Why Every Woman Should Write Down Words for God

bible with pen

I sat on the small couch, sinking in the middle. The cushions as old as the hills. I was all empty tank and tired and parched for some kind of hope.

To believe again. In anything. To feel again. Just any way.

Then he asked me, “Are you writing?”

“No.”

I said it dry, but my mind was alert. Surprised. Why did he ask me that? Premarital counseling never addressed this. He didn’t know. About the deep down urge to pick up the pen. The way I’d been coming alive through written words since the days of my youth. And how now there was only dry ink, a deadness in me. Because what do you have to offer or say or share when all you see is dark?

“Why,” he asked.

And then the heat started. At the top of my head, like a light shower. Moving down my body, my back. The Spirit was there. In the room. Moving through some kind of lie I didn’t know I had believed.

“Because….” and then I started to break. Like a shaking. Tears welling up. Before I could come up with an answer, he said

“Because that’s what he tried to steal from you. Satan, I mean.”

“Yes,” I replied. Yes. And it had been working.

The lies are sometimes so much easier to believe.

You begin to believe your voice doesn’t matter. Your broken story is too broken indeed. And write about it….What are you thinking? You can’t even write.

Sometimes the loudest critic is in your head. And Satan jumps on that train because,

SISTERS - we have a calling we have yet to fully understand.

That urge to teach, to write, to speak for Him. It’s FROM HIM. Because you were made to know Him and make Him Known.

make Him known2

“You are my witnesses, declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.” Isaiah 43:10

And how can you really know Him without wanting to brag on Him? We are His witnesses.

When the Spirit man inside of you is burning with agreement in His Word- there is someone, somewhere who needs that word. Just like you do.

And just when we think we are writing/serving/teaching for others, for Him….we find the healing ourselves.

So HERE IT IS. The Word He has for you. TODAY.

“The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.” Psalm 68:11

mighty throng

 The women who proclaim it.

He is doing something here. In the hearts of women.

He is calling you out.

Throng is defined as a multitude of assembled persons, a large number crowded together.

So you ask yourself: “What does my voice matter? There are enough voices out there.”

He wants more.

The definition actually says this crowd will have “an increase of pressing activity.”

Increase! A pressing in.

We wonder what this blogging sensation is among women. This flocking to conferences and reaching out for community. This generation of women calling for good and holy things. Fighting for justice. Doing the hard things. Speaking into the spiritual realm and calling what is not as though it were.

More proclamations! More of His daughters taking pen and microphone and small classroom and job influence to Make Him Known.

The crowds of women speaking His Name are not a threat to your personal call. That sister that has more followers and published her third book, she is not your competitor.

We are on the same holy team. Oh, He wants you on this team.

Calling you to wear His team jersey in your sphere of influence. Screaming loud for your Coach, because the real bedlam game isn’t about orange vs. red or the rubber laced ball. There’s a real fight going on. He’s calling all warriors. Arise. TOGETHER.

Proclaim: To say or declare something publicly.

The world will tell you to lift high the mantle of self. This mantle of self-promotion that gets heavier by day. Tracking your followers. Your stats and re-tweets.

And what if we all laid down the heavyweight mantle of self-promotion

to lift high the Cross in Proclamation.

Me with my hand-full of “followers” and you with your two thousand because Jesus…He wants so many more followers.

This writing gig?  Your daily gig? This using of your gifts and laboring at your job and breathing every breath- it’s all to line up more people behind Him.

What if we dropped the “I can’ts” and the “I shouldn’ts” and the “I don’t know enoughs” and just trusted Him to speak. Through us. For Him. Right where we are.

How He chooses to use your proclamation and whom He chooses to lead and what doors He opens and those He shuts hard, that’s His perfect orderly business.

He will lay out the details of your call in His time, one day at a time. We don’t get the whole bucket of apples today. Just the way it is.

In the meantime, you can take a few things to the bank:

God wants you to remember. So for those of us who can’t remember what we ate for breakfast yesterday, we better WRITE down what God did for us. In a journal, online or on a posty. Whatever. Write it down. Your going to need that post-it note one day. When the fig tree isn’t producing and there are no cattle in the stalls and you are wondering where your God is. Remember what He has done for you. Remember who He is.

There is beautiful evidence to the power of the written word. To journaling. Etching out your prayers in ink and stumbling on them years later to check off every one: Answered. These are your scrolls of remembrance. My latest read: When I Journal, He Speaks.

“Remember to extol his work.” Job 36:24

“My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you” Psalm 42:6

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” Psalm 77:11

Let us not “fail to remember the miracles He has done among [us.]” Neh. 9:17

He wants you to proclaim His Name. When the world gets loud with the sound of defeat, His Name will hush the soul with peace. His Name will save. He is spreading his glory over all the earth, and He is using His people to do it.

“I believe, therefore I speak.” 2 Cor. 4:13

“Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. ” Psalm 9:11

“I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know.” Psalm 40:9

He wants you to testify. Because when I entered my valley of doubt, my slow walk out was through words. His words, your words and all the meaningful words of saints gone before us.

Words proclaiming truth into the rope of lies. Words saying, “Me, too. I’ve been there. Hold on!”

And when His Word felt dry and my soul was parched from doubt, He used the common words of his saints, brushed them with the Life of His Spirit and breathed them over my heart.

“And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:27

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:14

When my story intersects with yours …..and all the sisters I have yet to meet, and we let all the stories of redemption confirm His Word in our souls, that’s a real liberty fest! We use the key that unlocked the lies and we hand it to the next girl.

This is real freedom: when we finally get this ————-> It’s not all about us. Our special call. Our dreams. Our names.

Oh, He gives beautiful dreams. And specific calls. But they are ALL- every one of them, given that we might proclaim Him more.

So that note you’ve been meaning to send, it’s not too late. His Word is timely and it never spoils. That phone call or visit to speak life, it’s needed. Your voice – it’s a gift to be used.

Write a letter to that author who knocked your socks off…even if they will never read it. To your children – to put in stone how you and God really feel about them. To your spouse – because they need your affirmation more than you know. To your pastor, because he/she is laboring for you.

I love the book of Hosea. So many good Words there. And when Hosea is calling out the people of Israel to return to God, here is what he says:

“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” Hos. 14:1-2

Take words with you, Sisters.

The WORD of LIFE. He is the WORD, come alive in you. He will speak for you. May we offer our God the fruit of our lips and the work of our pen and the witness of our lives.

I’m joining the procession in Praise of God. Will you come with me?

I’m linking up today with Holly Gerth and Rebekah Hughes the brave souls exhorting others in Christ. Join us! And….if this word was for you, comment below on how you plan to proclaim His Name as an act of thanks to Him. Be blessed today!

 

 

 

 

If Only There Were Someone: A Journey Into Grace

I can picture his calloused, blistered hands attaching the breast piece and overlaying an ephod. With deep breaths, he puts on his robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash.

He was one of the very few. Chosen. To enter in.

Every morning he had to check the fires. Adjust the wood just right – keep the flames going. God required this – every. single. morning. His hands evidence of his daily task.

“Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.” Lev. 6:12-13

And then once a year – because he was a high priest, he walked beyond the second curtain. He was a priest in the tribe of Levi, the only men able to approach God…and plead mercy.

Can you imagine? The heavy weight on the chest as the wind of God’s presence HIT you just touching that curtain.

He may have gotten used to the stench. Of burning bulls and the blood spilled out. But I imagine his hands shook just a little….every time.

He knew “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22) And he knew he needed it. We all do.

There are still shaky hands today. Reaching out for the curtain to find God. Years and years of sins and offerings later. Trying to make it to noon without tipping the bottle……or moving the mouse to click on that flashing picture on the screen. Sin – guilt – repentance. Repeat.

Sin has always been crouching at our door, gnawing away at our minds. And the guilt today is as serious as it was in the tabernacle days. It leads to death; it must have blood.

Some of us are keenly aware. Living from guilt to guilt. Reading posts and verses about freedom but living a double life. Doing what we don’t want to do, over and over again.

“I did it again, Lord.”

Our knees hit the floor and we ask Him —-again —do you have enough mercy —for ME?

When even the edges of my sin nature are caught by the light of His glory, there is a great chasm.

This is when conviction can lead to despondency. We fight to fix ourselves and fail miserably….with all our good deeds and such. (The usual routine of the “good” Christian soul)

What is this offering I keep laying down, handing over, milling with my hands? This good thing or the effort to do no wrong. Because this is most tiring of all ——–> Trying to be GOOD ENOUGH.

Good enough.

For Him. For others. For ourselves.

What if there was another way to live this life?

Moving beyond sin maintenance and beating ourselves up and wondering all the time if He is really deep down disappointed in us?

What if there really was another way beyond the curtain? Into the most intimate room with God and a life of peace for our own souls? What if the checklist could be burned on the altar? What if we were already enough?

Even Job – the man God considered blameless and upright - he asked “if only…”

With no New Testament to read or new covenant in his heart, years before the life of Christ, Job needed someone to come between his sin and the presence of a holy God.

 “He is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court.

If only….

If only there were someone…

to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot. ” Job 9:32-35

“….so that His terror would frighten me no more.”

Because what “a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31)

So Christ- our Someone- laid His hands upon us all by stretching them out on a tree. He lifted His hands to the Father and carried the cup of our condemnation with his own blistered hands, worn from woodworking and stone cutting…..and we are still trying to come up with our own clean offerings.

“by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Heb. 10:14

made perfect

Note – those in Christ – you ARE PERFECT in Him. You can’t get any better than the righteousness of Christ covering you.

Note – those who have yet to believe – believe in Him today!

The next step - the holy making - a day by day changing from glory to glory – that’s His business too. We obey, one brave day, one brave yes at a time.

 It’s so tiring to try and complete something He started in the first place: our sanctification.

What does it look like to LIVE in the palm of those hands? To actually believe we are righteous by faith alone?

What would it really mean if we found ourselves whole in Him? Could this revelation of grace – wouldn’t it – push us into the arms of justice? Fighting for the grace of others. Empower us to leave the dark corners we hunker down in to offer a deep soul drink to the thirsty.

Wouldn’t it remove competition? The need for a great name? With this astounding love of the Saving Name.

Would it remove fear? Because love drives out fear and the receiving of unmerited grace is a shocking kind of love.

Would it change our thinking – about others? Because we know grace had nothing to do with who we are or what we’ve done but WHO HE IS and what HE DID.

What if we could really SEE that Someone – the living Christ we fix our eyes on - in every living soul we pass?

Like my three-year old son, who passed a shirtless, shoeless, bearded man at the park and said,

“Look, Mommy, …..God.”

(Be still my heart)

“Yes, honey. I see Him too.”

I’m interested in the LIVING OUT OF GRACE. The knowing and believing that leads to practical actions in our world.

Because freedom is only honored when we do something about it.

Real grace – understood – does not lead to self-indulgence. This living free in sin because we know we are forgiven. No. Authentic grace received is seen in ripe ready fruit offered to another and another and another. It’s seen in a desire to live for Him. Not a have to. A want to.

There is a real freedom in this new implanted desire. When those sins, those inklings to chase after the pleasures of this world become like the most bitter taste to the mouth. When your heart pounds for righteousness one victory over sin at a time.

And when the checklist has been burned on the altar and we rise from the ashes of all our rag offerings – we open our eyes to something new and unexpected. Something we thought we had to figure out and study and understand.

His JOY is our strength.

 This is worth talking about, learning.

What kind of strength can be found over sin and complacency and guilt and condemnation by entering into His JOY?

And how does accepting grace unlock the door to that joy?

What does it practically mean to LIVE OUT the GRACE of GOD? I’m interested in that.  Are you? Like my new Facebook group. Let’s talk about practical grace. Inside the church walls and all over the world. And follow along here on the blog to let your heart ponder just how much grace He has for you….and what that might mean for the way you live this one chance life.

 

 

Raise Your Ebenezer

Here we are again, Lord. I’m going to need a bigger rock this time.

ebenezer

You just keep showing up to help me.

“While Samuel was offering the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.” 1 Sam 7:10

While he was sacrificing the burnt offering.

And I just stayed in your Word, asking, hoping, choosing to believe.

As we continue in obedience, worship Him, do just what we know to do, God is routing our enemies.

See, God – He comes at just the right time. He is never early, and never late.

And our prayers go on in the night and we wonder where our God is. The Israelites needed Him desperately.

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us.’

So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade the Israelites again.” 1 Sam. 7:12-13

“Thus far…”

Yes, thus far He has been our God. Thus far, He has provided. Thus far, He has surprised us with His goodness. So THIS TIME – He will again.

And He did.

So I pulled out my little marker and my Ebenezer stone – to remember. To run my hand upon the smooth rock on the longer days, when I doubt His presence, His coming to help me.

Ebenezer = “stone of help”

Samuel raised and set down and declared his Ebenezer.

So I will lift high the ROCK, from which I have been cut. (Isaiah 51:1) The stone the builders rejected. And we keep piling our stones to build our own names.

May they all – every gift, every dream, every desire now be as an offering to Him and His GREAT NAME.

One stone upon another set forth from our lives as a declaration…..

“He is faithful.”

There is always a reason for the waiting. The timing. His completion.

Here we see that what God was doing in Israel was about more than one nation.

It’s always so much bigger than us, our stories and our people.

“The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to her, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the power of the Philistines.” vs. 14

He restores us that we might restore others.

And every thing about how He delivers and who He uses and what we need to learn matters to our future ministry. The people in the right places, the order of all things.

He is routing our enemies. He has heard our prayers.

He is our DELIVERER.

“No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those who hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.” Ps. 33: 16-20

Thus far, He has helped me. He will not fail. Glory be to His Name.

 

On Starting Today to Finish Strong

So I joined the Bloom book study this summer. First-timer. A happy one at that. And upon finishing The Pursuit of an Intentional Life by Jean Fleming, the highlights alone could keep me pondering a night away.

She spoke of stewarding God’s revelations well. A note to my heart….where His whispers are kept.

She spoke of finishing well, of a life we all have just one chance to live.

And lately, like over the last couple of years, I’ve struggled with finishing anything. Any. thing.

There’s this restless place in me – a wondering. (read wandering) I ask people what is wrong with me. Why I can’t make the smallest decisions regarding ministry. Certainly no big ones. Lately, I can’t even decide which Bible study to lead. And I have felt time slipping away, like watching a fast moving hourglass – my life this one chance – my time precious.

As if it’s my time.

And then – like a flash – that took forever and came so quickly – He spoke. And I obeyed. In one small way.

And here’s the thing: when we obey in just one thing we know, He opens the next door. Sometimes it’s revelation. A needed change in the heart. Sometimes, direction for action.

In my case, both.

And this is where I thank my God that His ideas are SO MUCH BETTER than my good ideas.

And that all along – this restlessness with the small ideas – was because He had something bigger.

Isn’t that how our God works?

So I stepped out today through the second door. I started my brave thing. It’s so much bigger than  me, and I’m thankful.

It’s about time I get out of His way and let Him finish some things. And start some new ones.

Because “the advancement of the gospel is greater than our individual lives.” – J. Fleming

 

I’m linking up tonight – for the very first time – on Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker and some gals who have blessed my heart through reading. Happy to join the writers tonight and offer Lisa-Jo love for her long-time stewardship in this community.

 

Teachers of the Word: Listen

photo (2)

“The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” Isaiah 50:4

1. He has given you an instructed tongue.

Instructed: furnished with and restricted in action by specific instructions; ordered by informed authority.

He Himself will set the truth in our hearts; He furnishes the very truths we are to share. He also restricts.

There are teachings the Spirit must work out in us. Some words only for you- for a time. The word we truly wrestle with- within- and learn to live out is a greater word when taught. Allow the Spirit to direct when you share and when you await the appointed time.

He has put the words in your mouth. (Isaiah 51:16) Trust in His Spirit to lead you.

2. You must awaken morning by morning to listen and obey

“The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.” Isaiah 50:5

To receive due instruction, we must listen. Daily. Pressing into His presence.

Some words are hard to hear. Even harder to teach. This is not a time to shrink back. He is calling his prophets to ARISE, his children to proclaim Him.Our time is short, His Word is true. So we must spend time with Him.

The greatest teachers of the WORD are ardent students of God.

3. You must not fear the reproach of man.

“Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.” (Isaiah 51:7)

Speakers/writers of the truth of God will be insulted. The world will press in. As T.D. Jakes once said, “the more people who love you; the more people who hate you.”

The narrow road is still under His protection. He covers you with the shadow of His hand. (Isaiah 51:16) We cannot be afraid to speak the truth. You can offer grace and still speak truth.

4. Set your face like a flint.

Remaining in the Word – the Sword of truth in a world of untruth – has everything to do with your strength in Him. Black and white are merging today – GRAY IS EVERYWHERE. We must know the HOPE we profess so we can rightly divide and rightly proclaim. We can no longer assume all believers know the word, or even open it. We cannot take for granted the urge – His calling – to put forth counsel from the WHOLE Word of God.

This is how you FIX your eyes on Him. Stay in His Word. Devour it like it is your last meal. And may we spur one another on as we strive to live it out. We cannot teach well what we do not live. And that – is why we need each other.

————-

“You are my witnesses..” declares the Lord.

May we seek Him in the morning and listen like ones being taught. He has much to teach us, that we might bear His truth to the world.

May our prayer today be, “Give me a teachable spirit, O Lord, and I will obey.”

We are Better Together

“Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.,,,,,

the world was not worthy of them……

…these were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that ONLY TOGETHER with us would they be made perfect.” Heb. 11:36-40

Something better. Only TOGETHER.

What is this unity abounding, weaving its way through Scripture? Even in the final days – the glory days He has yet to fulfill. Not just for today. In the church. Within this generation.

He is saving the great reward for ONE BIG DAY.

When we can all be together in His House for the Big Reveal.

God likes togetherness.

group of women

We’ve heard this before. How two are better than one. And Satan will keep pushing back, isolating souls into the weary corner.

Whispering loud of the hurts we have lived, the lack of trust, the ease of sinking back down into the closed doors.

The Lord knows community is not easy. Relationships are tattered. People are faulty. He walked among us. They deserted Him too.

Yet Christ, like Paul, put no confidence in the flesh. Only perfect confidence in His ability to redeem the soul. Of every man.

And even redeemed souls stumble in community. But we also stumble alone – even more so. And the hand that is helped up more quickly – is the one already outstretched.

 We are better together – not only in our falling. But in our rising. Lifting the weight of the cross, each of us a corner piece, raising high the truth of Christ.

When praise of man tempts us with pride, together we are accountable.

When the call of God seems unsure, together we find courage.

When the world screams loud the voice of hate, together we kneel in humble love.

So then….

“If you have ANY encouragement from being united in Christ, if ANY comfort from his love, if ANY fellowship with the Spirit, if ANY tenderness and compassion…”

——Have any of those precious things?—–

“then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Phil. 2:1-4

Consider others better than yourselves.

Then come to the table of fellowship. Share your “ANY”s with us. My hand is outstretched.

Let’s do life together.

Linking up with Meredith and Holly and Beth and Rebekah today. Join us! Blessings!

 

How to Really Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us RUN….

 

runner

 

with perseverance

the race marked out before us. Let us

FIX. OUR. EYES.

on JESUS,

the author and perfector of our faith..” Heb. 12:1-2a

Fix: to make firm, stable or stationery. To attach definitely, establish.

It’s an unmoved faith that wins the battle.

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Prov. 4:25

Because you fix on Him long enough, attach your faith to the truth of His Word instead of the circumstances you feel, oh you will start to gaze upon Him.

Establish: to put into a favorable position. (Oh yeah); To put beyond doubt; prove.

Have you established Him?

Is He as real as the chair you’re sitting on?

David set the Lord always before Him. (Ps. 16:8)

To set is to literally place in position. Can you close your eyes and place Him there.

“And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17

There is so much around us we cannot see. With our physical eyes.

Is Christ really always with you, right beside you, never leaving you? Literally.

This is real vision: Choosing to SEE the reality of Christ with you.

To prove your faith, it must best tested. And all real testing comes when you cannot see with your eyes what you want so much with your heart – to believe.

He must bring all ardent disciples here. To the place of blind faith. Because zeal is important. But He knows you will need more than zeal.

“Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’….

Then Jesus said,

“I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” John 21:17b-18

Here Christ is saying, I know you believe, Peter. And I get that I’m your friend. But that kind of love – that level of zeal – it’s not going to cut it in the long haul.

He knows what is ahead of us. His calling is great.

We will need more than small love, small attention to His Word, His face.

So He let Peter fail. Because sometimes falling, testing is the only way we SEE beyond our own naked ability and striving for righteousness.

He wants to be proved faithful TO YOU. That’s a test that will not fail.

But we cannot look with our physical eyes. We must believe with our heart.

And this is how we FIX our eyes – our face – like FLINT towards Him:

We choose to see the reality of His Word. All around us.

With the only eyes that really matter: the eyes of our heart.

And because His Word says He is with me, even now  – and always – I see Him. Nudging me on.

To run.

This race marked out before me.

And all of life will present these billboards along the road. Grabbing for our attention. Our heart. Our eyes.

He is ahead. Calling us.

Fix. Your. Eyes.

 

 

 

Jesus and the Spirit: What Unity!

How did our Lord relate to the Spirit?

  • He was begotten of the Spirit: Luke 1:35
  • He was baptized by the Spirit: John 1:32-34
  • He was led by the Spirit: Luke 4:1
  • He was anointed by the Spirit: Luke 4:16-21, Acts 10:38
  • He drove out demons by the Spirit: Matthew 12:28
  • He offered Himself as the atonement for sin through the Spirit: Hebrews 9:14
  • The Spirit raised Him from the dead: Romans 8:11
  • He gave commandments by the Spirit: Acts 1:2

So, there is not much they did not do together. If the Spirit of God was so involved in the life and ministry of our Lord, how important is He to us?

Let us see how they worked together. Coherently in all ways. Christ had to be obedient to the leading of the Spirit just as we should be. To walk into the desert knowing not the temptation that lie ahead. To press into His strength when the temptation arrived. To lean into His presence when hanging on the tree. To speak words of truth boldly to crowds that would deny Him.

Even Christ relied on the strength and presence of the Living Spirit of God.

Christ did not come down from His heavenly throne to be served, but to serve. Not only man. Not chiefly man. For He served first and foremost the purpose of the Father…and He obeyed the leading of His very Spirit. What humility! He took last place so He could rightfully ask us to do the same.

We serve others best when we have bowed the knee to our Master.

What an example in the Trinity. Three parts working together – with and through and for the others. What strength there must be in our obedience to the whispers of His Spirit. What true empowerment when we lay down our agenda for the kingdom call.

What the Spirit did for Christ, He can do for us.

He can baptize you with His presence. Anoint you in His work. Pray when you cannot. Lead you in His will. Confirm His Word within.

He hovered over the waters in the beginning. He hovers now. Over us. Within us. Still wooing, speaking, working. For the purpose of the Father. To point to the Son. And to the DAY when we, like Christ, will be raised to NEW LIFE forever.

This is Part 3 in a series on the Person of the Holy Spirit. You can backtrack here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imparter of Wisdom

“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding….” Isa. 11:2

The Holy Spirit is the imparter of all true and good wisdom. Seems everyone wants a new word today. The fresh word. Seems everyone wants to hit “publish” first with that new revelation.

Are we feeding on the revelations themselves or the Person they are from?

Are we giving full credit to the Giver of all holy revelation?

“Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?

For from him and through him and to him are all things.

To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Rom. 11:33-36)

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That He should use us to impart HIS wisdom to others for their strengthening, for His kingdom purpose – what a privilege – what a HIGH responsibility.

“Not many of you should be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1

Have we wrestled this out? It is a sober reminder to sit at the feet of the true TEACHER, the Spirit of God, if you are to carry His message to the world. If we are to yield the SWORD of truth, we must live within it and it within us.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” Psalm 111:10

The first deposit of faith comes with a fear of the Lord. It is the beginning. To know our place. That He is God….and we are not. All true wisdom thereafter will point to the main source – God Himself.

How do we test the wisdom that comes from Heaven?

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17 

The “word” someone shares…..must first of all be pure.

Pure: not mixed with anything.

We cannot mix His truth with our motives.

Often His Word is hard. It must be. Often His truth will set the heart on fire. It means to. We do not need to soften the Word of the Lord. And forbid we do.

His wisdom is good for us. And those who have the courage to impart the truth of God’s Word in the strength of His Spirit will receive a reward far greater than the approval of man.

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

If we are leading anyone – let it be to Him. If we are privileged to receive the pure wisdom from heaven, let us give Him glory!

This is part 2 in a series on the person of the Holy Spirit. You may read the first entry here. Blessings to you in the fellowship of the beautiful Spirit of the living God.

The Ministry of the Spirit

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” 2 Cor. 4:1

What mercy to impart such a friend in the Spirit! What preparation within for that which lies ahead. What strength to withstand any temptation. What joy we have yet to touch.

Who is God….that He sets His own Spirit within created man.

We cannot fully comprehend the strength He is storing within us, even the power that raised Christ from the dead.

I used to think that every time He warmed my heart, it was to convict.

Oh Spirit, teach us all here.

He is the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11)

And with Him, like Christ, we do not judge by what we see with our eyes or decide by what we hear with our ears.

He turns our face upward and inward and through Him…

we look beyond.

I’m privileged, honored to even learn of Him. I love talking about Him, to Him.

Let us learn of the strength He imparts. Paul exhorted the church at Corinth (2 Cor. 4) to not lose heart, because through Him, we can:

1. Renounce secret and shameful ways

“All of life is repentance”, according to Martin Luther.

There really is no secret thing with God. He is aware.

Have we all had our own little secrets? Just God and us. The Spirit will go with us to the cross. There is nothing dark enough, deep enough that surprises Him. He knows. He is waiting to help you and I. He will burn your heart until you want the light more than any sin. The truth more than any reputation. Here we learn, conviction is not His end game. It’s the starting gate.

Through his Spirit, we have strength to renounce – to speak out loud against those ropes Satan would use to tie us down.

The sin is the darkness – your soul was made for communion with the Light of the World. Bring all into the light. The Spirit will lead you, even do the cleansing.

2. Set forth the truth of God plainly

The Spirit enables the teaching of His truth. Here is the freedom for the prophet, the pastor, the called of God: His word does not go out void. It never falls on deaf ears. It will enter the heart, the mind, the soul. How each soul allows it to churn and change them – that’s God’s business.

We must press into the strength of the Spirit and find GREAT courage to set forth the truth from the WHOLE counsel of the Word of God. His Word is not easy, but it makes it no less true.

He leads us into ALL TRUTH. John 16:13

And because His Sword is the WORD, all leading must agree with that Word. Or truth it is not.

3. Commend ourselves to every man’s conscience

We get caught up by what we hear, see with our eyes, feel with our emotions. The Spirit is not confined by these things. He works where we cannot see. Mending relationships, providing understanding, chiseling away our pride. He works on the conscience of every man. Through Him, we put our upmost confidence in His ability to be our Defender.

We can come before any man, because He goes before us.

We can stay silent when our flesh says to speak out, because He covers our heart with humility.

4. Have triumph in suffering

Have you ever held a jar of clay? Quite breakable, indeed. Mineral dirt and water, dried up.

And within these temporary shells – He sets a treasure. Himself.

He is the unbreakable part of us.

This is why we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; Perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-9)

Oh we FEEL all those things – because we are still clay jars.

And deep within, there is a renewing. Day by day.

A hope He imparts. A verse He reminds us of. A friend He brings by.

Even His mercies are wrapped in cords of human kindness.

There is a strength, an enabling He offers that we will only experience when we have great need of it.

“as your days are, so shall your strength be.” Dt. 33:25

He is the rising up within you. In the midst of deepest doubt, greatest trial. He is the deep-gut yearning to GET BACK UP. He is the “Yes” in your spirit. You know you will get up again and you will praise Him and you will be there at the end of days to see His face.

James tell us our perseverance must “finish it’s work.” It is a long work to become like Christ.

What a gift in our Great Helper.

Join me this week, as we talk more about the person of the Holy Spirit.

Today, I’m linking up with Lyli at #thoughtprovokingthursday.