Tuesday, April 19, 2011

He calms my raging sea.

I was talking with my friend Marvin yesterday, and I started to tell him about a story that has been on my heart a lot lately. I was discussing with him about the story found in Mark 35:41. The Jesus and the disciples are in a boat and a bad storm hits. The disciples are really scared and Jesus is sleeping. The men are worried this is the end, and Jesus is asleep. so of course they wake Him up and say Hey don't you care if we die?! and Jesus calms the wind and sea and says to them "Why were you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?"... and they amazed.  Wow, even the winds obey him!

That is and AMAZING story in itself, but the part that follows it next is whats been getting to me lately.

they simply finish their trip across the lake. When they get to the other side a demon possessed man approaches them. He starts to shout (or well,the demons in him) at Jesus... and they know who He is, and they know why he is there. Jesus demands they come out of the man. There is more to the story, and I suggest you read it, but here is my point:

Before every mighty move of the Lord, there is resistance from the enemy.
he tries to instill fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)
he tries to distract.(Colossians 3:2)
he tries to condemn (Romans 8:1)

Fear is a perceived loss of control. Perceived.  Therein lies the problem. Brothers and Sisters, give up on the notion that you have any control. God is on the Throne for a reason, He has all the control. Lets all be honest with ourselves... it would be horrible if we had control. Rely on the sovereignty of God. Remember Jeremiah 29:11, and Romans 8:28. Probably two of the most quoted verses in the Bible. God's plans are GOOD, he wants good things for us, all things work together for good to those who love Him. Don't allow fear in, we were not given a spirit of fear. God cares for us, and He alone is in control.

Then there is distraction. Honestly one of satan's deadliest tools. He distracts us with things that are obviously sinful to us and then also things that seem okay to us. (there is a way that seems right to a man and at the end of that road is death, read your Proverbs!) So maybe its too much tv, the friends you hang out with, facebook...Its different for everyone, but be vigilant, when the Lord is about to move in your life the distractions will come. Jesus was tempted and distracted by the devil in the desert, while he was fasting, just before he was crucified. He knew the scripture and denied satan. Know what is written.

For many people condemnation will come. Satan will war with your spirit and tell you that you're hopeless, youre not good enough, youve made to many mistakes, God doesn't like you or even love you. let me tell you there is no condemnation in Christ, and those are all lies. But theyre lies we buy into and they hurt, a lot. A friend of mine once said "God loves you so much, and guess what? He doesn't just love you... He likes you, God likes you. He delights in you" The word love appears over 300 times in scripture. Your creator LOVES you. He died for you, and if you're saying "God couldn't and doesn't love me and there is no way he would ever forgive my sins" Then you're calling Him and His son liars.

.... so before there is about to be a mighty work of God in your life often there is this storm of fear, raging winds of distraction and a sea of hopelessness, and condemnation. If you are a vessel for the Lord, allow Him to calm your seas.  Pray, stay focused on the Lord.

"Submit yourselves to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This was an incredible weekend, and this evening was a wonderful way to end it (even though Sunday is technically the first day of the week.) let me tell you about what was on my mind this week..

the word on my heart for about the last ten days has been "striving".  The definition of the word is "To make great efforts to achieve or obtain something". I thought about how often people strive toward their careers, relationships, possessions, outward appearance, and many other things. I also thought about how I don't feel much sense of peace in the word. 

I wondered why I kept thinking of this word, and I began to examine my life. What is it that I am "striving" for? well I have my list, just like anyone else, of possible distractions. Am I trying to hard to obtain possessions? Am I using to much effort toward a relationship? I couldn't figure it out... why was I so concerned with this word, and why wouldnt it leave me alone. It wasnt until late last week that I began to see martha and mary EVERYWHERE. There were references to their story all of the place, and that caught my attention.

Their story can be found in luke 10: 38-42.

Rachel's version: Jesus comes into town and goes to their home. Martha welcomes Jesus into her home and begins to work and work and work for him. Meanwhile, her sister, Mary is sitting by Jesus's feet listening to him, in His presence, talk to him...enjoying a relationship with him. Martha goes to Jesus, I imagine her very annoyed and says something along the lines of..."dont you care that I have to do everything all on my own, tell her to get in here an help me!" (basically) and Jesus says to martha.."Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her" 

the thing that I realized is although what were doing my seem good, don't miss the relationships. Don't work so hard that you forget to enjoy the presence of the Lord. Don't let worry and distractions (even if they are "ministries") take the place of just sitting with your Saviour. He loves you, he desires a relationship with you. works and deeds, and everything else will come when we put our relationship with HIM first, and it wont be something you have to strive for. Of course there will be difficult times, and times you feel like you're pushing against the wind, but there will still be peace, because your communion with your God is not broken. 

delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

and when you delight yourself in Him, guess what? He becomes, even more so, the desire of your heart. Its beautiful. Its not about striving, instead pursuing a relationship with Jesus, who is ALREADY pursuing you, and just sitting as His feet, listening to Him. When your priority is a relationship with Him, everything else will fall in line. Know Him. 

soo.... speaking of relationship, little random thought here... take it or leave it.. 

Relationships are so so valuable. Its a concern to me that we ignore, abuse and manipulate them. We need each other. In Genesis it says that God said it was not good for man to be alone so he made him a help meet. Do I think that this means man needs women? heck yeah. But I also think that it means we need each other. we need to cherish and love each other. We are brothers and sister in Christ.

One thing I've been thinking about recently is some advice I was given. First of let me start by saying I absolutely love the person who gave me this advice, but I considered it and formed a little bit of a different opinion on it than they have... 

It was suggested to me that in a relationship a women should play simple games, not anything mean or super manipulative, but just little games because people like that. But then I thought about how our relationship with a man is symbolic of Christ and the Church. Christ would never play hard to get, nor does playing hard to get with Christ make him love me or desire me anymore than he already does. My purposeful absence from his presence doesn't improve our relationship, he never manipulated the church and any attempt from the church to manipulate Him would fail. Its just that I think we sometimes consider things a little less sacred than they truly are, and value people a little less than we should when we intentionally choose to play games with them. I understand the idea that men love the chase, and i get the argument for playing games, I'm not judging you if you do... but because I understand the purity of the way Jesus pursues his Bride (endlessly, without hesitation, or need of a reason other than his passionate love for her) and the bride (thats us, church) desires and longs for her groom, i don't think that in the relationship God intends for me to be in I will have to play games. I don't think that manipulative is a solid foundation for a marriage.  just my random thought for the day. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My heart.

You know that feeling you get when you have a really big crush on or are in  love with someone? You're constantly wanting to talk to them or about them, you want to be around them, telling people about them. You're willing to sacrifice your happiness for theirs. That person consumes your every thought and preoccupies your motivations... Thats what its like to be obsessed, and thats how I feel about God. 

I can't explain it to you completely. I just feel like my heart could jump out of my chest. I think about Him, I read His word and I talk to Him and I only continue to want more. To know him more, to seek Him more, to clear the clutter out of my life and make room for Him. I thought that I was hungry before, but I'm hungrier every day. I'm desperate for Him.  The more I seek Him, The less anything in this world satisfies me. 

God's word says "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:4

He is my hearts desire.

I know this wont makes sense to a lot of people, including Christian friends, but I'm just completely in awe of Him. His mercy, love, grace, kindness.. its all more than I can even begin to understand. I want His perfect will in my life, I want His complete control over my life. I pine after living righteously, and not because I'm obligated, but because I WANT to, I CHOOSE to please Him with my words, thoughts and actions. 

I choose to die daily, to pick up my cross and follow HIM like a lovesick bride follows her groom. 

when you stop focusing on the world around you, and you start focusing on the LORD. When your motivation comes not from pleasing your friends or even your family but after pursuit of God your desires WILL change. 

"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29:13

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sound the trumpet.

so there was a prophecy by Bob Jones about 20 years ago. He stated that there would be three earthquakes in California, two of which have already happened. He said that we would not have to worry about the devastating earthquake until a large earthquake hit Japan. his prophecy was that this would cause economic crisis. I'm not telling you this to panic you, but to wake you up. Wake up watchmen, sound your trumpet.  Intercede like Abraham did for Sodom. Ask God to break your heart for what is breaking His. Ask Him to let you see what He sees. Rend your hearts.

Ezekiel 33:2-12 

2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’
 7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.
 10 “Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’
 12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’

Joel 2:12-17

 12 “Even now,” declares the LORD,
   “return to me with all your heart,
   with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart
   and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
   for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
   and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
   and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
   for the LORD your God.
 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
   declare a holy fast,
   call a sacred assembly.
16 Gather the people,
   consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
   gather the children,
   those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
   and the bride her chamber.
17 Let the priests, who minister before the LORD,
   weep between the portico and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, LORD.
   Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
   a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
   ‘Where is their God?’