Friday, March 13, 2009

My right to chose cannot be taken.

In small group last night, one particular phrase stuck out to me, "When God's promises are no longer feeding me, I must feed on His faithfulness." We were talking about the story of Joseph (Gen. ch. 37-47) being sold into slavery, sent to prison and rising to a place of blessing and leadership. Stories like these help me remember God's faithfulness. Before group last night, I was having a bad day. Satan had really gotten me down about the details. So naturally I reached out to my support group. I am always amazed, although I shouldn't be by now, at how God gives me the answers I need and then confirms them multiple times, as long as when I ask, I'm willing to hear!

It actually started the night before. It was so bad, I couldn't seem to open my mouth to pray. It was like Satan had laid a burden on me so heavy I couldn't speak. Now, I've had nightmares about this very thing. Where I'm battling a demon and I'm unable to speak, and in this dream I rely on my spiritual support group to fight for me by speaking the scripture for me. In the dream, this causes the demon to flee, allowing me to speak again. My spiritual support group is my mom and grandmother. In the dream they are there.

My grandmother had sent me some political email about the current economy which opened a conversation about some of the issues I have been dealing with, so I responded to her email with some thoughts and a request for prayer. After I sent the email, I called my mom and spoke with her about some of the things on my mind. We had a rather lenghty, tear-filled conversation. But the summary of what she said was...,"Satan can't take what's most important from you, no one can except you." God was able to remind me, that life can only get me down if I let it.

In small group last night, the story of Joseph reminded me to be faithful, even when I can't see the end. Joseph is an amazing example of someone that went through very difficult circumstances and remained faithful to God. He became a great leader because of the strength he developed from his circumstances. Even Christ had to be tried in order to become perfect. (Heb. 5:8-9) The Bible says, I will be complete through the testing of my faith. (James 1:2-4) It also says, " Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18) This was definitely true of Joseph. He suffered tremendously, but how much more and far greater was his reward?! We ended last night with this thought, "In Joseph's limited freedom (slavery/jail), the one freedom that could not be taken from him was the right to chose his response to all that had happened to him." Again God reminded me that the choice of how to respond to life's circumstances is mine.

Late last night, I checked my email, and my grandmother had sent me the following prayer by Rev. TD Jakes. I hope you will all take time to pray this prayer with me daily. Christ says, "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matt 18:18-19)


Bless me, even while I’m reading this prayer, and bless the others, that pray this prayer with me, in a special way. Open supernatural doors in our lives today. Save and set free! Give us a double portion of your Spirit as we take back everything that the Devil has stolen: emotional health, physical health, finances, relationships, children, jobs, homes, and marriages.

I cancel every plot, plan and scheme the enemy has devised against us in the matchless name of Jesus. I declare that, “No weapon formed against us will prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17) I speak life into every dead situation. And, I thank you that nothing is over until You say it’s over! I speak prophetically into our lives and to our situations. Our households are blessed; our health is blessed; our marriages are blessed; our finances are blessed; our businesses are blessed; our jobs are blessed; our children are blessed; our grandchildren are blessed; our parents are blessed; our siblings are blessed; our ministries are blessed; our decisions are blessed. Husbands are on the way; wives are on the way; mortgages are paid and debts cancelled. Our "heart’s desires" (Psalm 37:4) are on the way, according to your perfect will and plan for our lives.

In Jesus’ name,

Monday, March 9, 2009

Making One's Calling and Election Sure

We are beginning a new series in our small group about offense, and how Satan uses offense to deceive the believer. I was offended recently by my church. What I didn't realize is that it was my pride that caused me to be offended, not the actions of anyone at my church. That pride was causing me to be useless to God.

God actually dealt with me about this back in the fall before I ever started this series, but during the first week of the series I was able to see, in hind-sight, what God had been doing. Back in the fall, God really convicted me that I needed to stop worrying about what I wasn't being asked to do, and start saying yes to what I was asked to do, then do it to the best of my ability. I started to realize that God would give me the opportunities to serve Him, and I didn't have to go looking for them or be offended that I wasn't being asked to do certain things. I complained to God for over a year about how I wasn't being used to the best of my ability. It wasn't until I stopped complaining, and started doing, that I was most effectively used by God.

Satan had me deceived that my motives were pure, but the fruit of my life should have told me otherwise. If my motives were pure, then I would have seen results. Instead, I was in a spiritual stalemate, battling an enemy that was not my church at all, but pride. I was reading in II Peter 1:3-11 last night, and God revealed to me why I have been so much more at peace about knowing that I am operating in my calling, and why I was so spiritually ineffective and unproductive before. I was focusing on the reward or recognition for the calling itself. After I stopped being so prideful and began listening to what God was leading me to do, I was able to focus on the right things, which I discussed briefly in my previous posts.

God has given me everything I need to accomplish His will in my life through the divine power of the knowledge of Him. I am able to escape corruption when I focus on God and not myself. For the first time in my life, I am realizing exactly how to get where God wants me to go and finding peace in the knowledge that God has it all figured out. God is very clear about how to make my calling and election sure; I am called to "make every effort to add to my faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."

I hope this will help any of you who, like me, have struggled with being in God's will and fulfilling His calling. Be encouraged that, "the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:3-4)

Father God,

Thank you for the opportunity to know You more and to serve Your kingdom. Forgive me for allowing Satan to deceive me and be ineffective and unproductive in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Forgive me for being nearsighted and blind, forgetting that I have been cleansed from my past sins. Help me to possess Your qualities in increasing measure, so that I can glorify you, Father. I submit my life to you to be refined in the fire. Make me the purest gold, pliable and unresistant to Your Word.

In Jesus' name,