Friday, September 13, 2013

The Will of the Lord

Ephesians 5:17-20

17Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So how do you understand what the will of the Lord is? In order to understand the Lord's will you must be in communication with Him through prayer and be willing to stop and listen to what He says through His Holy Spirit. Sounds easy enough right? Many pray but don't take time to hear what the Lord is saying back. Yes, the Lord speaks but we do not always perceive as said in the book of Job. The Lord speaks in many ways. The way to be wise is to understand His will. Without the will of the Lord, the only wisdom one has is what they have learned from the world and how they see themselves in their own mind. But then is there anything that hinders you from understanding the will of the Lord? In this case, the apostle Paul is saying that being drunk hinders. And it does because one becomes under the influence of wine and spirits. Liquor stores sometimes have the "wine and spirits" listed because alcohol can alter a person. If you are altered and under the influence of something else, how can you hear and understand the will of the Lord? Alcohol isn't the only thing that can hinder one from understanding the will of the Lord. Whatever is your distraction whether food, phone, TV, a person,etc..whatever gets you so consumed.

Did you know the Lord can use music as part of His will? Yes, music sets the tone. Music brings about different feelings and can minister/encourage someone. It can be used to give praise to the Lord which is the primary purpose. A psalm is a song. David wrote many psalms. Before he was king, David used to play the harp to combat the evil spirit that would come upon King Saul. Music can be used to combat the enemy as David demonstrated. It is often used in worship service to break up the ground so when the preached word comes through God's servant, it will be received. The Lord can use someone to bring forth a particular song that someone or group needs to hear at a particular time. Do not take for granted when it said, "there is a song in my heart". It's there for a purpose. It is not for showcasing or showboating. It is all about encouraging as the Lord deems. I have been singing in church since I was baptized at age 16. The first time the Holy Spirit came upon in song I was 16yrs old. A heat that I cannot describe rose in my throat and head and as I briefly looked out on the congregation, the Holy Spirit made His way through the congregation. I was scared because no one told me it was possible. But the song wasn't for them, I was singing to the Lord. When I sing, it is not about my glory but rather His glory. I imagine I am before His face and want to give Him all I have. I love the Lord.

P.S. You now have two invitations. You have one for my home church, City of Restoration Christian Center's "Reviving the Fire" for September 25-27 at 7pm nightly. And you also have the DC Community Book Signing & Reading/Q&A I will be doing on October 5th from 2-4pm. I look forward to seeing you!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shake it Off!

Matthew 10:14

14And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake the dust from your feet.

God is very serious about the value and ability to hear. Jesus was sending the twelve disciples out to those that were lost. And He gave clear instructions on what to do. By the way, even those of us who are in Jesus can be lost when we fail to do what God has said to do.  Jesus knew that some would not receive the disciples coming in His name just as they don't always receive Jesus. But Jesus gave instructions on this too. When the disciples depart from wherever God has sent them, those who do not receive them, shake the dust off their feet. In other words, it is no longer their concern. And on the day of judgement they will be dealt with. Did you know that Jesus can send anyone who is His follower? Yes, He can send you or I.  Did you know that judgement for refusal to hear the word of God and for not receiving the one Jesus sent isn't always reserved for the last day? The Lord can send anyone to give a timely word to an individual, a house or a city and if it is not received after being tested by the spirit as the word says, then it is not the fault of the one who brought the word of God but rather fault is on the one who refused to hear. And whatever consequence that comes for refusing that word is stamped.

Should the Lord ever send you and someone refuses to hear, shake it off! Should the Lord ever send someone to you and you refuse to hear, then they are to shake it off! And from that point on, it is between you and the Lord when that judgement comes which most who refuse to hear don't know when the judgement is coming unless He commanded someone to say it but you can never say HE did not speak.

P.S. I want to give a HUGE thank you to Natalie Dean, Founder of Whine & Cheese as well as Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Terri Dean, for allowing God to use you to help women of all facets! I am excited about our partnership and writing for yet another group across the country!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Delaying Your Own Blessing

Hebrews 3:7-8

7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, 8Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of the trial in the wilderness.

Did you know that when the Israelites were in the desert they were in a trial? It was a long trial as it took 40years for them to go just a few steps. But God didn't keep them there just because He had nothing better to do. The Israelites delayed their own blessing by an entire generation due to their rebellion and grumbling. Can you imagine waiting 40years for something God promised you because you hardened your heart? It wasn't that God didn't want to give it to you but that you failed to be in the right position spiritually and physically to receive your blessing. Are you in a desert right now? How many years have you been there? Note that God still provided for the Israelites while they were in the desert but Moses spent so much time before God's face to keep back wrath because they were that rebellious regardless of how many times God performed miracles. God is still providing for you in your desert. The desert for each person is different. It's whatever aspect of your life that could be filled with God's favor or double portion of grace that simply is not.

Many take for granted the ability to hear God through the Holy Spirit. But what will happen when He goes quiet:? What will you do? To be able to hear God through the Holy Spirit is a precious gift. But when a gift goes unused or unopened, it can be taken away. What does it mean to hear? Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines hear as 1) to perceive by the ear; 2) to gain knowledge of by hearing: learn; 3) heed: also attend; 4) to give a legal hearing to or take testimony from. If you have the ability to hear God through His Holy Spirit, through His word count it as more precious than rubies. Count it as pearls that you find hidden in clam shells. But more importantly, do as the Holy Spirit instructs before He takes away your ability to hear.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Seek the Right Favor

Proverbs 19:6
6 Many entreat the favor of the nobility, and every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.

King Solomon spoke of how many seek to be liked by who is considered to be in high standing or ranking leadership in the world. People seek their favor. But what about seeking the favor of God? God is higher than any man on earth.  Did you know that if you are obedient to God that you will have favor with both Him and man? His word is clear on that. But many are just happy to please who has a title. A title does not make a man great. What is in his heart and if he seeks the Lord makes him great. God will utilize him and show up in such a way that you will know God resides in him. If you reside in GOD, you are noble. His word says we are royal priesthood. So walking in HIM means you have nobility. According to the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, nobility is the quality or state of being noble 2) nobles considered as forming a class. Noble is defined as illustrious, famous, notable 2) of high rank, birth or station  3) excellent 4)stately 5) of a superior nature.

Yes HE will cause men to give to your bosom as the word says. The favor of God is greater than what any ONE man can give. Let God work in you and HIS favor also known as a double portion of grace, will be so evident that lost and wayward men will want to know God.