Sunday, September 2, 2018

When God is Dealing WithYou

As an individual often called on to give advice to others, I have experienced the conviction that
comes with advising on a subject that I haven't mastered. Giving good advice is one thing, but having the strength and boldness, from situation to situation to follow that advice is something else. When it comes to a call from God, I have experienced encouraging someone else to go forward, while I myself was in neutral or reverse.
When I look at Jonah and his futile attempt to outrun God, I relearn some things.
  1. When God is dealing with you, you'll run from the call since you know you can't run from God. Jonah paid to ride a boat away from where he was supposed to be going. He got further away from a place, but but further away from his calling. To put it best, you can run but you can't hide.
  2. When God is dealing with you even your disobedience is fruitful. After Jonah got tossed from the boat, men that weren't thinking about God before, feared God and offered sacrifices (Jonah 1:16). I've seen people disobey their way to prison only to end up having an effective prison ministry. What the devil means for evil God uses for good.
  3. When God is dealing with you he’ll bring you back to the beginning so you can get it right. The fish didn't spit Jonah up in the land he was running from. That would be like forcing Jonah to obey, but God wants us to willingly obey so Jonah is placed 3 days away from the place he was supposed to be and God called him a second time. This time, Jonah obeyed.

Jonah is a short book so please read it and let me know your thoughts.

Peace, SLC

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Don't Take It Personal

1 Samuel 8:7 CEB

The Lord answered Samuel, "Comply with the people’s request—everything they ask of you—because they haven’t rejected you. No, they’ve rejected me as king over them."

No, this has nothing to do with Jermaine Jackson's song. This is about the frustration that accompanies trying to help someone more than they want to help themselves. Maybe you've been where they are and your trying to keep them from making the same mistake, but no matter how hard you try, they ignore you. I've been there recently, and it's tough to watch someone you love head towards a calamity.

Eventually, I was able to find peace and rest in God's words to Samuel. If what I have to give is from God, then it's him being rejected, not me. My responsibility is to continue to love, and to be there when the fall occurs. Being offended, and staying offended will only make it more difficult to help them in the future.

They've made their choice, and I've made mine.

Joshua 24:15 CEB

..... choose today whom you will serve...... But my family and I will serve the Lord

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sometimes it’s About Your Reaction

Spiritual attacks are commonplace in the life of Christians; at least those Christians that are actually trying to play an active role in the body of Christ. The majority of these attacks are what I would call indirect attacks. Maybe the enemy can’t torment an individual by invading their thoughts directly, but they can ind someone with access to the individual; someone who has the individual’s ear, and use them to indirectly attack the Christian. This indirect attack can come through a boss, co-worker, parent, child, spouse, or any other relationship.
Inevitably or at least initially, the attacked person will focus on the person that attacked them and not the spirit that attacked them. For this reason, they will respond to the person that attacked them and not the spirit that attacked them. When this happens, the enemy has achieved his goal. Often the enemy can get more than he intended out of a single attack based on all the subsequent attacks. Ultimately it is your reaction that determines whether or not a spiritual attack is effective.  
Moses faced such an attack in Numbers chapter 20. Earlier the chapter mentions the people’s rebellion against Moses due to the lack of water in the wilderness so Moses was probably frustrated. His feelings were probably hurt. The people were tired and thirsty. Physical challenges like thirst, hunger, and fatigue often precipitate spiritual attacks. In verse 8, Moses was instructed to “speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock”. (NLT) Moses, in his response to the indirect spiritual attack attempted through the people said, “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” He then struck the rock two times and God mercifully brought forth water in spite of Moses not following the specific instruction to speak. Moses reaction to this indirect spiritual attack resulted in him dying without actually stepping foot into the Promised Land.

If there is one area in my life where I can definitely improve it is in recognizing spiritual attacks sooner and not just jump into “they’re getting on my nerves”, or “they hurt my feelings”. If I can see the spiritual attack sooner, I can reply to the person that the enemy is using in a way that will protect me and in that instance keep them from being used any further. Instead of giving them a piece of my mind, I’ll try to remember that, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”. Proverbs 15:1 If I can keep my reaction in check, I can stop that attack.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Moving On Up!



Some time ago, I heard the quote above. It was misquoted by Madea. At the time, it was funny, but times have changed and I am now forced to believe what has been shown to me. Most importantly however, I must recognize that it was God that made the reveal for my own protection, and any hurt is directly related to growing pains. As I have navigated this healing journey two scriptures have come to mind.

1 Samuel 16:1 (KJV)
16 And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

God asked a question and gave the answer. How long will you mourn (cry, weep) was the question. After announcing his decision he told Samuel to get up and go. In other words, your mourning period is over, because while you’re mourning over what was, you’re missing out on an exciting new beginning. He went on to say, “I have provided”. Wow!!!! Excessive time spent mourning over what God rejected is time not spent moving towards what he has provided. Finally, I realize that I have to elevate my priorities by heeding the words of Paul found in Colossians.


…….. focus on the things that are above-where Christ holds the highest position. Colossians 3:1b (GOD'S WORD Translation)

Samuel still loved Saul, but God was calling Samuel onward and upward. If you’re in a similar place or know someone that’s mourning what was, encourage them to focus on what God has for them next. I promise you and them, He Has Already Provided.

SLC


Friday, January 20, 2012

WHO - WHERE - WHEN - WHAT

2 Samuel 11 - 1 In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war

David sent out Joab, his servants, and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah.
But David stayed in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof 
3 So David sent his servants to find out who she was. A servant answered, “That woman is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam. She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”
4 So David sent messengers to bring Bathsheba to him. When she came to him, he had sexual relations with her. (Now Bathsheba had purified herself from her monthly period.) Then she went back to her house. 
5 But Bathsheba became pregnant and sent word to David, saying,
“I am pregnant.”


Later David tried to get her husband drunk and send him home to have sex with his wife. This would of course cause the husband to think the baby was his. Unfortunately for David her husband did not go home but in an act of dedication, he slept outside David’s castle with the other officers. In desperation, David had her husband killed and eventually married the woman. This act turned David’s life upside down for an extended period of time. While thinking about this situation I thought about some basic questions that I should ask of myself and of others on a regular basis. Here are the questions and David’s answers.

QUESTION
DAVID’S ANSWER
YOUR ANSWER
WHO AM I
King David

WHERE AM I
At Home

WHERE SHOULD I BE
when the kings normally went out to war

WHEN SHOULD I BE THERE
Now

WHAT ARE YOU DOING
Abusing my authority


While there are more questions that can be raised from this particular portion of scripture, the answers to these questions can go a long way in determining what the answers will be when you answer them again in six months. If the answer to where are you and where should you be are not the same now, then without an acceleration plan being implemented now, those answers will not be the same in six months. Anyway I hope to spend a lot more time sharing via this blog this year in an effort to reconcile the difference between where I am, and where I should be. Join me. SLC

Friday, November 11, 2011

WE DON'T DIE - WE MULTIPLY!


IF ITS TRUE FOR BE BE'S KIDS........
Have you ever found yourself in a miserable job situation? Have you ever said to yourself, “It wasn’t always like this”? Have you ever found yourself dealing with people that seemed determined to kill you? I don’t mean physically kill you. I mean the people Jesus spoke of when he said, “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell”. (Matthew 10:28).  That is the type of situation the Israelites found themselves in Exodus chapter 1.
At the end of the book of Genesis they came into town on the coattails of Joseph’s favor and everything was fine; for a season. But over some years the Joseph’s generation and the king with whom they had favor were gone. The new man in charge was intimidated by the growth of the Israelites. Yep. Some people in your life will be uncomfortable with your growth. They’ll actually be intimidated by it. Pharaoh was so afraid he decided to do something about it.

9 And he said to his people, See, the people of Israel are greater in number and in power than we are: 10 Let us take care for fear that their numbers may become even greater, and if there is a war, they may be joined with those who are against us, and make an attack on us, and go up out of the land. 11 So they put overseers of forced work over them, in order to make their strength less by the weight of their work. And they made store-towns for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses. Exodus 1:9-11
The King James says that he put taskmasters over them to afflict them. Afflict meant to put down, brow beat, mishandle, or humiliate. All because of their growth. While the growth in these verses may be numerical, the same thing happens when some people are intimidated by your Spiritual growth. They try to humiliate, embarrass, or brow beat you. They try to stunt your growth. They also try to bring death to your dreams and the call of God for your life. They try to kill your soul.
For a bit of encouragement all you have to do is check out verse 12. It doesn’t say that the affliction does not come. In fact it does come and increasingly so. But check out your              I mean the Israelite's response.

12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. Exodus 1:12
That’s right. They didn’t die, they multiplied. Not only did they multiply, but they grew as well. Sometimes you can’t do anything about the haters and brow beaters in your life, but you can let the hate, motivate. Let it inspire you to grow in your relationship with God and multiply your Godly influence over those that realize that fighting against you is a losing battle. As Joseph said to his brothers, what they meant for evil, God meant for good. So the same affliction designed to take you out will take you up, cause we don’t die, we MULTIPLY.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Learning To Commend - My Easter Lesson

The last expressions of Jesus Christ are commonly preached at good Friday services around the world. I have heard many of these messages, but I can’t remember any of them. Probably because I could not relate. Well that has changed for me. While there is still no sermon I can related to, there is a condition I can vaguely relate too. That condition is the condition of individual helplessness. I am at a point in a particular battle, where I am totally self helpless and powerless. I believe that is the condition Jesus was in when he spoke these words;

“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: 
and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke 23:46b” KJV

"Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands! And with those words he breathed his last.” NLT

"Father, I place my life in your hands!" Then he breathed his last. The Message

Jesus fully understood what he was called to do but in the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed that this cup, this calling could pass from him. Somehow he summoned the strength he needed and said never the less, not my will, but yours be done. As I struggled with certain issues I got to a point where I wanted to negatively quit. There is indeed a proper way to quit, but I wanted to quit on some aspects of my calling. I literally wanted to throw up my hands and say I can’t do this anymore. I wanted to say, to hell with all of this, but that is like saying instead of fighting for Heavenly results, I’ll give in to the enemy and hellish results. That’s the wrong way to quit.

The right way is to finally realize that you have exhausted all of your earthly options, and you need to quit trying to be the superhero. There are some situations (battles), the effects of which you see with your natural eye, that are not natural they are spiritual. For me it took a while (and I’m still not sure I’m completely there) to quit my self-influenced efforts, and quit, by commending my situation to God. The word commend means to deposit, as you would money into a savings account. In the best scenarios, interest causes an increase of your original investment. Jesus invested his Spirit to God, and was not disappointed for God Raised Him from the dead. The souls that have been added to the Church since then are the interest on that initial investment.

My situation requires a resurrection but nothing nearly as complex as rolling away a multi-ton stone. Pray for me, and join me in commending situations to the care of God. I promise you will receive an awesome return on that investment.

Love y‘all
SLC