Why obedience is important to you and God.

In sharing the Christmas message at church, our pastor focused on Joseph, the husband of Mary and his obedience to the Lord.

I don’t recall hearing many sermons about Joseph during the Christmas season.  It is usually about Christ and His sacrifice, and mostly about Mary and her response to the Angel –  Behold, the maidservant of the Lord.  Let it be to me according to your word.  Luke 1:38

Obedience

In hearing about Joseph, our pastor pointed out key truths.  He was a son of Abraham,  a just man, wanting to please God, obedient and operated in faith.

Imagine for a moment.  Joseph is engaged to Mary, and the scripture says before they came together or were married, Mary was found to be pregnant. Joseph did not want to disgrace her, and he made plans to break off the engagement silently.

How do you think Joseph felt at hearing this news?  His betrothed was pregnant, and not by him.

As Joseph was thinking about how to end his relationship, it was during this time an Angel came to him in a dream and informed him Mary was pregnant of the Holy Spirit.

Would you believe a story like that?  Joseph did, and his obedience to the Lord is recorded.  Not only here, but also when he was warned of yet in another dream to escape Egypt to save Jesus´  life.

I have been meditating on this sermon all week, and I ask myself, where have I been disobedient to the Lord in my daily life?  It´s so easy to read this story many times over, but never stop to think about Joseph´s obedience in all of this, and how vital it was.

This type of obedience took courage and faith.

If we read of all the accounts in the Bible where the Lord calls someone to operate in obedience, many times it goes against logic.

  • Moses parting the red sea
  • Moses striking a rock and have water gushing out of it
  • Noah building an Ark
  • Gideon choosing only 300 men  to defeat the Midianites
  • Sauls conversion on the road to Damascus

Of course, there are many more examples of obedience in the Bible.  If we strive to be obedient in the smallest of things in life, imagine how the Lord will trust us with the bigger things that come our way.

The bigger things may result in blessings, greater gifting and anointing upon our lives and satisfaction that you are in God´s will.

Operating in obedience to the Lord demonstrates our love for Him.

John 14:15  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

My prayer for 2018, When I hear the voice of the Lord leading me in a direction that may seem unlogical, may I be obedient.

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How to see in the spirit exercise

In my last post regarding Seeing in the Spirit,  I shared my journey into something new and the beginning steps to achieve this goal.

Today I would like to share with you an exercise these books suggest you do to increase your capacity to “see” in the spiritual realm.  If you have not yet purchased these books, I encourage you to do so.

see in the spirit

 

One of these exercises to seeing in the spirit is the following: I am to sit or lie down in a darkened room that has some light present, but not much. This exercise works well for me in the mornings, as the sunlight is starting to shine through the blinds in our bedroom.  Where I live sunrise is 5:30 a.m, every morning, every day, all year round.

In this exercise, I am to “look” at the empty space between me and the ceiling, or a far wall for ten minutes, and try to detect any images that appear and make note of them. I am not to dismiss “my eyes playing tricks on me” but pay attention to what I am seeing.  When I do this, I look intently, asking God to open my spiritual eyes so that I can “see.”

As I began doing this exercise, I saw a swirling white object move in the room and it seemed to go from side to side. I also saw something quite strange, and the only way I can explain it, its shape was a volume bar, white in color and it was going from side to side as well.

The next part of this exercise is to ask the Lord what I saw and make a note of it in my journal.

In journaling,  the Lord said the following:  ” What I saw was an Angel called Lapidus, and Lapidus brings joy and peace. The music bar-shaped was another Angel, and this Angel was giving God glory, praise and honor, and exalting his name.  He was dancing, praising God.”

I looked up the meaning of Lapidus, and it means made of stone, pleasant or charming.

We have had our praise music on more than normal since I began doing these exercises, and it has made a difference in our household atmosphere. I sense more peace and joy.

I am encouraged as I began “seeing in the spirit.”  I still have much to learn and grow.  I am seeing dimly for now, but I have faith as I continue these training exercises it will become clearer as I press forward.

I continue to repeat these exercises.  Sometimes I see something new, other times I see the same Angel swirling around.  It is quite fun, to say the least!

I will be sharing another exercise and its results in my next post.

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5 ways to increase your prayer life

Have you ever been at a loss for words when in a prayer group or ministry time and felt intimidated by those around you, especially the way they prayed and spoke over someone?    My idea was, they prayed everything and so well and so eloquently, I possibly could not add to it.  So therefore, I would not pray.

The Bible says some of the  Apostles were unlearned men.  But, they were with Jesus and spent time with him and learned to speak like Jesus.

Acts 4:13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

Imagine speaking like Jesus!  Do you think this is available for us today?  I do.

5 ways to increase prayer life

So how did I learn to pray and not feel ashamed about saying what was on my heart?

Here are five steps that I learned along the way that can be of some benefit to you.

a)  I listened to the way others prayed. I paid attention to their prayers and the words they used.  I was especially impressed with how they were able to incorporate scripture when praying over someone.

b) Learn to hear the voice of God.  There are many wonderful books on how to hear the voice of God.  Just to mention a few authors:  Shawn Bolz, Mark Virkler. Don´t just read the books, apply the principles taught in them.  When you do, you will be pleasantly surprised.

c) Spend time in prayer and meditation of the word.  God invented meditation, and it is something we are to do. It is simply repeating the scripture over and over.  Writing down the verse will help you memorize it, and chew on each word.

d) Journal.  Where would I be without my journal, I write everything down.  In my prayer times, I express my gratitude, my love, my frustrations and prayer request.  While journaling, don´t forget to listen and write down what you hear God saying back to you.  Develop two-way communication.  It is available to you and within reach.

e) Practice, step out in faith. There comes a time where you have to take the plunge and step out in faith.  You will be surprised as you yield to the Holy Spirit, He will guide and lead you.  Don´t worry if you make a few mistakes, we all have to start somewhere.  The idea is to get going, and before you know it, your will have a flavored prayer life.

Start praying those awesome prayers inside of you.  As you do, the receiver is blessed, and so are you.

What other ways have you learned about developing a prayer life?  I would love to hear about in the comments.

 

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The finger of God

When was the last time you read the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20? Have you ever read what came before Moses received the laws of God?

Exodus 19 describes something out of a movie;  loud trumpet sounds, thunder, lightning and thick clouds around Mount Sinai.

Finger of God

Mount Sinai was enveloped in smoke, and the entire mountain quaked. I am thinking only the mountain quaked as the Bible says. Did the land quake too?

Then as the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.   Could this be in an audible voice?  Did everyone hear God´s voice, or just Moses?

Imagine witnessing these events of thunder, smoke, trumpet sounds, and earthquakes. The Bible does not mention if this lasted minutes or hours, nevertheless, it must have been something to behold. When we read this, there is no room for doubt it was the finger of God that wrote the Ten Commandments. Who could deny it?

The entire populations witnessed this, and as Moses climbed the mountain, after some time, the people below began making an idol out of gold.

It seems they forgot the display of power rendered by God.

I have been practicing gratitude in my journal writing. While we may not have the thunder, smoke and trumpet sound today, writing out what I am thankful for does something inside of me.

It reminds me of everything  God has accomplished in my life.  I am reminded how He has answered my prayers, protected me, and shows up at the last minute.  I know it´s God when at the eleventh hour, a financial need is met.

He does not answer by way of a long and loud trumpet sound, but I see it in the simple things. There is no smoke around the mountain where I live, but His protection is with me.

Gratitude keeps me aligned with God, tuned it, and so very thankful.

For some reason, saying why I am thankful to God makes me feel safe and loved by him.

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12 deadly D´s sent from the evil one

Do you ever find yourself in a blah mood at times?  I know I have, and it would take a while for me to get out of it.  Then I came across what is known as the deadly D´s.   These subtle attacks are ways in which the enemy distracts us.   Perhaps you have heard of some, maybe not.

There is a warning to heed:  If we believe or fall for any of these, it will cause us to waver in our authority in Christ and get us off track.

I have a confession to make.  I fell prey to many of these symptoms until I began to identify them and only then I was able to put a stop to it.

Below are a few of the deadly D´s you may have heard about already.

Deadly D´s

Distraction
Divides your attention and prevents concentration.  You begin to look at what others have, instead of what the Lord has placed inside you, you lose your focus.  When you are distracted, it causes an interruption. You are pulled in different directions.

Solution- purpose in your heart to focus, and have a heart of gratitude towards the Lord.

Discord
Lack of harmony, disagreement, strife, fighting with family, friends, co-workers and even your pastor and church leaders.

Solution- Choose not to participate.

Discouragement
We become discouraged when we focus on what is not happening. It will cause us to be ungrateful and hopeless.  It will keep us in misunderstanding and we lose communication.  We do not come to the unity of the faith, and it keeps us divided.

Solution- Give thanks for what you do have.

Division
The enemy does not like it when the body of Christ comes into agreement.  Where two or three are gathered together in His name, Jesus is there in the midst of it all.

Solution- Just think what will happen when believers come together to pray and do warfare, we win the battle!

Despair
Despair causes one to lose hope and give up and may lead to depression. Our God-given call can take a detour. Don´t fall for the enemy’s scheme to place upon you unrealistic expectations and disappointments.  It is vital to ask for vision during prayer, to be encouraged and continue in your calling.   Vision is a powerful tool.  Ask for it, and see what God will do for you.

Solution- call on friends and those you trust to pray for you and ask for a clear direction while in prayer.

Demoralized
This destroys the persons’ morale, throws you into confusion and deprives you of your courage. When this happens, you stop everything, there is no purpose.

Solution-Lift your eyes to the Lord, ask for a clear and fresh perspective.

Doubt
You hesitate to believe and are uncertain.  You doubt God has called you and has placed unique gifting’s inside of you.  You can begin to question God´s ability to answer prayer in your life.

Solution- hand over your doubt to Jesus, and ask Him to replace it with faith.

Disappointment
Disappointments come from unmet expectations. These could be expectations of what we believe God should do for us or expectations we have of our spouse, church, children, Christian leaders or even of ourselves.

Hebrews 12:15 warns, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Solution – For that reason, we should immediately forgive, release and apply the grace of God to our lives.

Disbelief
The inability to believe or accept something as true, also doubt.  We doubt what God has placed in us, or even in others and lose out on the blessing.

Solution-place your trust and confidence in the Lord, and not in man.

Deception
Deception is very easy to fall into.  It is an act of making someone believe something that is not true.  This could be about yourself, your calling and integrity of God.  Deception is misleading.

Solution- go to others that you trust and ask for prayer, be honest and vulnerable!

Discontentment
Here is where we stop seeing the positive in our lives and become negative. You have a lack of satisfaction with your accomplishments, status and even the spiritual gifts placed inside of you.  Everything around you is in darkness.

Solution-choose to be content with what you have.

Disillusionment
When we become disillusioned, we may want to drop out of a marriage or a ministry or a commitment the Lord has called us into.  We can become cynical and lose sight of the vision, which is exactly what the enemy wants us to do.  We can´t give him the satisfaction of seeing his wishes fulfilled in our lives.

Solution-perhaps you need a break or some time out, that is perfectly fine.  I need to do this from time to time.  When I do have a chance to get away, I come to the Lord in prayer and ask him to hit the refresh button!

All of these deadly “D´s” keep us under a spell to self-destruct, to thwart God´s plan and purpose for our lives.  Don´t give him the pleasure of winning, instead, take control and continue steadfast in your calling.

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