Tuesday, July 31, 2012


"God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape."  Oswald Chambers

As a disciple God has given you a vision of the person you could be in Christ.  He has placed in you a desire to be a different, better kind of person.  You are in a hurry about this.  He is not.

It is really hard for us to adjust our lives to "the enormous leisure of God".  We live as if we are a temporary, fast project of His will.  He works on us as permanent, eternal project of His will.

The other day I was asked by my wife Pam if I had considered just how patient God is with us as He works on the restoration of our overdeveloped souls.  I jokingly replied,  "Well, we aren't going anywhere, so why should he be in a hurry?" 

I meant the reply as a joke, but as soon as the words left my lips, I knew that I was talking about something very true.  God"s leisure is enormous because He knows we are not going anywhere and neither is He.

In this world nothing and no one seems to be permanent.  Perhaps this is why leisure is so hard for us as humans.  We can't relax and experience leisure because everything seems to be moving away from us too fast.  We are all living some kind of hurry.

Perhaps the sabbath in the Old Testament was about God's enormous leisure and man's tendency to always be in a rush.  Perhaps Jesus ability to have only twelve disciples points to His enormous leisure about doing His Father's will.

Remember the dream or vision God gave you about yourself?   Calm down.  You are not going anywhere and neither is God.  You are already on your way to becoming the vision He gave you.  You can afford to develop a godly leisure, too.  If fact, godly leisure
(called soul rest)  is a requirement for you to become the vision God gave you.  God has all the time there is.

Be at rest.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Overdeveloped Soul

In the Classic book The Normal Christian Life, Watchman Nee describes in chapter 12  the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden as permitting the "overdevelopment of the human soul."

"But—and here we come to the point—the fruit of the tree of knowledge made the first man overdeveloped in his soul."  Watchman Nee

According to Nee, Satan's temptation of mankind and the subsequent eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil tore the soul of man from the Spirit of God and set in motion human souls growing beyond their intended role. Man's soul went wild.

Nee describes this overdevelopment of the human soul as the result of the human spirit no longer being directly connected to and continuously inspired by the Spirit of God. In the place of God's inspiration and man's voluntary cooperation there is now a continuous stimulation of the human soul by sin and Satanic influence.

This "overdevelopment of the human soul" produces what the Scriptures call the "works of the flesh." These works are destructive to the person practicing them and to those in relationship with them. (See Galatians 5:19-23 to see a comparison of the overdeveloped soul called  "Flesh" and the properly developed soul called "Walking in the Spirit)

The Apostle Paul describes this tormenting overdevelopment of the human soul in Romans 7 as he says:

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it isno longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.   Romans 7: 14-17

Under the instruction of God's perfect law, which describes how a human being behaves with a God developed spirit, soul and body, Paul could envision what the "normal" human life was meant to be at creation.  Paul could see himself with a soul that was not overdeveloped by sin abiding in him and by constant Satanic influence. Paul could envision himself with a spirit connected to God's Spirit and a soul properly developed for love. Sin in him and Satanic influence all around him, however, would never allow this to happen so he says in Romans 7:24:

 "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"

I recently watched a documentary filmed in 2007 about the tallest woman in China. She was nearly 8 feet tall.  This young woman's pituitary gland would not allow her body to function normally. No matter how much she envisioned being a normal height and doing what she longed to do, she could not stop the actions of her rebellious pituitary gland and her body was the evidence of an over abundance of growth hormones. It was a tragic story of overdevelopment of the body.  It hurt just to watch her struggle!

The overdevelopment of the human soul is far more tragic. The overdevelopment of the human soul due to the absence of God's Spirit, the presence of sin in us and the constant inspiration of Satan makes the story of the human soul one of death and more death. The fruit of the separation of man's spirit from God's Spirit and the overdevelopement of his soul is clear to see and always brings a premature and sad death. It hurts just to watch humans struggle with the size of their souls!

There is good news in Jesus! We can begin again in the Spirit of Christ. We can receive into our spirit the Spirit of Christ and the process of the restoration of our soul to its intended size and function can begin in us. This begins in what is called being "Born Again" and then continues as  "spiritual formation,"  "Christ formed in us" or "discipleship".  (Read Romans 8 to see this amazing change in action.)

Our souls must be reduced in size to love again. Our pride must go first and poverty of spirit must take its place. The normal activities of the overdeveloped soul called "flesh" must be put off like excess size and we must learn to live and walk lightly in the Spirit. We must enter into the "yoke" with Jesus and finally find rest for our souls.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Mateus 11:28-30

Nothing short of a new beginning in the Spirit can bring rest (right size, function and weight) to the overdeveloped souls of men and women. This new beginning must be lived moment by moment and day by day abiding in Christ until our soul becomes a willing servant of God's Spirit. When this happens we will be perfected or made into what God originally intended in Eden.

"He must increase and I must decrease" takes on a new meaning in light of our overdeveloped souls!  When we finally love like He does, our souls are the right size again and the heavy burden will be gone
Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Itching Ears and Anointing


2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

People who do not learn to abide in Christ develop "itching ears". Their "itching" for inner peace becomes so intense that they become addicted to "itching ear" teachers. A clear sign a church is in spiritual decline is their nearly insane craving to be taught by Christian experts.

There is, however, a Divine cure for this itch. The cure is abiding in the anointing you have received from Him who abides in you. Christ in you can take away your itching ears. Christ within by the Holy Spirit will personally teach you and take away the itch.

The first of all sound doctrines is Christ and Christ crucified.  The sound doctrine of Christ and Christ crucified when ministered to us by the Holy Spirit's anointing takes away the itch for forgiveness and for acceptance. When this anointing comes to us in our inner life by the Holy Spirit the itch for forgiveness and the itch for acceptance immediately stops. Now we must learn to abide in this inner anointing moment by moment so the itch stays gone.

If we abide in Christ the itch stays gone. If we do not abide in Christ, then the itch returns.  When the itch returns so do the teachers who charge for the temporary relief they bring.  Under the care of these teachers the itch always returns and they are glad it does! They live from our itching ears! They actually try to cause the itch by suggesting Jesus in us is not enough and that is why we need them!

Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit in Christ, the itch is permanently replaced with a state of inner rest and satisfaction. When a Chrisitan is at rest, teaching is clear and to the point.  It is sound doctrine with no itch.  When a Christian is not a rest, look for the itch teachers to be close by complicating everything!

If your itch returns, remember this: " I have an anointing. The Holy Spirit is my teacher.  I shall not want for perfect teaching."The Holy Spirit always teaches us for free and the itch always goes away.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, July 02, 2012

Is Jesus Enough?

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4.

Throughout history all forms of the Christian Church have faced one constant temptation. It is the temptation to add something to Jesus so Christianity will work better.

It seems the church cannot  be as satisfied with Jesus as the Father and the Holy Spirit are.  How tragic for all of us if Jesus is not enough!

I often challenge believers to read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as if they were being read for the first time. I encourage them to listen to the absolutely breathtaking statements that Jesus makes about Himself from beginning to end. Then I challenge them to ask this question: Did Jesus think who He was and what He did was enough for us?  Then I ask them to ask this second question:  Did the Father and the Holy Spirit agree with Jesus' certainty about Himself?

You may be saying "Of course Jesus is enough! Of course the Father and the Spirit agree!  That is obvious!"  Is it?

Just watch how much energy and effort has gone into making Christianity a  "Jesus plus" activity.  Once it was Jesus plus Jewish laws and rituals.  Once it was Jesus plus the effort of the priests for men.  Once it was Jesus plus Mary's loving intervention. Once it was Jesus plus baptism.  Whatever "Jesus plus" once was it can easily become again in any of our lives and in any church. "Jesus plus" seems like a terrible case of the flu which the church cannot shake.

A lot of people have gained power, wealth and control with a new "Jesus plus" plan. Perhaps that is why this tendency is so tenacious. Perhaps in the spiritual realm this is where the real battle is fought and it is the Devil's only real plan to slow the church if he cannot stop the church.

It is clear from the Scriptures that the Father and the Holy Spirit affirm Jesus as perfectly enough for the redemption and restoration of mankind. This is why the focus is clearly on Jesus in the New Testament. If the Trinity is in agreement that Jesus is enough for us, why can't we just rest in the perfect Jesus the Father sent and the perfect Jesus the Spirit reveals in us?

Live this day moment by moment knowing Jesus is enough. Experience the freedom of His perfection for you and in you moment by moment. The Father and the Holy Spirit want Jesus for you because they are one with Jesus yesterday, today and forever. To the Father and the Spirit wanting Jesus for us is giving themselves to us in Him.

Bud McCord
Abide International