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“The Call” of Wisdom….

November 8, 2011

Today in our society we have a “wisdom problem”…we do not value wisdom like we value the acquisition of knowledge. The people of God, those who are to be the “salt and the light” …those who are to be wise and who the world should be able to take counsel in…have either been compromised or pushed away as irrelevant. Why…. because the whole world feasts on knowledge and a “fattened intellect” (one full of facts, figures, acquired teachings) is really nothing special!  We must acquire wisdom for the days ahead because our future demands it and many will be counting on us, the sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God, to be wise and guide those in distress and need.

Solomon, son of the beloved King David asked for the “gift of wisdom” when he became king. Through this gift, he also wrote the book of Proverbs as a part of his collection of  “wisdom”.  Proverbs 1:20-22  “Wisdom calls aloud in the open air and raises her voice in public places; she calls out at street corners and speaks out at entrances to city gates; ‘How long, you whose lives have no purpose, will you love thoughtless living?”  Solomon reveals that living “without wisdom” produces a random life…a life without purpose… a life of rote living…life without meaning and thought. Sounds like the life of a robot! All knowledge, by itself, can give one is a thoughtless life with little or no meaning, the life of a programmed robot. Jesus, Son of God, did NOT come to lay his life down so we could be robots…no, He came so we could be “world changers”!

Today, we live in a knowledge saturated society. Everywhere we turn there are facts, figures, and information we are instructed to pack into our brains. Supposively we need all this info in order to do our jobs, move to the top of the ladder, lead our families, have great relationships…well the list of what the world thinks this acquired knowledge can do for you goes on and on! Truly though, I see people whose intellects are “stuffed full” of knowledge but doesn’t have a clue in how to manuever for the betterment of our world.  I see people of “fattened intellect”,who are making life-threatening choices for themselves and others. Knowledge without wisdom is like an unmanned car in motion; scary… while being truly unproductive and dangerous to those in its vicinity!

Wisdom, not knowledge is what the world needs in this hour. Wisdom takes knowledge (facts, figures, information), stores it, and then filters it first through the Word of God, next through experiences that reveal patterns for understanding and finally produces right judgement for making “wise” choices.  We are not born wise, it is an acquired training of intellect that God willingly wants to “gift” to us.  Solomon personified Wisdom as the part of God’s spirit who is “calling” to us. Wisdom calls for us to “see” how important the gift of wisdom is and the influence she carries in places of influence. The “city gates” in Solomon’s day were where the people took counsel for their daily decisions from the “wise elders”.  We are being “called” to seek God for this gift of improved and expanded intellect that has the ability to affect our realms of influence.

God’s gift of wisdom helps us become world changers.  Wisdom teaches us how to recognize by “sifting through” the cultural knowledge (facts, news,current teachings, etc) of today, where God is working, how God is working, and how we can make better choices to live the purposeful life God intended in us….a purposeful life  that impacts the world with positive results! Learning to be “wise” leads God to use you as a person of influence. It creates a person who leads others to God and spotlights what God is doing in this hour.  Remember it was the “Wise Men” from the East who discovered and were one of the first to worship Jesus as the King of Kings!

Today we are approaching the “CHRISTmas Season”…. a time where the sons and daughters of God thank God for the gift of His son, Jesus the Messiah. It is also a time of celebrating each others lives through thoughtful gift giving.  Why not  ask God today for the “gift of wisdom” or “more wisdom” if you have already started this deepening intellectual training?  Just think…with the gift Jesus gave us of connecting us to God’s Holy Presence and then receiving the gift of wisdom….why YOU would become one of God’s great gift for our world today!

Become God’s “gift” through wisdom’….our world is counting on YOU to become wise, helping yourself and others make wise choices and judgements that are world changing.

Wisdom is calling,God is giving, receive and be blessed!

I Will Bless the LORD at All Times….

October 27, 2011

To bless means to “fill with benefits, either as an end in itself or to make the object blessed a source of further blessings for others. In another sense the word means to“praise” as “to fill the object of blessing with honor and good words. However, God is most often understood to be the agent of blessing but here in Psalm 34, David, God’s beloved, is pronouncing he will “bless the LORD at all times“.

 “I will bless the LORD (Adonai) at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth, When I boast, it will be about the LORD (Adonai), the humble willl hear of it and be glad.” Psalm 34:1-2.  What you should know about this text is David, who was running away from Saul who sought to kill him, suddenly found himself in the camp of his known enemies, the Philistines. He pretended to be insane when brought before his enemies’ King and so they drove him away. David was afforded a way of escape so that later HE would become King over all of Israel as had been pronounced by God through the prophet Samuel.

David is blessing the LORD even in this hard circumstance. He, who is having to “act insane” is “blessing and praising” the LORD instead of whining and begging God to “bless him” in this dire circumstance. As I studied this scripture it appears to me that it was this very act of “filling his mouth with honor and praise” to his God, Adonai, when in the midst of enemies (that most likely would love to kill him; remember David had killed 10s of 1,000s of them) that made David appear “insane” in the presence of these people. They probably expected him to grovel and beg or at least stand up and try to fight them, but instead he begins praising and speaking of the honor of serving His God, Adonai! No sane man would do this when threatened with extinction would he? Let this fool, go…he is not worth killing!

Looking closer, we realize that actually God is blessing David through David blessing God; David is given a way of escape in the midst of life-threatening cirumstances! Today many of us find ourselves in “dire circumstances”; mourning a sudden loss, life-threatening illnesses, financial woes, marital strife, the unrelenting demands of study in schools, jobs, __________, you name it the list goes on and on.

These “dire circumstances” land us smack dab in the enemy’s camp….a place of anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear….all tools of  the enemy’s warfare. But the Captain of our team and the Author and Finisher of our FAITH calls to us,”sons and daughters of the BELOVED, “Rise up and bless the ONE who continually blesses us”  by “delivering us” just at the right time! 

Remember this is again a time of strengthening those spiritual muscles; training for our reigning eternally with the King of Kings! So fill your mouth with BLESSINGS – Bring  forth “praise and honor” to the LORD no matter what the circumstance. I assure you this will DELIVER YOU!  “Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD, let us exalt his name together, I sought the LORD and he answered me; he rescued me from everything I feared…Taste, and see that the LORD is good. How blessed are those who take refuge in him!” Psalm 34:3-4,8

BLESS God – show the world we are continually BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING…ones who know the LORD, trust the LORD and His ways and will BLESS the LORD at ALL TIMES. These blessings of praise and honor bring forth “showers of blessings” – proof to others our God lives and reigns in our lives and can be counted on to show up with blessings of deliverance and hope! Bless God…recieve blessings which bless others..which will lead them to bless God  – FULL CIRCLE!

All the Time God is good and His ways are remarkable, I bless you to be a blessing today to God and others……….

The creation waits eagerly…..

October 21, 2011

The word “eager” means marked by urgent and/or enthusiatic desire or interest.  We know that “the creation” is ALL that GOD has made or rather created!  So ALL THAT GOD has created is urgently and enthusiatically waiting in desire for something. JUST what is that something?

YOU are that “possible” something! Here is the text in its fullness from Romans 8:19 “The creation waits eagerly for the sons of God to be revealed”. God has “kinfolks -children”, his sons and daughters, who are to be revealed and ALL OF CREATION is waiting in the wings to see “these hidden ones”.

The idea of hidden comes from the fact that to be revealed something must have first been hidden – out of site.  Babies are “hidden” in their mother’s womb until the day of birth; their day of revealing to all the world!  God, the Creator, has hidden sons and daughters within this created world that ALL of God’s creation eagerly awaits their revealing.

Why is creation so eagar?  To spark such enthusiasm and interest must mean these “ones” are very special.  No one gets excited or interested in a nobody. Somebodies attract attention because they spark our interest or they bring something to us that we desire, need, delight in. Also look at the fact that “creation” – all the world is “waiting” for these “special ones”.  When people “wait, remain inactive in readiness and expectation,” they are being still because they know something or someone is going to “activate” a new dimension, season, role,etc to their lives. Again, like parents waiting for that baby who will radically change and redefine their lives, Creation anticipates these “special ones” who will dramatically change or transform things as Creation knows it; thus the “enthusiatic interest”  and the ability to “wait” for this revealing.

Who are these “sons” (not gender specific)? Jesus, in a foundational discourse on “who is blessed” (many have called this discourse The Beatitudes) teaches this:  “How blessed are those who make peace! for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)” The sons of God are those who are “making- creating” peace. Peace, shalom (Hebrew word for peace) is “the absence of chaos; state of calm and quiet; freedom of disturbing thoughts  or emotions; an agreement to end hostilities”.   These “sons” will also be blessed, in other words, carry God’s favor! Wow, now we can “see” why the creation would be “eagarly anticipating the revelation” of these hidden ones!

These “sons- children” of God will be transforming the world around them when they are revealed. God has been “hiding and growing” special sons and daughters to be revealed for the good of creation. These sons and daughters have been refined and tested in hidden places in order to reflect more perfectly the image of the PERFECT SON, Jesus.  When they are revealed, they will do as He did, bring peace – healing (in all its dimensions: physical, emotional, spiritual) and hope to a troubled creation.

ASK yourself today, am I one of these special ones? All of us who have recieved God’s Presence through His only begotten son, Jesus, to become children or sons of God. But  a true “son” of God’s Kingdom has a special purpose…to be “like or as” the Firstborn son of God, Jesus.  So now ask yourself, “Am I sufficiently prepared and ready to be revealed as one of these special sons?” Many of us have been hidden and severly tested and this is why; God is counting on us to be change agents, transformational leaders of peace.

In every generation since the time Jesus physically walked the earth, God has been preparing his “special sons/daughters” for the sake of His beloved creation.  Check yourself, some of us are ready to be revealed for “such a time as this” and some of us are “still in training and waiting in the wings” for our time of revealing. God’s ways are perfect, wait on the LORD because God will use you mightily….God’s creation is counting on it!

May the LORD’s blessings (favor) rest on you today and give you hope!

A Day for Us to Rejoice….

October 6, 2011

This past week, I was awakened around 5 am by the Voice of the Holy Spirit placing this Psalm in my heart: “This is the day the LORD has made, a day for us to rejoice and be glad.” (Psalm 118:24)  Since I had had a rough couple of days, I knew the LORD was attempting to both reassure me that “all things pass -even the roughest of circumstances” and “to prepare me for the day ahead”.  Not even an hour later, the phone rang and one of the members of my community of faith called to let me know that Mildred (one of our oldest and dearest members) had had a stroke, wasn’t expected to live, and the family was asking that I come asap!

As crazy as this may sound to some of you, I knew then why God had blessed me an hour earlier with that verse. Mildred, who I believe to practically be a saint, was about to make her grand entrance into heaven and the angels were already rejoicing.  I flew out of bed, grabbed my clothes, putting them on as quickly as possible, and made it to the hospital in record time. Mildred, although unconcious, was still present in earth time. The family gathered around her and we prayed and released her to the One who had formed her in her mother’s womb, who knew every hair on her head, and had numbered her days on this earth. It was a bittersweet good-bye and send-off but I knew deep inside THIS WAS A DAY TO REJOICE AND BE GLAD!

This is the day the LORD has made, is the beginning of the verse and it has taken on new meaning for me.  God creates each day anew for us and blesses us whether we believe that or not, recieve it or not, and accept it or not.  According to the book of beginnings, Genesis in our Bibles, God created and called it good (Gen. 1:4,1:10, 1:12,1:18,1:21,1:25,) and then blessed us. “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31) “So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created humankind; male and female he created them. God blessed them…” (Gen. 1:27-28)

Rejoice” is the word I have had the most difficulty with as of late. How does one “rejoice” in the midst of death, difficulty, tragedy, or the ordinary trying circumstances that plague many of us daily?  So I did a biblical word search of “rejoice”.  Six times in the book of Deutoronomy the word “rejoice” is linked with being in the Presence of the LORD our God!  We are called to “rejoice- enjoy, celebrate, take joy, sing out, exult,  when we are in the presence of the LORD our God.” 

God has made each and every day. The days were designed to be “good” and we were designed to be “blessed”.  These are the very foundations or reasons for  “rejoicing”; no matter what!  It is the curses of disobedience, disharmony, stife, anger, etc. that cause this world and its people to experience days of tragedy, difficulty, stress, and disharmony.

What if we got up every day and proclaimed, “THIS IS THE DAY the LORD has made,  a day to rejoice and be glad”?  Next we would reminded ourselves we “rejoice” because God is with us and for us and calls us “blessed”! I believe if we proclaimed and reminded ourselves of these truths daily we could face EVERY DAY with deeply abiding joy in our hearts.  Joy, that is based on truth unlike “fleeting happy” which is based on circumstances. My precious friend Mildred based her life on “joy in the LORD” and not on circumstances. I never saw her speak negatively or view circumstances with a dark attitude. She was one of those people it was a “joy” to be around no matter what the day brought…..she just knew the LORD was with her and that gave her joy!

The Holy Spirit used Mildred’s graduation day to heaven to teach me the deeper meaning of “rejoice”. This has been an invaluable lesson for me and for those I shepherd. Mildred’s death gave me a window of hope that no matter what the circumstances I or others face we can “rejoice in the day and be glad”! Before Mildred’s earthly shell emptied itself of  her presence, the angels were already “rejoicing” in anticipation of having her eternally  present with God and the saints above! Thank you Mildred for allowing God to teach us both in your daily life and earthly death. How can we not “rejoice” each day now and be glad in it?!

Rejoice today and be glad because God designs the day for “good” and calls us “blessed”!

Can you feel the excitement of new discovery allowing you to face each day now rejoicing NO MATTER WHAT this day brings……………

In God I trust…..

September 27, 2011

The question today is “in whom or what” do you place your trust?  “Trust” is defined as “confidence in a person or thing because of the qualities one perceives in him or it”.   Trust is also formed through relationship and time.  How can you be “confident” in someone or something in which you know nothing about them?  You need to both observe them and look at their track record; their past history. If you do not have a past history then look at their track record with others. Now, you ask yourself:  “Can I place my confidence (trust) in them?” It should become a simple, “yes” or “no” answer. 

In God I trust, should be our answer to the question today.  Within God are all the qualities we need in order to secure our trust; eternal truth, love, wisdom,renewal, hope, kindness, guidance (just to name a few qualities) and a track record of unwavering faithfulness to His creation.

David, God’s beloved (David means beloved), wrote in Psalm 56:3-4 (written under dire circumstances & great duress): “Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God – I praise his word- in God I trust; I have no fear: what can human power do to me?” David daily placed his“yes” in God; God as the One whom his trust was placed daily.

Difficulties arise when we “waver” in our trust.  Trust as a word picture can be visualized as what or whom keeps us balanced as we walk life’s tightrope. Life’s tightrope is the wired highway over the yawning chasms of our thoughts and decisions. If we do not stay balanced then we can plummet  into a chasm of dire circumstances. Our confidence (trust) must be lodged securely in order to keep us balanced on life’s  tightrope.  A “wavering” tightrope can cause us to plummet into deep and unsafe chasms of discouragement, depression, and despair.

David, who God described in His word as “a man after God’s own heart”,  understood this delicate balancing act. He spent his whole life building a relationship of trust with God. This confident trust kept David secure in his destiny.  How did David secure this trust?  In Psalm 86, David wrote: “LORD, teach me your way, so that I can live by your truth; make me SINGLE-HEARTED.”  

To be “single-hearted” means to walk in ONE opinion; letting no competing opinions cause you to waver on life’s tightrope when you are challenged by difficult circumstances! God taught David in the school of life, “yes”, as the single-hearted answer”, to the question, “do you trust in ME, GOD, in this minute, hour, day, year?”

As David continued to place his “unwavering” trust in God, he experienced God bringing him through the direst of circumstance in the valleys of life.  This trusting confidence also allowed David to encounter God on the mountaintops of joy, blessing and honor. One of the greatest honors David received was to be known eternally by the name badge of “a man after God’s own heart!” Can you imagine being given this honor?  

In God I trust…can secure this honor for you today!  Today we are being called forth to be God’s Davids, His “beloveds“.  This world we are walking through is transient and most often unstable. People are searching for something to anchor their trust in.  If our daily and eternal trust is FIRM and lodged in God and God alone, people will see and experience through us the reality of God!  A God, who guides us in truth, who is  ALWAYS stable, who is unchanging, who is FAITHFUL and can make a way when there seems to be no way!

In God I trust gives us the confidence to get up and walk securely in hope EVERY MINUTE OF OUR LIVES….

STIR UP your confidence today. Cement your trust firmly today. Let “In God I trust” be your response to every situation and life circumstance daily….

You are beloved and blessed ….walk now in confident trust!

The Weight of Glory….

September 22, 2011

Glory is defined as ” a quality of God’s character that emphasizes His greatness and authority.”  Beauty, power, and honor , also definitions,work together to paint a picture of understanding for an almost indescribable word.  We use “glory” in our songs, “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah”, in our descriptions, what a glorious time I had”, what a glorious morning”, and of course in our God-talk, the Glory of God, the glory of Zion, etc.

Today let’s take “glory” and give it “weight” in our daily lives. God’s word says, “This is why we do not lose courage. Though our outer self is heading for decay, our inner self is being renewed daily. For our light and transient troubles are achieving for us is an everlasting glory whose weight is beyond description.”                                  2 Corinthians 4:16-17

In pulling this text apart what pops to the forefront is the idea of courage: the ability to stand strong in the face of trouble. God does not want us to “lose” this ability. God is aware of the giants,the lions, tigers, bears, the bills, the brokeness of relationships and ALL that the world throws and surrounds us with daily. These destroyers of courage constantly assault our mortal bodies.  BUT the word says “don’t lose courage” BECAUSE this body, “the outer self” we now walk around in will one day fall to the wayside, it is not built for eternity. This should be good news because it unveils God’s real purpose for us:  “the outer self”  is only an encasement for the real body, “the inner self”, which is being built and strengthen for eternity!

Daily God gives “the inner self” an ability to be renewed and grow stronger. This renewable ability comes from us perceiving our “troubles” as “transient”short-lived and impermanent. 

These “short-lived, impermanent troubles” become God’s workout tools that achieve for us “everlasting glory” –eternal doses of God’s own strength and authority!    Using the descriptive words of “beauty, power, and honor” we begin to see our inner selves being beautified, becoming stronger and able to shine with honor. Now the world sees courage on display in the reality of lives lived through God’s word!

The closing phrase “whose weight is beyond description” confirms for us that God is balancing the “troubles” (which God allows) with the “weight of glory” . This weight is labeled as “more than we can imagine or describe”. However, I will attempt to give us a snapshot to better understand this phras; being mindful the text says it is beyond what humans can truly comprehend.

Since the streets of heaven are paved in gold, I can only imagine that this weight is worth more than all the gold in heaven…a concept that is truly inconceivable to our finite minds!  Just sit and meditate on this for a few minutes and see if your inner self doesn’t become filled with wonder, excitement and “yes” strength and courage for  the rest of the day! Now speak to those giants, and troubles being throw at you ……

“Hey trouble, I am using you today for a workout that is out of this world and worth more than gold!”

Know today you are blessed  & courageous!

“And there were giants in the earth in those days….”

September 22, 2011

“And there were giants in the earth in those days….”.

“And there were giants in the earth in those days….”

September 20, 2011

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?! There used to be giants, for real?!  Yep, God tells us in His word, the reference here is Genesis 6:3, there were giants (huge men) that were at first heroes and then became men of terror such as Goliath that battled a young David, the soon to be King of Israel.

Today, there are still “giants”  roaming the earth  and some are in our own backyards!  These giants oppose our God-given destiny and come in many forms; circumstances that tend to crush us, fears that paralyze us, and emotions  that captivate and hold us in bondage. These “giants” are just as fearsome and real as the physical giants of old.

God has a strategy for opposing and then cutting off the head of these “giants” in our lives. We will use the biblical text, 1 Samuel17, the story of David and the giant Goliath,  to unveil God’s strategy for defeating these “giants” in our fields of life. As we start to unveil this strategy, we must remember that David had been anointed with “the Spirit of the LORD” which would “fall upon David with power” (1 Samuel 16:13). Today you have no power against the “giants” in your life until you have the POWER (Holy Spirit) residing in your life. This POWER  comes to us from trust in Jesus, as our LORD and Savior. (If you don’t understand how to get the Holy Spirit in your life, talk with me off-line through leaving a comment below)

David had been sent out to a battlefield to deliver food for his brothers who were fighting a group that was opposing the people of Israel.  Daily we are sent “out” into the world to live out our lives. Even if we are in the confines of our own homes, we are in essence, sent out, because we get up and participate in the life where we have been planted.  There is no getting away from daily life! This is your first big hurdle….get up and get going! Life is a challenge but it is one to face if you hold the hand of God tightly!

A “giant” (description – a man over 9 feet 9 inches tall with armor weighing 120 pounds, his iron spearhead weighed 15 pounds alone!) was challenging the army of Israel, God’s people. He would come out and “taunt” the men to send someone out to battle him, the text says the men were “shaken and terrified”.

Here is the strategy that David used for overcoming this “giant”. First, David  identifies the situation through question and also throws us a key to understanding what or whom we are up against. “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine anyway, that he challenges the armies of the living God?”  

THE KEY is to recognize first that your “giant” is opposing a member of the army of the LIVING GOD.  God is LIVING, and is not some dead “whatever” floating around in the ozone.  YOU must get in your head and heart the REALITY of a LIVING GOD who is FOR YOU, NOT AGAINST YOU if you are in His army (ie His group that are the REAL world changers). THIS LIVING GOD is truly the One your “giant”  is challenging. This “giant’s” modus operandi (his strategy)  is to challenging your trust in  The ONE WHO HOLDS YOUR DESTINY! David had complete trust in God’s ability to deliver him! Listen to David, “Adonai (The LORD), who rescued me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will rescue me from the paw of this Philistine.”  Don’t forget Dorothy and her walk, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my….” (see last post)

Next pick up the weapon of your warfare. As David approached Goliath in his hand was a stone and a slingshot.  But from his mouth came THE POWER…”I’m coming at you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have challenged. Today the LORD will hand you over to me. I will attack y0u, lop your head off…Then all the land will know that there is a God in Israel.” David then loaded his slingshot with the stone. The first shot knocked the “giant” off his feet and David went and cut off his head. David’s trust in the Living God moved him deeper into God’s purposes eventually leading him to become King over Israel.

Today our stone is “Jesus“, whose very name means “God saves“.  Our trust in His ability to overcome the “giants” in our lives must be as rock solid as the stone that was loaded into David’s slingshot. Next like David, our stone, Jesus, lodges in our slingshot, which is our mouths filled with THE POWER of our words…..“GIANT I am coming at you with the Rock of My salvation, Jesus the Messiah, the  LIVING and VERY PRESENT LORD WHO SAVES! JESUS, who will slay you through my weapon of TRUST and I will cut off your head and resume my walk of destiny that you are challenging!”

Yes, there are giants opposing you, but you have THE WEAPON- THE LIVING GOD and strategies, TRUST and SPEAKING  THE POWER into the situation. Your giants will fall and you will cut off their heads. People are watching…Slay the “giants” and strengthen your spiritual walk! Tell people of your “giant” slaying. ALL will come to  KNOW THE REALITY OF GOD through your victory! Step up and face your giants today…win a VICTORY FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

Be blessed and victorious…..

Lions, and tigers and bears, oh my…..

September 17, 2011

You used to be dead because of your sins and acts of disobedience. You walked in the ways of the this world, this age and obeyed the Ruler of the Powers of the Air, who is still at work among the disobedient. Indeed, we all lived this way – we followed the passions of our old nature and obeyed the wishes of our old nature and our own thoughts. In our natural condition we were headed for God’s  wrath (judgment), just like everyone else.  Ephesians 2:1-3

Remember Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz (google this is you don’t know this fairytale) as she followed the “Yellow Brick Road” in the “land over the rainbow”. She was very afraid to step out;  for the way was new, strange, unfamiliar, and seemingly very scary. She had been dropped into a land that was very different from her  “home in Kansas with auntie and uncle”. This land had beings and people she never even knew existed.  This land “over the rainbow” was a land she often dreamed of, longed for, and wished for. But this journey was NOT at all what she expected!

Don’t get the wrong idea… I AM NOT comparing the Land of Oz to the Kingdom of heaven. Rather I am using a parable that most of us have grown up with to illustrate how our emotions, our minds and our fears make our climb to “Higher Ground” even more difficult.   While Dorothy longed for the “land over the rainbow”, once she got there it was vastly different from what she expected. The land was beautiful and vibrant but she didn’t arrive all at once but soon learned she would need to journey further to her final destination. Following God’s path into His eternal kingdom also places us in an unfamiliar landscape which is filled with unknown circumstances and testings. Listen to Dorothy as  she begins her walk. “Llions and tigers and bears, oh my….” This was Dorothy’s continual mantra for much of her journey.  However, as Dorothy’s confidence grew, she began to face her fears and learned strategies for dealing with unsavory characters and unexpected circumstances. She also became quite adept at unmasking cunning deceptions throw at her by the dark powers standing against her on this journey. We find at the end of the story Dorothy finished strong! 

 Our yellow brick road of salvation is not only a climb to higher ground but it is also a  journey of  taking back ground the “Ruler of the Powers of the Air” claims for his territory. FEAR is this ruler’s greatest weapon; fear of failure, fear of not knowing our way, fear of what others think of us, and fear of God’s wrath and judgement.  Like Dorothy, however, we must face fear and step out on this path strewn with opposition and real dangers and keep moving! This arduous journey to the top of Mount Zion is our training ground for eternal life  in the Eternal City of God. As God’s beloved we are destined to become real overcomers! 

However, unlike Dorothy, we are given tools for the journey. We do not walk alone but have ” grace” (defined as the unmerited favor of God) – “He (God) brought us to life along with the Messiah- it is by grace you have been delivered (Eph. 2:5). So the Messiah’s Spirit which contains God’s grace (His favor we did nothing to deserve) walks the road with us. We need to grasp and understand this to the core of our being. Jesus, the Messiah, said “the Father and I are united” (John 14:8-12), so in reality it is God’s own Eternal PRESENCE walking with us!  JUST think the King of the Universe is walking right in step with us!  What truly then is there to fear? What lion, tiger, or bear, or demon, or circumstance can be bigger or stronger than OUR GOD. We need to truly grasp this word and begin to move with the certainty of TRUST. God will never let us down, God walks with us EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!  This walk up into higher ground is a testing and proving ground for us. It is a way to build spiritual muscles of wisdom and perserverance. In the verse above open your eyes to this reality “it is by grace you have been delivered“. DELIVERANCE is assured.  His grace, his favor brings deliverance. Our part is to TRUST God and trust is built on belief. BELIEVE GOD is TRUE to HIS WORD!

TODAY ASK YOURSELF, are you walking confidently seeking God’s Presence, His favor every step of the way or are you shaking in your shoes, remaining like the young Dorothy, muttering “lions, and tigers and bears, OH MY…..”

Confidence and Trust are the shoes to wear on this treachous journey away from the land of rebellion, self-centeredness, and disobedience. Face forward, keep walking and let this be your mantra “OH MY, I am on a supernatural journey within the Kingdom of God!” Walk with confidence in God and God’s ability to get you to His eternal city!

You are loved and blessed!

Higher Ground

September 15, 2011

Are you ready to go HIGHER?  The LORD of the Universe is beckoning us to go “higher” in the spiritual plane. We must not be content to just trudge along on the dry and dusty plane of commonality, compromise, and contentment. Get moving, shake the dust of complacency off the soles of your feet. Look UP and see the Majestic Mountain of our Living G-d and let your desire be to go HIGHER even if the climb is exhausting; filled with rocks that must be rolled away and crevices that must be straddled and jumped!  Higher is where the strategy of the hour is…check out this verse…..

“…God raised us up with the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christ) and seated us with him in heaven , in order to establish in the ages to come how infinitely rich is his grace, how great is his kindness toward us who are united with the Messiah Yeshua. ”  Ephesians 2:6-7

The Higher WE Go…the more we encounter the Living G-d and understand His ways – this union we have with His Son, Messiah Yeshua. Even though the way is rugged and rough the promise is we will encounter the richness of HIS GRACE and more of His loving kindness. My climbing shoes are on…are yours?!

Tomorrow….snares along the way and who we are encountering…….

Til then May the LORD of Zion richly bless you!!!