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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Avoiding trials – a lesson from Jonah

The word of the Lord came to Jonah, arise, go to Nineveh, the great city and cry against it……But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.  Jonah 1: 1,2

We know from this story of Jonah that God asked him to go to Nineveh, but rather, he chose to disobey the Lord and flee to another city, but as the word points, he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord.  Because of Jonah’s disobedience, God chose a large fish to swallow Jonah while on a boat during a raging storm.  We know based on scripture that God caused the storm and spoke to the fish to swallow him.  The question you have to ask…..was it God’s will for the trial?  NO!  God will use situations and circumstances to get our attention.  I believe that we do endure specific trials for our growth, but how many could we avoid by just obeying God?   God uses this as an illustration in a decision I chose to be disobedient.  I had been in a relationship that was divinely chosen by Him.  There was always an under current of anger from my partner and yet the Lord continually gave me scripture in Proverbs and 2Timothy, ‘only fools get into strife’ or ‘the Lord’s bond servant must not be quarrelsome’.  I chose to engage the strife and making matters worse by disobeying.  I believe the dissolution of the relationship was a conseqence or a self invoked trial that was brought on myself.  Once Jonah realized his brush with death, he repented and we read that the fish vomited him onto dry ground. This is not a feel good message, however, it should cause us to look inward and ask, have I brought this trial on myself?  If so, what do I need to repent of?  Can you think of a time where God had asked something of you and you disobeyed?  Also, we must realize that our disobedience is taking us from God’s presence and therefore, he will not bless your decision and you are no longer under His protection.  We must remember that when God asks something of His children, it may not make sense and it may seem difficult, but God always has a good plan for His children and it is ALWAYS for our benefit.  If you read many scriptures on marriage, you will see that a Husband’s prayers are hindered if they are not treating their wives with honor.  If a man’s prayers are hindered, then that means that most things are not working, because he has no power in prayer.  That is one example that by not following God’s principles, it has a cause and effect, which God is trying to prevent for His children.  Like me, when I chose to disobey, God was not blessing my relationship and we lost protection.  What has God asked of you and you chose to disobey?  to forigve someone?  to apologize even though you are right?  to turn away from a particular sin?   I heard a teaching months back on Jonah and the woman literally googled whale’s vomit…..there is a black substance in the vomit that is an actual ingredient that makes Chanel perfume!  How could something so valuable be in whales’s vomit?  Here is the correlation……..If we are currently in a trial that has been brought on by ourselves, let’s be quick to repent so we can end up on a dry ground (Lord) and come through learning something valuable that would be a sweet smelling aroma for the Lord living in blessing and protection. AMEN?!

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Posted by on January 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The best

And He has brought us (me) to this place and has given us (me) this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.  Dt. 26:9

I have always read this and familiar scriptures that pertained to our promise land.  It has been recently that I have gotten a deep revelation of what God means and what we are to have as believers.  We are all to dwell in that good place.  I have always had some capacity of peace since receiving Christ in my life.  Today I am living a much deeper sense of that.  What I mean, is that there is an element of peace of knowing the word and trusting God.   But there was always an energy if I can define it that way or anxiety or just an unsettling feeling with me always.  I cannot thank God enough for the process that I have gone through and the healing that I have allowed Him to do in me.  It has been a very rough road for the past year and God has healed some very deep wounds.  I can pinpoint a crossing over or right of passage.  One day I literally woke up and I knew I was different, that something major had taken place.  Through my process that has been very difficult I allowed God to make the changes in me and remained obedient no matter the cost.   I can say that in this journey that I have entered into that good land, I know that I will go deeper, but this side of its borders are wonderful.  What does that look like for me?  Approximately six months now I have a contentment and peace that I have never had.  I literally want for nothing and I don’t have that anxiety that I really did not know was there, until it was gone, I suppose I was just used to it being there.  Since I have this contentment I no longer have desires to chase anything in the world to fill a void.  What was my void?  A need for acceptance – which could be temporarily filled with new clothes, going out on the town, alcohol or even a man.  That void has been dealt with and it is filled by the only one who can fill it and that is Jesus!  Materially speaking, I love my home which I used to hate because I used to share it with someone, I love my ministry and I have a new job to help generate income so I can travel more, I have great friends that surround me, I love my church and most of all I love God and am grateful for the precious gift of peace.   I did research on the scripture referenced in Deuteronomy and the phrase milk and honey means “the best part of the whole”.  I believe that with everything in me that God wants the BEST for us.  Jesus said in John 14 ‘peace I leave you, my peace I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you‘.  I can testify that the worldly things that you are chasing to find peace is only temporary, Jesus gives a different kind of peace that can come from no other.  If you want that peace, please pray with me.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the price that you paid, giving your life so that I can have your peace.  I choose today to make you Lord of my life and I ask that you would come into my heart.  Cleanse me of all unrighteousness and create in me a clean heart in Jesus’ name, Amen!

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Legacy

I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer.

Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else.

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed. Habakkuk2:1-3

Over the past 10 months I have gone through a journey of recovery and the Lord has pulled up roots of rejection and abandonment.  The Lord is preparing me to be a Proverbs 31 woman….a woman who wants to leave a different legacy than what has been passed down.  Most recently the Lord has been giving me visions and in these visions he shows me losing my temper with someone because I had been in a situation where the other person was being very inconsiderate.  I remember in the vision that I felt entitlement, however, I was embarrassed for losing my temper.  In this vision I was at my grandfather’s house.  Symbolically when one is at a grandparent’s house, the Lord is showing where a tradition, learned behavior or even where a generational curse is.  I learned from the vision that I could have been right in my entitlement but I could have responded totally different.  I was in the word last night and I received this passage in Habakkuk like always when the Lord is going to give me divine revelation.  I had yet another vision where I was with someone and they were doing things that irritated me and I pointed out what I hated to them.  I believe in life people are always going to irritate us because of our differences but what I was taking from this was God pointing out something in me.  I woke up this morning realizing that on one side of my family is a lot of passive aggression and on that side, my grandparents are still married, but one spouse had just settled in and became reconciled to stay with the other.  They are both still alive, but I know that they are very unhappy.  The same is true with one of my parents.  Their marriage is just like their parent’s marriage.  One spouse is just reconciled to be with them and they are miserable.   I am striving to have healthy relationships and want to leave a legacy of life.  In order to do that, God is revealing to me that I cannot continue those same patterns of griping, complaining, strife and manipulation through anger.  Once I got that download from God today I prayed because this was the way I was raised, it was a way of relational interaction and to get what you wanted.  My prayer is for God to help me and to give me wisdom and to remove the selfishness and pride from me, so I can put someone’s emotional and physical needs before mine and trust God that He will meet mine.  Another thing I heard this week to add to all this is ‘don’t compete with your spouse because the relationship is not a competition, but rather give up the competition which could be your fight to be right, actually fight for the relationship instead of against each other and the relationship wins rather than 1 person having to win’.

Pray with me:  Lord Jesus thank you so much for revealing the character defects and thank you so much that you have begun a good work in me and you will perfect that work.  I pray for relationships that will give you glory and let it start with me…help me be a better friend, sister, aunt, daughter, employee and ultimately wife.  I cannot do this without you and please give me wisdom where it is lacking and help me give mercy and forgiveness when it is needed.  Help me to give up being right, you said that when my actions are pleasing you, that you will cause my enemies to be at peace with me.  Help me to be patient as your word says in Habakkuk and not to get weary in well doing.  In Jesus name Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Afflictions of Love

The word says that we must share in Christ’s sufferings and I have one in particular that has been for a lifetime….This is what God is ministering to me in this season as I am growing through it and of course I look in the review mirror of my life that the suffering has brought God a joy that has and will bring God great glory…..it is a mind shift of seeing my suffering from a victorious point of view rather than through a lens of victim….I have to pass this and believing revelation concerning your own life. ckk

Wounding is inevitable if we are following Christ. Jesus was both “marred” (Isaiah 52:14) and “wounded” (Zechariah 13:6), and if we are sincere in our pursuit of His nature, we will suffer as well. How else can love be perfected?

Yet, let us beware. We either become Christlike and forgive, or we enter a spiritual time warp where we abide continually in the memory of our wounding. Like a systemic disease, the hurtful memories destroy every aspect of our reality. In truth, apart from God, the wounding that life inflicts is incurable. God has decreed that only Christ in us can survive.

Intercessors live on the frontier of change. We are positioned to stand between the needs of man and the provision of God. Because we are the agents of redemption, satan will always seek the means to offend, discourage, silence, or otherwise steal the strength of our prayers. The wounding we receive must be interpreted in light of God’s promise to reverse the effects of evil and make them work for our good (Romans 8:28). Since spiritual assaults are inevitable, we must discover how God uses our wounds as the means to greater power. This was exactly how Christ brought redemption to the world.

The Power of Redemption

Jesus knew that maintaining love and forgiveness in the midst of suffering was the key that unlocked the power of redemption. Isaiah 53:11 tells us, “By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.”

Jesus possessed “revelation knowledge” into the mystery of God. He knew that the secret to unleashing world-transforming power was found at the Cross. The terrible offense of the Cross became the place of redemption for the world. Yet, remember, Jesus calls us to a cross as well (see Matthew 16:24). Wounding is simply an altar upon which our sacrifice to God is prepared.

Listen again to Isaiah’s prophetic description of Jesus’ life. His words, at first, seem startling, but as we read, we discover a most profound truth concerning the power of woundedness. He wrote,

“But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand” (Isaiah 53:10).

How did Jesus obtain the power of God’s pleasure and have it prosper in His hands? During His times of crushing, woundedness, and devastation, instead of retaliating, He rendered Himself “as a guilt offering.”

The crushing is not a disaster; it is an opportunity. You see, our purposeful love may or may not touch the sinner’s heart, but it always touches the heart of God. We are crushed by people, but we need to allow the crushing to ascend as an offering to God. The far greater benefit is the effect our mercy has on the Father. If we truly want to be instruments of God’s good pleasure, then it is redemption, not wrath, that must prosper in our hands.

Love: A Glorious Perfection

So, when Christ encounters conflict, even though He is the Lion of Judah, He comes as the Lamb of God. Even when He is outwardly stern, His loving heart is always mindful that He is the “guilt offering.” Thus, Jesus not only asks the Father to forgive those who have wounded Him, but also numbers Himself with the transgressors and intercedes for them (Isaiah 53:12). He does this because the Father takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11), and it is the pleasure of God that Jesus seeks.

Is this not the wonder and mystery, yes, and the power, of Christ’s Cross? In anguish and sorrow, wounded in heart and soul, still He offered Himself for His executioners’ sins. Without visible evidence of success, deemed a sinner and a failure before man, He courageously held true to mercy. In the depth of terrible crushing, He let love attain its most glorious perfection. He uttered the immortal words, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Christ could have escaped. As the Romans came to arrest Him, He told Peter, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53). In less than a heartbeat, the skies would have been flooded with thousands of warring angels. Yes, Jesus could have escaped, but mankind would have perished. Christ chose to go to Hell for us rather than return to Heaven without us. Instead of condemning mankind, He rendered “Himself as a guilt offering” (Isaiah 53:10, emphasis added). He prayed the mercy prayer, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).

Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also” (John 14:12). We assume He meant that we would work His miracles, but Jesus did not limit His definition of “works” to the miraculous. The works He did—the redemptive life, the mercy cry, the identification with sinners, rendering Himself a guilt offering—all the works He did, we will “do also.”

Thus, because He lives within us, we see that Isaiah 53 does not apply exclusively to Jesus; it also becomes the blueprint for Christ in us. Indeed, was this not part of His reward, that He would see His offspring (Isaiah 53:10)? Beloved, we are the progeny of Christ.

The Fellowship of His Sufferings

Read these words from Paul’s heart:

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His Body, which is the Church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” (Colossians 1:24).

What did the apostle mean? Did not Christ fully pay mankind’s debts once and for all? Did Paul imply that we now take Jesus’ place? No, we will never take Jesus’ place. It means that Jesus has come to take our place. The Son of God manifests all the aspects of His redemptive, sacrificial life through us. Indeed, “as He is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Paul not only identified with Christ in his personal salvation, but he was also consumed with Christ’s purpose. He wrote, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10).

What a wondrous reality is the “fellowship of His sufferings.” Here, in choosing to yoke our existence with Christ’s purpose, we find true friendship with Jesus. This is intimacy with Christ. The sufferings of Christ are not the sorrows typically endured by mankind. They are the afflictions of love. They bring us closer to Jesus. United with Him, we increase the pleasure of God.

Father, I see You have had no higher purpose for me but to manifest through my life the nature of Your Son. I surrender to Christ, rendering myself not merely as a judge or critic, but as an offering for those who have brought wounding to my soul. May the fragrance of my worship remind You of Jesus, and may You forgive and cleanse the world around me.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Uncategorized