Sunday, November 13, 2011

Set Apart?

Last night my younger daughter and I had a "Girl's Night Out". The hubbs and son-in-law were out in the woods deer hunting so that means she and I get to have a night out just the two of us. When we're alone we always end up talking about spiritual things. She is a young woman who has such a close relationship with the Lord. She's had a lot to walk through in her 31 years, and it's brought great insight and love for her Heavenly Father. We covered many subjects but one thing that we discussed was the fact that none of us are currently attending church on a regular basis. OK, I said it. It's just a period of time that is "in between" and not one that I like to advertise because it can bring a lot of "heat". 

I'm all for belonging to a church or fellowship, wherever God leads, and that's the key. "Where God leads..." I'm going to get honest right now so buckle your seat belts as they say, it may be a bumpy ride. Please don't email me any sermons on the importance of church attendance. I know them all and I totally agree. So hopefully you'll just listen to what I'm saying without feeling the need to lecture me, fair enough?

I've been to a lot of churches in my time for one reason or another. I'm not here to discuss them all, I could write a book about all my experiences...good and bad. My point today is to be doing what God is calling you to at this time. I want to be about God's "business", and my prayer is to do what He asks; where and when. Right now, even though I'm totally open and agreeable to be in a church fellowship, we just have not been led to be there. Many reasons why. I'm not fooling myself on this subject. 

Having said all that, these passages in Luke 4 hold a lot of insight and "mystery" for me concerning this subject. 

Luke 4:1 "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan (after being baptized) and was led by the Spirit in(to) the desert... and Luke 4:14 "Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit..."

Sometimes the Holy Spirit leads us in a time of separation. That may mean many things, but it's different with different people. Maybe God is calling us apart for preparation, for emotional healing, for physical reasons, or just to rest and be with Him. The thing I've learned over the years is not to say "Well, God just doesn't DO that". (in my best "Church Lady" voice) Judging how God works in our lives and the lives of others is a no no. God works with people in various ways, many times it's contrary to "popular opinion". So I've learned to "zip it". If I have a question about someone's experience I try to take it to the Lord for clarification instead.

I don't want to lose sight of the point of this post and that is the scripture from Luke. Jesus was "filled with the Spirit" after his baptism, and was led out for a time of separation, but when He returned He came back in the POWER of the Holy Spirit. Time apart, listening to God alone, can result in being empowered by the Holy Spirit.

So if God has you in a time of "separation" or you feel like you're in the wilderness, don't let the devil have a field day making you feel guilty. Isn't that funny, the devil doesn't want us in church, but if God is doing something "different" with us, then the enemy will use "guilt" instead. Just be with God every day. Ask for His leading and guidance. Ask for His plan to become clear and savor every moment you have with Him. Because we never know when things will change in life. Who knows... things might change tomorrow.

love in Jesus,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

God is Above All Things

One of the amazing and wonderful things about God's Word, the Bible, is that it speaks to each one of us for whatever it is we are going through. We all have our different issues and problems, needs and desires. For one of us it's finances, another, our children, still another health or relationships...then again some of us have all of these things in our lives to deal with.  Right now the one that's on the "front burner" so to speak is my health. I know... it's been that way for awhile, but I know you can relate. Problems rarely are solved overnight, and sometimes God allows us to walk "through" for a while. Mine has been awhile.

I had a tough summer, but God has been doing some things for me and I'm feeling better pain-wise. (Thank you Lord!) I'm definitely giving Him credit, it wouldn't be happening without His hand on me. I was in a spiral down and it wasn't fun. Medication wasn't helping, and if I looked at the "big picture" of textbook diagnosis and prognosis, mine was crummy to say the least. 

But, with one thing, it always leads to another with God. He may let you sit for a little while, but then He's always there moving you forward once more, stretching your faith, and causing you to get uncomfortable in the place that He last left you. Do you understand what I'm saying? God isn't stagnant and He doesn't want us to be either. So we may have a victory and praise, but before you know it He's knocking on the door again asking us to step out of our comfort zone and go further down the "faith" road.

God sometimes plants me in a particular chapter in the scriptures and leaves me there. I may read something a dozen times before it starts to sink in. Has this happened to you? I go over and over and sometimes frustration happens before enlightenment. Then sometimes He shows me something ahead of time and I find myself realizing I need to pay attention for what's coming. Case in point. John, chapter three. I'm there alot.

What I've been reading over and over is John 3:31 "The one who comes from above is above all". Sounds simple enough to understand. But understanding and putting into practice are two different things. He's asking me to believe and act upon that statement. He's in control. He's the One who makes the decisions. He's the One who can bring the manifestation of healing when no one else can. He's the One that can transition you from head knowledge to actually doing what needs to be done. 

God gives promises and sometimes those promises seem distant and unattainable. Often times they are fraught with difficulty and ditches along the way. But a day comes when things start to change. I'm reminding myself to praise God along the way, and to keep moving forward. He will be there with me each step of the way.

I found this illustration today that says it all!

Wherever you might be in this circle, just let God keep moving you forward.

love in Jesus,