I’ll Bet You Didn’t Know This About Yourself…

This post is dedicated to a true warrior of the Lord – Rhonda, who goes from “divine appointment to divine appointment” and I’m so glad I was one God scheduled you to meet. YOU are a TRUE member of God’s Called Remnant. This post was inspired by the Sister you are…

  I’m about to tell you something you may not already know… If you have made Jesus Christ Lord of your life, if you have given your life to Him, you have a new identity.

(At the moment that you are reading those words, I trust the Holy Spirit is playing the Superman theme music into your head). Now I want you to do three things… Ready?

If you are not already standing up, get up onto your feet. Come on! You can do it!  Rise up!

Now that you have risen up, stand with your legs apart and place your hands on your hips!

Raise your chin up and try to look majestic because YOU are a warrior for the Lord. Oh yes you are! I kid you not!  When you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you also received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and that was your seal of superhero dome.  YOU are a super hero for the Lord.

Oh yes…. YOU have been accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven and you are now officially a superhero for the Kingdom of God. Yep! YOU are part of God’s Called Remnant!  Mightier than a Marvel Superhero!  And if you allow yourself – you will surround yourself with other Superheroes that God will align you with because YOU are part of the body of Christ!  And you have a significant contribution to make in His name!  And the only one that you stand accountable to – is the LORD!  Your instructions come from Him!

Visualize this – on the outside people just see the person that you are. Your character, the things that the world defines as who they think you are.  Just as Superman and Supergirl and all the superheroes you were taught of as a child have disguises.  YOU are disguised in your every- day persona life.  What they don’t know (unless you choose to reveal it) is that a change has ensued and now you have a calling on your life.  YOU are called to live a victorious life.  You are called to intercede for those who are walking in darkness.  YOU are a SUPERHERO for the Lord.  Your weapons?  They are so much more powerful than any that you have read about as a child.  YOU have the Word of God!  You have the power of prayer!  You have ministering angels and warring angels encompassed all around you.  As long as you remember WHO YOU ARE IN HIM you can wield your weapons with great strength!

And as you do, it is important for you to remember that “It is not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit.” Says the Lord.

Oh we can do nothing in and of ourselves. It was never us.  It has always been Him!  And ol’ slewfoot and his dominions know that with God’s power behind you, YOU are a force to be reckoned with!  And that is why it is important for you to remember a few things:

  1. Pray without ceasing! Even as you go through the mundane task that seems to take precedence over us doing the every day tasks in our daily life. It can be annoying when all you want to do is bask in the word of God and in the presence of His Holy Spirit – but Superhero! But there is work for you to do! Rise up!  God has a calling on your life.  YOU have become part of the Called Remnant!  God is calling you by name. (Isaiah 43:1) He has plans in store for you! Plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) and more importantly – plans to glorify His name!  (Are you surprised? Did you feel as though you had no worth? – THAT is one of the biggest lies of the devil.  When God formed you in your mother’s womb I can picture Him excited over you!  Speaking promises over you!  Delighting you!  You are a work of art! YOU are created in HIS image! (Genesis 1:27)  He has called YOU by name! (Isaiah 43:1)
  2. Read His Word! The Bible tells us to “study to show ourselves approved” (2 Timothy 2:15) – That really is not for God’s benefit – it is for ours! The Bible also tells us “that man cannot live by bread alone.” (Matthew 4:4)  In order to grow in Christ and to know the fullness of our promises and also to learn from what others have gone through (Oh yes – those are REAL people just like you and me that you are reading about in the Bible!)  You need to immerse yourself in God’s Word.  The beauty of that is it is really God’s love story for His love for YOU.  As you read God’s Word you will grow and the Holy Spirit which resides inside of you will bring those words and promises to your remembrance as you read it.  You will hide God’s Word in your heart.  I cannot tell you how often I hear the whispering of the Holy Spirit bringing forth what I have read to the remembrance of my mind when I have needed it most!  Also the Bible tells us that God’s Word is a double edge sword! (Hebrews 4:12) You will NEED this as you go forth on “divine” appointments that God will set your life.  It is your greatest weapon!
  3. Sweet Fellowship – Link arms with those who God puts into your life – He has not called you to be an island. You are a Warrior for the Lord.  Those that He places into your life He may just place for a season or for the rest of your life.  You never know!  But you can bet that the people He places into your life will help you grow!  And will help them as well!  There is a saying that I saw a few months back that has made me laugh!  “You are either a blessin’ or a lesson’” And that is true of the people that you will encounter in your life!  Pray that God will give you the wisdom to be able to recognize which one they are!  Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my walk  over the last 30 years has come from spiritual growth.  Be open to all that God has for you!

The realization that God has called us to be his earthly “superheroes” is one that came into my mind while I was in the middle of a work meeting. There was the person who was conducting the meeting speaking, and all of a sudden as I listened, he started to sound like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons.  “Wahhhh wahhhh wahhhhhh!”  And all of a sudden everything in that meeting faded in the background as I came into the realization that one day all earthly things WILL fade into the background and all that will remain is the spiritual realm – which really IS our reality.  The Bible tells us that “only what you do in Christ will last.” The devil has blinded the eyes of humanity to thinking that reality is what they see before them – in the world.  The news, events – but the truth of the matter is what is going on BEHIND those events.  Not what you see with your earthly eyes.  Ask God to open up your spiritual eyes to see clearly so that you can function affectively in the spiritual realm.  Jesus is our example. 

As I sat there I had the realization that I was annoyed… I was annoyed because ALL I wanted to do was to bask at my Father’s feet and enjoy Him and I felt as though having to go through all the daily life things that I had to do was an annoyance from what I really wanted to do.  Then God revealed it to me that underneath my wordly persona – a wife, a mother, a worker and all the titles that go along with our life – was a superhero for him.  And I almost wanted to giggle as He made me think of Clark Kent hiding his true identity behind a pair of glasses and a business suit – only it was me as the world knows me.  But any of those people who REALLY know me know that behind the every day grind and daily duties that make up my life is a superhero (and at this point He showed me ME ripping off my daily clothes of which behind I am clothed in my spiritual armor as described in Ephesians 6:10-18).  My head covered with “the helmut of salvation.  My breast covered with the breast plate of righteousness.  Around my waist the belt of truth.  My feet shod with the preparation of the gospel.” (Again as in Ephesians 6:10-18) Heck! I am a Wonder Woman replica for the Lord!  (Okaaaaaaay, maybe that is a bit of exaggeration but you get my point!)

What does the world see when it sees you? What is it that you see within yourself?  Because truth be told – YOU are God’s earthly superhero!  So now it is time for you to jump up, back straight, legs a shoulder’s with apart, arms on hips, head held up, chin high.  YOU are a child of the MOST HIGH GOD – royalty!  You represent the Lord if you call yourself a Christian.  Get in tune with God.  What is it He wants you to do this day? Listen… Do you hear the cries??? Those are souls that need saving!  Hear that?  It is the Holy Spirit prompting you WHO to pray for! Where to go! What to do!  Open up your spiritual eyes to see and your ears to hear!  God’s got work for you to do!  Go in Him! Go glorify His name!  The world needs God and He’s sending you!

 

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God Said it – Believe it!

“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

Everything within us is connected.  We are made up of a body, spirit and soul. They are connected.

The body is our outward package which houses the spirit and the soul.

“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

 

The  soul connects our mind, will and emotion to our physical heart and is what makes up our personality. The soul not only is connected to our physical body (which is like a container, because the body houses both the soul and the spirit which are intricately  woven together.) but also goes hand in hand with our spirit.

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

The spirit – is the very core of who we are and houses our need and dependence upon God.

“and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

Those who are spiritually blind and have not come into this spiritual awakening are constantly trying to fill this void with other things (i.e. approval from people, addictions, money, prestige, etc.) The Bible talks about the “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) Which only occurs when one comes into the knowledge of their salvation and the spiritual blinders are removed.

 

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The body as one grows older, goes through transformation, one passes from babyhood to childhood to adulthood.  Parents refer to this as “growing pains.” Just as our body goes through “growing pains” so does our spirit and just as we feel them within our body as we grow in Christ, God stretches us spiritually as well.  This stretching grows our trust and our relationship with the Lord and it can feel painful.  But spiritual growing pains are what help you to mature in your walk with the Lord.  God desires us to go deeper with Him.  Part of that requires dying to our self. And as we daily choose to die to ourselves (our will, our emotions, our desires) and choose to grow in Christ (His will, His desire) we flourish in all three body, soul and spirit.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Growing pains  can hurt – be it physical or spiritual, but the end results create maturity and also helps us to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord.

As long as we have breath in our bodies and desire to grow in Christ we will experience spiritual growing pains.  The older we get in Christ the more we are able to look back on our walk with Him to see where He has taken us and to share our growing experiences with others that God brings into our lives.  We are able to extend our right hand of fellowship to those who might be at a different spiritual place of growth than we are, which glorifies the Lord and encourages someone else that they are not/have not gone through what they are experiencing alone. 

We are beautifully and wonderfully made by a God who has loved us beyond anything our minds can comprehend. Let us love Him with everything He has made us to be, body, soul and spirit which is the reason we were created in the first place and in doing so we fulfill our true purpose in Him.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

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Pardon Me, I Should Have Begun with My Testimony

When I was a little girl – I would go with my parents to the summer cottage in the Cape.  Oh how I loved to kick my shoes off and feel the heat (or the coolness depending on the time of year) of the sand under my toes.  There was a rocky pier that I would go out and sit on and think.  And oh how I loved the spray of salt water that would sprinkle me whenever a wave would crash against the boulders of the pier.  We would go usually in the Fall.  A time when the cottage would be empty of renters and people. How I loved the quiet solitude of those days.  I think even before I became a Christian at 21 I was always a “thinker.”  One of the first introductions I had to “God” was the book – “Are You There God?  It’s Me Margaret.” By Judy Blume.  On the brink of womanhood I read that book and I learned soooo much. I began to “talk to God” – “Hi God, its ME – Kelly.”  Growing up in a predominately Jewish neighborhood the daughter of parents who were agnostic they never forced a “religion” upon us.  We were free to explore and learn and choose.  I started going to church by myself when I was a teenager.  I felt something “lacking deep inside of me.” A need to feel closer to God. I chose a church that had solar windows (I thought that was cool). I would go by myself Sunday after Sunday – but the Reverand of that Church only spoke of the history of the Church. There were “prayer books” in the pews but I didn’t understand them (there were no Bibles in the pews). The people were kind enough – but still something was lacking deep inside of me…

Ever since I can remember – I wanted to be an actress.  Since the age of three. Talent shows, musicals, plays, make believe – whatever involved theatre – I just had to be a part of. I knew when i grew up I wanted to be an actress.  There was no doubt, no changing my mind – that was it.

When I was in College I was the only Theatre Major in a school filled with women that were going to be teachers.  It was an all girls college – I had been told that I would be able to take my theatre classes at Harvard.  Not sure who it was who told me that – but it ended up not being true. Talk about a square peg fitting in a circle setting.  I didn’t see the need for college – I wanted to get an agent, head out to California and begin to act.  Oh how wise I thought I was at 17. How little I really knew.  However – again, there are times we go through things for a reason – even if we don’t know what that reason is.

I loved my father (my earthly father) very much. But he was very strict.  It wasn’t until I was a freshmen that I discovered MEN!  And ohhh the men that would come to my college because it was an all girl school! I became a sweetheart (little sister) to a nationwide Fraternity.  Parties galore – studying?  What was That?? I even tried to pledge a sorority – but was appalled by the things they did to us while pledging and couldn’t possibly consider someone who spent weeks and weeks tearing me down during the pledging process being someone I would WANT to call sister when it was said and done.  My whole pledging line – quit.

How interesting it is to see how the Lord allows things to form – to set up things that occur to sometimes bring you closer to Him.  While on my way to a pledge meeting (before I dropped out of the line) my sister pledgers and I were walking down a semi-tough section of town.  I had grown up in an expensive part of town – so I wasn’t familiar with this neck of the woods.  A man was running towards us – not to us – but in the same direction.  In his hand he had a gun.  Another man was running after him.  Yelling, “He robbed my store!” We quickly got out of the way and someone (I think called the police).  We continued walking to the Sorority Sisters House we were expected to appear at.  But I was crying and I was trembling.  It really shook me up.  Three weeks later – I was at a “under 21 club” with the same group of friends.  A fight must have broken out within the club and someone yelled in the darkness of the club “He’s gotta gun!!!”  Again I was in the midst of unfamiliar terroritory and worse – caught up in a stampede of people trying to get out the exit door.  And yes – it was just like what you see in the movies – when you see cattle charging for whatever reason… How weird it was to feel oneself being pushed along with the crowd everyone scared and wanting to get out as quickly as possible.  For a young woman who had not witnessed anything violent – these two experience shook my foundation to the core.

I have lived a very sheltered life, you see.  I’m not ashamed of it and I love my parents for all they tried to shield me from.  But when i faced things I wasn’t familiar with it was like a genuine culture shock to my system. It absolutely terrified me. I felt small and vulnerable…   Shortly after that time – my grandfather died.  Now in a Portuguese family the grandfather is really the head of the family.  I loved my grandfather.  We had a very dear and special relationship.  And although my family will laugh and probably each of us grandchildren will say the same thing “I was his favorite.” (Of course I’d be the only one telling the truth… Winking at you).

When my grandfather died – I was at the end of my rope.  There HAD to be more than just this.  It was at this point I was approached while waiting for the bus one day – by a certain cult we are all very familiar with and I shall not name. They asked me if I wanted to study the bible and I agreed.  I began to study with them – much to the dismay and fear of my mother.  She was so fearful that she made an appointment for me to meet with the Reverand of the Church I had gone to by myself as a young girl.  She even went with me to talk with him. He sat behind his large cherry wood desk and began with the religious stain glass windows behind him.  Smiled at me calmly and said – “So Kelly, your mother tells me you have questions for me?”  And I did indeed.  You see the cult I had been studying with had prepared me for this conversation.  I turned to him with my first question and I asked – “Do you believe we are descendents from Adam and Eve?”  He looked at me and said (this is the truth) “Well, I don’t really know… We could be descendents from Monkeys for all I know.”  I looked at him and blinked.  I asked him my next question – “Do you believe that there will be a judgement day?”  He looked at me again and answered “Could be… Could be not.. We may all be blown up in a nuclear war – who knows?”  I looked at him astonished and I grew even more confused. I felt like why was he a Reverand if he didn’t believe things that were key to his Christian faith?  At any rate – the meeting with him made me determined not to go back.  But an interesting thing began to happen.  Although I had not become a “member” of this cult – I did continue studying with them and as I did – i became fearful.  They were causing me to separate more and more from my family and my parents and my brother meant the world to me. I felt.. uneasy… So I finally told them I wouldn’t study with them anymore – and Ohhh how ANGRY they were.  And at that point – since I wasn’t a Christian yet – my response was what anyone with a Portuguese temper would be – PISSED.  And after she told me where she thought I would go – I told her what she could do with her little book.  And from that point on – I determined in my head that my relationship with God – would be JUST THAT. My relationship with God.  No one else’s business. It wasn’t until a couple of years later – when I transferred over to another University and they were having a fleamarket day – I was inbetween classes and walking around looking at the different booths. I came across a table with something called – tracks on it. a girl my age was sitting behind the table. She asked me if I wanted to talk about God.  I looked at her with an eyebrow raised and said firmly – NO. She indicated to me that she was a member of Campus Crusade for Christ of the Intervarsity Fellowship program at the school and I was welcome to join them for prayer or Bible study early in the morning.  I looked at her, blinked and said… “Ahhhh… no…” And kept on walking.  How odd it was that a few weeks later I had gotten into school early.  I wandered around the university and found myself outside of the chapel.  I went inside so I could “talk with God” by myself.  I felt an emptiness inside of me and no matter what I tried to fill it up with – auditions, Shakespeare, Plays, partying, friends, men – there was an emptiness deep inside of me.  I felt as though there had to be MORE to life than just THIS.  Along came “Julie” the girl I met on the fleamarket.  She came quietly and sat beside me and said, “I’ll leave if you want me to – but it might be helpful if you share what your feeling with someone.”  And so I did. I shared with her all of what you have just read and she told me she wanted me to meet the Director of the Intervarsity Fellowship Program, would I come back tomorrow?  The next day – I came back.  It was early morning.  Students were gathered around in a circle reading from the Bible. There was only one seat left – available.  It was next to this very tall, very slender waayyy older black woman.  I looked at her and thought “Good for her! College is for any age!” And I sat down next to her.  The reading was over in a few short minutes.  Julie approached me and said, “Hi Kelly! Glad you could make it! I want you to meet the Head of the International Varsity Fellowship Program. She turned to the woman next to me.  Who smiled at me warmly gave me a big hug and said with a wonderful southern accent.  “Praise the Lord Kelly! Ahhh have heard all about’cha. I’m sooo glad you came to join us today…”  She looked at the little red book I was carrying in my arms.  You see – the foundation the cult had set in me was still there.  Because no one had ever taken the time to share the Bible with me.  Sarah looked at the book and asked me if she could see it.   I handed it to her.  “She flipped through the pages with a knowing smile.  She glanced up at me and she said… “Ahhh have one question for you.”  Her beautiful dark brown eyes looked at me wisely.  I looked up at her thinking about that Reverand I had met with and I smiled.  Ready for her to be as much as a pushover as he was. She paused for a moment before she continued. “Who wrote this book?”  My face crumbled… Such a simple question.  Unexpected – and yet there I stood not knowing the answer.  Feeling like a fool because there I was believing these beliefs and NOT knowing who’s beliefs I was believing in.  I may be many things – but I’ve never been a stupid woman. I’m much smarter than people think… But in this circumstance, my face crumbled and I began to cry.  I felt alone, I felt confused and I felt very, very lost.  Sarah looked at me compassionately, took both of my hands in hers and said with her musical southern accent, “Kelly, ahhhhh wanna tell you about someone who loves you very much.” (I glanced up at her wondering if she knew one of my fraternity brothers…) She raised my chin with her finger and said, “His name is Jesus Christ. ”  (Now you have to remember – I grew up in a predominately Jewish neighborhood.  Wonderful rich culture. And while I had learned much about the Jewish faith – I had never learned about Jesus.  He was more like a “Christmas fable” to me).  Sarah began to tell me about how Jesus had died on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.  How he would never leave nor forsake me.  How He defeated sin and death by His victory over the cross by rising again.  She told me that it wasn’t “church” or a “building” that would save me.  She told me she wouldn’t “make me” go to a certain church. She told me that all I had to do – was to believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus was Lord and I would be saved. I didn’t see what difference it would make, so i went over the Sinner’s prayer as that goes something like this: 

Dear Father,
I now believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son, that He came to our earth in the flesh and died on the cross to take away all of my sins and the sins of this world. I believe that Jesus Christ then rose from the dead on the third day to give all of us eternal life.

I honestly didn’t know at the time what a difference that prayer would make in my life. I had NO idea what was taking place in the spiritual ream while I prayed that prayer. And I also thought to myself – “Lord if you are REALLY REALLY REAL – I need you to reveal yourself to me.”  Sarah gave me a Bible.  She had indicated to me – that I could go out to any Christian bookstore and buy a bible myself.  I think it was important to her that I realize that I wasn’t being “forced to learn something, join something or go somewhere” to be close to God.  You see when someone has a cult type experience its important that they not feel “pushed” into something.  I was overly cautious and very appreciative that she was not “making me join a certain church” although she encouraged me to find a church where i could worship and have a body of other believers around to support me. For the first six months of my new Christian life – i didn’t join a church.  I hungered for the Bible.  I couldn’t read enough of it.  Learn enough about Jesus.  The Apostles – the stories in the Old Testament.  I understood what I was reading.  I fell in love with the Lord.  His Word I hung onto deep within my heart.  You see – its not about being “religious” its about having a “personal relationship with the Lord.” One where you can be REALLY REALLY REAL.  And the most wonderful thing about it – is that He in turn, is REALLY REALLY REAL right back at you…  All of that was 22 years ago.  So hard to believe how quickly time has gone.  I have learned soooooo much – but I have yet sooo much MORE to learn.  That is the most amazing thing about being a Christian – you never stop learning, growing in Him.  There is a peace that passes all understanding.  And its not something I can describe to you because the Bible says – “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalms 34:8).  Its like trying to describe to someone who has never seen – what the color “blue” is.  You can’t.  But once you know Him – you really do realize that “He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.” 

As I indicted in the beginning of my blog – I don’t have all the answers… I am far from perfect (especially during THIS time in my walk) but I can point you towards the One who IS Perfect… His name is Jesus – and while people will disappoint you all the time – HE NEVER WILL.

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