Friday, 27 April 2018

Walking On The Ceiling

Proverbs 17:9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

      It is said, "When we forgive, we don't change the past, we change the future."
      We cannot undo the effects of hurtful things that were said. We cannot undo things that we did or were done to us. We cannot undo things we have seen that should never have been looked at. We can only go forward with a repentant heart and a Godly willingness within our hearts to be who we were made to be in Christ. Phil. 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.

      When our world is upside-down because of past hurts or infected memories, finding our way forward may be difficult. Feelings of being out of place and not quite where we are supposed to be in our heart may run rampant within our entire being. We might even feel like we are walking on the ceiling. Gravity and natural laws seem to be contrary to our ability to grasp where we are and where we are going. Psalm 73:14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain. 
      Confusion can become a default setting in our life to the point that we no longer know which way is up or down. Psalm 43:5a Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? It might be time for complete capitulation and ceasing to resist the working of the Holy Spirit within our mind, soul and body. Some might say, "It is time to get back to basics," but it most likely will be a deeper work than that.
      When Joseph finally came to the place of surrender within his heart where he forgave his brothers for the betrayal they had orchestrated upon him by selling him into slavery - the decision to forgive was gut-wrenching. It was so deep a work within Joseph that his world had turned upside-down. The whole palace knew a monumental shift had happened, as the affect of this forgiveness could be heard throughout the palace. Gen. 45:2 He wept loudly; the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh's household heard about it.
      This grace of forgiving not only changed Joseph's future but also the future of his brothers, father, and eventually a nation. By forgiving the past, Joseph was able to see his own sons blessed by his father. Gen. 48:8 Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked. 9 “Yes,” Joseph told him, “these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.” And Jacob said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.” Forgiveness cleared the way for Joseph to see the blessings of the Lord restore his soul and family.
      The majority of wounds that cause festering anger within people are most often caused by acquaintances or family members. These so-called friends and relatives brought hurts, rejections, and sometimes brutality that caused mental, physical, and emotional scars that can become infected. The only balm and ointment that can clean the pustulant stench festering in every part of a person's life is forgiveness. Forgive - and you will be set free!
      When Jesus was nailed to the cross and every injustice committed against Him had been performed with malice, He changed the entire future of the world with these words, "Father, forgive them." Because of the Lord's forgiveness toward us, we walk in grace and the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Who or what must you forgive to be able to stop walking on the ceiling and be set free? We cannot undo the past, but we can change the future. It is our choice. Do it, forgive.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Asleep At The Wheel

Proverbs 20:13  Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

      Elizabeth Gilbert said, "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
      I'm in my mid-sixties and am aware of what I and my generation let happen on our watch. As we were asleep at the wheel big pharmaceutical, agriculture, energy and business stealthily inserted themselves into positions of power, influence and control. These power brokers used lobbyists and methods of campaign contributions to influence legislation in their favor.
      We have been lied to, manipulated, and out-maneuvered through planned cunning and we need God's help to see through it all. Psalm 12:1 Help, LORD, for no faithful one remains; the loyal have disappeared from the human race. 2 They lie to one another; they speak with flattering lips and deceptive hearts.
      The only way I can turn things around is to start with my own life and my own backyard. I can stop arguing for all the limitations I thought were inevitable and out of my influence. I can eat and grow real whole foods without toxic chemicals, fillers, and empty carbs. I can exercise, workout and get busy with living, rather than existing on pharmaceuticals. I can trust in the Lord, rather than the world's best offers. Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
      Most importantly, I can learn to be grateful and content with what I have, rather than being in debt for the countless range of things being dangled just outside of financial reach every moment of the day. My life can be strong in who Christ made me to be, rather than needing worldly permission to be who I am. Phil. 4:11 I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances.
      We can all stop sleeping at the wheel and through God's grace and abilities change the world by stepping out in faith, one person at a time. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. You and God are a majority. God and I are a majority. All it takes is faith in God. 
      We read the who's who of men and women of faith who changed the course of history and mankind in the written record listed in chapter eleven in the book of Hebrews. These people were men of like passions as we are. They had their fears and limitations, but when they aligned themselves with God's plan and direction they changed the world they lived in. 
      The proverb says, "Not to love sleep or we will become poor." Yes, if we stay asleep at the wheel we will become poorer concerning our mental and physical health. We will become poor stewards of our lands and properties. If we do not take back our lives from the mundane, we will miss out of the richness of a Christ-filled life. Our strength will be sapped because our heart's focus will wane toward mediocrity, rather than the fullness of a God-filled life.
      Wake up! With God, we can change the outcome, no matter how dire things may seem. It is never too late to start changing events in our lives when we work with the Lord. God can do for us in one day what would take us a lifetime to do without Him. 2 Pet. 3:8 Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
      By God's grace and favor I will not argue for any limitations. Rather, by faith in Christ, I will change my world by believing what God says I can be, do, and have. No more sleeping at the wheel while I go down the road God has laid out for me. In Jesus name!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Before You Taste The Apple

Proverbs 13:16 Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.

      Before you taste the apple, have you thought it through? It would have been nice if there had been some other person in the garden of Eden that day who would have piped-up just before Eve took a bite of the fruit and gave some to Adam. "Hey Eve, slow down a bit, have you really thought this through?"
      Well, it did not happen that way. The echo of God's word was hovering in Adam and Eve's consciousness and was saying plainly not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou may freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof thou shalt surely die.
      The Lord admonishes us to test the spirit in any situation that might be complex and to let His peace be our guide and beacon for knowing the will of God. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. 
      Before you go ahead and taste that apple, test the result of the fallout from its fruit and let God's peace direct your path. Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, surpassing all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
      Saying, "It seemed like a good idea at the time," just won't cut it when you are knee deep in the misery of the poor choice that was made. Prov. 13:16 Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness. 
      Maybe sin and transgressions should come with labels that say, "Before you taste this, have you considered its effect?" Oh ya, that's right, there already is a book full of labels and directions for overcoming sin and becoming clean - the word of God. John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 
      We are living in a time of multiple views and messages that can change on an hourly basis. The speed and volume of information coming at us in mega amounts may be overloading our senses and can make us feel traumatic and confused. More than ever we need an anchor or a solid rock in the storms of life to steady our souls. Building our lives on the rock is the first step. Matt. 7:24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. 
      Jesus warned us that in the end times there would be false Christs or a lot of false beliefs. These pretenders would be responsible for all kinds of deceptions within society. Matt. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 
      Jesus comforts us with the fact that we will be able to discern the lies of these false teachers because the Holy Spirit would guide us into truth. So before you act on something that you are not sure about, think of the words of our Lord and ask Him for direction. Prov. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
      Our Lord Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. He will never lead us toward deception or sin but rather in the opposite direction to the Father's arms. He can be counted on to shepherd us throughout our life and be that still small voice that pipes-up and says, "Before you taste that apple, have you considered the word of God?" Thank you, Lord, for being there for us at all times. Deut. 31:6 Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the LORD himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Froo Froo Philosophy

Prov. 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
      

      Jami Rogers said, "Never dismiss someone's experience or feelings by trying to make your situation or someone else's situation seem so much worse. That is called emotional dismissiveness."
      I feel I am going to bat for my friend Jami. She and many others struggle with false and empty friendships, beliefs, and relationships that lead nowhere but to loneliness and emotional hurts. Hag.1:9a You expected much, but then it amounted to little.
      The myriads of "philosophical how to get along books" often do not have the essential ingredients for honest friendships. These books have a lot of tactical advice for becoming popular and standing out in the crowd, but not the clear and sincere directions needed for being who you are when your guard is down, or risking who you are when you put your heart out there in the open view of the masses.
      Some of our human needs are to be loved, heard, valued, and accepted. However, finding fulfillment for these needs in a broken world may not be realistic without first knowing with certainty the Lord's love for us personally. Jer. 1:5a I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. 
      Knowing God's love for us is our pivotal heart's position to launch from in any other relationship. If we do not trust the love of God for ourselves personally, then trusting those who are in this fallen world will be a difficult and a continuous workload of striving.
      Philosophy alone cannot meet the deepest heartfelt need of existence. This is why we sometimes one-up the other person with an emotional dismissive attitude, because our own emotions in life are lacking assurance. Only God Himself can fill that empty space in our hearts because He created us to need His presence within our souls so we could be fully who we are. Phil. 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure.
      We were created to know in our hearts that when we call on God's name we are clearly heard by Him. Jer. 33:3 Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about. Because I know the Lord has already accepted me through Jesus Christ, I am willing by faith to risk being friendly as the proverb says. Prov. 18:24a A man who has friends must himself be friendly.
      
Our acceptance has already been established within our Creator's love. Therefore, being accepted by our friends and those we come across in our daily lives will become easier because the sour smell of personal uncertainty is not emanating from our being.
      By the power of the Holy Spirit, we have a humble confidence within Christ that philosophy cannot generate. When we know we are the beloved in Christ and are at peace within ourselves, we will be able to be friendly in this hard world.
      Christ has given us His ability to be that person who sticks closer than a brother. Froo froo and pseudo philosophy can only show us an insipid idea, path, or repetitive rote activity to help curtail certain unwanted habits.
 Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
      This froo froo or vain philosophy is a temporary patch on the tattered fabric of lost and hurt souls. A real life change is needed. Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life can change our hearts and lives to become His accepted righteousness for ever and ever. I'll take what the Lord has done for me any day. Thank you Lord God.