IDENTITY

Our identity is one of the single things that all the world is trying to figure out. I believe that when we are created it is built into us to seek our identity. But what I also see is that many are searching for identity in many ways. The very first thing that Satan did was focus on identity when Eve was led into sin. When Jesus was taken to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, again Satan focused on identity to tempt Jesus.

These things have helped me realize how important our identity is and I have been seeking answers on this. I now realize that our identity is the most vulnerable way that Satan can shift our thinking about anything. Jesus was strong in knowing his identity was in the Father God, knowing the authority that the Father had given to him. When Jesus was baptized he heard the Father’s words “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Many of us can one minute be strong in knowing our identity in Christ. That we are chosen and adopted into God’s family as his children. (Romans 8:15) We are wrapped in royal robes with sandals on our feet and a signet ring on our finger for we have been received into the royal family of priests. (1 Peter 2:9) We are a holy nation, God’s very own possession.

However, in the snap of your fingers that identity can change and we are believing the false, counterfeit names that we are worthless, unimportant, unwanted, etc. That is when we are our weakest for we have taken our eyes off Jesus. We have let Satan drown out the voice of God. These are the moments when depression, fear, anxiety will try to take a hold of you.

As you can see our identity can make us strong or weak, it really depends on how you see yourself. When you see yourself as God does you are strong and powerful against the evil forces of the enemy. You are able to stop Satan in his tracks and speak out as a bold and mighty warrior. But when you see yourself as broken and worthless you then feel powerless to stop anything that comes against you. In these weak moments doorways are opened even just a crack that can allow spirits of darkness to attach to us. They are the chinks in the armor.

Sets a Table in The Presence of our Enemies

In Psalm 23:5 it reads You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.  You honor me by anointing my head with oil.  My cup overflows with blessings.  This verse is just part of a beautiful Psalm that is one of my favorites.  In fact it is my go to Psalm when I need to remind myself of The Good Shepherd.

A week ago I had just come home from a great conference and as I was worshipping the Lord I got such a beautiful picture of what this really looks like.  Jesus our beloved King of Kings was sitting on a throne looking out upon millions of people that were singing praises such as Holy, Holy, Holy or We Exalt Thee.  As I was looking at Jesus I commented that he does not Lord over his people.  He then stood up and walked down among the people that were worshipping him.  He was hugging and embracing them and was prepared to eat the feast amongst his people not sitting above his people.

There were tables that were 100-200 ft long and 4-6 ft wide, lavished with so much food.  I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful and bountiful it was.  Way off in the far distance you could see the enemy watching but unable to advance upon us as we were going to be feasting with our King Jesus.

So when you feel like the enemy  has the upper hand I pray that you can remember this.  Walk in the knowledge that when we call on Jesus we get him and heaven’s armies to fight the battles for us.  Remember we do not fight against flesh and blood.  Take time and enjoy the table that Jesus has prepared for you to feast in the presence of your enemies.  Relax and trust in Jesus, enjoy the bountiful feast and just worship Jesus and watch it all change.

Moral Compass

I have a moral compass as I walk with my best friend Jesus. The path with Jesus is narrow and the doorway is narrow. When we keep our eyes on the compass we don’t venture off the path.  However, there are pitfalls that the world tries to call us into that can detour us off the righteous and moral path with Jesus. Yet Jesus is always close by with his hand extended just waiting for you to reach out to him.

Yet my life was not always on the narrow path of walking with Jesus.  I spent over 40 years walking a path of just living life, with no real compass guiding me.  I did have one advantage over many of the younger generations today, even though I was not brought up in a Christian household.  Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s my parents had a good sense of right and wrong, of moral issues raising a daughter in a college town that was flooded with hippies and free love.

My parents tried to be good guides for my sister and I, trying to guide us to a good and moral life.  But as the bible tells us we don’t reach heaven and righteousness by our good works, but instead by faith.  Even though they taught me well, it was very easy in the early 80’s as a young adult to follow things going on in the world.  Not being raised around people to really teach me of the bible I made many wrong choices and at times I would have an internal struggle as I was doing things that I knew were not right but I would still do them, but with a deep fear I did not understand.

I struggled with a fear of man, so I found myself doing things trying to be accepted by others.  I had sex outside of marriage, lived with men that I was not married to, lived out of a car in a homeless situation because I could not afford rent, even while working a job.  I even used drugs trying to fit in.  But looking back I can see where God was trying to gently direct me back to where I was supposed to be.  When I was the most lost I heard a voice say this is not you, and this is not the life you are to be living.  I instantly walked away from the life of drugs and the bad situation I was in.

That was one turning point early in my life.  It was a partial start at directing me to a better life and one that would eventually be with Jesus.  I wish I could say I was instantly transformed, but I had many influences that were not from God.  But I was walking in a belief that we have a God and that Jesus died for me, just not understanding of that.

Jump forward to 2008 when I found out I had Hepatitis C and that it was because of bad choices I made when I was 18 and 19.  A life changer as I researched and find out how this would forever change my life.  However, in the darkest part of my life Jesus showed up.  I discovered what relationship with Jesus really is.  I would cry and pour out my fears and concerns as I was facing expensive treatments, fear of not having a job and the fact that I was single and did not know how I would survive.

As I dug in I started to watch my life change.  I stopped living in fear of the unknown as God gave me strength.  God healed me in the first, 6 weeks of my treatment but I still had to continue the full treatment for 6 months.  But I was blessed for I was able to work a regular 8 hour day, but would come home drained from the drugs I was taking.

Then in 2009 God brought a wonderful man in my life and we continued a journey of growing with the Lord.  We had both had failed marriages and so there was a fear of getting married again.  He had been raised a Christian, but was living in the world and I was not raised a Christian, but I was seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord.  We actually helped each other to grow as I got him to church and we would discuss things I was reading in the bible.

We made the decision to live together and I struggled with conviction as my relationship with the Lord continued.  My moral compass was changing.  I was no longer content wearing low cut shirts and clothing that was clingy and provocative.  I became aware of looking at things I put on and thinking about how it could make others view me.  Finally my husband and I got married to make that part right in our lives.  We watched God change the desires that we had as we prayed and read the bible.

Now 11 years later and I am a different person then I was in 2008.  I have watched walking in relationship with Jesus transform me from the inside out.  My desires changed without even thinking about them.   I can truly testify that relationship with Jesus is what has changed my life and Jesus is my moral compass.  Even now I continue to be transformed as the rotten dead vine is removed and replaced with a living and healthy vine.

I know that just as Jesus has been the moral compass that has transformed and changed my life, he is the moral compass for the world.  The only way to find hope in the middle of struggles, or just even hopelessness of things happening in the world, is Jesus.  Jesus did not just come to give us only salvation when he died on the cross.  No he came to transform the world into a world that does not walk encumbered by the trap of comparison to others, or by feelings of insignificance, jealousy, envy, vanity or pride.  Jesus came to teach us and gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit that lives in us, to transform our lives.  We have a spiritual compass that keeps us on the path of righteousness all we have to do is surrender our will and walk  under the direction and guiding of the Holy Spirit.

It does not happen by us trying, it just gradually happens and then you look back and see where you came from.  The pull of drugs, pornography, alcohol addiction, fears, etc. start to disappear.  As we realize our identity in Christ we walk in a new place.  Walking in and listening to the moral compass of Jesus is part of the walk of obedience to the Lord.

As John 3:36 says when we don’t walk in obedience with the son we don’t experience eternal life but remain under God’s judgment.  I prefer to listen to my moral compass and to walk in a different life, one that is not only of salvation but also eternal life with my loving God and Jesus.

John 3:36  And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life.  Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”  NLT

Awaken Dry Bones

Father God is calling on the dry bones to awaken.  New life is being spoken over them and they are starting to stir.  I can see them coming together to form skeletons and new Godly flesh will start to replace the rotting flesh of the world.  The prodigals are coming home, they hear the Father calling.  They are tired of running and struggling under their own will, they are ready to surrender to the will of God.

Dry Bones, Dry Bones come alive, listen for the voice of the Lord.  He is calling out to you.  Muscle, sinew and flesh will start to cover the dry bones and they will start to come alive.  As a new breath of God is blown into their lungs they will begin to rejoice and dance singing praises to the Lord their God.

The hardened hearts are being stirred, the walls are starting to come down as a song awakens and quickens the beating of the heart.  Soon there will be a new song and the walls will fall just as the walls of Jericho.

There will be rejoicing and singing in the streets as a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit falls upon the hungry.  For they will thirst no more as they drink in the living water, and eat the nourishing manna from God.  The word will come alive and people will walk in the freedom that only Jesus can bring.

I want to be a Nobody that tells Everyone about Jesus

There is a Casting Crowns song out called Nobody.  It speaks of just how I feel.  My desire is to be nobody that wants to tell everybody about Jesus that saved me.  Of a loving Father that had a plan before creation to bring us back into right standing.

We have such a loving Heavenly Father, for he thought of everyone of us before creation.  If that was not enough he laid out a plan for salvation before creation because he saw the weakness of man and that we would fall into sin.  Yet that did not stop God from creating everything we see and know, even the far reaches of the universe and beyond.  What a love that he would send his beloved son who was perfect and did not sin, to bear the sin of the world.

What love Jesus had that he knew his fate, yet he bore it and asked for us to be forgiven as he died on the cross.  He was beaten so brutally, mocked and humiliated as the people he loved cheered for him to die.  Yet even as he was hanging on the cross he still had compassion on the world.  For it is by his stripes that we are healed, it is by his blood that was shed that we are made righteous.

As if that is not enough, we discover as we read the bible that God knows us so well that he knows how many hairs are on our heads.  He cares that intimately about each and everyone of us.  On top of that we are adopted as Children of God when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.  This changes everything about us for now we are not just an average person, no we are now clothed in righteous clothing and we are celebrated.

Transformation from darkness to light

Today we had a powerful message at church about how God’s Grace transforms us from darkness to light.  As I have thought about this and what the light is I am just that much more in awe of our mighty Heavenly Father, Yahweh.  There was a time when I was not walking in the light, I was following a path guided by things of this world and the darkness around.  I was ignoring the light that was there to light my path and lead me on a safe journey through life.  Instead I stumbled along for many years banging into walls, and falling off cliffs with the challenges of life on my own without God.

But then I encountered glorious God and all his grace that covers us in a love that is beyone anything we can imagine.  I have been changed transformed into something that is beautiful, made into a new creation when I truly found my wonderful Jesus.  The light of Jesus will pierce through the darkness, pain, and protective walls of our hearts.  It begins to show grace as the lies are revealed to us and we find freedom as condemnation is removed from our lives.  The light will continue to grow brighter and brighter on our hearts to chase all darkness from us as we grow into something so beautiful that reflects all of Gods glory.

Without light nothing on this earth would survive.  Yes all life on this planet requires the light that is produced by the sun.  But the true light that is sustaining life and causing new birth is God.  We can see so easily that without light things will whither and die away like an old rotten piece of wood.  But when light shines upon anything you start to see new life as tender grass, and flowers will begin to spring to life.

The same thing happens to us, when we are shrouded in darkness we begin to shrivel up and die from the inside out.  However, the light of God can break through that darkness and can slowly and methodically peel away the layers of hurt, insecurities, even self hate.  As those layers are peeled away we are restored with confidence in who we are, boldness to share the truth with the world, we learn to walk in peace and calmness in the midst of the storms.

When the light is shining on us it reveals the danger ahead, you start to hear that voice danger, danger.  Yet it still requires you to yield to the warnings of the Holy Spirit that was sent to comfort us, and teach us.  When we yield we pass by the danger without falling off the cliff of despair.  The more we yield to the Holy Spirit the more our lives will be transformed from darkness to the light.  We will grow spiritually so that we are prepared when the battles come.

We see everyday how light overcomes the darkness from the sun rising in the East to turning on a light bulb or lighting a candle.  The darkness is chased back into the shadows.  Good things do not happen in the darkness, no in the darkness is when crimes happen because criminals feel safer because they are hidden.   But in the light you can see clearly everything around you, you can make wise decisions because you have clarity that only the light can reveal.

My prayer for you is that the light of God will transform your life, that you will be renewed in your spirit.  I pray that the Lord will reveal the beautiful person that each of you are in his eyes.  I pray that you feel the full love of the Father as you go through your day.  Amen.

 

Dry Bones it is time to come alive

I keep hearing dry bones, dry bones, listen to what the Lord has to say.  For just as when Ezekiel spoke over the dry bones in the valley, there is now a new message for the dry bones.  The Lord is saying again that he will put a breath into you and make you live again.  There is a new song for the hardened hearts that will destroy the walls, just like the walls of Jericho.

I am crying out to the dry bones, awaken and hear the Lord’s voice full of love for his children.  Hear the cries of a Father that is calling his children back into the stronghold of protection that only a Father can provide.  The Lord is saying “I am the creator of all things and I can resurrect you from the dry bones that you have become”.  My breath will fill your lungs with refreshing air that will expand your empty lungs.  A song and praise will flow from your lips as you realise the love I your Heavenly Father have for you.

Abba our loving Father spokes the world and everything into existence.  God’s words are powerful and mighty.  He is a loving Father that is always watching for the wayward child to return.  There will not be rebuke and ridicule, NO!  Instead there will be celebration in the heavens as the lost child has returned.

I see the cleansing waters pouring down from Heaven and as they cover the earth and the people there is great healing that will arise.  The wounds will be healed as soon as the living water touches them.  The flesh will be made new and the chains of oppression on the hardened hearts will fall away as Jesus has the key to unlock the padlocks that have been put upon those walls.

I see the dry bones in the valley that stretches for miles and miles, they are growing new muscle and flesh is forming on the bones.  New skin is covering their bodies and the hearts are alive.  As the breath of God fills there lungs a song of praise is exhaled.

Dry Bones, Dry Bones the creator is calling you.  Dry Bones, Dry Bones, the healer has healed you.  Dry Bones, Dry Bones feel the love of the Father.  Dry Bones the hope will arise from the ashes of defeat, for you are chosen and not forsaken.  Rest in the presence of the Lord and feel the power of his love as it pours upon your flesh.  Take in the breath of life and feel your heart awaken.  Feel the freedom that comes from the light of truth, and watch as the chains fall away.  As the light pierces through the darkness so does Gods redemptive love.  Shame is cast away and instead there is freedom in the name of Jesus.

The lies become exposed and the smoking mirrors break apart to reveal the lies that allowed the darkness to invade.  Suddenly freedom songs will arise and endless praise will rise from the lips.  There will be a uncontainable freedom that will be awakened as the dry bones rise up.