Tag Archives: shortfalls

3 Step Strategy for Revival

revival

Every real revival in the church has been a child of prayer. There have been revivals without much preaching, there have been revivals with absolutely no organization, but there has never been a mighty revival without mighty praying. ~ R.A. Torrey

Last night was the last night of our spring revival, and I’d like to tell you that Heaven met on earth, souls were saved and the church as a whole got its heart right with God… but I can’t. It did fuel my desire, but my question for myself this morning is, “Okay Shari… how far will you go for revival.”

In a biography written by Os Hillman, he said of D.L. Moody:

Dwight L. Moody was a poorly educated, unordained, shoe salesman who felt God’s call to preach the gospel. Early one morning he and some friends gathered in a hay field for a season of prayer, confession, and consecration. His friend Henry Varley said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.” Moody was deeply moved by these words. ~ Os Hillman Biography

Consecrated… a nice bibley word… I know bibley is not a word, but it’s as much a word in my vocabulary as consecrated. Consecration (meaning wholly dedicated to God) doesn’t seem unattainable to me, it seems unlikely. There’s always something in my way, usually me. It’s the same reason I’m not the best musician, nor the best artist, mom, servant of God, or insert any of the dozens of other titles I have into here. I’m a sinner saved by grace, emphasis on sinner, and I’m semi-dedicated to everything I do. But I’m not wholly dedicated to anything and I’m especially not wholly consecrated to God else I’d be better and not feel like such a failure.

In my search for revival and my time in prayer prior to the revival last night I came up with three points to ponder and reflect on in the coming days in hopes that the sparks of revival that I witnessed in my favorite church on earth would ignite myself and my people.

CLEAN ME UP

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

I don’t have to guess at my sins, nor do you likely. I can get them right the first time. And so I confess them to God, but then I fall again, and again and again and the right spirit, the one who wants the revival fires to start burning feels as though I’ve just wet the wood. And then my mind is drawn into Elijah who told the prophets of Baal to wet the wood and wet it good and God sent down the fire to lick it up and ignite the offering to God. And suddenly, even in my failures I feel that twinge of hope and keep praying… clean me up Lord, send the fire, please.

BIND ME UP

Isaiah 30:26

Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven fold, as the light of the seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people and healeth the stroke of their wound.

What is the breach in my life, the area of the wall that allows doubt and confusion to get into my being? Another place to search and it’s a vast area. What am I doing that’s allowing the Devil into my life? I need to bind those areas up with the gospel keep my life Christ focused. What are those breached areas? Yeah, I guessed those the first time too. My life is spread too thin… I’m not focused, but rather trying to watch the scope of the world and what’s going on with everyone else and the breaches in my own wall are vulnerable…

FREE ME UP

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Speaking those words “use me where you want me ” is indeed liberating, and also scary! It means that I have to let go of the reigns and possibly let go of some things in my life that kept me bound. This morning it has me pondering stepping out of a position that makes me nauseous every time I step into it and although that is liberating it’s also sad. Life’s not easy. But if revival did anything for me this week it caused me to realize I have people in my watch care that I’ve allowed the breaches in my own life to let the enemy into their lives too.

Are you spreading yourself too thin? Look up… He’ll help you.

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The Bringing in of a Better Hope

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There’s nothing quite like waking up at that the beach to get a full understanding of the fullness of God, the vastness of His creation. The very fact that man in all is wisdom, which is not as much as a grain of sand in comparison to the Lord, cannot explain His Creation nor understand His redemption. We’re grateful for it… but when it comes to forgiveness we as mere mortals have to forgive again and again and again to keep the slate clean for those we love. We forgive… Satan reminds us… we forgive again because we love them. God just simply… forgives. We have lofty expectations of those we love, and yet expect God to turn a blind eye to our short comings. We’re fickle with our love for the most part. There are a few in our circle  that we love regardless of their faults and failures, but we love none like God loves us… endless.

Hebrews 7:15-19

Another Priest

15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

Not as the priests of Old Testament times who sacrificed the blood of animals on the altar for the sins of man, only to have to repeat the process again because that atonement didn’t last. But the blood that one drop of would have cleansed the world forever, and yet He was willing to shed it all. Men and their works could not do what Jesus did. We don’t have the power to forget. We have a bucket ability… our limits of forgiveness and tolerance are about a bucketful. We empty it and then have to refill with the grace of Jesus when He reminds us that we too are broken.

Another Commandment

16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Those commandments and laws that the Old Testament priests tried to keep and to preach are not void, they are God’s expectation of holiness, but unattainable in the our sinful state without the redemption of Jesus Christ. I have a hard enough time being good with the Holy Spirit dwelling within me, I cannot imagine having to live making animal sacrifices for my mistakes… there’s not enough critters on the earth.

17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

Another Hope

19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

That bringing of a better hope!! Oh my starts what a thought that is this morning; that for every wave that crashes onto the shore, there is a better hope in Christ Jesus. For every mistake I make, for every time I want to stand accusingly and point my finger at someone for their mistakes, God’s endless supply of grace reminds me that I have no right. He has given me an endless forgiveness. For all the millionth chances God has given me, how can I not give someone else another chance? Praise God I have a hope! That when I mess up I haven’t cut myself off from God, but just as the endless view on the ocean shore, that’s how far God casts my sins.

I hope this morning finds you and I both ready to give someone else another chance…

Eternal Security: Praise God He Has the key

There is much debate of eternal security, and while I’ll not debate it with you, I’m persuaded to share it with you today. Turn me off if you will, it’s okay, we’ll talk to God about it later. I was reminded last night that salvation is in the heart of the believer not in the mind of the conceiver. It doesn’t matter whether or not I think you’re saved, it matters whether or not you are, and that, my friend, is between you and Almighty God.

I only know what I know… Satan is a liar and a loser! If he tells me once a day, he tells me twenty that I’m lost. He’ll discourage me at every turn because I fall to the flesh and am not what I should be, so how is it that I know that I’m so certain I have an eternal home in Glory? Because as Paul wrote to my Brother in Christ Timothy in his letter:

2 Timothy 1:12 King James Version (KJV)

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

It would be a sad reality if I were in charge of my destiny, I can’t even keep track of my car keys! I know that I’m a child of God because He bears witness to my soul, speaking great peace in the hour of struggle, bringing His word into my mind as if it’s on a flip chart in my head… “This is what you need today, Shari….” And it always is! We walk and talk just as sure I do with co-workers and friends, He’s very real. So how do I justify in my head that a blatant sinner is saved?

It’s tough. I’ll not lie in that regards. My only solace is that I know what I did to get saved… I accepted what Christ did so that I could be saved. That’s it. I did nothing, He did it all. I know I’ve sinned since that day of salvation and yet He still loves me. Yes I’m repentant, but I’m still a sinner saved grace though I have no desire to go back into the life style for which He saved me out of. So why do other’s choose to? Because Satan’s good at his job.

Did they really get saved? I don’t want to give a lost soul an easy out by believing the lie that you can say a few magic words and all is right with God. It truly does take a repentant heart; one that has discovered they’re a wretched sinner in need of salvation that only Christ can provide. It takes believing in sincerity that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, that He rose again the third day and is now in Heaven, making intercession on our behalf with God the Father. I don’t claim to know it all, but I know that and that’s all that matters. Creation itself testifies of God the Creator, but knowing that God created the earth, and accepting what He did on the cross is two different things. Creation is beautiful, and while the end result of salvation is beautiful the price our Lord paid was ugly and not to be taken lightly.

So can a man (or woman) that’s lived the last ten years of their life as a drunkard go to Heaven? Did they at some point in their life in all earnestness, even as a child, believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ… if so, then yes? How they got to the drunkard stage knowing what the Lord did for them, I don’t know. But I know this, scripture doesn’t lie…

EVERLASTING LIFE DOESN’T END

John 5:24 (KJV)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

ETERNAL LIFE DOESN’T END

John 10:28 (KJV)

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

EVERLASTING LASTS FOREVER

John 3:16 (KJV)

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.

NOT OF YOURSELF – GRACE ALONE

Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

IN NO WISE CAST OUT – NO, NOT EVER!

John 6:37

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

That my friend is just a few of the verses from the divine, inerrant Word of God that proclaims it is God Who takes man to Heaven, and not we ourselves. If He was great enough to save us, He’s certainly great enough to keep us.

Creation not only testifies of the greatness and vastness of God, for which our finite minds cannot possibly comprehend, but more importantly His Holy Spirit testifies within us that we belong to Him.

You must ask that question of yourself. Do you remember the time He saved your soul? Was there a definite change in your life at that time? If you’ve back slidden, turn around; if you’re unsure turn to Him, but make sure that you know that you know!

Trust Issues

T.R.U.S.T. – Total Reliance on Something Tested

I use my cell phone as an alarm clock, and as it goes off in the wee hours of the morning there are usually message popping up on the screen as well, it’s certainly not uncommon. But an encourager in the faith who occasionally and very randomly messages me awoke me this morning with that acronym, a word of encouragement and scripture from Psalm 44. He didn’t know that I needed it. Only those very close to me knows that I’m facing another time of uncertainty in my life. And Satan, who has been trying very hard to discourage me, has been thwarted at every turn by the Lord. I’m so humbled, because my weak faith certainly doesn’t deserve it.

Over the past few days I’ve been meeting my past. Memories, people, things… and as I walked across the campus of Glenville State College I happen to run upon a previous boss, that I loved, and in my frustration I ask “God why is this happening? Why now, when I need encouragement, am I meeting past failures?” And as sure as my name is Shari, He spoke to my heart and said those weren’t failures, those were provisions. Those were times when you had nothing and I gave you great things. Why do you always depend on yourself?” So I reflected again on the people and the places of my life… and sure enough there it was as He had said. Provision, and not of my own.

Psalm 44

His Work

1-8 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.

His Weapons

For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

His Worship

But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.

In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

His Word

In the scripture, and through the message of another child of God he encourages me to praise Him today, for He alone is faithful. My secular job ends September 30th. In these very uncertain times not having a job can be an issue. I’ve been here before, several times… And each time God did a miraculous work! I’ve been here since the day I told God “no” to full time ministry in 2010. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Me neither.

For those who do not know the story, I did not tell God “no” in disrespectful rebellion (though it was rebellion.) I told Him “no” because I really couldn’t see the “how.” After jobs kept “mysteriously” ending I stopped asking “how” and began asking “when?” I’m still waiting for that answer… rebellion comes with a price.

The First Easter Bucket

John 4:9-14

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

I know we’re a few days past the Easter holiday, but truthfully, if we celebrate Christ in our lives every day we’re celebrating Easter; and this thought came into my mind and my heart yesterday and I needed to share it, as I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it since that time. The story of the woman at the well paints such a marvelous picture of salvation for the child of God. An interesting note about this story is that it’s the longest recorded conversation that Jesus has with any one person. And it happens to be with someone He, twice over, should not be talking to according to Jewish law. One a Samaritan, and two a woman. And yet, the Lord doesn’t stand on the formality of religion but rather He goes for the relationship. I love that about Jesus!

So here He stands (or sits, because He was weary) talking to this woman who came to the well in the hottest portion of the day, most likely to avoid people judging her, and she meets the only One worthy to judge. There’s probably a thousand points in this story, but today I’ll mention three.

  1. The Holey Bucket

The Samaritan woman came to the well prepared to get her own water and head back to the house before any of those judgmental people of her city came around. She’d had four failed relationships and was working on the fifth. She’d been let down so many times before, she knew better than to rely on anyone else to take care of her, she could take care of herself. Or so it is that I think of her. And independent woman. Her attitude with Jesus seemed to be almost sarcastic when she says “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with….” In other words, Mister, You came here without a bucket! How do you plan on getting water?

  1. The Holy Bucket

This is what I love about the Lord, and reading His word. In the Bible according to Shari, the one that plays out in my head when I hear or read the Word of God; the one that sometimes adlibs, I hear Jesus saying… Woman, I am the bucket! I have everything you need to sustain life. You can drink of what this world has to offer for the rest of your days but at the end you’ll die of thirst because you can’t live without me.

  1. The unholy Bucket

And then she realizes there’s something different about this man. He knows her, inside and out. He tells her everything that’s been going on in her life, and yet she doesn’t feel condemned. All the sinful, shameful things she’s been doing, she knows He knows. And she also knows that what He speaks is truth. Nothing in the world has ever satisfied her. She tried everything, and every time it fails. She’s tired of coming to that well ashamed, she want to be clean. She’s tired of carrying that unholy bucket around in her life that has her labeled an unfit woman. So she cast care to the wind and says “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”

I don’t want to come here again.

Woohoo! And Hallelujah, does that story ever put a shout in my soul! If the woman had a name tag, and she doesn’t, it would likely bear our name. She every one of us who comes to Jesus with our unholy bucket trying to cleanse ourselves, and it never works.

But Jesus isn’t at the well any longer, He is the well. Because of the cross of Calvary we now have that Easter Bucket of endless living water that will allow us to live eternally with our Lord, but for now will allow us to live effectually for our Lord. For now we have purpose.

There is so much in this story I can’t possibly do it justice in a blog, but after she finished her business with the Lord at the well, she went back to the city. This time she wasn’t avoiding people she was looking for people unashamedly to tell them what the Lord had done in her life!

So… have you been to the well? If you not… go quickly! If so… tell somebody!!!

The Truth About Friday

good friday

John 18:38-40

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? I stopped when I read those words this morning. What is truth? Truth is what Pilate had standing before him; the only truth I’ve ever known. Even Pilate came to his defense ….I find in him no fault at all…. And yet they continued to insist He be crucified and a robber released. There has to be times in every Christian’s life where you say to yourself, ‘how does this make sense? Could there have been no other way?’ I think of what a great friend Jesus has been to me, how His Spirit has ministered to me in countless ways. He has been my Comforter in the days of sorrow, my Conviction in the days of sin, my Comedic relief when life got too serious, yes, He make me laugh. Again I asked and answered my own question.

The truth about Friday is none of that could have been, had Jesus not fulfilled the plan of God. He went willingly as an innocent lamb to slaughter so that we could have the hope of eternity through His resurrection and experience the Holy Spirit living within us. The truth about Friday is Jesus knew about Sunday. He’d told His disciples about Sunday, but in their fear, sorrow and loss they forgot. I’m not pointing any fingers, sometimes I don’t get it either. Like when I ask “Why?” and then I remember, “Oh yeah, He did that for me.” Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

The truth about Friday is I wish it did not have to be, but I know in my heart there was no other way for me to have forgiveness, there was no other sacrifice worthy except the Lamb of God that would restore the relationship between God and man. Man messed it up with sin, God had to fix it.

The truth about Friday is, I’m responsible for it (and you); our sin caused that whole chain of events to be deemed necessary by God and yet it is good. It is good for us that Jesus was willing to pay the cost so that we don’t have to. It is good that for us Jesus won victory over the grave so that we don’t have to fear it. It is good that regardless of what life hands us, Jesus’ hands let us know that God is ultimately in control of everything and it is good.

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The truth about Friday is it had a purpose… and that purpose was you.

He’s Singin’ Our Song!

Isaiah 49:1-6
The Servants Song – a Holy Week Message

 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.  And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

He’s Singin’ our Song!

When Jesus sings you a song, you really should come to the concert! This is the second of four servant songs in the book of Isaiah. You’ll find the others in 42:1–950:4–1152:13–53:12). It struck a chord in my heart because it’s sung to me specifically. “Listen, O isles” refers to the Gentiles. That’s us! We were called the isles of the gentiles in Genesis 10:5 ~  By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. So here in the book of Isaiah we find God singing us a song of redemption because even then He knew that the Jews, His chosen, would reject Him (Then I said, I have laboured in vain,). How heart wrenching a statement if that were the end of the story. But the end of the story didn’t come until Calvary when He became a light to the Gentiles and His servant’s song is continually sung through the Church that we now serve.

He Saved us to Serve

Here we are in the midst of Holy Week, the week that changed the world forever and I see so many unchanged. I’m even guilty myself. We’re called to be the light of Christ for the world but deed there are times that I don’t feel much brighter than a small candle flame in a dark house. I fail God daily and most churches are far from lighting the path to Calvary, but rather they illuminate the rights of Christians, focusing far more on the fact that our sins are covered than on Whose blood it was that covered our sins. We’ve also forgotten that we’re called to serve.

From the womb Jesus knew He was God, and the purpose for which He was being born was to die in our place. And I fully believe that in the recesses of our minds is our own calling from the time we are conceived. Jeremiah 1:5 (one of my favorite verses) says ~ Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

You can choose to ignore Jesus’ song and His reminder that you’re called to serve, or you can experience the greatest opportunity in life which is to light the pathway for souls to Heaven. Have a blessed week!

You’re Welcome on my earth… but not my island?

island

I’m never more sickened than when I see a Christian (myself included) snarl their nose up at another person in disdain for their behavior, circumstance, opinion or position in life, but I see it so often. We tend to use a person’s station in life to judge whether or not they should be allowed entry into our world. I’m not talking about entry into Heaven; no Christian in their right mind wouldn’t want every soul in Heaven, but many don’t want them in their space down here. Believe me when I say “I get” when people make you uncomfortable for any number of reasons. Their language, their demeanor, their culture, their attitude… it’s a long list! But as children of God it is unacceptable to not accept them; and not just on your earth, but on your island.

In 2 Corinthians Paul was counseling the church of Corinth (in the Bible according to Shari, and we know that’s dangerous) But as I understand there had been a man excommunicated from the church, the reason not known. And I believe that’s because for future reference God wanted you to be able to fit it to your circumstance, so He left the reasoning broad. But none the less many people in the church had punished this man. So much so that he was at risk of being swallowed up in sorrow. So Paul advises them to prove their love to him by forgiving everything he did and giving this man a fresh start at grace.

2:6-11 ~  Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

I dare say that no Christian is immune to falling into the snare of Satan when opposite world’s collide: Sinner/Saint, Rich/Poor, Democrat/Republican, Bold/Meek, Zealot/Passive, I won’t even go in to denominations! It’s not so much forgiveness that I’m talking about as much as it is acceptance. Sometimes we’ll be forgiving but will not be befriending. We want them on earth, but not on our island. At a distance they don’t make us uncomfortable.

When I began to pray and search for a topic this morning the word comfort came into my thoughts because that’s what I personally am in need of. But a trip down that path lead to a fork in the road and then as only God can do it came back to the original path. As if to say “I know you need comfort Shari, but you can’t have it without finding the source of the discomfort and getting rid of it.” So we went off my path to His own and then back to mine, and in so doing I found what I was looking for.

Paul told the Philippian Church in Philippians 2:1-4 ~ If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

There will never be comfort in any body of believers unless there is unity, and not just among a single church, but the entire body of Christ. (Those believing that Jesus is the way the truth the life, and no other).

God’s advice to me… you’ll find not only the comfort you’re searching for, but the answers you’re searching for when you love my people… all of them.

God’s Got this! Satan You’re a Loser

 

My past few days have been spent in frustration with other people and then frustration with me for being frustrated with them, it’s a vicious cycle and one I’m familiar with. As I drove down the road yesterday evening the chatterbox inside my mind was fueling itself; I didn’t have to put in even two cents worth. As quick as one occasion of hurt would roll out of my mind another would roll in to replace it. So that by the time I got home last night I was lower than a snails belly and felt just as slimy. The offences were long gone but their affect was alive and well. I needed a frustration funeral. I needed to put that thing in the grave where Jesus arose from, but why not stew on it a little while longer, lose some sleep and make the most of this pity party, right? If I liked Satan, I recommend him for a pay raise because he’s great at his job.

But it’s dawn. A new day just like a fresh piece of paper in a notebook and I have another story to write in the pages of Shari. I’m actually just adding a foot note. The books been written.

Isaiah 40:27-31 ~ Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Somebody give me a switch, I’ve got some bears to whip!  Does that scripture not just stir your heart up!?

God was asking, they who were in captivity “Did you forget where you came from? Well, just in case you did, I didn’t. I created the earth from nothing… I got this and you’re gonna be okay!”

That was a total Shari quote of God’s word with extreme liberties taken. But that’s how it spoke to me this morning. For some reason I thought God let loose of the earth yesterday, and I’m still a little shaky. There are decisions being made that are out of my control but they’re not out of God’s. Hallelujah. You’ll note I didn’t put a exclamation point after Hallelujah. Just a nice steady, non excited punctuation of a period. Because God may get happy, but He never gets surprised. Scripture says in Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” God has my back, and my front. He’s got me wrapped up in His grace and it’s all good. He does you too! Tell Satan he’s a liar and loser!

Conversations with Satan

I enjoy my long trips to work (provided it’s not on ice) because it allows me to get at least one sermon in as I start my day listening to some of my favorite preacher’s pod casts. But there are occasions that I like to ride in silence. Sometime I pray or converse with God… but before you put me up on some pedestal I’m bound fall off of and break a hip let me tell you what generally happens. I start thinking about life’s circumstances, some good… some bad. And then Satan begin to chime into the conversation.

“So, you thought you nailed that meeting, huh… well you didn’t…. Those same people in your space again, judging you, and you failed… it’s no wonder…you can’t even keep the kitchen clean, and the laundry, what’s up with that? Every other woman can do it, you’re an epic fail…

Okay, whatever Satan. I need to think of something else, he’s got my number on that one… Easter’s coming up. I need a new dress…

Yep, but you don’t need a new size… hahahahah….

Okay bad idea… Teen camp planning. That’s safe. I need to get the curriculum out to the counselors, and get someone to do the activities, gee, I hope Nan will cook….

Let’s discuss last years camp…

And that’s within the first five miles of the trip. Silence is not always golden. Sometimes it’s stainless steel (cold and unbending).

It shouldn’t surprise me that I’m a target, he knows Christ is living in me and nothing brings him greater joy than to mess with Jesus’ house. Although it did not work with Christ when he used the same tactics:

Matthew 4:1-11 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

He waits on those vulnerable moments that are evident. I don’t believe Satan is all knowing, only God has that power, but I believe through he and his crew of fallen angels they can hone in on what they see as breaks in the armor. Be cautious of what you verbalize or make visual, and if there’s a crack in the armor fill it with the Word of God.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Temptations come in all forms and most likely it’s the things we’re looking at. I’m a very expressional person. You can read my feelings on my face including those things I desire. How very easy  I make it for Satan to understand what my heart wants that perhaps I should not have; to buy, do or say something that I should not and put my life or my testimony at risk. And the conversation starts… We need to learn to recognize the temptation and speak the word of God over it.

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Stuff… I’m all about it. And Satan knows it. He knows if he can convince me it’s a justifiable purchase I’m in like flinn, and then once I’m in… he’s the first to jump on the criticizing band wagon and start railing on me for wasting money. There’s no pleasing the guy! Jesus’ focus was back on glory and the fact that only God fulfills the desires of the heart, not things.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him

Satan finally bugged out of that battle field, but he was far from gone. His focus was no longer on tormenting the Son of God personally but using the only thing he could… us. But the good news is we have the same weapons Jesus used, we just need to remember to pull them out of our arsenal. Before you go into the world today, make sure you’re packin’… the Word!