Efraiym set in motion a dynamic teaching by starting with a preamble on maturity versus arrested development. He explained that arrested development meant that someone is stunted in his or her growth. He related this lack of maturity - physically and spiritually - to not putting away childish things. As Efraiym stressed that embracing maturity is a choice. We have to choose to live in a manner that will reap the blessings of Elohim, and equip us to be a blessing to others.
When we walk in our full maturity, we recognize that the devil does not have more power than we do. When we exercise our power, the devil has no power because Yeshua put him under our feet. The devil only has the power that we allow him to have. However, as Efraiym said, the devil has more practice using his power than we do. This Lesson was all about recognizing and using the vast power that we have been given.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)
The fact that many Saints are dealing with arrested development spawned this Teaching. As Efraiym postulated, “… it seems that we don’t really know who or whose we are!” He dealt with several factors that determine the level of power in which we operate. First, he tackled emotions. Efraiym addressed the fact that emotions have gotten a bad rap amongst the Saints. However, we have to determine the proper usage of emotions. Emotions have a place in our Kingdom life; we just can’t be led by them.
Next Efraiym discussed love as primarily a covenant word before he launched into the meaning of a sound mind. His working definition of a sound mind was to have clarity in thought and the ability to follow through with rational actions. This was related to self-control or discipline. Efraiym covered the necessity for the Saints to be training and discipled in order to maintain our right relationship with Elohim and each other.
Start the Discipleship process here: Discipleship 101 Entire 2-Year Program Curriculum
We have to be trained to think righteously. If we are thinking wrong, how can righteous actions be an outcome of wrong thinking? Efraiym mentioned that the expression of “practice makes perfect” needed perfection. Actually, the truth is that “perfect practice makes perfect.” There was an audible, “Ah Ha!” that went up when this was mentioned. As an extension of that assertion, Efraiym said that if we could not bring our thoughts captive, we would find ourselves besieged! We have to check our unsaved thoughts and throw down any ungodly strongholds in our minds. Those actions are signs of maturing.
You must acknowledge The Power of Your Words
After an extensive discussion on the spiritual power that has been given us through Yeshua, Efraiym summarized and showed through Scripture that we need love, power, and a sound mind to walk out this faith life.
Power, Love and a Sound Mind!
Sharon’s Reflections on the Teaching
Perfect practice makes perfect. I definitely agree! I have so many examples where a wrong action or thought was practiced over and over and the result certainly was not perfect. As my coworker, Karen, explained - practice makes permanent! This was said to her son when he was taking Trumpet lessons. The only way to undo a wrong thought or action that has been practiced over and over is to renew one’s mind. Here are some things that I practiced and had to undo, or still haven’t completely undone.
- Typing without looking at the keys – Still working on this … maybe. I seem to be doing alright with looking. I am not being tested on speed.
- Profanity – I renewed my mind and got a better vocabulary. I would like to say that I read in Scripture about avoiding the profane; however, the truth is that Floyd put a stop to my colorful language before we got married in 1989.
- Eating food in bed before going to sleep as a comfort crutch– I recently broke this practice.
- Limping on my leg that was broken at 64 years of age – I renewed my mind from the fear of hurting my leg again and I got back my confident walk.
- Lying – I renewed my mind and accepted the truth that liars have no part in the Kingdom. I realized that I’d rather face the truth of a mistake now than have to deal with the consequences later. Whatever is in the dark will come to the light.
- Getting angry at people when they don’t behave in the manner that I think they should – I renewed my mind to realize that I cannot control other people’s behavior and I don’t know the whole story of their situation. I came to understand that the Father was showing me some of their faults in order for me to minister to them, not to condemn them.
There are many more, but you get the idea. We all need to assess what we are practicing, and as the old folks used to say, “Straighten up and fly right”!
Buzz from the Fellowship
Feast planning is in full swing! Several Sister and Brother Saints and I were discussing plans for the Feast. The conversation covered menu planning; the ordering of grass-fed beef ribs and shredded beef; color coordination of the fresh flowers with the table cloths; research to find a tent for Family Fun Day; and other activities. We have purchased a fire pit to ward off the remaining North Carolina fall insects and to help create a warm and inviting ambience.
One of the Sister Saints shared with me how she witnessed the cleverness of a young child during the Food and Fellowship. The young child was instructed to eat all of the food on his plate. However, there were some items that he didn’t like. He maneuvered to sit next to a toddler at a different table than his parents. When he tasted food that he didn’t like, he just nonchalantly placed that item on the toddler’s plate. When I heard that story, I remembered how it has been taught that we don’t have to teach children to misbehave or be manipulative, they are born with the propensity for wrong doing and have to be taught how to do right.
This is a perfect transition into a situation that Floyd and I shared with a group of Saints about our son who is 20 and in the process of maturing. We were seeking advice and empathy for the drama that we are subjected to by him living with us. He is working; Floyd says it is a “real job” because it is enough to live independently. This is a step up from the part-time pizza delivery jobs that only provide enough money for gas and toiletries. My son is saving his money to purchase a car so that he can move out. If you were to speak to him, and I have overheard him moaning to his friends, he would say that he wants to get away from his parents’ drama. We got unanimous counseling from the Saints to draw up a contract with him and hold him to it with specified consequences for violating the contract.
Sunday, Floyd and I drew up a contract, negotiated the terms with our son, and all parties “signed on the dotted line”! We are praying that our son will uphold the contract terms and that we will be consistent in following through with the consequences should he violate the terms of agreement.
Oh! Let me not forget a great piece of advice. We again anointed all entrances to our home, windows and doors. We anointed our son, his bedroom, and everyone else in the household. And, we bound and muted all spirits not of YeHoVaH from operating in our home.
There is shalom in our home.
Until next time… Blessings to You and Yours,