Thursday, September 18, 2014

Go Where He Is


"The bride will go where the bridegroom is. A bridegrooms friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom's friend, and I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." 

John 3:29-30

We are Jesus beloved, His bride. Are we fully willing to go where He is? Do we say "Lord, Lord" and then hesitate? Calling Jesus "Lord," accepting His sacrifice for us, so that we may have life, means commitment on our part. The message of Christ's love without the cross is not the full message of Christ. The cross, bearing our sin, pain, disease, anxieties, the punishment we should have borne! This is all taken so lightly. "Oh, thank you sweet Jesus for dying for me! I'm going to go continue on in my previous ways and just be grateful I am going to heaven."

We are now calling the King of Kings some watered down name. The name of Jesus---who heals diseases, makes whole, FORGIVES all of our sins, who bore pain for us, is treated as an accessory to our lives. Pressing into Jesus, going where the bridegroom is, takes diligence and hard work, self sacrifice---a reordering of our entire lives. He made the greatest sacrifice for us, and yet we are so unwilling to sacrifice for Him. Him whose example we are to emulate, yet we think there will be no "sacrifices" on our part!

Following where Jesus leads us means complete obedience. Our lives our ordered by Him, not us. We no longer follow our ways, but the way of the Master. Our lives are to be transformed. (Romans 12:2) Made anew in holiness and not conformed to this world. We follow where He leads, we let go of what we are asked to let go of in our lives. Sometimes we think this means only "the big stuff." Where we live, what job we have, what we do with our money. To be transformed and not conformed means looking at life through the lens of faith. We transform our life by removing that which is not pleasing to God, following His ways and commands, and listening to Jesus as Lord of our life.

This means being led in the small details of life. Just as the food we put in our bodies should be nutritious and not full of preservatives, what we put in our minds and hearts should be pure---not full of murder, lies, materialism or ideas/themes that are not of God's way! We make choices about what is put in our minds and hearts on a daily basis, not realizing that slowly it is building up a layer of sin on our hearts.  Wrong ideas and thought processes are slowly and stealthily absorbed into the mind and heart. Just as "junk food" would eventually cause disease and decay in our bodies, what we put into our minds and hearts can cause disease and decay.

Just because a tv show, movie, book, speaker, or even church bears the name 'Christian' does not mean it/him/her is telling the truth of Jesus. There are many 'alternate' gospels and interpretations making their way into many popular, mainstream Christian offerings today. We are called to holiness. To be holy means to be set apart, our lives slowly being transformed to be like Jesus. Our walking in holiness means a willingness to give up that which bears no fruit, corrupts and is not in line with our faith. It means being willing to go where He is, no matter the cost to us, or how different it will make us look.

Following Jesus means taking risks, something most of us aren't too comfortable with. It means critical thinking and examining all aspects of life. When Jesus calls, He means for us to follow. We aren't to stop to consult with 'experts', think it over for a few weeks, during which we come up with every 'logical' excuse not to follow what He has asked! Then we are not becoming, as John says, "less and less." We are then making "more and more" of ourselves by not following and making a 'god' out of our human reasoning and logic, which is almost always faulty.

Noah, when asked to build the ark, did not consult with 'experts.' God gave Him instructions as to how to build the ark exactly. David, before confronting Goliath, did not take a survey of who thought he could defeat the giant. Moses was directed by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He didn't stop along the way to consult others to see if he would find the strength to do it. Would any of these great men have done the work of God had they stopped to consult with humans? Jonah, who did hesitate (disobey) was swallowed by a whale, only to be spit out three days later, upon which he realized the only way was to follow God without hesitation!

Finally, Mary, who had just been told quite shocking news, who probably felt a lot of fear that she was to bear the Son of God said: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 

What if Mary had hesitated, argued, dilly dallied? Consulted experts of the day? She probably would have been told she was crazy, not to follow God and to simply continue on in her life as it was. She would have led a life without risk, a life of false comfort, and while God would have loved her just as much, she would have disobeyed and not experienced God's best.

May we be willing, like Mary and other great people of the Bible to truly go where God is, where He guides and follow only His voice, not mans, and not our own. This is truly the way to a life of holy success. When He speaks---in a whisper---may we say "Yes, Lord."

Prayer: "Lord, give me the courage to answer you when you call. Show me truth, your truth, in a world that blurs and discolors it. Show me how to live holy and set apart for you, to go where you are, not allowing any sin to harden me to your ways. Amen."

Things to examine on a path to following ONLY Jesus as Lord. Examine all things in light of scripture, and the truth the Holy Spirit sheds. The things we let in our lives matter, decisions we make shape and affect us, as well as discreetly begin to cover up the Truth.
~Tv shows/movies/music
~Books/Speakers listened to
~Ways of handling money and material possessions
~Examining if we are living God's call for our life, and things He might have us change
~Are we reflecting the world (look exactly like it) or are we being transformed in Christ's image?

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." Colossians 3:2

Thursday, September 4, 2014



"I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control." -Psalm 32:8-9



God is so often thought of as a big, overbearing being who couldn't possibly care about the small details of our lives. He is the opposite. He wants to guide us and advise us on our pathway of life. He didn't create us and then abandon us to walk this path alone. The only way to walk the path we were truly meant for is to follow God's gentle guidance. Sometimes He is forced to discipline us to get us to turn back to His path when we act like the senseless horse or mule.

Following God's path is not uttering a one time prayer with our lips yet turning and walking back the same way we came. Following God requires a transformation. Now we have turned to walk a new road. Sometimes this means a radical reordering of our thought processes and priorities. Examining societies ways and habits, thinking with God's ways in mind and allowing Him to alter our course is the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2

Jesus is our Lord, our perfect guiding shepherd. Our own will, the course of our days and the entire path of our life is to be devoted to Him and lived in submission to Him. Sometimes certain days and weeks are made harder by ourselves. We set the course of our day or week and it didn't go as we had planned. If we submit our time to Jesus, and trust that His perfect way will shine through that day and what He wills will be done, we find so much more peace. We are living in peaceful submission and not a chaotic tug of war with ourselves. Often His guidance for our time is not in line with what we thought was best but by following Him we learn and grow. How many days and weeks not lived in submission to God's plan turn into months, years or a  lifetime?

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46

How often do we cry out "Lord, Lord help me..." but are unwilling to do what He asks? We surrender parts of ourselves to Christ, but have we surrendered all? We've given Him the parts of our life that are easy and convenient to follow, the parts that fit our schedule. We have to give Him all and surrender control to Him. Even the parts that require a radical reordering of our life. We have to be able to do the work He requires of us so that He can guide us on the path that is best for us.

"You say, "it's too hard to follow the Lord" and you turn up your noses at His commands." Malachi 1:13

God's ways seem at times to be hard, but the truth is they are only hard because often there are few truly walking His path and we don't have many around us cheering us on. But we are to please God, and not man. God's ways are perfect. They are just, righteous and lead to peace and righteousness.
"But the path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18

The path God leads us on, the path of the just--- is His shining light and He guides us on it, molding us, loving us and gently leading our lives. He wants to know us and guide us intimately as a close friend and Father. We must trust Him that He knows best and pour out all of our cares, worries and needs big and small and trust that He is enough to take care of them all. 

A small child has to trust that their next meal will come from the hand of those that love them, they do not worry about where their clothing comes from and they assume that the details of their day will all be taken care of. This is the way God wants us to live as He guides on His pathway for our life. He wants us to lean on Him and count on Him like a little child. We can trust that with Jesus as Lord of our life, He will carry it all and take care of it all, we just have to trust, pray, and live in submission to His gentle care.

"Thus says the Lord: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said "we will not walk in it." Jeremiah 6:16

Prayer: "Lord, gently whisper the path I should walk. Turn my feet around and guide me. Help me to remember that all of my moments, hours, days and years are from you, and you are Lord of all, including my time and the details of my life. Help me to surrender to your ways and find true rest for my soul and know your peace." Amen.

"Plant the good seeds of righteousness that you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you." Hosea 10:12