Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Silent Sniper No More

Recently someone was facing some issues on one of the social networking sites of which I am a member. She stated that no sooner than making the confession to live debt-free, several things had begun happening. She was a little down about it and just wondered a little bit about God and how this could happen. And I commented back on the post and just reminded her that every time we as saints of God, make a confession to live according to His Word and His Will for our lives, the enemy is going to come. Because his job is to kill, to steal and to destroy and he has to try and discourage us from receiving the blessings of God in whatever way he can. So I told her that she made this confession and immediately satan came to do what he does, to try and steal, kill or destroy her faith in what she was believing God to do for her. And I told her that she should not be surprised. (And this is a side note to all of you…) Expect him to come. The Word says he comes immediately after the Word of God is spoken over your life to steal the Word and to stop it from falling on good ground. You make this confession that will bring God glory in your life and the enemy of God, really, (because he only hates you because he hates God), but he has got to come and stop that from happening. He would not be who he is if he didn’t do so. Make your confession, receive the Word and expect him to come. Look for him to come. In fact you should look for him because if he doesn’t come maybe you missed something along the line when the Word went forth, so he is not threatened. But anyway, I posted this as a reply and another member posted a comment, complimenting me actually and saying that I was a “silent sniper.”
Now I know for surety that my sister in Christ had no evil intentions towards me… I am on these websites and for the most part I’ll read what someone posts for my edification and I’ll receive it or not…. And only when my spirit leaps do I say anything about what is posted. But God. As I thought on what happened and what she said, God convicted me and He said, “You are not a silent sniper. I don’t want you to be a silent sniper. I want you to open your mouth.” And I said, but I am Lord (opening my mouth). But God said, “No. You need to be on the offensive.” He said, “Too many times we are trying to defend ourselves from what the enemy does… but not so for you anymore, you need to be going after him.”
Saints of God, it is not enough for us to simply be taking and then trying to overcome what the enemy does to us, we need to go after him. We need to go into his territory and mess some things up. (And really he has no territory, every place we tread is ours, saith the Lord). The word says, the kingdom suffers violence and the violent must take it by force. So kingdom people, we need to go and mess with the devil’s plans. In lots of ways, in any way… you know someone that does not know the Lord and you know, because you see it, all the ways the enemy keeps it that way… by giving them other things to do whenever they are invited to go to church, or whenever you call them, they are always wrapped up in something. Even the attacks that come in their life come to draw them closer to the Lord, but the enemy finds a way to make them completely lose focus. You know people like this. God says that satan is going after their souls… and he is winning, but we need to interrupt his plan for that person and intercede on their behalf. We need to persevere in inviting them to church, persevere in sharing the word, persevere in showing them Godly love and letting them know that God is the source of all comfort and He loves them and only wants to have a relationship with them. We give up when things don’t happen quick fast and in a hurry. Show a little love and support but the minute they don’t respond, we say that’s it I am not doing anymore. But satan doesn’t stop. He just keeps on at it. He keeps on working on them. We need to say not so and every attack he makes should be a counterattack to what we’ve already done. He should be trying to undo our “damage” rather than we, his. Let’s get it correct, he is the one that needs to be defending himself, not us. We have a great Defender! We just need to show some offense.
God says we need to be going after the enemy. Start stepping on his face. His neck. Waking up in the morning and showing him what we got in store for him. Instead of the other way around. He goes after us, he goes after our loved ones, he sets his sight on them and just LIKE a lion (he’s not a lion) he pounces. We need to be going after him, not waiting to be on the defensive end and undo the damage he does to us.
A simple example… when somebody sneezes, we need to pray for them then. We don’t need to wait until it develops into the flu and they can’t get out of bed before we start praying for them. God says recognize the need around you and do something about it before the enemy gets his hand all in it. We must realize that it is harder for us to come out or fight against something once it has begun. That’s why we need to be praying always. For the stuff that is going to come after. We pray now for the fight later.
No more silent sniper. For me or for you. Tell the enemy it’s on now! You need to be looking out for me! Here I come.
God is real.
Be blessed.
A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Faith To Swim

Recently we were reviewing a Sunday School lesson where we spoke of Ezekiel when the angel of the Lord brought him to the waters. The Scripture is very familiar (Ezekiel 47:1-6) and says that the angel brought Ezekiel to the water, first pointing out his ankles, then knees, then waist and then to a point where it was too deep.

While we were speaking of the lesson (God says when we are yet speaking he hears us and answers us)… God gave us a vision of this. Imagine yourself for a moment… You’re at the beach. And you’re getting ready to go into the water, just standing at the shoreline. And if you’re anything like me, you go slowly, because you know you can’t swim. In fact you might do that anyway because the water is always so cold when you first get in. So you approach the water, and you start with baby steps… (do the hokey-pokey maybe. Put your right foot in and then you take it out and then you put your left foot in…) But first you let the water cover your ankles, then you walk a little more and it covers your knees. Then you keep walking and you let it cover your waist and you dare out a little bit more and the water is now up to your neck. So now it’s decision time, because you know if you go any further, more than likely you will lose your footing… the water will overcome you and you will have to decide whether to go for it (swim) or run back to the shore (drown).

Now some of you I’m sure know how to swim, but you still have to make that decision to do so when you get to a certain point… because there comes a point no matter how far you allow yourself to go into the water, where you simply have to let go of your footing.

The Scripture says that the angel measured 1000 cubits each time he took Ezekiel to another level, and get this, in the spiritual for us that’s the difference of the levels of the glory of the Lord. God brings us from glory to glory to glory. Different levels of faith, different levels of His goodness, different levels of His faithfulness in our lives.

So as God is measuring our faith He asks us to do this. He leads us by the hand to the edge of the waters and He tells us to step. And for the most part we do it. It’s a baby step and we know it and we take it and each step is a higher step of faith than the step before. But then God gets us to the point where we really must step…. And we realize that the other steps were merely preparation for the step where God would have us. But it is here where He challenges us and He challenges our faith. We are at the point where we are either going to have to swim or drown. Go for it or run back. Believe God or not? We are faced with a decision that can very well change our lives forever. Glory to Glory to Glory to Glory.

Are we really going to trust Him?

When the angel brought Ezekiel to that last level, the angel simply asked him, “do you see this, have you seen this?” And I believe that God does the same thing to us… He says “do you see this? Do you see where I have brought you to? Have you seen this? Do you see where I have brought you from?” And the angel was showing Ezekiel something, the same way God is showing us. He takes us to the point where He points out where we are and asks us to make that decision to swim or to drown and He does it for one of two reasons, to prove something in us to us, or take us to another level. Glory to Glory to Glory.

God is either telling us to come on and swim, letting us know that we can’t do the impossible, swim in this water, but because He is God and was the One that has led us there, He will do the impossible for us.

Or God is showing us to ourselves, especially when we make the decision to drown (to turn around and run back). Because every now and then we forget Who has brought us where we are and forget Who has given us the faith to carry us through. If we are honest we can admit that every now and then we get caught up in ourselves and we think we are operating in a higher level of faith than we actually are…. And God is always showing us where we are in Him and where we need to be. Ain’t God good?! Glory to God!

In either case, whether God is showing Him or showing us, we’re in a good place. One because God Himself has led us there, so He’s got our hand. Never will I leave you nor forsake you saith the Lord. And two, because God yet desires to take us there. That’s the ultimate goal. To go from Glory to Glory to Glory to Glory. In God. We just have to believe Him. And swim.

Bless the Lord for His goodness and truth!

God is real! Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Beauty of the Cross

Grace and peace!

As we approach Easter God has me meditating on the meaning of the cross. He said when something is of value to us, when something has meaning to us, we treat it like it does. We tend to it, give attention to it, take care of it. Maybe love it. Dote on it.

We take care of our cars, we might wash it, shine it. Polish the tires. We take care of our family… see to it that needs are met. Remember their birthdays and other special occasions. We take care of our homes. Maybe mow the lawn, clean the house (every now and then). We take care of ourselves. We wash. We get our hair done, nails, shine our shoes and things of that nature. And God says we do it, because it has meaning to us. We care about it.

So then He posed the questions, “when you see the cross do you just see it? Or do you SEE it? Is it just there? Do you see a man hanging on a cross? Do you see JESUS hanging on the cross? Or do you just see the cross? What about when someone is wearing a pendant… do you see the cross and its meaning then? Or do you just see the pendant? The chain?”

God wants to know does the cross have meaning to you? Do you see the nails that were in Jesus’ hands? Do you realize the size they must have been to be pierced through His body? Do you feel the pain and the agony that He must have felt when it happened? What about His feelings… what Jesus might have been feeling? Are you aware of how much it must have hurt Him when God turned away from Him? Do you feel that pain? Could you bear that pain? Does the cross have meaning for you? Do you see the piercing of Jesus heart when He looked at the people who were once shouting Hosanna but were now in the crowd before Him, laughing? Making jokes. Do you see His heart breaking when His own disciple did not want to be a part of Him? Do you see the look on His face when He went back to His disciples and found them sleeping? Do you realize what He must have felt like saying but didn’t? Do you see His tears of blood when He was asking God to remove the cup from Him? Do you see that when you see the cross? Does it have meaning to you?

We need to be mindful of this time of the year and realize that when we see the cross we should see all what it means, all year round. For the disciple of Jesus, Easter is not one day out of the year… it’s an all-the-time event. Every time we pick up our Bible, every time we realize that the grace of God has kept us again, every time we mess up and are able to go and get cleansed, renewed, we need to be mindful of the cross. We need to be mindful of its meaning. Every time we go to church. Every time we come home. Every time we see the cross. Every time. Every circumstance we need to be aware of the meaning of the cross. And it is not so that we can feel guilty or ashamed or sad or depressed, or anything like that, but so that we can appreciate that which has meaning for us. And LIVE like we do. That is the most important part. Jesus made this tremendous sacrifice so that we can have life and that more abundantly. The Bible says that He was able to endure hanging on the cross for the joy that was set before Him. That joy is the smile on our faces. The love of God in our hearts. The knowing that no matter what life brings our way, Jesus has overcome it. Jesus saw the joy of victory in our lives. Our peace. Our total-being. Our salvation.

So I encourage you today, be mindful of the cross and hold dear its meaning. Keep it ever before you that you may have the joy that Jesus died to give you. That’s the beauty of it all.

God is good. And He’s real. And I love Him!

Be blessed,
A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E