Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Last night I had the most unusual dream I have ever had. It was a dream of a voice. No pictures, no visions, no images. Just a voice. It was very clear in what was said.
"I am the King........you are MEL."
The voice was addressing me.
The voice referred to himself as the KING (Please, no Elvis puns).
And decreed that I was MEL.
Problem was that I knew that He was not talking to just to me, but to the body of Christ at large.
I didn't see this in the dream, but I knew and was aware that I was surrounded by others and that we were dressed in chain mail armour with white tunics which bore a red cross. It was like what you see of the armies who went off to the Crusades. Like I said, I did not see this, I just knew it. Once again the voice spoke.
"I am the King.........you are MEL."
When I woke up, the phrase was still with me. "I am the King.......you are MEL."
I had no clue as to who or what MEL was. Mel Gibson? No, that's not right.
I went to my computer and did a word search for the name MEL.
It came up as Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory.
Here was the kicker. M.E.L. is defined or described as "An agent of change in a rapid paced world, setting the standards of measurement." Why would you need change in a world that is changing? What is an agent?
An agent is something that is introduced to bring about a predetermined effect.
I think we are being told that we, believer's / body of Christ, have been commissioned to do this. We are to be agents of change. We do not have the luxury of sitting by but are being introduced into the world to create a desired effect.
This is more than winning souls.
This is about making disciples.
Society has gone over the edge of moral decay.
There are those who work to change the laws in order to affect society in a political or economic way.
We have been called to take seriously Jesus' command to make disciples, not just win souls.
when you make disciples, you change the standard of measurement in that life as well as the environment around that person as the Holy Spirit is introduced.
In the Old testament, The Levites camped around the Tabernacle to protect the people from God.
We are called to camp at the gates of Hell to keep hell from destroying the people. If MEL sets the standards of measurement for the World and we have been designated as MEL then it makes sense when we read, "When the enemy comes in.............like a flood the Lord will raise up a standard."
Christ in us is the standard that is set before the world.
The world is without excuse if we will be who Christ calls us to be.
Be the fragrance of Jesus in world that carries with it the stench of death.
God on you......
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I keep finding myself stopping by this particular chapter from time to time.
Probably have taught more from 107 than any other chapter in Scripture.
It seems to speak of life with God and life (or the lack of) without God.
I think it is speaking to what is going on in the lives of people today in our country.
We are a nation that has bought into the notion that we can save ourselves from whatever comes our way.
Or at least the idea that the Federal Government can save us.
What happens when neither view is correct? That we cannot save ourselves or look to the government to be our savior.
I am a firm believer that we spend a lot of time praying for God to remove us, deliver us, restore us, take us out of, free us from, raise us above whatever event or situation we are facing.
This may not always be the case with God.
In verse 6 of Psalm 107 we read:
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and delivered them out of their distresses.
Sounds good, especially to our sense of self-preservation. But take a closer look at what is written.
The people cried out to God "in their trouble."
Smack dab in the middle of a situation that there was no answer for.
In the middle of a circumstance that had no solution, as far as the people could see, they cried out to God.
I'll buy that. So far the verse is right on target.
We have identified that we are in a "powerless" place where we cannot save ourselves.
Coming to that conclusion, we realize that only a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. That power being JESUS.
So, with everything we have, we cry out....HELLLLLLLLP!
Notice what the Scripture says.
"And He delivered them out of their distresses."
It doesn't say that He (Jesus) delivered them from the situation does it?
It says that He delivered them out of their distresses. He brought peace to their hearts, souls, spirit, and mind. He delivered them out of the emotional turmoil and confusion that comes when we find ourselves in desperation.
We trust God and not our emotions.
We find the level place, the peaceful place that only God can give and then await His instructions.
Notice Verse 7:
"And He led them forth by the right way.........."
We have to be delivered from the emotional baggage in order to hear what to do.
We find this to be hard, because what we want is a pseudo-peace.
We want the situation to change so that we can find peace.
God says, "I will free you from the baggage and give you peace so you can follow Me through the situation."
Maybe this should be what we crave and cry out for more than deliverance.
God....deliver me from my own emotional baggage so I can follow you!
Think on this...
God on you.......
Friday, September 26, 2008
To come together, as a group, and simply say, "Thank you God! For who you are."
We will not get caught up in the blessings we have been given.
We will not be dragged down by the events of our past.
We will focus for a brief period of time on God and him alone.
Our music will reflect who we are as a community of believer's.
It will sound like us.
It will stir our hearts as we move out into areas that, for some, are uncharted.
We will focus our hearts and our minds on God.
We will do so not for anything in return, but to simply to remember how blessed we are.
It has been two weeks since I have been here for the meeting and I can tell you that I have missed it terribly.
I have spoken in several places over the past couple of weeks but none compare to coming back here, my home, to be with the men and worship with them.
Thank you Lord for our place in your Kingdom.
May we win for the Lamb....
The rewards of his suffering.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
We do so and it becomes such a common place thing in our midst, that we forget what life was like before it was introduced.
Last night I sat and watched as the President spoke on the financial crisis.
When he finished, I got up to do some searching on the Internet.
The pundits had already posted their insight into what the President had said.
Seconds after he had finished, the info on his speech was going to the world over the Internet.
We forget about how it used to be.
We would have waited until the next day to read about it in the newspaper.
Or tuned in to the 10 p.m. newscast to see what they had to say. No longer though....
Blammo! It's there.
In an age of speed to disseminate information, true or false, we forget about the greatest source every given to mankind. The Bible.
Psalm 119:130 reads:
The unfolding of Thy words gives light. It gives understanding to the simple.
God's word is always being seen and taken into our spirits on new levels as we become students and "digest" or take the work into our souls and heart. It is the only book that I know of that when you read it, you can come back and read the same portion at a later date and see something new that wasn't revealed the first time you read it.
God's word gives light. It illuminates within us the dark places where we hide sin (or so we think). It gives us an opportunity to shed ourselves of motives, attitudes, behaviors that are contrary to God's path He has called us to walk. In other words, I am being changed, my character is being changed because of the Holy Spirit who brings this illumination to me.
In an age where information comes like a tidal wave, it is comforting to know that the words of Malachi have not been relegated as useless. "I am the LORD God! I do not change."
God is not outdated.
God is not irrelevant.
God is not a myth.
He is life.
He is peace.
He is the portion that fulfills your inner hunger.
A hunger that we have tried to feed with sex, drugs, money, power, greed....insert what ever you want. Only God can satisfy.
How can I say this?
Because He has done this for me.
God on you......
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Just finished preparing for the 9 p.m. Bible study.
Each teaching is an exercise in "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God. What do you want to say tonight?"
I have been holding this twice a week study since early 2004 and have seen God do some incredible things as we have met.
Tonight is teaching on following hard after God.
Reading in Exodus where the cloud of God's presence would settle over the Tabernacle and remain there until it was time to move.
I wondered what it was like being camped around the presence of God. No matter where you went in the camp you could not escape the presence of God. It stretched to the heavens. Cloud and shade by day, fire and warmth by night. Lighting up the inside of the tents with a red glow. How many drifted off to sleep with a view of God's presence etched in their minds? How long would it take for the presence of God to become common place? In the beginning of the trip out of Egypt walking in fear of God. Not wanting to lag behind or get ahead of the cloud, but trying to pace yourself and walk with the cloud.
How many became insensitive to this cloud and pillar of fire?
Giving no thought to who was in their midst.
"I'll let that crazy fellow, Moses, fool with the cloud. Hey! You remember when we were in Egypt......all the great food we had there. Don't get me started about this so called Promise Land...we aren't ever gonna see it. Moses brought us out here to die."
All the while the presence of God heard and saw what was going on in the camp.
The cloud was the leader, not Moses. The cloud moved, Israel packed up and followed. Probably not willingly either. "I just had the tent fixed like I really wanted it to be and now that cloud is moving and we got to pack up! Will it never end?"
The following of these thoughts of following Jesus and not my own understanding lead me to Luke Chapter 5 where Peter and others came into contact with Jesus. The guys have been on an all-nighter fishing trip. Caught nothing and here Jesus uses their boat for a floating pulpit to teach from. Upon finishing, Jesus tells them, "Put out to the deep water and let down your nets." The guys do so and catch the mother lode of fish. Verse 10 Jesus tells them, "You will catch men...you will be fishers of men."
Verse 11 is the kicker -- SO they pulled their boats up on shore, let everything to follow him.
We don't really believe they left everything, do we?
If that is the truth, then how do I excuse my lifestyle?
Am I called to leave everything?
Am I called to follow in like manner? Or do I spiritualize these verses by saying, "He only wants me to surrender everything by simply saying it. Being willing to do it, but he really isn't going to expect me to surrender everything. Does he?
I think He does.
Is this where I sell everything and leave my home? Only if you have a clear directive from Him to do so. But it is necessary to leave old friends and places to follow him.
I have given up much to follow him.
I won't say that I have given willingly either, sometimes I turn loose because I know I have no other choice.
But what I have been given in return is beyond my comprehension.
A deeper love for God.
A more clear vision of where I am going.
A deeper love for my family and brothers and sisters in Christ.
A shoulder to lean on and walk with as He guides me.
I make no excuses or want to give the impression that it has been tootsie pops and cinnamon rolls, it has been a hard road, but never, never, never, has God forsaken me or left me to fend for myself.
That is why I am leaving all to follow Him.
When I arrived I shared what I had heard with the leadership and asked if it was o.k. for me to minister in a way that they might not be used to. They gave me the authority and I knew that everything was in place.
Sure enough after I finished speaking we moved into clinic time (John Wimber's word for ministry). I invited everyone who wanted prayer to come to the front. There were 35-40 people who came up. I began praying over each of them and as I moved among them, you could see the Holy Spirit coming on them. Now these were people who had never experienced or been a part of something like this. Some began to cry, some began to shake, some began to sway almost to the point of falling down. There was much healing taking place as I got to pray for several who had specific physical needs. At one point I told the group that God's heart was to restore them and put them in right standing with himself. Some began to confess sins and ask for forgiveness and to be saved. I never tire of seeing God work. All I had to do was get out of the way and watch as he touched hearts.
Afterwards, I stayed around to pray with anyone who needed it. Several came to speak with me. These were people who really wanted to believe but had been damaged so much through life and bad choices that they just couldn't come down. It was a kind of "I believe" but help me in my unbelief. God was just as powerful and loving to these who came last as he was to the group who came during the meeting.
It's about Him.
But he let me participate in a wonderful evening and for that I am grateful.
I was later told by someone who was there, that during their small group meetings, the topic of conversation was what they had experienced from God coming and touching them.
I pray that this will stick and cause them to become passionate to chase after God.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
In some ways, I would agree with the idea that the picture above looks outdated.
But when it comes to God, I would disagree with these people who hold fast to this idea that God and his word needs to be made relevant.
To me what they are truly saying is that the Holy Spirit has lost the power and ability to touch people and open them up to the truth of God. That somehow the Holy Spirit has become a non-factor in our world today.
My friends would relate the way church conducts their services and business is outdated and not relevant to a person who does not attend. In some ways, I agree. The church has become like a Chaplin on a cruise ship. He just kind of gets in the way and no one wants anything to do with him. But....if the boat starts to sink, then the Chaplin becomes the person everyone wants to talk to, or be with.
I have mixed emotions on the whole "make church relevant" idea. I think the heart of the matter is that we should seek out God's direction and then follow Him. I do know that the Word of God is not up for debate. What do we have to offer someone who is being drawn to Jesus except the WORD. Pointing them to the Book of John to begin reading is a good start.
I don't think we, as creation, can make an eternal truth relevant. It just is. Truth never changes. maybe we're trying to sell an eternal truth to people whose minds and hearts have not been opened by the Holy Spirit.
I see a lot of enthusiasm for worship.
We hold worship conferences and invite high profile people to lead them.
I see a lot of enthusiasm for signs and wonders.
We hold Signs and Wonder conferences and invite the most prophetic and charismatic personalities in Christendom to lead them.
You just don't see a lot of Word of God conferences where the best teachers are invited to feed us and train us through the Word of God.
We are living on fluff and candy. Fun to eat but not much nutritional value there.
God help me....
Saturday, September 20, 2008
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.
Very hard concept to understand.
Especially in our day and time.
Oh, we give a nod of the head to it...."Yes we are all a part of the body of Christ, but you know...I don't trust those "insert whatever denomination or flavor of church you so desire."
Until we realize that we are a part of something that is greater than us, we will remain self-centered and selfish when it comes to God.
It's almost as if todays church believes (individually) that their denomination is the last bastion of truth for God's kingdom. That somehow they are the Alamo of the denomination wars. Truth be known, we have become short sided and very full of our own importance.
We forget that Jesus is the head of this body. Being the head, He makes the calls and decisions. As a part of the body, we can only carry out what we are told to do. But here we go off on some tangent to be what we want to be. We claim membership in the body, we just don't want to follow where we are told to go and participate in the way we have been called to participate. Maybe we are still a little rebellious, even in the name of Jesus. How crazy is that?
If you are a foot..........then "Foot it" this week end.
If you are a nostril......then "nostril it" this week end.
If you are an elbow.....then be the best elbow you can be for the Kingdom.
See you Monday!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion,"says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him."
This is one of my most favorite picture that I have ever taken. It was early one fall morning last year, a little before 5 a.m. The star you see in the picture was extremely bright and was the only thing in the early morning sky. It was a reminder to me of the verses from Lamentations.
Each day has troubles of its own, but God's compassion's and mercies have already been made available to those who cry out for them. I don't mind telling you that I use my daily amount of mercy and compassion.
The LORD is our portion (Vicki and me).
We have staked 36 years on this rock solid fact.
Seeking His Kingdom and righteousness, we have seen God add to us the blessings He has for us. Not all blessing take the form of material things. I want my vision to see beyond the material. I want to see the hand of God moving and touching the corner of this world he has called me to. I want to see God in the smallest of things. I think here, in the small things, is where you can find the compassions and mercies of God.
I find them in telephone calls from people that you haven't heard from in years. They just had you on their mind and wanted to call and let you know they were still clean and sober and chasing God.
I find them in verses that seem to leap off the page of the Bible. You may have read that particular verse dozens of times, yet you find new meaning in it for today. It becomes a part of you that you take around with you for the day. It changes the way you think and feel about God. What a present.
He is such a wonderful LORD!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Vicki and I made our way to Birmingham for a wedding.
Daniel and Morgan.
Daniel came through the program back in 2005, was an R.A. and has done exceptionally well since leaving.
Morgan is the sweetest of sweet girls you would ever want to meet. She and Daniel were best friends. Now what was that saying about girl/boy best friends? Oh yeah...sometimes they fall in love and get married.
Daniel had asked me at the beginning of the year if I would conduct the wedding service to which I replied, "are you kidding? Of course I would!" So there. Everything was set.
The thing I loved about this wedding is that everyone who came was not aware that this was going to happen. They thought they had been invited to a cook-out. SURPRISE!!!!
The wedding was held at the home of some friends that Daniel and Morgan go to church with (Jeff and Kathleen). IN fact the whole schpeel was taken care of by friends.
Working in a recovery program, events like this wedding are a kind of payday.
An opportunity to see the result of God at work in two lives.
Two people who are grateful for God's presence in their relationship and grateful for the love they have for each other.
As I stood there during the ceremony, I looked around at the family and everyone who had gathered and there was such a joy and peace present.
After I pronounced them husband and wife, I whispered, "Thank you Father! You did real good!"
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Symbol for emotion.
Something that burns within. A desire for a cause or a purpose.
Jesus burned with passion.
He left the 99 sheep to go find the one.
Jesus was passionate for His father.
He made a whip of chords and drove out those He called "thieves and robbers" from the temple.
He said, "This is a house of prayer but you have turned it into a den of thieves." Jesus physically removed the people from the temple, driven by the passion that burned in Him to carry out His Father's directives.
Jesus was passionate for the children.
He rebuked His disciples for keeping the children away from Him.
"Suffer these little ones to come unto me."
Jesus was passionate for the cross.
After setting His mind and spirit on Calvary, He proclaimed, "Not my will but your o' Lord."
He walked it out.
Every step, and at the appropriate time proclaimed, "IT IS FINISHED!"
I see a passionless people today.
I do not burn the way God intended me to.
I see a people who are satisfied.
"Don't upset my world."
"Let me just worship and go away in a positive mindset."
We will never usher in the Kingdom of God this way.
Lacking zeal for the simplest of things that God has called us to.
We are in need of fire!
We are in need of being shaken from the subtle slumber that rocks us to sleep in the pews.
Powerless words from a powerless pulpit being spoken to passionless hearts.
Oh God! Awaken us! Drive us out if you have to into a world that is dying more and more each day.
How Long Lord! Start with me. I fear that I too am to comfortable and satisfied with my lot in life.
Flood our land.
Upset our politics and government.
Uncover and expose the graft and corruption of our society.
Return every effort to worship you that is not from the heart but from the flesh.
O'God.....Raise up Your church, and may we see the futility of our efforts to build using your name. May our works be exposed for the hay, wood and stubble that they are.
Let mercy be poured out on us.
Draw us to Your bleeding side and once again let us understand the power that Your blood has.
In the Name of Jesus...
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
To profit themselves.
To profit their congregations.
To build upon shaky foundations that will not stand, allowing people to find solace in a false understanding of who God is and what His purpose is.
I have watched as the Word of God has been watered down to bring people to a Jesus that is unrecognizable. Definitely not the Jesus of Scripture. Maybe that is the reason I am feeling this fire to write........I watched it happen. I haven't done anything.
We have become so fearful of not getting people into church that we have abandoned the very foundations and truths of the Word to embrace a call to the masses in an effort to get them inside the church. Once there, we dare not offend them with such words as "sin" or "Hell" for fear they will leave. The church of Jesus Christ is not predicated or built on nickels and noses. In Matthew 16, Jesus makes the statement concerning him being the Messiah...."Upon this rock (or this truth) I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail."
We have wrestled the church from the hands of Jesus to build it according to what the world wants. God help us!
We no longer hold to truth. Truth is a catch word, a photo op, an opportunity to say what ever it takes to get people to back their cause and their agenda.
My friends, there is only one cause. The Kingdom of God. As to the agenda, there is only God's agenda.
I know that even as I write these words, some will read them and consider me to be an angry man. Maybe for the most part I am angry. But my anger comes from knowing myself and understanding that it is so easy to slide over into a "JESUS FOR ALL PEOPLE" mentality. Jesus for all is not the Jesus we read in the Bible. He did not lessen the way to the Father by excusing people and their sins. He spoke plainly and sternly about the way to the Father. "I am the way, the truth and the life...no one comes to the Father but by me." We open the door to everyone to come to Jesus and remain the way you are, lest we offend someone.
We have taken a Jesus who loves and turned him into a Jesus who excuses everything. A Jesus who is tolerant and open to suggestion. We, who were created in the image of God, have now created a God in the image of us. God help us.
I watched a clip from YouTube on a prayer that was prayed at the Democratic Convention in which the man praying finished his prayer with the following words...."In the name of Jesus who died against the forces of injustice, Amen." Jesus did not die because of injustice. Jesus died for my sin. End of statement. He died to pay the price for the sins of the world, once and for all time.
(Please do not read this as an indictment that Democrats are overtly evil and Republicans have the blessing of God).
I can no longer stand by and say nothing.
I can no longer be a pharisee and hold everyone accountable except for myself.
We have become fat and bloated on self esteem and have lost sight of our wretchedness.
Like the church of Laodicia, we cry, "I am rich and have need of nothing."
God looks at us and says, "You are wretched, poor and blind."
Now is the time for revival.
Now is the time to return to the Lord.
crying out, "Oh God! Forgive me.)
Favorite Preacher: Not concerned about what other's thought of his message. He spent his life
Speaking what God laid on him to say.
In referring to the church in Acts 1- "This is the church of Jesus Christ before it became fat and out of breath by prosperity. This is the church of Jesus Christ before it became muscle bound by over organization. This is the church of Jesus Christ where they didn't gather together a group of intellectuals to study phycho-sematic medicine, they just healed the sick. This is the church of Jesus Christ where they did not say prayers, but they prayed in the Holy Ghost. There is a vast difference."
Quote in speaking of pastors coming out of seminaries:
"The tragedy in our colleges and seminaries right now is that we turn men out who know the word of God. That is never going to turn the world.
The question is not whether they know the Word of God....
The question is......Do they know the God of the Word?"
God on you.....
Monday, September 8, 2008
When they come from the broken place...
When they are whispered, not in fear that someone might hear you, but in fear of who you are talking to....they are powerful.
Sometimes the greatest lessons and examples of God's love is found in the very things we are uncomfortable doing. Love that puts us in a place of not being comfortable. We've never done this before or this isn't the way we would do it.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Are you Sure? Somehow we think that once we are saved, we somehow outgrow the need for confession. That do so would be a sign of weakness. How dumb is that?
The kingdom of God is predicated on weakness. My inability to manage my own life. My own weakness over sin. The Apostle Paul stated, "If I have anything to boast of, it would be my weakness for in it I am perfected by God's strength."
Weakness is not something the church really exhibits. The weakness we are called to admit only magnifies the strength of God. Our weakness point to God's greatness and His ability to change our lives. Wouldn't it be great if you could go into your service this coming Sunday and in the middle of everything, stand to your feet and shout at the top of your lungs, "I AM THE WEAKEST MAN HERE!" No doubt you would be given a lot of strange looks not to mention they might even escort you from the building.
The kingdom of God is founded on us being sheep and Jesus being the shepherd. Confession keeps me in touch with how frail I am, how frail my attempts to be religious are and the hard cold fact that I am in need of being saved. We should live in a state of on going confession. The more we could confess and repent for, the less the enemy would have to use against us. Wow! "0" sin/crud would be a great way to live.
What is your confession today?
God on you.......
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
To me what he is going through is a good thing and is simply God re-tunning his life to walk out what my friend has been called to do.
My friend feels as though he is a 2nd rate believer because of his job and the work he does. He has somehow gotten the idea that God can only be served within the confines of a four-walled structure we call the church.
My friend is a carpenter and a good one at that. His heart is very much in tune with God and he seeks daily to walk in a manner worthy of the call that God has placed on his life. My friend is also blind. Not physically, but spiritually. He does not see the way God uses him in the workplace. I truly can say that my friend exhibits God's heart and character as he makes his rounds each day. At the end of the day, my friend struggle with a false belief that somehow what he does is not important to the kingdom.
I assured him that the essence and heart of God's Kingdom is to take it into every corner, every nook and cranny of this earth. To conduct our business according to the mandate layed down by Jesus. To have the heart of God when we deal with other people. My friend operates this way in every job he bids for and in the way he conducts himself during the construction phase.
It would be good if we could un-religize our minds and truly begin to operate from the perspective that we truly are salt and light. That our call is to effect change through the Holy Spirit upon our society. Change the heart........change society. As salt we bring a flavor to an otherwise bland world. When the Word and Spirit of God are shaken out upon a people, they come alive. As light we are called to shine in darkness. Shine! That is all. Simply shine. Be who you were created to be and do what you were called to do. You don't pray against the darkness, you go and shine into it. Push it back by doing the works of Christ.
God on you.....
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven."
During a conversation the the other day, I was asked why my blog was so depressing. Depressing? I never thought of it that way. The person I was talking to said that I never seemed to have any joy in my life and that I focused on my lack of strength in what seemed like doing the simplest of things.
I do not want to give the impression that I walk around in sack cloth and ashes with a little dark cloud over my head. But neither do I want to dwell in the nether regions in the land of "Happy-happy-Joy-joy." By that, I mean where I never am aware of my frailty as a human and as a believer. As Paul wrote, "If I boast of anything, I boast of my weakness for in my weakness His strength is made perfect."
There is a line from the hymn COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING that breaks me down every time I hear it. love. "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart O' take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above." For me, it is a knowing deep in my spirit that this is the nature that Jesus came to die for. That sin nature that has the power (if I give in to it rather than surrender to God) to draw me away from God. I'm sorry....if that doesn't break you or if you are not in touch with that part of your life, you may be out of touch. I don't walk around bemoaning the fact that life is hard or that I am a suffering servant for the Lord. I do have joy and peace. I do rest in the fact that the more I am uncovered and God reveals my heart, the more I can draw closer to Him through my repentance and confession.
Praise God! We are set free by the Son.
And I embrace my freedom to be who He created me to be and do what He has called me to do.
I bless the path that God has called you to walk today.
That you may find peace and grace to do so (walk it out).
More than anything, I pray that you see His face everywhere you turn and hear His voice every time the wind passes you today.
God on you....
Monday, September 1, 2008
"It is often observed that Calvary precedes Pentecost." The nature of one dying to self only through surrender is the beginning of the Holy Spirit coming to anoint for the work of the Kingdom. Those not willing to surrender will never have the Holy Spirit. He goes on to say, "Where the mark of the cross is lacking, there the oil of the Spirit is absent."
This means that we can appear to be doing the work of Christ. We can be a force in our church that others look to, but without the mark or work of the cross in our lives as evidenced by our salvation, we are living a lie. Anything we accomplish, even for the name of Christ, is a false work that is flesh-built without direction or guidance of His Holy Spirit. I call this "doing" without direction but using the name of Christ to validate what we have accomplished.
Later we read that many people seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit that they may receive glory for themselves. That others would look at their lives and marvel and maybe even covet what they seem to have.
"We must discern clearly why we solict the power of the Holy Spirit. If our motive is neither of God nor one with God, we will certainly will not be able to obtain the power. "
I wish not to cast doubt on anyone but I have seen for sometime people who I would say were "professional conference Attendees". They seek out the latest and greatest to experience what is going on. The main focus is themselves as to what they can receive for God. Not a bad motive except when it is held up in the light of accountability. What did they do with what they received? Did they take it back to their home town and give it away by helping and teaching others? Or did they simply stick it on a shelf like some trophy to show others that they had simply been touched by God?
Everyone appears to want the Holy Spirit....
No one appears to want to make disciples....
Everyone appears to want the power.....
No one appears to want the suffering that comes with the power.....
Until next time, may we all grow up together reaching a maturity in our faith.
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