Hi my brothers & sisters, it has been a while since I have put up a post on my blog and I felt led to do so this morning.
The Lord has been dealing with the brother Don regarding area’s in my life that have caused me to stagger and make slower progress in my Christian walk. I will share one of the areas with you. The area is or should I say was, alcohol consumption. Having been a drinker from a young age... this is strange; as I am writing this post, I have my son Joshua alongside me and he is reading every word that I type out loud. He is six years old and I am very proud of his reading and writing. His recital is somehow causing me to reflect on the depth of what I am and am about to write... Back to the post; as I was saying, I was a drinker from a young age and have done so all my life up until last Sunday.
To be real about this, I would sometimes be at a church service, really into the message and in the flow of the service and then the thoughts would begin to come as the service drew nearer to its end. Thoughts such as, you can go and get a bottle of wine on the way home or do you fancy some cans instead? Hello! am I the only one here? Ok it may not be alcohol for you, but do you get the drift? We can seem strong in some areas but as the bible says ‘Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]’ 1 Corinthians 10:12 (Amplified Bible).
How does any of this tie in with the title? Well, God has been reminding me that there is a call on my life and He is still waiting to perform it, but cannot while I am carrying some of the baggage/strongholds that I have practised. Where God is calling you and I to, we cannot bring our baggage. God still wants to perform His promise over my life, He is ready to perform His word in your our lives, but we need to be ready to receive it.
1 Peter 1:13-19 (Amplified Bible)
13So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.
14[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel].
15But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.
16For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.(A)
17And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].
18You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold,
19But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.
Signs of His promise:
For those who may not be clear on what is meant by God’s promise. This is basically stating that what God has said in His word (the Bible) will come to pass. As He has said it (promised), it will happen, both that which is good and that which will have adverse effects for us. It is also important to note that the good will usually take place when we listen to God’s advice and direction (although we will still face trials) and when we shun him and refuse relationship with Him, we find that we face the adverse effects.
The animals and nature itself cry out for the return of the Lord. many of the natural disasters we are seeing are what is described as the birth pangs of nature, calling out for the return of the Lord and liberty that His return will bring (Romans chapter 8 verses 18-22).
So as we see the disasterous effects of natures cry, it is a sign that we are moving closer to the return of our Lord and the fulfilment of God promise.
This post doesn’t end there, as I began by telling you of an area that God has been challenging me in and I know that this is not just a me issue. God is preparing his Church (His people, not a building) for His return, and as we are to be ‘without spot or blemish (Ephesians chapter 5 verse 27)’ and are called to be ‘salt & light (Matthew chapter 5 verses 13 to 16)’; then I must write on as led.
This preparation for his return, may mean that you are finding yourself going through some trials see verse six and seven of the following scriptures:
1 Peter 1:3-7 (Amplified Bible)
3Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4[Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,
5Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God's power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that [a]final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.
6[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,
7So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.
So my dear brothers and sisters, for me, the Lord has told me to shun profane things, flee youthful (previous) lusts/strongholds, avoid foolish and ignorant disputes as expressed in 2 Timothy chapter 2, verses 14 to 26 (read below). Verse 19 of this text could not be clearer - The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it. The Lord, like any loving father will train up their children in the right paths of life.
2 Timothy 2:14-26 (Amplified Bible)
14Remind [the people] of these facts and [solemnly] charge them in the presence of the Lord to avoid petty controversy over words, which does no good but upsets and undermines the faith of the hearers.
15Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
16But avoid all empty (vain, useless, idle) talk, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.
17And their teaching [will devour; it] will eat its way like cancer or spread like gangrene. So it is with Hymenaeus and Philetus,
18Who have missed the mark and swerved from the truth by arguing that the resurrection has already taken place. They are undermining the faith of some.
19But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.(A)
20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use].
21So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.
22Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.
23But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels.
24And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered [preserving the bond of peace]; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong.
25He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the Truth [that they will perceive and recognize and become accurately acquainted with and acknowledge it],
26And that they may come to their senses [and] escape out of the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him, [henceforth] to do His [God's] will.
So as you continue to see the signs of the fulfilment of Gods written word, I urge you to use it as a catalyst to draw nearer to God.
I know this is a longer post than usual with more scriptural references, but I believe the Lord is speaking to His people and so I have a responsibility to ensure I write all that He would have me write.
My prayer for you all:
24The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you;
25The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you;
26The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).
Numbers 6:24-26 (Amplified Bible)
God bless you
Love Brother Don
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (New Living Translation)
‘but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.’