Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Peace..and hellooooo Im still here:)

My goodness I havent posted since APRIL?? We have had an amazing and delightful summer- working hard, spending a lot of time with my grandson. The above photo is from our recent excursion to the Kansas Museum of History for his very first visit..we had a lot of fun:)   Im still smack dab in the middle of busy season, but wanted to pop in and let you know we are still alive and rejoicing!!  As usual, I have some favorites from the living active dividing between my soul and spirit breath of Almighty God and source of my strength and my song (yeah you guessed it, THE BIBLE:) to share with everyone. Today's subject= PEACE- in Hebrew "shalom", the wholeness, completeness that comes from resting in our loving Father:)

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
~Psalm 4:8

I will hear what God the LORD will speak,
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His saints
Psalm 85:8

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength
Isaiah 26:3-4

For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
Isaiah 54:10

(Really, ALL OF ISAIAH 54 is wonderful:)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

And finally~ A prayer for us all:)

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ~Romans 15:13 :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Birth Pangs

Sedona, AZ © Karla Hall 2010

I dont live on an old, decrepit Earth! I live on a gloriously alive and beautiful place created by God that rejoices in its Creator and is pregnant with anticipation of the joy thats coming next! The idea that our earth is old, wheezing and barely making it is really silly...yes, its groaning, yes, we can do things to be good stewards of our home here, but I feel the guilt and finger-pointing Messiah complex that is often associated with "Earth Day" totally misses the point.

Romans chapter 8 is one of the most amazing places in the whole Bible, and The Message translation really brings out the relationship we have to the earth..hopefully it will help explain better than I can:

© Karla Hall 2010

"This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!"

Sedona Az, © Karla Hall 2010
"That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens."

"All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy."

~Roman 8:15-25 (The Message translation)

Skye Portal © Karla Hall 2005

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Resurrection Victory

Happy Resurrection Day everyone:)!!

This year I have been meditating on the POWER of His resurrection. I have heard it said that the resurrection of Jesus was the single most powerful thing God ever did...creation was amazing, but in the resurrection God was also bringing all His power to bear to break the horrible bondage of sin and death and defeat it forever!

To sit and think of all that was accomplished with Jesus' death, the three days in the earth and His glorious resurrection truly is awe-inspiring, but the absolutely amazing thing to me is that the Holy Spirit through Paul says that power is now at work IN US:
"...(That you may) realize how great is the hope to which He is calling you- the magnificence and splendor of the inheritance promised to Christians- and how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God. That power is the same divine energy which was demonstrated in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and gave Him the place of supreme honor in Heaven- a place that is infinitely superior to any conceivable command, authority, power or control and which carries with it a name far beyond any name that could ever be used in this world or the world to come" ~Eph 1:19-23 (Phillips)

We live in a transition time, between earth and Heaven. As we move forward towards the return of our King, we walk on this earth as kings & priests unto our God:

"Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." ~Revelation 1:4-6 (NKJV)

As believers He is calling us to realize that the resurrection power at work within us can be allowed to flow out from us. These Rivers of Living Water can move in our lives and the lives of those around us to affect TRUE change and to bring the rule of the Kingdom of Heaven to flood the darkness of the world around us with LIGHT, PEACE, and VICTORY!!!

When Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah and proclaimed "today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing", He was proclaiming our purpose on the earth, our calling, our destiny:

The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
       Because He has anointed Me
      To preach the gospel to the poor;
      He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
      To proclaim liberty to the captives
      And recovery of sight to the blind,
      To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
       To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD
~Luke 4:18-19
Read those words aloud- YOU are the ME in those verses!  If you are born again, then you are" His body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence".  When you allow the rivers of living water to flow out from you, you are a light bringer, healer, deliverer through the power of the resurrected Messiah that lives in you!

Let us pray for one another to understand and walk in this truth, as the Holy Spirit showed us to pray in Colossians:

(I pray) that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

~Colossians 1:9-13

Amen, so be it:)!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nothing New Under the Sun- Yes, People Will Think You're Crazy

So yeah, there are a lot of people out there these days who have no fear of reviling the Only True God of all Creation and/or His followers... in fact take great delight in doing so loudly!

They have this idea that if they reason Him away and can write a lot about it, and debate people and win arguments, He will not exist and they can do whatever they want with their lives. They use everything from seemingly tame phrases like "everyone has a right to their own beliefs"  to outright nasty insults that anyone would be so simple as to believe in a Creator and/or even need saving from anything.

There are also people in my own home town who stand on the street corner and blaspheme our loving Father by saying that they REPRESENT Him while spewing their hatred- when its obvious to anyone who has ever read more than a couple verses in the New Testament that they have no idea who HE really is.

This is nothing new under the sun:)

Whenever you as a believer feel attacked assaulted, insulted, isolated or outnumbered, I hope you can resist the temptation to be drawn into a fleshly argument with the perpetrator of such an attack. The only thing that will win in a situation like that is the POWER of Paul said:

My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:4-5

The best thing to do is step back and look at the glorious truth of God's Word, step into His presence and receive His direction for how to handle the situation(sometimes He will even tell you to just walk away-see Luke 10:8-12)....this sort of thing has been going on for thousands of years and God certainly isnt feeling threatened by it. Saddened, yes- threatened, no.

There are a couple of examples in the Word that I love to look at in this sort of situation...first is Hezekiah's response to the blasphemous threats of Sennacherib in 2 Kings chapter 19. Sennacherib was boasting about all his conquests of other nations, how their "gods" didnt help them,saying ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you' and threatening to annihilate God's people. Hezekiah had every right to be terrified! In the natural sense, this was a fierce enemy that his people had no real way to defeat. But he did just exactly what the great fathers of faith before him had done- he brought it all before "Him who judges justly" and presented his case! He took the letter that Sennacherib wrote, spread it out on the Altar of the Living God and prayed this AWESOME prayer:
“O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim,
You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth.
You have made heaven and earth.
Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear;
open Your eyes, O LORD, and see;
and hear the words of Sennacherib,
which he has sent to reproach the living God.

Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands,
and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods,
but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them.
Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand,
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.”
~2 Kings 19:15-19

See what he does there at the beginning of that prayer? HE SPEAKS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE LIVING GOD!! He doesnt repeat the threats or dwell on them, he focuses on GOD and who He really is. He then calls upon Him to judge and to act. He says 'yeah I know they have destroyed other nations, but WE are not just any nation, we are YOUR nation" again, reminding himself of the Truth in the face of the lies that Sennacherib has shouted so loudly!

If you want to really be blessed, go to 2 Kings 19 and read God's response;-). I have often thought about this phrase when I watch people reviling God

"I know your dwelling place,
Your going out and your coming in,
And your rage against Me.
Because your rage against Me and your tumult
Have come up to My ears,
Therefore I will put My hook in your nose
And My bridle in your lips,
And I will turn you back
By the way which you came(v 27-28)

And you know, before someone jumps in here and says something about how violent the old testament was, let me remind you that God is NEVER pleased with having to mete out judgment on the wicked:

As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live!
~Ezekiel 33:11

One of the most intense emotional pains I have ever felt was at the funeral of a friends brother who died cursing the "pastor" droned on about how maybe this young man was a star in the sky now, my gut wrenched with the sorrow of our loving heavenly Father who had lost a child forever.

(for a great teaching on the difference between the Old Covenant and the New see Andrew Wommacks series The True Nature of God)

NOW, on to a New Testament example of how believers dealt with reviling threats! In Acts chapter 4, Peter and John were called before the religious leaders of the day and told to quit preaching in the Name of Jesus (they were in trouble because someone got HEALED who had been lame for 40 years, and they were talking crazy talk like someone had actually been risen from the dead!!). They went back to their "church" and told them what happened and here is the prayer they prayed together in response:
“Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:

‘ Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?
The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the LORD and against His Christ.'

“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Acts 4:24-31

Can you see the similarities here? They start by STATING THE TRUTH about who God is, and in this case, who their enemies are. They then 'lay their threats out on the altar' so to speak and ask God to notice them..then they pray for the New Testament way to victory..not that the enemies would fall down dead, or even that they would be silenced, but that THE TRUTH would go forth with boldness, strength and with SIGNS AND WONDERS to back it up!! And the Holy Spirit SHOOK the place:)

Christians, we dont need to get stuck in the flesh and wallow around in the muck with unbelievers! We need to come before our loving AWESOME Father and ask for boldness and power to "speak the truth in love" (eph 4:15), to KNOW "what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe"(eph 1:19), that "amazing abundantly above all we can ask or think" POWER that works within us (eph 3:20)

There are many other verses I could use in this article, but Ive gone on a lot already:). What biblical examples can you think of that address these situations? Feel free to share, debate or otherwise comment below if you have thoughts on this topic!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Worshipping our Holy, Awesome LOVING Father

"Jesus, your Name is power, breath and living water,
Such a marvelous mystery"

So often as we are "doing praise & worship" in a church setting, we end up just singing about God and faith etc...thats not always a bad thing- songs are a wonderful way to put the Word of God and His principles deep in our spirits. BUT, we also need to spend time loving and truly worshipping Him in spirit and in truth. Revelation Song written by Jennie Riddle is one of the best I have heard in a long time that does just that. In The Story Behind Revelation Song, she explains how the song came to be:

"The songs being sung by the Bride at that time were focusing on need. My heart longed to focus on something far greater than my need, knowing that all needs would be satisfied with just one glimpse of Him.

Therefore, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me write a song that painted Him; a song that the angels and creation were already singing, so that we could join in with One Voice, as One Bride, to One King."

I love that!! When we are focused on need, our prayers and worship are so limited- when we focus on HIM all our needs are met and our spirits are joined to one another and love and peace flow freely:)

Here is a beautiful version of the song sung by Kari Jobe from the Wake Up the World DVD by Gateway Worship. Take a few minutes and enter in to the throne room of grace and mercy in worship to our wonderful, awesome LOVING Father and Lord of Lords Jesus our King~

Revelation Song Lyrics
by Jennie Riddle
Worthy is the,
Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to Him who sits on
Heaven's Mercy Seat

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You…!

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I - will - adore You!

Filled with wonder,
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I - will - adore You!

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come,
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I - will - adore YOU…

Come up lift up His Name
To the King of Kings…
We will adore YOU Lord…
King of heaven and earth
King Jesus, King Jesus
Aleluya, aleluya, aleluya!
Majesty, awestruck Honor
And Power and Strength and Dominion
To You Lord,
To the King, to King
To the King of Glory

You can also download the MP3 of this version here:

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Joyful Day at the Baby Office

My grandson is having a busy day in the baby office today, but as you can see he's going about things with a lot of joy.

Anyone who has read my blog for very long knows that joy is one of my favorite subjects in the Bible- I did a post just a few weeks ago on  Joy Bubbles , and  I think with all thats going on in the world, its good for us to be able to keep focused on this very important source of strength!!  Here are some more  JOY verses to brighten your day:

You will show me the path of life;
 In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
                           ~Psalm 16:11

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
       with joyful lips my mouth will praise you.

                                             ~Psalm 63:5

Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.
                           ~Isaiah 12:3

Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
                          ~Luke 15:10

And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
                          ~John 16:23-24

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

                          ~Acts 13:52

...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
                          ~Romans 14:17

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
                         ~Galations 5:22

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord
is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
                         ~Philippians 4:4-7 

Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 
                        ~1 Peter 8-9 
And finally, a wonderful prayer & a psalm of praise for all of us:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
                        ~Romans 15:13 
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
      And to present
you faultless
      Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
       To God our Savior  Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power
      Both now and forever.
                 ~Jude 1:24-25

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Smith Wigglesworth ~Holy Spirit Fire

Smith Wigglesworth was one of the most delightful, sold out to Jesus men of God the world has ever seen! He was part of the early Pentecostal movement and during his ministry he saw thousands of people saved, baptised with the Holy Spirit and miraculously healed. Born in England in 1859, he was a plumber to trade, with no formal education at all- he began working 12 hours a day at age 7 to help support his family. From an early age he devoted himself to winning souls to Christ on an individual basis, but it was in 1907 at age 48 when he was baptised in the Holy Spirit that his worldwide evangelistic and healing ministry began.

Wigglesworth was known as "the Apostle of Faith" because absolute trust in God was a constant theme in his life and messages. I first became aware of him because Kenneth Hagin referenced him in many of his books on faith & healing. Smith Wigglesworths works in print are all originally taken from sermons preached and lessons taught at various locations around the world. I very rarely read a "devotional" book, but I love the compilation of messages that have been put together in Whittaker House's Smith Wigglesworth Devotional

My copy of the book is FILLED with highlighted passages- many of the quotes I have already used on the blog are from here, and many more I could of my other favorites:

"I believe God wants something to be in you that could never be unless you cease to live for yourself. God wants you to live for Him, to live for others...The Holy Spirit came to thrill you with resurrection power, and He came so that you would be anointed with fresh oil that overflows in the splendor of His almightiness. Then right through you will come forth a river of divine anointing that will sustain you in the bitterest place. It will give life to the deadliest formality and say to the weak "BE STRONG" and to them who have no might "The Lord of Hosts is here to comfort you". Possibility is the greatest thing of your life!"

~Smith Wigglesworth

This book is available through, and below you will see a selection of other Wigglesworth works available as well... if you click on any of the links from here to make a purchase, a percentage of the sale comes back to help support my blog~ I decided to enroll in their affiliate program, but only plan to review books here that I REALLY love so hopefully it wont seem spammy when I do similar posts:)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Joy Bubble Moment

It seems as though the whole world has had a tough couple of weeks, so I thought a smiling face and a few rays of sunshine were in order!

Its been foggy and cloudy and generally "driech" (Scottish word Ian taught me:) here the past week. Friday afternoon we coming back from lunch with our grandson in the back seat when the sun FINALLY came peeking out for the first time in days. Aidan was almost asleep, but when we turned the corner and the sunshine hit his face he giggled and squealed with joy...I think we all felt that way! I had to snap a photo- pardon the quality, my cell phone is a cheapy, lol.

This was a fine example of one of those Joy Bubbles I talked about in a post last year. Joy is always there- the scripture below is an example of the foundation of joy that cannot be shaken- but sometimes it needs a bit of help getting to the surface.

I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.

I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.

For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore

Psalm 16:7-11

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

God did NOT send that Earthquake

...and I get indignant that anyone would try to claim He did!!

God is not in the business of sending judgment on people in this day and age...there is a vast difference between the Old Covenant and the New and better Covenant we have with Jesus the Messiah.

There is also a vast difference between a curse and a judgement- which 99% of the people who are upset with Pat Robertson missed..he didn't say that God sent the earthquake, but it sure got twisted up that way in the reporting. Not saying I agree with him talking about it like that, just saying he didnt say what they said he did...

I know there are a lot of people who may disagree with one or both of the above opinions, or have questions about why I believe this way. Rather than go into a long discourse here in the post itself, I invite you to comment, ask questions, or reply with your opinion- politely please! I will answer, I love debate- its healthy for our faith to "reason together" about things like this.

I plan to do a follow up post in a week or so with scriptures and afterthoughts, but for now please add your two cents to the conversation.

ALSO: see my post Dont Blame God for more info and links to a couple of good Bible teachings on the goodness of God.

PS Yeah I know, photo has nothing to do with the post~its one of the photos I took of the delightful fairy frost that we had here last week (meteorologists called it hoar frost, but I think it was fairies;)...just wanted something soothing and peaceful to go with this slightly heated rant.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rays of Grace: A New Etsy Friend

As some of you may know, I am a jewelry maker by profession, with shops on Etsy, ArtFire and many other fine craft venues.

Recently, I was delighted to be featured in a treasury on Etsy and even more delighted to find this wonderful new photograpy shop featured right next to me.

Susan from Rays of Grace is a great photographer & includes some of my favorite Bible verses on her Faith Art prints.

With the sale of these prints, Susan says: "100% (yes ...100%!) of the profit from any Faith Art sale will be donated to missions. My current focus is: Breaking Chains - a ministry that rescues girls sold into slavery in Mexico."

She also features some of her work on Notecards, the next thing on my shopping list after I recover from Christmas;)

You may click on any photo to be taken to that item's listing or click on: Rays of Grace on Etsy to go to the shop itself:)

as with all of my original photography here on this blog, Susan's photos in this post are her original artwork and may not be copied or reproduced without permission.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Great Adventure

"God has a plan beyond anything that we have ever known...tomorrow should be so filled with holy expectations that we will be living flames for Him. God never intended his people to be ordinary or commonplace. His intentions were that they should be on fire for Him, conscious of His divine power, realizing the glory of the Cross that foreshadows the Crown."
~Smith Wigglesworth

What an amazing adventure-learning to live in the power of God, learning to walk not only in the path He has set out before me, but in the exact footsteps He has ordained- therein lies success! Here are some verses along these lines:
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
~Psalm 37:23-24

O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
~Jeremiah 10:23

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.

If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]
~Galatians 5:16,23-24 (Amplified)

Our beloved Heavenly Father promises to teach us and guide us into this great adventure..all we need to do is learn to listen and follow and walk in that which He has already provided.

Some good teaching series about this general subject can be accessed at no charge at the links below:
How to Fulfill Your Destiny by Andrew Wommack
The Power of the Holy Spirit by Andrew Wommack
The Spirit Led Life by Keith Moore
Hungry For the Holy Spirit by Keith Moore

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Now THAT'S Empowerment

In the fascinating world of internet self-improvement you don't have to look far to find someone offering help "empower" you with life changing insight, a daily positive outlook or a maybe even a new marketing plan.

While the idea of empowerment is good in theory, most of the people offering to package it up and sell it to you are missing the ultimate source of true power. Jesus said it plain and simple: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you" (Acts 1:8a). In fact, it was so important that Jesus commanded his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized in the Holy Spirit to receive this power!

As Christians we all have God's mighty power within-when you were born again you became a "new creation" in your spirit (2 Cor 5:17, Gal 2:20)- but we must choose to "walk in the spirit" (Gal 5:25) and "not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of (your) mind" (Rom 12:2).

Paul spoke of this when praying for believers:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;(so) that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
~Colossians 1:9-11

The Amplified translation points this out clearly in the prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesians:
May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. ~Ephesians 3:16

In his Life for Today Study Bible, Andrew Wommack higlights a very important point that sums up why I dont believe in "self-empowerment":
"Paul's prayer is a sermon in itself on how to walk in the fullness of God. The first thing Paul mentions is the Lord strengthening us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Many well-meaning Christians fall quite short of what God wants them to be and what they want for themselves, because they are trying to live for God instead of letting God live through them (see note 1 at Ro 7:15). The key to all victory in the Christian life is learning how to depend on the Holy Spirit for our strength (see note 14 at Ga 2:20)."
—Andrew Wommack's Life For Today Study Bible Notes, Note 5 at Eph. 3:16

As we begin a new decade, I am spending some extra time meditating on these glorious truths. It is delightfully amazing to me that our beloved Father would come and live inside our spirits, that He would make this power available to us!! I know God has paths set out for me to walk in. I am "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that (I) should walk in them" (Eph 2:10). I know He is concerned with every part of my life~ from the mundane daily chores, to being excellent in how I conduct my earthly business, and all the way to how I let the rivers of living water flow from my innermost being to bring His Kingdom to the lives of those in need around me.

I want to wish you all a Happy and Blessed New Year, and encourage you to join me in learning more about "the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe"!!
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." ~Ephesians 3:20-21