Blog

Won’t He Do it?!?! But Will He for me?

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Luke 5:12

The man in this scripture had heard of Jesus.  He had heard what he was capable of.  He didn’t necessarily doubt that Jesus could do it.  His question was would He do it?  We often find ourselves in the same situation.  We know He is powerful and nothing moves without Him being aware.  It is a lot easier to believe that He will move on someone else’s behalf, rather than our own.

It is easy for us to feel like people are doing all these things around us but it feels like we can’t have those same things.  It makes us wonder if God has forgotten about us.  He hasn’t.  His timetable isn’t ours.  I have to keep telling myself this in one area of my life.  I have to remind myself that it isn’t in His timing or it isn’t in His will, and I have to be okay with that.  It is easier said than done, but I have to work on it continually.

Advertisements

Fire: Is It In You?

If I say, “I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name,” His message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones, and I become weary of holding it in, and I cannot prevail. Jeremiah 20:9

Luke 3:16 I baptize you with water, but there is One coming after me who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

1 Corinthians 3:13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
• Day – Jesus, He will bring it all to light. He reveals things that are hidden.
• Revealed with fire – revealed by the Holy Spirit, which will test each person’s work.

God is at home in the fire

2 Thessalonians 1:7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

Exodus 19:18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.

Exodus 24-:17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.

God’s wrath shows up like fire

Numbers 11:1 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

Numbers 16:35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.

Fire is innate within us

James 3:6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Mark 9:49 Everyone will be salted with fire.

Acts 2: 3-4 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

When you are really being used by God, you can’t stay out of the fire. You must have an experience WITH the fire. This is the difference between a motivational speaker and a prophet. Speakers try to manage their life in a way where they never have a fire. While God arranges a prophet’s life to survive the fire. That’s why you can’t envy people who look like they never have any storms. When you don’t have a storm, you also don’t have a rainbow. Fires come to prove to the enemy: if you throw them in, I will bring them out. It comes to prove to your enemies: I will never send them into a fire alone. And finally it proves to you: WHATEVER doesn’t consume you, is authorized to groom you.

The problem is some people don’t want to be on fire, they want to stay on the “keep warm” setting. They are not cold, but they aren’t hot. They do just enough to present and usable. They are good, just not as good as they could be if they were living up to their full potential.
Every girl dreams of a knight in shining armor but all that shining armor is showing you is that his metal hasn’t been tested. If a knight has never been tested, how do you know that they can protect you? If you are never tested, how will you know what you are capable of? Even Jesus was tested and put through the fire, even unto death. How do you think that you will escape it?

Being on fire isn’t a bad thing. It burns away the things that are not necessary and purifies what is there. Use the fire to your advantage.

Sweetening the Water: From Marah to Elim

Exodus 15:25

Don’t stay in the land in of bitterness.
You have to learn to cry out to God, even when they complain, when they come against you, and when they betray you. A cute prayer isn’t going to cut it. The Lord will show you what you need to see.

The way to deal with bitterness is to pray and to see the tree (Calvary).
You have to have the capacity and ability to look past the person and what they did to you and see the Master of the Universe behind it all. He didn’t author the chaos in your life but He permitted it and can orchestrate it so that it turns out for your good. He doesn’t allow anything to happen that He hasn’t built you to be able to handle.

As with Moses, when you cast your tree (suffering, pain, hurt) into the water, He can take it and make the water sweet. He can take all that chaos and bring sweetness out of it.
Beauty for ashes…
Joy for mourning…
Praise for despair…

Although it is rough right now, when you look back you will able to say thank you to those who stood against you.

Thank you for firing me. I found a better job.
Thank you for leaving me. God brought the person He intended me to have.
Thank you for talking about me. I am stronger now than I have ever been.
My water is sweet. I am not bitter, I am better.

Keep moving forward. You are between the land Marah (bitterness) and Elim (prosperity)
In Marah the waters were bitter but at Elim there were 12 wells and 70 palm trees. There was prosperity there: more than what you can drink by yourself. There’s enough for your momma, your grandma, your friends and everyone else. You just have to keep moving and like the children of Israel stop focusing on your current bitter circumstances. Throw your tree in the water, take a sip and keep it moving to the land of prosperity.

Stop whining about it. Let it go.
Stop complaining about it. Let it go.
You’re stronger, richer and blessed because of it (even though it doesn’t look like it now).
All because you learned to put a tree in your bitter waters.

Marriage: Contract vs. Covenant, Us vs. God

Fewer people are getting married or they are doing it later in life, according to many studies. The divorce rate is between 40-50%. A lot of people are test driving, but not actually committing. How many couples do you know that have kids, a house, some combined finances, but aren’t married? The premise is that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Okay, well if something happens to one person, in most instances, the survivor doesn’t get much because they aren’t legally married. There is no promise in place that is recognized by any authority that needs to be honored for the party left behind. The other thing I hear often is, “Well if the relationship goes bad, I can just walk away and not have to worry about legalities.” That isn’t necessarily true, especially if you have children. Some sort of agreement to custody more often than not will need to be in place. How are you going to divide up property? Who gets what? My response to this question is normally this: If you are going into this thinking you may need a way out, then what you have is not a commitment, you are operating on a contingency. What I mean is:
As long as:

  • They do the things I like
  • Go the places I want to go
  • Meet my expectations (no matter how crazy)
  • Operate in the way that fits my world
  • They speak my love language
  • They read my mind and know what’s wrong without me telling them

If all these happen, it will be all good. It all boils down to “As long as I get my way, everything will be fine.”
We often treat marriage like a contract, rather than what it was intended to be, which is a covenant.

Now what if God treated His relationship with us like a contract rather than a covenant? I will save them if:

  • They obey me ALL the time.
  • They stop repeating the same sin and learn the lesson the FIRST time.
  • They talk to Me BEFORE they make the decision
  • I am not the last resort, but the constant companion
  • If they read the Bible beyond Sunday morning
  • They FULLY believe Me when they pray for something

Just think if along with that, ANY failure on our part frees Him from His obligation to us.

That would be awful wouldn’t it? He can’t do that because although He isn’t married to us in the natural sense, but there is a promise in place recognized by His authority that was secured by His son’s blood. It’s a promise that says:

  • I will never leave you nor forsake you
  • Even when you’re unfaithful, I am still faithful
  • No matter what you do, My mercies are new every morning
  • You can’t possibly imagine how far, how wide, or how deep My love is for you

A contingency is for a house, not a marriage.

Rise Up

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12 NIV.

The time has come, we must be on our guard and see what God is doing. You have been scarred and wounded.  You are tired and not sure how you will take another step, let alone fight another battle. That’s just it.  You don’t have to fight this battle. You just have to endure it. God goes before you and will fight on your behalf.  You just have to take your station and see it come to pass (Exodus 14:13-14).  All you have to do is show up and God will show out and do the rest.  We get too caught up in the circumstances of the battle, how long the battle has raged on and how we feel.  We often think we don’t have the strength for it and that is true. We can’t fight the battle ourselves.  We need Him.  We too often try to take control of the battle before we even get our feet set on the battlefield.  Remember the battle isn’t yours anyway. He equips us with His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18), yet He still goes out ahead of us and does battle on our behalf.

You were made for this. Esther 4:14

 

 

Moving in Silence

It’s a new year and many of us have made resolutions that we hope to follow through on.  Some of those resolutions involve improving health or making moves financially. We often can’t wait to share our plans with others or show people what we are doing.  There is nothing wrong with that, but everyone is not able to go to new levels with you and not everyone will appreciate your hustle. Sometimes moving in silence is your best option.

Let’s look at David.  He was a young shepherd boy, keeping his father’s flock.  He was tasked with checking on his brothers and delivering necessities to them at the battlefront. He arrives to see the army of Israel paralyzed with fear.  They had been here at this position for forty days and they were not moving forward.  They were content to sit there and let the giant, Goliath, taunt them day and night. David decides enough is enough and he is going to go out and fight. Now he has no battle training and EVERYONE knew that and made sure he was aware they knew. Here’s the thing though, although David was inexperienced in battle, he was experienced in victory.  He already had victories over a bear and lion while watching his father’s flock.  God had already delivered him on several occasions, so fighting something bigger and stronger than him was nothing new for David.  He knew he couldn’t do it in his power, but he believed in the One who could. When the time came to save his people, he knew he was ready.  It wasn’t because of what anyone had seen him do, but because of the training he had already received from God, away from prying eyes.  In this way, no one else could take the credit and say, “I helped David with this.”, or “I showed him this technique.”  It was all God.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to share what you are doing with others or wanting to share your dreams with others.  You just have to be careful and be sure that the people you are actually sharing things with are for you and not trying to see what they can get from you.  Sometimes we get frustrated when we share things with others and then they don’t come to fruition for one reason or another.

Here’s the thing, you were decreeing the right things in front of the wrong people. That is why it still hasn’t happened.  You spoke your prayers in front of enemies who used your desires as an instructional manual on what area to attack.

Some people want to know what you are up to in order to support you, some people want to know what you are up to so they can find a way to stop you.

God is ALWAYS Good

You know the saying, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” Not one of us would ever say that God is not good, that statement just feels wrong in itself. Here’s the thing, we may never say it, but we do sometimes think it.  Yes I said it, you know it’s true and so do I.   We know that God is good but sometimes deep in our hearts there is a suspicion that He may not really be good, or at least not to us.

This lie is at the core of our wrong thinking about God.  It is the lie that was told to seduce Eve in the garden.  God blessed man and woman by creating a whole paradise for them to enjoy.  They had the freedom to eat of any tree in the garden save one. The first two chapters of Genesis tell of how good God is.  Everything He made was to reflect His goodness.  He created the sun, the moon, and the stars.  The planets and all the things therein.

When Satan wanted to tempt the woman, he did so by changing her thoughts about God.  He planted the seed of doubt about His goodness.  “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1)  He didn’t say that, He said that there was ONE tree they couldn’t eat of, anything else they had access to.  However, all Eve could focus on at this point, was what she couldn’t have. The enemy whispers, “Well God must not be good because if He were, He would not have denied you something you really wanted.”

When things don’t go as we planned, we lose someone we love, or experience some kind of turbulence in our lives.  The enemy tempts us with, “Is God really good?”  “Why would He keep this good thing from me?” or “How could He let this happen?”  We may not say it out loud but we often have these thoughts when comparing our circumstances to others.

  • God is good to others, but He doesn’t want good for me
  • God may help others, but He doesn’t have my best interests at heart
  • God delights in blessing others, but He enjoys seeing me suffer.

When we look at this fallen world and all the things going on, it becomes easy for us to feel justified in feeling this way. The truth is, God is good.  Whether or not His choices seem goo to us, He is good.  Whether or not we feel it, He is good. Whether or not it seems true in my life or yours, He is still good.

He doesn’t enjoy our suffering, but suffers along with us because He loves us. He is compassionate towards us.

 

God Loves You

A lie women believe: God doesn’t love me.

Stop trusting your feelings more than you trust what God’s word declares to be true.

Stop looking at your earthly relationships- a lifeless marriage, rejection by a spouse, grown children that don’t call or visit, approaching forty without any prospects in sight.  We look at that and we decide that since we can’t seem to find earthly love, that God doesn’t love us either.  That’s simply not true.  God’s love is not dependent upon anything going on in the earth.  His love is infinite, regardless of what we have done or where we come from, His love knows no end.

God loves us all, not because we are so good or could do anything to earn it, but because He IS love. His love isn’t based on anything we could do for Him.  Even when we were still His enemies He still loved us.  How many of us can say we love our enemies?  We do good if we even acknowledge their presence.  Even when we were His enemies He sent His Son to die for us.  I don’t have any kids but I don’t know of anyone on the planet that I would send my kids to go die for, just being honest. There is nothing we could do to make Him love us any more or less.  The One who is love, loves you and that is all that really matters.  You can’t expect anything on earth to compare to His love or have the ability to do what only His love can do.  God’s love is always for you and if He is for you….

Being Called Is Better Than Being Qualified

A look at Romans 8:29-30…

For those God forknew…

  • The ones that He foreknew are the ones that He set His love and regard upon ahead of time. This often refers to the children of Israel, since He loved them ahead of time.  However, there were still people in the corporate whole of the nation who rejected God (Judas, Saul), as well as people who were outside of the nation (Ruth, Rahab) who chose to align themselves with God.  This forelove is for the people who align themselves with His covenant. People can choose to align themselves or not. In actuality this foreknowledge is the setting of His affection on those who will align themselves with God through Christ.

He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son

  • He laid out the plan and path for those who would choose to follow His Son.  He preordained their steps so that those who chose to follow Christ would eventually mirror His image.  He doesn’t make the choice for them, but sets their steps in order once they choose.

That He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters

  • The Son would be the leader of all believers.  All would be children of God. The believers would be the adopted children of God.

And those he predestined, he also called

  • Those whose path has already been laid out by God, have also been given a specific purpose to fulfill, whether they know it or not.  Your steps have been ordered for a reason.  You may hit speed bumps and stumble along the way, but all things (yes, even those things), will work together to bring you to fulfill the purpose that God has for your life.

Those he called, he also justified

  • When God calls you to purpose your earthly qualifications hold no weight.
    • Noah was an alcoholic, but was chosen to be the one to give humanity a second start.
    • Moses had a stuttering problem and had some shaken self confidence, but led millions out of captivity.
    • David was an adulterer and a murderer, but it would be his descendant that would sit on the throne of Israel forever.
    • Peter had some anger issues and was quick to cut people (literally) if you came against him.  When faced with failure before the events of Pentecost, he was quick to give up and to go back to what he knew.  Yet Peter would be the first pope, upon whom the church of Christ was built.
  • What man THINKS you’re qualified to do doesn’t matter. It is what God says you can do. He placed the deposit in you and knows what tools to give you in order to draw it out.

Those he justified, he also glorified

  • There is no better promoter than God.  When He places you somewhere, there is nothing that can be done to remove you.  When He moves you, no one will be able to understand it or be able to “connect the dots” on how you got to your position.  When He moves, it will be plain to others that it was Him moving on your behalf.

We as human beings often worried whether or not we are qualified to handle the opportunities that are placed in front of us.  God doesn’t wait until you are ready to move you, He uses you when you are available.  Sometimes qualifications can become a crutch anyway.  People who are so stuck on their qualifications, often can’t see beyond them.  They think that because they have certain things that they are entitled to the best the world offers. That’s just it, they are looking at what the world offers and most often don’t think of anything beyond what is in the world. Sometimes they think they should just be able to walk into high places without working for them.  Often those who are called by God, don’t have the worldly qualifications, but because of that they are often more humble about where they are.  Qualifications aren’t everything.  Sometimes it is better to be called rather being qualified.

I am sometimes unsure of what I am suppose to do and I believe there is calling on my life.  Am I ready for it, absolutely not, but I am available.

 

 

 

Mover of Mountains and Sand

We sing a lot of songs about God being great and big.  We sing of Him being able to do the unthinkable, the things that are not perceivable, the extraordinary.  We sing of Him being able to shift the storm, we sing of Him being able to move the mountains.

That is all well and good and He is all of those things.  He is the God who can move mountains.  Here is a thought:  Don’t get so lost in Him being the God who can move mountains, that you forget He can also move the grains of sand. Even a grain of sand can cause a turmoil if it is in your eye.

Here’s the thing:  We normally don’t have a problem with going to God for the big, for the miraculous, or for the unthinkable.  It’s every day, mundane, “little” things that we have the hardest time giving to Him.  We often think, “Well this is a small thing, I can handle it.  I won’t trouble God with this.”  That’s all well and good, but whenever has anything done in our own power, worked out for our good.  Exactly.

Besides, if it were such a small thing that you could handle on your own:

You wouldn’t have worried about it all these years.

It wouldn’t keep you up at night.

It wouldn’t keep you from moving forward.

It wouldn’t keep you looking over your shoulder.

You would have had it fixed by now.

Scripture says that we should give thanks in all things. We should also pray in ALL things.

The big and the small.

The ordinary and the extraordinary.

The mundane, every day things and the once-in-a-lifetime things.

The magnificent and those things that seem insignificant.  I say “seem insignificant” because nothing is insignificant to Him.  He is always concerned about all things.  We put that connotation on things.

He is tailor-made and one size fits all, all at the same time.

He is no respecter of person or circumstance.  He said to “lay all your cares” on Him, not just the big ones.