Tearing Down Walls

Tearing Down Walls

Hebrews 11:30-31 (NLT) It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

“Walking around these walls…I thought by now they’d fall…but you have never failed me yet. Waiting for change to come…knowing the battle’s won…for you have never failed me yet.” (Do It Again – Elevation Worship) Who would ever think that simply walking around the walls of a city would bring them crashing to the ground? It wasn’t logical. It didn’t make any sense. Imagine what the guards on the wall and people watching through the cracks and crannies must have thought laughing among themselves. Crazy Israelites. What are they thinking? Yet, by faith, in seven days the wall didn’t crumble and fall. It fell flat. In that moment of elation, I suppose even the Children of God were bewildered and filled with wonder. Look what God did? Faithful is the Lord.

What wall stands between you and God’s Promise today? Can you see it? Do you feel it? Have you been praying about it? Believing for it to come crashing down or just fall flat? Are you tired of waiting? Me, too. Yet in the journey of God’s People I am reminded that walls like Jericho don’t come down with human hands but by faith in our heart and confident minds that believe God still does miracles and will do them for me. Miracles don’t come in the doable but are labeled impossible. I know people often testify, “Look what the Lord has done” and while God honors the Glory and Praise and every good thing does come from Him, there are some things that are not miraculous performed in our humanness. Miracles are the things that cannot be accomplished with human hands or explained with basic logic. A wall fortified such as Jericho does not just fall flat unless the breath of God speaks to the stones of its construction telling them to bow down before Him.

With this in mind, I go back to the breach to be overcome and obstacle removed for you to reach the place of destiny. Your godly destination is not reached by walking in a physical sense but how you stride spiritually. So let’s walk with the Joshua and God’s Children to see if there is some secret to keeping in step with God until all strongholds come down. God will remove every stronghold, barrier and obstacle between us…if we do our part.

Joshua 6:1 (NLT) Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. 

The people inside of Jericho were afraid of God’s People. Fear is the number one stronghold in the life of a believer. The root of fear is doubt which is a faith killer. Stripping the productivity of God’s Word seeded in our heart to kill the good things growing inside of us and stifling the prosperity of our heart. The people shut the gates and were hunkered down. The enemy is defeated. Jesus is our overcomer. He has handed every victory to us as the battle is already won. We do not have to fight for it. We do not have to tear strongholds down with our hands. We must simply believe by faith in the love, grace, goodness and faithfulness of God towards us enough to walk it out. The enemy can only taunt us from the wall. His lies are convincing but God’s Word is convicting. It challenges us with the idea of what if. If ingested enough, the Word of God strengthens our faith and becomes the sword of God’s Spirit in the tearing down of barriers between God’s People and His Blessing.

Joshua 6:2 (NLT) But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.

The Promise of God for His People. You win, I have “given” you Jericho. The city and all its contents belonged to them. The Lord told Joshua that “its king” belonged to them who represented all power and authority. He also told Joshua, “I have given you…all its strong warriors.” Now think about it for a moment, where do you think the strong warriors and majority of Jericho’s army were when the walls came down? On the wall? In the ramparts? Standing guard around the inside perimeter? Posted at the gates? What do you think happened when the walls fell flat? My guess would be that it took out the “strong warriors.” God gave this promise to Joshua. His job was to relay it to the people and lead them to victory. I would like to stop for just a moment and say to any pastors, preachers, teachers and leaders reading this today. Your life matters. The words you speak and faith you exhibit in your life matters. It is significant. You are responsible for taking directions from the Presence of God to your people. It is a heavy burden which releases huge blessings to those who are faithful to their call and dedicated to the anointing on their life.

Joshua 6:15-17 (NLT) On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the town as they had done before. But this time they went around the town seven times. The seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the town! Jericho and everything in it must be completely destroyed as an offering to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and the others in her house will be spared, for she protected our spies.

When the Lord imparted instruction to Joshua, he commanded the people to do exactly as the Lord had told him. They followed the pattern for six days. Now some may think that this was punishment or discipline of God, however; I believe that God was demonstrating His Patience. Churches split up or die every day in disagreement, disunity, and discord. The Children of Israel were no different with all the murmuring and complaining. Joshua not only commanded them to walk but not to talk. Unity produces Presence in our place of worship because God thrives on agreement and harmony especially when it comes to the Kingdom.

The wall you are facing is not just “your wall”. The barriers to breakthrough are pivotal to those who you are to spread the Light of God’s Love to. The people who you are called to season their life as salt does fine food. How can you bring something you have not fully experienced and totally embraced to another? Rahab had housed the spies and kept the safe as they surveyed Jericho. God honored her faith. Yes, faith. She was a prostitute. Why would God honor such a person? Rahab obviously had faith that God loved her and extended grace to her. She trusted God. Just because a person is not overly religious or living a perfect example does not mean they are less to the Lord. In fact, Jesus died for every sin committed. The church puts a hierarchy on sin not prescribed by God. Judgment comes in many shapes and sizes. Ostracizing sinners from church is like barring sick people entrance to a clinic. It is the inmates running the asylum with personal judgment and their own set of laws. I am a sinner. I find it hard to judge others in the midst of my own condemnation. Christ doesn’t condemn me and there is no condemnation in Him. What might happen if the church as a whole looked in the mirror and saw sinners? What if the religious understood that all sin is the same? What if we chose to love others despite ourselves? What if our stronghold is our insecurity that God’s Grace is sufficient in weakness so we fake personal strength?

Joshua 6:16-17 (NLT) The seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the town! Jericho and everything in it must be completely destroyed as an offering to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and the others in her house will be spared, for she protected our spies. Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought into his treasury.”

What if the holdup of our breakthrough is not what is on this side of the wall but what is on the other side of victory? The people continued for six days in absolute obedience. They walked silently around the wall for six days straight. Now on the seventh day, Joshua reminds them of God’s Instructions for the other side of the wall. Everything in Jericho must be completely destroyed. Only Rahab and her family would be spared. Silver, gold, bronze and iron would be set aside for the Lord’s Treasury. They shouted and the wall fell flat. Can you imagine the chaos in that moment? The elation of victory. The screams of the people. The smoke of destruction. Joshua 6 ends in victory. Joshua 7 begins…But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the Lord. Perfection is not required to remove strongholds. It requires persistence and perseverance in walking by faith to bring them crashing down.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT) We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

The truth revealed to us in God’s Word is that Jesus Christ has overcome the world. (John 16:33) He has been given all power and authority by God, the Father. (I Peter 3:22) he has given us His Power and Authority today. (Luke 10:19) Jesus has given us overwhelming victory. (Romans 8:37) His Promises are the reality of our life and the very thing that we live for. The stronghold in our life is doubt. It is the mountain to be moved each day. In Romans 7, Paul describes the inner battle that rages between Spirit and flesh. We must learn to walk in simple and humble obedience to God each day. There is no superiority in the Kingdom. God reigns superior with Christ at His Right Hand and the enemy as a footstool. You have been given the power of God that is manifested in His Grace. If you can do it, a miracle is not required. If only He can do it, your absolute trust and confident obedience in walking it out is required.

Strongholds must be maintained. If there is a stronghold in your life that is keeping you from what God has for you, I promise the enemy is fortifying every single day with lies of deception. However, when we walk according to God’s Word and His Promise despite how we feel, what we see and even what we know – obedience leads us to victory every time. Rahab is the perfect example of applied grace that gave way to victory. She easily could have preserved her place in society by shutting her door to the spies and turning a blind eye to their plight. Instead, she laid down this life for another. It doesn’t say she “sinned no more” or “joined First Church of God’s People”. She lived among the Children of God the rest of her days.

“I know the night won’t last…Your Word will come to pass…My heart will sing your praise again. Jesus, You’re still enough…keep me within Your Love…My heart will sing your praise again. The promise still stands…Great is Your Faithfulness…I’m still in your Hands…This is my confidence, You never failed me yet.” Whatever stronghold, barrier or obstacle you are walking around today must come down to reach the promise on the other side. There is always somebody watching you walk out this life, your faith and your salvation because that is how we share the true gospel. To walk in love, grace and favor humbly following the footsteps before us.

God will not bring down the walls in our life if they will cause us to sin. If in the celebration, we misuse consecrated things. He will not takedown strongholds at the expense of others. God’s Plan and purpose is comprehensive. Our commitment to His Plan is demonstrated by simple obedience. To take one step after another in submission to His Word, Will and Way. We must stop trying to teardown spiritual strongholds with our human hands. It is time to recognize that our commonality is sin that needs a Savior. To understand that victory belongs to us, if we can just wrangle in our wandering heart and waning spirit to keep going when there is nothing to do but trust the Lord. To ignore the taunts of the enemy often given a voice in others. To believe with all our heart that the walls are coming down enough to evoke constant praise and adoration of a perfect God and flawless Savior. Lord, give me a heart of faithfulness to keep walking until Your Kingdom comes and Your Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven. “I’ve seen you move, come move the mountains and I believe I’ll see You do it again. You made a way, where there was no way and I believe I’ll see You do it again.” Amen and amen!

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


Hope Less

hope less

Psalm 33:18-22(ESV) Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

I have a tattoo inked on my right wrist. To some it may be offensive that a Child of God would mark their skin, and some are of the opinion that is unbiblical. Each is entitled to their own opinion and I am not offended in the least. I am terrible with remembering dates and times but it was sometime after our son’s first fight with cancer. A friend had lost their son shortly after his diagnosis. All of the family were posting pictures on social media of memorial tattoos. Yellow ribbons with his name, school colors and other things that reminded them of Austin. Though in remission, once the diagnosis of “cancer” comes – it seems to find a place in the dark shadows of the mind as a reminder it may visit again at any time. There is no promise of permanence once remission is achieved just to be ever hopeful the disease is gone for good. I thought to myself that no matter what happened I would never memorialize death like that. No judgment to others but for me – it would mean hope was gone forever. Everyone deals with pain and trauma differently. Most of the infusion room nurses have a tattoo where special patients who left indelible marks on their heart will get a spot. One has a song bird with a note for each brave one lost in battle. Another is a flower with tiny butterflies – you get the idea.

I decided I would get a tattoo now to celebrate life. To remind me that my faith is secure and there is always hope. When I look down at my wrist, the word “faith” reminds me that I have an investment to make while it is still today. A seed of worth that if planted deeper each day will produce a harvest of life. When I show someone my tattoo, they see a different word. It spells the word “hope” to them. Life is a journey to find faith, sow it in our life and produce confident hope in the Love of God that is salvation. It is easy to lose sight of that in the day to day pressures of life in general. It is even easier when trauma or tragedy strikes. The truth is that our existence as it is now today is hopeless. Everyone dies. We are appointed once to die. It is in the Word of God. The hope that I have is for eternity. I promise this is not a message of doom and gloom but when the reality of hope is recognized it has the power to change our life today.

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

My hope is in the steadfast love of God given through Jesus Christ. Hope means to believe, desire and trust. It is the feeling that what is wanted can be had and that the events will turn out for good according to Dictionary.com. The British Dictionary defines hope as “a feeling of desire for something and confidence in the possibility of its fulfillment” with reasonable grounds. The Bible gives hope a name – Jesus Christ. He is our hope. The unconditional and unchangeable love of the Living God is our hope of fulfillment and substance called faith. Faith is the substance of what we hope for. It is unrealistic to hope for someone not to die because it defies logic and reality. Everyone will pass away and get rid of their flesh. It is the moment after our last breath that hope is finally realized and rightfully so.

Ephesians 1:17-20 (ESV) …that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places…

Hope is our spiritual expectation. It is not to life forever in the abundance and increase of this life but to one day step out of these naturally decaying bodies and assume our place in God’s Kingdom as a heavenly being. Natural expectation revolves around naturally occurring outcomes. Hope ventures into the impossible. Faith in God is to hope for eternal results. It takes a higher level of spiritual thinking to grab hold of confident hope which is what our faith in God is based on. Hope less in this life and the physical outcomes but rather hone in on faith that is not dependent on this life but forever results. Heightening our expectancy requires godly knowledge and spiritual wisdom not found in the world but in the Word.

Hope is what God has called you to according to His Glorious Inheritance and what His Immeasurable Great Power can produce toward us when we believe. He is working His Great Mind through us to the same extent used to raise Jesus from the dead. An inheritance comes later, it is not a “now” thing. It comes after a death. The Power of God working in us today is His Grace. It is most evident in our weakness. All contrary to the workings of this world. Humility and brokenness are the ground most fertile for God’s Workings in us and through us. The Light of His Love shines the brightest through broken vessels. Finite thinking thinks hope changes our circumstances, conditions and/or consequences but it doesn’t. Faith didn’t keep Joseph out of the pit, or from the accusations of people, or even the prison but it got him to the palace. It put him in a position to save his family. It gave him more than he could ever think, ask or imagine. God humbled Joseph in the process. The Word of God tells us that in every situation Joseph trusted and believed in the Lord. But consider this…Joseph was never pharaoh. He never was the king. God gave him everything yet never promoted him to the highest level of earthly superiority. His hope for the future was not in this life but forever.

Romans 5:1-5 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Hope is the anchor for our soul (Hebrews 6:19), but if there is no substance or weight added to it then what good is it? Through Jesus Christ I have faith that I am at peace with God again. I can live as His Child and live in His Kingdom. But notice that it says, “we rejoice in our sufferings.” Who wants any of that? When our son was cancer-free the first time, I was asked to record a testimony to be played in church. I mentioned my belief that God heals one of three ways: medically, miraculously, or mercifully. It played one time and was removed. The media coordinator did not agree. God is always is ready to heal someone. Agreed. He could not accept that God heals mercifully and sometimes people do succumb to their illnesses despite the countless prayers of the righteous. We must accept that Heaven is a real place and the one that is hoped for. To believe it is a viable option to leave the earth and live with Jesus is the victory that is hoped for. Suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character. Character produces hope. These steps are a requirement. Human nature is to settle and substitute natural things for supernatural results to avoid such challenges and inconvenience. What the Lord has in store for us is better!

God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

It may sound cliché or even a bit silly but I believe that God wants us to hope less and have faith more. Faith is the substance of what is hoped for. Hope is established two ways in our life. The Word of God is what we hope for. It is the basis of hope. (Romans 15:4) Every single word of it is inspired by God and absolutely true. None of it is out of date, old-fashioned or untimely. It is fresh bread every day for those who choose to partake of it. It is in the Word of God where hope is found and our challenge to live in it. (Psalm 119:81;114) The Plan of God for our life is with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) We are called to seek it out wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:13) To do so gives us what we need to have logical faith that can be practically lived. Jesus is the Word of God who came to us wrapped in flesh. (John 1:14) He is our hope. (Matthew 12:21) Wisdom must have knowledge. Hope is wisdom for the future. (Proverbs 24:13-14)

Romans 8:24-26 (ESV) For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

The Holy Spirit establishes our hope by taken the Word of God and working it into wisdom in our life. He moves us and motivates us to act on faith and build confidence in hope. If my faith is only able to hope for my son to live in this world, it is not big enough to sustain me. For our son to live forever would mean living with more medical conditions then I can count for the rest of his life. Chemotherapy is poison that kills cancer but has numerous side effects. The reality of what I hope for is that his faith has built a solid foundation of hope that relies and trusts the Lord so when he does cross over that Jesus will know him and welcome him home. The Holy Spirit must help us develop real faith to build the confident hope needed to trust and believe.

If we hope for what we do not see, we MUST wait for it with patience. When hope is deferred it is a challenge to deal with. (Proverbs 13:12) Faith holds the promise of hope tightly but there is an enemy ready to wrangle it from us every day. Situations, circumstances, trials and tragedies meant to persuade us that God’s Love is not real or somehow conditional. God still is a miracle worker. He meets His Expectations not our expectations. His Plan is based on forever not the seventy or so years given to us here on earth. Can I share a secret with you today? We always have hope. His Name is Jesus. He lives in us. Hope does not die. It is life. I have hope but make the choice whether to hold on to it or not. If my desire to be hope full, I must be faith full first because I will never ever see the reality of what I hope for until I meet Him face to face.

Lamentations 3:21-24 (ESV) But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

I believe that God is a miracle worker. I believe that His Goodness is for us in the Land of the Living. I know many people who died suddenly or before their time as people say. There are times when things don’t turn out according to our expectation. These are the times when one must have an anchor to hold on to and that holds us in place. “BUT I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope.” The thing that I hope for and have faith in is simple. God loves me. He always loves me. On the good days, I feel His Love for me in the joy that comes. On the not so good days, I remember that He loves me based maybe on what He did the other day. But on those horrible, good-for-nothing, chaotic, heartbreaking, awful and tragic times, my hope is in His Steadfast Love alone based on the Word and His Spirit working in my life. The hope that I have is not in the everyday miracles or sudden moves of God in this place, but based solely and completely on the fact that He knows me and loves me anyway. The Lord wants to fill every void and vacancy of faith in our life so our hope remains confident and securely fastened to Him. He will never let go. The challenge is that we do not let go in times of turmoil and stress.

Luke 24:19-24 (ESV) And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

“But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”

When Jesus died, the people thought hope was lost. When did you lose your hope? What is challenging your faith in God today? Has life unexpected happened? Your hope is not gone. Like the men walking down the road, He is with you right now. His Spirit lives in us. It is up to us to build confidence in the hope we have. Confidence comes by knowing, understanding, believing, and trusting the Lord in the even ifs of life. When we put emphasis on faith in our life, it naturally produces hope as our expectation moves from what we can see to the things unseen. Miracles are exciting. Signs and wonders are exhilarating. Mighty moves of God change us from the inside out. To have faith and confident hope produce the kind of character that endures to the end and crosses over to forever. I have a confession to make. During some really hard times, I have tried to scrub off the faith/hope tattoo on my arm. Tired of fighting the good fight, not happy with the outcome so far, and just plain sick of hurting or even worse watching my loved ones hurt. In anger and frustration over unmet expectations, I hated it and wanted it gone in that moment. But you know what, it wouldn’t come off no matter how hard I tried. When I woke up the next morning, it was still there. My faith cannot be dependent on here and now but must remain in Jesus Christ. He is faithful. He is good. He is the one who can do exactly what He promises. He is my Living Hope even on those days when I lose my hope. Lord, let us hope less for ordinary things and find extraordinary hope in You!

Romans 15:13 (ESV) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Romans 12:12 (ESV) Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Psalm 71:14 (ESV) But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.

Do I Measure Up?

Do I Measure Up

Romans 12:3 (NLT) Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

How much is a measure? The King James Version of the Bible (which we all know is the one that Jesus wrote – written with a wink) tells us to “to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Again, I ask, “What is a true measure?” Just how much faith has God given me. According to Dictionary.com and its many sources, a measure is the extent, dimension and quantity of something, ascertained especially by comparison with a standard. People live by comparison which produces choices. Each day is filled with the same opportunities and though there are varying statistics it is all relegated down to a 50/50 chance because for freedom’s sake – we have a choice. Everyone is given a choice. We choose according the standard mode of operation or our moral code whichever is called for. Our life is evaluated by the comparison to others which produce an inner drive based on the estimation. How much is a measure? We are called to measure our life according to the faith God has “given” us. Does this mean that I don’t have to go looking for faith or be given it by another? Nope. You have all the faith you need to have a godly life filled with every spiritual blessing hidden in Heaven with your name on it. You don’t have to beg, borrow or steal from another or work yourself to death to have it. All you need is faith that you already have but have not discovered. It is in there. It is up to us by the Goodness, Grace and Glory of God to help us find it and apply it to our ordinary, mundane and lack luster life to produce the one that was written for us long ago, in our mother’s womb, when God created us to be His Masterpiece.

“I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.” (Romans 12:3 – The Message)

What if all we need to live a saved, healed, fulfilled, satisfied, content, abundant and prosperous life was already in us? What if there was nothing else to do but live and thrive in the Presence of God. Spoiler Alert – Everything I need to live a saved, healed, fulfilled, satisfied, content, abundant and prosperous life is inside of me… and you for that matter. I know what you are thinking. You don’t know me. You don’t know what I have done. The time that I have wasted. The choices I have made. The circumstances surrounding me. The thoughts impeding me. Or even the conditions that you are born in, subject to or remain in today – you are absolutely right – I don’t. But I know God! I know He is always good. I know that He is always faithful. I know that His Love will never fail. I know that His Grace is enough. Now I must figure out how to make this “measure” of faith find its way out of me…just like you do no matter how alike or different our life may be.

Romans 12:4-5 (NLT) Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.” We are part of the Body of Christ. The Body only functions properly when each member performs at an optimum level. In my natural body, if my foot hurts it will cause me to limp. My brain will register pain that my body responds to. I may tense up, clench my jaw and after walking favoring the hurt limb – my hip and back will begin to ache from improper alignment. Please don’t be offended when I say that the Body of Christ is limping along today. Rather than working together, it seems to prefer being apart. My elbow is not attractive. I keep it so I can move my arms around. My face is getting wrinkles but I am not going to cover it or I might start running into things. Our body functions as a unit as the Body of Christ is called to as well. Just before these verses Romans 12, the first two talk about being a living sacrifice and not conforming to this world. We have been given a measure of faith because our present life is not the glorious standard God had for us. God didn’t make you or me to live an impoverished life and money is the last of our problems. The limits on our life begin in our mind. The enemy releases a relentless attack each day on the mindset of God’s People. For every lie there is a truth or better yet a promise to be discovered in God’s Word. We must learn to combat every misgiving with God’s Grace, Truth and Knowledge not only learned but applied to every facet of our life. This will enable us to use the measure of faith given to make some accurate measurements of our life and decide where to apply it and watch it grow.

2 Kings 4:1-7 (NLT) One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.” “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied. And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim! “Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons. “There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing. When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

The unexpected came knocking. Her husband is dead. Her sons to be taken by a creditor to pay a debt. A religious woman who lived her life (supposedly) serving God. How could this happen? If God is so good, why would he allow her husband to die and her children to be in danger? Who is this God that she served? Why give another moment of another day to Him? The prophet came by “coincidentally” that day. He was not spouted parables or stories of victory but rather peddling some practical faith. Oh Lord, if the church would stop performing and take some time to peddle practical faith. The kind of faith people can use and apply to their life rather than something worthless and untrue. He asked her but one question, “Tell me, what do you have in the house? What’s in your house today? Better yet, what’s in your heart? She answered honestly, “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil.” Oil represents anointing. It represents those approved by God for His Service. You are anointed. Jesus died for you so that your full potential could be realized. He even gave you the faith to respond to the Lord. You have it all in that tiny temple called your body that belongs to God waiting to be consecrated to His Service. The prophet told her to borrow as many jars as she could find and begin pouring out the oil into them. Pouring out! I am down to this one little bottle of oil. The only thing of worth in my life and God is requiring it from me. Desperate times call for desperate measures. What did she have to lose? Everything. What did she have to gain? So much more…

What is in your house? What is in your heart? God often must allow our heart to broken so that we will release the potential in our life and achiever our purpose. Otherwise, we bottle it and stick it on a shelf for all to see but not of much use. Religion will always produce mediocrity in life because it is living up to and measuring up to man and our ability. A relationship with Jesus Christ, just like a strong and productive natural relationship, requires all of me for all of you. The oneship of relationship overcomes the monotony of life. My husband and I are well on our way to becoming empty nesters. With five children ranging from 27 to 14, I never thought the day would come when our house was not noisy and people all around. It is happening quickly. Our girls have an active life and a close friends. They do a lot with their youth group. Come Friday night the pack migrates to one house or the other. Even though it is just the two of us, my husband and I have spent almost two decades working on our relationship so now we are reaping some of the benefits. Had it not been so, this could be a very devastating time for us? We would have been perfect strangers in close proximity rather than best friends.

Faith is not a tangible measure but a new standard for our life. It contradicts the way of this world and does nothing for us held up inside. We can ask the Lord for faith but all we really need is the strength, confidence and courage to pour it out and watch it grow. It is tiny but powerful. You don’t need a lot just what you have properly applied to our life. If I measure my life according to other people, some days I am doing pretty good and other days I am quite dissatisfied. It is a roller coaster of thankfulness and discontentment that I am sure could be classified as a psychological disorder. I am called to live a rich and satisfying life because Jesus Christ died for me to have it. Sin kept me from God’s Glorious Standard, but His Grace is sufficient for me to have the life He planned, prepared and promised me from the moment that He made me. If I set the standard of my life according to worldly measurements, I will never have God’s Promised Results. It is when I take the measure of faith that the Lord has given me and begin to pour it out that I will see just how much potential is packed in a little granule the size of a mustard seed. We must stop trying to measure up to the standards of the world and let our faith bring us up to God’s Standard of Living again. But you can’t keep it in – the contents of our life must be poured out.

Ephesians 1:3-5 (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.

Human beings have a really difficult time wrapping their head and hearts around grace. It just seems too good to be true. How can God love me when I have done all these terrible things? When I choose lesser things just about every day? When I get mad at him for not doing it my way or when I want Him to? How about the fact that there is nothing I can do to earn it just accept it? That’s a tough one for me personally. I do not like to owe people anything. I don’t like to depend on others. Why? I have been hurt, betrayed, abandoned and let down many times in my lifetime and so it is easier not to depend on other people just look after myself. Am I being too transparent? I hope you can see through these words to my heart. I am no longer hurt or embittered by the battles in my life. But I am fully aware and cognizant of not only my need for God’s Grace but my desire to fully accept it along with His Unconditional Love. Here is yet another ground and heart breaking truth that I discovered. I don’t have to make faith. I don’t have to fake it. I have it. It came with the package. God gave me the faith to respond to every promise beginning with the one called salvation. He has already provided me “every spiritual blessing” so the faith that I have allows me to grab hold of that, too. The Lord has left nothing up to us but to accept the Fullness of His Love and live in it. All I have to give up is this broken, dysfunctional, ordinary, mundane life.

Matthew 13:31-33 (NLT) Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”

An oil flask in Biblical times probably only held about an ounce of oil. The woman poured jar after jar of oil from a tiny receptacle. My olive oil bottle in the pantry is about 17 ounces. I cannot imagine pouring it into garbage-can-sized receptacles and getting very far. Can you? However, when the prophet told her to do – she did. Why? She was desperate. The perfume flask in the alabaster box was about the same size. It was all she had gained from her giving herself away to all those people. But when she met Jesus – she couldn’t help but anoint him with it. She was desperate for Him. Are you desperate for the Lord today? Both parables describe the small amount of faith necessary to release the great potential God has planned for your life. You came with a purpose and plan far greater than you can think or ask. He is ready to do imaginable things in you and through you. He will give us perfect peace and inexpressible joy. Our life will be pressed down and shaken together just so it can receive and release all that is promised and purposed for our life. Our life is not just meant to be a blessing to us but the whole body of Christ. Withholding nothing, I have the potential and promise to have it all. What am I holding back? Am I willing to release it to have the fullness of God take over my life? You have all the faith needed to see signs, miracles and absolute wonders in your life. You have enough faith to move mountains hidden with the eternity in your broken human heart. Everything you need is packed in that package called you. Now what are you going to do with it? Stop trying to measure up to other people’s standards and let the Lord pour you out today! When we spend our life measuring it up to Christ, we cannot fail! Are you desperate today? Do you need a breakthrough? Are you willing to be broken? To pour your life out before Christ? Do you trust Him? Faith only needs a little trust to get the job done. In the Name of Jesus Christ – I ask you God to fill my family, friends, coworkers, church and even my enemies with a desire to release the measure of faith you have hidden in their hearts along with me!

Ephesians 4:13-15 (NLT) This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

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

To Die For

To Die For

Philippians 1:21 (NIV) For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

There is a worship song by Anthony Brown and Group Therapy called Worth that we sang yesterday in church. It says, “You thought I was worth saving so you came in changed my life. You thought I was worth keeping so you cleaned me up inside. You thought I was to die for so you sacrificed your life. So I could be free, so I could be whole, so I could tell everyone I know.” This song is a summary of my experience with Jesus Christ. Is it yours?

There is something about saying, “You thought I was to die for…” Jesus Christ saw me and decided that I was to die for. The first two lines remind me that I am grateful that Jesus changed my life. He shined a Light of His Love so brightly that I could come out of the darkness that once overshadowed me. I am so thankful that the Lord thought I was worth keeping. Like a piece of furniture tossed in the trash, picked up by someone who saw its potential. Taking home they cleaned it, sanded it down, repainted it and reupholstered it taking the time to make it what it should be again. Now someone’s trash has become someone else’s treasure proudly displayed in fulfillment of purpose as a masterpiece in their home. The Lord has indeed cleaned me up inside. I am not who the world told me I was or facing the consequences my life demanded. No, Jesus thought I was worth keeping.

With all these wonderful and awesome things that God has done through His Son in my life, the most powerful of all is that Jesus Christ thought I was to die for. I keep coming back to this verse and am consumed with the revelation that my Savior and Lord thought I was to die for. How is this even possible to an omniscient God who knows me inside and out? Why would Jesus think that I of all people would be worth dying for? The only thing that I can even slightly compare it to is the love that I have for my children. I would die for them. In fact, as our son battled cancer for three solid years, many times I begged and pleaded with the Lord to remove it from him and give it to me. Desperate to see our son delivered of the pain, suffering and possibility of death, I learned a valuable lesson. Jesus would not allow me to die for something that He already did on the Cross.

I Peter 2:21-25 (NIV) To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Jesus thought I was to die for. He decided to suffer for me. He committed no sin. Even when the very people who He was dying for insulted the Lord, He did not retaliate. He made not a single threat. Jesus trusted God, His Father. The One who judges justly. He bore our sins in His Body on the Cross. Every sin because there is no unforgivable sin or hierarchy chart of transgressions – Jesus died for every single one. His Grace is more than enough for me…and you. He did this so that we could live in right standing with God again. This allows us to be Children of God and be a part of His Kingdom once more. We were predestined to do so. Now we are free to return. By His Stripes, we have been healed. Do you agree? Do you have a sick loved one who is hurting in pain? Do you want to take their burden and ease their misery? You can’t. Even if their sickness fell upon you it would not ease their burden or satiate the misery that they feel, only Jesus can do it. Just Jesus, but we try to do it ourselves day by day.

2 Corinthians 5:13-19 (NIV)

If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.


For me to live is Christ and die is gain. Think about this verse again comparing it to your life. I am doing the same. Is my life summated in Jesus? Am I reconciling my life to Christ day by day? I have a confession to make. For a long time, I was a casual Christian. I didn’t want this thing to get out of hand though and turn into a crazy Christian. You know the kind that is over the top. They live in church. Always telling people about Jesus. They don’t do anything fun. The Gifts of the Spirit were cool and I desired all the Fruit of the Spirit, of course. I was not interested in operating in them though. I loved God. Jesus was my Savior. However, I kept it under my control. I made Jesus “Lord” over some areas of my life only to discover that He cannot be Lord without a total surrender. I was in control and fooling myself. I was reconciling my life and coming up short.

I wish I could say it was an epiphany or quiet revelation in my prayer closet that brought me to the place where I surrendered my whole life to reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. I would like to be able to tell you it was not a messy and brutal undoing of me including everything I believed, but it wasn’t. It was the moment that I discovered I had no control that I finally surrendered all control to Jesus. I have been a born again and Spirit-filled believer for more than a decade. I did not begin the process of surrender until about five years ago. I had to be broken to be rebuilt and fully reconciled to Jesus. Now I think people think I am “out of my mind”. Christ’s love now compels me because I am convinced that He thought I was to die for and did just that.

I am a new creation in Jesus Christ. Are you? Maybe if each person who comes to Christ could hear the worship song and its powerful message they might understand that it is nothing we do or don’t do that makes us worthy of His Love. Jesus loves us because He thought I was worth saving and keeping. In our pursuit of the Lord and all the benefits that He offers, it is easy to be misled and fall back into the worldly understanding that nothing is free. Free means that there is a catch. Trust no one. Rely on yourself. Before you quickly discredit these statements thinking that they are not the words from your mouth. Think of the situation in your life that stresses you most. What are you afraid of? Do you lack in any area of your existence? Are you dissatisfied? What are you doing about it? Do you say, “I trust the Lord, but…”? The only reason that I am saved, healed, delivered and restored is because Jesus thought I was worth dying for. I can do nothing to earn it or deserve it but must reconcile my life to it in total surrender and acceptance day by day.

“Not counting people’s sins against them.” Jesus covered your sin in His Blood. The same overflow that reached you is available to every other living breathing human being including the most heinous criminal or abased transgressor. It is not our job or responsibility to reconcile these folks to the doctrinal beliefs of our church but to open wide the doors welcoming all who will come. It is with this new mindset that we will see revival in our churches again. When we embrace the ministry of reconciliation with open arms beginning with the understanding that Jesus thought we were to die for…all of us.

Romans 14:7-12 (NIV)For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Every knee will bow before me, every tongue will acknowledge God. We will all give account for our life before God one day. Are you afraid to die? Do you want to put it off as long as possible? In his declaration, “for me to live is Christ and die is gain”, Paul goes on to explain the inner conflict in his life. He longed to be with the Lord in forever, yet felt compelled to stay and finish his work telling others about Jesus. What does your bucket list look like? Do you have one? What are those things you are putting off for later? What if tomorrow never comes?

In John 11:23-27, we are privy to a conversation between Jesus and Martha, sister to the now deceased, buried in the tomb, and stinking Lazarus. The Lord tells the grieving sister, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha quickly excuses it to the resurrection of the dead on the last day. Jesus presses further and tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die and whoever lives believing in me will never die.” He asked her point blank, “Do you believe this?” She says, “Yes” but her actions tell a different story. She goes to get her sister. Why? She lived for the future Messiah, not the Living God before her.

Please do not think that I am in any way condemning Martha because most days I resemble her more than Mary. Most people will tell you that they believe in God. The God that we meet after death. The Savior who is at the pearly gates whisking us away in His Grace. However, Jesus Christ is the Living God. He wants to meet us in our everyday life because He is alive. He lives in us. We have the same power in us that raised Jesus from the dead. Why are we not seeing miracles? Could it be that our excuse is rational thinking rather than radical faith? To fully reconcile to God through Jesus Christ is to conform our thinking and shape our life around a living God not a soon and coming King. Yes, He is Lord. Yes He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is alive today and wants to come to us in the land of the living giving us a new life today. We all live for something. We are slaves to one of three things: sin, man or God in Christ Jesus. Those who choose to give their life to the One who thought they were to die for will live now and forever. We all serve someone or something in life. For me to live is Christ and die is gain. Why? Because He thought I was to die for!

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV) You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I leave this thought with you today and pray it will work its way through your soul. Can you guess? You, my friend, are worth dying for! Jesus did it just for you so you could be free and you could be whole so you would let everyone know that His Love is alive today. Our ability to share the Gospel message is contingent our one’s ability to fully accept His Love and believe that it is unconditional and complete. We cannot give something away that we do not have. As I reconcile my life to Jesus Christ, it is not conformity to the Law but rather the mindset of my value and worth to Jesus Christ. I do not see the potential and promise that Jesus sees in me. It is when I place my life completely in the Presence of God and take my hands off of it that I see what God sees in me. He created me. He desires me. He loves me to the point of sacrificing His Son to save me from myself. Who loves you like that here? I venture to say not many. Even in my love and commitment to my husband and children, I will probably never have the opportunity to give up my life for them completely or sacrificially because His Grace is sufficient for us all. Anything that I can do or give them is small in comparison. Jesus died just for you. He thought you were to die for. Shouldn’t we live our life as such?

Colossians 3:2-4 (NIV) You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Depth Perception

Depth Perception

I John 2:26-28 (NLT) I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

Who’s right? In world with a wide range of religions and opinions, how do I know that the God I serve is the one true God? How do I know that Jesus Christ is the only way? What a person believes dictates how they live? They can say anything they like freely but it is in our behavior, attitude and actions that our true colors shine through. Jeremiah 13:23 asks “can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots?” What is he saying? No they cannot and “neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil.”  Oh please don’t be offended. I am in no way implying that you or yours are evil. I am just examining my own heart for relevance today. My life has physical implications. However, unless I develop an understanding of the spiritual implications that impact my life, I can do nothing of importance or significance for the Lord.

As believers, we are given God’s Holy Spirit to live in us and promote spiritual understanding that becomes knowledge and once applied the wisdom that guides our life in righteousness. How we see the world is reflected by one’s depth perception in life. Do we see things only in the natural? Have we dared to peer into our physical state? Do we long for the eyes of our heart to be opened? Light that shines in the darkness reveals the secrets hidden there. Once a lie is exposed to truth it can no longer be entertained as anything else. So we tiptoe as far across the line of fear into faith possible while still maintaining our ignorance and naivety when God has given us the ability to see well beyond the natural into the supernatural realm.

Ephesians 1:7-9 (NLT) He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan.

God in His Rich and Loving Kindness maximized by His Grace purchased our freedom with the Blood of His Son Jesus. He forgave our sins – past, present and future – in that moment. How? God is omnipresent meaning everywhere at once, omniscient meaning He knows everything and His Omnipotent meaning all powerful. It is in His Absolute Sovereignty as God alone that He is able to determine the Sacrifice of Christ acceptable and apply it to our life. He bestowed this gift to humanity. Limited in perception beyond what the five senses, the Lord is determined to connect with us. He not only showered us in loving kindness but gave us ALL wisdom and understanding. God revealed His Mysterious Plan to us. No He didn’t? Yes, He did!

We have the Holy Spirit. He is our guide. He is our teacher. He is significant in establishing depth perception in life that sees beyond the natural to embrace the supernatural. His Understanding reaches past the physical things to take hold of spiritual confidence. We are told to walk by faith and not by sight in a world that defines seeing as believing. Lord help us. Open our eyes to Your Glory, God.

Depth perception is the ability to perceive spatial relationships. It is the ability to determine the potions of objects in association with one another. This is heavily influenced by the development of the human brain and how it sees distance etc. It is also decided by experience. If an animal is exposed to a glass floor, it struggles to walk on it because it challenges their depth perception. If a person who is afraid of heights is given the opportunity to cross the same floor, they may be unable to do so because fear cannot see the floor just the distance between their feet and the ground. The distance between mankind and God is not as far as we think. In fact, it is not far at all because Jesus Christ lives inside of us. He has given us His Spirit to open our spiritual eyes, increase supernatural understanding, and prosper us from the inside out. However, human logic often talks us out of faith. Natural understanding defies the existence of God to the extent of its intelligence. It is because of ignorance that God’s People perish every day many thinking that they know a God that they have yet to see.

John 9:1-5 (NLT) As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus is the Light of the world. Light is the very thing that allows the eye to see. Without light, there is no sight. Light has a complex interaction with our eyes and brain that illuminate our world. Light reaches the eye and signals are sent to our brain. Our brain deciphers the information in order to detect appearance, location and movement of objects. When considering Jesus in such context, He is spiritual light. He shines brightly inside of us shedding light on our heart and soul giving us an opportunity to apply His Love, Grace and Power to all aspects of our natural life.

When Jesus saw the man blind from birth, the man was not crying out to the Lord. He was just sitting there. The disciples asked Jesus, “Why was this man born blind?” We are all born blind due to sin. We have the opportunity to have our eyes opened if we are willing to believe. The Lord used this man as an example. Note the reason that Jesus gave them, “This happened so the Power of God could be seen in him.” Well then… God will use whatever means possible to open the eyes of our mind, and the recesses of our heart, so the Light of His Love can expose anything that is keeping us from God’s Very Best.

A miracle happened that day. Now one might think this would be a happy ending to a life of disappointment. You know everyone would celebrate wildly and declare Jesus as Lord. Not exactly. One man’s healing sent a spiritual wave moving through the synagogue that day. The man’s friends questioned his miracle. Some discredited it as a mistake and that this was not the man they knew. They couldn’t comprehend such a miracle. It made its way to his parents who are called before the Pharisees. They agree that they have no idea what happened. They tell the religious leaders to ask their son essentially telling them to leave them alone. This miracle was quickly becoming their misfortune as their religion was now compromised. The Pharisees asked the man over and over again who repeated the same story. The man was ultimately thrown out of the synagogue.

Jesus met the man just outside of religion and other relationships. He asked the man, “Do you believe in the Son of God? The man answered the Lord, “I want to believe in him.” The man accepted Jesus in that moment. I believe that this occurs regularly in the modern day church when the miraculous overtakes our natural understanding. When Knowledge of God becomes too incredible to accept and His Doing too much to absorb, do we discredit the Lord among people unknowingly. The Lord is doing more than we can ask or think. We must think differently to make revival a reality or miracles will be dismissed by mindsets.

I Corinthians 2:13-15 (NLT) When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.

We must gain depth perception in Jesus Christ. We must understand the spiritual implications in our life. The Light of His Love shows us the areas of our life that are working with God’s Plan and sabotaging it as well. It is through knowledge and understanding that the opportunity for true wisdom to arise. The rippling effect of the blind man’s healing that day is no different than that which occurs in the modern day church every day. God moves and does the miraculous which is quickly shutdown. We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. Is anyone talking about the Blood? Where are all the testimonies?

Growing up Southern Baptist, I was inundated with the Word of God, scripture memorization and constant Bible study. However, the Holy Spirit was assigned the title of silent partner and the Book of Acts kept safely shut. It was quite frustrating to spend all that time in God’s Word but remaining powerless in life. Like a tiny boat tossed in a raging storm, my faith was weak and hope nearly gone. When I became filled with the Holy Spirit almost twenty years ago, something changed in me. Suddenly the Word of God began to make sense and became instantly applicable to my life. The more I read the more I wanted to know. The more I prayed the more I listened for His Voice. My life in Christ came together when His Spirit and His Truth began to commune in my life. All word and no Spirit sets up rules and regulations unattainable because there is no evidence of grace other than implied. All Spirit and no word is a highly emotional relationship status that will not be consistent or fulfilling because it lacks promise. The Word is the promises God keeps. We must live with a healthy balance of both to know and understand what the Lord would like to do in us and for us.

Colossians 2:7-9 (NLT) Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.  For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.

If our spiritual life has no depth and is not applicable to our natural life, miracles can happen in us, through us and around us that will go unnoticed. Explained away by chance, fate or misperception and we will miss the fullness of God living in us working its way out of us. Religion must give way to an intimate relationship taking God’s Word applying it to our life liberally and allowing His Spirit to have the freedom to work it through our life unrestricted. Our life cannot be supernaturally inclined without Spirit and Truth. Our life will not worship God without these two key ingredients either. Our perception of God must gain depth in our soul. Roots must grow in us connecting our heart and mind with Christ and His Kingdom rather than trying to make our life in Christ purely natural. If you do what the Word of God says, your life will prosper naturally. If you allow His Spirit to move you along there will be blessing apparent in your life as well. But if what we desire is the truly miraculous when all impossibilities become possible in Christ, we must gain depth perception that allows us to walk by faith and not sight. It will free us from human thinking and release us from bondage to empty philosophies as the Fullness of His Love reaches the inner most hidden places of our heart.

Philippians 1:9-10 (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.

Lord, give us greater depth perception of Your Love today. Life our tired hands to praise You and all wonderful things you are doing that we cannot comprehend but hold fast to in the Word. Strengthen our weak knees by Your Grace to stand in faith guarding our hearts and mind until You make it come to pass. Lord, may your Spirit mark out a straight path for my feet so I will not walk lame or limping again. Give me the courage to walk boldly in the Light of Your Amazing Love. To know You more and make You know throughout my realm of influence today Lord. Let me press harder to know how wide, long, high and deep that Your Love truly is. Let me see my life as You see it, live as You designed it and be fulfilled. Open the eyes of my heart Lord that I may live according to Your Word and Your Spirit. I give you the Glory for taking me deeper Jesus.

I John 5:20-21 (NLT) And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.


Be Greater

Be Greater

I John 4:4 (NLT) But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.


Need a pep talk today? Me too. Sometimes as believers who are constantly challenged to have greater faith and confident hope, our humanity becomes overwhelmed in the reality of the endeavor or gravity of the problem. Climbing the mountain, praying it will move, but not looking down leads us to a place greater than our courage. It is higher than our hope. It is massive compared to our motivation. If just for a moment we choose to look down, it is overwhelming. Paralyzing fear overtakes us. What if we fall? Oh, my dear but what if you fly?


I belong to God. I am His Child. I have already won the victory in every engagement I encounter. The Spirit of the Living God lives in me confirming these things. His Spirit is greater than any other spirit in the world today. My desire is to be greater to live in the realm of hope and never look back or peer down. I am only human so on those days that I am disobedient or rebel. You know those times that rather than looking at Jesus, my eyes are fixed on the wind and waves, I must choose to be greater. I am an overcomer hidden in a broken human form. God is alive and well inside of me looking for ways to manifest in my life. He pursues me with goodness and unfailing love just waiting for an opportunity to release it in my life. I must be greater. Isn’t this a contradiction? Not really.


John 3:30-31 (NLT) He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.


Does being greater contradict these verses? Not at all, it is confirmation of the transforming power of God and wonderworking power of the Jesus’ Blood. It implies that in laying down my pride and power over my existence that Christ in me will become greater which means every promise and purpose for my life can now be fulfilled just like He promised because I am no longer at enmity with God. Through right standing through the Grace of Jesus, I am free to become like Him. It is in the yielding of our life to the Lord that His Power is perfected in us and magnified through us. As I become less and less, Jesus becomes greater in my life.


The potter will always be greater than the clay. (Isaiah 29:16) Pride tells us otherwise as we decide to mold and shape our life into what we want it to be with a touch of Christ here and there. What happens is a misshapen, dysfunctional and non-useful life that cannot do what it sets out to do because of conflict. His Ways are not like mine. His Thoughts always higher. I can be greater but it begins by being less.


Luke 6:39-40 (NLT) Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.


I will never be greater than Jesus. The student cannot be greater than the teacher. But through understanding and knowledge turned to wisdom, the student can become like the teacher. There is a fine line here to be observed. Any time we think or believe that we can “do” something for God, we fall into the trap of self-perceived greatness which is called pride. If you think God needs you – you are wrong. The only power that you have over sin is Jesus Christ. He is the One who establishes our right-standing with God that allows us to enter the Kingdom. We cannot earn it in any way, shape or form. We must simply believe that He is greater in all things and seek to do His Will. God is greater than my feelings. (I John 3:20) It doesn’t matter how great I think I am. There is always that moment when I realize the error and folly in my thinking and come to the realization that I am nothing without Jesus.


John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He did many things that Jesus would do. He said many of the same things. He even baptized like the Lord would do but only with water. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, of all who ever lived none is greater than John the Baptist.” Jesus admired John. But wait there is more, “Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!” Simply put, John had not made Heaven yet. According to the Matthew Henry Commentary, Jesus was simply pointing out that John was still just a man though he possessed the Power of God. His perfection would come in his acceptance to Heaven because only then could he worship, serve and love God as he should. We must advance the Kingdom of Heaven forcefully. Evil advances many ways. Pride is the root that claims victim inside the church and within congregations. Those who do not need, desire and pursue God’s Grace every single day are worthless to the Kingdom and live apart from it.


John 15:12-14 (NLT) This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.


There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend. I must lay down my life to Jesus Christ to become greater than I am today. It is in the total sacrifice and surrender of self that His Grace becomes sufficient for me and His Power can work in me and through me every single day. It is not me exalting myself but in the exaltation of Christ that others see something of worth that they value and need. Laying down my life will never ever be comfortable. It is how we take up our cross and follow Jesus. To decide that this world holds nothing of worth for me but Kingdom has it all requires transformation and transportation to greater heights of faith and more deeper presence to secure our hope.


Psalm 71:20-21 (NLT) You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.


Are you struggling today? Did you dare to look down or around and not you are scared that your faith has taken you too far? Is hope becoming a bit shaky and unstable? Good! It is in those times of God’s Gentle or Not-So-Gentle Undoing that we find more grace and become greater. His Power works best in our weakness. We must become weak to be made strong. It is when we come to the end of ourselves yet still manage to take one more step that our faith grows a little more and hope secures itself to Christ again.


2 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NLT)  Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?


The Lord is inviting us to seek the greater glory that was promised to us. Knowledge of the Greatness of God calls us to do greater things. Solomon built a greater temple in the revelation of Greater God. (2 Chronicles 2:5-6) Haggai prophesied of an even greater temple that was coming. (Haggai 2:9) The greater temple is comprised of living stones attached to the Cornerstone who is Jesus Christ. To know the Greatness of God and choose to live in it is a harrowing task that yields the biggest reward. I must know that God is greater than any other god in order to operate in the fullness of such a revelation. (Psalm 135:5) Nathanael knew that Jesus was the Messiah instantly when Jesus told him that He saw the man sitting by the tree. Jesus went on to challenge Nathanael to take this little bit of faith and be greater. (John 1:50-51) What will it take for you to become greater today?


Hebrews 3:1-3 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest. For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire house. But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God.


God’s Greatness lives in us and is looking for a way out. Jesus said that those who believe in Him would do greater things. Are you doing greater things? Are miracles happening around you? Do you find sin less enticing? Do you feel a tug in your gut when you fail or fall short? We belong to God. We are partners with Him for life. Jesus is our Bridegroom. We are to remain in Him and He will live in us. The Holy Spirit represents God’s Holy Inhabitation of His People. As we live to honor this partnership and glorify the Greatness of God something happens to us. Building a life based on the Greatness of God makes the Holy Spirit at home in us. As we continue to defy the enemy choosing to build rather than abandon or teardown, His Greatness is manifested in our life. It is then we discover that decreasing is not a bad thing because His Greatness is better than life. Jesus deserves all the glory and in exchange He makes us great.


John 14:12-13 (NLT) “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.


To be greater, my life must consistently point to Jesus Christ. Glorying God alone releases His Power in my life so that it can reach the lost, dying, broken and hurting. I can do nothing apart from Him. As I renew my commitment to walk by faith and not by sight, it is with the profound desire to go deeper within God’s Inner Sanctuary to the place where His People dwell. I want to know Him more to day. My desire is that my life effectively represent Jesus Christ and not myself. As I continue to decrease, His Greatness will continue to increase in my life. I will influence others to know the Greater God that I have hidden in my heart. My hope will become stronger and less willing to stop waiting or give way under pressure. I desire nothing more than a total manifestation of God’s Power in my life to transform the lives of others by His Goodness and Love. I can only do that by pressing into His Presence. Establishing His Greatness over every feeling I possess. Jesus, I ask you to make us greater today. Move me out of the way, so that You can have Your Way in my life today, tomorrow and always. Nothing is worth losing my soul. I forfeit mediocrity for the miraculous today. King Jesus, I declare that You are Lord of my life and greater than any challenge, problem or battle I may face. You have overcome. I will overcome by the Greatness of who lives in me. I ask you to seal my heart and mind with the Greatness of Your Name! Holy Spirit give me confidence and boldness in all things that I may glorify the Father and Son in all things! I have total and absolute victory today just because You are greater


Hebrews 6:16-19 (NLT) Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 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.

Pay Attention

Pay Attention

Hebrews 2:1-4 (NIV)

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.


We must pay the most careful attention to what we have heard so we do not drift away. I am guilty of half-listening and thinking I have the whole-truth. You may do the same thing. Raising five kids demanded multitasking which often required quick evaluation and prioritization of needs based on who expressed themselves most clearly. Our youngest has a knack for drawing the greatest attention the quickest. She is the baby of the family. Always surrounded by her parents and siblings with a crowd of people telling her what to do, when to do it and how to do it, she learned quickly to assert herself within our family structure. But sometimes in the midst of the noise, it is important to note not so much what is said but remains unspoken. We must pay attention.


We have two somewhat quiet children. One son and one daughter who for most of their lives have been hidden in the pack. One left for college while there was still a houseful. He is still quiet. What we have discovered about our daughter is now that the crowd has dispersed and only two remain at home, she has come out of her shell. She is very talkative now. Her personality has been revealed in the intimacy of four rather than the chaos of seven. She will fall back in the ranks when everyone is home and doesn’t say quite as much but when she is alone with us – she is very different.


This morning, I read the story in 2 Kings 6 about Elisha and the prophets building a new place for the prophets to live and study under his leadership. At first, I didn’t know why God led me to this place just that I was supposed to read about the floating iron ax head. Yawning in the moonlight waiting on the dogs, the Holy Spirit just dropped it in my head. Even after reading the seven verses through two or three times, I couldn’t get the gist of this morning’s conversation so I stopped and asked the Lord to speak to me. I have been asked many times over the last seven years, where I get the content for the blog. How do I know what to write about? Okay, here’s the secret. Are you ready for it? God speaks to people. He is always speaking, we just don’t always listen. Every single day that I get up – I ask Him to tell me something, say anything, and then I wait until He does. It really is that simple. What about the other things in Heaven that we desire on the earth? Could they be just as easy as asking God to come into our lives and change us? What if we looked for every opportunity to see Heaven and earth agree would it make the atmosphere of our life different?


2 Kings 6:1-7 (NIV)

The company of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.” And he said, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?” “I will,” Elisha replied. And he went with them. They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!” The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.


A miracle happened in the midst of an ordinary day. Just men working on a new facility, and right there in the middle of their work – Heaven comes down to earth. How else might one explain an iron ax floating to the surface? After several attempts to discern the significance myself, I turned to good ole Matthew Henry and his useful commentary. My grandmother loved this man’s reflection on the scriptures. What seems like an account of an Old Testament miracle – no frills and chills just the facts opens the door to self-examination today that I did not expect. What if my life is not miraculous because of me? What it I am standing in the way of the unexpected and unexplained intervention of God on my behalf is all my fault? Okay, Lord, now You definitely have my attention.


A couple of things that I gleaned about the events of that day from the Matthew Henry Commentary – first, the prophets were hardworking, humble men. In an age were pagan prophets were revered and heavily favored by the government. These men – God’s Men were humble servants of the Most High God. When they expanded beyond the capacity of their dwelling, they went to build a new shelter. This was not a mission trip or ministry event. It was simply to build a housing facility yet they insisted the Man of God go with them. First, thought do I invite the Lord to come with me in everything that I do? Do I desire the companionship of Christ every step of the way even on ordinary days filled with mundane tasks? Am I aware of Him? Do I consult Him? Do I spend time with Him? Do I revere Him? Do I respect the fact that my Savior and Lord is with me always? Good question.


The second thing is the prophet. Elisha the prophet was their teacher. He was mentoring these individuals. Two things are noted about Elisha in the commentary. One – “Let no man, especially no minister, think himself too great to stoop to do good, but be tender to all.” And two – “That he was a man of great power; he could make iron to swim, contrary to its nature for the God of nature is not tied up to its laws.” True men (and women) of God are humble and hardworking. They possess a willingness to “stoop” to do good. They are tender to all. Elisha was a man of great power and taught others to act contrary to nature just as he was able to make the iron that day. It is important to pay attention to those who we follow as examples of Christ. Those who lead by example and live among the people are those who are like Christ. They are not caught up in the law but bound by love and commitment living lives of compassion as well we should.


“God’s grace can thus raise the stony iron heart which has sunk into the mud of this world, and raise up affections naturally earthly, to things above,” one final thought from Mr. Henry and maybe the most profound. God’s Grace is the miracle maker in our life. Jesus is the Grace of God extended to us. He gave us the Keys to the Kingdom. We have everything we need to bring Heaven to earth. To see miracles, signs and wonders. So why not here? Why not now?


Mark 16:15-18 (NIV)

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”


When our son received chemotherapy, each time I would sit by his side and pray Mark 16:17-18 as it began to makes its way through the tubes into his body. Chemo drugs are highly lethal and deadly. They require special conditions in the pharmacy where produced. Those who handle the bags they are in must where special thick purple gloves. Once ingested if the patient becomes ill one must wear complete protection that no body fluids come in contact with skin, etc. It is toxic. Our son is alive and in remission after five rounds of chemotherapy. He is a documented miracle who has defied medical statistics. I cannot even recount all the horrible side effects that he was promised or horrific aftermath foretold but he didn’t experience hardly any of them. God had His Hand over our son. I give Him all the Glory for his success and survival of the world’s most dreaded disease.


Today – I realize that there is more to the story here. The miracle is not the event but what precipitates it. I desire to see people healed of cancer. In fact, I expect it and pursue it wholeheartedly these days as I cry out for revival. The Lord is shedding light on the way. Jesus told us right before He left to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Unlimited expression of the message of Christ should be pouring from us. Is it? Let’s keep moving. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” This is a definitive statement and not a point of vacillation. We have been equipped and sent to be a disciple and make disciples of others. Our example is Jesus Christ… and men like Elisha. What if the signs that we seek are hidden in the events of our life not captured in a church service or tent meeting somewhere? What if in sharing the Gospel of Christ that changes hearts and makes irony stony hearts rise from the mud causes an outpouring of desire for communion with Christ. Such a trend elevates faith from the things of this world to the Kingdom of God which in turn will cause Heaven to touch earth. What if the next great revival starts in our ordinary life before it comes to the church? Oh friend, I think we are on to something.


Proverbs 27:17-19 (NIV)

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored. As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.


A corporate anointing is generated by individual connections to Jesus Christ. Iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another. Perhaps, it is in our discipleship and the discipleship of others that we will begin to see the next great revival. The Kingdom of God is always about one. It rejoices when “one” lost soul is saved. We must examine ourselves for genuine faith before we have anything of worth to give another. The only thing I have to offer another person is the Gift of Grace that allows us to break free from the bondage of sin and shame floating to the realms of the Heavenlies to experience His Goodness and Greatness in my life. Miracles begin in our heart. They begin at home. We will not see revival until our personal relationships with Jesus become constant companionships that motivate us to disciple others and walk them through the process that the Lord leads us through. He does not leave us, forget about us, get mad at us, demand His Own Way but with Grace and Compassion – the Lord sticks closer than a brother.


Elisha went with the prophets to complete an earthly task. Jesus will go when invited, wanted and acknowledged. The prophets wanted the prophet with them. Does our attitude and actions invite holy inhabitation or does our lifestyle and habits grieve the Holy Spirit? Those who guard the Fruit of God’s Spirit will usher His Presence deeper than ever before. The closer Christ comes the greater the evidence of His Existence in our life. Whoever preserves the Lord’s Place in their life will be honored. We must look in the muddy river for the iron ax head that is sinking. In doing so, we see our reflection. What do we see?


Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


We must pay attention. We must evaluate our relationship with Christ and give it the attention it deserves. The warning is clear. There are people who think they have a constant connection to the Lord and live in a relationship with Him who will be devastated one day to find out that Jesus doesn’t know them. It will even be some who we looked up to as great preachers and teachers who could deal the gospel but never dealt with their souls. The more I study revival the less I see me. The clearer it becomes that it is the Christ in me in need of full exposure. Until God’s Love is completely radiated in all I say and do, revival will remain a thought not an event. Revival is not so much a corporate event but an individual calling that gathers in one place on Sunday. What if revival is in me but I am not letting it out? I want to change. I must pay attention. For me to live is Jesus Christ. He has done miracle after miracle in my life. How do I continue to see such things until it is a daily event? Well, all I know is that Jesus came calling when I could do nothing. As I decrease, He increases. When I am powerless and weak, His Grace has been more than enough to change the situation and make a miracle happen. So maybe it is in the continual sowing of my life…all of it… day by day… moment by moment… even in the most ordinary of tasks that my stony heart will change and His Glory will fill more of my life.


Acts 5:12-16 (NIV)

The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

Is Jesus Alive?

Is Jesus Alive

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.


This morning many children will awaken to find baskets filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Before getting ready for church, they will hunt plastic eggs hidden around the house. There are even some who will marvel at little powder paw prints left by the mysterious rabbit. No different from Christmas and Santa Clause, parents continue the legend and myth to bless their children and fill their childhood with memories. I am not anti-fun. So please do not get me wrong, but I have always struggled with the idea of these two images with my children.


Several years ago, it was a rare occasion when my husband and I were along with our youngest child who at that time was around six or seven. It was a hot summer day and we had decided to take her to lunch spending some time with just her. Sitting in the backseat looking out the window in clear contemplation, she suddenly asked, “Mom, if I ask you a question will you tell me the truth.” I immediately assured her that I would. She then asked, “Mom, is Santa Claus real?” Silence. Now I know to some moms and dads this would be a devastating question, those who thrive on this age old tradition. My husband looked at me as if to say, “What now?” I said, “You know once you know the truth, you cannot ever go back to believing anything else, right?” “So he’s not real,” she countered. “No, he’s not.” Several long moments went by, “You know that Jesus is real right?” I asked her. See this has been my concern all along with the concepts of unreal figures making fiction factual. Harmless fun that might impact her ability to believe in the unseen. I know, I am weird about that. She immediately and confidently replied, “Of course, Jesus is real!” Relief flooded my heart and soul in that moment.


Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is truly the greatest day in history even exceeding His Birth and Crucifixion because the moment He left the tomb – all things became possible to those who believe. I ask you today, “Is Jesus real? Do you believe that He is alive? Does He live in you?” These are important questions. Many people will set their alarms giving up their usual Sunday morning routine to go to church – one of only a few that they will ever attend. Some will even walk down to an altar and surrender their life to Christ for the first, second, third, fourth or a hundredth time. But without faith, confidence and certainty in the questions above, it will mean nothing. Truth can impact our life only if we believe.


What you believe impacts your life? No matter what it is, the nugget of truth we accept creates ripples in the mind like a stone cast onto a lake interrupting the surface and changing its movement. If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation. A new life begins. A new person begins a process of molding and shaping into the Image of God through Jesus, His Son. New life. Resurrection life requires death of the man or woman who existed before because now our life operates under a new Truth. A new plan. A new identity. As we become reconciled to God, our life takes on new meaning and with that a new message comes forth. We become Ambassadors of Christ who is an authorized messenger and representative of the Living God. So in order to answer the question, “Is Christ alive?” Historically, yes. There is natural and scientific evidence that the tomb was empty. But where did He go? He released His Spirit to live inside of us. Now all things are possible to those who believe.


2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


When the Spirit of the Living God, Jesus Christ makes a holy inhabitation of our life. It changes us from the inside out. Faith is the conduit of change. Faith is our confidence and trust in a person or thing that is not based on proof. Do you see my dilemma with the mythical images for our children? Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom to live by three things that are constant: faith, hope and love. We have all three of these ideas in us as God has placed Eternity in our heart. Salvation in Spirit and Truth granted us by Jesus allows us to be transformed by His Glory within us to who we were created to be not who we have become. It makes the impossible possible for those who believe. What do you believe today?


Hebrews 6:4-7 (NIV)

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.


I can remember landmark images of places and times that I know that God came close to me. When I was eleven years old and felt Him draw me to an altar. I mumbled a prayer with a pastor who honestly all that I can remember are not his words but that he had really bad breath. I remember screenshots of time when I would say or do something knowing it was not me but only later realizing it was the Holy Spirit working on my behalf. I remember giving my heart to Jesus as a teenager and trying really hard to live a godly life just like our youth pastor told us to. I tried to do everything he said so that I could have a right relationship with God. This religious worship held me until my early twenties and then back in the wilderness I wandered. Like got really messy and the message of God’s Perfect, Strict Plan now was barred by the flawed and errant person I had become. I missed it. I could never had that kind of right relationship and must settle for the crumbs of repentance left behind by the perfect. Wrong again. When I met my husband, we both had drifted far but when we met something changed. Though difficult to discern, there was a desire for the Lord deep within us that quickly connected making us inseparable so we married within about six months. We began pursuing the Lord from that moment on. I remember the night that it all came together laying before the Lord at the Altar. There would be no turning back. Would I sin again? Yes. Would I fail at faith again? Yes, miserably. Did God still want me? Absolutely. Is Jesus alive? Yes, He met me right there and I was filled with His Spirit and Life-Giving Power that moment. Things have never been the same. They will never be the same.


See once you are “enlightened” and the Light of God’s Love fills you, you can’t go back. I cannot explain it but even in our wanderings – He is there. He never leaves us or forsakes us even when we do not want Him. As many head to church today, the empty tomb is still barren and Jesus stands in all His Glory before us. He says, “Can I come in?” He is wondering if today will be the day that you will allow Him to come in and renew you. He wants to restore you today. He wants to bring dead things to life. He wants to make every impossible thing possible. We must only believe that God has raised Him from the dead and invite Him into our life. Is Jesus alive? Yes. Does He live in you? I have no idea. I know only that He lives in me.


John 14:10-12 (NIV)

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.


Our little girl, the baby in our family, thrives on truth. She cannot operate without it. She googles everything she does not know in an attempt to end her ignorance. It is really difficult to get one by on her. She requires brutal honesty. She loves Jesus. I know she does because of her innate nature that desires truth in all things. As we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, I am compelled to examine my own heart and mind for faith. Jesus told His disciples that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even great things than these.” If my life is not a complete spectacle of God’s Works including signs, miracles, wonders, unnatural grace and ridiculous love – there is more room for Christ in my heart today. Apart from Christ I can do nothing so the barren areas represent room to grow. (John 15:4-5) The Holy Spirit produces spiritual fruit that should be evidence in my life that Christ dwells in me. (Galatians 5:22-25) I should walk in step with God’s Spirit. I cannot base the fullness of Christ in me on the religious condition of my life. Traditions can make us do all the right things and still miss the mark. Anything I can do does not require faith, therefore it is manmade. The Word of God is often twisting just as the message in the childhood game called “Telephone” as people take the Word and put a softer more gentle spin on it to accommodate the compromises and sin in their own life which others adopt as the doctrine for their life. Do you see the problem? (I John 4:1-3)


The Fruit of God’s Spirit in our life can only be produced by His Spirit. Without the Truth of God’s Word planted deeply in a heart filled by His Spirit it will produce nothing of worth just weeds. God searches our heart looking for His Spirit. (Jeremiah 17:10) He allows us to know the contents in our words and deeds. (Luke 6:45) What is our message? It must be no less than to confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart. (Romans 10:9) This is salvation. This is the beginning of life. This is evidence that Christ is alive in us.


2 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NIV)

For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.


To reconcile our life to Jesus today requires that I compare the evidence in my life, heart and mind to God’s Truth and yield to His Spirit for confirmation. Faith is the evidence that I believe. Once we discover the Light of God’s Love and experience His Grace in person, there is no going back. Not because He grabs us violently but because He holds us so tenderly. His Love makes us want to love Him back when we allow the Lord to enter an intimate relationship with us. He will not force His Love on us for that would not be love at all. His Spirit sets us free from sin and begins to produce those things in us that God desires. The fruit that He longs to consume. Jesus wants to reveal Himself to us. He longs to let His Love change us from the inside out. He went to the Cross thinking only of us and came out of the tomb pursuing us. His Love drives Him to possess us. By faith we discover this love, in that moment every impossible thing becomes possible. Imagine. I have been married for many years. God blessed us in our partnership. My husband instills in me things that apart from him I would never have discovered about myself. He builds my confidence. He has taught me to trust. If that much can come from an imperfect relationship, imagine entering into a relationship with a perfect Lover who teaches us to love perfectly, too. The Lord longs to set you free today. He doesn’t want to change the way you act just what you believe. In doing so, an impossible life becomes one filled with miracles, signs, wonders, fulfillment and completion. Is Jesus alive? Yes. You will determine if He lives in you!

I choose today and every day to let Him live in me. Even today, I ask the Lord to examine me and see if there is any more room to bring the dead to life.


Psalm26:2-3 (NIV)

Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.

Give Me a Sign

Give Me A Sign

Mark 16:16-20 (NKJV)

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Like a soda can being shaken until it is ready to explode, longing for someone, anyone, to pull the top and release the pressure. This is my spirit today. It began last night. Enough is enough. My heart is pounding under the force of desire. I am absolutely convinced that it is God’s Will for us to “lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” Let’s review. In My Name, Jesus told us that those who believe will have certain signs that follow. They will cast out demons. Been there, done that. They will speak in new tongues. Check. They will take up serpents. Some things are just not within a person’s gifts and anointing so I will leave this to the professionals. I hate snakes. They will drink deadly things and it will by no means hurt them. Praying and believing for over three years of chemotherapy and radiation being pumped in our son, who now is in total remission, completely healed by the Hand of God probably is confirmation for this one. My bucket list is down to this: “they will lay hands on the sick AND they will recover.” This is my desire.

I am a believer. I am saved. I have been baptized by water and by fire. I have everything I need to see signs and miracles come to pass. It says that these signs “follow” those who believe. It is not something I must chase after but according to this life that I live. In the couple months, the Lord has been stirring with in me though I will admit I really didn’t know it. Like a frog in a pot of water on a slow boil, I didn’t really notice that it was getting hotter until now. Hurting, sick and even dying people thrust into my midst yet just beyond the reach of my human hands. So much so that when the call came last night from my daughter, my heart cried, “Enough!” Her best friend’s mom has entered Hospice. I have a love/hate relationship with this wonderful group. I love what they do and their ministry to families in their greatest time of need. Truly selfless people bound together and making a difference. I want to put them out of business.

Looking back over the last five years, I cannot help that in the midst of circumstances, consumed by self, that the Lord was conditioning me for the future. Burning away the insufficiencies of faith that trusted Him for natural things rather than the supernatural promises hidden in His Word, Will and Way. I was settling for life goals when all along He had Kingdom Principles in mind. I sat in waiting rooms, surgery suites, and hospital rooms. Roaming the halls of the sick and dying feeling heaviness in the midst of their anguish. My focus, naturally, was on our child. Fighting for his life, yet I had such peace and resolve that God’s Promise would hold us to the end whatever that may be rather medicine was the catalyst or the Saints of God laying hands on him in the end – I knew that our son would make it. I just did. When God speaks to me in an audible voice, I grab hold of that. If the Lord can do it for my son, I know He can do it for all His Children. Show me a sign, Lord. Speak to us today. Let those signs that follow me as a believer soon overtake me just as Your Word says.

John 3:5-8 (NKJV)

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to Jesus. He believed that no man could do what the Lord was doing unless God was with Him. He shared the Gospel Plan with Nicodemus that night in the cover of darkness. You must be born again. I know that many people offer many ways to God’s Kingdom. There is only one Way and His Name is Jesus. Repentance is to turn from the darkness and sin of this world and enter the Light of His Love. Grace is the grease that turns the wheel of our life as we move in a new direction. I have walked to many altars but only two stand out in my mind. When I was eleven years old, I asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. I did not really know what that meant but felt something warm and inviting deep in my belly telling me to go so I did. After my husband and I got married, we began attending church again after many years. It was in a revival one evening that I gave it all to Jesus and in return He filled me with His Spirit. I have never ever been the same. I think before we can expect God to move visibly around us – He must begin His Work within us. There must be a change of heart so radical that it can only be at the massaging of its Creator as He molds and shapes us removing the old and making way for the new. This is the birthplace of faith that will lead to confident hope. Many begin here and choose to remain here.

Hebrews 2:1-4 (NKJV)

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

How does one “neglect” their salvation? To come to Jesus and then walk right back into their natural life with no regard. The modern day church has decided that grace is our exception allowing us to remain comfortable and complacently positioned in the gray area of life. Grace facilitates a change in us that is otherwise humanly impossible. His Grace is enough for me. I must learn to live in His Grace rather than trying to use it as a buffer allowing me to sin without consequence. Every sin bears a consequence. Jesus bore the weight of our sin.

The Word of God nowhere indicates that grace promotes sin without consequence. We must take “earnest heed” or pay attention to how we live if we truly desire His Kingdom to come here on the earth. Primarily, we must do so in order to make it into His Kingdom in the first place. Doing nothing to earn my salvation requires acceptance as a Gift, I must maintain a connection to the Giver. His Spirit inside of me making His Way out of me is a strong indication of whether I am one with my Heavenly Father or drifting back into the world. The Book of James describes in best – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” To experience the signs, wonders and miracles promised in His Word requires doing what He says over and over again as we develop our true identity in Jesus Christ.

John 20:26-29 (NKJV)

 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

To be completely honest, I was not a true believer in the beginning. People would testify about sings, wonders and miracles including healing and deliverance, but I was not convinced. I decided from the beginning that it would take the completely impossible to believe. Boy, did I come to regret that quickly. I did not realize just how hard and stubborn my heart once was but not anymore. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. He is faithful. Completely able. Right on time.

When Thomas heard that Jesus was alive again, he told the others – “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Two sayings ring true in my head here – be careful for what you wish for and never say never. Our words hold power and never means impossible. Jesus came to His Wayward Disciple and said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” I am convinced today more than ever before that my belief in God must move far beyond my five senses and emotions to experience His Kingdom on the earth and spark a revival in my heart and community. We must believe without seeing Him. We must go on His Word.

I Samuel 10:6-9 (NKJV)

Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you. You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.” So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.

When Samuel anointed Saul to be King of Israel, he has a long list of instructions to go with it. He told Saul that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him and that he would be turned into a new man. Change was coming. Obedience would be required. Saul did exactly what the prophet told him to do, “when he turned his back to go from Samuel (obeyed) that God gave him another heart. Saul’s heart changed with his first step of radical obedience. He turned. He did not look back but turned his back and started walking out God’s Plan for him. Obedience will be required. Signs, wonders and miracles are orchestrated by God and put in order. They are following those who believe enough to obey God and will soon overtake those who remain committed. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and made Him Lord through obedience, you are in alignment with His Kingdom so His Kingdom will come to us if we continue. Saul did not. His anointing turned him into a madman outside of faith.

To be transparent, I have struggled for many years with God’s Calling on my life. I have ran ahead and fallen behind more times than I can count. I know that my faith has been a comfort and challenge many times. I am old enough now to see that obedience is the catalyst of change in our life. We endure the changes of life by faith and confident hope in King Jesus. His Power and Authority is the only strength I have. This life is hard. It is unexpected. Darkness is unrelenting and requires constant attention to the Light. Fear can drive the most dedicated and devoted Christian to the edge of rebellion. Not because they do not love the Lord and want to serve them, faith takes us beyond our self and natural control. Psalm 65 talks about God’s Mighty Works and Awesome Power as it identifies those who are afraid of God’s Signs. He sees you wondering. He has sparked a desire for more. Most people will not understand. You may even be ostracized by those who told you to believe in the first place. I locked myself in years of bondage to the opinions of others who thought I was some “spooky spiritual” person. It was locked away that I endured the greatest battle I have ever faced. It was not cancer. It was the enemy trying to take my faith in God. I won if even only barely. Now a warrior is rising up who does not care what others think of me, my primary concern is what God thinks of me. How about you? Do you feel like there is more to all of this than meets the eye? You are right. There absolutely is. Do you want to see His Kingdom on the earth? Me, too. We are part of a remnant. A small group of believers that want His Power to touch the earth and save all people.

Daniel 4:2-3 (NKJV)

I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation.

Daniel 6:26-28 (NKJV)

I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His Kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His Dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Are you ready for signs and miracles to overtake you? Am I? Well, there is a message from our friend, Daniel that must be taken into account. “I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.” It was this mentality that thrust Daniel in the midst of lions. It knocked Joseph face down in a pit. Endurance is born of perseverance. Are you ready to persevere? Are you okay with being pressed? Can you take the hits that come from ridiculous faith and radical obedience? In Daniel 6, we see the reward of Daniel’s faithfulness and obedience as King Darius issues the order that all men and women shall serve the God “who has delivered Daniel from the power of lions.” What happens when you are put to the test? What is your vocabulary under pressure? Until the signs and wonders of life point directly to Jesus Christ, we will not experience them. Faith under pressure. What does it produce? Until it is all about Jesus – nothing really.

John 6:26-27 (NKJV)

Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Seek the Son and not the signs. In seeking Jesus and only Jesus wholeheartedly, miracles will come. It is the intensity of our pursuit with full expectation in the impossible being made possible that we discover them all around us. The signs followed the disciples and touched people they did not even stop to lay hands on. It can happen in you and me when we become lost in Jesus and not by public opinion. We live in a day and age when the signs of the times are all around us including false prophets and teachers saying that they produce is of God when it is clearly not. The Fruit of God’s Spirit must be evident for it is the food of everlasting life. We must strive to know Jesus more and more and become like Him to spark a true revival. Revival in each human heart will produce the kind of atmosphere where miracles are present, signs seen, and wonder experienced. We have the Light of His Love all cooped up in us who are just ordinary people going through life together. If we can somehow manage to break free of fear and all the busy distractions to turn completely from this life and pursue the Lord wholeheartedly body, mind and spirit – His Glory that has been following us will soon overtake us.

Galatians 3:4-8 (NKJV)

Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”