Thursday, October 19, 2017

Denial


(Taken From The Intro To The Book Of Ezekiel In The Message Bible)

Denial refuses to acknowledge the destruction we have brought on ourselves. It shuts its eyes tight or looks the other way. It manages to act as if everything is going to be just find. It takes refuge in distractions and lies and fantasies.

I need to see the truth about myself. When I say "I need to see"...it means that I need a complete understanding of what I have done to bring this destruction on myself through my using. I need to also come to an understanding of what I am capable of. Denial robs me of this necessary vision I need in order to move forward in recovery and this new Life that Jesus is offering me.

The best example of breaking out of denial and not only admitting the truth, but acknowledging our part in it, is found in Psalm 51. Written by King David, this particular Psalm records his uncovering of an affair he had with another mans wife. Not only did King David have the affair, he also had the woman's husband, who was a soldier in David's army, killed. David's right hand man-to-the-throne, Nathan, exposed David and this sordid tale of sin. Now out in the open, David admitted his guilt and expressed his feelings of remorse and shame in the writing of Psalm 51. If you read this Psalm, you see that David takes us through his emotions, right into the act of confession, repentance, and restoration by the hand of God, as forgiveness was extended to David.

Psalm 51 (the Message Bible)

Generous in love-----God, give grace...
Huge in mercy --- wipe out my bad record
Scrub away my guilt
Soak out my sins in Your laundry.
I know how bad I've been
My sins are staring me down.
In these verses, we see that David fully understands that God alone is the only one who can clean him up and restore him. I guess the thing that grabs me the most is that here we have a kind....a ruler over a nation....a man who holds tremendous power is on his knees before God in complete recognition that God alone is the only one who can forgive his choices and actions that brought about this sin of adultery and murder.

You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all
You've seen the full extent of my evil
You have all the facts before you
Whatever you decide about me is fair
I've been out of step with you for a long time,
In the wrong since before I was born

David refuses to shift blame to anyone else for his actions and behavior. In fact David has an incredible understanding of what it means to sin. He understands that his actions and behavior, as well as his thinking, was against God. He sinned against God....such sin demands an eternal payment. One that we, on our own, could never pay. That is why Jesus died on a cross. He became payment for our sin...past and present as well as future. He has given us the incredible gift of conviction, confession, repentance and the receiving of forgiveness.

What you are after, O'God, is truth from the inside out
Enter me, then conceive a new true life
David knew that God's chief aim in his life, as well as in each of us, is that we come to a saving knowledge of the truth. You see, truth is the real power afforded to us when we come to God broken and acknowledging our sin. Truth is the real power, given to us by God, that will break the hold of that old life we've been living under. The life of lies, half-truths, deception and manipulation. We no longer have to move under the direction and influence of the power that sin held over us. We are free.... Romans 6:14 tells us...."After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer. You have dominion over sin. You're now living in the freedom of God."

Take today's posting and chew on it.
Ask God to show you how this applies to your life.....
To reveal any areas that may have been covered over by your denial.
Then let God be God as you confess and turn to Him.
Now that's something to write home about.

God on you..
mbb

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Ramblings



Psalm 107:1-2
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say "SO!" Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.


Good morning to you all....
Lot's is going on all around me, as I sit here trying to sort through all the stories and events that have been shared with me over the past week. Thought I'd simply put out some prayer request and a few praise reports.

I got a call from Mike Kelton last night concerning his sister, Judy. She had been having heart issues and the doctors wanted to do a heart cath to assess the situation. They were not the most encouraging group, telling Judy that she had major blockage and might have to have surgery to correct it. Well, Mike, who is a regular on Saturday night, shared this with us and received prayer for healing on Judy's behalf. The procedure kept being postponed, but at the same time, the doctors were telling her that time was important and she did not need to put off having the procedure done. We kept praying. Last night Mike called me to let me know that when the doctors did the heart cath, there wasn't any blockage at all. Hmmmm....I wonder what happened. So I guess I'll take Psalm 107:2 at face value where it says, "let the redeemed of the Lord say so."   SO!!!!!

Brandon and Jessica Waller contacted me concerning their baby daughter, Bonnie Rae. She is in the hospital after having a rough weekend. Please pray for her and for the family. Brandon's job takes him out of town during the week, so he is not able to be there with Jessica and Bonnie. Jessica is having to shoulder the load, so to speak, as well as take care of the rest of the family. Strength to Brandon and Jessica....healing to Bonnie Rae...to her body....we pray this in the name of Jesus...Amen.....

There are several I know who have returned to old ways, old thoughts, and old places. The reason doesn't matter, as we can play should-a, would-a, could-a till the cows come home. Pray that God will break through the hardness of heart...the blindness of their spiritual eyes and deafness of their spiritual ears, that they might be awakened to the truth of God. Pray protection that God would stand angels around them to stay off the enemy from laying claim to their very soul.

we read in Psalm 107:10-11 and 13-- Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High.They cried out to the Lord in their trouble and He saved them out of their distress. You know me....I'm just crazy enough to believe that God is still in the "saving / redeeming" business.

I'll be speaking this weekend at Seth Barber's meeting @ Catalyst Recovery. Come out and join us, as we gather together to see what God wants to do that night.
Meal @ 5:30 p.m.

Large group @ 6:30 p.m. /  followed by small group. Great way to spend a Sunday night as well as setting the tone for the coming week.  I guess I'll wrap this posting up. Think the coffee's finished and there is a cup with my name on it waiting to be consumed.

God on you...

mbb

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Them Thar Construction Blues



Matthew 7:27
And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell and great was its fall.

Things coming down from above.....
Water rising from below.....
Winds blowing from all directions......
Being beaten from every side......
Collapse.
It wasn't sudden.
It wasn't unexpected.
It happened over a period of time.
But the outcome was never in doubt.
The house would not be able to stand against the weather.
The house itself was well built.
The foundation that was chosen for it to be built on wasn't.
It had no substance to it. It was not solid.
The foundation itself was subject to the weather.
It was affected by the rain, the flood and the wind.
The foundation offered no protection to those who built there.
It could not save them.
They just believed that it would.
After all, they had put effort, sweat, toil and tears into this building project.
But the house was wrongly built.


Need I write more?
Jesus.
Just Jesus.
On Him.
In Him.
That is the solid place.
A good place to store my faith.
To put my trust.
To secure my hope.
To bind my love.
To lash my salvation.
Jesus.
Just Jesus.

All else is passing away.
All else is crumbling.
Not my hope.
Hope in Jesus.
Just Jesus.

mb

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Real SUPERMAN


(Reprint from October 17, 2013)

John 2:7-8
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them up to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."

Jesus was incredible was he not?
He had the ability (power and authority) to alter matter.
He could simply speak and elements would increase, or they would be changed into something totally new.
In the case of the verses in John 2, a wedding was going on. Wine was a part of the celebration and in this case, someone forgot to inventory how much was needed. The hosts were running out. To have this happen was the most embarrassing of situations a person could face. So what did Jesus do? Told the servants to fill up some urns with water. Six urns and the capacity of each one was estimated to be between 20 and 30 gallons. That is at least 120 and could have been 180 gallons of water.

Somewhere along the way between the filling and the talking....Jesus altered the molecular structure of the water and turned it into wine. Not the cheap stuff either. His authority and power went down to the atomic level of matter and changed it. Hard to wrap my head around that one.

Then there was the matter of feeding 5,000 plus people with a Happy Meal. To be honest, it was 5 biscuits and 2 fish sticks.  I mean, come on! How can you even look at that meager portion of food and then look at that crowd and declare, "Well, we've got enough here."?
But that is what Jesus did.
He took the fish and bread.
He broke them (like that was going to make it go farther)....No, all blessing come to a place of brokenness in our lives. We can't be blessed until we are broken and ready to receive.

He blessed the food.
Then He distributed it among the disciples to be passed out.
Here again, Jesus goes right to the atomic level of matter. Only this time, he isn't going to change it as much as he is multiply it. If I remember correctly, my early science teachings told me that matter can neither be created or destroyed. I think maybe Jesus messed all that up when the fish and bread was created and multiplied to feed the multitude. That Jesus! He'll get all up in some science and mess it up, won't he?

Why all the "matter" talk this morning?
Because if Jesus can do that with water and bread and fish.....
Imagine what he can do with me.
Imagine what he can do with addiction.

If this Jesus can command all the way down to the atomic level....I am certain he can speak into my heart and work a new work.
I'm sure he can move attitudes and thoughts and behaviors by the introduction of the Holy Spirit into my miserable existence, putting me on the path to a new way of living and doing business with the world. That's my Jesus!

As Larry Norman sang----"Why don't you check into Jesus...he's got the answers."

God on you...

mb

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Meeting the Real-deal Jesus


Psalm 108:1
A God, my heart is satisfied.  I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.

The thing that makes Vineyard ReCovery different is the emphasis we put on meeting with God. Now when I use that phrase, "meeting with God"...I'm sure that everybody has a different idea of what I mean. I'm going to give you my best definition.

#1- we know that God is everywhere:  Omnipresent.
#2- We know that we aren't always aware of His presence.

#3- Some people have never been awakened to the God's presence. They have heard about Him. Listen to sermons given on who God is. They have sung songs about this God, but have never really had a personal---one-on-one encounter with Him.
#4- VRCC's purpose is to introduce them to God. To set a table , so to speak, where the finite can meet the infinite. Where the mortal can be touched by the immortal. 

To be touched by God...
To be made aware of His presence by the work of the Holy Spirit, gives a person a frame of reference from which to understand God (as best as we can). It makes the idea, and person  of God come alive in heart's of those who have existed in spiritual darkness and blindness.
Every one of us has free will to either reject or receive from God. That is what VRCC is all about. Putting the two together so a decision can be made.
"Yes! I want you God...I give my life and will over to you!"

OR
"No! I want to continue to live and run my own life!"

Greg Birdwell brought the message last night.
The zeal, and love and honesty that poured out of him into that room was awesome.

Greg has a natural love and passion for Jesus, and it shows.
He is not afraid to be excited about what Jesus has done to him, for him and through him.
Greg reminds me of the cripple man who got healed in Acts chapter 3. "So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them.....walking, leaping, and praising God."  So what this God has done to Greg fills his heart, and when there isn't any more room, it spill over and out through Greg's voice and movement and words. At this point, if you know Greg, I will ask you to give a big ol' "WHOOOOO!!!!!" for Jesus.


Greg spoke on the story of Jesus and Lazarus. If you're not familiar with this one, it is a keeper. Lazarus dies and his sisters send word for Jesus to come. He delays for reasons that didn't make a lot of sense to the disciples. Eventually Jesus shows up (at just the right time)...Lazarus has been dead for four days. Now that is some kind of dead and, as his sister told Jesus, he "stinketh". Four days dead? Stinks? No problem for Jesus. He speaks the words that the sisters have been wanting to hear. "Lazarus!!!! Come out of that tomb!!!" It's all downhill after that. Tomb's stone is moved...Lazarus comes out....Jesus tells the local's to remove the grave clothes. End of story. Except maybe for some "WHOO-hooing" and "Jumping about".....and a whole lot of "Can you believe this!!".

When Greg finished, I opened the floor up for anyone to come forward who wanted to be set free from their own tomb, and to meet and experience this Jesus we had just heard about. The front filled up and we began to pray. Simple prayers.....two words..."Come Lord!' He did.  Much crying...much repentance.....hearts were open to receive, and receive they did.  I could go on and on about the different stories I heard from the ones who came up. Suffice it to say that we achieved our purpose last night. To be a place where people are introduced to Jesus, and have a personal encounter with Him.  It was some kind of good night.
Last night, some who were there moved from Step# 1 through Step # 2, and wound up squarely on Step #3. Now this coming week, they can began to take a fearless and moral searching inventory.

Thank you, Greg Birdwell, for being who God has created you to be.
May you just get even more crazy and passionate for Jesus...

God on you...
mbb

Friday, October 13, 2017

Life Is But A Vapor---Eternity Is Forever

 

Silent stone sentries guard a place that needs no guard.
Each sentry named and dated.
Each has a story to tell.
A mother gone away too quick.
A child that never grew.
A father destroyed by alcohol.
Each story etched deep in stone.
Dates and times define the end
but only on this side of eternity.


There is a great crossing over for each of us
To cross over and receive the reward we have earned
on this side.
A reward of good.....
or
A reward of damnation......
We don't like to think of such things...
let alone talk about them.....

"Pastor...tell me something good!"
"Make me feel good about this life."
Yet the choices I make affect my eternity.
Jesus (whether I believe in Him or not)
Stands calling out to all
"Come to me you who are weary and weighed down."
"Come and I will give you rest."


I remember the day I heard that call.
Early in 1960.
I didn't truly understand everything about the call.
I just knew that even at the age of 9.....
I needed Jesus.
I just didn't realize how much I needed Him.
Over the years as I grew, the need for Jesus grew at
an even faster rate.
Time grew dark in my life and the light of Jesus burned brighter.
There were days I didn't want to acknowledge this light
or even my own need for the light.
The tug of darkness seemed greater than the light.
Notice I said "Seemed" greater.
Therein is the lie.


The darkness cannot, will not, never will overpower the Light of God.
Today the call and the light of Jesus has become the sweetest
sound and dearest friend I have ever known.
It fuels me beyond what I am capable of
to places and people
where I can simply share a very simple story.


Once I was lost...
Now I am found....
Thank you for the cross...
Thank you for the shed blood...
Thank you for giving your life a ransom for my own...
Thank you Jesus.....
and one last thing......
MARANATHA, Lord Jesus!
God on you all....
mb

Thursday, October 12, 2017

That God! Just When You Thought You Had Him Figured Out


Isaiah 55:6-7 (The Message Bible)
Seek God while He's here to be found, pray to Him while he's close at hand.
Let the wicked abandon their way of life and the evil their way of thinking. Let them come back to God, who is merciful, come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.

I been thinking a lot about God lately.....
Trying to wrap my feeble brain around why some folks are ready to move from their addiction....
Why some aren't....
Why some seem so pliable and easily influenced by God's Holy Spirit to change their ways....
Why some seem so hard, stiff-necked, and rebellious to the point that they thumb their noses at God, proclaiming their own self sufficiency.


Years ago, when I first came to Rapha, I would try to pick the ones who came into the program that I thought were going to make it. The ones I thought were going to walk away from the program completely healed and ready to embrace this new way of living. Well, as it turns out, my ability to cull the whole bunch was not very good. In fact there wasn't any rhyme or reason I could see as to who would or would not find recovery.

I have seen a man with a Phd. become totally undone because God spoke to him. Literally spoke to him. This man, who was smarter than smart (his Phd. was in physics) did not believe in God. Went out of his way to tell everyone that he didn't believe, and that those of us who did were a bunch of backwards goobers living in the dark ages.

I'll never forget the day his world was unraveled by two words. He was the last one in the chow hall eating lunch. I was walking from my office to the classroom, when Ron stepped out on the porch of the chow hall, holding a chicken leg, with the strangest look on his face. He just stood there staring. I asked him if he was o.k.. No answer. Again I asked, "Ron are you o.k.?" Still no answer. Still staring out into space, Ron said, "He spoke to me....God spoke to me." When I asked him what God had said, Ron replied that God had said two simple words...."I'm real!" Ron was never the same after that. His arguments fell away under the weight of those two words. All doubt had been replaced by the hope and promise of hearing those two words.

The first two words of the verses from Isaiah I posted this morning are "SEEK GOD!"  Seeking God can take many various forms. It can be a determination in the heart of someone desperate to connect with God. Or it can be like Ron who did not believe, but had put himself in a place (Rapha) where God was at work and speaking to hearts. See this is the hard thing we have trouble believing. That Ron, even with all his doubt and rebellion, would be a candidate for having an encounter with God. 

At the same time, I have seen men who could not read or write...men who were crude and rude also be undone by an encounter with God. The one thing I've taken away from my own journey in recover is that God's ways are not like mine.
His thoughts are higher (way higher...I mean beyond the moon higher) than my mine. I think sometimes we forget who we are dealing with when it comes to God. I think maybe Isaiah 59:1 states it best....."Look! Listen! God's arm is not amputated---he can still save. God's ears are not stopped up---he can still hear." I know some folks don't want to hear it, but I'm going to say it anyway...."God is the answer to all our problems....God's presence in our lives ,as we turn will and life over to his care, is the only hope we have of experiencing real life. Life that can stand in the middle of our daily storms and battles and fill us with peace so that we can navigate the path. Life that transcends our own understanding. It's not the we have to understand the how's and why's of what we have found.....we simply have to live daily by faith.
Faith that tells me "God is who He claims to be...and God will do what He has promised He would do." How can I not rest and cease my own efforts to change me when I think on those words? 

Maybe it's time we take a look at God's promises and start doing life in a different way.
What's the worse that could happen?
We just might find sobriety and real life in the process...

Have a great Thursday!

God on you..

mbb

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Remembering Nineteen Years Ago

It was 19 years ago this week  that I found myself going to the first session of CATCH THE FIRE conference at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. At that time, I was the associate pastor at Gadsden Vineyard Church, and much of what was happening to us as a fellowship was because of the impact that Toronto had on us. In June of 1994, we received word of a revival/renewal that had begun on January 20th of that year. It had been going on 7 nights a week since then and we were told that we needed to get up there to receive what was being imparted to those who attended. Jim Bentley, senior pastor, and several others made the trip up and on their return to Gadsden, we knew that something had happened. We didn't have language for it and to be truthful, I wasn't even sure it was from God. I was offended by what I saw and heard yet, at the same time, I was intrigued by what was being shared. 

Over the course of time, I continued to waver back and forth...."Yes! This is God."  "No! It isn't God." I was determined to know for myself what was going on. Eventually I saw that the fruit of what had taken place in Toronto was a deeper love for Christ, and a fire to share it with all who would hear. I knew that Satan could not counterfeit this.

By 1998, Gadsden Vineyard had committed to sending me to Toronto. We didn't know why, other than there was a sense that I needed to go and experience what was now a 4 year renewal through this visitation by God.

I spent 6 days in Toronto, going to various sessions of the conference. To be truthful, I felt like I was to simply go and observe. I didn't really expect any great visitation upon myself but I was willing and open for whatever God wanted to do. Shortly before my trip to Toronto, I had a dream that would later prove to be prophetic and a word from God about where he was leading me. In the dream, Jim Bentley and I were in a library looking for books. We were wandering up and down the different stacks of books, when Jim called to me and said, "Come here, I have found it."  When I got to Jim, he held out a blue colored book with the title  The Blues Way, and said, "Take this, you're going to need it." End of dream.
Little did I know that this was the vehicle (the music) that God was going to use to convey the truth of the Kingdom to those in addiction. 

When I got to Toronto, for the first time since the renewal hit, the two visiting worship leaders for the week were Bryn Haworth and Dave Markee, both blues session guitar players who had made their living backing some of the biggest names in Rock and Roll. It was like God was setting up this whole "BLUES" theme just for me. I remember that where ever I went, whether at the hotel or to Pat and Mikes, a restaurant across from the hotel, blues music was always playing. What was this all about? It tied into what I was going to do with the men who were going through the Rapha program. 

Blues music has a universal appeal and has a way of striking something deep inside a person when you listen to it.When traditional blues music is played it is a cry of pain and loss. God was showing me that what was going to take place was that the cry of pain and loss would come through the music, but found within the message was hope in Jesus. That no matter what your circumstance, God would and could lift you out of it.

Toronto was the place where God gave me the desired direction He wanted me to go in. I came back to Gadsden and for the next 10 months, served at Rapha by teaching and ministering to the men. In August of 1999, we began our weekly recovery meeting at Gadsden Vineyard which became known as HOUSE OF BLUE. Blue being the color that represents an open heaven and communication between God and us.

I look back over these past years and am amazed at what God has done ( I don't know why I'm amazed, after all, He is God!). More than anything, I am grateful for God allowing me to participate in this work.
So the next time you read the book of Psalm, think Blues, because it contains some of the greatest blues lyrics every put down on paper.....
It was the "Blues Way" that cemented my call to serve those in addiction/recovery. I've never looked back....and I like what I see up ahead.
Thank you Jesus.

God on you.........
mb

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Gift Of Recovery


Romans 5:3-5
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they will help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this HOPE will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Gift # 1 of recovery: HOPE
The sister to faith, hope is the glue that binds us to the promises of God. We do not hope that circumstances will turn out the way we want them to. We hope and rest in the understanding that if I daily walk according the principals I have been taught, they God will guide me accordingly.

Hope is the 2nd part of the trinity of spiritual understanding that we act out, or walk out daily.

I Corinthians 13:13- Three things will last forever---#1- faith...
#2- HOPE-----#3- Love.
These are the three cornerstones that are placed, built and established in those who turn will and life over to the care of Jesus. Three divine inward workings of the Holy Spirit, that produce incredible outward results through our changed behavior.

This hope is not something that we can produce on our own. Oh, there is a pseudo-type of hope the world affords to those who walk outside this new life of recovery. We simply hope for hope's sake. We hope that life will be fair, which it won't. We hope that life will not hit back, which it will. In these times, such hope fades and blows away with the wind of adversity.

God-hope will empower you to move forward no matter what life may throw at you. Isn't that the reality we are seeking....spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection? The measure of movement in our recovery no matter what the situation. Progress can be measured in inches....or in miles. No matter which, if movement is made, we are making progress. We haven't turned back. We haven't given up.

Receive this hope today.

Receive that which God can provide to us, that we can not produce in our own strength or ability.
Hope....
What a beautiful word, when tied to a beautiful God.


God on you....
mbb

Monday, October 9, 2017

Grab Your Sack...Choose A Row...Start Picking



I don't know how many of you who read this blog know anything about farming, but as the summer months slide into Autumn, my thoughts go back to my growing up years.
We spent a great deal of time and energy planting, weeding, watering, fertilizing and waiting.
Waiting till it was time to harvest the fruit of our efforts.

I remember asking Mr. Arvie Battles if I could help pick his cotton. He sized me up and said, "O.k. boy but it's hard work." He wasn't joking either. Starting on one row, dragging that big sack as you moved from cotton plant to cotton plant picking out the boles of cotton. Stickers on the plant cutting into your fingers and tops of your hands, all bent over so that you had to stop ever so often and straighten up for fear that you might permanently resemble Quasimodo, the bell ringer. But at the end of the day when you drug that big sack up to be weighed, Mr. Battles would count out your money and you went away with a feeling of satisfaction. You had earned it.

In Matthew 10:36-38 Jesus speaks of another kind of harvest.
He felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn't know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, "The harvest is so great but the workers are so few. SO pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest. Ask him to send out more workers for his fields."

The thing that struck me about this passage is the fact that Jesus said that the fields are ready to be harvested. The disciples did not do the work of planting the seed, or the Word of God. They did not water (that is the Holy Spirit who waters or interacts with the seed-Word planted in the hearts of those who hear that causes it to bring forth life) the fields. Jesus said that they were responsible for harvesting what God has prepared. They were to go forth into these crowds of people and make sure that they understood what God was doing around them and in them. In other words, Jesus was saying, "Hey guys....all you have to do is cooperate with God."

I believe that the world-fields are ready today. They are ripe for harvest and the only thing needed is workers to go out. Key words ----GO OUT! You won't find the harvest inside the 4 walls of the institutional church. Oh, every now and then a ripe plant may find it's way inside the church and be harvested, but the real deal is outside in the fields. God has called us to go.
If we don't then the harvest is lost until next year. The produce will rot on the plant and fall to the ground if we don't go out and harvest it and prepare it....in other words make disciples. How many more harvest seasons are we going to waste? How many times do the plants have to drop the fruit and die and wait till next year to be harvested?

Ask God to show you the fields.
You may be surprised.
It may be as close as next door or as far away as India.
NO matter where, go and be obedient to the call God has extended to every believer.

God on you........
mb

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Stand....And Stand Some More


Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead along the path of everlasting life.

Rain falling....
Daybreak is approaching, buy hasn't wrestled with the darkness yet. Each day is a battle between the darkness and the light. Day will rise and replace the darkness for a time. As the hours pass by, darkness will reappear and daylight will slip away. I guess my goal is to find that place of spiritual stability where I can stand no matter which one is prevalent..spiritual light or dark. I think maybe it is all part of setting my mind to face whatever the next 24 hours hands me. i like how this mindset (and heart-set) is described in Ephesians 6:13 - Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and have done everything, to stand firm.


The simple act of "standing" in the face of evil....a.k.a. darkness is what we are called to do. How hard is it to stand? Well, pretty hard when everything inside you is screaming to run. But you don't. You stand. You refuse to remove yourself from the situation. Where does this fortitude and strength to stand come from? God. Because such a thought and action is not found in us. We want to cut and run. We want to retreat into what we believe is a safe place. When we reject God's call to stand, and we run away, we are actually playing into the hands of our enemy, the devil. When we run away, we usually are looking for comfort by returning to old ways and old behaviors. It really is like the old adage says...."Jumping from the frying pan into the fire." 

This morning a sadness hangs over me. Someone I love dearly has done exactly what I've written about. They have turned and run away, rather than face what the day may have brought to them. They did stand for a season. They did dig their heels in and refused to give into that dark tug to take the easier softer way. For whatever reason, they gave in. I know that because of the truth that this person has been exposed to, this morning is a miserable time for them. There isn't enough drugs or alcohol around to dull the guilt and shame they are living under. For this reason, I do pray that God would lay hold of them before the enemy brings his destruction once again into their life. I fear that this individual may not have another "rodeo" out there. This time may be the last one. I do say such to bring judgment on this person. I've just seen too many who keep pushing the envelope, so to speak. Believe you me, if you push enough, eventually the envelope will push back and kill you.

So my prayer today for my friend, and everyone else out there in their addiction is that they would heed the words of Ephesians 6. That they would replace their ragged, tattered garments of sin for the FULL ARMOR OF GOD. Having done so......then stand.


Simply that....
Stand.


God on you...

mbb

Denial

(Taken From The Intro To The Book Of Ezekiel In The Message Bible) Denial refuses to acknowledge the destruction we have brought on ...