Archive | January 2012

Abuse Grace?

Once again, Pastor Asa Dockery’s insight into God’s word spoke to my heart today about God’s grace.  Believers know that God’s grace is free, but I never considered that I might abuse this gift.  I know abuse, I lived through it and God delivered me from it, but how could I be abusing God’s grace?

Pastor states that:

We might not start out treating God’s grace as sacred, but let us go through some fiery trials because we walked away from His love for the pleasures of this world, and it will be the goodness of God that will recapture our attention.

My 15 year fiery trial has not been obvious to anyone but God.  But, finally, I am at a place where the goodness of God recaptured my attention and brought me to repentance.  God has been speaking clearly to me about bringing my flesh into subjection to His Spirit and getting His temple in order so that He can bring increase in many areas of my life.  I kept saying “tomorrow, Lord”, “I can’t”, “it’s too hard”, or “you love me the way that I am, right?”  Abusing the grace of God?  I know that performance doesn’t please God, so I would rationalize that if God wanted me thin, then He could perform a creative miracle and I’d wake up just the way that He wanted me to be.  So, I swore off any type of “diets”, but in essence I wanted an excuse to continue to live in rebellion – to abuse God’s grace.

After a child of God waivers and falls into sin, it will be the goodness of God that restores him to the place of grace from which he has fallen. We have a loving and compassionate heavenly Father, who is longsuffering. Let us honor the free gift of God and save ourselves from hardships and heartaches.

It’s about honor.  Honoring God’s grace.  Transformation has taken place in my mind today.  Finally, I rest in Your strength and am enjoying the sweet odor of obedience to Your grace.

Moving from confession to obedience

Pastor Asa Dockery of World Harvest Church North in northern Georgia delivered an awesome, timely word from God today.  He said,

There will come a time when we must move from confession to obedience.  There will come a time when God will begin to set boundaries for you.

The title of the message was “What Happens After the Fast?”  Our congregation just completed a 21-day fast.  The temptation for many is to return to previous habits or addictions, but that is not what God wants for His people.  A fast should draw us closer to God and promote us to a new level of obedience.  I loved the entire message (which you can listen to if you click on the link above), but here are a few key points that I took away.

In Genesis 2:15, God instructed Adam and Eve not to eat a particular food and if they disobeyed, they would die.  You know the story.  They did and they died; both spiritually and physically eventually.  In the same light, when God speaks to one of His children and He tells us to abstain from something and we do not obey Him, it brings spiritual death (and maybe physical death) to us.  WOW!

I was blown away by this powerful word.  Did you know that food represents the desires of this world?  Adam and Eve lost their birthright to Satan, but in the wilderness, Jesus took it back from Satan and handed it to us after the Cross.  Still, Satan continues to tempt us with food and habits and addictions, when the Holy Spirit is trying to set boundaries for us that will guard us against death.  Today, my eyes were opened to yet another deception of the enemy and how he works through the lusts of our flesh to seduce us.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION FOR MY LIFE

I am a Certified Nutrition Counselor.  My years of experience has taught  me that food restriction alone does not produce any lasting change.  Diets fail.  People are miserable and I have known in my spirit that suffering is from Satan and is a spiritual matter.  Years ago, I told God that until He showed me the truth from His word about how to help people walk in obedience regarding destructive habits to our holy temples, I would not counsel anyone.  Today, my mind was totally transformed by this word and God clearly showed me His Truth in this area.

GOD’S GRACE IS OUR STRENGTH

Paul asked God three times to remove the thorn in his flesh.  God told Paul that His grace was sufficient; for in Paul’s weakness, God’s grace was made perfect.  Instead of looking at grace from the riverbank, we need to step into middle of the river, where we cannot walk and where the God’s grace becomes our strength in our weakness.  When fasting or abstaining from something that God has spoken to you about, when you are weak, remember that is when God will carry you through with His strength.  And when the battle is over, you will emerge victorious.

Grace becomes strength through our obedience to God!  How divine.  I have been set free from years of bondage!  Thank you Jesus.

The power of life and death is in the words we speak.

I remember when God first began to teach  me about my words.  It revolutionized my world and changed everything.  I want to quote from one of my favorite books, “Commanding Your Morning” by Dr. N. Cindy Trimm.  It was given to me by one of my dear sisters, Marina.  My life began to change in direct proportion to the words that I spoke.

“The Word of God has the power to realign anything that is misaligned, especially faulty mindsets, systems of belief, ideologies, traditions of man, and doctrines of devils that lie and exalt themselves above the will of God for your life.  They must be pulled down, cast down and brought into captivity under the Lordship of Christ.  If you are a believer, life does not have to be a mystery.  You can take control of your life and experience divine success and prosperity”.

I command all that God has for me into my life.

Speaking the word of God over our lives changes the atmosphere in our home, our places of business, everywhere we go.  Speaking God’s words into our lives releases God’s holy angels to cause our decrees and declarations to come to pass.  Words are  not empty.  Once spoken, they go into the spiritual realm and must be acted upon, by either the kingdom of darkness or the Kingdom of Light.

In Genesis 1, God showed us how He created the universe.  He said, “let there be…” and there it was.  Do you understand that we have the same creative power with our words?  Maybe not, but this is the most important aspect of our being.

Be careful and watchful of your tongue or your words.  The power of life and death is in it.  Your miracles or your curses flow from your own mouth.  Remember, it costs nothing to learn to align your words with God.

Do you know that God has rewards prepared for His family?

I like to think of these rewards this way.  Let’s say that we are the child of a King.  Our kingly father has promised us many rewards throughout our life and upon entering into full maturity as the next king.  Well, God has made many promises of many rewards for His faithful, beloved family.  Did you know that He is even going to give you a crown for your loving faithfulness in one or more of five areas?

I’ll discuss the rewards that await us, but also we must discuss the judgment that awaits those who don’t know Jesus and are not born into His family.

Jesus is the Name above all names.

Philippians 2:10-11

New International Version (NIV)

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

King of Kings and Lord of Lords

Look carefully at who will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord.  Everyone in Heaven, on earth and UNDER the earth.  That means fallen angels and people who died despising the Lord.  There are two major differences in the confession of His precious name.  One confession will be by those who love and confess Him before passing into eternity.  Their reward will be eternal life with Him.

The other confession will be by those who despised Him in this life but will eventually stand before Him in judgment.  Prior to eternal damnation, these people and fallen angels will bow before Jesus and confess His Lordship prior to being cast from His presence forever.  What a horrifying thought.