Pressing into Him

leabates

Grace Tree

Just when we build up our confidence in who we are in Christ, the enemy will try to trip you up. He’ll point out something, or try to make you act in a behavior that is familiar to you (part of your old man). Once the Holy Spirit makes you aware of the sin, you act out – taken back if you will, you try to deny, be ashamed, or desire to withdraw yourself. This begins a battle between your soul and spirit. It is at this point we’re forgetting who we are in Christ Jesus. Our intimacy with the Lord is temporarily halted if we give into this scheme he has planned; because the enemy of your intimacy with God is a desire to check out. When we shrink back out of fear, pride, or idleness we’ve lost touch with who you are in Him.

Recently I experienced a…

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Pressing into Him

Grace Tree

Just when we build up our confidence in who we are in Christ, the enemy will try to trip you up. He’ll point out something, or try to make you act in a behavior that is familiar to you (part of your old man). Once the Holy Spirit makes you aware of the sin, you act out – taken back if you will, you try to deny, be ashamed, or desire to withdraw yourself. This begins a battle between your soul and spirit. It is at this point we’re forgetting who we are in Christ Jesus. Our intimacy with the Lord is temporarily halted if we give into this scheme he has planned; because the enemy of your intimacy with God is a desire to check out. When we shrink back out of fear, pride, or idleness we’ve lost touch with who you are in Him.

Recently I experienced a setback which exposed a sin in me that I was unaware of. It was a familiar spirit that knew me well. When this sin was pointed out my first reaction was to retreat. Turmoil raged in my mind from offense, to denial, to anger, to name a few of the emotions I projected at that moment. Pride was revealing itself in my reaction. I had to take a step back and allow the Lord to reveal this sin to me. He, through my frustration, lovingly showed me how I was wrong. The experience was very humbling to say the least. No one likes their sin pointed out; but it was at this point I had a choice. I could remain carrying this mindset around, or I could surrender it up to the Lord and allow Him to do a work within me. Struggling with my flesh I gave way to my spirit and confessed my struggle, submitting to the ways of God.

Hebrews 10:35-39

In Hebrews 10:35 (Amplified version) we’re reminded not to “fling away our fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.” When we seek Him in the quiet place regarding our sin He will reward us. As the saying goes we’re closest to our victory when facing defeat. So don’t give up! Press into Him.

Hebrews 10:38 (AMP version) says that if we “draw back, and shrink in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him.” Now, this doesn’t mean God is going to disown you, but it will be difficult to receive FROM Him: because our own sin consciousness will prevent us from receiving. You cannot abide in Him without abiding in what is OF Him.

In Romans 8:31-38, these scriptures tell us who God is. We focus on these things when we’re placed in a situation where a weakness has been exposed. In other words, we draw into Him. He’s not mad at us for sinning. He does desire us to change our minds about our behavior so we can become more like Christ. If He is for us who can be against us? Can the enemy of our mind ever be for us? No! Who shall bring charge against God’s elect? Yes! That’s us! So when we come humbly before him He can’t turn us away. He justifies us! He won’t condemn us either (Hebrews 8:1). No, Jesus is making intercession for you right now – even in your mess he’s interceding on your behalf. Nothing! Nothing shall separate you from His love! So press into Him when you’re exposed. He’s listening and ready to restore you better than before. Whatever is pure and of good report, think on these things, because (I’ll say it again) there is nothing that can separate you from His love.

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Forgotten Seeds

hope

While tending to my garden I noticed some seeds that I had sown didn’t sprout leaving patchy barren spots within the rows that had been so neatly laid out. Hearing the thunder and noticing the increasing darkening clouds overhead I set out to hurry and try to beat the rain. Carefully I laid out the areas that needed replanting, inserting seeds and covering them. It was while I was covering them that I realized the previous seeds had been buried too deep, thus not allowing them to properly find their way to the daylight; therefore killing the seed and not allowing for new growth to form – for the fruit of the germination process to behold it’s glory.

Suddenly a thought came to mind. What if these seeds represented a hope or dream that had been placed inside of us? Some may have sprouted, but there were others that had been buried too deep and forgotten. Perhaps they were remembered but soon banished by a heart that only heard of the impossibility of the task. The Bible tells us hope deferred makes the heart sick.

A soul whose dream has been shattered by rejection, lies, rebellion, death, or many other events that can leave us cut off, falls short of seeing the fruit of their dream. They listen to the voice of the enemy who continually tells them it’s not possible. Man has given them words that left them seemingly defenseless against the forces of evil that came in and snatched away their hopes and dreams. Like a faded picture it slowly dims out of sight. Never to be captured again.

Recently the subject had been taught at church that we are to remember these dreams. That God has a perfect time and plan for it to occur. Like a seed that’s been sown it awaits its appointed time to shoot forth toward the light. What we don’t see is what happens during the darkness while the seed is germinating. Growth is happening – a preparation time awaiting its call to be beckoned forth. This time, during the darkness, is a time where He is preparing us. We must be vigilant and watchful that we don’t allow the seeds to be buried too deep, or to shallow. A seed planted in shallow ground may come up but its life span will be short because it cannot establish firm roots. So it is with us when we, like children, rush out to claim our destiny only to fall short because we failed to wait on the voice of God – to hear His timing.

My own experiences have seen both of these. Circumstances and incorrect teaching allowed my seeds to be buried in a mire of deeply wounded soil. Therefore the enemy seeing an open door allowed himself in and stopped the growth. Lie after lie left me with an inability to trust ever seeing any dream unfold. Gone to the point of not even knowing what it used to be. Listening to man I embarked into areas that God hadn’t planned out as my destiny.

However, we belong to the Lord of the Harvest! He never forgot! When I sought Him he began to reveal the dreams that had been spoken over me. He has carefully taken the soil and recovered these seeds leaving me with a renewed hope. He hasn’t forgotten, and He would never change his mind.

Now it is up to me to seek Him during this time of covering. He’s placed me under a covering where I’m nurtured and allowed to grow. Not too fast….not to slow….it’s up to me to learn to listen in the darkness so I’ll recognize His voice even in the light. See, it’s easy to learn to hear Him when I’m in my darkest hour; but I have to recognize it even in the light, because this is also where the enemy wants to try to trip me up. After all he is an imitator of the light! However, when it’s time for the sown seed to spring forth I’ll know it is Him, because He called it forth.

Returning my thoughts to my gardening as the rain began just as I finished up my task. Just in time, I thought, just in time.

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The Value of Being Significant

Why do I worship you?  – Because I am significant. Because You care enough to count the hairs on my head and call me blessed. I battled guilt and condemnation for years, leaving me only frustrated and angry; but no more. Because You showed me how much you loved me and you cared for me. Guess what YOU are significant too!

I started a list of I AM’s and the word significant will be added to it.

I AM

Significant

Loved

Blessed

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Blameless in the eyes of God

Resourceful

Passionate

Forgiven

Smart

Confident

Joyous

Grateful

Peaceful

Merciful

Patient

Forgiving

 

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The Spotless Bride

Spotless Bride

Below is given two different interpretations of the verses Ephesians 5:25-27. When a question lies on my heart I tend to be like a Berean (Acts 17:11), searching the Word and inquiring of the Lord for His explanation. Today I asked Him what He meant by the Spotless Bride that Paul spoke of in Ephesians. Not getting an immediate answer I just jotted down the question and went on with my day. In the evening as I got ready for bed thoughts started spilling into my mind. Rushing to my computer it felt as if a river of revelation was gushing out waiting to be pondered. Suddenly it became clear to me by reading these verses, one from the King James Version and the other from The Passion Translation, how easily we can take scripture out of context. As someone whom God is pulling the legalism out of (me), it became clear that He was shedding a new way of looking at His spotless bride.

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:25-27 (TPT) And to the husbands, you are to demonstrate love for your wives with the same tender devotion that Christ demonstrated to us, his bride. For he died for us, sacrificing himself to make us holy and pure, cleansing us through the showering of the pure water of the Word of God. All that he does in us is designed to make us a mature church for his pleasure, until we become a source of praise to Him – glorious and radiant, beautiful and holy, without fault or flaw, a bride fully prepared for Him.

Could it be that the spotless bride is ‘liken’ the virgins with their lamps full (Matthew 25:1-7)? A bride who understands that their righteousness has already been fulfilled through Christ Jesus (Romans 5:17)? A bride who knows that worship ushers in His presence? (John 4:24) A bride who has learned to abide in Him? Because once we realize our position in Christ Jesus we become an object of His affection.

The virgins whose lamps ran low and they left to go buy more ran out into the world and were not prepared. Realizing they were not able to ‘ride on the coattails of another’, they ran out and their destiny went unclaimed when their season came, and missed out on the fact that they themselves carried the glory of the Lord.

Jesus IS the kingdom of heaven. He now lives and reigns within us believers. Therefore when we speak that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven we are speaking in the same authority that Jesus walked in. (Matthew 16:19; Luke 11:2)

The five virgins who ran out worked for their oil, but came up only tired and empty. Becoming a pure and spotless bride was never meant to be about works. Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross so we could be pardoned of our sins. Nothing we could ever do can change that. He made us holy and pure in his sight. Our maturity in Him grows through our acceptance of His love for us and our willingness to change our minds and live a life that glorifies Him. This is how we keep our lamps full. No self-effort can ever measure up to this. We glorify Him with our bodies by operating in the gifts and abilities he has given each one of us as we equip others to do the same. Surely He sees us without spot or wrinkle as we mature into the fullness and stature of Jesus Christ in this way. What He saw the Father doing, He did (John 14:10). What we hear Jesus telling us to do, we do (v.12). We become a bride that brings Him glory and a sweet smelling aroma to Him as He praises us for adoring Him. All of this unfolds into an array of light that glorifies Him (v. 13); and NOTHING can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).

Rev 19:8  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Galatians 4:6  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

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Unexpected Faith

Lead Me Lord

Sometimes we struggle with the Holy Spirit when he instructs us to trust, or to listen. It’s easy to go along with the Lord when we’re in agreement; but what about the times when He stretches us and makes us uncomfortable? When He goes against our natural grain of thinking? Can we trust Him? Or would we rather trust our instincts (manmade thoughts)?

Recently I heard a teaching that, in the beginning of it, I struggled to listen to it. Why? Because it went against what I had been taught all my life. However, the Holy Spirit quieted me and encouraged me to trust Him; for God knew what I would glean from it if I would just quiet myself and oblige. In the end, truth was unfolded, and I realized that questions I had recently, that I had inquired of the Lord about, were answered. It took trust to believe that what the Holy Spirit was telling me was going to be good for my soul.

There are many accounts in the Bible where situations similar to this occurred. Moses was told to go deliver the people out of Egypt. God told Noah to build a boat. What about the battles that were fought where God told them that He would go before them? Or Saul, who became Paul, whose entire thinking was turned upside down? These, and many others, were not happen stance – no! They were encounters with the Lord where trust had to be ensued.

We stand at a crucial time in our history where we need God’s intervention. People say “Pray”, and they quote 2 Chronicles 7:14, and when God shows up and brings them a David, or a Joshua, or maybe even a Moses; who may or may not be zealous for the Lord God of Hosts, they balk and cry out because it’s what they asked for but not what they wanted.

This is not meant to be a condemning message. It’s a matter on my heart because the situation I speak of shows a lack of faith in God in our nation. There will be times we are going to pray for a situation, or a person, and God’s going to rock our world with His answer. We’re going to struggle with His response; but He knows the beginning from the end. Can we trust Him with that? Just like the teaching I spoke of at the beginning of this message, we struggle with trusting Him, but if we hold onto His promises with a hearty Yes and Amen, then our questions will have answers; and they’ll be His answers, not our own that we’ve conjured up in our minds.

Even though I struggle with what God is doing with the presidential election (referring to the candidates), I will trust Him and go along with His wishes. Am I uncomfortable? Yes, when I look at it through my natural eyes. Do I trust Him? Absolutely! He’s brought me through too much for me not to. Am I doing the right thing? Well, if I’m not I know His grace will cover me; but I have faith to believe that my God is able! Selah.

Luke_18:8  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

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Soul Searching

Cowgirl Wisdom

Somewhere within our soul a voice cries out

And searches for a love that’s pure.

Some search from what they see – what is visual

But You, Lord, desire something more

You draw us into You-

For the one who searches for You will find You

When they give from the recesses of their soul.

It is from there, as we surrender, the seeds are sown

And spring forth a heart that cries out for More!

More of you Lord.

Your captivating fragrance I’ll wear as a crown for your glory.

My soul longs for that secret place where it’s just You and I

Allowing the water of Your word to fill me and quench my thirsty soul

I am lost in deep surrender

Rejoicing in the love of the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s.

Selah

John 4:23-24 (TPT) “From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.”

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