Thursday, July 21, 2016

WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO

One look can say a lot! Ever seen a child, no matter how old - when in the company of one of his/her parents - receive a look that says, "Don't even think about doing that, you know it is against my rules and your best interest."? 

I experienced that a few times growing up and it was enough to straighten my behavior. Why? Because I knew the consequence(s) of continuing in the course of my actions and it would not be pleasant (understatement). So, what does any kid do when faced with this situation? They try to dodge or avoid The Look. This means they will be testing the waters or misbehaving out of the sight of The Parents.

There is nothing hidden from God. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:13) I could stop right there, but I want to crystallize the image of No Privacy. We might have thought we grew up thinking we got away with stuff from our parents, but our Heavenly Father saw it all.

Father God sees all we think, do and say now also. He has promised in Hebrews 13:5 - "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." He is always around. Not that Father God has a Big Paddle in his hand ready to whack you with it at the first sign of a mistake. No. That is why He sent His Son Jesus. 

Grace, grace God's grace. 
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within. 
Grace, grace, God's grace. 
Grace that is greater than all our sin. 
(Grace Greater than Our Sin | Julia H. Johnston)

Father God is just that - A Father. However, unlike our earthly parents He is always present and ready to cast that half-turned head, raised eyebrow look for your consideration When You Are About To. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

A COMMANDING PRESENCE

I maybe can count on one hand the amount of people I have known in my life (46 years so far) that have had A Commanding Presence. I long for this kind of pervasion in any location. Somebody that can control a room simply by entering it. Not that the "air" about me is conceited or pompous, but the way I carry myself would exude a more positive demand of attention.

I want more people to experience Christ in me by just being with me. I believe, as 2 Corinthians 2:16 says, that believers in Christ Jesus should have a "Heavenly Scent" about them that is so pleasing that it draws all people to them. "To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?" I also believe, as Matthew 5:15 says, that believers should be a light to the world and especially within their own household.  "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." However, I desire to radiate more of God's Presence in my life SO THAT others may take notice of the difference, inquire and consider a change themselves.

An "authoritative presence" would go a long way in this effort and I desire this existence. Looking at Jesus as our ultimate example, authority was no stranger to Him - "When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law." (Matthew 7:28-29). The Good News here is that His authority did not stop with Him, He shares it with those who believe in Him as their personal Lord and Savior - "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus..." (Ephesians 2:6). Also, Romans 8:37 assures believers - "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." So, when I walk into a room I want people to "smell a Heavenly scent", "see a Heavenly light" and hear the Godly authority I have in Him.

If you too desire this, A Commanding Presence begins by abiding in Christ, the True Vine. I desire for all to sense and see me as a "connected branch" to "The Vine", therefore "bearing much fruit" according to John 15:5. It is not enough to be "religious". My life must reflect my beliefs, teachings and songs I sing. It is one thing to hear a great orator speak on any topic and be convinced or swayed on the idea presented. It is a similar thing to have a wonderful word-smith convince or prove his viewpoint(s) should be yours. But there is a totally different power behind a speaker or author who has experienced what they are convincing you about. I see Paul fitting into this last category as he says in Romans 8:38-39 - I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul went through much hardship in his adult years. His suffering for Christ's sake was even foretold from the get-go to Ananias by The Lord - But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." (Acts 9:15-16) However, it is not just his spoken words that I am sure gave people inspiration. It is not just his and The Holy Spirit's written words that brought many direction and enlightenment. But when I observe Paul's life and hear him say - "I am convinced" - I know that life is the instrument and God is the Teacher of what I am to be convinced.

There are those in Scripture I imagine to be applauded for their efforts by God. Moses for his faithfulness (Nu. 12:4-8). Solomon for his request for wisdom to rule God's people (1 Kings 3). Hezekiah as a great kingly model (2 Kings 18:3-8). John the Baptist, who Jesus said about - "among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist...". (Matthew 11:11) And Jesus, whom Father God declared pleasure in from the heavens (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). However, there are a couple I can see being cited for A Commanding Presence - Daniel and Peter.

Daniel was noted by the angel Gabriel as being "esteemed". So much so that Daniel was deemed this three times - Daniel 9:23; 10:11, 19. I believe this notoriety of esteemedness was due to his time abiding with God in prayer (three times a day and maybe more).

Peter was seen as "highly regarded by people" in Acts 5:13-15. For God's healing power to be displayed even in Peter's shadow was a great way to showcase A Commanding Presence. Here again, this ministry of power comes from a close relationship that Peter had with Jesus. 

Walking into any room, my desire is to introduce you to Jesus Christ without any words if possible. If you had "spiritual glasses" on I would want you to see Jesus walk-in with me and speak through me in whatever atmosphere is given. I would want you to know my life as my track record and experience me as a Heavenly scent and light in your midst. I believe the more I find ways to keep close to Christ and abide in His Word daily - He will grant me A Commanding Presence.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

WHEN GOD WINKS


Back in the days of King Solomon, the culture viewed the act of winking as someone with bad intent.
  • "A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks maliciously with his eye, - he always stirs up conflict." (Proverbs 6:12-14) 
  • "Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,..." (Proverbs 10:10) 
  • "Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity; whoever purses their lips is bent on evil." (Proverbs 16:30)
The last verse (Prov. 16:30) states if you wink, you are involved in something perverse and if you scrunch up (purse) your lips something evil is your passion. The other verses indicate that one could wink "maliciously". These physical observations remind me of the Tell or give-away in a card-game of Poker. In King Solomon's culture these Tells were observations that identified one with the individuals who were "troublemakers", "villains", "corrupt", "causers of grief", "perverse" and "evil". These were behaviors to report or to note and stay away from the person - winking.

Fast-forward to today's culture and winking is seen differently. Depending on the context, it could mean - everything is alright between us, a romantic notion, or a that-a-boy encouragement. Today the wink has a more positive outlook and influence. It is when this behavior is noticed from Heaven that the wink takes on a more powerful effect and/or affect.

God's Wink, to me, means everything is alright between us, communicates an appropriate loving gesture (as I am part of The Bride of Christ) and grants me favor or graces with a pat-on-the-back spiritually, physically, mentally or financially. The highest compliment you could ever receive is the one that comes from God. 

This God Wink is a form of compliment to you and me. However, The Wink does not come by coincidence or chance. God is The God of Order and Purpose. When we walk according to His ways, obeying His commands and fulfilling His Plan for our lives - reward is forthcoming; Godly reward is promised; a God Wink is in your future.

John 14:21
Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.

John 14:23
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him.

John 15:10
If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and remain in His love.

1 John 2:3
By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.

1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome,

2 John 1:6
And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love.


Rewards for obedience.......
  1. "will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him."
  2.  "we will come to him and make Our home with him."
  3.  "you will remain in My love"
  4.  "we have come to know Him"
  5.  "His commandments are not burdensome,"
The Walk precedes The Wink. Although one needs to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to appreciate The Walk, this is not for our salvation, that has already been taken care of by the life-blood of Christ on The Cross and the victory over death. The Walk is the life-journey with God afterward that will hopefully be filled more times than not with When God Winks.

(This blog is dedicated to my Mom. I love you Mom and your encouraging words, but especially about When God Winks.)