Doing it My Way is Killing Me! Time to Follow #GodsPlan ~

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (Prov 14:12); Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble (Ps 119:165 ESV)~ God promises us a giant helping of peace when we do what His Word says. Following God’s precepts helps us make fewer mistakes, and we no longer have to worry about “stumbling” or getting hurt because of bad decisions. It’s like the guidelines we establish for our children such as watching for cars in the street, not playing with fire and always walk when you have sharp objects; there are things we know in our wisdom as parents that are beneficial to pass on to our children for their protection and care. When they live according to the wisdom in which we raise them up they don’t depart from this wisdom and they live better lives. Contrarily we see those that live a life of defiance and end up living in tumultuous situations and disgrace. Living according to God’s Word allows His peace to rule our hearts. As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him (Ps 18:30); The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes (Ps 19:8).

Trust God – Doing It His way ALWAYS works out!

God is Calling… Where Are You? #UCantHide ~

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And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself (Gen 3:9-10)~~ In our guilt, our response to God’s gracious pursuit is fear and hiding. Why are we afraid? Because our true, naked, fallen self is exposed. So we try to hide from God’s presence “among the trees.” We hide behind the trees of denial, respectability, busy-ness, false intimacy, status, wealth, power, alcohol, drugs and more. This “forest” is full and it is not hard to find a tree to hide from God’s pursuit. Yet God calls— not because He doesn’t know where we are—but because, in fact, even in the midst of our transgressions and guilt, in that forest of ’trees’, we are in His presence and He does see us. The Lord pursues us with a gracious pursuit with a view to recovery. The heart of the unregenerate is filled with enmity against God, and God is justly offended with him. But for the repentant, for the one that comes to His call, there is reconciliation. Our offended God has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. By the inspiration of God, the Scriptures were written, which are the word of reconciliation; showing that peace has been made by the cross. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:17-19). My friend, it’s time to come out from behind the trees. God is pursuing you! No need to be afraid. God calls: “Where are you? What tree are you hiding behind and why? Come on out to me and Be ye reconciled!!”

 

There are no spectators in this #Battle – Join The Fight!! ~

For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Ps 91:11-12)~ The enemy is a master of trickery and will have you believing that your wrong decision is everything right… He’ll having you ‘trusting your instincts’; He’ll have you justifying it because you’ll be feeling like it’s right for you! You’re saying: “I know the Bible says ‘this’ but things are different today…” Just like he did Adam and Eve in the Garden…(What? You thought this was a NEW thing?) Yes, they knew what God said and even the devil acknowledged that…(the devil doesn’t disagree with God, he simply twists it to his own purpose)… having them thinking they could make their own decisions regardless of what God said! He will have us trusting what we see rather than God. Soon we’re caught up in a crooked path…going straight in the wrong direction of this rejection and unbelief of God’s Will!

Like it or not, we are at war within ourselves fighting reality (truth) against perception (our way of seeing it). The enemy will attack us and try to deceive us into passivity and apathy concerning the war at hand. We get desensitized to things we KNOW are wrong and we start to become accepting, tolerant and even allowing of the wrong things as if they were… Right!!! The enemy wants us to believe that we should take certain paths (make certain “laws”, decisions and moves) that may be anything other than ‘straight’. Once we’ve fallen to this trickery we’ll eventually realize the truth and it hits us like a ton of bricks and yes, we feel the guilt! But to soften THAT blow, now the enemy shows us some false hopes by “things” he will put in front of us to make us “feel good about our decisions”. He will have us believing that while evil has won in our lives and that we are failures and that SINCE we are going ‘down’ we might as well go ‘with a bang’…one bad decision after another! Now we’re really spiraling out of control!

BUT… Yes!!!! The devil is a liar! Because when Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins Satan deceptively introduced into the world, Satan’s fate was sealed. With the payment of death no longer required of us for sin, Satan lost his only chance at victory. God revealed to the apostle John (and others) the great and glorious victory He wins in the future (Revelation 20:10). It comes down to this: Though the “battle” still rages, the outcome of the “war” has already been determined. God wins. Satan loses. That’s IT!!! And that’s what the enemy doesn’t want you to know or remember.. Trust me, he ain’t going down like that without a major fight! He knows he’s defeated and destined for destruction and he’s “dead” set on taking you with him! Like I said, even the enemy knows the truth!

But see, something happens when we trust God, God will give His mighty, powerful, TRUTH KNOWING warrior angels charge over us. And knowing that truth, they don’t let you get stagnant in life where you will fall to the enemy, but will “keep you moving” down the “straight” path while the obstacles of this life come at you…terror, arrows of the enemy, pestilence, harm, disaster, evil, bad decisions; all while reminding you of the truth of God’s grace, mercy and salvation; keeping you from the harm of the enemy as you fight the good fight to its glorious end. Trust in God to deliver on His promise to restore creation to its sinless, no-evil state. And rejoice because He will! That’s right, step on that devil’s head! Trust in God to give His angels charge over you. To keep you in all your ways. Know that ‘trust in’ God is not a passive trust. You don’t trust and hope He does something wondering if He might…that’s fear! You have to walk in faith and expectation that He has already taken care of it, even though you can’t see the fullness of it…yet! Trusting that God will take care of everything while we sit on the sidelines and watch is like faith without works – dead. There are no spectators in the spiritual war between God and evil. We must choose a side and gear up. We do so by choosing which type of trust we will have: trust that if we do this we’ll have that and what we see tells us what to believe in, or ‘trust that’ God will “do” it and we’ll reap the benefit of ‘trust in’ God as we live our lives and we WALK the walk of faith and FIGHT the good fight of faith… in the care of the angels He’s given charge over us!

God Said It, I Believe It! That Settles It!! #WontHeDoIt ~

God Said it through the prophet! And HIS word doesn’t return to Him void (He said that too!)

For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”

‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.”

‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock. Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ” (Ezk 36:24-38)

Now- watch the Promise unfold!

All That Petty Stuff… Get that #DirtOffYourShoulders ~

And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? (Luke 12:25)~ What someone said; what someone did. How they make us feel… how they upset, disrespect or annoy us. What didn’t go our way…what was a challenge for us. We have so much more to worry about than these little distractions. What benefit is there to focus on all of that negativity?? If you expect to be happy and enjoy your life you must master not allowing small stuff to bother you when it occurs. So many of us get so bent out of shape over the small stupid things that when you think about it mean absolutely nothing. Stop allowing words, gossip and negativity to bring you down. Stop worrying about what other people say, think and do. People say and do mean things to you because they are subconsciously casting the feelings of themselves onto you. When things occur and you have no control over them, just keep it moving; rather than expend energy on those things you couldn’t even change if you wanted to. God has called you BLESSED. No weapon formed against you shall prosper!! That doesn’t mean there won’t be weapons; it means that things that come against you will fail because you are in Christ! But it’s all on you…the more you focus on negativity, the more it impacts you. The less mess you allow to trickle through your life, the more blessed your life will be! Resist the devil and he will flee!

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled (2 Cor 10:4-6). Your thought life can be brought into submission – You can win at warfare when you realize that it all starts in the mind and when you overcome that attack on your mind, when you stop worrying, and start praising – when you stop thinking about the troubles, the people, the lies, the stresses – those things that come against you trying to kill you in your mind, steal your joy and destroy your hope. You can literally change who you are by changing what you allow into your mind and what you allow to control the thoughts of your mind – whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK on these things (Phil 4:8) and be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2). When your mind and focus are on the Lord and the victory He has already given you – when you subdue those battles of the mind with the already finished work of our Father – You will not sweat the small stuff! He keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him; because they trust in Him (Isa 26:3). May the peace of the Lord keep you and keep your mind at peace!

Life Is Tough, But Don’t Lose #Heart ~

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Gal 6:9)~~ Have you ever been tempted to lose heart because God didn’t answer a critical prayer for you? You know, something urgent—and even something that you knew was God’s will? If prayers are going to be unanswered, then why pray? Seemingly unanswered prayers often rattle our faith. They shouldn’t, but they do. When this happens, we are tempted to lose heart. We are discouraged.

Discouragement neutralizes optimism, assassinates hope, and erases courage. Unresolved discouragement and disillusionment soon replace faith and expectancy. Unprocessed discouragement results in mistrust. And it is at this critical point that the enemy of our souls has us exactly where he wants us. Paralyzed in unbelief from the neck down, our eyes see and our minds know what we ought to believe, but the faith of our hearts lies frozen. And a subtle mistrust of God sets in.

Disheartened, we passively allow other weeds to sprout. Discouragement creates fertile soil for the weeds of doubt, fear, unbelief, and compromise to grow. What do we need to overcome discouragement? First, be truthful with God. God is not fooled by our lofty prayers, when deep inside we’re hurting. God is able to handle our emotions. Be honest. Share your grief with the One who knows you best. It’s normal to get discouraged, but it’s not acceptable to stay discouraged.

With a heart of faith, look beyond your circumstances and your emotions to God who will renew you day by day. Realize that hardship is what God uses to perfect our faith (Romans 5:1-10). And remember, God promises “… we shall all reap if we do not grow weary.” My friend, the tomb is empty—Jesus Christ is alive—He is the One who can lift up heavy hands or a burdened heart. God has given us a life that is going to have times of discouragement and disappointment but in Him we will find peace, fulfillment and satisfaction. The alternative to disappointment with God seems to be disappointment without God.” The uncertainty of life can only be handled by a tough, resilient and persistent faith in a God who knows what He is doing!

You Say “Seeing is Believing” – Jesus Says #AllEyesOnMe ~

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Prov 3:5)~ It doesn’t matter how much a thing is engrained in us. No matter how long things have been a certain way and how strong the evidence is to support it, a word, an action, any event to the contrary, no matter how insignificant, can inject the smallest of thoughts, that can change the way we see it; We may believe in a thing all our lives and even have proof of its truths, but a simple alternative notion can sometimes be enough to shake our faith in what we know; turn our world upside down… and eventually alter the course of our walk. DOUBT!!! This is the master craft of the enemy. As surely as the Word says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains (Matt 17:20), the enemy’s tactic is to put “just enough” doubt in your mind that your faith might waiver! Wavering faith means that your trust in The Lord is now ‘not’ with ALL your heart… Because you are now starting to focus on what you see going on around you. Your doubt and worry and unbelief are growing in your mind from their little-bitty “seeds” and that is where our minds eventually make that doubt larger than what we had already ‘rooted’ in faith. But friend, remember, the devil is a LIE! The devil has been a LIE since the Garden of Eden and he has never changed! This is where faith in what we KNOW; our ROOTS; is so important. You have to know what you know that you know! God said His Word would not return to Him void, but would go out to accomplish what He purposed (Isa 55:11). Jesus said He came that we would have life and have it more abundantly.. (John 10:10). He said that He would give His sheep eternal life and that NOTHING would take them from His hand (John 10:28). Regardless of what we see, and what it makes us think about, we can’t let it spiral into something that hasn’t even happened. It’s very likely as a matter of fact that a lot of that WOULDN’T happen if we hadn’t started thinking about it and walking in the ’sight’ of our minds! We must believe in what we KNOW of Him to have promised, For we walk by FAITH (in what we KNOW), not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us (2 Cor 1:20) – If God said it, then it IS – every promise that God has ever made started with what He spoke – THAT is the power of His Word! You must never take your ‘eyes’ off of Him and never doubt what He said! Remember, even Peter, when the Lord said ‘come’, he believed he could come and he, with faith and focus on the Lord, walked on water until he looked around and saw the waves (of doubt) and then believed in his doubt! Jesus is saying to you as you walk through this storm: “Eyes on ME”! Friend, He will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him; because you trust in Him!

C’mon Y’all – Where is the #Love ? ~

Because of the increase of wickedness the love of most will grow cold (Matt 24:12 NIV)~

Our two prime directives given by Christ were to love the Lord and to love others; that everything within the law hung on this (Matt 22:37-40).

But our world has gotten away from those two directives and has spun out of control. People have grown away from God – we would rather be on Facebook than have our face IN the Book. We’d rather have friends on social media than a friend that sticks closer than a brother. We want God to show up at our house, but we won’t go to His. We want Him to talk to us, but we won’t even pray to Him. We’ve made great advancements in knowledge and discovery and there are many great and amazing things man has achieved. There is nothing wrong with how far we’ve come as a people. But as far as we’ve come, we’ve simultaneously fallen back as more and more the love for and dependence on God in this world continues to diminish – in our achievements we have become self-reliant and self-absorbing. More and more in this world, we see the lack of love and concern for our fellow man. Never has the hatred between us been so prominent. The value of human life these days is less than one’s own ambitions; love of money, love of material gain, love of position and title. People today LOOK for reasons to put down the life of another just to edify themselves. Where is the ‘love thy neighbor’ in that?

Without faith working by love, all else is worthless, and compared with it other things are of small value. God’s promise restores ‘integrity’ back into His creation as it was at the foundation of the world. May we learn to be still; leaning not to our own understanding; but in all ways acknowledging Him and His finished work; and allow Him to do His works of restoration in us. May we be of the number of those who, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. May we recall and return to a point of living under the directives Christ put before us: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; Love thy neighbor as thyself”!

I Don’t Remember God Making One Race Better Than Another, Do You? #StopRacism ~

Word cloud illustration in shape of hand print showing protest.

Sadly we find ourselves back at these thoughts we’ve had SO many times – as the news of almost any given day seems to share in a deja-vu like fashion – Racism is still holding root in America!!!!  It seems like every day now we are here again… frustrated again… sickened by the ugliness again…. totally (and maybe we shouldn’t be) surprised that this CANCER still has a hold on our society.  So many of us wanted to believe that electing America’s first President of color signaled the end of a very bad era; even with the countless number of incidents where people of color continued to be victims to violence and hatred – we wanted to believe that things were actually getting better.  Now as that President has come and done his tenure and is gone on to other things in life, we have seen fermenting and boiling up – and now boiling OVER of rebellion against every form of progression toward ending racist supremacies, bias and other forms of segregation that pit races against each other! That boiling over today is spilling into the streets of cities big and small, in our restaurants, stores, schools, places of business and even churches!!! Even more horrendous is that it’s going on with people claiming they want to “take their country back”! HOW CAN YOU TAKE BACK SOMETHING THAT WASN’T YOURS IN THE FIRST PLACE????  While the high politicians of this country seem to be gearing up for the next election they’re trying to win, securing their own position and power; risking battle with numerous other countries, America is a nation divided – our country is imploding from the inside – because this race wants to claim supremacy over that race and that race hates the other race and by that way, this race over here is divided against itself because half of it doesn’t want to see the other half succeed and they literally judge each other because of their level within the race!!!

But it’s still here… and despite all the efforts from people to proclaim our society as post-racial. We keep seeing examples Of racism and the more people speak against it the more supporters of racist views rear their heads …ugliness… in the national spotlight and right in our own neighborhoods… It shows you just how disrespectful people are today and how low a value is placed on human life just because the race is different! 

A sad truth is that the more these people start to realize the impact of their ugly, bigoted words and actions… The more they just keep USING them; No matter what the extreme, from laughing at or posting a stereotypical joke on social media to committing a hate crime because we have that nagging urge to dislike someone that’s not like us. We were so wrong to think it’s gotten better!!!! Racism is more prevalent today than it ever was and if not for the laws protecting the human rights of the targets of this ugly cancer of society, things would be much worse. The only reason the crimes aren’t any worse is because the fear of retaliation or punitive recourse holds force… for now!

People, we need to go above our horrible base instincts of ignorance and lay off the acts steeped in belittling a culture other than our own. There is NOT ONE justifiable reason for racism to exist!!! There is NO EXCUSE for the ugliness that happens: These people call themselves Christians… “ people of God” – Well, If “whoever” is good enough for God then they have to be good enough for the “people” of God! Jesus is not looking at the color of someone’s skin but the condition of their heart. So let me ask you… people of God… who want to separate the races and culture and people.. Why would God bring the nations and races and souls together in Heaven but keep them separate on Earth? So you think mixed race societies are unequally yoked because your race is better than mine or his or hers??? Being “unequally yoked” isn’t about race, it’s about religion. Jesus has interracial marriages in his lineage. Are you better than Him? It doesn’t matter that your ancestors have been this way for generations…. we love to bring up what happened hundreds of years ago as our reason for not liking someone. Half of us don’t understand or even TRY to understand why, we just do it because it’s the way our families or our communities have been all of our lives… and our excuse for staying that way is … HERITAGE!?!?!? No wonder things are so backwards!!! When your family values are rooted in sin, it’s time to change your family values. Nobody’s born a bigot; it’s a learned behavior. This behavior always leads to us treating people how Jesus would never treat people. Hatred, Unforgiveness, Anger, Arrogance, Racism… not liking the person because their skin is a different color, their beliefs and heritages are different, their likes and dislikes don’t match ours… these things are always rooted in ignorance. We need to Stop defending the ignorance…. we really aren’t any better than the next person! Just END IT NOW!!! For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to EVERY man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Rom 12:3-5).

Your Water Will Leave You #Thirsty ~

living-water-heart

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14)~~ We search all of our lives for things that will satisfy us. We try every solution, every option, every recreation; we strive for every achievement, every goal, every milestone to satisfy and gratify ourselves; we look for any way to fill the desires of our heart, our soul and our flesh. Unfortunately too often we get what we “think” is the answer but we find it to be temporary and we also find that when we come back for it again, we need more and more… it’s a vicious cycle that takes us deeper and deeper into its dependence… resulting in our doing almost anything, even sin to get it. Carnal hearts look no higher than carnal ends. Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again.

For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt 6:32-33). Whoever partakes of the Spirit of Grace, and the comforts of the gospel, shall never want… it is that which will abundantly fulfill his soul. Let us then look off from the things which are seen in our own eyes; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure. Put that same ambition and energy that you use to fulfill yourself into having a relationship with The Lord! He promises fulfillment of every need, not just satisfaction but fulfillment! He is not slack concerning His promise…and they that wait on Him shall have great strength to get through the times they must wait; and in that due season when God does deliver us, we bountifully reap…if we just hold on to HIM!