Stand For Something

Our country is going into a tail spin.  Every single day I turn on the radio and hear what Washington is doing or not doing.  I read the headlines and shake my head.  Then I pray, Lord come soon!  Do I really want that?  There are still so many that do not know Jesus.  So many that have not heard the Good News.  Still more who have heard the Gospel message but keep putting off their decision to make things right with God.  There are some who have rejected Him and care nothing about God or what matters to Him.  Our world is turning upside down before my eyes.  What was good is now bad and what was bad is now good.  It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20

I have heard the saying that if you do not stand for something you will fall for anything.  I do believe that to be true.  The bible tells us (paraphrased) that we are to build up one another in the faith so that we grow stronger in the knowledge of Christ so we will no longer be as a child , “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— Ephesians 4:12-15

Without Christ we are as the world is. Lost to God and blind to truth.  How can we be shocked at the things the lost say and do?  It is in their very nature to be deceitful, hateful and twisted in their thinking.  In the flesh we, Christians, have the same bent but we are called to stand firm on the truth of God’s Word.  To not waver to the left nor to the right.  But sadly even most Christians do not understand what it means to stand on truth.  They compromise on the little things, gray areas they are called.  When they do this they are allowing the enemy a foothold into their lives. An open door so to speak.  Over time their hearts become harden to any truth.  They no longer have spiritual discernment in that area.  What a dangerous place to be.

ten-commandments

For in God’s Word there is no gray.  Black and white!  Just reading the 10 commandments you can not waiver.  You do or you don’t!!!

I have, when I was younger, being dead in my trespasses and sin, turned my eyes to the world and followed their way of thinking.  It was years before I came to know God and realize my perspective was in opposition to God and His Word.

The older I get and the closer to God I become, I see even more how I was blinded to truth.  To not speak up against sin is basically to agree with it.  To not warn others of the wrath of God and impending judgement is to stand with their blood on your hands.  17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Ezekiel 3:17-18

When I began to read the bible and apply it, my eyes were open to the truth of it. Applying His Word to the lies of this world brings you to the choice of who will you serve this day and all the days to follow. You can not be in the Word for any length of time and not be convicted of its truth.  You either accept it or reject it.  And rejecting is as turning your back on God, rebellion.  And rebellion is as witchcraft.  And witchcraft is an abomination unto the Lord according to Deuteronomy 18:9-12

Some of the issues I am talking about are so divisive that it is often difficult to have a discussion with those that disagree without it becoming very explosive.  Marriage, Sexual Orientation, Religious Freedom and Life.  It has of course come down to politics and money.  Who has the most money to buy the power needed to shove ones beliefs down the throat of another.  In order for one side to have their rights the other sides’ rights will have to be forfeited.  This is what is happening before our eyes today.  It is the work of the enemy. For we know he rules this world with an agenda.  One that keeps as many from coming to Christ as he can and causes many Christians to stumble and fall.  According to the end of the book, the Bible, we  know where he ends up just as we also know who will reign forever and ever.

So it is our duty, as Christians to stand up and speak truth. Be salt and light in a society that is becoming dark and tasteless.  There will be a day when we will no longer have the freedom to do this without fear of death.  We in America do not know what this means.  But soon, very soon we will.  I am a born-again child of God, a Christian. I have a Christian world view, meaning I view everything through the lens of God’s Word and His principles.  While some of my view is skewed a bit from my upbringing and experiences I strive to err on the side of Jesus.  I pray that each day for the courage to make the choices that show others who I serve.  That my Lord will find me faithful!

To this end, it is important for us to stay informed. To make sure we do the research.  To stay involved in the civil process.  To tell others what we know and most importantly live ‘Christ’ before others so that they may be won.  We can not quit because it is uncomfortable for us or because the world goes to hell in a hand basket around us.  No, we must stand more firm and keep reaching for the prize of the high calling.

Remember God wins. Just read the end of the book.  It is all there, I promise!

Grace to you all,

Shell

What does it mean to be a ‘tolerant’ Christian?

PS:  I have added this post as a page to my blog “Stand For Something” and will post links (drop down menu “Do Your Research”)  to reliable news sources for those interested in keeping up with current events.  Pray as to the direction the Lord would have you go in standing for His principles in society.  If we, as a church, do not stand up and be His voice then eventually we will lose our voice.  And thus begins the death of the church.  If you have a reliable link that you think I should add, please feel free to send to me.  Thank you in advance for your courage!

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“Faith, don’t fail me now!”

50th Birthday

50th Birthday

Have I mentioned that I turned 50 several months ago.  November actually.  It really isn’t a huge event when compared to the events of the world.  It was in my life.  I am sure each one of us who mark this passing of time either celebrates it or mourns it.  I made a good effort to celebrate it.  It brought with it much reflection as to what my life has culminated into.  I have written before about being defined by various things in my life.   When I was 19 I wrote that I wanted to find a purpose for my life.  I wanted to be loved and I wanted to love.  I could not see what lay ahead nor could I see that those very things I wanted drove me to make decisions that would turn my world upside down again and again.

What do I know now that I did not know then?

  • Purpose is not something that I have to seek.  It was given to me by God.  He created me for a purpose.  To follow and glorify Him.

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.  Isaiah 43:7

  • Whether any person loves me or not I am loved by God.  Who created me, redeemed me and justifies me.  

But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. Isaiah 43:1

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3

  • To love others I must first love God.  He then fills me with His Holy Spirit which in turn spills out onto others.

35 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  1 John 5:2

 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  38 This is the first and great commandment.  39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.   Matthew 22

Somewhere around age 32 I discovered that my thinking was wrong.  I had not met God on His terms. I knew of God and cried out to Him but did not KNOW Him.  When I came to that realization a light bulb came on. I could see the sin in my heart and I surrendered to Him.  Did all my thoughts, decisions and direction completely change?  No, not immediately. Over time He changed me from the inside out.  The most immediate and  important change was realizing that I could not continue to live life my way.  At this point I set about learning all I could about following God.  It took some 7 or 8 years after receiving Christ as my Savior to know what it meant to truly walk in liberty in Christ.  I was delivered from some generational strongholds in my life that took me to a whole new level in my relationship with God.  Shortly after that period of my life I went through what is known as the refiner’s fire.

The fire, I believe, was to test me on what I had learned. Would I apply it and walk in truth?  Would I choose to continue to follow God, whom I could not physically see over the circumstances that surrounded me?  Would I trust His path and stay focused on Him or would I look down and sink into the raging waves around me, as Peter did when he stepped out of the boat onto the water after seeing Jesus, himself, walking on the water?  Was my faith forged in steel or plastic?  Even while in the fire I had lessons to learn.  I learned what it meant to cling to God’s hand.  To trust Christ no matter what.   In past entries I have discussed some of these trials and the other lessons learned. (see archives 2006-2009)  I can not say I came out of the fire completely untouched by the flames.  I did come out of the fire with less of me and more of Him within my heart and mind.

Here and now, I am going through a different kind of trial.  A personal one. One that is not so much about the goings on around me but the struggle within me.  I believe the enemy is trying to reassert his way back into my thought life.  He has, from the beginning of my walk with Jesus, tried to take back the ground that God has gained over time.  Yes, I have on occasion given up tiny bits of  ground at times by not being on guard to my own weaknesses.  Where am I the most vulnerable to the enemy of my soul?  My children.  Always have been and perhaps always will be. Because they have been my life.  For 25 years I have been a mother, at least 16 years to four children.  And Satan knows where they are concerned I take everything personal.  Everything they do and say.  Every milestone. Every hurt or failure.  Every disappointment.  Every victory.

I have not yet learned to separate their adult lives from my own personal identification as their mama.  I see everything that happens as a reflection on me.  More bad than the good, I am afraid to admit.  I am seeking God about this but I am unsure what He is trying to show me.  I have tried to lead them by example and give them direction, always steering them toward Jesus.  And there have been moments when even I have failed in that.  My oldest son said to me, just last night something to the effect of,  “Mama, if you of all people, who have walked with God all these years, can not find peace in all of our (my children)  lives then what hope is there for me to find it?”  What does that say about my faith at this point in my life?  My husband has said I have been making everything that happens to them about me.  Again I ask what does that say about my faith?  Am I still trying to carry their burdens because that is what I did for years as a single mother.  Am I taking responsibility for their actions because I felt guilty for the life they had to live?  It was hard to be mom and dad.  It was hard watching them struggle with our broken home.  It was hard being accountable for 4 little lives + mine.  It was hard being alone and struggling with my own hurts and brokenness.  I look back and it amazes me that we survived.  God remained faithful even when I was not and it is to Him I owe much.

So this season I am currently in has perplexed me some.  I am questioning a lot of things over the years. Not God, mind you but my own beliefs.  I am having to go back and sort through some events and reviewing the timeline of my life to get at the root of  those issues that are stealing bits and pieces of my faith.  It is a well-known fact the enemy is an expert at finding old things to bring out of the dark to use against us.  I know that this is his way of warfare.  I know what he wants.  And I am desperate to stand my ground and not let him have one more inch.

Though how do you fight an enemy that goes around you and heads straight for your children?  Knowing where your children are vulnerable and not being able to protect them because now they are adults and it has become their fight.  Prayer is the only thing I know.  I know my Lord hears the prayer of a mother, a mother who seeks Him daily.   I have to pray ‘your will be done in their lives, Lord.’   Praying, knowing that God will hear and His answer may not be pretty or easy.  It still may bring more pain.  And that, my friends is where I am.  Praying for my grown children. Having to step back and keep hands off.  One of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.

Maybe I am looking at the water again. I surely hope not. I most assuredly hope that I have learned that my God is able.  He is able to do more than my mind could ever imagine and then some.  I have seen it over and over in my life.  So now I must trust Him to do the same in my children’s lives. I must be patient and hopeful. Always keeping my eyes on Him only!

Just maybe God is allowing this season of uncertainty to refine me further.  Perhaps He knows the things in this mother’s heart that still need to come out.   He knows that in order to heal completely there must be a cleaning out of old things infecting my thoughts. He has taught me without this there will never be peace and surrender.  And I know too there must be a pouring out, an emptiness that needs to occur before a filling can be completed.   A filling of joy and freedom.

And with that comes peace to a mother’s heart!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23