Covet

The shoes do not make the man, the car doesn’t make the man, and your house does not define you. People of the world say those things, but they are not true. They think like that because they don’t believe God. So they Covet. God makes the man! It is true that you should make an effort to look and be your best. God wants us to pursue excellence – in everything. But if you are Led by what you see – you are an Unbeliever. If you’ve gotta have the big house or the new car before you give God the Glory, then you are Discontent. Just because someone has a lot of stuff doesn’t mean they have an important life.

So many people have lived their lives in pursuit of something they thought they had to have, that they couldn’t even taste the good life they were already living. They ran so fast to get where they were going, they missed all the lovely and amazing that was right in front of them. God put it there to be enjoyed. When we covet, we sin with ourself and we sin inside ourself. So that in one sense, nobody else can see it, because it is in our inner man. Covetousness is the greedy desire to Get. Anything. The question should never be about what I want. Instead, we should ask ourselves  ‘if I am truly in Christ, can I rejoice right here. Can I be thankful to God no matter where I’m at, no matter what’s going on in my life, regardless of circumstances.’ That’s the real test, and it’s a life long one.

The difficulties don’t begin when your ship comes in. You have to pass a lot of tests just to get your ship to come in. It starts right here, right now. Right where you’re at. A refusal to pass the test or to even take it isn’t actually an option – it’s just the terrorist of your fallen nature showing. It insists that I get my way before I praise God. As though I can blackmail the Creator of the universe by being self centered and unthankful – until I get mine. It is the way of all flesh, but it doesn’t have to be your way. You don’t have to be carnally minded. You can keep your mind on spiritual things. Things like contentment.

Contentment is something more than just putting up with where you’re at, or refusing to complain about what you have. Contentment means I know my Redeemer lives! He is my Provider, and He will take care of me, and until everything He has for me shows up – these things [right here] don’t move me. You and I will have to hold fast to this position all of our life. My desires do not define me – His Word does. All of my circumstances good or bad, are not in any way sufficient for me. He is my Sufficiency! He is the over and above, more than enough God. Not just for the future, for right now.

The right now is where we get to practice believing that. Instead of believing what we see or feel, because we need a lot of practice. Here is the very place of my death to Self, and the birth of my becoming a Son. Dead to Self – alive to Christ, remember. A true Son is content, not with where he’s at – but in who the Father is. Part of God’s provision through what Christ did on the Cross is contentment, and it is for us right now. Godliness with contentment is great gain. If you can’t be content right now before you get the big house and nice car, you won’t be content after. Jesus said a man’s life does not consist of the things he possesses.

Money is a form of Power, but it’s the lowest form of power in the earth. It is not important to God – He owns all the silver and the gold. But He knows it’s important to us. In a sense it is just a symbol, but it’s got our energy and effort, our blood sweat and tears wrapped up in it. Which is what makes it precious to us, and therefore makes it precious to God. If you desire something it’s because you Value it. You have a level of respect and reverence for anything you desire. Because desire is related to worship. It is in fact worship on a lower level. God is the one who gave us desires and He wants us to have them. If we take our proper place as sons – our deepest desire will be for Him.

This highest reverence we possess is the thing we’re supposed to have for God, the thing we’re supposed to give Him. Left to ourselves we don’t give it to Him. Because even though it is in us – it’s not in us for Him. That heart posture came with the Fall, and like all other corruption – must be changed into the Image of His dear Son. Covetousness is that greedy desire to get, which is what we do have instead of a strong desire for Him. You just may not recognize it until you’re in the middle of it, or it’s in the middle of you. Anything you desire intensely is something you Covet.

The Bible does not say not to covet absolutely, it says not to covet certain things. It actually tells us to Covet the Lord and His Things. What we have to realize is that we covet.  All that remains is to shift our Covetousness from the world of men to the things of God. It will take a lifetime. The greater the reverence we have for the Holy Spirit, the more we desire Him, the more He will show up in our meetings and in our lives. Ask the Lord to help you reverence Him, to want Him more than you do already. Make it your Prayer that He causes your strongest desires, your deepest longing . . . to all be for Him.

There is a strong similarity in praying to a statue and caring more about money and stuff than you do about God. The Bible calls it Idolatry. Covetousness is Idolatry.  That means you have something in the place that only God should have. What so many fail to realize is that everything down here is like a gallon of milk – it has an expiration date on it. It’s only good for a little while to do something with. If you don’t do something with it in the short time you have it, it won’t matter. Your having had it will have meant nothing. Don’t stockpile things or money – put them to use. Use them to get people for the Kingdom. How much you had of anything won’t even be known in the next life. What you did with it will be known, by everybody. And it will be known forever. Don’t just be rich in this world – be rich in God.

This is not the only life we are going to have. We must get over the lie that if I don’t find satisfaction in this life, if I don’t make myself happy – I will never be fulfilled. I won’t get another chance, so I have to do it now. It’s a Lie. Did you notice the Bible doesn’t spend a lot of time or space talking about our happiness, or our being happy. You can obey the Bible and be happy. Although obedience is much more important than happiness, especially for the life to come. As it is the very thing required on our part, to make it to the next life. Which is the only Life . . that matters.

Christ is supposed to be our Life. There are many beautiful homes and lovely neighborhoods but the very best place in the world to live – is in the Will of God. Do not build your life on the level of credit cards, automobiles and houses. Don’t. The physical realm is the lowest level to build your life on – and it is all going away. In the world that’s coming there is a Highway called Holiness, and there will not be a single boat plane car or truck on it. We will travel on it, all of us. And only the Redeemed can travel it. You and I will be there. You’ll be in your glorified body and you’ll like it. It’ll be Good. In just a few days it won’t matter how much money you made, what you owned, or how important you were. All that will matter is . . . do you love Jesus.

Brother Greg
Full Grown Ministry

http://www.fullgrownministry.com

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The Unimportance of Things

Materialism is the attempt to solve a Spiritual need with something Physical.  This cannot be done, and even the attempt will bring you nothing but strife, grief and frustration.  A whole lot of suffering for things that turn to dust.  Things are good. God likes things, He made them, He wants us to have them.  But they cannot be too important to us.  This penchant for loving things instead of loving what He has told us to love is not a simple misplacement of our innocent affections.  We are much more responsible than that. We are not innocent of anything.  The Age of Innocence is what we departed from as a people when man fell from God’s Grace.  As fallen men we are born into guilt and a corrupt system, which has taught us to love things instead of loving Him.

It’s not just that the material things of this world have no value in the next world, most of them do not exist.  The things here are meant only for our temporary use or pleasure and are nothing more than shapes of much better things to come.  This life is a proving ground, not our eternity. We are created to live at much higher levels than the low level living we have grown accustomed to.  In our limited state we are not even capable of comprehending what God has prepared for those who love Him.  One thing we know for sure is that everything He has for us is good, and His plans for us are eternal.  These good things that last forever are only for those who are willing to learn the proper placement of their highest affections here and now.

Break yourself of the habit of saying I love my car, my house, that restaurant – or any other thing.  Love is too strong a word for things.  Say that you enjoy them or that you like them.  You do not have that much love in you, nobody does.  A clear lack of understanding of the Biblical meaning of love is demonstrated when the word is used that way.  It is not what we mean or even think we mean that will set the standard when we are Judged.  God has already set the standard.  He says the Word is what will Judge us.  Using our words in a way that is contrary to the way we are commanded in the Bible is what will be Judged.

Real love is precious and you only have a limited amount.  What that means is every time we claim we love anything beyond the limitations He has already set on our ability to love, we speak falsely.  In doing so we are not simply using incorrect grammar, we are stacking up Judgment.  Our words are one of the main things that will be Judged.  God has given man the capacity to love Him and to love people.  We do not do the first, and are often weak at the second.  So we love things instead.  Enjoy things, appreciate them, be glad that you have them, and be glad to give them.  But do not love them.  Loving things will cost you, and you don’t want it to do that.

When Jesus comes back if any of your things are important to you, any of them – you will not be going with Him.  You will be staying with your things.  It is in the Bible!  We are warned to remember Lot’s wife.  How during a time of Judgment, while Sodom was being destroyed and she was being rescued, she looked back to what was most precious to her.  It was her things and her home and the life she knew in Sodom that was more precious to her than her own Divine deliverance in the midst of destruction.  As a result she was turned to stone.

In Scripture, the person on the housetop and the one in the field were both warned not to go back and get things. The things themselves are not spiritual but the value we place on them is. Yet the condition of our heart is spiritual, so we will not be able to hide it.  What is in you will come out of you like toast popping up from a toaster, when God shows up.  When the Lord of all creation reveals Himself for every eye to see, it will be impossible to be anything other than exactly what you are.  Not what you thought you were, what you really are and always have been.  With Him or against Him.  When He is revealed the real you will be revealed.  All the things will be destroyed.  That is why it is essential not to be attached to any of your things.  Seriously.

Brother Greg
Full Grown Ministry

http://www.fullgrownministry.com

Other Voices

Other lovers will always call to you, other things will vie for your attention and your affection. Your Feelings will keep you from God’s Kingdom if you give into them. Your Thoughts will lead you away from God’s Kingdom if you are Led by them. What you Want and what you Desire will pull on you and keep you from His Kingdom. Even your Goodness will keep you from The Kingdom – because your goodness isn’t good enough, you must take His. The enemy of our souls does play a part in all this, but his main weapon is something inside of us.

How will the Devil try to trip you up – he will use your Desire against you. Part of guarding your heart is guarding your desires. As with all people everywhere I have struggles. The problem with preachers is – they’re just like you. They’re people too. It is the Call of the man or woman of God that is anointed, the Office of ministry they stand in. Not the person, or their life. They have to get through this just like you do. It may be thought that this is greater among single people, and understandably so. But I don’t think this is true.

One of my own struggles as with billions of other people is with lust.  And I don’t mean struggle as in giving in to it, that’s just sin. I mean the struggle not to give into the temptation. Although the warfare is spiritual the difficulty isn’t in your spirit, it’s in the fallen nature of your Flesh. If you are born again your spirit doesn’t sin, and it doesn’t want to. But your Flesh didn’t get saved when your spirit did. Your flesh will sin all day long, and do anything you let it do.

People speak today as though lust is completely natural and should be a part of any healthy persons diet. That would be fine if there were no Heaven or Hell, if the Bible were not true, if God was not real. It is completely natural, but the natural world is part of the fallen world. We are not called to be natural, we are called to be supernatural. The Holy Spirit is the most powerful supernatural force on the planet.

There are many single people who live holy celibate lives, and do it for the Lord. We have many in our ministry. I have known many others. I also know many who struggle. Virginity is looked down upon in the decadance and fast pace of modern urban society. In the realm of the Holy Spirit saving yourself for Christ is something very beautiful, and more than powerful. In the spiritual realm, purity is better than power.

The unbridled lust released through the misdirected conquest of men and seducing power of women has had a deep long and tangled impact on the history of men. But it has not altered God’s plan and His will from coming to pass by even a single hair. Let me tell you something about lust. Lust is not a sign of burgeoning virility, it is a devastating weakness and destroyer. Like the one that it comes from you have to resist it. Your desires don’t tell us who you are, they tell us what you’ve yielded to. Resist sin, yield to God.

God wants to have a relationship with each one of us that’s just like the one He has with Jesus. Listen, God knows exactly what He is doing. Down here we think that sex fame power and money are the big deal – the big 4. But you don’t even know, you don’t even know – how good we will have it in the world to come. Every single thing down here is just a type or a shadow of something in God, an expression of who He is. Not the evil, but any kind of strength or goodness or beauty comes from Him.

If you’re single, one of your great unfulfilled desires is to have the perfect adoring and adorable lover. This is true for many married folks too. But you don’t even know. One of the Hebrew words describing who God is is that of your lover. What. The God who made all the goodness and beauty in the earth, whose power goes beyond all fame, who owns all the gold and silver on all the planets – is your lover. What. How could this be, how did I miss this. If it’s all in His Book and I didn’t get it, then my heart was deceived.

We spend all of our lives chasing someone or something. To complete us, to satisfy, to fulfill us. These are the other voices. Just a little bit of power fame or money, only to die in our sin, and go to Hell. Would you. When you could have it all. If you would only surrender your life. Give Him all of your desires, commit yourself wholly to Him. To the God of all life. The One from whom all life comes. I’m not talking about getting saved, most of you are Saved. I’m talking of going deeper.

In our relationship with God, if Jesus is the only one doing the dying, you’re not doing it right. We are commanded to pick up our cross daily. If dying to Self is an option, then your salvation is an option. Don’t let yourself desire anything more than you desire God. Yield yourself to the love of God shed abroad in your heart. I mean say it out loud. I do, several times a day – I yield myself to the Love of God shed abroad in my heart. You should try it. Yield your Self to His love. There is nothing else like it. Love is the great conqueror of lust.

It’s okay to desire affection, to yearn for intimacy. To both give and receive it. God made us that way, it is completely natural. Though we are called to be supernatural. After becoming born again, it is simply growing up into spiritual maturity to the point where your redeemed spiritual nature supersedes the fallen carnal nature. What we must not do, what we have to get rid of, is the desire to Be Desired seared into our Flesh by the heat and pressure of the fallen world we grew up in.

None of it is from God, and in fact replaces Him. Desire for Self in all of its facets replaces desire for God. Needing to be needed comes from putting Self at the center, don’t be confused about it. We need God – that’s the way it is supposed to be. Line your inner man up with that. You’ll find your self able to give of self more than you ever have before, in every way. That pleases God, and will bring you great joy and everlasting reward.

Your entire debt has been covered through a payment made by a Friend. To enter the Kingdom of God you must put on Christ – everyday. To become His son you must be led by His Spirit in all your ways. To change from the way you are to the way He requires you to be – you must give His Word first place.  You must make it Final Authority every day of your life. His Word contains power within itself to bring itself to pass. Your job is to Sow it. All the pressure comes to stop you from doing that. Because the enemy knows – His Word is what will separate you from your sin . .

Brother Greg
Full Grown Ministry

http://www.fullgrownministry.com

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