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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports

RELATIONSHIP REPORTS February 1984 to January 1985 @ 2008

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By Chuck-JOHNEL Younybrandt

RELATIONSHIP

PART 14 FAITH: THE HEART SIMPLE FAITH "IF YE HAVE FAITH AS A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED . . . "

(Jesus in Matthew

17:20)

Faith is a Gift, it is Spirit, it is Law-all of these and more. Yet, the heart of FAITH is quite simple. And, put simply: FAITH IS!

Does the mustard seed, tiny as it is, think of how it will grow into a great tree? Does it question if it


The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports is a mustard seed? Does it fret about whether or not the rain will come in due season? If the sun will shine on it? If it will find root in the soil? No, of course not! The mustard seed sprouts and grows, lives within the time God gave, draws on God's provision, and finally becomes exactly what God purposed.

Perhaps, we should not be so different from that mustard seed! Why do we get perplexed about FAITH? Why can't we simply draw on what God has given us and grow as He provided? Well in fact, it really is just as simple as that. Again, put simply: it is as simple as just being what we are in Christ, growing and drawing on what He has provided, trusting and loving Him, and in growing in Him! The subject of FAITH is as boundless as JESUS' LOVE. The Bible, which says much of FAITH, even so is only by design to prime our FAITH pumps. It is not something to be studied, but something to be worked with. FAITH is not just something TO HEAR only-it is also something TO DO.

FAITH vs. BELIEF: FAITH & BELIEF Years ago, Jesus gave me to distinguish between FAITH and BELIEF, seeing the two as related. Yet, somewhat different. In essence, FAITH is something JESUS DOES, while BELIEF is something WE DO. BELIEF is our own free will choice. If you have FAITH but not BELIEF, FAITH does not work. To BELIEVE but have not FAITH, does not work either. WE NEED BOTH FAITH AND BELIEF!

A GIFT "THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH." (Hebrews 12:2). In this Scripture from Hebrews, we see that JESUS begins and completes OUR FAITH-notice, FAITH is a personal and an individual gift.

TALENTS & FAITH "WATCH THEREFORE, FOR YE KNOW NEITHER THE DAY NOR THE HOUR WHEREIN THE SON OF MAN COMETH. FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AS A MAN . . . WHO CALLED HIS OWN SERVENTS AND DELIVERED UNTO THEM HIS GOODS. AND UNTO ONE HE GIVE FIVE TALENTS, TO ANOTHER TWO, AND TO ANOTHER ONE . . ." (Jesus in Matthew 25:13-15). Long ago, the Holy Spirit gave me to understand that the TALENTS given were degrees of FAITH. Here we see the TALENTS defined as HIS GOODS. @ 2008

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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports " . . . BUT THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY HIS FAITH" (Habakkuk 2:4). There are two ways of seeing this Scripture. In one version, FAITH is seen as being personal, while, in another version, FAITH is seen as being God's alone. The truth of the matter is: both views are correct. We are given by Jesus a degree of FAITH, as we receive we are possessors-that FAITH is ours. Yet, in the day Jesus comes-when the Son of Man Cometh (Matthew 25:13)-He calls those given FAITH to account (Matthew 25:19). The question is: what have you done with that FAITH given you? FAITH is not given out equally, but as Scripture says, "To them which much is given, much is expected," implies that while a return of much is required when much is given, it does not say that to those given little-nothing is required. Something is required of all. WeseeinMatthew25,thattheonewhohidhisTalentintheearthwasrebuked,"THOUOUGHTEST THEREFORE TO HAVE PUT MY MONEY TO THE EXCHANGERS, AND THEN AT MY COM/NG / SHOULD HAVE RECE/VED M/NE OWN W/TH USURY." In the Scrupture above, we see this Word defined in other Scriptures where Jesus speaking of Lights in this world that ARE NOT to be hidden under a basket, but are to be put on a table to give light in a house. We also remember where Jesus went up to the FIG TREE (out of season) and cursed it for being fruitless. So, by this, it is seen that the words EXCHANGERS AND USERY can easily speak of a functioning Body of Christ. In other words, if a Christian does not exercise FAITH in one way, they can enjoin their FAITH with others that do, and by this the works of others see USURY (INTEREST) added to the FAITH they have.

ERRORS & FAITH "WHO CONCERNING THE TRUTH HAVE ERRED, SAYING THAT THE RESURRECTION IS PAST ALREADY; AND OVERTHROWTHE FAITH OF SOME." (II Timothy 2:18). If, by error and unbelief, we have power to "overthrow the Faith of Some", we ought also see that by steadfast belief in God's Word and Promises, we can also undergird the Faith of Some, and thereby gain INTEREST (USURY). It is visible that while Jesus requires something of all of us, He does not DEMAND much, but does REQUIRE something.

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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports "IF YE HAVE FAITH AND DOUBT NOT . . . "(Matthew 21:21). Here again, we can see the basis of the Holy Spirit revealed view that FAITH and BELIEF are different, the two work together and not apart. "WHY ARE YE FEARFUL O YE OF LITTLE FAITH?" (Matthew 9:2) FEAR and FAITH do not mix. Even in those with little FAITH, FEAR ought not be present at all.

THE HEART OF FAITH IS LOVE Years ago, a brother told me of his aspiration to earn all the various crowns spoken of in Scripture, the crown of Righteousness, etc. I searched my heart and pondered what was in me, and yes, I would seek these crowns also, and only that in the day I stand before the Lord Jesus I might toss them at His feet. For me, it was clear that any crown was only possible with His help, so if anything it was my desire of love of Jesus to make any crown obtained a love gift back to Jesus. So, as we see in His Word that FAITH WITHOUT WORKS is dead, we realize that the gift of FAITH lays a requirement upon us. However, we would err if we did over focus on this part of FAITH, for by it a simple truth can be made a demanding law, and in being compelled by FEAR, we would lose the very SPIRIT OF FAITH as many have. Let's look at these two Scriptures: ' " . . . STEPHEN, FULL OF FAITH AND POWER . . . " (Acts 6:8). ' "BUT FAITH WHICH WORRETH BY LOVE." (Galatians 5:6). Just as Jesus authors FAITH in us, it is a Gift. FAITH as a gift only WORKS by the Power of Jesus' Love-it cannot work any other way. While there is surely a Law to Faith, if it is seen as a Law only (that is, a demand), then in the kind of FEAR that is stirred by this narrow view of FAITH, the very Spirit of Faith is lost-without which any works done are dead. Just as we see that FAITH works by LOVE and knowing LOVE is JESUS, we see an intimate and deep inner relationship between JESUS-LOVE-FAITH. As we FOLLOW JESUS and yield lovingly and grow in a relationship with the Lord, we find ourselves moving easily, simply in the Law of Faith without fear but in joy and abiding peace.

When we approach FAITH by the more commonly Church taught view of it, which is the lawful requirement, it is a heavy burden, we feel compelled, and fear is in it. "FOR MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT."(Matthew

11:30).


The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports

Here Jesus speaks to those HEAVY LADEN those that LABOR to come unto HIM, and He will give them rest. Taking His YOKE (LOVE) we would learn of HIM, and JESUS is meek, and lowly in heart and in Him we would find rest unto our souls. So in doing, we would first experience this IN THE SPIRIT but as we continue, it would reach down into our very soul.

FAITH BY HEARING-SEEING "SO THEN FAITH COMETH BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD." (Romans 1o:17). Here we see FAITH comes by Hearing God's Word. Sit in a church and listen to the minister deliver a powerful sermon and what we feel is usually BELIEF-for FAITH is NOTfelt, rather, it is KNOWN. FAITH is something deeply subtle in us and is not evident in strong Belief-although many think this. "FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN."(Hebrews 11:1). IN THE SPIRIT, by FAITH working through Belief in Love of Jesus, we do form and see the very evidence of His Promise which is not visible, not seen, IN THIS WORLD. FAITH is a substance, it can be not only heard, but also seen and then touched. Except by the very Spirit of God this is not possible. "FOR WE WALK BY FAITH NOT BY SIGHT." (II Corinthians 5:7). It would seem to contradict the first views, but if we regard the sequence it is understood that walking by FAITH, we SEE but going by SIGHT alone (IN THIS WORLD) we are apart from FAITH. As we walk by FAITH we see what cannot be seen in this world with the natural eye. Many Christians mistake as one, the Spiritual Eye with the Carnal Eye, and so do not distinguish between the two when reading the Bible, thinking both are the same.

FAITH & IMAGE MAKING Take a moment out to review these two Scriptures: ' "JESUS SEEING THEIR FAITH . . . " (Matthew 9:2). ' "WHEN JESUS SAW THEIR FAITH . . ." (Mark 2:5).

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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports As we begin to remember back to the previous RELATIONSHIP REPORT on IMAGE MAKING, we suddenly see a new dimension to what Jesus said and meant when He said HE SAW THEIR FAITH. Indeed, JESUS literally saw the person's inner image of wellness from the affliction in the imagery of their hearts, and granted them that, so they were healed in the instant His Love touched their FAITH.

BACK TO THE MUSTARD SEED Like the mustard seed in the soil, the person by the FAITH they had, sprouted roots, and thrust through the soil to the sunlight-now in need of warmth and moisture, His Loveprovided and the blossomed, grew, received and saw the fruit (healing).

FAITH TO UNDERSTANDING Many think that knowledge of God's Word, leads to FAITH. Thinking that as we gain knowledge, we gain understanding and understanding opens FAITH to us in greater measure. So many religiously listen to sermons on Scripture, thinking that by hearing alone that their FAITH will grow and that then they can serve the Lord. Yet, not until a Christian begins to move by FAITH, looking to Jesus, working by Faith, even going blindly so Trusting Jesus-not until they so do, will they come to understand anything about FAITH. "THROUGH FAITH WE UNDERSTAND."(Hebrews

11:3).

It is not THROUGH Understanding that we enter FAITH, but just the opposite; it is THROUGH FAITH that we come to Understanding.

WHO IS FAITH? So, WHO is FAITH? That's easy: JESUS CHRIST IS FAITH! " . . . HOW HE HAD OPENED THE DOOR OF FAITH UNTO THE GENTILES." (Acts 14:27). Here Peter had introduced the Gentiles to JESUS CHRIST and it is clearly stated as being "DOOR OF FAITH". As much as we may learn about the dimensions of Faith, we do best when we recognize that Faith centers wholly in a direct personal relationship with Jesus Christ. " . . . PURIFYING

THEIR HEARTS BY FAITH." (Acts 15:9). @ 2008

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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports Each of us, saved and unsaved, have a degree of FAITH, the gift of God, already. But it's only when the DOOR OF FAITH (that is, Jesus Christ) is opened to us, does that FAITH begin to purify us. Many outside of Christ have FAITH. Some operate with FAITH all their lives but apart form a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, moving in His Love, that FAITH does not produce acceptable fruit.

WHERE IS YOUR FAITH? In Luke 8:25 Jesus asks the disciples,

"WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?" (Luke 8:25).

Was Jesus asking the storm-tossed disciples if they had FAITH? No, Jesus was asking WHERE their FAITH was and in what did their FAITH abide and reside. Was their Faith in JESUS? Was their FAITH in trust of God? Or, was their FAITH in fear or outward circumstances?

I do not propose to answer the question that Jesus asked His disciples in detail. Instead, I want to draw our attention to where our FAITH can be at times and where that it should not be at all. When Jesus asked the disciples, "WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?", He had been asleep in the boat. The storm was fierce and the boat in danger of sinking. Now, when the sailing was good, the FAITH of the disciples was IN the good weather and easy travel. But, when the storm arose, their FAITH moved into the power of the elements to destroy them, or into fear of death or harm. Because Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging of the water and it ceased (Luke 8:24), it is clear that Satan was involved in this situation. Satan had power to bring in a storm but when the disciples' FAITH moved in fear of harm, the storm gained power to destroy.

FAITH vs. FEAR In Matthew 8:26 we see Jesus defim'ng the location of their Faith "WHY ARE YE FEARFUL, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH?" It is common for Christians to think from Matthew to Luke, first they had LITTLE FAITH (a possibility), then NO FAITH in Luke when they are asked where their FAITH is. Jesus did not speak of them as having LITTLE FAITH, but as placing greater FAITH in fear-a LITTLE FAITH in God's help to overcome dangers. FAITH AND FEAR DO NOT MIX! But, if we place our FAITH in fear, we give the enemy of our souls tremendous power to harm and destroy.

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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports Here is an example: a year ago during a very violent electrical storm, I discerned it was Lucifer working in the elements. I was led to go out and say "In Jesus' Name, be quiet!" The lightening stopped immediately and the storm faded to nothing. Have look at these three Scriptures: ' "IN FAITH AND LOVE WHICH IS IN CHRIST."(II Timothy 1:13). ' "WHO THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE INHERIT . . . " (Hebrews 6:12). ' TRUE HEART IN FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH . . ."(Hebrews 1O:22). FAITH like that mustard seed grows slowly in us. It is in patience and enduring belief that we bear fruit. It is in Jesus' Love that we find the assurance, the knowing of FAITH to see Him and His Promises long before they are seen in this world. When we see Scripture speaking of how "a thing we fear will come on us", we can now understand how this is so. In error, we PLACE our FAITH in FEAR giving the enemy of our souls power to bring it on us.

THE SPIRIT OF FAITH I have not sought to sharply define FAITH, but to speak of its Spirit, and again and always it is JESUS' LOVEand JESUS CHRIST. As we make Him our focus, and move in the very Spirit of His Love, He will rightly teach us and we will know and understand. All this is by His design to open your awareness (to prime the pump!) AND always lastly (as at first) to point you to JESUS CHRIST!

God Bless, Chuck-JOHNEL

@ 2008

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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports

RELATIONSHIP REPORTS February 1984 to January 1985 @ 2008

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By Chnck-JOHNEL Yonnybrandt

RELATIONSHIP

PART 15 THE LET GO HOLD HOLDING ON & LETTING GO Jesus' Love HOLDS EACH OF US in a sweet and gentle way, and we know we are held, loved, and cared for. Yet, in another way, He LETS US GO, giving us the choice to take His other Hand. It is His Desire to embrace us wholly with His Love, but His same Love lets us be free to decide to take His Hand or not.

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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports

Jesus does not compel us or threaten us with dire consequences. Instead, He is patient and kind, lowly and meek. Some of us are so busy with deep truths about Jesus' Word that we overlook something truly blessed about Him: as we give to Him, He gives back again to us. We know that Jesus gives us all things, but do we know that of His Love He also gives us things that are not His Perfect Will?

THE MEANING OF "YOU MAY" A time back (and for a season) I would ask the Lord if I could do this or that. Jesus, each time, sweetly said, "YOU MAY."Then, at other times Jesus would say, "IT'S MY WILL." Frankly, it took me a time to realize there was a difference: a big difference! As my relationship with Jesus grew, my love of Him reached the point where there was nothing He could not ask of me that I would not do. Oh, I fussed with some things He asked. I even argued with Him. Yet, all the time, I KNEW THAT HE KNEW that I would ultimately obey Him. Jesus is also our FRIEND. We can argue with him, but would any of us deny a friend we love anything? That is where I'm at with Jesus. I know that He IS GOD, LORD, SAVIOR, and KING. I revere Him highly. Yet, at the very same time, I know Jesus is also my FRIEND. As a result, I feel @ 2008

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The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports free to express my feelings about somethings He asks. When I've had my say, my last comment is always, "OK Lord, when do you want me to start?" Someone may say, "You are not fully yielded". Perhaps-perhaps MY RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS.

not! In the end, it is ALL ABOUT

IT IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP So, getting back to the question of YIELDEDNESS.Well, I am not a robot, and JESUS AND I have a RELATIONSHIP.Being open with Jesus is important. If He asks a hard thing of us and we say "Yes,Lord"-but, inside say, "No way am I going to do that"-do we think for a moment He does not know this? It is always best TO BE HOT or TO BE COLD about something with JESUS. More, it is always best to talk things over with JESUS. When Jesus asks something of us, it can easily be reasoned out in a talk with Him. Yet, to say YES but really mean NO is a form of "LUKEWARMNESS" and is also dishonest-when we do that we have essentially BROKEN OUR RELATIONSHIP with Jesus.

PERFECT WILL vs. PERMISSIVE WILL Jesus gives to all of us ALLTHE TIME. But, at times and in special ways, He gives to us our INNER DESIRES when we also give to Him. Yielding things in ourselves that are hard to do. The surprise here is this: JESUS does grant us things that are not His PERFECT WILL, but instead are really in His PERMISSIVEWILL. Again, one day lasked Jesus if I could do a certain thing, Jesus said sweetly "YOU MAY." !pondered His reply, discerning something about "YOU MAY" and asked, "Is this your Perfect Will?" Jesus simply said, "NO." Surprised, I asked Jesus why He did not tell me what His Perfect Will was in this respect? Jesus said, "YOU MUST DESIRE MY PERFECT WILL TO KNOW IT." Well, it was a shock to hear that reply from JESUS. I became aware from that day that Jesus will, in Love and patience, grant us things that are not His Perfect Will, so long as they are not harmful to us. As we yield of ourselves to Jesus, there are areas we hold out on and do not yield to Him. Jesus receives what we give up, and, in the kind of love we hardly know, kindly grants us desires that fall OUTSIDE of His Perfect Will for us. As we grow in knowledge of His Love and Person, we desire to do more. And, in the day we wish to draw the nearer to Him, in that day as we ask, He will reveal those areas when before He would not.

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TOTAL "YIELDEDNESS" At any one time in my life in Christ, I have yielded as much of myself to Him as I was able. But, as much as was done and as much as I did yield to Him, it was not TOTAL "YIELDEDNESS" Jesus receives what we can give up, and His Love and Grace covers the rest. We will not even be aware of this, thinking we have ARRIVED. But, in the day our love of Him grows the more, we will KNOW there is more to surrender and find the strength of love in us then to surrender more or not. Yet, whether we give up the more or not, His Love holds us still, and He does not push us, or compel us, in anywise. I found, at times, an awareness of certain areas that should be yielded of Him but for reason of strong desires or fear, was unable to yield, let go to Jesus. These moments were always fleeting, never remembered until the day I drew closer to Him, in a greater love for Jesus, it was not seen clearly, and known.

LET GO-HOLD ON DECISIONS So, as we grow in love of Jesus we come to know what is NOT LET GO to God, and ever face the decision: TO LET GO or TO HOLD ON The same Love that Jesus has for us that would not force us to see what we could not see, will not force us to LET GO what we do not want to LET GO. He loves us still and blesses us the more. Some Christians, who have grown deeply in Christ, have come face to face with this Oust I have) and are unable to LET GO of a thing. These did not have the same loving patience with themselves as Jesus has. As a result, some of these pulled away from Jesus. WhenanyofusfaceathingandseethatitisunyieldedtoGod,weoughtsuffernoself-condemnationfor Jesus does not condemn. Jesus holds us still, Loves as before and more and with patience works righteousness in us in sweet and sure ways. If we cannot LET GO today, His Love holds us gently until the day we can LET GO. So, Jesus ever HOLDS US WITH LOVE and ever LETS GO to our free will-for we are truly free in Christ.

HOW TO LET GO TO JESUS If we find something in our inner self, a preference, a desire, an attitude that is not yielded to God's Perfect Will for us, how do we LET GO? The Christian that is outwardly SUBMITTED to God's Perfect Will can be deeply shaken to find


The Staff and The Sword Ministry Relationship Reports they are not wholly inwardly YIELDED. In my experience, I have found that, while I desire to do God's Will, in areas of my inner self (the soul) I wanted to do HIS WILL MYWAY-rather than HIS WILL HIS WAY. I also found that I had prayed these inner desires, preferences, attitudes into my soul. So, once seeing this, I knew that I could also pray His Perfect Will into my soul the same way. It simply takes patience, prayer, and time. Jesus is patient. He has time. And, if we pray to be found wholly yielded to His Perfect Will, in His time, He will do it. And, we will easily LET GO!

ALL FOR NOW-MORE

TO FOLLOW AS JESUS LEADS

Well, so ends the series of Relationship Reports (February 1984 to January 1985). It is my prayer and my hope that this series of reports has blessed you and has brought you closer in YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. After all, IT ISALLABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM! Jesus is ALWAYS teaching us-there is always something more to learn as we walk day-by-day with Him. So, as I noted at the start of these reports, I may, from time-to-time, add new things to this series of reports as Jesus leads me to do and as time permits. As Jesus continues to teach me, I will continue to share what I have learned along the WAY WITH HIM with you. God Bless, Chuck-JOHNEL

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