Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Come out! You're Surrounded!" His Majesty!

Recently I was at a wedding held in the beautiful setting of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The front of the church, behind the stage, was nothing but a huge glass window which overlooked the majesty of these mountains.
One large peak stood directly behind the church in the foreground of this larger than life picture out of this window wall, with others sprinkled around in the distance of the landscape.
It would have been mesmerizing on any day, but on this particular day, it was raining, and the scene seemed to morph second by second. The clouds hovered all around. At first, they simply kissed the tip of the mountain, but then they moved low from time to time.
As I watched in breathtaking trance, with melodies from the grand piano filling my ears and my spirit, I found myself frustrated to see this grandios peak covered by the clouds that had once been simply backgound to the portrait before me. This mountain in all its beauty had seemingly been consumed, and now it simply looked like a minor hill of trees, topped off by a massive cloud.
The perspective had changed...but the reality that the mountain was still there had not.

In that moment the Holy Spirit whispered, "This is what the world seeks to do to My majesty."

The majesty of God clouded by the world. Sadly, I know that it is true. And worse, I know I have allowed my life to be a part of it time and again.

We catch glimpses of the grandios holiness of God, the fullness of His power, the truth of His love and grace...and are in awe...mesmerized by the beauty of it all.
But then, we allow clouds of distraction, fear, shame, pride, biterness, busy-ness, religion(etc., etc.) to come in and cover over the massivenesss of the Lord's majesty.
And then, the wondrous, glory filled picture we declared would forever be at the forefront of our minds, slips somewhere into our memory.

We forget the reality of who God is.

He becomes a minor player on the canvas of our lives. The One whom the window was created to glorify is now merely a part of the picture, rather than the theme.
The perspective has changed...but the reality that His majesty is there has not!

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!"
Psalm 8:9

THIS has to be our perspective! THIS has to be our life theme- the picture painted by our life!

Psalm 22:25 says, "From You comes the theme of my praise..."
What theme does your life resound?

Have you allowed clouds come in and distort your view?

We get caught up in the ever changing scenery rather than focus on the glory of God that fills the frame of our lives. It stands tall before us, yet we choose to see the piece and not the whole. Why? Because we feel much bigger ourselves when we choose not to turn toward and acknowledge the greatness of God.
And, after all, it is all about us, right?!?

"The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God."
Psalm 14:2

Will God find you in the middle of already looking for Him?

"Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near." Isaiah 55:6

Don't let the clouds of this world fade in and warp your view of the awesomeness of the One True God!
They may mask His majesty for a time, but the glory of the Lord WILL be reavealed!
Let it begin in you! Let it begin through you!

"For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen."
Romans 11:36

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are You Ready?

I recently set out to write a very basic, informational email to my dicipleship/acccontability group when the Holy Spirit decided to step in and do otherwise. It was a very out-of-body typing experience, to say the least. It seemed as though I read it as I wrote! And, as I read what was on the screen, I realized the Holy Spirit was pouring out a compilation of what He had been pouring in to me over the past days and weeks.

It's all about truthfully answering, and taking a long hard look at, the very questions we avoid, which are the very questions that will ultimately be unavoidable!

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare befores the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account." Hebrews 4:13

So here are bits and pieces of what God poured out, slightly modified as the Holy Spirit guided for the purpose of this blog context:

What if, when you come into any setting of teaching, preaching, worship service, etc., you genuinely asked:
"What am I going to allow God to show up and DO in ME?!?"
WOW! What if we all entered into these times that way?!?
What if we WOKE UP with that question leaping from our tongue?!?
Can't you just see Heaven readying itself to open up and pour out on us if that was the genuine, unashamed cry of our hearts?!?

The major obstacle for each one of us is PRIDE. It is so easy for us to slip into this mindset because the enemy brings in deception and convinces us to label a PRIDEFUL mindset as so many other things:
shyness, our personlaity trait, or
"it's just the way I am",
"it's just the way I respond",
"I am a private person",
"I am more spiritually mature",
"I've already heard that",
"I already know that",
"So and so next to me sure does need to hear that.",
"I'm too busy",
"I don't have that kind of time.",
"I'll let God work in me LATER.",
"I am fine with where I am with God.",
"I don't need to be all radical, I'll just do what I think is enough."
....and on and on and on......................

No matter where you ARE or where you AREN'T with God....He has MORE for YOU!

Jesus is ready to give you the life He died for you to have!
Did you read that?!
There is always more of Himself that He desires to impart to you so that He can transform you into His likeness!

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Will it take sacrifice? yes.
Will it be hard at times? yes.
Will it be worth it? YES YES YES YES YES! Beyond your wildest dreams....YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I gave you the sure fire perscription for the healthy, beautiful body you've always wanted, and told you it was FREE, whether you were in ok shape and morbidly obese, I doubt anyone would turn it down. And you surely would't be embarrassed to take hold of that which would bring life and health and happiness!
Jesus has given us the sure fire perscription for the ultimate satisfaction to the deep longing of your spirit/soul, and it is FREE.
Why then are we, even as those who already have a saving knowledge of Jesus, turning Him down time after time, moment after moment?
There is no embarassment in embracing, whether for the first time or on a deeper level, the power of the One True Living God who will bring life and health and happiness to your spirit!

Don't let PRIDE steal what Jesus died and rose for you to have!
So what if someone else doesn't "get" what God is doing in your life?! It's not about anyone else- it's about YOU and GOD.
He is all that matters. He is ALL that matters!

Are YOU ready?
Have you settled the most core question there is?
Have you allowed Jesus to come in and take care of your debt of sin?
Are you struggling to know God more maybe because you have never known Him FIRST?
NOW is the time.
Stop playing games and making excuses- you are dealing with your ETERNITY.
MAKE SURE you have TRULY given your LIFE to the LORD.
Embarrassment and shame are from the enemy- schemes and tactics to keep you on a path straight to Hell! I love you enough to shoot straight with you- and that my friends is the TRUTH.
Don't buy into the lies of the one who hates you enough to keep you ETERNALLY separated from the Lover of your soul!

And what if you have dealt with that sin debt? Does your LIFE say that is true?
Would others know that about you without having to ask?
Are you content with just enough of God or do you live your life craving more of Him?
Is He simply IN your life or have you allowed Him to be ON THE THRONE of your life?
Are you willing to go wherever He takes you or do you just take God where you want to go?
Are you in His Word?
Do you know His Word?
Are you willing to do whatever He asks or do you simply ask Him to do whatever you want Him to do?
If you have prayed to receive Jesus as the Lord of your life, you already have victory over the enemy! Don't let His lies keep you from EXPERIENCING the POWER, the RELATIONSHIP, the continual TRANSFORMATION that can only be found in Jesus, through the power and moving of His Holy Spirit!

It is our choice- yours and mine-to make.

Do you understand that not saying YES to God is saying NO to God?
We don't like to think about it that way, but THAT is the truth.
But here is the best part...saying YES to God is taking hold of all of His promises, His power, the inheritance He has RIGHT NOW for you, in every area of your life, for every day, for every moment!
Let's stop living like we are paupers when Jesus gives us the right to call ourselves ROYALTY as sons and daughters of the King.

Stop. Plainly ask the Lord to show you where you are and what questions you need to deal with- not where you HOPE you are, but ask Him to show you where you REALLY are- no games, no excuses- let's face the truth head on, no matter what it is and stop getting caught up in the enemy's web of lies.
It's time to look the truth in the face and deal with it by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Only then can we receive all He has in store for us.

Ok so, yes, being sold out to the Lord-really sold out according to the standards set in God's Word, not the world's pathetic standards- may look strange to some...even to some of those who call themselves "Christians". But in the end, we will each stand before the Lord, and in that moment, it won't matter what anyone else thought about how your life answered these questions. All that will matter is HOW God saw your life actually answer these questions

Are you ready?

Matthew 7:21-29 (The Message)READ! DON'T SKIP THIS PART!
(bold type emphases mine)

21-23"Knowing the correct password—saying 'Master, Master,' for instance— isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.'

24-25"These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

26-27"But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards."

28-29When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.

The time is NOW.
Believer, non-believer...we all have a choice to make.
What is your choice???
Your life, not your words, is the evidence of the choice you make.

"Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." Matthew 7:20