Friday, November 7, 2008

Are You Possessing Your Promised Land? - Week 2


Please let me share something I prayed for a few wonderful ladies yesterday.  Today, I pray the same over each of you, Dear Friends:

Father in Heaven, 
I ask that Your tremendous and most sufficient grace and mercy richly rest upon each of these, your daughters, today.  Father, I ask that Your Spirit breathe new life into their very lives and circumstances today right where they need it most.  Father, I ask that You fill them with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding that they would walk worthy of You, fully pleasing You and being FRUITFUL in every good work. increasing in the knowledge of our Great God and WITH JOY in all their seemingly 'forever waiting' (longsuffering) BY Your Spirit.  LORD, I pray that You give each of them today eyes to see and ears to hear Your voice as they perform the works You've already ordained this November day.  Thank You for the undeserved privilege of having been so loved and thought of by You.  Thank You for the undeserved privilege of serving You - and especially in like manner as Your Son, that our service count for the Kingdom and not be counted as sin (Romans 14:23) against us.  For by Your Spirit You have declared to us that the Kingdom of our Great God is righteousness, shalom and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)!  May it be so in us!  So, may we please You today as we ourselves become pleased and saturated with You as we rejoice, pray and give You thanks.  Thank You for Your provision, protection and Power over each of our families today.  In Yeshua's Mighty Life-Giving/Altering Name I ask. Amein.


"Now, Isra'el, listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will go in and take possession of the land that ADONAI, the God of your fathers, is giving you...Only be careful, and watch yourselves diligently as long as you live, so that you won't forget what you saw with your own eyes, so that these things won't vanish from your hearts." 

~ Moses to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 4:1,9) CJB 

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"Because I live, you too will live." 
~ Yeshua to His disciples (John 14:19)
For the Kingdom of God is...righteousness, shalom and joy in the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). ~Romans 14:17 (CJB)

Have I told you what a joy and pleasure your presence is?  It is!  And I thank you for joining me on this journey...

I trust that your studies over the last week have been fruitful!  I hope that your journaling was also a breath of fresh air, whether a new discipline or an old delight!  

This particular journey we are on in search of The Promised Land is not for those of us who think we may have already found It, and are happy to simply look upon from a 'safe place'. It's also not for those of us who don't think we need It.  It is for those of us who are continually seeking It and dare to enter Its Beautiful Borders.  For only in our continual seeking do we bridge the gap from 'merely looking upon' to 'entering and taking possession of'.

If there is one thing I have learned in my journey with The Messiah Yeshua, it is this:  

While it may be SAFE to simply look upon The Promised Land, it is certainly NOT SATISFYING!

It cannot be.  Journeying with The Messiah (Anointed One) is a GREAT ADVENTURE because HE is not simply taking us to the next thing, HE is bringing us 'from glory to glory'. He is forming His Kingdom within us.  This Anointed One has anointed us (for something); therefore, we cannot be satisfied with simply 'looking upon' The Promised Land!  (That is where many of us stop.) We were meant to take possession of ABUNDANT LIFE.  His Spirit is preparing His Bride for His Coming!  And any GREAT ADVENTURE requires TRUSTING FAITHFULNESS (i.e. 'perseverance' even if you have to persevere SCARED out of your wits!)

Let's face it, sometimes we just don't dare charter into unknown territory!  I mean...have you seen those Giants?  

Along life's way, you have already experienced and have come to realize that many things (seen and unseen) attempt to keep us from possessing our Promised Land...thus, the great struggle you may be feeling to possess is not futile, it is required...Let's dig!

Let us first consider and appropriate the mandate to be transformed (Romans 12:1-2).  Have you really thought about your own transformation lately? At this point in your Christian life, do you think it is even necessary?  I mean, you are already doing so much already, right?  And yet...dry, dry is the ground, nothing grows, nothing new may be found!

Do you find yourself often looking at other Christians who seem to have achieved some sort of Christian Hedonistic utopia always rejoicing (even in their trials)...and you just don't get it?  And you really, really want to get it?  Furthermore, you really, really want to have it?!

Next, have you pondered the transformation of your local assembly?  Is it even possible?  I mean, it seems it has become pretty much acceptable to remain the same, right (also known as 'lukewarm')?  The same ol' gossip, the same ol' cliques, the same ol' songs, the same ol' sermons, the same ol' lessons, the same ol' walls, etc.  Is anything really changing?  Am I?

"Am I?"  That is the question to be asking, isn't it?  Just as Jesus openly rebuked Peter as he questioned the graces of his fellow disciple, John (John 21:22), so Jesus speaks to us in like manner, "What is it to you?  You, follow Me!"

"You, follow Me!"   That's it!  Those joy-filled ones are joy-filled because they have learned a Divine Truth.  They have learned that they cannot afford to forget the rich Word of Christ:  "You, follow Me!".  

They have learned that hurrying to the end of life's rainbow that doesn't even exist in search of the coveted treasure of 'abundance' that is not even there is chasing the wind because 

It's not simply about the Destination (that is FUTURE GLORIFICATION given at Christ's death/resurrection), it's really about the Journey (our SANCTIFICATION given by Christ day by day)!

Did you notice that Christ was never in a hurry?  My entire life, it seems, I have hurriedly rushed around while waiting to live.  Is this you? And waiting for what?  That doesn't even make sense, does it? 

Christ wants us to be JOY-FILLED presently (that means now!).  The Father desires for His child to LIVE! so HE sent His Son Who just happens to be LIFE (John 14:6).  His Son came to give us HIS Shalom (John 14:27) through which OUR JOY IS MADE WHOLE, COMPLETE, and LACKING NOTHING (John 15:11).  

What good is my Christian life if I do not have it...meaning I am not living life?  What good is my living if I am not changing?  For to change is to truly live.  


"Because I live, you too will live." 
Yeshua to His disciples (John 14:19)

Christ spoke this to His disciples before His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and sending of His Holy Spirit!  

Paul spoke about our Promised Land/Abundant Life this side of the Cross when he wrote...

"For to me, to live IS Christ" (Philippians 1:21)...BECAUSE "I have been crucified with Christ, so that my proud ego no longer lives, but Christ LIVES in me...(Galatians 2:20)"

This whole matter of transformation - the new life - then, is a mandate.  In fact, it is the very reason why many of us are not LIVING (as CHRIST lived - full of righteousness, shalom and joy!) and it has had its fatal consequences.  For we have turned the Divine Command into a mere suggestion.  And if change is to happen around me as I would love to see in others, it must first BEGIN in me.

What are we to do when our lives in Christ become stale?  We have to first ask why.

The LORD most often will not change things around you UNTIL He has first changed you, have you noticed?  Afterall, it's YOU HE is after (for good, of course!).

You know all the others you keep looking at with a longing to be as free as they are?  I beseech you as Paul did in Romans 12:1-2 to LOOK at CHRIST instead, and hear Him say, 'You, follow Me."  



"I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God's mercies, to offer (present) yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God.  This will please Him; this is your spiritual service of worship." 

~ Paul to the Messianic Community in Rome (Romans 12:1)


As with anything else, our search for what is lacking in our Christian living (Divine change) begins here in our 'presenting'.  And in order to present something, we have to first be present.

The Greek word for 'present' here in Romans is paristemi.  

Para - near, in vicinity of, (close) proximity, before, in the sight of   +  Histemi - to stand, abide, bring, continue  

Thus, paristemi literally means 'to stand in the sight of and to continue to bring'.  It is the exact Greek word used in Luke 2:22 when Mary and Joseph brought the Baby Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the LORD.  It is used also in Paul's speech to the Corinthians when he passionately told them that he was 'jealous over them with godly jealousy' because he had espoused them to one husband that he might present them a chaste virgin to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2)!

It seems the proof is not in the pudding afterall...but in the presenting...

Do you stand in the sight of (God) or do you hide like Adam and Eve?  Just something to ponder...

If you think your own personal transformation is impossible and/or optional at this point in your life, in a kindly manner I tell you, you're wrong (x's 2!).  That kind of wrong theology caters to our laziness.  The kind of heart transforming, LIFE-INFUSING change that Christ talks about begins with the offering (the presenting).  HE does everything else.  Change is an inside job and HE cannot change something you have never brought before Him.  

Oh, and one more thing.  I'm not trying to tell you how to live...I'm just encouraging you by way of reminder TO LIVE!

Next week, we will look at some of the reasons why we don't choose LIFE; as well as how to avoid these traps and schemes.  In the coming week, may ADONAI find you and me 'standing in the sight of' Himself that we might RECEIVE all HE desires to give us!

Meanwhile, GET LOST in God's Word, and you will FIND all you've been looking for!  

Til next time...SHALOM ALEICHEM!!!

Introspective Journaling in HIS Presence:

  1. LORD, have I presented to You all my worries, doubts, fears, and concerns?
  2. Have I presented to You all my trying/troubled relationships?
  3. Have I presented to You my struggles with sins of unforgiveness, self-pity, lying, harmful language, arrogance, divisiveness, bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness, slander, and/or spitefulness (Ephesians 4:29-31)?
  4. Have I presented to You any lack of trust..and asked for Your conquering HELP over this horrid UNBELIEF?
  5. LORD, what attitudes, thoughts, and actions need dispossessing in my daily life?
  6. Have I fully presented myself that I might empty the contents...and be filled with YOURSELF?
  7. Is Your compassion compelling me  OR is my complacency conning me?
  8. Where are my eyes, LORD?  On You or on man?
Hiding His WORD in My Heart Memory Verse:

You have made known to me the ways of life; You will enrapture me [diffusing my soul with joy] with and in Your presence. ~ Acts 2:28
If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. ~ John 12:26 (AMP)

6 comments:

Kathryn said...

Amen, dear friend!

Jan Ross said...

Exquisite word of encouragement! I believe I have found a like-minded sister in Yeshua who loves the Word and is willing to dive deep into the riches of understanding from a Hebraic point of view. Baruch atem b'Shem Yeshua!

Amydeanne said...

lol He has it in for me today.. i see that. thanks for being part of His ministry my sister!
I've been having a very low weekend and this is something that i needed to hear.

Carol said...

Amen!! Oh, girl. I'm with you. This is some powerful stuff. I spent too long taking a nap at the borders. Now I'm backpacking through with Jesus at my side. Praise God!

jcdisciple said...

"If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him." ~ John 12:26 (AMP)

Oh Carmen,

I love this! This past year I did and continue to do all the things you had us ask ourselves in journaling. I truly believe that I am on the path to my promised land. However, right now I am stuck. Looking for the next "glory to glory". I keep seeking and asking if it is sin, but I can't find any. The only answer I keep getting is the one given in this verse: "follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be,in dying]" It's like I am Solomon's lover crying, "Where has my beloved gone?". I just want Him...I need HIm...I search for Him. He says He is there, but I can't see Him right now. It's a peaceful search, but a desperate one. I am glad to come to Women in the Word today and be encouraged to just kee seeking.

God bless you,

Amanda

Carmen said...

Amanda,
I just want you to know that you've been on my heart and tongue before the LORD. I know exactly what you're feeling and the crossroads you're now in...I'm familiar with that place!

But, I've prayed for you...and whenever these ordained trials come before us, it's because the LORD is building something BEAUTIFUL inside you for a time yet to be revealed...

'Let those who are suffering according to God's will ENTRUST themselves to a FAITHFUL CREATOR by CONTINUING TO DO WHAT IS GOOD.' 1 PETER 4:19

This is where He also gives instruction, 'Do not grow weary WHILE DOING GOOD, for in DUE TIME you WILL REAP IF YOU DO NOT GROW WEARY.' GALATIANS 6:9


Hosea 10:12
Psalm 126:5

It's times like these that we are to FAITHFULLY SOW...that pleases HIM as we await the harvest HE brings!

Shalom Sister...I am thankful to be journeying with you!

B'Shem Yeshua Adoneinu
Carmen

But as for me, Heaven forbid that I should boast about anything except the execution-stake of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! Through Him, as far as I am concerned, the world has been put to death on the stake; and through Him, as far as the world is concerned, I have been put to death on the stake.  For neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is being a NEW CREATION. And as many as order their lives by this rule, shalom upon them and mercy, and upon the Isra'el of God! 

~ Galatians 6:14-16

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