Sunday, July 20, 2014

End of the Desert

If I were to give a round trip ticket to any destination of your choice, where would you go?  Maybe Paris, France!  Or how about an Alaskan trip to see the Northern Lights?  Truth be told, I am not sure anyone would pick the destination of a desert.  If so, I would truly question their mental state.  Why would you want to go to the desert?  It’s incredibly hot!  No quick place to find shelter except in a cave or near a camp fire.  It’s a tiresome walk alone!  No matter where you look or walk it’s bleak, barren, and seems completely lifeless.  All of God's greatest warriors had to walk through the desert to inherit their promise.

Yet, if we truly desire to grow in Christ, we can’t escape the desert.

Sometimes, we wonder if the tests and trials of this life are producing anything.  Or what’s the purpose of all of this?  Is the promise really worth waiting for?  As we try to take another step in the tiresome heat, we grow faint from exhaustion.  Where is God?  Where is He leading me?  Doesn’t He see that my enemy is chasing me! 

Trials do have an end!  Although it may look bleak upon ever turn, God’s still directing your life.  The prophetic promise upon your life isn’t going to be destroyed because the enemy is pursing you.  If anything the tactics of the enemy are being used to prepare your life to take hold of it.  When God truly calls someone’s life; everyone is aware of the anointing upon you.  It can’t be hidden or disguised in your life if God is truly your hearts pursuit.   David’s family saw the oil poured upon his head, the call placed upon his life, and didn’t understand his purpose.  Although David’s fame was recorded for defeating Goliath, his fame wouldn't usher him to the inherit the throne.   
"Isn't this the David the they sang about in their dances: " 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands'?" (I Samuel 29:5) 
If we are to have victory in our lives, we just rely on past victories.  We have to keep relying on the name of the Lord.  Goliath wasn't David's only enemy to defeat, he faced several others before his prophetic calling was fulfilled.  David's enemies wasn't just Goliath or the Philistines, this enemy was someone personal, a member of his family.  David had to try a different strategy to defeat Saul, he had to wait upon the Lord.  David never attacked Saul with vengeance or try to remove the kingdom, although it belong to him.  David was able to defeat Saul because he keep the Lord as His refuge, so his enemy was never able to corner him.  
Although Saul savagely pursued to take David's life; it tested the heart of David in the midst of the desert.  David had to learn how to inquire of the Lord, rest in promised Word, and keep walking when no one is praising your name.  
Besides chasing David in the heat of the desert, he brought 3,000 chosen men to hunt him for four years. (I Samuel 24:1-2)  Another four years David dwelt in Ziglag to avoid Saul's plot, he was working for the enemies-Philistines. (I Samuel 27:1)  No matter where David would run, someone would send word to Saul, so the pursuit would continue.  How do you not lose heart in the heat of the desert?  The desert doesn’t cover the earth; it has an END.  As the finish line blows through the breeze; it awaits to be crossed.  It will only break the moment your feet has crossed it.

Yet, even in the midst of the desert, God will not allow the enemy to have the upper hand.  He will protect your life in the cleft of the rock.  Jesus was FULL OF THE SPIRIT and LED BY THE SPIRIT into the desert after fasting for forty days. (Matthew 4:1)  If the Spirit is leading you into the desert; He will bring you out of it.  The testing of desert did end, the devil was defeated, and Jesus was strengthened after. (Matthew 4:11)

 Besides being David’s father-in-law, Saul, was king of Israel.  Saul had the complete power and authority to destroy David; this was his motive.  It would be nervous enough to have one man to chase you down.  How about 3,000 men chasing you in the desert?  How quickly could you find a refuge?  Or how fast could you out-run them?  Besides being outnumbered, they were trained to disintegrate a person, I would be scared out of my mind.   However, God gave David a perfect view of the situation in 1 Samuel 24:1-10) 

What do you do when your enemy has your back against the wall of the cave?  Wait until God brings your enemy into perfect view!  Saul was reliving himself in the opening of the cave.  Saul was vulnerable, without a weapon, a plan, and only a man.  He couldn’t destroy David who was hiding in the cave; He was secure in the rock. 

    Trials do have an ending point but we don’t know the length; only God does.  However it’s important to keep your spirit right in the desert.  The desert will not only test your character; it will test your heart to keep believing God and His Word.  Don’t allow the enemies whisper rob your prophetic destiny; the desert does END.  Only by Encountering God will you have the power to endure, rest in knowing it will Never destroy God’s purpose, and Deliverance is promised through God.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Truth Or Consequence

If we never take a stand; we will never leave a mark.  As I was re-reading a familiar passage of Scripture, I was astonished at the prophet’s boldness, confidence in God, and the demonstration of God’s power through Elijah.  I admit, sometimes I wonder if I have the confidence as Elijah to stand against the god of this world. 

Out of a desperate plea for their hearts, Elijah’s challenges the children of Israel about their devotion to God.  His desire was pure and even godly but it was extremely costly-he stood alone.  Besides standing alone, he was labeled “a troubler of Israel” (I Kings 18:18)  A great prophet of God who would never taste death was disgraced by God’s children.  Yet, Elijah wasn’t afraid to speak the truth towards those in authority, he rebuked them.  He confronted the hearts of the people to cause their hearts to make a decision.

 When we are silent; we allow evil to rule.  Jesus didn’t ask for us to remain silent, He asked us to be a witness to the world. (Mark 16:15)  Elijah saw the rebellion of his people, the power of those in authority, and the indecisiveness of the people.  Elijah didn’t wait for a new election or a poll to be taken; he demanded the people to choose who they would serve.  Although he was the only prophet standing for the Lord, he didn’t back down or stop preaching against wrong.  According to the Word, Elijah was physically outnumbered when compared to the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of Asherah who ate at Jezebel’s table. (I Kings 18:19) 

As I look around me, sin is rapid.  No matter where you walk, sin is present.  Whether it’s a slanderous comment behind the back of a co-worker, gossip in the church foyer, or a lustful eye at the mall.  Sin desires ownership of our hearts; its power leads to eternal destruction.  We must understand our choices have consequences, silence doesn’t excuses them.  Jesus said the “harvest is PLENTIFUL” but the labors are FEW. (Luke 10:9)  Yet, what I love the most is that the Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest.  The harvest is ready to work because Jesus paid the price for the field.  It’s where the pearl of great price is found! 

Sometimes we will stand alone in the world but we are never without back-up!  God’s only a call away!  He will always stand beside us when we stand for Him.  God doesn’t leave us to a pack of wolves, if anything he reveals who the wolves in sheep’s clothes are.  A true witness of God will never be silence in the crowd because the Spirit of God will manifest the truth.  God always confirms His Word and will perform the signs and wonders of those who believe His Word.  It’s not only a promise but a guarantee of God’s support-Jesus said it! 

Boldness only comes from the Holy Spirit!  So, we truly need to pray for not only the leading but the boldness to stand.  God will never disappoint us!  Elijah challenged the people’s to make a decision, a true hearted decision to turn from evil and surrender to God.  Isn’t this what repentance is?  What caught my attention in the passage of I Kings 18:30-35 was “Elijah rebuilt the altar.  Elijah called the people’s attention to follow him back to the altar of God!  It’s a humbling and terrifying thought, “Do we remember what the altar is for?”  Our altar is desperately broken and needing repair but who is willing to get the hammer?  Who is willing to lead the people back to the foundation of their faith?  An altar has to have a sacrifice for it to be genuine, so do we remember the Lamb who paid the price?  It’s not about who supports our belief in the crowd, it’s about who’s leading the indecisive people to a decision.  Who’s standing for truth?  Elijah used twelve stones to represent the tribes of Jacob who was changed even his name “Your name shall be Israel.” Our history can’t be destroyed because truth will always reign-Jesus! Elijah didn’t just lead the people to the altar but he called upon the name of the Lord.  The fire of God fell not only to prove who Elijah stood for but the TRUE GOD WAS REVEALED.  God will silence your enemies and remove evil from our midst but we have to be bold enough to take a stand.  It’s time to call upon the name of the Lord, walk in the truth, and in the power of Spirit.  The harvest is plentiful, so the question is are we following the call?