Tag Archives: Christian Living

Above the Noise

I woke up from a nightmare and was asking the Lord about it.  I heard very clearly, “The realization with your war is that you’re winning.”

Warfare is never fun but it’s a reality.  If you are a God seeker you will face opposition.  A kingdom mindset fights from victory because we know how it all ends.

God cannot lose!

Breakthrough is on the horizon but hope is here now.  There is purpose in the fight.

For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire. -Isaiah 9:5

In the midst of battle turn your ear to heaven and hear truth.

Be still and know that He is God.  He will be exalted among the nations.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end!

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The Spirit of Adoption

The Spirit of Adoption
by Justin Powell

The enemy had prepared a prison cell just for me,
A trap I fell into without the slightest attempt to flee.

I gave in and would lie there in loneliness and death,
So broken inside, I had little hope to resurrect.

Entangled in sin, I had no idea what to do,
I could cry out for help, but the enemy said, “From whom?”
“There’s no one to save you! Go back to the booze.”

“Give up, you’ve lost, your soul belongs to me.”
“Just an alcoholic, that’s all you’ll ever be.”

Then a still, small voice said, “No, that’s not true.”
I whispered, “Lord, can you hear me?” He replied, “Yes, I hear you.”

“Your enemy’s a liar, a cheat and a thief,
For Satan desires only to sift you like wheat!”

“But I, Jesus, have prayed for you so that when you return to Me,
Your enemy will fall, but you’ll stand on your feet.”

“Reach out your hand my child, and from My victory,
Together we’ll ensure your enemy’s defeat.”

I reached out my hand and He pulled me up.
Now it’s His glory I drink from my cup.

He said, “Friend I have someone that I’d like you to meet.”
Then He clothed me with a robe of righteousness and gave me bread to eat.

With excitement He said I was the guest of honor,
The time had come at last for me to meet His Father.

I exclaimed, “No Lord. This must be a mistake!”
But He said, “Make yourself comfortable, just sit there and wait.”

It wasn’t long before the Father entered the room.
A cloud of righteousness almost blinded me and I didn’t know what to do.

I trembled and shook, then fell to the floor,
While my instincts all told me to run for the door!

I wept and I cried, though not sure what for.
There was an overwhelming presence I had never felt before.

I cried out, “How can I meet this Father, so righteous and true?”
But then our eyes met and He said, “Son, is that you?”

I couldn’t believe what I had heard with my own ears.
Is this the Father I had longed for all of these hard years?

Without the slightest hesitation He ran up to greet me.
He hugged me, embraced me, and then He even kissed me.

He put a ring on my hand and sandals on my feet.
He brought out the fatted calf and said, “Come son, let’s eat.”

We danced and were merry, He threw a party just for my sake.
Then He stood up and said He had an announcement to make.

All of heaven quieted so there was not one single sound,
He said, “My son was dead and lost, but is now alive and found!”

The Manifestation of Hope

One attribute to the presence of God is the manifestation of hope.  When I am aware of His presence, hope becomes alive to me.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. -Hebrews 6:19 (NKJV)

He is always faithful to His promises.  The word of God is immovable and indestructible.   I cannot live off bread alone but by every word that proceeds (and is proceeding) from the mouth of God.  His word gives me life.  His promises give me hope.  His righteousness gives me comfort.  His compassion and thoughts toward me, give me love.  In Him my soul finds the rest it is always looking for.

So God has given both his promise and his oath.  These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.  Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. -Hebrews 6:18 (NLT)

Return to your rest, oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountiful with you. -Psalm 116:7

 

Turn Aside

photo (4)
Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
–Exodus 3:3

We are a generation that is plagued with busy work, information and sensory overload. I find the work weeks flying by and before you know it months have passed. My perception of time seems to be speeding up. In all this I find myself sometimes forgetting about Emanuel (God with us).

A couple years ago the Lord gave me a dream where He said to me, “Lest you forget.”
This is an important word for all of us in this age. It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily lives that I fear I’ve missed God in certain aspects and areas of my life in the past. Sometimes in hindsight I can look back and go, “Oh that’s where You were.” But still I wonder how many burning bushes I have just whizzed right by without turning aside to see the One who is more important than anything else in my life.

We are in a new season now where God is touching hearts and giving eyes to see Him in areas where we have not before. There’s been a season of silence for some but this was a teaching season. The silence has not actually been silence at all, but it has been God speaking in ways that we had yet to recognize. It’s not that He wasn’t there, it’s that we didn’t notice. There are doors opening, opportunities arising and placements being shifted. This is all to put us closer in line with heaven’s perspective and teach us to coexist with the realization of Christ in us.

As you go about this next work week and you notice a little flicker out of the corner of your eye, turn aside and look. Gaze upon the One whose eyes are like fire. The One who goes before you, is beside you and has always been with you.

Be still and know that He is God.

** photo by Chau Thai Ly @ http://instagram.com/shoutabovethenoise **

Jesus said…

Long Beach

On the cross Jesus said:  “Tetelestai!”

Best translated as: “It is finished.”

So why do you keep fighting a futile war that is already won?

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. –Ephesians 1:17

The Treasures of Darkness

I am in the middle of going through what you could call an “awakening.”  I have in recent weeks gone through more darkness and pain than I can explain in words.  I cannot even really explain the triggers or the reasoning behind it. The truth is it just happened.  It happened just like when we wake up in the morning.  It takes no effort from us—we just wake up.  And I believe that is what has happened to me.  Spiritually a new part of me has awoken.

I realized I have been lying to my own self in many ways.  I have confused faith with clinging to certain ideas and in an attempt to “fit in” I tried to force certain doctrine and belief systems upon myself—but God is not a system.  In realization of this I started doubting everything I ever held as truth, which does not sound like a good place to be, but it is the most honest that I have perhaps ever been with myself in my entire life.

The quest for truth must first start with a foundation of being brutally honest with oneself. But honesty with self can be very hard to reach. It involves a combination of humility and bravery found through great pain in embracing the reality of uncertainty and giving up our need to have all the answers. I fear that many never even make it to that point.

But I have found treasure in the darkness of pain.  I have found that no matter how much pain I go through, no matter how confused I get and no matter how angry I get, I am still alive!  I still want to be alive, and I still want to believe.  And that’s what’s important.   It doesn’t matter if I intellectually understand my existence because that does not change the fact that I exist.  There is a deep inner part to all of us, separate from our mind and consciousness which is in fact connected to the Truth.  Being aware of this is all the truth I need to press on.

I am no longer afraid to be different.  I am no longer going to hide that I have different views than what modern pop-religion spews from the pulpits as doctrine.   Men have idolized their creeds in the need of a false sense of security in pretending they have all the answers.  But they have only fooled themselves.    They have packaged religion into a nice neat box, but the fact is life is messy, and so is the search for truth.  We always talk of “finding ourselves” but so often on the journey all we do is try to force ourselves to be something that we are not.   I refuse to any longer be afraid of who I am.

“I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.”  -Isaiah 45:3

 

What are you living for?

Psalm 37:4

What are you living for? 

I like to people watch.  I’ve always done it.  I can’t help but be amazed that there are so many of us; and each one of us with our own life, our own thoughts and our own goals.  We are all so different but yet we are very similar at the same time.  We are all wired for purpose.  There is a deep desire in every one of us for our life to have meaning.  We have to feed this desire with something but what we end up feeding it with can vary extensively from one human to another.  Some live for their kids, some for their spouse, some for their jobs and some for themselves.   It’s easy to get caught up in pursuing a purpose in something and before you know it years have passed by.

I pursued music for years.  Over ten years of my life I lived for music.  I put so much time and energy towards being successful with music.   I had some good success and made it farther than many others do but the success left about as quickly as it came.  It was about that time that the Lord got my attention and I shifted my focus and began to live for God.  But what does living for God look like?

While I lived for music I did everything I could to achieve success so naturally when I started to live for God I was doing the same thing.   But as I got to know Him better I realized that it doesn’t work like that in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus doesn’t grade us by achievement.  This was a hard lesson for me to accept because after all I am an achiever.  I took my Clifton Strengths Finder test in college and there it was… “achiever” as my third top strength.   So here Jesus was saying, “It’s great that you’re an achiever.  I don’t want you to change who you are.  But my love for you has nothing to do with your achievements.”  It kinda messed with my head.  It took me quite some time to get it.  I think I’m still learning to get it.  And there’s some of you that need to learn to get it too.

God loves you regardless of what you accomplish in life.  Your purpose is not found in accomplishments.  Your purpose is not even found in ministry.  Your purpose is not found in serving others and your purpose is not found in evangelism.  Your calling is not to be a pastor, teacher, apostle or prophet.  Those things are great and I’m not saying we don’t need them.  What I’m saying is that your title and the way God decides to use you is not your purpose.  Your purpose is very, very simple…  Your purpose is simply to know Jesus.   Ministry is to be a bi-product of knowing Him.  It’s an after effect, but it blows my mind that so many make ministry their main thing so that they will minister before they will spend time with Jesus getting to know Him.

There’s a popular scripture that says, delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

This doesn’t mean try really hard to memorize scripture, pray every day before dinner, stop using cuss words when I drop a heavy object on my foot, and put on a fake smile in front of other Christians—then my life will look delighted in the Lord.  And if I appear to be delighted in the Lord then He will give me that desire I’ve always had to [insert your dream of being successful here] and my life will finally have purpose.   No, I think what this verse really means is know the Lord and He will become your heart’s desire.

If you have truly delighted yourself in the Lord it’s because you have begun to know Him, and once you start knowing Him you cannot help but fall in love with Him.   He will become your heart’s desire.  Oh and one more thing…. He won’t relent until your whole heart is His.  His desire is to know you.  Please open your heart and let Him in.