Walking in love under Adversity by Callin
Pastor Don is seeking to raise up teachers in our church so sometimes he lets others teach Bible studies. It is good training ground, we record what we teach and Pastor Don can listen and give helpful hints to make our teachings better. Callin gave an incredible Bible study.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
What does this passage mean? There can be mis-communication when it comes to words. Sometimes we have whole concepts in our head, but it may not be what is really being said. Words are triggers. Sometimes a person’s culture or dialect and emphasis can make a difference. There are levels of communication based on class system, etc.
We want to be praising God no matter what our circumstances are. We want to live a life of self-sacrifice. We want to keep our focus. You need to treat others with forgiveness and love no matter how they have hurt us. Even if they are angry and attacking you, we need to be willing to sacrifice what means a lot to you.
What is love? It is a verb, and it is not about sentiment or emotions. It ia a choice to behave in a loving way, guided by the Holy Spirit, regardless of what feedback we are receiving. We think that love is emotions and sentiment from a human perspective, but God gives us everything we need to fully understand the kind of love He is talking about.
Callin had someone read the following verses:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
The person read the passage beautifully, but then Callin pointed out how quickly they read these verses, and he told us anyone would have read them that way, but they were not intended to be read so quickly. Each individual clause in this passage is a lifetime’s worth of work. We cannot comprehend these things that fast. (Heather’s comment, I heard a teaching once that we can replace the word “love” with God or Jesus and it would be true in every instance, but if we put our name in the place of the word “love” we cannot live up to those expectations)
So Callin said, “Love is Patient…” we can spend the rest of our life trying to personify that.
We are born and programmed for physical communities – physical, soul and spiritual. When a child is born they know hunger, wet, need for consolation. They have no patience, when they are uncomfortable they cry and the loving parent comes running. They have no patience. Their soul develops, and they begin to have language development, and as time goes on they develop intellectually and emotionally. Unless they are born in a family that knows God, they may not develop this kind of loving patience.
Callin reflected that the spiritual part of our being is the strongest, and it is the part that we know the least about. We indulge the physical, and often become broken, battered and hurting, then if we are fortunate, we ask the spirit to minister to us. The Spirit helps us love. In the physical we cannot do it. In the physical we have lust, infatuation.
“Love is kind.” That can take a lifetime to manifest.
He then read the following passage from the King James version.
James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Callin told us, while we read the Bible the Bible is reading us. It is a mirror to show us who we are. It shows us our deficits, blessings, power positions.
He told us he often goes on a sound fast for 7 days, and does not talk. So much of the talking we do and that goes on around us is idle chatter. We need to become aware that our words have power. Most of the problems we suffer we bring upon ourselves. Until we are honest we will look for someone else to be a scapegoat.
Do I walk in love?
We are told to judge no thing before its time, and not to judge to condemnation. God will finish the good work that He has done in us in His time and His way.
Our challenge is to:
1. Understand what we are ready for and realize what it means to me may have no bearing on you.
God gives us each our own personal challenge. We need to go into the Word (Bible), put it on, walk it, and feel it. It is not the Word, but the walk. It is doing the walk of the words coming out of God’s mouth that matters.
If you can take hold of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (see above) you have entered into bootcamp.
If Scripture stands out to you and you take notice, it is a breath of life for you. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
When you face adversity? Adversity as defined by Webster is Opposition; contrariety. Syn: Affliction; distress; misery; disaster; trouble; suffering; trial.
Then Callin looked up affliction: The cause of continued pain of body or mind, as sickness, losses, etc.; an instance of grievous distress; a pain or grief. 2. The state of being afflicted; a state of pain, distress, or grief. Syn: Calamity; sorrow; distress; grief; pain; adversity; misery; wretchedness; misfortune; trouble; hardship.
We can face affliction, be in dire straits, confused, baffled, and so twisted that we cannot tell up from down.
There are 2 sources of adversity. 1. from the enemy, 2. from what we bring upon ourselves.
Misfortune – ADVERSE, at odds with ourselves, something riling you, someone in your face and pressing your buttons. Failing to promote one’s interest or welfare. We can be in an adverse living condition, poverty, physical sins, drug addiction. Doing the opposite direction from what you should function in. Things come at us from many directions.
Callin told us that God was very specific about what would bring us blessings and curses, and told us to read Deuteronomy 28 to see the listing of blessings and curses.
He also told us that OBEY/LOVE, that to obey is to love, and to love is to obey.
Blessings will chase after you if you obey God and exhibit His love. Obedience and love are two sides of the same coin.
When Adam and Eve were walking with God they faced no adversity, than an entity from another realm came into their realm and enticed them. They chose to disobey God, and listen to satan.
Callin then pointed out that the Spirit during creation was hovering over the water and earth, and that the earth was without form and void. Between verse 1 and 2 is a university of information. What happened between verse 1 and 2 of Genesis that caused the earth to be without form and void? Yet, after the universe became without form and void, then God took plans to reinstate the earth to His standards, the same pattern will follow throughout the Bible.
When man was created by God, he was given dominion and authority over the earth, and they walked in love and obedience. Then things changed when they disobeyed and gave the dominion and authority over satan.
What can lead to adversity is:
We must walk in love, selfless, in the face of adversity. We want to emulate Jesus.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
God created man in His image, and told man to be fruitful and multiply. The writers of the Bible broke the text into chapter and verse to make it easier to find passages, but the various books, such as 1 John was really one long letter.
Jesus is the second (last) Adam.
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Because of Jesus mankind lives again IN CHRIST. Jesus took the commandments and made them into two: 1. Love God, and 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. In those two commandments are all the other laws and commandments. We can see the love of God and Jesus throughout the Old Testament.
Callin then asked if people knew what a cauldron was used for, and pointed out that it was used to make precious metals, where gold and silver was refined. A fire was set under the cauldron and the refiner would watch the metal melt. He would skim off the impurities which would float to the surface due to the heat. As the metal refines fewer impurities rise and the refiner would know that the metal was pure when the refiner could see His reflection in the metal.
The refiner, in our case is God, who sets the temperature and trials higher and higher so that the sinful impurities are purged from us. The results of our misdeeds and the Lord’s judgement refines us. As we refine, we will grow more like God.
But don’t forget that satan also imitates God, and satan also has his church and apostles. He mimics the truth with falsehood and seeks to rob us of our heritage by setting up counterfeits.
In our case the cauldron is our body and our bodies suffer under pressure and heat. But don’t forget that coal under great pressure becomes a diamond. When our body and soul is under great pressure, it hurts, but if we learn and cooperate with God, what we will produce will give God glory.
Our soul is the go-between between the physical and the spiritual. We function with the soul (mind, will, emotions) and the physical, but the governing authority is our spirit. Our spirit takes it’s lead from the Lord.
Our physical parents can discipline us at times for selfish purposes, but when God disciplines us in His cauldron He is 1. working something in us or 2. working something out of us. God is seeking to purify us, and to work a spiritual maturity into us, so that we can find our true self in the cauldron and praise God and be able to walk in love in adversity.
We will continually learn the lesson until God has determined that we have passed the test.
Salvation is 3-fold.
1. Instantly as we yield to the Lord, salvation takes place immediately and it is a done deed.
Callin then addressed the fear that many have that you can lose your salvation. But that is not true. God, who began a good work in you, is faithful and just to complete it. He will finish the work He began in us. God sheds light on our selves.
We will put down the old ways and pick up trust.
When we make a decision we need to weigh it against the Word of God. If the Word of God cannot support it, you need to not make that choice. Eventually God’s Word and will will become more manifest in our lives.
There were many examples in the Bible of people who loved in the face of adversity. We named a few – Jesus, Paul, Nehemiah, Deborah, Job, and then someone mentioned that Pastor Don is a good example of walking in love.
Where do we go for validation when things are tough? We need to find believers who can help us to have hope in the midst of our despair.
The Bible does not tell us that when we get saved things will always go smoothly for us. The Bible assures us that we will have tribulation but tells us that we need to be of good courage for Jesus has overcome the World.
The book of Romans is a great book to study to learn to live the walk that God wants us to live. Someone asked about God’s judging of people who may not know Him.
We looked at Romans 2:12-16 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
God will judge according to the information that the person has. The Gospel was brought to the Jew first, then to the gentiles. We are to intercede for heathen nations, for unbelievers, and those who murder, sacrifice children, and cause mayhem.
Callin then talked about Jonah and how he was sent to Ninevah to preach repentance to the people. Jonah went in the opposite direction. Ninevah was a very evil culture who delighted in causing much pain to the Israelites. The last thing Jonah wanted to see was Ninevah saved. When we leave the track God has for us as Jonah did, God will give us opportunities to return to do what God wants us to do. In Jonah’s case a big fish came and brought him to Ninevah and Jonah obeyed God, although rather reluctantly.
God is with us when we are off track or on track, and He will be with us even though we don’t perceive Him when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. God is faithful.
Callin shared some of his testimony – including how he was at one point in jail, and doing everything that was not of God. Pursuing buddhism, zen, and meditation. He was fortunate to have a believer who would show Callin the truth through passages in the Bible. The Holy Spirit never left Callin, but when Callin was so disobedient to God, the Holy Spirit waited quietly in love until Callin would come to his senses.
As Callin was reading a book that compared the truths of the Bible to zen, the Holy Spirit nudged Callin to not only read the verse in the book but to read the verses before and after that verse in the Bible. What Callin realized was that the author of the zen book was taking the Bible verses out of context. The basis of all cults is that they take the truths of God and serve them to their members out of context.
We see this through the dealings Jesus had with the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees and Scribes. They had the letter of the law, but not the Spirit of the law.
Callin, while in prison, was reading the Bible and reading about Jesus – he did not know Jesus as Lord, but he kept sharing what he was reading about Jesus with others, telling them, “Look at this dude, He’s cool.” According to Callin, Jesus was able to stick it to the man (Pharisees, etc.) He was impressed with Jesus’s intellectual ability, and Callin wanted what Jesus had. He kept reading and the more he read, the more the Word had an effect on him.
God moved Callin from place to place in various prisons. God was still programmed to take care of “me”. At that time Callin was very self-centered and self-directed. He dealt with others through this selfishness. As Callin kept reading Christians came across his path and began to discuss things with him and showing him how the false religions he was pursuing were not logical. One man in particular was very deft at wielding the sword of truth (the Bible). At one point, Callin told him to stop talking to him about the Bible, for he realized that the more he knew the more accountable to God he would be. The man stayed Callin’s friend and still spoke truth to him.
Callin told us that satan will try to undermine our assignments in life unless we know the Word. We have to do things the way God says or satan can undermine and overthrow our plans. Callin told us that God surrounded him with 4-5 strong Christian men who knew the Word of God. At one point, Callin said to them, “Don’t pull your Bible out, can’t you think for yourself.” His friends told him that their friendship would remain, but that Callin should take his arguments to God. Over the following year and a half, God used those 3-4 men to mentor Callin into the Kingdom.
We are constantly embattled and are told to be fruitful and multiply and conquer and subdue. The battle goes on, satan will not give up anything without a fight. But we need to remember all those things that we were pre-salvation are our testimony. Those things that led us to the struggle to say, “Yes, Lord,” is our testimony, and then our beginning to grow in the Word becomes our testimony. We are in a battle and that battle will be won with the Spirit of Love, in Christ. If we try to do it intellectually, with our own physical strength, with our finances, through the world we will lose. We do not win by might or strength, but by God’s Spirit.
As we see some of those who were once our enemies become saved, it increases our faith. With God all things are possible.
Because of the Lord’s mercy we do not perish. God gives us a cross to bear and we are carrying our cross daily. We are in death throes as the old passes away, and often we do not give up the old without a fight. God brings us to a place where our old self is distasteful, and we begin to have a righteous indignation about our old self. No evil can stand in the Lord’s presence.
When Callin was out of jail, he was still doing drugs and still was bound by things from his past. He managed to get to Pastor Don’s house, and while he was there, the Holy Spirit knocked Callin down – and Callin was face down on the carpet unable to get up until the Holy Spirit was finished with Him. Pastor Don was sitting across the room laughing in the Spirit and letting the Holy Spirit minister to Callin. When Callin was finally able to stand up, the bondage that had oppressed him was lifted. God had delivered Callin from drugs, promiscuity, alcohol, violence in the 45 minutes he was laid on the floor.
But adversity still came after Callin and there were periods of being backslidden, and it was very painful until finally Callin was humbled and able to seek deliverance. Then what satan meant for harm, God turned to good.
When he spent that time on the carpet at Pastor Don’s house, the Holy Spirit did not condemn him or shame him. God is faithful and worked at healing, helping Callin deal with that cauldron experience, and cleansing him.
This is what God wants to do with all of us, to help us to cleanse ourselves so that we can walk in love. God wants to equip us so we can flex our muscles to meet the challenges that satan throws at us. We need challenges, it is what we starve for when we try to satisfy ourselves with other things.
Callin used the image of a car — and told us to pick our favorite car. Our body is that car. Our soul is the electrical system, shock absorbers, etc. The car needs a driver – and the Holy Spirit is the driver.
The problem is that we spend more time adorning our body instead of adorning the Spirit. We need to turn ourselves toward God, for as we make ourselves more and more into His image, and go deeper, more powerful and closer to God, the more we see our selves clearly.
Right now we see through a glass darkly, but at one point we will be face to face. Walk in love. Walk in love in the face of challenge, adversity, feelings. Ingest the Word daily. God really wants us to have a personal relationship with Him, where we hear Him internally without the need of external signs.
The Old Testament is filled with stories of people who had relationships with God, people who made mistakes and others who obeyed God. God put those stories there to teach us by His word so that we do not have to live through the experience to learn. Learn through God’s word how to walk in love through adversity.
Hoping this study blessed you,
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