How Many Locks?

Revelation 3:20-22

The Message (MSG)

 20-21“Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!

 22“Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

Are you aware of how close Jesus really is?  Do you know that a mere “door” separates you and Him?  Have you not heard Him knocking?  Are you afraid to let Him in?  What is hindering you from having a relationship with the One who died for you to save you from sin?  Is is shame?  Is is fear?  Is is the feeling of being unworthy?  Maybe it’s self-esteem or is it pride?  Perhaps it is simply wrong-minded thinking and we just need to ask God “erase”  all the wrong equations in our lives.  Is the simple solution to our questions just hidden  by layers of wrong teachings and misunderstanding?

As we read the above scripture tonight at Bible Study, I never read the part about conquerors before like I did tonight.  I had read the part about Jesus knocking at the door and about ears being open, but some how I must have missed the part about being an overcomer and conqueror.  Hmmm wonder how that happens?  We are all called to be overcomers, yet few choose to actually do just that.  We get comfortable where we are and never get the thirst for the heavy-duty things of God.  What stops us?  Does it get to hard?  Is the pain of the past stabbing us so we can not move forward with the things of God?

Partly for me was not believing God enough to provide for me.  I know that writing is what I was designed to do, yet I was too “scared” to step out in faith and actually show the world how God works in my life.  I would  write journals and share a thing or two with others but to write a blog and actually SHARE!  God had to show me that I was helping Him make a difference and the more He did the more I let Him in and the more revelation He shared.  This brings me back to the door.  How many of us have put locks or bolts on that door?  Are we so afraid of the things God is going to change in us we want to keep Him on the other side of the door?  Goes back to the are you JUST saved aspect of Christianity.  God has so many awesome things planned for our lives, why would we want to miss out?

Fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of not fitting it.  When we are scared we want to put ourselves in a safe place and just hope the world goes away.  How are we going to conquer anything that way?  I want that special seat in Heaven with Jesus at the head table.  God wants His children to have all that He has destined for them.  He wants us to run the race and along the way grow stronger in the things of Him.  If we just accept our saving grace and then sit back and live life, what have we conquered?  We should press into the things God has for us and seek His will in our lives.  We are called to be doers of the word not just readers.

I urge us all to start removing the locks and bolts from our Jesus doors and begin to let Him in.  Let Him teach us right thinking, letting go of that which hinders us and make room for His love to fill us with love.  We cannot receive the things we have from Him when we are close minded or refuse to yield to Him.  Open your eyes to see Him standing at the door and knocking.  Now open the door and receive Him.  Look into His eyes and feel peace, love and joy wash over you.  Let Him do a mighty work in your life so the Father can be glorified.  Be the overcomer you were called to become.  See yourself as the Father does, seated at the head table with His Only Begotten Son!

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Are You JUST Saved?

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22 NLT

So, you accepted Jesus as your Savior, what exactly does that mean?  Well, you won’t be headed to hell, for the Lord says in His word that all who call upon His name and accept His son will be saved.  Plus, you have the added bonus of instant forgiveness through Jesus who died a crucial death to save you from your own sin.  And, you will forever be adopted into God’s family where you have many brothers and sisters to help you along your path in life.  Now, how should we live to show others this tremendous change of heart we have?

We can read the Bible and say, “There I did my devotion and now it’s me time.”  Then we go about our day not having another thought about God and then repeat it again tomorrow and over and over and over again.  At some point, God loses our interest or we just get so secure in the knowing we are saved by grace part, we forget to actually DO the things it says to in the Bible.  When was the last time we truly loved our neighbor?  Or helped a needy person on the street?  Have we visited those in prison?  Have we given a cup of cold water in His name?  There are many things in the Bible we just want to say we believe in and then we do not act.

Once again it is an issue of taking the Bible as a whole and not just fitting those things which appeal to us into our lives.  God calls us to a life of obedience and acting out the Bible is a part of that.  I know I get so busy with life sometimes I forget for a moment that I am nothing without Him who sustains me in all that I attempt to do in this life.  Everything I do should be to glorify God, even my job or grocery shopping.  I should always be on the look out for opportunities to share God with others around me.  Now I am not saying pushy evangelism, just a hug or a compliment or simply doing something out of your norm for someone else is acting within God’s word.  Isn’t that what we are called to do, be abnormal in this world, different from the rest?

God is not a difficult task master, He is merely trying to teach us to love.  God is love and He creates it through us.  He takes great pleasure in seeing His children treat each other with love and respect.  I urge us all to be the saved Christian and begin to take ownership in our calling.  We are called to be fishers of men, are we fishing?  Did we even stop to get the pole?  Read the Word daily and let it renew your mind, let God work through you to show His love.  Be obedient with the tasks God assigns you.  Let the flesh go and live life in the spirit for in the end this will be all that matters, nothing of this world will go with you.  We are given one short life in which to show others the Jesus in us, are you up to the challenge?

Seeing Promises

Proverbs 3

Trusting in the Lord

 1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
      Store my commands in your heart.
 2 If you do this, you will live many years,
      and your life will be satisfying.
 3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
      Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
      Write them deep within your heart.
 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,
      and you will earn a good reputation.

 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.
 6 Seek his will in all you do,
      and he will show you which path to take.

 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
      Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
 8 Then you will have healing for your body
      and strength for your bones.

 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
      and with the best part of everything you produce.
 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
      and your vats will overflow with good wine.

Ever just wonder where your promises are?  Seem like things just are not as they should be?  Wanting to SEE God?  Well, recently I was at church and was being prayed over.  I loosed some very BIG things from my life and could see freedom.  I had not realized how bogged down I had been by these weights on my heart.  I let go of some issues that needed to be let go, untied some strings that needed to be broken off from me and God showed up in all of His intended glory and gave me this awesome view of the sun rays exploding in the sky to gaze upon as I stepped out of the church that evening!

About a year a before this night, during prayer and revelation with my mentor she told me God said the sun rays were for me.  Ever since then I just stop in amazement at His wondrous displays and I remember His promises.  He promises to never leave or forsake us.  He promises provision.  He promises restoration of the things the enemy steals and destroys.  During my marriage, I lost many things that most take for granted when they enter a marriage.  We went three years without gas which meant no dryer, no kitchen stove and no furnace.  We grilled often, used the microwave and dried clothes by hanging them around the house and in the cold of winter we used space heaters and kerosene.  Within 6 months of being separated, God returned these things to me at almost no cost to me.  God knows our needs and is surely glad to meet them when we are looking to Him for the answers.

What do you think God has promised to you?  Is it health?  Is it restoration?  A prosperous way of life?  A new home?  A child?  A new job?  Peace in your walk?  I encourage you to examine your life and see where God has already given you some of His promises, then seek out the others.  As Christians we cannot just sit here and cry out, “Lord Bless Me!”, sometimes there is action on our part so we may grow in the things of God.  Bless to be blessed, share so He can share with you.  Our Father longs to give us everything, however if He just gives and gives we become unappreciative and selfish.  He wants to give to see us give.  Love us so we will love.

Take a moment today to write down your blessings and see where God has given to you His best.  Pray over these things and ask God to show you how you can repeat it in someone else’s life, perhaps you are an instrument God is waiting to use to bring about a promise to someone else.  For instance, you may have an extra blender you received as a gift and have no use for it.  Take a moment and ask God whom you should give it to, He may know someone in need, can you imagine the love which can transfer when someone asks you, “How did you know?” and you respond, “The Father told me you were in need.”  I hear of stories like that all the time and it is just awesome!  Be a willing instrument and let God use you this week!

Want God to Move in Your Life?

Psalm 149

New Living Translation (NLT)

 1 Praise the Lord!

   Sing to the Lord a new song.
      Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.

 2 O Israel, rejoice in your Maker.
      O people of Jerusalem,[a] exult in your King.
 3 Praise his name with dancing,
      accompanied by tambourine and harp.
 4 For the Lord delights in his people;
      he crowns the humble with victory.
 5 Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them.
      Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.

 6 Let the praises of God be in their mouths,
      and a sharp sword in their hands—
 7 to execute vengeance on the nations
      and punishment on the peoples,
 8 to bind their kings with shackles
      and their leaders with iron chains,
 9 to execute the judgment written against them.
      This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones.

   Praise the Lord!

 

Feeling abandoned?  Seeking something more from your Sunday mornings at church?  Do you need healing in your body?  Anything hindering you from seeing God’s glory?  How awesome is out God that He as given us the privilege of worship just like the Psalm states.  When we worship with the right heart, we can remove chains and our praises become like swords against our enemies.  Yet, how many of us are bored with worship or just cannot wait for it to be done so the sermon can be preached?  I have been in two completely different services this week (Sunday at my church and Monday at a church with a guest evangelist) and oddly both spoke on worship.  Maybe this is a key?

Both men of God explained three types of worship, one focused on types of worship and the other focused on how to worship.  In Psalm 149 we can clearly see many forms of worship going on from quiet and reserved to loud and boisterous.  What the evangelist spoke of tonight was our attitudes in worship.  We can choose to be vain and make it all about us or fake and not really mean it.  Then there is the true heart of worship that can lead us right up to the gates of Heaven where our praises will be multiplied by the voices of many angels.  That type of worship should be at the heart of every Christian.

Worship is a privilege.  I just can’t seem to say that enough.  We can choose to come to church with our usual preset ideas and sing a few songs and never touch the clouds that lead to Heaven, if we would just let loose our inner spirit man to lead us, can you even imagine what could take place?  Once you surrender in worship, things change mentally and physically.  You become so centered on God you begin to forget about you; besides the praises are for His benefit not ours.  God is just watching and listening to see if His children will surrender their voices in true sacrifice of praise.

After a recent revival, I have such a deeper appreciation for worship.  I have always loved singing but that is all it was, just singing.  This is my challenge to you the next time you are in a moment of praise:  1.  Close your eyes.  It does not matter if you know all the words and besides sometimes you become so focused on the words on the wall you can’t see past the ceiling into the face of God.  2.  Do not, I repeat, do not worry about your appearance.  God is looking at your heart He cares not what else is happening.  Some fidgeting with your shirt or your hair.  Do not focus on what others around you are doing, just see the face of Jesus and sing to Him.  3.  Surrender.  Give God your all.  Your worries.  Your sorrows.  Your unforgiveness.  Give Him EVERYTHING!  He deserves your full attention and you cannot do this is you are distracted by these things which may make you feel unworthy. (remember, worship is a privilege)

It is in the heart of worship that changes in your heart begin.  God can start pouring love like you have never felt before into the voided lost parts of your soul.  Worship can take you to the next level in your walk.  Worship can be the stepping stone into a realm you have never experienced before.  I get so excited just thinking about the next time I get to worship, I want to touch Heaven, I want to be filled with the things God desires to give me.  I invite you to taste and see that God is good.  I encourage you to explore your options in worship, do you want it to benefit you? Or should  your desire be to worship your God and King?  Afterall, He is the One who made the greatest sacrifice ever:  His ONLY Son.

Give Grace?

Psalm 84:11
For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.He gives us grace and glory.The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

 

If we are saved by grace and grace is all we really have, why are more people not willing to be givers of grace?  Does not all who walk this earth, who were created by God….whether they believe or not, deserve grace?  We can be so ugly sometimes when we choose not to be givers of grace to others, wonder why us Christians have such a bad reputation!  Lately God has given me some more difficult topics to speak about and I am just trying to be obedient to His will.  Of course, all of these issues I am also working on in my walk.  None of us will ever be perfect, that is for God and God alone, yet we should be daily striving to do our best to be faithful, true to our word Christians.

Okay, so grace.  Grace is given, we receive and then what?  We give!  And give!  An Give!  Not to say we give until we are exhausted or trampled on but when someone curses you, give grace.  When someone cuts you off in the store, give grace.  When the man who is in a hurry pulls out in front of you and goes slower than you, give grace.  When your boss just seems to be getting on your bad side, give grace.  It is a simple principle but one that goes against the very grain of our flesh for sure.  It will be most difficult at first, however with maybe a few graces given through gritted teeth at first, it does become easier.  It just means coming to an understanding that you once were unsaved and these people in your life may never have seen Jesus in any one before, how exciting if it could be you!

Blessings are well received by all, what if we become the blessers as well as the blessed?  We always want to receive blessing but we fail to see how less we actually give blessings.  Now blessings does not mean give your least favorite neighbor your car or send $1,000 to the first charity you come across.  Blessings can be as simple as sending a card to someone to let them know you are thinking of them.  Blessing a mom with a $10 gift card at a local coffee shop.  Help someone with their groceries.  You get the picture.  Blessing do not need to be a grand gesture but it needs to be sincere and from the heart.  People will begin to see you as a giver and shortly they may begin to see Jesus in you as well.

I have been blessing people as much as I can.  At work I write “Be Blessed” on coffee cups.  I keep my Facebook posting positive.  When I am out and about and have a little extra cash I pay for the order behind me in the drive thru.  If I see someone struggling with enough money to pay for something in front of me at the store, I provide some loose change.  Blessing is just looking for ways to make a small difference in someones life in the now moment they need it.  Use the giftings God has instilled in you to make a difference in this world, you can do it, He will give you the wisdom and the opportunities to do so.  I encourage you this week to bless someone, just something small, and see what happens.  Share your story in the blog! 

Will You Surrender?

Ezekiel 22:30

New Living Translation (NLT)

 30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.

Have you ever thought that God was actually using you?  Do you feel your job is just a job and you work for a paycheck and nothing more?  Do you honesty feel you have worth as far as being a Christian is concerned?  Did you simply ask Jesus to live inside of your heart, thinking that was all you had to do?  Tough questions, I know but as today’s Christians we need to closely examine out lives to make sure we are living out the call on our lives.  Being a Christian means more than you go to church and you are a nice person to others, it also means renewing your mind daily and opening yourself to the unlimited possibilities God had for you.

Have you ever thought God placed you in your job to help others?  Were you hired over another individual because you had the favor of the Father and His desire was for you to be in that position so someone could see Him through you?  Going to work everyday knowing you have a purpose to show God to others can put your job in a whole new perspective.  God wants to use you.  He desires to promote you in His Kingdom.  All we need to do is surrender and let God have His way in our lives and if this means going to a meaningless job everyday and making a difference in just one persons life, then so be it.  Recently there have been many changes to my job, yet I am trying hard to be positive and focus on the fact that God is in control and I am where I am because He has placed me here to do His will. 

I encourage you today to search your heart.  See if you are ready to surrender.  Do you have a desire to make a difference, to further the Kingdom?  Are you ready to accept you job as though you are working for the Lord?  If so, then take this challenge:  go to work tomorrow and on the way there, open your heart to the Lord and ask Him to use you in some way at work to make a difference for Him.  It may be something simple at first but the more you open yourself everyday the same way God may use you in a mighty way as He has done for me many times.  Are you ready to surrender?  Let me know how this turns out for you, I am willing to bet, it will be for your benefit and will cause a change in attitudes.

At His Feet

Revelation 17:17
For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled.

 

At a recently Bible study we were caught up in a moment of learning to let it go.  There was a study planned which we never encountered, instead we were overcome by the presence of God.  Many times we know not what we carry around with us every day.  Struggles, stresses, overwhelming guilt, pressures, crushed dreams and the many schemes of life.  We let these things run our daily lives as if they are who we are.  Sometimes we are unaware of the devastation which accompanies such things.  Depression comes when we are unable to handle what is right in front of us, which is why God is asking us to lay it all down before Him and let Him have it, never for us to pick it up again.

How many times have we repeated the words, “Let go and let God?”  only to find ourselves six months later right back in the same dessert wandering around yelling at God?  It is truly human nature to want to direct our own lives and be the master of it.  We think we have a better way of getting things done in a more timely fashion, especially since we live in such a need it now and instantaneously society.  God doesn’t throw our problems in a bowl and add water so that it becomes an instant fix; sometimes His plans take hours, days, weeks and yes even years.

I am standing in the grace of God right now concerning my marriage.  I was separated by drugs from my husband two years ago and I am still standing here in faith waiting for God.  Many would  have given up by now, however God promised me the restoration of my marriage, yet He gave me no time frame to go by.  Sometimes I try to pick up my marriage and put it back together thinking I figured out the magic solution, only to discover it would put my enabler personality back into overdrive.  I have to just stand in grace as God works on things. 

I will not deny it is very frustrating at times.  I want to run to my husband, shake him violently and say, “Why are you not listening to God?!”  I want to send him literature in the mail to try to influence his thinking.  I want to send him flyers explaining the next revival meeting or means group, yet I can’t.  I would be going against the will of God and I surely would just be picking up what I left at His feet.  Even though I desire to do these things in the flesh, assure you my inner man is screaming at me to let God handle it.

Laying it down at the feet of Jesus again for me brought such an overwhelming peace.  As I began to surrender those things I thought I could control, I was filled with joy and assurance.  I knew God had me in His arms.  I felt Him moving all around me.  I knew He had plans for me I could not see.  I was certain of His wisdom in the perfect timing.  I stood before Him in tears as I repented for carrying around my marriage trying to fix it myself.  I have total confidence that if you give something to God He well be faithful to complete His promises.

I urge you right now to go before the Lord and lay it all at the feet of Jesus.  Sometimes it takes several trips to empty your arms of the great load you carry; however, it is so worth it.  Give Him your burdens, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your loved ones and most of all, surrender yourself.  Give God permission to work things out for your benefit.  Let Him intercede for you.  Let Him show you His love and grace.  By doing so He will fill you with a peace some have never experienced before.  Are you truly ready to let go?  Are you tired of trying to be the hero in someone elses’ life?  Do you have enough faith in God to give it all to Him to take care of?  Let it all go, right now.

By Your Testimony Others Will Be Healed