Tuesday, September 9, 2014

God is Faithful

God is faithful. That’s all she wrote.

Well, okay. That’s not exactly all she wrote but it’s all anyone needs to know. If only we believed it, there would be such a radical shift in human behaviour the world would turn on its end and we would experience “heaven on earth”.

The reason we can’t or won’t believe God is faithful is because we see him through our own unfaithfulness. When Peter declared Jesus is the Anointed One, the Son of God, it was a revelation of the Father, by the Holy Spirit and not of himself (Matthew 16:16-17). The same is true when we grasp the revelation of God’s faithfulness.

According to dictionary.com, faithful means: strict or thorough in the performance of duty; true to one’s word, promises, vows; steady in allegiance or affection, loyal; reliable, trusted, or believed; adhering or true to fact, a standard or an original.

God is faithful to his word. For simplicity, and for argument’s sake, pretend God hasn’t uttered a word or promise since we’ve been handed the Holy Scriptures. If the Bible is the only word(s) God has given his church (it’s not because he continues to speak today), he is faithful to finish every incomplete promise. Nevermind about the length of time it may take. When God spoke to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3, He gave him a directive, “Go, to the land I will show you...and I will make you a great nation.” When Abram set out, he didn’t know where he was going, but God was faithful to give him a glimpse (Genesis 12:7). In Genesis 13:14-17, God reiterated the promise of land and a nation of descendants. Again, in Genesis 15:1-21, God again gives Abraham a promise and add to it - it won’t be fulfilled for another 400 years.

Mankind’s lifespan was already shortened to 120 years by the time Abram received this promise so he knew it he wouldn’t be around to personally collect, but still God remains faithful. Despite the obvious setback (Abram and Sarai were old, and past childbearing years when the promise was given), or the tests (God tested Abraham to sacrifice Isaac – the only heir to the fulfilled promise), God was still faithful.

We read about the commencement of the fulfillment of the promise in the exodus story. The literal seed of Abraham had become a great nation, and the Lord brought them to the land he had already promised and shown Abraham would be for his descendants. The fulfillment is still unfolding, even to this day because the promise also included the blessing would be for all nations, which includes Israelites and Gentiles alike. It was a promise, and it was meant to continue on expanding.

In the Psalms, David tells us to taste of God’s goodness (Psalms 34:8) but to feed on his faithfulness (Psalm 37:3). A taste is a taste, fleeting and not sustaining, but when you feed on something, it’s like gnawing on a bone. It takes time and it will sustain you. You can grow fat from what you feed on, but a taste won’t make you fat.

I encourage myself and remind others of God’s faithfulness to his promises – the ones we read in the Bible, and the ones He gives to us personally. If they haven’t been fulfilled, then the story isn’t finished. Keep eating, feeding on his faithfulness.

#40lessons: Isaiah reminds us the word of the Lord does not return void, and no plan of God’s can be thwarted. His plan is unfolding to bring about his promises. He is faithful, that’s all we need to know and believe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It Takes One to Know One

Do you remember being on the playground as a child and hurling a verbal insult at another child and him or her replying, “It takes one to know one.” Perhaps you were the one being insulted. Or perhaps you were like me – observing but not participating in the cruel nature of playground behaviour (*wink). There is truth in the old adage – it does take one to know one. Of course there are exceptions and it shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule (another day, another post), however the truth is, we respond or react to the ‘me’ we see in others.

I learned something new (or at least remembered afresh) from my Boy’s middle school’s lesson on ancient civilizations in Socials Studies. Many cultures, including ancient Egypt, believed their leaders were god-man beings; both god and man and as such no one else would be their equal, except another god-man. When I reread Exodus 7:1, “You will be like god to Pharaoh...” another layer of revelation was revealed. Not only did Moses need to be set apart from the Hebrew slaves (he was raised in the palace), but he needed to be at least equal to Pharaoh. Pharaoh saw himself as god; nothing less than being a ‘god’ would suffice.

Paul said he became like all men, just to win a few (1 Corinthians 9:22). My heart is tender towards the new age community; I feel called to free the captives locked in the world of occult and inferior power. To do that, I’m being trained to develop my prophetic gift and know their language so that the light and the truth I carry will be clearly seen and received.

What is the task before you? You will win favour and a place to engage because God will equip you to “be like them” so they will receive your message (the gospel).

#40lessons: God will give you the reputation you require to finish the task prepared for you.

Monday, July 21, 2014

As the Crow Flies

I’m quick. In school I was usually the first one to finish exams, I can be showered, and ready (with make-up and hair styled) within 15 minutes. I eat quickly. (Yes, I know. It’s not good for me.) I read quickly, and even my flag and dance movements are more hurried than others. I live in anticipation, and I want to be ready and grounded for what’s coming.

Some things can’t be hurried; you can’t hurry the time it takes to grow a human, nor can you hurry character development in the Christian life which is why I could have also titled this post: Lies Christians Believe #7, The Promised Land was only 11-days Away.  Ever heard the term, “as the crow flies”? It’s supposed to be the shortest distance between two locations but in reality, how often have you ever travelled ‘as the crow flies’? I’d bet it hasn’t been many times; even if you start out on a shortcut, inevitably something blocks the path and we have to go around it.

It maddens me when I hear (usually with some pompous disdain) the Israelites journey from Egypt to the Canaan would have been 11 days, but the reason it took 40 years was due to their continual disobedience. It makes me mad because somehow I feel I might have taken a wrong turn, and my [real] life should have started a long time ago. The truth is, God never intended to lead his people ‘as the crow flies’ (Exodus 13:17).

God’s plan was (and is) to lead his people into victory. Sometimes I feel as if I’m behind time, like I should be further along my journey than I currently am. It makes me anxious. Joshua 3:4 tells us to keep our eyes on the Lord and he will guide us. Why? Because we have not gone this way before. It’s one of my favourite verses; it calms me down and I can trust the One who leads me. God is leading me to victory and if I have to go around the mountain, instead of through it, I’m okay with it because that’s the way of victory.

Sometimes victory isn’t fighting any battle, sometimes victory is avoiding it altogether. Just like he lead the Israelites into the wilderness instead of into the middle of the Philistines territory which would have been a shorter route. Time is in his hands, he’s not bound by time, nor are we bound by anything when we rest in his hands.

#40lessons: God leads us into victory, and it isn’t always the shortest route. You are not behind his timing if you are looking at him.

Monday, July 7, 2014

This is 40!

I’ve had my eye on my 40th birthday since I was 25. It’s been an increasing build-up of anticipation, looking toward to the promise of the Promised Land. Fifteen years ago, the Promised Land was merely a pleasant idea of wealth and surplus but most of all my goal was ease – in life, in love, in finances, and a spiritual cakewalk.

As each year passed and I grew closer to my 40th year, my mindset changed from my goal being an easy life, to desiring my life to be built up and rooted in a loving covenant relationship with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I realized it’s what I would require to sustain me for the long haul because the Promised Land may be my inheritance but it was going to be occupied. Like the Israelites before me the current tenants didn’t know they were being evicted.

Knowing I would be facing a battle to claim my Promised Land, I began serious training several years ago. Too often history tells the stories of men and women who started out admirably, but failed to finish well. They ended up either failing completely or continuously living with a thorn in their side. I don’t want to be among those who fail to finish. I want to finish well, and leave a legacy of abundant inheritance for my Boy and his generation and the generations after him. I don’t want to be disqualified for lack of focus, or burn up energy on battles I was never intended to wage.

Training is most effective with a knowledgeable coach; who is better than the Holy Spirit? I learned new weapon training (2 Corinthians 10:4), received new armour (Ephesians 6:10-18), and totally became a new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). I’m ready and I’m primed for the Promised Land.

Yesterday, I finally completed my 30s and joined the 40s club. The Israelites learned everything they needed to know in the desert which would enable them to take possession of their inheritance and their promises. The first five books of the Bible have long since been my “go-to” Bible reading. The books are rich with life lessons, to know myself and even more importantly to know my God. The lessons aren’t just for me; come along for the journey this year. It will be #40lessons from the desert to the Promised Land.

This is 40!

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