I am a Citizen of Heaven!

Phil 3 20It 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 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 except 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!

 

Philippians 3:20  But our citizenship is in heaven…

 

A Little more about satisfaction

philippians-4-13God is more knowledgeable about us than we are about ourselves. He knows that the temptation to fall into line with the world’s systems are too much for us to bear alone. He does not leave us to our own devices, but will work within us to teach us to be satisfied – to give us hearts that are content.

As you start this New Year, I encourage you not to cry over the things that you did not accomplish; the stuff that you did not get; the relationship that ended; the project that you did not complete. Ask the Lord to help you to accept that all that happened in 2014 was what He had for you in 2014 — and then walk into 2015 with a new attitude that says “I am beginning again!”

Paul said that he could be content in any situation because Christ within him gave Him the strength. You have access to that same resurrection power! Ask the Holy Spirit today to teach you the way to be satisfied/content with what is over and done with and ask Him to teach you the new lessons you’ll need in the coming days to move ahead.

God’s plan for you in 2015 are perfect – tailor made for you! There is nothing that He intends for you to have that you cannot not have. There is nothing He intends for you to accomplish that you cannot accomplish. There is no good thing that He will withhold from you. What God has destined for your life is for your life.

You are a part of God’s great plan to redeem this world and reconcile it to Himself. Get in the game in 2015 – realize that there is something that God created you to do that no other person can accomplish. Know this — when you identify that purpose; you will know satisfaction in a way that you have never known it before!

Happy New Year! Be New! Be Changed! Be All HIS!!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Divine Do Overs

DoOverBob Carlisle wrote a song back in 1996 that was made popular by Donnie McClurkin, “We Fall Down”. The song talks about a person discovering the grace of God in His failures – realizing even people of God made mistakes and the grace of God covered them and gave them a new start. We all have different testimonies – but all of us have made our share of mistakes – we have all said and done things that we later regretted and as we take a backwards look at our lives, we know it was the grace of God that kept us. As for me – I am amazed at how the Lord has kept me in spite of me! My testimony is that I faltered, but  because of His grace – it was never fatal!

God does not delight in our mistakes but He delights in our desire  to obey Him. Even when we falter, He sees our hearts and knows whether we are truly seeking His will or seeking to satisfy ourselves. When you desire to obey Him — when YOU desire to obey Him — when you DESIRE to obey Him — when you desire to OBEY Him; He will honor your obedience with His presence and power in your life!

Sometimes we step out in front of God; moving before we get his direction about something that seems urgent. What does stepping out in front of God look like?  It looks like:  getting something off our chests when we should’ve keep quiet; taking out a payday loan when we need to manage the funds we have; buying that sale item when we don’t really need to be spending; eating that last piece of pie when we know we don’t need it; getting into a relationship that we know is ungodly; compromising our morals because it seems like an easier way; etc.  When we move outside of His will, we are failing to exercise our right to rely on The One who will always guide us to the best action and decision for our lives. When we fail to follow His lead – we will miss out of His best for us.

The great thing about being a Christ follower is that because we are His chosen ones – we have access to His grace. Because we have access to His grace — we always have access to a course correction.  We might have to go back to the drawing board — but He will be there waiting to redirect us – to get us headed in the right direction.  He knew we were going to muddle things; He knew we couldn’t keep His commandments without His intervention; He knew that we would botch even His simplest commands — so, in His great love, He sent us a Savior! He gave us unlimited access to His grace!  When we mess up He has a giant eraser AND a beautiful paint canvass!  How awesome is that?!

Here’s the deal — we all make mistakes; but He, in His infinite kindness towards us, will always be willing to give us a do over. We can rest assured that as we trust in Him and seek to obey Him (seek to OBEY Him!); He will honor us with His direction and His presence in our situation. Take a step back from your situation; your temptation; your stressor — He will gladly guide you in the right way allowing you to start over because it gives Him great joy to bless your life when you are leaning on His understanding and not your own.

Our mistakes do not have to be fatal errors — we really can start over!  CTRL/ALT/DEL — reboot — start again.

The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. (‭Psalms‬ ‭37‬:‭23‬)

Righteous Longing — He is the only Peace

righteousThis Advent season I have found my heart particularly desirous of His coming. My heart longs for errant thinking and behavior to be made right; for the bitter/rigid heart to be made light; the heart that is low to be lifted up; and the heart that is haughty to be brought to humility. I long to see the Kingdom of my God active and alive in this world! I long to see peace and love shine brightly within the Body of Christ.

I am one of those people that has to shut my brain down at night in order to sleep well. I don’t worry about things, but I am always thinking about the best ways to accomplish what is on my plate the next day; or thinking of a solution to an issue that one of our missionaries is having. But the last couple of weeks I have found that my mind has only been thinking of what needs to happen in order for there to be honesty, integrity and truth at the forefront in this world. God has answered me so clearly – it is His presence and His way that will make things right.

As a Christ follower, I am convicted that my desire should be for Him to be manifest in every situation rather than desiring for the situation to change. I should be pining away for Him in the midst of it all, because He is the one who is my Keeper. I was reminded that when I started in this new role Lloyd and I had to travel across East Africa in 9 weeks – and in that time we took 13 flights!! Across the ocean, across Africa — and we did not have one incident! He is our keeper – our caretaker! He was with us and all was well.

Further, as a Christ follower, I am convicted that I must see every circumstance as His will. That is a difficult one when things are horribly unjust and painful; but, as I endeavor to have the mind of Christ, have thoughts that are in unity with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); He makes it so. I don’t know, nor do I need to know, what God is doing in hard circumstances; but I am assured that nothing can happen in this world that does not pass through His hand. So, as I commit to seek His presence – I will not only know that He will care for me – but that He is working things out for my good and for His glory.

Lastly, I am reminded that we are not yet living in the new heaven and the new earth. In other words — living down here we have to contend with the enemy’s own form of crazy! Satan is loose, he is active, and he is very dangerous. His actions are a terrible distraction for us. Satan uses wickedness and hatred to cause us to focus on a particular situation in order that he might cause us to take our eyes off of our Lord! As a real life example, he is using the media to lull us into a belief that hate, brutality, racism, sexual immorality, greed, and MUCH MORE – or what this world has to offer. We do not have to accept that! We can believe what God has said — He Reigns! We don’t have to fight for holiness — we just have to live in holiness. We must commune and fellowship with God every dayI We must make the choice to serve Him and to live His way. He is speaking to our hearts and guiding us – but we must make the choice to listen.

I know that the troubles of today can consume our thoughts; I too want to see things set right. But I have the GOD sense to know that unless God enters in to a situation, it will never be made right.We can never be tricked into forgetting that our war is not with one another, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness — against our enemy, Satan, and all his demons.  We must remember always that our battle gear is spiritual and is meant to tear down Satan’s work and to bring about in the world lives of obedience –  make disciples.  So — my heart longs for Him — for Him to be present in the current situation — for His will to be carried out even if in doing so I have to experience pain. This world will never know what justice looks like until He is invited in to the process. Lord, have mercy on us all.

At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭9‬)

Peace and Favor Rest Upon Us – REALLY!?!?!?!?!

gods-favorThe peace and favor of God cannot rest upon those who live in opposition to His divine law.

The people of God depend upon the deliverance of God every moment of every day.  When we see the victory of the Lord we proclaim His greatness and our devotion to Him.  But when our lives are peaceful and all is well, we often forget the Lord altogether and go our own way – until the new calamity.  We are His chosen ones – which means His desire is to bless us and to be in relationship with us, but He is a jealous God – meaning He is not to be taken for granted.  We must realize that our lives belong to Him!  He Is Our King!  We Are His Subjects!  We are under the rule of His kingdom.  We must remember that we must honor, glorify and obey Him every day of our lives and that it is unacceptable to only worship and obey Him in the midst of trouble.  When we treat the Lord like a genie in a bottle or like a magic bullet for our problems – we set up ourselves to live in the wrath of God!  He desires to have us live in His peace and He desires that we walk in His favor – but we must understand what it means to be subject to the King every day.   Our lives are not our own, are they?  Our lives are hidden in Christ – isn’t that true? We can’t get to Christ to experience our hidden lives unless we come through the Father (the King), isn’t that true?  If we want abundant life – our devotion to the King cannot waiver.

Father, when I find myself in the midst of calamity that is brought on by my own disobedience, quicken my spirit swiftly so that my heart will be turned back to You.  May my heart’s desire every day be to please You, to honor You and to yield my will to Yours.  Uphold me with Your Holy Spirit and please do not cast me away from Your presence.  Amen

Amos 3:2  “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”