Where Is The On/Off Switch?

Salvation in Jesus, and the faith we practice doesn’t come with an on/off switch that you can flip to turn your faith one way or the other. If you are on fire for God, once the switch has been turned on, it’s on for good! There is no cutting it off. There is no switch. The source of the power is eternal, a power from which we will never receive a disconnect notice or fading signal.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Now, I know some “flip floppers”. Folks that talk a good game on Sunday, and early Monday morning but by mid week or most certainly on Friday evening their real self begins to seep through. Christians for about 36 hours a week OR when life calls for them to be a christian. I know them well, I used to be one. Thankfully, when God calls us out, washes us clean, redeems us and sets our feet on a new path- He ignites a flame in us. God intends for us to be scalding hot for Him. There is no halfway or luke warm. You are either very hot or not. There is no in between with God. That is one of the things I love so much about God, and His word! It’s black and white, no gray. No room to play.

This fire is a burning from deep within our hearts that we desire to tend to consistently. You might ask, “how do you tend to it”? You tend to it by praying, and reading His word. You devote yourself wholly to Him, and through that you become holy. When you turn from the desires of this world, and follow Jesus you realize that not only is there not an on/off switch, you also realize that you would never want there to be one.

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

I have Jesus. Once you have Him, why would you ever want to shut Him out? I don’t want a switch, a door, a wall or anything else to turn off, close out or come between me, and my great King, the lover of my soul! There is a joy, a pureness, and a contentment that you have when Jesus lives inside of you, and the only way to know these things is to have Him, to know Him personally, and experience Him daily.

Father, I long for the lost to know you. I pray that they will see those of us who carry the eternal flame, and that the flame (You) will draw them in so that they will come to know you personally. Continue to draw me closer to you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm  Comments (1)  

Please, Lord Not That! It Stinks!

Last week, after writing about being tall enough to get on the next ride,  I began to think about how God uses our past to minister to those in the present, and prepare us for the future.  When the Lord started a deep-sea dive into the depths of my heart late last spring, he pulled out something that I thought I had buried.  I thought for sure I had buried it deep enough that He would never find a purpose for it, and would never call it out of the darkness of my heart, or use it for His glory, but He did.

My abortion experience was painful.  While I am forgiven, the whole experience just smelled!  Looking back on my experience leads me to the story of Lazarus.  John 11:38-45 says “Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb.  It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”  Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”  Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.  And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  And I know that you always hear me but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe You sent me.  Now when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, Come Forth!”  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.” 

God has a supernatural way of breathing life into something that is lifeless.  Now, in the situation above he brought someone to life.  Isn’t that what He has done to each and every one of us?  The day you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior you were brought to life!  When He called me to share my abortion testimony with a group of high school girls at our church last fall, my response was a little less than thrilled.  But, I obeyed.  My first thought was, “Lord, that part of my past stinks!  Are you sure this is what I am to share?”  Much like Martha’s response to Jesus when He told them to take away the stone, “Lord, he stinks!  Are you sure you want to remove that stone?” (paraphrase) And His response to her, was much like His response to me, “If you believe, you WILL see the glory of God.” (paraphrase) 

When we respond to the Lord in obedience we witness the supernatural glory, and wonder of His power at work in our lives, and the lives of others around us.  I wondered what if they judge me?  What if they make fun of me?  I wondered if my family would hate me.  This was the first time I’d openly shared my abortion, not only publicly but with extended family as well.  I had to spend much time in prayer; That is where you find your answers.  I knew that God had called me to do this, and I knew He would see me through.  Ridicule was something Christ endured, and I figured I would probably have to endure it as well.  What ridicule I would endure would not begin to touch the surface, compared to the suffering He took in my place on Calvary.  Sometimes, it is scary to step out there and reveal deep, dark, hidden secrets of our past but we have to constantly remind ourselves that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)  I realized my fear wasn’t about me, neither was my abortion, it was about Christ, and His power working through my life, and His glory being revealed.

You might be saying, “There is no way God can use something from my past the way He used Lazarus’ life, and death, and then life again.”  That is where you are wrong, HE can, and HE will!  This requires an act of faith, and obedience on our part.  See the connection?  Lazarus once lived, then he died, then Christ gave him life again.  You had a situation that you went through, buried and laid it to rest, but God can bring life to it, and use it for His glory, but you must be willing to submit to His perfect will.

Is there something in your past that stinks?  Is there something hidden in your past that God wants to use to reach others, to help others see that He loves them, and that he paid the ultimate sacrifice for their salvation?  What is keeping you from letting go of your past, and letting God have His way?

Father, thank you for using me and working through me to reach those that need to hear that you ARE a loving, forgiving and merciful Lord.  I give my all to you.  Have your way with me Lord.  I pray that others will read this blog and that their hearts will be softened to hear your voice and they will choose to be obedient and turn their hearts over to you, so that you can work through them too.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Struggling with courage?

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Psalm 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the strength of my life;  Of whom shall I be afraid?

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm  Comments (1)  

Are You Tall Enough?

This past weekend was a monumental weekend for myself, and hundreds of others at Englewood Baptist Church.  We had the AWEsome priviledge to attend a conference facilitated by Blackaby Ministries called Experiencing God Together,  There is not enough time, nor space on this blog site for me to go into detail of the great things that God allowed me to experience this weekend, but I’ll try.

Dr. Mel Blackaby and Rev. Bo Stevens spoke at this conference.  There were over 70 people from 16 states that traveled at their own expense to come, and help with this event, that alone is God’s work at hand.  The fact that He got all of those people here in one place, on time, safely, and for His purpose is a testament to His power.  The testimonies of these people, and what God had done in their lives, and was still doing, from the smallest of detail, and to the greatest of detail, warmed my heart.  And at times brought me to tears.  To hear them tell of how God had taken the ashes of their lives, and breathe life into dead circumstances, as only He can, and listen to them give praise to Him, was a sweet sound.  To be among Christ followers who unashamedly abandoned what this world calls “living”, take up their crosses, and follow Him, was a holy experience.

Rev. Bo Stevens was speaking Saturday night about the church being on mission with God, and how a church can’t move forward with God if they aren’t spiritually mature, and growing in His word.  It was then, that a light flipped on for me.  I turned to my husband and whispered, “it’s like being in line at the amusement park, you’ve got your ticket to ride the roller coaster but you can’t because your not tall enough “.  He looked at me and said “Huh??”  Let me explain.  To go with God to the next level requires our full attention, and complete devotion to prayer and to His word.  God is not interested in half-hearted devotion.  Let me say that again, God is not interested in half-hearted devotion.  You see after hearing Rev. Bo speak I wasn’t necessarily wondering about my church being on mission with God, I was wondering about myself being on mission with God.

I deeply desire to serve God, period.  But I found out this weekend that I’ve prayed wrong, I’ve been seeking God with the wrong heart attitude.  I’ve asked God, “What can I do for you?”  As if to think the God of the universe needs something from me?  As if?  Can you believe that?  How silly of me to even dare pray those words!  HE, capital H, capital E needs nothing from me but this…”Yes, Lord.  I’m here and willing for you to work THROUGH me.”

These rides, appointments, tasks, adventures, whatever you want to call them are divine and each of us have one waiting for us.  All of them require faith and trust in God.  You never know where they may take you, who you might meet, or what God might do through you on each one.  You have a choice, you can say yes or you can say no, and stand back and do nothing.  But let me remind you of something, doing nothing doesn’t reach a lost and dying world for Christ.

As saved, followers of the Christ, we have the ticket for the ride.  Jesus, is our ticket.  Are you tall enough to ride the next ride?  Maybe you’re not, maybe I’m not.  If we aren’t, the next thing we have to do is ask ourselves if we are willing to bow before a very worthy God and devote ourselves to Him fully so that HE can prepare our hearts for the next task or appointment He has waiting for us.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the experience of this past weekend.  I’m so thankful that I have my ticket!  My heart is fully devoted to you today, and everyday.  I pray that you will prepare me through your word for my next ride.  Here I am Lord.  I am willing, and I say yes.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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