The Power of One

2000 years ago, our world was turned upside down by 1 man … Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  One man claiming to be God in flesh created a wave of disruption that challenged the very core of human authority.  Of course, we know that Jesus was ultimately crucified for this bold stance, but we also know that He rose again and conquered death.

I was thinking today about how powerful we are as individuals.  Our tendency is to rely on church organizations to bring revival.  We neglectfully put this responsibility in the hands of the pastor’s, Sunday school teachers, and other church officials to do the job.  However, Jesus was stirring my heart today to consider some different options.  What could He do with just one soul?  I imagined a couple different scenario’s I’d like to share with you.

Imagine a devout Catholic woman … wise in her years.  She’s painstakingly wrestled with the downfalls of life and yet remains faithful to her duties as a wife, as a mother, as a Christian, and as a member of her congregation.  She has known God’s grace and mercy and she has seen His wrath and yet there she stands, a pillar to her family and friends.  She does so with an air of humility that leaves you walking away knowing … there’s something different about her.  Inside her, a spark was ignited long ago.  That spark has grown from a small light to a raging flame inside her as she watches the world around her cave to the realities of a sinful world.  In the privacy of her prayer closet, she has a burden so deep for her lost family members.  A burden for those around her.  A burden for the dry bones that sit in the seats next to her at church.  A burden for the souls that just go through the motions.

What if God decided that the power of that one praying soul was enough to pour out His Holy Spirit on the entire Catholic congregation the next time she was in church?

Imagine a young man having found himself down a path of destruction and rebellion where his spiritual education has been gained by experimenting with drugs and spiritual demons.  He wrestles with depression and no matter what his best intentions are, he can’t seem to let go of the kingdom that Satan has allowed him to create.  Despite what most people believe, it isn’t simply because of the ‘high’ that his flesh gets.  See, in his world, he has seen the hypocrisy that exists everywhere.  He’s listened as so-called ‘good’ teachers speak of things that shouldn’t be spoken to students.  His education of rehabilitation was how to beat the system and continue in drugs.  He’s seen through the lies of government authorities and witnessed firsthand the abuse of power.  He sees authority as nothing more than a good show of lies.  In his world, he doesn’t have to put on a show.  In his world, he doesn’t have to pretend to be good because in his kingdom, they all know that they aren’t.  Instead of fighting to put on a show, they fight to simply survive.

In his world, he sees real men and women struggling.  Struggling with the same things he does … fighting against injustice.  Why bother fighting when it’s just as easy to cave?  If you’re gonna’ be tagged as bad regardless of what you do, it’s easier to trust those that admit they’re on the losing side than with those who try to put on a good show.  But this young man encounters a problem with this route.  He keeps finding that all the things that seemed to matter don’t.  Money doesn’t matter, the thrill of the drugs, the physical pleasure of sex … none of it matters.  It all seems pointless, even in his little kingdom.  He looks at the women who allow themselves to get used and a pit from deep within wells up in him.  He watches the young men around him and he can see, there’s good stuff in there.  These guys would do anything for him.  There is a loyalty that exists in this place that you just don’t find in the world.  It’s a loyalty that says, ‘We’re all f*ck up’s, so let’s just do what we gotta’ do to survive this.  I got your back, man.’  It’s a loyalty that the world doesn’t understand because it’s too busy trying to look good.  But this young man, he knows.  He sees.  He’s experienced it.

From the depths of his soul this young man searches for someone he can trust.  How can he trust anyone?  Who sees what he sees?  His buddies are loyal, but let’s admit it, they’re screwed up.  He’s always been the guy in charge.  His father doesn’t understand his world.  His father doesn’t see what he sees.  His father doesn’t see the loyalty of these guys.  His father hasn’t seen what these guys have been willing to do for him.

This guy is not even sure he would trust God if God showed up in front of him.  So he does what he always does, relies on himself.  He doesn’t know how, but he knows that he can make a difference.  He feels it so deep in his core that it screams at him.  He knows that somehow, it wasn’t supposed to be this way.  He’s angry with the world for shutting out so many, and yet at the same time, he doesn’t trust the world enough to do things their way anyway.  Why would anyone want to submit to a world of hypocrisy?  He doesn’t see himself in bondage.  So he chooses to continue down his path searching for the answer.  He doesn’t even know what it will be, but he’s not ready to let go of his kingdom yet.  Not because of what it does for him, but because he just can’t bring himself to jump into the hypocrisy.  He’s not ready to let go of those that he knows, he can make a difference for.  Somehow, he just knows, he can help these guys.  If he could just find the answer, he knows, he can help these people figure out what really matters.

What if God heard this young man’s soul crying out to be heard and decided to use that  passion to not only lead others out, but turn Satan’s rebellion against the powers of darkness?

Yeh!  That’s what I’m talking about!  The Power of One!  What God can do with just ONE soul!  Never underestimate the power of One!

Jesus went to Hell so we didn’t have to!

There is nothing like the infusion of fresh joy, excitement, and anticipation from missionaries coming in to visit your local church!  Wow!  Like John the Baptist being in prison, sometimes we need to be reminded that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light .. that people are being healed! .. eyes are being opened! .. and that revival has come!

As I listened to his stories, the message I felt so compelled by was an unspoken message.  He never said these words, but it hit my heart like brick .. Jesus went to Hell so we didn’t have to!  The Bible is clear, Jesus died and went to Hell .. stayed there for 3 days .. He took the keys .. then He came back!   He came back and showed us how it is HE who gives life.  It is HE who revives the soul!  It is HE who looks at the roster of Hell and decides who makes the list and who doesn’t.

How many times have we allowed our spirits to be vexed?  How many times have we allowed Satan to take our focus off of the path of Life and pull us into the drudgery of  anger, wrath, apathy, loneliness, bitterness, and all kinds of other ugliness?  Remember the fiery furnace?

Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego were sent to the fiery furnace because they REFUSED to worship anyone other than Almighty God Himself.  The God who delivers!  The God who saves!  So King Nebuchandnezzar not only heats up the fire, but has it heated seven times hotter than normal!  So hot that it burned up the very men who brought them there.  In goes the 3 men and this is my favorite part, check this out …

Daniel 3:27 ‘And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.’

Not only that, but the King saw a 4th, ‘like as the son of the gods.’  Who was it that was there with these men, but Almighty God Himself!

Jesus really did do it all!  It is my belief that His revelation is simply this .. Jesus wants us to LIVE!  When we are cast into the fire, we are NOT in Hell!  He may use those situations to help rid us of sins, transgressions, or wrong thought processes that have attempted to attach themselves to us, but we don’t have to go to Hell!  It is our job to LIVE!

I can’t help but think that this must be what people see in a Holy Ghost, Blood bought, Redeemed soul!  They look at us and they see us, consumed by fire, yet untouched by the flames!  They look at us and they may see our faults,  our flaws, and our struggles, yet they are literally perplexed as they see our overwhelming joy!  And if they aren’t perplexed, then perhaps it’s because YOU haven’t gotten the revelation yet … Jesus died so YOU didn’t have to!

We are consumed by fire, but you know what, God promises LIFE!  JOY!  PEACE!  Yes!  We have things that need to change!  But the beauty of the fire is that God will perfect us.  When we get focused on the dead stuff God is burning off us, we lose sight of the LIFE that we have been granted!  Check your eyesight and if you need glasses, let my words be your lens!

We have God’s resurrection Spirit inside of us and the best part is that when we fulfill the prophesy of joy and focus our intentions on life, we begin to help other people realize, they were never intended for Hell either!  Step up into Life!

Jesus IS the way!  The truth!  AND the Light!

When you fully realize the Power you have in Christ, He leads you into ALL truth.  He will provide what you need.  If you haven’t seen that you need water baptism in Jesus name, He will reveal it.  If you haven’t seen the importance of receiving HIS Spirit, He will show you and provide it for you.  Your job .. turn towards Him with all your heart and be determined to not let anyone or anything get in your way from trusting that it is He who really is God.

Oh Glory!  Jesus, I know that you hear me, but I write this prayer out for the sake of those who are reading these words.  I pray that those that read these words would feel conviction in their Spirit and allow you to revive and refresh their soul!  I pray that my words would resonate within their souls and help them see, you desire LIFE for them.  I pray that you would distinguish for them the difference between their actions that cause death and those that give life!  I pray that you deliver them from the oppressive spirit of unworthiness and any other unclean thought of death that has plagued them.  I pray that you provide what they need and empower them to live in the resurrecting Spirit that you have so freely, and graciously shared with us that they might be a light to others around them.  In Jesus name, AMEN!!

Resting in His hope …

I don’t know if it’s just because I’m seeing progress in a place where I wasn’t sure there was any or if because God has endowed me with an extra portion of faith and hope, but I truly have an optimism for the future.

The messages haven’t changed .. I still recognize the constant barrage of ‘fear tactics’ from the ‘enemy.’  I still see the dreadful things that are happening all around the world.  I watch and pray for Israel as it continues to get bombed.  And still, the message of hope is there.

I know we are on the cusp of something great, and potentially terrifying, and still .. I have hope.

Maybe we are decades away still from Jesus’ return or perhaps it could happen within the next year.  But it honestly doesn’t matter because right now .. I have hope.

What a blessed thing it is!  I’m so thankful for God and His glorious ways.  I’m so thankful for His Holy Spirit that continues to work on me .. challenge after challenge growing and changing me.  Keeping me moving forward.  Keeping me on the path towards His righteousness.

Every once in a while He gives you a glimpse of what He’s been doing in your life and let’s you know .. your role really matters.

I had someone in my life tell me that just recently.  Someone that I have been spiritually battling for.  Silently I’ve been in the back corner, constantly watching, praying and loving .. even when it wasn’t always easy.  This is someone whom I never expected to hear much from.  I never started the battle looking to hear those words, but feeling the words of thankfulness spoken at a time when I least expected it made … such a difference.  The battle isn’t over, but hearing those words spoken from this person .. someone who didn’t acknowledge my efforts before, has really put a boost in my step.

I’m so thankful.  Not just for God’s part in my life, but the bond that God is creating between me and others.

It really is about loving God and loving people.

Today .. I hope that you too, feel blessed!  🙂

Predetermined, predestined, or pre-planned?

When I started my spiritual quest 5 years ago yesterday, one of the questions I remember discussing with my brother is the fact that God had things planned out already.

Perhaps this was something I just heard or maybe it’s biblical, but I had this thought that God has already dictated what was going to happen in our lives.  As in, we are playing out pre-determined roles.  Truthfully, this has always bothered me.

I remember telling my brother, ‘What’s the point in living if it’s already pre-determined?’  I recall thinking that every move, every word, every action was already foretold.  I didn’t like that thought.

I’d like to believe that maybe God has a direction that He’d like us to go, and that He’s given us gifts to be the best Us we can be, but that He hasn’t laid out every inch of our lives already.  I don’t know about you, but that just makes me feel like my part wouldn’t matter at all.  I’m just filling a role that anyone could have filled?

I want to know that my walk here on this Earth was more than just filling a role anyone could have filled.  I’d like to believe that my life wasn’t already planned out.  That maybe I had some say in my own direction .. that I wasn’t just some prophecy being played out.  I’d like to know that my relationship with Christ meant something to Him.

The past few years, I have really looked at prophecy and the fulfillment of it.  Especially with all the election buzz.  In Jesus’ time, many of the dots didn’t get connected until AFTER He had ascended back to heaven.  We know this because we have the New Testament in which we see Paul connecting those dots for us.

Today, we still do the same.  Although we know things are still to be played out, we do our best to guesstimate not only what has happened in relation to biblical prophecy, but what will happen.  There are literally hundreds of sites that will tell you that ‘such and such’ is the play out of a particular prophecy in the Bible.

What’s interesting is that our Bible isn’t the only thing that makes predictions.  The Quran does, so does the Book of Mormon, and I’m certain other religious texts.  I say this because there are some that claim 9/11 was a prophecy fulfillment from the Quran and did you know that a Mormon in the White House is predicted in the Book of Mormon?  Huh … interesting.  Looks like it almost came true.

Personally, when I catch myself falling prey to the ‘signs’ of the time, I recall the scripture that says, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,’ Matt 16:4.  I also think about when Jesus said, ‘My yolk is easy and my burden is light,’ Matt 11:30.

I’m learning not to fret about biblical prophecy or my role in this whole thing.  So maybe something I say or do was predetermined or known in advance and perhaps even revealed to someone else along the way.  I’m okay with that.  I’m okay with that because 1.  I’ve given God permission to lead my thoughts, words, and actions.  Sometimes that means I’m going to say or do things that I know are dictated by Him.

2.  My relationship with Him is solid.  I love Jesus and I trust Him.  I trust that His intention is to save not only me, but my loved ones, and in fact, the whole world.  I’m willing to be used by Him to get us there.  After all, as a member of His ‘bride church,’ I believe it’s important for me to submit to His will.

3.  Until I know for certain which actions He directs vs. what I direct, I’ll take responsibility for my actions.  I try not to get too caught up in the signs because that scripture warns me doing so can lead me astray.  Instead, taking responsibility always leads me back to the cross which lets me know … I’m still on track.

So are our lives predetermined, predestined, and already planned out?  Umm .. I’m still not quite sure.  Maybe, maybe not … but it doesn’t matter because I haven’t played my role and I don’t have a script to read from, so I figure I must get a say in the matter after all!

What’s funny is that I really think that one of the things that kept me from coming to Christ sooner was that I didn’t want to have my life already dictated out.  Ha!  Little did I realize that whether I wanted to play a part or not, I was part of the plan all along.

So glad knowing Jesus is more than just playing a role in His big show though.  I’m thankful today that I really do matter to Him.  🙂

Umm … that was awkward

Have you ever witnessed spiritual bloodshed?  In our day and age, it’s not only something that we witness and partake in, but something that they create entire television series on.  This is the battle of the tongue where people lash and gash at each other with verbal assaults.

I almost think this kind of assault is worse than murder.  Jesus claims it’s the same.  In a murder, the body you just took the life of doesn’t get back up.  In the world of the tongue however, the body may be bloody, but it gets right back up.  Umm .. can we say, awkward?

I’m guessing now that the political race is over, this is how many must feel.  After the most expensive presidential race in our history, our ballots have been cast and counted, it turns out, not much has changed.  We are right where we left off.  So now what?

Can I just tell you that I really feel a lot of hope for our future?  Truthfully, I cast my vote for Jesus, along with 2 million other voters, and it turns out that Almighty God said .. ‘Let it remain.’  It’s almost like Dad stepped up, took a look and said, ‘You all got in this mess together and you will sit here and work it out together.’

Seriously!  This excites me.  We have been through 9/11 and we lost several thousand lives.  It shook our nation!  There are many that believe this was a wake up call to our nation because we have strayed from God.  I can’t help but suspect they might be right.  But yet, God hasn’t destroyed us, as He did Sodom and Gomorrah.  I see Him giving us mercy after mercy!  He is working with us to correct us instead of simply destroying us!  WOW!

Even as our country has fallen into economic debt, I see this as hope.  I suspect that we are on the cusp of some awesome things to come .. but I see God’s hand orchestrating and waking us up.  Waking us up to realize that we all need Him, not just the homosexuals and those that have had abortions.  But what about us?  Weren’t we using our tongue casting spiritual bloodshed just yesterday?  Did we not involve ourselves in that?  Truth is, it isn’t just those that carry their sins on their sleeves that need a big dose of repentance and fear of God, but ALL of us do.

I really do believe that Jesus wants to deliver all of us from sin.  Things may be awkward today because yesterday, we were all picking sides.  But today, we’re all still on the same team.  It’s like God is saying it’s time to play together and allow God to work in all our lives.

We can either choose to come together and work towards that goal, or we can make things worse and give the Mormon’s a chance to have their White Horse prophecy come to pass at the next election because it didn’t play out this round.

I’m personally choosing to support our president, our God chosen leadership, in prayer.  No, I don’t agree with all his decisions, but I know this, my duty as a God-fearing Christian is to pray that God would lead and direct him and open his eyes to God’s ways.  This is exactly what I intend to do!

The blood bath is over and luckily, the only real lives that were lost were due to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, a natural disaster.  Today though, we have a chance to start a new, roll our sleeves up and say, ‘Okay.  Let’s get back to work.’

I’m excited about what God is gonna’ do!

Awake not love until it so desires …

As a woman, I can say that I’ve had a good look at how the world expects us women to act.  This, of course, was before I knew Christ.

In the world, society teaches us that we are to dress a certain way … typically as eye candy to ‘please a man.’  We are to act a certain way … typically a bit on the ‘seductive’ side with flirtatious demeanor.  And in today’s world, as women, we are to even be the ‘huntress’ … typically we are expected to be the ones to lure men.

This is what society teaches our girls from a very young age.  This thought process, in my opinion, is one of the major factors that leads to teen pregnancy, broken hearts, broken relationships, and ultimately a society full of divorce.  Our girls are being taught that love is all physical, from how you look to getting a man to touch you.  And our boys are being taught that they have their pick of the litter, devaluing the real beauty of what a woman has to offer.  Every where you look there are love-sick souls seeking a love that just doesn’t really seem to be attainable.  Wounded hearts .. warped minds .. and laden with all kinds of physical and emotional diseases in the aftermath.

But the Bible teaches a different kind of love.

In the Song of Solomon, it’s a beautiful book of love and passion … romance.  It speaks even of sexuality .. embracing, kissing, and of physical intimacy through caressing using language that made me blush the first time I read it!  After all, it is the Bible.  But this is not a book about sex.  It’s a book about love and desire.  The biggest message I hear is … awake not love until it so desires.

In our society, desire drives us.  We ‘long’ to be loved and ‘crave’ it so much that we find ourselves, both men and women, doing silly and hurtful things to ourselves to find it.  Yet the Bible tells us to wait for it.

When we take time to allow it to happen and not rush it, we allow God to open the door to passion on His timing.  In our ‘NOW’ driven society, it’s hard for us to imagine waiting, but when we do, we allow God to create something that we could only know because we waited for Him.

I was reminded this morning of Christ’s love towards me.  After a short but heartfelt prayer inviting Christ in to my heart today, I felt Him draw near just a short time later.  I could feel Him embracing me.  As I continued on in my day, tears came to my eyes as something caught my attention that only He could know I had been thinking about.  I knew that He had been paying attention and listening to me.  I knew that He cared.  Honestly, I can say that I am blessed because I have those moments with God.  I have experienced an intimacy that I know others have not.  I have spent time getting to know Him and waiting for Him to reveal Himself to me.  But to me, that’s the easy part.  After all, He’s God.  He can read my thoughts and His spirit is in me.  However, I know that His desire is not just that we would have this great thing with Him, but that His church, His bride, His children .. would understand that He desires for us to experience that same level of love towards one another.

So I’m not really quite sure exactly how to do that.  Truthfully, I’m still figuring it out myself.  I sometimes want to rush into the ‘feel good’ moments with people because I too, am still in this world.  But one thing I do know is that it involves waiting.  I’m thankful that I have a close relationship with Christ because when I get impatient and want to rush, He somehow gives me a gentle look and I’m compelled to continue to wait for His timing.  When I feel I’ve done all I can do with no results and want to move on to something else, He gently puts His arm around me and somehow, waiting doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

Awake not love until it so desires …

I’m fairly certain that Jesus has big things in store for those who wait.  I’m fairly certain it involves that love that seems to be so unattainable in this world.  As a matter of a fact, I’m certain of it because He’s given me glimpses of it .. and not just with Him .. but with my beloved husband, my children, and even an occasional fellow Christian or two that I’ve encountered in my walk.

When you wait for love instead of forcing it … it’s so much more than what the world has to offer …. it’s absolutely … breathless!

 

 

 

 

My Words will never pass away ..

It’s been translated into just about every language.  My guess is that it’s reached just about every corner that exists on the Earth.  There have also been countless attempts to destroy or alter it, but still, there it is .. in many households, it sits on a shelf, collecting dust.  In others, it is the imperative blueprint to sanity.  Just how important is the book?  So important that Jesus told us in Matthew 24:35 ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’

In today’s world, we have technology and digital media that captures moments.  We have literally thousands of pictures of ourselves and our loved ones stored here and there.  We desire to store memories, not just in digital form, but we blog, blip, or tweet … all in effort to not only share, but somehow store our lives.  In our advanced society, we can with ease tell the world, ‘Hey!  We were here!’

Two thousand years ago when Jesus was walking as a man on our planet, there weren’t all the technological advances we see today, nor were they here when God, as a spirit, was the only thing that existed at creation.  I was thinking yesterday how many people disregard and don’t understand the importance of the Word.  Not just because it offers direction or rules to follow and helps us to live in peace, but because exploring the Word helps you understand the story .. helps you understand God.

This is a story all about His relationship with Man … Human Kind … God’s most valuable creation.  How can I say that?  Well, considering that He spent all of 1 chapter discussing creation while He left the rest of the 1,188 chapters discussing His relationship with Us, I’d say it’s a fair argument that we are pretty valuable to Him.  Oh, and by the way, there was that little tidbit about Him manifesting Himself as a man and shedding His own flesh and blood to cover our sins.  Yeh, I think it’s fair to say we are pretty valuable to Him.

Anyway, the point to all of this is that I was thinking about how of all the books in the world, the Word really is the most important.  See, it includes EVERYTHING.  All those that perhaps didn’t live in our technological age, guess what?  It’s in the Word.  All those stories that will never be heard or shared .. guess what?  It’s in the Word.  All those people who never had a chance to have a picture taken or their voice captured on tape, guess what?  It’s in the Word.  Even those people who disappeared that seem to have no trace to their life .. guess what?  It’s in the Word.

You see, when you have the Word, you have Jesus.  Jesus cares about every last bit of all of us.  From the beginning of creation to now.  He was there from the beginning of time.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.  He knows that EVERY person is important .. each and every soul is accounted for.  If we leave out Jesus, we are leaving out the most important part.  We can never write Him out of the story.  Not because He’s a God who is all prideful and puffed up wanting it to be about Him, but because He is a loving God who has taken the time to care and consider each and every soul.  And guess what?  It’s He who died for ALL.  Not just one .. not just a few .. ALL.  2 Cor 5:15

When we realize this, we realize that it doesn’t matter if we didn’t capture every moment because Jesus DID.  Jesus captures it ALL.  He is God Almighty!

How it’s going to get sorted out in the end, I’m not sure.  But I do know that He has a plan and He will account for every soul that He has given life to.

The best part, no matter how hard we or any satanic power try, we just can’t write Jesus out of the book.

After all, He is the author and the finisher.

The End.