Tuesday, May 26, 2009

take your heart...

I apologize that it has been so long since my last post... there has been much to do and even more to think about. i hadn't decided what to write until now, and my words have come to this...

Rise up.

Family, i would be speaking out of hypocrisy if i didn't first BEG for your prayers on my behalf in this exhortation. For i am in desperate need of them. The Lord has declared that He desires a generation to seek His face, to lift their eyes and behold the King of Glory. I know that we are not the first generation to receive such a call, nor do i think, if time permits, we shall be the last. Yet still, we are here NOW. Our God desires to use each and every one of us for a mighty work to bring Him glory. but the question still remains, "will we rise up to meet it?"

God has clearly saw fit to send such an invitation, meaning He knows that we are able. make no mistake, i do not say that we can do this on our own. But God has clearly stated that He is strong and able to do such a work THROUGH us. But still, is our heart willing?

I know that my heart is not. Mine cowers in fear, in doubt, in selfishness, and most of all-- in hypocrisy. There is a man that still breaths so long as i give him breath, so long as i allow his old heart to pulse blood through, he will live. i know i'm a failure, i know i am, and i wish i weren't... sin... it's painful, its discouraging, its embarrassing, it RIPS me apart, everyone of us from the inside out! BUT GOD... He has chosen to simply say, "I know, just repent and let's move on."

Why do you think that we are constantly reminded in scripture to SEEK HIS FACE? because God knows that we so often have our gaze upon ourselves, our own failures, our own anything! God wants us to see JESUS, because in that place where our eyes are fixed on self, we can't see the fullness of grace that is ours to hold. We can't see Him, His love, His mercy, His eagerness to forgive... We must not be distracted by us, we must allow our eyes to be lifted by grace and LOOK fully into the face of our King of Glory.

It is only by this that we can rise up... Our God desires US, He is jealous for US. Not for what we can do, but for who we are. Yet, in spite of who we are, He desires us to be a part of his plan, to partake of the good works HE has set before us. Please family, let us bring our hearts to the Lord. Taking any and everything that hinders it from being fully his, and let us look into His face. For when we see His beauty, we will no longer need to beg, "Lord take this from me..." For when we see Him for who He is, we will see our hearts rightly, and we will together wonder why we held onto them, as they were, for so long.

To be clear, out God wants to do something incredible in this time that we are living. Simply meditate on that, and now consider the fact that He wants us to be actively involved. Something bigger than i could ever explain is coming, its going to be waiting for us. Will we rise up to meet it? May we raise our eyes and see His face, may we become a generation that seeks Him fully.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

not just when , but how...

In life, we look for, and love "check points," markers in life to let us know that we are on the "right track". i caution all of us to truly take into account what it means when this life of "check points" is carried out to its end.

Please know that God is intimately concerned and involved with where you are going and when you will get there, but something that He is just as concerned with, is HOW you get there.

Sometimes in life, we go through a season where the "check points" are easy to identify. we know what they are and when they will arrive, but because of this, we grow lazy. because we know exactly when the current chapter of our life will end, we don't care whats written on the pages leading to the event. God does not share this mentality. I know and understand that it gets weary running the race, but there is a reason Paul exclaims, "i have fought the GOOD fight! i have FINISHED the race!" We MUST look at HOW we are fighting and HOW we are running. truly, by the scale of time, we cannot bring the markers in life any closer to us, but our God is outside of such limits and desires that all of our lives be in CONSTANT surrender.

I have just arrived in seattle, and have only been here for two days time, but i have already learned a great deal about myself and my Lord. i owe it all to God's grace and willingness to speak to me at ALL times. i was recently ill, as some of you know. i began to get sick the week i was planning to set off to seattle. KNOWING that this was spiritual attack from the enemy, many loved ones and i immediately went into prayer. my symptoms grew worse as the week progressed, and eventually grew to be the worst (or so i thought) thursday night. after a night of the worst sleep i could imagine(or lack thereof) i was sent off at 4:30am with love and prayer to seattle(thanks girsl). half way through i made my way into Red Bluff, where i was welcomed with love and open arms. however, my symptoms continued to grow more and more severe. i ended up sleeping at the Ferguson home friday night, and remained there all of saturday, being tended to by a very loving family. sunday morning, ONLY by God's grace, i woke up refreshed and ready. I felt incredible! a total miracle of the Lord! i got in my car and finished the trip that day.

Now family, here is the HOW that i am so concerned with. i KNEW in all certainty that my God was going to heal me. but i also know that He was testing me. i praise my Jesus that by His grace through my sickness i did nothing more than seek his face and sit at his feet! it was such a blessed season and an amazing time to prepare for what was in store. as i sought the Lord in my illness i began to see things about myself that the Lord saw fit to remove. and by His grace, (i know, ALL 'by His grace') those things that once were, are no longer!

I was going to make it to seattle either way, i was going to be healed eventually, but God was concerned with HOW i was running! was i running by my own ability, or was i running in a constant limp, where everything is dependent on His grace and love?

The Lord has not merely brought me to a new place to reside, but he has brought me to a new place in Him. i pray that we all continually take into account HOW we are running. do not stop being faithful simply because you can "see" your next turn. I urge you, keep pressing into Your Jesus, because He so longs to press into you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

saying goodbye...

"love one another, as i have loved you..." Words uttered from the lips of a man not just leaving, but going... going, to his death.

I now hold a better understanding as to why Christ said what he said, LOVE. there is no greater commandment than to love. as i make ready to leave, in what seems like moments, i want to leave behind LOVE. I pray that i have been faithful in all things, but most of all in love. in loving my God, my brothers and sisters, and those i may have only been able to afford a smile. i leave a charge, pleading that those who are either remaining or going-- LOVE. Please, love one another as i have loved you. i pray that my love has not been a love that falters under circumstances, that allows bitterness to go unconfessed, that permits division to find its way into the body, but has been the true love of Christ. Love one another as Christ has loved us...

Family! We are a FAMILY and Christ is for ALL of us! there can be no division in this house. i beg you, put petty comments aside, let immature gestures be forgiven, and may love cover the multitude of sin. we disable ourselves when we allow our pride to rule our hearts. maybe we have been "wronged," but how much more did we wrong Jesus, and how much more did He have to forgive? Family, do not harden your heart to this truth, and do not seek to find justification for the anger that wells up inside you. See the cross and be humbled by its love, and in that humility, see Jesus, and His ability to love us. for family, we are the ones that are truly undeserving of the redeeming love that comes from God. may such a love transform our hearts, and cause us to have grace, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness...

Still, saying goodbye is more than just leaving, its going. Christ didn't just leave one with the charge, He continued to walk in it and carried His-- OUR cross, to Golgotha! where they crucified Him.

And now, i am blessed to go to a place where i will learn more about carrying my cross. I will find new riches in the love of my Jesus, as i live the life that He lived... A life of love. In denying myself, taking up my cross, and following after Him, i will go deeper. i will discover new levels of intimacy and further explore the heights and widths of His never ending love.

All this love He has stored up, waiting for me. waiting for me to come into that place where i can receive it. as he does for all of us. may we all put ourselves in that place where we can be loved, and in turn love one another as he loves us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

yes, our spirit does cry out...

My family, we have victory... with arms extended high it is clinched in our fist. Just as David had slain Goliath and attributed the victory unto all of Israel, so did Jesus conquer sin and death and grant us the prize! But do not forget, that though we fight from victory, that does not mean we do not fight at all...

Too often do i give in to the old man. The new man is desperate to draw breath, yet so often i suffocate him. i drown him in the waters of my own sin, sorrows and self-indulgences. He is yearning to live! To walk in the light as he has been fashioned to do. To bring glory to the Father in heaven. To proclaim the name and victory in the gospel of Jesus! That is the SPIRIT that rose Christ from the grave! THAT VERY SAME SPIRIT LIVES IN ME!!! It LIVES in US! and yet daily, i deny its power, daily!

I don't want that! I want him to live. i want the flesh to be that of the past. instead of giving him a feast for every meal, feeding him with my selfishness as he laughs at my guilt for doing such. I long to starve him. To make him so weak and weary that he would have no way in moving me. I want the bread of life to fill me. the pure living water to be what satisfies me. i want to run to my God when i hunger or thirst and trust He will satisfy my everything!

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of forgetting to fight! In times of trial, temptation, warfare... Do i fight? and when i do, do i fight in the flesh or in the Spirit? Yes, i know what it is to take hold of the victory that is given me in the time of battle and see it through... but i also know, all too well, the pain of loss, of defeat. to give in to the enemy's schemes. to grieve the heart of my God, and uplift the roar of the devil himself. I ask it would no longer be so, but that by His grace and mercy He would daily carry me in His love and wrap me in His full armor.

Are we not tired? Do we enjoy the despair and depression that comes with the weight of sin? Are we taking pleasure in the song that is sung by the shackles of this world? Why Christian? Why do we rebuild those things that Christ has destroyed!

Live in the freedom that you have been given! We are loved! No longer do we have to sell ourselves, comfort ourselves, with the mocking merchants of sin. No longer do we have to carry the stench of flesh! Family, we are brought into glory, we are the aroma of Christ. We were dead but now are alive! If Christ can conquer all, can He not conquer your sin? Can he not heal you of the hurt it has brought you? Can he not mend the heart so that it beats in rhythm with His own? He is Messiah! Saviour! GOD! And He loves you.

Family, let us no longer be tossed and turned, defeated by the powers of darkness, but let us take into account what God has done, and IS doing in our lives. Let the Lord search our hearts and expose any wickedness within, that we may be led into the way everlasting!

Let us fight the good fight, let us finish the race, let us keep the faith.