Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | October 30, 2013

INTENTIONALITY…Not a New Idea to GOD!

116178865357195221_d6wnZJ0g_f“IF MY PEOPLE…who are called by MY NAME….will HUMBLE themselves, PRAY, SEEK MY FACE, and TURN FROM their wicked ways, I WILL HEAR from Heaven, FORGIVE their sin, and HEAL their land!”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Such simple words given by God to Solomon for His people in that time.  Yet, this verse reveals, in principle, a revival prayer applicable to God’s people in any age.  When a nation, a people, an individual, falls into sin of any kind, these words are the Heavenly prescription that God gives to those who are called by His Name.

Almighty God is Holy.  He is a righteous God Who cannot and will not look upon sin or remain in the midst of it!  His Majesty is clothed in holiness and righteousness, and He calls HIS PEOPLE to walk in His ways…to seek His thoughts and to be humble – continuously - before Him!  God – our Creator – has the Authority to call for this to be so in the lives of those who are His People! He would not command of us something that was impossible to do. But it can only be truly fulfilled…if we live in His way!

As a child growing up in a small town Southern Baptist church, I remember the very first song recorded in the Broadman Hymnal that was used by our congregation. It was called Holy, Holy, Holy.  I remember the song before I recalled the lessons I learned from the Bible! The song, based upon Scriptural truth, taught me (at a very young age) something very significant about God and that was His Majesty and His character of holiness and righteousness.  He is High and lifted UP; and He is GOD, in three Persons, Blessed Trinity!  I have never questioned this Truth since my childhood!  It has always been a true revelation to my heart upon which I place great value. I never question this very important Truth that is a sure foundation for the faith I carry in my spirit!

526468_10201820310565827_958872184_nOver 50 years ago, A. W. Tozer, author of The Knowledge of the Holy wrote in the first chapter of his book, “Why We Must Think Rightly About God”.  He wrote:   “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.  The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion (belief about God).  Man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.  Worship is pure, or base, as the worshiper entertains high, or low, thoughts of God!”

So what those of the Church, God’s people, think of God their Creator, Savior, Redeemer, King, and Sovereign is very significant!  If we truly believe Him to BE who He actually is, we will give heed to the words He speaks!  Throughout His Word, He speaks of His Righteousness, His Holiness, His sinless character and nature, and calls us, His people, to the same qualities.

In 1 Peter 1:13-17 NLT, we find these words which call us – His people – to holy living before God, Our Father:  “So (you are to) think clearly and exercise self-control.  Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.  So you must live as God’s obedient children.  Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires.  You didn’t know any better then.  BUT NOW, you must be HOLY in everything you do, just as God who chose you is HOLY.  For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy!”

Most Christian people today throw up their hands and say, “That is impossible!  I cannot do that!”  And most make all kinds of “excuses” as to why this is the case in their personal lives.  However, God is not a man who can lie.  He always “says what He means, and means what He says!”  He would not ask of us anything that is impossible apart from His help!

We look at the nation, America, today…as well as to the world, at large, and we see:  corruption, confusion, contention, lawlessness, brutality, no self-control, and people who love money and pleasure rather than God.  Plainly and simply, this is idolatry.  The consequences of this are tragedy, disaster, and peril.  People are in shock that such evil has overtaken the environment, the culture, and society…yet, God clearly pointed out that this would be the reality when people worshiped “other gods”.  He stated in the First Commandment:  You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3-6).

This He spoke to HIS PEOPLE…yet, such things as listed above permeate most of the lives of HIS PEOPLE today…just as they did in Solomon’s day.  That is why the words He spoke as the prescription to “heal their land and their lives” is the same…TODAY!998043_1394789620738620_1671756060_n

IF MY PEOPLE…who are called by MY NAME (Christians)…will HUMBLE themselves, PRAY,  SEEK MY FACE, and TURN FROM their wicked ways….!!!   (2 Chronicles 7:14)  For “Happy is that people whose God IS…the Lord!”  Psalm 144:15

This is where INTENTIONALITY enters the picture!  It is NOT a new idea…to God!

Intentionality is a determination …a decision to act in a particular way.  It is not accidental.  It is a voluntary action.  It is purposeful, and God’s people must take AIM to focus upon the Majestic God, who is High and lifted up, Righteous and Holy.  What we “look at”, focus upon, is what we draw to ourselves.  God has called us to BE HOLY, for HE is HOLY! As we have no other gods before Him; as we humble ourselves before Him, pray, seek His Face, and obediently TURN FROM our wicked ways and acts, God, Himself says that He will HEAR from Heaven, FORGIVE our sin, and HEAL our land (and lives!)  Those are His conditions.  Those are His ways to REDEEM us from this “mess” and RESTORE all things to His Divine Order!

JESUS is the Truth, the Life, the Way.  There is…NO OTHER!

As to intentionality…I must add.  Many people have what they would say are “good intentions”…but Godly intention is a “determined action”, not just a weak “hope so” thought or idea!  It is the “part” that is our responsibility TO DO! We are to be “doers” of the Word, and not “hearers” only, deceiving our own selves! James 1:22. So many people flippantly say, “God knows my heart”, and yet…fail to act!  They fail to apply God’s instructions to their lives in practice.  This is a lack of discipline that is our responsibility to act upon!

Intentionally, it is “our obedient part” to yield to the Holy Spirit within us; for only He has the POWER to fulfill the actions we long to take!  There is a “part” that only God, the Holy Spirit, can do; and there is a “part” that is ours alone that the Holy Spirit won’t do for us! He does His part…we do ours!

Intentionality!  This is not…a new idea to God!  It was His Plan for us…all along!

Looking unto JESUS,                                                                                    Sandy

~ Check out my daily pictorial blog on Facebook called 2 Chron714 Network, a page to call God’s People to fulfill 2 Chronicles 7:14 in our day and hour, so He can “hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land!”

http://www.facebook.com/2Chron714Network

 

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | April 19, 2013

JUDGMENT Does Not Come Without WARNING

278730664408987268_isIixGZd_cPaul said to Timothy that God’s glory is an intense light, “…unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see.” (1 Tim. 6:16) The light experienced on the road to Damascus, Paul said was “brighter than the sun!” (Acts 26:13) In such light there is simply no place for darkness, (sin, rebellion, disorder, disrespect, or confusion). And if there is any present in the people who are assembled, the unfolding pattern of God’s way calls for judgment against such darkness. Change must come, for God’s glory cannot manifest in the rebellion of His people.

God has made it clear that any irreverence, or disrespect, (in word, deed, or conduct) cannot survive in the presence of a holy God. He is not mocked. Today is no different. He is the same Holy God. We cannot expect to be admitted into God’s presence with an attitude of rebellion, disrespect, or disorder; for such attitudes render us unprepared to truly represent Him before those who need to see Him as He is.

John Bevere has noted in his book The Fear of the Lord that “Following the revelation of God’s glory, over and again we see, in God’s people, irreverence towards His presence and Word. Though the Israelites knew His will, their hearts grew careless toward what God calls sacred and holy.”

People began to act apart from decency and order so God sent others of His people to sound alarms and give warning that they may “hear“, (Jeremiah 6:10). But they would not heed the alarm nor pay attention to the warnings of coming judgment. Billy Graham is quoted as having said, “Judgment does not come without warning.” Truth comes from the heart of a merciful God. IN His mercy, He warns His people before His judgment and wrath fall.

AWAKE! ARISE! ALERT! ALARM!  Where is the fear of the Lord?

But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” (2 Chronicles 36:16) They would not listen! They would not respond appropriately to the alarm, to the warnings!

God gave me five specific dreams over a 10 year period which depict this403668_476542779055716_1145328277_n scenario. I “saw” different groups of people in burning buildings. I went in, at great risk, sounding an alarm, pleading with them, giving warning that they may hear; but they just ignored me, laughed me off, motioned for me to go away, or mocked me as if I am the crazy one. I begged. I implored with tears, and yet they continued to revel in a frivolous, partying atmosphere, unconcerned that any danger was near.

I have felt deep grief and remorse, a heaviness of spirit which has resulted in an intercessory prayer burden for such people; for they are the people of God who are inattentive to the warning and the alarm! I have felt the sorrow of the Father’s heart at this disrespect for His words. I have felt the heavy heart of Jesus who lamented over the people in Jerusalem, “How often I would have gathered you under my wings (my protection and refuge)…but you would not!” (Matthew 23:37)

Jesus makes it clear that to follow Him, we must first count the cost….the price of nothing short of our lives, our all, our complete surrender! “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) One cannot stay where they are and “go” with God. It requires faith and obedience…plain and simple. To obey God means that something will have to change….and it will not be Him; for we know “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8)

 

 

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | March 20, 2013

SIMPLE Acts of OBEDIENCE

184718022186002993_5XiI9B67_fIn the discipline of prayer and meditation, there are various forms, or acts that Christians practice. These, as basic things, are very simple; yet many Christians overlook or neglect the practice of them because of their simplicity. Some may view them as insignificant, but God is a God of order and development. He is Wisdom, and the practice of these are His appointed ways for His people. He is faithful; and He calls us, daily, to be faithful unto Him in such simple acts of obedience.

Many cry out for God’s glory. They say that they want and need His power….the fire of God and say they long for a demonstration and manifestation of it in their midst. But God’s glory and power, (which are a part of who He is and what He does) come only to those who are willing and faithful to practice simple acts of obedience before Him, daily. Though this is the practice of individual obedience, it will overflow into the corporate practice of obedience by God’s people as they truly stand together in unity.

God’s glory includes His power, but is more than just a demonstration of His power. In the book of Ephesians, the word “glory”occurs eight times and refers to the exceeding excellence of His love, His wisdom and His power. The magnificent goal of the continuous revelation of these aspects of God is so that those who experience these and allow themselves to be changed by them, will be built into a glorious, mature, and ministering church, “not having spot or wrinkle” (Eph. 5:26)

God’s glory is not something we are to cry out for so that we can be excited and entertained by it, but rather we are to have the attitude of David in Psalm 63. We are, yes, to look for God in His sanctuary, to see His power and His glory; but the first sanctuary we are to look for it in is the sanctuary of our own heart. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost; and as we are faithful to perform the simple acts of obedience He has asked of His people, we are made ready for the outpouring of God’s glory and power. This will then fulfill its purpose of transforming us into individuals who are built into a glorious, mature, ministering group of people who are a corporate reflection of God and His work in the earth.

What are these simple acts which He has called each of us to perform, daily, alone, in the privacy of our own homes, in the secret place of the outpouring of our heart? 16976_1363796701614_1432511045_989769_3363491_n-1They are the basic, simple rituals and acts which the Scriptures teach we are to practice. The acts of simple prayer and supplication include thanksgiving, adoration, petition, intercession, confession, affirmation, and meditation. The verb “to practice” means a habitual, customary course of action. It is a repeated exercise…day and night.

God’s instruction in James 1:22-25 clearly says that we are to be “DOERS of the word, and not hearers, only, deceiving your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a DOER, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a DOER of the work…THIS ONE will be blessed in what He does.”

Our God “says what He means and He means what He says!”

89061b0399899d40a6f4a088c7f6ddf6ASK and it will be given to you; SEEK, and you will find” KNOCK, and it will be opened to you,” Matt. 7:7

The one who practices these three simple acts (ask, seek, and knock) is the one who will receive and find. To that one, He will open the door.

Also, in the Old Testament, we are given four simple things to do in 2 Chronicles 7:14: HUMBLE OURSELVES, PRAY, SEEK GOD’S FACE, and TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS. To those who DO these things, daily, privately, and continuously, the promise of God is given. When obedient people who do such things come together in the public sanctuary of God and cry out for God’s glory and power, there will be outpourings to those prepared hearts in some of the greatest demonstrations ever seen!

The outpouring of His power is only a “means to an end”, to see His people built into the glorious church, mature, without spot and wrinkle, ministering, serving one another and those about them in His Love. These people are those who are living in His wisdom as reflections of His nature and character.

SIMPLE  ACTS OF OBEDIENCE!   SIMPLE  ACTS OF OBEDIENCE!  SIMPLE  ACTS OF OBEDIENCE!

For these, the Master is waiting. For these He is looking and longing. These acts are fuel for the fire of His glory! Each act of obedience is as a log placed upon His Holy altar. The more logs of “simple obedience” we willingly and faithfully bring to His altar, the bigger and hotter the fire of His glory will blaze upon and through us!

We cannot do the “part” that is only God’s to do, which is to send outpourings of His glory; BUT…He will not do the “part” that is only ours to do, which is to pour out our hearts before Him in “simple acts of obedience”…daily, privately, and continuously! No one upon the entire earth can do that for each of us…but ourselves!

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | March 16, 2013

Fellowship of the Unashamed

298967God is now calling for a HOLY REVOLUTION which will defy the decrees of unrighteousness.  People are responding with a counter cultural revolution of faith, justice, holiness, and love!

Years ago, I found the following post called the Fellowship of the Unashamed.  The person who penned it is Anonymous…so we will just call its Author…the HOLY SPIRIT!  Good enough for me,  for any and all TRUTH is delivered to us from Heaven by the Holy Spirit anyway!

For years, I have cried out to God a continued prayer, “LORD, may Heavenly Revelation become Earthly Reality!”  When we see the following words become earthly reality…we will have a HOLY REVOLUTION on this earth!  Actually, it is beginning to happen, more and more, day by day, moment by moment…one person at a time!

ARE YOU ONE whose heart is humble before HIM…so that He can reveal Heavenly Truth to you? Such ones who receive His Truth must learn to “be still and know that HE is God”.  It takes time to enter into God’s Presence to allow Him to instruct, teach, and share the purposes of His Kingdom with one of his own!  To enter into such revelation, one must not only be willing…but follow through to “be still and wait upon Him”!  Many long for this…but are so distracted by daily life that swirls around them…the do not take the time nor make the time!  Only the truly  humble and obedient will.

ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE?  DO YOU LOVE HIM…THAT MUCH, or  DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF and THIS EARTH MORE?  ONLY YOU…can answer for yourself.

If you will truly eat only of the Tree of LIFE and not the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you will find that you are part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed!  Unashamed of JESUS and HIS KINGDOM….in this earthly life…as well as the Eternal one to come!  You are one, who, like Jesus, “does only what you see the Father do” and “speaks only what you heart the Father say”.   Heaven – and only Heaven (not man made “religion”) is the true model for the Church, here on earth; for Jesus prayed, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done – on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!”  Matthew 6:10

Each person who receives this truth will have the Holy Spirit’s power of this revelation to live it out in their personal life!  These are bold, holy words, for we are called to live a bold, holy life unashamedly…as JESUS DISCIPLES…in the here and now!

____________________________

“I am part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed!  I have Holy Spirit power.  The die has been cast. I’ve stepped over the line.  The decision has been made.  I am a disciple of His!

“I won’t look back, slow down, back away or be still.  My past is redeemed.  My present makes sense, and my future is secure!

“I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving and dwarfed goals. 129478558006631345_u50twnRU_c

“I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, nor popularity.  I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. 

“I now live by His Presence, learn by faith, love, patience, and live by prayer and labor by power.

“My face is set.  My gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is tough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear!

“I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, nor delayed.

“I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, nor meander in the maze of mediocrity. 

“I AM A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST!

“I won’t give up, shut up, slow up…until I’ve preached up, prayed up stored up and stayed up for the CAUSE of CHRIST!

“I must go…until HE comes, give til I drop, proclaim til all know, and work til He comes!

“And when HE comes to get HIS OWN…He’ll have no problem recognizing me….

“MY COLORS WILL BE CLEAR!”

_______________________________

I just want to add this personally….

Like the US Marines, we accept no “applications...only COMMITMENTS!”

We are here to give up “casual, cultural religion” (which sometimes passes as Christianity), in order to follow JESUS!  There is a movement bubbling up that goes beyond cynicism, and celebrates a new way of living!   This is a generation that stops complaining about the church it sees and becomes the church it dreams of!

JESUS PEOPLE is a generation – rising up to take their place:  undaunted, unstoppable, unashamed in their faith, fulfilling all the WILL OF GOD in their lives!

Keep decreeing God’s WORD – day and night!  Establish His Truth and His Kingdom at every opportunity!  And remember this, my Friend….LOOK WELL TO THIS DAY!

God is saving souls…TODAY, healing bodies and souls…TODAY, raising people from pits of darkness…TODAY, drawing people to His Light…TODAY!   People are turning to HIM, arising in JESUS, and being RESTORED… TODAY!  Blessings are pouring out!  Watch for them!  For..worship

JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME…YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER!  Hebrews 13:8

                                                       LET JESUS PEOPLE…ARISE!!!!!

~ from the listening heart of Sandy Brunson

 

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | December 30, 2012

FACING REALITY in the Here and Now, Part 2

46795283597746447_jzJHNdD7_fFlashback to 2 Timothy 3: We are living in ….very difficult times.  People are boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient… ungrateful… consider nothing sacred, unloving and unforgiving;   no self-control… cruel,  no interest in what is good,  betray their friends, reckless, prideful, love pleasure rather than God,  act  “religious”, but  reject the power that can make them godly.

God is still calling out to mankind…and most especially to those “religious” who claim to be His people! He is saying:

“So be careful how you live.  Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.  Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.  Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit…”  Ephesians 5:15-18 NLT

A great Christian thinker and writer, Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) wrote concerning the times in which we presently live, and he, also, “foretold” that the masses of people would attempt to “escape” wisdom and a Godly lifestyle in regard to how they live their lives.

As Christians we are not to be people of escape…rather, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. As Ephesians 5:19 teaches, we are to FACE REALITY: the glory of the world God has created, the wonder of being human, the awful reality of the Fall, the tragedy of marred men and women, our own flawed character apart from Jesus. We are not to be people of escape. Be the realist…and face reality as people born again and indwelt with the Holy Spirit! We are to realize that to the extent that we are not conformed to the teaching of the Bible and the Word of God in our lives, we, too,  are ‘entrapped’ in the mire of the world!”

Billions of people  across this globe are trapped in the “mire of the world”…..and many Christians are “trapped there” with them, for they foolishly  pursue and demand a lifestyle of continuous pleasantness and self-promotion. To do so is to join the rush of the world to the finish line of hedonistic, selfish pleasure and destruction! Our only protection from such wasted, foolish lifestyles is to be fully yielded and immersed in the Holy Spirit! We are to be changed! Rather than being conformed to this world…we are to be conformed to Jesus!

His provision and protection are our ONLY covering in this wild hedonistic day!  And with His covering…we CAN face this “out of control” reality and know that the promises of God are still…His promises – that can and will protect us from falling into the same trap! Many modern Christians have interpreted those promises to mean perpetual pleasantness…..a “heaven on earth” reality…when the reality of this world is that IT IS A FALLEN one…and there is MUCH unpleasantness and evil in such a reality…with very serious, eternal consequences!

The “hinge of history” turned on that little stable gate in Nazareth 184718022186002993_5XiI9B67_fwhen JESUS was born.  He came to be the OPEN DOOR to God’s plan for individual lives and nations!  There is no other, but His Plan also has Eternal Outcomes!  We are to FACE REALITY in the Here and Now clothed in the Armor of God with the power of the HOLY SPIRIT…and not try to escape the reality of earth. Rather we are to wait patiently upon the Lord – each of us for our “time” to enter Heaven…which is the ONLY TRUE ESCAPE from this modern unholy mess!  

He spoke in Isaiah 55:6-9 saying:  “Seek the Lord while you can find Him.  Call on Him NOW while He is near.  Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong.  Let them TURN TO THE LORD that He may have mercy on them.  Yes, TURN TO OUR GOD, for He will forgive generously!  My thoughts are not your thoughts, says the Lord.  And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the Heavens are higher then the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts!”   

THIS WE MUST DO to ESCAPE more TEMPORAL CONFUSION as well as ETERNAL  CONSEQUENCES!                                                                                                                                                            

In the meantime…until we leave this earth, individually, through death, or JESUS RETURNS for His Church, we CAN face the reality of this “fallen world”  in the Power of the Holy Spirit as overcomers by daily living obediently, according to His Word!  On earth, we can and must hide under the “shadow of HIS Wings” and be led by His Spirit in order to complete the full restoration of our souls and our Kingdom mission in the and now…before we join Him in His Kingdom and the ETERNAL GLORY of Heaven!

264305071851249314_eH4htvkO_fRead the end of His written Word – the Bible!  Purpose to see and FACE REALITY in the here and now!  The global circumstances will not get better…but rather mankind’s arrogance and sinful independence from God will increase; and overall, the consequences will get worse!  Yet there remains for the disciple of JESUS a place of REST and REFUGE and Promise of HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM!

Intentionally SEEK HIM and literally HUMBLE YOURSELF and find that promised place for now under the “shadow of His Wings”…before you finally and gloriously escape this “fallen earth” one day…in Heaven!

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | December 29, 2012

FACING REALITY in the Here and Now, Part 1

162833342748006852_TAXR9O4O_fYou should know this: in the last days there will be very difficult times.  People will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents and ungrateful.  They will consider nothing sacred, will be unloving and unforgiving;  will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and have no interest in what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride,  and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that can make them godly.  You must stay away from people like that,” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

To  characterize the modern culture in which we live is to bring up these many harsh, hurtful scenarios complete with depressing adjectives. We are living in perilous times! The Bible clearly prophesied the reality by which we are all presently surrounded. People are living in a reality that is, for the most part, non-christian…secular, self-idolizing!  It is fraught with unpleasant consequences!!  Yet the Holy Spirit knew when he inspired Paul to write these scriptural words to Timothy what the reality would be today that truly describe a “last days” scenario!   This unholy, decadent, and dangerous reality was foretold…and it is now upon us! Look at and listen to the current news reports: unbridled corruption, violence, hatred, wars, confusion, broken homes, economies, governments, chaos, disasters, and tragedies!  We are drowning in the global cesspool of this inevitable “fallen” situation!

Since Bible times and into the 70s, when I surrendered my life to Jesus, Bible teachers have been speaking of “things to come”….and they taught of this “coming” reality…the truth of the above things written about in 2 Timothy 3.   That was before the days which were digitally transformed by the personal computer and the advanced technology we now know! In 1991, the World Wide Web came upon the scene and immediately  all manner of images and information began to be instantly flung around the earth at breakneck speed!  It has literally “snowballed” as time has quickly passed these last 21 years! People 25 and under do not even know a reality apart from a digital age with its global implications – both opportunities as well consequences!

Even so,  the Holy Spirit looked ahead and “saw” what we would be exposed to and experience in these present days…and how swiftly it would penetrate and proliferate the world –  its systems, institutions, governments, nations, people, families, relationships, and individuals…leaving in its wake the heartache of  immeasurable sin, bondage, pain, and sorrow!

Most of what we experience today is not pleasant, and much is blatantly evil and disgusting! There is fear on every side with 57420963968754724_qjEPvlVo_fterrorist threats, actions, loss of national control…with division, domination, perversion, confusion, resulting in corporate/national/international instability and personal vulnerability! These things not only bombard us in the movie theaters, TV, 24 hour news reports, and internet, daily…they have become our everyday reality!   Sexual promiscuity has “gone to seed” blanketing people from young to old…a perversion of God given sexuality which has now become blatant and unprecedented! People strut with haughtiness, pride, and lack of respect and honor of things that should be respected and honored.  Individual homes and lives are broken and scattered as a result!

Righteous living, truth, honesty and integrity have been drowned in a polluted stream of “political correctness”, and society has become an “in your face” reality where masses of people from all generations are drunk with the malady of sin.  Not only do individuals (religious “Christians” as well) practice personal sin, but they “entertain themselves” by paying to watch and observe others sin and treat others in inhumane, unjust ways!   Such demonstrations subtly  “baptize the unsuspecting masses” in a wicked mindset of unholy idolatry!  Add to this, the common soul diseases of unthankfulness and unforgiveness which are consuming individual dignity and integrity! The masses of people have become  unholy and unloving….filled with disdain for anything that is “different” than themselves – rampantly mocking, scoffing, slandering, insulting, and demeaning one another.  Society has become angrily insensitive and uncaring…to the point of millions even killing innocent unborn children as well as some killing innocent young children!  Even children and killing children!  (i.e., the movie, Hunger Games, reality shows, as well as REAL LIFE,  Columbine, CO and recent Sandy Hook, CT killings.)  It is extremely violent – off the charts – with no respect for human life and is daily diving headlong into lifestyles of hell on earth!

Flashback to 2 Timothy 3:  ….very difficult times.  People are boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient… ungrateful… consider nothing sacred, unloving and unforgiving;   no self-control… cruel,  no interest in what is good,  betray their friends, reckless, prideful, love pleasure rather than God,  act  “religious”, but  reject the power that can make them godly.

To be continued….

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | October 22, 2012

Making DAILY CHOICES to DO HIS WILL!

JESUS said:  “For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  THIS is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.  And THIS is the will of Him who sent Me, that EVERYONE who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day!”  John 6:38-40

Jesus knew the will of the Father because He went TO HIM, daily, seeking His will for that day…that hour.  Today, we, who are His, need to be doing the SAME THING.  For the majority of people, most do not know the will of God  in their daily lives, but it is not just a  twentieth century problem. People were struggling with the same thing at the time of Christ. “There was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, ‘He’s a good man.’ Others said, ‘He leads the multitude astray‘”, John 7:12.

How could these people know whether He was leading them into truth?

Seizing the opportunity, Jesus set forth standards of divine guidance. His first admonition was, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself” (John 7:16,17).

The essential prerequisite to know the will of God, according to Jesus, is a willingness to do it. And that is a personal CHOICE He leaves to each of us as His children. Am I making a choice, daily, to DO the will of God in my personal life?  DOING the will of God is the true PURPOSE of life…yet most do not even know it…much less…DO IT!

Neil Anderson writes: “What is the will of God? God’s will for His people is that they be alive in Christ for the purpose of establishing His kingdom...in their personal lives and upon the earth.  He desires that we fully become the people He has called us to be. As we do, we will be well able…in HIM…to overcome the evil one who comes to “steal, kill, and destroy” us and the beautiful creation – earth – on some level every day! (John 10:10a) But notice the glorious second part of that verse:  JESUS came to GIVE LIFE…and to give it…more ABUNDANTLY!  He came to RESTORE what the enemy has DESTROYED…but He needs us to make DAILY CHOICES to SEEK HIM so that we can know what to do to be in line with HIS WILL!

“Notice the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9,10). When praying this prayer, we are asking for God’s will to be accomplished in our lives on earth as it is presently in heaven. God’s will is being perfectly executed in heaven –  but apparently, not on earth.

“Are you totally committed to do God’s will without knowing for sure what it is?    Will     you SEEK HIM until you ‘find’ what that will is? Do you hold any reservations about turning your will over to God? Do you really believe that God’s will for you is good, acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2)?

If God is God, and you call Him Lord…doesn’t He have the right to exercise His will in your life?”

As you respond to the choices and challenges that come into your life on earth…WITH GOD as the center of your being, your entire life experience will change! Not only will your life change, your family and friends will see the vitality and power in your life as you boldly face life’s challenges…by choosing to do the will of God. Your example will encourage other people, helping them to know that they, too,  can face difficulties on this “fallen planet” successfully day by day and step by step…doing God’s Will!

Concerning the rich young ruler Jesus spoke of in Luke 18:18-25, Billy Graham said, “The rich young ruler, in his famous interview with Christ, asked the right question, asked the right person, received the right answer, but…made the wrong choice.” He went away sorrowful…because He was not willing to accept and follow the will of God in the face of a CHOICE to do so!

Another place Jesus cried out for His people is found TWICE in the New Testament:  Matthew 23:37-38 and Luke 13:34-35.  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…BUT YOU WERE NOT WILLING!  See!  Your house is left to you DESOLATE!”

Let us not be like the above people, but rather CHOOSE to  “Humble ourselves, pray, seek His Face, and turn from our wicked ways…SO THAT, our God will  hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and HEAL OUR LAND” (2 Chronicles 7:14) and set our lives in His Order…under His Will!  That is the only safe place to be!

Everything we say and do reflects on the God we claim to know and love. May we not make the wrong choice….but rather be willing to MAKE the RIGHT CHOICE as we continue daily…..

Looking unto Jesus and today saying….YES, LORD!  Not MY will…but YOUR’S…BE DONE!

Sandy

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | October 18, 2012

COMMITMENT to the PROCESS of BEING CHANGED

As we fully commit to the process of being changed into the same image and character of Jesus, we are then ready to move into spiritual maturity and be released into meaningful service of our Holy God –  the One whom we serve, and whose kingdom it is.  Ministry is not some professional “position”…but rather ministry is simply the work of a servant. It is simply one who serves God and His people with the spiritual gifts he or she is given by God.

Worshiping our God in Spirit and in Truth is a prerequisite to appropriately representing Him in service. We are called to serve only under His Banner, and that requires that we continually look unto Him, serve by His same Spirit, and walk in His grace and truth in all that we are….in all that we do.  We dare not misrepresent Him with our service by reaching out in a disorderly or impure manner apart from His authority.

We are called to embody and reflect the love of God, for it is by this that the world knows that we are God’s people.  God’s love matured in us, His humility displayed through us, His holiness and righteous nature demonstrated, and His compassion flowing from us are the tangible signs that reveal if we are truly representing Him.

God’s ways are higher than our ways.  He has revealed that His way for disciples is sequential step-by-step development, “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little,” (Isaiah 28:10).  He has called us to “come unto Him,” (Matthew 11:28-29) and “learn of Him”. His promise for those who will actually trust and obey Him is one of rest, peace, and righteousness, and the outcomes of their lives will demonstrate those qualities.

Progressive growth calls for a willingness on our part to continually examine ourselves to see if we have allowed any sin to remain, or creep into our attitudes and behaviors.  When   temptations and actions of sin take root, they bring destruction to the healthy growth process in our spiritual lives.  We must continually be washed by the water of the Word of God, cleansing out any roots of works of the flesh.  We are urged to be on guard against such in Galatians 5:19-21.  This is imperative for the growing disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, for this same passage states: “That those who practice such things (works of the flesh) will not inherit the kingdom of God!”

God – through His Word,   “says what He means, and He means what He says.”  We are to take heed to His strong words  in the honest and diligent fear of the Lord. A very important part of growing in Christ Jesus is a willingness to yield our lives, daily, to the application of His Truth.  Our lives….our attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors,  must be held accountable to Him and His Word.  We must humbly yield ourselves to a progressive process that is designed to grow us up into “a perfect, (mature) man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” for that is exactly what His Word expresses for us in Ephesians 4:13.

Obedience to the Christian growth process is not an option for the disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ….it is the only way of life!

Jesus taught us to boldly pray that His Kingdom come and His will be done, on earth (here in us) as it is in Heaven! (Matthew 6:10)    Obeying that command is the responsibility  of all those who would look unto Jesus and  follow Him.  He said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5), but by humbly looking unto Him for His  grace and power and following Him in obedience….we can!

We are each called to grow in Him…..in His likeness and image,progressively learning to behave as He would behave.  In Matthew 22:37-40,  we find two of His greatest commandments to us, His followers:  “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

It is the design and destiny for the one who  truly loves Him with all their heart and soul and strength to practice these two greatest of God’s commandments showcased in these three relational ways: We must love God completely,  love ourselves correctly, and love others compassionately! There must be appropriate love in our relationships with God, ourselves, and others if we are to fulfill the design and purpose of God.

After all, it is Him we serve and His Kingdom we represent.  It must be done on His terms and in His way.  We are not our own, but have been “bought with the price” of Jesus’ Blood.  He sets the standard of love, and He changes not.  The proof of maturity is the relational evidence of His standard of love found in our lives.  Jesus said that the world would know that we are Christians, by the love we demonstrate.  That is what we are distinguished by, for love never fails; and His standard has never lowered.

THIS demonstration of His love is Christian maturity.  THIS is mature discipleship,  looking unto Jesus and following in His footsteps.  His was a life of service out of honest, honorable humility.  His character was pure.  His behavior was characterized by integrity and holiness – full of grace and truth.  His actions were timely and marked by wisdom  from Above.  His expression of love honored and welcomed others.  His life was  laden with the fruit of righteousness.  He was holy in all His conduct.  This is the one we are to look unto.  He called His people of old to this, and He calls the same things to us today; for Jesus Christ is the same……yesterday, today, and forever!  (Hebrews 13:8)

Maturity is not age, an amount of knowledge, nor a grasp of factual information. Rather it is how we live our lives in relation to God, ourselves, and people – the most precious of all God’s creation.  Do we live it in the fullness of His love and purity, or do we live it unchanged, selfishly pursuing our own desires and dreams apart from Him?  Search your heart.  Honestly see where your choices and commitments have positioned you.  Are you looking to self and success in the culture around you, or are you looking unto Jesus?

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | August 17, 2012

Receivers v.s Seekers: Part 3

Obviously, nothing good that comes from God’s Hand is ours…unless we “receive” it; so it is vital that we learn to be “receivers”, as in those who receive a gift from a loved one, or a benefactor.  If we refuse the gift, we will not experience the impartation of LOVE behind it, much less the benefit intended for us through it.  However, “a life hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3) is MUCH MORE than “just receiving”.  In walking with God, there is an expectation of growth and development towards maturity which requires something called…SEEKING HIM!

Hebrews 6 gives us basic, foundational things that every child of God must recognize as being part of His plan for each of us; and this passage teaches that God waits until we have developed spiritually in our understanding and practice of such things before He “permits” us to “go on to maturity”.  In Part 1 of the recent series on Seeking God, there was reference made to being a “babe in Christ”.  There is nothing more precious to the Father’s heart than His babes, but… He does have an expectation and plan for each of those babes to grow and develop.  Growth demands change, and change can be painful, as we all know.    However, we should expect development, growth and change in ourselves spiritually, for to not change is to remain spiritually immature – as an adult “babe”.

The first 3 verses of Hebrews 5 speak of spiritual immaturity:

“For though by this times you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles (Scriptures) of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil,” (v. 12-14)

THEREFORE (it goes on in verse 1-3) in Chapter 6 of Hebrews:  “Leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection (maturity), not laying again (1) the foundation of repentance from dead works and (2) of faith toward God, (3) the doctrine of baptisms, (4) of laying on of hands, (5) of resurrection of the dead, and (6) or eternal judgment. And this we will do….IF GOD PERMITS!”

Obviously, God’s plan INCLUDES “going on to maturity”, and He wants that for each of us….BUT WHAT keeps many from that blessed state…and how may they present and prepare themselves before God so that He would follow through and “permit” them His power and help to develop and “go on”?

Everyone knows that “babes” can do little for themselves…most everything has to be done FOR them. There is a period in life when that is permissible, and God pours out His great care and love upon them; however,  there is a period when it is no longer acceptable to act as a babe, but rather the expectation for His babes is that they “go on and grow up”!   Why?  Because babes – even spiritual ones –  are mostly self-centered, untrained, undisciplined; and they are in a continual state of crying out and “receiving”…yet doing little for others with what they “receive”.  It is always about “what is in it for them”. They are undeveloped.

God will not “permit” His People to go on to the state of spiritual “maturity” until they come to understand “who they are, what their purpose is, and what their destiny is….in Him”!  God never tampers with our personal will, our place of choosing.  He watches….He waits.  He looks to see those who choose to “go on” in spiritual matters as a result of “humbling themselves” before Him and His Word.  It is because only these will progressively make choices that show a willingness to not be “self-centered”…but God centered.  They choose to seek Him…obey and follow in His ways.

They do not procrastinate in their spiritual growth, but are “hungry and thirsty” for righteousness and they want the promised blessing of being filled with His righteousness such as is declared in Matthew 5:6.  They willingly bring themselves to God’s “table”…His Word…and they not only EAT His Word and DRINK of His Spirit, but they go out and DO what He commands as a result.  These are “doers” and not just “hearers” of His Word.

They do not miss “meal times”….but daily, they come “looking for the Lord”….SEEKING HIM OUT…from among all the choices and activities that are available to them on this earth. They intentionally SEEK GOD.  They go looking for His “table”, His “timing”, and His “ways of being”.  They “hunger and thirst for righteousness” because THAT is the nature of their Father, and they long to be JUST LIKE HIM!

SEEKING takes more effort than just “receiving”, for it is an action of deep desire that requires effort of both patience and persistence.  SEEKERS prioritize their personal relationship with God and put Him first in their lives! They let go of any and all things that have become as “idols” in their lives such as: inordinate affection for people in relationships, possessions, money, activities, and desire for personal control or power over others.  Such things stand between them and full surrender to God and His Lordship in their lives.  As a result…they forfeit “going on to spiritual maturity” and a deeply satisfying, full relationship with the Lord.  This is unfortunate, for it “robs” them of being prepared and fit for the purpose for which they were created and the destiny that is part of God’s Promise for them eternally! Such a terrible and high price to pay….to remain as a “spiritual babe”!

…..to be continued….

Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | August 6, 2012

Wrap Humility Tightly as a Cloak

It takes humility to acknowledge that there is an Authority higher than our own. Wrap the cloak of humility about yourself tightly; for without it, you shall not weather the storms of life…nor enter into God’s Kingdom dressed appropriately. The reality of humility cannot be feigned. It is an unmistakable mark of an authentic Christian to willingly wear the humble garb of a servant in his aim, attitude, and purpose. This is a true disciple’s distinctive, for a servant is not greater than His Master.

HUMILITY: this is not the self depreciation with which many of us are often acquainted. Rather, it is the refusal to trust oneself for fulfillment of needs…looking instead to the Lord! It is a refusal to “kick doors open” for yourself or your calling or relationships in any way…looking instead to the Lord to open doors of reception and relationship – in HIS time. For He makes “all things beautiful..in it time!” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

THE PRIDE OF MAN: this is a personal sense of “rightness” as a result of our identification with our culture, class, race, marriage, family, possessions, calling, position (even in churches), job, finances, etc. Though all these things can be and often are blessings from the Hand of God…to trust in them for a personal sense of “rightness” is vain…..empty. Association by them is as nothing in God’s eyes.

Only that “rightness” (righteousness) imputed by Christ Jesus by personal association and full reception of Him; all that He is and all that He does…only that makes any person able to stand before God. Diligently avoid any form of personal validation through the self-nature. Only that which comes by and through God shall stand in the Day of the Lord.

Self – righteousness. Self – provision. Self – protection. Reliance upon these make one unteachable and unshapable in God’s Hands. Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Humble yourself regularly in the Presence of the Lord. This conscious act of humility places you in the only position by which you are able to truly trust Him and be led by Him.

The wise man is able to patiently embrace and endure suffering…knowing that God’s loving Hand will prevail beyond it! Understand that adversity is a fire by which God is seeking to purify and purge your life of all pride, smugness, of all unrighteousness. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord. Refuse to trust yourself to meet your own needs…or make a way for your own gift. Instead: Look to God directly to be your Provider, your Protector, your Sheltering Tree, your Father…to work out the affairs of life for you. And more so than ever in this Day of Trouble which has come upon the earth…allow Him to direct your path.
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“It takes some practice, some diligence, some discipline on your part, but as you continue to give those things, you will see My Plan for you unfold one day, one step at a time. You will see My power demonstrated to you and through you, here a little, there a little, it will surely come and flow through the efforts you give; but see to it that you remain constant and humble in your personal life. Seek not to exalt yourself, but exalt Me, point others to me and know that it is only as you look to Me, saith God, that you shall see My plan and purpose unfold in you.

“Draw no attention to yourself, but rather unto Me, and My power shall overtake you and flow through you. Prayers will be answered. Efforts will multiply. People will fall before you asking to know the source of your life, or your behavior, of the service and ministry that will flow through you. You will see much unfold before you as you are faithful to reach out and touch people in My Name and for Me, and you shall see change come in their lives. They will testify of it and you shall hear of it.”
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Looking unto Jesus,
Sandy

HUMILITY: Seeing the contrast between what is perfect (JESUS) and my inability to achieve that perfection

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