Thursday, June 16, 2011

Broken Tears

I am speechless.   Have you ever been there?  Although there is a desire for intimacy, no words can express what you are feeling.  A heavy heart weighs one’s spirit to utter exhaustion, frustration, and fear.  Sometimes, it causes one to withdraw from everyone, so we seek a place of solitude.  We desire a place to hide from the “stress of life” or what’s really bothering us.  Although we try to hide from it, we can’t seem to get rid of it.  We have no place to run or peace within. 
      Recently at the dinner table, my family expressed their concern about my lack of involvement with the family.  Yes, I was present physically but my heart was elsewhere.  All of my daily responsibilities were complete but my family felt deprived.  So, I finally had to explain to my children what was wrong.  Although I expressed my troubles with my children, I still couldn’t express my fear.  I am the adult, the responsible one who is supposed to be strong.  Yet, my world was collapsing around me.   
     Since I was a child, I always desired a healthy relationship with my father.   When I got married or had children, I desired for my father to be involved with my life.  Our relationship has never been close, so I have learned to accept it.  Also, I have to protect myself from allowing his alcoholic episodes to destroy me, until a few days ago.  While at work, I received several calls, text messages, and voicemails to urgently call home.  After excusing myself, I returned my mother’s phone call.  (My parent's are divorced, she heard from his family)  As I listened closed, my heart was breaking.  My father was in the hospital, he was very sick.  For several weeks, my father couldn’t keep food or water down, his weight was drastically dropping.  Out of cries of desperation, my aunt was able to talk him into visiting the hospital.  As we waited for the test results, I couldn’t “feel” anything.  It seemed all of my hopes, dreams, and life was slipping away.  Besides the fear of losing my father, I worried about his eternal soul.  As a Christian, I have shared the Gospel message with my father on several occasions.  It’s not only my responsibility; it’s my calling to share it.  Has the message been received?  Only my father and God can truly express the truth.  As we got the news, “he has cancer,” the Lord reminded me of Hezekiah.  
     Before I called my father, I prayed.  During the conversation, my father expressed his fears, the doctor’s report, and desired prayer.  So, I prayed with him.  At that moment, I felt hope was still flickering.  After praying for him, I shared the story of Hezekiah with him. (2 Kings 20:1-6)  According to scripture, Hezekiah was at the point of death.  The prophet, Isaiah, advised the king to get his house in order, Hezekiah was going to die.  As death was knocking, hope was closing the door until Hezekiah prayed.  Who wouldn’t weep bitterly over the thought of death?  It’s coming, there is no escape.  What’s so amazing, Hezekiah prompts God to remember how he walked on earth.  Hezekiah wasn’t just faithful but whole heartedly devoted to God before His eyes. 
I Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
   God is attentive to the prayers of the righteous; He is attentive to the cries.  As a mother attends to her child’s cries, so does God.  He runs to me.  Although I can’t move, He lifts me up.  In His presence, I get the strength, the peace, and comfort under His wings.  Sometimes, my tears can only express my heart.   What I love about God, He completely knows me.  Words can’t express my burdens, my heart is so torn.  As I weep before God, I am so grateful He knows.   I don’t have to hide it; I can quietly expose my heart without any words spoken. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Word Is God's

 If we deny the truth of the Bible, we deny God.  If don’t allow Christ to rule in our services, He isn’t a King.  Samuel was heartbroken about Israel’s desire to choose a king but God gave them their desire.  Why was Samuel heartbroken?  He was distraught over their decision to remove God as King but to allow man to rule.  (I Samuel 8:1-22)  What wisdom does man obtain?  Did he create the earth?  Can he read minds?  Can he govern the world?  Of course not, but sadly we have done the same within our churches and our nation.
      However, my heart is breaking like Samuel, God should rule, His Word preached, and the Spirit operating.  It’s seems we only desire for the Lord to be present but blinded to our ungodliness.   We desire to be called children of God, yet we don’t know who we really represent.  The Bible is the infallible Word of God spoken through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  The Word of God is used for reproof, correction, training of righteousness that we can be equipped to lead, disciple, and heal our people.  II Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Nevertheless, so many people desire for their ears to itch instead of their heart revealed.  This is a spirit of religion, a rebellious and dangerous heart blinding the hearts of the church. 
     When Jesus walked on the earth, the scribes and Pharisees couldn’t recognize the Son of God.  Although Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the enemy, they denied the power of God in operation.  If Jesus healed on the Sabbath, it was wrong.  Who created the Sabbath, wasn’t it God?  Why can’t God do something good on a holy day? As Jesus taught the people who were hungry for the truth, they were delivered, healed, and transformed.  The sinners recognized the power, love, and authority of God; yet the Pharisees were unwilling to follow.  Oh, they followed only to ridicule, judge, and distort the work of God.  Regardless of what time period, the religious spirit has existed in the days of the prophets, days of Christ, and Paul’s ministry.  It was the religious ones who killed the prophets, Christ, and most of the disciples. 
     As a young adolescent, I was raised in a wonderful Pentecostal church.  As a church body, we prayed until midnight on most Sundays.  As our hearts hunger for the truth and allowed the Word to inspect our hearts to correct, we witness the move of the Spirit of God.  As the Spirit moved people laughed in the Spirit, was prostrate on the floor, speaking in tongues, and people healed from sickness or demon possession.  As I grew up in the church, I have been observant to a radical shift of rejecting the truth. Our prayer services declined, church services grew shorted, and people’s tempers rose if the Word wasn’t preached to their liking.  Well, we are paying the price; we are wretched, poor, and broken.  If don’t receive the Word, we will never have life or healing.
       Nevertheless, I cherished those moments of the Holy Spirit moving, it brings tears to my eyes.  My heart’s desire is to witness a move of God within my lifetime.  Within my denomination, our church was founded upon one of the greatest revivals of our nation, Azusa Street.  During my college days, I was able to study this revival but can I be honest, I want to experience it.  As God promised in the last days, it will come.  My heart yearns for it, expects it, and will resolve to seek it until I have experienced it.  Being a student or reading books, I have never denied gaining knowledge but the Word of God is to be experienced with the soul.   There is a fire burning with me, I can’t stand it anymore.  The Word of God has to come out, I can’t contain it anymore.  My Heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son into this world for me to experience His presence.  It wasn’t for the priests just to encounter; it was for all of the people of God.  Anyone can gain access to the Father, He longs to transform, ignite a passion for life, and heal the deepest scars.
     As the Holy Spirit moved, our hearts were transformed by the truth.  When we reject the Word, we reject Christ.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.”  Since the Holy Spirit is one who leads to all truth, we will reveal our hearts, convict of sin, and comfort us in our troubles.  My attitude is anymore, Lord inspect my heart deeply but don’t let me not experience you.  My salvation will be complete, I will see Him.  However, I want Heaven to reign in my life, in my heart, within my church body. 
     I understand, many people will not follow my decision, there “itchy ears” will lead them to destruction.  As David prayed, “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.  Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19: 13-14. I choose God’s Word complete as the infallible Word of God to allow it to rule my life.  Will you?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fire Draws Humility

Although God called a nation to himself, it’s seems those who followed were few.  As he led the children of God, they didn’t always follow the instructions of the Lord.  In the midst of the nation, some followed closely, others refused to humble, and some were killed for their rebellion to God’s word.  It wasn’t an easy calling but God prepared Moses for it.  Keep in mind; Satan has always tried to keep God’s children bond from receiving their promise, delusional to the truth, and imprison their lives with bondage.  As Satan tried to rule the children of God through Pharaoh’s leadership, God heard the cry of his people.  As Pharaoh was trying to prevent Israel from overpowering him, God sent a babe down the Nile by His mighty hand.  As Pharaoh’s daughter opened her heart to the baby, God was preparing to destroy this nation.  As her hands received Moses, she received judgment on her house.  Although the children of Israel were broken, imprisoned to slavery, and oppressed.  God’s desire for his children was freedom. 
     Although Moses was prepared, educated, and grafted into the pharaoh lineage, his heart was stirred from the injustice of his nation.  As Moses learned the truth, it stirred anger within.  He saw injustice to his nation, so he tried to demolish it within his strength.  In the eyes of Pharaoh, Moses attacked the wrong people, against the leadership of his home, and brought shame.  Although his past was tainted with horrible transgressions, Moses hid in his shame and from judgment of Pharaoh.  Moses was prepared, educated, and grafted into the pharaoh lineage but he refused to accept it or be a part of it.  He wanted a solution but wasn't sure what to do.      
     Moses hid in the desert from the hand of Pharaoh who eventually died.  While in the desert, Moses prepares a new life in a foreign place.  In the house of Jethro, Moses found peace, prosperity, and a true identity.  As the cries of Israel were pleading for help, God was preparing Moses for his calling in a desert.  Why would God pick a desert to train a leader?  In the desert, one learns to die to himself.  In the desert, the heart is revealed with the truth.  Although Moses was a Hebrew by blood, he wasn’t a Hebrew in heart.  Yes, his heart was stirred for the people but it wasn’t stirred towards God. 
     While attending his daily chores of attending sheep, God reveals himself to Moses.  It was a very unique way to gain the attention of Moses, flames of fire from within a bush.   As the fire burned, it didn’t burn the bush.  The fire of God caught the attention of Moses, so he moved to inquire about it.  As Moses drew closer to God, the Lord called out to him by name.  Into the holiness of God, he had to remove his sandals.  This is very powerful!  As you study ancient history, sandals were symbolic of ownership or transferring property.  Only in someone’s home or sacred place were the shoes removed.  It was a sign of humility, honor, and respect to the person.  The glory of God shown to humble the heart of Moses to accept the Great I am.
    Only in the presence of God will mankind humble themselves, it’s what’s so needed in our churches.  The glory of God is slipping away from our churches for our unwillingness to “remove our sandals”- our ownership.  God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  Humility is the only access to the power of God.  We can’t rely on ourselves to conquer the world; we have to lay our lives down to be empowered.  Does God see the transgressions, misery of our people?  Yes, he does.  Our Heavenly Father longs to set us free, bring peace, and prosperity but we are called.  As children of God, we represent the “Great I Am”, the only true God who will empower us, walk with us, and fulfill His desire for His people.  We can’t give God our excuses; we have to accept the call to lead others to Christ. 
      Moses was willing to step back into the enemies’ camp to rescue his people, will we?  We can’t walk afraid, uncertain, but a firm faith in God.  “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)  If we are willing to step out, God will show up with His mighty hand.  He will bring healing, deliverance, and provision for His people.  One man humbled himself under the mighty hand of God to bring deliverance to his people.  Moses allowed the presence of God to change him, may it be the same with us.  If we want our nation to change, the presence of God must be sought and allowed to operate.
     Is our nation’s condition stirring you?   Satan is gaining a foothold; it’s time to break his bondage.  Our children are without the knowledge of God’s power within our midst.  As a Pentecostal, I am tired of reading stories of great revivals; it’s time to be a revival.  We need to allow the Word of God to burn within our souls; it will either refine us or burn us.  I choose to allow the presence of God to refine me, the Word of God to equip me, and the Spirit of God to empower me.  One voice, I have.  Although I have one voice, I can change history because I serve the Great I am.