The Hard Places

January 23, 2017

The Hard Places

Genesis 18:14

Is any thing too hard for the LORD?…

Are you in a hard place today?  Does an answer and a solution seem almost impossible?  Then we must pose the same question that the Lord posed to Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who laughed when the Lord told Abraham that she would have a son in her old age.  Sarah, being around ninety years old and her husband being older had a hard time believing even the Lord when He spoke this word to Abraham.  “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”  

There are times in our lives when we are in those hard places where the only place we have to look is up.  Unfortunately, so many of us leave God as our last resource rather than our first.  This is often why our situations go from bad to worse.   The Lord wants our hearts to be submitted wholly to His will and purpose.  It is often the hard places in our lives that bring us back to a place of humility and desperation for Him.   There is no where else to turn, so we turn to Him.  Sarah laughed because she didn’t see how even God could give her a child in her state of life and yet He did just as He said He would do.  We have a bad habit of pretty much shutting God out of our lives when things are going well, but here we come running when things go south.  While the Lord is so often gracious to help us in these times of need, it isn’t always, as we would expect it to be.  The Lord is interested in something more eternal than our immediate crisis.  Sometimes we don’t get the answers we think we want, because there are times God allows things to be torn down, so that He can do a new thing that could never happen if we continued on as we have been.  “Nothing is too hard for God,”but then “His ways are not our ways,” so the results and answers to our cries in these hard places may be different than we had anticipated.  We can never put God in a box and say He will do things a certain way, even if He did do them that way last time.  

The hard places are the places we stand upon the Word of God and His promises.  It is also a place where we must say, “not my will, but thy will be done.”   The promises of God are for a purpose.  They are not there to meet our every whim and desire; they are given that we may be partakers of the divine nature.  “Hereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4).”  Sometimes our hard places are the result of the corruption that is in the world and in us.  God’s promises are to bring us out of that place and not to pacify and accept it.  If God doesn’t seem to be meeting our cries for His help in those hard places maybe we need to step back and see why we might be there and what we need to do correct areas of our life that may have brought us to that place.  

We are speaking in general terms, but that Holy Spirit wants to talk to some of us today.  He wants us to know that nothing is too hard for Him, but what we see as deliverance may only result in our further destruction.  How many times have we seen kids get themselves into dire straits, which were really the consequences of their actions?  If we as parents always bailed them out, then the consequences never worked there intended purpose which was to bring correction and discipline to turn that person away from making more bad choices.  That is why God doesn’t always rescue us.  There may be lessons we need to learn first, there may be areas we need to seek the Lord about and areas we need to repent and ask forgiveness.  

God is there for us in those hard places, but those hard places are there to do a greater work of grace in us.  1 Peter 4:12-19 puts our trials in perspective to what the will of the Lord is: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”  Through your hard places allow the Lord to have His perfect work in you.  Hold fast to Him no matter how he chooses to answer.  Job waited a long time to see His answer, but he never lost his confidence toward the Lord and we mustn’t either.  God is faithful in His time and His way not ours.  “Nothing is too hard for Him.”

Blessings,

#kent

On Eagle’s Wings

January 20, 2017

Isaiah 40:27-31

Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, 

the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. 

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

On Eagle’s Wings

Are we to worry in troubled times?  Do we think that the Lord does not see our need and our cause is disregarded?  If we think that then we don’t know who our God is.  

Jesus says in Matthew 6:25–34, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” 

28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Our lives can no longer be measured by what we possess, the position that we hold or our social standing. Who possesses us and how much we are His possession is the measure of our lives.  The Lord cares for His own.  Psalms 37:25 says, “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”  These can be great times of opportunity for the people of God, because it causes us to become focused on what is the most important thing, our relationship with the Father.  Suddenly the things of this world that seemed so important yesterday are gone today.  That which we placed our confidence and hope in yesterday has vaporized and is no more.  Does that mean all hope is lost and the Lord does not care?  No, it should mean that now we can turn our attention to Him who has cared so much, but before we were too busy for Him.  Suddenly the resources of this world have dried up and we must discover whom our true resource and provision is.  

People of God, Know Your God!   “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. 

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

When young eagles get to a certain age of maturity it is time for them to get out of the security of their nest.  Up until this time everything has been comfy and cozy.  Their food has been brought to them and they have become complacent that this is the way life will always be.  Then one day the parent eagle begins to ruffle the nest, disrupting the smooth soft lining, making it poky and uncomfortable.  Then one day they make those little eagles leave that comfortable nest and jump out into nothingness hundreds of feet above the ground.   Now to that young eagle what is probably going through their mind is, “My goodness they have raised me up to kill me.”  Eventually they take off and fall, flailing their wings as they are falling.  Before they hit the ground the parent eagle sweeps under them and bears them back up to the nest.  Now you know that has to be an adrenaline filled moment, but it has to happen time and again until these little eagles find their wings.  When finally they find their wings they find that, like their parents, they too can fly.  They have just come into a new dimension that they had never known before.  Before it was only the parents that could do this, now they too can soar up to the heights of heaven and see for miles and miles.  

This speaks of us in this hour.  God is beginning to toss us out of our comfortable nests.  It has to be so as to bring us into the fullness of who we are in Him.  We were not created to feed in the barnyard with the other chickens.  We were created to rise up on our eagle wings and soar in the heavens.  God is the wind beneath your wings and He will bear you up as your faith relies upon Him.   Don’t be fearful when you fall.  Falling is part of the process of learning to fly, but if you never find your wings eventually you will be allowed to crash.  

We have a destiny and it is not life on earth status quo.  We have been raised up to not only experience the fullness of salvation, but to be the instruments of His salvation to a creation subjected to vanity, yet in hope.  We are the instruments of His salvation in the earth.  

Do not become discouraged or dismayed when hard times come upon us.  This is a day of opportunity and advancement to the people of God that will press us in to truly know Him. God is not trying to defeat you, but promote you.  This is a day when you can truly experience Him as your resource and provision.  In order for us to fly we will have to adhere to dynamic kingdom principles that perhaps we have not held too so closely before.  It is a place of faith and obedience as we learn His voice and find His provision in our every need.  

Blessings,

#kent

You are an Angel

January 19, 2017

Revelations 14:6-7

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” 

You are an Angel

The Greek word for angel is “aggello”.  It is the word for one who is a messenger or sent with a message.  We most often think of angels as being heavenly beings and while they are that, they can be spirits that have expression through earthly instruments.  I don’t know that very many of us in our lifetime have ever heard angels in the heavens trumpeting and sounding out their message to our literal hearing and understanding.  In the sense that they are spiritual messengers sent to convey the Word of God, we, as God’s instruments often partner with them to bring forth the message brought to us from the messengers or angels of God.  We who share the gospel and speak that which the Spirit impresses us to speak are in a sense human angels or messengers commissioned with the Word from God.  If we grasp this concept that we are the embodiment of these angels sent from God to convey His message then we see where they are flying.  This angel is in midair, in other words in a realm between heaven and earth.  This is where we abide in the spirit.  We are no longer a part of this earthly realm and yet we have not fully come into heaven.  We might say that we are in the high places of the earth even though our body might reside in it lowest places.  Out of this place we are the proclamation of God’s Word to mankind and the spirit of this angel’s message embodies us to have expression.  

This angel is proclaiming this message in our hearing today.  The eternal gospel is being proclaimed and must be proclaimed to every nation, tribe, language and people.  It is our commission to carry out this message in all of the ways that God enables us to do so; through our personal witness and testimony, through our financial support of saints who are doing so and through our prayers for this message and its messengers to be received by those who have been ignorant of the gospel.  The message is not just of the gospel, but also of the judgement that is pending upon the earth in this hour.  Our heart should be to spare every soul possible from that judgement.  This is a message and call to ‘worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’  It is our worship that brings us into intimacy with the Father.  All of the earth will see and acknowledge God, but it is God’s desire that they know Him in the gospel and good tidings of His grace rather than His judgement.  In this mandate that we have to share and promote the gospel, know that there are ministering spirits of angels that work with us in the spirit realm to promote and accomplish this end.  We are not alone, but there are angels all around.  Together, with them, we are that angel in this scripture that is proclaiming this eternal gospel.  Keep in mind that today and each day, you are a messenger of the Most High; an angel as it were, sent with the eternal gospel of the kingdom and God’s salvation for all who will believe.  Just as the angels must be obedient and faithful to their assignment, so must we.  The good news is that we are not alone in our endeavor, but we are reinforced by the host of heaven and empowered by the Spirit of God Himself.

Blessings,

#kent

Doers and not Hearers Only

January 18, 2017

Doers and not Hearers Only

James 1:22

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 

You are welcome to listen in as I am really talking more to myself than anyone else, although this is a subject that might actually touch many of us more than we realize.  I just feel the conviction that I am in the Word and daily talking about it, mentally I ascent and agree with it, but how is it playing out in my daily life?  It works great when I can apply it to others that, in my opinion, are missing the mark, but either I don’t want too and I am often too deceived to see how I am missing the mark.  

  You know, I think that I get tunnel vision.  I get to going in a routine and have things set in my mind about how I think things are or at least that I want them to be and I don’t want to acknowledge or be flexible enough to move out of those parameters.    Its not any different from that religious mentality that says I work five or six days a week, do my programs, or routines, maybe I even go to a bible study or some other weekly religious gathering.  On Sunday morning, often with contention we get ready and go to church, sing the songs, hear the word, shake our heads in affirmation and then go out to dinner, maybe take a nap, watch 60 minutes and Monday we start all over again.  Meanwhile what has really changed in me, you or in our world.  How many voices are saying in quite subtle ways, “ I could sure use your help, I could sure use a friend, I sure wish you would communicate with me, I sure wish I had a hand with these chores, I sure wish I could fulfill  that little need or want, or I could sure use your ministry and attention in this area of my life.”  I am convicted because I know that I have become so dull of hearing I either miss or fail to respond to the majority of those voices and those needs that are present in my family, friends, and my neighbors.  Now remind me again, “Who is it I am suppose to love as myself?”  If I am missing all of that in the people, most of whom I love and care about, how much am I missing of what God is wanting and needing from me?  If I have so shut them off, no wonder I can’t hear God’s voice as I pray, “help me to be an instrument of your blessing, help me to do your will, help me to love others as you have loved me and help me to know your will.  Amen.”  The fact is I already know what a whole lot of His will is, but am I willing to change my agenda to facilitate it?  

Husbands, it really helps if you are partly psychic and you can read minds well and be well attuned to exactly what your wife is thinking and feeling.  I have to admit that I am not very gifted in this area.  Most of the time women never just come out and say what they want and when they do it is usually too late.  You have to be able to read between the lines.  You have to be able to pick up on the subtle little things that are asking for your attention and action.  The wife might say, “I sure wish I had this little gizmo, it would be so helpful to do this” She is asking for something and we are thinking, “yeah, I would like to have that new router.  I could really do some cool stuff with that.”   If you are like me, most of the time you don’t hear that as a call to action, you simply dismiss it as one of those “that would be nice things” and go on.  Now you may not have intentionally blew her off, but in her mind you did, You didn’t hear her heart and you didn’t hear her need or want.  If I don’t pick up on that and hear that in my wife, then how much and how many times am I not being sensitive to the Holy Spirit when He is trying to motivate me in the right direction.  We are like, “Sorry God, I am on a mission right now, I have an agenda; get back with me later when I have more time.”  

I am doing exactly what the scripture tells me not to do; I am hearing as it goes in one ear and out the other, but it never gets processed into action and deed.  Nevertheless, I’ve heard the word, it was good and I agree with it, but I never get around to applying it to me personally.  I deceive myself into thinking I am spiritual when in reality I am just on a mental trip, it is not changing the way I hear, through a sensitive spirit, the needs of others and how I can respond to help meet them at the point of their need.  I am failing to allow Christ to really express through me the love and concern He has for others and their needs.  Unless someone finally comes along and slaps me up along side the head with a 2×4; I just stay pretty much oblivious to the problem that seems so obvious to that other person.  Like I said, by the time the 2×4 comes around to make me fully aware of the problem, it’s probably too late to try and remedy it then.  

So, “God, help me and any one like me to have ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart to do.  Help us to have spiritual sensitivity to the needs of others around us.  Help us to be your expression to those needs and to be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.  Amen.“

Blessings,

#kent

As the Spirit Moves

January 17, 2017

John 3:5-8

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 

As the Spirit Moves

We live in a world of natural and spiritual.  The natural things we perceive and understand through our senses.  They are based on taste, touch, seeing, hearing and smell.  We have experienced a natural birth.  The water broke and we came forth from the womb.  Just as we have a natural birth we must have a spiritual birth because they are not one in the same.  Jesus is making a comparison.  Natural begets natural, but Spirit begets spiritual.  Our natural birth brings us into this world, but our spiritual birth brings us into the heavenlies and the dimension of the kingdom of God.  We have been born from beneath and now we must be born from above if we are to enter the kingdom of God.

 Jesus compares it to the wind.  It is often hard for us as natural beings to quantify, analyze and rationalize the spirit realm and that part of us.  Jesus says it is much like the wind.  It doesn’t move under our control, but it blows where it will and wherever it pleases.  We can’t see air or wind, but the wind shows itself as it is manifested through natural things.  The wind will pick up dirt and leaves and give a visible sense of its presence as these are moved, not through there own initiative, but through the power and the force of the wind.  It is much as the Sprit moves in and through us.  Sometimes He is very still and we don’t feel his presence at all and yet we know He is there because He is the spiritual air we breathe. 

I think of how the Lord came to Elijah when he had fled to Horeb, the mountain of God.  He was discouraged, fearful and ready to give up.  There, in 1 Kings 19:11-13, the Lord showed Elijah how to discern between the natural and the spiritual.  “The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” 

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. 

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  

You see Elijah, like most of us, had allowed his eyes to view things in the natural and not in the Spirit.  God was not in all of those natural calamities and forces of nature, He was in the still small voice that spoke to the inner man.  Be careful about judging things from the outward circumstances.  It is God who rules and is upon the throne.  Here, God showed the wind of His presence was in the still small voice that spoke to him in his spirit.  We may see God move as a gentle breeze, blowing across His people with His presence and anointing.  Sometimes He is a forceful wind to be reckoned with.  However the Lord is blowing upon our lives we want to bend in His direction and be sensitive to His movement.  We are the manifestation of His presence.  We are the natural elements that are moved by Him as He blows upon our lives.  Just as you can never tell about the wind, where it will blow or where it will go, so we never know when we will be moved by the Spirit of God in this direction or that situation.  We do want to hear His still small voice within us assuring us that His work is not finished, but that this is the way of the Lord now be faithful to walk in it. 

The Lord may be asking us what we are doing before Him in our fears, doubts and unbelief.  We must remember whom we have been birthed into, who we are in Christ Jesus and that we are called according to His purpose and design.  Now allow His still small voice and His breeze, not the natural elements of circumstance to move you wheresoever He will.  

Blessings,

#kent

Luke 15:17

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!

“When He Came to His Senses”

We all have an inheritance of the Father.  We all have been given the substance of life, breath, health, gifts and abilities.  What have we done with what Father has given to us?  

We take Father’s gifts so lightly and often don’t even acknowledge or appreciate what we have been given.  He gives us loved ones, parents, grandparents, wife, children, grandchildren and friends.  Do we take the time to value, appreciate and sow back into the lives of those who have loved us and sown into us?  

As long as life is going well, we so often get caught up in its flow and busyness.  We become self-absorbed with our own life and interests while neglecting the ones we say we love and hold dear.  Suddenly we wake up one day to find our life in ruins.  Everything we cared about and that is truly meaningful to us is suddenly gone.  Only then, when it is often too late, do we come to our senses and realize our foolishness and neglect.  

The prodigal son is not unlike many of us.  Like him, many of us have only focused on our success, our pleasures and our fulfillment.  We have not planted the love and attention our loved ones have needed and longed for.  Suddenly we find ourselves bankrupt and in famine.  All our substance has been spent on that which has not produced real life and fulfillment, but only temporary gain.  As we come to our senses perhaps we finally realize our true treasure was in those we took for granted and neglected.  We used up all of the grace and love they had until there was no more for them to give.  Now they’re gone and our concern has come too late.

Every day we are planting, either seeds of life or seeds of death.  One day we will reap the harvest of what we have sown in our daily living.  Take care about the seeds that you plant in your life for they will bear fruit and you will reap a harvest either good or bad, either life or death.  

Let us take a lesson from the prodigal son and come to our senses before it is too late to turn our life around and preserve that which is most precious to us.   What is it going to take for us to come to our senses? 

Blessings,

#kent

Life Now

January 12, 2017

James 4:13-17

13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Life Now

The breath I just breathed I will never breathe again,

It is what it is, not what it could or might have been.

The breath I breathe next, may or may not be,

What life holds tomorrow, I have no guarantee.

Life has to be lived in the present, not has been or will be.

This moment is the expression of your destiny.

We often get lost in living life in the yesterday or tomorrow,

It is in missing the here and now that will bring us greater sorrow.

Take a moment to open your eyes and see what you can see.

We so often look past the things in life that are really key.

You hear, but you don’t really hear what others say to you.

You may listen, then forget, just like you never knew.

Take the time to touch and feel the texture of this life.

Touch the ones you’ve separated through your strife.

Touch the ones you say you love and pass by each day.

Touch the heart of God and take the time to pray.

Smell all of the fragrances that you dismiss so readily.

Smell the coffee, get a clue, the sand of life runs steadily.

Close your eyes, sit at the table and taste the things you eat.

We are often so busy running we don’t even take a seat.

God has given you senses to enjoy and experience here and now.

We shorthand with consonants and leave out all of our vowels.

Stop!  And savor the present moments in your life,

Hold your kids, call your folks and always love your wife.

Kent Stuck

Blessings,

#kent

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 

The Old has Gone, the New has Come

  Have you ever known somebody from a distance and based on your outward observation you formed opinions of who he or she was and what he or she was like?  Later, you came to know this person on a much more personal basis and as you gained access to really know their heart, your opinions and judgements of them changed.  You came into a fresh and deeper revelation of who they were as a person.   Many people know Jesus from a worldly point of view.  They may know Him as a prophet, as a healer, as a teacher and even as the Son of God, but do they still only know Christ only from a worldly viewpoint?  Many of us have experienced a deeper revelation and more intimate relationship with Christ.  He has become so much more than a great and good person who walked upon the earth and impacted the history of mankind.  As we have come to know Him intimately we no longer see Him from that worldly viewpoint.  We have come to know Him after the Spirit.  We have come into an intimacy and knowing of the most personal kind.  We are coming to know Him not as just a Savior who awaits us in heaven, but as the person we walk with and fellowship with daily.  He knows our heart and daily He brings us more into the knowledge of His heart as we walk and share life with Him in that most intimate place.  There isn’t anything that we can’t share with Him and nothing that He doesn’t know.  The richest security and safety that we feel in Him is that even though He knows all of our weaknesses, our faults and our failures, He still loves us unconditionally. In our marriages we come to know each other’s weakness, frailties and faults quite well.  True agape, unconditional love is when, in spite of all those shortcomings we can love them just as much anyway.  It doesn’t mean we love the faults or we don’t want to see change, but personal dislikes or desires for their change doesn’t change the fact that we love them anyway and hopefully they love us the same way in return.  

When we come into Christ our viewpoint and paradigm has to be changed.  We are no longer that worldly person that we once were.  It doesn’t mean that those old ways suddenly all fall off, but in our inward man, our spirit, a transformation has taken place.  Old things have passed away and the new has come.  If we are intent upon knowing Christ now in this more intimate way then what began in our spirit will begin to permeate very part of our being, spirit, soul and body.  It will become our new paradigm and mindset that we now will operate out of.  While the transformation and habitation of our spirit changes immediately, the transformation of our soul and body is a work of salvation in progress.  Our salvation isn’t over and done with when we walk the aisle or give our heart to Christ.  It is just the “I do” that begins this marriage in His Spirit and life. In 2 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul prays, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  There is a progression of salvation from the inward to the outward.  This is completely the opposite of how the flesh approaches it.  We often think the better we are outwardly the more acceptable we are inwardly.  The Lord teaches us that if we learn to live out of the inward or spirit man, the outward will line up with our spirit.  His will, becomes our will, His thoughts become our thoughts and His desires become our desires.  In that intimate place we start living no longer after the man of the world, but after the man of the spirit.  The intimacy and relationship brings the transformation.  Little by little He deals with the different areas of our life and because we love Him we yield them obediently to Him, because we know that He has first loved us and gave Himself for us.   

As we enter a new year, He is much more than a New Year’s resolution.  May we have a New Year’s revelation of our life and being in Him.  Indeed, may old things pass away and all things become new in the light and glory of all that He is in us.

Blessings,

#kent

God’s Waiters

January 10, 2017

Isaiah 30: 15-18

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, 

in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! 17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” 18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; 

he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! 

God’s Waiters

One of the most difficult things for us to do is to learn to wait upon the Lord.  A good waiter at a restaurant is continually mindful of his tables and the people that he serves.  They have to be attentive and remember all of the orders and requests.  They have to see many of the needs before they are even asked for and attend to them.  In order to be a good waiter that person can not be so focused upon themselves but they must be focused on others and their needs before their own.  When we wait upon the Lord we must learn to become good waiters.  There is a protocol that we follow in that we honor the Lord and we worship Him.  The Lord teaches us to move upon His orders and in His strength.  So often we don’t want to wait upon the Lord, we want to run.  Instead of repenting of our sins and resting, we get anxious and thinking we must always be doing.  Isaiah says that in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.  We are often like undisciplined horses who want to throw their heads back and run, but we are not subject to the will and bridle of the rider, we are given to our own mind and desires.  

If we learn one thing about God it is that He doesn’t often move in our time, He moves in His time and His way.  One of the greatest lessons we can learn is to wait upon Him so that we can move in His time. Like that good waiter we are constantly in a state of readiness with our focus upon the direction of the Lord.  If we are caught up with our own needs and wants, we miss Him.  If we are trying to accomplish religious or godly tasks in our own strength and way, we miss Him.  It is learning to rest in Him, wait upon Him, be attentive for when He does speak and direct us.  In the interim we move and live according to the principles of faith in His Word.  

God is looking for a people that will learn the principle of resting and waiting upon Him.  It is learning patience and steadfastness and it is learning faithfulness and obedience, but these are the attributes God wants to see in His people, a people that are given to wait upon Him.  That waiting is not without it’s reward.  In Isaiah 30: 18 it says, “Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.”  Let us learn the art and the discipline of waiting upon the Lord. 

Blessingd,

#kent

Hebrews 6:13-20 (Amplified)

For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, 14Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you. 

15And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him. 16Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final [ending strife]. 17Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath. 18This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us]. 19[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, 20Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.

God’s Unchangeable Promise

Perhaps few passages in the Word speak more powerfully of God’s faithfulness and commitment to keeping His Word and promises than does this passage.  Here we are given the example of the father of our faith, Abraham, and how God promised that in his seed all of the nations of the earth would be blessed.  All of God’s promises have their season of fulfillment and in our terms that may be a short time or it could be a very long time.  God’s promises are sure, but in between the promise and the fulfillment faith must stand in the gap.  Hebrews 11:1-2 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.”  God says that Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness because it believed and stood upon what it could not see and what may have seemed incomprehensible to the natural man.  It wasn’t until way past that time of natural fulfillment that God gave Abraham His promised seed Issac; “the pledge of what was to come.”  

In the fullness of time God brought forth another promised seed in Christ Jesus who brought forth the promise of God’s great salvation.  He was a type of Issac in that He was the seed of promise and the beginning of the blessing that should follow.  What we have seen in Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to His people and to mankind of His love, salvation and ultimate restoration of all things back to the Father.  Just as Issac was not the completion of the promise, but the beginning of it, so the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was not the completion of God’s plan of salvation, but only the beginning, the firstfruits and forerunner.  “Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.”  Now if Jesus isn’t the only runner, but the forerunner or front runner, then it is evident that others must follow.  God gave us, as believers in Christ, His full assurance in that He gave unto us the Holy Spirit as the earnest and down payment on that inheritance that stands before us.  1 Corinthians 1: 21-22 states, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” Again in Ephesians 1:13-14 we are told, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” God has sealed His promise in us, not only with His Word which cannot fail, but with His own Holy Spirit He establishes us as His own and the partakers of the divine nature through the great and precious promises He has given us (2 Peter 1:3-4).  

What an assurance to our faith that Jesus never fails that God’s Word is established in eternity and can not be moved.  In Hebrews 1:1-3 it says of Jesus, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”  Because all of creation and the Universe is held in place by the power of God’s Word, which is Christ, then it reasonable to conclude that it is as likely that all of creation will come apart as it is to conclude that God will not keep His word and promises.  “This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us.”   What a powerful statement that should place unshakable faith and confidence in every believer that they can count on the God that they serve and worship.  Now we can understand why the rock of our foundation is Christ Jesus which can not be moved and against whom the gates of hell cannot prevail.  

Colossians 3:1-3 reminds us of where we are in the midst of these great and wondrous promises, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”  So great is God’s faithfulness, so unchangeable His ways and promises.  We are a people who are clothed in the great and precious promises of God.  As we hold fast in our faith we, like Abraham, will reap if we faint not and our faith will be accounted unto us as righteousness.  Christ is the forerunner who is bringing many sons into glory, into His likeness and into an everlasting priesthood to the praise of His glory and the fulfillment of His unchangeable promises.

Blessings,

#kent

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