The Impossible

The Impossible

Mark 10:27 (NLT) Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

It was one of those mornings, in the stillness and quiet, I could feel the Holy Spirit nudging me awake. I grabbed my phone and it lit up with a notification. A friend shared the details of her visit to Gainesville with her son for his one year scans. We didn’t grow up together, meet in college or work at the same place. No our relationship began as a desperate message from a mutual friend who had heard the details of her son’s cancer and immediately knew it was the same signs and symptoms as our son. She reached out to me to make contact so I did. The young man made it through is celebrating one year of being cancer-free. However, one of the tests, “lit up” on their recent visit. The oncologist caring for him is a close friend who joined us on our journey. She sprang into action. Thankfully no tumor was discovered but precautionary scans in a couple of months. I could feel the tears on my face. I struggled to take another breath as my fingers typed a response. I hate cancer. I hate sickness and disease. I hate the enemy. But God…

I can certainly sympathize with my friend. I can empathize with her plight. I know the feelings and emotions invested in the moment when danger approaches. Like a deer in a field catching a scent on the breeze, her head is up, ears alerted to the next sound, her nose twitches to decipher what is coming, and every muscle of her being is on high alert. Hiding in the folds of the Father’s Love, my spirit turns from the message that has my heart in the pit of my stomach to see His Face. I have no strength to fight when it comes to this kind of thing. I don’t even begin to try to hide behind a false bravado of fearlessness but run to God for His Shelter. My heart will break into a thousand pieces if I do not let Him hold it tight. Lord, you have these kids in the palm of your hand and their names are written on your heart. Be God! I will trust you!

The Word of God tells us that “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” But if you read the very next verse, their disbelief is immediately evident as Peter chastens Jesus. “We gave up everything for you…” Oh my. How often do we feel that way in our Christian life? Walking with Jesus until bumping into the unexpected, then getting mad at the Lord for not moving it out of the way. Well, miracles require the impossible to be a miracle in the first place. Trust must learn dependency for validity. Endurance is found in a course farther than willingness or ability to travel. Patience is discovered in nothing other than waiting. All these things will produce prosperity in my soul and increase the abundance of God’s Fruit in my life. But who wants to pay the price for such things…surely not I.

Hebrews 11:5-6 (NLT) It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Faith always starts small. It is described as the smallest seed with great potential. Every seed every planted must die in its present form to reach the fullness of potential hidden deep inside. Who wants to be buried in darkness? Feeling the pressure to change like soil surrounding a seed? Giving way to what is known to embrace the unknown is not fun or favorable to human senses but absolutely necessary to reach the potential inside our heart called Eternity. To live for more than what our five senses can establish or our emotions understand and fully embrace by faith a God who is able and willing to do the impossible for me. Enoch is my example. He continually pursued God’s Presence. He got wrapped up in the Almighty God. He walked so close to Him that one day the man disappeared in the Presence of God. Lord, I want that kind of walk. So consumed by Your Love and Grace that people can’t see me anymore just you. Only You – Jesus.

It is impossible to please God without faith. If our objective in life is to fully pursue the Lord and have real faith then it is obvious that there will be struggles. Not only the natural ones in this place and time called life, but in our spirit as our flesh gives way to God. Do you believe today that God exists? Do you believe that He rewards those who seek Him? Or is He a strict, unyielding Father ready to punish or harm you? Who is He to you today? Do you fear Him? Do you trust Him? Do you love Him? God loves you. He loves me. He hates the sin that plagues us. He despises the diseases invading our bodies. He hates the enemy who is constantly after us. God is always good. So good in fact that He gave us a free will. We get to choose each day how life is lived and the choices made. He will not ever force us into His Way even those it is so much better than our own. He constantly pursues us with Unfailing Love and Goodness every single day. It is ours by simple stopping long enough to turn around and face Him. The details of this life are clearly revealed in the Word of God. Jesus warned us about life and how depraved it would become. He told us what was coming, but then promised He would overcome the world and you know what? He did. He died on the Cross to pay the debt for my sin so that His Grace would be enough for me. Jesus walked through hell and took my life back from the enemy. He emerged victoriously and thrust the Keys to His Kingdom in my hand and said, “Use them.”

Luke 1:37 (NLT) For the Word of God will never fail.

When I did a search in the online Bible for “impossible” – it was this verse that came up first. Funny that with all the ways “impossible” is used in the Word of God – the search engine found this to be the most pertinent. It is. The Word of God will never fail. It won’t. It can’t. God cannot be God if He goes back on His Word or changes His Mind. It compromises His Absolute Sovereignty and perverts His Perfection. If His Word cannot fail, I must invest my life in His Word to find the same results in life. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. He came to this world as a living love letter from the Father to His Children. His message – I love you! No matter what I love you and I am laying my life down to prove it. I am opening the doors to my Home called the Kingdom to you and you are welcome anytime. The Windows are open so my blessing can fall into your life like fresh spring rain to refresh, revive and restore you. All of me. God offered all of Himself to us in the person of His Son, Jesus. I accept. Lord, teach me to fully embrace you now.

Impossible. Forever. Never. All of these words smack of opportunity. Each one was spoken over one of my children and each time God came rushing in to intervene. This life is temporary but our God is eternal. Life is hard. His Love is enduring. He never gets weary or weak but constantly fights for us. Our ability to believe decides what is too hard for the Lord, because it limits us. (Zechariah 8:6) Those who decide that nothing is impossible or too hard for God enough to live like it will experience the supernatural. Divine outcomes will begin to happen in our earthly challenges attributable only to God and His Miracles. It is by believing our faith allows us to overstep the boundaries of natural outcomes to the place called hope.

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

Romans 8:23-25 (NLT) And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

Oh, the realm of hope, I have been here before. In a place of impossibility, yet feeling an overwhelming peace. Faith shows the reality of what we hope for. If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. If only this word saturate our thick skulls and hard hearts today. If the image of Christ was that of a warrior who fights for us and with us not Santa Claus who is a fairy tale created and maintained by humanity. The Lord has a place for us in His Presence. It is accessed by faith and allows us to come confidently and boldly into His Presence. Reciting His Word and recalling His Promises, the Lord must act on it because He is faithful. Hope is wasted on that which is possible to man. Faith does not promote the natural but increases the supernatural in our life. It is a seed that requires many seasons of growth and development to finally take hold and grow in us. It comes not as man perceives it by having it all together but is received through absolute and complete brokenness ready to receive all that God has for us.

I plead the Blood of Jesus over you today. I ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart and mind with the Light of His Unfailing Love. I speak to the seed of faith hidden inside you to grow and take root in God’s Love and Care for you. He is the vine and we are His Branches. I ask Jesus to fortify the anchor of hope that is holding you tight keeping you from drifting. I ask the Lord to silence the enemy and reveal all of his lies to you so that the Truth will overtake them. God’s Love for us is overwhelming and life changing. It does not make all our problems, trials and troubles disappear but gives us overwhelming victory. Triumph is in the treasure of our heart and life – Jesus Christ. My constant and prevailing prayer for you is that you will never face such hardships as cancer, death or disaster in your natural life, but the reality is that you more than likely will. My hope for you is that when you do – the Love and Certainty of Christ, found in this life of faith you live now, will keep you tightly in His Presence fully consumed by His Embrace. The Lord is good. God is greatly. His Love is complete and unfailing. His Goodness always in hot pursuit of you. His Presence is always open to you. His Spirit available as well. Do not fear the impossible but fully embrace it because it is where miracles happen and His Glory shines, too. Everything is possible with God… we must only believe. Faith makes all things possible.

Hebrews 6:18-20 (NLT) So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Que Sera Sera

Que Sera Sera

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NKJV) Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;
though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

“Que sera sera” is a Spanish phrase translated means “what will be, will be.” You may be familiar with it from the 1956 song of the same name made famous by actress/singer, Doris Day in the fifties. It means that the future is random and whatever happens is going to happen essentially. It is most often used as a fatalistic term referring to a hopelessly unchangeable situation that is accepted. You may be more familiar with the term “it is what it is.” Usually these statements end with a sigh or some other reflective pause. It is a placeholder for whatever comes after that and the resolve that people are powerless in such situations. Do you feel that way today? Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Nothing ever seems to come out in your favor? It seems like you just can’t catch a break? No matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to get ahead. Have you given in to que sera sera? Today – this very moment – could be the defining moment when you change “what will be, will be” or “it is what it is” or even “que sera sera” to Selah! God wants to move your mind from the place of acceptance of all those seemingly hopeless and unchangeable situations to the realm of hope. The entry point is to leave behind hopelessness and step out in faith to the place called Selah.

The word “Selah” is used twice as much as “amen” and three times more than “hallelujah” in the King James Version of the Bible. Why? God’s Word is alive. It is powerful. Sharper than a two-edged sword, the Word of God has the power to do away with the subtle lies that keep us bound by hopelessness so that the Lord can move us into the realm of hope that strips impossibility from our life making all things possible if we only believe. That’s right! If you believe, faith moves mountains. It changes outcomes in our favor. It doesn’t always eliminate the struggle or battle but empowers us to be victorious in all things. Selah marks a turning point. It is found only in Psalm and Habakkuk.

The prophet, Habakkuk, had pleaded with the Lord in prayerful conversation on behalf of the people. The Lord responds to him each time yet the prophet is pressing in for the deliverance of the people. In Chapter 2, he promises to wait in a “watchtower” for the Lord to take action on his request. Sin rampant. Love cold. Sickness and famine in the land. The prophet still cries out for the people in Chapter 3 four times he says, “Selah”. Selah in the Hebrew means “lift up” or “exalt”. I believe “amen” is similar in that it expresses agreement with God by exaltation as does “hallelujah” which expresses affirmation of God with exuberance.

The difference may be as small as a mustard seed of faith but more powerful than any other expression. It is the moment that in spite of the chaos all around us, wars and rumors of war, famine, drought, circumstances, adverse conditions, or even consequences. Or maybe we should get a bit more personal – the infidelity of a spouse, betrayal of a close friend, loss of income, terminal diagnoses, or even death of a loved one – in that moment by faith when I choose to say, “Selah” that it is the very second that His Grace covers me in His Power and He becomes MY Great I Am. Habakkuk 3:17-18 is the prophets declaration as a direct result of his four “selahs”. It took four, mind you, for him to say, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” How many will it take you?

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

For my own peace of mind, I have a list of those things that happen that I just can’t seem to reconcile by faith. Those unthinkables that happened even though God is good and loves us unconditionally. I know that the list will mean nothing when I meet Jesus face-to-face but I had to put the thought, idea, disappointment or uncertainty somewhere in order to keep moving on. I am only human just like you. There will be things that just don’t make sense in this life. His Ways are higher than our ways. His Thoughts much different than my own. Time has resolved some of the items on my list which are now stricken but there will be somethings I never understand. I must have faith that just because I can’t explain it, don’t understand it or even don’t agree with it that God is God. He is the Great I Am. His Love for me complete and comprehensive. Unconditional. His Grace completely unfathomable. I believe that He perfects all that concerns me. It is right there in His Word. I also believe that because I love and trust Him all things work together for my good. Even those things, I try to forget. Don’t want anyone to know. Faith takes us past those things marked impossible and moves them to the column of possibility. When I choose to stop saying, “Que sera sera” and by faith declare “selah” things begin to change.

Psalm 3:1-4 (NKJV) Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

Psalm 4:1-5 (NKJV) Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer. How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? Selah But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

Psalm 32:8-11 (NKJV) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Selah is the affirmative response when God says, “Do you trust me?” I don’t want to flood this message with verses that cause you to not see the clear relevance of trusting God when your situation seems impossible, irreversible and overwhelming. When all hell breaks loose in your life and everything falls apart – the absolute best declaration of faith is to trust the Lord. When you are going through the valley – it is not human nature to sing, “Hallelujah!” When everything is going wrong, who is going to shout, “Amen!” But in our distress, discomfort, discouragement and even disagreement with God’s Way of doing things that moment, to say simply, “Selah” tells God despite all these “things”, God I trust you. I believe that you are the miracle maker. I believe that no matter what the condition, circumstances or consequences that I am facing that Your Grace is enough for me and Your Power will overcome my weakness. It is spoken in the darkness, despair and disappointment as a white flag of surrender that no matter what God I belong to You!

Psalm 61:1-4 (NKJV) Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

Selah is a term that is not easily given. It is an offering of all that I am or have left to the awesomeness of the Lord for His Careful Intervention. It is to take that last sense of control or comfort and burn it on the altar so that His Spirit can take over. I love to shout “amen” when the pastor makes a good point, or the Holy Spirit moves in someone’s life. It’s almost like saying, “You go God, I see what you are doing there Jesus!” I love to sing “hallelujah” even when no one else does because the Lord has been so good to me. My life is not perfect, but I have lived long enough to see His Word and His Way make all the difference in my life. However, I can also testify that my faith has grown more in the moments when all I could whisper was “selah” than any of these other times. The days when nothing seems to be going right and all my hope seems lost yet in my prayer closet, on my knees and through my tears cry out, “Selah, I trust you God!” These are the moments that the tiny seed of my faith grows just a little bit more and my hope becomes more confident than it was before.

I don’t know what you are going through today. I know what it is like to feel the pressure and stress of life bearing down on you. I know the breathtaking feeling of anxiety gripping your heart until it can hardly beat. I also have felt the pain of my heart being broken into a million tiny pieces thinking no one could ever put it all back together again. I know what impossible looks like. I know what the realm of hope feels like. It is the moment the breakpoint comes that breakthrough is possible. Are you there yet? Your life is full of possibility and potential yet to be recognized. How do I know? Put your one hand on your chest. Feel that? Your heart is still beating with life. God’s not finished. Put your other hand just outside your mouth – do you feel that? It’s the breath of God that you are exhaling. He is alive and well in you. Without purpose, God would have stopped your heart and carried you home. If you had no further potential, the Lord would not make you suffer here when Heaven is so much better. The fact you are still breathing means there is potential inside of you yet to be revealed and cultivated in your life. The pressure you feel is faith trying to grow so that you will reach the next level that the Lord has prepared for you. If He allowed you to remain comfortable – complacency would take over and your purpose would never come to pass. So rather than saying, “Que sera sera” maybe if you changed your declaration to “Selah” – all those seemingly impossible things might come to life again. Dead dreams begin to breathe with new purpose. Visions become a reality. See God just needs a little bit of faith and trust from you and me to do extravagant things. So I say, “Selah!”

Psalm 67:1-4 (NKJV) God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, Selah That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah

Changing My Profession

changing-my-profession

James 2:19-20 (MSG)  Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?

When I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I was just eleven years old. My grandmother told me that after doing so that I should make a public profession of faith and go before the church to declare Jesus as my Savior and Lord so I did. After service and a wonderful lunch, she sat with me at her secretary desk with a paper and pen. She told me to write down my profession in my own words. What did I think it meant to make Jesus my Savior and Lord? So I did. Many years later, she shared the tattered piece of notebook paper with me. How precious it is? I have no idea what happened to it after she moved from her home after grandpa passed away and went to live with my aunt. I had no idea what my life would turn out to be. I was just trying to make it through my childhood with a bit of rough start. I remember the feeling inside me when I asked Jesus into my heart, and the unrealistic expectations that went along with it. Jesus was going to fix everything.

Today after almost 40 years of getting to know God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, trying to piece together the Godhead three-in-one, I have decided that most of the time our profession never becomes a declaration. To profess something is different than declaring it. To profess it and do nothing about it is the failure of most faith fights. The word profess is to lay claim to something. But if you read the full definition, it acknowledges that most professions are insincere. People pretending but never following through to have what they insist belongs to them. The affirmation of faith is evidenced in our ability to live our faith in belief. Our words must become our actions. Faith compromises our “control” giving way to God’s Plan which moves us out of comfort. Complacency is the idea that if I just sit and wait here long enough that the Lord will come like Santa Claus and dump out blessings in my life. It doesn’t work like that. Faith is free but it is not without a price.

To believe means a desire for change. To change mere conversation into faithful motivation to believe beyond what we see, feel or can do. Jesus told Thomas after allowing him to examine His Wounds now healed, “Now will you finally believe?!” Faith is acting on what we hope for. The impossibilities of life that exist just beyond our reach and ability to grasp. It is the final lunge out of comfort and control to allow God to fully have His Way. It doesn’t always mean that fear is gone but that one chooses to fight their way out of fear’s grasp to take grab hold of faith that will pull them closer to confident hope. My profession must become my declaration sealed by my actions in everyday life.

James 2:21-24 (MSG) Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?

I am challenged today to evaluate my life on the context of faith. Am I merely saying I have faith or am I acting on faith as the belief system in which I fully operate? I have an IPhone and an IPad. There are certain applications on my phone that are not on my tablet. Why? I asked myself that question preparing for a trip recently. I am carrying both with me, as well as, a laptop. Technology overkill for sure. The purpose of my life is to become one with the Lord. Too often – we diversify faith in our life. We reserve it for certain things and then withhold it from others. I believe that Abraham gave us a very explicit example when he made his way to the mountain of sacrifice with his son, his promise, Isaac and no other means of offering. He came willing to give God everything. Everything he dreamed of, hoped for, held on to. He took it all to the mountain that day and somehow as only God can do came back with so much more. Back to my technology burden, I must sync my life. All of my devices can be synced together which alleviates the burden of carrying them all with me so that I can have everything in one. We must sync our life with Jesus Christ, His Calling, His Purpose and His Plan is all-inclusive, comprehensive and in every detail of our life. Abraham laid his whole life and purpose on the Altar of Sacrifice fully believing and trusting the Lord. Have I? Are there parts of my life where I profess faith but do not fully declare it by the way I live my life?

Romans 4:17-18 (MSG) We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

Abraham’s profession to be the “Father” of many nations. Was true? It was real. God told him that, but if when he tried to make his own family – he failed. His wife was barren struggling with infertility because clearly he could make children hence Ismael. Yet Abraham honored his commitment to the Lord and his wife, he just kept trusting the Lord and living like it. Once he held Isaac in his arms, Abraham felt natural fulfillment. This is where the real choice comes. We have been given the Gift of Salvation. It is easily within our grasp, but will I take hold of it and make Jesus Christ my Lord. Will I choose to keep going on this journey called faith that leads to confident hope? Will I “sync” my life now and futuristically to achieve the impossible? It is not up to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or even Father Abraham…it is up to me. Will I give up some of the things I hold most dear and precious to the Altar of Sacrifice? Total trust in God means that when the impossible comes I do not settle for possible but continue to give my all to the One who says that He will do more than I can think, ask or imagine. Comfort holds us back. Complacency is its cushion. Those who desire a life of not just professing our faith but make it a declaration must move from the place of comfort to uncomfortable giving up this life for forever.

Romans 4:19-25 (MSG) Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.

Abraham was a righteous man. He was not a saint. His title “friend of God” was given not because of his religious values or ability to uphold such traditions. His friendship with God was based on absolute trust and total faith in the Lord evidenced by his willingness to sacrifice his life, his future and all that was precious simply because God asked Him to. Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God. Faith must be planted in trust to give way to confident hope that solidifies our relationship with God the Father. We demonstrate faith in God by giving up our life to take hold of faith and confident hope completely. This is done by doing not by just saying. My declaration is a formal announcement of allegiance to Jesus Christ not in words or even useless works but to commit every deed, dream, desire and declaration to faith in action. Trust is faith in action. It can’t see beyond the natural yet chooses to take hold of the supernatural. It is not a one-time act but daily occurrence called life. Jesus honors such a life and gives us access to His Presence to live in close proximity and friendship with God. A life worth living. Lord, change every profession in my life that is not actively defined by faith and trust into a public declaration from the inside out in Jesus Name.

Hebrews 11:5-6 (MSG) By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

Exceedingly

exceedingly

Ephesians 1:3-6 (NLT) All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

In a study published in January 2013, it was determined that the annual income of the wealthiest 100 people was enough to end global poverty. Not once, but four times over. These individuals received a net income of $240 billion in 2012. Think about that for a moment, this was their net income not the gross. This is what they received after taxes, interest, depreciation and other expenses. There is more than enough money in the world. The problem is distribution. Knowing there is more than enough wealth to sustain every man, woman and child is not enough. It is to receive the portion needed to survive or even thrive that changes lives and improves one’s quality of life.

Let’s bring this home to the United States. Our country is believed to be #1 in total global personal wealth, according to Fortune magazine, holding a whopping 41.6%. The next country on the list is #2 China who secures only about 10.5%. The problem is not a lack of funds but unequal distribution of the wealth. The rich get richer and the poor only poorer. This is not a political platform but I use this information to reveal a Bible principle. The divide between wealth and poverty holds many people who make the personal choice each day to continue to strive for the American Dream or succumb to their situation, circumstances or condition. If there is in fact a surplus of funds available in the world, why can’t I have it? How do I attain it? Why am I struggling?

The wealth of the Kingdom of God is not money. The Lord warns a love for money can overtake us and become a fleshly drive in our life. So let’s talk about Kingdom inequality. There is none. If you are dissatisfied with your quality of life today, you can change it. I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places. You can be, too. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. He has the authority and power to remove my sin making me eligible for every blessing once forfeited by it. God chose to bless me when He created me. He set aside a portion of His Kingdom vaster than any other place for me. Upon my adoption and return to Him, it becomes mine again. Where is it? Why do I not have it? Why am I not satisfied or content with my life? God blessed me according to His Good Pleasure so I do not need to earn favor because I have it. I do not need to repay the debt sin created because Jesus said, “It is finished.” I am His Beloved. I am well cared for. So why do I lack?

Mark 9:23-24 (NLT) “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Anything is possible if a person believes. Jesus told the father of the tormented son, who asked the Lord, “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” How many of our own prayers end the same way? Lord, if you can. Well, Jesus answered him directly, “If I can? Anything is possible if a person believes.” What will it take for you to believe that God has granted you every spiritual blessing in the Heavenlies? It is that very thing that will increase your quality of life, confidence in God and pursuit of His Kingdom. Our heart allows follows our treasure. Our mouth speaks from the abundance of our heart. If you believe your current life is as good as it will get, well than you are more than likely to remain in the same situation from year to year. But God offers us a life that is transformed from Glory to Glory. Those who receive it are those who believe it. Those who believe it will seek it. Those who seek it will speak it. All the rest will watch from the sidelines – jealous, envious and without.

2 Corinthians 9:10-14 (NLT) For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.

Every single day men and women gather up their families headed to the United States to pursue the American Dream. To consider the wealth monetarily of our great nation and the poverty of other countries, it is no wonder people literally die trying to find hope for a better future. This nation was established as one nation under God. I cannot help but believe that is why the Hand of God and His Favor have impacted it so heavily. Pressing on to my point, as not to digress, if my life is not representative of the life that God describes in His Word. It is not a God-problem. I bear total responsibility for the lack in my life.

God provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. He will provide and increase your resources. He will produce a great harvest of generosity in you. You will be enriched in every way SO THAT you can always be generous. Generosity. Could the lack in my life be two-fold? I am not pursuing the Kingdom and if I do I am doing it only for myself? Yes and yes. What is the point of personal monetary wealth to a Christian who does not give? There are many who give tithes and offerings to be obedient to the Lord, but never experience increase in their life. Why? Seed. Are we using what the Lord blesses us with to plant seed or whisking it away to hoard it for self. This is not about money but every resource in our life – physical and spiritual! Seedtime and harvest, sowing and reaping are New Testament principles that carryout through life. You reap what you sow.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT) And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

God provides all that I need. He is a good Father. If I am not planting, sowing, and giving, I will only have enough to maintain my family. Why? I don’t need anymore. There is no purpose in surplus. You will always have everything you need AND plenty left over to share with others. The Fruit of God’s Spirit produced in us is for others, too. If I want more love, I must give more and so on and so forth. If all I want is God’s Hand and do not possess God’s Heart, I will probably experience lack of satisfaction and discontentment for the rest of my life because my purpose was wasted in surplus.

Hebrews 11:5-6 (NLT) It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Enoch walked so close to the Lord that one day the Kingdom simply consumed him and he was gone. God just scooped him up. It is impossible to please God without faith. Faith must be progressive releasing us from this world to be overtaken with the hope give in Jesus Christ. This can only happen when our heart longs for God’s Heart rather than His Hand. Too many times God examines human hearts only to discover that they really didn’t want Him but for His Hand to open and release the money, power and influence to make this life better. How can one improve a condemned building marked for destruction? It is uninhabitable. Our faith must grow beyond our natural resources to supernatural living. You cannot save this planet. Take care of it. Maintain it and be a good steward, but one day it will all disappear. Our efforts must be focused on building the Kingdom and finding our way there. Becoming one with God so much so that I am consumed by love for Him and passion for His Kingdom.

We may never end the inequality of wealth on the earth. In fact with love growing colder by the minute and sin rampant, it is highly unlikely if not impossible. But with God all things are possible, if you believe. We can all establish a Kingdom lifestyle when we live according to Kingdom principles rather than the law of the land or the doctrine of each church. We must strive with all our might to seek the Kingdom of God first above all things to have all that God promised which is more than enough. Money and personal wealth will not change your life. It only magnifies that heart that keeps you alive. If money, power and influence is given to a selfish person, it will magnify pride and greed in them. Only those who truly seek the Kingdom will experience an abundance of satisfaction no matter where this life takes them knowing they are on their way to a Kingdom without end.

Matthew 13:44-46 (NLT) “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!

I shared a story not too long ago about a fisherman who discovered a gigantic pearl. His fishing net got tangled up on a giant clam which he brought to his boat. When he opened it, he found a hidden treasure. He took it home and put it under his bed where it was hidden for ten years. The pearl is estimated to be worth more than $100 million. Where is your treasure today? Shrouded in doubt? Buried in disbelief? Blinded by disappointment? Left behind for other things? Have we become so consumed with making this life better that believers have lost the Keys to the Kingdom?

Faith will never be evident in what we can see but our constant and steady pursuit of that which cannot be seen but is hoped for. Hope is our future. It is not living in this moment or today. It is about investing every ounce of energy in pursuing God’s Kingdom and building it up. Are you mega minded or mission minded today? Those who are mega minded build store houses to protect their money, feelings, emotions, and self. Those who are mission minded give it all away just to know Jesus more and build His Kingdom. It is up to us if we live a life of full satisfaction. We make the choice how to live and what we are after. Choose well. This is my intent and full motivation for the coming year. To step out of lack and live in fulfillment. This is not necessary a wealthy endeavor but a worthwhile life.

Ephesians 3:14-20 (NLT) When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

In the New King James version, the last verse is translated “now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” Exceedingly abundantly. That’s a lot my friend. God can, will and wants to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. You and I cannot comprehend the riches in His Glory ready to be poured out in our life. The Ephesians were members of the Church of Ephesus. The same church that did every “thing” right but for the wrong reasons. (Revelation 2) They had become a loveless ministry full of good works. I don’t want this to be the description of my life. Religion is not for me. I want a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ that insures my entrance into His Kingdom above all else. Christians must evaluate their life, motivation, attitudes and actions for authentic faith that is seeking the God’s Heart and not just His Hand. It is easy to become distracted. The flow of society sucks us in with supply and demand rather than sowing and reaping the blessings of life. What is it worth to gain the whole world and lose my soul? What is it worth to have everything and loved ones in hell? The church should be bridging the gap between earthly inequalities rather than creating a further divide. Where is the generosity of resources and heart? God’s Grace is enough for me…and you… and every other person God ever created. No one is greater or lesser in Heaven. We are all the same. Have I lost my first love? Have I forgotten all that I am and all that I have is by the Grace and Love given to me by Jesus Christ? Sometimes…I do. Do you?

Let’s regain our focus in 2017. This could be the best year of our life. It all depends what you are willing to sow in your life today in 2016. These are the seeds that will grow into our harvest. What are you sowing these last few days of the year? Will it be tears of repentance? Will it be the broken pieces of a contrite heart? Will it be willingness to surrender those parts of life previously withheld? Will it be what you have? Will it be what you don’t have? Will you put all your expectation and energy into knowing Christ more and chasing the world a little less? It is my intention to know, understand and experience this thing called exceedingly abundantly. How about you?

Luke 9:24-25 (NLT) If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? 

 

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Revelation 21:5-7 (NIV) He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

It is time for a new beginning. The Lord has presented a new opportunity and I have accepted. Now as I stand on the verge of starting, I look over the edge of the water to perceive the depth of that which I am called. Suddenly, my feet are frozen to the shore. I asked to go deeper than I have ever gone before but when Jesus said, “Come!” I wonder is it too late to change my mind? As believers cry out for more, it is hard to comprehend the change that such a request may bring because all we know for sure is that we want more of Him. So when He answers, it can be startling. His Ways are not like our ways. His Thoughts so much higher and wide range than our simple need for immediate gratification. The Lord is full of grace giving me a year to ponder this calling. It did not come as a surprise. However, the vision projected in my mind calls into question my ability to fulfill that which I am called to. Yet, I must go.

I will not share this calling specifically because I want you to consider the thing that the Lord has challenged you with today. Comparison is a faith killer as it shifts our expectation from the Lord and dependency on His Strength to considering our ability against that of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The power to succeed is the Jesus Christ within us. It is never a “me” thing or a “you” thing but will I allow His Grace to be enough for me. It was…until I looked down. Now I keep approaching the edge berating myself for having such little faith. Trust me it’s a tough crowd surrounding me right now as the enemy taunts me with my weaknesses, past, failures and faults. He threatens me with every heartbreak and humiliation that I have experienced on such ventures. Yet, I stay right here trying to muster up the courage to begin. This is not my first rodeo. I have felt the hard, cold ground against my seat many times. Lord, help me step out on the water. I want the new beginning. I want to make you proud. The finish line seems far but you are oh so close.

Daniel 2:19-22 (NIV) During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

Our pastor shared a story yesterday that is significant in our ventures after God in this lifetime. He shared a modern parable about a father who had four sons. He sent each one out to the same pear tree to observe its condition during each season. Obviously each son had a different perception of the tree according to the seasonal cycle it was in. He called them all together to remind them that life is full of seasons. One cannot judge the outcome by the season but must allow time to finish its work throughout each season. God instituted seedtime and harvest after the Great Flood and the rainbow signifies God’s Promise to never destroy the earth again and continue this cycle of reproduction. Your current condition or circumstances do not necessarily dictate the outcome and productivity of your life. If it is fall or winter your “tree” may appear barren as it waits for “spring” which will make way into summer bearing first fruits.

What challenges face you today? Has the Lord moved you into a new season planting seeds of change in your heart? What are you doing to cultivate the new beginning of growth in your life? God changes times and seasons because He will not leave you in your current state. Your Father is good and wants to bless your life with a hearty inheritance. We often do not want to be uncomfortable and reject change. Just because the Lord gave you a vision long ago, or some mystery as a child that has not yet come to pass doesn’t mean that He didn’t mean it, you missed it or it is forgotten. It is most likely a timing issue as the Lord grows, develops and matures you equipping you for the harvest that is to come from your life as you live to the glory of God that brings fulfillment.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

This life is temporary and it would be foolish to live for numbered days when just on the other side is eternity. By calling on the Name of Jesus Christ and turning to follow Him, you and I are headed for forever which makes this life the foundation of our future. We must walk in a way to enter the door that leads to the everlasting. It is not a life of perfection. In fact, I will be plagued with imperfection until I meet Jesus face to face. This does not need to be a source of discouragement but an open invitation to accept His Amazing Grace (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) that is enough for me and to lay my burden of weakness at His Feet to be yoked with Jesus who makes our load light. (Matthew 11:28-29)

If I am awaiting an empowerment that makes me feel completely equipped to venture out on my own, it will not happen. I am challenged because my faith needs to be strengthened. I must endure to the end. God makes everything beautiful in its time. So this thing I am beginning is a mess. The closer I get the less enabled I feel to take on this task. Yet I feel this softening in my heart, and gentle whisper in my ear reminding me that God is with me. I will not fail if I will just take the first step of faith – the rest will rise to meet me.

I John 1:1-3 (NIV) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

Seeking the Lord’s Encouragement today – I will share with you the things that He has shared with me. First and foremost in any endeavor in our life, it is all about Jesus. We are proclaiming the Word of Life who is Jesus. The Word came to us wrapped in flesh to demonstrate the Way back to God. Now we must follow His Example. As we strive to walk by faith and not by sight, it will always require just a little more trust and dependence on Christ. If what the Lord has shown you or challenged you to undertake does not completely overwhelm you, it may not be God at all. The Call of God on my life requires all of Christ in me to accomplish. If it doesn’t take my breath away, make my heart beat wildly and force me to fight doubt and fear every step of the way, it means I can do it in my natural ability. God does not get the Glory when I can overcome on my own. It is when “greater is He who is in me” is required that success can only be attributed to the Lord and His Power.

2 John 5-6 (NIV) And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

The command of Jesus Christ to us is that we “walk in love”. No matter what we do, if it is not done in love it is meaningless and worthless according to I Corinthians 13. Everything that the Lord leads us to will require more love than the last thing. Love must grow to meet all the requirements outlined in I Corinthians 13:4. It must be patient, kind, not envious or jealous. Love is not arrogant or proud. It honors others. It is not self-seeking. Love doesn’t lose its temper and get angry. It is forgiving keeping no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the Truth. It protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Love is a commitment so it cannot fail. I can walk in obedience for the rest of my life and still miss it if my love does not bear the character defined in this passage. Whatever God leads me to must be walked through in love.

I John 2:14 (NIV) I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

It doesn’t matter how many obstacles you see between here and what the Lord is calling you to, you have overcome them all already. You may not have taken a single step of faith yet victory is already declared because Jesus lives inside of you. You have already overcome every hardship along the way. Faith allows you to open those closed doors and swing wide the locked windows that keep His Blessing from being poured out in your life. Jesus has already supplied all your needs not man’s way but according to His Riches in Glory. (Philippians 4:19) In a single word, that means abundance. You have access to abundance today. Not only that, His Divine Power has given us everything we need for a godly life that includes doing exactly what He has called us to do – whatever that looks like – no matter how big it is or small we feel. (2 Peter 1:4)

I John 2:24-25 (NIV) As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3) I cannot impress this on you strongly enough. Write down your vision, revelation, or dream whatever it is that you know is from the Lord. This is vital to go back to when the enemy is pummeling you with lies. You must return to the Truth. God always attaches His Word to His Vision for your life. You must remind yourself sometimes to encourage yourself when threatened by isolation and despair – two of the enemy’s greatest tactics to make us give up. If everyone else thinks you are crazy, the Lord will confirm His Vision for your life in the very thing you wrote down and documented.

Jesus instructs us that He is the Vine and we are the branches. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. But when I strive to remain connected to Him than all things become possible even those things labeled impossible. God’s Word is essential to continue be rooted and grounded in His Love. His Spirit inside of me keeps us in relationship as He helps me, guides me, instructs me and facilitates close communication with the Lord each day. I need both of these valuable assets for my life to become a living sacrifice and live a life of worship.

I John 3:7-8 (NIV) Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

It is easy to look for excuses. The enemy seems like as good as any other. Except for the fact that nothing he does is new. It is all the same old taunts and tactics. Therefore, before you decide that what you are called to cannot be done because of the attacks and advances on your life and dream, know this. Jesus has already overcome them all. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. Success and failure is not hinged on our ability or the enemy’s power but completely on our ability to have faith in God’s Word, Will and Way. To stick it out when all hell is breaking lose around us knowing what God has called us to and His Unstoppable Power at work in us and through us.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV) The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”(Isaiah 42:8-9) Congratulations! God is doing new things in your life. It really doesn’t matter if you charge boldly to meet the new challenge or hesitantly tiptoe in. What matters is that you put away former things to fully embrace the new thing the Lord is doing in you and through you today! He is looking closely at your heart for a seed of faith and watching for the first sign of obedience. God is a Good Father intent on blessing every effort of His Children. He does not have unrealistic expectations but offers His Strength and Power to us through His Grace. Everything we do should be for His Glory!

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19) The success or failure of yesterday does not impact today. God is doing a new thing in your life today. Every detail of our life is worked out for our good according to Romans 8:28 so nothing is wasted not even experience. With this in mind, what is that God has laid on your heart for His Glory today? Does it seem to big? Is it overwhelming? Good than it is most definitely of Your Father’s doing. He sees Your Potential. He knows the Plan. He is well aware of what you capable of doing or producing in with what you have. Trust the Lord. Step out of the boat. The water is just right for miracles, signs and wonders. No one can carry you or even push you into the water. You must go willingly, freely and obediently into its flow. He will carry you to the end for it is better than beginning. Patience is required. Perseverance will be worth it. Persistence will pay off when we step out into the new thing that the Lord offers us today.

I Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Good Advice for Friday

Good Advice for Friday

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

At the end of a race, the runner often will stop and lean over putting their hands on their waist or knees trying to catch their breath. I am not a runner but I know the feeling. It’s Friday! The glorious day that makes way for the weekend is finally here. It has been a long strenuous week. My husband returns from his final training trip which has only added to the pressure of the last five days. For months now, a week has been devoted to company training far from home while mama kept the home fires burning. I feel like that runner today who cannot stop their lungs from burning or hold in enough oxygen to gain back any strength. Even in our best effort to trust and lean on the Lord, we still get tired and overwhelmed sometimes. Marching for the Lord’s Army is a lot of responsibility on any given day. There is opposition. There is responsibility. There is temptation. For those who live in this world but are not of this world, there are two forces battling for our attention. Could it be that there is purpose in our inability to keep going sometimes? When our mind, soul and body begin to shut down to rest? Of course there is.

Can I encourage you a little bit today? I need to do so for myself so let’s do it together. We put way more responsibility on our shoulders than Jesus ever would. We try to run faster, harder, and farther than anyone else as if in some competition. When the Lord tells us to trust Him and lean on His Understanding. Is that enough for us? To be more specific, the Word of God says to trust the Lord with ALL your heart. Wow, that’s a lot. Do you trust the Lord today? I know this is always good advice but we will move forward to practical steps once we take in this simple truth which is good advice.

To trust the Lord with all our heart requires a true dependency on Him. Most of the time, we expect supernatural results in our life without applying any faith to the matter. Faith is how we trust the Lord. It is to take His Word and do exactly what it says without looking to the world to satisfy it but just doing it anyway. Seek Him in all you do! Do you look for Jesus in every single aspect of your life? I mean right down to making your grocery list – you can ask the Lord for discernment and He will honor that request. We serve a practical and logical God if we apply the right understanding and wisdom to our cause. I know that you are tired and it has been a long week – but stay with me just a little longer. Let’s walk out this Friday together. Like a walker pacing the other side of the finish line in order to normalize breathing. We must breathe in the understanding that we must seek His Will in all we do and He will show us His Path.

I Corinthians 9:24-26 (NLT) Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. (Psalm 37:23) Think about this for a minute. I know you are running late. It’s your turn to bring donuts to the office. Your kid just remembered a project is due this morning resulting in pandemonium. The dog just threw up. Are you ready to give up? Call this day a bust. Why is life so hard? No matter how hard I try to do what is right – why do I always seem to end up right here – facedown and on my knees asking for just a little more mercy and grace to make it to the weekend. Oh wait, will that be better? It’s packed with commitments when I could not say “no”. Keep walking. Keep a steady pace. Why? There is purpose in every step you take. God takes pleasure in every detail of our life. He perfects that which concerns us. (Psalm138:8) He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. Do you love the Lord today? Well, He loves you more. Every step you take today whether walking in sunshine, strolling on the mountaintop, battling the storm or the valley of death – God is with you. He loves you. He is working on your behalf. Your job is just muster up enough faith to take one more step no matter how hard it seems because of the promise hidden in each one.

2 Timothy 2:4-6 (NLT) Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

As we consider ourselves part of the Lord’s Army, we must constantly evaluate our weaponry. David would not wear Saul’s Armor because it was too big and heavy for the boy. God had not ordained him to be king yet so the mantle was not for him. Is it possible that we get to big for our britches sometimes and try to take on things that we are not ready for or called to do? God’s Armor for our lives is specific – the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, sword of the spirit, gospel of peace, belt of truth. See God gave you enough protection to make it through the fight to step into victory today even though you are mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted, overwrought and overwhelmed. Actually, you have fallen into the place that He desire most for when I am weak – His Grace becomes sufficient for me.

Soldiers of God’s Army – have you gotten tied up in civilian affairs. His Ways are not our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Are you soaring with the eagles? Or are you roosting with the turkeys who never leave the ground? It really is up to you where you live. In the Presence of God or at the mercy of people, opinions and this life – soldiers desire peace and prepare for war. They do not get distracted by the common problems all around them but keep their eye on the horizon watching for the enemy’s advances. Sometimes we must get off by ourselves and get washed in the Word, covered by the Blood and back in line with our Commander and Chief to fulfill our commission which is not bickering and fighting among ourselves.

Athletes follow the rules. The Word of God is our directions for life. His Spirit takes the Word and gives us divine discernment and understanding so that it can be applied to life as a whole. When we forsake reading the Word of God – we fly blindly. You might as well close your eyes and start walking. We must be committed to the race of faith. We must fight to win by faith not function. Today are there areas of your life not fully surrendered. If a runner runs every single day and exercises faithfully but eats terribly – will they win? I mean the race is determined by how fast we run. Not always. If it is a marathon, it is based on distance not speed. Life is a marathon. How do I know? The one who endures to the end is saved.

Finally – the farmer bless his/her heart. Works from morning ‘til night caring for his seeds as they sprout and grow into a harvest. When the harvest comes, the farmer is encouraged by the Lord to “enjoy the fruit of their labor”. Me-time is not a bad thing. To enjoy life is part of the fullness of Christ. To live your life miserable and exhausted just getting by is not the standard of living that Jesus died to give us, but a rich satisfying life. Do you enjoy the fruits of your labor? If no, you should.

I Thessalonians 5:14-24 (NLT) Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

I find that many times when I look back at why I am overtired or have run out energy but still have some week left, that it is usually my own dumb fault. Today, for example, I stayed up too late finishing a painting project in our new house. Knowing that I would still get up at 4:30AM, I didn’t go to sleep until well after midnight. Seeking the Lord today, I need strength to make it through today. Lord give me direction on how to get through this weekend rested and refreshed when it is just as full as this week has been. When I read this passage today, I find that He is reminding me of how to live each day not just the one’s I am too tired to invest in but rather showing me solid steps to victory in each moment of every day. They are practical, applicable and will keep me on the right track. Good advice for Friday…well actually good advice period.

It is no surprise that the first step is to keep our eyes on others. It is amazing that as I learn to invest in others I get better at taking care of myself or maybe it is in my obedience and commitment to love others as Christ loves me that I am renewed and refreshed by God so I can pour out more of His Love on others. I am enjoying the fruits of his labor as I labor for Him. Sometimes we gain a better perspective of our life when we look at life through the eyes of others.

We must become grace full. Each day the Lord leaves us new mercies to scoop up and use freely. Do we share that grace with others? To do so is to trust in the Lord because we remove all expectation from other people, this world and this life placing it firmly and completely in the Father’s Hands. Everyone desires grace. I don’t know a person who is not pursing love, affirmation and acceptance from others. I find that what I give then I receive. Give love get love. Give grace get grace. Give Jesus get Jesus!

Always be joyful. Jesus is our joy. We must maintain our relationship with the Lord all day, every day. We do so by talking to Him. Communicating on His Level which is prayer. It is good to maintain an ongoing conversation with the Lord and keeps His Presence tangibly next to us which will result in making better choices along the way. We must be thankful in all circumstances which is a declaration of faith and trust in God alone. We must no stifle the Holy Spirit our guide, teacher, companion and advocate in life. He is not a silent partner, we just tend to stifle him sometimes by ignoring his conviction or convincing in our heart. Do not scoff prophecies. It is easy to study God’s Word and congregate with believers. If we truly believe the knowledge obtained and whispered to us in God’s Word and by His Spirit – it must change our life.

Jesus IS coming back. We must be prepared. Test everything. Do not walk randomly through life but label things good and evil. Choose well. Is what you are doing of the Lord or for Him? If not, walk away. Hold what is good with both hands. Stay away from EVERY KIND OF EVIL. We know the difference. Yet many still entertain dark things in life. It matters what we watch and listen to even in the name of “entertainment”. The very thing that we choose to entertain will dwell with us. God will make you holy if you commit to these things.

It is the surrender and submission of our life that allows Him to meet us in the place of overwhelming exhaustion and lift us up. Last but not least keep your eyes on the prize. This world has nothing for you. He has promised you eternity in heaven. It is worth chasing after and finding your way home even on days like today when you don’t feel as though you can take another step. Sure you can.

Philippians 1:9-11 (NLT) I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

One night over dinner, our teenage son challenged his not-teenage dad to a foot race. I looked at my husband and reminded him that he had nothing to prove to the boy. My husband insisted otherwise. So after a full meal, the two headed outside for a little competition. I tried to dissuade my husband from engaging in the sprint as he had not run in a while not to mention just eating dinner. He insisted he was fine and they were off. Well, father did beat his son…though barely. It is a heavily disputed finish and our son insists that his dad cheated. Nevertheless, walking back inside I found my husband sitting in our room with trying to catch his breath. His face was blood red. I really thought he was about to have a heart attack and I am pretty sure he did, too. He had no business running up and down the road full speed like that but his pride made him do it anyway. How many times do we spend our life, waste our time, and expend our energy on things that don’t really matter because our pride will not allow us to walk away? God has supplied everything we need to live a godly life. In fact, He supplies all our needs. The Lord directs our steps which are sufficiently supplied so we just walk them out. But we run ahead, jump around, get distracted or decide to do things ourselves removing the yoke of faith from Christ to embrace the words, “I will do it myself.” When we allow ourselves to become overwrought and exhausted it is a clear sign that we have engaged in activity that is not from God but of ourselves. When we adopt the philosophy as Children of God that “if I don’t do it no one will” then we have allowed pride to take the place of faith that says, “With God, all things are possible.” There must be balance in our life to run the race and fight the good fight of faith. We must live in this world but remember we are not of it. We must stop engaging in “civilian affairs” because greater is He who lives in me then he that is in the world. It is written that no weapon formed against me can prosper so my wounds must be self-inflicted by disobedience. All those times that I impatiently chose my way rather than allowing God to work it all out. We are more than conquerors in Jesus Christ. Isn’t it time we started living like it? Good advice for Friday. Good advice for life.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NLT) Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.

 

Stones

Stoned

Psalm 118:21-25 (NIV)

I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

I love Easter. It is my favorite of all holidays. Spring is a time of renewal and revitalization after a long winter. Things died off in fall and were buried in the cold, but now the newness of life returns to the planet we call home. Churches will be filled this Sunday with many people who have no real idea of Easter’s potential just that mom and grandma are preparing a feast and the kids really want to hunt eggs from a fabled rabbit. This is not about the pagan aspects of Easter. Let’s step over the concept in our mind and back in time. Way back in time. Easter is about Jesus, our Risen Lord and Soon Coming King. Celebration of the empty tomb is significant because it was the moment every impossible thing in our life became completely possible. The doorway to Eternity and forever was opened and the Keys of the Kingdom put into our hands. The death sentence removed from our life freed us from all captivity. By faith, every situation, circumstance, problem and trouble now can be worked out for our good according to the Father’s Plan. All of this was achieved when the stone rolled away and Jesus emerged victorious.

 

Slow done. I have to slow down. I want to run with the ladies headed back from the tomb to tell the others. Those who are caught up in busyness. The ones who have forgotten that they are free. Those who have missed out on mercy for today. Driving to Gainesville one day, I was thinking and praying at the same time. You ever do that? It starts out as a prayer, then you get lost in your thoughts for a moment, then back into prayer again. Our mind and spirit must agree so sometimes it has to discuss a few things I guess. At any rate, I was wondering why I was so confident that our son would live through his battle with cancer. Every time my hope grew tired and faith a little weak, something inside me would surge and I was reminded again of God’s Word for his life. The enemy longs for us to feel unworthy of God’s Promises so we will abandon faith and miss out on God’s Blessing. With this thought in mind, I was really contemplating the “why” of it all when the song, “Forever” came on the radio. I turned it up. The verse that changed my wandering and wonderful to full assurance was this: “The ground began to shake. The stone was rolled away. His Perfect Love could not be overcome. Now death where is your sting? Our Resurrected King has rendered you defeated.” Everything changed in that moment when Jesus emerged victorious. His Love proved to be the most powerful force in the universe on that day and it reverberates through the pages of history right up to today to fulfillment in forever.

We have victory over all things in Jesus Christ. The moment that He becomes our Savior and Lord, we have access to His Authority and Power in the world including death and the grave. It cannot hold us. The enemy cannot stop us. So why are there so many Christians who live in defeat, disappointment and dissatisfaction each day? Where are the believers who are followed by miracles, signs and wonders? What happened to God’s Power and Authority released to all mankind when Jesus emerged from the tomb that day? It is stoned and walled in by doubt and fear. The lie of the enemy holds many captive. Jesus is the Resurrection and Life yesterday, today and forever. It is time to roll the stones away from dead dreams and find lost vision again. To dare to do the impossible which is totally possible in all things pertaining to faith and godliness. If God said, it you can do it. Have it. Live in it. See it come to pass. You just have to believe.

Daniel 6:16-17 (NIV)

So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.

Let’s look at some impossible situations. Daniel was a man of God who believed to the point of living it even when it created uncomfortable situations, persecution living in view of imminent death. He was there when the three Hebrew men were thrown in the fiery furnace, they were his friends. He had been in prison and forgotten by others. Much betrayal and treachery landed him in a den or cave of hungry lions. As if that were not enough, they placed a stone over the mouth of the den and it was sealed by the king warning others not to tamper with it. This was done so that Daniel’s situation could not be humanly changed.

Daniel 6:19-23 (NIV)

At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

The king rushed to the lions’ den the next morning. Why? It says in the verses just before this one that he was unsettled and could not sleep the night before no matter what he tried to distract him. He wanted to know. He had to see for himself. Daniel’s faith saved him. He believed in the Lord and overcame death in that moment. When he emerged, the Light of God’s Love surrounded him and others who witnessed it were changed. See God doesn’t always change our situation or circumstances but we do not have to be held captive by it or changed in it. The faithfulness of Daniel sparked a revival culminated in the king’s decree that “every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.”

John 11:38-44 (NIV)

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Lazarus was dead. One of Jesus’ closest friends had passed. He was not only deceased but good and dead as he laid in the grave for three long hot days. When the messenger delivered the news that his friend was sick, the Lord declared, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” God’s Word for one man’s life is declared but who will take hold of it. Before Jesus made it back to his home, the man had died. Martha met Jesus with her version of the truth. Quite simply, if you had been here then Lazarus would not have died. She then gave the Lord a solicitous “bless your heart” as we say in the south with her words. “But I know that even now God will do whatever you ask.” Jesus tested her faith, “Your brother will rise again.” Her response, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” She did not fully believe… but she would. Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and life.” Do you believe that He is? Not Martha or her sister, Mary, but you. Do you believe that Jesus can bring dead things including people back to life…TODAY?

Jesus called Lazarus from the grave that day. The sisters received their brother here and now not after His Return. This is vitally important to those of us who tend to hide in caves covering the entrance with stones of our own. Our hearts become hard to the truth that resurrection life is a “now” concept and not a futuristic approach. When Jesus rose again, all of the Power and Authority that He had would come to live in those who trust and believe in His Great Name. We have to live in the full truth of resurrection power today and not wait for forever. Jesus handed us the Keys to His Kingdom ahead of time. We are to pray “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Do not allow temporary circumstances dictate the outcomes in your life. Jesus brings dead things back to life. He gives parents their children back. He gives sisters to brothers and brothers to sisters. He can make all things new if we believe. Do you believe today? As we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is fully embraced by one’s decision to live in the Authority and Power given on that day rather than cowering in caves covered by worthless rocks cast at us by the enemy of our soul.

Matthew 27:57-66 (NIV)

As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Jesus was dead. Joseph of Arimathea asked for the Lord’s body and prepared a proper burial. He placed Jesus in the tomb. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance and left the Lord there. This was not enough for the Pharisees. They asked the king to seal the tomb so the disciples dare not steal the body of Jesus. Sound familiar? Not only did Pilate seal the tomb but posted a guard to watch over it. It is as if mankind backed by principalities and darkness dared Jesus to rise again. They were intend on Jesus staying dead. But that’s not how the story goes…

Matthew 28:1-10 (NIV)

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Despite all this, Jesus still came back for us. He overcame death and the grave emerging victoriously. No one rolled the stone against gravity from its resting place, the Hand of God rolled it back to reveal His Son Glorified. Jesus had won. The battle was over. Every captive freed. Every curse broken. Every disease healed and death finally averted. I cannot imagine how happy, relieved and overjoyed the men and women who followed Jesus must have been on that day. They saw the torture that Jesus endured before He was nailed to a roughhewn Cross high on that hill. They watched as others mocked Him and even turning on them. Helplessly and silently they endured heartache and despair as they watched the Lord take His Last Breath as a man. With all this on their mind, imagine how wonderfully sensationally and overwhelming it must have been when they saw that despite all of this – Jesus was alive.

Jesus is alive. He did not leave us empty handed. We have the Keys to His Kingdom. Eternity in our hearts. Filled with His Spirit. We have the same power in us that brought Jesus from the grave. Why are we not using it? We are hidden in caves covered by stones because somehow we have forgotten that we win. No matter what the weapon is – we win. We are victorious overcomers in Jesus Christ. There is no reason to give up or surrender to any adversarial opposition that comes against us. We win. We just need to stand firm in our faith and we will be victorious.

Ephesians 1:18-23 (NIV)

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

In honor of Jesus on this coming Resurrection Day, I am challenged to remember and respond to the Truth that I have the same power “as the mighty strength (God) exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His Right Hand in the Heavenly Realms.” The same power that is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” God has placed all things under the Authority and Power of Jesus Christ. By choosing to believe, I can walk in this same power every single day of my life. It is to choose life. To believe that all things are possible because Jesus is alive. The Fullness of Christ belongs to you today. It doesn’t matter what man says about you. It doesn’t matter what people do to you. It doesn’t even matter if your fate is sealed by circumstances. There is no greater power over us than Jesus Christ. We can live from glory to glory when we live to Glorify His Son. We do so by living a life of faithfulness to God fully surrendered and submitted to Jesus Christ. It is the very place that Jesus’ Authority and Power is instilled in us so that we can walk in victory. Dead dreams come to life. We will see visions of the secret, hidden and deep things of God due to the power and potential of faith coming to life inside of us. Resurrection Sunday is coming. Will you let the Lord roll away the stones holding you back from fulfillment in Christ? Will you step out into the Light of His Love? Will you be victorious? Jesus did His Part. The rest is up to you and me!

Philippians 3:8-12 (NIV)

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

To Achieve Impossible

Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Here I stand on the edge of faith again. Looking up at the mountain, wondering if I have the faith to move it. Thinking it may be better just to turn back. It is not a matter of life or death so should I truly invest all my time and energy pursing the Promise of God when it is not fatal. God has spoken to my heart so now I have to go to cease the endless what if possibilities held captive in my thoughts. I know the stirring of hope when I feel it. I can see the realm of hope inviting me to come in. I smell the impossible simmering somewhere in the distance causing a hunger to rise up in me and a desire for fulfillment. My flesh quakes inside me not again. Every time this happens my natural belief and body die just a little more as the Resurrection Power of Living God rise within me. God give me the strength to move this mountain. Lord order my steps before I move. Jesus give me your mind in the process. “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders and let me walk upon the water wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the Presence of My Savior.” (Oceans by Hillsong)

I stopped singing along with the song, Oceans, for a long time. Not interested in the pressure, pain and persistence required to move me from everlasting to everlasting. I was tired. Worn out. Empty. Who would have known that the very moment that I decided that it would immediately lead me straight out of my comfort zone to another test of faith? I should’ve know. God wants His Promises to manifest in my life. He is Good Father. Constantly pursuing us with unfailing love that produces goodness and mercy for each day not just occasionally, the Lord invites us to continue in the process of faith that gives confident hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of this not seen. Well, I certainly cannot see how this will all come together. Yet I still believe…

Faith begins when we believe in the Sovereign and Almighty Power of the Living God enough to base our entire life on the Word of God. We must begin to invest our life in what we see through spiritual eyes fixed on Jesus even when it is not naturally occurring. To surrender every bit of fear and doubt from our heart, soul and mind to pursue wholeheartedly as He also comes after us wholeheartedly.

Luke 1:37 (NKJV) Nothing is impossible with God.

Matthew 17:20-21 (NKJV)

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Faith begins by believing that nothing is impossible with God. Note that it does not say that nothing is impossible for God which is absolutely true but the secret to the impossible is to know, understand and live with God fully believing that nothing is impossible if you remain with the Lord God. The disciples walked with Jesus. They witness miracle after miracle. They heard His Teaching. Knew God’s Word. Yet, when it came time to use all of these things to the Glory of God, they could not cast out the demon due to unbelief. Our belief in the Lord, His Intentions for us, His Ability to do that which He promised and bring about exactly what He said that He would do is essential for mountains to move. We must believe to see souls saved, sick healed, captives freed, and revival come as Heaven touches earth once more before the coming of Christ.

Jesus overcame the world. (John 16:33) We can live, breathe, and sleep fully confident and full of good cheer knowing that no weapon formed against us will prosper….if we believe it is true. Though we may know the Word of God, without faith it will not become active in our life. We may be obedient adhering strictly to the guidelines of obedience and submission to God. Without faith, it will only lead to fruitless endeavors. Faith allows us to go past what we know and can see into the Presence of the Living God who promised to withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly. Righteousness begins by believing in God’s Love and His Son. We accept right standing with God by believing in Him and trusting Him fully.

Mark 9:21-24 (NKJV)

So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

To achieve the impossible means letting go of reality to embrace the supernatural with both hands, both eyes and your whole heart. When the man asked Jesus to deliver his son, he said, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus’ plan was to deliver the child and heal him. Dad’s unbelief was evident when he asked the Lord, “But if you can…” How many times do we do the very same thing? God lays a dream in our heart. Places a vision before our eyes. Rather than taking hold of it, running with it, or waiting on it, we stay put in the reality of our natural circumstances focused on the problem begging for hand-me-downs from God feasting on the scraps under His Table rather than taking our seat at the table which Jesus has prepared just for us.

Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible for Him who believes…” Can you believe today? I can. I have chosen to look beyond the natural and lay claim to the Promise the Lord has etched in my mind and placed inside my heart. He has confirmed it many times which reveals my inadequate to believe completely the first time around. With each test and trial of my faith, I find that I can reach a little farther into the realm of hope. I can edge one step closer to completely abandoning my way to His Way. It is worth it every time yet painful in the revelation that despite how far that I go that He will always call me deeper still. Today, I am asking the Lord to help my unbelief. Anything that would keep me from entering the depths of His Love more, any barriers or hindrances in my heart keeping me from fully surrendering, and to give me just a little more faith to achieve the impossible.

Hebrews 6:16-20 (NKJV)

For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

God is bound by His Word because it is impossible for Him to lie or change His Mind. Grace will not allow the Lord to take back a single promise for it He could than it would not be sufficient for us. Instead, God places hope before us and encourages us to enter into it by faith. Throughout our natural life, He invites to enter into the supernatural where He takes the ordinary and does extraordinary things. We must believe God at His Word to enter into the realm of hope because it is the birthplace of impossible. Blessed are those you believe without seeing. His Presence permeates the earth. It is evident in natural creation, human reproduction, cycling of seasons and supernaturally it is experienced in communion with the Holy Spirit as we move farther past the veil of reality into the Presence of our King. I want to go there. I want to do the impossible. Only those who are anchored by hope that keeps our soul sure and steadfast believing God as Word no matter how things look or the way that we feel.

 

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

Knowing who I am without Christ makes it easier to accept the trials, testing and trouble in my life more so than the triumph that I am promised. I find myself accepting certain things that are less than God’s Best because I do not deserve all that He is doing in my life. I know me. I know how many times that I fail Him. I realize that I am nothing apart from Him. I do not always expect the supernatural outcomes that He promises simply because I know my own heart and mind in all its weakness and wanderings. But God…

Faith is not in myself but that Love and Grace of a Great God who wants to open the windows of Heaven and pour His Goodness into my life for His Glory. It is not about me. He wants to do this for me whether I decide to live by faith and confident hope or not. It is all about Jesus. He desires my heart more than anything else. Faithfulness is wholeheartedness. What do I believe? There you will find my heart. I must believe without a shadow of doubt that without faith I cannot please Him. I must believe that God rewards those who seek, surrender, and submit to His Beautiful Way and Perfect Will no matter how ugly and imperfect things seem right now.

I glanced through the Faith Hall of Fame or Hebrews 11 today. Asking the Lord to help my unbelief, He began to point out His Champions of faith and the example set by each one of them in claiming God’s Promise and obtaining the impossible. Here is what I found:

  • We must submit our life to Christ living in full obedience to His Word, Will and Way. (Hebrews 11:4)
  • We must be committed to pleasing the Lord before others and even ourselves. (Hebrews 11:5-6)
  • We must operate in the supernatural by obtaining God’s Perspective and on His Word alone. (Hebrews 11:7)
  • We must be willing to leave our comfort zone to enter the Promise of God. (Hebrews 11:8-10)
  • We must believe past our natural ability relying and trusting in God’s Total Capability to perform miracles in and through us today. (Hebrews 11:11-12)
  • Valid hope desires something better and believes it to be possible. It allows God to motivate change in us to impact our surroundings. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
  • True faith in God holds nothing sacred and is willing to surrender what we have to obtain His Perfect Will. (Hebrews 11:17-19)
  • Faith believes Romans 8:28 is true. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. (Hebrews 11:23-29)
  • Faith believes there is no barrier too high or obstacle too great for our God. Faith knows that He does not need our help to accomplish that which is for His Glory. He will flatten every wall whether manmade or enemy produced in our life so that we can lay hold of our promise in Him. (Hebrews 11::30)
  • Faith lives and breathes by believing that God always good and that He always has something better for us than we could think or ask. We will be willing to wait for His Perfection when we choose to live by faith. (Psalm 138:8)

All these thoughts about faith come back to His Love for us. The greatness of it. The validity of it. The truth about it. The fact that it is unconditional and unchanging alone makes it worthy of our faith. He absolutely must live in full assurance of His Love to fully understand and totally trust the fact that He rewards those who seek Him diligently.

Hebrews 6:9-15 (NKJV)

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

God wants to do the impossible for you and me today. He invites to take a step closer to move just a bit deeper into His Presence so He can remind us of His Love and Faithfulness hoping that we will become secure in faith and confident hope. I believe. It is my unbelief that hinders me from moving. Fear, doubt and anxiety must give way to more faith and hope to have all He has promised being confident of Jesus’ Absolute, Complete and Unconditional Love for me. This is the motivation of His Heart for me and not based on my performance but solely on His Performance on the Cross for me. The miracle of His Resurrection unlocked the door to the Kingdom for which He handed me the keys. He tore the veil and invested His Spirit in me. I have full power and authority over every demon in the Name of Jesus. God’s Power is churning within me. Living water gurgles inside looking for an escape. I must believe to release God’s Power in my life. I must open my mouth to let the living water flow out of me. I must live by faith and not by sight to see the impossible become my reality. Lord, today I ask you to help my unbelief so my heart will come closer, my foot step forward as I am immersed in the deep from which you call!

Psalm 71:14-16 (NKJV)

But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your Righteousness and Your Salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your Righteousness, of Yours only.

Boarding Pass

Boarding Pass

Luke 5:23-25 (NLT)

Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God.

I woke up this morning to a note on my journal. “Print boarding passes.” It is time to go home. After spending almost a week with our children who live in the New England area, it is time to repack our bags and head to the airport. Boarding passes are show that we have a place on the airplane. These little pieces of paper show the flight counter where to send our bags and have paid the price to fly. It tells the security guard our point of destination as our bags are inspected as to try to keep the other passengers and ourselves protected from acts of terrorism. It will give us the gate number and time that our flight will arrive. It is a key piece of information that allows us to cross many access points. I need to print these passes as a vital part of our journey home.

When Jesus died on the Cross rising again three days later, He held the Keys to the Kingdom. He offered them to us. We have the ability to take those keys out of His Nail-Scarred Hand and open doors that lead us home and close the ones meant to distract us. By simply saying, “Yes, Lord, I choose You” there is an immediate opening in the Kingdom of God and room in the place prepared for Children of the Living God. However, there is something important to note here. A comparison on my heart from the moment I wrote the note last night reminding me to print our boarding passes. My sins are forgiven. It is up to me, though whether or not I make it all the way to the Kingdom of God. Jesus paid for my “flight”. Will I board is another thing entirely?

“Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk?’” Jesus has full authority over the sin in our life. There is nothing that comes against us more powerful than the God in us. Nothing is impossible for the one who believes. When I purchased these flights, the Lord blessed us tremendously with very good prices. So good in fact, that I went directly from the discount website to the airlines webpage to see if there was a catch. No catch, so I bought the tickets. But surely when we arrived at the airport, there would be some minor stipulation. None. The flight was nonstop and perfect except for the screaming child encountered on most of them. Today, I will print the same type of “boarding pass” but with a bit more confidence than before because I have tried them before and found them to be true and valid. We are told emphatically that our sins are forgiven. We are free. Inside us is the power of God to do anything by faith even move mountains. Why are Christians so powerless then?

 

2 Corinthians 5:6-9 (NLT)

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.

 

I know that New England is not my home. My home is in Florida. It is where my home is, office is, church is and life is. I came to visit my daughter. This is her home now. She has moved from the comfort of her first home to build a new life with her husband. They came because they were called by God to be here. They are seeking to serve the Lord and build His Kingdom. Today I will go back home. I am confident of where I live for it has been our home for more than ten years. It is the confidence I have that makes me travel. I know that when I get there that there is a place for me just like I know if I walk by faith not by sight and seek to live in the Presence of God that I will leave the earth one day to live with Jesus forever. This impacts my life just like my boarding pass shapes my plans. I will do what it tells me to make my flight and get home today. My life should be guided and directed by the Word of God to make my way home. By faith, I will follow its directions to be sure that I make it to that place. When I stand before Christ, He must know me for me to get in. The Holy Spirit is my guide just like the people who will help us through each checkpoint today. I know this seems so simple maybe too simple for some but to live by faith and confident hope means more than accepting the fact that our sins are forgiven but at some point we must get up and walk!

Hebrews 13:14-16 (NLT)

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

I know where I live. I am going there today. I will do exactly what it the boarding pass instructs me to do to make it to my destination because I am fully convinced for now it is where I belong. My life should also reflect that my sins are forgiven and I am to get up and walk. Walk by faith. Live in confident hope. To do what the Word of God tells me to do. To allow His Spirit to work in and through me to make it to my final destination. Without faith, it is impossible to please God just like I cannot get home without my boarding pass. This world is not our permanent home. I must live as though I am looking forward to a home yet to come. The one that Jesus died to give me access to. I must believe that it is worth traveling through the mountains and valleys in the Light of His Love. It is not always going to be easy but my forever home will be worth it. Today I want to thank Jesus for making a way for me to live in Eternity with Him. Thank you that this world and all of its heartache and struggles is not my forever. I am committed to walking by faith in confident hope living in love with Jesus. He made a way for me to leave this place behind. I will live like it.

Our sins are forgiven. Many know this, but few live like it. I have greater power in me than any problem that I will ever face or hardship that will ever be endured. I have the potential for the impossible to fill my possibilities. It is by living like my sins are truly forgiven and this world is not my final destination that builds the confidence I need to be more than a conqueror. Today I choose to walk by faith and not by sight. I will live like a Child of God and not permanent resident of this planet. Thank you for the reminder, Lord. May I grow more rooted and grounded in Your Love than ever before and take full advantage of all that you offered when you said, “It is finished!”

Ephesians 3:16-18 (NLT)

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

Water the Sacrifice

Water the Sacrifice

Matthew 17:20 (NLT)

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

 

Faith. It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed smaller than the tip of a pencil to make impossible things a reality in life. Faith is totally reliant in the things we cannot see and not dependent on anything that is common to the five senses. It is to simple act on what we know to be true and believe to be possible. Faith isn’t rational according to the world and some might even call it radical. When an impossible problem arises or the unthinkable occurs, people rally for God. When human possibility is exhausted, people innately know that God is the only option. But I wonder if there is anyone who might want more than an ordinary life. Does anyone want this faith that moves mountains? Oh we think we do. But in the midst of living life – we become so busy and engrossed with doing that we forget to really believe. To truly have confident hope means that there are some things too impossible for us to do yet we still believe in their true and relevant potential in our life. If God is human, we have a problem. If He can lie or change His Mind, there is a flaw in our faith because unconditional love has been tainted. If there is anything that can separate us from the Love of God, He is not Who He claims to be. Faith is a now response. It is an important resource for those who believe. It is untapped potential in the life of every person who chooses to follow Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

 

Faith is to be confident in the hope we have in God. We must believe with full assurance that what we have been promised yet cannot see is completely possible and more than probable for our life. To have faith means the words “if it’s God Will” something will happen become obsolete in our life. Nothing riles me up more than to hear “if it’s God’s Will” my loved one will be healed. Or “if it’s God’s Will” He will provide for this need. Well, is it God’s Will for your life or not. See I know for a fact that “by His Stripes I am healed.” I absolutely 100% believe that it is God’s Will for people to be healed of every sickness and disease. My faith will only go so far for others. It is personal faith and an individual’s confidence in God that makes it a reality in their life.

To make fire the old-fashioned traditional way, one may use flint and steel. The spark ignites a flammable tinder to become a burning ember. I can have a piece of flint in one pocket and steel in the other, but if I do not use them I will not have a fire. I must also have something to burn or a sacrifice of sorts. If the only thing I have is a dollar bill and the night temperatures are dropping, I will burn something of worth to have what I need. Faith works like this. It defies that which is logical to obtain the impossible. The same roll of cash could buy me shelter from the cold, but if that is not possible then what? This is when most people must decide if they truly believe. I cannot tell you for sure that flint and steel will produce fire until I invest the time and energy to find out if it works.

The Lord has given us two valuable resources to determine true potential in our life. His Word tells us what He offers and how to obtain it. That wasn’t enough just read the Old Testament. Jesus came and died for our sins. He took possession of the Keys to the Kingdom from satan to empower us to reclaim our life in God. But that’s not all, He released His Spirit to us to help us along the way. He is the One who takes the Word of God and helps us understand what we have and how to obtain it. My faith must be tested to be true. I must believe to see the impossible come to life. But if my Bible stays on a shelf gathering dust and the Holy Spirit is locked away in a heart bound by fear and disbelief – will I see that which I hope for. Nope.

I Kings 18:19-21 (NLT)

Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.” So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

Ahab hated Elijah. He had searched every country, city and crevice for the Man of God to kill him. But Ahab had a bigger problem that day, in the third year of drought, his country was suffering. God sent Elijah to tell Ahab that He was sending rain. Obadiah was scouring the land for just enough grass to keep some of the king’s livestock alive when he found Elijah. Elijah told him to go tell Ahab that he was on his way to see him. Obadiah warned him that Ahab would not only kill Elijah on sight but most likely kill the messenger, too. When Ahab went out to meet the Man of God, he called him a troublemaker. Please note: when a believer truly decides to live by faith others will call you a troublemaker because you dare to believe in the God of the Impossible. Be ready! So Elijah issues a challenge.

On the mountain, there would gather 850 supporters of imaginable gods along with a handful of other people. Elijah stood in front of them all and asked the question, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions?” This would have been a good place to drop the mic to make a hasty departure. He went onto issue this challenge – “If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” The people were silent. How is this different from today? The people of “faith” are silent. This world offers many other gods. Many people who think they are following God are not but rather exchanging their faith in the One True Living God for all the other things in life. Worthless idols that suck up time, energy and resources offering a quick solution rather than an impossible promise.

I Kings 18:25-29 (NLT)

Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.” So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made. About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!” So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.

Elijah let the prophets of Baal go first. They picked the choicest sacrifice. They placed it on the altar. They called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, but nothing. They began dancing around the altar. Still nothing happened, so they began to shout louder and to cut themselves until their own blood gushed all over the altar. They did this all day into the night without a single sound, reply or response from Baal. Can you not see the comparison here? We are given the opportunity to offer faith as a sacrifice to God. We must only believe to see the even giving of their own life as a sacrifice when it is not required by the God of Unconditional Love and Faithfulness who offers grace as a means of support so our faith has potential again.

I Kings 18:30-35 (NLT)

Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.” After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

 

Now it is Elijah’s turn. He doesn’t put on a show but simply goes through the motions of the sacrifice just like he did every other day. He prepared the altar per God’s Instructions. He piled up the wood, cutting the bull into pieces as he did time and time again laying them on the wood. Bu then Elijah does the unthinkable, he tells the people to begin pouring water on the sacrifice covering the offering and the wood until the trenches around the altar were full. Well, not the possible just became impossible. When it comes to the Lord’s Promises, do you welcome the impossible? There is no change in Elijah’s actions. He is simply obedient. He does only what the Lord has told him to do over and over again. The only difference is that this time – it is impossible for a human to light the fire under the altar or for a manmade flame to consume the sacrifice. Are you willing to continue in obedience even when a good outcome seems impossible acting as though it is inevitable?

I King 18:36-39 (NLT)

At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”

At the usual time… Elijah did nothing out of the ordinary other than believe in the God who makes all things possible. He didn’t waver. He was not confused or undecided. He calmly prayed and the impossible happened as fire immediately fell from the sky consuming the sacrifice and licking up every drop of water in the trench. God doesn’t need you to put on a show. He doesn’t need your help. He doesn’t want your blood, sweat or tears. He just wants us to belief. The Lord wants us to have faith that is so confident in His Power that we will water our sacrifice with impossibility knowing He is able. Believing wholeheartedly and not wavering between other gods. The people fell face down and worshipped God in that moment. There are people in this world counting on your faith to spark salvation in their heart and soul.

I Kings 19:11-15 (NLT)

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came…”

To summarize, the 850 other prophets were hunted down and killed immediately after the events on Mount Carmel. God sent rain to the land once again. But what happens next may be the most encouraging part of all for us as believers. Elijah got scared and went into hiding. The Lord met him on the hill and asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” It happens to every Christian who dares to believe. Faith is a process. It develops over time otherwise we would be required to have truckloads rather than a single mustard seed, don’t you think? Elijah felt alone. He felt isolated.

I am ashamed to admit I find myself in hiding ready to give up, too. I don’t feel as though I have an excuse. The Lord healed our son of cancer. Not once, not twice but five times defying every odd recorded in medical journals and trials around the world. The doctors declared him in the realm of hope. We had nothing and no one to believe but God. Doctors and nurses have said that he is a living, breathing miracle. He has been in remission with no evidence of disease in over a year. I would say that ranks with a water-soaked altar being consumed by fire. Yet in the midst of such revelation, I too still run into hiding when the impossible does not happen overnight. I, too, have abandoned faith to doubt and fear just like Elijah. God meets me in this place even today as I was ready to give up on what I know the Lord wants to do but I was tired of believing enough to pray and press on until it happens. If it was easy, we wouldn’t need persistence to keep asking. If it were naturally occurring, the supernatural would not be necessary. If it were not valuable to the Kingdom, the enemy would not be fighting me so hard for it.

God’s directive to Elijah is what He is saying to us today, “Go back the same way you came…” Is it possible? Yes, His Grace is enough for us. It is enough to cover the tracks of our escape and put us back on the foundation of faith. It is enough to allow us to step back into righteous obedience from our rebellious wandering. The Lord was far from finished with Elijah. He is not finished with you. Faith is a process. It takes a lot of time and energy to cultivate into confident hope. It calls the impossible into existence. It makes the very thing that seems the most elusive totally inclusive in God’s Plan for our life. The Lord doesn’t ask for anything radical just absolute obedience based on faith and total trust in Him. Dare to believe today. Ask for the impossible and wait for it to happen. Activate the Word of God and allow His Spirit to help you in your walk of faith. Live by faith not by sight. It’s Biblically the only way to live the impossible dream as God des more than we think to ask for. Will you water the sacrifice today? Will you believe for the impossible rather than letting your “God” off the hook by compromising, substituting or just plain giving up? Imagine the potential of a life that moves mountains, now make it happen.

Hebrews 6:17-19 (NLT)

God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.