by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Agendas, Agendas, Agendas! They are every where! And in the Christian community there are some very noble causes. But there is a problem when agendas take over your life! So many want to take over your thoughts, or at least program them in certain directions for the cause or causes they embrace.
Add to that, are those who carry the gifts of persuasion, the kind that you find working for advertising or marketing or promotions. People go to college to refine themselves and gain expertise in the arts of persuasion. And there is a place for it. But in all those “hard sales”, there is a place where we can begin to lose our own thoughts and fall under the sway of others. We can find ourselves going into directions that we really never planned to go. We have to learn how to tell ourselves to stop and regroup!
Even watching the news these days, you can see agendas. Social engineering is at an all time high here in America. No longer is the news simply reported, but it carries a mindset with it, that is almost pastoral at times. “We care, and you should think like this… “ and “Listen to this interview and hear the wrong and right way to think about it.”
I’m not trying to sound super-spiritual here, but there really is a lot to this “power of agenda.” Of course dark forces can and do use it, but it can even come across from those well meaning to the degree that you can feel like you lost you in the mix. And without a healthy sense of self, we do become pawns in the big chess game of life.
This really is a place where we need to realize that Jesus did come to rescue our souls. Our souls are the mind/thoughts, will and emotions that we carry, part of that triune of body, soul and spirit that make us “us.” Our spirit died to its power at the Fall, and the redemption of grace is to give it back its power and union with God again. This affects everything else in our life and world view and even final destination.
People can say “I am God” all day long, but they can’t make the sun come up in the morning nor add a cubit to their life when it’s time to go. God can take on any battle and win, and looking at the Universe should tell us that. But when we connect to the good will of God through His Son Jesus, we can discover the power of an endless life. [Hebrews 7:16] I like the way the New Living Translations words it: “Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.”
It’s good to connect with God. But to connect, we have to have a relationship with Him; and to have a relationship, we have to have (or be) a person that can encounter and connect and relate to the Person of God. It’s interesting how the called disciples felt such a magnitude and power of His presence that they could leave all and go follow Him when He gazed upon them and said, “Come, follow Me.”
It happened that way I believe because of their ministry calling, but while some get a sudden large encounter, there are many more who get the progressive relationship encounter that has the potential of a lot of growth. In fact with God, we can always grow some more. His world, even in us, does not look at just the temporal surroundings but can take that and go deep into our souls, and that encounter can change us profoundly inside and out. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.”
Our little baby steps can take us around the world many times, and even venture beyond, if you are willing to go there. And the great news is that it can take you in a safe place. There is a place of fulfillment and covering in God where you can say yes and no to your surroundings. You will be willing to adjust your surroundings so that the inward has more room to grow. People often misunderstand true sacrifice as duty rather than a gift of the heart. How different that is!
But in that place of willing sacrifice, with emphasis on the word “willing”, there is a conversation that begins and continues and leads and guides you. It’s not always audible with words, but prayers surely can get answered, especially if you are cherishing and valuing that personal relationship with Him. The main thing to realize is to just not get ahead of Him where you become the one dictating how things should be. It becomes a temptation when we taste of that awesome power that He carries. He has a lot to give us.
There is a charm to it, a mesmerizing power at times, a wonderful feeling of acceptance and sometimes even a euphoria where we sense that we are His beloved and this Mighty power would do things for us, because of His Love for us! But the desire to acquire and control is in all of us in the nature of our flesh and sometimes that dies hard. It is why we need the balance of being led and being heard.
We need to hear what is not already in our heads in the form of programmed thoughts.
God always hears, but there are times we aren’t sure He is really listening. If we get grounded in the Word and Spirit well, we learn to get past our emotions into that faith that comes from being able to trust and count on His written Word. For the Christian, that written Word becomes living and there are encounters with the Living Word of God that will manifest to us via encounters. It can come from reading, from prayer, and from a heavenly answered response that may have seen a delay from the first time that we began praying for something.
If we really want to get to know God, it can happen beyond reading the Scriptures and speaking them and getting to know Him through them, IF we pay attention to our prayer life and not forget what we prayed so when the unusual or favorable comes along and we later learn that we failed our opportunity by just thinking that it is just a wonderful circumstance that happened. We cannot always predict His answers, for there is a relationship!
If we pay attention, we will see a God who is responding to us from His Dimension – which is greater than ours is, and He is inviting us into it. We can learn about the supernatural and invisible world and how His Spirit takes dominion over the things of this world, the flesh and the devil. The journey is meant to be a personal one, and parts of it can even be shared by those who walk in the Spirit or are people we love and are close to. It’s a joyful communion.
The biggest challenge is getting our little worldly minds to come up higher to the greater dimensions that are in God. They must be practical to be maintained and received, but they carry the power of the eternal that cannot be destroyed when our devotion is there.
The most challenging part is the freedom that God offers versus the agenda that the enemy offers. The devil will bait you with having your own power and knowledge and understanding, but with him, it is a trap. And he often works by flattery. But just as mind blowing is the actual freedom that the Lord offers you as you come in to His ways of doing and understanding. Because both can be so much more that our immediate physical world, it is a challenge to take it on and think through it.
But all this is why we must consider the agendas. We must learn the nature of God, the goodness of God, the thoughts of God, and not translate everything as to how our flesh and soul feels about it. Sometimes the flesh dies hard, but it can be very willing when the revealing of God is near. But when the breakthrough is there, it is a joy beyond compare and a peace that passes all understanding!
Job complained for months about his difficult situation, but when the Presence of God came near to Him in revelation, it became easy for him to repent and even pray for those who tortured him with their lack of understanding.
He put his hand on his mouth when God encountered him and said, “Before I heard about You [and it obviously was not believed], but now I see You,” he said. Sometimes we confess belief that is not really in our hearts yet. Something in our spirit says it ~seems~ right and should be right, but until we have walked through enough to know via encounter, we are just best guessing, and we can get fairly good at that with a little knowledge. But God must always be fresh and new to us to truly enjoy and appreciate and assimilate the encounters. If not, we can get into a rut where everything seems predictable and it can be a trap of our own minds at work or worse.
So it is important to know what the forces are that are around us that seek to take our thoughts and program them. God can overcome the world. He did through His Son Jesus.
You may have a great household product that was working just great and then get sold on a more expensive version that really is no less better than the first one you had. We are samplers, even in the Kingdom. But there comes a place where we start to discern the directions of God that He is laying out for us, and we can find great rewards in following that. Not only can we help ourselves, but we can help others as well. And there is ROOM to grow.
The main thing is to be sensitive with the directions that are being offered to you. With the Lord there is always a sense of freedom in the choice. The Truth will set you free, make you free, and keep you free! There is no obligation, but there is reward, but instead of being “mandantory”, it will give you the offer you should not refuse! However, we grow in this and most of us are not overnight sensations of success. The Bible shows us that the best had their problems.
Many get an encounter and start off strong, but if the revelation is not progressively processed, there will be some stumblings along the way. We can have a sure foundation! And it is based on the written Word of God that becomes Living to us. There are dimensions to explore along with assignments to complete. We just need know the Scriptures in the best way possible as a grounding tool, and pray for the discerning of spirits, as well as keep an active prayer life. Then we will know the power that really does overcome the world with all its agendas and that will take you to the world to come. In Jesus, it gets better.