You can’t do the work of God without a relationship with God.
None of the folks in the Bible felt qualified to do the work of God. However, they did it anyway. How?
The one thing they all had in common with each other is the fact that they all had a relationship with God in some fashion. We too need to cultivate our relationship with Him in order to do His works.
Whats the difference between us and those we read about in the Bible?
Every work the people in the Bible did prepared the way for the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. However, before Jesus came their relationship with God included a set of specific rules and regulations of sacrifices to continue this “relationship”. It’s their continued walk and relationship with God that lead us to the beginning of Jesus’s story.
It’s because of Jesus that we can have a relationship with God that doesn’t require all the Old Testament sacrifices. Although we do make our own sacrifices in the here and now, the law is no longer the same due to Jesus dying on the cross becoming the final physical sacrifice for our sins!
We may not be able to relate to the same style of relationship and sacrifices they had but we can relate to all the characters in the Bible by not feeling good enough. However, we can also set ourselves apart from them! The difference between us and them is that only their works prepared for the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, and our works are preparing for the return of Christ! You see, although there works may have had to be done in order for our turn to come, we were not there then and they are not here now. We all have a unique gift and calling that only we can do. You may not get to be the Virgin Mary who brings forth the birth of our Savior but what can God do through you that will bring His return?
Our troubles and fleshly feelings might compare with those of the Bible but the fruit of our callings verses there’s do not. They had a job and so do we. We both are fulfilling prophecy just different parts of it. They were the beginning of the greatest love story ever told and we are living in a time where we are working to fulfill the completion of the same story.
We can read the Bible in awe of the miraculous stories or we can read it realizing that we are living out the same miraculousness as the fulfillment of the same story.
Our callings and works now are all to fulfill the promise of Jesus’s return. Are you doing your part? Will you say yes like Mary did? Will you not give up like Job didn’t? Will you lead like David did? Will you overcome like Ruth did? Because the return of our savior is counting on your yes! The return of our savior is counting on you taking advantage of the sacrifice He made to make having a relationship with God easier. Helping to fix the downfall from eating of the tree of knowledge. Allowing us to walk closer with God so that we can follow our calling better. Aka our part in the time puzzle of the return of Jesus. For once we fulfill our portion, the circle will be completed and our walk in the cool of the eve with God will not only be forever but also be literal once more.
So about a year or two ago I made a short little video of something Holy Spirit laid on my heart. Since then, I’ve continued to have ladies tell me how much that short little nugget of information helped them. So I thought, if it helped me and it helped them, then why not get this little “life hack” of advice out to the rest of you ladies to benefit from!
So, we all struggle with something right? Actually, today, I’m here to tell you that we are not the one doing the struggling. We’re the one who starts with a foot hold on victory. What if I were to tell you that it’s our way of thinking that has caused us to be the one that struggles? What if I told you that what ever the struggle is, it’s actually struggling with you?
Let me explain.
Instead of prophesying, “I struggle with (insert word here)”, try saying; “______ struggles with me!” I’ll go first. Instead of saying; “I struggle with Acid Reflux”. Try saying; “Acid Reflux struggles with me!”. That way, you are not letting that “thing” have power over your life. You are taking the power over it! You’re now prophesying your advantage and it’s defeat!
You see, you shouldn’t look at it like you’re the one who always has to struggle. Have you ever asked yourself that out loud? Go ahead, do it now. Ask yourself; “why am I the one who always has to struggle?”. It sounded silly saying it out loud didn’t it? So, let’s change the way you think about it! You can look at it as, the struggle has to combat you! Because, guess what? It’s trying to take claim in your life and you’re not letting it! The simple fact that you’re taking steps to not let it means you’re on the up already! You have to use the authority God gave you!
Look up, girl! You are a daughter of the KING!
It, whatever it might be, struggles with you. Not the other way around! That thing, is what is having to do all the work to insert itself into your life! You’re in control! You don’t have to let it! You see even Jesus knew that when he was telling His disciples in John 10 that He freely gives His own life that He could also not. In this chapter Jesus is explaining that our Father is our Shepard and that His sheep know His voice so therefore they hear Him! Jesus follows His fathers command! But listen to what Jesus says in John 10:18; “No one takes it (His life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
I. Have. The. Authority. To lay it down. AND the authority to take it up again.
This means that Jesus had a choice. In His own authority He could choose to lay down His life and to take it up again. We also get to see that Jesus gives the disciples this same authority just as God gave Adam authority over the animals and land in Genesis. This means we have a choice as well. We get to choose to use our authority over the things that try to lay hold over our lives. Which means those things struggle with us. Those things know it has to bow to the name of Jesus which is why we use “in the name of Jesus” in our authoritative words. Those things will only struggle with you for so long before it bows to the name of Jesus! Before it bows to Christ in us! Because the bible also says that every knee will bow!
So go ahead. Let that long overdue authority roar while that “thing” you’ve been dealing with struggles with you! Let the thing struggle! It’s the one fighting for an entry into your body, into you mind and you hold the key to let it in or not. You hold the key to your authority. Free yourself from struggle today and unlock the key to your authority!
What do we do when people are people? Rise, let us go from here.
Ever have those days? You spend hours dealing with “something that came up” to find out you would have never been able to find the solution because you didn’t even know the root issue existed? In the meantime, the work you’re behind on is now even more behind. You volunteer for many things during the week as well so you can’t necessarily work late and get everything finished. You can’t work or go in early because you have a family that needs your attention in the mornings. Then in the middle of your work day, the school calls to tell you one of your children made a bad choice. However, you’re still committed to what you gave your word to volunteer for and once you get to where you’re volunteering you realize you’re stuck in the middle of a difference of opinions. You can’t please everyone. You can’t. You literally can not please everyone. But…
People are people, always have been and always will be. Emergency’s will always come up. Timing won’t always be perfect. Work will always have something to work on. Kids will always find things to learn the hard way from and you will always find yourself caught in the middle at one point or another. Sometimes all those things occur at once! But you know what? Jesus has always been Jesus. He always will be. People are people which is the exact reason Jesus is Jesus.
I’m so thankful for Jesus! He’s literally the entire reason we get to have a hard moment with people and be able to still love them the next. Shoot, even love them during the hard moment. He’s the puzzle piece that keeps it all okay. Jesus fills in the cracks, He fixes the emergencies, He calms the storm of your child’s wrong choice, He helps you get caught up and He never leaves you through the entire process. It’s us who tend to look away from Him when we’re caught up in the thick of it all.
Jesus says, “Rise, let us go from here.” That didn’t necessarily mean to leave the physical place we’re in, but to live your life from that particular point in time on. He meant for us to keep going and even told us how we could. All we need to do is listen to the advice Jesus gave us in John 14 before He asked us to Rise and go.
So, I’ve learned to let people be people and Jesus be Jesus. Focus on Jesus who focuses on the people and you’ll get through your days more peaceful than you ever thought possible! You see, after Jesus died and rose again, He asked our Father to send the Holy Spirit.
So who is our extra advocate, the Holy Spirit? John 14:16-29 explains;
“26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.”
From that point on the Holy Spirit has been the Holy Spirit. The power team of the trinity does not take one single moment off, let alone a day off. Always working on your behalf, even in the moments you can’t see it. When you can’t see it, change your focus. Don’t focus on the people or the situation or that’s ALL you’ll see. Focus on Jesus, focus on the helper God sent you, Holy Spirit. You’ll begin to see through their eyes! The view will always look more beautiful that way.
So, rise, let us go from here. To the next moment, to the next day, to the next opportunity to get to see people as people which is the same moment, we get to see God as God, Jesus as Jesus and Holy spirt as Holy spirit and view through the beauty of their lenses.
Okay, don’t come for me but a few weeks ago I said to myself; “Man, I’m so ready for fall, why can’t we just live in a constant state of fall weather?” Now this was in the middle of July and the heat was brutal! As soon as I said it, I so tenderly heard God say to me; “Because you’d always be stuck in the middle of an ending and a beginning! You’d be stuck in a constant state of death without rebirth!” Man, did that hit me hard! You know, like one of those moments where you just stop and stare because you can’t believe what you just heard? We’ve all been there. Stuck. Almost like we’re comfortable in the pain. But you know what? Hearing God’s words helped me realize that, what He just explained to me is why there’s a winter! To grieve after the death of whatever it or who it might be.
First the colorful, yet dry leaves begin to fall as a sign of an ending near. You know the signs! We usually just don’t pay attention to them because life can be tricky that way. Everything always seems to be bittersweetly beautiful before the death of something; whether it’s a life or something else in our lives. The brittle leaves of our endings crunch down into ashes, and we all know that Isaiah 61:3 says He trades beauty for ashes. However, you gotta let Him do His work first and go through the seasons of change.
Then the soft blanket of snow comes to cover all the hurt. Allowing it to make way for Spring. Readying you for a birth of something new. I guess I never realized how much I was okay with the feeling of ending until that day. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced a lot of it in my life. But, I’d like to believe it’s because through the hard times I’ve been conditioned to self consciously know that a new beginning is near? Either way, don’t stay stuck! Starting today, allow each season to come!
It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that everything on earth has its own time and season. Psalms 30:5 says that anger is but for a moment but that favor is for a lifetime. That weeping may come for the night but joy comes with the morning. You know, we could say that it also comes with the mourning too! Like I said before, without it (fall and winter) there would never be a new beginning. Spring would never come. The birth of something new would cease to exist.
So if you’re yearning for fall (or just another time in general) like I was, try to enjoy today. The now. Let this season do its thing. Let it be, and know that the cycle never ends because God’s love always brings a new beginning!
Take a moment today to figure out what season you’re in. Go ahead and rest in the peace of knowing that no matter what, the Son will shine, the leaves will fall, the snow will cover the pain and spring will bring new beginnings.
Don’t like reading? Listen instead by clicking the link below!
I love the moments when Holy Spirit fills the room while Pastor Gary is preaching! Some days I just sit and listen, taking it all in. Letting the word seep into my spirit. Other days, my hand pens the overflow! These moments have been few and far between for me as of late, admittedly. Which meant that last Wednesday was a much needed moment when my hand was writing faster than I could think. In tune with my Father, my Provider and the one who truly knows my heart. These moments are precious, priceless, encounters with the Lord that only you and Him can feel and understand. From those moments creation emerges. I thought I’d share the Lord and I’s creation from that moment last Wednesday below. So, what will you create with the Lord today?
A few years back I was struggling with my singing voice. Still am actually. I know the Word, though. So, I claimed my healing, thanked God for it and went on believing that it would come back. I prayed more and focused on how to be a better worship leader. I knew that I would get through the season and move on to better moments. I signed up for a few different worship leader classes and put my hand to the plow. I even began those piano classes I had always wanted, this year. Now, remember, I just said this began a few years back. So what does that mean? Did I get better?
Depends on your perspective. To a non believer it would look like not. However, just because my singing voice isn’t completely better or what it used to be, doesn’t mean I lost the battle. You see, one of the classes I signed up for was through Rick Pino. It was his first virtual class since Covid tried to ruin in person contact. Which actually worked out better for me, since I have a full time career and would never be able to attend one in person anyhow. I finished the class but his texts that I had signed up to receive didn’t stop coming. That didn’t bother me though, as I didn’t mind receiving the encouragement. Well, one particular text stopped me in my tracks. The text said;
“The first place the word, “worship” is mentioned in the Bible is in Gen. 22 where Abraham is going up the mountain to offer up Isaac. We see here that worship is all about the treasure of someone’s heart being laid on an altar. Worship should be costly friend. If your worship doesn’t cost you anything, then your worship has no worth.”
I sat there perplexed at what I had just read. What exactly did it mean? It sounded cruel to my soul at first. What do you mean worship should be costly? Cost what? I’m freely giving it aren’t I? I was just as perplexed the first time I ever read Genesis 22 as a full blown Christian adult. I’m a mom of two boys so it pierced deep. But you see, truth is, God actually did sacrifice His own son, for all of us! Let that sink in! Thank you Jesus! That’s on a whole other subject though.. Moving on..
You see, I always thought my singing and worshiping was me using my God given gift as a gift back to the Lord. I worshiped to thank Him, to love on Him for all He has done for me. I yearned for the intimacy I felt in His presence and the opportunity to use my gift to thank Him. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten fleshly at times and asked the all too well known question of WHY? Why my voice? I’d rather struggle with anything else in my body but that.
Then it hit me. What. If. What if I were Abraham and God had asked me to sacrifice my voice? Now, I hadn’t felt that or heard Him say that but, would I do it if He had? How far was I willing to go? How much was I willing to give? Does the sound of my voice truly mean that much to me? I mean, let’s face it, I actually hate listening to myself so why am I so torn up about not being able to sing like I used to? I mean, I know the sound of my voice doesn’t dictate the heart of my worship…..does it?
So in that moment, I asked myself, what if my worship, cost me my soulful sound? Am I still willing to worship anyway? How would I worship? I began to look back at the past few years and the events that took place. I knew I had already realized that I still had “a voice” in my CATW journey but I hadn’t quite realized the pure joy of sacrificing something I thought was one of my best qualities. Up until the moment of perplexity with this text, I had figured I was just using my voice differently until my healing took manifest. I had given it to God and let it go. So I thought.
But, was I willing to truly face God and say, that’s okay, I completely sacrifice my voice to you. You can have it, God. I don’t want it back.…. I thought I had already in my own way. But you know that thing people say? If you know, you know? Yeah, everyone “thinks” they know! Until they KNOW! Suddenly, worship became MORE beautiful than I had ever imagined! I had always “preached” that it doesn’t matter what someone sounds like to others here on earth, the Lord loves it! I would encourage others to sing out His praises no matter what they thought they sounded like. So why couldn’t I practice what I preached? I mean I still sang, just would try not to when I realized it wasn’t sounding “right”. I would sing the words; “Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down.” Thanking God as I gingerly sang those words for me walking out of the “grave” of losing my voice.
But, just what if, I sacrificed it and gave it completely up to the Lord? What if I left my voice in the grave and continued to sing anyway? What would that sound like? It would sound like the “treasure of my heart being laid on an altar”. It would sound like “worthy worship”.
You see John 4: 19-26 talks about how Jesus was speaking to a woman at a well. There comes a point where she says to Jesus that she can see that he’s a prophet but that her “fathers” (family) worshiped on this mountain and that she didn’t understand how Jews could say that the place to worship was actually in Jerusalem. People were literally fighting over where the correct place to worship was.
Jesus goes on to tell her that an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Verse 22 goes on to say; “You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
Did you happen to notice what He didn’t say? He didn’t say, you must worship Him in song and with a pleasing voice. As a matter of fact, it didn’t say anything about using your voice at all! Jesus said, in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. Did you also see how she “thought she knew”. So, a little text of encouragement lead me to a big understanding I thought I already understood. I already understood I could worship in other ways! I even had John 4:24 as my FB cover image for a long time. But it took me losing my voice to find my true worship. It “cost” me something precious. I realized my “gift” was worth giving up! But I gained something so much more precious! An understanding of what true, pure, raw, worship is.
My spirit now screams You can have it ALL God! My truth now screams, none of it means more to me than You!
This particular CATW was our very first virtual session. Covid had just shut everything down in early 2020 and we had to make the decision for it to be a Facebook live instead of our in person fellowship time. Jenny brought a beautiful word about how we can walk around this world knotted up, torn and hurting to only realize the common thread to restoration. Jesus! He brings unraveling, restoration and healing to the pattern of our life. Check it out below! You can also find more of Jenny’s devotions on her Facebook page “Thoughts from a Broken but Blessed Soul”
One more faith step complete! The building blocks are moving along nicely. One step at a time! I just published my very first podcast. Audio only for the moment. However, I’ll have visual episodes in the future. You gotta walk before you can run, ya know? I’m thankful! Check it out on Anchor hereif you feel so obliged! Or you can also find it on Spotify here. Stay tuned!