I was recently looking at photos on Facebook and as I closed the window on Facebook I started to feel discouraged. The enemy had started to attack me in an area of my life that God had already given me victory, my self-esteem. I started to compare myself to those that I was reading about. The enemy then starts to tell me “you are not good enough”, “you don’t matter”, and “you are nothing because you don’t have this or aren’t doing that.” As I closed my computer down and went into the next room, I started to dwelling on all those different thoughts. As I felt myself being sucked into a black hole, I started to believe the lies that Satan was saying, I thought “those are true.”
Each one of us has a voice. Soft, gentle, loud, irritating, cross, annoying, etc., the voice types are unending but the one thing that is true for each of us is that we all have a voice. Whether we choose to use that voice determines if we are going to be heard.
Just this last month we heard the voice of Phil Robertson, from Duck Dynasty, say what was on his mind. For some, what he said was harsh and unnecessarily over the top and for others what he said was real and straight forward. Whether you liked what he said or not is not what matters. The fact that he chose to use his voice is what is important. How many Christians are standing up and saying to the world what God’s word says about sin? One of the things that Phil Robertson said was “Everything is blurred on what’s right and wrong … sin becomes fine.” The truth of that statement should be shouted from every church steeple in America. But instead of the world looking at the sins that we have allowed to turn us form God and His word, we have chosen to focus on the descriptive nature of one sin in hopes of deflecting the conversation away from the truth of God’s word.
The other day I was watching “Extreme Weight Loss” on the TV. The young girl on the show had reached out to the show’s producers for help losing weight. She was chosen to receive any assistance she needed to reach her goal weight within a year, including having the trainer move in with her. The first task she was given was to run the distance between two life guard watch stations on the beach. Considering her physical condition, she knew it would be a challenge. But it was not her body that broke down first, it was her emotions. You see she had been give up for adoption at birth and her whole life she lived with the weight of rejection. She found herself raging on that beach as the pain of rejection surfaced.
The most awesome thing happened today. God in His awesomeness used my daughter to bring light into a dark moment. While out purchasing items for my children to go to camp, I ended up spending more than I expected. As I paid for my purchases a sense of despair overcame me. I knew that I needed all that I had just purchased but I also knew that I needed some of that money for other items. Once I got home the feeling of despair just deepened. Now you would think that I as a Christian would know to turn to God and lean on Him. I know what the word says and as a tither and giver I have promises I can stand on. But sometime it is hard to see where your salvation will come from when you are in the storm.
God has a way of getting your attention even when you don’t realize that He is talking to you. Recently God revealed an area of deception that I had allowed to come into my life. God told me to make it right and I most definitely did not want to do it. I was more concerned about the way that I would be perceived than I was about obeying God.
The longer I contemplated what to do, the more I really did not want to do it. I would love to seat here and say that God made me do it, but that would not be the truth. But what did happen was that Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had just sin against God through disobedience. As I struggled with what had just been shown me, I realized that I wanted, no needed, to obey God. I knew that the heaviness of sin had just been given place in my life through my own hands. I had to make the matter right. Yes it was uncomfortable for me, but I obeyed God. As I pondered on what had just happened in my walk with the Lord, this message started to take shape.
Have you ever considered that our lack of prayer could be a sin? I have to admit that I had never thought about not praying being a sin until just the last several days. When I look around at all that is taking place in this world as well as taking place in the lives of those around me, myself included, I have to ask “are we praying?” The answer to that question is one only we can answer individually, but for myself, I have to say I am complaining more that I am praying.
In 1 Samuel 12, Samuels gives his farewell speech to the nation of Israel and in it he declares “…God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you…” (23). What if our unwillingness to pray to God has allowed sin to come into our life’s? Or on the flip side, what if our prayers could prevent some of our trials and tribulations? These are questions that I want you to ask yourself and ask God.
Throughout the afternoon I have been hearing the words “Peace in the storm” in my spirit. I know that for me that was a word of comfort from the Lord. However once I came inside and watched the news I knew that so many other this evening will also need peace in the midst of their storm. No matter what you are facing this moment know that God is able give you peace while you are in the middle of your storm. Hold onto the fact that God is right there by your side, never leaving you or forsaking you.
1”God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.2 Therefore we will not fear,…10 Be still, and know that I am God:…” Psalm 46
It has been almost 6 months since I have written on my blog. There are many reasons that I could list as to why I have not written but the truth is there is only one reason, and that is sin!
I have allowed everything and everyone to take precedence over the call of God on my life. I lost a church, but found a better church. I lost friends, but gained better friends. My marriage has struggled, my finances have struggled and my life has felt like a roller coaster. And through it all God has never left my side. I was the one that turned my back on God. It has been so easy to be mad at God for what I have walked through, but I have realized that the person I should be angry with is myself!
Before church on Sunday, I decided to burn a huge pile of leaves that I had in my burn pit. As I lit the leaves and watch the smoke raise, something that a friend said several weeks ago came back to me, “I was born in the fire and the smoke won’t do.” I had never heard that phrase before so I ask her about its origins. She told me that she had heard it said by her mother many times throughout her childhood. It was one of those saying that our grandparents and great grandparents had grown up saying.
As I watched the leaves struggle to catch fire, the Lord started to speak to me. The more I pushed those leaves around, trying to build up the fire, the more my spirit tuned into what Jesus was saying. The Lord said “I have been living in the smoke and that it is time to live in the fire.” I knew exactly what was being said. I had allowed the stuff of my life to weigh me down. Just as deep and wide as that pile of leaves was my pile of hurts and worries were equally deep and wide. I was and am a child of God, but I had allowed my circumstances to take away my joy. I was saved, but I was not walking in the joy of the Lord or the power that God says comes when we follow after Him. I was not walking in the peace that surpasses understanding. And as I stood there moves those leaves around, I knew that I could not live a life in the smoke any more. I wanted the fire! So God and I started our conversation. He started to show me how to live in the fire and now I want to share with you what He showed me.