The Believers Bite Galatians 5:15

Standard

15 But if you bite and devour one another,
watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:15-16

Tonight we enjoyed a fruitful discussion in God’s Word.  Drawing our thoughts for the lesson from the 5th Chapter of Galatians, we allowed the 15th and 16th verse to run the first leg of tonight’s’ teaching.  In our discussion about becoming better evangelist and witnesses for Christ, we find ourselves working on self that we might be more effective in efforts for Christ.

But first a pit-stop.  Paul addresses in this chapter an important part of Kingdom, its citizens.  He writes to handle issues that have arisen in the church, and with a stroke of the pen, corrects bad teaching and bad behavior. full burger

For today’s discussion, I presented to the group the illustration of a freshly prepared hamburger.  It exist whole, without a bite.  The burger, fully in tact consist of many layer, and holds in it a varying level of content.  In this, it is placed into our hands to handle as we choose.  Now of course, our flesh and stomach need and are designed to consume, but today we took our discussion to the Spiritual.

The first question asked was:  “How is a burger consumed?”

The answer of course is “One bite at a time!”  These bites can vary in size, ranging from small to large, they can come from any angle, can be taken in a short amount of time, or a long amount of time, but with each bite, that which was whole begin to disappear.  Paul wrote a warning to the Body of Christ, “if you bite” he warns, soon you will “consume…one another.”

The next question asked was: “Who have you taken a bite of?”

This is an important question.  As we hit the neighborhoods to bare witness bout Christ, we have found that many people have met Christ, but remain at home because they are suffering from the wounds of a bite!  They accepted the Gospel, but couldn’t get past the offenses committed by His church!  I know, they are immature! That’s what you are thinking!  They have a fake faith built on man, and your faith is built on God.  They don’t have enough Word in them?  Right?  Get over yourself I say!  Mature or Immature, healing from wounds takes time, and some bites are just fatal!  Infection set in, and death follows.  And yes, you would probably say that its their fault, right?  It’s their fault they are offended, right?  They should simply forgive and move on, right?

Paul warns us, bites take away from us and lead to consumption.  Someone are simply being eaten alive by those who are in the fold and not walking according to the flesh.  People have perished in our ministries, and some who survived, are holding on to life by a thread.  This brought out a sad reality; many of the people entering our churches are half eaten. halfeatenburger

That’s right.  Those entering your church from previous church homes are sometimes lead to new fields, and other times are escaping hurt and looking for healing and peace.

Why is it you ask that a person can leave after one offense?  Ahh, you said they were immature, but the reality is that many of them were suffering from prior bites, and are just trying to keep from being completely consumed.  And then we foolishly judge them for protecting themselves, and label them to protect our own ignorance.  Our bites are often made worse by those who are not remorseful.  Yep, its that important that we treat each other right, because each person is in a different state, and have different experiences, and your encounter with them can be the difference between them growing in Christ, and dwelling at home alone.

In this day of social media and technology, our encounters with people are weighed even heavier in that many people have grown accustomed to experiencing the world via a video and even a blog.  The human factor is being removed and replaced by imogies and virtual reality, thus limiting the room for error in our encounters with one another.

Paul says while some suffer from “bites” others are “devoured”.

Have you devoured anyone? 

emptyplateThis word frightened me!  The thought that there could be one within our ranks who doesn’t fall from time to time and bite someone, but that in one or two encounters, shows a complete lack of restraint and concern for another and eats them alive in one or two sittings!  How is it that we can destroy those God has sent, stitching the bond of peace afforded to all of us through the blood of Christ and the unity of the Spirit!  Our lack of restraint towards one another can cause those in our midst not to question God’s existence, but if God exist in the place they have become a part of.  Let it not be said of you that you chased away someone that the Spirit draw-ed neigh because of your unwillingness to pursue righteousness and kill the flesh.

How many people have you devoured?  Who’s at home licking their wounds?  Who’s exploring different horizons?  Who’s falling away from the faith because of you?  Sadly, only God knows.  The reality is that most multiple offenders are just being themselves and don’t realize or acknowledge that they are “biters” dare say I “consumers.”  Shame to say, this “consumer” mentality exists in the house, as we jockey for position and protect our territory, and fight for a light that is the glory of humans, which is the glory that fades.  We shine our light not to lead, but to blind people with judgement, and are eager to condemn others, while pardoning our wickedness and justifying our actions.

Paul says, don’t “gratify your flesh”!  Yep, there is nothing good within us, and every once in a while, the desire to bite happens.  The old man fights his way back in the picture and begins warring for control of your limbs.  He plants thoughts in your mind as to how you should respond, and how you should act, what you should say, and how it should be said, but Paul says resist!  “Walk by the Spirit” he says.  Control that which remains dormant in you by continually submitting to the God that is in you!   Just because you have the thought, doesn’t mean you have to follow its suggestion.  It’s just that, a suggestion.  Unwise counsel given from an unwise source, whom desires to wound as many as he can from fire within the camp.  The devil hinders the growth of the Kingdom through those of us who continue fulfilling the desires of the flesh, allowing the old man to once again lift his hands in victory.   Yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow His guidance to keep you from biting and devouring your fellow brother and sister.  Kingdom depends on it!

 

#PastorJDO3

 

Productivity = (Ability + Resources) /Offense

Standard

As I looked at these doors yet again , I realized that the door labeled “yes” was labeled “no” on the other side, and the door labeled “no” was labeled “yes” from the other side. .

This brought a smile in that, the same door that was an enterance was an exit and vice verse.  The labels placed on them insures that those entering had rules to abide by like those leaving. 

I thought about this key aspect of relationships!  Many relationships are ruined from the start because of the way a person entered or how the person was brought in.

Having proper boundaries and structure in our relationships and ministries is key to maintaining healthy relationship and to infusing life and energy into our environments that spur productivity.  

If only we could measure uproductivity!  I am sure we would discover that offense in our relationships  serves as a defense to our work.  

Formula:

Productivity = (Ability + Resources) /Offense

In this, I believe we will find that Non-Working relationships produce Unproductive people.  Despite the talents or ability of an individual, relationships determine the attitude and affect desire of the person so serve at maximum ability.  A toxic environment works against ability and potential with such force, that it can make it seem that those working lack even the baseline of their own ability.  Best case, a toxic environment keeps people working on the baseline of ability, but locks away potential because motivation and desire are low.  Ability measured is what has been untapped today, where are potential is relative to what is developed.  Many of our environments are coasting on ability, and circling because the power of potential has been taken away by unhealthy relationships. 

How one enters is also affected by how one leaves.  While it may be one thing to make a grand enterance, making a grand exit could burn some bridges.  Much trepidation has been experienced because of the actions and attitude of the one leaving or the treatment of the one leaving.  

This remaining hurt causes us to enter new relationships with guards that hinder and blur future relationships.  The hurt or betrayal in one relationship often poisons future relationship, as the slow and steady travel of poison works it’s way, shutting down organs one at a time. 

Yep, you guessed it!  The first organ affected is the heart!  This takes us back to our formula! The heart wounded and unhealed will slowly decrease productivity beneath one ability. 

Again I wonder how many people have been wounded upon exit and experienced diminished productivity in an new environment?  Thought this occurs, productivity can be restored when a person is intorduced properly into a healthy environment.  The love, support and structure of a driven few can restore and refuel an empty tank.  The new environment can remove the poison from an infected heart and heal to the point of health and reintroduce the growth from untapped potential.

Though relationship experience separation, We must accept this truth; relationships are forever!  Long after a person leaves our presence, the bond, be it positive or negative, forgiven or unforgiven continue to impact is forever!  

Count it no coincidence that God stress not only forgivenes, but how we treat one another.  Without counting, I am confident that there are twice as many scriptures that deal with how to treat people as there are forgiveness.  Forgiveness is the biproduct of transgressions from mishandled relationship.  Though not thought. It is easier to treat people as they should be treated than to restore a wounded heart. 

How will you handle relationships?  Is the environment you provide stifeling productibity? Is the mishandling of the entrance and exit of a person keeping you on the baseline of ability?  

#pastorjdo3

Label Everything!

Standard

I stood in the line waiting to give the kitchen staff at Camp Copass my tray.  While there, I was caught by a door which contained labels on each.  One was marked “No” and the other was marked “Yes”.  I thought to myself, if only life was this simple!

See, the “no” and the “yes” of the door was there for easy and simple communication.  Just in case “enter” and “exit” were too much.  Just in case it took too long to read, the organizer of the staff labeled the door to communicate what was right and wrong to the entire staff in its simplest form, “yes” and “no”!

While others looked past these two words, I was caught by them because the “yes” and “no” were out there not for the benefit of one, but for the benefit of all.   

Knowing which door to go through cuts down on accidents.  As a part of the team, the labelson the door leasen the amount of crashes and spills between those on staff.  It enables them to focus on their task as opposed to focusing on what others are doing.  It also enables them to have one less thing to think about as they carry out their jobs!  

Furthermore, less accidents cut down on the amount of injuries to the staff and patrons.   It occurred to me as I looked at these doors that these labels were there to prevent injuries not only to those going in and out, but to those who can within the vicinity of the door.  Yes, while in line, I was in danger of being hurt by the actions of those serving.  Though I would never enter though these doors, the carelessness of one or two could leave me scarred.  The decision or lapse in judgement by a few could result in injuries that might keep me from dining in this establishment in the future. 

Next, labels speeds up productivity.  The marks help the staff to key in on the job and maximize their performance!  Their tasks get the full brunt of their focus as they can walk trough doors with speed and be the most efficient worker they can be.  While others pause before entering and exiting, they are able to walk in and out in freedom knowing that the rules and directions of the house are protecting them.

Last, it builds confidence.  It improves speed by assuring the individual they are coeeect and removes assuming and guessing.  They know each time, despite their memory and or knowledge of the rules, that a brief word can keep them from failing.

(Yep, I’m tempted to go there!  I’m a preacher people!!!  This is the part where I’m supposed to talk about how one Word. Am keep you from falling!  And how your focus on the Word will not only reveal doors, but show you which doors to go theough… and then close withmaking a decision for Christ because your “yes” or “no” has eternal ramifications! But, I won’t). 

I thought about our churches.  Our global body! The conglomerate!  And wondered to myself how much more much further we would be if we could cut down the amount of injuries that happen while we serve?  I wondered how many people were harmed and hurt by two or one person that lost focus while carrying out there task?  I wondered how many people were home healing from the wounded da of one person who placed the importance of their task over the safety of other?  I wondered how many people were hurt while standing in line, and how many one time negative experiences have kept people from “dining at our establishment”?  Maybe it’s not the ministries that we need to improve, but rather the people.  
#pastorjdo3

A Kings Witness: Deuteronomy 17:18-19

Standard

19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees
20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:18-19)

Wednesday, we talked about how to perfect our witness.  One of the text we explored was Deuteronomy 17:19, which lead us to an important point found inverse 20.  In the passage, God is instructing His people on the type of king they should select to lead them.
Verse 19 says he should be one that “…reads it…”.  It states that he should carry the word on him at all times that it might be his source of knowledge and wisdom.   He must be one that soaks in the Word, not just rinses off.  He must emerge himself in God’s Word to such an extent that it both covers and fills him and keeps him as he rules.

Then he must “…follow carefully…”  His reading about God will help him respect and fear the Lord, leading him to be obedient to God’s law and decrees.  He must learn the word and respect God to such an extent that His life aligns with God’s will for His life.  He is to mirror God’s character, seeking to meet his approval in all he does.
And these two lead us to verse 20, which will sum up our thoughts on witnessing.worship-fast

Though this king would be chosen to lead and head the Israelite people, God wanted to insure one remaining thing, that being that he would “…not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites….”  Even amidst all the power he would have, God wanted to make sure he feared the Lord to such an extend that he would not loose sight of who the real King was and where the source of his power lay.

As a king, God wanted him to remember that his title was a position that came with authority, but not absolute power.  He was to serve not as one that was greater than, just as one that has more responsibilities than.  His job was not that people would follow or worship him, but that he would lead them in the ways of God, keeping them focused on his laws and precepts just as he would be.  The Word was also to keep him humble, reminding him that he was a citizen of God’s kingdom, despite his position as king.  He was to keep the perspective that he was a part of the kingdom no apart from the kingdom.

Thus I asked,
“What would your witness and worship be like if you had the same perspective?”

Most of what is translated in our witness
isn’t the boldness of our faith in Christ, when you talk to others.
It’s a condescending type of arrogance that is
overcast with sprinkles and showers of judgement
that would be described by many that have encountered us.

After reading this text, I thought, maybe we need more time in the word?  Maybe we need to be humbled just a tad bit or seasoned by a constant reminder that we have yet arrived and the leather exterior we display is not a result of our own righteousness, but the righteousness of God given to us by the death of our savior and by living out the Word He has provided for us.  The wisdom we display is not because we are just that intelligent, it’s because we are that discipline in our studies, which changes the way we speak, and helps us control our actions and has changed our ways.  The change in our lives is not because we came to the conclusion ourselves, but that He sought to free us and change us through much patience and long suffering, marinating us in the Word, seasoning us with forgiveness long before we were served as a gourmet meal.

imagesEven as the king bore his title and served as a representative of righteousness, he was to remember that he has been chosen,  not elected, nor was he self appointed, and neither are we.  God’s mercy and grace flowed upon all of our heads, as we were convicted by the Holy Spirit as to our ways, and the standard being held that we could not maintain from a God that is Holy and Pure.  All of us realized judgement was inevitable, and that our case for righteousness would be a few exhibits short lest we had Christ as our sacrifice. 

We all need him interceding on our behalf.  We all need him to stand for us and to claim us before the throne of Grace.  We all need His blood to cover us as we stand before God praying to be called sheep and not goat.    Be it reminded to us as we bare witness to others that they need what we have, and what we have doesn’t make us better, it just makes us believers.  The person we speak to is another of God’s creation who has yet to surrender their lives back to their creator.  He loves them just as much as He loves us, thus He sends us to them to bare witness of the story of His love and His desire to be in relationship with them, just as He did with us!

In a faith where the first shall be last, and the last shall be first, the emphasis is not placed in birth order, just in re-birth.  We see this even in how God was able to use Paul to impact lives and plant many churches.  He was able to mentor many saints and train up many young preachers and pastors, though he himself was not an original apostle or disciple that walked with Jesus.  God used him to make a great impact!  He can use you and he can use the one you are witnessing to!  You could be used to witness to the next Paul, so speak to them in that manner.  The Kingdom needs them, much like it needs you!

Think yourself not better, but as one that is bears the honor of sharing God’s truth with the world.  Like the king, remember that you too are a citizen, still growing, still stumbling, and at times still struggling.  We are all a work that God is working until completion, so lets ditch the completed action, and realize that we are still in process of be being made perfect.

If we do this, I bet our witness would be much more effective!

#PastorJDO3

Life’s Litter Box! Prov. 11:3-6

Standard

Our study this week brings us to the 11th Chapter of Proverbs.  Verses 3 to 6 lead us to a powerful discussion.

3. The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the unfaithful destroys them.
4. Wealth does not profit in the day of wrath,
but the righteousness delivers from mortal danger.
5. The righteousness of the blameless will make
straight their way, but the wicked person
will fall by his own wickedness.  Proverbs 11:3-6

To dive into this portion of the passage, we weighed the benefits of righteous living verses wicked living.  In the discussion, the illustration of the Little Box was introduced.

A “Litter Box” is an invention most associated with cats.  One of our guest shared that the litter box she provides for her can serves as a place where waste is made.  Then further spoke that the box can get to a point of capacity if not cleaned out.  When this occurs, the box can get to a place where the smell of the box makes it unbearable for the cat to perform the duties in which the box was designed to handle.

For discussion, the “Litter Box” was equated to our Living Space or Life Span.  Through our existence, we encounter life’s situations and circumstances.  They can not be avoided, but must be faced and handled.  We must be cognoscente in our encounters that our actions reap a harvest, and leave significant marks on our lives and the lives of those we encounter.  And each encounter has the potential to become a mess.

How is your Box?

The scripture reveals to us a truth about the wages of wickedness.  He will suffer from his/her own mess.  This person will be forced to live in a box filled with the mess that they have created!  How is your Box?  Is your box once that is so congested tkittylitterbox.pnghat each step is a challenge?  Is your life’s challenge to avoid the foolishness of the decisions you have made and the people you have wronged?  As spoke, many of us have lives that just stink!  We have accumulated such mess from mishandled situations and circumstances, that we have become overpowered by the stench of our own existence.

The cat is blessed in that he can mess up the box, and when the smell becomes overpowering, he can find another place to leave the waste.  The shame of this is unlike the cat, we can not avoid our box.  We are forced to live in this box called life.  We do not have the ability to separate our existence.

I asked myself, “What’s in my Box?”  Thus I ask you the same!

“What’s in your Box?”

Are you a desperate cat scratching and clawing to find a place that you have not created a mess in, and now feeling the burden and weight of your actions?  Is the stress in your life a result of your wicked living and loose morals?  If so’ It’s time to clean up your box!  And once clean, we must Keep our Box Clean! 

Keeping your box clean means properly managing relationships from the present point on.  It also means you might be required to seek out strained relationships and to repair and restore them to something that reflects Christ.  This also might require humility and also forgiveness.  Humility could be found in accepting acts of kindness, even for those whom you swore you would never take a sip of water from.  Forgiveness might be your narrative if approached from one who has wronged you.  You might be required to release one from their past actions, and to propel them towards a Clean Box of Freedom.

A Clean Box requires discipline and change.  We must allow the Word of God to change us, and the Holy Spirit to direct us.   Most of us cant live in peace because we refuse to apply God’s Word to our lives, choosing to memorize it, and or find its value in applying its truths towards other, while living a fictional existence of perfection. The Word takes no root in our lives!  Though it is broken down and consumed, it is not digested.  In essence, we are bulimic believers!  We stuff ourselves with The Word, but do not digest and distribute its nutrients to our body. 

Lastly, keeping a Clean Box means being obedient to the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is to be our teacher and our guide, as well as the power we need to control our flesh.   Yielding to the Holy Spirit will allow us to keep our boxes clean because its will is to please God in every way.  The Holy Spirit gives wisdom on when to walk away and how to respond.  It points us towards the mark of Christ, and serves as a counselor while going through, giving you not only God’s perspective, but helping you keep a proper perspective on yourself and other bringing about deeper understanding.

 

#PastorJDO3

 

 

 

 

 

Look at Me! I’m Suffering! Luke 23:34

Standard

But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
Luke 23:34

Last year we looked at the willingness of Jesus to forgive others as He hung on the cross.  This year, I was struck by his willingness to intercede on the behalf of others as he suffered.

While I was looking at the story of our Lord I kept thinking, had this been any one of us, we would have been screaming from the top of our lungs, “Look at Me; I’m suffering!”  “All eyes on me!”  “Look at this crown on my head!”  “Look at the nails in my hands and feet.”  “Look at them gambling for my clothing.”  “Look at Me!  I’m Suffering!”  But, not our Lord!  In the height of His suffering, He opened His mouth towards heaven and sought mercy and grace for those who were abusive towards Him. images (3)

What about you?  In your journey towards the mark, are you in the habit of considering the state and need of others before your own?  If your like me, and I am assuming you are, our personal plights often come with blinders at best, most often a sleep mask!  We are so caught up in our own circumstances that the pain, suffering and needs of others can take sit on the back burner, getting minimal if not any attention.

Not only do many of us ignore others in the middle of our ordeals, we call attention to ourselves, highlighting our struggles, calling for the compassion and empathy of others in a way to cope and compensate us as we travel through.  Though Jesus could have made a legitimate, and I mean LEGITIMATE CASE, that the world revolves around Him, we must realize that the world does not revolve around us.

Jesus was not a narcissistic, and neither should we.  We are neighbors!  We are fellow members of a larger community, though we find ourselves paired with smaller groups  and individually loved by God.  Our God is the creator of all mankind, and desires to be the Savior of all, though all have yet to acknowledged His existence or His sacrifice.  It is this knowledge that must keep us pressing to reach out to all people, and displaying our love for all His creation.

 

Let us follow the example of our Lord.  Remembering others even as we are experiencing the pain and struggles life presents us.  Let us gain confidence and peace such that we show compassion to those who lack the connection to God, and the security of being justified by His sacrifice.

Fight of Flight (Judges 14:5-6)

Standard

Judges 14: 5 Samson went down to Timnah together with his father
and mother.  As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly
a young lion came roaring toward him.  6 The Spirit of the LORD came
powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands
as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor
his mother what he had done.

Are you prepared to Fight?  or Are you preparing for Flight?

As I read this passage, I thought about the many who have not prepared to fight the many lions on our journey.  I first thought of the natural portion given to us called “adrenaline”.   God has uniquely designed our bodies with a “fight” or “flight” system powered by adrenaline.Adrenaline

In key moments, our minds will be called upon to make the distinction as to what should be done in key situations.  In this, the adrenaline produced can give us the strength to “fight” or for “flight”.  This distinction is an assessment that happens on the spot and determines the best way to respond to any given situation.

I thought about the response of Samson, a man of God who as a Nazarite, accepted his vow to live for the Lord.  While others took the vow by choice, Samson was chosen before birth, but had to accept his appointment to live for the Lord.  His response to the roaring lion was based upon his knowledge of Who God is and Who He was in God.

Vineyard; No Problem

Even before addressing the Lion, I was first captured by his position.  His journey to investigate his future wife took him through a vineyard.  As a Nazarite, he is not to drink or eat anything from the vine.  As he travels, it seems as though the presence of the vineyard does not phase him.  He has become so disciplined in this area of his life, that he seems to advance, not even distracted by what he sees.  This comes with a lifestyle of denial and focus to be disciple.  I wondered if I and other could get there?  To be like Samson in this moment or like our Lord in the wilderness.  Samson placed his vow to the Lord before his commitment to please his flesh, considering his pleasure secondary to pleasing God.  If only we could get here!

How close are you?  Would you be snacking from the vines as though walking through Cosco or HEB?  Truthfully most of us would have been full of grapes, stumbling from the wine, and crawling into the Temple with our sacrifice, shaving our heads and starting our vows yet again.

Will you keep your vows?  No you aren’t a Nazarite, but as brides of the Divine, we have a commitment as a disciple to live a life of discipline, denying our self, and pressing towards the mark of righteousness placed for us.  We must position ourselves to be used by the Lord by living out or vows not before man, but before a righteous God!

Are you positioned? 

In this, I took a close look at my life; asking myself am I prepared to be used by the divine?  Sadly, I concluded No; not completely.  I examined my health, and determined that my lack of discipline in eating and drinking, presents to God a temple that is partially prepared to carry out my calling.   Are you positioned?

As we looked at Adrenaline, we see how its use can both save your life, giving you the ability to fight or for flight, but that in certain cases, the use of it can take the life of one who’s temple is not able to handle the power it provides.  Are you prepared?  Samsoms’ temple had been set aside for Gods’ use and was ready to handle his first assignment.  When the Holy Spirit came upon him, it had complete use of his temple to carry out this super natural feat!  Could you?  Are you positioned?  Positioning is the result of preparation.  Denying himself and being discipline with his eating and drinking, Samson was ready to physically handle the rigors of the fight.  He, under control of the Holy Spirit, tore a lion in half, with the inference being that it was with very little struggle.

Are you prepared? 

The Holy Spirit was able to use not only his body, but was able to control his actions by the connection he had to the Divine.  Resembling his covenant daily, He most likely stood facing the lion with a larger mane that the young lion that attacked.  He kept razor from his head, symbolizing his connection and covenant to the Lord, refusing to break his vow.  His close connection allowed him to be overtaken, and his discipline and life of denial allowed him to quickly submit in the heat of the battle.  Fight or Flight?  For Samson, even before knowing the power he possessed, Flight was not an option.

How will you respond to the attack? Diving

Because most of us are not prepared, we choose Flight!  I want to encourage us to take a stand and to Fight!

What I love about the passage is that Samson was taken by surprise!  Many of us feel being prepared is knowing the exact challenge that we will face, but when you are walking with Christ, and guided by His Spirit, being prepared is not knowing what is a head, but knowing who is your head!  Yes, we are a body; and Christ is our Head.  It is the knowledge of this that allows us to fight as though taking a test as though we had the answer key prior to the exam.

We must stay built up in the Word, increase our intimacy with time in Prayer, Chasten ourselves by Fasting!   

Again, being surprised is not equivalent to be unprepared.  That is, unless we are undisciplined.  The reason many of us have to choose flight is our undisciplined lifestyle.  When we assess the situations we face, we have not prepared ourselves or structured ourselves to carry out the fullness of our calling.  Will you prepare?

I’ll show you a Lion!

Samson stood up to the Lion, knowing that he was not standing by himself.  Yes, you guessed it!  Why take flight from a young lion when you are walking with the Lion of Judah?  You want to see a Lion, I’ll show you a Lion.  You might think I am walking by myself, but I am walking in power with the favor and protection of the Lord.  I am covered by His blood and empowered by His spirit to do greater works that already displayed.

I face all challenges with faith, not responding to the roar of the lion, but to the voice of the King!  It is His voice that presents fear and the respect I have for His love and sacrifice that is the power that allow me to walk towards a challenge as opposed to running away from it.

Which Direction are you Running?

You are either headed back or you are moving forward!  You choose how you use the power you are given.  Are you praying to get out or praying to power through?

handsinsoilDid I do that?

I am grateful that God doesn’t do everything for us or without us!  God powered Samson with the Holy Spirit but allowed him to experience the power and the satisfaction of achievement.  It is an honor and so satisfying to see the things God allowed your hands to participate in accomplishing.  Yes, here I am Lord; send me!  Lord forbid that the Kingdom is built while we are spectators!  I want to point to a brick, a wall, a chair, a person, a ministry, an offering, a miracle that God worked through me to accomplish.

Like Samson, I want to travel and see the work of my hands, celebrating and remembering the power of the partnership I have with God, and reveling in just how powerful I am when fully dedicated and submitted to Him.  Don’t you?  Don’t you want to look at your hands as the tools of the Lord to accomplish His will on the earth, and not just as tools to bring pleasure to your flesh? olympic-victory-celebrating (45) As I look to the floor, I see the prior works of my hand.  Feeding my temple things that have brought harm and have been a hindrance.  Lord forbid that this be the only changed visible to mankind by my hands.   I pray that your hands show more than clothes and cars, houses and land.  I pray that God will use you to produce more than grapes on a vine, but fruit from a life lived that honors God.

 

#PastorJDO3