Be careful about what you receive.
A few weeks ago, I decided to go see my doctor after a dream and a couple of conversations. (Getting me to go to the doctor is probably more difficult than geting a bill through Congress!)
He ordered a couple of diagnostics, including a chest X-ray, since I am at risk of lung problems.
My first X-ray showed a nodule in my left lung. As soon as I heard that, I called some friends and asked them to agree with me in prayer. My sense: I was not to pick this up; I was to stand in faith and not fear.
I had to get a second set of “pictures.” They came back “normal.”
This is the second time in my life that I have heard God say very clearly that I was not to own a diagnosis. The first one was in 2000: I had been told that I had FibroMyalgia. Immediately I heard, “Don’t pick that up; don’t own it. It is not yours.”
I had symptoms for almost a year.
Then, I was praying and fasting in preparation for a conference I was going to.
Most of the time, I clean house or work in my yard when I fast: It helps me to focus. This time was no different.
In the middle of cleaning the cat’s litter tray, I heard, “If anyone says you have Fibromyalgia, they’re lying: You have been healed.” I didn’t have a single symptom after that.
This time, the possibility of a life threatening condition challenged me to reaffirm my zeal for living. I’m searching out new goals and dreams; I’m pressing into prophetic words that still need to be fulfilled.
I will have a long, joyful, prosperous life; I will not accept anything less than that!
Now to be clear, I am not talking about Mind Over Matter or the power of positive thinking; I am standing on the word of God and declaring to you that you have choices to make: Will you receive curses, even “benevolent” ones – negative characterizations, predictions, diagnoses, general opinions – that are not in line with God’s plans for you? Will you hold to lies, such as, “God has made you ill…or poor…”
Will you seek God, his Kingdom and righteousness? Will you agree with blessings?
Take care: Choose what you will receive or not. Being able to say, “No” is vital to prosperous, blessed living; saying “yes” to the good things that God has for you is even more important.
By the way, it is equally important to guard your lips: Take care not to utter curses about yourself and others; be diligent in proclaiming blessings.
There once was a lamp
That was very bright;
Made from gold and jewels,
It gave off beautiful light.
The family who owned it
Were filled with fear and doubt;
They hid the lovely lamp
Until it went out.
Another lamp stood
Serenely and tall
In front of a building
Where it lit the way for all.
There were many ideas
Of how the lamp should be
So it was remodeled
Till no one could see.
The Giver of Light
Came to town one day.
He noticed that both lamps
Were failing to light the way.
One was hidden and cold;
The other compromised;
Not able to be used;
Worthless and despised.
He worked with each lamp,
Restoring its flame;
Then he told the people
They must never be the same.
Freed from isolation,
Each lamp stood in its place,
Uncompromised and real,
Shining with God’s grace.
The words of this story
Come with a challenging voice:
Let God’s light within you
Shine brightly every day;
With Him as Source and Goal,
Walk in His true way.
My Lord, you call me to submit,
Not as one who is under your thumb;
Nor as a wormly creature beneath your feet.
But as your dearly beloved,
Friend, daughter, sister, bride.
In love, you invite submission
By calling me to walk by your side,
And seating me in heavenly places.
Partaking of your victory;
Saved, redeemed, reborn, free.
So, my Lord, I tell you, “Yes.”
I submit to you with affection;
Reflecting your glory as I live,
Safe in your everlasting arms;
Loved, fulfilled, joyful, blessed.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” (NASB)
Before I could think, cognitively that is, my beliefs were already well established.
As a baby, I asked, “Can I trust the world?” The virtue of hope was being formed in the depths of my soul.
AS a toddler, I asked, “Is it okay to be me?” My will was coming into its place.
Then, as a young child, I asked, “Can I do and create?” I looked for a sense of purpose.
Belief, about God, the world, who I am and what I can do is much deeper than thoughts. This source of my perception and trust lives in the secret places of my heart. IT is often out of cognitive reach, making my dependence on God absolutely necessary.
I am intrigued and encouraged by this truth: IT would be easy to feel accused because I still encounter old beliefs that need to be transformed. Had it been entirely up to me, I would have changed them years ago. I didn’t even know they existed, however; it took God’s revelation at just the right moment to bring the perfect healing and change.
Thoughts are certainly important. They are the grapes in the winepress of my mind, the materials from which new beliefs will be made; therefore, I do well to monitor, feed and govern them. God has provided many ways to do this: Prayer, Bible study, meditation on His Word, fellowship, teaching, the discipline of mindfulness and repentance.
So then, God has the primary role in my formation and destiny. He knew who I was before anyone even had the slightest inkling that I would exist. He chose my family, created good works for me to do, gave me talents, gifts and unique personal traits.
I have my place as well. It is up to me to steward all of the riches given to me by God. Trust, obedience and cooperation are the keys.
Such a wonderful partnership! God could have made us like robots, easily programmed. Instead, he chose to give us freedom so that He could have intimate relationships with us. How loving is that!
The tapestry of life has colors
Of every shade and hue,
Some rich and bright;
Some flat and drab,
From red to deepest blue.
The tapestry of life has music
And sounds of every kind;
From loud and shrill
To barely heard,
Expressing heart and mind.
The tapestry of life can be touched,
Its textures rough and smooth;
Like rock and sand;
Or sun and snow,
To rouse us and to soothe.
The tapestry of life has been made
Of all humanity;
In every place,
All walks and times;
Of strangers, you and me.
The tapestry of life is from God,
Lord of all creation;
The breath of life,
The Holy One
Over every nation.
The creator of this tapestry
Embraces you and me;
Is not so big
That He can’t know and see.
Oh loving God of this tapestry,
Thank You for being near
To each of us
In all You’ve made,
For Your Presence so dear.
1 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come ! 2 “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 “Be on your guard ! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith !” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea ‘; and it would obey you. 7 “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? 8 “But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink ; and afterward you may eat and drink ‘? 9 “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? 10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves ; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’ ”
I recently heard a teaching based on this passage that asked the question, “How do we increase faith?”
The answer was that we give to God; then we eat and drink His goodness, which builds our faith.
What can we give to God?
Glory, praise, thanksgiving, adoration, worship.
As we thank God for His goodness and for the things He has done or given us, our faith increases.
I like this: It is not up to me to work up faith; it is a gift. I am so grateful for that.
I also find it interesting that the apostles asked for an increase in faith in order to carry out Jesus’ instructions not to cause little ones to stumble and to forgive. We are utterly dependent on God, even to obey His commandments. We need faith: That wonderful gift!
Drink deep; live in Him.