Trust and Obey

Posted on 01/04/2015 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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A REASON TO REJOICE

I have a reason to rejoice
I have a reason to clap my hands
I have a reason to lift my voice
and sing praises to the great I Am

I have a reason to move my feet
and take the Gospel into the street
I have a reason to lose my will
and let Jesus take full control

For you have set me feet to dancin'
You have filled my heart with joy
You have freed me from my passions
and filled me with the Holy Ghost

You have set my heart on fire
Fill my soul with your desire and
Melt me Lord 'til only you remain!


SING A NEW SONG

Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth
Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth

For God is great
and greatly to be praised
God is great
and greatly to be praised


I EXALT THEE

For thou O Lord art high
above all the earth
Thou are exalted
far above all gods

And I exalt thee
I exalt thee
I exalt thee O Lord


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Last week, we talked about the simplicity of the Gospel:

that God loved the world so much,
that He send His only begotten Son,
so that whoever puts his trust in Him,
will not perish but will have eternal Life.

We considered that neither
Saying a sinner's prayer, nor
Asking Jesus into your heart
are necessary for Salvation.

And neither is
Believing in a list of doctrines, or
Having the tenants of the Faith in your head, or
Prescribing to any thoughts or mental persuasions.

And today, I'd like to continue from there.
And perhaps help to dispel a few of our own dilusions.

It's beyond easy to fool yourself.

In fact, NOT fooling yourself is the real challenge.

Did you think that,
when I said trusting in Jesus is
the only requirement for Salvation,
that I meant it's okay for a follower of Christ
to continue choosing to live in sin?

Well, let me make this unpopular statement:

If you are comfortable in your sin,
you are not fully trusting in Christ,
and the Person of God is not in you.

Let me say that again,
in case you escaped offending yourself:

If you are comfortable in your sin,
you are not fully trusting in Christ,
and the Person of God is not in you.

Of course, by "Person of God," I mean
the dimension of God that convicts us of sin.

If you are not convicted,
then you are not connected.

But connecting is as simple as
learning how to trust.

There is the kind of so-called trust
that really means you don't
concern yourself with something.

"Well, I tell myself my sin doesn't matter,
and I trust God to not care about it."

When we drive somewhere,
we trust that the road will not
crumble under us.

When we drive over a bridge,
we trust the bridge will hold us up.

If we drive off the edge of a cliff,
trusting that the air will carry us safely along,
isn't the kind of trust that saves.

Driving off a cliff with happy expectations,
is delusion.

And delusion never saved
anyone from anything,
except for maybe the truth.

You see,
God calls us to walk in the Spirit,
and not in the Flesh.

Of course the Flesh
pats its self on the back,
and congratulates its self
for walking in the Spirit.

But the Flesh cannot walk in the Spirit.

It cannot understand the Spirit.

It cannot see the Spirit.

It cannot hear the Spirit.

The Spirit is completely out of its realm.


You see, the Flesh is the inordinate human mind.

What does that mean?

Well, "inordinate" means this:

not within proper or reasonable limits;
immoderate;
excessive.

That tells part of the picture.

Take a look at society from outside the mind,
and you'll see a bunch of minds walking around.

The beings those people really are,
are fast asleep in the dreams of the mind.

They aren't where they are
experiencing what is there.

Rather, they are somewhere else,
some time else,
and they see what is
through the filter of what was,
or what they think should be.

To most people, "reality" means their story.

To most people, "reality" is their job.
Or their relationships.
Or their financial situation.
Or their sickness.
Or their nationality.
Or their religion.
Or their beliefs, or lack thereof.
Or their dreams and desires.

In other words, to most people,
"Life" and "reality" means "mind stuff."

That's why I say we are seeing minds walk around.

Of course the mind argues that all those things ARE real.

Well, in a way, they are.
Dreams are real in a way,
so all this mind stuff is real in a way, too.

The answer is not to deny they exist, any more than you should claim you didn't have a dream.

But do you believe your dreams are what's real?

If you take your mind stuff seriously,
you are doing exactly that.


Okay, so what does all this have to do with trust and with sin?

Well, just like the person who trusts the air to keep them from falling to the bottom of the cliff,
we put our trust everywhere else besides in God.

Why?

Because our attention is everywhere else besides in what is real.

The moment someone says God isn't real,
they are displaying a symptom of the sickness caused
by keeping your attention, and thus trust, in the mind.

The mind isn't a enemy you need to destroy.
But the Flesh,
which is the mind that is exalted
above what it actually is,
the Scriptures tell us to crucify.

Galatians 5:16-17 (KMV) says this:

16 This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfil the desires of the flesh.
17 For the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are contrary to each other, so that you cannot do the things that you have resolved to do.

We tend to read that second part, and forget the first.

"The flesh and spirit war in me, so I can NOT do the right thing. It's not my fault."

But what did verse 16 just get done saying?

"Walk in the Spirit, and you will NOT fulfil the desires of the flesh."


But here's the catch:
The mind can not walk in the Spirit.

Remember, the Flesh is what?
The Flesh is the human mind
that has been exalted above its station.

The mind is nothing more than a tool.
We were meant to use it when needed,
and ONLY when needed.

It's like a computer.
We should use it when needed.

Of course we can also have fun with it.

But when we cannot stop using it,
that tells us there is a problem.

"I haven't been getting much sleep lately."

"Oh? Why is that?"

"Well, I can't turn off the computer.
I try to lay down,
but I get back up and sit at the computer."

Sounds like someone needs some serious help, doesn't it?

But when the computer is the one inside one's head, everyone thinks that's just normal.

Well, it IS normal.
And it is also a serious illness.

We are a species who are, as a whole, severely mentally ill.

We have exalted the mind to such a lofty perch,
that we have all lost our identity in it.
It takes on a life of its own.
It forms a "self," based on past, future, and stories about those two fictional times.
And we believe that "self" is who we are.

But that "self" is really just a part of the Flesh.

Yes, things have happened in the past,
and we all have stories about what surrounds us.

The sickness comes when we forget that those things are only as real as a dream.

And because we think those things are reality,
we become attached to them.

And this sickness is the Flesh.


Okay.

So all of that to say this:

In the Spirit,
you put your trust in God,
and you are saved.

In the Flesh,
you put your trust in things that aren't real,
and you live in fear, anger, doubt, and sin.

In the Spirit,
you cannot not obey God.

In the Flesh,
you need a list of rules to constantly steer you away from total destruction.


So is YOUR flesh totally gone?

If so, I humbly request to sit at your feet.

But if you think you have no Flesh remaining in you,
then it is most likely your Flesh that is thinking that.

And so we have the visible forms of the hidden Law of God.


"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The Spirit cannot not do this.

The Flesh has to remember this and strive to make it happen.


"Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto Me."

The Spirit sees God in everyone and interacts with them accordingly.

The Flesh sees whether it thinks someone is worthy of your help or your judgment, and must be reminded to act as though it's treating them like Jesus.


"Love your neighbor as yourself."

The Spirit has no problem with this, and cannot love the other any less than the outflowing of the same Life THEY are.

The Flesh tells itself that it does this, while coming nowhere even close.


"Love the Lord Your God with all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength."

The Spirit IS Love, and cannot not be IN Love with the God of Love whose Breath it is.

The Flesh doesn't stand a chance, and can only try to stir up feelings that it considers to be love, and try to do things that it thinks would be the result of that love.


And so we have the Scriptures.

The Scriptures contain human words that are meant to point us to the Word of God.

The Word of God is described as a sharp two-edged sword.

One edge is the Spirit, as it points our attention to the realm of Spirit.

The other edge is the Flesh, as it gives earthly instructions on which the Flesh can chew and with which the Flesh can struggle as it is slowly being put to death.


The Word of God is always Now.

Do you see the light coming from your computer monitor?

Or from the window in the room where you are?

Or from a light in that room?

That light is the Word of God in motion.

God said, "Let there be light."

That light His Word created had within it the wordless directive to continue to be created.

When fire burns, the light springs forth.

That is the Word of God in motion.

When electricity flows through the elements of your computer monitor, the light springs forth.

That is the Word of God in motion.

But once you start thinking about it and turning it into a belief, that's not it.

What I just said is not the Word of God, nor is it light.

But it IS the Word of God in motion.

The ability to breath.

The sound that delivers these human words to your ears.

The shapes that make up the letters and words that are the sermon notes that are guiding where these words go.


The chair on which you're sitting is the Word of God in motion.

The materials out of which your chair is made, God created them all.

Man might have altered them, mixed them, rearranged them; but nothing exists that God did not create.

So your chair, table, floor, walls, ceiling, are all the Word of God in motion.


The sounds around you;
the sound of my voice,
the sounds inside your home,
the sounds you hear from outside,
they are all the Word of God in motion.


But these things I just said, are NOT those things.


Trust and Obey.

All of this really IS related.

Trust and Obey.


If you only THINK about these things I just mentioned, then you are not experiencing them.

Words are worth anything of true importance only when they point us away from themselves.

If you're thinking about the rose, you are seeing it through the veil of the mind.

If you are simply THERE with the rose, you are experiencing it directly.


The Word of God is in motion only in the eternal present moment.

There is no other time.

No other time is real.

What you see in the mind is only a fantasy.

That fantasy might be ABOUT something that's real,
but the fantasy is not that thing.


We tend to be lost in a fantasy about the Law of God, and the Word of God.

And if we desire to obey God, we do our best to follow the mind's interpretation of its fantasies about the Law and the Word of God.

And that's good.

Wherever you are, that is where you are.

Love God in the dream.

Obey God in the dream.

But realize that most of what you think is real,
IS just a dream.

It is the limited fantasies of the mind.

And that is why, last week,
I said we shouldn't put our trust in
beliefs,
religion,
a sinner's prayer,
or following a list of rules.

None of those things are God.

And none of those things can save us.


Because they've been told this by humerous adults, some children believe the moon is made out of cheese.

Of course I personally don't believe the moon is made out of cheese.

I mean...

Why would God make the moon out of curdled baby food?

When samples were brought back from the moon, they didn't find any trace of any milk products.

But I don't believe in my belief that the moon is NOT made out of cheese any more than I believe in the funny believe that it IS.

Some of your beliefs are based upon facts.

But they still won't save you.

That's what I was feebly attempting to describe last week.

And my attempts this week are more feeble still.

But all of that to try to say this:

You can know if you're trusting in God by considering whether you are full present and thus fully in Spirit and fully in Love, or whether you are lost in the mind and identified with it, and thus walking in the Flesh.

To the degree that you are walking in the Flesh, you are under the outer forms of the Law, or Nature, of God.

Abstain from sexual sin, which is any sexual activity, whether in your mind or in the physical world, outside of that which you share with your husband or wife.

Abstain from gluttony, which is consuming anything to the point of either withholding from others or causing harm to yourself or others.

Abstain from idolotry, which is exalting anything to the place God should be -- including the mind and its beliefs and guidance.

Do good to others.

Don't hold grudges.

And we could go on.

As soon as it sees a rule, the Flesh either finds a way around it, or follows its letter and pats itself on the back for doing so.

But if or when you're lost in the mind and thus walking in its Flesh, those rules are necessary.

And if you're walking in opposition to any of those rules, then you can know that you are walking not in the Spirit, but are walking in the Flesh.

So if you think, "I trust in Jesus, and don't have to feel bad about sleeping with my girlfriend or fantasizing about so-and-so, or getting drunk,"

then you are not, right now, truly trusting in Christ, but you are instead trusting on the air at the edge of a cliff.


To trust God, you must encounter Him.

And the Flesh doesn't want you to do that.

"For the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are contrary to each other."

Sure, it will claim that it walks with God.

But don't trust in your mind's belief that you're walking with God.

Instead, put your trust in Him.


As Proverbs 3:5 (TLS) says:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding."

When we trust our own understanding,
we are walking in the Flesh,
and we get into trouble.

Charisma News posted an article asking why so many Christians are turning into atheists.

A former pastor who now calls himself an atheist,
said this:

"I don't think that God exists. I think that makes the most sense of the evidence that I have and my experience. But I don't think that's necessarily the most interesting thing about me."


The answer to why he believes there is no God,
is right there in plain sight.
In fact, he repeated it three times,
once in every sentence.

"I don't think that God exists. I think that makes the most sense of the evidence that I have and my experience. But I don't think that's necessarily the most interesting thing about me."

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding."

Another person was quoted in the article,
who said he used to be a Christian,
who became an atheist,
who is now a follower of Christ.

See if you can spot the difference here:

"Atheism doesn't pretend to have answers to every question. Losing God changed me. I no longer feel like I have to have answers to all the questions we face in life. I'm happy to look for an answer without finding one, and I'm comfortable with uncertainty. My faith is an act of simple trust now,"

"What I know is less important than what I do. Knowing Jesus is not an abstract set of information or a construct of dogma. Being a Christian comes down to the simple of act of dropping my nets when I hear the words, 'Come, follow me.'"


Do you see it?


The first one said,

"I DON'T THINK... that God exists.
I THINK... that makes the most sense.
I DON'T THINK... that's the most interesting thing about me."

And the second one said,

"I no longer feel like I have to have all the answers.
I'm happy to look for an answer without finding one.
I'm comfortable with uncertainty.
My faith is an act of simple trust now."

Then he goes on to describe the fatal flaw in seeing Life through the filter of the mind:

"Knowing Jesus is not an abstract set of information or a construct of dogma."

You can know ABOUT Jesus with the mind.
But you cannot KNOW Jesus with the mind.

Then he says that for Him, walking with Jesus is a simple act of dropping his nets when he hears the words, "Come, follow me."

That's a child-like trust.

Remember what Jesus said when the disciples complained about the children?

"Unless you become like one of these little ones, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

And that is where God is.

He could have also said,
"You cannot see God with the mind."

It's like trying to kiss someone with your elbow.
It just doesn't work.

Would you try to drink a glass of water with your eye?

Or eat a piece of bread with your belly button?

But we try to do EVERYTHING with the mind.

THAT is the Flesh.


Have I gone in too deep for you today?

Well, allow me to sum up what's really important,
in as simple and clean a way as I can:

- All you need to do is trust in God.

- If you are happy in your sin, you are not really trusting in God.

- Whenever you are practicing sin, you are walking in the Flesh.

- When you are walking in the Flesh, direct your actions to line up with the descriptions of righteousness found in the Scriptures.

- Above all, wake up from the dream.

- And trust Him to teach you how to truly and fully put your trust in Him.


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