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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Is This The Time?

Listening to Sovereign (Deluxe Edition) by Michael W. Smith https://itun.es/us/IxEWZ

Second Kings chapter five has a very peculiar story about the healing of a commander army general named Naaman. A man who was greatly admired by his king. A man who had been used by The Lord to achieve great victories for his nation. 

[See 2 Kings 5:1-27 NLT]

Through a series of occurrences this great army commander finds himself healed & on his way back to his country. After a simple act of obedience by the word of the prophet. Elisha, one of Israel's true prophets had sent forth instructions for Naaman to receive his healing; & after some hesitation, took heed of it. And this is where I want to bring some light into our story. 

Naaman was filled with joy & wanted to bless the prophet with many gifts but Elisha would not have it. Gehazi, Elisha's servant however felt differently. And figured that 'this time', his master had missed it. His master should have at least taken a small gift or something of that sort. Gehazi therefore demonstrates his greed after his conclusion of his master's "mistake." 

He says, to himself, "My master should not have let this Aramean get away without accepting any of his gifts. As surely as The Lord lives, I will chase after him and get something from him." Then he takes off in a chase after this man's chariot to insinuate & say to the commanding officer that the prophet, his master had other prophets visiting & will be needing 75 lbs of silver & two sets of clothing. Not only is this servant being deceitful, but also he is making his master look bad. As if the prophet had genuinely changed his mind. 

Let's pick up In the last two verses...

v26 "But Elisha asked him, “Don’t you realize that I was there in spirit when Naaman stepped down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to receive money and clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and cattle, and male and female servants? Because you have done this, you and your descendants will suffer from Naaman’s leprosy forever.” When Gehazi left the room, he was covered with leprosy; his skin was white as snow. (2 Kings 5:26, 27 NLT) [Italics used for emphasis]

I love how Elisha is so precise in his conversation with his servant & shows us a timely lesson here. A great reminder to us that for everything there is a time in heaven & on earth. There is not anything inherently wrong with receiving. Jesus does teach us, that it is better to give than to receive. Yes, certainly greater joy comes from giving. True. But also, when someone is giving; on the other end- somebody else is receiving. So again, the error here was not in the receiving of something. It became a heart issue, due to its timing. Timing in its essence represents wisdom. And displays the condition of the heart. 

So when the fullness of time has come- "it" - "he or she" will come. It says in the psalms that if we commit everything we do to The Lord & trust Him, then He will help us. [see Ps. 37:5 NLT]

His help is should mean more than anything else. Since His help is a representation of His presence; His empowerment to live how He wants us to live. By His Holy Spirit to do, to say, & to embrace what He wants us to. Ultimately, Him being the end result as our reward. Jesus. And everything He wants to give to us, but all in His time. 

Prayer/Commitment:

Father, today. We commit everything, & that means everything to you. And we trust you believing that you will help us causing your favor to be poured out daily in our lives. Allow this lesson about timing to sink deep into our hearts & help us to walk wisely & humbly before you - through Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Visit, From The King


Listening to: Bethel (spontaneous song) 


"...and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day." (Gen.32:22-31)

As I listened to this man I spoke with this morning. A man of God, a pastor friend of mine - we spoke and shared life a bit. He talked with me about the man that I am. And he said, "You are like a man that walks with a limp, & you need to rejoice in that."

Funny thing is, in conversation with the LORD earlier this week, I mentioned to Him, "God I feel like Jacob. Like I am a man that walks with a limp." There is a reason, why I feel like this is important to share. That reason is simply because there is something special that happens to all of us when we get wounded out of prevailing. I will explain this point further in the next few sections. 

What I believe that happened to Jacob was simply a metaphor for all of us that says, 

Yes at some points you will be alone, but please realize that you are not alone. I am here with you. And we are engaged in a match of life. I have called you with a purpose. I lead, you follow. I direct, you obey. I love, you respond. I am here to take you on a journey & even if I have to slay you/wound you. It is only a necessary thing that needs to happen. I made you. I know you. I have a plan that is good & not evil for you...

Seeing God face to face means. Being stripped away of the things that are attached to us; to our hearts so closely, & yet do not need to be there. A death of self.

The encounter that our father Jacob had with the angel & prevailed depicts an attitude that says, I will not let go. I will not let up until I have received all the promises of God. He did not let the odds or chances of winning deter his focus on the promise Giver. He went after God with all His heart & held on to Him for dear life. I wonder, truly - I do wonder; if we had as much resolve & determination as Jacob did... where would we be? Maybe in a land, called "Greater Works." This would be a place where Jesus said we'd be at. Doing greater works than He did.

Ah yes. Speaking of land. I also spoke with my Dad this morning & shared with him that lately I've been thinking of how important it is to consider what it is to own some land. Basically what I am meaning is with double expression to both physical & spiritual application. Furthermore, land can have precious minerals, valuables, & can be cultivated. To me, owning land means a type of richness. Now spiritually speaking - how much land do you own? Where have you set your feet upon? Doesn't God say that where ever you set your feet upon, it shall be yours? Where have you become an owner of? Is it Peniel - a place where you have met God?

Right where you are. Wherever life may have brought you to. Or perhaps there may even be circumstances that you are in because of some poor choices you have made in the past. Can I say something as you have already graciously allowed me to do so - stop focusing on what has happened in the past. And start centering your focus on the Center of the universe, Christ Himself. Know that you have prevailed in your surrender, as little of a thing that it may seem to you. The point is that surrender has begun, & believe you me. He will touch your hip, to remind you who you have met. This, all this - yes, this type of encounter with God is meant for your freedom. For freedom's sake once & for all! (See Gal. 5:1)

As a loving Father, that God is to us His children. He loves & disciplines us when we don't even really know we are getting out of line. He loves us. 

God is love. And we are wholly His. No devil can say or do anything to counter that we belong to God. Children of the Light. In a crazy wrestling match for Truth, the Blessing of God most High. And our eager display of response to His crazy & amazing love that keeps on coming is all a part of His plan. A love story indeed. A visit from the King will change us. It will change everything, including the 'way we walk' & even how we see life with the vision that's been given us, even up to daybreak!

Prayer:

Father God, continue to show up in our lives like You already do. Devastate us as you must, so that we can be ruined for anything else other than You. Woo us. Pursue us. And fill us again with a fresh touch & a new infilling of Your Holy Spirit. That we may be empowered believers & walk out the rest of our days differently, like You've called us to do so. In Jesus' mighty name. Amen.