Getting to Know God Series: El Shaddai

El Shaddai- The All-Sufficient One, God Almighty

Throughout the Bible we find times where God chooses to reveal who He is to mankind. I find this to be a display of God’s love towards us in hopes that we would come to trust Him more. God desires that we know Him, and he takes delights in blessing those who respond to his love properly. It is in Genesis 17:1,2 that this concept is played out as God reveals himself, as El Shaddai, to Abram, “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 2I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”

Before we go any further, it should be noted that scholars go back and forth on whether El Shaddai means “the All-Sufficient One” or “God Almighty.” I appreciate how A.W. Pink, in Gleanings in Genesis concludes the meaning of El Shaddai, “The revelation which God here made of Himself was well suited to the occasion. This was the first time that He revealed Himself as “the Almighty.” None but One who possessed all power could meet Abram’s need at this time. Ninety and nine years of age, his body dead; Sarah barren and long past the age of child-bearing – how could they have hope to have a son? But with God all things are possible. And why? Because He is El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One.” El Shaddai is God Almighty which makes Him the All-Sufficient One.

Recognizing that God is the Almighty was a necessary component to Abram fulfilling the next request of God to him. God tells Abram, “Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.” How was Abram the liar going to pull off the task of living a blameless life before a Holy God? How was he going to faithfully serve God in light of his many shortcomings. The answer is found in completely depending on the All-Sufficient One. Abram’s ability to live out God’s command to him was solely based on his willingness to trust in the One who provides all we need pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). I really love the words found in MacLauren’s Exposition on this verse. The author says:

Note the revelation of God’s character, and of our consequent duty, which preceded the repetition of the covenant. ‘I am the Almighty God.’ The aspect of the divine nature, made prominent in each revelation of Himself, stands in close connection with the circumstances or mental state of the recipient. So when God appeared to Abram after the slaughter of the kings, He revealed Himself as ‘thy Shield’ with reference to the danger of renewed attack from the formidable powers which He had bearded and beaten. In the present case the stress is laid on God’s omnipotence, which points to doubts whispering in Abram’s heart, by reason of God’s delay in fulfilling His word, and of his own advancing years and failing strength. Paul brings out the meaning of the revelation when he glorifies the faith which it kindled anew in Abram, ‘being fully assured that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform’ {Romans 4:21}. Whenever our ‘faith has fallen asleep’ and we are ready to let go our hold of God’s ideal and settle down on the low levels of the actual, or to be somewhat ashamed of our aspirations after what seems so slow of realization, or to elevate prudent calculations of probability above the daring enthusiasms of Christian hope, the ancient word, that breathed itself into Abram’s hushed heart, should speak new vigor into ours. ‘I am the Almighty God-take My power into all thy calculations, and reckon certainties with it for the chief factor. The one impossibility is that any word of Mine should fail. The one imprudence is to doubt My word.’

 

As it was with Abram, so it is with us. If we ever plan to fulfill the commands and plans of God for our lives, we must rely solely on El Shaddai. We must trust that He is the source of all we will ever need to live holy, pursue His will, and speak His word. My prayer for us today is that we will come to know God as the All-Sufficient, Almighty God that He is. Everything we need is found in Him, and the moment we start to believe that is the moment we will truly pursue what He has called us to do. When you are convinced you have all you need to succeed, failure is not an option. El Shaddai is on your side! I dare you to go and be great!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: https://www.reviveourhearts.com/series/el-shaddai-the-all-sufficient-one/

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Getting Know God: El Roi

El Roi: The God Who Sees Me

One of my favorite names to use for God when praying is El Roi. Every time I use it I find it to be an instant reminder that He is aware of my circumstances. It tends to ease the ache of the request; and it sets God back in his proper place as God above all that is bothering me. In Genesis 16, we are introduced to the name El Roi, by a woman named Hagar. For those of us who may not be familiar with Hagar, she was the servant of Sarai (Abram’s wife). Sarai had the bright idea to help God in fulfilling His promise to her husband and suggested that Abram sleep with Hagar. As Sarai desired, Hagar became pregnant. Once pregnant Hagar started to treat Sarai with contempt (v.4). Sarai returns the favor and treats Hagar so harshly that she runs away.  It is in this time of running that she is found by the loving-kindness of God:

7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. 8 The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. 9 The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the LORD has heard your cry of distress. 12 This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”13 Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”a She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” 14 So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered. 15 So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael. (New Living Translation)

I find the timing of God very interesting in this story. At any moment, He could have revealed himself. However, he waits until she is expecting and in a dry place before He reveals he has been with her the entire time. He waits until she is out of options, without friends, and without any sense of direction before he says, “I see you!” He allows her to feel every ounce of fear, isolation, and abandonment before revealing the I AM is with you. It was not until she was away from all that she had known that she came to know God for herself.

God did not simply reveal himself to her in the wilderness; but he spoke to her purpose. He provided her with instructions on how to rectify her past mistakes (v.9); and he gave her insight to what her future would entail (vv. 10-12). It never cease to amaze me that how one encounter with God can bring wholeness and clarity to the thing(s) that pains us the most. Hagar heeded to the instructions that were given to her, and she was able to return “home” with a better understanding of who her God was and what was in store for her future.

For those of us who may be in a wilderness situation like Hagar, I would encourage us to:

  1.  Sit still for a moment and allow the voice of God to speak to our situation.
  2. Admit where we were wrong and mishandled the situation, relationship, and etc.
  3. Stop rehearsing the offenses and choose to forgive those who hurt you. 
  4. Obey the instructions that God give us.
  5. Walk free from condemnation knowing that the God who sees has come to your rescue.

El Roi is aware of all that is hurting you, and he is waiting for the moment that you stop trying to figure things out. He longs to commune with you so that He can reveal the truth of who His and who you are to you. My prayer is that you come to know God as El Roi, the God who sees me so that you can see yourself as He does. Hagar’s life was never the same, and I am certain your will not be either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: https://biblein2015.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/el-roi-the-god-who-sees-me.jpg

Getting to Know God: Adonai

Adonai: My Great Lord, Master

The most important component to the idea of Love Lives Free is the fact that we must spend time getting to know God in order to live in the freedom His love provides. I find it somewhat disheartening that many Christians  have accepted Christ but have little to no understanding of who God is. So for the next few months, I am going to devote my Sunday devotions to blogging on the Names of God. I will warn all the scholars now that it will not be a comprehensive study of His names; but my hope is that it will encourage all of us to go a little deeper in learning about who He is now that we  have accepted the priceless gift of Salvation. It is my hope for the unbeliever that reads this that something will be written that compels you to get to know this amazing God that I am talking about.

There are many names that describe God in the Bible, and I will not spoil the fun for you in discovering those beautiful treasures, but today we will discuss Adonai which means “my great lord or master.” In the Old Testament Adonai occurs 434 times.There are heavy uses of Adonai in Isaiah (e.g., Adonai Jehovah). It occurs 200 times in Ezekiel alone and appears 11 times in Daniel Chapter 9.   Adonai is first used in Gen 15:2.  However it is in Psalm 8 we discover the beautiful writings of  one in awe of the supremacy of God and his willingness to entrust us with His creation:

1 O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!Your glory is higher than the heavens. 2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. 3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,human beings that you should care for them? 5 Yet you made them only a little lower than angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You gave them charge of everything you made,putting all things under their authority—7 the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, 8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. 9 O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Barnes Notes on the Bible suggest “Our Lord – The word used here – אדני ‘âdônay – means properly master, lord, ruler, owner, and is such a title as is given to an owner of land or of slaves, to kings, or to rulers, and is applied to God as being the ruler or governor of the universe. The meaning here is, that the psalmist acknowledged Yahweh to be the rightful ruler, king, or master of himself and of all others. He comes before him with the feeling that Yahweh is the universal ruler – the king and proprietor of all things.” Just like the psalmist we too must see God as Lord of our lives in order to serve him properly.We must see him as the Master of our souls and the Ruler of our lives if we plan on pleasing him on earth. We do not have to fear that he will mistreat us or take advantage of us like history has taught about human masters. His love keeps him from abusing us.

We must be mindful that our lives are no longer our own. Whatever our Lord requires we must be willing to surrender, do, and yield to without questions. This takes practice, and everyday we are presented with the opportunity to allow Him to be Lord of our lives. It is important that if we are going to be representatives of the Kingdom on the earth, we must yield to the Supreme Lord and Ruler of Heaven which is God. Today my prayer is that we will allow God to be Adonai in our lives. I pray we surrender our lives completely over to His lordship, and that we will give him total access to the thrones of our hearts. We will never be able to receive his love if we refuse to yield our hearts to His control. I pray we will. Have a wonderful Sunday!-Charity Israel

Photo Credit:  https://continuingindaba.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/0-adonai.jpg

The Lord is my Shepherd not my Genie: Reflections on Psalm 23:1

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.-Psalm 23:1

shepherdBefore I started becoming a devout student of the Bible, I used to be a devout believer in the Prosperity Gospel/Word of Faith movement. I used to feel entitled to all this world has to offer because I was a “child of the King!” I would take scriptures that were specifically for the children of Israel and use them as assurance that God owed me stuff according to His word. I was doing foolish things in the name of “faith” in order to position myself to “blessed,” and with all the giving I was doing I NEVER reached a place of “having no room to receive” (Mal. 3:10).

It was shortly after graduating ORU that I left the Charismatic/ Word of Faith sect, and I started seeking a more accurate biblical interpretation of how  New Testament Christians should live and approach God. It has taken me years to detox from some of the bad theology that came from that teaching; but I must admit there are moments I find myself interpreting scripture from a place of entitlement and not within its proper context.

For the last two weeks I have been meditating on Psalms 23, and I found myself reverting back to some of  the bad habits of the “Name It and Claim It” tradition. I made a list of some simple things I wanted that I felt would take God no time to supply. The week passed by, and I felt myself being frustrated that God did not give me the wants I requested. How dare him, right?!? Then I had the audacity to say out loud, “You are my shepherd. Why don’t I have what I want?” #bratface Before I could finish the Holy Spirit said, “study to find out what “I shall not want” truly means.” So I went into Theology student mode, and I started to read commentaries on the verse.

Not one of the commentators sided with my self-serving interpretation of scripture. Quickly I discovered, my understanding of “want” was not what the scripture meant. “Want” here is not the random, fleeting, and ever changing desires of my selfish heart. “Want” refers to the needs of those being shepherded. In context, the Shepherd supplies all his sheep needs, leaving no wants for the sheep. The sheep is provided water, food, shade, protection and guidance. What more could a sheep want for? NOTHING! I know this may come as a surprise for some as it did with me, and I would encourage you not to take my word for it. Listed below are a few of the commentaries I used, feel free to come up with your own conclusion from them. They were helpful in adjusting my theology to God my Shepherd not God my genie:

The Treasury of David Commentary states:

The Lord is my shepherd.” What condescension is this that the Infinite Lord assumes towards his people the office and character of a Shepherd! It should be the subject of grateful admiration that the great God allows himself to be compared to anything which will set forth his great love and care for his own people. David had himself been a keeper of sheep, and understood both the needs of the sheep and the many cares of a shepherd. He compares himself to a creature weak, defenseless, and foolish, and he takes God to be his Provider, Preserver, Director, and, indeed, his everything. No man has a right to consider himself the Lord’s sheep unless his nature has been renewed, for the scriptural description of unconverted men does not picture them as sheep, but as wolves or goats. A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with a great price. It is well to know, as certainly as David did, that we belong to the Lord. There is a noble tone of confidence about this sentence. There is no “if” nor “but,” nor even “I hope so;” but he says, “The Lord is my shepherd.” We must cultivate the spirit of assured dependence upon our heavenly Father. The sweetest word of the whole is that monosyllable, “My.” He does not say, “The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as his flock,” but “The Lord is my shepherd;” if he be a Shepherd to no one else, he is a Shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me. The words are in the present tense. Whatever be the believer’s position, he is even now under the pastoral care of Jehovah.

The next words are a sort of inference from the first statement – they are sententious and positive – “I shall not want.” I might want otherwise, but when the Lord is my Shepherd he is able to supply my needs, and he is certainly willing to do so, for his heart is full of love, and therefore “I shall not want.” I shall not lack for temporal things. Does he not feed the ravens, and cause the lilies to grow? How, then, can he leave his children to starve? I shall not want for spirituals, I know that his grace will be sufficient for me. Resting in him he will say to me, “As thy day so shall thy strength be.” I may not possess all that I wish for, but “I shall not want.” Others, far wealthier and wiser than I, may want, but I shall not.” “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” It is not only “I do not want,” but “I shall not want.” Come what may, if famine should devastate the land, or calamity destroy the city, “I shall not want.” Old age with its feebleness shall not bring me any lack, and even death with its gloom shall not find me destitute. I have all things and abound; not because I have a good store of money in the bank, not because I have skill and wit with which to win my bread, but because “The Lord is my Shepherd.” The wicked always want, but the righteous never; a sinner’s heart is far from satisfaction, but a gracious spirit dwells in the palace of content.

Benson Commentary states:

I shall not want—Namely, anything that is really necessary for me, either for this life, or for the next. But foolish men may think many things to be necessary for them, which the all-wise God knows to be, not only unnecessary, but hurtful, and therefore mercifully denies what men ignorantly desire to their hurt.

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible writes:

I shall not want; not anything, as the Targum and Aben Ezra interpret it; not any temporal good thing, as none of Christ’s sheep do, that he in his wisdom sees proper and convenient for them; nor any spiritual good things, since a fullness of them is in him, out of which all their wants are supplied; they cannot want food, for by him they go in and out and find pasture; in him their bread is given them, where they have enough and to spare, and their waters are sure unto them; nor clothing, for he is the Lord their righteousness, and they are clothed with the robe of his righteousness; nor rest, for he is their resting place, in whom they find rest for their souls, and are by him led to waters of rest, as in Psalm 23:2, the words may be rendered, “I shall not fail”, or “come short” (s); that is, of eternal glory and happiness; for Christ’s sheep are in his hands, out of which none can pluck them, and therefore shall not perish, but have everlasting life, John 10:27.

If you are a believer, what you just read should be exciting news. It should also build your confidence in the love, care, and concern the Great Shepherd has for you as his sheep. As a good shepherd, he sees to it that all our needs are provided for and that we “lack no good thing” (Ps 34:10). Tonight I hope you can find blessed assurance in the fact that Jehovah is your shepherd. All your needs will be met, and you will want for nothing. Have a lovely night beautiful people.-Charity Israel

P.S. As a Bible student and teacher, I know I was doing some lazy studying and meditation on Psalm 23:1. One look at a different translation of the Bible could have given me a better understanding of the scripture. However, I believe the route I took was necessary because God wanted me to get rid of my bad theology; be mindful of how I am interpreting scripture; and come into a better understanding of how amazing He truly is. God is greater than a genie because it has a limit to what it can give. He is my Shepherd, and I shall not want. That’s good news!!!

 

 

Photo Credit: https://wordmadefleshblog.wordpress.com/tag/sheep/

 

Accesory to Murder: A Reflection on Resurrection Day

Today marks the culmination of one of the goriest murders recorded in history, the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It also celebrates the greatest moment in Christendom, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus a man whose perfection is often questioned; race is debated; righteousness is disputed; and divinity is argued CHOSE to die so that we may live. We, being the ungrateful, the merciless, the selfish, and the prideful. We, being the ones worthy of Eternal Damnation but given Grace instead. We, being the unforgiving became the Forgiven. Isaiah 53:3-6, 12 reveals how we are guilty of accessory to murder:

“He was despised and rejected. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. We did not care. It was our weakness he carried; and it was our sorrows that weighed him down. He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. The Lord laid on him the sins of us all.”

Our sins were accomplices to His death on the cross, but that’s NOT the focus of today (Rom. 5:8). Today we celebrate what His Glorious Resurrection means for those who accepts His lordship. It means we are now counted righteous by God (Isaiah 53:11). It means we have Eternal Life (John 3:16). The Resurrection means we have been justified and the blood of Jesus puts us in right standing with God (Romans 5:1). It means there is NO condemnation of sin, and we do NOT have to walk around weighed down by our past (Rom. 8:1). The Resurrection means for the Believer that sin and death are rendered POWERLESS (I Cor. 15:55-7). It means we all have a personal line of communication to come before God any time about anything (Heb. 4: 14-16). The Resurrection means that through the fulfillment of the Life, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus we can put our faith and hope in God (I Pet. 1: 20,21). Last but not least, the Resurrection means we are now the children of God, and in His timing we will see our Father face to face (I John 3:1,2).

Today I pray that as we celebrate our hearts would be pierced by the reality that God considered us in the brutal murder and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the unbeliever, I hope you come to know Jesus in the pardoning of your sins. For the believer, I pray you come to know the love, freedom, and victory that now belongs to you as a result of accepting Jesus Christ. The work of righteousness has been done for us, please ACCEPT that truth! Today let us embrace the truth of the Resurrection which is God is able to bring back to life those things that are needed for His Glory. The Resurrection showed the undeniable power of God in Jesus’ life, and I pray that your life does the same. Happy Resurrection Day!- Charity Israel

All You Need

The_sun1

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will  give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”-Psalm 84:11

It always amazes me how you can read or hear a verse countless times and never give it much thought. You can recite it. Use it to encourage others, and the verse still has no life to it. Then one day, in the midst of rushing through your Devotional time, it comes alive. You suddenly feel no need to rush and like Samuel your response becomes “Speak Lord, your servant listens.”(I Samuel 3:10) Today was one of those days, and I will not look at this  verse or God the same because of it. The writer says in Psalms 84:11:

For the Lord God is sun…

 It is common knowledge that the Sun is the source of all energy on earth. NASA says of the sun, “the ultimate source of energy for the Earth is nothing else but the sun. Without the sun life on Earth would not exist. The sun provides us with energy, which brings life on our planet. It defines the seasons, the harvests, and even the sleep patterns of all living creatures on Earth. The sun is the closest star to our planet ” Now let’s exchange the word “sun” for “God” in that description so we can grasp a better understanding of what is meant by God is the sun:

The ultimate source of energy for the Earth is no one else but God. Without God life on Earth would not exist. God provides us with energy, which brings life on our planet. God defines the seasons, the harvests, and even the sleep patterns of all living creatures on Earth. God is the closest being to our planet.

Now when the psalmist wrote this verse, I am quite sure he did not have NASA’s knowledge of the sun at his fingertips. But it is with this knowledge we can get some things straight about who God is:

 He is the ultimate source of energy.  Energy is defined as “the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.” God gives life to energy. He empowers the life and strength of every creature that needs it. With God as the ultimate source of energy, strength to endure any of life’s obstacle is simply a request away.

 Without God life would not exist. Everything that existed, is existing, and will exist is because of Him. He determines the beginning and the end of every living thing. As Creator, everything is subject to His command of Live or Die.

 His energy is the source of our life. This statement echoes that without God life would not exist. The only reason why we continue living is because He lives. Without God existing we would cease to exist. This should destroy any misconception that we are doing life on our own. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we exist solely because of Him.

God determines every season, every harvest, and every sleep pattern of every living creature on Earth. Every season of our life is orchestrated by God. If he determines when it begins, He also determines when it ends.  Every harvest is measured by God if it appears to not be enough, trust Him as the Ultimate Source to provide all your needs. Every sleep pattern is charted by Him, if you need more rest seek the Source to obtain it.

God is the closest being near us. It is hard to believe that someone so Great could be concerned or even considerate of something so feeble and finite as man, but He is. The fact that He chooses to be close to a creation who denies, ignores, and even curses Him will always be something that baffles my mind.  A God who would be just in  destroying us CHOOSES to be near. He wants to be so near that he loaned us his breath (Genesis 2:7). It would do our souls well to get to know Him better.

For those who have made God their Lord, the writer reminds us that God is the source of our life and all we will EVER need. The sun like God needs no help in supplying what the earth needs; and El Shaddai (the All Sufficient God) needs no help in managing the affairs of your life. Today I pray we take comfort in the fact there is nothing that we need or will have need of that God cannot give to us. He will never be depleted of strength, wisdom, love, peace, joy, longsuffering, forgiveness, and etc..  He is the ULTIMATE SOURCE, and He will supply all that you need today, tomorrow, and the rest of your life. Now that’s worth Tweeting!!!

Moment of Truth:  Who or what is the source of your life? If you are not sure how to answer, consider this thought: If ______________was taken away I would not make it. The answer to that question will reveal your source of life. If your answer is not God, that is okay! Mine was not either. It was my job which is hard to admit, but lately all my life decisions have been centered around how it would effect my job if this or that happened. Now a few years ago, I would have thrown a I’m a Bad Christian Pity Party for myself after admitting this. But today I am simply going to repent of looking to my job as the source of my life. I am going to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any other things that I have looked to as sources, and I am going to make a decision to start looking to God for all I need. Repent and move forward is all any of us can do! Have an amazing day BEAUTIFUL people.

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star

S-T-O-P!!!

STOP_SIGN

Stop fighting,” he says. “And know that I am God, supreme among the nations, supreme over the world.”-Psalms 46:10 (GNB)

I prefer the Good News Bible translation of this scripture because it makes clear what is meant by “BE STILL!” It means “STOP FIGHTING” and know (trust, recognize, solely acknowledge, and understand) he is God, supreme among nations, supreme over the entire world. All of chapter 46 is dedicated to the acknowledgement of God being with the children of Abraham (Israel and now those who are made righteous by faith) reminding us that in the midst of whatever calamity or catastrophic event, God Almighty is with us. And that is how the Psalmist compellingly concludes “Be Still (e.g. Stop Fighting) and trust in the Greatness of our God. There is no need or point in fighting against Him or anything He permits, just wait a while and things will smooth out again.

So my challenge today is STOP FIGHTING His will for you. Instead of complaining about your position in life, enjoy it as best you can. STOP FIGHTING His will for you to be single and take this time as an opportunity to solidify your relationship with Him and with yourself. STOP FIGHTING His decision to allow the storms of life to blow your way; quit asking for sunshine and allow Him to cover you in the rain. STOP FIGHTING by living beyond your means and allow Him to teach you how to budget, so that you may become the wealthy person you pretend to be. STOP FIGHTING by trying to hold on to people He has ordered to be removed from your life (including family). STOP FIGHTING your future by holding on to your past failures, mistakes, sins, slips, and hard bumps on the heads.  There is so much the Father desires to give and bring to us, but we must first STOP FIGHTING (Be Still) and know that the One who is Supreme among the nations, supreme over the world is truly God and is working on our behalf. It is only when you decide to BE STILL that you will experience the benefits of knowing He is God. Rest from your religious labor, ridiculous rhetoric (long, drawn out prayers), and ludicrous logic and trust the Father to be God on your behalf. Be blessed!-Charity Israel

Photo Credit: https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/183937438/STOP_SIGN.png

No Bread, Just Faith

Jesus answered, It is written:’Man should not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4

“I desire that you become dead to the many other sources of life (i.e. friends, money, and etc.) and live by faith in My word!”  It is absolutely important that as believers that we live by faith. Faith in His word becomes the Divine driving force and the strength of our life during times of adversity. Faith breeds hope and without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith places us in a dependent state on God and causes Him to move on behalf of those who dare to believe. Faith doesn’t get us what we want but assures us that we will obtain what God has promised us when He crafted each of us unto His liking and purpose. Faith seals our salvation because it is that which is unseen; and our salvation or choice to live righteous should not be based on any physical, tangible, or emotional experience. Our salvation is senseless but predicated on our belief that it is so through faith regardless of what we hear, see, feel, smell, or do. Faith is not a matter of receiving immediately but obtaining accordingly to God’s promise and timing. Faith is not for God but for us! It keeps us encouraged as we wait on what God has promised.
The Point:  People keep your faith in God and His promises concerning your life. Don’t allow circumstances, emotions, or anything deter you from obtaining what God has for you. Your faith is necessary to this walk and without it you will faint. I love you all and my prayer is that you will believe the word of God as it pertains to your life. Stay fly, stay focused, and stay faithful to fulfilling the things of God!!!-Charity Israel

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Kill Them Fools

take them out

I have not lost my mind I don’t believe. I just desire that we all come up as believers; and stop getting entangled in the dumb stuff over and over and over again. I believe this one is worth reading, if you’re up for the challenge of Killing dem Fools(A Reflection/Challege from Judges 3:1-4)!

These are the nations that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. 2 He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. 3 These are the nations: the Philistines (those living under the five Philistine rulers), all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the mountains of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath. 4 These people were left to TEST the Israelites—to see whether they would obey the commands the Lord had given to their ancestors through Moses.”- Judges 3:1-4 (NLT)

Our enemies are merely a test to see if we will follow the Word of the Lord concerning a matter. The Lord allowed the enemies of Israel to remain in their land to see if they would do as they were instructed. Their enemies were merely a final examination of whether they would keep their commitment to God, and to see if they truly learned the lessons of their ancestors(v.4). But as we read the text, we discover they failed miserably.

Instead of defeating their enemies as God commanded, they mingled and married the people that would cause their destruction. See they remembered the benefits of the Covenant God made with them (blessings and protection), but they neglected the responsibility of their end of the Covenant (worship and obedience to God). They opted to make their enemies their workers and/or wives all the while expecting God’s favor to be on their foolishness. We believers always critically analyze the sins and foolishness of Israel, when we ourselves are guilty of the same mentality and blatant disobedience to God. We compromise our end of the Christian commitment and desire the benefits of living an obedient and consecrated life. He tells us to let go of a particular person, place, or thing; and we figure if we don’t visit often, call often, or give it much attention we have done God’s will making us eligible for His benefits. Our compromise never constitutes reward, but as it did with the children of Israel, it brings about judgment. In the case of an ungodly relationship, God tells us “cut all ties to the individual.” And we figure we can spare their feelings by staying in contact with them from time to time; sleeping with them every blue moon, or leaving them as a facebook friend. Our personal pleasure with compromising deceives us into thinking that we have done what God said. Then we wonder why it is so painful once the person leaves. It hurts so because we have put all of our strength and energy into something that God said, “NO” too! Sometimes we take it a step further, as the children of Israel, and blame God for our misfortunes instead of admitting our willingness to mingle with the thing that God declared would be our destruction.

I said all of this to say, when we compromise the first thing God tells us we can be guaranteed disaster. Because Israel failed to destroy their enemies, their enemies destroyed them. They mixed what was Holy with what God had cursed. They assimilated to the culture of their enemies and in turn became an enemy of God. My heart in this note is this; DO NOT let your compromise cost you your promise! DO NOT allow the blessings that would have come from defeating your enemies be forfeited because you chose to flirt with the thing(s) God cursed. More importantly DO NOT let the lure of what your enemy presents you blind you from seeing the rewards of war to be obtain if you totally destroyed him versus making a pact with him.-Charity Israel

Challege: I encourage you keep your end of the Christian covenant. DO NOT forfeit Kingdom benefits and blessings for worldly thrills and moments of fleeting pleasures. Fight the good fight of Faith; DESTROY EVERY enemy assigned to your life. NO mingling but TOTAL ANNILIHATION!!! Be blessed and know we can do all things through Christ with strengthen us; and in our moments of weakness, His strength is made perfect. Start fighting!!! (January 19, 2010)

Photo Credit:  http://image.photography5.com/19718565/Games/battlefield-2-modern-combat-01.jpg