Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Heart Condition

Its funny what the medical profession says we have to do in order for us to have a healthy heart when we compare it to what God says that we have to do. The funny comes in when we take more stock in what the medical profession has to say as opposed to the Word which truly sets us free. It doesn't matter how healthy a body can be, when the Word is neglected the heart condition can be fatal.

The Word tells us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34 KJV). It also tells us to let the Words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in His sight, O Lord, our Strength and Redeemer( Psalm 19:14 KJV). Another verse tells us to guard our hearts for out of it comes the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23 AMP). So when don't we adhere to these three scriptures for there to be such a heart condition? Have you ever wondered about people stating that their heart was broken for this or that reason and eventually they wind up in the hospital with a heart problem? Was it the words that were spoken to put them in that condition? What about couples in unresolved relationships and one of the two is with another? How is their heart? What is the emotions doing to that muscle at that given point in time; and over how many months or years does it have to recuperate, if at all. What if all of these people did all that the medical profession tells them and still with these matters of everyday life there is still a problem? Would the medical profession turn to the Word or is that your responsibility?

I was looking at the Housewives of New York, a reality program on Bravo, one of the housewives told her husband before they got married, "you have my heart, be careful with it." It sounded so poignant and perhaps quite beautiful in expression of one's love toward another; however, would that not be true for all couples who marry? When two people become one, don't they give themselves to the other? How else are they becoming one? When those promises are made before family, friends, and God aren't those two people making that life long commitment because they couldn't see themselves with any one else for as long as they live? So then what happens to the heart when those promises are broken and the two are torn from each other to become one again? What does the heart look like and does it give us all a visual as to why God hates divorce?

The turmoil each and everyone of us face because of the various aspects of life and how we deal with them, places much stress on our bodies and hearts if we allow it to do so (Philippians 4:6 AMP). The matters pertaining to other people and trying to change them for our own peace of mind is a task that is impossible; yet generation after generation still try to achieve this heart rendering work giving up years later with no change in sight.  Exhausted, the realization comes that the change is from within to make any situation better. Why does it take so long to realize this? Are we so selfish or conceited to believe we have made all of the changes we need to and now the problem is the other person and not ourselves?

A couple looking to marry soon has an argument (Colossians 3:13 KJV). He just finds out that his fiancĂ©e wasn't looking to have a family any time soon but plans to travel and have fun before she is too old to enjoy it. He was planning to have a family before he is too old to enjoy his children. When the realization strikes that their goals were too different to come to a compromise, he states, "I can't believe how retarded she is." Really? Who is the slow one here? Why didn't he know this about her already before getting so invested into the relationship? And when does a couple, who isn't married, allow the light to come on and hear God say, this person isn't for you? Does a couple have to argue all the way down the aisle, fuss through the vows, allow the children to hear the chaos between their parents before saying, "you know, we should have never got together." Who is slow among you?

God tempts no man to evil. If he/she is tempted to do something that is clearly defined in the Word not to do it, it is a character flaw and something we can all see in ourselves. This is God speaking. He tells us that He tries the hearts of men. Why would He do this? It is for us to see in ourselves where we need to improve upon to keep a healthy heart - a heart that is made for Him in order for us to have the peace He intended for us. God is good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Protect The Anointing

I suppose it is what the pastors do when they have about 6-12 deacons walk with him/her to the podium or to their perspective seats. I heard a pastor say that he assigns such an entourage to the guest speakers because the members or visitors will reach for them and distract them from their message. I figured it was so that when touched virtue wouldn't be perceived to have left him/her. You know, like what happened to Jesus with the woman who had the issue of blood (Luke 8:42-48 KJV). The only thing I find a little disturbing is to go through such drastic measures for the congregation to see this man (or woman) of God is really protected. Where is the faith?

There have been recent reports of pastors and ministers going through all sorts of turmoil. From scandalous affairs to acts not becoming of a Christian much less a pastor of a church. I recall when I first heard of anything scandalous, I cried as if it happened to someone in my family (1 Corinthians 12:20-26 KJV). It was actually a grieving process I went through. I didn't think about the anointing then, but now that it has been mentioned, where is the entourage when you really need it? Someone or something had reached out and disturbed the message in order for a scandal to break out. Someone or something disturbed the flow in order for an affair to have happened. Someone or something distracted the sermon from going forth. Is it only important to have the protection when in church services to preach a message? What about throughout a person's day? Who is protecting all of the other anointed people?

Is it clear that to make such a dramatic scene for a number of men to follow a speaker is specifically staged for entertainment? The men can no more protect the anointing on the speakers then they can in protecting the anointing on their own lives. Maybe baby Christians needed to see that before getting a complete understanding.  All of the disciples that was around Jesus to get Him through the throngs of people didn't keep the woman with the issue of blood from touching Him. For He asked, "Who touched Me?"

One of the pastors I heard preaching said in one of the many messages, "you must watch what you hear, see, and say." That simple statement is the weapon in protecting the anointing. If anyone ever wonders what happened to such and such pastor or ministry? It is because of what he/she heard, said, or thought of to do that caused the ministry to change or close.

I was invited to a woman's retreat so many years ago. It was so peaceful and anointed for the entire weekend. I was relaxed and in such a state of peace and joy, I didn't have any desire to leave and go back home to deal with all of the tasks I had to do. When I got home, I didn't watch television. I stayed to myself and prayed and read my bible. That joy and peace continued for awhile. But then the weekend was coming to an end and I had to think along the lines of getting my schedule together to manage the rest of my week. In so doing I got back in my regular routine and when finished I sat down and began watching my usual programs on T.V. It was then I became aware of that peacefulness I had coming back from the retreat wasn't the same. In fact, I was started to feel "normal" again. Not that "normal" was bad, it just wasn't ... well, like angels singing on high feeling. Could one feel like that all of the time or did I make it disappear because of what I was doing, thinking, watching, and saying?

The blood that was shed on the cross is all of the protection we need. When people were coming to stone Jesus for what He said, He was able to walk through the crowd of people without anyone seeing Him. How could that be? God gives those who He has called an anointing to do what he has called for us to do. He is the Almighty One... the Creator of all. We do have a responsibility to maintain what has been given to us - that is, if we are strong enough to stand (Galatians 5:1 KJV). It is the purpose for the helps and five fold ministries (1 Corinthians 12:27-31 KJV). It is the purpose for the studying of the Word (Joshua 1:8 AMP). It is why we have sought out the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33 KJV). Is why we keep from arguing (James 1:20 KJV). It is why we do what we do (Matthew 22:36-40 AMP). If it is too difficult for you to do - then the entourage is understandable (Romans 8:5-7 KJV).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Under The Influence

To be sober one might think it to mean, not to be intoxicated (Titus 2:6 KJV). How? Obviously with substances that influence the behavior of the individual. Initially, the first sort of substance that one believes could do this is alcohol, the second being drugs or vice versa. So with it being a command and linking with a similar command for us to be alert (1 Thessalonians 5:6 AMP), why would these scriptures be misinterpreted to mean otherwise? Still, to those who can hear and not to be hearers only, that believer can only understand that with being sober minded the next step would be much easier. To be sober is for the purpose to do another command - watch and pray (Matthew 26:41 KJV).

Now as much as we have stayed away from the obvious, there has been behavior reported that is conducive with being under the influence. How can that be when we made the decision to stay away from alcohol (and/or drugs)? Some have interpreted "the wine" written in the scriptures to mean juice and therefore is delivered from drinking strong drink (meaning, they can do so); however, in the book of Proverbs it states to give strong drink to the man ready to die (Proverbs 31:6). How does that verse apply to the so-called deliverance of staying away from strong drink? It is a debate that takes more time than it should to explain to those who are determined to drink wine no matter what.

Be as it may, to be sober is to be alert. How can this be when the words we speak states other wise:

Her eyes are captivating.
Her perfume is intoxicating.
His muscles are insane.
My children are driving me crazy.

Each one of those statements, and there are others, sounds so familiar to the point of being normal to say in our everyday language. How sobering is it when you find yourself trapped, have racing thoughts, depressed, or disoriented? Yet the dunamis powered, anointed child of the living God spoke it into existence? Is that being under the influence? The influence of what?

In my prayers before writing, I started wondering why some men would say certain things. It was boggling to me. Not just men because sinners are under an entirely defiant regime than those who know better. We know better. So how or why would men of God say such things when they know better? While I was thinking this and it causing me some anguish, I asked God in prayer, why? Only my question was more elaborate and ended with, "what do men think about?" I paused for an answer and heard nothing but the anguish I was experiencing subsided. It wasn't too much longer before that when the same certain men would speak and it made sense. I began to look at things differently and even my thoughts changed. I didn't notice it until what I used to do in my ordinary habits changed. I no longer had the desire to do them. I began being distracted about trivial and mundane matters. I worried about things that I never worried about before. I thought something was physical and/or emotionally wrong with me. I sought spiritual counseling first and then medical. Nothing said or done made matters any better. Of course there was prayer but unless I could convey what I asked for, I couldn't get the help I needed. Why didn't God just tell the minister/counselor (a matter that is a blog in of itself)?

I was under the influence of what I asked for. Did I ask for an understanding of what men think about? No. I asked what do they think about. I got the real deal from lude thoughts to the "supposed" rational logic. I didn't like it and as soon as I understood what I had done, I asked forgiveness and turned from that wicked way. Why wicked? Because it is always so much better to have the mind of Christ then wonder what mere men think about.

I suppose one could think this subject as being trivial and couldn't possibly be the reason as to why matters happen in one's life as it does; however, if we live by the Word then it is what I refer to and those trivial matters can be seen much more clearly when noting that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine.

Still, there are other ways that an influence other then the Word can cause men to do strange things. You would think that believers are void of such behavior...well, we pray and keep the faith that the peculiar nation is above such frivolity. However, when taking pride in being a workaholic, a shopping maniac, or addicted to  this or that... you get what you get. Personally, I liked being a workaholic. It was opposing being lazy. I liked getting the job done and at the ready to do something else whether others were ready or not. I didn't take pride in it (being an issue all by itself); yet it was pleasing when standing at the completed goal. I got so wrapped up in obtaining the goal, I became a multi-tasker and forgot about taking the time to rest. I know I wrote about the Sabbath before, so I won't go back into that; nevertheless, I was exhausted from all of the work and didn't recognize it... but God. It happened when I was at the mall with my children when they were much smaller. I decided to treat them to a movie and a malted afterwards. It was so Happy Days - ish and therefore wholesome to me. I was looking forward to introducing them to a root beer float - something that I recently started liking having never a fondness of root beer in my childhood because it was never introduced to me. Once they had their food and drink, I took a long swallow of mine enjoying the creaminess of the ice cream coupled with the undeniable flavor of sasparilla . Delicious, I thought until I studied what my children were doing. They were eating the hamburger but wouldn't touch their drink. I waited to see if they were savoring it until last... but no. I asked what's the matter? The next to the youngest son said he didn't want to hurt my feelings. I guess I did do such a build up for the drink. I reassured him that he could say whatever and I wouldn't be hurtful. After coaxing him he finally revealed that the drink that I came to enjoy and knew they would like too tasted like tooth paste. Once he said it out loud his siblings chimed in, "yeah, thats what it is. I couldn't think of what that taste was. Its tooth paste!" Toothpaste? Nah, they're crazy, I thought, taking another swallow remembering this morning, doing my usual hygienic regime. The wonderful creaminess, the sasparilla, the straw... does taste like toothpaste. Crap!

Later, I thought about that afternoon with my children. It had been awhile since I drank a root beer float even though it was a treat to me before that day - I just didn't have a desire for it anymore. Why? Was it because of my children and what they didn't like even though I liked it? Why then could I have changed my mind so quickly? What power, if any, did they have on me? It was a suggestion. Their opinion, not necessarily mine. Did I give place to the enemy (Ephesians 4:27 KJV)? If so, when?

There is a time for everything and negating that time with God or not knowing when to be still to hear from God is dangerous. Its like driving under the influence for a believer. In scripture, Martha and Mary have a house guest - Jesus! One sits at Jesus' feet to hear all that He has to say while the other busies herself with more then likely getting food and making sure there is enough to make Him more comfortable (Luke 10:38-42 AMP). Yet, what is the most important thing while He is right there in your home? Should preparations be before, during or after His presence? Consider the parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:1-13 KJV).

I worked non-stop for about 10 days. I had put off taking my children anywhere, as opposed to every weekend, because I had other tasks to finish during those 10 days. I couldn't tell you what movie we saw in parts of their childhood because when the lights dimmed for the show, I relaxed and went to sleep. Obviously, I wasn't alert. How was my prayer life? I couldn't tell you. Would it have been easy to be influenced by certain things in that state? Could I have been tossed to and for with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:9-15 KJV)? Could there have been something stronger to overtake me (Luke 11:21-26 KJV)?

I thought about that scripture in particular, many times. I couldn't comprehend, if God is on my side how could there be anything stronger to overtake me? I meditated on the Almighty God being my friend and never leaving or forsaking me and having the whole armor of God on. He is for me. How could a soldier in the army of God be overtaken? Is there one stronger? What did that verse mean? Then I could picture a knight in his full armor leaning against a rock. He is tired and exhausted from his journey or the fight he had previously. He obviously won and needed rest for the tasks to come. He took a moment against this rock. Slowly his head stopped bouncing resisting the heaviness of his eye lids and finally his breathing was slow and labored as he drifted off to sleep. His sword and shield in one hand and strapped to the other arm ready for battle, slowly slumped to one side and the sword made a wedge to rest in the dirt - handle against his thigh. Finally, after so much work he could take a small nap. He will be refreshed after just a few minutes. Still, the enemy comes to do what his purpose is to do (John 10:10 KJV). He was waiting for this time of exhaustion. Now he can tempt, taunt, and cause anguish. He can influence, change thinking with suggestions, and do some real damage. It happens in families when a child becomes rebellious for no other reason. It happens when a spouse decides to commit adultery. It happens when there is a tragic accident. Why didn't God stop this from happening? He did when He told us to stay alert and pray. Its not why God why? Its why didn't I listen? Why couldn't I hear Him?