Engage the Edit Button

 

EDITWhen I was a kid, I would say anything that popped into my head! Initially, I thought this was a great quality while family members thought “cute” when I was young. I thought it was wonderful to just have the freedom to say whatever was on my mind at any given moment. I felt it was liberating and anyone who didn’t share my view was “oppressed” by what society deemed acceptable. I thought my outspokenness was a Continue reading “Engage the Edit Button”

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Club Christian

I consider myself an unlikely activist in the Christian community. I feel especially drawn to shedding light on the unpopular issues that exist within the body. It is evident that we have a plethora of  useless “feel good” preaching. Hollywood is alive and well as shallow leaders perform rather than minister to their flock. It seems evident that there exists a tremendous deficit in life altering truth. This naked truth illustrates to us that the majority of the body of Christ lives in constant limbo. Many have no clue what their purpose is and expect lack luster leaders to fill their spiritual void. It is here I feel compelled to emphasize I harbor great love for the people of God. They are diverse, talented and beautiful. However, many have adopted a club mentality in relation to their walk as a believer. They’ve perfected the lingo, embraced worldly attire, listen to compromising  music, purchased the status quo vehicles and appear at the right churches. They’ve been duped into believing these rituals make them blessed. By trusting in the most popular pastor they deem themselves anointed. If this were true, every unbeliever with similar lifestyles would be heaven bound. There are many people in this world who have no relationship with God yet achieve similar milestones in their lives that often includes wealth. So the inquiry becomes, how do we discern who is really the blessed believer from the passive/aggressive atheist?

Jesus is not a magician.

In order to find firm ground in our relationship with God we must diligently commit ourselves to holy living. Everyone wants miracles, everyone wants to be used of the Lord and everyone is seeking a “fresh” revelation. Seriously? Why do we need to believe for miracles when we don’t believe enough to honestly report all of our taxes to the IRS? If we are kingdom minded believers we must uncompromisingly begin the process of taking full responsibility for our own spirituality. In order to cultivate a climate for miracles, an extreme level of spiritual discipline and maturity has to exist. It will not manifest by depending solely on Sunday morning homilies or mid-week prayer meetings. Sermons and weekly meetings will only supplement our spiritual journey but not the meat.

Change has to be embraced!

Club Christian exists because the spirit of compromise has infiltrated many converts. The hunger for Godly interaction has waned. If we are to see the miracles, signs or wonders our heart has to become pliable before the Father. His anointing of deliverance and healing is driven by love. If we don’t have it, the word says we are none of His (I John 4:20). Miracles show up when our heart mirrors His with an abundance of love and compassion. There is no magic scripture that will help us find a deeper intimacy with God. It happens through a choice we make to get closer to Him. We who claim to “be the church” have fallen short in our directive to love our fellow man unconditionally and need to repent. Once this is done, then we can seek direction in sincere selfless prayer. His provision of Godly instruction will provide directives to get us back on track. An investment of time, individual assessment and a willingness to change must be initiated. This self evaluation will supply an insight as to how committed we really are to the gospel. If this practice is not engaged we must face the fact that we’re not on fire for God at all, just mere unbelievers masquerading as saints.

God shouldn’t be scheduled into our day like an afternoon ball game. He should be the center of our very existence.

The depth of miracles we will witness in our lifetime will only match our level of belief. The unreserved love of Christ must reach believers and unbelievers. In Mark 9:29 the disciples learned that some things will improve or radically change solely through prayer and fasting. The disciples were perplexed because they were unable to cast a demon out of a man. They thought that just their mere association with Jesus would be enough. They thought that their word would be authoritative enough to help but in they end, they were ineffective. Jesus told them what it would take. Praying and fasting is what it takes in this dispensation just as it had then. We’ve heard it said or even said it ourselves “freedom isn’t free”. Indeed, it’s not. In order for miracles and deliverance to happen, someone has to pray into the wee hours. Someone has to fast a bit longer than what is comfortable. Someone has to desire to hear the voice of God. Hanging out at Club Christian with mediocre believers will not yield such results. The kind of power needed to deliver those in the condition of the demonic man in Mark 9:29 will not occur through eloquent, empty prayers or constant pleading of “the blood”. Obligatory offerings or regular appearances at conferences with renowned leaders will not facilitate yoke breaking deliverance either.

We American Christians blame the devil for so much he can actually take lunch breaks! There are some hardships we have to endure and some warfare that has to be waged if we want the modern church to emulate New Testament moves of God similar to those recorded in Acts. We will not always be able to pray everything away and blame the devil. There are some battles God wants us to actually fight which reveals what kind of stuff we’re made of.  Some challenges we face really are tests. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7 believed the stumbling block he struggled with would exalt him above measure. He gladly bore this inconvenience, knowing it would keep his heart knit to the will of Christ. Some adversity will drive us daily to our knees; which is where we need to be anyway. No matter how painful or unfair, some trails we  will just have to press through in our walk with God.

The miracle is sometimes learning that we can walk through the fire and trust God while coming out on the other side.

We can’t find true peace in a thriving church if we linger at Club Christian. Club Christian has only a form of godliness because it is based on human effort. We won’t see miracles trying to attain celebrity on Christian networks or other venues that promise millionaire status. Club Christian is for those who are not brave enough to truly hearken to the voice of God. Now those brave souls who choose to avoid Club Christian and strive do the will of the Father daily are the heroes of the faith. They obey God even when society believes it’s not popular. Let us seek the Lord with a pure heart and mind. Let us return to loving others as much as we love ourselves. If we take the initiative to seek the meat of the word, we’ll find there is no viable place for us at Club Christian.

Be encouraged..…

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Denise Joyce Williams lives in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her first book entitled, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in 2009. Her much anticipated second book entitled “Chambers Of The Believing Heart” is expected to be released in the spring of 2012.

Let God Pull It Out of You

We all have it…baggage. We all have some broken dream, disappointing loss, rejection via unrequited love or abandonment by a loved one to contend with in our lifetime. Our lives may hold some personal triumphs but the thing that holds us back most are the failures. They seem to privately abound within us even more than our public victories. In spite of the pain we endure, the bottom line is this…We need to put away the baggage of our past! Our history, good or not so good seems to follow us around, year after year keeping us bound to an action or a memory. Its only purpose is to constantly remind us of an error we’d rather forget. The hold can become so foreboding that we struggle to face our future with optimism because the demons in our past torment us so. Our talents are smoldering beneath the veil of fear as our past whispers negativity to our hearts. Just having the desire to escape the indiscretions of yesteryear is not enough. We need to recognize our deficit of faith while discovering  the warrior hidden deep within. Action on our part must be implemented to prevail over this malignant spirit whose sole mission is to destroy our hope, our destiny and more importantly our relationship with God. In order to find our place in the body, we have to change our thinking by allowing God to transform our minds.

The confession of our mistakes gives us strength to confront the condemnation we carry concerning former our deeds. When we hide it, we open the door for it to dominate our lives. Under the influence of fear, desperation emerges compelling us to cover up or hide our “sins”. This new taskmaster forces us into submitting to acts that are not pleasing to the Lord. Fear’s partner is pride. Pride coupled with the terror of being found out is the catalyst or reasoning used to justify unGodly actions once we’re driven to compromise. The past now reaches into our present by becoming a tremendous burden that threatens the future. If we truly want to be free from the past or any bondage, we must acknowledge our imperfections to tame the beasts which plague us. If not, it will dictate to us that we’re miserable failures who are incapable of success. We’re then robbed of our self esteem, our peace and ultimately our destiny.

The good news is the past never reveals that failure is the best teacher!

The lessons we learn from not succeeding in every attempted effort are invaluable. It keeps us humble before God and molds us into better human beings. We learn compassion, wisdom and empathy to share with others who need encouragement. It also compels us to re-examine who we are while challenging us to seek a deeper spiritual intimacy with God. Through a relationship with Him, we can determine why we failed in the first place in order to develop a winning agenda for our next endeavor. We also discover where our weaknesses lie so that we can cultivate a confidence bolstering strategy. I love the hope it births!

Through failure, God reminds us that every failed effort is not some shameful exploit.

It’s an opportunity to allow Him to show us the splendor of what we really were designed to be. Failing illustrates how trivial our accomplishments are when displaced from His will. Our goals have to be mirror images of His directives otherwise every pursuit of success on our part will indeed fail. The realization we need to embrace is that any accolade we attain in this earthly vessel is His victory, not ours. Without His constant unction operating in us, we’d never have a divinely purposeful thought or idea. We’d simply evolve into selfish, mindless automatons without vision or  direction. Failure challenges us to seek God for the tenacity to try again. We’re also reminded that the grandeur of anything we aspire to will never be the result of our own ability. It’s merely a manifestation of His illustrious anointing working through each of us.

He pulls the awesome, creative, anointed, illustrious part
of HIMSELF OUT OF US!

We were all fabricated for greatness but only when we discover that our ultimate triumphs reside in Him. Failure is the vehicle that perfects us to our celebrated end. The real blessing is that we are purified for service through the heartbreak of our pain. I encourage you to make the decision to exchange the baggage of the past for a love relationship with the Father. You just might be surprised by what He pulls out of YOU!

Walk in your liberty child of the MOST HIGH GOD…

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Denise Joyce Williams lives in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her first book entitled, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in 2009. Her much anticipated second book entitled “Chambers Of The Believing Heart” is expected to be released in the spring of 2012.

GIVE HIM YOUR ISAAC

 

Last night, my husband and I enjoyed the symphony with friends. As we watched, I was mesmerized by the melodious sounds resonating from the stage. Each musician was precise, accurate and totally engaged in their work. Every ounce of their discipline was evident as their offering of harmony delivered to our audience one perfected piece after another. In our lives we can see a mirrored scenario. We each harbor thFreeWomane potential to offer beauty in any endeavor we pursue. God offers us success, but after our journey in Christ commences we have to grow spiritually in order to wisely manage it. Without maturation we become a stagnant, useless carcass unable to fully manifest His glory among men in the earth. There are many zealous believers that desire to be used mightily of the Lord but in order for this to occur, there is a process of preparedness that has to be completed. In Genesis 22, Abraham was in the process of being re-constructed. He was on the cusp of being spiritually challenged in a way he never expected. In this look at Abraham, most believe God only wanted him to offer his son Isaac as a test of loyalty. The passage illustrates obedience to God in the midst of what human discerning may deem illogical direction. While this is definitely one perspective, God revealed something deeper concerning this conundrum to me.

In order to remain in a place of spiritual flexibility, we need to regularly be made uncomfortable! The reality that God places us in such situations may not be popular but is indeed a fact. Abraham fell into a place many of us find ourselves amidst. He was complacent. He served God, observed the holy days and offered the appropriate sacrifices when he was required to do so. He trusted his “safe” spiritual place yet his routine actually worked against him. Oh how we are more like him than we realize! We attend the worship service, pay the tithe, hear the sermon, wonder what restaurant has a dinner special and repeat the process the following week. Our God is a God of progressive change yet believers desire an ordinary seasonal predictability that offers false security. When God directed Abraham to offer his son Isaac for the sacrifice, he was shaken from his place of comfort and catapulted to an area he’d never known. Extreme faith! Abraham knew that the law of Moses offered him only judgment if he didn’t obey. However his blind obedience didn’t challenge his faith. Committing scripture to memory didn’t’ do it either. He needed something more. More than ritual, he needed a relationship with the Lamb.

Genesis 22 presents us with the ideal that the body of Christ has to endure a periodic agitation. If we are looking for the miraculous in our daily lives, we have to submit to an abrupt, sudden and permanent change in our spiritual thinking which is orchestrated by the Father. Our “Unknowing” will lead us as it did Abraham to a place of abundant faith. Abraham moved in his extreme faith when he said in verse five that he and the lad will go worship then return. He didn’t know if God would resurrect Isaac or continue to require his son to remain the sacrifice. All he could comprehend was that his humanity which is representative of wood is fallible. He knew somehow, someway that God would not let him down in relation to his son which he now perceived as the sacrifice. His child was the perfect offering before the Lord at that moment. This type represented Jesus’ death for all of humanities sins. Even more perfect than Isaac’s child. Isaac, in his quest to find the spiritual perfecting he needed, he had to give God his Isaac so he could discover the Lamb.

In verse six the question arose, “Where is the Lamb?” If we desire God’s perfect will we have to surrender our Isaac and find the Lamb. Just as the musicians who performed for me sought perfection through repetition, we too must repeatedly seek God in the realm of massive, unwavering faith. This will only come through allowing Him to place us in uncomfortable situations so that we can believe for more than we ever dreamed possible. This can only occur for us once we’ve attained grace from God through His Lamb.

If the church is to make a broader impact in the world and persuade the lost, we need to be ready to give up our safe places that offer us monotony. These are our Isaac’s. It encompasses those spiritual hiding places of hindrances or feat that challenge our growth. We can not continue to forsake the initiation of intimacy if we desire mammoth faith in Jesus. Any other misplaced confidence in our ability only encourages us to depend on ourselves instead of God.

As the symphony drew to a close the question again resonated within me. What is your Isaac? What is that sure thing, that carnal connection which I always know will come through for me? What do I always depend on that is not Christ? The body of Christ needs to realize a new dispensation is here just as Abraham had. The miraculous will not happen with believers hiding in the shadows with the fear they will offend someone with their salvation. It will not happen if we keep pacifying ourselves with church work nor will it happen through pretending to be full of wisdom. Our goal as believers is to show the world a more radical place of belief; not hide in the pews. We should be able to illustrate to the unbeliever that we have all power on earth to fulfill our prophetic assignment. Just as the musicians, we must be precise, strategic and totally engaged in the work of the Lord for the perfecting of the saints. Every ounce of our disciplined living should be evident in all the areas of our lives offering harmony to those around us.

What is your Isaac? If you yearn for more out of your relationship with God, let Him exacerbate your circumstances to propel you to a broader place of faith. Give Him your Isaac and watch God use you in a mighty way in the body of Christ.

Be encouraged child of the most high God~!

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Dr. Denise Joyce Williams lives in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her articles have been featured in CALLED and WOW magazine. Her book entitled, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in March 2009. The book can be found: http://www.publishamerica.com. She can be reached via her ministry website http://www.thebrokenvessel.com. She’s currently penning her next book entitled “The Chambers Of The Heart”.