Sunday, October 14, 2012

For the Love of Our Country

Today at church our Pastor shared a very important message that had to do with the current state of this country. He quoted the verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that says: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I don't know about you but to me it does not look like the blessing of the Lord is still on this country it is sliding fast into an economic depression and the only vague glimpses of recovery are mere illusions to keep us from doubting the effectiveness of our current government. This is not an issue that can be resolved just by the right government or the right plan though, there is something much deeper, a law that is set even above the laws of our land that is being violated. According to the blueprint that God lay down for us to follow in His Word, prayer alone isn't going to help our nation. We need to repent and turn from our wicked ways before He will even hear us and then He WILL heal our land. The idea that God will still bless us when we are not serving Him but following the ways of the enemy is a dilution that most of us have bought into, including myself, it takes the responsibility off of our shoulders and lets us justify whatever we would like to do. 1 Timothy 1:9 says: Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.

 I am not trying to hit anyone with the letter of the law but according to this scripture if we participate in any of these sins habitually we by default even just with "a little bit of disobedience," place ourselves back under the letter of the law as opposed to the Spirit of the law which we are called to follow as believers and followers of Jesus Chris which is love. Therefore if we are not walking after love, to receive it from God, to love God and to love others we are placing ourselves under the letter of the law and will be judged accordingly. Luke 10:27 says:
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

I don't know about you but I don't see love as the law of this land. I see parents killing unborn babies because they are inconvenient to them or because they don't measure up to certain standards. I see us being entertained by things that the Word says should not even so much as be mentioned among us including violence and immorality. I see God being cut out of public programs and schools because His truth isn't convenient anymore or somehow He is outdated. How is it possible that a created being could come up with a better way than the one the All Mighty God has set in place? 

Fellow Christians and believers, we need to wake up for the love of a Country that we call home. Job 33:23-24 says: If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

And again in Nehemiah 9:2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
This scripture refers to the time when the Israelites were gathered together in captivity and heard the law and repented to return to God and be loosed from their bondage. 

So as a child of God who cares about my country I personally stand in the gap and repent for the iniquity of my generations: Father I recognize the complacency and passivity of my generations. I recognize our pride in thinking that we knew better than you and our rebellion in trying to follow a way that we thought was right without seeking you're ways. I recognize our hardness of heart and our selfishness where we serve and follow our own desires and lusts rather than yours. I recognize our lack of trust in you in believing what you say is true and turning your truth into a lie. Father please forgive me and my generations and please forgive this nation and have mercy on us. Thank you for your compassion towards us thus far and I pray that for your elects sake, for the sake of your children, that you will turn away the curse of the enemy from this nation. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

We need to rally ourselves as believers to each take a stand together for our country. If you believe in this message, humble yourselves and pray too for God's mercy on this land and pass this message on. He cares for us and He truly does want what's best for us but we need to stand with Him and for Him in order for that to even be possible, otherwise we are asking the enemy to "bless" our land instead of Father God. 

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Epesians 3:14-21

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Lesson on God's Grace

I am completely blown away by God's faithfulness and patience with us in our learning curves. I mean I knew this already but I know it even more now, He really does love us and He really is the best Father we could possibly imagine!

Almost exactly a year ago, after taking a Financial Freedom Seminar course my husband and I decided that although we qualify for Medicaid we wanted to try to pay the doctor's bills by ourselves as I was expecting our second child. We made the decision not knowing for sure wether or not the idea was from God or just our own but we decided that in order to be able to hear God better we had to step out and make some choices and see what the results were so that we could learn from them.

At the time our income just barely covered our living expenses so my husband started maintaining some friend's yards in order to get some spare money each month. Even that wasn't entirely enough to cover the Doctor's bill but each time we needed it, the money became available in some way or another. We were so excited when we paid of the last Doctor's bill when I was about six months pregnant. We knew that God had sustained us to that point.

Then we went to the hospital to set up a payment plan for the actual delivery and hospital bills. We were completely caught off guard when we were told that because we qualified for medicaid they could not set up a payment plan for us, either we had to come up with $10000 before the delivery or we had to apply for medicaid and have them cover our bills. We were so crushed and confused. Up to this point we truly believed that God had provided what we needed to pay our bills but we were pretty sure $10000 wasn't just going to pop up in a few months. This is the point where we really had to stop and look at our motives as to why we had made this decision in the first place as well as evaluate exactly how we had gotten as far as we did. We started to see compromises we had made along the way and things we had started to entertain like pride that were even starting to separate us from our friends. We had even started to allow ourselves to think that we had a higher revelation than everyone else who was in a similar financial situation as us. We prayed through these things for about a week and repented together for how we had allowed a seemingly good idea to consume our lifestyle and take away from our family and fellowship time. We then swallowed our pride and applied for medicaid.

We never did regret paying the Doctor's bill by ourselves even though it was a rather large sum of money because we realized that we never would have been able to overcome some of those things that got exposed without allowing ourselves to try this and learn our lesson, and yes, get a sort of spiritual spanking. We never expected to see that money again.

Through this experience we were so grateful for the tender way God dealt with us that He worked with us the whole way and protected us and we never felt accused or abandoned. He even blessed us and provided in unexpected ways. After we repented He opened the floodgates of blessings even wider, our house sold after being on the market almost four months with no viewings, the first people to look at it were the ones to make the offer. Our house was under contract the day after our daughter was born. Everyone was amazed because of how terrible the market is right now in our town.

That wasn't the only blessing, our babies birth went so well that from the start of my first contraction to the time when she was born was exactly one hour. I was also able to walk from the delivery room to the recovery room without assistance which I was told almost never happens. The baby even beat the Doctor who came just after she was born. The whole experience was just so amazing and blessed I can't even put it into words.

We named our daughter Kaitlyn Grace. Kaitlyn meaning pure and Grace, according to the Greek translation of the New Testament scriptures, means God's diving influence on Man's heart. So her name together means the pure, divine influence of God on man's heart. How fitting to sum up our journey through that past year. Her name even now is a constant reminder of God's faithfulness to us even when we make wrong decisions.

Now here is the fireworks display at the end of this story and the reason why I am writing this now, so long after this whole ordeal. Today, we found a check in the mail from the Doctors office for the full amount of what we paid in. As far as we understood medicaid wasn't going to cover that because we had paid it too far ahead of the time we were accepted. I still don't know why we got it but I was so amazed that I burst into tears when I saw it. I was just so overwhelmed by God's grace and love and all the memories of His faithfulness flooded back.

Another amazing part of this testimony actually refers to a different part of our journey based on 2Corinthians 9:6 that says if you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly and if you sow bountifully you will also reap bountifully. This convicted us a while ago because we were so concerned about our finances for so long that we were generally not willing to help others in need even if we were able to. We have really been working on this and trusting and believing God that if He was able to provide for another's needs through us, He would be able to provide for our needs when they arose. So we actually have been excited and thanking God when He provided what we needed to help someone else and we've really been enjoying the opportunities He's been giving us lately. So this check in the mail not only reminded us of His faithfulness and grace in our past season but also solidified the truth of this scripture stronger in our hearts. Our God is a good God and He means what He says, don't ever forget that Breanna! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

How God Sees Us and Disease

If we, by our own power and striving, can overcome the enemy, deal with the spiritual roots to our diseases and be healed, we could say that we did it ourselves. But if we cry out to God for mercy with an open heart to allow Him to work on us, whether we are healed immediately or over a process of time and renewing of the heart and mind, the glory will go to Him.

It is not His will that we be sick or that our bodies malfunction in any way. He created us perfect from the foundation of the world. Sin and iniquity has distorted His creation. If we accept disease or illness thinking that we "deserve" it, we are placing ourselves under the law and the gift of Christ is of no effect.

If however we stand on our faith and appropriate His gift we will be able to walk day by day in His presence to learn and grow by His leading. We do not need disease to spur us on to repentance although it may indicate a need to look deeper. God does not need disease to teach us. He needs an open and submissive heart. Disease is not given by God. It is not a tool or a temptation that He gives us in order to grow us up. He can, however, use what the enemy intended for evil and turn it around for His good and glory.

We should not accept illness or disease into our body when we feel it coming on. We are of more use to God and His Kingdom when we are healthy and have energy. If however we overdo it, our bodies may need to take a break (break down for a time) to recover themselves so that we can get a chance to hear God again. So, that is still more a consequence of striving or getting ahead of God and thus leaving His covering and protection and doing things of our own power. 

God is slow to anger and plentiful in mercy therefore He is not going to strike us like lightning with disease or curse if we mess up or stray. He is going to do His best to work on our hearts and lead us back to His green pastures and still waters. If however our heart has come to a place of hardness where we can no longer hear Him in that particular area of our life, He may have to give us up to our own lusts and desires for a time so that we can face the consequences of our decisions. 

If God was so patient with the Israelites even when they turned on him and worshiped a calf in the desert and complained because they weren't where they thought they should be yet even though He was completely providing everything they needed (Neh 8 and 9), surely He will have the same patience for us and surely He will still bring His Word to our heart and instruction as He did for them. He is the same yesterday, today and always.

God is not out to get us, He truly does love us and want what is best for us. Sometimes in our religious thinking we almost have it out for ourselves and drive ourselves to a point of perceived failure mostly because we do not understand the way He works and how He thinks about us. He is still looking at our heart and working on our heart and desiring for us to get out of our heads and to crawl out of the mindsets and iniquities of our generations so that we can really get to know Him and draw near to Him and find true relationship with Him. He wants us to find His rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If we are burdened then there is something else occulting His truth and promise.

In Nehemiah when the Israelites recognized the iniquities and sins or their generations, they were grieved, but God told them to rejoice and celebrate in their new found freedom and to put away the garments of sadness and distress. He wanted them to throw it off and rejoice in Him without a second to lose. 

That is how we overcome we recognize, take responsibility, repent, renounce, remove, resist, rejoice, and restore others. REJOICE!!! (Be in Health's 8 Rs to Freedom)
The Lord is the light of my salvation, of whom shall I be afraid, the Lord is the stronghold of my life...
He will not leave us or forsake us. He never left or forsook Israel even though they rejected Him and turned from Him so many times. He was always patient, always slow to anger and always devising a way to pull them back to Himself so that He could bring them back under His covering and into His place of blessing. He desires to bless us so much. We need to submit ourselves to Him so that we can recognize and receive that blessing and His rest. 

We should not be looking at how to fix ourselves but rather we should be looking to Him the author and the finisher of our faith. We should be studying Him and His ways and asking for understanding so that we can be more like Him. Focus on His goodness and seek first His kingdom. Don't be continually seeking out the enemies kingdom in your life, it will just bring you down and overwhelm you. Seek God's kingdom and it will help you eradicate the enemy's by default. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all of these things will be added unto you. We can't just get rid of the enemy in our life we need to be filling our life with good so that the enemy doesn't have any more room to stay. Looking forward toward the prize.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice! 

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. 
7 Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health unto your navel and marrow to your bones. 
Proverbs 3:5-8

Father, please write your Word on my heart so that I might not sin against you.
Restore to me the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit within me.