Friday, September 21, 2012

When God Says Move

Genesis 12:1

1The Lord had said to to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.

I had been referencing the story of Abraham each time I was asked why I was moving. And my response has been, "When God says move, you move." I always reference the story of Abraham especially when I get the blank look.  The Lord hit me with something so deep yesterday on the train. "What if Abraham hadn't been obedient to the Lord?" I had an "oh my" moment out loud on the train because it hit like a sack of bricks. Abraham didn't ask questions. He just went. But what if he didn't go and was fixed on staying where he was and what he was doing at that moment?  What if he continued to ask God questions when He could've been moving? What if he said, sure Lord I'll get to it and never did? God showed me that Abraham wouldn't have been the father of many nations. He wouldn't have been promised the land that the Israelites later occupied. There would be no Isaac nor Jacob whom God renamed Israel and from him came twelve tribes. There would be no Israel and there would be no Ruth, no David, no Solomon and no earthly born Jesus though He existed in Spirit and no salvation for us Gentiles. All mentioned came from Abraham's obedience. I now understand why so many scriptures make reference to Abraham's obedience. When God says you must move forward, there's no time to look back and say but I want to stay where I am. I'll stay just a little longer. You have no idea what your obedience means, who benefits and what God will birth from it be it literally or figuratively. I thank God for Abraham's obedience as well as each and every man and woman who listened and obeyed God from that point on. We all benefited. Next time God tells you to MOVE FORWARD, think about Abraham and what won't happen through you and for you because you're unwilling to move.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The One You Fear

Isaiah 8:13
13The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread,

Both houses of Israel, Judah and Israel, relied on Assyria and feared Assyria. Yet the Lord sent the prophet Isaiah to remind them that it is only the Lord himself whom they ought to regard as such. Has much changed? Too many rely on man and fear man more than the Lord who gives them breath. They don't fear the Lord who has the ability to give, sustain and take life. When appearance by man's standards means more than the Lord Almighty, there is an imbalance. When fear of failure is more important than the Lord's will there is an imbalance. When fear of non-acceptance by man or group of people is more important than the Lord's will again, there is an imbalance. Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew 10:28 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."  Your final destination is determined by God himself. It may seem far fetched to you if a man is holding a gun to your head but if you have a right relationship with the Lord, then you know no matter what, you will see the face of Jesus. However, if you let man dictate your outcomes rather the Lord as did Assyria, when you are in deep trouble, man will not be able to pull you out. Only the Lord will be able to deliver you. Israel experienced it over and over. Many times they made alliances with Assyria and Egypt for what they thought were their sources of living. But soon those alliances turned to dust and the Assyrians and Egyptians made war with Israel. Israel had to cry out to the Lord to save them. In what ways or situations have you feared man rather than the Lord? Wasn't it the Lord who came to your aid when man turned on you?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Defining Your Relationship and State of Being

John 15:15
15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.  I have called you friends, for everything that I have learned from my Father I have made known to you.

When you think of defining yourself and your relationship with Christ how would you do so? As Jesus said to the disciples so He says to those who love Him and walk in His counsel, you are a friend. You know how Jesus defines the relationship He desires to have with you but what words would you use to define your relationship with Him? In church we've studied the names of God. There are many names to define God. To define something as said by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary means to 1) set forth the meaning of, 2) to fix or mark the limits of 3) to clarify in outline or character. So to define your relationship means to give it meaning and character. Just like there are names to define God so we define ourselves. Many define themselves apart from God when He desires to be one with you and wants you to walk in how He defines you as you are His creation. As you become one with Him, how you define your relationship with Him will change and therefore how you define yourself will change.

In the Spanish language there are two verbs to represent "to be" or the state of being something. Ser for a permanent state of being and estar for a temporary state. For instance 'I am tired' is 'Estoy consada' from the verb estar because it's temporary and can change. But 'I am a sailor' is 'Soy marinero'  from the verb ser and considered to be something about you that won't change at least not anytime in the near future. No, this is not about a Spanish lesson but to understand how you define you and your relationship with Christ is wonderfully illustrated by how these verbs are used. Many define themselves by their titles, jobs, marital status and bank account. But when you are in relationship with Christ He simply defines you as friend. The bells and whistles are not necessary because God knew you before you were formed as stated in Jeremiah 1:5 and he knit you together as stated in Psalm 139:13. He knows everything about you. There's no need for pretense with Christ and our Heavenly Father. There's no need to boast about your current state of being. For one, God can change everything in an instant because He is sovereign. Therefore, other than how He defines you, everything else is temporary.

Remember to check out my girl Stubbs of the Leap of Faith Show on the Leap of Faith Network on from 6-9am ET and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment! I will also be on the Leap of Faith Show live on Monday, October 8th!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Has Jesus Said You Will Return?

Luke 22:31-32
31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

Simon Peter's denial of Jesus was indeed prophesied. But did you know that it was all part of the plan? Just as in Job, Satan had to have permission to test Simon Peter. Jesus knew that Simon Peter would deny him but he also knew that after Simon's stumble, he would come back. The test would make Simon Peter realize just how much he loved Jesus and would be willing to fight for Jesus' cause. Are you wondering if Satan has asked for permission to test you? If you have truly confessed to be a follower of Christ and attempt to walk in it, then yes. The question is are you in that testing period right now? If so, then chances are you have a choice to make as to whether you will abandon your faith in Jesus and live like you don't know Him or cling to Him and leave behind the way you were. It can be scary when you realize that you are in a test. But a line that came from Devil's Advocate over and over by Kevin Lomax and his wife Meredith says it all, " It's like it's one big test." And the answer from one of Satan's henchmen, "Isn't everything?" Has Jesus said to Satan that you will return to Him?

Remember to check out my man V of the Artist to Artist Show on on Mondays and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment!