Tag Archives: spirit

The disease of dis ease

I for certain am a work in progress. Especially when it comes to the social graces in life. There are days when I think I have diarrhea of the mouth and I just can’t keep it from running. I know… that’s gross right? Well I warned you about my social graces. But put me in a new or awkward situation and it’s even worse. I want to spill out everything I know in 20 seconds or less. I’ve become increasingly more aware of this lately. Add to that the new health concerns since the heart attack and the times I question… exactly what is that pain? And I’m a mess! So what can I do, other than go to God and say, “Lord, please help.” And for the last few days I’ve heard

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

1 Peter 3:4

That verse does not describe me. Mainly because people see Shari much more than they see the hidden man of the heart, which is Jesus Christ.

The Hidden

Apostle Paul understood the hidden Man when he wrote Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

But the difference between Paul and Shari, is though I too was crucified with Christ upon the day of my salvation; crucifying the flesh is something I have to do again and again. I am not always so willing to allow Christ to have control of the flesh. That’s a personal decision for every one of us to allow Christ to have control. It’s not that we’re not saved, it’s that I’m not obedient. That stings my heart to even say the words, but I know its truth.

The Meek

The most misunderstood personality of them all. More often than not mistaken for weakness. But meekness is the ability not to say what you’re thinking. Not to do what you’d like. Tell me that’s not strength!? Perhaps not for you, but for me it takes great gobs of muscle power of the heart through Christ to pull back the reigns as I lunge toward the fleshly feelings that want to take over.

Meekness is absolute power under perfect control.

In the book of Numbers 12:2-3, Aaron and Miriam were chastised by God for their murmering against Moses. They questioned “Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

Moses would not defend himself, but you can better believe that God defended him and reminded Aaron and Miriam that He spoke to Moses “mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches;” (Vs 8) showing Aaron and Miriam the respect that God had for Moses and his meekness in that His relationship with Moses was far greater than with the two of them.

Would to God I would shut my mouth sometimes and listen as Moses did…

The Quiet

The very thing I long for, but am so unwilling to be. The ever so wise Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4:6 “Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.”

Stuff is not my friend. I want stuff. Lots of stuff. Which causes me travail and vexation of spirit.

Travail is effort. It’s a constant struggle for me to have more stuff. Things that take my focus off of the quietness of God. Not necessarily bad things, just stuff. I’m slowly, ever so slowly learning contentedness in my life. Learning… meaning I have by no means arrived. I perhaps may be barely out of preschool. But I’m learning that God perhaps did not intend for my mansion and my hearts desires to be fulfilled this side of glory. I am learning to be contented with my double wide home in a mansion frame of mind. Grateful for the gifts God has given…

Vexation is frustration and exasperation.  It’s difficult to find quietness in the midst of frustration. Almost impossible. My frustration with the state of affairs of the world and my life particularly vexes my soul and I lose my quiet. This morning my house is quiet. These words came “fairly easy.” But it’s been a week long struggle.

Oh God… that my soul would quiet down and the flesh would be squelched out of existence.

A meek and quiet spirit is to God of great price, because it was great price that He paid to get into the heart of man. God does not want my heart to ache in the manner it does, and not necessarily from heart disease. But more than likely from heart dis ease. Not a typo… I have to wonder how much of my life’s woes comes from not “dis” experiencing the “ease”, comfort of being a child of God.

A good question for myself today. Perhaps for yourself too.

The Signficant Three

I heard it said and fear its true, in that “We’re raising a generation that doesn’t even know the basics” when it comes to Bible. Twenty years ago at the age of 34 I didn’t know beans about the Bible. Even the acronym B.I.B.L.E – Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth, sent me into note taking frenzy. I’d never heard even something so simple. What a concept! Every preaching service I’d sit on the edge of my seat like I was being spoon fed pure sugar from Heaven, and Hallelujah and I’m still the same. The Word of God has never gotten old because as a young Christian I heard the power of the Spirit, the Water and the Blood.

As a product of what was probably the first generation that took the gospel too lightly, the blood wasn’t something my squeamish stomach liked to hear about. It made me very uneasy to hear about the sacrifice of critters and then to hear about the sacrifice of the Son of God was a horror my mind couldn’t fathom, until, through the preaching of the Word, I began to understand that were it not for that sacrifice I would have busted Hell wide open. And I knew that there had been several times in my 34 years where I was inches away from gate. When I came to that realization the preaching of the blood no longer bothered me, but I’d raise my hand and shout Amen with the rest of those crazy Baptists because the Spirit inside of moved me and bore witness that there was a well of Living Water within me and I was seated in Heaven with the Lord Jesus.

But in the modern age of today the blood is being preached on less and less and is being traded for a lukewarm version that no longer allows people to understand there’s more to getting to Heaven than just showing up to church.

Oh… the work is done. But there’s a head and heart knowledge of 1 John 5:8 that must be understood.

The significant three

Spirit

February 18th, 1996. That was the first time I remember feeling the Spirit in such a way that it made my heart well up inside of me to the point I thought it would explode! It missing in many, many services today, because that Spirit is a part of a threefold message. And without the other two, it’s not a complete message.

Water

At least 60% of the adult human body is made up of water and we can’t survive without it. A child of God won’t survive spiritually without the water of the word either. I was taught as a new Christian that if I wanted to grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I needed to read and study the word of God for myself. It was then that I realized it truly was like water; flowing through my body and encouraging me as the world around me did everything within it’s power to discourage me. A few days without it and I would begin to feel my soul drying up and crying out for a drink from the well called “The Word.”

Blood

Medical minded people could give you far more information than I on the purpose of the blood for living, but I will only tell you of the blood that made all the difference! When God sacrificed the first animals to cover the newly discovered naked bodies of Adam and Eve, I can imagine their gut wrenching horror of that act. The act that they, through sin, had made necessary. It was my same reaction when I realized that through my sin, I had caused the very Lamb of God to be sacrificed on the cross as payment for my sin. I can’t watch movies like “The Passion of Christ,” because the images are just more than my heart can bear. Reading it in the Word and having the Spirit bear witness to me is enough to make me understand the blood was applied to my wicked heart and made it white as snow so that I could have a relationship with God.

I’m grateful for the preaching of the Word and that Saints of God took their role of discipling me serious. I pray I never take the significant three for granted, and that I never fail to take the opportunity to instill in this generation the basics of salvation. That is why the world is in the shape that it’s in. The basics have been forsaken for words that appease the flesh. I know that if my heart had not felt the piercing conviction of sin through the preaching of the Spirit, the Water and the Blood, I’d still be headed to Hell.

If you’ve know that word… thank a preacher!

What to Do when the Lines are Blurred

The Christian life is forever a grand adventure. That’s a quote from my friend Chief. He and I have one common ground that forever gets us into trouble. We leap believing a net will appear. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. But it always an adventure. Sometimes those adventures take their toll on me spiritually because the line between living in faith and living in the flesh is sometimes blurred for a personality such as mine. You see, my first action is reaction to any thought. Any. That’s a problem.

God said in Philippians 4:6 ~  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Be careful for nothing means to “not worry.” It doesn’t mean don’t be cautious, which is often how I live my life. In ministering to myself this morning I need to unpack a few scriptures to get myself back into the adventurous living of Christ. The issue is this, if you leap enough times and the net doesn’t appear, the impact is painful.

The impact of broken dreams

I’m a dreamer. Oh my stars am I a dreamer! And if I’m honest being a dreamer is often an escape from reality. But when those dreams lie shattered on the ground because they didn’t come to pass as I thought they would, the impact is often for me to physically and emotionally shutdown. I usually do one of two things. (1) I shut down. Turn off the world and retreat inside my head which can be a very scary place. (2) Make someone else’s dream happen, in a very small sense of the word. Meaning I take on a thousand projects of a thousand people who are readily available to ask me to do something. (3) Quite often my last resort, I turn to the word of God. It’s where faith and flesh collide.

The impact of broken confidence

I’m familiar with failure. It’s a part of the life of someone who lives the “leap and the net will appear” mentality. Failure has never stopped me from trying again. But what will most assuredly shatter my confidence is when my leaping appears to the world as recklessness. And sometimes to me as recklessness. I restore that confidence in remembering the countless miracles that God has done in my life, but even they too were often God rescuing me from a not so very well thought out plan. So thus, it’s a vicious cycle. God however has confidence builders on call, like my best friend and biggest fan, Gloria. Or my friend Jessica, who spurred my spirit on by recalling how I had made a difference for her as she spoke at a ladies meeting Monday night.  And my friend Dewey who calls just to check on me, who consoles my spirit and reminds me quite often that The Jesus Chick needs to stay on the path God designed. Confidence too is where faith and flesh collide.

The impact of broken spirit

Probably the hardest of all is when the flesh wins out over faith and I feel uninspired to go on. It’s when I’ve taken a hit from several directions. It’s not that the Word has let me down or that the encouragers in my life have let me down, it’s when the world has taken its toll and I don’t even have the desire to walk to the edge, never mind jumping off to another adventure. It’s where I’ve been of late.

So how do you fix a broken spirit?

Psalm 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

You offer it to God. Part of being in the ministry is realizing the paycheck doesn’t look like the 9-5 job. There’s usually not a paycheck. The pay is presenting the gifts that God has given you to Him and through Him, and allowing Him to tell you your worth.

Paul (the writer of Philippians) and David (the writer of most of the Psalms) had much in common. Both understood that the power behind the child of God is in prayer, supplication and thanksgiving. It is with an attitude of brokenness and contriteness (remorse) that God can use us. It’s where faith and flesh part.  The flesh wants no part of regret or remorse. The flesh wants no part of being broken. But in that state is where I find my strength to leap again. Because in that state I realize that my dreams, confidence and desires are through Him, and it will be through Him that success will come. And it will.

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:

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The spirit of truth or the spirit of error?

Or to country quote it, “It either is or it ain’t,”

1 John 4:6-7 (KJV)
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

There is much about life that confuses me. Do I or don’t I do this or that? Should I or should I have not said this or that? In reality most of it is common sense. I already have the answer, the question likely should be “do I rebel against God or do I not?” Owch! that’ll slap you in the noggin. But its truth in my world. This is not the direction I wanted to go with this verse this morning.

I wanted to be all pious and write something really deep about this verse on how we that are saved hear, and those that are lost do not. And then God came beside me on the couch and said, “Yes, Shari. That’s true. But what about the saints of God that just plain don’t listen?”

Can you hear Me now?

The Spirit of truth is the fact that God enters the soul upon the second of salvation. Maybe the second before; after all something had to prick the heart to tell you that you needed Christ. And there it stays, just like water on demand! The truth is there in plenteous supply but it is the spirit of error that is often tapped into. I am totally speaking of self, although I may not be alone. I keep trying to undo God’s plan.

There is a story of a farmer and his son who were starting their day when the father ask, “What are you doing today son?” It was actually a trick question. The son replied, “I’m going to the stable to work with the horses.” The father responded, “don’t you mean if its the Lord’s will you’re going to the stable?” The son arrogantly replied, “I’m going to the barn with or without God’s permission.”

The father waited a bit and the went to the barn to check on his son. The son was placing the lead strap on an unbroken horse. As soon as the strap clicked the horse bolted and drug the son out of the stable and down the road. As he was drug past the father ask, “what are you doing son.” The son replied, “I’m going to work with this horse… If its the Lord’s will.”

God will have His way. We can go easily or with a spirit of error we can be drug kicking and screaming. Either way… God wins.