Monday, January 24, 2011

Who Keeps Ringing My Bell?!

Years ago, what might have been a period of about 3 or 4 weeks, I was awakened every night, like clockwork by a doorbell. At 4:00 every morning.

I remember one of the first times it happened almost like it was yesterday. Sleeping soundly, my sleep was interrupted by the sound of somebody ringing my doorbell. I remember waking up, sitting up and listening for it again. But I didn't hear anything, so I went back to sleep. The next night and for a couple of days, it happened again. I would hear the doorbell, sit up, wait, and after hearing nothing, go back to sleep.

After a few more days, and as it kept happening, I asked my husband on one of the mornings to follow, if he heard the doorbell, and he said, simply, no. I brushed it off as imagining things and put it out of my head. Then a
couple of days later it happened again and after awakening my husband asking if he heard the doorbell, finally I got the revelation! And as I sat up this time, the Holy Spirit took hold of me and made me realize that God was
trying to say something to me. And apparently I had been so busy; I have not allowed myself to sit still enough to be able to hear Him.

At points in our lives, we find ourselves so preoccupied with other things that we become consumed with it. Consumed in our busyness. Consumed with our business. We allow ourselves to keep going and going and going, from one thing to the next, so used to doing whatever it is that we're doing, that it almost becomes mechanical. In all of our actions, including praying and even reading the Word. (Okay, well, maybe that just happens to me).

Anyway, I don't know what it was at that time that I was so distracted by, but it was something that caused me not to hear from God. Even though I prayed every morning and read my Word without fail. Yet I was not hearing
what God was trying to say to me at that time. Certainly when God speaks He wants to give us some sort of direction, some sort of encouragement and sometimes even a warning. And He desired to speak a Word to me and I had become so busy, that I was not hearing Him.

If we allow ourselves to get so busy with life that we cannot hear God, it is not a good thing. But the fortunate thing is that we have a God who loves us so much and is concerned about our direction and purpose that He
would take the time to get our attention any kind of way that will work. And in this instance, God used the doorbell. He knows what will get my attention and cause me to hear, and in this particular period of my life, it
was a doorbell, ringing at 4:00 in the morning, in a place that I was not particularly fond of. (We were living somewhere I did not want to be, but that turned out to be my place of preparation. Hallelujah! ) On a side note,
I want you to know that God has a place of preparation for all of us!! A place where things may not be the ideal, but it is preparing you for the ideal!!!

Anyway, in other instances, you may not be able to sleep. You might find yourself tossing and turning or even waking up the same time, every day. Could be God ringing your doorbell. People that you have not seen in years
will all of a sudden come into your life again. People who you have not spoken to or crossed off your list will all of a sudden cross your path in some way or another. God could be ringing your doorbell. Things might be
going a little weird in your life, or crazy. Things that you never even heard of could be happening to you and you might be wondering, 'What in the world?!' God may very well be ringing your doorbell trying to get your
attention. God will use ANYTHING He has to, to get your attention. And it would be wise if you would connect the dots and see the picture. See what He is doing or trying to tell you.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, sit up, take heed, and ask the Lord, is that You Lord? Are You ringing my doorbell? Is there something that You are trying to tell me, that I have been missing? Is there something that You have been showing me that I am failing to see? God will answer you. And when He does, whatever it is that He speaks, simply receive and do. God knows what's best for you. And He wants you to know that, too.

God rang my doorbell. At 4:00 every morning, for weeks, God rang my doorbell. Just like the lady that went to the judge's house in the middle of the night with her persistence.. God persistently rang my doorbell. Until I finally had enough sense and wherewithal (thank You Holy Spirit!) to connect the dots and answer. And when I did, God spoke a Word that changed the course of my life and brought me to a deeper understanding of Who He is;
a God Who REALLY loves me and desires to speak to me.

And He wants to speak to you too. Just open up your heart (and your door) to hear Him.

God is real.

Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Until His Glory Is Revealed

We wonder sometimes about the things that we are going through, why we’re suffering with some things, some people, some issues and I heard God say that we will keep suffering with it, until His glory comes through.

How we go through things, whether or not we have the right attitude, if we are complaining, if we are allowing ourselves to learn something, if we are changing; how we grow through it determines how long we will go through it. And if we are not growing through it, God is not getting any glory and we will find ourselves continuing in it, until He does.

Some things we are going through repeatedly, over and over… oh, it may stop, but just when we thought it was over, it picks up again and it’s because we have not allowed God to be glorified in that thing. And the only reason we thought it was over, is because God extended His hand of mercy and gave us some relief. But it will not be done, and you will continue to repeat it until God is glorified.

God says we were made for His glory. We were made to give Him glory. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

And until and unless we do what we were created to do, give God glory, God will not be finished with us, and neither will our suffering.

Just before Jesus went on the road to the cross knowing the suffering He was about to go through, He had a conversation with His disciples and He prayed this, “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” (John 12:27-28). He knew what His purpose was, to bring glory to His Father, to bring glory to God through His suffering and the only way that He could do that was to grow whatever was on the Father’s agenda for Him. And suffering was a norm for Him, because the Scripture then says this, ‘Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” ‘ So Jesus suffered before, God was glorified and God was saying and I will be glorified again through Your suffering.

I am reminded of a song by Reverend Jackie McCullough, called God’s Not Finished. The words say this:

'The weariness of life has crept upon me

Dark clouds now burst above my head

God's face appears although it veils from my presence

But with authority and love these words He says-

I'm not finished until My glory shines upon you

My workmanship is now being revealed

These things must be endured but for a moment

And I'm not finished until My glory can be seen’

God is not finished with you until His glory is revealed. Until His glory can be seen as the song says.

Until that circumstance or that situation or that person stops getting on your last nerve, you will remain where you are, going through. Until you learn how to act like you know, instead of reacting because of who you are, you will remain where you are, going through. Until someone comes to know God as their Provider, you will remain where you are. Until God’s glory is revealed to someone as Lord, as Savior, as Friend, as Redeemer, as Comforter, as a Shield, as a Hiding Place, you will remain where you are.

Yes life can be hard sometimes. Suffering is not easy. For anyone. But what we must suffer in no way compares to what Jesus suffered. And the Scripture says if you suffer with Him, you shall be glorified with Him. If you suffer with Him you shall also reign with Him. And that the sufferings of this present time are not even worthy enough to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us. HIS GLORY SHALL BE SEEN!!!

When someone sees what you are going through and how hard it is, but you still manage to lift up your hands (and your head) and bless the Lord, God has been glorified. When someone hears you say, though He slay me, yet will I trust Him, and walk in it, God has been glorified. When someone sees you suffer for the sake of the Kingdom, and yet turn the other cheek for someone to mistreat you again, God has been glorified. Every time you walk in agreement with the Word as a living witness to the goodness and the realness of God, God is glorified. And His glory has been revealed.

The song continues,

‘I'm not finished.. hear the words of My Father

The hour of change is fast approaching now

My grace will be imparted to you freely

For the glory of the Lord is soon to come.

With my hands upraised and the strength of heart within me

I shout a loud sustaining praise and now hope arises with a deeper faith and courage

For the glory of the Lord is being revealed.’

And you shall come out as pure gold.

God is real, let His glory be revealed in you.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E