Unbelief?

Unbelief?

 Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her. – Luke 1:38 NKJV

Our unbelief hinders our witnessing to the reality of God. We either proclaim our faith or unbelief in the way we respond to God’s Word. We see in Luke how two people responded to messages from the angel Gabriel. He visited Zechariah to announce to him that even though his wife had been barren; she was going to have a child, John the Baptist. To Mary, he announced the miraculous birth of Jesus.  

Zechariah looked at the circumstances first and God second. He focused more on what he knew, his reality. The consequence of his unbelief was that he became deaf and mute for a time. It didn’t make God take His promise back; it kept him from enjoying and sharing the glorious news. Mary didn’t question the actual news that she was going to birth Jesus miraculously, only the how. She believed with a wonder filled, child-like faith and submission to God’s will.  

To overcome unbelief, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and take Him at His word even when we don’t understand how He will bring it to pass. We pray for Him, the author and finisher of our faith, to help our unbelief, known or unknown. We humbly submit ourselves to His Will, His Way, His Word, from glory to glory

Beholding the Glory of the Lord

Beholding the Glory of the Lord

2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Beholding means to pay careful attention to someone or something. It draws our full attention to what is happening or is about to happen. It leads us to comprehend, to know, to grasp what we see and continue to do so as we reflect on it.

We reflect what we behold. When it is Jesus, it shows and our witnessing increases. Our prayer is to reflect His glory, for others to know His reality because of the way He is transforming our lives. 

We do not always take the time to pay attention to the people and situations that surround us. We are too busy or look at things too quickly, assuming we know what they are. Familiarity causes us to walk by sight instead of by faith. We miss opportunities and overlook moments that are treasures in disguise. We waste our attention on our phones, social media, and other focus stealers. When we focus on Jesus, it makes everything else work.

When we behold the Lord, not only are we being transformed, we understand the Word of God with increased clarity and the Holy Spirit stirs up our spiritual senses. Our awareness of His presence becomes second nature, from glory to glory!

Birthing God’s Purposes

Birthing God’s Purposes

Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. – Luke 1:34-35 NKJV

As water breaks when it’s time for a natural birth, so it is for the things of God. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit comes upon us for the birthing of God’s purposes. It was the angel Gabriel’s answer to Mary when she wondered how she could give birth to Jesus when she was a virgin. He said, “the Holy Spirit will come upon you.” It is the same answer for all our “hows?” of the things of God in our lives.  

After the water breaks, contractions, birth pangs, begin. Each wave of pain feels like it cannot get any stronger, but it does. Pushing, the last stage of birthing, takes place. We have no strength to push, yet have to; no breath left, yet we breathe harder; great sorrow, yet great joy. When trials and tribulations seem to overwhelm us, the Spirit of God overpowers us. 

The Holy Spirit helps us reject fear, insecurity, rejection and every opposition to His perfect plan. He coaches us through every push, with love and comfort. Our total focus shifts to the Lord because He is the one doing the birthing. All else disappears. God’s best manifests. We stand in awe, rejoice and prepare for the process again, from glory to glory!  

Accepted in the Beloved

Accepted in the Beloved

Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. – Eph. 1:5 NKJV

It is important to recognize the difference between acceptance and approval. Acceptance pertains to who we are, approval to what we do. We might not approve of someone else’s decision, but we accept them regardless because we love them. When others disapprove of our choices, knowing we are accepted in the Beloved frees us from rejection. God calls us out of rejection into acceptance. 

Knowing and believing God accepts us in Christ Jesus strengthens our spiritual walk. It enables us to accept others. It is only by God’s grace, through His amazing love, that we can do so. We love God because he loved us. Because God forgives us, we forgive ourselves and others. Because God accepts us, we accept others. 

The more we receive our value from God, the less we look for it from other people. We seek to please God, not man, and make decisions from our place of acceptance in the Lord. Even when we do not make the right choices, we trust His love and acceptance remain. He helps us forgive ourselves and teaches us how to choose wisely in the future. We receive His empowerment to move forward, by His grace and mercy, and walk strong in Him, from glory to glory

Led by the Spirit?

Led by the Spirit?

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. – Romans 8:14 NKJV

People and circumstances try to influence us, positively or negatively. We are to be led by the Spirit of God, seeking His influence, His control, His leading to God’s will. When the wrong spirits get involved, the battles can be challenging. To guard ourselves, we must seek the leading of the Spirit of God before the leading of anyone or anything else. God will lead us to what we should submit to through the Word of God and confirmations of His will.

It is a question of authority. The wrong influences affect our Christlike character and try to move us away from our submission to God. It also comes through things that are right in appearance but are not of God. This happens when people follow others who say God told them they should do this or that without checking with God for themselves. Appearances can be deceiving.

We can trust the Lord to reveal what is not of Him when we go to Him and ask Him to lead and protect us. We learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, His fruits above any gifts; His presence before sizeable crowds; the name of Jesus being lifted above any other name. God’s glory is above man’s glory, always. We can influence others to follow Jesus Christ our Lord, above all, from glory to glory!