I have been using Galatians 2:20 quite frequently during the attacks. recently Romans 12:1 - 3 have made an impact; "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
- living sacrifices don't get to pick & choose what happens to them.
- in order to become holy & acceptable I must become a living sacrifice.
- it truly is my reasonable service as Jesus Christ paid for all my sins.
- Christians should only conform to Christ.
- to renew one's mind the Word of God must be implemented.
- God's will is that every child of His do His good, acceptable & perfect will.
- by doing His will, He is going to prove me to see if it still is the forefront of my life.
- upon choosing to become a living sacrifice, I have been shown who I really am in God's eyes.
- the only way I can survive the attacks is to place all my trust, as a living sacrifice, in Jesus.
God is always good and God is always right.
this verse is taken from the life of King Josiah, king of Judah. in verse 1 we find out this young king was only eight when he ascended to the throne. His father, Amon, was a wicked king. It states Amon was so hard-hearted that he refused to humble himself as his father Manasseh, Josiah's grandfather, had done during his reign. even Manasseh was evil until he came face-to-face with God.
so with all the wicked influences, why would Josiah want to live right & please God with such a steadfast heart? I believe it comes down to Grandpa Manasseh influencing young Josiah. Amon took the throne when Josiah was six. that means Grandpa had time to tell Josiah about his rebellion against Almighty God & how God humbled him.
right now my faith is being tested. how I handle this test could easily influence my future children & grandchildren. my desire is to please my Lord while passing the test. the benefits would be to come closer to Jesus & increase my faith - just as He planned. future benefits could be children & grandchildren. thus giving me the opportunity of telling how an Almighty God can humble a man to future generations.
just like Granpa Manasseh.
And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee.
I Chronicles 22:16b, “Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.”
two commands are presented in this verse; Arise and Be Doing.
if one is ever going to do anything for God they must arise. arise out of the slumber of life. arise out the mundane world. arise out of religion and its traditions. arise anew in Christ in order to be doing. be doing the work of the Father. be doing the life of Christ lived through you. be doing the will of God as told through His Holy Spirit and His Word. be doing what God has called you to do after you have arisen.
the last portion of the passage is implied. once you arise and begin doing, the LORD is with you. He is with you when you arise. He is with you when you begin doing. He is with you while you are doing. He is with you when it is time to lay down the doing & follow Him home.
today’s churches are full of people who have arisen but have never began the doing. little do they know that God Almighty is the same yesterday, today & forever. meaning He only calls you to the doing that He knows you can do through Him.
whatever is on life’s path has already been approved by Him for you. for me. therefore I must arise and be doing.
Vs. 7: “And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.”
The phrase ‘to search it’ means there was a reconnaissance mission to find out how to go forward in God’s will. Prayer & fasting, coupled with saturation of the Word, will bring that to light.
Vs. 8a: “If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us.”
‘If the Lord delights’ hinges on God delighting in us while being obedient to His word & will. ‘Then he will bring us’ accompanies the Lord delighting and our obedience, but doesn’t always mean we are to go forward. Sometimes we must be patient & wait right where we are while He brings & gives what He has for us. Though here we see that God’s delight and our obedience is what will bring us into the land of promise. That is God’s plan for our life.
How is this accomplished?
1. When God moves, you move!
Vs. 9a: “Only rebel not ye against the Lord…”
YOU is implied emphatically as the one that should not rebel. If God is moving DON’T stand in the way! A friend of mine once gave the analogy of God being the engineer of a train. Now we have the choice of either being on the tracks or on the train. If we are on the tracks, God will run us over. As we are His children He wants us to obey & if not then we are asking for the chastisement. But if we are on the train then we get the opportunity to experience His blessing of doing His will.
2. While God is moving, don’t fear.
Vs 9b: “neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them…”
This is so cool! He is saying to not be afraid as the people that are in the land already are more afraid of you than you of them! They don’t have a leg to stand on with God and you against them! Amen! Being on God’s side makes it so much easier especially knowing that the moving forward is part of His will.
3. Watch God while you move!
Vs 9d: “and the Lord is with us…”
Keep your eyes glued to the One doing the work. Too many times I tend to focus on what I think I’m doing for God. It is at these times that God politely puts me in my place only to tell me that it isn’t me doing the work. It’s Him working through me in order for Him to get the glory. I’m glad God is merciful enough to remind me gently instead out of vengeance.
4. Willingly move with God.
Vs 24a & b: “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully…”
Moving begins in the heart long before it gets to the feet! If you are ever going to follow God it MUST begin in the heart. The action of your heart is closely linked to all the other areas of your body; mind, eyes, ears, mouth & etc. People say that your heart must be in something in order to do it; though I know many that did something without any part of their heart being involved. It’s the same with following God. If it truly comes from God, it will begin in your heart & then travel throughout thus making it easier to follow with your feet. Hence the prayer & fasting coupled with the Word. The only way to follow God is fully – no half-heartedness!
Proverbs 3:5 & 6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thine ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (bold for emphasis)
right now my faith is being tested. it’s been a year since I turned from my wicked way and ran towards the Saviour. following along behind has been the devil and his tormentors. in front of me has been God Almighty and His army of angels with flaming swords fighting for my spiritual existence. becoming the strength in all my weakness. Hallelujah!
I was reminded of I Thessalonians 5:24, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” at times I just want to cry. during those times the Lord draws closer and reminds me that I am not alone. He is the lover of my soul. He is always faithful. He will perform that great work within me.
My Adoni! My Almighty!
too many of today’s independent fundamental Baptist churches are starving. by this I mean that the preacher sent from God to feed the congregation is not supplying the necessary food to strengthen and sustain the believers. born-again Christians need more than just the sincere milk of the Word given to them Sunday to Sunday. Spirit-fed meat should be found in their daily walk with God but also served up on the preaching menu on a regular basis. the downside to this is that too many of today’s independent fundamental Baptist preachers are not off the milk themselves. how can they expect their congregation to grow?
so my question is: are you hungry? the Holy Spirit has driven me to a desire for meat from the Word that it near ravenous. physically I like a good ribeye loaded with all the trimmings, and spiritually the Holy Ghost has been serving just that.
Matthew 14:22 – 32 is a favorite section of Christ’s earthly walk that I have always loved. mainly because it tells of the only 100% human to ever walk on water, Peter. but until the other day the Holy Spirit showed me something that I had never noticed. so here goes…
verse 22: "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship." this is only a portion of the verse but notice that Jesus constrained his disciples. meaning He "urgently & repeatedly suggested" they get into a boat and leave. no doubt one could see the Lord almost physically picking them up one-by-one and placing them into the boat, telling that one to stay, and doing the same to the next just like parents do with their own children. this was done because He knew about Verse 24.
this is good! verse 24: "But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed about with waves: for the wind was contrary." I love this! Jesus Christ knew the wind was going to be contrary! do you see that? He knew when He was constraining the disciples to get into the ship in verse 22 what was going to happen in verse 24! now you can’t tell me that He isn’t the Son of God if, by chance, verse 24 just happened. nothing happens by chance to God!
so what does Jesus do? He goes for a leisurely stroll… on the sea. verse 25: "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea." I can see it now – wind and waves billowing about, a little ship being tossed to and fro like a ragdoll in a dryer, and there’s my Saviour. calmly, serenely, maybe even whistling, walking on the water – to His disciples. do you get what I am saying? Jesus knew when He was constraining in verse 22 about the storm, He even knew about taking a walk on the water, and all for what? to go to His disciples. He placed them in the exact position where the only place to go for help was to Him. and there He was. in the midst of the storm – but in control.
verse 27: "But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I: be not afraid." He placed them into a boat. He placed them into the midst of the stormy sea. only to prove to them His power and might over the extenuating circumstances that surrounded them. Hallelujah! my God is mightier than any storm surrounding me! my God even places me into storms if only for me to see how mighty He is. to see that He IS in control no matter what befalls me. to prove to me that He is there at every turn of life’s wave whether calm or contrary. no doubt He does it just to flex his everlasting muscles so His children can ooh and aah over them aka give Him the glory He so richly deserves. it’s like, "Hey Christian, watch this" and then he flexes his big muscles and the storm is calm. that’s my God!
now that was all said for this. Verse 28, "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." did you catch it? Peter ASKED to leave the safety of the ship and step out into the stormy sea. exactly where Jesus was. it wasn’t satisfactory to be in the ship NEXT to Jesus. no, he wanted to get out INTO the water. he wanted to LEAVE the ship and replace it with the Saviour – eternal security. he wasn’t content with the norm. he wasn’t satisfied being with the other 11. instead he asked Jesus, "Can I come out there with you?" I’m sure he knew how safe/unsafe those fishing boats were and decided it was more safe on the water. the key is that Peter ASKED to go out to Jesus. we’ve all heard about Peter’s faith in walking on the water and his lack of faith in sinking once out there, but we fail to realize that Peter asked Jesus if he could go to him. and where was Jesus? on the water.
now here is the meat. Jesus placed His disciples into a position in order to prove to them He was mightier that their surrounding circumstances. but once in those circumstances, He wanted to see who would take the step TOWARDS Him. God places each of His children in circumstances we do not have control over. but it is only to see if we will in turn run to the One in control of those circumstances while in that situation. the next time you find yourself in a storm, ask the one in control of the storm if you can come closer. Peter found it easy for Jesus to stretch out His arm and catch him while sinking in the waves as Jesus was right in front of him.
now to make it hurt. Jesus could have reached out His arm and catch me all those years ago before I stepped into sin. if only in the middle of the storm I turned and asked to go to Him, instead of running from Him. ouch.
friday, july 24, 2009.
that’s when it happened. my 180. true I had repented and turned many months ago, but that was the day the Father had me realize that the 180 was complete. Psalm 30:2 states, "O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me." I have simply poured my heart out to the Father just like David. I have invited His divine hands to break me, mold me and make me into what He desires. my heart longs after Him. He is my glue.
how did this happen? the Word. the daily diving into the Word (coupled with prayer). Psalm 107:20, "He sent the word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." yes, destructions – i.e. plural. meaning the path I was headed down had more than one snare I could have fallen into. seems King David had more than the one snare of being a whoremonger. if God can heal him why can’t He heal me?
He can only if I allow Him. Psalm 78:41 (this verse will change your life) reads, "Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel." Scary! they turned back. they chose NOT to obey God fully. they tempted God. they also chose NOT to trust God fully. plus they limited the Holy One of Israel! they had compacted God into this neat little box. set Him on a shelf. and made Him watch them turn and tempt. they only needed Him for one thing. once that was complete, they disregarded Him all together. that one thing was deliverance. Israel was constantly getting into trouble and relying on God to deliver them. but God was big enough to deliver them AND keep them out of trouble so as to break the cycle!
that is my 180. I by no means am perfect. I am not prideful enough to say I can never return or will ever step away from my Saviour. but what I can tell you is that God Almighty has healed me. my thoughts are no longer plagued by my past life, though the devil tries from time to time (I Cor. 6:11). my desires have been transformed by the renewing of my mind (Rom. 12:2). I have willing placed myself, and continually, under God’s microscope (Prov. 1:23). and my greatest fear is to once again hurt my God and my Redeemer. should that be the fear of the Lord, then it is worth fearing (Prov. 2:5).
my God is so big, so strong and so mighty. there’s nothing my God cannot do. so true is that song. He IS strong enough to pull my sinful soul out of destruction. but ALSO strong enough to keep me close to Him. oh let me no longer limit the Holy One! may God receive the glory for what He has and will do with my life!
the first thing the devil did was try to get me to return my thoughts to my past. once the Saviour defeated those thoughts, the devil launched into another immoral act. he said, well at least you can masterbate to memories. NO! Romans 12:1 tells us our body, including the mind, is a temple of the Lord.
this was the final giant from my past for God to defeat. it reminds me of David being used by God to smite Goliath in I Samuel 17. what is interesting is that David took 5 smooths stones. now no doubt he believed that God could kill him with just one, but Goliath had 4 brothers. only several years later did David and his mighty men defeat the remaining giants, II Samuel 21:22.
I can honestly say that God has cleaned me up - from the inside out. it is humbling to know that God has extended grace, provided mercy, and in lovingkindness has cleaned up this sinner. then on top of that has led me in His path. Psalm 25:8 tells us that God will teach sinners in the way. David was all too familiar with God's classroom as am I. but the coolest part is that God is willing to teach sinners if the sinner is willing to be taught. it just has to be in His time and in His way.
if only life was this simple. truth is, it could be. you see this label should attached to every baby along with a copy of God's Word before they leave the hospital. that is life's instruction book.
Just try to measure east to west
Or to the oceans lowest depth
You'll find no record of my past
You'll find my Savior’s righteousness
Under grace my guilt is gone
The chief accuser lost the war
The record of my sins erased
Its buried deep under grace
I could not meet the laws demands
But God in mercy had a plan
His Son's own blood my sins erased
My pardon now reads under grace
Under grace my guilt is gone
The chief accuser lost the war
The record of my sins erased
Its buried deep under grace
The record of my sins erased
And it's buried deep under grace
And it's buried deep under grace
it could transform you into being a more effective soulwinner AND possibly win that skeptic friend of yours that refutes Jesus Christ.
Psalm 92:13 & 14, "Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall be fat and flourishing:"
I’ve never been through a 12-step program of any kind, thank God, but I understand the concept. the individual seeking help chooses to enroll in the selected program in hopes of overcoming their addiction or problem. God on the other hand has a different kind of program called the 24-7-365-life program. the concept is much harder to understand, and many people choose not to enlist as it involves a total life commitment. odd because every Christian is enrolled whether they want to be or not.
this 24-7-365 program has only one guideline: complete obedience to the Heavenly Father. the best part about the guideline is Jesus Christ Himself helps you follow that rule! the reason why? He wants you to become fat. yes, fat. rolly polly, plump and juicy, busting at the seams, enormous kind of fat that only He can appreciate.
how does this become accomplished? you get planted. yes, planted. every Christian is a tree planted somewhere in God’s garden. Psalm 1:3, "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season." if you choose to soak up the Son, you grow. if you choose not to, you whither away.
the why of becoming planted? to bear fruit (John 15:8), i.e.: win souls. you see a fat tree bears much fruit – hence being known as a fat tree. the more you soak up the Son, the fatter you become. the fatter you become, the more fruit you bear. the more fruit you bear, the more you need to soak up the Son. vicious cycle yet one that the Father delights to see.
I say all this to bring you to the whole reason to become fat: glory. yes, glory. glory to the Heavenly Father; who in His grace and mercy chose to save your soul from the eternal flame. you in turn must be used to win souls for Him. there is no use of having a skinny tree around. no shade. no shelter. no fruit.
oh may my boughs droop with fruit. oh may I become a fat tree!
the phrases are "LORD our God", "LORD thy God" and "LORD my God". it is not by chance that God uses the personal pronouns of our, thy and my. one could say they are possessive. exactly! God wants us to be possessive of Him. just as He wants to be possessive of us.
those phrases repeat a total of 294 times. I would dare say that God is trying to get my attention, wouldn't you? even if it has to be repeated 294 times.
verse 4: God is my Rock. He can only do perfect work.
verse 10: God knows exactly where I am at all times.
verse 12: God alone is my leader. my fellow brethren are there for counsel as He speaks through them.
verse 15: do not take the Rock of your salvation lightly!
verse 20: do not put yourself in a position where God hides His face from you.
verse 31: relying on you is to not rely on the Rock of your salvation.
verse 39: God alone is able to take care of you. He needs no help.
here is how it went down... at the same time the Father ordered me to do something specific in regards to my call, the devil butted in and tried to mess things up. I'm learning the devil is having to come up with new game plans as the old ones don't work anymore. PRAISE GOD! what the Father was trying to get me to see is that currently I am unqualified, not disqualified, but He will train me to become qualified. every task He gives brings me one step closer to becoming qualified and one step closer to His plan. trust me, these lessons were never taught in Bible college!
this has taught me to be patient even if I don't understand. I admit it was a bitter pill to swallow what the devil was feeding me and posting didn't help. it only made me more tranparent. so now you know for sure I am by no means perfect. again I sincerely apologize to my readers and will make certain that all future posts get filtered through the Holy Spirit before posting.
this testing is more difficult than expected but I know He is right there beside me. one thing I am certain of is that I am able to see my Lord more clearer than ever before. testing is by far the best Spiritual eye-cleanser out there!
today our church went soulwinning. we call it Sowing & Reaping. it is the perfect title as #1: it is a biblical command and #2: not everyone wants to talk while witnessing. every soulwinning-Reaper needs a silent partner standing there praying. mine is a short-statured, aged man whom I know God loves dearly. he and his wife have been saved longer than I’ve been alive and I’m certain that God has them both in the crevices of His mighty hands. while we walked he mentioned that he didn’t feel up to coming, yet he came anyway. his walk was slower today but he didn’t stop, even when I suggested he should. I know God will bless him, if not here then in Heaven.
last Monday God showed me I was being tested. of course only He knows when it will end. today I read in Deuteronomy 8:2, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”
yes, God is continuing to humble me. He did today. now He is onto proving me. true He knows my heart but He wants me to see what is in my heart. what will stop me from moving forward with Him as the leader? in order to prove something or someone you put them to the test. will they make the grade or will they fail? God is the ultimate teacher and His tests are only for our good (Deut. 6:24).
but how do you pass one of God’s tests? the same way you live for Him. placing all your trust and faith in the one true God. how do I know this? I saw it today in a short-statured, aged man walking along side me while Sowing & Reaping. may I become as faithful in keeping His command. may I make the grade.
as previously posted, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I believe God called me to the mission field. along with my salvation, I am certain of the call. this is the 2nd time He has called me to missions with the 1st being at age 15. now here is the heartache. it is NOT for the foreign mission field (although He revealed to me the place I could have served). that I traded in for what the devil had behind door #2. I vividly remember the moment I resorted to that life instead of the one God called me into. a chilling thought.
along with the aforementioned verse, I base this fact on the qualifications given for a pastor in I Timothy 3:1-6. the qualifications of a missionary are the same. the three that disqualify me are thus: not blameless, sexual immorality and the lack of good behavior. my sincerest apologies to my readers.
now here is the joy. what I thought was to foreign missions is actually to the town in which I live. God needs men, and women, to serve Him in the church just as much as on the field. both sets are called to live Godly lives. the things in which God has shown me to increase my faith need to be implemented in every Christian’s life. whether pew or pasture, God does not differ the guidelines to live a holy life.
now I have exuberant joy as this too is the will of God. true it is also a consequence but there are a multitude of those He should have given. thank God for His mercy! thank God I no longer have to resort but instead yield to Him.
this post will be harsh towards me as I have gotten comfortable. not just where I live but also in my walk with the Father.
the Israelites were only miles away from the Promised Land given to them by God. close enough they could smell the milk and honey. yet we read they chose to abide in Shittim. and who dwelt right beside them? none other than the Moabites (descendants of Lot). the bible says they began to commit sexual immorality with the Moabite daughters. how did this start? they abode! they got comfortable in the wilderness! their guard was let down just long enough to allow a pretty Moabite female to step in and lead them astray.
I’m learning that although God has pulled me out of sexual immorality the temptation to be immoral will never go away. no matter where I go as a son of God the devil will always have a daughter right there to tempt me. this time the Father has opened my eyes to this trick of the devil and showed me my acquired liking for a "Moabite" daughter. it is on the fringe but close enough to smell.
it's time to step away from this temptation for two reasons; #1: it could cost me God’s will for my life and #2: see number one. the only way I am able to resist is with the Father’s help. He has promised He will be there, even when I am uncomfortable.
lesson one: do no less and no more than what God as ordered and approved for your specific task, verse 18.
lesson two: to see God more fully you must first humble yourself (a simple beast of burden saw the angel of the Lord first), verse 25.
lesson three: be willing to let God use you for anything He desires (even God can use a beast of burden to speak, but it still had to carry his owner the rest of the journey), verse 28.
lesson four: confession only draws you closer to God and brings you back into His way, verse 34.
lesson five: speak only what God has told you to say – no less and no more, verse 38.
Paul, being directed by the Holy Spirit, allowed us to see his real self. the Spirit within that warred against his flesh. the human that cried out in verse 24 was also the same that gave thanks to God for paying his pardon thus freeing his soul from death and hell. but he also told us his own mind served the law of God and his flesh the law of sin. it is comforting to know that Paul had the same battles I face in this day-to-day Christian life. those spiritual battles that are given to God as I cannot win alone.
but by Grace he didn’t stop there. in chapter 8 Paul writes of being led by the Holy Spirit. verse 14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
currently I am in 7:25. by Grace, 8:14 is approaching.
Numbers 9:18 23 tells of how and when the Israelites followed God in the wilderness. Verse 18, "At the commandment of the Lord the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the Lord they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents." right now my tent is pitched and for a good reason. God is remolding this vessel though the vessel insists on creating new cracks. but every time a new crack is made He comes along and in love mends the vessel.
yesterday I had the opportunity to watch Him mend. and even though this vessel still has broken pieces, cracks and missing parts He still chose to use me. we as humans still use cups and dishes even when they are broken, chipped or even have cracks in them. how much more so does our Heavenly Father use us even though we are no better than our serving ware? as along as He knows the part that is usable is fully relying on Him and His Holy Spirit, then it is usable. I can only tell you of one instance yesterday.
some of the work at my part time job is to deliver documents to local downtown businesses. yesterday afternoon, with all the sunshine, I grabbed the documents, filled my shirt pocket with tracts and decided to walk while delivering both sets of documents. now the one set had a specific destination to the businesses but the other set had Divine destinations to specific individuals. so after delivery of the first set, I headed back to my job and found I had one more tract to hand out. it was then came across a friend I hadn't seen in a while. the Father gave me an opportunity to brag on Him AND give out the last tract.
will they read the tract? only God knows. but what I do know is that even while God has you pitched, even when He is remolding and reshaping the vessel, He can use you. if He can use someone like me, while reshaping this lump of clay, then I know He can use you. will you allow Him to use the usable part?
the children of Israel was commanded not to defile themselves with the customs within the land of Canaan, Leviticus 18:24 & 25. God was going to destroy the Canaanites simply because of their wickedness. He certainly did not want His children partaking nor acquiring any of the soon-to-be-former inhabitant’s customs.
and how did He want His children to remove themselves from these customs? Verse 30, "Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God." it sounds easy enough to keep His ordinance, but that isn’t how you remove yourself. that is found in the last line, "I am the Lord your God."
one can choose to keep God’s commandments. one can choose to not partake in the abominable customs. one can even go so far as to do everything within their power to not defile themselves. but none of that is worth the time and effort if you fail to admit that God is your Lord. choosing to rely on your own strength, and not the Lord’s, will only get you so far away, but not far enough.
last night temptation abounded. and I admit I almost partook of a former custom. so today the Father sat me down and revealed that my will needs to break. God is also my Lord, so my will must conform to His will and His way. I can willfully go either towards Him or away from Him. true this habit is dying but it needs to die in accordance to His will, and not to me just willing to no longer partake in the customs. His will must be complete.
it will put some fire in your heart, kick in your Spirit and add some humility to your daily walk with God.
give it a chance. it will either revive your Christian life or set it further ablaze. may it do the latter.
Exodus 40:36 & 37, “And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.” these verses are both loaded with so much good stuff that I need to back up, get the steam going, then explain.
chapters 36-39 tell of how the Lord used the wisehearted within Israel to construct the tabernacle in the wilderness. then men were filled with the Holy Spirit as they performed the set tasks given to them. the bible says they did “as the Lord commanded Moses.” Moses was the leader so God told the leader and he in turn passed the memo down to the workers. every little detail was carried out as God commanded. nothing was let half done or waiting for someone else to complete. even the priest's were clothed according as God commanded. on top of all this every item was anointed for the service of the Lord. the items were sanctified, or set apart, to the Lord. this included every ladle, pan, candlestick and even the altar. even Aaron and his sons were anointed as they were the priests using those items on a daily basis. God wanted to make sure they were set apart as well.
now here is the good part... God commanded Moses to construct the tabernacle. He gave Moses the plans to the minutest detail. God gave Moses able-bodied individuals to carry out those tasks. those individuals carried out God's plan. then God set apart certain men to perform within the tabernacle to continue the plan. only then did God rest within the tabernacle. only then did God Himself reside within the tabernacle that He Himself had commanded to be built.
once we get God's command, enable those God gives us to carry out the command, and then perform the command will He then continue to reside. but it doesn't stop there. if the cloud moves, then we move. if the cloud stops, we stop. being in God's will doesn't matter where the cloud leads or where the cloud travels, you need to follow. can you see through a cloud? no. can you see around a cloud? no. so the only choice is to stay behind the cloud and follow. too many times I want to look around. too many times I want to look through. I've found it very difficult to look through, around or past my Lord. but that is exactly where He wants me. dependant upon Him to lead and trusting in Him while I follow on life's journey. I can only journey in Him. not through or around. but in Him.
right now God is working in my life. I don't feel qualified to carry out the task He has asked me to perform. but I do know that He will be my strength to perform said task. does my imagination try to look around Him? yes. does it try to look through? still yes. but I know one thing is certain. He is taking me to the mission field. see I must journey behind the cloud through this task in order to get to the mission field. that is why I must journey in Him.
God's is influencing my life daily. part of my family can understand and rejoices with me. those members I enjoy sharing what God has and is doing in and through my life. my brother-in-law, saved, rejoiced with me when I told him that God had used me to lead someone to Christ. it was he that also rejoiced when I told him that God had returned 50% of an offering back to me via a dryer - trust me it happened. he in turn edifies me as a brother in Christ.
my blood brother unfortunately is still focused on the flesh and satisfying the lusts thereof. I cannot tell him everything God is doing as he only says that's good and then back to him. he to is saved yet behaves totally different. I am reminded of I Corinthians 6:11, "And as such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
Yes, my family is saved but even the redeemed can choose to not be close to God. look at me! for many years I tried to hide. didn't work. if it wasn't for my extended family praying that God would jerk a knot in my tail, as my grandpa would say, then I would probably be dead. thank God He does jerk knots and praise God He does love us. even when we need the knots.
I have to praise God that it is only through Him that I make it without succumbing. you might ask, is it difficult to resist? I will not lie and say no. it is at those times I lean ever more pressed into the Lord. the Father brings to mind verses to help me resist and reminds me of the deliverance He has already given.
verse 16 states, “that the LORD will have war with Amalek, from generation to generation.” we will continue to battle our flesh until we are freed from it's earthly grasp either in death or at the rapture. and who will be there every time to make sure we obtain the victory? none other than our Heavenly Father! now that's worth shouting about. especially at 10:30 pm! HALLELUJAH!
no sooner had they been delivered they find themselves at the bitter waters of Marah, verse 23. and they did what? they complained. in verse 25 we read that, “and there he proved them.” their whole position was orchestrated by God simply to test them. would they long for Egypt or would they put their trust in the one who delivered them? now that the Almighty God had received honor from Pharaoh and had destroyed their enemies, He only wanted them to trust in Him before moving forward. we say simply trust but too many times its harder to trust than it is to follow. see trust, or faith, “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
verse 26 states, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord, that healeth thee.” God is stating that if you trusted me to get you out of Egypt why can't you trust me to get you into Canaan? Marah is just a trial. if you think Marah is bad how will you make it through the wilderness? we've just started and now you're complaining. but they had to trust. we have to trust. I have to trust. and how? do that which is right in His eyes, give ear to His commandments and keep His statutes.
now here is the good part... if I do that, and only by His strength, I will find myself in a place of rest. verse 27 finds the Israelites in Elim filled with pure water and an abundance of palm trees for shade. it says they encamped. meaning they took up residence for a brief time until God moved them. daily in life's trials and tribulations I must submit myself to Him and Him alone. and daily I am tried and tested as God purifies with fire. but through it all I can find rest within the same hands that molds me. I must encamp within the one who has saved me, delivered me and conforms me to His image. in whom will you encamp?
I can say along with David in Psalm 30:7, “LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.”
I know He is allowing me to see this as I must understand I can't get to the mission field of my own accord. not only TO the mission field but the daily path en-route to the mission field! my preaching is too self-illustrated right now to preach in any church. plus He is training me to trust in Him for simple monetary support. both at the same time. these lessons must be learned. I only want God's will so through this we must go.
lead on Oh Great Jehovah, lead on. even if as I follow, my face is hid in your bosom as only there I find support.
this past weekend was a milestone in the path of God's direction for my life. I made it public to my parents and church family that I have surrendered to God's calling to the mission field. do I know to where God has called me? the answer is yes... where ever He wants me. right now it's my hometown, the surrounding towns and the state. no place like home. but what many times we fail to realize is we are all called to be missionaries. if to no other place than our own hometown.
that's exactly the same place where the devil wants to stop you. see if he can stop you there then he knows you won't go where God wants you. this is no more evident than in Genesis 25:34 when Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob. and for what, a bowl of beans? no. he sold it to curb an appetite. one that could never be satisfied. and where did it happen? AT HOME! it wasn't at a conference in the next city, it wasn't in the next state and it wasn't in the Bahamas. it was at home. the exact place where the devil knew he could curb his appetite.
God has opened my eyes to see that I have a huge bullseye directly above me with the devil aimed and ready. and he's begun in my own comfort zone. exactly where he knows I can curb my appetite. so how will I make it to where God wants me? by realizing that, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power (II Timothy 1:7)” and relying on that,“Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). that's why I hate the devil.
I take this line from Genesis 19:17, “And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” see Lot had everything going for him; he was nephew to Abraham, was blessed with money and possessions, and had seen God work and move in his Uncle's life. yet he desired the plains of Jordan (Gen. 13:10).
after all that God had blessed him with, after all that God had graciously done for him and after all that God had allowed him to see what His mighty hand could do; Lot still wanted more... the plains. yep, me to a “T”. but this is the good part! God still loved Lot, ie: me, as He mercifully pulled him out of Sodom (Gen. 19:16). He was not obligated. Lot, ie: me, should have been consumed as he put himself in that position. but no. God in His love, grace and mercy bestowed upon Lot, ie: me, something he was of by no means worthy.
His calling is once more in the same order and to the same positions.
God, as you want me on that mountain and not in the plains, please, get me to that mountain. I trust you. I submit to you. In my own strength I cannot accomplish this endeavor as there must not be any “I”. It can only be You.
Your Will. Your Service. Your Glory.
such is the case with our thoughts. a “seed” called imagine is planted within our head. it’s where we store our dreams and fantasies; this land of imagination. our head is fertile soil in which to plant our thoughts and ideas. Genesis 8:21c says, “for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.” hmmm seems one obtains this fertile soil at birth. not like we get an option.
now how we germinate those seeds is left up to us. see the devil would like for us to germinate his way. evil, wicked, sinful thoughts and ideas are his specialty. God, on the other hand, wants them to be pure and pleasing. Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
sounds good but how does one think this way? glad you asked. James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” DON'T LET THE DEVIL GET ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR FERTILE SOIL WITH HIS SEEDS! you by no means can do it alone! so you must submit your thoughts, mind, ideas, imaginations, dreams, fantasies and even your thought process to God. the whole bundle just wrapped up and handed over.
a few posts ago I mentioned that my mind is one area that I battle in. God and I are going to war with the devil in this arena. it won't be easy but I know that “Greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world.” bring it on.
it took me being hurt just a fraction of how God, His Son and the Holy Spirit had been hurt by my disobedience to wake me up to my current location of being away from Them. only then could I truly repent. as my soul was pierced with that knowledge, I knew that God was the only one who could remove me from my situation. it was as if He had caught me with my hand in the cookie jar. Busted!
though my sin has been paid for on the cross, it is a constant reminder of where one's flesh, and the need to satisfy it, can go apart from God. a very humble reminder of how the Saviour loves me and wants me to be as far away from it as possible.
the devil consistently regurgitates past experiences in hopes of either luring me back or to just turn away even for a moment from my Saviour's face. it is at those times I lean more firmly on the Saviour from whom I obtain strength to resist. Praise God!
I am fully aware this was the stone that started the downward spiral. the devil knew exactly where to lodge the best offense and I listened. God has effectively been working on my pride. even from sources other that the Bible. the book Humility was only the jumping off point. pride centers around I and what I can do. God is in no need of an I in His work. He only needs willing vessels who realize that He does not necessarily need them, but has chosen to use them. if only to give glory and praise to Him once He has worked.
twice: God ends sin.
I came up with this riddle based on a verse out of the Book of Revelation. it was presented to a fellow believer in the hopes of picking his brain. also in hopes that he might be able to see what God gave me. little did I know that it would be used to teach me a truth.
see God is working on my pride. not an easy lesson but one still vital and quite necessary for my Christian growth. many times the wound is deep as pride is centered around the “I”. this lesson was important on many levels but I will stick with the truth I gleaned.
Once – Adam, first human/man.
By one man's pen – sin, enslavement, bondage to self.
Twice – second Adam or Christ.
God ends sin – John 19:30 “It is finished”.
honestly I never thought that my riddle would be so deep, but God knew I needed a different lesson than the one I originally viewed. God used it as a tool to open my eyes, via the believer, so I could learn more about Him. isn't that just one of the coolest things about God? He uses fellow Christians to open our eyes to His knowledge. Praise God He does and praise God He has ended sin!
“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
so to conclude; if we seek the Found, in thus Abound and find ourself on solid Ground in Christ we have the promise that once in Heaven our “entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly.” God is pleased every time one of His comes home. but those who have chosen to serve Him, and not self, those who learn to live the Found list, is more welcomed as they have already been talking with God down here on earth. it's as if a best friend is coming home to stay forever. those who live the Found list here also have more crowns, rewards, in heaven to cast at Jesus' feet. now how do we accomplish this task? John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” more of Him, less of me. everyday He must gain more of a square footage on my heart and I must submit more of it to Him.
if I obtain but one thing in life, let it be said that I was Spirit led.
cross reference verse: II Timothy 4:7 & 8.
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make sure your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall;”
now that the lost is Found, and in thus we Abound, God tells us we now have solid Ground. here's the good part! God will not only save us and guide us through this life, but will also keep us grounded daily while we walk! Hallelujah! the verse says, "for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." WOW, I would say that God is pretty powerful to make that claim. I'm glad He made it and not me as I know my weaknesses. good thing about my weaknesses is that God knows them as well.
cross reference verses: Romans 8:13-15, Romans 6:18, I Corinthians 6:17, II John 9 and James 1:27.
“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”
now those things that are Found can only Abound they will make us fruitful for our Lord. How do we become fruitful? only by submitting to God and allow Him to mold us into what He wants out lives to become. hard to do as He has given each of us a will. but once we relinquish our will to Him then truly He can, and will, work. and oh how He works! the Almighty God that formed our planet, created every human both past and present, and will one day return in glory wants to actually walk with us daily. He wants to guide our footsteps. hold our hands and walk us through this life. and be there at every turn. truly a loving God would be that interested in this speck of a human. truly an awesome God would be that interested in each speck He creates.
cross reference verses: I Thessalonians 3:12 & 13, Colossians 2:6 & 7, and Romans 6:10-14.
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to you faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
these are the attributes every Christian should posses or be “found”. sadly they are not. God has given every child of His the Holy Spirit in which we are thus enabled to obtain these virtues. it can only be through His power. our human flesh is not only unabled to achieve alone but also cannot as the devil knows our weaknesses and is can easily stop us. Christ's blood covers not just our sins but gives each of us the strength to be accepted to the Father.
cross reference verses: Romans 5:3-5 and Galatians 5:22 & 23.
today's post is a continuation of an earlier post (read learning to press below).
I have found the secret to obtaining the prize daily! it begins at I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” this ALL includes times of temptation. there is no other way to get through them. verse 8, “Be sober, be vigilent; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” if you watch throughout the day you will be aware of those time when the devil has approached you with temptation, and if you brushed them off thats when he's got you. the greater attack will come when you least expect it and then its over. you are his lunch!
now to verse 9, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” ahem, you are NOT the center of the universe. the same temptation that you are afflicted with is the same that another brother or sister in Christ is rising above. it is at this time that obedience and submission to God should be first and foremost. not satisfying your flesh, which should be dead. another post for that.
finally in verses 10 and 11, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen.” the only way you become perfect, stablished, strengthened and settled is to submit and allow yourself to be purified by God's fire. He only allows the temptation in order for you to become a stronger Christian. and the only way you can become a stronger Christian is to be purified. one cannot withstand temptation while full of their dead self. God cannot get the glory He is due while Christians are full of themselves.
that's the clincher! God will get glory from you one way or another. it is so much easier to submit and allow yourself to give Him the glory while being purified, than to have Him wrangle it out of you. daily have an about face to the devil and towards God!
my Christian life has been quite different. mainly crawling, scooting and being carried instead of walking. I was carried the first couple of years. hoping things would change but refusing to trust God to work. I crawled my way through Christian college instead of walking upright. giving the appearance of uprightness but still holding onto sin. lastly scooting from church to church seeking a place to feel “comfortable” in while I held onto my sin. odd how then I never seemed to understand that God was everywhere I was carried, crawled and scooted.
Matthew 14:29 tells of how Peter walked on the water to Jesus, “And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.” many people tend to overlook the fact that Peter actually walked on the water and quickly condemn him for sinking, verse 30. I say, Peter walked on the water! and to whom? to Jesus. if we are ever going to walk in this Christian life is HAS to be to Jesus! there is no other way to make it in this world. sin is everywhere with its baubles of temptation. the devil would love to just dangle something shiny in front of us just so we look away from Jesus. but we must keep our eyes on Jesus so we will be able to walk in His power.
just as my parents had to hold onto me for several months just to keep me upright, God holds onto us. not for a few months or years but for eternity. He is that involved in our lives. He wants us to walk but more importantly He wants us to do it through His power, strength, and love. He knows we can be easily distracted and so with Him going before, He asks us to hold His hands and keep our eyes on Him. that's the only way to walk.
Hebrews 7:15 & 16 states, “And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” feel free to study this guy Melchisedec, or Melchizedek, as he was the recipient of Abraham's tithes. in Jewish tradition, sins of the people were absolved by the sacrifices made daily by the Levite priests aka commandment from Moses given by God. once Christ died on the cross, those sacrifices became null and void as He paid the once for all sacrifice for our sins. HALLELUJAH! hence He was the priest after the order of Melchisedec and not a Levite.
verse 27 states it quite clear, “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” because the payment on the cross was the final sacrifice, I no longer have to rely on an earthly priest to absolve my sins through an animal sacrifice. Jesus Christ is the Eternal High Priest so only He can absolve my sins, whether committed already or those to be. this cuts out any earthly priest and any earthly form of sin removal. no human can wash away my sins, see I John 1:7.
I thank God that I can go directly to Him and ask forgiveness for every sin that I commit. trust me, I sin daily and the Holy Spirit convicts daily which means confession is daily as well. though God already knows my heart, “He is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness” I John 1:9.
today God is beginning to shake up another gift. one that I laid down years ago and chose to walk away from. a gift I didn't particularly want but was given none the less. II Timothy 1:6 states, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” Preaching. I used to love it, used to do it and truly enjoyed being used by God while doing so. but I removed that mantle that God had placed on me years ago and chose to live for self. now as He teaches me to obey Him He is re-gifting it back. do I accept? verse 7 is the answer, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
the only way I can accept this gift is to whole-heartedly allow Him to live through me. accept the God-given power to preach what He gives me and trust Him to change the hearts of those receiving the message. it is humbling to realize that God wants me to finish what He has started. especially when I don't believe I am worthy. but as the pieces of God's puzzle come together one can only give Him the glory as it is only God that makes the pieces fit.
II Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
now isn't that the exact place God wants to be in our lives? I Thessalonians 5:9 & 10 reads, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” now we know we cannot obtain salvation any other way except through Jesus Christ, but once we have accepted Him we should be living with Him; daily. this should be done whether we wake (that means alive) or sleep (that means to be deceased). the totally cool part of this is if we skip to verse 24 of the same chapter reads, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” HALLELUJAH! not only is God our salvation but He is faithful in helping us to be His children! our Heavenly Father wants to be there whether we wake or sleep in order to make sure we are living right for Him. this is good! this parallels with II Corinthians 5:9 "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him." I once heard a radio preacher state that we shouldn't talk to God on every subject in our lives. WHY NOT! He already knows our hearts, knows what is going to happen anyway and I'm pretty sure He is the one who brought the situation into our life. um, why wouldn't you want talk to God on every thing in your life?
so what your'e saying is that Jesus Christ, who saved you, will also help you live for Him? bingo, I think you've got it! He is more faithful than my mom, no offense mom, as He is there at every step and every turn of my life. only God knows what's exactly in store for me every morning when I awake. just as He knows what step I should take at every turn of my life; God wants to be there to make sure my steps, turns and walk is with Him. if I am deceased then I am already walking with Christ in heaven. but as my heavenly life has not began, my Heavenly Father wants to walk with me in my earthly life. oh, how this makes one put their life into a different perspective.
I would rather walk aside the One who never fails than to step alone with the one who fails always.
Paul must have been a true sports fanatic; if they existed back in the first century. he constantly refers to running, wrestling and fighting. I'm sure he must have been a fan of the Olympics or at least knew several of the athletes or even gladiators. no doubt we will get the chance to meet some he led to Christ. Philippians 4:13 & 14 states, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
for what are you pressing? Paul tells us to forget the past. hard to do as we are told to learn from our past, but this refers to our past life before meeting Christ. that life will either slow us down or back into it. we should reach forth to what Christ has for us in our new life. the fruits of the Spirit, His strength and power, and winning souls should be what we reach towards. pressing toward the end of our life, or mark, when God welcomes us home to heaven. and the prize? the priviledge of casting our crowns we won at the feet of Jesus. oh what a glorious day!
now that is something worth pressing for! earthly honor will only fade. what's stored in heaven is worth the wait.
Opens the sight,
Filled with wonders;
But minus the light.
A little touch
Hearts are flushed;
But filled with lies.
A little crush
But ends in rage.
Oh eyes so full!
Oh touch so flushed!
Oh crush so engaged!
Had I but turned.
Had I but listened.
Had I but stopped.
Too late to change?
A life to mend.
God waits with love,
My rope to end.
Repentance in full
My sins to cast;
All to give,
To Him at last.
now why it jumped off.
God, in His grace has saved me. in His mercy He took me back even when I left Him, despite the abominations I committed. last night I had a relapse with this sin (alone). I submitted to my feelings and emotions instead of submitting to the Holy Spirit. today we; ie: God, the Holy Spirit and I; had a chat. God slapped me around with that verse and serveral others in my Bible reading. the Holy Spirit then launched into a much needed tongue lashing. not fun on my end. I realize I need to stand on the promises God had given in Romans 6, 7 & 8. especially the verse stated above.
my sin was bondage. bondage to self, pride, the flesh and my lusts. God has loosed those bonds once and for all. now I need to claim, in His power, the liberty with which He has provided. now one topic I did bring up in this chat is the spring and summer months. very much a feast for the eyes and the flesh! I've been told to not worry about the future but to rest on God and let Him give me the strength to walk through the pending trial. it is scary. not in putting your trust in God but to see how He will work. we are so much a visual-based society that even faith gets tested more by us than externally.
now I am by no means perfect, just forgiven as a sinner saved by His grace. I agree with Paul as he states my bondage needs to be only to the Saviour who died for my sins than to this fleshly abode in which my soul dwells. even so come Lord.
II Corinthians 5:20 & 21, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made righteousness for God in him." see I enlisted as an ambassador whether I liked it or not. that's why it was crumbling. God was tired of His ambassador serving the prince of this earth, satan. Jesus Christ didn't leave heaven, be born into this world, live a perfect & sinless life, minister for 3 years, die on the cross for my sins, and then rise from the grave only so that I could be redeemed thus to continue in my sin. it wasn't going to happen.
so, december 2007. the beginning of the end? no, the beginning of my reconciliation to God and the start of my fulfillment as an ambassador.