Awesome Hands – part 169: “The power of the I am”

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Awesome Hands – Part 169

“The Power of the I Am”

August 12, 2020

The last time I gave a study, we were in Joshua 9. When we resume this series fully, we will pick up from where I left off, but today I wanted to talk about a topic I believe will be helpful to everyone in the body of Christ because it is so helpful to me to being able to re-center myself on what is important in this life we have been given to live.

The Lord inspires us all in different ways so that we continually move down the path He has planned for us, which ultimately fulfills whatever it is we are needed to do for the kingdom of God and for His will.

For this study today, I was inspired to listen to a Ted talk once which allowed me to incorporate what I heard in this talk with what I know to be true in the bible concerning biblical truths. For those that may not be aware of Ted talks, these are presentations made by people who are inspiring, inspirational, content experts, etc, on whatever topics are being presented.

So, this study is somewhat of a co-opting of that talk by merging the thoughts I had from it with what is biblically true and accurate as it pertains to God being in control of all things.

Think of it as being a musician and hearing a song, taking the music from that song, changing the words to the song, and then releasing that for others to hear. The Lord inspires us all in different ways, but we know it is all being done for the elect of God.

We start this study today with this biblical admonition:

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

You all know my recent history with needing to complete my college education as part of what the Lord has inspired me to do with that part of my life. Since I am now coming back to studies from that frazzled schedule, I thought this study could bridge that time and the time moving forward in presenting studies.

At first glance, it may seem like this could be a distraction from doing things that are more focused on “staying in the Word” or “doing things for the body”, but I wanted to take this time and study to show what our minds should be when we encounter what we need to take action on in regards to what the Lord has inspired or caused in our lives.

When I set out to finish my college education, I decided to pursue finishing my bachelor’s degree. I kept being prodded (which is the best way to describe it) with things I was seeing or hearing in my life. Work situations, conversations, radio commercials and a slew of other things kept coming up that finally led me into making a phone call to see what steps needed to be taken in order to achieve this mountainous goal.

As with all decisions of this nature, one must count the cost, and in this case it was figurative and literal.

Luk 14:28  For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Luk 14:29  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Luk 14:30  Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Luk 14:31  Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Luk 14:32  Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
Luk 14:33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

The last verse mentioned here is really the focus or topic of what preceded it. Any of us that do not forsake ALL THAT WE HAVE cannot be the Lord’s disciple.

When I used to look at this verse, I saw the situation of not choosing anything over being a Lord’s disciple. While this is partly accurate, it simply is NOT the full picture. It is not full clarity on what is being said. In order to grasp the fullness of this statement, we must have clarity.

When we analyze what it is we have, what do we have? Knowing what we know about the complete sovereignty of the Lord, what is it WE have?

The Truth is that we have NOTHING that was not already given to us by the Lord. He giveth and He taketh away, and I promise you that the Lord knows what it is He is asking us to FORSAKE.

When I say that we need full clarity on what is being said above, the first thing to understand is that we are being told to choose wisely how we decide to PROCEED with whatever we are proceeding with.

In this example, count the cost of what it takes to FULLY build a tower. It isn’t just the foundation we need to consider. It is the labor, excavation, parts, foundation, walls, roof, man-power, tools and times to complete the project.

Likewise, if I am a general and need to fight an opposing army, I need to consider a whole slew of things to know if I can be successful in battle. I must consider morale, strength, numbers of soldiers, types of armaments, terrain, weather, etc., before I can make a full decision on what needs to be done and what can be done.

These bible verses and examples in Luke were preceded with this sentiment:

Luk 14:25  And there went great MULTITUDES with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
Luk 14:26  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.
Luk 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:26  ESV “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Why is Jesus teaching hate? Why is Jesus teaching us to hate our very family, which we did not choose, or else we cannot be His disciple? Maybe it is something else altogether that we are being told?

Maybe there is a secret message contained here for those that have eyes to see and ears to hear what He is saying to His bride? Yep, that is what is actually happening.

Luk 14:34  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
Luk 14:35  It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Why would Jesus go from telling us to count the cost to talking about salt that has lost its savour? Indeed, if salt loses its flavor what can flavor salt? It becomes USELESS for its purpose, and that is the crux of these verses and this study.

The Lord wants us to drop the “we” and “me” that makes us up, and join the mind of the “I am”. More on that point later.

What is being talked about here is processing the information in front of us and making an educated decision on how to proceed based on our biblical training. Contrary to popular belief, the bible does not cover all topics we deal with in our lives. Some topics are directly covered, but most biblical things are talked about to TRAIN us on HOW TO THINK spiritually.

In the bible the Lord is giving us instructions on how to be. We are being given directions on how to live. We are given directions on how to proceed in life, but if we are blinded by the things that we call “we” or “me” we can not SEE what all the moving parts of a situation are in order to make a decision about what to do.

If we are blinded by “me” or “we”, then we cannot possibly consider all of the variables to any complex issue so that we can make proper and informed decisions.

Is not this what Jesus is talking about?

“And whosoever doth not bear HIS CROSS, and COME AFTER ME, cannot be my disciple”, are two very powerful directions and directives, and they contain so much instruction because they are so simple. Who would have thought that Jesus follows the K.I.S.S method? (Keep it simple stupid)

Awhile ago, one of the disciples had a request for Jesus that went something like this:

Mat 8:21  And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Mat 8:22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Jesus just told this person to simple FOLLOW Him, and this disciple would be among the living. The disciple didn’t simply ask Jesus permission to bury his father.

The disciple asked Jesus to SUFFER HIM FIRST to put something BEFORE following Christ. Jesus says FOLLOW, but this disciple said I want to be BEFORE YOU. I want to go do something important to me first, I want to get my ducks in a row, I want to make sure I have everything covered, and THEN I will follow you.

However, Jesus tells us to have a different mindset than this disciple. Our mindset is to be that whatever cross we have been given in our lives, we must BEAR it AND follow Jesus. We cannot put it BEFORE Jesus. We cannot LEAD Jesus to the cross, we must follow Him to the cross while BEARING the cross He has given us. We certainly cannot use is as an excuse to NOT follow Jesus in the way He says to follow Him. He GAVE us that CROSS and He knows what that BURDEN is all about!

So, let’s talk about this a bit practically now. I started this study mentioning the decision to go back to school. Other than my own aspirations to finish something I had started, I had felt like I was being prodded to go back to school.

My own aspirations were to finish schooling because when I made my first attempts I was doing fine, and then my younger brother was shot and killed when I was 20 and he was 16.

I was in school, having been really poor, to help myself and my 2 brothers out of poverty, and then the death of my brother happened and that threw a big wrench in my plans.

However, that didn’t take away the desire to finish eventually. For a long time, I simply didn’t think it would happen, but then one day I heard yet another radio advertisement about returning to school, and I made a phone call.

I have learned a long while back that we need to do a lot more listening than we do talking. This is even more true when it comes to spiritual ears. When we are being given some sort of spiritual guidance on things we are going through in our lives, we need to be paying attention to those signs.

In other words, we need to be aware of the times we are in. We may not be given that flaming bush example that Moses was given, but if we are still and silent mentally, then we can be listening for the instructions that Lord is giving us.

Once I decided to go back to school, I finished my bachelors in network administration, but given the situation I found my family in, it looked like a masters could be achieved too. This was an unexpected development, but it felt right to move forward. Now I sit here with both degrees, and there is simply only ONE reason why.

The Lord had predestinated that it happen this way. I simply bore the cross He has given me to bare in this part of my walk BEHIND Him as I follow Him, but there are MANY details that make up this experience and what it took to get here.

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We are accepted in the beloved. We are the body of Christ. We have obtained an inheritance because we have been predestinated according to His purpose and His will.

Therefore, the rest of this study is going to help us all bring into focus what it means to follow the Lord while bearing the cross He has given each of us individually.

Whenever we have decisions to make in our lives, or aspirations to decide on doing or not, we must ask ourselves what the goals and reasons are behind those things.

“Big” decisions we make are rarely the large decisions we tackle like deciding to go to college or back to college. Rather, we all make decisions everyday about everything that is happening that day and in the near future. How then do we count the cost in all things we do while also bearing our cross as we do it?

After all, we are not just simply doing things to do them, no matter what those “things” are, right?

There are things the Lord has placed in our lives that keep us from moving forward in the way we would like to move forward, or on the other side of the coin, that help us move forward depending on what the will of God is.

Recognizing these differences is “recognizing the times”, or in other words, recognizing the visitation of the Lord in your very presence.

First, we must recognize the hindrances that our lives are made up of. Those hindrances have been placed in your life by the Lord to not only hinder you but to get you to THINK. These things are put in your life to GUIDE you, but they certainly are not always pleasant.

We are the children of the Lord, therefore He is teaching us and training us up in the WAY we must go. Remember, He is the Way, Truth and Life.

Pro 22:6  Train upH2614 a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

“Train up” literally means to dedicate or dedicated. Dedicate a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Here are some references and various examples of how the Lord would have us live our lives by recognizing how to participate in spiritual warfare in our heavens.

  • Our flesh will hinder us by always appealing to us to do the opposite of what is spiritual. Our “flesh” is most often times focused on its senses.
    1. Touch, taste, smell, hearing and seeing are things that pull at our flesh.

If we have something pulling at our flesh, it will most often distract us from what our goals are in our lives.

  • Refusal to acknowledge the situation we are in versus one we prefer to be in.
    1. Maybe the Lord has placed someone in our lives that we don’t like. This could be a family member, peer at work, etc. We just want to be away from them, but the Lord has placed them in our lives for “some” reason.
    2. Maybe we don’t want to drive in the rain, but we must drive in the rain to get to work. Maybe you like to drive faster, but the darn traffic is so backed up.
  • Non-motivation. This can take many forms including depression.
    1. Maybe we are just always tired because we stay up too late.
    2. Maybe we find it hard to make efforts towards anything productive.
    3. Lasciviousness.
    4. Simple laziness.

We have to find ways to get out of these holes we find ourselves in. These solutions or ways vary, but they are things that do have various solutions. Sometimes we have to lean on others for support in these areas. Above all, we must pray and never lose faith that the Lord is in control.

  • Being unsettled in your resolve or mind.
    1. Worrying about the future.
    2. Focusing too much on the past when nothing can change it.
    3. Judging future outcomes based on past results

These stop us from have clarity of mind and cloudy our judgments.

  • Mindset of a skeptic. This can lead to in-decisiveness.
    1. Can I do this?
    2. Is this the right decision?
    3. What If’s?
    4. What will others think?
    5. What will others say?

How to we wage war against the things mentioned above if it is the Lord Himself that has placed in them in our lives?

First, we must realize that this is for TRAINING. We are being SCHOOLED right now. This is why I am using my recent educational experience as the backbone of this study. We are being trained as school children in the kingdom of God, and the best teacher is experience.

Therefore, the Lord is giving us experiences so we can become experts in dealing with them and then teaching others how to move on towards perfection in their spiritual lives. This is all a process, and while we never gain perfection in this life, we are moving towards it day by day.

Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

The Lord will not put more on us than we can bear.

1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

We need to do things ahead of time that will help us when the time comes that we need them. This is all of course with the sole focus that the Lord is in control.

However, as a practical example, and that is all this is right now, I have a bill to pay. I know that bill is coming. I get up every day and go to work because I need to earn money to pay that bill.

I achieve this by first planning to pay the bill. In the planning, I get a job, and then I execute the process of keeping that job. In none of this example, did I deny the Lord or His sovereignty.

I simply acknowledged it by doing the things ahead of time that needed to be done to pay my bill.

I also didn’t cross a bridge until a bridge was presented to me. I didn’t make up scenarios to then debate on how to deal with them. I simply planned to pay my bill and acted according to what the Lord was doing on my life to allow me to execute that plan.

Obviously, the Lord could take my job away and I couldn’t pay my bills, but I PLANNED to pay my bill and that is where my focus was. If my job is gone, I am back to step one of finding a job, but my GOAL is always the same … pay the bill.

The steps to deal with all of the decisions in our lives tend to be the same whether or not the decision is a “big” decision or a small decision from our perspective.

Mat 16:1  The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
Mat 16:2  He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
Mat 16:3  And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
Mat 16:4  A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Recognize the times. Recognize what state of mind you find yourself in and evaluate if you have the mind of Christ or if you are focused on “me” or “we”.

Accept the situation you are in and determine how you can better that situation if that is the goal. We cannot change the things the Lord has ordained in our lives, but we can decide on how to act and react to those things. The Lord tells us He gives us His mind, and I believe Him, so let us reflect that mind when acting and reacting.

Investigate the “whys” and “hows” of what is happening. Investigate your spiritual state of mind, and ask questions of why you reacted the way you did, how were you thinking when something happened? What are the consequences of reaping what I sow if I remain in that state of mind?

We all know the Lord is the author of all things. Therefore, we can and must pray to Him for guidance on how to proceed, but we can also take actions to see if the Lord blesses us on what we need to do.

I titled this study “The Power of the I Am” because I wanted to bring to focus the power we possess when we have a direct connection to the Head of all creation. We have been FAVORED, not because of anything we have done or said, but because it pleased the Lord to do so, to be the body of Christ.

Therefore, the Lord will guide and direct us if we simply take “we” and “me” out of the equation and focus on the “I am” of who we are. I am not my flesh. I am not my carnal mind. I am not my current emotional state. I can see these things about myself, but they are not who I am. I am a part of the “I AM”. In very nature of claiming it, you cannot even separate that FACT that you have to say who you are.

I am a part of I AM. Let that sink in for a minute.

Joh 10:34  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
Joh 10:35  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

We are connected with the One who sends us all of our training. Our training is a collection of all of our life experiences and situations, both past, present and future. However, that is a collection of these things for ALL of the body of Christ, and we are all meant to be in this together.

Therefore, I hope this study will help us all focus on whatever it is that hinders us and then allow us to all better handle the things the Lord puts us through. I am hoping some of the steps mentioned here will help us all identify things better so that we can deal with them better.

I have used these methods myself, and having a process in place to deal with things is much easier and better than doing things in the dark.

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