Frail No More

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Proverbs 23:7a (ASV), “For as he thinketh within himself, so is he:”

Years ago, in my early twenties, a doctor spoke these words over me, “You are like a frail and fragile flower.” At the time, I was going through some health issues and feeling like a weakling. These words flew into my mind and quickly my heart agreed, “Yes I am like a flower! I am fragile.” I finally felt like I was validated in some way. Of course this was a self fulfilling prophecy and for years I struggled with health issues, anxiety, and stress. Like a fragile flower petal, life crushed me over and over. Unlike that fragrant rose petal that lets off a wonderful aroma when crushed, I stank! Life was about me, my sickness, my symptoms, my anxiety, my fears, my, me, mine… You get the picture.

Thank God for deliverance and healing, for sending His Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth. I have been free from that mess of a life for years now, but just this morning while listening to the message at Church, God reminded me of those ugly words spoken over me years ago. I never related those words to my constant struggle with life until just this morning! Maybe God was waiting for me to be stronger, or maybe I am just hard headed. However, now I recognized that lie of Satan coming through the foolish words of that doctor. As those words came to my remembrance, I rebuked that lie and this truth rose up in me- “I am not frail! I am a woman with a sword! I have been trained and equipped, I have the full armor of God, and I am battle ready. ”

Proverbs 23:7 explains this phenomenon, how we think about ourselves, what we choose to believe in our hearts, that’s who we become! That is pretty scary isn’t it? How many times have you looked in the mirror and thought, “I hate my hair/or chin/or nose/or whatever?” Or said to yourself, “My life sucks,” “my kids never listen,” “My husband doesn’t care,” and the list can go on and on. We even confess quite frequently, “I don’t feel good.” An older visiting preacher, who has gone on to be with the Lord, once told us that he got up every morning and looked in the mirror and said, “You look good, you feel good.” Then he would echo within himself, “We feel good, we look good!” He was rarely sick. We need to take a lesson from Dave Duel, and from the author of proverbs 23. We need to line up our heart thinking with what God says about every situation and about ourselves (about Him as well) and not allow any foolish thinking to take place.

Have you already latched onto a lie like I did? Well, it’s never too late. Repent, rebuke that thought, and thank God for tearing down that stronghold. Then change the way you think!

Luke 6:45 (NIV), “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

Fill your heart with good! Fill it with the Truth, with His word. Then that will come out.

I am strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world! Amen!

What Does The Spirit Say?

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Romans 8:14 (ISV), “For all who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.”

We hear a lot of voices throughout our day, in fact we even hear them while we sleep. There is good advice, bad advice, jokes, cliché’s, sayings, stories, sales ads, preaching, teaching, facts, fiction, doctors diagnosis, kind words, hateful words, and too many things to name here. It isn’t all bad, but it certainly isn’t all good. Whose voice should be listening to? Should we shut off everything that isn’t God’s voice to us? I hate to say it but that really isn’t possible. What is possible is which voice we believe!

I have learned when I hear something I am not sure about, or something that troubles me to ask myself this question, “What does the Spirit say?”

That voice that says I have to look like I am in my early twenties, wear a size four, and not have a wrinkle to be beautiful may be insistent, but is it what the Spirit says? That voice that says I need a few tattoos, some piercing in weird places, and wear a lot of leather to be beautiful may be the current fad, but what does the Spirit say. That voice that says I need Botox, a tummy tuck, and a boob job is socially acceptable, but is that the voice of the Spirit?

Ok, I think you get the picture. I can go on about those words like, “You have cancer,” “I never loved you,” “You just aren’t working out like we’d hoped,” and more, but those are pretty obviously not what the Spirit says. But what about that little voice that says, “I don’t know how I am going to pay the bills this month,” you know that one that sounds just like you. Or the same voice that says, “They helped sister so and so when she was sick, but no one even asked if I needed anything.”

It is so easy to allow those little foxes to spoil the vine. Those seemingly harmless voices, that sometimes are our own flesh talking, to take root. Anything that is contrary to God’s word isn’t Him. Anything that is less than how God sees us isn’t the Spirit talking. He may correct us when needed, but He will never be-little us, spew venom, accuse another, feed jealousy or bitterness, or make us think less of ourselves or another. He will help us to see what God thinks about us and any situation we can face.

Romans 8:6 (NLT), “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

John 14:17 (NLT), “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”

The battle takes place mostly in our minds. Which voice are you listening to? Which voice are you entertaining? Which voice are you telling to shut up?

The Spirit of God speaks to us all the time. Are we hearing Him? Are we open to what He has to say and can we even recognize His voice? Start by searching out the scriptures and see what God has to say about you.

And hear is a few things that explicitly say, “Hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” That’s me and you.

Revelations 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28 3:5, 12, 21 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death. To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

The Truth Is (My) Relative

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We have all heard the saying “truth is relative”, meaning that it depends on the circumstance, or the person, or some other outside influence. When Pontius Pilot is having a conversation with Jesus before the crucifixion he voices the same belief after Jesus tells him that “I came to testify of the truth”.

John 18:38 (NIV), “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”

That common philosophy of Pilot’s day is still common in our day. So many people talk about the “grey areas” or that “there is no black and white, just different shades of grey.” I disagree.

Jesus made it very clear. There is TRUTH and it is HIM.

John 14:6 (NIV), “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

Instead of saying, “truth is relative” he said, “TRUTH is my relative”. I love that. I am one with Christ, a joint heir, a son of God, and Jesus is the way, the truth and the light, so I am related to Him.

God’s word is true, He is not a man that He should lie, and Jesus is the Living Word.

His word is alive! And it is True!

Truth isn’t relative, but He is my Relative.

Be blessed.

Truth?

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Psalm 25:5 (Darby Bible Translation), “Make me to walk in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”

Psalm 12:6 (NIV), “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.”

David wanted to walk in God’s truth. He understood that God’s word protects us and keeps us safe.

II Samuel 22:31 (English Standard Version), “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”

Samuel also points out that His word, His truth, is a shield for us.

So, you would think that all of God’s people, His chosen, His children would want His truth.

There was an Old Testament king, Ahab, who most of us know about. He was married to that great manipulator, and idolater, Jezebel. In II Chronicles and I Kings we read about this notorious king of Israel. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than any of his royal ancestors. At one point he is trying to convince Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to go to war with him. Jehoshaphat agrees on one condition, he wanted Ahab to inquire of the Lord. Ahab gathers 400 false prophets who give him the wonderful, and fully false words, “go and you will be victorious.” Good King Jehoshaphat wants a true prophet of God.

Against his better judgment, Ahab calls for Micaiah, who he says always gives him bad news. When the messenger warns Micaiah to speak the same words as the false prophets his reply is sure.

II Chronicles 18:13-15 (NIV), “But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.” When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?” “Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for they will be given into your hand.” The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

Notice Ahab, he is sitting with a righteous king, he has already admitted that Micaiah always gives him bad news, so he acts the righteous ruler and admonishes the prophet for lying. But, did he really want the truth.
No. Let’s take a look.

II Chronicles 18:16-27, (NIV), “Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’  ” the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?” Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “ ‘By what means?’ the Lord asked. “ ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “ ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’ “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.” Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked. Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.” The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son, and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’ ” Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”

How do we know the word was from God? It comes to pass.

There are spirits that the enemy sends to deceive us. God allows one to work in Ahab’s life to help fulfill His own word earlier. They are more than ready to convince us that a lie is the truth. Our flesh is weak and our ears “tickle” to hear what we want to hear. We want to hear facts (the doctor’s report, the news report, the stock market report, the latest statistics) but do we really want to hear The Truth? Or are we like Ahab, putting on some self-righteous act, saying we want the truth, but scorning it when we hear it?
Worse yet, do we hear the truth, and not obey it? Notice that though Jehoshaphat asks for a prophet of God, and listens to the word, he still goes with Ahab into battle. He even allows Ahab to disguise himself as an average soldier while sending Jehoshaphat out in his royal robes. Ahab was killed that day by a random arrow, by the way. God, in His faithfulness to the promise He made David, spared Jehoshaphat when he cried out to Him during the battle. But on the way home, another prophet of God soundly rebuked him for going out to war with Ahab.

James 1:22 (NASB), “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

When Jesus is confronted by Pilate He told him that His whole purpose for coming into the world was to witness to the Truth.

John 18:37 (ESV), “Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.””

Are we like the philosophers of Pilate’s day, as well as our own, who say, “What is truth.” (James 18:38) Here is another common and popular saying, “Truth is relevant.” I want to know, “relevant to what?” Our own stinking thinking? Our whishy washy beliefs? How about our ever changing and changeable circumstances? I would like something a little more concrete, wouldn’t you? Then how about The Truth. Written by a God who cannot lie, a Truth that doesn’t look at “facts,” ignores the statistics and negative reports, the Truth that does not change, ever!

Give me that Truth.

Then once I have it, and continue to search it out, and listen to it when it comes through sound teaching, I pray that I have the courage to walk in it. To do what it says, what He says.

John 14:6 (KJB), “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Let’s follow Him.

Off With Their Head

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Did you ever watch “Alice in Wonderland,” of maybe read the book? There is an evil character in that story, the queen of hearts, that likes to scream “Off with their heads!” I think she got that idea from Satan. He wants to separate us from our Head. The bible is clear, we are the body of Christ and He is the Head, (I Corinthians 12.) God’s word is also clear about the fact that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and that nothing can separate us from His love. Our enemy cannot “be-head” us. He, Jesus, will not allow Himself to be separated from the body, so, Satan has to get us away from our Head. Does that make sense?

How does he do that? He has several tactics, none of them new. One is distraction. He will bring everything, including the kitchen sink, against us. We tend to get our minds fixed on our problems and not on God and His solution. We fight that by rebuking our enemy and his plans against us, and speaking God’s word over our situation. Another ploy is to get us in discord or dis-unity with those around us, our family, friends, and our church family. We get so caught up in the drama that we lose sight of God’s purpose, His vision, in our lives. It can destroy a marriage and a church. We combat that by not listening to gossip, not spreading lies, and by building strong, healthy, Godly relationships. When people know us, they won’t believe any lie that is spoken by others about us. If you hear something that is untrue don’t repeat it, and don’t allow it to continue. Call the person who is gossiping on it! If needed go to the elders of the church. Promote unity! Pray for God to bind us together with bonds of peace and with love. Satan is the liar, have no part in his ways.

This one is a favorite of our enemy; he tries to convince us that God is keeping something from us, or that we have to work to receive from our Father. That’s the original lie that Adam and Eve believed. We wear ourselves out trying to get, earn, rob, grab, acquire, obtain, something that God, in His love, just wants to give us! Sounds pretty crazy, but I’ve bought into that one more than once, thinking the doctor could heal, the bank could bail me out, that the grass was greener… Don’t buy into that lie. God is good, He wants to bless you abundantly, and His gifts are free. They were already paid for by the shed blood of Jesus.

We don’t live in a fairy tale, and out enemy isn’t a misguided, misplaced card out of some strange deck. Our enemy is real, and we are cautioned not to be ignorant of his devices.

II Corinthians 2:11 (God’s Word Translation), “I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.”

I Peter 5:8 (NIV), “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Did you catch that part, Who he may devour? We don’t have to let him!

Changin the Way We Think

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There are two kinds of thoughts. Godly and ungodly. We, as Christians need to make sure that our thought patterns are Godly. Proverbs 23:7a says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

We can’t trust our senses. They lie, and mislead. They may at times give us “facts” but they don’t always give us “TRUTH.”

We can’t trust what we see. For example, Elijah’s servant saw a great army surrounding them. God and Elijah saw the army of the Lord there to defend them. The disciples saw 5 loaves and 2 little fish. Jesus saw a feast, enough to feed 5,000 men plus women and children.

We can’t trust what we can hear. The woman with the issue of blood had heard nothing but bad news from the doctors and had spent every penny she had to hear it. But the TRUTH was that Jesus came to bring healing to her. The Israelites believed the bad report of the 10 spies. Only Joshua and Caleb believed the Lord’s report and were able to pass into the promised land.

Facts-versus-TRUTH. There is a huge difference between facts and TRUTH. Don’t ever get the two confused. The fact was that Elijah was surrounded by an army. But he TRUTH was that there were more warrior for them than were against them.

Satan used ‘facts’ against Jesus. He could have given everything over to Jesus, as he promised on the temple mount, legally Satan owned it all. But the TRUTH was that by doing it God’s way, Jesus not only got it all for Himself, but for us as well. God’s plan is always better than Satan’s schemes.

We can’t let what others say, good or bad, carry more weight than what God says. There are millions of people who have bought into the lies that we all go to heaven, that there is no hell, that there are many roads to heaven, and even that we evolved out of some primordial slime and when we die we become fertilizer for the next evolutionary change. That this life is all there is.

In John 8:44, Jesus tells the religious leaders that Satan is “The father of lies.” In Verse 47 He goes on to say to those stiff-necked, hard-hearted people, “Whoever is of God, listens to God-those who belong to God hear the words of God. This is the reason you do not listen [to them, to me] because you do not belong to and are not of God or in harmony with God.” (AMP)

Jesus spent countless hours trying to dispel the lies that had come into the minds of God’s people. They believed that sickness, accidents and death at the hands of Rome were all due to sin. That they were all some type of divine punishment. They believed that they were the only one’s God loved, that they were better than any other nation because they “have Abraham as our Father.” Their mindset was to love their brother but hate their enemy. That their works earned them God’s favor and kept them righteous. All lies.

We need to line up our thinking with God’s word. Not out of context, not adding to or taking away from. Simple truth. God isn’t trying to trick us. He isn’t hiding from us, or trying to mislead us. Ask Him to show you His TRUTH and the Holy Spirit will lead and guide you there.

John 10:1-5 The Message Bible
“Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through he gate, you know he’s up to no good-a sheep rustler! The shepherd walked right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.”

Know His voice!

Philippians 2:5-8 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Have the mind of Christ.

Book Review for “The Other Jesus”- Christian Non-fiction

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1479233102/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_img_sol_0

I was given a copy of “The Other Jesus” by the author in exchange for an honest review. Dave Campbell makes some wonderful observations on how we see Jesus, where we get our idea’s from and some changes we have to make in our thinking. He lines that all up with what the Bible says about Jesus and how we have imagined Jesus wrongly.Though I didn’t agree with everything 100% (can we ever), I did find this a very insightful. Dave has an easy writing style and this was a joy to read. Where some non-fiction, even inspirational, can be dry, this one was not. I give it a solid 4 stars. I will be reading more from this author.