Yes, the Supreme Court Has Spoken, But God Still Reigns!


One of the things I love about God is that regardless of all the criminal and dark happenings on earth, He still reigns! His Kingdom is ours if we submit to His ways. While everything around us can seem like it’s falling apart, God is our King. He will strengthen us, empower us, and give us the voice we need to stand firm in a world gone wild.

I love King Hezekiah from the Old Testament! He’s one of my favorite kings. The King of Assyria was coming against him and his kingdom, but King Hezekiah was not moved to fear, he was moved to faith in the One and Only God Who can do ANYTHING He desires. In our dark days, his prayer is a model for us to pray as well:

“Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD:

‘O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God. It is true, O LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God.'” (Isaiah 37:14-20).

 

Turning this prayer into one we can pray for our country is this:

‘O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth including America. You have made heaven and earth; You have created marriage. It’s Your idea. Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to all the words the Supreme Court has sent to insult the living God. It is true, O LORD, that the LGBT Community has won this battle but You are still King! They have convinced many to follow after their gods which are as worthless as wood and stone, but Lord, guard Your word that it will always accomplish what You desire.  O LORD our God, protect Your church and do not allow this move of the Supreme Court to thwart Your mission through Your people. Deliver us from this ruling, so that all kingdoms on earth including the LGBT may know that You alone, O LORD, are God.'”

Amen! The same God of Hezekiah’s day is the same God of our day. Instead of fear, my friends, let’s lay this ruling that the Supreme Court has mandated out before the Lord. Let’s ask the Lord to help. Let’s see the Most Powerful God guard His truth and protect His people. God still reigns, we have no need to fear…only to keep the faith!

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Is Your Worship a Sweet Aroma to the Lord? Or is There a Stench in it?


I heard a preacher say recently that when we worship the Lord, praises are not the offering, we are. We are the sacrifice set before the Lord. The more I thought about that I couldn’t help but wonder, “Then what do our praises represent?” This morning God showed me that our praises are the sweet aroma that ascends to the Father’s nostrils; that sweet smell of repentance, humility, mercy and adoration reflecting from us being sacrificed on the altar.

I love to worship! What I mean is I love to sing, I love to get lost in the words and the solitude of thinking only about God and His love for me and mine for Him. But the thought occurred to me, is my worship truly a sweet aroma? Is it just my singing that pleases the Lord? (If it’s based on the sound of beauty, I can attest my singing is not. I don’t have a great voice; I know, because I’m sure that anyone standing next to me would like to politely tell me to shut my mouth!) However, the Lord does indeed love my heart for Him, but is it possible for me to come to the Lord in worship and offer a sacrifice with blemish? I think so. This is something I really never thought about until I read the words from Jesus that said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13).

When we come to the Lord in worship, are we coming with bitterness in our heart toward a person? Are we secretly hiding an habitual sin in our life? Is there pride controlling our actions? Is it greed that traps us in materialism? What is it that we come to worship with? It’s not that we need to be perfect before we worship, but we do need to add a flavor, a cleansing to this offering in order for it to be a pleasing aroma to the Lord. That flavoring is repentance.

Repentance is often a skipped over teaching today. We rush right by it and go right to the blessings the Lord has in store for us. But repentance is a cleansing agent. It cleanses our sin but it also rights our heart and our mind. Once we flavor our worship with repentance, then our sacrifice turns our heart of hatred into a heart of love; it turns our condemnation of others into a heart of compassion and understanding; we gain more knowledge and revelation of God; our humility wipes out the pride of our life and the greed of our flesh. The desires of self we had before are transformed into the desires of the Father. Where sin corrupts the sacrifice, repentance (true sorrow for sin) cleanses the offering. It sweetens the aroma and pleases the heart of God. Jesus said to the Pharisees who condemned him for eating with the sinners and tax collectors, “Go learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” It is impossible to know what that means without the cleansing agent of repentance? No. Sadly, repentance was not the act the Pharisees and teachers of the Law wanted to experience, therefore they could not understand mercy; they only knew sacrifice which made them harsh and hardened shepherds of the people. And their sacrifice was filled with the stench of arrogance (which was not pleasing to the Lord!)

It was Jesus that said to the Pharisees and teachers of the Law who condemned him for eating with the tax collectors and sinners, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31). Jesus at one time applauded the Pharisees for their righteousness, their right living (Matthew 5:20). They knew the law. They (in most cases) were obedient to the Law of Moses. But they lacked mercy. They lacked the cleansing agent of repentance needed to make their life a sweetened aroma to the Lord. John the Baptist called them out; he said to the Pharisees and Sadducees, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

Our sacrifice of praises must contain this element, this ingredient of repentance, to please the Father and heal our heart. Repentance represents change of direction and it also reflects a broken and contrite heart. It is this broken heart that can be fixed by the power of God. After all, it’s the sick who needs a doctor. I would like us to look one more time at Luke 5:31 and consider some new meanings to the words, “It is not the healthy (prideful) who need a doctor, it is the sick (the humble). I have not come to call the righteous (the arrogant), but sinners (the broken) to repentance (cleansing).” Could it be that we come to worship the Lord in a “healthy” state, one that cannot be penetrated by the power of God? Could it be that our arrogance is putting a stench in our sacrifice?

Paul (used to be Saul) was a righteous man, one to be honored for he had accomplished so much. He had a high standing with the teachers of the Law. He had zeal for God. But his pride blemished the sacrifice.  His “healthy” standing created a stench in the aroma of worship he offered to the Lord. But when Paul met Jesus, he became sick. He became a humble heap of waste. It was in this condition that repentance truly cleansed the sacrifice. His humility gave him the right view of himself, but it also righted his view of Jesus, His Savior, who had the power to heal the sick. Paul admitted to being the worst of sinners. Yet, He also learned of Christ’s immense patience. Because he was the worst of sinners, Paul said, “I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His immense patience as an example for those who believe in Him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:16).

Jesus cannot heal the “healthy” nor can the “healthy” offer a sacrifice that is sweet to the Lord. We cannot reflect the goodness of God if we cannot receive it in repentance. We are either a reflection of the Father of Life or the father of lies. Our worship is tainted in our “healthy” state, but it is made perfect in the baptism of repentance and the oil o humility.

The next time you attend a service and the worship leader begins to lead, ask yourself, “Is there anything I need to repent of? Is there a sin I need cleansing from?” Offer that first in a prayer to our God. Then lose yourself in the sacrifice and know with assurance that what Christ is receiving is sweet to the taste and fragrant to His nostrils.

 

Are You Driving Life in Fear and Hesitation?


When I was 19 years old, my mother tried to teach me how to drive a manual. It was challenging for her to say the least! My biggest problem was I hesitated. One day in particular my hesitation almost killed everyone in the car. I was driving my mom, grandmother and brother home. We crossed a highway. I had to cross one part, stop and wait to cross the second part to safely get on this busy highway. I saw all the cars coming at me and fear gripped my heart. I couldn’t seem to get my eyes of the cars barreling down so I could focus on driving across the highway. When the chance for me to get across came, my fear kicked in and I hesitated. Then suddenly I decided to go anyway. In the end, the car stalled as we slowly strolled across the highway, only to just miss being smashed to pieces by the many cars heading our way. I think my grandmother’s heart stopped and started multiple times! (Needless to say, driving a manual wasn’t wise for me. Actually, driving isn’t wise for me. But that’s another blog.)

When Jesus called Simon Peter, his brother Andrew, who were fishing for a living, to follow Him, they immediately left their nets and took His invitation. Later Jesus called James, son of Zebedee and his brother John to follow Him, and they immediately left their father and their fishing business and obeyed the call. There was no hesitation in either of these men’s responses to Jesus’ call to be His disciple. (Matthew 4:18-22).

Then, we find another disciple who was called by Jesus, “Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead’” (Matthew 8:21-22).

Now whether this disciple ended up following Jesus or not is unclear, but the one part of this testimony that contrasts with the first disciples who Jesus called was his hesitation. This testimony isn’t about Jesus not caring for the burial of this man’s father. His point was this man’s reluctance to fully follow. Unlike Peter, Andrew, James and John who immediately left job and a living father to follow Jesus, this disciple couldn’t quite let go of the life he had without Jesus. He looked back and let what he was leaving fill his heart instead of the new life Jesus was offering. Often this is the case of many who call themselves a “follower of Jesus.” Figuratively, they choose to live their life among the dead instead of fully embracing the abundant life of Christ. To fully follow Jesus does mean leaving something behind; but it also means embracing something better.

Hesitation is a breeding ground for disobedience. It doesn’t lead us to a wise decision, as some might think. Hesitation is often a symptom of fear whereas immediately following Jesus is a demonstration of total faith. Fear was at the heart of my hesitation in crossing the highway; as a result I came close to killing my whole family. I certainly scared everyone almost to death! My hesitation created more fear. And I have never felt comfortable driving a manual since. My hesitation did not breed more courage, it fueled more hesitation.

Do you think Peter, Andrew, James and John fully understood what it took to follow Jesus? Probably not. Do you think they may have had some fear and doubt? I’m sure they did. But they trusted that Jesus would help them overcome this and take them to greater heights of faith instead of fear.  Do you think that Peter, Andrew, James and John looked back on their life and thought, “Boy, I wished I had stayed and fished for the rest of my life?” No, I’m sure they were grateful for the step of faith they took. Jesus took them on the ride of their life! He gave them the keys to change the world and granted them life eternal! They saw Jesus do miracles, teach amazing truths with authority and ultimately pay and overcome the price of man’s sin. They experienced prophecy fulfilled, and they got to participate in revealing Christ to others by becoming the forerunners of the church age, in which we are all beneficiaries!

On the other hand, do you think the disciple who wanted to go and bury his father lived with regret? If he didn’t follow Jesus, I’m confident he lived with remorse and regret for his hesitation.

To follow Jesus requires overcoming our fear by trusting in a life that is better than the one we are living.

“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is looking forward to the city whose architect and builder is God. The life we live without Jesus is dark, dim, weak and powerless. We know this, but often what holds us back is while miserable we are comfortable. Comfortable in the mundane never leads to a superior life. And superior is not obtained with mediocrity. It takes seeing the cars barreling down at us and gunning the car across when we have the chance! That’s victory! Why would we continue to invest time and effort in the dead of this life when we know that we can embrace and experience the Living God for today and forever? Seems foolish, doesn’t it?

Is Jesus calling you? Are you living a mediocre life of discipleship? Is your life dull, dim, weak and powerless? Just maybe you are spending too much time missing your old life instead of putting your foot on the clutch and gas and taking your life to a higher gear! Go! A greater life of joy and power awaits you! Kick hesitation and fear in the dust!

How to Avoid Stressful Praying


Do you ever go to prayer with a list of requests? I do. Sometimes the list is overwhelming to me. I get lost in all the problems and forget who God is. I even feel that I need to come up with the solutions and simply ask God to implement them for me. Imagine that! I’m coming up with the solutions to the world’s problems and bringing them to the King of the Universe; I’m asking for His sanction of my strategy as if I am the one in control.

Why do we feel we must come to the Father with our requests and bring the strategy to the table too? Is it because we don’t think God can figure it out? Is it because we have chosen to take on the burdens of this broken world instead of casting them upon Him? Do we think God doesn’t have time to come up with a solution? Whatever the reason, it is presumptuous of us to think that we can carry these burdens much less know how to solve them. That’s turning our prayer life into a stressful encounter! Isn’t the problem we are facing stressful enough? We need a better approach!

King Jehoshaphat, who was king of Judah, heard that three large people groups were coming to wage war with him and his kingdom. This army was so vast and Israel so small. There was no way or time to come up with a strategy to beat this conquest that was on its way. So what does King Jehoshaphat do? He inquires of the Lord. Does he bring his problem to God? Yes. But does he bring his solution? No. He says to the Lord, “Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

King Jehoshaphat understood how to pray. Jesus taught us the proper way to approach God, “…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:10). “Your will be done…” is speaking to His commands, His desire, His choice, His idea, and His strategy…not ours. We are to come to God with a full heart of love for Him and empty plans for our situation. A full heart of devotion to God and empty plans for his situation is the approach King Jehoshaphat came to God with. Because King Jehoshaphat did not see himself as higher than God, he was able to give himself fully to God’s will.

When our plans are in the equation, we are striving for glory. And striving does not equal success. It equals failure. God is on the throne, we are not. We are His servants, His vessels of light who are to shine forth Him, not us. He is the name to be praised. It is His will held high. The more we love His heart, the more we want His will to be done, not ours.

When we come to God in prayer with our agenda, we have not come with a full heart of devotion. We have come with a full heart of pride. And we wonder why we are so tired. Pride makes people weary. We can’t handle the problems of the universe. We can barely handle our daily schedules. We must come to Jesus with an open mind and empty plans. Our heart must be pruned and ready to receive whatever His will is. Then we will know true success that reaches beyond whatever we can imagine. We will know rest in the midst of faith.

Jesus said so clearly to His disciples, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” (John 12:21). Keeping His commands is keeping His will. As we learned earlier the word “will” means commands. And if we are not empty of our agenda, God will prune us. He may even cut us off. For Jesus said, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit (does not align itself with My will), He takes it away; and every branch that bears fruit (that partially aligns itself with My will), He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit (where My will is fully realized)” (John 15:2) emphasis added.

God is in the business of giving us His full revelation. But often we short change ourselves by coming to Him with our revelation. Could it be that our churches are not growing to the degree they could because we are bearing some fruit instead of His full will? Could it be that our children or our marriage is suffering because we have decided the solution to the problem, instead of inquiring of the Lord for His solution? Could it be that our challenges are still challenges because we have refused to humble ourselves to the Lord and simply say, “I don’t know what to do!”? It’s okay to not know what to do. It’s okay to not have the strategy in place. God is not our employer. Yes, He is sovereign and certainly over us, but in His sovereignty He is also our Father. Our Father is the one we look to for solutions, for help and for guidance.

Do you know what God told King Jehoshaphat to do? Do you know what His strategy was for Jehoshaphat and the people of Israel? It was to worship. Yes, to worship! That was the strategy! And “as they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:22).

God calls us to love Him. To worship Him. To rest in His power, not our ability. The battles we fight every day are  not ours to fight. They are His. And in His good time, He will either give us the solution to act upon, or He will demolish the problem Himself. The key is to seek His will! To pray for heaven to come to our situation. The goal is to reflect heaven in our churches, our families and our problems. God is the one to be manifested. And when we can hold Him up with this high regard, we will stand and see the deliverance of the Lord in our lives!

How has this different approach to prayer changed your situation? How does this relax your spirit and help you rest in God’s great power? I’d love to  hear from you!

A Twisted Gospel Being Preached Today


There is a teaching that is running through the church these days that “all we are to do is love people, not change them.” This sounds so loving and so good. But the reality is, this is not the gospel of Christ. This is a twisted gospel, a false teaching; they are empty words, full of death. It’s one of the most destructive and unloving things we can do for another; this so called “gospel” keeps people dead in their sin and in bondage to eternal death.

Change is at the heart of the gospel of Christ. For we “have been taught to put off our old self, the old former way of life, which is being corrupted by our deceitful desires; we are to be made new in the attitude of our minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24). This doesn’t sound like we are to not change. This is change! We change in our minds, we change what we believe about ourselves, we change who we are trusting (Christ vs. the world and its lies), then we change our behaviors. Our old life is gone and our new life is here.

Sadly, if we aim to never change anyone, we then have chosen to partner with them in their sin. The ways we partner with those living in sin are 1.) We join them in their sin 2.) We shy away from speaking truthfully to our neighbor, 3.) We don’t show them the way out of their life of sin, 4.) And we often give hearty approval to their way of living. Take note, Jesus ate with the sinners; He did not sin with the sinners. He was not afraid to tell the truth to those in sin. He was bold. He was true love. Likewise, He is the same today! But Jesus chooses to use His church to express His boldness and His great love. “Preach the word” Paul tells Timothy! And every Pastor is to do the same, but so is every believer. There is hope in change! 

Paul tells us quite boldly, “For this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore, do not be partners with them.” (Ephesians 5:5-7).

Paul gives us a list of all those practices that we are to change from: sexual immorality, impurity, greed, obscenity, foolish talk, coarse joking and the like. God’s wrath is being prepared for such practices. To not encourage change from this is to invite the wrath of God upon a person. This is hateful. This is harmful. Instead Paul challenges us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received: put off falsehood, leave your life of sexual immorality (not even of hint of it should mark your life), get rid of impurity, greed, and work hard, share your earnings with those in need, be kind, compassionate, forgiving, speak wholesome talk, walk in the way of love, and the like.

We are to encourage the sinner to change. Not just bring up their shameful acts but pave a way out of their sinful life. There are three ways out of this lifestyle of sin. And these three ways are the way of hope, happiness, and true love. One must…

  1. Repent – To repent is to admit that the life we are living and all its deceitful practices are sins against God. We not only admit them, but we ask God to forgive us. For He is the only One who can forgive sin.
  2. Accept – We must ask God to forgive, but then we must accept Jesus His Son as our Savior and the only One who paid for that sin. We must make Him Lord of our life which enables us to change.
  3. Allow – Once forgiven, once Christ is received and made Lord of our life, we must allow His Holy Spirit to do the work of change in our life. Daily He will convict, teach, and help us see the truth we need so we can become new like Christ, made in the likeness of His holiness and right living.

How can anyone say that change is not necessary; and that all is needed is love.  The one who does this actually sets a trap (a foothold of the devil) for those whom say they “love.” We are to walk in the way of love. And that way is truth. When we speak truth to our neighbor we are do it in love. Not ignore the truth, soften the truth, twist the truth, or change the truth. For any truth or gospel that is ignored, softened, twisted and changed is not truth, it’s a lie, and it’s not the gospel that Christ came to die for and give to us.

Let us hold true to the truth. And let us be true to those living in sin. Let us love them with a Godly love, one that shows them life and liberty. Love as Christ loves!

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17).  

When a Mom’s Worry Collides with Heaven’s Perspective


God is taking me to a whole new level of faith, one that overcomes worry and anxiety. This is something that I have needed an answer to for some time. I just prayed yesterday that through the Spirit of God, God would give me wisdom and specifically revelation so that I could know Him better. I prayed for my heart to be enlightened. I prayed for the same power with the same mighty strength that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand in the heavenly realms would be in my experience for today, tomorrow and forever. (Ephesians 1:17-20). And this morning, God gave me His perspective.

I’m reading a great book called by “Fire and Fragrance” Sean Feucht and Andy Byrd. Both share their testimonies about different things in their life. The one that stood out to me was the part that Andy shared. He shares that one day he was feeling a bit overwhelmed by some difficult situation in his life. He was pressing in for a breakthrough and it had not yet come. He shares that he began to ask the Lord about this breakthrough and he expressed his concern that it may never come. Then he sensed the Lord ask him a question, “Andy, do you think the angels are ever insecure about the outcomes?” Taken aback by this question, Andy pondered the ridiculousness of his own fear and insecurity of God’s ability to release His kingdom on His earth. Then the final question God impressed upon him which became the one that impressed upon me the most was, “Do you think the angels are ever insecure in My leadership?” Wow! I so needed to hear that question!

You see, I am a mom. I have loved being a mom from the beginning of motherhood. Being a mom was my one and only desire. Some wanted careers, investments, material possessions, and such. But I just wanted to be a mom. And God blessed me with four wonderful children. But God did not just bless me, He gave me a mission when my oldest, Matthew, was almost three years old. It was one of those special days I had with the Lord. He called me to raise all of my children to be warriors for His Kingdom. And His Kingdom was to be revealed here on earth using each child in some way. But it would take effort on my part. It would take sacrifice. It would take faith. This assignment seemed like an impossible task for me. I was a young believer, didn’t know the word like I do today, and was very uncertain in my ability to raise my children for the Lord with intention and sacrifice. But I trusted the Lord. I believed Him when He impressed upon me that He would walk with me, teach me, guide me and help me every step of the way. It wasn’t easy to do, but I believed the promise Jesus gave His disciples at the time of the great commissioning, “…Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

But again, I am a mom. And while I did take that calling to raise my children as warriors in His Kingdom seriously; and they all love the Lord! I praise Him for His faithfulness! I still worry. I worry about the suffering they may experience. I worry about the sacrifices they will make. I know that following Jesus is not always easy. On the other hand, I also know that His power is great, but sometimes I forget about His power and focus too much on the suffering and sacrifices that each of my children may (or will) go through.

I lose perspective in these times of worry.

I lose Heaven’s perspective. I begin to doubt God’s ability, His leadership and then I mistakenly pick up the baton and exercise my ability and my leadership. Then the worry and anxiety comes in waves (actually tsunamis’!).

I am reminded this morning from the word of God and Andy Byrd’s testimony that God’s glory does fill the earth. His power is in our reach. But often what keeps me from seeing His glory and His power so clearly is the veil of unbelief that I choose to wear. Byrd says, “Insecurity does not exist in the perspective of Heaven.” I am learning that I need to live with the continual confidence of heaven. It’s easy to look at our earth and see the suffering, trafficking, the ISIS beheadings, the rise of sexual immorality, the stripping away of our freedoms and lose that heavenly perspective. However, once we lose that perspective, the temptations to not follow through on God’s calling is at the helm. Fear drives us instead of faith moving us.

My son, Matthew, is going away for six months. He leaves this September. He’s going to Maui for training. He will be trained in the knowledge of God and missions to the people of Southeast, Asia. He will conclude his training with three months spent on mission in Asia. I know that He will learn so much, grow so much, and experience God in a way that will radically change him forever. But I also know that God will allow difficulties and challenges that will be hard. I know that God does allow us to struggle at times in our life. He does this so that we trust in Him for his glory and revelation to be revealed to us and through us. So naturally this will come about in Matt’s life.

As a mom, we never want our kids to suffer. But as a mom of God on a mission for Jesus, we must let our children go forth. For if we do not, they will never be the change maker or light in the dark that God has called them to be. We become the stumbling block instead of their stepping stone. This is not what I agreed to way back when Matt was almost three. I agreed to raise my children to be warriors for Him! I said to the Lord, “Here I am, send me. Whatever the cost, I will follow You.” Over twenty years ago, I made that commitment and I still hold true to it today; But now at this moment in time God has done something amazing for me. He has released my worry and my anxiety, because I am adopting a new perspective.

I have chosen to see what Isaiah saw, “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings, with two he covered with his face, with two he covered with his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His Glory’” (Isaiah 6:1-3).

I see Matt’s calling through the eyes of God’s holiness, His power, His ability, His sovereign leadership, and His intentional plan. I also see His gentle care, His hands open wide to hold Matt and carry him every step of the way. The same promise God gave me, He is giving to Matt, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

What is your perspective when you worry? How is it holding you back from being all that God wants you to be? Is it interfering with what God’s plans are for your children? I’d love to hear your feedback.

 

STANDING FIRM amidst the opposition


To stand alone in one’s belief in Jesus can sometimes be a lonely stance. Opposition can often be our closest companion. Troubles can be the tent this person lives in – the lot they have been given. As spacious as God’s love and power is to us, we can often experience the expanse of trials with it. But there is affirmation, direction and hope for one who finds themselves under such tribulation.

While living under the tent of trial, we must remember to never be a stumbling block in anyone’s path. This takes great strength to not let our guard down and allow our flesh to fly wild. We do not want the ministry God has given to us to be discredited or worse bring shame to the gospel of Christ. So we must stand firm under every situation.

Paul tells us his troubles in 2 Corinthians 6:5-7. While beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger were his ever constant mate, he also knew that he held the tools of righteousness in his right and his left hand. The tools he held were the purity of the Lord, understanding of God’s will, the patience and kindness of the Holy Spirit and the motivation of love. These were his to hold and use as weapons against defeat. And this my friend is yours to behold as well. If you love Jesus, you have the power of God, the truth of salvation and the eternal gospel of Jesus Christ on your side. Nothing on earth; no testing, no ordeal, and certainly no evil can stand against these and win. They may have their heyday of battering, but they never have the victory. Only in Christ is victory found.

It may seem that your hard work is not producing fruit; but God knows your hard work, He affirms your faithfulness and will in due time produce the fruit He desires from it. Opposition may be your foe, but even foes can be used by God to bring about His glory through you. No need to fret, no need to be alarmed, only stand firm and embrace the comfort and resolve to carry on.

Stand-Firm“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Amen!