Do you ever think about what it means to be a “Human being“?

I realize that almost all of my life I have been a human “doing” always striving and struggling to become something other than what I simply was.  I never ever really arrived at the place I was trying to reach.   I have concluded it was all an illusion.  I believe this is a struggle of the entire human family.

I see it in myself, my family, my children.  Everyone I know. I believe is why it has always been so difficult connecting with and talking to the family I grew up in.  They were and still are a strong family of “doers”. They have always been this way and most of their existence still to this day is based on “doing” to become or striving.  This was my struggle, but God seemed to have different plans.  God started putting me through his refining fire and I had to let go of “doing to become.  I simply no choice when faced with thick impenetrable walls of hopelessness.  I kept being put into situations that where there was nothing I could do but surrender.  It was very difficult, but I had to let go and learn to fully trust God.  For me, this is ongoing as I do pick it back up at times and believe I am still “running the show”.  I  have found that this “striving to become” is much stronger in men than women as men are very task oriented. Men are also much more disconnected from their true heart and feelings because of this.  I know coming from a family of six men, no girls and having two boys myself. I see it in my boys, my brothers and myself.  Men are trained in this culture to be this way.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  I believe they are completely related.  The more task oriented a person is, the more they are disconnected from their true being, their true heart and true feelings.  They do not know who they are.

Am I wrong?  I don’t think I am.

This all changes when God begins to break the outer man who is based ondoing“.  This is not a pleasant event or process.  It feels like death and that’s what the Bible calls it – death of “self”.  It is all part of the “baptism of fire” when a person is immersed or “baptized” into God’s very Spirit.  Check out Matt 3:11:

“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt 3:11)

God’s fire does hurt like a place that is VERY hot, but it doesn’t destroy you.  God’s fire is not destructive like fire in the natural realm.  His fire really refines you and removes the “dross” like a good blacksmith does to gold.  God’s fire are all the difficult and painful life circumstances that we are put in where we found ourselves helpless or powerless.  It is painful and man calls it “death to self”. This selfish outer man is the blindness that keeps us from not only seeing God, but seeing ourselves, our true self as well.  This selfish outer man is very clever and deceptive and he will use any and all things to remain on the throne.  He is very clever at hiding in religious activities so we can’t “see” him.  God sees him though as he can’t hide from God.  God will break him.  Once God breaks him and the outer man finally cracks, then and only then can LIFE spring forth from the living waters that Jesus promised – the Spirit of God himself.  Then God can really use a person for his Kingdom purposes of Life.  The life that flows out is God’s very life of Christ inside but we must experience first death just like he did in order to experience his life.  See 2 Cor 4:10.

always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body (2 Cor 4:10)

Is this just for “believers”?

Not according to Jesus in Mark 9:49.

For everyone will be salted with fire Mark 9:49

All of us enter into this world believing WE are God and in charge of our lives.  Our self-powered and “self-willed” life truly must die first in order to live our true and real life – Christ.  When this begins to occur a person truly begins to enter rest because they stop “doing to become” and instead truly realize they are already there!  But it is not without a lot of struggle to “let go”.  They will also begin to see all the painful circumstances and things that happened in their life as all part of God’s sovereign plan and purpose for them.  This is a powerful and intimate time with God and they will realize something else very basic yet amazing.

They are a human “be”-ing. 

They no longer “do”, they just “be”.  They are entering the 7th spiritual day of God’s rest.  They have entered the “promised land” of God – Christ himself.   Now, this is all experience only.  They were already there in their true inner man, their spirit man when they believed.  But, now that truth is manifesting or breaking through to their outer, natural man where our experience or “soul” takes place.  Now we actually see it happening in our normal, everyday life.

This is an amazingly powerful transformation process that is very painful at times, but when they get across the river Jordan there are many rewards. They know many new things.  They know that Christ really DID finish the work at the cross. Christ really did fully and finally complete Adam. Of course, this is all true in the realm of truth or the spirit for now, but this is where man starts to know this. Deep inside himself. It is from this deep place that this powerful truth begins to give him rest. And then it works its way outward to his outer man and into the natural physical realm.

And begins to KILL him. That’s right. It destroys him. The outer man has to die.  He is all about “doing” and not “being”.  He does not understand the finished work.  He has NO faith but is only under law due to self-righteousness.  I don’t mean he has to die physically, but that is the ULTIMATE finale of him.  I hope he will “die” or surrender before the body dies, but it is up to the father.  I mean he has to stop “trying” to become and trying to strive to become something other than who God says he is.  He has put us under law and we have received his condemnation, guilt and shame far too long.   He has to be shut up. God will shut him up. That is what the law does. It shuts up and puts to death the outer man or the flesh. He will eventually surrender if God wills it while the body is alive.  If not he will fully surrender (die) when our natural body dies.  Hopefully, it is before he dies physically. Once he is “dead”, then and only then, can a person’s TRUE life spring forth who is CHRIST himself!

But, he is very clever as he hides in our fallen human bodies.  He will NOT give up the fight completely until our natural bodies die.  He is always trying to work his way back onto the throne of your life in very subtle, clever and deceptive ways.   I suspect he is even writing part of this message.  We have to continue to ask God to show him to us so we can stand still and allow God to kill him again.  This process called “repentance” is ongoing and the quicker we can do this the less pain we feel.  It really is an ongoing process to fight and stay in God’s rest.

Entering God’s rest

Once the outer man gives up and “dies”, then a person can enter the true rest, God’s rest of the 7th day. It can’t be entered by any law-based thinking of the outer man or by any part of the outer, natural man as that is the one who is against us here. Only Joshua (Jesus) can take you across the Jordan to the land of Canaan (promised land of rest).  And you can only get there by the full death (surrender) of the outer man.  This happens once the father stops the “waters” of the Jordan” that were stopped all the way back to the city of Adam! 

Do you see the powerful thing God has been telling us in the Old Testament?

Once a person experiences this most powerful crossing of the Jordan with Jesus their guide, they realize they really do NO LONGER LIVE and that it really is Christ who lives in and through them.  Gal 2:20   They have entered the true rest of God.  They have tasted of the Heavenly realm and will not want anything else.  They will cross back and forth over the Jordan in their experiences, but they themselves always remain in Canaan.  God will continue to provide victory and rest as we stay close to his feet and stare into his eyes.

This is one powerful experience my friend that I hope and pray we will all experience if we haven’t already.  It’s FULL surrender of EVERYTHING!  For some of us like me who are very stubborn, it takes a lot of pain and suffering to arrive at.  The reward is most awesome I believe.

This is the beginning of a person’s real and true life – Christ.

Enjoy this journey.

Well, we are entering that phase of our journey were I believe our bus driver may take us over a water fall and into some deep waters of a dark canyon or two where monsters lurk.  Just warning you as I really don’t know when this is going to happen.  I am only relaying things when he allows me to be the tour guide for a bit.

During these times where we enter into the deep waters a bit, you may see and hear monsters that may scare you a bit or even a lot.  Don’t worry, none of them can touch you and you have us to help you.  We are all together in this.  They just look and sound scary and attempt to make us fearful.  They know they can only really scare us if we run from them and jump out of the bus.  I will explain more of what this means on and off during our time together.   However, I just want to say that you want to try to remain in the safety of the bus.  Even if you do run or fall out a few times (or get afraid by the monsters in the deep) our awesome bus driver (God himself) will still be HOLDING you during the time of your walk in the darkness.  He actually allows this to happen until you and I learn to fully trust him and no longer be afraid of the monsters of the deep dark.  He is teaching us full trust in his goodness.

Once we fully trust him, we can let go of everything we have clinged to for safety. For some of us it is money, status, careers, cars, husbands, fitness, addictions, etc.  You name it, we ALL have things we cling to while we are learning to trust him.  The monsters are very scary before we know him.  Once we see how safe he is, we can give it ALL to him in his safe and STRONG hands.  Then, you will stop falling out of the bus and getting beat around by the monsters of the deep.  He may show you how they really can’t hurt you and if you are especially lucky he may show you how they actually for him but are merely a teaching tool.

Each one of us are different and he’s doing different things inside of each of us, but all of it is very good when he is done.  He wants us to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride inside his “bus of love” called Christ.  When the dragon and other monsters of the deep try to scare you, just smile and look at your bus driver.  He has a wonderful journey for you and many worlds to explore with him.

Duane

In one word… the UNEXPECTED!  Or pure craziness.  I guarantee you will have the thought at least one time, no more than one time.

“He is crazy”.

You will!  I even do often.  I often don’t fully understand the things I write, at first.  Or even second.  Sometimes it take 4 or 5 times for me to understand what I am sharing. I have to try from many different angles for our humanity to “get” at least a grasp on them. That includes me too!

So, I can’t really tell you what to expect… I don’t even know.  It is so different each day and even within the same day.

I will appear to be crazy or schizophrenic at times.   I freely admit that.  You may have to just sit back and put on your seatbelt as we may be taking this bus OVER THE WATERFALLS!  Hang on!

Some days, I will be relaxed, warm and fuzzy (like today).  Everyone will want to snuggle their hearts up together as we read a nice story and have cookies by the warm fire. I love these times together.

However, just a warning.

Tomorrow may be a bus ride over the waterfalls.  You will be very afraid and dismayed.  Truthfully, I will be too.

See, I am not driving the bus, God is.  None of us know this when we are born or most of our lives.  However, if you have been taken over enough waterfalls and didn’t have your seatbelt on, you will begin to realize you are not driving the bus!

But, don’t worry. The bus driver is the best there is.  He won’t let anyone fall out of the bus.  No one will die, at least not the way man believes and has taught us.  We will get bumps and bruises especially if we have our seatbelt off.  So, keep it on at all times if you want to avoid that and keep your eyes on him when you get afraid.  He will calm you down.

Our bus driver knows the course well.   He has driven it a million times before.  So, when things get scary and dark, you may have to remind yourself he knows what he is doing. Believe me, they will get scary and dark.  He will take you through some dark canyons and over huge waterfalls in order to get you to your destination.  Believe me, you will LOVE the destination. It’s the very place your heart has been longing for.  This place fulfills all your deepest hopes and dreams.

If you look within, you will see this.

Now, as your part-time tour guide, I will try to warn you ahead of time if a waterfall is coming or we are about to enter a canyon.  Some of these words I speak may sound harsh at times.  I believe they are so that we will wake up and stop being afraid. I will remind you to not be afraid as often as I can.   If I get afraid, you can remind me.  We really are in this together and none of us have any higher status or role than anyone else.  Sometimes, you may be the tour guide and I the passenger if I am afraid. I am still human.  God will use whoever is not afraid at the time who knows the way he is taking the bus.  Whoever is hearing and knows his words of truth.  Its these very written and spoken words of truth that will calm the rest of the passengers. They will instill peace in our hearts and remove the fear.  I need them all the time or I will fear.   They are the very warm cookies that sooth us by the fire.  But, they are also the sharp rod of discipline that wakes us up when we fall asleep.  Our father is the best daddy there is.  He always knows exactly what we need.

Such are the ways of God.  Sometimes soft and warm like warm cookies from the oven, sometimes painful like a belt on our behinds.

All are love.  True love.    And we so need them.

Duane

I have been thinking “who is my audience”?  Who will be willing to listen and think about the things I share?

Great question….

Today, I think I am hearing the answer.

“A true soldier of God!”   That is who I am hoping to share these messages of hope and truth with.   This is not what you have been taught it is, however.

A true “soldier of God” is one who does not follow and take orders from man, he reports directly to GOD himself and ONLY follows HIS orders!  He completely disregards man’s thoughts, opinions and orders.  If God says “take the city”, he gets in his TANK and storms into battle.  If God says “speak these STRONG words of correcting truth to that person whom you love” (but have been under “leadership bondage” to for a long time), he does them without hesitation. He (or she)speaks them and let the chips fall where God has them.  Will he do it perfect? HECK NO!  But even that is all part of the plan to teach, train and refine HIM (or her) even more. This is the kind of person that God wants.  A true soldier who is willing to forsake all to please our Heavenly King. He knows to do God’s perfect will is to find his true self and being.  Only God knows what is best for us and for others we come in contact with.  Often he will give us words to speak and things to do that are very difficult, but they must be done.  Will you do them?  It’s ok, if you aren’t yet ready.  He will prepare you for the battle that is looming as you sit at his feet and learn of his ways.

When you are ready, you will suffer for a bit.  But, God has a reason for these things.  It’s a perfect reason that only he knows and it’s all part of his mystery.  But it’s all VERY good and you will see in time.  He may not always tell us or we may think we run the show.  We just listen, follow and carry out the marching orders.  If we are not yet ready, he will have someone else do them and wait on us.  We just need more training is all. Then, he will send some of the spiritual locusts to “trim our flesh” a bit more until we are ready. We were still pleasing man and he knows that.  It was all rooted and based in fear.  He will remove it.  It will hurt though.  But, it will be good and in due time his “discipline” will pay off.

Next time he sends you an order or command, you won’t hesitate.  You will move forward and quickly carry it out without hesitation.  When the process is done, you will see something most amazing.

What you thought would “kill” you or the other person actually made LIFE appear in them and in you!  Wow!  You will be befuddled and amazed.  You will celebrate and praise his name.   You will realize he just used YOU to trim the “flesh” or unbelief of another person.  Now, they have had the darkness (unbelief) trimmed away in that area of bondage.  They see the light and the love of our Father comes through to them and bounce off them to YOU!  Both of you are FED incredible life and love.

Such are the ways of God.  Very mysterious to man.  He does things so differently that man does.  God says that death must come first before we experience life.  Sometimes we must hand out and perform what feels like death both in us and in the recipient, before life can spring forth from within.  Really, we are just “trimming away the darkness” in both of us.

So, are you a true soldier of God?  Are you willing to open your mind to new ways that man has never before seen?  God will make a path in the desert and wilderness that we have never before seen.  Man can’t see it.  It has to be God who makes it.  It will not be anything like the paths we have know.

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.  Is 43:19

This very “path” is the new creation man himself who is one with God.  He does NOT follow the old creation paths of man who lives by rules, laws, and commandments.  He simply listens for his loving father’s voice and immediately follows it.  It will take him on the wildest adventure he could ever imagine.  He will hack his way through jungles of lies that are very think and completely impenetrable by man.  He will swing on vines across rivers of deception with his huge machete in his mouth.  He will fight and slay the very dragon himself each and every day under the Lord’s guidance of truth, power and wisdom.

He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.  Deut 8:15

Wow, what an adventure it will be!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  2 Cor 5:17

Are you ready to undertake this tremendous calling?

There is a cost, however.

You must be willing to forsake all that you cling to for safety.  All the people or things that you may put in front of him, you have to surrender to him.  You may or may not get to keep them.  However, when the battle is over, you will begin to see that the reward was much greater.  The reward was actually a BETTER version of the actual things you were holding onto.  The very things themselves were converted, improved and given life instead of just be a shadow.  Many of them even rejoice with you after the battle is won.  Time to rest in the Lord for the next battle against the forces of darkness and the lies they use to keep us in bondage to them.  You have followed the Lord’s orders and rescued today’s captive and set them free.

Are you willing to accept the cost and forsake all?   Are you ready to let go of ALL the thoughts and beliefs you have had about God and yourself so he can retrain you in the truth?

Only you can answer that.  I do hope you will say yes.

God bless,

Duane

It all started just over 2 years ago when a friend of mine gave me a simple book after we were hanging out one weekend.  My spiritual eyes would be opened and spiritual blindness would begin to be removed.  I would see things in God’s Word that I never did before.  Very powerful things.

“Hey, check this book out if you want” he said as he handed it to me.  “It seems scriptural, but there is something different about it..”

I looked at it and was very hesitant because it looked like a “motivational” or “sales training” type of book.  Like Tony Robbins. Now, don’t get me wrong,  I have nothing against these types of books and own many of them and have read them. I just knew by now that they weren’t the full answer.  They always left me feeling unsatisfied once the emotion wore off.

However, I took the book because I have a very open mind and will check out virtually anything that I felt would bring me closer to God and the truth.

That night was when my life was changed forever.

I remember lying in my bed reading the book and I only got about 10 or so pages into it and I sat completely DUMBFOUNDED staring at the ceiling.

“Is this TRUE LORD?”  I asked him quietly in complete shocked disbelief.  I felt a growing sense inside that it was.  And, BOY, was it GOOD!  What this person was saying about a certain scripture verse was exactly what I believed in my heart for a LONG time and it showed us that God didn’t require something that man has been telling us he does.  I had been going to a non-denominational church for 8 years at this time and felt I was pretty strong scripturally, but there were many times when I felt confused by what was taught.

I have since learned that this is called “mixture”, which is mixing the old covenant of law with the new covenant of grace.  Law says “man must do it to earn it” and Grace says “God does it for you for free, you just receive it”.  Since then, I have found it is EVEN BETTER than that!  We can’t even receive it, God has to receive it for us inside our hearts.  Under the new covenant of Grace, God performs both sides – God’s AND man’s.  Wow, could this get any better?

YES!  You just wait till you see what he has in store for us.

So, the book that I read changed my internal being and for the next two weeks, I was on such a high emotional state you would have thought I had won a million dollars.  I really won MUCH more than that, we all have.  I just didn’t start to know it until then.

I couldn’t wait to tell my church leaders.  I thought they would be so excited.  I could never have been so wrong.

I hope to share more of this story and the things I have learned soon.

Blessings,

Duane