The One

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
~Romans 5:19 NKJV

I am made righteous through the obedience of Christ. Receiving that righteousness, which is right-standing before God, is what makes it possible for me to follow Jesus. To learn, grow, repent, all of it. Because I’m already forgiven.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
~Romans 5:8

Jesus is the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. In the garden, he finished his preparations for the salvation of the world, and on the cross declared “It is finished”.

No child of Adam could, by their own actions, make themselves righteous. That’s the whole reason we needed a Savior. He is the One by whom we are made righteous. Once we receive that right-standing with God, which is the moment we become branches grafted into the true vine, we can then begin to see the fruit of salvation in our lives.

The best news in the world to me:

I’m not the One.

Fortunate, Indeed.

“David confirms this way of looking at it, saying that the one who trusts God to do the putting-everything-right without insisting on having a say in it is one fortunate man: Fortunate those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate. Fortunate the person against whom the Lord does not keep score. Do you think for a minute that this blessing is only pronounced over those of us who keep our religious ways and are circumcised? Or do you think it possible that the blessing could be given to those who never even heard of our ways, who were never brought up in the disciplines of God? We all agree, don’t we, that it was by embracing what God did for him that Abraham was declared fit before God?”

Romans 4:6-9 MSG

The parallels between Paul's story and mine are not lost on me. I find it even more interesting that he points out that Abraham—the professed father of salvation for the Jews—didn't have all of their disciplines and religious practices.

I've found developing a relationship with Jesus Christ to be far more challenging than hyper-disciplined rule keeping ever was. And yet, pursuing that relationship has produced the blessings that I was promised as a rule keeper, but never received before. Do I still honor God's law? Absolutely! It is the natural result of the loving relationship I have with God because of what Christ won for me, not because I managed to be good enough, worthy enough, to qualify for His love.

I had to come to Christ as though he was the Lion of Judah—not a tame lion. No cage to keep him comfortably controlled for the sake of my flesh's craving for a predictable God, no leash or muzzle to guard against the raw power inherent in omnipotence.

I had to trust that his nature—Love itself—would be all the protection I would ever need. That I could come before him, heart completely vulnerable, and believe I would be safe. As Lucy said to Aslan: "I'd rather be eaten by you than fed by anyone else."

You can chase righteousness through a thousand intricate trails, but without coming to Christ, learning about him and actually listening to what he has to say to you, personally, you will never, ever find righteousness. You will never find salvation. You must KNOW God, like you know a person. And getting to know someone is an age-old, established ritual. We ask around to learn what the people we love or respect most think or know about that person. If it's a person of note, we read up on them. And we observe who they are in daily interaction, listening to what they say and gauging their character by their behavior.

The same is true for Jesus. We ask others about him. Read his word. Listen for his voice to us, and talk to him.

He knows you already. Sees everything you'd like to think is discreetly hidden. The only thing self protection gets you is isolation from the One who is Love. So come to know him, for he is knowable. Read the things he said, because they will show you who he is. And then trust that you can come to him without being afraid. You can. Because of Jesus Christ.

Father, I pray every heart hungers for your presence, every thirsty soul comes to and drink and eat without money and without price, because that's what your Son, gentle and not puffed up, invites us to do. I pray we will all take you at your Word, in Jesus' name, amen.

Community: one of the greatest gifts from God.

This post came in response to one sentence I recently read online:

"We probably shouldn't be listening to any pastors, ministers, prophets or any man".

No person is required to mediate connection between us and Jesus Christ. And, we ABSOLUTELY need pastors, as well as apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers, to reach out and bridge the gap that opens between individuals and Jesus. We need ministers passionately on fire to tell the good news that JESUS WON, and what that really means for us in this moment while the rubber squeals against the road. We need prophets hearing and speaking how God sees our circumstances, calling out the things we can't see from our perspective. We need apostles with their strategic minds and long-term vision to help the body of Christ operate in a healthy, balanced way as each congregation moves into the God-ordained destiny on that group. We need pastors to guard and care for their flock, their beautiful hearts beating to meet the needs of those around them. We need teachers to ground us in the word of God, to illuminate scripture in ways we haven’t yet. And we need evangelists, irresistibly drawn into the community, who feel the worthy weight of every soul, to gather the hungry and hurting into the household of God.

We need the experience and wisdom, knowledge and testimony of others so we don't have to forge this path on our own, but can stand on their shoulders, doing greater things and going farther in the work of saving souls than they did. And we need one other. Oh, how we need one another!

If we actually didn’t need anyone else, then "meeting together often" wouldn't be in scripture. Yet scripture states believers met together to break bread and to talk together about the welfare of their souls. (For that matter, we have scripture because prophets, apostles and others heard God and wrote it down, or wrote what we would call journals today, or letters to loved ones.) In Ephesians 5 it talks about how prophets, pastors, evangelists, teachers and apostles are given to the church—the ekklesia, built by Christ—for the equipping of the saints and for the work of the ministry. In community we have a beautiful opportunity for others to bless and strengthen us so we can get a leg up on our climb to the mountain top.

The sacrament of communion was instituted at a communal dinner: the Passover feast. And at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus gathered a group of others around himself—He operated in community. He needed close friends and companions. He discipled his closest friends so they could become His apostles, to teach and disciple and impart to others.

Even in the very beginning, God saw it was not good for man to be alone. And I personally believe Adam also knew it wasn't good for Eve to be alone, and that was one of the factors in why he ate the fruit she offered.

The enemy prowls like a young lion, looking for those whom he might devour, isolated from the community, unprotected and alone. I know I’m not alone with the reality that I have the hardest time with accurate discernment when I'm "in my head", trying to sort through things alone. Especially when I’m struck with disappointment, or struggling to forgive. And I most likely to be deceived, hands down, when I am trying to do things on my own.

From the beginning of time, God touched human hearts by speaking to his children, and those children wrote and spoke and served and loved those who hadn't yet heard, or who weren't hearing in that moment. I hear from God a lot. I've healed illness and injury in the name of Jesus, had visions and dreams, spoken words I've heard from the Holy Spirit that have changed people's lives. I've also walked through times of desperate lonliness and misery, and the ONLY thing that was finally able to pull me out of it was community, community in the Body of Christ that included people who heard the Holy Spirit speaking and told me what God spoke to them for my benefit. People who let the love of God flow through them to fill me when I was weak and broken, cut off from that love because of false conceptions—lies I believed—about of the nature of God in that moment or season.

We NEED one another. Always. God gives gifts, not for the edification of the individual, but also for the blessing and comfort and exhoration and encouragement of others. I find it interesting that communities of believers are such a deeply-grounded part of the history of God's people that scripture doesn't really hammer home the message: "Be sure to get together with other believers, because it's really important". It's more like the idea I see today of individuals forging their own paths into heaven was so foreign to those authors that it never occurred to them to address it.

Not one of us is perfected enough to avoid error while in isolation. And not one of us is perfected enough to avoid erring while in community. Healthy community functions to nurture the injured, strenghten the weak, to empower, to draw out the destiny God sows into every heart, and BLESS BLESS BLESS one another. To offer perspective outside of the emotion of the moment, or the emotion of the circumstance, and help one another not go careening off the rails. Our individual weaknesses provide opportunities for others to bless us, and for all of us to learn. And those weaknesses and blessings knit us all together in an incredible network of love and service that teaches us who God is and how he loves us.

His Beloved

Filling the reservoir of my coffee maker just now, I looked down at the inside of the lid, and saw this. The odds on this are so long, I know my moderate math skills can't notate them.



Our God is speaking ALL THE TIME. He's leaving love notes for you everywhere your eyes land--motivated by a love so deep and so strong and so passionate for connection with you that it was worth the priceless blood of deity to make it possible. Do you see them? Do you recognize them? They are there. And he'll never stop, because love never fails, never runs out, never grows weary, never gives up on his beloved. 

And his beloved is YOU.

Revelation = VICTORY

What's on my mind today? The fact that God reveals for the purpose of VICTORY. That when my own limitations come up before my face, I recognize it as the gift of seeing them clearly for the purpose of receiving guidance on how to allow the strength of God to come in and make me stronger in that arena.


So, when life gets tough, know that you have to see where you lack before you can receive His abundant solution—and God has amazing things in store for you!

God Sees Through the Lens of Forgiveness

"Forgiveness is a selective remembering that is not based on our selection but His. To forgive is to remember only the loving thoughts we gave in the past and the rest are forgotten.

Forgiveness transforms our vision. It is here we can see the world clearly as illusions that had twisted our perception and fixed it on the unloving past are removed.

We must get to the place where we love to forgive and not become unloving as a result of unforgiveness. The supply we draw from comes from the Source of forgiveness.

Forgive and see the world through the lens of beauty."

~Brian Orme

Originally posted on Facebook.

www.iborme.com

#theascendedlife #mindsetlegacy

The Word Discerns

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

The word of God is a powerful and precise tool.

Feeling confused? Not sure how to look at a situation? Struggling in a situation? The word of God can discern—can show you the difference between right and wrong, light and dark—in the way you're thinking, can show you how to change your thinking so you can receive what God has for each and every one of us, beginning immediately with the fruit of the spirit.

Father, thank you for your word. Thank you for the written word, thank you for the spoken word, and thank you most of all for Jesus: the Word made flesh. The guidance you have provided and continue to provide bless me, daily, beyond what I can say. You know, Father. You know. Thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.

REJOICE!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” ~Philippians 4:4 NKJV
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him . . .” ~Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

Praise offered from times of struggle and pain brings strength and blessing like no other. The injunction to rejoice ALWAYS is a power-packed secret weapon against the enemy of our souls, a game changer for anyone in a difficult time. Faith pleases God so much—and rejoicing in him while we aren't having an easy time of it is profound faith.

Father, thank you for this key to freedom from the tyranny my circumstance. Thank you for the fruitfulness of my faith as I have come to know who you are and have chosen to believe in times when I couldn't see. Bless me and my family and loved ones this day, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
      ~Matthew 5:3 NKJV
The poor in spirit will see God because they recognize their need. Those who believe they've got it all figured out walk through life in a self-satisfaction that prevents God from getting any closer to them; these operate in poverty and an orphan spirit. But I can't imagine anything further from the heart of Jesus than the idea that we need to operate in poverty in order to receive more of him. We are children of the King--heirs to all that the father in with Christ Jesus. Our inheritance is vast, and one of the most miraculous aspects of the gift Jesus offers us is to begin to receive that inheritance NOW--not in the hereafter. When we recognize our need and ask God to fill it (which is his longing!), we begin to walk in the abundant life that was one of the main reasons Jesus came and conquered sin and death.

Like so many other areas, spiritual hunger is the opposite of physical hunger. Physically, you have to go without eating in order to be hungry. But spiritually, the more you receive, the hungrier you get. Not because you lack, but because you begin to see the limitless nature of God and the unending potential we each have in the Holy Spirit.

Our walk with our infinite God has no end--so our hunger for more of him can be continuous even though we may have received so much already that we overflow in an abundance that blesses others. When we cry out in worship, "We want more, Lord! More, Lord! More!" he rejoices greatly that we are giving him permission to satisfy the longing of his heart, and he and pours out more for anyone ready to receive. Being poor in spirit is an attitude of recognizing our need for God and being willing to receive. It's not about lack or poverty, but about awareness and humility.

God does not want us to go hungry spiritually in order to be hungrier for him--just the opposite. He wants us to be so full and so ready to keep on receiving that he can pour through us like a raging river and transform the world around us. I can't tell you how EXCITED I am to see that happen more and more in my community!

Father God, thank you so much for your unending love for your children. Jesus, thank you for the love that motivated you to so what you have done--just so we can draw close to you once again. Thank you for abolishing everything that stood between God and man, and for sticking closer than a brother. And thank you for your spirit that connects us to you and blesses and guides and empowers us as we pursue relationship with you. You are so good! Amen.

Bring him to Me

“He replied, “O unbelieving (faithless) generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!””

~MARK 9:19 AMP

Yesterday morning the text for the service really hit me between the eyes. The disciples who couldn't do what Jesus said they could do. That's me, in a lot of instances. And the question rung in my mind: "How do I change that?" When my faith is insufficient to carry out the instructions Jesus gave to all believers, what then?

The verse of the day in my Bible app couldn't have been chosen better:

“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”

~JOHN 15:7 AMP

It is heart breaking to me when healing doesn't happen. And now, more than ever, my response is going to be to dive deeper into Jesus, to seek his heart and his mind and his eyes and his ears. To be more transformed into his image, discarding conformity with the wisdom of the flesh.

Thank you, Father, for the way you work in my life—dropping scripture right in my lap if I'll just pay attention and see it. Thank you for rest, and thank you for the amazing continuing journey this life is. Bless us all to seek you more, to know you better, and to harvest radical increases in our faith. In Jesus' name, amen.

The First Law of Heaven

Matthew 22, NIV:

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

Growing up, I always heard the phrase "Obedience is the first law of heaven". And yet, Jesus himself makes the first and greatest commandment absolutely clear: LOVE. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught them that all things should be done on earth as they are done in heaven. His entire life was an illustration of heaven brought to earth. And that's why that first and great law was given: to draw a stubborn and prideful people to live as close to a heavenly life on earth as was possible for them.

This morning I especially love this answer to the Pharisees because it is Jesus calling all of us higher. God IS love. We are called to be like Jesus in all of our interactions, to all people. Obedience to God naturally flows from the reciprocal love we have with God. And obedience is not the first law of heaven. Never has been, never will be, for the word of God is eternal and perfect.

Father God, thank you so much for the word. Thank you for the Word made flesh who came and dwelt among us, who showed us who you are and who you long for us to become, in you. Bless us all, Papa, to feel that love powerfully and fully, and let every human heart open to allow blessing to flow, always. In Jesus' name, amen.

Loving IS Living in the Light.

“If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.” ~1 John‬ ‭2:9-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

How loving am I to other believers? Even (and especially!) those who cherish doctrines distinct from what I personally believe? Whether it's gifts of the spirit, eschatology, or other tenets or precepts, do I draw lines and insist on agreement, or do I relentlessly choose for the love of God pour through me without restraint?

Father God, show me the places in my own heart where I need to let go of judgement. Show me how to evict it and the path to move forward, walking in forgiveness toward all flesh. I thank you for the consistent support you provide for me directly, and through the body of Christ, for the community I belong to both in heaven and on earth. Thank you for your eagerness to connect with me, and make yourself known. Pull all the stops out, Father, and show me how to move through this life motivated and empowered by your love, walking more and more in alignment with your will and heart for each and all. No fear, no condemnation, no reserve against what you ask me to do. Bless this world, bless my community, bless my church communities, bless my family, and bless me, in Jesus' name, amen.

It's time to make some NOISE!

“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” ~Psalms‬ ‭95:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I love how the psalmist talks about really making NOISE.

This God of ours is not a staid old stoic, requiring silent reverence. (Although reverence can also be silent.) The reality of our God's nature draws boisterous praise from the psalmist. Why not from us?

Papa God, let your people be released to make as much noise over your goodness and the victory of Jesus as they do at the winning touchdown of the Super Bowl. Let us use our voices to declare the joy of your reality, changing things around us forever. In Jesus' name, amen!

God Works with Us

"And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." ~Mark 16:20 KJV
Folks. Even the King James Version, translated to ensure uninterrupted fealty to King James and the Church of England, teaches that God partners with his people to accomplish his work!

Let's step up to the invitation Jesus offers, literally calling to us every moment of every day, longing to work intimately with us in the harvest of souls that he's desperate to bring into his garners.

Papa God, show us all how to come "farther up and farther in" to the riches of your grace that you are pleading with us to accept so we can be transformed, and we can transform the world more and more into the image of God. Lead us in this miraculous work, teach us how to open our hearts to you more and more so our hearts can be more and more open to those around us. Thank you for the incredible, amazing way that our relationship with others so mirrors our relationship with you, empowering us in ways we could never have imagined. I rejoice in you always, and can't even begin to put into words how amazed and wonder-filled I am at the thought of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and everything that it means to me. Thank you, Papa! Thank you!!!! In Jesus' lovely and precious name, amen.

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 I’ll open my heart and mind more and more to your goodness and your love, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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

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

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.

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 often tastes nothing like the seed. The seed is the promise of the finished work. 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 bearing it’s own seed, we must hear the word of God that tells us what kind of seed we have discovered 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. Place them back into the hands of the One who hid them in our hearts in the first place. We have to watch them be buried, sometimes so deep we wonder if we’ll ever see it emerge. 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 smooth green bump to push through the surface. And while we wait, we keep the new planting watered and free of weeds. Once the cotyledons appear, we watch over the tiny seedling, letting the loving community God has ready for each of us help guard and provide for the growth of that fragile yet explosively growing new thing within us.


We are now entering a time of exceeding. Do you hear it? Ex-seed-ing. Of going beyond the seeds themselves—the seeds we are so comfortable with. It's always 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 in order to allow their planting. Or the seeds we hide, afraid of what the planting and care might cost.


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, an apostolic seed.
This, a pastoral seed.
This, an evangelical seed.
This, a teaching seed.
This, a charity seed.
This, 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 . . . )

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 the 30k that happens tomorrow, as I had planned. I don't weigh sixty pounds less than I did 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. I long to 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.


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.


Some Things Need to Burn

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm. He said to his advisers, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the fire? ” “Yes, of course, Your Majesty,” they replied to the king. He exclaimed, “Look! I see four men, not tied, walking around in the fire unharmed; and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.””

Daniel 3:24-25 HCSB

The only thing consumed by the fire were the bonds Nebuchadnezzar's soldiers had used to tie these three men of God.

Holy Spirit fire is the same way. It will consume everything that binds us, every device of the enemy.

How close to the fire am I willing to go? All the way in? Or just close enough to get comfortably warm? Will I let it consume everything that is not part of God's plan for my life, or will I protect my idols at the cost of separating myself from God?

Good morning, Father. Thank you so much for this challenge today. Thank you for the continued opportunity to draw closer and closer to you, to know you better and love you more. Let your word speak to your people clearly, and draw them more and more into you, in Jesus' name, amen.