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A recent article posted on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter claimed that God is for us and should not be feared. I am sure the author means well, but his perspective is quite misleading and humanistic. Let me explain.

God is for Himself!!

When the nation of Israel was about to attack Jericho, Joshua had this encounter with the Angel of the LORD:

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”

So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Joshua 5:13-14

The Commander of the army of the LORD was neither for Israel nor for their enemies. He was for the LORD; and He was determined to make sure that Israel was for the LORD, as well.

Bringing this forward to the New Covenant, the redemption prophecy in Ezekiel 36 states that God’s salvation of His people is for His name sake.

Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.'” Ezekiel 36:22

Furthermore, we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Jesus commanded that we fear the LORD.

And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Luke 12:4-5

Clearly, Jesus was not talking about awe and reverence here. And He was talking to His friends (i.e., the enemies of God). Speaking of which, we best fear becoming like them. Read the rest of this entry »

There are some passages that we would rather not think too much about. In most cases, failure to think invites disaster.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. Hebrews 12:14-17

Pursue means to “seek after eagerly, to earnestly endeavor to acquire”. One translation reads “make every effort”; another, “strive”. This latter view reminds me of Jesus’ astounding revelation in Luke 13:

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Luke 13:22-24

Striving for peace with all people is hard enough; it rings of “love your enemies (Matthew 5:44).” But this matter of holiness is the matter we struggle to embrace. Does this passage really mean that holiness is to be pursued? By whom?

What if our pursuit fails? Will we truly miss out on seeing the Lord? Is that a sweet-by-and-by thing, or something that also affects our relationship with Him now?

How do we respond to the warning that follows? What does it mean to fall short of the grace of God? How does something become defiled if it has not already been cleansed?

Esau was a profane person who sold His birthright. He despised the promised blessing of his father, and God hated him for it (Romans 9:13). What does this mean for a born-again believer?

Can we sell our birthright? What does it mean to be rejected by our Father (see Matthew 7:21-23)? What does it mean to find “no place for repentance (see Hebrews 6:4-6)?”

These are serious and sobering questions that every Christian should be asking themselves.

Let me close with this: What does “one morsel of food” look like for a son and daughter of God? What might our carnal mind deceive us into believing is more important than our birthright? As leaders, how do we help others avoid this tragedy?

God bless you with wisdom and courage to resist the temptations of our enemies.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. Romans 8:5-7

The carnal mind is, by its very nature, self-seeking and rebellious; it can be nothing else. This is the source of its enmity with God. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the desire to reason like God was forever linked to our fallen state.

This does not end when we are born again. We are given a new heart and spirit, but the mind remains carnal. Turning to our carnal mind – something most have been trained to do since kindergarten – invites the rebellion and sin of our carnal flesh.

Consequently, our carnal mind must be exposed and overcome. This is accomplished by the renewing of our mind – an iterative and ongoing process that depends on our submission to, and active participation with, the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2; 2Corinthians 3:18).

Our reckoning (logizomai) the truth of God’s word serves as a catalyst for the renewing of our mind. Together, reckoning and renewing are important steps in our becoming obedient to the faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26). Read the rest of this entry »

Most leaders have very little difficulty filling their calendars; many have people (invited and not) that help them squeeze the most out of every day. Sometimes we get so active in so much productive work, we lose consciousness of our purpose.

Rushing down the difficult path – even in a daze – is better than wandering off after the world. God has prepared good works for us to walk in. None of us want to miss an opportunity to please the Lord and be an instrument of the Father’s glorify.

However, there are times in most leaders’ lives when it all gets rather distracting, binding, and exhausting. We feel like we are losing focus, our calendar is managing us, and the good work has become a burden. Our attitude and productivity begin to suffer… almost as much as the people around us.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the work we forget to ask the most basic question:

Why am I here?

This is the question we should ask ourselves:

  • Every morning;
  • Before every meeting, activity, or encounter with another person; and,
  • Several times during the day.

This is critically important: The key to “why am I here?” is knowing who or what we have gone to for the answer. Many of us have been trained to solve such problems with our reasoning – reasoning born out of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; reasoning that is often under the control of our carnal mind. Ask your carnal mind and you will get a carnal answer.

Remember, take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2Corinthians 10:5).

Now, if the carnal mind manages to sneak in some response (it is sneakier than we imagine), we can use that response to tell us something about our attitude. For example, if our carnal mind says we are here because we have to be, that’s a problem. First of all, this response is simply not true; it is a very base deception. We all have free choice. Read the rest of this entry »

For those who prefer a summary:

2018 was extremely fulfilling and productive for the advancement of God’s kingdom. It could not have been so without your investment in inLight Consulting.

For those that appreciate a little more, the following should give you an idea of the good work God has done in response to your prayers for, and support of, inLight Consulting.

As you know, we are only vessels, instruments, and weapons. The Father is giving us the desire of our heart – to help Christian leaders find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry – in increasingly dynamic ways. We are simply walking in the good work He has prepared for His glory.

  1. We purposefully encouraged, edified, and equipped Christian leaders to become disciple makers and transformation agents. We continue to see those whom we have been discipling making disciples of others – a great joy we hope you share as a partner in the work.
  2. Our writing (I am just the pen) has primarily focused on changing the way Christians think. We have published 40+ articles this year; many of them shared in several online and print outlets. This focus on the mind has culminated in a new book, An Enemy Lies Within, which will be published on January 31st.
  3. With the gracious help of our webmaster, Doug McGukin, we restructured and enhanced the inLightConsulting.com website to focus on the three desires God has for this ministry: Workplace Transformation, Building Strong Foundations, and Equipping for Greater Works.
  4. We advanced two semesters closer to a Business Degree in Not-for-Profit Leadership. In the process, God has used the education in very precise ways for the startup of another ministry.
  5. As president and treasurer, I have been blessed to work with other strong Christian leaders in the formation of 2:2 Collective, Inc. Our stated purpose is “to serve the Body of Christ, foster unity, and be a catalyst for spiritual growth and vitality.” The opportunities for making disciples and transforming spheres of influence is boundless.
  6. Our family has been blessed in several ways: Beth and I, now married for 38 years, continue to grow in our faith together; our daughter married the man God has been preparing for her; and, our son continues to mature into the man God will use mightily. I have been able to spend more time with my parents this year; one of my greatest joys has been watching my dad disciple a church fellowship as their Lay Leader.

As the instrument, I look back on 2018 and marvel at what God has accomplished through this ministry. It is a testimony to His patience and persistence, and His intention to use the foolish, weak, and lowly “that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

Your part – whatever part you played – warrants a “well done, good and faithful servant.” And we will continue together to make disciples and transform our spheres of influence, for the glory of God and His Son, our Savior and King.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

When two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, He has promised to be with them (Matthew 18:20). My general attitude towards this verse has been that He is there for us – to give us revelation, or bless us in some other way. This realization has left me ashamed (and probably not as much as I should be).

Jesus Christ is Lord!

He is the Lord!

Jesus joins our meeting for Himself and His Father in Heaven. I have dishonored Him in this regard, in practice and in my writing. I confess my sin and pray He will forgive me and deliver me from this horrid unrighteousness. I repent and pray for grace to never think, speak, or write this way again.

It is baffling and disconcerting that I have missed such an obvious truth. For those that have wondered why I am so suspicious of the way I think, you now have some idea. I hate my carnal mind now more than ever.

I appreciate God turning this evil to His good purposes. I praise God for His patience and persistence with me.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

BTW: The Lord used an article by A. W. Tozer to help me see through this deception. You can find it here.

It is impossible to consistently obey what you do not know. Obedience to the sayings of Jesus is the foundation He is referring to at the end of His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:19, Luke 6:20-49). In that sermon, He communicates at least 34 “sayings”. We’ve written an article on each one.

Simply select the article title to view it. Use your browser back button to return to the list.

Introduction

The Beatitudes

The Persecuted

Salt and Light

Jesus Fulfills the Law

Guard Your Tongue

Be Reconciled

Guard Your Heart

Be Serious about Sin

Fear the Consequences of Divorce

Do Not Swear at All

Overcome Evil with Good

Give and Lend (Trust and Obey)

Love, Bless, Do Good, and Pray for Your Enemies

Be Extraordinary; Be Perfect

Chapter Five Summary

Resist the Enemy’s Temptations

Do Things God’s Way

Learn to Pray

Forgive Their Trespasses

Fast to Please God

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven (Part 1)

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven (Part 2)

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven (Part 3)

Get Focused; Stay Focused

Do Not Worry about Your Life

Chapter Six Summary

Judge Not

Get the Plank Out

Be Discerning AND Selective in Sharing the Truth

Ask, Seek, and Knock

Trust God for More

Take the Initiative for Good

Enter by the Narrow Gate

Beware the False Prophets

Bear Good Fruit

Do the Will of My Father in Heaven

Do Them

Chapter Seven Summary

Harmony and the Woes of Luke’s Gospel

List of Harmony Passages

The following are posted articles related to an upcoming eBook, An Enemy Lies Within, due out in early 2019. Simply select the article title to view it. Use your browser back button to return to the list.

Preface

Introduction

3 Realities of Workplace Leadership

Did Jesus Christ die, suffer, and sacrifice so we wouldn’t have to?

7 things Christian leaders must stop assuming

Why Should We Think about Thinking?

Which covenant is more difficult to possess?

The Carnal Mind’s Resistance of the Truth

Lives are Hanging in the Balance

Is That Really What You want to be Asking For?

Is the Carnal Mind our Greatest Enemy?

Overcoming Our Carnal Mind – Phase One

Persevere in Phase One – Taking Every Thought Captive

Overcoming Our Carnal Mind – Phase Two (or is it Three?)

Overcoming Our Carnal Mind – The Faith and Mind Connection

Overcoming Our Carnal Mind – The Disciplines (Part 1)

Overcoming Our Carnal Mind – The Disciplines (Part 2)

Overcoming Our Carnal Mind – The Disciplines (Part 3)

Overcoming Our Carnal Mind – The Disciplines (Part 4)

Adjusting your conflict attitude

Overcoming Our Carnal Mind – Postscript

Our Purpose

Approximately ten years ago, I attended a lecture on the physiology of the brain – at a workplace leaders’ conference. What was I doing at such a lecture? What was such a lecture doing at a workplace leaders’ conference? God orchestrated that lecture, at that event, for my edification and encouragement.

The presenter showed us how scientists observe physical changes in the brain of patients recovering from alcoholism; that new electronic pathways are created over time. It occurred to me that this research scientist was talking about the renewal of the mind. I came to understand that the renewal of the mind is as much a supernatural miracle – at the physical level – as the healing of terminal cancer through prayer (something I have also witnessed). The notion captivated me.

This discovery connected well with my prior vocation, where I worked with a team of enterprise architects to change the way banking executives thought about the use of technology. Our ultimate purpose was to transform their business with technology. We called this “changing their paradigm”. The analogous term in Scripture is “mindset”; others prefer “worldview”.

Whatever you prefer to call it, I spent more than a decade in the technology field proving that changing someone’s paradigm is much easier said than done. As promising as technology was to their bottom line, the executives I worked with resisted us religiously. Why? Because it required them to change the way they did business – to transform their thinking about work.

The ensuing twelve years of workplace ministry have proven that the mind’s resilience to change exists in every sphere – no less with my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is lamentable; for our transformation into the image of the glory of the Lord requires the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2; 2Corinthians 3:18).

Over the years, this matter of the mind has become increasingly important to me. I have tried to make it important to others. And so, we’ve come to the writing of this short thesis and study – to encourage and help Christians think about the way we think, and to empower them to think in line with God’s prescription for the renewing of our minds.

Ultimately, my hopes and prayers are for transformation and reformation of the church in America. Read the rest of this entry »

Our heart’s desire is that you have yours in the coming year. I am sure you feel the same about those in your spheres of influence and responsibility. And so, I offer you three year-end encouragements. Please pass them on.

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

First, the LORD has promised to give you the desires of your heart. Consider that for a moment. Every desire God has placed in your heart, for every good work He created you to walk in, has been promised to you by the Creator God. Nothing is impossible, if it is in His will… and you meet the condition.

The only thing that stands between you and those desires is your unwillingness to be soft in Him. That is the meaning of “delight” in this verse. Encouragement #1: Be soft like clay in the Potter’s hands.

Second, God has a way for everything – including the way we manage our time. I recently wrote an article that speaks to this subject. Encouragement #2: Make whatever sacrifice is necessary to spend time with the Father that very much enjoys speaking with His children.

Third, humility is indispensable for the Christian… and likely something different than our minds have been led to think. A. W. Tozer, in his book God Tells the Man Who Cares, puts it this way:

I have met two class of Christians: the proud who imagine they are humble and the humble who are afraid they are proud. There should be another class: the self-forgetful who leave the whole thing in the hands of Christ and refuse to waste any time trying to make themselves good. They will reach the goal far ahead of the rest.

God is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure, which is to give us His kingdom (Philippians 2:13; Luke 12:32). He works best in and through those that have committed their entire way to Him (Psalm 37:5). Encouragement #3: Pray for me and others you love in this regard.

God bless you with the desires of your heart.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

P.S. Please continue to pray for An Enemy Lies Within. We are nearing completion, but there is still much to do and funds yet to raise.

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