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Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Idols We Keep

Today I received an email, a bi-weekly devotion from David Timms on the subject of pride & pretense. (You can find him at www.growingdeeper.com) Of course, wouldn’t you know it, I was thinking on that very thing driving into work this morning. Pride that is, not pretense. But the thing is, this morning just happened to be the moment that it surfaced in my mind. This has been an ongoing issue for let’s see…all of my life! But today is the day that God wanted to deal with it…again. I say that thankfully! Something that Pastor David said that really bears witness with me is this…

“Our sensitivity to what others think or say about us betrays the talon-grip of pride in our life. The ease with which a casual or careless word can wound us and stir us to sleepless nights exposes our pride even further. And our insistence that all is well when all is not well reveals the deep pretentiousness of our hearts.

We want family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to admire us. So, we carefully craft an image and defend it with vigor. Fearful that folk might see the real us (with its weaknesses and warts), we work tirelessly to project a preferred (and prideful) “false self.” And living this way, with one eye over our shoulder, shrivels the soul.”

In the past months, I have spent sleepless nights repulsed at how enamored I am with myself sometimes and what’s more, how enamored I am with others and their opinions. It reveals to me that I have put others in a place in my life that God himself desires to be and that truly, only He has the right to. I have to admit that I’m not sure I have ever experienced Father…just Father. Or Jesus…just Jesus and Holy Spirit…just Holy Spirit. No matter how hard I try, I find I am never completely alone with God, even when I am completely, physically alone. The room is always crowded. Heartbreaking. Sobering. Liberating.

Liberating? How is this liberating? First of all, because I haven’t always realized this and the thing is, every time I spend time with the Lord, if I’m aware that I have brought an idol with me, it’s only by His grace that I would even begin to know that. Father, because of His love for me, has revealed it! And that’s one less taking up my precious time with Him. He has no problem exposing it!

I remember Dr. Lois Burkett (www.newcreation-usa.org) teaching on something very similar. She told of a time when a man had come for prayer and was kneeling in the altar, believing God for restoration in his marriage. The thing is, although he was in a posture of worship, he was worshipping his wife and the restoration, not God himself.

You see, He is a jealous God! Exodus 34:14 says, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” He does not want to share my thoughts! He does not want to share my praise! He does not want to share my worship! That part of me was created for Him alone! 

How do I know there’s an idol? An idol is a “graven image”. That word “graven” means to impress or fix (as a thought) deeply. I don’t have to be toting around a bunch of little wooden statues to “have” an idol. In fact, those things are only outward appearances. The true idol, as we see above, is first impressed or fixed in our thoughts deeply. If I come into His presence (in the context of praise & worship) and thoughts of someone else or something else are constantly coming to my mind…there it is.  The problem for me has been, as it turns out, that the idols I’ve kept are thoughts of those I love, honor, admire & respect the most in this world.  

Lord, I long to be alone with You! That with every thought, I would serve you. You are my hearts desire, my beginning and my end! I want to fall in love with you again and again! Amen.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

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Posted by on November 20, 2009 in Character, Church, Kingdom Living, Life

 

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Without Saying

Psalm 42:10  “As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? ”

 As I read this Psalm, the one thing that sticks out to me, is the word “daily” and it occurs to me that daily, that means each and every day, the enemy will try to raise questions.  In the midst of our daily lives, in our encounters with others and the comings and goings, being about our Father’s business, there will be opportunity for the questions to arise.  And every question is meant to either strengthen or weaken our faith.  It’s meant to be a “sword in the bones”, a weapon to drain the flow of salvation in the day in and the day out of our existence.  A weapon designed to kill our faith! Where is thy God? 

Now for just a moment…hear it differently.  Not only is the enemy mocking you, asking you “Oh yeah, where is your God now?”  But do you think that perhaps his questioning is the bait?  If he can just get you to look away long enough.  If he can just get you to take your eyes off the of truth as he asks, “Where is your God?” then maybe, just maybe, when your eyes fall on him you’ll believe the lie, whatever it may be, and you will be convinced that he is god.  That perhaps you’ll just let the liar rule for a while? 

Isn’t if funny that the enemy has no real problem with “saying”.   When clearly, that right does not belong to him but to us! (Matthew 21 & Mark 11)  Yet, we allow it! Jesus never allowed the enemy to “say” anything to Him!  

And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I said, “it’s not the enemies right to “say”, immediately he challenged me on that by bringing up Matthew 4.  Take a look!

 1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

 Jesus did not allow him to “say”!  It may seem that way but no he didn’t! You see, this is the exact same scenario. When the enemy “says”, it’s always the questioning of “Where is thy God?”, “If He is God…” “If you really were…”, “Is that the truth?”.  He cannot “say” an answer to anything! And that’s the difference!  When Jesus said, it was always the answer!  Friend, When we “say”, it’s always the answer! 

And this is where I lose it!  I’m just completely undone! Whewww!!  Oh, I’m having a Holy Ghost party!  Just look what happens when we “answer”! 

 Vs. 10 & 11 again!

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

 Um…just where do where do we think the devil went when he left?  To do what he was told of course and that was to serve the Lord thy God!  Jesus gave him an instruction he had to follow!  The devil had to serve God by retreating and allowing the answer to come to pass.  And that’s good news for us!  When we give the answer that is written, the enemy has to depart to do it! 

And the answer also released the angels to do their part!   They “came and ministered unto him”. 

By definition, the angels did the following based on the Lord’s answer:  to relieve one’s necessities, to provide take care of, distribute, the things necessary to sustain life 

Too much goes “without saying”, doesn’t it?  Or should I say, nothing does?

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2009 in Fear, Kingdom Living, Life, Prayer, Words

 

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Go ahead…walk!

On Sunday during prayer, the main focus of prayer was just that…staying focused on who we are in Christ! We are in a  righteousness position with  God in Christ Jesus, now and forever more.  (Romans 3:22)  And it doesn’t matter what the circumstances, that does not change! 
 
While Lisa was praying, she said this.  “I’ll walk on the water if I have to!”  She only said it once and didn’t camp there or anything but when I went home on Sunday to study righteousness, I couldn’t get that statement out of my mind.  We all know, of course, the history behind it.  The disciples and Peter on the raging sea in the midst of a storm and they see Jesus coming to them, walking on water.  And Peter says, “If it’s you Lord, tell me to come to you.”  And this is where I spent my afternoon.  On the water….
 
Matthew 14:29  “And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.”
 
For the first time in my life, I realized what Jesus said to Peter. He said, “Come’!  That is so exciting!  That word means, “to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto” and is the same word God used in the beginning when He created the heavens and the earth.  
  
And as I continued studying, what I discovered about the water was even more amazing to me.  Those waters that Peter stepped out on were the same waters that Holy Spirit hovered over when God was creating the earth.
 
Genesis 1:1-2  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
 
Just read the definition of water concerning this passage:
 
of water as the primary element, out of and through which the world that was before the deluge, arose and was compacted
 
Jesus wasn’t just speaking to speak.  He was creating with His words and Peter wasn’t just stepping into something wet! He was stepping out on the creative word of the Master onto the waters of the word out of which and through the very world was created. 
 
Now, just for a moment contemplate that God has placed wells of waters within us.  Rivers of waters even and His creative Word is near you, even in your heart and in your mouth!
 
Go ahead…walk!!
 
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Posted by on November 10, 2009 in Kingdom Living, Prayer, Words

 

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A Good Investment

Here’s a quote for your day today from Henry David Thoreau, “Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”  I love that, especially in terms of what Romans 2:4 tells us! It says that “the goodness of God leads us to repentance.”  And to be led to repentance means to change your mind or to re-determine your purpose and to discontinue doing things that are wrong.  When we invest “goodness” as defined in God’s word, we are making an eternal difference.  It’s not our goodness, it’s His! Amen! And it’s meant to be deposited in this earth and in everyone we encounter.

And just think of that.  Psalm 23 says that “goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives.”  The goodness of God, that leads us to repentance; that provokes us to change our minds, causes a reformation of our purpose and a stop to sinful works…it is on assignment to us! God put it in pursuit of us & chases us with it! It’s got our back!  No matter what thought comes our way or choice we are confronted with, His goodness is right behind us! Glory to God!

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2009 in Kingdom Living

 

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Kingdom Icons

I was just surfing Merriam Webster online (go figure), for definition on some things that God has been speaking to me and there is a little blip in the right hand corner that says, “Ask The Editor, Michael Jackson”. 

Well, needless to say, I didn’t ask.  In fact, I had navigated to another page and the computer began speaking to me.  It was the above referenced “editor” and it turns out that he had something to say. 

One thing he mentioned is that you can tell what people are thinking by the definitions they search for.  Good insight.

But something else he said is that after Michael Jackson died, immediately people began searching out words that were used in press releases and news articles surrounding his death.

Let me just insert here that I believe that to be true of all of us.  Depending what we are feeding ourselves, our thought processes investigate and search out accordingly.

Two words that began flooding the web search engine were  STRICKEN & RESCUSITATE.  The next day, was the word CONDOLENCES.  The following day, the word RESUSCITATE replaced the word CONDOLENCES and afterward, the word that was entered was ICON. 

Now, I can rant endlessly about what all of that means but I think it’s very clear here! What keeps resounding in my heart is the word ICON.

By definition, (I was already there, might as well look it up), ICON means:

~a usually pictorial representation : image

That is not the only definition but first on the list and so I’m running with it!  You want to know “pop” music?   Michael Jackson’s picture is next to it in the dictionary! He’s the icon!  He has been named the “image”, the very picture, the very representation of pop music!

Friend, the word says that you and I were created in the image of God.  (Genesis 1:26.)

We could name names all day endlessly and each and every name would be iconic of something earthly.  But friend, where are heaven’s icons?  Where are Father’s Kingdom icons?

An icon on the computer is simply a picture that looks like something, so that you know that just by clicking, you have access to the bigger picture.  For instance, I have an icon with two people on it.  When I click it, I can get to the church peoples database.  I have access to their addresses, phone numbers and records of their church donations and attendance.  I can learn something about them just by clicking.

The icon isn’t the church people but it reminds me of them.

I’m not you Lord but help me be a reminder of You! Let others access information about you through me.  I want to be a Holy Ghost database on this earth!  Salvation, click here!  Healing, click here please!  Oh, deliverance, sure thing! Just click here!  ……..Amen! 

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.  1 Corinthians 15:49

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2009 in Kingdom Living, Michael Jackson

 

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