Monday, February 28, 2011

Toxic Living

" Tremble, you women of ease;

      throw off your complacency.
  Strip off your pretty clothes,
      and put on burlap to show your grief.
   Beat your breasts in sorrow for your bountiful farms
      and your fruitful grapevines.
  For your land will be overgrown with thorns and briers.
      Your joyful homes and happy towns will be gone.
  The palace and the city will be deserted,
      and busy towns will be empty.
   Wild donkeys will frolic and flocks will graze
      in the empty forts and watchtowers
 until at last the Spirit is poured out
      on us from heaven." Isaiah 31:11-15
Watch out for complacency for it is like mold growing in your home and it becomes toxic living.I want to comment on this particular word, and that word is “complacency”.  I think of how mold grows in homes. It starts out with a small spot and if the area is not  treated, it spreads and become larger. Just as in the photo, look at what happened to the mold growth in this home!! Our spiritual lives can be the same way, we can be complacent and take life for granted. We may attend church on weekends, attend mini church and even do our daily devotions. But is that enough to keep the mold away from our homes? No, I believe that it comes down to the heart and how the heart can become hardened (like mold) if we do not spend time in prayer and confessing our sins to the Father and asking forgiveness. Our hearts can become like that moldy home and when we get to the point of having the mold take over, it almost seems like it is too late. What we need is daily cleansing of our homes through prayer. We need to rest in the arms of the Father or we may begin to get offended by others or have our thought life start to have mold grow. Unless we can go to the Father daily, staying in His Word, we cannot prevent the mold growth. Watch out, for without you even knowing, you too can have a home that is contaminated with toxic growth. Just as these verses say, we can get so far away from the Father that the only way to be restored is a good dose of the Holy Spirit. Going to the Father daily is a way of cleansing and restoring the house. It is not an option, but part of maintaining the home through a good power wash from the Holy Spirit and through a heart wash of forgiveness.
Question: Are you living a life of complacency? Do you need some mold removal?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Watchmen on the Wall

" Meanwhile, the Lord said to me,“Put a watchman on the city wall.
      Let him shout out what he sees. He should look for chariots
      drawn by pairs of horses, and for riders on donkeys and camels.
      Let the watchman be fully alert.” Then the watchman called out,
   “Day after day I have stood on the watchtower, my lord.
      Night after night I have remained at my post. Now at last—look!
   Here comes a man in a chariot with a pair of horses!”
   Then the watchman said, “Babylon is fallen, fallen!
   All the idols of Babylon lie broken on the ground!”
  my people, threshed and winnowed,
      I have told you everything the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has said,
      everything the God of Israel has told me." Isaiah 26:6-10

The Watchmen on the wall is what I believe that all prayer intercessors are called to do. It is a call to watch and a call to alert other prayer warriors that there is something that needs to be prayed for through the Word of God – the Sword!  Also check out Ezekiel 33:3 about the watchmen. Even in Nehemiah, there were posted watchmen on the walls to watch for the invading army. When someone sees the enemy approaching, they sound the alarm and all those workers would lay down their tools and get armed. This is the battle cry that not only intercessors need to do but us as individuals. We are to watch for the lion that prowls to steal, kill and destroy. I just taught Spiritual Warfare at another church and one of the things we are to look out for is deception and lies of the enemy. We are to guard ourselves from getting blindsided with attacks from the enemy. We are to be on guard and watch for those areas in our lives where we are sensitive (triggers) and to not buy into the lies of the enemy. Often we have hurts from the past where we have not seen how the enemy has given us a lie and we take the lie on as part of us and be believe the lies. Lies about who we are in Christ. We are His masterpiece and unfortunately, the enemy tells us different through events or people in our lives. So we are to watch for those attacks that the enemy will throw at us. It can be friends, family, coworkers, ministry partners or other people in our lives that will say something and we will get “offended”. We have two choices at this point, to either buy into the emotional hurt or not to. It is our choice. When we choose to be offended then we have just allowed the enemy to take control and we have taken the “hit” of offense. We are to be watchmen and to guard our hearts. How do we do this? We do this with the Word of God to know the truth about who we are and truth in all circumstances. We are fighting a spiritual battle and it is in our minds! That is why we stand on guard as watchmen to see when the enemy is prowling. Isaiah 21 is a good reminder for me me today to watch those triggers and not to buy into lies or offense that is trying to bait me. I am to stay in God’s Word and His truth at all times. Measure everything by God’s Word!!
Question: Have you been offended lately by others? Are you willing to forgive and to be set free?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ending a 21-Day Daniel Fast

Today is the ending of our 21-Day fast. What can I expect? What do I do now after I have been on a Daniel fast for 21 days? I found some helpful suggestions.  Let us consider these things:

Many men and women will complete their 21-day Daniel Fast over the weekend. And so I wanted to post some advice about ending your fast. Even if you are not concluding your fast, please keep this information in mind. It is important.
  • Ease back into your “typical diet.” This is especially true with caffeine, sugar, fatty foods, meat and dairy products. Small portions are wise and go slow, perhaps just one or two foods per day.
  • For caffeine beverages, drink one small cup or glass and then see how your body reacts. Don’t be surprised if you get the “jitters.” Consider starting with de-caf (I realize that’s almost criminal for those of us who love the java). 
  • Don’t be surprised if you feel tired after you start eating the “typical foods.” Your body has been detoxed over the 21-day Daniel Fast and it might scoff at what it has to digest!
  • Continue to drink lots of filtered water, at least 1/2 gallon a day.
Also, consider the lessons you’ve learned and the good habits you’ve adopted on the Daniel Fast. Don’t leave them behind, but let them become a regular part of your life. This includes your prayer and study time with the Lord as well as improved eating habits.
Finally, while you may always fast at the New Year, consider fasting at other times of the year. Many parents pray and then fast from dawn to dusk on their children’s birthdays. If you have pressing issues or circumstances facing you, consider a time of consecrated prayer and fasting. Last year I fasted during Pentecost seeking the Lord’s direction for some personal business matters. 
It has been a fruitful time in the past 21-days. There are many stories that I have heard of kairos moments and divine interventions. Although you are no longer on the fast, you can still keep pressing into this deeper relationship with God. Congratulations to you all that were on this journey with us.
Questions: If you fasted, what have you learned? Are there any new habits you have formed that you will be keeping?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inner Beauty

16 The LORD says, “The women of Zion are haughty, 
walking along with outstretched necks, 
   flirting with their eyes, 
strutting along with swaying hips, 
   with ornaments jingling on their ankles. 17 Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; 
   the LORD will make their scalps bald.” 
18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19 the earrings and bracelets and veils, 20 the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, 21 the signet rings and nose rings, 22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses 23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls." Isaiah 3:16-22
Wow! These scriptures talk about “haughty” women that adorn themselves with purses, jewelery and they strut their stuff! They are all about themselves. It was the downfall of Israel and Jerusalem. It is no different today, when we see the media glorify the “rich and famous” with their fashions and beauty. They are held up as idols to us and the media stresses that we are to strive to be like them. We are to strive to be beautiful, skinny, popular and dressed with the latest of fashion. But God’s Word speaks of the inner beauty of a woman. It is not about the outward appearances but the inner beauty that God is pleased with. In the Last Days, God is also looking at those inner qualities in His people. He is not pleased with all the adornments and focus on the outside package. God is pleased with our hearts. I know that I am to focus on the inside cultivation of God’s spiritual fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control) and not focus on the outside qualities of the world. Let’s not get caught up with the latest of fashion, wanting the best brands and begin to shift our focus to inward qualities than outward.
Question: Do you measure your worth by your outside appearance?How do you measure up with Gods Word and His standards?