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10 of the best articles on Christian living from the #1 Online Christian living magazine Taber's Truths

10 of the best articles on Christian living from the #1 Online Christian living magazine Taber's Truths

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    The best of taber's truths vol 1 The best of taber's truths vol 1 Document Transcript

    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Spiritual Hunger Have you ever had this happen? You are minding your own business and just doing the duties that come with your day and all of a sudden you realize that you need to stop what you are doing and satisfy this strange need that has arisen in your life. You are feeling a rumbling in your stomach and a craving has come upon you. You have to stop what you are doing and satisfy this urge. You have to eat. It is called hunger. Now consider this. Have you been going along in your spiritual life and the duties that go along with it; church attendance, Bible study, prayer, ect. and all of a sudden you are no longer satisfied with the status quo? 20 minute worship on Sunday feels canned. 30 minute sermons have no life in them. Your morning devotions are a ritual and not an encounter. Bible study seems to produce no fruit. You are dissatisfied with your Christian experience and you want more. You my friend, are spiritually hungry. Spiritual Hunger Means You Are Alive! The dead do not need to eat. When you are spiritually hungry then it means that you still have life left in you. Bill Johnson writes, “Hunger for God is one of the greatest signs of life a person can have. It reveals an inner
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 awareness of a greater destiny”. The fact that you are dissatisfied shows that God has greater things in mind for you than you are experiencing now. Jesus put it this way. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. The word righteousness means right standing or right relationship. When you are spiritually hungry, you are hungering after a better or deeper relationship with God. The promise in this verse is that you will be filled. However most people read it and think that they will be filled once and for all. But if we go back to the analogy of eating and hunger, we realize that no matter how much we eat at one sitting, we eventually get hungry again because the nutrients and power that we received from our last meal eventually is used up. So we need to come back and eat again. Spiritual Hunger Motivates Us Have you ever been really hungry? There have been times when I have fasted where I experienced obsessive hunger. It is all that you can think about. It doesn‟t matter what you are doing at the moment, your body screams at you to feed it. That hunger motivates you to find food. The same is true with spiritual hunger. It will motivate you to move forward with God. It causes you to pursue Him in ways you never expected. When you are physically really hungry, it doesn‟t matter if the steak is cooked to your liking. It doesn‟t matter if you do not care for green beans. You are just hungry and you will eat what is put before you. The same is true with spiritual hunger. It does not matter if the spiritual food is placed before you in the manner you would prefer. It doesn‟t matter if the preacher preaches longer than 30 minutes and then doesn‟t even shake your hand. It doesn‟t matter if people see you kneeling and weeping before God crying out for more of Him. It doesn‟t matter if you start expressing desperation for more of God. You lose your inhibitions when you are desperate enough and hungry enough.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Spiritual Hunger Brings True Satisfaction Have you ever experienced the feeling you get after eating a good meal when you were hungry? Have you ever felt the satisfaction that the need or craving for food had been satisfied? John Piper writes, “The Bible teaches us to desire God and to have joy in God, or delight in God. It illustrates both. Godly people are seen longing, hungering, thirsting and fainting for God. They are also seen enjoying, delighting in, and being satisfied in God.” There is only one place where you can truly get your spiritual hunger satisfied. It is in God. However it is like physical hunger. It will only satisfy you for a season. You will have to get another meal in the future. However every meal is unique, vital, and satisfying. As Jesus put it, it is our daily bread. Are You Spiritually Hungry? So I ask you once again. Have you been going along in your spiritual life and the duties that go along with it; church attendance, Bible study, prayer, ect. And all of a sudden you are no longer satisfied with the status quo? Maybe it is time for you as it is time for me to start crying out for another spiritual meal from the Lord. Blessings!
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 The Tearing Down Of Strongholds Many people when they talk of the tearing down of strongholds try to make this something more than it is. They try to give the devil credit for something that in this case, he has nothing to do with. The Apostle Paul when he talks about the tearing down of strongholds, is not talking about demonic activity but instead is talking about human activity within our minds. So let‟s take a look at the passage in 2 Corinthians 10 where Paul is talking
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 about the tearing down of strongholds and let‟s learn how we can tear down these things within our lives and live lives that are truly free in Christ. The Tearing Down Of Strongholds Bible verse. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT 3 We are human, but we don‟t wage war as humans do. 4 1 We use God‟s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 What are Strongholds? In this passage we can see that strongholds are not some type of demonic activity. Instead strongholds are things that happen in our minds. In this case the battle is in the mind and we need to have our minds renewed. (1 Cor 12:1-2) Strongholds are imbedded in our human reasoning, our imaginations, and our human pride. They are part of how we perceive the world. So let‟s take a moment to talk about these 3 things. Human Reasoning The process of human reasoning is a very basic process that we use all the time. It basically goes like this. If A causes B and B is bad, then we should not do A. Now let me put it in more human terms. If my Father never gives me love and I am disappointed, then I should not ever expect love from a Father so I won‟t be disappointed. Thus this human reasoning influences our expectations. Imaginations Imagination can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how we use it. It can cause us to be creative geniuses or destructive fools. When we allow our imaginations to dwell on things that are contrary to the word of God, then it can be destructive. Imagination is the womb that desire uses to give birth to sin. (James 1:15) Imagination is never reality. Many times we imagine God to be one way but He is in reality the exact opposite. Human Pride There is healthy pride and unhealthy pride. Healthy pride is when you care about how you look, do your job, excel in your career. Unhealthy pride is self reliance and stubbornness. Unhealthy pride is when you must be right even though you know you are wrong. Unhealthy pride demands it‟s own way. When we are operating with unhealthy pride we are opposing the truth by choice. It is a stronghold that has to be torn down if you are ever to come to the full knowledge of God. What do These Strongholds Do? A stronghold protects something. It protects something that we do not want to be disturbed. Usually it is some type of wound that we have received that hurts if left unprotected. We protect it with a stronghold around it. Sometimes it is with false arguments that make the wound safe like, “It is better not to love because you always get hurt if you love.” The lie in that statement is the word “always”. It is false. Sometimes we protect it by imagination. We have an experience as a kid with rejection. Because of this we imagine that everyone will reject us. So we do things that will cause rejection since we would rather be rejected
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 for what we do instead of being rejected for who we are. We imagine that the rejection will happen and so we act accordingly to our imagined expectations. Sometimes we just get wounded and we rebel against the pain. We set ourselves up so that we never have to rely on anyone else again. We have unhealthy pride. We become self sufficient and arrogant. We think we know everything, can do everything, and that no one else can do it better. All of this to protect a wound in our heart and to protect it from ever being wounded again.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 How Do You Tear Down Strongholds? If the wounds are in our heart but the strongholds are in our mind then tearing down those strongholds is a 2 fold process. Notice what Paul said about what we use. “We use God‟s mighty weapons”. Many times people try to use human weapons against these things. Usually when this happens, any success that is seen is short lived. To pull down these strongholds we must use God‟s weapons. They are truth for the mind and healing for the heart. Let‟s go back to my original example. A person never receives affirmation and love by their father. Because of this they decide to not seek affirmation and love from any father. Since God is our father, they never seek nor believe that this father will give them love and affirmation. However what does God say? John 1:17 NLT For the law was given through Moses, but God‟s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. The truth is that God not only loves them, but does so with an unfailing love and is passionately pursuing them even now. Once a person realizes that they have accepted a lie, then they change and accept the truth. The stronghold comes down. Then the heart issue can be dealt with. All the pain of rejection and feeling unworthy of love can be exposed to the only one that can heal that hurt. It can be filled with the knowledge deep down in their heart that they were not worthy of rejection and that the problem wasn‟t their lack, but the human failings of another flawed human. The heart issue is dealt with by the Spirit of God. Mental assent or determination alone cannot heal a heart. Only God, who created the human heart, has the expertise to heal it. This is what Paul was talking about when he said the weapons of are warfare are not carnal but mighty through God. When the strongholds come down, it will probably be messy. It will be emotional, but in the end they result in being set free from something that was leading you to destruction. Blessings! Pastor Duke
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Christian Revival – What is it? Christian revival, renewal, outpouring, or times of refreshing, no matter what you call it, is something that has been happening ever since the first outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. I honestly don‟t care what you call it. Quibbling over semantics is silly. The fact of the matter is that there have been ebbs and flows of spiritual fervor throughout the history of Christianity. Until the time where there is no longer a war between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God; until such a time as the war between the flesh and the Spirit has been resolved, there will always be a need for Christian revival in each generation. It is up to each one of you that read this article to come to your own conclusions concerning whether or not there is a need for revival not only in our respective nations but in our personal lives as well. We have to discern if there has been a decline in our spiritual passion and fervor in our churches, communities and most importantly, families.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 What Is Christian Revival? Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy. With any authentic Christian revival there is an understanding that comes that we are not where we should be. Whether it be in our lifestyle, our effectiveness or in our love relationship with Jesus, we recognize that things need to change and that it needs to begin with us. You will see this in the evidence that people start doing some deep soul searching. They are no longer satisfied with the status quo of their spiritual life and start seeking God from a deep felt need within their soul. Revival normally starts with the marginal Christian. They are the ones that have let the world‟s way of thinking and living creep into their life until a great conflict of conscience plagues them. They realize that they have fallen away from their first love and are no longer in a love relationship with Jesus but are only performing out of habit or obligation. Their obedience is not based on their love but upon their fear. Just like when an unbeliever comes to Jesus, the marginal Christian starts to sense God calling them back to a life that is sold out to Him. Their hardened hearts starts to be broken up and plowed once again.. Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. They are tired of their dry and thirsty souls. They start to cry out to God to once again send the living water that once made them so alive. Once this starts happening then God starts to renew the faith of the believer. They start to see once again the plight of people who do not know Jesus. They are moved with compassion at their eternal destiny. No longer are they content to see friends and family members, coworkers and colleagues in peril of hell. Instead of just giving mental assent to the truths of the Bible, they start to listen and obey what it says. They are filled with a love for others that they are compelled to act upon that love. They are so filled with a passionate
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 love for Jesus that it grieves their hearts when others are not in love with Him in the same way. They cannot understand how anyone can be so callous to the sacrificial love Jesus showed to all mankind. Christian revival causes people to change the ties that they previously had. It causes those that love the world and the ways of the world to start following the beat of a different drummer. It causes those that only looked at the opposite sex for what personal gratification that they could gain from them, to start honoring and respecting them for the beautiful creation that God has made them. It causes those that are caught in the enticement of self gratification to forsake that out of love for the One who has saved their soul. When churches start to experience Christian revival it changes them. No longer will they fight over budgets or money, over theological truth and who is right. They will stop looking inwardly at what is best for them and will start looking outwardly at who else needs the grace and mercy of God that they have received. Instead of looking at what will make them look good or respectable, they will be focused on reaching the lost, the hurting, the downtrodden and oppressed. They will gladly become fools for Christ in order that Christ may be glorified. 1 Corinthians 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; They will gladly lay down self interest, self respect, and self indulgence so that others may taste of the goodness of the Lord as they have.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 How Does Christian Revival Happen? Christian revival happens when 2 things come together. They are the providence of God and the release of the Holy Spirit. The providence of God is an important aspect of any true Christian revival. We must understand that revival is not something that we can just conjure up by certain works or methods. Just because you announce a series of sermons on revival will not cause a revival. Just because you bring in a special speaker or evangelist will not spark a revival. Revival comes when the leadership and the members of a church place their entire dependence upon the grace of God alone. All of God‟s providence flows from His grace. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. When we are in need of revival we have to come to the throne of grace to receive the grace for revival. It is grace that helps us once again be renewed, revived, restored once again. It is not by our works lest we should boast in our own spirituality and fervor. It comes as an outflowing of God‟s undeserved favor. When we come to the throne of grace to receive restoration and renewal, and then tie it with a willingness to be yielded and used by the Holy Spirit, then revival breaks forth. If you have one without the other you will not see true Christian revival. It will falter and fail. You will either see Christians becoming closer to God but not being empowered to take it to their community or you will see a bunch of signs and wonders but no changed lives. In order to have Christian revival, you must be willing to let the Holy Spirit work through you even though it may be strange or uncomfortable for you. You must be willing to risk looking like a fool and be willing to trust that God‟s Holy Spirit is able to do the work that you cannot do. None of us can change one life. That is a work of the Spirit. You must be willing to yield to that Spirit in your everyday life. This is not about just having a good church meeting. This is about taking the power and presence of God to our communities. Are you Willing To Have Revival Start With You? So here are the questions? 1. Has your spiritual life gotten old or stagnant? 2. Is your family, church, community or nation in spiritual decline?
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 If so then are you willing to 1. Go to the throne of grace and fall down and admit these things? 2. Are you willing to seek God for the grace to be revived personally? 3. Are you willing to lay down “self” and surrender and yield to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life as He empowers you to touch the lives of others? I am! Blessings! Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Living A Life Of Faith In An Age Of Reason
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 We live in an age where it seems that anything that has to do with the Christian faith is under attack by Atheists and their prophets of reason. I recently saw an article about another prophet of reason prognosticating that religion would be dead by 2041. I felt that it was time for me to address this issue and remind everyone that this is nothing new. The questions concerning the reasonableness of Christianity have gone back for centuries. Man has always wanted to view himself as the final authority in all things and to set himself up as a God. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche stated in 1882 that God was dead. In 1900, only 18 years later, Nietzsche was dead and the followers of God still flourished. Nietzsche‟s reason failed him for he was wrong. Understanding the Age Of Reason The term “age of reason” was first coined by Thomas Paine after the American revolution. Paine advocates reason in the place of revelation, leading him to reject miracles and to view the Bible as an ordinary piece of literature rather than as a divinely inspired text. In a nutshell, Paine and his later disciples, replaces the immanent and supernatural attributes of God with a faith in human intellect. God becomes detached and removed from the affairs of man and man becomes supreme in all he does. This is still the same theological and spiritual premise that the modern day prophets of reason espouse. They claim that God is dead, fictitious, and unreasonable and that man is a god unto himself and must live by the understanding he has in life by his own ability to reason. How Do We Live A Life Of Faith In An Age Of Reason? The first thing we must understand is that there is a difference between something being unreasonable and something being beyond reason. When something is unreasonable it is something that is impossible based upon the facts that we know. For instance; a pig cannot fly. It is an unreasonable expectation to place upon a pig the demand to fly. However place a pig in a crate, take him to the airport and place him on a plane and all of a sudden it is reasonable for a pig to fly because of an action by a higher authority that was initially beyond reason. Understanding the difference between something that is unreasonable and something that is beyond reason will help you live a life of faith in an age of reason. Reason depends upon 2 things. It depends upon the ability of our 5 senses to pick up all the information that there is to know about our world and it depends upon the ability of our intellects to process that information correctly. The decision to trust those 2 things completely is what I would call faith. It is a faith in self vs. a faith in God. I would even venture to say that it is a blind faith since they continue to do so even though they have been presented with evidence that plainly shows that the 5 senses are not always correct in what they perceive
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 and are limited in what they are able to perceive, and they have been shown that not always does the intellect process the information correctly and that it is skewed by psychological, emotional, and personal historic bias. Thus the trust in reason is actually an act of blind faith. As believers in Jesus we live a life of faith in an age of reason by understanding that there are some things that are beyond reason. Just as the higher authority enabled the pig to fly, so we believe that there is a higher authority that is beyond reason that enables us to see and experience a life that is beyond the 5 senses and human intellect. It is that higher authority which we call God, that enables us to be born spiritual with a born- again experience. It is God that enables us to experience His presence. It is God who heals miraculously. It is God who takes slave traders and makes them into hymn writers. It is God loves and pursues man enough to be willing to intervene in the lives of everyday individuals. Is Living A Life Of Faith Reasonable? Both Atheists and Christians acknowledge that there are things in life that are unexplainable. They would call them unreasonable and say that there is a reason for it but we don‟t understand it yet. Believers would say that they are beyond reason and that reason is not the ultimate test for everything in this world. From my perspective it is more reasonable to trust in God who is beyond reason than to trust in the flawed and skewed instruments of our 5 physical senses and our own limited intellect. Blessings! Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 The Priority Of Being With Jesus Ever since the founder of the Vineyard, John Wimber went to be with Jesus, there has been a question as to which way the Vineyard was going to go in relation to the gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit. This season of soul searching is normal for a group of people who lose a very gifted and charismatic leader. This year at the conference in Anaheim, this question seemed to be resolved. In the end, the Vineyard recognized that God had given them the genetic code of always being people with a passion and practice of walking in the Spirit. So this morning, it is with great delight that I share with you some of the reasons I personally applaud this move by the Vineyard. Being With Jesus
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 In Acts 4:13 we see Peter and John in some hot water with the religious leaders of the day. They could not understand how they had achieved the working of a miracle until they realized they had been with Jesus. Their assumption was that this type of power came with education and training. This is not unlike our assumptions today. There is nothing wrong with education and training but those 2 things alone will not cause a miracle. It takes being with Jesus. In John 15:4 Jesus makes a bold statement. He says that we cannot bear fruit unless we abide in Him. When we see ebb in the spiritual vitality of a church or in our personal life it can be attributed to one thing. We are not abiding as closely as we once were with Jesus. The Vineyard saw this ebb and appointed a Holy Spirit committee to make recommendations to fix this problem, knowing that if a denomination of people feel the need to appoint a committee to study this type of problem then the problem is worse than they think. Abiding in Jesus The Greek word for “abide” is Meno. It means to remain, abide, in reference to place, to sojourn, tarry, not to depart. So to abide in Jesus means to remain, abide, travel to, or stay in his presence. Now from a theological standpoint, you are always abiding in Jesus because He abides in you, however from a practical standpoint, to walk in the type of power and boldness that Peter and John walked in, you must also abide in Him from personal experiential standpoint. It must be more than head knowledge. It must be something that you are experiencing. Jerry Cook in his book “The Holy Spirit, So what‟s the big deal? Writes, If we are to be the active presence of Jesus in our world, we must have His power available in a practical form. Jesus made provision for this: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” So the way we abide in Jesus today is to stay in the presence and to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. That is why it is so important for the people of the Vineyard to continue to be people who practice the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2 1 When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, 1 I didn‟t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God‟s secret plan. 2 For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. The Challenge Romans 13:14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don‟t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. Starting today, think about how you experienced the presence of the Lord in worship or prayer during church or at some other time. Remember the sense of peace and spirituality that you felt while in that presence. Take that presence with you. Remember to think about it through your day and stop if need be and sing a song or pray a prayer to have that sense of the presence of God return to you. He never left, but your senses got dulled for a
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 little bit. Do that through the entire day. Take time to read a psalm, proverb, or parable. Focus on keeping the experience of the presence of God with you all day. Then tomorrow do it again, and keep on doing it throughout the week, then report back on what it did for your life to focus on that. Jude 1 24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. Blessings! Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Do You Have A Healthy Spiritual Life? One of the things I have found during the 33 years I have been a believer is the importance of having a healthy spiritual life. In our age where we fill all of our free time with activities, many times our spiritual life is left hanging. If we are to be the type believer that ministers out of the overflow that God gives us, we must make having a healthy spiritual life a priority. So in this article I hope to share with you some of the things that I have learned about having a healthy spiritual life and how it will transform the way you live, lead, and invest into the lives of others. The Importance Of A Healthy Spiritual Life When we think of someone who must have had a healthy spiritual life we think of Jesus. He is our model for living. So let‟s take a quick look at how He went about balancing the demands of life with the need for healthy spirituality.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Luke 4:42 42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. Luke 5:15-16 15 But despite Jesus‟ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. Luke 6:12-16 12 One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), Andrew (Peter‟s brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (who was called the zealot), 16 Judas (son of James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him). In all 3 of these instances we see that Jesus had many demands put upon His time and His life. In the first one He had done some great miracles and people wanted Him for themselves. There was the pressure of pleasing the people who were following Him at that time. In the second one His fame was spreading. People were making demands of Him more and more and the time required to minister to them was increasing. There was the pressure of all the needs that were around Him. In the third instance, we see that He spent the night in prayer before making the decision of who was going to be on His apostolic team. It was a decision that was going to affect the world throughout time. In all of these instances we see that Jesus had to make decisions that are common to all of us. There are people that want us to do things that are pleasing to them without thinking of the big picture. There are people that think their particular problem is the only problem in the world and demand our attention to fix it. There are decisions that we are faced with that will affect our future and the future of others. So the example that Jesus sets is a prime example of the importance of having a healthy spiritual life.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 What Is A Healthy Spiritual Life? When I talk to people about having a healthy spiritual life most of them think I am talking about having morning devotions or a quiet time with the Lord. In all honesty, most people who practice morning devotions do so out of a sense of obligation or duty or just one more exercise in a long list of activities that go along with being a Christian. What I am talking about is not an activity but a relationship. Jesus didn‟t get away from the hustle and bustle and the demands upon Him to practice another activity. He withdrew to spend time with His Heavenly Father. Some people may truly connect with God during those morning devotions but myself, I am
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 not mentally or emotionally at my best in the morning. It is not the time where I truly can have a heart to heart with anyone, let alone the God of the universe. I would like to encourage you to take a step back from the activity of “devotions” and look at when and what it is that actually helps you to connect to God. For some people, during their morning run they have the best talks with God. For some it is when they have all their study Bibles, concordances, and commentaries out doing research on something. For others, such as myself, it is when I am driving. Whatever it is, take time out to have a relational talk with God and spend time getting quiet and letting Him talk back. A healthy spiritual life flows from our relationship we are engaged in with our Heavenly Father. The Benefits Of Having A Healthy Spiritual Life. Having a Calm Soul When you keep your spiritual life healthy by staying in a constant relationship with your Heavenly Father you develop a calm soul. Instead of things causing you fear and consternation, you instead walk in the peace of God. People start to notice this. You bring that peace with you wherever you go. One of the things that people tell me after doing this for 33 years is that they know I walk with God. They could just tell by the calm that I have in my soul. I know that no matter what the situation is, God is in control. Having a Clear Understanding When you spend time developing a healthy spiritual life you have a clear understanding about where you are going and what you are doing. God is able to speak to us and to guide us. When we do not have a vibrant and real relationship with God that is developed on a daily basis then we are walking in what we hope is best or what we think is best. We are not walking in the assurance that every step we make has been orchestrated by the great composer of life. You see, when you know it was God that guided you to do something, you look to Him to make things come to pass and not yourself. You look to His ability and not your own. Having a Kingdom Perspective When you are living a healthy spiritual life your perspective changes. Instead of having a perspective that is centered on the things of this world, you have a perspective that places your priorities in line with the priorities of the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:31-33
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 31 “So don‟t worry about these things, saying, „What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?‟ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God 4 above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Your decision making process will be changed. You will make decisions based on what is best for the kingdom of God and the citizens of that kingdom. So I ask you the question that hopefully will bring some introspection. Do you have a healthy spiritual life? How is your soul doing? Blessings! Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 The God Of Restoration When I talk about the God of restoration, I do not come to you from a perspective of just teaching a biblical principle. I come to you from a lifetime of experience seeing God restore my own life. So this article comes straight from my heart. You see, more than once I have lost everything. I lost family, friends, finances, and even my good name. However I always kept the advice that a dear friend of mine gave to me. “You worry about your character and let God worry about your reputation, life, and circumstances.” Now that does not mean that I have always had perfect character. In fact I have blown it more than my fair share in life. However I have always tried to live my life with biblical character to the best of my ability. So let‟s take a look at how God is the God who restores.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 God’s Promise of Restoration Zechariah 9:12 Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you. When we have lost something dear to us, it is very hard to see that life can get better. However I am a living testimony that God will not only restore what you formerly had, but that He will increase what you had. Now I am not necessarily talking about finances, although He does restore finances, but I am talking about the type of life that He has destined for you. Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And l you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. The first thing you need to realize is that God‟s destiny for you is good and not bad. When you have lost everything, when you are going through divorce, when you have lost family and friends, it is very easy to focus on what you have lost. This may be normal but it is not productive. You have a promise from God. His future for you is good! So take a deep breath, quiet your questioning mind, and place your trust in the Lord for your future. When you do, you give God permission to start taking control of your destiny and working it out for good. God Has Not Forgotten You Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. When we have lost everything we feel that we are alone. We feel that nobody else is going through the struggle we are going through. God is not blind and has not forgotten you. Could you forget that you gave birth to a child? Neither can God. You are His child and as such He is very interested in seeing that you have the life He has destined for you. If we are honest, usually when we have suffered loss, it is because we placed our trust and future in something else other than the Lord. So the first thing you need to do in order to see God start the restoration process is once again go back to the simplicity of just placing your trust in God, looking to Him who will lead and guide and decide the rest of your future.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 In my own life, I placed my trust in my intelligence. I thought I knew the best way for my future to develop. I was severely wrong. Proverbs 28:26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered. I was a fool. I trusted in my own intellect and emotions rather than trusting in God. I made decisions that eventually brought down destruction. That does not mean that it is 100% my fault. Some of what happened was brought about by the actions of others, however I am not in control of what others do. I am only in control of what I do and as such, I have to take responsibility for my own actions and my own actions were foolish. However God was not done with this foolish man. He foreknew that I would make some bad decisions and so He had a plan of restoration already set into place. God will Restore The Years You Have Lost Joel 2:25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. Just as the children of Israel had lost years of life in the promised land, so you may have lost years in your own personal wilderness, taken away to captivity. All is not lost. God is in the restoration business. It does not matter what you have lost, God will restore to you what was taken away. Not it may not be the same. By that I mean that if you lost a wife, that you will be given that particular wife back. If you have lost friends, it may not be the same friends that are restored. If you have lost a job, you may not get the same job back. What I mean is that God will restore to you the life He has destined for you and what is replaced will be better than what you had.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Restoration Is A Process In our culture of microwave cooking and instant access to everything, we do not like things that take time. Well, you are going to have to accept that restoration is a process. There is no quick prayer or religious activity that you can do in order to see restoration tomorrow. It is a process. It was in my own life. The first thing that God restored was relationship with my children. It was not instantaneous. It took a couple of years. The next thing that was restored was my calling to pastoral ministry. That took 8 years. During that time He dealt with a lot of issues in my heart and life. I was truly a shattered pot that had to be put back together piece by piece by the Lord. However God did it.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Finally God has restored marriage in my life. No, it is not with the same woman. The choices she has made are between her and the Lord. However God has given me a good Spirit filled woman who loves Jesus and His people. This took 13 years. God’s Heart Of Restoration God is truly the God of restoration. In Job 42 we see that God restored Job and that He was actually given more than he had before. It says that Job‟s latter days were greater than his former days. It says that he died old and full of days. No matter what your circumstance, God wants to restore you. He even gave instructions on how the church is to be an instrument of His restoration. Galatians 6:1 [ Bear and Share the Burdens ] Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 The heart of God is to see you restored. Not only spiritually, although that must come first, but also emotionally and physically. So I encourage you. If you have come to this article wondering if you will ever find restoration, place your trust once again in the Lord. Look to Him only and surrender your life and your future to Him. You too will be able to say that God truly is the God of restoration like I can and like numerous others in the scriptures has done. Blessings! Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Stones Of Remembrance There is a very good Bible teaching that can be found in the story of Joshua and the stones of remembrance. The story is found in Joshua 4. Let me set the stage just a little bit before we go into the story. The children of Israel had been delivered from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. They had spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness because they had not believed that God would overcome the obstacles in front of them the first time. Now they finally put faith into the promise of God that He would give them the land of promise. They were crossing the Jordan. It was during this event that God spoke to Joshua to place stones of remembrance in the midst of them as a reminder that God had been faithful to them and had parted the waters of the Jordan. Let‟s take a look at the story. Listen To Pastor Duke Speak On Stones Of Remembrance The Stones Of Remembrance Bible Story
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 TWELVE MEMORIAL STONES FROM THE JORDAN 1 When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. 3 Tell them, „Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.‟” 4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen – one from each of the tribes of Israel. 5 He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder – twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 6 We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, „What do these stones mean?‟ 7 Then you can tell them, „They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord ‟s Covenant went across.‟ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” 8 So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. 9 Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day. 10 The priests who were carrying the Ark stood in the middle of the river until all of the Lord ‟s commands that Moses had given to Joshua were carried out. Meanwhile, the people hurried across the riverbed. 11 And when everyone was safely on the other side, the priests crossed over with the Ark of the Lord as the people watched. 12 The armed warriors from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh led the Israelites across the Jordan, just as Moses had directed. 13 These armed men – about 40,000 strong – were ready for battle, and the Lord was with them as they crossed over to the plains of Jericho. 14 That day the Lord made Joshua a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses. 15 The Lord had said to Joshua, 16 “Command the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to come up out of the riverbed.” 17 So Joshua gave the command. 18 As soon as the priests carrying the Ark of the Lord ‟s Covenant came up out of the riverbed and their feet were on high ground, the water of the Jordan returned and overflowed its banks as before.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 19 The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. Then they camped at Gilgal, just east of Jericho. 20 It was there at Gilgal that Joshua piled up the twelve stones taken from the Jordan River. 21 Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, „What do these stones mean?‟ 22 Then you can tell them, „This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.‟ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea 3 when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. 24 He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord ‟s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.” The Literal Stones You will notice that God had Joshua gather stones from the midst of where the miracle happened. They gathered the stones from the middle of the Jordan river as the water was being held back. I believe that God did this to make sure that the people always remembered the goodness of God to them and that He was more than able to enter into our physical circumstances and change things. These stones were placed in the midst of where people lived. They were placed where people and especially the next generation gathered and lived. This is indicated by God saying that when the children would ask what the stones meant, they would then be able to share the story of how God intervened and parted the waters of the Jordan.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Living Stones Whether we realize it or not, God has placed stones of remembrance in the midst of our world today as well. They are called living stones and you and I are those stones. 1 Peter 2:5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What‟s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. We are the stones of remembrance that people should see and ask the same question that the children of Joshua‟s day asked. “What is it that makes you so different?” “Why do you do the things that you do?” Things like “Why do you read your Bible every day?” Or “Why do you go to church every Sunday?” Or “How come you don‟t allow cursing in your life?” Now we could get all pious about these things. However I don‟t think that honors the spirit in which God asked the children of Israel to place those stones in the midst of the people. He did it so they could talk about how great God is, not how holy we are. So I want you to take a minute and stop and think. What miraculous things have I seen God do? How has God miraculously intervened in my life? Where have I made some type of physical change or outward symbol that causes me to remember His might and power? Lasting Stones In Lukes gospel we see another example of someone encountering the power of God in their life. It is the story of the 10 lepers. Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers 11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. 15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus‟ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Didn‟t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you. ”
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Here we see the difference between being a literal stone, a living stone, or a lasting stone. There were 10 men who saw the power and might of God in their own life. They were all cleansed from leprosy. However, only 1 of the 10 actually came back to praise God and thank Jesus. Only 1 made it a lifestyle choice to have an attitude of gratitude. In order for us to be stones of remembrance in our society, community, family, and church we must remember to cultivate that gratitude. What we have received from the Lord, must not become commonplace. It must always be viewed and special and unique.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 In my opinion, that is one of the biggest sins the western church has indulged in. No longer are we amazed and grateful for God intervening in our lives in a personal way. We have forgotten to remember all the times God has showed up in our lives. We have forgotten to pass that knowledge and story down to our children and grandchildren. So I want to both challenge and encourage you. Ask yourself the question. What are the things God has done for me? How have I placed in my life something that will cause me to remember that? How am I passing my story of God‟s power and might down to my children and grandchildren? Where are my stones of remembrance? Blessings! Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Help My Unbelief Have you ever struggled with doubts and unbelief? Have you ever felt bad because had thoughts that something was impossible? Have you felt condemned because others told you that if you had doubts, God would not answer your prayer? I think we all have had at one time a struggle with unbelief and we have prayed the same prayer that the man who had a demon possessed son prayed in Mark 9:24 The “Help My Unbelief” Scripture Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” The Christian faith is not a faith that goes by what we see or what we feel. It is a journey with Jesus Christ along the entire path of our life. It is a relationship not a formula and as such, struggling with unbelief is part of that journey and relationship. So let me try to encourage you today as you are working through that struggle, that your honesty and transparency will be what actually gets you over your unbelief and onto a path that just knows that God will do what He says. The Process Of Overcoming Unbelief The Mustard Seed and the Leaven
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 MATTHEW 13 31 Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” 33 Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” In both of these parables Jesus gives the example that growth in the Kingdom of Heaven is a process. Jesus on many occasions compared faith to a mustard seed. Increase Our Faith LUKE 17 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” 6 The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, „May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,‟ and it would obey you! Now on the surface, you would think that Jesus did not answer their request. He did not tell them how to increase their faith but how to tell if they had faith. However when you look at the passage in Matthew, you see that Jesus is reminding them of how faith grows by using the example once again of the mustard seed.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Stage One – Unsure Of Everything When you first become a Christian, you do not have a lot of experience trusting God and having faith that He will do things for you. You are like a kid being taught how to ride a bicycle. When I was first learning how to ride a bicycle, the last thing on my mind was how to do wheelies, or to make jumps. My first thought was just keeping balance and not falling down. It is the same way when you are working through your unbelief. You believe God is real, and you believe that Jesus came and entered your heart and forgave your sins, but you are not sure if you can believe for much more than that. It is only after spending time getting to know Jesus and how deep that relationship can go that you grow into believing that He will help you do wheelies and jumps. This is the position that the man who prayed the “help my unbelief” prayer was in. He had just met Jesus. Stage Two – Thinking You KNow More Than You Do Later in life, when I was 15, I thought I knew how to drive a car. I read the drivers manual from the DMV and had sat in the driver‟s seat practicing the pedals and the gears. Yet I had never really driven yet. I was convinced I knew how without any practical experience. I remember one of my first driving lessons. We were at our local neighborhood grocery store and my stepfather said He was going to let me drive. I was so excited!!!! I got into the drivers seat, looked both ways, pressed the gas pedal, popped the clutch and we shot out into the middle of the street! I am sure I took 10 years off my stepfathers life. So much for thinking I knew how to drive. It is the same way in our spiritual life. We get a little bit of knowledge of God and the scriptures and the first thing we do is that we think we know more than we do. Those people that condemned you for having doubts and struggling with unbelief are those that really have not yet driven themselves. They only think they know how to walk in faith.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Maturity And Experience Will Help You Overcome Unbelief It has now been almost 34 years since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. During those years there has been many times I have had to go to the Lord and pray “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”. You see, it is not about believing for answered prayer, or believing for financial providence, or believing for healing. All those things can and will come, but it is about believing in the trustworthiness and integrity of Jesus and who He has been all of the years you have known him. Many faith preachers who condemn people who struggle with unbelief miss a very important point when they quote this scripture in Hebrews. Hebrews 11:6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 They focus on the first part of the verse that says it is impossible to please God without faith. What they fail to do is go one with the explanation that the writer of the book of Hebrews gives. It gives a definition of what faith looks like. Faith sincerely seeks Him! It is not about things. It is not about what we see. It is not about how we feel. It is about whether or not we are and have been developing a relationship with Him. Jeremiah 29:11-13 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. You see, as much as you might think you know what is best, the reality is that you do not know what is best for your life. So, real faith places it‟s trust in the Lord for the outcome. Lord I believe in you. I will seek you with my whole heart. Help me with my unbelief. Help me to trust that you know best. Blessings! Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 What Is God’s Call? If you are around Christians any length of time at all, you will hear them say that they feel “called” by God to do something. They may say that they are trying to discern the call of God on their life, or they may say that they are answering God‟s call, or even say they are called to ministry. Hopefully I will be able to answer for you what is the call of God and whether or not you are experiencing this very real phenomenon. Where Do We Get The Term “Call Of God”? The concept of being called comes from the life of Samuel and his experience with God‟s calling. It can be found in 1 Samuel chapter 3. The Lord Calls Samuel 1 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 5 He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn‟t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. 6 Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn‟t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” 7 Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. 8 So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, „Speak, Lord , your servant is listening.‟” So Samuel went back to bed. 10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” 11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12 I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. 13 I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn‟t disciplined them. 14 So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings.” 15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the Tabernacle as usual. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. 16 But Eli called out to him, “Samuel, my son.” “Here I am,” Samuel replied. 17 “What did the Lord say to you? Tell me everything. And may God strike you and even kill you if you hide anything from me!” 18 So Samuel told Eli everything; he didn‟t hold anything back. “It is the Lord ‟s will,” Eli replied. “Let him do what he thinks best.” 19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. 20 And all Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord . 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel there at the Tabernacle.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Discerning The Call Of God The first thing in discerning the call of God may seem very simple but actually is very profound and life changing. The call of God comes from God himself. It is not something that man can produce or reproduce and it is unique to every individual that experiences it. In Samuel‟s case it came while he was yet a boy and this passage seems to indicate that it was in the form of an audible voice. Not all calls come in an audible voice, but all have the key ingredient that the person being called knows that God is speaking to them personally. In my own life, I never heard an audible voice calling me. However I did hear that still small voice that comes from my innermost being calling me, leading me, urging me to rise up and teach people how to love God and how to show that love to others. I was discontent with the status quo of spirituality. I knew I had to walk places that others don‟t even think about. When you are discerning whether or not you are receiving a call from God you need to understand the difference between need and spiritual compulsion. A need is something that is driven by a place of woundedness or carnality within your heart. A spiritual compulsion is something where you know it is a matter
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 of obedience to God even though you really don‟t feel adequately prepared, worthy, or gifted to do so. Some of the ways you discern the difference is whether or not you feel you “need” to be the focus of attention or whether your concern is not to be the focus of attention. Do you want people to listen to you, or are you concerned that they hear the voice of Jesus rather than the voice of the messenger? Do you need to be in charge or are you looking for ways to empower others as they are seeking God‟s plan for their lives? Do you have to micromanage everything, have your own way, always know what is right and make sure people know you are right? As you will notice, Samuel was not all that thrilled with the message that God gave for him to deliver. He didn‟t have a need for Eli to listen to him. He didn‟t seek to be the one in charge. The first thing I look for in people who say they think they are being called by God is whether or not they are being stretched in areas of obedience and submission. Are they willing to go anywhere, do anything to be used by God or are they dictating the terms of the call? When I first started sensing the call of God on my life, I just “knew” I was going on the mission field. I was going to have to eat bugs or something. I had to wrestle with my heart until I was willing to say; “Lord wherever you lead, I will follow.” That included being willing to eat bugs! He never asked me to go to the mission field, but He did ask me to be willing. I believe that it was because of the wrestling I did with obedience and submission that I was sent to areas in my own country that most people are not willing to go. I pastor in what is called “fly-over” country. That is the region that airplanes “fly-over” when going between major cities. I live 45 minutes from a major retail store and 2 hours from a mall. I have known many a Christian who were not willing to serve in “fly-over” country because of such earthly considerations. If you are truly sensing the call of God, be prepared to wrestle with obedience and submission.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 Answering The Call Of God You will notice that when Samuel finally understood that it was God who was speaking to him, that he responded with a very important response. “Speak, your servant is listening.” In order to answer the call of God, you have to be willing to give up the rights to your own life and destiny and place them in the hands of God. You have to be willing to be a servant. I once knew a family in Canada who had 2 teenage daughters. They had been raised in church all their life and had a believing mother, but they had never heard that Christians were called to be servants. The concept was foreign to them. I think we spout our Christian lingo around about being a servant and servanthood, but to actually apply it is a different thing. When you answer the call of God, you in a very real sense, place your life into servitude to the one who has called you. You are God‟s servant you are no longer the master of your own destiny. Philippians 2:5-8 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal‟s death on a cross. The example laid before us on how to answer the call of God is the example that Jesus gave when He answered the call of God. He took the humble position of a slave. So the way you answer the call of God is to start being a servant. If God has called you to leadership then there will be a foundation laid where all you do is serve without the recognition of men.
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 God’s Calling To Ministry I remember when I first started following the call of God on my life. I enrolled in Bible college and had started taking classes. I was attending my uncle‟s church and he was willing to teach me the nuts and bolts of ministry. After a couple of months of doing whatever he asked me to do, I confronted him and asked him when he was going to allow me to “minister”. He handed me a mop and a toilet brush and smiled and said “you are!”
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 It was then that I got the idea that ministry is not a position or an office, but it is an action. In the NKJV version of Ephesians 4; Paul talks about 5 positions or offices that are part of the church. Ephesians 4:11-13 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; The word used for “ministry” in the greek is Diakonia. It means service, ministering, esp. of those who execute the commands of others. Now here is the catch that most people do not understand. Most people want the authority and the position that comes with one of these offices. (I am amazed at how many self proclaimed apostles and prophets there are in today‟s church.) What they don‟t want is to show themselves as servants. However, think about this. How can someone teach or equip someone else to do something that they have never done themselves? Go back up and look at the story of Samuel. What happened as he was “growing up”? The people found that what he said was reliable! The only way people can find that out is if he served faithfully. There was a long transition period between Samuel the boy who God called and Samuel the Prophet who was recognized as called by God. So my recommendation to all of you who are sensing the call of God to ministry, is be patient. Get rid of all those delusions of grandeur where you see yourself as God‟s man or woman of power for the hour, and clothe yourself with humility, be a servant where you can serve now, and in God‟s timing and in the way and path that only He knows, He will raise you up to be His type of servant (minister) rather than the world‟s type of leader. Blessings! Pastor Duke About the Author: Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years currently serving at the Vineyard church in Pine Haven Wyoming and was formerly
    • The Best Of Taber’s Truths Volume 1 Taber’s Truths Christian Living Magazine Volume 1 the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College andMultnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com +Duke Taber Duke Taber – who has written 747 posts on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine.tT