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Tom Durst
Sharing from my Spiritual Journey

The word "law" as used in Paul often refers to "the Jewish religion" or the whole corpus of the Mosaic system which scholars say was composed of 613 commandments. In many cases if you substitute "Jewish religion" for law it will make the meaning clearer. In a larger sense we could use any religion today such as "Baptist religion, Muslim religion, Evangelical religion, Catholic religion, Lutheran religion, etc." Under the New Covenant we are led by the Spirit and NOT by "religion” as such (see Romans 8:14).  We find this theme throughout the writings of Paul. There was the constant conflict over Jewish converts to Christianity trying to impose the Law of Moses (Jewish religion) on new converts from the Gentiles who had no background in Judaism whatsoever.  Even today there is endless warfare over “religion” which builds walls and sets people against one another. At the core of our being we all have ONE Father Who is above all, through all, and in all (see Ephesians 4:6). If we would focus on that essential truth all wars would cease very quickly. We were created in God's image and likeness and that is true of all people, whatever their religion or lack or it may happen to be.  The great masses of humanity live in ignorance of their true identity and this sense of separation from God leads people to attack one another and live an ego-based existence.

"Above this sense-life, there is a universe of Spirit governed by Love, peopled with children of God living in the household or temple of Truth. This world is real and permanent: Its substance is eternal Consciousness. In it there is no awareness of discords or even of temporary and material good."—Joel S Goldsmith, The Infinite Way

You may read ONE IN THE BOND OF LOVE on the link below:



Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”—Zechariah 4:6 ESV

It is not by might (the physical realm) nor by power (the mental realm) but by the Spirit that real healing takes place.  “By my Spirit” does not come through thought processes or physical or material force of any kind.  Healing comes through EXPERIENCING THE PRESENCE OF GOD because in that Presence nothing else is power whether it be disease, lack, loneliness, or depression.  EXPERIENCING the Presence of God is not the same thing as accumulating information about religion and spirituality, however good such information may be.  There is an element in our human nature that runs from the Presence of God and that element must be recognized for what it is and completely surrendered (see Genesis 3:8-9).  Those who are half-hearted and lukewarm continue to choose darkness instead of light.  This admonition of our Lord should cause all of us to watch and pray continually, lest we be deceived by the mass hypnotism of the world.

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”—Matthew 7:13-14 ESV

"There is a rest, then, for the people of God--a rest from all the anxious thought and worry that hovers about the human reasoning."--Walter C Lanyon, The Temple Not Made with Hands, p. 94

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"So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”—Matthew 24:44 NIV

I’ve found it best to always be in a state of readiness for whatever blessings the Savior may bestow.  There have been so many times when a blessed outpouring of the Holy Spirit has come upon me at a time when I least expected it.  There are no words to describe such visitations.  There is nothing that could be found in the whole world to compare with their preciousness and awesomeness.  I appeal to you to always be receptive to the good things the Savior has for you.  Don’t let all of the cares and trivia that flood modern life rob you of the showers of blessing that He has for you.

I invite you to read TREASURES IN HEAVEN which is on the link below:

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Romans 6:23 Amplified Bible (AMP)

23 For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

I will briefly share some thoughts on this key verse.  The wages (results—consequences) of sin (departing from the love and will of God) is death (loss of fellowship with God).  The free gift of God is eternal life (restoration of fellowship with God) through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.  Jesus has bridged the gap caused by the entrance of sin and so through Him our fellowship with God is restored and as we come to know our Savior more each day we experience more and more of His eternal (aionian) life and this affects ALL areas of our life—our physical health, relationships with others, wisdom for daily needs, empowerment to meet life’s trials, and much more.  No wonder Paul said, "Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV).

I’ve put several very short articles at the top of this site which go more fully into God’s life, how to receive it, and the place of prayer and receiving His Word in this process.  I urge you to read these articles over and over again and may the Spirit of God reveal to all of us more fully what has been given to us in “the free gift of God” and how transformative this could be if we enter into that life EXPERIENTIALLY:

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I appeal to you to pick up your Bible and very prayerfully consider 1 Samuel 16:7; Psalms 33:15; 44:21; 87:4-6; John 1:9 and Acts 10:35.  Especially take note of Psalm 87:4-6 and Acts 10:35.  These are very plain and very powerful.  I remember many decades ago my mom pointing these verses in Psalms out to me and they made a very deep impression which has never left.  Only God can read the innermost heart and intentions of any person, knows what struggles they’ve been through, what their biological and cultural heritages have been, what opportunities they’ve had, what light has come to them, and how they’ve responded or not responded to that light.  Christians have been very foolish indeed to make determinations that only God can make.  This has led to endless judging and to people trying to control others in order to “save” them.  God is far more concerned about blessing people and getting them into His Kingdom than any of us could ever begin to even imagine.  We need to move beyond "religious arrogance" and the sooner the better.  We need to let God take care of His business and we go about our business which is to commune with Him, live for Him, and do whatever we can possibly do to love others and help this needy world to be a little better.

Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul.--Thomas Merton




Hebrews 12:15  New Living Translation (NLT)

15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

One of the definitions of "bitterness" is: "anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment."  This feeling of being treated unfairly may be ever so small but it is in reality a DEADLY POISON that will affect every area of our life, especially our relationships with others.  We may think that we are able to hide our anger but others will sense it and often quietly withdraw from associating with us which will only increase our own suffering and likely intensify our resentment.  If we compromise even slightly with bitterness it will be like a deadly poison and will not only ruin our relationships but will also bring all kinds of sickness and physical problems.  Few people would knowingly drink some poisonous substance but think nothing of allowing anger and resentment to abide in their consciousness.  Even more serious is that harboring bitterness can cause us to fail to receive the enabling grace of God.  Does this mean that God stops loving us if we are bitter?  No, but it does mean that we are cutting ourselves off from partaking of the empowering aspect of grace and making ourselves weak physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially.

With God all things are possible but we must intentionally choose to let go of every ungodly thing in our life and then earnestly set our feet on the path of unconditional forgiveness and love.  Then God's grace comes in and we receive His almighty power and what humans call "miracles" begin to happen (see Philippians 2:12-14).  Think about this seriously, examine your own hearts, and without further delay take whatever steps needed to put your spiritual house in order.

"I know from personal experience how damaging it can be to live with bitterness and unforgiveness. I like to say it's like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die. And it really is that harmful to us to live this way."--Joyce Meyer

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Ephesians 6:13  New King James Version (NKJV)

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

There are so many times in life when we've done everything that we possibly can to resolve a difficult challenge and we simply have "to stand" and leave it all in God's hands.  Does this mean doing nothing?  No. It just means that we have done everything possible that we can do and we must trust completely in God and in His promises.  Trusting fully in God is sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do as we are often tempted to take things into our own hands to "make" things happen as we wish they would.  Abraham and Sarai contrived a human plan in order for Abraham to have a son but this didn't produce good results and in the end Abraham had to trust solely in the promises of God and a son was conceived just as God had said would happen (see Genesis 16; Romans 4:13-24).  The Bible is FULL of stories where His children have been faced with insurmountable obstacles and a way out was provided and all the glory went to God.  Unless we've been doing faithful and intentional spiritual work each day we will not be prepared when faced with a big problem (see Jeremiah 12:5). That is the whole point of Ephesians 6:12-18.  Are you earnestly seeking God each day for His empowerment and guidance as your absolute number one priority (see Matthew 6:33)?

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Today I was out in the yard reading my Bible and my neighbor came and sat beside me confessing his current drinking binge.  He was reaching out to me for help.  I shared with him a few thoughts and he was most receptive.  Below is the essence of what I shared which is my way of looking at a complex human problem which keeps millions in bondage, including a lot of folks who feel they have a strong spiritual path.  "Take what you like and leave the rest." TD

The root cause of all addiction is based on a deep emptiness of living apart from fellowship with God which is mostly accompanied by a fixation on the world of the five physical senses--especially with much attention given to the pleasures and pains of the human body.  We give away our spiritual power very easily to something in the realm of matter.  We think a certain substance will bring us happiness and well-being and many times it brings hell and suffering instead.  This dependence on and attention given to something in the realm of matter instead of on the all power of God is a factor in all cases of addictions.  If we empower something in the realm of matter "to make" us anything we are giving away the indwelling spiritual power that is given to all of us (see 1 John 4:4).  I've heard people that would totally reject alcohol and tobacco say "I must have my coffee fix" in the morning.  Really!!  If we look to something in a bottle of pills whether it be a drug or the latest vitamin product to do something for us we are inviting suffering which will not end as long as there is dependence upon something in the realm of the material.

Over the past few decades we've had such fads as aerobic exercise in which the pulse rate must be kept above a certain level to be effective, a super low fat diet and mega-vitamin therapy.  Over time all of these things have utterly failed and what was once thought to be so scientific has proven to possibly be very dangerous and harmful.  A lot of sincere, health-oriented people are still caught up in these things.  I see folks at the gym where I go frantically exercising in an effort to solve some of their problems or beautify their bodies.  I enjoy regular exercise and nutritional eating very much but I don't look to these practices to "make me" something.  I already have everything I need in God for my well-being in this life and that which is to come (see Acts 17:28).  Every dependence upon something of matter instead of the all power of God will disappoint us at some point.
I have written another article, LIFE IN GOD ALONE, which is closely related to this one.  It is found on the link below.  Just click on the title:




Psalm 34:14  Common English Bible (CEB)

14 Turn away from evil!  Do good!
    Seek peace and go after it!

Most of us decry the violence and conflict that sweeps through our world but at the same time may be allowing things in our life that are destroying our own peace.  Such things as even minor irritations are little forms of death that bring misery, sickness, and greatly hinder spiritual growth.  If our spiritual journey is not bringing us increasing peace, joy, and love for God and others then something is radically wrong and it is time for some very serious heart searching and making needed corrections in our thinking.  In the midst of a troubled and hurting world we are privileged to experience the peace of God in a way that no human words could ever describe.  We must be willing to recognize any hindrances to peace in our lives and put them away by the grace of God.  We cannot contribute to the peace of the world unless we "go after it" in our personal life with all diligence.  We must be about our Father's business of truly experiencing His Kingdom in our hearts and sharing love, joy, and peace with others.  We cannot truly pray "Thy Kingdom come" while living contrary to the principles of the Kingdom.

As you consider these inspired words a good prayer might be:  "Lord, change me."

Philippians 4:8  The Message (MSG)

8 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.


To read more short articles related to this topic click on the Tag "peace" directly below.         

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Psalm 51:16-17  New Living Translation (NLT)

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
    You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
    You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Nowadays we are bombarded with many things that are causing controversy and fear and can sidetrack us from the individual spiritual work that we need to be diligently pursuing.  I speak here of our great need to be continually humbling our hearts before God and individually seeking His presence.  The danger is especially great in allowing ourselves to get dragged into a lot of controversy and spending time "chasing the devil's rabbits."  The more convinced we are that our stance on a given issue is totally righteous the greater is the temptation to neglect the cultivation of "a broken and repentant heart."  A "broken spirit" means that we see more and more how much we need to depend upon the Lord and realize more fully that even one unloving thought towards others is just as great a sin as so many others that we decry continually.  If we allow ourselves to focus overly much on the sins that are in our face everyday in the media we may be neglecting keeping our own spiritual house in order.  When I see how utterly I fall short of reflecting the unconditional love of God I feel less inclined to be pointing the finger at others or allowing myself to feel so righteous in comparison to some of the terrible things that others do.  If we have a clear calling to speak out against certain evils we must be careful not to allow ourselves to become entrapped in self-righteousness in so doing.  In many things we all continually fall short of the glory of God (see Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8-10)  I truly want a "broken and repentant heart" so that I may experience more than ever the blessed peace of Heaven in my life and bring this to as many others as possible.

According to the Bible the works of the "flesh" are of two kinds (though both are of the flesh): the unrighteous and the self-righteous.--Watchman Nee

This link has several articles to help you grow in your walk with the Lord: