Divine Recipes

Suggested Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14-17

“All Scripture is…useful.” (2 Tim. 3:16)

The Bible is meant to be understood and followed as a whole, not solely in scattered parts. Look at Romans 8:28, the part about everything working out for my good is very pleasing to my taste-buds but what about verses 18-27? There I find content concerning suffering, future glory, weaknesses, and my great Intercessor. One verse is great, but consumed as a whole, it takes on new life, new meaning, and affects my heart the way it was intended.

I’ve discovered many books have provided unique applications when I understand the author, the audience, and the culture. All of these facts help paint a picture of the circumstances the passages were written under and enhance their purpose.

Can I take and eat a bell pepper?

Sure I can. In fact, I think they’re pretty tasty in their raw form.

But if I take the same pepper, follow the recipe,

 understand the other ingredients

 and use them as directed,

I create a masterpiece of delight for my taste-buds.

 

This not only pleases me, but those around me benefit.

The Bible is my recipe book for life. Each ingredient (verse) tastes good on its own and serves a purpose to my spiritual health, but when I choose to take the time to understand the entire recipe, how it fits together, what its completed picture looks like, and how to get there, the individual ingredients take on new life.

As I follow the recipe I get a result very similar to the original intent: a life manifesting the characteristics of Jesus, living under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Is the completed picture a perfect resemblance of the original?

No, it can’t be perfect, but it can be close!

One day the Master Chef will create in me that perfect glorified manifestation of his recipe book, and then I will look, feel, and taste exactly how I was meant to. Until then, I can follow the recipe as it was designed, as a whole, and resemble a likeness very similar to the One who created it.

I’m Hearing Voices…

“Every negative thought about yourself or another person is not from God. It cannot be from God. It is either from the Enemy, the World, or the Flesh,” Steve told me after I asked him about the negative thoughts that had possessed my mind for two decades.

Such a simple statement and yet the truth is profound, even life-changing for someone like me. I started hearing that “voice” at a young age, maybe 6 or 7. The voice said, “You’re not good enough” and “They don’t care about you.” I also heard voices like, “He’s such a jerk” and “She is always using you, wiping her feet on you like a doormat.” I’d venture to say I am not the only one who has experienced such mental interference. Even in prayer the voice interrupts. “God doesn’t want to hear from you” and “Isn’t it selfish to pray for yourself?” What would my life look like if I believed these lies and behaved accordingly? Well, until recently, my life took on the form of these lies through my behaviors. It required honesty, confession, repentance, and spiritual warfare to break free from those chains of bondage.

Any voice of condemnation, shame, or slander could not come from my Holy Heavenly God. When I look at my husband and think, “He is so mean”, I can acknowledge this voice for what it is: a liar. I can acknowledge where the voice came from: the Accuser. I can renounce the enemy and his lies, and choose the way of truth: “God so loved the world” (Jn. 3:16) and “He first loved us”. (1 Jn. 4:19) All of us were created in His image (Gen. 1:26) and I am to think and act blamelessly towards my fellow creations, regardless of how I’ve been treated.

*Recognize the Enemy’s influence in my thought life:

“How is it that Satan has filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?” (Acts 5:3)

*Recognize the World’s influence in my thought life:

“We know…that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1 Jn. 5:19)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.” (Rom. 12:2)

*Recognize the Flesh’s influence in my thoughts.

“For the sinful nature [flesh] desires what is contrary to the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:17)

The next time I hear the negative voices, I can identify where it is coming from and renounce it in the name of Jesus. “We also know that the Son of God has come to give us understanding, so that we may know him who is TRUE.” (1 Jn. 5:20)

I cannot think on what is pure, lovely, good and wholesome (Phil. 4:8) if my mind is filled with lies and slander towards God’s creation, people. I’m determined to make a daily trade in my stocks of beliefs. I’m trading the lies for the truth; what is ugly for purity; what is demoralizing for what restores. If my gaping wounds of lies are left open, they will quickly fester into infection of more lies. The only way the wounds heal is if they are soothed with the balm of truth.

Lies steal; truth heals.

“[I] demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and [I] take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)

“By faith I choose to be filled with the Spirit so I can be guided into all truth. I choose to walk by the Spirit so that I will not carry out the desires of the flesh. I choose to renew my mind by the living word of God in order that I may prove that the will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect. I put off the old self with its evil practices and I put on the new self. I declare myself to be a new creation in Christ.”Statements of Truth, (The Steps to Freedom in Christ -Neil Anderson)