Tag Archives: sin

True Religion

26 Nov

As I began my rediscovery of my faith, I promised to always be transparent. I may not always be completely accurate but I am always honest with you. Especially in the ways I doubt or mess up.

I think the hardest part of my faith journey these 10 years, is shaking off the beliefs, the ideals, the teachings that actually kept me from really knowing God, knowing Christ.  I think you can be saved, by simply accepting the gift of salvation Christ gave to you.  That mustard seed, if it took root, is enough.

Religions have made it difficult for us to really know Christ. To know God. To know the Holy Spirit. The rules and politics became magnified and we lost sight of the fact that people in need of a savior were the ones teaching and preaching and leading us.  Sadly, because of the sin in people, it is hard for people to find God.

Religion became about people; Like we did it, like we saved ourselves. We lost God in the mix. Even our non-denominational churches need a shaking up.  We spend so much time on wrong things. We waste opportunity after opportunity, simply because we missed the point.  WE are not the point. WE didn’t earn our salvation.

Sin is a black stain. All sin is a black stain. Whether you lie about why you’re running late or you harm a child. Sin is black. It is all black and in need of a redeemer. Period.  Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5) fell to his knees and couldn’t even look at God because he was able to fully see the stain of his sin compared to the Glory of God.  That is us. Each and every one of us.

That is why Jesus was born.  “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”” Luke 19:10 NLT

He is the seeker, the all-knowing, just waiting to be known.   Period. 

God created every life. He loves every single life. He seeks every life to know Him.

If the creator of all things,  loves every life, cherishes and longs for every life to know Him, pursues every sinner, how arrogant it is to judge any single person anything.

He isn’t doing this to you. He is seeking you. He is saying “look at me, look to me, seek me and you will find me, hear me, follow me, trust me. ”  It is not a human responsibility to fix society. It is a human response to salvation to want to share that amazing advent with the world.

God could force us to worship Him, but he seeks us. He could reject us for not choosing Him, but He simply continues to pursue us.

There is a longing in us, for more. A hole inside our heart, a wounded sorrowful place that without Him, never becomes full. He left that space inside our hearts just for Himself.  I have times where I don’t feel Him there and it hurts. Physically. I miss Him.  When I begin to worship Him, glorifying Him, I feel my whole being fill up.

My faithwalk is one of ups and downs. I go through periods of deep devotion, humbled and reverent awe of all He is. I also go through periods of time where I forget about Him, I do things out of my own ambitions and needs, and not out of obedience and submission. I am prideful at times, without acknowledgement of all He provides. I am self sufficient, moving along without thinking of Him, at all.  There are times that I have literally sat in such a place of awe, knowing it was Him with me because the atmosphere completely changed.  I have also been edgy, worried, fearful, gossipy, insecure, all things that I am when I forget who He is and who I have dwelling within me.

Honestly, I am in a weird place in my journey. It is so different that at times, I worry that my faith is going cold, yet at the same time, knowing it isn’t. I am trusting Him with this new place, not because I am so good at being a Christian…(I am not), but because I have learned that I can try to be but it really works much easier if I remember that He is in charge and He has never let me down. He is sovereign.

It is so hard to imagine a God that can dwell inside of us. How crazy does that sound? That He would choose us, to dwell within us? We know, deep down, from that humble awareness that we are probably not perfect enough for Him to be inside of us. So why do we expect perfection from the world around us?

HE is the one that loved us first. HE, the one that created the world, also numbered every single hair on every single head. He is self reliant and self existent. He doesn’t need us. He doesn’t need one single thing because He is omnipotent and sovereign.  We just get to travel through this world, on our way to His world.

He didn’t tell us we were so wonderful, He said we were wonderfully made. He didn’t say we were worth rubies, He said we were bought with the price of rubies.

I forget this humility.  Often. We all do.  We need to do better at loving this world, and we need to start by loving God and loving every person God created, starting with ourselves. We all walk around with that hole inslde that only he can fill and we all walk around with the big black stain of sin. No sin is exempt and no sinner is exempt. No sin is darker. No sin is less than.  Neither are the sinners. We, every single human on this earth is a sinner. Period. It isn’t that we are free to sin however we choose, it is that we are called to humble our own selves before Him and surrender our own sin to Him. It is vertical, this sinner/savior relationship. This is what Jesus meant about the plank in your own eyes. (Matthew 5-7).

My faith may not “feel” tangible to me, but He is really opening my eyes to the truth. To my lowness in the big scheme of things. That lowness is blessed with promise and joy everlasting. Truth shall set us free. I want us all to know true freedom.

So, put your bible on your bed-stand and walk out your door today and see the hole in people. Not the black stain. Find the love inside of you and look around you, see the love needed and share that love, pursue it passionately. When we do this, then we are behaving like God. Oh that I would walk this, every moment of every day.

This is true religion.

 

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Tend To Your Own Weeds

29 Oct

I am that girl. The Jesus freak girl.

I am that girl that found Jesus late in life, though I had religion much of my life.  I am a bit of a rebel  at heart. I am an “I can do it myself” kind of girl. It’s been hard for me to surrender to God. I have found great peace in this place of surrender, but obviously I have trust issues as I keep finding myself back in the driver’s seat.

I am also the girl that always hated injustice. I’ve stood up for people, fought battles for people, alongside of people.

I am that girl; the one that brought home the stray pets and outer fringe people.

I am also the girl that at age 47,  finally heard the words of Jesus, echoing in my heart as I read, and reread “The Sermon on the Mount” (*Matthew 5-7).   Literally, I understood my salvation as I read the words of Matthew 5:3-5 in the Message version.  It changed everything.

Church friends…We can talk about needing a revival all we want, but we have to start within our own four walls. It’s time for the church to wake up. It is time for us to hear what He has been saying to us, in Matthew, Mark, in John, in Roman’s. Stop with the rules and rituals. Stop thinking that your actions determine your salvation. They don’t.  Stop thinking you have to fit a type! Stop rejecting people based on sin. Seriously!

Love God and Love your neighbor. Believe that Jesus is exactly who He said He is.  Our redeemer. For the man hanging next to him on the cross, it was as simple as saying “remember me”.  It isn’t hard! Stop making it so hard!  These are the simple rules we have unless we want to go back to trying to earn it again by doing our best to follow the Ten Commandments.  I can’t even get through traffic on my way to work!  I am desperate for a Savior!

This is my takeaway on the very words of Jesus from that sermon.  It is the philosophy of not throwing stones before you look into your heart to see if you have ANY sin.

If you are going to call out Homosexuals for not “turning from their sin”, you had better be free from every single sin you meant to turn from. Every single one.   Because that is how you will now be judged.

If you are going to hate or judge a person for the color of their skin, their religion, for their economic status or their politics, you are acting as if they are your enemy. You have villainized them and you are  not loving your neighbor. Period. Period. Period.   The verb.

If you are not going to forgive every single person, every single thing they have done, every single time, then you don’t know what redemption is.  (This isn’t about boundaries, this is about forgiveness).  See, I can say all this because I know how prideful I can be, I know how unfair it can seem in my tunnel vision of looking at other’s instead of myself. The really sad truth is, when you don’t love the people of this world…then you have not loved God.

I have walked through grief, fear, anger, un-forgiveness and I have walked through peace. Unshakable peace even in the midst of great trials. Oh how I wish I could sit here and write this from a place of having it all together.  Some days, I am there. Some days, not so much.

I have had great faith, great joy, deep peace and I have really messed it up.  I have hurt people I loved, I have been selfish. I am never perfect like Christ. Never!  But this is the truth. I have zero secrets from God. I have confessed all of my sin. I can walk in freedom knowing this.

I really wish I was so faith filled that I would ALWAYS come from love, always forgive everyone everything, always be filled with supernatural peace.  One day, in Heaven. I will have all of that and more.

I don’t care what your sin is, because we all do it. We all have our thing, the thing we know the bible tells us is wrong, but we have this thorn in us. Stop letting ANYONE tell you that it separates you from God ‘s redeeming Grace. It never has and it never will. He loves every single one of his beautiful sheep.
He probably loves his homosexual sheep a bit deeper because they have been treated like lepers.  Just sayin!  They are like the tax collectors, and remember who Jesus spent time with!

I want every single person I come alongside to see so much of God in me, that they want to know if it applies to them. (It does, but that is YOUR journey).

What real faith looks like, perfected: Being grace filled when someone slanders you, when someone lies about you, when someone blames you or uses you, rejects you, or disrespects you.  When you watch a loved one suffer or there is more month than money. When things unravel or no longer look the way we thought it would look, that is the kind of disappointment that makes faith really hard.  Oh but when our faith is that big, NOTHING can touch us.  This is MY religion.

Grace is perfect. I am not. No matter if I mess it up or remain in Him, He never stops loving me. He never leaves my side or stops reminding me to check myself first.

Before we look over the fence at anyone, ever… we may want to check our own yard. We have to constantly look for new weeds, especially the ones hidden in corners.

My friend and I were on the phone the other night. She was driving around, retracing her stops, searching for her son’s missing glove. When she finally found it, she happily texted me to share the good news! We were both happily giving God praise. That is how God feels about the people that He is searching for. When they turn to Him, Heaven sings praise!

God’s words of loving affirmation belong to you, whether you know them or not.
He lovingly knit you together, carefully planning every detail of you, even numbering the hairs on your head. Even if you never stop to wonder at His amazing creation that is you, He still loves you.  He pursues you, longs for you to know Him. Not the church, not the rules, not the teachers, not the religions, not the writer of this blog.

Him. He just wants you to know Him.

 *Matthew 5:3-5 The Message (MSG)

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

 

Turn Back

9 Aug

As I begin to really get into the prophecies now, I am prompted to share. One commentary brought me to 2 Peter 3:9,15.
We that are called have to first come to a deep understanding of who God is. The old testament tells us clearly that this world is a fallen world. Nothing is new under the sun.  Sin runs rampant and always has. Time after time, we lost our way from Him and His desires for our living.
Time and time again, we turn back. This new age of believers – harmed by legalism, have swung a bit too far from really knowing His desire for our obedience, and how it protects. New age Christianity will tell you that sin is not that big of a deal because you have Grace. Grace doesn’t exclude the law, it just made you saved regardless of your sin. But you have to know Him, you have to know His laws. Others may attend church, they may believe but really don’t know Him or what His word says. It’s not about punishment or judgement. It’s about freedom. The law was written for our protection and also to give Him praise. What pleasure to Him when we choose to obey rather than sin. When we choose to really be like the disciples, like Paul.
We are not meant to correct the behavior of others, we are called to love our sister’s and brother’s and help them stay the course! What is that course?

Do you ever stop to think about the way you see your Christian Life through God’s eyes?

We are not condemned. We are blessed. We have been set free and Satan knows he can’t steal our salvation, but he will try everything to steal our reputation, our legitimacy in this world, so we can’t be the hands and feet, so we can’t be the light!
He will encourage other’s to lie about you, to discredit you. He will use other’s to negatively affect your ability to touch more lives. He will use your pride, your ego to poke at you. He will use your mistakes and your past to hold you back from really surrendering. He will lie and tell you that to go all in, is to be the church lady! None of those are true. He is a liar. He is very smart and very cunning. But his power is beneath ours that walk in faith.
Every one of our sins, great and small, is still known by God, whether we ever bring it to His feet or not. You are not so far gone that Grace can’t reach you. If we are so self focused, so worried about our lives, so panicked about provision or loneliness or what other’s think of us, how can we honestly give Him glory, how can we be ready if He calls?
This is not the religion of right and wrong, this is the religion of faith, of worship, or trust, of being a disciple! We are saved, and we all sin. Every single one of us. Our salvation happened the moment we turned back. the minute we surrendered, whether we sin or not. He died for us while we were still lost. Sin is what we always battle.. for sure, but our sin, if not observed by us, acknowledged by us, repented by us, is giving Satan a handle on our lives. We give him tools to hold over us.  It causes us to harm ourselves and other’s.  Only the truth will ever set you free. God already knows it all.

Peace comes from knowing we are set free because we can take our unholiness and bring it Christ and we are forgiven. It doesn’t mean we can ignore our unholiness and continue to just be who we are. We must surrender, we must turn to him. Submit to Him. It isn’t the finger pointing, shaming of our sin but rather the “tell me everything so we have nothing between us, so we can be close and I can do everything I promised to do for you. He says to confess to one another, and forgive and ask forgiveness of other sinners. It removes all power from darkness when you do that. You break the chains that hold you back. God say’s I will protect you, love you, grow you, help you and lead you to lead others”.
Deep thoughts!! But my fellow believers, we are Babylon!! We are Isreal! We are Judah! We are Nineveh. Clean your hearts of the sin that is there. Stop living in hiding! No one can judge you as harshly as you do! Go to Him and worship Him. Give him your sin, break the chains that Satan uses to hold you back from a full relationship with Christ!! 
Amen!

Harbor

5 Apr

No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30

I am sitting in meditation after my morning readings. I am completely blown away that God still even wants us. These Israelites are so evil. As I walk through Judges, it consists of these cycles of breakthrough, strength and redemptive faith, restoring what was promised only to fall away to sin and worship other God’s again. It cycles over and over. God never wearies, and we never stop messing up!

As I look at my own life, the choices I have made, and will continue to make; the times I have been so devoted to seeking truth and wisdom, rather than thinking I had the answers, to the times that even within minutes my mind (my heart) betrays me.
Isaiah 6 starts out with Isaiah standing in the presence of God himself. He is overwhelmed with his own dark heart,

5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5

God doesn’t just hear what we say outloud, he is aware of your heart and intentions even before your words are ever spoken, even if you never speak a word.

4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD. Psalm 139:4

 

Our hearts are full of corners and closets. Like Isaiah, we will stand before the King one day. What is in our hearts will be revealed to us for all that it is. Sometimes I get a glimpse, when I am feeling close to God, when I feel I am being obedient, I get that glimpse of the dark that still hides in every corner. This is why we need our precious Jesus. These things are not a surprise to God.

45 People are known in this same way. Out of the virtue stored in their hearts, good and upright people will produce good fruit. But out of the evil hidden in their hearts, evil ones will produce what is evil. For the overflow of what has been stored in your heart will be seen by your fruit and will be heard in your words. Luke 6:45 (TPT)

We can’t fool God. He knows if we are being lead by right or wrong motives; jealousy, encouragement, judgement, love or hate, lies or truth, peace or war. He sees it all.

He knows before we say a word if we intend to honor, respect, guide, or build others up and He knows when our heart wants to harm, derail, disrespect, undermine or hurt others. Even if our words are unspoken, even if we never act on these things.

“Harbor in your heart” means you keep it safe within your heart. What do you shelter in the corners? He tells us to ask Him to show us:

Psalm 19:14  (TPT)
14 So may the words of my mouth, my meditation-thoughts,
and every movement of my heart be always pure and pleasing,
acceptable before your eyes,
my only Redeemer, my Protector-God.

The promise is given to us, from Him, Ask and you shall receive: Matthew 7:7. We can ask for God to show us everything that lies in our hearts and to help us remove it. But I warn you, it is not always pleasant, but always, so very worth it, so redemptive, so healing.

Christ takes away the sins power to grow and fester inside of us.  Like with Isaiah We will never have to fight this battle alone. We just have to spend time before Him, honest with ourselves that He already knows every single thought dwelling in our hearts. Standing before Him with complete willingness to change and be transformed. Humility like that is hard! Because from that request comes truth and it can be painful as He pulls the rooted weeds from deep inside of you.

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.”

Isaiah 6:6-7

Right Turn

17 Mar

“God is leading you away from danger, Job,to a place free from distress.He is setting your table with the best food.But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged. Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.”
Job 36:16-17

Bam!I relate so much to this.

I have prayed many a prayer this past year for God to right the wrong, for justice to be served. I have cried out to God in judgement several times and every single time, God instead turns it back on me.

As I crossed the bridge one day, I was hurting and said to God,”there will be a reckoning, he will have to answer to this!” The response was instant and not what I thought I would hear. “Do you want to have to answer to all of your sins? Is this what redemption looks like? Cry out for his redemption instead and I will hear your prayer”.

God never lets me wallow in my sinful thinking, even when I want to wallow, but truth is truth and it can’t only apply to part and not to all. God is who God is, all the time, for all of us. He draws near to us when our hearts are broken, when we suffer. He does not, however, encourage wrong thinking.

In Job 36-Elihu is trying to breath the nature of God back into Job.
This is what James meant in 1:2-4 when he tells us to consider it joy when we go through trials. Paul also talks about this in Romans 5:3-5.

God isn’t saying we should be happy when we suffer, but we should rejoice when we suffer in that God is still God and He is still in control.Trust in Him that His way is perfect. He still has the power and always has the best plan for our lives. We may not recognize it right away, or we may not get to walk it out until heaven, but he will and does bless our obedience. Nothing done to us, is about us, how we respond to it, is.

I feel God is pressing this on us. I believe the time is now, for all of us to examine our lives for the un-forgiveness that is there.

When we hold on to resentment, we hurt ourselves. We deprive ourselves of our blessings in our wish for justice. When we hold on to any un-forgiveness, it is a twofold loss. When we focus on what someone did, no matter what that is and when we want to see it made right, or even for them pay for that, we miss out on all that God wants to bless us with. Not only do we miss out on the fullness of what God is trying to bless us with, it also gives Satan an advisory role in our spirit.

Satan will use that place of un-forgiveness to torture us, to manipulate us and to steer us in the wrong direction. It is a powerful, powerful weapon we hand to darkness to use against us, to harm us further. Un-forgiveness is a separation from God. Plain and simple. It is an act of rejection of God, of all the cross was. It is embittered, defiant and self-defeating. We put shackles on our heart, our soul, and our mind when we harbor resentment. Resentment builds and tears down all at once.

I have found in my soul, as I heal and grow in wisdom, that sometimes the spirit of un-forgiveness roots back to the beginning of our lives, where we formed our means of self-protection, our perceptions of how the world works, how people work and our place in it. We learned where our power lies.

Without God, we thought it was in ourselves. Some people have walked with the Lord their whole lives, but this seed can still be firm within them. Our own created demi-god of power in our journey. An Idol.

When we are shown these acts of idolatry and self-importance, and we are able to surrender them back to where they belong, that’s when we are set free, and we are healed.

Surrender is exactly where peace and joy come from. Wisdom, peace, joy and wholeness come from letting go of other’s; what they choose, how they sin, and most importantly, surrendering ourselves entirely to the perfect creator, that is actually in control anyways.

Praying for the one that harmed us is such an act of surrender. Yet, He instructs us clearly to trust Him in all things, and to pray for those that persecute us. To love our enemies. When we can love those that harmed us, not from our own love (or hate) but, from God’s love, then we know we are free indeed; Then we can know true joy, and the blessings with flow with great abundance.

This is my prayer for my brother’s and sister’s; that we pray to always have pure hearts, free from the seeds of fear, resentment, or requirements; I pray we know who we are, that we are loved, accepted and called for great purpose. To let go of all that does not serve our Father, our Savior, our calling. Amen!

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. James 3:17
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 (Amp)

Truth

16 Feb

“Follow your heart” “God would want you to be happy” “You deserve to be happy”.

These are the lies of the world. We have become an emotion led world and God’s truth is the opposite of that. “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26) and “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9).

God doesn’t want us to be miserable! True! It isn’t about how we feel. It is about HIM. He wants us to trust Him. To submit to His will for our lives and when we do that, when we are close to Him, in relationship with Him, when our “hearts” are aligned with His and we are obedient, then we know the truest form of contentment, peace and joy. It is the byproduct of that relationship. To be accepted fully, to be loved unconditionally, to be protected and to be made whole. To be washed of our sins, to be free of shame and guilt. To be set free from envy or comparison. To be set free of the lies this dark world tells us.
When we sit before God and confess all that he already knows, when our broken lives become our testimony of faith, we are fully walking in truth,with Him.we are free. Free from the bondage of our emotions. Free to love from His love. It is beyond joyful.

When we get to this place of peace, that satan really wants to rob us of, we see. I have sat in this place of seeing how fully loved and accepted I am by God and nothing else matters. I just wish I wasn’t this hormone/emotional girl and walking in the world that distracts me so much! I am so wishy washy. So fragile and weak.

Like Isaiah in 6:1-6, if only we could all have that moment of truth of facing ourselves. To stand before God and see our dark, ugly soul, in contrast to His pure holiness. we would be so repentant. We can be that repentant now. To own our sin, and to face God and know, KNOW how much He loves us. Because that is His nature.

If God isn’t enough, if we must lie to feel loved, if we must lie to feel accepted. If we must find love in the arms of a person,or the latest toy or item, or drink…. if we seek to make ourselves happy. So much of this for me not to include this: this is to my church families that are under attack: if we divorce and tell God the one He gave us to seek holiness with isn’t good enough, that we deserve happiness instead, breaking our covenant. We are fully breaking our promise to God. If we seek to please ourselves, and refuse to hear God’s word, we have turned a hard heart to one another, we have turned a heart of stone to Him.

We are in a me first culture. A constant need for more, for not being uncomfortable. Pleasure only!

Look at Jesus on the cross. He suffered. Look at his holy mother at his feet. If it was about happy and being comfortable. This would not be the most important visual of our truth. Amen.

Father please forgive me my wishy washy faith. Forgive me my emotional sin. Forgive me my lack of truth and my adultery of faith in you. You are not always my rock that I stand on. Thank you for your persistent pursuit of me, for your unending love and for loving such a broken mess as me. Amen.

Set Free

28 Jan

Attending a women’s conference out of town with a friend this weekend, literally broke me, but more importantly, my chains.  We always learn something when we go to these things. This time, I broke free.

God is pushing me out into leadership, and because I have stepped out in faith, into that, He is equipping me. Quickly. I start in 2 weeks. God in his provident way, set the ball in motion.

He knew the roots that were very deep. The roots of unforgiveness, the roots of a heart that somewhere deep down, felt rejected, unloved, unprotected by God himself.

How many of us look at the cross, and because we know our lives, we know our thoughts, our past, feel a bit of trepidation that it just may not apply to us? We seek approval of people instead. Such a dangerous trap that is, as well as completely self-destructive. Or maybe, we believe what people have said over what the cross says.

So many things bring us to this place of unworthiness. Yes… We are all unworthy, we don’t deserve all that He did, but He did it for us anyway…I know, but this goes deeper than that simple fact.

We can know The Word, (please know the word before you think it is all that the radical or new age religious say it is) we can worship Him, we can grab hold of Grace. Then what? How does the cross apply to us?

When we have any, ANY, un-forgiveness in us,( in my case, of God and of myself) even the root we may not even be aware of completely,  we are absolutely not walking in truth. We are not walking in Mercy and Grace. His for us and through us. The cross becomes unimportant as to how it changes us, how we relate to it! The cross almost becomes irrelevant to us. Stay with me here.

There are 2 ways this world skews Christianity, making it very legalistic.   One, the finger pointing, hell and brim-fire, political, name calling, super over-sensitive, everyone is going to hell; Read Jude. This is untruth, this is dangerous, and absolutely defies the cross. Yet I condemn myself and others.

The other is the unchanged Christian. You may have believed all your life, or you become born again and then continue to do whatever you want. The world sees you gossiping, judgemental, drunk, abusive, angry, rude. You don’t read the word and what the bible actually says. You live with your boyfriend, leave your marriage for someone else,  sleep with people you aren’t married to, cheat other’s out of money you owe them, don’t work hard, gossip about and judge others, hate, lie, steal, etc.. and walk in unforgiveness and pretty much do what ever you want. Yet I do this as well.

True, once you are saved, you are saved. Mustard seeds of faith are saved. But there is a moment where we will ALL need to define what the cross means to us.  Shouldn’t that incredible act of sacrifice, if we accept what it means to us, should that not change us, atleast a little? How will you define that question? How did it change you, and what was the purpose of that?

God is not a wish granter.  He is very specific about why He wants your surrender. If you walk in control of your life, not seeking what God says, that is free will. The consequences are yours, and He won’t just magically come in to bless it because his stubborn, spoiled, selfish child wants to do it his own way. He will let you fumble around. He will be beside you, yes, pursuing you, yes, but you are ignoring Him anyways, until you need Him. You are a fair weather friend and would be so hurt by this if someone did it to you. You my friend are walking a lie. You are not walking with God. You are your own God. What is His value to you? Where does He fall into place? Where is your reverence? When you die, are you going to just be entitled to your place there because you said so? Or because HE said so?  Shouldn’t you know what else He said? Not judging, because I do it too! But it is absolute truth!

Surrendering to God’s will is hard! This world is full of free will and this world belongs to the dark. When you submit to His will, seek him first, stay in His word, Listen to Him, you change. You begin to hear his direction, he softens your heart, he keeps you safe, he keeps you close to Him, He gives you supernatural peace that is not of this world.

So back to my unforgiveness.  I knew I had become brittle in a way, I was shattered and maybe a bit bitter, I was so disappointed.In God, in me, in other’s. I had my own Job meltdown brewing! (so, I just saw the correlation, as I am reading Job right now. ) I felt it brewing, and because I felt it, I prayed about it. Make no mistake, it is no coincidence that it was just before the conference. If I pray for Him to change me in to the person He needs me to be, to help me become a better leader, to show me -He will! And He did!

Suddenly, all this bubbles up inside of me, I see it for all that it is, raw un-repented anger and unforgiveness; towards Him, towards other’s, towards myself. The details are private, too vulnerable to share with anyone but Him, and I am left standing there completely raw, completely exposed. Reaching to Him with a trust I absolutely don’t feel, confessing this to a perfect stranger. Darryl Strawberry’s wife, no less!  I went forward for prayer, she happened to be the person that walked over.

This spirit of deep wounds was drawn from the depths of my soul, from my feet and confessed out of my mouth, the release of it an exhausting, gut wrenching, deeply painful moment.  She breathed the Holy Spirit and truth back at me as I released it all, she prayed earnestly over me and finally with me. I knew and heard the words.”It is finished”.  I was drained.

So, you don’t walk away from that moment, like… wow, that was cool. No. you want to crawl into a ball and disappear, sleep for days.

Oh, but my God is so good. He begins to fill that wound up with His truth. He is the balm and His Peace has settled on my soul.

I am still needing to guard myself because that tool that Satan used to get at me, has been his tool for 55 years. Now, I promise you, he won’t have it for 56. I will however be on guard, guarding my heart, my soul from him, because he will turn up his words, and tricks, trying to get me back to that place.

God has equipped me with powerful tools. James 4: 7 reminds us of our power in Christ “ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you”

What freedom  in the release of a child’s belief that bad things happen because we are bad people; That our worth, is not the same as the rest.He knew my own free will would harm me, He knew other’s would harm me, He knew I would harm other’s. He knew I would struggle so hard to forgive all of these things. He knew I would fight His truth. He knew the lies my enemy  told me my whole life, that there was something wrong with ME, not those that hurt me.  He knew my stubbornness in this, and knew how powerfully great He can use that stubbornness for when He is in control.  He just needed me to submit fully.

I have submitted.  Today, He is here, He is loving me, He is always here. I have placed my full armor on, I have looked sin in the face, have forgiven what has been done, what I have done myself, and my Heavenly Father is back as the whisperer that never leaves me alone, He is back on the throne of my life, and I have told Satan to go back to hell.

In a dramatic way, I want to end this by saying “watch this”!  Amen.