LSOF: Speaking Grace To The Mountain

One thing I know about life is it tries to set us up for failure. It tries to make us feel like we are not capable, not able, and not wise enough to overcome. But it is a lie.

It’s up to us whether we are going to choose to believe it, or receive what is the truth.

We were created for a purpose. Who we are, and everything we will do in life was built up into the plan God has for us. Sometimes though we miss the right road, and we have to find our way back through detours.

I have a habit of driving down the highway on my phone and missing my exit because I am too enthralled in a conversation to realize that I’m missing the planned destination.

The enemy likes to start with distraction.  He knows that if he can distract us, then he can slowly but surely turn ordinary situations and events that happen into huge mountains.

We can get distracted easily because when things are going so great in our lives we become blinded that there are tests. We forget that in the truth of what we have been taught that there will be trials.

What I have learned is that its more important to remember the power God has above what the enemy has done.

“What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel  you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” (Zechariah 4:7)

This is how we need to answer to the mountains in our lives.

I know you are asking me, “ How would I begin to respond that way?”

I’m going to share with you how to speak GRACE to the mountain.

Reading the scripture above talks about a mountain that was stated would become level ground, but what we need to do is APPLY the same concept to our lives.

Grace helps us apply into our lives what we are reading.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly, I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. (Mark 11:22-23, NIV)

Do you believe that God can take down the mountains in your life?

I read some of Habakkuk as I was studying this concept, and what I want to focus in on is not just speaking grace to the mountain, but what the power of grace will do to our mountains through our belief.

I want to visualize these two different translations of Habbukuk 3:6.

He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed.  His ways are eternal. (Habakkuk 3:6, NIV)

He STOOD, and SHOOK the earth, He LOOKED, and made the nations TREMBLE, The ancient mountains CRUMBLED and age-old hills COLLAPSED. His WAYS are eternal.

He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.(Habakkuk 3:6, KJV)

He STOOD and MEASURED(also means to shake), He BEHELD and drove asunder the nations, and the everlasting mountains were SCATTERED, the perpetual hills did BOW; His WAYS are everlasting.

I love the KJV version most, because look what it says about the mountains, that they were EVERLASTING…and yet, God scattered them, or in Hebrew context it read He BROKE them, and the PERPETUAL hills which meant, “ never changing or to end.” they BOWED to Him.

” The mountains saw thee and they trembled ,the overflowing of the water passed by the deep uttered his voice(thunder) and lifted his hands on high.”(Habakkuk 3:10, KJV)

I love to visualize the mountains trembling when they SAW God.

So what can we believe about our mountains currently in our own lives?

Could we maybe just believe that grace can overpower them over them overcoming us?

Speak grace believing of its power by BELIEVING what the Word says, and those times of trials you will remember what happened to the last mountain.

He SCATTERED them, He made them TREMBLE(writhe in pain), He made them CRUMBLE, and COLLAPSE before Him.

Let Him do the same for your own mountain.

Believe Him for it!

Blessings and Love,

Angie

 

 

 

 

 

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LSOF: Storms and the brokenhearted

I have this habit of trying to avoid storms, and I try to leave just right before one hits my area.  The other day as I pulled away from my house the lightening bolts seemed to be hitting only a few feet from my car.  But I managed to drive away and left the dark ominous sky in my rearview mirror.

In life we definitely encounter myriads of storms.  I have been caught up in one for two months now with a several different events that have tried to shake me a good few times. It has been a lot.

People have had this tendency during this time to tell me how I can be ” victorious,” and that ” He will deliver me and my family through this,” or ” Imagine the strength that is building in you right now,” and also ” Well, maybe I can just encourage you through this.”…

And while they all have been kind and meant well, that sometimes we just have to stop and think of the deeper message in all of this, and only a message that God could give…

Sometimes its not about finding victory in our times of grief, sometimes its just that we have to keep going through it in order to come out of it. Simply that.

I mean let’s face it, there is no magic that could keep a real storm from coming, and there is no magic way to make it pass any faster than it came…its just how it is.

It’s God’s timing. We just have to know that He knows the purpose.

I had a friend say to me that she is tired of sharing about what she is going through, because the people around her make her feel like she is just a “drama queen.” 

Folks, I gotta tell you sometimes we are just inundated with so much that its seems like some of it could be exaggerated. But it IS possible to have so much going on that it overwhelms people around us at the same time. And it overwhelms them…

Because only God is God.

Words will carry weight when needed but when we don’t know what to say we have to be careful what we do say. We have to be careful that if what we speak that we also believe. Don’t let your words come through empty, or just don’t speak at all.

I’ve had a lot of people love me through some real recent events, but the best were those who would tell me:

” Quit with the cliches of how you think you are suppose to be, and tell me how you really feel.” And they listened, and they were just empathetic.

We all want to love well.  We also all want to make people feel better where they are in their current situation.

But sometimes its just our place to love well, and let the people around us go through what they need to.

Sometimes we just need to watch them cry, sometimes they need to know that we see it.

It’s what Jesus would do. It’s our ultimate goal in this life to become like Him.

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives 
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor 
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, 
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes, 
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

” I’m Already There…”

There is this song by Lonestar, ” I’m Already There…” and it is about a man calling his family while he is away. He is sad he could not be there with them, but to comfort himself and his family he just answers:

I’m already there
Take a look around
I’m the sunshine in your hair
I’m the shadow on the ground

I’m the whisper in the wind
I’m your imaginary friend
And I know, I’m in your prayers
Oh I’m already there

Music touches my heart so deeply when it comes to my faith, because I read lyrics not in the sense of what the song is trying to convey but what I believe God is speaking to me through it. It doesn’t have to be a Christian song at all, God speaks through everything.

I brought this particular song up, because there is a verse that has been on my heart for the past few weeks. It is interesting, because this particular verse that is found out of Deuteronomy was a concept I saw inside the verse last year. God speaks through what He knows we already know.

Before I go into this verse in Deuteronomy 31:8, I want to share a bit about the beginning of Deuteronomy 31, and give an idea as to what is happening.

Picture Moses, Joshua, and the Isrealites standing on the edge of the river. Moses is 120 years old. He has done what God had asked of him, and God was ready to raise up a leader in Joshua.
Moses knew that the people would be hesitant to leave him, but also knew he needed to prepare the people that his journey with them had come to an end.

“I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’ The LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the LORD said.” (Deuteronomy 31:2-3)

I think what might be being said here is that the people would not be able to face the nations before them until an appointed time. God had to cross over first, and then he would have Joshua follow Him.

I love how it did not go like this, ” Joshua will go ahead of you, and we hope he finds God there.”

Just as Moses was preparing the Isrealites for his departure with them, I would suggest that knowing Joshua no longer had Moses for a leader, that he was handed the staff and in Moses eyes it could have been said, ” Your Lord God will cross over before YOU.” He might have wanted Joshua to know that he would not be leading the people alone or blindly. He might have said that to first and foremost comfort Joshua.

The LORD will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31: 5-6)

Moses shares that the nations would be delivered to them, which is exactly why God told them to stay put and wait. God would know exactly what the best plan would be for the people. He tells them there is no reason to be afraid. God already knows the outcome.

“Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8)

There is a pattern we can see in Deuteronomy 31 that I have not seen with other scripture. Moses tells the people: ” The Lord God will crossover before you,” ” The Lord goes with you,” ” The Lord himself, goes before you, and will be with you.”

I love how God never once says he is going ahead of them without saying that He will also be with them.

I think too often we forget that God knows the plans He has for us, but that He does not leave us to take them on alone. He is there with us through the journey.

I know as someone who is preparing to be led a different direction in my life, one that means it is a journey He leads, but that I follow; that there will be people following my footsteps too.

As many times as I’ve seen this verse the last few weeks in Deuteronomy 31:8, I can’t help but hear God saying loudly to my heart, ” I got this, I have your back, if you get discouraged…I may be ahead of you, but I’m still right here.”

We are not meant to go through this life alone, regardless of how much knowledge we think we have on accomplishing something, and regardless what position we have, we need to know we have support, we need to know God is there, and that He will place people in our lives that help to mold us into what He needs us to become for His namesake.

God is going to ask us to lead. It might mean we are going to have to put something down. It might mean the things we have to let go of might be people in our life. It might mean we have to change who we are so much that it takes a toll on us. It might mean that we might have to lose our lives completely for the cost of following Christ.

Whatever it means for us. He already knows, He was already there.

We are standing in his footprint.

LSOF: Different Places, Similar Progress

My heart has really been given some wisdom lately when it comes to people.
We are truly all in different places in our walks.
It also occurred to me that different places in our walk didn’t mean necessarily further.

I tried to wear my Sketcher Shape-ups the other morning, and let me just say they live up to their name, ouch would be a total understatement. I only made it around the block before I just couldn’t take the pain in my calves anymore. I made it to the front door, only to be sure to throw them across the room, and off of my pitiful, and might I add, Out of shape, feet.

It made me upset with myself just a bit, because I have allowed myself to get to this state.

I have a job that has me sit down for 8 hrs a day, and I’ve been doing it now almost a year. It is an amazing job, but muscles wear down when they are not used for a long period of time.

It isn’t my job’s fault that I haven’t used my muscles forever.

I think it is similar when it comes to life situations. When things happen to us, we can’t always deal with it like any other time. Sometimes things are so heavy on our shoulders that we are just too worn out to take a moment to just see the purpose of where we are. There is alway a bigger picture.

When we first get back on our feet after being in a pit for a long period of time, it is hard.
This is why you see Pastor’s and other people in position take a break for awhile, its not that they did something wrong, and its not that they no longer want the position, its just that God has asked for some time to reflect and re-evaluate somethings. Sometimes personal, sometimes the view from our side of everything on the outside.

The pit makes you take a look at your life and see that you are in a place and you are to find the purpose from the place you stand now.

I think people have a tendency to look at those who have had rough times, and had the perception that the person just doesn’t have as much faith as they used to, but please if you are one of those people; know that it is in the rough time God makes us stronger.

I learned this walk really is about gaining wisdom, and within the places we feel we are too weak, God has made another area that is unexpected, stronger.

We are not meant to handle everything on our shoulders at once, We cannot be like Atlas, and I believe that is why there is always something weak God is working to make stronger.

We forget that in the situations we go through that we are indeed learning something essential, but it isn’t in anything anyone tells us, but what God shows us.

I am one who has had the opportunity to allow God to do some crazy things in my life, meet people, and visit some places that seem unbelievable to some, to which I actually sat down and asked someone,
” Am I the one doing this?” and the reply I got was,
” It’s too weird to be you, it has to be God.”

I’ve felt pretty inadequate on several occassions when it comes to people. I guess I always let my insecurities bully me into a corner, and many times I let them hold me there.
I’ve compared myself to those who seem better than me, or know better than me.

It was as if God held my face one day and said, ” LOOK CLOSER.”

I got to see for myself that those who appeared to have it all, they were missing more than I knew.
I got to see their insecurities, and sadly, I watched them fall apart.
It took them off the pedastal I had them on.

I’ve shared a lot about different places we find ourselves in, but something else to know is even though you find yourself where you are, we are all working with similar progress.

We are all working one step at a time, one day at a time, to accomplish our personal and professional goals.

We stop our progress when we let the insecurities in our lives get in the way. We have to just keep walking, fall a little, but learn from the bruises we receive.

We need to encourage one another more, and keep ourselves all in check with how far we’ve come.

Just because progress seems small in your eyes, it might mean the world to someone else.

The dynamic of who God created us to be is found in the moments we struggle in.

He knows we are going to question Him, He knows we are going to fall flat on our face at times…

He also knows that we will come out of everything victorious.

Pain truly is gain, whether you believe it or not.

I’ll leave you with a verse that smacked me clear in the face this week:

2 John 1:8 (NIV, 1984)
“Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.”

LSOF: Heart Wisdom

There was a simulcast this weekend, with an amazing message. If you want to check it out, see earlier posts.

I always try to get an underlying message for myself to hear. One that doesn’t necessarily come through from the speaker audibly.

The message for me was that I don’t need to be a scholar to be able to share wisdom with the world about Jesus. What He has done in my life, and who I’ve come to know Him as, I personally do not think could be found in any research article. There are just somethings that cannot be studied.

And its those accounts that one experiences on their own, when the pen and paper are put away, when the cameras are gone, and when the crowd has better things to do…

I sat with a lady during the simulcast who I shared about my experience with the pit and that you can indeed be put in it due to obedience.

Her eyes got wide, and she sort of seemed to let out a breath of deep relief.

I don’t know what it was that she had gone through, but it was at that moment she needed to hear that she wasn’t alone, and that she was doing in her life what was God’s purpose.

My experiences with pain and Him restoring me, have taught me to not be ashamed what I should share with anyone. We all have darkness that has been apart of our lives. It is through knowing darkness exists that we will search to find the light.

I want to share that I have deep respect and esteem for Beth Moore. I’ve done many of her studies, but I learned we had something more in common. She got to know Jesus more through her pain. Knowing that has helped me to love on others with my story. There are still areas where pain exists in my life, but I had to learn that God’s healing overshadows it.

God loves me. God cares for me. God protects me. God delivers me. God knows where I am. God understands how I feel. God changes me. God restores me. God heals me. God will be the only one that will help me live my life victoriously.

Someone told me a few months back that I helped restore their faith in God, and without sharing much more I’ll say that now she wants nothing to do with God.

My heart has taught me that when it comes to God, you have to work at knowing Him. You have to work at loving Him, and trusting Him. There are no quick fixes.

We go through the fires in life, because we need to get burned. We need to experience that God binds up our wounds.

I’m sad for those who choose what is temporary instead of true hope.
My pain was real, but because of it, I know my faith is real.
So all those scholars out there, who think they have all the answers…
I can assure you they don’t…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
(Proverbs 3:5)

Sept. 10, 2011 -Living Proof Live Simulcast: ” We Also” – Session 1, Point #1-2

Living Proof Live- September 10th 2011…

“ WE ALSO”…

It is A LOT of information, so I am writing out points little at a time, there is a total of 7…and I think we definitely should be able to sink it in a little at a time…the simulcast was a lot!

The opening:

Luke 1:1-4

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a]among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

 We learn that Luke is the physician, and wrote the book of Luke, and the book of Acts.

2 Timothy 2:22

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

 We are called to have company with others who call upon Christ.

2 Timothy 4:5-12

5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

 These were the last words to Timothy.

Personal Remarks

 9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 

 If you have ever been betrayed by a friend, or had abandonment Paul knew what that was like as Demas deserted him.

11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.

 “ Only Luke is with me.” –

Colossians 4:10-14

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[a] among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.

 This is where we learn that Luke is the physician.

Acts 16:6-7

6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

 

Acts 16:11-12

11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district[a] of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

 We see it go from They to WE.

Luke and Paul met in Antioch, because of Paul’s illness.

Christian means, “ Little Christs”-

Galatians 4:12-15

12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14 and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

 “ Alone Together”- Term for social networking, everyone feels more alone then ever.

1. We were created for good company.

“ If we want good company, we have to be good company.”

Have pure heart in relationships.

1 Peter 1:22

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

 1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 We go through a cycle confession to destruction over and over.

“ Don’t just read the word, actually try to live it.”

“ Disobedience to God deforms the heart, and as it says in 1 Peter 1:22,

“ Obedience reforms the heart.”

“When we look for people to fellowship with, we need to know those who walk in obedience have souls that have been purified.”

Philippians 1:9-10

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ…

Love with knowledge.

 End of point 1…..

 

2. Individual calling can only be fulfilled in a “we” context.

None of us were to fulfill our calling on our own.

I don’t have a WEE calling, I have a WE calling.

We have to lose our self-consciousness.

“ We can guard our dignity right out of epiphany.”

“ TCTBB- Too cool to be blessed.”

Luke was a second generation Christian- He wasn’t there for the encounter of Christ from the beginning.

What would happen if we studied the scriptures according to the scriptures? Instead of looking for a scripture that applies to us, what would happen if we just looked at scripture?

“ HERMENEUTIC”

Her-me-neutic- method of principle or interpretation.

Instead of looking for how something applies to us, and doing something for us, instead let us see how it applies to Jesus, and what we are doing, what we are doing for Jesus….what is the true purpose?

What if Jesus was the hermeneutic?

LSOF: ” Coming out of the Dark…”

As I began writing this post the song, ” Coming out of the Dark.” by Gloria Estefan came to my mind.

It’s quite fitting to say the least.

I spoke last time about my experience with the pit, and now I’d like to share what it is like once I came out of the pit.

My friend and I meet every other week or so to just pray and have conversation about God, and the things He is doing in our lives. And today we focused on God’s attributes and what we know them to be.

I shared that God is merciful and shows us favor by His grace, that we so do not deserve.

I focused on the pit and how when we are obedient and just keep dealing with the thing until its over, then God rewards us by His favor in our lives.

The pit is indeed a rough place to be, but I want to give emphasis to the word PLACE for a moment, because that is really what it is, just a place in a season of our lives.

One of my dear spiritual mentors shared with me in a birthday card how God does not throw us on earth like a pieces on a chessboard, but that he strategically PLACES us where He needs us to be to fulfil His purpose.

The Pit has a Purpose.

So I write this to share with you that favor will come once the purpose of being in the pit is done, but sometimes its also good to realize that God will bless even when we are in the pit. He wants us to recognize He is there and He loves us.

It’s important to look for His fingerprints through the pit. Those little blessings that He leaves for us.

I was sharing this morning with someone that asked me what happened to living in Savannah

To which I told them that God moved me back to Florida, and I also added that I grieved it, but that

I knew He had a greater purpose than I could see at that time.

For the first time in my life I can tell you I really love my life, and I really have come to know the character of God through my time in the pit.  I learned how He was with me when I flat out cursed Him in my own way. He was merciful, He didn’t look to try to make life worse, but instead He saw how numb I had become from my own emotions, and piece by piece…He started to put me and my life around me together again.

And what is interesting in all this is I didn’t think that I would get out of the pit by God’s help alone, I really thought that others might help me who had experienced it at the same time. I was wrong, and it is why it took me so much longer to get out then it was needed.

We are all a work in progress.

Keypoint I feel I should make in all this: Don’t deny that you are in the pit, don’t deny that something isn’t going the way it should be in your life, Don’t deny that there is something inside of you that you need to re-evaluate with God.

Don’t deny you need healing.

Again, I’m just talking; its just you and I having a conversation over starbucks, and I’m telling you what I experienced.

I want to see you free, because God does.