Monthly Archives: June 2013

Well Done- heard by which Father?

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The Lord has really been speaking to me recently of being “others” focused. I have heard this message many times spoken by men, but when the Lord actually begins to stir this in your heart-there is something more convicting- more heart breaking, more freeing, more….more. Let’s consider how “other’s focused” the Lord is. He gave everything just because He loved. We are called to be His reflection. We are called to suffer for this purpose. We are not called to never sacrifice, never get dirty, never be uncomfortable. When did this life, this american dream, become our gospel?

Honestly, I find myself wanting to crucify anything that will get in the way of the comforts of my life that I “can’t live without.” Ouch! It hurts to say that out loud. No, Lord, do not ask me to sacrifice THAT, I can’t possible live without my….. I’m sure we could all fill in the blanks. But what if our lives could have more purpose, more effect, more legacy? Would we be willing to “do without” so someone else could benefit? Would we be willing to consider others as better than ourselves, not because of their merit or character, but because the scriptures instruct us to do so? Would we be willing to let the love offering that we have received from what Jesus so freely gave pour out of us generously onto anyone who was in need without first sizing up the situation as to if it’s just too messy to be involved with?

Thank GOD, Jesus didn’t deny me because my situation was messy. Do you know where I would be without my savior? I would be dead. I could not have forced life this many years without Jesus because without Him I was walking dead anyway. He rescued me from the pits of mental despair that had come to claim me. He threw me a life preserver, He pulled me out of sinking sand, He placed my feet upon a solid rock and gave me a reason to sing. HE GAVE ME LIFE! How can I not give Him my life in return? What did Jesus do for you? What is your response?

I’m not saying all of this to shame blame you into giving more, doing more. I am just wondering, who is this Jesus we claim to belong to? What are the “rules” of being part of this family? Don’t you know all families have “rules” or a “code of ethics” that you must abide by to receive their approval and acceptance? Jesus made it clear in the scriptures that his family was no longer his earthly mother and brothers, but it was anyone who was doing the will of the Father. What is the will of the Father? To love God with everything you’ve got, and to love others as much as you love yourself. Which family will get your legacy. Will it be, “I’m so proud of my son, He’s worked hard, has lots of money in savings, has adequate insurance to cover every possible thing that might happen, has a huge home, nice cars, and two beautiful children that are set to become the next generation of doctors and lawyers!” Or will it be, ” Well Done, good and faithful servant, you have loved well, and in you I AM well pleased.”

Again, I’m not saying that having a good job, savings, insurance, and awesome successful kids is wrong, I’m just hopefully pointing to that IS NOT the pinnacle of life. The ones in the Bible who were acclaimed suffered greatly to save a people. The message they carried cost them. They were scoffed, persecuted, hated, uncomfortable, imprisoned, beaten, murdered. Do you think the call has changed? Or maybe we water the message down so it won’t seem so offensive or hurt anyone’s feelings. Which Father are you serving? Which legacy do you choose to live your life, your one life, creating?

Friends this is hitting me like never before. Trust me, I WANT a bigger house.I WANT a trip to Europe. I WANT a nicer car. I WANT more money in bank. I WANT my cable TV. I WANT expensive, nice things. Oh man, I can’t tell you how much I WANT those things. I can’t tell you how often I have complained because I don’t have MORE things yet, and took time to maybe point a finger of blame on who has slowed this process down in my life. I mean, how come so-and-so seems to get everything I WANT! OUCH! How can that be a heart full of giving? How can one so full of me, me, me and blame, blame, blame, be a heart fully surrendered to an all out , gave-my-own-son-so-that-you-may-live, God?

So now I am beginning to wonder, what can I sacrifice? What can I live without? What can I give away or sell so that my income is freed up to give? What can I do with my time? What can I do with my words? What can I do with my gifting, talents, abilities to bless, encourage, motivate, and equip others to be living in their God given purpose?

This does not feel good. I am not writing this from a place of, “Oh, hey, over here, check me out, I’m the girl who blesses and humbly does without for the sake of Jesus.” No WAY! even writing this, my flesh is saying, “NO! don’t put it out there….you will have to start living it.” But the time is now. I have to stop striving  for the “American Dream”, and refocus my life on the legacy I am called to leave because I belong to Jesus Christ. With a knot in my stomach I declare, “The time is NOW!”

Galatians 2:20

The Message (MSG)

 19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

Lord Jesus, we need more of You. Lord, quiet our hearts from all the acceptance messages, approval addictions, deadlines, bills, American culture stuff that we constantly bow down to. Lord, I ask that with a clear heart and mind You will begin to show each of us the particular plan and purpose you uniquely created us for. Show us how to step out today in faith for Your glory and as a direct response to Your love. Who is it we can come alongside of today, expecting nothing in return and help to carry the load for a season? Lord Jesus, it is all about You- we desire to genuinely reflect You on the Earth, that You would be made famous through our lives and not ourselves. Teach us how to live, teach us how to love, in a way that You would be proud of and pleased with. We need more of You Lord! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

 

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He goes with us!

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I have a few more thoughts on this “being led into the storm” and “stormy places being considered high places” stuff. Jesus got in the boat first. The disciples followed Jesus onto the very vehicle that took them into a violent storm. Wow. Jesus journeyed with them Himself into the storm. He never leaves us to endure the storms alone. Ok here’s the thing the storm showed them who they were not- and a new part of who the One they were placing their trust in and giving their lives to follow was. They exclaimed, “Who is this man that even the wind and waves obey Him?” Out of this storm came men more aware of the Authority, Power, and Majesty of Jesus Christ. For us to get more of Who He is, for us to become aware of where we need Him, He will lead us into a storm and journey along with us revealing Who He is that we need to know for the next part of our life’s journey. His love is beyond great!

Matthew 8:23-27 And after He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but He was sleeping. And they went and awakened Him, saying, Lord, rescue and preserve us! We are perishing! And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm a perfect peaceableness. And the men were stunned with bewildered wonder and marveled, saying, What kind of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!

Led into the storm

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Matthew 8: 18, 24
18 Now Jesus, when He saw the great throngs around Him, gave orders to cross to the other side [of the lake].
24 And [l]suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but He was sleeping.

So considering yesterday I had a new perspective of what a “high place” is in the kingdom of God, a place of suffering, trouble, or responsibility. Today I read these scriptures and realized, Jesus led His disciples right into the very terrible storm. The storm was a high place because they had to face what they really believed, and when it happened the truth came out that they didn’t have much faith, they had enough faith for shallow water, but not for wind and waves. But notice Jesus was sleeping, He wasn’t afraid. We have Christ in us, and if we can choose His love, and let it free us from fear, we can agree with Christ in us and be able to rest even during the worst of the storm. And one other thought, being led into the storm was God’s perfect will, it didn’t mean the disciples went in the wrong direction, or were outside of God’s will for their lives. Jesus led them into the storm, as a “high place” to be aware of the areas they needed more trust, faith, and belief. Jesus led them into the storm to reveal to them how much more of Himself they needed, and then they were propelled into the next level of ministry. The storm always prepares us for what is next. It is because He loves us….perspective, Lord open up my perspective, let me see circumstances through your eyes!

High Places

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Habakkuk 3:19
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

So what I am reflecting on today, is that when I depend on the Lord to be my strength, I will not be paralyzed by terrible things, but able to make spiritual progress. AND that in the kingdom of God, a “High” place, is a place of trouble, suffering, or responsibility? When I asked why, He showed me how loaded with opportunity those places are. The choices we make in the midst of suffering or trouble are the very defining moments that can propel us forward into our destinies, and get us Unstuck. Are you willing to go to “high” places? Are you willing to trust in the Lord’s strength to be able to make progress instead of pushing forward in only what your strength allows or just continue to stand still? Whew, so much to contemplate this day!