Archive for January, 2012

Not Everyone Will Like Us!

January 30, 2012

It has come to my attention that as I looked back over the years, as I’ve received several emails and requests for help,  they all seem to ask the same thing… why don’t people like me? And the answer is this… not everyone will like us… we need to get a grasp on that. I hope this insight will help you understand why people “just don’t like you” so you can be restored to peace.

I want to start with a question: How many of you are trying to fix something you did or said? And you find the more you try to fix it, the worse it’s getting? It seems a wall is being put up and the person you want to be reconciled with is being pushed further away? The reason they are being pushed away is that there is a “fear of man” at work in you. When we “try” to get others to understand us, or like us, or approve of us, etc., we are operating under a “fear of man.” It means that we are more concerned about what they say and think above what God says and thinks. Fear of man sounds like this: “It matters what you think of me, and if you don’t think well of me, I can’t go on.”  Tom told me that we wouldn’t have fear of man, if we feared God correctly. That is sound advice, but then he went on to say this, “If you fear those closest to you, you will also fear others.” Because we have a healthy relationship, no fear or stress, I can go out and love others, even if they reject me. It’s because I have a solid home life. And that is what God offers us all today, a solid home life with Him. And we truly need that today.

So when a relationship you are in is a struggle to maintain, then fear of man is present. Sometimes, its just time cut your losses, and move on.

This is the bottom line, really, because it’s all about our reputation! I can get off on a rabbit trail here, but suffice to say, Jesus made himself of NO reputation… But friends, not everyone is going to think well of you.. some may even reject you and everything you stand for, no matter how much you try to convince them otherwise.

Matthew 10 13-15 says, And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorra in the day of judgment, than for that city.

This scripture is very clear. It says if we don’t release those who rejected us, we will carry “dust” and let me add, we will remain stuck and tormented by that experience, too. We won’t be able to move on. We will be consumed with thoughts about what they did, thinking about what you could have done differently, wondering how to fix things, or having conversations in your head with them. This is tormenting! Sometimes, you just need to say, enough now… and shake off the dust… and move on.

So what is “dust?” It is the defilement that was placed upon you such as rejection, disapproval, criticism, bitterness, unforgiveness, or whatever you “felt” because of their reactions toward you. John 20:23 says that we are to forgive others or else we “take” on their sins (defilement). This scripture clearly teaches us to let all that go and move to the next town. If you try to move ahead carrying all this “dust” you will not be effective for the Kingdom of God, and you will be miserable. Let’s do what the Word says, and get our peace back.

I have a friend that went on one of those dating sites. She put a lot of things in there about herself, but one thing she did emphasize was that she was a  Christian and would only date according to the Word of God. Well, time went on, and she didn’t get any contacts. She knew men were looking at her profile because there is a counter. She was so hurt. She thought perhaps her picture was too ugly, or they didn’t like her bio. But after we spoke about it, I helped her see the real truth. They weren’t rejecting her, they were rejecting the Lord in her. Even though this was a Christian dating site, not all men want to be “godly” men! I told her it was God protecting her from being contacted by the wrong men! When she saw that this was really God’s protection and love, she was able to see that they weren’t rejecting her at all, but whom she represented, Him!

The scripture that comes to mind is this, Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. We cannot run very well if we are covered in mud, dirt and dust!

We just need to come to the understanding that we cannot fix everyone and everything. Sometimes people reject us because we hurt them in some way, or we remind them of themselves, or they are jealous, or bitter, or filled with rejection themselves, it doesn’t matter, we need to rise above it and do what is right. By forgiving, loving, and moving on if we need to, we are being obedient to the Word. We need a reality check here; we will lose people along the way for whatever reasons. But let me help you here. Whatever God has planned for you, no devil in hell and no man on earth with ever prevent God’s plan for you. He will get it done, one way or another. Psalm says that if we don’t praise the Lord, even the rocks will cry out praise! So if God wants something done, it will get done. Oh, it may seem like God isn’t doing anything at times, but He is methodically strategizing everything for the end result to be for HIS glory! Even if you made a mess of everything, God will use it to work out for good.

Just this week, I’ve had opportunity to see this at work. I had to face some hard things that concerned the ministry God has called me to, and while I was seeking the Lord, He gave me a huge revelation that kept me out of fearing man! He said, we cannot do anything about what others say or do, but what we can do is trust Him. This is how He humbles us and helps us through this life. We have to believe God will work things for good in spite of what things look like. And He allows things to be there as His protection. I mean that if the Lord didn’t weed out the weeds, we would be bombarded with all kinds of wrong connections. I remember one time feeling like everyone at church was ignoring me, I felt invisible that day even and said so to God as I was leaving that service. And I heard Him say, “I made you invisible on purpose because I don’t want you depending on “man” to give you what you need, I want you to depend on me.” And sometimes we think we need certain people in our lives to give us just that! But these could be the very people wanting to take you down, and this is God’s way of protecting us. Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but God is the Master Planner and we need to trust Him.

God’s faithfulness in protecting us. What we think is evil, God will use and turn for good.

As a believer, we can be confident in this one thing… God’s will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We can trust this, we can count on this, we can depend on this; no matter what it “looks” like, what we hear, or what we read or even what we feel, God will put things together, in spite of all these things.

Psalm 118: 8 says, It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Yes, we do  have a part to play in all this, by our obedience and faith towards Him, things will move a lot faster and smoother, but frankly, most of us go through this life kicking and screaming! Yet… God always comes through in the end, doesn’t He?

I am sure that as you look back on your life and remember all the different situations and relationships that took place, that you are so amazed at how you got to where you are today, or that you are even still here! Maybe today isn’t all that great, but you are still a work in progress, and remember everything, even what is going on now, will eventually work out for good. Even if we were the ones who made the big mess, He still uses it and is working fervently for your good.

God directs our paths by shutting doors and opening windows. The Bible says to count it all joy (James 1), when you are being tempted in your thoughts, because times like that you can exercise your faith to believe truth. We can know that we are in good company if we are being persecuted for the Gospel’s sake. I love this scripture, which says it all:

Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Wow… what confirmation. We have to keep our eyes on the “big picture” not on our 3-minute Youtube video. Everything that happens to us, from people not liking us to not getting a promotion at work, is all being worked for the Kingdom of God! If we can get that, we will be able to easily “shake off the dust” from our feet, leave the defilement laying in the doorway, and move on, clean, whole, and excited about what is next!

Okay, I hear some saying, “But I don’t think I’m being persecuted for Christ’s sake, I’m just being persecuted, abandoned, and not understood for “my” sake.” Here is a truth. Are you a daughter or son of God? Then, any attacks you get, is because of that!! So no matter what the situation may be, it all boils down to an enemy (Satan) who HATES you, because you are God’s!

We are to increase people, but if we are carrying around all that dust, we might look like pig-pen in the Peanuts cartoon! And if we cry about it, it could turn to mud! No wonder we sometimes feel “stuck in the mud” because we are.

Years ago I went to visit a girlfriend of mine, someone who meant a lot to me in my school days. I happened to bring a boyfriend with me, who rode a Harley. She was afraid of him, and because of that, she never spoke to me again. Over the years I’ve tried to connect with her, but only fell on deaf-ears. I knew someone who knew her and asked if he would relay a message to her… that I’m a Christian now, that I’m not wild and crazy like that any more, and that I’m a minister. But, still no response. So I had to realize that this was her choice, and I had to let her go. There was NO fixing this… and any fixing will have to come from the Lord. So I shook off the dust, and moved on.

Not long ago I was going to visit a friend of mine, but spent over an hour just finding the right shoes to wear! I was tormented “trying” to get her to “approve” of me. But no matter what I did or tried, I never “felt” accepted. We kept this relationship going for almost 30 years! It was painstakingly slow! Each step, grueling, every time I would  see her, I would leave hurt and wounded somehow. Now, mind you, we spoke nice to one another, we talked about the Lord, but there was something I “felt” that never seemed to meet her standards.

Then one day the Lord set me free. She visited me one day and she said something so outrageous to me that I saw her true heart, and it wasn’t clean. I realized that I was trying to keep friendship with someone who was trying to maintain an outer appearance of good, when inside she was miserable. I was so glad the Lord showed me the truth  here. I didn’t realize she was speaking from that other kingdom, and to this day, I don’t believe she knows it either. I had to make a choice right there, so after forgiving her, understanding where she really was, I shook the dust off my feet, and now living without all those tormenting thoughts and feelings! It’s not that I won’t see her again, because she is still a sister in the Lord, but I don’t carry around any of the defilement or dust.

Many of us are trying to hold onto old-friendships, relationships that frankly, are because we want them to like us, but they are like an albatross on our backs. We put too much importance on what others think of us. We need to understand that we will go through seasons with friends coming in and out of our lives. I’m glad too, otherwise our time will be so consumed with keeping up with friendships, we won’t be able to do anything else!  We have to decide the motive to that friendship, and if it’s holy, then stick with it, but if it isn’t (and you know), it may be time to “shake off the dust” here too.

I have a good friend I’ve known since kindergarten… she truly is a friend for life. She has never judged me or abandoned me, even when I made some pretty awful decisions. Now… that is someone who loves me. The others who didn’t stick with me, or forgive me, or overlook my faults, didn’t really love me, so it was no sweat off their back to reject me and never want to se me again. But, this is God’s way of pruning our relationships for us… because He wants us to fellowship with light, not darkness, and we don’t need these people interjecting into our life; we want people who will be honest with sincerity in love, to spur us on to good works! Like “iron sharpening iron.”

So by loving and forgiving, we are “doing” the Word. And when we aren’t accepted or “liked” by someone, to shake off the dust and move on, because we are obeying the Word. And when we obey the Word, we will increase! And isn’t that what we all want anyway, to do more for the Lord, to be able to give more, to be able to pray more, to have more blessings? Well, that is your ticket to a better night’s sleep!

Deuteronomy 6:2-3 2That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 3Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey

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Do you live in fear – of evil?

January 23, 2012

Did you know that when we fear any kind of evil, we are really fearing the Devil? Did you know that when we fear the devil, we are making him greater than God? That is as simple as I can put it. We are making that “fearful thing” (the devil) bigger than God! It’s because we aren’t really trusting God IN all things. We may not have fear in some areas of our lives, but when it comes to finances, raising children, housing, jobs, etc., we may fear. We are saying “God you aren’t enough!” And when we do that we accuse God of being evil. The Bible says that God is Good all the time. That means ALL the time. He’s not a schizophrenic God. He is Love. He is Good. He is Faithful. He doesn’t waiver in who He is. We are the ones who waiver.

The Bible says in James chapter one, that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways, let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.

We are the ones people! Our double-minded is is doubt and unbelief to faith, then doubt and unbelief to faith. We are up and down in believing God! We have to stop once and for all, and be IN faith 24/7. Then, as we pray, we WILL receive what we asked God for. Because it says you will get NOTHING from the Lord! It may be some of the blessings reserved for you are being hindered by your own fear of the devil?

Here are some indicators if you are fearing the devil: If we are afraid of the dark, evil, tomorrow, sickness, disease, people, places, things, anything that causes you anxiety, stress, or fear. These are indicators we fear the devil more than God.

So how to stop fearing the devil?  1) repent for fearing the devil 2) repent for NOT fearing God in the right way (to fear the Lord is to hate evil – Proverbs 8:13), 3) repent for not receiving God’s love personally, 4) repent for accusing Him of not being the God you think He should be in your life, being disappointed in your life, and  5)  repent for calling Him evil.

I know that we never meant to do these things, but these are behind all fear, not just that we fear the devil (or evil) but that we don’t trust God! This is an indicator to me that we don’t “know” Him and the power of His resurrection. Because if we really “knew” Him, His love, His nature and character, and Who He really is in our lives, there wouldn’t be ANY fear at all, because you would be made complete in His love. (His perfect love casts out all fear and torment.)

Let me share my story: I had been afraid of the dark for a long time, but never knew that what I was really afraid of was the devil. I was not believing that God could protect and take care of me in the darkness. So one day, when I realized this, I said, “Lord I will trust you in the darkness, you can take care of me in the darkness, I will not fear the devil. Forgive me for fearing the devil.” So then I stood in my living room in the middle of the night, and turned off all the lights. Yes, fear tried to grip me, but I stood my ground, THANKING the Lord for loving me, because it’s His love that will cast out fear… and waited until the fear passed. It did! And it hasn’t gripped me again in the darkness.
Whatever you are “fearing” you have to face in a way that you out-wait the devil. The devil stands between us and God, and we have to look past the enemy and see God. That’s when our faith is being built. We don’t even build our own faith, it’s God who expands our faith as we get to know Him, receive His love, and take Him at His Word. The Bible says that Faith comes by hearing the Word of God… it isn’t forced, we can’t make it happen, we can only do our part by preparing our heart to “receive.”  Faith “comes” – that means it comes to you. Jesus even said that He is our faith and what He starts He will finish. We get into doubt and unbelief when WE try to finish what He has started! (That topic is for another time.)
This goes for everything in our lives that we struggle in, or fear.  Sickness, hard situations, we have to rise above these things, focus on sitting with Jesus in heavenly places, and your thoughts will catch up, and life will change.
The other morning I woke up and knew from how I was feeling, it was going to be an “off” day. I was feeling a bit sluggish. So before I let that set the tone for my day, I said, “Lord, I am sitting with you in the heavenlies, I am above all this fleshy symptoms and stuff. I pictured my head being lifted up above the clouds. I pictured my spirit soaring with the You. You have plans for me today, thank you for your Power, Love and Sound Mind that is stirring up in me.” And within minutes, that sluggish heaviness was gone! I got out of bed, refreshed, strong and well.
We have the “power” people to rise above anything that comes our way, through grabbing onto  the Word. It is our lifeline. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy

January 18, 2012

As a Gentile…  and not a Jew…. my sabbath day falls on Sunday. I know that Sabbath day is from Friday night to Saturday night in the Jewish culture, so I am aware of the real day. But as a Christian born and engrafted into Christ, the day we celebrate is the day of resurrection. So regardless which day you celebrate Christ, is of no importance… just pick one. The Bible even says not to judge others by the Holy Day! But that’s not what I’m wanting to discuss here today…  I am going to share something of profound importance that the Lord gave me just last Sunday on my way to church.

I was running a bit late, and so was kinda speeding down the road… then a very slow car pulled out in front of me. I wasn’t very happy about that, got a little frustrated, but then talked myself down by saying it’ll be alright. And I began slowing down and backing off. Then the Lord spoke to me, “You are loving when there is no one to love.” That shot at me like a dart! What did He just say to me? We can love people when there is no one around… in other words… we can sing the Hallelujah chorus before the kids get home from school. We can sing praises in our cars when no one pulls out in front of you in traffic! Ouch! I had to laugh… I realized I was being “loving.” So I repented right there and enjoyed my quiet drive on to church.

Then during the service, the pastor mentioned this passage… he didn’t expand on it, but I couldn’t get that passage off my mind, so I really didn’t hear anything else he said. The Lord had me study this passage as He began showing me right then and there what it means to keep the sabbath! He simply said, “To keep the sabbath is to be Holy, not only on one day, but every day.” The bible says that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. And now I understand that. The Sabbath is used as a reminder to get our hearts and minds clean in preparation for the following week. And the more we do that, the more HOLY we become so that when someone pulls out in front of us in traffic, we respond with patience and understanding and love.

He began showing me what holiness was…  it’s loving others. So to remember the sabbath, it to remember to love every single day, because that is true holiness at work in our lives.

Be a doer of the Word

January 18, 2012

This passage has plagued so many believers… they are out trying to “DO” the Word… yet, they find themselves failing, falling into doubt and unbelief towards God because what they are doing isn’t working, they get burned out  in doing things for the Lord, and then they get confused if God is even there. Sound familiar? I think at times we have all come to this point in our lives.

But the answer is in this passage… these six words not only tell you what to do but how to do it!

It’s found in that first word…. BE….  Let me read it here again… BE (know who you are in Christ, trust God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, know yourself through and through, understand you are the Child of the Most High God, walk in love, peace and joy) THEN you will become a doer of the Word.

See, we are out trying to do a bunch of stuff without first BEING… being who God created us to be. Believing Him. Receiving His love, because it’s only when we truly “receive” His love, His peace, His compassion, His understanding and His Joy and Truth, that we have what we need to go out and “do” it.

So today, if you find yourself in a slump, stuck, feeling abandoned by God, fearful, worried, burned out in ministry, tired of everything, wanting to crawl under a rock until the trumpet blows, have doubt about God wanting to heal you or use you… then it could be you are missing the “being” part!

The Bible says this about God, “We must BE lieve that He is….” before we can get anything from Him. And if you’ll notice, that same word “be” is in there too. We must BE and Live…  That is what believe means!! THEN we can truly know that God exists!

I remember some years ago when I was being healed, that one of my issues was not truly believing God was there for me in EVERYTHING. That there were things I had to do for myself. And of course, you know how those things turned out. But in EVERYTHING He is there… and that’s what I had to start to learn to believe. And the only way I was able to truly believe that was when I RECIEVED for myself, His unconditional love personally… no strings attached kind of love, no performance kind of love, no driveneness to success kind of love… just receiving. And once I started learning how to receive, everything changed! That is when this ministry I have started taking off!!  I had what I needed to succeed… and it was God’s love IN me…

So that when I have an idea to serve the Lord, since I know how much He loves me, my doing follows. If I didn’t do something perfectly, or perhaps it really wasn’t something God wanted me to do… I have a savior…!!!  Praise God… we can stay in God’s perfect love 24/7 because of what Jesus did for us… isn’t that awesome?????

 

Could it be self-pity??

January 17, 2012

I was reading through some of my prayer requests the other day and came across this one, which I think may bless someone out there today. Here it is: Just help me be all I can be in you, so that I am not sharp or rude when people come into my life, unexpectedly. I want more love to come out, not selfishness and disapproval.

Journal entry May  2008… I wanted to walk in love more so that when unexpected things would come in my life, I would respond with love, peace and patience, not disapproval or inconvenience. Even though I was helping countless hundreds find freedom and peace and restoration, I was still battling something inside of me. And it was when someone would enter my “space” unexpectedly, like when I had to wait in lines, traffic jams, phone calls, and even my family coming into my office when I was working on a book or ministry materials, my first response would be of “irritation.” After all, I was busy! But I knew this immediate response was not right. It caused the other person to feel rejection, or offended or hurt, and that’s not what I wanted. My whole ministry is to help people who have been hurt, I don’t want to be the one hurting anyone. But I just didn’t know how to change it. 

Then three years later, on October 16th, 2011, it all came to a head, as the Lord orchestrated the events of the day, that led up to seeing what was at the root of all this… He showed me it was self-pity. I was floored,  I didn’t even know I had self-pity. So when I got a revelation on that, confessed to Him I was under the influence of that spirit, and asked the Lord to remove it, He did… my heart changed almost immediately and I had to go and tell my husband I was sorry for poisoning him with my negative responses toward him. From that point on, and it is still growing, the Lord is  filling me up with compassion and care, contentment and peace because self-pity is not there… self-pity is self-serving and will block us from living the life we desire! And now it is gone… praise the Lord. But it could only happen when I realized I had it, and repented for it. The truth truly made me free. I like the saying, “The truth makes you free, but first it’s going to make you miserable.” Because it wasn’t easy and fun realizing I had self-pity… who wants that? But realizing it was something at work IN me, and NOT me… I was able to come face to face with it and let God remove it. 

This is segment of my journal that I thought would bless someone today. It blessed me, as I see the work God has done and is still doing in my life concerning self-pity. If you want to find the revelation yourself, you’ll need to pick up the book called, “Exposing the spirit of self-pity” by Caspar McCloud. Caspar is a good friend of mine, and co-author of a book we wrote together called, “What Was I Thinking?”, and it was while editing this book on self-pity that the Lord spoke to me and answered my prayer request from 3 years earlier. Because we don’t want to act ugly, we want to respond with true kindness… but as long as self-pity is there, it won’t let us… Hopefully it won’t take you 3 years….  it reminds me of David, it took him one year to realize He was in sin about transgressing against the Lord… yikes! So really, it’s the same thing… we are transgressing against the Lord when we entertain the spirit of self-pity.

I’d rather be with someone mean, than no one at all

January 7, 2012

Boy, have I heard that many times over the past 20 years of ministry. And I believe I finally got it! There is a scripture that says that if we get a divorce and remarry, we commit adultery. So…  for a person who takes this scripture to heart, they will not get a divorce, but stay in a horrible relationship, for fear of the sin of adultery if they remarry. What bondage! I’m not advocating divorce, but what is the greater sin? To stay with someone in strife (remember, where strife is there is every evil thing) or separate? And by the way, separation for a time is godly. Or… if we remarry… which is the greater sin.. to remarry or stay in an unloving strife filled relationship?

Now this doesn’t mean we go from relationship to relationship, because there is more going on here. We need to get our hearts purified before the Lord, and begin looking “at the man in the mirror” and see if any of this “strife” in life is coming from us. We need to forgive and love everyone, even our spouses (go figure). And it’s only when we have done ALL we know to do…  and nothing has changed… that we may need to make some hard decisions.

Yes, perhaps, you may stay single…. and that is okay. Or again… after a time, you may remarry… and that is okay. But don’t get ahead of yourself and think of the future just yet. Stay in the moment, do what you know to do TODAY… and let God take care of tomorrow. Don’t fear what may happen, the what if’s in your relationships…  be all you can be today with the power and strength from the Lord, come clean before him in your own heart, then you will see clearly to make decisions later on.

I want to share a Bible story:  Jacob and Esau were brothers. Esau was the eldest. One day, Esau was very hungry and about to die, when he saw his brother Jacob making some food. So he begged Jacob to feed him… but Jacob said he would if he sold him his birthright. Esau thought, no matter, I will be dead if I don’t eat, and what will the birthright do for me when I’m dead? So he agreed, ate food, and regained his strength.  See, since he was the oldest, he would be promised a blessing from their father upon his death-bed.

Well, payment time was due, and things went into motion that brought this to pass. When their father was dying, Jacob pretended he was Esau, and because their father was blind, didn’t see who it was, but laid his hand on Jacob and blessed him. So then later on, Esau came to see his father and asked to be blessed. But his father said, “Weren’t you just here? It appears I gave  your blessing to your brother.” Esau begged for a blessing too… and his father gave him one, but it was not as good as the one he gave his brother, as a matter of fact, he was even going to serve his brother. Esau entered into bitterness from that moment on. So much so that Jacob fled for his life… and over the years, Jacob became rich. But, so did Esau!

This is the morale of that story as the Holy Spirit showed me…  Even though Esau didn’t get God’s BEST for him, he still got  blessed! And I’ve seen this in my own life. I have been married several times, and yet today I am the happiest married person I know. My ministry is awesome, people are being healed and restored, my son and his family have become very close to me, my husband is the most amazing man on this planet, I have a beautiful home… well, to coin a phrase, “A wonderful life.” I am truly blessed, and really, I don’t know what I am missing, if anything. As I was reflecting on that story, I’m like Esau. I got blessed, but my blessings could have been greater. Perhaps a world-wide known ministry like Joyce Meyer, perhaps other things… not sure… I’ll never know. But that is our God… He doesn’t show us what we are missing… He helps us live with what we have, as He works ALL for good for those who love Him.

To end the story of Jacob and Esau… both had great lives! And in the end, they were both restored to one another as brothers, because of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the only thing that will restore anything to us. Even when Job was restored of all he lost, it came when he repented for his sin of fear and pride. Forgiveness is key.

I have another story. I know a woman who was married to a drug addict, 20+ years younger than her. She was with him for some time when she called me on the phone. She had heard about my ministry and so called me, I never met her before. Before the call was over, she had told me she had been married 3 times before… but a widow with all, and now married to this man. (She obviously had fear of being alone.) And now she felt she was stuck with this man because she read in her Bible that “God hates divorce.” Well…. I was able to share some valuable truths with her… and a few months later I got a call. She said that she got a divorce, without any fear… (she feared the man so that is why she let him stay), and it ended peacefully, more than she ever would have expected. She got a job, and a new car and a couple of dogs! She attends a good church in the area and is very happy. She is still single, but open to marriage again one day. She got her life back. She made a hard choice and decided to be alone rather than be in a toxic relationship.

So what has this all to do with not wanting to be alone? It means that no matter what choice you make, God will work it for good. Esau made a poor choice when selling his birthright, but he was still blessed in his life. And me, I married so many times, made other poor life-changing choices, but God still blessed me with a wonderful life and ministry, because I repented and learned what it means to be loved by Him unconditionally. And now because of all that He’s done for me, I’ve been able to help many world-wide. There was a happy ending… and there is one for you too.

One of the reasons we don’t make choices like this is because we “fear” we are going to disappoint God. If we understood God’s unconditional love, you would see He could never be disappointed with you… (But that is a whole other teaching). Suffice to say, when we are rooted and grounded in God’s love, fear will be a thing of the past… because perfect love casts out fear. And when we make choices, it will be out of love and faith, not fear and doubt.

It is your choice. Like I said, I was married several times… but I also know that I was a “mess” inside and couldn’t hold a relationship down because I didn’t even have one with myself! So I had a lot of work to do in my life. And when I caught the truth… I’ve been married now for 22 years!! And to a wonderful husband. Do you know why? Because the Lord healed my own heart so that I could SEE I was married to a wonderful husband. Because for the first 9 years, I was unable to “receive” my husband’s love. But God gave him a vision and hope to stick to it, and I popped out on the other side. My husband waited for me… some of you just need to wait… some of you just need to leave… but you will never know until you get rid of anything in your heart (bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, fear, … sins…) so that you have a clean heart to make clear and right decisions for your life.

You have one life to live…  Live it in truth. And when we stay with someone we are afraid of, or who is hateful to us, or that we can’t stand.. I’ll show you someone who isn’t being truthful.

So as we look back on the Jacob and Esau story, yes, you may make some decisions that may hinder God’s best for you… but know that when you choose to forgive and repent for your own sins, God’s blessings are still there… just perhaps in another way.

Get unstuck today. Make some hard choices that you already know you are supposed to do….  put your confidence and faith in God, and trust that He will work all for good. Fear not, only believe.

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

January 3, 2012

How many of us  sang that song… “The joy of the Lo o o ord is my strength, the Joy of the Lo o o ord, is my strength, the joy of the Lo o o ord is my strength, the Joy of the Lord is my strength.” Well I have…  for many many years… but this morning that one passage of scripture came to life today, and the Lord gave it meaning for me.

(Note: I believe that the simple truths in the Word are made common so that it looses its power. If the enemy can’t stop us from reading the Word, he will do what he can to make it of none-effect by making it common.)

The Bible says that there is a peace that passes all understanding. That means that no matter what you feel, see, hear, or even think you know… peace can overcome all of it. That is true freedom my friends, because as long as we live on this planet, we will go through stuff… but if we have that kind of peace, we will go through it victoriously. And being victorious means having a deep inherent joy. The Bible says to “count it ALL joy…” Wow!

Well, for years, I have sought after God’s love, and now this year He is wanting me to dive  into His joy. See, it’s not “my” joy, it’s His joy. And when we have this kind of joy, that peace I’m talking about becomes a reality, not a “want to have” any more!

So, this is what He showed me this morning. To know, really know that He is filled with joy every single second, every single day, in every single thing… and that is what becomes my strength! Because when I truly trust this about Him, I can enter into that peace! So what I’m simply saying is that we are to see God as He really is. There is a scripture that says He sits and laughs at the enemy! He’s not anxious, upset, fearful, angry, doubtful, depressed or sick… He is filled with joy! He delights over us people! We are His delight! He doesn’t see all the havoc like we do, He sees us, His children whom He loves and approves of. When we “know” this of Him, that’s when we will understand the fear of the Lord. That’s when we will start to get a clue of His great love for us. That’s when our life and health will start to change and improve.

I wasn’t even out of bed this morning when the Lord brought this to me, and it was when I asked. See, I have been going through something that I’ve never gone through before, in my health. And  I know it’s hormonal because of the kinds of symptoms I am having. And it’s not at all fun, it’s very disturbing and uncomfortable. So since I know that a chemical imbalance is due to my heart being out of balance, I asked the Lord… Father, what is out of balance in my life. Where am I not believing? Where am I not forgiving? Where is sin that I haven’t confessed? What is in there that doesn’t belong? And so as I pondered on a few things that I need to address, that’s when He showed me something about Job in the Bible.

Job was a just man before the Lord, and the enemy got to mess with him for awhile. As you know the story, Job was inflicted, physically and emotionally. He lost everything, he lost his family, friends, and even his health. He sat in the street covered with boils! What a painful situation to be in. But… in the midst of all this, He “knew” the Joy of the Lord… it was his strength, and that is why he could endure and trust God. He knew there was more going on than what he was experiencing, that there was a big plan, and that God has NOT forsaken him… He truly trusted God.

I believe Job asked the same questions that I did… and you find that in the last chapter…. And the Lord showed him he had unconfessed sins of fear and pride. So when job saw it, he repented, and ALL was restored and more! See, it was God’s joy that brought Him through, but it was Job’s confession that restored and healed!!!

So that is what I plan to do this year. Learn more and study more of what it means to have the joy of the Lord. The bible says that in His presence is fullness of joy. Wow… I like that. So in order to be filled with joy, we need to REMAIN in His presence. What a challenge for me this year… so excited about what is ahead.

I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution yet… so this is it. To understand  “the Joy of the Lord” and to learn to stay in His presence, because this is what I need to live out a godly, healthy and peaceful life.