47 thoughts on “Trained Themselves:

  1. This morning I turned to my favorite devotional (this season) by Gwen Shaw and this is what the Lord had said to her and she wrote it for this date: Jan 3.
    The Lord told her …
    “The hardness of heart grieves ME and it angers Me, for My children profess to know Me but they know not My will or My ways neither do they follow Me nor sacrifice to do what I desire. They do not what I desire.

    They do not know what is best for them so they often miss it by seeking to please their flesh or refusing to hear My voice.

    My child I desire to make the LAME ARMS whole so that they can reach out hands to the hurting to help and bless others. So many are crippled in the spirit because no one has shown them love. But if you look past hardness of heart in the congregation of the righteous and bring healing and wholeness to those who come for help and then you will see My glory. But do not let the hardness of others hinder you from giving help and MY love to the needy.

    This is a confirmation and a witness, to me. Sounds like the Spirit of God is telling us all that He wants us to walk in the straight path, following His leading and moving when He tell us and waiting when the cloud rests. That tis a desire of my heart to be able to hear the Holy Spirit in all situations and circumstances and especially when salvation and healing are His mission for which He can use us, and desires to use us if we will heed the Spirit of God.

    Practicing the presence and waiting, watching and listening when we want to jump off or jump forward is good TRAINING. We may have the God-given skills but training ourselves to listen to the Spirit and for the Spirit….that is PRACTICING will help us to discern what is flesh and what is Spirit. What pleases the Lord and what grieves Him.

  2. I’m often amazed that some people just by hearing in todays world can distinguish what is evil and what is truth. I found the following which was said by Spurgeon which hit on the hearing and distinguishing good from evil.

    Then there is the ear. We hear it said of some that they have no ear for music. We sometimes hear it said of others that they have an ear for music and they can tell when people are singing half a note amiss. How shocked they would some- times be with some of you who will persist in running away from our good leader, and getting a whole note amiss! But there are some who cannot tell one note from another.

    So is it in spiritual things, “Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound,” but many do not know the difference between the joyful sound, and that which is half a note lower. Why, dear Friends, when a Christian is well taught, he knows when a note goes too high and he says—“No, no, no. That
    Or when it goes too low he says—“No, that is out of tune.” He wants to have the keynote of the Gospel constantly before him, and any divergence from the grand old tune of orthodoxy, which he has learned from the Word of God, at once makes him feel wretched. He has a fine, keen, discerning ear. He can tell at once any mistake, and is not to be led astray by it. Hence it is that such persons are fit to hear the solid doctrines of the Gospel preached, because they have lis-tened to the voice of God. They have heard the charms of evil, and, by God’s Grace, have despised them. They have heard the conversation of educated saints, they have been taught in the ways of the Lord, and knowing, therefore, the difference between this and that, they can discern between good and evil, and are not to be led astray.

    Lord we pray that we become good listeners and that we will be able to determine immediately in todays world of conversations that which is evil and that which is good – train us so that we might be beguiled by the speakers of evil words.

  3. I would say we are not well trained if we participate with evil by not overcoming it by confronting it or if we do or say nothing even though we may recognize the difference. Distinguish means more than tell the difference between good and evil. If we don’t deal with it successfully, we are not skillful. It takes fighting vigilance and constantly staying alert and engaged and that is not comfortable and easy…it’s hard and work and we don’t always like that. So if we aren’t willing to work it, why would God bother giving us the discernment. If an athlete won’t work at the training to win the title, why would a trainer waste his time on him.

  4. Debi, I believe we so often are distracted and stay unskilled because we do not have the skill of confrontation. You spoke of confronting above and I agree with the statement but wonder if that is not where we need the training and help from the experts.

  5. Yes, I see, you are right about that.
    Maybe this is where somone or expert with the gifted skill to use the word of wisdom, knowledge or discerning of spirits could assess the situation and see the angle of confrontation. Fear can be a paralyzing distraction as well as feelings of inadequacy or insecurity, so I can understand how one would seek to avoid confrontation and need experts help when grappling with these feelings or issues.

  6. I am thinking if I am to confront someone it would not be to spout off my emotions or feelings but to openly confront a situation with help on how to solve the issues. Or, at least offer what I believe to be helpful or useful in given situation.

    Seems to me, way to often, we have issues with others and spout off our emotions and on to another day and time until our emotions wax strong and then spout off again. If I had to summarize my thoughts on confront, I would say, ‘work from a plan.”

  7. I understand, Sara, as you said, confronting someone WITHOUT offering a godly solution (a plan) or a rope of hope to someone would not be very helpful at all. One might unleash a load of frustration and anger or even righteous indignation but our spiritual goal would be to confront or rebuke for the purpose of reevaluation, restoration, and reformation.” Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, some fault, some transgression, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Gal. 6:1.”
    Here Paul is talking about believers.

  8. Spouting off emotions sounds like a sin and is surely not a fruit of the Spirit that we should possess. Proverbs 25:28 says this about it.” A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.” (Message)

  9. Yes I think that’s what Paul meant by GENTLY and HUMBLY on either side of the coin. Although Jesus had righteous burst of anger when He cleared out the sellers stalls in the temple. Be angry and sin not. There is a place for that kind of righteous anger and/or confrontation.

  10. Debi, that is a very vivid picture you have given us from Proverbs 25:38…When I think about a house with all its windows and doors knocked out I think about a horrid show. Just think about all the creepy things that come in by day and night.
    Bats, owls, bugs, cats and skunks…. pride,evil, anger, envy, jealousy and laziness.

  11. Debi, the archaic meaning of Jack o latern is ignis fatuus |ˈignəs ˈfa ch oōəs|
    a phosphorescent light seen hovering or floating at night on marshy ground, thought to result from the combustion of natural gases.
    • something deceptive

  12. The Jack o Lantern must be the one that cast forth evil. This made be think of your dream Debi of the candles that lost their strength to stand up right and cast forth their light due to the evil from the jack o lanterns or the deceptions on earth that caused them to slump.

    I also thought of another term, “Punching holes in your darkness.” this statement is of course the opposite of the dream you had. This is what Jesus does as seen by the story of Robert Louis Stevenson. Punching Holes
    A picture of this comes from Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, who lived in 19th century Scotland. “As a boy, his family lived on a hillside overlooking a small town. Robert was intrigued by the work of the old lamplighters who went about with a ladder and a torch, lighting the street lights for the night. One evening, as Robert stood watching with fascination, his parents asked him “Robert, what in the world are you looking at out there?” With great excitement he exclaimed: “Look at that man! He’s punching holes in the darkness!” With that one statement, Robert Louis Stevenson summed up Jesus’ miracle and teaching on spiritual blindness. Jesus came into this world and accomplished many great and miraculous wonders, yet his primary purpose was to punch great gaping holes in the darkness that shrouds us. He came to be the light to the entire world—he came to punch holes in our darkness.”

  13. Rena, in your quotes above, are they direct quotes from “Treasure Island? Was it his parents or nanny that asked him in the story? I need to get Jon’s old book out and read the story again. I see on the internet it is quoted by ministries in different ways. Seems like we spoke about punching holes in darkness on a blog earlier.

    But, for our purposes we are to punch holes in darkness. That is what I always thought we were to do! For instance, ‘something deceptive by the jack o lantern would need the true light to expose. Is that right? The questions asked in blog, are we trained, are we skilled, and in constant use of the light. I guess the lamplighter did this night after night. He would be considered skilled!

  14. True light would certainly be needed as one definiton of deceit is ‘a misleading falsehood’; subterfuge:something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity; “he wasn’t sick–it was just a subterfuge”.
    And a definition for deception: “An instance of actions and/or schemes fabricated to mislead and/or delude someone into errantly believing a lie or inaccuracy.”
    Only the truth can unmask a deception and reveal it for what it is.

  15. Scott’s quote: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” “Tangled’ = twisted “First” = intentional, “Practice to deceive”: it’s like becoming skilled at it.
    Some might become so skilled at deception that they even deceive themselves.

  16. I agree that we are not well trained. It takes consistant discipline to be well trained. If an athelete has a competition coming up, they will be focused and disciplined to train their phyiscal body so they will be at their best skillful level. If a pianoist has a concert coming up, they will disciplined and focused on practicing to improve their skills. Are we as disciplined as the athelete or the pianoist? Are we as focused? Why are we not trained as well? We can’t blame the coach or the teacher. I believe it is us. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a set date to use our training. If we knew when we would have to use it, we may be more prepared. We may train awhile, get tired and let our guard down for a moment. Usually that’s when we need to use our training the most. We are like soliders in a battle. They must always stay focused, disciplined and alert. It seems the enemy attacks as soon as our mind wonders and we lose focus on the task at hand. This can be extremely exhausting. We must train our minds, our physical bodies, and our spiritual bodies if we want to be well trained to distinguish good from evil. We are surrounding by evil and if we allow our mind to wonder away from Christ, we could get into trouble. We must be ready at all times…….

  17. I agree w/ you chickenfarmer about the need to be ready. Though I would like to (because I like to know when something is going to happen), I don’t think the excuse “If we knew when we would have to use it, we may be more prepared” will fly with the Lord’s training schedule. We have to keep fit in the winter, not sit and wait for spring training camp to begin. Otherwise why would He warn us to:
    “Be ready in season and out of season.” (2 Tim 4:2 NKJ).
    The hard, sometimes wearisome fact is that evil always seems to lurk in the shadows and the devil’s always on the prowl looking for dinner.

  18. Paul was well trained and he was able to confront Peter…..
    Galatians 2:11-21 “11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. 12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. 13 As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
    14 When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?
    15″You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. 16Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
    17 But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us sin? Absolutely not! 18 Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law-I stopped trying to meet all its requirements-so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”
    Paul was focused and disciplined. He was focused on Christ….

  19. Debi, you are right. We must be ready in all seasons. We must stay focused at all times. We must work through and persevere…

  20. Great dialogue. Made a good lunch buddy on this cold blizzard, windy, snowy, day in Northern Va.

    I am thinking most of us know good from evil! Do you agree? But, do we take any action against evil? I have some friends tell me, “I’m going to take a nap and forget this evil!” And, I say, “me, too” Maybe we need some training in the action to take? Much like parenting in many ways.

    We surely need support from another. Like the fat show I see advertised on TV. Omg, I need a nap!

  21. I read an account in a book Sara gave me, “Catching Fireflies” by Patsy Clairmont about a parent who took action against evil while facing a difficult situation. A mother found out her nineteen year old daughter was using heroine and turned her into the police where she was sent to prison. The daughter accepted Christ while in prison and recognized that “her mom saved her life…and Christ saved her soul.” Patsy uses this scripture to end the story…”Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.” I John 2:10 NIV

  22. Yes, that is the skilled “confrontational-ist.” ( I know that is not really a word but it fits.) If we see evil and it is within our domain to confront then we must be prepared ourselves, built up in prayer, to face the person or situation. We have have a solution or a suggestion or an alternative for the person, especially if it is a child or a youth. But even with an adult there is a solution and we know that it is the Word of God….and it should be a Word FROM God.

  23. Cf gave am excellent example of Paul confronting Peter. She said Paul was skilled. Good thing because at times we think of St Peter as a hot head! Many things we can learn from Paul if we break it down and analysis it. Start with, he did it in front of others. The Word said ALL the others. Paul saw and he acted. Paul knew the law and he also knew the truth of the gospel. He really had lot of courage to do this. Wonder how many of us would have done this. Or, we would just go on having our little private circle of friends and family. Enjoy each one for what they are and give us and then leave them and love our next little circle. Hum, stands to reason we love division better than unity.

  24. I think when it’s for self, what’s in it for me, the private circles rule. From what chickenfarmer wrote “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”, Paul wasn’t in it for self and he wasn’t into controlling people or situations. He was free of that because Christ was in control in his life and Christ’s circle was and is the world.

  25. Sara asked me today to look up he Scripture about wise as serpents and I found it in Mathew 10:16
    New International Version (©1984)
    I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. (So I will hold unto and be obedient – there is a promise attached to scripture that it will not return void.)

    Why must we be skilled:
    Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
    As sheep in the midst of wolves – That is, I send you, inoffensive and harmless, into a cold, unfriendly, and cruel world. Your innocence will not be a protection.

    Portion of Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary:

    Thus Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with in his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and their ruin is sought, and they need the serpent’s wisdom. Be ye harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The disciples of Christ must think more how to do well, than how to speak well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape; for then it is not a door of God’s opening. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be striven and prayed against.

    Oh God we pray that we will not fear man or be entangled in a snare, but that we will walk in the way of the Lord and act and speak as He the Lord would have us speak and act. Lord keep training us through tribulations to be as wise as a serpebt so that we can face our tomorrows of trials and tribulations in a cold world but walk with the cloak of Jesus which cast off all evil.

  26. Genesis 3:1 says “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” NKJ
    other translations use these words in place of cunning:crafty, shrewd, clever, subtle.
    Barnes notes on the Bible says this about the serpent: “It is not the wisdom, but the wiliness of the serpent which is here noted. This animal is destitute of arms or legs by which to escape danger. It is therefore thrown back upon instinct, aided by a quick and glaring eye, and a rapid dart and recoil, to evade the stroke of violence, and watch and seize the unguarded moment for inflicting the deadly bite.”

  27. Good notes from Barnes for believers to pack in their lunch boxes. The notes from “Barnes” reminds me of our Constitution. I have so often seen politicians hold the constitution up in their hands during their speeches while making reference to their point. More recently I saw and watched the new speaker of the house have the members read aloud the constitution. I thought that was a brilliant move by the house speaker. I think we all needed to hear it. Barnes’ notes says, ‘the disciples of Christ must think more how to do well than speak well.”

  28. Debi, good war weapons for spiritual warfare. So often our prayers are long worded nothings. I think you will find the reference scripture for us of making long prayers so others can hear us. I am thinking make short words but make the deadly bite. Gee, don’ like to look at the serpent for just the reasons you have given yet we are to be like that.

    OK, wake up, O me!

  29. Here are two translations of a reference scripture for making long prayers from Mark 12:40:
    “Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.” NLT

    “He continued teaching. “Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preening in the radiance of public flattery, basking in prominent positions, sitting at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they’ll pay for it in the end.” Message

    It occurs to me that even in things like surgery today, physicians are making very small incisions (as opposed to the old long ones) to get in and out quickly, maximizing the effect, getting the job done better with less time, energy, etc. Patients heal quicker too. Oh, that we would be as precise and and succinct, minimizing our mouths but increasing the effectiveness of our words and actions.

  30. “The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God.”
    That which Rena quoted above from Matthew Henry relates somewhat to what I read in Gwen Shaw’s devotional this morning. She was writing on forgiveness and what the Lord had spoken to her about. He told her that it’s not what people do to you but how you react to what they do. He said that even if they have spoken cruelly to you, treated you meanly, destroyed your relationships, etc.They may have gone behind your back and and spoken mean or evil things or mocked you. He said to forgive! If your life is in danger, mental suffering too hard to bear, get away from it. Pack your bags and run; but as you run, forgive. Break the chain, and I will help you. It is the key to greatness of God to forgive and the greatness of God in you that enables you to do that.”

  31. Forgiveness beaks the chain of bondage that could keep you in the same painful state even after you are physically gone. Is that what Gwen Shaw was saying?

  32. Interesting…looking at what you’re saying from both sides of “physically gone”. I believe you are right in both instances in breaking the chains of bondage, that awful pain that “chains” us to the one who has offended us even after we are either physically removed from the situation and in another location OR even after we have been taken from the earth. Unforgiveness can follow us into eternity. Jesus said that if we do not forgive neither will our Heavenly Father forgive us. The Lord told Gwen Shaw this comforting context; ‘ when you forgive the Lord sends an angel of forgiveness so that when the apology or letter of forgiveness is received the spirit of forgiveness is released upon that person and they are able to receive and also to forgive.’

  33. Forgivness also seems to be related to weapons of warfare against Satan if I understand this scripture because unforgiveness is a sin:
    “When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.” (2 Cor 2:10-11)

  34. Good point, Debi. And also Jesus told the disciples that ‘whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven. And whose sins you shall retain they are retained.’ (John 20:23) Despite theological debates over whether one has to kneel in a confessional and confess to a priest, or if we can confess to the Lord in our own prayer closet confessionals; or if we approach one who has sinned against us and forgive them openly and/or personally; or if we forgive in our hearts those whom we cannot approach, who have left this earth…Jesus said if we forgive they are forgiven. The chain has been severed. Our being chained to them and the grievance, our being chained to a satanic hold because our hearts are not forgiving OR: remaining in bondage because we are chained to those against whom we have a grievance and have hardened our hearts to shun them and refuse to forgive for whatever reason. No matter. Jesus was explicit when He said after the Lord’s prayer that if you do not forgive, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you. And when you come to the altar with your gift and the Holy Spirit reminds you that someone has a grievance against you, leave your gift at the altar and be reconciled with your adversary, whoever, and then come back and offer your sacrifice, your gift.’
    We must humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God and in due time He will raise us up into Heavenly placesl

  35. To retain one’s sin(s) is very interesting indeed. The web dict. definitions of “retain” are as follows:
    To maintain possession of. See ‘keep.’
    To keep or hold in a particular place, condition, or position.
    To keep in mind; remember.
    To keep in one’s possession
    to be able to remember (information) without difficulty
    To hold in position
    To keep for one’s future use,
    All of these shadings of the definition can easily be transferred to the sin of retention.
    To maintain possession of a grievance, to keep it in mind and keep recalling it and to hang on to it like a forbidden or secret possession; to hold on to it to use it against someone in the future…all of these smack of what Jesus was telling His followers after the Lord’s prayer. If you do not forgive then your Heavenly Father will not forgive you. And can you imagine what a hellish life one would lead if they hold on to, keep and relish every grievance, insult, transgression, every error, sin, mistake and debt that someone has done against them? Yes,” to sin is human. To forgive is divine.”

  36. I have heard forgiveness only takes one and that is you. Reconciliation takes two and if number 2 is not on board forgive and travel on.

  37. That’s good advice.
    If I recall correctly, Sara, I think one time you also said to me something like this: just because you forgive someone (and I believe you were refering to someone who had been abusive and deceptive) doesn’t mean you sit down and have a tea party with them. I think that’s the travel on part.

  38. Many times when we work on our skill or trade we become discouraged, just tired. But, The Word of God foreknew discouragement would come at times. And, so He sent us an email saying, “Let us not become weary/tired in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

    Think about this, grow weary/tired…takes time but it seems to catch us. It’s like gaining weigh, eat one chocolate cake, so so, eat two, so so so, OK, eat one each and every day and the growing begins.

    Wonder what we have to not do so we will not grow weary/tired. If we take heed to vs 8 might help.

  39. I suppose we become weary/tired when we try to do the work of the Lord or any labor in our own strength. We know that it is the Lord Who strengthens us and “not by might (of our own), not by power (of our flesh) but by the Spirit of the living God do we devour “mountains”, uproot “trees” and cast them into the sea, by faith in God. God sends help in an ever-present, way by His Spirit, which blows from any direction as God ordains. And when we don’t listen to His direction or SEEK His direction, we find ourselves wearing out, becoming weakened because, literally, we cannot do it in our own strength. And the monstrosity of the issue boggles our minds.

  40. Sara’s recommnedation to us to read vs 8 will put our weariness in the right perspective “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” (Gal 6:8)
    The fountain won’t run dry from the eternal Spirit and the food won’t run out and there is a everready source of energy.

  41. An excellent point that I (we) learned in today’s teachings by Gary & Sara at church is something important to share with our dear readers. As Gary is teaching on living life INTENTIONALLY, that is with intention and determination; that is,” to live our lives according to a plan and to have spiritual goals and temporal goals.”
    Gary quoted a teacher (here paraphrasing) ” I can speak and get my voice into your eargate but to get the message into the heart takes the work of the Holy Spirit.” Then Sara asked, “How do we get the Word of God from our eargate down into our hearts, thus out of our mouths and resulting in action?”
    The liberating message is that we must by-pass our tilted minds,( our earth-bound-up minds, our closed and clogged-up minds, our unrenewed minds) and allow the Holy Spirit to deposit the message of the pure Word into our hearts. And then from the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak and the speaking forth will spur us on to action and good works according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
    But then, one might ask how do we do that? For myself, it seems to me that I must not put a judgment on the Word that I receive in my ear. I must not be a judge of the Word but a doer of the Word. I must not put appendages and disclaimers and stipulations and clauses and editing on the Word that God has sent into my ear. To receive the pure Word of the Gospel, without reservation or revision or deletions or conditionally but as the pure Word from the mouth of God, THEN the Holy Spirit will explain and reveal and interpret what that Word of God means for me to know and to DO! I have GOT to allow Him to speak in my heart because that’s where the issue of purity or contamination is incubated. if I override and debate and contend with Him over the Word and what it means for my spiritual life then I hinder God’s work and my spiritual growth is retarded.
    I INTEND to check to see continually that my closed mind will not hinder the work of the Spirit in my heart so that I will bear His fruit. And in bearing His fruit others will want to come and eat of the love, joy, peace, patience goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and SELF-CONTROL which will be the indication that HE is working in me. This, like Paul, I WANT TO DO with all my heart.
    From what Sara taught I got that we get spiritually deaf when our ears are clogged up with earfuls of the WORD of God but It has nowhere to go because we won’t allow it to seep into our hearts.

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