Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What Fruit Are You Growing?

I am seeing so many fruit in the body of Christ. The fruit of jealousy. The fruit of unforgiveness. The fruit of bitterness. The fruit of covertness. The body is feeding these trees and they have grown. These unhealthy trees are overshadowing the trees of the fruit of the spirit. This enables the enemy to play them emotionally. A lot of crows end up in those branches and that racket drowns out the Father's voice.

So many people do not realize that the fruit of the spirit is their garden to care for in life. A lot of people just “hope” that their fruit magically appears. They do not actually cultivate that fruit. The fruit is for anyone they come in contact with not for their own consumption. It is for family, friends, the body of Christ and strangers in the streets. Once they eat of the fruit of your fruit trees they have seed implanted that will grow their own trees. This is the same as the secular “Random acts of kindness” movement.

The thing is, we overlook is bad fruit.

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” I Corinthians 15:33

When you compromise who you are by who you “hang” out with it is to your detriment. Just like you share your Godly fruit with others, you also partake of the fruit of your friends. If they have bad fruit you end up with bad seed.
I see so many Christians in turmoil and they do not realize they have eaten bad fruit and they are reproducing. They are emotional, tossed to and fro by their moods, any negative mental suggestion. They become judgmental, critical, verbally abusive, victimized…..and so on.

One of the problems in this (just one mind you) is that the Christian friend, sheep, family etc. who is the recipient of these outbursts begin to wonder what is wrong with them. Why do they trigger these outbursts?

Here is an example: I got an email once (ok, more than once but we will just talk about the one) that was VILE.  At that point, I realized VILE and EVIL are the same word….Selah. In this email I was told I was unloving, cold, calculating, abusive, bold, arrogant, ungodly, a liar, a thief….you get the drift. When I read it the first time I heard the Lord say, “This is not you.” So, I read it logically like I do most things. I read the first accusation and took it to the throne. “Do I do this? Do I need to repent from anything in this?” I did this with every item.

The enemy is he is deceptive. He NEVER hits you straight on. He is not creative. God is creative. He is not created in the image of God. You are. He does the same thing he did in the garden. He brings in one tiny grain of truth—it may even be an old truth that is no longer true! Something you have already been set free from.

None of the email was about me. It was about the fruit of unhappiness, of jealousy, of victimization, of selfishness etc. that the writer had eaten in her life and that fruit was producing BIG fruit.

I did not have to be wounded by that. It was not my fruit to eat. I did not have to let that fruit plant doubt within my heart. I know who I am in Christ. I did not have to allow the fear of man invade my life.

When I go into the spirit I see so much more turmoil going on that there has been in the past. Christians are tired. They are being tossed to and fro in so many areas. They are eating of any tree that presents its fruit to them. The enemy is sabotaging the acceptable, the normal, the common with his poison.
Do not be deceived. Protect yourself.

If you see someone acting in a way that would not please the savior. Someone who is hurting others. Someone who is a Christian but is reacting in emotional turmoil it is time to intercede. It is time to be faithful. It is time to be diligent. It is time to be more observant. It is time to be aggressive in prayer—not gossip but prayer—not anger but prayer.

Everyone needs intercessors. Who intercedes for you? Who are yours to pray for?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I thought I knew who I was.....Do you? Or are you just confused????

As Christians are you so tired of waiting for answers that even though you have kept your confessions correct, your self talk is accurate, your heart speaks a different story? Does it?
Not unlike the relationship of a friend having a conversation but instead accusatory? Doubt? Familiarity breeds contempt. Has this happened between you and God?

Have you forgotten the essence of the fear of God? The reverence of his power, his authority, his abilities, his love toward you? Are you a teenager in the relationship? Rebellious, a know it all?

Have you forgotten the power of His word? Have you forgotten that it IS His word? Do you still stand in awe at His word? Is everything in the word new every time you read it?

People think I am weird. I still feel the same way I did when I was first saved. Over the top! Totally in love. The first time I read the word it brought hope to my soul and tears to my eyes. His word causes my voice to crack. It pours over my heart and my soul with healing, with encouragement, with expectation, with faith---I love the word of God. The word washes me from the cares of the world, soothing hurts inflicted by people, it infuses me with power.

The word polishes and sharpens my armor, illuminating my mind with the knowledge and the understanding of who He is and what He is doing.

Do I dare reach out? Do I step into the unknown based on what I have heard? Do I dare trust Him to do what He said He would do? You need the Word in every area of your life. 

Isaiah 40:28-41:10 (NIV)
 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 41:9 – 10

I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

What does this have to do with intercession....

You have to get into the word to have the power and strength to see clearly, hear with intent and purpose, changing the atmosphere with your prayers. 

Reach out.

It is time to pray....

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Mirror

I have a mirror in my purse. It is worthless but I paid more for it than I should have because it seemed like such a good idea.

I don’t see much without my glasses so a purse mirror needs to have a magnifier part. This one does. It needs to have some kind of cover so it doesn’t get scratched. This one does. It needs to be small enough to fit in a purse pocket. This one does.

The thing is it doesn’t open all the way so you can hardly use it—ok that is generous—it is unusable.
Why do I hang on to it?
  •  I paid a lot for it (at least at that time in my life—ok let’s be    honest, at anytime in my life)
  •  I hate to waste things.
  •  I don’t have another one.
  •  I hate to admit it was such a stupid purchase.
  •  Who knows?????
So many times I see Christians trying to look into their past – they can’t really see well. They can’t really get the cover open. The past is too framed in emotion, ideals, longings of dreams to really see clearly. The glimpses are usually the pain, the justification—some hazy creation in our minds of what the truth of the past really looks like. Very like my magnifying mirror—I sorta guess where I am putting on my eyeliner from memory and feel.

Even when people cannot get the cover open they struggle anyway.

The thing is once under the blood of Christ it is gone but we stick our hands into that pool of blood and we have swirled in His blood to find the past memory.

Why do we try to dredge them up?
  • We paid a lot for that sin—so did Jesus—he paid more.
  • We like the pain of experiencing the sin again—Jesus cannot remember.
  • We haven’t replaced the sin with the word or the blood—we cheapen or try to negate what he did for us.
  • Who knows???? He knew
Throw away the stupid mirror. Renew your mind with the washing of the water of the word.

Look into His beautiful face and see yourself in His reflection. Get lost in His eyes.

What does this have to do with intercession?

If you see people stuck, trying to see, pray them into victory.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hot Air

I buy the big boxes because I use so many!

I cut myself again the other night. This one is to the bone. It is in the crease of my thumb and it HURTS. My husband was there immediately to doctor it up. 

He is one of the nicest people I know. He is so attentive to my needs. If we are out for a drive and I mention I might need to stop soon he pulls into the next rest room. If we are going somewhere and he is ready first he never rushes me. Never indicates I need to hurry up. Never points out he is ready. Never asks me how long I am going to take. He just does whatever he needs on the computer, cleans the kitchen, watches a news show, etc. No judgment, no comments, no attitude—just loving and kind. I am in my 60's so this should not be a shock but it is.

Anyone who knows me at ALL knows I drink a lot of diet coke—I use the term loosely because a lot is a LOT. And, I want fountain—not a can or bottle unless are in a desperate situation! So, although he teases me, he is the first to ask if I need another soda. He will actually point out that mine is low and ask if I need a new one.

If I am hurt, he is the first to notice (no matter how I hide it) and he immediately tries to fix it. It might be a burn, a Band-Aid on a cut finger or an email to a hurting heart.

The thing is, I have never met anyone like this. He is intelligent, logical, observant, kind and caring. You know how people scroll down Facebook news feeds and hit "like" to everything that doesn't just irritate them? He isn't like that but he is tolerant, thoughtful, observant and accepting of everyone at face value. He always makes me feel “special”.  Isn't that what everyone wants?

There is never a doubt that he loves me but it is more than that: He is Godly. Not the “hot-air-judgmental-all-talk-religious” form of godliness that has no power so many people espouse but the ”shoe-leather-esteem-your-brother-better-than-yourself” Godliness that Jesus showed us how to walk out on earth.

Don’t just "like" something about someone: “Esteem your brother better than yourself”.

Don’t just "like" something about your spouse: “Esteem your brother better than yourself”.

 Don’t just "like" the way people are in your church: “Esteem your brother better than yourself”.

Don’t just "like" the way your child acts: “Esteem your brother better than yourself”.

Don’t just "like" certain things about people: “Esteem your brother better than yourself”.

Don’t just "like"_______________: “Esteem your brother better than yourself”.

What is the difference? “Liking” specific individual areas of a person’s life or someone’s actions means you are comparing that area to another and someone is found lacking. Why do that? Just “Esteem your brother better than yourself”.  Just love people.  Yes, there should be wisdom involved but really don’t we use that as an excuse to be guarded and make people “prove” themselves? Eventually the fruit of their life will be seen and in the meantime who knows what blessings will be available for both parties.

Jesus did not call the disciples and then keep them at arm’s length until they “proved” themselves. He was transparent with them. What if you get hurt? What if someone lets you down? Who cares?

What if you plant seed in someone’s life and it eventually brings about change. What it you are the one who shows them the love that they needed? What if they see Jesus in you?

What does this have to do with intercession?

It is not about you. It is about a lost and dying world watching to see if you really are different or just hot air….

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Light Some Candles

Since I first accepted Jesus Christ many years ago I have seen hundreds of people from all walks of life come to the Lord after hearing what God did in my life. I have learned a lot about how to hear the Lord and I have grown in understanding of who God is and how He operates. Another thing I have learned over time is that I really know very little. That is one of the reasons I love meeting new people, hearing what they have to say, hearing their perspective on God and learning what God has done in their lives.

I heard a lady give just a bit of her testimony one Sunday. She was going to celebrate her one year anniversary being saved on Monday and she was excited about it. She was thrilled with what God is doing in her life. She was enthused about how she wakes up every morning thrilled with what God has done for her and excited about what God will bring this day and all the days of her life to come. She is constantly in awe of the deliverance He is doing in her life. She, like all of us, came out of a lot of pain, guilt and suffering in her life and is now filled with the love, peace, freedom and joy that can only come from a personal relationship with Christ.

This woman of God testified that just because she has accepted Christ does not mean that she will never sin again or ever have another problem in her life. It does not mean she will never hurt people, react selfishly, say hurtful things, lie, get proud, judge people, be unfair, get too busy to notice the hurt hearts in the people she encounters in her daily life, step on a child’s feelings when they only wanted to tell you something exciting, tell something she should not have because the person she was talking about is not present, believe a lie about someone without asking them what the truth is or dismiss people by how they look. But she knew that because she is saved her all sins are forgiven: past, present and future.

This little new Christian reminded me once again of how very much the Lord loves us. I get accused of being too enthusiastic about God sometimes—but you should meet her. She shines. I hope I still shine like she does. I am so detail oriented and so intense I wonder sometimes. Do people still see that love I have for Christ? Do I still radiate the joy of my salvation? Do I still exude the fragrance of life to a dying world? I DO! I know because God says I do! 

To help me keep Christ in my heart and mind constantly I burn a lot of candles--usually in several rooms at once. I like to walk into a room and smell something enticing—that way, even if I am just going in to clean the room or make a bed my heart is happy because the fragrance always reminds me of Christ. Do I notice if it is missing? Absolutely and I immediately get another candle to burn. To experience the fragrance there has to be the perfume and a fire. Jesus is the fragrance—He gave His life so we have life. The Holy Spirit is the fire. That presence that goes before us opening doors with a power that man cannot close. Light some candles today and every day to constantly remind you of God’s love.

What does this have to do with intercession?

Everytime you light a candle, everytime you smell the fragrance pray....