Sunday, November 27, 2016

Inspire the wonder Part 2

 Image result for awe of God




How can we inspire the world around us to the awe of God's splendor, if we fail to be in awe of the Almighty God ourselves?

We simply can not.

There is no way Christians can convince anyone that God is wonderful- or full of wonder- when we present him in a way that detracts from that.

For example, just anyone can not walk into, let's say, a Starbucks, walk behind the counter, and pose as a barista with out the tell-tale apron. Without that apron or a Starbucks name tag, this person is now, just a questionable patron. People will give a raised eyebrow if a random individual walked behind the counter and started taking orders. What's more? When orders are mis-taken, and cups are mishandled, and spills are made, (even if with a smile) customers will question the "stand-in's" credibility. Multiply this phenomena by hundreds of stores nationwide and consumers will begin question Starbucks itself. They will complain about lack of customer service, and public accountability. Subsequently, Starbucks would charge these "posers" with defamation of character.

In this same way, our visible walk will either promote the truth of God's character or promote a lie.
Those green aprons set the customers apart from the Baristas. But that is only a start. The barista has to exemplify experience and offer Starbucks-quality service to be believable as a Starbuck's Barista, and to represent Starbucks honestly.

Similarly it seems the church is being infiltrated with impostors. It seems there is an overabundance of those who want the credentials but not the accountability. Everyone wants to be called a Christian, but want to just come in and barge behind the counter and begin serving, when there has been no true Christian experience.

 (H is for Holiness...)

What, you may ask, does holiness have to do with awe and wonder?

Well when we are enamored with God and who He is, we imitate him, aim to please Him, and introduce others to Him. That is usually the case for most Fathers - no- with anyone, we love.

 Fact: God is Holy.
His holiness is what makes him who He is. To revere God is to revere his holiness. It is to aspire to  "be holy as he is holy." 

Now holy does not mean pious, religious, stuck up,condescending or merely different. Holiness is being separated from the world's philosophies unto God's view of living.

Here is an excerpt from author Kim Haney that is spot on:


 " Anyone can be separated into a religion. I could convert to Islam and ... I would have adapted a very rigid disciplined religion in which to be dedicated. I could convert to the new age teachings and dress differently. I could begin tapping into the universal force and allow myself to be  controlled through positive thinking. I would still be separated from the majority of the western world. I could take the rigid vows of a nun and live in a convent the rest of my life, dress in Coptic catholic robes, or become a Buddhist monk and shave my head.

...Separation alone can not make you and me holy. Anything people separate themselves to, outside of God, still makes them part of the world's system. It may be different or divided from what the majority of the population does, but it's still not connected to the One True God who is holy.

Look at the Pharisees in the Bible; they were a people who separated themselves from other Jews and Gentiles, but they did not separate themselves unto God, so they never became holy- they just became separate. ..

...Separation in itself does not bring power and anointing. You must be separated unto, or attached to God, while detaching from the world. God alone, the One you are attaching yourself unto, is the one who makes you holy."

Being different is a start, but it is not enough. Being set apart from whom or what, needs to be defined.  Being different in what way? Being different for what reason? Because that also matters.

If one is set apart from the world in thinking but not in living, what is the real difference?

If one is set apart from the majority by the choice of activities they engage in merely because of personal preference but not to promote God, then what difference does it truly make?

If one chooses to blend in with the people around them so much that the Christian can not be spotted in a crowd, what part of God are you representing?

If the world sees nothing offered from a Christian's life as unique from what they already have,  to what god am I committed?

To be contiunued...



Saturday, November 12, 2016

Inspire the Wonder Part 1


First, a few questions:

Have we lost the awe of God?
Have we lost touch of the holy wonder?
Are we any longer amazed by God?
I look around at our Christian family and wonder if we have fallen more in love with ourselves than God. It seems we are more enamored by the idea of being in a relationship with God- giving ourselves pats on the back for doing churchy things and feeling spiritual- than actually actively and zealously pursuing a relationship with God.

So I ask-
Does the splendor of God captivate our hearts today?
What has become of the fear of the Lord in our lives?


It is evident that the "fear of the Lord" plays second fiddle to the "fear of" current cultural expectations and the "fear of" not standing out- too much.
And I refer to fear of the latter in both aspects of the word- 
  1. intimidation and 
  2. reverence or respect, or high regard.

When did we become content with bowing to ourselves, while bracing our backs to the principles of God because it does not suit us? When did it become more popular to justify our stubbornness in the guise of freedom of expression and liberation from the "rules"?

The church in its current state today seems to be a generation of
 1. Prodigals -wastefully extravagant; spending recklessly (in the spiritual sense) and
 2. A gathering of Esau's --squandering our birthright.

And we're use our "liberty" as an excuse for the flesh, rather than to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13.

It seems we live our lives in flux asking
Image result for awe of godHow close to God can I be without losing touch with the world?
Or How close to the world can I be without losing touch with God?

Yet the bible says either we will hate the one or love the other. Luke 16:13
It also says being a friend of the world is being an enemy of God. James 4:4.
Period.

It's time to evaluate

What is God worth to me?


We say we will go where sends us, do what he asks us- but that usually has conditions.

What is God worth to you? What is the "IT",  that is holding you back from full surrender?
That's where we need to begin again.

Because

Is He not worth "It"?





Saturday, November 5, 2016

Faith Training Pt 3

The Most powerful force...


"Above all taking the shield of faith..."

Hello Friends, 

I invite you to hop on over to Onemessage-onefaith.blogspot.com for part three of this series!

Enjoy, 

Chantel


Friday, November 4, 2016

Faith Training Part 2

"Strength training for your faith"


You prayed and prayed again.
Where is the answer?

"En route".

OK,yes-  as cliche as it sounds- it's on the way.

But here's the thing- what you are getting is more than what you prayed for.

Faith: The Purpose of the process

When we pray we employ faith, right?
 Otherwise why would we talk to a being, invisible to the eye? 

So we pray- in faith- that God hears and will respond to our request and supplication.

This is the starting line.
God wants to get us to the finish line- where we are complete and lacking nothing. James 1:3-4

In order to encourage us to strive to the finish line, he uses a tactic of delay.



For example-
A baby wants his mama. He is learning to walk.
Mama puts just a few yards distance between her and baby and coaxes baby to stand. This is the starting line.
Baby is afraid, but has faith in mom that she won't let him fall.
Wobbly and nervous, but simultaneously excited, baby stands.
Yay! He smiles as his confidence (faith) rises.
 But wait,  mama- the thing desired- is still out of reach.
Yet, if baby takes two steps he can reach her.
 So he steps out, wobbles, pauses, and takes a breath.
 Now his legs are scissored apart. He has to bring the other leg forward to balance himself. Baby takes a deep breath. He emits a nervous tiny laughter, and puts weight on the front foot to bring the back foot in line with the first.
Mama smiles big. He sees her face.

Oh boy! he thinks,  mama likes this. I can do it.  OK, one more step and I can lunge.

Now with another spike of confidence he holds his arms out in front of him and slowly  lifts one foot off of the ground and puts it forward. One foot down. One more to go.
Unknown to him, however, momma has slowly moved inches back.

Baby takes a step and wrinkles his forehead..
What happened? Why am I not in mama's arms? But he is determined to reach his prize.
So he steps again, and suddenly baby is catapulted by sheer will and inertia into a short cascade of heel-to-toes, falling into mama's arms.

In one swoop he has gone from standing, to walking- along with the confidence, excitement, and  adventure that come with it. In one progressive stretch baby has begun a new chapter in his development.



...to be continued

Catch up on part 1 or 
go to Part 3