To Believe, or Not to Believe...
Colossians 3:1 “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” ~NLT
I have had conversations with those, who struggle to believe, where they made the statement, “It is so hard to believe in what you cannot see.” They say, “Reality hits so hard that focusing on the Word of God gets complicated.”
I respond by asking them to focus on the term ‘Reality’. You see, just because the world does a good job convincing you that what you see is reality, don’t let it fool and keep you from knowing that what you ‘can’t see’ is reality also.
For instance, consider the air we breathe. It’s there, it exists. You feel it when it blows past you. Even though we cannot see it. Jesus says in John 3:8, “The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” ~NLT
Let’s step away from our ‘flesh-made’ decisions and embrace the ‘Spirit’ we are born of. You can’t see this blessing of spirit, but like the wind, you can feel it. Sometimes we encounter conflict because the Spirit tells you one thing, but the flesh tries to deny you of the Spirit’s direction.
The only way we can know the truth in direction is to allow the Word of God to settle the conflicts of the flesh with the guidance of the Spirit.
We will find that at first, we hesitate, but as our relationship with God strengthens, we become aware of the strength of our spirits. His love for us will make us stronger and we will know that those things of Heaven are a ‘reality’.
So set your spiritual “…sights on the realities of heaven…” and tell your flesh that you no longer need its direction.
May God continue to bless, heal, and guide you in Jesus’ name.
1 Peter 5:10 “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” ~NKJV
When I was very young, (I don’t remember what specific age), I discovered fear at its highest point. I was walking into the living room one evening to ask my mother a question. She was watching a movie called ‘Salem’s Lot’, a classic vampire movie. I just happened to walk in the room and glance at the screen when the main ‘vampire’ popped his horrifying face on the screen. I remember yelling and running to my room. After that, I had to have some form of light on in my room at night during bedtime. Some nights the light worked. But those nights that it didn’t were very hard on me. There was only one thing that made me feel safe more than the lights. Whenever I woke up from sleeping and noticed the dark hallway past my lighted room I would scream out for my mom. I would yell for her to come in my room.
My mom eventually got tired of coming to my room and then I heard a loud deep voice from the hallway, “Boy! If you don’t be quiet, I’m going to come in there and snatch you out that bed!” It was my dad. After hearing his voice, I figured any monster in the house would have to deal with him first. So my fear left and was replaced by the security I felt by my dad’s presence in the home.
This is why the text above was given to my spirit. It is a text to be read and meditated on when fear of any kind enters our heart. It may not be like my monster in the story, but it could be that monster of anxiety, that monster of finance, that monster of a broken heart or bad relationship. But whatever the ‘fear’, know that God is bigger.
The text begins by introducing the Father as He is, “…God of all grace…” No matter what we have done in the past, we are a new creation, and His grace should be met with ‘thanksgiving’ every morning when we rise. It continues to define Him by what He has done in favor to all of us, “…Who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus…” It is through His Son that we are forgiven and allowed salvation.
And then it addresses our suffering. In this case, our fears and everything that may result from what fear has done in our lives. “…after you have suffered a while…” meaning, the pain we go through from all that is going on in our lives, God has the healing power to, “…perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
Perfect the spirit that He has blessed us with to give us the strength we need to overcome our fears and live in the ‘sound mind’ He gave us to follow His direction in obedience. Establish His Word in our hearts to allow us the wisdom to continue the mission of His Son Jesus as we live our lives.
And this last one is the best in healing for all of us, and that is to settle us. My dad settled my anxiety when I was little and afraid. His voice calmed me and took away my fear because I knew he was with me and would protect our home. This is the same feeling and trust we should have with God. His voice, His miracles, those times He brought us out of anything we were going through. His power is our security! Let go of fear and embrace God’s love! His love for us is our protection.
May God continue to bless and keep you protected and in His power in Jesus’ name,
The Same Voice
Ezekiel 1:28 “The appearance of the brilliant light all around was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This was the appearance of the likeness of the Lord’s glory. When I saw it, I fell face down and heard a voice speaking.” ~CSB
The Lord’s voice. I was raised on stories in the bible where God talked directly to His messenger. For instance, in Genesis 12:1 “The Lord told Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the Land that I will show you.” ~NLT The Lord spoke directly to Abram and in response Abram listened and followed the orders of God. Because of His obedience, the foundation for all gentiles was set for us to be grafted in as children of God.
Another story I was raised on was when the Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:12-13 “And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.” So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive he had brought and anointed David…” Because of this David became a great King whose descendant would be our Savior.
But today, does God talk to us? The answer is yes. But our relationship with him must be strong. We must visit with the Lord every day. Don’t give yourself set boundaries on how you do this. In other words, don’t say, “I’m going to spend an hour with the Lord every day.” When you do this, you begin looking on your calendars, and gauging your schedules to see when you would ‘have the time.’ Before you know it, you don’t because, you don’t have that ‘hour’ in the day.
Just wake up in the morning with a prayer of thanksgiving. For simply waking you up that morning. For the blessings you have at that moment. Allow yourself five or ten minutes to review a scripture or two. To spiritually chew on as you journey through your day. This will build strength in your spirit. You will need this so that your spirit will become stronger than your flesh. This will help you keep your flesh at bay during those times of temptation.
Before you know it your relationship with the Father will become very strong and genuine. You will be able to see what you have never seen before. You will be able to hear what you have never heard before. You begin to hear His voice. And because your spirit is stronger, you will be able to receive directions from the same voice that directed Abram. The same voice that directed Samuel.
That same voice will then allow you to see, in this dark and rude world, “…The appearance of the brilliant light all around…” God’s glory will be like, “…that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day.” The text continues that this appearance will be “…the likeness of the Lord’s glory…” Tony Evans says in his Commentary, “The only appropriate response to the glory of God is worship and obedience. This position opens the door for God to speak to us personally.”
The text continues, “When I saw it, I fell face down and heard a voice speaking.” Give our spiritual selves the chance to hear God by having that strong, determined spiritual relationship with God. This is the only way we will be able to hear from Him and receive the guidance we need to receive His promises here on Earth.
May God bless and keep you in His grace through His Son, Jesus,
Philippians 3:13-14 “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” ~NLT
“This year is going to be like every other year.” “Why set goals or resolutions when I’ll only quit anyway?” “This year is here, and it doesn’t feel any different than last year, or the year before that!” Do we find ourselves feeling this way? Do we find ourselves saying these things? If so, stop it. It is a mindset and a learned behavior to give up. It is learned because God did not create us to be quitters. God did not put us in a world that can defeat us. I want to take the time and share that we need to abandon the feeling of ‘giving up’!
So, what if this time in our lives doesn’t feel different. Feeling is of the flesh. What does your spirit tell you? Even if you haven’t spent enough time with the Lord yet, as weak as your spirit may be, ask it, “Is this our time?” The spirit will intervene for you and allow God to know that you are ready!
In the text Paul is saying he has not achieved what God has created him to do yet, but he will press on. Regardless of what the world has shown him, regardless of what past events have set in his heart, he knows this time, this new day will be different. He knows this because he is a new creation and anything that has happened before this day, is old and he is excitedly ready to receive the new! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Understand that it doesn’t matter if you think you have had ‘bad luck’ all your life. Trade in the ‘luck’ for Jesus! You see luck is when the world throws you a bone. But Jesus has already won the battle and victory is yours already! It has nothing to do with luck. We must do as Paul said and ‘press on!’
We do this because our paths have already been laid out. God has already created us according to His plans, His will, and His way. We must establish the godly relationship with Him so that we will know exactly where to travel on this path. Because in the end, God will reward us for being obedient.
Paul says in the text that he will press on to, “…reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” There is no doubt about God’s love for us. His promises are true and available to all who love Him. We must press on in obedience, press on in our godly relationship with Him and press on believing in what we don’t see because God is in control.
We may not think we are worthy, but we are. We may not think our lives have meaning but they do. We think this because we are only physically looking. We must spiritually seek. Know that it is the power of Jesus in us that He has chosen us to do His will. Paul says in verse 12, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.”
God loved us so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son. It is that Son who ‘pressed on’ for our salvation. It is that Son, who’s perfection possessed us. Now we must embrace that possession and press on with the power of Jesus in us!
May God continue to bless you in the name of His Son Jesus Christ,
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.