Friday, March 27, 2009

The Power of "Be"

Genesis 1: 3, according to some Hebrew scholars, may be more closely translated this way; And God said, "Light be!" And light was.

You see, God doesn't have to say a lot to get a lot done. We see this same trait in Jesus. He spoke a few words to the storm and it subsided. He commanded sickness to leave and it left. He told dead people to arise and they rose. He cursed a tree and it died.

That simple.

With people, it isn't always that simple. People talk and talk; often with little result. Haven't we accused people of being 'all talk and no action?' Not true with God. His talk is always accompanied by action. He states in Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

So this morning, as I prepared for my day, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, "If God says Light Be, and Light Is; why do you not respond accordingly when He says Debora, Be?"

Immediately, all of the scriptures that commanded me to be sprang to life in my heart...

BE OF GOOD CHEER (Jn. 16:33)


BE NOT AFRAID (Mark 5:36)


BE HEALED (3 John 1:2)

BE FRUITFUL (Col. 1:10)

BE BLESSED (Deut. 7:14)

BE ONE (Jn. 17:21)



BE THANKFUL (Col. 3:15)



Notice that none of these commands tell us to pray to be those things. They don't say to try to do those things. As Nike would say, "Just Do It." And how can we not? Given the fact that the Words of God inherently contains the power for the corresponding action-why not? Why not be courageous rather than fearful? Why not be healed rather than sick? Why not be thankful rather than ungrateful. Why not be blessed rather than cursed? I guess what I am saying in a nutshell is this: If God said it. you can BE it. You ARE it. So DO it.

If you haven't already guessed it, I am a bookworm. Some might say a nerd. It's libraries and bookstores all the way for me! I want to know stuff. All kinds of stuff. Stuff that bores the daylights out of my friends and family. It's what I am. The moment I got into elementary school I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. Correction: I knew I was a teacher. I just didn't have all of the knowledge I needed and the formal accredation to work as a teacher. Well, life happened. I married and started a family. I still wasn't an official teacher. (Mother's please forgive this statement; for every mother is indeed a teacher.) Let's say I wasn't being paid to teach. Years went by. I couldn't afford college, but still had this desire to teach. (Because in God's eyes, I was a teacher. Remember, He calls the things that are not as though they are. Romans 4:17) I took one job after another to supplement the family income. Retail sales, purchasing, materials management, insurance sales... you name it. The closest I got to teaching was training employees. Finally, one day I challenged God and said, "God, I know you are the God of my future. And I know you are the God of my present. Can you also be the God of my past? Can you restore to me what I should have had in my past?" He heard. He answered. A few months later the economy took a downturn and I was laid off from my job. Because my job had been adversely affected by foreign trade, I was able to access federal funds to be retrained. Can you guess the field I chose? At the age of 47 I enrolled in college and at 50 obtained my AA in Paraeducation and another AA in Science. With honors. One paper I wrote in school was entitled "Let me Be what I already Am: Let me Teach." For the past 3 years I have worked as a para-educator in the special education department at a local elementary school. My job allows me to work with low income minority children: a group very close to my heart (and to God's heart). After all these years I am finally being paid to do what I have always been...a teacher.

When God placed the stars in the heavens and called them by name; they didn't argue. They didn't say, "I'm afraid of heights, I can't do this." No, they just settled into their spot in the universe and did what they do best: Shine.

What ARE you? I mean, really, what ARE you in your heart of hearts? What does the Word say you are?

I am still learning about what I am. I am a child of a King. A Princess. A member of a holy Priesthood. Blessed. Delivered. Cheerful. Unafraid. Courageous. Fruitful. Healed. Filled with the Spirit. Full of Faith.

Thankful, very Thankful.

He says so. So I can be. So can you.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Cure for Spiritual Schizophrenia

If the definition of insanity is continually doing the same things and expecting different results; for the Christian; the definition of spiritual insanity might be continually doing things in the flesh; and expecting spiritual results.
Have you ever wondered why things aren't working for you spiritually? I have. But finally, after decades of failure I am starting to get it. It's all about flesh and spirit.
Here's what I've learned:
"But how?" you ask.
The answer is elegantly simple and lethal. You have to kill the flesh. Crucify it. Nail it to the cross.
"Well, I go to church every Sunday. I give offerings. I support missions. I take my elderly mom to the doctor once a week. I speak in tongues. I listen to Christian music. I write a Christian blog..."
Nonetheless, Your flesh has to die.
Submit everything to Christ. EVERYTHING. Not just Sundays. Your desires. Your plans. Your pride. Your time. Your money. Your career. Your hobbies. Your relationships. In short, your life. When everything is on the altar and your flesh is dead; the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will resurrect you. When the Spirit takes control of your life, spiritual things will begin to emerge. It's really quite simple.
"Well, that's really hard. What if God tells me to go to Africa."
You'll go.
"What if He tells me to give away my money?"
You'll give it away.
"What if, what if, what if?"
Psychologists say that we will often stay in the same dysfunctional relationships until the pain of the relationship exceeds our comfort level. The question then becomes,
"Is the pain of your unsuccessful Christian walk exceeding your comfort level?"
For me, the answer was a resounding Yes. My ineffective Christian walk finally drove me to the cross. There were things in my life I had been unwilling to surrender. I was afraid. But I finally was able to give it all to Christ. I've now learned what Paul meant when he said "I die daily". (I Cor 15:31) I have always been a very willful person, so for me this means not having the final say. Letting someone else get the credit for something I have done. Refraining from saying that bit of gossip. Spending my day off helping someone else. Spending time in the Word instead of watching so much television.
Read Romans 8 again:
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.