Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Fight

John 14:1
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

So often lately I’ve been noticing people trying to instill fear into our lives causing me to work even harder than normal to remain happy.

I have become more cynical and grumpier in my thoughts than normal and want to make it stop. Last week, I remembered two teachings I heard many years go called the Christian Survival Guide and Christian First-Aid Kit. I found them and have started to re-listened to each of the teachings in the series. The teachings center around this verse as well as others in John 14, 15, and 16 which were Jesus' last instructions on how to live until He returns.

As I was cleaning the kitchen this morning, I was thinking about this verse then realized how great a sin it is when we allow our heart to become troubled. I understood that letting that happen removes joy in our lives. As a result whenever I start feeling troubled I immediately shake it off since I don’t want my thoughts to take away my happiness.

However, I never realized how great a sin it was to become troubled. It’s like saying I don’t trust you Jesus. Or telling Jesus He’s a liar and I don’t believe what He’s instructed me how to live. That I know more than He does and I don’t care. It’s turning my back against God which is the last thing I ever want to do.

God is the only One who I trust these days as well as my family. But even with my family, they have their own lives to deal with. But God’s main priority is me and you as well. His main reason for choosing us to exist is for us to be His child and for Him to be our Father. To provide everything we need to survive. He is the only One who really knows us and who loves us unconditionally at all times.

I’ve tried to love others like 1 Corinthians 13 and it’s difficult. Not impossible, but difficult since we’ve been programmed to believe what the world thinks.

There is a radio program I have found myself listening to that I stopped several years ago because it got on my nerves which it is once again. It’s based on fear-mongering with no trust in God. Don’t get me wrong this program is like so many others. They instill fear with the promise of having an answer.

Even the commercials on this show do the same. If we stand back isn’t that what commercials often do? They produce a fear in us then they make it sound like they are the hero that has come to our rescue. Isn't that what politicians do? For some ungodly reason they don't believe God has given us the ability of providing for ourselves. The truth is that they want us to become slaves to them.

Quite frankly, I’m fed up with all of that. I love my life now, like I never have in the past since I know and understand the Word of God and how the Bible is our guide for successful living.

We live in difficult times but God wants us to be happy in spite of what is going on around us or to us. We are only on this earth for a short time in comparison to eternity. We never really die, we just leave this realm for another one.

God’s intention was for us to live for eternity here on Earth until Adam messed that up. Our bodies were meant to last forever until Adam messed that up. He lived for almost a thousand years. He ushered in all the things that cause death. He had everything and was able to be deceived into thinking he was missing something. There was only one thing that God instructed him not to do and he allowed his mind to drift away from trusting God and he did the vary thing that God didn’t want him to do and he lost everything as a result. That's what a troubled heart will do. It causes loss in our lives.

Every day we do the same thing. We are never content with what we have and we are never content with God’s instructions. For some reason we feel we know more than God. That we know what’s best. What fools we are.

Jesus told us not to be troubled. If we would meditate on it for a few hours we will realize how dangerous it is for us to be trouble-minded. Being troubled no longer gives us the ability to make rational decisions. It clouds our minds. It’s takes away the ability of God handling the situation for us. He cannot intervene on our behalf since we’ve decided to take His place.

It took me getting sick and tired of the life I was living each day. I am still sick and tired of what the world tries to do to my thoughts. It tries to rob me of the truth and I refuse to be deceived any longer. God told us when all fails to “stand.” When we are about to give up and have tried everything we can, to “stand.” Well, I’m standing. I’m standing on the Word of God. I’m standing against the deception in this world. I’m standing against the lies of the enemy.

We are at war and I’m a warrior. Our enemy isn’t people. Our enemy is satan and his demons. There is a real spiritual war going on and we are the “spoil” so to speak. Well, I’m nobody’s spoil. I’m standing against evil. I will fail now and then but just like a fighter in the ring, I might go down for a few seconds but I will get up time and time again. I will win this war. I will win the fight. God told me I would if I follow His ways and I believe Him.

I am more than a conqueror. Satan may count me as a sheep for the slaughter but this is one gal who will not be slaughtered by him. Jesus has given me dominion over satan and I will not relinquish that dominion back to him. He may get it for a brief second but I’ll grab it back from him and kick his sorry ass back to hell where he belongs.

Romans 8:34-39
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I’m a warrior. Thankfully, God has instill that into us so we have the ability to “stand” against evil. To “stand” against the robbers who come to steal, kill and destroy us. To “stand” against those who want us to make them lord in our life. To “stand” against those who say they will “save” us. Yeah, right. There is only one Savior and that is Jesus.

It’s remarkable how our lives change the instant we have that attitude. It’s remarkable how excited God becomes when we “stand” with Him. He floods us with knowledge to be a conqueror. He arms us with the weapons we need to fight off the enemy, who is satan. The power that comes to us is remarkable.

I’m am so grateful, I made that decision several years ago to listen and obey God to the best of my ability knowing that it would be an every day challenge. But it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept to enjoy this wonderful life that God has given to me. Thank you, Lord for always being by my side so I no longer have a troubled heart or walk alone.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Loving Father's Guidance

Today I reflected once again on conviction vs. condemnation as a sense of conviction stirred within me.

So many people today avoid God because of either condemnation or conviction only because they don’t understand the difference. When God convicts us, it is out of His love for us. It is His way of guiding us away from potential trouble. Condemnation on the other hand is from satan. It's critical that we can recognize the difference so that we can retain joy in our life.

Conviction is God’s way of speaking to us. For example, if a thought comes such as “I really need to…”, “I shouldn’t have…” that is from God. It’s His way of trying to show us a better way of handling a situation. It isn’t meant for us to feel badly about ourselves. It’s His way of saying we can improve. How often have we spoken too quickly only to regret what we said. God will convict us of that so that we can avoid that regret in the future. He will try to urge us to take a few seconds before reacting to see if what we are about to utter is appropriate or necessary or even possibly to allow Him to coach us in a better way to handle the situation or give us better words to speak.

Condemnation on the other hand is from satan who tries to tear us down. Words such as “you’re such a loser”, “you’ll never get it right”, “what makes you think you deserve…”, “you always say the wrong thing”, “no one likes you.” He will personally attack you. Those thoughts we need to chase away with a stiff warning to satan that you are not about to fall into his trap.

Satan will try to bring to your attention your weak areas. Especially those things which you regret doing. He will bring things that happened years ago back to your thoughts to make you hate yourself, or cry, or become angry. Those are not from God. God doesn’t remember your past mistakes. God only cares about your future not your past. That is extremely important to remember.

Granted we will be judged on everything we’ve done in our life on the Day of Judgment. However, if we are born again our sins are forgiven and we can come boldly before God’s throne. As long as we have repented of the sins we are aware of committing all will be good. It’s impossible for us to repent on all the sins we’ve ever committed since we often aren’t aware of all of them. God knows our heart. He knows whether we are repentive or not. God knows if we’ve make Jesus Lord of our life, or if we’ve made ourself lord and savior.

Don't get me wrong, sin is deadly. Sin will rob us of God's best for our lives. Convictions are areas where we are committing sin which we need to take seriously.

I saw a tweet that started to arise anger inside of me. Instead of reacting immediately like I would have in the past, I waited for Jesus to bring a scripture to my attention. It didn’t take long before a minister tweeted a sermon "What Kind Of Christian Are You". I listened and immediately the minister quoted a verse from the Bible which was a direct answer to the situation. There are times, God brings to my attention where I'm wrong. Or gives me a different way of examining the situation. We never know where the answer will come from but we will always know when it is God speaking to us through other people.

I’ve learned to trust the Lord more than myself and He always comes through. What a wonderful Father we have that He is always present in our lives to guide us, comfort us, teach us, and shower us with His love.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Race

attributed to Dr. D.H. "Dee" Groberg

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

Monday, May 9, 2016

Never Alone

Last night I went quickly to sleep thanking the LORD for another day only to be awoken several hours later by a dream. I was at a convention with six other women, three of whom separated from us to go off on their own leaving the remaining three seated waiting for the event to start. None of us knew each other.

The event coordinator came by and started talking to us. As I looked down there was a strange looking bug that I believe I have seen in a picture or gif which she almost stepped on. As her foot brushed the bug, with it’s see through tail and head, another one appeared then two more each time her foot moved by them.

As she walked away, a grasshopper landed within inches of the four bugs which was immediately pounced upon by a large number of flies which started eating the grasshopper. The four other bugs, which were elegantly formed (if you like bugs, which I do not) joined the flies.

I quickly turned away in disgust at the sight as the other two women continued to look on.

This caused me to awaken. Yuck. I thought. I laid there briefly and felt so alone like that grasshopper must have felt. Then I felt helpless like the three of us watching the grasshopper be devoured unable for any of us to come to its aid.

The feeling of being alone is not a pleasant feeling. That feeling can happen anywhere even in a large crowd of people or in our household among our family. We can be surrounded by people and still feel alone.

These days I often feel helpless watching evil slowly invading my world an those I love and care for.

I am so thankful to have the Lord in my life. I immediately remembered that I am never alone. First, I have myself. God has given us the ability to speak to ourselves. Second, I knew that God was there with me as well as Jesus and the Holy Spirit within me. I was not alone. They were awake ready to give me comfort and reassuring me that I will never be alone or helpless. The angels surround us as ministering spirits to protect us at all times.

I quickly went back to sleep comforted and the memory of the grasshopper put to the side.

I’m not sure what brought on that dream or where dreams come from. I do know that when dreams stop is the day we die. That means our mind has ceased to function.

That dream has many lessons about life if I were to meditate on the events but I will save that for another day.

I thought about that crazy lady attacking Mr. Donovan leaving him maybe believing he’s all alone in fighting a battle against crazy fans which caused me to remember Rebecca Schaeffer, whose life tragically ended when she was only twenty-one by a crazy fan.

We are all in a battle in this life and our enemy is satan and satan only. He is here to steal, destroy and kill. That is his only mission in life— to separate us from God. If he can deceive our thoughts he can take away anything that is good in life.

Last night I won another battle against the devil. I am never really alone in life. I may fall over and be devoured by the enemy but I will triumph even in death as I leave this world into a new one for eternity with the Lord.

Daylight always brings clarity to a situation but last night I quickly triumphed over darkness. It’s going to be another wonderful day.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

He Knows

He knows it all, He knows it all
My Father knows, He knows it all,
The bitter tears, how fast they fall,
He knows, my Father knows it all.

I read this hymn from one of my Smith Wigglesworth books and my heart was quickened when instantly the thought of my childhood came to mind. How often did I sit on my bed weeping, feeling alone in a house full of my family, trying to understand life and not wanting to burden others with my problems and also to avoid criticism for the way I was thinking.

How often do we as children face problems only for others to expect us to understand, not realizing we are just children. As children we need to be taught how to become an adult. We need to be taught how to deal with life’s burdens. Our problems often seem small and insignificant to others but they are large to us. We need others to be kind letting us know we are magnifying them larger than they really are.

And sometimes things happen to us that only God can understand. They are huge that no one should have to experience and we often feel we have no place to turn.

God knows it all. Jesus experienced it all while He was on earth. Why didn’t I trust God to show and teach me? He is the only one who knows it all. He knows everything I’ve been through and He knows how to handle each circumstance that I encounter. He is a loving God with only my best interest at heart.

Today, it is different. I’m so grateful to have reached a place where I know that God knows everything and He is the only one whom I can put my full trust. He miraculously brings me knowledge each day teaching me the ways of life. Today, I know when I ask Him a question, He will answer me. Maybe not immediately but in the matter of a few days.

Today the tears are gone as understanding fills my mind and my heart. Today the tears of sadness are replaced with tears of joy knowing that I am no longer alone. He is always with me and will be for eternity.

NOTE: As I continued reading Wigglesworth's message he said: "We may enter into things that will bring us sorrow and trouble, but through them, God will bring us to a deeper knowledge of Himself. Never use your human plan when God speaks His Word. You have your cue from an Almighty Source who has all the resources that never fade away. His treasury is past measuring, abounding with extravagances of abundance, waiting to be poured out upon us." What a glorious Lord we have looking over us, and providing for us when we trust in Him and ask.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Present

I wrote a piece earlier this morning in which I wanted to say more. However, I believe that is all the LORD wanted me to say in that posting.

The “Rest” the LORD was speaking about since the beginning of time, was for us to put to “rest” all of the troubles we experience every day. Put to rest our anger. Put to rest our worry. Put to rest self-centeredness. Put to rest hatred. Put to rest fear. Put it all to rest. Lay it down.

We shouldn't revisit times of hardships we’ve experienced. Put it to rest. They are in the past. The only things in the past we should revisit are pleasant memories and put down the sadness, regret and wishful thinking. Be grateful for those times instead.

When the LORD was finished creating the earth He said it was "good". The only things we really need to focus on is what is good. If we are to magnify anything it should be the good. The bad never really lasts very long. Just moments in time. Even in the midst of the most terrible times in our life there is gladness if we are willing to allow ourselves to see and experience it.

We often grieve over what we have lost. Our family members that are no longer with us, the friends, and so on. It’s hard but that’s life. Death of any kind is a part of life. We don’t like it but that’s the way it is.

I miss my mom and dad but not like others do. When I think about them it brings me joy with gratitude that God chose them for me. It is just selfishness missing them. “Poor me” syndrome. Instead I choose to honor their memory and be grateful I had them in my life as long as I did. I know they are both in heaven and it would be cruel to wish they were back here with me, to endure the hardships of life when they now live in glory never to face pain and suffering again.

We often look at work as if it were a curse and not severing the LORD. Even work can be fun when we know that God is behind the scenes. Murmuring and complaining about our job or work to be done will keep us in the wilderness instead of allowing God to take us to the promise land. We will be stuck in what we don't want if we are ungrateful for what we have. Why would God give us something better when we aren't grateful knowing eventually we will only complain to Him once again if He gave us something else?

I didn’t always feel this way. I looked at life like so many others and actually thought earth was a living hell until I saw the light and a new way of looking at life. Now every day is as if I’m already in heaven living life to the fullest at least the fullest I can in my current situation.

Today I’m obedient to God’s Word. It’s a marvelous way to live. Sin seems enticing but actually eventually it brings us misery. God’s way of living is like being on a natural high without the need of drugs or alcohol to bring me down.

My only regret is that I didn’t trust God and live this way my entire life.

Today I do what I can and leave the rest to God. I seek His advice always. I know whatever comes my way I will get through it. I have always in the past. But this time is different. I go through it with happiness of heart knowing I’m never alone and God has provided everything I will ever need to go through. I refuse to get stuck and remain in the troubles even though they have ended.

I now understand why my mom refused to have a past. She only lived in the present. A present is a gift to be enjoyed. Today, I like her will enjoy the gift of today that the LORD has given to me. I will give all of the problems to Him to work out on my behalf.

It’s really kinda fun laughing at the things that come my way knowing they have to face God and not me. God is more powerful than I am so why not enjoy His power so I can live in peace.

I am truly blessed and honored to be a child of God. An heir of the most powerful Being in the universe. A universe He created with me in mind. Therefore, I will live today in the "rest" of the LORD.
Mark 2:27
And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Put it to Rest

Last night before retiring, I started reading a message given by Smith Wigglesworth on January 14, 1924 “Possession of the Rest” in which he referred to Hebrews Chapter 4.

I love Hebrews 4 now that I have a better understanding of what it means. I recently listened to a series of messages on the subject which I had never heard the way he approached the subject which I could back with hundreds of scriptures bringing my understanding of the Sabbath Rest to an entirely new and exciting level. Many of my questions about life were answered by the message.

As I got into the welcoming, warm bed last night, I realized I now live in His Rest. What a wonderful, glorious place to be. I urge you to read Hebrews 4 over and over again until it hits you what it means. You will never look at life quite the same.

Satan is real and he will cloud our mind to prevent us from enjoying the wonderful life God wants for us by keeping us in darkness, never seeing the light of truth.

This morning I was reading Exodus when I was reminded once again about murmuring and complaining keeping the Israelites from entering into the Promise Land. We experience the same as the Israelites when we murmur and complain. Exodus 16:8 tells us:
Also Moses said, "… for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD."
When we complain and murmur it is against the LORD and not our situation. We think it isn’t but it is. We are driven away from the promise land into the wilderness. We become miserable, angry, sad with all the emotions we do not enjoy.

Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the LORD always, again I say rejoice.” He said this while in prison and prison during those days make our prisons look like palaces.

Rejoicing even in times of trouble keeps God in our presence helping us through the difficulty with a smile on our face and hope in our heart. Even the tribulations that satan brings against us can be a time of joy letting us continue to live in “God’s Rest” allowing Him to handle the stresses and worries of life while we live Jesus’ abundant life.