Monday, February 28, 2011

Refiners Fire

Have you ever asked God to bring you closer to Him? Have you ever said "Send me, Lord"? Recently I asked the Lord to help me to become a drink offering! Did I really mean it? Well, yes I did, but the flesh is real tough.

I asked God to turn me into a drink that is sweeter than wine and as fresh as the honey from its cone! I asked that it be a drink refreshing to others and that brings Joy to His heart and glory to His throne! I have asked the Lord to make that a priority in my life.

I have found that it does not come without His refining fire! Do you recognize it when it comes? Heck no, I did not. But if you bring your challenges to a trustworthy friend in Jesus, you will soon see how our heavenly Father uses others to bring about that drink offering in you. In order to bring substance to all this flowery talk, a challenge will come your way as it has in my life. Who would have thought-I am still dealing with myself centered flesh! Yep, I am. Are you?

Love those who are unloving to you, says the Lord. Love those who persecute you. Shower them with love and praises. Jesus says "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me". Ouch! That stung. I must reevaluate my heart motivation. I must seek His grace. In my own right I cannot do those things. But, with Jesus all things are possible. Uh-huh, is this what Paul means when he says he knows what to do and yet doesn't; his flesh is weak?

I want you to know I am preaching to myself. Just chime in at any time. Lord you are so strong and I am so weak. Can I do to another as I would do unto you? Can I trust you will follow through if I dare to step out it faith? There is so much more I need of You-Your will, Your desire for my life, and Your love to flow through me. I need You more than ever before Lord. In a deeper, wider, higher way I need to be grounded in You!

Is this possible, I ask of myself? The Bible tells us "Everything is possible for one who believes". Do I dare and do you dare to believe?

Make the journey with me, come singing praises to our King as the Refiners Fire turns us all into pure liquid GOLD!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are We That Far From the Truth?

Exodus 34:24
I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.

The Lord's promises to you are yes and Amen! In this scripture He promises to drive out nations before you and to enlarge your territory! What nations are they? Are they like the legion of spirits Jesus cast out of the young man. Those spirits found themselves driving pigs crazy and they drowned themselves in the water! Are those the nations? Are they those things that do not resemble His character, those things that resemble our human nature which is filled with pride, self-righteousness, and judgmental spirits towards people, places, and things?

Well if you are like me, you are probably dealing with some of that! I like enlarge territory, don't you? But there is work associated with that enlargement. For me the work is submitting myself to God, leaning on Him and not my understanding. For me it means less of my self-worth and more of His being put into me. Well the work is not in the doing. At most, it is about letting Him do for you and for me. By His grace we will be set free and by His grace we will resist the devil and who will flee from us!

You might be saying "Been there, done that." Yeah, me too! However the more I seek Jesus in all His ways the more I realize He has for me to change. The scripture goes on to say that no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God! Whoopee. That means no one can steal from you and I the things the Lord has given us.

So what is the catch? What does the "if" clause mean for you? What does going up three times a year to appear before the Lord mean for you? For me it is important to set some time apart from the activity of life so I can be face to face with the lover of my soul.

Exodus 34:25
Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Festival remain until morning.

Verse 25 goes on to say not to offer your life as a sacrifice with pride involved. "Yeast" is sin and so is pride. Can you replace "yeast" with another word that fits for you?

I pray that for the rest of our lives we serve the Lord. 65 may be the age of worldly retirement, but there is no retirement from God's purposes in your life or mine. The sacrifice of the Passover feast does not remain until morning. The sacrifice of our "lives" will continue to serve until we take our last breath.

Practice silence by separating yourself from others. It will bring you to an audience of ONE with the Lord. I have tried it during part of the retreat I was recently on. It is true. He awaits your audience! And I know He is beckoning for me to come to Him again!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thoughts of Revival!

Psalm 85:6
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Revive us again O'Lord.

Steve Camp and Graham Kendrick sing out "Revive us O Lord, Revive us Again!" Yes, we are born again, but are we walking with Jesus? Have we lost our luster, our glow, our zeal for the Lord? Answer these questions for yourself and consider if you need another touch of His fire!

What was going on in your life when you allowed Jesus access to your heart? Were you desperate, empty, lethargic, or down and out in some way or fashion?

For us to be revived we should seek His face and turn from our sin and humble ourselves before the Lord. Ok, you might say that you are no longer in the sin or lifestyle Jesus found you! But are you growing more like Him or are you satisfied where you are at?

Our glow, zeal, luster comes from our seeking, searching, and submitting ourselves to the Lord's will for our lives. The peace that passes all understanding continues to sweep over us bring us refreshment and renewal and releases us to share with the dying world around us.

I would like to compare ourselves to a beautiful delicate flower that is parched and in need of nourishment-water. Have you ever seen such a plant? I have. My own. When I neglect my African violets, their leaves become droopy and their blooms wilt before they have an opportunity to show forth their beauty. Then I finally notice and bring them water. The plants comes back to life, leaves spring upward, and the flower opens up with full color and beauty.

The plant must be watered with just the right amount or it could drown with too much water. For the believer, there is no limit to the nourishment we can receive from the Spirit of God. If your walk has been dulled by the earth's pleasures and you have been distracted by business, allow a visitation of the Holy Spirit to water you. Are you thirsty and hungry for a fresh touch?

Today I pray that the Lord will dig a deeper well within you, so that you will spring forth with a fresh revelation of His love and desire for your life-reviving you once again.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Part Two: The keys to Practice for the New Year

Have you tried to implement any suggestions from Part 1? If you have or are considering them let me know. Let us share with one another our successes and failures so we may be of encourages to each other!

Philippians 4: 8-9
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (untroubled, undisturbed, well-being)

1. Make it a point to be healthy, eat healthy, think healthy, and speak healthy!

Our God is the God of all spiritual growth, all natural growth, and He is the God of all character growth! If we can change our thinking about what is good and what is healthy for our spirit man as well as our natural man we will become healthy. What people hold in their hearts effects them spiritually and physically and emotionally

Psalm 19:14
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

2. Manage stress by meditation during times spent listening to music of the Lord, day dreaming with the Holy One about those things He is speaking to your heart.

We all live in some sort of stress these days. Financial and emotional stress can bring on physical illness. Washing ourselves with the Word of God will calm our emotional man and bring balance to our minds and bodies. This will produce fruit of the Spirit in our lives and will enhance our living in victory. These are the fruit that Christians aspire to attain in Christ Jesus: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance

Matthew 19:26
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

3. Exercise. Get physical by walking, joining a gym, taking up that high school sport... Vacuum the house with gusto. Pray in the spirit.

Managing stress is all about taking charge (self control): taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life which includes time with God, time for family, time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun - plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. This is only possible because of the inner workings of the Holy Spirit in you. No one can do it alone or with another! Others in Christ can encourage, but ultimately it is up to your surrendering to the Lover of your soul-our Heavenly Father.

Well now, I know this has been a tall order, however, we are called to excellence and He is able to equip us and lead us into all truth. You might want to take a couple of these suggestions and incorporate a discipline or two into your life. Personally I believe these simple bullets will enable us to press into 2011 in great faith.

4. Finally, but not the least, please continue to pray. Prayer is often our great comfort, strength, and hope. Prayer is the way we talk and commune with our Divine Father, our Brother, Jesus and the Spirit of all Truth that resides within us all.

Love to all, dianne

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Part One: Practical keys for the New Year

One Scripture I have found comfort in is "Can the clay say to the Potter, 'What are you doing?'" (Isaiah. 45:9). There have been so many times that I have said to God "What are you doing?" Though I do not understand His ways, I do still believe I will see the "goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13).

If you think you are at this same place in life do not count yourself alone. You have many a brother and sister in this same place and it is the cause for chaos, tension, irritability, and much discomfort. Does that ring any bells? You might not even realize it is happening to you. A loved one might mention your mood swings or your unpleasing remarks toward them. If they love you they will approach you in love without defending themselves in the process. Let us pray for our love ones!

I have created some guidelines to implement in my life. Today I want to share those with you. Believe me I have not mastered these techniques. However, I am in the process and I am punching through to the other side.

Are you ready? Here it goes:

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones

Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

1. Laugh and the world will laugh with you. Laugh at yourself, laugh at your circumstances, laugh at your mistakes, and the Joy of the Lord will give you strength.

Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

2. Practice Forgiveness. Forgive others and most of all forgive yourself. The Lord has forgiven you and saved you from yourself and your sin. If you are struggling in this area find a friend who will pray with you and not judge you.

Ephesians 2:10
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

3. Give yourself to others. Make cookies for a neighbor, volunteer for meals on wheels, etc. Seek the Lord and He will give a place where you can give of yourself to others! Good works are evidence of grace operating in your life.

Mathew 22:37
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Isaiah 40:3
A voice is calling, Clear [sweep] the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God

4. Get organized and prioritize your time and your life. Priority in life should be first God, spouse, immediate family (living with you), job, and recreation. Create an atmosphere of peace by getting rid of unnecessary things. This helps create space and a cleaner and more orderly environment. Also, a cleaner environment can help prevent illness and foster good physical health. On a more spiritual level, an orderly environment can create room for positive thoughts that can turn into Godly actions. A cluttered environment contributes to stress and can be the cause of illnesses such as hypertension, asthma, depression and anxious. We can do without the latter.

Okay, okay. I began with these four points and next week I will continue the process to a healthier New Year by covering three more. Meanwhile, keep the faith. Work it like a muscle and allow the Holy Spirit the passage way to your heart.

Love to all, dianne