People tend to convict and devour one another. Often times combating that looks like structuring words and actions to make one seem holier than they really are. Few have become fully pleasing to The King, some have, but few, very few.

Satan’s armies keep people away from the truth: truth from without and within. They make people believe in a relationship that is not there yet, or is not as deep as a man believes it is. In Christian circles everyone agrees that they believe in Our Savior and the power of His work when He sacrificed Himself for us. Satan is using the words in people’s mouths to trick their minds into thinking that their hearts really do believe. If a man were to be blessed with God showing him what his heart really believes, that man’s life would be undone and everything would be changed forever.

How do the previous few sentences begin the final part of Facets of Faith? Take what was learned in the previous post. Remember, this final part is a tribute to those who have pointed the finger inwardly, who read His word and recognize that “the world” and “man” and “Jacob” is talking about flaws they have, instead of pointing the finger to the world around them. Sure, the world is flawed no doubt and needs plenty of finger pointin’. This post is about having faith (operating based on hope) that The Father desires deeply to change you and make you perfect here in this life: The Father, The Son, mom and dad, teachers, the government, your boss, the devil, your spouse, none of them are stopping you from living righteously. You and your decisions are either stopping you, or they are building you into a mature man of Elohim.

<Not that I have already attained, or am already matured; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua has also laid hold of me… one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead… Therefore let us, as many as are mature, be of the same mind.>

Let’s comb through this verse knowing that The Savior is real good at saving us from ourselves if we let Him.

For which Messiah laid hold of me: The very reason why Messiah laid hold of Paul, the goal and purpose of their relationship is for Messiah’s maturity to live through Paul. He wants this for as many as are faithful.

Forgetting those things that are behind: There are so many things in a faithful person’s past, but one of those things is the belief that God is not bigger, much much bigger than the enemy: our imperfections, fears, shortcomings and habit to sin is all under The Father’s authority, not the other way around like the world teaches today in church. Make less excuses and apologies today than you did yesterday and you are doin just fine.

Those things that are ahead: What things are ahead? Glory land, matured bodies, mercy for sin and a close relationship with a just and ever loving Father and God whose compassions are as deep and wide as His perfect judgment.

Be of the same mind: Right now, most all people of the world have given up on bettering themselves to the degree that Scripture promises they are capable of. Most men simply settled in the one step they made so many years ago to accept that there is a God, that He sent His Son, and that everything, one day, is gonna be ok; that certainly changes a man for good and for life. Unfortunately though, the belief becomes stale in thinking that for now, just rely on mercy and try not to do anything real bad. That mindset is not life and peace, but corruption, death, heartbreak and despair: all the things that satan has designed for you. Righteousness means not giving up on a path that requires constant learning, challenge and growth into a mature, fruit bearing branch in His garden.

Imagine what it would be like if you and all your friends and family had a different mind? Instead, a mind that sets it’s eyes on the goal to be mature in The Savior, reaching forward to those things which are ahead, and working with The Savior in the very thing that He has patiently endured laying hold of you for. All it would take is a small percentage of people to be of that mind for the mess that this world is in to turn around and save many before the coming of the end of the age.

This here is a bit of a rough subject, but saying you don’t believe is actually the beginning of stepping into the realm of true relationship with The Savior. As contradictory as it seems, it works in a preternatural and sensible way. Sensibly, operating based on true things tends to line up situations better. Spiritually, The Savior works wonders for a man who has found and operates based on truth without and within. In fact, truth is so important that He likens it unto the piece of armor that connects all the other pieces of armor together: the belt.

Not believing has thousands of flavors from full recalcitrance that leads on through the valleys and mountains of self deceit, to skillfully and purposefully masquerading like one believes to deceive and finally intimidate others. A relationship with The Savior on the other hand has it’s foundation in truth in so many ways. You have to be honest with yourself and with Him about your unbelief or you will continue to be deceived. Try to take a step in humility and admit to yourself that even though you say you believe, you don’t always believe deeply. In other words, your life choices do not always reflect the faith you think you have. Dont just admit this, but have faith that He can turn it around if you are obedient to Him. This will make the difference you have been hoping for, or maybe the difference you have lost hope in long ago. Faith that lines up more closely with His will and character instead of the dead man’s desires, self defeating thoughts, and deceitful character is life and anything short of faith is death. But be careful, loved ones, for the ungodly stumble in making the very same decisions that cause His true followers to triumph. If you are not going to be serious about following through, consider taking it seriously. This is another alter call opportunity for you my friend.

If those ancient gates are open, do not squander the opportunity: get on your face before Yahweh and beg Him to change your life. Stop making Him wrestle you, let your heart be soft, and give Him the throne that is on it. Then, follow through when a decision comes that threatens the vows you have just made. Relying on mercy is not without repercussion.

Faith must be buffered. going outside your comfort zone to make decisions is part of everyday life. How can you ensure that your faith is being exercised in maturity? Studying Scripture is far less effective in the matter of regurgitating words to fellow believers in order to prove you or your friends are right. People with misguided thoughts in the Bible will become better guided through prayer in Scripture reading and being around people they trust and would be less apt to argue with.

Studying Scripture is purposed that you can change you. Place yourself into the story and imagine the social network of that story; the implications of the words and actions of the people in the story; and how in the heck that story made it into Sacred Scripture when there are billions of stories in history. Ask yourself, why is that story there? What is He trying to do in my life right now through this story? And how is this going to change who I am to make me a more suitable bride for a King? Be a little selfish, those lessons are for you.

Faith, sometimes, is painful both physically and emotionally. Sometimes, when one exercises faith, the people around them pick up their weaknesses and stab them out of self defense or bad habits. Faith can be built in your life by spending time with The Son a few times a day, alone. Pray to Him. Open the book knowing that it is true, like we talked about in Part One. The King helping you to understand how it is true is part of deepening your faith, like the lesson taught in Part Two. Don’t just study it for deep meaningful conversation with others who love Him, try to get a deep and full understanding of it for His sake and the relationship He has been working hard on with you, as you just took the time to learn. Your potential for being righteous with Him is truly without end.

Ask questions and endure. This will help you in your personal walk. He can’t be there as much for you if your focus is on someone else. Long-suffering is a huge accolade for any warrior and warrior is the job title that over arches every one of us who are truly walking humbly. Are you letting the world change you or are you letting Him change you? You will be humble to one or the other. It is normal to be a little scared. His commands frequently remind us to take up courage and be strong, shunning the fear of the world. God loves you and His desire is for you to be more like Him through changing the decisions you make and the skills you use to handle things. Try to change based on faith in The Savior. He will save those who are ready. If you did not need saving, there wouldn’t be much point for Him: His very name means Salvation The Anointed One. The first thing He did for His children was to get them out of Egypt. Next, He worked for several decades to get the Egypt out of them. Do not stop at being taken out of Egypt, for He shows favoritism to no man. Blessings to you brothers and sisters and be strong in faith.