Today I want to talk about hope. Hope is defined as a feeling that what’s is wanted will occur or be had, and/or that events will turn out for the best. My Apostle taught on this last Sunday and it struck me as interesting because I don’t think that Christians ever intentionally place their hope in anything besides God. But the fact is, we often do. I know I do, anyway.

For example, we really want to buy a new car and we are really hoping that our job will give us the raise that we are way-too-far-past-due so that we can buy it. Is our hope in God or our job? Well, our job, let’s be honest. We are not trusting that God will give us the car no matter what happens with the job, we are trusting the job to give us the raise so WE can buy the car. In other words, God’s not moving fast enough so let’s just help Him along, shall we?

I’ll use another example from my personal history. I recently seperated from the Navy. Unfortunately, I did not handle ship deployments with…uh…grace, shall we say? So after a three month deployment, I swore up, down, and all around, NEVER AGAIN. I wanted out, these people are crazy, these deployments are crazy, the Navy is CRAZY. OUT. OUT. OUT. So I put in a request for early seperation. I was really hoping it would go through. The Navy is downsizing, so no prob right? Right? Oh so very wrong.

There was problem, after problem, after problem, after a REDICULOUS amount of problems. And the result? I became extremely discouraged, angry, and deppressed. You see, because I placed my hope in a decision that the Navy would make, I didn’t place it in the hands of God. And let me tell you, God’s hands are the only ones that are sure and safe. So because He wasn’t the current carrier of my hope, I lost it. They threw my request back in my face and I lost my hope. I lost my joy. I lost my motivation.

And when God showed me the error of my ways in His kind and gentle manner, I placed my hope in Him. And in His timing, though His process, I was given my seperation. And there were many times it seemed like He was not moving AT ALL, but I had to keep trusting in Him because I knew He was faithful and He was the only One I could trust with my hope.

This, brothers and sisters, is a continual life process. Though God sent me through a…kinda extreme, in my opinion…circumstance in order to learn this lesson, it is a lesson learned through the process of trial and error. One cannot sit with me and tell me they do not have struggles with hope (unless they are extremely spiritually mature and bordering somewhere on perfection.) Anyway, we do, all the time. I have had plenty before the Navy one, and plenty since. Each time I learn, I get better, I trust God more, but I must always be proactive in my own thinking. I must always be aware of just where it is I have placed my hope, because it is so easilly misplaced.

You see, the Christian walk is a walk of hope and a walk of faith. But it is not a walk of perfection. That’s a lie. The was Christ’s walk because, and only because, we couldn’t get ours right. So embrace Christ’s walk but don’t expect it to be your own. We are flawed, flawed creatures redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We place our joy, trust, hope, faith, love, etc on every breeze of the wind and then throw tantrums when the wind switches to an unexpected direction. But that is that nature of wind, is it not? But God’s hand is steady. It is solid. Perfect. Safe. And that’s where our hope belongs, no matter how many times we have to re-place it there.

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God’s love is marvelous to an extent that we cannot comprehend. We try. We dream. We hope. But take my word. We. Do. Not. Understand. Amazing love; salvation’s motivation, suffering’s soothing ointment. Amazing love. Too vast to comprehend.

Christ’s suffering was apparent but unrelateable. We wonder. We think. We ponder. But take my word. We. Are. Not. Aware. Amazing suffering; a gift to us, sin’s only redemption. Amazing suffering. Too deep to relate.

The Spirit’s touch is sweetly undescribeable. We seek. We breathe. We coax. But take my word. We. Can. Not. Express. Amazing touch; exhilarating to the soul, delight of the spirit. Amazing touch. Too precious to let go.

Dearest Abba,

You are faithful and amazing. I glorify you. I honor you. I am stunned by your beauty, frozen in your grace. Amazin love. Glorious teacher. Devout lover. I would be lost without you, but because you are with me, I soar on wings extraordinary.

Dearest beloved, I am concerned for the hungry and the poor. I am concerned for those with no money to fill their bellies. Abba, I seek your miraculous provision in their lives. Give them homes, food, and drink. Give them love and understanding. Gather them beneath you wings and teach them your ways. Show them the love of a sweet Father. Touch lives with a passion for the less fortunate. Draw people to the streets with food and clothes to hand out. With grace and salvation to preach.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen

A little quote from MEEEE!!

“When weakness is overwhelming, God’s strength is extraordinary.”

Have a great weekend.

I made a mistake a few days ago. A mistake so great that I should not be here typing this post. And one day I will testify when God releases me to do so. But for the purpose of today, I made a mistake from very complex motivations and God had to clean up the mess. Basic but the truth.

Having gone through that, I want to say that God and I are making progress toward forgiveness – me forgiving myself. And part of that process is accepting that there is weakness within me, within all of us. Yes, I am sorry to dissapoint the egotistical maniacs of the world, but we are not God. Perfect, loving God. No, we are part of the self-centered, stubborn, hating, imperfect (obviously), conniving, did-I-mention-imperfect? human race.

Yup. There it is. We. Make. Mistakes. Again and again and again and repeat-that-in-your-head-a-thousand-times-and-you-might-get-the-idea type of ”AGAIN.”

In other words, we are weak in many areas of our lives. We do things we shouldn’t do. We say things we shouldn’t say. We believe things we shouldn’t believe.

But here’s that kicker; all that aside, we are some pretty decent people.

Yes, I said it. After saying all that, we really aren’t all that bad. We have issues, yes. But we have a quality side to us as well. That side that is concerned about the planet, each other, the poor, the hurting. We’re pretty good people.

So when you do something that…maybe you shouldn’t have done, remember that there is a good side and a flawed side. This is a rule-of-thumb. None of us are exempt. We do good things and foolish things. But most of us desire to do right. And from that reasoning I say to you and myself, “Let it go. Move on. Move forward. Continue with your life. Don’t let it become a mistake that binds. Release yourself by forgiving yourself.”

With every breaking of my soul,
I declare,
I will grow stronger.

With every damage done by hate,
I declare,
I will see another day.

With ever attack from the enemy’s hand,
I declare,
I will hand back more.

With every tear I cry,
I declare,
I will bring a soul to Christ.

With every sorrow that I bear,
I declare,
Satan will lose time.

With every arrow shot in my back,
I demand,
RECOMPENSE DOUBLE-FOLD!

amen

Dearest Abba,

I have much to thank you for today but I will simply say that you have been amazingly faithful. I owe you every breath that I take. Every moment of happiness and peace – all gifts from you. Dearest lover of my soul, I have despised my existence, yet you take tender delight in me. I have run from your arms, yet you gather me with gentle mercy. I have ignored your commands – even your pleas – yet you still seek me attention. Amazing. You are simply too amazing for me to fathom, my wonderful king of kings.

Abba, I must say a special prayer for myself today. Please strengthen me, that my courage will not fail again. Please build me up, that I never shatter again. Please hold me, that I don’t walk in self-pity. Please break me if you must, that I be moldeable in your hands. Override me, should my desires get out of plan. Teach me, that I may learn your ways. And comfort me for the rest of my days.

Be my God. You have given me my life. You have sustained it from evil intentions. Now God, I give it back to you for your will and your purpose.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen

Something to welcome the weekend with 🙂

Question : What is greater than God? More evil than Satan? Rich people need it, poor people have it, and if you eat it you will die.

Answer : Nothing

This is from christian-jokes.net

 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2, New King James Version)

Thus says the Lord,

“If there is no condemnation for those within Me, why is there condemnation? Why is it that I see My children condemning one another? If you are free to reject condemnation, why do you extend condemnation?

“Is knowledge perfect throughout the land, that every man knows the other’s heart? Is wisdom so matured that we may reach conclusions without facts? Indeed, precious children, it is rather laugheable – righteous man and their righteous judgements. See, the presumptions of man are based more upon envies and desires than upon righteous judgement. Yet they still feel every judgement is qualified.

“Is it?

“I do not say, beloved, not to judge. For how does one pursue life without making necessary judgements? Shall one flow through life’s tide without a single decision? No, child, for that is folly. So, indeed you must judge, but be careful. Be cautious. Be respectful in your judgements, for many that I see are wrong. And this problem stands easily corrected if My children would simply consult with Me for better wisdom.”

Do we know that the extent of our love equals the extent of our commitment? For if we do not love, how then can we be devoted? And if we are not devoted, where comes the commitment? So I ask, if we do not truly love God, then can we be surprised when we struggle with committing to Him? Most likely, it’d be more a battle than we would like.

You see, I believe that the trouble with commitment has more to do with our awareness of God than our actual willpower. What do I mean by awareness? I mean, if we know God as a distant, unforgiving God whom we are not sure we can trust, then we will struggle with committing to Him. However, if we know God, truly know God, as a savior, a friend, a provider, a healer, a deliverer, a redeemer, then our admiration of Him will skyrocket. Our adoration of Him will grow. And our love for Him has no choice but to follow in tow.

Our commitment to Him will rise.

In my experience, I have found five different types of God-followers in this world:

  •          The Forgiven –the ones who have been forgiven of such a depth of sin that their devotion to their Forgiver is quite substantial.
  •          The Delivered –those whom God has healed from such a world of pain (emotional, physical, mental) that they can’t stop singing His praises.
  •          The Dedicated – they live a sound and content life, find God to be faithful through the normal life trials, and they are willing to stand by Him because He has proven Himself faithful.
  •          The Luke-warm – they who have found God to be a pretty cool dude and they are willing to put up a good face for the salvation of their souls.
  •          The Backslider – the ones who once followed God with passion but for whatever reason, they have turned their backs on His tender mercy but are not truly content with their decision to leave Him.

 

The first two tend to be real hot in their love-walk. Why? Because their awareness of God is hot. They know Him in an intensely personal, appliceable way and He has become important to them. The dedicated do know God on a personal level, they love Him, and are dedicated to Him. But though their passion is hot, it’s not always as fiery as the Forgiven and Delivered tend to be. The luke-warm followers are weak in their love-walk. They don’t know God personally enough to really develop passion for His ways. And the backslider is one who harbored misconceptions of God, and when life took a turn those misconceptions failed to sustain their committmet to Him.

So if we find ourselves among luke-warm or backsider status but we don’t want to stay there, what do we do? Look at the last paragraph and see if you see a pattern. The more God is able to prove Himself to His people, the more dedicated those people become. Why? Because with every answered prayer, every provision, deliverance, healing, etc, God is revealing Himself to His people. And as He reveals Himself, we see more and more of just how awesome He is. And the more we see, the more impressed we become, the more devoted we become, the more love we extend, and the more committed we grow.

In other words, the first step to grow in commitment to God is to decide to become more committed. And when we bring that desire into our prayer life, God begins to open our eyes to His glory.