Look to Jesus

“Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.” Isaiah 31:3

Do not look to world for answers or support in spiritual things. The understanding of men falls so greatly short that it is vastly inferior to the knowledge and understanding of our almighty Creator. That is due to our limited sight without divine intervention and inspiration. The world sees the physical and looks to the physical to explain all things. If they cannot quantify a thing by scientific evidence, then the world will dismiss it as fable or untrue. This is why they persecute Christ and will not accept Him as Truth.

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” II Corinthians 5:7

The box they would fit Him into cannot contain all that He is as God and Man, therefore He is reduced to what fits the box in their understanding.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

I know. I was once one of them, having reduced Jesus to just another teacher. I was fighting on the wrong side, believing in only what I could see and understand, because I was not alive in spirit and could not see nor understand things that are spiritual. I was on the side of the Enemy and I didn’t even know it. I fought against the Truth, blinded by demons and unbelief.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

That is the battle. It is a battle of faith. What do you see versus Who does God say He is? The Truth is the Truth, or “I Am that I Am.” God is real. He is real even if we do not fully understand Him. Don’t look at the evidence as the world attempts to explain it. Study the Bible. Pray. Let God reveal Himself in Truth. Let Him show you Jesus. Jesus is all there is that is true, and all that really matters.

Trust in Jesus, not the world, because the world will fail you.

Jesus never will.

SDG

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The Sword of Him

“And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:21

The remnant which is herein written of is the remainder of those who chose not to follow Jesus Christ.  After the Great Tribulation, when all of the Saints return on the backs of white horses behind the Lord GOD, Jesus Christ, everyone who took the mark of the beast and allowed themselves to be deceived by the Devil will decide to join with Satan against Jesus.  It will be a battle.  But this battle will be one sided, for Christ Himself will defeat them all with the same thing He has been trying to save them with since He told it to the prophets, the apostles, and each and every one of us who believe.  He will defeat them with the Word.

The Sword is the Word, and the Word is the Truth, and the Truth is all about Jesus.  In fact, Christ said:

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” John 14:6a

Jesus is the Truth, and He alone can set men free, but if those men choose to remain bound by denying Jesus, then Christ will defeat them with the same Truth that they denied – Himself.

Jesus Christ is the Way.  He is the only Way.  The rest of the scripture above tells us that no one, not even one, can get to the Father unless they come through Jesus (John 14:6b).  Everyone wants to go to a Heaven of their own making.  Just ask a child what they think Heaven will be like and see how they respond differently than what you may think Heaven will be like.  The truth about Heaven is that it is plain and simply being in the very Presence of our Father God for all eternity.  The Bible is very clear that there are mansions and streets of gold (John 14:2;Rev 21:21).  All of our needs will be forever met by a faithful GOD.  The Bible also says that GOD will be amongst His people (Rev 21:3).  So, though there may be things that our imaginations cannot fathom, and possibly things we associate joy here on earth with, the main blessing of Heaven is the Presence of GOD.  That is the only Heaven.  There is but one.  The only Way to get there, per the Word of Almighty God, is through Jesus Christ.

So, I tell you this truly and honestly, and in loving humility.  You can accept Jesus now and be saved, spared an eternal hellfire, or you can go it your own way and fall, eventually to only be brought back around to be confronted by the Word of GOD which you had denied.  Which will you choose?  I know my choice.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phillipians 2:9-11

 

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

SDG

Know Where You Stand

Know Where You Stand

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:17-23

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:16-17

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans6:3-4

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:13-15

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” 1 John 5:4-6

Jesus came here to prove God’s Love for us, and to redeem us from Sin. In doing this, He set us back where we were made in the first place.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:27-31

Yet, He blesses us and goes a step further in placing us in this world as co-heirs with Christ. And where did He place Christ? Far above everything. If we are co-heirs, children of God, adopted sons and daughters, sharing in the victory gained by Christ, then we, too, are far above all other things, except for God.

So, when we read of our battle in the rest of Ephesians, we must understand the Truth.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13

And against those which we are far above, and through Jesus Christ crucified (i.e., The Cross), here called the Armor of God, we are already victorious. We’ve already won.

Don’t fall for the lies of the Devil. Stand in the Truth and believe it. God does not lie, winner. We are saints, chosen by God, to stand for Him in this broken and lost world to be the light and the salt by living a victorious life. So, now that you’ve done all you can, just stand. Stand for Christ and live that victorious life given unto you through the Cross. You are placed in Him, far above all else. Stand there.

SDG

What If God Says, “No”?

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What if He says, “No”?

“Therefore David enquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines. David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer. And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.” 1 Chronicles 14:14-17

Now, God does not usually give me that much instruction all at one time. I mean, that is a lot of information to be given at one time, some of it very detailed. God definitely does, however, tell me no quite often. Plain and simply, “No.”

Let me elaborate. Early in my walk with Jesus, I became involved in a relationship with a young woman with whom I thought The Lord had brought me. Of course, there was this sinking feeling that it was not ordained by God, but I stuck with it, believing that it was and that the struggles that came with this relationship were to test my faith. Well, several months into it, I was given a dream that was as clear as day to me.

I generally do not remember my dreams. That and, usually, I dismiss most of the ones I do recall as my brain organizing and making sense of the information taken in the previous day. I’m slightly scientific like that. But this dream…

I was watching before me a replay of the moment I first spent any time with her at all. She was laying on the sofa, holding her daughter in her arms, and they had both fallen asleep while we were watching television at a sister’s house. I know this memory well because it was when I first thought about spending my life with her. It was being shown to me as though on the big screen, because there came in front of it, as if floating on water, a clear plastic rectangular Tupperware-like dish. In the dish were two tea light candles (you know, the little ones), both were aflame, but were on opposite ends of this dish. As it floated slowly, turning counterclockwise, an unseen finger touched the dish and it split into two smaller square ones. There were no ripples in what had to be water, but the two candles slowly drifted apart. One remained in the center of attention, and the other headed off out of view. As the second one went away, the memory faded into black, and she was gone. What seemed like a eternity passed, and that unseen hand brought a second candle into the small square dish, right along side the first, and both grew brighter. Then I awoke.

Even now, recalling this dream, I’m tearing up. God was telling me no, and it hurt. I had allowed myself to form feelings and desires to be with this very special daughter of Christ which I should not have, and it was all to my own detriment, because God wanted something else for her, and for me. It was hard, but I went, crying like a child, to her and told her about the dream and how I could no longer come to the house because God said I had to separate myself from her. I found out, he spoke to her that same night, too, from her sister who was also crying for us both. We all thought… but God knew better. It was difficult, but I must tell you that this wonderful sister in Christ is now happily married to the man with whom God brought her together.

And so, I listened, and healing took place and we all grew, all because God said no. But shortly thereafter, He told me no again, only this time, I heard it in my spirit, no dream necessary.

I met another daughter of Christ a year later. She was beautiful, vulnerable, and I thought that she could be the one. But, even within those first few moments speaking with her at the Christian bookstore, He plainly told me no. I remember I even told her He said no. Our conversation was about her problems with a guy she had been seeing, and I was trying to encourage her to wait on The Lord, as I knew rushing into things only caused grief. We exchanged numbers, and I told her to call if she needed to talk some more. Not even a day later, temptation took it’s toll and I texted a Merry Christmas, in the hopes she would respond. She did, and a relationship began.

This time, I totally ignored the warning and directive God had given to me and proceeded to do as I pleased anyway. Needless to say, we were quickly engaged to be married. The church I attended (which I brought her to whether she wanted to go there or not) required newly engaged couples to undergo premarital counseling before the pastors would agree to perform the ceremony. We went to one meeting and were given the guidelines. I was ecstatic. I believe she was, too. But there was another situation in my life that was causing me great grief. Only a few days later, I was asked to come to a meeting with the pastors and another woman, in whom I had no interest yet whom had “claimed” me and was doing all that she could to manipulate my life and get me to interact with her, even if it was negative interaction.

I was very upset that the meeting was called at a time when I was supposed to be at my place of employment and totally against my wishes, as I wanted nothing to do with her. Yet, as a disciple following my church leadership, I went. On the way, I was basically venting as I raised my voice in anger at how the situation was totally wrong and that she had no right to do what she was doing to me. My fiancée was privy to that and she got scared. Though I was not yelling at her, she heard how anger could come from me, and she feared the day that it might be directed at her or her two boys.

She tried to express her feelings to me, but I got defensive because she used trigger words for me, like when she suggested I would beat her boys. That upset me because I knew I would never do that. It was brought into our next counseling meeting and she stormed out when the pastor agreed with me on the Biblical principle of spanking. That was it for her, and she ran. She called off the entire thing and refused to further communicate. Do you see how God took care of things?

I wasn’t listening to The Lord. He said no, and He had kept saying no. So, when I wouldn’t listen, He gave the devil leeway to bring strife between us, and we were separated anyway. God’s will is going to be accomplished, for He is sovereign. He knew what it would take to bring about the best for His children. So, he allowed fear and doubt to enter in, and His will was done.

Now, this second time I didn’t listen at all to His no, and after, I spiraled out of control. I wanted nothing to do with this life. I felt like Jonah. I ran from God. So, things became worse for me. I was brought to the point of having nowhere else to turn, and He reminded me that He was still there. Praise God for His mercy, patience, love, understanding, and grace!

Two different times He said no and their were two different reactions. One, decisive and immediate. Painful, but surrendered and still joyfully loving God. The other, rebellious and long and drawn out. Painful to a much greater degree with no joy and no peace.

So, what if He says, “No”?

Take it from me, it’s better to receive that no joyfully and move forward with Christ than to rebel against it. Look at David, for a more Biblical perspective.

He had asked God if he should go after the Philistines the first time.
God said yes and they defeated them. When the Philistines regathered, David inquired again and God said no, but God gave him a different plan, and there was victory in a different way. God may not give us the different plan, but if He tells us no to one, we should trust Him and accept that He knows best.

Looking back, God did give me more than just no. He showed me that when the time was right, if I will just trust Him, He will bring the right woman into my life, and our lives will both be better, for we will both burn brighter for Him!

So, I ask you this evening, because it’s on my heart to do so: what if God tells you, “No”?

Feel free to share your experience below. And… if this spoke to you, or if it encouraged you, please, let me know. God bless you.

SDG

Krispy Kreme

I’m sitting in a Krispy Kreme donut shop, watching the donuts pass through the conveyor belt system of creation.

From inception to the final product, each donut goes through the same process. They must first be created. All of the ingredients are thrown together and mixed and kneaded as they become dough. Then, the dough is formed into rings. They look like donuts, but they are new. They are still raw and flat, almost two dimensional.

The next step is to be exposed to heat. It is not so hot as to cook them, for they are not ready for that, yet. However, this heat is designed to help them grow. As they rise in this growth process, they become fuller and more three dimensional. They begin to truly take on the shape and look of a donut, but though they are fuller in appearance, they are still raw.

Then the real fire comes as they are dropped into hot oil. Now, the cooking comes, but it is only on one side. The heat of the oil sears the donut and gives it color and firmness. But, as the process on that side completes, the donut is flipped over and the oil sears the other side and it turns that lovely golden hue. Once the flavor of the golden color has become a part of the donut, it is finally pulled out from the oil and allowed to dry. The excess oil drips off of it as it is raised out of the oil, but still above it. Te heat from that oil still makes its way to the donut, but it is no longer as severe

Then, the donut cooled from that part of the process is dressed in sugar. Each is coated with a bath of liquid sugar and as that sugar begins to solidify, additional flavors of sugar coating like maple, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, or combinations of any of those are placed upon them. Finally, now having gone through that entire process without skipping any steps, the donuts are called donuts and they are set on display to excite and ultimately bring joy to whomever eats them.

And the two which I enjoyed were wonderfully delicious. They literally were the catalyst that lifted me out of a somber mood. There is much to be done, and I was feeling the pressure of it all; but, praise The Lord for Krispy Kreme donuts!

So, here I sit, as I watch those donuts, contemplating all that The Lord is doing in my life. And a simple realization comes to me that we are all just like those donuts. After what I heard taught last night about the journey from our start to the vision God gives us, it isn’t surprising. I really can see us as those donuts. Well, except for the end where they get devoured.

God creates us anew when we come to Him repentant and accepting Jesus. But, we are flat, almost two dimensional. Everything that we will ever need or be is there. He already imparts our spiritual gifts, but we are not ready to go, yet. We need to grow. Growth takes time. And growth is painful. Whether it is a constant pressure or heat, or whether it is a searing trial in hot oil, we must go through it. Every Christian does.

And the processes we all go through will be very similar. God knows what works and He knows what will work for each of us. So, He will design our trials to get us to a desire outcome. Yes, He is already at that outcome and He knows the outcome, but that does not mean we won’t go through it. We must in order to handle where we are headed. It is how He will use us for which we are preparing and or which we are being formed.

So, I turn my gaze to the finished product again, those sweet glazed beauties standing on the line awaiting their turn to bring joy to someone’s child, someone’s spouse, someone’s friend. I see the customers smiling as they look upon them and choose their favorites, excited to have them and I pray that God continue to change me from the inside out, forming me into the image of Christ. I pray and take ahold of my faith that God’s Light shines forth from me that others look at me and see something wonderful in me that they desire for themselves. I know that The Lord is working on me, placing me from one heat to another, flipping me over to get all sides, and I look forward to my final sugar glaze when I am glorified into Heaven. Until then, may people see the changes happen as I am brought through conveyor. I pray they see the changes in you, too. Praise God! Praise Jesus!

SDG