A Call for Your Heart ~ (Part 2)

imagesCAV88UL8The voice we once heard…His voice…is now a distant cry. And yet it’s there…that voice calling out…longing for our return! “Come out…come out and resist.”

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:7

So how in the world do we begin to resist when everything around us tells us to ignore the call? Our flesh is weak; the cravings for instant gratification are strong.
The Word of God is clear. It is a bold statement, a present imperative – a calling for decisive, effective, definite obedience. An imperative leaves no room for options. It’s a God-given command.

If you have breath in your body, and have the ability to read what I’ve written, then please pay attention for a moment!

Jesus endured an unimaginable death! With a cat of nine tails embedded with chards of glass and metal, the Roman soldiers ripped the flesh from His body with 40 lashes, until His body was spent and disfigured. In mockery, a crown of thorns was driven into the flesh on His head. He then picked up His cross and drug and carried it through the streets of Jerusalem, up the hill to the place called Golgotha. There His body was thrown on the cross, and nine inch nails were driven through His feet and hands…he was lifted up…His disfigured and bloody body put on display. The crowds cheered and mocked Him as His mother and disciples anguished for the Son of God….Mary’s precious son, the disciples’ Master and friend…God’s gift to mankind.

There on Calvary’s cross our Savior in this final hour looked up to the heavens and said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!” Mercy and grace on display for all the world to see! He didn’t have to endure this death! He could have wiped mankind from the face of this planet and rescued Himself (and the few who believed). Instead He endured the Cross so that you and I could experience His redemptive power of mercy and grace! Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price! He CHOSE to pay the price for US!

I love the Message version of Romans 5:6-11: “Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!”

Jesus’ words, “Forgive them for they know not what they do”…they resonate so loudly! Do you hear His voice? Do you hear Him calling your name? He died for you; He longs to have relationship with you! He chose you…He chose me!

He tells us in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other”.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” ~ Hebrews 10:19-24

“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and will not faint!” ~ Isaiah 40:28-31

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” ~ Hebrews 10:35-36

“Papa God, I pray for those that hear Your voice today. Ignite a fiery passion in our hearts! Place Your favor in our lives as You have promised. Give us courage and strength to surrender our baggage and carry on in our journey with You! Purify our thoughts, purify our hearts and help us day by day to persevere and grow stronger in our relationship with You! Help us understand that our source of power is in Your Holy Word! Help us to treasure it and take it in every single day! In JESUS’ name I ask these things, amen.”

His voice…His calling. Your heart…His heart…choose to obey and persevere! ~ In His Strong Love ~ rose

The Exit Strategy…On my way to prison…Sign, Sign Everywhere a Sign!

Jeremiah 31:21“Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Return, Virgin Israel, return to your towns.”

Right or left…left or right? Remember the song ‘Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign’ by Five Man Electric Band? Ok…so now I’m dating myself! It was a 1971 hit single. The chorus line…“Sign, sign everywhere a sign, blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign.”

Sunday afternoon was an adventure for me and my friend Kim. We were headed eastbound on I-40 to Estancia, NM for ministry time at Torrance County Prison. I missed the exit and took us 70 miles (round trip) out of the way.  Once we realized the terrain looked a little unfamiliar, I turned around and headed back toward exit 196.

We were an hour late for our visit. We only have two hours to spend inside open population. By making the wrong turn, I had just cheated the ladies out of one of them!  By 4p the ladies are placed in lock down for mandatory count. That is our cue to pack up and leave. I felt horrible about being late.

The officer in charge of cell #4 was a kind lady – she extended a little grace our way! She approached us at 4 and asked if we wanted to stay until 5. Absolutely! (Even though my friend Kim would be late for a niece’s birthday party…sorry Kim!) We were grateful! So she took a manual count of the ladies that attended our session and allowed them to remain “in church!” Hallelujah…a redemptive moment!

Getting off course–missing the exit sign! More often than I care to admit,  over the years, I’ve made decisions without consulting Papa God. I’ve opened my mouth when I should have remained silent…I made choices that changed the trajectory of my life…decisions that had an impact on the lives of my loved ones.  I’ve gotten off track…wandered aimlessly, until my brokenness finally led me to crave wholeness…more than anything!

My inner craving always takes me back to my GPS…God’s Positioning System. The Word from my Heavenly Father is forever there for me!  All my questions answered, all my burdens lifted and all my hopes restored! Whether a minor or a major adjustment, He changes my trajectory back to the goal to win the prize. I’m heaven bound once again!

So I urge you my friend…if you are feeling lost, if you’ve missed the exit sign, if you are wandering aimlessly, if you feel hope fleeting…turn around! Papa God is patiently waiting for you, longing to show you the way. Dust off your G.P.S. and ask Him to reignite the passion within that is longing to be set ablaze. Remember…you can’t always trust your feelings, so go with what you know to be true. His Word is TRUTH!

“Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow” – Psalm 5. “Those who love your instructions have a great peace and do not stumble” – Psalm 119.  So take time right now…Pray, Ask, Listen and heed His instruction!  He will lead the way!


The Exit Strategy ~

When your heart aches with a longing that cannot be tamed… and you know where you’re at  is no longer where you want to be….it’s time to develop your Exit Strategy!

Have you ever felt stuck in a place or in a situation you know is wrong for you? Have you told yourself over and over and over again, “It’s time to make a change…time to move on….time to get right with God?” The clock keeps ticking…on and on…and at the end of the day you find yourself in the same place you were when you started your day! Discouragement sets in and you go back to bed with that empty feeling…once again. The cycle of frustration continues as the minutes melt into hours, the hours into days and the days into months… and there you are…no further along than you were when you started.

So what’s wrong with this picture? Have you considered that you are trying to do life in your own strength? You’ve gotten into the bad habit of not waiting for instructions from theCommander in Chief! You rush into the battle unprepared, only to come out of it at the end of the day all bloody and bruised!

When will you listen! Don’t you know that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords was there the second you opened your eyes in the morning! Yes…Christ Himself was right there with you! He is saying;  “Humanly speaking, it is impossible; but not with God. Everything is possible with God!” (Mark 10:27).

Learning to be still…to listen for His instruction…is the key that will open the doors of the impossible. Learning to pray in a new way….to wait upon the Lord for His instruction instead of rushing into the day unprepared…naked! Would you do that?! Would you go out the door naked? No! Just as you take time each morning to shower, dress, and drink your first cup of coffee, how much more important it is to connect with our Heavenly Father! He’s there…waiting in the pages of His Word…patiently longing to empower you for the tasks ahead…waiting to give you the pep talk you need…waiting to show you a better way to get things right…waiting to see if you’ll invite Him to go with you on today’s journey!

He’s there…patiently waiting. The Resource is ready! Why in the world would you set out naked! Don’t you know that “In His presence the mountains quake and the hills melt away; the earth trembles…The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust Him” (Nahum 1:6-7). So let Him in… “Be still and know that He is God.” He has your best interest at heart. Don’t rush out the door without Him. Begin your daily exit strategy with your Commander in Chief by your side!  ~ IN HIS STRONG LOVE ~ rose

To be continued…


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