About the Author

Jen Reali served 24 years in prison and worked in ministry while on the inside knowing that the only way she was going to make it through the darkness was to cling to the Lord Jesus Christ.  She now works at Inside/Out and will be sharing some of her work in Christ with us all as we journey through the adventure that is only found in Jesus.

Jen has a passion for being Jesus to others and ministering to others through word and song.  She is teaching TUMI classes at our offices soon helping our client come into a deeper relationship with Jesus.

We hope that her words bless you and fill you with faith, hope and love in your personal walk with Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

Life in Christ is a series of journeys into the unexpected.  Being the control freaks that we can be it is tough to relinquish our sense of power over our life to our Lord, and often we will maintain the belief that we are somehow in control because that depth of surrender if terrifying.  Yet, we will never know the fullness of Gods best for our lives until we are willing to give our lives up to the Lord…letting Him lead and guide and Him giving us strength and courage.

Certainly days can seem fairly routine and we an maintain a sense of direction as we go through our days.  Much of what we experience is very expected but what do we do with the events that are a curve ball in our life?  Do we get angry or impatient, frustrated or frazzled?  Or do we press into the unexpected knowing that God knew that it was going to happen and our reaction is a vital part of how our life will move forward.   If we don’t think to give the unexpected to the Lord we will drown in the chaos that it has birthed into our life.

If we look at the early church and study how they handled the unexpected we can learn a lot.  Their example is the best teacher we have for the curve balls that are tossed into our lives.  So much of our life seems so ordinary and yet if we will welcome the curve balls by giving them up to the Lord, He will move heaven and earth to help every one of us through our unexpected moments and bring from them incredible blessings along the way.

The blessing may not be for us.  It may be for someone else, even someone we don’t even know. It is our job, as ambassadors for Christ, to be ready for the curve balls and come to a place where we relish the curve ball. When God throws those curve balls into our lives He is up to something in our lives and it is up to us to embrace that.  He can’t do it for us.  He gives it to us and we are responsible for how we receive it and react to it.

I think of all of the stories which tell of car trouble that saved lives.  Had they not had the car trouble they would have been a part of a much larger catastrophic situation.   So  often, what appears to be a bad thing is really Gods way of saving us from something that would really derail our lives if not take our life.

Maybe you don’t believe in the depth of the supernatural.  God knows our hearts and He knows what we can handle and what we aren’t yet able to handle.  But if we will chose to be radically saved; wildly devoted to anything God wants to throw our way knowing that He doesn’t just throw stuff at anyone.  He picks and chooses whom He is going to elect to do His thing through.

And who am I to think that I know who should be called or chosen or elected by this Father?  He can choose anyone He wants and just like He chose 12 disciples from very uneducated sometimes seedy backgrounds.  Come on now!  The lineage of Christ isn’t one full of tea totalers but of misfits like me and you – if you realize that your life is a gift of grace through faith in the one who saves us. The Word says that He will use those who are the least to further His Kingdom.  Realizations like that help me to know that I am accepted in the beloved. I will not be forsaken or forgotten.

Although the world may throw the craziest curve balls at us God can and will utilize them for His glory if we will just surrender.  And what is surrender?  It’s letting go. It’s giving him the authority to run wild in our lives…it is relaxing into the enormity of who God really is in light of our human existence.  How blessed we are to have such an incredible God in light of how we as the human race have sought to relinquish control from him.

We will never ever rise higher in our faith if our faith doesn’t rise higher into Him.  Nothing is impossible for Him.  Do we live life in that way? Do we live our lives knowing that nothing is impossible for Him?  If we don’t then we will never live to the fullest extent of Gods call upon our lives.

Do we believe that what happened in the early church can happen in our own? As we celebrate the day of Pentecost how many of us believe that we too can be as Peter was? The early church was full of unexpected events that the disciples chose to flow through.  They didn’t miss a beat.  Having abandoned Jesus just weeks before now they all were speaking the word with boldness lit on fire by the Holy Spirit.

That should be us today.  Are we willing to be radical?  Are we willing to let God run wild in our lives?

Isaiah 43:11 – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

All talk and no action.  An awful lot of people are like that today.  They say they are going to do something and then…nothing.  Promises made and broken in a matter of moments or days.  All of it leads to disillusionment and pain.  It also creates a sense of distrust that is tough to recapture to the point where trust for anyone is elusive at best.

It is a wonderful thing to know that God will never leave us or forsake us.  It is also a wonderful thing for us to be blessed with a few people who really have the capacity to be trustworthy.  One thing I always keep in the forefront of my mind when I think of this is that I’m not going to be able to trust anyone if I can’t trust myself.  I will forever be suspicious of others if I myself am being shady and deceptive.  If I am treating others in a way that is not edifying and loving and honest how can I even think that anyone is going to treat me in the same way?

I personally have given myself goals that were reasonable – and some that were far from reasonable – and somehow I lose my grip on the determination that made me even think that I could or should follow through on the goal. In turn, if I am going to betray my own goals and promises to myself what makes me think that anyone else will be reliable and honest with me?  In reality we all fall short in this and I know for myself, the truth is harder to tell than to candy coat something that is just off the mark of truth.

But our integrity is grounded in our ability to face truth head on with a sense of loyalty to it.  We need to be able to hold truth to a higher standard and live by it even when it hurts – even when it exposes things that we don’t want to expose; things we are afraid to expose. It’s easy to hide in our lies.  It’s easy to hide in our secrets for a while and then it is too burdensome and we need to share our truth so that we don’t explode from the pain of it all.

I think that it is a challenge for many to tell the truth that is on their hearts.  If we tell the truth than we may be ridiculed or judged or abandoned.  Yep. Truth can be a tough one and yet when we start telling the truth our circle totally changes.  It becomes more authentic and more trustworthy because we are not only telling the truth but our truth is being acknowledged and accepted, not challenged and disregarded.  Truth is an amazing tool and when we become a person of our word things will become better and sweeter and more real than we could ever have imagined.

I know that we all have had people in our lives that were all talk and no action.  They would say that they would do this or that and then never follow through.  Very frustrating.  Actually I got to the point that I refused to have any expectations of people.  No expectations equaled no disappointments.  Nice little comfort zone there but it wasn’t real.  It was my feeble attempt to guard my heart from the inevitable hurt that came from false hope.

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ there are so many different ways to interpret the word and as I traversed the scriptures and found how the Lord wanted me to walk out my life in Him I found freedom to really be who I am without thinking I had to cover up any part of me.  That too is tough for all of us because each of us has something in our life that we believe others would dislike or abandon us for if they ever knew.

Truly we are as sick as our secrets.  I’ve been kicked out of churches and been ridiculed and shunned by fellow parishioners.  I know what it is like to be cast out for factual reasons and for rumor.  The truth is it’s own defense.  I don’t have to argue the truth.  It is.  It will be.  The aspects of our lives that seem to trigger such attitudes are usually not even backed by our Lord.  Regardless, we must let our yes be yes and our no be no.  We must stand up for something or we will fall for everything.  We need to know what we believe and then live it out fearlessly knowing that our God is a huge God and He knows our comings and our goings.

He knows it all so lets live it all knowing that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and all that is good in this journey that we are on with Christ.

Psalm 25:5 “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Bringing dreams to life is something that is within reach for all who believe.  When the Lord drops some dream into our spirit the next step is ours not His.  God is just waiting for us to go…to move. He is waiting for us to respond to the dream that He has placed in our hearts.

Perhaps that first step towards the  dream seems to be hidden but the one thing that you an do is to share the dream. Speak it out load to whomever will listen.  Use the one thing that we do have and that is our voice filled with passion for the dream.  those hearing your word will hear the passion in your voice and want to help in any way they can.

As we move through life it is important for us to be deeply aware of the people whom we choose to partner with in the creating of our dream.  There are those who will see your dream as a great opportunity and they will be willing to help finance it and at the same time, try to influence you to back off of the Jesus piece.  So many compromise right there.  In order to get the money they become willing to compromise their faith.

Once the dream is compromised it is no longer a dream blessed by the Lord.  It becomes all about me and what I’ve done.  And who am I? To me, this person is a sell out and I can’t help but wonder how connected to God they were in the first place.

A while back I was honored to go and see A business much like the one I work in. It was packed and chaotic and the people seemed hungry.  I can’t say if they received what they came for.  Did they even know what they came for.  Before the visit I had thought that the ministry/business that I work in is chaotic, but it’s not. The biggest differences are that everyone has to be sober and all of the staff walk with Jesus.

Just the Holy Spirits presence is enough to keep something going and able to retain it’s peace.  It is an honor to be His Laborers in the Kingdom.  We work along side of Jesus…we partner with Jesus and all who we partner with are all about partnering with Jesus too.  We not only work for Jesus we also work with Him.  There is a difference.  I personally want Jesus to be partnering with me, I want Him in the trenches with me, I want Him showing me what to do and just like His presence can motivate me to do things that are for outside my skill level, He can also use me do so much more.

He stretches the time and He makes the impossible possible.  But if we are not partnered with Him then we won’t have the discretion to know who we are attempting to partner with.

Our dreams should be big.  There is now little dream and there is no dream that can’t come true.  We just have to know who to ask for the ability to take that first step into our future.  We must trust the master painter to create from our struggles a masterpiece of great perfection. And we must always remember that the dream was never ours to begin with.  All the glory has to go to Him.  It’s not about us.  And He is a jealous God who will not share His glory with anyone.

We may feel like the fruition of our dream is ours but it’s not.  Daily we must pour it out before the Lord as an offering.  It is His and we are the stewards of all that He has given us to do.  Once we get to that place of reality it is a beautiful place to live from.

Deuteronomy 4:24 – For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

That’s how we like it.  We want information that is evidence based; based on data or science or study.  We don’t want information that has no teeth to it and yet, much of life is far from evidence based.  It is full of twists and turns that are far from predictable and while life is rather qualitative the world we live in wants everything to be quantitative. We want the numbers.  How many consumers spent more this quarter suggests that our economy is better or that there have been raises in the pay rate.  Numbers, numbers, numbers…but numbers don’t help us when we are looking to the Lord for our answers.

And yet, if we base our lives quality and ability to persevere and overcome on those who have gone before us than we have evidence that what we are praying for has worked in the past.  Question is are we willing to rely on spiritual evidence?

As I sat in my oncologists office yesterday thrilled at the test results of my CT scan and of some of the blood work, I was saddened by the fact that the doctors in the GI area live and work from an evidence based point of view.  Even so, my healing and my incredible health confound them.  As I refuse their conventional forms of treatment, they are forced to look beyond what is the norm and into a realm of possibility that seems to be uncomfortable to them.

Thing is that I am going to live and not die.  I claim my healing as a finished work and I know that God doesn’t start something in us that He is not going to bring to completion.  Key here is that He is going to bring it to completion, I’m not. The doctors aren’t.  No, God is.

As I flounder in a sea of mans outcomes I am excited to watch God manifest His outcome.  I am excited because any outcome God produces isn’t just for me but it will be for those who come after me with the same attack of the devil.  Cancer is not of God.  Did you catch that?  Cancer is not of God.  It is sent by the enemy to distract us from the Lord.  It is used as a weapon that can kill the call upon a persons life.  For me it is confirmation that God has plans for this woman of God and the devil doesn’t really want those plans to come to pass.

That too is evidence based if one is looking in the right place for evidence.  Years ago the Lord dropped into my spirit this simple truth; “You will not do the time that man is going to give you.”  Simple.  Not but a few months later I was given a natural life sentence in prison.  Yet, regardless of that sentence, I stuck with the truth that God had given me.

People thought I was crazy and some would try to pacify me by bringing up the rapture.  I had to assure them that it wasn’t the rapture that was going to bring me out of prison but God.  And then He did what He said He would do.  And don’t think that I didn’t have times of serious doubt.  I often thought that He wouldn’t do it because I couldn’t be good enough.  But God hadn’t put any conditions on it, like – if you are good, then I will…No, He just stated that He was going to deliver me from the sentence man was going to impose.

Similarly, the Lord dropped into my spirit a very similar word concerning pancreatic cancer.  As the nay sayers bemoaned such a possibility – and you may be one of them who just now was saying in your heart – “Oooo!  That’s a death sentence!”  No ill will but how big is our God if that is the response we give to all that He says that He will do for us in this life?

There are times when we are in between the promise and it’s coming to pass.  Like Saturday between the crucifixion and Jesus rising from the dead. Sometimes our Saturday is longer and the in-between time is rather painful.  all of the evidence based stuff that the world is trying to convince us to believe comes flying at us and it’s tough to distinguish between all that God wants of us and what truths we need to capture in our spirit.

We all go through a number of Saturdays in our lives and they are tough to swallow.  In them we can get angry and frustrated and the devil is aching for us to just surrender it all to Him so that He can do His thing.  He is kinda limited when we let ourselves get in the way of the divine that is trying to explode on the canvas of our lives.

Evidence based.  The salvation message and all that comes with it is evidence based enough.  We don’t need more and we would all do well to just relax into Gods plan and will for our lives.  He’s not going to want you to die or fail or succumb to any of the plots of the dark one.

You are the Lords beloved.  His Bride, the pearl of great price, the apple of His eye.  Believe that. Live it.  Breath it and share it with all you can.  Oh He is great and greatly to be praised!

Jeremiah 29:11 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I’ve done a lot of people watching in my day.  I enjoyed it and as I watched I would make assumptions about the people and their lives.  Usually, even as a child, I would spin a very romantic love story around the people I was watching and yet, I would venture to guess, that more times than not, I was quite off base.

But that is the way it usually is.  Things and people, random occurrences and even planned events always have a deeper story that would completely change the way we perceived the situation at hand.

It is rather sad that we have a tendency to jump into the negative more frequently than not.  It is unfortunate that when we share information about someone and their struggles we aren’t more often prompted by our spirit to speak words of life into their situation.

So often silence is suspect.  When someone is not sharing with us we have a tendency to jump to the conclusion that it’s something that we did when in fact that person has a lot more than just us to think about.  We can be rather self centered in this area and don’t make any apologies for it when we learn the truth.

Who are we?  Why are we so prone to jump to conclusions about situations or about people?  When did any of us become the judge in these peoples lives and how do we get away from doing so?

The media is really good at it.  You’ll see two different tabloids at the check out station and they will both be speaking about the same person with completely opposite stories.  There’s the true story.  Most likely neither is correct and as we all well know, when someone is talking about us and saying things that could by very hurtful to where we are or how we are, it’s a painful situation that we don’t even know how to approach…do we say something?  Do we share our anger or do we just not care what people are saying.

There is a time and a place for both.  There’s the turning the other cheek approach.   There’s the, “So, tell me.  Where did you hear that  one from?”  There’s anger and prayer and asking someone else what they think…that can get really messy!

Where does it all come from and what are some of the reasons why we tend to make stories up about others?  Most everyone does it.  Forgive me.  I hate to hurt others and I know that no matter what we do in our lives we are in control of how we show up. I’d rather show up in the spirit of the Lord than in any other way.

What would have happened if the Israelites were able to speak during the days when they were to walk around the city of Jericho in silence.  Of course, they had no idea that on the seventh day they would all shout and the walls of the city would fall.  Instead, they were probably thinking that it was really stupid to be walking around the city in silence every day.  What was the purpose?  It made no sense and was ridiculous!

It didn’t make sense that Jesus was crucified.  The people had been told what was going to happen.  Somehow they didn’t remember that the Lord had mentioned being killed.  But now, with it a reality, it was impossible to believe that this amazing Savior, that they had walked with for 3 years, could just be killed.  Done.  Finished…and yet, on the 3rd day He did rise as He said He would and He walked among the people.

We are all placed in uncomfortable positions throughout our life.  We go though times when we just don’t have all of the answers and instead of creating scenarios that are fiction in our head, we should just wait and see what God is going to do through that situation, that friendship, that family member, that boss.  It doesn’t hurt to wait – although it seems really painful at times.  Our desire to judge a situation is a true indication that we don’t trust God with our lives.

I read the other day in Oswald Chambers something about how when we don’t trust God we are basically committing adultery. I’ve read that a number of times over the years and I never saw it like that but really, why do we have to get to a place where all of the possible with man is gone before we are willing to put our trust in God?  Is that how they did it when they went around Jericho for a week?

There are so many things that are possible with God if we would just let Him be the One in charge of the situation.  As we put our two cents in and decide how things are going to be we completely nullify God’s power.  When we do that we can’t stand around and wonder why things aren’t going the way we thought they should.  Yet, we can’t expect to trust a God we don’t choose to know.

Psalm 34:8 – Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

I don’t know, maybe some of us have just forgot that the comforter was sent to lead us and guide us and empower us here on this earth after the Lord ascended.  Maybe we’ve gotten a bit complacent about serious prayer that changes things.  I know that I have a tendency to forget two of the most effective ways to live our lives for Christ here on earth.  Prayer and relying on the Holy Spirit.

As we approach the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the people causing them to speak in other tongues, many don’t think that this day is so very significant.  And yet it was the day that the church of Christ was born.  The rag tag group that Jesus had formed would become the power packed  group that would change the world as they knew it and it’s a power that has been changing the world ever since.

Our responsibility is to utilize these tools to further  the gospel and to bring the Presence of God deep into our midst; not just touching the periphery but settling deep into the soul of every believer empowering us all to be so much more than we could ever be on our own.  It’s so amazing and creates for us a situation in which our load is easier and our burden doable. He came that we might do greater works that Jesus himself did in his life and yet we have to pick that up and wear it as our own.  We have to believe it and use it and be intimately connected to it.

Like so many other issues of faith it’s a choice.  The Holy Spirit can just be a cool thing that happened in the early church if we want it to be but we would be robing ourselves and our community of the amazing power that is ours for the asking while on our journey with Jesus in this world.

We must remember that we are in the world but not of it.  To actually be that we have to work in the divine nature that God has given us to use in the furtherance of His Kingdom here on earth. It can be a tough balancing act.  As the world asks us to minimize our Jesus speak we have to have the resiliency to stand in our Jesus speak.  It’s little things like calling blessings, “blessings” when they happen and someone being offended at the word blessings!?! Or someone asking you to tame down your K-Love at the office.

I’m pretty sure that it isn’t easy to stifle the Holy Spirit when it comes upon us when someone is having a hissy about our vernacular when we aren’t even trying to preach Jesus to them!  What I’ve noticed is that when I succumb to the worlds discomfort I can feel Jesus’s pain.  It’s like I’m Peter denying my knowledge of Jesus when Jesus was on trial.  Ouch. Want to be used like Peter. Don’t want to deny Jesus like he did, and yet, I am sure that somewhere in my journey I have done exactly that.

Afraid of offending someone.  Offend someone? It’s offensive that someone would ask me to tone down my faith walk to ensure they are comfortable!  Now that’s offensive. Sad really.

Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit…they all make some believers and many non believers very uncomfortable.  None of them should make any of us feel uncomfortable.  We are children of the most High God and He came to give us life and that more abundantly and He sent the Holy Spirit; Himself, to be with us in our walk on this earth.

It is our choice to utilize all that He gave us or not.  We can stand by and wonder why things aren’t going the way we’d hoped or we can get with the Holy Spirit and get down into some serious praying and see if God doesn’t move heaven and earth to assist you in your time of need.

I struggle with that too.  it’s crazy.  I’ve seen God move the unmovable in my life and the lives of others and yet I still get into a spirit of worry and uncertainty which is mistrust which is a form of idolatry.  Deep.  When I look at it that way I am more apt to work towards making sure I don’t give into the spirit of worry or uncertainty.

God has supplied all of our needs according to His riches in glory.  His word says that the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations.  So if I put that with, “By His stripes we are healed”, I have no good reason to doubt that no matter what the doctor may say about my body the word says that I’m healed.  Even when the flood comes against us we have to remember that the spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against it.

Ooooo!  I wanna walk like that. I wanna know that I know that I know that what He says He will do He will do and has already done.  I want to listen to the Holy Spirit as it whispers in my ear and brings me to a place where I know where my next step needs to go…so in tune that if I don’t go in the right way my spirit will know because I’m that aligned with the Lord.

Let us all endeavor to bask and work with all or the trinity in our lives.

Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

No one is immune although there are those who have been blessed with financial prosperity that may not fret so much.  For the rest of us, there is the desire to be comfortable and to make enough money to have some saved up for a rainy day, but a home, have a good car.

So often these days education doesn’t guarantee financial stability.  There are an awful lot of men and women with degrees working very blue collar jobs and in turn, making a blue collar wage – which can become a very substantial wage.

And yet there is a common theme among people that we must manage the money we have and we must be frugal and mindful about how we distribute what we have been blessed to have.  The way we look at money and who we attribute it too make a whole lot of difference in how God’s favor will work in our own life.  None of it is ours and the sooner we realize that the better off we will be.

Many a believer has been cast down and many a ministry has been uprooted by greed and mismanagement. It is no longer a hunger to minister to others that drives them on rather a hunger to be comfortable and make money. promises are made and forgotten and quality and integrity matter less and less.

When what we have becomes ours and the work we do is no longer Gods we are in trouble.  Nothing we have is ours and whatever we do to minister to others is never ours to hoard or own.  He is the Author and Finisher.  He is the First and the Last.  Not you.  Not me.

It’s the same with our bodies.  We will prosper as our soul prospers.  Is your soul prospering?  Is your soul full to overflowing with the things of God and at peace in all of your transactions?  Is your soul filled with joy at how it is used to minster to others?  Do you feel rich in the spirit?

I have lost my life more than once and once lost to the darkness it is only by the Hand of God that we are brought out into life again.  It is never a matter of how good we are or how well we have done. God is looking at our heart condition today…right this very minute, and acting upon that in our lives.  How is your heart condition towards the Lord today?

There are scriptures that will lead us in how we should speak and there are scriptures that will lead us in how we should work and manage and live.  Although a sermon on Sunday morning or Saturday night may light a fire in our hearts it is how we spend time with the Lord Jesus the rest of the week that is going to matter.

If I’ve been lying how can I expect the truth of God to do anything but convict? If I am lying I want the spirit to convict me and bring about a change in me but the problem is that one lie leads to another lie and then we can be so far in it that it doesn’t even feel like it’s wrong any more.  Our souls become hardened to the things of God and we become an empty vessel – a clanging cymbal doing things from memory and not from love.  Word says that if I have not love; if I don’t live my life from a place of love my acts of service are as nothing.

It’s all a matter of perspective.  The way we choose to look at everything from the things we have and the money in our wallet to the time we have and the way it is used makes all the difference to God.  He is looking for men and women who live their lives for Him every single minute of the day.

It used to be that none of my thoughts were of Him and now all of my thoughts are somehow entwined in the things of God.  My decisions are always tempered by the Holy Spirit and I am constantly aware of His presence upon my life.  If He feels far away it’s usually me who has wandered into worrying about something that is in His hands and not supposed to be in mine.

There is beauty in giving of our first fruits.  It’s not just a church thing to raise money it’s a way of giving back to the Lord what He has entrusted to us.  Are we going to hoard or bury what He’s given us or are we going to see if it can become something bigger than it was?

Our hearts need to beat with the love of Jesus pumping through them with a holy passion for the things of Him.  When we look at all that He did for us and how that has transformed our lives our souls should do nothing but thrill to the call of service in His name.

Psalm 50:10 – For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.

 One would think that after David slew Goliath that the slaying of giants would be over.  Somehow there is a finality to the way we share the story that gives the hearer of the word the impression that that was it.  Young David slew the last of them with his sling shot and stones.

But that’s not the way it works.  In David’s life or in our own. We are apt to get a bit comfortable in our faith assuming that something that God has delivered us from cannot ever touch us again and there are times when that is exactly the case.  Yet there are other times when we need to guard the blessings that God has given us because some of the games of the enemy aren’t going to be completely removed in one fell swoop.

Believe me when I tell you that I am one who believes that the one fell swoop deliverance exists.  I am also keenly aware that the devil hates you and he hates me and he will do what he can to make God look like a liar and to attack our faith so that we feel like fools for believing as big as we have.

While the Holy Spirit is whispering in our ear that we are almost there, the enemy has given us reasons to doubt that the giant He had us slay came against us alone…that maybe there were other giants that we didn’t see or sense that were just waiting for the right time to come into our lives and cause all sorts of discord and mayhem.

I remember a time when the Lord specifically told me that all I needed was five smooth stones.  It was important that I notice that there wasn’t just one smooth stone that I needed but that I needed five smooth stones.  Five of them. I couldn’t help but think that there was going to be more than one giant that I was going to have to slay and I needed to be aware, perceptive and prepared. I wasn’t going to be able to slay any giants if my bag of stones was empty.

It wasn’t shortly after that that the first giant appeared upon the horizon of my life…a life I really believed would have looked very different than it did at the time.  I had to be sure.  I had to let the Holy Spirit give me the wisdom to know what to fight and what were just annoyances and distractions.

Thing that we have a tendency to forget is that the enemy is alive and well and aching to wreak havoc on our lives. He is just waiting for us to let down our guard so that he can throw another giant at us.  it may not be the same giant, but it may be very similar and send our faith into a tizzy.  We thought the Lord had taken that from us and yet, here it is in just a different enough fashion for us to believe that there must be something wrong with our faith.

It’s not that.  Remember that the enemy will do whatever he can to stop you from accomplishing all that God has put into your spirit to accomplish.  He’s no dummy and he can get to the best of the best. No one is immune, it’s our perspective of how big our God is and how real we make that God every single day that will make the difference between success and defeat.

Our God has given us everything we need to perceive the wiles of the devil and to do battle when it comes time.  Friends will become foes and people we trusted will go off the deep end into an abyss they said they would never go down into again and we are left with something amazing; the word. The living active word of God that will lead us through every one of these difficulties and tell us just how to do it.

If we lack belief ask God to help our unbelief.  If we are fearful speak to that fear and tell it to go back to the devil it came from.  We haven’t been given a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

God has plans for our lives and just as it was when David slew the giant, he later had to slay some more.  The difference is that when he had to go slay more giants he wasn’t afraid or surprised.  He and his army just slew them as if it were nothing.

That’s how we need to be when the giants that seemed gone rouse up in our lives again.  Just beat them again knowing that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.   Three times the giants came back.  I can only imagine that the warriors were thinking.  They were probably frustrated thinking that they’d already slain the last giant.  As warriors, it probably only made them madder but if it had been you or me, what would we have done?  There’s a good chance that we would have gotten discouraged thinking that we were doing something wrong in our faith when in fact, it was just another giant…another facet of the same enemy that we have faced before.

Like the army of David we want to be able to face it down once again.  Even though it may look like the one we already went toe to toe with it can’t matter.  It’s here right now and we need the kind of right now faith that knows we have what the Lord said we needed to make it through the fight onto the other side.  His word is real and it is effective.  We just have to choose to use it.

1 Chronicles 20:4-8 –  And after this there arose war with the Philistines at Gezer. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued. And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, struck him down. These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

We live in a world of uncertainty.  It’s a given.  We all have our plans laid out for the day, the week, the year, and yet there are any number of things that can come in and disrupt any one of these we are believing will transpire the way we have planned.

It is wise to not give into the spirit of uncertainty because it is a sister to the spirit of fear. It causes us to dwell on the unknown and to create possible scenarios that are far from truth or even far from realistic.  Some of us are so used to a difficult outcome that we create it as our expected end to our uncertainty and then live from that place of extreme discomfort just waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.

Working in any environment brings with it a level of uncertainty.  When all appears to be going well we are apt to create our own sense of uncertainty because that is the norm that we have chosen to embrace.  Admitting we like chaos. Assuming that we will be what we had negatively believed.  A kind of self fulfilling prophecy.

And yet uncertainty doesn’t have to bring with it a spirit of fear.  Instead it can be steeped in a bed of expectation for what God is going to do next.  We have to learn to get rid of the old tapes that scream through our brains that uncertainty equates failure or doom or so many other difficult outcomes that we are apt to create in our minds to fit the psyche that we have become used to.

Uncertainty also gives us permission to think only about ourselves.  Born from the fear that grips the heart one is apt to believe that everything is about them, when more often than not, it has nothing to do with them.  It breeds suspicion that brings about a sense that everyone else is using their uncertain fear to make sure that they aren’t the one in the hot seat.  It breeds isolationism and a fairly large dose of mistrust of those around us and those in authority above us.

Perhaps the uncertainty is based on a sense that we’ve never had a job that we could make into a career with the people we’re now with.  It’s a new experience and it’s a tough one because we don’t feel like it’s on our terms.  We believe that we need to have some sort of control over the uncertainty.

So what if we surrender the uncertainty to the Lord? What if we give it to Him and let Him cover it and grow it up into all that God has planned for it?  We’re just so impatient…and just as we choose to bring out the dynamite, God reminds us to relax into all that is so that He can do His thing with the unknowns of life.

It’s funny because we are never uncertain about the earth revolving on it’s axis.  We aren’t worried about gravity keeping us on the terra firma. We know that our car will start and the sun will rise.  We aren’t uncertain about any of those things, and yet we suffer from trepidation; paralyzing fear that keeps us from being able to just function through our day.

Uncertainty…I get it.  That not knowing.  That fretting about school work or kids or bills or our health.  Shoot! Fretting about taxes is enough to send one into a tailspin.  Still and yet uncertainty can be our ally.  It all depends on our perspective and if we are willing to live from the word of God and all that it promises.

At salvation all of the promises of God became ours.  We have a Savior that has promised us health and prosperity and safety and wisdom, etc… there are so many promises that there are too many to put into words.  Yet if we would take the time to know the promises and write them on the tablets of our hearts we would be able to speak them out against our fears of uncertainty thwarting the wiles of the enemy that swarm around us in the world.

We must remind ourselves that we are covered and victorious.  We must stand against fear…the fear that breeds a spirit of uncertainty that is anything but God like.

I must admit that I have tried to write this particular blog for two days now.  Each time I have started to write I’ve been severely attacked and have been literally unable to type, to think straight, to write.  I’ve been unable to capture what the Spirit is trying to say through me and only now have I been able to sit with uncertainties truth and expose it for the lie that it can be.

Forgive me for not sharing yesterday…for not being able to finish this yesterday.  Sometimes I hate my humanity and struggle to get into the spirit where the real truth lies.

We have been working in an environment that is full of uncertainty due to unexpected changes and attacks.  As God has so graciously worked out details that we didn’t even realize needed attention, He has taken the reins and led us into a place of certainty and resolve that only comes from the throne room of God.

When a project is finally dedicated to the One who truly inspired it, that project takes flight like and eagle and soars in ways that are beyond our imagining.  And as the enemy cries at what he lost; at what he thought he had attained, he does his level best to traumatize the warriors in the trenches with a spirit of uncertainty and fear.

Well… right now, in the name of Jesus, I rebuke the enemy and all of his minions from attacking that which is the Lords.  We claim this territory for the Lord and praise Him for His victory over the spirits of fear uncertainty and trepidation due to past abuses.  In Jesus name we cover this project in the blood of the Lamb and hearken the angels unto the voice of God bringing about a mighty shield of favor around this sacred ground.  Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness. In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

It’s not like a Where’s Waldo book and yet sometimes it feels as if He is as evasive as Waldo is; lost in a crowd that I cannot see through and cannot get through.  Yet it truth, He is never that far away.  He is within each and everyone of us who have called upon Him as Lord.  He is so aware of our lives that He does things in preparation for the events that are to come.  He knows each of our heart beats and each of the blinks of our eyes.  He knows way more about any of us that we do our selves.  So why does He feel so far away at times?

Well, before I dive into that I want to let you know that I had an amazing visit with my parents.  They were here for just over a week and it was a joy to not only get to spend Mother’s Day with mom but to celebrate my birthday with them as well.  I had planned on blogging throughout the whole visit but that is just not how it played out.  It was all about them and I am so thankful for the parents that I have.

Many conversations revolved around my faith in Jesus and my relationship with Him.  The comment came that they are thrilled about it for me because it obviously works for me. Hmmmm…..That’s not exactly what I was hoping for.  I have prayed for years for them to have a relationship with Christ.  I have hoped that how the Lord has done the miraculous in my life they would see that as truth about the Lords existence, making it more than a fairy tale, but even that hasn’t budged their hearts.  It hurts.  I am sure that many understand and wonder what kind of strong hold could be around their hearts to keep them so against the Lord.

I know that they have been hurt by many a human who used Christ as a weapon to wield their power over them…Christians who are far from Christ-like.  We all know a bunch of those and I can’t help but wonder how a person can claim Him as Lord when they don’t reflect any of His attributes.

Which brings me back to that question  of where we will find Him.  In all of the conversations that I was blessed to have with my parents, even while they bowed their heads with me and held my hand as we prayed over our meals, I had to wonder where could I find Him in their lives?

Knowing that He is everywhere doesn’t help for one who doesn’t believe that God created the world and all of the creatures and plants that are in it.  I wonder; when I look at a tree I see God, what do they see?  Is my sense of His presence different because I see Him in everything?

For David and his army in 1 Chronicles, the Lord was in the Mulberry trees sounding like the roar of an army in pursuit. I love that. I love how close that David was to God and how David just asked Him about everything when He first became  king.  It’s a beautiful lesson in how we are to be in relationship with our God.  We too should be so comfortable with the Lord that we ask God about the little things –  the details of our lives.

Thing is that He’s going to be a part of it all anyway so why not let Him into the conversation about the details of our lives?  I can only imagine how much God wants to be invited into the details of our lives, every moment of every day.  We give Him our lives and then ration out the pieces of our lives that we want Him to be active in.

It doesn’t work like that.  It’s kind of an all or nothing deal.  Don’t want to be found luke warm so that He spews us out of His mouth.

Perhaps a lot of our struggle is in the fact that we don’t feel that He is interested in portions of our lives.

News Flash! He is!

Our complete surrender to Him is what gives us the privilege to bask in His presence all of the time. It’s our choice how much of our life is dedicated to God but if we portion it out we can hardly expect to feel His presence in the details of our lives.

How would it be if we only loved our family conditionally? As teenagers most of us kept serious portions of our lives away from our folks. That made for a pretty wacky relationship. Lots of paranoia and fear…mistrust and frustration. My relationship with my parents isn’t full of all of those things because they know the details of my life.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

It’s the same thing with God.  He really is everywhere.  He really is wanting to be in every detail of our lives.  But He can’t be if we aren’t willing to let Him into the whole of who we are.  We can’t get mad at Him for seeming to be so far away when it’s us that have made the relationship conditional.

He ain’t no sugar daddy.  Simple.

You give Him your all and you will find Him in everything and your life will be transformed.  It will not longer be lukewarm and those things we thought we were hiding from Him by not surrendering them?  Once surrendered they become sweetly transfigured into something far better than they were when we were in charge.

Job 11:13-15 – Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer,  and give up your sins—even those you do in secret.  Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless.

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