Soul riches?

Matthew 19:16-22New King James Version (NKJV) – 

21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

 

I pondered this word on my way to work this morning. It actually fell upon my heart last night as I considered…..I know for me to have Christ, I’m going to have to give something up, Me! I considered that in Jesus speaking to this rich young man, it wasn’t just about money. Jesus was speaking to everything that we hold as a possession that has nothing to do with, and neither glorifies Him as God in our lives. Our standards, our restrictions, our boundaries, our limitations, our reserves, our defense, our skepticism, our own self-righteousness. I can sit and write a list of everything I pray God will just snatch out of my heart, everything that I so desire is stripped from my soul, all that I can consider that may offend God that seeps out of my heart and upwards out of my mouth. Yet, when I ponder the prayer, I wonder what happens when He does come in and begins to clean house, am I willing to participate in the clean up?

I also began to wonder how many people has God sent my way to help in this clean up, but because maybe they wanted to take something, or remove, or discard…I chose to separate myself, remove myself and discard them as unnecessary?

Now, lets forget the word treasure and apply another word…”garbage.” I can think of how much garbage, though I can imagine many of us think of a large black bag that conceals trash, but what if this black bag is actually the condition and state of our hearts and minds, full of concealed garbage. I find as people, we really don’t want to let go of ourselves, or the comfort that we bring to ourselves when God is God, but neither can I see Him or touch Him, but what is in front of me….that I can reach for at any given moment, this is the god I want.

My whole walk with God is based on faith, it is based on me believing…it is based on me believing without seeing.

But, back to the treasure, oops, I mean garbage we keep holding to that neither helps us move forward, or allows us to grow away from the stench or the desire to remove as it should be. I realize that I have held to an old pattern of thinking, and I realize that this old pattern has caused me to stumble, lose much, cause others to leave, or stay but feel overwhelmed by the stenches that I so lavishly have indulged in. While they may have fanned the air around me, I continued to keep taking in the aroma of my own body odor (mindset).

Jesus has set the stage in this biblical passage and has allowed us an opportunity in these verses to ponder, what is it that we treasure most? Jesus told the young rich man, sell everything you have and go and give to the poor. What I truly understand is Jesus saying, lay down your life, your wants, your desires, your dreams, your hopes and pick up mine and go give away to the poor in spirit, because now that you have My word in you, you have a new treasure that is greater than gold and silver, and with it, sharing it and imparting it,  you can help make others rich as well in wholeness, in truth and in healing.

My end result is finally coming to the conclusion of a word that I just read that tests the thoughts and attitude of my heart. Honestly, it is saying what are you willing to give up, lay down, let go of, forget, throw away, separate from so that the Lord my God can fill my heart with the new, yes, new Treasure.

 

 

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Symphony

via Daily Prompt: Symphony

Profound goes the music, the notes that play deep within her heart

While maestros cause a stirring, her music played is worlds apart

To find comfort in the meaning, of higher heights epiphany

not held back by notes restricted, her heart just plays her symphony

 

As the tempo reaches further, beyond her chase to meet a score

musical desire, ignites a fire that tears down strong basses and trombones

No fear of repercussions, for the master knows his best

forceful willing to the platform, her musical fire put to the test

halted to suffer any stealing of her depths of energy

remaining faithful within the tasteful, her souls most prized core symphony

 

Is my Faith light on?

“To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark—that is faith.” –  Charles Haddon Spurgeon

 

I came upon this quote today while reading a devotional. It cut deep like a knife, but I am sure it was the intent spiritually. For those of us who have read God’s Holy Word knows that it speaks of His Word “cutting deep unto the joints and marrow.” I have to share that lately I have been tossed and turned, up and down, but not like in the past.

During my depression years ago, in which it was defined back then as clinical, I searched God’s presence like never before. How? Surely by His grace. Who would think that when you are depressed you want to pray more, sing more, and just be close to God in the darkest hour of life. I chose this solely because I didn’t desire depression, I didn’t desire my sadness, or suicidal thoughts, but truly there was purpose for it. It took some time but eventually the Lord delivered me and gave me clarity and freedom.

The freedom was God using that situation not only to draw me closer to Him, but to work out of me some very dangerous anger, bitterness and unforgiveness issues. Now, today is another time and I find myself angry, bitter and discontent, not in depression, but because of my present circumstance. My anger is performed differently, for in my past anger became rage, a loud pitched voice with a flood of curse words. Now, my anger is tears and silence. No marathon to go pray, no rush to sit with the Word. In reading the quote “To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark—that is faith.” I pondered my past, what I have overcome and had to ask myself, will I trust God now? It seems harder now for some reason. More so because I don’t want to go through what I am going through right now, I want to just catapult out of this mess and be placed in a new situation, new environment. I want to go home. I say this because over a year ago I walked through a divorce, had no job opening to look forward to and lost my home because of the inability to pay my rent due to lack of work.

I declared by faith that I would not be homeless, I prayed God’s word, wrote it on the mirrors in my home, spoke it out of my mouth, walked it out by faith in my heart. I said surely by faith God will show up in some miraculous way and make things right. I figured I would not be put to shame, I would go before the courts and God would show me mercy and something would turn around. It didn’t. All of this was new to me, I had no way of fixing it, or making it right. I felt spent, lost, tired and angry. Where was God?

I lost my home and ended up now for over a year living in a hotel. I confess I am discontent. I still cry spiritual tears, Lord I want to go home. I do thank God I am not living on the street, or in my car, so this is where I figured I should be thanking Him that I am not cover less, but in my heart I am not home. This is where I know I have to trust Him in the dark. When I can’t see, when things and situations are out of my control.. I consider how unforgiving this world can be, how judgment of this world, money, homes, credit, etc…. can try to define your identity in Christ but God still says……”I love you, I know the thoughts I have towards you, not to harm you but to give you a hope and a future.” Sarcastically in my heart and mind I may have chuckled and said, wow, Lord this is the best you can do for me? What hope is this, what future am I to look forward to?

So, then I consider that God isn’t the problem, but my attitude towards this is, for does not His word say “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” I realize that I have the power and choice to choose joy, no matter if there is sunshine or if it is profoundly storming. Now, I have pondered this word this week while I fasted, “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength.” and I said ….God is joyful about me? Then I look at my circumstance and laugh because I only see something broken, rejected and struggling….Yet, God sees the blood of the lamb, redemption, sanctification, and holiness. How can this be?

My prayer today is that in all that I have come through, oh and there is so much more, in all the reasons I trusted Him in the darkest hour, will I trust Him in this unknown? Will I trust that if He could bring me out of depression, where I can only imagine the enemy found every way to trip me up emotionally, mentally and physically…if I trusted the presence of God then, if I trusted in His light, will I not trust Him now? I know this should be a piece of cake. I mean I am alive…but I will always back that up with am I truly living?

I know that I need to see my present circumstance as God’s way of showing me something that I need to pray to see more clearly. I guess in my mind I just did not understand how I was thrusted forward from depression, into homelessness? I barely had a moment to catch my breath. I just thought that in Christ we moved forward not backwards. So, I gather that there is something God is doing to make me more courageous, or more dependent on Him. I wonder if there is some place I try to plant myself that He knew wasn’t good enough, didn’t measure up to His standards? In all my efforts to not allow what happened to me, to happen, it still did. In my human efforts as well as spiritual I did my part or at least it was what I strived to do. I gather the best thing to do is forgive myself, stop beating myself up for what I could not control and be content with what He has allowed me to have today. For in the end, yes, it is pleasing and joyful to the soul to rejoice when things seem to be in order, untouched, peaceful, quiet and uninterrupted. But when the floods come, when the fig trees are barren, when the fruit on my tree is shaken………who am I then? Am I still the one who trusts in the Lord with all my heart or does my heart turn away and say Lord in my darkness I will glorify my trials and my circumstance?

Prayer: Father God in the name of Jesus, I pray Lord that you will make a way in my heart, out of the no way I see myself getting better or doing better. Lord, it has been such a fight to be obedient, submissive and trusting towards you. Father for so long all I have known is lost and despair. In coming to know Christ Jesus as my Savior, I guess my mind thought that my trials would be minimal, that I would dance and sing all the time. Lord, as of late this has not been the case. I know Lord that there are things, situations, emotions and feelings you either want to sever once and for all, or help me gain control over. Lord, help me to have peace in who you truly are, not what my flesh tries to convey or justify, so that I can justify in my flesh running from you instead of towards you. I need you Lord, just like I did twenty years ago when you spoke to me and I had never known you. I accepted the gift of Salvation joyfully.  I need you Lord to cut from the root of my soul, my heart all the lies, all the shame, all the guilt, or the confusion and doubt that I have carried that blocks joy from being mine in Christ. I know Lord my flesh, only because I am able to line it up with what you define as sinful in your Holy Word. Help me not to try and find comfort in some of your Word, but all of it. Forgive me for my partial sacrifice. Help me to give you all of me, not just my sunshine days of worship and praise, but to praise you when it is dry and barren. Lord I give you glory and pray that you will help me to see that you are Good and that your Love and Mercy, and Grace and Favor are still with me. That you don’t give up easily and your not intimidated by our rebellious temper tantrums, doubts, confusion or anger, but that you use it with your Word that is in our hearts to change us, make us whole and new before you, for your glory, and for us. Lord I thank you for the gift you have given me to write and share. Lord I pray that others will come to know you, be honest with you and trust that you will keep it hidden and safe in you. Help us heal from lost, help us heal from doubt, and help us know that we don’t have to lack anything good thing, because Jesus said….”My Father shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory.” Father let us see your glory, that even when our pockets are empty, our bank accounts are low, we lose homes, husbands, children, jobs, friends, churches or even our spiritual senses at times. You are willing to give us an abundance of richness in spirit, in truth, in heart and in soul. That is where the riches truly are in a spiritual loving walking relationship with you. In Jesus name I pray this right now. Amen and Amen.

Whatever….it takes

How often do we find ourselves wondering what have we given in our writings?

What we give in this life, and what we take is all part of a learning process. Almost a tug of war. A war that has been raging within us since the beginning of expression. Though for most of us, we can barely find the voice that anyone can hear, and for some we jump anxiously upon pages and pages of eyes. Standing out front and center where all can see, nothing is hidden, though we try skillfully to conceal who we really are. I have found that when you have beauty, art and life there isn’t any distance you can go that you won’t leave a lasting mark. Whatever we connect to, whatever we find worthy of touching and consuming, it takes. Whether one may find themselves exhausted by the demands of this life, in the demand, something is taken. Whether it is the rolling thunder of the soul and the purpose of one’s existence, the purpose shall take at will. I found that in the process of growing past the boundaries and limitations; beyond the high expectations and frustrations…..all of it is worth exploring. For sooner than later……whatever has to be given, then wait patiently for the return….then it will surely be worth whatever it takes.  In all pursuits remember, it takes time and attention to examine the interest of our hearts. It takes time to find the moment when you are satisfied with the venture and the outcome and you rest.

Either way, whatever it is….it takes.

Assumptions

Don’t hear my past and think you have conjured up my story.

Don’t assume that when you look at me

you think you have summed up all that I am

Where I have been and what I have seen

Already you are limited.

Don’t grasp a few words and consider

that you have arrived at the complexity of the mind that holds me

The vision that pushes me forward, or the platform where I land my feet.

Take deep breaths before you word me, trying to console me

In thinking that you have reached some high place,

yet you have barely touched a chord on my instrument.

Everyone assumes, when I was here, or there

and still their memory grows faint of my walk and my talk

You, there I see still stuck on the what could have and what used to be

My elevation leaves you to wonder is she still

I confess, yes, I am still

Will remain, will press forward, will keep it moving

You, I will leave, holding what used to be of me,

what I can no longer carry

Yet, you weigh yourself down holding true to the former,

wondering can she still be?

Today, I choose to be the present thing that took my rightful place

That me that looks back for a glance and whispers……..

I have made more room, enlarging my territory

beyond the minimal and mediocre

I have expanded my space

This strengthens me to push it all away

and take one last breathing of you to say…….

you have been erased.

 

Me, Maestro

Only I am the Maestro of my melody

For no other arms can outstretch themselves to the soothing of my inner man

Only I am the Maestro of my masterpiece

No hand has been able to touch the cords that string my

course along

Only I am the Maestro of my journey

For no man has seen the heights of how deep

my song can go

Only I am the Maestro of my Melody

I sing me softly, gently awakening the soul.

Point to the Love of the Cross

Spiritual chastisement isn’t beneficial to a carnal heart and mind when the one who is spiritually bankrupt does not know they have broken God’s laws.  We live in a world where the love of Christ is being fed to us as judgment and condemnation instead of freedom from darkness, a sweet release.  Even in the wilderness when the children of Israel murmured and complained, God still fed them, He waited patiently for them to get use to eating from His hand. He didn’t baby them, but performed love over and over again. His example was love and patience. When you have seats full in your church with broken hearts and broken souls force feeding them God’s law won’t heal anything but cause spiritual rebellion, for then man in his carnal mind doesn’t see Jesus as a deliverer, but one who only came to judge and condemn.  How do we bring the love of Jesus into our spiritual walk, how do we walk out love in discipleship? I share this because the love of this world is what I had learned and mastered and I confess I need to know more and more the nature of God who is Love, who gave His only begotten Son in His worthiness and deep sense of love. I hear the message of man, but loves message of Christ, I hear less and less. Who will teach the love of Christ instead of chastising us under the covering of the word love? 

Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus I pray that the power and the spirit of love will build faith, hope, confidence and trust in those who don’t know love God’s wa, that we will be opened to hear and receive it with gladness and joy. Father we have fallen short of the delivery of your love, I pray for those, as well as myself who seek your nature in the body of Christ, but we fail for we are busy working but not loving.  I pray that the corrupted seed, work, labor, and perversion of the love of this world  that the enemy has set up a pedestal upon will hold no more the children of God. I pray that the handicapped soul that can’t receive the full knowledge and understanding of God’s love will be opened, busted through unto the bowels of man to know the heights, the depths, the length and width of the love of Christ. I pray that the message of the love of Christ will be preached to no end to draw men unto Christ, and then when love is completely understood the men and women of God will rise up with the sword of truth in Jesus name and walk out faith, power and love through the Holy Spirit.  Lord where there is lack fill us and where there is a thirsty soul crying out to you, send your Word that we may thirst no more. In Jesus name I pray Amen.

Spreading the Blessing

Rom 8:28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”.

No Random Act of Kindness

By: Misha Campos

How often would one consider that when God is working all things out, others who may not know Him personally are reaping the benefits also? There was an anonymous email sent once that stated “The Lord was working on the situation, he was working on the people involved and on future situations at the same time”. Sometimes as Christians we declare God’s word, seeking him to move in “our favor”. We may at times want to be patient, or hope that it happens immediately, especially when there are some pressing issues at hand. Yet, how often do we consider that you’re not the only one being shown favor in the midst of your circumstance? Because of God’s goodness and love people are strategically placed to perform His will. How often even in the storms of our lives do we think of others more highly than ourselves? Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Though the Lord will be given all the glory for what He will do, there are many things that will take place that shine the light on Him. We live in a world where kindness can be hard to find. Like such situations with bill collections, landlords, bosses and even selfish family members. Life can be overwhelming for us when such things arise. A loss of a job, home or divorce; just to name a few. We can often feel beaten down, not able to catch a break or feel alone to have to carry such weight by oneself. God meets us in these unfortunate events, but are they really unfortunate events? What if the storm one encounters has a greater purpose than just a primary test for the believer? How do others come to know Christ? Someone had to go forth and share the good news. We aren’t told all the time how people take that good news forward, we just know they take the good news. Do we ever consider what their life situation is like, whether they have jobs, a bill to be paid, or a personal trial? If such a statement can be made and realized; If such a statement can be made apart from selfishness and self-centeredness, “that God knows the situation, everyone involved and the future outcome”…. then we can rest assured that for those who love God all things are working together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Though one can look at their situation, going to and fro seeking help or resources, though we walk by faith believing God to show up when we arrive and show us favor, it is no random act of kindness with the person we might meet up with that might just help out more than imagined; give in a way that was so unexpected or just say a kind gesture that would change the mood of the day. We not only know to give God glory, but by our behavior towards the present situation is a representation of the God we serve. The person that God strategically placed in your path, who might have cried out to God to see His love, see His grace, and see His goodness in a world where kindness is so dry like dead bones. We never may think to realize that the same people we are seeking help from, cried out not knowing what they were going to do themselves from life’s many struggles, but we can rejoice because we do know what to do, we pray to God.  If we hold to anything, we hold to hope, faith and love in Christ. We long to see God show up in our situations, circumstances, storms, trials and tribulations to pour out a word of encouragement, edification and lifting up, yet there are so many who don’t know the name of our God and what His son came to do. So, if we hold to this statement, “that God is working on the situation, everyone involved and the future outcome”, then we can admit that God is working in our favor and in the favor of those who may or may not know Christ, God has it all figured out and at best, we surely can’t do what He does. We all have to come to terms that we either work in the now, work with impatience, or work in a whirl. God on the other hand considers others more highly than us, for we have something amazing, we know Christ as our Savior, yet the one we encounter for the day might not know Him at all.

 

 

De-Pression

Depressed:

consumed by my fears, anxiety, confusion, walking towards the door, dressed and ready to go, but I can’t open it, sit back down, move, can’t, stuck. Ten thoughts, only wanting to execute one. Room spinning, nerves tied in a knot. Hungry, can’t eat. Losing weight, not trying to. Dazed, troubled, images distorted. Crying, eyes swollen, salt surrounding my eyelids. Sad nights, mornings want to be covered. Fatigue, breathe, nap, get up, sad again.

Grace:

strength, happiness, joy, courage, confidence, hope, faith, love, purpose, vision, dreams, prayer, fellowship, humility, self control, patience, kind, gentle, unstuck me,

Alive again!