently delivered the Word of God repeating himself as necessary. Because Paul’s focus was that of the Kingdom of God, he was supernaturally equipped to be selflessness, hence maintaining joy as well as persuading others to rejoice in all things. It was this very joy that strengthened him in his endeavors. The whole book of Philippians reveals Paul’s continuous joy.

Paul did not allow adversity of life and ministry or the shortcomings of others to rob him of his joy. He understood the very nature and heart of God. As he was forgiven much, he was able to see through the eye of forgiveness and extend it perpetually toward others. God not only spared Paul’s life after he had tormented and killed God’s people, but God went further and anointed Paul to speak for Him! This confounded both the godly and the ungodly revealing that God not only forgives all, but that anyone can receive such forgiveness as well as become anything God desires of them without limitation! Simply astounding is the heart of God –how could any of us not rejoice always? Likewise, how could anyone forgiven so much ever turn and complain against someone else in their frailties and failures?

“Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor” (James 2:11-12, NAS).

May I plainly state that this is difficult – the whole “do not speak against one another”? I know for me that I can do really well with that until a person or group of people seriously push me repeatedly. However, when I remind myself of how God operates in love at all times, I am better equipped spiritually to administer the Word of God without a judgmental, critical, irritated or impatient spirit. We must all begin seeing ourselves for just how lowly and forgiven we are personally. It is when we have an opinion of ourselves that is higher than it ought to be that we begin to judge others and grow weary and impatient.

“Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins” (Lamentations 3:39, NAS).

“Do all things without grumbling and complaining” (Philippians 2:14, NAS).

Hope you’ll stay tuned for the continuation of this topic of joy and gladness!

Love, peace, and blessings!

Alexys V. Wolf

http://www.thefierysword.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251
https://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

Joy and Gladness, Part I

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“You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound” (Psalm 4:7, NAS).

“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart” (Psalm 32:11, NAS).

“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy above your fellows” (Psalm 45:7, NAS).

Strength and power in Christ come from your confidence being completely placed in Christ. With this, you can then walk in absolute power, authority, joy, peace, patience, boldness, courage, humility, love, contentment and so much more in every circumstance.

The world pushes confidence, but it is always in the flesh and the things of this world. God pushes confidence, but in Him and in your identity that comes only from being hidden in Christ. The world’s confidence comes from stature, money, looks, education, etc.—anything other than God and the blood of Christ. It is false and leads to a life of sure destruction. In fact, it is not confidence at all, but rather insecurity at the root because a secure person needs no prove anything to anyone – they just are, with or without worldly possessions. Furthermore, the world’s confidence incites greed, hatred, every evil lust of the flesh, and provokes one to fight and kill for what they want or want to keep. They must always be more powerful, richer, more beautiful, more successful, more, more, more—never content with anything. They are eating, yet never satisfied (Micah 6:14). They are always fearful that, no matter how much they attain, they will lose it; and if they lose it, they will be worthless.

Paul is one of the greatest examples of an imitator of Christ that I can see. Although the Word states that he was a “defender of the gospel” (Philippians 1:16-17), this does not mean he went around arguing with others about his religious beliefs. He was humble at all times and was genuinely concerned for the well-being of God’s people. He walked in love, compassion, and patience. This could only be as he was keenly aware of his identity in Christ—his confidence in the faithfulness of God’s promises. Real identity in Christ is knowing, not just that you are blood-bought, but that in being blood-bought, all promises are real, true, and trustworthy until death and they belong to YOU. Paul defended the Word by allowing the character of God to be displayed through him.

For I am confident of this very thing…I want you to know…to be sure…for I know…according to my earnest expectation and hope…convinced of this…I hope in the Lord Jesus…trust in the Lord…be anxious for nothing.
Philippians 1:6, 12, 15, 19, 20, 25; 2:19, 23, 24; 4:6 (NAS)

Though many quote Philippians 1:11 where Paul learned to be content in all circumstances, most miss the fact that he could only be this way in confidently knowing that God is faithful to His own. He knew that he would never be without God. It says he learned to be content. He could not learn if there were no trials and tests to stretch him in this area. Also, the first part of that verse says, “Not that I speak from want.” Not only did he need nothing, he wanted for nothing! When all you want is Jesus, the things of this world become to you as nothing – worthless.

In becoming confident in the King’s faithfulness in all situations, all needs were dissolved. This happened through believing, trusting, and placing his full faith in that, if in the natural there were a real need, he knew he need only await the arrival of provision in God’s perfect timing. Faith destroys lack. Faith through confidence in him allows you to call forth the things that are not as though they were until they are!

Love, peace, and blessings!

Alexys V. Wolf
http://www.thefierysword.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251
https://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

Flesh vs. Spirit, part II

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“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:17, NAS).”

In addition to utilizing our authority to bind away evil spirits and releasing Holy Spirit to be fully active in every area of our lives, we must understand that spiritual warfare isn’t exclusively binding spirits. We must remember to be balanced in everything. Spiritual warfare is also choosing self-discipline. Time and time again we read that self-control is crucial and an attribute of the fruit of the Spirit. Just because we’re tired, angry, sad, mad, stressed, or whatever, does not give us license to sin. In fact, it’s in these tricky situations that God is actually at hand. He allows us to be tested so as to reveal to us our remaining ungodliness – testing is never for condemnation, but for further refinement. God is not punishing us, He is perfecting us.

First, we need to correct an untruth. Many say, “Followers of Christ have two natures,” but this is false. God’s people have ONE NATURE – God’s – Holy Spirit. Though we (the spirit-man, your essence) temporarily dwell in a compartment made of flesh, its nature does not belong to us but the shell itself. It’s like living in your house; you are not the house, you merely dwell there temporarily no matter how long. Eventually you will be separated from it because it isn’t you, the person, the spirit. You must maintain the body, but it isn’t who you are. In the end, your spirit will be physically separated from the body.

Secondly, emotionalism will always dictate “do whatever makes you feel better.” Truth will dictate the exact opposite. When I walk with God, I choose self-control when otherwise I want to use profanities, lash out at someone, or anything of the like. When I give in to emotionalism and conduct myself in a fleshly (evil) manner, I cease walking with God as God cannot stand in the presence of evil. Everyone’s trigger points are different and we need to be aware of what they are and purpose to surrender them to Christ daily. It isn’t a matter of losing salvation, but a matter of temporarily walking away or rather separating ourselves from our oneness with Christ and allowing oneness with the nature of the flesh.

It’s simply being pro-active by knowing who we are in Christ, allowing Christ to overrule the flesh in everything. No one has perfected this, I certainly haven’t, but we need to purpose to strive toward the mark of Christ choosing to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ always and in everything. When we falter, repent, receive forgiveness and begin again. His mercies are new every day!

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:14-25, NAS).”

Love, peace, and blessings!

Alexys V. Wolf
http://www.thefierysword.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251
https://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

Flesh vs. Spirit, part I

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“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:17, NAS).”

There is an ongoing battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Satan wants to activate the flesh in all of its deadness because he strongly desires to make people act irrationally, unjustly, mercilessly, selfishly, foolishly – evil and against God. Where God uses His Spirit to connect with our spirit internally, Satan uses the flesh to connect with us externally. The god of this world provokes us to evil through emotionalism. Emotionalism, in whatever forms it may present itself, causes us to act and react in an unholy manner and, when we do, we then justify our poor conduct. Emotionalism causes us to rationalize bad behavior with “I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m bored, I’m irritated, I’m right, I’m aroused, I’m hungry, I’m needy…I’m, I’m, I’m!” Notice the “I” which translates: “I’m thinking only of myself (an idol set before God) and not of God who is my life.”

In this, our God-focus becomes buried under self-focus. And believe me when I say that I am not exempt! My child and I have simultaneously undergone much travail with our health the last two years; stressful and exhausting does not begin to express this experience. It goes without saying that in faith we are greatly anticipating a full recovery of health, but that is not the focal point at hand. The subject is that situations such as this can gradually cause us unawares to become weakened spiritually so as to awaken the fleshly nature – or rather, they cause us to recognize and face that which has not been fully consigned to Christ as we may have thought. I know for me I have recently caught myself saying things at the “slip of the tongue” (aka lack of self-discipline) that are not godly and have had to quickly consign myself back to Christ.

I have said for years that bad situations do not change people; they only bring about truth of who the person really is underneath the tidy veneer. It’s easy to walk with God when things are great, but turn up the heat and yikes – out comes all the junk! For me personally, I find that where patience would otherwise prevail, impatience and irritation with people and things tend to be more prevalent. When I step back and hear/see myself, I am appalled, or rather; my spirit is appalled at the flesh in which I reside. This is the battle spoken of in Galatians 5:17.

That which the flesh loves (self-desires), the Spirit hates and vice versa. As long as we live in this fleshly shell, there will be battle. There, of course, will be times where the battle seems less intense, but it’s there nonetheless and can do a sneak-attack if we are not on guard at all times. But we are not without hope, people of the Most High God!

Romans 7:14-25: For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Stay tuned for next week’s part II!