Who To Trust!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6 NKJV)

Many Believers say we trust God, but when we take the time to think about all the things we do and the decisions we make, can we say, we really trust God?

Looking at these verses this morning reminded me that there was a time in my life that when God spoke–I simply did as I was asked to do. Perhaps, it was because I was younger, eager, and fearless in my quest to please Him. Now, I notice that I am not as quick to do, but rather I tend to think about “how to get it done” rather than just doing.

I know that when we are at peace and our spirits are quieted, we hear Him clearly and because we can hear Him clearly, if we listen long enough, He’ll direct us in “how” to get things done. So, perhaps, my biggest problem is that I hear one part and move too quickly and not hear the rest. I get too busy thinking about how it’s going to be accomplished rather than hearing Him tell me. I’m probably not the only one, guilty of this, but if I am, “Father, forgive me and help me to hear You clearly.”

We must trust Him–with all of our heart–nothing withheld. We have proven by our lack of insight and foresight (our hindsight is greater) that our wisdom (what we think we know) is limited at best, and full of holes at the least. Our wisdom–is not God’s wisdom and we cannot know more than He does. Our wisdom–gets complicated when we think we have find all the answers when we don’t even know all the questions to ask to seek the right answers from the right source. And the answers we do get–full of holes–with the “what ifs” syndrome.

If we acknowledge Him–first--in all we do, we would save ourselves so much heartache and confusion. I know some people think that just using the “five senses” He gives us is enough, but it isn’t.

I’ve learned that I cannot always trust what I see–my vision is failing and clouded by cataracts; I cannot always trust what I hear–my hearing is sometimes distorted due to inner-ear complications; I cannot always trust my sense of touch because the tips of my fingers are worn and have become insensitive to heat–on occasion; I cannot trust my sense of smell because of perpetual sinus issues (I can still smell something burning and know it at once); and the worst of all, I cannot trust my sense of taste because my taste buds have a mind of their own–sometimes they like one thing and sometimes they don’t.

Recognizing my shortcomings helps me realize just how much I need to trust Him–who has no problem seeing or knowing all I need to do. So, I’ve come to a conclusion, about things. Once I’m sure It is Him who is speaking to my situation, I’m simply going to let Him direct me in how to get it done.

He has directed me in finding things in stores without getting assistance from anyone in the store. He has directed me in filling me with knowledge about Him that has not been printed, yet. He has directed me in accomplishing things that many attorneys try to avoid. He directs my attention to His Word every morning and instructs me in what to say. Why wouldn’t I trust Him?

From knowing how to take care of this body that has limitations, to knowing how to arrange words to encourage, correct, warn, admonish, to filling my heart to overflowing with love to share, and wisdom in how to be a good steward over all He has provided, I trust His wisdom and judgment more than mine.

As smart or intelligent as most of us think we are–in a crisis and in daily living–who can we really trust to know what is best for us–us or Him? If we are not willing to recognize where we are, He cannot help us to get where He wants us to be.

Lord, help us to get to a place–quickly–where we can hear You and hear You clearly when You speak to our hearts!

Stay In The Word!

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7 NLT).

Understanding  the “growth” of grape vines comes into play with the first six verses of this chapter and helps us to realize that without Him, without staying “in Him,” we are useless!

No matter how difficult things get or how impossible it seems for us to move forward, if we do not keep our focus in The Word, we become angry, confused, and distracted. In a state of anger–we provoke anger in others. When we are confused–we are totally ineffective at whatever we attempt to do. When we are distracted–we miss opportunities to see clearly what must be done for others. When we are not focused–keeping Him in the forefront–we are useless–to Him and to others.

But when we maintain our focus on Him, staying in The Word, constantly seeking His direction, and listening when He speaks, we are able to accomplish--whatever He desires–for others and ourselves, beyond our wildest imaginations or dreams. With Him, we can do anything He has asked us to do and reap the benefits of being obedient!

With Him, going before us in an uncertain world, we have more than enough to conquer whatever challenges we face.

With Him, we have no need to be fearful or concerned about the outcome of anything we do because His plans are greater than our plans.

With Him–not without Him–we serve the needs of the people and please Him in the process.

Not many may understand the importance of doing all things according to His Will, not our desires, but when things go wrong, and all the mistakes make our efforts worthless, then understanding comes. With understanding, hopefully, maturity is instilled and we move forward–doing all things in His Name!

Love With Us!

“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” (Psalm 103:17,18 NIV)

With those who keep His covenant–the relationship firmly established out of obedience and reciprocal love and respect, we can count on His love always being with us and our children for generations to come. This is a promise we can expect to hold true, when we do what we must do.

When we won’t do what we must do, then we can count on the opposite occurring–for generations to come–His love won’t be with those who break the relationship with Him out of disobedience.

For all of those who can only say, “Jesus is all about love–not judgment,” you might want to read and seek understanding of all The Word, not just one segment. Yes, Jesus did remind us to love one another and He also said, if we love God, we would obey Him. If we are truly His children, then we can expect Him to be the model of parenting for which we all should aspire.

When children are obedient, they reap rewards from loving parents.

When children are disobedient, they reap punishment from loving parents.

The only type of parents who do not discipline their children are those parents who do not care about what happens to their children and they let their children run wild, doing everything they think they want to do.

This is not so with God, our loving Father. He wants the very best for us, so He has established rules for our safety, and to make sure we can benefit from all of His promises. When we obey Him, we have no need to fear negative consequences, but to expect all the rewards He has in store for us. That’s love.

We do not teach children respect, love, or discipline when we allow them to do whatever they want. They grow up thinking they can do whatever they want and then we are left with a society full of self-serving, rotten kids who never mature–in their adolescent behavior. We must teach them respect for authority by disciplining them in such a way that we provide deterrents for negative behavior so they can navigate the transition from adolescent to adulthood, successfully.

Children who throw tantrums have not been disciplined and go through life thinking that’s all they have to do to have their way about everything. When parents give into the tantrums, they are not showing their children they love them, rather they show them how to manipulate others. Perhaps the real problem is that some parents manipulated their parents and so they know no other way to parent.

When parents know their child has committed atrocities with animals, playing with fire, breaking windows of property, and bullying other people and don’t do anything about it–we end up with serial killers who think they have a right to kill. There’s no love from parents in this situation–just apathy and nonchalance.

When misbehavior is stopped–from the beginning–and the deterrent memorable enough–the behavior is curved and love wins for all.

Let’s be obedient to our Father and reap the rewards, knowing He will never withdraw His love from us, when we obey!

You Gotta Believe!

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NLT)

Whatever we do, whatever we are expecting to receive from God, whatever it is we think we can do to promote the Kingdom of God, we must do with our faith, firmly entrenched in Him–knowing (not thinking) that with Him we can do all things well!

We cannot “delight in The Lord” expecting Him to give us the desires of our heart, if we don’t have complete faith in who He is and what He is able to do in our lives.

We cannot “stand firm” on His Word if we do not have faith to believe that He said what He meant and meant what He said.

We cannot “be victorious” in every area of lives if we do not have faith in His ability to move mountains out of our way.

In order to receive all that God has for us, we must believe (without doubting) that everything He promised (in His Word) He would do, He will do, to His glory that all will come to believe in Him. Our faith, firmly rooted and grounded in Him, increased by hearing, and hearing The Word, must be the impetus, the driving force that keeps us going, knowing we will reap the benefits of all He has promised.

In Him, we live and move. In Him we can victory in every area of our lives. In Him, we know we can do all things and do them well.

By faith in Him, we know that He created all things and without Him, nothing was created.

By faith in Him, we know that He is the same as He was yester-years, today, and will be forever.

By faith in Him, we know that nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible for us to achieve.

By faith in Him, we know that living a Godly-life, according to His plans for our lives, we will spend eternity with Him at the end of our journey on earth.

If we have no faith in Him, cannot believe that He is who He is and can do what He says He will do, we cannot please Him and therefore should expect–absolutely nothing from Him!

If we want to see a change in our communities, a change in our nation, a change in what’s happening in the world, we must change what we believe and do. We have to believe that He is and He will do whatever He has promised He will do–whether it is to lift us in victory over everything the enemy is doing or leave us to be defeated–the outcome is on us and whether we please Him with our faith in Him.

If we want to please Him and see all of His promises to us come to pass, we must believe and have faith in Him!

When a Godless Society Governs!

To say that our society has forgotten God would be the greatest understatement ever made. We see the results of godlessness, every day in every nation.

Prayer was removed from schools because of a godless woman who thought others praying around her children was an infringement upon their rights. Without prayer and God in our schools–our schools have become the devil’s playground as children get involved in drugs, sexual activity, disrespect of those in authority, and violence against them and others runs rampant, with no end in mind because society says–we should not pray in schools.

With the elimination of prayer, came the elimination of corporal punishment in schools and now that the kids know “no one can touch them” no matter how badly they behave, we have chaos in schools and foolishness with parents who cannot control their children and the teachers are not allowed to control them and we wonder–what happened to academic achievement in the schools? It was beaten up by a godless society that permitted Satan to reign with legal maneuverings and political correctness that has created a slow, but sure eroding of anything that promotes Godly behavior.

Societal outrage over kids getting spanked by their parents has led to kids controlling their parents and no one in our society is safe–from the lack of respect of others–these kids feel. They know and provoke parents into giving up on trying to parent them. Parents are afraid of the legal system and kids are running amuk–violence is on the rise and yet no one looks at the problem for what it is–a Godless society running things and then wondering why we have the problems with kids we have.

When politicians cave and submit to “societal leanings” about sin–we know we’re all in trouble and since those of us who know how God operates, we know that sin is rocking the boat–hence all the troubling events–we are all witnessing.

Chaos, violence, disrespect of all authority, unrest in all the land, fear, hatred and inhumane treatment of other human beings--this is what happens when a Godless society governs!

How Can They?

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14,15 NLT)

Paul reminds us in his letter to the church in Rome that, “all who call upon the name of The Lord shall be saved” and he anticipates the doubters response by answering their questions before they are asked.

Those same doubts–unbelief in Jesus Christ and in Him as the Risen Savior–still plague The Church (the body corporate) and it is evident in the things we see people–proclaiming to be Christians–do.

The real problem is that then–the descendants of the tribe expected a “warrior” to save them because that’s what they understood. They could not believe–for the most part–that a man preaching, trying to get them to repent of sin and live for God–could save anyone. When they witnessed His crucifixion, they mocked Him about saving Himself. The answer was right in front of them, but they could not see it because their minds were clouded and focused on expectations based upon their limited understanding of how God truly works. They missed knowing the relationship that God so deeply desired with them and there are those today, who still miss it.

How can they still miss the importance of being in right-relationship with God? When people think that “religion or religious affiliation” is the answer to their problems, they miss God. The answer is still right in front of us–we must repent of sin and secure our “relationship” with God. It is our relationship with Him that will draw us nearer to Him so we can clearly understand how He wants us to live.

How can we move closer to Him? WE MUST REPENT OF SIN–AS A NATION–AND AS INDIVIDUALS and learn of Him, receiving instruction and direction from Holy Spirit as He speaks to us. There is no other way that mankind is going to be saved from destruction and captivity–devised in our own minds–when we choose to ignore God and the messengers He uses to warn us!

What messengers should we heed? The messengers of God will only say what God says, they will not speak on their own behalf. God is not doing a new thing pertaining to visions and dreams–He still uses them to persuade people to hear Him, but those visions and dreams are not going to oppose His Word–no matter how much people want to change what He has said. God will use whoever is willing to be used by Him–accepting His sovereignty and love–knowing it is He who is leading them in all things.

How wonderful it is for people of faith to be used by God in promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ! These are those who are sent–not the ones who just got up and went based upon their own logic and rationale of what they “think” needs to happen. Those who just go–on their own–have a modicum of truth to share, but ruin it with their own take on how things should be and much of what they say is in opposition to what God has already said. We won’t know that if we do not know The Word and have such a close relationship with God that we can seek Him for ourselves for clarity and understanding.

What we need more than anything on earth right now–is the enough sense to know we all need to repent and receive God’s forgiveness so we can move forward, taking care of God’s business, while He takes care of ours.

Father, I cannot repent for others, but I stand before You right now, repenting of all those things that are not like You. Forgive me for daring to think I could do anything on my own without You in my life. I submit my thoughts to You, I declare my faith in everything You have said and will say to me to share with others so that all of mankind will be saved, in the name of Jesus! I will do all You prompt me to do, no matter what people say, for I  know that my eternity will be spent with You! And I pray that all who proclaim the name of Jesus will repent–individually, and as a nation and seek You while You may yet be found. In Jesus’ name, I pray, and receive Your response, Amen!

People of God!

“This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD. “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the LORD. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:32,33 NLT)

Before He came down from heaven and walked among us, He promised us a new covenant–a covenant that made the one null and void. Before anyone ever saw Him in the flesh, He decreed that He would write His instructions and establish them within in our hearts. Before the captivity of a people He loved, He promised to increase humanity and for those people, He would be their God and we would be His people.

People of God–those who have a relationship with Him, those who understand not only the written Word, but the importance of having a relationship with Him in honoring all He has said, it is time for us to rise up in the power He has given through Holy Spirit and proclaim the Year of The Lord–in all of His glory!

We have become too comfortable with sin–too comfortable with ignoring those who attempt to change who God is–too comfortable in watching our society slide back into captivity and the enemy is rejoicing over our laxity. The enemy wants us to be quiet and say nothing because the more silent we become, the greater the victory for him. For those who know–how the enemy functions–tearing the foundational beliefs, bit by bit–like that small fox eating away at the grapes on the lower vine until those at the top are also destroyed–it is time for ACTION, FROM GOD’s PEOPLE!

Stop winking at sin and covering your ears! Open your mouths and speak what God speaks–written in His Word and upon your hearts! Live a life that compels others to want to emulate you in serving our God in obedience. Do good for all you can and pray for those who either you cannot help or refuse to be helped. Rise up–People of God–every morning with a praise on your lips and worship in your heart–determined to share the Good News with everyone you meet. Get out of the buildings–the brick and mortar–and change what happens on every street corner to the glory of God. After all, YOU ARE THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD and your life should not be confined to serving Him in a building.

The time is now! Time to let the world know that God has people and those people have a God who they are not ashamed to serve–in the public as well as in private. Let’s truly make this year–The Year of The Lord–the year under-cover Christians threw off the covers and walked proudly among those who do not know Him. This is the Year and we may never get another chance, if we who know Him, don’t get up and out and proclaim sin–sin! If we don’t remind people of Judgment Day, we will not be able to stand before our God and expect to hear, “Well Done!”

People of God–Rise up and Do all that you can to prove to a dying world that God is real, His love is real, and you are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ–our Risen Savior!

He Will Do It!

“The LORD rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble.The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.” (Psalm 37:39,40 NLT)

We are instructed in The Word to pray for one another, believe we receive that for which we have asked, and to give thanks for all things.

Father,

We seek You, the only Wise God, for understanding and deliverance from all things that are not of You.

We know You love us and want only the best for us, but we also know You desire a deeper relationship with each of us.

We come before You today, recognizing our shortcomings and expecting great things from You as we submit our thought life to You.

Look upon our hearts and cleanse us now from any thoughts of living in opposition to You.

Keep our minds focused on You and all those things You would have us do, helping and loving others.

Forgive us for being arrogant and pompous in thinking we can live our lives without You or Your direction.

Guide us daily into Your Word and give us clear understanding.

Help us to be bold enough to say what You say about all things–especially those things that oppose You and Your intent for all mankind.

Help us to receive the healing for our bodies–from the crowns of our heads to the soles of our feet and every muscle, tendon, nerve and organ in between.

Keep our angels alert and mindful of all dangers we can see and those we cannot see.

Touch the hearts of all people who know You–and those who don’t–who teach, preach, lead, and guide others. Let everything we do, glorify You and not us.

Help us to understand the gifts You have given and lead us in refining, exercising them for the benefit of all people.

Develop in us O, Lord–a desire to please You in all things so we may spend eternity with You.

Show us–how to promote goodness and godliness in all things and then dissolve all religious thinking that allows us think that anyone is superior to another.

Have mercy on all who have taken lives because of religious superiority and show them the way of Truth in You.

Provide us with clear vision and understanding as to how we can fulfill the dreams already given, to Your glory.

Encourage our hearts in the midst of all the chaos and surround us with peace within and without our homes, community, and nations.

Thank You for loving us and providing all we need so we can be a blessing to others.

Thank You hearing and responding to this prayer so all may that You and You alone are God and there is none like You, who will do it!

In Jesus’ name, we pray and receive all we believe You will do.

Amen!

With All of Us!

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Philippians 4:23)

In contemporary times, if anyone is still writing a letter, we generally close it by saying, “Sincerely yours,” or “Yours in Christ,” or if it’s an informal letter, “Love” and our names. Generally, our letters are intended for one person, but Paul wrote to churches, with the intent that all should hear what he said.

We know this because of how he ends his letter to the church at Philippi–decreeing the unmerited favor of Christ be with us all.

Now, the beauty of Paul’s letters is that even though they were written with specific instructions and encouragements to each church, they all shared the letters and understood, for the most part, that the intent was meant for every established church who proclaimed the name of Jesus. This is one of the reasons why he did not have to repeat things and this is also why none of us should ever be foolish enough to say, “What was said in one letter (or segment of scripture) has nothing to do with the rest of us.”

What he wrote, guided by Holy Spirit, to the church in Rome applies to every church–then and now.

What he wrote to the church in Ephesus, applies to every church–then and now.

What he wrote to the church in Colosse, applies to every church–then and now.

What he wrote to the church in Corinth, applies to every church, then and now.

What he wrote to the church in Galatia, applies to every church, then and now.

What he wrote to the church in Thessalonica, applies to every church, then and now.

What he wrote, as instructions to Timothy, applies to everyone in ministry, then and now.

What he wrote, to Titus, applies to everyone in ministry, then and now.

What he wrote, to Philemon, applies to every Born-Again Believer, then and now.

What John wrote in all of his letters, including the Revelation given to him, applies to everyone, now–just as it did then.

So, how can we say, “What God said in one passage of the Bible” does not apply to all of us, now?

Is it because we choose not to understand the “history” of how God worked in the lives of those who believed Him and how He is still working?

The Old Testament–those writings before Jesus ascended to heaven–were written that we might know He is the same God, yesterday, today and forever.

When we understand His intent–for both then and now–we can truly receive His grace and know that it is for all who Believe and receive His love. His grace–favor we could not earn–is for all who dare to have a relationship with Him through Holy Spirit, but we cannot have a right-relationship with Him until we are willing to understand His Word. “Study to show yourself approved unto to God, knowing how to rightly explain and instruct others in The Word” and how it applies to all of us, right now!

Identified by God!

“It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.” (I Corinthians 1:21,22 NLT)

We seem to be in a never-ending search–trying to determine our identity–who we are, our roles in society, our value–and for the Believer–we have already been identified and marked with His stamp of approval–Holy Spirit indwelling in us.

When I hear about people in “identity crises” I cringe. I mean I know what it’s like for people to wonder who they are when their parents or other ancestors are not known, when their origins are obscure and they feel like they just don’t fit in with the family they have. I even understand people trying to find themselves as a transitional stage of life, but for Believers to not know who they are and do everything they can to fit in with “the world” just does not make any sense to me.

First of all, for a Believer to say they do not know their identity in Christ Jesus, I’d have to question their proclamation of being a Believer. Being a Born-Again Believer is not about being in a certain denomination or having a particular religious affiliation–it’s about having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

We overcome any doubts about who we are by staying in God’s Word, being in constant communication with Him and knowing when Holy Spirit is speaking to us; empowering us to do all that God has asked us to do. He has already identified us, so why are we in doubt?

The doubt is not a part of every believer’s life, but for those who waver–on one side of the fence or the other about belonging to Him or being part of the world’s system of political correctness. For those whose minds have been clouded with the deceptions of Satan, believing that what God said He no longer means, and we can just do anything we want, change any body parts we want simply because we “do not know” who we are. He knows who we are–before the foundations of the earth, He knew and established plans for us–plans to prosper us, not to harm us. He knows the future He wants for us, so who are we to change His plans?

He created us in His likeness–male and female–with specific roles to accomplish and equipped us with the means to live the identity He gives.

If people do not know who they are, perhaps it is because they do not know who He is and how He does things. Perhaps, they think they know better than He does and are determined to “create their own identity” apart from the one He has already established. I’m praying for them–for God’s wisdom to saturate their minds and hearts and truly see Him in all His glory and understand He knows–far more than we could ever understand.

Now, if God has identified us and empowered us with Holy Spirit living within us, why are we so afraid to let the world know who we are? We are not fooling God by being under-cover Christians because He does not need secret agents working on His behalf. We must learn to go about our Father’s business in the boldness we have and be even bolder because the enemy is bold and we should be bolder.

For those who are wavering in their faith of God–I understand the identity crisis. For those who proclaim total belief in God, there should never be an identity crisis. Who are you? Do you know your identity? Are you familiar with the rich heritage we have as Believers? If there is any doubt–seek Him and know–you have been identified by Him and given His stamp of approval with Holy Spirit.