Don’t Tell Me What To Do

Jeremiah 3:7-8 (ESV)

” 7And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
8And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.”

Learn from other peoples mistakes, is one of the most infamous life virtues. It’s a saying told to us during our childhood by our parents, grandparents, and school teachers. It is a saying a I remember hearing many times from my high school U.S. History teacher, “if the U.S. would’ve learned from their previous mistakes we could have avoided this war. What I didn’t know growing up as a child is that it is a virtue taken right out of the Word of God.

In the scripture above the Lord is expressing His anger with the nation of Judah during the time when Israel had been split into two regions, north and south. Israel was experiencing extreme persecution because they were the worse of the two regions, yet Judah was not able to recognize the mistakes of Israel and change their ways to avoid destruction.

It’s comical at how true this is to our daily lives, many times we see others struggle and go through hardship and rather than learning from their mistakes we walk down the sane path they did. We laugh when our elders try to steer us in a safer direction, thinking we can take on the world, then we come to a point in the road, usually after fall into a booby-trap, where we realize we should have taken the advice that was given to us.

Troubles are inevitable, but destruction is avoidable. To do so one must SEEK the Lord and secondly listening to the wise instruction of our elders. The fact is that many of our elders have gone through some troubles and have valuable instruction to give us, we must be open to receive it. God Bless.

Disaster Prevention

Proverbs 1:28-33 (ESV)

28 “ Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
      They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
       29 Because they hated knowledge
      And did not choose the fear of the LORD,
       30 They would have none of my counsel
      And despised my every rebuke.
       31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
      And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
       32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
      And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
       33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
      And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

        Have you ever known or met a person who just denies any existence of God?  Or worse, maybe they claim to know God and believe in Jesus, yet they believe they can live life in which ever manner they please.  On top of this they seem to be taken care of, they never seem to be out of money, have nice cars, always on vacation and seem to have a peaceful family.  This facade just makes us cringe, doesn’t it?  Well it shouldn’t!

        The fact is that while these people may be thinking they are living the good life, in fact they are living a very shallow life, a life that if all these materialistic components were taken away, they would no longer have a meaning for life.  Sure the fruit of their labor looks good for the time being, but when tragedy strikes, as God promises it will, where will they go?  Many extremely wealthy families have been broken up over the past few years because of the economic depression our country is in.  People are divorcing, turning to drugs and alcohol, and taking their own lives.  This happens because the image the devils paints in our head is one that shows us that money is all we need to live at peace and we believe this.  However, the devil doesn’t tell us that one day we will be left with nothing but our heart and soul, which is to be examined and judged.

        Verse 33 says those that listen will dwell securely  and will be at EASE, without dread of disaster.  Ever notice how all these rich men put their money into stocks to attempt to capitalize on the money they already have earned and then they sit there and constantly watch what the stock market is doing because if their stock crashes they could lose everything.  This raises their stress level and blood pressure and also takes their attention away from their family.  This is why God urges us to take our safety out of our money and lay it into His hands.

        The ONLY way to fully be happy and safe is to invest in the Lord.  Invest with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, because HE is the only disaster protection we need.  He will watch over your family and lead them to the Promised Land.  God Bless!

What Has The Light Done For You?

Jeremiah 2:20-22 (ESV)

“20”For long ago I broke your yoke
and burst your bonds;
but you said, ‘I will not serve.’
Yes, on every high hill
and under every green tree
you bowed down like a whore.
21 Yet I planted you a choice vine,
wholly of pure seed.
How then have you turned degenerate
and become a wild vine?
22Though you wash yourself with lye
and use much soap,
the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord GOD.”

One of the scariest places a Christian can be at in their walk with Christ, is the place where they become senile. All the troubles and heartaches that the Lord brought them through, the miracles performed in their family and the bondages that once paralyzed their life were broken by our Father in heaven, yet those become distant memories that seem unreal. Christians who get to this place forget the agonizing pain that once consumed their body, the sleepless nights an suicidal tendencies and begin to pretend that it never happened. The fear of the Lord begins to fade and the individual feels as if nothing bad can ever go wrong.

The Children of Israel were the perfect example, they had been led to land where they would be prosperous. However during that time they would end up becoming slaves and agony overwhelmed their everyday lives. However the Lord had a plan and brought Moses to facilitate their deliverance out of Egypt. Miracles were performed and impossible situations conquered as they were led to the Promise Land. However, once experiencing times of prosperity they began to FORGET and were about to be taken into captivity.

This captivity is waiting in the midst for each of us. Waiting for us let down our guard and lose the fear of the Lord that keeps us indebted to Him. This is when our communication with the Lord begins to fade and the devil swoops in and goes for the kill. This backslidden state of being is scary and really causes my stomach to turn, because that backslidden individual was me. When you’re in this dark pit the climb back to the top is 100x’s tougher.

While the climb back to the top is possible, as evident by the Children of Israel and myself, it takes discipline. So discipline yourself now rather than waiting for the enemy to take you as a prisoner. Read God’s Word and devote yourself to prayer and fasting. Remember where you came from and what God has done for you! God bless.

My Own Worst Enemy

Jeremiah 1:5-10

“5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and before you were born I consecrated you;I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7But the LORD said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the LORD.”
9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down,to destroy and to overthrow,to build and to plant.”

Have you ever noticed that more than half of the time we are faced with a difficult decision, commitment, or an opportunity to turn our lives into a new direction, the first person to tell us we can’t do it, is ourselves. The first person to tell us we’ve made to many mistakes, we don’t have the experience needed to handle the responsibilities of a certain position, is ourselves. I want to turn my life away from the dangerous path I’m headed down, I want to do something better for my kids, I want to be the leader that God has created me to be. Yet there’s that voice in our head that is fighting against us 24/7.

You see the devil was cast out of heaven because he was envious of Our Father. He was not adequate to reside in heaven, so he decides he’ll spend eternity on earth waiting for every opportunity that is available to make us feel inadequate.

Jeremiah was faced with this same problem, God is telling him it’s time for you to do your Father’s work, yet a voice in Jeremiah’s head is telling him he’s only a child, he can’t handle the responsibility that lies ahead of him. However the Lord says hold on just one second, I have created you for a purpose and this purpose will take place whether you think you are ready for it or not.

We are all our own worst enemy because the devil has no problem attacking the mind. This is why it is important for us to read our Word so that we can hold on to the promises the Lord has made to us. The promise to adopt us into His holy kingdom should we love Him with all of our heart. God has created you with a purpose, seek the Lord so that this may be known to you and the battle within will calm! God bless.

Good Roots

Psalm 1 (ESV)

“1Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. 4The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.”

“I don’t need to go to church or read my Bible, the Lord knows my heart.”
This is the number one excuse believers use when asked how their spiritual life is going. There’s no need to lie, the fact is that we all have busy lives and at times can become lazy. It is extremely important that we discipline our daily walk and create time to spend with our Father.

As Psalm 1 says, the tree that is planted near the stream of water shall not wither. When we plant our roots in the Word of God and prayer we give ourselves the nutrition we need need to grow. Just as a flower must be watered and nurtured in order to bloom into beauty, we also must nurture our spiritual lives so we blossom into the perfect creation God has placed on earth. When our roots are planted near the stream of life, we are able to soak up all God has blessed us with. You see because when the tree is planted near the stream it does not need to rely on an individual to water it everyday, during the hottest days it is still being refreshed from the moisture in the soil. The same rules apply for us, when our lives seem dry an others begin to mock our faith, the Lord is there to refresh us!

I was the Christian who was taking reading for granted, relied solely on church and prayer. However, I stand here today to tell you that I would not e where I am today if I didn’t discipline myself to read on a daily basis. Get your roots planted deep so you can experience the Lord on a higher level today!

Who’s Rollin?

Proverbs 1:10-19 (NIV)

“10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
14 cast lots with us;
we will all share the loot”—
15 my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into evil,
they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it.”

One of the hardest things to do for a Christian, especially a new believer, is to turn down opportunities to hang out with non-believing friends. We care and love these friends very much. However, some of these friends are not the best influences for our walk with Christ.

As much as we say we are our own person and make our own decisions, we are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. I know because that was me, when I recommitted my life to the Lord I tried to continue hanging out with my same friends while they continued going to the same places and doing the same things. As a result I found myself not going all out like they were, but I was also not gaining ground in my relationship with the Lord.

It is hard to maintain an intimate relationship with the Lord while surrounding yourself in an environment where the Lord’s presence is not welcome. Therefore I was forced to distance myself, not because I no longer care or love those friends but my own conviction was making it hard for me to just sit back and allow myself to act as if I was ok with their actions.

As a newly recommitted believer I had to set myself apart so that the Lord had room to grow in me. I still love and care for my friends with all my heart, as well as pray for my friends all the time. I believe that in time the Lord will mend those broken relationships.

It is very important to separate yourself from your old ways, memories and tendencies. When this is done you tell the Lord that you’ve tried living this life on your own and now your allowing Him to take control. Roll with Jesus and let the other things go. God bless.

Watch Out For Snakes

Psalm 18:1-3 (KJV):

 1 I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
         My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
         My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
         So shall I be saved from my enemies.

        When a child is told not to play with fire, what is the first thing that child asks himself?  “Well why can’t I play with fire?”  When my oldest younger brother was 3 years old he was told not to touch the curling iron because it was hot.  Sure enough as soon as he knew my step-mother was not looking, he went for it and grabbed it.  The result was a trip to the emergency room and a severely bandaged hand.  My brother cried, said sorry and never touched a curling iron, hot or cold, ever again.

        With the evolutions in our society, people become curious and are encouraged to test their limits.  Encouraged to “play with fire”, however, they do not realize that there are some fires that are inescapable.  There are parameters that the Lord places around us because He knows, although they may not have an immediate effect, we can become consumed and burnt to the core.  The Lord will allow us to go through some fire as it is, but as prideful humans we believe we can handle more, while the Father already knows the outcome of certain actions.

        This subject came to mind the other day as I was hiking with my girlfriend and a couple of my Christian brothers.  As we were hiking there were noises in the bushes that sounded like Rattlesnake rattles.  In the beginning when I heard these noises I just kept walking, wanted nothing to do with them.  However, as we continued on the hike I started to become curious.  I had reached the top of one of the hills before the other three and as I was attempting to catch my breath I heard the same noise in a bush nearby.  So I started to get closer to see if the noise was truly a rattlesnake or just the wind hitting the brush.  So I was cautiously getting closer I began to think, if it’s not a rattlesnake I’ll have the comfort of knowing that these hills are not infested with rattlesnakes and if it is a rattlesnake, I’m just going to end up running away anyway, unless it’s too late and I get bit.  However, there was also another option, stay put cause they are not bothering me as it is and I’m safe.  So I became curious no longer.

       The Lord will protect us and even when it feels that we are being persecuted it is never a situation that He is not involved in.  Trust in the Lord because He is our Rock and keeps us protected under the shadow of His wings.  Although it may seem hot, the Lord is there to cool us down and refresh our spirit. We must discipline ourselves to stay away from the traps the devil attempts to lay down in our path.