Pressure to Treasure

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As I was talking about the Lord yesterday morning, I discovered this; pressure can do many things to many people, but pressure was designed to press us into treasure.  A piece of coal was only coal, used to created warmth it has purpose. But apply extreme pressure over a period of time and you have a diamond.  Now you’ve created something much more valuable!

I’m not sure what you’ve been experiencing in your life, but my journey’s been rough! There were times I wanted to give up, throw in the towel, move to a remote island, hide, curl up in a fetal position, but what kept me, was the knowledge that there was so much more! I kept hearing the voice of God say, “Come up higher! Leave this world and it’s cares behind and come, spend time with me! There are things I want to teach you, things you won’t learn from a school. If you come, I will show you all you have access to and prepare you for the life I have for you.”

That’s where I go. It’s the life I’ve longed for since I was young.  The confident assurance that I was created for more! That there is more, but it’s not in this world or it’s riches or substance, it’s only found in Him. Because I want to be like Jesus, full of love, full or hope, full of favor, full of power.  I want my life to reflect Him in everything I do.

Ever want to ride out a storm in peace? Ever want to see the ‘greater things than this’ we would do? The signs, wonders and miracles that followed Jesus? Ever want tell the mountain to move and see it quickly obey? Ever want to say, ‘Be healed!’ to a quadriplegic and watch them leap out of their chair? Well God does too! But he’s looking to see who’s ‘all in’ and stays serving Him after the miracle happens, after the provision comes, after the peace arrives.

If you truly want more of God, turn loose of what has your heart until your entire heart belongs to Him.  Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal your secret agenda’s, your pride, your wrong thinking and your wrong believing. Get in His presence and don’t leave-ever! Do life with the knowledge that Christ is in you via the Holy Spirit, and he will NEVER EVER leave you. He can’t! It’s as impossible as taking water out of coffee. If He goes, you go!

Now live your life with that knowledge. He’s in you! Every decision you make, consult Him. It may sound silly, but it’s what pleases Him. Being a part of your life is what He created you for. You can’t have the goods without the relationship. It’s like being married, you can’t have a great marriage serving yourself. You can’t be in one day and out the next. It’s for the long haul and you give 100% all the time because the law of sowing and reaping always applies.

Proverbs 8:18; I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.

God is not hiding from you. Pursue Him and your life will be forever changed. I know, because that’s what happened to me.

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The Decision in Question

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I’ve been openly criticized for staying through Hurricane Irma in our 3rd floor condo. The creepy manipulative posts of friends who share their ‘concern’ or ‘wisdom’ of staying is at times a bit disconcerting for sure. But what they don’t realize is the fact that I’m not alone and I’m not staying for me. I’m not staying because I’m trying to prove a point, look like I’m more ‘holier than thou’.  I’ve weighed all the options and continue to hear the Lord say stay! Why? I don’t know, but I keep looking, keep encouraging, keep searching for those who will hear what the Spirit is trying to say.

I have a real peace deep down in my heart that nothing and no one can take away from me.  I choose to put my faith in play and trust in the Lord with ALL my heart, lean not on my own understanding or practicality, and just acknowledge that it is God who directs my steps.  If I live or if I perish, I will not fear! Fear brings torment but faith in God moves mountains (or hurricane’s for that matter)!

I’m not confident in my own abilities at all. I’ve prepared-made a list, checked it twice, totes filled with water are sitting in the shower for flushing and washing up, plenty of food, ice made and in freezer, cooler ready in case we lose power, flashlights, batteries checked, kerosene in lamps, lighters in place.  All the things I can do to get ready are done! But I refuse to sit on hands doing nothing. I will practice what I’ve preached lest I myself be a cast-a-way.

I will focus on the Lord, trust in Him, seek His face, do what He says. In seeking, I find Him. He’s always first and foremost on my mind and in my heart. I magnify the Lord and exalt His name forever. Will you come magnify the Lord as well? Because that word magnify means to enlarge or increase in size. When you make God bigger then Hurricane Irma, it’s subject to His power not the other way around.

 

The children of Israel were constantly living in fear. Fear of the Red Sea before them, but God split the sea and they walked across to dry land. When they crossed, they had no water, God provided and they drank. They had no food, God rained down manna from heaven and fed them, they still complained. If we can’t learn from our history that we serve a God who is well able to deliver us, frankly my friend, I’m not sure you really know the Lord.

Because there’s head knowledge and there’s heart knowledge. When you trust God, He becomes more than a name on a page. He becomes your water in drought, your peace in the storm, your food when you’re hungry and you’ll never be afraid or lack for anything. My friend, you too can know Him this way.  The bible says to believe in the Lord and you’ll be saved. If that’s enough for you, it’s ok, you’ll get to heaven.

But if you want more, there’s so much more!  You won’t find it doing your own thing. It will take sacrifice and discipline, but if you want more power in your life, plug into the only source of power that will turn you into a transformer.  He will transform you from just saved, to someone the world will run to in crisis. They’ll run to the light in you, the fire in you will warm others. It’s not so you can be bright, it’s so that you can make disciples of others who are making the journey to God.

I refuse to just talk about the God who can.  Christ in me gives me access to so much more.  I want people to talk about me long after I’m gone as someone who started fires all over the world. Who pushed people to burn with passion for the all powerful God who is well able to deliver us in time of need.

God Will Finish What He Started!

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I remember when I was very young, my parents took us on a little trip to a ‘surprise’ destination. They didn’t tell us where we were going, just that it would be a ‘surprise’.  I don’t remember where we went, all I remember is not knowing where we were going. To keep us from asking the infamous, “Are we there yet” question, my mom would read a book to us, something to distract us on our trip.

When I got in the car with my dad and mom, there were some things I just didn’t pay attention to; I didn’t think about the gas it would take to get there, or what we would eat (because trust me, I was a growing girl!). No, there was an element of trust there. When they said we were going, we went. If we had a flat tire, it got changed. When we needed gas, they stopped to fill the tank. And when I was hungry, they fed me!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve encountered this scenario so many times in my journey with God. He tells me I’m going on a journey, but doesn’t share where or just how long it will take, or what I’ll encounter when I get there.  The only thing I know is that we’re going together, that He’ll take care of me, and that I can trust Him.

When I’m hungry, He’ll feed me. When I’m sick, He’ll heal me. When I have a need, He’ll fill it. I TRUST HIM! And to keep myself from constantly asking questions, I read His Book. It tells me stories of His faithfulness. I see Him doing it for others and know He’ll do it for me. I TRUST HIM! I’m His child and He takes care of me. I do what He says and rest in His promises, because He’s a good Father and regardless of what happens around me, I TRUST HIM!

Isaiah 55:8-11 Message says this; “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree.  “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.  Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, so will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed.  They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.” 

You’re thinking way to small if you think that the God who hung the stars, can’t take care of you.  What you’re going through right now, it pales in comparison to what He has planned for you. Just because you can’t see your destination, doesn’t mean He’s forgotten where you’re going. Let Him drive and care for you because YOU CAN TRUST HIM.

Father, I declare today that I trust You. Thanks for the reminder that there is nothing too hard for You and that my worry is simply a huge waste of time!  Every day I will thank You. Every day I will Love You. Most importantly, every day I will trust You, my Father. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 

Who Gives You the Right?

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“One of the greatest things the enemy is after is you finding out who you are, because everything spreads from there.”  Bill Winston

Remember that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. His deception is SO sneaky! You see, he’s been doing it for a very, very long time so he’s proficient in it. His goal is for us to doubt that we are children of the Most High God, made in His image and likeness, created for greatness.  That blessings are simply attracted to us the more time we spend in His presence.  So he keeps us busy doing stuff we weren’t meant to do, inflicting symptoms to see if we’ll buy the lies.

Matthew 6:33 has it all wrapped up in one short verse; “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating because the way we learn is repetitive! Focus on God! Seek His face, His Word, be like Him, study Him, ask for His wisdom, greater revelation, for a growth like we’ve never seen before. If we are to do greater works then Jesus, we must know who we are and what we were created for.

No, seriously! We were created to show the light of His glory and how can we do that unless we spend time in His presence, completely saturated? Body of Christ, rise up. Take your place. Lets not allow the enemy to lie to us and distract us anymore. We will only be satisfied when we do the will of the Father who sent us and is in us. Jesus prayed, “Your Kingdom come! Your will be done! ON EARTH as it is in Heaven.” Not when we get to heaven, but while on the earth. We are to live like heaven on the earth. HOW? Be filled with the knowledge of WHOSE you are and walk accordingly.

Father, don’t let me leave here this morning without that revelation of Christ in me. I cannot be a light unless I plug into the generator. You are my power source! How can I do anything of value without you? It’s not about who I am, it’s about how big You are in me, THATS what really matters. No ulterior motive. Not to build my own kingdom but Yours. Not for more friends to read and like my post, but to build and exhort your Kingdom.  It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

Revelation Brings Conversation

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The boy Samuel was serving God under Eli’s direction. This was at a time when the revelation of God was rarely heard or seen. One night Eli was sound asleep (his eyesight was very bad—he could hardly see). It was well before dawn; the sanctuary lamp was still burning. Samuel was still in bed in the Temple of God, where the Chest of God rested. Then God called out, “Samuel, Samuel!”

Samuel answered, “Yes? I’m here.” Then he ran to Eli saying, “I heard you call. Here I am.”

Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” And so he did.

God called again, “Samuel, Samuel!”

Samuel got up and went to Eli, “I heard you call. Here I am.”

Again Eli said, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” (This all happened before Samuel knew God for himself. It was before the revelation of God had been given to him personally.)

God called again, “Samuel!”—the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, “Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am.”

That’s when it dawned on Eli that God was calling the boy. So Eli directed Samuel, “Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, ‘Speak, God. I’m your servant, ready to listen.’” Samuel returned to his bed.

Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Samuel answered, “Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.”

God said to Samuel, “Listen carefully. I’m getting ready to do something…..” Read the rest of the story in I Samuel 3

I hear the Lord saying, “I want to reveal myself to my sons and daughters, but they spend more time talking then listening. They want to know my plans, but they won’t be still before me to hear it. They’re full of their own thoughts and agendas, and if I don’t work quickly according to their plans, they just move on.”

To hear from God, we must first have revelation of God. Please understand that there is no one bigger than God. From the beginning of time, He created man to converse with him. One thing noted in Genesis is that God walked with Adam in the cool of the day. Friends talk! He loves to reveal Himself and all of His astounding attributes to us

The second most important thing is to recognize His voice and make ourselves available to listen. You can’t recognize Gods voice if you don’t read His Word because He IS His Word. John 1:1-5;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Little Samuel heard an audible voice calling to him in the night and thought it was Eli, the priest. It took a few times for Eli to realize that God was the one doing the calling because it had been so long since he himself had heard Gods voice. I wonder how it made him feel?

The bible says that the voice of God was rare in that time. Kind of like today, don’t you think? Is it because man didn’t want to hear? Perhaps they’d made their own plans and didn’t want interference. It’s like they had life all figured out; plans, goals, seeking after money, fame. They had grown accustomed to no God voice and that was ok with them. No voice, no guilt! Sound familiar?

Father, to not hear your voice would be horrible! I can’t imagine my life without You! Each day when I rise and say, “Good morning, Lord!” Your response is music to my ears and I feel my heart stir within me. I’m so thankful that You sent Your Spirit to live in me. I don’t have to wait for a certain time, I can access you every minute of everyday. I want to know You in ALL of Your glory! Speak Lord! Your servant is listening.

 

The Power of Praise

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There’s just something about praise that lifts the spirit to new heights. Every nagging worry and care seems to melt away as praise rushes out of our mouth. With praise comes peace and joy, laughter spilling out of the lips lifts the loads of depression. Just as dirt is washed away by water, so is heaviness lifted when we praise. It seems to shift the attention off the problem and onto the One who solves all problems.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! Psalm 107:8

Seems King David was on to something. Praise magnifies the Lord and minimizes the problems we face. There’s something about cataloging the good things about someone that makes our cares seem so small. God is bigger! He is greater! God is more powerful then anything that comes against us.

Our problem is not our problem, our problem is how we THINK about our problem. The more we THINK about something, the bigger it becomes. Instead of looking at how much is in you bank account, look at God’s unlimited supply. Instead of focusing on the pain in your body, focus on Jesus who took all your sickness and disease on himself and paid the debt of it once and for all. Thank Him for what He did for you!

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. Ps 34:3

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. PS 69:30

Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise GodJust to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing—now and tomorrow and always. From east to west, from dawn to dusk, keep lifting all your praises to GodGod is higher than anything and anyone, outshining everything you can see in the skies. Who can compare with God, our God, so majestically enthroned, surveying his magnificent heavens and earth? He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash, seats them among the honored guests, a place of honor among the brightest and best. He gives childless couples a family, gives them joy as the parents of children.

Hallelujah!  Psalm 113 MSG

If you woke up this morning, give Him praise! If you have gas to get to work, give Him praise! If you have a roof over your head, give Him praise. If you have clothes to wear, give Him praise. If you have food to eat, give Him praise. When your mind struggles to find something to praise Him about, praise Him you have a mind! A sound mind! Oh praise His mighty name!

Father, forgive us for whining and complaining about what we don’t have. Our eyes have for too long been on what is not instead of what we have. We are forever grateful that you chose us to save and deliver. You picked us to bless. Your favor is on us every day in every way and we just take time to say, THANK YOU! It’s in Jesus’ name, Amen

 

 

Old Familiar Places

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For years God’s people cried out to be delivered from their captivity, and when He sent Moses to deliver them, they were excited. That is until they saw the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army behind them.  We know the end of that story, but suppose it was you.

You’ve set out on a journey with all your friends and relatives, talking as you went about all the plagues, the blood applied to the doorposts and how it protected you and your family. You’re showing each other all the money and jewelry you received from your Egyptian neighbors.  You’re excited! I mean, there were a whole lot of people walking together on that camping trip.

You’re nearing the Red Sea and the excitement dies down a bit. How are we going to cross to the other side? Why didn’t Moses prepare for this? You thought for sure they have a barge, a bridge, something.  Can you imagine the noise as the people at the rear saw the army coming? Pandemonium!

But God had a plan to teach them to trust Him to be their deliverer. To finally demonstrate to His people He could take care of them. And He did! But they kept wanting to go back to old familiar places. They decided it would be easier to work hard in what was familiar then to be free and be cared for.

That is us! We pray for change but we don’t like how God does it.  He said, “Behold I do a new thing.” But we keep asking for the ‘old time religion’, the ‘old revival’.  I heard someone say, “I miss the ‘good ole days'”, but I thought, they had problems back there as well! God’s not into the old, He’s into the new! What was is no more.

You cannot drive forward looking in the rear-viewed mirror. Trust me, you will hurt yourself and cause accidents unless you’re looking ahead instead of behind. God was in that and it was great, but God does not stutter and He rarely does things in the same way the next time.  So lets look ahead to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Let’s press on toward the prize that’s before us, not behind us.

Father, I’m not going back there! I look forward to the unfolding of Your new plan for me and I will trust in Your process. I see what You did in the past, but what I focus on will be YOU not the way You choose to do it. I trust You! You are in me both to will and do YOUR good pleasure. So I will thank You every day for the good plans You have for me. It’s in Jesus’ name, Amen.