Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"The More we YIELD, the More we are RELEASED to be ELEVATED!
The Bible very clearly states that God selected the judges. "And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge..." (Judges 2:18). Deborah is listed in Judges 4:4 as first a prophetess --her spiritual calling before birth, then as the wife of Lappidoth --her natural calling as a woman, and finally as judge of Israel. This was a woman who was seasoned from years of being a godly wife. As God observed her behavior toward her husband, He knew that He could trust her as judge over Israel. I doubt very seriously that if Deborah had a reputation as a rebellious wife who ran her husband, the people would not have respected her the way which they did. No one likes to see a henpecked man. God knew he could not put a woman like that in power. Its a simple lesson but a deep one....The more we yield, the more we are released to be elevated!

The Power of Being a Woman by Michelle McKinney Hammond

Friday, January 30, 2015

Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan!"

Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan!  for it is written:  'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"  Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. -- Matthew 4:10, 11

Aahh, this was a familiar face --Satan!  He felt sadness at the sight of this lost and unrepentant soul, but He also felt some righteous indignation as He recalled the revolt this solitary figure had tried to lead against his Father in the heavenlies.  This foe He had once called friend had risen to incite one-third of the heavenly host against the throne of God, and He, Jesus, had waged war against him, casting him down.  Satan had fallen like lightning from the sky along with the angels he had rallied to his cause, still screaming his threats that he would somehow get back at them all.  Supposing he was doing a good job at fulfilling hsi vow ever since tempting Adam and Eve to fall, Satan now confidently sauntered up to Jesus, a smooth smile doing little to cover the hatred that glittered behind his hooded eyes.

Jesus understood that this man, this entity, this fallen angel who used to gather the praises and present them so magnanimously before His Father, was not one to be trusted.  So He gave him no greeting.  He was almost hypnotic to take in, however, for he was still quite beautiful, but in a twisted, perverted kind of way.  As a matter of fact, he was only beautiful at first glance.  If you really looked, you would begin to take in the horrid little imperfections that marred his features in a disturbing way.  The longer you stared, the more repulsive he became.  It was clear that Satan truly believed his own press and was quite heady with the power he held over this small domain he had been given for only a season.  Why, he even had the nerve to try the same manipulation that he had used on others now on Jesus, as if the Son of God were merely some new kid in the neighborhood who was not yet familiar with the town bully's tricks.  Jesus almost felt sorry for him.  Didn't this fallen one understand that the longings of the flesh could never be fulfilled apart from the Word that God so lovingly gave to His children?

It was almost amusing, that Satan would ask Jesus to prove He was the Son of God by manipulating Him to test His own Father!  Didn't he understand this was not about Jesus proving anything to anyone?  He knew who He was, and who His Heavenly Father was to Him --that was enough.  And the nerve of Satan, to offer Him something that already belonged to Him!  The years of separation from God had truly twisted his logic.  Had Satan forgotten that he was only the prince of this world and that He, Jesus, was still King of kings and Lord of lords?  Well, he would be reminded soon enough.  Though Satan rehearsed scripture back to Him, it seemed as if the serpent had developed convenient amnesia, doing anything that worked to get him the results he wanted.  And he got rid of anything that would reveal to his chosen victim that his offer was as useless as a bucket of water was to the sea.  What could he offer that God couldn't do greater?  Absolutely nothing!  This Jesus knew on authority.  He had his truth straight from the throne room.

And so they stood face to face, yet kingdoms --worlds---apart.  One disguised as light, the other emanating pure light, the only difference being their relationship with the Father  of Light --God Himself.  Though both looked alone, only one was truly alone, separated for all of eternity from the One who gave all that he craved --power, wealth, and fulfillment.  Only God could give the ability to gain these things.  And only when given form His hands would they be lasting.  To acquire these things by one's own devices led to a life of trying to secure one's holdings.  This was a hard existence that left one bitter, weary, and disillusioned.  But now, sadly, this was the only life that Satan knew.  A life filled with attempting to get everyone in the world to see his flawed point of view and to go along with it.  Jesus shook His head at all the possibilities that Satan had forfeited in his rebellion.  It was His Father's good pleasure to give him the kingdom within the confines of His Lordship, but for Satan that wasn't enough.  So now, ultimately, he would have nothing.

Of course, even in the midst o this weak game of bartering, Satan still did not understand what he was dealing with because Jesus' mission was so contrary to Satan's character.  He had no concept of becoming nothing in order to gain everything.  His pride demanded that he validate his power with an accumulation of praise unto himself.  That he flaunt his wares and assets, so to speak.  Glorify God?  Whatever for?  No, Satan had missed the point, but Jesus hadn't.  He knew  who He was.  He knew who His Father was.  he understood every facet of their relationship and walked secure in His Sonship.  This left no room for His flesh to feel need above and beyond what God had already provided for His spirit.  His Father was His Friend; this was all He needed.  As he watched Satan depart from Him after He had reminded His lost friend how the scriptures really go, Jesus knew that He would see His foe again.  Satan had always been resilient, a sore loser, though his was a losing battle.

As the angels came to minister to Jesus, reviving His strength for what lay ahead, He again reflected on how sad it was that some would choose to go their own way, meandering down the road of self will, only to find themselves alone.  How sad it woudl be for them to find, at the end of the day, that all the things they acquired and accomplished were only cruel traitors robbing them of true everlasting joy.  As He basked in the care of His Father and those he had sent, he rested secure...definitely not alone.

From the time we burst forth from our mother's womb, the grasping begins.  Though we crave the love and security of our parents, we have an even greater desire for control.  We cry and that gets us attention.  We learn this early and use this newfound knowledge almost immediately to get what we crave.   But then our parents begin to set boundaries and we rebel, not recognizing the limits as detours that set us on the right track.  We don't realize that we must learn how to yield in order to be blessed.  So we fight for our own way and lose the grace that could be ours to help us attain what we truly desire.  Our rebellion places a breach in our relationship with God, causing discomfort and even the forfeiture of gifts and privileges.  Oh, but the blessings that await the child who grasps his Parent's hand and accepts His leading!

Dear Heavenly Father, far too often I have sought my own way, much to my own personal demise.  Help me to understand this unique relationship that You desire to have with me.  Give me a personal witness of Your love and Your intentions toward me.  Teach me of Yourself and increase my trust in You.  Make Yourself and Your Fatherhood real to me and increase my love for You, that I might withhold nothing of myself from You.  As I meditate on Your Word, make it come alive on the inside of me.  Grant me the revelation of Your heart as I read every line.  let Your Holy Spirit fill me with a passion for Your purposes.  I desire to be Your child in every sense of the word, bringing pleasure to Your heart and a smile to Your lips.  Help me to be ever aware of Your presence and Your love for me, that I may act accordingly.  In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

His Love Always Finds Me by Michelle McKinney Hammond - pg 123-127   Get your copy today!