I’m Boasting Today

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And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 1 Corinthians 12:9

Are you familiar with the term ‘covenant’? It’s an agreement or pact that is made between 2 or more parties to do or not to do something. Covenants have been taking place way back in history but the first one we see in the bible was the one God made with Abram in Genesis 12.

I’m not going to get into that today, but unless we have a basic understanding of covenant, these verses cannot be fully understood. So what I do want to say is this; Covenants were designed to eliminate weakness.

Let that sink in for just a moment. Whose strength is made perfect in our weakness? Gods! Why? Because it’s what covenant does. Where I am weak, He is strong. I rely on Him for my provision, protection, health, peace, etc.. I can only do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

When Jesus became our new covenant by shedding His own blood for us, the bible says He sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. He is our advocate against all the accusations of the enemy. So where Satan focuses on our weakness, Jesus reminds Him that He is our strength. He fights for us so we don’t have to fight.

He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell inside of us so that we would have power over all the power of the enemy. To be our teacher, our counsel, our guide, to bring healing, peace and joy. Where we are weak, He is strong.

So let me just boast about all of my shortcomings, my weak points. There are so many things I’m not good at, but He is. I can honestly say that without the Holy Spirit being strong on the inside of me, I wouldn’t be able to a fraction of what I do. That’s why when people say, “Sandy, that was so good!” I can not take credit for it because it was ALL God!

But just like Paul, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I’ll never again say, “I can’t!” If God wants me to do it, He will do it through me because all He needs from me is my availability.

Until Tomorrow

Sandy

A Vessel That’s Full

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The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,  “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.”  So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel.  But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Jeremiah 18:1-4

There’s an old hymn that comes to mind as I read this. Some of you younger folk have probably never heard it, but it goes like this:

“Have thine own way Lord, Have thine own way. Thou art the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me, after thy will. While I am waiting, yielded and still.”

I watched as a potter molded a piece of clay on the wheel once. It was amazing. What a masterpiece to my naked eye. Then I watched in horror as he put his fist into it and started over again. I must have given some vocal cry as he did this because I saw him smile. “It wasn’t what I pictured,” he said.

I wonder how many times God has done that with me? I may be pretty satisfied with myself but He sees so much more, so there He goes again, gently shaping me into what He sees I should be. It’s all about my purpose, and all of us have one. I may want to be a beautiful centerpiece to a table but God sees me as a useful vessel to hold oil.

Then a carrier of oil I will be. I’ll be slippery to handle, for the One who filled me has filled me to the full till I overflowed. I made a mess on the table and down on the floor, but when I thought I had enough, He poured even more.

I cried out, “Wait Lord, can’t you see that I’m full! Turn off the spicket, until I’m poured out or used!”

I felt His smile then I heard his laughter, “Didn’t I tell you that I would pour out a blessing you didn’t have room to contain? Didn’t I tell you with the same measure you give, it would be measured to you again? Didn’t I tell you that with blessing I will bless you and with multiplicity I would multiply back to you again? I can’t stop what I’ve started nor can I turn off the blessing I’ve already sent to you. Just keep giving, child. You can’t out give me. Not today, not tomorrow, not in this lifetime.”

Be blessed today! God blessed you to bless others, so have fun doing it!

Sandy

 

 

Friday Prayer

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Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.
Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face? If I go up to heaven, you’re there! If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too! If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there! If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting! Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me. It’s impossible to disappear from you or to ask the darkness to hide me, for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night. There is no such thing as darkness with you. The night, to you, is as bright as the day; there’s no difference between the two.
You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord! You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something. You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book.
Every single moment you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider
that you cherish me constantly in your every thought! O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me. Psalm 139:1-18 TPT

Make this your own prayer as you read it. Allow the Holy Spirit to pulsate in you as He fills you up, don’t let it end there. If you’ll listen, He will speak to you all through your day, assuring you of His deep love for you and giving you opportunities for adventures with Him.

Let Him accompany you through your weekend. Watch as He orders your steps with persision and purpose. Look to Him for wisdom in decisions you make. Wait on Him when you’re anxious for an answer. It will come, just not the way you thought it would. It’s ok to not have every moment planned out. Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.

May this weekend be like no other as you learn the ebb and flow of Gods rhythm.

Have a good one and see you back on Monday!

Sandy

 

Marked For Jesus

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Then I looked, and behold—there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion. Gathered with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. Revelation 14:1 TPT

They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. Revelation 14:3 NKJV

I’m not trying to take things out of context here, but as I read this I had this beautiful vision of being marked for Christ, singing songs that no one else could sing, only those who are marked and set apart for Him.

My Mondays blog was about not fitting in, but don’t you feel this is true for real believers? That we are markedly different? The world may call us weird, but God has wired us for purpose and we are His, singing a song created specifically for us.

Have you ever talked with someone who just gets you? You’re so much alike that you feel a kindred spirit, a twin-ship so to speak? When they share their vision, you can see it and it’s somehow connected with yours but it’s whispy like a cloud the wind blows away? Because connection happens when puzzle pieces are placed together on a board. The beauty appears as the pieces come together and the picture is complete, but when you’re a piece, you only see what’s around you.

We are connected my friend. We may not live in the same city or the same nation, but in the Spirit, we’re connected. Like cells in a body bringing life to the whole, we each have a job to do. We are one by the Holy Spirit of God who lives in us, yet separated by time and space in this natural world.

You may not understand my job and I may not understand yours, but someday, all will be clear as God reveals His master plan and the tiny part each of us played in it. We must be very cautious not to judge or criticize each other. Although we are marked for purpose, each purpose varies and is unique to each of us. That’s why it’s so important to have conversation with God, because He alone knows the part you play and you must hear His instructions.

Let us earnestly pray for each other just as Jesus makes intercession for all of us, His bride. Pray and encourage one another in the Lord. Recognize those who are marked among you and remember, they are learning their own part of the song we will all sing together as we worship around the throne of God.

Oh sweet and precious Holy Spirit, I love You and the clarity You bring as we each learn our song. Mark us with the Name above all Names. May the world know who our Father is and may the song we sing be loud so that all may know the glory of Your name. Jesus! No other name! You are mine and I am Yours forever. Amen

 

 

Yielded & Out of Control

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And the Lord had replied to Moses, “Yes, I will do what you have asked, for you have certainly found favor with me, and you are my friend.”

Then Moses asked to see God’s glory.

The Lord replied, “I will make my goodness pass before you, and I will announce to you the meaning of my name Jehovah, the Lord. I show kindness and mercy to anyone I want to.” Exodus 33:17-19 TLB

God loves to exchange dialog with us because that’s what friends do. There are two parts to conversation; talking and listening. Many times we talk but walk away before He has a chance to answer us.

Yesterday I shared my experience in receiving the Holy Spirit. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, please do so. It’s such a big part of who I am today and it will give depth to what I’m about to share with you.

When we returned from the lake that summer, I had such a hunger for Gods word and just couldn’t get enough of it. Anytime I would read something I didn’t understand or I felt there was something I just wasn’t picking up, I would ask God for the answer.

There was a big empty field across from our home that led back to the Red Cedar River. It was a small river, but I loved to go back and stare at the water. It was so peaceful and seemed to wash everything away. Beside the river, there were logs that people had placed there. I would sit on these logs and be very quiet, my thoughts and questions racing through my head. And in those moments, I would begin to talk with God. It was always in my thoughts because I didn’t want my words to screw it up.

As I would sit with Him, I began to take the questions I had and ask Him. Remember, I was 15, so anything goes here! My biggest need to know was why. “Everyone says You took my daddy. Why did you do that?”

“Oh honey, though your daddy is here with me, I didn’t take him. I welcomed him with open arms, but I’m a loving Father and my nature is to give life, not to take it. People often say things they shouldn’t because they just don’t know what to say. Learn from that. If you long to comfort, wrap your arms around them and tell them I love them, but if you don’t know what to say, stay silent.”

The rest of that conversation was too intimate to discuss with anyone else. It showed me that our words are important and life and death is in them. We often give God credit or blame for things we spoke ourselves. If we had not had that conversation, I would not have learned this incredible truth at a young age.

There was one time when I was just worshipping God, yielding more of me to Him. Each time I would do this, it seemed He would fill me with more of Him. I didn’t quite understand this until I was married and became intimate with my husband. It was more then being filled with his sperm, it was about becoming one in body and spirit.

This particular instance was something I’d never experienced before. In that moment of deep intimate exchange with God, I ‘tunneled’ out again but this time I saw an angel with a red hot coal in his hand. As he approached me, he placed the coal on my lips and I heard God say, “I have placed my Word in your mouth and anointed you for great purpose.”

I don’t believe I would have seen or heard God speak if I hadn’t taken the time to cultivate intimate conversation with Him. Not just talking-and I do love to talk-but listening. I don’t know about you but I need instructions every day. I can’t go a day without hearing His voice. I would just as soon leave this earth to be with Him if I became to busy to listen.

My life has not been easy. My life hasn’t been usual. I’ve experienced some horrible things and yet, each and everything I’ve endured, God has found purpose for. I’ve had no formal education, but I’ve been schooled by the Spirit of God and that my friend is an education I would not live without. I may never speak to a congregation of men, but I’ve spoken to angels and they obeyed the voice of His Word.

I may never prophesy in a church, but I’ve prophesied over my husband, my children and my grandchildren. I’ve declared things over people I don’t even know simply in obedience to the Spirit who sent me. My life is not my own, I’ve been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ my Messiah. There’s nothing on this earth that I desire over relationship and intimacy with my Holy Spirit.

I understand the words of Paul when he said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  He is my everything, and this becomes more evident as each day goes by. I don’t control my now and I don’t pretend to know my future, but I trust the One who does.

Are you hungry to go deeper with God? Ask Him, but when you do, be ready to let go of the bar, lift your hands high in the sky and be ready for the biggest rollercoaster ride of your life. It will take you where you never dreamed of going. You’ll be ridiculed, laughed at and totally misunderstood, but just a reminder, it’s your life to live for Him.

There are always those who want to be safe on the ground. Those who refuse to let go of control and those who will try to hold onto you for safety. But if you want this kind of relationship with God, just stay yielded and out of control.

 

Being Schooled

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“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26 NASB

God has been taking me down memory lane lately. It’s highly unusual for me, because I’m a forward thinker and never dwell on my past. To me, the past is to be learned from, not repeated and since God is always doing new things, that’s where I want to be.

When I was almost 13, my dad was killed in a freak accident leaving my mom with 3 girls and a son they had just adopted. Since he was the main disciplinarian in our home, his absence caused the tight restraints to disintegrate and the road to freedom was a road I desired to explore.

Because of my moms grief, it was as if I had no parental supervision, so for the next 2 years I tried everything I knew was wrong to do (thank God I was young and naive cause I could have done a whole lot more!)

With two years of rebelling out of the way, my cousin invited me to a revival service in Alma, Michigan where a woman evangelist was speaking. She told me it was really good and I should go. I didn’t want to go, but I did want to get out of the house, so even though no one else wanted to, I went.

I don’t know what I expected, but I’d never experienced this kind of church before. I hadn’t heard people speak in tongues before but it seemed to change the atmosphere. Toward the end of the service, this woman began to say things to people. She looked at me and although I can’t remember her exact words, she addressed my grief and the lies the enemy had told me. I began to weep. I asked forgiveness for all my sins and invited Jesus to take me, all of me. I just wanted my daddy back.

Two weeks later I stood with both my sisters and my cousin at an altar with my hands raised. We were all just loving on the Father when suddenly I tunneled out. Like everything and everyone just became silent and there was only God and me. Suddenly I was speaking in a language I didn’t know and had never learned.

Such an incredible freedom. Such joy. Indescribable! We were there for hours just praying in this new language, all afraid to stop because who knew if we could start again. It was the 4th of July weekend and my aunt and uncle offered to let all of us girls ride in the back of the covered pick-up truck for the trip to the lake.

About an hour into the ride my cousin had stopped to yawn and then began to pray again. She said, “We can stop! I did and was able to start back up again!” You see, even in our ignorance, God was schooling us.

We became hungry for His Word and started reading the gospels and the book of Acts. Even though my dad was a pastor and we knew the Word and had memorized tons of scripture, it was as if it was all knew. Instead of just reading words on a page, the Word came alive to us.

The Holy Spirit was given to school us, to teach things that we can’t learn by ourselves. He was given as a flashlight so that we could know the truth and it would set us free. If you would like to receive the Holy Spirit, all you need to do is lift your hands and ask Him to come in. Say, “Holy Spirit, I need you! I want to become one with you. I yield my spirit to Yours and every part of me to Your plans and purposes.”

Now just raise your hands to heaven and begin to love on Him, to worship Him. Surrender your own language to the language of the Spirit and let Him transform you. You’ll never be the same in Jesus’ name. Amen

Please share your experience with me. I’d love to hear from you!

Sandy

When You Just Don’t Fit In

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“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations—that’s what I had in mind for you.”

But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me. I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!”

God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’ I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there. I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it. Don’t be afraid of a soul. I’ll be right there, looking after you.” God’s Decree. Jeremiah 1:5-8 MSG

Have you ever felt you just didn’t fit in? That perhaps you’ll never be understood? Have you ever heard God speak to you and ask you to say or do something that made absolutely no sense at all?

Most of the Prophets from the old testament were led by God to do or say things that made no sense at all, but they learned to trust what they heard and declare it even though it cost them family, friends and sometimes their future.

Perhaps you’re seeking affirmation from people when all along you should be seeking affirmation from God. Who called you, God or man? Who is asking for your service, God or man? Prophets often feel isolated and lonely simply because they don’t fit in the mold of others.

Prophets often speak what they’re told and the opposite seemingly occurs. Let me help with that. Remember when Samuel anointed David king of Israel? What happened in the natural? Absolutely nothing! David went back to the sheep, doing what he always did. But Samuels obedience set something into action in the supernatural realm and it always happens there first.

David killed Goliath, which made his name known in places it would never have been known. There’s always a process to words delivered. Don’t think you’ve missed God when it fails to manifest right away. It may take days, weeks, months or even years, but without your obedience, the wheels of process would never have begun.

It’s ok to not fit in. It’s ok to not be liked or loved. God may see something in you that no one else does, so learn to love who you are, who He made you to be. Most of all, learn to love and trust God. He’s looking for those who will say what He says and do what He does. If that looks weird, so be it! Better to obey and be laughed at and talked about by man, then to disappoint and grieve the Holy Spirit.

“You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; And light will shine on your ways. When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence, and the humble person He will save. He will deliver one who is not innocent, and he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.” Job 22:28-30