Thursday, May 20, 2021

Are You an altar of Sin or Sacrifice?


"Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin, They have become for him altars for sinning."

Hosea 8:11 

"My people ask counsel from their wooden idols, And their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, And they have played the harlot against their God."

Hosea 4:12


       You can read the story in these passages but really, it's all the same compared to most stories in the Old Testament: People serve the Lord, start mingling with wicked people and eventually turn to idols.

    Old Testament, New Testament, us...it always boils down to our choice... to choose God or turn our back on Him. I've pondered these verses a lot and it's actually really a simple concept: IF we REALLY know God (and there are MANY things to know) and IF we REALLY love Him... why would we EVER choose something else to serve and surrender to? I believe the answer is: we wouldn't. 

     This is a sobering thought sweet friends and one I encourage you to look deep inside and consider. It's not hard to connect the dots, we are "living sacrifices" and the downside of that, we are capable of crawling off of the altar aren't we? Free will is a beautiful gift that God has given us because He actually wants us to choose to love Him back. Wow, if that one thing alone doesn't show us our Creator's heart, then I don't know how we will ever see clearly all the other ways He loves us!

    The downside of our free will, we get to choose whether we love Him or not. I use those words "love Him" because that is really what it is, don't you agree? It's not about whether we "know about Him" but whether we really "Know Him". 

    Isn't it crazy how we like to complicate things when it comes to our relationship with God? We have a million excuses for why being obedient to Him is so difficult don't we? But the Truth, the honest Truth... is that every single day, you and I have only 1 choice to make: obey Him or don't.

 


  Because it's not that we don't have what it takes to obey Him (we can list SO MANY scriptures here... my favorite though is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil 4:13) When we made the decision to accept what Jesus did on the cross for us, that He is God and His Word is Truth... He gave us His GRACE, that grace is what continually transforms us into who He has created us to be. When we accepted Jesus, we accepted everything that means, which all boils down to our surrender to His will which means Obedience.

      Honestly, our excuses... simply mean that our hearts are not willing to recognize God as our King. Oh how I wish I could tell you that God understands our disobedience and that it's okay if we struggle to obey Him and it's okay if we need a while to "work it out"... but the TRUTH is sweet friends, God understands our "human nature" but He has literally given us everything we need to overcome our sinful human nature. The Holy Spirit is with us 24/7, available to help us choose obedience and walk in righteousness every minute of the day. We have control over all 24hrs of our day, it's our choice what we fill that time with yes? We choose whether or not we give God time in our day in order to know Him better, in order to hear His voice, in order to fall in love with our Savior. So it really is that simple. It's 100% our choice.

    No, it is NOT easy, what "sacrifice" is? But when it comes to the altar of our lives, what does God see? A living sacrifice staying on the altar daily, sacrificing all the things that keep us from walking in freedom and living a holy life before our God, OR.. a life that continues to get up on the altar one day, then crawls off of it the next, or whenever the fire gets too hot, too uncomfortable, too "convenient"(think about this one a bit), and it starts chasing after worldly idols and worshipping Satan instead of the One who sacrificed EVERYTHING for us.... and we expect God to just simply "understand"?

     No sweet friends, it's so much deeper than that. It's all about our choice... to really love God over our human nature, to love Him more than we love our sin. I am learning that THIS is what it means to "belong" to Him. When we finally "get" this Truth... Oh the freedom that floods our souls when we are no longer bound by the chains of our sin but instead are set free by the Power of our Mighty, Awesome, Loving Creator. This isn't always the message we hear, the beauty of God's wonderful mercy and His
loving grace has the ability to reach us wherever we are and transform us into His righteousness. The gift of salvation is free to us, there is NOTHING we can ever do, to "earn" our way to Heaven... but sweet friend, WHEN we accept that free gift of Jesus Christ... we must "accept all of Him"... and that means, we learn how to love Him and know Him and be obedient to Him. Believing He simply exists and died for you.... is that really enough to be called a "living sacrifice"? I'm humbled by these scriptures and I hope you are inspired to take a good look at your altar because sin or sacrifice... it's really up to you. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Patterns of this World


 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:1-2

       Ya know sweet friends, God has really been teaching me a lot lately about recognizing the things that break His heart and things that simply don't please Him. Wow, there are many! It really is amazing when we take a step back sometimes and just allow ourselves to look. I guess that's why God tells us to examine ourselves and to constantly ask Him to show us anything in our lives that needs to go. 

       I think a lot of these things that displease Him, that we allow to come into our lives, are not intentional. But I don't believe that makes them any less wrong, they still hurt His heart and as His Children, if we really do love Him, then it is our job to know the things that displease Him and do our best to intentionally not do them. It's a hard pill to swallow isn't it? But the more I've studied His Word and sat at His feet, the more I've realized how important it is to Him... that we WANT to know those things and WANT to live lives that please Him.

     In this journey I'm still on and will be until the day I die, I am starting to recognize and understand what the "patterns of this world" are. Now here's the kicker... it actually isn't a mystery, but pretty plainly laid out right in front of us! Which is what hurt my heart the most when I finally saw it. I think maybe because we are so surrounded by the things of this world, sometimes we have a harder time recognizing the danger and are more concerned with just adapting to it.. yikes right?

     So here's just a few examples, there are so many, but these are the most visibly on display for us.. (now don't worry, I'll get to the encouraging part of this blog soon, bear with me!)

What are the Top 3 things this World LOVES?

1. SEX

2. ALCOHOL

3. MONEY

YES???

     These are the easy ones to spot aren't they? Everywhere we look we see these things advertised, promoted, pushed, constantly in our faces, in movies, in music, in magazines, in stores... unfortunately, in many churches as well these days. We are surrounded.

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17

    And then there are many other patterns that this world loves that are just as fluid but not so much in the spotlight. This comes with attitudes of rebellion, hate for righteousness, disrespect and hate for others, a callousness for God, ect.

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying it's power. And from such people turn away!" 2 Timothy 3:1-5


    Do you know what I've been realizing lately? How easy it is for us to get caught up in the "patterns" of this world. It's so crazy to me how there is really nothing new under the sun. Sure there might be more of it nowadays and we might have different variations but it's all still rooted in the same sin, the same defiance against God. Back in the Old Testament, you could see the patterns of the Israelites... God told them to destroy all the people in the cities they went to battle with...WHY?.... Because those people were wicked, they worshipped idols (demons), they followed demons, they embraced sin and God didn't want them influencing His people! A little different take than what we're taught today huh? (that's worth a ponder too, yes Jesus taught us how to love our neighbor... but does that mean that this concept of His Children not mingling with wicked people really changed? The verse above from Timothy... is New Testament, after Jesus had come and taught us how to love our neighbors... right?) (also... isn't it crazy how our churches are so focused on bringing in the "lost" "unbelievers" "people who don't love Jesus" and not only inviting them into our houses of worship... but plugging them into ministry!? so now we literally have unbelievers .... ministering and leading God's people.... and we wonder why our churches have lost their power and confuse people in this world more than reach them today? yes?)

      Often the Old Testament also talks about how the nation of Israel (the leaders) led the people into sin.... and look at our nation today. Our tax money goes to pay for abortions and other things that clearly go against God's Word. Places that we spend our money at, some give that money to organizations that spit in God's face and support things that God tells us not to do. We don't really think of those things do we? I know I never really thought too much about it until I was reading about Israel and thought, "How does our nation cause God's people to sin..." and then, wow, it's humbling isn't it? And it can feel overwhelming when you start to see the sin that permeates our world. So what can we do? Are we really supposed to be concerned or worried about what the world is "forcing" us to do? It's not really in our hands is it?.... well, I don't know... is it?

      I'll admit sweet friends, this has been a hard pill for me to swallow because it's forced me to really think about it and we don't like to really think about things do we lol? Because if we stop to think about it, then comes knowledge of what we are doing and we all know "ignorance is bliss" right? Well.. not really, if we actually want to please God with our lives then we don't want to be ignorant about how He feels about things... and that's where I'm at.  So personally, I am in the process of paying closer attention to the world around me and very intentionally deciding what I allow myself verbally to support and also what my money goes to support as well. This has not been easy friends and honestly, I'm scared of what I may find out next ya know? Like I heard that my favorite chips brand might be giving profits to Planned Parenthood... and I LOVE these chips! but seriously... they're just potato chips right? We might think, "what's it gonna do to that company if you stop buying those chips Darby?"... and my answer is, "I don't know, probably nothing...but it shows Jesus that He is more important to me than those chips, that I will stand on and up for His Truth and not support those who choose to advocate for and advance sin in this nation"  And I think it's worth it don't you? 

     "Living sacrifices" can be painful at times sweet friends but I believe when it comes to "not conforming to the patterns of this world"... this is what it actually looks like. Practically living out our commitment to Him in the littlest of things in order to bring Him glory with our lives and to shine a light in the darkness. Love you sweet friends, praying for you as you walk out your life as a living sacrifice, and pray for me... we can do this! 

"If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:21-24

"But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them."  Ephesians 5: 3-7

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Fearful Intimidation?

 


"The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them." Psalm 34:7

"You have been given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth." Psalm 100:4


       We are called to be "salt and light" to this dark and dying world. We are called to preach the Good News that there is One who loves us so much that He died on the cross, bearing all the weight of your sin and my sin, sin that carries the death penalty, sin that separates us from our Creator, sin that destroys, sin that binds us and breaks us, sin that takes away our hope, takes away our futures, sin that torments and taunts, sin that permanently separates us from the love of God and sends us to an eternity in Hell.....

                                       Jesus took all of that.

      He laid down His life in our place and died, for you and me so that we could know Him and walk in freedom from sin.

      God calls us to walk in freedom. This is HUGE sweet friends. His grace and power he bestows on those who choose to accept Him, is what empowers us, not to live in sin freely.... but instead to BE FREE from sin and walk in righteousness! No one is perfect and of course there is always areas in our lives that we need to be laying down in surrender to His will. But what an amazing gift He has given us! What freedom we have as we move through this life here on Earth...

      So what happened? When is the last time you heard someone speak of their bondage of sin? When is the last time you heard someone testify of the freedom they have found in Jesus? When is the last time you heard a preacher tell you that God hates our sin?

"In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. To turn one away from the snares of death." Proverbs 14:26-27

       In the Bible, people feared the Children of God. Did you know that? They were afraid to go up against them because they feared the God they served. They witnessed God's power revealed through His Children enough that they understood He was mighty, He was powerful, He was real, and He could crush them in an instant. Nothing was impossible for their God.... What happened? People don't "fear" Christians today, in fact we have become a target for persecution, we are the brunt of a joke, the world has no problem rising up against us do they? Why don't they fear us anymore?

                                                                          It's simple.....

      WE stopped fearing God a long time ago. WE no longer believe that God becomes angry with us when we embrace sin in our lives, we just know that He loves us so that's all that matters. Because of this serious heart condition, we no longer think anyone's sin is a problem, we just focus on God's love and hope somehow that is enough to provide a good witness to the world and we've done our duty to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel."   We've become so polite that we no longer feel the need to take a stand for what we know breaks God's heart and spits in His face because, well, it might make an ungodly person..... mad at us.

     We've turned our churches into hospitals for the sick instead of universities for the Believer. We have made our churches so focused on this lost world, that that is now WHO is attending... and leading... and teaching.... and ministering... not spirit filled strong Children of God who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind... but the lost are leading God's Church???

     People see "Christians" today and they don't see a peculiar people, they see themselves, and if they simply choose to talk about Jesus a lot too, then they can be just like us. 

      We have become a joke to the world. Because we have become nothing but mouth pieces to God. We stand for nothing. We are too intimidated by the loud ungodly people of the world who are both outside and inside our churches, who make us cower and bow down to their way of doing things, and when we cower long enough.... we begin to find it easier to just join in and go along with their way of "worship". We build up and worship the idols of this world right along side the people we are trying to "reach". We bow down to demonic forces and pray for God's blessings.

        And we wonder why the people we read about in our devotions had such power and authority, nations of people would tremble before a Child of God, prophets would call down fire from Heaven, young boys would slaughter giants... how did these men and women and children of God have their enemies trembling in fear?

                                                  Because they KNEW Him.

                                                  Because they LOVED Him.

                                                  Because they TOOK HIM AT HIS WORD that....

"For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?" Hebrews 10:26-31


"If you love Me, you will keep My Commandments." John 14:15

"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run or labored in vain." Philippians 2:12-16

"Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil." Proverbs 3:7

"'The Lord will judge His people' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:31b 

       We are "His people".... it's time we start acting like it. This message is not for everyone sweet friends, there are MANY Children of God who walk with fire and power because they love the Lord with everything they have! There IS a remnant of God's People right now carrying the presence of God with them wherever they go. But there are way too many "Christians" that are in name only and it's time to decide whether you REALLY follow Jesus or you don't. This world will get worse, sin will abound, and the hate for God's people will continue to grow and rear it's ugly head. God tells us so. BUT.... the choice is ours sweet friends, will we BE the Children of God that causes the world to tremble because we carry with us the presence of the All Powerful, All Mighty God, the Creator of All Things... or will we choose to bow down and embrace the lies of the Enemy who's ONLY GOAL is to drag people to Hell? We can't love Jesus only half way.... it's all or nothing. God says if we are found luke warm... He will spew us out of His mouth... that's not Heaven folks. We must CHOOSE TODAY Whom we will serve. The God of the Bible is STILL the God of the Bible. It's time the World got reintroduced to Him... don't you think? Maybe it's time His Children... got reintroduced as well. 


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Quick Devotional Thoughts: Joshua 7 Don't hold accursed things!

 Reading in Joshua today (Joshua 7) how God commanded the Israelites to not take any item from the wicked people that they destroyed. And of course, one guy did. (these guys never learned... kinda like the rest of us!) God commanded Joshua to destroy the next city of Ai. The city only had like 12,000 people so it should've been easy but they went to destroy it and ended up being chased away and some Israelites were killed by this small city. Joshua was upset and scared and God told him: (vs. 10-13 in the pic)


Yikes right? Well, as the story goes, they found the guy and the stuff and they killed him and burnt his body along with the accursed items AND THEN God gave them triumph over the city of Ai. This is not a pleasant story, just like many accounts of things that happened in the Bible. But it does drive home one very important thing: God does NOT like our disobedience and He literally HATES sin. He does not want sinful things or people influencing His Children. Has anything really changed????
Sweet friends, there are so many things for us to learn and understand about God isn't there? I read about how God did things in the Old Testament and then He sent Jesus. What an AMAZING MERCIFUL ACT OF LOVE that really was!!! I don't think we can ever fully grasp what an incredible gift Jesus is to us. BUT... through Jesus, brought His grace and His mercy into our lives, taking the place of sacrifices and death on the spot for our disobedience. We should be so very thankful for that!
But here's the thing sweet friends, God still hates sin and God still does not like our disobedience. God still does not want wickedness or wicked people influencing the lives of His Children. And God is still not with us or allowing us to win our battles against the Enemy, if we are indeed embracing the same wickedness that our Enemy (Satan) possesses.
This Truth is still Truth today! If we want God to protect us and lead us to victory, and bless our lives.... we MUST be obedient to Him with our lives and stay away from the wickedness of this world. "But Darby, how do we witness to the lost if we can't reach out to them where they are at?".... We witness to them, by being different, by not engaging in the same wicked things, we love the people of this world... it doesn't mean we act like them. It doesn't mean we participate in evil in order to reach the lost. We, love Jesus with EVERYTHING we do, and we realize that GOD is SOVEREIGN and He is more than capable of bringing lost people into your path without you needing to seek out wicked places and activities to find them. The important thing, is know the voice of your Heavenly Father, if HE tells you to go, then go. But only if it's His voice. He is still the same God who calls His Children to righteousness despite how the world "feels". He is the same God who despises wickedness and is angry when His Children turn to it and embrace it.
As a "Christian Community" or the "Church", we have stepped outside of God's heart on these issues in our own desire to "reach the lost". We have pushed our "seeker sensitive" agendas, patting ourselves on the backs and high fiving each other because we have become so effective in "saving people" and "bringing them into the Kingdom of God" (and I am just as guilty here...) but the real question is: Have we? Have we really led people to the feet of Jesus where they have embraced Him and have allowed Him to transform them into His Children, living their lives in victory and freedom against the Enemy of their souls? Where they love Jesus with all their hearts and strive daily to please their Creator? OR.... have we merely played with wickedness, and not only played with it in order to gain an audience, but have we not also brought it into our Houses of Worship? God is Love.... but He is Holy First. We must remember Who HE is so that we can actually BE Who He is calling us to be. Worth a ponder. Love you sweet friends, praying God will help you in this area and pray for me too, we all have work to do!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Child, Come out of your Mess!



Sweet friends whether you've given your heart to Jesus recently or you gave it to Him many years ago, I'm sure you've realized at least one thing: it isn't easy! Giving our hearts and lives to Jesus is the best thing we could ever do but it does come with a price. As we become "living sacrifices" (Romans 12:1) we are constantly learning how to love Jesus more and more with our lives. In doing this, we begin to learn more about the heart of our Savior. We begin to recognize the things which bring Him honor and glory and the things which break His heart, and we do our intentional best to do what we know pleases Him right?

     So why is it in our "Christian culture" today, that we often find ourselves celebrating our "beautiful mess"? Now I totally understand the concept that "no one is perfect and Jesus loves us anyway" which IS TRUTH however I am afraid that this attitude that seems to be sweeping across our Christian community is incredibly dangerous to the minds and hearts of Believers. Here's Why:

    Our sin... is a big deal. Jesus died on the cross for it. Not so that we could freely sin but that we can be free from sin, no longer bound by it, no longer overcome by it. FREE. When the World looks at us they should see people who are different, who walk in Freedom and Victory. What an incredible witness to the power and love of God, if His Children are walking examples of how He can change a life! And that is exactly who He calls us to be sweet friends. We are the example of what a "New Creation" looks like. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

      So what is the danger of living a life drenched in our failure to be free from sin? Or even basking in the fact that our lives are a little messy? or we are a mess because of... what? What type of things in your life is causing you to label yourself a mess? ..... This mindset is dangerous because, we are missing out on God's Plan for our lives! Let's tackle the first LIE we have allowed ourselves to believe: 

Lie #1. God loves you so come just as you are... and STAY just as you are! 

You wanna know the crazy Truth about Christianity? Christianity is THE MOST INCLUSIVE Religion on the Planet. No matter who you are, what you've done... Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open to you. His love is unconditional. God loves everybody. AND..... Christianity is THE MOST EXCLUSIVE Religion on the Planet! Once you've decided to give your life to Jesus, He sets you on a path of Transformation as you continue to grow closer to Jesus. See, you have to actually "mean it", you can't just say "yes I want to give Jesus my life" and then not give Him your life. Lip service will not get you an eternity in Heaven, only a heart surrendered to Him will. He makes this VERY clear in His Word. (there are many passages of scripture that address this but Psalm 119 is one of my favorites)

Lie #2. Our sin doesn't really bother God. 

Oh sweet friends, our sin breaks God's heart! Yes, Jesus came to this Earth and willingly took every sin you and I have ever and will ever commit and He placed the weight of the death and shame of those sins on His own shoulders and died a long, painful, agonizing death for you and me so that we still had a way to an eternity in Heaven with Him.... because He loves us that much.  We can never fully understand what a HUGE deal it was for Jesus to do this for us. It was so bad, even God turned His face away... do you think after watching His Son die so brutally with the entire weight of OUR sin on His shoulders, that God doesn't get angry when we treat His sacrifice so callously by having the attitude that it's "no big deal" if we continue to sin? Do you know why it breaks God's heart sweet friends? Because when we casually sin and we don't stop and think about what we are doing as His Children, we are missing the point and the freedom of what God actually did for us! It means we don't really have a grasp on Who He is and who we can be through Him! We are missing out on so much more because we choose to live selfishly and we miss out on the true freedom and victories and blessings that God has for our lives if we would just give Him our hearts completely. 


Lie #3.  Striving for Righteousness is prideful and self-righteous....

Huh? I cannot tell you how many times this attitude comes out in people. I think we have adapted to this attitude of "no one is perfect" so much that anyone who literally strives to live a life that is pleasing to God, gets labeled as something bad; as someone who "thinks" they are better than those who choose to live in sin and talk about Jesus. Sweet friends, we have stepped so far outside of God's Word in our world today, that actually living for Jesus seems radical and crazy. How sad is that? Let me reassure you, if you are striving to live for Jesus and please Him with your life, there is NOTHING "prideful" about that. In fact, it takes more humility to walk closely with the Lord and seek His face daily over the decisions in your life. It takes humility to ask Him to show you the things in your life that don't please Him and work to get rid of those things. It takes humility to lay down things that you want to keep simply because He tells you to let them go. It is more "self-righteous" to think that you can embrace the things that God tells you to stop doing and somehow it won't really matter to God that you walk in disobedience because somehow you think you "deserve" Heaven despite walking all over His sacrifice simply because you can point out to Him that "nobody's perfect"?  Don't be deceived sweet friends, it is never wrong to strive to love Jesus with your life. It all boils down to your heart attitude. You can "pretend" with words and deeds or you can "do" with words and deeds. God knows your heart and He calls us all to WALK IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, never apologize for taking God seriously with your life!

 "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know hat He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him." 1 John 3:4-9

     Now it all comes down to this, We are Children of God and we need to be so very careful where we set our minds. No, we are not perfect and we won't be until we are safely in the arms of Jesus in Heaven, but until then, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and PERFECTER of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2) We need to continue to allow God to transform us as we grow closer to Him, we need to AIM for perfection (2 Corinthians 13:11) This world that we live in.... might be messy, that is to be expected, but WE are not supposed to be like the world but set apart, full of the Spirit and everything that entails, none of which implies that we are left a mess in Jesus. If you truly find yourself feeling like you are in fact, a "mess", I encourage you sweet friend, don't stay there and don't be comfortable there. Jesus died for your mess so that you would not have to live in it and be bound by it. He came to set you free and through His Grace, you can walk in victory! 

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless. Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy." Jude 1:24

"Little Children (new believers), let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." 1 John 3:7-9

God offers us hope doesn't He? We do not have to be a mess! That is Awesome! We have the choice sweet friends, we can spend our time practicing sin, or practicing righteousness... now, which one will you choose? 

Friday, February 26, 2021

How can a Christian help a ghost?

      


How do we help them GO INTO THE LIGHT? How do we help them BE SET FREE? How do we help them REACH OUT TO THEIR LOVED ONES? How do we help them FIGURE OUT THEIR PURPOSE? How do we help them take care of their UNFINISHED BUSINESS? How do we help them CROSS TO THE OTHER SIDE?


               We don't.


Because "ghosts" don't exist.... but demons do. Angels also exist. "Paranormal" is real because there is a spiritual realm that is very real and that spiritual realm meets this physical realm all the time. If you believe strange things are happening that you simply cannot explain... you are not crazy, but you may be misinformed as to what exactly you are dealing with... and that's where it can get very dangerous if you are not careful.

     Brothers and Sisters in Christ, those of you who love Jesus, who read His Word, who believe that what He tells us is the Truth..... you know better. Maybe you've never really thought about it and it is so easy to get caught up in the fascination and mystery of it all, and the world we live in is definitely spellbound by it all (why wouldn't they be?) But sweet friends, we must take a step back and seek the Truth about the paranormal before we engage in something designed to destroy us.

     How can we be certain that there aren't any dead people still wandering around with unfinished business? 

"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life" 

Matthew 25:46

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 6:23

"Jesus answered him, 'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise'."

Luke 23:43

The story of the rich man and Lazarus after they both died found in Luke 16:19-31

       Jesus tells us that there are only 2 places we go when we die: those who have given their lives to Jesus and live for Him = Heaven, those who have rejected Him and embraced a life of sin = Hell. Period. There are no second chances to take care of "unfinished business". We all get one chance at life here on Earth. 

      What we fail to understand is that demons have been around since the beginning, they know history. They know all the stories, many of them were the influencers of terrible things that happened to people in their homes, ect. They are exceptional role players, and we are so gullable to be tricked into believing what they want us to believe. We might ask ourselves "Why? Why would demons pretend to be a person that haunts a place?" Answer: Because they will go to ANY lengths possible to get you to believe there is ANYTHING other than Heaven or Hell when you die.

       Demons know the Truth and they are desperate to keep us from knowing it as well. God tells us time and time again (1 Thess 5:22, Rev. 21:8, Eph. 5:11, 1 Peter 3:11, 1 Cor. 5:11, 1 Tim. 4:7, Isaiah 1:16, Micah 3:7, Lev. 19:26, Deut. 18:10-13, Rev. 18:23, Isaiah 47:12-14, Isaiah 8:19, Lev. 20:26-27, 1 Chron. 10:13-14, Eph. 5:11, 3 John 1:11, 1 Cor. 10:21, 1 John 4:1-3, 2 Chron. 33:6, Nahum 3:4-5,) to stay away from evil. He talks to us about Mediums, witchcraft, astrology, speaking with the dead, ect. because it's the work of demons. These practices have been around FOREVER, they are nothing new. Demons use these practices because it is easy to pull us in and cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus. Mediums are not talking to your dead loved ones, they are talking to the demons that watched you grow up. Demons know things about your life! They know your uncle bought you a little red wagon when you were 4, they know you lost a button off of your favorite sweater, they know you need to hear your loved one say they are proud of you... it's not hard for them to know exactly what you need to hear in order to get you to open yourself up to them and their continual influence in your life! 

      We are so desperate to contact those we've lost, and understandably so. We miss them and that's ok. But it's not okay to buy into the lies of Satan and disregard the Truth of God's Word. Even the Disciples bought into the lies of the Enemy and believed in ghosts, did you know that?

"When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. 'It's a ghost!' they said, and cried out in fear." Matthew 14:26 (Mark 6:49, Luke 24:37)

But.... then Jesus taught them and showed them the Truth, with the same scriptures and parables listed above.

     Angels and Demons do exist, and we do see them, the affects of them, we sense their presence... because it's all real. We just must get to a place that we know which ones we are dealing with. Demons disguise themselves as "good" and "light". Angels don't come and play with us either. Your cupboard doors are opening up on their own, stuff is moved to different places, loud noises scaring you and keeping you on edge.... probably not an angel. Dead people are showing up in your house... not an angel. Some child or lady in white wandering around... not angels. Demons LOVE to play. (not in a fun way by the way) The question is WHY?.... Because, if you knew there was an actual demon living in your house, you'd probably want it to leave yes? But, if you think it's some old war vet or lost child roaming your halls... well, you might offer your friendship and tell it you have no problem sharing your home with it, you can simply co-exist. And that is exactly what it wants you to do, welcome it into your life. Demons are not wallflowers... they are there to work.... on you. 

     It's time we wake up to the Truth. Ghosts are not real but demons are. So what do we do Christian? We can't sage them out, no wooden cross replica is going to do a thing, holy water...nope. (the demons might make you think that it does for a while) but the ONLY WAY to get rid of demons, is to 

1. Get right with Jesus first. Make sure there is nothing going in your life that may have allowed demons access to you. Sometimes unknowingly, we've invited demons into our lives by our own choices of sin and reluctance to be obedient to Christ in our lives. God does tell us that rebellion against His Word does attract demons so to speak. So check your life first and ask God if there's anything in your life that needs to go and be repented of. He'll tell ya.

2. The Holy Spirit "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4 We have the ONLY TOOL needed to make a demon leave, living inside of us! How cool is that! Some people get caught up in long wordy prayers, some people take time to literally ask the demon 20 questions.... do you know that in the Bible... neither Jesus or the Disciples spent that much time dealing with the demons? Most of the time Jesus uttered ONE WORD: "Go" ... pretty contradictory to what we've seen and heard nowadays huh? There is Power in the name of Jesus and when we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit.... those demons don't stand a chance! *whenever I face demons...and it happens often enough.... I generally ignore the demon and start praying out loud to Jesus that He would fill my home with His presence and drive any evil thing out... and He does. I also pray in the Spirit when I don't know what to pray and that works too. Because it isn't US that drives out the demon but Jesus who drives it out. 

Remember that #1 is first... because the Holy Spirit and a life of sin do not live together, and if you are not right with Jesus, honestly, you have given that demon permission to stalk your life and that demon, doesn't have to do a thing you say, because YOU have no authority. Only through Jesus and the Holy Spirit do we have any authority. So be very careful, because it can get ugly really fast if you try to face those demons on your own power. "I'll fight the demons with the light of goodness I have within me" is the dumbest thought process ever. You need Jesus. Period.

"Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims,' Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?' And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." 

Acts 19: 13-16

Demons aren't stupid. They know whether you have Jesus or you're just using His name.

It's also very important that you get right with Jesus and stay right with Jesus because...

"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation." Matthew 12:43-45

Now, this particular verse is talking about demonic possession of a person, but I want to warn you... i believe that is the goal of demons. To play with you enough... that eventually you give in to them completely. I've seen it happen with people and it is not pretty. This is serious stuff and the way to stop that from ever happening... is to put a stop to demons even hanging out in your life. The only way to do that.... is to get serious about your relationship with Jesus. 

      If we are IN Christ, we have NOTHING to fear. Churches no longer preach about demons or Hell but they are still very real. This world is getting darker by the day, just as Jesus told us it would. Wickedness is running rampant and the truth sweet friends, there literally are demons behind every bush. But we do not need to fear, the army of the Lord, the angels He puts charge over His Children, and the fact that Jesus has already defeated every. single. one. of. them. when He died on the cross for us gives us the VICTORY! His redemption lives in us sweet friends!  We must let Truth rule and reign in our hearts and in our minds. This world is lost and it is quick to buy into the lies of the Devil. Protect yourself by putting on the "Full Armor of God" so that you can stand firm against the tricks of the Enemy. Demons have a plan... it's ultimately your soul that is in play. Don't let them win. 




Saturday, February 6, 2021

Establish My Heart

     

       So this year I didn't have any new year's resolutions. I have nothing against setting personal goals, I think it's a great idea! But this past year, 2020, has really opened my eyes to a lot of things, yes it was a different and at times difficult but there was a lot of good that came out of that year as well. The one singular observation that constantly rose above all others, was the state of the heart of man.            Wow, so many things happened that really brought people's hearts to the surface. It was amazing watching neighbors taking care of neighbors when the pandemic hit. It was a beautiful thing to watch the young people grocery shopping for the elderly so they wouldn't have to go out in public. It was amazing watching small businesses acclimate to the restrictions and yet find creative ways to still accommodate the community. And even greater watching the community rally around the small businesses and keep them afloat during this horrific time for businesses. 

     Churches were actually putting feet to their faith and began reaching out past their walls into their communities and sharing the love of Jesus through actually feeding the hungry and helping the needy. Watching Believers in Jesus out in the streets having worship and baptisms and sharing the message of Jesus in the midst of chaotic and fearful times in our country and world. When many were being told they couldn't gather by those who wished to see churches shut down and God's people silenced, they stood up anyway and boldly walked out their commitment to Jesus and remained obedient to who God calls us to be, especially in the midst of darkness. God's Children were busy shining a light.

     On the other side of the spectrum, I saw the ugliness of hearts surface. I saw people who can't tolerate anyone else's way of thinking, destroying people's businesses, towns, livelihoods. I watched as people would physically attack those who thought differently than them. Hate spewed out of the mouths of children who have been taught that everyone is out to get them. I've watched people lie and use other people to push an agenda meant to destroy all that is good. I have listened to dangerous rhetoric repeated over and over again until people simply believe it because they've heard it so much. The list goes on really. The condition of man's heart has been on full display both good and bad this past year. ... And I'm sure 2021 will be much of the same.

     So no resolutions this year but I ran across this verse one day and I decided that THIS will be my focus this year: 

"For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

You do not delight in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, 

A broken and a contrite heart - 

these, O God, You will not despise."

Psalm 51:16-17

     Staying humble isn't easy is it sweet friends? But it is necessary to living a life that truly pleases God and a life that is full of peace. And we need BOTH of those things today don't we? The world will be how the world will be. God warned us about the direction it was going and He's told us to stand strong and hold to our faith. The only thing we CAN control in this life is our relationship with Jesus. 

     I believe that now more than ever, we need to be extra diligent in loving our Savior. We are being tested now and will continue to be tested in the days ahead. Our commitment to serving Jesus with our lives, our knowledge of what God really says versus what we "think" He says, and our ability to stand up to the Enemy of Christ without cowering or backing down will all be determined in the days ahead.

    We must really know Him sweet friends. The only way to navigate the way ahead, the way that leads to Eternal Life, the way that separates us from the rest of the world... is to really know Him. What we "think" we know, is not enough! We must seek His heart, we must study His Word, and we must be willing to change the things in our minds and lives that do not align with what He tells us to do. It won't be easy, but it is so worth it! Know Him well sweet friends, Know Him Well. oh, and Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Turning back to Egypt

     Lately I've been reading about Moses and the Israelites. It never ceases to amaze me how even though the Israelites came out of captivity and experienced freedom, when life seemed overwhelming on their journey, they wanted to RUN BACK TO THEIR CAPTORS!

     And we can be just like that can't we? We, who have lived under the captivity of the sin in our lives, even though we have laid it down at His feet and repented, and Jesus has washed us clean... we manage to turn back to the very thing that held us in slavery, and run towards it.

     We are NOT supposed to be like that sweet friends! The Israelites  were not supposed to be like that either! Do you know that the trip to the Promised Land should've only taken them 11 days???? Yet it took them 40 YEARS wandering in the desert to get there! Why? Because God does not like our disobedience.

    It's kind of a tough pill to swallow isn't it? I think it's also something that we forget, that God does allow us to go back, to run back to our sin. He allows us to choose freedom or slavery. And... He allows us to face the consequences of our decisions. The Truth is sweet friends, God does not want us to turn back to our sin. He wants us to realize our sin is painful and He wants us to want to be free from it. God has so many wonderful things for us to learn and experience with Him and He wants us to walk away from ANYTHING that would hinder our relationship with Him.

    That's what sin does, it separates us from God. How often do we shrug off our sin like it's really no big deal? Oh it is a huge deal sweet friends! Sin leads us to death! An eternity spent apart from Jesus! That's serious! God is so merciful to us and we need to humble our hearts and thank Him for His mercy towards us when we treat Him so carelessly with our lives. And we need to intentionally walk in His grace daily, turning our hearts away from the things that break His. Striving to love Him with everything that we are.

                                                  Your sin will always call you back...
                                    but Jesus is calling you to walk forward in freedom.
                           And the choice is completely up to you sweet friends! love you -d

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Quick Devotional Thought: James 1:27


"unspotted from the world" Wow, that's a powerful statement isn't it? I stopped and thought about this verse for a bit, ya know, back in Bible times... people still struggled with all the SAME SINS that we struggle with today. We might have more variations, but the same sins have been around since the beginning of time, there's really nothing new. But back then, or really, even say 20 years ago things weren't as "in your face" or "everywhere you look" as they are now.     Our world is very much "consumed" with sin so to speak. I asked God, "Is it even possible for us to be unspotted by this world today?" honestly, deep down I think I was somewhat hoping for a pass of some sort, but there it was, loud and clear, a voice I have come to know well, He said. "Yes, it is."
I felt a deep conviction in my heart and yes, I knew that "of course it is". We can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives us strength right? But it is such a humbling thought realizing that I need to do better in not being "spotted" by this world I live in.
I love how the Holy Spirit works, my husband stopped by the house later in the day for a little break and we were talking and HE brought up how he was feeling convicted that we need to tighten up our boundaries in our home again because of what he had been noticing in his own life and sensing in the Spirit. Isn't that awesome?
       The TRUTH is sweet friends, it is NOT easy being "unspotted" by this world, but.... it IS what God calls us to do. He wants a bride who is wearing white, not spotted and blemished. Righteousness is NOT easy, frankly, it's what a "living sacrifice" actually looks like. We SACRIFICE a lot. but we do it for such a great purpose... to be holy and pleasing to God. The benefits far outweigh whatever earthly things we might miss out on.
      So here's the hardest simple goal I've ever made lol: I must DO BETTER. I already know as I press on towards this goal.. there will be things I will need to give up, there will be opportunities I will willingly need to pass by, there will be heart and attitude adjustments that I will need to make... all in order to live my life according to God's will. And even though I know it will hurt, not all things, but some... I am willing to lay it down at His feet, because I choose to love Him MORE than anything that could tarnish my soul. He is worth it! I love you sweet friends, I hope you will join me in this journey of loving Jesus more.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Politics: How do we know what is RIGHT?

     What a crazy time we are living in right now huh? One for the History books for sure! Of course, we've had a lot of those "History book moments" over the last few years haven't we? Honestly, as a Believer, I'm not in shock that we've had a lot of noteworthy, surprising twists and turns in our world are you? I mean, if we've read the Bible at all we shouldn't be surprised at the events going on around us. God told us many things were going to happen, we just are unaware at the rate of speed at which they will happen....But.... things are speeding up aren't they? Sometimes I am amazed at how quickly things have evolved over the last 10 years, 3 years, this year. I'm sure you've noticed it too.
 
    We don't know the hour or day that Jesus will come back to get us, and we don't have to know, we just have to be ready! But God didn't tell us the things to watch out for in the world around us, the signs that time is nearing, for us just to ignore them did He? No. He wants us to be diligent and pay attention. Why? So many reasons...

          1. They are reminders for us that He IS coming back to take His People Home. Time to get serious about our relationship with Him. We MUST choose this day who we will serve. We must take what He did for us seriously and we need to walk away from the bondage of sin in our lives. Too many people who "claim" to be "Christians" are merely playing a role and not wholly surrendered to Jesus who died for them. This IS a big deal sweet friends. In order to really ACCEPT what Jesus did for us on the cross and accept eternity with Him, we must fully ACCEPT everything that He is. We can't pick and choose to be obedient "somewhat" or decide we only want to believe that God loves us and it doesn't matter to Him how we live... In order to really ACCEPT Jesus as your Lord, you must KNOW HIM AND OBEY HIS WORD. It IS that simple. It's NOT easy, but it is that simple. If we don't think it matters how we live our lives in disobedience to God just because we believe that He died on the cross for us... then we don't know our Bible, we don't know His heart, we don't know Him. There is FORGIVENESS and REDEMPTION for the Child of God... but we MUST walk in His GRACE....daily. (look up scriptures on salvation, grace, living for God...)

          2. The signs around us are also a reminder that people need Jesus. People we love, people we know, people we cross paths with... who have no hope, who don't know peace, who are afraid. We have OPPORTUNITY right now, before it's too late, to share the TRUTH of Jesus with people. The thing about signs and wonders, and even the destruction of things as the world spirals down into darkness, is that these things tend to expose the real FEAR that people with no hope have. The panic over... climate change, the unpredictability of strange weather patterns, strange animal behavior, things unearthed that have no reasonable explanation. All things talked about in the Bible... but they don't know these things. These things are very real but Children of God are able to REST in the fact that God is in control of a dying Earth, the Earth WILL pass away. God is in control of things that we don't understand and we can have peace in the midst of a falling world. But to those who do not know HIM... they cannot control what they do not understand and it is terrifying as they try to save themselves, the people they love, the planet.... and THEY can't. But we can offer HOPE and PURPOSE and LIFE.... in Jesus. We need to see these days we are living in, no matter how short or long they are.... as OPPORTUNITIES to LOVE our neighbor and speak TRUTH and HOPE and LIFE to them.

        3. Now here's where we talk about Politics. The signs of the times are a reminder that there is an ENEMY at work in our world. This is talked about SO MANY TIMES in the Bible. Satan and his demons are EVERYWHERE and we are FOOLISH to dismiss this. We as Children of God do not need to live in FEAR of these demonic entities (unless we are living in disobedience to God, then... we are giving them leverage in our lives!) but we need to recognize that they are constantly WORKING a Plan... to steal, kill, and destroy. ALWAYS.  We must be wise sweet friends, this is no little thing. We are in a battle between good and evil, between light and darkness, and whether we like it or not.... POLITICS IS IMPORTANT for the BELIEVER. Nations rise and fall based on politics. SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. It's no different now. We cannot shy away from politics. We must SEEK GOD in HIS WILL for the land. It does not mean that we will always see what God desires for us working out in the world we live in, if that were the case, then there wouldn't be an end times... God wouldn't get to the place where He is DONE watching and comes back for us. right? But it doesn't change the fact that God EXPECTS His Children to STAND FIRM for TRUTH and for what is RIGHT. ALWAYS. There will ALWAYS be CONFLICT. When God tells us "If MY people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, then I will hear from Heaven, and heal their land"... We are and WILL CONTINUE TO BE in a constant battle of turning from wicked ways so that God can heal our land. The world will always push for wicked ways.. no brainer. But WE are seeing those wicked ways creeping into our Churches and being used to PUSH Wickedness forward. We must FIGHT against that and we can do that by shining a light in politics. Getting involved with our voices in pushing back against what the Enemy is using among the "Christian" community. He's crafty, he's smart, and he's been deceiving people for AGES. This is a game, and Satan is really good at it. We must be wiser and smarter... and BOLDER. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians, do not want to have anything to do with politics, they have opinions of course, but would rather remain quiet and not cause conflict of any kind.... this is NOT God's heart. We are to try to live peaceably with everyone however until we are all in Heaven... this will not happen. God's peace exposes the darkness. God's peace busts up the work of the Enemy and brings freedom. There is a BIG difference between being a PEACEMAKER and KEEPING PEOPLE HAPPY.  God calls us to be peacemakers in this world... and a lot of times... it's ugly, and full of opposition because the Enemy... does not want God's peace brought into any situation. So do not fear sweet friends, you do not have to run for an office, but you need to be bold in standing for truth and speaking up so that others can hear where YOU CHILD OF GOD, stand and why. You might just make a big difference!

     We cannot forget that God calls for UNITY within the BODY OF CHRIST. The REAL Body of Christ.... not people who simply claim to be but those who are HIS. We should be on the same page, of one mind... one body moving the exact same direction. It's scary to hear "children of God" on two opposite sides of the fence on topics, both thinking it's God's will.  It's not. God has never been, is not now, nor ever will be... divided. WE are allowing the division. The author of confusion... is Satan, not God. We are divided on issues because we are not all IN JESUS. PERIOD. This is a crucial part of being a Child of God sweet friends. We MUST KNOW HIM WELL and BE IN TUNE WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT Who will unify us as the Body so that we can move forward together accomplishing GOD's purposes here on Earth.

     Personal story: So I did NOT like Donald Trump at all when I found out he was running for President. I couldn't really stand him and I was really frustrated that he was running. There were a couple candidates that I sort of liked, but I didn't feel a peace about anyone really. Time was getting closer to election and some of the candidates had dropped out and I just couldn't decide who to vote for so I prayed (should've done that WAY sooner...just saying) and I asked God who He wanted me to vote for and it was an instant answer : Donald Trump. And I was like WHAT????? "Donald Trump" and I know the voice of God, I was a little confused because it was unexpected but I said... "ok".  Because I KNOW the Voice of God in my life. So I started actually listening to Trump.. and even though yes his style is different... his words resonated and in my spirit I began to understand why God was going to use this man. IN MY SPIRIT.... see the HOLY SPIRIT works like that...FOR ALL OF US. .. IF we let Him. The amazing thing is that ever since that day, for the last 4 years, I have heard other Believers testifying to listening to the Holy Spirit over the President. I have heard AMAZING things about what took place in Israel during the election of our President (pretty amazing and prophetic...) I've heard about things that I HAD NO IDEA were happening with other Believers over this entire election process but you know what???? It WAS THE EXACT SAME SPIRIT WORKING THE EXACT SAME THING IN ALL OF US AND WE WERE'NT EVEN AWARE OF EACH OTHER!!! THAT is the BODY of CHRIST! AMAZING!!!!  His ways are not our ways and we need to remember this. He is God and we are not. He will NEVER stray away from His Word but we need to know His voice. He tells us that over and over in His Word and it's so important for times such as these. We don't have to understand what He is doing, we don't even have to like it... BUT... what is the cost for us to IGNORE His Voice?  God taught me a huge lesson through the last election. I've watched God use this man to tear down demonic strongholds in our country and if you cannot see the spiritual warfare that is taking place right in front of our faces pretty much on a daily basis then.... you're missing the spiritual stuff friends. There is a HUGE battle going on in the spiritual realm over our country and it's time we WAKE UP.

     We are in a trying time right now in our country with viruses and quarantines. It can be hard for a Child of God to KNOW what the right thing to do is. So many people right now Christian and Secular alike are fighting over opening up or shutting down. Vaccines no vaccines, ect. So what do we do? What is right? I want you to be encouraged sweet friends.... WE know the ONE who knows. Right? There is so much FEAR gripping the hearts of the people all over the globe, and it is scary times we are living in but Oh Child of God... He holds us in His hands. All we need to do is SEEK HIM. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide YOU. If we can place our trust in HIM and SEEK Him for direction... we will be okay. No matter what happens in this world... He's got us. But it IS so important that we seek Him BECAUSE there ARE things that WE are UNAWARE of... remember that WE HAVE AN ENEMY... that does not sit dormant and who is tirelessly working against us... The ENEMY'S plan is at work as well.

     Here's what I think: God did not create this virus. (He is capable of plagues right? but He did not create this. This is NOT His work.) So this virus was manmade. Now God can and DOES work things out for good for those that love Him (awesome!) but this TERRIBLE thing did not come from God. Who is behind it? Regardless of what "man" created it... I believe as always, the Enemy is behind awful things to whatever purpose. I believe that there is immense wisdom in keeping people safe from this awful thing. I am thankful for the quarantine time that we have already had. I believe that it has been good to provide safety and get a handle on this pandemic. I also believe that we have seen how God can take something bad and work it for good. What a blessing it has been for so many families to have this time. What a blessing it's been for a lot of us to take a look at our lives and reevaluate what's important. I believe it's been a great way for God to work in churches... building up those who seek Him and tearing down those who don't. God can work all things for good! I also believe that the Enemy is at work as well. Not every home is happy. Not everyone is safe. There is fear and depression. A lot of very bad things are happening and being released as well during this time. I believe as Children of God, we must SEEK GOD and listen to the HOLY SPIRIT for direction. ONLY God knows and sees the whole picture. The ENEMY is not being idle right now... sometimes in neutralizing, it provides the best TIME to move forward with a plan with no resistance. right? We must be diligent in seeking God's plan over our own ideas of what might be best and safest. We must be of ONE MIND. ONE BODY OF CHRIST. I do not know what the best plan of action is but I do know WHO does. So I will commit to seeking HIS will daily and doing my best to follow the Holy Spirit's lead in what to speak and what to support and what not to. There are A LOT of loud voices in this world today... I think ours should be louder. Not out of hate or anger... but full of TRUTH. We must FIGHT sweet friends. The Enemy is after your family, your friends, your neighbors... Fight Child of God. Rise up and FIGHT! The battle belongs to the Lord! We are His!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Quick Devotional Thoughts: Psalm 27:1


I think it's probably safe to say that at some point in the last few months, we have all experienced a little fear in the days we are facing right now.. some maybe a lot of fear. I have watched the world around me and noticed all different levels of fear that are very present in the midst of the unknown. BUT... I have also witnessed incredible bravery and courage and hope in the midst of all this darkness. Amazing. As a Believer I am so thankful that I have a HOPE and a SECURITY that no matter what happens in this world or to me... God is in charge and I get to REST in that fact that I am NOT in control. Sometimes we like to fight for control don't we? I've been there. But really, isn't it amazing that WE don't HAVE to be in control of this and we don't have to fix it... we just have to do OUR part and Trust God. I love that! I pray for those in our government that have to make the decisions of what is best for our country...  I would not want their jobs! I pray that they are seeking God in their decisions and that God would give them peace and us peace as we move forward into the unknown. My heart breaks as I see those who do not trust in Jesus, I see the panic and fear and anger and my heart hurts for them. It must be so terrifying to live in such fear. This verse is a beautiful reminder for times like these. It's also a good reminder in the day and age we are living in as well. Ya know, it's so interesting reading throughout many MANY places in the Bible, about how rampant demons were among the people. It's crazy to me how many times it talks about Jesus going into a city or a lot of times the (church) and casting out demons! Demons were everywhere ...back then... so how much more do you think they are around today? Crazy thought huh? Not really. I think maybe we've kinda tricked ourselves in believing that demons don't really exist anymore, because.. well we don't want them to do we? lol... but it doesn't change the TRUTH that demonic influence is so much more evident in the world today. During the times we are living in, throughout the world, in politics deciding what we are willing to embrace, in our churches deciding what we are willing to compromise and embrace, demons are after our children tormenting them, they are after our families and friends working hard to destroy them with addictions, depression, fear.... I believe it confirms that time is drawing near and Satan and his demons are working overtime to deceive as many as possible... and it is working.  There is no longer a fear of the Lord among "Christians" and because of that, people are being led astray by the Enemy in droves. Deception is a scary thing, it knocks out all common sense and leaves you standing there defending your foolishness with a fiery passion. There is no hope in changing a fool's mind UNLESS they turn to Jesus.
    The Lord is my LIGHT in a very dark, very deceived, very dangerous world..BUT I am NOT afraid! Greater is He that is in me, than he that is the world! Stay strong sweet friends and DO NOT FEAR!

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