Azusa Now is today! Over 100,000 of multiple ethnicities and denominations will gather to worship the Lord and call upon Him for revival. If you can make it to the LA Memorial Coliseum get there! Worship has already started and will continue until 10pm. If you can’t make it the whole event is live streamed on god.tv(http://god.tv)
His voice caught me off guard. I wasn’t praying, I was just lying in bed this morning having just woken up. It was a very soft, still voice that I could have easily missed… but I heard Him. In an internal audible voice the Lord said, “Where are you drinking from?”
Of course I know the right answer to His question. The right answer is to drink from Jesus Himself. In John chapter 4 Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. But why was He asking me this?
It’s easy to know the right answer or say the right thing but a complete different thing to know that the right answer applies to your life. Jesus wouldn’t have asked me that question unless I had been drinking from the wrong source. And I had been.
It had really been a great week for me spiritually speaking. I felt strong in the Lord and my faith the whole week! I was keeping things simple and my focus steadfast on Him. But the last two days I felt a spirit of doubt and unbelief poking at my thoughts. I was trying my best not to agree with these thoughts but they kept coming. As they kept coming I kept telling them no. But it wore me out and I started getting stressed and worried about other external things. I took my focus off of Jesus.
And then His question came, “Where are you drinking from?”
You see, one of the enemy’s most common attacks is to simply distract us. He distracts us from the joy of Christ within us and draws our attention to burdensome external things. As we lose our focus of Jesus and start drinking elsewhere we lose that close connection in our inner soul to the Spirit of God—the Spirit that gives you life. As this happens we start unintentionally drawing off of other sources to give us life, but none of these sources satisfy. And so, in this process once we realize we have lost connection with our Savior we decide we must do all that we can to quickly gain our connection back. We start striving and working to gain back the connection through external activities.
But this thinking is wrong. All we have to do is turn our focus back to Him. God does the rest. As long as we strive to work our way back to Him we remain distracted.
A little less than a year ago the Lord spoke a verse to me. He said, you are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (John 15:3) You know, at first… I didn’t believe Him. I was in the middle of working to sanctify myself. I was in the middle of a purification plan I had all worked out in my head and here Jesus was telling me I’m already clean.
This verse is right in the middle of Jesus telling the disciples about Him being the vine and how He wants His disciples to abide in the vine and bear fruit. So why this verse right in the middle of all that? It’s because to abide in Jesus we have to believe what He says about us. His word has to abide in us and this one statement I believe is possibly the hardest one for Christians to grasp.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
Do you believe it? It kinda messes up your sanctification plans doesn’t it? What about that sin you’ve been struggling with? Nope, you’re already clean. What about working really hard to be pure in heart so we will see God? Guess what? You’re already clean! I didn’t say it, Jesus did. And He didn’t just say it. He died for the right to be able to say it.
So believe it today and turn your focus back to the Lord. He just wants to love on you today. Any struggle you have with sin will be dealt with and cast off of you as He draws you closer to Him. You see purification is not our job. Our job is to keep our eyes on the Lord. He does the rest.
May you all drink from His living water today in Jesus name!
Lately I’ve just been so not into theology. I’ve been into authenticity—accepting God as a power far beyond any theology or human understanding. For a long time I had a lot of questions—and I still get questions—but when I sit in His presence my questions go away. My questions don’t matter anymore. All that matters is that God is there. And in that moment when His Spirit bears witness to my spirit (see Rom 8:16) I know that He loves me. He loves me no matter what… and He loves you no matter what. Forget trying to understand it. Peace comes from full surrender, and full surrender includes our intellect.
Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. –Proverbs 3:5-6
For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. –Romans 16:19
“Jesus Christ is perfect theology.” He is the answer.
In the last year I’ve moved three times and each time I’ve moved has been a new season in seeking (and finding) the Lord. There is an adventure in this. I love that life in Christ is not the same every day. God—who is constantly making things new—consistently renews my faith in different ways. Each new season allows me to find Him in a new way, but also build off what the last season has taught me. This is the process of getting to know Christ (see Phil 3:10). The problem with this is when we get hung up on trying to look for Him only in the ways He’s come before. Sometimes He may come in a familiar way but I think it’s more in His nature to continuously allow us to search out new ways to hear His voice and find His presence.
He is so much more than what we often confine Him down to—which is our understanding of Him. Sometimes we need to get out of our box—our room, house, office or even church—and go stare at the sky. No matter what your perspective of God is, He is so much bigger than your perspective. He has designed it for those who are interested to search for Him, and the more we seek, the more we find. He rewards those who diligently seek Him (see Hebrews 11:6) but note that a diligent seeker does not continue to search where he has already looked. The reward talked about is Him. Jesus is our great reward. He is the hidden riches of secret places (Isaiah 45:3)—a well that never runs dry.
I will pursue you Lord.
Be still and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10
Repressed emotions from our past create strongholds and strongholds often burry themselves deep within us to the point that we become accustomed to them and deny that they are even there.
I try to stay away from step ladders when talking about the things of God but the Lord showed me this today – that many of us understand how through Christ we have been redeemed but because of strongholds (which we may be in denial of) we fail to accept forgiveness and we do not enter the Lord’s rest and healing. This can be both failure on our part to accept His forgiveness of our sins, to forgive ourselves of our own sin and to forgive others of their sin. There’s a reason James wrote:
“…if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” –James 5:15-16
If you’ve struggled to find healing, freedom or breakthrough then today I’d like to encourage you to stop struggling. Your striving is exhausting you. The main reason I don’t like step ladders is because we say, “I’ve done all the steps and still see no breakthrough.” I think the answer lies in that statement… You’ve done all the steps. We have to stop, be still and let the Lord take over.
I think He’s sometimes like a father watching his child try again and again to reach the cookie jar that is beyond the child’s reach. Once the child finally gives up, the father says, “Here, let me get that for you.”
This is a word from the Lord today for myself and for some of you as well. Jesus is saying, “Can I try now?”
Invite Him into those deep vulnerable places that you may not even know exist. Ask Him why you struggle with the things you do and be humble in accepting His response.
We don’t heal ourselves. The key is in Psalm 46:10 “Be still.”
The Hebrew word translated as “still” is râphâh which is a double meaning word in Hebrew. Scholars agree that in this Psalm it is meant to be translated as abate, cease or consume [still] but the other meaning of the word is to mend, to cure or to heal.
Stop striving and give the Lord a turn. Be healed and know that He is God.
The Lord your God is in your midst… -Zephaniah 3:17
Tomorrow marks one year of having this blog. It’s been quite a year to say the least. I’m very thankful that the Lord has given me a way to express myself and to share some amazing things He is doing and teaching me. I’m even more thankful for all the wonderful people I’ve met through WordPress. The idea of people actually reading my posts and being encouraged by them blows my mind. God is good! Don’t ever forget that. The Lord has led me to focus my attention to some other things for a while so I will be blogging a lot less the remainder of the year.
I want to leave you with a challenge to seek the Lord like never before. Dedicate the remainder of 2012 entirely to Jesus. Not in a way to earn grace or some step ladder to God’s favor… You are already favored! I just want to encourage you to give Him your full attention because He deserves it. He loves you so much. Bring your heart before the Lord and ask Him if you’ve been putting anything else before Him.
There is power in the name of Jesus!
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. –Ephesians 3:20-21