Feeds:
Posts
Comments

15d599966483e8e9fcdb34345f1ed3f0 1

“…Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all].” Mt 18:3 Amp

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” Rom 12:2 Amp

“Beloved, we are [even here and now] God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.” 1Jn 3:2 Amp

“For in Him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your [own] poets have said, For we are also His offspring.”  Acts 17:28 Amp

In the corporate world, the notion of “branding” is quite prominent. It’s purpose is to color a product, production, or service flow with a singular identity. It is to distill into one identity the company and its product, so they are uniquely linked in the minds of consumers. That identity is carefully crafted, emphasized, and enforced. Thus, it stands apart from other contenders, and pretenders.

In the Kingdom of God, Brand identity not only exists, it is from there that the practice of brand truth first began which the world now emulates as brand strategy. What the Kingdom of God originated, now the world tries to make its own.

Think of it…

– “they’ll know we are Christians by our love…”

– “being salt and light in this world”

– “the first must be last”

– “like sheep among wolves”

-“a pupil … when fully trained will be like his teacher”

… these all describe the Brand of Jesus Christ, or Christlikeness! The One Who is Firstborn among many brethren!

Our identity as believers in Jesus, is hidden in, derived through, and defined by Him. That is, by the Word! And there are many, many, analogies, metaphors, and parables which provide clarification and refinement as well as instruction to the believer.  And then The Holy Spirit leads us to walk into it, more and more fully.

So with all the ways of “seeking’’ to be more Christ-like it can get a little overwhelming. But I believe the Lord has left us a sure-fire way to walk in His Brand truth with His Brand integrity!

What is this way?  What is the mindset that will succeed time and again to help you enter into His Presence, receive from Him and orient you in His truth? What will help you in your desire to become more Christ-like?  What will help you to find your acceptance and identity in and through Christ?

It is to remain as a little child in relation and reference to Him.  Not just any child. Like His child — one He has adopted, one He loves and has given all things for, even His very life.

The one who can become like a little child, will never be too big in his own eyes to be humble. He will not place himself first, but is willing and able to wait. He is trusting, lowly, loving, and forgiving…, and he will be great in the Kingdom! (Mt 18:1-4)

As believers we have moved through many renditions trying to distill out the Brand truth of Jesus and the Kingdom. Many have postured us wrongly…

-“I’m a child of the King” often encourages bratty, self-focused, entitled behavior.

– “Being the Bride” while good, likewise keeps more focus on us and does not provide as clear a posture before the Lord.

– “Being the child of God” keeps us rightly focused to remain both humble and reliant on the Lord. (The difference here from being a child of the King is the focus is on Him, not us)

— He has done it all not us! (Jn 1:12-13)

— It is an enduring posture that keeps us in the right posture, eternally. (Mt 3:1-4)

— It helps us to receive the blessing of His love in the proper awe, and with Joy and gratitude! (1Jn 3:1-3)

— It helps us relate both to other believers and the world (1Jn 3:10-16)

As someone who has herself struggled sometimes to find the right “angle”, or to have the right view of approach, I can tell you that this realization anew that I am His child has brought me healing for old wounds, and overflowing joy that I have a place in His heart as His child. I advocate you check it out!

Advertisements

c672e4644377b8bd783e7189c5588e11

 

“…For whatever a man sows, that and only that is what he will reap.” Gal 6:8

A lot of insights I receive are first played out on the playing field of my life, through mistakes I am making.  I am indeed a rich source of fodder for the Lord to paint with, so to speak… to wit:

I am at various times impatient, or easily exasperated over what I perceive to be the insensibility or lack of consideration that people can demonstrate for others.  It registers in my thinking as general oblivion to the fact that other people exist. Of course ‘’”for others” is often code for “towards me” in particular.

It is true. I am unveiled here. I have been exposed, my true nature laid bare.  The latest exploit took place in the Wal-mart parking lot. The last TWO TIMES! (While the Wal-Mart parking lot may seem inconsequential to some, let me assure you it is rich with high drama and spiritual insight!)

First situation: I am parked in my normal location which allows for both car safety and built in life-exercise as it is roughly located in west green acres and I have to hoof it to the front door roughly 3/4 mi. When I return to the car a “foreign” (meaning not supposed to be there) car is parked perpendicular to me and right in front of me. Did I also mention I endeavor to NOT ever have to BACK UP in the said Wal-Mart parking lot because it is dangerous? There is an elderly couple siting in the car, the motor is running, they are talking on their phone. This is actually quite good because you don’t want them actually driving while holding their phone, but nevertheless as I look around I am annoyed. I survey the parking lot and there are at least 30 other acceptable options to park in similar ease and safety to discourse on their phone. But, it is my honor to have them before me. I back up, drive around them … but my thoughts are not profitable.

Second situation: Again at Wal-Mart, parked in same place actually. Return to car after shopping with granddaughter and have to unload cart and her.  An older, well-used car is parked right next to me but at an odd angle so that opening my door is nearly impossible, opening the passenger door behind me where I have to place my granddaughter in her booster seat and load the groceries will be challenging to say the least. I glance at the driver intently but say nothing. I get the groceries unloaded and close the door and again look to the driver. They are still talking but now looking up. I gesture ( not what you are thinking) quizzically, “Really?”

Instead of trying to shoe horn myself into the driver’s seat I opt instead to roll the cart back to the cart storage kiosk.  The driver takes that opportunity to drive away.

The Lord queries me, “What did you show forth Sandra?” I pull up out of my impatient musings, and I hear what He is asking.

“My flesh…,” my regret is sincere.  Immediately the words of a previous reading come back to me about, “to the merciful He will show mercy.” I realize something that has not been processed this same way previously.

At any given time there stand before me two choices: to show forth the Kingdom of God; or to show forth my flesh. To sow to the Spirit, or to sow to my flesh. To exercise the Kingdom, or to exercise my flesh. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

The Lord is exceedingly patient with Me, but in the time He is expecting to see change in Me He is very clear, and He is always working in a deeper swath pattern, making greater and greater inroads into me. I am being overturned. My old nature plowed under, like a field that has laid fallow and is being prepared for new planting.

But it is clear, what was acceptable for me in the last season is no longer tolerable today. The days of sowing decay and ruin can no longer stand! The Lord is calling for change in me, and His Body!

You see it is that clear a choice. It is not that these situations have had explicit interactions. Words were not exchanged in either situation, but communication did take place … and I fell short of His glory in both.

I have had to repent and renounce this attitude of my heart. In those moments I thought I was free to exercise my natural personality and consequential opinion.

But you see as saints of God, none of us are free to do that for we have been purchased with a price – we have been made His own! We are thus called to honor Him and bring glory to Him in our body, which is His Body (1Cor 6: 19-20).

Over two-thousand years ago He paid that price for us, and we celebrate that this coming Sunday, Resurrection Sunday!  Death had no hold on Him and neither death nor its attitudes or patterns of sowing should have a hold on us today … no longer! Are you ready for that?

Perfect Peace, Happy Easter,

Is 26:3

1353513415_69230

“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,…” 2Cor 10:4 Amp

“Lest you be self-opinionated (wise in your own conceits), I do not want you to miss this hidden truth and mystery, brethren: a hardening (insensibility) has [temporarily] befallen a part of Israel [to last] until the full number of the ingathering of the Gentiles has come in,…” Rom 11:25 Amp

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” Rom 12:2 Amp

“There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire.” 2Pet2:22 Amp

Dog vomit…. It does not pose a very attractive picture. Nor does the believer, who becomes stuck in his old patterns of thinking, resistant to the very word of God to free him by the power of the Holy Spirit – to renew his thinking.

Understand in this day many believers remain stuck – even immovable by their own preference for indulging fleshly, soulish thinking.  Once having developed an opinion on a matter – it remains to them as “Gospel Truth.” Yet on the contrary, it is full of dark perspective and has not been renewed by the light of God as it is brought captive to the obedience of Christ and is corrected.

Not one believer can claim to have never been stuck in this way. We all have. And it is the grace of God that brings a wreaking ball of His power to expose and sift our fleshly thinking, that it can been transformed into kingdom thinking.

The wreaking ball of God frees us from returning as a dog to his vomit!

Think of Job. He had developed some dark, fear-based thinking about God. God addressed these patterns of fleshly thinking that kept Job captive as He confronted Job: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”(Job 38:2)

Thus…wreaking ball breaks inaccurate thoughts about God…

Jobs thinking is flooded with the light of truth and he declares: “[You said to me] Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge? Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:3)

The plain fact was, as good as Job was, as blameless as he was, he had areas of his thinking that were stuck and needed to be unstuck. They needed to be renewed. They needed the weapon of God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.

Only God could do it for him, and only God can do it for us! You and I can not run a self-diagnostic to indicate such harmful thinking. You and I cannot self-diagnose or self-treat. But the Holy Spirit is very faithful to put His finger on problem areas! He guides us into all Truth, and He takes what is of Christ (His Truth) and He reveals, discloses, and transmits it to us! (Jn 16:13-14)

This means the Holy Spirit is not only showing us truth as information, but He is actually importing truth into our very spirit! The problem occurs when I am not open, teachable, or humble before God for such a learning experience and such a transformation. Enter then, the wreaking ball!

How many believers have you witnessed as being stuck. Maybe it concerns their doctrine – things that make them uncomfortable and they fear they will lose control.  Maybe it is their own pet-perspective, some cherished myth about God not based on truth. Whatever it is, you will be able to recognize it because this error will be revealed through their speaking. It will reveal the very local of the initial corruption, because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Lk 6:45). As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. (Prov 23:7) It is with your heart you first believed (Rom 10:10), and this is true for righteousness as well as retaining error. 

It is the corrupted heart that is hardened or insensible to God’s call. It is the hardened heart that persists in thinking that is adversarial to God’s truth.

Where your thinking and believing in your heart are not overturned by truth and the word of God, you will persist in error. Corruption will openly lodge in your heart, and your spirit will immediately reflect such a state. The dog turns back to his vomit. The sow has been washed only to wallow again.

This is the reason victory seems illusive in a believer’s life. This is why breakthrough seems unavailable.  But the shortcoming is not on God’s side, it is on ours. We have failed to have error overturned by truth. We have resisted and protected our own putrid thinking. Ultimately, we have regarded our own thoughts as superior to God’s truth: we have moved in idolatry maybe without even realizing it.

Are you a believer that has professed Christ for many years and yet, while you have read and studied the word of God, it has not been given freedom to know and study you? It has not been able to overturn favorite, protected ways of thinking? It has not been allowed to be light that pierces the darkness? Dog vomit.

Do you find yourself repeating the same confrontations, with the same arguments, and you are in the very same position you were years ago? Playing out the same exact struggles? No change? Dog vomit.

Beloved it does not need to be so. God is ready to disclose and unveil your personal error in thinking. But it requires your letting go, willingness to be found out, sacred tables to be overturned.

We must come before Him as a little child (humble, lowly, loving, and forgiving). We must repent ( change, turn about our thinking), or we can never enter the kingdom of God.

This year, make a change. Get off the Merry-Go-Round. Dis-engage the do-loop. Stop singing: “She’ll Be Comin Round the Mountain.” Trust Him enough to become like this little child. You have nothing to lose but the chains and bondage of dog vomit thinking.

Shalom

eyenebula

“Show Me a denarius (a coin)! Whose image and inscription does it have? They answered, Caesar’s.  He said to them, Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Lk 20:24-25 Amp

“[He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].” 2Cor 1:22

“And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall we and so let us bear the image [of the Man] of heaven.” 1Cor 15:49

“Set me like a seal upon your heart, like a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy is as hard and cruel as Sheol (the place of the dead). Its flashes are the flashes of fire, a most vehement flame [the very flame of the Lord]!” SoS 8:6

Many commentaries and books about Song of Songs admit that a great difficulty in interpretation stems from not knowing exactly who is talking.  This difficulty becomes compounded when trying to apprehend the meaning behind Scriptures like Song of Songs 8:6 above.

The paramount question becomes: “Who is setting, and Whom is to be set?” I would like to take issue with the common rendering of most translations that imply the Schulammite or the Bride is speaking to her beloved Shepherd, and asking Him to set her like a seal upon His heart …and upon His arm.

Sentimentally, that would be something we would see in the world today. The one you love tattoos your name on his arm. It appears to be an indelible sign of his devotion… his never-ending love. Our hearts are touched by that. We like it.

But I believe there is much greater profit and purpose if we render the focus and flow differently, having the Beloved/Shepherd asking the Bride (Schulammite) to set Him like a seal upon her heart, like a seal upon her arm. Allow me to share why.

When the Bride applies the Beloved Lord like a seal to her heart and to her arm, it is a witness to the world – she is the Lord’s! The currency of her heart and life are forever engraved with His image!  And this is proper and appropriate, as we are to now forever bear the image of the Man of heaven.

It is also appropriate because we have the seal of the Holy Spirit upon our heart as a security deposit until the promise is fulfilled in eternity – that we will join Him.

But I believe there is an even greater reason and emphasis for embracing such a rendering… of having the Bride with the Lord’s seal upon her. Previously in Song of Songs (Chapter 4:12), the Beloved describes His promised Bride as a garden enclosed and barred, a spring shut up and a fountain sealed. This doesn’t just have to do with her devotion as being singularly the Lord’s, although that is part of it. It therefore does allude to keeping herself as consecrated to their future marriage. But it also speaks to the need that she, the Bride has currently to remain filled and abiding in His Spirit.

In Bob Sorge’s devotion, “Secrets of the Secret Place,” he unlocks the importance of shutting the door when you enter the secret place of God’s Presence (Mt 6:6). He explains that to get into the Lord’s Presence, you must shut the door.  Now, this is not the door to your study, nor is it blocking out this realm by shutting your eyes. Instead, I believe that it is closing the door to the tabernacle of your heart, the very Holy of Holies, where you are meeting with the Lord. Shutting the door allows you to fill up in the spirit of your heart with the substance of His Presence, with the very rarified air of the Kingdom of God.

The Lord has given me a metaphor to understand this… and it deals with ships entering the locks of the Panama Canal.  When a ship enters the lock, doors are closed which allow the water level to rise. The ship is then free to exit the lock and operate on a higher plain. I believe when we meet with the Lord and shut the door of our spirit, we too are filled and able to operate on a spiritual level otherwise impossible. It then becomes an issue of frequency and faithfulness in our meeting with the Lord, and shutting the door against dissipation of the spirit, that causes us to walk in life led by the Holy Spirit and to manifest the seal of the King’s signet ring, His seal emblazoned on our hearts and testifying of His strength operating in us.

If this expansion bears witness in your heart, take it into the Lord’s Presence with expectation. Shut the door when you come into the secret place, believing His desire is to meet with you and fill you! Come empty! Come hungry for Him! Come believing with all your heart that He wants you to be sealed with His signet ring as a testament that you are His!

IMG_20140915_085102_hdr

“Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22 Amp

“…For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you]. Lk 17:21 Amp

“The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.” Ps 119:130 Amp

There is a truth so central to solving the mystery of how to enter the Kingdom …yet while in some ways so simple, one’s cursory glance will yield only confusion. Puzzles may need to be figured out, but this one the Holy Spirit untangles within you!

For me it started with being provoked to sit before the teaching of the Beatitudes. I was gripped by them, and I knew there was something there for me.  I had recently been teaching on the notion that “where your heart is there your treasure will be also.”  We had been looking at the importance of the Biblical heart.

But as I began meditating anew on the Amplified Bible’s rendering of Matthew Chapter 5 …something in the language struck me full in the face. It hit me in my place of deep deficiency. To clarify this I must quote just the first of the beatitudes:

“Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous – with life joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 5:3

I saw in this passage for the first time how much I lacked life joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation. Explosion! I saw how in the midst of any onerous condition of life, I have readily available the state of being in joy because I possess God’s favor, and I should have satisfaction because I have been blessed with salvation.  But to experience this truth I had to learn to believe it, and to exalt it, in the midst of my situations! This truth is not just a “reason” for gladness, but it is the very reality of the constancy of Christ.

The more I sat before this truth, the more I saw something bigger, grander than I could ever imagine. In the very midst of every condition that we experience here on earth, God has breathed the reality of His kingdom so that in Him we can find life joy. In Him we can find satisfaction no matter what we are experiencing. In Him we find the very expression of the answer to the deepest needs we have.

Are you poor or broken – do you appear to lack this realm’s assets and thus seem insignificant in this world? – You have from God’s Kingdom ready to be appropriated, all that is needed to have joy in this moment, in this situation.

Are you in a place of mourning? Someone or something has died – The same is true for you as well…

And on and on through each … meek… hunger and thirst… merciful… etc.

Here is the point. Your current residence is this realm, on earth. You experience challenge every day: some small and irritating, some massive and devastating. But in the very midst of that challenge, what matters most is not what is assaulting you from life, but what is living and abiding in you as you go through the difficulty!

You must understand, you have the very real state and substance of God’s kingdom waiting to fill you and fortify you; to lift you up, and to carry you through the challenge in a manner that you shine with life joy and satisfaction in God’s provision for you. And it is through the active, living, agency of the Holy Spirit that this provision flows – through His Presence! He brings to bear, and reveals, and discloses, and transmits to us all that is Jesus’. (Jn 16:13-15)

So that while the appearance is that I am living in this moment in this world moving through its trying and sometimes terrifying terrain, the greater reality is that I can carry as a constant state the blessing of the kingdom and the Presence of God – in me and with me!

Now this you must hear: The Key to the door of the kingdom is this: to enter the kingdom, it must first enter you…. To enter the way of eternity, eternity must have first made a way in you.  Before I can dwell in the future place of the Kingdom, it must be already at work in me.

The beatitudes demonstrate this truth. I overcome my condition right here and right now on this earth through God’s provision and by keeping my heart and mind focused on the truth that I have His favor and blessing and salvation! These can trump and overcome any situation as surely as Meshach, Shadrack, and Abednigo overcame the flames of the furnace because Jesus was the fourth man in the furnace with them.

The evidence of the Kingdom in you is this: you have power and ability to have life joy and satisfaction in the midst of any trial, because you know that God is with you! And your victory is not just mentally overcoming with a good attitude, it is the substance of the kingdom having its way in you to bear you up! 

As you entertain this concept of the kingdom being available to you and able to keep you in a state of life joy and satisfaction with God’s provision, examine this concept as it applies to these teachings in the Bible:

– Mt 7:21-27 the house founded on the rock

– Mt 18:3 the child who I greatest in the kingdom

– Mt 23:13 pretenders and hypocrites

– Mt 25:1-12 the wise virgins

– Mt 25:14-29 the talents

– Heb 4:3-11 the Lord’s rest

– 2Pet 1:3-10 partakers of the divine nature

Without fail you will notice: Each time something is first given, and something is received, and that thing yields a crop of righteousness and blessing for the receiver…

May you recognize and embrace anew the fullest blessing of your salvation and life joy and satisfaction in this moment … whatever your situation.

The Favor of God be with you…

facebook-20151030-074653

669

1353512556_877574

 

1353513409_252234

facebook-20151112-213752

CWJfTXFWwAAztRv

“Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man] – blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.” Prov 29:18 Amp

Yesterday afternoon’s reports from the National Republican Committee Convention depict total mayhem, madness, and a throwing off of every previous restraint of decorum and party protocol as there was refusal to listen to any other drumbeat but that of Trump. States with valid issues concerning delegates had no voice. Intransigence has entered the picture as republicans have taken a page from the Obama democratic playbook and determined, “If I don’t listen to you, you can’t tell me I can’t do it.”

The Trump party has opted for “bulldozer” tactics and to not deviate no matter what.

Neither Trump, nor the Republican Party, nor America has noticed… Humpty-Dumpty has slid off the wall. Not all of Trump’s horses, nor all of his men can ever put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.

Who or what is Humpty-Dumpty?  It is synonymous with the illusion that the United States ever was, or could ever be, “Great Again” –short of its anchoring to, reliance upon, and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ!  Everything good about America is directly related and reaped from a historical submission and National relationship “under God.” When that submission and trust and reliance upon God departs, things come crashing down.

The Real Failure

To believe that we sit now with a failure of a two-party political system, and to wring our hands in worry over candidates is to actually miss the greater issue, and our greater failure, and the chance for true success that still lies before us!

The real failure is we (the Church/The Body of Christ) have failed to retain our vision, our corporate National focus on the Lord. The verse quoted above, Prov 29:18 reads like this in the New King James version:

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.”

When Moses climbed Mt Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, the people corporately threw off all restraint. They fell to carousing, sensuality, and base behavior.

In Moses was resident the prophetic vision of God. He was the one God had spoken to and given the instruction to deliver the Hebrew Nation. In the absence of Moses and his leadership (his vision of God), the people threw off restraint.

Now, lest you misunderstand, every time the church has decided against God’s leading and provision and will, but instead chose to be lawless, to rebel, to be unfaithful, to be independent, to follow and put other things before Him, to forget Him, to worship other things…etc. She, (We the Body) have thrown off His restraint, time and time again.

The consequence is, when the Body, charged with being salt and light in the world, fails to remain in a committed relationship with the Lord, their power to preserve and cover grows small and weak.  It is like the light of a candle that is burning dimly weakens and cannot cast much light.

This is not to say that there are not members of the Body who are in right relationship with the Lord, and living righteously… there are. This is to say that we are seeing in the breaking of Humpty-Dumpty, that even the Body has put too much trust in things other than Jesus Christ.  We have believed in government solutions and education, and other things.  And we have been content to allow a political sector that has no relationship to the Lord, grow and take charge and tend our national heritage. Yet their only regard for this heritage and what our Forefathers purchased with their own blood, is to steal it and bend it into something it was never meant to be!

Our Real National Treasure

Our real National Treasure is the freedom that was secured by God’s grace, operating in those same Forefathers, that opened a destiny for America to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and follow Him, as a Nation!

For those people in America who are truly saints of God, He is not lost to us, but He has been marginalized by many of our decisions that have elevated things of this world and have lost sight of the things of God.

Matthew 6:21 tells us: “…where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

America, it is time to recognize our true Treasure once again.  It is time to come back to the Lord with hearts repenting over loving other things more than Him.  It is time to see where we each actually are, and where He has called us to be. It is time America, to fall in love with Jesus again, and actually forget ourselves, the things of this world, and begin to know Him and follow Him to the exclusion of other things.

We must put Him first! Our natural logic might say,”No, we need to fix this, or focus on this in the world” …These are just the squeaky wheels demanding your attention and energy.  But to give those your energy now, would be a grave mistake.

On our own, even as citizens, we have no power to stem the tide of what is coming. But in our devotion to Christ, we can actually be the salt and light He has charged us to be in a land of increasing darkness. In that manner, we stand to draw people to Him! And that is truly all our greatest need!

If He is Lifted Up

The word of God tells us that Jesus is the same, today, as yesterday and tomorrow. He doesn’t change – He is steady state. When we lift Him up in our hearts, in prayer, in worship, in love, in service, in our lives as the Chief, the Head our Beloved… then it is the same as when He was lifted up on the Cross – He draws all men unto Himself!  This is our purpose for being in this world!  Not to lift up America or try and make her great again!  But to be mirrors of the Lord’s glory and light, lifting Him up before all men, that by any means we may save some!

America, it is time to align our hearts with the reality that our true treasure is in Christ alone! Only when our treasure, our hearts, and Jesus are in the same place will we ever walk into the destiny that the Lord has for us as His Body and His Bride. It was never about making America great… it is about loving the One Who is Great, and Who shares Himself with us!

Shalom

Bqqm-MoCIAEW5SN

“…[And now, Job, who are you who dares not arouse the unmastered crocodile, yet who dares resist Me, the beast’s Creator, to My face? Everything under the heavens is Mine; therefore, who can have a claim against God?” Amp Job 41:34

“And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance].” Amp Acts 9:5

“In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the curse and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes God].” Amp Eph 2:2

“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?” Amp Rom 6:16

Your life as a believer is made up of choices. You chose to hear the word, you chose to receive the life of Christ, you chose and still choose to walk it out daily and deny yourself.

The Lord never takes away your choice. Just like King David chose to stay home when kings were out fighting, and he brought himself into the choice of taking Bathsheba…choices matter greatly. Some of them will change the course of your life, eternally.

If as a believer you consistently make choices that run counter to the will and purposes of God … then even though you might call yourself a believer, the principle operating in you is more like sin and rebellion than the principle of obedience.

Thus, what you have continued to surrender to (sin) becomes the defacto ruler over you, even if you have confessed Jesus as Savior.

This is the truth behind the Scripture in Mt 7:21-23. If you have truly surrendered your life to Jesus (Who is the Emblem of Obedience), then His nature will have victory within you, and that victory will foster obedience.

The struggle between your natural life (call it gravity) and your supernatural life from the Spirit (Aerodynamics) are continuously in a struggle. They are adversarial forces which will always be diametrically opposed to each other, but one of them is going to win.

Which one wins is your choice. You get to choose! You choose whether gravity happens and you crash and burn, or whether you overcome gravity with the principles of flight!

Here is the hard part. Choices are not always easy. Sometimes they cost you greatly, and in surrendering again to Christ, you are called to die to your self, die to your rights, die to what seems fair, die to your own opinions and emotions.  This is hard. But it is necessary. And the Lord has given us everything necessary to make the hard choices. We just don’t like it, but it will yield a harvest of righteousness that will bring peace that is freedom from every agitating passion and moral conflict.

Right now my heart aches for many people I know who are locked into a difficult struggle, where the cost of victory in Christ seems too high. They find themselves falling again and again, captive to their natural emotions, to old habits and patterns of behavior that have only yielded wounds so deep they appear like gullies in the terrain of their soul.

These people are choosing comfort and safety. They think they are choosing freedom, when by their choice they abort the conflict in preference to peace. But it is not a true peace, for it is only the quieting of the struggle, but with it comes a loss of perception, of insight, of holiness in the character of God – for they have actually chosen sin, something that conflicts with God’s will and purpose (the comfort and ease of the flesh).

But I would tell you that in Christ all efforts are worthwhile and profitable, and will yield an eternal reward. You have everything given to you that you need to choose to please God rather than yourself. Choose to please Him!

1Peter 4:1-2 speaks to this directly…

“So since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God]. So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.” Amp

The choice is before us daily to live for Christ. It never leaves us. It is never taken away. Rather, it is like while seeing gravity before us, we choose instead to mount up with wings of eagles, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint.

Remember, the Lord doesn’t lay a standard before us to walk out on our own. He is God with us… Emmanuel, and He provides all that we need to stand up under the trial (1Cor 13:10).

Rest in Him even as you fight the great fight!