Great and Unsearchable Things

Things the Lord gives me, and then I write them.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Are You Asleep in Zion?

     In addition to the post yesterday entitled, "The Time Clock is Ticking," I would like to recommend a website which, it seems, contains many truths in it concerning the end times. It includes the Day of the Lord, and many sobering challenges to the Western church.
     We have been raised in a Mammon (money) filled environment, and it's possible that we have not even scratched the surface in understanding what it means to be the Bride of Christ in this world. The messages we've heard in the church system here, have progressively centered on the "benefits" to accepting Jesus and have eliminated  our love response to Him, except when it costs us nothing.
     We've thought of ourselves as "American Christians" as having arrived, somehow, and pedaled this mentality to other countries, when, in fact, it is possible that we have been woefully deceived, as we've filtered everything, even Scripture, through our own hedonistic minds. Our blindness to this possibility, and our stance to defend ourselves, could be only another indication of this truth.
     If you have looked around and suspect something is wrong with the picture of most Christians you know, you may be ready to consider that we have been duped by the prince of this world, even in "what it means to follow Jesus in this world." If you've noticed (or seen) it truly has become "all about Me," even though people sit in the pews and sing, "it's all about you," and yet their lives  reflect the opposite, you may be in a company of believers who are under the grid-His hidden ones.
     If you are wondering why I don't mention anything about "Easter" today in this post, it's because these traditions of men have become a stumbling block and a smokescreen to hearing from God in our lives. We are doing "Easter" with our activities, as Martha, but have neglected Mary's part (the better part) of sitting at His feet and listening to our Betrothed, leading us to His heart, and following Him unreservedly, by life or by death, as a Bride who has taken a forever vow.
    I have been sobered after reading some of this website. As you read it, if you dare, let the Holy Spirit lead you into all truth. Everything any person writes is not all truth, but He can take the true from the untrue, and seperate it for you, as only He is truth, and He promises to do that.
     I plan on reading more of it, as He has instructed me to delve into the "Day of the Lord" more deeply and learn, from His Word and by His Spirit, and it seems the time for me to do that is now! Can this be because the time is getting so close, and He is moving on His hidden ones to learn the truth, and to be prepared? might be advisable to get alone with God as you read. God bless you as you hear His voice, and take the grace He offers you to follow Him. Amen.
     If you are a Christian from another country, and you know what I am saying is true, would you pray for the blinders on most of the American Christians' eyes to be removed?  Or that they would be healed of their hardened hearts towards the Lord's voice, so that they would enter His rest, and know who they are as His Bride, responding to Him in life-long devotion? Thank you, our brothers and sisters.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Time Clock is Ticking!

     I am going to pass something along to you F.Y.I. (For your information) A friend of mine is the director of a ministry called Rural Restoration Adopt, which is an outreach to struggling farm families with the love of Christ. Every year they have a local conference in Sikeston, Mo.
     This year they had a speaker who is from Africa. He is a pastor who has come over to America, with a group of pastors, to live, and to intercede and evangelize America. They are missionaries from Africa to America.
      In his talk, he was led to give a prophecy he had received from the Lord. He was shocked himself to give it, as he had not planned to. He said that somewhere  between March 11-April 11, something was going to happen in America which would be of such  magnitude that it would not/could not be ignored. He said the President would say," We need to pray." And he said believers should be ready to help minister spiritually especially to those who don't know where to turn. In praying for this situation, he said not to pray to stop it, for it must come, but to pray that souls would be saved because of it.
     I am putting this forth so that you can seek God about it. I personally believe that it is very possible because of the unstable times we are in. I believe it will be something bad, because in His word God He tells us that things will go from bad to worse before the good finally comes through. (lawlessness increasing, earthquakes, the judgments, tribulation, anti-christ, etc., then the "new heaven and new earth.")
     I have a sense in 3 ways that time is running out. The first sense is from a spiritual discerning, as to the timeline of God. The second sense is because of my age, and knowing the average lifespan, and the third sense, now, is this prophecy which I see as entirely possible, and I am fully opened to it. Of course, time will definately tell.
     But, whether this proves to be true or not, God tells us to "live ready" for His return. He gives several parables about those who do, and those who don't and the consequences of each. And then He talks about people who are unaware because they are so engrossed in their own lives, that their discernment of the times gets less and less until they are totally unaware.
     He will come like a theif in the night, He tells us. Atleast to those who are desensitized to things of His Spirit. They go about their own business, and when He comes, their lamps are empty. There have been many interpretations of the 10 virgins, but the part about the door being closed on the 5 who don't have any oil is very unsettling, to say the least.
     Then He seems to tell us that those who don't give or reach out to others, He will not even claim to know.  He says when they didn't give to others, it was the same as not giving to Him, and when they did give, it was as giving to Him. In other words, if you are His, you will show it in your life by not heaping it on yourself, but you will have a giving heart like His is.
     The people of the earth in Noah's time had a window of opportunity to get in the ark; then the door was closed. Perhaps April 20th is when the door will be closed? Maybe something will happen of such great proportions that will cause people to have to pick one side or the other. And maybe nothing will happen, but be forewarned "today is the day of salvation." He's already given us enough cautions and warnings in His Word to "occupy until I come," and to live our lives for Him and others and not ourselves.
     When He comes back, will He find faith on the earth?

I believe there's still time, if you have been living for yourself, to shift your focus back to the Lord and His Kingdom, before the door is shut, but it's getting very close to the time that it will be!!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

     Vacation cancelled! (Refer to previous post)  I never know how I am going to feel about things from day to day, but I am beginning to understand that God speaks to me on the tail end of processing things through my emotions. I believe He is transitioning me from my emotional realm to the realm of the spirit. The post yesterday about me needing a vacation, and then going on to justify it based on what I was feeling emotionally was an example of how I sometimes process things in my mind. The problem is that my (our) emotions are so flighty, and not a stable place to make decisions from.
     Today, on the other side of my emotional slump, I am seeing much more clearly. I am seeing that my desire to go on  a vacation for myself, was just a knee-jerk reaction to relieve myself of the shaking God is doing in me. I wanted to avoid it by focusing on something of "this earth" and then I justified it with Scripture. So, I had deceived myself.
      I had forgotten, though, that God is taking me on a different path. In fact, many years ago, He led me to a writing which describes others who He also has led in this way. (I truly believe He wants this kind of walk for "all who are in Christ Jesus" but each person must be open to "hearing" this for themselves.) It is printed below.
Others May; I Cannot

If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. God’s call will put such demands of obedience on you that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians. At times, He will let other people do things which He will not let you do.
Other Christians who seem very religious will push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans. You cannot, and if you attempt it, you will meet with failure and rebuke from the Lord.
Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you to despise yourself and all your good works.
Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor. God wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may demonstrate His faithful love for you in supplying your needs day by day.
God may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity in order to produce some fragrant fruit for His coming glory which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it now. The reward for your work is held in the hands of Jesus and you will not see it until He comes.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you with a jealous love. He will rebuke you for the little words and feelings or for wasting your time. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He does not owe you an explanation of these mysteries. But if you give yourself to be His child, He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and give you the precious blessings for those who belong, heart and soul, to Him.
Settle it forever, then, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit. It is His option to tie your tongue, or chain your hand, or close your eyes in ways that He does not seem to use with others. And when you are so possessed by the living God that your heart delights over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of Heaven.
What is your only comfort in life and death?
That I am not my own, but belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and He has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven. In fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to Him, Christ, by His Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for Him.

I desire to get to the place that "my heart delights in this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and managment of the Holy Spirit" over my  life. I know that as I allow Him to clean me up and deliver me from all that is not of Him in me, He will get me there. So, no vacation, to divert this process. I am so grateful that He has shown me the truth of my heart this morning, for I know, that the truth will set me free to be satisfied with that place He is bringing me into. Amen.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I, Too, Will Praise Him with a New Song!!!

     I think I need a vacation. Have you ever been there? I know that many of the problems I carry within myself, and so I gave up the fantasy of "geographical happiness" a long time ago, realizing that "wherever I go, there I am."
     No, this vacation would be for the purpose of having a break from the stresses and focuses I carry in my everyday life, and to break up the mundaness of it all. I've never allowed myself such a luxury, but I am sincerely considering it.
     I am wondering: When have I really done something simply for it's enjoyment to myself?  Frequently thinking of doing that as being "selfish," I have refrained. Now, I'm re-evaluating that. I am examining the possibility that by me denying myself in this way, has resulted in more stress accumulating and has increased the need for relaxation even more.! Maybe that is one of the reasons I don't have much joy in my life. Just considering all of this pensively, and asking God.
     Every once in awhile I am reminded of the verse which says, "God gives us richly all things to enjoy." I've had a hard time with that word "enjoy," as it presents images to me of self-indulgence. I realize as I type this, that may be an extreme deduction. I am so aware that I am put on this earth to serve Him, that I fear I have denied myself in unhealthy ways.
     Do you have problems balancing "enjoying all things" and "serving Him only" and what that might look like in your life? I do, obviously.
     Something just happened to put me over the edge to be able to decide to "go for it." Isn't it neat how God works? He knows what we, as His particular child needs, to move forward, and when that is provided, we can quickly decide.
     Yes, He gives us richly all things to enjoy! I am praying for myself and for those of you who also have a problem in this area, for God's help to be able to lay back and take in with peace the things He gives us and to truly enjoy them. Somehow I think that this is showing gratitude to Him for His gifts to us; kind of like worship. Hmmmmm....................
like joining in praise with all creation for the marvelous things He has done!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Killing Leviathan!!!

     When do we switch gears from knowing you cannot follow God's will within yourself, and then believing "I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me?" There is a fine line between the two. I mean even though we think we are doing things in God's strength alone, we continue to find out that we are still partially operating in our own. I found that out this morning.
     Yesterday, I reviewed in my mind one of my repetitive failures in my conduct, and I made a vow that I was not going to do that ever again. Well, this morning, I found myself doing it, after the fact. I didn't even notice it at the time, but only in retrospect. I asked God about it, and He showed me I was still putting confidence in the flesh, even as I made a vow not to do something anymore. All the vow demonstrated was my desire to do "good" but not the power to do it.
     So, as I sat in my chair saddened about my behavior which was hurtful to me and others, and realizing what God by His Spirit had revealed to me (I had confidence in myself) I confessed this to Him, and asked Him to help me keep this vow, but by His power not mine.
     As I was making my bed, the Scripture came to me, with additional words to it: "Not by (my) might, not by (my) power, but by His Spirit!!!!! Yes, we can't follow His will in our own strength. To do so, or even to think we can, shows we still put confidence in us, over Him in many ways.
     In yesterday's post, I shared how God had slayed some of my flesh or pride. Today I realize that there is still so much more in me that He needs to put to the cross, because Paul said it right-The flesh wars against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. I witnessed that this morning unfortunately.
     I so much want to have my pride rendered helpless, but thinking I can slay it is a futile belief also. I thought I heard God speak by His Spirit to me yesterday. He said,  "Pride cannot bow to me because of it's nature; it has to be slayed."
    Having this kind of "death wish" is a good one, but one in which only He can accomplish in us. We can't make vows and hope to accomplish them in our strength.Maybe that is why He said that He doesn't come to bring peace, but a sword! He is faithful to slay with His sword that ugly monster Leviathan in us, or our pride. Even so, come Lord Jesus!!!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Life Out of Death!!!

     I just came through a 5.5 emotional earthquake, believing that God has worked something of Himself inside me. Some of my flesh was brought to the cross, causing my pride to be buried in the rubble, never to be seen again. Thank goodness. All the pain, confusion, woundedness, and feelings of being subdued as if you are invisible, are worth it for the "righteousness" He works in me. It's worth it for you too!!!
     This week many believers  will celebrate "Easter." They focus on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, the Savior of all the world. He died to free us from the power of sin, by taking our sins upon Himself. He died, so that whoever wants to receive His gift, can live forever with Him.
     One thing that is not emphasized in most Christians circles, (and I'm not sure if most Christians even believe  it) is that we, as believers, need to go through an experience of the cross also, so that our sin nature (or flesh) can be crucified. The earthquake I have just been through is part of that. The result is that more of Him will come forth or "be resurrected" in us, for He is conforming us into His image. (Another truth that is not taught.)
     So, I think one of the main focuses of "holy week" should be not only His love gift to us, but also how that translates to our own walk with Him, with the crucifixion being layed upon us. We should be encouraging one another to partake of "His baptism of fire" , so that His blessed will can be done in us, and then through us, in this world, so they can see Him, and come to know Him. But, I warn you, it won't happen without much pain. That is why He says to "count the cost" of following Him.
     I encourage you now, dear brother and sister. How do you make yourself available for this cleansing, you may ask. My belief is that you just tell God, saying something like, "Lord, I follow You to the cross. Bring Your baptism of fire in me! Crucify my flesh! I choose to suffer your afflictions than to delight in the treasures of Egypt, like Moses, before me, and as You submitted to our Father in the garden, even unto death." Or just tell Him your own words. Each one of us has an expression that He created in u, and He wants to hear from you, your way! Amen.
     I read the other day in His Word that Jesus said that He's got a baptism to be baptized with, and He won't rest until it's finished. Let's fulfill His heart's desire!

"And pour contempt on all my pride."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let God be True and Every Man a Liar!!!

     "Let God be true, and  every man a liar!"-this is my theme song now. By this I mean that only God knows the heart of a man, the motives of a man, and the truthfulness of a man. If we try and figure that out before "time" our own untruthfulness, or our insights or perspectives, and even perceived discernment will certainly "lie" to us, as we all still "see through a glass darkly." In fact, Paul says he doesn't even judge himself, and even if his conscience is clear, doesn't mean he is innocent. That is hard to believe, isn't it, but it's right there in 1 Cor. 4:1-5.
     God spoke to my spirit a long time ago, and said that "the devil has 'seems'." In other words, when something "seems" right to us, or something "seems" plausible, or even reasonable, etc. it could only be satan masquerading as a angel of light in order to steer us the wrong way, showing ourselves, perhaps that we really do trust in our own perceptions and feelings. If this is true, we are vulnerable to satan lying to us through them. If we put our trust in God completely, we have immunity from that.
     But how are we to even life like this, especially when a situation presents itself in our lives, where there is lying going on? How can we, in our own limited seeing, know truth from a lie, or are we even supposed to? Is that God's territory only?
     God knows, and the guilty know, and maybe some of the innocent who have seen the guilty do their deeds, but that is really all! Outsiders, or people who have "heard" what others have been "accused" of, only know what they've heard people say. When they repeat it, it's gossip, and if the person is innocent, it is then slander.
    Since my husband and I are dealing with this type of situation we are having to seek God, and examine our own selves in the process. I have seen how I have handled situations like this wrongly in the past, and I am seeing how others are handling this situation wrongly now. I am praying I will not end up cynical towards others through all of this, but will understand what God is wanting me personally to see.
     Operating in our flesh causes us to make a judgement, pick sides and wound perhaps innocent people along the way. I'm getting now why Jesus said not to pull the tares up-because you might damage the innocent in the process. When in the Spirit, we take it to God first, trust Him to answer us in His time and way, and remain neutral as to the guilty or innocent ones. This is hard, as I am finding within myself, that my flesh wants quick resolve. In that Cor. verse, God speaks of the "appointed time" and I am supposing that means that He will bring things to light, when He decides, and not us.
     With too many voices saying this and saying that, we can't hear God clearly, so we are getting ready to turn off the radio, and tune in to the Spirit of God only. What goes on in our own minds, is enough to try and quiet, much less other peoples' voices.
     So, seeking truth is about seeking God. He promises that if you seek Him you will find Him, and so we rest on that and rest in that. It is going to be amazing how He reveals Himself in this situation to us. We know for sure that we certainly can not weed through all the mess. We've been in this helpless position before when our own family was a tangled ball of yarn. When we tried to untangle it, it only became worse and more tangled. Finally we let go and appealed to the One who can do the impossible, and He worked His miracle. We are likewise appealing to Him again in this same manner, and we are set and ready to "stand back and watch the glory of God," revealed.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Job's Blindness and his Healing

     It just hit me that what happened to Job was given as  a prototype of what must happen in all of our lives, if we truly desire for the Lord to be truly Lord of us. I'm not talking about what happened to him specifically, but as far as God removing those things that we either look upon as idols, or those things or people we put our security in.
      Look at Job for a minute: He had it all, and he knew it, and seemed to be quite comfortable with it, and perhaps even placed his security in the way his life turned out. Maybe he even loved his life over loving the Lord, or maybe he even took credit for the way his life turned out.  I'm talking about the condition of his heart, not what appeared to be. Yes, God said he was righteous, but did that mean he was perfect? I think it meant God knew Job truly believed in God, and his desire was to walk in His ways, and would never leave God, no matter what; that he was a man after God's own heart, like David was. But, he still needed everything to be shaken in him, so that God could truly have preeminence in Job's life.
     If we are sincere about wanting to follow God's will, by surrendering everything to Him which gets in the way of doing that, He will, over our lifetime, get us to the point, by circumstances or by revelation, of lying in the ash heap with nothing left but Him facing us, as He did in Job's life. It's just that Job's shaking was all crammed into one,  unending earthquake, and most of ours, God spreads out, as we make adjustments all along the way. With each new "shaking" God increases while we decrease, and that's a good thing for those who really want Him to. This is His will concerning us.
     The end result of Job's dealings was the beauty of humility that God worked in him, expressed when he said that he had known things about God that were too big for him to know, (which to me indicates that perhaps he really didn't know as much as he thought he did, pointing to his pride) and when he finally did truly see God, he hated himself and repented in dust and ashes. To be brought to the ash heap is to be at the end of our self, must be such a relief. We are then free to serve God and others,  and not ourselves any longer.
     I'm wondering too, if him being given so much more than he had before is  representative of the spiritual blessing of knowing God as He is, over knowing Him as we think we see Him. If we don't see Him as over us in everything, and ourselves in relation to Him, than we don't see Him or ourselves at all, but through veiled eyes of pride, defending our own righteousness as Job did.
     I'm sure after all was said and done to Job, his testimony was that of the once physically blind man-"All I know is that once I was blind and now I see." To see with spiritual eyes is to see reality, which is Christ in His fullness.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Insufficiency of Our Sufficiency

     Whenever I try to run my life apart from His control, I've found increasingly, as I walk with Him longer, that I soon "get in the flesh," outside the covering of the Lord, and things just don't go well.  I'm wondering if it's His grace which accelerates my ability to realize that the peace leaves me, making it more attractive to stay in step with His Spirit, or just that, because of the fact that I've been in Him for a long time that He expects more from me. Either way, the fact is becoming obvious to me that my "sufficiency" is woefully "insufficient."
     If I try to do anything, I fail. And I'm not talking about things like brushing my teeth, etc., but in my relationship with people. I don't respond right, or I'm mean, or I control, or a number of other things which are not conducive for life either for me or them.
      Instead of me just saying that I know in my "flesh is nothing good,"  I believe He wants me to really KNOW it and be done with it, and walk in the Spirit. You know, God says, (and He doesn't lie), that we have been given everything for life and godliness, so it's not that we are incapable, but it's that we choose (ouch) to keep on doing things "our way."
     Remember that song by Frank Sinatra called, "My Way"? I heard someone say that it is the theme song of hell, and in a way, they are right, because when someone never submits under the Lordship of Christ, that is where he will be headed. By not believing in Him, but ourselves and our own sufficiency, we deny His leadership in our lives. How can you call Him Lord, and yet do your own thing? It really is oxymoronic to live in that state of being, and one we all need to be delivered of, and the sooner the better. The only life that is truly sufficient is the one submitted to His grace.

Friday, March 22, 2013

He is Lord of the Appointed Time

     Who is who? Wheat or Tares? Satan masquerades himself as an angel of light, and so do his messengers, and  because of this, perhaps, is why God tells us not to judge things before the appointed time. (I Cor. 4:5) Who, besides God, can see the hearts of men, can discern a situation where lying, confusion and deception is involved, unless He, by His Spirit, chooses to make these things known?
     Being in a situation like this recently that involves people we have loved, known and trusted, has turned our world upside down. To not be able to make heads or tails of this clearly, is unsettling, to say the least. Sometimes, though, when caught in these dilemmas, we have to rely on God's promise that "He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts." (I Cor. 4:5b) Until then, we just have to wait and accept the obscurity.
     Truly this position is a walk of faith, as we can't see and yet we are called on to believe. My tendency is to want immediate clarity and resolution to an issue, so that the guilty will be revealed and the innocent vindicated, especially when we (my husband and I) have to make a decision associated with the events which have occured.
     I guess the question becomes, "Can we trust the timing of the Lord, even when we want things revealed now?" Of course, I know the answer would be that we need to trust the Lord in all things, if we are indeed trusting Him to be Lord of all in our lives.  I don't want to resist Him in this. I'm afraid I've done that too many times, and have caused myself, my relationship with Him and others problems because of this.  Enough of wrestling with Him at the Brook Jabok, as Jacob did!
     Yes, Lord, I accept that You have decided to withhold revealing clarity in this matter. I don't understand it, but I accept it because I trust in You in the darkness. You have told me that when I do that, I will never be put to shame. Thank you, Lord, for helping me accept Your will. Amen.

"As I stumble through the darkness, I will call Your name by night. God of Wonders beyond our galaxy-You are Holy, Holy."

And P.S., Lord-thank you for connecting me with a sister in the Lord today who reminded me that God works in an atmosphere of mercy, and that extending our love to others in this situation is our only part, trusting God to take care of the rest. I needed to be reminded of that.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's So Much Bigger than Our Little Lives!

     We are waiting for God to reveal Himself in a situation in our lives. He hasn't yet, but that doesn't mean He won't. In fact, we are expecting Him too. How often we manipulate circumstances by what we say, do or think so that things will turn out our way, and then try and fool ourselves into thinking that God revealed Himself. Our anxiety of waiting gets the best of us, and we (even subconsciously) take things in our own hands with just a little phone call or comment made to someone else involved in the situation. I know I've done that. I am looking back on many occasions when I've operated in that M.O. Lying, lying spirits nipping at our heels!!!
     We have been influenced by what others may think, or by trying to rescue someone from having hurt feelings, or even by our own wants and needs instead of truly submitting to however God works it out. One of the safeguards, I am learning, in being a wife, when it's a joint decision, is in not going beyond what one's husband says. Having done that before, I can honestly say that it can open you right up to being vulnerable to the assaults of the enemy. So, God designs a protection for us wives in this. Not surrendering to it makes us a target, with increased trouble and pain ahead!
    So, we wait even though it's been a couple of weeks, and if I was operating in my old way of doing things, I would believe a decision would be imminent, because there is a potential timeline in all of this. But, I trust God, and I wait on Him to either make it clear to us, or if He doesn't, and my husband makes a decision anyway, to go with that. Even if he hasn't heard from God, I am still covered. I don't know how all that works, but it works. (Something I've had to be careful of is to not unduly influence my husband to what I want to happen either. )
     Truly surrendering to God in what He decides is the ticket. Maybe He has prolonged showing us something until He worked in me to help me lay down some attachments I have had. I know that He showed some things yesterday that I did lay down. So, what seems to us like Him being slow in revealing His will is Him doing things on the inside of  people who are involved. I mean He is all about "making the crooked places straight in us," so that the restoring of  all things will come to pass. So our little involvements and decisions that we see as such a big thing, is usually so insignificant in comparison to His plan which is so much bigger than we have known or realized. It's about Him completing His will of redemption and restoration in all of creation, and how what is happening in our lives, is such a tiny part of that!



Reading the Word from a New Perspective

     After we, as Christians, get over doing things out of obligation, we can really get into His Word and focus on seeing Him in it. Getting to know Him, in who He is, and who we are in relationship to Him is the path of Life. Before we reach this place, we have usually walked down the paths of "how to do" or "when to do" or even "why to do," and it has left us wanting, meaning we never quite arrive, and are left unsatisfied. Because we aren't satisfied with ourselves, and rightly so, causes us to press in further until we get to the place of Living Water flowing from the City of God which is Christ Himself. I think it is so awesome how His Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, and He guides us until we get to the Truth made flesh; our only source of Joy and Completion.
We may have to travel far and wide and go to places of exhaustion, disappointment and futility first,  but if we keep traveling, He will lead us to Him.
     Then, we can begin life that is truly life. Reading His Word no longer becomes a spiritual discipline or a self-made contest or something we must endure as we muddle through, but it becomes something we eat and take in and let digest in our spirits. I believe there is a mystical element to it. He is called the Word made flesh, and by reading the written Word, something happens in us, as we assimilate it by our spirit, and not by our minds. We don't even have to try and understand it, but we just read and believe it, and let the results of that just flow, knowing that He watches over His Word to perform it.
     It is so freeing to not come from a position of "having" to do something, but in wanting to do it. As our spirits are made more alive by abiding in Him, we then begin to see so many different levels of understanding as we read, as then we discern it spiritually. It's only when we try and understand it with our minds that it begins to get confusing and seemingly contradictory. Then we try and rectify the dichotomies we see, and try and resolve them with our minds, causing more disturbance within ourselves, and out goes the peace. Why not instead just keep reading and absorbing with our spirits, trusting Him to bring any resolution that is needed? Trusting Him  in all things brings peace.

When my grandaughter, Shelby, was 2 years old, we were meeting with other believers in our home, and when we played this song, many of us were meditating on the Lord as it played, and we had our eyes closed, myself included. When I opened my eyes, she had gone in the back room, and gotten her inner tube, put it around her, come back out in the living room, was standing in the middle of everyone, and swirling around freely. What a sign of God! She was communicating that she was jumping in the river, and we should too!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fall on the Rock, or the Rock will Fall on You

     I really love the fact that God's redemptive power is so thorough that it burns out the tiniest little fleck of wickedness in all things. I can't tell you how He does this, or even what that looks like, but I can tell  you that He does it and He will continue to do it until all that remains is of His eternal Kingdom. Perfection has come, and perfection will redeem!
     That means we don't have to be ruffled by those things that are hidden, but when God decides to reveal those things in darkness, they will be revealed, and His judgements will show them for what they are, and burn up all impurities. By not submitting ourselves and the things in us to the scrutiny of God now, and receive the mercy He offers us through Jesus Christ, all that is left is His judgement. Why? Because our sins are still hanging out there unatoned for, if you will. They aren't washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, although they could be, if only we give them to Him.
     The Word declares in many places that nothing and no one can stand the wrath and cleansing of God unless they are covered by Jesus Christ's finished work on the cross offered to all of mankind, if they will receive. Exactly what the wrath of God looks like and when it will be poured out I don't know. I do know it won't be a good thing, except that it will remove the wickedness forever and ever.
     Fearing the Lord is a good thing, because it shows that someone believes that God is all powerful and He has a right to do as He sees best. It shows a trust in His judgements. But, when someone fears Him, then they will decide also to receive the new Life He offers them. He wills that none will perish! He invites you to come into His family through accepting the death of Jesus Christ, His Son, on your behalf. God offered Him willingly for  you, and He still extends that offer even now. Will you respond to Him, or if not, His wrath only awaits you. His purging will happen one way or the other.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sharing Agape-His Love Language!

     Was just thinking how arrogant it is to want the love delivered from someone else to ourselves in a particular package. I haven't been able to fully see this until this moment. I'm talking about "preference" being a luxury of the rich, such as we are in our affluent American society.  For example, there wouldn't be books published in third world countries entitled The Five Love Languages. Some of them are happy to just get one meal a day.
     In this book, it lists 5 different ways we like love delivered to us, with the idea being that we figure out which way we like it, and then communicate that to our spouse or friends, so hopefully they will deliver, so that we can feel loved. What's wrong with gladly receiving someone's love in the package they give it in? "Oh no, but I like it this way, and if you don't speak "my love language" than I don't feel loved," is the perspective. Sounds like a very self-serving expectation to me, possibly resulting in a self-sabotaging hindrance in relationships too.
     I have been guilty in the past of having this kind of expectation. I first had it with my parents, even before the book was published. I expected them to know my needs through and through and then meet every one of those needs. "They just don't understand me," I thought, and was angry with them because of that. I judged them wrongly. For many years, I thought they owed me an apology, but in truth I owed them one, and needed God to forgive me for judging them. As my eyes were opened to the truth of my own heart, I did  receive forgiveness for this attitude, and asked God to "cleanse me from all unrighteousness," in this area, and He has been faithful to do that. Then I had it with my husband. Poor guy. I was expecting him to be God to me! Again, this caused so much unnecessary heartache for both of us, and only because of one deadly thing-PRIDE!
     Who do we think we are anyway? Do we think other people are in our lives to serve us and our wants and our needs? I can see it clearly now. When David said, "Create in me a clean heart, O God," he surely spoke for all of us in our need for redemption throughout! As we receive Jesus, all things become new in us, and if we let God clean us up, He will burn out that wicked foe!!! Then we will be able to serve Him as we serve others, and our self consciousness will go too, thank goodness!
    He frees us from ourselves! What a relief when our flesh, our sin nature, and our pride are destroyed! We then become truly free to live and to love and to reflect His glory, and to let His love language, the one all people need, flow through us. Now that kind of talk is universal!!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Can't Fool God

     "In our flesh is no good thing,"-God has spoken this, through Paul, in His word. This has to be settled (believed) by us to go on with God's plan of maturing us. We have to know, though, that it is not our flesh that He is maturing. We mature when we allow our flesh to die or be destroyed, that the Life of God, through Christ Jesus can shine through us. So  if your flesh responds wickedly, it is just being exposed for what it is. If it is being "nice" it is being deceptive and "all dressed up" full of guile.
     If we are sincere about glorifying God in our lives, we will just reckon ourselves dead, by letting ourselves die with the sword He desires to kill it with. No cross; no resurrection. Attempting to by pass it will only lead to pretensious flesh wanting the glory, and "acting" like it is glorying God. God knows who has passed through the fire, and who hasn't . To try and fool Him is being a fool in itself. Flesh is not spirit and spirit is not flesh, and the two will never meet.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Straightening Up

      Living in the stress free zone is awesome! I'm not saying I don't feel external stress in my day, but I am saying that when I remain under the shadow of the Almighty, there is peace amidst the storm. Peace within. The temptation is great to come outside of this place, and rescue "those who are perishing" so to speak, but I can't. Instead the Lord has taught me to pray His perfect will to restore all things, and to lift up the particular person I see struggling and faltering, believing Him for this in their life.
    I honestly believe that when they are lifted up in prayer, according to His will to restore, that He beefs up the work on the inside of them, and that by praying this way, I am helping the best I can. I know this is true, as I begin to observe the changes that are being made. And,  it not only helps others around me, but it helps me too. When we stay in our place, God is then free to work on others. I know He is free anyway, but if we are in the way, I think that sometimes He works in us to let go, so that He can then restore them unhindered.
     So, when things are aligned, all things improve. Praise God He makes the crooked places straight in us, others, and He will  restore all things one day.      

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The King's Chambers

     Recently I have been getting more and more isolated with the Lord, and I love it! It feels like I am drifting further and further out of this plane, we call the world, and going into another dimension. Even though the noise of this world is diminishing, and I do experience occasional feelings of loss because of that, the perks of knowing Him more are well worth it. Just me and Jesus walking around together in this zone.
     I used to would be concerned about what many others might call this a "hermitic existence" because they might judge from the outward appearance, but I know God has called me here and that He is doing something in me with a purpose attached. His purpose, and I trust that. Whatever He does is real and eternal of of immense significance. So, I float on. With Him, going places only He knows about. And it is good.
     To be in this place of not "having" to know what all the answers are, or of where I am going and what I am doing is a peaceful place. To be assured that the captain of my soul is leading me is comforting, and I know He knows what He is doing with me and my life.
     How did I get here? ; by letting go of alot of things, over an extended period of time. I am not in control, and I don't want to be. I thought I wanted to be for so long, and I thought I was "supposed" to be, but now my understanding has been quickened to know that He wants to be in control.
     We've all been taught that with the "let go and let God" cliche, but to actually have Him work death in us so that we can is another. But it's worth it, I am beginning to see, as new life is springing forth as a result of the process.
     Many years ago, the Lord spoke to me in my spirit and said, "You are like the century plant. It will take a long time to bloom, but you will and it will be fabulous." I can't say I am in the blooming stage just yet, but I feel it coming on. And what will that look like? What will that mean? I think it might mean that His fruit (Gal. 6:20) will begin to come forth from me, as the death process progresses. His Life will be seen! And, He will be glorified!!! What more could we, as Christ followers ask for? That those who He connects us with in our lives could see who He is through our vessel.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Trusting Him for Them

     I have a new m.o. (modus operandi) and it is to not get in other people's business by refraining from making comments which are unsolicited. Do you know how hard that is, especially when you've had a habit of "sharing your advice" which you thought was helping them?  You observe people making daily decisions for themselves, you think you see the error in them, and so to rescue them, you share your insights, so they won't have to suffer from their mistakes. Sound completely sensible and even loving to me. NOT! Well, the loving part might be right, as the intention is for someone's good, but the sensible part, maybe not.
     Why? Because there comes a time in everyone's life, when you just have to let people make their mistakes, and suffer for them too, and let the Lord have His say about things in their lives. Doing anything less is to interfer with the Lord's work. You value what you can say or do above what only He knows needs to be done, so with this in mind, it really becomes a matter of trusting Him with them.
     But I don't want them to have to suffer, because I suffer when they do, and I might add, it scares me whenever their suffering results from their own pride which ignores the wisdom of God. I wonder what will have to happen for them to respond to His wisdom and  live in safety. As I see it, it is like walking on a mine field, hoping you place your foot in the right spot.
     Now, how do  you stand back and watch someone do that? Only by the power of the Holy Spirit, after He's shown you to step aside and let Him have His way. It's the only way they will turn from their willful ways and listen to Him. Sowing and reaping, sowing and reaping, sowing and reaping time after time, as the pain of the results gets turned up each time. This cycle is implemented for our redemption and healing. We can turn to Him anywhere in the cycle, and it will be stopped and then  new and living ways  open up  by His blessed hand.
     This struggling with God, our will against His, will not result in us being the victor. We never win. He always does. The only thing under our control is deciding how much suffering we have to have before we face that fact. When someone keeps pressing harder to try and win over God, it is a painful thing for those who love them to observe without trying to rescue them from themselves. But, if they (and us too) insist, they can choose to fight at the Brook Jabok, as Jacob did, suffering their own version of their thigh being displaced.
     People beg for a touch from God; the touch Jacob got resulted in injury to his own self will, as I see it, which is a good thing. The limp that he had was a reminder of who wins, so he wouldn't be tempted to raise his ugly head again to take God on. If we let the limp remind us, we won't foolishly even try.
     To remain humbled under His trustworthy hand of protection and grace, that beautiful place of submission,  is the place He desires us all   to be for He knows it is the place from which all blessing flows. When He completely supplants our own self-will as King, then we can know God as He truly is.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Our Part-"To Let"

     Jesus said of Nathaniel, "That man has no guile in him." What is guile anyway? Could it come from the word "disguise," implicating falseness or pretense? As I looked it up, I found out that it does mean "doing something by deceptive means."
     How deceitful are we; am I? "The heart is deceitfully wicked, what man can know it?" His word says. Yes, only God, who looks at the heart, can truly know the deceitfulness within. Our desire, as lined up with His, however, is to be clean within. As David so sincerely prayed, "Create in my a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." When we are born of the Spirit, we receive a new heart and mind, and so, in that aspect, we are clean.
     But, if we are the least observant we see ourselves doing deceptive things by deceptive means. We try and present ourselves "good" for other people's approval or admiration. We say the "right" answers, even though on the inside we feel the effects of not really believing what we say. We do things from selfish ambition, and try to make it seem like we are really doing them for other people. If we look too hard and long, we get sickened by the putrid flesh operating in and through us.
     So, how do we resolve this? How do we become a "Nathaniel" and not a "Jacob"-the deceiver? It happens as we trust God to perfect us into His image. The bottom line is that we can't change our hearts; only God can. When we truly want His righteousness to flow out of us, we humble ourselves to "let His substance" flow through us to others.  It's not a matter of "what would Jesus do?" and then do it, it's a matter of denying ourselves (what we do in our flesh) and "letting" His love have it's way. Again, it goes back to "not my will, but Yours be done, O Lord," and then "letting" that happen.
     As we "let" Him have His way through us, Jacob becomes Nathaniel through us. Putting it like this, I can see that I very seldom "let Nathaniel" come out of me, but instead Jacob has his way, and I am saddened by this. Although good to recognize our sinful part, it is not the position to stay in. I just need to decide to "do it" instead of just write about it, or talk about it. In doing so, I truly am full of guile.
     O Lord, give me the courage to "let go of Jacob, and release the heart of Nathaniel" in me. Forgive me for being a deceitful, hypocrite. Amen.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Listening to His Voice in All Things

     If you've read the blog before, maybe you've wondered why I don't reference Scripture very much as I write. This is for various reasons. For one, I omit them some times because by citing them doesn't prove what I've said is correct or true. So many false doctrines have cited the Bible in an attempt "to prove" that what they are writing is true by doing this, and so many interpretations of a verse or verses has led many astray, or even a new denomination has been formed around them.
     Without a doubt, I truly believe that what the Scriptures say are absolutely true. It's just that when men get ahold of them in their unredeemed minds or hearts and try to use those senses to understand truth and express it, then they unknowingly pervert God's intentions by what He, through men, has written.
    So, I am trusting that if you see something far-fetched (and I realize that many things I write are unconventional and seem that way) then you will go to the Word of God and look it up yourselves. More importantly, that you will ask the Spirit of truth to interpret it for you. "Good Bereans" God calls those.
     I trust that when I write what I do, that God has given me what to write. How a person in Lituania, or China, or America, or Germany interprets it, I too, trust to God, the all-knowing One. I can't "make" you see what I see, as I write, but God can "cause" you to, if what I am writing is something you need to know and understand. Or He can move on you to open His Word, and lead you to where you need to read, and minister to you in that way. Oh, His ways are past finding out! So multi-faceted and fascinating, He is!!!
    The main thing in reading others' writings about God or in reading His Word, or even in listening to someone speak about God is to trust and rely on His Holy Spirit's leading in all of it.  We can be confident that He is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will-HE WILL LEAD YOU INTO ALL TRUTH!!!!

Impacted for Glory!

     I am thinking about the difference between God "making us" do something, and of Him "causing us" to do something which is lined up with His will. He impacts our decisions by unknown pressures or circumstances, and even by how He has created our unique thought processes and the way in which we perceive things, even if we are not aware of that. He is a marvelously, mysterious God!
     There is a quote in the Bible that someone says like this:"Oh God, I believe. Help my unbelief." This is an example of what I am saying. On some level this person, knows that only God can impact the inside of us in such a way, as to help us turn from unbelief to belief or he wouldn't have asked Him to do it, would he? The Spirit of God on the inside of those who have received Him, does so many things in us, which "causes"  us to grow and see more clearly, and move in us in such as way, as to "make all things new" in us. He goes, blows, and impacts us in those tiny cracks and crevices we can't see. (The Holy Spirit is like the wind; we can't contain Him.)
     If He didn't, we couldn't. What couldn't we do? We couldn't choose Him, we couldn't believe Him, we couldn't turn from the old unto the new, and we couldn't grow. We couldn't bring Him any glory with our lives.
     "In Him we live and move and have our being." This reality cannot be tapped, but it can be believed. We can count on Him to do His work in us, and although we still have our own wills, He impacts them in such a way as to "cause us", not "make us" to choose life in Him, so that we can walk in newness of Life for the praise of His glory. I don't mind, in fact I count on, His mysterious and wonderful influence on the inside of me, and am grateful for it.  My own resources are powerless apart from THE SOURCE, as I abide in Him.
      If this sounds irresponsible, it's not. It's dependency, a condition the Lord desires, as it reveals that we truly trust in Him for all things. It can only happen when we give our own will over to Him, and even this He "causes" if we don't fight against Him. And if we do, He can handle that too. "I can make my own stand or fall," He says.


Saturday, March 09, 2013

Sooner or Later

     God would rather us turn, I believe, than fall. His desire is for us to see the error of our ways and turn unto Him for the salvation only He can bring. But, many, if not most of us, like the prodigal, has to come to the end of ourselves first.
     This was certainly true in my own life. I did everything I knew to manage my life and the lives of my family to the best of my pitiful ability. Yes, it was pitiful, as God has declared, through Paul's confession, "in my flesh is no good thing." No good thing! Some people can dress it up better than others, but it's flesh none-the-less. If someone has not received salvation through Jesus Christ, they operate from the "no-good-thing" sin nature with fleshly motives and ultimately destructive results.
     Such was my case. Mine wasn't dressed up though. It was blantantly obvious that it wasn't working, as our whole family was drowning without Him! My determination to "do it right" to effect a "right outcome" was strong indeed. In my ignorance of not really knowing I couldn't do it, and that I needed to call out to God for help, God woke me up to this reality one day.
     As I look back at when and how He made Himself known to me, I can now see His heart of love and compassion on my behalf. And not only for me, but for the whole world!!  Everyone is precious to Him, even the prideful. Aren't we all prideful, in a sense, as we try and manage our lives without Him? Doesn't this reflect the pride of man when he first sinned?
      He mysteriously reveals Himself to a soul, according to His knowledge, I believe,  when they are the most ready to receive Him. And He is relentless in doing so! His plan will prevail! The amount of pain we receive is dependent on our willingness to receive Him sooner or later, but if we hold onto our pride tightly, the fall, He promises, will happen with much pain and consequences. Even that is meant for redemption though, so that we might turn to Him, open us to His love and guidance, and Live!!!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Becoming God's Mouthpiece

     A few years ago, a friend of mine, was researching the Scriptures so that she could understand more fully what is meant by "speaking the truth in love," and then start putting it into practice. I admired her interest and dedicated in doing that, even though I don't know what she found out. It sparked by own interest in the same.
     Sometimes presenting the truth to someone is difficult, especially if they are currently believing something that you believe is false, or not in line with God's word and ways.
     A loving heart towards them, and for their restoration is necessary to do this. Most of us shrink back from this kind of confrontation from fear of rejection or we tell ourselves that we would be interferring, thereby relieving ourselves from this responsibility we have one to another in the Body of Christ.
     When do we approach someone to share with them that what they are saying, believing, and teaching is false? It is always according to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, as only He knows those who will receive or those who, although they may reject what is presented now, will in time, receive it later.
      How shall they know unless there is a preacher? This quote from Scripture indicates that many are ignorant, and that their faith may be fueled by hearing the truth. They would be given an alternate view of what they are currently believing, and possibly turn. So, I believe, it is imperative that we go forward as the Spirit leads us and be that mouthpiece, trusting the outcome to Him. Our fleshly fears and the enemy  try and keep us quiet from declaring the testimony of Jesus; too much of the time we acquiesce.
     What difference does it make if we do? God, by His Spirit, as the Scripture says "makes the crooked places straight" in us and brings healing. As His ambassadors on earth, many times He wants us to speak the truth in love, and by that, those places in each other are made straight, or we turn from what is false, and unto the truth. As we do, we are set free, and become a more whole and sound Body, which truly represents Him. So, there is a healing factor that comes with lovingly presenting the truth to one another. We all "see through a glass darkly" and so not one of us has been fully purified or walks in wholeness. We can help each other heal, if our pride will let us.
     God is wholeness, and He desires wholeness in His many membered Body. Each one of us needs to not only hear His voice for our own growth and turn, but also so that we can be ready in season to share what He's shown us, in both word and deed, to each other. This is the desire of God, I believe. That we would humble ourselves enough to have the courage to share in edification and correction with others, and to be able to receive as we trust our brothers and sisters' loving motivations on our behalf, as they share with us.
     "He is making all things new in us"-sometimes He uses His Body to do this. Open yourself up to His voice to speak the truth in love to another, for this most noble task. He will provide all that you need to do it.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Getting Personal

     This post is a P.S. to the one after it. After I wrote the one entitled, "Hold Nothing Back," and once again gave myself as a living sacrifice to the Lord this new day, I experienced severe burning. (The altar, you know) In the course of the day, involving normal, daily life, I locked horns with my husband. I hated myself for it, I despised the feelings I was having, and I was sorry I hurt him in any way, and I knew I did, but I didn't know what to do about it as we sat in silent tension.
     So, as I sat there, I asked the Lord what was wrong, and how did this uprising occur?  He told me that I was sensitive to being offended because of unhealed wounds that I still had. And because this situation occured, He used it to show me that, and, at the same time, He went about healing those places in me which  are exposed; those particular "buttons" that could still be pushed.
     Oh, it's all part of the process of letting God burn off the unproductive branches in us. But, I must admit, it is painful. It is better, however, to be free of our unproductive branches than to go around with open and sensitive wounds that the flesh of others can so easily touch time after time after time.
     As I type this, the feelings are subsiding slowly. I know it has something to do with getting over my former belief I had about myself that "you are wrong"-not just "you did wrong, but you ARE wrong," as in the substance of who you are is wrong. So, whenever I am corrected, (which feels and sounds like accusing) the effect of believing in my own "wrongness" in the past is activated, and I  automatically respond in self-defense to try and make the person stop accusing me, using angry arguments in my favor and against them. In the process, I hurt people. I intend on apologizing to my husband, as I am still responsible for my reactions to others, understandable or not.  Unhealed wounds are not excuses to keep on hurting others, or in justifying our wrong behaviors.

So, I thank God for His healing power on the inside of me. He is making all things new in me in my emotions and in my mind.

You might wonder why I share these intimate things with you; the nameless and faceless people who read my blog. I do it because I truly believe most of us go through the same or similar thoughts and feelings and even experiences in our souls, and because I also believe that the time is short before the increased tribulations on this earth happen. I am exhorting you to also offer yourself on His altar completely so that He can do His work in you, and gain His heart's desire of conforming us into the image of Christ, for the praise of His glory, so you won't have to be ashamed at His appearing. (Because you chose the path of least resistance.) 

Hold Nothing Back

     "Offer yourself as a living sacrifice"-have you ever thought about what this means? God says that when we do, it is our reasonable act of worship. The offering of ourselves to Him for His use, for Him to do His work in us, and untimately for His glory as He conforms us to His image, just makes sense. (or is reasonable)
     That seems extreme at first sight, but as we look more closely at this act of worship we can see, by the Holy Spirit, that it is only by this willing surrender, that we truly give all to Him so He can do what He wants to do, so that His will can be done in our lives. Anything else is holding parts of ourself back. Could this be akin to the Laodicean church who is neither hot or cold, the ones God says He wants to spit out of His mouth?
     When we save back parts of ourselves or our lives to manage or control it shows a lack of trust in Him, or either more trust in ourselves, and if we are His, this tug of war will prevent us from going deeper with Him. This means there will be a distance between Him and us which will get in the way of us knowing Him as we could. More than that, it means we will continue to struggle and "kick against the goads," as Paul did. In this context, it is when we try to hang onto our own will, and resist God's will for our lives. Now, that is just "not reasonable"-it doesn't make sense.
     In the book of Hebrews, God talks about entering His rest. We enter that rest by hearing His voice and doing what He says to do, thereby demonstrating that we have truly trusted and believed in Him. When we do that in our lives and with our lives, He is honored and glorified. Our lives become a worship unto Him.


Monday, March 04, 2013

Abide with Me

     Are we content to live "the reaping from what we've sown" life, or are we willing to do what it takes to live Life and More Abundant Life?
     The first life is when we are still trusting in ourselves and trying to manage our  own lives, which indicates we are sowing unto the flesh. And what does this reap? Destruction, according to God's Word. Ouch! (This relates to a post earlier this week about Ignoring God's Wisdom.) Lately He is showing me how attached we've all been to our own wisdom, which has closed our ears to listening to His. In the past, I have wanted Him to increase the volumn of His voice, so that I could hear Him clearly, but He doesn't work that way. He wants us to be quiet, so that we can hear His voice.
     When we abide in Him, it means we are trusting in Him, and then we can hear His voice; it means we want to. When we do hear Him, we will do as He wants, being convinced fully that He really does know what He is doing. We understand and revere His position as God, and we have learned to accept it; in fact, we crave it. This abiding leads to the Abundant Life full of the rich and satisfying fruits of the Promised Land. Our part is to decide to "go in and possess it" believing that He has already gone on before us and has purchased it for us, and that He will protect us from the enemies in that Land.
     In my distant past, when I was reaping the full force of what I had sown, and didn't realize it at the time, I had thought wrongly, that this was the life God was providing for me. Yes, it was full of distress, pain and heartache, but I didn't know I could do anything about it because I was not acknowledging my own sin. I didn't belong to Him at that time, but I thought I did. If He had not come to me when He did to offer Himself to me, I would have probably deducted that I wasn't worthy to have a good life, so God didn't give me one, and would probably had turned bitter, and blamed Him for it. The wrong viewpoint draws the wrong conclusion.
     The truth was "not my brother, not my sister, but it's me, O Lord, standin' in the need of prayer." I needed Him in my life, didn't really know how to reach Him, (thinking I already had Him because I went to church) and so He came to meet me while I was yet a sinner. Oh, the grace and wisdom of God towards us is immeasurable. It was a divine rescue indeed.
    Now, that I am "in Him" and have been for many years now, the old ways of operating apart from Him, try to crop up every now and then and take control. This struggle indicates still a lack of trust and believing Him for my life. I'm saddened at this, and it is really hard to face, since I know in my head that He is faithful and just and trustworthy, but my faith in Him is ever-increasing and growing, and I won't be content until my whole heart is undivided towards Him. Better news than that is that I know that He is not content either, and He will relentlessly redeem all in me that is not of Him and is not for Him. I will cooperate by deciding over and over again in all situations to believe in Him and trust Him.
    Even with hardship, the Abundant Life, so exceeds the "sowing/reaping" life. For one thing, we are not alone, and for another, we experience His love, grace and mercy and we have a relationship with Him; the pearl of great price.
     So, when we view our lives, it is important to ask the question if our struggles are from our own attempt to manage it, and we are living in the disastrous reaping, or if we are truly listening to His voice, believing Him and His promises, and living out of that position of abiding in Him? The answer to that is the difference between true life and death. He's ready when you are.


Saturday, March 02, 2013

Self-Love Stunts our Growth

"Our fretting over ourselves is itself a preoccupation with self that must be pruned away, for it inhibits our relation with God, our bearing of the fruit of eternal life." This quote was taken from a commentary on John 15 which talks about us, as branches abiding in the Vine (Christ) and how the ones who are producing some fruit need to be pruned from time to time, in order to produce more.

When I read this statement, the Holy Spirit cleared His throat, as if to highlight that I may have this tendency; to be preoccupied with myself. I admit much of the focus in my life has been about examining my own growth in Christ. Before I came to know Christ, I was involved to a great degree in trying to change myself; a total exercise in futility. That desire, though, was carried over with me even as I opened up my heart to Him.

Recently, someone who is a called teacher of the Word for the Body of Christ, shared with me that never, in her 25 years of teaching women, has she ever seen any good come from a woman looking at her own growth. She suggested that as the woman does this, her focus is removed from Christ and abiding in Him, and onto herself. Why is she telling me this, I thought? (Ha!) A week later, after I read the above quote,  I now understand. I love how God shows us things in  a way we finally hear Him.

The wiring of my mind needs renewing, and now I am coming to know that as I believe truth from the heart and mind of God, it will be, as I abide in Christ. The words in the Word which say we are to set our face like a flint, not turning to the right or to the left, creates a picture of this focus. The right or the left could be anything which takes our focus off of Him; it could be world events, or the things we want out of life, or decorating our houses, or getting involved in strife and telling ourselves we are fighting for justice, or collecting things, or getting ready for end-time survival, or simply OUR OWN GROWTH-my albatross!!!

The truth does indeed set us free!! I am free, now, of myself, as I admit that I have been doing this, and  justifying it by saying, "I am examining myself, is all, as the Scriptures say." Ironically, my focus on self has been the biggest stumbling block to my growth, because in doing so, I have been abiding in me, and not in Christ. He is the source of any Life, and I must let His Life flow to me through that connection only. I don't have it within myself-only death reside there.

That is about all I can handle today, because this is BIG!!!  HE IS BIG!!!! I am small. 
There is a time and place, where we are sobered, for us to go and be alone with the Lord ourselves. I am at that place. Talk to ya later.



Friday, March 01, 2013

Stay-Don't Run

     Being "in Christ" is a mysterious phrase to me. In one sense it seems like it is a place to be, and in another sense it seems like it is a state of being. In truth, I think that it is both. It is a place to be, such as in His heart, but yet in being and resting there, it produces in us a state of calm and peace. Albeit, it is a spiritual place, not someplace we can see or travel to.
     In this earth life , unsettling circumstances will present themselves to us tempting us to come out from that place. If we allow our emotions to lead us, we lose our peace, because we've come out from under the umbrella of Christ's protection. We get entangled in other people's emotions, and a war of the wills begin many times. We shift from trusting Christ, to going out on our own, according to what we think, know, or perceive and put confidence in our flesh; a formula for trouble and failure.
     Listening for the wisdom of God is one thing, and as we hear, a response to situations often is needed, so passivity is not referred to here. But, often when our emotions are highly charged, we mistake them for His voice and begin to act quickly in a situation in an attempt for quick remediation. Not only are we operating in deception, but we are adding to the problems at hand, further complicating them and bringing confusion.
     I visualize this place "in Christ" analogous to the place the Israelites were when the death angel came through town looking for the 2 year old boys to kill, and they placed the blood on their doorposts and over the mantels of their homes, and were spared. Although they stayed in their homes at that time, it was not because they didn't come out from their houses that they were safe, but it was because they trusted God to protect and keep them. The blood represented the "future" blood that would be shed through Jesus' veins in accomplishing salvation, and all that entails. So, in effect, they were "in Christ" retroactively speaking.
    Only as we remain "in Christ" can we overcome the world, because He already has on our behalf. So, when these tremendous storms happen, to stay in trust is to abide "in Christ." Using the picture of the umbrella, which indicates protection and safety, if we think we can survice the torrential rain apart from Him, we are badly mistaken. Isn't that the same thing Adam and Eve thought back in the garden? Somehow they thought they could live outside the protection of God by ignoring His voice, and doing their own thing independent of Him.When they did this, they were totally on their own by their own choice.
     Stay "in Christ"!!!!! Don't leave. Trust Him. After the storm has passed,  you can assess the damage and then He will show you how to  navigate the path you are to take.When the storm is happening and is calling you to try and "do something about it" in your own strength or ingenuity, and put confidence in your own flesh, call on God's restraining power to keep you in place; the place of true safety and calm; the place you belong, in the eye of the storm-"In Christ."