Offense

Well let me first say that it has been a long time since I have written in this blog. I do apologize for not being as committed to this as I should and need to be. I am not quite for sure what it is that I would like to or what I should be speaking on. With that being said I am going to just type and go from there. I mean I can always edit prior to posting right? Ok here goes….
As you know, or may not know, I became a licensed minister as June 2013. Along with three other women of God, we have all been called to spread The Gospel of Jesus Christ (each one in our own God Gifted ways). With that being said we are held to a higher standard, if you will.
This does not mean we are better Christians than any other. It doesn’t mean that we will not mess up nor does it mean will not fail or make mistakes. It does mean that people are watching… Closely…. At all times. Some hoping we mess up, some are watching so that they can have an earthly example to follow by. I strongly recommend that one would follow Jesus, as he is the best example! I still fight with my flesh… Daily. Anyway, getting to my point.
About two weeks ago I found myself at odds with another leader, whom unfortunately was offended by my actions and the lack of concern that I had shown her. Initially, I was upset and thrown off by her blunt confession of being offended (as it was sent in a text and that’s how I received it). I began to justify my actions, thoughts, and lack of empathy for a person. I thought ‘well that’s her problem if she’s offended.’ ‘She is too sensitive.’ ‘Who does she think she is for me to address her in a certain way?’ I was, truth be told, livid, and too through with her.
As I thought on where my lack of empathy or concern would have been during our past conversations or interactions. I didn’t see where my heart or intentions were in the wrong place. I mean of course everything I have said, done, how I have acted towards anyone was most definitely not intended to offend ANYONE. Let alone a fellow leader within the place that I worship in. So now my emotions are those that are hurt and baffled to think that I, the Minister of Intercessory prayer could be ‘offensive’ to anyone. That’s who I am… Empathetic, compassionate, taking on the burdens of others. Who was she to tell me how and when to be those things?
Well, she was a hurting soul, that had been overlooked and was pleading for me to recognize that. She had a broken heart that needed some mending. In ministry, as leaders we can sometimes get caught up in serving those that are not yet leaders, that we overlook when a fellow leader is in need.
God had to tell me that as justified as I am in my feelings…. So was she in her feelings. Who was I to tell her NOT to be offended? Or that it was crazy that she was offended? So I had two choices, I could allow the spirit of offense to dwell in me and turn into bitterness, and it shows later in a Sunday service. OR suck up my pride, go to her, apologize for any wrong that I had done in offending her. I chose the latter, because I knew the enemy wanted an open door just so he could come in the ministry and try to tear it down. In choosing this, it would accomplish a number of things. It did not give the enemy his open door of opportunity that he desired. It stopped any further vicious cycles of ‘hurt people hurting people’. I don’t know who else she informed of our disagreement, but in choosing the decision that I did, it served as an example to whomever was watching as to how to resolve Christian issues. This reaction released me from offense and placed the option to forgive in her hands.
God gave me an example to look at my delima. He reminded me that The Church is supposed to act as a hospital for those that are spiritually sick or dying. The leaders and workers in The Church act as the doctors and nurses. Well, if the staff comes to work sick, how then can we help those that come in the hospital (The Church) to receive healing? We can’t, we are only making them sicker. Passing more germs to them. If we never treat the issue then we will just get sicker, those that come around us will get sick, and it will take longer for healing to take place.
We are given a free will to do whatever we want in this walk with Christ. Let’s make sure we choose freedom in Christ Jesus with every thing we do and decisions we make. Even when you think no one is watching, just know the world still sees you. Keep your head high and your faith in Christ even higher!

‘Give your life for something’

Let me first say that this is not my original work. All credit belongs to Rick Warren and his daily devotional that I receive through The Bible app!

I read this and it just made me think of how so many Churches are dying spiritually and physicalIy because the faithful few are burnt out from servicing. Its not that they do not love The Lord or do not want to do His Work. As they have served the people of God they have watched other people sit and not be moved or motivated to serve along with them, many of them having the same excuses as found in this devotional. That can be discouraging when we see that our work is in vain, which is an indicator that our flesh is taking over. We should focus on if God is pleased with our service not man, and we should leave the moving to the Holy Spirit. Let that be The Holy Spirit’s job to touch hearts and motivate people to do more for The Kingdom of God.
Enjoy!

God’s Praying Heart

‘Give Your Life for Something

You are going to give your life for something. What will it be – a career, a sport, a hobby, fame, wealth? None of these will have lasting significance. Service is the pathway to real significance.

As we serve together in God’s family, our lives take on eternal importance. Paul said, “I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less . . . because of what you are a part of.” (1 Corinthians 12:14a, 19 MSG)

God wants to use you to make a difference in his world. He wants to work through you. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of it.

If you’re not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have you been using?

Abraham was old; Jacob was insecure; Leah was unattractive; Joseph was abused; Moses stuttered.

Gideon was poor; Samson was codependent; Rahab was immoral; David had an affair and all kinds of family problems. Elijah was suicidal; Jeremiah was depressed; Jonah was reluctant; Naomi was a widow.

John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least; Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered; Martha worried a lot. The Samaritan woman had several failed marriages; Zacchaeus was unpopular; Thomas had doubts; Paul had poor health; and Timothy was timid.

That is quite a variety of misfits, but God used each of them in his service. He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses.’

Oklahoma City Prayer

Father,

I come to You asking for healing in the hearts of those that have lost a loved one in the mist of this tornado. Comfort them with Your loving arms as well as through the love of friends and other family members. Your word declares that they will be blessed because of their mourning…. ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’ (Matthew 5:4 NIV)
I pray that you give them peace that surpasses all understanding, peace that will allow them to sleep and not slumber tonight. Father, I pray that they are able to still praise You in spite of, even if they don’t have the words to say, or feeling up to it. And even if they are not able to muster up a praise, I pray that You shall keep Your word that says You will lift them to safety.
‘The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.’ (Job 5:11 NIV).
I lift these families and individuals up to You Lord and I give You praise for their VICTORY OVER THE ENEMY. In JESUS’ name I pray, AMEN!

Faithfully Following Christ,

Your Praying Heart

The Armor of God, conclusion

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:18-20 NIV)

[v. 18, 19] says to me that we all are to be intercessors for our brothers and sisters in Christ. This calling may come easier to some than others but we all should be praying in the Spirit for one another. It tells us to be alert or discern when our brothers or sisters in Christ is in need of motivation, encouragement, and/or feeling unloved. We should do this so that none of The Lord’s people should drop out the race. I love how The Message translates these verses.
“In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”

“Pray for me….”, The Evangelist is asking that we pray for him. Okay, come again? THE EVANGELIST is asking that WE pray for HIM. So you are telling me that the one that has come to encourage, motivate, and teach us needs the same from us in prayer? Do not for a second think that The Leaders in The Church are immune to the attacks of the enemy. They too are battling with their own struggles. I mean Paul was in prison for crying out loud, which is why he calls himself an ambassador in chains. The enemy seeks to destroy leaders in the church, in order to keep God’s word from the lost. The enemy wants to maintain his control, so he figure if he can get to those that are carrying the message then he can keep us in bondage, keep us in fear, in our generational curses, and in our past. The body can not operate without a head. The head leads the body, telling it what to do, where to go, and how, the body then aligns itself with the head.

So everyday we awake, we should prepare for Spiritual Warfare, as we were instructed by Paul in Ephesians, put on the full armor of God. You can not have one without the other, you must use all of the equipment in order to be covered in battle. Be encouraged in your walk with Christ, and encourage others, especially the leaders within The Church. This is done to assure that the Gospel of truth will be delivered and received effectively.

Thankful,

Your Praying Heart

The Armor of God, Part III

“and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
(Ephesians 6:15-17 NIV)

Be prepared to stand on the word of God, The Gospel of Truth, in order to bring peace over your situation(s). Knowing the word of God and standing firm on what it says, gives us a sense of peace and comfort in knowing that God is right there with us in the mist of our struggles. For He is not a man that He should lie. He can not go back on His promises to you. So stand firm in The Word of God and you shall receive peace over your trials, your struggles, your battles.

In the Roman Gladiator Era, they possessed metal shields that was used to protect them while in battle. It was very difficult to penetrate through these shield due to the material it was made out of. Same goes for now, when the S.W.A.T. team comes out they come prepared with their shields, these shields are made of different material but still durable none the less. They use these shields in case anything is/was thrown, shot, swung at them it would block it completely or lessen the impact of the attack. In theory keeping them in the fight that much longer. In verse 16, I would simply say that your faith is the material your shield is made of, so the greater your faith, the greater your shield. Thus you keeping yourself alive that much longer and showing the enemy that you are not afraid of him and his tactics, and that he can not harm you.

‘The Message’ translation of The Bible says for verse 17, that ‘Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You will need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.’ Galatians 5:22 (NIV) tells us about what the fruits of the spirit are. Producing fruits like these shows as a display and allows us to witness through our daily living. Wearing our helmet of salvation pleases God and serves as testimonial accounts to His Word.

When I looked up the word indispensable it was defined as ‘absolutely necessary’. The Word of God is an absolutely necessary weapon. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that, ‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’ I am not for sure what you had in mind when came to the weapons you needed to take when going into battle but I would say that this one would most definitely be on the list. However, in order for us to be able to use this for its designed purpose, we must know The Word. In order for us to know The Word, we have to read, study, and meditate on His Word daily. A lawyer would not be able to practice law and represent his clients effectively if he did not know the law. Therefore, it would be crazy to go into battle without knowing your strategies of attack.

In closing, stand firmly on The Word of God, not only because it brings you peace and understanding, but its your play book that guides you to your victory over the enemy. It’s an indispensable weapon, that directs us on how to live Holy and Righteous in the sight of God. So that we may be a living testimony of His good grace, of who can be and wants to be in us, and of all the promises He has and desires for us. The greater your faith, the greater your protection, which in turn gives you the greater VICTORY!

Let us pray,

Lord I Thank You for this word. I pray that it does not fall on deaf ears, that we, Your people, may not just be hearers of Your word but doers as well. Father, give us a yearning spirit after your word and obtaining a deeper relationship with You. I pray that we become radically obedient to the call You have placed on our lives and that all distractions are removed. Thank You for our GREATER VICTORY over the enemy, in Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.

Following You Father,

Your Praying Heart