Friday, July 17, 2015

WRESTLING TO RECEIVE


If you want to move the heart of person, speak the Word of God.  Nothing will transform, heal, or bring truth to change the situation expect the power of God’s Word.  It’s truly what changed my life!  God’s Word is the richest treasure I possess, it’s filled my heart with life.  Yet, I also hold another book dear to my heart, it’s my purple journal.  Why is this journal so important to me?  It holds every prophetic promise ever spoken over my life and Scriptures during my prayer time with God.  Its truth for my life or precious reminders when I am wrestling with believing them.  During my difficult moments of doubt, trials, or when the enemy tempts me to quit I will read those precious words to encourage myself in the Lord.  We must understand our life is a journey but the promises of God will keep us on the right path.

As I have been waiting for God’s promise to come, God has been preparing me to receive it.  It’s a Scriptural principle displayed in the life of anyone who you study in Scripture.  Inside her womb Rebekah was very uncomfortable and she inquired of the Lord about it.  When she inquired of the Lord, He spoke a prophetic word about the twins inside her womb. (Genesis 25:23)  Instead of trusting God to bring the prophetic promise into Jacob’s life, Rebekah deceived her husband and taught her son to do the same.  As a result of their unwillingness to trust God, it destroyed their family.  Esau lost not only his birthright but his blessing through Jacob’s deception.  As a result Esau wanted to kill Jacob for his deception, so he had to flee.  Fleeing from your sins will lead you to a place of isolation from family, friends, and into the desert.  Yet, what’s so remarkable God is greater than the desert we enter.  God spoke to Jacob in a dream about his life.  (Genesis 28:10-15)  God will give us dreams and visions to follow, so we run after Him. 
 
Nevertheless, God’s transforming us through the process so the dream turns into a reality. 

Before our weekly Bible study my husband and I were sharing with our pastor about a house we wanted to buy.  We couldn’t wait to place our offer on it but it wouldn’t be until the following day.  As our Bible class got started, I was trying to find a passage of Scripture on my phone to share, I forgot my Bible.  So, I went into the sanctuary to get a Bible, so I could read it.  As I was walking back into the class, I found a dollar bill inside.  My facial expression looked confusing to my husband but he didn't inquire.  So, I walked over to my pastor, I slid the dollar near his hand.  I wasn’t focused on the dollar bill but the Word.  When pastor looked at it he said, “Tina, this if for you!”  Read what’s on the dollar bill.  It read, “You have been blessed.”  At that moment my heart was rejoicing!  God’s promise was upon me!  Nevertheless, it hasn’t been an easy journey to get to the blessing but it’s been worth it.

Jacob had to learn how to handle the blessings before he could inherit the promise.  It was a journey started with an encounter with God at Bethel, training under his father-in-law, and eventually lead to his promised destination.  Jacob’s promised destination was his homeland.  God’s always on the road to bring reconciliation to our life’s but we have to confront "our Esau." Oh, we don’t want to confront Esau!  It’s a reminder of who we deceived, hurt, and painful memories of the past.  Keep in mind several years have passed, Esau and Jacob have married and have children.  Yet, Rebekah never called back for Jacob, it was God who led him back. 

It’s not always easy to close the door of our past but we must if we want to enter the future.  Jacob’s fear brought him to his knees; Esau was coming with an army of men.  So, Jacob prepares for the worst, he divides his flocks, herds, camels, and his family.  If we truly want the blessings of God, we must understand an important fact-they come with a price.  Are you willing to pay the price for the blessing?  What if God asks you to make amends with your family?  Or work for your father-in-law’s business?  If we want the blessings of God, we have to walk where God instructs us.  Or are we really willing to to wrestle in prayer for a night?  Jacob wanted God’s protection, promise, and provision for his family but he had to be changed to receive it.  Read Jacob’s prayer in Genesis 32:9-12. 

Humility causes us to realize we don't have the power to change the circumstances, we have to seek the Lord.  If our circumstances cause us to fall upon our knees; we are in position for victory.  
Jacob went to a place called Jabbok (which means wrestle) to be alone in the dark.  So, what's causing darkness to enter your life?  Do you feel alone in this dark hour?  When the night is cold, dark, and tiresome it's time to wrestle with God!  Each day is filled with new opportunity, to grow deeper in our relationship with God, and to receive God's blessing but we have to be in position.
  

All of Jacob's thoughts were worrisome, coming to face his mistakes, and the responsibility of protecting of his family weighted heavy upon him.  He sent his family and possessions ahead of him, he wanted to be alone.  He was trying to make plans without consulting God's will or remembering what God promised.  Being alone with God is so vital; he learn how to wrestle in prayer until he touched God.  So, many questions, so many doubts, and burdens would be lifted if we learned to seek God until peace is found.  It seems we no longer what to pray through; we just what a "bless you."   If we truly want to be blessed or favored of God, we must be changed.  Our heart must be so hungry for God we will wrestle until daybreak.  Light comes only when we receive the light! 

Yet, it's at daybreak, we realize God was always present!  He was with us during our darkest night!  He didn't leave our side, He was so close.  Although our desperation caused us to fall upon our knees; we arise walking in blessing for touching Him.  Jacob's identity was change; he had a new name-Israel which means "triumphant with God."  Dreams are God's handiwork to drive us to hunger for His will but the greatest change is our heart.  It's only when we allow God to change our lives, our enemies can't touch us.  No matter if the past is brought up, it doesn't define who I am.  Nevertheless, the true change of my life will be evident when we met, our enemies will see our blessings.  How do we know Jacob was really changed?  Jacob’s hands wanted to give a blessing to his brother, he returned what he stole. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

Burnt walls, families destroyed, and nothing left of your heritage-a choice has to be made. Yet, what do we do when we hear the news?  Do we turn away?  Or does it touch our heart within?  Does it cause our faith to act?  Nehemiah had a decision to make: either to continue to living in the comfort of the palace or help his brothers and sisters.  Nevertheless, he was broken over what was happening to his people, his homeland.  Can you image your heritage being destroyed?  The temple is destroyed where he worshiped, the flag wasn’t waving, the king was captured, and family and friends are gone.  Only memories, his faith in God, and his heritage could fuel his mission but it started in his brokenness.




Only in brokenness can God move the heart to bring change, vision, and courage.

Nehemiah didn’t blame anyone or attack anyone, he went before the throne of God.  It wasn’t just a small devotional time, he sought God day and night for a period of four months.  Besides praying for an extensive period of time, Nehemiah couldn’t adequately perform his occupation-a cup bearer.  When the king questioned saw his countenance, he knew it was from sadness of heart. (Nehemiah 2:2)  We can either blame each other or we can build again.  We are standing upon a crossroad upon this nation; one that’s quiet overwhelming.  Sin is very powerful; it has the ability to destroy lives and nations.  Choices always have a consequence, there is no escape.  The day of the Lord is coming!  It will be as thief in the night! (2 Peter 3:10)  No one can escape this day, no one.  If the recent events didn’t make this clear, we are either blind or asleep. 




As I read the recent ruling of the Supreme Court, my heart was just completely shattered.  No words.  I just quietly meditated, prayed, and keep waiting for the Spirit to speak.  As I started praying God keep reminding me of the word “remnant” or stories in Scripture where one or a small group of believers made a difference.  When Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed only three believers were left, Lot and his two daughters. (Genesis 19:16-26)  Jesus trained and taught twelve men who would transform the world for the Gospel. (Matthew 10:12)  Esther was only a voice to go before the throne to stand for her people but she had the courage to do right.  (Esther 8:1-4)


"Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, "Do not imagine that you in the king's palace can escape any more than all the Jews.   "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" Esther 4:13-14


As I have been thinking about the different stories in Scripture, I can't help but realize two important truths: our decisions lead us to this horrible state and we desperately need God, an awakening!  As children of God we have been enjoying the king’s palace but we are neglecting our heritage.  We are neglecting our responsibility to our brothers and sisters, we are silent.  Silence is the most destructive force; it allows darkness to keep talking.  Darkness will keep talking until a light shines; it only needs one.  So, are we going to be the one light? 


God placed us upon this earth for such a time as this; to be a voice.

If we never stand up for truth; we will never see change.  Esther didn't miss out on the opportunity to deliver her people; she fasted and prayed before going to the king. Yet, the king granted to her entrance to hear her voice.  Being a light is important; it’s commanded by Christ. (Matthew 5:14)  We are to be the light of the world.  So, continue to love God, read the Word, pray, and live a godly life before man.  Wickedness and sin will be upon this earth until the end but it doesn’t mean I have to partake of it.  Nevertheless, regardless of what sin we discuss; it’s still sin that separates us from a relationship with God.  If we don’t preach the Gospel, someone could miss their opportunity for eternity.  It’s a very sobering thought but its truth.  Sin has an eternal consequence-death regardless of which one is discussed.  However Jesus paid with his life upon Calvary to remove the power and curse of sin for everyone.  Sadly, everyone will not accept this truth or the salvation but everyone does deserve the opportunity to hear the truth-Jesus paid for it.


So, where do we go from here?  What do we do as Christians?  If we never take a stand; we will never leave a mark. It's not time to shrink back in fear; it's time to be bold.  The disciples once spoke and the people were astonished at their words. What made their words so powerful? Being with Jesus! The people recognized who they represented, who taught them, and who they were devoted too.  We are here to be the church at this hour, God makes no mistakes.  Yet, my hearts cry is for the church to be awake from undisturbed sleep!  It’s time to be serious about our relationship with God, our responsibility for the great commission, and living a holy life so God’s love can draw others.  We can’t compromise now, we are here for such a time as this.



Awaken my Love by Tina Wetor    

Upon the earth he lurks to devour,
Any heart who will give him power.
Quietly he searches through the night,
Without a reflection of the light.
Love of destruction craves upon his eyes
Capturing the hopeless with his lies.
Sweet, seductive, empty lies to the broken;
Since the Truth isn’t spoken.
Open mouths of the grave await his mission.
Death will reveal his secret vision,
To torture the lives of the lost.
He doesn’t care what the cost.
Awake my love to reveal my light
It’s time to shine so bright.
Darkness desire to invade this hour,
Only my love can break its power.
Darkness has only one limitation,
Its powers fall when the Truth is spoken.
Abide in me, so my words abide in you;
Speak with boldness and love so true.
Only the Lord can turn darkness into light.
He is the only weapon to break the night.
Upon the hill, His love shown so bright
To reveal the deeds of the night.
As darkness lurks upon the streets,
The church nestles peaceful in an undisturbed sleep.
As the Father of Light beckons the call,
Arousing the love of church to hear the call.
Awaken my love, it’s time to shine.
Awaken my love, there isn’t much time.
Although the light is a dim flickering; I will burn deep
Hear my pleading, awaken my love from undisturbed sleep.
A smoldering wick, I will not snuff out
It’s time to let the light shine about
Darkness is coming; he is coming to your gate
Awaken love before it’s too late





Wednesday, April 8, 2015

SIFTED SAINTS


When we choose to follow the voice of God; it will not come without resistance.  Challenges, temptations, or circumstances will come to either destroy our vision or sharpen us to complete it.  So, what’s the promise God’s given you?  It’s important to write it down, memorize it, but it’s most valued when we believe it.  Satan’s going to try everything possible to sift you as wheat but Jesus is praying for you. 
It’s comforting to hear those words from others, “I am praying for you!”  It brings comfort, care, and reassurance.  Nevertheless, people may forget to lift me in prayer but Jesus NEVER will.  It’s a truly comforting truth of Scripture, Jesus prays for me.  "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25.  Right now upon the mercy seat, He intercede on our behalf.  Although the enemy is trying to make sure our faith falters or fails; it can’t because Jesus is praying.  Jesus has faced our fears, faced our struggles, and faced our enemy!  So, He knows what it’s going to take to endure-prayer! 
 
 
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31
 
Without prayer; we have no strength!  Without prayer; we have no power!  Without prayer; we are defeated!  Yet, the promise of Jesus is I have prayed for you!  Jesus knew the test of Simon before it occurred; He told him.  So, Jesus isn’t worried, confused, or scratching His head about your situation.  Jesus is already aware of Satan’s tactic in your life, so rest in knowing Jesus is watching with a careful eye.  As the old song says, “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.” 
If your faith is never tried, you will never have a testimony to declare or a song to sing.  Faith isn’t made for the weak of heart; it’s what makes a true heart of a believer.  Mouth of lions can’t be closed if we never stood in the den.  Stepping out of the furnace can’t be true unless we been through the fire.  Your faith isn’t going to burn out; it’s going to be used to pour out the greatest worship song!  What’s the promise God has given you?  Go back to the day!  Stand firm in knowing God’s Word will NEVER come back empty; it can only accomplish what He desires. It will not be voided or changed. 

“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” "For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:11-12

Trials and test come to mature us, to bear good fruit, and show we belong to Christ.  We are not greater than Our Master, so we will suffer for loving Him.   Nevertheless, the most important line of communication must be with the Father, we can’t stop praying! Jesus didn't stop praying even before He was to be arrested in Gethsemane.  Sadly, He called for the prayers of His followers who were sleeping.  However, if no words come don't be alarmed.  God hears the most sincere prayers even if no words are spoken. We don't have to use words; tears are an expression from the heart. Jesus wept, felt forsaken, and asked for this cup to pass; He was human just like us. Yet, the most important truth: Jesus expressed it all to the Father.  Sifted saints can testify of the power of God, the presence of God, and the promises of God.  It’s not just for reminiscing it’s for declaring to the body.  Why is the book of Psalms so dear to the heart of believers?  It's a collection of praises of a person who has sang our song!  Psalms actually means "a melody of praise" in the Hebrew.  So, pick a Psalm!  Declare the praises of God again!  If you can't pray it through; sing it through! 

As Jesus speaks to Simon beforehand about the trial of Simon he is about to face, He knew the outcome.  May it comfort your heart; Jesus already knows the outcome of your trial!  So, when you come out on the other side share it with others.  Testimonies are useless without a story to tell.  So, what’s your story?  Can you recall a time of God’s deliverance in your past?  Well, the story is still continuing! So, don’t get hooked on the back pages, keep turning the pages, God’s still writing!  It’s going to have moments of suspense, moments of failure, but always moments of triumph! 

 

 

 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

OUR PAST CAN'T BE FOUND

The past can’t be found unless we go digging it up or the enemy may speak about it during our moments of failure.  Although we learned valuable lessons or we had to re-learn again, grace awaited us.  Grace never gave up!  Sometimes we look at the past or our present weakness and wonder, “Am I really important?”  “Do I really matter to anyone?” Condemnation makes us feel that we messed up too much for God to give us a second chance, GOD'S LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL! His love is constant, true, and always open to a heart who wants to change.  Grace invites to come to the throne of grace!  It actually calls us to RUN!  So, run!  Our mistakes blind our eyes from seeing our potential or value in this world.  Besides being blind, we are deaf to the truth.  We come to Christ so blinded by sin, bruised from hurt, and covered in filth.  It's only when we come to Christ; we really see!  It’s only when we are hidden in Christ; our potential will flourish. 

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God ~ Colossians 3:3

It’s only when we allow Christ to change our life; our past can’t speak against us.  Our past holds us back because we see the “old man” or remember our evil deeds.  So, if we truly believe what the Word of God says.  It’s a dead issue to God. 
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.   As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.  Psalm 103:11-13

We can’t measure the love of God, even if we tried.  It’s beyond measure!  Yet, it’s so great towards those who fear His name.  God is constant; He never changes. God doesn't change His love for you but His love will change you.  As a loving father reaches to comfort his hurting child, so does God.  He reaches for us only to bring us close to Him!  He isn't so appalled by our sinful appearance to withhold His grace from us!  It's only through Christ, we can be made new!
So, how do we not allow our past to defeat our future?  It’s a very good question, one I believe is solved in Colossians 3:1-3. First, we must realize we don’t live in the past anymore; it’s locked away.  Christ our Savior has thrown away the key, no one is allowed in!  YOU ARE RAISED WITH CHRIST!  In other words, the past can’t have you!  Your life is with Him!  Christ rose from the dead to bring life!  He showed death has no power, the power of sin is broken, and LIFE WITH GOD IS ALL THAT MATTERS!  Second, we have to keep our eyes fixed on Christ.  We must keep seeking His heart for our lives; He will direct us but we must seek earnestly.  Christ seats on the right hand of the Father to INTERCEDE FOR US!  So, whatever happens in this New Year, may you realize Christ is aware of it!  Also, He is already praying for you, so may this bring comfort.  Third, may we keep our focus on what matters!  One day this old world will pass away, the tears will fade, and trials will be no more!  No matter what the enemy does; he can’t defeat us!  What he has stolen; he has to return it!  God will restore EVERYTHING the enemy stole!  Restoration, renewal, and rekindle the flame of our heart; God IS ABLE!  So, don’t allow your lack or what’s left defeat you from walking towards the promise!  GOD NEVER GOES BACK ON HIS WORD!

God parted the Red Sea to bring deliverance but it was complete when the waters fell.  God didn’t ask the children of Israel to walk through the parted waters again or to build a boat; He asked them to walk though and never turn back!  God miraculous and powerfully delivered us from sin; to show who He is!  Not only did it silence the enemies who wanted to keep them in bondage!  It brought fear to the children of Israel so they would put their trust in God alone. 
'
 
The past keeps us in bondage, a place God doesn't want us to dwell or walk.



A heart who fears God will walk victoriously through any situation, we don’t need to be afraid.  “As Moses answered the people, “DO NOT BE AFRAID.  STAND FIRM AND YOU WILL SEE THE DELIVERANCE OF THE LORD WILL BRING TODAY!  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14

We are not without hope!  The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER CEASES!  Understand our hearts may express different emotions about the New Year being here.  Yet, don’t look with fear or you will not know which way to go.  Stand confident in the Word; it’s the only source for deliverance.  Yet, if people who speak about you today; they will not remember you tomorrow!  God will take care of your enemies, let Him fight!  He still silences enemies!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On the Battle Line



As the ground shudders, his footprints thunder with each step he takes.  His very presence causes immediate fear and intimidation, he is enormous.  No ordinary man can face this man eye to eye, it’s impossible.  Yet, the words he utters brings a paralyzing fear to prevent the children of Israel to attack.  On a daily basis this giant comes to bring fear to the lives of these people, even the king refuses to protect his people.  The army is hiding in fear, the king is absent, and this giant keeps coming and it’s been forty days! (I Samuel 17:16) 


If you want to overcome the giant-you will have to smell his breath.  In other words, only a face to face combat will work.  Faith only needs an opportunity to work, size isn’t a requirement to conquer giants.  There is an old saying “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”  Either we will join the crowd in fear or we will step out to see the impossible done.  Faith invites us to see the impossible; impossible is God's specialty.  Israel was willing to get ready for battle but they weren’t willing to fight. (I Samuel 17:21)  When the giant appeared, the army hid in fear instead of working together to defeat him. 
The enemy of your soul is going to taunt you with words of fear, may come to intimate you with his presence, and will refuse to leave until he is rebuke.  As David said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?  David recognized the voice of the enemy in the midst, he brought this to the attention of the people.  Also, he revealed the enemy’s purpose was to “defy” the armies of the living God.  In other words, David recognized the giant for who he was-the ugly enemy who was attacking the children of God! All of God’s promises are true and hold a reward for the children of God.  Whoever defeated the enemy of the Philistines would get great wealth, marriage of the king’s daughter, and be exempt from taxes! (I Samuel 17:25)

     What’s very interesting David’s three oldest brothers were trained in Saul’s army, they choose to serve.  Yet, the moment David talks with the military men, Eliab gets angry with him.  He attacks David fourfold:
1.       His purpose

2.       Being irresponsible or un-capable to be among the men

3.       Pride/wicked heart

4.       Observe the war or not willing to lead
Keep in mind, the body will not always follow the leader God selects.  Yet, the language usually to attack a leader comes through the spirit of Eliab.  Eliab dressed like a warrior, sat in the camp, and refused to move to assist the people he was to protect or work with.  (That is another sermon) 
Sadly the army followed the heart of Saul, they hid in fear.  Why wasn’t the king dressed in battle?  Saul tried to prepare David with his artillery but IT DIDN’T FIT!  We can’t expect to fight the giant with other people’s weapons, we can only defeat giants with confidence in God.  Goliath fought to bring fame unto himself.  David’s battles were only seen by God in the desert, he learned to rely on God.  Keep in mind, David wasn’t comfortable or familiar with Saul’s weapons.  Instead he used what he was familiar with!  David approached the battle line with a staff, five smooth stones, and sling to come to the battle line.  It’s the weapons of a shepherd! 

Sometimes we get so intimated with the giant, we forget our own weapons or how to use them.  David was familiar with his weapons and so are you!  God’s Word never fails!  Giants still fall in the name of God! (I Samuel 17:45-47)  David ran quickly towards the battle line to meet him!  It’s time to fight your giant!  God’s name is still powerful, enemies fall face down in His presence.  Worship, the Word, the Holy Spirit, and the armor of God is all that available to all believers.  It's provided through God alone, His name guarantees it! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Swords and Shovels

During the night, he walks around the city to examine the evidence. (Nehemiah 2:12)  Although he doesn’t want anyone to know why he is present, the evidence couldn’t be dismissed.  It was truly apparent the enemy was real, his plan was to ruin, and the destruction was un-believable.  If he didn’t see with his own eyes, he couldn’t have understood the need.  Although the news broke his spirit, it touched his heart.  

We don’t have to look far to see the destruction of the enemy, we see the rubble.  It’s under our shoes, it’s in the stench of our nostrils, it's before our eyes, and so close to touch.  Yet, our eyes can’t believe what we see.  We pick up the rubble to try to image what it is or who it belongs too.  Destruction doesn’t just touch cities, it destroys lives.  Although the rubble proves life once existed, where are they?

Satan’s method hasn’t changed, he desires complete annihilation.  Annihilation of dreams, families, and God’s promises.  Keep in mind, Nehemiah was a patriotic Jew.   So, this was his homeland, his people, his history, and where he worshipped God.  No longer is there any security for the people, the walls have crumbled.  The gates are twisted metal, completely destroyed by fire.  Someone had a purpose, it’s evident.  What do we do when the enemy attacks our families, our cities, or our nation?  Either we can be silent or desire to change the situation.  We can only change the situation if we allow it to touch us, we allow it to break us.

“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.  For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven.” ~ Nehemiah 1:4

If we don’t allow the brokenness of our people break our spirit, cause us to pray, or mourn our godly history; we walk callused.  Can we truly leave our heritage, our people, and our nation in this situation?  Our children deserve a heritage of God’s truth, so they have an example to follow.  Yet, who’s willing to take the sword or shovel to rebuild?  If we long to rebuild this nation, we have to get our hands dirty spiritual and physically.  Faith isn’t just what we believe, its proof of our calloused hands.  Our hands bleed, have blisters, and covered in dirt because we understand the need.  Love lifts people out of the rubble, it helps rebuild what was lost.  It doesn’t leave the rubble for others to clean up, it’s willing to take a shovel or a sword or whatever is needed to rebuild a life.  Either our hearts are calloused or our hands, it shows who we are and what we really believe.  Faith demands actions toward the broken, it brings healing.

With the Word (the Sword) it’s the only way our hearts can be truly healed from the brokenness.  We are anointed to bring good news, bind up the brokenhearted, and release those bond in darkness.  Yet, we have to use our hands to rebuild the walls, so we can rebuild our life.  It will restore income, a place to live, and a place to worship with God's people.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”~ Isaiah 61:1

Understandable, it can be quite overwhelming when we examine the evidence-it beyond our abilities.  Fear focuses on my abilities; faith focuses on God’s.  Your faith will be challenged but it will NEVER BE defeated!  It’s only when we seek the Lord’s face with diligence, we get the answers.  Nehemiah prayed for three months before entering the king’s presence.  Although Nehemiah felt overwhelmed with the burden, God was working behind the scenes to fulfill His will-to rebuild.  It’s interesting how a cup-bearer who had no carpentry or architect knowledge was used to bring security, restoration to his people, and reclaim a heritage near extinction.  God’s plan for our lives, our cities, and our nation will only be discovered if we seek His face.  God’s the only One who has all wisdom, knowledge, and power to help us.  Honestly, let’s admit we lack the wisdom but we don’t lack the knowledge who to seek! 

In our natural eyes it may be overwhelming but we need to look at it through God’s eyes, it’s an opportunity to show the love of God.  May we remember who we are, call upon the name of God, and repent.  It’s only when our hearts restored, we are willing to restore the life of others.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Faith Conquers Cities

When I grew up in Maryland I truly loved the mountain-view surrounding my home, its beauty would always take my breath away.  Usually upon the front porch or staring out my bedroom window, I enjoyed watching the seasons change.  Change always brought about hope, expectation, and beauty to behold.  Yet, it's not so easily viewed beautiful in my life, honestly it's difficult.  We can't have transformation without a change, so why do I fight it so?

 As the mountain stands perfectly still; it’s quite intimidating.  It’s massively large, beyond my ability to move, and it’s preventing my view of the Promise.  Honestly, I don’t desire to sing again, “She will be coming around the mountain.”  It seems to have become my theme song.  Although God’s calling is clear on my life, the directions right now are foggy.  I can’t seem to find the road map to get to the mountain trail.  God’s silent.  So, in His silence, I admit I have felt abandoned in the process.  With no reception, no response, and I am in a state of panic!  I feel as if I am screaming, “Is anyone out there?”

Don't allow God's silence to prevent your heart from staying obedient.  Stay faithful to His Word, it will shine the direction for your steps.  Maybe the direction isn't what YOU WANTED but God's still working.  Yet, our expectations have been shattered, our desires have faded, and our hope is slipping away so we hide.  It’s easier to withdraw into the night, so our hearts can’t be revealed.  Fear is a prison; faith is the only key to fit the lock to open it.  God’s promises don’t come without a challenge of faith.  Oh, it’s God’s Word pure and true.  It’s tightly held in my fist to claim but our foot is still locked.  Doubt, insecurity, and fear have flooded our mind, it's hindering the voice of God from being heard.  God’s silence isn’t punishment; it’s a test of faith.  Our faith will be tried, no one is exempt from being tested.  Yet, it’s only when we are tested, we will be shine as gold. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. ~ Job 23:10

At the moment the mountains may stand tall, so tall you can’t see.  Yet, may I remind you who created the mountains, the ocean, and who created you!  God doesn’t give us a mountain to conquer in our own ability but His.  Keep in mind, the children of Israel wandered in a desert but they had to CONQUER a city before entering the Promised Land.  A desert will cause us thirst for God’s will but the city will be overthrown by faith in God.  Only when we walk in faith will God part the waters of the Jordan. 
 
We won’t see the miraculous of God’s hand until we take His hand by faith.  God’s will never abandon or misled His children to the place of unknown; He leads us to place of His own.  So, hopefully the first step will not be hard to take, God’s awaiting your move.  Besides God’s already melted the hearts of your enemy, they heard God’s coming!  So gird your weapons, blow the shofar, and start walking around the walls of Jericho!  Get ready to shout!  No wall or mountain can stand against the presence of the Lord!  Mountains melt like wax in the presence of the Lord. (Psalm 97:5)

"When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” ~ Joshua 2:11 

God’s already intimated your enemy, so don’t fret.  Your enemy has no courage to attack, God’s fame has been heard!  No one is able to stand against Him, nobody!  Yet, only the redeemed will be able to see the beautiful place He has prepared for them.  A promise of God is worth waiting for, standing for, and walking in!  Don’t allow your mountains to intimate you; introduce your mountain to God.