Can I find relevance in words that were written over 3,500 years ago. Do I belong in this chaotic world, or would I fit better in another place? Is it possible to frame an understanding of all creation with mere words? Who was it that asked over 3,300 questions in the oldest, most controversial book ever written? Who answers the 329 questions in the lengthy trials recorded in the chapter called Job? Why do the innocent suffer? God answers these questions and He does not deny the tragic suffering in the world that He created. Our Lord is confident in His goodness and Jesus warned us that we would suffer while on earth. Who made all things that were created in heaven and on earth? Is it right to question what Jesus Christ said? If Jesus asked His Father questions, I believe that our Father would also welcome our questions. Jesus repeatedly approached people with questions. There are 177 questions marks in the book of Matthew, 165 questions in the book of Luke, and 167 questions in the book of John. In the garden Jesus asked “If there is another way?” and on the cross He asked “Why have You forsaken Me?” Jesus also asked His friends gathered on the mountain “How do we feed all these people?” He asked a Rabbi, a teacher named Nicodemus”How do you not know these things? How will you believe when I speak of heavenly things?” God’s Word gives us His answer to many of the above questions in Philippians 3:20 and Colossians 1:5-23. Once upon a time I felt like a misfit, alienated from God even though I had been baptized of water and Spirit on several different occasions. Recently I checked into a local B & B to draw close and listen intently after asking God some questions. A word of knowledge was given to me in Isaiah 55. In summary, I prayed back those words to God. “Thank You my Yeshua for completely satisfying my thirst with a burst of living water. As I listened to what the Spirit was saying, I devoured all the abundance of good poured out. My soul delighted in itself as my ear was inclined to hear the everlasting promise of increased understanding. I sought the Holy Presence of God where He may be found…. in the still quiet places. Calling upon Jesus, He drew near. With a repentant heart for my wicked thoughts and ways, I confessed my longing to be renewed “in Him”. His pardon and mercy was abundant and it was received with much gladness. “For My thoughts, are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” says the Lord. Is 55:1:8 – Taking the Beth Moore Quest with a few area sisters, we all agreed that life has a way of maturing us rapidly “in Him” and for Him. “The works of the flesh are evident…” Gal 5:19-21 outlines what walking in the Spirit does not look like. Christians who struggle and strive to get their way, who speak hate filled words, who hide jealousies, who have outbursts of anger, who conceal selfish ambitions, as they mask envy and cause discord, God tells us beforehand that those who practice such things will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. The truth is that the world and the church is made up of broken people. Messed up people, saved or unsaved tend to manipulate in order to get what they want. The politics in government over cities and churches often pits a particular principle, position, or policy over another, while insisting that their doctrine is superior above all others. God did not call us to meander without a plan or purpose. He did not invite us to wander through the desert without a way out. Jesus did not roam around Jerusalem hoping to gain popularity. God does not ramble on in the Scriptures carelessly. He does, however, repeat one important message. “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:8 I used to believe in “once saved, always saved.” After diving deep into God’s Word, man’s commentary was uprooted by Truth. “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14 – Kneeling just inside the small gate with gratitude!“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:22-23 This verse informs my adopted theology to keep my deceitful heart pure and repent. When I am convicted of missing the mark, I confess. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret…” 2 Cor 7:10 I am gladly obedient to confess lest I not believe God’s word wherein it says….“The heart is deceitful above all else” Jeremiah 17:9 There are Godly folks that hold onto various doctrines, and because I am a student that hopes to teach by example, I listen and learn, then I apply what the Holy Spirit reveals are His thoughts about the subject. The fruit of the Holy Spirit affects my relationship with Jesus and my application of His unselfish love, joy and peace. Walking in the Spirit refers to when I choose to live God’s way. He brings the gift of self-control, gentleness, patience, kindness into my willing and repentant heart. The same way in which God causes fruit to blossom on a tree, He delivers His fruit in me when I ask for His help. I am wholeheartedly willing to be still and trust Him…as He finishes the work and purpose He began in me. The conviction I feel to forgive myself and others, to issue mercy and grace, that prompt is directly from the Holy Spirit. I no longer feel compelled from within to be perfect while on earth, but I strive to run the best race I can for His glory. The driving motivation behind perfectionism stems from insecurity. A fear that I am not enough in God’s eyes is a lie from hell. My security is in Christ alone and I surrender to the truth that the Holy Spirit lives and works in me. My preferences, my ambitions have all been killed off, or crucified by my willing consent. I choose to live creatively exuberant and full of questions.
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 — Yes God uses weak people to do extraordinary things for His glory! “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corin 1:26-31 — Therefore I choose to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in me and through me. Through suffering we can translate the words of Job 6:24-26 “Teach me, and I will hold my peace. Cause me to understand the lesson that my Lord would want me to ascertain. Deliver me, restore and renew me as I choose to praise You in all things” The inspired song writer wrote about the Valley of Baka, or the Valley of Tears in Psalm 84. Rewritten in the first person, insert your name in the blank. “Blessed is _______when I recognize that my strength is in You. As my soul cries out for the living God, my King Jesus, for the Holy Spirit to abide in me, I choose to reframe any disappointments into refreshing opportunities. As I pass through a valley of tears, I travel in confidence knowing that “I am never alone”. As a pilgrim I am supernaturally renewed from strength to strength as I am prepared on earth to appear before God in Zion, the city of God, the New Jerusalem, the place where Jesus sits on His throne, radiant in all His glory. Thank You my Lord that I may rejoice with a sincere heart as I lay my _____(loved ones gone home) before You to live eternally in the mansion You built for them. AMEN and AMEN “Will You not revive me again?” that I may rejoice in You again.” Psalm 85:6-7.
I am assured of God’s promised land and I seek His favor while on earth. My desire is to live in peace as God prepares me to live in heaven. Hebrews 11:13-14 “For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.” The better Greek translation of the word PERFECT is COMPLETE. “Be perfect (complete), therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (complete).” Matthew 5:48 – Be confident that He will keep all of His promises. “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Some great words about truth. “You push the TRUTH off a cliff, but it will always fly. You can submerge the TRUTH under water, but it will not drown. You can place the TRUTH in the fire, but it will survive. You can bury the TRUTH beneath the ground, but it will arise. TRUTH always prevails!” ~ Amaka Imani Nkosazana – “At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does He mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see Me no more, and then after a little while you will see Me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” John 16:17 – “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Luke 18:41