Heart of the Matter..

It’s a very sad day in the life of the church, for a person to die in good standing with the local church, but be out of fellowship with the Lord…

A person can actually die, being an active member of a local church, being a tither, being a full time ministry participant, being a preacher, being a deacon, being an usher, being a missionary, and even being a Sunday school teacher, BUT STILL GO TO HELL!

That really shouldn’t be says the Lord, but “I see it Sunday after Sunday.” “I see people checking off the box called going to church, and I see them going through their religious rituals, traditions, and motions, while giving the outward appearance to man that they’re saved, but I know they’re not! I know they’re NOT because I truly do know their heart!”

As I heard the Lord speaking this word to me, it resonated with me because I used to be that guy. I joined the church at a very young age, but I didn’t really get saved or born again. I didn’t realize this util SIXTEEN years later. It didn’t register at the time and I didn’t see that there was a spiritual disconnect because I was doing church on a regular basis, I was singing in the choir, I was leading devotion service, I was ushering a little bit, I was going to Sunday school every Sunday, and I was doing everything else that church members do, BUT I WASN’T BORN AGAIN!

Look at this PICTURE!!

Had I died within that SIXTEEN year window of time in my life, there would have been a funeral, there would have been some Heavenly words spoken on my behalf by the Eulogist because I wasn’t a hardened criminal or known murderer, my body would have been committed, (ashes to ashes and dust to dust), and people would have been left with the presumption that I went on to live with Jesus, ALL BECAUSE OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP!

But Jesus and I know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that would NOT have been an accurate picture!

Why NOT? Because the heart is what really matters…

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”..Romans 10:8-13..

Beloved, we’ve got the confession part down pat, but what we miss is the fact that the heart is what really speaks to the Lord. Sure we can check off the boxes of church membership and religion before man, but the Lord looks to see what our heart is saying!

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again…John 3:1-7..

With all of that being said: Question: “Where do you really stand with the Lord? NOT with your local church, but where do you really stand with the Lord?

Revival Requires Repentance…

True revival comes on the heals of repentance. We can’t merely pray for revival without there being a change in our hearts and a change in our posture.

“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

Read your Bible…..

The Bible is replete with truth and clues
to help us not repeat nor bruise
our heels on satan’s head,
that’s the purpose of the nails
that left a print in Jesus’s hands,
to keep us from doubting
that He died and rose again

“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe…John 10:27..

The Bible is replete with truths and clues
to help us not repeat nor break the rules
cause this is NOT a game,
so why do you keep playing
with God like He’s a hoax,
in the end you’ll see He’s NOT a joke,
but then it’ll be too late,
to get your Bible and do some praying,
your time will be far spent
cause you failed to repent

game over you lost
now see what it cost
to play satan’s game..

STOP PLAYING!

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began…Acts 3:19-21

Change your lenses…

Beloved, the Lord sees your struggle, He’s knows your gifts, and He also has a place for you to operate in. Don’t let the world’s way of doing things discourage you, instead seek God more intently for directions and instructions. You don’t have to compromise, and you surely don’t have to jump through hoops in order to get where God wants you to be.

One IMPORTANT thing that we must do when trying to access the places and platforms that the Lord desires us to operate in, is by praying and seeking the Lord through spiritual and scriptural lenses for His direction and instructions..

#1…The place that God desires for us to operate won’t necessarily be one where we become cumbered by the process. Being cumbered can actually destroy your faith or cause it to wane, thus hindering you from ever realizing your gifts and tapping into your potential.

As Jesus spent time with His disciples teaching them what their ministry would look like and the path to it, He saw fit to teach them the importance of learning from Him and NOT from the world. Jesus knew what happens when we follow the dictates of the world and the worldly, and He knew the pressures and failure associated with following the pattern and the process thereof.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light….Matthew 11:29-30..

#2 The next thing we must BELIEVE, EMBRACE, and UNDERSTAND, is that the Lord TRULY does have a place just for us, and His intent is for us to utilize our gifts in that place. We won’t even have to force doors open, the gifts that the Lord gives us reserves us a space and gives us a seat at the table….

A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.
Proverbs 18:16

#3 Thirdly, we must BELIEVE, EMBRACE, and UNDERSTAND the fact that the Lord will handle everything in our lives, that we’re willing to surrender to Him. We must give Him our lives, our careers, our families, our desires to live successful lives, our economic health, our relational health, our physical well-being, and any other area not mentioned! When we surrender our lives to the Lord, we’re saying, Lord I’m not capable of handling this, but I know that you’re able to do all that needs to be done in my life and You will instruct and direct me in the process.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened..Matthew 7:7-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall  direct your paths….Proverbs 3:5-6

As we begin this transition into a new season, why not let this shift take place in your hearts and minds, by truly beginning to our lives life through spiritual and scriptural lenses! Let’s begin to really seek the Lord for where He wants us to be! Seeking the Lord is earnestly petitioning Him, while giving Him time to answer and direct our paths….

THE WAIT IS WORTH IT!!

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint….Isaiah 40:31…

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord…Psalm 27:14

Domino effect..

When we elevate our trust in the Lord, and when we elevate our obedience to His commands, our faith grows. As the disciples walked with Jesus and faced many tests that they could not pass, they often times responded, “Lord, increase our faith….

What have you faced? What has the Lord spoken to you? Did you obey? Did you trust?

The Lord revealed to me that our trust and obedience isn’t predicated upon what happens on the other side of His command, we simply must comply! I’m reminded of the myriad of times that Moses had to approach Pharoah with a command from the Lord, but many times Pharoah wasn’t swayed in no way shape, form or fashion. BUT MOSES HEEDED the command of the Lord, and in the end, the Lord performed an amazing miracle…

The very miracle or blessing that we’re believing the Lord for, could be attached to the command that the Lord gives you. That could bee the bridge to your blessing or your miracle!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith…..Romans 1:16-17

Check your bags….

Our ways can potentially block some of the Lord’s most bountiful blessings. Our thoughts, ideas, and opinions can actually be hindrances to what the Lord desires to do in our lives! Our own sense of order and direction may not be in alignment with how the Lord wills for us to go about doing certain things..

For quite some time now, the Lord has leading and guiding me in ways that are totally abnormal, and go completely against any grain that I’ve ever experienced, heard about, or seen. Initially it was quite unnerving, but as He continued to give me nudges and reveal to me that this indeed was Him, and NOT some wild and unusual figment of my imagination, complying with His commands became easier.

I remember Him reminding me of this passage:

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts….Isaiah 55:8-9..

This passage reminds me to always check my bags! That is, check my ways of doing things, my feelings, my rules, my guidelines, my thoughts, my ideas, my outlook, and my opinion, to make sure that NONE of these things will be a hindrance to me walking according to the Lord’s will for my life.

We can become so accustomed to living life and doing things a certain way that we miss what God may want to do and how He may want to do it. God’s ability to bless us isn’t bound by or predicated upon our own sense of order or way of doing things! God will sometimes break order or protocol in order to bless us, but if our grips are too tight on the reins of our lives, we’ll miss it!

God is truly doing a New Thing, but this New Thing may not be done an old or traditional way! Have Your way in our lives Lord!

That Look Is So You….

My mom gets these magazines from JCPENNEY and those words were on the cover! As I read those words the Lord led me to Psalm 139:14..

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well…..

In this passage the psalmist David was having a reflective moment with the Lord. He was taking an honest look at what the Lord had done in His life, yet he was praising Him in the same breath!

In the first 13 verses of this passage, David is having a heart to heart with the Lord concerning the things that the Lord had done in his life. In summary:

Lord, you have searched and known me, You know my siting and rising, You know my thoughts and comprehend my path and my laying down, You are acquainted with all my ways and You know every word on my tongue, Your hand of protection is perpetually upon me, You give me all this knowledge and wisdom, There’s no escaping Your perpetual presence, and You formed my inward parts in my mother’s womb..

When David made an honest assessment of the Lord’s sovereign ability to graciously do all of these things in his life, a supernatural transfer took place. This transfer of power caused David to pause for a station identification break, in order to convey to us what we must know and be able to declare of the Lord in our lives!

David says, I will PRAISE YOU, for I AM fearfully and wonderfully made. In other words, David is saying I AM fearfully and wonderfully made by You, so that I can praise You. He’s saying that the Lord did all of this in his life and on his behalf, so that he could praise Him. But David din’t stop there, he goes onto further declare, “My soul knows very well, that Your works are marvelous.

David wasn’t topically or generally speaking of the Lord, like we do. David was very transparent and detailed as to all the Lord had done. David was fully persuaded that all the Lord did was marvelous! “If I make my bed in hell, Lord You’re there, If I’m in a dark place, Lord You’re there to lead me out! David had a perpetual praise, and it wasn’t predicated on well-doing or faring-well…

This passage helps us to see the posture that the Lord loves for all of us to have. This life that we live isn’t about us, our success isn’t about us, our ministry isn’t about us, our careers aren’t about us, our two-pennies and a biscuit aren’t about us! It’s all about what the Lord does in our lives and what He does on our behalf…

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven…Matthew 5:16..

When you know this, and walk in the fruit of this: THAT LOOK IS SO YOU!

Happy Feet….

Our steps have been ordered….

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand……Psalm 37:23-24

It’s NOT over…

Someone reading this message may be feeling like they can’t go on! Someone may be feeling as if they have no other option. Someone reading this message may feel as if they’ve reached the end off their rope! The Lord sent this message to encourage you to not listen to that voice that you’re hearing. That voice that’s saying end it! That voice that’s saying you have nothing to live for nor look forward to! That voice that says no one loves or cares about you!That’s the voice of the enemy!

You are loved, and the Lord saw fit to use a platform called WordPress to get a message to you RIGHT NOW! He sees what you’re contemplating! Don’t DO IT! Help is here and the Lord loves you! Cry out to Him RIGHT NOW, simply saying, LORD SAVE ME!

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly….John 10:10..

It shall come to pass, IF YOU…

We can be our own worst enemy! We can be our greatest hindrance to our own blessings! We can actually be the reason that we face so much adversity, Simply because we fail to OBEY the Lord!

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God….Deuteronomy 28:1-2

Let today be that day where we turn completely to the Lord and follow! Follow His voice, and OBEY His commands!

Hide Me Lord, even IF the enemy you hide is ME!!