Story Of My Life

I saw a picture on face book that said this above it, “Story of My Life” and the picture was a graph with 2 sides. One was a perfect line that said “my plans” and on the other side a scribbly line that said” what actually happened.”

When we make “our plans” for life without including God in the picture, it can be a scribbled up mess. When we want to write our own story and not live His story, our lives can lead to destruction and chaos.

I just read in Johnathan Cahn’s daily devotional that we need hedges in our lives. The word for this in Hebrew is charootz. He explains how making lines of hedges in you life is a decision, determination. We have to be determined to follow Jesus. We need to make decisions that reflect our belief in Him.

When we make a definite decision to follow Jesus and we are determined that nothing will stand in our way then He makes our paths straight. Proverbs 3:6, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Personally I want the story of my life to be the story He wrote for me because I know it’s good. Jeremiah 29:11,  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

Advertisements

The Believer Has Hope

 

The reading today is talking about the day after Jesus was crucified and how empty and afraid it left the disciples, not to mention their grief. He says we go through the same emptiness and grief at some point in life whether we know Jesus or not. I don’t like to say following Jesus is a way of pain, sorrow and grief because even those who don’t follow experience these things because that’s just how it is in a fallen world. The difference in following Jesus is there is hope at the end of the suffering. If you aren’t a follower, you don’t have hope. There is nowhere to turn. Eventually we find out we aren’t in control of this world. We will be put in a position to see we need Jesus. If you still deny Him, you really have no hope. But the good news to followers is we have hope that there are new mercies every morning and He will make beauty out of our ashes.

Isaiah 61:3, To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”

Lamentations 3:22-23, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

You Think Your The Judge? Wisdom Knows Different

Scripture for today is Matthew 7:1-5 and it’s telling us to not judge others. We are all the same in God’s eyes. Don’t be a hypocrite!

Ann says: Today I will fast from a critical spirit. Today I will confess my own sin before I crucify anyone else for theirs.

Judging others is so easy to fall into. I have found the best and easiest way to stay away from this is to keep my mouth shut. I was reading yesterday about how to tell if someone is wicked. It said they are arrogant and aggressive. It mentioned speech and that the wicked swear and boast and speak evil of others. So, I will work on keeping my mouth closed unless it is something useful to share with others. I recently saw Sid Roth, It’s Supernatural and there was a pastor on there talking about offence, gossip and slander. He talked about how these are from the devil. His book is called Unmasking The Accuser by Kynan Bridges. Everytime you say something negative about someone you just stabbed them. Our words are powerful, use them wisely.

When I saw The Shack, there was a part where the main character has to be in the judge’s seat. He is put there because he always judges people by appearance, body language, possessions,etc… He is made to look at the people he has judged. God let him see why they were like they were. Then he has to choose which of his children will go to heaven and which one to hell. He is shown they both deserve hell but he has to choose. He wants them both in heaven so he says, take me instead. This is what Jesus did for us. He loved us so much that He took our place.

We can’t judge anyone because we don’t know everything about them and thier life. We don’t even know what is good. God is the only one who knows what is good, knows everything and took our place. That’s why Jesus is the only rightful judge.

Are You Following Jesus Or Church?

When we are faced with questions as a christian and we don’t know how to answer them we need the Holy Spirit for insight, revelation, wisdom and understanding. I have been looking into the sin of judging and gossip lately and the Holy Spirit has shown me something I want to share. You know how churches are known for condemning people who are gay? And it is a hard thing, until the other day I understand how to respond to that. We are not the judge. We have been instructed by Jesus to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and to love others. He didn’t say to judge or condemn anyone. It isn’t our place to figure out anyone’s life. It’s between them and God. Only God knows everything about that person and knows their heart. God is the only one who knows sin and how it came to be. He only knows why each person has the problems they have. We can never begin to know everything. We are only called to love people. We aren’t suppose to sit around and try to figure it all out. We are only suppose to speak well of others, love them and lead them to Jesus. The Holy Spirit does the rest. We can’t save anyone. We just lead and the Holy Spirit does the work. I have learned that trying to be God was what Satan did and when we try to be God we are doing the same thing. It’s wrong and God doesn’t like it.

I am learning that there is a difference in following Jesus and following church. The church is people, not a place or building. Jesus’ Spirit is inside of us. We carry the light. Satan works where he has an opening, even in churches. This is why people are turned off to going to church. Since they see and feel corruption, they turn away and get even further fom God. These man made denomnations are not what Jesus wanted for church. He wants us to fellowship and worship together and spread the good news. Who cares how big or how many satellite churches you have. When Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the synagogue it was because they were tainting something holy with something common. He didn’t like money being a part of the spiritual.

I will confess something here. I was saved in my kitchen in August 2010 with the Gospel Of John on the computer. Jesus came to me and revealed Himself to me all by myself. I have allowed the Holy Spirit to teach me and guide me. He has manifested Himself to me because I ask Him to. He is experienced by me because I want to. This experiencing God is what makes a relationship with Him, not going to church. I am a true worshiper but I don’t fit in with church people and now I don’t fit in with the world. I guess this is how Jesus was. You see, there is the world that belongs to Satan and the so called church. Jesus even said of the church in His day that they were white washed tombs. Meaning they looked good on the outside but empty on the inside. I’m not saying all churches are this way, I’m just saying be careful about where you go.

True And False Worship

There are 2 interpretations of fasting in today’s reading. I like the second one which was written by Ole Hallesby ( 1879-1961) because I think he more closely explains what it really means. The other one by Donald Whitney comes from more of a now-a-days interpretation, I know this because it says (USA Contemporary) beside his name. Could it be possible that our interpretation of fasting could be all wrong? Considering what it says in Isaiah 58:1-14 the church and people have made it into something about themselves. In the Mosaic Bible before chapter 58, it is titled: True and False Worship. I learned worship is how your heart is toward God. Worship is a state of being, not singing. Praise and song come from worship. So to be a true worshiper my heart has to be pure and sincere toward God. In this scripture God is talking about their fasting, which is what we see today as false worship. Here is Isaiah 58:1-14, NLT version from Bible Gateway,

True and False Worship

58 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
    Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins!
    Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
    and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
    that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
    pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
    ‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
    and you don’t even notice it!’

“I will tell you why!” I respond.
    “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
    you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting
    when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
    will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves
    by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
    like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
    and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
    Do you really think this will please the Lord?

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
    lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
    and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
    and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
    and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
    and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
    and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
    ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
    and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    giving you water when you are dry
    and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
    Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
    and a restorer of homes.

13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy.
    Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
    and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
    and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
    I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

 We should take great notice of what God considers fasting.

Fast From Sinful Nature

In Isaiah 58:1-14, God talks of the people’s idea of fasting which isn’t His idea. He then gives examples of what fasting looks like to Him. He doesn’t say to “give something up” but to give to other people. To make burdens light on others, feed them, clothe them, help them. Then He will be with you and help you and your light will shine among the darkness. Keep the Sabbath holy and delight in the Lord and don’t pursue your own interests on that day.

When we help people with the right motives God blesses us. If we don’t particularly want to do these things but override the flesh and do them knowing we are doing them for God then it becomes fasting. Romans 8:6-11,  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[b] his Spirit who lives in you.

Lent to Repent

The scripture reading today is Romans 8:12-17. It’s talking about our sinful nature and if we have the Spirit of God living inside us we will be able to overcome the sinful nature. We are no longer slaves to it. With God’s Spirit joined to ours we become children of God.

Ann says: Today we will practice our faith- because we will practice joy. Practice thankfulness. Practice smiling, practice Counting Gifts. We will repent of forgetting we are the Resurrection People.

The scripture reading sheds new light on what God calls fasting. I see that what He considers fasting is “giving up” our way and living His way. Living His way goes against our nature but if His Spirit is truly living in us and guiding us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. We can live holy as He is holy. This is how we do it.  1 Peter 1:16, For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” Giving up our sinful nature ( doing it our way) and doing life His way is what makes Him glad.

 

romans-3-romans-road-sin-hamartia-hamartano-sin-nature-justify-one-mediator-first-class-condition-ot-righteousness-passed-over-sins-22-638

Go About Doing Good

In my reading of the Mosaic Bible it is a prayer to do good. I recently watched The Shack movie and at the end they said every time we do a kindness the universe changes. I liked the thought of this. That even though I feel small if I show love and kindness it effects the universe. Our collective conscienceness is what the good things are effecting. We are all connected, so like a stone thrown in the water, the kindness has a ripple effect on the whole world. This thought and idea makes me happy and I want to contribute to the wholness of the universe.

Lent to Repent

Scripture reading for today is Luke 6:27-36. It’s talking about doing good to others the way you would want others to do good to you. Love your enemies. Give without wanting a return. Have compassion as God has compassion on us.

Ann says: Today I will thank God for every interruption of my list- as I’ll see it as a manifestation of my Lord.

We should be having an eternal perspective in our daily walk. Everytime we praise God, thank God, spend time with Him and serve other people we are creating what will not burn when we are standing in front of God. Every good act we do inspired by the Holy Spirit counts for something in God’s Kingdom. John Bevere says in Driven By Eternity that when we stand before God we won’t be judged on what we did but rather according to what we were called to do.

 

10

Sin Leads To Fear And Anger

My reading in the Mosaic Bible is about sin and how the world is so immune to it. He explains how sin is “missing the mark”. What mark you may ask? The mark is the moral standard for all humanity that comes from the holy character of God. We all fall short. Romans 3:23-24,  since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God,24 and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] [a]grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,

God’s glory, His holiness is a standard we can not live up to. But God has made a way through Jesus Christ for us to have peace with God. Jesus lived a sinless life, He didn’t miss the mark. He is our only avenue to get to God. We have to be sinless to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is impossible without Jesus. His righteousness is substituted for our sinfulness. He paid the price for us. All we have to do is receive this free gift. Ephesians 2:8-9, For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. Bible references from Bible Gateway.

Lent to Repent

The scripture is Matthew 5:21-26 and it’s talking about never to be angry with anyone because the judgement on anger is the same as the judgement on murder. Jesus says to make peace with everyone.

Ann says: Today I will fast from wrath and anger because anger is often just the costume of fear.

This line “anger is often the costume of fear” stands out to me. I know in myself that I would get angry a lot when my kids were little because I feared whatever was happening. I didn’t want them to feel pain or sadness. I’ve always tried to prevent it. I would get angry when they got hurt, that may sound crazy and for a long time I tried to understand why that was happening. After I got saved I realized it wasn’t the kids that made me angry, it was the sin. This is the same for God toward us. I wrote about this here. With my kids I see where I was in fear of them getting hurt when they were rough housing or playing outside. The fear drove me to anger when the inevitable happened. I was angry that they had to experience pain or sadness. But I learned that in order to appreciate the good and happy times we have to experience painful times. Even though seeing them hurt makes my heart hurt, it’s helping them. Ann said in her book The Greatest Gift, that God doesn’t allow a trial without a gift. God uses hard things to grow us up spiritually. He takes everything in our life and turns it into glory, His glory. Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom. God has a plan where the world will one day be without pain, suffering and sadness. I have yearned for this new world in my soul already and didn’t even know it until I had children of my own. So as long as I live I will strive to bring peace and goodness to the world and not anger and violence. Peace is kingdom living right here, right now.

msg-punish-but-save-570x266

Living The Saved Life Is Worth It

In my reading today in the Mosaic Bible she is talking about really being saved or just having an intellectual belief. There is a difference between just saying the prayer and really being made alive in spirit through God’s grace. I know the difference because I have experienced it. I am learning through this Lent devotion that Christianity is about experiencing God and not just having knowledge of Him. I said the salvation prayer probably 3 times in my life that I remember but my life didn’t change in any drastic way. My Self was still the same. I still couldn’t understand the Bible. But when I had my salvation experience in August 2010 it changed everything. I had already known before this day that the old me was dead. I saw myself in my minds eye walking around my house with the old attitudes and I had a knowing “she is dead.” I experienced this myself and no one can take it from me. My salvation, my true salvation was at my kitchen table watching The Gospel of John some days after knowing the old me was dead. This was when I felt the presence of Jesus and He made known to me that He is ALIVE and REAL. He revealed to me that He knows me and poured His love into me. I felt that unconditional love and couldn’t help but say ” I love you” back. This is something hard to explain to the natural mind but its like another reality opens up to you and you see the Truth in your mind. This is the difference between saying a prayer and experiencing Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17,Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! John 14:21, Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Lent to Repent

The scripture 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 is talking about running this race of faith. Paul is saying how he conforms to the people he is trying to convert while still being true to Christ. He wants to win his eternal prize. He was doing what he was called to do, not for earthly gain but for eternal gain.

Ann says: Repent of wanting to be called christian but not wanting to pay the price.

This is the part of salvation that is hard for people to get to the point of doing. It’s easy to receive salvation but hard to live it out day by day. When I first started I had satan say to me: ” Do you really think you can keep this up?” He tried to put doubt in me. It was a bumpy ride going to and fro in the beginning but I am maturing now in my faith and becoming more stable. The reason for this, is the dream I had about Jesus. Here is the link to my dream. After waking up He told me not to run away again. I have been faithful to stay and see where God leads me. I am so thankful that I listened and obeyed. God has shown me so much these past 4 months and I am a better person because of obeying His call. Luke 1:46-49,  And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord,47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. I feel the same as Mary. The Holy Spirit doesn’t give up on us. He is with us through it all and everything is happening the way it’s suppose to.

 

 

following-jesus-isnt-an-easy-road

The Lent That Sticks

Ever since I got saved in August 2010, I have done something to acknowledge the Lent season. I was raised Catholic but that doesn’t have anything to do with it. When I got saved for real, you know when this happens, I had a strong desire to follow Jesus and His teachings. Practicing Lent is not a teaching, it’s something that certain denominational churches have come up with. It’s about observing the 40 days before Easter, representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.

I feel that most people are turned off to observing Lent because they think it’s for the church. I have to say that I am turned off to denominational churches, they are the Pharisees of our day. I am learning more and more about Jesus and how the church of His day hated Him. I know most people don’t know this but it was the church who crucified Jesus. Now I know it was the plan of God but Jesus confronted them on many occasions about how they followed rules but they didn’t know God.

This is what is happening today. People are in church doing church things and they think they have to observe Lent. I choose to observe Lent because of my obedient heart towards God. If you are just going through the motions with an empty heart you are wasting your time and energy. God knows. He sees your heart. That is all He sees for that matter. The things you do or don’t do, doesn’t matter to Him, it’s the state of your heart that counts.

My husband teases me about my Lent devotion. He will say there is Lent all over the table or something funny like that. Today he made another comment like that and something was said to me in my spirit. Whatever it is your doing for Lent season keep doing it. Lent sticks to stuff right? Well, how about letting this Lent stick to your heart and soul? The only Lent that sticks is one done out of love. We love because He first loved us. Out of love we want to please God. Don’t do anything out of obligation, God doesn’t see it or feel it. He wants our love, fellowship, relationship.

I have been reading lately about soaking in His presence and intimacy with God. I found out that I do these things without realizing it just by following the Holy Spirit. I learned from Kim Walker Smith that stopping and talking to God, asking Him questions, this is intimacy with Him. Waiting for His answer, soaking in His presence. The problem we have is we are so rushed all the time and we forget. I have written about this before that forgetting God is the real sin. We have to fight to keep an awareness of His presence. This is what I am aiming for now, to stop and ask the Holy Spirit for direction, what choice to choose, what to say. I want Him in my every moment. This is the Lent that sticks. The Holy Spirit is stuck to you, inside of you, if your a believer, welcome Him, talk to Him, commune with Him. This is what He is waiting for. I read the other day that God is waiting for you to wait on Him! I loved that!

Jesus just wants us. Our belief, faith, love, trust. Following church rules doesn’t bring you closer to Him. Loving Him does.