Only a proud believer,

fears humiliation.  A humble believer has a healthy indifference toward failure, success, mediocrity, whatever the outcome.  A proud believer, shepherd, independent, controlling-type, leaning on his own understanding/wisdom, can only tolerate excellence, and is to be pitied above all, trapped in a dreadful, performance prison.  A dumb sheep is fine with whatever the outcome of his Shepherd’s perfect plan, is even thankful, and interestingly, only dumb sheep experience LIFE — joyful, peaceful, fun-filled living.  And only dumb sheep have a contagious Shepherd within, compelling to others.

–DumbSheepDave, grateful for the convicting work of his Shepherd’s Spirit, bringing him back to sanity over and over, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making in 2013

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My responsibility is to,

a) obey, b) believe, c) confess.  Answer: confess.  I cannot generate belief/faith, because faith is a gift from Above.  It is not like a muscle that I exercise.  I don’t exercise/generate faith from within myself.  It is a gift.  But I can confess, when convicted of my sin of unbelief.  When I attempt to be responsible in ministry, or in life, I might be responsible by grace — by the power of the Spirit, or responsible by flesh — by the power of me. When I’m responsible by the power of me, I tend to dumb down the law and dumb down sin to where following Jesus is doable, doing ministry, is doable, obeying is doable.  Up to me.  Kingdom-expanding ministry, even following Jesus, is impossible, without the convicting work of His Spirit.   But when I notice my unbelief, I can confess.  When I’m indifferent to Jesus, prayer, Scripture, I can confess.  When I notice that my ministry idol — or any idol, is strong, I can confess my dissatisfaction with Him.  When I notice self-contempt and others-contempt, I can confess I don’t care about Him, and His view of me or others.

Ahhh.  Fresh conviction/confession.  Completely forgiven.  Deep peace.  Deep contentment, with myself, with others, with Him and His perfect plan for my life, including the harrrd.

–DumbSheepDave, saner, more peaceful, than ever, hoping the pre-believers are noticing the difference Jesus is making in 2013

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The right-side-up kingdom of this world,

and my flesh, and the devil, treasure the winner/strong/confident/proud/somebody/adultlike/shepherd, but the Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus treasures the loser/weak/meek/humble/nobody/childlike/sheep.

Shepherds are not promised carefree peace and happiness, but sheep are.  Shepherds live with tension, stress, misery.  The fruit of worldiness.

For the Church to be the Church, for us to have favor with the watching, skeptical world, we believers need a widespread awakening, overhaul, transformation.  We need a different leadership paradigm, to replace the strong-leading-the-weaker paradigm we currently have.  Worldly, human power replaced by supernatural power.  Impossible without the Spirit of ShepherdJesus.

–DumbSheepDave, embracing his dumb sheepness more and more, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making in 2013

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Feeling helpless seems wrong,

to us Christians.  Whyzat?  Because we’ve not understood the leaven of the Pharisees that Jesus mentioned to His disciples, which is independence, which is concern for one’s own worthiness/performance/righteousness.  Self-effort.  Human power.  God-bless-my-agenda praying, presumptuously advising the Creator about what’s best for self and others.  I know how to pray.

God opposes the proud/strong/confident/independent, but gives grace/power to the humble/weak/meek/dependent.  Adam and Eve wanted independence, wanted to be able to discern good from bad, so they could control their lives, captain their souls, master their fate, and we Christians have this same addiction to being strong, independent, winning, confident.  We are passionately helpless-avoidant, weakness-avoidant, losing-avoidant.  And so it seems wrong to us, to be weak, dependent, helpless, clueless, powerless, dumb sheep needing a Shepherd to protect us from ourselves.  Loser.

Jesus offers to reverse the effects of The Curse, and retrain us in a better way to live.  Problem is, we Christians live just like other mortals, and though we talk a lot about the difference Jesus makes in our lives, we are mostly like the other mortals: helpless-avoidant, weakness-avoidant, failure-avoidant, loser-avoidant.   We need to be winners, for we cannot bear to be losers, in the eyes of others, or in our own eyes.  Pride.  Our righteousness/performance/worthiness is everything to us, and the imputed righteousness/performance/worthiness of Jesus is hardly anything to us.  Unsatisfying.  We want something more.  Some of our own.

And so we Christians are doomed to missing the power of God on our lives, having no more joy and peace than the other mortals around us.  No wonder the watching world is not beating down our church doors wanting in.  There is so little of Jesus and His power, His fruit, in our lives.  No contagion in our day, from us to others.

–DumbSheepDave, less concerned about feeling helpless, less fear of losing, more indifferent to winning, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making

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Only the proud are risk-averse,

but the humble are willing to risk humiliation, for the humble have nothing to lose, not caring one iota about their own worthiness, performance, reputation.  Only the proud are fearful of failure and the accompanying awful pain of self-hate.  The humble never hate themselves, no matter how bad their humiliation.  Only the proud struggle with self-contempt.  The humble are dead to self, dead to the fear of failure, humiliation.  The humble are willing to risk, able to live and love with reckless abandon.  They are amazing.  They wow.

How does a proud believer become a humble believer?  Impossible.  Only the Spirit of Jesus can freshly convict a proud believer of his pride, delivering him from the prison of reputation-preservation, pain-avoidance, risk-avoidance, into a different kind of experience — the experience of LIFE.  Jesus-dependency.

–DumbSheepDave, baby steppin in a more-dependent direction, sometimes, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making

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Are Christians followers of Jesus?

No, a follower of Jesus is a Jesus-dependent, a dumb sheep, asking about everything, thanking about everything, doing nothing on his own, curious and expectant to see what ShepherdJesus does next, in the sheep, in others, in circumstances.  A follower of Jesus, a dumb sheep, a childlike, is never stressed, never hurried, never worried, and experiences a peace that is vastly superior to anything an independent ever experiences, because independents lean on our own understanding, are wise in our own eyes, think we know what’s best for self and others, and operate by puny human power, accomplishing what’s possible for mere humans.  We Christians who have the name of Jesus, but not the benefit of Jesus, are the saddest of all humans.

Fresh dependency/faith is a fruit of the Spirit’s work, convicting me of my sin of independence.  I get zero credit for any dependency/faith anyone ever sees in me.

–DumbSheepDave, miraculously and surprisingly baby steppin in more-dependent directions, sometimes, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making

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Who is the greatest Christian alive today?

Surprise.  Jesus said, the childlike are.  The weak, meek, humble — the Jesus-dependents who embrace and enjoy their weakness, lowliness, are not bothered by the threat of losing somebody status — adultlike/shepherd status, and having it replaced with a lowly, nobody status.  The ones who need to be somebodies, adultlikes, shepherds, worthy, in order to feel good about ourselves, are treasuring the values of the right-side-up kingdom of this world, independent, agendafied, wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding.  The Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus, has different values, operates with a different power.  Not human power.  No wonder we believers are failing to impact the world around us.  We are not salt and light, but just like them.

Childlikeness/dependency is impossible to generate from within, is a fruit of the Spirit’s work in the heart of a believer.  A believer gets zero credit for childlikeness/dependency/faith.

–DumbSheepDave, baby stepping in more-dependent directions because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making

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“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,

which is hypocrisy,” said Jesus.   Hypocrisy?  Trying to appear strong/together.  Dishonest about weaknesses, failure, neediness.  Invisible pride.  Appearing strong/together/un-needy has unconsciously been my main core value all my adult life, I now see.  Nurtured by the society around me, outside the Church, and inside too.  Satan loves the Church operating just like the world around It, by human power, like the Pharisees, so It’s neutralized, impotent, fruitless, saltless — of no use.  Independent, not Jesus-dependent.

How do I change?  Impossible.  I need Jesus working in me, exposing more and more of the yeast-like independence that seeps into every area of my life.  So I can confess more.  Invisible pride.  Satan hates me confessing, and loves me trying harder to change, trying to believe better, depend better.  And hate myself when I fail.  Pride.  Jesus-dependency is impossible without Jesus working by His Spirit, freshly convicting me of the sin of independence.

–DumbSheepDave, having the best year of his life, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing

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