The “Burning Question”


burningTHE WORD: “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing.” ~ 1 King 18:21

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” ~Joshua 24:15

I’ve been wrestling with a decision that I need to make. It’s daunting. On the one hand, I know that God is calling me to greater things, not in the sense that I’m going to be great, but in the sense that God wants to use the gifts and talents that He created in me to carry out His purpose. I am being challenged to step into my vocation…my calling. It’s a transition that I know God has been preparing me for, and yet I feel so totally inept. This time of transition is scary! My biggest struggle is the fear of failure. I do not want to fail Papa God.

In addition to the study of Gideon by Priscilla Shirer, I’ve been listening to messages by Andy Stanley, Todd Cook, and this week I added a message from Pastor Steve Furdick. Every message resonates the same theme: It is time to choose.

In the book of 1st Kings, the story of Elijah continues as God instructs him to anoint Elisha as the next prophet of Israel.
“So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” ~1 Kings 19:19-21

“Go back,” Elijah replied.“So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.”

These verses spoke volumes to me. You see, in order to move forward, Elisha knew he had to do some housekeeping. He had to say goodbye to his parents, but more significant to me was the fact that Elisha knew he had to burn his plow and slaughter his oxen – the tools of his trade. This was a pivotal moment in Elisha’s life. He knew that in order to be completely free to forge ahead to do the greater things that God had purposed for him, he had to be rid of anything in his life that would hold him back.

Elisha took the necessary steps to complete surrender. So this begged the questions: What are the things I’m holding onto? What do I need to “burn,” metaphorically speaking? I know the answer: It is my fear, my doubt, my trepidation of the unknown! Now that I know this, the decision is really quite simple. I must trust Papa God. He has my best interest at heart. He knows my past, my present and my future. I must walk by faith and not by sight!

It’s time to step into the water and watch God part my daunting Red Sea. It’s time for complete surrender!

The final spiritual arrow that pierced my heart this week was embedded in Todd’s message yesterday. I came home and read it again:
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” ~Revelation 3:14-20

This is the voice of our Savior…calling out to us…pursuing us…because he loves us so!

In Todd’s message, he said, “As a believer, if you choose to disobey, you will not lose your salvation, but you will lose the JOY of your salvation.”

I decided a long time ago that I want to live out the rest of my life in the joy of the Lord! I know now what I must choose!

How about you? Are you at a crossroad? Do you have fears, doubts, habits, relationships, in your life that keep you from moving forward? What is God calling you to do? How will you respond? Will you remain silent, or will you “burn” the things that hinder and weigh you down. Will you choose today to be a servant of your idols…or a servant of God?

“Papa God, help us to trust you with every area of our lives! Help us to seek after you…to surrender completely anything that would hinder our walk and our service to you. Help us to take your WORD seriously, to read it daily and to allow it to massage our hearts into obedience. You created us for a purpose. Help us to be still and to listen to your voice…your calling for our lives. You, Papa, will never fail us. You have our best interest at heart! We ask this in Jesus name… Amen”

Passing Through The Valley of Dry Bones!


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THE WORD: “This vision message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming – it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.”  (Habakkuk 2:3 – The Message)

I’ve been going through a dry spell…through a parched, desolate desert, metaphorically speaking. My movement forward at times seemingly futile. Yet something within me….a divinely apportioned angst…is my barometer that reminds me it is necessary to continue on my journey. And so I trek through the valley of dry bones…listening to the lifeless rattling sound they make as I walk amongst them.  (Ezekiel 37:1-2)

One thing I’ve learned, as I reflect back on my journey thus far, is that it’s right smack dab in the middle of my valleys where, time after time, my heart has been re-awakened! It has always been in the midst of a dry desert storm that I come to a vivid realization of my desperate need for Papa God, not only as my Savior, but also as my LORD! It is there…as He walks alongside me…that He whispers in my ear, hold on to My promises!

It is there…right smack in the middle of the valley…that He quickens His Spirit within me, and breathes life back into my dry bones! It is there that the brilliance of His majesty is demonstrated and my heart resounds with uncontainable gladness! It is there that I rejoice and praise my Papa God with such clarity of heart, mind and soul! Yes…it is in the midst of the valley that my bones come alive…the tendons and the strength once again rise up and dance in adulation!  (Ezekiel 37:5-14)

The dry spell is broken and the vision awaits me! It aches for the coming – it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, I will wait because it’s on its way. It will come right on time! His timing is perfect.  For now I will do what my Lord requires of me. I will continue to prophesy over the valley…I will sing the psalms of ascent and continue to take the steps that are necessary to reach the destination appointed just for me.

I will pray with confidence the prayer to succeed as a servant of my Holy KING!

If you find yourself in the middle of a valley, look up! Lift your eyes to the heavens! See the glory of His face and allow Him to lift you up under His wing! Take refuge in His strength! He is the Alpha and Omega, Creator of all things! He delights in you and has placed a perfect angst inside your heart that cannot be extinguished!

So pilgrim…pray the prayer of Nehemiah with me: Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

May our Papa God embrace you on your journey…today and always!

In His strong love ~ rose

A “Dangerous” Kind of Faith


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THE WORD: “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:5-10 NLT

In what ways do I deviate from the instructions of the Lord? How do I compromise? How often do I keep a “safe” distance? What boundaries does God put in place that I continually override with my selfish desires? Do I take the necessary risks when I sense the Holy Spirit prompting me, or do I hold back out of fear? Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear that I won’t be good enough, or smart enough, fear to face a circumstance head on. Is it fear that drives my decisions, rather than obedience to the instruction of the Lord?

Yesterday’s message at our church, Sagebrush Community Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was about leveraging EVERYTHING I have for the King who gave EVERYTHING for me! I was challenged to take an inward look at what I am doing to serve the ONE who created me. I exist because God allows me to be. He gives me breath…He makes my heart beat. Why would I not want to serve my Creator with all that I am!

What it means to live a “dangerous faith” can be defined within the verses above. Be “strong and courageous” the Word tells us. In other words, DO NOT COMPROMISE! Don’t be foolish and squander your life on the things of this world. Do not waste time by putting off until tomorrow the things that God is prompting you to do today. Let us rid ourselves of laziness and procrastination! Seize the moment! Begin today by engaging in the work that He has prepared for you to do! Look around…the assignments are ever-present! Be ready, be prepared and do not fear! Be courageous because God has promised that no matter what, HE will be with you wherever you go! Trust in His promise and hold fast to the Truth of His instruction. Put on His armor before you walk out the door (Ephesians 6)! Feast on His Word so that your strength is in HIM, rather than in the illusion of strength offered by the world!

And secondly, living a dangerous faith means letting go of the past…cutting loose the baggage that weighs us down; turning away from the sin(s) that hold us in bondage. It may mean letting go of habits that are defiling our body, soul and mind! It may mean cleaning up in the area of “moral integrity”….letting go of the relationship(s) that aren’t God honoring. It’s saying “NO” to those things and those people who hold us back from making Christ the first love of our lives! It may mean speaking TRUTH in love to someone, knowing that the TRUTH may not be well received; and accepting the fact that the relationship may end.

Am I willing to give it my all? Am I willing to live a dangerous faith for the ONE who put HIS life on the Cross so that I may live? THAT my friend…epitomized a dangerous kind of faith!

“Papa God, ‘Thank you” is not enough! We can’t even begin to repay you for the demonstration of your unconditional love on the cross. We thank you that the gift of your forgiveness and your GRACE is just that…a gift. So undeserved! We are so grateful and so humbled by it! Open our minds and our hearts today to take in the magnificence of your amazing gift! Help us, Papa…ignite a passion in the center of our beings…an angst that will not quit….a desire so strong that we will be compelled to rise up and take a bold and courageous stand for YOU! Give us a desire to crave the reading your Word consistently—with no deviation…no compromise from your teaching! And as we read, help us to listen and discern carefully your voice! Bless this day so that in it, we will do Your will and not our own! In Jesus name we ask and pray! Amen”

In HIS Strong Love,

rose

Francis Chan on the Balance Beam of LIFE!!


What does our life routine look like…

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Hit the reset button ~


All that is wrong, I can set right! How this resonates with me today! Jeremiah 39:17 “But I will rescue you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear; I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the Lord.”  ~ So much of the time, it is difficult to see what God is doing in the lives of those we love, when we limit our vision to the physical. It is in the TRUSTING that our faith is truly tested. It is God Himself who sets our course, and it is God himself who will direct our paths.

How we realize our destiny is a matter of obedience. Choosing today to be still and to listen to my Master’s calling. To trust that in all circumstances He is working out His perfect plan to develop Kingdom people. So it has been with me and with those that He has placed in my life. It is not for me to stand in judgement or to be critical of the way I see things unfolding in the lives of those that I love. For my sight is limited and my perception is marred by my inability to see God’s grand design. Like the high priest, I can only take my prayer offering to the temple courts and it is behind that curtain that God does His most amazing work of purification! God help me today to pray without ceasing; to trust in you with all the fervor that you have placed in my soul!  Help me to walk straight and to leave my offering at your feet.

Thank you for the nugget of hope that you gifted me with last night! I see your mighty hand at work and I rejoice with YOU! Thank you for loving me the way that you do! I take pleasure in dancing in your courts!  I hear your whisper in my heart saying….”How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with  your delights” ~ Song of Solomon 7:6 ~ Blessings…IN HIS STRONG LOVE ~ rose

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