Thursday, September 27, 2012

Omnipresent God

Monday morning started out extremely stressful as I headed up to London, Ontario in hopes for a successful outcome during a business meeting with our sister company and representatives from US & Canadian service providers.  Getting everyone on the same page; focusing on a great resolve for a “win” “win” outcome was my goal and it wasn’t going to be easy.  And if that wasn’t enough stress, my thoughts ran ramped as I remembered the last visit thru Canadian customs just a couple months ago as they not so lovingly directed me to immigrations for further questioning. 

Yet all along my mind kept jumping to our church prayer meeting that was scheduled for 6:30 later that evening.  All I kept saying is “Lord, I just want to get back to the US in plenty of time for our visit together at Your altar.  I tried to remain hopeful that I would return back soon enough to make it.  However, as the meeting continued thru mid-afternoon, it was clear I’d be pushing the time since we all decided to go out to lunch before heading back.  Every now & then I would glance at my watch and think…Ok…just might be able to make it and have my personal time with the Holy Spirit.  There’s just something about His altar and I love being in His presence with nothing else to hinder our intimate relationship.  
We finally headed back; feeling like the day was successful.  No issues at the border and meeting went well.  Once we crossed back to the US, we went our own way; yet I still had about 2 hour drive ahead of me in rush hour traffic.  Need I say more?
I did my best to get back in time...but as I drove on Interstate 696 I realized I was running out of time.  Now mind you, I pretty much chat with the Lord the whole time I’m driving anyway.  After all, it was just Him & me in my car and who better to talk too, right?  Yet my heart was broken that I’d be late and I cried out to God in desperation, "But I want to be at Your altar!"  Quite honestly, I was upset and my tears just ran down my face.  But as usual, the Holy Spirit, in His compassion, quickly and softly reminded me as He said, "I'm right here with you.  My altar is right where you are.”
I kept driving and immediately started to internalize what He had said.  And yes, although I was bummed about missing my prayer meeting at the actual altar I was used too, the drive home was sufficient for my situation and I still had my intimate time with the Lord. 
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20 NIV
How; you may wonder? 
Very simple!
God is Omnipresent! He fills the universe in all its parts and is present everywhere at once. 
What are you waiting for my friend? 
Let me encourage you to take time and talk to the ONLY One that knows your ever thoughts.  I promise you that He will meet you right where you are at this very moment.  Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV tells us, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.
God is truly amazing! He is awesome! He is magnificent!

And I love Him with all my heart!!!!
Be blessed my family & friends!  I pray you walk in the Lord’s total favor!
Love you all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

“Oh God, Help me! I can’t do this alone!”

Ever have one of those days where you want to just throw your hands up in the air and scream? This past week I had one of those days.  It started out being a pretty quiet morning; until about 8:30 – 9 am. Now mind you, I actually love my job and enjoy it about 99% of the time.  But there are days where the pressure gets to be a bit much, and well, Friday was just one of those days.  It seemed like all the demands hit at one time.  Everything was urgent and everyone needed an answer “now”.   And if that wasn’t enough; some folks pushed the right buttons that would soon cause my flesh to war against my spirit man as I fought the resistance in responding back in a negative way.  Instead, I found myself with an inward war; one that no one else could see, except the good Lord, Himself.  It took everything I had not to burst into tears and all I kept hearing is “Don’t respond.” 

Oh Lord, seriously?  Don’t respond?  But didn’t you hear what was said just now?  Didn’t you see, Lord? 
And still nothing but, “Don’t respond.”

I fought my flesh and forced my thoughts to dwell on hearing the Lord’s voice as He continued to speak softly “Don’t respond”.   Talk about a challenge.  Anyone that knows me knows it is indeed a challenge at times.  As the morning went by, things did not seem to get any better.  As lunch time drew near, I went to the fridge, warmed up my lunch and sat at my desk eating as I continued to fight back the tears.
I wanted to scream!!!!  “Oh God, Help me!  I can’t do this alone!”  And yet, I knew without doubt that I wasn’t alone.  The Holy Spirit reminded me that He was there and that it was nothing more than spiritual warfare.  Satan was doing his best to pull my attention away from the Lord in hopes he could tempt me to fall into a situation where I would respond in a negative manner to those around me.  Satan knows that if I allowed him to persuade me into something contrary to God’s word, it would damage my character as a servant of God, make me lose credibility with those around me and ultimately bring separation between me & my Lord.

I felt compelled to finish my lunch and go find a quiet place where it could be just me & God; no one else!  As I stood up to leave, I grabbed my water and some tissues and then went to grab my cell phone; just in case something urgent came up.  The Lord spoke softly again, “Don’t take it.  Leave it there.”  And I did.  Without any further hesitation, I went outside, found my favorite spot and sat quietly in His presence.   As I looked up, my tears became my silent prayer.  The sun gently pierced thru the clouds that gloomed over it, covering me with gentle warmth of God’s presence.  I noticed the clouds kept trying to cover over the sun again, leaving me feeling cold and alienated.  But then the sun would find its way to pierce thru the clouds as if the clouds didn’t exist.  (I know this is a normal thing, but this particular day it actually captivated my attention.)
As I could see the sun vaguely thru the clouds, the Holy Spirit showed me that no matter what may try to come between us, He is still there.   Nothing but His peace flooded my soul.  I knew God was at work and I was assured that this would somehow bring glory to Him, for He has a plan greater than what I can see.

Later that afternoon, some of the people I had a run in with earlier kept coming around acting as if they knew they hurt or offended me.  It was obvious they were trying to make things right between us and yet, unsure of what to say as they grabbed thru straws to hold a conversation.  At that moment, I was able to respond with true compassion and genuineness of heart; only because I heeded to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Apart from Him, I would not have had the strength to do so otherwise.
What about you?  Are you in the middle of an inward war other’s can’t see?  Wondering where God is at in the midst of your circumstance?  You’re not alone.   Trust me when I tell you; there are others just like you & me.  Let me encourage you to find a quiet place; a place where you can be alone with God.  No need to say anything.  Your submission in His presence will say it all.  He knows what you’re going thru and has already prepared a plan to see you thru.  Allow His peace to flood your mind and be open to His direction. 

Remember, He has promised us in Hebrews 13:5 NIV  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Be blessed my family & friends.  I pray you walk in the Lord’s total favor!

Love you all,

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Psalm 84:8-12 NIV

Philippians 2:3-4 NCV

“When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.”       

Sunday, September 16, 2012

James 3:9-12 NCV

We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. Do good and bad water flow from the same spring?My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! And a well full of salty water cannot give good water. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mark 8:34-38 NLT

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38 NLT)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Need A Breakthrough?

In Matthew 17, we hear about a man that needed a breakthrough.  He wanted his son healed of epilepsy; and yet Jesus’ disciples were not successful in helping his son; but the man didn’t give up.  When he saw Jesus, he knelt down beside Him; begged for mercy and asked Jesus to heal his son.  Without hesitation; Jesus took authority, commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man’s son and within an hour, he was healed.    

Matthew 17:19-21 (NKJV)Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Do you need a breakthrough? Maybe you have a desire to serve God and allow Him to be Lord over your life; yet it seems regardless of all your efforts to serve Him, there are always trials or temptations that emerge in the face of adversity.  Possibly a stumbling block you continually kick away; only to find it resurfacing time and time again.  It’s as if it taunts & tempts you to jump on board for a joy ride adventure!  Maybe you’ve even prayed and sought God; asking that He remove it forever; and still it lingers and rears its ugly head at your weakest moment;  leaving you to feel absolutely hopeless in an already bad situation. Well, you’re not alone! 

When I look at temptation, I can almost envision the enemy quietly slipping a noose around my neck, spiritually of course; waiting for me to take the bait and trip; causing me to fall in the midst of sin; sin that will inevitably bring death and separation from the One I desire to serve the most; God, Himself.
Every wonder why the same trials or temptations keep resurfacing? 

We need to be careful not to blame God.  According to James 1:13-15 (NKJV), it clearly tells us, Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
Simply put; there is no one else is to blame except us. Truth is according to James 1:13-15….for us to “fall” into the temptation, we actually have to have some type of desire for it or at the very least; be enticed by it.  Then, before we realize it, we’ve made a decision to entertain those thoughts and "Voila” (French for 'here it is')"; we’ve kicked open a door of opportunity….to “sin”.  That’s right!  All we have to do is entertain the thought of that temptation and it won’t be long before we put it into action! That’s all it takes to start prying the door open to sin. Wow; now that’s a tough one to swallow!  Not only have I been tempted by sin; but it’s actually me that chooses to open the door and invited it in.  Not a good choice!

Don’t lose heart; even Jesus faced trials and was tempted by Satan.  But He knew how to handle all of it.  We are told in Matthew 4:1-11 that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to withdraw for 40 days & 40 nights; fasting, praying and seeking His Father. During that time He faced every temptation Satan threw His way; yet He battled every one of them using the Word of God. 
I believe we need to put into practice the instructions Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 17:21, where He said, However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  Jesus exercised fasting & prayer on a continual basis.  And I can attest that prayer and fasting bring about “breakthrough”!  I’ve experienced it multiple times thru my Christian walk; and most recently this past year. 

So what spiritual battle have you been fighting lately?  Isn’t it time you see a breakthrough? He knows what you need before you even ask and He is quick to direct your every step.
Ok…so we’ve prayed; sought God; asked Him to help us get rid of the temptation and it’s still there.  What do we do? Time to get serious folks!

 It’s time you took your rightful place as a child of El Elyon, The Most High God.  Time to fast & pray! And if you choose to fast & pray, do as we are instructed in Hebrews 4:16 NKJVLet us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Is it really that simple folks?  Well, I can honestly say from my perspective, no. 

Fasting & prayer take determination from us.
Don’t delay; get determined! Seek God; fast & pray! 
And in the midst of asking for your needs to be met; whatever they may be, remember to enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart and His courts with praise!

I pray that as you seek the Lord, you will walk in His total favor!
Be blessed my family & friends. 

Love you all,

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hebrews 4:6-7 NLT

So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”