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Saturday, September 2, 2017

9-2-2017          5 Things to get the Spiritual ball rolling

I look back upon my life and my relationship with Father though Jesus Christ and He points me forward to where the He is taking me.  The Holy Spirit helps me to realize one reality – though I have grown much since my salvation, I still have a long way to go in my relationship with the Creator of all things.

I don’t remember where “5 Things to get the Spiritual ball rolling” came from.  Normally I copy the URL from which I obtain information so I do know, but no URL.  Yet I feel that Father gave this to me from some other source.  My apologies to whomever.

In church, the topic of our Sunday AM bible study for the next several Sundays is “Promises of God”.  Where does one start? (LOL) 

When Father showed me this subject, I chuckled to myself because He’s showing me how so many things in this life dovetail together.  ‘Promises of God’, ‘Ge the Spiritual Ball Rolling’ and how the interface and intertwine with each other.  We can’t get the spiritual ball rolling unless we are standing on the promises of God.

To get our Spiritual ball rolling, we have to rely on, or should I say ‘learn’ to rely on God’s promises.  These five areas ae not titled, but refer to 1) our need and our acceptance of salvation, 2) setting fear of the unknown behind us, 3) learning how to hear and listen to God, 4) learning not to limit God and 5) coming to know and understand our benefits in our relationship with our Lord and Savior.

1.                  Focus on the positive

When I gave my life to the Lord, I had to trust Him.  I had to trust Him that His promise of salvation was indeed true and free and for me. Here, God’s first promise to us is that He loves us unconditionally.   

Jesus went to the cross for us so we might have eternal life, even before we acknowledged Him, while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).  So we have confidence knowing that when we vocalize (speak out) our belief in Jesus and believe in our heart that God indeed raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved (Romans 10:9).  We take further comfort knowing that he is preparing a place for us and He will come back for us so we can be with Him throughout eternity (John 14:1-4).  These promises are not just for our salvation, but to confirm it.

God does not desire evil for us so His thoughts for us are geared for our peace so He can work His work in us (Jeremiah 29:11).

He expands that to no matter what happens to us, as long as we are called according to His purpose (and abide in Him) all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28).  As we seek Jesus Christ, nothing is by chance but by heavenly design.

God has known us from before birth and has a plan designed for each one of us (Jeremiah 1:5).  All we have to do is ask, seek and knock.  God will answer us.  He will reveal Himself (and His will) to us, and He will surely open the door for us so as to continue our growth in Him (Matt. 7:7-8).

Our walk with Him is not always pleasant, though.  Just as we chastise (reprimand) our children, God reprimands us to keep us on track or get us back on track (Heb. 12:11).  So we see again, all things work to our good.  Wide is the path to destruction but straight and narrow is the path to life (Matt. 7:13-14).

So God approaches us from a positive standpoint.  Salvation is for our own good for when He first calls us, we surely aren’t deserving.  Then He guides us in His ways so we can be assured fellowship with Him throughout all time.  All so that we can be with Him, when that time comes (natural death or rapture). 

2.                  Overcome fear

Fear is our greatest enemy and God promises us that His love conquers all fear.  If we fear things, we do not trust Him completely.  We are not yet totally yielded to Christ because perfect love casts out fear, so those who are afraid are not yet in God’s perfect love (1 John 4:18)

I’ve operated in fear, in some form or fashion, for much too long.  I know that Father is the same yesterday, today and forever, but translating that into reality into my own life has always been difficult.  Too often I’ve not done good things, fearing the outcome may not be what I expect.  I’ve held my peace because I thought what I had to say would probably not be received or perhaps not even worth sharing or am I overstepping my bounds.  That’s me and that’s being afraid of how people may react to what I say.  And even though today, I say I don’t care what people think of me, I do care what they think of what I say.  I look at it from an ‘authority level.  Other people have more education, better position in life and/or credentials than I.  So I yield to the ‘higher’ authorities letting them take precedence.  Now this may sound good on the surface, honoring authority and position, but God has shown me (more than once) that when He has shared something with me that He wants shared with a group, I should speak it out and I haven’t.  Though He may not have told anybody else, whom I consider to be in higher honor or authority than myself (Pastor, bishop, etc.).

I have taken the yoke of Jesus upon myself (Mat. 11:29-30) and am still learning how to truly yield my life over to Him.  And that’s what ‘taking His yoke means – yielding to Him – all of me.

I have been slowly coming into the reality of boldly speaking in the Lord for He is my helper and when He is with me, why should I be afraid of what man can do to me (or think of me)? (Heb. 13:6)

When I was young, I looked at the ‘outlaw’ bikers and all the ‘tough’ guys and was concerned that they might kick my butt (I wasn’t a fighter back then, but neither was I a ‘lover’) I was afraid of what they might do to me.  Father has mad me realize that are people, just like me, no matter what the exterior image is.  And the same goes for famous people.  Father has been bringing to a true realization that even if someone can physically kill me, my soul belongs to Him and that’s where I’ll be (Matt.10:28).  So what is my problem?  Truly yielding my spirit over to the Lord, for I am persuaded that no matter what befalls me, unless I tempt the Lord, He has allowed it.  it was for my good, or learning.

Another truth I know in concept but have trouble truly realizing I if God is for me, who can stand against me?  Who can stand against the Creator of all things? (Rom. 8:31).  So when God carries my burden and picks up for me why do I fear what man can do to me? 

Trusting God is yielding to God (all of me) and yielding to God is learning to live in His love (John 15:7-11) and living in His love is casting out all fear (1 John 4:17-18) enabling me to do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)

Overcoming our fears is putting into action that which is contrary to our fears.  Should we be afraid to speak to people, be bold and take a chance and start the conversation.  Should the boss give us a new responsibility saying “I think you can do it”, especially if you’re feel inadequate, be bold and set to the task – you will most likely be pleasantly surprised and find yourself more than capable.

The only way to defeat our fears is to take them head on and don’t back down, but for heaven’s sake, be sensible.  Don’t try to fly without an airplane, a parachute, a glider  or wings (angel’s preferably).  We ought not to tempt God (Matt. 4:7), but trust Him in all situations (Prov. 3:5).  We speak with God’s authority and we serve with His strength, all for the glory of Jesus.  We shouldn’t think it strange when things come upon us, rather we should rejoice and consider it an honor to ‘suffer’ with Christ (1 Peter 4”11-13).  So I have to ask myself ‘why am I afraid?’
3.                  Learn to discern God’s voice

When we love God, we have to learn how to hear God’s voice and we usually hear God’s voice through the Holy Ghost who dwells within us (1 Corinth. 3:16).  God’s voice is that inner voice that guides us.  Yet it is NOT our voice. 

Samuel had to go to Eli, whom he thought had called him by name.  And yet, it took Eli three times to realize that God was calling his charge.  Samuel responded to God on the 4th call “Speak, for your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:8-10).  Samuel had learned to hear God’s voice.

While we are still on milk (spiritually young) it’s difficult to recognize God’s voice, but as we mature and the ‘meat of the word’ fills our heart, we learn to know God’s voice.  We know what is good, we know what is evil.  We have learned to discern what is the devil and what is God (Heb. 5:14)

The only way we really get to know God’s voice is to know the truths of the bible so we can learn God’s nature.  Jesus recognized a half truth when He heard it when He was being tempted in the wilderness and replied with the full truth (Matt. 4:1-10).  God’s voice will always be in agreement with His word.

Of course, we have to have personal prayer time with the Lord.  We have to commune with Him (Eph. 6:18 & Jude 20).  I speak, then I zip my lip and listen.  The Holy Ghost dwells within our hearts and that’s from where the Lord usually will speak to us.  The word of God is our gauge as to am I hearing God, or me, or something else?  Peter rebuked Jesus when He spoke of His pending death and Jesus fired right back, not rebuking Peter but Satan (Matt. 16:22-23).  In what you ask, who gets the glory in what you hear.  I didn’t say who might benefit.  I said who gets the glory.  If God does not get the glory, you are listening to someone else – yourself or a devil.  Peter may have thought he was doing thr right thing, but Jesus knew whom He was dealing with.  God does not glorify us, though we may benefit and receive favor from what He does.

We need to stop talking ‘to’ God or ‘at’ God start talking ‘with’ God to come to truly know His voice.  It is a two way street, sharing and listening.

4.                  Don’t limit God

I believe God can and will do all things.  I believe He IS the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8), BUT I still have problems accepting that He will do it for me.  I’m better than I used to be, but here is where I have a ways to go.  I know God’s calling upon my life and I know He will accomplish it, but if I trusted the Holy Ghost emphatically, I would do as He bids, first time, every time, no fear, no doubt, no hesitation and not wonder about how I’m going to get there.  Father has shown me my ‘comfort zone’, that area in which I am more than willing to work but He has also put a prayer into my daily life “increase me and grow me that my comfort zone will know no fear, no doubt, no hesitations.”  I am yet a work in progress. 

Through my doubt (of myself) I quench the Holy Ghost so He can’t operate as He is intended so He is grieved because He can’t do those things in my life He wants to - yet.  Jesus could only heal a few sick folk when He returned to Nazareth because of unbelief (Matt. 13:53-58).  And in quenching the Holy Ghost, I limit Him.

Understanding who God is and what He can do is one thing.  Believing it for the personal level is where He wants all His children to be so we can do all that the early apostles and disciples did and follow the great commission which is to go and teach all nations everything, everything, that He taught His disciples and passed down to us (Matt. 28:19-20).  The commission also includes us being able to cast out devils in His name (Jesus), speak with new tongues (our heavenly language) handle deadly serpents or drink deadly things with no harm and to lay hands on the sick and heal them (Mark 16:17-18).

God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Forever means that there is no end to who He is and no change in how He operates, even today.

After all, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) so all things are subject to Him (Eph. 1:20-23).  As all things are subject to Jesus (Phil. 2:10) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13) and because with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26) why should I limit Him?  I can only limit Him through my unbelief, my doubt.  Forgive me Father, for limiting your work in my life.

5.                  Plan of action

So my plan of action is to continue growing, learning what Father wants me to know and applying it into my life for I know that He is with me – all the way.  Father has already implemented a plan – in part.  Perhaps I should say He has started a plan for I am indeed still a work in progress.  But guess what!  I will be a work in progress until the day He calls me home, no matter what level of life I may reach at that time.

I grab hold of God’s vision for my life and make it my own for man will perish where there is no vision (Prov. 29:18)

I count the cost for my vision to come to pass (Luke 14:28), for I have to have a plan to reach my goal and I need the Holy Spirit to reveal that plan for He will lead me into all truth (John 16:13) giving me the understanding that I need (2 Tim. 2:7)

I need to ask God to show me, then open the doors (Matt. 7:7).

I write the plan down, in a logical progression of achievement.  I say here as the Lord shows me for He may not reveal the whole plan at one time, but take us from level to level as we are ready.  God is not slack in dealing with us (2 Peter 3:9) but does not put more on us than we are able to bear (1 Corinth. 10:13).  Everything is done in His timing (Isaiah 60:22). He knows our hearts (Jer. 17:10), what our very thoughts are and all that we do (Psalms 139:1-24).

I need to write down what I need to do in order to accomplish each task He sets before me as I grow.  My tasks could include education and practice (what He has given me) what I learn. He has already given me a number of books to read – and to learn.  They contain information He has said is necessary for me to know.  I’ve watched movies He has told me to watch to learn attitudes. And He has exposed me to different people for the same reason.

I need to start exercising what I learn as I go.  After all Rome wasn’t built in a day and even then not until after the first brick was laid.  Jesus didn’t turn His disciples out on their own the day He first called them.  But for three and a half years, He made sure they understood what they needed t know.

Practical experience breeds confidence.  We do it, we see that we can do it and that encourages us on.

As Confucius says a journey starts with the first step.  So once we get understanding of what God wants us to do and how He expects us to go about it, what are we sitting around for?

Get the ball rolling!

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