Tag Archives: spirituality

Blinded by the Light

Acts 9:3,6—As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.  So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”  Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 are verses that everyone is familiar with in one form or another and are often quoted.  You know, trust in the Lord…lean not on your own understanding…in all your ways acknowledge Him…He makes straight paths.  But if you keep reading verses 7-8, Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.  Saul would have known these verses forwards and backwards and in his zeal he would have believed he was doing the will of the Lord and not his own.  That is until his encounter that day on the road to Damascus.  Saul was blinded by the light…Paul preached the gospel.  What has the light changed in you?

Everyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ should be able to say—they’ve had a ‘Damascus road’ encounter.  It’s not necessarily the place of salvation but the place where your ideas about God and who He is are radically changed.  Saul knew God…but Paul was changed by God.

Do you KNOW God or just know Him?  Has your encounter with Him changed the very core of who you are, how you act, how you talk, how you dress, what you think, what you enjoy, what you want out of life?  Do you want Him to not only visit you in your church, your home, your workplace but to saturate/abide/live there?  I just finished reading a book titled, ‘Not a Fan—Becoming a completely committed follower of Jesus Christ’.  The premise of the book was that there are many fans of Jesus but very few true followers.  I believe to be a true follower you need to be ‘blinded by the light’.  Kyle Idleman in his book says, “Fans are happy to follow Jesus as long as that doesn’t require any significant changes or have negative implications.”  But – “There is no way to follow Jesus without Him interfering with your life.  Following Jesus will cost you something.  Following Jesus always costs you something.”  That is so true.  Yet when we have a ‘blinded by the light’ encounter with Jesus, the cost will not matter because we know He is on our side.

Have you ever read Psalm 119?  Yes—that one…the longest chapter in the Bible.  I always dreaded trying to read it because of that fact.  Well let me tell you—I have learned not to dread it.  There are beautiful verses in that chapter and they all pretty much deal with God’s law, God’s word and how we should love it, follow it, know it, and teach it.  It’s that ‘blinded by the light’ stuff.  God will only do in our lives what we allow Him.  He is very much the gentleman.  The more we want of Him…the more we ask Him…the more He will give.  And the more we have of Jesus…the more we want.  In this day and age we need God to be an intimate part of every second of our lives.  Our choices are easy to see—we either live for Him or we don’t.  But to live for God does mean a change…a change in our lives, in our attitudes, in our hearts, in all we are and hope to be.  A ‘blinded by the light’ change.

Encouragement and Accountability

What really painfully honest answers can you give to the following questions? Do you read God’s Word? Do you study it? Do you share what God puts in your spirit with others?   How often do you pray? How long do you pray? Why do you pray?  Do you praise God—not only in the good times but also in the bad?  Is worship of Him something you do 7 days a week or is it only on church day? Phew…did you think I didn’t take a breath between them. My answers to the questions above—I don’t read His word like I should…I’m not sure I know how to actually ‘study’ the Bible…I don’t pray as often as I should…I don’t spend enough time on my face before God…and sometimes I think I am praying for all the wrong things.  I try to praise Him in all things.  And I’m trying to make my worship of Jesus a lifestyle.  He is, thankfully, still working on me.

Deuteronomy 31:3 says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is the one who goes before you.  He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you.”  Wonderfully encouraging words aren’t they.  Another verse is Psalm 55:22—”Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.  He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”  Guess what—we are supposed to speak these kinds of words to each other all the time.  God wants His daughters to lift each other up—to strengthen each other.  This world will do all it can to tear us down and who better than our sisters in Christ should we be able to count on for love, fellowship, encouragement and holding us accountable for our walk with Jesus.  Uh oh…I said a bad word—accountable.

We like being encouraged…we like it when people make us feel better about our life…our selves…but when it comes to being held accountable for how we act…where we are in our relationship with Jesus…what we are doing, it’s another matter.  Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the words of Christ, in all their richness live in your hearts and make you wise.  Use His words to teach and counsel each other.  Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.”  We are not only to study the Bible for our own growth but to help others with theirs.  “I am warning you!  If another believer sins, rebuke him; then if he repents, forgive him”, declares Luke 17:5.  We are to do this with a humble and loving attitude.

Do you have an accountability partner?  Is there someone you can trust and pray with at any time?  That’s what I believe God is calling us too.  He wants His daughters to have closer relationships…to depend on each other…to grow closer to Him not just separately but together.  But do be careful about the person you choose.  1 John 4:1 tell us, “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit.  You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God.  For there are many false prophets in the world.”  Seek God’s guidance—really!  Allow Him to show you who you need in your life and who can best hold you accountable.  He will lead you to the person most able to help you grow…keep you accountable for your actions…and love you no matter what.  He is an awesome God and only wants the very best for each of us.  ACCOUNTABLE…not such a bad word after all.

New Year…New Confidence – God Confidence

January 1 has rolled around one more time and 2013 is here. How are we going to live this new year? What things for God are we going to accomplish? I’m not talking resolutions…those things that we write on paper or stick in our head listing habits we’re going to get rid of and new ones we’ll keep. I’m talking about being confident in who we are as His daughters and setting about doing the work of His kingdom that He has called us to do. Phil 4:13 states: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Holding on to this kind of confidence is what we need to do.
There are several definitions for the word confidence but the two I like the most are 1-the quality or state of being certain and 2-faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way. We can be certain through our faith in Jesus Christ that He will act in such a way that everything we go through and all we face will work together for our good. If we allow them all things will help us to grow more mature in the things of Christ and be a testimony to those around us of His faithfulness. “Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.” says Hebrews 10:35-36 (AMP) says.
We can know that at anytime God is our refuge…or hiding place. Proverbs 4:26 (AMP) says, “In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children shall always have a place of refuge.” God is the peace speaker. Any and every storm we have can be calmed by our Father. What we have to remember is that sometimes He calms the storms and sometimes He will calm us. Looking at the storm while resting in the arms of our Savior shows us that nothing is too big for Him.
What we have to watch out for is being confident in ourselves. Our flesh woman will try to inject her own opinion about how things have gotten done. She will want to take the praise for accomplishments. It is a battle but we have to ensure that we keep her locked up in chains. Any and all things we accomplish are for the glory of God and His Son. Doing God’s will is our ultimate goal and those we can do with confidence that He will be with us at all times.
God confidence is what I want this coming year. The confidence to step outside of my little sphere of influence and be more of what He wants me to be. God confidence to hear and know the voice of Jesus when all around me seems to be going wrong. God confidence to be able discern His will for my life and the courage to work for Him, to love others like He does, and to know that He hears me at all times.
1 John 5:14 (AMP), And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. To have this confidence, this assurance we need more prayer in our lives, more reading His word, a deeper and fuller relationship with Him. That’s what I plan this year…God confidence.

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. http://www.Lockman.org.