Posts Tagged ‘future’

God Shaped

“…but now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)

According to the experts, clay has to be in the exact center of the potter’s wheel. If not, then the clay will eventually tear apart and become marred in the potter’s hands. The desired result will not be achieved and the beauty in the potter’s imagination cannot be released.

I find it helpful to remind myself often that I, as a believer must stay centered. We are as clay, and God (the ultimate Potter) shapes us into the masterpiece best suited for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship (His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) We must be in the middle of the Master Potter’s wheel, if we want to become suited for Kingdom success. Our anointing, the touch of God upon our lives and the flow of spiritual influence; is hinged to staying focused on Christ. At the very center of the Potter’s Wheel is the most vulnerable place, and the most wonderful place; to live your life!

Needing a Savior:

The first step of being in the middle of God’s will is to recognize we need a Savior. We have fallen short of God’s original intent and we need someone to lift us up onto the “Potter’s wheel” again (Rom. 3:23-24). That position is where something significant can begin to take place. Being centered in Christ means we live a life of full surrender to what God, the Master Potter, wants to do in our lives. Surrendering to Christ allows Him to remove the most significant barrier – sin, and restore our originally designed relationship between the Potter and His clay. When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, He becomes our Savior and everything becomes new… our hearts, our focus and our future (2 Cor. 5:17).

Trusting His Lordship:

The second step is allowing Him to become “lord” and follow Him as His disciple. In order to see the kind of spiritual transformation we need, we have to submit our lives to Him. The Greek word for “lord” is kurios, pronounced koo-rios. In Ephesians  it says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2). Note that the Apostle Paul recognizes Jesus as our Lord and God as our Father. When Christ is truly Lord in a person’s heart, He becomes supreme in authority and is allowed to govern the heart and mind by grace. Something to remind ourselves, is that grace is a favor that the Holy Spirit opens up to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18) as we learn to walk in humble obedience to the Father’s will and purpose for our lives (Jms. 4:6-10). Through the practices of prayer of reading God’s Word, (the Bible) we are awakened on the inside (our spirit) to the force of God’s shaping hands. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work transforming and renewing our minds to follow His will for our life.

The Master Potter:

God is the ultimate craftsmen, shaping us with His hands and perfecting us for His Glory. We trust Him to mold us, to shape us into a vessel fit for Kingdom use. It requires faith to believe in something you haven’t seen, but as you process all that God does within you spiritually; there is an assurance that grows and shapes even the way you think. The Bible tells us that there is a renewal of strength (Isa. 40:29-31) and a restoration of heart (Psa. 63:3-7) that comes as we position ourselves before the Father. This is because He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. He sees in us something beautiful, something we cannot see, something that He alone will cause to emerge. And emerge it will… to display His pleasure, power and passion!

Remind yourself today that you are: “His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

If Only

This is what the Lord says- Your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:17-18)

“If Only… you had paid attention to My Commands!”

These words echo in the heart of those who live with regrets. We have all found ourselves off track to some degree… with strange perceptions, bad choices and wasted opportunities. Many times in our self-absorbed lifestyles, we think that we are doing the right thing or going in the right direction only to find out that we have been wrong. We hit the wall or reach the end of the rope and cannot find our way out. Some have so damaged their future that recovery would require a miracle. Life is not something we should guess at or rush into, but problems are often the high price we pay for trying to please everyone around us. Perhaps you have felt the shame and embarrassment that follows these words… “if only I had paid attention” to God.

Losing Peace:

God has given us all that we need for life and godliness in His Word and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:2-4). He knows what is best for us and He desires to teach us those things, because He loves us. Unfortunately we sometimes refuse what God teaches us and insist on doing our own thing. When we do this, we eventually find that we have lost our peace and our life gets full of unnecessary problems and difficulties.

God is Gracious:

God will not leave us in our confusion if we are willing to return and recover what has been lost. His arms are always open for us and He is always waiting for our return. Although we hear within our soulish man, “If only you had listened”, God does not leave us in defeat if we will come to Him in faith. We often beat ourselves up with the “if only’s”. If only we had not done this or if only we had done that instead. But in spite of what we have done, there is hope in God!

God holds out a wealth of righteousness… His Mercy, invites us into a fresh peace that flows like a river and washes over us like the waves of the sea.

Shifting the Focus:

We cannot change the past, but we can shift the focus and live beyond the regrets of the past. Jesus tells us, “YOU ARE FORGIVEN!”. This changes everything inside of us, when we know we are free of the past, free of the guilt and free of the entanglements. The chains that have held us fall lifelessly to the floor, so we can begin anew. We can begin today with the right choices and listen to God’s instructions for Kingdom life. We can begin now with fresh perspective and limitless possibilities. In return God will cause us to walk in the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

Life to the Fullest:

Have you gotten off track and done your own thing only to find that you have lost your peace and brought unnecessary problems into your life? Take ownership of your future and shift the focus… living beyond your regrets is a matter of choosing who gets to speak into your heart. God’s invitation is not to control you, but to free you to enjoy life to the fullest.

The key is to hear His heart: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you.”

Still Going Deeper

“And he (an Angel) showed me (John) a pure river of (the) water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1).

“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar” (Ezek. 47:1).

There is a River that flows freely from the throne of God!

This supernatural resource of the Holy Spirit, which runs through the Temple in Jerusalem, also flows through us (1 Cor. 3:16). In the same way that Solomon’s Temple was “filled with the glory of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10-13), you and I can be filled to overflow with the same manifestation of His Presence in our lives. The Prophet Haggai prophesied about a greater glory coming to the Temple (Hag. 2:1). God intends for that increasing glory to flow through us.

Living in the River:

As believers we are in the River, but we must ask ourselves – how deep are we willing to go? How far will we allow the Holy Spirit to flood our lives? Are we merely standing at a safe depth to accomplish our agendas?

Have you noticed that children love splashing and playing in wading pools where the water is only ankle deep? Our early salvation experience is often like that, we got in up to our ankles and splashed around, suddenly exposed to the amazing things God can do. But are we still in that place, satisfied with surface things when God is calling us to maturity and a deeper commitment? Can we risk losing control or look foolish at His command? Are we willing to go deeper; to move in signs and wonders, believe in miracles, healings or deliverance? Have we ever thought that God would use us to touch people where they are?

Going Deeper:

As we begin to seek God and pray, letting go of agendas in exchange for His purposes in our lives… we go deeper. We ready ourselves to stretch beyond our comfort zones, trusting that He knows what He’s doing in us. And while this is a very good thing, it tests our character and our faith. As the water reaches our waistlines we find that movement is far more difficult. The Holy Spirit wants to change us, exposing pride, selfishness or unforgiveness.

Neck deep in the River, shakes our confidence and calls us to completely identify with Christ (Gal. 2:20). It is at this level that many Christians turn back, because moving is hindered by the deep water. It is at this place where the Holy Spirit begins to ask for more sacrifice and we begin to surrender our future to a higher call. In trusting God’s purposes and risking our own lives, we come to know the abundant resource that flows from His Throne (Heb 4:16). And while it feels as if you can’t go any deeper, I promise you my friend there is much more!

In Over Our Head:

As we go deeper still we must let go of the firm footing beneath our feet, learning that we must swim in order to stay alive. In the River of God we must let go of our security and allow the Spirit to take us where He wants us to go. And while we all like to feel as if we’re in control, its here that we begin to experience the true freedom of the Spirit. Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who has control and once we know and trust God, we can abandon ourselves to His tender care and mercy. It feels very risky, but it is actually the safest place for the believer to abide.

Its Up To Us:

Where are you in the River of God today? Ankle-deep? Knee-deep? Waist-deep? Neck-deep? Or way over your head? Ezekiel tells us of this river experience, but it’s up to us to determine where we will live. Still going deeper brings healing and joy; but most of all it will release us into the increased Glory of God!

Power of Persuasion: Part 2

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (Jn. 8:44)

Truth is… Reality from God’s Perspective!

Lies are Counterfeits:

Faith comes from hearing… lies also come from hearing, but not from the Words of God. Sadly, like faith; lies inspire actions… they “persuade” the listener to follow or behave in a certain way. Like faith, a lie requires that you pull from a source of information. People sacrifice for faith, because they know that they are choosing well. A sacrifice for a lie is a blind and foolish choice. It might feel like a right choice at the moment, but the difference comes in the harvest. Faith reaps something good, while a lie deceives and betrays our heart… bearing a heavy price. The quicker the lie is removed, the less damage it can cause.

The Heart of the Liar:

Liars, lie because they lack a foundation of Truth for their personal identity. They really do not know who they are. To lie is to pass on a false impression or hold out a false picture that others will believe to be reality.

Dens of Iniquity:

The environment of a liar is a den of iniquity, filled with falsehood, human logic and self absorbed reasoning. Anyone that deceives another person is exchanging the Truth of God for lies (Rom. 1:25). They are making agreement with darkness and releasing an atmosphere where all kinds of evil is allowed to have dominion. Those who receive liars and deceive, bring judgment upon themselves and their hearers (Rom. 1:18). Unrepentant liars have made a spiritual covenant with the devil to speak from his resources.

Remember – a Liar is “fathered” by lies!

Clarifying a Liar’s Heart:

  1. Lies are a cover for poverty. Lies numb us from an awareness of weakness or lack (Rev. 3:17). Lies are empty bricks in the foundation. When pressure is placed upon these hollow blocks, they will crumble. Building upon lies will lead to the spiritual structure falling.
  2. Lies forfeit the future. Lies cost us our integrity and our character. You cannot go deeper with God or man by living in lies. Life in honest relationship is a proving ground for promotion. Your future depends on your will and your success in walking in truth. Your gift may make room for you and bring you before kings (Prov. 21:6), but to stay in that room or stand on that platform requires character and integrity.
  3. Lies are built on outward appearances. Lies become all the reality liars possess. They pose and pretend, seeking approval from those of legitimate substance. Deceivers are hungry, but empty; because they cover up their lack rather than getting their needs met appropriately. Liars seek the acceptance of others like a moth to a flame. For a liar, to be in a church is to be “righteous”, like being in a garage makes a person a car. As silly as it sounds, appearances are the only reality the liar has, because they are the most deceived of all. Satan enters into the liars heart and takes dominion in order to destroy both the liar and those who will listen.

Discernment:

It takes the anointed eyes of Christ to see it happening, as Jesus saw it happen in Judas at their final Passover Meal (Jn. 13:27-28). The Apostle John told us to test the spirits to see if they are of God, because there were lying spirits in the world set on promoting evil and infiltrating the Church (1 Jn 4:1-6). The Apostle Paul said the days are evil and there are wiles of the devil that we must stand against in these days (Eph. 6:11-13).

Repentance and Truth – Set us Free (Jn 8:30-36)

Freedom in Truth:

Honesty is the beginning of recovery. Humbling oneself breaks the power of a lie. The preacher needs to get free from his own sin. The boss needs to stop robbing his employees. The husband needs to deal faithfully with his wife. Some can never stomach honesty, because they wait too long to try. We must all throw light upon lies, if they are to be removed … especially if those lies are our own (Jn. 3:19-21). We must commit ourselves to truth (Prov. 23:23).

Live in Truth!

This is a call for all followers of Christ, especially His leaders, to abandon the “father” of lies. We must thoroughly renounce and reject a lying spirit. We must handle the things of God in an open and honorable way (2 Cor. 4:2). Removing a lying lifestyle involves breaking covenant with the “father” of lies through prayer, discipline and loving the Truth.

“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight.” (Prov. 12:22)

We must hold ourselves accountable to the Truth!
We must fear God enough to yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit!
We must love God more than outward appearances!

Power of Persuasion: Part 1

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (Jn. 8:44)

When a lie is removed, the enemy loses the power of persuasion! Satan cannot stand in Truth, because there is no Truth in him. His pursuit is to kill, because he is a murderer; to steal, because he is a thief… and to destroy, because he is the father of lies. No question God’s Truth matters. In fact, Truth is our foundation… we must be people who embrace the Truth, speak the Truth and guard the Truth.

Our Spiritual Gardens:

A lie does not tell itself or grow by itself. It uses the soil of the human heart. Lies are like weeds growing in the midst of other plants in the garden, but they steal resources, drain energy and choke out good growth. Also, like weeds, a good gardener will pull them out as quickly as they are spotted. We must be like Christ and learn to discern a lie quickly, or else it will begin to rule the garden. It will try to “father” us.

Context:

Truth has a context… and that “context” is Christ and Scripture. Truth is reality from God’s perspective! Perhaps that is the first and easiest contrast to draw between truth and lies. No liar wants you to put things in context or dig around at the original source! Anyone can quote a Bible verse to prove their point; but the devil, the “father” of lies aims to deceive. The devil did this with Christ by pulling truth out of context (Mt. 4:1-11). Yet, fully equipped in the truth, Jesus boldly stated, “It is written!” Only the Words of Truth bring freedom from satanic lies. The Bible speaks of itself when it says, its alive and active like a two-edged sword that cuts between soul and spirit. Its a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the human heart (Heb. 4:12). The more we rely on the Word of Truth, the more clarity we have and the more confident we become.

Truth is reality from God’s perspective!

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