Stranded: Survival of the Fittest


God is waiting eagerly to respond with new strength to each little act of self-control, small disciplines of prayer, feeble searching after him. And his children shall be filled if they will only hunger and thirst after what he offers.” –Richard Holloway

 

 

The Lord has taught me a few different things this week, but I have noticed that fear has been the common denominator of each lesson. This post is what I took away from the subject and hope it reaches some of your hearts who may be going through a season of fear or insecurity.

 

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I have talked a lot about fear both here at My Message and on my on line radio show Turning Your Mess Into Your Message, but when the opportunity of addressing the issue presents itself I take it.

We are very much loved by a powerful and protective God. He asks very little of us yet paid a very big price for us and our salvation. We should acknowledge Him first in all things, be obedient when hearing His instruction and constant in our application of the wisdom He provides so that we may share it with those who need and deserve to know the power of His love is for them and everyone. The Lord showed me of course, the desert to illustrate the point. We get caught up in and with things that seduce us and cause us to start seeing things which do not really exist. Such mirages are used by the enemy to take us deeper into the desert of our lives only to leave us lost there stranded and scared to death we can’t get back. You all remember 40 days and 40 nights as well as the enemy trying to run the same game on Jesus in the wilderness!

It is so important to know that no one is perfect and God knows when you’re going to get a bit lost sometimes. God does not expect us to be perfect, but He has given us the tools needed to better our lives. He teaches us daily through His Word, has blessed us with the ability to pray and communicate with Him and has promised that no matter how deep the waters or big the desert, we are with Him. Do not get stuck on stupid when the enemy baits you with false fear.

James 1

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“Any existence deprived of freedom is a kind of death.” -Gen Michel Aoun

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A particular song has really resonated with my spirit this week and while I was writing this post. Oceans, by Hillsong United, is featured below for you to hear. The lyrics are also provided because they beautifully express to you the main idea behind this message and the concept of living boldly in your faith. We need to put serious thought into the roles each of us play during our time here and be confident that God is with us at ALL times. He is preparing us for any and every thing the enemy may try to use to keep us from peace and keep us in pieces.

Oceans

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

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I Know You Are But What Am I?


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Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For  in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man – you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself – that you will escape the judgment of God? – Romans 2:1-3

Don’t Pass Judgement E-Bible

Mere C.S. Lewis: Judgement in the Psalms

One of the most powerful weapons of destruction in today’s world is judgement of others. It has the power to take lives, shatter dreams, and end relationships. It has the ability to cause anxiety, depression, and self loathing. The unfortunate part is that it is preventable and most always unnecessary. Pride is judgement’s best friend and together they are the enemy’s dynamic duo used to rob you of God’s goodness. What we think about people does not make it true. What people say about us is just as unreliable. When we learn to silence our ego we learn to hear God. God is the truth and when He speaks the lies of the enemy are forced to flee. You are not to be concerned with the petty projections of people. God is for you so who cares who is against you??

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People underestimate the impact of their decisions when it comes to the things they say and do. One glance in a critical way at someone suffering inside can lead to them taking their life. One disrespectful remark to someone at their wits end can provoke violence. It is the thoughtlessness of the one who is always “thinking” things about everyone else that seems to be the latest weapon of choice. More and more we are seeing people who, in their own selfish quest for acceptance, sabotage their neighbor’s shot at it. People who believe they are advocates for God, but actually turning people against Him with picket signs, bad attitudes, and whispers in the back row at church.

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Why anyone would believe that their judgment of others is either required or acceptable in any denomination is beyond me, but never the less,  there are a growing number of people who seem to think otherwise.

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We all have faults. We all have made mistakes and we all have things in our lives we need to work on. We are not any better than anyone else no matter how much we would like to believe so. I have a steady following of “haters” and always have. I can bet anyone reading this has also been on the receiving end of undeserved disapproval at some point in their life. It is awful when you try to be the best you can yet be treated as if you were the exact opposite. It is very discouraging to be the only good thing about a bad person’s gossip. It is a challenge to stay true to your faith when someone is trying desperately to convince you that you have none.

God has already told us that we will be tried and tested by the world and that as followers of Jesus, we will share in His sufferings as He did. He has also made it very clear that He is the only judge and He is our safety from the sad games people play to make us think we are unworthy of His love and grace.

His love for us is not dictated by others. It is not conditional or containable. It is beyond our understanding and it is available to everyone that searches for it. His judgement  is very much coming. His account of our lives is what will ultimately seal our salvation. Do not waste your blessings by breaking people down to build your ego up. Love others and love God. It is that simple.

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I know that it is tough to maneuver through this life when people, possessions, and power are used by the enemy daily to grab at your feet, but the Lord is with those that allow Him to be. He will always deliver you from your trial and He will always carry you over the things that try to stop you from being who He created you to be. Do not let people fool you into thinking unholy acts are the way to being holy. God will hold those that hurt in His name accountable just like He will all of us. Live life like you mean it. Treat everyone with love because you believe it! Life is tough, but God is enough.

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Every Party Has a Pooper


Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:  And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more then sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? (Jonah 4:10-11)

I will be the first to admit that I have, many times, been the pooper of the party. I walked in with a sour attitude and left others with one due to my ungracious heart. It is so easy to feel like the world is against you and when you believe it, it shows in your outward actions. We get caught up in our own head and create a very negative and false sense of reality. We snap at the any and everything, become ungrateful,  and there is nothing anyone can say or do to get us to change our mind when we are in self-destruct mode. Very much like walking nightmares, it is probably best to stay far away from us in this kind of mood.

We usually regret the things we say and do in this state once we realize the foolish way we have behaved. I have made many mistakes in life due to my own bad attitude. Failed relationships, lost opportunities, and lonely nights are a few of the results of my selfishness. It is the enemy’s favorite game: You against you!

Pity-Wikipedia

Jonah is a great example of the contrast between an angry heart and the kind heart of the Lord. Jonah-EBible.com. Our behavior is the the polar opposite of  the way God is to us. We forget sometimes how much we are loved and how blessed we are to have the lives we do. The love of God is a great deterrent from mistreating ourselves and others when the enemy picks a fight. The reminder of the grace, the second chances, and the eternal peace we receive from God are enough to knock the nasty right out of your thinking. He loves all He has created from the flowers to your worst enemy and we are to respect that when we go about our daily lives. If He can pity us after all we do then surely we can sympathize for others versus judge them or ignore them. If He can forgive us for the things we do then we can forgive ourselves when we make mistakes. If He values the world and all in it then we are to value what He values.

God So Loved The World

The next time you find yourself at the pity party, remember the love God has for you and the power that goes with that love. In Him, you are unstoppable. You are intended to be happy, successful, and free of worry in times of trial. He did not sacrifice what He has for failures, pessimists, or haters. He did it for the humble, the honest and the faithful.With Jesus, we all are free of the struggle with the world, but we are the ones who control the struggle with ourselves. Don’t forget who you are and don’t stop others from being who they were born to be either. This life is God’s party. Don’t be the pooper.

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The God Pause: A Memoir


Riches and Glory: A Parallel of Job and Jesus
Riches and Glory: A Parallel of Job and Jesus (Photo credit: Realistic Imaginations)

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“A good sacrifice is one that is not necessarily sound but leaves your opponent dazed and confused.” –Nigel Short

Imagine the worst day you have ever had, now recall one of your best.
Reflect on when you were the smartest in your class, now relive the way your stomach sank when told you didn’t pass.
Stop.
Take a deep breath of the air you need to survive , pause and exhale.
In that moment you experience the feeling of greatness become your worst nightmare.
Chances are we don’t record our actions daily, but wouldn’t anyway because we are all a bit lazy.

God, however, already has all our records even the ones we think we have hidden.
He has seen all our sunrises and every dark night we’ve sat up in.
He has done it all first, right here in the flesh.
He freely gave away the things that make us so selfish.
In the flesh means just as we are,
The emotions, the temptations, the wanting to give up and just run somewhere fast somewhere far.
The ugly people we choose to be left Him without a choice. Not one.
He was laughed at by such people while He willingly hung.
God went through it so we can get to it.
Our lives are tough because we were the ones who blew it.
By grace He mirrored our struggle so we weren’t alone in our pain.
He left a journal so we could read about the sunshine that follows the rain.
All we are is what He knew we would be,
The author became a character in His
Book so we could too could be in the story.
Next time you sip on fine wine or are dying of thirst,
Pause and remember that God Himself experienced both first.

Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.


1 Timothy 3:16

Inspired by the lyrics of In The Flesh by Christian Artist Charismatik. For more inspiration and information about the band click HERE

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Mean What You Say, Say What You Mean


Gratitude

is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” –Marcus Tullius Cicero

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

Luke 17:15-16

“Thank You” … Two little Words. One big problem. These two words are what we use to represent one of, if not the most important, things which make us able to love and be loved.
Gratitude
Break down the word and basically you get “Great Attitude”. To be lacking something of need and receive it by another is an experience that never feels the same way twice. Each time we sigh that sigh of relief it is for a different reason, but our reaction to the receiving should stay the same.

We should always be grateful. To express appreciation we should at least say thank you. Every time. The problem is today many people do not say anything. Unfortunately it is becoming clear that when we say or hear thank you, it is insincere and is simply an automated response or a requirement.

The sad thing is that I have found myself accountable many times behaving this way. I am sure at some point or another many of you have as well.
I suppose it would depend on what was given to decide our level of sincerity when we express our thankfulness. It It is not suppossed to be this way. To have something, anything, that we did not have and now do because of another is reason enough to be appreciated and reciprocated.
Jesus is our model for every possible response to any given situation. He gave when He should not, He suffered when He did not, and He died because we could not. We never could have done such things in our own strength. He did.

Nine people out of ten fail to understand the lengths Jesus went to in order to secure our salvation. Most people fail to be truly thankful for what He gave us and continues to give us as believers. ETERNAL LIFE.

The lyrics to the song One Gave Thanks by Charismatik reflects on all this and inspired me to write and think about significance of the words thank you. The song beautifully depicts the way we should show gratitude to the Lord and why. The song also led me to Matthew 21 in the Bible which teaches us about our faith in the fact God will provide in the first place.

Matthew 21- An Analysis

A page from an 11th century Gospel of Matthew ...

When we have faith we then receive all we need or want from God. We should be in a constant state of awareness that each day is cause for thanks to God not just what happens during them.

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