Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Prodigal Living, Self-Indulgence and Self-Gratification

This verse broke my heart when I read it this morning:  James 5:5

"Here on earth you have abandoned yourselves to soft (prodigal) living and to the pleasures of self-indulgence and self-gratification.  You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter"

You may not be drinking, smoking, prostituting or doing any of those things that we as Christians consider "carnal" but there are other things we do.  As Christians, we are to be ever conscious of the God we serve.  To be wholly submitted to him and to walk only in his ways for us.  How many times has God told you to do a certain thing, but instead you chose to take a different route.  In your mind you are not sinning.  You are just making the decision that YOU think is best, but if it is not God's decision for you it is sin.

He says that we have taken the way of self-indulgence and self-gratification.  It is what I want.  What feels good to me.  We forget that God has our lives all mapped out according Psalm 139.  The days of our lives were planned out by him before any one of them ever came to be.  We have been sent here on earth with a mission to accomplish, but we have turned away from that mission and purpose and have created missions and purposes for ourselves outside of God's will.  Sadly, we still profess to know him and to walk in his ways.  We have deceived ourselves!!

One thing have I desired of the Lord and that will I seek after, that I may know Him as I am known by Him.  That I may find out and do the works which God predestined or planned beforehand for me to do.  Taking paths which He prepared ahead of time that I should walk in them (Eph 2:10).

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's a Love Triangle

A love triangle is often looked on as a bad thing but God has his own love triangle that he made for each one of us to enjoy.  If you are missing out on one aspect of this love triangle you will always feel unsatisfied, with an emptiness that does not go away.  However, God has made this triangle open for all.  We just have to walk up and have our fill.  

What I'm I talking about?  There are 3 kinds of love.  Agape - God's kind of love that is unconditional,  Philia - which is brotherly affection that we get from our friends, family and community and Eros - Romantic love.  All 3 meet a different need in one's life.  So if you have have friends who offer philia love and a husband who offers Ero's love, you will still have a deep desire for more love, in this case Agape.  My own need is for Ero's.  I have Agape, I have lots of philia but I am short on Ero's.  Because of that, I have a need for love that I cannot get from God or my friends.  Some people may look at me and say that God's love covers all my need for love but that is not true.  God cannot love me romantically.  He cannot not hug on me, kiss on me or be intimate with me sexually like a mate would.  The thing to realize is that God purposefully made us that way.  

I was talking to God about this emptiness I have that I couldn't at the time put a finger to and he led me to analyze some issues from my past.  I realized that where Ero's love is concerned I had become like Lazarus the poor man who longed for the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table.  The crumbs were all he ever got. He never sat at the table and ate his own portion.  God has laid out buffet tables of love.  Here I was, looking longingly at the Ero's table and only wishing for crumbs, because for some misguided reason I did not think I was good enough to sit at the table and have my fill of Ero's within God's plan and purpose for me.  What a shame!!!

There is a buffet table fully loaded with Agape love for you to enjoy.  Another table has all kinds of philia love just for you to have your fill.  The Ero's table is also heavy laden with all kinds of goodies.  Why sit here until you die?!!  Walk up to the table you have not enjoyed, sit down and claim your portion.  It's there for the taking!!

I am reminded of the story of the man who prepared a feast and sent his servants to go out and invite the guests for whom the feast was prepared.  The guests all had an excuse for why they could not come to the feast.  When the report came back to the man that none of his invited guests were coming to the party, for each had an excuse, he determined that his food would not go to waste.  So he sent out his servants to the highways and the bi-ways to bring in others who were not previously invited to come and enjoy the feast.

None shall take my place at any of the love banqueting tables.  I will take my portion and enjoy it with relish!  So, square your shoulders, take a deep breath and march purposefully to the love table you have been missing out on.  Take your place at the table, it was prepared for you before time begun.  Eat and drink without cost, for Jesus paid the price at Calvary and don't let the devil or anyone else for that matter, hold you back.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

That Devil Lied!!!

We are told that the devil is a liar and the father of all lies.  So much so, that when he lies he only speaks his native tongue.  No truth can be found in him at any one time.  Hence the reason why we should never allow him to speak to us.  

So I'm chilling by myself yesterday pondering my fast approaching birthday (I will turn 35) and considering all the things that I wanted to have achieved by now.  I have achieved much and I am on track with everything else except the marriage and kids thing.  Suddenly, from nowhere, I get hit by a feeling of despondency and despair and the devil begins to speak.  It took me a second to realize it was him speaking so I gave him ear for a minute.  

I start thinking that marriage will never happen.  Here I am waiting for God to hook things up in his time and the question pops into my mind, "what time?"  If I am turning 35 and he has not done it, which other time is there? Then another thought pops into my head "How about adopting kids and moving on with your life?" I'm like "Yeah!! I could do that!" then God, the voice of reason and peace breaks through all the demonic noise and says "Listen to your inner self.  Is that what you really want to do?"

So I close out all the noise and get quiet and just listen to my inner self.  The answer comes to me clear as crystal.  I don't want kids without a husband.  I want the security of marriage in which to raise my godly offspring according to Malachi 3.  What a relief to have all the crazy thoughts expelled and to know exactly what I want.  

Someone may ask, "Isn't it time to give up the notion and start working on plan B?" I have!  Plan B, C, D...Z are all the same and they are spelled out very clearly in Psalm 46:10 in God's own words: "Be still and know that I am God..."  I will be still and I will let God be God in my life.  Hallelujah! What peace!! What joy!! I don't have to worry about a thing.  My God is working it all out for me!!

Monday, July 11, 2011


I think I'm going through a phase.  I'm not sure what phase, but a phase.  I am restless about life and feel like I need to make a change... but what change should I make? I have no motivation to do anything. Work feels like a bother and my personal ambition has taken a nose dive.  That shocks even me. I wake up in the morning feeling great only to feel like going back to bed after 2 hours.  What is this?  I am not at all depressed or anything like that.  I'm just in limbo...I HATE LIMBO!!

I am praying that God will show me what needs to change and that I will have the courage to change it.  One thing's for sure, I am still excited about life and I know that the best is yet to come...just as soon as I get out of limbo.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tongue's of Fire!

What is it about the Holy Spirit and the Tongue?  Why is it that he takes over your speech when he comes in making tongues the immediate, visible indication of his infilling? Well, Proverbs 18:21 and James 3:1-12 explain things to us.

First of all, the power of life and death is in the tongue.  You eat the fruit of your tongue in this life.  Secondly, James goes into a whole discourse on the tongue.  He says that the tongue is on fire. Before we are redeemed, our tongue is lit on fire by hell.  You have to understand this, the tongue is always on fire.  The question is, which fire lights up your tongue?  

The description of the unredeemed tongue given by James in vs 6-8 is as follows:

a) It is a world of wickedness
b) It contaminates and depraves the whole body
c) It is lit up by hell and then goes on to set your whole body on fire with the same hellish flame
d) It is a restless, undisciplined and irreconcilable evil.
e) It is full of deadly poison

That said, I couldn't help but notice that James compares the tongue to the radar of a ship.  The radar sets the direction of the ship even against strong winds.  In the same way, your tongue sets the direction of your life, regardless of what you face in life.  That tells me that whatever force controls your tongue, controls and leads your life in the direction that it needs you to go. Another comparison made by James is that of a bit in a horses mouth.  Using the bit, one is able to make the horse go wherever they want.  The bit, controls the direction of the horse.  In the same way, your tongue controls the direction of your life, whether this way or that.  And the force controlling your tongue, is the force that is directing your life.

That said, the horror of having a tongue lit by the fires of hell is quite vivid.  It means that hell or the devil, controls the direction your life takes.  In this case, you are making your way to death at a steady and quick pace.  It is therefore no wonder that when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost he manifested himself as tongues of fire and then went on to take control of the tongue by causing the 120 saints in the upper room to speak in tongues.  In my own personal opinion, the fire of God touched them, setting their tongues aflame with the fire of heaven.  They now had a new controlling force.  The Holy Spirit of God, who could turn the bit or radar in the direction of heaven.  Their lives were turned around so that now instead of walking towards death, they could walk towards life.

The call of Isaiah in Chapter 6 is very interesting to me.  The moment he sees the vision of the Lord he realizes what a mess he is.  He is immediately concerned with his filth but specifically he draws attention to his speech.  He says "...I have filthy lips, and I live among people with filthy lips..."  He realizes that his tongue is off.  Funny enough, the cure for his corrupt speech is a coal of fire from the altar of the Lord.  Once his mouth is touched with that Holy fire he is not just cleansed from his filth, but his tongue, his control point, is lit with a new fire.  God's own holy fire!  Next he is commissioned with the following words "...go and say to this people..."  Once the fire of God has touched his lips he can now speak life giving words.  (The correction of God, even when it seems harsh, is always life giving).

The reason the Holy Spirit takes over the tongue first, is to put out the strange fire from the enemies camp and light it with fire from God's Holy altar.  With your tongue now lit with Holy fire, your life can fully be under the control of the Holy Ghost who can then lead you in the ways of the Lord and in the path of righteousness.  What then can we say?  Sweet Holy Spirit, I give you my tongue, my control point.  Kill the strange fire of the enemy, and light my tongue with Holy fire from the altar of the Lord.  Take my life and turn it this way and that so that I am walking the path of righteousness at all times.  Thank you for redemption and for taking me over in Jesus Holy and Mighty name I pray, Amen!!