Rest

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
-Corrie Ten Boom

When life has gone crazy
And I can’t hear Him speak
When dreams seem blurry
And my knees feel weak-

When it seems like I’m waiting
And waiting some more
When I don’t understand
what I’m even waiting for-

When trouble surrounds me
Like a tempest unleased
When I’m tired and weary
And confusion has increased-

When I say, “Why Lord?”
And don’t hear a sound
When I want to just quit
And stomp on the ground-

When all of these things
Seem to knock at my door
That is the time I put my
Trust in Him more.

That is the time
I rest in the hands
Of my heavenly Father
Who cares and understands.

That is the time
That faith in action grows
When I don’t know the future
But I know that He knows.

If God stood by Noah
When the flood waters rose.
And He stood by Moses
The deliverer He chose.

If He stood by three Hebrews
That were thrown in a fire,
Won’t He stand by us
In our darkest hour?

He said to not worry,
He said to rest in His care.
He can handle our future
He’s already there!

So I trust in you Lord
I surrender each test.
I know that you love me!
In you I will REST!!!

“Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (GWT)

 

 

 

 

 

Rise Up Sleeping Warrior

I don’t know if you like to drink tea. My preferred drink is coffee…black coffee. But there are occasions that I really enjoy a cup of tea. Again that is black tea and it must be HOT,  unless is a very hot day. In that case I like ice tea; REALLY cold ice tea. If at any time my hot tea starts to cool down, or my ice tea begins to get warm, I will throw it down the sink. Lukewarm tea is just gross.

This caused me to think of the verse found in Revelation 3:15-16 ” I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish that you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth!” (NKJV)

I suddenly seemed to understand what the Lord was trying to explain. This was a warning to the Laodicean Church. According to the material that I have read about the city of Laodicea, the waters there were constantly lukewarm. The icy waters that flowed towards the city from the mountains became lukewarm by the time they arrived and the hot water from the hot springs that were brought into the city also become lukewarm before they arrived. So this message made a lot of sense to them because they had become lukewarm like their water system.

But what does it mean to us today and why would the Lord want a people either cold or hot? The “hot” terminology usually means that the individual is on fire for the Lord. What he says and the way he lives vibrantly screams, “Jesus is Lord”!  More times than not it appears that this is the individual that is radically saved from a dark lifestyle and suddenly comes into the light and wants the world to understand his transformation. That may not always be the case. There are several people that were raised up in the Christian home that believe likewise.

But then there are the cold individuals. The consensus with these individuals is that they do not believe in the salvation message at all. In fact some of them may actually be atheist. Or perhaps they firmly believe in another religion all together. The funny thing about that is that the “hot” crowd probably believed in the “cold” lifestyle at one time in their lives.

I think about Paul who wrote so much of the new testament. He was from the “cold” crowd. He was so angry with what people who called themselves Christians believed that he was having them arrested and killed. He even watched as the first Christian martyr, Stephen, was stoned to death. But he had such a radical transformation that he went from cold to hot in a short time. There wasn’t any time for the stagnant lukewarm lifestyle to invade his life.

So who are the lukewarm people? I would say they are the ones that are ho-hum people. They really don’t have anything strong to say about anything. They may even be believers, or confessed to be at one time. They may go to church quite regularly but it really doesn’t mean much to them.  They have come to the place of believing the sayings: “each to their own” or “live and let live”.  Compromise and goodness is their theme. That is an easy place to fall into, especially if you were raised in the church. Jesus has become too familiar and unimportant.

It is similar to getting an inoculation or vaccine. A small portion of the actual disease is shot into your body.  Your body is able to build up your immune system against the disease so if the real disease would try to attack your body you would have already built up antibodies and the disease couldn’t destroy your system. So it is with some people . They have heard “Jesus saves” for so long that they have become immune to it and don’t even recognize the real move of the Lord.

That immunity has snuck right into the church. It seems more important to be accepted by the world than being a light that shines in the darkness.  Because we no longer pour over scripture we question the black and white truths we have heard and begin to walk in that all too familiar gray area. We begin to compromise.

Our time may be spent on good things but we have forgotten our need for a Savior. We have fallen out of love with the one that delivered us from sin and death. Instead of spending any time with him we fill our time with entertainment or even “good” causes and cares of this life. Soon we believe we are fine and all is well. We have become lukewarm.

Believe me when I say that I am speaking to myself. I don’t write this blog thinking I know so much or that I have my act together. As I write it I realize I am speaking to myself. And these words I write actually begin to convict me. I realize that I have compromised in so many ways. Like I said, it is easy to do. Somehow we are lulled to sleep and don’t even remember drifting away from truth.

But God is good. He always leads us back to his truth IF we will listen. Chapter 3: 19-22 in the book of Revelation continues with the Lord saying,

“I correct and discipline everyone that I LOVE.

Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act.

Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking.

If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together. I will allow EVERYONE who wins the victory to sit with me on my throne, as I have won the victory and have sat down with my Father on his throne.

Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. (GWT)

So I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. It is time to wake up. It is time to ask the Lord if there is any area of compromise in your life. Why? Because the Lord Jesus LOVES you and wants you to be victorious.

Let your light be a hot burning flame of salvation to those around you.

It is time to take your position in Christ.

Rise up sleeping warrior.

God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Not Fight the Wind; Face It!

The WIND seems out of control
As I stand looking out to the sea.
Suddenly it stirs familiar strongholds
That were hidden deep inside of me.

The WIND picks up speed.
I’m frightened by its power!
Yet those strongholds are quickly scattered.
Giving me hope in my darkest hour.

The WIND continues to rage on
Splashing salt into my eyes
As heartaches are washed away
Along with old fears and past lies.

The WIND roars with great furry
As I walk into its immense might.
I feel darkness blowing away
And hope replacing the stormy night.

The WIND keeps on howling
But I face it with hope in my heart.
Wisdom whispers truth in my soul
Releasing new vision and a new start.

Where does this wind come from?
And where does it go?
I do not question it,
Nor do I know.

It seems like a violent storm
As it brews with such rage.
Yet it is breaking down the walls
That had held me inside a cage.

Does heartache come from God?
Is pain from him too?
Does he allow darkness at times
So we can begin brand new?

If the winds of life seem too violent,
If the storm wants to hold on
Don’t despair; but trust GOD!
He will give you a new hope and new song.

In spite of the disappointment,
In spite of the raging wind
Trust him to carry you to the other side.
There your new life can begin.

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going, so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Deception

In 1991 a movie titled, “Deceived” was released.  It was about a married couple whose wonderful life was interrupted when the husband gets into a fatal car accident. As the movie progresses you discover that there is more to the story then meets the eye. Deception unravels into truth as secrets regarding the life and death of the widow’s husband are revealed.

Another storyline of deception is found in the book, “The Silver Chair“, by C.S Lewis. It is the 4th book in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series. In it there are travelers who try to free a young man who has been captured and taken to Underland. In this part of the world all earthmen live underground and have no knowledge of the surface above. When the travelers try to escape, the evil ruler attempts to deceive and bewitch them hoping that they forget who they are. But the evil spell of deception is broken and they discover the truth, allowing them to escape into freedom.

Deception can lead to imprisonment. Truth leads to freedom.

The question is: How do you know you are being deceived if what you believe to be true is truth to you? Deception is extremely deceiving. One of my life verses is:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourself.” James 1:22 (ESV)

How dangerous. We can go to church, hear the word and even read it, but if that is all we do we have deceived ourselves.  There is more to the Christian life than knowledge. Even the demons know that Jesus is the son of God and shudder. (James 2:19) They have the knowledge of his existence but have refused to surrender to his authority. Instead they choose to draw mankind into the deception of their darkness.

We can deceive ourselves and/or be deceived by others.

Deception sneaks into our minds, into our hearts, into our lives quite slowly. At first it only appears to be like a stream that quietly flows over the rocks and land in its path. The more water that enters into the stream the larger the stream becomes causing the edges of the bank to be cut deeper and the rocks it flows over to become polished. It’s similar to the thoughts that enter into our minds on a daily basis. They ultimately groove permanent pathways into our brains, like that of an old record, creating new thought patterns.

Through the torrent rain of influences the quiet stream becomes a raging river that has the ability to destroy anything in its path. So it is with deception. After a while the thoughts and influences that bombard our minds with deception become our norm. Old thought patterns are erased and replaced with new ones.

Deception obviously does not appear as deception.

Instead it can taste as sweet as the first bite of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that both Adam and Eve enjoyed. Once they heard the voice of the Lord they were awakened to the truth and they realized that they had been deceived. The cunning snake who was filled with the spirit of darkness questioned the truth, twisting the voice of the Lord. “Did God say?,” the slithering liar asked them.

Satan always lies…he is the father of lies, (John 8:44) but can also appear as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) Deception appears like a light of truth that is guiding us into  enlightenment. But remember:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)

I often pray that the Lord will keep me from deception. I know he honors that prayer. When I begin to feel that I am compromising or that something said doesn’t sit right with me, I hear that inner voice or that inner knowing.  You know the feeling that you know that you know, but you aren’t sure how?

As the days get closer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ it seems that deception is growing stronger.  Second Peter warns of false prophets and teachers who will bring destructive teachings, swaying others to follow those teachings while they deny the Lord. Sometimes it seems so much easier to follow the crowd. Remember when your parents asked you, “If so and so jumped off a cliff, would you?” Well, would you? Because the deceiver has come to kill, steal and destroy.

So how do we keep ourselves from deception?

I believe it comes through surrendering completely to the Lord, reading the Bible–hiding it in our hearts so that our minds are renewed, staying connected with our Lord through prayer and then hanging out with those that are like-minded.

And if you are unsure test the spirit. How is that done? 1 John 4 states:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” (ESV)

So in other words: If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and someone comes to you with a “new” doctrine or new Jesus that is not consistent with God’s Word, it probably is a false doctrine leading you into deception. If someone says, “oh, the Bible says this, but we are changing it up a bit to fit our lifestyle so we can stay politically correct and not be offensive,” it probably is a false doctrine leading you into deception. Remember Jesus offended a lot of people in his day too, while setting others free. He came to fulfill the law of the prophets, not to destroy it.

Paul continues the subject as he speaks to the Thessalonians .

“Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire. Don’t despise what God has revealed. Instead, test everything. Hold on to what is good. Keep away from every kind of evil.”
Thessalonians 5:19-22 (GWT)

I pray that you walk in truth; that I walk in truth. Jesus said to his followers that if they continued in his Word they were truly his disciples. They would know the truth and the truth would set them free. (John 8:32)

The word of the Lord is powerful. That is why so many times it is disputed by theologians, made illegal by dictators and mocked by mainstream lifestyles. But it cannot be completely destroyed because God is its author. What he started he will complete.

May you stay in his Word and stay in his Truth. Amen.