WHAT HAS GOD TOLD YOU?

The father Garrett and the son  Jacob.
photo by Tracey

Life is a journey not a destination and the journey I am on is the strangest life I have lived. The longer I walk with the Lord and the longer I know who I am in Christ the more I know I belong to Him. This week in jail God really spoke to my heart and I mean in a disciplined kind of way. In other words, I got a spanking so don’t mind me if this is a little hard to talk about.

First of all, when I asked my Father what we were going to talk about the next time in jail, He said, “The Gospel” so that is what I talked about. Except I didn’t really talk about the repentance part, but I told them that Jesus died for their sin and now they are forgiven if they receive Jesus and trust Him. I also told them about how we are tempted, compelled, and carried away by sin, but we do not have to listen to the “sin boss.” However, I did not explain what flesh is; which the enemy can use to destroy the minds and ideas in young believers who hear a lot of half truths along their way. The born again Christian has the Holy Spirit in them who is able to provide the way out. I went on to say how the flesh is not a nature but it is weak and the flesh can never please God. We need to believe what God has told us not the things we have heard for years and years.

The next thing to happen was one of the other ministers got up to speak and read from the NIV version of the bible where it uses the term “sinful nature” in place of the word flesh. I am sitting next to her thinking, “I just spent the last 15 minutes telling these ladies the flesh is not a sin nature. Can you imagine the look on my face? Well, that would be the problem. God spoke to me in a gentle and stern manner saying,” She is my child, and I am in this too.” This wasn’t until after the faces made, by the way. I now realize that there was a time in my own life that I didn’t understand the scriptures as I now do. I can look at what I understand right now and may not see it this way after more revelation in the future. I realize I am looking through a glass darkly. God will show us through His word what He wants to show us. This is a very hard lesson for me to learn right now, but one thing I know; I am not on this journey alone. We are being changed from glory to glory and the best part is it’s His glory.

Although I know I got a spanking from my Father, I know that He loves me and I agree with Him and trust Him. I love that we get another chance and that He doesn’t give up on us, especially when we mess up. Thank God we mess up; because that is how we know we can’t do it on our own and it always causes us to depend on Him. I can’t be like Jesus, but I can let Jesus be Jesus inside me. I want to listen to what God says to me and not what I have always heard about God.

I ended the service and will end this Sunshine report with Col. 2:6&7 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Thank you, Papa for loving us so much.

Written by Tracey

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ABRAHAM HEARD FROM GOD

Have you ever really thought about Abraham and his relationship with God? I mean, here we have a man living in a place called Ur of the Chaldeans, and while there he lived in the midst of idol worship. In fact, it is thought that the very place he came from was called “the city of the moon god.” In Joshua 24:2 we read “Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor served other gods.”

One day Abraham, Abram at that time, heard God say, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” He then gave him a promise to make his name great and that all the earth would be blessed in him. This is some strong stuff don’t you think? I mean, think about this for a minute. In the midst of your everyday life going about your own business, you hear a voice but not just any voice. This is a voice that tells you to uproot your whole life and go somewhere, you have no idea where it is, and you go. This is a voice you know you can trust. One more thing; we don’t have any reason to believe there was anyone else around to confirm this voice. I don’t know about you, but if I was going to uproot my life I would like to have someone or something to confirm for me that I had truly heard from God.

Without writing in detail everything Abraham went through, let me just say, he seemed to live completely by faith in what God was telling him. Although he stumbled a little here and there, for the most part he did what God told him and without any of the things we tend to rely on.

In our day we go to church, have a priest or pastor, a Bible, internet, books and associates. Abraham had none of these things and yet he obeyed God by faith every step of the way. Abraham had a relationship with God without the aid of a Bible, prayer book, synagogue, Temple, Church building or even an accountability partner, except maybe Sarah his wife. Then again we know what happened when he listened to her suggestion but that is another story entirely.

I suppose what I really wanted to write about today is how this man, we call the father of our faith, lived in relation to God. He didn’t attend a church service regularly, he didn’t confess sins to a priest or have regularly scheduled quiet times and yet he heard from God. As a matter of fact, he heard so well he even went as far as to almost kill his son upon God’s command. The Bible says, “He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.” Abraham lived thousands of years before Christ and yet he understood God has the power to raise the dead. He never read the Easter story from the gospels and yet he knew about God’s resurrection power.

In conclusion, let me just say, I am not advocating anyone to stop praying, or reading the Bible, or to stop attending church services. What I am asking though is, “are you hearing from God?” In the midst of all these things, are we hearing from God?

Louie