I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME  

 

CHAPTER 7
STANDING IN ABUNDANCE, ETERNALLY

 

IT IS NOT EASY, BUT THE PAIN & SACRIFICE ARE WORTH WHILE

 

 When He came into this world, Jesus had abundant and eternal life, but still He had to learn to stand within that promise. Jesus knew what He had to do. He knew the outcome, but it still didn't make it any easier. It didn't take away the feeling and knowledge that He was not OF this world, but, still had to live within a sinful world. It wasn't easy.

It wasn't easy not being understood by His family and seeing things differently than others. If He were to live a sinless life, there were things and people He would have to give up. He was the Son of God, but that didn't make it easier. He was flesh and blood in a sinful world. He had to resist and persist and stay connected to His Father.

Satan was there at every turn trying to affect His emotions and persuade Him to act in the flesh--in self. However, Jesus resisted and persisted, even when it came to His family.

When it came time for Him to make the ultimate sacrifice, He knew the sacrifice was worth it, but it didn't make it any easier. He still asked His Father, if there was another way.

It was hard for His mind to get around the pain He had to endure, because the flesh is weak. It was hard for Him to think about the hatred and betrayal that would be directed at Him. His heart ached for those He loved and would leave behind.

It hurt that those around Him didn't understand how much He loved them. It HURT that they loved the world more than His Father and more than Him.

Yes, Jesus felt pain deep within His heart; the same gut-wrenching pain we feel when we have lost someone dear; the pain we feel when we've been severely, mortally wounded ; the pain we feel, when our world has been shattered; the pain that immobilizes us and all we can do is cry out, "Father, Help me! "

How does God feel when He can't have a relationship or talk and communicate with the children that He loves and created?

If you have ever lost a child or had a child to defy, rebel, deny you, turn against, or completely forsake and turn their back upon you, then you now the endless aching feeling inside of you that lingers after the anger; after the grief; after the worrying; and after attempting to forget and just move on or the pain that only intensifies as you never give up hoping and longing to be close to them, hold them in your arms again, love them and have that same love returned.

Well, God has feelings, too. Perhaps, we can relate to Him a little better, remembering the pain that we have endured ourselves. Perhaps we'll understand How He grieves from the pain we and others have caused and continue to cause Him, when we become disconnected and deny Him a relationship with us.

In the past, we may have called Him up from time to time--praying, but, most of the time we were talking about ourselves or what somebody else was doing to us or for something we wanted or needed from Him. But, that's not a relationship! God wants to be able to touch our heart and for us to understand His heart that He so very much wants to create within us to improve our lives and perfect our love.

Much like the fulfillment mothers and fathers feel when they are able to touch their child's heart with love and have that love returned to them without asking for it; God deserves our love, also, for He first loved us as our Father.

When we don't include God; if we can't share our heart and thoughts; and when we reject Him, because we might not like what He says or does, we let our own philosophy or ideology come between our relationship. If we reject Him or what He wants us to do, because , it's contrary to what we believe; if we hold our hand up to silence Him or hang up the phone to shut Him down, then we are not having a relationship with God. Perhaps, this is how we are use to dealing with our own parents or people around us. We have learned to set up boundaries to keep from getting upset, or having an argument. So, we cut people off and out of our lives, believing we are entitled to conduct and control our lives as we please or perhaps, we can't handle stress, or don't want to tolerate irritating people or subjects which will disrupt our day, rain on our parade, or disturb or steal our joy and harmony.

Oh, I've had plenty of days like that. When I've allowed someone to get under my skin and dig up my flesh, then sometimes it may take me a while to pull myself back together and stitch the pieces back in place.

Some people know just the right buttons to push and just the right time to show up and show out to get your flesh to rise up, then, the old man inside of you is ready to take over and try to turn you about and look back upon the world, so you won't be worthy to follow Jesus.

You find yourself unable to keep your eyes on Jesus. You may be so upset or disconnected, you can't even think about Jesus. He's disappeared! Now, you're trying to handle all of these fleshy feelings by yourself!

Oooooh, Satan's got you just where he wants you to be in order to divide and conquer! He knows how it works. He knows not to change what's not broken. Man falls for the same trick every time. It's just needing to know the right combination at the right time. Mix in some pride with some fear; then, add some spice and animosity and top it off with bad memories and a need for control and vindication and voila!--a masterpiece ready to heat up!

Oh, of course these situations can be avoided by avoiding encounters with people or situations which make our lives stressful. But, why should we have to build walls, put up road signs and caution lights and live in FEAR? That's not ABUNDANT LIFE! Who invited Satan to be chef or chief for the day? He has no authority around here! Did you put on your armor today? Did you claim your territory?

It's time for the Master Chef, our Chief Shepherd, who really knows how to CREATE and not kill, steal and destroy!  JESUS has the RIGHT ingredients to turn things around within our heart, IF WE LET HIM!

You might ask, "But, how do we get around the PAIN and the PRIDE? "

When you come into contact with adversity that keeps needling you, provoking and trying to drag you down and turn you in the wrong direction, you have forgotten about GOD! You've left Him out of your life and your conversation. Not only is your blood pressure rising, but God's Holy Spirit is grieving, waiting for you to acknowledge and use the power and love within you. Meanwhile, Jesus is beckoning you to look at Him and keep following! He knows that you have different opinions than the other person, but, what good is YOUR OPINION if it cannot open the right doors or plant the right seeds? What good is trying to plant in infertile ground? How can someone hear the Word of God if they have not ears to hear or cannot clearly hear because the Word from your mouth is tainted with pride? And, do you really like living behind a wall, behind locked doors, afraid to have REAL relationships, because of fear?

Call on your Savior, stay attached to The Vine, even during those times of stress and irritation. Watch, as He turns YOU into a masterpiece, filled with love, wisdom and understanding to produce GOOD fruit--the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. These are the times when perhaps you have "done all else and there is NOTHING else left to do but to STAND!

Oh, but don't underestimate or misunderstand what it is to STAND. There is a WHOLE LOT going on when you stand. You've kicked into high gear and your spiritual reactor is powered up; you're anchored and holding fast,  while you await further instructions. There's a Mighty Fortress around you and You Shall Not Be Moved!

Meanwhile, you've found your garden for prayer and you're praying  unceasingly. You won't fall asleep and let the enemy creep up and overtake you, leading you into sin and bondage. You're holding up a banner. Oh, I know it may not look like much, because it's blood, sweat and tear stained, but because of the blood, sweat and tears of Jesus, it has POWER, wonder-working power. And, while you're praying, you're loosing and binding, because God and His Angels are fighting for you. You see, that's the power that STANDING looses, because the battle is not yours, but the LORD'S.

Your power within is what the enemy didn't want you to remember when he distracted you. Oh, you forgot about DISTRACTIONS? Then, it's time to remember. Yes, it is time to remember that the pride that crept into your heart was a DISTRACTION to take your eyes off of Jesus and make you think this is ALL ABOUT YOU! No, no, no,no, NO! The second Satan tried to use you and that other person, to steal, kill and destroy, stealing the sheep from the Master....mm-mm-mmm, it was between him and God.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are times when God wants to use you, but, God can take care of Himself.

Sometimes, the situation calls for you to stand on the sideline in Holiness and Righteousness to show Satan who you belong to, while your Daddy takes care of the bully.

God knows you're going to slip and fall into the bully's trap sometime, because the ways of the world are all around you; you may not be use to living in the Kingdom, in abundant life; the flesh is weak; and pride comes before the fall. In, matters of the heart, when people or circumstances are important to you, you might be tempted.

The flesh may be weak, but, your Heavenly Father isn't. Prepare yourself for these people and circumstances, identify your weakness and KNOW WITHOUT DOUBT  that within God's LOVE, you are STRONG. Look to Jesus when these times arise and truly LIVE! Set a picture of Him within your mind and remember His LOVE for you and God's promises to you; promises that cannot and will not ever be broken; a promise NEVER to leave you ALONE ; promises of abundant and eternal life. It's yours, even now. NO ONE can take it away or DIMINISH WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST!

Knowing these things and reminding yourself of them each day is like that old saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."  However, in this case HUMBLING yourself to SURRENDER to the WILL of God to FOLLOW CHRIST, STAND upon GOD'S PROMISES, KNOWING WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST, keeps away PRIDE and STRIFE, which take your eyes off of abundant and eternal life.

 

When God Builds

 

Children of the Most High God, who seek His face and undying love,

We can be thankful that God is the God, not only of second chances, but many, many chances.  God is wise.  He “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

He makes a straight path for us and beckons us to follow.  

Lord, we look to you to lead us where you would have us to go. Yes, we will follow, Father. Our soul says, yes, Lord. Yes. Lead us down the pathway to build us into a strong-house of holiness and righteousness. Amen

My brothers and sisters, know this that you may be a more effective vessel:  God does not build upward until the foundation has been firmly laid.  

“Be still” and allow Him to be the Foundation of your life.  Yet, understand that when He is your foundation, you must be able to stand upon Him in holiness, righteousness and fear of who He is.  You must...Be still and know that He is God. 

When God builds upon us, He only adds what the framework can support.  Many feel secure in their actions because they have placed God as their Foundation.  “The LORD of hosts is with us,” says the psalm, but as my Foundation, inside of me, God wants to build upon me.  

How strong am I?  God wants to strengthen me and build upon me so that my walls don’t come tumbling down again and again.  Ask yourself, have I allowed God to strengthen me and remove my weaknesses; not just patch me up or add support systems; but remove them from my life?  Have I allowed Him to build my house and not just trim my hedges?

When God says, “Be still, and know that I am God,” He is not simply giving a command.  He is painting a picture; constructing a bridge; and defining a relationship.  This is how I operate!  Watch me! Watch what I can do for you.  Watch my power.  Look at how the mountains and your foes tremble.  

Today, we see Believers that are not equipped to stand upon God. We are surrounded by Believers who have no true Foundation.  They lack humbleness, holiness, righteousness, and fear of God.  They would rather fear man.  They don’t know how to be still and know that He is God.  As a result, we prevent God from moving on our behalf.  We prevent God from building upon us; blessing us and transforming our environment.

Being still is not just a physical act or an act of obedience.  Being still is an act of faithholiness,  vulnerability and fear of the Lord.  It removes the fear of what man can do to you.  Being still allows God to move things for you…to move you closer to Him and closer to His plan for you, because you have allowed Him to be your Foundation and construct your walls.  To know that He is God, you must remove self and trust in His power and His glory.

Psalm 46, is not just a song about what God can do.  He is trying to increase our faith.  He is trying to show us, like He showed Abraham.  If you fear me and withhold nothing from me, I will provide for you.  Look!  There’s a ram in the bush.  God is demanding a show of faith!  Watch and wait on the Lord and see what I can and will do for my children!  I will fight your battles!  It is Me the adversary defies!

Your faith tells you that only God can do the work in you and around you that needs to be done.  Being still for God is not a practice; nor is it a ritual.  To turn it on and then turn it off is unequivocally, by all definitions--a ritual.  You use it when you want to and feel that it is needed to appease your god.  Quite the contrary, being still is the outcome of bearing the fruits of His Holy Spirit; peace, long-suffering, faithfulness, self-control. 

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 

BE STILL. BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING

 

Philippians 4 (NKJV)4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

Obedience can lead to righteousness, but it does not always lead to holiness.  Holiness comes from change within; a transformation from the Holy Spirit.  Being still becomes an instance where the action does not bring about the change; the change brings about the ACTION of being still.  Yet, being still is not the final process that God is trying to achieve.  It is the beginning of things to come if you only have faith!  

 

 

BE STILL and KNOW WHERE YOUR HELP COMES FROM

 

The physical act cannot change you if you haven’t allowed God to break down those barriers keeping Him from building upon your faith. And when God changes you, you walk in stillness and live in stillness.   Knowing where your help comes from; being anxious for nothing.   No one has to tell you to be still.  You might be driving, but you’re being still.  You might be running, but you’re being still.  Because you have peace of the Lord, that passes all understanding.

Being still comes through repentance, humility and complete dependence upon the Lord to take control of your life and guide your path.  You humble yourself, knowing you can do nothing without God. 

Learning how to be still comes with learning WHO God is and who you allow Him to be in your life.  We cannot confuse discipline and conditioning with ‘being still’.   These are rituals within the church that did not put fear of the Lord in the hearts of Believers; it only added to their religion and false righteousness. 

We cannot assume that being physically still demonstrates, instills or teaches reverence to God, nor is it the only way to hear His voice.  One demands obedience and one surrenders all to truly love God for who He is and become holy inside the Holy of Holies.  God can tell the difference. 

Some of us were taught that we must show reverence to God when we enter a church and there must be complete silence in the sanctuary.  We could not wait until we got out of church to release the tension and express ourselves, as if we left God in the church building.  Well, perhaps we did. This is not to say that we do not honor God within the sanctuary, but we must teach Believers to acknowledge the presence of God within them at all times; in everything we say, feel and do.  Not just to leave Him,  in a building, or after allowing Him to have some of our time.

We are God's temple. Reverence for God does not begin or end inside of a church or during prayer.  Respect and reverence for God should be continual within our being; for we are One.  Hearing His voice becomes automatic, because we are One.

If you don’t see any change.  If you don’t see God moving after you have been still, it’s because of your expectations; your emotions; and your heart still belonging to you.  You expect that after you’ve held the stance of stillness, God will count it as righteousness and reverence; then, comply with your wishes.  Will He listen? Yes, He will listen for He is a compassionate God.  Will He answer? Yes, He will answer because He is a patient God.  He will tell you everything you need to hear.  However, He is still waiting on you to KNOW THAT HE IS GOD.

The chief priest of Israel could not go behind the veil and enter into the Holy of Holies unless He was consecrated and clothed in holiness—set apart from the world.  He lived in fear of the Lord.  If he did not do so, he knew that the holiness of God would destroy the filth and sin he carried, along with him. 

Jesus’ sacrifice for us ripped the veil to allow us, to not only get close, but to abide in our Father and He in us. Yet, our Father, still requires holiness within us, upon us, and around us. “…and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16 Leviticus 11:44, 4519:220:7Leviticus 20:26

Leviticus 11:44-45 (NKJV) 44 For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 45 For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

It is our relationship with Christ within us that gives us access to our Father.  He is the door.  It is Christ’s holiness and worthiness that creates in us a clean heart and a steadfast love.  Taking upon the character of Christ gives us a holy and righteous identity; wherein we share a relationship with God and He can say that, we are His child, and He knows us. 

When you know Him, you have a relationship of love; your fear and respect spring from the love of who He is as your Father; He is love; a love so powerful and wondrous that it demands to be respected and revered for its awesome magnificence.  Like a deer, you stand at attention, when you hear His voice; be it inwardly or outward…you are still.  You are still, because there is no other like Him.  You are His and He is yours.

Some people physically stand still, but their heart is still trying to race ahead of God.  However hard they try to resist, their heart and mind still tells them to keep going on in the direction they want to go.  Their mind is still in the world.  They’re holding their breath because of their expectations.  But, when God says, “Be Still,” He means, know that I am God, because I am the air you breathe!  I give you life! …and without Me there is no race to run!

 

So, what does all of this have to do with God building upon us?  Everything.  We want to choose the times that we are still, so God cannot build upon us and show us what He can do.  This is our weakness.  We relate being still to the physical, when it is the spiritual.  We cannot equate obedience to holiness.  As Jesus would say, we "still lack one thing."  We do not know who God is because we have not given ourselves completely to Him.  We have made Him a part of us.  We are not One.

 

We use God as a stepping stool when we want to reach something.  We step on and off of our Foundation.  God can’t build on us if we aren’t rooted, grounded, and anchored.  And what He does build, is torn down or falls down because our frame is too weak; then, we want to blame others for our ruin. 

 

We don’t know how to truly be still and allow Him to take control of our lives.  He cannot increase our faith because we’re holding on to self.  We don’t want to be truly vulnerable to have a complete relationship with Him.  We still want to keep ties and a relationship with the world. Most often, it is because it helps us relate to others who are still of the world. We fall to temptation and fear because we allow things and people to come between us and God.  We are still looking for gifts in the world, instead of the gift God put inside of us, His Holy Spirit.

 


Father, teach us how to be still and know that You are God. Reveal to us those areas in our lives in which we are still trying to control; that prevent you from building upon us; areas that have led to poor judgment in our lives; and poor judgment of areas, in the lives of others. 

Help us to move beyond simply obeying You into greatly loving You for who You are. Help us to move beyond practicing reverence and rituals to living in fear of separation from your presence within us. 

Even so, Father, if we say we love and appreciate You for who You are; we must also love and appreciate how you have made us and what You have given us; accepting that you do not make mistakes, Father. 

Those fleshly sins, in which we struggle, Lord, are meant to separate us from You. Through Jesus, You gave us a way to die to the flesh and conquer sin and temptation. Jesus, help us to abide in you! 

Help us to accept and celebrate who you have made us to be. May we accept the work you have put before us with joy and gladness; returning the love You are so worthy of, Father. Be our Foundation. Build upon us; removing our weaknesses; so that we may stand upon you rooted and grounded, with holiness and righteousness. Amen

By the grace and mercy of God,

 

Your grateful servant, united with the One

 

mishael

 
 

Published by Mishael T