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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 09-14-2018, 09:19 PM   #1
Trapped
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Default How do you know the Lord's leading?

I am currently in the middle of a situation where I genuinely do not know what to do. I have essentially two pathways - stay or leave. The Lord/the church is slightly involved in a peripheral way, but it is not an LC situation per se. That is to say, the situation is not whether I should stay in or leave the LC's.

My question is this: in scenarios where there is no Biblical principle or parallel to follow, and in a situation where neither pathway is a sin or immoral and right/wrong is not a factor, how do you know the Lord's leading?

As one who was raised a Christian but hasn't had much assured experience of the Lord's speaking, I am asking this of all my fellow Christians here on this forum. I have only had occasion to ask existing LC members this question and frankly their responses were wanting.

Regarding the Lord's speaking in a meeting one saint said "I sit there and listen to the brother and think to myself what could the Lord be saying to me in this message?"

Another one day told me "hello, the Lord doesn't actually speak to you" and then another day said, of their future spouse, "the Lord told me this was the one for me".....not realizing the irony in their two statements.

Another saint who had been in the LC's for decades and was in a position of certain responsibility said "I have never been able to get the Lord's speaking that way, what decision to take is just a matter of what makes sense, people say the Lord speaks to them but I haven't had that experience."

All of these answers blew my mind (not in a good way).

I have heard new ones who were strong Christians in other churches come in to the LC's and say "The Lord told me to come to the church in [locality]" but I never had a chance to ask what they meant exactly and how they were sure of that.

I know there is the matter of "what do you have the peace to do". For me in this particular scenario the answer is both and neither. Both scenarios entail equal pros and cons, none overly outweighing the other. I'm not sure if I would know "the peace" if it bit me in the backyard, honestly.

So here I'm less looking for LC commentary and more looking for people's genuine experiences/advice of how to know what the Lord's will is in these types of situations. The whole thing is so complicated, both pathways carry their own pluses and minuses, reliefs and distresses, I really just want to do what the Lord wants in this situation because I certainly cannot figure it out myself.

How do you know what the Lord's will is?
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

I feel for you, Trapped. I never know His will expressly either. My prayer moving forward in any situation where I have enough light to want to be in His will, but not enough to know what His will is.....my prayer is always that He guide my steps or direction by shutting the doors and opening the window....leaving me one path of travel (so to speak) and that be His will for my life. Tell Him you really want to know His will. Maybe He will tell you explicitely, in your spirit. Maybe He will work out all things for good for you, called according to His purpose. I know He is not limited by our concerns....if you simply put together all the facts of the situation, and choose according to your best human reasoning. He loves you! And it matters to Him concerning you! Ask Him for His opinon, then stick your face in the bible for an hour. I am always amazed at how He can shine into my oblivious head and heart! Let Gods' will be done in your choice.....in Jesus name I ask! Amen
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Hey, I found a word for you....Psalm 16 v11...Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy, at Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Trapped, remember, He is faithful to His word!
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

To help us make choices about matters which are not clearly right/wrong or good/evil we have the indwelling and the anointing:

1. The indwelling (Romans 8:11)
2. The anointing (John 16:13, 1 John 2:27)

But a more practical answer as to how we can make choices is found in Romans 12:2 which says:

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

So if we want to make the right choice according to God's will, we need only do two things:

1) be not conformed to the world
2) be transformed by the renewing of our mind

The right choices will flow naturally from that. Before we were Christians we lived according to what the world wanted, mainly because our minds were not transformed. But after becoming Christians, we can live according to what God wants, by the renewing of our mind.

I think many Christians see their life as being independent of God's, such that they worry too much about whether they have made the right decision, or having made a decision, worry too much about whether God is pleased with it.

But in reality becoming a Christian is about God's life and our life becoming one life. So that when we make a decision, it is not as if we are always making it independently of God, or that we must always seek Him for every little thing. When the Lord transforms our mind, it is not just so we think the right things, but also so that we make the right choices because our mind is transformed to make choices that are pleasing to Him.

The Christian life is a life of cooperation with God. God may have a preference, but at times leave the choice up to us, so that whatever "seems good to us" is also good to Him (Acts 15:28).

And in case we still worry, we can trust that God is sovereign, we can make a choice by faith, a choice that seems good to us, with all the information we have available, and knowing that if we have made the wrong choice, God is still in control.

For every day of our lives is numbered in His book, such that there is no choice we could make that is unsurprising to Him, or that He has not already accounted for in the plan for our lives (Psalm 139).

This way of thinking about God's leading is quite different to that I have heard in churches I used to attend. "lay out the fleece before the Lord", drawing lots, seeking the Lord for a dream or vision, these are all biblical, but more Old Testament - Old Testament people did not have the indwelling Christ. These methods may still work at times, but what if we don't have time to seek the Lord's leading? What if we have to make a decision on the spur of the moment? What if we are with loved ones or in public and cannot find a quiet space to pray or time to wait for God's answer?

We must still seek the Lord in prayer, of course, but do we realize that the end goal of our praying is not just to get an answer to the thing we are unsure about, but the transformation of our minds, so that the decisions we will make will be the ones God wants us to make?
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Hi Trapped,

What do you “want” to do? If you want to take a trip, for example, maybe He wants to take that trip.

Many times, when the situation is as you describe, I literally “take a step” in the direction I prefer. Not very spiritual. At the same time, my prayer is, “Lord, I don’t know what to do. I want to follow you. If you want to change my path, I will change with you, but for now, this is all I know to do.”

You might call it a leap of faith...or just one step. Make a decision, take a step, then trust He is guiding you. My prayer in the last year of change for me has been “Lord I will do whatever you want me to do.”

You asked for experience. This is mine. This is what I have practiced for many years, and I’m still here. Take one step, followed by another...and yes, sometimes a “backwards” step, but always a walk. The Christian “life” is a “walk”. Trying to “figure out” what to do didn’t work for me. Walking always works. I think that’s even Scriptural.

Hope this helps.

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Old 09-15-2018, 05:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

The answer may not really be so "spiritual" as some might think.

The answer may already be in front of you. It may simply be what you would rather do. If either choice is moral, righteous, not in contradiction to something clearly stated in the Bible, etc., then you have freedom. It is a theft of your freedom in Christ to come under attack for not arriving at some "sovereignly-ordained" response rather than simply taking the path you decide upon.

Even which job you take, where you will live, and who your spouse will be is not necessarily something predetermined for you (or predetermined as the "right choice") from the foundation of the earth. The key is to setting your mind and walking according to the Spirit. Take confidence that you will not go wrong in that.

I am not saying that the Spirit will cause you to go one way or the other where there is no obvious reason to care which one. But he might. Sometimes the decision is like being Jonah. But mostly it is not. If there is no compelling reason to reject one option, then you should be free to decide in a manner that maintains your peace within. Don't let the fact that you cannot define it as "God's will in his perfect time" cheat you of peace in your decision. I do not believe that you can find support for a predefined sovereign will of God with respect to every choice you will make. Man was created to bear the image of God, not to follow a script for a play that was written millennia ago. Your inability to "read" some part of that script is not a definer of your standing with God. Your belief in Him as evidenced by your continued following of Him (in the ways spoken of in scripture, not in whether to take the short way or the long way to the grocery store) is what matters.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Trapped, let me confirm the approach by OBW and Nell.

The LSM way produces paralysis by analysis. Because they are trained and indoctrinated not to make "independent" decisions, they end up making no decisions on their own. Then, a horrible side-effect occurs, which is the presumption that the Lord speaks thru the other members of the body. While not wrong, one then believes that being told what to do is safer and more spiritual than living one's own life.

Case in point was that LC brother who could not bring himself to help his sick wife do the dishes because he didn't want to do anything out of his "natural man."
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Trapped, let me confirm the approach by OBW and Nell.

The LSM way produces paralysis by analysis. Because they are trained and indoctrinated not to make "independent" decisions, they end up making no decisions on their own. Then, a horrible side-effect occurs, which is the presumption that the Lord speaks thru the other members of the body. While not wrong, one then believes that being told what to do is safer and more spiritual than living one's own life.

Case in point was that LC brother who could not bring himself to help his sick wife do the dishes because he didn't want to do anything out of his "natural man."
You are too correct, Ohio. I was trying to ignore the bizarre workings within the LC. But in that environment, you always have to "fellowship with the brothers" or you are on the outside looking in.

In 1982 I got a new job that was on the far side of Dallas county from where I lived. About 26 miles of terrible traffic no matter which way you went. After one month of driving it, we put our house on the market and moved. There was an LC in that particular suburb so it was an easy decision. But there was always some kind of cloud over us after that because we had not moved "in fellowship." It was never stated. But it was more than evident. I was not expecting it (so it was not just my imagination). But I saw it almost immediately.

Once you have breathed the free air outside the LC, and are no longer constrained by their myths, you realize that there really is freedom in Christ.

I think that it was still considered "church-hopping" even though it is a different city and we had as good reason to move there.
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

My advice: Go for it. Life is short. Of course, this doesn't apply to shooting heroin, robbing banks and leaving your spouse and children, but otherwise, go for it.

Waiting for "leaders" of "the church" to give you "proper fellowship" is a waste of time. They're compromised by a fallen human ministry which cloaks fallen human ambitions. Remember what Jesus taught us, that if you're great in this age you're nothing in the next.

Life favors the bold. Go for it.

(Of course this is all my personal opinion/bias & can be safely ignored)
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
Hey, I found a word for you....Psalm 16 v11...Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy, at Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.
This applies to Jesus, not us. See Peter's speech on Pentacost. Jesus alone is the Christ. Only inasmuch as "we see Jesus" a la Hebrews 2:9 can we begin to appropriate this word for ourselves. In the LC's me-first subjectivism there's a risk of displacing Christ. And the proof is when we're at a crossroads: if we've been looking at ourselves we get confused. Subjectivism no longer guides, and we'll have to go to ministry drones for direction.

Jesus' personal subjective experience, because of his steadfast obedience to the Father's will, remained tethered to objective reality. The rest of us, because of sin, should never trust our feelings and emotional responses. We are too easily deceived!

"I come to do Thy will, oh God, in the scroll of the book it is written concerning me" (Psa 40:7,8; Heb 10:9). Only Jesus claims the "I" and the "me" here. See John 8:29 for confirmation: "And the one who sent me is with me--he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him."

Watchman Nee's ministry of subjectivist "enjoyment" is a ruse to put us under "Deputy Gods" who are not gods at all, but fellow sinners like ourselves. Don't buy the lie.
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Wow, Aron...I have read so many of your posts as to trust your view. But I don't know if I am fully understanding your perspective here. I have so much to learn, or I should say, relearn. I have just seen dispensationalism, and rightly dividing the word into who He was speaking to, Israel or the church....this seems to make complete sense to me, and I asked a pastor I trust and he agreed it was sound. What is your take? I am in the place where I am still just getting my bearings, in a sense, realizing the depth of deception I was in, and believed. I am excited to look into His word from this new perspective....
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:27 AM   #12
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Wow, Aron...I have read so many of your posts as to trust your view. But I don't know if I am fully understanding your perspective here...
Yes this is my perspective. Not "truth" in some doctrinal/dogmatic sense. But it seems to be Peter's perspective (Acts 2:31), and Paul's as well(Acts 13:35).

Yet Lee (and others) felt that they could cut this off. They were free to see "Christ" in the windows of Noah's ark but not in the psalmist expressing fealty to God. Because, you know, the psalmist was a sinner. Yet neither Peter in Acts 2 nor Paul in Acts 13 took that route in interpreting Psalm 16 (which you quoted earlier, and I replied to).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The first book of the Psalms comprises Psalms 1—41. We should not forget that in this first book there are seven psalms which speak concerning Christ: Psalm 2, Psalm 8, Psalm 16, Psalms 22—24, and Psalm 40. ~Life study of Psalms.
Why isn't the obedient man in Psalm 1 also Jesus Christ? Or the righteous man who obeys God and is rescued from death in Psalm 18? Or the man who has the power to lay his life down, and pick it up again, in Psalm 3, verse 5? (cf John 10:18) This righteous, obedient, and faithful man trusts in God, and is rewarded for his faith. This is the "faith of Christ" of Phil 3:9. "He (Christ) trusted in God; let Him (God) save Him (Christ) now" ~Psalm 22:8; Matt 27:43.

Why should we ignore this, and look at ourselves, wondering if we will make it, when Christ already has?
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:44 AM   #13
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Not everything the Psalmist wrote is of the New Covenant/New Testament. For example, Psalm 139, which I referred to in my previous post, is a wonderful Psalm, about God's tender loving care, being knitted together in the womb, until it goes into hatred for enemies and his wish for God to kill the wicked.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:41 AM   #14
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Not everything the Psalmist wrote is of the New Covenant/New Testament. For example, Psalm 139, which I referred to in my previous post, is a wonderful Psalm, about God's tender loving care, being knitted together in the womb, until it goes into hatred for enemies and his wish for God to kill the wicked.
And how does this logic obviate 34 of the first 41 psalms, a pattern that continues in the following 110 chapters of the Psalms in the RecV? We go neatly from "not everything" to "hardly anything", and nobody even notices? How could Witness Lee teach like this in front of thousands and nobody said anything?

And why didn't Lee use this logic when the psalmist wrote of bathing his feet in his enemy's blood, and crushing his skull, in Psalm 64? There, Lee's footnote saw "Christ defeating Satan". . . why not elsewhere? And how come no one pointed out the inconsistency?

And why didn't Lee notice Paul's New Covenant/New Testament word that we fight not against flesh and blood but against evil spiritual powers - not against flesh and blood, but yes, we fight?

This is the peril of subjectivism: ultimately you take someone else's subjectivism as your own. Their fallen human imagination becomes your 'reality'. With Jesus Christ, yes; with a fellow sinner, no.

The question was, "How do you know the Lord's leading?" My answer is, first you have to see the Lord. He's right there, in black and white, in print, waiting for the Spirit's breath. John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Cor 2:10. What happens when the Bible expositor says no, it's merely the word of fallen human beings, mere "natural concepts" and "mixed sentiments"? My reply is, the fallen human concepts are rather those of the expositor.

"I (Christ) come to do God's will". It doesn't get much simpler than that. But first you have to see it.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Trapped, it may be hard to determine what the Spirit is telling you, if anything. Some Christians I know wait for 3 confirmations ... and even some of those turn out wrong.

But I think it's safe to know some things God is always saying. We can safely conclude that God is saying : "Don't join or stay in cults. Don't join any group that intervenes between you and I."
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:42 PM   #16
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This applies to Jesus, not us. See Peter's speech on Pentacost. Jesus alone is the Christ. Only inasmuch as "we see Jesus" a la Hebrews 2:9 can we begin to appropriate this word for ourselves. In the LC's me-first subjectivism there's a risk of displacing Christ. And the proof is when we're at a crossroads: if we've been looking at ourselves we get confused. Subjectivism no longer guides, and we'll have to go to ministry drones for direction.

Jesus' personal subjective experience, because of his steadfast obedience to the Father's will, remained tethered to objective reality. The rest of us, because of sin, should never trust our feelings and emotional responses. We are too easily deceived!

"I come to do Thy will, oh God, in the scroll of the book it is written concerning me" (Psa 40:7,8; Heb 10:9). Only Jesus claims the "I" and the "me" here. See John 8:29 for confirmation: "And the one who sent me is with me--he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him."

Watchman Nee's ministry of subjectivist "enjoyment" is a ruse to put us under "Deputy Gods" who are not gods at all, but fellow sinners like ourselves. Don't buy the lie.
I know that I had fallen into that trap....I did believe the Lord could speak to me through the saints, and that was probably why, when our older, trusted christian friend decided not to speak to me anymore, and angrily let on that she was following the Holy Spirit to do so, it was really scary and confusing, and ultimately, so damaging....I really was wavering inwardly.....was God Himself done with me? Was I being punished by God? Was He displeased with me? Had I sinned in such a way as to interrupt my true fellowship with Him? All these questions came up, I was rocked, you could say. But as I sought to know His heart through the scriptures, He continued in fellowship with me. The LCers stopped having any communication with me, but He did not. Actually, as the weeks unfolded post shunning, He unveiled all the error in LC practice, doctrine, allegiance through His word. He assured me it was not He rejecting me. He never once stopped 'speaking' to me, but led me into light and away from the LSM lie....I read the Acts chapters and I see now what you were referring to.
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Trapped, will you let us know how it works out for you?
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:51 PM   #18
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This is the peril of subjectivism: ultimately you take someone else's subjectivism as your own. Their fallen human imagination becomes your 'reality'. With Jesus Christ, yes; with a fellow sinner, no.

The question was, "How do you know the Lord's leading?" My answer is, first you have to see the Lord. He's right there, in black and white, in print, waiting for the Spirit's breath. John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Cor 2:10. What happens when the Bible expositor says no, it's merely the word of fallen human beings, mere "natural concepts" and "mixed sentiments"? My reply is, the fallen human concepts are rather those of the expositor.

"I (Christ) come to do God's will". It doesn't get much simpler than that. But first you have to see it.
Yes indeed. Much peril there. And anyone who slices and dices God breathed scripture into 'yes, divinely inspired' and 'not so much divine as fallen' has already gone so far from the true faith in God and His word as to be on the wrong path.....not to be trusted for sound christian advice any further!
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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I know that I had fallen into that trap....I did believe the Lord could speak to me through the saints, and that was probably why, when our older, trusted christian friend decided not to speak to me anymore, and angrily let on that she was following the Holy Spirit to do so, it was really scary and confusing, and ultimately, so damaging....I really was wavering inwardly.....was God Himself done with me? Was I being punished by God? Was He displeased with me? Had I sinned in such a way as to interrupt my true fellowship with Him? All these questions came up, I was rocked, you could say. But as I sought to know His heart through the scriptures, He continued in fellowship with me. The LCers stopped having any communication with me, but He did not. Actually, as the weeks unfolded post shunning, He unveiled all the error in LC practice, doctrine, allegiance through His word. He assured me it was not He rejecting me. He never once stopped 'speaking' to me, but led me into light and away from the LSM lie....I read the Acts chapters and I see now what you were referring to.
ByHisMercy, so glad this fiery trial has only served to prove your faith, more precious than gold. (I Peter 1.6-7; 4.12-13)
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:27 PM   #20
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And how does this logic obviate 34 of the first 41 psalms, a pattern that continues in the following 110 chapters of the Psalms in the RecV? We go neatly from "not everything" to "hardly anything", and nobody even notices? How could Witness Lee teach like this in front of thousands and nobody said anything?

And why didn't Lee use this logic when the psalmist wrote of bathing his feet in his enemy's blood, and crushing his skull, in Psalm 64? There, Lee's footnote saw "Christ defeating Satan". . . why not elsewhere? And how come no one pointed out the inconsistency?

And why didn't Lee notice Paul's New Covenant/New Testament word that we fight not against flesh and blood but against evil spiritual powers - not against flesh and blood, but yes, we fight?

This is the peril of subjectivism: ultimately you take someone else's subjectivism as your own. Their fallen human imagination becomes your 'reality'. With Jesus Christ, yes; with a fellow sinner, no.

The question was, "How do you know the Lord's leading?" My answer is, first you have to see the Lord. He's right there, in black and white, in print, waiting for the Spirit's breath. John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Cor 2:10. What happens when the Bible expositor says no, it's merely the word of fallen human beings, mere "natural concepts" and "mixed sentiments"? My reply is, the fallen human concepts are rather those of the expositor.

"I (Christ) come to do God's will". It doesn't get much simpler than that. But first you have to see it.
A better question is why are you so fixated on the Psalms and is it really such a big deal? Maybe everyone else thought nothing of it and you, well, everyone has their peculiarities and obsessions.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:13 PM   #21
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Everything everyone has said has been very helpful while simultaneously hitting directly onto the crusted padlock that binds me that I've carried around for years. I'm not saying the padlock is opened but just that you all have hit right on it.

On one hand I've lived my whole life observing and hearing everyone speak as if and live as if the Lord is communicating directly to them. As a young person I have several different memories of a parent driving me somewhere innocuous (say, Back to School Night or something like that) and halfway there for some reason they didn't "have the peace" to continue driving to it and we had to turn around and go home. I learned from a young age that "the peace" is the overriding factor that I could never reason against, further being complicated by the fact that it was never accompanied by an explanation. Often there was an apology if it was a let down for me, but I knew I just had to accept it because that was the only choice. So as a kid, "the peace" or "the Lord's leading or speaking" was at a minimum something distinct enough to disappoint your child over.

I think I've mentioned on another thread about being told in high school conferences that "the way" to choose a college was to write down your options on a paper, sit down and pray over those options, and go wherever the Lord is leading. Well of course I did that, but never got "the Lord's leading", so I got frustrated and just chose to go where I wanted to go. In college I had another big choice about studying abroad, again couldn't get any leading, and ended up having to do the "I'm going to take steps in this direction and if You don't want me to do it, then You have to shut the doors" thing. Well, He didn't shut doors even though there were many He could have, so I went through with it, and had a big negative experience as a result that has affected me since then. I always wonder if that was God "giving me what for" because I somehow didn't do what He wanted me to, even though I never got His leading about it in the first place when I gave Him the chance. In other words, I tried to get "the peace" about college and going abroad, didn't, and after the choice still wonder to this day what God's thought about it was. Did I make the right one? How do I know? Will I ever know? If not, how do you live your life that way, not knowing or having a gauge on what the Lord's feeling is about what you do? What is the point then? I've lived a lot of my life pushing Him aside but to find out that others who seem to live letting Him in end up living in practice without His actual input makes my head spin. I can't put the two together, given the way it was spoken about growing up.

The thought that the Lord speaks through others or through your situation has also always confounded me. More often than not "others" are just thoughtlessly flapping their tongues rather than being conduits for the Lord's speaking. Speaking through situations is problematic too.....I recall years ago I took a short class on a practical topic that was a big hurdle for me to even sign up for, given the context of this thread. I really liked the class but on the last meeting of it, I had an unusually, bizarrely, horrible time getting to class, so much so that I thought "does the Lord not want me to go to this class or something?". It struck me all of a sudden that maybe the Lord was intentionally preventing me from going for some reason and using the environment to "speak" that. I pulled over and was paralyzed by the thought of continuing on and possibly something bad happening because I chose to keep going even though possibly the Lord didn't want it. The other side of things was that there was a prayer meeting that night at my house that I was missing for the class. This hit me and I furiously "realized" that God wanted me to go to the prayer meeting and miss the last day of the class that I really liked. So I turned around fuming, missed the class, and went to the prayer meeting, telling God He had better make it worthwhile. Well, the prayer meeting wasn't anything special. I literally checked the news for a day or two afterwards to see if someone had gotten shot on campus the night I would have been there to see if the Lord had "saved me from something" by using the environment to stop me from going. Of course no one got shot. So I was just left with the thought, AS USUAL, that God does not like me having any simple, non-sinful, human enjoyment and rips it away wherever He can. So long story short, I just cannot live myself trying to read meaning into situational circumstances in that way. God may use both humans and situations in that way, but I have always had trouble with it.

I didn't want to get into the LC thing but given my background I really don't have a choice because that's the basis of the formation of the padlock in this area. Paralysis by analysis really is the case. Many years have gone by without any human growth or advancement in my life because I have been so conditioned to not take a step without a distinct word from the Lord, lest I have the gall to take one step without His express permission or direction. It is difficult to describe the weight this puts on a person and the unnecessary agitation and frustration it produces in what should be a normal human life. Somehow the balancing thought of compassion, mercy, and forgiveness from the Lord if we do something He didn't lead us to do got all but lost in what was spoken in the LCs, and the heavy insinuation that God would come down on you if you dared take a breath without His approval becomes a tight bind around your hands, feet, and ribcage. I'm just choked. It sounds crazy, but even something like "I want to go mini-golfing today, so I'm going to go do it" comes with massive chains and the fear that something bad might happen on the golf course if I did something like that without the leading or the "okay" from the Lord.

As an adult finally coming to the point where I care less and less about how I look vocalizing to people my bewilderment about the Lord in things like this, it is actually distressing to a certain extent to find out that others who have given their whole lives to the Lord also say they have never had the Lord's speaking, and are similarly shrugging their shoulders when it comes to figuring it out. I cannot reconcile being a Christian and following a Person who by all accounts doesn't seem to "show up". Is everyone else grasping at air like I am? I cannot live a life that way. Why does everyone seem to talk in concrete concepts about following the Lord and "the Lord spoke to me xyz" or "the Lord said abc"? Are they the loony ones? How does everyone else seem to be so much more sure and firm in their faith but when I dig into it I find out they aren't living "according to" any actual leading anyway?

Like I said, everyone's responses have been very helpful, and my ears are open for any more. I think if I had heard OBW's response of "The answer may already be in front of you. It may simply be what you would rather do. If either choice is moral, righteous, not in contradiction to something clearly stated in the Bible, etc., then you have freedom. It is a theft of your freedom in Christ to come under attack for not arriving at some "sovereignly-ordained" response rather than simply taking the path you decide upon" growing up then my life would have been very, very different, in a good way. I need to hear it every day for about 5 years though to make what I'm trapped by fade away.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:18 PM   #22
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As an adult finally coming to the point where I care less and less about how I look vocalizing to people my bewilderment about the Lord in things like this, it is actually distressing to a certain extent to find out that others who have given their whole lives to the Lord also say they have never had the Lord's speaking, and are similarly shrugging their shoulders when it comes to figuring it out. I cannot reconcile being a Christian and following a Person who by all accounts doesn't seem to "show up". Is everyone else grasping at air like I am? I cannot live a life that way. Why does everyone seem to talk in concrete concepts about following the Lord and "the Lord spoke to me xyz" or "the Lord said abc"? Are they the loony ones? How does everyone else seem to be so much more sure and firm in their faith but when I dig into it I find out they aren't living "according to" any actual leading anyway?
Thanks for sharing Trapped - I feel for you.

This verse came to mind - "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal 5:13

It's not overly spiritual, but powerful. It holds a simple-practicality that only the Spirit of God can deliver. May our God direct you to the truth, cover you with his comfort and protection. May he deliver you from deception and confusion and lead you to His wonderful grace. There are real Christians out there (firm in faith, not grasping at straws, etc) - I hope you're able to meet one soon and have these same conversations in person.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:56 PM   #23
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Trapped,

OBW's posts are gold. Ohio iced it. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free."

It sounds like seeing a counselor might help you, too.

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Old 09-16-2018, 08:15 PM   #24
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Trapped, I can completely relate to what you are going through. Also, I think obw had his finger on it. The work of God is to believe on His son. You have been set free by Jesus...He came that we might be set free....and His love, for the Father and us, is proven through His sacrifice on the cross. Just love Him and do your life. Look for Him in the word and assemble with the believers, anywhere, and just be free. Ask Him for His wisdom and make your own choices.

This past 15 months or so, I took up growing orchids and I cannot even begin to tell you how much pleasure it gives me. Coming from the LC mindset, I obsessively worried about my hobby, my selfish pleasure, and if I could be displeasing God and be possibly unaware of it....it is not sin, but I have been through the exact same conditioning as you, you probably know just what I'm talking about....well, this hobby is heavily dependant on having rainwater on hand, if you do not have a fancy reverse osmosis system....and twice over the summer, just as I had run out of the 400 gallons or so that I catch and store, the Lord sent showers that filled my barrels back up to the brim in about 20 minutes. I am talking about the day I needed it, it arrived. Twice. He blesses me and, I believe, He is happy that His little daughter is having more fun than ever. I cannot prove this, but I fully believe it.

He loves you Trapped. We are unable to see or quantify how much. All I know is, as a parent, it has to be a lot to sacrifice His precious Son, in Whom He is so pleased. He cares so deeply....look into His word, seek Him in prayer, and BE FREE, brother.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:21 PM   #25
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ByHisMercy, so glad this fiery trial has only served to prove your faith, more precious than gold. (I Peter 1.6-7; 4.12-13)
Thank you, brother. He redeemed me before I ever met the LC, and He had already taught me to talk to Him, and He drew me to His word....I had an intimate relationship with Jesus and could testify of His operation over me, many things and supernatural events which concreted my faith in Him....none of it having anything to do with the LC. He is so very faithful...
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:25 PM   #26
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I always wonder if that was God "giving me what for" because I somehow didn't do what He wanted me to, even though I never got His leading about it in the first place when I gave Him the chance. In other words, I tried to get "the peace" about college and going abroad, didn't, and after the choice still wonder to this day what God's thought about it was. Did I make the right one? How do I know? Will I ever know? If not, how do you live your life that way, not knowing or having a gauge on what the Lord's feeling is about what you do? What is the point then? I've lived a lot of my life pushing Him aside but to find out that others who seem to live letting Him in end up living in practice without His actual input makes my head spin. I can't put the two together, given the way it was spoken about growing up.

More often than not "others" are just thoughtlessly flapping their tongues rather than being conduits for the Lord's speaking. Speaking through situations is problematic too.....I recall years ago I took a short class on a practical topic that was a big hurdle for me to even sign up for, given the context of this thread. I really liked the class but on the last meeting of it, I had an unusually, bizarrely, horrible time getting to class, so much so that I thought "does the Lord not want me to go to this class or something?". It struck me all of a sudden that maybe the Lord was intentionally preventing me from going for some reason and using the environment to "speak" that. I pulled over and was paralyzed by the thought of continuing on and possibly something bad happening because I chose to keep going even though possibly the Lord didn't want it.
Trapped, you are "trapped" in the same fold (John 10) as your parents. It's basis premise is this: "God is out to get you every time you screw up." This really is a life of fear. As Nell said, experienced Christian counselors / pastors can help deliver you from this spirit of fear. Much of this excessive analysis paralysis is designed by this ministry to keep you padlocked in indecision. In this state you become robotically useful to the ministry but little else -- e.g. if your marriage fails, or your job fails, that's OK as long as you remain absolute for the ministry. This ministry bribes us to think "peace" within is your guide rather than faith in Him.

This fear causes you to second guess every decision you will ever make. Think about it. Whenever life gets tough, and you know "tough" happens to all of us, you will always be tempted to quit because of the fear that you made a mistake. Some of faith's hardest decisions are not made with any "peace" at all. Living in the LC is kind of like living in the military -- there's a certain comfort or "peace" in having others make all the decisions for you.

To a certain extent, we are all working thru these same dynamics. It definitely has helped me by fellowshipping with Christians outside the LC's. The healthy ones are not bound by the same shackles. They think differently. Our heavenly Father loves us, and wants to live thru your human life. Tell the Lord what you would like to do. Weigh your decisions against morality and righteousness. The Lord loves to be included in the thoughts and intents of our heart. But tell the Lord you need specifics, without which you cannot be responsible for "messing up." When trials come your way, never think the Lord does not love you, rather He becomes more near and dear. He is never mad at you, rather mad about you!

When I left the LC, I was so bound by this "one church one city" teaching, that I had to move to another city in order to meet with other Christian churches. Today I look back on this as kind of silly, but that's where I was at. I needed time to be "de-leavened" by researching the scriptures anew and learning from others. At the same time I left, a senior co-worker also was departing. He said that if asked, just tell others that I am just trying to follow the Lord. That helped to free me, and point me in the right direction.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:31 PM   #27
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Trapped, I can completely relate to what you are going through. Also, I think obw had his finger on it. The work of God is to believe on His son. You have been set free by Jesus...He came that we might be set free....and His love, for the Father and us, is proven through His sacrifice on the cross. Just love Him and do your life. Look for Him in the word and assemble with the believers, anywhere, and just be free. Ask Him for His wisdom and make your own choices.

This past 15 months or so, I took up growing orchids and I cannot even begin to tell you how much pleasure it gives me. Coming from the LC mindset, I obsessively worried about my hobby, my selfish pleasure, and if I could be displeasing God and be possibly unaware of it....it is not sin, but I have been through the exact same conditioning as you, you probably know just what I'm talking about....well, this hobby is heavily dependent on having rainwater on hand, if you do not have a fancy reverse osmosis system....and twice over the summer, just as I had run out of the 400 gallons or so that I catch and store, the Lord sent showers that filled my barrels back up to the brim in about 20 minutes. I am talking about the day I needed it, it arrived. Twice. He blesses me and, I believe, He is happy that His little daughter is having more fun than ever. I cannot prove this, but I fully believe it.

He loves you Trapped. We are unable to see or quantify how much. All I know is, as a parent, it has to be a lot to sacrifice His precious Son, in Whom He is so pleased. He cares so deeply....look into His word, seek Him in prayer, and BE FREE, brother.
Great testimony and fellowship!

Not a more beautiful fragrance in all the earth!
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:21 AM   #28
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why are you so fixated on the Psalms and is it really such a big deal?
I see that you've nothing of substance to address my critique, otherwise you'd offer a rebuttal. So the diversionary tactics continue.

I didn't bring up the Psalms, another poster did. I made a comment and was asked to clarify, and did (or tried at any rate). Then you started the diversionary tactics - "not every Psalm" is of the New Covenant. . . I responded and now, apparently lacking recourse, you fall back on "shoot the messenger". Your loyalty to your masters at LSM is revealed: when you can't defend the indefensible then it's time to throw the electronic equivalent of dust in the air.

As to my "fixation" on the Psalms, it's the most quoted book in the New Covenant/New Testament, and among the most crudely mangled by the disjointed exegesis of Mr. Lee. So it seemed like pretty low-hanging fruit. Your inability to address my comments on their face indicates that I'm on to something.

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A better question is why are you so fixated on the Psalms and is it really such a big deal? Maybe everyone else thought nothing of it . . .
A better question is, why so many "thought nothing of it" when the expositor made such a hash out of scripture, and blithely overturned clear apostolic precedent in NT reception? Were they that stupefied, or were they cowed into silence by the incessant drumbeat of "oneness"? And to the point of this thread, how can one know the will of the Lord if this is their ''Christ''?
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:08 AM   #29
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I see that you've nothing of substance to address my critique, otherwise you'd offer a rebuttal. So the diversionary tactics continue.

I didn't bring up the Psalms, another poster did. I made a comment and was asked to clarify, and I did ( or tried at any rate). Then you started the diversionary tactics - "not every Psalm" is of the New Covenant. I answered that post and now, apparently lacking recourse, you fall back on "shoot the messenger". Your loyalty to your masters at LSM is glaring - if you can't defend the indefensible then it's time to throw the electronic equivalent of dust in the air.

As to my "fixation" on the Psalms, it's the most quoted book in the New Covenant/New Testament, and among the most crudely mangled by the disjointed exegesis of Mr. Lee. So it seemed like pretty low-hanging fruit. Your inability to address my comments on their face indicares that I'm on to something here.
There is a much simpler reason why I have not addressed your critique here - this thread is not about the Psalms and we have already discussed this topic at length in other threads, in particular, the one from which you quoted me in this thread.


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A better question is, why so many "thought nothing of it" when the expositor made such a hash out of scripture, and blithely overturned clear apostolic precedent in NT reception? Were they that stupefied, or were they cowed into silence by the incessant drumbeat of "oneness"? And to the point of this thread, how can one know the will of the Lord if this is their ''Christ''?
You are casting doubt on a person's ability to know the will of the Lord based upon your dissatisfaction with Lee's footnotes?
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:21 AM   #30
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There is a much simpler reason why I have not addressed your critique here - this thread is not about the Psalms and we have already discussed this topic at length in other threads
More dissembling. Your only defense of Lee teaching that the bloody imagery in Psalms was either Christ defeating Satan or alternately "fallen human concepts" and unworthy of the NT, was "perhaps this is so".

And yes it's relevant. A make-believe Bible brings a make-believe Christ. This thread isn't about the Psalms - it's about how can anyone know the will of the Lord when they're under idiosyncratic, personalised theology. Question: how does one know the will of the Lord in the Unification Church, or the LDS? Answer: it is whatever church leadership needs it to be today. Not at all unrelated to our topic.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:36 PM   #31
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More dissembling. Your only defense of Lee teaching that the bloody imagery in Psalms was either Christ defeating Satan or alternately "fallen human concepts" and unworthy of the NT, was "perhaps this is so".

And yes it's relevant. A make-believe Bible brings a make-believe Christ. This thread isn't about the Psalms - it's about how can anyone know the will of the Lord when they're under idiosyncratic, personalised theology. Question: how does one know the will of the Lord in the Unification Church, or the LDS? Answer: it is whatever church leadership needs it to be today. Not at all unrelated to our topic.
Well for all of your theories about the recovery version Bible, you're not doing a very good job at explaining how to know God's will. I posted a summary of the Lord's inward leading from the Scripture. Your non-spiritual advice was "go for it, life is short". They could have asked anyone on the street for that sort of advice.

You said that "This applies to Jesus, not us." with the Psalm 16 that byHismercy posted. But you did not explain the proper view of Psalm 16 -

The Psalm can be applied to us and it has already been fulfilled in Christ - God has already shown us the path of life in Christ.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:53 PM   #32
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Well for all of your theories about the recovery version Bible, you're not doing a very good job at explaining how to know God's will. I posted a summary of the Lord's inward leading from the Scripture.
You must have missed the part where I said, only inasmuch as "we see Jesus" can we partake by faith of the obedience of the Lamb of God. Of ourselves, we the disobedient goats cannot know God's will. There is only one Christ. Only by seeing Jesus, temporarily made a little lower than the angels, can we begin to apprehend the will of God. And yes, I'm being categorical. I cited scripture - Hebrews 1 and 2.

Instead of seeing Jesus, you offer us the Witness Lee MOTA decoder ring which says that 34 of the first 41 Psalms are fallen human concepts. "Somewhere in the 32,000 page Collected Works of Witness Lee it's spelled out out clearly - trust me. It all makes sense."

Let's all line up at the microphone and declare our enjoyment. One minute each..... let's all get lost in our frail, ephemeral human subjectivities. So enjoyable!
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:55 PM   #33
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Well for all of your theories about the recovery version Bible, you're not doing a very good job at explaining how to know God's will. I posted a summary of the Lord's inward leading from the Scripture. Your non-spiritual advice was "go for it, life is short". They could have asked anyone on the street for that sort of advice.

Try not to put down someone else's genuine advice, especially when it is accompanied by a disclaimer. I say this having fully appreciated what you posted EvanG, it was very helpful also and the spiritual side is greatly needed. However, aron's human "go for it" encouragement has also been so sorely lacking in my life and put a little light in my eyes that has been dimmed for so long. In the absence of sin/immorality as I described, "go for it" is sometimes just the push that is needed to overcome the chains that bind.

Thanks to both (and everyone). Ears always open for anyone's further input down the road.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:33 PM   #34
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Try not to put down someone else's genuine advice, especially when it is accompanied by a disclaimer. I say this having fully appreciated what you posted EvanG, it was very helpful also and the spiritual side is greatly needed. However, aron's human "go for it" encouragement has also been so sorely lacking in my life and put a little light in my eyes that has been dimmed for so long. In the absence of sin/immorality as I described, "go for it" is sometimes just the push that is needed to overcome the chains that bind.

Thanks to both (and everyone). Ears always open for anyone's further input down the road.
I will try - my way of telling Aron "you could put more effort into answering the question than using it to attack the recovery". I have taken the Psalm thing to the other thread where it belongs. The Psalm topic is something Aron and I have gone back and forth on for a while. Whatever helps you is the main thing. What will help one person will not help another - everyone is different. When I think about it some of the advice Aron, others and myself gave you is the very similar - make a choice, step out by faith, and God will lead. This may be opposite to a "wait and see" approach. I believe that God leads us in different ways depending on our maturity. Just as we would lead a child differently to how we would lead an adult. I would think about where I am at spiritually and what is the most appropriate way for God to lead me. As a new believer maybe dreams and visions are appropriate. As I get older maybe an inner thought or a hunch. Maybe a wait and see approach is better for someone impulsive. For someone more cautious and reserved, maybe a "go for it" approach is better.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:44 PM   #35
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Dear Trapped,
This verse has helped me regarding what you described (passivity, over-analysis, etc.):

Proverbs 16:9 - "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps. "

There is nothing wrong with planning, and acting on our plans. Because we love and trust the Lord, He guides us as we move forward. But He doesn't usually guide us if we do nothing.

This prayer from Thomas Merton is a great description of a healthy dependence on the Lord, even as we make our own decisions. I love this prayer. It puts Witness Lee and his teachings to shame. This is what a humble spirit looks like.

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:39 PM   #36
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I will try - my way of telling Aron "you could put more effort into answering the question than using it to attack the recovery". I have taken the Psalm thing to the other thread where it belongs. The Psalm topic is something Aron and I have gone back and forth on for a while. Whatever helps you is the main thing. What will help one person will not help another - everyone is different. When I think about it some of the advice Aron, others and myself gave you is the very similar - make a choice, step out by faith, and God will lead. This may be opposite to a "wait and see" approach. I believe that God leads us in different ways depending on our maturity. Just as we would lead a child differently to how we would lead an adult. I would think about where I am at spiritually and what is the most appropriate way for God to lead me. As a new believer maybe dreams and visions are appropriate. As I get older maybe an inner thought or a hunch. Maybe a wait and see approach is better for someone impulsive. For someone more cautious and reserved, maybe a "go for it" approach is better.

Thanks, I agree.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:05 PM   #37
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Thanks, Trapped, for this post and question.

I've only lurked on the forum for a long time, but this question you pose is quite central for all Christians, especially those who have or are considering emerging from the LC. So, you bring my out of the woodwork to post a rambling comment...

One of my favorite quotes is from Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Certainty always leads to violence."

An off-shoot of that might be: "The quest for certainty is a lie."

We are messy beings. God's wisdom is multifarious and His grace is varied. So, we learn to trust Him.

That said, how do we trust Him? How do we know? This is your question. This is my question.

Peter was "certain" when he tried to prevent Jesus' arrest. Acting "on behalf of God" he almost thwarted God's will that Jesus be crucified.

Paul was "bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem." Yet the brothers exhorted Paul "in Spirit" NOT to go to Jerusalem.

Is the Spirit schizophrenic?

I don't think we can know. The source of paralysis is the WRONG assumption that WE CAN KNOW.

So what do we do? I don't know. But I will echo what has been said here by others, like OBW, Ohio, Aron, and Nell: just take a step in a direction that feels right, or what you "want" to do.

I haven't had God speak to me from the heavens, but I do know the sensation of Him saying "NO!"

Take a step forward in one way or another. Know you aren't certainly right, but still commit to your move. And then pray.

I don't know what else we can do. Anything else is dishonest and based on untrue premises about how God works.

Much grace to you.

One of my favorite verses is "God arranges men's seasons that they might grope after Him."

If you do nothing else, grope in the darkness. But don't stay put.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-18-2018, 04:19 PM   #38
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Originally Posted by Free from LC View Post
This prayer from Thomas Merton is a great description of a healthy dependence on the Lord, even as we make our own decisions. I love this prayer. It puts Witness Lee and his teachings to shame. This is what a humble spirit looks like.

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death
.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone
Reminded me of Abraham's own journey of faith -- "By faith Abraham, being called, obeyed and left for a place he would receive as an inheritance, and he went out not knowing where he was going." Heb 11.8
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:39 PM   #39
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Originally Posted by Peter Debelak View Post
Thanks, Trapped, for this post and question.

I've only lurked on the forum for a long time, but this question you pose is quite central for all Christians, especially those who have or are considering emerging from the LC. So, you bring my out of the woodwork to post a rambling comment...

One of my favorite quotes is from Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Certainty always leads to violence."

An off-shoot of that might be: "The quest for certainty is a lie."

We are messy beings. God's wisdom is multifarious and His grace is varied. So, we learn to trust Him.

That said, how do we trust Him? How do we know? This is your question. This is my question.

Peter was "certain" when he tried to prevent Jesus' arrest. Acting "on behalf of God" he almost thwarted God's will that Jesus be crucified.

Paul was "bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem." Yet the brothers exhorted Paul "in Spirit" NOT to go to Jerusalem.

Is the Spirit schizophrenic?

I don't think we can know. The source of paralysis is the WRONG assumption that WE CAN KNOW.

So what do we do? I don't know. But I will echo what has been said here by others, like OBW, Ohio, Aron, and Nell: just take a step in a direction that feels right, or what you "want" to do.

I haven't had God speak to me from the heavens, but I do know the sensation of Him saying "NO!"

Take a step forward in one way or another. Know you aren't certainly right, but still commit to your move. And then pray.

I don't know what else we can do. Anything else is dishonest and based on untrue premises about how God works.

Much grace to you.

One of my favorite verses is "God arranges men's seasons that they might grope after Him."

If you do nothing else, grope in the darkness. But don't stay put.

Thoughts?

Hi Peter,

I appreciate your coming out of the woodwork to post. From the responses I have received both here and from current LCers, it seems like this is kind of an equalizing topic for both "sides". As a fellow church kid, one thing I am trying to understand in a general way is just what I grew up in, and the reasons why I grew up the way I did because of the way things were done/said in that place. What I'm stuck with here is, if everyone has the same "how do we know?" question, why on earth did all the brothers and all the young people's serving ones in the LC speak so concretely and definitively about needing to have the Lord's speaking and leading? We talk about church kids struggling because they are drowned in premature knowledge well before they have the maturity in life and experiences in life to have any level of understanding of what their minds are being packed with.....well, what on earth good is it to lay out this, essentially, impossible and unattainable requirement on young kids that apparently the ones speaking it aren't even experiencing? I know these are rhetorical questions, but it's these ones that distract me all day long.

You make a great point about knowing the "NO". For several years I really tried to open and touch the Lord and get His speaking or leading but got nothing in return. Eventually I couldn't be bothered anymore and stopped trying. Then one day as I was leaving my house, I passed by a small pile in my room of totally insignificant things I needed to return to another saint who had made a big enough mistake towards me that an elder recommended I not communicate with them for a period of time. I passed by that small pile of nothing and thought "oh, I'll return it another day, I just don't feel like dealing with it today." Five steps after that I got a "NO - do it today", but I brushed it aside and kept walking. Five more steps and I felt, no joke, like God had reached down from the heavens and poked His finger in my stomach to prevent me from taking another step. I actually looked down expecting to see an indent in my stomach from the "NO". Of course "no's" won't usually be that physical in nature, but the Lord does seem to "show up" sometimes when it's a clear no, doesn't He? Of course I was thoroughly annoyed that the Lord would get off His rear end to speak to me about this literally worthless pile of someone else's belongings and not bother to respond when I sought after Him for myself! But my point is, yes, often there isn't a leading so much as there is a NO.

I do recall a serving one mentioning our conscience specifically as a kind of a no-machine. In other words, it is not going to pipe up that things are okay, it will just activate when things are not okay. Which I guess means, as OBW and others have said, we have the freedom to do that which isn't sinful/immoral/hurtful until we get the NO.

Thanks,

Trapped
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:42 PM   #40
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Reminded me of Abraham's own journey of faith -- "By faith Abraham, being called, obeyed and left for a place he would receive as an inheritance, and he went out not knowing where he was going." Heb 11.8

Wow. There is a children's song about that verse but it never struck me the times singing it that Abraham didn't know where he was going! I guess this is just the Christian life.
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:22 PM   #41
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Hi Peter,

I appreciate your coming out of the woodwork to post. From the responses I have received both here and from current LCers, it seems like this is kind of an equalizing topic for both "sides". As a fellow church kid, one thing I am trying to understand in a general way is just what I grew up in, and the reasons why I grew up the way I did because of the way things were done/said in that place. What I'm stuck with here is, if everyone has the same "how do we know?" question, why on earth did all the brothers and all the young people's serving ones in the LC speak so concretely and definitively about needing to have the Lord's speaking and leading? We talk about church kids struggling because they are drowned in premature knowledge well before they have the maturity in life and experiences in life to have any level of understanding of what their minds are being packed with.....well, what on earth good is it to lay out this, essentially, impossible and unattainable requirement on young kids that apparently the ones speaking it aren't even experiencing? I know these are rhetorical questions, but it's these ones that distract me all day long.

Trapped
You are right on the mark here. Teachings from LSM are highly destructive to the child like faith of young children. I've seen healthy kids go to FTT's and return with their faith shipwrecked. There's a reason why well over 50% of our young people want nothing to do with faith in Jesus Christ.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:20 PM   #42
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Neat to see how this discussion is helping Trapped and others wrestle with the thread question. One of life's great mysteries for sure!

A couple of verses came to mind that have helped me before, and still do.

https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/10-31.htm
https://biblehub.com/colossians/3-17.htm
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:23 PM   #43
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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You are right on the mark here. Teachings from LSM are highly destructive to the child like faith of young children. I've seen healthy kids go to FTT's and return with their faith shipwrecked. There's a reason why well over 50% of our young people want nothing to do with faith in Jesus Christ.

I may have said this in another post, but one other thing I realized as an adult is that you actually have to be very discerning about what comes out of people's mouths. This is a very low level example, but I was in a meeting a year or so ago and someone shared about reading the Bible. They shared how much they enjoyed reading the word and how much it helped them. Then they said "on the days I read my Bible everything goes great! And on the days I don't read my Bible, they are horrible and all kinds of bad things happen!" And the crowd gave a big Amen.

I was sitting in the back observing everyone and thought "well what that saint said is just not true is it!!" You can have days that go smoothly and wonderfully having not read your Bible. And you can have days where all kinds of horrible things happen even after you read your Bible that morning. Reading the Bible and touching the Lord in His word has no effect on the things that HAPPEN to you that day, it can only affect how you respond or to what level those things affect you. And it struck me that this saint's words, while most likely pure in their expression of them, would have potentially damaging effects particularly as heard by a young person, because a young person would hear "read your Bible = everything goes great" and then wonder why when they read their Bible did they have days where everything fell apart.

This may seem insignificant but it leads to questioning why did it not "work" for them. "Why did reading the Bible "work" for that saint who shared in the meeting and got a big Amen, which means it must be true, but when I read my Bible I had a horrible day?" Which brings in doubts and misgivings about the Bible and God, and in an environment where you are not allowed to express your doubts or questions, those disillusioned thoughts are allowed to fester and continue on without being cleared up, and it produces distorted thoughts about God and even about His heart for you in particular. And if that one thing the saint shared that everyone Amen-ed isn't true, then what other things are they saying that isn't true? etc, etc, etc.

Of course I don't think these kinds of misunderstandings are unique to the LCs but somehow the LC environment makes it ripe for their development.
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Old 09-19-2018, 02:37 AM   #44
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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I may have said this in another post, but one other thing I realized as an adult is that you actually have to be very discerning about what comes out of people's mouths. This is a very low level example, but I was in a meeting a year or so ago and someone shared about reading the Bible. They shared how much they enjoyed reading the word and how much it helped them. Then they said "on the days I read my Bible everything goes great! And on the days I don't read my Bible, they are horrible and all kinds of bad things happen!" And the crowd gave a big Amen.
...
Of course I don't think these kinds of misunderstandings are unique to the LCs but somehow the LC environment makes it ripe for their development.
Matthew 5:45 (KJV) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Hi Trapped,

We were taught to live by our outward circumstances. Yet this verse makes it clear that reading your Bible or not has little to do with, what I will call, God's blessing...or God withholding His blessing. His sun still rises and sets on everyone; the rain still falls on everyone. In fact, all of Matt. 5 is pretty amazing with regard to this topic. Did you ever notice the verse says "his sun"? I didn't until just now!

Further, this is also what the Word of God says:
Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

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Old 09-19-2018, 04:07 AM   #45
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Trapped, Nell had some great points about the scripture.

But after reading your post, My first thought was how this would teach that God's love is conditional, rather than unconditional, as Luke 15 so dramatically shows us. Be a good boy, read the Bible, and then God loves you and will bless you. Dont read, and God wont love you, nor bless you, in fact, He may come and get you!

So every time something goes wrong, the old message plays in the child's head. The child is being hard-wired over time to fear making any mistake, cause then God will get him for that! Sorry, but this misrepresents God's loving heart.

This is what happens when meetings are filled with childish regurgitations of the HWFMR, rather than mature and encouraging messages from all the gifted members.
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:37 AM   #46
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There is so much good stuff on this thread. Thank you, Trapped, for starting it and engaging in it. I don't have much time to say all that I'd like. But I can relate to your struggles and realizations, and I am thankful for your opening these things up, and for those here who are responding to you with so much grace and wisdom.

I'd like to suggest a couple of things:

1) Is it possible for you to change your username? If you call yourself "Trapped," it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our words about ourselves matter. You are NOT trapped. It is clear from your words that you are in the process of escaping (and in many ways have already escaped) the Local Church trap, both in your mind and in your circumstances. It reminds me of this verse: "We have escaped like a bird from the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped." - Psa. 124:7. If you can, think of a name about yourself that accurately describes you, or a name that describes how God sees you. For certain, He does not see you as trapped. Christ died to set you free, and it's beneficial to remind yourself of what's true, and reject what's false. If you can't change your name (because of the website), or don't want to, at least recognize that in Christ, you are no longer trapped. You are seated with Him in the heavenly places. The enemy no longer has any authority over you. You are free. (The people who remain in the trap don't like that you are free, and will try to bring you back into slavery).

2) As others have suggested, please consider finding a Christian counselor. If you don't know where to look, you can call any evangelical church and ask them to direct you to someone they recommend. Or you can look up the websites of churches in your area and see if they have a counseling center. It would be helpful for you to talk these things through with someone who is trained professionally. There are lots of really great counselors out there. Also, there are people who not credentialed but who simply have a gift at helping others through trials, and a church can direct you to them (in my church they are called "lay counselors").

Just some suggestions. May God bless you in your journey. You are going in the right direction, and He loves you far more than you can ever comprehend.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:25 AM   #47
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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I know that I had fallen into that trap....I did believe the Lord could speak to me through the saints, and that was probably why, when our older, trusted christian friend decided not to speak to me anymore, and angrily let on that she was following the Holy Spirit to do so, it was really scary and confusing, and ultimately, so damaging....I really was wavering inwardly.....was God Himself done with me? Was I being punished by God? Was He displeased with me? Had I sinned in such a way as to interrupt my true fellowship with Him? All these questions came up, I was rocked, you could say. But as I sought to know His heart through the scriptures, He continued in fellowship with me. The LCers stopped having any communication with me, but He did not. Actually, as the weeks unfolded post shunning, He unveiled all the error in LC practice, doctrine, allegiance through His word. He assured me it was not He rejecting me. He never once stopped 'speaking' to me, but led me into light and away from the LSM lie....I read the Acts chapters and I see now what you were referring to.
This reminds us how Roman Catholic church made people scare if they were excommunicated by Vatican. They could be cut off from fellowship with the Lord if they messed with so called authorities in Roman Catholic church. But after that Martin Luther reformed the Church situation and let people know that they can keep fellowship with God through the Bible. LSM still uses medieval method for brainwashing their LCers. I feel compassionate for little sheeps of Christ abused and tormented by these kinds of false teachings.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:35 AM   #48
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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There is so much good stuff on this thread. Thank you, Trapped, for starting it and engaging in it...May God bless you in your journey. You are going in the right direction, and He loves you far more than you can ever comprehend.
Hey Free from LC,
That's some good stuff from you as well! Please consider registering as a forum member when you get the time. Simply shoot over an email to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com requesting registration, and be sure to include your desired UserName.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:40 AM   #49
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Hi Peter,

I appreciate your coming out of the woodwork to post. From the responses I have received both here and from current LCers, it seems like this is kind of an equalizing topic for both "sides". As a fellow church kid, one thing I am trying to understand in a general way is just what I grew up in, and the reasons why I grew up the way I did because of the way things were done/said in that place. What I'm stuck with here is, if everyone has the same "how do we know?" question, why on earth did all the brothers and all the young people's serving ones in the LC speak so concretely and definitively about needing to have the Lord's speaking and leading? We talk about church kids struggling because they are drowned in premature knowledge well before they have the maturity in life and experiences in life to have any level of understanding of what their minds are being packed with.....well, what on earth good is it to lay out this, essentially, impossible and unattainable requirement on young kids that apparently the ones speaking it aren't even experiencing? I know these are rhetorical questions, but it's these ones that distract me all day long.

You make a great point about knowing the "NO". For several years I really tried to open and touch the Lord and get His speaking or leading but got nothing in return. Eventually I couldn't be bothered anymore and stopped trying. Then one day as I was leaving my house, I passed by a small pile in my room of totally insignificant things I needed to return to another saint who had made a big enough mistake towards me that an elder recommended I not communicate with them for a period of time. I passed by that small pile of nothing and thought "oh, I'll return it another day, I just don't feel like dealing with it today." Five steps after that I got a "NO - do it today", but I brushed it aside and kept walking. Five more steps and I felt, no joke, like God had reached down from the heavens and poked His finger in my stomach to prevent me from taking another step. I actually looked down expecting to see an indent in my stomach from the "NO". Of course "no's" won't usually be that physical in nature, but the Lord does seem to "show up" sometimes when it's a clear no, doesn't He? Of course I was thoroughly annoyed that the Lord would get off His rear end to speak to me about this literally worthless pile of someone else's belongings and not bother to respond when I sought after Him for myself! But my point is, yes, often there isn't a leading so much as there is a NO.

I do recall a serving one mentioning our conscience specifically as a kind of a no-machine. In other words, it is not going to pipe up that things are okay, it will just activate when things are not okay. Which I guess means, as OBW and others have said, we have the freedom to do that which isn't sinful/immoral/hurtful until we get the NO.

Thanks,

Trapped
At stomach??? Do you mean a gut feeling? I have heard many Christians in Catholic and denominational churches always talk about this.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:17 AM   #50
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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1) Is it possible for you to change your username? If you call yourself "Trapped," it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our words about ourselves matter. You are NOT trapped.
Not a bad idea. Something to consider ...

Proverbs 23.7 "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is."
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:38 AM   #51
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Thanks for the invitation, UntoHim. I'll think about it. I'm not sure I want to open that can of worms...
On one hand, it might be therapeutic.
On the other hand, "Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before."
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:15 PM   #52
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Free from LC - sorry, somehow I missed your first post with the prayer. That is a great prayer, thank you for sharing it. I love what you said that "He guides us as we move forward. But He doesn't usually guide us if we do nothing." These are the things I need to hear to remove the abject fear of even taking one step.

Regarding my username, I wryly agree with what you and Ohio are saying, and that words are indeed very powerful. As far as it describing my reality, I am much less trapped mentally but have to admit in my circumstance I still am, so for now it is still true. Looking forward to the point when I will need to change it though To be perfectly honest, I do not think about what it means anymore when I use it, so I don't feel "trapped by Trapped" at this point.

JJ - thanks for those two verses. I have read them before but for some reason "Whatever you do" in both of them came across in a very freeing way when I clicked your links. Thank you.

Nell - thank you for the verses you posted. So often things spoken in the LC concern the church as a whole; it helps so much to read positive verses that I feel can apply to me as a person.

Ohio - thanks so much for laying out the hard-wired concepts the way you do. Sometimes the biggest help is someone simply mentioning them because so often I can operate according to, and am trapped by, a concept I don't even realize is constraining me. Having things stated the way you do helps me see the thoughts that bind me.

Truthseeker - I didn't really mean gut feeling. I know it sounds strange but I really do mean it was as if there was a physical but invisible hand in front of me with the pointer finger towards me that poked into my abdomen and stopped me from taking another step. Think Pillsbury Doughboy (but without the "hehe!")
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:39 AM   #53
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Thanks for the invitation, UntoHim. I'll think about it. I'm not sure I want to open that can of worms...
Very valid concern, and point well taken. One thing to consider would be that the can of worms, for better or for worse, has already been opened, and it wasn't the former members of the Local Church who did the opening - It was Witness Lee himself and his followers. One of Witness Lee's contentions was that "when cooking the kitchen will get messy" (paraphrase) Well, maybe this is why this place seems so messy at times. Just sayin...
Quote:
On one hand, it might be therapeutic.
And on the other....it might get a little messy
Quote:
On the other hand, "Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before."
Another good and valid point. My thought would be that, yes, we need to leave the sinful and unprofitable things behind, as individuals. Yet are we really called to leave our brothers and sisters, who may be trapped and enmeshed within a system of error, behind as well? Will we make the grace given to us in vain because we shy away from the frustrations and controversies involved in speaking the truth in love? I hope not. I pray not. In fact, after about 15 years of the frustrations and controversies experienced on these Internet forums, I am more convinced than ever, I am more clear than ever, that this is the only way, or I should say it is the way that God has opened for us, to expose the system of error of Witness Lee's Local Church, both to the current members as well as the general Christian public.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:20 AM   #54
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I am more convinced than ever, I am more clear than ever, that this is the only way, or I should say it is the way that God has opened for us, to expose the system of error of Witness Lee's Local Church, both to the current members as well as the general Christian public.
-
It's not just a system of error. There's lot's of churches with that problem. But they don't have a system of mental entrapment.
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Old 09-21-2018, 03:51 PM   #55
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Greetings Trapped,

I agree, you've received some great advice from many here.

IMHO, what you are experiencing and wondering is normal and healthy.

You asked:
How do you know what the Lord's will is?

I'm guessing since you found the LC that you had some great revelation there and even some enjoyment.
Unfortunately you have also found religion there as well.

I truly believe God is calling you out of this counterfeit concept of His will for your life. I also believe it would be good for you to take a break and detox and seek God's will.(separate from man's influence) (a wilderness experience)

Revelation 18:4 King James Version (KJV)
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

King James Version (KJV)

I liked Nell's encouraging words to walk. After all, anyone I've read about or know (including myself) has had to walk by faith, seek and find on their own. A kind of "in search of"...
As I'm sure you know, our Savior is seeking you as well.

How do I know I'm doing God's will?
1.) By obedience to His instruction.
2.) No negative conviction.
3.) His leading and much prayer.
4.) Seeking Him in everything
5.) Contending against the religious spirit.

Am I perfect? LOL!

I tell you the truth that I trust what God has done in my life and what He has created me to be. You see, we are individuals for a reason!
I trust my logic but also ask God to keep me humble.

I also think that God teaches/talks to us by revealing truths to us. I know it sounds simplistic but also believe it's supposed to be.

Believe me in this negative world, you will be tried whether you are right or wrong.

So, take a walk by/in faith my friend and be alone and seek His face. He's waiting.

Last edited by manna-man; 09-21-2018 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Necessary
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Old 09-22-2018, 03:09 PM   #56
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Greetings Trapped,

I agree, you've received some great advice from many here.

IMHO, what you are experiencing and wondering is normal and healthy.

You asked:
How do you know what the Lord's will is?

Ya know..
A few months ago, I began praying 'LORD. THY PERFECT WILL BE DONE in my life, in my situation, in this particular matter etc..'. I wake up asking the LORD to guide me this day in His PERFECT WILL. (of course, I pray, worship, talk to Him etc..)

I had an interesting experience recently if I may share here. First..last week, I woke up groggy.. and made my way to the kitchen. As I began making breakfast, I realized I had not said Good morning to the Lord! So after pausing a sec, I said 'This is the day YOU HAVE MADE LORD JESUS.. therefore I rejoice in it. I then began speaking 'I rejoice in Your Goodness. I rejoice in Your Mercy. I rejoice in Your Love, in the Wisdom you are bestowing on me...and on and on I went on a 'roll'.'

When I sat down and opened to biblegateway.com, the verse of the day was Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Seems to me HIS will for me actually was to REJOICE !

Sure did bring a smile to my face !!!



Quote:
I truly believe God is calling you out of this counterfeit concept of His will for your life. I also believe it would be good for you to take a break and detox and seek God's will.(separate from man's influence) (a wilderness experience)
Indeed.. also talk to the Lord as your FRIEND. Jesus has your back. He is NOT GOING to leave you or forsake you. He began a most excellent work in you and He is going to finish it. He is going to perfect His work in you. He is renewing your mind. Just hold on to Jesus. This is a good safe place to ask questions, to fellowship and let your hair down.

You are well received here.


Quote:
Revelation 18:4 King James Version (KJV)
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

King James Version (KJV)
After many, many years walking alone in the wilderness after leaving the LC, I found myself going back to 'church'. It was a personal struggle.. Part of me did not.. part of me wanted to see what it was like in 'poor, poor Christianity'. I also needed to find fellowship..

So I embarked in 'going to church' for about 7-8 yrs. I dove in with all my being into a charismatic - Word of Faith - tongue speaking 'church'. I went to all the bible studies. Joined as many activities I could.. etc..

I wanted to PLEASE GOD and be in HIS GOOD GRACES.

As I became more comfortable in His Word and more secure with who I am, His Spirit began to show me 'the leaven'. Not only of this 'church' but of all man made 'churches'. So I left. I have not gone 'to church' in years. But there are 2-3 you tube Christian teachers I consider very good. I am learning a lot. I study.. I pray.. I fellowship. Oh.. and I do go to a weekly bible study. We can be a rowdy bunch voicing our thoughts..sometimes disagreeing with the leader OUT LOUD.. We are respectful but it is great to be open. We also laugh a lot with each other. We are good friends with each other.. oh.. and most of the 14-16 regulars go to 'church' on Sunday. But they go to different denominations. It's all good...especially the potluck we have every week.


I know we studied the 7 churches in Revelation 2/3 when I was in the LC.. and thus the mantra 'poor poor Christianity' was invented.

Eventually, all true believers will come out of religious denominations. There is no LSM, LC, Baptists, Pentecostals, Lakewood, Cornerstone, mega churches, Catholic churches etc in the Holy City New Jerusalem!!

I am grateful and thankful I have made friends who no longer 'go to church'. Some of them are here in town but most are through the internet. I have made many Christian friends through you tube or Christian websites. We don't all have the same views but at least I don't have to worry how I will be perceived, nor do I care. What matters to me is being guided by the Holy Spirit and honoring GOD in my walk.

Blessings to all..
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:10 PM   #57
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

I've been reading some articles on the internet about "how do you know God's will for your life" or "how do you know what God wants". I am stuck in yet another different but no less stressful situation where I have a few murky and life-altering options but simply no idea what to do. I am almost writing off completely "asking the Lord" for His leading because it's been too many years of praying that prayer and receiving mausoleum silence in return.

But of course several of the articles I read do say things like, "read His word to find out what he wants".

Okay........unfortunately there is no "book of Trapped" in the Bible. I cannot open up to Trapped chapter 13 verse 5 to find out what God wants for Trapped. What does "seek His will in His word" actually mean, in the context of making your own life decisions that are not examples found in His word?
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:47 AM   #58
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I've been reading some articles on the internet about "how do you know God's will for your life" or "how do you know what God wants". I am stuck in yet another different but no less stressful situation where I have a few murky and life-altering options but simply no idea what to do. I am almost writing off completely "asking the Lord" for His leading because it's been too many years of praying that prayer and receiving mausoleum silence in return.

But of course several of the articles I read do say things like, "read His word to find out what he wants".

Okay........unfortunately there is no "book of Trapped" in the Bible. I cannot open up to Trapped chapter 13 verse 5 to find out what God wants for Trapped. What does "seek His will in His word" actually mean, in the context of making your own life decisions that are not examples found in His word?
Been there.

Me: “Is anybody out there...?”
Answer:
Me: “Hellllllooooo.....???”
Answer:
Me: “OK then. I need some help here...I don’t know what to do. If you’re talking to me, I can’t heeeeearrrrrr Yooooooouuuuuu.”
Answer:

Eventually:
Me: “OK. I did ask. I really want to do what you want me to do. I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just do what I think is right. I’ll do what I want to do and maybe that’s what you want. If not, remember Lord, I did ask...”

On and on. Year after year.

I remember reading someone’s comment along this line, it might have been OBW. He said something like: God has given us a free will to choose how to live our lives, make decisions, etc. He wants us to choose him.

That helped me. Looking back, I can see how true it is.

Is it about finding out what he wants us to do, or more about us living a godly life and choosing him in the small things? Is it about him giving us choices in big and small things...learning how important it is that he gave us freedom to choose. Every time we ask him what he wants us to do, we choose him.

The consequences of a free will...Hummm.

Looking back, I’m trying to remember decisions I’ve made when I was in a fog and looking for answers that, in my mind, never came. Today...I can’t remember a single one. At the time, answers...or lack of answers were consuming me. I wish I could tell you how I got from there to here. All I can say is that today, I just talk to him. I live my life and talk things over with him like he’s my best friend. I used to think he was like a puppet master...off somewhere making me dance on the end of strings. I now know that’s not who he is. Paul prayed “...that I may know him...”. Is this how we “get to know” him? Is this how we learn to “walk by faith”? I think maybe it is.

Maybe the Book of Yogi is pretty much right: When you come to a fork in the road...take it. (Sorry.)

Hope this helps...
Nell
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:11 AM   #59
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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I remember reading someone’s comment along this line, it might have been OBW. He said something like: God has given us a free will to choose how to live our lives, make decisions, etc.

That helped me. Looking back, I can see how true it is.

Is it about finding out what he wants us to do, or more about us living a godly life and choosing him in the small things? Is it about him giving us choices in big and small things...learning how important it is that he gave us freedom to choose. Every time we ask him what he wants us to do, we choose him.

Looking back, trying to remember decisions I’ve made when I was in a fog and looking for answers that, in my mind, never came...today...I can’t remember a single one. At the time, answers...or lack of answers were consuming me. I wish I could tell you how I got from there to here. All I can say is that today, I just talk to him. I live my life and talk things over with him like he’s my best friend. I used to think he was like a puppet master...off somewhere making me dance on the end of strings. I now know that’s not who he is. Paul prayed “...that I may know him...”. Is this how we “get to know” him? Is this how we learn to “walk by faith”? I think maybe it is.

Maybe the Book of Yogi is pretty much right: When you come to a fork in the road...take it. (Sorry.)

Hope this helps...
Nell
Good points in there.

I believe that the Lord loves when we include Him in all of our decisions, even though it seems that He does not answer as we would like. In the process of our praying and asking the Lord, our decisions are already altered. Eg. who agonizes in prayer whether they should beat up their neighbor, and steal his money?

In the end, it is we who live our life. Life is full of decisions. Many times I was forced to make old-fashioned checklists, weighing pros and cons, talking to friends, and going slow so as not to be making impulsive choices.

Many Christians put out "fleeces" hoping to get answers, but that seemed kind of superstitious to me, but it did work in the old Bible story.

Here's an irony in our following the Lord. Some of the worst "apparent" disasters in my life were predicated by directions the Lord gave to me. How can this be? Didn't He lead me to the LC's? Yet that caused quite a few problems for me. (Many blessings too!) Yet I would never second-guess His direction in my life because only He knows the future. What seems bad looking back could have been far worse had I not obeyed Him. No decision brings only "blessing." Every course in life has dangers. Eg. Think about those who have regretted their decision about who they married only to create far worse disasters via divorce.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:52 PM   #60
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I've been reading some articles on the internet about "how do you know God's will for your life" or "how do you know what God wants". I am stuck in yet another different but no less stressful situation where I have a few murky and life-altering options but simply no idea what to do. I am almost writing off completely "asking the Lord" for His leading because it's been too many years of praying that prayer and receiving mausoleum silence in return.

But of course several of the articles I read do say things like, "read His word to find out what he wants".

Okay........unfortunately there is no "book of Trapped" in the Bible. I cannot open up to Trapped chapter 13 verse 5 to find out what God wants for Trapped. What does "seek His will in His word" actually mean, in the context of making your own life decisions that are not examples found in His word?
I agree that you have been getting some good advice on this topic here, Trapped.

Perhaps it might help to know that as Sons of God we are led by the Spirit and that God always leads us in triumph in Christ. "Lords leading" is not really in the New Testament, but "led by the Spirit" is. Following links are the basis of this.

Romans 8:14 https://www.blueletterbible.org/ylt/...t_conc_1054014
1 Corinthians 2: 14 https://www.blueletterbible.org/ylt/...t_conc_1080014
Galations 2:14 https://www.blueletterbible.org/ylt/...t_conc_1096018

I also would highly recommend you open your thought process to a christian friend or two, and maybe even a Christian counselor. That has helped me a few times when I was stuck somewhere. Just hearing my own (often silly and self-centered) thoughts or loving council from godly men helped me get unstuck.

Love and best wishes on your decisions! I'll pray for you too.

JJ
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:49 PM   #61
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Default Wonderful Merciful Savior

This says it all in another way. Give it a click.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK6sYVQCqhs


Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost our way
Oh, we've hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we're falling before Your throne

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:20 AM   #62
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I've been reading some articles on the internet about "how do you know God's will for your life" or "how do you know what God wants". I am stuck in yet another different but no less stressful situation where I have a few murky and life-altering options but simply no idea what to do. I am almost writing off completely "asking the Lord" for His leading because it's been too many years of praying that prayer and receiving mausoleum silence in return.

But of course several of the articles I read do say things like, "read His word to find out what he wants".

Okay........unfortunately there is no "book of Trapped" in the Bible. I cannot open up to Trapped chapter 13 verse 5 to find out what God wants for Trapped. What does "seek His will in His word" actually mean, in the context of making your own life decisions that are not examples found in His word?
Dear Trapped
I could relate to your post, and believe I have felt the confusion and pain you describe from agonizing over finding God's will or hearing the Lord's voice.

I remember talking with a friend/sister who was older than me, telling her my fears and concerns about a decision I had to make, etc. She told me basically to stop considering what to do and just live! I was shocked. Actually she told me to "shut up and live." Sounds harsh when I write it, but for me in that moment, it was very freeing. Can't tell you how many times those words have come back to me, giving me encouragement to just move ahead and live and not agonize over things.

Backing up the "live" idea was/is a surrender to Him of my life, and a trust that the Lord could and would keep me. In some sense, I seemed to feel that I was a bit bigger than God - like I could effectively thwart His work, being more powerful than Him in some funny kind of way. (I know we have free will, etc. but this was a different kind of thinking.)

Today I read Isaiah 50 - "who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on His God." Matthew Henry said some good things in his commentary on this section.

We do walk in darkness sometimes, but we never walk alone. Reminds me of this song - He Knows

I hope all is well today, Trapped!

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Old 04-15-2019, 09:49 AM   #63
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

I'm convinced the Lord is more concerned about the attitude with which we do things than what we actually do. Now blatantly sinful things should always be avoided. But when it comes to things which are by and large morally neutral, he wants us to enjoy joy and freedom a lot more than he cares what we actually decide to do. Paralysis by analysis is not the Lord's way, neither is obsessing about details.

Someone once said that "fear is often just the clanging echo of indecision." Just make up your mind and do... something. Like riding a bike, our souls were designed to operate at a certain cruising speed. Just get rolling and let the Lord guide you as you move. He is less concerned about the details of what we do that whether we are doing them in life, joy and peace, and its hard to have life, joy and peace when you are paralyzed by indecision. Fish or cut bait, but do either with confidence, commitment and joy.

Whatever is not of faith is sin. The flip side of that is whatever is of faith is not sin.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:37 AM   #64
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Someone once said that "fear is often just the clanging echo of indecision." Just make up your mind and do... something. Like riding a bike, our souls were designed to operate at a certain cruising speed. Just get rolling and let the Lord guide you as you move. He is less concerned about the details of what we do that whether we are doing them in life, joy and peace, and its hard to have life, joy and peace when you are paralyzed by indecision.
I agree with this. Sometimes we tend to wait until the Lord gives you an exact Word or a very clear leading until we do something, but if we live like this, then we will always struggle to move forward in life. Like Igzy says, "Paralysis by analysis is not the Lord's way," or another way to say it, being too much in your mind and analysing every little detail before you decide and act is not the Lord's way.

This reminds me of Acts 16:6-7...

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

Another good verse is Proverbs 16:3...

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans

Another good verse is Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

And another great verse Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Base on these verses, here is my understanding of how to know the will of God for a certain situation.
  1. Know God's will, which is given to us in the scriptures, and act according to His will.
  2. When God's Word does not cover the situation you have (e.g. choosing a job), bring the situation or matter to the Lord in prayer
  3. If there is a leading, follow that leading in faith, knowing that whatever you have committed to the Lord, he will establish your plans
  4. If there is no specific leading, you have the freedom to decide, and unless the Spirit forbids you (no peace, uneasiness, etc.), then take whatever decision you make in faith, knowing that whatever you commit to the Lord, he will establish your plans and enjoy the ride.
  5. Keep in fellowship with the Lord, as the Lord may adjust the way you are going if it seems like you are going the wrong direction.
  6. Be assured that whatever decision you make, the Lord will always work things out for good to those who love Him.

Pray that this helps. Much blessings
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:00 AM   #65
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Pray that this helps. Much blessings
Good advice. I would also add that fear and trepidation are not the Lord's way. Over and over in the Bible the Lord says, "Fear not, I am with you." This is an attitude of faith.

Fear and faith are mutually incompatible. One pushes against the other. Fear is insidious because it often produces the very results we are afraid of, thus confirming our fear in our minds, and a vicious circle ensues.

Someone once said that fear and faith both ask us to believe something about the future, but in very different ways.

The Lord was never sympathetic with a lack of faith. He was always very matter-of-fact about it. He would ask, "Why did you not believe?" The answer to our problems is in the answer to that question.

Note: This is not to say that we cannot "do it afraid." We are weak, but if we step out in faith in spite of our fear, the Lord will be with us.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:53 AM   #66
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I've been reading some articles on the internet about "how do you know God's will for your life" or "how do you know what God wants". I am stuck in yet another different but no less stressful situation where I have a few murky and life-altering options but simply no idea what to do. I am almost writing off completely "asking the Lord" for His leading because it's been too many years of praying that prayer and receiving mausoleum silence in return.
Trapped, do you know the Lord?
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:55 PM   #67
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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Trapped, do you know the Lord?
I find this question to be a little inconsiderate.

After all Trapped has written, of course he knows the Lord, and is looking for a way to grow in Him, having been "trapped" his whole life by wrong LC teachings and practices.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:03 PM   #68
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I find this question to be a little inconsiderate.

After all Trapped has written, of course he knows the Lord, and is looking for a way to grow in Him, having been "trapped" his whole life by wrong LC teachings and practices.
Perhaps the issue is Trapped has been told and reassured his whole life by others of what he knows and does not know. From what I've experienced, this is common in the LR. Why not just let him answer the question for himself?
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:14 PM   #69
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Perhaps the issue is Trapped has been told and reassured his whole life by others of what he knows and does not know. From what I've experienced, this is common in the LR. Why not just let him answer the question for himself?

OK, since you are from Ohio, I'll defer to you.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:50 PM   #70
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Trapped, do you know the Lord?
This question could be inconsiderate depending on the tone behind it, but I have no reason to assume any attitude or negative tone, so I'll take it as a question of concern instead.

There are a few ways to answer this question.....

If you are asking if I am saved, yes I do distinctly recall receiving the Lord as a young person, so in that sense I "know" the Lord. My conscience can certainly bother me, so there is some activity there.

But as far as a defined, solid relationship with the Lord, well......it's hard to "know" someone who doesn't seem to show up and who hides Himself so well when I really need some input. Aside from this thread post, in alt views I started a thread called "How do you know God cares?" so sometimes it's easy to get pretty discouraged when you end up in a situation where everything has been stripped away and you have no choice but to fall on your knees and desperately seek the Lord......and He's still not really there. What then?

The more I talk to people the more this seems to be a pretty common experience. What then?

Surely the Lord, being omni-everything, can come up with a middle ground to communicate with the people He loves so much that is somewhere between pin-drop silence and being burned up in His glory. Surely He can't be a binary, 0 or 1, all or nothing kind of person.

God speaking through your circumstances is so messy it almost makes it worse. Depending on which line of current circumstances I look at, the Lord could either be:

1. telling me to leave the LC because of the pain and mistreatment
2. telling me there are people in the LC who care and reach out, so I should stay
3. telling me to do nothing about the situation and keep reaching for Him in the midst of great and worsening loss, even though it's been a year of loss and He hasn't been there, and my suffering is getting worse
4. telling me to speak up against the mistreatment, which many are telling me not to, but possibly the Lord arranged the circumstances so someone would finally speak up and a long-standing bad situation might actually get addressed.

If I look for Biblical principles, the Lord, when reviled, did not revile in return, so maybe I shouldn't. On the other hand, He spoke up for justice. On the third hand, He seems to want the justice for Himself at the end, and until then we are supposed to turn the other cheek and love those who inflict untold pain on us. Or maybe I need to speak the truth in love.

I could easily get all these and several more conclusions from my circumstances, so I can't look at the circumstances, or "outward arrangement". I've mentioned there is no "book of Trapped" in the Bible to get God's will. And He doesn't speak audibly or in any way that I can interpret. So why bring me to barely being able to function and then leave me hanging almost, at this point, to the point of mental breakdown? I am so drained in every possible way, I just want to do what He wants......but He's off in the third heavens with his feet up in the sand sipping a margarita I guess.....because He sure isn't telling me what He wants, and I don't have anything left to make it through many more days.

So in that sense, no, I don't know the Lord. If I did know Him in that way, I wouldn't have started this thread. But again, the more LCD posts I read, the more people I talk to, two Christian counselors, elders in the LC, saints in the LC, the more online Christian articles I read, I seem to keep coming up to everyone admitting the same thing....."yeah, I never really get the Lord's leading either. I just kind of do what makes sense". Well, sometimes situations don't make sense and you're left with your lungs ripped out. So what then?

If He is our Counselor, where is the counsel? He's called our Counselor, not our Listener.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:05 PM   #71
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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But as far as a defined, solid relationship with the Lord, well......it's hard to "know" someone who doesn't seem to show up and who hides Himself so well when I really need some input.

2000 years ago, the Jewish people too prayed earnestly for God to show up in the midst of their oppression. He sent them a "middle ground", Jesus. They also had hope in their salvation just as you do. So why is it then the Jewish people, as a whole, suffer the shame of being separated from their God? He answered their prayers. He remaining faithful to them. Why then did they reject Him and continue to reject Him to this day? They too lost the ability to hear God and worship Him in spirit and truth. He showed them mercy and sent his Son as a human so that they had someone who could relate to them in every possible way, so that they had someone they can see, hear, and touch. Not only did He satisfy the needs of their senses, the LORD performed miraculous things through Jesus even raising him from the dead yet still even with that they rejected God's answer to their prayers. Why?


Trapped, have you considered God is answering your prayers in ways you are not assuming or expecting?

There was nothing majestic about Jesus that drew people to him. In fact, he was a loathsome person. He was a man you'd look at and think God was punishing for wrong doings. A person you'd keep your distance from lest you take part in his sufferings. Someone you'd probably call "toxic" today. Yet it wasn't anything of himself that caused us to despise him. It was our own sin he carried in him that we loathed. We projected our shortcomings onto him, all without a reason to do so.

What are you expecting God to do for you? Maybe your expectations are what's hindering you? Maybe he's sending you people that don't look like you'd expect and are challenging you in ways you're afraid to accept. Have you considered that?
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:53 AM   #72
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

"Give me understanding that I may live" ~Psa 119:144(b)

We're nothing if not rational creatures, so asking what God wants may be aided by knowing what God doesn't want. We fumble our way toward the goal, as it were. There's the story of Edison as he pursued his dream of incandescent light, and someone asked if he were discouraged at not finding the right filament. Supposedly he answered that he was encouraged because now he knew 2,000 filaments that didnt work effectively. He was closer to the goal.

The Lord's Recovery aka Local Church (LC) was a system designed to benefit one man and his immediate family, and it usually rewarded those who built up the system. In this it was little different from any other multi-level marketing system like Shaklee or Amway.

Now some may dismiss religion itself on similar grounds, but I prefer a universe in which God exists, as it seems just a bit less cold and empty than one without. Okay, so assuming that "God, having spoken to us in the prophets, now has spoken to us in the Son" - now what? How to know God's will?

That question is actually harder than it looks, since we are darkened creatures, far removed from God. Again, the LC is Exhibit A. Full of appearances and efforts to prop up appearances but little if any substance.

At present, I'll just say that reality for me is found in seeing the Son finding reality in His Father's word. "I (Christ) come to do Your will, O God (Father)/Behold, in the scroll of the book it is written concerning me". Jesus was a man entirely pinioned by the word. He was absolutely its captive. The Father had spoken - "it is written" - and as its unquestioned slave he was free from Satan to serve God. Thus all the great works, or signs. Everything was fore-ordained. But it was his faith that made the possible inevitable.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:30 AM   #73
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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so sometimes it's easy to get pretty discouraged when you end up in a situation where everything has been stripped away and you have no choice but to fall on your knees and desperately seek the Lord......and He's still not really there. What then?
This where I think you are going wrong. How do you know God is "not really there?" What would "really there" mean to you?

I think the problem is faith. Now, I'm not condemning, I'm just making an observation. My remembrance is the LR really doesn't talk about "faith" much. They act like they know everything already. When what they think they know fails them, they are lost. LCers are unprepared for a world that isn't perfectly mapped out for them. Their assurance is partially supported by an insulating system. I see a bit of this in you.
Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
You have to believe God will reward your seeking.
Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Deuteronomy 4:29 "But if from there you will seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
You have to be sincere and desperate. You can't hold anything back.
Psalm 34:4 "I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears."

Matthew 7:8 "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
The problem in my experience with these verses not seeming to happen for me is always an unbelieving or mixed attitude in me. Also, we have to realize that God's deliverance is mostly inward. He frees us on the inside. He himself in us is our salvation. In the end, if we are seeking anything but him and his will, we are going to experience frustrations equivalent to the level of our mixture. This doesn't mean we can't ask for things or actions, but we always have to do so in the context of seeking his will. We cannot bend the Lord's will to ours. That is not what prayer is. Prayer is seeking God's will always, even when it seems to be contrary to ours.

So, before anything, you need to establish a relationship with God based on him alone. Not based on guidance for the future, but just you and him. Is there anything between you? Just talk to him and ask. Do it sincerely and respectfully, but simply and in a real way. But notice when you do this, for all your claim of wanting the Lord to answer, there will be some trepidation in really opening to him. This is normal, we all do it, but this is the problem. This is the unbelief we have to leave behind. This is where the rubber meets the road. Belief is very, very practical and baseline. Trust is mandatory. In fact, complete trust is mandatory. If you think God is "not really there" then you have a serious trust problem., and it is what is holding you back.

But he understands this and is very gentle. In fact, he's so gentle that sometimes we mistake his gentleness for him not being there! But he is and will answer. However, usually not in the way we expect.

Until you establish that basic relationship, seeking complex guidance is futile.


"Not really there?" No, he's really there. You can take that to the bank.
Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

1 Kings 19:11-12 "The LORD said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper."
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:59 AM   #74
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Default Re: How do you know the Lord's leading?

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You have to believe God will reward your seeking.
Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Deuteronomy 4:29 "But if from there you will seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
You have to be sincere and desperate. You can't hold anything back.
Psalm 34:4 "I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears."

Matthew 7:8 "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
Not to take anything away from Igzy's post which is probably completely true on several levels, but for me the "you" of the above sentences can only be fulfilled by Christ alone. Not Igzy or Trapped or myself. The "I" of Psalm 34:4 is Christ, not Trapped or Igzy or aron. It is called the "word of Christ" (Col 3:16) not the word of Trapped or Igzy or aron. And it is called the "faith of Christ" not the "faith of Trapped".

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When incorporated into Reformation categories of theology, “faithfulness of Christ” bolsters support for the doctrine of imputation. “We are justified by the faithfulness of Christ (his perfect obedience to the Father’s will, his faithfulness unto death on behalf of his covenant people).”
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/b...ess-of-christ/

The onus is 100% on God, and His Anointed One. Jesus alone, by faith, met that onus. Jesus alone could take the yoke of God's will. The rest of us cannot. It is his faith that saves us. His faithfulness. If we focus on ourselves, "How we are doing", we fail. We either delude ourselves, that we are "making it", or we slump in despair. Witness Lee's chief exegetical failure (among many) was that he looked at the scripture where it says, "God rescued me because I do his will" or "God is pleased with me because I obey his word" and he taught, "This is fallen human concept - nobody can keep God's law". This was completely incorrect: there's one Man who kept God's word, and fulfilled it. Now people like Trapped are trapped because they can't shout themselves out of their dilemma. They've given up on Witness Lee's laundry list of "we must" and "we should" - look at any HWMR outline - and they can't grasp another. Lee turned them into "defeated believers" (his term).

Trapped, for all his/her ennui, despair and frustration, is doing better than most. Most of them are so discouraged that they don't even say so. At least Trapped has a voice. Most of them are equally despairing, but silent.

I believe that human-kind was saved (redeemed, justified and transferred) by the faith of One Righteous Galilean Jew. The utterances of the ancients were his framework. He had the reality. He knew God's will, and did it. He said, "My sheep hear my voice, they recognise me and follow" - if you don't hear his voice in Psalm 34:4, how are you going to follow?

Again, I have zero quarrel with Igzy either in theory or practice, but am using his writings as my foil. Please, I beg indulgence. Thank you.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:21 AM   #75
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Not to take anything away from Igzy's post which is probably completely true on several levels, but for me the "you" of the above sentences can only be fulfilled by Christ alone. Not Igzy or Trapped or myself. The "I" of Psalm 34:4 is Christ, not Trapped or Igzy or aron. It is called the "word of Christ" (Col 3:16) not the word of Trapped or Igzy or aron. And it is called the "faith of Christ" not the "faith of Trapped".
Yes, I suppose that is true. Faith comes from Christ. Unbelief comes from us.

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Again, I have zero quarrel with Igzy either in theory or practice, but am using his writings as my foil. Please, I beg indulgence. Thank you.
Not a problem. You bring out a good point. We cannot muster faith, we can only go to him. Whether we have any faith at all in ourselves is reaching into realms beyond our ken. It's the chicken/egg thing. Why did one thief believe and the other didn't? Why do we believe and others don't?

But don't take the thought that because you struggle with belief that you are not meant to believe. If you've ever been troubled by a lack of faith, you were meant to believe. Genuine unbelievers don't worry about it. In fact, they'd rather not believe.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:55 AM   #76
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But don't take the thought that because you struggle with belief that you are not meant to believe. If you've ever been troubled by a lack of faith, you were meant to believe. Genuine unbelievers don't worry about it. In fact, they'd rather not believe.
For those of us who have had such experiences it is hard to stop believing. "We beheld his glory while we were with him on the holy mountain". The younger ones who, absent the contrived "experiences of Christ" that the LC gives, need a genuine tether for their faith, an anchor of the soul, as it were. May we pray for them constantly! I know the Great Intercessor is leading us all.

Let me rephrase my point (again thanks for the indulgence). "The LORD is my Shepherd/I shall not want" - before Christ was the Good Shepherd, he was the Good Sheep. The "me" of, "He makes me lie down in green pastures" is Christ. As we begin to vicariously appreciate and even re-enact his experiences, they become ours. As we see him step into his destiny, we step into ours. The Lamb of God becomes our Shepherd.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:24 PM   #77
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This question could be inconsiderate depending on the tone behind it, but I have no reason to assume any attitude or negative tone, so I'll take it as a question of concern instead.
There are a few ways to answer this question.....
If you are asking if I am saved, yes I do distinctly recall receiving the Lord as a young person, so in that sense I "know" the Lord. My conscience can certainly bother me, so there is some activity there.
But as far as a defined, solid relationship with the Lord, well......it's hard to "know" someone who doesn't seem to show up and who hides Himself so well when I really need some input. Aside from this thread post, in alt views I started a thread called "How do you know God cares?" so sometimes it's easy to get pretty discouraged when you end up in a situation where everything has been stripped away and you have no choice but to fall on your knees and desperately seek the Lord......and He's still not really there. What then?
The more I talk to people the more this seems to be a pretty common experience. What then?
Surely the Lord, being omni-everything, can come up with a middle ground to communicate with the people He loves so much that is somewhere between pin-drop silence and being burned up in His glory. Surely He can't be a binary, 0 or 1, all or nothing kind of person.
God speaking through your circumstances is so messy it almost makes it worse. Depending on which line of current circumstances I look at, the Lord could either be:
1. telling me to leave the LC because of the pain and mistreatment
2. telling me there are people in the LC who care and reach out, so I should stay
3. telling me to do nothing about the situation and keep reaching for Him in the midst of great and worsening loss, even though it's been a year of loss and He hasn't been there, and my suffering is getting worse
4. telling me to speak up against the mistreatment, which many are telling me not to, but possibly the Lord arranged the circumstances so someone would finally speak up and a long-standing bad situation might actually get addressed.
If I look for Biblical principles, the Lord, when reviled, did not revile in return, so maybe I shouldn't. On the other hand, He spoke up for justice. On the third hand, He seems to want the justice for Himself at the end, and until then we are supposed to turn the other cheek and love those who inflict untold pain on us. Or maybe I need to speak the truth in love.
I could easily get all these and several more conclusions from my circumstances, so I can't look at the circumstances, or "outward arrangement". I've mentioned there is no "book of Trapped" in the Bible to get God's will. And He doesn't speak audibly or in any way that I can interpret. So why bring me to barely being able to function and then leave me hanging almost, at this point, to the point of mental breakdown? I am so drained in every possible way, I just want to do what He wants......but He's off in the third heavens with his feet up in the sand sipping a margarita I guess.....because He sure isn't telling me what He wants, and I don't have anything left to make it through many more days.
So in that sense, no, I don't know the Lord. If I did know Him in that way, I wouldn't have started this thread. But again, the more LCD posts I read, the more people I talk to, two Christian counselors, elders in the LC, saints in the LC, the more online Christian articles I read, I seem to keep coming up to everyone admitting the same thing....."yeah, I never really get the Lord's leading either. I just kind of do what makes sense". Well, sometimes situations don't make sense and you're left with your lungs ripped out. So what then?
If He is our Counselor, where is the counsel? He's called our Counselor, not our Listener.
Trapped your responses make we wonder how much time you have spent in the Bible itself and how much faith you have in what it actually says (versus what LC leaders and saints have been telling you it says). This is a common byproduct of an LC upbringing though. Not necessarily your fault.

Scripture assures us that Jesus is in the heavens at the right hand of the Father advocating for His believers including you. Certainly not sipping a Margarita (though I doubt you were serious about that).
He has given you and all believers the Holy Spirit of the Promise as a pledge of our inheritance and seal that we are His. Christ indwells you through His Spirit (So He is right there, whether you perceive Him or not). His Spirit rests on you. His Spirit anoints you so you know all things without the need of someone to teach you; His Spirit leads you as a Son of God; and God has poured out His love into your heart through His Spirit.
As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. Stop waiting for Him to audibly speak to you, directly tell you what to do, or not do from the heavens or from your circumstances necessarily. Though I don’t want to limit how God and Christ will speak to you. Walk in Him by faith, believing His truth. Follow the leading of His Spirit which indwells you and rests on you. And compare what you see going on in the LC with what the scripture says should be going in the Church. Use your God given mind of Christ to understand (like aron shared with you) your options in the light of scripture.
I did those things when I found myself in your situation, and followed the Spirit’s leading out of the LC.

Again, best wishes on this. I'm praying for you.

JJ
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