Random Ramblings

Archive One

Tenacious

I want to launch a new phrase or word that is the theme of this article and what I wish for my life. After reading Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest on February 22, I was inspired to become “tenacious.”

Tenacious comes from the Latin “tenax,” to hold to and not let go.” To be tenacious is to follow the words of Winston Churchill during WWII—“never, never give up!”

I am launching the TENAX Society for those who wish to be tenacious in their pursuit of the Kingdom of heaven.

You have to know me for the irony of this to grip you. I put the “Tim” in timid, pun intended. I have struggled with fear all my life. I know my mom meant well, but her parenting style made me afraid of everything. You know what I mean. Every mother, in order to protect her child, has said, “Don’t do that; it will hurt you!” I know she loved me, but although unintentionally, fear was her way of motivating me. Not in small ways, but in some very significant issues in life, I lived in fear—abject fear of punishment and what people thought of me. I was, in many ways, controlled by the fear to please everyone. This intense phobia came to a point several years ago when I had entered into a business project with some friends and a very wealthy businessman.

I had no idea what I was doing and soon found myself agreeing to things that I did not understand. I was in way over my head, and in my ignorance and maybe greed, the one member of our team I trusted got shut out of the plans. The weaknesses of the rest of the team were revealed, and the partnership was dissolved. We had agreements in place, but the family of the wealthy businessman thought we had taken advantage of him and came after me for a large sum of money which I did not have.

For almost a month, I fretted about it. I worried and was full of anxiety. I knew I had done nothing morally wrong. I was guilty of ignorance but did not owe the sum being demanded. Nevertheless, I was consumed with fear. I could not sleep. I lost 25 lbs worrying over it. Finally, the Lord was gracious to me, and I experienced the most precious rescue I have ever known, apart from my salvation. 

I lay in bed paralyzed by fear, afraid to move when the Lord visited me, and I saw three large spikes of black oily substance removed from my body. It was like the Lord was removing age-old splinters from my near-lifeless corpse. Once they were gone, I was free! I could think again, maybe like I never had. I was free of fear. What had once plagued me like an unhealed wound was now completely absent. The removal of fear from my life that day has persisted in freedom from fear ever since in every part of my life.

I no longer worry! I fear nothing now! The enemy had used fear to control me and prevent me from doing what God called me to and being who God made me to be. My progress is by no means complete, but I am no longer hounded by the fear of fear. I am free. I have surprised myself with how bold I can be. I can now do what is right without fear holding me back!

I have asked the Lord to make me tenacious. This does not mean I will storm hell with a squirt gun, but I do not want anything to hold me back. I do not want to hold myself back because I am afraid of what people will think. On People-pleasing Lane is a terrible, fearful place to live. I still want people to like and respect me, but I do not let what they think or, better, let what I think they feel about me control me.

Join me as charter members of the Tenax Society as we choose never never to give up!

WAIT?!

Waiting on God is not wasting time.

25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. 27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? 28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

The Lord asks the prophet, “Who is like Me? Who is my equal?" Of course, they are rhetorical questions as God directs the prophet to look on the world and see Who created the wonder and the beauty as well as the multitude of life? God calls everything by its name, denoting ownership, and intimacy. It is the Holy One who gives life and the power to sustain it. Nothing is hidden from Him, especially the plans of one's heart. God does not suffer fatigue. No one can understand Him or know His wisdom unless it is revealed to him. He is strength for the weak and the source of power for the powerless. Even young people in all their youthful vigor will tire and eventually be unable to move. 

BUT,

Those who continue to trust (believe & obey) God shall invigorate with fresh power: they shall rise on the wings of eagles, gaining God’s perspective high above all the chaos and confusion of this world. 

Those who wait will run and not get tired. And they shall walk and not lose heart. This is the reverse order of nature. Normally, we begin by walking and then we run before we learn to fly. God’s order is the opposite of man’s. It is supernatural. When we put our complete trust in God, we first fly at the highest levels in the stratosphere of heaven where God lives and rules. When we wait on Him, faithfully believing and doing His will, we gain His divine perspective, a God’s-eye view of things and we know all is well.

He sits enthroned in heaven and sees the beginning from the end and how everything unfolds according to His predetermined plan. When we wait, He reveals Himself to us so we can soar with Him and know His will is our destiny. 

When the time comes, we will run and complete all that He has given us to do. We will then continue to follow Him in His will as His will advancing the Kingdom and bringing Him glory.

So, we wait, laboring to remain faithful and obedient to His call. The call is irrevocable, but often, the vision requires fine-tuning. In a time of delay (waiting), plans will change, and God will renew the vision so we can follow Him. He is our goal and our prize. We are His instruments to be used as He wills. We know by faith He will not discard us. He has brought us this far; He will see us through to the end. 

2024 is the year of extraordinary usefulness. It may be hard to see at times when the trials of change and difficulty loom large, attempting to block out the light of His glory, but God will use us to impact the world for the Kingdom and bring Him glory!

This is the promise of 1 Thessalonians 5:24: 

Faithful us He that calls you; He will also do it!

Enjoy the delay, it's about to get really busy!

Who do You Listen to?

This question was posed at the annual Sonslink Network Gathering in January of 2024 by Don Wolabough. Peter in his second letter addresses this issue in chapter 2, verses 1-3:

1 But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their indecent behavior, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed, they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

These warnings are based on the previous verses written in chapter 1, verses 19-21, where Peter demonstrates his appreciation and dependence on the Word of God. He calls it "prophecy," the oral word (rhema) because there was no Bible then as we know it today.

Peter calls them "pseudo-prophets and pseudo-teachers. They look and sound like the real thing, but secretly, subversively, they are deceptive. The present destructive heresies that deny the Lord. This is the distinguishing trait of pseudo-leaders: they deny the Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

They lead others to reject the Lord, bringing on themselves swift and sure judgment. Sadly, many will follow them.

There are four main characteristics that denote these pseudo-prophets:

1) False teachers  use DECEPTION to lead astray. This has been the case since the Garden when the serpent deceived Eve. Jesus confronts the Jewish leaders of His day, calling them sons of their father Satan, the Father of lies. They deceive because they are deceived.

2) They wear DISGUISES. Paul describes this phenomenon in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15: Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and false teachers mascaraed as servants of righteousness, but we can know them by their fruit. We can know them by how they handle the Word of God.

3) False Prophets practice DISTURBING behavior. they act indecently and reveal their true immoral nature and shall not inherit the Kingdom (Galatians 5:19-24). True teachers of Christ exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit, against such things there has never been a law made to prevent. True teachers have crucified their fleshy selves with all its lust and live filled with the Spirit in Christ.

4) Their end is DESTRUCTION. Romans 1 declares that all are without excuse! God has revealed Himself in creation and now in Christ. His person and plans are evident to all who will see. Many have rejected God and thus God has abandoned them, "giving the over" to what they desire. The way of which is eternal separation from the Father.

We return to our original question: "Who do you listen to?"

Who do you let speak into your life? Who are you following?

More specifically: What do you read? What do you watch? What do you allow into your head that can influence your thoughts and lead your actions? 

We become like who we listen to. We copy who we follow. We know the true nature of a person by their fruit. 

Many want to use you, often for their own personal gain. They deceive and manipulate shading the truth.

Beware of those stretching the truth. Watch who you listen to. Observe what others say. Examine how they act before you allow what they say and do to influence you.

Above all, Follow the Truth that is in Christ Jesus revealed to us by His Holy Spirit.