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No Condemnation in Christ for Genuine Believers who walk after the Spirit

I want to sincerely apologize for any of my posts that have brought a sense of condemnation to anyone.  It was not my intention and I realized that I was trying to do Jesus’ job by trying to separate the wheat from the tares myself, when only He can do it.  At the same time, Ezekiel 3 says that if we don’t warn a person of their sins we will die with their blood on our hands.   Having the calling of a teacher of God’s Word is a heavy task, and as it says in James 3 that it should be entered into with wisdom, but we are all learning the profound truths of God’s Word, and more and more about Jesus everyday.  If anyone else does not get this word I will get it for myself, and I really need it.

Sometimes in the Christian walk we go through times of condemnation, where we are so hard on ourselves, and beat ourselves up, and refuse to accept the redemption of the Blood Covenant that Jesus died to give.  We are plagued with these lies that we are these sinners that are so unclean and so vile that God does not want to approach us because He is so holy.  It is true that He is holy and He hates sin, but the Blood of Jesus has redemptive power to cleanse us from all sin.  We are thoroughly washed in the Blood of the Lamb.  But there are times when we sin, and that’s when repentance comes into picture, but it’s the learning of repentance that is what it’s all about.  ACTS 11:18 18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Repentance is not saying “I am not worthy to be loved by You.  I am a reject.  I am an outcast.  I am a nobody.  I am so dirty.”  No, not by any means.  Repentance is about realizing who God is and His goodness, that He is merciful and that He loves you, and He loves you so much that He would give His life for you so that you wouldn’t have to be in pain.  He gave His life up for you so as not to see you cry in agony and feel like a reject or outcast.  When Moses was called to lead the Israelites out of bondage from Pharoah, he said, “I am a poor speaker, what if they don’t listen to me?”  He didn’t have confidence in who he was, and who God was that would enable him to speak the words that God had given him out of his mouth.  He doubted who he was, and he was the meekest man or the most humble man, or so it’s said.  But let me tell you who was the personfication of humbleness and that was Jesus who washed the disciples feet and at another time He announced His ministry boldly by declaring Isaiah 61 before the congregation.  Jesus knew who He was and as believers in Christ, we must know who we are.  We must know that despite everything, we are more than conquerors than Christ.

We are sometimes living like chickens when are born an eagles.  If an eagle is around chickens long enough and especially if it’s been there all it’s life, it will start to believe it’s a chicken, when it’s actually an eagle.  So many of us have become chickens, but instead we should be eagles.

We must also fight the good fight of faith.  Believe me there is someone out there who wants to make you into a puddle saying, “Lord, I don’t know if I can follow this Law or obey You completely.  I am a worthless sinner, and there is no way You will accept me into Your kingdom.  I am a lost cause.  Just forget about me.  I am beyond help.”  Until you are so much into a pit of despair that you can’t even begin to see Jesus even if you read the Bible so many times.  You may start out with a level of faith, which is the measure of faith, but that faith has to expand and grow and if it doesn’t then that’s when condemnation sets in.  When you have condemnation you are no good to anybody.  You can’t pray for others because you feel like you are worthless.  You can’t read the Word of God because you think that God is going to fry you because you feel like you won’t have the promise of eternity waiting for you.  Sometimes self-pity even creeps in and says, why don’t you just give up, but you see, friends, that this is all a fight.  It is a fight to the finish because it is a race that we run and we want to make it to the end.  Condemnation can happen to any believer at any time even those who through their spiritual walk have an intimacy with the Lord, but something about not knowing who God is and the Good News of His Kingdom causes you to lose hope and become discouraged in your souls.  When you begin to believe that everything around you has to change for you to experience joy then something needs to change.

The repentance for the Gentiles leads to life.  Jesus died so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  This doesn’t mean having a huge house, many cars, an air plane, and material possessions- those things are an added benefit, but what’s really important is the quality of the life that emanates from spirit to soul to body.  When we experience condemnation sometimes our souls become grieved and we don’t know how to make peace with God and trust who He is.  We become overburdened with guilt to the point that we can’t take it anymore.  This is what happened to Judas, he couldn’t take what he had done to Jesus.  I’m not calling you a Judas.  I’m just saying that we don’t want to get to that point.  We want to be set free.  That’s why Paul was teaching so much about the Law.  Here’s what  he said in 1 Timothy 1:

5My goal in giving you this order is for love to flow from a pure heart, from a clear conscience, and from a sincere faith. 6Some people have left these qualities behind and have turned to useless discussions. 7They want to be experts in Moses’ Teachings. However, they don’t understand what they’re talking about or the things about which they speak so confidently.

8We know that Moses’ Teachings are good if they are used as they were intended to be used. 9For example, a person must realize that laws are not intended for people who have God’s approval. Laws are intended for lawbreakers and rebels, for ungodly people and sinners, for those who think nothing is holy or sacred, for those who kill their fathers, their mothers, or other people. 10Laws are intended for people involved in sexual sins, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for those who lie when they take an oath, and for whatever else is against accurate teachings. 11Moses’ Teachings were intended to be used in agreement with the Good News that contains the glory of the blessed God. I was entrusted with that Good News.

His purpose in saying all these things that he did in the epistles was so that he could set free the conscience of the believers with a pure and sincere heart to those that were doing things that were not according to the ways of God.  Now certain people will put slime on my head just there. For those with heightened understanding will know what I am talking about.

For believers with a pure and sincere heart that follow God and that want to do what He says, and want to walk in His ways, and do not want to grieve Him, then there is no condemnation for them.  Jesus became sin, so why should we have to take it?  Why should we have to carry the burden of sin- those of us who believe in Him?

There are distinctions that have to be made though between Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and other apostates who have strayed away from the true teachings of God’s Word.  The indisputable facts are Jesus was born of virgin, that He died on a cross, was buried, and rose again the third day.  Those things are vital.  If you believe those you have what it takes to build your faith.  Faith is not just a head knowledge, but it is a heart transformation that also presents itself with power.

Romans 8 says –

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The same verses in God’s Word Translation:

1So those who are believers in Christ Jesus can no longer be condemned. 2The standards of the Spirit, who gives life through Christ Jesus, have set you free from the standards of sin and death. 3It is impossible to do what God’s standards demand because of the weakness our human nature has. But God sent his Son to have a human nature as sinners have and to pay for sin. That way God condemned sin in our corrupt nature. 4Therefore, we, who do not live by our corrupt nature but by our spiritual nature, are able to meet God’s standards.

5Those who live by the corrupt nature have the corrupt nature’s attitude. But those who live by the spiritual nature have the spiritual nature’s attitude. 6The corrupt nature’s attitude leads to death. But the spiritual nature’s attitude leads to life and peace. 7This is so because the corrupt nature has a hostile attitude toward God. It refuses to place itself under the authority of God’s standards because it can’t. 8Those who are under the control of the corrupt nature can’t please God. 9But if God’s Spirit lives in you, you are under the control of your spiritual nature, not your corrupt nature.

Whoever doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ doesn’t belong to him. 10However, if Christ lives in you, your bodies are dead because of sin, but your spirits are alive because you have God’s approval.11Does the Spirit of the one who brought Jesus back to life live in you? Then the one who brought Christ back to life will also make your mortal bodies alive by his Spirit who lives in you.

Even though Romans here is talking about the carnal or corrupt nature of man and the appetites of the flesh,  if you have a bad day and you eat a piece of chocolate cake, ice cream, or have a little bit too much chicken tikka masala or lamb curry, God does not want you to feel so bad about it that you go into an eating disorder just to prove a point that you want to honor Him.  God knows you.  God knows you so well.  He knows you so well that He knows what sin you were going to do when you do it.  Yes it was wrong for Eve to listen to the serpent and eat of that forbidden fruit, and it was wrong for Adam to pass blame onto Eve, but what’s even worse, is that they hid from God’s Presence.  He was right there and they didn’t run to Him because they didn’t feel worthy.  He had come to accept them.  He had come to accept them with open arms, but yet it in turn they ran because they were so scared.  God loves you so much, He gave His life after you.

There’s always a way out for every sin.  Every sin has a way out through the Blood Covenant of Jesus as long as you don’t blaspheme the Holy Spirit.  If you do it out of ignorance it’s ok, but if you do it intentionally when you know it’s not right because out of the wrong motive of the heart then that’s something else.

This whole time on earth throughout history God is looking for people who will love Him whole heartedly and will seek after His heart.  To yearn after His beauty and His majesty.  He doesn’t want people to be dismayed and discouraged.  But He wants people to repent and to receive forgiveness out of true humility.

But at the same time there is a warning because the times of the birth pangs are coming, and this is a time when people begin to see God’s judgments to come upon the Earth in the forms of natural catastrophes, and those are the times to trust God.  Because when you come down to it, all you have is Jesus, and you have to know that you have Jesus and He loves you and He doesn’t want to see you hurt.

Heavenly Father,

I pray that you touch the hearts of the people and let them see what a loving and kind and merciful Father you are to them.  Heal the Orphaned spirit, and the spirit of rejection upon the believer’s lives.  Give them life and and life more abundantly.  Give them hope and hope for the everlasting.  Cause them to surrender to You completely and totally to Your will and let them know the plan and purpose You have for their lives.  Cause them to see the light of Your Truth, and give them fresh rhema everyday.  Cause them to see everything beautiful about You.  Let them see that they are loved beyond measure, and that even for unbelievers Your heart reaches out to them so that they may receive the Truth that Jesus died for our sins.  Forgive us Lord if we have strayed away from Your Spirit today, and bring us back to Your fold so that we may see the beauty of Your majesty.  Forgive us Lord if we have not obeyed.  Cleanse us with Your blood today and create in us a clean heart and renew a right Spirit within Your precious saints who long to follow You.  Grant us all wisdom and encouragement and hope to see the everlasting and eternal hope and salvation we have in You.  I thank You for the special anointing You have given me to preach this Word, and may it bring life to those who hear it.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

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Noise Pollution, Sleep deprivation and Searching for peace among the storm

Here’s a Scripture verse compilation that really touched my heart these past few days:  “23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.”

Now when many people talk about this passage they talk about how Jesus said that we should not be fearful and have more faith to face the storms of this life.  What gets to me is that there was a hurricane, or tornado around Him, and He was able to sleep.  After days of not getting adequate sleep I find myself marveling at the characteristics of Jesus and the Holy Spirit that I would like to attain in my own life.  When I wake up I feel tired and not refreshed, but in hopes of a new day I begin my day, but on the weekends when I just want to relax and find some sleep to make up for many days of having my sleep interrupted I hear everything from the dogs barking, the helicopters and airplanes, the boom boxes of the car stereos, the motorcycles, and even when I put my earplugs on I hear the sound of my own heart beating.  What am I supposed to do then, tell God to make my heart stop beating so that I can have some sleep?  As you can tell I am a very very light sleeper.  I would say I have new parent syndrome, but I don’t think it was this bad when my little sister was born – I was still able to sleep.

We are often told that the Holy Spirit is a like a dove, and that it is so sensitive, that when you make the slightest movement it goes away, but what gets to me, after I heard from a television pastor making this revelation known, that Jesus who had the Holy Spirit in Him, was not moved from the peace of the Spirit by all the things like babies crying, foul odors, and all the situations and circumstances around that the Holy Spirit in Him, He was not moved.  That same Holy Spirit is in those which believe.  So if we have that same Spirit, then I can find a few reasons why people like me have not been able to sleep.

One of them is that in times when I chose not to sleep at the time I was supposed to and I slept later like past midnight to 2 or 3 am and didn’t think it was going to catch up with me, well I was wrong.  Lack of discipline in a certain area can lead to consequences later on.  Another thing is that when you are struggling with issues so seriously and deeply and maybe even worrying about whether or not you are going to get to heaven, or be cast out, then that worry is from the devil.  The Lord says we should not worry, but take everything in prayer and supplication and make our requests be made known to God and it says simply that those that believe will receive salvation.  I have looked at the commentaries for Luke 13:23, where the person asks will few be saved to Jesus, and the whole thing there was that don’t worry about whether few or many will be saved, just make sure you yourself will be saved because your own curiosity can hurt you.  Another thing is overstimulation.  This society in the modern age is full of overstimulation with all our gadgets, cellphones, computers, and other technologies, as well as things like coffee so we are “wired” all the time.  We thought this was a thing only for today’s college students, but it seems more and more people are getting wired like this instead of taking time to just “Be still and know” that He is God.  I have tried many times to “Be still and know” just to have some kind of rest and peace, but every body everywhere with all kind of electronics are making all kinds of noise.

It didn’t seem to be so bad before, but now even after 10pm to Midnight there is no quiet.  Psalm 23 says “He leads me by the still waters and by the quiet stream”.  This reminds me of a cartoon I used to watch on Animaniacs where Dot used to go around saying, “All I want is quiet, quiet, quiet, this I can’t deny it”  and then when it was quiet she said, “Why’s it so quiet?”  The world has seemed to have gotten louder and louder.

Recently I had a situation where I was praying for some healing for my ears which were experiencing hearing loss.  I know I appreciate all that I have, but when I want to go to sleep and I hear all these noises I find myself almost wishing I couldn’t hear and that is a very dangerous place to go.

I was reading a article that the Pope has been going through some exhaustion and feeling very tired for quite awhile, and I even though I am not Catholic, I can see that there is something going on here.  I’ve seen the people in Israel in the news and some of them seem like they haven’t been getting much sleep.  What we need here is the peace of the LORD.  We need the peace of knowing that no matter whatever our circumstances we can find rest in the LORD.  Part of the problem is that people have not been observing the LORD’s Sabbath.  Now I know it is debatable on exactly which day it is, but in any case there should be a day where everyone rests.  In the Old Testament, they couldn’t as much lift a pencil up on the Sabbath.  This time is not be used for mowing the lawn, or doing things that would not allow other people to rest.  Even the animals were supposed to rest during this time.  When Jesus came and was accused of doing things against the Sabbath it was because the Pharisees had taken it overboard, and they were trying to prevent Jesus from doing any good during that day.  These days we use the weekend to take care of household chores and things like that.

In the Jewish customs it used to be very different.  Men would go out 6 days a week and find food for their families and take care of the cattle.   The women would stay home and take care of the house and the children.   During the times of the Apostles they knew their main work was to spread the Gospel, but he still worked hard to be worthy of the food that was brought to him.

I don’t know if it is just me or not, but in these times people seem to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off and being very busy and even Christians don’t seem to enjoy the simple things because they are too warn out by being Martha’s and even the ones that want to be Mary’s can’t seem to be Mary’s because satan has tried to steal the love that Jesus has so freely given to give a sense of fear, guilt, and condemnation.

Matthew 11:28-30 says “28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Heavenly Father,

During these times of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and for all the people that worry about finding jobs and making an income and surviving during these hard times, help them find rest for those souls.  These weary bodies that are worn out by stress, or anxiety, or just things of everyday life that have gotten them bogged down, I ask You to let them be able to relax and enjoy life to the full until it overflows.  Let the people not worry no matter what goes on around them.  Let them not sense any unrestlessness, and let them have a wave of calmness wash over them just as Jesus did in the boat when all the storms of life were around Him.  For all the sirens that go off each day, heal the people, put off the fires, protect the victims and find justice for them.  We repent as a people for turning away from you and not obeying your Word and your commands to love each other and love ourselves.  We repent for not obeying Your Sabbathtime of Rest.  Help the people find rest in knowing that you have provided all their needs.  Forgive us all with Your abundant grace.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

Forgiving others and receiving forgiveness

Have you hurt someone and can’t seem to get past it?  Has someone hurt you and you can’t seem to get past it?  The Bible has very clear scriptures regarding forgiveness.  The longer you hold on to something the more bitter it becomes.  Sometimes life lessons are bitter, but if you learn to forgive others then it releases freedom to you.  It may take time for the wound to heal, but the more you allow yourself to let it go, the closer to God you become.  Colossians 3:13 has a very important message, “13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Once you do something wrong and ask God for forgiveness and to cleanse you with His blood, and try not to do it again, God does not hold on to it, and neither should you hold on to it.  If you do hold on to it, the enemy will just use it to manipulate you to feeling worse about yourself and/or that person then you already do.

That doesn’t mean you should go around trusting everyone all the time, and being naive when they have abused you, but you have to set boundaries.  Part of that is that whether the hurt was intentional or not trust that God is only trying to teach you something.  Because He is your Father He doesn’t want you to be hurt even more than you already are, and He is trying to protect you from future mistakes.  Romans says “there is no condemnation in Christ”, so if you have done something bad, really bad, the enemy will try to make you feel like you are a “Judas” and betraying Christ, when you are a “Peter” and even though you made that mistake, God is going to let you repent, learn, and fulfill your destiny.

The best thing to do is make peace with that person and not to hold on to grudges for very long.  Matthew 5:23-24 says, ” 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift”

Sometimes we have to learn things the hard way by not listening to the voice of God, and being obedient the first time, but God is patient with us, and He gives us the free will, and He knows what we will do so He has provided us a way out.  There is no temptation that is too hard to bear and God does not give you more than you can handle.  Sometimes the Lord uses situations to help be a blessing or to minister to others and when you have faced that situation yourself then you can be better equipped to provide insight to another person.  The key is to have a closer walk with God and that comes with the testings of patience and endurance.  Like my favorite verse in Hebrews 12, which God so graciously tries to put into my life, “No discipline or punishment or chastening is joyful, but is grievous and painful, but in the end produces fruits of righteousness”.

When God allows things to happen, it is not because he doesn’t love you, but it is because there is a lesson that he wants you to learn, but that lesson is not just for you, but it is a blessing for many people.  Like with Abraham, the lessons he learned with his walk of faith and learning from his mistakes to trust, we all have a walk with Jesus, and we must be willing to the learn the lesson because he is shaping our character.  We might agonize in pain, heartache, and disappointment, and even hate the way we feel or the circumstances, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t growing, or that we aren’t learning, or that we are falling away from God.

God doesn’t look down with a magnifying glass and say, “Who can I fry now?” or “Who can send to eternal hell and judgment now?”  He really wants us to seek Him because when we do seek Him, and we receive the fruits of righteousness that come from our suffering, we don’t know who that will impact down the road, and who will be impacted down the road.

If someone has hurt you yesterday, that hurt is in the past.  We shouldn’t keep holding on that pain forever, or looking at it so many ways.  It may be just something that you have to go through in life, and God will get you out of it.

You might say, “nobody understands what this person did to me”, but I guarantee you that someone either understands, or has gone through much worse, and Jesus has gone through that pain for you, so dear friends there is no need to hold on to your pain or your hurts.  The past is past, and yesterday is forgotten.

If the person hurt you today, don’t go around saying, “well it’s still today, so I am going to hold on to this hurt as long as possible.”  It may seem foolish and funny right now, but this is the way some of us act sometimes.  Because we can’t see or be objective.  This is why we pay therapists, and counselors, when God is right there, your Almighty Counselor, and He is ready to comfort you.  The first thing you should do when you have calmed down and say, “Look, this is how I feel, and I feel bad for what I did to you.”  This is whether to the other person or to God, and try to make amends if it is the person.  If the person doesn’t want to forgive you, then just wait and time heals all wounds.  But you can let the person know that you want to make peace with them and that you care about them.  Who knows, maybe they might say, “you don’t need to feel bad, I forgave you a long time ago.”

Another key thing to remember is not to go and talk bad about the person, and vent to other people.  Proverbs says “the foolish man vents all things, and the wise man keeps things to himself”.  It is not good to gossip, or talk bad about the person even if the person is your boss, your co-workers, people in ministry, or anyone else for that matter.  Gossip, backbiting, slander, and venting can all cause division among people and that is the last thing we want to do.   As much as we don’t like it, we want to restore harmony with each other, especially as believers and witnesses to Christ.  Take things that happen to you with a grain of salt, and let it just slide off your shoulders.  That is how you can become more content and realize the true stability that you have as believers in Christ.

 

 

 

The Pearl and The Butterfly

God has created so many beautiful things on this Earth as an example and representation to show meaning and purpose to our lives. John 1:3 says, “3All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.”  Genesis 1:31 “31And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely.”  Although some things were corrupted through man’s sins, God still has some examples for us to use in creation that we can take away from.

Did you know that when a piece of sand is in an oyster it goes through a lot of pressure, refining, and weathering to make it come out shining like a beautiful pearl?  Our lives are the same way.  We go through many trials, ups and downs, tribulations, testings and weatherings, and we don’t realize the purpose until much later that God was trying to make a pearl out of us.  We are all each exotic pieces to a beautiful necklace.

God thinks we’re beautiful and He wants to form us into the creation that He sees in us.   So He might use different circumstances and different people and different situations to make us really question things in life, but God has a purpose.  He is shaping you to be a beautiful pearl.  When you become a pearl then you may develop some wisdom in this area and are able to share your “Pearls of wisdom” with other people and then you can be a blessing to others.  I truly believe that behind every pain and struggle that the enemy puts into our lives, God has allowed it to create beauty out of our lives and to shape us to fulfill our destiny.  God will give you back what satan has stolen sevenfold, just like it says in the Book of Job.

Another example God has given is the butterfly.  It starts out as this slimy, icky looking, sluggish, caterpillar, who on it’s own is just an infant, but to reach it’s maturity it is in a cocoon.  It stays there for awhile and it builds up strength.  What it’s doing on the inside no one can see.  But it is developing muscles and it is transforming itself so it can be a whole new creature.  It will expand and develop wings.  FYI:  Did you know that some butterflies actually have alphabetic letters on their wings?  I’ve seen them in Hebrew and in English, but I was told there are many other languages.  Butterflies are beautiful creatures and people love to marvel at their beauty and spectactularity (maybe not even a word) but I like to use it here.  The Houston Museum of Natural Science used to have (or maybe still does) an exhibit to look at butterflies.   But the amazing thing about them is that they come from something that was nothing like their former selves.  They used to be not able to fly and now they can fly.  They used to be primarily greenish or grayish or dull colored and depending on the type of butterfly it is now a new creation.

That is the way we become when we have accepted Christ.  We become new creations.  Gone are our old selves and we become new creatures.  Do you know why?  Not because we are not the same person in body and in mind, but we are a new person in spirit.  We have taken on the Holy Spirit of Christ.  We are no longer bound to our sins and Christ has cleansed us from our sins so we become new creations.

The butterfly analogy can be used to also describe a period of transition in our lives, when we seem to be stuck in one place, just like the pearl.  We don’t seem to be moving anywhere or doing anything or we don’t think anything good is happening in our lives, but God is working behind the scenes.  He is creating something in us to prepare us to be His bride.  His bride is the most beautiful creation in the world to the Lord and He loves His bride.  The Father God created the perfect bride for His Son.  She would have perfect eyes, perfect ears, perfect smile, perfect mind, and be perfect and beautiful in all ways just the way Christ is.

So some people don’t feel that perfect or beautiful right now and that’s ok because we don’t need plastic surgery because even Christ Himself was not handsome or attractive or anything to be looked at on this Earth, as it says in Isaiah 52.  But we know that in His redeemed body He was glorified and beautiful.  The same way we are going to be glorified and beautiful creatures with resurrected bodies.  But even in our spirits right now we are being shaped in Christlikeness so  we can become more and more like Christ developing in His character and His attitude so we can treat all things the way He treated them and so we can know Him who created us.  So if you feel like your in a cocoon right now, it’s ok – You will lose those pounds, You will get that job, You will write those books, and You will turn out and continue to become something that you never thought possible.  If you feel hurt by wounds of what other people said, or angry or depressed it’s ok because as long as you trust in God and realize that God is using you to shape you into a beautiful pearl or a beautiful butterfly.  Like the potter who makes the clay, He is the great Creator and He will shape you into being His perfection as you go through these things so you once you are free and can fly as a butterfly or can shine like a pearl you can be a blessing to others.

Singing in the Valley

I haven’t posted in a while because I have been going through some things.  Some of which may be called a “valley” in my life.  It wasn’t until I heard Joyce Meyer mentioned “singing in the valley” that God revealed to me what to write about.  People go through things in life.  They go through things – ups and downs – physical sicknesses (even though Jesus has already paid the price for them), financial troubles, and just any kind of thing you can think of that the enemy tries to throw at you.  It’s through this time that we must learn to trust and praise God through the valley.  I admit I have been neglecting my “singing” and that’s just the strategy the enemy is trying to use.  He doesn’t want you to praise God in your troubles.  He wants to steal your praise.  He wants to steal your joy too and he wants to steal your praise if that succeeds.  The more he succeeds the more he will try until he’s got you so wrapped around your own suffering and throwing yourself a pity party consumed with grief, that you can’t open your mouth to praise Him [Jesus].

1) Praise is a an act of faith – Praise is one of the many ways that you can express your faith.  It’s easy to sit in church and listen to worship music, sing and dance, and praise.  But when you haven’t been able to keep down anything you’ve eaten or even when you try to pray and fight you are crying so much that you can’t fight anymore or when you are so deep in debt that it would be better for you to go into slavery then to pay off your debt, that’s when it is hard to praise God.  You try so many things to be a “good Christian”, but then you realize that your faith has been stolen so that’s when you must praise.

2) Praise is an attitude – It’s not just about “singing” – It’s a lifestyle choice.  Imagine if you were around a person that had one bad thing after another happen to them and you never saw the smile leave their face.  They smiled when good things were happening and they smiled when bad things were happening, and it wasn’t just their smiling, but it was their whole attitude that was kind, nice, caring, loving, and nurturing, but still human at the same time.  You would think what kind of character does this person have that makes them never complain or murmur or enter into self-pity like that?  I’m not saying that such a person exists , except for maybe David in the Bible or even Joel Osteen (I know some Christians don’t like him and some love him), but wouldn’t it be a great attitude to have where you are constantly praising God for all that has happened-  to know that whatever you’re going through you’re going to get out of it.

3) Praise can deliver you – When Paul was praising in prison there was an earthquake and then all the prison gates opened and they were let out [ACTS 16:25] – Even in your darkest bondage if you lift your hearts to praise Him, then you can be set free.  Whatever you’re going through God can deliver you out of the darkest bondage.  He can create miracles through praise to get out of that bondage.

 

4) Praise when others around you are not praising – You’re fellow co-worker might be talking bad about the boss or about the work situation you can praise God that you have a job.  When your sister is having a bad day and she snaps at you you can praise God that you have a family that loves you and that you are not an orphan.  It’s so easy to praise when everyone around you is cheerful and happy all the time, but how often does that happen?

5) Praise while serving –  Whether you’re washing the dishes, taking out the trash, cooking, or whatever it is that you do to serve you can lift your hearts with praise.  I must admit that this is the hardest thing for me to do.  God does not call you to serve grudgingly or as an obligation, but with a heart of praise.  Often I find myself so agitated I tend to snap at someone or get really stressed out when doing these things, and it’s only afterward that I realize that I should do it with a heart of praise.  So what I do is turn on the Christian radio station and fill my heart with peace and praise so that I can serve with a heart full of praise.  This one is hard for my family members as well.  I think praise while serving changes the whole attitude about serving and can create peace in the atmosphere.

6) Praise God during all the little things – Whether you’re trying to find a piece of food in the way back part of the fridge so that you have to go and take everything out and put everything back in to find it.  Or you’re trying to put the carton of apple juice back in the fridge while there’s no more room left in the fridge.  Or even if it’s making it through the light without getting into an accident.  It doesn’t matter what little things that you do or that happen to you, you can praise God in spite of them or even through them because then you’ll end up being able to praise God through all the big things that happen in your life – like the bondages or things you need to be delivered from.

7) Praise changes your perspective  – You may be looking at your situation from only your viewpoint and not seeing God’s viewpoint, and when you praise the whole situation gets turned around.  Perspective in art and geography can mean two dimensional or three dimensional.  When you put on 3D glasses to watch a movie you feel the realness of it.  You don’t feel like it’s a flat screen and that you can’t really be a part of it.  With 3D it makes the picture pop out for you and it can make it really exciting and personal.  God is multidimensional so when you praise God even when you are going through a valley you can see that there is a mountain at the top and God can move that mountain and make your pathways straight so that you are not in a valley but then you are in a level playing field.

 

One of the songs about Praise I like is “God is good all the time.” :

“Chorus:
God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_moen/god_is_good_all_the_time.html ]
If you’re walking through the valley
And there are shadows all around
Do not fear, He will guide you
He will keep you safe and sound
‘Cause He’s promised to never leave you
Nor forsake you and His Word is true

Chorus

We were sinners – so unworthy
Still for us He chose to die
Filled us with His Holy Spirit
Now we can stand and testify
That His love is everlasting
And His mercies – they will never end

Chorus

Lord I may not understand
All the plans He left for me
My life is in your hands
And through the eyes of Him I can clearly see

Chorus”

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_moen/#share

 

I may not be perfect and I may struggle as we all do, but I know that I have a God who is worthy of praise so through this valley if I go and praise Him then He can move this mountain in my life.

 

 

Why am I in grief and pained with these emotions?

I have been struggling a lot with some hurtful things that people said and the fact that some loved ones are pulling further away from God.  I am not going to go in talk about what happened, but when I was looking back at the way I have been feeling lately – so sad and grieved and in a depth of emotional pain I found something again in the Bible when I was not even looking for this verse…

Hebrews 12:11 “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. “

It’s actually pretty funny that God brought this verse to me at a time when I didn’t understand what was going on and why I was feeling this way.  At first in previous posts I talked about the physical discipline, but there is also an emotional discipline that comes into focus.  God can bring us into a time of pain and grief, and you don’t understand why and what is happening to you.  This pain was totally unrelated to the bipolar disorder, but it had more to do with my own relationship with God and areas I needed to work on.  So I have been really sad and even at times wanting to turn away from God because the deeper I got the more pain I felt.  Now I realized that God has been disciplining me- not punishing me, but He has been making me His disciple through letting me walk through the walls of forgiveness and learning to reach out to Him.  I went to the Word today seeking Him and seeing if there could be just one verse that could just reach out and speak out to me that would be enough.  It was almost like if I could reach out and touch the hem of His garment then I would be healed.  I would experience the joy that I so needed.  I would be able to get out of these lies that satan has been feeding me and stop tormenting myself because I know the Truth lies in His Word.  But I had to be very careful because even satan can use God’s Word to twist it and make you feel bad about yourself.  I felt so wicked and so not close to God, but the Truth was that He was making me a true disciple by letting me go through this grief and pain so that I can learn how to be close to Him.  It is the only way.  God uses our pain and the deepness of our emotions to burn out anything that is not of Him so we can be pure like gold.

I realize that God is my potter and I am the clay.  With each circumstance, with each season, with each molding He is drawing us close to Him, and when we don’t see that we can be stuck in either a pity party or we may not have an understanding of why things are going on.  The Truth is that God really loves us and He wants to see us grow, and He doesn’t want to hurt us like I mentioned before.  It may seem like I am expressing the same things over and over again through my posts, but it is a lesson that I am trying to learn this time in my life.

I don’t know about you, but I can be a very hard learner when it comes to the things of God.  God may have to show me things a million times over to see that this is what He meant.  I can be doing very good, enjoying life, making progress, and then all of a sudden I realize that I haven’t been doing what God wanted me to do.  Instead of going through a cycle of repenting and asking for forgiveness and trying to be better next time, I go into this cycle of really beating myself up about it, and condemning myself because I push myself away from God and closer to the lies of satan.  This is what my therapist calls self-sabotage, but it isn’t my plan or purpose to do that, it isn’t even God’s plan or purpose to do that, but it is satan’s purpose to do that with all the distractions, and poisonous darts that he puts in your way that causes you to detract from the good that you are doing.  It causes you to really know God and realize eventually, that “Aha!” this is what He is doing.  It also takes a little bit of knowing who you are and exactly how you will react to a situation.  It also takes a little bit of knowing who exactly satan is in this world and what his strategies are.

What I can’t emphasize enough is that God uses every pain or bad situation and turns it around for good.  It is so we will have fruit and bear character that would bring fruit into our lives.  Some people are mistaken in thinking that when we receive the Holy Spirit and become a Christian or become converted then all of a sudden “BAM!” everything turns around and just falls into place.  Well, I”m sorry that’s just not the way life works.  We have to go through a lot of struggles in life and whether we are Christian and Holy Spirit filled or not we are still going to have problems and pain.  We are not going to be happy and joyful a 100% of the time.  We are not going to be free of making mistakes and having failures because life is all about that.  Life is all about making mistakes and learning through them and finding God through this process.  Some people will start to have a peace that they have not experienced before and some people will be free of addicitions, but we have to remember that this is all a process, and you can only focus on one day at a time.

Sometimes Christians who are heavily in the Word of God and spending all their time studying the Bible don’t take the time to enjoy the simple things in life.  God wanted us to enjoy the simple things in life and that’s why He spoke in Parables and stories so that simple people could take away the Truth in a form in which was applicable in life.  God can speak to you in so many ways and in so many situations.  He doesn’t have to use just the Bible or His Word to speak to us because that is just one manifestation of the Living Word of God.  He is multifacted.  God can speak to us using the beautiful things in creation.  God can speak to us while we are doing things we enjoy like our hobbies.  Some people have pets and God can speak through pets and children.

What we have to do is to find a way in which we can experience God’s love and still experience life – after all He wants us to have “life and have life more abundantly” and the only way to do that is to live your life.  If you become obsessed with God and you don’t have the right focus it can be a detriment to you without you even realizing it because if your thoughts and life are not planted on good soil they will not be nourished and produce good fruit.  So you can be super obsessed with God and the Bible, but you are not producing fruit in your life by taking the time and living out your life and fulfilling the destiny God has in purpose for you.

I believe in Heaven it is just going to be like one big party all the time.  But Heaven is not just one place in the sky that you can only see after you die.  God’s purpose is to see His Kingdom and Heaven here on earth and the one way we do that is by letting Heaven live in our hearts.

It is important to set goals and reach out to achieve those goals.   It is important to take out the time to go and “smell the roses”.  It is important to have just some “me” time when you can be by yourself and just take in the things in and let all the tensions and stresses of life go.  If you can’t go out and give someone a hug today – then find something to enjoy.  I guess my problem is that I have been so focused on my problems that I didn’t take out any time for myself and focus on the little things in life.  God is bigger than my problem.