Following Jesus can be a treacherous path of trying to change the world, as we see it, and running straight into the truth that we are, indeed, the one with the problem. We need deliverance from:
… our belief that it is up to us to change people.
… our judgmental and legalistic ways.
Think about this:
In the beginning of Luke 19 – the story of the tax-collector Zacchaeus.
(Raise your hand if you just started to sing “Zaccheaus was a wee little man, a wee little man, a wee little man was he!”)
Jesus is in Jericho and a crowd has gathered. The crooked tax collector Zaccheaus was there. He can’t see over the crowd so he climbs up a tree to see Jesus. In the middle of that crowd – which likely would have included more than a fair share of holy or influential or important or preferred or religious people – Jesus heads right for that tree and calls out to that guy – the one who is a social and religious outcast, ridiculously perched up in the branches – to come on down because Jesus wants to go to that guy’s house for supper.
Huh? How do I explain that to my religious friends?
I mean, honestly.
Jesus always picks the wrong guy.
Of course, everyone in the crowd gets quite indignant, muttering among themselves about how Jesus is now the guest of a sinner. Not only did the guy betray his religion, Zacchaeus has betrayed his people, his nation, colluding with the powers that be for his own gain and oppressing the very people who were supposed to be his people.
Or how about the story of the town harlot of Samaria? The infamous, Woman at the Well”? (John 4:1-42) The longest conversation recorded of Jesus and one person was with this woman who had 5 husbands, and was with a guy she wasn’t married too when Jesus approached her.
There is our Jesus, sitting by a well…in forbidden Samaria.
Does anyone else see the humor in this story?
The town slut, (or Ho, Hussy, Loose, Sinner, etc. (as she would be called today) approaches Him.
Isn’t she hopeless and an embarrassment? And openly living in sin, (deep breath)!
Plus, Jesus, as a Jew, was not even supposed to be in Samaria, let alone talk to a woman, for heaven’s sake!!
We hate that woman! Don’t we? We can’t be seen talking to her.
Isn’t that breaking the rules?
Imagine if Jesus was in our world right now in the flesh, and he heads right over to someone who cooperated with and benefitted from oppression of innocent people, someone who had traded integrity for political power, someone we distrust, someone who we feel is dangerous, someone who stole from people in a socially acceptable and governmentally blessed way, someone who took the very religious or national identity that we cherished and basically stomped all over it for his own gain.
I can think of a few already, but I won’t mention names.
Ugh. We hate that guy.
Don’t we? I mean aren’t we supposed to keep ourselves clean by dissing those who are not living up to our standards as we interpret them?
Would we be murmuring and complaining and wondering about this Teacher who apparently had missed the important parts of the very Law he claims to teach.
Never mind He really came to fulfill the law Himself.
We don’t hang around with people like that, Jesus. (Insert whine)
Don’t you know? Good people wouldn’t be caught dead with a man like that.
Just like we don’t hang around with women who are caught in the act of adultery, or fornication, and….
we don’t hang around with Samaritans,
we don’t hang around with powerless children,
we don’t hang around with women who have a bad reputation,
we don’t hang around with beggars or the poor or the oppressed or the criminal or the possessed or the socially marginalized or the ones who aren’t allowed to come to church with the good religious people, never!
Get it together, Jesus.
And, hey, news flash, we certainly don’t go to the personal home of a corrupt politician for a bite to eat or the apartment of the town prostitute for a cup of tea.
But Jesus does it anyway.
Jesus seems not to care about our who-is-in and who-is-out line in the sand. He doesn’t seem to care about what we think about all the wrong folks hanging around with him.
Jesus came to fulfill the Law but while also revealing the Love behind the Law, and the inadequacy of it, he came to replace the real love of a real God for their people.
Jesus came because God so loved the world. After all, as Jesus tells Nicodemus in the book of John, it was because God so loved the world that Jesus came to us.
Jesus came, not to condemn the world but to save the world.
…including the guy we would rather see condemned, to be honest.
How can we miss this?
Now take note of this fact: because of an encounter with Jesus, Zaccheaus turns around gives half of everything away. He is so moved by Jesus, he vows to pay back anyone he has cheated four times the amount he stole.
The Samaritan woman?
Oh, she just became the first woman evangelist telling the whole town about Jesus.
Wild, reckless love for a man who was like no one they ever met.
They both were not just fulfilling the letter of the Law, they were repenting into the heart of Love Himself.
Looks like the presence of Jesus transforms everyone…even those of us who think we have it all together.
The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Zaccheaus was lost, Jesus sought him out, and in this moment of repentance – which was so much more than just money or position – he’s reoriented to the Kingdom of God. The woman at the well discovered that her bucket could only be filled with Jesus, not a multitude of lost men.
Now that is something to get excited about!
Think of the word “today” in that passage. Jesus says “Today I must stay at your house” and then later “Today salvation has come to this house.”
The time is now.
We’d rather another day, another house, another time, another kind of sinner. Don’t bother us with the now.
But today is the day for the wrong guy…or the wrong woman.
It’s perhaps telling, where we see ourselves in that story.
Are we the crowd, resentful and muttering because we think THAT PERSON shouldn’t be included because they aren’t righteous enough or holy enough or good enough or acceptable enough or just enough?
Do we have a long list of people we’d probably be pretty mad to see Jesus hanging out with in our world? Do we begrudge seeing Jesus head right to a certain house with a certain person?
Horror of horrors.
We have our sort of people we want to keep out.
Sure, we’re okay with this kind of sinner being included –but not that kind.
But over and over, Jesus picks the wrong person in our eyes.
He even picks you, and me!
Or perhaps we see ourselves more in the one who everyone else wants to keep out.
“Today, today, today, I’m coming to your house.”
And all we can do is receive Jesus with such joy and relief.
And our own sin – everything that damages us and damages our relationship with God and damages our relationships with one another – is over!
We stop putting God into a box of our own self righteous rules and let Him do what He came to do..
…love on all of us and see lives transformed.
So we turn everything in our lives upside down and inside out to be with Jesus, to be Him extended to everyone…not just those we think won’t contaminate us.
…to cooperate in making all things right, today.
If you would like to find deeper meaning for your life and God’s perfect plan, Life Purpose Coaching is the way to go. Hop on over to my web site by clicking on Life Coaching at the top of the page to check out the testimonies of countless others who have experienced life changing freedom through this awesome experience. Contact me for a free short consult to make a decision today. This is your day of change. Find out how to break out of old patterns!!!
Many years ago I heard a message about how the angels of God are there to do our bidding. God didn’t leave us powerless.
Are they not all ministering spirits send forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? (Heirs of Salvation)…Hebrews 11:14
So, I started to put some things together in my head. If the angels are there to serve us, God’s own people, through salvation in Jesus, then what is stopping me from calling on their services when I need them?
Can you answer that question?
I began to formulate scriptures to encourage my faith to activate this benefit to those of us who are heirs to the Kingdom of God. We are all heirs, but not everyone believes that or accepts it. But if you are an heir to eternity with God then you are a candidate!!
- God has revealed to us through the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 2:10
- And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27
- For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest, nor is anything secret except to come to light. Mark 4:22
When you pray the word of God, you activate your faith, for you know you are praying according to His perfect will and you are hearing yourself say it…it is a release of your faith. His word will always accomplish what He wants to accomplish and will never return to Him without performing what your faith is releasing.
So, what prevents us from using this knowledge when we have lost something we need to find. Even if it’s just our keys? He cares about every tiny detail of our life. He WANTS to be involved and to be asked. We have not because we ask not He tells us in His word.
These scriptures can also be used to reveal hidden things in a relationship or a person’s life that needs to be uncovered.
And it works! As a matter of fact it works so well that I would recommend you NOT pray these scriptures unless you are prepared for what you might find out. I have shared this truth with some who just thought they wanted to see truth, but when it was revealed to them, they ignored it because they wanted their way and not Gods way.
The choice is yours.
My husband and I use this prayer all the time…even to find our keys that we just had with us. I can even reveal that at times I KNOW I looked in a certain place a dozen times…then I stopped and prayed, felt this nudge to look again, and there the thing would be that I was looking for.
I have witnessed rings found in snow drifts, that would have been impossible, toxic relationships stopped when hidden things came out that were not seen before, contact lens that were dropped suddenly start sparkling and clearly seen, and lost money reappear.
My purse was stolen in Wal-Mart one day, right out of the cart when I turned my back. We raced through the store and locked the doors and the employees checked every bag leaving the store, to no avail. The Police were summoned and came to me to take a report. While I waited I prayed this prayer of finding things. While talking to the Officer he told me that I might as well forget about finding it and cancel all my cards…I did cancel the cards, but believed it would come back to me.
I asked the officer if he believed in angels. He said that he did, as a matter of fact. I then told him that I believed the angels would bring the purse back to me. He smiled and said, would you promise me you will call me at the station, (here’s my name), and let me know if this happens. I said I most certainly would.
I kept praying the prayer to keep my faith out there.
One week later I got a call from the store. They had found my purse hanging in the purse section as if for sale. It had everything in it with nothing missing.
Coincidence? I think not!
I called the officer that day. When I told him my purse was found inside the store, hanging out in plain sight, with nothing missing, he started laughing and called out to all his buddies to tell them the story.
This prayer is so effective I have shared it with everyone I know and have had wonderful stories returned to me of finding priceless treasures long ago lost. It is so fun to rejoice with them.
And to see their faith elevated.
And the angels smile.
So, here is the prayer I put together. Now, this is not a formula, or a religion. It is simply a Word prayer I put together of the above scriptures I shared with you. It is a help to get you started in exercising your faith in this area. You can use it anyway you wish or write your own to pray or just use your memory of the scriptures.
I personally have used this prayer for years. Here it is:
Father, I know there is nothing hidden, except to be revealed and there is nothing kept secret except it be make known. So, I ask you now, in the name of Jesus, that Your Holy Spirit would search diligently, explore and examine every area, and bring every hidden thing into the light (insert here the name of the person or thing). I ask that You would release the ministering spirits (angels) who are there to do the bidding of the heirs of salvation, of which I am one, to go forth, find, and bring that hidden ____________back to me. (or bring every hidden thing to light with this person). I trust that wherever it is you will cause me to either remember, or have it materialize to my sight. I trust You to bring it to me today. Amen!!
In this Episode on “From the Heart of Dixie”, Jason and Cherie share how God miraculously healed their broken Marriage. You won’t be the same after watching this.
After we stopped filming Jason had something he wanted to add…. here is his statement – ” I wanted to say that prayer is powerful and to pray for your spouse. Even though at the time, no matter what anyone told me, I wouldn’t acknowledge that what I was doing was wrong and the enemy actually, had me believe what I was doing was right. I know for a fact that Cherie’s prayers were heard by God. Cherie’s faithfulness to God was key to our marriage being saved. Cherie did not give up on me and that was because of God’s strength and comfort. So just remember when we have given up on ourselves or given up on our spouses, God never gives up on us.” Jason –
Thank you both Cherie and Jason for sharing your amazing testimony.
“Hannah kept wailing even when Eli the priest mistook her for a drunk and questioned her sincerity. She simply set the record straight by telling him, ‘I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief'” (1Samuel 1: 15-16).
She didn’t care how she looked as she prayed. God knew her heart…
We know Hannah for her sorrow… She longed for a son, but couldn’t have children. We know her for her faithfulness. She never gave up hope that God would hear her prayer. We also know her for her sacrifice. She dedicated her baby Samuel to the Lord and left him at the temple to serve God “all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1:11).
Hannah is one of the most recognizable women in Scripture for all these reasons. Many of us remember her story for her deep anguish over not being a mother. We all most likely recall her time at the temple, taking her request to God in powerful prayer. And what mom wouldn’t be impacted by Hannah’s bold move – leaving her little blessing at the temple to be raised by Eli the priest?
And did you know after God answered her prayer for a child to deliver her from her barrenness, God continued to answer the prayers for Hannah? She had two more sons and three daughters– while Samuel “grew up in the presence of the Lord” (>1 Samuel 2:21).
Hannah trusted God without doubt or concern. Her reverent fear of the Lord was just one more quality of her godly character.
We have to get serious in our prayer lives.
We have to determine that we will hang on and not stop believing until we see an answer.
That’s what Hannah did year after year.
She “showed up.”
She entered her conversations with God broken, resentful, bitter, unhappy, defeated and moaned like a drunken woman. She was herself without pretense.
Do you not think God knows our humaness?
But one year Hannah decided to focus on God and His provision instead of dwelling on her unchanging circumstances. Hannah did something that brought her into the inner courtyard of God’s presence: she prayed with determination.
And her relationship with God went from the possible to the personal, from inactive to active, from nominal to phenomenal.
I heard a teaching today about prayer…but not the way we ususally think of prayer…the point was being made that God already knows what we have need of before we even ask. Ever think of that…and have you ever questioned why, if He already knows, do we need to pray about it?
Because my long journey with the Lord has been a constant pondering about prayer and how to do it. There are so many types of prayer and where do we start?
What has really set me free is the fact that I have pressed into a very personal relationship with a very real God through His Son Jesus and the freedom has come in my “just talking to Him”.
So, I prefer to call prayer, “talking to Jesus”…It just makes it more personal to me.
That teacher this morning said we pray to Him to release our own FAITH….
MY FAITH ACTIVATES MY PRAYERS IN HIS PRESENCE.
That is why we ask!
It is acknowledging the fact that you are believing Him for His absolute involvement in your life and your desires, your healings, your journey….
There are many types of ways to pray, or talk to God.
Right now I am studying about Warfare.
We know we don’t fight flesh and blood, but principalities and wickedness in high places. We are seated in the heavenly realm in the spirit to adequately combat the enemy and all his forces of hell that want to defeat us on every level. But we have the power that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelling on the inside of us. We have the power to fight off those wicked spirits and be victorious.
Having been beaten down and disappointed, do you find it hard to boldly and specifically ask God for something in prayer?
I know I do.
But here Hannah was, at the lowest point in her life, offering up a request that she had probably thought a thousand times. The Bible says we don’t receive because we don’t ask. Don’t give up on asking for what you most desire. And do it believing that God gives good gifts to those who ask because He does, and He is a rewarder of all who seek Him.
Let’s not linger at the gate of God’s presence, going through the motions of worshipping God and yet holding sadness and bitterness in our hearts.
Let’s count ourselves as ones who have been brushed by His greatness and honored to have the profound privilege of talking to God on every level and make our requests known.
Let’s rejoice that He gave His power to us to combat the evil one dwelling on this earth. And we can do that well. It just takes determination!
He did NOT leave us here powerless and defeated. But as His children, we are equipped to walk within His Kingdom in the here and now.
I have always created pictures in my mind of the outcomes I want to see that weren’t what was really happening. I created pictures of my situations in life in my mind that were not reality and I lived that way off and on until only just recently. I thought I had a handle on it, but still found residue of this ability I had so carefully constructed in so many areas.
The mind is a powerful thing, and is the source of all our battles with the enemy.
How many of you know that God heals us and corrects us in layers?
Like pealing an onion…one layer at a time. We can’t handle it all at once.
1 Corinthians 13: in the message says:
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
I wrote about my ability to create my own reality in my first book,
“Climbing Out of the Box.” (Which you can find on Amazon)
It started when I was a victim of incest as a child and I learned to remove myself from what was happening and would create a happy and safe environment to dwell in that wasn’t reality. I was forever being disappointed when my picture didn’t line up with what was really happening. It was a way to cope. As an adult it is an easy and tempting thing to slip back into and I have to be on my guard most of the time. But I am a grown up now, not the child victim.
The problem comes when we convince ourselves that we need a certain outcome — and that it has to happen on our timeline, in the way we’ve pictured it.
When we try to control outcomes, and make them fit our pictures, we cut ourselves off from the loving protection of God and let fear begin to rule our thoughts.
Fortunately, in any given moment you have a choice to change.
You can choose to reconnect with the reality of overcoming our circumstances instead of living in a false reality, thus enabling the enemy to continue to cause us pain in lives.
Here are some steps to follow to remind yourself of your powerful connection with Jesus so that you may begin to walk in the power to overcome that He has provided for you.
Be determined to see your circumstances with God’s eyes. Ask Him for His eyes to see clearly…not what you have created for yourself to see.
What are you saying, out loud or to yourself, that’s disconnecting you from your power?
Identify your story.
Once you’ve identified your real story, take a moment to get real about how it makes you feel. Recognize the way your words and beliefs block the manifestation of what you are praying about to begin to occur in your life..
What is the number one negative story that you have on repeat in your brain, and how does it make you feel?
Your honesty is what will open the door for you to remember and accept the power of God to change your circumstances or enable you to accept the place you are at in this part of your season.
Once you’ve identified your story, immediately say out loud: “I am more than an conqueror in all of my circumstances” You, my friend are a child of the King of Kings.
You have to let go of your fear.
Turn it over to the Lord of your heart, Jesus, and be patient.
Talk to Him with certainty and thank Him for giving you a clear picture of your life and a clear picture of what He wants to accomplish in you. Be patient within His fruit of patience.
Try not to control your picture, but let Him create a new picture for you. Your sign from Him will be crystal clear if you’re going in the right direction. He will show you His will for you right now. And remember that if it’s not clear, it is time to trust Him and be patient and learn what waiting on Him really means.
There may be some personal fears you need to clear up, or perhaps faith you need to strengthen, before you can get it.
When you try to control an outcome or even a time frame, you cut off your ability to be patient for the outcomes and disconnect from all the infinite possibilities that could occur.
Surrender to the Lord and remember that nothing can take away your true power that is yours in Christ and His love and peace within you. Let Him mold you into who He has created you to become.
What would happen if you chose to be thankful and content in the place you are in right now?
Or if you are in a really trying, and grief filled place right now, asking Him to strengthen and hold you up while you navigate the waters of pain? He promises to surround you with Himself every minute of the day. And nothing ever stays the same. You can endure until change comes within His strength.
But you have to invite this to happen..
or you could ignore it….
or forget that it is yours….and walk in defeat and fear.
It is all a choice on your part.