What a Diofference a Change Makes

As a Chaplain in a prison, I work with prisoners who are focused (well most of them) on change. It is heartwarming to see them struggle to become better and more socially acceptable members of society. It reminds me a bit of so many of our Old Testament people who also faced change and challenges. Think about these: Noah, Moses, Daniel, Joseph, Jonah, Esther, David……we could go on and on  – and why? Because change is what builds our character, changes the world as it changes us and changed them. Imagine where we would be or not be if Noah simply said, “Nahh, I don’t think I am up to changing my life and spending years building a giant boat only to be ridiculed by my neighbors.” Noah’s changes repopulated the earth. And with his change to please God and the challenges that ensued while building and floating after the rains, his change and challenges continued and began big time when the water subsided and he walked on to dry earth. Once again, he had to change his life style of houseboat living and face the challenges of his new world – over and over again.

 

And do we even need to mention Moses. Oh my, change after change. Challenge after challenge.

 

We could and many have written books and much music around this theme. And what a perfect theme to envelope during this Lenten Season. Remember this oldie but goodie – –
It went like this: “There’s an old ache feel a-rollin’ down the tracks that says
your loving daddy ain’t comin’ back. I’m movin’ on.”

 

Probably, each of us has the opportunity to move on. Sometimes we feel we must relocate do to economic conditions, or with old doors closing. When you get that feeling of moving on, know that with God’s help, it is always moving onto new opportunities, new experiences, and something good coming into your new life. So, when we move on, let’s always know that we can always move onto something better with God’s help.

 

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

 

I read this quote the other day as I was preparing this message – “I see it as putting on a new set of tires and rolling around the country, in a whole new way. So, if someone says, ‘I’m going to retire,” say “I’m going to re—tire; put on a new set of tires and experience life in a whole new way.’”

 

I saw this in the comics and saw something that related to prayer.

 

“This family in the comic section of the newspaper has a mother speaking to her little boy. She is saying, “Winkey, don’t forget to say your prayers so you will go to heaven.”

 

Winkey looks at his mother and says, ‘What do I have to say to get to go to Disneyland?’

 

Maybe you want to go to an entirely different place in your life—something new for you that is going to move you into a whole new experience in which you seek new good in your life. Perhaps you want to move on into a new state of spirituality where you may experience new health of body and peace of mind. Perhaps you may want to move into a new state in life where you are filled with happiness and the joy of living. Perhaps you are desiring a new state of prosperity and good, that would give you security and fill your life with soul satisfaction. Maybe you want this change just to enjoy something different and fulfilling.

 

We all have to move into that spiritual awareness of God that will take away fear and bring us Divine good.

 

Sometimes, we think we are too old to do something new, but with God, we can say in total truth—“I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm as I spring forth with a mighty faith to do the work that ought to be done by me.”

 

Always be ready to move on into a new experience and a new spiritual awareness. Be ever-ready to experience life in a whole new way. Be ready to change, to shift perspective, to keep “a rollin down that track” to becoming one with Christ.

 

And none of us are not alone.

 

For God will give God’s angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalms 91:11

 

If you are troubled about anything or any condition, ask yourself “Who is in charge?”

 

If we had only our human powers to rely upon, if everything depended upon us alone, we would have reason to feel anxious and worried. But who is in charge? Let us remind ourselves that God is in charge of our lives, our directions, and our future.

 

If you look around or you see every appearance is distressing, if you are faced with a situation that you do not know how to meet or handle, say to yourself, “God is in charge.”

 

Let us give thanks continually that God is at work in the situation and everything involving our lives, and that God can be relied upon to bring about right answers and good solutions.

 

What we cannot do – God is powerful enough to do. Let us trust God to guide us, to bless us midst of current difficulties, and to reveal to us the ways of our highest good. Let God control our changes, our path, and let Him support the challenges and the resolutions that go with that.

 

Sometimes, if you are like me, you do not always experience that zeal and enthusiasm. We sometimes have a little bit of a down time during difficulties. When life’s challenges are facing us, we wonder, “Can I move on? Can I do it again? Can I get to where I want to go? Can I do what I want to do? Can I experience all I want to experience?”

 

Now, let’s think about this. As we travel down the road way, as we move into change, “keep a rollin,” toward that new way, we might be experiencing something seemingly blocking our way on that road we want to move along. Traffic may be blocking our travelling, a lot like the blocks we build within us. Interstate traffic construction is a lot like the blocks that occur inside us. We may find that we are blocked by what we could call “orange barrel disease.” Do you know what “orange barrel disease” is? Haven’t you noticed all those orange barrels that pop up on the highway to get you to slow down or stop? How often are those orange barrels right in your way?

 

I think, sometimes, that is what happens in our lives–a little orange barrel or something is blocking our way. Something is creating a detour and hindering us from going where WE WANT TO GO. Sometimes, even those orange barrels require us to change – change direction to find another new way to our destination. And that can then lead to more challenges (of time, energy, cost, etc.).

 

So, sometimes, when we want to move onto a new experience in life, a new state of health, happiness, wholeness, or whatever it is we desire, we find out that things are blocking our way. But when we find ourselves there, we have to know that there is always a way, and this way will be shown to us by God.

 

Jesus Christ had to face many roadblocks in His life and many experiences which were of the lesser good. But He always knew the truth. He knew He could experience the full blessings of God if he used the key to moving on. He spoke to this in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:7-8) where He said, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

 

This is a powerful statement. It says ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened. Then He says that everyone who asks has received, everyone who has sought has found, and everyone who has knocked has had things open to them. Do we realize that the resolutions to the challenges involved with change have already occurred; we just have to accept.

 

But this always occurs according to our spiritual consciousness. We have been asking, we have been seeking, we have been knocking, and the doors have opened and the good has come to us, according to the power of God. God’s law says that the thoughts we are holding in mind produce after their kind in our world.

 

Maybe we have been knocking on the wrong door for too long, ignoring doors that are now open. We have to realize that we do have the power to change things and move on into a whole new state of spirituality.

 

Life is energy and God has given us the power to direct that energy through our thinking. Right thinking is the clue. And that alone is a change for many of us. We must “think right” by thinking God thoughts. God has already put them there, we just have to bring it into our consciousness.

 

There was a cartoon of Frank & Ernest. Frank is in a room with two big computers. He is busy nailing a poster on the wall that says “THINK.”

 

One computer turns to another and says, “See, they have to remind themselves constantly.”

 

We do. We have to remind ourselves, constantly, to think–not just to go along with the thought processes we have been involved with, but, all of a sudden, to think, rethink, and find out what is going on in our lives. We have to think about what we want to or need to change to bring about our sanctification, our blessing.

 

And like a computer, we too, have to reboot.

 

God gives you the power to rethink those thoughts, to eliminate those which are no longer productive, and to rethink the power of health and life into your body through prayer.

 

We can rethink the whole idea of wholeness in our prayers. We begin to rethink our whole mission in life, because we dare to rethink, to think in a different way, and to not accept the old outdated ways of thinking; we move on into a state of spiritual wholeness that will bless us over and over again during our entire lifetime. This is change and what a beautiful result it brings. It may not be easy; but it will be bountiful.

 

John 8:12 states, “He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

Pray for an intelligent approach to your problems/your changes. Pray for spiritual insight, intuition and understanding that lift you up out of your problems.

 

Pray for the ability to see your way. Pray for clear shining of God’s light to illumine you, to shine through you, to show you with clarity God’s higher way.

 

Pray for success in your efforts leading to lasting security and happiness. Pray for physical well-being, and motivation to not sit still.

 

Pray for something more in your life which only God can give. Pray for inner-revelation of truth, for an inner-quickening of the flame of God’s Spirit.

 

Pray that your life will be constructive, productive, and worthwhile. Pray that your life will show forth God’s Spirit, that it may below with God’s love, that it may be a life wholly dedicated to God’s truth, only in tune with God’s marvelous will.

 

We have free-will from God. Each one of us has to recognize that we are living in a state of consciousness that is determining whether we have lifetime health and happiness, or whether we have sickness or poverty. It is due in part because we live in a state of mind. The state of mind we live in determines exactly what is going to be produced in our lives over the long-term.

 

If we do not like the state of mind we are living in, we can move out. We can rethink. We can get away. We can change. We do not have to stay there. We are not stuck where we are.

 

Jesus urged us to move into a new state, and that new state is going to produce a whole new experience in health, happiness, wholeness, and life for us. We feel that. We know that. We are rethinking our whole way in our journey through life.

 

We need to discover that we can find a more satisfying and more rewarding life if we will begin to follow the declaration of Jesus Christ when He said, “Ask, seek, and knock.”

 

So what do you have to do if you are going to change, move on and experience a whole new state of spiritual awareness? The first thing is to ask. And always ask in a state of prayer, knowing that it is yours by Divine right (because He said we will receive). This is so important. You have to ask in a time of prayer, a time of sitting in the silence of prayer, just you and the Lord.

 

In Isaiah 30:15, we find, “For thus said the Lord God, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’”.

 

We begin in prayer by trusting the Spirit of God to reveal to us, through us, and from all around us what we need to know; the direction our life should be taking.

 

And as we accept the change and challenges, we ask for God’s guidance; ask for God’s help. That is the first thing you always have to do. Ask in prayer knowing that your good will be provided by God, that the direction will be given from God, that you will know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.

 

Always, seek God’s guidance on how to”keep a rollin’ down that track, how to maneuver around those orange barrels. You will be Divinely guided. God will guide you, directly, or will send special people to guide your way. You do not know who is going to tell you. You do not know who is going to pop up and give you the right information. You do not know what book is going to fall off the shelf or what is going to fall into your hands. You just have to know that the guidance will come; if you really seek it, you will find it. God will bring it.

 

Next, we “knock.” Yes knock on that door and also knock over those orange barrels in our consciousness – those worries, fears, stumbling blocks, that negative thinking.

 

As you do that, you get rid of a lot of things. You have to not only get rid of a lot of material things which block your way, but also those mental emotional states of human consciousness which also block your way.

 

First, always go to God, first, and then to other people as you feel God leading you. No matter whether it is a move you are making in your physical life or a move you are making inside, as a shift in thinking, you have to begin by asking, you have to begin by seeking, and you have to begin by knocking. As we do that, it is amazing how things just start to fall in place, maybe slowly but fall in place they will. Answers open up, answers come and in so many surprising ways. We may smile at this process and thank God profusely.

 

Life’s punishment for non-movement is stagnation So, the next time someone asks you, “What’s going on in your life?” you can tell them, “With God’s help, I’m moving on to something wonderful. I’m moving on to something new and glorious, to an amazing change.” When you know that truth for yourself, you will move onto it very quickly.

 

“God wants to change us so much that it intrigues others.” F Chan

 

“Jesus Christ reveals, not an embarrassed God, not a confused God, not a God who stands apart from the problems, but One who stands in the thick of the whole thing with man.” –Oswald Chamber

 

Let us pray,

 

Holy Father, thank You for always being here and guiding us through all the changes we have and will be making. We pray they will lead us closer to You and, thusly, create a healthy wholesome, and satisfying life.

 

All of this we affirm, in the name and through the power of the living, loving presence of and in the name of Jesus Christ. . . Amen.

 

God bless you as you move on and create powerful changes in your life. —Something good is going to happen to you!

 

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Shake Me Up; Shake It Out!

Galatians 5: 1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

 

We are about half way through Lent for those walking that path or half way (about) through the days Jesus ministered on His way to Jerusalem that final, fatal time. The healing, the ministering never stops. We, as Christians, focus our lives on service and self improvement (forgiveness and redemption). Through this process of personal development, let’s focus a moment on our bad habits. All of us have them whether we admit it or not.

 

It seems like there is nothing more difficult for a human being than to stop a bad habit.

 

“From studying the brain scientists have found that repeated thoughts actually create physical grooves in the brain. When we practice a skill, learn a sport or study facts, a little trench is carved into our brain tissue. This is another reason why it is hard to break a habit. A habit is truly physical. One must make a new brain groove to break a habit.

 

Repeated thoughts become not just brain grooves, but deeds and repeated deeds become concrete routines. This natural functioning condition of the brain helps us to learn in the best-case scenario. In a worst-case scenario these thoughts become ditches of self-doubt, phobias, obsessive thoughts, vices, misdeeds and worse.” Lisa DeLay

 

One of Aesop’s Fables tells us: “A well-to-do man came to live next door to a tanner’s yard. Unable to endure the foul smell, he kept urging the tanner to move somewhere else. But the tanner always put him off, saying that he would move a little later on. This happened so often that, in time, the man got used to the smell. As a matter of fact, he started to like the smell and he stopped worrying his neighbor.”

 

This fable teaches us that what bothers us greatly, in the beginning, over time is something we get used to, even make a friend with. We walk down the path with it. It is a gradual thing.

 

We used to live in Luling, Texas, and still go there weekly to do ministry and service. Luling is an oil town. There are oil pumps and rigs in people’s yard. In fact in Luling, you will see that their oil pumps are decorated with all kinds of animals and people “riding” the pump. (we are also famous for watermelon, and the water tower is painted as a watermelon – but I digress).

 

One of the negative things about this type of oil is its smell. It is nauseating. When we first moved to our ranch, I thought that I could never really go into town because it made me sick. I wondered how the famous BBQ restaurants even drew a crowd or our famous THUMP (celebration of the melon harvest) could possibly draw one hundred thousand people over a three day weekend. THE SMELL IS HORRIBLE.

 

But guess what? After a few months, the smell became less and less; and now we don’t even notice it. Sometimes when the wind is right and as we drive in to town, we smile and say, “Smells like we are about to arrive in Luling.” We actually became so used to it that it seemed natural and felt like part of us….much like Aesop’s fable.

 

So, a bad habit can become part of us and feel comfortable and natural and even feel like it is the way it should be – much like the smell of the tanner or the oil residue in Luling. I guess as the study described above, our brains create a groove. But –

 

We need to break bad habits before they break us.

 

A habit is a routine, a custom, a practice, and a chronic condition of doing something, over and over again. (hence the creation of the groove).

 

These bad habits are constant, persistent, and fixed. We are following the wrong path. We know; we are, but we look down at our feet, and we still continue in the same fixed direction. There is only one thing that can break our habits, our journey down this negative path. It is with the help higher than our own power.

 

God can help us overcome a bad habit we have become used to, a habit we have said OK to, agreed to, a habit that seemingly cannot be stopped.

 

1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

 

With God, all things are possible. So often, when we are walking down a road in a certain direction, we do not even know why we started the habit in the first place. But here we are, we are on that road, and we seem to be trapped there. We seem to be in a rut and we cannot pull ourselves out of the rut. Why do we do it? Why do we keep on going?

 

There is a true story about Russia in the days of the Czars. “In a part of St. Petersburg’s winter palace, there was a beautiful lawn. On that lawn was a bench. Next to the bench were two guards. Every three hours, the guards were changed. No one knew why.

 

One day, an ambitious young lieutenant was put in charge of the Palace Guard. He started wondering and asking questions. In the end, he found a cobwebbed little room and in the room, a little old man. He asked the man about the history since he was the Palace historian.

 

“Yes,” the old man replied, “I remember. During the reign of Peter the Great, 200 years ago, the bench got a fresh coat of paint. The Czar was afraid the ladies-in-waiting might get paint on their dresses and ordered one guard to watch the bench. The order was never rescinded. Then, in 1908, all the guards of the Palace were doubled for fear of a revolution. So the bench has had two guards ever since.”

 

When we live with our habit, we have to ask ourselves WHY. How did I get to this place and why and how did this happen? Is it still necessary for your life today? Do you have to go in this fixed direction? When we ask ourselves these questions about our habits, usually the answer will be “no” to our human self, but we find our feet are still walking in the same direction.

 

I can relate to this, and I bet you also can because walking down the path of your habit, whatever it is, you are footsore and weary. You look down at your feet and think if I could only stop this. I’ve tried so many times to stop and yet my feet keep moving in a direction that I know is breaking me.

 

Today is our day to go to God and seek answers and know we have God’s help.

 

We can break those habits before they break us.

 

God is the answer. I know God is your answer and God will work in this moment and this day.

 

There is a tendency within the human being, to keeps repeating mistakes, over and over. But –

 

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

 

This story was reported by UPI. In Oldham, England, a magistrate sentenced Junior Burton, 23, to a month in jail because he stole a car so he could get to court in time to face car theft charges. I would have loved to have been there. Can you see this judge looking at this man? He had a habit and he could not break it. We laugh when we think of it, yet there is one very destructive bad habit.

 

“In Bolivia, Jose Silva had an argument with a Siriono Indian. The Indian took his bow and arrow and shot a four-foot arrow into Silva’s face. He was very shocked at first. He wanted the arrow taken out, immediately, but he couldn’t get to a doctor for months. When he finally got to a doctor, the physician agreed to remove the arrow.

 

Jose said, “Is it going to hurt?”

 

The doctor said, “Yes, it is probably going to hurt when we remove the arrow.”

 

Jose said, “All my life I have tried to be something special and never was special. Now people look at me, wherever we go, and I kind of like the arrow in my head.”

 

So, for 11 more years, Jose Silva lived with a four-foot arrow in his head. It is amazing what a human being can get used to. We think it is absurd, yet we know people who have gotten used to living with habits more destructive than an arrow.”

 

Now walking around with an arrow in his head is not defined as a bad habit, maybe, but it is a destructive way to live. A bad habit is a thing inside the human being that says I cannot stop, even though I know it is hurting me.

 

There was a patient who was put away in a mental hospital because he had a habit. They tried to control his habit. He had a habit of eating everything in sight. He could not stop. It got to the point where he liked it.

 

One day, years later, after it was forgotten why he was put in the mental hospital, the 38-year-old man was taken to Metropolitan Hospital in New York City and operated on. From his stomach, they removed 500 coins and metal objects. They removed 300 coins from his stomach without any damage to the esophagus or intestinal tract, including quarters, dimes, and subway tokens. The found broken thermometers, can openers, knives, forks, spoons, nuts, bolts, chains, and even car keys.

 

When the man was asked about this, he said, “You know, I am not really crazy. It’s just that, as a child, I got into the habit of swallowing coins and I have never been able to give it up.”

 

A 31-year-old nurse in Australia started to chew on paper as a child. At 31, this nurse had gotten into quite a habit and was hospitalized for it. The woman’s usual diet in a day was 5 to 10 Kleenex, half a page of newspaper, and for variety, an occasional exercise book page.

 

Now, these may be extreme and even humorous to a point; but we have to look at ourselves in a mirror and ask ourselves – “Even though my bad habit may not be this extreme or noticeable, it is destructive to me as much as the people in these stories.”

 

Our habits, especially our bad ones, put us in a jail and sometimes even in chains. We are given ways out when family and friends and even counselors attempt to help us. But many times, if we are really honest, we do not want a way out. This has been proven in human nature, over and over again. Human nature can get used to anything. We need something higher than ourselves to shake it out of us.

 

Hebrews 12:26-29. Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.

 

“This phrase, ‘yet once more,’ indicates the removal of what is shaken – that is, created things – so what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe, for indeed, our God is a consuming fire.” Through God, we can eliminate those things that can be shaken (created things).

 

This is saying God can shake out of us what we do not have the power to shake out of us. By giving God our consent to our habit being removed, God can shake it up and get it out, and what will remain is the perfection of God. Then it talks about something that appears all through the Bible. It talks about God’s all-consuming fire. This is cleansing and purifying, a fire – of conversion or metamorphosis, actually using the negative you have had in your life as fuel for your positive new direction in future days.

 

I want to share a remarkable story with you about C.S. Lewis. It is found in “The Great Divorce.” It is about a little red lizard a certain ghost carries on his shoulder. The lizard twitches its tail and whispers continually to the ghost. It says to the ghost, “You ought to do this; you ought to do that; you ought to go down this way even if it is not for your good. Do it anyway.” The little lizard is constantly urging him to do things that are bad for the ghost.

 

All the time, the ghost is telling the lizard, “Be quiet. Be quiet; I don’t want to talk to you, right now. Be quiet.”

 

Finally, there is a bright and shining presence that appears in front of the ghost and tells him of the troublesome baggage he is carrying. He says, “Do you want me to remove the lizard, once and for all?” The ghost refuses. He understands that to quiet the beast, it is necessary to kill it.

 

Then the ghost begins to rationalize. He thinks perhaps the lizard need not die, but instead, can be trained, suppressed, put to sleep, or gotten rid of, gradually. The presence responds that the gradual approach is useless in dealing with such beasts – it must be all, or nothing.

 

Finally, with the ghost’s permission, the presence twists the lizard away from him, breaking its back as he flings it to the ground. Then, an amazing thing takes place. Instead of a ghost, there is now a perfect man. At the same moment, the lizard becomes an incredibly beautiful silver and gold stallion, full of beauty and power. Then the man leaps onto the great horse and they ride together into the morning, as one.

 

How many times have you seen people with habits who have gotten rid of those habits and because of it, turned around their entire life? I know many people in Alcoholics Anonymous that way, and, actually, all of the Anonymous organizations,. They became better people than they were before they started to drink or do whatever bad habit they began, because they were turned in a different direction to spirituality. They got on the old beast that used to be there and they mastered it. It no longer affected their lives. They used it in the best way they possibly could.

 

It has to be all or nothing.We have all heard stories like this – For seven years, this man had remained sober. He had broken his habit. He had not taken one drink during this time. Then, one night, he was walking home with a friend from work, the friend suggested they stop for a beer. When he went in with his friend, he intended to get a soft drink, but when he saw the beer, he decided one would not hurt him. After all, he had gone a full seven years without a drink. It was safe now, he reasoned. He drank one beer and now, for four years he has been struggling to get back on the sober trail again, but, as of yet, has not been able to make it.

 

The former mayor of New York City, Fiorello LaGuardia, said the devil is easy to identify. He appears when you are terribly tired and makes a very reasonable request which you know you should not grant.

 

What is the devil? Is it a little red man with horns, or the red lizard that was on the shoulder of the ghost? No. It is the inner tester inside of you – the lower human voice which continually whispers and tells you that you can take one drink or perform that bad habit one more time; it has been seven years now. Or you can steal from your boss – it does not matter. The little voice never shuts up. And we all know who is that lower inner voice – Satan, the ultimate tester.

 

Whenever you hear a negative voice talking inside of you, it is the inner tester. The Chinese call it the chattering monkey. There is also another voice. It is a still, small voice of God. It is always positive. It always tells you what you can do.

 

Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

Some years ago, a headline told of 300 whales that suddenly died. The whales were pursuing sardines and found themselves marooned in a bay. Frederick Harris commented, “The small fish lured the sea giants to their death. They came to their violent demise by chasing small ends, by wasting vast powers for insignificant goals.”

 

We can learn a lot from these giant creatures. We become a giant misguided creature ourselves when we let go of God.

 

Jesus taught that we are continually one with God, but we have to continually realize it. This is why we are here. We are here to be honest about who we really are.

 

Here as we read this message and when we worship at our church and/or in our Bethel, we must be honest with ourselves and know who we really are.

 

In this place, you can hear, in honesty, about what the human being can do and become. Great things are in store for you as long as you go higher than your own human mind, to a God that is with you, and NEVER leaves you. When you look to God, continually, everything can change in your life, and you will have a greater power than you ever knew you had.

 

You may have tried, over and over again, to break a habit and you have not been able to do it. But working with God in a partnership, together, you can do it. God will show you the way, and God will also bring humans to you to help you along the way.

 

Every seventh day is a Sunday. I believe in this special time we are sharing together today. Not because I am a minister; it is the reason why I became a minister. Together, we can do great things. A person 21 years of age has had three years of Sundays in his or her life. Three years of hearing about what God can do in their lives. Three years of prayers, three years of a full day dedicated to God. A person of 35 has had five years. A person of 70 has had 10 full years of Sundays with God. This is a great addition to a human’s life, no matter what church you go to or what belief you hold, as long as you are looking to God and you know, in the moment, what God can do in your life.

 

Here we follow Jesus Christ. We follow what He said to do – pray constantly. Therefore, Sunday is not our only Sabbath. Every day of the week is a Sabbath to us, because we pray in the moment. We realize God in the moment. Each of the seven days of the week is designated as the Sabbath by various nationalities and religions. Monday is the Greek Sabbath, Tuesday the Persian, Wednesday the Assyrian, Thursday the Egyptian, Friday the Turkish, Saturday the Jewish, and Sunday the Christian. Every day, somewhere in the world, people are celebrating the Sabbath.

 

Let’s go beyond that and realize the truth – every day is a day of God. Every day is a moment for rediscovering the greatness of God in our lives.

 

How do you break your habit? You pray. You pray, and you pray often. Ten, follow God’s direction.

 

Habit only looks back. Solutions look forward. A broken habit looks only to God. Every time, God will stop you from going down the path you have been on.

 

I want to share a true story with you about how God acts. This is a story told in the words of Mr. Orville Mitchell, the former president of Mark IV Auto Air Conditioners in Dallas, Texas.

 

“Probably, every one of us has, at some time or another, wondered how our prayers are being answered, but I recall one about which there is no doubt.

 

“Once, in the middle of the night, I awoke in the most terrible moment of a very realistic dream. I was driving a car and I had just struck a child. The effect upon me was so real and terrible that I climbed out of bed, got down on my knees, and asked God not to ever let a thing like this happen to me. In prayer, in that moment, it was as if the burden was taken from me and sleep was restored. Not another thought was given to the matter until noon the next day.

 

“Now, five of us were in a car at noon, the next day. I was at the wheel, and we were moving out on Worth Street about 25 miles an hour. Suddenly, an urge to immediately stop came to me, for no apparent reason.

 

I slammed on the brakes and we stopped quite abruptly.

 

“The other four passengers picked themselves off the dashboard and the back of the front seat, and all five of us tried to figure out why this abrupt stop was necessary. We were amazed to see a child, dressed only in a diaper, emerge between parked automobiles and waddle out into the street, immediately in front of us.

 

“Next, a mother came charging out of the house, bounding over the curb, and out into the street. She angrily grabbed up the child, and without much more than a glance in our direction, retreated into the house.

 

“With tears in his eyes, he said, ‘To whom do you suppose the Lord has demonstrated God’s love in this remarkable answer to prayer? This little tot will probably never hear that his life was spared; the mother was so angry with herself for letting the child escape from the house that it is quite likely that she never breathed one thank you to God.’

 

“The other four occupants of the car, having heard the events leading up to the sudden stop, have asked me to tell the story, over and over, again.

 

But to me, who would have suffered the most if God had not intervened? To me, it has meant all the world. All I can say in gratitude is that it will confirm what the Psalmist said,

 

‘There is none like You among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like Yours.’ [Psalms 86:8]”

 

We are all driving that car. We are all having that dream. God can stop a crisis from happening in each of our lives. We are all driving a car and the car is called habit. Each one of us has one because we are human and we are in this life. That is OK and I am NOT telling you that you are a bad person because you have a habit. We all have habits. I am telling you that it can be overcome with God. God will shake you up. Not hurting you, but God will move what is settled in you, what is stagnant, what you think is there for a lifetime. God will shake it up and shake it out and you are going to be left with perfection. When God shakes it out, you will have inside of you a great feeling of power. The old habit that has been such a monster to you will become that which you can get on and ride from that day forward. It will be something that will never overpower you, again. This time, you are the master of your habit.

 

Please join me in prayer.

 

God, I think about my habit, right now. I go within to prayer. I say:

 

“God, I am willing. Shake me up; shake it out; and rid it from me. I give you my consent and I surrender to you, with everything inside of me. I no longer want this to be a part of my life. Send people to me who will help me. Help me to realize, moment by moment, of every day, that You are with me. Help me to realize I am not on my own power. I have a Divine power with me, all around me, and protecting me. I will overcome and I will break this habit with Your help.”

 

Thank you, God; and in the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

 

God bless you!

Into the Heart of God

 

During this Lenten Season, it is important as we move forward in our Christian path that we respond to God’s calling to “Pray without Ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We speak a lot in our messages about prayer so today we are going to put that into action. We are going to pray. Grab a chair, have a relaxing seat and open your hands and heart to God. This is your prayer – just for you.

My Father, Abba,

I turn to You in prayer. I take the time to be still, to become aware of Your presence, the present of my Christ. I am filled with a sense of peace and well-being. In the silence of prayer Christ reveals the inner resources, abilities, and strengths that I didn’t know I possessed.

New self-knowledge is gained that enables me to live a more effective life. My awareness of the presence of Christ within helps me to have a happier relationship with the people around me.

I find I am more patient with others, more loving, more willing to give of myself, more optimistic in my outlook on life. I rejoice this day and every day because I am in the process of the journey of spiritual homecoming.

Thank You, God.

Let us pray.

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for You, oh God. My soul thirsts for You God.

Our souls do thirst for You dear God, and our hearts reach out to people around the globe now in this inviting haven of prayer. We join our minds and hearts with all those in prayer everywhere. We enfold our hopes, our needs, and our hearts’ desires in prayer.

We know that You, God, are the very spirit of life. The one true source of all that is and all that ever will be. The spirit of life, the warm glow of Your power, continually flows through me as a healing stream of love and peace.

Like a bubbling brook that quietly soothes my soul, Your presence calms me and brings me peace. I have longed to know Your peace and I feel that peace flowing through the depths of my being. In these tranquil moments I can release my hold on the cares and concerns that I brought to this precious time of prayer. I release them to You, dear God. As I do, I know that I need no longer fret or worry. My heart is at peace. Serenity floods my entire being. With each beat of my heart I feel less anxious and more sure of Your love for me and for everyone who is special to me.

Opportunities for prayer refill my reservoir of faith and give me the confidence and courage I need. I rest now as if I were relaxing beside a quiet stream in the stillness of Your presence.

Psalm 23: 2-3 – He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

In this quiet place, I open myself to answers, answers that come from You, God. No longer do I turn this way or that for inspiration or guidance. I turn only to You, for all wisdom comes from You. You are with me always as my counselor and my guide. I know that I can follow Your gentle leading—confident that I am on the right path and confident that your love for me and forgiveness of sins is ongoing and without fault.

As I still my thoughts, I await Your assurance that I will be carefully guided. I wait now in the silence for the gentle nudge of Your spirit that shows me the way.
.

I pray to be filled with a spiritual homecoming. I pray to be able to carry it in my mind and in my heart. And that it becomes a reminder of the Spirit of life that is always within because:

The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is!

In this awareness of love, light, and life that has been established, I know, as I enter this prayer time with You, Lord, that I have the opportunity to be in even deeper contact with Your presence and power, the presence and power of love that is individualized within me as the essence of my being.

[In the first letter of John we are told that God is love. To emphasize that point, it is stated twice in the fourth chapter – God is love—the very idea of love itself. Because we are made in the image and after the likeness of God, we can conclude that we are made in the image and after the likeness of love. It is the essence of our being; it is what we are all about. ]

1 John 4: 7 – 12 – 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Help us to express in this life experience our understanding of God, our understanding of love. We know that love is the great healer, the great provider, and the great sustainer of our lives, and the lives of all persons everywhere. Whatever need we have in life, in some way it is always met through love.

And it is in this state of love I come to You, Sweet Lord.

And, Father, as we continue along our individual paths of spiritual enlightenment, seeking ever to find that deeper essence of love through You that is within us and to express it in everything we do, help us be assured of success. We know deep down that all along the way, the presence and power of love is there at all times, Lord, waiting to be discovered at an even deeper level of awareness.

Father, help us as we make ongoing discoveries about ourselves and our dear ones, that we have the ability to express Your love in everything we do. No matter the challenge, which lies before us, no matter the problem, help us to know that faith, hope, charity and all through love is the answer. The presence and power of love individualized in us is the source of love and all good in our lives, and we have access to it in every moment of our experience.

Very often, we see the idea of love brought out and prefaced with an idea such as “If only we can love enough.” We know, in truth, that the word “only” is a very limiting word. “If only” should be changed to a word of sincerity and a word of certainty, for we can express that love that we truly are in everything we do. No matter what the situation demands of us, we can do it. Why? Because we are never separated from that love. And You are that Love, dear God.

.
So, if we have brought with us a particular challenge, problem, or concern about ourselves or someone else, let us know that, in love, the challenge has already been met. In You the solution abides. All we have to do is work with the presence and power of Your love to draw it forth from within us, and to express it in everything we do, and in particular, in relation to that situation.

All we need do is relax in love, and let You do Your perfect work in and through us right now.
Let Go and Let God!

Right now, in a moment of quiet, with any concerns, challenge or problem we may have brought here with us. Lord, let us know that, in love, it has already been met. The solution is at hand. And we have what it takes to affect that in our lives. So in the quiet, we simply abide in the solution.

We abide in love in the silence of prayer. . .

Now, having taken these few moments in the quiet to abide in love, we know with Your guidance, we are now better prepared to speak the word of love for all those for whom we are concerned. It can be a member of our family, a close friend, or just someone we know about. It may be a world situation. Whatever it is, we know that in some way an expression of love is the solution there.

So, to all on whom we focus, we say: Be at peace; be in love; and let love do its perfect work in and through you now. Let that solution that we all are entitled to as children of God come forth in right and perfect ways and in the right and perfect time.

So again, in a moment of quiet, we abide in love and we see those persons with whom and for whom we would pray also, abiding in that love which is their very nature.

In the quiet of prayer. . .

Now, El Shadai, having spoken that word of love for each of them in prayer, we can now release them from our thoughts and let them go. We know that You, that Love, is doing its perfect work in and through them, in all that concerns them. There is nothing for them, nor for us, to fear, for once we let go, You in Your omniscient way, do Your part. In that awareness, we truly rejoice.

Dearest Adonai, as we bring our attention back to this time and place, we remember that as we have, up to this point, so shall we continue to abide in love because You are love. No matter what lies before us, love is the answer. For this awareness we are truly grateful. We affirm all of this to be true in the name and through the power of Your living, loving presence that abides within us all.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.       Amen

Selah!

Dream Big

“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqB2H9vCPKA

 

This is the First Sunday in Lent. I am focusing this time, and hopefully and prayerfully, always, on developing my ability to dream and with God to make those dreams a reality.

 

Most people do not dream big enough. Most people give up on their dreams too early.

 

Most people get disillusioned by the economy, or correct conditions around them. But, if you take a closer look at yourself, I think you may not be most people. Let’s know that you have a power with you that others may not have realized. You have the full power of God working in and through you to make your dreams become a reality.

 

Miracles can happen in your life when you walk with God. Do you realize that nothing is impossible for you when you walk with God? It is the truth for you, because nothing is impossible to God.

 

Here is a positive affirmation saying that always seems to be uplifting: “Today I will attempt something so impossible that it would be absolutely impossible if God were not in it.” It will cause you to spiritually stretch and become more than you would be by yourself.

 

 

I like that. I want to be more than I can be by myself. I want to walk with God. I want to do things with God. I want to follow the dreams that God has for me.

The worst thing we can do is to go through life in a daze, half afraid doing what we did yesterday and allowing tomorrow and the day after that and the month after that and the year after that to be exactly the same. We have to stretch ourselves and go after the unknown, go after our dreams. In order to lift ourselves out of the daze, we have to be filled with God’s everlasting courage and strength.

 

God’s Courage and strength are sometimes beyond our human ability because the human self loves security, and it feels comfortable in what it knows already. We have to be a faith-filled person putting on the full courage of God and go after things we would never do ordinarily.

 

Every person reading and hearing this has a dream. Some of those dreams are dormant, but you have a dream. You have something that has been nudging inside of you, maybe for half a lifetime, but it is there awaiting manifestation.

 

Here are five major principles to see if your dream is worth investing your time, talent, and energy.

 

Mary Manin Morrissey in her book “Building Your Field of Dreams” talks about this.

“When people come to me in a counseling session, they will often tell me their dream and then they will say, “Is it worthwhile?’”

 

That is the big question. Should I be doing this or not? That is what you are going to decide today as you answer the questions in your own mind.

 

You cannot find the secrets of life in someone else. Even when you come here, no one can’t give you all the secrets of life. We can only point in the direction of the secrets of life. The signposts point within you. When you attend church – you get motivated enough, you turn within in prayer and you again find the strength and the vitality of God that you have inside of you. This can happen in whatever location you choose when you know – church, chapel, Bethel, etc.

Question number one: What is your dream?

 

You realize as you become a spiritual person, you can write your own destiny with God’s help. You can write your own destiny and you become what you dream. With God’s help, you will have the courage enough to go after your dreams in your own life.

 

I’m encouraging you this morning to dream, but not to dream alone—dream with God. Dream dreams in your life that will stay with you ever after. Dreams that will change your ideas. Dreams that will transform you like water into wine and alter the color of your thinking.

 

Take that dream that you have held inside of you, embraced sometimes, hugged sometimes, put aside sometimes.

 

Do you feel more alive when you think about your dream? Does your energy level rise? Are you filled with vitality and excitement when you think about your dream?

 

Do you know what this is that you are in? You are in a laboratory. It is a laboratory of life. This church is a laboratory of faith. This laboratory is to bring forth your dream with God’s help.

 

Your essence, not your history, will bring your dream forth.

 

Who you were yesterday, what you have been through, will not bring forth your dream. Your history of all the limitations and the setbacks you have had in your life, even all the successes will not bring forth your dream. It is your essence-who you are right now that will bring forth your dream.

 

Here is an interesting piece of trivia that applies to our subject today. “Jamaica is a wonderful place to visit, but there is another name that the long time residents use. It is a name that means, “The land of look behind.” For a long time it was a slave state. The slaves would escape to one place in Jamaica, in the mountains where there were heavy thorn briers. They would crawl into the briers and into the thorns because they knew they would be safe there. The people who tried to control their lives would not follow them into the thorns. Still, even in the middle of the thorns in areas they had cut out and lived in, they were always looking behind. Therefore, it received the name, the land of looking behind.”

 

We, too, are slaves when we live in the land of looking behind. We, too, are slaves when we think, “Well, I can’t do that, because after all, I have only done this.” Attempt something today so impossible that it will only be possible if God is in it. Because God does not look to your history, but to your essence of who you are right now and what you are willing to do with your life. Thank God. It says all through the Bible that what counts is who you are today and what you are connected to.

 

Your fears are based on your own history. They live in the land of look behind. To begin your dream that you have in your heart, you take baby steps. The distance is nothing. It is only the first step that is difficult. That is the one step that is important. The question you need to ask yourself here at the beginning of this lesson is, “What is that first step that I can take?” Take a little baby step toward the direction of your dream because your dream has God in it. The dream, you will find has a life of its own, but first you have to breathe life into it and you have to give it attention. Attention leads to enlightenment.

 

When you feed your dreams instead of your fears, God will be there at your side. We are never afraid of what we know. Even if we are in a known hell, we can make ourselves comfortable there because we know it. We are sometimes afraid of our dream because it is the great unknown. “Where will it take us?” we ask. “What changes, what sacrifices will I have to make? I realize that to go after my dream, my life will change.” That is why we talk every Sunday about taking the hand of God and walking with God. God will give you the strength, courage, and power you need to go after your dream.

 

Mary Morrissey tells the story of a time when she was riding an ATV on beach. That vehicle is like a motorcycle except it has three wheels. They were going over sand dunes and just having a wonderful time. She noticed that her kids were fearless. She had a little bit of fear. She would start going up a sand dune but she couldn’t make it to the top. She would try over and over again, but each time she would only make it up about halfway and then she would slide back down.

After watching her, her son-in-law came over and said; “Do you realize Momma, you have power that you are not using. I’ve noticed that you have been giving it gas, but you have your foot firmly on the brake.” It was an “ah-ha” experience for her. How many people are like that when they go after their dreams? We give it a little gas, but we keep our foot firmly on the brake. We have power that we are not using. We have to use all of our power and allow that dream to come through.

 

Question number two:

 

When you think about your own dream, does it align with your core values?

 

First, in your life you have to examine who you are and what is important to you.  Make sure when you go after your dreams, that your priorities are in your number one in your life,
otherwise your life will be lacking. Get close to God and ask for guidance on your core values.

 

Question number three: Are you willing to grow?

 

If you go after your dream, are you willing to grow? So often we live not only in the land of look behind, but we live contained within our own thought and the stagnation of our own brain. We have river reed thinking. Baby elephants are just as cute as can be although massive in size. When they are training a baby elephant, they will take strings made out of river reeds and wrap them around the neck of the baby elephant and lead it along. It will be contained by that reed. Trainers will pull and the baby elephant will go where they pull.

 

But as it grows, that baby elephant is no longer a baby. It is a massive, huge elephant that could go anywhere it pleases. Yet, even at full size with all of the power, it still is contained in thought by the strings made from river reeds.

 

Margaret Chase Smith once said, “When people keep telling you that you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try it.” Here was a lady who did many things in her life. She was motivated through discontent, by not believing what others said, but by believing she could go beyond what they said about her. She was not contained in their thought. Some people have chosen to be contained in another human being’s thought about us.

 

Do not be contained or limited in your thought. Your dream can be as big as your concept of God. No idea can get through the mind that thinks it is impossible. You have to believe this morning with me that this dream is possible with God and it can be done. You have to move toward your dream. Be ready and willing to be redirected at any moment as you proceed toward your dream.

 

Let’s take a look at this story in  Matthew 14:22-33. “Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, `It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.”‘

 

Many of us have heard many, many sermons on how Peter was a failure because he sank in the water. He wasn’t a failure at all because he had the experience. The 11 others didn’t even try; Peter tried. We don’t fail when we try. He had the glory of actually walking on the water; then he had the grace of being lifted. So will we when we go after our dream.

 

Question number four: In your dream do you need God to make it come true?

 

Become or make stronger you Partner with God. We often say things like, “It came to me out of the blue.” Where is the blue? It is God’s miracles coming through you and into your life.

 

Measure your dream from where God is, not from where you are.

 

One of the most powerful ways to build a dream is to form a prayer partnership with other believing people. I’m going to ask you to find two or three others in your life to pray with-not doubters, people who can believe in you even when you cannot believe in yourself. Then you can say to another person when they are going through a tough time going after their dream, `Believe in my belief.” Together you will build a bigger believing. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Mt.18:20). Then you have a believing mind that has a new life of itself.

 

As you go forward, get partners in believing in your dream. If you believed it wasn’t impossible, what would you be doing right now?

 

Question number five: From where you are standing can you see in this dream, good for others?

 

That is crucial. As you rise in stature you are not just doing this for your own ego self. Everything is created twice. This computer was originally an idea and a dream in someone’s head. Then it was created in manifestation. Everything is created twice. Everything was thought first. Everything also benefits twice. If it is of God it benefits you and then it radiates out from you to benefit many others. When you are going toward the harvesting of your dream, you have to keep that in mind.

 

As you go toward the harvesting, realize your dream is building you, and you are really harvesting yourself. If you can imagine it right now, right here, if you can dream it here and now, it exists, first in your thought and second in manifestation with God’s help.

 

I am leaving the “Land of Look Behind. Come along and let’s all dream BIG again!

God bless your dreaming!

The River

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnKPfV8_I8k

 

“The people who believe in Me, as Scripture has said, out of their hearts will flow the rivers of living water.” John 7:38

 

“The river of God is full of water …” Psalms 65:9

 

Did you ever realize that most of our larger cities are built near a river, bay, or ocean?? Many rivers not only exist for navigation but also for irrigation. Large pipes are often placed at certain places, and the water flows bringing growth and life for many miles inland; but it even continues on from there, flowing to and  into more pipes which carry it far and wide, ending in the homes of millions of people who just have to turn on a faucet to receive the “water of life” – clear refreshing water. But stop and think a moment. It is not the faucet or the pipe that brings the magic into our homes and gardens; it is what is within the pipe.

 

“For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river.”    Isaiah 66:12

 

Have you thought about this? “ We are very different – you and I. I am a different size than you are. I might be a different gender than you are. I might be a different color than you are. But we are all THE SAME because we have the same Spirit of God inside of us, the Spirit that constantly tells us what we can become; the Spirit that tells us that we can be healthy when we are sick. The Spirit gives us the power inside of us to keep on driving ahead to know that we have inside of us what will help us to be a victor in every situation.”

 

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit an old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

 

This story tells us so much. Take this in and focus on the meaning. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee in most cases, just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… and then began eyeing each other’s cups. Now consider this: Life is the coffee. The jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”

 

God brews the coffee, not the cups.

 

Christ in you, your hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

 

What is this Christ? When you are aware of the Christ within you, it means you are connected to your source. It means you have more power waiting to come forth. It is to have the assurance, to have the knowledge in your human mind that you are not an island and not all alone. Truly, when you know that, you are not an ordinary pipe with river water in it. You are not an ordinary human being, because we all – every human on the planet – has a connection to God, and living water. But some just do not know it. It is our awareness that anoints us, that crowns us. That is what Jesus came to tell us.

 

 

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink, ‘you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

 

 

In Revelations. 22:1-7: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

 

Nothing accursed will be found there anymore. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.’ ‘See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’”

 

Well, it is pretty clear – right here in scripture (and many times throughout the Bible) that we have an angel who is showing us the river of life, inside of you. Now, God flows in and through you, like a river.

 

Have you ever been at a stagnant lake or pond? The smell and bacteria level is astounding.  But thanks be to God, He is not stagnant in you or in me. God is ever fresh, ever renewing. When I am at a point where exhaustion has overcome me, I pray to God and let Him flow through me – renewing my energy, cleansing out the negative and making me new and whole. God is doing this. Such a help in my time of being stagnant. When we go to God and align ourselves with him, we have all the help we need – God flowing through us bring us new and fresh ideas and visions for serving Him.

 

How does the angel appear? It is not outside of you. Actually, in this passage, where it says “angel,” it means what is closer to a Divine idea flowing from the throne of God – flowing to your human mind – God into your conscious mind.  It is telling you, making you aware of something great happening. Not in some imaginary city, but inside of you. The angel showed me a river of the water of life from the throne of God and of the lamb.

 

What is the lamb? They are referring to Jesus, here. They called Jesus a sacrificial lamb. In the days when the Bible was written, most religions of that day, in that part of the world, believed that if you were sick, or if you had sinned, or if you had a habit you could not overcome, the priest would ask you to bring your finest animal – usually it was a lamb.
Bring your finest lamb to the altar and through a ceremony, they would place your sin in the lamb. They would place your bad habit in the lamb.
They would place your sickness in the lamb. Then, quickly, they would have slaughtered it. The lamb would have died for you. The lamb would have given its life so you could be cleansed. Later on, this is what they called Jesus for dying on the cross – the sacrificial lamb.

 

This river of ours flows down the “the center of the street”,; now this is the middle of our minds, the city and that city is our human consciousness. Think about all our city or mind holds – memories, thoughts, beliefs, ideas, plans, concepts big and small. God is, I pray, the permanent and constant “mayor” in each city (our mind). With God in everything, it all changes for the good with that good flowing throughout our mind.

 

On either side of this river of life inside of you, you have a tree of life, the manifestation of God inside of you. It produces fruit every month. It produces fruit, continually. There are twelve kinds of fruit, often called the gifts and talents of God-whatever you need when you have need of it.

 

The leaves of the tree are thoughts – thoughts of all the people who have turned to God and truly create healing for all the nations around the world. Nothing accursed will be in the city, then. There will not be anyone in any apartment of any high-rise  building in your city who is complaining, having a “woe is me” day, or a worry session. There is no need to worry, because, truly, the kingdom of heaven is within you, the kingdom of bliss, the kingdom of joy and power. How great this is!

 

You will, also, have God’s name written on your forehead. It is not going to be like a tattoo, GOD, so everybody looks at you and says, “Well, you ARE an ordained man. He has been anointed with the Christ.” Know that name and nature are interchangeable concepts throughout the Bible. You have the nature of God written on your forehead. In other words, you have the nature of God written in your mind, in every concept in your mind. There will be no more night in your life, no more darkness. Truly we live in our minds more than the world we see with our eyes. You will rely solely on the outer light of the lamp or the sun, because your inner light is going to be so strong and so special.

 

It says this must soon take place. This is saying that if you want your life to be better, do not wait a lifetime to make this happen. It is not giving up anything. It is gaining everything. Why not today?

 

Jesus says, “I am coming soon.” Jesus comes, continually, when you have the mind in you that Christ Jesus had in Him.

 

It says in this Bible verse that the spirit of the prophets, of the spirit of Jesus, of the spirit of every great religious holy woman and holy man, had this God-spirit in them. You, today, if you wish, if you choose, can be aware of that which is already in you. All you have to do is choose this river of life.

 

Revelations 21:21-22: “And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass. I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.”

Transparent as glass means that inside of you is pure. Inside of you are twelve developed gifts of God and each one is like a pearl to be held up with high worth and to be held onto. Truly, as you live life, you will find the ultimate church and the ultimate cathedral is not in any four walls—it is inside of us. Your body is the temple of the living God. That is where you hold religious services, and that is where you pray, continuously, by the way you live life.

 

Most religions teach this in their doctrine. For example . ……

 

In the Tao, it says, “The way that can be told of is not an unvarying way.
The way is like an empty vessel that may yet be drawn from without ever needing to be filled, it is bottomless.” This is another way of saying you are like a vessel. You may think you don’t have any power to go to work on Monday, and you don’t have any ideas to tell your boss about this project you are working on. You need to dip in further, and you will find that that which you dip into is inexhaustible. It can never be depleted, and you are connected with it right now.

 

Psalms 46:4-5, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.”

 

And Psalms 1:1-3, “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.”

 

Isaiah 66:12-13, “For thus says the Lord: ‘I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you. . . .’”

 

This wonderful flowing river of wholeness, of the Holy Spirit is within you. “The Holy Spirit, the “whole spirit” of God, the completeness of God, the fullness of God is within you and it brings health, strength, joy, peace, order, harmony, and light to your mind and body. Consciously we all open ourselves to this, to the river of life and allow it to flood our mind. Allow it to wash away any debris, any accumulated thoughts of sickness, lack, and limitation. The river of wholeness rejuvenates us. Every atom and cell in our mind and body will release new energy, setting free the Christ life within us, until your whole body glows with health.”

 

Have the religion of Jesus. God is accessible to every human being – to those that walk into the doors of the Bethel or your church AND through the doors of any dwelling on the planet. God is accessible. We are one with God, even right now. To follow Jesus means to follow the example He taught. How great it is to have an example, so we can know what we can do and become.

 

Otherwise, how would we ever know what we could become? It is not enough to sit at the feet of Jesus. We have to take His hand and be lifted up and stand by His side and realize what He taught was for us.

 

We, too, can have THIS mind inside of us.

 

There is a legend about a prince who had a crooked back. One day, he said to his most skillful sculptor, “Make a statue of me but with a straight back. I would like to see myself as I might have been.” When the statue was finished, the prince put it in a secret place where only he could see it; and every day, the prince would slip away to look, longingly and earnestly, at the statue.

 

Months passed and people began to notice that the prince’s back was not as crooked as it used to be. He continued to look at the perfect statue, and each time, the sight of it set his blood tingling and his heart throbbing, until one day, he realized that his back was straight. He had become the man of the statue.

 

 

Let me tell you another story before I close. There was a fellow walking down the street, one day. He spied a sign advertising a cat show in a large hotel. He went in and he was very impressed by the variety of the many felines. But what really captured his attention was the whispered worth of the animals. Someone said, “That Persian over there is worth $35,000. That exotic cat over there is worth $50,000. That calico male over there is worth $60,000.” The man immediately left. He went home and he got his old alley cat and brought him to the hotel. An official spotted him and said, “You can’t enter that common cat in this show.”

 

He replied, “I don’t want to enter him, I just want to take him through the show and inspire him.”

 

Let’s all remember that our Bible is a story of YOU – your and my own personal Owner’s Manual. Every book, every chapter, every page is THE LIVING WATER flowing through us to inspire us, to teach us, to lead us as we flow through the river. This closeness with God, this oneness with God is what we are to realize in this moment. There is never going to be a moment in our lives where we don’t have God with us, and within us, not stagnant, but flowing – ever bringing new life and ideas in and through us – you and me.

 

Partake of the living water.

 

May God fulfill you.