Things That are above

Looking through the world to Christ above is where God would have us focused. There is much more clarity and wisdom for living in this world when we are focused on the world to come. Colossians 3:1 says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Obviously, if one is not raised with Christ then it does no good to seek the things that are above. Not only that, but the things that are above make no sense to a person that has not been born again of the Holy Spirit who comes from above. The things that are above may appear foolish to those that are not born again of the Spirit. 

Believers are not members of the world, but are members of Christ who is in us, the hope of glory. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”- Colossians 3:3 Believers are now in Christ, and yet still live in the world. The question is not one of location of residence but one of ownership, identity, and relationship.

Once our perspective has been changed by God He has at that time given us a new outlook on life and the world. Even though we still live in the world, we are not to think in the same way that the world thinks. Our goal now is to see Christ from His perspective and to know Him and grow in Him. This we do by keeping our eyes on the things above. 

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”. – Colossians 3:2 Is the Apostle saying here to not focus on anything that is on the earth, but only on the things that are in heaven? Actually, no. He is directing our focus to things that are above that we may rightly discern the earthly things. 

There are only two ways to live life on this earth. Either one lives life on earth through an earthly perspective or one lives life on earth through a heavenly perspective. More importantly, it is Christ in us, the hope of glory, who lives His life through us. His Spirit stirs our spirit and continually affirms in us His love, His will, and and His leading of us (Romans 8:14-17) . Our response is not one of obligation, but more so of gratitude. Obedience springs forth from being granted God’s favor. Obedience cannot be done in order to gain God’s favor. This is what Christ did for us. He perfectly obeyed God with His sinless life, because we have not and cannot obey God perfectly. This was the only way God would save sinners. The merits of Jesus’ life are credited to the believer as if the believer has lived a perfect life. Believers are now reconciled to God the Father through the merits of Christ. This should overwhelm every believer with gratitude and the result from the believer is a life of abiding in Christ and obedience. This is truly keeping one’s eyes on things that are above as Christ lives His life through us here on earth below. Until the time He calls us home we will keep looking upward and continue moving forward in the new Christ life.

Why War?

It is horrible. It is fueled by greed, lust, power, ego, pride, obstinance. It leaves in its wake misery, death, and heartache. 

Some label it useless. Some say senseless. Some say futile. What is it? War. What is war? The Bible has the answer. “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”- James 4:1 The Holy Spirit inspired writer says that quarrels and fights among humans [though James here is speaking foremost to Christians] are caused by passions warring inside of an individual. War is the fault of self. This is self in a sinful and broken down world without the the life of Christ. God has designed man to be in relationship with Himself. But sadly, does any man truly want Jesus? On the contrary, no. “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.”- James 4:2 Do they ever ask for Jesus? On the contrary, no. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” – James 4:3 The only thing we ever want from God is what we want for ourselves. If you do not believe this, then test this. Ask yourself what you ask for most in prayer. Our passions are warring within ourselves to the point that we would reject God and war with others. We do not want God. We do not want others to be happy above our own happiness. In other words, we want it all for ourselves. “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” – James 4:4 We are not friends with the world to benefit the world. We are friends with the world to be happy, for ourselves. Each of our own happiness may manifest in different ways and for different sorts of subjective reasons. But the common thread in all reasons is “self” and “self happiness.” This is undoubtedly the cause of all wars. 

Let us back up for a moment. The first war. What was it? It was Lucifer’s fall, due to pride and self love. He then seduced Eve to reconsider the goodness of God and to instead rely upon “self” understanding. Eve fell because of “self” love. Adam fell because of “self” love and for Eve. He should have said “no” to Eve and yes to God. But Adam was passive as Eve fell to “self”. Eve should’ve said “no” to Lucifer and “yes” to God. 

“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6 God opposes this self love. God opposes this pride. 

What is the answer to this death? To this self love? To this war inside of us with our passions consuming us? 

The answer is this:

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”- James 4:7

Do not submit to yourself. Do not forgive yourself. Do not submit to the devil. You have already done these and to no avail. Do you suppose you can forgive the sin you have committed against God by forgiving this sin yourself? You have not been sinned against. God has been sinned against by you! Submit to God, which is away from self. Submit to the one who has power to forgive and to cleanse. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”- James 4:8 The only way to cleanse your hands is by submitting to God that He may wash you with the water of His word and the blood of His Son Jesus. Sorrow comes before dancing. Sadness before laughter. 

There is no rejoicing in self. But there is rejoicing in God! “Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.”- James 4:9

There is but one way to end all wars: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”- James 4:10 

The road to end all suffering is found in humility. The pathway of humility requires putting others first. This begins with the Supreme Other: the Holy One, God. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” – James 4:10 Humble yourself is the proper response to

God. Not to be exalted, but to exalt Him. Exalting Him means humbling yourself. You cannot both exalt God and exalt yourself. We cannot come to God to exalt him and go back to our old way of life and of exalting ourselves. This is a contraction that God will not tolerate. 

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” – Isaiah 57:15 God dwells with the lowly and contrite heart. He does not dwell with the proud and boastful heart. God does not dwell with the arrogant ruler or dictator. God dwells with the humble, the lowly.

What if every person in the world was humble, lowly, and contrite? Would there be wars, if everyone was content in God who is true? Would there be strife if every man was not satisfied in himself, but was satisfied in God alone? What if every man submitted to God and the devil did flee? What sort of world would this be? 

Restless Souls

The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want. -Proverbs 13:25

Godliness with contentment is great gain. When someone is satisfied with God and in God and is not desiring the shiny objects of the world, his peace and contentment are realized through God. Jesus is the good shepherd who provides everything necessary for happy living. The joy of the Lord is the believer’s strength. 

It is a mark of wickedness to consistently be in want. This verse speaks to the idea of never finding satisfaction in the things of God’s creation. Money, fame, sex, possessions, position, posterity, never satisfy the longing of the soul. There is a God shaped hole in every human heart that at some point must be filled with Jesus Christ or it remains empty. The empty heart and stomach seeks after whatever it can to fill that hole and find peace. But there is no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 57:21) . One cannot fit a square peg into a round hole. God did not design the square peg to fit. God purposed the round peg to fit in the round hole and the square peg to fit in the square space. 

America and the world is very restless in this year of 2020. There is answer to each man and woman: Augustine said, “Our souls are restless until we find our rest in God.”

The righteous are satisfied in God alone. He is their righteousness and the heart that is filled with Him shall never be restless.  

Tim Carroll

Wisdom Walk ©️2020


Stand Up For Our Rights In America!

In the past 10 months a lot has gone on in our country. But for now I want you to consider the Constitution of the United States of America just for a moment.
The Bill of Rights is that portion of the Constitution that outlines in great detail the things that the US government CANNOT take away from you and I. Anything that is not expressly written and addressed in the Bill of Rights or Constitution is left in the hands of the people and not in the hands of the Government.
The First Amendment does not have a “pandemic” clause in it. There is no “emergency directive” clause in the Bill of Rights that stipulates your freedoms are subject to Government mandates and lockdowns. A Governor mandate that says, “You must wear a mask” is forbidden by the Constitution. If you’d like to wear a mask then feel free to do so. But know that the Government cannot force you to wear a mask or close down your business for any reason. They may say “But it is in the best interest of the people. Don’t you care about others?” And we may say, “Yes, I care about others, but I am not wearing a mask and I will keep my business open. “ The Government may not forbid you to gather for worship on Sunday. If they do, take the Government to court!
There was a recent ruling in Pennsylvania by a district court judge William S. Stickman IV, who ruled against the State Governor, Tom Wolf (Democrat) for shutting things down due to Covid-19. All “non-life sustaining businesses” were ordered to be shut down by Governor Wolf and Secretary of State Rachel Levine. The ruling by Judge Stickman was that the Governor’s actions were unconstitutional for violating both the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Bottom line: A Governor of a State cannot force people to close businesses down or to not attend worship. This mandate needs to be challenged in a court of law as was the case with Pennsylvania. Our nation has checks and balances in place for this very purpose. When a State Governor violates the people’s rights a Federal Judge may hear the case and overrule the State Governor according to the Constitution. Furthermore, the Governor, in my own opinion, should be sued for any irreparable damage he has caused due to job loss, familial distress and heartache. Lives are ruined and businesses are closed down permanently because these Democratic Governors are choosing to implement unconstitutional mandates.

My hope is that more and more individuals and business owners will challenge these Governor mandates and say no to infringements upon our First Amendment rights to free speech, freedom of press, freedom to gather, and freedom to practice religion as we so choose.
I’ve also noticed “censorship” going on in the media and in social media. I will have more to say about this in another post. For now I will say that this too is unconstitutional. We are free to speak what we want and where we want despite so called “fact checkers” running around and removing our statements and editing and censoring our content.

Know your Constitution and learn it. Your rights are preserved in this sacred document. While your rights are GIVEN by God, these rights are protected by our Constitution. America is great for a reason. We are free! This country is a Republic founded upon a Constitution of law. While we vote for our leaders in a Democratic process, our country is governed by the people, for the people, and by law. It is a Constitutional Republic. Know your rights and speak up to protect them and the rights of others. Long live liberty! May God grant America repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free speech thereof Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The following link references the Pennsylvania court case:

https://www.theblaze.com/news/pennsylvania-covid-lockdowns-ruled-unconstitutional

The Answer is Love and Abiding in Christ

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The answer is to love God and to love one another. Someone may ask, “The answer to what?” It is the answer to everything! 

People are depressed, fearful, and confused. When depression, fear, and confusion take root and one does not find peace, wisdom, and strength in and through Jesus Christ and the word of the living God, the result will be harmful and disastrous.
When depression takes root and one does not seek Christ for comfort one may be led to suicidal thoughts and intentions. Depression uncurbed leads to despair. Despair when full blown results in tragedy and disaster. How important is it to find our comfort in Jesus and know that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted? Yet, He did not sin. How do we avoid sinning? By trusting in Him who did not sin and who knows how to overcome sin. Depression is sin. And only through Christ can we victoriously overcome sin, including depression . Our disposition changes when we submit to Jesus in prayer and through reading His word and He grants us by His great love, comforts our spirit with His, and grants us a refreshed and new perspective for our own lives and for our world around us.
One may ask how do I do this?

1. Confess your sin, ask His forgiveness, and plead for His mercy. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”-Psalm 51:1

2. Spend time with Him in His presence alone everyday. “…Come into his presence with singing! – Psalm 100:2 (b) “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalm 95:2

Remember, “The Christian life is to be like a feast rather than like a funeral.” [1] Jesus calls us in love to not “fail to obtain the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15) but rather to meet with Him daily and “Abide in me and I in you.” (John 15:4)

3. Draw on the promises of God. “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. – 2 Thessalonians 3:3 “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.”- Psalm 2:8

4. Pray that God will bring regeneration and revival to our land through the spread of the Gospel. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16

(1) Warren Wiersbe, New Testament Words For Today ©️2013 Baker Books

The Gospel is The Power of God Unto Salvation

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