HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOVIE “THE PERFECT STORM”? In the final scenes, a small fishing vessel is caught out in the ocean in the midst of colliding storms. They weather the storm and the massive waves for a while and then for a moment they see blue skies and hope, but suddenly dark clouds roll in and all hope is lost. I thought, “Wow! That is life.” You are caught in the powerful waves of life and just as you roll with one and come up for air, another comes to knock you down and still another. Then comes blue skies and hope is on the horizon, but it’s only a teaser. Darkness creeps in and you feel like you are NEVER getting out of this storm. Ever felt like this? I have. HOWEVER, there is HOPE! IF you are anchored on the ROCK OF SALVATION. During the “perfect storm” you NEED to TRUST that God will navigate you through the rough and unstable waters. “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalms 62:5-8 If I could give you one piece of advice during this season it’s this: TRUST GOD. Trust His plan. Don’t trust what you see, TRUST HIM. Things are coming to shake your faith TRUST GOD. TRUST HIS WORD. RELY ON HIM ONLY. The black skies are going to deceive you if you do not TRUST GOD! The just shall live by FAITH, not sight.
ARE YOU IN A TIME OF SPIRITUAL ” BARRENNESS “? Have you prayed and prayed but still haven’t birthed your miracle? Hannah’s barrenness is ascribed DIRECTLY to the activity of God. “But to Hannah her husband would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.” I Samuel 1:5 God had withheld children from her in order to prepare her for the birth of her son Samuel, who would become a great prophet and the final judge of Israel. Hannah’s experience of BARRENNESS, FRUSTRATION, SHAME and WAITING was a TRIAL of her FAITH. But the desperate intercession it produced PREPARED the way for her MIRACLE to come forth and for God’s prophetic plan to be birthed. IN THIS SAME WAY, at times God may cause YOU to experience disappointment, SPIRITUAL BARRENNESS and brokenness so that you would cry out in desperation to Him for His holy intervention. Are you experiencing barrenness?? God has a GREATER PLAN! Your pain will be used for His glory when you take your unbearable situation and pain DIRECTLY to Him and WAIT upon Him, not taking matters into your own hands. Hannah went up to the temple “year after year”, it doesn’t record how long she continued to pour out her heart and pain to the Lord. DO NOT LOSE HEART dear friend! GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR PAIN TO PRODUCE GLORY!
“MY GOOD OPINION ONCE LOST IS LOST FOREVER” this is of course Mr. Darcy for all you Pride and Prejudice fans. I’m a little like this, mainly because I have trust issues. So when someone hurts me or does wrong, I recoil and hide myself, not trusting, separating myself. This is a big struggle for me and God is still working in me in this area. Now, my husband on the other hand, believes in people all the time even if he doesn’t completely trust them or have a high opinion of them. He is the biggest encourager I know, always believing that no matter what anyone has done or how they’ve acted; they can change. In fact, he almost NEVER lets someone quit or give in or go back. He SPURS them to change. He is a good example to me of what Biblical love is: “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].” 1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP We are supposed to always believe the best of people, no matter what’s our opinion. Always believe that they can change their ways. Always hope for a good future and never give up on them. SPUR THEM ON TO GOOD THINGS. I know this is hard. I’m not telling you that when someone shows you their true colors that you need to go repainting them; but you can continue to hope and pray and believe that they will change! Do not limit God’s ability to change the leopard’s spots. I am a living testimony of the power of God to change a life. Pray and BELIEVE for that person today that GOD’S BEST is yet to come and HE will change them!
THE OPTIC NERVE TRANSMITS ALL THE INFORMATION FROM THE RETINA to the brain. Therefore if the optic nerve is damaged, you will be blind. Where the optic nerve leaves the retina, we all have a “blind spot”, this area is where we literally cannot see; we are blind. Just as in the eye, we have blind spots in our lives. Some people have blind spots and constantly make bad decisions in life and others have blind spots in relationships. People have blind spots in who they really are and others have blind spots when it comes to sin. This idea that we are not allowed to say anything to anyone is such a lie from the enemy. I’m not sure how you feel, but if someone was coming up behind me to smash my head with a baseball bat, I surely hope you would speak up and not just stand there while I got pummeled. Paul tells us, “Do not only look upon your own interests, but every man must also look out for the interests of others.” I get it, people will tell you that you are “judging them” or that you need to “mind your own business”. These are just excuses. Your first allegiance is to obey God, not man; please God not man. James says, “My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God], Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” James 5:19-20 This sounds a lot to me like we are to be up in people’s business. Guess what? YOU ARE YOUR BROTHER’S KEEPER and you have a responsibility to God to help your brothers and sisters with those blind spots and as far as it concerns you, to not let them get pummeled.
I HAVE SOME CRAZY DREAMS. Some are because I ate sugar before bed, but some are also from the LORD. Last night I had a dream from the LORD. I walked into my home and we had taken in someone to live with us who had a pet snake. I don’t do snakes. I hate snakes. I HATE snakes. In my dreams, they always refer to something evil and demonic. This snake came right at me and I broke its neck and threw it outside. It wasn’t dead, but it’s neck was bent and it kept looking at me through my glass sliding door and tried repeatedly to get back in. I began to pray about it this morning and this is what the Lord revealed: we let wrong thinking, evil thoughts, bitterness, jealousy, etc take up home in our mind. Some thoughts originate with us, some with the enemy and others we let someone else bring in. In my dream, it was someone I knew. We let that serpent take up residence in our “house”. I broke its neck, but it didn’t die just kept trying to get back in. You’re going to have to do some spiritual battle against those serpents. That wrong thinking wants to take control of your mind and it will keep coming back until you kill it for good. Paul tells us “Cast down imaginations and EVERY HIGH THING that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing EVERY THOUGHT to the obedience of Christ” 2 Cor 10:5 You’re going to have to do some warfare: steadfastly resist and reject evil and unwholesome thoughts in the name of the Lord Jesus! That ol snake is persistent. Remember that we overcome our adversary by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony and by persistently saying, “NO!” to the devil, temptation and sin. Stand on God’s Word. Resist the devil and he will flee. Don’t let that snake live in your house!
STRATEGIC TIMING IS OFTEN INVOLVED IN THE FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S PROMISES. God fulfills His Word and promises BOTH in relation to the fullness of His redemptive purpose and in response to His faithful people’s earnest prayers. “For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer 29:10-13 Jeremiah prophesied that at the end of the 70 year captivity, a new fullness of time would occur; God would then move within a holy remnant so that they would seek Him with all their heart. Then would God listen, answer and fulfill His promises of restoration. What does it mean to you? When God desires to do GREAT THINGS for His people, He moves His people to GREAT PRAYING; but the TIMING of God’s answer to your prayers is often linked to a GREATER PURPOSE for you and His people as a whole. Are you in the WAITING? He knows. He cares. He will answer!
“FOR IF ANY MAN BE A HEARER OF THE WORD, AND NOT A DOER, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightaway forgets what manner of man he was.” James 2:23-24 Here James shows what is the proper use of the word of God, who they are that do not use it as they ought, and who they are that do make a right use of it. The use we are to make of God’s word may be learnt from its being compared to a glass, in which a man may behold his natural face. As a looking-glass shows us the spots and defilements upon our faces, that they may be remedied and washed off, so the word of God shows us our sins, that we may repent of them and get them pardoned; it shows us what is amiss, that it may be amended. There are glasses that will flatter people; but that which is truly the word of God is no flattering glass. If you flatter yourselves, it is your own fault; the truth, as it is in Jesus, flatters no man. Let the word of truth be carefully attended to, and it will set before you the corruption of your nature, the disorders of your hearts and lives; it will tell you plainly what you are.~~Matthew Henry
THE AUTHOR OF CHRONICLES OFTEN EMPHASIZES THAT GOD’S BLESSINGS follow obedience while punishment follows disobedience. 2 Chronicles 12:5 states when King Rehoboam became unfaithful, God ceased to protect him from his enemies. Over and over this same theme is seen throughout the Bible. God’s protecting power comes to us only through a LIVING faith in Christ. We cannot expect God to protect us from harm, go with us through the dangers of life or deliver from Satan’s attacks if we are unfaithful to Him and His will. 2 Chronicles 15:2 “The LORD is with you while you be with Him; and if you seek Him, He will be found of you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” Jesus reiterated the same principle in John 15 “ABIDE in Me, and I will abide in you.” And this is the great part, If you have been born again, the Holy Spirit gives you the POWER to remain in Christ. Given that power, you must then accept the responsibility in salvation and remain, continue, abide, live in Christ. “He who DWELLS in the secret place of the Most High, shall ABIDE under the shadow of the Almighty”. Get the picture? Going your own way and doing your own thing is fruitless and leaves you wide open to the attacks of the enemy. But dwelling in Him and being obedient to His Word puts your enemies to flight! You will tread upon the lion and the snake and trample them under your feet!
FAITH SAYS TO ME LAST NIGHT, “WHY IS IT THAT I ENCOURAGE OTHERS and congratulate them when they do well, but no one does the same for me?” Well my daughter, it’s because at the heart of people is selfishness and it doesn’t get any better as you get older. Think about it. One of the first words a child learns is “MINE”. Oh, we may think we out grow it, but we don’t. We are mostly concerned with our owns wants and needs and can’t see beyond that to encourage or praise someone else. We have blinders on, it’s in our nature; which is why the Word of God tells us we have to battle that stinky flesh on a daily basis and put it to death. Sadly, Selfishness is prevalent in the church and will tear it down. People view the church as an institution that is supposed to “serve me”. “The church needs to give to me, I want this, they need to do that, that pastor better speak to me, I’m here to be served and just receive. If you don’t I’m gone.” Sound familiar. This then translates over to our relationship with God. “God serve me. God answer my prayers and give me my hearts desire. You exist to serve me. If you don’t, I’m done.” This kind of thinking is damning. James says “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” James 3:16 Guess what? YOU are your brother’s keeper and the church is the Body of Christ, meant to be loved and cherished. We are to serve each other, in fact preferring others over even yourself. Don’t let selfishness rule in your body- pluck out that evil root today. Let righteousness dwell and you shall overcome!