I was on a call with a friend this morning and she confided in me the fear that she was feeling about life, her work, and the landscape of society in general. We were speaking in context of our business relationship, and when I got off the call, I went into my quiet time and begin to pray for her. During worship, the Lord began to speak this to me and released me to share it today. He says,
” My people are afraid. They have allowed the circumstances and the environment around them cause them to lose focus on the things I am doing in this hour. I AM the GREAT I AM. I am making a way where there seems no way. I am aligning people, places, events for my purposes, says the Lord. Do not allow the enemy to steal your focus on who is in control- IT’S ME! Do not look for me in the fire or in the earthquake, or in the wind. You will find me in the secret place. You will hear my still, small voice. I whisper thoughts of love, hope, a future to you. I tell you of great things to come. You are living in a time where miracles abound. Pray for the eyes to see them. I speak peace to your heart today. Nothing is taking place that I have not ordained, and as I sit on my throne I invite you to sit beside me. You will find me when you seek me with your whole heart. Remove the distractions and come and be with me. Activate your faith to believe I AM and that YOU CAN find me. I am not a far off God. I am as close as your breath. Come!”
I want to add to that, don’t give God pieces of you. God desires ALL of you. He created you for His delight and for His glory! And for those of you who feel as though your life is in pieces, or maybe you feel like you’re missing pieces you need before you can come wholly to God, I say just come! Bring whatever you’ve got and come to Jesus. He specializes in turning pieces into masterpieces. He’s the God of restoration and he will restore you. Just come to him! I was reminded of this song I sang in church as a child. I hope that as you listen to it, it’ll settle your anxious heart and that you’ll sense the deep love Jesus has for you. The link is here: Softly and Tenderly
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2nd Timothy 3: 1-5
You might be thinking, “I’m not any of those horrible things!” And while we are seeing evidence of terrible times in present-day culture, for the church, I believe God wants us to really hone in on the latter part of the text. Having a form of godliness indicates that, in the last days, people would look like Christians. What does a form of godliness look like? Perhaps they go to church…maybe they can quote what are non-scriptural cliches within the spheres of Christianity like, “God never gives you more than you can handle”, or “When God closes a door he opens a window.” They celebrate Easter and Christmas (for some they only attend church at Easter and Christmas), and they might even be able to quote a scripture or two. They probably own a bible, but they don’t read it.
In Matthew 7:15 the Bible talks about knowing prophets by their fruit, and we can also use this scripture to apply to the fruit we either see or don’t see in a believer’s life. Trees are known by the types of fruit they bear. As the holy spirit begins to work in the heart of a new believer, God’s character is made manifest through the transformation and refinement of a believer, from the inside out. A person who lives life at the well of Jesus begins to exhibit the fruit of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. It’s antithetical to the scripture in 2 Timothy that we just reviewed. Those with a form of godliness make an outward display of the “being a christian” on the surface, but there is no depth, no real relationship with Jesus underneath the surface.
We should examine our own fruit, as well as the fruit of those around us. Are we bearing any? Do our day-to-day life, conversations, and associations prove that we are pursuing Jesus rather than adding a dose of Christianity to our worldly lifestyle? It’s important to understand your sphere and the culture of your environment because it is shaping YOU. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Bad company corrupts good character.” Jim Rohn says it this way: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Your friendships and associations influence who you are and who you will eventually become. They determine what you value and prioritize. God’s word also says “Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart”, and “They honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” (Matt. 5:18). We should be the kind of people who live a lifestyle of honoring God first in all things and choosing to align ourselves with other believers aspire to the same kind of righteous living.
This passage from 2nd Timothy invites a pause to self-reflect on who we really are, and the trajectory of our life based on our focus, decisions, and associations. It takes giving the Holy Spirit permission to convict us by showing us where we’ve been getting it wrong so that we can repent and pursue God the way he desires. AND BEAR FRUIT.
Some of God’s people have compromised. They are not quite in the world, not quite in the kingdom of heaven. They look upon and give commentary on the state of the world yet they fail to look inward and examine their own hearts. They have a form of godliness but they stifle the transforming power of the work of the cross, the power to change the world by becoming a living vessel of the message of Jesus Christ. They have made the holy mundane, slowly exchanging the truth of God for a lie. They have a form of godliness but but they are compromising like Ephesus. Paul warns true believers to have nothing to do with such kinds of people.
Verse 16 in 2nd Timothy 3 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Chapter 4 states, “In the presence of God of Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from truth and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
Today, I pray that you will ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truths he wishes to teach you about your walk with God, your lifestyle, your relationships, and your fruit. May you become closer and closer to God as you pursue a life of true godliness in Him.
Early this morning around 3am I heard these words: “Wake up, your bridegroom is coming!” I laid in my bed, trying to wake up but finding myself so drowsy from sleep that I continued to lay there.
This morning in my quiet time, as I talked with the Lord about the urgency of the hour and the words that I woke to, He spoke this word to me:
“I am purifying my bride for such a time as this. I call out their detestable practices. They say they love me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. I must pull back the veil to show them their errors and sin while there’s still time to repent and return to me. Not everyone will listen, but some hearts will be convicted. That’s me- touching their heart because I love them. I want them to be right with me. Made righteous. Pure. I am not coming for a broken bride. I am not coming for a bride that loves me with half of her heart or even just a fraction. I am coming for a bride who has made herself ready to receive me. I died for my bride. She is my beloved, and I am hers. She knows me intimately and understands what I mean when I say this. This is a call to my bride to purify herself. Come out from among them and be separate and touch no unclean thing. Put away the deeds of darkness. It’s almost daylight. Wake up! Behold! Your bridegroom is coming soon!” says the Lord.
He took me to 2 Kings 17: 34 which states,
“To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” They would not listen however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.
When you asked Jesus into your heart, you made a covenant with him, similar to the covenant of marriage. When you enter into a covenant with God it means you agree to keep certain terms and promises. In this instance, the Israelites, the church, and we as individual believers in covenant with Jesus agreed not to worship any other gods, to serve or place anything at a higher value than we place our relationship with Jesus. We agreed to live life according to the Word of God, not according to the world’s standards, worldly aspirations, etc. And His word says in this passage that when we worship the Lord, He delivers us from the hand of all of our enemies. (He promises so much more than that to us, too!) But the bible states that the people of God wouldn’t listen, and they “persisted” in their other practices. To persist means to firmly or obstinately continue in a course of action despite difficulty or opposition. In other words, they continued to gritfully pursue their own desires, lusts, and serve themselves and other “gods”. A little god (with a lowercase g) is anything in your life that you place of greater value above big God (with a big G). A little god is defined as anything you adore, admire, or anything that has influence over you. Little gods or false gods could be money, intimate relationships, work, gambling, alcohol, sleeping in on Sundays..r-rated or x-rated movies…the list is really endless. And alot of Christians profess Jesus but they continue on with the worship and even sometimes secret worship of all of these little gods. Well, the Bible is clear. When you make Jesus Lord over your life- you are saying, “Jesus, I am making you authority over my life. I am making you the influencer of my life. I am making you the master over my life. Rule over me. How then, do you justify the little gods in your life? His word this morning was clear. We are to purify ourselves, turn from our evil ways and our little gods, know Him more intimately. That means tearing down the idols. His word says, you shall have no other gods before me. And maybe you think you’re living life ok in the eyes of Jesus. I encourage you to pray to him and ask him to reveal the idols you’ve set before him. He is so kind and faithful to show us. He doesn’t condemn you. He wants to make you right so you’re awake and ready for his return. For more, please read the text below when Jesus spoke about the parable of the 10 virgins.
Matthew 25: 1-13. “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take along any extra oil. 4But the wise ones took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9‘No,’ said the wise ones, ‘or there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10But while they were on their way to buy it, the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.
11Later the other virgins arrived and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us!’
12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’
13Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
This morning in my quiet time, the Lord took me to 1 Corinthians 7:21. Before I go into the scripture, I need to say that God has been speaking to me about the remnant of believers. I am called by Him to write to them to encourage and correct them. To help them rekindle their relationship and pursue God on a more intimate level. To hear His voice, receive His instruction, and fulfill their assignments on earth. I’ve been thinking about the name of this blog, The Gritfull Life, asking God if I should change it to something else. But the truth is, it takes a measure of faith and grit to live in this day and age. It takes GRIT to be a part of the remnant. I think of the book A Tale of Two Cities when I say this because it truly is the best of times and the worst of times. The darkest hours before the Lord’s return, but the generation that will welcome His return! Before the foundation of the world, God purposed that we would be alive NOW. I don’t know about you but that realization has caused me to ask God every day, “Lord, what do you want me to do???” “How can I be your agent of change? How can I bring you to others and show them that you are living and active, that your plans prevail, and that, even though the darkness is closing in, you are COMING SOON?” “People need you Lord, whether they know it or not yet!” “I’ll go wherever you want me to go. I’ll say whatever you want me to say, if you’ll be with me and make me brave to do it.”
The Lord replied, “I am putting new things in your hands. You have everything you need already. Go where I tell you to go, and say what I tell you to say.”
It’s why I’m writing this blog. Like he instructed me through his word in Habakkuk, “I will stand my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me. I will write the revelation down and make it plain so that a herald (one who makes public proclamation) may run with it. For the revelation waits for an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay.” Habakkuk 2: 1-3
Reader, I want you to know that everything up till now has been God preparing me for becoming comfortable putting things in writing, believing God for who He is and what He says about me, what He wants me to do, etc. I literally have journals filled with the path and signs he’s been pointing me to. Like the Mandolorian says, “This is the way.” He had to heal my heart first, and bring me to a place where I could receive and release what He wants for His people. I’ve been tiptoeing into the pool of this ministry that I’ve known He’s called me to my whole life. Now I believe and know that it’s not me, it’s HIM. And the gifts he has given me are for you, for his glory, through Jesus Christ. For such a time as this.
Ok, now to the scripture:
“What I mean brothers, is that time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed by them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” 1 Corinthians 7:21
I asked the Lord, why He would show this to me now? Beyond what I’ve just said to you about being a voice for Him to His remnant, I grew up in church environments where I saw leaders in the church use scripture like this to justify leaving their wives, walking away from ministry, etc. Of course, being a pre-teen at the time, I wasn’t wise in the scriptures, and thus formed a very biased view of how “Christians” interpreted the Bible to give themselves permission to do whatever they wanted, thanks to “grace.” And while that’s a whole other lesson that needs to be unpacked, corrected, and re-aligned to the TRUTH of the Bible, it bears mentioning here because God is not giving us permission as women to exit our marriages. Basically, He’s saying, that we as believers should make the most of our time before Christ’s return. Every person in every generation should have a sense of urgency about telling others about Jesus because life is short. We don’t know the day or the hour of Christ’s return. We should be focused on what really matters. HIM, and making Him known.
The Lord spoke to me to share with you today:
“There are people who are still focused on fixing others rather than themselves. My word says there is no one righteous, no, not one. I want my people to seek me for healing, wholeness, fullness, and peace. But they are searching everywhere else for anything else that could possibly satisfy. ‘Well’, I ask, ‘Are they satisfied?’ Before I ask the question, I already know the answer. I am calling- you who are hungry, come and eat. You who have bread, come and find me and be satisfied. I will give freely.”
Time is running out. It sounds as though you’re still searching elsewhere for satisfaction. I want to encourage you to seek God while he may be found. If you’ve wandered away from reading your bible, going to church, and fellowshipping with other believers, it’s time to return. Build yourself up in the most holy faith, and pray in the holy spirit. Stay awake, he is coming soon.