War

We don’t forget anything. We just don’t know how to access it.

War is a business that every human on this earth understands. It has existed since the day the devil was cast from heaven and began a campaign on this earth.

This is not about the devil or his demons, because when Jesus died he began his reign over this earth. The only thing left of the Devil is a disbanded, disconnected, powerless group of defeated liars. The only power they have is what we give them.

This is about a spiritual war that we must begin to wage within ourselves. Self, is the great limiter, the doubter, the wounded parts of us that weigh us down. We have always been only limited by ourselves. But what does this war look like?

Let’s start with what victory looks like. The father needs you to be real, and exactly who you are. His kingdom needs you to do what’s in your heart to do. You know those crazy dreams you have about the great men and women you want to be, well the Father put them there. He speaks to your heart all the time, but you create a gap because yourself stands in the way. Victory is Freedom. The Father violently promotes freedom in all people. The church looks at that statement and tags salvation on it, and then tries to fix the sin, the sinner, and bring them to Christ. As Anthony Chapman stated in his teaching on John the Baptist, the Father never told us to bring people to Christ. It has always been our decree to pave the way for the Kingdom to come to earth. How do we pave the way? We do it by getting “ourselves” out of the way.

Everyone has problems: bad childhood, addiction, health issues, accidents, death, and so on. These things mold us into who we are and they create a lost in translation relationship between us and the Father. We allow these events to create filters, and then we filter our faith, relationships, doctrine, and our views of who we are through these filters. We must begin to wage war on these filters and allow the Father to open our eyes to freedom.

It’s always been thought that we wage war against the Enemy (demons the devil), but if Jesus reigns over all the earth, then the power of the enemy is becoming less and less every day. Ourselves, is what the campaign must be geared toward.

Before war can been waged, intelligence must been gathered. This is the reason for my opening statement. Gathering intelligence is a matter of looking deep inside you, and into your past to find the root of the filters you have. As freedom begins to take hold, more and more filters will be revealed and broken down. But we all must start with what is obvious, such as addiction, anger, and disbelief. Look for key moments that changed you and allowed for doubt, anger, and separation between you and the Father. There is no guidebook, no process set out for this, this is truly a new direction, and the moment your heart begins to bend toward the freedom that the Father has for you the more revelation you will have. One of my biggest filters for the Father that I have come to realize is the Church. I took my discontent for the church, placed that filter on the Father, and broke down our relationship. One thing I realized is that the Church is made up of imperfect people, but He is everything they are not, and I cannot place the downfalls of the church on the Father. He allowed me to see the imperfections of the established church and have understanding, forgiveness, and compassion for it.

What in your life keeps you from being who you want to be? Because who you want to be is exactly what the Kingdom needs you to be.

As you begin this quest, you will find that it will always be easier to quit. But the Kingdom is always advancing in power, and Mathew 11:12 states, From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force”. This violence is you taking hold of the kingdom and thrashing out everything that stands between who you are now and the you that affects the world and is entrenched in the Kingdom.

One of the biggest problems is doctrine and misunderstood truths about the Father. Right now, the Father is bringing about great revelation of the things we misunderstood, and there are many teachers bringing about this truth. Our past is full of people using their filters to interpret biblical truths wrongly. A great awakening is happening, and the only way we can grab a hold of it is if we ourselves have uprooted our own filters and allowed the Father to bring freedom. Freedom brings about understanding.

I will leave you with this simple fact; Kingdom effectiveness begins with forgetting about right and wrong and listening to your heart. Recognize the truth of the Fathers heart, which has always been love.
In the beginning, the father only ever wanted us to live with the knowledge of the tree of Life, not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We have based our whole society around a paradigm the Father never wanted us to live by.

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
(Theodore Roosevelt)

Jared C. Britt

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Love Without Expectation

What is expectation? The Bible talks very little about expectation, and it is defined simply as, “To look for with reason or justification.” This definition does not give the true weight of how we use the word today. It translates into Ancient Greek as “Await”. We have been taught about false expectations, which are expectations we put on others but are not willing to put on ourselves. What about expectations in general? We expect things from God, for instance, life to a dying family member, or health when we are sick. My definition of expectation is based on society and states, “A thought process in which demands the certain action of people and is hinged on the well-being and social advancement of the individual, and is also the basis for contingent affection and concern of the world surrounding said individual.”. Basically, if our expectations are met we extend affection, and our expectations are based on our advancement and well-being in our society. Does anyone else see a problem with this? Relationally, we love with expectation. This social medium has grown in parallel with self-entitlement. I deserve for you to be perfect and my expectations of you are to be “This” way, and if you’re not I will be disappointed. This is also a simple human reaction, yet it has just grown substantially with my generation.
Look at the expectations religion puts on people. We must do this, and not do that. We must look like this, and talk like that. Religion has taken the love God offers and added expectations to it. Here is a statement I have seen lived out, “I raised you a certain way and my affection toward you is contingent on your actions and your ability to meet my expectations.” I doubt you would ever hear a parent actually say that but it is reality. And the Church wonders why so many young people have become discontent with the laws of religion. Don’t lie to yourself; love and affection are two very different things. God commands us to love, but affection is a choice that can be removed from love.
On the other hand, God loves us without expectation. He loves me regardless of what I do or do not do. He has given me gifts and a destiny, but he loves me with incomprehensible affection rather or not I use my gifts and walk in his direction. There is no contingency. Yes, I can choose to walk away from God and walk out from under his covering but it does not change his love for me. Simply put, God desires one thing from us, that is relationship, and no matter how far away from him we walk he is still there loving us without expectation. This takes us into my main point.
The fact that God loves without expectation is why I AM THE MASTER OF MY OWN FATE. It’s idiotic to say that this is an atheist statement; in fact, it is a statement of free will, the very free will God extended to us from the beginning. I can choose to be close to God and to follow his direction and remain under his covering and blessing, or I can choose not to, it is free will. I choose, because God said he’d love me unconditionally. I choose to seek that relationship with the Father because I want my life to effect the world, and his direction has taken me further than I could have ever taken myself. But, where does this leave sin? I look at sin as a putting my fate in the hands of other people. As of now, my fate is in my hands and I choose to allow God to guide me, but when I screw up, I take that power and shift it to other people. For instance, I am married and the future of my marriage is 50% in my hands and I allow God to direct me in this area, but if I choose to have an affair then I take my 50% and put it entirely into the hands of my wife. I lost control of my fate in that area of my life. As I have stated before, Sin is mostly relative and is between you and God. The fact that I have the power of choice is why I am the master of my own fate.
Love without expectation can give us the ability to be true relational people, which is what it’s going to take for The Kingdom to grow. Evaluate the expectations you have on yourself, God, and your family, and see how your affection is contingent on your expectations. Learn to love without expectation…………

Science

Science and technology are in fact wonderful parts of our history and our future. Much of the Christian belief systems teach that science and the Bible contradict one another, but do they? Archeologists have tried for many centuries now to prove and disprove the historical events in the Bible. The problem with searching for something to prove a truth or a fiction is that history, especially history that has been buried for thousands of years, is subject to many different interpretations. I think it is funny how all these relics, even when discovered, have no power to prove or disprove their history. Yes, we have discovered chariot wheels from Pharos armies buried underneath the Red Sea, and the burnt sister cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Even though these things have been unearthed, just as many reputable scientists disagree with the findings than agree with them. What does this prove? It proves that people will choose to believe whatever they want based on fact, fiction, or faith.
Let’s start with “fact”. The Webster definition of a fact is, “A truth known by actual experience or observation.” The word is derived from the Latin word Factum which translates as; a deed, act, accomplishment, exploit. Our society uses the word as; something that has been proven. Science is based on theory, fact, and a few laws. Our belief in certain scientific laws and standards are based on our belief of “fact”, but what is fact? My opinion, based on the definition, is that it is only fact if you have experienced it yourself or have actually done it yourself. How many things in this world do us as humans accept as fact without ever questioning why we accept those things as fact? I am not suggesting everyone go buy a microscope and start proving the existence of atoms ourselves. This is a simple thought exercise. We believe in gravity because we can see it. Wait! We can’t see gravity, but we can see the effects of gravity. I believe in it because when I drop something it falls. However, what about Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, which gives a completely different idea of what gravity is? You see a fact is only good until the next guy proves it wrong. How many decisions do we make about our own belief systems that are based on “fact”? This is true in regards to science and faith.
We are going to take a short side step into a little deeper controversial conversation. Let’s look at the age of the earth. The Bible takes us back roughly 6000 years, or does it? Creationists say yes, but science proves no. That belief depends on if you read it literally, or figuratively, or both (which is a contradiction in and of itself). The Bible is, just as all things from God are, left up to interpretation. Interpretation is why we have men who dedicate their lives to researching history, the Greek and Hebrew languages, and the Bible in order to give us a better understanding and clarification. At the same time, science tells us that the Earth is 50 Million years old. They base this off the “fact” that Carbon 14 deteriorates at a certain interval, exists in all matter, and can be measured. Now I am not going to go in depth into Carbon 14 dating you can look up the information yourself. Here is my point, to believe the Bible is to believe in faith, and to believe in the scientific answer is to believe in “fact”. Hold up! That previous statement is contrived from a historical fight between Creationism and Evolution, and it’s only partially true. I see it as belief in science and belief in the Bible are both equally “fact” and faith based. Well here’s the reality; the Bible and Science co-exist in teaching us about history. Here is an excerpt from Rich Deem on the subject, “The Bible establishes a minimum date for the creation of human beings on the sixth “day” of ~50,000 years ago. However, because the Bible clearly indicates the length of the previous five creation “days,” are longer than ordinary solar days, we must look to God’s creation to establish an accurate date for the length of the days and the age of the earth. The age of the earth is most accurately established by examining the age of its rocks, along with the age of rocks from the moon and meteorites, which were formed around the same time. All these measurements indicate that the earth is just over 4.5 billion years old. Measurement of the ages of some of earth’s features establish a minimum age for those features that is in the hundred of thousands to millions of years. Since most of the measurement merely involve the counting of annual layers, they are unlikely to be grossly inaccurate. Therefore, the young earth paradigm that the earth is merely 6,000 years old is falsified by both the Bible and science. The vast ages of the earth does not diminish the power and glory of God, but establishes that God thought that preparing the earth for human habitation was worth the billions of years of preparation. Since God is not subject to the temporal dimension of this universe, it all happened “instantly” for Him.
“But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. “Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you. “Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? “Does not the ear test words, As the palate tastes its food? (Job 12:7-11) “.
Science is a faith, as is a belief in God. As Science seeks to understand our physical world, Biblical teachers seek to understand our spiritual world. Both Science and Biblical teachings recognize a physical and spiritual world.
Fiction is also a system of assimilated religion. If you don’t believe me, look at the “Left Behind” book series, which solidified a belief in a non-biblical teaching of the rapture for a great deal of Christians and it is a fictional book. Watch your TV for a couple of days and look at the fiction our great country paints for our children. This is a fiction that they believe in and gear their lives toward. This religion of fiction has been breeding attitudes of self-entitlement, freedom without consequences, poor work ethic, and epic consumerism. There is also “The Secret” also known as The Law of Attraction, which has people believing that if they think about something enough it will materialize for them. This also devastates the above-mentioned consequences.
Faith is according to Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” If we accept that idea throughout all of our life, then we would have to apply science to faith, simply because we do not see it but we believe in it. The difference is that in science alone you have faith in the physical world only. Understanding who God is can help open your heart to the idea of a creator that created a world and allowed it to evolve. Here is a synopsis on my thoughts of creation and evolution; science has shown that matter is built of atoms, which have a nucleus with charged particles circulating around it. These are the building blocks of all known life and they move continuously. This is where I will lose most evolutionists, but hey, it’s a different perspective. The Bible says that it is Gods breath that gives life (when he breathed life into Adam). I currently believe that Gods breath is what gave motion, or energy to the atoms causing the particles to rotate, produce, and create. God gave life the ability to create life, grow, and evolve. I don’t know how old the earth is, but I do know that even if its 100 billion years old, Gods breathe gave motion to it. It evolved into a place that people could live and God breathed life into Adam. I’m sure Christians will disagree, and I’m sure the Science community will also disagree. However, remember one thing, every day science is revealing new truths about our physical world, and every day God is revealing new truths about himself and our spiritual world. What we believe today about science will change tomorrow and what we understand about God and the Bible today will also change tomorrow. Man uses science to better understand the world, which I believe, was ultimately created by God and set free to evolve over a very long period of time.

J. Cole

Seeds

The misunderstanding with sowing and reaping comes from the idea that if you sow into someone they should react, be deserving, and acknowledge the word. There is a difference between forcing your belief system on someone, and sowing Kingdom seeds into the lives of those around you.
First things first, the idea that you, or I, or them, are right is the root of the problem. If God is constantly moving forward and revealing more of his character every day then I have to accept that what I believe today may not be relevant tomorrow. This previous statement dispels the whole idea of right and wrong. As I have stated before, it’s all about the relationship between you and the Father, and you and the world. Seeking new understanding constantly and opening yourself up to the forward motion of relationship as opposed to the stagnant water of religion is the reality behind a Kingdom life.
When I was in High School, I was cruising down Main Street on Friday night in the small town I grew up in. A certain religious group was standing on the corner with a large speaker and a microphone. They were pointing at me driving by and yelling, “you sinner, you are going to Hell!!”. Needless to say, that lit me up a bit. Being a young man of unharnessed passion and limited understanding, I reacted with a few choice words of my own. Looking back, I can’t help but question the idea that these men were doing what they thought would bring life. However, I still believe that if a sensible man had thought through that tactic of bringing people to Jesus he would have thought twice. This is a good example of religion getting in the way of God. Sowing seeds begins with relationship and ends with relationship.
The picture we have seen in the past is a man wearing a cross around his neck, a Bible under his arm, and a smile on his face, calling everyone brother and speaking of Jesus and repentance. This might have worked in the 60s, but now people see through the smile, and run from the façade. In a world where everyone has a bad taste of religion in their mouth, the last thing they want is the fake suit telling them Jesus loves them. People have to see love in order to react to love. (Please understand that I am not putting those men down, they served a purpose and saved many souls.) Things have moved forward and seeds do not take root well in old hard ground.
Many things in our lives kill the seeds we plant before they have any time to grow roots. Look at our unshakeable belief systems, or our impatient minds, and most of all our expectations. We expect certain things from people when we plant seed into their lives. We might expect them to change, or acknowledge the effort we put forth. The problem is that those very actions destroy anything God has given us opportunity to put there. Look at a seed that does not have the cultivation of a farmer involved in its life. The apple falls from the tree, it’s carried off by a raccoon and eaten, and then the seeds are deposited in the feces and allowed to take small root in the forest floor. All forms of fruits, vegetables, grains, etc…. grew successfully before modern technology of planting and harvesting. God created the earth to reproduce and sustain. God also gives us a moment, a word, and a slightly open heart in which to drop a seed. It is not our responsibility to make sure that seed becomes a tree.
The anatomy of a spiritual seed has to be viewed as something that brings life to someone and helps to bridge the gap between them and their relationship with the Father. As I stated before, planting seeds begins with relationship, and that is the relationship you have between you and God. Religion gets in the way of those seeds because you can’t help but place judgments of right and wrong on people, and instead of sowing the right seed you try to sow the seed you see fit based off your judgments. People aren’t stupid and they see right through and recognize judgment. Any man saved or not will recognize God in a statement, and choose whether to accept it or push it away.
We have to trust in God to cultivate the seeds we sow, and believe that he knows what he’s doing. Our job is to cultivate our own relationship with the Father and those around us so that we recognize those moments of opportunity and utilize them. We have to quit letting religion and ourselves kill the seeds God wishes to use us to plant. Finally, we have to quit trying to force the fruit to grow. First, speak into the lives of those around you by your life, and then you might get a chance to plant a seed in theirs. Remember, it is the very imperfections in you that open doors in those around you. This is how a person changes the world.

Innate Religion

Innate Religion

As I have stated in other works I believe that Religion is a destructive force that has been controlling, binding, and blinding the masses for centuries. Jesus fought it, as we do today by choosing life and relationship. In this short essay, I am going to focus on Micro Religions and their sinister rolls in all our lives.
As human beings part of the human experience, we are all made up of circumstances, decisions, and experiences. Some circumstances are of our doing and some are not, just as some decisions that we suffer are made by us and some by other people. Nevertheless, who we are is greatly affected by these events. There are other categories that also need to be noted, for instance, family, church, childhood friends, teachers, and the media, just to name a few. Just as a side note, as we grow older and gain better understanding, we choose which influences we allow to continue to feed into our psyche. But, that is a completely different topic. Right now, I want to focus on how all these things combine to create Micro Religions.
So why do you bow your head when you pray? Why do you finish your plate at dinner? Why do you take off your hat during the National Anthem? Why do you fear the dark? You follow these subconscious actions and reactions because you have determined that in your mind one thing is right, and another wrong. How did you come to this decision? Did your parents make you finish your plate? Did your childhood church teach that in order to speak to God you must bow your head? I am not saying these things are wrong and you should not do them. I am simply trying to get you to look at what makes up your Micro Religion.
In your mind, you have decided what is right and what is wrong. You have made decisions on every subject, and you continually make decisions on new subjects in a moment’s notice as they arise. What rule of measurement are you using to determine this right and wrong? A lot of it comes from Religion and what you have been taught is right and wrong. Most of it is an unquestioned reaction formulated through your experiences, and teaching. Here is a small example: Paul is walking through a grocery store and he sees a man pick up a box of Advil and put it in his pocket. Immediately Paul formulates in his mind that this is wrong, and then continues in a decision to react or not. Paul never questions to himself why he thinks it is wrong. He just knows it is. It never crosses his mind that high amounts of theft cause the store to raise prices to help absorb the lost revenue ultimately affecting his wallet, or that those pills might be used to make drugs, which cause addicts, which causes the welfare class to grow ultimately affecting the economy. He just knows it wrong. Yes, this is an extreme case, but look at the hundreds of decisions you make every day on what is right and wrong. Ask yourself how you determined that, or if someone else determined that for you.
What Micro Religion does is it makes us inflexible and unable to see past the trivial decisions of right and wrong. God simply asks us to love our neighbor, not to decide his level of faith or righteousness, but simply to love him. Micro Religion steps in the way when you determine through your ideals of right and wrong that this person has done wrong so you deny them your love, your respect, or even the Christ within you. As God is forever moving forward, so we need to be movable and flexible. Let us say for instance your brother comes to the family and says he is Gay, and he lives with another man. Your father denies your brother his love; your mother denies your brother her relationship. What do you do? If you are flexible then that line is not so rigid for you. You decide to disagree with your brothers’ decision, but to love and respect him regardless.
More often than not, our subconscious ideals of right and wrong stand in the way of what God wants to do in certain situations. We have to stop and decide for ourselves what will bring life. Changing subconscious, engrained, and life long ways of thought is hard. We find ourselves standing strong on beliefs that we ourselves cannot explain why we believe them, yet we fight tooth and nail destroying relationship after relationship to prove we are right. How is this God? Sometimes it is not Religion itself that is the enemy, but it is the Religion we create within ourselves by ourselves that has the most destructive power.
Just as Gods character is immovable so shall our character be strong and ever growing toward that image. As we do so, we have to learn how to look into ourselves and rearrange our thoughts and beliefs to continue our growth in Christ. God never asked us to be right, he asked us to love.

Imagination

Imagination

As we lay down one dream for another reality, we continue to push ourselves away from imagination. Some of us have forgotten how to dream, while others never got the chance to learn. Imagination is what makes us human, our ability to dream, and our ability to think outside of reason. The word “pipedream” is a verbalization of the force that strips us of our futures as we accept whatever reality we are in. It’s partially caused by the self-entitlement attitude, which has swept the nation for the past ten years and has grown stronger with each generation. I heard it once said that for you to truly be in your purpose and fulfilling your destiny you have to find that thing that most makes you come alive, then go, and do that one thing. Some of the other culprits of the “pipedream” idea are comfort, sense, right/wrong, responsibility, and most of these criminals are legitimate needs. Yet, when you find that one thing and do it, you will find that those needs are met. This is not about wealth, or status. It’s about life. It’s about doing that thing that fills you with life. I wonder sometimes if people push those dreams aside because they are not willing to work hard, or take risks. To dream is to risk, and to imagine is to refuse mediocrity. We all influence, to a point, the world around us, but imagine if we were living in the fullness of ourselves and our God given abilities. That impact would be more like a crater. We as people accept what the world gives us our lot in this life. Whether it is fear, necessity, or just plan ignorance, we accept it and call it our life. What about those dreams? What about all those things you once imagined you could be? What, did we all grow up too fast and forget how to imagine life however we wanted it to be? Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover or create.” Ironic, this quote is coming from one of the most knowledgeable men to every live. I’ve heard it said repeatedly, “Accept that this is life and make the best of it.” Why? I cannot accept anything less that greatness. I will not accept any life other than the one I create from my desires and my gifts, which were put in me by God. Go and do that thing. I, just as most of the world, have become bogged down in everyday life; trying to make a living, trying to be someone, trying to show the world how handsome and smart I am. As my dreams have slipped away so has my ability to imagine new things. I’m taking a trip back to when I was ten years old, I’m grabbing a hold of that limitless imagination and I am bringing it back with me. Both a dreamer and a doer extensively exercise their imaginations, yet, the difference is that the doer acts on those dreams. The longer we sit and wait the easier it becomes to talk ourselves out of these things. Action is the key. Yes sometimes you may be wrong, sometimes you may fail, but as Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming.” Take some time and go find some wilderness, because the wild is where the heart lives, and spend a few hours there asking God to remind you of your dreams and re-spark your imagination. Because what is life without the possibility of something impossible.