Have you ever thought about the fact that as a Christian you will never arrive, never have all the answers, and you should never think you can make it alone. It’s quite the opposite of what the world tells you to do.
The more you walk with Christ, the more you learn how much you desperately need Him. Throughout scripture you see that it is only through Christ can you know your purpose and your direction in life.
It’s simple, yet profound, that daily you need to ask, seek, and trust God for everything that you do.
“Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.” (Psalm 25:4) #direction #godswill http://bit.ly/1ouP7Hi
“Living in our true identity with God” Isn’t this what we long for? When God says we are more than conquerors do we say “I know that! I live that!”? Or do we say “Really? That’s not my take away. I feel defeated more than not.” Yet Paul said in Christ we are new creations. Old is out. In with the new that is a warrior, a winner, a prophet speaking the truth of God, a priest blessing and interceeding for others, an ambassador of the Kingdom of God, a fragrance of Jesus, the letter of God read by all mankind, entrused with Jesus’s mission to release the captives, bind up the broken hearted, proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord!
But a lot of us are living more in the shadows. We feel chained to reputations and how people expect us to be. The name Jabez, in the Bible, means pain. Jabez’s mom made sure everyone knew how much she suffered giving birth to this baby that she named him pain. Jabez. How hard would it be to live that down? First of all Jewish moms have the reputations of never forgetting–never letting up. If its praiseworthy the child couldn’t ask for a better press agent! But gotta say this must have been the WORST delivery EVER to hang this on her son for the rest of his life! It got so bad the Bible says Jabez CRIED OUT TO GOD. In the New Testament bad things happening to people was seen as punishment for sin. When the disciples and Jesus came upon a blind man the disciples asked Jesus “Who sinned, his parents or this man, that he should be born blind?” Because God’s curses were seen in loss of fortune, ill health, defeat, Jabez, a man undeserving of his name, for the Bible called him a man more honorable than his brothers, cried out for God to prove to everyone he was not the man they thought he was. Pour out Your favor over me! Line my pockets with money. Prosper me and expand my borders, my territory. And God answered his prayer (1 Chronicles 4:9-11).
When I was about 4 years old our family went to the Fun Zone at Santa Cruz California. My dad took me up a high stairs to a long wooden slide. He wanted me to slide down it. I was afraid. I didn’t want to. I cried. I felt panicked as he kept insisting and got a splinter in my hand from the wooden hand rail. My dad returned me to ground level in disgust and called me “panty waist”. What would have changed about my selfimage after that if my dad said “You are so brave! We are unstoppable together! Let’s take on this slide together! You sit on my lap and together we’ll see how scarry this slide really is!”
God says we are more, much more in Christ. Listen to this message from Graham Cooke as he unlocks the mystery of being an OVERCOMER in Christ!
I wrote this January 19, 2014. Now we’re nearing a year and a half since we began this very hard process of renovation. And we’ve been installing furniture now!!! The rooms have beds! The living room has sofas! The closets have shelves and poles to hang clothes! We have a new roof! And I am falling in love with this once abused and broken and disgusting house.
I must say this is a perfect example of how we were before God came to save us. He says we are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags and we all do fade as a leaf and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away. But when God sent Jesus to cover our sins with His blood He, like HGTV, flipped us! He did a total makeover. Much more then, being now justified by His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For He has made Him to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God In Christ.
That is just the beginning. Like the garbage removal and the hole filling and wall painting and floor renovating is just setting the stage for usefulness, accepting Jesus as your Savior is just the beginning. The Bible says we need to study to show ourselves approved unto God as workmen that don’t need to be ashamed but can rightly divide or correctly assess the word of truth. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says all Scripture is God breathed and is useful for doctrine, for reproof and correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be whole and complete, fully equipped and furnished for all good works. Can you see it? Can you see that we are God’s makeover? He say we are His house!
My husband and I have come a long way since we took on this house. I didn’t like it at first. I dreaded all the time I had to spend with it and sometimes I went away injured and exhausted. This is the stuff of relationships. They can be hard and painful. But God showed His love for us by dying for us even when we hated, or didn’t even have a clue about Him and were a hot mess. He took us on and promised that we would be AWESOME, ADORABLE, WISE, POWERFUL, BEAUTIFUL! We are all a work in progress but the more time we spend with the Master and submit to His scraping, and refining and prepping the sooner we will become ready for the furniture and that’s when we will begin to take on the character, attitudes, and wisdom of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I love seeing the befores and afters with HGTV’s renovations. They seem so quick and, ok it looks like hard work, but, how hard can it be? Well, now that I’m neck deep in renovating our thrashed rental I can tell you it is neck breaking, back breaking and heart breaking. Yes, I am being a drama queen. When I am weary my thoughts and mood turn to the dark side. But, I must say, through my scrapping, spackling, hole-filling I have had some awesome conversations with God. Starting with a conversation Jesus had with religious leader Nicodemas in his day. Jesus told Nic if he ever wanted to make it into God’ s kingdom he would have to be born again. His basic genetic code was not Kingdom friendly. He needed a rebirth. A makeover.
God starts the process with a basic rewiring by implanting His Holy Spirit…
Soon after we moved into our present home my husband decided we needed storage. We had 25 years of accumulated living from our marriage and child rearing we couldn’t part with: bikes, a sassy seat, camping gear, lawn mower, tools, and the huge preserved marlin my dad caught on a fishing trip. So on the back of our large yard we cut a foundation, put up a COSTCO metal storage unit and packed it full. 15 years later it was like opening a defective time capsule when we discovered, much to our chagrin, most of it was rusted and now worthless. And the marlin looked like it had seen better days. This disappointment called to mind Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount found in the gospel of Matthew in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. Jesus said “Don’t lay up for yourselves treasures on earth were moths and rust corrupts and thieves can break in and steal. Rather lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven where moths and rust do not corrupt and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasures are your heart will be also.” I’d say if Jesus needed a good word picture to prove His point I had a few I could offer. The fact is everything this side of the grave is, with time, going to be worthless and useless. Everything we work so hard to attain or achieve will eventually slip through our fingers like sand. The Bible says God put eternity into the hearts of man. He has put into mankind a spirit and soul that will never cease to exist. This spirit and soul is the real you and is precious, and dear and, to God, worth dying for. Jesus is saying if we really want fulfillment, true wealth, status, peace then find out how God defines wealth and how we cam earn points with God. If God holds the key to true wealth then it stands to reason to bank with Him. Jesus said “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”