Reaching the river

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:

For I HAD gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  WHY are thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul?  and why are thou disquieted (worried, nervous, anxious) in me? 

HOPE THOU IN GOD: for I shall YET praise him (give thanks) for the help of his countenance (His presence).

O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I WILL REMEMBER THEE from the land of Jordan, and the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: ALL thy waves and thy billows ARE GONE OVER ME. Yet the Lord WILL command his lovingkindness  in the DAYTIME, and in the NIGHT his SONG shall be with me, And MY PRAYER unto the GOD OF MY LIFE.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of my enemy? 

As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; While they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? WHY art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?

HOPE THOU IN GOD: FOR I WILL YET PRAISE HIM, Who IS the health of my countenance and MY GOD.” Psalm 42:1-11

Every single one of us experience these seasons in life and sometimes we feel like they will never end. When you feel like you can almost hear your circumstances echoing “WHERE is your God?”

You KNOW that you HAVE served the Lord, you HAVE went into His house with joy and praise and yet… you know feel your soul bowed down, nervous, anxious and confused as those “enemies” of your peace still vehemently whisper in your ears… WHY are you going through THIS?

Where is your peace, your joy, and healing? Now to completely seem to jump topic.. I know there are those who have suffered and suffered with the same afflictions for what seems like forever and often we see a televised service or even go to  a revival service that is so charged that YOU KNOW healing and deliverance ARE there… but kinda like the man at the pool who needed a little help getting in the water… it seems something else happens before you get your turn in the prayer line and before you even got started the service ended.

Want to talk to you about that before we finish our verses. The reason those services ARE charged is NOT where the services are held (although I do believe in “Holy” grounds) or even WHO is preaching them or who is singing.

The “charge” is the fact that these services are packed with people who have an EXPECTATION.. their FAITH dial is set to wide open flow and as we know “where two or three are GATHERED together” there HE IS in the midst, so when you have hundreds gathered BELIEVING and EXPECTING of course good things are going to take place. But again it is NOT person nor place, IT IS level of faith and belief in the fact that HE IS there.

But some things I believe happen in “different” settings, such as our personal prayer closets. That secret meeting place that is just between YOU and JESUS. that place of pouring your heart out, such as the verse above, pouring out your tears, your suffering, your fear and your insecurity and allowing His presence to wash over you and flood you in the billows and waves of His Holy Spirit.

As the verse above. he REASSURED HIMSELF that this fight was not over, THIS was NOT the end! His soul would STILL rejoice in the Lord and in His presence even though it looked quite hopeless at the moment.

Sometimes we are discouraged, sad, and troubled and WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY. I believe this happens sometimes.. not always.. so don’t get me wrong.. but when we feel like that longing and nothing major is going wrong in our lives.. I think it can be a longing to draw closer to the Lord.

But in either case, once he started to remember all the marvelous works that the Lord had already preformed, THOUGHTS changed, because PERCEPTION CAN BE A POWERFUL THING.

He remembered and he had HOPE. Hope because he knew the Lord would send His love and His goodness to him each day, because God’s mercy toward us is “renewed each day” and he knew that God would send the songs of Zion, the songs of hope and encouragement, faith, and peace to comfort him in even the darkest time.

And he learned the power of praying, and praying “without ceasing” to the God of LIFE, God who would give him new life and restore and repair all that had been broken and lead him to those crystal waters and refresh his parched soul.

In our verses, he asked “why” several times and we do not always understand why, but we must hold to that hope and to hold on to that prayer and pray and pray in the “secret place of the Most High” until we are restored, renewed, and refreshed in the times of trouble and doubt.

Seasons pass, troubles fade, and circumstances change so don’t give up your fight and don’t ever give up on God. Troubles come and troubles go, days get brighter and the sun will once again shine but if you give up in that dry, parched land, you will never feel joy and peace until you reach that river and allow Him to refresh you again.

Psalm 46:1-11 “God IS our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a VERY PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE.

Therefore WE WILL NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah 

THERE IS A RIVER, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, What desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder (in half); He burneth the chariots in the fire.

BE STILL, and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge.”

Hope that jogged your memory! RUN into your prayer closet and don’t come out until you have been drenched! He does not need an audience, or a preacher, or the congregation to touch and heal you and often the most earth-shaking blessing come completely one on one, you just have to BELIEVE that He does hear you and BELIEVE that He will answer you and EXPECT Him to rock your world! Run, walk, or if you have to crawl but reach that river and let NOTHING hold you back!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

“Learning to just say… NOT SO!”

” And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, NOT SO; BUT HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED JOHN.” LUKE 1:59,60

Now the deal with this is that at that time sons were usually named by the father and after the father, but his name had come not from man but from God and knowing this, Elisabeth quickly spoke in the babies defense with NOT SO.

How often do we accept the names and titles wrongfully given to us and our children, not once arguing our own NOT SO! ?

I have written in the past about names and titles and the damage they can do but this was on my heart so strong concerning what does it do to our children, our families, and even us when do not loudly proclaim NOT SO at the wounding words and accusations of others? And what role will it play in ultimately fulfilling our destinies?

What if Zacharias and Elisabeth had disobeyed the voice of the angel of the Lord? What if they had chosen to name this child any name other than the commanded John? Well, we know of a certainty, “John the Baptist” would not have existed, all that was spoken, even in that time, among those who heard him and those who hated him, would never have been uttered and the destined place in the cosmic scheme of all things would have been void and John’s namesake message of GRACE might not have been so quickly proclaimed. 

Of course I know God is sovereign and God uses who He wants, when He wants, but I am just stirring your thoughts to the fact that this was PREDESTINED, PREORDAINED, and that I think many of us are fighting battles and fighting against that predestination by being caught up in names that we have accepted but God NEVER chose to call us or others. 

I can never think of names without thinking of the name of my sister, Ruby, who is my “sister-sister” natural sister and spiritual sister. When her name was in my Mom’s heart, it could have not been more perfect, she is beautiful inside and out, has so much compassion that she cries when others cry and missed her calling as a “Florence Nightingale” (notice the image of a loving nurse popped right up, ah.. the power of a name) due to care and nurture of the sick and wounded. And she truly has been a precious jewel placed in our family and we do thank God for her.

And I think especially of children, when labels are placed on them, especially when they HEAR these labels and all the negativity and self-doubt that those labels immediately cover them in and I do wonder what if, what if those labels change?

What if someone boldly stands and says, NOT SO! I wonder about times when people make accusations and spread gossip about others, especially, IN CHURCHES, often with the “But don’t mention it….” attached to it, ( I am meaning when people tell you the most awful things a person has done or supposedly still doing, and are attacking their character and accusing them to you, while wanting to stay anonymous, behind the others back with them not even aware they are being slandered) we are never to judge someone or listen to “charges” against them without first consulting that person to hear their side of the story, but often we choose to see the worst in others and become, judge, jury, and executioner without ever affording that person a “trail”.

And “as we judge, so shall we be judged” so we can be assured that somewhere along the way, someone will backbite, trash talk, and harm our reputation without us having the benefit of speaking on our behalf in the matter.

And in hindsight, which we all know it the greatest of all sight, I look with terrible, terrible regret at times when I should have stood on behalf of others and myself and screamed NOT SO!

Many “old timers warned of the ability to kill with words, to murder another’s reputation and in doing so we are in effect breaking the sixth  commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. Because we are killing them with the power of that untamable beast and yet we don’t want it mentioned….of course they SAY they do not want to “stir up” trouble, but trouble is exactly want they want stirred.

This could never be discussed without a trip to the Old Testament and going down that tortuously, long hard road that Joseph trod. From the verse, in which his Mother, gives him, HIS name:

GENESIS 30:24: “And she called his name, Joseph; and said the Lord shall add to me another son.” To the naming of HIS sons;

GENESIS 41:51,52: ” And Joseph called the name of the firstborn MANASSEH  (fortified), for God, said he, hath made me FORGET ALL MY TOIL, and ALL my father’s house.

And the name of the second called he EPHRAIM(fruitful),; for God hath CAUSE ME TO BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF MY AFFLICTION.”

And we can travel that road reading his story until words would be fulfilled about his very bones over four hundred years later:

EXODUS 13:19: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he (Joseph) had straightly sworn (placed under a solemn oath) the children of Israel, saying, GOD WILL SURELY VISIT YOU; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.”

So Joseph’s namesake “add to” surely was fulfilled, but what about all the names and titles he had to have faith to ignore on that road? Hated by his brothers because of their jealously, he endured, that time equivalent to “brat”, “pet”, and “Daddy’s boy”, and suffered by their hands, now we add  “rejected”, “abused” “hated to death”, Finally “slave” falsely accused and imprisoned, he would have been labeled “rapist” and after those he helped remembered him no more, and as two years went by, he could have easily been labeled “forgotten and forsaken” but he NEVER allowed these labels to adhere to him and he held onto FAITH, that these names, these “titles”, these labels were NOT SO!

Can you imagine the pain, not only of the hurt and anguish he felt at the realization that they did indeed HATE him, but to be ripped away from all he had ever known and loved? But as God brought him out and brought him up, he chose to name his children,  “fortified” strengthen and protected, causing him to FORGET ALL his father’s house, all he suffered and unfortunately the pain of the loss of all he loved.

And “fruitful”, because he said GOD HAD MADE HIM FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF HIS AFFLICTION. Many, many times he could have just laid it down, he could have lost hope and gave into to voices calling lies over him, and walked out on his destiny, but he chose to BELEIVE in his heart that these heartaches and struggles were only for a little while and when the enemies tried to convince him otherwise, he would remember in his heart what his father had taught, he would rest in his God and know all the lies and false labels had no power over him.

So I want to ask you today, what labels have been applied to you? What labels have been falsely attached to your family, your children? What words, names, and titles do you need to ask the Lord to tear down and break the yoke of those strangling, binding words today, because they HAVE POWER, but GOD HAS MORE!

But God gives us freewill and we must CHOOSE what voice we will hear and what we are willing to accept and we must have courage through the word of God to CHOOSE to hear what HE says about us.

As the Bible states, “Let God be true, and every man a liar”  DO NOT allow others to label you and for the love of God, never let the label children or the elderly while they are in “earshot”, what we hear, we tend to believe and if WE BELEIVE OTHERS THINK US BAD,SICK, OR MENTALLY UNSTABLE , okay, guess what? BAD, SICK, and MENTALLY UNSTABLE WE SHALL BE!

But if YOU choose to say to that person (or yourself) NOT SO! And offer instead to that person a word of hope, healing, or encouragement, and peace, that can change their mindset and MAYBE change the final outcome of that life. Find scripture and use them.

Afraid? “He hath not given us a SPIRIT of fear, but of a SOUND MIND”

Sick? “HE IS risen with healing in his wings”

Tired? COME UNTO ME…..I WILL GIVE THEE REST.”

Every single problem we can have, THERE IS  a word for that problem, use a reference Bible, go online and search scriptures for…… and use them, when everything and everyone around you says you are defeated…. NOT SO! “We ARE MORE THAN CONQUERS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US.”

Think about it today, don’t look back years from now when damage is done ( I do hold to the belief that THERE IS NO DAMAGE THAT GOD CAN NOT UNDO, but if it can be avoided, it will save much heartache) and wish you had said NOT SO! to thoughts, labels, titles, and the voices of others, regardless of WHOSE MOUTHS those wrong voices are coming out of! God and GOD ALONE holds your past, present, and future and HE IS the author and finisher of your faith.

He started you, he wrote your story and HE IS more than able to take a tragic beginning and compose into it the world’s most triumphant work! What HE starts in all of us, HE WILL finish. So again, please, please please, (see I really, really pleaded with you) DO NOT ACCEPT ANYONES thoughts, labels, and TRASH, just say, satan (they are his agents) THAT”S JUST NOT SO!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Regeneration of Generations

” But YOU ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (special) people; that ye should shew (show) forth the praises of him WHO HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.” 1 Peter 2:9

CHOSEN, how blessed is that term? Jesus himself in John 15:16a said this:Ye have not chosen me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU..”

There is a major difference between going after something for ourselves, of our will and our desires and being chosen for a very specific purpose. Notice this verse is for a chosen GENERATION, meaning a preordained, predestinate group  CHOSEN to be the polar opposite of what came before. 

To allow the Lord to break chains forged over many generations by those who came before us. A chosen generation that would turn back to the Lord, who would choose the paths of righteousness rather than the broken roads of abuse and alcoholism, and addictions. A generation willing to allow God to shape their lives and repair the breaches in the protective walls of salvation, and that would hear God’s voice calling them out of the darkness that has formed over the ages.

Darkness passed on from generation to generation, until that faithful day that God’s voice is heard and centuries of darkness and cursing, poverty, abuse, and sorrow will be transformed by His marvelous light.

 A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a generation called to be the messengers, priests to their families and peers on behalf of the heavenly King to tell of the goodness of God and the freedom He offers. And as Jesus tells us, we are CHOSEN for the job. Because through Him, with Him and by the power of His blood we can overcome and to have to be chosen indicates that of a certainty that job, that calling, is not going to be an easy task.

I knew a lady who once told me that she had been baptized as a child, but when she grew up, really late in life, she choose to be baptized again, not because she questioned her salvation but salvation was all she had ever known and wanted to do it as a token to her love of Jesus. I have always thought these people were so blessed, to grow up in the Lord, to be taught scriptures and know of God.

But I do think as “first generations” we can witness to those in the world and understand things that they face and struggle a little better, because we really do understand those feelings.

Now to understand the dynamics of some of those battles “first generations” endure, and it is a battle royal of endurance but I hope by the end of this, you will feel refreshed in your battle and the fire and need to continue and fight hell till the last breath.

Satan knows scripture, he knows every word ever written and he is as sly as he was when he beguiled Eve and he knows to corrupt the plant, to blight it, he would also blight the seed of that plant and so with his temptations and snares he pulls down a plant from the garden of the Lord knowing that he has destroyed the future also.

When God gave the Ten Commandments and the warnings of serving other gods, this verse really jumps out: Exodus 20:5: “Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the children unto the third and fourth generation of them who hate me.”

So for me, I think to cause this, the ancestors had to really, really turn against God in a most dreadful way, because He is so loving and merciful and to hate him would require such violation and paganism, I can’t fathom.

The hardest concept to wrap our heads around comes when we see Christians who seem to really never have problems while we struggle in areas that never even seem to come to their door, we wonder what is wrong with us? Why do we go through the things but they don’t.

All people have problems, but it is true that some do seem to face battles that are harder, fiercer, and sometimes even bizarre but here is the reason, YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT.

Satan wants you back in that darkness because he knows if he can defeat you, he will defeat EVEN MORE GENERATIONS that come from you. He doesn’t want you leading others to the light and liberty of God.

It is hard to be the “first” on a path, not having a strong spiritual foundation, and to try to understand what you’re doing, where you are going, or how your supposed to get there. And you can see this in the story of the Hebrews being brought of Egypt, most died in the wilderness because they had only known bondage and slavery and could never get into the mindset of true freedom, BUT the NEXT GENERATION went into that land NEVER knowing the horrors of Egypt.

“First Generationers” often feel overwhelmed because their issues are so numerous that it is a process because each issue must be dealt with one at a time or we would be like those who didn’t make it out of the wilderness, we could not handle the rest of our journey with the needed faith and trust life requires, because even coming out of Egypt, the roads ahead could still be sometimes rocky.

Exodus 23:29,30: “I WILL NOT drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee, By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, UNTIL thou be increased and inherit the land.” 

If everything were suddenly conquered, we would no longer build faith or trust and we would soon be destroyed by the vanities of our minds and leisure.

If you doubt that, read just how many times ancient Israel would prosper and then turn from the Lord thinking they had all they would ever need and how David became so complacent that he didn’t go into battle with his army but chose to have the affair with Bathsheba that brought anguish down on his GENERATION, and Solomon, who had all, peace, all prosperity still rebelled against God in taking pagan wives and worshiping with them.

No, you don’t want to trade in a perfectly good vehicle that may not look great to you right now but is taking you EXACTLY where you need to go for something that appears sharper, faster, but will in the end only drive you had head first into a bad accident. 

Recognize WHO you are and why you fight and why you CAN NEVER give up that fight. Psalm 22:30,31: “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation (accounted of the Lord to the NEXT generation) They shall come, and declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born that he hath done this.”

PSALM 102:28: “The children of thy servants SHALL CONTINUE, and THEIR SEED (descendants) SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BEFORE THEE.” 

Isaiah 54:13: “And all thy children shall be taught if the Lord; and GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF THY CHILDREN.”

See, sometimes the one being fought is not even who the fight is really against. And a good tool to use, as cliché as it may sound, truly is counting blessings, make a list of what you came from and make a list of where you are now, you may just be very surprised.

Hold on to God’s promises and know that you fight and you have to fight for the rights of your parents, your siblings, your children, and your grandchildren, and all that will come after you. You may be hurting now but your trust in the Lord will mean your child will NEVER know what is to hide terrified from a drunken or stoned parent, your child or grandchild will never know the shame and embarrassment of being mentally or verbally abused, the NEXT generation will never know the humiliation of poverty and the pain of hunger and there is no need for me to continue into the places many of you have suffered and tell you, NEVER AGAIN. NEVER AGAIN will you suffer those things and NEVER will your generations.

When God breaks chains, they ARE BROKEN unless we chose to chain ourselves and our families, and our futures  back to Satan’s whipping post. And God has CHOSEN you and He will little by little bring you through all the areas, past all the stumbling blocks set in your way. And He will restore and bless you but don’t give up when you are almost there. Here are some of His promises:

Psalm 22:24,25: ” For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; NEITHER hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” 

“The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek him, your heart shall live forever.” Psalm 25:10: “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

Isaiah 54: 14: “In righteousness (right standing with God) shalt thou be ESTABLISHED: thou shalt be far from oppression: for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”

Revelation 7:17: ” For the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living waters; and God shall wipe all tears from their eyes.”

Romans 10:11: “For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.”

Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

We could go on and on with wonderful promises and God’s awesome encouragement of “Be not afraid nor be dismayed”, God is with us and for us and He will take you step by step. Just hold and remember all those who will someday be very glad you did!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

If you have never heard this song, please take a minute and let it minister to your soul and let the power of God break the chains and break them forever!

 

Funny thing about forgiveness

Dig this. Picture yourself in a hospital waiting patiently on a loved one to emerge from the ER, a person is brought in bloody and beaten and as they wait to be seen and being prompted by sympathy mingled with curiosity, you strike up a conversation, the person goes on to tell you the horrific story of what they had just endured and finally they end by pointing to another person, that sits handcuffed, staring angrily at the floor as a policeman stands watch over them, the person goes on to nonchalantly say, “But it’s okay, I just have to get well now because we have a trip planned for next week.”

We would have serious questions, wouldn’t we? We would want to know why someone could be hurt so badly and yet in the next breath treat the other person as their BFF. And we would question the sanity in putting themselves in that situation yet again.

So why do we, as Christians put so much undue pressure on ourselves in the area of forgiveness? And No, don’t get all mad at me BEFORE you hear me out. I KNOW Jesus said that if we do not forgive God will not forgive us.

BUT forgiveness can be a funny, funny thing. Too often people are pressured into the statement of “I forgive them” but deep down inside what is really going on? God SEES it all, He sees our hearts, He sees our pain and He sees the hurt someone else has caused us AND He also sees the exact moment that we WILL forgive, TRULY forgive that person and the funny thing is, we usually don’t even know it ourselves until it has already happened.

But we when feel that we NEED to SAY we forgive for the sake of forgiving all that really happens is words have come out of our mouth but that dagger is still lodged in our heart. That is not freedom and we should never feel that we have to put on a “brave” church face and hide what is slowly killing us inside, because God already knows and even when you feel pressured by others to feel, think, and act a certain way, God wants the real you, tears, pain, and all because that is what He works with.

He wants you to have joy, and peace and sometimes that requires getting our feet bloody and scratched up walking through briers to find the true path. PROVERBS 18:14 : ” The spirit of a man (person) will sustain his infirmity (sustain them through sickness) but a wounded (broken) spirit WHO CAN BEAR?”

NO ONE, no one can bear it. I know there are those who have achieved that level of oneness that sticks and stones truly don’t break their bones, that they can truly rejoice in persecutions and truly bless those who hurt them but this is for the other 99.999% hurting in the world, feeling like they are not quite where they should be in the kingdom because they keep fighting the same battle with this giant.

Let me show you two sides to this coin. ROMANS 12:17-21: ” Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. IF it be possible AS MUCH AS LIETH IN YOU , live peaceably with all men.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord.

Therefore IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM; IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK: FOR IN DOING SO THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD. Be not OVERCOME with evil, but OVERCOME evil with good.” 

Notice this verse said ENEMY, never said a person who is just misunderstood. No, we have real enemies, and because we are all wired differently, we are told, IF, IF it is possible AS much as we are mentally, spiritually, and emotionally capable of to live peacefully with ALL people.

IF we can and if not, “RESIST the devil and he WILL flee from you” “Give NO PLACE to the devil” and there is nothing scriptural requiring us to us to be ran over and over and used as a doormat and proclaiming long-suffering when JESUS came and died on the cross to GIVE YOU LIFE and LIFE more abundantly!

Sometimes we just get so chummy with the giants that we fail to see what they really are. IF he’s hungry feed him, IF he is thirsty, water him, and the reason for this is that they hated Jesus “without a cause”, when He came in mercy, and goodness, completely sinless, NEVER harming anyone, they HATED Him.

So when you are faced with your enemy and you show kindness rather than hate, God will use that when He brings them under judgment and conviction for their actions against you. The treatment you have suffered will be brought back to their mind and they will have no excuse, no reason, not one example of what YOU have done to hurt them, that they can give to the Lord in explanation of their behavior.

And that can lead to repentance and at the end of the day, if you asked yourself this question, if you COULD see that person eternally, condemned to the fire of hell, forever and ever, to be tormented without end, would you REALLY want that to happen to them? No, mercy rises up and that is where true forgiveness begins.

The flip side is this, what if your enemy is of the “church”, well, like my old favorite, not all that glitters is gold, a lot of it is a hefty coat of glitter covering up some seriously tarnished metal that needs a good cleaning, but anyway, they will be hindered in their own journey UNTIL they make it right with you, they may run on for a while but when the time comes and it gets down to the nitty-gritty in the area of their gifts and calling in the Lord, this will happen:

MATTHEW 5:23,24: ” Therefore, if thou bringest thy gift to the altar, and THERE rememberest that thy brother HATH OUGHT AGAINST THEE; LEAVE there thy gift before the altar, and GO THY WAY; FIRST be reconciled to thy brother, and THEN COME AND OFFER THY GIFT.”

Jesus will remind them at that moment, no one can say that if you have been hurt that deep or that offended that they do not know they caused it. He will remind them and then they can choose to obey God in making things right or they can leave that gift THERE unused at the altar, but it will not be accepted until they do as He commanded. And that is for ALL of us.

So, we have covered the bases on the why, and the how’s, either way, your pain has not been overlooked by the one who sees all and in both instances, enemy of frenemy, they will be dealt with but hopefully for the good and for a higher purpose.

Now to get through the waiting period. LUKE 23:33,34:” And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the two malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.”

Forgive them because the price of their actions would be incalculably beyond what they could ever imagine. And the blood HE SHED, is the blood of the lamb by which we now overcome, and the testimony of what the shedding of that blood has purchased for us is the good by which evil IS overcame. 

Unaddressed issues and hurt will ruin our hearts, our spirits, and destroy us from the inside out that is why Satan sends so much of it, but I want you to know this, do not beat yourself up if you are having trouble letting go of something.

Do not allow the enemy or others to tell you how you should feel or how you fast you should overcome, a lot of people are really good at giving advice, and it is mighty easy to judge when they have never been in those same shoes, and those people you need to avoid like the plague! If they are gonna talk to me with advice from the first pew, they’d better have some scars to show me or they can just talk to someone else, because you do not overcome unless you have had something to overcome.

May sound harsh, but too many are hurt, wounded, and left out in the field to die because they are made to feel like if they have problems, or can’t smile every waking moment, or make one mistake that they are not kingdom material and if they have overcoming that must be done on that journey they will be viewed as outcasts. Who did Jesus come to save again? The hurt, the wounded, the lost, something went seriously wrong along the doctrinal lines with that thinking when people are shamed for feeling, lost, hurt, abandoned.

Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and ALL these things shall be added unto you.”

Trust Jesus, pray honestly, openly, He knows your hurt and He is a great listener, part of healing is talking about it and “getting it off our chests”, there is such freedom in that alone, and be honest, ASK him to take away the anger, the hurt, and allow you to overcome by His blood and pray for that person WHEN you feel led, when it can be a sincere, honest prayer, ASK God to allow you to SEE the troubled soul BEHIND the person that has hurt you and you will be amazed what can happen once God turns on the compassion from Him inside of you.

And then just try to “live peaceably”, forget what happened, try to not think about and one day you will be shocked when you discover “it” is simply not there anymore, you can be faced with the one who hurt you and have absolutely no apprehension or hurt, or anger because part of that righteousness of God, as you SEEK Him, is the overcoming in areas that we can never overcome alone. Trust, Trust, Trust.

MATTHEW 29,31: ” Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them SHALL NOT FALL ON THE GROUND WITHOUT YOUR FATHER.” “FEAR YE NOT THEREFORE, YE ARE OF MORE VALUE THAN MANY SPARROWS. Be honest with Him and He will not let you fall!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

 

“Shaking off shackles of shame”

I am really seriously trying to avoid the news, all news. World news, internet news, people relying the news I missed to me, because after the stories that are being reported everyday, it is truly hard for, I believe ANYONE not to become a wee bit disturbed by all of it. It started off with a page feed on my Facebook about a beast who had been sentenced to fifty-five years in prison and a twelve million dollar fine for his crime. I can’t even bring myself to get into the details of his reign of absolute horror.

It seriously made me rethink my anti-death penalty stance. I have never understood how we can be against abortion and yet justify the killing of someone else, but, then again I seriously do not believe the person is human. He is demon possessed, which led me to the question about the demons begging Jesus not to send them to the abyss, to send them into the swine, then the pigs ran into a river and drown. So either way, it ended that story.

But I know that God holds ALL justice and couldn’t help but notice in the case of Ariel Castro and a few others how fast that justice comes. My soul screams justice and deliverance for the oppressed, wounded, and hurt and yet if that is not carefully tempered with the word of God, the need for seeing that justice come to pass can quite easily turn into a bad case of running a marathon with scissors and that will help no one.

So with a weeks worth of murder, mayhem, and just sick twisted cruelty which also included a story of a Tennessee man who was the caregiver of his seventy-nine year old cancer stricken mother, decided for some reason that it would be a great idea to beat her to death, a four-month old baby dying after being given Benadryl at daycare, a man arrested for “disciplining” his children with a stun gun, more police dead, a beautiful dog who appeared on someones porch that had his teeth filed down and his tongue cut out, evidently used a dog fighting bait dog ( YES, the end time reign of plagues and judgment on these monsters is starting to sound right on cue, once upon a time I could not understand why the Lord would send such terror, oh believe me, I now understand clearly) more senseless attacks, including one at a club hosting a teen party, ending a twelve-year-old life and I know heaven itself is weeping at the sight of all these things.

 Those subjects I can not touch because what am I going to say, that will even be hopeful or thought-provoking? It all ends with the scripture in which God tells us that those who show mercy will be shown mercy and those who have shown no mercy will be given judgement without mercy, so the full force of an angry, Holy God pouring out on peoples heads needs no human intervention or explanation.

The story I did choose to go with, that we can all pray about and think about is this one. Most have seen it or heard about it, my husband enlightened me to it while reading his CNN news feed.

A mother (?) decided to embarrass, beat, terrorize, and humiliate her sixteen year old daughter live on Facebook. Here is this woman in a cami top and tight pink shorts up to her butt, slapping and verbally bashing her daughter for what she had posted online, while having someone else film her beating this child.

Like, Hello? What are you wearing yourself there? Queen Mother?

This poor child is trying to cover her face from the hits and this goes on for five minutes and then this person (and I use that term very loosely) takes the camera, FIXES HER HAIR, and tells everyone to send it viral. Pretty obvious to know what that was all about, get some attention by beating her kid and acting like she is so bad.

Love to see her live feed taking on someone who hits back! This girl was left in the corner whimpering as her mother(?) proudly proclaims that there would be more posts to come. My heart broke for this girl and my heart breaks for the sadness of just how many are treated like this by those who are supposed to encourage them and protect them and help them deal in the right way with the changes in their lives and all the peer pressure they endure.

What really kills me is the mindless idiots that are complimenting her and saying god bless her, I did not capitalize that because GOD WOULD NEVER,EVER BLESS THAT!

They like to try to change Him and His thoughts to fit in with their own sick behaviour, as a justification attempt. Jesus whom allowed himself to be humiliated, stripped, and ridiculed SO WE WOULD NOT BE.

Jesus who taught us to turn the other cheek, not to attack a grown up who attacks us first. Jesus who said that it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and drowned AS TO HURT ONE OF HIS LITTLE ONES.

Jesus who lined all the naysayers out when Mary cried at His feet and when the woman accused of adultery was brought to Him. And now they want to insist that He is okay with slapping around on your kid or anyone else or even animals for that matter.

They DO NOT KNOW HIM nor do they know anything about Him. But they will soon discover His thoughts on the subject for themselves and in the meantime they will reap what they have sown and be judged by their own judgment so maybe someone can live feed us them being beaten and talked to like trash.

Well, I am obviously getting dangerously close to running with those scissors on this but these people really bring out something unpleasant in many of us and I know I am not the only one that is enraged by it.

I know that as the scripture states when someone is saved and comes back into the household of God, that the ANGELS IN HEAVEN REJOICE, they are so happy that they REJOICE at our salvation. I know the tears that they surely cry as they watch the senseless cruelty on earth.

They cry as humans and animals and all the living are being hurt and wounded. And I also know this is the reason for the thirty minutes of silence which will happen in heaven as the Lord prepares His judgment and return upon earth.

They are praying and weeping for US, they are weeping for the hurt, and oppressed. They are praying for those who have been stubborn, prideful, and self-willed to admit that they need a Saviour. They are praying about the blood of the innocent that covers the earth and the price that blood will cause the wicked to pay.

But to deal with it as humans, while on this earth requires understanding and faith in God.The beating is really the lesser of the damage done here, the shame, the humiliation  that was caused and the painful memories that will last that child a lifetime and without divine intervention the pain trying to deal with that damage will cost her.

Shame, even the word is unpleasant, we have all felt shame, that feeling that starts in your stomach and somehow covers your face as if to show the world that you are lesser than they. That you have messed up and now you are fit to be placed in the village stocks for the villagers to gaze upon and throw things at.

It is MORE than any emotion, it is a snare that Satan uses to cover his victims, think about the term often used “shame ON you”.

Shame is worn and once the initial episode of that shame has been forgotten by those that “put it on you” that shame IS STILL THERE, it is in your mind and affects everything you do.

Because our first instinct is try get it off of us. To hide it, so no one will see “it” that we can function and be accepted while deep down inside, we are still covered in humiliation and hurt, which can also turn to some serious rage. If you doubt that, think about stories of bullied teens and abused children who have finally took all that they can take and become violent.

And as much as I hate to quote anything from the world, it can best be summed up with some lyrics from an old rock song, “till you end up like a dog that has been beat too much, and spend half your life just trying to cover it up”. That is what shame does and it DOES not belong to us.

It is a snare like all the other traps that try to convince you that you can never “belong” to the kingdom of God, when actually you do belong. That is why all these things have been set against you, to try to prevent you from knowing your identity in Christ. When I started feeling prompted in my writing ministry to share certain things about my own pain, it was hard, because none of us want to feel like people will run from us or that we are “damaged”.

The the biggest lie of the enemy or our human “enemies”, (the ones who intentionally make us feel embarrassed and ashamed) that because we have been mistreated that somehow it is our fault, that we caused it. The truth is evil ALWAYS calls itself good and it always pretends to be right and that is why these particular things damage our spirit and only God can remove it.

But once God gave me reassurance that even if it helped one person overcome and to know it is really, really okay that He has seen it all anyway and that He is never going to look us with the contempt we may have been subjected to, but He looks us with mercy and love and ONLY HE can take away the reproach of shame.

There is nothing, nothing we can do, no drugs, no drinking, and there is not enough therapy in the world to take off what can only removed on  spiritual level. I have painfully learned that being saved was only my beginning, I spent almost thirty years trying to forget and just live with a broken soul, and discovered that once I allowed Jesus to take care of that, when I allowed Him to “look” at all that was broken, smashed, and chained up in shame that it would be the beginning of a process of healing, dealing with all those unpleasant emotions that still, made me who I am, exactly who He knew I would be.

Not always good, but still, me. We are over-comers by our testimony and the hardest for me to ever overcome, which He had to divinely get me through was having been held over a fire with the threat of being burned alive, I tell you when you’re a little kid, there is nothing that will define your self-worth quite like that.

I am sure that once knowing that, many found my fire symbol very disturbing, believe me I asked myself that question, but you know what? For me, the fire is VICTORY. The whole deal with that was this, I was specifically told that “the devil comes and takes “bad” people to hell” and you are threw in a fire, so I spent most of my life really, really believing that the devil CONTROLS who goes to hell and that I was pretty much all ready done for.

So imagine when I received the baptism of fire and learn through scripture that “GOD IS a consuming fire”. Satan NEVER controlled hell or fire, he is cold as ice and WILL BE IN HELL, Hell is RESERVED FOR HIM AND HIS ANGELS! After serving Christ many years and receiving my calling I couldn’t help but notice something, if the enemy made certain that I would be terrified of it and believe that he controlled it, than obviously there was a reason he wanted to make sure I would never, ever go near it. Once I realized that, I KNEW the fire is to be embraced, not earthly fire, but the fire of God because I know, I know who really controls it and I know WHO pulled me out of it and WHOSE arms held me and let my soul know without a doubt that I never had to be afraid of that awful place again.

This is good to remember when you deal with what has been set a stumbling block in your path, there is a definite reason he chooses what he chooses to attempt to destroy you and usually you will find it is tied into the calling that GOD PLACED ON YOUR LIFE BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN BORN  Read that for yourself in Romans 8:29,30, you will see things in a different light.

Shame comes “on us” in many forms, words and actions of others, being mocked and laughed at because of our looks or clothes,or our speech, it can come many ways but it comes and it is the most dangerous snare of them all. So whatever you may have been hurt by, shamed with, and are still trying to overcome I want to encourage you.

 

Jesus CAN take it completely away, the memory may hurt but that feeling, the shame WILL be completely erased from your mind, your soul, and your life.  I believe that if I could show you just a little of my “shame” you can surely show yours to Jesus. You never have to tell a human anything but you can share your most painful wound with Him and I promise, once you do, He will heal you and remove those heavy chains from your soul.

He does NOT laugh at you, your pain or your humiliations. Actually this is what the word says about Him.

ISAIAH: 50:6 ” I GAVE my back to the smitters (those who struck), and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:

I HID NOT MY FACE FROM SHAME AND SPITTING.” He suffered THIS to remove it from us! Trust Him, let Him take it away.

PSALM 25:2,3: “O my God,  I TRUST IN THEE LET ME NOT BE ASHAMED: let not mines enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait upon thee be ashamed: let them that be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause.”

PHILIPPIANS 1:20: ” According to my earnest expectations and MY HOPE, that IN NOTHING I SHALL BE ASHAMED…”

 1 PETER 4:16: ” But if any man suffer as a Christian, let him  NOT BE ASHAMED;  but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

JOEL 2:26,27: “And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.

and ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND NONE ELSE: AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.”

ISAIAH 25:8: “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God WILL WIPE AWAY TEARS FROM OFF ALL FACES; AND THE REBUKE (embarrassment and shame) OF HIS PEOPLE SHALL HE TAKE AWAY FROM OFF ALL THE EARTH: FOR THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.”

So many other wonderful scriptures of God’s love and mercy, and His cleansing power that truly washes it all away. So today if you are struggling with these issues, turn to Him, REMEMBER the scripture said he did not hide His face from it and you have His promise that He will never embarrass or hurt you. Please pray that eyes will be opened, that people will realize this is NOT the way to prove anything.

Pray that those who are mortified with shame, which literally means unable to move, crippled by that shame will be touched of the Lord to leap as never before and pray that the ears who are only hearing harsh, damning words will hear the soft whisper so much greater that they are loved, they are accepted and that they are NEVER ever to be ashamed.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

I chose this song because of the testimony of the lead singer. so powerful and so free.

Sticks and Stones #1 “BAD BLOOD”

We all know the old saying about sticks and stones, and what a wonderful gesture to encourage that words will do no harm. But sticks and stones will break many things and words can shatter hearts.

This is going to be one of those not quite so comfortable subjects that so truly needs addressed.For some who grew up in TRUE Christian homes of sibling love, and harmony, I salute you and I am happy for what you do not understand but for the rest and the majority we’re gonna deal with bad blood, the questionable point when sibling rivalry and normal competitiveness between family members turns not so friendly and the blood of your truest most formidable enemy is shared through your own veins and the hatred that pierces your heart through the words the Bible refers to as “of a piercing of a sword” and they are much worse than the sword of an enemy because we unfortunately have a built-in pack need to belong, fit in and be accepted.                              

Even in the most together families, there is usually one or two that have issues with each that affect the entire family.           I have seriously thought about whether this is a bigger issue for males or females, because there are stories of males bullied and pushed a little two far by abusive older brothers and yet for females with one or sometimes two misogynistic siblings the damage done can far outweigh the normal relationship with the “good” siblings and this pattern can be seen over and over, and often traced back through a complete bloody bloodline of bad blood between “brothers” for generations. It is a story almost as old as time, I think it goes back even farther than Cain and Abel, I think it goes back to the war in heaven, the rebellion of Lucifer as he took one-third of the servants of heaven with him.                                                              His jealousy and rage and as now his accusations against the children of God, so clearly seen in the verbal abuse in domestic situations and his need to attempt to control those around him so crystal clear in the lives of those who wish to control others through this kind of abuse which can turn violent and physical at the drop of a hat.

Our biggest obstacle to overcome, the name itself, “Domestic”, what does that even mean? Tame violence? Tame belittling? Homegrown heartache and as long as it’s not a stranger cussing you out then it is just domestic, no big deal, just deal with it. That is what it means. As Christians we are taught by Christ to love those who hate us and pray for those that use us and bless those who curse us, but I truly DO NOT believe that he meant for us to be the family door mat or the emotional whipping boy who hears it if the sun doesn’t shine the right way.

The Bible also teaches to “GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL” and to resist him and he will flee from you, there are countless scriptures I give with this series as proof that we do not have to have contact with them and to stay away from violent, mean people who only want to hurt you.

Through time women have stayed with abusive husbands because they made a vow that it was forever, but again why on earth would Jesus take all those stripes, all that pain and die on that cross to save us, so we then could live life with someone of the devil that beats on us, either with fists or words? NEVER going to get me to buy that story!

Now, we have to deal with family, like abusive husbands only you can’t divorce them but I tell you what you can do, SEE it for what it is. When we don’t have Christ they have us locked into their game, an ongoing test of the wills to see who is “strongest” or who will bend first, it is like running with wolves, they consider tears a weakness and when your down the whole pack turns on you. That is what Satan wants. His objective is to poison your blood with the same poison he manged to inject into theirs, probably through the same sadistic,systematic mind games and through the endless hail of heartless words and of course it just wouldn’t work without the endless, never-ending accusation that it is really YOU! Because YOU think your better than them and all the words designed to instill guilt (that does not belong to you) and play on that lack of self-worth that has already been successfully driven into your brain and whatever else is thrown at you, he hopes to beat any gentleness,or compassion, and anything remotely decent out of you until he has YOU become exactly what your abuser is and that is his plan and that is scary.

But once we accept Jesus they want even more to destroy you because now they have no one to play with since you are a new creature and are working toward crucifying your flesh, so now the enemy has a double motive.

 Trap #1. If he can get you to break and hit back and attack them out of the same pain and anger that held you in bondage before, if you are not very careful he can make you fall spiritually, if you are passive-aggressive and he can mange to get you into attack mode he can have you being the aggressor or getting so angry just wanting it to stop that you will cause more damage than can be undone.

Trap #2 The old blood is thicker than water routine and convince you  that it IS YOUR JOB to get them saved and that if you are just nice to them and tolerate them and put up with their abuse, you will be leading them to God and if you fail to let them hang out with you wasted and treat you like dirt than you are not being very kind and if they die they will die lost and it will be YOUR FAULT! Not true! We can’t get anyone saved only Jesus can do that! We can be a light but when someone is high, belligerent, and mean, raising Hades on you, how can they see that light through their own anger? Soft answers do turn away wrath but once you give that answer turn yourself away also. Jesus did not fool with demons, he did not carry on conversations with them, he cast them out  and there are times in our life that we must see these things for what they are, traps, demonic traps that the enemy is using to try to KEEP us in the same bondage that God delivered us from!

Jesus wants us to have peace and joy unspeakable and delivers us from all fear,and we must not allow the enemy to convince us that blood is blood and to be a “good” Christian requires us to endure these things. So please just say No to that ingrained false belief that by letting them torment you that your are somehow helping their soul and that one day they will love you, accept it for what it is and don’t fall for the traps. Never tolerate a behavior from a family member that you would not tolerate from a stranger and you sure wouldn’t keep going back to the same store that you got called a useless hussy in a week before, (of course that is a language clean up) now would you?

Next time we’ll start making Biblical sense of this, stories of what others went through and how to put our trust in God and allow him to heal us and be all that we need.

Φλογιζω   NBJ.2015

With the eyes of Iris….

The title sounds like I got a little confused there, doesn’t it? But no, I don’t mean through the iris of the eye. I mean trying to see through the eyes of Iris.

Iris is my little friend, she is a tiny little bird dog mix who is not very much bigger than my cat. She is, well, was a stray. I had never seen a cat or a dog in my life with such trust issues, usually you can feed them a couple of times and they know your okay, but not Iris. I got into the habit of keeping dog food on my back stoop (it is so not a real porch, it is tiny and step size) because we had a huge black lab that never wanted to share treats and bullied the other two so one day one of the others decide to get really smart and come to the back door and bark, hence therefore his nick name “Captain Barky” it was the cutest thing ever and he did this so often (my husband said that he had me very well-trained) that I finally started putting dog food out there hoping he would think it was special and appease his barking for treats syndrome.

One day I heard rustling at the back door and looked out the window and here is this tiny little dog eating as fast as it could and every rib, backbone, and little hip bone was visible and it just broke my heart and once she had been noticed, she quickly fled. Soon she starting coming pretty much every day, she would eat and run and if I tried to go out there or had to put out more food she would run away. I finally learned to not make eye contact with her and just try to get the food down wherever and as quietly as possible, try to get back into the house and sometimes she would run and then come back after I was inside. It soon became obvious that she had puppies and would often try to carry away the food container with her and this entire process went on for about six months and we at no point could touch this dog.

As I said I have never seen this kind of distrust and we could only imagine what she had been through. But soon another little friend starting coming by, I kinda of believe it is her puppy but this little thing was not scared in the least and adored my daughter and suddenly one day out of the blue after all this time, Iris let my daughter pet her. We could not believe it and my daughter joked about her being a different dog or something was wrong with her because it was like a complete 360 and suddenly she is jumping up on us, trying to lick our faces and honestly she looks like she smiles. The change was just mind-blowing. It was like when she did decide to trust us, it was a complete, no questions asked, give it your all kinda thing.

Sometimes that is how we are with have trust issues in our walk with God, we want to trust him, we want to have faith, but we are so scared of being hurt again or so wounded that we are afraid to trust anyone or anything. We often are fine trusting God with part of our lives but maybe not so much with all of our problems,our failures and fears, and sometimes we can trust him for eternal salvation and still be unable to allow him to get close to our wounded hearts to heal us, so we can have peace in this life while we are waiting for the eternal.

God wants us to trust Him unconditionally with every thing. trust can be a hard thing, what does trust even truly mean? To know that no matter what, your life IS IN the hands of one so much higher, that life, death, sickness, financial worries, any imaginable woe can never ever change the fact that your soul is in the arms of the everlasting God.

We all fall prey to the “I am trying to live right, why is this happening to me?”, moments, and dark times when the enemy tries to convince you that if were right this things would NOT happen. He is such a liar! Things happen, it rains on the just and the unjust. Christians suffer but SO DO those who are not saved, they have lost loved ones, they have problems, they lose jobs and the get sick BUT they do not have the blessed assurance that these things are but for a moment and they do not have the comfort  that only comes THROUGH TRUST IN GOD.

We all know the story of Job, we all know that it was a great contest between the forces of the universe and that satan contended that job only worshiped God because he had been blessed with a good life and Satan thought he could turn Job against God by tearing his life all to Hades. Now we all may have problems but when we are tempted to complain we should just read the beginning of Job, no one has had problems like he had!

While one messenger was still speaking to give him terrible tidings, another came waiting to tell him more! He lost ALL of his children, his wealth, his livestock. HE LOST EVERYTHING including his health (by being covered from head to foot with boils) his friends turned on, as often happens when the chips are down, he was surrounded by all those who could not wait to tell him how bad he was to try to force a confession of evil out of him and the part of the story that always ripped my heart out is when he thought God terrified him in dreams. Satan did ALL of this to him and he MISTAKENLY believed that it was God doing it, right down to the demonic nightmares. The only thing the enemy was not allowed to do to him was kill him. He had free control to torment him at will and yet the entire time Job thought he had angered God, BUT Job never lost his trust in God or in God’s faithfulness and the most profound verse is this:                                                                                                                        

“Though he slay (kill) me, YET, WILL I TRUST IN HIM…..” Job 13:15 (a)                                                                                

As the story winds up and the truth is revealed, Job is blessed beyond measure for what he had endured, he was given more than what had been taken and those who were too quick to judge him were required to honor him, no one would ever want to imagine what would have happened had he failed this test, the one who had sent it all on him would now also have his eternal soul to torment but GOD KNEW that Job would NOT FAIL THE TEST! Job TRUSTED God even when he did not understand until it was over.                                                                                                                                          

Maybe today, you are having trust issues, maybe there is something you just can’t let go of, worry pitting your stomach, thoughts from the enemy of what if, I ask you what if not? We hear so many voices and often those voices are against faith, they are against trust in God, that is one of the many ports you don’t want to take refuge in during your storm.  

 Jesus asked in Matthew 6:27 “which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”                                                         

We worry and stress over things we have no control over and circumstances that we will never have control over, only God can change things and only God can give us peace of mind even in the midst of trails but we have to trust him and give him all our troubles and trust his sovereignty in ALL situations.                                                                                                        

The sufferings of the disciples are without question, and their attitude toward it all was unwavering, they focused on “that” day: “For the which cause (the Gospel) I also suffer these things; NEVERTHELESS I am not ashamed:   For I KNOW IN WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED, AND AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO KEEP THOSE THINGS WHICH I HAVE COMMITTED UNTO HIM AGAINST (UNTIL) THAT DAY.” 2 Timothy 1:12, you know written by Paul, who was beaten on multiple occasions, wrote most of the New Testament while imprisoned, suffered many, many afflictions and was beheaded for the Gospel of Christ.                                                                                                                                                                        

“That day” is different for all of us, whatever our struggles, fears, and worst case scenarios may be, but rest in the comfort of Paul’s example, KNOW in WHOM you believe, KNOW and BE PERSUADED that HE IS more than able to keep ALL things that we COMMIT to him. All the hurt, all the fears and all the what ifs and even the why’s. WE HAVE TO TRUST HIM with it all and once you just get under the shadow of his wings knowing that he has you, all of you, in his care and that when and if “that day” comes, HE IS there and HIS PEACE will see you through.                                                                               Φλογιζω NBJ 2015.