Just Dance

A while back, I had the opportunity to take some dance lessons. I loved it! I had danced through my youth, but had never done any partner dances, this was something completely new for me. I learned something about myself during those lessons, I was not a good follower. It took A LOT of effort on my part to silence my own mind and become aware enough of my partner to do what he was leading and not what I felt worked with music.

For me, my walk with the Lord has become a dance, remembering to take time to stop, settle my mind, and really LISTEN to what God is saying. I need Him minute by minute, I need to be aware of His presence. Not because I am anxious that I may do the wrong thing, but because I don’t want to miss anything that HE might want. This year, I have committed to reading the Bible through at least twice. One of the things that you can’t help but to notice is that you can’t predict the stories! Think about it, twice God tells the people of Israel to just move forward and the water will move. Jesus did too many miracles to count, I have no reason to believe that God who has been a personal and miraculous God since the days of creation would not be personal and miraculous with me.

Just as God once told Abraham, the Iraelites, Jonah, and so many others, he has told me where to go. Sounds easy right? When you get a command from God you follow it. Sometimes, the reality is that it is not easy. God will do His part, I believe this, but He is waiting for me to do mine and show that I will have faith in him no matter what. I don’t want to lose sight of Him and end up like Jonah and end up in the belly of a whale or more likely, like the Israelites stuck in the wilderness for forty years.

Thus, I lean in closer, focus all of faculties on Him and wait for the Spirit to move me. God does not need me to accomplish his plan, but by grace he chooses to use me. When I will put myself in His hands. What about you? Can He have this dance today?

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And it was Good

Key word here would be was. At the time that God created everything, He declared that it was good. Webster’s dictionary has several definitions of the word good, but I like the one that says conforming to a standard. God’s standard is clearly set forth through out the Bible as being Holy, set apart, perfect. We all know that the world is a fallen place. That each one of us is a sinner by nature and by choice. God is a holy and perfect God, but He is also a God of mercy. Adam and Eve enjoyed an amazing opportunity to commune with the Lord. After the fall, this was no longer an option.

During the old testament times the average person was not allowed into the Holy area of the temple, nor were they allowed to eat holy food of priests, or even to touch certain implements. The sacrifices that were made to God were enough to keep the wrath of God at bay, this is such a beautiful foreshadow of the restoration that we can now know. These offerings were offered by those who has sinned unknowingly. This is a clear statement that having good intentions is insufficient, that being sinful did not require willfully disobeying God. Simply put, we are sinners by nature and just trying to be good is not enough.

Under the new covenant, because Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice we have become the temple of God.
He can make our hearts good, if he will let Him. He can give us the mind of God, but we must first be willing to lay down our lives and be sanctified. We must be holy as he holy. There certain things the as Christians we simply ought not be doing.

1 Corinthians 2:14-17 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

As I again read through the old testament one thing is increasingly clear – God does not play games with individuals and nations who know what is right and rebel against Him. God is in control of everything and he has destroyed nations whose hearts were against him. Reading the scripture below, the question of whether or not America has reached this point? The Attitudes of America toward God is very disheartening. We were once a nation of people who put our trust in Him and we have become a nation where His name can barely be mentioned. WE must pray. Pray for our leaders. Pray for our people. Pray for our churches. Then we must serve, each person that calls themselves a child of God needs to commit to living fully for Him. As Israel wandered away and returned begging forgiveness we can as well. We have by spiritual adoption become the descendants of Abraham.

Leviticus 1824-30 24 ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its [a]punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. 26 But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you 27 (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); 28 so that the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. 29 For whoever does any of these abominations, [b]those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. 30 Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God.’”

Taught of Him

In the wake of countless disasters, the most recent of course in Oklahoma, I can’t help but to wonder how many of those people suffered ultimate disaster without ever having heard the gospel of Christ. Christianity has universality, by this I mean that those who will believe without regard to who they are, there is no one the wrong age, gender, ethnicity and so on. The people that God will call come from all areas of the world, they speak all languages, and they are of all ages. The people called by God come from all backgrounds, they have committed all manner of sins. There is no sin too great to prevent you from coming to God. He will clean you up and change you no matter what. The price of being able to be called sons of God was the life of Jesus, a cost far too high for the finite minds of imperfect people to decide that a person will not respond to the gospel of Jesus. We should be following the great commission and telling every man, women, and child about the grace that can be found in Jesus. That though we were once blind, we can see, that all can be forgiven and we can know God personally. In our sin we can’t, but in HIS grace we can.

John 3:15 – 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

Our part is to share the gospel. God’s part is to awaken the souls of dead men and to teach them the real meaning and purpose of life.

John 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself

John 6:44-47 “No one can come to Me unless * the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day” It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.

In both of these instances, the word draw is original Greek word meaning to drag. This is not an act that the individual has any real part in. The are dragged to God, by God. It is His spirit that teaches us, not ours that learns. This is the case so that no man can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.

This point of view of course always begs the question, Why would God choose one man over another man, (or women, or child). To that, I have no answer. I just know that my redeemer lives. I am humbled that he has chosen me and pray for those who do not know him yet. God is God, in His infinite wisdom he is far more qualified than I to make these decisions. If God could be fully understood in my finite mind, would he be God?

This is why, I will draw near to Him and share the gospel to a world that is lost and dying. I will remember that Hell is also universal, we all deserve it and many will find this their home after they pass on from this life. I will be His light to all who will be around me and trust that God will do the rest.

Pain

Physical pain has a purpose. If you touch a hot stove pain will be felt to tell you to move your hand before your hand is terribly burned. The quicker we respond, the less damage there will be. This pain can be a blessing, it tells us that something is very seriously wrong.

Our emotional pain can be the same blessing for us. When there is pain in our lives often this is a sign that there is something in our lives that needs to change. There are always going to be things that we can change, so that we can be closer to him. For example, for many financial pain is the result of having made poor choices regarding the money that comes in. We can’t spend more than we make for long or the end result will be not having enough money.

Some painful situations come into our lives at no fault of our own. That doesn’t mean; however, that God can’t or won’t use that situation to refine our souls. Gold is not a pure and beautiful substance until it has been boiled and all of the impurities have been skimmed off. A master goldsmith, knows just the right amount of heat to apply to cause the impurities to surface so they can be removed. God is our master goldsmith and he knows just what we need to make us pure and holy.

Think of Joseph. His brothers meant him harm, but God used the situation to save many people. Even the things that are introduced to our lives through the enemy or through sinful people can be used to make us like him. The pressure on us can break us up or it can press us into diamonds. The word says we are pressed, but not crushed; persecuted not abandoned. God is with us. The road that he would have us on is not always, maybe even rarely, the easy one. The promise of the Word is that there is hope and a savior that we can lean on.

As His children, we are not only not exempt from hardship, but often brought to it. Lean hard into Him submit to his will, say it is no longer I who lives, but Christ through me and he will will allow you to die to yourself and become fruitful to him. A seed can only grow once it is crushed. Will you let our great goldsmith refine you so that you can better reflect him to a lost and dying world?

When God Speaks

God is a living God, he will speak to us through our scripture reading and he will speak to our daily lives, but he will never give us revelation that alters, adds too, or takes away from the Bible. Revelation from the Holy Spirit will give us understanding of his word,but again, this is not some secret understanding. God had one intended meaning. Any revelation or understanding that we have will always pass the test of interpretation in light of other scripture.

As we are told in 2 cor. our minds are darkened by the enemy and it is only with the light of the Holy Spirit that we can have understanding of the word of God. The word of God will address every major issue that you face and as God’s children we should be in it daily, seeking His face. God knows even the number of hairs on our heads, He cares for every aspect of our lives.

There will be specific issues that you will come to the lord with that we must seek God about. Things like which college should I go to, who should I marry, and other things specific to our lives and in many cases prayerfully reading the scripture will answer even those questions, but sometimes, there is another way that God speaks; however, is to give us specific instruction. This often comes to me as a sense of the spirit wanting me to do something. These messages from God again will not alter, add to, or take away from scripture. For example, if you find yourself saying God wants me to date that unsaved person, so that I can witness to him or God wants me to steal money to give it to the church, stop it. If you find yourself using God to excuse sinful behavior then stop it. He will never tell you to do something that is against his word.

Seek Him with all your heart, with all your strength and with all your might, seek him first and you will find him.