Monthly Archives: April 2013

Claimed by the Holy Spirit

Dedicated to my sister Christina in her ever-pursuit of sharing Christ

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In the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to share the Gospel with my neighbors and other closely-related people in my life. I have found it almost frustrating to persuade people into salvation to the point of asking God to give me the mind and perspective of the unbeliever so that I may be better equipped to share the message of the Gospel.

As I observed my own efforts and others’ around me trying to save the lost, the Holy Spirit gave me a fresh outlook and revelation on this topic. The following is a conversation between the Holy Spirit and myself:

How do we save people? It seems to be so difficult to persuade someone into trusting the Lord Jesus. There are two things I noticed in contemplation of all this. The first thing to note is that most of the time, an individual turns to the Lord when they are broken, either through a tragedy, loss, or hopelessness. When one is broken, they become aware of their ‘sorry’ state. They realize that something is missing. Hopelessness brings one realization of the reality of their corrupt state- being dead in spirit. 

Therefore, a realization, or revelation, has to occur for one to see any need to repent and surrender. If they are #1 Not aware of their corrupt state, they cannot see the need for salvation. If a country is at war, both sides have the option of surrender. But a country at peace has no need to surrender. Thus, it is with salvation. Until one gets a revelation that they are, in fact, sinners in need of saving, they will have no true repentance nor are they able to repent. 

The second point, or #2 Recognition of sin goes hand-in-hand with recognition of grace. Grace is the realization that there is a God who loves us. This is radical news to anyone. Therefore, when realization comes, there is no if-and-or-but, a person will immediately surrender and repent. Grace overlooks one’s addictions and in-turn says, “I accept you exactly the way you are”!

But often times, it takes a loss or tragedy for a man to find God, or more like, realize God. One may ask, “Where then is God when we are not lost or hurt”? The reality is that God is always present, but He cannot be recognized entirely to the point of surrender unless we receive that revelation. 

Having said that, God is always at work within you, but A) Our flexibility with Him is respected by Him and B) He does all He can with what we give Him to work with. If we limit Him so much, what do we expect to happen? But faith will usher in the reality of His work. Faith will bring truth into manifestation.

Salvation is never achieved through indifference. One must get a revelation of their need for salvation. Realization and revelation will bring one to a position of surrender. Therefore, our job is not to save or convince people to claim salvation, because neither Christians nor Non-Christians own the rights to salvation. Salvation belongs to the Lord (Psalm 3:8). Only He can claim someone to it. Since the Lord is our salvation (Psalm 27:1), a revelation of the Lord is needed. That revelation is given from God. And it is only He who can save the lost.

The question becomes, “Who then can be saved”? God wills that none perish, but all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). The progress begins with us, allowing the Lord to direct us to those individuals He wants us to minister to. We should follow this pattern: Speak, Pray, and Watch!

The steps of this pattern can be taken interchangeably. The steps are adjustable to the Lord’s direction. Speaking God’s Word and the truth of Jesus Christ should be our life story wherever we go, representing Christ and not allowing any man to tempt us with religion (The Standard Christian Epidemic). Praying should be a lifestyle for us believers, as it is the means by which the spiritual realm runs by. Watching is the concept of listening and obeying the Lord’s direction. Watching is also the prophetic realm. We are to be sensitive to His voice and direction through discernment and wisdom.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. (Ephesians 2:8).

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We reap what we sow

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            Recently, I have been discovering the reality of that verse, “you reap what you sow.” God pushes us to excel when we are excelling because there will be days we let our guard down, and at those moments (does not mean you are not a good Christian) what will sustain you is the trust you’ve been putting in God. God does say, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” but my friend, how many times did you press that snooze button in the morning? Your alarm will always be there, but it does nothing for you, when it is put to sleep.

A time is coming when the anointing you have or don’t have will be needed for your sustainability. 

At the Jesus Culture Conference New York, Kim Walker stated, “I had to fight for this fellowship. It wasn’t always easy for me to go in and out of worship freely. I had to seek after God. I had to spend time on my knees, when I didn’t sense Him but because of that, my awareness of His presence has increased and that enables me to have that communication with Him.”

God knows what’s real. He knows when you’re being honest and real with Him. If you are not, then you yourself are not taking yourself seriously or God. God has no response to such passiveness. Kent Mattox wrote in his book, “No High Like the Most High,” that it is in those moments when we are truly broken and genuine, that He answers us.

In “The Standard Christian Epidemic,”I write, “Seeking Him wholeheartedly is seeking him until you find Him.”

We will reap what we sow. If we spend our days meddling in our own affairs, that’s just what we’ll get. We are raised with this hope, that God is always there, so whenever you need Him, just go to Him, He will make you feel safe and at peace. My friends, how hypocritical that is, yet I know for a fact we all think like that, because first of all it’s the truth, but it does not mean that’s the lifestyle God called us to because it contradicts the life of an ever-increasing relationship with Him, which is His perfect will.

Here’s why this principle of sowing and reaping is so crucial: those days when you are down or at your lowest, FOR WHATEVER REASON, you will have no anointing to draw from. You will need to cry for help, because you have no sense of His presence. If you are truly broken and humble, have no doubt, God will come, because He honors real talk. But, that is no way to live, because even though God will come again and again for this present time, you will be miserable.

It’s the same as flunking the whole semester, and then when it comes to the midterm or final, you have to stay up for hours cramming the information and studying it. Yes, it works, and it worked for me in high school and college. But do you know how miserable I was when it came time for those exams. I was miserable all those hours before the exam and during the exam, filled with anxiety and stress beyond normal levels. Of course, once it was over, it was over, I went back to senioritis freshmen year in high school.

It is likewise with God. We will reap exactly what we sow. God will not be mocked. You cannot fool God. You cannot fool anyone when it comes to real talk. This is reality my friends. This is life.

I wonder if anyone in here had the same thought growing up as I did after I read the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Every time my grandpa gave me watermelon seeds, the biggest hope in my heart was that I would come outside and somehow find something I didn’t expect and I would be a million dollars richer! This anticipation made me go out there the day after I had planted those watermelon seeds to see if anything had grown. We have this anticipation and desire for something great and that something wonderful will eventually come of our lives, but I have a very stern challenge for all of us, you will reap exactly what you sow!

A couple weeks after I planted those watermelon seeds, I found those little melons and I enjoyed seeing them, but I was not the least bit surprised, because in my heart, I knew those were just simple watermelon seeds.

   Our hearts know the condition they are in. Our hearts know the foolish imagination we put in front of ourselves, those foolish lies we think we want to believe. Our hearts know that Jesus Christ is the truth. Yet we choose to live without making any serious effort to make a decision that will bring separation from not only the world, but other Christians.

            We reap what we sow. You are building a legacy in your life. Every day is another brick to your legacy. We are building something, but what a huge difference the material makes!

Though God forgives our sin, when we do sin, and don’t turn away from it, by making that decision and trusting Him to walk us through it, we build a stronghold in our lives, giving that sin power over us. Believe me, anything you sow, will die, because the strong man always wins. If sin goes unaddressed in your life, it will be your strong man.

Now, when we do sin but address it, that sin leaves no residue to God, but it leaves a residue to your soul. Those days when you are empty, everything you sowed previously will begin to hover over you. Now, two things you must understand, our past does not rule us nor does it have power over us, but the second thing is, that thing even when conquered, will make an attempt at your life once again. Hell does not sleep. Hell does not care that you overcame by the blood of Jesus, it will still come after you. Though the gates of hell shall not prevail against you, they surely try!

That being said, we must understand what we sow into our lives, we give room and opportunity to. Therefore, my exhortation is this; renew each day with the Word and fellowship with the Father, making a decision to trust Him. As we do this, we will be victorious. But nevertheless, you will reap what you sow.

In my personal life, when I have days that I feel empty or void, honestly it’s only because we live in a fallen state, body and soul not fully redeemed yet, so don’t think we have to be this way, NO… but that’s why we need to sow the Word of God into our lives, so that we can realize our spiritual identity, and reap our spirit because it is our spirit that redeems our soul.

 

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