No Longer Passifying the Flesh

Flesh is like a two year old with a passifier. The passifier is what keeps it quiet and gives it comfort. Everything is fine as long as it is near and can be accessed whenever desired.

As we walk in the spirit we take away the passifier. The flesh will throw fits, have major outburst, and finally fall out.

Blessed is the one who can walk away from their flesh until it falls under the subjection of the Spirit.

I do remember that because my flesh will always be a part of me that I have to remove the passifier constantly to make sure it understands it is no longer in charge. It is now forced to conduct itself by walking after the Spirit.

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
Galatians 5:17 NLT

There will come a day when the passifier will be thrown out and I honestly can’t wait because the fight can be down right tiring.

We can take comfort in knowing that the Holy Spirit is with us and in us to help us overcome our flesh.

Thanks be to God who always causes us to triump in Christ Jesus!

God In Our Deficiency

The entire bible is a story of an amazing God loving, working through, and blessing ordinary people. He in his amazing mind thought us up and decided that not only did he want to create people but he wanted a personal relationship with them. These people, because of sin, were very fickle and had a short attention span so God had to come up with some solutions.

God is an equal opportunist, grace levels the playing field. His willingness to wash away sin with the blood of his son gives a chance to the world in its entirety. (See John 3:16) It’s amazing to know that when I feel like I’ve messed up I will not be turned away, but he welcomes me back with open arms.

Though out the book of Isaiah we see how people repeatedly broke God’s heart and he was angry but for a moment but still told them, “if you will turn to me and from your wicked ways I will have mercy on you.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

It is no longer a matter of what you look like, how long you’ve been saved, where you were before you got saved, who you know, where you grew up, or what environment you were raised in. God says, “I will take them all!”

Make sure no outsider who now follows God ever has occasion to say, ‘ God put me in second-class. I don’t really belong.’ And make sure no physically mutilated person is ever made to think, ‘I’m damaged goods. I don’t really belong.’”

For God says: “To the mutilated who keep my Sabbaths and choose what delights me and keep a firm grip on my covenant, I’ll provide them an honored place in my family and within my city, even more honored than that of sons and daughters. I’ll confer permanent honors on them that will never be revoked. “And as for the outsiders who now follow me, working for me, loving my name, and wanting to be my servants— All who keep Sabbath and don’t defile it, holding fast to my covenant— I’ll bring them to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. They’ll be welcome to worship the same as the ‘insiders,’ to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to my altar. Oh yes, my house of worship will be known as a house of prayer for all people.” The Decree of the Master, God himself, who gathers in the exiles of Israel: “I will gather others also, gather them in with those already gathered.”
Isaiah 56:2‭-‬8 MSG

Moses, one of the most influential men in the bible, admitted his deficiency to God and allowed God to fill in what he was missing. The result of Moses’ obedience moved a nation from slavery.

Moses raised another objection to God : “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.” God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God ? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.” He said, “Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!” God got angry with Moses: “Don’t you have a brother, Aaron the Levite? He’s good with words, I know he is. He speaks very well. In fact, at this very moment he’s on his way to meet you. When he sees you he’s going to be glad. You’ll speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll be right there with you as you speak and with him as he speaks, teaching you step by step. He will speak to the people for you. He’ll act as your mouth, but you’ll decide what comes out of it. Now take this staff in your hand; you’ll use it to do the signs.”
Exodus 4:10‭-‬17 MSG

For all of the goodness it makes me wonder why God chooses to deal with a fallen humanity. The answer is pure love, the definition of who God is.

But out of the sheer goodness of my heart, because of who I am, I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper. I don’t wash my hands of you. Do you see what I’ve done? I’ve refined you, but not without fire. I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction. Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do. I have my reputation to keep up. I’m not playing second fiddle to either gods or people.

Isaiah 48:11 MSG

God is not deterred by our weakness. He does not turn away from us even when we are in sin, but calls to us to enjoy him and allow him to bless us.

Dear Friends, we have been approved by God through his word.

The Power of Simple: Waiting Well

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In the moments after God has made you a promise you start well excited about it and set out to see it happen. More time passes, and you have the word but no evidence of it being fulfilled. It is tempting to help God out or simply swing things so that they will turn in your favor. There are times when I get antsy in expectation and I keep checking everywhere I think the answer may be. Somewhere in hearing of the promise I forgot that God is the one who works the will and the do for his good pleasure. My input was never needed, only my willingness to obey.

This is what my prayers sound like sometimes.

God: Tracina just write. Tracina just study.

Me: But God I really would like to do something important. Maybe I could…

God: Tracina just write. Tracina just study.

Me: But God I think I would really like to do…

God: (Silence)

Saul found out the hard way that we cannot help God along and the consequences for him are summed up in him losing the anointing God placed on his life.

Then Samuel said, Do you think all God wants are sacrifices— empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said No to God ’s command, he says No to your kingship.
1 Samuel 15:22‭-‬23 MSG

In the moment  what he was doing seemed to be a noble sacrifice but because he did not wait well and listen to God, Saul forfeited the blessing of God over his life.

 

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I do get to a place when I lack understanding. I often get to the place where I have no clue what to do next. I asked God why I have to come this way and his response was, “I can not work with you when you think you know the way. You told me I was Lord over your life and that my way is better. You have to get to a place where you are not sure so that you can see that I am who I say I am and that my strength is made perfect in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) To this I can only respond with “ouch” and “yes Lord.”

I notice in this scripture and in my case that God did not tell me to do anything I am not capable of. I have to get to a place that even when the instructions make absolutely no sense I can still “trust in the Lord with all of my heart and lean not unto my own understanding.”  From there “he will direct my paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Resist the temptation to help God along. Don’t take for granted your day to day. For me this season in my life is called the middle where everything I do seems insignificant in the natural, but in the spirit I am moving mountains of adversity and building an unshakeable foundation. The middle prepares me. The middle sharpens me. The middle is where I find out what needs to go and what needs to stay for me to finish strong. Don’t despise the middle. The top is great, but the climb is really the part we can be proud of. It is where we find out just what the power of God on the inside of us is capable of.

 

 

 

Stretched For Purpose

Being a baby giraffe must be an awkward situation. Being born when your neck and legs are disproportional to your body creates for a lot of slips, trips, and falls. Regardless of the awkward start eventually they learn balance and can stand, walk, run, and reach without complications. Much like any baby it takes small steps, learns where to get centered and then is able to move effortlessly.

This affect can be said to be the same in the Christian walk. We are undeniably different. We stand out when we stand up and everyone notices when we fall. Take note also that when we get back up we are better than ever.

The truth is we have been created by God for a glorious purpose. One we often times can not see because of current circumstances and situations. God stretches us to show us that we are capable of more than we give ourselves credit for.

Things I’ve Learned From Being Stretched

Vision Changes

When God stretches you, you start to see things that others may not see. You gain the ability to see above the situation and past present suffering.

Reach Changes

My ability to tap into the spirit realm is heightened (pun intended)

When I am stretched I don’t go hungry because I can reach beyond where there is lack.

Capacity Changes

My capacity to enjoy what God has given be has been expanded since He has started the process of growing me up.

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.
Proverbs 24:16 NLT

My ability to receive from God cost me some discomfort. Many falls that were less than stellar and some that were down right disgraceful, but he was there to help me up and told me to keep walking.

Remember you are being stretched for purpose.

Stretch me until I am pliable

Let my anointing be undeniable

Psalm 116

Sometimes I just don’t know what to say so I will let the word of God be a testament to what is happening with me.

I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy.

He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him.

Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels.

Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help:

“Please, God !” I cried out.

“Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God.

God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.

I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”

I’m striding in the presence of God , alive in the land of the living! I stayed faithful, though bedeviled, and despite a ton of bad luck, Despite giving up on the human race, saying, “They’re all liars and cheats.”

What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me?

I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God ! I’ll pray in the name of God ; I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it together with his people. When they arrive at the gates of death, God welcomes those who love him. Oh, God , here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of God . I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it in company with his people, In the place of worship, in God ’s house, in Jerusalem, God ’s city.

Hallelujah!
****Psalm 116:1‭-‬19 MSG

Thankful

Sometimes I find myself complaining internally, a lot.

Even if I don’t verbalize it my attitude towards life is not always good.

My perspective at best is usually set on how I feel from one moment to another unless I have my mind on Jesus.

Things I complain about:

Bills: too many to pay

My son and my parents: they can be a little needy at times

My job: I go in ready to go home

My house: Grass to cut and rooms to clean

Worship tips my perspective back into the correct position. There are two sides to every coin, I’m flipping mines to the grateful side.

Things I am thankful for:

Bills: thank you for the amenities in my life, you blessed me with extra

My son and my parents: Thank you that I have them around still

My job: thank you that I am not in the unemployment line

My house: Thank you that I have a safe place to rest

It’s bill day Friday and while I’m writing checks and pushing “send payment” I will be saying, Thank you lord for all of the extra you allowed me to have.

I am so glad that the Lord is not in heaven keeping a bill of sale for everything he provides because we would be bankrupt and hopeless.

The next time I set my lips to trip I will consider the cost of the cross. Thank you Jesus that you paid it all.

John 4:23-24 (MSG)

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

1 Chronicles 29:10-14 NIV

10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.

14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand

Open the Door

There is something on the inside of you that rumbles and shakes begging to break forth and life and all of its circumstances are trying to suppress it.

Its unshakeable, banging on the door with insistence that you let it out.

It’s the one that makes you giddy when you mention it, makes you tremble at the thought of losing it.

That one that as a kid you saw it and you knew that if you could get your hands on it you would hold tight to it and never let it go.

When you close your eyes to recover from the day you see it.

When you hear its voice in the sound of the crowd you long for it.

When someone speaks ill against it you fume.

When you think of how great it would be to possess it you search for areas of your life where you can make room.

It’s the spot on the earth that God has carved out for you and only you can fit into it.

It’s your destiny.

What’s Left Standing When The Earth Quakes?

Devastation can leave you disoriented and feeling squeezed out.psx_20180503_2027101542261664.jpg It’s the blow that knocks your entire being sideways. The contents of you heart are exposed, and you are forced to face what you thought you knew, what you thought you felt, and what you did and didn’t mean to say.

Every now and then God will allow the enemy to press you to show you what is on the inside of you that needs to be excavated. Be sure there is not residue from the enemy on the inside of you. Kill everything that may resemble him. Clean your house and fill it with the word of God. Renew your mind daily because what is inside will come out! From your lips you can feed the flame, or you can choke it out with the covering of the word of God.

 
Negative self-talk is not beneficial to the health of your spirit. Speak in the direction of your purpose. The power of words is described as being a small fire that can set an entire forest on fire. It has the power to cause irreparable damage. It can kill your spirit, your dreams, and your destiny. When willed by the Holy Spirit it has the opposite affect, blazing a trail of success that is built to last. 1525354882810_image1716752210.jpg
When devastation crosses your path be sure that it does not trip you up and misdirect you from your purpose. Be careful that you do not kill your purpose with your own sword. Our words are powerful and with them we can build or tear down.

Moments like these we need a sure foundation. The one thing that will stand when everything else is in a disarray, the unshakeable truth which is the word of God. it is  the one thing that will not and can not change. In it’s unchanging state is has the power to bring about change.

 

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Dear friends please know that your pain is not in vain.

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Resting In His Promises

Some days I need to manage my feelings more than others. The enemy wants nothing more than to play them up in my weakest moments, but I have the reassurance of God’s word to help me grasp the hope he provides. Instead of complaining I will say what he says. His promises for me are a sure thing. When Jesus was tempted He did not respond with how he felt but only with the word of God. Jesus gave an example for how we are to respond. “It is written…”
I want to share the comfort of the words that lift me up in my lowest moments. Say them aloud and experience his grace for this day.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way.
Psalm 142:3 NIV

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
Psalm 119:50 NIV

…we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.
Psalm 66:12 NIV

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NIV

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19 NLT

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11 NIV

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV