HUNGER: How far are you willing to go to get what you want?

Hunger_Pains36tDetailHave you ever noticed how a hunger pain sounds like a cat growl? The threat of, “if you don’t feed me, you will regret it!” GRRRRRR!!!

My faith has been in question for awhile. As soon as my eyes opened this morning, I was hungry to have an encounter with Him so I decided that I would fast until I had received what I was in search of. Questions like: how are we justified by faith? What happens when my faith is weak? What part of my faith? Just the part that believes in what Jesus did for us? Faith is a funny thing! Without faith we cannot please God?

First, I shut my eyes and focused on Jesus, pushing away all distractions and I was willing to wait as long as it took for Him to speak to me.  I was expecting a heavenly experience like the kind they talk about on the Sid Roth programs.  Recently, someone said that God is a chatterbox so I was hopeful.  In my experience, seven significant words, like “I AM giving you a Double portion,” has been a conversation that’s drawn out over many years.  In my impatience, I think it became a one-sided conversation.  I was excited when He spoke those words to me because at the time I was cleaning my toilet and maybe the thought that I would be rich and never have to clean another toilet in my lifetime seemed pretty awesome.

An hour later, I opened my eyes and realized “nothing” had happened.  I turned to my daily devotional for some wisdom as it always has good information but nothing was giving me that “WOW” revelation that gets me excited.  While reading my bible, there were some scriptures that were confirming what I am learning from Jonathan Welton’s “Understanding the whole bible” teaching.  The light bulb came on  when I read, “Living in Christ-like LOVE is the evidence of our FAITH!”  It dawned on me that as long as I’m displaying love for and toward others, my faith is in operation.   The only command Jesus gave us was to “Love one another as I have loved you”.  My faith is equal to my love!

I’ve been preaching to anyone who will listen for a long time that Man’s love and God’s love are very different.  Man’s love is flawed and feels good temporarily, almost like sin.  God’s love is permanent and perfect.  It’s very challenging to operate in God’s love all the time because we get angry and want to act on that anger when people are less than we want them to be.  We want the ideal.  “Goodness” to be evident all the time yet we live in a fallen world where people just don’t care that much until they come to believe that the world can be changed through their LOVE.  Specifically ourselves, loving ourselves so that we can love others the way God intends for us to do so. When Christ lives in us, His love flows out of us.  I’m not saying I’m doing it perfectly.  Just yesterday, I wanted to slap a couple people but I didn’t do it!  Instead I acted graciously.   Call me two-faced but  I’ve already asked forgiveness for it.  Maybe genuine love starts out that way.  It may seem like we are being two-faced until we really fall in love and have compassion on God’s creation like He has.  Thankfully there is no one that understands better that He does.

Bon Apetit!!   Until next time.

Judy

 

 

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WORLDVIEW

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I want to share with the world one of my many theories. I encourage you not to spend much time being offended with my theory. Whether you agree or disagree, I value your perspective, if you want to share it with me. I don’t have everything all figured out and that is why I am in search of answers. God requires us to have answers for our beliefs. And frankly, it’s embarrassing having no answers or having an answer that clearly reveals you don’t know God’s character and promises. However, I reserve the right to revise my theory upon revealed truth. God is still God and Judy is a work in progress where His Holy Spirit resides.

In this week’s sermon, the pastor professed that sickness is not necessarily the result of sin.   In my heart, I strongly disagree. Did I stand up in the service and declare my opposition. No, because I want to be a vessel that encourages unity and harmony. I think, he believes that some sickness is the result of sin, like maybe sexual sin can produce diseases such as herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV but mostly, it’s just your unfortunate luck.   He stated that God may or may not heal you, that it is in God’s control, not yours.

So here’s my theory. In the beginning was God.  Then He created man and after that He created woman for man, not as a lesser being but as a suitable companion, his equal.   In the Garden of Eden, life was perfect.   The only time, perfection existed on the earth! No sin, no sickness, no sorrow and no pain.   Then one day the serpent came along to beguile Eve.  She was persuaded to do something God asked her not to do.   On the upside…….she shared with her husband?  Regardless, disobedience became an earthly reality.   Disobedience was the first sin. As a direct result of Sin, sickness also became an earthly reality.

At the mention of obedience, I’ve noticed that people get their undies in a knot. Obey God? Obeying the law is negotiable. Just don’t get caught. Disobedience is considered a minor sin compared to Murder.   Truth is, Murder is disobedience to God. The earth groans, as if in pain, waiting for God to fix the faux pas that took place in the Garden.   Jesus died for the Sin of the World and then went around healing everyone that was sick.   He healed ALL that came to Him.   God’s will is for us to live in Health. He wants His temple/church to be without blemish. God wants His people, not only individuals but also the collective to be healed and healers.  Firmly established in the Truth of His Word and completing the work Jesus started.

When you pray for your healing or someone else’s, stand firm and don’t doubt. Encourage those who are waiting for their healing and build up their faith. Don’t try to explain why they aren’t healed yet. God holds all the answers to our problems. He knows why you are sick and He always wants to heal you. On the other hand, the devil wants to steal your health and your healing.

In the mind of a desperate but courageous woman, there was a knowing that if only she touched Jesus robe, she would be healed. Why would she think that? Weaving her way through the heavy crowd, she achieved her goal. Having felt power go out of him and after finding the culprit, Jesus praised her by saying, “Daughter, YOUR FAITH has healed you.” Yes the power went out of Jesus but she had the audacious faith to touch his robe directly resulting in her healing.   God gave us the power to create. It starts in our heart and comes out our mouth but all too often we declare our healing and ten minutes later say something completely contrary and out of faith which disqualifies us from receiving our healing.

If you want someone to blame for sin and sickness, it is Man and the devil.   Although, blame is ineffective and irrelevant, as Jesus pointed out before He healed the blind man.   The disciples wanted to know who was to blame for the man’s blindness but Jesus redirected them to the “solution.”

Another example of man trying to understand the events rather than trying to achieve the solution was in the story of Job.  Job’s friends were focused on blaming him for his misfortune.   Angry about the accusations, Job complained to God. With patience and kindness, God had some questions for Job, one of which was, “who was the one who created the heavens and the earth, Job? Was it you?” (I’m paraphrasing of course.)   God allowed Job’s suffering at the enemy’s request but once Job had been tested and found faithful, God restored him to more than he was before.   I do not believe that it was ever an option for God to leave Job in his misery.

Point being, we need to focus on God, who holds all the answers to man’s problems and direct other’s focus to the creator, who has a plan to fix it all.   God’s plan of repairing the world includes No more sickness, disease, sorrow or pain and just because the world has not been healed yet does not mean it won’t be healed. God is patient and does not want one of his created to perish so He is giving us time to get it right. DWJD (Do what Jesus did)

PRACTICE

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Hmmm?   Love is like playing the piano?

When I turned 40, I realized that time was flying by. The reality that I didn’t have enough time to do all the things I want to, set in. However, I am going it give it a good effort anyway.   First, I decided to ride a street bike.   Very quickly, I went from a baby bike to a big girl bike.   I haven’t mastered her yet but I’m ready to check off another goal from my very long bucket list during the winter months.

My next endeavour has been to take piano lessons. Whether it’s playing the piano or practicing love, it is best when you follow the example and advice of a good teacher. It is great to have good role models but what happens when you don’t?   There is hope. Jesus is your role model for love.   It doesn’t matter that he was never married because he treated everyone with dignity and respect and we are to love everyone.  Although someone else said these words, you can accept them as Jesus speaking directly to you.   “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.   Train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training in godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.   Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”   PURITY!? Now that’s a challenge because although we show everyone how good we are on the outside, God knows what we look like on the inside.   By the grace of God, go I. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect but in the time being, I know that it is only because of Jesus’ righteousness that I am able to come boldly into God’s gracious presence.

For years, I’ve been practicing love but in that time my heart has been broken into itty bitty pieces and I’ve learned to guard my heart against loved ones who hurt without remorse or sneak in a bit of revenge. As I commit myself to prayer for not only the ones I love but my enemies too, I choose to trust God to fight my battles in the spiritual realm in the same ways He did for King David. What God has done for one, when asked, He will do for another. Often, the argument, “that God expects me to do for myself” has been brought up by Christians who don’t mind living on the beach with God’s palace overlooking their little tent but I want to live in His home with Him.   My interpretation of God’s Word entails a lot more intimacy and dependency than these advisors suggest. So, I choose to always put love first and to sacrifice myself for the sake of the greater good so that I will dwell with the most High forever.

Many people have confided in me about their failed marriages. Often, I’ve wondered, if they had let God help, how would the circumstances have been different? There are four marriages, that I’ve seen where God has helped and completely released a spouse from another because of the other half’s outrageous behaviour. Yes, you heard me correctly. The marriage dissolved with God’s intervention. Clearly, the one spouse was favoured by God and blessed by being severed from a highly dysfunctional relationship.   Sometimes God requires us to let go of friends that have bad influence over us, as well. Considering that there may be an idealist reading this blog, I will say that my grandpa and grandma on my father’s side lasted happily until death did them part. Years ago, I witnessed a christian couple that submitted themselves to God for the healing of their marriage.  He was faithful and they were blissfully surprise how amazing God is. From where I stand, I want my life to be completely directed by God.   I am certain that His way is leap years ahead of what I could do for myself. I still want what I want and am willing to practice love and patience in order to achieve the end result.   God promises that He will give me anything I ask for.

A common benefit of playing the piano and practicing love is reduced stress.   Also, research has shown that older men and women who take up the piano as a hobby generally have an increased sex drive and better cognitive functions which is absolutely a perk when practicing love WITH YOUR SPOUSE!!