Monday, February 22, 2010

What's between You and God?

In Exodus 20:3 God commands us:
"You shall have no other gods before Me or besides Me," AMP
"No other gods, only Me." MSG

I know full well we would never take our gold earrings melt them down, form a cow and worship it.

I also know we would never worship the gods of some ancient cultures.

We are too sophisticated and well read for that.

Our spirituality is far too advanced to revert to some pagan worship ritual like dancing around a tree or bowing down to some man made image.

So what does that scripture have to do with us spiritually sophisticated Christians who would never, never, never bow down to a "graven" image?

I'm glad you asked!

Last week I was lamenting to God over some important relationships that have yet to be healed and restored.

Before you blow me off as crazy, He sometimes shows me pictures in my mind, not unlike a video!

I saw myself at certain points in my past where sin or hurt occurred. As certain issues came to mind I would stop, pick up a boulder and go on to the next spot and pick up another boulder. This went on for a while, I was bent over backwards trying to balance all these heavy boulders I had picked up. I saw myself picking up boulders for things I couldn't even remember from my childhood. As I watched myself over burdened with these boulders, I heard the word alter. Because I was carrying these "alters", memories, boulders, whatever you want to call them with me, I couldn't be completely in the now.

Before you call the men in the white coats, I have a point, I promise.

As Christians we are forgiven, washed in His precious blood. Our sins are no longer a part of God's memory. These issues are a part of the past and God is not there, yet as we continually present these alters to Him as an excuse for whatever, we can't fully be free in Him.

I know, I know....."Just give it to God, Just let it go, You're forgiven it's over, move on, Lay it down, Take it to the cross, Put it at His feet"....did I forget anything?

It's simple, but not really.

I think it's a process.

Some of the results of our past sins are still facing us everyday so it's not that easy to "let it go"or move on, because we have constant reminders.

Learning how to reprogram our thought process comes from believing His word. The transforming of our minds is a daily process that we must diligently pursue on a second by second basis.

In the picture you see some stones I collected and put in a jar, it sits on my desk. This reminds me of all the boulders I'm carrying around that I, by the renewing of my mind will someday be free from.

When my mind takes a trip back, asking me, how could anybody have done that? or what on earth were you thinking, you knew better? or how pitiful were you to have let that happen?, etc. I look at my jar and it reminds me I have to choose to release those things that I hold onto before I can totally be in the NOW with God and receive the healing and restoration of a broken past.

I'm sure God's sick of hearing about my mistakes, but for some reason they have been set up as an alter, and sometimes take more of my thought process than worshiping Him, studying His word, praying for others.

We don't have golden cow idols or gods and goddesses we pray to or worship that would be breaking the first commandment, we all know better.

We can, however, unintentionally set up idols and put them on an alter that we spend way too much time in front of, taking time away from God.

God wants us free from our idols.

Sometimes it takes a long, hard, critical look at ourselves to find the idols we have so creatively crafted because many of them are good and profitable and helpful. Sometimes they are dark secrets, past sins or hurts buried so deep within us we don't even know they are there.

He wants us to remove anything and everything that takes our minds, and our hearts off Him.

Focusing on Him will bring to light our idols. Once we recognize them we are better equipped to break them down, totally destroying any evidence of their existence.

Don't be tempted to hold on to them because you are emotionally attached to them.

Get out your Sword, the word of God, and don't stop till they are completely obliterated. It may take time, lots of time. It's OK, you can eat an elephant one bite at a time just keep at it. God has given each of us the equipment we need to tear down and destroy our idols. With faith, determination and daily renewing our minds with His Word our idols will be completely destroyed. And we will be free to be with God in the Now.

So start swinging that Sword and when you're done, put on your dancing shoes.

Daughter of the King of Kings
Mother of Princesses and Princes
Grandmother of Royalty

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pride or Shame?

Pride or Shame, Strength or Weakness....

How many times have you found yourself in a place where you really really wanted, needed, someone to pray with you about a certain situation, but for what ever reason you conjured up you didn't reach out?

Be honest, I can't be the only one that didn't reach out when I should have.

My question is why don't we reach out for prayer when we need it most?

Proverbs 16: 18 says, Pride goes before destruction. NIV, or in the Message Bible it says, First pride, then the crash--the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. defines pride as, a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit or superiority.

Our enemy, the deceiver will inevitably set us up.

On one hand, we find pride in what we do, or how people want us to pray for them or give them advice, on the other hand we are ashamed or embarrassed by our lack of Spirituality, our messed up finances, our disfunctional households.

But does the shame and embarrassment come from a kind of pride that keeps us from reaching out for prayer because we just don't want anyone else to know how messed up we really are?

"I'm ashamed of what I did, but how can I go to someone for prayer when I know better? People will look at me differently if I expose my deeds and lack of Spirituality therefore I'll suck it up and go it alone."

Yes, that's it, I can pray on my own and God will fix it up and no one will ever know.

Now we aren't just dealing with our issues, but with alienation from fellow believers who are willing and ready to intercede for us.

I'm not saying to run around with a megaphone and announce all your indiscretions to the world.

Use your closest, most trusted prayer partners to confess to, and let them stand in the gap for you till you are restored. God will do the work, but I think sometimes He needs to see we are willing to bring "it" into the light.

Don't let a spirit of pride or shame keep you from falling at His feet. Take your Alabaster box and break it open at His feet. This act was not done in private, but in a house full of people.

Don't let a spirit of pride or shame keep you from reaching out to your prayer partners, pastors, spiritual teachers, or trusted friends for help. I don't know about you, but I consider it an honor when someone asks for me to pray with them, not something to be taken lightly.

Don't let a spirit of pride or shame keep you from answering an invitation to go forward in church for prayer, we've all done that.

Stop it, reach out, there are people in your life willing and able to cover you in prayer, not condemn or judge you, just pray for you.

If you don't have anyone, get a hold of me. My past sins had to be exposed and wash clean by His blood and I'm fully aware that would have never happened with out people interceding for me in prayer.

Don't let your pride or shame keep you from release and freedom.

Princess, Daughter of the King of Kings
Mother of Princesses and Princes
Grandmother of Royalty

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cure for the Winter Blues

The cat is Angel, her picture was taken in the summer on our back porch at a Birthday party.

I have two cats, Sheba is smart, Angel is the pretty one...

I love the heat and sunshine of the summer months, there's something about it that just makes me feel good.

Not so much the winter, I hate being cold. I can't describe how miserable I am having to wear socks, layers of sweaters and still being cold. Yes, I live in Florida, but right now it's cold here.

Before you pre-judge and assume I'm a southern light weight I was born and raised in Ohio.
It gets cold there. The days are mostly overcast and when the sun does come out everyone runs for shelter in fear of the big strange looking fire ball in the sky. All I ever wanted to do was move somewhere that didn't get cold and the sunshine was a familiar sight.

I think in winter many of us get the Blues. I'm constantly looking for a heat source to get my blood flowing again.

Sheba, the smart cat, must feel the same way I do about being cold. I have a lamp on my desk and when I have the light on, up she jumps wrecking havoc with the pile of papers that constantly collect in her spot.

She sits up straight with her face pointing upward toward the source of light, the light bulb. To her it must be some wonderful thing that causes warmth to flow into her cold body. She thoroughly enjoys soaking up the light, never in a rush to move away usually laying down for a snooze in the warmth of the light.

Watching her I couldn't help think, when our Spirits get cold we need to seek out the Light to get the Blood flowing through us so we can warm up and radiate the heat that comes from basking in the Light of the World.

John 8:12, Jesus says, "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." NIV

When we take time to praise and worship God we begin to be immersed in the warmth of His light. His Blood begins to cover and fill us with a warmth and energy we can't get anywhere else.

The longer we bask in His Light the warmer our Spirit becomes and the more distant the chill of the darkness becomes.

His light is transferred to us freely. His warmth radiates from us and we are no longer bound by the clouds and chill of everyday troubles. We are raised up in His Light and are given the ability to see our situations through His eyes, the eyes of the Spirit.

Next time you find yourself feeling a little blue from all this coldness seek out The source for Light. Read, sing, dance, praise or pray you'll find your temperature rising and the warmth from His Light will change you from the inside out.

Daughter of the King of Kings
Mother of Princesses and Princes
Grandmother of Royalty

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Backing away from the Light

Wow, I almost couldn't find my way to my own back porch.
I have learned that no matter how craftily you back away from the Light you back right up into God who's been waiting for you!

My backward journey began in Oct. or Nov., I was getting too close to things that I had been praying for, dreaming of, working toward.

Feeling that old familiar sensation of fear creeping into my blood stream I started a backward slide away from the very things I was walking toward.

It wasn't a conscious backward movement just a very subtle letting go, procrastinating, and the old favorite not feeling "worthy" of any kind of success or realization of a dream.

My backward slide took me into a terrible 2 month bout with bronchitis among other things.

When we give into the enemy's lies he holds nothing back to keep us from our appointed destinations.

I couldn't concentrate on anything, therefore I stopped reading my Bible, having daily devotions, communicating with friends except enough to keep up appearances. I was not only physically sick but choking out the very life in me.

Remember the dream where you are falling? That's how I felt. Minimal hope, falling and too tired to grab a hold of anything that would stop my slide.

I did however know all the right words to say so no one would know how really desperate I felt. I was in no mood to be anointed with oil and be prayed over. Pride raises it's ugly head and keeps us from getting the very thing we need the most.

Finally, a dear friend of mine dragged me to the doctor, paid for the appointment for me, then ushered me into Publix where I could get free antibiotics and the other stuff that was prescribed. Things started turning around, not right away, very slowly.

As my bronchitis started to clear and the antibiotics started working in my body my mind started to clear. God provided an online conference for me to attend with the A Woman Inspired group. I love those Girls.

It was then I realized even as I was slowly backing away from God, tiptoeing so no one would notice, He had all ready gone to the place where He knew I would back smack into Him.

I am absolutely blown away by His constant love for me. Especially at my age, I think I should have it all together spiritually and not get off track. But there He is graciously, lovingly and sometimes with a smack upside my head capturing me from myself and guiding me back into Him where I belong.

I'm sharing this with you because I know full well I don't go through anything that someone else won't, at some point, need encouragement to get through.

Let me tell you now, no matter what the "reason" no matter how sick you are, how fearful you are, how unworthy you feel, how tired you are, God is there waiting for you to just fall backward into His loving, healing, supportive arms. Just like in the falling dream, only with the assurance He's there to catch us, because He said He would.

We aren't supposed to react or give into our feelings or illnesses or emotions, the only thing we are to do is trust He will be the light in our darkness. He will be the dance, He will be the Prince Charming we dream of.

If you feel yourself slipping backward away from the Light, just let go....I promise, like me, He'll catch you and make you safe.

When you're drowning the worst thing you can do is struggle, the minute you trust in the water to hold you up you start floating.

Daughter of the King of Kings
Mother of Princesses and Princes
Grandmother of Royalty

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