The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isa. 40:8
So, I was out mowing my one acre lot yesterday, and the heat was beating down on me. Here in West Texas we have been experiencing a drought. Many of my neighbors, including myself, have lost a large number of trees and grass on our property. What I have noticed as I have mowed is how the weeds have just taken over where grass once thrived. In seeing this, I felt God gave me a word for the CHURCH today.
In seasons, where the lack of rain has brought severe drought, weeds still abound. I put weed killer on a few weeds in front of my house a year ago, and they seemed to cry out, ‘More, more, oh the moisture is great…bring it on!” Needless to say, they did not die from it.
When God’s people experience a spiritual drought or lack of reign from the Spirit of God, sin seems to abound. The weeds above represent sin. Even when God’s people appear to be fainting from the lack of rain, sin is still abounding all the more. In times of drought, we should know as children of God that we need to press in all the more, rely on God all the more, pray to God all the more, trust in God all the more, and rejoice in His presence all the more!
As I finished mowing and digesting the spiritual lesson taught me from my tasks, I realized how God is waiting to pour out His spiritual rain upon us. How He wants us to thirst and hunger after Him. I could see how sin could easily abound in dry places, and I also know that if we are not equipped for the heat of this world –or sin that surrounds us, it will overtake us too. We must stay in the Presence of God to remain nourished, fed and healthy. Weeds, or sin, can thrive in desolate areas, but God’s people cannot. We need the rain of God, and the reign of His Sprit to lead and guide us through such seasons in our lives. If we will entrusts God and ask Him to help us through the dry times, He will, and we will rise above those seasons and times in our lives and become once again a living, jubilant, child of God, sharing hope to the
Status quo is a Latin term meaning the present current,existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep things the way they presently are. There is nothing wrong with the status quo when it pertains to certain areas of our lives. However, living a status quo Christian life is totally unacceptable. At least it was during the days of the bible. I can think of many biblical characters who dared to move beyond the status quo of their belief system.
•The woman who knelt and touched the hem of Jesus garment so she could be healed. (Luke 8: 43-44)
•John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness.(John 1:23)
•David as he danced before the Ark of the Covenant throughout the kingdom to welcome back God’s presence. (1 Chronicles 15: 29)
•Moses, when God used him through a series of plagues to set the Israelites free. (Exodus 9:14)
I could go on and on but I think you are getting the idea of what I am saying here. We have never been called to live in the cozy, Christian, comfort zone of life. Believe me, the older that I get, the harder it is for me to embrace change. But there is one thing about me that many of you by now have learned. I am always willing to do whatever God has called me to do. That does not mean that I have never had those times when my flesh was internally kicking and screaming all the way. When I become unchangeable, God quickly reminds me of the children of Israel in the desert. After a while, they were longing for the grand old days of slavery, hard work, oppression and dictatorship.
I believe God allows us to see in these scriptures that anytime we long to keep things the way they presently are, we have succumbed to spiritual bondage. When we give into this kind of bondage we stop growing in Christ. I believe Paul knew all about the trap of being one of the status quo when he said, “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,”(Hebrews 6:1)
I believe Paul is telling us to stop our continuing laying of the foundations of othe Christian life and start constructing the building. Most believers have the basics when it comes to living the Christian life. When we refuse to move onward building upon the foundation of Christ in our lives, our works have become dead. That is why it is ever so vital to have a heart of repentance daily. When we repent we are not drawn to live our lives in the status quo, but to build upon the principles that God has already taught us.
There is an old gospel song that says, “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.” I realize now that this song was written by someone who unquestionably left the status quo behind. If we are truly serving God with pure hearts, then we are everchanging, evergrowing, ever becoming the man or woman that God has designed us to be. When Moses came down off that mountain from being with God, we could actually see that His appearance had changed. Oh how I long for the kind of move of God that would radically change our hearts, our service, our devotion to Christ. I don’t know about you, but I have decided to let the status quo thoroughly go and become all that God desires me to be!
2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Another week has passed, and those professing to be Christians have brought us disappointment once again. It isn’t anything new. Think about the life of David, known for being a man after God's own heart. I know he must have cringed just to think that people remember him for his downfall. When I read that passage, I want to yell out, “David---are you out of your ever loving mind?!” He publically messed up--- big time royal, but if we were honest with ourselves, we would have to admit, so have we. What I want to talk about today is what do we do with our mistakes Christian family? Do we give up all together, or do we move forward in hopes of redeeming ourselves?
Let me tell you this, we cannot redeem ourselves. If that was possible, then Christ would never have to come to earth to die such a terrible death on our behalf. If we could live holy lives, set apart for God by our own cognizance, then why would we even need God?
The more mature I am in Christ, the more dependent that I become on Him. I chalk it up to experience. I have done many things on my own, started something I thought was from the Lord, on my own. I have even stepped out and involved others to do good works on my own, and if you admit it, you have too. Why does such a thing happen? Perhaps it is our pride, ignorance, wanting to please man, or just sheer stupidity. In those moments, I can find myself to be singing, “Backward Christian Soldier,” for I have done all but fail. Well honestly, I’ve even done that too.
Living in a land where corrupt leaders make decisions that blatantly go against God's Word is adding fuel to the spiritual fire in me. Will I stand back and allow my neighbor, my community, my state, my country to ignore such premises? I suppose I have held my political beliefs rather closely to my chest until today, but now God is clearly stating, “If you will not stand for the things that are righteous, who will?” I believe this is a warning to all of us, who prefer to remain silent. We cannot remain silent dear ones. We are at war, and like it or not, when you gave your life to Christ, you signed up as part of His holy army. Are you marching to the tune of “Backward Christian Soldier” or are you moving forward in your relationship with the Lord by setting an example for others to follow? I personally am praying harder than ever for our President and for America’s leaders all over this land. We are still a country“Under God,” and if we are to remain so, we must make a choice to stand up, or stand back. I choose to stand up. Will you join me?
Has God called you to a task that seems beyond your abilities? This happens when we become women and men who walk in faith. If you are insecure about your abilities, then you have already botched the opportunity admitting your weakness. Perhaps it has slipped your mind that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13. In the end, insecurity cripples your calling.
If we become insecure in our own calling, we will measure ourselves by the success of others. Measuring up to others is the downfall that many a Christian leader has succumbed to. Our only measuring stick, per say, should be Christ alone. Why do we seek for others to validate what God has called us to do? Only you and the Lord can ultimately know His will for your life. Godly counsel is needed at times when you are confused as to what that will is, but otherwise, the end result should be to knwo His will and to walk there in it.
It is not wrong to test the spirit, and to make sure that an opportunity is from the Lord, or a distraction from the adversary. This is wisdom, not intimidation or insecurity. Jesus explained, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing.
Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” John 5:19.
Beloved friends, God has a mighty calling on His children. If we keep our eyes on Him, and imitate what He is doing, all will be well. The greatest compliment one can pay is to imitate you. I pray that I imitate my Heavenly Father daily. I will only be able to do that if I am watching and praying.
If you are experiencing emotions of doubt and insecurity, then you are at the wrong end of the adversary’s spear whose objective is to stop you from moving on with God. It is time to stand up, put on the armor of God, and command Satan to go back to the dry places from whence he came. It is time dear one, to take hold of your kingdom authority in Christ as His beloved one, and to trust and obey his calling in your life.
There have been ample times that the enemy plays the old insecurity card on me right before I get ready to minister. If your desire is to walk in the footprints of Jesus, chances are you have experienced the same thing. Satan’s ultimate tool is to deceive you and if he can do that through insecurity, he will, I know. Don’t let insecurity cripple your calling.
I am starting an online bible study “So Long, Insecurity” next
Thursday May 17th. If you would like to join us, then find me on Facebook and get connected!
THE CHURCH NEEDS A CHECKUP!
We’ve all seen it….people that seemingly call themselves a follower of Christ but seem to take the road of compromise too many times so that they can feed the flesh and not the Spirit. I know…. another one of those blogs about compromise. Let me say this: As I travel doing conferences and worship events I am seeing a serious illness in the Body of Christ. Contradictory Christianity is rampant and it continues to be the main reason why non-believers choose not to become Christians.
When the church walks so closely to the world that there is no apparent difference in the things they do, the way they talk, the lives they live, then tell me, what do we have that truly attracts others to Christ? I consistently find people in the church who are living together, cheating on their taxes, lying and doing the things that any non-believer would do because they do not know better. The sad truth is that these people do
know better, but frankly they just do not care.
Recently while traveling to a town to do a Freedom Conference, God revealed to me that there was a spirit of hostility against the things of God in that place. A hostile nature against God comes when a people desire to fulfill their own needs, or flesh, and have no desire to please the Lord. I see this in shallow believers and non-believers alike. The apathetic church is growing while the church on fire for God is diminishing. Is it because of the lack of power seen in the Body of Christ? I would have to say affirmatively-YES.
Powerless Christians who never pray, never read their bibles, or never meditate on what God has to say are being watched closely by those who do not know Christ. The church has become the very example they are setting forth in this world. If your standards are low, those who come to be a part of your fellowship will never strive for complete holiness. It is time for the Body of Christ to have a checkup. It’s time for a heart check, body check, emotional check, mental check, and spiritual check. It starts with the Pastor and then spreads through to the sheep. If your pastor is not someone you desire to emulate, then find one that is. Sometimes this means a church change, a friend change or life change. No church is perfect, but the pastor ought to be someone that you can look up to and someone that encourages you in your Christian walk. Contradictory Christianity is a disease that no believer can afford to catch. So in closing, find a place where you can fellowship with believers who desire to please God and not themselves, and start living the fulfilling life that Christ ordained you to live in and through Him!