Where are you NOW?
I have been on a personal journey as a man...a journey that actually started back around 2014 or so. I have invested tremendous time and study into learning how to build something out of what I would call my God-given dreams and desires and become successful...and the best part of my journey thus far is actually this…(it’s not how good I’ve gotten at some things, or how many new things I’ve learned to do)...it’s that, I feel like I’ve come to understand how to be a better “ME”. I’m still learning - and I’ve still made some mistakes, but I’ve experienced a lot of great wins as well, me and my family have. Most importantly is that I believe God has been teaching me something that has taken me a long time to learn (and I’m now becoming radically different) because God is helping me to count myself as WORTHY!
See, I believe that for a lot of us, maybe subconscious for some, we have this belief that we hold on to that we are just the opposite...that we are unworthy because of mistakes we’ve made in life, our shortcomings, etc. And in a sense we are...unworthy of all that God has given us, because of sin...but, the fact of the matter is, that God HAS given us grace, He HAS given us mercy...Jesus DID ALREADY take our punishment upon HIMSELF and there is nothing more that HE needs to do...what we must do now however, is we must apply and we must appropriate God’s grace to our lives, His power over our situations, enact holiness in our lives and go out and CONQUER!!!
Get this...did you know it’s possible to be a believing failure?
Some people might get mad at me for saying that!
But, it’s true…
You can believe merely only in the idea of Jesus, and because of it, have none of His power at work in your life.
You can believe simply in the idea of Church, and have nothing but religion in your life.
Our walk with God takes PARTICIPATION and it requires INVESTMENT, it takes grit and that’s why the root meaning in disciple is discipline. I’m not speaking legalistic or anything, don’t get me wrong.
I’m just concerned about the amount of change people are experiencing in their lives!!!
Time spent fellowshipping with other believers is not to be a "show" and it’s not about upholding man made rituals. Relationship with Jesus and community with His followers is all about...come as you are, get forgiven, receive grace and mercy, get filled with the Holy Spirit, get healed and set free of your garbage and press into God along with fellow believers who are...just...like...you!
The enemy wants many people to believe that they are the only ones who are as bad off as they feel they are.
God is calling you out! He is calling you out from the past!!!
GOD IS CALLING YOU INTO FORWARD MOTION, NO MORE BACKSTROKES!!!
I find this time and season of our lives in my family to be very interesting and very freeing. As the Lord shows me, I see what He is doing with us and how He is leading us and I’m excited about what the future holds...and not just for my family, but for the entire Body of Christ!
I’m not only telling you all that I’ve said so far as an introduction ...but I’m building up to something, because the title of this message and the REAL question that I want to ask you is this..."Where Are You NOW?”
Where are you?
What have you been up to?
What’s God been saying to you lately?
What’s in your head and heart?
What’s influencing you?
What’s making an impact on your thought life?
Are you different than you were in prior seasons of your life?
Moreover,...are you BETTER than you were in prior seasons in your life?
Has something changed?
Has something risen up to challenge you???
What’s going on?
Are you stronger, are you struggling?
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
I want to point something out to you from Genesis 3:1-13.
The situation here in Gen. 3 is very specific, there are real events that took place, but there is a perspective that I want us to catch from this portion of Scripture, that I believe relates to our lives today and the fits the objective of where I am going in this message.
All the while prior to chapter 3, Adam and Eve had been living in paradise. They were naked and unashamed, they did not have to work or toil for anything. God provided everything to them, for their enjoyment. And they had perfect fellowship with God.
Then, along came the serpent...and all he did really was present Eve with a thought.
This thought got to Eve, because as we read, Eve desired what the fruit God told them not to eat, was able to offer.
Verse 6 says she saw the fruit, that it was beautiful and that it looked delicious and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.
So, she took it and she ate it and she gave some to her husband who was with her.
Then, once they disobeyed God and ate the fruit He told them not to eat, they became aware of something that was actually already true, they just didn’t know it...because the only revelation they had prior to disobeying God, was of that which was good.
But, once they ate the fruit God told them not not eat, the Bible says their eyes became opened and they realized they were naked...and they were ashamed.
See, they were already naked...this was daily life for Adam and Eve prior to their act of disobedience.
And get this...things externally didn’t change right away when they sinned. They did shortly after.
The first thing that changed was what was in Adam and Eve’s minds. What they knew, what they thought...THEIR entire experience of life changed when they disobeyed God.
Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed of being so, from the moment God created them, but as soon as they sinned against God, what was once the “norm”, was now and issue.
BECAUSE THERE IS NO FULFILLMENT APART FROM YOUR PURPOSE!!!
Let me illustrate this for you.
Eve wanted the wisdom she thought the fruit was going to give her.
So, she ate the fruit and gave it also to her husband...likely, expecting a preconceived outcome...that she would have some kind of wisdom, that she did not have beforehand, an experience different than her current life experience.
But, Eve was deceived by the serpent. The serpent, the enemy, placed a thought before Eve, that got her sidetracked.
Because, you see...up to this point, Adam and Eve’s PURPOSE was to tend the garden they were living in and NOT eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden.
When they disobeyed God, they went in a direction that was opposite of the purpose God had intended for them.
That’s when everything began to fall apart.
According to the Bible, the wages of sin is death and, listen to this... being disconnected from your purpose will lead to un-fulfillment.
If we live by the Spirit we will reap the things of the Spirit, but if we live by the flesh, we will reap the things of the flesh.
In this case, Adam and Eve, because of their sin, lost their connection to paradise and life as they knew it and they had to leave the Garden of Eden and begin to toil and work to survive.
Check this out...
Back at verse 8 we read that God was walking in the cool of the day and Adam and Eve heard God walking about in the garden...so they hid from God...because remember, they were now in a different frame of mind. Unfortunately, everything had backfired on them and instead of becoming wise in a manner in which maybe they thought they would be, after having eaten the forbidden fruit...they were now experiencing shame and fear.
In verse 9 God calls out to Adam…”Where are you?”
When I read that it broke my heart because it made me think...if God can’t find me then, obviously I’m lost...or I’m not where I’m supposed to be.
Adam replies to God…"I heard you coming so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked."
I find this part of how things went down to be so interesting. It just goes to show you just how very distorted Adam’s thoughts must have been at this point. Remember...he had already been naked the whole time and obviously God knew that both Adam and Eve were naked...He created them...and He established them and placed them into the life they were living together.
Can you imagine what Adam must have been thinking,...”Oh man, God is going to see me and know that I am naked!” So crazy, right?!!
It was all in Adam’s head though! The deception, the lie he and Eve bought into, the sin they committed...it distorted their minds.
They got separated from their purpose!!!
In verse 11 we see God ask Adam, “Who told you, you were naked?”
You see...the nakedness was not the problem here, the problem was that Adam and Eve got disconnected from their purpose and now they entered the struggle.
I believe that a lot of Christians have the same experience. We are not walking in our purpose the way God has intended for us and therefore, we have an experience in our lives of disconnect and we are struggling.
Some of us are struggling with depression, anxiety, some in their marriages, some in their finances, some in relationships...
But, I want you to be encouraged!
I believe God is saying, “Where are you NOW?”
With love in His eyes and heart He is saying…
Who has told you that you’re a disappointment?
Who told you that you’ll never make it?
Who told you that you’re not good enough?
What’s got you believing that you’ve messed up too many times to be used by God?
What’s got you thinking that God can’t work with your mess?
What’s got you thinking that God can’t turn things around in your life???
What voices have been telling you that you’re unworthy or that you will never be looked at by God as Holy and Faithful and Loved and Forgiven???
In closing, I want to re-share these words with you from my prior post called, "Doing things differently" (the Lord gave me a little tweak to it as well).
Hear the Word of the Lord concerning 2019!
“For I am calling you out says the Lord, completely detached from the past! 2018 was the year of birthing, the breaking of ground into the new (and many of you have experienced intense challenges during that process)...Yet, I say...2019 is the year to plant your tent pegs, for it is the year to take up residence says the Lord, it is the year for you to say, you are finished with the old! 2019 is the year of difference, the year of significant change. For many things will come to completion and some new things will unfold says the Lord.”