Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Farm Life

What if life were like living on a farm? Things wouldn't be as difficult. If you needed anything of sustenance, all you would have to do is go out to the barn for the milk and eggs and any other food items would be right out in the middle of the field. What ever you planted, that's what you would live off of. People don't do it because they think it would be back breaking hard work. But if you knew that it is more beneficial for you and that it would improve your health, would it still be hard?

I was watching this reality show where this father and husband was in a financial and legal battle. He was at a quandary as to what to do. As he pondered over the matter, he thought about his childhood and went out to purchase chickens. He remembered how simple his life used to be. His wife didn't understand why he would do such a thing since they have been city folk most of their lives and their children really didn't understand it. Later in the episode, their German Shepherd dogs that were having more of an issue then the entire family had an early morning snack even before any of the family woke up. A bloody mess and nothing the children should have seen - yet, it was an opportunity for a lesson, if he only knew. It was an interesting plight of this man, who was trying to make sense of all of his legal battles and what he found comforting was to find something in his childhood that was carefree. Yet he never taught his children those values and he didn't choose a wife with those simplistic traits. Because of his choices, the dogs, indicative to his own personality, did what their instincts told them to do. He was not surprised. The children were devastated having only seen chickens for the first time the day before.

A divorced father had partial custody of his children. While they were growing up and he was still married, he was harsh with his words and in disciplining them. He would almost always use corporal punishment. His wife warned him, if he continued in that manner, the children would become immune to the beatings and they would resent him. Believing he was doing the right thing in raising his children, he continued. Now his children are grown with lives of their own. The divorced father has grand children that he doesn't see unless he calls and pleads for them to come and visit. There are many things that his children are talented in and many things their father needs help with, yet instead of asking, he uses the fact that they have been raised as Christians to manipulate them. Resenting the predicament he created and waffling with what they know in Christ, they try to avoid him whenever possible. He is amused with their efforts.

A young man finished high school and struggled through his undergrad years of college. He made some contacts and some associates but was never close enough to anyone to call them a friend. While trying to get a job, he heard of an opportunity in a company from one of his classmates. At first chance he got, he looked into getting the job. Once he landed the position, he focused on doing well for his superiors to notice him so he could be promoted or at the least get a raise. In the mean time, his classmate asked if he could put in a good word so he could get a job as well seeing they were both in the same field. The young man explained now that they have entered into the corporate world, things work differently and he has to look out for his best interests. His classmate looked at him bewildered wondering if he meant what it sounded like. If it weren't for him telling about the job he would have never known. The young man patted the shoulder of his class mate and said, "good luck."

The Word tells us if we have the faith of a mustard seed that we could do great things (Matthew 17:20 AMP). It continues to describe all what a mustard seed can do. If sown into good ground and taken care of, that seed will grow strong and be able not only to withstand the harvest of crops but could also house nests for birds (Luke 13:19 AMP). Through out the bible, the Word continues to use sowing and reaping as analogies for us to use in our day to day lives. When there is such a struggle for everything, we are quick to believe that it is supposed to be this way. If this is true, what is the abundant life that Jesus came to give? I ask this continually because Christians believe we are supposed to struggle throughout the life we chose to live. It simply is not true.

We make decisions. If those decisions are contrary to the Word, there will be a struggle to resolve the issue (1 Corinthians 6:12 AMP). The man with the financial and legal battles had much to deal with because of his dishonest practices. He could simply apologize and make good on his promises in order for his life to resume in peace. Instead he creates a childhood memory to gain some sort of stability in his life. Yet his dogs destroy it which is indicative of the life seeds he has sown. The divorced father with partial custody of his children might be amused with his manipulative antics as he was when they were children. Yet he is already begging for his children to come see him. If he doesn't change, and sow better seed this man is already experiencing the harvest he had sown for the majority of his life (Ephesians 6:4 AMP). The young man ceased an opportunity that came upon him through information. While he can justify why the classmate didn't seek the position for himself, he was not incapable of assisting his classmate in obtaining the position. Disregarding in helping is also seed sown. Though he wished his classmate good luck, the classmate should have said the same thing to him (Matthew 7:9 AMP).

Here is a question that true believers have issues with. The flesh continually wars with the Spirit and the Spirit wars with the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25 AMP). How long does this last? If the flesh is crucified daily and we grow to be more like Christ, are we still warring with the same issues that we know better not to do (John 15: 1-27 AMP)? Aren't we supposed to do better because we know better or do we need the milk of the Word again?

With each struggle there is a lesson learned and a means by which it is manifested. The Word tells us everything that the Lord has not planted, He will pull up by the root (Matthew 15:13 AMP). So if there is a hardship that continually comes your way, ask God where did that particular seed comes from and how you can change it to receive a better harvest (Galatians 6:9 AMP). He hears the prays of the righteous. If you truly desire to be back on the right path, do your due diligence and pray. It is a command that is required anyway. Consider it the labor of a different sort of farmer. Its how he lives (James 5:7-20 AMP).

Saturday, January 10, 2015

God Said Okay Because You Said Okay

Do you meditate on an issue you are going through or do you pray about it and let it go? What if you were the reason for the issue and if you had not said, thought, or reacted in the way that you did, you wouldn't be going through what you are going through? Sounds like a riddle, doesn't it (1 Timothy 4 AMP)?

This came to me, as many things do when I write an entry to this blog or when I hear ministers preach. How can a minister, preacher, pastor, or evangelist have people come to the alter to cancel out the enemy's assignment if God told the enemy that he could be there? Let's just say that because of the power of God is on the minister, at the time, that the assignment is taken off of the person while at the alter. The person undoubtedly feels better but the moment he/she leaves the alter or the building, the issue, bad feeling, or problem comes back (Luke 11:21-26 AMP)? What does that person do?

Hmm. What actually happens, the person is distressed and/or anxious for those feelings to cease completely and begins to find some other solution. The Word tells us to seek a multiple of counselors for safety (Proverbs 11:4 AMP). That takes time not only to make an appointment but to see all of those people and hearing all of those opinions that may or may not come from God. In all of that time, the feelings or the issues continue. What is it and why is it lingering? Why didn't the prayer that the minister prayed over you stick?

Could Saul have felt that way when he was after David? There he was living in the palace and loving kingdom life when out of the blue, he started to feel anxious. David's singing and playing the lyre is what calmed him (1 Samuel 16:23 AMP). It calmed him so much that he had David travel with him. Fighting in wars, David was right there. David also learned from Saul, though he had power and strength of his own believing in God completely for everything. Isn't that the division between the two of them? We could see that when they came back from a fight and the people sung more favorably for David then they did for Saul. Saul's immediate reaction was to get rid of the very thing that gave him comfort but it also took away his notoriety in the people. When Saul was premeditating on the murder of David, and David knew about it, his focus was to protect the anointing that he believed was on Saul as well (1 Samuel 24:1-22 AMP).

Two different issues (anxiety and jealousy) and both are sin; yet one way of reacting only made the issue worse and the other destroyed the problem altogether. If you recall, when Saul was coming after David, those feelings came back. He couldn't have David come sing them away anymore and plot for his death at the same time so he sought after a psychic (1 Samuel 28:7 AMP). On the other hand, David tried to reason with Saul and even showed that if he desired to, he could have killed him. Ironically, Saul committed suicide in the middle of one of those wars (1 Samuel 31:1-8 AMP).

As Christians, we live in a palace as well (1 Corinthians 6:19 AMP). We are required to keep it holy. Why? Because greater is He that is in me (us), then he that is in the world. In so doing, we learn to be fruitful (in the Holy Spirit) and multiply. While we maintain the kingdom, we continue to do what we are called to do. This means that we continue to walk in the Spirit, crucify the flesh daily and pray unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17 AMP). We are redeemed, the anointed, and the salt of the earth. We let our lights shine. So where would problems, issues, and trouble come from? Answer: Thinking, doing, and saying things outside of righteousness. God said not to give place to the devil. So then, why do we? Why do we react in anger? He has told us to be angry and sin not. Why do we speak profanely? Why do we use language so casually for God to damn this or that? Why when tested, we don't use the Word that was taught when going to church services every week? We have strange ways in reacting to common circumstances. When will we be the peculiar nation that God has set aside for Himself (Deuteronomy 14:2 AMP)?

The doctor says that you have such and so disease. You thank the doctor, receive the instructions given, and get radical!!! Now that you have the name of it, it has to bow to the name of Jesus. Everyday, get that Word out and do the battle that you have been fully armed for (Ephesians 6:11 AMP). Then ask God where this thing came from so you can change your behavior (thinking, saying, doing) and pull this thing up by the root.

Your spouse comes to you and says that he/she is not happy and would like a divorce. If that was an ambush and you didn't see it coming, do as the Word says to do. If there is nothing you can say, grant the peace God has called for you to have and get to praying if you desire for your family to stay together.

You are on a diet and live with your parents. They like fast food and constantly discourage you from losing that weight. If you are old enough and have a job, move out! Do what you need to keep the abundant life Jesus sacrificed to give to you and don't let anyone make you compromise those principles (Colossians 3:21 AMP).

You are new to the area and just found a friend that you think could be your best bud for life. Yet when in a department store your new found friend just lifted merchandise and pocketed it. Now he/she is looking to you to do the same thing. No one is around and you would never get caught. But God is watching you. Is it worth loosing the benefits of righteousness? How are you going to sleep tonight with that enemy knocking on your door ready to move in with 7 of his friends (Luke 11:26 AMP)? Do you really need that friendship that badly because if he/she did this with you, it is familiar and he/she will do it again. Are you ready to have the label of criminal or can you see a better way for yourself?

Its just time out in blaming God for what has transpired in your life and for the bad choices you have made. He is the Author and Finisher of your faith, still it is up to you to use it (Hebrews 12:2 KJV). If you know to do better, why do wrong and expect God to clean it up for you? It just doesn't work like that. You accepted Jesus as Lord. He tells you to be holy for He is holy. You attend church to be taught the Word of God and a better way in walking out this life. If your patience wears thin, its no one else's fault but your own. If you become frustrated because you don't wish to study the guide by which teaches you a better way, its your fault. If opposition meets you at every turn and your answer is to run away, opposition will keep meeting you until you face it. This is life. Embrace it and allow Jesus to be Lord over it. It is the only way.