God’s love

I first gave my life to Christ around the age of 11. That simply meant I chose to believe what the Word says about who God is and who Jesus is. Shortly after, I made the decision to be baptized, an outward declaration to the world of the decision I had made to follow after God.

Then as a teenager, probably starting around age 14, and into my 20’s, I fell far away from any kind of Godly life. That’s a story for a different time.

I was 28 when I rededicated my life to Christ and God. Those that know the story of the prodigal son just make it the story of the prodigal daughter and that was me. For those that don’t know the story, it simply means I was tired of living and doing things my way (because it brought nothing but misery) so I told God I was ready to try things His way again and that I needed His help.

I just turned 40 this past February so I’ve been growing in my faith for 12 years now. I would never want to go back to how I was living in that “middle” part of my life but it has only been in the past six months or so that I have had a revelation in my relationship with God that I didn’t even realize I struggled with all these years.

I’ve always believed and known that Jesus loves me. I’ve never doubted that. God on the other hand, I’ve doubted quite a bit.

God knows every detail of our lives and if you knew every detail of mine, you would see how hard it’s been for me to accept that God truly, relentlessly, constantly, loves me.

I don’t know the exact moment it hit me that I was not fully persuaded that God loves me but it’s been something I’ve been meditating on for quite some time now.

Over the years I would listen to messages or read my Bible on God’s love and God IS love and for some reason, without realizing I was doing it, I would always tell myself, “He may love everyone but not me. Not like that. Not constantly.”

I had somehow convinced myself that God was always kind of upset with me and if He was always kind of upset with me, He didn’t always love me.

This is how I was living my Christian faith. The entire time as I served at my church, as I tithed faithfully, as I prayed in the Spirit, as I talked to others about how God loved them…

I didn’t believe it for myself. I couldn’t accept that God would or could love me. I let past shame, self disappointment and doubt over shadow God’s written Word.

This past week, something clicked. I’ve been working on accepting God’s love for me and working to see Him as the Word describes Him and not what the world says about Him. Not letting MY past or MY actions determine who HE is.

I’ve had to immerse myself in completely opening up to God and letting Him love me. I believe this may be partially the reason he sent us a son who is now 15 months. I have gained a deeper understanding of my relationship with my heavenly Father through the relationship that is building with my son.

God looks at me and smiles and I see it now. He rejoices over me. He wants the best for me. He is on my side. He fights for me, not against me. He is the same God to me that He is for you. Let Him love you.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

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GOD STILL HEALS

I don’t even know how to describe my Sunday. I’m laying in bed at 12:30 in the morning trying to process everything.

I’ve never had a day like today. There was heartbreaking news I received first thing this morning that broke my heart for a friend. Then an on time message at church in regards to some other things we are dealing with. A message that confirmed some of God’s promises for our life. Then more heartbreaking news after service. Then an evening service with a special guest minister who spoke something over me that I didn’t understand when he said it. I’ll get back to that in a minute. At the end of service I received healing that I’ve been believing God for, for a very long time. Then once home I found out my Aunt, who I just talked with a few weeks ago, passed on Friday.

The word spoken over me was from Psalm 30:5… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

When I heard the news of my aunt, I understood.

I promised God when I re-dedicated my life to Christ that I would always testify of His goodness. I don’t know what else to do right now except that. My aunt is no longer suffering and is healed and whole so I rejoice in that. As for the other heartbreaking news from today I can only trust and believe that God will bring something beautiful out of those situations more than He already has.

As for my healing, I watched my own left leg grow an inch and a half tonight. I was in the presence of God at the altar and a work was done there on a deeper level than I will go into here. But then, at the very end of service, I sat and watched a prophet of God pray for healing in my back as my heels rested in the palms of his hands.

You may have heard me mention before that around age 11 or 12, I had a mishap while cross country skiing where I got my skis crossed and fell hitting my tail bone directly on the spot where the skis were crossed. I truly thought I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move for at least 20 minutes and then forced myself to get up and walk, a very slow walk. I had other injuries after that including a bulged disc and some other issues over the years.

I’ve been to the chiropractor for years to get relief and preventative care. I haven’t been able to go these past few months because even with our new insurance, we haven’t had the money to cover our cost of the visits. I’ve been standing in faith that I’m healed even though in the natural I don’t remember a time I haven’t had some form of back pain going on. I don’t go by what I feel or see though, I go by what I know to be true in God’s Word and tonight that truth manifested.

As I sat back against the chair, straight as I could, when I put my feet in the palms of his hand, my left foot was about an inch and a half shorter. This was no surprise to me because I have not been able to stand flat on both feet without leaning to the right to balance myself out. So as he prayed… I will do my best to describe what I felt… It felt as if hands were wrapped around the bones from my lower back, in my hips, down my legs, to my feet, and pulled every which way to align everything as it should be. I even, not realizing it at first, pulled back against the adjusting and felt the pressure of it pulling me the other way. The work was in progress and there wasn’t anyway I could stop it if I wanted to because I was open to receiving my healing. I saw my left leg, with my own two eyes, grow (realign) an inch and a half. There were witnesses as well. There were others with back problems who were healed in the same way and I watched their legs reallign.

I knew when I stood up and walked, the healing was complete. When I walked across the sanctuary, I stood flat foot without having to lean to one side.

Then, on the way home, as I was talking with God and trying to process everything, I realized I could breath normally. God healed me of asthma tonight and I didn’t even know until I was driving home.

Two things: an obedient man is an instrument of God through which the Holy Spirit can operate. The healing comes from God, not the man, and we have to receive it. Second, the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy so after healing he may try to bring symptoms back to get you thinking you weren’t really healed. Tell the enemy to shove it and stand on God’s promise of healing.

I still don’t know how to describe my overall day. There’s much in the details (outside of my healing) I’m choosing not to share and half of it isn’t mine to share anyways.

Pray for me and my family. My Aunt meant a lot to me.

Regardless of this up and down day, God is still good and the same today as He was yesterday and I can depend on Him tomorrow as well.

ANGRY WITH GOD

I’ve been angry with God. That’s right, angry with the Almighty. There’s no point in hiding it, He knows.

Well, at least I thought I was angry with Him.

1 Timothy 6:12 says:

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

I realized today I’ve been frustrated and angry with my own faith.

For a year and a half my husband and I have been believing God for certain things. I can’t go into detail about all of it right now but some of these things are simple things. Every door we thought would open for one thing in particular to come to pass has been slammed shut or nailed shut from the other side before we even arrived at it. It’s been frustrating. Just when we think the situation is about to change, it doesn’t. So we continue on in our faith and belief.

We continue to listen to sermons and read material to encourage our faith walk. We stand on scripture knowing what we have asked for is in line with God’s will. As days, weeks, months and the year and a half has gone by, things seem to have gotten worse.

Yesterday I broke. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was bitter. I was ready to give up and did. I was done. Finished. Towel in hand.

We can’t hide from God so I just let Him have it. I threw my temper tantrum, I questioned our situation based on HIS Word.

“God, we’ve been obedient! We’ve believed! We’ve done what you’ve asked us to do! Those things you asked us to do that we didn’t do, we repented and made right! We’ve prayed! We’ve waited! We’ve listened! Why are we being squeezed into nothing?! Why are you allowing this to happen?! Why?! Why is our situation getting worse and not better?! ”

Fight the good fight of faith. Faith is a fight. I don’t know what round I was in yesterday but I lost that one horribly. It was a KO.

We are in a non stop boxing match when it comes to faith. It’s OUR faith that makes us whole and moves mountains. The Word establishes the rules of the match, the Holy Spirit is our trainer, and God is the referee. Jesus, well, he’s in our corner wiping the blood off our faces and squirting water into our mouths and speaking the words of encouragement we need to hear because he’s already been through it.

Today I woke up and talked to God about yesterday (and the past year and a half).

“God, yesterday I was knocked out. I threw in the towel. I was done. I was spent. I was wore out. It was a silly laptop that pushed me over the edge but everything has been building and pushing me to my breaking point. Today, I’m renewing my mind. I’m continuing the fight. I was knocked out but I know according to your Word, who gets TKO’ed, and it’s not me.”

Faith is a fight. And where I felt defeated yesterday because the latest Windows 10 update destroyed my laptop and rendered it useless, the one tool I had to work on the manuscript God has called me write, the fight isn’t over. It wasn’t just about the laptop. It was about every little punch the enemy has hit us with over the past year. I was tired. I needed a break. I needed to lay in the middle of the ring and not move for a while. I needed time to recuperate.

Guess who came back up swinging? Guess who’s still in my corner? Guess who’s rules still apply? Guess who gets the Total Knock Out when all is said and done.

Keep fighting. Get back up. Swing. Don’t download the latest Windows 10 update.

DEAD MEN DON’T SPEAK

DEAD MEN DON’T SPEAK

Ever hear a dead person speak?

I’m not talking about seances…that’s a topic for a different day and those aren’t dead relatives you are talking to.

I’m talking about a Word I received from the Holy Spirit during my study time this week.

Those were the exact words I heard, “Dead men don’t speak.”

This week, and last, I have been reading through the book of Acts. My personal general Bible study consists of an open Bible, a specific journal to take notes in by chapter and an open browser next to me if I need to research something quickly as I study or look a word up.

There are times I am studying a topic in-depth and it includes all of those things plus my stack of books consisting of my Strong’s concordance and Vines dictionary along with a few different translations of the Bible.

God put it on my heart a couple of weeks ago to study in the book of Acts, so I am. Wednesday, as I was reading, I came to Chapter 9, verses 3-6:

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

It was verse 5 where I heard the Holy Spirit speak the words “Dead men don’t speak.”

v. 5 – And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 

We as a Church, throughout all lands, are taught that Jesus is alive. We are told this. We speak it. We read it. We accept it, but do we realize it? Do we live it? Do we know it?

I kept reading that verse over and over again. There was revelation in the fact that Jesus really is alive.

In this verse he is talking to Saul (later known as Paul). Yeah, that guy that killed a whole bunch of Christians, sought them out, imprisoned them, tortured them, treated them as trash. That guy.

Jesus himself speaks to him on the road to Damascus. He not only speaks to him, he confronts him. He says, while shining a bright light in his face (paraphrased), “Hey man, why are you bullying me? What’s your deal?”

Saul, as a typical bully would do, cowers down and doesn’t know what to think. He asks who it is that is speaking to him. I mean, wouldn’t you want to know who it is if you heard a voice but couldn’t see who it was coming from? That’s always the first question, “Who is that?” Better yet, as we used to yell as little kids, “Who goes there?”

Jesus answers him. He says who he is (again, paraphrased), “Yo, it’s me, Jesus. The one you keep bullying…? Duh. I’m tellin’ ya, you are about to get got”

“Get got” is a phrase my husband and I use to express the danger brought on by one’s self in a situation, for those who need clarification.

Jesus basically warns Saul that he’s going to feel the ramifications of his persecution of Christians in a mighty way if he doesn’t knock it off. 

Here is where it gets interesting. How can Jesus speak to him if he’s dead? He can’t! Jesus lived, was crucified, DIED on the cross and then was raised from the dead and LIVES standing at the right hand of God.

This comes after all of that happened. Saul is on the road to Damascus and this is after the crucifixion of Christ. He had to be resurrected and has to be alive in order to speak to Saul. The men with Saul heard his voice as well but couldn’t see him.

This is why the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Dead men don’t speak.” I said, “Lord, I know this, why are you showing me this?”

The response – “Because the Church needs revelation in this.”

Wow. We sure do. Do we live and act like Jesus is alive or do we just say he is?

Do we serve a LIVING God or do we just pretend to?

Do we rejoice and claim our victory through Him or do we just put on a smile and go about our business?

In Galatians 2:20, Paul (that Saul guy who is now saved and serving God) said he was crucified with Christ. What does that mean? Jesus could easily look at him and say, “Paul, you don’t pour my cereal.”

Paul wasn’t up on one of those trees hanging by his hands and feet. He wasn’t lashed so bad that his skin was ripped from his back. He wasn’t buried in a tomb. How in the world was he crucified with Christ?

Because Christ took it all, for all, and LIVES. He lives at the right hand of God. He lives on the inside of each of us. He lives. He lives. He lives.

Start acting like it.

Start talking like it.

Start living like it.

Get blessed.