Sarah Palin

When Sarah Palin first showed up on the political scene, I was very impressed. So much of what she had to say was exactly what I was thinking and feeling regarding our nation. I was also impressed that she did what she said she would do, true to her word. This did not seem to be a common trait among politicians any longer.

I loved her bulldog, or mama bear tenacity. I loved the fact that she was and is a strong Christian woman. She arrived as a bright light on a dark and murky political scene. Yes, I love Sarah Palin.

So the other day she came out in support of a candidate in the 2016 presidential election that I don’t like one bit. I won’t go into what I don’t like about this candidate. That’s not what this post is about. So what does Sarah Palin’s candidate choice have to do with Christianity and the love of God?

It’s what I noticed in my own heart. Suddenly she didn’t seem to shine so bright in my eyes. When I would see an image of her or a post by her, I felt this little scratch inside. I no longer felt love, but I felt something else creeping into my heart.

So why do I love Sarah Palin? I realized that my love had been based on her words and actions. When her thoughts, words and actions were different than my own, fear began to creep in and love began to fade. Something was wrong. Something had to change. I had to change.

Today, I can say that my love for Sarah Palin is not based on her thoughts, words or actions whether they agree with my own or not. I am a born again believer. Sarah is a born again believer. That means that we are both part of God’s family, both part of the Body of Christ. My Savior and King Jesus loves her unconditionally and so do I. He has asked me to and He gave me His love to do so.

Politics is never a reason to love or not love someone. Agreement or disagreement is not a reason to love or not love someone. We love because He first loved us. He loves unconditionally and so should we.

It doesn’t mean we have to agree with them. It does’t mean we have to vote for them. It does mean that we let His love flood our hearts no matter what and allow Him to drive out all the fear that would try to come. Fear is destroying this nation from the inside out. Love, God’s love that never fails, is saving this nation. Let us be on the love side of this equation.

PS… Jesus loves Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Barak Obama unconditionally. Not based on their performance or good deeds, but based on His love for all mankind. He loves them, so so do I. He asked me to.

Love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12

The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. Luke 6:27-28

Faith works by and through love. Galatians 5:6

Practice Makes Perfect

I love hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. His words bring such peace, joy, faith, hope and love. With one word He can change my world.

So I sit in my prayer chair and I listen. I find myself in a situation where I need wisdom and instruction, so I stop wherever I am and I listen. Funny thing though is sometimes when I’m not consciously listening, out of the blue I hear Him speak and once again His words change my world. This brings me to something He said to me a few days ago.

I was riding as a passenger in a car. I was just watching the world whiz by. At one point I could clearly see the driver in the next car. His head was down and he was looking at his phone as he was driving. He looked like he was texting. I judged him for his dangerous driving behavior. Then I heard the Holy Spirit speak.

Don’t practice judging. Practice love.

I’ve meditated on this the last few days and studied the scriptures on judging. I don’t find that we are never to make judgements. For the many scriptures that tell us not to judge, I found others that instructed how to judge. What I found was that the manner or the heart with which we judge matters.

When God makes a judgement it will always be 100% from a heart of love. Love is not what was in my heart when I thought, “What an idiot.” The Bible tells us that Jesus only said what He first heard the Father say and He only did what He first saw the Father do. I didn’t hear the Father say, “Did you see that guy texting and driving? What an idiot. Judge him for Me won’t you?”

Practice makes perfect. Since that day, I have caught myself practicing some unloving behaviors on perfect strangers from afar. The texting driver. The parent letting their child run wild. So many opportunities in this crazy world to make a judgement. But each is also an opportunity to practice love. Choosing to love instead of judging with a prideful heart. Choosing to pray instead of complaining. This doesn’t just work for far off strangers, but it works with up close aquaintances too.

This may seem impossible, but it’s not if we continue to practice. What are we to practice? Practice hearing His voice and receiving His love. In His words and in His love is the power to love like He loves. In our own strength, our own ability, our own self-control, this IS impossible. But He has given us His Holy Spirit, His strength, His ability, His self-control and with God, nothing is impossible.

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control… (Galatians 5:22-23, Amp)

Starbucks

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:16-17, Amplified)

Recently the CEO of Starbucks made some comments after being asked about Starbucks’ pro-gay stance and it’s financial effects on the company. His comments led to some very interesting comments among my Christian friends with some supporting a boycott and some opposing a boycott.

The above scripture speaks of the love and grace Jesus came to give. He didn’t come to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world. He came to save it. I must say it was a blessing to see so many of my Christian friends understand that we too were not sent to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world.

I was however surprised that at the same time one or two of my Christian friends didn’t understand that we were also not sent to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on one another. Just as we are to love the lost not judge the lost, we are here to love each other, not judge each other.

At then end of each sermon our pastor says to take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us individually. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this situation?

This is being led by the Spirit, being led by God. He may tell you to go to Starbucks, because by you going there, you may be in the right place at the right time to help someone. He may tell you not to go to Starbucks, because by not going you may be elsewhere at the right place at the right time to help someone. He may not be telling others to do what He is telling you to do. He may tell you not to go one day and then ask you to go another. Be led, but also allow others to be led.

So who’s side am I on in this debate? I’m on the Holy Spirit’s side. I’m going to allow Him to lead me moment by moment, day by day. He led Jesus that way. I want to give Him the pleasure to do the same in my life so that I can be in the right place at the right time to be a blessing to whomever He would have me bless.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever – (John 14:16, Amplified)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14, Amplified)

Follow Me

Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you. ~ Oswald Chambers

I begin today’s post with this quote to make it very clear that I will share what God has done with me, what He is doing in my heart. Your experience may be very different than mine. His leading in your life may take you in an entirely different direction than He has taken me.

I worked in the healing ministry of my previous church for 14 years. Many considered me to be “in the ministry”. I worked like someone in the ministry. I’m not saying that with any pride or any regret. It was a wonderful time in my life. Then God called me away from all that.

As I stepped from that season of my life into the next, many said that they were eager to see what God would do with my ministry now.

For quite some time I rested as He had instructed me to. Yet constantly watching for His next instruction for the ministry He had for me.

Weeks turned into months. Months turned into a year. Still more months went by. I finally asked God what He wanted me to do. His response, “What is in your heart to do? Follow your heart.”

I was surprised by this. Could I really trust my heart? His response to this unspoken question, “Your heart is Mine. Your heart is turned towards Me. Follow what is in your heart to do.”

I discussed with Him what was in my heart. I was surprised when I said to Him, “I don’t want to be ‘in the ministry’. I just want to love people wherever I go. Whatever that looks like.”

Loving people might look like praying for someone in need of healing. It might look like counseling a friend in the midst of a trial. It might look like eating a meal and fellowshipping with friends. It might look like fixing my husband’s favorite meal or picking up his clothes from the drycleaners. It might look like sharing Jesus with someone who doesn’t know Him.

Loving people might look like spending time in prayer, in intercession, for someone I know or maybe interceding for someone I don’t know. It can look like any act of love.

I sensed a smile cross His face as I shared my heart with Him.

I was reminded of Jesus’ ministry. Many times He appeared to just be walking along when His course was changed by the leading of compassion.

As Jesus walked through the streets of Jericho, with people all around Him, it says that He “stood still” when He heard the cry of blind Bartimaeus. He stopped. He turned and He healed this man crying out for mercy. He was led by the Spirit of God to demonstrate God’s love to this individual.

Come, follow me… and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19, NIV)

…He leads me… (Psalm 23:2, Amplified)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14, Amplified)

I don’t know what the future holds for me. I do have an expectation of His continued goodness and grace in my life. Whether it looks like a ministry or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that it look like love.

I will follow where He leads and there I will love others as He has loved me. That is my ministry.

Be led. Selah.

The Process

One of the pastors at our church made a statement recently that has stuck with me. He stated that Jesus is preparing a place for us and that the Holy Spirit is preparing us for the place.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3, KJV)

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever–The Spirit of Truth… (John 14:16-17, Amplified)

…the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. (John 14:26, Amplified)

The pastor was teaching a message entitled “Why the Wilderness”. He spoke of the wilderness as being the place where God prepared the people for the promised land which He had prepared for them. They land was ready for them, but the people had to be ready for the land. There were things they were trying to bring in from the land they were leaving, Egypt. They had been slaves there. They had to stop thinking like slaves. The pastor made this statement, “Freedom is not getting you out of Egypt. It is getting Egypt out of you.”

As the pastor taught this message, my Comforter, Counselor, Helper, the Holy Spirit said something to me. He simply said, “Yield to the process.”

Why were the Israelites in the wilderness for so long? They fought the process. They complained about the process. They often rebuked the process. But it only delayed the process, for they could not enter what He had prepared for them until they allowed Him to prepare them.

Trust Him and yield to the process. Let Him make you what you ought to be (see Hebrews 13:21 Amplified).

One last statement from the pastor’s message to help determine what is God and what is not. “Testing is an opportunity with the goal of success. Temptation is an opportunity with the goal of failure.” God will lead you into tests for your success. The enemy will try to force you into failure through temptations. Let God’s word and His Holy Spirit help you navigate the process.

The Man in the Mirror

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image… (2 Corinthians 3:18, Amplified)

… if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; for he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. (James 1:22-23, Amplified)

But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. (John 14:26, Amplified)

Do you see what I see? It says that when we look into the Word of God it is like looking in a mirror. We are to see ourselves the way God sees us.

The scripture listed above from the book of James says that when we don’t do what the Word of God says, it is like a man who looks in the mirror and then walks away and forgets what he looks like.

But then there is the Holy Spirit and one of His job descriptions is that He has come to remind us of the things God has said.

God said you are the righteousness of God in Christ.

God said that you are more than a conqueror.

God said that you are the head and not the tail.

God said that you are redeemed from the curse and you are blessed.

God said that by His stripes you WERE healed.

God said that you were healed of all your diseases.

God said that you were forgiven of all your sins.

God said that He loves you just as much as He loves Jesus.

God said that His love is in your heart even now.

God said that you are His child.

God said that the Holy Spirit lives in you. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.

God said that you could do all things through Christ (the Anointed One and His anointing) which strengthens you.

God said that you will do the works that Jesus did and even greater works.

God said that you were born of His seed. You are born of God.

And that’s just the beginning…

Holy Spirit remind us of who we are and what we are called to do and anointed to do. In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.

Words of Grace

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29, KJV)

But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit…) (James 4:6, Amplified)

That your words may minister grace unto the hearer. The Lord asks us and anoints us to speak words of grace. Words that minister the power needed to do what God has called us to do.

God has called us to be like Him. Our words are to minister grace, because His words minister grace.

How do you access grace? By faith. It is by faith that it might be by grace (Romans 4:16)

I once asked the Lord for the grace to walk in love. His response was an instant insight into how Jesus walked as the Son of God in this earth. Here is what He showed me.

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Luke 3:22, KJV)

Jesus believed what God said about Him. He believed that He was God’s Son. He believed that God loved Him. He believed that God was pleased with Him. He had faith in God and in God’s Words to Him and by that faith, He accessed the grace to walk it out in this earth.

In Luke 4:18-21 we also see that He believed that the Holy Spirit was upon Him and that He was anointed and by faith He accessed the grace (the power of the Holy Spirit) to walk it out.

Now the Bible says that I am born of God’s seed and God is Love. I am born of God, I am born of Love. The Bible also states that God’s love has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit.

What happens when I believe this? I access the grace to walk it out in this earth.

This is not only true of the few scriptures I have shared in this post. It is true for all the things God has spoken to us in His Word.

Believe what He says and by faith access the grace in His Words to walk it out in this earth.