GIVE UP WHAT’S GOOD FOR WHAT’S BEST
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1
Learn to obey me in difficult matters. All I command you to do results in my fullest blessing being poured out upon your life. Allow me to prune everything that holds you back from spiritual prosperity. Hear my call to purify your hands, your heart, your appetites, and your alliances. Though there are losses, what you gain far outweighs the sacrifice. Live the life of a single-minded disciple.
Obedience will put you out of step with a church that is falling away in the great deception. You will live differently from most everyone else, making decisions that others won’t understand. When they say something is acceptable, I will ask you to walk away. When they don’t give something a second thought, I will ask you to abstain. The weights that hold you back aren’t always sinful things, they can be neutral distractions. With the growing darkness, it will be natural to cling to anything that numbs out pain but that will also dull your appetite for Me. Stay awake. Cling to me as things decline. For every thing you relinquish, I will replace it with more of Me.
Soon, this will be over. Salvation will come and You will finally see My face and step into your inheritance. Child, the goal is in sight. As you run the race today, I am preparing your eternity. It’s that close.
THE RUB OF COHABITATION
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies. Psalm 119:118
In the process of refining silver, the dross and the pure silver must co-habitate. It is at the end that the dross is isolated and removed. Though I am called to mingle with others for a time, and though we appear to be made of the same substance, eventually the two of us will be separated.
As God’s child, I feel the pain of this kind of cohabitation. It happens in a subtle and not-so-subtle form.
1.) Everyone in church looks the same. They carry similar bibles; even tote the latest bible study workbook. It is hard to tell silver from dross. Only Jesus really knows who is His and who is not. Yet, I can feel the spiritual rub when I pray or attempt to fellowship with someone. The values of the kingdom are bent to their advantage and the smell of idolatry is faintly evident if I am prayerfully discerning. To have to co-exist is uncomfortable and often confusing as I try to fellowship with those who privately reject Christ and use the church as an institution to fool themselves and gain a platform. The kingdom clash is not perfectly clear as pretenses veil the state of their heart. What I have often chalked up to a personality clash can be far more serious. Dross and silver are in the same pot but not yet separated. Continue reading
No Longer Refused
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37
Cast out ~ To expel a person from society, to banish from a family
You know the pain of reaching out and of being refused; extending your arms but being turned away. Don’t allow the memories of that to keep you from experiencing me. I heal all former rejections. No widow need be without a Husband. No orphan without a Father. No spouse without a Lover.
When you live in me and dare to believe that all I am is yours to claim for yourself, you will find a joy unspeakable. I won’t turn My back to you when you seek Me. If you come, I will be found. If you reach, I will embrace. Need me courageously. I won’t disappoint you. Need me though it feels like suicide. I won’t cast you out.
PRAYER BEFORE A CONFRONTATION
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24
Prepare my heart, O God, to think Your thoughts and speak under the constraints of Your Spirit. I have no agenda other than Yours. I do not need to be right. It is Your reputation that is at stake when evil prospers. You are the one being wronged. Make me Your mouthpiece. Let me speak what You would speak if You stood in my place.
Others have shut my mouth when they accused me of judging them. I have feared hearing such words again until I remembered that You told your disciples to judge with righteous judgment. So I crucify my own self-righteousness that would want to judge others in order to stand taller than they. I raise up Your standard to discern righteously. I use my mouth to humbly proclaim Your truth. Let Your judgment fall from lips. I am Your servant. Continue reading
WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS
Ephraim feeds on the wind, and pursues the east wind continually. Hosea 12:1
The ‘east wind’ in all countries, is a parching, injurious wind. What does it mean that God’s people are pursuing and feeding on a wind that is self-destructive? They make alliances that are bad for them. They feed off deals and agreements that are made by their own ingenuity, created without prayer and without regard for what God might have in mind.
To hear many talk, ‘the big deal’ is always around the corner. They’re always working on it and are quick to let others know that it’s going to be prosperous. Continue reading
AN INFRASTRUCTURE OF SECURITY
Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true. Psalm 119:142
It’s tough not knowing where you stand with someone you love. Even tougher with someone you need. If that person’s values have never been made clear, if their personality is hidden, then the relationship flounders.
If God is that unknown person, any security I might feel with Him is non-existent. If I don’t know Him; what He’s like, what He loves, what He values, what He hates, then I will have no idea if what I do pleases or displeases Him. I will approach Him with a nervous heart, wondering if I am good standing. I will be like a nervous child peeking around the doorway to a parent’s room, wondering if they approve of me. Continue reading
WHEN I’VE EMOTIONALLY CHECKED OUT!
Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. And he blessed Abram and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” Genesis 14:17-20
Abram had been traveling by faith for a long time now. He had entered many foreign territories and encountered king after king. They had all been unrighteous, whether by deed or in whom they worshiped. Not one had been a follower of Yahweh! Yet, out of nowhere comes the King of Salem to meet Abram after his battle for Lot and his family. Abram is weary and, most-likely, vulnerable. He has just risked the lives of himself and his men for a spiritually wayward family member.
The thought of meeting a righteous King was out of the realm of his experience. He had probably never thought there was such a thing. Say the word ‘king’ to Abram, and he’d think ‘enemy’ or ‘heathen’. Yet, here was a king who came to refresh him with a meal, encourage him with God’s very words, and give him a blessing. He was the first to bless Abram other than God! Abram had not grown cynical with his previous experience of other kings. He did not approach Melchizedek warily and refuse his affection. This, to me, is one of the miracles of this story.
When life has always been one way for 40 years, the thought that it could be different is often beyond hope. I quit praying. I stop dreaming. My faith shrivels. I simply cease believing that God will do a new thing. Technically, I may know He can because He is God. But dangerously, I believe His heart for me has switched off. He doesn’t love me enough to bless me with a different experience. Continue reading