The Eye of the Storm

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The life of a Christian who wants to be close to God can be like a major storm.  Everyday for a long time my life felt like a storm.  First the storm was a a result of bad choices I had made, but then I decided to surrender my life to Jesus Christ.  I had given my heart to him already, but this time I made a real commitment that no matter the cost I would follow Christ.

The storm for a Christian who is struggling against the pull of the world, and turning to God to walk the straight and narrow is a bumpy one.  There is the temptation to follow old patterns, and when there is no longer old patterns to deal with new ones arise.  We are striving to be in our rightful place in the Kingdom of light, yet the darkness is still clouding our eyes and fogging our feelings and our thoughts.

New idols call to us to be focused on and worshiped.  Things in our life goes wrong, for me it was a vehicle, a water pump, a home, slander, rejection, loneliness, fear, doubts and more.  Probably the hardest hardship I’ve endured is overcoming myself.  Letting go of old thinking patterns and belief systems.

There is certainly resistance when we first start walking with the Lord.  There will always be resistance.  It gets easier when we learn how to dwell in the eye of the storm.  This isn’t about being a better person, or by sheer will power.  This is about being in-step with the creator.  Hiding under his wings, embracing him as a Father, and letting him be in charge.  It isn’t until I started listening to his voice, and dying to my own will because I believed he had so much more in store that I started moving about life in the eye of the storm.

The storm still rages but greater is he who is in me.  We can look at the odds, fix our eyes on impossible outcomes, on unmet perceived needs and wants.  We can focus on failures within ourselves or blame our problems on others, or we can turn and look at God and tune out everything else that swirls around us, about us, breaking our house windows, blowing out the doors.

When we focus our sight on what is wrong with life, then we are navigating life in the storm, dodging debris.  Fighting the fights that were not ours.  As long as we keep looking to physical evidence and expectations, only feeling frustrated, we will remain in the storm.  It won’t stop.  Even if you overcome this one obstacle, then bam there’s another.  You dodge the metal pipe blowing by your head only to side step and be knocked over by the door.

I am grateful now that God allowed me to be in the storm long enough to get the hint that the storm just does not stop, unless God stops it.  I had to learn how to simply step into the eye of the storm.  Walk by faith, not by sight.

The eye of the storm is where God is, and it is always calm there.  It is always safe.  It is always sunny, except when it is time to close my eyes and rest, but even in the dark there the peace keeps in my heart.  His mercies are knew every day.  He has died for me unconditionally and as long as I still have breath I can repent, over and over again.  He is faithful, his love is enduring, he is slow to anger and to find fault.  His love is genuine and true.  He is always in control.  God, through Jesus, is the eye of the storm.

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Boast When You Are Weak

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I think it is safe to say that most people are not proud of their weak moments.  It is better to boast on what makes us weak, rather than on what makes us strong, because it is in our most vulnerable moments that God’s glory shines through us.  In Luke 18:10-14 Jesus gives us examples of two men who went to the temple to pray, one man was thanking God for how strong he was and how righteous he was, yet the other man was sorrowful due to all that was wrong.  Jesus then explained that the second man was the one who went home justified.

Jesus said that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 18:14).  Why?  Doesn’t God want us to obtain righteousness after all?  Then why would God want us to not glory in seeking and obtaining righteousness we might ask?  Does God contradict  himself?  I’m confused…. What I have found out through trial and error during my Christian walk (actually what God has graciously taught me) is that true righteousness comes from the heart.

Psalm 51:17 NLT “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God”.  It is not our works that makes us righteous, but it is our faith that confirms to us that God sees us as right.  According to Romans 8:30 Paul explains that it is God who first called us, and then justified us.  Those he justifies he later glorifies when the time is right, but this is something he does.  It is from the heart that righteousness comes from.  It is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks, and when we have a heart full of humility, knowing that nothing within ourselves is good except that which God refined in us, then when we speak it adds life to the listeners and confirms the truth.

What is the truth?  The truth is that none of us are truly righteous.  Yet when we confess our sins, God then purifies us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  It is the person who is first full of their own weakness and humility who once they are lifted up, understands that it is not of themselves.  Therefore, when they approach someone who is full of sin and seems lost, they are able to season their words with salt from a heart full of humility rather than arrogant pride.  When we become strong and righteous, when we finally overcome… do you know that we become least in the Kingdom of God.. that is the more proud we become, the more unrighteous we become?  A heart full of judgement and pride cannot love as Jesus loved.  Jesus was only able to love because he was lowly in spirit.  Even though his actions were blameless at all times, once he was called “good” by someone, and he corrected that man saying, “why do you call me good?  There is only one good and that is God” (Mark 10:18).

Please don’t get me wrong, it is God who inspires us to do good works.  It is God who leads us on his paths of righteousness.  It is God who calls a pure, spotless bride.  The catch is, it is also God who justifies and purifies.  It is the heart attitude of a person that makes a man/woman right.  It is humility, faithfulness, loyalty, genuine love and consideration, esteeming others above themselves that is right.  What we eat, what we wear, and the works of our hands never makes us right, this is why I rarely judge a person by their outward appearances.  A person covered in tattoos smoking a cigar and drinking a beer can be more righteous than the man standing across from them wearing a suit with a tie, who would never touch a cigarette.   Does that make the first person right?  We all know that some things that we do to our bodies or put in our bodies are not good for us, and it is common to see a born again man of God start to put away such things as they are purified.  Yet, it is not the putting away of those things that makes that man righteous, it is their contrite heart before God.

When I am weak, then I am strong.  Oh, I love this verse yet I still abhor being weak sometimes.  I would rather be strong, never giving into temptation, never having a bad moment.. but it is the desire to do right that begins to purify us (1 John 3:3), because … righteousness comes from the heart.  It is the hunger to be right and the knowledge to know I am not.  It is the cry of a contrite heart that pleases God.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 the Apostle Paul says, “I will brag all the more in my weakness, so that Christ’s power will rest on me”.

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Nothing Can Separate Me From You

This is the good news. That God loves me and you. It wasn’t until I began to receive deep revelations of the love he had for me that I started truly overcoming fear. He says, “there is nothing that can separate my love from you” (Romans 8:38-39), absolutely nothing. When I wake up in the morning and I sense his presence and hear his voice in my spirit, I feel loved. When I am convicted, I feel loved. His rod and his staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4), and when I even think about doing what is right and am upset about doing what is wrong, I feel loved. Nothing can separate me, no judgement spoken against me will make God condemn me. He is always for me, never against me. When You truly understand that there is nothing that can separate you from his love, it will rid you of all fear. Thank you Father for your perfect love that casts out fear.

How Much Do You Love God

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My lesson this week is to not worry. The Lord showed it to me as a command and I posted it in a lesson, presenting it as sin. Many said they never thought about it that way, a couple people disagreed.. one lady very adamantly. I asked her how she can not think it is a sin when it is commanded for us not to worry. If we as humans considered worry to be punishable, then we might take this command more seriously. She pointed out that sin is violating the 10 commandments, but if you think about it.. worrying violates the greatest commandment, and that is that we should love the Lord our God first and with all of our strength. Jesus teaches us that if we truly love God, then we will keep his commandments.

 

Loving God means that we celebrate who he is, and when we really believe in him, then we trust him. It is very hurtful when the person who says they love you cannot trust you. How would you feel if someone says they love you in one breath , yet in the next breath they ask us to prove we are trust worthy.. my next question to that person is.. “you say you love you.. but you question my integrity.. so how can you mean it when you say you love me.. if you don’t realize who I really am?”. When asked what to call him, God replied “I am that I am”.

In essence , loving God means that we love what makes him who he is. Who is he? He is perfect love, he is able, he is faithful, he is omnipresent and omnipotent. So say we don’t trust him means we don’t know who he is.. and if we don’t really understand him, how then can we really mean it if we say we love him.

When we say that we love him, then that means we love what is right, because he is righteous. If we say we love him, then we also mean that we love the truth. So if we say we love him, but then treat his truth as if it is a lie, then we lie when we say we love him and the truth is not in us. This just means that we are deceived. We seem to think that believing in God, or even having respect for God.. means that we love God. But we don’t even know or understand who he is so we don’t really know what we are saying.. until we start obeying his commands. This is so helpful to me. This week ive found grace to really give up a couple things .. including worry. If I worry when im told directly not to.. then it is sin. If i partake in active worry instead of reminding my mind what scripture says, and that my God is able, faithful or that he cares about me.. then i am disbelieving.. and disbelief is sin. Even if one still refuses to call worry and disbelief sin, then we could call it a gateway sin.. disbelief in him and his word leads to sin of every kind. Eve trespassed the and ate forbidden fruit because she allowed herself to disbelieve what God said.. that eating that fruit would lead to permanent death.

If God tells us not to worry about our lives, then he tells us this for a reason. Lord, help us all believe without a shadow of doubt, obey, and enter heavenly rest 💖

My First Week in the Fight Against Gluttony

Oh boy, I am tempted to say this week has not been a success, however that would be incorrect. Success depends on what you are using to measure it with. Have I gotten gluttony beat yet? Umm I wish I could say yes but that is a big fat no. Today was the first day that I managed some self control in not overeating. However, I’ve had some other successes this week. There was a time yesterday that I was tempted to eat when I wasn’t hungry, but I said no and abstained. Later on however I ate more than my fill, however when I was tempted to feel like a failure that still small voice rose up in me and said “you were successful, you evaded temptation earlier” and then I got to thinking “yes, that’s right!”. It doesn’t take a spirit filled person to understand the value of positive thinking when we are trying to accomplish something new in our lives. When we are attempting to overcome an addiction such as overcoming cigarettes, alcoholism, drugs, overeating, anger fits, whatever applies go ahead and fit in a work of the flesh. You see, these things are all works of the flesh I feel lead to get biblical here so I’m going to go with it. Hmmm reading in Galations chapter 5 we are told to be lead by the spirit and we will not fulfill the works of the flesh. It talks about the flesh vs walking in the spirit I won’t post the entire chapter but I will post the first verse because it is powerful and what I want manifested in my life right now Galations 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm , then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery”. Now my initial thought when it mentions being burdened by a yoke of slavery I assumed it meant the yoke of slavery to the flesh, but that is not what it is saying. That did excite me but I know enough of the word to know that as Christians we are already free from the yoke of slavery to sin (different passage of scripture). Instead, what this verse is referring to is a yoke of slavery to trying to attain the Lord’s approval through works. Interesting that this is where I’m lead, because what this means for me is that when I try to overcome the flesh by the power of the flesh, I will surely fail. Thank you father for leading me to this place. You know, as I was sort of mentioning, success has many different faces. This week I did not obtain the success that “I” wanted to obtain such as complete freedom from over eating, however I obtained by God’s holy spirit and his grace a different form of success, and that is understanding once again that my value is not measured by the shape of my body, but rather it is measured by the contents of my heart. And though the Lord himself cares about the shape of my body because he knows it effects my emotional state, my self esteem, my energy level, my witness and so on and so forth… he will help me accomplish overcoming in this area being how it is his spirit that stirs this desire to be free. However, he is much more concerned about the deeper things. He wants me to know I am loved right now, I am valuable right now. And he wants me to rely heavily on him during this time because he is the one that gives us the grace to overcome. Now, if you are not a Christian or are a Christian but think this is a bunch of phooey that we should only rely on ourselves, let me inform you that despite your proud mindset, you only have the mental strength that “you” have because “he” orchestrated your life and your genetic make up so that you will have it. Beware that you do not give credit where credit is due. God can make you lose your mental capacity in a moment’s notice, he’s done it before to a man in the bible, he can certainly do it to you. However, God loves you and simply wants you to look to him because he wants a commune with you. I however have learned to be very grateful for my weaknesses because although they are challenging, they have caused me to be ever so strong in his power and might. 2 corinthians 12:9-11 “for when I am weak, his power is made strong”.