Jesus Christ: Cast a Vision

When the Spirit speaks, it’s necessary to act, and encourage others to do so. Yet before action takes place it is necessary to cast a vision, one with clarity and simplicity. Now, what exactly meant by a vision? It’s simply asking the question of where are we going from here.

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15.

Indeed, the time had come. It’s so important to proclaim a vision at the right time. Old testament prophecies that a messiah would come were fulfilled, and it was time for Christ’s twofold proclamation. This proclamation consisted of encouragement and exhortation. By declaring that “The Kingdom of God is near,” Jesus sent a message of hope. Yet along with that was a tinge of urgency that progressed into His call to action, “Repent and believe the good news!”

In this verse we see that Jesus acknowledged the timing of his proclamation, gave a crucial hint of what was to come, and an imploration of what should be done in the present instant. The time had come to proclaim the truth of the future and the fact of the present. And the simplicity in His proclamation is such an example and lesson to us that we do not need to ‘dress up’ what the Spirit is calling us to do. It must be direct and to the point so that when we share it with others, they can easily get the picture.

You see, Jesus’ call to evangelism was in fact his vision. A vision that people may repent and believe the good news. As Christians, we have been called to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and to do this we must not only take action, but make a vision.

Proverbs 19:18 says, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keep the law.” Sometimes we get so excited to go out and do God’s will, after merely getting a hint of the vision, that we run off without waiting for the right time to proclaim the vision to others. Jesus waited for the Holy Spirit’s to give Him a vision of what was to come to give His people a chance for preparation. The question is whether or not the people were willing to face the reality and implications of his surprisingly simple call to action.

Whether you are a mother, student, businessman, or whoever, we can all learn from Jesus’ example. When you have something to proclaim, wait for the Holy Spirit to reveal just the right time, and deliver it with clarity and brevity. When it comes to casting a vision, Jesus sure knew what he was doing, so let’s follow His example.

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Jesus Christ: Follower of the Spirit

Mark 1:12-13 says, “At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.”

Now, in the verse before this it says that Jesus heard a voice from heaven saying, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Yet immediately after this, he was sent into the desert to be tested. Why? Perhaps simply to glorify God through his pervasive obedience. Jesus was obedient during each temptation, and this obedience started with him following the Spirit. It says ‘at once the Spirit sent him.” At once, Jesus obeyed. Without question. He went. He endured the tests. He followed the Spirit.

This summer I did a workshop on learning to perceive the Holy Spirit and I’d like to share a little piece of wisdom from it: “You cannot please the Father living your life as a believer in the flesh. Only when you invite and allow the Holy Spirit to lead your mind, will you ever leave the carnal lifestyle behind. The truth is, you are an expert in leading your life in your own flesh. Your carnal self is a professional in getting what you want when you want it almost all the time. Your perfect regenerated spirit wants to be led by the Holy Spirit; your flesh, your mind, will and emotions do not. Can you feel this supernatural battle going on inside you?”

Yeah, it’s difficult sometimes to even distinguish the voice of the Spirit when our flesh is trying to distract us. And it’s even harder to carry through with what and where the Spirit calls us. But imagine a life in which we responded immediately to the Spirit’s direction. Wow, I want that kind of life. For all y’all who are living without a real sense of purpose, perhaps you are living according to your own fleshly desires rather than by the Spirit’s direction. This week I challenge you to be on the lookout for the Spirit, and more than that, when you feel that gentle prodding upon your heart, I challenge you to act on it.

Romans 8:5 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

If you know that God has a plan to use you, if you have heard Jesus say, ‘Come follow me,’ if you feel the Spirit’s prodding, what will you do? Will you follow?

Friends, God has chosen you, Jesus has called you, and everyday the Spirit is trying to move you. Be on the lookout and be in the word. The Spirit speaks to us in scripture, it makes it come alive. Jesus was a follower of the Spirit, and seeing how Jesus Christ was the Word come to life, it would be wise of us to constantly be in the word, so that through it we might hear the Holy Spirit’s gentle whisper. A whisper of direction, a whisper of wisdom. A whisper wondering if you in fact will follow it’s subtle imploration.

What is love?

Valentines day is coming up, so here’s a poem about love that I wrote about a year ago 🙂

Love is an awfully big word to say

When things aren’t going your way

Everyone is smiling

But inside your heart is falling

So turn to Jesus, now look around

Is the world spinning upside down?

Is the day brand new?

The sky a new shade of blue?

Grab Jesus’ hand and grab life

It’s time to reach such great heights

Take in the beauty of what really matters

 And let selfishness fall into the shadows

Love is an awfully big word to say

So say it, mean it, show it, apply it

Once, twice, and forevermore

Forget the bad, we’re not perfect

But we’re all children of God

We are beautiful, so beautiful

Love is an awfully big word to say

And it’s more than a word, it’s how we live

Love’s an awfully big word to do.

Wake Up

Here’s one of my poems! Sorry that the third line only applies to the ladies. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Wake up, you, it’s time for today

Don’t let the world keep wasting away

Jump out of bed, slip on those heels

Smile at life, forget the ideals

Start to live, before it’s too late

Go after love and chase your fate

 

Wake up, you, it’s time for today

Don’t let your dreams get too far away

Run out that door, it’s never too late

Move on from regret, and forget the hate

Start to love, the time is now

Just jump in and you’ll figure out how

 

Wake up, you, it’s time for today

Don’t let temptation sweep you away

Step into life, you pave the way

Forget the mistakes, today’s a new day

Start to believe, the world’s at your grasp

Before you know it, you’ll be living at last.

 

Ephesians 5:14 says, “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

In the literal sense, Christ wants to be the one that you wake up to. In the figurative sense, Christ wants to be the one that you wake up to when you are drowning in a sea of sin and suddenly decide to pull yourself to a higher standard. The standard in which you are reaching your God- given potential. Waking up can be voluntary or involuntary. After a Sunday afternoon snooze you might leisurely awaken and on a workday you might be yanked from sleep by the drone of an alarm. God might whisper in your ear that it’s time to make a change, to step out, to wake up. And it’s your choice what you do with that whisper. Or perhaps He might send some situation, opportunity, or relationship that is His way of saying it’s time to come with me, time to start living, time to wake up. But of course, it’s easy to take things the wrong way, and blame things on the inevitability of circumstance and chance. 

Yet perhaps circumstance and chance is simply an excuse we tell ourselves to believe when our eyes are fluttering with the calamity of luke- warm spirituality. What about the inevitability of Jesus speaking to us in unexpected ways? Our Lord cannot be limited. He can wake us up in so many ways.

Look for Him, listen for Him. Don’t blame Him, but seek Him. Seek to understand, but realize that we are not meant to have full understanding. For as Christians we are children of faith. I have faith that God will reveal Himself, do you? So friends, let us experience an awakening in which our pitfalls, fears, and addictions are left behind in a distant dreary dream. Let us not be a people that merely wake up to the light that the sun emits, but to the light that our Lord Jesus Christ expels. 

In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

If we could understand God…

Today I was wondering what it would be like if I could understand God… I realized that if I could, I might take Him for granted or the faith factor might be taken out, but then I just kept coming back to the idea that life would be so much simpler if I really could understand him. I wouldn’t have to worry about the future or worry if I’m making the wrong turns in my everyday life. Life would be so… in control.

But then God spoke to me and said that it’s not as if we don’t know anything about Him… He tells us plenty about Himself in the bible. What He has given us is what we need to know, the rest is a mystery to us, but that is where faith comes in. If we believe in what He tells us, shouldn’t we also believe in everything still yet unsaid? The fact is, we cannot understand the totality of who God is and how He functions, for we hardly even understand ourselves.

John 1:1 says,” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word is Jesus, and He came down to Earth to redeem mankind. When the time is right, God the Father will speak the Word into being once again, and Jesus will walk the Earth another time. But do we know when? How? Where? No. I mean, we have hints… But not exact figures. And that’s sort of what life is- a bunch of hints where in the inbetween we simply have to live by faith. If you try to figure out every single detail, then surely you will fail, because that is not the point. The point is that faith will set you free. Jesus said to the sinful women, “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

Through faith we realize that it is perfectly OK not to understand God. We begin to enjoy walking alongside Him and depending on Him completely. Giving the control over to Him. Have you ever found that the more you try to control something, the more unstable life becomes? Gosh why does life have to be so unpredictable?? It’s a good thing God knows everything though. It’s a good thing we don’t understand God. He wants to pull us in close, and comfort us, celebrate with us, discipline us. He wants to be the one we rely on one day at a time, for a relationship is a one day at a time kind of thing. A husband does not propose to his wife, get married, then tell her, “Ok, let’s live separately, but once a week let’s go on a nice date!” No, he loves her all the time, every second of the day. One day at a time.

What is something in your life that you don’t understand? A situation, a relationship, a health problem? Turn to God, turn to His word. Perhaps He will give you a hint. In the meantime, live by faith. For God is good and His love endures forever.

Oswald Chambers said, “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”

Be who God has made you to be

Do you ever feel like God has called you to do something awesome with your life, but you can’t figure out just what it is? So many opportunities, yet so much confusion as to which as to which one to pursue whole heartedly? I know for me I often worry about the future and what God has called me to do, instead of focusing on who God has made me, who I am today. 

Hebrews 5:5-6 says, “in the same way Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my son; today I have become your Father.” And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Jesus could have pursued a title that would have brought him credibility, from a worldly standard, but instead he listened to the calling His father gave him. And in fact, God did give him the title of a priest. A different sort of priest, though. Jesus simply lived out who God told him he was. You see, if we pursue an occupation to bring ourselves glory, we will not be fulfilled, but if we seek God’s guidance on where we can bring Him glory, then God will surely bless us. We must seek God fervently so that we are more and more able to distinguish His voice and His direction. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Now, I am not saying not to defy the current standards of your occupation and pursue something radically differrent. But merely that God can and will use us to become someone radically different than is expected from the world. The world puts limits on what we can do, but as Christians we should never put limits on who God says we are, or for that matter, what we can do through Him. Whatever God tells you to be, He will give you the talents to pursue that, and expect you to further what He has given you.

What people expect of you, you do not always need to strive to be. When you feel self- glorification creep in, turn away and turn to God. For he surely has great plans for us, ones that we cannot understand. Ones that are deeper and far more complex than you could ever imagine. Be who God has made you to be. Don’t know? Ask him! He’ll slowly reveal his plan, his beautiful intentions with you. Be patient, be diligent. And when you hear a whisper from Him who you are, pursue that with all your heart. Some may not understand, but then again, did you receive a calling from man or a calling from God? Friend, you have God given potential. Whoever you are, be sure to seek God influence people through love and obedience. Life sure does seem like a mystery sometimes, but thank goodness God has all the pieces, and one by one, day by day, God will help us put the puzzle together.

God sees people’s expectations, and uses his humble and willing servants to stir the waters, to tip tables, to make a difference. He collapses the walls of expectation and build up a uniquely unexpected calling that defines your very being and an unexpected reality that you were created for so much more than the world expects. Where do you come in? Be who God has made you to be. He will tell you what all that encompasses.

Everyday Leadership

Take a look at this video, it definitely inspired me.

Have you ever been in a situation where someone does something somewhat insignificant for you, maybe a compliment or encouragement, and it means the world? These little moments can impact someone so much. In this video Drew Dudely talks about as a culture we put the idea of Leadership up on a pedestal where only a select few can reach it. But being a spiritual leader is an everyday thing that hugely involves serving others. And I think that sometimes we classify ‘serving’ as something like going to the local soup kitchen or going on a mission trip (and don’t get me wrong, those are WONDERFUL), but serving is also an everyday kind of thing. It’s actually a mind set as well as an call to action. 1 John 3:18 says, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” Love can be show through serving; by being an inspiration and an example to anyone, anywhere, any time, even when no one is there to see it.

Philippians 2:1-4 says, “If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Wow. This goes back to this week’s theme of not promoting the self. We cannot serve others simply to build up brownie points for ourselves, but we must search our hearts for pure intentions. We must rely on God to guide us to who needs our specific touch in the midst of our everyday life.

Read the wisdom in Proverbs 12:25, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

This week I challenge you to be on the lookout for where God could use you to make someone’s day!!

Jesus Christ: does not self- promote

The subtitle of my blog is “Seek God, Find Yourself” and I believe that the more that you pursue Jesus and live like Him, the more you will discover who he has made you to be. Today I want to focus on how Jesus did not promote himself. Mark 1:11 says, “And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

You see, Jesus did not have to brag about who He was; God stated the fact. My friends, who does God say you are? Ask Him to reveal to you who it is God has called you to be. I think a lot of us often feel worthless and undiscovered, and therefore become impatient and throw a label upon ourselves. “This is who I am.” But perhaps you are simply covering up your futile attempts at self- discovery. This week I want to challenge you all to listen for who God tells you you are. God has made you specifically, beautifully, and wonderfully. And perfectly. Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb.”

And gosh I know that it is so easy to give ourselves our own title. I am going to be this girl, that guy. But seriously, how much more fulfilling would life be if we stopped giving ourselves credit, and instead allowed God to shape us each step of the way. I ask myself all the time, “OK, who am I?” and “Who do I want to become?” Those are good questions, but better would be that which asks “Lord, who have you designed me to be? Where am I going off in my own direction?”

What if Jesus had gotten caught up in his miraculous feats and his enormous following, and began to rely on Himself as the all- powerful redeemer of the world? Hm, bad thought, right? Jesus could not have gone through life without God and without the Holy Spirit because without them He would not have had direction. Is it too bold to say that self- promotion leads to a digression from dependence on the Lord? To be a spiritual leader and example, we must fully rely on God to pave the way for us and to affirm us.