It's OK to be honest.

In fact, honest words spoken with an attitude of trust show real faith. Confessing the truth does not make one without faith - 

I believed, even when I spoke: "I am greatly afflicted" 

or as the Amplified version puts it, 

I believed [and clung to my God] when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.”

Paul echoed these words in regards to his own sufferings - 

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak ...

We despair, we are perplexed. Paul confessed these things in the spirit of faith. I have a cold, I'm feeling depressed, I'm afraid. Those who are honest among us will admit to these things, not because we lack faith, but because our faith rests not in our words or declarations, but in the God who raised Jesus from the dead. That is where our faith must rest.

I was visiting with a sweet, elderly believer recently. She's often said to me, "I just don…

M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed a film called, "Signs" which was released in 2002. The backstory of the movie was around a priest who had lost his wife and his faith. As the story progresses we see events come together that would eventually restore this priest's faith and seem to indicate that the miraculous can happen in life. In the movie, evidence after evidence pointed to (I'll say) God working things together to guide and prove himself to this priest. Thus the title, "Signs". That's my synopsis of the movie anyways - if you've seen it, you may have gotten something totally different out of it!

Signs can be used to indicate the presence of something existing. They can also be used to point to or explain something. Signs are an important part of the Christian life - please let me explain.

We do not follow signs - that can lead to disappointment and deception. Our faith is not in the miraculous, or in the wonders, or in the signs. Our fai…
Unlocking the Heart of God

As the tribe of Israel was preparing to enter the promised land, a census was taken at the command of the Lord to count those who would be eligible for war; every male twenty years and older. An army was being built, and the land was being divided and given to the tribes of Israel - the more warriors, the more land; the fewer warriors, the smaller the portion. You could say, the inheritance was divided according to the strength of each tribe. 

Zelophehad, from the tribe of Manasseh, had five daughters - not eligible for inheritance, not eligible for war. I wonder how Zelophehad felt having only girls during a time and in a culture where sons were the desired gender. I wonder if his feelings had anything to do with the fact that he named one of his daughters Noah. Maybe not. But maybe. 

When Zelophehad died, his daughters were left with nothing; they were not qualified for an inheritance because they were not sons. So what did Noah and her sisters do? They sough…
What if I told you that all of your debts had been cancelled? That speeding ticket, the monthly car loan that never seems to go away, the seemingly insurmountable thirty year mortgage; erased, forgotten, taken off the books. No more debt. What would that feel like? What would you do? Buy another house, borrow more money - or treasure the freedom freshly bestowed upon you?

Many of us dream of having more money. Increase supply, decrease debt. But what if the possibility of debt was no more? Try to envision a place, a world, or let's call it a dynamic, where debt and abundance swap. Debt becomes little and provision goes through the roof.

Placed upon us are legal demands, law and consequence. We incur debt because of legal demand. The law demands that if you speed, you pay a fine. If you charge an item at the store, you pay for it, sometimes with interest. Steal, murder, commit adultery; some debts are heavier than others and some of the fines we pay are not just monetary.

But what if…
We could solve a whole world of problems if we knew who we were; if we were confident in what God says about us. But for many of us, there is brokenness, disappointments, wounds, failed dreams, and let-downs from the people of God. So many things that tell us who we aren't and shake our confidence.

Like arrows, we've felt the wounding words, lies from the enemy of our soul, lies that have kept us bound to this earth. These words have brought us to a place of complacency instead of to a place of vigor and victory. Oppression hangs over us like the feeling we have after overeating at Thanksgiving. It weighs us down and keeps us out of full commission. And that's what the enemy wants.

But God speaks something different. He forms our trials to shape us and grow us, to build compassion and integrity into the core of our being. Instead of saying, "This thing is killing you", He says, "Endurance develops maturity of character [approved faith and tried integrity] and…

True and lasting breakthrough doesn't originate with us. It is not us pushing through something to get to something. True, powerful, and lasting breakthrough originates with God and ends up in us; it is when God lights our darkness, opens our eyes, and breaks through to our heart. Paul's breakthrough came when Jesus revealed the great truth to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you." Gideon's breakthrough happened when the Lord assigned Gideon's identity and then showed himself great. Personally, my breakthroughs have come when the Lord walked into my dark closet and turned the light on; and that light slowly filled the room, bringing truth that set me free - free indeed.

Freedom can be viewed from at least two perspectives. One is freedom of justification, when one is declared free from the consequences of their crime. This is when we, as believers, are declared not guilty - blessed is the man whose sins have been forgiven. Secondly we find freedo…
Do not touch.
Do not come near.
Do not even look.

These were the commands given to those who were to carry the furnishings and articles for the tent of meeting, the tabernacle in the wilderness, God's desert dwelling. The children of Israel had been rescued from Egypt, and now they had become sojourners, wilderness travelers led by the smoke and fire of God. Their place of worship was a mobile temple and it was holy - dedicated to the LORD.

When it was time to move locations, strict instructions were given for the process of how that was to be done. Only Aaron and his sons were allowed to pack the furnishings, utensils, dishes, lamps, and so forth. And once they were packed up and ready, they were covered. No one else was allowed to touch, approach, or look on these holy things. And if someone did, the result was death. The message was clear, God is a holy God and the result for breaking His commands was severe.

And today, God is still holy. There is none like Him. He is beyond our com…