Common Application

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apply1Are your eyes open to the Truth? Are you keenly aware of the “God Winks” that happen on a daily basis if only you could stop for one second and see? I realized the other day that God alone knows what is best for me, even when I don’t have a clue. All the planning and dreaming and hoping are futile unless I cover everything under His Word and in prayer. A few things have really spoken to my spirit recently and I took to Proverbs to find answers this morning. As we seek the Lord, we need to know how to APPLY His Word to our lives. A bit of wisdom written down thousands of years ago just leap right from the pages into my heart and spirit this morning.

Proverbs 2:1-5 – My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

apply2We “apply” for jobs, colleges, insurance. We “apply” makeup, salve for our wounds, coats of paint. We have “apps” on our phones, we have “applications” to make things easier in dealing with software, we fill out applications daily. But what does the word “APPLY” actually mean?

Apply – make a formal application (request to an AUTHORITY for something); putting something into operation.

Every single time we “apply” for something, we are seeking the answer from an authority…and we do it EVERY SINGLE DAY. So, WHY is it so hard to APPLY the Word of God to our lives? Is it because we don’t want to see the Truth of our sin, of our behavior, of our judgment? Is it because we are lazy in our thinking that there is always a tomorrow when there isn’t? What makes it so easy for us to wish and hope for things to happen when we won’t follow the simple commands to take the Word of God and do what it says?? When we read the Word and SEEK to gain understanding, we must request our authority (CHRIST) to fill us up so we can put it into operation in our lives so that HE CAN pour out the blessings we so seek in our earthly lives.

apply4God wants to give everyone all they ever ask for, but how are we handling what we already have? Am I wise in the decisions I make today, or am I just being selfish? That is the question of the ages. To much is given, MUCH is required. Pastor Charlie has a few golden nuggets that he shares that really rock me to my core and as I ponder these verses today, I am reminded of the things he says: “I am not the center of the universe…We can’t run from our problems if we are the problem…If someone else is playing God, then God is not playing God…I can’t clean up the mess I left behind until I clean up the mess I am in…God is not bound by my circumstances…If I want to be an anchor for others, I have to get out of the boat I am in…The consequences of my life are left to choice, not chance.”

Proverbs 4:7 – The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

apply3What are we seeking today as we try to understand and comprehend the world around us? Are we listening to the wrong reports coming from the world, or are we learning wisdom through the Word of God?

Proverbs 22:17 – Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach.

SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM

SEEK GOD….Deny Self

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For so long I lived in deep denial about who I was, what I really stood for (which was nothing good), and what was really happening inside of me. Daily, I succumbed to the darkness and blamed everyone around me and expected the world to repay me and take care of me. Denial of behaviors is a dangerous trap when I refuse to look in the mirror and see who is really the problem.

self-denialSelf-Denial is something completely different. It is the denying not behaviors, but ones own interests, desires, and needs. It’s putting others above yourself. It’s not always easy in a world where the “Get them before they get me” mentality reigns free. Have you ever seen a car wreck? It’s as if everything is moving in slow motion, although your brain is functioning and you see what is happening so clearly, metal crashing into metal, smoke and tires spinning, it is wrong. But there is nothing at all that you can do to stop it. You know that it’s going to hurt either yourself or someone else. You are helpless. That’s how I feel in regards to the sin of pride.

I know exactly when pride entered my life when it began to form a deep root that spread its tentacles to the parts of my heart that I didn’t know existed. It was when my dad went to prison and everything I thought I knew about life, family, trust, love, hope, and security went out the window and pride, justification, humiliation, confusion, doubt, insecurity, rejection, fear, self-loathing, and anger flew in. All at the ripe old age of 11. The thing about pride today in my life is I recognize it, I see it, I know it is there, I can feel it sending its poison from the deep root up to the surface and forming lies in my mind but before I know it, I speak or act and then it is too late. I have a wreck. I begin to rely on my own skills and strength in whatever situation I find myself in and I begin to misjudge…everything.

Psalm 132:1-5 – Lord, remember David
and all his self-denial.

2 He swore an oath to the Lord,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

self-denial3All our problems can be solved with these few verses. Deny self, make room for the Lord, and all will be well. Pride is the downfall of many. It comes when we choose to value ourselves over others. It causes us to take for granted the beautiful things the Lord has blessed us with and concern ourselves with the things of the world. It is attention seeking and all about SELF. Who are you trying to prove yourself to today? Whose praise and adoration do you really covet?

In these verses, David is making a covenant with the Lord to bring back the Ark to a safe resting place, but what about our hearts? If we are in Christ, then are hearts ARE in essence, the Ark. We are the resting place for the Savior of the world and we hold his Spirit within us. So what are we doing with it? Can you make a vow today to correct whatever situation you have found yourself in by denying YOURSELF and allowing the Lord to inhabit your heart? Live close to God, cast all your burdens upon Him, and allow Christ to reign, not self.

self-denial2Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Are you TRULY committed to the Lord to the point where nothing will stand in your way of doing what is required of you to do? Are you a disciple of Christ? Are you able to let go of YOU and follow HIM?

How Bout Those Resolutions??

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back2How many of you are already feeling the effects of resolutions not met, schedules that are incredibly too tight, and a demand for things to happen right away. In the midst of all of it, are you remembering to keep God at the center of it all? On the days when exhaustion sets in, there isn’t enough daylight in the day, and the clouds always seem foreboding and cold in this winter season, are you still seeking the Lord above all? It’s a trap, a very familiar one for most. We come out of the gate of January 1st swinging, but reality sets in pretty quick. If you are like me on these days, then you, too, forget to leave yourself room for RELATIONSHIP with your Creator. I leave no time in my day to just to sit and be still.

Psalm 121:1-8 –

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Our only help should come from the Lord. He is always awake and ever watchful of His people. Anyone who puts their trust in Him knows that God preserves their soul from all evil. God knows all our comings and goings and has them under His plan and protection!

back4God didn’t say “TODAY, this will happen.” He has so many promises waiting for me but I can’t gain them unless I have my own personal relationship with Him. I can’t ride on the coat tails and relationship God has with my pastor, my friends, my loved ones, or my parents. I have to have my own relationship with God or I will not be able to be a part of God’s story!

My relationship with God must go beyond EVERYTHING else I could ever schedule for myself. It needs to affect my relationships with other people, my time, my resources, all of it!!

My study bible says there are 3 steps to a right relationship with God (NIV Life Application Study Bible Copyright by Zodervan):

1) Drop all excuses and self-defense

2) Stop trying to hide from God

3) Become convinced that God’s way is better than my way.

HELLO?!?!!?!? He sees and knows everything! He sees even into the recesses of my heart and thoughts that haven’t even formed. Who am I? God doesn’t fit into a schedule of my making.

back3It’s time to stop and listen and walk out our salvation and purpose knowing that the plans God has for us is way beyond anything we could have ever imagined for ourselves!

Do you BELIEVE that God can do for you what you cannot do for yourself?

Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Weaving the Tapestry

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Have you ever knitted anything, or even been as brave to attempt to weave something together? How bout quilting? Or, for all the men in the house, putting things together that don’t look like they belong, small pieces of a project that when spread apart look like they could never amount to anything alone, but once joined, create a masterpiece.

tapestry2We take on projects, sometimes leaving God completely out of the picture. We try to put things together that don’t belong. We attempt in all our might to create a life for ourselves that may not be completely in God’s will for us. And we run ourselves RAGGED!

Exodus 36:8-18 – All the skillful men among those who were performing the work made the tabernacle with ten curtains; of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material, with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman, Bezalel made them. The length of each curtain was twenty-eight cubits and the width of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains had the same measurements. He joined five curtains to one another and the other five curtains he joined to one another. He made loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain in the first set; he did likewise on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the second set. He made fifty loops in the one curtain and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was in the second set; the loops were opposite each other. He made fifty clasps of gold and joined the curtains to one another with the clasps, so the tabernacle was a unit. tapestry1Then he made curtains of goats’ hair for a tent over the tabernacle; he made eleven curtains in all. The length of each curtain was thirty cubits and four cubits the width of each curtain; the eleven curtains had the same measurements. He joined five curtains by themselves and the other six curtains by themselves. Moreover, he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the first set, and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the second set. He made fifty clasps of bronze to join the tent together so that it would be a unit.

tapestry4So that it would be a UNIT, joined together by GOD, at HIS command, not the command of the people. Did you get that? We seek worldly pleasures, to try to satisfy the desires of our hearts, but God knows our desires and wants to weave the most beautiful tapestry there is, IF we SEEK Him first! Listen here, in the next verse, the Concordance has many meanings for the word “SEEK” but one really stood out to me… “To Hold Accountable”. We can hold God accountable to the promises for our lives, because His Word NEVER returns void! He is not a man that He should lie! So SEEK Him!

Deuteronomy 4:29 – But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Weave together your tapestry, but don’t get so hung up on the approval of others, your own perfectionism, and your frustrations that may actually halt the project altogether. Let God do HIS work, seek His face above ALL things!

Proceed With Caution

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I recently, in this new venture, have had not one, not two, but THREE different people give me the same warning…. “Proceed With Caution”. I love when God confirms things that I need to listen intently to because He knows me all too well and He knows that I don’t always pay close attention when I am wanting to do things my own way.

caution4When we are hurting, it is so easy to fall into relationships that are completely unhealthy out of the desire to be wanted and accepted. We become enamored with instant bonding. We get excited at the prospect of having someone, ANYONE, whether it be a friend or a romantic relationship, and we instantly believe, in this microwave world, that we have found a true compatible partner, which rarely turn out to be all that we hoped it would be. Intuition would have us to believe that we are on the right track, it feels good, it looks good. But the devil doesn’t come dressed in horns and a red cape. He comes in looking like everything you ever wanted. Our intuition can fool us because when we are alone and seeking, it is based on fantasy or wishful thinking. Unrealistic expectations are not met and people walk away hurt and confused. What happened? We did not PROCEED WITH CAUTION and our emotions took us on a trip that left us standing alone…again.

Proverbs 14:16 (NLT) – The wise are cautious and avoid danger;
fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.

caution3What is it that we really desire out of life? What are we truly seeking to fill the void that was left by the mistake we made? Our first word of the year in this study is SEEK. We go into the new year with resolutions that we never see through, we start off running a good race then we kick ourselves when we fall short. We begin to feel sorry for ourselves, putting ourselves down, and the cycle of bitterness begins. It’s when our hearts are empty, when we start searching for things to fill us back up.

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

caution6Over this next month, we will dive deeper into the meaning of the word “seek” as we explore the things that God wants us to see in regards to our number one priorities. We are all guilty of “looking for love in all the wrong places” (I know I just sang that song out loud too as I was typing), but God wants us to find our value in HIM alone. It isn’t always easy when the tangible, touchable people are so enticing. I value your opinions, your thoughts, and your input on this subject as we move forward. Please!!! Take this to heart. When you are proceeding with caution in every relationship, you are not allowing the enemy to have a foothold and you the Lord then has an opportunity to give you an open door of escape!

1 Corinthians 10:13 –  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

caution2I am paying close attention to every single person that comes into my life. I just had someone send me a very powerful declaration as I was writing this…. “I will no longer allow someone to rule my life with negativity and emotional blackmail!” PROCEED WITH CAUTION! Not everyone is for you!! God will show you as you SEEK HIM FIRST!

New Year…New Beginnings

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First, let me thank each of you for doing this study with me. There were days when I couldn’t breathe, I lost focus, I left you standing alone, but you are still here because of your faith in God, not in me. I am forever grateful to each of you for your encouragement, for your faithfulness to see this to the end, for your willingness to get closer to knowing Jesus in a more intimate way. You are not the same as you were at the beginning, and neither am I, and where two or more are gathered, He is in our midst. God bless you all and pass it along, the revelation knowledge that you have gained in understanding His Word and His ways. Give back to the world. YOU MATTER!

end3Revelation 3:8 – I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

This past year has truly been a test, a laboratory of sorts. One thing after another has come against me, yet I still walk toward my purpose even when I am weak. So many days I have longed to stay in bed and sleep until the cows come home. So many days I have refused to put pen to paper, yet I did it anyway. So many times I have wanted to give up, throw my hands in the air and hide in a corner, but I didn’t.

endMy assumption is that I can go anywhere and do anything with my unseen Creator as my guide. People of science and atheism who say there is no proof of God have their own hypothesis. Well, I also have mine. A hypothesis is a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical consequences, an interpretation of a practical situation or condition taken as the ground for action. I have always had a scientific mind, one that requires proof. So where is that proof? In the Word of course.

God isn’t some big man in the sky checking off a naughty or nice list. He is so close, and of course He knows my every move. If He knows my every move, then He also knows the struggles I face, the thoughts that race, what happens before, during, and after I awake. He knows the fear, the triumphs, the mountains, and the valleys. He knows the exhaustion, the love, the discord, and the doubt. HE KNOWS ME. God created me before time and knew my purpose.

end2Psalm 139:1-24 – You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

end4What am I to do with this proof that comes from the Word of God, this assumption that I can make which has been tested for generations? It’s grounds for action. What actions are required for me to walk through the open door? What is on the other side? Does it really matter as long as it is in His will? All I have to do, even in my weakness, is WALK, because He sees, and He knows. As Pastor Charlie always says, “The end of something is always the beginning of something else.”

Revelation 21:6 – He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

Happy New Year!!

Revelation 22:20-21 – He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

Test to Testimony

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Revelation 12:11 – They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.

test6ALL I HAD TO DO WAS LISTEN to the voice of God, slow down my thinking, and pay attention to who He was telling me I was, but I couldn’t hear Him anymore. I put the Lord on a backburner. I threw my hands up in sweet surrender and allowed other thoughts and actions to creep into the time and space allotted for Him. In all reality, if Jesus were to encompass all my time and space (set aside time or just TIME), the rest of my priorities would fall into place like the right edges of jigsaw puzzle without much effort on my part at all.

test7As a Christian, the last thing I want to admit is that I was wrong, that I put the Savior of the world and my life on a slow simmer instead of keeping Him at a rolling boil. Free will is great, when I use it for His glory. It is not so great when the choice is made to look to the right or to the left instead of straight ahead. I came to the realization that it isn’t all about me. I learned that God knows what He is doing and sometimes it’s none of my business. Even if it is horrible at the time, He works all things out for His good. I’m tired of playing the victim and being stuck in Satan’s lies. Sabotage…PRIDE…complacency…the root of all evil.

However, THE LORD ALLOWED THINGS TO TAKE PLACE SO THAT IN THE END I WOULD GLORIFY HIM THROUGH IT. The test hurts, and I was in a test for a long time. I am still in the test some days. But it is now my TESTIMONY!!! Jesus will never forsake me in my weakness. He will never leave me. Even when I was making bad choices and near death, He was with me. It was the things I was holding onto that were keeping me sick. God has a purpose and a plan and we may not always see it, but His will is sovereign and right and just.

test9I am expecting something HUGE now, something radical, something life-changing to occur. Sure, I am struggling. Sure, there is a massive spiritual battle being waged in and around me, but I am faithful to the end. Even if God’s answer today I not what I am expecting or even hoping for, I will still praise Him and look to Him. I won’t ask, “WHY?”. I will not be confused or discouraged. There is a reason and a season for everything under the sun. I will not be impatient. Today, I have specific prayers. Today, people are going to walk away from a situation baffled because of God’s mighty hand. Today is the day where lives are changed, people are healed, and a testimony is born. This season marks a new beginning in my life, one that will bring me into a new relationship with the Lord, one that I have sought after but never succeeded in finding. I want to know ME. I want to know GOD. I desire to see what is birthed through this process, through this new day, new year, new life

test10Revelation 12:14-17 – 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. .

The following is something I read on Facebook the other day:

This is the beginning a new trend of identification. You will develop your personal identity with greater precision and express yourself more completely apart from outside influences. The result will be that you will know who you really are; who you are in Me and who I am in you, says the Lord. This will be a dynamic revelation that will carry you into a new era. Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

test8Just hang on my dear friend! The battle has already been won! Even if the the answer doesn’t come today, everything leading to this point has caused a shift in the heavenlies, and I will continue to trust God. His love is UNFAILING! Don’t get stuck chasing a nightmare because you didn’t obey the very simple command to live in the dream. The choice is yours….

The Fence

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I want ears to hear. I don’t want to leave Jesus standing out in the cold, knocking away at my heart. I was lukewarm most of my adult life. I straddled the fence between believing and not believing all day, every day. I sat up there and made camp. I hung out and built myself a ledge for support, even had a little umbrella to protect me from the elements. I could see both sides, but I sure didn’t want to choose. I wanted to be “out of the box”. I wanted to think freely, live freely, speak freely, support any and all causes; homosexuality, abortion, tree-huggers, dope fiends, and fence jumpers. I didn’t really stand for anything, so I fell for everything. I was SELF satisfied and not self-controlled. I rallied around every cause, just to say that I wasn’t in a box and that I was a supporter of the WORLD!!!

fence3Revelation 3:14-22 – These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witnesses, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the , I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

fence2Stepping out of the box is freeing, if Jesus is the one pulling you out, not so you can rally around ignorance and unbelief. Being out of the box spiritually is the most freeing thing of all when the decisions made are based on biblical principles. But there I was, on the fence; I was stuck up there, birds landing on me, squirrels passing me by, enjoying every minute of it…for WHAT?!?!?! So I could stay confused and check out of my life anytime I wanted to without feeling guilty.

Guilt to me is knowing that I did something not right, feeling deep in my spirit that my choice was off in a way. It’s regretting the sin, but doing nothing to repent. It then becomes an excuse. ANOTHER EXCUSE. I was all the things listed in the verses above. I thought everything I DID have was gotten by me. I was perfectly content in any and all circumstances, even living in squalor.

Discipline is for my good. It comes with love and teaches me to not go back and do the thing that makes me feel guilty anymore like a dog goes back to it’s vomit.

fenceProverbs 26:1 – As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

Oh, I was a fool. I was the worst kind. I don’t want to be lukewarm anymore. I want to jump off my perch, leave the squirrels and the birds, and run in the green, green grass toward freedom. The Lord KNOWS ME and He cares for me! I’m ok today being Hot or Cold. I’m ok with supporting my opinions based on biblical truths. I don’t judge anyone, I love them for who they are what they stand for. Hey, it’s better to stand for something than to fall for anything and today I stand for something! I love others because He first loved me! Today I want to stand for righteousness. I desire spiritual treasures, not earthly rewards. I want to see the Truth, even when it hurts. Letting Jesus through the of my heart was my only hope for lasting fulfillment. No more fence straddling for me!!

Don’t Snap!!

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2 John 8 – Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.

Well, today I am feeling like I just need to crawl back in the bed. I feel like the whole world is against me and it’s moments like these when I feel the most alone. I asked God this morning where He was and His response was, “Where are YOU?”

I feel like a rubber band that gets heated as it is stretched. Each time the band is stretched it can go further and further as long as it is pulled slowly. Today, I feel like I am about to snap. I feel the tension and the pulling but there is no more give. I feel like I’m on the plank ready to jump in shark infested waters but no one can see. So then the choice becomes my own because I don’t cry for help and therein lies my selfish ways, even when I feel like I am doing all I can do at the expense of myself.  EGO running amuck.  Everything seems to be wrong and nothings feels right, even though I know I created the storm. The crazy thing is, I see that it is merely my own silly perceptions that have me stretched. I can’t stay in this feeling long. It’s time to step outside of myself and continue to help others in this race.

rubberband33 John 8 – We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.

I may feel stretched and ready to snap at any minute, but there is always rest for the rubber band when God brings it back to it’s original position. He won’t do that without my seeking Him for it. I am my own stumbling block, but I will not be moved, I will not be shaken, and the enemy will not win. Not today.

Jude 24-25 – To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Lies We Tell Ourselves

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Deception: To mislead by a false appearance or a statement; concealment or distortion of the truth.

deception6Deception is being pacified by unreality. Pain and confusion result from believing a lie. It is one of the finest tools of the enemy. If he can keep us deceived, he can keep us in bondage. At the point of true deception, he no longer has work to do and can take a vacation because from that point forward we become our own worst enemy and don’t even know it. I was deceived for so long. I believed that everything I was doing was for my good and the good of those around me. When I would fall back into addiction only to pick myself up again, I would talk myself into and then attempt to convince everyone else around me that I had it together, that it was going to be different this time, that life would be the primrose perfect path that I envisioned for myself all along. I would try so hard to make the lies in my head a reality and I would fall again under the pressure of not understanding why no one would believe me. I would reach out to the wrong people only to get answers that I wanted to hear. I refused to get real with myself. The sad thing is I believed every word I spoke and the enemy sat back and drank his Mai Tai on the beach and laughed at me.

deception2Deception distorts what God says by changing the emphasis on the words, twists the meaning, and introduces false reasoning.

Am I really putting into practice the things I have learned? What effect is it having on my behavior? Am I willing to look at the TRUTH or am I going to walk out the door only to have forgotten what just entered my spirit? The battlefield is in the mind. If I allow my carnal thinking to take over my spiritual being, I run the risk of quieting my spirit altogether and deception can then reign, regardless of the teachings I sit under and the knowledge I gain. I would then live thinking that I was on target when in reality I was in error, causing the very chaos I desperately seek to remove myself from. Where is the head/heart connection then? Why is it so hard to plead for forgiveness and admit wrongdoing?

deception11 John 1:8-2:2 (NIV) – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves an the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

deception5This life is not all we have, it is only the introduction to eternity, so why make choices that come from deception only to please the world?? It’s just a one way ticket in the wrong direction toward eternal life. These are the questions I ask myself…What choices are being made today? Am I making the world a better place or am I bitter? Am I listening to the counsel of people who claim to have my best interest at heart but are working out of their own lies or am I listening to godly counsel? Do I really desire a positive change, or am I just going through the motions and pretending that all is well? Those are tough questions, but my spirit deserves real answers. GOD DESERVES REAL ANSWERS. The world deserves real answers or there is no way I could ever look others in the face and ask the same of them if I’m not willing to be honest with myself first. Don’t be deceived. Listen to the painful Truth which is in the word of God, don’t listen to the beautiful lies that justify the behaviors that have you entangled. The truth will set you FREE!

James 1:22-25 (NASB) – For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

1 Timothy 1:15-17 – Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. AMEN.

1 John 3:19-20 – This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.