Owning IT!

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Taking your meditations of God’s word and allowing it to come ALIVE inside of you and then flow out of you, takes practice.

When you look at the stories throughout the bible and history of man and woman having deep encounters with the presence of God, it usually did not happen in a temple, synagogue or church. What you will see is man having a personal experience with the person and nature of God in a very ordinary, natural way. Take for instance Moses and his encounter with YHWH at the burning bush. (Exodus 3)

Moses’ encounter with the holiness of God is surely an external happenstance, but it is also an inner one. Immediately it changes Moses and drives him outward. This is what a deep inner experience should do for someone. One could call it a transcendent experience, but note that it is based outside in nature rather than inside of a synagogue or temple.

“Often it is in the open spaces of the ordinary world that the inner world is recognized and impacted.”

Immediately after Moses had his heart-stopping experience, YHWH said to him: “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt. Now, go! Tell Pharaoh to let my people go” (Exodus 3:7, 10). Our Creator God has just given Moses an experience of an unnamable Presence, and it has an immediate impact on Moses, his family and his world. Rather than invite Moses to worship or attend a church service, God says, “Go make a difference, Moses!”

“The fire burned FOR him, then IN him, and finally THROUGH him.”

As Jesus was sending his disciples out into the community, He spoke, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”  (Matthew 10:5-8)

As believers we have freely received so much and now we are admonished to go give it away!

Unfortunately, too many Christians have released themselves from this instruction and we have all have suffered as a result.   In avoiding our most basic need to give back, many of us have lost whatever we might have gained in our personal and private devotions with the Lord.

What would it look like for every follower of Christ to freely give love, kindness, encouragement, prayer and gifts to anyone who has a need? What would happen to our communities if each of us took to heart Christ’s words? I believe the answer lies in the stories of every man and woman that is recorded for us in the Holy Scriptures who believed God and then acted on it.

I encourage you today my friends, to give Christ away to everyone or anyone you encounter who has a need. In sharing what you have experienced and learned, you really own the Gospel message beyond what you ever imagined. The Good News comes alive for you and others! It is something real and tangible that people can taste, feel and see!  It is in the “giving away” that you are able to be recharged!

“God’s love is like an electric circuit; it never flows in just one direction.”

Allow it to flow through you, out of you and around you to the world you encounter daily. I promise you will grow and flourish personally, but you also will be changing history for the better! Our world needs God’s powerful love, grace and mercy to be shown through His people. We are called to be His witnesses!

Sadly, we see that many people know of no other way. No one told them about the wonderful alternative, a third way…..a BETTER way!

“You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14NLT

My prayer is that Christ’s followers will present the Gospel in a way that really changes people.

My Gateway to Love: Father, show me where to stand!

 

****This blog was inspired by the writings of R.Rohr – a mystic, a Franciscan friar, and a simple devotee of Christ

 

2017 – REBUILD

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The Year of REBUILDING – 2017

Over the month of December, I have seen in the spirit realm hammers over people’s heads. I have seen saws, wrenches and other tools over individuals that God has provided for them to rebuild their life.  I believe in these visualizations that God is profoundly speaking to all of us.  This is a season of His mercy over us.  Cry out for God’s mercy and allow His grace and love to settle your hearts and establish you.  Submit yourself to the One who created you and allow Him to rebuild, reconstruct, re-erect, and reestablish you.  This is the time, the heavenly re-set has begun!

There is one prayer that our heavenly Father always answer. And that is the prayer of His mercy.  Mercy is not receiving what you and I deserve.  Mercy is God’s love displayed to us in the midst of us being selfish, stubborn, imperfect, prideful and down-right mean.  Psalm 103 is a good portion of scripture to meditate on that exhibits God’s character of mercy.    I am so thankful we have a compassionate and gracious God.

The main reason God is NOT into condemnation is because His goal towards us is transformation. As followers of Christ, we are called to be transformed.  It is crucial that we understand that this transformation happens best in a healthy environment of mercy.  The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom. 12:2)

In the preceding verse, Paul urges his readers to offer their bodies as living sacrifices as they comprehend God’s great mercy. We see that transformation truly only flourishes “in view of God’s mercy.”

This is my commentary: as we ponder, and think on God’s great mercy, we offer ourselves up to Him, because we know that He is the only one who can transform us.  We can’t “white knuckle” it, and we can’t “try harder.” For years, I believed it was my duty to beat myself up for all the bad and wrong I had done.  These self-flagellations never produced real or lasting change within me.  It was only when I threw myself on His throne of grace, that I was able to find His mercy.  My transformation began as I exchanged all of my shame and fear for His mercy.  Ultimately, all of our desired change occurs in the hands of our heavenly Father who is slow to anger and who abounds in great love.  Robert Gelinas states it this way, “God’s mercy is for sinners, and God’s mercy is also for those who are in pain.”

“Son of David, have mercy on me……”

Over and over as you read the New Testament, you see people calling out to Jesus to impart His mercy towards them. In not one place, can you see that He denied this request.  I invite you to go through the gospels and read of the humble state of men and women who knew to appeal to God’s mercy.  Every time this request is cried to our savior, it was from people who needed to be delivered from great pain and suffering, NOT because of a sin they had committed.  One could say that mercy is God’s grace in action.

The mercy God offers us brings true forgiveness and lasting transformation. It is a change that actually converts our very identity.   Think on this…we are invited to be a part of God’s family as adopted children.  When we are able to embrace this level of identity change, transformation explodes in our life!

One of my favorite verses is found in Psalm 121:5, “The LORD is my keeper; The LORD is my shade on my right hand.” God’s mercy becomes a shade, or a covering over our life.  This allows us to flourish under His love because it is a place of protection and safety.  Here in this place, His garden, we can grow up into all that He has called us to.  We can become that tree of righteousness that was planted and He gets ALL the glory. (Psalm 1:3)

In the New Year that is before us, my prayer and hope is that we would all be nurtured and developed into our true identity, according to God’s deep mercy. May we all get into the habit of praying, “O God, have mercy on me!”

As we enter into 2017 may it be a year for all of us to fully enter into the words spoken in Isaiah 58, “those from among you shall build the old wasted places, you shall raise up the foundations of many generations.” Today, do not delay, pick up your spiritual hammers and tools and place yourself before the One who can shape and form you into something marvelous.

Love, Lisa (#bebrave)

“God remembered us in our lowly state, His mercy endures forever.

He rescued us from all our enemies, His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven, His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136:23-24,26 NKJV

 

How Desperate Are You?

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One of my favorite stories of healing in the bible is the woman who couldn’t stop bleeding. It is found in Mark 5:25, Matthew 9:20-22 and again in Luke 8:43.

This obscure woman was desperate….desperate for an encounter that would change her life! The account of her story tells us that “no one could heal her.”  However, because she was an audacious woman and resolute within herself, she thought, “if only I may touch the man’s garment, I will be made well, and so she did and immediately the blood dried up and she was healed of her affliction.”

What is so significant about the hem of Jesus’ garment? At first reading, it seems an odd practice.  However, once we understand the significance of the hem of one’s garment, these passages will have much more meaning.  The word translated, hem, in Hebrew, is tzitziyot.  It means fringes or tassels.  In the Old Testament God called the sons of Israel to put fringes or tassels (tzitziyot) on the bottom of their garments (Numbers 14:37-41)

The woman on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, who came to Jesus for healing, knew this command. She knew that the tassels or fringes represented the law of God, the authority of God, and tied up in all of that are the promises of God.  In this account, the tzitziyot, or fringe tassels, were her point of contact, in order for her miracle to manifest.  Those fringed tassels represented the word of God which is always the place where we can find healing for all the needs in our life.

The fringes also represent the authority of Jesus, that He taught with authority and when He spoke, people were healed. We see in another account in the gospels, that people clung to Jesus and touched His garment. “And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Jesus that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched His garment, were made perfectly well.”  Matthew 14:35-36

The nameless woman in the gospels had heard of Jesus. Perhaps she had heard of his power to heal and deliver and remembered the promises of old.  I imagine that she remembered these promises…released her faith… reached out…touched…and her miracle appeared!  This woman received her healing when her faith touched the power of God, the hem of Jesus’ garment, and she was made whole.

I want to be desperate and have faith as this dear woman….that I would know the promises of God so intimately that even the smallest point of contact, can help me release my faith toward God for HUGE miracles in my life and in the life of others.

I do not believe this woman had a “hunch” or that she even “hoped” that perhaps Jesus would heal her. No!  She had much more than that, she had a promise!  Promises from her God about His goodness and kindness to heal His children.

Moreover, there was another element to these fringes that most people don’t know. Another promise, found in the words of the prophet Malachi, “But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings”.  The word wing in Hebrew is kanaf, which is a word that specifically means the “fringe-like” feathers or edges of a bird’s wing.  Most places in the OT where kanaf is used it is referring to God.  Therefore, the place of refuge is under the kanaf of the LORD, under His word and His authority (Psalm 91:1 – “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”)

Read the story of Ruth and Boaz. As Ruth went to Boaz and lay at his feet on the threshing room floor, she implored him, “Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.”  (NKJ – Ruth 3:9)

The word in Hebrew for wing is kanaf. In essence, Ruth was asking Boaz to heal her of her affliction of widowhood and abandonment – to take her as his wife.  This was a custom that was known in that culture.  Ruth was stating her belief that she knew the power of a kinsmen redeemer, to deliver her of poverty, disorder and ailment.  Boaz does indeed take Ruth as his wife and their child, Obed, is in the lineage of Christ.

In the New Covenant, through Jesus’ blood, we are taken as Christ’s bride, and His healing virtue is available to cover us, heal us and empower us for abundant life.

Take refuge under His wings my friends. Cover yourself with the hem of His garment….release your faith today to believe that Jesus can and will touch you in whatever area you have need of.

Indeed, the good news is that Jesus died and rose again to pay our debt, but the ultimate good news is finding out the true nature of who God really is. Jesus said, “If you see Me, then you have seen the Father.”  The nature of the Father is made manifest in Jesus’ ministry on this earth…..Jesus came to put a face on the Father for us.

The woman with the “issue of blood” saw the face of Yahweh, the Most High God, in Jesus, the Son of God. And she reached out and believed!

Shalom,

Lisa Roitsch

http://www.lisaroitsch.com