We sat with a group of friends and watched the screen today as Brian Tamaki gave a sermon. He sees that 2022 will be harder than this year, and that the world is now against all churches. He himself is facing time in prison. However, he was looking forward. He compared the Peter of Acts 5 with the man found by Christ after a night’s fishing.
And he called all to follow Christ. At the end he mentioned that he’s likely to be jailed next week.
I don’t know it this is the end times or a Satanic rehearsal for that time. I do know that following Christ is now costly: for jobs, families, status, resources.
Your convictions are eternal, written by the finger of God in your soul. Not static, they are alive just as God is alive. Until you awaken your awareness of them, you cannot possibly know God’s will for you. This requires that you shift your conscious awareness into your heart, and out of your brain. It means that you must subject your flesh, including your intellect, to the divine will of God as revealed in your heart. Your heart must lead.
There is no clinical discussion of this possible. For most people, it’s enough merely to read or hear someone tell you that it’s possible to move the focus of your consciousness that way. The biblical symbolism says that the heart is the seat of faith, of will and commitment. That’s radically different from the Western assumption that the heart is a symbol of sentiment alone. Christians must consciously reject the Western view of things, and this issue in particular. You must reject the notion that “faith” is something in your head. Faith is your commitment to the Lordship of Christ, and it requires that you walk in your convictions, not the religious rules someone decided for you.
We met for about two hours, for the worship (not my style: I don’t like most Black Gospel) and for support afterwards. Most of the churches in my town have folded like an umbrella and banned those with out a state approved vaccine card. Meeting was a priority. The blog could wait.
O Lord Jesu Christ,
who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger
to prepare thy way before thee;
Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way,
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at thy second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight,
who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end.
Give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness,
and put upon us the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which thy Son Jesus Christ
came to visit us in great humility;
that in the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty
to judge both the quick and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who liveth and reigneth with thee
and the Holy Spirit, now and ever.
14 Shout for joy, daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, Israel!
Rejoice and triumph with all your heart,
Daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away His judgments against you,
He has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
You will no longer fear disaster.
16 On that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not be afraid, Zion;
Do not let your hands fall limp.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will rejoice over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
18 I will gather those who are worried about the appointed feasts—
They came from you, Zion;
The disgrace of exile is a burden on them.
19 Behold, I am going to deal at that time
With all your oppressors;
I will save those who limp
And gather the scattered,
And I will turn their shame into praise and fame
In all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you in,
Even at the time when I gather you together;
Indeed, I will make you famous and praiseworthy
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I restore your fortunes before your eyes,”
Says the Lord.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
7 So he was saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore produce fruits that are consistent with repentance, and do not start saying to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children for Abraham. 9 But indeed the axe is already being laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what are we to do?” 11 And he would answer and say to them, “The one who has two tunics is to share with the one who has none; and the one who has food is to do likewise.” 12 Now even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what are we to do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” 14 And soldiers also were questioning him, saying, “What are we to do, we as well?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone, nor harass anyone, and be content with your wages.”
15 Now while the people were in a state of expectation and they all were thinking carefully in their hearts about John, whether he himself perhaps was the Christ, 16 John responded to them all, saying, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but He is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the straps of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
18 So with many other exhortations he preached the gospel to the people.
You can see what a person is by what they do. Much more than what they say.
Your convictions should be driving your behaviour. Not perfectly, for none of us have perfection in us. Not that we are always good examples. But living by your convictions, and not pragmatism, will allow you to stand.
The pragmatics fold in the face of evil.
But that would make them like evil. Sophists. Calling what is evil virtue, and what is good misinformation.
Do not be them. Do not be like them.