.Matthew 6:31-34 (NKJV)
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’”
I have come to terms with the reality that I am mellowing with age and the constant work of the Holy Spirit. The last season of our life produced patience born of fire and waiting. Lots and lots of waiting. When your whole life gets turned upside down, one is forced to evaluate its contents. In traumatic overtures, it becomes apparent those things we made a priority that really didn’t matter in the long run. This is gained by experience. When what we know or think we know is put to the ultimate test, when the only thing that we can depend on to help us is the faith that is planted in our hearts wrapped around God’s Love. Will it be enough? That is the question, if not the Lord uses the opportunity to grant us a little more wisdom and a whole lot of grace.
When left with only faith to dwell in the realm of hope for any period of time, our perspective changes. Detached from the world to become immersed in the Kingdom of God, people will go through whatever it is that threatens to destroy them. But as one pursues that normal life once lived, before the tragedy, trauma or even loss, it is clear that reality has changed and no longer can we or do we want to go back. This is how the Lord prospers our spirit. In every consequence, circumstance and problem proving that He is faithful even in our failures. My revelation came when our son was diagnosed with cancer. There was an instant change and there was also an internal change that began at the same time and continued throughout his ordeal.
I have been in communication with another mom who has engaged in the same battle. Her son diagnosed with the same deadly and aggressive cancer our son once had. She agreed immediately that the moment changes our life perspective forever. Reality changes the very moment death becomes real. We know one day that we will die but decide that will not be today becoming enamored and engaged in life’s choices and pursuits forgetting that eternity lives in our heart and could be our home in our very next breath. I will be honest. When our son finally went into remission, I struggled greatly with the “new” normal. The old way of life did not consider forever in every moment and breath but now I do. I couldn’t shake it. I tried to go back but my heart just wouldn’t allow it. The time in life when I lived blissfully unaware of how close death lurked in one’s life. Now my reality has changed and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Matthew 6:25-34 describes people on a daily basis. Lord, we are just trying to get by. Make a good life. Pay our bills. Have a little fun. Do the right thing. I get it. I lived it. I also lived in the bondage of worry and stress as I assumed full responsibility of my life and all the little things entrusting all the big things to the Lord. I became a workaholic and stress addict. I lived spun up and wrung out all at the same time. I was a believer and called myself a Christian at that time. Clueless that my life had become all about me. My energy consumed with today. I limited the potential, purpose and promise of faith in my life. That is, until death came calling, breaking down the barriers of personal pursuits and self-seeking interests once and for all.
Jesus said quite clearly, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…?” But how many times to we speak of God’s Promises and then decide to consider reality. Depends on what your reality is I guess. If the Lord has given us a promise or told us to do a certain thing, and we know it is Jesus, but then decide to be “realistic” and let our circumstances today determine our level of faith and trust. Friend, it will not end well. We will stay where we are rather than moving into His Presence and Prosperity.
Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
This is reality. Reality is not based on one’s belief. It is the truth independent of public opinion or social sways. I generally do not look up words in Wikipedia, but I really like this one. “Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. A still broader definition includes everything that has existed, exists and will exist.” You know what I see in these words – Jesus. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus is reality. We must learn to live and abide in the true reality of life and stop letting that which is observable and comprehensible form the choices that we make.
Hebrews 3:14-15 (NKJV)
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Each time our son was diagnosed with cancer, I took it to the Lord. The very first time I did this, the Lord spoke to me that “he would live and not die.” (Psalm 118:17) When he was cancer free, we rejoiced until the next diagnosis eight months later. I went back to the Lord with my complaint reminding Him of His Word the first go around. His Word for me that time was Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His Purpose.” I didn’t get it. The third time, well of course, it was 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, My Strength is made perfect in weakness.” Oh gee thanks Lord, but my son is dying and I really need you to focus please, God. I was desperate. I couldn’t understand why this kept happening when the Lord promised that our child would live and not die. The process of healing never is just a physical endeavor because it would be pointless because we will all die in the flesh at some point. It is always has greater meaning and purpose.
God’s Word is reality. If He said it, He meant it and it will come to pass. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Why do we allow our spiritual walk and faithfulness be determined by the pseudo-reality of this world. The world we live in will cease to exist. Reality is defined as that which has existed, exists and will exist. That is the triune God who we serve. Our only choice is will today be the day that salvation is allowed to work in my life. Will I use today to pursue the Kingdom of God or live in a state of rebellion? Jesus is reality. His Promises are true and continually being produced for us. Will we observe them? Take hold of them. Walk by faith and totally trust in the Lord. Will we listen for His Voice? Or will we just keep living a normal life until it is not normal anymore?
Psalm 139:13-16 (NKJV)
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your Works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your Eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your Book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
Psalm 139 is one of my favorites. It reminds me of God’s Divine Purpose and Perception of my life. My creation was not random no matter how surprise my young parents may have been. My childhood was difficult yet God was true to His Word and never left me along the way even all the times that I tried to leave Him behind. This is my reality. This is me. Child of the Living God working my way back home. However, if I do not see the part about my prerecorded life one might thing that their life is dependent on fate. I have purpose. I have a plan. I have potential. I have it all if I choose to live in the Reality of Jesus who was with me from the start, will walk with me each day and will greet me in forever. Who better than the One who knows my life from beginning to end? (Psalm 139:1-12) His Thoughts for me are precious. (Psalm 139:17-18) This takes my breath away especially on those days that I don’t think much of myself. His Mercy covers me as He whispers His Love to me.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Search me God, know my heart, try me and know my anxieties. If you are worried about something, you are not trusting God. If you are anxious about it, you are living in fear. If when counting the cost of following Christ on considers natural conditions, you are not fully investing in Christ. How can I say that? Because the Lord is challenging me again to trust Him more, I just thought I might share the wealth. (Said with a wink!) The process of faith will take those challenging circumstances, devastating disappointments, overwhelming situations, and other unexpected hardships and make something good come out of them. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. If we do not please God, we will never really know Him for to disobey the Lord willfully does not usher His Administration of Grace that we so desperately need to make it from victory to victory and glory to glory.
I was in a meeting the other night with fellow believers discussing some church business. In one breath, there was affirmation of God’s Promise. But. I was once told that the word “but” nullifies everything said before it. I agree. But the reality… I wanted to scream and shout in frustration but tempered by grace I sat quietly in the sidelines. Faith and confident hope are not based on what is “observable or comprehensible”. Yet, faith and confident hope are a reality. They do not defy the definition but uphold it completely. Why do we consider the supernatural by natural condition? We want miracles but do not believe. We want to live by faith but will not move without seeing the next step. We tell the Lord that He is our hope but do not really believe that He exists or our lives would be marked by change. Are you worried today? Take it to Jesus. Are you anxious? Take it to Jesus. Are you stressed out? Take it to Jesus. Do not ever say after doing so…but…the reality is. The reality, salvation, hope and promise of our life is Jesus. (Period.)
Romans 8:28-30 (NKJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Your life is not random but rather predestined. Your struggle is well documented and mercy has been generously provided. Your weakness has been covered by His Grace and it is enough. Your detour will not be disastrous. Your wait is not terminal. Your future is secure in the reality of Jesus Christ. Do not live for today, but live in faith for forever. When we decide that our life is planned by God containing a future and hope that is good and make it our reality, we will prosper in life. Worry will fall off us. Stress replaced with constant satisfaction. Anxiety ends in overwhelming overtures of inexpressible joy. This is God’s Plan for our life. To make good of every detail even those produced by rebellion or wandering. God has a great plan filled with promise and potential for those who chose to live in the Reality of Jesus Christ. To believe Psalm 139 allows us to have faith in Romans 8:28.
Ephesians 1:3-6 (NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
To live in God’s Reality for our life requires one thing – faith. Faith that does not rely on what is seen or can be touched but on the foundation of Jesus Christ who we cannot observe or comprehend in the natural but experience supernaturally. He chose us from the beginning. He took our life that we choose and makes beauty from ashes. His Perfect Plan and Perfect Will would not contain all of those peaks and valleys. Freedom allows us to call the shots and make the choices. Surrender allows us to live in the Promises, Potential and Purpose of God that He planned long ago. Worry, stress and anxiety based on the natural will always rob us supernaturally. The Lord speaks to us. We consider the cost spiritually thinking we will go until we decide to evaluate it naturally deeming the price is too high and abandoning obedience for compromise. We miss our miracle because we are worried about this moment.
Radical obedience means a new reality for believers. Revival will not come until we consider the Cross as reality and abandon our fears about today. We must live fully surrendered to the Kingdom of God and stop holding on to this life. Those who do will lose their soul. I don’t want that to be me. Total trust on Jesus does not seem logical to this world, but it is faith is the key that unlocks Heaven on earth. We want His Kingdom to come, or do we.
In Jesus, we have salvation and redemption. Our sins are forgiven so we abound in grace. By His Spirit, He makes know the mystery of His Perfect Will so we can pursue Him. He purposed us to be His Pleasure. The God of all that is and every will be calls you “beloved”. In Him, we have a dispensation of fullness that will satisfy our soul and bring total contentment to our heart. We are His Inheritance. Jesus thinks we have value and worth. We are not random but privileged Children of the Most High God. He predestined us so that everything in our past, present and future is considered in His Will. We must trust the Lord. We must believe His Word over all other banter. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is God’s Guarantee of all He has promised. This is reality. Nothing more and nothing less. To consider Christ in every moment of the day no matter where it leads or what it brings. Just to trust Him more…
James 4:13-15 (NKJV)
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
I have walked over mountains and through many valleys with the Lord over the last almost 20 years. I have walked with others through the very same times. I have learned that through it all the Lord does not just stand idly by but continually brings about purpose and meaning in each trial, test, hurt and disappointment. He is faithful and true. It is through this journey that day by day and moment by moment the Lord has become my reality. I am one of those crazy people who I used to think might be just a little crazy. I cannot fathom my life without faith in the Lord anymore. The byproduct of that is I have been released from worry, stress and anxiety for the most part. Once I have God’s Promise as a clear objective, I am like a pit bull on a rampage. This would not be so without the tests and trials. Patience has been born in the wait times. Confidence in the many supernatural outcomes. Looking back, I will never be happy that our son went through something so terrible but I will forever be grateful for the change of heart that it produced in me. I don’t want my “normal” life back any longer. I want a godly life with supernatural outcomes, radical deliverance, many souls and complete unity with Jesus Christ. I want to harvest a crop of spiritual fruit that brings joy and pleasure to the heart of my Lord. What the enemy thought would break me and turn my heart against the Lord actually delivered me from the bondage I once lived in when I was bound by the wrong reality.
What is the reality of your life today? Is it Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and forever? Do not fall into the trap of this world that says I can do tomorrow what needs to be done today. Jesus is coming. Today may be your last day. This must be our focus. Having no certainty of tomorrow, live out today in full pursuit of Jesus Christ. Do not become consumed by the counting the natural cost but overtaken by your pursuit of faith and confident hope that will produced the promised life that is exceedingly abundantly more than we could even think to ask for. Secure it by accepting the reality of Jesus and believing nothing less will do!
I Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NKJV)
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Peter 3:10-13 (NKJV)
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.