Just what does allegiance mean? It means “loyalty or commitment to a superior or to a group or cause.” When I say I pledge my allegiance I am making even more than a statement I am making a proclamation of declaring my total support to someone, something or a cause. As a born again Christian and believer in Jesus Christ and a believer in the one true God my first allegiance is to the one true God of this universe, my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. With that, he has birthed me in a great nation that proclaims its allegiance to be a nation under God. I have stood many times for the pledge of allegiance. many times as my sons have stood before playing in a game or at a college or pro game. I stand proudly and with god bumps up and down my body. I am proud to pledge my loyalty to first my God and second my nation flying the flag of freedom. Just as my savior shed his blood for my salvation and freedom, the blood of great men and women who have shed their blood for my freedom flies the flag. Declaring by not standing for our freedom both spiritually and in this nation sets a precedence of display for a totally different cause. Racial injustice is a cause that begins with each one of us individually. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and examine our hearts personally to see if we are part of this social racial injustice. Just as we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and search our hearts for sin that we may repent and receive our savior. When this happens with each one of us individually we then take measures to stop the injustice we are causing. Oh people wake up and look at yourselves in the mirror and take out the log in your own eyes before you so visibly make a declaration against an innocent flag, people and nation. None of us are without sin, but to declare one cause against our flag and nation that negates the meaning and purpose of respect for the freedom it represents brings a division that destroys not helps or heals. Oh the visual message that this is giving our young people is so opposite of what Christ did for us as well as for what the men and women who fought for us did. By taking a knee is rebellion to every one of us who loves this nation. But rest assured every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. So whether those who bow their knee here on earth for whatever cause or before the one who sits on the throne I encourage everyone to search their soul as to why you are bowing your knee and for what and to whom.
I’d like to share with you today about a test I just had done. One would think that at retirement age you would be done with allergies getting worse but that doesn’t seem to be the case with me. I have always had an allergy to fragrance and sulfa and for the last 35 years I have been plagued with eczema. Now to me these were quite enough to deal with and I had them pretty much under control. But then about three year ago the eczema decided to show up on my hands. Being a seamstress and working in a fabric store I discovered that fabric and eczema collided. On top of that for the past many months the itching and my skin being on fire started creeping in. With my regular doctor being clueless and my dermatologist just giving me cream to apply I decided I would see an allergist. I had no clue what that allergy test would uncover but I was totally not prepared for what I learned. I had the full panel, which is foods and outside. With outside they told me I might want to think about a bubble in the spring, summer and fall and with foods out of sixty- nine I tested positive for sixty- two. I find this to be quite a surprise to say the least. So how does one go forward with such a report? Now I must go into my deep gratification that this is not fatal or even life threatening or me. I have friends who are celiac and have know them to have to be hospitalized at times. I have a son with Asthma and that is life threatening and I have another son with an allergy to Tylenol that is also life threatening. So I’m not complaining a bit. I am thankful that I now know what I’m dealing with and to be honest I know it will take me quite awhile to figure this food thing out. So once again Gods word in has come alive in me. Romans 8:28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose. I know that I love God and he has a purpose for me. As I work through all that I can’t have and rely fully on God with what I can have, it will all work together for my good. I truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Out of the seven things that I can have, I can have chocolate, pineapple, bacon and tea. What’s not good about that? And that’s living life
Today I’d like to talk about trusting the Lord. This is what you always hear when your struggling with something, like finances, addiction, marital problems, children, your job. All the areas of life. So how does something so cliché and simple work? Is it really as simple as trusting God? The things I mentioned above are only a few areas of the things we can trust God in. Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding”. The meaning of trust is the assured reliance on the strength, ability and truth of God and nothing else. I’ve been a believer for a long time and I thought I trusted my Lord in all the areas I needed to. But I just found out different. Oh how I love how the Holy Spirit continually reveals to me things that are keeping me from that fullness or complete relationship with my God. Let me explain with a visual that has helped me over the years. At salvation we ask Jesus into our lives and he comes to live in our hearts. So I’ve actually pictured the Lord in my heart. This is my literal sense of being. One day many years ago I was standing in my living room and It was as if I saw Jesus stand up on the inside of me and stretch his arms and legs out and say to me, “get the garbage out.” Wow that was interesting since Jesus forgives our sins and it’s removed, but at the same time I knew there were things in my life I was struggling with even with Jesus on the inside and he was telling me they were in his way. Or in his space, so to speak. Well obviously, it’s been years later and I’m still “getting the garbage out”. Oh how I am so thankful for grace and mercy. So periodically I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that is in the way of my relationship with my Lord, so I can deal with it and “get it out”. So here’s another visual that has helped me. I picture my heart as having many chambers. The chambers represent each area of my life. The scripture says to trust God with ALL your heart. As the Holy Spirit reveals an area in my heart that I’m not trusting God, He also reveals with such love my sin of not trusting God in that area and how I’ve been holding on to that area and in what ways. So the other day this happened. I was so shocked because I thought I was trusting God in this particular place. So after repentance and awe I gave that place or chamber up and let my Lord into that place in my heart. It’s an awesome feeling of Gods love, grace, mercy and peace when this happens. So I know now that Jesus my Lord is getting all my heart. It may be in pieces as it’s revealed to me but it’s my will for him to get it all. So you can ask the Holy Spirit also if there is an area in your life that is hindering your relationship with your Lord, so you also can let him into that place in your heart. And that’s living life.
As a believer who has a burden for the lost, God blessed me with a sister in Christ who is also a prayer warrior with me. We spend much time in prayer for our families, friends and even our foes. We have a huge outreach at our church for the nations and praying for all those listed is endless. Nonetheless God has our hearts in this and we are relentless warriors on the behalf of many. I’d like to say that every family member near and far are truly Gods own and I’m sure those of you reading this can say the same thing but truth be told the answer is no. I wish, trusting God and God is faithful, and Jesus is the Savior are but a few phrases we use as we wait for salvation for those we are praying for. A couple weeks ago we were praying over one of our children again, and the scripture came to me in Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you. I decided to read the whole chapter to get a better perspective as to what Paul was saying. Paul begins the chapter reflecting on the law in the Old Testament. Then moves into the fullness of time when Christ was sent as the Messiah to bear our sins and bring us eternal life with God in heaven. Throughout Paul talks about the bondage we were in without Christ and the freedom we have in Christ. He share his own body scars from being tortured and imprisoned and his thankfulness for the love of the body who had not judged him but embraced him to the point of wanting to give all they had for him. Paul is writing to a body that he is not physically close to him and he has learned that they are falling back under the law, not believing and living under Gods grace. In verse 19 he is in agony for them as he says “ I am again in travail for you until Christ be formed in you.” It seems there are some in our prayer time that we truly travail for in agony until Christ be formed in them. Those who know the truth and the way of salvation, but don’t seem to have that revelation that gives them the power to stay the course. In scripture I can always find where God has set the course before us and a brother or sister in Christ has had the same heartache as I am experiencing. Paul said it well “ I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you”. I will stay the course and stay in travail until Christ be formed in those God has given me to pray for. It’s the Holy Spirit who brings conviction and draws people unto Jesus. It’s the Holy Spirit who brings us into all truth, teaches us and brings revelation to us. So together with the Holy Spirit I will travail, believe and trust for Christ to be formed in them to stay the course to eternity.
I would like to thank a friend for the prayer she posted the other day for joy. As I read through her prayer for joy to be restored, I realized I had lost my joy and was under such heaviness for the past few weeks, that sleep wouldn’t even restore. The scripture in Isaiah 61:3 came to mind. To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” That was it for me, mourning and heaviness. I was still mourning the loss of my grandson and bearing the heaviness of my husbands illness. So as I was getting ready for work I was sitting in the living room putting on my shoes I began to pray. Actually I began to war ,I commanded Satan to gather up his demons, workers and cohorts out of every room, off of everything, top to bottom, side to side and commanded them out of my house off my property and to the feet of Jesus. Just as I commanded them out, there was a loud thud in one of the bedrooms, Zoe, my dog, and I looked at the same time in the direction of the thud and then at each other. As I crept through the bedrooms looking for whatever the thud was, and finding nothing, I pictured a demon tripping over something as it was leaving and it made me laugh. As I was praying I felt the heaviness lift off of me, and it felt good. The scriptures tell us in the gospels that Jesus gives us authority. In Luke 10:19 Jesus says “ Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Just like our prayer circle at church is a tool to train us up and teach us in the gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus gave us authority we need to be trained up in it. To use it so the authority Jesus has given us can be established in our lives, on earth and in the spirit realm. Receive the authority Jesus has given you and use it so it will be established in your life and in the Kingdom of God, for the Glory of God. And that’s living life!
While at work last night, two young men came into the store. Unlikely place for two young men, you see it’s a fabric store. As I was putting things back on the shelf they approached me. A little bashful and apologizing for interrupting my work, the one young man proceeded to ask me if I had pain in my body. Then quickly went on to say that they were Christians and walking through the mall wanting to pray for people. I quickly let my guard down knowing they weren’t trying to sell me anything or a cult, and began to talk. I told them, “for my age I thought I was doing pretty well but would always welcome prayer” and proceeded to ask for prayer for my husband. I began to share with them what a blessing they are to people and how they are honoring God. I went on too share with them that I have been a believer for over 40 years and how it’s a process to be Christ like. Speaking as the Holy Spirit led I was able to minister to them and encourage them in their journey with Jesus. I then got called away to take care of a customer. I was blessed for that God encounter with young believers, the one was a brand new Christian. That was surely a God moment that I embrace with thankfulness and blessing. So keep on in your journey with Jesus, he is the way the truth and the very life you breathe and live. For each step you encounter whether triumph or trial will be one more step bearing the image of Christ in your body soul and spirit. And that’s living life!
Oh my wonderful Jesus, he knows exactly what to say to make a point and to clarify and solidify what he’s saying to us. While reading the gospel of John the other day the very end of the book Jesus is talking to Peter. In John 21:15 Jesus begins to speak specifically to Peter and he asks him if he loves him, Peter would answer Jesus and then Jesus would ask the same question again. I can almost hear the frustration in Peters voice as he answers the question three times. Jesus was testing Peter’s heart before giving him the calling God had placed on his life. Jesus even went so far as to tell Peter what the end of his life would be like. I’m thinking that was part of the test also. To see if Peter would turn away, but Peter didn’t seem the least bit phased by what Jesus was telling him. There’s a song that comes to mind as I read the last part of what Jesus was telling Peter. The song is titled “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” one of the phrases goes ‘turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his glorious face.” In verse 19 Jesus said to Peter “follow me”. Then in verse 21 Peter was watching another disciple and said to Jesus “ Lord what about this man?” Jesus, full of grace and mercy and at this point I’m thinking much patience said to Peter, If I want him to remain until I come, “ What is that to you?” “ You follow me!” Oh what a wealth of descriptive knowledge we get in these scriptures. How many times do we hear “ keep your eyes on Jesus?” Peter was looking right into the eyes of our Savior and still he pointed to the guy next to him, basically saying to Jesus, “ well what about him, what’s he gonna do?” now that’s my own paraphrase but it fits. I’m sure Jesus gently but firmly made Peter look at him when he said, “ You! follow me!” Jesus points out that what he tells another to do has nothing to do with you, that person is my business not yours. These scriptures reveal how our sin nature is and how easy it is for us to take our eyes off of Jesus and look at someone else or even ourselves. We must turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in his glorious face to follow him, with all our heart and strength. Jesus had that conversation with Peter and I’m sure he’s had that same conversation with each of us, I know he has me, as we fulfill our calling on our lives to “Follow Him.”