To "do valiantly" means to "do with courage and determination". Romans 12:3 tells us: "For by the grace given to me I (Paul) say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." He goes on to basically talk about recognizing your gifts to and in the Body of Christ. In other words... recognize what and how God has made you. You were made for a purpose! To build up the Body of Christ and be a witness to the world of who God is and that through him and believing in his son Jesus one can have eternal life. The enemy of our soul has a goal to ruin God's plan for us. The more he can disgrace and degrade us the happier he is in his sinister way. Last time I wrote to you about the woman who reached out and touched the hem of Jesus garment. She had dealt with an embarrassing infirmity for over a decade. You can describe her as either timid or bold. It depends upon how you look at the testimony. However, what stands out is the fact that she was "determined" to reach out and touch Jesus. The result, "Daughter, you faith has made you well, go in peace, and be healed of your disease." No doubt she didn't keep this to herself. This probably snowballed into the spreading of the truth about Jesus to those in her sphere of influence. So many things come against us in this life. I narrow it down to three forces: the Devil, the World and Self. The three work together a lot of times. Satan is the "god of this World" so naturally he is going to work through it and feed our "self" with all the lies he can conger up. And, frankly, they are never new. They have repeated throughout the ages. Our "self" has been called to greatness through the regeneration process or being "Born Again" through Christ Jesus. We who were earthly are now heavenly, God, "...raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus..." Ephesians 2:6. Once you are his, you are a new creation. Everything has changed. You are being created in his very likeness! Talk about greatness! As you walk with him you recognize your purpose. You can determine to not be beat down any longer by the "three forces". You can determine to be what you were made to be. It is like Proverbs 22:6 tells us. When training up a child, you not only train him or her in the ways of God but according to their particular "bent" as well. God does that with us. As a child, I had no training that way. Any encouragement I might have had was more according to what someone else thought I should do and be. I use the example about the time as a young girl, my stepmother wanted my brother and sister and I to take dance lessons. So, brother and sister got to take tap and I was to be her little ballerina. Well, for one thing, I was about as limber as a stick and as graceful as an ox. I loved the sounds the taps on those shiny little shoes made as they hit the floor. I knew I had rhythm. I believed I was a natural tap dancer! However, in her mind she saw me as she wanted me to be. Graceful and flowing and flitting around like Tinkerbell. That was just the way she pictured me. I am sure she loved me but she didn't understand God's ways nor seek him at that time. So, back to Romans 12, God knows exactly how he has designed us and for what purpose. Once you recognize what that is and ask him to "create" in you. He promises to complete the work. In the last days, which we are now in, the enemy wants to degrade us... bring us down to his disgusting level in any way he can. My husband and I like to watch the Cops shows on TV. It breaks my heart to see what sin can do to God's precious creations. The degradation is unbelievable. "Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you there longer than you wanted to stay, and cost more than you wanted to pay." So sad; so true. We need to be bold enough to stand up and say "No!" 2 Timothy 3 tells us all about what Godlessness will look like in the last days. It will be all about the Devil, the World and Self or "Selfishness" brought on by not walking in the courage and determination God has given us. He commanded Joshua and the same command is for us today: "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." We are not to be like the "silly women (or men) laden with sins and led astray..." 2 Timothy 3:6. Our Father, Creator has greatness in store for us. He is just waiting to release us in our calling and gifting. When he does, we need to do it with all our hearts unto the Lord knowing it is him in us and it is for his purposes and glory. We can move forth "valiantly" recognizing we do not have to apologize for being who he has made us to be. There is nothing quite as exciting as watching someone move in complete confidence in the freedom of the Spirit of God. If God is with you, spread your wings and fly like the eagle. Don't hold back. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear (timidity) but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 Step out and let God take care of the details!
Thursday, April 25, 2019
It was just about forty-seven years ago when I reached out and "touched the hem of his garment". I was so timid and afraid. Afraid that I had no worth. Afraid that my sin was too great. Afraid that forgiveness was beyond me. The enemy of my soul had me in his grips. I was full of shame and disgrace and he had convinced me that my life was at the point of no return. The natural emotions that comes with being human had long left me. I felt empty and without hope. I had tried everything to heal myself of the guilt that had heaped up within my soul. Guilt from years of sin's destruction. I had sought love in all the wrong places and became vulnerable to the wiles of the enemy. The face of love often turned into the face of evil. I felt the shame of abuse having listened to the voice of the accuser who would speak to me over and over in my mind saying, "This is all your fault!" I believed the lie that told me that if I had only done this or that differently it wouldn't have happened. Even to the point that if I were just uglier I wouldn't attract the wrong attention. I became dead inside. There was no place to go. Love was illusive. Then came Jesus. He walked right into my awareness by His Spirit. I did not understand why this small spark was igniting; why these tears were beginning to flow. I only knew He held the answer to the disease of sin of which I was suffering. Timidly, through the thronging crowd of adversity, I reached out with fear and trembling and "touched the hem of his garment" of love and healing. He turned and faced me. I could feel him. He said, "Daughter: You are loved." "Daughter: You are forgiven." "Daughter: You are clean." "Daughter: Your sins are washed away." "Daughter: The enemy of your soul has been defeated." "Daughter: You have new life." "Daughter: Your Faith has made you whole because you have believed in me." Then he told me I was now on my way to Heaven! Oh, the brightness! Oh, the glory! Oh, the wondrous weightlessness of sin lifted. I had become one with the One who loves me with an everlasting love. A love beyond the comprehension and capability of this world. An unselfish love; a healing love; an understanding love; an unconditional love; a love that lifts you above this world and shines with such radiance it would blind us if we were not given Spiritual eyes. Yes, like the woman spoken of in the Holy Bible, Mark Chapter 5 verses 24 through 34, I knew Jesus was the only way. She pushed through the crowds to "touch the hem of his garment" and he turned to give her so much more than she had expected. After 12 years of a debilitating disease the doctors could not heal, he spoke, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease." Sin is a disease and rots our soul and robs us from the peace we were intended to have. As we reach out to Jesus, even if our efforts are timid at first, he responds with all the love of the Father in Heaven who loved us so much that he came as the man, Jesus the Christ and gave himself up to death on the Cross and rose from the grave in three days to give us Life Eternal. That is the culmination of true love!
Friday, February 22, 2019
I am not sure why it took fifty years for my Baby Boy to finally have a grave marker. It has been so long now that I cannot remember the circumstances that prevented it. Perhaps it was his father and my young age, lack of finances or the pain of it that kept us from it. One thing I do know is that now he will have one. When people walk through the cemetery searching for their loved one's grave they won't just walk over little Allen's plot of land but they will, perhaps gaze down to see that the remains of a sweet little boy lies beneath in a tiny blue casket. They will read the words "See you in Heaven" and "Our love is forever". The only comfort I remember receiving was from my dad as he drove me to that cemetery on a very blustery December day in Southern California. It was in the words he spoke to me, "We know where your baby is." He was meaning "Heaven". I had given birth to this little four pound thirteen ounce baby boy who was quickly whisked away after the doctor restored his breathing. All I could do was lie there and do nothing. I was put in a room in a bed to wait. It was all a blur when the doctor explained the problem with his lungs. The night before he went to Heaven, the nurses came in my room and asked me if I would like to see my baby. They quietly ushered me in to the Nursery and there in the incubator was this perfect little boy receiving all the aid possible to keep him alive. As I put my hand inside, he looked directly into my eyes as I spoke softly, "Mama's here". I was 19 at the time and had a beautiful little two year old girl. I had married at 16 hoping to have a wonderful life as a wife, mother and home maker. That was the dream back then. Little white house with a matching picket fence. I had thought in the beginning that this would heal me from all the horrors of the past, an alcoholic, extremely abusive mother and then another several years with an emotionally abusive step mother. However, circumstances only became worse throughout the years. My life was being "tossed by the wind" of adversity and I was completely out of control. The depression seemed often times unbearable but I know now that there was an unseen hand holding me. That word "Heaven" my dad had spoken was implanted within me as a flicker of light to bring a bit of hope to me that there was more. During my darkest times that small light kept burning to keep me from going off the edge. During the years prior to 1972, I was given to every gusting of the wind. I felt I had no choice but to succumb to every evil blow, every tugging in this direction or that. Sometimes as if I were clawing with virtual bloody fingers to pull myself out of the nightmares and the pain. I wanted desperately to escape but there was no place to go. I was trapped in the darkness within. My little girl was my blessing but I could see life taking a toll on her as well. Then came another little girl two years after my little boy. I knew her tiny life was being impacted as well by the tossing of the wind. Then came Jesus! The Hero who was always there waiting for the perfect time to rescue this broken, hurting one and bring her out of the abyss. Oh, how indescribable! Oh, how amazing! Oh, how utterly breathtaking when His supernatural, all powerful, demon destroying, darkness shattering, all commanding, sin illuminating love broke through in my heart! I saw it all! He took this bruised, broken, helpless, achingly alone inside young woman and swooped her up and set her on a ROCK immovable. He wiped away every tear, awakened every dead emotion of life, brought joy instead of sorrow, hope instead of despair. Heaven became a solid promise and not just a flicker of hope amidst the darkness. I would absolutely be with my Baby someday! I was now and from that point on not an object to be tossed in the wind of adversity but a Born Again Child of God anchored securely on and in the Rock! Psalm 18:2: "The Lord is MY rock and MY fortress and MY deliverer, MY God, MY rock in whom I take refuge, MY shield and the horn of MY salvation, MY stronghold." Note the emphasis on "MY". I could not say that until Jesus came to dwell in my inmost being by His Holy Spirit. He came to me and I received Him and he gave me the right to become his child. John 1:12. The adversities did not leave. I have gone through many more trials including the death of my parents, other relatives, many friends, dear pets. I have gone through divorce, watching a husband pass from this life to the next. I have faced the diagnosis of lung cancer followed by major surgery for its removal. The difference now is that the JOYS outweigh the sorrows because I am no longer "tossed by the wind" but I am secure in and on the Rock of Christ Jesus with the Eternal Hope of Heaven and knowing I will not only see my Baby Boy there but all those who have said "Yes" to Jesus and His Great Salvation!
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Of all things, I woke up from a nap in the middle of a “nightmare”. Maybe you would call it a “daymare”. My husband’s phone rang with a wrong number which awakened me. If I had not come back to reality, I was about to enter an emergency room surgery. I had witnessed a horrible accident due to an incident of road rage. A few cars less in front of me and I would have been one in the ER. I was drawn to pray for the individual who had been in the accident. I thought of my grandson as I had witnessed the eighteen-wheeler suspended end to end tipping back and forth on the side railing of the road. It was hanging precariously in the balance. I believe possibly in my dream I was questioning the identity of the victim. Just as I was to step through the large one-windowed doors of the operating room, I was brought to alert by the sudden ringing of the cell phone. Part of me wanted to go back into the dream to find out who it was in that hospital and the other part was thankful to be brought out of it.
This prior experience happened in this season that my heart is seeking more of the Lord. I do not want to settle for the “weak in the Spirit” feeling I am experiencing. I know the Spirit of God is not nor never will be, weak. So, the conclusion is that perhaps I am not pressing in as I could in our relationship. God never backs up; never becomes stale; never becomes lukewarm or apathetic toward us. He is alive as alive can be! Always wanting the fresh; always expressing His love in new ways toward His children. Sometimes it feels like He is actively thinking about and seeking new ways to excite us in His love. He is the Creator and is a creator. What keeps a relationship more alive than when the participants try to come up with new ways to express their love for one another. It keeps things fresh and alive with an adventurous excitement and redirection from the old to the new. Every day we can walk in newness of life! Every day we can be a New Creation in Christ! It doesn’t just happen. It is something we cultivate daily. It takes effort to “present your bodies a living sacrifice” unto the Lord. As we do, the rewards are great! From one degree of Glory to another, He is changing us. I desire in this new year and always to reach forward, to dream big and never lose my vision. There is life in vision. My greatest vision is to become more like Him; to become filled with the fullness of who He is until others see Him and not me.
“Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:2&3. Everything will happen according to God’s appointed time. We need to walk close enough to Him to trust Him. As we focus on Him and becoming as the Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 3:10, “…more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him”. He promises to “know” us and to fulfill all that He has designed us to be in Him. At the proper time and times, He WILL be seen in us. As we endeavor to be “found in Him”, He will be “found in us”. Let it be Lord Jesus! Thy will be done!
Back to my previous dream. I am not a dream interpreter in the least. However, I believe some dreams come to get our attention. Especially the ones we can remember in detail. I believe many lives hang in the balance as the life inside that semi dangling in limbo on the rail between life and disaster. I want to be one of the ones to offer life to those in that position whether they put themselves there or circumstances dictated their dilemma. I want to rush into their “emergency room” directed by the Holy Spirit to render the aid that is so vital to save their lives. I have the answer. I have the power. I have the Savior, Healer, Deliverer contained within my Being! I can pour out into their hearts the very prescription and actually fill it by the Power of His Spirit within me! I have been given the credentials and the commission to “Go into all the World and Preach the Gospel”, to “lay hands on the sick and they will recover”. We who “Believe” and serve the Lord Jesus Christ have been given His Authority to do these things. I am going to ask Him more in days to come, “What do YOU want? What is YOUR will in this situation? What is Your plan?” and ask that He give me ears to hear and eyes to see into His Heart of Hearts to bring His Kingdom, His Will on Earth as it is in Heaven. He is Faithful!