200 – Mercy & Grace

Laying down the law requires mercy and grace. Laying down the law without mercy and grace only does more injustice.

When a new rule, policy, law, standard, guideline, or other protocol gets implemented, people who have operated by previous guidelines get outdated. In society it’s called “gentrification” or “political oppression”. In software it’s called “depreciating” and “legacy versioning”. In legislation, America knows it as “prohibition” or “war profiteering”.

When a new rule doesn’t help people make necessary changes to adapt, those people are forced into an artificially created “criminal class”. What they do isn’t unethical, it’s only “illegal” because of a so-called “update” to the law. Papers got shuffled around; now old business owners are “outlaws” merely because of a change in syntax.

This is the method corptocrats and fascists use to fight against their business opponents: Simply promote a change to the law, make it look “wonderful”—such as helping the environment or being charitable—, and structure it so some small technicality “just so happens” to make life difficult for your business competition. It’s an actual tactic employed by dishonest companies in the dark world of “dirty pool business”.

Folk from religious “recruit numbers for the weekly meetings” clubs often allow rules to oppress other people, but without knowing it. Rules are good, but not merely for the sake of rules. Rules are designed by God to bring justice and rules are only good in as much as that they bring justice. Formal religions often teach rules as “shoulds” rather than rules as a practical benefit to promote life and justice. Don’t get caught in the trap of imposing injustice through an intrinsically motivated value on rules.

As long as you see rules for their practical outcome, you will appreciate God’s Word’s rules—assuming that you properly understand the actual “Biblical” rules, not some religious group’s reversioning of God’s Word’s rules. This will help you to give justice by applying rules through grace and mercy.

Give people time to adjust to new rules. Governments should offer to purchase any equipment people bought for doing business under old rules. If you are the business, reinvent; businesses that refuse fail. That’s how ketchup was made.

204 – Uninteresting Sin

When God thinks about us, He is not mostly interested in how much we need forgiveness from sin. He sees us how an adult sees a child: Filled with potential, mostly adorable, and a future that’s bigger than the past, despite the need for replacing broken things and the occasional spanking.

It is remarkably, boringly normal for new Christians to be over-obsessed with their own sin. This immature obsession centers on the question: To sin or not to sin? When young Christians sin, they feel terrible and wonder whether God will forgive them. Before they sin, they are obsessed with how desirable sin can seem. They’re undone by other people’s sin. It’s embryonic.

We outgrow sin by growing in God. Think about Heaven. This is not thinking about “going to Heaven”, because Heaven is not any destination. Heaven is our spiritual origin, the power in our hearts, and the source of glory that we expand to the world around us. Don’t think about Heaven as some boring, celestial cloud; think about Heaven to understand what God wants you to carry in your heart everywhere you go.

Of course, to understand Heaven you can’t just guess or rely on your own “wicked, little” imagination, and you especially can’t learn about Heaven from sinful pop culture’s fiction about demigods in outer space. You’ll need to read God’s Word to understand Heaven, first through virtue, then through Isaiah’s, Ezekiel’s, Daniel’s, and John’s visions of God—and from the Book of Enoch (1 Enoch).

The more you understand Heaven in your own heart, the more boring sin will seem. Temptation to sin won’t grip you, you’ll just be bored sick thinking about it.

When it comes to other people’s sin, that won’t shock you either. You’ll be sad, but not undone, nor will you have some new, lowly view of people when you learn what they did wrong. In fact, the more you understand God, the more you will understand how incredibly much so many people have been forgiven so immensely. As we mature, God gives us insight about other people’s struggles—sinful or otherwise—as we get bored with any kind of sin and more fascinated with God.

208 – Deliverance and Strength by Waiting on the Lord

Sometimes, not always, God delivers and strengthens us by means of us waiting on Him. In the ark, Noah had to wait on God. Israel had to wait and let God deliver them from Egypt. Israel wanted to keep waiting when it was time to step up and seize. So, in the desert, though the older generation was being punished, the younger generation was being nourished and trained for battle to seize. In that season of forty years, they had to wait on God every day.

As warriors in training, knowing that God Himself would fight for them—since God Himself strengthened them with manna everyday—was an advantageous military tactic. Few armies flank only one side, expecting God to flank the other. But, when you have to wait for your food—every day for forty years—as two generations of able-bodies soldiers did in nomadic Israel’s dessert season, the “God” factor is a tactic you learn to trust in. When they finally left the desert and marched straight for Jericho, Israel’s armies didn’t doubt Joshua when he told them that God’s tactic was to march in circles and shout.

Running from Saul, David had to wait. In the pit, Jeremiah had to wait. In the fiery furnace, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could only respect the king wait on God. In the lions’ den, Daniel waited ’til morning. In every one of the “waiting” situations in the Bible, God swoops in and saves His people mightily—to the detriment and shame of their enemies every single time.

We can’t calculate nor forecast with strategy when to win by waiting and when to win by fighting. But, waiting must not be ruled out as a “lesser” tactic or a “last resort”. Timing is everything. Nearly every military force involves “waiting” in their attack plans. “Get in position” are three words many Americans know. The grand strategy makes it all make sense. Waiting is not about laziness, apathy, or passivity; it’s about scruples, timing, maturity, and self-control.

God may have already dispatched His evac force to your location. You may be the evac force for an entourage on its way to you. Be there when it’s time.

212 – Deliverance and Provision by the Right to Seize

Sometimes, not always, God delivers and provides for us by means of us stepping up to seize what He has already offered. Noah had to build his ark. Israel had to work after entering the promised land because the manna stopped once they crossed the Jordan. That’s what a “promised land” is—a place where you can work and keep what you worked for, knowing that you worked for your results, “paid” for it with sweat and tears, and didn’t gain by taking from others.

Provision by way of effort is the goal of peace. It’s a world in which our work is neither stolen by theft nor destroyed by war. By being allowed to have our work pay off, we enjoy the pleasure of working through whatever task we have for the day, knowing it will lead somewhere beneficial—knowing that we will be allowed to enjoy the results since they were earned, not bestowed.

David had to bring in the Temple materials to fulfill his dream of God having a House. His son Solomon had to build the Temple using those materials. The Temple didn’t build itself.

Jeremiah had to put the rope around himself when it was let down. Daniel had to initiate and ask in order to eat the Bible’s healthier diet and to interpret the king’s dream so as to avoid death. In Esther, the attack against the Jews was not rescinded, but the Jews were granted legal permission to defend themselves, which resulted in killing their Satanic enemies and taking the wealth of their assailants.

Many times, especially after seasons of waiting, little to no results, just enough to survive on, inner strengthening, and shiploads of prayer, the opportunity to rise up lands at our doorstep. Then, we must put away the housecoat, don our shoes, and walk out into the world to work. This moment is not every moment nor can it be made into every moment. Annually, this comes for farmers in the springtime.

Spring comes after the season of winter, when roots have grown deeper and the soil sits as soggy as we feel groggy. At the proper time, go into your field and start working.

216 – Deliverance and Providence by Standing Your Ground

Sometimes, not always, God delivers and directs His providence by means of us standing for what is right. As king, David constantly fought off Israel’s enemies—who were trying to reinstitute Satanic human sacrifices. Jeremiah told the king that Jerusalem would fall, but was rescued from the pit and spared by Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel wouldn’t stop praying—if he had the lions would have eaten him for sure! Stephen spoke the truth, even while he was being stoned, and Jesus greeted him in an open vision during his martyrdom.

God commanded Israel to keep three festivals each year. Business owners were required by law to close up shop, prepare a feast, and enjoy themselves. During a feast, it was custom for the wealthy to throw gold and silver coins from their upper story windows, down into the streets where passers-by would collect them as gifts. If the people did not hold to the moral-legal code of Israel’s Theocracy, they wouldn’t be in the streets to receive money showered down upon them. Not everyone had to catch coins to benefit. The poor would, in turn, give patronage to smaller merchants, stimulating the whole economy. It was small, but was compassionate and it helped.

Standing your ground may mean martyrdom, but God’s reward in the afterlife smiles on those who answer His call to die for what is right, just as He smiles on those who answer His call to live for what is right—given to so many more, paid for by the martyrs before.

In combat strategy, your team may need to hold the building until help arrives. In those circumstances, your team is just as much help awaiting as the help that arrives. You have supplies and advantage that your fellow soldiers rely on. If you surrender your ground before your allies arrive, it could cost the victory.

God has already directed His created universe through the divine providence of pathways and currents. Then, His moral code instructs us where to stay and go. This eludes all of us, though less as we grow in wisdom. Moral bearings will direct us to the right place at the right time to receive our needs; be there.

Exodus 12:14; 23:14-17, Jeremiah 32:26-28; 39:11-14, Malachi 3:10

220 – Deliverance and Power in Meekness and Weakness

The human heart must be in touch with God’s sovereign supremacy. He has all power and He is the highest authority. We can easily agree to this as an abstract concept, but this truth must settle deep into our experiential understanding.

If your heart does not believe that God is sovereign then you will not behave as if He is your most powerful help; by definition, such behavior is “ungodly”.

Our souls require us to have such experiences where we perform our due diligence, where we study and prepare as much as we ought expect ourselves to, yet the task remains too great for us to accomplish on our own. In these circumstances, when our strength is not enough, when we maintain our “godly” perspective that God Most High is alone Most High, then He will use the strangest and smallest of methods to overcome the impossible. Only God can orchestrate these circumstances, which is part of Him being supreme.

If we could initiate or invent circumstances where God is the greatest then either we do not deserve credit for those circumstances or God is not supreme in them. God must be the greatest in our lives, only on God’s terms, only in God’s time, only in God’s way.

When God called Gideon, the least of his family, the least of his tribe, He addressed Gideon as “mighty warrior”. Israel’s problem was idol worship, specifically idols that used human sacrifices. They had trusted in false gods and were literally killing each other in worship of those idols. The Midianites invaded. Human sacrifices and Satan worship did not deliver them from evil. But, Israel’s true enemy was their own behavioral theology.

They knew about Moses’s Law, but their behavior proved that they did not believe God was their sovereign deliverer. So, God wanted Gideon’s army to be small so they would once again behaviorally believe God is Almighty.

The small, seemingly weak things are vital to God’s victory via our lives. God achieves victory through things that seem counterintuitive—things we never would even consider might work out. Satan and his worshipers always want the biggest and greatest, never suspecting the tools the Almighty will use.

Judges 7, Psalm 127:1, Zechariah 4:6, Matthew 5:5, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Philipians 4:13

224 – Leading as Followers of Jesus

You cannot lead others until you first lead yourself. And, you cannot lead yourself until you first understand who leads you. And, you cannot understand any leadership until you understand the Leader of All Things.

You may believe in God, but you will encounter other people who have not figured out Who leads the created universe. All ideas about leadership—all problem-solving, heart-to-heart talks must begin with exploring this question: Where does leadership begin?

The order must be proper. Moving on to later questions of leadership are pointless and you do your friends no service to address the advanced questions of leadership without finishing the basics. The only successful leader must be a godly leader, otherwise his leadership will have severe limits.

Look at leaders who have not thoroughly answered questions about God and you will see corresponding shortcomings in their leadership results. Always look at leadership from the perspective of godliness, whether in your own growth or in those you work with. The mid-to-high level leadership tactics are generally godless children attempting a rebellion. But the higher, “expert” methods of leadership always pursue questions and answers about godliness.

Christians from the Sunday morning culture are often anemic where leadership is concerned, unless they have significantly augmented their Christianity with Bible study and mentoring that Sunday morning has no control over. Christians who have known a “least common denominator” Bible teaching devoid of the basics have not had the opportunity to grow into advanced levels of the Bible’s teaching. Basic Christianity understands that leadership begins with godliness, but eventually we learn more about godliness from the advanced methods of “soft power” that Jesus taught.

Whatever your challenge is in leadership, first remember that it is a challenge in “godliness” and second meditate on how Jesus’s ingenious leadership methods out-smarted King Herod and even overthrew Roman Caesars, centuries after his death.

The depth and brilliance of Jesus’s leadership is inexhaustible. Focus your research there. As you study history to learn its repetition, always go back and see Jesus working with leadership principles in ways even more masterful than the greatest Machiavellians could comprehend. Search themes of “servant leadership” and “overdone-submission”—leadership principles inseparably intertwined with godliness.