Friday, April 23, 2010

Ask for Permission, Instead of Forgiveness

It is much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I first heard this just right after sharing ‘Let Your Choice Be God’s Choice,’ when a person replied “Sometimes we think it is easier to ask forgiveness that it is to ask permission.” Then I heard it again just a few days later when someone posted it as a facebook status. And if that wasn’t enough for me, I heard it a third time, while I was watching a TV show, Flash Forward, and the team of agents wanted to go into CIA territory to investigate something, and they were debating it and someone said, “It is much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”

Now I don’t know who coined the phrase. I don’t know how long it’s been around or anything else, but I do know that when God wants to make a statement and He really wants us to get something, He confirms it, and He does that by putting it in the mouth of two or three witnesses, time and time again.

Sometimes we know what we should do, and I venture to say, OFTEN times we know what we should NOT do, but because we don’t want anyone, especially God, to tell us so, we operate as if it is much better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I believe God wants so much for us to believe Him and to take Him at His Word, that He really does want the best for us. That He really really loves us and wants us to have life and that more abundantly. But because we take this in our own hands we miss what God wants to give us. Because we make decisions to do some things based on our “immature” belief of what we think will happen, we miss the greater thing that God has for us. God sees everything. He has determined our future from the beginning.

God said this to me, and he who has an ear, needs to hear this, “You want so much to do some things. You want some things and because somehow you believe that I do not want you to have what you want or do what you want to do, you go ahead and do what you want to get them. You go ahead and do the thing that you want to do. Foolishly ready and willing, supposedly, to suffer the consequences later.

You have a relationship with Me. You believe you know Me. And because You know that I am a forgiving God, you know that I am a loving God and you truly believe that I will never do anything that will cause you any pain, you plunge ahead and do what you want to do, fully aware that there may be consequences, but not fearing them because of Who you believe Me to be.

But what you are failing to realize is this, Who you think that I Am or Who you know Me to be, I AM not at all. You really don’t know Me as you should. Because if you did, if you knew Me to be Who I AM, God, your God, your Lord, you will not do what you wanted to do, but what you believed that I thought was best for you. And you would know that by asking Me. By asking of My permission instead of seeking My forgiveness.

And what this boils down to is trust,” saith the Lord. “If You really trusted Me, you would know without a doubt that I want what is best for you. That I only want what is best for you. And My permission would be granted to you freely if what you want falls in line with what I want for you.”

God said that we convince ourselves that we can deal with the consequences. That we can face them, no matter what they will be. After all, God loves us. How much would He make us suffer? And as Minister Jeff says, we believe we can 1 John 1 and 9 everything and God will forgive us and we can move on.

Yes, God is a loving God. Yes, God is a forgiving God. But God is also a just God. He is also a sovereign God and a jealous God. And He will not allow us to put anything before Him. It’s in His Word. Thou shalt not have any god before Me. And a god is considered anything that we worship, even our own ideas.

What we have to understand is that everything we do has a consequence, good and bad. And if it against God’s will for our life and we knowingly do it anyway, He has got to correct us. And correction is often painful.

God said that He had to correct Moses when Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it and yelled at the children of Israel. Moses put his will above God’s when he allowed himself to get angry. He did not humble himself in the sight of the people and show forth God’s greatness. In some way, Moses was saying through his action, it was much easier to ask for God’s forgiveness than to ask for God’s permission. Which so many of us do, when we make up our minds, when we make conscious decisions to do what we want first, and suffer the consequences later.

God said, that what we also fail to realize is this, that thing we wanted so much to have, He would have given us much better than that. If only we had sought Him first and asked His permission instead of HIs forgiveness. He said, “When my Son was in the garden, it was not easy to do what He was about to do, and He could have just as easily turned away from doing it, but He didn’t. What did He do? He asked my permission, ‘Father if it be thy will, take this cup away from Me, but nevertheless, Your will be done.’ He knew Me. He knew that what I have asked of Him to do had a purpose and He trusted that I had nothing but the best planned for Him. And He received the best, the greater gift, for now He is sitting at My right hand, as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. “

God loves you so very much. He only wants what is best for you. Dare to believe Him and trust Him so you want have to ask for forgiveness.

God is real.

Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Death Has NO Sting

I am certain that most of us have heard people say at one time or another, “Time heals all wounds.” But time does not heal all wounds, God DOES.

The Scripture, 1 Corinthians 15:55 says, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” This has been playing over and over in my Spirit for a few weeks now. And it wasn’t until yesterday, that it really took hold of me.

Yesterday, April 11th, my sister, Janine “Peanut” as we called her, would have celebrated her 49th birthday. She died in 1991 a few months after her 30th birthday. I often think of her, more so as the date rolls around, but every time I see her daughters and even sometimes when I look at my own. And I reflect upon our childhood, our growing up into adulthood, and then the last day I saw her, and then her death. And as I did that yesterday, I realized that I was not sad. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my sister dearly. It was impossible for you not to love her. She loved everything and everybody who she came into contact with. In fact we used to tease her because it was almost like she found strays. Those that we would not even give a second look at, and she would love them.

And I would love almost more than anything for her to be here, to see her daughters and the women that they have become. To see her grandchildren. To meet my grandson. And even just for her to be here and to talk to her on a somewhat regular basis. But I am not saddened and I don’t find myself in tears every time the thought of her crosses my mind and I guess I really shouldn’t be, 19 years later. And I do not run away from the memories of her that I hold so dear, in fact, I found that yesterday, I cherished them even the more. And I thank God! Because there was a time where I could not bear the thought of thinking of her. BUT GOD! Not only does God promise to wipe away every tear from our eyes in the time to come, but He is so good that He does that right now. He said Himself that He will turn your mourning into dancing. He will turn your mourning into joy. And that is what He has given me since I came into a real relationship with Him. Death has no sting. In more ways than one.

He’s given me victory over death in relationships. In health. In finances. In sin. God wants you to know that what Jesus did on that cross was for real. And understand the depths of that. Jesus hanging on that cross to die gave us victory over death. Death was the greatest enemy to defeat. There’s nothing left to conquer. And God says today, death has no sting. It cannot hurt you. If we believe and trust in the Almighty God and what Jesus came to do for us.

And God spoke something more to my spirit regarding my sister. To be absent from the body is to be is to be in the presence of the Lord, IF you have accepted Jesus as your Lord. And I know she has. And that is where she is. So death, where is your sting? The grave has no victory. I do! My tears are gone and God has replaced them with joy.

Now what does this have to do with time healing all wounds? It’s simple. Let me ask this, if time healed all wounds, then after a certain amount of time, ‘whatever is deemed appropriate by whomever,’ why aren’t some wounds healed? How come people are still holding grudges, bitterness, unforgiveness from hurts 15 years later? Why is that people suffer from sickness and illness for years and years? Why is that some cannot bear to think of past relationships or loved ones who have gone on, without having some form of breakdown? Because time does not heal all wounds, God does! If we would put our trust in God, God will fill us with peace beyond our understanding. He will fix our broken hearts. He will heal us of our diseases, because He already has according to our faith. He will deliver us from our sins. Time cannot do that. Only God can do that. And it is not until we get our focus on Who it should be on, that we will ever be able to walk in the victory over death and over the grave and over everything else that God has given us.

Yes, it might take some time for your mourning to be turned into joy. But you have to start with the belief that only God can do that for you. Not people, not circumstances, not material things, and definitely NOT TIME. God does it. It is Him that we need to look to for our comfort. For He is the God of all comfort. Nothing else will do.

I thank God for the revelation. I thank God for His sweet peace. Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

God is good and He’s real.

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

Friday, April 9, 2010

No Judas, No Resurrection

Bless the name of Jesus for His Resurrection!

We know and we are thankful that Jesus is ALIVE!! HALLELUJAH! The grave could not hold Him. "O, death, where is your sting?" (You don't have one... praise the Lord!) Jesus got up on that cross and took upon Himself the sins of the world, so that we (you and me) could live. HE got up on that cross, because He said Himself, no man can take My life, unless I lay it down. And that's what He did. He died before they took His life. (He died on the way to the cross). Hallelujah! They hung Him high, they stretched Him wide but on that third day, HE GOT UP.

And we all know how it came to be that Jesus was put to death. He made some "very important people" upset with Him. (Just a little sidenote, don't be so quick to get a VIP status). These VIPs were offended by Jesus, by some of the things He did, some of the things He said. He was more than a man, (they thought it and they knew it). He was God. And they didn't like it. He wasn't good enough to be God. He was just a carpenter's son. (That's the problem with VIPs, often times, people aren't good enough for anything).

And one day one of Jesus' very own disciples betrayed Him. But Jesus knew he would, because He said so when they sat at that Last Supper that day. And He even told him, whatever you are going to do, do it quickly. Let's get this thing over with. And we all know that it was Judas, whose name has become synonymous with betrayer. Judas... the traitor, the man who betrayed Jesus.

Now, we have to understand a little bit about betrayal. We cannot be betrayed if at first we haven't committed something of ourselves to be betrayed from. Betrayed means to be deceived. It means to be disloyal to, to go on the other side. You see Jesus committed Himself to Judas. He committed His Lordship, He committed His friendship, His trust, His Word and His love. Much like we do with others. We commit ourselves to people. Our time, our trust, our love, our care, our patience. Our hearts. Some piece of us is given away to another when we allow them to enter our inner circles. And we all have them. The imaginary boundary that we draw around our hearts, that we keep guarded and no one can come in, unless they are invited. So we cannot be betrayed, we cannot be deceived, someone cannot become disloyal to us, until and unless we give them the power to do so.

Often times though what we don't realize is that when we experience that betrayal, when someone we trusted turns against us, causes us pain, breaks our heart, it causes us to shut down. But many times, what we should do and what God has come to teach us, is to accept that it happened for our resurrection, that something may be built in us, that we may grow. Minister Jeff has been teaching so much about perseverance and trials and tribulations and the things that we grow through we should receive them with joy. Knowing that those things are God's way of teaching us to persevere. Our perseverance will give us the endurance we need to receive the promises of God.

So these betrayals build up some kind of resistance. Some kind of perseverance, and with that some kind of character, that helps us to grow and to move on. And without that betrayal, we could not have become the person that we are, or God desires us to be. And as God is teaching us, without that betrayal, that trial and tribulation, we could not receive what God promises we shall have.

When someone says they love us, especially in relationships, and they do something contrary to that or betray our trust, it causes us to be more alert the next time we're in a relationship. Maybe to take our time and get to know them better, maybe to make certain that they know God and are not just going through the motions. Maybe to use some wisdom before we take that jump and start sharing our bank accounts and living spaces. Betrayal gives us discernment that we do not make the same mistakes as before.

No Judas. No Betrayal. No Resurrection.

This is our resurrection. It is a chance for us to have a fresh start. It is an opportunity for us to start over, to begin anew. To be better than we were before. To grow.

When Jesus went to the cross and He died and rose again, He rose with newness. He rose not only with a glorified body, but with a glorified presence. He got up with all power. He was FREE. He died hurt, sorrowful, alone and burdened with sin. BUT HE AROSE. He was resurrected. He came up a different way than how He went down. This is what our Judas experience ought to do for us. Yes, we may have been knocked down, but we can get up with a renewed sense of hope. That we are not the same person that we used to be.

No Judas. No Resurrection.

So as we remember the resurrection, remember the chance that Jesus provided to resurrect those things that Judas has killed in us and know that God is making us all the better for it.

God is real.

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