Thursday, March 31, 2016

What's coming from your heart?

I just finished day 13 of the @YouVersion Plan Henry Cloud & John Townsend - Life Journey. Check it out here:

Oftentimes we cannot blame others for the 'foul' things that we release, but actually they are the product of our own hearts.  This why the Bible consistently warns jus to guard, watch, examine, and check our hearts. For we don't know our hearts, but it is the Spirit of GOD Who searches the heart, yes even the deepest (most foulest) parts of our hearts.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Living an Excellent mixture

The Bible, like and greater than the Chemist's Periodic Table, provides every believer instructions on the elements of life.  Like an expert Chemist, LORD Father GOD, is our Chief Instructor as to how we should handle, mix and utilize all of our life experiences. Yet, there is an Excellent mixture of which nothing can match, that is able to empower,  strengthen, encourage, uproot, tear down, and rebuild again.  To our own folly as humans we often neglect the upkeep of this mixture and at various times find ourselves as the "five foolish virgins", who failed to keep and maintain their oil for their lamps.  On one hand the ingredients needed may be seen in very short supply, if we observe the calamities of our world. Yet, if we observe with Kingdom eyes the ingredients necessary are 'truly' without end and we need only ask of the LORD and He promises to supply through His powerful Holy Spirit.
You see, I have found that the reason we may not experience the victories GOD promises in our lives or the exceedingly and abundantly encounters through Jesus Christ is that we have failed to mix the very elements of our Christian foundation together...those being our faith with GOD'S WORD!  Like the timeless cartoon superheroes of the 70's, the Wonder Twins, the two ingredients, although powerful in their own right, are not able to satisfy our victories in this earthly life without being mixed together by you and in you!  The power manifested relies upon us mixing our faith with the Living and Alive WORD of GOD.  John says that "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD." Then he goes on to explain that this very WORD was none other that our Savior Jesus the Christ.
Today, mix the faith that GOD has supplied every one of us with; yes even the 'measure' of faith given; and it is now upon you and I to surender our will to Jesus Christ that He being the WORD of GOD may mix with our faith.  Jeremiah explained it best concerning the reaction of such a mixture...."it was like fire shut up...locked in...released through. bones"


"THEREFORE, WHILE the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [to distrust it], lest any of you should think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it. For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest, in accordance with His declaration that those [who did not believe] should not enter when He said, As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest; and this He said although [His] works had been completed and prepared [and waiting for all who would believe] from the foundation of the world. [Psalm 95:11.]"    Hebrews 4:1-3 AMP

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Faithfully waiting

“If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God's gracious favor and unmerited blessing). For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit's [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope. For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth?” Galatians 5:4-7 AMP

We all, going through life’s multiplicities of challenges and faced often enough with the dilemma of our faith under attack, quickly address Isaiah’s proclamation, “31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.”  Isaiah 40:31 AMP.  We recite this and many other familiar Scriptures with great fervency in the ‘hope’ that if we say it loud enough, or hard enough, or around enough people, or even if we recite it enough times, somehow it would ‘of itself’ miraculously change our situation.    I am in no way mocking the WORD of LORD GOD, nor am I denying the eternal and infinite power of our LORD GOD Almighty.  What I want to address, and even challenge us as believers today is that we would recognize that LORD Father GOD, throughout the Bible has shown us that there is a ‘positional’ response of faith that tells LORD God that we are serious and that we count on no one or nothing else to deliver us from our calamity. 
‘Wait’ is defined as: Verb. “1. To stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.    2. used to indicate that one is eagerly impatient to do something or for something to happen; "I can't wait for tomorrow" synonyms:  hold on, hold back, bide one's time, hang fire, mark time, stand by, sit tight, hold one's horses
Noun.     1. a period of waiting; "we had a long wait" synonyms:  delay, holdup, interval, interlude, intermission, pause, break, stay, cessation, suspension, stoppage, halt, interruption, lull, respite, recess, moratorium, hiatus, gap, rest. "a long wait"
‘Wait’ in Galatians 5:5, in Greek, is defined as ‘apekdechomai’  ‘ap-ek-dekh'-om-ahee’
Meaning to expect fully: - look (wait) for.”  If we were to ask Isaiah (Isaiah 40:31) what he meant by wait, he would encourage us that “The word rendered ‘wait upon’ here (from קוה  qâvâh), denotes properly to wait, in the sense of expecting. The phrase, ‘to wait on Yahweh,’ means to wait for his help; that is, to trust in him, to put our hope or confidence in him.”
So, the idea of ‘to wait’ challenges the believer to give over or deny our own confidence in making a thing happen.  I am not saying we should have no confidence, realize that our confidence exists only because of the Spirit of the Living LORD God and the grace given through Jesus our Christ.  The Apostle Paul explains it like this, “4 Such is the reliance and confidence that we have through Christ toward and with reference to God.  5 Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to form personal judgments or to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God.  6 [It is He] Who has qualified us [making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient] as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not [ministers] of the letter (of legally written code) but of the Spirit; for the code [of the Law] kills, but the [Holy] Spirit makes alive.”  2 Corinthians 3:4-6 AMP.
And with that confidence Paul further encourages us; “6 And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”  Philippians 1:6 AMP.
As we can see from these two verses, the idea and position of ‘waiting’ on LORD GOD is very evident.  Waiting does not say that we are to become stagnant or unresponsive or even reclusive, but I would liken the waiting to that of a subordinate Soldier in response to his/her superior leader.  There is a trust, a reliance upon and a confidence given unto the superior by the subordinate, that even in the absence of orders the subordinate will yet trust in his/her leader and not lean to their ‘own’ understanding, but in every way; until they receive new marching orders; acknowledge the will and purpose of their leader, until told by their leader different. 
I have found that this is often the point in which we encounter that proverbial ‘fork in the road’ in which we must make a decisive decision, as Joshua would challenge Israel, “14 Now therefore, [reverently] fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the [Euphrates] River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”      Joshua 24:14-15 AMP.
It’s in this place of faithful decision that we are required to ‘wait’ upon the LORD GOD, who is Faithful to deliver us. When we see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing and know nothing, would we say and do as Job prescribes, “14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my warfare and service I will wait, till my change and release shall come.  15 [Then] You would call and I would answer You; You would yearn for [me] the work of Your hands.” Job 14:14-15 AMP.
Paul, here in the fifth chapter of his letter to the Galatians begins in verse one by immediately commanding them to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free…”.  This after Paul reminds us at the end of chapter four (verse 31) that we “are not children of the bondwoman (a female slave or servant), but of the free.”  Stand fast therefore!!  Be stationary, not so much in physical form as that noble sentry at his guard post, but Paul would have us to take such militaristic principles as it pertains to our mind, our soul and our spirit.  This same Greek word, ‘stēkō’ stay'-ko, also means for one to persevere: - stand (fast).  So, there is yet a moving forward in the will and purpose of LORD Father GOD that defies the obstacles and distractions that may come.  Paul would later in this fifth chapter (verse 7) inquire of the Galatians, “You ran well, who hindered you…”   Who distracted you from waiting on LORD GOD?
Let’s look at the ‘three-point’ stance of waiting in faith:

1. Waiting eagerly in faith:
      Gal. 5:4-6 AMP., “4 If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing).  5 For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our [b]conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope.  6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.”

2. Waiting courageously in faith: 
     Psalm 27:13-14 AMP., “13 [What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!  14 Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.”

3. Waiting with great expectation for LORD GOD’s promised revealing, in faith:
     Rom. 8:18-19 AMP., “18 [But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and [g]for us and [h]conferred on us!  19 For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship].”

Abraham waited 25 years
Moses waited 40 years
Caleb waited 40 years
Joseph waited 13 years
Jesus waited 30 years
If God is making you wait, you’re in good company.

W - Watch God work in HIS ways
A - Ask God about HIS purposes
I -   Invite GOD to work in your heart
T -  Trust GOD to fulfill HIS plans


There is a funny line in an even funnier movie, where the main character has a cliche or his personal mantra stating "life is like a box of chocolates. " Well there are times in our lives where, if life were like a box of chocolates, they must be the cheapest, sales and nastiest chocolates ever!  I mean could the tests of life really get any harder? Any uglier? Any more defeating?  Just how deep can a person be pressed?
There is another story though, this one is not so funny although there are some funny scenes.  The lead character here states, "why so downtrodden, o' my soul? "  I've been told that it's not crazy to talk yourself, but pretty weird if you were to answer yourself.
I am finding that GOD doesn't consider this an issue of psychosis or some other psychological disease to answer yourself, but HE does declare it foolish not to answer according to HIS Word, which is always True and always victorious.   These days I have been doing a lot of talking to myself and I don't like these challenges in my life.  I hate the dysfunctional ditches I seem to always fall into.  And I detest the division that the enemy has tempted and seemingly immobilized me with.  But, somehow I hear the voice of a Savior calling me to get up out of this faithless and defeated bog, and press on. 

Learning to love others, even where they are at.

I just finished day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan Henry Cloud & John Townsend - Life Journey. Check it out here: