What Fuels Your Journey?

WHAT FUELS YOUR JOURNEY?

For Christ’s love compels us.  2 Corinthians 5:14

The Old Testament heroes of the faith had so little to fuel their journey.  All they had were the words God spoke to them.  They had no church to fan the flame of faith.  No bible.  No bible studies.  No fellow believers.  They were virtually alone and the only ones in their world to hear God’s voice.  They clung to His words in a vacuum.

Sometimes, we feel alone.  We’re so outnumbered humanly speaking.  God calls us to Himself and calls us to live against the grain of our culture.  Because the world hated Jesus, we were warned that they will hate us as well.  We must go against the tide of society.  The cost is steep but the rewards more than compensate. Continue reading

God’s Wisdom ~ You’ve Only Begun

YOU’VE ONLY BEGUN

I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches from secret places, so that you may know that I, Yahweh, the God of Israel call you by your name.  Isaiah 45:3

I see your faithfulness, how you have made your home in Me.  Though the depth of your experiences may not be apparent to the ones who claim to know you so well, I see how you have abandoned yourself to my Spirit.  I am flooding you with My presence, pouring out my blessings upon you, though it is not always evident outwardly.  The gifts I give begin on the inside when I take Your spirit to a place of joy that you have never known before.  I am the only One who can take you to a place where your tongue falters.

Do you not remember that I have promised you the treasures of the darkness?  According to your need, is My supply.  According to your searching, is My revelation.  Oh, that you would know that you have hardly begun to see what I am planning to show you.

I Have Three Parents

I HAVE THREE PARENTS

Observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.  Bind them continually on your heart. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will talk to you.  Proverbs 6:20-22

            I have three parents; the father and mother I was born to and my Heavenly Father.  Of the three, my Heavenly Father takes priority.

            Solomon advises me to observe the ways of my father and mother.  If a trait is godly, then I am to observe it and bind myself to it.  The problem is, without intention to do otherwise, I will naturally embrace all their ways.  I walk their paths by default. Is that a good thing?  Only if I embrace the good and discard the bad.  I must love God more than I love the ways of my parents!

            My father, now in heaven, was a man with a huge heart for God.   He counseled, taught the scriptures, walked out his faith beautifully and, in the process, was revered for his wisdom.  He lived in a small New England town where he is still talked about with reverence by those who knew him.  As I remember him, I hold his good traits close to my heart and they guide me.  But at the same time, I discard the bad.  My dad was consumed with worry and was driven to avoid criticism at all costs. I inherited these tendencies and lived crippled by them for many years.  It wasn’t until I severed my attachment to his sinful ways that I was free to follow my Father in heaven.     Continue reading

God’s Wisdom ~ Alive To Me

Alive To Me

Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  Ephesians 5:2

Be diligent to explore and experience my death and resurrection.  Enter in fully to the journey of my crucifixion, burial, and victory over death.  Why?  Because in any ways this earth has defined you, you are now dead to them and alive to me.

I created every part of you.  All your gifts.  All your bents.  Though people may have ridiculed and rejected a part of who you are, I have celebrated it.  You are my masterpiece and I indwell you.  All of you.

To be fully alive to me is to allow me to live through every bent of my design.  This will take courage but there is no fear when you learn to live in my love.  You may not always be popular but you will be filled with my glory if you submit your whole self to me in obedience.  This will bring you joy unspeakable and breed a confidence no man can shake.  Step out of the tomb into the light of resurrection life.

An Illusion of Power

AN ILLUSION OF POWER

The wicked are overthrown and are no more.  Proverbs 12:7

        Those who practice wickedness often look formidable but their feet are unsteady.  The least bit of trouble brings them down.  The power they possess makes us tremble but it’s really an illusion. Though their behavior is intimidating, we don’t realize how easily they could crumble.  Here’s what else I’ve learned. The ones who look the strongest can be the weakest!

            A woman wrote to me this week to tell me this story.  An angry brother had controlled her for many years.  Though he lived several hundred miles away, he had a way of controlling the entire family network.  For the past year, she has been bringing her fear of her brother to God and He has been healing her.  So much so, that at a recent family reunion, she laughed out loud when she saw him for the first time.  He seemed several inches shorter to her.  That is not uncommon.  I have heard others say that once God showed them the true stature of the person they feared, they appeared smaller. The big bully became a stubborn two year old. Continue reading

God’s Wisdom ~ Make Safe Connections

MAKE SAFE CONNECTIONS

I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people.  Psalm 85:8

Learn to hide yourself away with me, not only when you’re alone but also in the company of others.  In doing so, you will be oblivious to their reactions to you.  You will only know the joy of my still, small voice.  No longer will you be obsessed with the acceptance of friends and family.  Instead, your spirit will soar in that other worldly place, the realm where the things of earth are dull in comparison.  Live in the refuge of my love and don’t leave the place where My Spirit meets yours for the sake of anyone.  Not anyone.

Be careful not to join your soul to another who lives without the discernment made available by my Spirit.  If you do so indiscriminately, you risk aligning with someone who lives outside of a God-connection.  That includes many of my own children.  Few have learned to abide in me and you can be assured that their perspective on many things will be skewed.  Their input, unreliable.  You will suffer if you rely on their judgment.  Becoming dependent on such a person puts you in jeopardy.

Don’t forget that spiritual unity that is of a Christ-kind can only exist when two people abide in me and I in them.  I have done much to teach you about what real unity is in the body of Christ.  You’ve suffered in the absence of it and soared in the company of like-minded disciples.  Raise your standards and walk wisely.  Know this, a real litmus test is whether you can pray with them and feel like you are at home with Me.

Lifting Up What Is Nearly Dead

LIFTING UP WHAT IS NEARLY DEAD

Hagar said, “Let me not look on the death of my child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”  Genesis 21:16-18

         Hagar held her nearly dead child in her arms.  Voice weak, completely dehydrated, half starved.  No water or provision of food was in sight.  She smelled death but refused to succumb to what seemed to be the inevitable.  She poured out her complaint to the God of Israel.  Where did she learn this?  From the very ones who forced her out of their presence.  Oh, the irony.

         I’ve cupped my hands around things, and people, who appeared to be dying.  Dreams, health, ministries, faith.  From all appearances, hoping was foolish.  Death was staring me in the face.  All options were gone.

         Hagar, the least likely ministry leader, shows each of us the way to glory.  She prayed, listened, cast her hopes on God, and then obeyed.  She lifted up her boy to the God who breathes life into dead souls.  She could not know that a thousand years later, Ezekiel would watch God breathe over a whole valley of corpses and bring them to their feet.  By the breath of His mouth, He would transform skeletons into warriors.

         Has God been true to His promise? Did he make Ishmael the father of a great nation?  Yes.  Many Palestinians have, and will, trust Christ.  When they meet their Lord, how passionate they are!

         Will God hear me when I take what is weak, infirmed, perhaps even dead, and lift it toward heaven?  Yes. Hagar was told to lift Ishmael up and hold him fast with her hand.  Instead of laying him down in defeat, she embraced him in heartfelt prayer.  And oh, what an outcome.

I’ve laid some things down prematurely.  I’m picking them up again.  You defeated death and long to breathe over all things expired.  Amen

Journal Question:  Hopeless talk infects an atmosphere of faith.  What have you recently declared hopeless?  Pick it up.  Cup your hands around it.  Lift it up to feel the breath of a life-giving God.