Enjoy the Ride

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (John 10:10, Amplified)

I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. (John 15:11, Amplified)

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy… (1 Timothy 6:17, KJV)

If you are not enjoying life, you’re doing it all wrong. The scriptures above, two of which were spoken by Jesus, all of which were inspired by God, tell us that God wants us to enjoy life.

When I heard the title of this post in my heart a couple days ago, one thing immediately popped into my mind. I pictured a couple of children in the back seat of a car saying, “Are we there yet?”

I have to laugh when I think about this, because God has a world full of children sitting in the back seat saying, “Are we there yet?” Or some have not been happy to sit in the back seat and have asked God to scoot over so they can do the driving. They think it’s no fun when God drives, because He takes too long. He won’t break the law and speed you see.

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that as we behold the glory in His word, that we will be changed from one degree of glory to another, until we look like Him. And many people that I speak to are so put out that they don’t already look like Him right now. That they aren’t perfect right now.

I’m not perfect right now, which may be a shock to my friend, felstdia 🙂 But when I see things that need to change it means I get to spend more time with Him so He can change me. I like sitting on the Potter’s wheel being molded by His hands.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite scriptures found in the book of Song of Solomon.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. [So I went with him, and when we were climbing the rocky steps up the hillside, my beloved shepherd said to me] O my dove, [while you are here] in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. [My heart was touched and I fervently sang to him my desire] Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards [of our love], for our vineyards are in blossom. [She said distinctly] My beloved is mine and I am his! (Song of Solomon 2:13-16, Amplified)

It’s as we come to Him and fellowship with Him in His word and in prayer and in everything, that He is able to take those things (those little foxes) in our lives that spoil the vineyards of our love. He enjoys helping us in this process. Think about that for a moment. God enjoys working with you.

I was talking to someone recently and they said, they wished God would just show them everything they needed to know all at once. My response to that is this, He likes that you come to Him daily, and moment by moment to get the next piece of the puzzle.

Instead of asking constantly, “Are we there yet?” Relax and start enjoying the ride. You are on a journey with the King of the Universe. How great is that?! Enjoy every moment with Him!

Making Time

Yesterday as I was driving home from the bank the Lord whispered three things in my heart. “Making time. Enjoy the ride. Invitations.” All three were things I said to others this week as I spoke to them about my relationship with God and about the kind of relationship He wants with them. As soon as I heard them, I knew what they were. They are the titles for the next three postings.

Now why did I mention where I was and what I was doing? Because I wanted you all to see that I didn’t hear these things in my prayer time at home. I didn’t hear these things at church. I heard them in my car on the way home from the bank.

Twice this week as I spoke to friends, the subject of “making time” to spend with God came up. And before I get too far, I want to say that I absolutely agree with having a set time with Him daily, to spend time in His word and in prayer.

However, for those who may not go beyond this, I want to encourage you to “make time” to be with Him all day. I don’t mean sitting in your favorite prayer chair, I mean when you’re on your way to the bank or the store or to work. And while your in the bank, the store and at work.

One friend said she just didn’t seem to have the time in her busy schedule. I told her I spent a lot of time with God in the Petite Sophisticate dressing room 🙂 For years I’ve talked to God about whatever I was doing. If I was washing the dishes I thanked Him for my beautiful, blue dishes. Just the other day I went through the Talbot’s catalog and pointed out the things I really like to my Heavenly Father. For years I asked Him what He thought of the outfits I was trying on in that dressing room. I was very surprised when one day deep in my heart I heard Him say, “I like that one on you.”

Since then, whether I hear anything or not, I include Him in every moment of every day. I ask Him constantly about things and sometimes I hear an answer in my heart at that time. Other times I come across the answer as I’m reading the scriptures. Sometimes I hear the answer to the question I asked on Sunday morning being answered by my pastor during the church service. No matter how the answer comes, He always answers.

When a butterfly flies by, I say to Him, “I know you sent that just for me.” He likes it when I say that 🙂 Did He really send the butterfly just for me? I like to think so, but what if He didn’t? I still included Him in that moment of my day.

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) 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.

Many times I have sat in my favorite prayer chair with my Bible and my worship music and waited upon the LORD. Renewing my strength in His Presence.

Listen to what David said in Psalm 25:4-5 (KJV).

Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach my thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Did David spend all day in His prayer chair? Actually, he did so for many years as a shepherd. But I also believe he trained his heart to wait on God all day, regardless of what he was doing.

No matter where I am, what I’m doing, who I am with my heart is still watching and waiting to see what He will say to me (Hab 2:1). I’m also watching for opportunities to fellowship with Him, like the butterfly, a pretty flower, a beautiful sunset. Thanking Him for my husband’s bonus or raise. Thanking Him for His protection after just missing being in an accident.

I used to call my husband all day long and tell him the cute thing the dogs did, the good deal I found on a dress, etc. I soon learned he loved me, but when he was at work he needed to work. So now I tell God the cute things the dogs did. I thank Him for the good deal on the dress and every time I think of it, I tell Him I love Him.

Good Morning

Each morning, for the past few weeks, I have heard this song in my heart in those moments when I am just waking up.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.

His mercies never come to an end.

They are new every morning,

New ever morning.

Great is Thy faithfulness oh Lord.

Great is Thy faithfulness.

The song is taken from a passage found in Lamentations 3:21-23.

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (KJV)

The passage is talking about hesed. The word ‘mercies’ is the Hebrew word ‘hesed’-God’s steadfast love. And it says His mercies, His compassions are new every morning. Before you ever got up today, God’s mercies were already ready to cover your failings for the day.

Sometimes when I hear that song in the morning, I thank God for the mercies He has for me for today and for the fact that the moment I step out of love and break that command, His mercy, His hesed, is right there waiting for me to turn to Him so He can make things right.

This song has greeted me each morning. And as I heard it being played in my heart again this morning I had this thought.

Good Morning. Welcome to today. I’ve been waiting for you.

As I meditated on these things, I thought of the parable of the prodigal son found in Luke 15. He had gone off and wasted his inheritance and ended up starving among the pigs. He decided to return to his father’s home to be a servant so he could at least have a warm bed and food. And then it says in verse 20,

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (KJV)

I like the Amplified version too.

So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently].

Now one of two things happened here. I can’t say for sure which, but the outcome is still the same. It’s possible his father saw him coming because he’d been watching and waiting for his son’s return. Or maybe he just happened to see him coming that day. Either way, mercy was waiting for him before he ever made it to his father’s side. Mercy actually ran to him. Mercy saw him coming and was ready for him.

We are growing from glory to glory into His image. And just as children aren’t born doing all the right things, but have to grow in maturity, we are growing into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are going to make mistakes along the way. But with everyone of them, mercy will be right there waiting for us.

The prodigal son found mercy in his father’s arms. That’s where we’ll find it too. Run to Him, don’t shy away from Him.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, KJV)

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. (Psalms 145:8-9, KJV)

Selah.

Loving Me

I love waking up in the mornings to the sound of His voice in my heart. He is usually saying really sweet things and usually really profound things. This morning He actually said something very simple yet somewhat surprising. He was speaking to me about loving myself.

I have endeavored in my life to major on loving Him and loving others, but there’s an important part of the commandment of love we can’t forget. “You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself” (Matthew 22:39, Amplified).

I was surprised by this, because it almost seemed a given that I would love myself. But then I began to think about what that means. Am I patient and kind towards myself? Do I believe the best of myself? Am I quick to forgive myself? Do I have mercy on myself?

I am often surprised to see how hard people are on themselves. But our command says to love others as we love ourselves. How do you love others if you’re not loving yourself?

Once again I want to stress that I am talking about loving with God’s love, not human love. Loving yourself with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). And then loving others that same way.

When I find myself falling short in my love towards others, I often ask Him to show me how He sees that person. When I see them through His eyes I find myself loving them with His love.

This morning for the first time in many years, I think I’ll ask Him to show me how He sees me.

You are not your own. You were bought with a price. You are mine. ~ God

I am His. Selah.

The Outpouring

I recently heard a Bible teacher explain the Mezuzah. It’s a small case, attached to the doorposts of Jewish homes. It contains two small scrolls with these scriptures written upon them.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with ll thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on they gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, KJV)

And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain in your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in the corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you. Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:13-21, KJV)

Both of these passages speak of loving the LORD your God. Both say teach them to your children. Both say keep them before you, including on your doorposts, thus the Mezuzah.

But what can we as Christians learn from this? Many in the Body of Christ have been looking for an outpouring of the Spirit to come in the last days. A time when the former and later rains come together. A time when there is a great awakening to God. In Deuteronomy 11 it tells us that He gives the rains as His people obey His commands. What is His command to the church?

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind… Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Mattew 22:37, 39, KJV)

The very command He told the Jewish people to keep before them always. And it was obedience to His commands that would bring the rains.

He’s calling us up higher for a reason. He is calling us to obedience to the command of love. He wants us to teach our children. Why? There’s an outpouring coming as we walk in love.

The Way of Holiness

And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all-love. (1 Corinthians 12:31, Amplified)

And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there… (Isaiah 35:8-9, KJV)

And He spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And He said to [Joshua], Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel. And I [Zechariah] said, Let them put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with [rich] garments. And the Angel of the Lord stood by. And the Angel of the Lord [solemnly and earnestly] protested and affirmed to Joshua, saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then also you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you access [to My presence] and places to walk among these who stand here. (Zechariah 3:4-7, Amplified)

The way of holiness. Holiness “signifies separation to God” and “the conduct befitting those so separated” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary).

Take away the filthy garments. Walk in His ways. Keep His charge. He’s calling us up higher. A higher way to walk. A higher way to talk. A higher way to pray. A higher way to say. It’s the holiness way.

Walking in the world’s filthy ways have kept us from the heights He’s called us to as the Body of Christ in this earth. Take the high way and walk in His ways of light and love.

Put off the old man and put on the new man and walk in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:22-24).

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:7, KJV)

God’s Love In Us

God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5, Amplified)

And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). (1 Corinthians 13:2, Amplified)

According to God’s word we are useless if we don’t have His love beating in our hearts and working in our lives. Thank God that when we received His Son as our Lord and Saviour, His love came into our hearts.

In a previous post we looked at the many types of human love and how they don’t even come close to comparing with the wondrous beauty of God’s unselfish, sacrificial love. In 1 Corinthians 13:2 it tells us that if we don’t have God’s love in us we are useless. It is God’s love in us that makes the difference.

Let’s take a look at what I consider one of the most powerful examples of His love, the God-kind of love.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him… Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:33-34, KJV)

It is vital that you dig into His Word and begin to discern the difference between human love and God’s love. Human love will love up to a certain point. But human love would have run from that cross in self-preservation. Human love would not be thinking about the forgiveness of it’s enemies at such a desperate and agonizing time.

Now the reason I say this, is because it is vital that you understand that His love is in you and that it is His love this hurt and dying world is in need of. His love brings healing. His love brings deliverance. His love brings salvation. His love brings provision. His love brings forgiveness and restoration. It is His love that they need.

When I minister to the needs of people I am very aware that it is nothing but His love in me that makes me useful to them in their time of need. What I say in my heart is “Father, I yield to Your love in me. I let You love this person through me.”

I step out of the way and let God have His way.

This doesn’t just work in ministry. This works at home, at the office, in the grocery stores too. This works when people are being rude and unmannerly. It isn’t just choosing to not respond out of will power. It is at these moments too, you yield to His love, step out of the way and let Him love all men through you.

When we pray, “Lord, I need more love for this person,” what we are really saying is, “Lord, I need to set more of my self aside, so that more or Your Love can come forth.” – Nancy Missler, The Way of Agape: Understanding God’s Love, Koinonia House 1995