Adopted and Fearless

Fear is a snare. The only way to overcome the fear of any person (employer, co-worker, father, mother, husband, wife, sister, brother, or child) is to trust in the Lord and fear (reverence) Him.

Fear is used by the enemy of our soul to keep us from moving forward into an abundant life in Christ. God has provided everything we need to live fully for Him in this world (II Peter 1:3-4.) The Holy Spirit living within us is greater than the spirit in this world (I John 4:4). As we learn to yield everything to God’s Spirit, we become free from the bondage of fear and the enemy’s influence upon our lives.“ For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15 (AMP)

As God’s adopted children, knowing our position in the Kingdom of God gives us the confidence we need to overcome fear.  Remember who your Father is — Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of heaven and earth! Romans, Chapter 8 declares that as obedient children in God’s family we can be free from condemnation and live as His own adopted children, available to freely serve our Father as He created us to. Fear is a major hindrance that binds us from this freedom. Fear comes to us through three main areas: 1) The world—by the fear of man, 2) Our flesh—through condemnation, and 3) Satan—lying spirits and deception.

The World-by the fear of man

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on,  trusts in,  and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.”  Proverbs 29:25 (AMP)

Hunters lay snares to catch animals… I found this pic of a fearful rabbit as I researched snare hunting a bit. (Oh, it is heart-wrenching to see the pictures… and I am not a hunter.) The Bible tells us the fear of man is a snare and the outcome of living this way is also heart-distressing! Anxiety, vulnerability, panic attacks come from fear. Some of my biggest failures in life have been because I feared a person rather than God! An employer, husband, children, or any authority figure became “my god”. When God delivered me of that, those around me were set free to be accountable before God for their actions and I was set free to worship Him fully!

We are told by Jesus Himself not to fear man.  “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. “    Hebrews 13:6 (KJV)” So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”  Matthew 10:28 (KJV)

Fear carries with it doubt and unbelief.  Our fear of failure, or how we are viewed by others, reveals our human nature that is governed by human pride.  Human fear, when rooted in pride, will bring defeat. This fear of man reveals whether we are truly trusting (believing) in Christ as our source or in our own abilities.  Healthy fear equals reverence toward God our Maker. The fear of man brings us into bondage and a snare.

Our Flesh—fear through condemnation

The secret to freedom living is to align yourself with Jesus in all you do!  Not only does this produce a rewarding, fulfilling life, but it protects us from sin and condemnation.  “Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).  Conviction of sin is a precious gift from God.  It is the Holy Spirit attempting to lead us into Truth and freedom.  Conversely, condemnation comes when we refuse to respond to conviction and continue to walk in sin.  We, in essence, are conflicted because we are willfully acting against Truth presented to us by the Spirit of God.

Internal conflict drives people to act in ways that harm themselves and others.  A person becomes disillusioned with themselves and attempts to cover this conflict in a variety of ways.  The Holy Spirit continues to convict by His love, yet if we continue to indulge in sin, we will continue to experience condemnation, guilt, and discouragement.  Yet, all the while freedom awaits us! Jesus said to the woman who had been condemned of adultery, “…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:11).  We come out from under condemnation and receive the freedom Christ offers when we choose to turn and “sin no more.”

I John 3:20-21 (AMP) says, “Whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God’s hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him].  And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God.”

So, we must discern the source of condemnation.  God already knows it, but we need to see if it is because we are going against the conviction of the Holy Spirit, or if we are facing an external spiritual attack upon us.  Knowing God’s Word helps us in assessing this. Conviction is good; it comes because of God’s love and desire for fellowship with us. When we respond rightly to the Holy Spirit we sense grace, assurance, and His love, which in turn gives us boldness. 

God’s Word tells us that as His Children, our position is purchased and kept because of Christ.  Our thoughts as to who we are, need to be placed upon the Cross of Christ and what He did for us to make us worthy!  He is the One who took our sin so that we can come unto the Father.  Our soul was redeemed by His precious blood—nothing else.

In order to live victoriously over sin, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and comfort us.  Our greatest need is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, fully surrendered to His leadership, and find true joy and usefulness in God’s Kingdom. We then become Adopted and Fearless!

Satan—fear from lying spirits and deception

If we are obeying what we know, and walking in open fellowship with God, yet sense condemnation, we can discern that it is coming from the enemy to defeat us and pull us out of the place of victory.  Satan uses this as a tool to keep us away from God–falsely!  The Father of Lies, tries to tell us that we are not worthy of God’s love and care.  He can build upon that through deception and can use other people in a variety of ways.  People who continue to live under condemnation, develop a guilty soul and the shame pulls them into bondage. The focus then becomes their shame and guilt, and fear grows. Depression usually accompanies this. Freedom and change seem impossible in their situation. Deception has done its work.

The work of Satan and lying spirits is to tempt and deceive us. He attempted this with Jesus Himself (Luke 4:1-13). Concerning fear, spiritual warfare is a battle between truth and lies. And the battle rages strongly within our minds. Satan is the Prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).  In order to win the battle, our position as adopted and fearless children is crucial to overcoming the wiles of the enemy!  You can be safe and protected. But as a good soldier (I Timothy 2:1-5) you need to be willing, trained in and obedient to the “Manual”, God’s Word.  Our weapons and our true enemy are outlined in Ephesians 6:10-19 and II Corinthians 10:3-5. Satan and the fallen angels desire to bind you with fear and aloneness in your battle. He wants to make you an orphan, rejected and discouraged. But God desires to adopt you, to make you His own, fearless and useful in His Kingdom.  He desires that you know the purpose for which He created you, and the destiny He planned for you.

Remember, God’s objective is to fill your life with Himself, use you in His Kingdom and for His glory, which results in great joy and fulfillment.  The objective of God in filling us with the Holy Spirit is to enable us to love as He loves, to walk without fear in this world, and be a witness for Jesus Christ.  This lack of fear and abundance of love will allow you to walk as a victor, not a victim, causing you to overcome every circumstance you face.   II Timothy 1: 7-8 (AMP) “ For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].  So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or about me His prisoner, but with me take your share of suffering for the gospel [continue to preach regardless of the circumstances], in accordance with the power of God [for His power is invincible].”     Amen.

Photo credit: Google Images, Pixabay

High Heels on the Rocks

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Picture yourself walking along a rocky shore wearing high heels — almost impossible right? When someone is involved in betrayal or hidden sin of some sort, this is a good way to describe the feelings of those close to them. If you are facing the known or very real possibility that your spouse, a child, or someone else you love, is struggling in an area of habitual sin, I am writing this in order for you to recognize and take active steps that will help you find the remedy for this very difficult situation.

The following thoughts may be familiar to you if you are in a relationship with someone whose heart is bound: “Why is it so difficult to have a conversation of substance? Why does (s)he seem so evasive, unwilling to answer any questions? Why does (s)he twist things and blame me? Why is (s)he so impatient and angry? What’s wrong with me, why am I feeling so frustrated and angry? Why won’t (s)he tell me where (s)he’s been? I feel like I’m going crazy! All (s)he wants to do is watch TV or sit on the computer or cell phone! I feel so alone and isolated. I feel like (s)he is overly controlling of me. I don’t know who I am anymore. What’s happened to us? I’m afraid, why do I feel this constant dread, “ and the list goes on. If you have experienced similar thoughts, and even think you might be going crazy, take heart you are not alone. There may be a good reason for your uncertainty, hyper self-examination, and confusion.

What I am writing about is common enough in the world around us; where addictive behavior has become normalized. But for those who profess a relationship with Jesus Christ, living this way is simply wrong. God’s purpose in saving us is for us to glorify Him and this will not happen in this environment. You will simply be going through the motions; showing up at church with your mask, yet dying inside — not to mention the effects this hypocrisy has upon your children.

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Let’s go back to the high heels. When someone checks out of life and into their secret fantasy world it creates a rocky road for those around them. Let me give you a few common markers that should help you discern if someone you care for is involved in habitual sin. Please remember, there’s no need to panic; this situation did not happen overnight. God has a redemptive plan in mind for you and your family, but you must act wisely if you wish to see good come out of destruction.

Here are three markers that indicate a major problem:

1) Vagueness and ambiguity. When you ask “normal” questions and are met with answers that really don’t answer, but deflect, turn it around on you, or skirt the question — beware. Someone living with a secret has to cover and protect and this takes effort. The easiest way to cover one’s tracks and to keep ahead of those close by is to keep things vague or ambiguous. Antonyms for ambiguity are certainty, clarity, clearness. When these are lacking in conversation, and you have to pull teeth to get clear and concise answers to your questions, there is a problem.

2) Blame Shifting. Someone who lives with guilt and shame will, out of necessity, shift the blame somewhere else. This throws the inquiring person into a defensive position — and as in football, you can only advance toward your goal when you have the ball. When someone has a habit of shifting blame to you when asked a legitimate question, you have a power-play going on. The use of diversion is to remove the question from them and shift it toward you. To combat that, stay focused, and speak clearly, directly, and honestly to them about what you are feeling. Also, take a break for the moment so you can regroup. These are skillful patterns and you’ve likely learned to dance in submission to it. Sin and deception, by nature, work together to create an atmosphere of blaming (Gen. 3:12-13). Manipulation and control accompany the blame in order to keep those involved off-balance.

3) Impatience and Anger. This response reveals internal conflict. When someone is living with hidden sin they feel frustrated with themselves, and very much like a failure. When a soul is dealing with shame and guilt, the conflict will be

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demonstrated. A knee-jerk reaction often occurs when someone gets close to the issue and impatience or ridicule is often used by the offender to control those around them. If the invader’s threat continues, the reaction progresses to anger; then possibly rage and hatred because as sin progresses the bondage grows.

A few practical examples: “Honey, would you like me to pack a lunch for you?” or “Can I make you some breakfast before you head off to work?” Those are simple, kind, questions, right? Well, if one day the answer is appropriate like, “Sure, thank you.” — and another day it’s met with, “Why do you always have to bug me?” or “Why are you so controlling?” or “Can’t you leave me alone!” You have a problem. Depending on the dynamics of the situation and how long this has been going on, you will find yourself wondering, “Why this rotten behavior? What has happened to cause such disdain and this adversarial spirit?“ One day you get a normal response to a routine question, the next day its impatience, anger, and blame. Why? The change from one day to the next can be frightening and confusing. Without understanding the sin, the cycle, the acting out, you may wonder, what’s wrong with me? What did I do? You may become convinced that YOU are the problem — when in reality they are dealing with guilt and you become the scapegoat.

These patterns of unpredictability, vagueness, impatience, and anger, have their root. Use whatever scenario you will, and look for the pattern. While you may be repeatedly blamed for the response you receive, begin to recognize what you are dealing with.

Do not take a victim mentality and give up. You may feel like you are fighting a phantom! It really can be that confusing at times. While this is primarily a “spiritual” battle, it also has physical consequences. Habitual behavior is aided by hormones that rivet the pleasure sensors in the brain; that’s why people have difficulty letting go of their sin. Defense mechanisms are habitual too; they are a part of someone’s life when they live with guilt and shame from their actions.

Note: some habitual sins (addictions) are easier to spot, and can be dealt with before they become deeply embedded in the soul and brain function of the individual. Because lying and manipulation are central to keeping sin hidden, these patterns accompany habituation making it more difficult to detect. While the “user” is deceived, those around them often fall for these manipulative tactics and end up going deeper into the pit of confusion and despair themselves. Sexual sin[1] in particular is most destructive and is growing within churches. Yet, few pastors will speak openly about this particular sin with their congregations, paving the way for help. While there are men’s groups formed to help, often the wives are left ignorant or confused. This failure tends to keep spouses feeling uncomfortable in attempting to get help.

What Can I do?

Climbing that rocky slope in high heels is not easy. I believe a primary reason some never reach out for help is because of the recurring confusion this scenario brings. Because you are already experiencing disrespect, betrayal, and guilt you lack the confidence it takes to move forward.

Many spouses or family members of addicts have experienced the pain of attempting to get help only to regret it. The resulting pent up anger and frustration someone in this situation experiences can make it appear initially (to an inexperienced helper) that you are the source of the problem. While we all have sin issues to deal with, the dynamics of betrayal and abuse feed our frustration. Get help anyway, prolonged abuse causes some to go inward, silent, and recluse. For others, the pressure cooker lid blows and it all comes spewing out. Either response is a common reaction to the inability to be allowed to express your feelings and to be respected as an individual.

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Gaining clarity and trying to express yourself takes effort and seems overwhelming because you’ve lived in such a confusing world of turmoil. You’ve changed, you don’t like who you are, your sense of normal is gone and it becomes difficult to express yourself. To be sure, Satan is delighting in all of this confusion. The hidden sin not only affects the one choosing to sin but everyone around them. This is why it is so important to get help. Also, even though the initial sin may have ceased, the behavior associated with protecting that secret is now a deep issue in the heart.

The constant emotional instability eventually breaks down our identity in Christ. Our mind can become clouded and it seems an overwhelming task to confront the real issue. Along with the biblical mandate of submission and respect for authority, there’s enough confusion to keep many quiet. You may even wonder if you have lost out with God and are abandoned. You’re not. You just need a life-saver tossed to you. You will make it if you hold on to the Life-Giver, Jesus, and make the changes needed.

Bringing sin into the light (I John 1:7) is vital. This offers the opportunity for repentance and confession (I John 1:9). Perhaps this has

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already happened on occasion with this person; you must realize that there is a deep, deep stronghold that comes with habitual sin — especially sexual idolatry. Coming out requires much more than confession and repentance. Intensive restructuring with God’s Word and accountability is mandatory. Don’t agree to just let it ride and become the accountability partner; that will not work.

Freedom, found in Christ, comes from walking in the light and hating sin; we must hate sin as God does. Consistent, honest openness and accountability is required. It takes work. Changing the mind and its patterns concerning what is pleasing to God is vital. Humility is a major factor in overcoming the past, and pride will fight against this all along the way.

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Action Steps: If you feel sin is present, don’t allow fear and suspicion to rule your heart. Instead, take steps toward having a conversation about what you are feeling with the one involved (Mt. 18:15-17). If this fails, find one or two to come along and assist you.

In order to prepare yourself:

1) Think biblically: get biblical counsel if you are unable to think this through yourself. Living in High Heels on the Rocks for years will have its effects. The truth presented in love (Eph. 4:15) will be needed to set everyone free, including you.

2) Act, instead of reacting: God’s Word gives action steps that bring hope. Write out what scripture says about your situation. Differentiate truth from thoughts based on the pain you feel.

3) Pray, instead of panicking: In order to trust God through this process you need to pray and gain power over the enemy, who uses fear to derail us. Reacting will not produce righteous fruit.

4) Exercise faith in God: Trust involves believing God. Responding out of your flesh will increase the confusion, which Satan loves to operate in. God offers clarity to those who will trust Him.

5) Ask for help — this is so important! Do not try to handle the situation alone. There are plenty of resources available to you; there are caring people who can help. Start with your pastor, church leadership may need to become involved to enact biblical discipline. Glorifying God, and freeing yourself and those you love are worth it.

Remember, Satan wants to destroy you, your spouse, and your children, but God wants to give you abundant life (John 10:10). Bringing sin into the light is the first step to freedom.

[1] 1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

For further help, please go to the Resources Tab.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Disciples – Are you One?

spiderwebAre you a disciple? … one who is willing to be taught, learn and grow in your understanding of the Scripture and then live out what you are learning. The truth is you will recognize a disciple by the fruit of their life. What a person gives their time and energy to reveals their heart and soul. It determines their interests and makes clear who or what they are serving. Disciples KNOW where their IDENTITY lies (Col. 2:10).

SIN in our world — When we hear of a mass shooting or some other wickedness warperpetrated against human beings, are you left dumb-founded, finding it difficult to understand what is happening? Do you ask, “How can someone do something like that?” Scripture tells us we are seeing manifestations of evil, schemes devised by Satan to “steal, kill and destroy…” (John 10:10) through a person whose life is given over to sin.

I find it interesting that Christians will acknowledge SIN, yet often they try to find help for spiritual problems with a system that does not have this 3-letter word in their vocabulary. The DSMMD (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) cannot acknowledge this as a diagnosis, yet sin is the foundational cause of man’s problems. We live in a fallen sin-cursed world and wooden-heart-3077104__480need a victorious, hope-filled solution that is found in Christ. We are told in Proverbs 4:23, “Guard your heart, for out of it flows all the issue of life“. True deliverance from oppression, including anxiety attacks, depression, overwhelming fear and mental anguish can have organic (physiological) involvement, yet many neglect the first and primary place of importance to investigate and that is the spiritual heart and soul. This is where sin has its effects. This is why being a disciple and offering yourself to the ministry of discipling (teaching, admonishing in obedience to God and His Word) others is so important.

I am thankful for men and women of God who have been surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and have been used by God as teachers and godly examples to us. Paul admonishes Timothy, the young pastor at Ephesus, as a son in the faith to teach to others the things that Paul had taught him. (2Timony 2:2) He went on to say that Timothy should find faithful men (and women) that he could teach and disciple and then, in turn, these would do the same for others. This is the pattern of the early church and one we need to carry on today.

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I want to briefly share with you the ministry of Derek Prince; an Englishman who together with his inspiring wives (Lydia and after her death, Ruth), served as godly examples as followers of Jesus Christ.

A brilliant man who began his studies in philosophy and while reading the Scripture, as a philosophical work, became a follower of God. He taught the scripture with profound clarity, under the anointing the Holy Spirit. Derek passed away in September of 2003 yet his godly legacy lives on in many nations of the world today.
Derek’s teaching has helped many of us who have walked through periods of struggle against the spiritual forces of wickedness in our world (Sermon: Spiritual Warfare on Earth). Educated as a scholar of Greek and Latin at Eton College and Cambridge University, England, he held a Fellowship in Ancient and Modern Philosophy at King’s College. He also studied several modern languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic, at Cambridge University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

For those who have not heard or read Derek Prince, I would urge you to take time and listen to the links here, or on my RESOURCE page. He was also gifted in teaching on the spiritual realm and understanding the present spiritual battle we are in with Satan, demons, and workers of iniquity. When you look at our world, yet do not understand or acknowledge spiritual forces you are left with only a partial view of what is taking place around you.

LINKS: Derek Prince Biographical Summary and 10-minute video documentary of his life. Lydia Prince taking in orphaned children in Ramalla, Israel, 30-minute video of two of their daughters testimony, the war-torn situation, Derek’s testimony of marrying Lydia and becoming father to her eight adopted children.

Tv Media junkieMay I admonish you to become a disciple if you are not one yet? This will not happen by default. Begin by reading the Word of God daily and asking the Holy Spirit to teach you from the Scripture. Become engaged in a fellowship of believer’s where Truth is not hindered. No church offers everything, so find one that has something solid you can embrace and carry on with the ministry of reconciliation to those around you (2Corinthians 5:18). Those called to ministry are there to equip you to DO the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).

My gifting and calling is teaching and discipling others; while doing that the Holy Spirit gives me discernment and insight based upon God’s Word into situations before me. We were created to be His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do His work (Ephesians 2:10) and He supplies what we need. God takes us, our personality and the gifts He bestows and is able to use our lives for His glory IF we set that as our goal.

TV WatcherWhere’s your focus today? Do you want to become fruitful in His Kingdom and make a difference in your world? It will require effort and focused determination to not be swayed by the allurements of this fallen world. A disciple is a disciplined one who follows their Master. Jesus is our Savior, Priest, and soon coming King. Will you be happy to see Him upon His return or ashamed that you squandered your earthly days with lesser things that amounted to little – having no eternal value? I pray you will decide to become the best disciple you can for God’s glory and for the benefit of those around you.

The most fulfilling life on earth is experienced by the one who understands who they are in Christ and follows the Holy Spirit’s leading into a deeper walk with Him.

Photo Credit: Derek Prince Ministries, Pixabay

The Wind of the Spirit

Romans 8:14-15 (AMP) “ For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!”

As God’s adopted children, knowing our position in the Kingdom of God gives us the confidence we need to overcome fear.  Remember who your Father is — Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of heaven and earth!  Romans, Chapter 8 declares that as obedient children in God’s family we can be free from condemnation and live as His own adopted children, available to freely serve our Father as He created us to.  Fear is a major hindrance that binds us from this freedom.

Fear is used by the enemy of our soul to keep us from moving forward into an abundant life of Christ in us. God has provided everything we need to live fully for Him in this world (II Peter 1:3-4.) The infilling of the Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome our flesh (I John 2:16), and the spirit of this world (I John 4:4), and the demon schemes. As we learn to yield everything to God we become free from the bondage of fear and the enemy’s influence upon our lives.

When we find ourselves in a place of submission under our Heavenly Father in the spiritual realm, we see that fearing a person is a snare.  God grants us authority in His Kingdom when we desire a relationship with Him and walk in close fellowship with Him.  We are told by Jesus Himself not to fear man, but God.  Prov. 29:25  (AMP) ” The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on,  trusts in,  and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.”  Mt 10:28 (KJV) “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. “    Heb 13:6 (KJV)” So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” 

Fear carries with it doubt and unbelief.  Our fear of failure, or how we are viewed by others, reveals our human nature.  Human fear, which is rooted in pride, brings us to a place of insecurity and defeat. This fear of man reveals whether we are truly trusting (believing) in Christ as our source, or in our own abilities.  Healthy fear equals reverence toward God our Maker.

I Peter 1:17 (AMP) says, “ And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short]. “  We need to focus upon the reality of Christ and His purpose for living and dying for us; our perspective will then be adjusted and lined up with God’s.

magnolia-1077384__480We are commissioned to share the gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ; we need a relationship with Him in order to carry out our Father’s business.  We cannot do His bidding unless we walk under His authority—as Jesus did.

Loving the world’s ways works against our fellowship/relationship with the Father.  It is impossible to maintain both loves at the same time. It would be like a spouse with a secret lover, affection, or idol–you cannot have a full relationship with someone who’s divided, unfaithful. To walk in openness and truth, we must keep the covenant we made with Him.  I John 2:15-16 (AMP) says, “ Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.” But when we are in a relationship with him, we love as He loves us. 1 John 4:18 (AMP) says, “ There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love [a]turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear [b]brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. “ 

Remember, God’s objective is to fill your life with Himself, use you in His Kingdom and for His glory which results in great joy and fulfillment.  The objective of God by filling us with the Holy Spirit is to enable us to love as He loves, to walk without fear in this world, and be a witness for Jesus Christ.  This lack of fear and abundance of love will allow you to walk victoriously.   II Timothy 1: 7-8 (AMP) “ For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].  So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or about me His prisoner, but with me take your share of suffering for the gospel [continue to preach regardless of the circumstances], in accordance with the power of God [for His power is invincible].”

Photo credit: Pixabay

A Symphony of Surrender

He walked onto the stage, bowed, stepped up on the podium, tapped the stand and raised his baton… they were ready; all eyes were looking up to him. The conductor had their attention.

This is a beautiful description of a life surrendered to God, our Chief Conductor. Do you know that He is ready and waiting? For some, it’s performance season–you’re ready to go, it’s what you’ve been in training for; for others it’s waiting, allowing others to catch up, but all are practicing for the grand finale. Through various circumstances (James 1:2-4) [1], He is fitting you to play your part in the Symphony He is conducting.

Consonance is used in music to describe accord or agreement; a harmony of sounds. Wikipedia says, “Consonance is associated with sweetness, pleasantness, and acceptability; dissonance is associated with harshness, unpleasantness, or unacceptability.”

SadFive years ago marked a turning point in my life; my symphony of dissonance was revealed. My emotional world was falling apart, I was desperate and needed help; I ended up temporarily separating from those I loved most to find it. I couldn’t see it then but it was the beginning of something good; it began my difficult journey from there to where I am today. It has involved great loss, pain, and grief of soul; I did not know it was possible for a human being to experience this, and still live. Yes, I had been through various types of suffering prior to this point; much of it physical pain in my body. But the greater pain was the inner pain of my heart, aware that something was wrong, and yet I did not understand how to make it right. Thankfully, our Good Father brought me through it by teaching me, humbling me, and showing me what to do. Now, I am making joyous music for Him.

Perhaps you feel like the suffering you are experiencing right now is overwhelming, David felt that way. When we read Psalm 143 we see in verse 4 he says, “Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.” Like David we need God’s guidance and help, we must cry out to Our Father (Matthew 6:9-13). This is where God meets us; especially in our distress.

Throughout my journey, I would have to say that without the tests, trials, and temptations (James 1:2-15) I’d have very little to offer to anyone who is suffering in this deep interior way. By God’s grace and merciful love to me, He has truly taken the ashes of my past and turned them into beauty. Only our God can do that. He has taken the pretty-woman-1509956__480parched places and made them into streams of living water. There is no way to fully thank God for the riches of His goodness to me; I’m grateful and desire to live harmoniously with Him. Romans 5:3-5 says, More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (ESV).

DESIRE
The first step in becoming a member of God’s Orchestra is developing a desire to become a part of what He is doing. He is pulling together a people that are making a lovely symphony of music for Him; yes there are squeakers among us, and loud basses playing at the wrong time perhaps, but the Conductor has a way of shaping us into something beautiful. Joining up involves learning from the Great Master and being willing to surrender to His leading.

PRACTICE
We’ve all heard the old adage: Practice makes perfect. Realizing that we will never be perfect this side of Heaven, we only need to practice becoming like the One who is perfect — Jesus the Christ, our Messiah, and Savior. Being in-tune, a ready player in God’s orchestra requires that we prepare ourselves for the lifting of His baton.
I found this excellent example of how the Holy Spirit works in us when we are prepared: “All musicians in an orchestra must be proficient with their individual parts, but a conductor of an orchestra has to learn entire scores because he or she functions as a musical traffic director, cueing musicians so they enter or leave the musical highway at the right time.”[2] In many ways this is how God uses our lives as we are surrendered to Him. It is so rewarding to live under His direction, guiding, leading and anointing, in whatever He has orchestrated.

DETERMINATION
orchestra-2098877__480Have you been to a symphony recently? I recall a fun school outing with our four children in Lake Placid to see the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra perform. It was a “School Performance” and we met up with some fellow homeschooling friends to attend and have a picnic. I was so impressed with the skill and excellence with which they performed; united as one, in purpose and determination.

Our level of determination, undergirded by our willing surrender to the Conductor, reveals our level of participation. People are looking for consonance, they want to know that there are people representing God who are united and in harmony with one another. Our determination in this task is a key factor as to whether we will be authentic ambassadors for our King.

We will face tests along the way. In the Bible, we are warned and encouraged to endure through many trials (1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV). [3] We are reminded that this life WILL involve suffering. Jesus told us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV).

LOOK UP
sky-2667455__480Do not lose heart. Look up to the Master Conductor, He will guide and direct you. As stated earlier, He will give you direction onto and off the highway at the right time. How you ask? By knowing the score and the script found in the Bible. When we have desired, practiced and determined to live by God’s Words we have placed ourselves in a position to look up and have His nod, His eyes looking at us, letting us know whether to go ahead or wait. What a treasure we have in being a part of His Symphony!

[1] Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (ESV)

[2] Leading the Orchestra> Learning Specific Scores https://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-a-conductor-of-an-orchestra-actually-do.htm

[3] Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. I Peter 4:12-13 (ESV)
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