“…..You MUST BE born again…John 3:7
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
While riding around town this morning seeing the residue of Hurticane Irma, I saw some pecan trees. As I looked at these trees, God caused me to look a little closer and He said to me, “many of these trees have broken limbs.” As I looked at these limbs I noticed that the leaves were already withering. I looked even closer and I saw that there were pecans in the final stages of development, attached to these limbs.
God immediately took me to John 15 and said, “the leaves are already turning brown because they’re no longer connected to their source.” He also said, “the pecans that are attached to those limbs, that are in the final stages of development, will never be harvested because they won’t fully develop.”
Beloved, the same thing that happened to those limbs, can happen to us, when we fail to abide in Christ Jesus. We fail to abide in Christ Jesus when:
- We stop seeking His face..
- We don’t have a prayer life…
- We don’t meditate in the word of God.
- We don’t seek to live our everyday lives through Christ…
By not abiding, we become detached from the source, Jesus. When we cease to abide, it’s like living our lives apart from God, His word and His will. When this happens:
- Our works wither…
- We look, act, and sound just like the world we live in…
- We will NEVER reach our full potential, nor will we walk in our God ordained purpose because we’re no longer attached to the source..
We cannot live fruitful lives apart from God. Where do you stand with God? Are you abiding?
We are experiencing a season of storms like never before. We’ve had:
- Wildfires on the west coast…
- Hurricanes and flooding in the gulf and on the east coast…
- Earthquakes in the United Sates, Mexico, New Zealand, and other places….
- Terrorist attacks abroad…
- Financial attacks and economic breaches…
- Sicknesses and diseases are running rampant in the land….
In the midst of all this chaos and calamity many people are praying for God to intervene and protect, but are we as nations of people praying the right prayer? I heard the Lord say that many of us are not.
- We’re praying materialistic based prayers.
- We’re praying desperational and situational prayers.
- We’re praying for the Lord to stop or redirect the hurricane to save our possessions.
- We’re praying for God to send rain for the fires, to save our house.
- We’re praying for God to guard us against terror.
- We’re praying for economic or financial security.
- We’re praying for the earthquakes to cease..
While we’re busy praying for God to save our stuff, I heard God say I’m waiting to hear the prayers that say, “save my soul.” God’s not concerned about stuff, He’s concerned with our soul.
“Naked came I from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there…Job 1:21
He went on to remind me that He’s left the answer, a solution, to all of the storms of life that we may find ourselves facing, and yes He’s better than American Home Shield (zombie apocalypse)
- AND ANYTHING ELSE….COVERED
Beloved, here’s the solution, here’s the answer, and here’s the prayer:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Beloved, this is a prayer of repentance and surrender. This is a prayer of recommittance and rededication of our lives to God. Where do we really stand with God? Are we merely going through religious motions? Do we have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof? TODAY is a great day to turn to God with our whole heart!
- What has God told you to do?
- How has the Lord led you?
- What instructions have God given you?
I know it may sometimes seem as if what God has said and shown you isn’t going to come into fruition, but that’s no time to go against the grain in which the Lord has led you. I know it may seem as if when you come out of one storm another greater storm arises, but that’s no time to forgo what God’s done, all because things may be a bit uncomfortable. Beloved, God knows exactly where you are and what you’re up against, but He’s urging you to stay the course.
The storms that arise in our lives as we seek to live life trusting, believing, and following God serve a purpose. God uses them to prepare us and position us.
In Mark chapter 4 the story is recorded of Jesus and the disciples taking a trip across the lake in a boat. During this trip, Jesus fell asleep in the stern of the boat and a windstorm arose. The winds of the storm were so boisterous that they beat upon the boat, and it began to take on water. Fear arose in the disciples and they went to Jesus….. “..And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”…Mark 4:38
I know that had to be a frightening experience, and my response may have been the same, but Jesus left this word on biblical record for us today to remind us of some key things as we face the storms of life…
- Jesus was with them in the boat, in the storm..
- They had witnessed firsthand the saving, healing, and delivering power of Jesus firsthand….
The same goes for us today as we seek to live our lives in alignment with God’s word and will.
- The Lord IS WITH US IN OUR STORM…
- JUST AS WE’VE WITNESSED THE LORD WORK THINGS OUT BEFORE, HE’S WELL ABLE TO DO IT AGAIN…
The storms that we face as we follow God aren’t meant to mess us up, they’re meant to help us mature in faith. So whatever you’re facing or dealing with, keep trusting, believing, and following the directions of God. Don’t let the emotions and feelings of your right now, determine the steps you take, let God continue to order them, and you follow Him…
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way….Psalm 37:23
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths…Proverbs 3:5-6
Beloved, there are blessings too rich and numerous to count, awaiting us, when we follow God. God supernaturally deposits a wealth of wisdom, knowledge, power, and insight into our heart, mind, and spirit that’s not subject to the socioeconomic conditions of the world. Congressional decisions, inflation, Wall Street, high interest rates, unemployment rates, the housing market, and taxes don’t depreciate or eliminate what God gives us, we just have to keep trusting and following God.
“Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD….Numbers 32:12
In the midst of adversity and calamity, Caleb and Joshua stayed the course of God. Even when the blessed promises of God didn’t manifest for years, Caleb and Joshua stayed the course. And because of this, Caleb and Joshua walked right into some pretty amazing blessings, too rich and too numerous to count..
Hold on, Press on, and Don’t QUIT, because God’s on your side, and He’s working on your behalf. Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you!
It’s one thing to talk to God in prayer, but hearing God talk to you takes your relationship with Him to a divine place..
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me…John 10:27
Luke 7 records the story of a certain Centurion, who had a servant, who was near death. Evidently this man not only heard about Jesus, he BELIEVED in Jesus.
“Now when He (Jesus) concluded all His sayings in the HEARING of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. 3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant…(Luke 7:1-3)
There was something underlying and amazing that had taken place in this Centurion’s heart, that we must not overlook. He BELIEVED in Jesus because he had FAITH in Jesus. He had FAITH in Jesus because he had HEARD about Jesus.
“So when he HEARD about Jesus, he sent…(Luke 7:3)
In this passage we see a divine manifestation of the word of God, that produced a FAITH MUSCLE in the heart and soul of this Centurion, which propelled him into action, (he sent them)
“So then FAITH cometh by HEARING, and HEARING by the word of God…(Romans 10:17)
Beloved, there was something else that was very much alive and at work in the heart of this Centurion. Jesus, the Living Word, was OTJW (on the job working)
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart…(Hebrews 4:12)
BELIEF was produced by FAITH, and FAITH came through HEARING. Both FAITH and BELIEF were nestled in his heart, which yielded a MIRACLE in the body of his servant..
“ When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such GREAT FAITH, not even in Israel. 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick...(Luke 7:9-10)
- What does your faith, beyond your words, say to God?
- We say we believe, but does God see that we believe?
- Jesus was able to measure the decibels of the Centurion’s faith!
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him…(Hebrews 11:6)
We live in a time where people still operate in the NOW…
- We want promotion NOW.
- We want blessings NOW.
- We want success NOW.
- We want breakthrough NOW.
- We want spouses NOW.
- We want children NOW.
- We want the difficulties we face to be over NOW.
- We want the house NOW.
- We want the vehicle NOW.
But what if our NOW doesn’t align with the set or appointed time of God. If I may be completely honest, I want the NOW also, but I’ve learned to embrace God’s NOT YET. I’ve learned to accept the process of God, because no matter how much I want it NOW, I know that His timing is absolutely perfect and His process serves a purpose. (EMBRACING THE PROCESS OF GOD IS EVEN A PROCESS) What’s helped me is the fact that I’ve seen God help me to surrender my NOW, helped me to embrace the process of His NOT YET, and I’ve seen Him perform miracles. He’s literally done the exceedingly, abundantly and above whatever I could have asked, thought or imagined. Beloved, when God finished doing what HE wanted to do, and finished leading me where and how HE wanted to lead me, I was in complete awe because His NOT YET superseded my “now”. This isn’t new place for God, it’s a different place for us. It’s a different place for us because our NOW or microwave mindset, and way of living can be and often times is, a major hindrance in us walking in the will of God. Let’s look back and see…
“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt. So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea….(exodus 13:17-18)
I believe that if we were able to interview the “survivors”, those children of Israel who made it into the promised land, they’d encourage us to “LET GO AND LET GOD!” They’d encourage us to let go of the reins of our everyday lives so that God could reign, and so that we could walk in kingdom victory. I believe that if we were able to talk to some of them they’d affirm that the process and journey following God isn’t always easy but it’s worth it. They’d even tell us that sometimes God doesn’t set our feet on the shortest and the most comfortable path, and in fact, sometimes He leads us the the longgggg wayyyy. Moses had to encourage the children of Israel to keep trusting God and endure the process. He had to remind them that the trials that they faced were temporary, and that God still had them on His radar…
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”…..(Exodus 14:13-14)
I believe that Moses would give us an updated version of this today, saying, “Beloved, Get out of your feelings and stop tripping, because God’s got you. He’d probably remind us of the victories we’ve experienced in Christ before saying, “The Lord, Who did it and worked it out for you before, will do it again. Moses would probably whisper in our hearing that, “whatever you’re facing or dealing with today, you’ll NEVER have to deal with or face it EVER AGAIN, so STAND STILL and watch God…
Beloved, that shouting news right there, because God just encouraged us to press beyond the pain. He just said rest in Me because I got you, and cruise right out of that uncomfortable place. We may not get there overnight, by next week, or next month, but as long as we follow the directions of God, He’ll get us there. I don’t know where your “there in Christ Jesus” is, but I do know that it’s nestled in His purpose and in His will, and it will come to pass…