The cutting edge of Christian affairs

First Harvey, now Irma pounding, lashing, and flooding, leaving many homeless. Further west, wildfires raging, leaving behind smoldering ruins and crackling cinders. It’s as Jesus said the end time wound be, like the days of Noah and Lot all at once. In between, we have an ongoing resurgence of wanton murders, mayhem, violence, racism, oppression, wickedness, and a dizzying array of madness. Take your pick. Whether natural or man-made, trouble is on the rise, and with it all kinds of hurt for our hearts.

I have certainly experienced worlds of untold trouble in my life. I feel like I have had enough trouble for several lifetimes. Whatever trouble you may now be facing, I am extremely sorry. My heart and prayers go out to you. I know the feeling. There’s an old Negro spiritual entitled, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Truth!!! But to name just a few…

• I went to jail (I was eventually acquitted, but thanks to sluggishness and unrighteousness in the system, it was for a good while — almost six [6] years). 

• I was committed to the mental hospital – for a good long stay.

• I had an extended encounter with homelessness.

• I got rejected by most of my old friends.

• I had some serious marital conflicts, with many periods of prolonged separation – even an intermediate time of divorce.

• I went into a period of prolonged depression.

Can you say, “Why, God,” with me? Still the half has not been told. My heart has been broken to pieces countless times, especially over some of the heartlessness, cruelty, and abandonment of those that I love. So, if you are going through trouble today, I hope you can believe that there is someone on earth who understands how you feel.

Let me say this to you. I have learned a pathway to healing and restoration of heart. I want to recommend it to you. 

#1)  Weep Yourself Sufficiently
There’s an old song entitled, “Cry Me a River.” The “Why’s?” of life are really only rhetorical and emotional. They are the soul’s way of saying, “Ouch, God! That hurt!!!” Our hearts are really not expecting God to give us a detail account of what He is doing in our life at the time. Crying freely is the heart’s way of staying open and honest before God. The tears that follow, let them flow. I cried for a week when my baby daughter was fatally injured, and the Devil had framed me for that. Tears do release certain biochemicals from the body. The expulsion of those is vital for the our emotional stability and balance. So, if you have been really hurt by whatever, first, just cry yourself a river. 

#2)  Trust God Infinitely
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Believe this wholeheartedly. Confess that continually, but especially when life deals you it’s cruel blows. This is the most supreme show of faith and confidence in God. GOD IS indeed sovereign over all things. Everything moves by His power. All things work together for our good, because that’s how God is working them. There’s absolutely nothing in the recipe of life that not for our good — NOTHING!!!

God is cooking up a PERFECT HEART — yours. We are a bunch of tough nuts. My wife likes to say, “There’s not a nut too hard for God to crack.” Please understand, when we joyfully talk about going to the next level, what we are really talking about is God conditioning our hearts to experience a whole new depth and dimension of His righteousness and glory. Going to another level, then, is “a heart thing.” And getting there requires God to put our hearts through the paces that Christ’s heart lives at. And, the word says that He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief… despised and rejected” (Isaiah 53:3). I am sorry if this knowledge disappoints you, but this is pure, unvarnished truth. If we are to mature to become like Jesus, our hearts MUST be softened, being made to know some of the emotional wounds of our Lord.

#3)  Praise God Unconditionally
Hebrews 13:15 says, “Let us therefore offer to God CONTINUALLY the sacrifice of praise; that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” A great evangelist, RW Shambach, used to say, “Shout Hallelujah anyhow!!!” God is worthy! He has shed Christ’s blood so that we may have a very happy ending, no matter what this chapter of life holds. So, the gospel song says, “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well. It is well, with my soul.'” 

Now then, my friend, if you will do these three things in the midst of your trouble, you will pass the test. And, in time your trouble will pass too, leaving you with a heart that is more like Christ’s than ever before. You will then find that you can see God’s glory more clearly, hear His voice more distinctly, and feel His Spirit more tangibly than before. God will have turned up the volume on His Word another notch. His presence will be sweeter, at least, until He takes you up another rung.

 

.

Advertisements

Photo Collage Maker_P5dhNb-1

“Truth & Dare” is retiring, but the party’s not over. Hooray !!!  We’ve made our last new post here. It will still serve for an archive site. But, we invite you now to head on over to our new site for great posts of information, illumination, and inspiration. If you haven’t already joined us there, from now on we’ll be on WordPress at: newjosephblog.wordpress.com.

Or, you can join us on Facebook at:   https://www.facebook.com/TheNameMostHigh/

Also, on our group page:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/HighPraiseWordCenter/

You can even submit a post yourself for publishing on our group page, and join in the mutual encouragement and edification. Everything at these sites is for the growth and advance of Christ’s children and His kingdom. So, what are you waiting for??  Head on over!!!

We’ll meet you there.

flat,1000x1000,075,f.u1

By Joseph Diop

Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Diop

“’Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle!’ And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them…” (She lists her friends and decides that she is not either of them)… “Who am I then? TELL ME THAT FIRST, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else” –but, oh dear!’ [she] cried, with a sudden burst of tears… (Having been first stretched tall like a giant, then suddenly shrunk to the size of a mustard seed)…`I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ [she] said, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears!’”

The foregoing quote is from, “Alice in Wonderland,” the popular novel by Lewis Carroll, published in 1865. Though it is classed as “nonsense literature,” what it treats here is anything but nonsense. For it attempts to address the age-old question, “Just who or what am I?” The Bible itself first raises this most fundamental of all issues, when it asks,

“What is man, that You are mindful of him? and the son of man, that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4).

The inability of people to come to a satisfactory understanding here, however, does accounts for all the insane, nonsensical, sad, and desperate behavior in the world. For, without being able to answer this question, man is truly lost.

My wife had a divine vision one day. She saw this generation of young people on horses galloping down the freeway in a massive gang. They filled the highway, and were headed fast together on their way. My wife asked, “Where are they going, Lord?” God said, “They don’t know. They are just going.” Isn’t that sad? But, without knowing who or what they are, they (and we all) are like a vehicle without a destination, a tool with no job to do, a representative with no commissioning authority, and an individual with no purpose. Trying to come to know who we are by comparing ourselves to others, is as vain, futile, and depressing as Alice learned it is. We either loom huge like giants, and in our minds are bigger than life. Or else, we seem as tiny and insignificant as specks. Looking at others makes our minds play tricks on us, and puts us on carnal footing as infirm and unsafe as quicksand. But, God gave us the sure and eternal answer early on in the very first chapter of the first book of the Bible. Like Alice requested, “Tell me that first.”

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion…” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26,27.   Amen.

Did you catch it? “Man” is the one and only creature on earth created in the image and likeness of God. Wow!! What a legacy!!  Brothers and sisters, we are the only beings on earth created to show the rest of the creation what God is really like!! I heard a word from God one day. God said, “You can sum it up this way, ‘Man is a MANifestation of God.’”  That’s no play on words. That is just words playing their role to make plain and clear the glory of God. Man was created to be a MANIFESTATION of God. That is what we are. And, as importantly is the who. Jesus quoted it.

“I have said, Ye are gods; and ALL OF YOU ARE CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH.” Psalm 82:6

God’s children we are, made to manifest his glory, showing forth his power, and being filled with His love. One day, as I was in the Spirit, God just literally downloaded the following chart into my mind. As God’s children, we are beings of a seven-fold nature, each facet of our being playing a specific and vital role.

Screenshot_2017-04-26-02-15-30-1

If you can accept it, then you will see that we have purpose galore. If you can believe it, then you can receive that as your destiny. If you can put on this truth, then you will be robed for battle with the devil’s minions, whenever they try to fill you with either pride and high-mindedness, or either discouragement and depression. Knowing the truth about who and what we are is the “first thing” that we must embrace, if we are to become fully what we were created to be in the first place  –  EXACT  MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD — HIS  BELOVED  CHILDREN  IN THE  WORLD.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20170427_062017_079

“Behold, what amazing love the Father has lavished upon us…” 1John 3:1

A “blessing” is a good word spoken by the mouth of God, which causes His glory to be manifest in our lives. That good word guarantees us all-encompassing health, success, and prosperity, along with His peace. (Because of His purpose to grow us up into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ, that blessing cannot at all times and under all circumstances be interpreted and reduced down to mean “having lots of money and stuff”).  Considering its glory and effect, nothing else in this world is to be coveted more than God’s blessing.   Selah. Maranatha. Amen.

 

Flaming-Hammer

By Joseph Diop

Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Diop

“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”  (Jeremiah 23:29).  If you really want to be changed into Christ’s image, then just get into God’s word day by day. You’ll have the hammer of God in your soul, and the fire of God in your spirit. You cannot help but to be changed. The word itself will break up all that needs to be broken up, and burn up all that needs to be burned up.  Fight for establishing a regular time in the word every morning. It will be like a beachhead for your war on the devil, and like a high place for gaining a tactical advantage on evil. It will be a sure weapon and faithful ally. The scripture says,

“Sanctify them through thy truth. The word is truth” (John 17:17). If you really want to be separated from your sin, then the word will do the trick. It is God’s sanctifying agent. A good acronym for TRUTH is:

The * Right * Understanding [of] * THings

If you want to get your mind right, then fill it full of God’s word. When you understand the word, you understand God’s perspective on things, and you understand His will and purpose for your life. There’s nothing more powerful in this world than a man or a woman with a divine purpose active in their life. And, as you grow strong in the Lord, He will speak of you this way:

14 “Wherefore thus saith the Lord, because you speak this word, I will make my word in thy mouth fire and this people wood, and it shall consume them…  20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms… 5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation…” (Jeremiah 5:14; 51:20; Isaiah 13:5).

Do you know the principle behind having visions of the Lord? The principle is this: “What you see is what you get.” Well, I have had a vision of the Lord, and that vision was awesome, fiery, and mind-rending. In it, I saw a vision of Christ Jesus the Lord, and he was… “The Eternal Word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God – Consuming Fire !!!”  So, I can promise you that it is true. If you get filled with the word, then the Lord one day will transform you into a fiery, spiritual weapon in his arsenal for his warfare on the world, the flesh, and the devil. He will purge you, sanctify you, and refine you yourself, first of all. Then, He will turn around and use you to do the same in the lives of others. The word promises,

In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left… (Zechariah 12:6).

So, get ready. The fireworks are about to begin!!!

 

1487945341247

By Joseph Diop

Copyright © 2011 by Joseph Diop

 

I had just been jotting down some ideas that were flowing out of my heart in the presence of the Holy Spirit one evening. I was sort of conversing in my heart with the Spirit about the preeminence and the pricelessness of unlimited love between the heart of God and the heart of His worshipper. I got all the way down to the end of the second paragraph, before I realized that what I was writing was actually a song.

 

All my Spirit-filled life, I have regularly been challenged by a spiritually lackadaisical world on the point of finding something called “balance,” where my love and devotion to God are concerned. But thank God, by his grace, my heart could never be moved from its path. No matter how seemingly ‘prudent’ the objection to my spiritual obsession, I knew that all I was really trying to do in life is to give God nothing more or less than what He had asked for, which was that I  Love the Lord my God with ALL my heart, with ALL my soul, with ALL my mind, and with ALL my strength  (Mark 12:30). And in my simple mind, you don’t need a cup, a scale, or any other kind of device to measure out “ALL.”  All is all. And, if all means all, then how much do you WANT to hold back? All you need to do to render “all” is just turn the vessel upside down and pour out every last bit of it to the very last drop. Simple, right!? And hey, this is God’s recipe for what he considers acceptable love—not mine.

 

But anyway, as the years rolled by and life experiences and relationships marched onward, that same old chorus of complaints kept being leveled at me, like a broken record. And in my own narrow focus on my own life and duty to God, it was many years before I could really decipher just what was really behind all that scorn. The Lord eventually set my soul at ease by enabling me to recognize that it was just the world’s way of reacting against and resisting the conviction that the zeal of my spirit was imposing upon them. But even to this day, I am so sick and tired of hearing those same old tired mantras from the zombie army of lukewarm ‘Christians.’

 

Don’t rock your own boat.

Let God ‘bless’ you. You deserve it.

Don’t be so heavenly-minded that you’re no earthly good.

You need to be “balanced out.”

(And, my all-time favorite):  It don’t take ALL that.

 

I got Spirit-filled when I was fourteen years old, so I have had to listen to all these same old sad songs from “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38) now for forty years. And while the Spirit of holy zeal itself has its own good code of divine discretion, it is never given over to mere creeds of self-preservation, like the carnal-minded are. That crowd is always looking for some way of dousing the flames of the single-minded saints with reproaches that try to appeal to the spirit of wisdom, but are in fact nothing more than smoke screens for their own spiritual compromise, cowardice, carnality, and complacency.

 

(And over the years, my life has borne the markings of God’s fiery flames of purification. Season in and season out, an awesome, fearful display of smoke has billowed up from my life as my God has consumed me – spirit, soul, and body. At times, my life has seemed to be nothing more than “a proverb and a by-word” to every Tom, Dick, and Harry passing by. “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean [i.e., not messy]: but much increase comes by the strength of the ox” (Proverbs 14:4, brackets mine). But, I have deeply and intimately known the Lord, as He has known me, and has wrought in me His good plan and purpose – ever making, shaping, and molding me into the image and likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. And, time alone (in the will and purpose of God) will tell the story and confirm to the world if I be a charlatan, a fool, or indeed a saint. But, in the meantime and between time, I will worship the Lord, and render all praise to Him with my heart and with my mouth.)

 

Anyway, since God calls for every bit of our love and being to be His, if we try to “measure that out” and “balance that out” with other things and interests of this world, God ain’t going to like that. But, when God finds a heart whose love for him is uncontested, unmitigated, unquenchable, and unparalleled, then He will mortgage all heaven and earth, and give that individual the world itself to possess or to dispose of at their own holy whim. Does the scripture not say?: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth that he may show himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him”  (2Chronicles 16:9).  Anyway, that is the opinion of one “fool for Christ.”

 

If God be willing, on tomorrow I will share with you my song – in lyrics only. I call it, the Song of Satisfaction. And all those of you on this “strait and narrow” path of love, faith, and service to God will recognize the heart, soul, and spirit of the song. So until then, the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

 

liz

Beginning on May 1, 2017, we will begin publishing exclusively at a new blog site, Christian Covenant Community Clarion.  That address is newjosephblog.wordpress.com. At that time, we will have published our last message over “Truth & Dare.”

So, we hope to see you there !!!