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Tag Archives: Spiritual Insight

Snapping out of a Self-Induced Trance

The Sermon on the Mount has been a wealth of spiritual insight since it was recorded in the first century.  Following this messakge, Jesus provides common sense for those inspired to practice these words, Matthew 9:12-13.  Anyone who is physically, mentally or spiritual sick should see a doctor for advice, counseling or medicine.  However, God expects the rest to be proactive and self-medicating so that these individuals will be  able to snap out of any self-induced trance.

Galatians 5:16-18 warns its readers against an invisible force able to lull you into a false sense of security.  Brought on by compromise, conceit or rationalizing daily choices, sin can cast a spell over any self-indulging suspect.  Whether its a mentality, new way of thinking or a worldview disguised with modern lingo, even some of Jesus’ own disciples were deceived into believing a lie, Galatians 5:7-9.

As for me, my eye sight has deteriorated over the last month.  Subsequently, reading the Bible or anything for more than a few minutes has been a struggle.  The less I read, the more vulnerable I become to a life without God.  Waking up in the middle of the night on my day off provided a dose of logic to snap me out of this sluggish spiritual condition.  This is why one of Israel’s leaders begged his people to meditate on the Bible day on night, Joshua 1:7-8.  By doing this, you too can snap yourself out of any prolonged trances induced by a sinful nature, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

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Ride Forth in Victory

Like the classic Queen song, We are the Champions, the thrill of victory is much sweeter than dealing with loss.  During my first season of coaching high school golf, I started 4-0 and finished 0-6.  Eight years later I saw an 8-1 team on the verge of making states, collapse down the stretch, going 1-5-1 missing states by a few percentage points.  While achieving victory on earth varies from person to person, you can ride forth in victory with confidence spiritually, 1 John 5:13.

According to the sons of Korah, 3 things as essential to secure victory, Psalm 45:4.

1. Truth

When Jesus spoke to a group of Jews during his last year on earth, he claimed that holding to his teaching leads to spiritual insight, John 8:31.  Jesus boldly proclaimed, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” John 8:32.

2. Humility

The wisest man beside Jesus to walk the face of the earth is Solomon based upon rulings like 1 Kings 3:16-28.  After being blessed with fame, riches and power, Solomon learned the dangers of pride, Proverbs 11:2.  His advice to cope with this inclination is to fear the Lord, humbling yourself until honor is bestowed, Proverbs 15:33.

3. Righteousness

One of the most famous church hymns was inspired by Jesus’ sermon on the mount, Seek Ye First.  In the segment of his message on proper and improper motives, Jesus introduces the secret to eliminating worry.  When you come to the point in your life where you seek first God’s kingdom and righteous, the Lord promises to provide for all of your emotional, physical and spiritual needs.

May this teaching give you a blue print to ride forth in victory.  Let us know how your journey toward victory is going.

by Jay Mankus

Walk This Way… Talk This Way

As the summer of 1975 draw to a close, Aerosmith released their classic hit Walk This Way just before Labor Day Weekend.  When vinyl was king, this second single from the album Toys in the Attic was re-released a year later in November as popularity grew reaching as high as Number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Essentially, this song written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry brought Aerosmith into the mainstream during the 1970’s and revitalized the band’s comeback in the 80’s.  From a high school loser to a taste of success, these lyrics struck a common cord with American’s, able to relate this song to life.

From the fall of 1999 thru early 2002, I spent time working as a staff writer for Travel Golf Media, now known as Travelgolf.com.  Every winter I was sent books, product or videos to review, then write an article based upon my experience as a former golf professional.  One of my favorite assignments was pretending to know nothing about golf, starting from scratch.  The goal was to watch each of the 3 videos in the set, apply the lessons on a course or practice facility for a week and give an accurate assessment of the teacher’s instructions.  Although frustrating, I was learning to walk and talk like an infant picking up a golf club for the first time.

In the decade that followed, my role changed from giving solid advice about golf to spiritual insight on life.  Unfortunately, the older people get, the more set they become in their ways, unwilling to consider honest critiques.  In fact, as a former Bible teacher, I’ve learned that certain forms of entertainment, hobbies or  pastimes are sacred.  A mere suggestion of error, flaw or inaccuracy often provoked explosive debates in class as if I was attacking their little brother or sister.  Therefore, I tried to be more subtle, quoting verses like Psalm 26:3, Proverbs 27:19 and 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, letting the Bible do the talking for me.  May these words from the Bible convince the unstable to walk and talk like Jesus, 1 John 2:6.

by Jay Mankus

Worship + Fasting = Spiritual Insight

The question, “am I in the right place,” is something I often ponder.  At my wit’s end, I turned to the pages of the Bible to find answers to this dilemma.  To my amazement, the words of Acts 13:2-4, jumped off the pages today, putting an equation into my mind: Worship + Fasting = Spiritual Insight.

Worship isn’t a service you attend once a week on Saturday night or Sunday.  Nor is worship a portion of a church service where you sing hymns or modern worship songs.  Rather, worship is an acquired adoration of a living God, where an individual devotes time each day to honor and revere the creator of the heavens and the earth.  As this relationship kindles, lyrics of praise become etched upon their hearts, paying tribute to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Fasting is a spiritual practice neglected by many denominations in recent years.  My first encounter with fasting began in high school, by not eating red meat on Friday’s during the Catholic celebration of Lent, prior to Easter.  Authors like Jentezen Franklin have helped me grasp this concept through books like the Fasting Edge.  The notion of fasting can be traced back to Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:41.  By replacing food with prayer for a meal, day, week or month, your body can be strength by a willing Spirit.  Like any type of training, start small and work your way your goal of a day, few days or an entire week.

According to Acts 13:2, something supernatural transpired when worship and fasting were present in Paul and Barnabas’ life.  During a normal Sunday service, the Holy Spirit filled each with spiritual insight.  Prior to this day, their future was unclear.  However, in the midst of these joint acts of faith, God called each to the mission field.  Though cautious initially, the Holy Spirit guided their inaugural journey, leading them to Seleucia and Cyprus, Acts 13:4.  The apostle Paul didn’t just write about faith, Galatians 5:25, he lived it!

Like a teacher becoming a student, are you where God wants you to be or are you resisting a spirit of change?  Since everything else I have tried has failed up to this point, its time for me to try the equation Worship + Fasting.  As I commit to next 3 days to this exercise, I am praying that spiritual insight will follow.  The only thing standing in the way of a modern miracle is weak faith.  Therefore, trust the promises within 2 Peter 1:3-9 to pave the way for blessings and a fruitful life in Christ!

by Jay Mankus