Holy Water, We the Kingdom

Saturday, February 15, 2020

How Does HOPE Play into the Equation?

Lately I have been thinking on the topic of Hope.  We know from the "Love Chapter" 1 Cor. 13 that in the end of time, Faith and Hope are trumped by Love.  In heaven, you see our faith is realized. We will see with our eyes the fulfillment of all of the things we once accepted by faith.  We won't have to BELIEVE in God....we will see Him and interact with Him right in front of us.  And Hope too, will go through a similar demise.  It is only Love which will remain.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between faith and hope? Hebrews 11:1 (the Faith chapter) shines some light here. 
"Faith is the essence of things unseen.  The Substance of things hoped for."  Faith is the belief that we will receive that for which we HOPE. The hope is the wanting. Faith is the engine that pulls the train to your desired destination.  It is faith that saves us. Not hope.  We do not HOPE that there is a God in heaven who adores us.  We believe  that there is.

Romans 5:5 NKJV — Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Have you ever had crushed hopes?  Disappointment goes hand in hand with a hope that has proven to be false, or what is not best for us. But the hope that GOD gives us does not ever disappoint us.  So if you are feeling disappointed in a hope that did not transpire, your hope was not God's best for you.  You can put your faith in that.  God demonstrated this love and  poured out the abundance of that love toward us by pouring out his goodness on us first through the life, death and resurrection of His Son and then continues to manifest his great love to us by caring for us and providing us with a Hope that circumstances and other people cannot kill or squelch.  And at the end  of the lives of God's children the ultimate realization of our hope and faith occurs when we get to the heaven God has prepared for us. It is then that we can say goodbye to our companions Faith and Hope and embrace, and be embraced by, the Love that God has given  us tiny glimpses of and there we will be overwhelmed with the depths and power of that Love.

Hang on to your hopes.  Don't let anything kill them, as long as  you know that they are for things that God has promised you.  And look forward to that great day when all of our hopes will be met in a solid reality because of God's great Love for us.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Praying IN Faith for MORE Faith--a re-post

This morning I was reading a daily devotion I get in my email from www.BibleGateway.com, a quote by Rev. John Piper, one of my all -time favorite ministers of the Lord.  Here are parts of the paragraph he wrote: 
'Jesus prays for Peter's faith to be sustained even through sin, because he knows that God is the one who sustains faith. So we should pray for ourselves and for others this way....Let us pray daily: “O Lord, thank you for my faith. Sustain it. Strengthen it. Deepen it. Don't let it fail. Make it the power of my life, so that in everything I do you get the glory as the great Giver. Amen”'

In yesterday's post I told of how God has strengthened my faith by His daily responses to my prayers for small-to-God-important-to-me needs.  I have seen my faith grow through these God-encounters but it never really occurred to me that this process of faith-growing, is really a gift from God to me...so that in my next crisis, my next need, my next conversation about Him with others--I will have the wherewithal to get through the situation in a way that brings Him glory.

And, as in any gift I receive from God, it is important for me not to take it for granted or to presume on God's goodness and try to use this gift for my own benefit or glory.  Rather, daily I need to ask Him for that day's allotment of grace--and faith--and to thank Him with heartfelt gratitude for the work He is completing in me.  It is so easy, isn't it, when  we get a "big" answer to prayer, to want to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate our faith for having pulled it off.

Any time we ask for a response from God--whether for our own need or for someone else--it is critical that we do so in humility and with a spirit of deep gratitude, never falling prey to the temptation to conclude that we have the ability to wrest a reply from God for our need.  As Rev.Piper said in the article mentioned above, the prayer of the desperate father "Lord I believe; help my unbelief!" is a good one.  This man recognized his helplessness to heal his son but he knew that he had come to One who could get the job done. And it is this posture we take before God every time we bring our requests to Him.

Once my mom called me in tears, with a desperate prayer request.  I prayed with her and ending the prayer, I said, "And Lord please answer this prayer before I say 'amen' and may our faith be strengthened by that."  And do you know, her doorbell rang with the answer to her prayer....before I said "amen"!!!  And God honored my request for more faith as a result in me and I hope in her as well.  This is the way God delights to answer our prayers. Prayers offered in faith, for faith.

So as I approach my prayer list,  I will begin it with a request from God to grow my faith and I will end it with thanksgiving to the Father for enabling me to pray in faith for those needs.  Who knows what great things God will do in His people who begin to ask Him to grow their faith?

Saturday, January 25, 2020

%&$#-- SHE'S BACK!

Well, it turns out that the "controversy" with my friend from my church, was really one that was created by my stupid, sick brain that totally misinterpreted what this man spoke over me in prayer.  My pastor and I have had several conversations and he has also spoken to my friend who prayed for me, just to clarify what exactly the man meant by his prayer.  I am embarrassed and very annoyed with myself. So I have apologized to this man because the whole ordeal caused him and his wife much pain. He graciously forgave me and told me that he prays for me daily.  It is very embarrassing to have screwed up so badly.

My pastor also pointed out something to me....there were numerous prayers that night and conversations, all of which pointed to my gifting as a intercessor...and I blew right by that wonderful thing and instead got embroiled in the above-mentioned misunderstanding.  The truth is that I have known for some years now, (maybe 15) that God has blessed me with this gift and calling.  For some years I was walking in the power of that gift and in intimacy with the Lord. But then came that psychotic episode that knocked me over flat and I fully believe that this event in my life was a strategy of satan because I was walking all over his plans in numerous lives and events. He wanted to stop me in my tracks, and I am very sad to say, that his plan worked.

For about 5 years  I was in and out of the hospital- both psychiatric and medical.  During that time I almost died from meningitis and encephalitis.  The enemy was determined that I should be silenced.  I also had ECT during that time  Both the infection in my brain and the shock therapy did damage to my brain.
When I returned to church after a long absence, I was hesitant in prayer and stumbled awkwardly over my words and struggled to get my thoughts together.  I kept trying though. I re-joined the prayer team at church and prayed with people during the services and following the services as people came up for prayer.

Although I am very rarely in church these days (Mornings are my worst time pain wise and it is very hard for me to get ready and go to a morning service), I have been attending and participating in "Refuel" our midweek prayer gathering. It was there that the whole debacle mentioned above occured.  But that night, there was also, I feel, a recognition of my gifting as an intercessor...It was a re-commissioning...it was
God restoring me to his army of pray-ers.  I don't know how people understood or recognized my gift because I still am lacking in my former eloquence but i think it must have been God opening people's eyes to the fact that God is ready once again, to use me.

How like the enemy, to jump into the middle of something as wonderful as that to try to sow seeds of discord among his Body!  I almost MISSED this message from God to me!

In former years I used to spend entire nights on my face on the floor before God's throne in intense prayer.  I have a long way to go before I am able to do that again.  I cannot focus for that long.  And my body will not allow me to lay on the floor but maybe I should try because put me in bed or on my recliner, and sleep puts an end to it.  I used to pray while I walked several miles a day here in our neighborhood...but now cannot walk even a couple of feet without severe pain. So maybe the Lord will have to either make known to me how and where to pray or maybe simply to work with shorter spans of time and fewer words from me.  He will make a way and will show me how to walk in it. I know that while I may not have the stamina, the eloquence or the zeal that I once had, God is not put off by that.  He will use and hear and answer every offering I speak to him.  A week ago Wednesday, God was trying to get through to me and let me know that I am back in the ranks of his prayer army. I mentioned this to my dad and he started laughing and said that he had a picture of satan, hearing my prayers and cursing "%$^& --She's back!"