- SHEILA RHODES
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As a caregiver, it is my job to love, serve and give unconditionally. Is it easy? Not always. When uncertainties come I find myself in a place of questioning my frustrations, ability, and welfare. As a caregiver for my 84 year old mother-in-law, uncertainties will come but it is the truth (Jesus) who will set me free.
Today, I am openly frustrated over a decision which was made by my mother-in-law who relies on me for her care. I instantly feel betrayed, angry and insecure over a statement and it triggers other emotions. Stop! I know that, if not handled properly, emotions can lie to me. However, I still allow myself to travel down the “I wonder” road and allow my thoughts to run freely.
- Does she really know the sacrifice I have made? (Anger)
- Is she aware that her own daughter doesn’t want to care for her? (Disappointment)
- Is my ability to care for her enough? (Doubt)
- Should I be more active, more engaged or provide more entertainment? (Guilt)
- Does she recognize how blessed it is to have health insurance while I wonder if I can even afford to go to the doctor? (Fear)
- Does she realize she is my job without benefits or ability to build something of my own? (Insecure)
- What will happen to me when she dies? I have been without a job and will need one immediately. (Uncertainty)
As I was in my little pity party, I allowed Anger, Disappointment, Doubt, Guilt, Fear, Insecure and Uncertainty to join me. There were no balloons, no laughing, or music just pity. Poor me – I wanted to sit and play with my own emotions. Rehearsing, nursing them over in my mind. Doesn’t God know what I’m going through? Is He listening? I am glad that I put a quick end to this party as I turned to God’s Word – It is the truth (Jesus) who set me free and invited me to join His party.
Jesus invited me to come to his party, and He asked that I not bring gifts but my burdens. So I obeyed and brought with me Anger, Disappointment, Doubt, Guilt, Fear, Insecure and Uncertainty and laid them at his feet. He took these burdens from me. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He invited the Holy Spirit to come and bring me gifts – Love, Joy, Patience, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control, Kindness, Goodness, Affirmation, Security and Peace. These gifts were freely given and always available to me. I picked each one of them up and examined them not as a question why but in amazing wonder that He set me free! I left those burdens behind and joyfully received new gifts in their place.
Galatians 5: 13-25:
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and wickedness; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
I am copying this from a post that I saw on FB recently. I thought it was so fitting for all who read it at this time of the Christmas season. It just helps to sometimes put things in proper perspective because most of us can easily get caught up in the business of life.
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of lLove stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though married and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return. But, rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears ALL things, believes ALL things, hopes ALL things, and endures ALL things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.LoveL
Sept. 25, 2012 ~ 1:15 am
I was awakened from a very powerful dream. This dream was happening in slow motion, so I was able to soak up what was happening.
In the dream, I was outside and I was singing praise to the Lord. All of a sudden, I noticed people coming from everywhere and their faces began to look up toward the sky in awe. I was sort of underneath a very tall building, so I took a step away and looked up to the sky. I saw colorful rays of light shining down in all directions. Then….I saw Him! It was Jesus with His arms outstretched. He had on a majestic white robe with a sash of red flowing from His shoulder to His feet.
My mind was racing and words were coming out of my spirit simultaneously. I heard my thoughts….”It’s real, it’s happening, this is really happening…” Out of my spirit came these words….”Oh my Lord, my Lord, I love You, I love You, take me, take me Lord, I love You.”
Then people began to rise toward the sky. I saw one of my daughters in front of me, and as she was rising, she looked to the person next to her, and I could hear her say “I’m so happy, I’m so happy.” We were in the motion of rising, when I was awakened from the dream. I was lying on my back and I could feel the sensation of a gravity pull. It felt like there were numerous large magnets underneath me and holding me down. I could not move at first because of the strength of the gravity pull sensation. Once I could move, I got up, wide awake, very alert, and then the tears began to flow because of what I had just experienced.
It is difficult to put into words an experience like that. Generation after generation has heard that Jesus is coming soon. They have heard it so much that they have become complacent to the thought. We know it in our minds and spirit because the bible tells us so, but how many of us stop for a moment in our daily lives and ask “Could this be the day?” For believers, the thought is always in the back of our minds. I don’t know why the Lord allowed me to experience this powerful dream. But, one thing I know… He IS coming sooner than we think! In the dream, it was just another normal day with people going about their lives….then…pow! The rapture began to happen. I was in awe….just complete awe!
The next day, the Lord led me to the scripture in John 3:2 ~ “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.”
I experienced this scripture. I saw Him just as He is! All I could do was profess my great love for Him. And I knew that I did not want to be left behind. What am I going to do about it? Who am I going to take with me? Who can I tell about Jesus that He is coming soon? Will it be someone walking down the street, someone in the grocery store, someone at the beauty salon, someone at the movie theater, someone at the Dr.’s office, my neighbor? Who will it be? Oh to burn with the fire of God in our bellies that would implore us to go out of our comfort zones and share the Gospel! Lord Jesus, help us! We have been empowered to share the Gospel. Everything you need to do is right inside of you. One step forward can save someone’s life from destruction….just one step. You will not be alone, the Holy Spirit will be right there with you all the way, giving you the right words to say. It feels so good to save a life.
Everything that you do affects the outcome of your destiny, determines how you walk out your purpose and shapes the person you become. Take a moment and let that sink in.
“For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.” Romans 5:8
Everyday decisions affect your destiny. Even the littlest of choices can have the biggest impact, whether you realize it or not. And most of the time, we don’t realize it.
There are 3 major things that affect the outcome of your destiny, determine how you walk out your purpose, and shape the person who you become:
1. What you watch – what you allow yourself to visually be a part of
2. What you speak – every word that comes out of your mouth has a purpose, you choose whether that purpose will be for the good or the bad
3. What you listen to – whatever you let go into your ears, into your mind, into your heart, and into your spirit
This reminds me of the children’s song: “O be careful little eyes what you see… O be careful little mouth what you say… O be careful little ears what you hear”
An article I read said the following regarding movies, but this can also be applied to TV shows as well: “For youths who lack a solid foundation in spirituality, movies become a pseudo-religion, forming the basis of their questions about life, their ideas about life’s purpose, about the spiritual world, and their connection to it.”
What we watch is key, what we allow our eyes to see. If we let ourselves watch things that focus on violence, for example, we become desensitized to it. We get used to seeing these things and our opinions of them begin to change. It’s as simple as seeing someone you know. When you don’t see someone for a long time and then do, it’s a big deal and it causes you to react. But if you see that person all the time, it isn’t a big deal and reactions lessen as it becomes normal. When we continue to watch something that isn’t right, and isn’t glorifying God, the door to the enemy is opened.
“But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him].” Matthew 15:18
Amy Whinehouse was the first British female to win five grammys, but was found dead at age 27 from a drug overdose. Some of the lyrics to her songs were as follows:
“They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
Yes, I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know, know, know
I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine
He’s tried to make me go to rehab, I won’t go, go, go”
“I cheated myself
Like I knew I would
I told you, I was trouble
You know that I’m no good”
Amy probably did not realize what exactly she was doing by continually singing these lyrics. We create our lives with what we speak out, we set the atmosphere. She spoke/sang out her end.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].” Proverbs 18:21
“What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6
Here is an excerpt from an article on the music artist Marilyn Manson:
Marilyn Manson’s second full-length studio album, Antichrist Superstar, was released on October 8, 1996. The process of making the album was reportedly a long and difficult one, highlighted by experiments allegedly involving sleep deprivation and near-constant drug use in an effort to create an environment suited to the album’s moody and occasionally violent content.
Wow! Drugs and violence birthed and nurtured his music! What kind of effect does that have on someone? In an interview with CNN, Manson stated that he went to a Christian school as a boy. He remembered people telling him not to listen to bands like Black Sabbath and Kiss, but in spite of the warnings, he began to listen to them anyway. Do you really think that it’s simply a coincidence that he became one of the most shocking metal artist who promotes violence, comes against God, and rips Bibles at his concerts? There is no way that it’s all just pure entertainment with no consequences or effects.
Where did the music you listen to originate? Even if we say we’re not really paying attention to what we hear or that we just like the beat, our spirit hears everything our ears do. For example, if we listen to songs that are full of lust, our thoughts will gradually change and become more and more lustful. This goes for any kind of music. If you make a decision to listen to music that brings glory to God rather than self and fill yourself with the Word, thoughts will begin to change, and if thoughts change, actions will change. “I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. “ Romans 12:1
We as believers are called to a higher standard. We are called to be different and to do different from the world. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
Queen Esther was a prime example of putting self aside to be a living sacrifice for God’s glory. She grew up as motherless and fatherless Hadassah, but God had a greater plan for her life. Esther had a choice. She could have thought of only herself and not stood up for her people. But she knew God called her there for such a time as this. “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16
She laid down her own will and made the choice to belong fully to God with her obedience. When we step past ourselves and let the Father step in, He is pleased and His will can be done. Everything that you do affects the outcome of your destiny, determines how you walk out your purpose and shapes the person you become. You make the choice. Choose to be spirit-minded in all things you do.
Life….What is the purpose?
Why have we been given air to breathe and steps to take? Some say “Live your life to the fullest.” Others say “Do what makes you happy.” But what does living your life to the fullest and doing what makes you happy actually accomplish? Absolutely nothing if it’s for you alone, yet absolutely everything if it’s for Him.
There’s a bigger picture.
You see, everything simply leads up to the Grande Finale in this theatrical play we just happen to call “life.” We have a choice of what character we play. Some say it’s predetermined; but really, it’s not. We always have a choice. No, we don’t always get to choose what happens in each scene or the people in it. But, yes, we choose what character we play.
Ephesians 1:5 AMP
“For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent].”
Ephesians 1:10 AMP
“[He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.”
He has destined us in love, leading up to the “climax of the ages” or as I earlier stated, the Grande Finale.
So who will you choose to be? Which character will you play?
Be careful in your choosing. Your actions, words, thoughts, attitudes…it all contributes to the character, the script, the scene, the location. Every day decisions we make without thinking twice affect our life more than we realize.
Say it’s a Friday night and I decide to have a movie night. What should I watch? I choose a scary movie without hesitation. I watch the movie, no problem. But is that really true? We are spiritual beings. Our spirits are never asleep. Our spirits are always aware. What is the purpose of a scary movie? To invoke fear. Without realizing it, by watching a scary movie, I have opened the door to fear. Who is the father of fear? The enemy. Therefore, I have just opened the door, maybe just a crack but a crack, nonetheless, to the enemy. Over time, all of the little decisions like the one I just illustrated, mold and shape the character we play.
So, again, I ask which character are you choosing? Do your decisions line up to that?
2 Peter 1:5-8 KJV
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus played the perfect character when He was on this earth. Fortunately for us, He left us a cheat sheet. His Word. The more we study this cheat sheet, His lines, His actions, the more our character will reflect His. Jesus was and is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the Almighty. I don’t know about you, but I want to base my “acting career” around Him and everything that He is. You can’t find anyone better than the one and only, true Oscar winner. That’s as good as it could get.
So, one last time, I ask, who do you choose?
Have you ever been in a season of waiting on the Lord? Waiting, waiting, and more waiting? Recently, the Lord reminded me that I need to wait on Him more. A few weeks ago, right before I was going to bed, He spoke to my spirit “Isaiah 40:31.” It reads, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” I need renewed strength. We all need renewed strength. Life’s journey can be tough at times. I love how God speaks! The very next day after He spoke Isaiah 40:31 to my spirit, I received an email about what happens to an eagle as he gets older. I was so enlightened and amazed at why God used the eagle in that scripture to teach us about waiting. I thought I would share it with you also.
“As an eagle gets older, their beak forms a crust and they lose their strength. They then fly to a high mountain and hide in the cleft of a rock where they peck at the rock until the crust falls off. They also lose their head feathers and grow new feathers. After the crust is removed and they have new feathers, their strength is renewed.”
There are key words and definitions pertaining to Isaiah 40:31.
Eagle = Has sharp vision and powerful wings
Wait = To remain until something expected takes place, to be ready
Renew = To make new or refresh again, to re-establish, to resume, to put in a fresh supply of
Strength = The state or quality of being strong, toughness, durability, the power to resist attack!
Mount = To climb, to ascend
Have you been waiting on the Lord? Waiting in His presence with His Word at your feet? “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105. Waiting expectantly until something takes place? Or did you grow weary in the waiting? The enemy desires to weary you in the waiting so that you will not gain your strength back and be a threat to him and his attacks. We must remain, waiting in His presence and expect something to take place, something you desire and long for, something the Lord wants to accomplish in your life. Waiting determines your outcome. The more you wait, the stronger you will get. The stronger you get, the higher you will ascend. The higher you ascend, the more you will be able to soar above those “crusty” things that would try to hold you down.
I think the majority of us had dreams we could fly when we were little children. Such an awesome feeling to ride above earth’s atmosphere! This is what God has provided for us in the supernatural realm. Isaiah 40:31 states it plainly. We wait… we renew our strength. We wait…we run and not get weary. We wait…we walk and not faint. Our society has succumbed to a “drive-thru” mentality that has even crossed over into the spiritual realm. We want what we want and we want it fast! God is so smart. He created the incubation process a mother goes through to teach us about waiting. Nine months is a long time to wait to give birth to a miracle! Each one of us has been incubated in the ‘womb of time.’ It is God’s time table, not ours. It is a specific waiting period designed by God to suit our individual purpose in the growth process.
God is imploring us to come before Him, sit at His feet, and wait in His presence. As we continue to wait in the cleft of the rock, which is Christ Jesus, He makes us new and refreshed, re-establishing our way. It’s an ancient pathway that has been traveled upon by many feet. It is a walk of faith, a walk of victory, a walk of renewed strength just like the eagle.
Would you like to join me at the feet of Jesus today? Waiting is not a negative, it is a positive. You might just be surprised what He whispers to your spirit while you wait. Ready? Here we go…Deep breath…inhale, exhale the life changing presence of God! Psalm 27:14, “Wait (wait in faith) on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, wait, I say, on the Lord!”
Where is your breaking point? If you know, are you able to control your emotions to ask God to step in? I think we all have a breaking point. Have you ever been so tired you can’t see straight? Breaking point. Have you walked in your own strength through a situation and nothing worked out right? Breaking point. Does your child or children zap all your strength and you just need reprieve? Breaking point. Does your job at times leave you throwing your hands up in the air? Breaking point. Or maybe you simply quit looking for a job because you can’t see the right one for you. Breaking point. There are countless people in the Bible who had a breaking point. Did you know that even Jesus, completely man, had a breaking point on the Mount of Olives? I would say that a breaking point is not a place where you step out or even check out of the situation, it is a place where we must learn to take it to our heavenly Father in prayer. Everyone has a breaking point which needs to be brought into focus and restored.
I bet if I took a poll of one of your favorite books in the Bible, many people would choose the Psalms. Why? Because we knew David experienced troubles just like you and me. He messed up a lot! It was through these breaking points, David always turned to God. It was his repentant heart and his love for God that every time David was forgiven and restored to right standing. The Lord told David, in Psalms 91:14-15, “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” God is our Deliverer!
Even Jesus had a place where He went to speak to God. The Bible said He would go to the Mount of Olives often to pray. Luke 22:39, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.” He often spoke to His Father and on this day, in that moment, He experienced a breaking point. He wasn’t changing his mind but he certainly was asking for confirmation. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.“ Everyone knows this verse but do you know what happened next? “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” (Luke 22:43) Some of Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples were “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” He knew if during their breaking points of life, temptation would overshadow them if they did not pray and bring their needs to the Father. My heart is overwhelmed, when I read that Jesus knew that unimaginable suffering was moments away, He was still pouring himself into these men (That’s your free part.)
We have lived in Duluth, Minnesota for over sixteen years and I have had countless breaking points in my life. I look back on many of them and see God’s hand leading me to greener pastures. I see other times when He tells me to release people for they are not my burden to bear. I have wept on a pillow and then soon heard the ringing of a phone call from a friend who brought me comfort. As long as my heart is right and I yield to Jesus, during my breaking point, He is sure to restore me to right standing. I soon realize those closed doors brought new direction and new focus. It takes self denial and faith in God for you to recognize that when you are weak He is strong. He will be with you in times of trouble and deliver you. The Word of God also says He will honor your obedience, with long life and salvation. Psalms 91 is one of my favorite chapters to read when I am at a breaking point. I know that my strength is not my own and under the shelter of His wings I will find refuge.
Remember, breaking points do not have to be an ending place or a missed opportunity. It may even be your salvation. If you allow Jesus to take your burden, the destruction of a situation, can be your first step to restoration and God making all things new!
This morning my husband told me that one of my flower pots fell over and broke. While I was disappointed, I picked up the large pieces and quickly thought how I could use this cracked pot. I felt The Holy Spirit chuckle at me, as if to say, “Robin, people are like cracked pots.” We all have some form of broken place in our life before meeting Christ. Jesus came to repair that broken vessel. Jesus looks at our lives filled with His purpose not our brokenness. The cracked pot once filled with rich dirt, saturated with water, and blooms must now be restored to something new.
The dirt of life is much like the dirt I fill my flower pots. This dirt may include fertilizer, twigs, leaves, cow manure, top soil and rock but these ingredients work together to make my flowers grow. It sometimes takes time or many seasons to enrich our lives, it may even take a tragedy to bring us to our knees but the objective is to enrich the soil of our soul to lift us to higher places. Without the rich dirt my flowers would have a short life. Jesus knows that our lives are not perfect, it may have some smelly places (cow manure), past sins (old leaves), or tragedy (rocky places) in it, but He uses this to create a story for His glory. Yes, our sins are forgiven but the consequences do not go away, but His favor can even turn those around as well at times. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” God will take those places and turn it into something for His purpose.
I know that without living water, my spirit would dry up with no hope. Jesus is that living water. My flowers bring joy to me and the broken pot just gives me another opportunity to restore it to new places. Where there may be scars from the consequence of past sin, Jesus restores the broken places back to Him. We have heard many stories of how God took a tragedy and gave new direction. Some of these people would even say that they are glad they went through this tragedy and wouldn’t change a thing. These people took a trauma and allowed the Holy Spirit to turn it into a training ground.
Cracked flower pots are a lot like you and me. The cracked pot may remain broken, a scar may remain visible but the broken flower pot can be created with new purpose just like our scars. The pot may be cracked or even in pieces but I see it as new opportunities to display God’s creation. From one cracked pot to another, I encourage you to GROW!!!
Spring time is a time when everything seems fresh and new. Spring cleaning is always a chore I look forward to as I remove things I have used in the house or cleaned a corner I haven’t noticed in months. Spring time is full of life and sounds of birds singing, trees swaying in the breeze as if to say, “Hear me Praise!” It is a wonderful time to take a walk and reflect on the goodness of God. As I begin to see life spring up in my flower gardens, I am reminded of the life that Jesus gave me. As I dig in the dirt, I am reminded of the sows and tears of the harvest and the souls yet to be reached for Christ. As I walk in my yard to pick up the fallen sticks, I think of the parable of Jesus as He spoke of pruning and cutting off the dead things in our lives. As I see the rushing water of a stream from the runoff from winter’s snow, I am reminded of God’s justice as it rolls over the streams and His righteousness is never ending. As I feed the birds, I think of God’s love for the smallest of creatures… even the sparrows (I confess, I feed the little bunny under my shed).
Sheila’s earlier posting spoke about tuning into the Holy Spirit and that posting spoke to my spirit. I am reminded to stop and be silent. Slow down and be observant to the people around me. The Lord tells us, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” (II Chron. 7:14) I believe humbling, praying, seeking and repenting is a part of the tuning in process. We must listen, stop talking, listen, and then listen some more. When God is trying to tell us something, we must discipline our thoughts to be silent and meditate on His Word. I am the first to admit this is an area I must die to daily. It is not easy to be still but when I am, I am sooooo BLESSED.
God is looking for a people to be silent and tune into His voice. To humble themselves, pray and seek His Kingdom. Spring time brings new life and the joy of staying in tune with our heavenly Father; it renews a right spirit (spring cleaning) within us all! Time for some spring cleaning!
I am no carpenter but my husband is. I’ve watched him frame many homes in his younger years. It required a blueprint and specific specifications which he had to follow according to the master plan. If he was off even by an inch the entire frame would not be level. He needed an exact measurement. If the foundation was not level, the frame work could not even begin. If his framework was not precise, the other carpenters and workers would not be successful in its design. God is all about the frame work. His very breath spoke each one of us into existence. He designed our frame. The body of Christ’s framework needs one another to sharpen, encourage, restore and in order to build God’s church. Without a teacher, how will they learn; Without a pastor who will shepherd and love the people; without a prophet who can see our frame intimately through the Holy Spirit; without an apostle who will bring order and establish churches; without an evangelist who will invite them to the most marvelous wedding they will ever witness. God needs his framework to work together. It is His design and master plan.
As a church, it is critical that we know we cannot form a church by standing alone. It requires the Body of Christ, the framework of God to build His church. He created each one of us before the foundation of the world to be a part of this frame. Churches around the world are imploding because they do not have the right framework. They may begin with a solid basis of foundational principles. They may even recite God’s Word but they do not have the complete understanding or the proper framework to be sustained. They meet socially, sing songs, reach the communities and dine at each other’s table while secretly many are hurting. A true relationship of trust and obedience was never established with Christ. Compromising the framework of God’s church will ultimately lead to collapse of the structure. It may start with a splinter which snags you as you walk by. If that splinter snag is not dealt with… it will fester and become a problem. A frame who has been split from an offense soon finds itself carrying jealousy, anger or resentment. A frame that has faced a life changing event but refuses to lighten its burden will soon find the load becoming unbearable. A frame which is out of place can prevent someone from moving forward and may take others with them. A frame which is warped by an offense may need to be removed if there is no repentance. They may need to come face to face with the woodpile before it can find its way back to God’s house. A frame out of place, out of their calling, brings misalignment to the Body of Christ. This church will not stand.
As an individual, we each bring our own frame to the Body of Christ, and we each have a part in His design. Where I am weak He is strong. Working together under God’s structure and design will strengthen and repair bridges if we will allow each other to operate in our gifting (our framework). For example, as a Christian, one may visit someone in their home who is in need. While another who hears of this visit may see a hurt before it is revealed through the power of the Holy Spirit. Another may know how to encourage this person and yet another may know how to provide tools to make these corrections. This is the Body of Christ working together. Never to condemn or place judgment but to repair the broken places, restore them to right standing and to send them back to their rightful place in God.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139: 14-17
The good news is that if we are inside the framework which God has made us for we will not only grow in His church but there will be an overflow of His presence to spread to others.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will rise up the age-old foundations; you will be called “Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
REMEMBER, there is always and “IF” God wants you to freely choose).
If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on My holy day,
If you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and
If you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words.
**YOUR REWARD for those who follow His framework: “Then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 58: 9-14