29 October 2016

On Waiting

“Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.”

Hebrews 6:15 NLT


wait on less commonly  wait upon

  • 1
    a
      :  to attend as a servant
    b  :  to supply the wants of :  serve
  • 2
    :
      to make a formal call on
  • 3
    :
      to wait for

(From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wait)


Waiting on the Lord is not a passive thing. Abraham didn't sit in his house all those years, wondering when God would get with the program. Yes, waiting on the Lord often involves not doing something; but it ALWAYS involves being actively engaged in a godly life, seeking out the will of God and doing it.


And so, today I'm asking myself: how can I better wait upon the Lord as I look forward to his promises being fulfilled in my life?


Father, thank you for the illuminating power of study--for the way digging into the meanings of words empowers my understanding and my life. Help me hear you more clearly, obey you more faithfully, and praise you with more joy and rejoicing every day. Thank you for filing my life with such blessing, and reach me to own my heart and mind more and more to your goodness and your love, in Jesus' name. Amen.

25 October 2016

Always, Never, and ALL

S: “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will NEVER reject them.”

~John 6:35, 37 NLT


O: Jesus has promised that he will not only provide for our needs when we come to him, but that he will NEVER reject those who come to him.


NEVER.


And who are those the Father has given to Jesus? 


“God has put ALL things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over ALL things for the benefit of the church.”

~Ephesians 1:22 NLT


A: I believe the Father gave Jesus everything he redeemed. All creation. That includes all flesh. Whether or not we seek Jesus is up to each of us. But we have the word of God that he will not reject us when we do. Not ever.


So if you feel like God has rejected you, KNOW THIS: that is a lie from hell. A lie designed to keep you captive, separated from the God who paid the ultimate price so he COULD accept you ALWAYS, so he could cover your sin and imperfection with mercy and charity, and be close to you as soon as you turn to him with a repentant heart.


God's word is truth.


And one of the most hopeful, encouraging things I've ever realized is that if I don't see God's promises coming true in my life, God is not the problem. It's me. Hallelujah! 


I can't change the word of God, but I CAN change me! I can learn of him and listen to his words, I can change the way I think, change what I believe as I learn more about Jesus, and watch the promises unfold like flowers after a long winter. Because my God does not lie. I can trust him. Always.


Papa God, thank you for being constant and faithful. Thank you for the blood of Jesus that bought me, not to enslave me, as men who buy human lives intend, but in order to set me free. Bless all flesh, Father, and show me how to pray so I can better partner with you in the incredible work you are working to set all flesh free, in my home, my church, my community and my world, in Jesus' name, amen.

12 October 2016

A Time of Exceeding

We are seeds; embryonic versions of what God plans for us to become.

We carry within us seeds. Idea seeds. Emotion seeds. Word seeds. Action seeds.

The work of the seed looks like the destruction of the seed. It IS the destruction of the seed.

The finished work of a seed looks NOTHING like the seed. It smells nothing like the seed. It feels nothing like the seed. It tastes nothing like the seed. The seed is the promise of the finished work. It is only potential.

Just looking at a seed, we can't always know what it is. Or we can THINK we know, because we've seen something very similar before. Or we can think we know a seed is bad because we watched someone else try to plant and raise a good seed without the Master Gardener. But unless we have seen that seed properly planted, nurtured, and then bearing seed from itself, we must hear the word of God that tells us what kind of seed we have discovered, hidden deep in our spirits.

This is a time to listen to the word of God that tells us what these seeds are.

And we have to let go of the seeds. We have to let them be buried, however deep the Master Gardener directs. We have to believe, while we cannot see, that the seed is swelling and breaking open and beginning to unfold. That a tiny tap root is reaching deeper down into the soil than we think is necessary, while we eagerly await the first tiny green bump to push through the surface. And while we wait, we need to keep the planting watered and free of weeds. And once those cotyledons appear, we have to watch over the tiny seedling, and let the loving faith community God has ready for each of us to help guard and provide for the growth of that fragile yet explosively growing new thing within us.

This is a time of exceeding. Do you hear it? Ex-seed-ing. Of going beyond the seeds--the seeds we are so comfortable with. The seeds that comfort us; because it's easier to adore the promise of the seed than create the conditions for that promise to spring to life. The seeds that we treasure, but aren't willing to let go of and plant them. Or the seeds that we hide, afraid of what the planting and care might cost us.


And all the while, God speaks to us:
This, this is an apple seed, round and shining with the promise of fruit to feed nations.
This, this is an orchid seed, so tiny you can hardly see it, but the beauty and fragrance of this flower will draw the lonely into My arms.
This, this is a ministry seed, sharp and black, but that will rise from the earth and bloom in the softest hues to comfort and gladden every heart that sees it.
This, this is a friendship seed to bridge the chasm surrounding a lost and broken soul.
This, this is a love seed that will bind you to Me, forever and always.
This, this is a healing seed that will make the amputee whole again.
This, this is a service seed.
This, this is an apostolic seed.
This, this is a pastoral seed.
This, this is an evangelical seed.
This, this is a teaching seed.
This, this is a charity seed.
This, this is a dunamis seed.
This is a time for seeds to release what they hold, to release the potential and the process that will become a finished work for the glory of God.

(Sparked by a podcast of a sermon by Justin Paul Abraham. Boy, does he challenge me . . . )

08 October 2016

I Trust Him

“Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”
~Isaiah 26:4 NKJV

A year ago this weekend, I had one of the most powerful revelatory experiences I have ever had. God gave me very clear instruction, and sent me dreams and understanding to equip and direct me.

As I waited for sleep to come last night, I looked back over the year and examined how I had tried, and believed I had failed, to follow that very simple, two-word injunction: "Get strong".

But almost as soon as I turned my thoughts that way, I felt Jesus gently correcting me. Yes, I definitely had not achieved what *I* saw as the primary purpose of those words. I'm not running a 30k tomorrow. I don't weigh sixty pounds less than I did at this time last year. He knows that. But he showed me the many ways I have grown significantly stronger, and I was surprised to see just what a difference there is between last year and now.

A year ago, I stepped out in my own wisdom to retake my physical health. I also stepped out, relying as fully as I knew how on my Lord, to receive and learn whatever he had in store for me. I've learned so much from both experiences, and with great mercy the Lord of Heaven and Earth has drawn and taught and guided me as much as I have been willing to hear and follow. Including instructions for how to begin, in this moment and circumstance in my life, to receive the physical healing and strength he has waiting for me.

Father God, I will trust you, for you truly are my everlasting strength. Thank you for all you have shown me, all you have taught me, and all you offer in the future. Watch over me and my family and loved ones. Let me be the physical manifestation of your love on the earth, the visible evidence of your Word. Show me how to receive your spirit in more depth and consistency, so the outflow of my life will be deeply nourishing, blessing everyone who comes across my path. Thank you for everything, God. I love you so much. In Jesus' name, amen.

04 October 2016

Acceptable to God, or Acceptable to the Flesh?

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:1-2 NLT


1) Often, what we find acceptable is not what God finds acceptable; and what God finds acceptable is NOT what we have been taught to think of as acceptable. 


2) If we want transformation, we MUST allow God to change the way we think. (Hint: that includes how we define "acceptable"!)


3) If we recognize that what we think of as acceptable (along with all our other thinking) needs be to available for God to redefine, and we are pliable in His hands as He changes our thinking, letting Him transform us, we will KNOW His will for us in our lives. Which includes hearing Him well.


Papa God, I have loved this passage for a long time, and know it almost by heart. But this lesson never occurred to me until today. What an awesome connection, and what a powerful lesson! Thank you for your promises, thank you for your faithfulness, thank you for the way you never, EVER stop working with us, calling to us, teaching and blessing us. Thank you for this key, and for all of the things you have spoken to me lately, in so much love. I love you, Papa. In Jesus' name, amen.