Today was one of those days that I wish never happened. It was hard…more than. I cried till my eyes were swollen. I tried to pray but could not even make sense of my thoughts. Thank goodness He is able to interpret my tears. It was not supposed to play out like this. Shocked. Numb. A dark cloud was hanging over me most of the day. I had three concerned ladies pray for me. They prayed and I said Amen but the cloud did not go away. All the “what ifs” ran through my mind and then the tears started to flow all over again. I read devotionals, I put on hymns and back to trying to pray again. The cloud was still there. THEN something happened, I began to praise. Not because my circumstances had instantly changed but because I came to my senses. God is good. PERIOD. And because He is good He is deserving of my praise. As I began to praise, I was reminded that He is in control and I can trust Him. COMPLETELY! I can go mad playing out the ifs or receive His peace that comes through praise. My praise brings back to remembrance how He has come through for me in the past, how He kept me even when He did not answer the way I wanted. My praise put God in His rightful position and allowed me to take a seat in His peace. Oh Lord, let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen
I am STILL thinking about that conference I attended. I know I have talked about it quite a bit, but it was THAT life changing. I have been thinking about what Bob Gladstone said about taking on the position of a servant. Hope it doesn’t sound like I am rambling but I feel compelled to share my heart with you.
Service to the body of Christ is good…very good. However each time I serve I must ask myself questions that expose my motives. Am I serving from a place of genuine love or serving with the expectation of getting something in return? Am I using my God given gifts to further the body or to showcase myself? Is my service about me or about God? Wrong motives can pollute a good thing. I must confess that I have missed the mark more than once but now more than ever I am asking the Lord to give me the heart of a true servant. This is my desire and it begins with love.
In all that I do, I must be motivated by love. I want to silence the voices of this world and position myself to hear the voice God, even the slightest whisper. I want greater revelation concerning this love thing. I want to get to the place that the Apostle Paul speaks of, a place of true love. I WANT THAT JESUS. I don’t want to back down from what you called me to, but I want to be filled up to overflowing with LOVE. JESUS LOVE. That sacrificial love that made you freely give up your place of privilege and come down to earth only to be CRUCIFIED for sins you did not commit…divine love.
I want the love that causes me to intercede for my brothers and sisters until something happens because we are family. I want to hurt when they hurt and be concerned about their highest good. And if they offend me? I let it go…all of it…immediately. I want that love that makes me immune to offenses and the praises of men. The love that makes me give without any announcements or need to be acknowledged, because I know you see and that is all that matters. The love that makes me filled with joy about serving others, not looking to be served. Birth that love in me, then I can serve your people with greater power bringing you glory!
I went to a leadership conference this weekend that shook me up! Some of what the speaker shared confirmed what The Lord has been speaking to our local congregation….amazing! Click on this link and listen to the messages from 3/20/15 and 3/21/15 by Dr. Bob Gladstone. I heard biblical truths that challenged me on so many levels but left me hungering for more of God. The speaker spoke with a passion that could not have been fabricated. He spoke from a place of authenticity and deep connection with God. The fire was contagious and I was stirred to the core of my being. I WANT THAT FIRE. THAT PASSION. THAT FOCUS. He challenged us to become obsessed with the Gospel, which inevitably will leave us obsessed with Jesus. The truths were simple, the very truths we try to accomplish through complicated means. I was overwhelmed and didn’t quite know what to do. As the truths came at me, I wanted to worship, I wanted to cry. I wanted to repent for not always having the right focus. I wanted to shout, “THANK YOU JESUS for revelation knowledge.” Kingdom building, he reminded us can be risky, being family can be messy and we won’t always get it right but it is worth every effort. WOW! How often do we as the people of God gravitate toward what is convenient, what is comfortable? How often do we measure success by the number of people in the church, even if the spirit of God is absent? How often do we hinder the gifts from flowing because it means we lose control? How often do we neglect the essentials like loving and forgiving our brothers and sisters in Christ but want to go out and be special? How often do we make it about us and not about HIS WILL? Oh that the church will return to the traditions of God… the only ones that matter. I want to live, breathe, and be the gospel. I want His kingdom to come in my life. I want His love, mercy and grace to ooze from my words and actions spilling over into the lives of everyone I meet, ultimately showing them Jesus.
And then Sunday came, we went to church and it continued. The word was sung, preached and then demonstrated through forgiveness, prayers of intercession for our brothers and sisters in Christ, warm embraces were exchanged saying, ” I am here for you, I am going to fight with you because we are family.” We. Are. Family. I was overwhelmed to see the word come to life. How awesome is our God!
There are parts of me that are fragile. Scarred from past hurts. I love God. I do. But sometimes I don’t look like He wants me to. He has been showing me things. About me. Ugly things that I have been carrying. Things I need to let go of to go to the next level. To be promoted. Things that I didn’t want to let go of…until now. Yes I have prayed about it before, but I still held on because I felt justified. But I recently found myself crying and confiding in God, “I don’t know how to let it go God, but I want to. I really do. It is too heavy. I don’t know how to let go of the pain, the offense, the hurt, the pride, false expectations, the jealously.” But then He whispered, ” you don’t have to let go in your own strength you just have to desire to be purged of these things, your desire for freedom invites me in to do my job….deliver.”
So I wept real hot tears. Tears of freedom. I felt the weight lifting, and I am being transformed…again. Always another level to go to but promotion always starts from the inside. It is freeing to surrender these insecurities and scars to God. No judgment, no condemnation from Him. Only pure love from my daddy. He is always gently confirming that He is worthy of my love.
So today I share my heart with you, not to glorify my weaknesses but to glorify a God who strengthens the weak. A God who understands the complexities of our past but challenges us to live beyond that because the blood of His son made it right. Made me new. I am making the choice to let go and move on.
My heart is troubled, my spirit is vexed and I cant hold my peace. Where are the people of God? Not those just naming the name of Christ while choosing to sin… abusing grace. I mean the real bonafied saints who long to see the kingdom of God come on this earth. The saints who recognize that holiness is NEVER an option, it is a command. The ones who embrace being peculiar and recognize they can’t take part in any and everything because they have been called out…they are royalty. The saints who pray and demons flee becaue there is an undeniable connection to God.
Sin is rampant and the church is scared to to talk about it. Some who are claiming to be followers of Christ are taking part in the same sins God speaks against in His word. And if we are not actively doing it, we plant ourselves right in front of the TV watching shows that glorify some of the very sins God detest. The very ones that will keep us out of heaven. Whose standards are we trying to live up to? Who sets the bar, when were we given permision to change God’s word and His standards… how arrogrant. I am certain it pains the heart of God. We are caught up in unfruitful conversations instead of assuming a posture of repentance and prayer and demonstrating the power of God.
We should not name the name of Christ if we are not willing to
Embrace His identity… imitating Him.
Embrace his holiness.
Embrace being in this world but not of it.
Embrace a surrender that leaves you with no other option but picking up your cross and following
him… never looking back.
Embrace being persecuted and not be afraid of loosing relationships because you refuse to deny Christ with your words and ACTIONS.
Embrace truth and call sin S.I.N. and ditch every attempt to be politically correct in an effort to be LIKED on facebook and beyond.
Embrace ministering to the sinner with grace and love, not afraid to speak the truth because you live in a constant awareness that hell is real.
I used to be a SINNER and by God’s grace I am now saved. I am now a saint of the most high God, and I am called to live up to His standards. He didnt save me for me to keep on with the same mess I used to be in, flirting with sin. I have to choose EVERYDAY to embrace my new identity in Christ and walk according to the spirit and not the flesh. This is not true for only me but for every saint…we were saved to be a light. So come on church, let us stand up and stand out by HIS grace and do so without apology.
It is the start of a new year and many including myself have health goals. Most have a few extra pounds to loose and a desire to be more toned. While I have put together an action plan to meet my goals, I have another method to drop a different kind of weight. This year I am gonna hit the floor more… on my knees in prayer to drop all the weight that is not mine to carry.
Before I go pulling out my violin and telling you all that’s wrong
Before I run to the pantry for a treat to calm my nerve and give me temporary relief
Before I get all worked up trying to explain and convince my husband of my point of view
Before I say yes when the answer should be no but I am looking for your approval
Before I start feeling discouraged that I have entered another year and I still have not seen the manifestation of hair growth that I desparately desire
Before I get burderened down with your situation and feel bad that I cant fix it and make it all better
BEFORE I DO ANY OF THAT…I am gonna drop to the floor and unload that weight in prayer.
Prayer is so POWERFUL when coupled with Faith.
It moves mountains.
It heals the sick.
It changes my perspective causing me to praise instead of complain, bringing peace to the storm.
It helps me to rejoice in ALL Things, even the bad.
It fuels my faith to speak those things that are not as though they were and then I stand back and watch GOD WORK IT OUT!
It gives me the inside scoop on God’s will for my life, and I come off my knees with such confidence and fierce faith!
Prayer is free therapy and you can rest assure that the therapist understand what you are going through, He’s been there and came out victorious. It is always convenient to pray, as a matter of fact we are told to pray at all times. God’s ears are always open to our cry. And when you earnestly pray, it produces great results. So… are you ready to hit the floor in prayer with me this year? Leave a comment below to let me know.