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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Who Do You Say That I Am?

The Lord so desires for us to know Him.  Not about Him or of Him, but personally.  One on one, face to face and heart to heart.    This has been a common theme in my conversation with Father  more and more.  I see it in everything I read and in everything I hear. He is pursuing us.  He is pursuing me.  He is after His bride.  Love is chasing me down and consuming me. 

Today I was reading in Matthew 16:13-19 and this is so beautiful to me.

 13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 The first thing Jesus asked His disciples was, Who do men say that I am?  I don’t want to offend but as far as I can tell, men can fall very short in their estimation of Jesus if they don’t know Him.   They simply called Him a  prophet.  I’m certainly not diminishing the office of the prophet or the prophetic gift.  Jesus is the Prophet!  But to say that is all that He is, oh, how they limited Him. They believed He was a spokesman telling of what was to come rather than knowing the One who had come!  They were still looking at a distance and didn’t know His nearness. 

Then, He asked a very searching question.  One that could truly have disappointed Him to say the least and I’m certain one that has disappointed Him in my own life.  I know it has disappointed me. 

Who do you say that I am? Jesus wasn’t interested in second-hand relationship.  He didn’t want to know what the pastor said, their father or mother, friend or neighbor.   He wanted to hear it from them.  Who do you say that I am? 

Peter spoke up and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. 

And this evoked a blessing from the mouth of Jesus.  He said, Thou art blessed Simon Barjona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father which is in heaven. 

I tell you, if gravity were not holding me down at this moment.   This is the most precious statement!  You see, He blessed Peter because Peter knew intimacy.  Peter had gained and utilized the entrance.  He entered in through not just any door but THE DOOR!  It’s you Jesus! He had identified the only way to the Father and had taken it!  He has spoken to Father God himself!  He understood sonship. He had called Jesus, not only Christ but Son of the Living God!  He knew very well a Father who was alive and available to him!

And then I love what Jesus said to him.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  He said, I know you!  Friend, that’s the rock!  Don’t you see it?  The intimacy.  Knowing Father and being known by Father.  That is the foundation upon which God can build! 

And look again!  The gates of hell cannot prevail against it!  He was saying that hell could not triumph, win or conquer where there is intimacy.  In fact, hell only stands to lose!!

And now because of intimacy, we are the keepers of the keys.  We can offer the entrance to whomever will come in!  We can say, this is the way to the Father and His name is Jesus Christ!  We have the power to open and shut. We can unlock heaven in this earth and what’s more, we can lock hell up! 

Who do you say that I am?

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2010 in Father God, Jesus, Relationship, Revelation

 

The Lover and His Bride

This is a very intimate post for me.  It speaks of my process but it is also a look into the state of the church now as well.  I had shared this with a body of believers when invited recently and truly was not going to post it, as I believe it is a chapter from my book but after reading the last two posts on www.definingwords.wordpress.com, I think it is necessary.  So, heads up!  You may read it twice, both here and on paper later! 

 

The Lover and His Bride 

Song of Solomon is a beautiful picture of how the Lord courts us and of His desire for us and of what our desire should be. I’ve been spending much time there, simply for me and Him.

 I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. If my life has a message, I want it to be that.

I want to ravish His heart. I want Him to always see my eyes looking to Him alone.

Read the 5th chapter with me.

I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
“Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night.”

3I have taken off my robe;
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet;
How can I defile them?
4My beloved put his hand
By the latch of the door,
And my heart yearned for him.
5I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the lock.
 

 

6I opened for my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart leaped up when he spoke.
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.
7The watchmen who went about the city found me.
They struck me, they wounded me;
The keepers of the walls
Took my veil away from me.
8I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
That you tell him I am lovesick!

(The Daughters of Jerusalem)
9 What is your beloved
More than another beloved,
O fairest among women?
What is your beloved
More than another beloved,
That you so charge us?

 

This is both my dilemma and my delight…because I have finally been diagnosed. I am love sick. The original KJV says, I am sick with love.

 
 

 

Crazy to say that isn’t it? To use the words dilemma and delight in the same sentence but there’s no other way to state it!  It holds a two fold meaning.  

The love that this passage speaks of is

1. Human love for human object

2. Man toward man

3. Of man toward himself 

Let that just settle in for a minute. 

That’s my dilemma. There are human objects that I have loved more than God. I’ve been loving others more than I have been loving Him. And I have been loving myself. 

I’m sick of it! 

But this is my delight! That I know it! To be sick is to be weak, diseased, emotionally grieved, and thankfully sorry. 

Note here that she said, “Tell Him! Tell Him that I know and that I’m sorry!” 

And the response that came from this was…  

What is your beloved more than another beloved? 

What is your beloved more than another beloved?  

What were the daughters of Zion saying to her? 

What is He, more than all of the things I can acquire?  More than a better house, a better car, more stuff, stuff, stuff? 

What is He, more than my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children, my friends? 

What is He, more than me?

 

This reminds me of Matthew 22:37-39

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

God brings a very clear distinction here.   He didn’t say to love our neighbors as we love Him.  There is a love reserved for only Him!  This is the make up of that love: with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind!  We are not to love ourselves that way or anyone else!  Yet we do.

 

Look with me at  Matthew 25: 1-:13 

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

Again, there are five wise and five foolish, we understand that. Obviously, there was something that brought a distinction. What was it because according to what I read, they were all virgins, right?

 

When you think of a virgin, what comes to mind?

1. Generally, a virgin can be a man or a woman.

2. A virgin is someone who has kept themselves for their spouse only.

 

And… they all had lamps. All of them.

 

What do those lamps represent?

To me, the lamps represent:

1. Their lives.

2. Their ministries.

3. Their callings.

4. The law.

5. Everything outward.

 

You see, they were virgins. They were keeping themselves. 

They believe in Jesus. 

They were living right. 

They had their ministry. 

They were called by God. 

No one could say that they weren’t a Christian! 

They didn’t have any other God’s before them. (or atleast none that anyone else could recognize.) 

They never killed anyone. 

They never committed adultery. 

They never lied, cheated anyone or wanted what wasn’t theirs. 

They even keep their confession right! 

They go to church on Sunday. 

They pay their tithe. 

They give to the poor, feed the hungry, a cloth the naked. 

What was it they were lacking?

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 

I have read this a million times and always thought, that the lamps themselves were empty. But the Word doesn’t say that. It says the vessel was empty.

We are the vessel. The ones who were wise are full of oil. 

You see, each of us are called to carry a lamp and throughout our lives, we can do everything right, say everything right and carry that lamp but let me just say, the lamp, in the end, the lamp will have meant nothing without the oil.

When the Lord comes, when I finally see Him face to face, all of this will fade.

Even after “keeping myself”….the door could very well be shut to me. 

How easily we can be fooled. And we’re not alone in this.

 

Luke 13:23-28 says,  23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” 

And Matthew 7:22 tells us even another scenario…Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

I don’t know about you but this is startling. 

They knew His presence! They ate and drank in it! He taught in their streets!

This tells me that we can come to church and feel His presence and not know Him. Our Pastor brings the Word, we attend revival services, tune into He’s Alive Radio, watch God TV, eat and drink it all and still not have the oil. 

What’s worse is we can prophesy, cast out devils and even do wonderful works… witness, heal the sick, you name it and still no oil. God will always honor the name of Jesus.

So, what is it? What is this oil? 

Each of these passages we have read, if you will notice carry a common thread.

They all will say “Lord, Lord”. 

It startled me to find that the word Lord in this passage in the Greek is and it means Sir or Mr. 

We see here, that by calling Him Lord, Lord, they were calling Him Mr. Lord. Mr. Jesus.

They new His name but they had no idea who He was. 

They lacked the oil. They had forsaken the grace that He had given them to know Him. They had full access to Jesus himself but settled for being in His presence, rather than being a vessel filled with it!

 

They settled for prophesying, casting out devils and wonderful works…over Wonderful Himself!

 

Jesus warns us to enter through the straight gate. That word straight means narrow.

That means, nothing is going to fit through that door with you! Your pastor can’t get you in! Your mother can’t get you in! You can’t take your trophies! You can’t take your accomplishments! You can’t take a single compliment! 

All He wants is you and it has to be alone. You with Him alone. Before you get dressed.  

Revelation 19:5-8

5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” 6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 

I love that! We are granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright….to do all the acts…the wonderful works, after we have made ourselves ready! After we have spent time with the Lord.

Did you know that the Holy Spirit is our engagement ring that enables us to have that intimacy and to fellowship with Him? He is what the Lord has given us, to empower us to get dressed? A woman doesn’t put on a wedding dress without having first been given an engagement ring.

 

Ephesians 1:14 tells us that we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance. In the footnotes of my bible, I read that the Greek word for guarantee can also be used to indicate an engagement ring. 

It’s time to let Him shine! It’s time to wear Him for all the world to see! When a woman becomes engaged, the first thing that people want to see is the ring. 

And believe me, when the world finds out who you are getting married to, they are going to want to see His power! It’s time to show off the ring! We have been endued with power from on high!

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2010 in Christian Living, Kingdom Living, love

 

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The Seeing Years

Recently, Melissa Flores posted on The Seeing Years.  You can find that post by clicking here.  http://definingwords.com/2010/09/09/welcome-to-the-seeing-years/  It would be good to read that post because what the Lord has revealed to me in this, is quite intriguing in light of that.  I can’t help but think the two are somehow connected. 

I’ve been on a mission to find out what characteristics the Groom desires in His bride.  Song of Solomon 2:16 says, “My beloved is mine and I am His.”  That’s what I want to be.  His.  Nothing less.  

So, I said all that to say this, I have been meditating on one passage and I am captivated.  

Song of Solomon 4:9

You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. 

Many interpretations of the bible, namely the Amplified and the NKJV will word it  with one look from your eyes. (NKJV) and what’s more, the AMP expounds with you have given me courage with one look from your eyes.

I don’t disagree with either of those interpretations but I couldn’t help but think that the original wording had significance in itself.  (In fact, I will touch on the Amplified interpretation later on.) 

Look with me again at the original KJV.  …thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes.  As I began to study this out, I found an awesome explanation in John Gills Exposition of the Bible.

…the allusion may be to the custom of the eastern women; who, when they walked abroad or spoke to any, showed but one eye, the other, with the rest of the face, being covered with a veil;  the eyes of women are ensnaring to lovers;…

It was custom for a woman to cover at least one of her eyes because the eyes were thought to be alluring or captivating to others. To cover the face and one eye was what was acceptable, so that men would not be drawn to her.  One eye was “safe”, so to speak. 

It’s amazing to me that even in this, our lover says that He is ravished even by one eye exposed.  He just can’t help Himself.  He loves us that much!

If that’s not enough, I can’t help but refer to Matthew 6:22, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”

To have a single eye is so attractive to the Lord.  

The word single in the Greek is haplous and it means simple

The opposite of the Greek word haplous is poneros and means envy, jealousy and covetousness, signifying that haplous would then speak of generosity and a  giving heart.

2 Corinthians 11:3 says, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 

I believe this is a season of returning to our first love.  Being undefiled and fully aware of the simplicity that is in Christ. 

It’s simple to love Him.  It’s simple to seek and to find Him.  It’s simple to give Him all of me. 

The simplicity that’s in Christ  is undoing religion.  The simplicity that’s in Christ will undo all the trappings of  envy, jealousy and strife among us as brothers and sisters in Christ.  Because He has simply favored us all and chosen us all.  And I love how Song of Solomon states it (NKJV), “Thou art all fair, my love and there is no spot in you.”   

We are ALL fair to Him and it’s when we realize that no one of us can be His bride without the other, that we have truly entered into to His bed chamber of love and rest.  He requires ALL of us. 

As I was writing this, I caught a glimpse of something.  We have been so star struck as a church.  Cameras have been flashing and we’ve been blinded!  Envying, jealous and covetous of the stage!   And when we look toward one another, we don’t see the clear picture anymore. That every life is a stage for Jesus, whether we ever take the “stage” or not.  We are left with spotted vision for one another.   But He says, there is no SPOT in you!

As promised…one last thought on the Amplified take on Song of Solomon 4:9…  “you have given me courage with one look from your eyes.”  Need I say it?  WOW! To give Him courage.  We can’t give the One who is Courage, courage but I don’t think that is what this means.  It’s courageous to live this way.  With one eye covered and it’s what we can offer Him.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2010 in Church, Prophecy, Seeing

 

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If All Is Well, Why Am I Like This?

Thank God for this passage today.  Thank God. 

It has been declared time and again that the struggle is over!  And I say, “Yes, Lord, let it be so.” and then…I find myself struggling.  Why?

As I was searching God for definition on this, this is where He so lovingly led me. 

Genesis 25:21-24

Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?”  So she went to inquire of the LORD.


And the LORD said to her:

        “Two nations are in your womb,
        Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
        One people shall be stronger than the other,
        And the older shall serve the younger.”

So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb.

Have you ever found yourself asking this question?  If all is well, then why am I like this? 

Father has been speaking some new things to me recently.  Actually, not so new, just surprising I guess. Things that I thought were my “idea” and had abandoned years ago.  I dropped it…so to speak.  Not knowing to nurture it and care for it, I dropped it and left it.  But God is calling Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9) to His table now.  To my table.

And because of where I find myself today, doing what I know God has called me to do and in the place where I know He has called me to be…there is a struggle in my womb. 

How can this be?  How can the two things that He has placed within me be at the same time?  How can I give myself to both of these when they seem in my mind, to strive with one another?  It doesn’t seem possible.  It doesn’t make sense.  There’s no way I can do it myself. 

That’s His plan.

 

Opinion is a Usurper of Truth…the explanation.

Psalm 49:13, This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

2 Corinthians 10:18,  For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

As I was praying this morning, I found that my mind would continually draw back to negative words that have been spoken either to my children or myself  in recent weeks and to tell the truth, I hated it!   I have done all that I know to do and yet, they continue to clog the filter or so I thought.   I, for too long have invested myself in the approval of others, constantly looking for an affirming smile, a word of encouragement or even an acknowlegement that I’m getting it right.  Just something.   That, I think is my love language in many ways. 

Having said that, when someone says something that just strips you down to nothing, especially critical words that rob of you of the communication that ministers to you the most, questions begin to surface.  All of us want to be loved and accepted.  We all want to be told we are OK.  We all want to know that there is something right in this world, close to home and near to our heart.     

As I was pouring this heartache out to Father, this  what I heard. “Opinion is a usurper of truth.”   I wasn’t going to expound any further than what I just had in my new blog, www.realitycheckz.wordpress.com because this was a fresh thought and that’s why I started such a place, so I can just put it out there!    My friend Melissa (Defining Words) actually gave me the idea and I ran with it! 

Anyway…let me expound. 

Opinion is simply judgement on our part for or against something.  It’s defined as an appraisal and basically reveals the value that something holds to us.  It’s an approval rating.  If you ask me, opinion is unfaithful.  It’s situational, circumstancial, temporal and totally undependable. 

And unfortunately, for so many of us, myself included, it usurps the truth!  If you aren’t familiar with that word, it takes the place of or worse yet, excercises authority in the place of truth.   Yikes! I know. 

I don’t have to tell you what the truth is.   It’s spelled BIBLE. 

The B-I-B-L-E, yeah that’s the book for me
I stand alone on the word of God
The B-I-B-L-E
The problem with opinion is that is gets really crowded wherever it is and just like that little song says, I stand alone on the word of God. 
 
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Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Christian Living, Confidence, Opinion, Truth