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.
I suppose that it can be difficult for us to discern the things in our lives that are gifts from our Father in Heaven; it can get really muddy but then there are times when out of nowhere God gives you something that you know is from Him and you know that it has some incredible significance. I’m still waiting in awe to hear His heart on the gift, the nature of the gift, and the rarity of the gift.
Right in the middle of the city on a cool fall day sat a young golden eagle upon it’s prey in the middle of the street. As I drove closer to this regal being it didn’t even flinch at the fact that I was very slowly driving past it. From the vantage of 3 feet his magnificence was breath taking. The beauty and strength that exuded from his body defied the vulnerable place which he sat. To see such an incredible creation of God in such an unexpected place blessed me so deeply.
The creativity of Gods awesome creation is astounding. The colors of the eagles feathers and the turn of his majestic head. My goodness he was beyond description. I feel so loved when I am blessed with God’s creation right there in front of me. So close. I have never been that close to an eagle. Even when hiking or river rafting or anything else. It took me driving down a residential street in Denver to come eye to eye with a golden eagle.
We should work to be watchful every day. We miss so much by becoming a part of the business that we aren’t washed with the colors of a sunrise or sunset. We miss the smell of the rain and the sound of the thunder because we’re so busy listening and smelling for other things; things inside our little sphere. Some aren’t satisfied by the confines of their space and then others are content as can be in their little piece of the world. Some are content to just watch the shows every night. It’s how they relax while others need personal attention – conversation. Some are so stuck in their gadgets that they don’t even notice those things. Our gadgets have overtaken so much of our life that we can feel lost with out them.
I love leaving my phone home when I go out because I’m not going to hear the call when it’s in my back pocket anyway and I don’t have time to talk while I’m grocery shopping. I’m so thankful that I wasn’t distracted by anything that would have caused me to miss God’s precious gift to me yesterday. I just wanted to run door to door and share the eagle with everyone! While busy in their houses they had no idea that an amazing creature had visited our street.
Seeing him made me want to be strong and fearless and calm like that eagle. Knowing that God’s word says that we will soar like the eagle we will run and not be weary we will walk and not grow faint. To rise up on wings like eagles. Wow. Sometimes these bodies are so restrictive. So much we want to do and yet we have our limitations and if the devil had his way we’d totally lose our physical ability to do much at all. His desire is to take us out of the physical realm. He wants us to wake up in pain. He wants us to struggle to sleep. He wants us to lose our coordination and have difficulty dressing. He wants us to fall into depression wondering if it’s even worth it to get up and get ready for another day.
If it wasn’t for Jesus I would likely no go on and yet Jesus drives me on. He pushes me. He makes my sleep sweet and he enables me to tolerate the pain in the morning. His promise is yes and amen and I know that his gift of the eagle was to remind me that he will make me rise up like the eagle…
It also encourages me with everything else I’m doing. Work is soaring in a way that only God could orchestrate. God gives all of us who work here gifts to teach us how blessed we are to be where we are working with who we are and doing what we’re doing. In addition to is all I was blessed to go and use what God had blessed me with and give it as a gift to about 50 other women who I pray left full of determination and confidence when I left. I know what my call is and just like God gave me the eagle God gave me to those women who particularly needed to hear what God wanted to tell them through me. We are all just vessels that God uses to show and share and speak his word through. Seeing that eagle showed me that what I’m to be doing I am doing and as we grow it only becomes more anointed and beautiful, strong and fearless. Washed in the water of the word for His people to drink and be satisfied by.
Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped, evidence of things not seen.” How to live like that. We always desire to have great faith and yet it seems to require something that is super human. It requires a resilience that is beyond ourselves. We have no choice but to rely on our faith to walk through this crazy thing called life or, we could sink back into the mire that got us bogged down in the first place; we could turn our backs on God and regard the things of God as silly…But can we really turn back from the Lord and submerge our lives in the ideals of fate and luck? Having tasted of the divine and how it showers down upon us so powerfully and sweetly, would it be possible to turn away and succumb to the craziness of the world?
I honestly don’t know if I can. Yes, I am always dealing with some sort of fleshy irritant but that is a far cry from just letting go of God and letting the world take over.
Maybe I’m not a normal believer of Jesus. Maybe the crazy impossible things God has done for me aren’t evident in your life. Or maybe they are and you just haven’t noticed them. That’s possible. Sometimes God’s blessings swoop in and take over as if they have always been there and we are dumbfounded by the whole ordeal. The enemy will do whatever he can to discredit the Lord even if it’s just stealing His thunder.
Walk by faith…how does that work? The uncertainty of it all! The lack of control! The trust!!! Then that thing that you’ve been dreaming of; that thing that you really have doubted would actually come into being, is laid out before you in perfection and harmony. It is so easy for us to think of and dwell upon the ugly and yet the beautiful is too beautiful to accept. Many an incredible blessing has been lost to believers due to their unbelief. Unbelief is so normal. It’s so prevalent in our society. Not in third world countries though. They have faith that believes big and expects the impossible to transpire in their lives. Why is it easy for them and so difficult for us Americans?
I think that often out of our poverty our hearts cry more earnestly. When we are comfortable and feel rather secure we aren’t as desperate. It’s as if our belief is covered by some sort of film that keeps it from exploding from a heart of zeal and passion that can only come from a heart that is sold out for Jesus.
Thing is that that miracles happen right here in our midst every single day. Seems as if they get a kinda second act rap though. In the news it’s all the awful stuff that captures our hearts. Then somewhere on the back page of the news is the Good News. Seemingly ordinary occurrences that are anything but ordinary. In ways we are too busy to notice the miracles that are erupting all around us every day. We walk along on our way home or down the street and we don’t even notice the birds or the leaves on the trees or the sweet smell of fall. We’re in our head or in our phone. We’ve lost our sense of wonder at a world that is screaming to be applauded by us for the Creators creativity and marvel.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen…It’s believing when there isn’t anything telling you that whatever you’re hoping for isn’t beyond invisible. It looks impossible. That, my friend, is when God does His best work. He loves to do work that cannot be attributed to anyone or anything else. The world laughs at us as we let it take credit for things that it has nothing to do with.
I can’t turn away from God. It’s too late, I’m in too deep. I expect miracles. I expect the impossible to erupt in my life and your life. I live expectantly. I don’t let the worlds report cloud what the word of God says. The worlds report is so messy and contradictory and if I immerse myself in it I will think nothing but doom and gloom. I wouldn’t believe in redemption. I wouldn’t believe in healing. I wouldn’t believe in tithing. I wouldn’t believe in success. I’d be wrought with unbelief.
Some things are best left unread or ungoogled. Information isn’t always a positive in our lives. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Truly.
Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Many go to church every Sunday ans don’t even crack open a Bible throughout the whole week. It’s good that they are in fellowship but they are missing the sweetest element of all; relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. So often the best lessons that I get throughout the week come on a random morning when it’s just me and the Lord. He speaks to our hearts and to our spirits and to the very depths of our souls bringing to the surface of our being such a shine that it defies the craziness our life can seem to possess.
Craziness. The real ride with Christ is crazy. What makes us think that ours won’t be like the Acts churches was? God knows what He’s doing and He has plans that far outweigh all we could ever hope for. He is expert at taking our craziness and putting it into perfect order in a way we never even saw coming. I’ve said it so many times that our God is a God of surprises. We can be moving along on our merry way and all the while He has this cockamamie plan that zaps us out of know where. Thing is that we all struggle with change and even if the change was the best thing for us we have a tendency to either miss or hate what used to be, where we used to be, how life used to be.
I have often been checked by our Lord about how blessed I am and how I have no room to complain. And it’s true. I am very blessed. He has made sure that all of my needs are taken care of and then some. Even though uncertainty will come – in so many various ways – I need to stay focused on how blessed I am. I look at how the Apostles lived through the early church years and no matter what many of us encounter in life it is nothing compared to what they faced. Crazy thing is that we forget how prevalent the Holy Spirit was during that time. How many of us today rely on the Holy Spirit the way they did? I don’t know about you but I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit on a regular, minute by minute basis. Wouldn’t it be great if our shadows would heal the sick? What does that take?
More than what I have endured. There was a single mindedness to their ministry that cannot be found very often today. A passion, a zeal that bursts forth from the saint in a way that states that they are the Lords and His alone.
So how does one juggle that with the realities of life? What is real? The spiritual or the natural? As the natural tries to outweigh the spiritual we are faced with decisions that only can be answered in the spirit if we want to succeed. If we fall into the passions and ways of the world we will be swallowed up in their affinities and Jesus will just fall into the background as a secondary figure in our lives.
Is that what He intended? No. He intends for each of us to be intimately acquainted with Him. I like the simplicity of the saying that sin is anything that I allow to come between me and Jesus. Most of the things that creep in between our heart and Christ aren’t bad. But they can be distractions and they can pull us away from all that God has called for us to do. So how devoted are we? Are we certain that faced with anything we wouldn’t denounce the name of Jesus? Do we love our lives more than Him?
So many questions…
I was reading about the rich young ruler today and I just felt compelled to give and give big. Nothing I have is mine anyway. It’s all His – He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. HE owns it all. All of it. None of it’s mine. None of what you have been blessed with is yours everything is a gift from our Father. Skewing our perspective to see things that way is tough at times because we are such a material people. We are the rich young ruler who doesn’t want to part with our toys and loved ones or prestige or fame. In so many ways we don’t even realize how much power the Lord wishes to rain down upon our lives. So many prayers that He wants to answer so many miracles He wants to perform…but we struggle with our stuff our world, and in turn our doubt that He’s enough. We are enough on our own and in turn have usurped the throne from the King of kings and Lord of lords. We ourselves have come between Him and us.
What are we not willing to give to Him? That’s our idol. Owch.
Mark 10:21-22 – And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Each day is priceless. Perhaps we don’t see it that way and maybe the days go by so fast that we don’t have the time to notice how amazing each one is. Did anyone see the amazing red sunset last Monday? Have you noticed the smell of fall? Does it shock anyone that the year is nearly over? For me it amazes me that I have been so very blessed to experience so many incredible seasons and so many different things in life. Life doesn’t feel wasted it feels strong and determined and more focused than I’ve ever known life could be.
Jesus is always the reason as He finds His way deeper into my heart every day that I live.
Live. Now that’s a term.
What is it to actually live not just exist? What is it that we allow to get in the way of that incredible freedom to live. I choose life and blessings and not death and cursing. I choose to bask in the promises of God that He gave us as we gave our lives to Him. Not really a fair exchange. He gave us the ends of the earth, eternity and we gave Him our filth and our shame our sin and our lives. His hope for us to become creatures of glory that glorify all that He is every single day and we breathe out His love and breathe in His spirit.
Truthfully, I don’t always breathe out His love. Sometimes I breathe out words of hurt from a heart that has been hurt and that isn’t what I want to do on any one of the priceless days I’ve been given.
I’m losing my hair pretty fast now. Don’t know if I will go bald this time. Last time I kept all of the gray hair but lost all of the brown. This time I’ll shave it off and wear hats…cool hats that show love and life and victory. I’m not scared this time. I know God has healed me and I know that I am strong in His strength and am glorifying Him through every little or huge side effect and finding in each beautiful day the beauty that it is meant to hold.
I’m sorry that I have been gone for so long and I don’t even know if any one cares that I was. But I am back now. God created me to write and it is a part of the DNA that He shot through my veins. It’s an honor to be His scribe.
Right before I stopped writing I ran across a scripture about King Asa. Strange how those scriptures that we’ve read a number of times finally hit us – but it was about him being mad at Gods prophet for the word that he gave him. As a result of his anger he threw the prophet in prison and developed a problem with his feet. Probably diabetes. The word says that he sought the advice of the doctors and not the healing of God. Wow…did that hit me.
It’s like we know who we are supposed to rely upon for healing or prosperity or whatever and yet we have to put our 2 cents of doubt in spoiling the whole pot. I can’t do that. It’s all or nothing. Hard to do. I didn’t want to entrust Him with chemo. But He said…don’t you trust me? Oh how those words hurt my heart. We all have the ability to put the cart before the horse or ourselves before God. We pray do and then wait when we’re supposed to pray wait and then do whatever it is God asks.
Whatever He asks. Even if it seems crazy. Gods’ plans are exacting and correct and often nonsensical.
That’s the beauty of God. He’s so amazing when He shows us out of the nonsensical. Love that most of all because no one can try to take credit. It has to be God. My life has been a living testimony of that so how could I not live it now?
So remember to look out of your window tonight as the sun is going down. Notice the clouds that look like they do only from where you are. A masterpiece just for you.
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.
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.”