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In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' (discussion) on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

7-18-2020 God is For Humanity

This morning (7-9-2020) has been strange.  Normally, I spend time with my blog, then 8-9 AM I’ll have breakfast, then start my morning session with Father. 

Interesting how this works out.  Father put a couple into my life just about the time Covid-19 hit in March.  They had been living just a few doors up the street with another person but the house they were in was condemned and they were about to become homeless so you can guess where they’ve been for the past few months.  Not only homeless but he had been jobless for some time, as well.  However, since the beginning of Covid-19, Father has blessed him with a job from a company that manufactures building supplies and which pays decently (PTL).  Public transportation has not been convenient for the hours he works so I’ve been somewhat of a taxi.  My time has not always been my own as my schedule has been frequently rearranged.  This AM, Father rearranged my rearranged schedule.

I’m going to share my heart about three things Father showed me this particular morning.  It’s interesting because they all came within an hour.  I’m sharing my spirit with you so I may not refer to a lot of scripture (as the Lord leads).  So, sit back, buckle up and hang on.

I usually check my e-mail in the AM, what’s up with family, friends or other posts of interest. Two things caught my attention. 

I tried, not long ago, to gather biblical info from a sight called “Quora Digest”.  It had a byline which peaked my interest.  I didn’t join, but (I guess) because I looked, now they send me updates via e-mail.  This particular AM, in Quora, the question was asked “Why do some say that the God of the Bible is actually a derivation of an earlier Semitic god?”

Part of the argument is that Abraham, who is considered the father of the Israeli nation, emerged from what we would call a ‘pagan’ environment.  Note that Israel did not have its own territory until after Moses brought them out of Egypt and Joshua brought them into the ‘promised land’, which had been promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-8), @500 years or so after Abraham.  Moses died and the God took 
Israel, led by Joshua, into the Promised Land (Josh. 1:1-9). 

Quora states that in Abraham’s time, people worshipped many gods and history bears this out.  History reveals that the Sumerians (who are credited with creating written language) and the people of the Indus Valley (in India) had been around @2000 years before Abraham and they apparently worshipped many gods. 

However, what Quora doesn’t account for is how man, after a period of time, though beginning with God, deviates from God’s words as they get farther separated from the original source.  This has been true throughout Israel’s history.  God would bring Israel back into alignment, then they would stray.
Now, Adam and Eve were given the run of the Garden in Eden.  They could do anything or partake of anything they desired except to eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 1:26-31, 2:7-9, 2:15-17).  Once Adam and Eve were ‘booted’ from the Garden and started having children and grandchildren, man started forming his own ideas as to who God was.  Read the rest of Genesis, Exod., Lev., Num. & Deut., Judges, Kings and Chronicles.  Read the prophets!  When they messed up, Israel would repent and come back into God’s fold, but after a generation (or even maybe just a few years) man was continually forming his own opinions about God and started heading off in his own direction.  We even see the same trend in the New Testament.  Paul had to write letters to the fledgling churches because they had quickly strayed and were sidetracked from what he taught them about God (1 Corinth. 4:1-17).  Not even a generation.  Depending with whom we agree, a generation is either 30 or 40 years.  After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul’s ministry lasted about thirty years (@35 AD - @ 65 AD).   It doesn’t take man long to stray from original teachings.

All those people (before Jesus) had the same root.  Originally Adam, then the flood came leaving only Noah, his three sons and their wives as the only human life on earth, that’s eight people.  It wasn’t until the tower of Babel that God started spreading man out across the earth (Gen. 11:1-9).  As man spread out, he got farther away from his roots.  And the farther he got from his roots, the farther he got from the truth.  Man tries to explain things in terms he can understand o which suit him the best.  So, of course, today, he uses his ‘wisdom’ to explain not who God is, rather to explain God away so that there is no obligation to follow His rules.  I wanna do it my way!

As man has become ‘smarter’, he has created ‘rationale’ as to why things are (or perhaps are not).  Man becomes very comfortable in developing rules that he can break or change when the mood strikes.  God gave Adam freedom with two rules – take care of My garden and don’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Then God gave Moses (to give to Israel) the Ten Commandments which contained five “dos’ and five restrictions (Exod. 20:1-17).  How long did it take Israel to get amendments to those original ten requirements?  Israel quickly, to justify themselves, asked “what if?”  God replied “because of the hardness of their hearts (Matt. 19:8), He would allow adjustments.  Man has been saying “what if” ever since. 

God created the angels, one third who fell with Lucifer/Satan and the two thirds who stayed with the Creator of all things (Rev. 12:4-9).  Angels are servants, whether Satan or Yaweh (Jehova, God the Father) and they do serve one or the other.  No one can serve (obey) two masters (Matt. 6:24).  Father has charged His angels to serve those who inherit eternal life (Heb. 1:13-14, Psalm 34:7-8), the true children God (obedient to His Word).

Demons can pose as ‘other gods’ because even Satan, himself, was an angel of light (2 Corinth.  Angels are powerful beings 11:10-14), more powerful than man.  So, it shouldn’t be surprising that they can seem to be something which they actually are not.  Satan demands ‘no loyalty to the Creator of heaven and earth’.  In turning man from the Father, he leaves man with only one alternative.  And the end of that is not pleasant (Rev. 20:10-14).

It is no surprise that Quora argues as they did, for this argument takes away responsibility to the living God who loves us (whether we believe it or not).  No responsibility removes (in man’s sight) the need or requirement to abide by God’s rules.  In actuality, this puts man into anarchy – do what I want, when I want or how I want, everything is OK as long as I’m good with it.  Even though taught right (in the beginning), man quickly strays from he had originally learned.              

On a Facebook post, I saw a post about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemming.

Growing up and in school, I was aware of only two black personalities, George Washington Carver and Frederick Douglas.  Carver developed a concept of crop rotation to regenerate soil depleted by the continual planting of cotton and developed many uses for the peanut (d. 1943). Frederick Douglass escaped slavery in Maryland to become a renowned social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer and statesman and (in my knowledge) being noteworthy for standing his ground for his beliefs (d. 1895).  He rose from being a uneducated slave to promoting equal rights for all humans.  People can rise up out of not so good beginnings!

I feel that no matter what I say here, somebody will be upset but I asked the Lord go give me the words especially here.  Sally Hemming was a slave owned by Thomas Jefferson and by whom she mothered at least six children.  Jefferson is one of our nation’s founding fathers.  This item, of course was posted on Facebook in respects to “Black Lives Matter”.  Now, what I’m about to say is not condoning, but rather a statement of what was.  Egypt was ruled by both black and light-skinned pharaohs.  All who enjoyed mighty kingdoms built on the backs of slaves.  Question – because their empires were built upon the backs of slaves, should Egypt discount centuries of their history?   
I am Caucasian (white - OK, off-pink) and I consider the good things that have happened to me.  I thank God for blessings and favor.  As I was faithful to my Lord, on an 18 grade scale on the US government pay scale, He raised me from a GS4 to a GS12, without a college education!  GS13 and above were either supervisory or professional positions (college degree).   About half of my tenure with FDA, my supervisor was a younger black woman (also with no college degree).  Though our paths separated, we both experienced a degree of success with minimal ‘documentation’.

That was in the ‘secular’ world.  In the churches, until Father put me in the current church I attend and except for the Baptist preacher, whom Father used to lead me to Christ, I wasn’t as fortunate.  In that Baptist church, Pastor Hartsfield must have seen something as He offered me the opportunity to help others AND grow myself.  My wife and I had the task of teaching children who were bussed in and missed too much of their Sunday School sessions.  My wife and I taught these kids during church regular services.  Alas, Father moved me out of that church because they were not equipped to carry me to where Father was taking me (I’ve learned later).  On a regular basis, I’ve attended, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist (sporadically) and a large variety of Pentecostal churches (including the United Pentecostal – ‘Jesus only’).  For me, personally, I had limited opportunities for growth and even fewer for service – unless, of course, I was in the ‘inner circle’ (which I wasn’t).  Remember, I’m just saying what happened to me.  I’ve learned over the years that Father was putting me where He wanted me, when He wanted me, even for time where I felt there was not a church I could really fit into.  I do feel I have (somewhat) of an insight to rejection (from the church) but Father has brought me beyond that.  Understand that no matter where I was (or wasn’t) Father was teaching me.  All my experiences weren’t idle or unnecessary but He was showing me that there are indeed wheat and tares in the church.  And over the years, a thing or three about His love.

Now, though people may get angry with me and though I’ve not been in the exact same situation, I do feel I have some experience with being put down and not being permitted to better myself. At least being stifled by those whom I thought would support me.  Was I hurt?  My ego surely was.  Did I seek revenge?  Definitely not.  I did set those things behind me and continued to look for what Father had for me.  Some may say “That’s easy for you to say!” and they may be right, but what I am saying is don’t get mad and give up, but keep trying the doors.  Opportunity is there.  Find it!   And, yes, I’ve forgiven those whom I felt were against me.

Now, I’m not black, but my enemy has used people of all color to ‘keep me down’ (in the world’s eyes),  BUT God has used people of all color to build me up as well.

And as I was eating my breakfast, a third item caught my attention.  I watched the show “Touched by an Angel” (TBA).  When it originally aired, my wife & I watched TBA because their stories were always moving, having a strong ‘faith’ content.  The episode “God Bless this Child” was no different as Monica (an angel of the Lord) was encouraging a young black girl to hang on to her dream of singing while giving up her path into drugs.  Monica shared with ‘Charnelle’ the story of Billie 

The young black girl was angry with whites, mankind and (in general), even God for dealing her such a rotten hand in life. Having lost father, mother and even her brother, she was living with grandma.  Monica took Charnelle to the museum where they met with grandma.   The girl’s grandma shared with her how she had learned to forgive and to love through letting Jesus into her heart.  Talking about the various pictures in the ‘black history section’, grandma explained that in the one picture, it was her brother hanging from the poplar tree and two of the white people watching were a playmate and the playmate’s father.  Black history was personal for grandma and no longer being just an abstract image, history became personal for Charnelle.  Listening to her grandma, by the end of the show, Charnelle decided not to pursue the drugs, but to hang on to grandma, with whom she was living, and her dream.  And she figured that maybe God wasn’t so bad after all.  One has to see the episode to feel the power of love overcoming anger and hatred.    

Now, all this to say this - with Black Lives Matter, COVID 19, all the social unrest of today – Father has had me take a step (or two) back to look at the ‘big’ picture.  Yes, ALL of these things matter, but Father has taken me out of the physical realm and had me look with spiritual eyes.  Whether we realize it or not, we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood.  Unfortunately, that IS where we all wrestle (all too often) and that’s where we stand and fight.  And as long as we stay in the natural, it’s a losing battle.  We’re fighting more powerful forces than mere humans.  We fight against spiritual forces.  Wait a minute!  Wait a minute!  God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13:5-6)!  Correct, but we also have to stay in God’s will and trust Him (Mark 11:24).  We have to continually seek Father’s guidance in all things.  When we don’t, we’re out there in our own strength.  Satan and his cohorts are stronger than us.  They are angelic beings (though ‘fallen’ as it is) which makes them stronger than us in the ‘natural’.  However, we have Jesus living within our hearts (Matt. 28:20) in the form of the Holy Ghost.  Through Jesus (who strengthens us – Phil. 4:13), through our faith, we have the ability to stand firm and overcome anything the devil may throw at us.  But we Have to trust the Lord (Prov. 3:5-6)!

How much do we really trust God?  Paul and ‘Silas were in stocks in jail.  As they demonstrated their faith by singing to God.  Father freed them (Acts 16:23-40).   Likewise, Peter was in prison when the angel came and brought him out of chains so he could return to the other disciples (Acts 12:1-17).  
The apostle Paul was willing to die for Jesus, if necessary (Acts 21:13).

As I said, we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood and that’s where Satan would like to keep us – fighting in the flesh.  BUT we fight against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness in this world and spiritual wickedness in high places` (Eph. 6:12).  In short, our true battle is with spiritual entities.  An angel, bringing an answer to prayer to Daniel was delayed as he fought a spiritual battle (aided by Michael – Dan 10:10-14).  Peter told Jesus that they (the disciples) would not let anything happen to Him.  Jesus then rebuked, not Peter, but Satan, who prompted the words (Matt. 16:20-23).  The root of our problems is spiritual and they must be addressed in the spirit or they will never be resolved. 
Satan is laying the foundation for the anti-Christ.  Satan is separating humans!  Keeping us apart and driving various wedges of separation deeper and wider. 

The Book of Revelation tells us that when the anti-Christ rises up he will cause people to take a mark (“666” – Rev. 13:11-18) on the hand or forehead and we won’t be able to buy nor sell without that mark.  A false sense of unity.  But in reality, we technically won’t exist without that mark.  Look at and think about what’s going on in the world today!  Credit and bank cards are convenient but cards are a part of the system and the system can be controlled by the push of a button or the flip of a switch.  Who sells on E-bay and Amazon?  Who buys from them or even from other stores on line? 
Hatred compounds the wars and rumors of war cited for the end times (Matt. 24:4:1-31 –v6).  The bible tells us they will be here until the end.  Think about the ‘mark’!  We’re quick to use our credit cards.  Like sheep, we’re quick to follow the crowd.  COVID 19 has us practicing ‘social distancing’.    No, we don’t want to spread sickness, but a little common sense should also be exercised.  Satan is using the situation as an attempt to isolate people.  He’s trying to isolate neighbors.  He would isolate families if he could.  There are already too many single parent homes and Satan wants to divide that even more.  Those who make the decisions are promoting home schooling via electronic interaction instead of the social, in person interaction which help us to communicate with others better as opposed to being our ‘own island’ – alone.  Not in unity (unless we take the mark)

In my lifetime, I’ve seen the struggles for integration and racial equality and now I see the ugly head of segregation rise up trying to drive a wedge into that progress.

I keep seeing how Satan keeps trying to take God, Creator of all things, out of the conscious mind of men.  “God’s dead”!  I don’t want my child exposed to religion (God) in the schools!  Keep the church and state separated!  We are a nation founded on God’s principles.  Now let’s ‘just’ cast God out?

Everything just happened – by chance.  Poof!  All these molecules just (by chance) happened to come together in the right sequences to create the various forms of life!  There’s no such thing as ‘intelligent design’!  God is a figment of ‘weak’ people’s imagination!  Even science tells us that the atoms and molecules coming together, as we see them today, has ‘bucked’ phenomenal odds – by the admission of even those same scientists. 

And yet we continue to fight in the ‘natural’ wondering why God let’s these things happen!  When things go wrong ‘how could God do this?  When things don’t go as we think they should, we wonder why God doesn’t fix it.  God has given us free will and through that we mess things up but, then expect God to fix it.  We want all the benefits without any of the responsibility! 

We say ‘God is dead’ yet we expect God to ‘not let things happen’.  God gives us freewill to make decisions.  We do reap what we sow!  When we make a bad decision we should repent. We need to make things right.  The Thomas Jefferson and Charnelle situations are examples of man making bad decisions, but also doing good things.  Yes, Jefferson owned slaves but he also helped found one of the most powerful nations on earth.  Yes, Charnelle was choosing (in her hurt) to do drugs, but in the end the made the right choice.  These examples emphasize the struggle we have with things in the ‘natural, but unless hearts change those conditions won’t.  And only God can truly change a heart.  

God is love and He will fill us with His love – if we let Him.  When this happens, then we will start seeing social issues change.  No matter who we once were, God’s love can make us who we are now.
Whether one agrees or not, God has made us all.  Satan knows this.  He also knows that there is strength in numbers and when we stand in unity (in Christ Jesus) it is his (Satan’s) kingdom that will fall.  We are more likely so succumb to the wiles of the devil when we stand alone.  We need to unite in ‘true’ love in Christ Jesus (our example).

Satan desires that no human join God in eternity.  But it is God who has opened the door to life.  That ole devil is still pissed that he couldn’t overthrow God so many (however man) millennia ago.  Father has given the devil certain leeway to prove men’s heart (read the book of Job), but it is the Father who has the final say – in the end.  We need to stand in unity with Jesus. 

I know a lot more could be said, but I pray this will get some to thinking about with whom we truly fight.

Yes, when we invite the Creator of all things into our heart, through His love, God is with us.   We discover that ‘yes’,  God is for humanity!     


Saturday, July 4, 2020

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, if I see something on the web, I copy the URL from which I obtain information.  Father may show me things, in the bible, birds in the front yard, a road sign, I may hear things, whatever.  I do know this concept may not be ‘original’.  I have no recollection of what inspired this topic.  Father gives me the topic then builds on that to show me what He wants me to learn.  If “5 Things” was on the web (I don’t remember), my apologies to however it originated, but thank You (Lord) for the spark it presented.

I do remember that for the month of Sept. 2017, our Sunday AM bible study theme was to be “Promises of God”.  I originally put the “5 Things” blog on 9/2/2017 post.  So the Holy Spirit may have used preparing for Sept. theme or something else in late August to stir this up.  Yet nearly three years later Father has said let’s revisit this issue.

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’, ‘Get the Spiritual Ball Rolling’ and how they 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 live in God’s promises.  These five areas of this discussion are not titled, but refer to as 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 (John 3:16-17, Rom. 5:8-9).  Aside from accepting Jesus there is nothing we can do to gain or earn eternal life (Eph. 2:8-9).

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 all eternity (John 14:1-4).  These promises are not just for our salvation, but give us hope and to confirm our eternity.

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) and our growth (Deut. 6:24-25).

He explains that to no matter what happens to us, He has called us according to His purpose (to abide in Him) so all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28).  As we seek Jesus Christ, nothing is by chance but by heavenly design.  Father guides our steps (Prov. 16:9).

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 (Rev. 3:20-21).  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 eternity.  All so that we can be with Him, when that time comes (natural death or rapture).  Read (especially) John’s gospel and his letters.  What’s love got to do with it?  Yet the whole bible shares God’s love for us so we can know that we can be with Him (1 John 5:13-15).   

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 God 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 4:18-19).

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 (am I overstepping my bounds).  That’s me and that’s being afraid of how people may react to what I do or say.  And even though today, I say I don’t care what people think of me, I do care that they receive the good things I say.  I’ve also looked at things from an ‘authority level.  Other people have more education, better position in life and/or more substantial 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, no matter who is present.  Even if I am the bottom of the barrel.  At times I haven’t.  Though He may not have told anybody else, whom I consider to be in higher honor or authority than myself and more worthy to receive His Word, He chose me.

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).  After all, God gives me what to say (John 12:11-12).

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’ [lol]), I was afraid of what they might do to me.  Father has helped me realize that they people are people, just like me, no matter what the exterior image is.  We all have confidence and fears.  We have a God-given talent to do some things well and minimal or none in others things.  And the same goes for famous people.  We’re all still just people!  Father has been bringing me  to a true realization that even when I consider someone better than me, my soul still belongs to Jesus and when this life ends, that’s where I’ll be, with Jesus (Matt.10:28).  And it is He to whom I am responsible.  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 things into my life.  It was for my own good, or learning.  That’s why Paul said to ‘Praise God in all things’ (Psalm 34:1, 1 Thess. 5:18).

Another truth I know in concept but have trouble truly realizing is if God is for me, who can stand against me?  Who can stand against the Creator of all things? (Rom. 8:31, Acts 5:34-39)).  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, again) 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 thus 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.  People may listen.  Should the boss give us a new responsibility saying “I think you can do it”, especially if you’re feeling 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).  Know our limitations!  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?’  Poor self-image is not an excuse (though I’ve used it).  Truly trusting in the Lord overcomes self-image (or anything else) for when we truly trust Father, the Holy Ghost in us overcomes those things we fear.
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.  Have you ever said “I don’t know where ‘it’ came from but …”?  The Holy Ghost IS where ‘it’ came from!

Samuel had to go to Eli, when he thought his teacher had called him by name.  “Yes Rabi?”  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 not just to hear but recognize God’s voice.

While we are still on milk (spiritually young) it’s difficult to recognize God’s voice out of the many we may hear.  As we mature and the ‘meat of the word’ fills our heart, we learn to know God’s voice.  As sheep, we come to know our Master’s voice (John 10:14, 27-28)).  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).  We even come to realize that God has been talking to us all along – we just haven’t been listening.

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 (God is love).  Jesus recognized a half truth, when He heard it.  When Jesus was being tempted by the devil, in the wilderness, He replied with the full truth (Matt. 4:1-10).  God’s voice will always be in full agreement with His word.

Of course, we have to have personal prayer time with the Lord.  One on one, Mano e mano (or may I say ‘womano e mano – lol).  We have to commune with God (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’?  Our prayer life helps to confirm His voice – the more we hear, the more we know. Peter rebuked Jesus by saying that he would fight for Him and Jesus fired right back, not rebuking Peter but Satan (Matt. 16:22-23) who had motivated Peter’s words. 

So, 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 the right thing, but Jesus knew with whom He was dealing.  He plowed right through Peter going straight to the source of the words spoken.  God does not glorify us, though we may benefit and receive favor from what He does.  That doesn’t mean He won’t edify us.  ‘Good job’, or ‘way to go’, encourage and build us up, reward us (blessings), but God reserves the ultimate glory for Himself.

Know people who carry the conversation and you just can’t get a word in edgewise?  How do we feel?  We need to learn to recognize God’s voice, then listen to it.  Knowing God’s Word (the bible) is the first step in knowing God’s voice.  Communication is a two-way street.  We need to quit just talking ‘to’ God or ‘at’ God but start listening to God as we commune with Him.  We come to truly know His voice.  Talking, then listening, that’s communication!

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.  The worthiness of my own self-image.  I’m better than I used to be, but here is where I still 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 accept and 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 in serving You.”  I am yet a work in progress. 

Through my doubt (of myself) I quench the Holy Ghost so He can’t operate in me as He is intended.  He is grieved because He can’t do those things in my life He wants to do. I don’t let Him - yet.  I remember, Jesus could only heal a few sick folk when He returned to His home, Nazareth, because of the people’s unbelief (Matt. 13:53-58).  God will not force Himself upon us.  It’s our choice (Josh. 24:15).  Jesus is in me through the Holy Ghost. Ergo, in quenching the Holy Ghost, I limit how Jesus operates in my life.

Understanding who God is and what He can do is one thing.  Believing it at 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 heal the sick, diseases and to cast out devils in His name (Jesus) (Matt. 10:1, Luke 10:1-17), 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 (Heb. 13:8).  Forever means that there is no end to who He is and no change in how He operates, even today.  We get confused because Father is so long suffering.  He endures our stupidity for a season for He desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9) and yet, understanding that, He won’t wrestle with us forever (Gen. 6:3).  He does ‘bear’ with us until we are ready to move to the next level.

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 any given 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 need 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, as I press forward, He will open the doors (Matt. 7:7).  But I have to implement what He has shown me.

So, write the plan down, in a logical progression of achievement.  Here ‘as the Lord shows us’ for He may show us the goal of the plan, but then He may reveal to us each 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).

We need to write down what we need to do in order to accomplish each task He sets before so we can see our growth.  Our tasks could include education or practical experience, then we need to put into practice what we have learned.  Personally, He has given me books I needed to read – as He puts those truths into my heart.  They contain information He has said is necessary for me to know.  I’ve watched movies He has told me to watch and observe attitudes. And He has exposed me to different people and things for the same reason.  And He continues to do so.

Father has shown me through the years, the emotions we experience are not uncommon to man reminding me that Father, too has emotions.  We desire friends and companionship.  Father desires our companionship and Jesus calls us ‘friend’ (John 15:13-16).  We desire love and Father tells us to give to receive.  Father not only gives love but He desires us to give love back.  We do this by abiding in His will via His Word.  I also show love for God by loving those around me (Matt. 25:34-40) by helping them by helping them as I can.  Helping them to become better people, having their best interests at heart. 

I cannot physically embrace Father, giving Him a hug, but I can allow the Holy Spirit freedom in my heart.  He gives me a ‘spiritual’ hug which is ten times greater than a ‘natural’ hug.  A ‘spiritual hug’?  By letting Him fill me with HIs love.  A place, where even for a moment, I have yielded completely over to Him.

We need to keep exercising what we learn as we go.  After all Rome wasn’t built in a day and even then not until after the first brick was laid and even then one brick at a time until the building is built.  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 to know.  And even then, before He ‘cut them loose’ He gave them a trial run (Matt. 10:1, Luke 10:1-20).

We have to have a plan of approach.  Father may show us the end goal, but then reveal each step to get there as we become ready.  We need to write it down (so we don’t forget).  We need to look at our ‘battle strategy’ to stay focused on where we are going and to see what Father has already accomplished (in our lives).

Practical experience breeds confidence.  We do it (God is with us), we see that we can do it and that encourages us on.  Putting it into practice is activating (doing) what Father has given us.

As Confucius says a journey starts with the first step.  So taking our first step is giving our life to Jesus.  Father will then show us what He wants us to do and to know and how He expects us to go about doing it (1 Sam. 15:22-23).  What are we sitting around for?

Get the ball rolling!

I know this seems a bit long, but Father said I needed to revisit this and share it again.  I’ve just given you what He has given me.  I know that I needed this again. I suspect that someone else out there needs this, as well.