“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
Consider carefully how you listen. Yesterday, I was reorganizing files on my computer. From the first day, I began this blog until today each tucked in its own year, organized by month, and titled with the date. Years of chronicling time with the Lord did not lead to a boastful thought but a humbled heart well-aware of a Living God who desires to communicate with me. I would love to say that all those years were filled with faithful obedience and diligent service, but I am only human. When I felt the Lord tugging on my heart to spend time together, I had no idea what the purpose was other than to establish a quiet time each day which I had failed miserably at all my life. I would try to wake up early but oversleep. At night, I would fall asleep the moment I tried to open the Word and pray. It really was about me though I called it a godly pursuit. It was a religious act to add to my repertoire.
Once I met the Lord, I wanted to know Him. I believed that God existed. I asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord at just eleven years old. Life happened. For many years like many others before me, I drifted in and out of church. There were days I wanted God and then forgot all about Him. When I finally surrendered my heart, mind and life to Jesus – it was clear that I had made a mess of things. Over the years of learning, growing and finally beginning to understand the Grace of God, I once again felt useful. Old dreams long ago buried in a mountain of sin were beginning to surface. One night delivering dinner to a pastor friend and his wife, I was introduced to prophecy and a prophetic word was spoken over my life. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the man read my mind. He could see inside my heart. The things so lost and broken that he dare to give new life. I was completely blown away. Yet, the things that he spoke still did not come to pass. Years have passed since then…
As I reorganized the computer files for the New Year, I came across the beginnings of the book that God laid on my heart. I read the introduction. The next file contained an outline of contributing blogs. There were a few different elements pointing to my attempts at fulfilling the call of God that represented starts and stops along the way. But as I continued to read, I began to notice the dates of all the different files. It was then that I realized my dream was not dead. My purpose was only yet to be fulfilled. I could not write what I had not lived. Now that I have lived it, the Lord is telling me to write it. I mention this to you to say that before you give up on that thing that you have considered and contemplated your whole life, could it be that it is still in the making. Is it possible that you have not passed your purpose but that the Lord has been preparing you for it all along?
There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed. The eternity in our heart produces a desire that often culminates in dreams and visions for our future. Of course, then life happens. We are hammered into reality and hope become deferred which makes the heart sick. (Proverbs 13:12) Perhaps, it could be possible, that the thing you dream and desire is not dead but simply you are not ready yet. When we decide to survive in our walk with God and do not press on to thrive, these things happen. When we do not pursue understanding and knowledge of His Will, His Word and His Ways, there is no place for wisdom that leads to the everlasting. God has a plan for you. He created you with a purpose. His Promise will come to pass in your life but not without careful consideration.
Psalm 143:3-6 (NIV)
The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
We know that the enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy us. Before Jesus, he already had our soul. Dead to sin, there was no point in coming after us anymore. However, when we choose Jesus and He saves us it is with the intent to give us a full, rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10) Now we have something the enemy wants, he will wrestle with us daily to take it. No wonder our human spirit grows weak because the battle rages in us. Do we dare hope? Should we believe? What is the point if my life is to be compromised? It all depends what you are after. If you want a full life complete lacking no good thing with godly satisfaction that wants for nothing but rests in His Presence, you better get ready to fight for it.
What do we do to continue to fight when we are weak? Today many Christian believers will begin a fast of some kind. Honoring God with their body while pursuing Him with their heart, they will give up things that their flesh likes, wants and desires to have more Jesus than ever before. Some will pray for direction and revelation with specific pursuits during this time. Others just want more of God not really knowing what to expect or how to go about it. Sadly many will not make it the seven to twenty-one days set aside when their flesh grows weak and their bodies tired from fighting for control. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Yes, it is hard to tell your body no and yes to the Spirit of the Living God. He didn’t say it would be easy, but it will be worth it.
I remember the days of long ago. Do you remember the day you met Jesus for the first time? What about the day you fell in love? How about the moment you surrendered your life to Him? He became your first love that day. Is He still your first love? We must always remember our First Love to remember what we are fighting for. Our flesh demands immediate gratification but our hope in the Lord is not based on what we can see or produce in our own life but on the impossible that He is preparing us for and for us. I meditate on all your works. We must never stop digging in the Word of God. It is the Bread for our Spirit that strengthens our soul. Man cannot live by bread alone, but every word that comes from God’s Mouth. (Matthew 4:4) Consider what your hands have done. To consider all that the Lord is doing is to reflect on the past, present and future of our life. His Plan for us incorporates all of it. Remember, He works every detail for our good. (Romans 8:28) I really had a difficult time grasping this as there are times in my life that to me are not worth remembering or using for anything other than to bury it deep and let it die. But God wastes nothing in our life and there is potential in every mistake, failure and defeat that we have faced. Every trial, test and trouble we have faced win or lose – God can and will use for His Glory if we allow it. Prayer and fasting are summed up in Psalm 143:6 “I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.” Are you ready for God to make beauty from your ashes? Are you ready for the Resurrection Power that brought Jesus from the dead to bring those dead dreams and dry bones back to life? You have such potential if you carefully consider all these things.
Psalm 119:57-60 (NIV)
You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
Considering my ways is essential in my progression in Christ. I must take my dreams and desires and lay them next to God’s Word. I must carry them into His Presence to discuss them with the Lord to decide what His Will is and clearly what is not. Confirmation is important because when we call on the Lord – He will answer. (Daniel 9:22-23) In fact, a command is issued in Heaven. It matters what we ask for. When we make a vow, it is important that we know what we are after because such promises come with expectation. (Proverbs 20:24-25) Vows form expectations. We make that promise in exchange for that which we expect. Vows make covenants. It is important to know all the benefits of our covenant with God to form godly expectation.
Where does all this come from? When I began to read the excerpts of what I thought might become a book, I had not lived them. Now I have. How could I write about things that I had no idea were coming? How did I know? God was preparing me. He led me to a closer walk with Him compelling me to spend more and more time with Him because He knew what was coming and wanted me to be ready for the fight. He also had given me a promise that in the end when it was over that He would create beauty from those ashes which I believe will be this year.
Every facet of your life has meaning. More meaning then you realize. The world works diligently to separate our spiritual life from our natural one. God created us…and everything in this world. It is not separate endeavors. He will work our whole life in order that we may know His Son, become free by His Spirit and fulfill the purpose of our creation. He is always good. He will never stop trying to pour out His Blessings in our life. He leaves clues all along but we fail to see them. When we decide to make Jesus Christ our whole life, even our natural life begins to make more sin. Those times away from the Lord possess meaning when the Light of His Love shines through us. Careful consideration is required. To see your life through His Eyes will change your perspective. It will empower your future. It will bring those dead dreams to life.
As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.