Turned Toward Him

That He desires to meet our needs is not in question – but the erroneous teaching that He desires all of us to be materially wealthy is hurtful to the heart of God! The big issue about wanting good to be spoken over your life by a man of God or woman of God is this — are you walking in holiness, righteousness, love???? 

If you know you are walking continually in sin and rebellion, yet you go to some church and a prophet/prophetess speaks blessing over your life with no mention of repentance – it should be clear to you that this person is not speaking to you a word from the Lord, but a word of their own imagination.

God’s requirement is always that our hearts be turned toward Him. When we commit adultery against our God and King, we do not have any right to perceive that He will bless our heresy, our sin, our stubbornness, our rebellion.

Woe to those who lure you with sweet words that come from the enemy about God blessing your life – a life that is against all that God requires! Woe to you who knowingly seek words from false teachers to make your self feel better! The answer – Be Thou Holy For He Is Holy! Turn your heart toward the Lord – He will not only forgive you but He will cleanse you. Once you are living right before Him, then go to Him and lay your heart out before Him and He will place within your heart all that He desires for you and He Will Bring It To Pass for your good and for His glory! 

There is blessing in serving a true and living God – there is disaster in living a life contrary to His will and way. 

Setting the enemy straight!

Keep Calm Rebuke

“Resist the Devil and he will flee.” This excerpt from James 4 seems to say that our words have power.

I never really thought about it much, but in recent days, with all of the clearly God-less things that are happening all around us; I began to ponder why we, the Church – the Body of Christ, seems impotent to deal with evil. Not that we ARE impotent, NO! we are not – but we do seem to be.

Resist the Devil and he will flee is not a call for us to tell the Devil to sit down and shut up in our own authority, yet I fear this is exactly what we tend to do.  

Our King – Jesus, who is the Christ – has all authority, and we walk in that authority.  

We’ve gotta be careful not to fool ourselves into the false truth … that it is we who have the authority. The authority; The One who sets the standards; The One one who establishes the rules; The One who wields real power – is God. Power and Authority are His! As we attempt to stand against our enemy Satan – we have to remember always that we must ask the Lord Himself to come against the enemy; we must ask God Himself to stand in against the enemy. We have to ask the Lord Himself to work within us the resistance that will make the enemy flee. Much like the disciples who could not cast out the demons on their on – we will stand powerless if we try to do it on our own!

When we experience the enemy’s attacks in our own lives or when we see his movement in the world around us it is our role to speak to the evil one in the name of our Almighty and Faithful God saying ‘Satan, stand down for our Lord will thwart your evil plans‘. It is ours to remind the enemy of who is in charge: ‘Satan, you have no authority here for the Lord Himself will judge you‘. However, be aware that in order to speak to the enemy in God’s power – we have to be connected to Him. We have to know Him, know His word, and be yielded to His will.

Reflect on your own life — are you connected to the power source?  If not, you can be assured that there is no way you can stand against the enemy.

With all of these hurtful, hate filled, sinful, wicked, arrogant, haughty things going all around us we’ve got to remember to live for Him daily – continually yielding to God’s will in our lives.  He will grant us the wisdom to call upon Him!  The witness of the lives of believers in Christ have got to illuminate the earth with the truth of the Gospel and dim the light of the enemy.  His strength that never fails!!  If Michael, the most powerful of the angels, knew that he should not take the enemy to task in his own name or in his own power – surely we understand that we too must be careful to recognize where the power lies.

I Am a Citizen of Heaven

It makes my heart heavy to see believers separated over the world’s political stances.

We, who are Christ followers, have only one King and Ruler. He’s neither Democrat nor is He Republican; He is neither Caucasian nor Black; He is neither male nor female …. He is Holy, Righteous, Unchanging! He Is All! We have pledged allegiance to Him and everything that we need comes from His hand! We are His children and citizens of His kingdom!

If we believe that we are citizens of heaven, then we should carry ourselves in a way that reflects that high honor. What does that look like? Speaking and acting like sons and daughters of the most high!

  • It looks like exhibiting love and grace and speaking His Word in a way that reflect that we KNOW it. Living in a way that reflects our contentment in all things because we KNOW that He is in control of every situation or difficulty.
  • Being overjoyed when someone comes to know and accept the truth of The Gospel.
  • Not fretting over whats happening in the world today or keeping our minds on the things of this world , but looking with hope toward His return.
  • Caring for others, especially those in the Body of Christ.
  • Extending love and grace that the world cannot understand.
  • Praying daily that His will be done AND when He carries out His will rejoicing in it whether it is what we desired or not!

We belong to Him! Let’s not let this world or the enemy make us believe something else!

Whenever the Lord says, Peace! … There’ll be Peace!

john 14 27

Senseless killings.  Abusers of children.  Victims of trafficking – both human and sex.  Violence against people because of their ethnicity.  Violence against people because of their sexual orientation.  Hate poured out in the name of a gospel that is not the gospel of Christ.  Abuse of the elderly.  Domestic violence.  Rape of women in the midst of political conflict.  Abductions. Racial hatred. It can all seem quite hopeless – it would be easy for our hearts to faint.  The night after some of this has happened, I could not sleep – I could only cry!

Master, The Tempest is Raging by Mary Baker is a song I grew up hearing in church and most of us know the first verse.   It starts off:  “Master, the tempest is raging!  The billows are tossing high!  The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, No shelter or help is nigh”  This last week, however, the 2nd verse has really spoken to my heart:

Master with anguish of spirit, I bow in my grief today; The depths of my sad heart are troubled! Oh, waken and save, I pray! Torrents of sin and of anguish, sweep o’er my sinking soul; And I perish! I perish! Dear Master – oh, hasten and take control!

I sang this song to my Father through my tears and I am overjoyed to tell you that my tears were cleansing for me.  God used my tears to wash away my fears and fill me with His peace.  He used my tears to wash away the doubt that He is active in every situation and fill my heart with irrefutable proof that He is indeed still in control.  We humans, have a knack for hurting one another and we have a propensity for ignoring the hurts of those to whom we are not related.  But there is a God who cares — the old folk used to say “He sits high and He looks low!”  He knows all — He rules over all, works through all, and is present in all.

The refrain to that song says:

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will. Peace, be still! Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea, or demons or men, or whatever it be! No waters can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies! They all shall so sweetly obey Thy will! Peace, be still! Peace, be still! They all shall sweetly obey Thy will … Peace, peace be still!!

I am overcome with joy in knowing that in ALL that I don’t understand and in ALL that happens around me that is disconcerting – I do have a God that I can count on and this great God wants to give me His peace!  The ship may sink; the waters will surely rise but I can have peace!   I have to choose this peace – it won’t come without my believing that His word is true.  But His peace is there for me.  Yes!! I can have peace and I can be peace.  Can you fathom what it would mean for the Body of Christ to actually have our feet shod with the preparation of peace!!  The world would never be the same; we could change the world!  So — I choose His peace.  It’s there for the taking and there is plenty to go around.  I suggest you take some too!!

I. Feel. Black.

I. FEEL. BLACK.  

I feel BLACKER than I’ve felt in a very long time. I’m conscious of how melanin affects my skin when I walk into a shop, when I see a law enforcement officer, when I’m pumping gasoline, etc.  I feel Black – and that’s okay, because it is who my Creator decided I should be. But feeling black is not okay when it means that I feel like it automatically makes me guilty of something that just might cost me my life.  

No, it’s not okay when I fear what might happen to my sons because their work requires them to be out sometimes when its dark and they might match the description of a black man who really IS  guilty of something.

But I also feel vulnerable, laid bare, exposed. I have a heightened awareness about the whereabouts of my grown children — my sons and my son-in-law just because they are black.

I feel ashamed that people really do believe that my people don’t care about all lives, because we most certainly do! It is just that at this moment in history we are feeling the onslaught of injustices that we can’t quite put our minds around.

I feel desperately dependent upon God — and that’s a good thing too, because only He can make any of this right!

But I also feel loved — loved by those of my “majority culture” friends who have reached out to me in meaningful ways to admit that they cannot understand – but that they love me and care deeply about how I am feeling and what I fear. We have to be right with one another to make a real change.

I feel confused because I’ve said to my children when they were just kids that they can always trust those that enforce the law; but I’m not sure that is always going to be true.  Don’t misunderstand me – I have dear friends who are LEOs and I know they are good people doing the right thing; but I’m concerned that no one is weeding out the bad eggs.

I feel grief for so many lives lost – but especially today for George Floyd; the family left behind, the futures cut off, all of it! I feel grief for the sad truth that our culture is still quite ill as relates to racial relations.

I feel hope – because my life is hidden in Christ with God; because He promised me a hope and a future; because when it’s all over I shall see Him face to face.  Hope because this world is not my home, I’m a sojourner here.  The place He has prepared for me, no man can take away.  The life he’s given me is eternal, no one can take it away.

Praying that this nation will know the hope and love of Christ and praying that the church across the world will take her place and bringing both healing and peace.  Praying that our justice system will be changed in the ways that only God can change it. Praying everyday that my sons, my nephews, my brothers in law, my black male cousins will live and not die!  Praying that this will get better – even if it must get worse first!  Praying for His mercy!!!! Praying that righteousness and justice will truly overtake our nation. As the Body of Christ – I am praying that we will represent the Kingdom of God in true ways to push true change. I’m praying that the Body of Christ will speak with one voice about both healing and justice. Kyrie Eleison!!!!