Battles – and “Suddenlies”

When our desire/design is to go forward in the things which God has shown us, or asked us to do…. we WILL encounter some battles!…  And often, some very unexpected things may come our way as well. The word of God often refers to those things..as a “SUDDENLY.”

We see two kinds of these “suddenlies” in the scriptures, as well as in our own lives.  One kind is initiated by our enemy/adversary  (aka the Devil – 1st Peter 5:8). This “suddenly”seems to come out of nowhere – hits us from somewhere out in “left field” – threatening to overthrow the things we thought we had gotten a handle on… and pull us down into all kinds of care…

But thank goodness!..there is another kind of “suddenly”- the kind that comes along when you’re still hanging in there…but it looks like there would be no way for change anytime soon – not for the circumstances we’re facing!

BUT… because we persevere and fight the battles – even in the midst of conflict with our own soul…you know….the battle to “believe God”… even while your mind and senses are saying “you can’t win this fight!”  And when you do fight..the good fight of faith…there will always be conflict  with your own soul… as you make up your mind “WHO” AND “WHAT” you’re going to believe!  (Shall I believe what I see right now – or hold on to what God has said??)

It’s not easy to win over what we see, hear, or feel – but this is the very time that we must – do battle and labor – not necessarily to “fix things”- but to keep our eye on God!… We keep our eyes on God as we remember the integrity of His Word – in what He has said to us… AND.. the effect of praising God…  right in the midst of our tough situations… like we see in Acts 16 where Paul and Silas in prison.. were singing praises to God!…

Yes, they worshipped Jesus right in the middle of their problem.. which put God “in charge”… And indeed God came right into the midst of that problem… For suddenly there was a great earthquake.. so that the foundations of the  prison were shaken…  (representing the very root of the problem)… And immediately all the prison doors were open!!

All the prison doors were opened – and all of the prisoner’s bands were loosed!…So that everyone in the situation with them.. were affected for good.. by Paul and Silas’s victorious attitude.. even the attitude of worship and praise while still confined to a prison.. Which attitude opened the door for God.. to release this big “suddenly” – even the earthquake that opened the doors – for all of the prisoners!

You see, we can have good suddenlies when we invite God to be involved – “Suddenlies” – of various “shapes and size”- which can overthrow the negative things that the enemy has sent to overwhelm us … Because God is able to do much more than we can ask or think .. when we have the faith to worship and praise in the midst of our problem… AND.. say, concerning our need… the thing that God has said….

And those are the very things, likewise… that are prescribed by the Word of God… to bring the battle with your own soul and its contrary thinking..to naught!…. which will make it much easier to keep moving forward in the things which God has shown you,  or asked you to do!  So take heed to pay attention to the things prescribed by the word of God… And remember with joy each “suddenly” He has already sent to rescue you!…Which will cause the peace of God to “rule in your heart”….as you – through faith and patience – obtain every promise!

 

 

 

A POETIC PROMISE – Which I Chose to Believe

Things can change within a day.. a week.. a year.. or even within an hour!

Things are going to change…

The wall – even  that wall standing in front of you – WILL come down!

Like the Berlin Wall – your wall also will be torn down….. (HOW??)

As believers – we just decree what God has said/shown us!

For there is enough power in any word that God speaks.. to bring it to pass…

Your part and mine – is to decree what God has said..  which means that we speak in line with what He has said… regardless of what we hear or see!

That’s what II Corinthians 4:13 refers to as “the spirit of faith speaking”….

We speak because we believe… and then wait and watch Him do the work!

He will do the thing He promised!

And here’s a “poetic promise” He spoke to me some time ago…

“I will perform it.. and you will see..

I will perform it – that which I promised thee!”

And things will change!  Just dare to believe that I mean what I say…

Things will turn – even from the things of the curse to a blessing!

Indeed – the power of life and death are in the tongue.. (Proverbs 18:21) – and those who love it will “eat the fruit thereof…

Forget it not…and you will see..”life” rise up in place of death… according to all that you will – in Jesus name – believe and decree!

 

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And just to let you know — this “poetic promise” — for me came to pass (big time!).. exactly 4 months to the day..after it was given to me!  I believed it, received it, and decreed it… The result being that it came to pass…It happened because this is a spiritual law that God Himself set in place and God’s word is always true! 

(Note that there are both longer and shorter times we wait to see our promise come to pass – but you can know that from the moment you set yourself to believe, God goes to work… He works to influence for good.. move things around or out of the way, and otherwise work to bring that promise to pass!)

 

 

Growing in Christ…. In The Place and Time Of Transition

Sometimes the Lord wants to take us to a new place in Him – a good place, a better place – than where we are at in our present relationship and walk with Him… and we think “Hey, that’s great”… but when things begin to feel  different”.. perhaps even a little strange.. We begin to wonder “what’s going on… and “where am I missing it”?

It’s a time of transition…but on the way… as we begin to feel “different” –  it can be quite uncomfortable – almost like we have lost some of the good things that He has already put into us!…. But in this time that is intended for growth and healthy change.. we have old wrong attitudes and habits that do not “fit” the new place He wants to take us to.  These wrong attitudes and habits are things that He wants to help us see – and turn loose of.. so that we can follow Him on in to that new place in Him that He is calling us to walk in.

We may feel alone in the place of transition – but God has never turned loose of us!  And it is in this time of feeling “different” – perhaps even feeling that we’ve lost our way – that we must learn to choose to take and use from the table God has prepared for us…..  It is right there before us… But we have to learn to choosein the very midst of the pressure that our flesh is feeling (in particular our emotions) – to take from that table He has set before us…

For like money in the bank – it does us no good until we reach out and draw on it…In this case we need to draw on and use the “tools” He has given us to use in the good fight of faith that we are called to walk … Tools like giving thanks, worship and praise to God.. as well as learning to  respond to our negative feelings and emotions.. with the word God has spoken concerning the time or situation we are in.  All of these are “tools” God has set before us… tools that will get us to the other side of the “crisis” we feel.

All of these things are “on the table before us” as a part of our provision/our authority in Christ..  And so much greater is this provision that Jesus “bought” for us than any thing that the enemy can throw at us…. For as we look to Him.. God is working all around us!… To say that He is not (simply because what we see is an unfinished work) – is to deny His faithfulness… It is to embrace the lie of our adversary (I Peter 5:8,9)… And to do that is to choose defeat….

For ultimately, we will win if we do not quit!  (Galatians 6:9)…Thus we take our stand – we take our stand on what God has said and done for us… “And having done all to stand – we stand – on the everlasting word of God! –  (especially the Rhema words that He has given to you for a particular situation )… given you for fighting the good fight of faith!!

But many times – instead of using the tools that God has provided for us – we choose to call somebody to pray for us…(I know because that is what I always used to do!)  And it is not “wrong” to call for prayer support –  but – ultimately we each have to learn (at some point) to stand and use what God has already provided for us  …. in order to continue.. GROWING IN CHRIST… a place and a transition that you will like!

 

The Greater Side of God’s Plan….

We can get so busy trying to “help people change”  that we overlook the greater side of God’s plan… which is for every person to know His love!  And this is incredibly important -.because when you  KNOW the love God has for you.. then you will also understand that He is “for you” –  and not against you!!

We all have strongholds to work through and come up out of… and when these are looming before our eyes…it may seem that everyone is against us and that God doesn’t care… But on the reality side of that.. is His Love! 

Indeed, there are other factors that do come in to work against us… But even as the word of God tells  us in Romans 8:31-39… It is God’s desire that nothing separate you from His love…. It’s not God that brings  oppression!! I Peter 5:8 expresses this truth very clearly… that “your adversary the devil” looks for ways to bring harmful things and hurt into your life… and to devour the good things that belong to you from God… To accomplish this he works to build strongholds that will hold us captive in our minds.. to keep us from knowing God and His love… or from even seeing that it exists for us!!…

When all the time….

God and His love IS the one constant reality!   And His goal and desire is to touch each one of us with that love…. For…AS WE SEE.. and behold His love, we are changed and yokes of bondage in our lives are being destroyed!  Hallelujah!  Thank you for buying us that freedom Lord Jesus!

In view of those things,  it is easy to see why the enemy (our adversary the devil)  works to “blind people’s minds” to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ  (II Corinthians 4:3,4).  For… knowing the love that God has for us “casts out fear”… which the enemy uses along with deception – probably more than anything else – to rob people of the good life which God desires for all of us.

So.. while we are busy trying to help people change,  we mustn’t forget the greater side of God’s plan – which is “to know and believe the love He has for us”….And that God and His love.. IS.. the one constant reality!

When “Ask” is More Than a Request….

“Ask” is such a small word… But when we understand what it sometimes refers to – the effect can be a powerful thing.

Now what I mean by that.. is the fact that the little word “ask” in the New Testament .. has more than one use or meaning!… So let me explain when the original Greek word for “ask” has such a powerful effect: ….

To begin this explanation – I will tell you that there are at least five different Greek words used in the New Testament..  all of which are very often translated “ask.”  Here are 5 different Greek meanings for the word “ask” ….

  • Ask..  as a question (to ascertain by inquiry)
  • Ask..  as a request or favor
  • Ask..  as a search for something hidden; investigate
  • Ask..  as a petition for help; beseech
  • And finally the “ask” we are going to focus on here – which is “to call for something due; to require  (see #154 & #4441 in Strong’s Concordance)

In Matthew 11:12,  Jesus gave voice to some very interesting words….”From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence (to crowd into); and the violent (a forcer) take it by force”  (to seize, catch away by force, to take for oneself.)  It is the taking by force – the seizing that the “ask” (Strong’s Greek #154) refers to… “calling for what is due” – from the Kingdom of God.  You are not resisting God, but the forces of darkness – the “authority and jurisdiction of darkness” from which we’ve been delivered (Colossians 1:12-14) !

Why “seize” it?… You must actively take hold of what God has promised – because “your adversary the devil” (I Peter 5:8) will not sit passively while you receive all the things that belong to you as a believer in the Kingdom of God!... The Word of God is very clear about that in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8 – in the parable of the sower – which tells us that any time we have a promise from God, the enemy comes immediately to snatch the word of promise away from us – to keep us from receiving it.  That is where we must not be passive!  But we must stand (which is an active upright position) – holding forth the word of promise in faith – against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-13).  It is an active resistance – not as those who lie stretched out passively under his influence while the enemy takes their goods….

And thus, we are back to the scripture on seizing the Kingdom of God by force – which does not mean that we are to be forceful and demanding with God! … No, indeed .. “for it is His good pleasure to give us the benefits of belonging to His Kingdom  (Luke 12:32)… What we are being told is to “ask” (#154) – call for what is due!  It is like when you are writing a check on an account that belongs to you… You don’t get nasty with the bank – and they aren’t upset with you for “calling for” what belongs to you!  Indeed the bank is working with you… And so is God!!  It’s all for the increase of His Kingdom – and His plan is to increase you too – i.e. “blessed to be a blessing”… That’s how God the Father operates… He would like to touch a lot of people through you that aren’t open to Him any other way!

We are talking about a whole lot more than money here.. because we are co-laborers together with God in establishing His Kingdom on earth.  We have a part to do.. because He has “given (assigned or appointed) the earth to man – for a season of time.  (Psalm 115:16)   Indeed, in Genesis 1, God the Father – in His sovereignty – chose to give the authority over the earth to man.. Then after man “fell” from his place of relationship and fellowship with God – God made a way to get man’s authority.. directed by God.. back into the earth  – i.e. He made a way to reconcile man back to Himself by Jesus Christ.

Now we know that when any man receives Jesus, that man becomes a citizen of God’s Kingdom – but as a man – he still has God given authority on the earth…to the end that he can co-labor with God to establish the kingdom of God on the earth.  This is the place where we must “call for what is due.” God is the powerful one that set everything in place (Is God sovereign or what!!)But He needs us to use our God given authority in the earth to “call for” the things that we need to live according to His will and do His bidding….

This is when and where it is right to 154 – “Ask” – call for what He has promised – so that He can “supply all our needs” in and through our relationship with Christ Jesus.  He doesn’t count it as a request, but as a call for what is due His sons and daughters who live to please Him and see His will done on the earth.  This is when “ask” is more than a request!

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Note: The Greek word for “Ask” #154 – is used more in the New Testament than any of the other Greek words for “Ask”.  Here’s just a few examples of the 154 Ask ….

John 16:23,24,26,30      James 1:5,6    James 4:2,3      I John 3:22

“Hitherto have you asked nothing in My name – ask (154) and you shall receive – that your joy may be full.”   John 16:24  !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Song For A New Year

Can you believe that it’s already the middle of February?…. But here we are..

We’ve made the switch from the old year to the new..

But early on into the year 2016 –

God gave me a thought about that.. which I’d like to share with you…

It is..that..sometimes there are some new things we can add to our life..or do

Things that don’t have to be hard to keep – like the resolutions you’ve already “canned” – and left behind you!

It could be as simple a thing as getting some new music – or changing what you routinely watch on TV….

You might try putting a different picture on your wall – one that voices pleasant things and lends to peace – especially if your job and lifestyle is a busy or hectic one…

Those few things are just thoughts that came to me as I write – because the thing that the Lord actually said to me was about getting the new music…

And He even explained “WHY” this can be a good idea for some people…. especially if you know it’s time to move into some new things that God’s already laid out for you…. (We’re talking here about “good things” – not about chucking responsibility!)

In a nutshell.. the reason we may need the new fresh music.. is this… Our “OLD” music has “our emotional ruts” imprinted all over it…. Think about it – the music that we listen to.. deeply affects our emotions.. and we tend to go to the same music time after time.. knowing how it will make us “feel” before we even get there….

And if that is NOT a good thing for you – or – you just need to get “a different mindset” to be a little more ready for some new challenges or mountains to climb…  that He’s adding to move you a little higher…. Then this small change can be very helpful and you’ll love it as well…

And that – in a nutshell – is the reason you might want  to bring in some fresh music which could help redirect your thinking and get you ready for a new thing this year … That’s why God gives some of us a new song for a new year!

 

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And I would like to add this scripture which just came to me – for any Christian who frequently feels down (25-30 years ago – that was “me”..That’s awhile ago, but I can still remember how it feels!) …. So, I want to share this scripture which speaks of the value that a new song can bring to your life and also affect the lives of others…..

Psalm 40:3  “He has put a “new song” in my mouth – even praise unto God... Many shall see and fear.. and trust in the Lord.” (He did this for me – when He brought me out of a “horrible pit” and set my feet upon a Rock – and established my goings.”.. Psalm 40:2)  Glory be to God!  He IS incredible!

 

 

 

Trust Him – And Start Walking

How does one walk out of the past?

You put one foot in front of the other – and start walking….

You may not see how you can do it.. But if you will ASK Jesus “into the picture”- He WILL help you….

He will not only walk with you – but His very presence (whether you always “feel” it or not) – will begin clearing the way ahead of you….

So.. ASK Him! … That’s the first and most important thing you can do.

Then – start walking!..  Put one foot in front of the other and keep walking – according to the last instruction that He gave you…. If you didn’t hear a particular instruction- then it is this….. “Just start walking”….. Because as Proverbs 3:5,6 tell us.. “If you will trust in the Lord with all your heart – and not lean upon your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him…. HE WILL direct your paths!” … He will show you how to “walk it out.”

And.. like the 10 lepers in Luke 17:12-15 – who received instruction from Jesus to go to “a certain place”… “As they went” (before they even got there!).. they were cleansed and healed!….I cannot tell you if things will turn that quickly for you .. if “your journey” will last 6 months.. or 6 days…But we do have to step out and start the journey….

And I would like to encourage you by sharing this from my life – that one of the biggest hurts of my past was completely (and supernaturally) healed in less than a day – and ended with a glorious finish as He wiped all the hurt away….

AND.. then He “promoted” me…. That came right aftewards – when He asked me if I would start depending more personally on Him than on anyone or anything else … I said “Yes”.. (In the atmosphere I was” tasting”- why would I say anything else ?!!)

That happened in 1998.. and it is one thing in my life which I agreed to – that I have NEVER regretted!.. Glory be to God.. How He loves us!

So trust Him – and START WALKING!

 

 

 

 

 

When Words Alone Are Not Enough

There are times when our words simply fall short of adequately expressing the thanks that we feel…. I found myself in just such a “place” a few days ago while I was praying with a close friend….

As I listened to the words of thanks coming out of their heart and into their mouth – my heart too, began to swell with thanksgiving and the growing realization.. that I would NEVER  be able to find enough words to thank God for Jesus my Savior – and all the prayers He has answered, and all the good things that He has done for me and brought into my life…..Then in the midst of that realization.. I heard Him speak this scripture in my spirit ..“What shall I render (give in return) to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” Psalm 116:12 – Then He Himself answers that question in the very next verse as He tells us “to take the “cup” of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.”…..

What does that mean?  He is simply telling us to acknowledge Him.. acknowledge His benefits and blessings – even those things/benefits (Psalm 103:1-5; Ephesians 1:3; II Peter 1:3) that came to us – and belong to us when we receive Jesus into our life.  In Ephesians 1:16-19  He even tells us how to pray that we might more fully see and understand these things….

To give a simple example, God is “like an earthly father” who loves His children, gives them certain benefits and blessings…. And all that father asks of those children is that they recognize and remember that He gave those things to them… AND USE THEM… call on Him for what  they need from those benefits He has told them belong to them as His sons and daughters.

So, how can I thank Him when words alone are not sufficient to express my thanks  for all the benefits He has given to me?…  I think perhaps better than anything more I could say to answer that here – would be to share what God says to us in His word in III John verses 2-4….

(Paraphrased) “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health… even as you renew your thinking to the truth which I have spoken unto you… I rejoice greatly to know that the truth is in you – and that you are walking according to it.  I have no greater joy than to know that My children walk in truth.”  That – in a nutshell – expresses what He wants and needs from us – when our words alone are not enough.

 

 

Daily Bread – God’s “Can Do”

God is able to do anything!… If He said He will do it – He is more than able to do it! .. For what may be utterly impossible for you and me to do – is an easy thing for God…. And we need to understand that if He said it, He purposes to do it…. But it is up to us to do “the part” which He gives us to do.. That is, we need to do the things He has told us to do along the way…. even when it seems to be unrelated to the end result that He has promised…

We do those things He has directed us to do because He has “a definite end in mind”…. and a better way than we usually imagine – to “get us there!”  And the best thing about it is that – He ALWAYS  has a good plan in mind for us in all that He does.

Isn’t God wonderful?…. My soon to be 38 years of knowing Him as my born again Father in Heaven surely has confirmed that for me….and He wants each of us to know Him that well … i.e. to know that His “can do” is as big as His heart of love for me and you!…

 

“For God so loved the world…. that John 3:16… He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish – but have everlasting life.”

Thanksgiving – A Day to Celebrate…. and an Attitude to Cultivate

 

One day as I began to ponder “why” I should be feeling a little “dull and testy” when nothing was actually “wrong” with my day…. I heard something  in my spirit – which was this – “The secret to keeping things fresh and new.. is a thankful heart”…..  

And now having gotten my attention, the Spirit of God began to add more to what I had just heard! …… It was to this effect…..”The secret to keeping things fresh and new – is a thankful heart”….. And having a thankful heart is also the secret to walking in and letting patience have its perfect(ing) work in your life… Which thing the Word of God tells us is very important – i.e. “Count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of temptations, knowing this – that the trying of your faith worketh patience….. But let patience have her perfect work – that you may be perfect (complete) and entire, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4).

In thinking about it, I can see how that having an overall thankful heart attitude makes it much easier to be patient … with things and with  people  …. Because we know that patience is the secret to possessing your own soul (the mind, will, and emotions)  Luke 21:19….. So a thankful heart makes it easier for you and me to stay in control of our own thoughts and actions….    

I am beginning to see that developing a thankful heart is the foundation upon which other strong and desirable qualities in our life are built.   I am not generally an ungrateful person, but I see today that there is still room for (and cause for ) improvement in having this irreplaceable heart attitude of thankfulness….   (Do you suppose that this could be one reason why God – in His love for us – has commanded us to give thanks and be thankful?)

I hope this that I just shared with you will cause you – as it did me- to check out the attitude of your heart and see if there is room in you for more of this wonderful virtue of a thankful heart ….. It just might be the very thing that is needed for the opening of some other doors for you!

Thanksgiving – a day to celebrate….. and an attitude to cultivate!

 

 

“How Do I Forgive You?”

The things that you said (or did) really hurt me…. I thought you were my friend.  So .. how do I forgive you?  And on the other hand, the one who has come against me may truly not care – they seem to want to be my enemy!……And the things that they are saying or doing are creating for me some problems … Father, how shall I deal with this?……

It is indeed interesting that I am led to write this post today – for only this morning I had to decide about the very thing that I just mentioned above to you…..What I did as my response to a strong offense began as a choice – a choice that I did struggle a little over because I had prayed for this person – in the beginning of this..  Indeed, I had prayed for them as I would have wanted someone who knew how to touch God – to pray for me…..

But those prayers appear to have done no good…. NO.. that’s not so! .. For we all make choices about how we respond to God’s dealings with us….. And I cannot hold myself accountable for someone else’s response to God’s dealings with them….. I.m only accountable for how I respond to His dealings with me.

So, this morning I chose to pray again for this individual – and God was so in that prayer time with me – that however things turn out after this, I’m okay… I can stay at peace… Because there was such an outflow of God’s concern for this person’s well being that came through me in prayer – that made it a very special and memorable time between Him and me…. And the very thought of it now ushers in His incredible peace….

We make the choice – to do what He puts in our heart to do – and He gives us the strength….. And along with the strength there is a lingering warmth of the feeling of how much He loves each one of us….So, in the coming days, should my mind try to again rehearse the details of that one’s offense,  I will be firm – firm with myself and not allow the negative thoughts to overtake me….I can speak God.s word, stir up a song of praise, start giving Him thanks, or put on gentle worship music to get caught up in as I work.. or just start praying for someone else that has a real need!  …..I’ll do whatever it takes to stay free of getting back into that offense.. .

How do I forgive you?..  First is the CHOICE to forgive and move on…. Then we learn as we grow – how to stand and resist the negative thoughts that the enemy may try to send to overtake our mind with renewed offense…. But like it is with building any new habit into our lives – we learn to be patient and to persist – until we realize that we’ve become strong and the place of God’s peace is easier to reach…..

So, understand that when we choose to do the right thing, God is there to give us the added strength to see it through…. And because the strength that He gives is enough …. That is how I will forgive you….

Daily Bread…… As Ambassadors for Christ

Now you and I as believers are ambassadors for Christ (II Corinthians 5:18-20). We are His representatives/His agents – urging all men – to be reconciled to God.

We are ambassadors for Christ – and the things which we have seen and heard of Him – we share with you that you also may have that same fellowship with Him ….. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ…. which brings great joy to our lives…

As ambassadors, we make known these things to others that their joy also may be full by knowing Jesus Christ and tasting His presence in their lives…… Thus we urge all in Christ’s stead…… Receive Jesus as Savior today – receive Him and thereby be reconciled to God!…….

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son – that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish – but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

I’ll finish this little post with the part we seldom quote – the very next verse –“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  (John 3:17)…..  This part is “the rest of the story/good news” – which all of us truly need to hear….. and as ambassadors we certainly should more often share!

“As the Eagle Stirs Her Nest”…. So God the Father Calls Us to His Plan

The eagle stirs her nest…. She moves away the soft feathers to bring it to the bare sticks.  She does this because her chicks are needing to grow up… They are needing to leave the place of comfort (their “comfort zone”) and learn to fly

…. So.. the eagle stirs her nest – their nest – to make it a less comfortable place to be… The aim is to affect a change for the young eaglets …. a change from lazily dozing in the nest to getting up off their “duff”.. and out of the nest!  For some this will mean literally jumping off the high cliff their nest is on… and going into a free fall!…  But in the midst of that fall,  the big eagle will catch them… She will soar in underneath the little one and bare it up on her wings. This the eagle repeats until each little one learns – through that process – to fly….

They thought that they surely were going to fall – but instead, they learn to fly – to soar like an eagle was meant to do!  Even so there are times in our walk with God when He sees the need to do much the same for us as the eagle does for their offspring….. and thus He stirs the “nest” that once fit us so well – but now we are needing to move out into something a little bigger!  We’ve grown to the point that we are ready for the change – but we’re still reluctant to leave our comfort zone!…. So He starts “pulling out some of the feathers” (things that have made it so cushy for us in the past)…..Because  He wants to make our world bigger – give us more territory to cover – but we’re just not quite sure that things will be as comfy for us as they were before ….. and so we balk at the change….

But like the eagle with their offspring – God always knows what is best….. The nest is wonderful, but if you’ve been there twenty years or so – it’s time to move on!! .. So He starts working on that nest to help us decide to get out – try our wings – start moving more in the direction of the good plan He has for our lives……

Another “translation” for all of this is “COME” …. “Get out of that boat/comfort zone and walk on the water with Me!”  as Jesus bid Peter to do  (Matthew 14:25-31)….. And so.. you climb out of “the nest” into a new adventure with Him….

And He is there to keep you afloat if you start to fall… but you do have to reach out to take “His hand”- that is – whatever direction He offers you….. Do that rather than pull back into the “comfort zone” that your flesh calls you to.  We’ve all pulled back into our comfort zone – at least some of the time – but don’t keep doing that all of the time…. Because the things that our Father God offers us are too good to let them all slip by….. Indeed now is the time to let the new adventure He has for you begin…. So step out of “the boat/your nest” and give it a try…..

For He wants to teach all His children to soar with Him – as it were on eagle’s wings – going forth to fulfill all His good plan for you.   Thus as the eagle stirs her nest to help her children learn to live their divine destiny and plan (Deuteronomy 32:11-13) – so our Father God calls each of us to rise up and fly with Him.

Daily Bread…. “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

`”Our Father, who art in Heaven…. Whose name is both awesome and Holy… Whom we reverence, worship, and adore….. Your kingdom come, Your will be done – on earth as it is in Heaven…..

And even as Jesus told us (Matthew 6:9-13) to “Pray after this manner” – even so we proceed to pray – “Give us this day our daily bread”…

But just what is it that we are asking for?…. “This day”is the time now present .. And “our daily bread” is “what is needed for our subsistence/our overall existence at present…..

And we know that “our daily bread” is more than just the bread/needs for our physical body — for Jesus told us in Matthew 4:4  “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” It is for much more than our physical sustenance then – that we pray “Give us this day, our daily bread…..

Indeed it is for His grace for all those things we do not even know we will have need of for this day – understanding that our Father God is “able to do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or think ” (Ephesians 3:20) – according to the power that is at work in us….. even the power of God’s Word and His Spirit –  in conjunction with our faith – believing that He hears us when we pray…..”Father give us the provision that we will need for this day – that for which our Lord Jesus has already paid.”….. And for all these things we give You thanks, and we give You praise!

 

Keeping a Proper Perspective…… As You Press Toward the Mark

As a growing Christian, we want more of Jesus…. So we press in, and press towards that mark for the high calling of God in our lives…. and then it is like we come to the top of the hill – or mountain – and we see farther then we’ve ever seen before…. and we breathe in fresh new air…. “Oh, this is great!”…..

But life goes on – and if you think Satan (II Peter 5:8 – your adversary the devil) likes you being in a new place, a higher place – think again!…. Because he’s already working on some tactic to get you back down….. And it can get to the point that it is like “I thought I had grown into a new level – but things are not working – not even as good as they were!… And after a couple of weeks or so of this,  we feel “distant” from God….and we begin to”think it strange” (I Peter 4:12) – strange concerning the things happening to us and the place we are at….  (Can you “identify” in some way with that?)

Because I have “been there and done that”- definitely more than once or twice – I thought it good to share the following “Psalm” that God dropped into my spirit many years ago as I was coming out of one of those times.  It was at a time in my life – that I was just beginning to see – that as we pass along the way pressing in to know Jesus better – we will UNDOUBTEDLY  ENCOUNTER  some feelings and things that are strange – and uncomfortable for us….. But what I “saw” at the time He dropped this Psalm into my heart – gave me insight and understanding that I had not had before…. an understanding that helped me keep things in more of a proper perspective every time thereafter that I began to experience a time like that …..So,  I now share it with the hope that it will also give helpful insight to you – as you press in to know Jesus better……

BORNE OUT OF THE FIRE

We desire to go on with God…… But what we do not see is that we are carrying things that cannot go with us – things which would hold us back – from going to the next place of His glory…. But because we do not see all of this in proper perspective… (so much we do not understand!)…. Indeed it does seem as though we “look through a glass darkly”…. And thus we urgently plead, “Lord help me!”

And of course He is always there to lead us…. (He can’t take us unless we ask!) And ask, we do – not knowing or seeing – that between where we are now – and the place we desire to be….. is the FIRE or the RAGING WATERS!  We’ve asked and so ….  He leads us out……. but before long, we begin to think.. “this must surely be a mistake!”…..     I mean – we were wanting to go upward – to “get better!”. ….. But instead – here we are in a frightening place!

Now, water and fire can both destroy and wreak havoc…. But carefully tended and directed – they cleanse and ready the ground for new growth….. So that in the time that follows, out comes a thing for God’s use and our “beauty.”

Then through tears of joy – and with strengthened devotion – we look back – and our understanding is lightened!…. There is no other way – else He would surely bring us…… But should we come another way …. I mean – that He would just “zap”us!….  We’d “be there” alright  – and “there” would be “perfect!”….

But who would He be??… Would we even know Him??….                                               You see, there is so much “distance” between who He is and who we are – a world of difference – that it takes a lifetime just to begin to understand….  And how could we ever – have a proper view of Him – if we had not seen the things that “fill up the way” – between our mortality and Him?….

Sure,  now we see through a glass darkly…. but each new level we press to brings us closer to His light – and we grow in our personal knowledge of Jesus Christ …. Then from this new place of glory….. I see Him more clearly… and do better understand…the futility of the unregenerate man….

Getting to that Place of Rest – a Place Called “Trust”

There is a place in God – where storms will calm and winds be still …..                    That place is in Jesus ….. It is the place called “Trust”- where we can rest from the problems that assail us.  We are not denying that the “problem(s)” exist – rather we are looking beyond all our reason – looking for His help….. asking for His answers.  I’ve been “there” – any number of times – and it’s quite likely that you who read this have been there too…… So, even though this that I am now writing may be a little “poetic” in wording, I hope to share here with you what I have learned over the years to do.

In everything we see or face we will find our Answer in that place – where storms are calmed and winds are stilled – because that’s where He IS – and we do not want to be found where He is not!….. He is not in strife, in turmoil, in reasonings.  Still,  He is available to us, but He does not walk in those things – they are not a part of who He is – (Recall that He was not in the earthquake, wind, or fire – but His voice was heard…..when Elijah got still!!  –  I Kings 19).

So to walk closely with Him in the midst of our need or the problems that we face – we must learn to “separate” ourselves from the turmoil, the strife, and the unrest that comes with the problem – even though those things may be waging a war in us and all around us….. and find our rest in Him….. For He IS our resting place….

But yet again – the winds (of adversity) and the turmoil, strife and unbelief come  against me, to take me out of that resting place….. Do they succeed?  In all honesty – Yes! – but their success is only temporary – because I see quickly that I do not like that place they take me to!!  So, like Jonah – remember? – I will tell you…..

So like Jonah – he was in the belly of that whale……. a circumstance more desperate and seeming impossible than anything I’ve seen in a long long while (and then some!)   But it says (Jonah 2:5-10 paraphrased)  “when my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord….”  and my prayer went up to Him – even with the voice of thanksgiving – (to Him who hears and answers prayers).  Salvation is of the Lord I said…..  And the Lord heard me and spoke to the fish” –  and thus He delivered me – out of the midst of a deep sea and on to the dry land – where I could breathe again – out of the belly of that whale!

It is God’s heart that we remember Him when trouble shows up in some form in our life – even if we had a part in bringing it…… He cares for us -. and wants us to learn to cast our care on Him – and ask/seek  to know His solution.  We can turn to Him in all kinds of trouble….. It’s a choice – our choice – to turn to Him  – best of course to do before we stir up and muddy the waters….. But even so, He can “fix our messes” – but the time can be made a lot shorter – and for us much easier – to ask Him into the situation in the first place.

There is a place of rest in Him – some call it “the secret place”…..  another name could just be “Trust”.….   “trust in the Lord with all your heart – and lean not to your own understanding….. call on Him and He will direct your paths” – (aka He will give you the answers and direction that you need)!

There is a place in God where storms will calm and the winds be still – a place of safety and rest….. That place is in Jesus.   Turn to Him, call on Him – and He will be there – there as your place of safety and rest.

 

The Heavens Declare the Existence and the Glory – of a Mighty God

As we look up into the heavens – taking in the order and the grandeur of the morning and evening skies – we are given to understand that there is indeed “a mighty God”…… a God big enough to put together all of this that we see above us in the sky….. Indeed He IS talking to us – and making Himself known to all who will observe and truly consider – that the constellations we see in the evening sky –  and the faithful rising of the sun each morning – are far too complex and well ordered –  to be simply the product of a “Big Bang” or some other “cosmic accident.”

And I do not scorn that line of thinking – for it is not a bad thing to seek to find a reason – but apart from understanding that God’s ways and thinking are higher than yours and mine – you and I can never comprehend His power and operations…..Thus He set “a vision” for us to see in the morning and evening sky…

So I watched the sun rise this morning – with the splendor of its warm colors spreading across the sky…… It is glorious to be sure –  the soft fresh colors of the morning – and the darker hues we see in the evening – magnificent colors that melt away as the stars and their constellations begin to fill the night time sky.   What we see is a picture painted by the Great Creator – the grandeur of which  even the best of artists cannot quite capture….

But it is more than just a thing of beauty – because there is also the wonder-        For you can see the majesty and the love of its Creator…….                                 Indeed, He put it together perfectly – the hallmark of a new day and the setting to rest at evening of the same….. Then the multitude of stars – and the moon as they appear – beckoning to us to ponder how anyone could put such a masterpiece of incredible design and purpose there…..

No one could help but worship God and feel His presence –                                     Should they take the time to ponder……                                                                              Indeed – they would begin  to understand His way! …….                                               For the heavens declare the glory of God  –                                                                        There is no speech or language  where their “voice” is not heard!

* “The heavens – where the celestial bodies revolve –                                                          do declare the existence – and the glory of a mighty God!                                       Indeed the sky that is visible to our eyes – day unto day and night unto night –       if one will observe…do show forth His handiwork – even the operations of a mighty God!  There is no speech nor language where their “voice” is not heard…..They make their proclamation  –  that there is  a living God!!                                                  The heavens indeed ….. declare the glory of God.”

* Paraphrase Psalm 19:1-3

Encouraged to Believe…. “Everything’s Going to be Okay”

Several years ago, something happened in my relationship with the Lord that has continued to be a great encouragement to my faith “to believe God that it will be just as He has told me”…And  I believe that sharing my story will encourage your faith too…

It began as one of those unexpected things – a thing which could have easily became a major problem for me – if just one of the three people who needed to hear and obey God had failed to do so.

In those days – when stock markets were dropping and houses not selling – it took my best efforts just to keep the bills paid!  On this particular occasion, I had everything budgeted and was waiting on the pay check due in about a week for the rest of the money needed to pay my bills….. But this day, I was in for an unpleasant surprise… For when I arrived at work my employer asked me for the keys to the store… She was in the process of closing the business!  I gave her the keys.. We said our goodbyes.. and we both got in our cars to leave……

Was I feeling fearful??   I likely would have been – my circumstances being what they were (and too detailed to mention here) –  BUT GOD KNEW what was coming.. and He had already set the wheels in motion to supply what I was going to need!….

For just the day before – I had gotten a call from a pastor in another state who had often prayed for me and my family….. The conversation was brief and to the point… “I don’t know what this is about,” he said ” but the Lord told me to call you and tell you “that everything is going to be okay.” I responded that I didn’t know what it was about either, but thanked him for calling.  Thinking  about it, I knew him too well to doubt that he’d heard God – but knowing nothing of what was in the works at that time concerning my job, I laid those words aside.

Now back to the store where I had just lost my job….. As I got into my car to leave there,  I remembered the words of the old pastor from yesterday… And I said to God – “I don’t know “HOW” You’re going to do it – but I believe that “everything is going to be okay.. just as You said!”  And with that, I proceeded to make the short drive to my apartment – where – as I was still in the parking lot gathering my things to get out of the car, my cell phone rang….

Seeing that the call was coming from a friend in another state, I quickly answered it…… and heard an excited voice telling me that she had just been given quite a bit of money from a relative who “felt” that he should give her a small part of her inheritance NOW.”  She didn’t tell me the amount she had been given, but began excitedly to tell me that.. as she was being handed the money, she heard the Lord tell her to give me a certain amount of it!  I then proceeded to tell her about what had just happened to me – losing my job and with it, the pay check I needed to pay the bills… And then, hundreds of miles away, this friend rejoiced with me as we realized how God had been at work to meet my needs – and bring good things into both our lives!

The money that the Lord had instructed this friend to give to me was enough to take care of my bills for the two months ahead until I again had a steady income.  I am ever grateful for the three dear people who heard from God – and acted  on what He asked them to do!

Several years have passed now, but I still feel a joy whenever I think of this “adventure” that I had in my relationship with the Lord and how it makes me ever mindful that.. you and I can believe God!  We can believe God that it shall be even as He has told us… and be encouraged “that everything is going to be okay!”  

Personal Worship …. Touching God’s Heart and Tasting His Presence

The following is a Prophetic Word Received Jan13,2013

We are coming into – are already in the beginnings of miraculous restorations  Such” miracles” will soon be commonplace in the Body of Christ.

(How shall this be?)…..  Men and  women, even children – yielding themselves to worship God.  Worship of a “purer” vein than most have tasted in our churches.  This worship will fill the homes and  the lives – the personal lives – of those who love Him.  He is our God , and we will  give the honor due Him.  We will  love, worship and adore Him.

Our God will have a people who deeply worship Him ….. (Did not Jesus say to the religious leaders who asked Him to rebuke *the multitude who began to worship Jesus as He made His way into Jerusalem  (Luke 19:29-40) ” I tell you that if *these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out!”)    Yes, our God will  have a people who deeply worship Him – out of hearts set upon Him.  We’re talking about “first love” – the deepest affection of our heart belonging (where it belongs) –  to Him!  Our God reigns – first in our hearts who say we love Him – then in the world;  for He is soon to rule and reign on the earth which He made.   We are in that dispensation of time when we will see all things gathered back into His hands.  (ICorinthians 15:22-28  & Ephesians 1:10)

He is our God, and we will worship Him.  In true worship, all things are possible!…. and through us – by the mighty power of the Spirit of God working in us –  the world will  see Him!   He only is the King of Glory – and He will  be Lord and God and King in this world – for the kingdoms of this world are soon to be the kingdoms of our God!

Jesus, You are worthy of all glory and honor and praise – You are our God, and we worship You.  The kingdoms of this world – the earth and all things in it – are soon to be the kingdoms of our God!    (End of the prophetic word) – and into a short teaching on…..

…. Personal Worship…. When we take the time to worship the Lord, we touch His heart and we taste His presence.

God “dwells in the light” – and we also begin to be surrounded with that same light – even when our circumstances look dark – as we surrender our time, our heart and our mind to focus on Him – on who He is, what His Word says – and the incredible things He has done and does still do.   In fact He wants us to learn to “walk” in the light with Him – so that He is not hard to find when our circumstances try to dictate things of darkness to us.   (I John 1:3-7  tells us that we can “walk in the light” and stay in fellowship with Him)

The Psalmist said ” I have set  the Lord always before me – because He is at my right hand – I shall not be moved …..  therefore my heart is glad,  my tongue rejoices,  and my flesh also – shall rest in hope.” (Psalm 16:7)  Spending time with Him causes the flesh side of our being to rest – and experience “hope.”…. Also, the words “I have set” indicate that this is something you and I are to do.  God has given us the “tools” we need to work with – but it is up to us to make the choice  to learn how to use them!

How about choosing to become one of those worshipers that God seeks for?!

(John 4:23,24  “The hour cometh and now is – when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth – for the Father seeks such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit;  and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”)

You and I are triune beings – spirit, soul and body – just as it tells us  in I Thessalonians ..5:23.  We are to give some attention to the development of each one of the three – but God made the spirit to dominate the other two. (The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord – which He illuminates as we set our hearts and give some time aside with Him – Proverbs 20:27 & Psalms 18:28).    If you and I give ourselves to use the “tools” God gives us to feed and develop our spirit – it will be the one that dominates in our life as God intended…..  And we are seeing from this and recent posts on this blog that PERSONAL WORSHIP is one of the main gifts/tools  that He put in the born again spirit of man to help us connect with Him and develop a healthy strong spirit within us.

There is more than one way to spend personal time in worship …  For some music is special – Psalms 150.   Others may love to dance before the Lord in some of their alone time with Him –  Psalm 149:3;  Psalm 150:4. ….. And   Psalm 100:1,2   invites us to “come before Him with singing – ditto with Ephesians 5:18,19 and Colossians 3:16 ! … while Psalm 46 calls us into a “stillness” as does the 23rd Psalm as we meditate on “who He is and what He has done and will do.”   Psalms 63:5  and  103:1-6 invite us to bless His name and be joyful as we think about (and always remember!) all His  benefits – and the blessings of just knowing Him.!….  Speaking and celebrating His Wordacknowledging and giving thanks for all that He is to us – and for His promises that are always “yes and amen” to those who believe that His Word is true.   (Philippians 2:16 and II Corinthians 1:20)

……Whatever you do….. learn to worship – you’ll “touch God’s heart” and taste His presence.  You can’t do better than that …. because … “in His presence is fullness of joy”!

“COME TO ME”

GOD’S CALL TO HIS PEOPLE ….

Come to Me.  Do not be afraid – I am “with you and for you.”  Do  not let fear or discouragement stop you.  I am  your God.

Come – and worship Me.  I will meet you.  You can be strong to rise up against fear – and the things that come in the door that “fear” opens.  My authority is in you to rise up over those things the enemy has planted to stop you.  Your fight is in the spirit realm – and that is where I operate to affect the natural realm…. So, come to Me!  You will find the strength that you need as you worship Me.

I love you!  Do not let people or pain from the past hinder you and rob you from returning to worship Me.  I love you.  I love you – and I am stronger than any of those things.

Come to Me!   I will meet you – and you will know the peace and confidence I have to give to you.  There is a refreshing that comes to those who choose  to draw aside  to worship Me.  In My presence, you will find the answer to things that stop you from walking strongly with Me.

COME!   You “chase” other things – CHASE ME!   You’ll find Me waiting to touch you.

Come to Me and know how much  I LOVE YOU.