Friday, October 31, 2014

Turning Out for God

I Thessalonians 4:7-8 - "For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you."

Everyone has a calling on their lives from God. Some may not have a ministry to hundreds or thousands, but of greater importance is our calling to sanctification or holiness. This is the Lord's mandate for each of us in order to minister first to our family and friends and whomever else He decides. We do not choose our work. That is for the Lord to decide. However, we do choose whether God will equip us. To reject sanctification disqualifies us from the work He would have us to do.

Never minimize turning from sin, beloved of God. Without our turning there can never be His turning us out to do His great work. May we turn and keep turning away from the seduction of this world that we might return to Christ as He will then turn us loose to perform His will.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Abounding Love

I Thessalonians 3:11-13 - "Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints."

Praying the apostolic prayers are essential. Paul's understanding how the church needs revelation is paramount to our walk with the Lord. In this instance, we should make it a daily prayer to pray that our love would "increase and abound" to one another. In order for this to happen, God needs to supernaturally move on our hearts and first show us our great need to love the way He does. Then, there is the magnificent release of His Spirit within us.

Beloved, if we are truly born again and know Jesus Christ, all of His fulness dwells within our spirits. It is our responsibility to invoke Him in prayer for its release. This is the key to the establishment of "hearts without blame." The more we know about ourselves, then the more Christ can release His love to us and others through our broken vessel. This, my friends, is sanctification by with which we will see God (Hebrews 12:14).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Fringes of God's Ways

Job 26:14 - “Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?”

Job refutes his opponents by speaking of the wonders of God in creation. Yet, he states "these are the fringes of His ways." Secular society would aim to limit or exclude God altogether from creation. However, He goes far beyond that as Job describes. What we see with our human eye and mortal understanding is but only a "fringe" of His overall wisdom and grandeur. His power is incomprehensible and without limit. That is why we only hear a "faint" word of Him when He whispers to our souls, "I created all this and so much more than you will ever know this side of eternity."

Beloved of God, may we cry out to Him that He might speak a bit more often and not with faintness of breath. May we hear His loving voice regarding all He has done. For in so doing, will we understand that He does all things right and good. May our love and faith grow exponentially as He reveals Himself to those for whom He gave everything.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A "Put on" for God

Colossians 3:12-14 - "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."

Have we ever been accused of being a "put on"? Being two-faced is wrong if we are using our masquerade to fool others. However, if we are Christians and confess we are often two different people, then we then have the power through humility to be a proper put on. When we allow ourselves to think right about ourselves, we start to think right about others. What we then put on our minds about ourselves and others become expressions of our hearts that transform.

Beloved, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit is a choice. It begins by choosing to put on the Lord Jesus Christ in our every thought. The miracle then happens as His character becomes ours with hearts expressive of Him.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Setting God Aside

Mark 7:9 - "He was also saying to them, 'You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.'"

To point the finger at the Pharisees is often to have three pointed back at ourselves. While we may not have a written form of the Talmud that we use to dissect the Law of God, we invariably do this in other ways. Compromise comes through forcing our own way rather than God's. It can often come in the most subtle ways also. Have we desired something we should not have? Then, we can sometimes justify our position by doing a little more for God in another area. We add to the law by trying to love someone a bit more so we can act a bit more rude to another through our self-justification. Or, we might fall into the trap of doing for God rather than being for God. To clarify, how often do we do for God because we are afraid not to? We have become so accustomed to giving to a certain charity or helping out a person in a certain way, yet we have lost our love in the midst of it.

If we will allow the love of God to be our great motivator in whatever we do, then we will never fall short of His expectation. Jesus Himself stated that if we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor likewise, then we have fulfilled the Law (Luke 10:27). However, this takes sitting before the Lord and seeking His will everyday rather than assuming we know it from past experience.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Greater is He ...

II Chronicles 32:7 - “Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him."

Do we really believe that greater is He that is in us, then he who is in the world? The author of Chronicles tells us in 32:1 that after all Hezekiah's faithful acts, the king of Assyria then attacked. In trying to reason this, some would tell us that we must have some sin in our lives. Otherwise the devourer would not have a foothold to provoke us. However, when we have been faithful and generous and loving is when we will sometimes experience a deluge of conflict as our seeming reward. These "rewards" are often orchestrated in heaven to allow us to create the heavenly gold God desires (remember Job and his testing, my friends).

When we are sure concerning Whom we have believed – and know with surety it is He who is greater than all our troubles – there is nothing that will come our way we will not accept as a gift from God. Should we embrace calamity? We should only receive it for what it is – an instrument to bring us closer to God. As with Hezekiah, if we will but trust in the Lord then our troubles will self-destruct much like the Assyrian army later in this chapter. … May we trust implicitly and love explicitly, beloved of God.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

An Unrestricted Grasp

Philippians 2:6 - "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,"

What are we grasping for today? Our grasp will only be restricted by our reach. If we are truly reaching for the things of God, then we have acknowledged we are not God and have need of the Savior. However, if we are grasping for those things which are selfishly desired, then we have not emptied ourselves regarding our fleshly desire to be our own gods. Jesus understood perfectly what the Father desired. He emptied Himself of any agenda other than that of His loving Daddy and He achieved the pronouncement, "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased," by so doing.

Our grasp will always be symptomatic of our desire. What we truly love, we will pursue. Our pursuits will always be out-stripped, well beyond our grasp, if we seek things for ourselves. Conversely, if we persevere, we will overtake and possess those things God desires for us through His will.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Residual Return

Hosea 12:6 - "Therefore, return to your God, observe kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually."

If we ever get to the point as Christians when we say we have no need to return to God, then we have set ourselves up in the place of the Pharisees. God the Father told us to be holy and perfect, for He is holy and perfect (Leviticus 19:2). So, to believe we have somehow arrived and we have come to this perfect place of sanctification and holiness is to believe the lie perpetrated since Lucifer challenged God for Lordship. However, this is usually done in much more subtle ways. We might say, "I am a pretty good Christian. I go to prayer meeting plus Sunday services and also work with the kids sometimes." Once we start justifying our so-called position in life we lose our connection with our position in Christ.

If we are truly dead to self and our old ways, we will know we must continue to return to God every time a thought like this arises. Remember, beloved, a rock when dropped will only fall towards its center which is the earth. It is the law of gravity. The law of love tells us we must fall into the arms of the Savior. Otherwise, to prevent this fall only means we have fallen from grace.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our Call to Suffer

Philippians 1:29 - "For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,"

Suffering will always result in loss. If we are not suffering for Christ's sake as believers, then possibly we have believed a false gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ says we will put others at enmity with us when we seek to follow Christ and His teachings. It has never been the heritage of the children of God to get along with everyone in this world. We will not necessarily "get along" with those who feel guilty because of their immoral lifestyles since we do not condone them. Acceptance does not mean we embrace someone's lifestyle choices. Instead, it means we still love them with Christ's love yet not compromise the word of God.

Remember, beloved, faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy (Proverbs 27:6). We will suffer for Christ's sake if we are living according to the true Gospel.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Obedient Joy

Mark 3:13 - "And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him."

When we come near to God in those mountaintop moments, He will always seek to draw us closer to Himself. In these instances, it will be our choice to come or not. What will it cost us? Ourselves -- vanquished on the windswept expanses of the peaks of God's delights. When we experience His calling and our coming, we must be careful to then carry out what He desires. If we believe God has just called us into fellowship with Him on the mountain and will not require something of us, then we have not come to know the Lord as we should.

Too often, the joy of the mountaintop is aborted early because we refuse to follow through with the next level of obedience. The call of God and our coming to Him is often irresistible. However, the going out from Him with a new knowledge to obey can easily meet resistance by the self we should have left on the windswept peak. Beloved of God, may we hear His voice, come at His calling, and go down from the mountain with the joy of obedience.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Who Do We Trust?

Job 15:15 - “Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in His sight;"

For the Lord to trust in anyone or anything other than Himself would make Him less than God. Holiness along with all His other attributes emanate from Him only. This fact dismisses any possibility that something or something else could be trusted for salvation.

Simply stated, if we are trusting in any other than Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, along with the Father and Holy Spirit for our salvation we are deceived. In so doing, we have lifted ourselves up to that place where Satan fell, saying that he was his own god. God will never put His uncompromising trust in angels or even in those He calls His children. To do so would mean He is less than God. As sons and daughters of God we will always be pure in His sight through the blood of Jesus. However, in our daily walk with Him we must continue to trust God implicitly. For in so doing we become a little more purified while upon this earth.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Graceful Words

Ephesians 4:29 - "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

Do we attract people to our words allowing God's grace to build up rather than tear down? Or do we detract from our conversations by the space we create through our negativity? Demonstrating Christ within us will be most powerfully witnessed through our speech. Paul tells us that if we are opening our mouths, it had better be for the sake of others rather than to take life from these. Beloved, we steal from those we converse with if we are not bringing life to the conversation. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue.

God will not sanctify our lips nor our tongue. These are our own members which we need to bring under His Lordship. Until we do, we may find ourselves as James describes -- a fountain sending forth both fresh and bitter water (James 3:11). We must guard our lips, seeking to speak only those things that will provide faith, hope, and love to the hearer. May all our words be carefully spoken, for Jesus tells us every careless word will be brought before the Judge on that final day (Matthew 12:36).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Though He Slay Me

Job 13:15 - “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him."

The difference between Job and Peter concerning their resolve to die for their Lord were their respective crucifixions. While Job lived millennia before Christ's sacrifice, he understood how death to self and trust in God was the great difference. When Peter proclaimed his allegiance to Jesus and said boldly he was ready to die for His Lord, he was only part right. He would indeed die for Jesus, but he would only truly begin this journey of death after understanding crucifixion. From that point on, it became a selfless adventure toward his inevitable fate.

Job was on the other side of crucifixion and knew his life meant nothing without God. Are we like Peter before the cross, trying to choose the place of our death? Or are we like Job who no longer sees himself as his friends did in their misunderstanding of his intent. Once we bow to crucifixion and our old man of self-centeredness, then we will we say like Job it matters not where or when we die -- we are God's no matter the outcome.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pressing On With God

Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”

The Lord's double imperative through the prophet in the first part of this verse is even more reason to seek understanding of what He is trying to tell us. First He states that we must "know." Then, we must "know the Lord." We will never have any depth of relationship with Jesus if we merely desire to know Him in our own way. People have been doing this for centuries by "knowing" Christ in a secular, scholarly, or in a humanistic manner. That's why without previous knowledge of who He is and what we are, we will ultimately succumb to pride and study Jesus from afar without a hope of salvation.

However, if we first have the understanding that God is the Almighty who sent His Son to die for our wretched state, then we possess the first imperative of this admonition. Through this knowledge, it is then up to us to seek the Lord, surrendering to Him on all accounts. With such humility is the promise of the watering of His Spirit in our lives. Then, beloved, we will truly be regenerated from on high by His merciful grace.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Earnestly Seeking God

Hosea 5:15 - "I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me."

The thought of the Father going away and returning to His own place should terrify a son or daughter of the Lord. Although Jesus said He will never leave us or forsake us, He does withdraw to a place of hiding when we refuse to be hidden in Him. Often, we might do things which look right. We might be teaching a Sunday School class or working in a food pantry. While these are good things, they could be just as sinful, for instance, as taking illegal drugs. We know the Lord does not desire to break the laws of the land, but what about His Law? If God has not called us to do something which looks admirable to most, then we should stop immediately.

Morality is always the chief critic of true Godly spirituality, yet the former is born in hell while the latter is born in humility and obedience. Beloved, we must accept guilt where it comes. If we are sinning willfully, pursuing the lusts of the flesh, then we should repent and seek God's face for His favor to return. Likewise, if we are pursuing "good works" to appease our guilt, then we stand equally wrong before God. Any and all disobedience should be brought to the light. A wrong motive or blatant disobedience will be revealed in the love of His Light. We must earnestly seek Him and He will allow Himself to be found.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Law of Love

Matthew 24:12 - "Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold."

The rise of relativity and the decline of absolutism has made its mark on our society. While mankind's hearts will continue to grow cold in these end-times because of the former, there is still hope for their redemption through the latter. God's laws and His love are inextricably linked. It is impossible to have one without the other.

The hope for all mankind is their discovery of the law of liberty (James 2:12). This ultimately allows a man to live as an individual, accountable only to God. Only in Christ, is there true liberty. Only as we follow the Lawgiver can we know true freedom.

Though hearts be cold and stony, God has promised that He can break into these ungodly lives. He only needs the fire of His love, that is bound to His laws of mercy and forgiveness. In so doing, He can enter into a man's heart and melt and mold him for His good pleasure. He waits, He longs, and He will not relinquish His quest to bring us the to His law of love. May we all yield to His irresistible, powerful presence that will truly set us free!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Unlimited Fruit

Galatians 5:22 - " But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Growing up, there were limits to the sweets that we children were allowed to eat. However, there were usually no limitations to the amount of fruit we could snack on. In the same way, God does not limit us to the amount of fruit that we can either produce or consume. There is no law of over indulgence regarding the fruit of the Spirit.

Yet, as children do, we often desire those things with are not good for us. We crave the sweet things of this world rather than the nutritious things of our Father. Beloved of God, we must ask the Lord to change our desire and our cravings for those of the Spirit. In so doing, the sweetness of the fruit of the Spirit will be ours to enjoy and to share abundantly with others.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Walking the Straight and Narrow

Galatians 5:16 - " But I say walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."

To walk out the Christian life, we must do so with purpose and intention. Proverbs 3:5 tells us that if we trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him in all our ways that He will make our paths straight. Similarly, walking with the Spirit's leading is not difficult to discern if we are truly submitted to God.

The ways of the Lord are never compromised or crooked but rather straight paths of integrity. Probably the easiest way to understand this is if we keep doing the right things we won't have time to do the wrong. Both the desire and the ability to do so will come if we ask the Lord who supplies all our needs. Through our simple obedience, we will make straight paths for for ourselves to God and clear ways for others to follow.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Passionate Pursuit

Hosea 2:7 - “She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; and she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now!’"
Our pursuits must look so feeble to a Loving God! Even as the devil promised Eve perfect knowledge if she would but eat of the tree, mankind has continued to pursue this lie throughout the ages. Passion powered by lust will always result in a dead end and a frustrated life.

However, passion empowered by God’s love for our True Husband will always result in fulfillment. As prodigals, we must come to our senses and return to the One we know will fulfill our desires. Once we turn, we will soon find ourselves overtaking and capturing the heart of God once again on our behalf. When we find His embrace, may we never stray again but hold Him close while we seek His wisdom to live abundantly.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Empowerment of God

II Chronicles 20:12 - "O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
This should be our only response when the enemy seeks to overwhelm us. We should turn our full attention to the Lord and acknowledge that unless He moves, we are doomed. Jehoshaphat knew and understood that unless God moved against this multitude, that the nation of Israel would become slaves to the overwhelming force set against them.
What is our “great multitude” that is coming against us today? Is it finances, health, relationships, or general anxiety over life itself? God did not expect Israel to go it alone, nor does He expect us to fight these battles. If we will but relinquish control and trust the outcome to God, then He will rout the enemy. Will it happen overnight? Possibly, however, we must take time out of the equation for we are dealing with an Eternal God. He will move from eternity into time at the perfect moment on our behalf.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Individual Collectivism

Numbers 32:15 - "For if you turn away from following Him, He will once more abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.”
Most would say “live and let live.” Do not judge others because who is to say what is right or wrong? These love to quote Jesus in this regard, stating He did not judge but loved. However, Jesus was continually warning those He spoke with regarding impending judgment if they did not repent. This was not only the case individually but also as a nation. Moses’ words to the nation of Israel were no different, nor are they different for us today.

We would like to believe our behavior only affects us individually. However, we should know that both those in the Old and New Testament taught how we are destroying not only ourselves by our sin but also the moral fabric of our societies and nations.

Beloved, may we judge ourselves and others correctly and not be silent about sin. May we confront it knowing how it desires to consume us in this wilderness of compromise the church desires to dwell in.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Our Father

Galatians 4:6 - "Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'"
Some of us have never experienced a strong father-figure in their lives. A heart that cannot give itself to God is handicapped to understand God’s Fatherly love for His children. However, we all have the opportunity to learn from the Spirit that lives within us, regardless of our earthly experience. While the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and teaches us, the Spirit of Jesus imbuing our inner man shows us how to speak and interact with His Father.
In order to know God in this way, we need to ask the Spirit of Jesus to tutor us how to be a child of God. More importantly, we must give Jesus the permission to speak intimately with His Father within us, instructing us on sonship. This simple wisdom will result in us crying “Daddy, Father” along with the Spirit within. May we rejoice with the Perfect Son in the revelation He gives us!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

God's Burden

Jeremiah 12:11 - "It has been made a desolation, desolate, it mourns before Me; the whole land has been made desolate, because no man lays it to heart."

This verse explains why America is in apostasy and not in revival. Because we the church have not laid it to our hearts. Nineveh, a godless, barbaric empire of over 120,000 souls was spared because the people fasted and put on sackcloth in mourning over their great sin. THEN, when news of this reached the king's ears, he did likewise.
Beloved, we must not wait until those in power are moved to repentance. The church must move them to the fear of the Lord as we lay our country's sins to our hearts. Washington will never move us to revival, but we must move Washington to its knees. This will only happen if we accept God's burden and declare, "Give us America lest we perish!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

God's Prosperity

I Peter 4:14 - "If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you."
Adversity, not prosperity, is often the way to determine whether a child of God is blessed. Revelation of the sweet savor of Jesus Christ in a man or woman's soul will often come through reviling. A friend or a loved one or a co-worker may say we are stupid, ignorant, and simple-minded to believe in God by faith. It is our privilege, at this juncture, to offer Christ's patience and love toward the unbelieving.

Christian Apologetics will not win most unbelievers to Christ. However, love which unapologetically demonstrates Christ's heart to the world will. If we are loving people as Christ did and have been reviled for His sake, may we know we are truly a blessed people!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Giver of Life

II Samuel 14:14 - "For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him."
God is the Great Creator, not a destroyer. It is in His nature to create, restore, and redeem. The devil will always seek for us to run from God when His arms are always open so that we might run to Him.

Isolation equals destruction and the enemy is good at getting God's children to do it. However, no matter what we have done or where we have been in our self-banishment, God wants us back. He puts no qualifications on our return, but tells us to come exactly as we are and surrender to Him. May we all draw near the Throne of Grace today and partake of His great mercy!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Preparation for Life

I Peter 1:13 - "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Preparation always involves planning. If we believe we can live as Christ's followers without understanding the need to turn our gaze upon Jesus for our strength, then we are deceived. A prepared plan to overcome involves taking every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus.

It is impossible, beloved of God, to stumble through life without being vigilant about the schemes of the devil. Once we set our minds on the Lord, our emotions will follow. As a result, our hope will be steadfast toward Christ's revelation in our lives. May we keep standing firm, turning our gaze upon the Beloved. There is only hope in Him.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Painful Relief

Job 6:10 - “But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One."

Few of us have experienced loss such as Job. Yet, he was able to say that he rejoiced in "unsparing pain." This boggles the natural mind to comprehend how Job could praise God in the midst of such calamity as losing his family and health. The secret lies in the second part of this verse. To the degree we embrace or deny "the words of the Holy One" in our day to day walk with the Lord, will be to the degree we understand embracing the pain of loss.

Rejoicing is different than joy. The former allows the latter to flow unreservedly. However, without joy our rejoicing will soon dry up, having lost the power of its Source. Those who possess the joy of the Lord through God's presence (Psalm 16:11), cannot avoid its escape through rejoicing. We must first know God through His word and allow the knowledge of the Holy One to teach us to embrace loss as He did. The Father's relationship with His Son in death is our prime example. We should understand there is indeed a great reward on the other side of the pain of suffering if we will but trust in God.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Godly Pride

II Chronicles 17:6 - "He took great pride in the ways of the LORD and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah."

Are we proud of Jesus? It is one thing to bring a bible to work and place it on our desk, or to display a bumper sticker on our cars. However, are we living out what we proclaim? Do we fear the Lord rather than fearing what others think? Saying we are a Christian yet not behaving like one is worse than hypocrisy, it is treason against our Lord. To partake of gossip or to listen to an off-color joke is to engage in idolatrous behavior. The writer of Chronicles goes on to say in verse 10 how the "dread of the Lord was on all the kingdoms around Judah so they did not make war against Jehoshaphat."

Have we created an air of "dread" with those we know who are unbelievers? Or do they feel comfortable behaving worldly because they feel unchallenged in our presence? We can accept all men with love but they should also know our boundaries and what we deem acceptable. If we are not creating conviction through the Holy Spirit in our relationships, then we should possibly do a self-examination. When we get right with God, the Holy Spirit within us will once again lift up the standard of Jesus and remove the "high places" that seek to separate us from Him.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Eyes of the Lord

II Chronicles 16:9 - "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”

While the first part of this verse is commonly quoted, the second half gives it relevance and context. Asa had trusted the Lord earlier in his kingship and defeated a million Ethiopians. Now, he was being rebuked for choosing man's help over God's. Like Asa, we may have sensed a greater desperation at one time and we saw greater victory. Now, we may not see the need to trust God so implicitly, but would rely on our own scheming. However, there is only one way to please the Lord and that is in weakness. There is no need to proclaim our lack of strength to God for His eyes diligently search the earth for those whose heart is surrendered.

Are we warring with ourselves and others? Have we lost the peace of God within our lives due to pride of what we can accomplish without the Lord? For Asa, the die was cast. However, for us it is never too late as long as we humble ourselves. His eyes search, diligently, hoping to support a heart desiring only the peace He can give.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Clouds

Matthew 17:5 - "While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!'"

We might hope for a cloudless day when Jesus is transfigured before us during those wonderful moments of clarity. We may desire the vision He gives to be as bright and clear as the sky above. However, the Lord comes in no other way except in clouds. If we are experiencing a mountaintop epiphany with the Lord, we can be sure there will be clouds to hide His complete counsel from us. Otherwise, if we could see clearly without anything impeding our spiritual view, we would become proud and haughty. As a result, we might very well abort God’s vision in our lives.

The clouds are a blessing, for out of them the Lord speaks His wisdom and His direction so we can walk out His will in the valley below. Is the Lord giving you a time of transfiguration? Enjoy the mountaintop and the clouds that go with it! Are you still in the valley, desiring that moment of revelation that only He can give? Be patient, for the Lord allows all of His beloved time to spend with our heads in the clouds. May we not seek the mountaintop, but embrace it when it comes along with the blessings of spiritual clouds.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lost and Found

Matthew 16:25 - "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

Losing something generally means we no longer care about it. Things we hold dear we usually guard with the utmost care. Whose life are we guarding today? Are we a lifeguard for our old sinful life, or do we cherish the life of Christ within us? The old life will truly be lost if we do the latter. No longer will we try to reclaim it from the spiritual graveyard where we left it before our rebirth. Instead, we will forget the place of our burial, never to dig up the old man again. Lives clad with the grave clothes of self will now be robed in righteousness.

May what has become lost stay lost and what has been found in Christ remain in our hearts forever.