True Desire Part Two

Here is the rest of yesterday’s post.
A.W. Tozer wrote “Pursuit Of God.” There was a prayer at the end of one chapter that captured my heart. It said something like this, ‘Lord I want to desire to desire You.’
 
As I read those words in 1972, something inside me stirred. I have learned since that it was the Holy Spirit awakening my heart to embrace the Lord’s desires. At that time in my life I was clueless. I’m sure that is why I got derailed so often through the lies of the enemy.
 
The Holy Spirit, the Spirt of truth, has to teach us to follow because we can’t do anything redemptive through our own efforts. Psalm 51:6 says, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.”
 
His mission, and the call on our lives is to be holy as He is holy. It is called progressive sanctification. Here is another part of Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Verse 17 says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” A large part of our walk with the Lord is to hide His word in our hearts. That gives the Holy Spirit the tools He needs to set us free from the things that bind us.
 
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 helps us understand how to stay focused on Him in our now-trials. It says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

True Desire

Here is the last part of the chapter I added to my book in progress:
We are made in the image of a God who desires. Therefore, we have the capacity to desire what He desires. Listen to Jesus’ words to His Father the night before He was going to be crucified. John 17:24 says, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
Luke 22:13 says that the Passover was prepared. Verse 15 says, “Then He said to them, With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”
These two verses really touch my heart. Both were spoken before He died on the cross for us. He still desires that we behold His glory, and that we remember Him in His death through communion. He was speaking future and present.
What happens when we behold His glory? 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that as we behold His glory we are being transformed into the same image. Metamorphosis is that inner change that is all accomplished by God alone. We do the beholding. He changes our fleshly desires to desires that please Him.
Here is a lesson for us. Always, satan seeks to derail us from that true desire. He gets us so focused on our emotional pain and lack of fulfillment, that we lose sight of God’s desire.

Heart-Examination Part Two

Yesterday the Lord gave me another chapter to add to my last paperback compilation of seven ebooks. We all need to let the Holy Spirit give us a heart-examination. We cannot examine it ourselves because we don’t have the ability to access what we have hidden.
 
He asks us probing questions that press up against the hidden. They evoke an emotional response. We feel the emotion of the hidden pain which facilitates our answer.
 
Here is the question He asked me, so I ask you. What is your core felt-need? I have polled several of my friends. The answer comes quickly. Here are a few of many which I have included in my chapter. “To belong to someone who loves me; why am I still here?; I’m a question with no answer.”
 
Here is the next paragraph after the question. “How do we process the unmet felt needs? That is a great question. The word ‘process’ is the operative word. It is not a bandage or a quick fix. The Holy Spirit patiently trains our heart in righteousness. He builds a foundation of trust so that we will willingly follow Him. He never leads us into darkness, but rather leads us from darkness into true light. He shines His light in the dark corner of our heart where the pain is buried and leads us out of that bondage into emotional freedom.”
 
When we ask the Lord for wisdom, He gives us His perspective. He sees everything clearly. Our present trial is only a speck in the big picture that He sees of our life–from before conception and throughout eternity. Maybe that is why Paul used the words ‘our light affliction’ in 2 Corinthians 4:17
 

Heart-Examination

David wrote Psalm 26. Listen to his words. Verse 2-3 says, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes.”
 
Our fiery trials refine or examine our faith. I think of Jeremiah (Lamentations 3:1-27), Habakkuk (3:16-19), and Asaph’s (Psalm 77:1-15) words from their refining crucibles. Each one was in dire straits. Their hearts were revealed through their words. Each were spiraling down in their thoughts, but then they recalled God’s lovingkindness.
 
I am not a Hebrew scholar, but there is a note in my Bible about mercies I want to share with you. It is hesed which means covenant love or steadfast love. Lamentations 3:22 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.”
 
The enemy of our soul wants us destroyed because we are made in the image of God. He hates Christ followers. His evil strategy is to shoot fiery dart lies that will penetrate. They come in the first person. “You are no good” type lies. If we believe them, they will control our thoughts, purpose, and actions.
 
We may not even be aware of them. They are hidden in our heart to sabotage our faith. Remember when Jesus was in the wilderness He was tempted by satan. Luke 4:13 says, “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.”
 
Ephesians 4:27 Amplified says, “Leave no (such) room or foothold for the devil (give no opportunity to him).” We cannot be lax in our faith building. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing His word. Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. That is why satan attacks our faith through any way he can.
 
However, we have a marvelous effective weapon. Ephesians 6:16 says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

What Is Inside? Part Three

My folks bought a house that had a really old peach tree in the back yard. It bore a lot of fruit. Though the outside looked great, the inside was rotting around the pit. For some reason the pit heated up and began to ‘cook’ the inside.
 
Have you ever had a pain in the ‘pit’ of your stomach? What about a pain in the pit of your heart? Buried emotional pain takes up the capacity that belongs to the Lord. The pit-pain is a felt need that was not met. It unconsciously keeps looking for fulfillment.
 
What is inside your pit that was never fulfilled? Psalm 107:9 says, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Jeremiah 31:14 says, “I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.”
 
When our emotional needs are not met, it doesn’t matter if it is in the past or the present. It is a ‘felt’ need in our heart. There is only One who can fulfill it. When we bury it, the need remains and begins to heat up inside. Decaying thoughts emerge from it. They spiral down as they look for answers, not up to the Lord.
 
John 6:63 says that the flesh cannot profit. 1 Samuel 12:21 says, “And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.”
 
There is an old hymn that says, ‘Where could I go but to the Lord?’ Psalm 31:9-10 was David’s languishing words. “…My eye wastes away with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity.” If you have emotional pain buried in the pit of your heart, it is time to go to the Lord with it. He’s paid for your sin. The forgiveness for withholding it is right before you.

What Is Inside? Part Two

Have you ever cut a piece of perfectly looking fruit open to discover it was rotting inside? Maybe you discovered a hidden worm. It all looked good, until you could see the insides.
What is inside your heart? 2 Peter 3:10-12 described the day when the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with a fervent heat. The earth will be burned up.
Verse 11 says, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.” I have been thinking about ‘what manner’ means.
1 Peter 1:14 says, “As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts…” Amplified says, “…do not conform yourselves to the evil desires (that governed you)…”
Hebrews 12:15 says that bitterroot judgments will defile us and those around us. If we put a rotten apple in the middle of good apples, they will all rot.
Hidden sin defiles from within. Acts 8:21-23 says, “…your heart is not right in the sight of God…pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you…you are poisoned by bitterness and bound in iniquity.”
Here is a good way to pray. Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

What Is Inside?

Have you ever gotten a present and you wondered what was inside? We have the greatest present of a lifetime. The Bible. Do you know what is inside?
 
Last night the Lord reminded me of a verse. I was praying for our nation and the world at 7:14. I encourage you to join me and many others to cry out for the nations from 2 Chronicles 7:14. You probably can quote it, but now is the time to put it into action.
 
Jeremiah 10:23-24 says, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. O Lord, correct me, but with justice; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.”
 
I linked that this morning with Proverbs 31:8 which says, “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die.”
 
We, the ones who believe in Jesus, can cry out for those who are appointed to died. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”
 
I recently read the book of Revelation. There is judgment coming that is unparalleled with anything the world has ever known. God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus for our sins. What is coming will be His wrath poured out on all mankind.
 
Only the Lord knows what is inside man. He is a heart-reader. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
 
Our role, according to God’s word, is to cry out for those who are perishing. Unbelievers are blinded, and have been squeezed into the world system. They are like mindless-robots being led by a master into destruction. They are being controlled by the lies of the deceiver. We have the Truth INSIDE us that we need to give out to those who are trapped.
 
They are being controlled as Ephesians 2:2-3 says. “…according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind…”

The Squeeze Part Two

We know that satan is a counterfeiter. We also know that he is the god of this world. Therefore he puts the squeeze on us to be like the world.
 
1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” James 4:4 says, “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?…”
 
Who is behind enmity with God? Yes it is satan himself. He will do whatever he can, to lure us into his world system to capture our hearts away from God.
 
The true squeeze, God’s way, is to center us on Him. He does that through the pressure of our trials. Like a Master Potter, He has to apply pressure to prepare our vessel to glorify Him.
 
Hebrews 12:11 Amplified says, “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God).”
 
When we feel the ‘squeeze’ we know that the Lord is perfecting our way. Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
 
The ‘squeeze’ is His glorious stamp of ownership on our lives. Our part is to yield and not resist in our hearts. Our heart is our belief center. Any resistance means there is hidden dross that He is bringing up so that our faith can be purified.

The Squeeze

Yesterday I started the book of 1 Peter. Here is a truth to stand in when you feel you are being squeezed. 1 Peter 2:11-12 says,
 
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, ABSTAIN from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
 
having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
 
Peter reminded them that they were just passing through. They were in a foreign land. They were not to have a settle-down mindset. Colossians 3:2 says to set our mind on things above.
 
I was thinking about the ‘abstain from fleshly lusts’ part. What are advertisements designed to do? They are flesh lures. They awaken desires to have what you don’t have. You would never even know about a product without an advertisement.
 
We have the most excellent product! 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
 
Our ‘treasure’ is the gospel message. The ‘power’ behind it is the cross. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”
 
2 Corinthians 4:4 perfectly describes our advertising audience. It says of them, “Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
 
We believers are designed to carry the light of the gospel that will open their blind eyes to the truth. Matthew 5:16 says to let our light shine into their darkness to dispel it! Don’t let the world system squeeze out your light.

2 FREE EBOOKS

2 FREE EBOOKS
Today, Saturday, Sunday on Amazon
Proclaiming Victory! heart songs of deliverance
Displacing Fear: enthroning the gift of peace
ALSO
These two are now available in paperback on Amazon
Note: Proclaiming Victory was written from an insight the Lord gave me as I was reading the Song of Moses (Exodus 15). It is unique and very powerful. There is a surprise chapter with two of my friend’s new songs. It will help you get out of deep ruts and give you tools to step up into freedom.
Displacing Fear will help you turn your fears into triumphant, persevering faith
Displacing Fear jpg
Proclaiming Victory!