Great and Unsearchable Things

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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Restoration is Up to Us

     His Word says that He will make the crooked places straight. (Isaiah 42:16) Although referring to the Israelites returning to their land after being in exile, and perhaps meaning that He would make the roads smooth, by removing the obstacles, today He is making reference to the places in us that He will make straight. With promises like this, which involves the work He is doing in us, requires our consent and participation, after He illuminates our "crooked places," by His Holy Spirit.
     Say, for instance, that God shows you that you are enabling someone else to continue doing things that are destructive to them. You might be making excuses for them in your mind because for some reason, you enjoy rescuing them, and the feeling you get from that. Subconsciously, you may think you are loving them, but this feeling could be you stroking your own ego, or the goodness you think you are. It may be, however, that you simply are afraid that they might not love you anymore if you don't succumb to their wishes, or demands.
       The Holy Spirit has already revealed these things to you, if you will but hear, and so now, you have a decision to make. Do you continue to help the one you say you love, by helping  them get deeper and deeper into the darkness because you want to feel good or are afraid, or do you repent, and ask for the help of the Holy Spirit's power to help you quit this destructive behavior?
     If you do the latter, God will surely restore you. When the time comes for the cycle to repeat itself (and it will) you will find yourself responding in a different way, and experience the "strength of the Lord" to say, "no." It may be that God will heal a wound in you that you didn't even know was there, and it was because of that, that you couldn't "walk straight,";  a big rock was in your path. Or it could simply be that you wanted to handle things your own way, and not God's way, and so you did, and you  need to humble yourself and ask for His forgiveness.
      But, if you choose to either ignore what He has made known to you, and continue on your same path, He will not make this crooked place straight. It really is all up to us. What is more harmful in making this decision, is that your heart becomes hard to His voice and Will, and we can be sure that there will be no changes made in us, or in our relationships. Overtime, if we continue to blaze our own trails, that action too, will lead to our destruction.
     It is when our will agrees with His, and we repent and ask for His help, after He shows us something, that true restoration can happen. Only then.

Friday, August 30, 2013

To Serve is To Love

     There is an emphasis today on us being "sons or friends of God" instead of His servants. True enough, we are His sons, and His friends now through Jesus Christ:

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (NIV) John 15:15.

and Gal. 4:4-6
4 "But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[a] Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[b] Father."

But let's realize the truth that is being said here. We now, having accepted the first-born son as our Savior and Lord, and so He graciously adopted us into His family. Jesus, the first born Son, is now our Elder brother. So, of course, we are His sons.  But that doesn't mean we, like the proverbial "lazy son of the Boss" often depicted in movies or novels, takes advantage of this position granted to us and forget the agonizing death of His Son on our behalf to make this position available to us.  We need to cherish it and use the position to bring glory to His name by how we live, albeit by His power alone.

How do we do that? We do, as His Word says, in denying ourselves, and agreeing to do His blessed will. Not only in just agreeing to do it, but, as His child, knowing the only way we had access to our Father, was by the suffering of His first born Son,  we now WANT to do it. A child desires to please His parents, not to have them approve of him, but because He knows they do. He knows they love him, and so he responds to that love; not to "get them" to love him, and yes, he knows that they will never stop loving him, even when he doesn't please them, and he operates from that security also, but not to take advantage of it, and just do what they want and test that love.

I just wanted to add these points to the current conversation concerning us being sons of God. I feel there are many twisted perspectives, which are causing Christians not only to get off track on this issue, but also to abuse their position as "sons." Some of this has derived from the " prosperity gospel," "authority of the believer," dominion theologies,"  and most currently, the "new grace" movement. All these use Scripture to back up their beliefs, but they also appeal to the flesh of man, where us, and not God is the focus.

Yes, there are benefits of salvation, but not to be used for our glory, but for His. Doesn't the fact of His suffering on our behalf make you want to fall down at His feet and do His will? Doesn't it cause you to ask, "what will you have me do? I know I am no longer your servant, but it is my pleasure to serve you anyway. I accept and cherish you as my Father. What can I do to bless your heart today? I never want to hurt you, although I know I probably will. You loved me first, now I love you. As my brother, Christ, has said that His meat is to do your will, my Father. It also is mine."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Follow Me

     The "moving and stopping cloud" was the sign God used for the Israelites when they were traveling in the wilderness. If the cloud stopped, they were to stop and if the cloud moved, then they were to move. Can this be comparable to the Holy Spirit that we have available today? I believe so. He wants to tells us when and where to go, and what to do, during the course of our day.
     For those of us who are agenda makers, this can be a difficult way to live. We feel secure with a plan. Our natural leaning is to be able to see ahead of us, and a plan seems to satisfy that need. So, to present a clean slate before the Lord and have Him write on it for our lives, can seem insane. "Lay down your nets and follow Me," He says. Could our nets include our own plans?
     Last night I was feeling a little lost, not knowing what lay ahead for the evening. I decided to relax, though, and go with it, thinking that the Lord would fill it with something. And He did. He gave me something to do, putting before me something to enjoy; something only He and a few others in my life know about, and so I realized it was a personal blessing from Him to me, and I believe He was trying to show me that His ways are truly better than mine, and that I can trust Him with my life.
     Is there any risk in following Him, and how would our lives look different if we indeed laid down all our nets, and did follow Him? I think we would have life abundant, in the sense, that He defines it. It would be His agenda instead of our own that would be fulfilled, and that can only be good. We'd find ourselves on adventures we would never have dreamed we'd be a part of, living and loving as He does. "Our nets" would pale by comparison, and not only "pale" but we'd be living the wrong life, sadly.
     Are we still holding on to some of the nets we have? Remember our nets catch fish, representing the material provisions we procure for ourselves, living as "unto ourselves; His nets catch men, representing us laying down our lives on behalf of others, truly letting Him live His life through us, as we give our lives as a living sacrifice.
     The cloud moves; will we go? The cloud stops; will we stop? Have we given Him, the One we call Lord, permission to direct us and when He does, will we follow? This act of submission will make all the difference of living the life He planned for us, or living the life we planned. If we do this, can we really call Him Lord? Food for thought.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Letting His Courage Have Dominion Through Us

     Sometimes when God gives us a big idea, it's not so that we can "be somebody" when we carry it out; it's so His abilities and bigness can be seen through us. If you've ever had someone say to you, "I can't see how you did that," it is usually because you know so well, that it was not you, or by your power, but Him or His power, working through you that did it.
     There are 4 times I can remember and know for sure that His power sustained and empowered me. I know that He is the One who does that at all times, but there are some times that you are definitely conscience of it. The first one would be when I had 3 young children, only 1 year apart, and I was a very  young and inexperienced mother. During those years, as they were growing up, because I didn't go off the deep end, and was able to somewhat cope, was one of those times. Now, rest assured, because I didn't know to call on God for help, as I raised them, I didn't do a very good job at it, but even so, it was Him who kept me going through all the hardship and struggle nonetheless. I believe, with all of my heart, that He kept me until He called me to be His many years later.
     Another time was when I did call on Him, during a break in that occurred in my home in the country. I was at home at the time, and it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I couldn't do it, so with God's power inside of me and His courage handling it, I made it. Many asked and wondered how I did it. I didn't do it; He did.
     The third time was when I walked through the inner-city projects with my son talking to people who we knew were into drugs, crime and prostitution. There was danger all around and darkness so thick, you could cut it with a knife. This occurred at a time in my life after the break in, so I was sensitive to danger. I wanted to run and not go, but decided to go anyway and let the power of God protect and fill me. So, it was Him in me, and not me that walked those streets, having compassion on the lost, the hurting and dying. I, even, was amazed myself at the ease with which He handled things.
     The last thing that He has empowered me to do is to take 3 trips to India. I can't do that sort of thing! The trips are long and tiring, the inconveniences and differences are startling, and unknowns are daily presenting themselves. But, before I went I called upon the grace He provides to empower me. I said, "Unless you go with me, I'm not going," trusting that He would go as I called on Him, and so onward, with His courage, I went.
     Just yesterday, an idea came to me, that if it is from God, and if it happens, will definitely not be done by me. In saying that, I am meaning that I am a fearful person; I always have been, so for me to follow through with this idea would be a miracle. Honestly. Isn't that what it is whenever He empowers us from on high? When we decrease, so that He can increase in us, isn't that how He gets glorified through our bodies and beings? I will gladly step back and "let Him" come forward, as I know who I am. As I said before, I am a coward, but He is my Warrior King. He can handle anything, and equip me for any thing He calls me to, because it is Him, and not me who fulfills His own call, so to speak. One could call that "being crucified with Christ, and yet I live, not I, but Christ that lives within me."
    So, when He gives us something way beyond our abilities to do, isn't He asking us to step aside (die) and let Him do it through us, as in agreeing to get out of the way? I'm reminded of Moses again, at the parting of the Red Sea. God told Him to raise the staff only, and then "stand back and watch the glory of God." Will we let Him be glorified through us as we do?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Lord Himself is the Sign

     I'm reading a book written in 1893 entitled, The Burning Bush, by W. Boyd Carpenter. As I read, relishing the literature style in which he and many others in this time period wrote, I stand amazed at the depth of understanding they possessed concerning Jesus and the things of His Kingdom. In the sermon that follows, he is talking about people's desire for a sign and what the true sign from God is, and describes it in such an eye opening way. I hope you will enjoy and relish it as I have, and will take it before the Lord letting Him examine you by His Spirit and Truth.

"Too often in the history of mankind religion has been confounded with the marvelous. The tokens of piety are looked for in extraordinary power or uncommon conduct. It is true that there were signs and infallible proofs afforded by Jesus and his apostles, but these were carefully distinguished from religion. Nor was this distinction uncalled for. The age was full of the false and unhealthy craving for the wonderful. The Pharisee, unable to detect the tokens of a heavenly atmosphere of pure and holy thought diffused by Jesus, demanded of Him a sign from heaven. The king's earnest wish to see Jesus was prompted by the hope that he would see some miracle done by Him. Wishes and expectations such as these, born of an irreligious spirit, Christ refused to gratify. It was an evil and adulterous generation that sought a sign. And though He appealed to the works that He had done in the Father's name, yet He placed them as argument for the acceptance of those who were incapable of appreciating the arguments of a simple and godly life. "Though ye believe not Me, yet believe the works." This stern setting aside of the immoral craving after the wonderful in religion, and mistaking the extraordinary for the excellent, fitted the life-teaching of Him who made not the angel-choir, nor the star, but the simplicity of childhood, the sign of recognition."

To tie this in with the Scripture, I add, Isaiah 7:14-"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (God with us)

If Christ Himself, is not a spectacular enough sign for us, then nothing will be. Stop seeking beyond that, those who have found Him. He is the sign above all Signs, and the proof we are looking for.


Monday, August 26, 2013

You, O Lord, Are God; I Am Man

     Believing things about God without acknowledging His Sovereignty is to create a god our flesh desires. God always has the prerogative to change, or even supplant what seems like to us is written in His Word. He is God; we are man. He is the Potter; we are the clay.
     Satan never got that one. He wanted to reign over God or at least be equal to Him. We, too, need to be careful to acknowledge God as our Lord. With some of the teaching going on out there today in America, there is a fine line between God and man. I heard it said recently that "as He is so are we in the world," and in the context he used it, I believe he meant that it was as if "we are Him." Dangerous ground.
     Christ is being formed in us, as we submit to His work of dying to self, but we aren't Him. We are just dying, and He is coming more alive so that HE can be glorified through us.  We were the ugly sinful one; He is the wonderful and beautiful one. I think we really need to get that straight, or the enemy himself will try to tell us differently. He was cast down from heaven, and now is groveling on earth. Because he is here, and because he didn't achieve his goal of "being as god" he will try and hijack the believers of God to believe that they are.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I Seek to do Your Will, O God

"I think the main key is to wrestle with the text.  When we do that, we can sort out with the Lord what He is trying to teach us.  We can live according to our convictions. We can be faithful to what we understand. It will always be limited. We will often get something wrong. But we can answer to the Lord for our actions and He will know we were doing our best to be obedient."

I love these quotes. I found them on a website today and I believe it answers the dilemma about interpreting the Word of God in our lives, and how others "see" and "apply" it differently than we do. Simply, we all "see through a glass darkly," but if the desire to do as He wants is there, I believe He honors that.

Lady in Waiting

     It really is strange to love, follow and worship our unseen God. I woke up this morning and talked to Him. I told Him that I wanted to feel more of His love for me and His presence. I know by faith, He is here with me, and by His Spirit, in me. This also is a strange phenomena. But my desire to "feel" more of His love and Presence is my desire at this time, and obviously it is not His intent, or He would manifest His Presence to me.
     Our desire to "feel" Him, instead of to walk by faith can take one, I believe, to a dangerous place. For instance, if we are not careful, we will begin to try and "do" things in an attempt to get this feeling. We may try and spend more time with Him alone, or read the Word more, or even sacrifice more for Him, thinking that if we do these things, He will reward us and fill our desire. It is, however, an attempt to manipulate Him to do what we want Him to do. Or, our imagination can take over with demons coming alongside, and mimic His Presence. That is the worse case scenario, and one which, I believe, many Christians are caught up in.
     When we decide to follow Him, it becomes His will over our own. This may take many years of walking with Him for us to get the positioning right, after failed attempts, and resulting hurts and disappointment, of us trying to lead.
    He is helping me to do that by using my marriage relationship. I sometimes want more attention from my husband, or I want to feel he is present for me. This is the same desire we get in our relationship with God. But, He is showing me that He chooses when to manifest this Presence, and it is not initiated by me. When He does decide to do this, independently from me and my attempts to "make it happen" and I accept that, it is pure and true and beautiful and filling. 
     And it is the same in my marriage. When I wrangle and plead and even try and manipulate my husband's attention or his felt presence, if he does show it, it is not natural, but him just trying to please me or even worse, to make me be quiet. Instead of love, I get only his self-protection, which doesn't feel right or isn't filling for either one of us.
     Being a lady in waiting for both God's and my husband's love to be felt by me, and trusting that it will come and be made known, is a good thing. It shows a respect for both of them, and a submission to their Will of when they truly decide to give that to me, for then it is originated in their own hearts, and not as a result of my badgering or control. Because they are both the Head and the head of me in different ways, their decision is right and good.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hearken to His Voice

     God speaks through our thoughts. Isn't that amazing?
     Yesterday I was pulling up weeds in the large sandbox we have in our backyard where our grandchildren play. As I was pulling near the  stairs that leads to the top platform, I had a thought, which went like this: 'Wasp nests usually are under the stairs,' but I didn't see any upon a quick inspection.  I, then reasoned this thought away, by thinking another thought;' Maybe because it is getting close to Fall now, they have gone away,' and I left it at that.
     When I was trying to pull a very spiky week embedded at the back of the bottom of the first stair, suddenly I saw buzzing around me, as if given a military order to attack, about 15 wasps. Immediately, I got up and started walking quickly to the house, trying not to have fear, and calling on the name of Jesus, because I knew I had been stung a few times. I am allergic to wasp stings, so when I got inside I immediately called my husband to tell him what had happened. I didn't want to pass out, and no one know what had occurred.
     He told me to take a Benadryl, which I did. I also took an Advil for inflammation, and rubbed Benadryl ointment on the 3 stings I had. This, along with Jesus' help, I know kept the effect of the stings from getting worse.
     The point I am making, and reiterating to myself is that God's voice, sometimes comes through our own thoughts, as it seems. If I would have listened to the initial thought that "wasps usually build their nests under the stairs," I would have stopped pulling weeds and checked thoroughly under each step, and found the big one. Then I would have killed them with soapy water and wouldn't have gotten stung at all. But because I really didn't want to stop pulling weeds, and do that, I countered the initial God thought of wisdom and warning, with one I created myself. It's a very subtle thing, sometimes, that occurs inside of us, and the more sensitive we become to His voice, and respond to it in obedience, the more protection we will get.
     During the night ,as I slept, the sting on my arm woke me up several times due to intense itching. I dug into it, because I honestly couldn't help it. This morning, I praise God that the effects of the sting have caused me some trouble. It is God's gracious way of reminding me to listen to His voice in the future, even through my (His?) thoughts because they are His warning and protection for me.
     The reaping what we've sown in life can serve as a reminder and protection for the future to "not ever do those things again," knowing that they have harmful effects. Although minor  in this case, it could have been catastrophic, if not for God's stopping the full effects. And, really, I don't believe we reap fully what we have sown. If we did, we would be in hell, if not for the forgiveness of God. That is the full reaping.
      In my case, although seemingly trivial, not listening to God's voice, is a sin, no matter how small. I don't want to ignore Him, and have my heart hardened, as those in the wilderness did. There is a direct result from hearing His voice, obeying it's warnings, and having not only the protection, but the peace and rest of God, because it is them that we are in union with Him and under His great banner of love.
Heb. 3:1-19.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Deliverance is From the Lord

     When someone is "in deception" or has a "stronghold" in his life, all we can do is pray, and then watch the Spirit of God go to work. Sometimes, God instructs us by His Spirit to say or do something , but it has to be led by Him alone. If we, in our fear, or carnal reasoning or "good ideas" try and make them see, or persuade them to do things differently in their lives, then that is our flesh trying to fight a spiritual battle. Scissors can't cut rocks.
     I am truly preaching to myself on this one, as it has been hard for me to "hold my peace and let the Lord fight my battles"; no wonder victory hasn't been mine. But, He is helping me do that more and more, using the past defeats and resulting ineffectiveness and even the damage it's caused, to increase my trust in His abilities and not my own. In this process, of course, has been my own repentance of trusting in myself instead of Him.
     Let's examine why us being involved in the natural doesn't work. If someone is blind because of sin, or because they have been prey to the enemies' deceitful devices, then they don't know they are blind. In fact, many times they believe they have been enlightened. So, to tell them they are blind, when they think they see, would be ludicrous. Another thing is that if we try and tell them they are blind, and they don't believe us, then they, in their mind or through satan's whisperings, believe that it is us who are blind, not them. Anyone, can see the slippery slope this can be, and what a snowball effect it can have; a maze with no outlet-truly a trap set by the enemy against us.
   But, if we present our request to God for their deliverance, He, by His Spirit, is able to get inside of them and someone change whatever is in them that caused them to get into deception or controlled by something in the first place. It is those inside issues in ourselves and others, that we, as human beings cannot touch or control. When we accept who we are, and who He is by comparison, than we become able to let it go and trust Him with other  people's  captivity. It is a spiritual issue, and He is King over the spiritual, not us.
     Well, what about their will, one may ask? Only God knows if they have willingly entered into a deception, and are justifying it in their heart. If they are, and in this are saying to God that "they want their own will to be done and don't want anything to do with His will" then I believe God will leave them alone until the consequences of their choices make them "come to themselves," (hopefully) and return to their Father's house.
     But, if they truly want His will in their life, and have been tricked by satan, I believe that God will go to battle in their defense, and of course, since He already has won the victory, than the person will be delivered and set free, in His time. We must call on God regardless, because He alone knows what is in a heart, and hope for their deliverance, knowing, without a doubt, that God will do it, if their heart is right towards Him, meaning that they have believed the lies in ignorance. (like Paul did when he thought he was doing right by God in persecuting the Christians, when in reality, he was doing damage to the Kingdom of God. In this case, God faithfully woke him up from this deception.)
     "Not by might, or by power, but by My Spirit," says the Lord. Zechariah 4:6
      "Stand still and watch the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today."-Ex. 14:13.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In the End, There Will be Perilous Times

An email I sent to a brother and sister in the Lord this morning:

Hi Brother and Sister-Am feeling to contact you about the perilous times we are in; I think we are in the great falling away. Even though people are still going to church, it's their hearts that are falling away from their first love of Jesus and turning to themselves and pleasures of this world.  Just sensing lately that something is happening in the spiritual realm; something coming down the line. Also, grieved over the blindness of so many here in America. Am reading Steve Hill's new book, Spiritual Avalanche, in which he goes into the various false doctrines which are permeating "the church" today. He was in and out of reality the past 5 years with cancer and treatments, and then when he "came to" he looked at what had happened in the church; God gave him a vision about this avalanche so many are ignoring or don't see and continue to ski the slopes happily, so to speak, and he was mortified at what he saw, and in what preachers are preaching. He identifies 5 false doctrines that are going around and are shipwrecking people's faith, even though they think they have "seen the light." Sad, sad. Even some in my own family have been sucked into this "me" teaching, presented though as what Jesus wants you to have and receive, etc. They think I am legalistic to want to do what Jesus wants us to do in being righteous. That is how they resolve the differences in what we believe in their own minds.  
When we got out of the system 9 years ago, we saw the emphasis go from our spiritual walk with the Lord to "what' s in it for me" preaching, with no dying to self or us serving Him, but in Him serving us, in other words. Because this poison from the world that exalts man was steadily creeping in, and changing the focus of Christianity from Him to us, or man, we had to get out while the getting was good. We couldn't eat that food, and let our spirits die. Of course the real eating is of Him one on one, but if we agreed to listen to what worked against that, it would be counter productive to our growth in Him and to the cross He has asked us to take up in being conformed to His image, and to walk in His will and not our own.  A cross less Christianity is no Christianity at all.  
One of the main things that has slipped away, I believe, is the concept of "holiness." They now want to say that is "putting oneself under the law." Just listened to YouTubes with Paul Washer, Ravenhill, and Wilkerson. Thank God Paul Washer and now Steve Hill are holding up the standards of truth according to the will of God, and which you, Ralph, also are doing. But it will not be an easy road, since the masses are being sucked into these "new revelations" they think God is sending. I can see all of this, and don't know what to do with what I see many times except get grieved and sad at what I do see. I'm also feeling that "the die has been cast" but this may just be my discouragement coming through.
 It's as if people have made their choice. When they follow these doctrines of men, (or worse, the devil) they are in essence saying that they have chosen Mammon over God. Mammon can represent not only money, but self, too, as money does satisfy the lusts of the flesh of having possession, fame and build up one's ego. These doctrines appeal to the lust of the flesh, and away from God being the Sovereign One, who we worship and fix our eyes on and His will. God tells us we can't have 2 masters; that we have to pick one. Trying to serve these 2 together, God and Money (or the world or self) is what these doctrines do.
Sigh-You and a few others are some who are still holding up and believing in the standards of truth, and want to contend for the faith, or preserve the truths of God's word in this generation, as I do. So, we need to encourage one another in that, as the majority of people who call themselves "His" are straying from that, and unfortunately blindness has set in. The force of the majority satan will try and use to make us join in, and that is one reason we not only need to support each other, but we need to pray for each other. I commit to pray for you two, as the strength of that force gets stronger and stronger as time goes on. We can be assured that He promises to spare us by coming back soon, so we won't be deceived. This is serious stuff.
The Million Muslim march on Sept. 11 this year could have some significance in things turning around somewhat, and possibly in this time (if things get bad) people's eyes will then be opened, and they will come to themselves, as the prodigal did, and return home to their Father's house. Didn't He say, "let judgment begin with the house of God?" If, and when they do come back, we need to make sure we don't respond to their returning, as the elder brother did, but we join in with the Father in celebrating their return, as His mercy and forgiveness will be there for them. It seems the most pressing mission field will be to those who once were His, and have gone from the narrow path to the broad one. I will be praying on that day, and ask that you join me. Right now, I don't know what I will pray, but when I set down to do it, God, by His Spirit will show me. Maybe just pray in the Spirit.
I would welcome your responses. God bless you and keep you, as He will, when we trust in Him to do it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Factor Missing

         In the 1960's in America, and in many other cities around the world,  there was a movement to reform societal norms. It produced a lot of turmoil with many losing their lives whether it was during an anti-war demonstration, or a civil rights demonstration, or for breaking the law. I'm sure as in many movements there were innocent people harmed or killed, but also there were many who weren't innocent. So goes it when the masses get together and decide they can change the systems of men.
     I was a college freshman during this period. I participated slightly in the "hippie movement" as I wanted change also. I was bothered by the seeming monotony and senselessness of life on this earth of earning money and then dying. That is how I saw it and still do today. This meaninglessness of life needed to change, I felt, and so that was my interest in this movement. I have found out since, that this movement was so much more than my limited vision of it. The drug usage, the lawlessness and moral depravity associated with the movement diffused any validity to it.
     There was a song then which expressed an ideal which, I felt was worthy and good. The words went-"Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together try and love one another right now." The problem with hoping and yearning for this ideal to really happen, is that the ones who wanted this did not factor in the sinfulness of man, and his need of a Savior who could actually change mankind from the inside out so that they could "love one another."
     That is the only way that people's hearts can change. It is not through a movement or legislation or by demonstrating, but it is through being transformed, and made free from the power of sin over man, to enable him to then walk by the Spirit of God; the only One who has real love.  This can only happen by receiving Jesus Christ and letting His shed blood on the cross cleanse us from all unrighteousness as we trust in Him, being willing to die daily as He did.
    I knew the ideals expressed in the song were good, and I knew that war was not good, but because I didn't know Jesus and how He came to save and change mankind, and that He was the only One who can do this, we were using ineffective tools to try and bring these ideals about. All of it was an exercise in futility with unnecessary loss of life. It was man trying to bring peace on earth by their own will power, bypassing the Prince of Peace, the only One who can.
     The only hope we have for people to "loving one another" in mass, is when Jesus comes back and heralds in the "new heaven and the new earth." Until then, hold on tight to the Rock of your salvation, and if you know Him "let your light so shine."


Monday, August 19, 2013

Agreeing to Sacrifice for Others

     Facing the realities of life is tough. In our own personal worlds there seems to be enough troubles, or things out of shape to fret over and make one want to escape. And many do. We try to cope in various non-productive ways such as drinking alcohol or drugs, eating too much or the wrong kinds of foods, getting absorbed in hobbies in an unbalanced way, busying ourselves to the point of exhaustion, or spending money on things we don't need, or even sometimes want. There are many other ways too we attempt to pacify ourselves and the feelings we experience when things are out of kilter in our lives or in the lives of the ones we love.
     So, how do we face reality, and not run or hide from it, and also remain "at rest" in the Lord? Sometimes if I decide to enjoy His rest for myself (meaning I am trusting in Him to take care of things) I feel somewhat guilty, as in survivors guilt. I want to take all my loved ones with me to the land of milk and honey; not leaving one behind. I don't want to take what is mine, while they struggle or are in pain. I'm not saying this is the way to go; I'm just saying that is how I see it at times. I have a bent as a martyr, and in this also, I will suffer and wait for them if that is what it takes. I will delay my joy for tomorrow, until all their problems are resolved. Herein lies my idealism.
     But, that is how it was when Jesus rescued all my family members. I couldn't enjoy my own deliverance until all my chicks were under His wing too. I stood on His promise that "you will be saved; you and your whole household," and until they all were, I remained restless and wanting. He came true with the promise I was believing in which completed my own redemption. But even with us all being His, there still are unresolved issues in all of our lives which cause us pain and suffering, and now I am believing Him to "restore the years the locusts have eaten" in our lives.
     My tendency is to suffer with the suffering, for I too, understand it. As I posted on this blog yesterday, I can so identify with "bearing one another's burdens." I have been on the languishing bed of sorrow, with a longing desire, that someone would have come see me and sit by my side and hold my hand as I suffered. Just their love, I felt, would bring some healing. I know it would bring comfort.
     So, the question remains in my soul: Is it wrong to defer my own joy and happiness in the Lord, to go into the places of others' suffering and be with them in it? I, too, still suffer in my soul even though I have Him, so I truly understand it.
      My human responses to reality bring fear, sadness and a feeling of hopelessness at times, and it's then, that I need someone in the Body of Christ to bring the soothing of His compassion to me. Another thing I experience is self-loathing for the way I react sometimes. In this also, my need is for someone to tell me I am believing a lie of the enemy against myself, when I cannot see or hear correctly. We need to come along side each other, in the realities of life and not remain cold or disconnected as we rock peacefully on our floats out in the sea of life.
    Coming into another's life willingly in this way, can help them deal with the realities of their life, whether real or imagined. It takes risking our own safety. Instead of self-protection (self-love) it is called sacrificial love and it looks a lot like a cross. Will we, His Body, walk the Via de la Rosa as He did, and suffer for one another's sake? In this way, aren't we experiencing the fellowship of His suffering too?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Repressed Sadness Doesn't Work

     When things go away, just seem to drift out of my life, it makes me sad. Oh, that's just life, get over it, the calloused optimist would say. Yet, deep inside them are buried losses and their accompanying sadness' too, waiting to rear their ugly heads in the form of inappropriate emotional outbursts, or some other illness or attention getting behavior. Or maybe their pretending that all it "fine" or "o.k" is camouflaged by their over optimistic or happy persona, afraid that if they didn't present this front that the river of tears would flow without ceasing, and that would scare them.
    Yes, I want to talk about the sadness of life today, and how I am realizing that I suppress, even deny, my own, and the detrimental effects that might have on my happiness. While sounding oxymoronical, let's see how this can be so.
     Suppressed sorrow, not expressed or even acknowledged, can cause one to be depressed. In one's soul, you carry this sadness, whether or not you realize it. Too much carried sadness becomes too much for our soul, and then we are depressed, and many times we don't know why. Over a period of time, this has to have negative effects on our whole being in unseen ways, or maybe in seen ways such as illnesses whether mental, emotional, or physical.
     I just discovered yesterday that I suppress these sad emotions, because I have thought that no one would want to be around me if I had them. I didn't know how to express them properly. I knew that it wouldn't be good to share them with just anyone, and frankly, I had a belief that I think is perpetuated in Christianity which says that if you are sad, somehow, you are less than a true Christian. Well, in my case, and I think in many cases, if you repress your sadness, than you will end up even more sad. It's as if it plugs up something in you, which prevents true joy from flowing.
     Yesterday when I was suffering a lot of physical pain, God ,it seems, used that to break down one of these dams I had built in my soul. When this dam was breached, sadness over something that happened 3 years ago began to flow. Because what happened was so painful at the time, I didn't want to face the full impact of it, so I put it under and out of the way. I did grieve slightly at the time, but not fully. So, when I was grieving yesterday with deep cries and expressing my thoughts to God over it, was when I realized the negative impact on my soul in pushing pain and heartache under. It doesn't work like we'd like it to.
     Many Christians are carrying loads of sadness in their souls due to this ineffective tactic of repressing it. Could that be also because we communicate to each other, albeit subconsciously, that if we have sadness that we are somehow less than a good Christian, even lacking faith? I think so.
     Knowing that Christ was a man of sorrows, acquainted with our grief, compels me to go to Him with all my sorrows as I experience them. Wouldn't it be good, if we could talk with one or two of our trusted fellow believers, and share with them too, and in doing so, could open them up to feel free to share likewise, so we could truly bear one another's burdens; to cry with each other? Then, I feel, our hearts could be truly knit together in a deep way instead of superficial ones.
     We need to risk being rejected, and be the one who steps out in this first in sharing, making ourselves vulnerable. Who knows, God may use it to bring His sweet balm of healing to both of our souls as we do. One thing we can be assured of is this: "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning."-Psalm 30:5.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Letting Him Be Enough

     I'm reading a book entitled, Inside Out, by Larry Crabb. I've read this book several times before because I love the way he uses words to describe his feelings and thoughts. He weaves them together masterfully, and makes reading a joy by experiencing the craft of writing that he possesses.
     The premises of the book are good too, but there are a few of them I'm not sure I agree with, and if they are true than it changes my whole perspective about Jesus and what I had believed He promises us. One of the things the author maintains is that many of His promises are not going to be fulfilled until Heaven. I can go with him on that, as we can't possibly believe that everything He has for us can be received on this earth that is passing away. But, then the author says that Jesus doesn't necessarily offer to change things for us here on this earth.
     One of my foundational beliefs I've maintained and have written about repeatedly on my blog is that His intention for us is to change or transform us, and I've believed He will do that as we submit to this work of sanctification, which the Word speaks about. Sanctification means cleansing or renewing, which results in change in us from being a flesh driven man to being a Spirit driven one., or changing us from our old self into the image of Jesus Christ.
     He may not be suggesting what I think he is though. He may be saying that Jesus doesn't promise to change our circumstances to fit what we want, and if he's saying that, I wholeheartedly agree. By changing us, we change the way we respond to our hard circumstances. One way, he suggests, we change is to get our crucial needs met in Him first, and then from that place, we're able to deal with our other needs whether or not they are met or fulfilled. Our crucial needs are the ones only He can provide; our need to be loved completely and unconditionally.
     It all makes sense on paper, and I believe what he is saying, but to really live it is another thing. For some reason, since I am married, I am trying to get my crucial needs met by my husband. It is an obvious temptation, as he is here in the physical. How in the world, do we let God love us in this way, since He is unseen? I haven't found that way yet. It seems like every time I think I am being settled in that issue and am embracing it, something comes along and robs me of it. I see a marriage, it seems, made in heaven, and then I want that too. It's only natural, isn't it?
     I would love to be settled with His love and not want for anything else. I want to be completely happy with that only, and not let my other unmet needs dictate my happiness quotient, and I am realizing now that hasn't been a reality for me. It makes me sad and guilty, as it seems like I'm saying that Jesus isn't enough for me, even though I know and believe that He truly is.
     So, here I am at this point in my walk. I don't know how to embrace this love He has for me to the point where I am not shaken or disturbed about my other unmet needs. It seems as if they wave their ugly heads wanting to be fed and they won't be quiet until they are met, or until I involve myself in trying to get them met, which if looked at straight on, is an exercise in futility, and one in which distracts me from truly receiving His love. This conflict rages on, and I am caught in a cycle of wanting unmet needs to be met, me trying to procure that for myself, it not working, and then hurt and pain results, making my life so far from abundant and filled.
     I am truly thinking that His abundant life is truly experienced whenever we decide that His love is enough for us. It's not about having material possessions or position, a good marriage as we define it, children who are always making the right choices, or even having enough food to eat, but it's about learning to be satisfied with the love and acceptance that He offers us; the true food of Heaven. Oh, I want Him to be enough in my life, and I want His love to satisfy me completely.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jesus is Our Only Hope

     When I was at a relatives house the other day, she shared with me about the terrible condition of another relative and said, "Nothing's ever going to change." How many times had I, I thought, proclaimed to her the power of God to transform a person's life? I thought she had seen my own families' salvation several years ago, and had garnered hope and faith because of it.  She had seen the miracles, and I have continued to affirm it by telling her that God could and would change her loved one.
     Now, though, she was expressing hopelessness in this situation, and frankly, it caused me to feel down because of her unbelief. I wanted to say that if we don't hope in Christ, then there is no hope. But, I just sat there stunned and forlorn, almost as if a heard a quiet voice saying not to cast my pearls before swine. This word in the Bible, cautions against putting his precious truths before people, who will negate or not receive them, but will instead eat you, the messenger, alive. So, I held my peace.
     At one time, I too, had believed that nothing was going to change in me, my situation, my marriage and in my spouse. Somehow the idea of believing in change idealistically, when I didn't trust fully the only One who could make the changes, was emotional suicide. So, to believe nothing would change seemed safer. Maybe that is what my relative was feeling the other day. She had prayed about it, I know, for many years, and still no sign of change was apparent. After all, God says in His Word that hope deferred makes the heart grow sick. I understand her sickness, as I have experienced it in my own life before the glorious truth of His ability and willingness to make all things new in us was fully grasped and believed.
     Another thought rose up in my mind to possibly help her believe. Many years ago, I wrote a booklet about how God, by His Holy Spirit, drew and brought salvation through Jesus Christ to our entire family. I gave it to several people who had been instrumental in leading us to Him by their prayers and love. I did not give it to my husband's relatives because I didn't want them to know how bad I had been before coming to the Lord. I feared they would judge me, and perhaps use it against me somehow. I felt if they knew what I was like before, that they wouldn't be able to see how great God had been to deliver me, but would only see and remember my bad behavior.
     Now, I am considering giving the booklet to this relative, for the possibility of showing her that things were as bad or worse in our lives, and yet God, in His mercy and love, swooped down and rescued us. Hopefully, as she reads of His glorious deliverance of our testimony, she will see that He is willing and able to do the same for her family, and her trust level will increase. I am willing to take the risk of her judging me, if her hope in God can be resurrected.
     After she reads it, I am wanting to talk about it with her. I will share how I have struggled and been emotionally and mentally sick, as her relative is too, but God in His great love, came to deliver me, and is continuing to restore me and my family, but it has not been a primrose path, but one in which there have been setbacks and twists and turns, but it's always gone forward towards Him and in knowing Him more and more. My motto has been and will continue to be: "Lord, to who will I go? You have the words of eternal life." If I ever considered leaving Him, I would leave hope and love and life, and the potential for the renewal He currently is doing in us all.
     Once one knows how God is and what His intention is, and His willingness to complete it in bringing transformation from the inside out, then their hope is made alive. If your hope has been snuffed out, I pray that He will rekindle it, as He reveals His heart to you. There is no other hope; all other ground is sinking sand.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Cleansing Fountain

     As I was reading a book of sermons written in 1893 yesterday, the Lord convicted me in what was being said by the author. He gave several examples, and then labeled them as  someone who has "contempt." As I was reading, I thought what a terrible person this was, as the preacher described the thoughts and actions of this person. Then, it was as if the Lord said in my spirit, "you are the man," as Nathan did with David several centuries ago.
     As God turned the light on inside of me, I could see that I was indeed this person with contempt, and my soul was "sore vexed." Even though this is an archaic expression, it perfectly describes the feelings that I had. I was grieved and heart broken, but glad that God had unveiled me, as only He can. Until things are brought out in the light, they remain in darkness and hidden; festering and growing.
     And what can we do about them anyway? Someone told me not too long ago that there was nothing I could do to aid in my sanctification. I disagree. Although I cannot sanctify myself, I can take what God has shown me, and invite Him to do His work of making all things new in me by whatever means He knows is necessary. I have found that He miraculously does this. One minute I am seeing this despicable thing in me; the next it seems to be gone. Granted, we are to change our former actions and reactions  daily once He reveals this sickness, but our ability to do that is also of Him. He gives us grace. To Him only be the glory!
     My contempt, He showed me, was linked directly to pride, that ugly foe. My awareness can help me to "humble myself" but the ability to do that is only a result of His work in me. The pride has to be removed, or at least lessened, so that we can. How else can pride humble itself, when it's against it's very nature to do so? That is like telling a cancer to heal itself.
     Pride is, if examined, the cancer of the soul. It is full of destructive "cells", if you will, which eats up or destroys the good ones. It is flesh personified, in all it's sickening ways.
    Oh, wretched man that I am! Who is able to rescue me? Thank God, for Jesus Christ, the only One who can cleanse my soul. All because of the cross; all because of the blood; all because of Jesus.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And He Shall Reign Forever and Ever!

     I don't like tragedy, or wars, or anything when people get hurt or killed.  It upsets me, and makes me sad. That is one reason I don't read further when I see the headlines on the internet about such things. I am aware of the evil and much of the hardship in the world today, but I don't want to read the gory details.
     As I was scanning the headlines today, or should I say, as they were presenting themselves to me as a slideshow on my home page, and read a couple of them, resulting in me feeling sadness and pain for the situations and people involved, a Scripture fell into my spirit. It was the one about the future when men will beat their swords into plowshares and not "study war" anymore. I know it was God comforting me by dangling in front of me, this truth of future peace on earth.
     It does calm me to know that one day all of this will be gone, and there will be safety in the land, as it says in Ezekiel 34:7. These last chapters of Ezekiel are futuristic, referring, I believe, to the Day of the Lord where all accounts are settled, and where the rejecting ones of Christ perish, and the sheep of His pasture past and present will be justified by His precious blood, eternally and finally.
     I long for that Day, and in fact, Jesus gives us a glimpse of it in Scripture so that we don't lose hope, even in the midst of all the evil that is happening, and that will continue to happen around us. He says that when we see all these things happening, we are to look up because our redemption is getting close or drawing near. (Luke 21:5-28) In other words, He is saying that each day that goes by, even as the evil is increasing, means that His coming back and making things right gets closer. So, maybe as all of this is happening, He is saying we should look at things with our spiritual eyes, at things from an eternal perspective, instead of with our physical ones. In this way, we can be at peace.
     The other day someone I know began to talk about the terrible things happening now in America, which consumes a lot of conversation these days. He cited a certain situation, with fear all over his face. A brother in the Lord, patted him on the shoulder and said compassionately, "The Lord is in control, brother," to which he replied, "Well, He's going to have to prove it to me!" I then said, "He already has in the Word when He says He is in control." I was going to share some passages with him, but we were going somewhere and we had to leave. I pray that he will have more of the fear of the Lord, then the fear of man in his heart, so that He can go to Him in his fear, instead of try and figure out how he will protect himself in the coming days.
     If we, as God's people, don't know or believe that God is in control, even though we don't understand what is happening, or because He's not stopping the evil that is coming down the line the way we think He should, then we have no hope. In His time, God will make all things right and new, as He promises to restore all things one day, according to His ways. He relays many of His ways, in His Word.
     Trusting that He is in control, regardless of what we see or think, and that He will do what He says He will in His timing about all of it, is paramount in coping during these days of tragedy and loss and pain in the world. Knowing that His plans and purposes cannot be supplanted by anything that happens in the here and now brings us peace and hope for tomorrow. Perhaps reading in Zephaniah, Ezekiel, Daniel, or other prophetic books will help us know that even better, and will increase our trust in Him. We must first believe that He is Truth, and cannot lie, though. Without that firm foundation of who He is in our spirit, nothing can bring comfort in these perilous times or in the future when they get worse.
     Do we want God to be in control or us? It's a matter of flesh against Spirit; between the physical and the spiritual; between something that is being destroyed (this present earth) and something that is eternal.(The heavenly Jerusalem or His Kingdom that will have no end.)  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Turn Around

     This morning I woke up feeling an emptiness, which was like deja vu for me. It reminded me of a time in my life, when I didn't have Christ's presence resident within me, and it was a scary and sick feeling. I honestly believe that He let me feel this again so that I could write this post today.
      Experiencing this void in my soul, and remembering how it felt without Him, compelled me to encourage whoever does not know Him that might read this, and who  may have these feelings, to "turn around." Jesus is behind you. He is that close.
     No matter what you have done, you can still be found by Him, if you desire to be. The devil has lied to you on this point. He has told you that it is too late, and you are feeling hopeless; even suicidal. You, too, feel this emptiness, as if you are lost, and you truly are, but the remedy is to turn around and embrace Jesus Christ, your Savior.
     Even if you don't understand everything about Him, or even your own sin, and how all of that works, if you say, like a woman recorded in the Word of God did, "Your God will be my God," He will receive you on the basis of you wanting Him, and lead you from whatever place you come to Him from.
     My own story about coming to Him was not like many people's. It was not me going to the altar, and asking forgiveness of my sins. I was on the kitchen floor alone, because my husband had pushed me and left. He was not abusive, but I had been over the years and he finally got enough of it. As I lay there on the floor, God showed me a dead and dry corn field, and said, "If you continue the way you are now, this is how your life will look, but if you turn to Me, I will restore the years the locusts have eaten." With that before me, I replied, "I choose You, Lord," and He took me in just like that. Later as I continued to walk with Him, I confessed my past sins as He brought them to my consciousness.
     I relay that to show you that He is a multi-faceted God and He does come to different people in many different ways, and that is why He allowed me to feel that emptiness this morning, so that I could tell you (and you know who you are) that you just need to "turn around" with your heart opened to Him, and He will receive you.
     There is nothing like His presence. It brings a freshness and a fullness that you will not experience any other way. It is opposed to the dark and empty void one feels in their souls without Him. His Word says that when we receive Him that He brings us out of the kingdom of darkness, and into the Kingdom of His dear Son, or into the Kingdom of Light, for He is the Light.
     Can you sense His breath on the back of your neck? Turn around right now,  and He will receive you, and your emptiness will be full with His presence and love. He will be yours, and you will be found in Him.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

He Gives Me Strength

     Sometimes I think that the Scripture, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," should read, "All the things that I am able to do and deal with,  is because of the strength Christ provides me." The Scripture in this case is talking about being able to live in poverty, as Paul was at this time.  Paul is saying that he can deal with it by Christ's strength alone.
     I have thought, with the way it is written, that it was saying we should be able to do all things if we rely on the strength of Christ. Because of the limitations that I have, and the resulting not being able to do all things, I felt that either I wasn't depending on Him fully to explain my lack, or that the Scripture didn't mean what I thought it did at all.
    As said before, Paul was talking about specific situations when he made this statement. In the context of Scripture, he is saying "Don't worry about me. Christ will hold me up," as he wrote it to the Philippians when they had wanted to give to him because of his lack. He was emphasizing that it is Christ  alone that he depends on, and at the same time he didn't want to negate their kindness.
     I've noticed that we make far-reaching interpretations involving a Scripture that creates a broad stroke of understanding or a universal principle when in reality, it just has a specific focus, or is for a particular situation. I think it is true in this case.
     I have done this with many Scriptures, this one included. By thinking it means that I should be able to do all things, so when I am inadequate or fall short, I fall short again, and have felt bad about it. I must not be relying on Christ's strength, I have reasoned falsely.
     But now, I am seeing it differently. I am seeing that Paul was speaking of those times when  you are living in want, (as he was in this case) and he is saying that he is able to deal with it because of Christ, who gets him through. Ultimately, he is saying that Christ will take care of him. Now, this is a true overarching principle indeed.
     Learning my limitations has proven to be helpful to me. Many times, God wants us involved in setting boundaries because of them. If perhaps, we get easily stressed in certain areas, and feel we can't do something, He has given us our will to say, "no," as a means of protection.The strength to say "no" for many people requires as much dependence on Christ, as being able to cope with things adequately. I am finding that lately He is having me assert myself, and in this way, He is strengthening my will, which has in the past been weak. I'm not talking about being strong willed against God, but in being strong willed in the things of God. And, taking advantage of the will He gives us to say, "no" is one of those things.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Opening the Circle

      "Us four and no more" is the attitude of our hearts more times than not concerning groups of people we like to gather with. We are comfortable getting to know certain people and the dynamics involved with different personalities as we do. Subjects we discuss when "us four" are together vary, but since we know each other so well, we can almost predict what each other's reactions are going to be.  It is a joyous fellowship and life is good!
     Or is it? If we aren't careful we can become exclusive in our groups. This closed mindset can unconsciously keep others out and prevent them from enjoying the positive aspects of life in the Spirit through the Body of Christ.
     Many years ago after my daughter was newly "saved" (the Lord found her) she was offered a job at a uniform shop. Four of the employees were Christian young women, about her same age. At this time, she needed friends, because her former friends were people who did not know the Lord, and who would not have been a good influence for her. She was needing to grow in Him, and "learn the ropes" so to speak.
     These young Christian women, immediately opened up their circle to my daughter. It was beautiful to see, as I knew it was a provision of the Lord for her. She had an instant group of friends whose focus was on the Lord and following His will, as hers was. They began to do things outside of work together, and even seemed to see the Body of Christ as a whole, making no distinctions between people because of their age. They even included me and my husband in on some of their activities.
     The importance of opening up to all people as we walk with our Lord cannot be overstated. It allows the flow of His Spirit to happen as it brings new life to each one involved, instead of stagnant waters that dams produce. Although good fellowship is not wrong in any way, shape or form, becoming exclusive, by setting closed boundaries is. We must be aware of how things can develop in our gatherings, and even more so of our own individual mindsets. It only takes one person to open up and "let others in."
     I am so grateful to those 4 young women who did that for my daughter. I believe, it helped her greatly stay "in the Lord," in her infant stage. It fulfilled the directive Jesus gave Peter when He said, "feed my lambs," for Jesus knew how vulnerable the little lambs are. Those girls provided a safety net around my daughter by their love and acceptance. Their actions, reflecting their giving hearts, also showed me how important opening up to others is, and the effects that can have through the Spirit's keeping and healing power, when we do.



Friday, August 09, 2013

It's All About Relationship with Him

     "To who much is given, much is required."-God gives us things so that we can "pass them on." Whether it be finances, gifts and talents, or spiritual understanding, our willingness and responsibility to give out, creates a flowing river that nourishes those we come in contact with, in particular, the Body of Christ.
     Spiritual understanding comes from spending time in the Word and in communion with the Lord everyday of our lives. By communion, I am talking about walking with Him and talking with Him, or eating of Him and drinking of Him, as we acknowledge His presence and power in our lives. He adds to this understanding of Him and His Kingdom, as we continue on this path of seeking and then, knowing Him.
     Most people don't know this basic truth. They are fooled by church attendance and doing religious activities, thinking this equals their relationship with Him. I, too, at one time had this mindset. One day the Lord "set me straight" by throwing a glass of cold water in my face, which is what it took to shake me out of believing this falsehood. He spoke to my spirit, laying out the truth by saying, "Going to church is NOT the same thing as your relationship to Me." It was so pure and simple and eye-opening that "it set me free."
     The primary foundation of relationship with the Lord daily is paramount in being able to hear the Spirit of Truth that is resident in us if we are born-again. As we look to our own understanding, we drift from God. He desires to completely guide and direct us in every aspect of our lives, as we follow the flow of His Spirit. Learning to do this, happens in our willingness to trust Him progressively in our walk with Him.
     I'm not sure how much we can really share with one another of what God has shown us, because He is wanting to show each one of us things, as He desires a relationship. If I share my food with you, it is like you will be eating regurgitated food, and not the food He would share with you. On the other hand, my sharing by means of this blog, may cause you to be desirous to see things for yourself, and then begin to seek Him on your own. This is the desire of His heart. So, it is with that postulate that I continue to share, hoping that the things He has shown me will cause you to seek Him more.
     The other reason is that I have to. When God gives us something or things, He also puts in us, I believe, a desire to pass those things on, and in this is great joy. If we hold them back, and just heap them on ourselves, we become a dried up brook. The truth of it being "more blessed to give than to receive" comes to light here. Something supernatural happens when we let it go and share-we cooperate with the Spirit of God as we do, and we , ourselves, are caught in the flow being nourished, as He nourishes through us in the process.
     So, getting to know Him more by walking with Him and talking with Him daily, is first. Then as we get to know Him, we become aware of what He's given us, and as we get established in Him and mature, (become Christ-like as He changes us) we listen to His Spirit to show us opportunities for us to share those things with others. As we release our part, the Body of Christ begins to flow as it is designed to, impacting, not only us, but the world. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Whoosh of God

     It seems that without notice, in an undercover sort of way, God by His work inside of us tightens a few screws here, and turns a few nuts and bolts there, and then we have a new characteristic in us that we never had before. I call that the "whoosh" of God.
     For example, there have been 2 people in my life who I haven't always honored as I should have. For various reasons (which are never justified) I have had judgments towards them both. Well, God has done a work in me, as I've opened my heart up to Him to remove those judgments.
     I've had contact with both of them lately, and discovered that I had a new found love for them coupled with an acceptance, even a value of them I've never had before. It is all to the glory of God; because it is His work, not anything of me. I know the state of my ugly and wretched flesh, and what happens when "I" try and take over. In fact, my former judgments of these two beautiful people is but one example of the harmful results that can happen. God has said it well in His Word when He says that NOTHING good is in our flesh.
     It is so neat to see the work He does on the inside of us make its way into our consciousness to where we can see it happening, and the good results that follow. Because it is really Christ coming out in and through us, these attitudes bring life to the giver and receiver, and to the Body in general. The other effects are often
unseen as there are also miraculous things happening beyond our recognition.
     So, be assured, that if you desire for Christ to be formed in you, He will be. God will "whoosh" you off your feet, and work in His goodness, as yeast is worked into the dough. After all, the Bread of Life is reproducing us to be His little loaves.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Oh, For Grace to Trust Him More

     I have a sister in the Lord who does an exercise by the Lord's leading in which He has her take a word in the Word, and look up every passage about that word. In this process, she receives revelation about His ways, character and beauty.
     There is a "new grace" doctrine being taught today with many truths contained in it. It also has many twisted truths, attached to it, which, I believe, are very, very harmful and dangerous. When "truth" and "error" are linked together, it is a deadly mix, no matter what the percentage is. In fact, the more truth that is in it, with a small and hidden amount of unleavened error, the more harmful, I believe, it is.
     It is with that reality, that I believe God is moving me to do as my sister did, and look up the word "grace." I believe He will give me a much broader and deeper understanding of it than I currently now have. And, I feel, I will receive many surprises, as when He leads me to do something, He always does things either in me, or in my understanding or both, which I don't expect. They are usually pleasant and good things. Sometimes they are corrective.
    So, it's off in my search to open myself up to receive what ever He shows me about His Grace. I don't know if He will lead me to share what I find on this blog, but I am sensing, even now, that I won't be able to not share it, unless He says "absolutely no." I am excited at His leading in this new adventure, He's leading me in, to open up my spirit, so He can speak to me by His Spirit to deposit in my understanding, what His Grace truly is.

Monday, August 05, 2013

The Lord Our Blessed Keeper and Deliverer

     For the past few days now, the devil has been leveling an attack against me, in an area which I have been vulnerable to for years. I admit, I need deliverance from this stronghold. An unfortunate aspect of this bondage is that when the enemy comes into my mind, I believe the lies as if they will protect me from surprises, but in truth, on another level, I know that they will not, but will in reality, make matters worse.
     I will give a similar example to explain. Let's say a person is going on a missions trip to a foreign country. As time draws closer to them leaving, their mind starts going in directions they would rather it not. For instance, they think about all that "could happen." (We had a home group one time, and named this needless ruminating, "the what-if demon.") What if the plane I fly on gets high jacked or blown up by terrorists? What if there is civil unrest in the country I'm going to? What if I get sick from the food, and so sick I have to go in the hospital in a third world country? And, even worse, what if I die there? How will they get my body back home, and how expensive will that be? On and on the possible scenarios can go with what seemed reasonable questions at first turning into blatant fear consuming the person.
     The "protection" element of these scenarios many people go through goes like this in the thought processes: As I survey all the possibilities I can think of that "might happen" I am protecting myself from something coming up and taking me by surprise. Also, I possibly can divert things from happening if I devise a plan, but in order to do that, (protect myself) I have to come up with as many possibilities as I can.
     Although these thoughts may "sound" reasonable, (some might even call it wise) if one has these beliefs, the devil will be more than glad to supply you with as many possibilities as you'd like, and as a result fill you with paralyzing fear. In this case, as the "thinking" escalates, the person may decide to just not go on their trip, getting rid of any possibility of harm to them, they reason. The unfortunate thing about this is that they could just as easily get harmed where they live because protection cannot be guaranteed, especially when it is us who we are putting our trust in.
     So what is it when we are so wrapped up in "the arm of strength" that will fail us? Why do we so strongly and harmfully rely on ourselves, and not trust God? That is the million dollar question, and probably there are as many different reasons, as there are people and each person who suffers at their own peril and from the devil's attacks in these ways, should ask God for the answers.
    Whenever there are negative thought patterns in place in someone, and suspecting or fearful thoughts are placed in this "system" either put there by the enemy, or at the minimum, fueled by him, the die is cast. Breaking these patterns which have been established and cemented over the years is impossible by the individual.
     The only One who can do this is our Great Deliver, Jesus Christ. The suffering and work He accomplished on the cross, demonstrating His great love for us did can break these cycles as we believe and embrace it. And He brings deliverance in different ways in each one of us.
     In my case, it seems He has "let" the enemy "have his way" in me, to some extent. I have suffered severely in my soul because of these thought patterns. I believe God has shown me that the root of my issues is insecurity. This is a terrible disease. It leaves one vulnerable to anything the enemy wants to put in our minds which is against ourselves, and he takes full advantage of it. He even convinces some to end their lives, or take actions that will ultimately sabotage them and their relationships. For certain, he causes great mental and emotional suffering in these ways. He uses comparison between the person and others, causing them to feel "less than" in as many areas as he can get away with in a person's thinking. This also causes them to feel threatened by other people who seem to be better than them.
     If God "lets" the enemy have his way, as I believe He has in me, (but not completely)  it is only because He is using the pain and suffering to cause me to fully rely on Him in this matter. Unbroken pain in one's life can either cause them to go over the cliff, as they continue to rely on themselves, or to open themselves up to trusting God more and more, realizing and accepting that they can't do it. I know in my spirit that I cannot protect myself, but let one of these fearful, and life-threatening thoughts come, and I'm back to devising a plan to protect myself once again.
     The other day, after I had been suffering in my thoughts, and then the fear was permeating my soul, which caused even more suffering, and finally things began to simmer down inside of me, the Lord came and gently spoke a word in my spirit. He said, "You can't keep yourself. Only I can keep you. I've waited to speak with you when your mind was quiet. You were listening to the lies of the enemy, and I couldn't get a word in edgewise."
      Even though I have known the truth of Him being the only One who can keep us, this time, because I had just gone through hours of tormenting thoughts over the past few days, which resulted in me being opened to His help, I was able to take it to heart. I was able to imagine what it might be like to live in His keeping power, and to be free of these destroying thought patterns if I truly believed that He was my Keeper, and not me. I truly want to be free,  and I know I can be if I will but trust Him.
     Trusting Him is connected with knowing His love for us. Because we know His love, we can know that no matter what happens, He will either use it for good and His glory, or He will protect us.
      Oh God, help me choose to believe and trust You, and receive the freedom that only You can bring. Heal my negative thought patterns. Deliver all my brothers and sisters out there in the nations of the world who also suffer with this disease of insecurity, and help them know your Love. Increase their trust in You. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Raise Them Up

     I noticed yesterday as I was reading  the Word, that in one verse it used the phrase, "and do not forgive them." Then, it had one of those little letters by it, in which you are to look at the bottom of the page to see another rendering of that phrase, and it said, "or, do not raise them up."
      By the leading of the Spirit, I sense there is something else to see in these two phrases being linked; a deeper understanding such as to draw the conclusion that to not forgive someone is to not raise them up. Conversely, to forgive is to raise someone up.
      What does it look like to  "not raise someone up?" When people sin against us, and we don't forgive them in the judgment hall of our hearts, they are "put down" on a level lower than us. Somehow we see them, as not as good as ourselves, and so they are lower in our inner hierarchical pyramid.  If this action of not forgiving takes place, although subconsciously, our superiority over them, is not only felt by them, but even damaging, creating a sort of "punishment," by way of condemnation.
     In reverse, if we do forgive or raise them up in our heart, we "allow"  them to come up to the same level as ourselves. This holy alignment of equalization in us, is the position where God's Spirit can flow and have His way, bringing His healing power between us and them, and, I believe, is the place where He is well-pleased and satisfied.  The oneness and unity of being on the same level, as we raise them up, is the place where blessed reconciliation can take place, and will. But if we "keep them under", and we are above, then we even elevate ourselves above God!!! I see a picture of this, as us above, God in the middle, and the other person is below God.
      Unforgiveness is a dangerous tool. Perhaps this is why God says if we don't forgive, He won't forgive us. He can't, because when we choose not to forgive and we put the other person "under", we put  ourselves away from being "one" with Him and His presence in our lives, as we put ourselves above Him also, because He is forgiveness.
     The verse I had initially used where God said not to forgive referred to the Day of the Lord where He would mete our His judgments on the earth. This ended all chance of forgiveness, as the His timeline for this present earth is going to end. But, until then, we are to forgive, as Jesus forgave us, or "to raise others up" allowing them in our hearts to be on the same level as ourselves.  

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Honoring Christ in Others

     "Honoring Christ" in someone, is an action I experienced recently, to God be the glory! It showed the work He had done in me, and came as a pleasant surprise.
     It involved someone who, in the past, I had not honored. Instead I had denied them any room for using their gifts, because I didn't like their method of presentation. Also, I am seeing now, they hijacked air time that I wanted to use for myself. I wanted a turn, and with them in the same room, that was difficult.
     So, with that in view, it exposes my own need for attention, admiration and validation. Because I have attempted to get those needs met through people, I have rejected them, tried to silence them, or  use any other method, (although subconsciously until now) to get these strong needs met.  When actions are exposed at the root by the Holy Spirit, the ugliness of them are revealed.
     But, praise God, the other night, when that same person was speaking as we gathered with a few others, God in me, took over, and the fight between me and my brother was over. By His power, I layed down my weapons, and "enjoyed" him telling what he knew, without feeling anxious to compete by trying to take the floor from him. I felt no need to say all that I had to say. The reason, I feel, is that He is cleansing me and making me whole, and this need for validation is being met by Him progressively in me, and His work was manifesting.
     I realized that my brother may have that same great need for validation, and as I yielded to Christ in me, by being quiet and "laying down my gloves", He was able to extend acceptance and love to him. He was being filled and fed, I felt, by God's Spirit, in these moments, and experiencing in his spirit, the true validation that only Christ can bring.
      Amazing to see what can happen, as a ripple effect in the Body, when one defers to Christ; both the one who defers is healed a little bit more and the one to who the deferment is made. I've noticed that when we are in God's will in relationship to others, each action can have this effect. He touches and moves on each one simultaneously. "If you lose your life, you will find it." And, Christ is glorified over all!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Battle Scars and Jesus' Victory

     What is the difference in a person "being clever" or being manipulative, rooted in deceptive? Just the phrasing of it, I think. Being clever makes light of the demonic underlying operations which are really at play in a situation. Suppressing the truth, and trying to cover it up, especially when one is guilty, can produce this "cleverness." On the outside a person's actions may appear innocent and cute, garnering laughter even, but lying within is a dark, deceptive, and lying spirit. Satan, himself, masquerades as an angel of light, and many times he goes undetected, successful in his campaign.
     Jesus said for us to be "shrewd as a serpent, gentle as a dove." The first part of this directive, "shrewd as a serpent" is given  to us as protection against such spirits that would try to "fool" us so that we would be unsuspecting to their devices. If we don't know when we are being tricked, then we fall prey to him and can be manipulated time and time again. Not only does he use manipulative ploys, but he also uses flattery and fear to deceive or torment us. However, he can rob us, he will try.
     Another very "clever" trick he uses is to turn the tables on God's children. When they begin to see him in operation and unravel him, so to speak, he will come against them by using circumstances around them. They may respond in feeling threatened or afraid, and then he points to these feelings and in their thoughts, turns them against themselves because of them. Feeling like a second class Christian, for having these feelings, they continue to be vulnerable to his attacks. Blame and shame are the tools he uses at this point, to try and do them in with self-hatred, and ultimately defeat.
     Where is the victory through Jesus in all of this? It's still where it's always been-in the reality of what happened at the cross, through His shed blood. He triumphed over satan and his principalities making a show of them openly. But why then, aren't we always protected from the wiles of the enemy? He is a "clever" foe and too crafty for us at times, especially when we are unsuspecting, and he hits us from behind. In all this, though, God is still with us and fighting for us on a level we can't even see. And He's already won the battle which satan currently wages against us, and many times "seems" to win because of the emotions that we experience during the attack.
     Still, could this not be a part of "the fellowship of His sufferings?" He, too, experienced the tumultuous emotions on the mount that day, and what of Gethsemane? Although we haven't suffered by sweating blood, as He did, we suffer in our souls, as the enemy of our soul, torments us too. To experience just a little of His sufferings in this way, what He did on our behalf, helps us appreciate His love for us even more.
     He does indeed use everything for our good. Even satan's attacks and the suffering we might experience because of them, are turned into good by the lover of our Souls.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

He Will Lead You into All Truth

      It seems, in many Christians circles in America that people have a need to always know the answers when it comes to the things of God. Our man made-in-cement doctrines are espoused as pure truth, and are believed as such by the ones proclaiming them. This is what denominations are made of, and is what separates the Body of Christ.
     It's not that we can't know anything; as the Holy Spirit reveals His truth then we can know it. This truth is derived only by the spirit of understanding that He gives us, and not concocted in our own minds filtered through our carnal understanding, and the lusts of the flesh.  This is where false doctrine comes from.
     Truth, revealed by the Holy Spirit either through the Word of God, or by revelation is the basis of doctrine which can be relied on; it shows the heart and mind of God.
In order to hear these truths in the inner man, one must have a living relationship with Him in which they walk with Him and talk with Him daily.
      Just church-going doesn't cut it. Attendance to an organization does not equate with a relationship with Him. In fact, this very truth is something He spoke to me many years ago when I stopped attending the institutional church, and I was asking Him how people would know I was a Christian if I didn't go to church. His answer was, "Yes, how will they?" indicating to me, by way of spiritual revelation that He was saying, "It's not about that; it's about your heart," which revealed something else to me and that was that He wanted to continue to do His work inside of me so as to "conform me to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ." Taking it a step further, He communicated to me that it is an inside job, and not outward appearances that He is after. All of this revelation, because we have a relationship, and the Holy Spirit is resident within.
     Without Him, by the Holy Spirit, in us, all we've got left is our own hearts and minds to deceive and twist the Scripture, creating false and lusty doctrines that divide the Body of Christ. But, with Him, we can hear clearly His interpretation, and revelation.
     But He doesn't tell us everything! He is God! So, we should be careful when we share with others if they ask us certain questions about God and His Kingdom. What is wrong with "I don't know?" Why is it that we think we have to know everything? Are we trying to be more spiritual than the next person? A humble, "I don't know" would actually be refreshing, because, guess what-I don't either. I wonder and seek and find when and if He decides to reveal things to me. It is according to His timing, wisdom and discretion.
     He says that He reveals thing to the prophets on one hand, and then His ways are past finding out on the other hand. I love this about God. He seems contradictory at times, in our own understanding, yet He is not. I am sure that He makes perfect sense to Himself, and as we grow in Him and in the spirit of His understanding, they will become clearer to us also.
     If you have been programmed by an institution or just from listening to one particular person's teaching, and believe every word they say as if it's the gospel truth, your understanding has been skewed at the minimum, or even perverted at the most. God desires us to seek Him only, and to listen to His Holy Spirit, who He promises will "lead us into all truth." Not man or denominations, or even our by means of our own carnal minds or prejudices.
      Turning to Him by allowing Him to wipe the slate clean of what you formally have thought was truth, is a first step. Then asking for His Holy Spirit of Truth to come and speak to you, is the next one. You will be surprised at what He shows you. By having the Holy Spirit resident in you, you will begin to exercise your spiritual eyes and ears, and truth will begin to renew your mind. You will begin to see that what you thought was truth was indeed darkness, and see true light for the first time. The light of His heart and mind will indeed dispel that darkness!!!! To Him be the glory!!!! Then you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free!!!