Tag Archives: God’s will

Give Everything to God – Early, Fully, Only

Just in case you haven’t figured out where I’m at in Bible reading, I’ve been in the book of Proverbs the last few days. And it’s good timing. I’m in need of wisdom. I’m trying very hard to stay spiritually focused on a matter of the heart, but there’s been an issue with my heart far longer than the issue that caused the heart attack.

Proverbs Proverbs 4:23 says Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

As I’ve told you before. I have issues. Lots of them! But that’s not the verse that caused me to ponder this morning and examine my issues. It was Proverbs 8:17 ~

SEEK ME EARLY

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

I do love the Lord, and I realize that in seeking His will through His word, it’s always best to try and discover His plan before you jump off the cliff, or open  your mouth, or volunteer, again. Or possibly choke the life out of someone. That’s why I don’t necessarily think that the word “early” always refers to the time of day. Perhaps it means “before disaster.”

The old adage “The early bird gets the worm,” is only good if you’re the bird. The worm really gets the short end of the stick. Perhaps if he’d prayed about direction before he came up out of the earth, he’d be having a picnic with friends today. But what I got more than anything out of this verse today is that God loves devoted children. He knows we don’t have all the answers. And where Siri falls short on answers, God never does!

SEEK ME FULLY

Jeremiah 29:13 ~ And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Far, far too often I not only fall short but I stop short of where God needs me to be. I search for His wisdom until I grow weary, or something shiny takes me away and then I lose the train of thought that brought me to His station. The process of finding the answer isn’t always as easy as just opening up the book. That’s where we start, but there’s prayer and conversations with God. In order to fully understand what it is that God wants us to understand He wants His children to be serious about it.

I have issues there too. I want answers but more often than not I want the Readers Digest condensed version with the answer key in the back.

True story.

SEEK ME ONLY

Deuteronomy 4:28-30 

28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. 30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

Seeking the wisdom of men and using the ways of the world for guidance always fails in comparison to what can be obtained by speaking to the Savior. We forget that. It’s so easy to desire a conversation with people we can touch, or look at the examples of people who have succeeded in our area of need. And although there’s nothing wrong with either of those things, God is an exclusive God. He won’t be added to a list of possible solutions. He is the solution.

I had to remind myself of that today. I can’t fix stupid. Some things and some people are beyond my control. But what is within my control is my reaction to the world around me.

  • If someone is in need… seek God’s provision, perhaps you have it.
  • If someone’s in pain… seek God’s comfort, perhaps your words can bring it.
  • If someone’s in harms way… seek God’s protection, perhaps your request will summon the powers of Heaven.
  • If someone’s in need of answers… seek God’s wisdom, perhaps you’re the vessel.

The reality of it is, you may or may not be the means God uses to fix a situation. But He wants to hear from you. The problem may be your own,  He wants to hear from you. He is the Lord thy God.  100% yours. And 100% mine. He hears every word we speak (or think). Give everything to Him, early, fully, only. Thy God.

Life lesson: Make sure the ‘O’ is in the right spot.

The difference between a good idea and a God idea

I have lots of good ideas. At least in my mind. And for the most part, I believe that they’re ideas that would make a good work for the Lord. Every day since salvation I’ve thought about my ministry and its direction; until the day I went into the hospital and then suddenly it was about that moment in time. Who was I with, who was speaking, was it about my health or was it an opportunity to witness for Christ? That was my mindset.

I missed my youth group, I missed singing, I missed speaking, but those things weren’t on my mind. I didn’t pick up the Word because I couldn’t focus, all I could do was listen to the words that I had “Hidden in my heart.” (Psalm 119:11) But now, I’m back, I’m reading, I’m writing, I’m drawing, I’m singing (from my kitchen table) I’m seeking God’s direction for me now, in this place.

But I recognize even more that there’s a difference between a good idea and a God idea. One “O”.

Psalm 86:1-8

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

David desires God’s will for his life, he knows there is purpose (he is holy, set aside). And in the first 8 verses of his prayer I see his petition to God, “O Lord,” again and again. I can clearly see that the reasoning for my unfocused ministry over the years has been that I’ve not cried “O Lord,” enough. I would ask and halfheartedly wait for God to answer, knowing there might be a chance He wouldn’t necessarily agree with my “good” idea. Zap! That one stung. I know truth when I hear it. I’m driven for service, sometimes too driven.

David prayed

  • O’ Lord Hear me
  • O’ Lord I Trust Thee
  • O’ Lord I cry to Thee
  • O’ Lord I give myself to Thee
  • O’ Lord be with me
  • O’ Lord, let it be Your works

Mine would have been, “O’ Lord! Thanks for that idea!” But not David. He prayed first asking God to please listen. God loves a conversation with His children. A real conversation. Not a repetitious religious act, but a Daddy/Daughter/Son conversation. He want to hear the desires of our heart. He wants to know just how passionate we are about the conversation. Good ideas are not always God ideas. The human mind is fickle and can change at any point. A good conversation with God allows us to work through whether or not it’s passion or just possibility.

David Trusted God. I too often trust me more. Trust is letting go of anything but God for which I learned from the hospital bed. I had to trust that God had put me in the right place with the right people to handle it all. Is life any different? Maybe not as life threatening, but every bit as serious.

When it came to getting to WVU medicine, I discovered that a few life threatening decisions that had been placed in my hand, God had removed. One was changing hospitals mid-stream after I had built a trust with a physician. After my heart cath, the medical staff at the second of three hospitals I was in, decided I had a blood disorder that placed me at considerable risk, and they refused to do the surgery there. It turned out that that hospital had had an outbreak of staff infection and mersa on the heart wing for the past 18 months. Coincidence that I was removed from there? Not in my mind. The blood disease diagnosis was incorrect. Shocker. God removed that decision from me. That’s not how it always works. More often than not, He leaves us to free will. It’s why it’s so very important to cry out to Him more than once.

David pleaded (cried) to the Lord, He laid himself down before the Lord and ask the Lord to be with him through it all, and in finality he asked God to let it be His works, not David’s.

Another zap for me. My good ideas, have too often been, mine. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t God’s. So much work, so much effort put into things that I don’t know if God ever intended me to do because I wouldn’t slow down and use that extra “O” as a cry for wisdom. For the most part I still don’t have any regrets because God knew my heart was to do His work. But He has certainly sidelined me for now and is allowing me to reconsider my direction…

Life lesson: Make sure the ‘O’ is in the right spot.

Getting in Tight With God

To say that open heart surgery brings on a realization of mortality is a likely an understatement. We all have somewhat of a an understanding of it, but when suddenly the single organ in your body that keeps you alive isn’t functioning correctly, you realize how very, very close we are to eternity. Literally one heartbeat away. You also realize how very important that relationship with God is.  I wasn’t too awfully worried about politics, world antics or uncompleted goals and the fact that I’ve yet to master many, many chords on the guitar. I wanted to feel my Father stroke my hair and say “Shari, I’m here with you, you’re okay.” And so it was. He did not leave me nor forsake me and for the record, there were no dark hours, because where He is, is Light. I share this so you’ll know if a time comes (which I pray not) that you find yourself in one of those predicaments, He will not leave you either.

So this morning as I read the Lord’s Prayer, it was oh… so… sweet. and each word took on a deeper meaning. Six petitions, (three relating to God’s honor, three relating to our own concerns.

Matthew 6:9

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.

FATHER: Creator, Redeemer, Adopter of me, an unworthy urchin of the Gentiles. Brought into a royal family, a blood bought nation, who though many of them have no earthy blood connection, treat me like a true sister through Christ Jesus. They prayed for me and petitioned Heaven on my behalf because they too love the Father, who we call Jesus. He hears our cry, just as an earthly father would and stays by our side. I know… I felt His presence in the hospital, ambulance, operating room and recovery. There is power in the name of Jesus! Our Father in Heaven, and also within the heart of His child.

HALLOWED: Sanctified and set apart. There is none like Him. There is no other name on earth that can calm a raging storm in your life or bring an unexplainable peace upon you through the storm. Buddha, Allah, nor any other of the countless gods this world calls upon have the power of Jesus. And those who encourage people to “call upon the god of their choice” are allowing the demons of Hell to open a door of torment to someone already in trouble. Praise God for He Who calmed my sea. HIS NAME IS JESUS!

Vs. 10 – Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.

THY WILL BE DONE: That’s a hard one for someone like me that needs control. So when I lay flat on my back without even the ability to go potty by myself, I suddenly understood that God was truly in control. He took every single earthly power I had away. It was just He and I. Like it always had been, but I had had forgotten. His will is for a relationship with His children that cause them to work toward all things eternal, not earthly. There is no fear in running towards Jesus, but there is a definite fear of leaving behind those who do not know Him.

Vs. 11 – Give us this day our daily bread.

DAILY BREAD: Just enough. When the children of Israel ate manna in the wilderness there was no excess with the exception of what was needed to eat for the Sabbath. Jesus tells us in John 6:48 – I am that bread of life. His Word will fill the soul like a hot buttered biscuit with jam fills the belly. Matthew 6 continues on to tell us not to worry for any earthly necessity, God’s got us covered. But we should strive to collect the thoughts of God through His word and fill our soul with it in abundance so that when we’re laying there flat on our back, we don’t need to see the book. We are the book. And we are filled to the brim in want of nothing!

Vs. 12 – And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

FORGIVENESS: I can say with all honesty that I haven’t been concerned with anyone who’s hurt or upset me over the course of a life time in the past few weeks. Life in perspective is knowing that the only forgiveness that matters is my Father’s in Heaven. Scripture says that we must forgive others if we expect it in return. If Christ can hang from the cross, a sinless man, only guilty of loving us and forgive we who take His act for granted, how can we dare say we’ll not forgive anyone? It makes me nauseous to think of the times I’ve held someone’s soul in the balance of un-forgiveness because of pride and pettiness on my part.

Vs. 13 – And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

DELIVERANCE: Temptation comes from the side of flesh, not Spirit and it is easily accessible and readily available to take us away from the peace of God. And for all that’s left in this wicked world, Satan is seeking the opportunity to devour us as a lion. Especially those who actively serve God and desire to make a difference. Daniel and the three Hebrew boys were not chosen for the lion’s den and the fiery furnace by happenstance. From the Old Testament to John the Baptist and the Disciples of Christ, Satan has targeted God’s chosen vessels. He’s still targeting us. But Hallelujah we serve the Living God whose Kingdom will never fall, He Who holds ALL POWER and will receive ALL GLORY forever. Satan loses, we just have to keep on serving. We who are in Him Win! Glory!

How to be a Spiritually Successful Saint of the Savior!

No automatic alt text available.It’s never good to get too big for your britches. Physically or spiritually. I personally have struggled with both this summer. Thinking myself to be more important than I am. Thinking that my wants and wishes are above what God’s design for my life is. Feeding myself instead of my soul and failing to stay in the center of His will. I jam forever on the edge; never quite making it to the center. Can you identify?

John 3:30 says

He must increase, but I must decrease.

For successful Christian living there has got to be more of God and less of you in your day. Oh I try, but deed, I’m never very far into the day before that increase is on the wrong side of success. So what’s a Jesus Chick (or Rooster) to do when your spiritual life is malnourished?

PUT THE FLESH ON A DIET!

I don’t for two seconds think it was a coincidence that God likened Himself to food and drink throughout the scriptures.  He knew 2017 would be filled with bread and pasta and how very weak my flesh was when it came to those tasty treats in the battle of depression. But whether it’s food, or any other earthly pleasure that we invest more effort into than God, we have to look for a healthy balance for a truly happy and fulfilled life. Oh… I’m preachin’ to the choir this morning. I should have worn work boots to write this blog because I’m all over my own toes. But I usually am, that’s how God works on this wretched heart.

John 6:35

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

 

That’s an awesome truth on its own. But seeing that truth in the context for which it was written is even awesomer! I know that’s not a word, but it should be. Every successful diet has a foundation from which it starts. Exercise, protein, vegetables, juices… things to build on and things to omit. The spiritual diet is no different.

Work the Work

John  6:28-41

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

While I could hug Paul’s neck for saying to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:8 “bodily exercise profiteth little,” that too is a verse out of context. Exercise alone won’t fix the flab of the flesh, but it certainly won’t hurt. And when it comes to serving Christ, although the work of salvation is done, there is still work to do! Staying focused on the plan is key to the success of our spiritual wellbeing.

For me, I am called to serve God as a career. You may or may not be called to serve in such an exclusive manner. I personally keep trying to forget. Not because I don’t want to serve God, but because it takes discipline and sacrifice… just like exercise. It’s not always prosperous in the earthly sense of finances, so in the flesh if I can often get discouraged because in our lives work = $. That is necessarily so in the work of the Lord.

Work Without

30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

It is for certain not without compensation, it’s just often not with the compensation of earthly standards. And when I in the flesh get hungry, be it for food or for stuff, my desire often wins out over the actual need. It is then that the mission becomes cloudy. Not because it’s not still there in the very same form it was when God gave it to me many years ago. But because I’m not focused on the plan. If I’m busy doing ministry work, I seldom think of what I have not. Because the work satisfies my soul. That’s how God created me. But if I wake up in the morning and immediately start feeding my desires with food, social media, music, etc., rather than feeding my soul with the manna from Heaven, I’m spiritually malnourished and weak; which leads to the flesh having the greater power.

Work His Will

34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Staying in the center of God’s will is not easy, but it was not only our design, it was Christ’s as well. Christ understands the flesh, He too battled it; however  ~ He battled it victoriously. Me… not so much. Christ’s purpose for coming to earth was to make a way for us to get to Heaven. And even on my days of failure, I can’t stop that. That is awesomer too! But I need to stay focused on the plan that God created me for, and so do you, so that you and I can be spiritually successful saints of the Savior!

 

 

Is Your Light Still Shining?

CHICK LIGHT

On my heart again this morning was the scripture from yesterday’s blog in Judges, Chapter 9; so off I went in pursuit of more information on that matter… which lead me to other places…people… things. All of which brought me back to Judges 9 and the pursuit of God’s will for our lives and leadership.

The character of Abimelech (which evoked Jotham to share the parable of the trees) is one of seventy sons belonging to Gideon. Yes… the same Gideon who we love to tell the story of from Judges 6-8 and his victory over the Midianites. But the story of what happens in Gideon’s life after the great victory is not one for the wall of fame… at the end of Gideon’s life the people tried to make him King (which he refused, because God alone is King) Thumbs up for Gideon. But he did allow the people to put up an idol for himself, which the Israelites worshiped. Committed fornication with the bible says, meaning they had an affair on God with Gideon’s image… Thumbs down!

How do we get so far?

Judges 8:23-27

And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you. And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.  And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels’ necks.  And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

Gideon didn’t have those 70 children with one gal… which means he likely had many wives and concubines and his sites were not centered on God. So much so that by Judges 9, we find his son Abimelech conspiring with the people of Shechem to capture and kill his brothers so that Abimelech could become King. The failure of one generation in leadership can create deterioration of the next generation’s morals to the point of destruction. I believe we’re living in those days.

Gone are the days when children have the numerous godly role models that we were blessed to be brought up with; people who knew and took serious their station in life. And it’s a proven fact that if one generation accepts something as “the norm”, the next generation embraces it and also promotes it. But this can also be said of good role models as well; although it’s harder to overcome the negative effects of the world.

So this is where I see myself captivated by the tree parable. I have a station in life, given by God, to be a role model and an encouragement to women and children. If I leave that role… going after the world… those that I was intended to influence for good will now have the power of evil to influence them in my stead. Because where light is absent, darkness takes hold.

Where did God call you to be? Is your light still shining?

But now… it’s time for you to step aside

chick ste

2 Samuel 18:3

But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city.

A hard lesson in leadership is to step aside when there is someone better suited for the job. Even harder still is when it’s something that you’re passionate about and you have a goal in mind that you’d like to see accomplished. Such was the case as David and his army prepared to battle Absalom. Their goal as an army was to destroy the enemy whose goal was to take out David; for without David in leadership they knew his army would likely fall apart.  David’s love for Absalom governed his heart and he had ask the troop leaders to “Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom” (Vs. 5)

It wasn’t that David didn’t want what God wanted when he made the request for them to spare Absalom, David was a man after God’s own heart. But just like the rest of us, our passions can sometimes cloud our vision and prevent us from seeing what those around us see clearly.

David’s comrades knew that same truth, that without him in leadership they’d be in trouble. It would be much safer for them all if he was not in the battle. David loved Absalom, but that love was not reciprocated and Absalom would have killed his father in a minute.

Matthew Henry once said that “Wisdom teaches us to make the best of the strength we have, and let it reach to the utmost.” Sometimes the strength we have lies in the leadership around us.”

Absalom was killed and David’s heart was broken.

32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.

33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

God’s plans don’t always go as we’d like. But David’s clouded leadership didn’t see the vantage point of God that would have likely lead to Absalom being a thorn in David’s side for years to come and undermining God’s design for Israel. His leadership understood it though. Joab finally had to step in again and bring David to his senses.

Chapter 19:5-7

And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines; In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well. Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now.

I heard it once said that a church rises and falls on leadership. That’s a scary thought, and Like King David we sometimes need a reality check when our decisions are clouded by our passions. God loves passionate people! Just make sure it’s focused passion and that when there is someone better suited to get the job done, let your leaders shine!

FROM THE STUDY “BUT NOW”

But Now… an awkward alliance turns awesome!

broken chick

Joshua 9

12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy:

These were the words spoken to Joshua and the children of Israel by the Gibeonites in order to deceive them into believing they were from a far country; yet instead they were neighbors to Israel for whom God had instructed Israel to make no treaty with. Joshua knew enough to talk to God before he went into battle, but what’s the harm in a peace treaty? God loves us to be buddies, right? Ummm… not always. It wasn’t long before Joshua had figured out that he’d been duped, but they had already sworn peace in the name of the Lord, and that’s serious business. So instead of killing the Gibeonites, the Gibeonites became Israel’s servants.

All sounds innocent enough, but Israel had still sinned in that they had failed to seek counsel of God. God may continue to use you, He may continue to bless you, but not to the degree that He would have if obedience had been factored in. But it’s the rest of the story that I love about the Israelites and the Gibeonites. They were not supposed to be mingled in with the children of God, and deceitfully got there. But God’s got a plan and as human as we are we can’t mess it up. God used the humility of Gibeon as a life lesson. They were humbly willing to be servants to the house of God if their life was spared and because of their willingness to serve Him He continued to use them.

After Joshua 9

  • The Gibeonites became servants at the tabernacle, just as Joshua had commanded.
  • Gibeon becomes a priestly city; the Ark of the Covenant stayed at Gibeon often in the days of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 16:39-40 and 21:29).
  • At least one of David’s mighty men was a Gibeonite (1 Chronicles 12:4).
  • God spoke to Solomon at Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4).
  • Gibeonites were among those who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 3:7 and 7:25)

Isn’t it great what God can do with us when we come to Him in humility and love, willing to be used where ever it is that He sees fit. As Gentiles we were not God’s chosen people, but in His great mercy He allows us to be a part of the family of God, grafted in, adopted in as one of His own. It was an awkward alliance that Joshua made, but because of it Gibeon was saved. Stop kicking yourself because of your past mistakes and rather see if God can turn awkward into awesome!

Willingly or Dragged… it’s a choice

Go Willingly

Genesis 37:28

Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

It is said that Joseph’s journey into Egypt was a 30 day march for which he likely would have been bound by chains. While his brothers in all their “kindness” opted not to kill him, they certainly would have had his blood on their hands if something had happened to him. In their anger about Joseph’s arrogance (in that he bragged about one day being ruler over them) they sold him to be a slave with total disregard for his safety or the brokenness of their father’s heart. Along that thought line this morning I have to wonder how many times have I sold the Father’s Son out for a piece of the world and the privilege of not being governed.

Joseph who is an example of Christ, though far from Christ’s perfectness, must have done a lot of self-examination along that 30 day journey. Perhaps that is why, when he got to Potiphar’s house he was ready to be obedient to the will of God. Perhaps he had seen that his boasting had been his demise.

I can understand Joseph, though I’m not nearly as good a person as he. It’s easy to get into that mode when you’re a child of the living God and you know you’re right; but knowing you’re right doesn’t give you the right to sit in self-righteous judgment of other people. I’ve done some self-examination of my own lately.

Self-righteous of the sinner

I can be. It’s not usually my way but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. I often forget who I was called to minister to in my frustrations with idiot behaviors.

Self-righteous of the self-righteous.

Oh yeah… that’s me. I can’t stand’em. It’s the one thing that will grate on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. Those high horse Christian’s that are above reproach in their mind and will cut to the core a child of God who has fallen. Don’t get me started…

And then I realize that God didn’t make me their keeper either and my self-righteousness of their self-righteousness puts me in their league. And although I don’t play on their team, when we all stand before God and answer for what we’ve done for Him and against Him, that’s going to be one of those things that have people behind me in line wishing they’d packed a lunch, because we’re going to be there a while.

I need to walk away and find me a sinner and tell them about Jesus. That is where my rewards are and that is where my joy is so why am I wasting valuable time in frustration over judgmental saints.

2015 has me desiring to walk:

  • Walk Closer
  • Walk Confident
  • Walk Content
  • Walk Concerned
  • Walk Compassionate

I do not want to be on a 30 day trek of regret before I get to the part where I still must say, “It’s Your will and way Lord.” Because it is. I can go willingly or I can go in chains, but God’s still going to have His way in my life. Yours too. Let’s walk together, Okay? Please join with me by following this blog and sharing me with your friends. Not that I’m anybody, but that I might be used by God to stir souls for the service of God.

I Settled for a Creek when I could have had the Sea

DSC_0048I’m never any more shocked at the depravity of man than when I look in my own heart. The selfishness and continual desires to feed my own will always amazes me. I wonder why I’m not spiritually satisfied until I realize that I’m too carnal minded to obtain it. I want “stuff”, to be entertained and to certainly not be inconvenienced. I want quick understanding of the Word so that I can get back to the business of the day. Ah… I can put God first and look holy so long as it doesn’t take too long. Yes… this trip has been a reality check for me. Our couple of day get-a-way served to remind me that I can experience that same feeling of rest in the arms of Jesus, from Calhoun County, West Virginia. And the view is every bit as nice.

Isaiah 48:16-17

16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Get Close

Come ye near unto me… You won’t hear God from a distance. He’s not a shouter. There’s a reason that scripture has God speaking in a “still small voice because it is then that you have purposed to hear what He has to say. God is not going to vie for your attention.  Satan will yell and distract from afar, but God will speak as a friend who’s telling you the greatest secret on earth except it’s not a secret.

Get Real

God’s message (although tailored to our soul) is a universal message. He’s not an exclusive God He’s an inclusive God; He wants everyone to come to Him and hear what He as to say. From the beginning of time He’s been the creator of knowledge. Whatever it is that man discovers, God created it… how much better is He! He sends a message through preachers, teachers, friends, even the wind so that we may know what it is He needs us to know, He not only controls the message, He controls the messengers… He’ll make sure it’s delivered, but we have to be in a mindset to receive it.

Get Ready to Go

The plan’s been established and everything is in place for us to profit and receive direction and yet there always seems to be one thing standing in my way; complete obedience.

18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

I could have had an endless sea of goodness from the Lord, but I’m willing to settle for a shallow creek. Oh the water is pretty, cool and good… but how much more God had instore.

Keepin’ it Holy in 2014

Finishing up my study in Jude today I reread the chapter. A short 25 verse book. 632 words. An average reader could read it in just a few minutes… but if you really want to squeeze the juice out of it, it’ll take you a while. Our modern day letters are usually penned with the purpose of encouraging one, the recipient. But Jude’s letter, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost has touched countless lives through the ages for eternity. We often read scripture like we write letters, out of duty; and in so doing we miss the blessing.

I had read Jude, but this morning as I re-read it I stopped in verse 5 when Jude said to the reader “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart as clear as day, “I know you’ve heard it before, but stop and savor what I’m telling you. They didn’t listen, be the generation that does.”

Tears welled up in my eyes as I thought of the countless times God has drug me out of Egypt. Falling right back into a habit, path, decision, etc. that leads me away from His divine will. So… I concluded the book of Jude verses 17-25 where Jude again tells us, “I know you’ve heard it before…”

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

How can we possibly keep ourselves Holy in such an unholy world?

Building up yourselves

To build is to form or construct something. The foundation has been laid by the Holy Ghost, it is now our responsibility to build on what He’s given us. Has He given you talents, financial means, a concern or a burden for a project or a people? Now is the time to build on that faith that whatever it is God has called you to do, He’ll equip you with the means. (Philippians 1:6) ~ Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Praying in the Holy Ghost

If you’ve been saved anytime at all you should have long since traded the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer for a deeper conversation with God. A conversation with God shouldn’t be just once a day, it should be all day. There should be moments where it is one on One, undisturbed by the world, and the rest of the time should be the acknowledging that He sees what you see, He goes where you go, He hears what you hear. Everything you experience, He does too… talk to Him about it.

Looking for the Mercy

When I first read that verse in Jude I read it “Looking for mercy.” Then I realized I’d misread it, God said looking for “the Mercy.” Maybe it’s not mine, maybe I should be looking for someone else’s mercy, or even an opportunity God would call mercy.

Making a Difference

Preceded by “And of some have compassion.” The world needs to see a compassionate Christ in us; not the judgmental organization that we’re often viewed as because of our lack of service and reaching out to those in need. We need to make a difference and that difference is an eternal one.

Jude closed the chapter with another reminder that we are Holy in Him and not in ourselves.  Allow Him dominion over your life and the power will come through Him to accomplish great things in 2014.