Hope in Death

Death is part of living.

Even in a room full of people, we can feel alone, right? One can feel this way with the Father. He lives within and is all around us; and yet, we feel alone, maybe even on our own.

When this happens, it could be that He is trying to awaken within us the reality that something is dead in our lives. And sometimes, no matter what He does to get our attention, He allows us to taste death to give us the incentive to want to change what we think is not broken.

We all act consistently with what we really believe. This is normalcy. Yet, is what we believe, truth? Jesus said that He is truth. Thus, anything in our head not put there by Him is not true and leads to death.

When we put our faith in what Jesus did for us – died, buried, rose again – the next phase of our life after physical death was made secure. Yet, what about all the bad programming (lies) left in our brains that keeps us from getting closer (death) to the Father right now?

Death and life can co-exist in one place. It’s like a graveyard. My mother-in-law’s grave is shaded by a beautiful colorful tree and covered with green lushes grass.

Though we live in a graveyard called earth, we know that neither physical nor spiritual death are permanent. There is hope that there is life both now and later for the believer in Jesus.

The question is, then, do you want to change? Be careful how you answer that question. Change is hard work. The Spirit may have to do some digging into rooms of your brain that you want to remain closed or have forgotten even existed.

If this is the case, you may have to taste death (feeling alone, lost, forsaken, tears, scared, fearful, angry, etc.) to awaken you to life. Death is not pleasant. But abundant life is.

Oh what a hope Jesus gives us! As he came alive through death, so can we.

Stop Digging

“When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Will Rogers

It’s a good thing, but I really don’t enjoy it, though. The first two verses of my Bible reading hit me so hard, I had to put it down and meditate.

Isaiah 59:1-2: “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

The Spirit tells us that our God is not only wanting and willing to help, but He is also fully capable of defeating the challenges we’re facing. He wants to hear from you!

If you’ve been digging yourself a hole and are finally willing to say, “Uncle. I give. Help!” He will definitely hear that prayer because you are now looking to Him to solve your problem.

Now, comes that wonderful word, but. But, if you are knowingly sinning and continuing to dig your hole deeper, no matter how much you whine or complain, He’s not going to step in and rescue you. As the old saying goes, “You haven’t hit bottom yet.” He’ll let you continue to dig.

I was convicted when I read that passage. He’s asked me to fast from playing games, reading sports scores and watching funny videos on my phone and iPad in order to talk with Him. But, I’ve been continuing to dig my hole, deeper and deeper while hoping He will answer the prayers I do throw up there, seriously?

The Spirit through Isaiah is saying, “Stop digging! Put the shovel down. And do what you know I’ve been chirping at you, not others, but you to do.”

Then and then will your Father in heaven do what only He can do, be God.

Keep Fighting

The battle never ends.

I heard the above phrase while watching a true story of four men fighting for hours to stay alive during an enemy attack.

They were being hit with round after round, shrapnel and shards of rock caused by exploding rounds. During the fight, they kept reminding each other that the battle never ends. In other words, you keep fighting.

This is true for Jesus believers as well. There is evil in the world that wants to destroy our lives, which is why warfare is mentioned so many times in scripture.

We are fighting a big time spiritual war, which never ends unless we quit and let the enemy win or we go home to be with Jesus.

Therefore, we have been given scriptural weapons to fight this battle fought mainly in our minds. Paul talks about the Spirit fighting against our old programing to bring us victory (Galatians 5:16-17).

He talks about the Jesus believer being given the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) and the power to demolish strongholds (defensive mechanisms), justifications and thoughts that oppose Jesus (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

He also mentions that we have been given the Spirit of power, love and a saving mind (2 Tim. 1:7) Saving mind? Yes, though some translators insert the phrase sound mind or self-control, the base word is actually the verb to be saved or made whole!

We have been given the mind of Christ so we can think truth and then the power to act on that truth to be set free and experience victory, which makes us whole or like Jesus!

Don’t let evil win. Keep battling to take each thought (ingrained programming or thoughts coming at you) and match it with the truth in order to love Jesus through asking the Spirit for the power to make the faith choice to follow Jesus. This process rewires your brain brings about true Jesus life change.

Yet, know this. As long as you are on this planet, this battle never ends. So, keep fighting! Jesus, however, promises this process will set you free and bring victory.

God’s Ability Alone

Satan can take something good and make it evil; only God can take something evil and make it good.

I was listening to the story of unspeakable horrors from a speaker who went through them as a child. At one point, he even thought he was crazy as his story was so out there evil.

Could his childhood memories be real? His search led him to a forensic specialist, who ran tests to determine if his memories were real or made up. They were extremely disturbingly real. Satan had turned an innocent childhood into a nightmare of unspeakable experiments and experiences.

After surviving all this, he came to faith in Jesus where his journey toward healing and wholeness began. This journey eventually led him to a supernatural forgiveness of the primary perpetrator of his tortured childhood.

Please don’t give me the line that his past made him who he was today. If we follow that line of reasoning, we might as well call all the horrors done to him as normal, which should be done to people everywhere so they could turn out to be the strong and loving man he is today.

No, what was done was out and out evil that no one should ever experience. Evil exists and it does evil things. Only God, however, can turn unspeakable evil around for good. (Romans 8:28 never says that what is done is good and should be repeated. It only says that God can turn a horrific past into something good in the present.)

This man’s story is one of hope. It shows that forgiveness, inner healing and peace is possible for everyone despite the evil done to them. This man passed this kind of forgiveness onto the perpetrator, who came to saving faith in Jesus. This is truly something only God can do.

We don’t praise God for the manure thrown at us. We do, though, praise God for His ability to make a rose bloom and flourish from it.

God wants to use us to bring hope to a world where unspeakable horrors are taking place. So, let God do what only He can do: turn your past mistakes and those caused by others into something beautiful to His glory and praise.

The Tough Choice

“Trust My ability to reroute you” – Abba.

As someone who likes to get things done, being told to just sit in His lap was a hard thing to do.

Sit in His lap? Yes. Ephesians 2:4-6 states that we are seated in Jesus’ lap, right now. Jesus said that when we see Him, we see the Father. Therefore, in a way, I am sitting in my Father’s lap, right now!

I can lean my head onto My Father’s chest and just be. No performance needed. Just be.

I don’t know why. Correction. I do know why. It’s just not easy to make that choice to rest, to stop bounding my leg or bobbing my foot or to let myself be okay with it.

Yet, the peace Jesus promises comes from letting Him work in and through me instead of me doing something for Him in order to get something out of Him for what I’m doing for Him.

I have all the Father’s attention, right now. I have all His love, right now. I have all the “thata boys” I need from Him, right now…because of Jesus.

I know this in my head, but my heart sure is a distance away. If you are like me, do what I’m doing. Ask, “Lord give me the faith to make the tough choice to be okay with being with You whether or not I’m doing anything.”