Tag Archives: Wisdom

Mind Your own Business

You can color me guilty. I most always have an opinion. But I thank God for the Holy Spirit that indwells within me and jerks a knot in my knickers when I begin to focus on the life or lifestyle of another person. When I begin to think that I need to do a running commentary. It’s usually just inside my head. It’s sometimes to those close to me. It’s seldom ever, if ever to the person for which I’m forming an opinion. I’m not that brazen, or stupid.

But it’s become quite obvious to me lately that not everyone has the ability to know when to keep their mouth shut. And no, I’m not thinking of anyone in particular. Just many, many, many people in general. It’s an epidemic! And because of social media, the world has a stage.

If you go to “The Jesus Chick” page or my own personal page for “Shari Hardway Johnson”, as well as my twitter feed and Instagram, you’ll note that it’s positive commentary and images. That’s not a holier than thou statement, it’s just truth. I don’t want to be in anyone’s drama, or a discouragement. So my posts are positive. I made that choice, and I’m pretty sure God agrees with me.

Proverbs 5:15

Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

I read that this morning and thought, “there it is. What I’d like to tell every nosy, ne’er do well in the world. Mind your own business!”

Who makes these people judge and jury of the lives of someone else and what skeletons would come crawling out of their closet if the door was open?

Although it is far worse in the political arena, or at least it far more outspoken, it’s just as bad in the church. And I speak collectively, not of any in particular.

I think of an incident many, many years ago in my own church where a young woman with several children had the audacity to come to church without a slip under her dress. Oh my stars! And as she exited the ladies room a ne’er do well woman said to me, “can you believe she forgot her slip.” To which I responded, “With all those kids, I just praise God she gets here on Sunday morning.”

Where on earth was this woman’s mind? And why did she think she had the right to tear down a young mother trying to do the right thing?

Now, that may seem trivial. But a comment like that is what will discourage someone, who’s struggling anyway, to decide to leave the church. And that could be devastating to a family and Hell bound someone because of it.

The longer I travel this road with Jesus, the more I realize the focus of the church is so off kilter.

I personally love pretty clothes. And God has gifted me with several. But I don’t love them because I think they’re holy, I just love girly stuff. God made me that way. I also have a personal conviction that when I go into a church I dress in their common attire. If they’re casual, so am I. If they’re fancy, I try to be a fancy Nancy too and I enjoy it. But I don’t look at anyone who’s not in the common attire and think about their heart toward Christ. Clothes do not make the man. The Spirit of God does. And I’ve known people who looked like ragamuffins that I was in awe with the depth of their relationship with God.

I’ll not tell you that I am above judging. It’s human nature. Or that I don’t have other issues in life. But it’s something that makes me so nauseous because I’ve seen the damage it’s done, especially in the circles I travel of the Independent Baptist realm. Trust me, they’re not all the same. That’s why we’re “independent.” I’d probably be kicked out of some.

My faith is not in the denomination. It’s in God. But I agree with the doctrine of my church and so I’m there and I love my people. Mainly because the vast majority are not judgers. They love all people. Even if their knees are showing. Insert smile here. Even if they’re a girl who wears britches. Or a fella that’s a t-shirt, blue jean, work boot kind of guy. We love them.

So does Jesus. And this morning I think I’m delivering His message when I say. Mind your own business.

Insert smile here.

Enjoy That You Are Wiser

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?

Job 39:13 was one of the many questions the Lord had for Job when it came to helping him to understand that regardless of what the world thought, God’s creation, design and planning was His and His alone. He didn’t need Job’s help in the beginning and He didn’t need it now.

As I read and thought about the magnificence of the peacock this morning and I surveyed my marker and colored pencil collection I was in awe once again at how very much thought God put into the earth and all that’s around us.  And as I considered Job’s “friends” and the arrogance of the fourth and final man, Elihu; who in his youth thought he could “teach Job a thing or two,” it brought to mind the arrogance of today’s modern and liberal thinking lot who think they too can tell God’s people a thing or two.

I want to ask them. Where were you when God gave the feathers to a peacock?

How can a person of any intelligence whatsoever look at creation and not see God? How can you look at the fabric of men inside and out and not see how God’s hand created them. An explosion? Give me a break. How does an explosion create love and how does it speak to the soul the way the Holy Spirit does.

The problem is, they don’t know God and they have no desire to. Because it would take them out of control. Which is so funny, because they’re not in control!

So this brief yet very deep and pondering thought is what I’ll leave you and I both with today. We will no more understand what God’s doing behind the scenes in our lives than we’ll understand how He put those “goodly wings” on the peacock.

But we can be rest assured of one thing. It will be beautiful. And the world will still be filled with idiots who think they know more than God.

Pray for them. And enjoy the fact that you are wiser.

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.

How to Apply the Balm

Why is it that the people of God seemed to be so continually perplexed when it comes to the things of life? Parents have no concept on how to raise their children without the help of books by authors they’ve never met, the school is left to discipline and teach manners of those that don’t even read the help books, and the moral decay of our schools is evident on the evening news. It is for certain a scary world we live in. The adults aren’t any better off than many youth; morality is situational and objective for themselves, but yet they believe it should all means be defined by the law for all others. Police are viewed as the enemy, there is no respect for authority from the White House to the Church house and in the words of a man who once attended our church but fell out to world “We’re in a mess.” So what’s the answer? Before you think this is a blog of discouragement and chastisement, read on.

This is a word that will sooth your soul…

Jeremiah 8:22 says:

Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

Israel’s idea of the law had become subjective and their world was in a mess too. And so Jeremiah, the weeping prophet; who preached repentance to God’s people, had the same questions that I had at the beginning of this blog. I have those questions because I see so much heart ache and pain in every direction. Parents want to be good parents, children want a home filled with love, employers want trustworthy staff, churches want committed members, but it all seems to be unraveling because nobody is asking the right questions.

Where is our healing? Where it’s always been… in the Balm of Gilead. Jesus.

I know, I know, His name is on billboards, social media memes and in every sermon you’ve heard preached, and yet your world is still a mess. I think I know why. Because we’re not applying the balm.

The Acknowledgement

God has been after me for…. Ever… to use my talents in a greater methods. You see, I know I have the abilities… I just don’t apply them. You know your own issues, but when have you actually applied Jesus’ word to it? And what does that look like?

The Accountability

Israel needed to repent. They thought their ways were good enough and God would take care of them, because after all, they were the chosen. Don’t we each feel sometimes that God will cover us, come what may, even if we’re not exactly where we should be? Or is it only me? Repentance doesn’t necessarily mean that we have some massive sin, (although it could). But it could mean that you have a spirit of rebellion by not seeking God’s solution before mans.

I see more and more frustrated parents who seldom if ever darken the door of the Lord’s house with their children and yet they want good kids. Good kids need to know the only One who is good. Jesus. He is the balm that can sooth the heartache in the homes that are filled with disrespect and unruly children.

Another often heard conversation I have is with people who are hurting because friends and family have let them down and left them broken. I see people who have been abused in ways that I can’t even imagine and they have no desire to seek the One who can apply a balm to their heart and soul that will heal that hurt for eternity and love them as they long to be loved. He’s a cry away.

The Application

The Balm of Gilead known as Jesus, isn’t available online or in the store. It’s freely available for the asking. Salvation is immediate upon the request to ask Jesus to come into your life and accepting His work on the cross as payment for your sin. But peace,direction, guidance,  contentment, happiness and a wholesome life is only found in those who continually seek a relationship with Jesus for their home. Now… everyone may not be saved in the home, but the one who is can seek the guidance and wisdom of God, and to the best of their ability, live it. As it’s lived, the healing balm is applied. And sometimes it even gets onto the ones who have rejected the Lord and they too feel it’s soothing effects and desire to know the Lord of all, Jesus

What to do when they don’t understand

meet shari

At the onset of salvation God had me in a place where the word of God took preeminence in the decisions of the church, our conversations, basically life in general. We talked about the Word of God over breakfast, lunch or dinner and when sermons were preached the message was very, very personal to me. Sometimes too personal. It was as if someone had whispered in that preacher’s ear the very words I needed to hear. Over time I learned that it was spiritual discernment and that God had not actually told the preacher my sins in detail but that God would lay a message upon his heart that was needful in my life for that place in time. There were occasions that I also allowed the flesh to read more into it than necessary. God’s pretty basic with His conversations. Now, He could be far more intellectual than the brightest of men, after all He created conversation. But usually God speaks to the souls of men in a manner befitting a kindergartner. You cannot say that you do not understand what He meant. He broke it down. You can ignore it, but you can’t un-hear it.

God still works like that with me. The word of God takes preeminence in my life be it in the spoken, written or sung word. There’s a message for my soul specifically. I look for it and I long for it because I need to feel the presence of God in my life.  When I miss it, it frustrates me. So this morning I set out to determine a circumstance in my life that has me more than a little frustrated. And as always, God is faithful.

At this time in my life, I’m feeling very misunderstood. And for a person who wears her heart on her sleeve and communicates through the spoken and written word, being misunderstood hurts my heart. Because I feel that I am an oracle of God. (1 Peter 4:11)

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

So I determined in myself this morning to get to the bottom of this with God, and so I awoke and began to search scripture for what God’s message to me would be concerning the matter at hand. By that search I ended up in the book of Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon, the wisest of all men, and who certainly had his share of life illustrations.

Because I’m of a passionate nature when it comes to personal and spiritual matters, frustration can run a close second to anger. I can get in the flesh and allow Satan to fill my mind full of notions that have no bearing in truth, but they sound good. Notions in respect to opinions. So I want to get anger out of the way first and foremost and so I landed on Ecclesiastes 7:9

Be Not Hasty

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

And so I stopped there. Obviously that was it. I just need to stop jumping to conclusions. Perhaps I was reading more into the situation than was there. And as I was about to shut the book on it, I heard God say… “I’m not through, keep reading.” I think God likes a three point sermon too. And so I continued on.

Be not High-minded

I don’t know what would ever give me the idea that I’ve arrived when it comes to understanding God’s ways, but for some reason I always think that I should. I’m just silly enough to think that God and I are so tight that He’ll let me in on what He’s doing in life, mine and everyone else’s. I know… that’s ridiculous. But in reality I’m clueless. And its why I turn to His word, looking for the “in” that lets me be in the “know” with God. So I continued to read.

10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.

God’s so funny. I had been focusing a lot recently on what I considered to be better days. And God reminded me it’s not good to rest on my laurels. Yes, those were amazing times, but wouldn’t it be sad if that was it. God still has so much more to do, and though wisdom from the past is a great inheritance to have, there’s profit in looking to the future. That’s a good word for anyone!

And so I thought I’d better continue to see what else God had to say to me this morning concerning the hurt in my heart.

Be Not Heavy Hearted

21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:

22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

23 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

And there it was. My conclusion to God’s three point sermon to me this morning. It only matters what God thinks. All the words that are spoken about me or to me are of naught, if God’s blessing isn’t on them. People hurt people. That’s life. Mine and everyone else’s.

So Praise God! I will continue being the “me” God created me to be. If King Solomon the wisest of all couldn’t figure out men, I’d be pretty foolish to think that I could. And though I’m no one in the eyes of the world, in God’s world I was appreciated enough to die for. That’s a reason to shout, and to praise and think outside the box that the world loves to put God in. Amen? I think so. Amen!

While Seeking the Wisdom of God

woman of wisdom

Wisdom. Oh, I desire it… and then I don’t. Sometimes there’s something to be said about the simple ways of folks like me who just want to live out the Word of God and leave the brains to doctors and lawyers and such. Simple people have simple ways as an old friend of mine use to say. And while that’s true; the wisdom of God is not to be ignored. It’s not the same as the wisdom of man… although some men/women think they’ve got the wisdom of God. But the wisdom of God is far deeper and more exhaustive than mortal man can explore, which is what makes it a worthy pursuit! Even for simple folks like me.

Text: PROVERBS 4:7-13

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Wisdom is the principal thing! As a child we need wisdom to understand that a stove is hot and mittens protect our fingers from the cold, else we’ll be burnt or frost bitten. But it’s not knowledge that we’re born with, it’s learned via instruction or unfortunate deduction. I’ve lived by both, the latter was my greater teacher. So when I came across this verse this morning while scoping out other bible journaling artists, it pricked my heart. “You should be living wiser,” I heard the Holy Spirit say. “Life will be better… living by the seat of your pants is not always faith, sometimes it’s stupidity, it’s a fine line for you… walk carefully.”

“True story,” I thought.

And so I set out to find the woman of wisdom that God desires me to be. And for a little while I set to draw the woman of wisdom with a crown of glory and an ornament of grace. She’s pretty… and so far from where I feel that I am today.

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

I want that crown and that bling of grace… and so I search for her. I believe the woman of wisdom is far more complex than I could define in one blog, so for brevity for you and I, and to give us something to chew on today I’ve narrowed it to a three point outline in our search today:

Pure Wisdom

A woman of God should desire the wisdom of God, not man. James 3:17 says But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

The wisdom of God is first pure, untainted by the wisdom of men. Look at what “pure” wisdom seeks: peace, gentleness, good fruit, no partiality or hypocrisy. For certain it’s not of man! How much sweeter our day will be when we seek that pure wisdom of God when our time is requested, our temper is short, and out tasks are many! Sweeter than ® Nestle Toll House cookies I just took from the oven! Much sweeter…. I burnt them!

Plentiful Wisdom

James 1:5 tells us that If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

There is no shortage of wisdom, but merely a shortage of conversation. We have not because we ask not. Time is a precious commodity, I’m pretty sure we’d all agree. How much of it do we waste because we neglect to begin each day with the wisdom of God.

Before I had sat my feet on the floor this morning, Satan had entered my bedroom and my mind and there was a spirit of fear and frustration that ran through my joints and marrow that caused my body to groan and crawl back beneath the warmth of the covers and away from the reality of the world. That’s not wise living, that’s defeated living and it is us living far beneath our means because God has an abundant supply of wisdom for the frustrations of life, no matter how bad!

My third and final though for the day in the wisdom that a woman of God should seek out is

Prudent Wisdom

Ephesians 1:8 – Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

God has thrived and prospered toward us if we in prudence (caution) seek His wisdom. Satan is the great deceiver and imitator. It makes his day to fool a child of God by creating a spirit of confusion when it comes to the decisions of life, ruining the fruitful life that God has planned. This is where Satan has won many small victories in my life. Shiny things and fun times catch my attention and oftentimes draw me away from God’s planned strategies of life. I long for a career in this mission field called life. And I earnestly want God’s design for that, but my attention span is so short, and my eye so easily drawn away because I don’t proceed with caution.

Remember that conversation with the Holy Spirit this morning.

-living by the seat of your pants is not always faith, sometimes it’s stupidity, it’s a fine line for you… walk carefully.”

God knew how this blog would end. I did not. But it certainly came full circle didn’t it? Proceed with caution friends! Seek the pure wisdom of God, it is plentiful!

Find me on Facebook!!!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Tis the Season of What?

CHICK SEASON

It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that there is only 15 days until Christmas. A day in the city yesterday left my heart a little broken as I ran to and fro from store to store, plopped the next package in the car, ticked my list, put the car in gear and went to the next destination. It was almost like washing your hair… lather, rinse, repeat. I vaguely remember hearing a few carols in the stores, and when I did catch an honest to goodness carol of Christ, my heart would pitter pat and I would say, “Ahhhh, there’s Christmas…” then back to the list.

“Tis the season of what?” I asked myself this morning. In the glow of the Christmas tree I long to slow down and ponder the season. I am not as wise as Solomon who impressed God with his request for wisdom. God shakes His head at me on a regular basis, I’m pretty sure. If God, the Creator of all, came to me and said “Shari, ask what you will and I’ll grant it.” I would likely respond “Oh Father God, a cute pair of boots would do me fine!” And God would shake His head, and say to Solomon, “This is why she’s not in charge of her life.”

My Attention Deficit Disorder kicked in and my mind just went to the boot store… true story.

The season of what, Lord?

Ecclesiastes 3

The Season of Purpose

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

It’s impossible for me to understand the purpose of hurting people. My Wednesday night youth group is filled with children who are in the midst of a “purpose” that causes me to want to beat people. This season of their life is something I never experienced as a child, and so it is that they’re in my world and God has made it my purpose to help them find theirs… even in some very icky situations. Every Season has a purpose and sometimes I am that purpose…

The Season of Preparation

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Even though we were prepared in the loss of my Mother-in-law this week, we still weren’t ready. We knew the day would come as it will to all of us, but the sudden realization that that person will no longer be with us, especially in such joyful times as Christmas is heartbreaking. But God did not allow death as a sorrow that could not be soothed for His children. A prepared heart, who has known Christ and gone to be with Him in Glory leaves behind a reminder that they are gone but just a little while, and that we need to prepare too, so that we’ll never suffer that separation again.

The Season of Pruning

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

God is clear that there are somethings that need not be in the lives of a child of God. Those things that tear us down, that loosen the foundations beneath our feet and cause us to fall need to go.  Pruning may kill a portion of a tree but the growth that occurs afterward leaves a healthier foundation. This may be a season of  pruning. I need to check my branches…

The Season of Propitiation

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

The purpose behind tears are not always clear. We cry when we laugh and when we mourn, when we’re   touched and when we’re angry. But they’re a soothing process in that it alerts others that something needs to be shared. Sorrow or celebration… friends help on both counts. Show yourself friendly…

The Season of Principles

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

If ever there is a time where Christian principles need to stand like stone pillars in society it’s now. Everyone waivers for every reason and give it no thought. The Word of God doesn’t waiver, nor should His people. Stand strong…

The Season of Privilege

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

We’re a blessed generation. We ignore scriptures that remind us that we’re to take care of the widows and orphans, we give to those we know, but to a stranger it will be conditional. Giving to the Salvation Army at the entrance of a store is relatively easy, stopping in traffic to hail down the man with the cardboard sign will have us asking “How far out of my way will it require me to go?” I throw so much food away at my house it’s ridiculous without ever asking, “Who could I share this meal with.” We’re too privileged… I’m too privileged…

The Season of Proclamation

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

There’s a time to sow… and there’s a time to hold your seed packet and let God do a little work to prepare the ground before we open our mouth. I pray this season I’m mindful to say what  God would have me say and that I’d be aware when  to say nothing. God, guard my tongue…

The Season of Peace

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

We’ll not see peace on earth until Jesus returns… that’s Bible. But we have Peace through Jesus Christ who gives it to all men liberally for the asking. We need to share that peace this Season…

What’s your season like? Mine’s a little more focused on God this morning thanks to Solomon’s Wisdom.

CLICK BELOW TO FOLLOW OR MESSAGE ME ON FACEBOOK

chick encourage 2

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

From Fear to Faith with Apostle Paul

chick scaredy pants

Faith… We study it, share it, preach it and proclaim it over the hurdles we must jump, but every new predicament in life brings us back to the beginning of striving again to obtain that mustard seed of faith that will bring us through. After almost twenty years of salvation, one would think that I have would have obtained great faith… after all, I’m the Jesus Chick right? And yet it takes so little to get my knees knocking and heart trembling. But as He always does, God shows me that I’m in the good company of Apostle Paul who boldly preached in the face of death, yet he had his knee knocking moments as well. So this morning I’m looking to shore up my faith in the Word of God. If you’re needing a prop or two in your life I hope you’ll come along with me as I unpack  1 Corinthians 2:1-5

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Mr. & Mrs. Smarty Pants

I am forever trying to plot out life in my own wisdom. In comparison to the wisdom of Paul I would still be in pre-school, and yet the Apostle Paul said that he was determined to know nothing but Christ. Regardless of the level of your intelligence, the letters behind your name or in front of your name, if you seek to know anything outside of the wisdom and will of God you’re in trouble. The first step to living in faith is stop thinking on your own and remember the price that God paid for you.

If God. The Creator and Knower of all designed you and your life, and then sent His Son to the cross of Calvary to pay for your life, will He not continue to care for it and put everything in your path to take you where He wants you to go. You and I are precious commodities in the Kingdom of God. We are the vessels that He pours Himself into and then places people and events in our path to bring glory to His Kingdom. Sometimes the paths are hard, but how much easier would it be if we just rode the wave rather than constantly fighting the current of the high waters about our neck. God’s got this.

Scaredy Pants

But I’m afraid! Paul was too! He said he was weak, afraid and trembling. That sounds pretty serious to me. Now granted… Paul was facing people who wanted him dead… What you and I usually face is far less, but God understands our fear. Paul, a learned scholar, didn’t rely on the wisdom that he had acquired through men, but allowed the Spirit of God to take over his faculties and bring the message to the people.

It’s hard to let loose of fear, because actually it’s the other way around, fear has a hold on us.  What bothers me this morning was lying in bed beside of me. (No, it wasn’t David) It was this ever present feeling of uncertainty. It was on my mind when I laid down and occupied my pillow throughout the night. So this morning I allowed God to lay hands on it. I don’t have that power! It is only through the Holy Spirit that I can be brave for today.

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

If we are to stand in faith we cannot stand in the wisdom of man, because man just doesn’t get it. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen ~ Hebrews 11:1

Quick Wit and Slow Ears

quick wit slow ears

I do not know exactly how God placed the Holy Spirit within my heart,  I only know that one day I was feeling hopeless and alone and the next day I found myself sitting in a church that I didn’t want to be in, listening to a preacher I didn’t want to hear, and obeying a whisper from without that would soon be within. And almost 19 years later that whisper still resonates in my soul, bringing a joy that I never thought possible. If you too are saved then you “get” what I just said, if you are not saved (meaning you’ve never accepted what Jesus Christ did for you) then you think I’m a babbling idiot; and that’s okay. Read on either way!

John 6:63-64

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Funny thing about God, none of us fool Him.

Quick Wit

When the Holy Spirit quickeneth a soul, He brings to life that which was dead. That which we didn’t even realize was dead. Nobody threw a funeral, it was just born that way. As we grow up we begin knowing right from wrong and there are conscious decisions being made every day. Do I tell my parents that I broke it, or do I sweep it up and throw it in the trash, hoping they’re none the wiser? Do I study, or cheat?  Do I drive fast or like I’ve got some sense? Those are decisions made with the conscience, it knows what’s right. And so do we, but we have the will to choose what’s wrong. This for me is the part of the evolution theory that has me asking those who believe it “How can you be so smart, and yet be so dumb?” How can a “bang” create a conscience, love, passion, desire, etc. etc. etc.? A bang cannot. Only God can. We are born with quick wit. A toddler knows when Mommy and Daddy say no, they shouldn’t do it again… but they have to try.

The first Non-Profit

The flesh profiteth nothing, meaning it’s no better for having made a right decision; for tomorrow it might make a wrong one if it thinks that it’s more advantageous to do so. It gains nothing in Heaven by having made the right decision, although it may gain in the world because of it. We grow up thinking that the riches of this world are the prize, only to discover that rich or poor, heartache is the same and there is a missing piece of our heart that is never satisfied with the world.

The Life of the Party!

We’d like to live life in the party zone where everything is happy and care free but life happens. We have misfortune, we lose people we love, we’re angry, sad, broken and distraught a great many days, but there can be a party in your soul even in the midst of those times if you have the Holy Spirit within you.

John wrote “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.”

Whether or not you believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, I believe that the Holy Spirit is speaking to you right now either from within your soul if you believe, or from without if you do not. I believe that because the Lord led me to this passage this morning and said write, and His work never goes unfinished.

In 1996 He spoke to my soul and said… “You need saved or you’re going to Hell.” This morning He speaks to my soul and says write, it’s time to share the party! Life is only complete with Jesus Christ. If you have Him, perhaps you’re like me and you’re not allowing Him to work in your life to His full potential. He has so much in store for us if we’d only spend more time listening and less time “doing.” He gave me quick wit… I have slow ears. What’s He’s telling you today?

Wisdom for the Weary

Psalm 1…

Six small verses, yet a lifetime of wisdom if we’d only take heed. Needing to hear the wisdom of God myself, below is a running commentary of my thoughts on Psalm 1.

HOW TO PICK A FRIEND

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,

COUNSEL OF THE UNGODLY – Those who are anti God, who do not think in the spiritual sense about the earthly sense. I’m flabbergasted that Christians think it’s strange that I put a spiritual spin on everything in my life… please take note that I’m not saying I’m sin free or guilt free in life; that would be far, far from the truth. I’m a sinner saved by grace; but I cannot separate my spiritual walk from my secular walk. So… should I seek counsel, I’m not going to go to those who do. I want the opinion of someone who’s in touch with God on the events in their life as well.

 nor standeth in the way of sinners,

SINNERS – Blatant disregard for the commandments of God. We are all sinners saved by grace, but there are those who fail to acknowledge any responsibility for living scripturally and to “hang out” with them is asking for trouble in your own spiritual walk. The old adage “Show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are, or who you soon shall be,” speaks volumes of truth.

nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

SCORNFUL – Disrespectful, discouraging, mocking people who spend more time tearing you down than building you up. I absolutely refuse to spend time with people who leave me feeling as though I’ve been pummeled beneath the hooves of a horse but it’s not to say I’m not exposed to them. I just don’t “sit” and have a lengthy conversation with them.

HOW TO PLAN A PARTY!

But his delight is in the law of the Lord;

THE LAW – the Word of God. If you want to start and end your day rejoicing tune your mind in to the Word of God all day and by day’s end you’ll have joy in your soul! It’s soothes your soul like drinking an ice cold water on the hottest day of the year. I and promise because the Word of God promises that it is the Word of life.

Philippians 2:16

Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

 and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

MEDITATE – to ponder and reflect, to take the Word of God and chew on it until all the flavors gone, only to discover that Willy Wonka’s gobstopper had nothing on the Word of God, it never runs out of flavor!

HOW TO PLOT A JOURNEY

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Don’t move. Sounds simple enough, but not really logical if you think of it in the literal sense. But if you think about it in the spiritual sense its truth. No matter where you go in life, get there and plant yourself deeply in the Word of God, seeking for the Wisdom of God and the Will of God, and He’ll take care of the rest.

THE PLIGHT OF ALL OTHERS.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The sad truth is, all who do not seek God and His ways will perish in the end. It’s our job to PACK A PUNCH for the Kingdom of God by living a life that all may see evidence of God and His plan.