The Sin of Job…”Woe is Me”

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This the first time I have given myself over in Lent truly allow the Lord to do surgery upon my heart and have his way in me. As it is a time of purification as the Lord draws you nearer to produce holiness.  He mentioned it would be challenging and how it has been to say the least. As he been showing me many hidden sins within myself that have been a hindrance to what he has called me to and to holiness. He has allowed many test and trials which I seemed to fail right after the other because of the same vices. I began to get frustrated, discouraged and found myself in self pity as I was thinking but Lord I have done all you have asked, I have done this..and that and this…and holy spirit continued to give reading in Job during my time of communion. As I finally realized he was pointing out one major hidden sin which was the sin of Job, the “woe is me sin”. The sin of Self Righteousness and Self Pity.

Job 32:2-4

So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him. 

If I can be honest many times I have heard of the story of job and read the last chapter but not the entire book and I never quite understood why his friends were reprimanded by God or understood why Job was severely chastised by the Lord. It was God who told Satan that he was righteous Job 2:6-22. However, as you see in Job 31, Job goes on to tell his friends all the sin’s had not committed to be worthy of this suffering he was going thru. Which sounded just like me when the Lord would reveal another hidden sin I would go on this rant within my heart regrading all the the sins I hadn’t done because it was utterly despondent  to find myself falling into sin everyday. Until, the Holy Spirit began to show me it is my Self righteousness that causes me to go into self pity when the Lord allows more suffering or reveals sin because there is nothing I can do within myself to ever be clean before him. It is Christ righteousness that makes me clean and therefore whatever he allows I deserve because he took the worst punishment which was death. Which I never have to taste because of what Christ has done.

I was humbled to say the least and really began to see the depravity of my immense pride that still lingered now in self righteousness and contending with the Lord by going into self pity when he allowed these ever fiery trials as I deserved his consolation or relief. He has been truly teaching me what it means to be a “living sacrifice” and to be yielded in “Total Surrender” which means to be a wounded prisoner of his love. Suffering with Christ and as Job finally stated “if he slay me, yet I will praise him” (Job 13:15). I believe the Lord is looking for us all as believers to come to that place of maturity that though he slays our flesh yet we will praise him! For many of us we are not willing to suffer or even surrender in suffering because we murmur, complain, get discouraged and worse go in self pity thinking we don’t deserve what the Lord is allow which will lead us all into self righteousness.

 

However, the Lord is faith and even though he is sovereign and he has divine providence over each our lives with whatever he allows which is always right and just. He is a good good Father as he has been reminding me in this season of Lent. That although this process of purification is painful and challenging he promises to restore. Always that nothing we sacrifice or endure is without merit in due time if we don’t give up. He is faithful to restore, establish and strengthen us. Just as Job, whose later days were far more glorious, joyful, fulfilling and fruitful more than the former. So my friend lets continue to endure and say yes to Jesus to whatever he ask of us, whatever he takes from us, and whatever failures we face. We say yes to you Jesus, we thank you for your righteousness that you clothe me us with and  give us he grace to rejoice in our suffering in Jesus name!

-From Jesus with Love

 

Job 31

What Can I Expect from God?

31 1-4 “I made a solemn pact with myself
    never to undress a girl with my eyes.
So what can I expect from God?
    What do I deserve from God Almighty above?
Isn’t calamity reserved for the wicked?
    Isn’t disaster supposed to strike those who do wrong?
Isn’t God looking, observing how I live?
    Doesn’t he mark every step I take?

5-8 “Have I walked hand in hand with falsehood,
    or hung out in the company of deceit?
Weigh me on a set of honest scales
    so God has proof of my integrity.
If I’ve strayed off the straight and narrow,
    wanted things I had no right to,
    messed around with sin,
Go ahead, then—
    give my portion to someone who deserves it.

9-12 “If I’ve let myself be seduced by a woman
    and conspired to go to bed with her,
Fine, my wife has every right to go ahead
    and sleep with anyone she wants to.
For disgusting behavior like that,
    I’d deserve the worst punishment you could hand out.
Adultery is a fire that burns the house down;
    I wouldn’t expect anything I count dear to survive it.

13-15 “Have I ever been unfair to my employees
    when they brought a complaint to me?
What, then, will I do when God confronts me?
    When God examines my books, what can I say?
Didn’t the same God who made me, make them?
    Aren’t we all made of the same stuff, equals before God?

16-18 “Have I ignored the needs of the poor,
    turned my back on the indigent,
Taken care of my own needs and fed my own face
    while they languished?
Wasn’t my home always open to them?
    Weren’t they always welcome at my table?

19-20 “Have I ever left a poor family shivering in the cold
    when they had no warm clothes?
Didn’t the poor bless me when they saw me coming,
    knowing I’d brought coats from my closet?

21-23 “If I’ve ever used my strength and influence
    to take advantage of the unfortunate,
Go ahead, break both my arms,
    cut off all my fingers!
The fear of God has kept me from these things—
    how else could I ever face him?

If Only Someone Would Give Me a Hearing!

24-28 “Did I set my heart on making big money
    or worship at the bank?
Did I boast about my wealth,
    show off because I was well-off?
Was I ever so awed by the sun’s brilliance
    and moved by the moon’s beauty
That I let myself become seduced by them
    and worshiped them on the sly?
If so, I would deserve the worst of punishments,
    for I would be betraying God himself.

29-30 “Did I ever crow over my enemy’s ruin?
    Or gloat over my rival’s bad luck?
No, I never said a word of detraction,
    never cursed them, even under my breath.

31-34 “Didn’t those who worked for me say,
    ‘He fed us well. There were always second helpings’?
And no stranger ever had to spend a night in the street;
    my doors were always open to travelers.
Did I hide my sin the way Adam did,
    or conceal my guilt behind closed doors
Because I was afraid what people would say,
    fearing the gossip of the neighbors so much
That I turned myself into a recluse?
    You know good and well that I didn’t.

35-37 “Oh, if only someone would give me a hearing!
    I’ve signed my name to my defense—let the
        Almighty One answer!
    I want to see my indictment in writing.
Anyone’s welcome to read my defense;
    I’ll write it on a poster and carry it around town.
I’m prepared to account for every move I’ve ever made—
    to anyone and everyone, prince or pauper.

38-40 “If the very ground that I farm accuses me,
    if even the furrows fill with tears from my abuse,
If I’ve ever raped the earth for my own profit
    or dispossessed its rightful owners,
Then curse it with thistles instead of wheat,
    curse it with weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job to his three friends were finished.

 

 

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Living To Die…. Becoming A Laid Down Lover of Jesus

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(amazing photo credits: Kevin Carden Photography)

Unfortunately, the christian life especially in our generation has turned into giving your life to Jesus for what you can get rather than laying down your life for Jesus to become just like him. God calls us all as Christians to a higher purpose, a higher standard of living, and a higher standard of love if we would only yield ourselves to it. However, many times we hear the statement…”Christ died so that you may live” when in actuality “Christ died so that YOU may Die and HE may LIVE”.

Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

That’s truly is the call of any disciple of Jesus Christ. In scripture there were crowd of people who followed Jesus just for popularity or to follow the latest sign/wonder. Then their were many who called themselves disciples but fell away after his teaching became difficult or he asked more of them then they were willing to give. Hence the rich young ruler, or the young man who wanted to bury his father (Mark 10:17-27). Lastly were the 12 chosen disciples who were chosen by God to follow him all the way to their own crosses. Each giving their lives for the gospel and being martyrdom besides one, John. Interestingly enough when I gave my life to Jesus I told him with such passion and boldness that I was all in, I mean I told him not only would I live for him, give my life to him but I would die for him if it came to it. That I would never leave him and want to give all that their is for the sake of the gospel….pause ( doesn’t this sound exactly like what Peter said to Jesus lol…I am so a Peter I tell you)

Matthew 26:3-34
Peter said to Him, “Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you, Jesus declared,“- this very night before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 

So I stated this to the Lord boldly really believing I was called to martyrdom in the last days End times army. A soldier who would give her life up for the gospel and die for Jesus!!…sounds so heroic right lol Then the Lord plainly spoke to me last November with such authority and said “Nana I never called you to martyrdom BUT YOU WILL DIE THAT I MAY LIVE”. That statement alone shook me to the core when I heard the Lord speak those words to my heart he really meant it. Not sure which is easier dying in a moment of passion for the sake of the gospel or giving up yourself safe daily and dying to yourself. As you allow the Lord to continue to crush your pride, selfish desires/motives, reactions of the flesh, remove comfortabilities, and call you to a lifestyle of becoming just like him. As Paul stated

 1 Corinthians 15:31
Every day do I die, by the glorying of you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord:
I have come to realize you can gracefully die that’s by you yielding to the Holy spirit in obedience and holiness or you can fight all the way as the Lord kills your flesh….yup sound about right lol. So what does a crucified life or being a “a laid down lover” look like? Is a bride of Christ who is completely dead to themselves, completely void of their own wants, preferences, opinions and completely abandoned to Gods will. A bride who rejoices in their suffering, trials, inconveniences, pains, tribulation and trials knowing that God has allowed it and if so will turn it for their good. A bride who doesn’t live for the earthly pleasures but lives for the rewards of heaven. A bride who wears a crown of scorn and contempt. Who is criticized, mocked, despised, rejected and persecuted for pursing righteousness, who is judged and misunderstood for walking in obedience. A bride who responds always in love, not defending themselves, not looking for the approval or moved by the criticism of others, one who is meek, lowly and little in their own eyes. A bride who yields his/herself daily in obedience to the Holy Spirit in every decision seeking only what will please the Father and no one else. A bride who is climbing the mountain of holiness with her beloved Jesus Christ picking up their cross daily and following him wherever he leads. That’s how the disciples of old lived their lives not loving it unto death and I believe that is how the Lord is calling his last days remnant church to return back too. Return back to hands not only open to receive from him but hearts that are fully surrendered with hands opened to be pierced to the cross with him.  Am I there yet no, but I have given myself totally to this call by the grace of God that I may be a living sacrifice for our Jesus. I hope you do the same too
(speaking to St. Faustina the stations of the cross)
Jesus:
Do you see these souls? Those who are like Me in the pain and contempt they suffer will be like Me also in glory. And those who resemble Me less in pain and contempt will also bear less resemblance to Me in glory
-From Jesus with Love

Choosing Jesus Or Choosing Nana: The Fight Of Self-Denial

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(Pic credits Kevin Carden website http://www.christianphotoshops.com)

I have found to walk with Christ takes two decisions, first confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that he is Lord which seals your salvation then…..( the part which majority of us believers struggle with) to DENY YOUR FLESH completely in total surrender that He may live. Which I have come to realize is day by day, decision by decision to choose Jesus rather than to choose Nana. I don’t pass the test every time but the longer I am walking with Christ the more apparent that call seems, the quicker I find myself willing to sacrifice my desires for his…Now I didn’t say easier lol Don’t be mistaken it is hard but dying is never easy.

I had given my life to the Lord at a young age but I hadn’t given him my life. So when the Lord called me to surrender my life 3 years ago I hesitatingly did.  Not realizing it would be the greatest, most amazing and difficult decision I had and will ever make. However, I began to get rhemas from the Lord asking for “total surrender” and I would wonder hmmm Lord I have completely surrendered, (or so I thought) I don’t get it.  You have my heart and my life is yours now. Not realizing he wanted complete control of my time, my body, my money, my plans etc….you name it He wants it all. So many times as believers we declare God you can have it all, whatever you want, my life is yours but do we really mean that and are we willing to live a sacrificial, crucified, hedged in life , denying ourselves every worldly pleasure and living only for the perfect will of God?? I would say many Christians don’t , especially in our generation and in our western Christianity.  I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me these words:

“In this generation we call obedience legalism and holiness religious”

So true! I remember being so frustrated at times because I slowly started noticing as I walked with Jesus there were many things other Christians could do but I couldn’t. For the life of me I couldn’t understand it. I thought the christian life was suppose to be fun with Jesus! lol No, the Lord was like is “your called to be holy and pure for me”. So I have found myself many times making plans, having personal desires and them being completely adverted because Jesus has plans for me as his bride to do instead. So i have been learning to submitted to my bridegroom.

One instance was two days ago, where I found myself weary at my moms house with all my nieces and nephews over. The day felt like I was taking care of a day care lol. I was unable to get any work done really and wanted to get away. Just then a friend from my Kenya team reminded me of  get together they were hosting at their home. Watching the Avengers movie and eating snacks. So having a strong desire to go, I first wanted to make sure it was okay with the Lord first so I asked him for a rhema I got “Sickness” . Now when I get scriptures about that either I am asking for healing or the Lord is saying my mind is sick, I have come in agreement with wrong thinking…hmmm. So having a slight nudge he didn’t want me to go and would rather have me spend time with him. I thought I am not sick (like I didn’t know) and went anyway lol. As soon as I got in front of their house a song came on the radio guess what the Lyrics where ” There is a sickness in the world where people are looking to fill the void but can only be filled with Jesus” All  I could do was laugh, I was like nooooo. Jesus I am already here (the Lord can use anything to talk to us by the way). Then the second song came on lyrics ” Lord help me to listen to what you tell me to do”. I reasoned with the Lord saying, moms house is crowded where can i go to spend time. Then the idea came to mind to go to my sisters place, she was out of town for  trip so would have the place to ourselves. So with my face in my palm, I looked up looking at the inviting house, movie, fellowship and snacks or leave and head to my sisters. I had a decision to make….To Choose Jesus or Choose Nana. Nana, wanted to have escape, have fun and relax with friends and Jesus wanted to escape with me, have fun and have me relax in his heart…… (with a sigh ) lol I said yes, Lord. I chose Jesus (that is all by his grace)

I made my way to my sisters apartment and there I had 3 hours of the most awesome and intimate time with alone in her walking closet. I left feel at peace, no longer burdened, loved and feeling full of purpose. Jesus has called me and if not all of us to a life of TOTAL SURRENDER . We must understand it takes our permission for the Lord to complete His work in us. He is a gentleman, he wont force his will on you but will you yield to his? Jesus has asked me to live a life denying myself of  the news, of movies, of TV, of Entertainment. of certain food, of sweets, idle time wasted hanging out,  many worldly pleasures, worldly comforts and live on the bare necessities which come from him alone just to name a few.  It feels like a tug of war every time but, God is so gracious and patient with me lol. He has me hedged finely and I am learning to appreciate that rather than complain. I get asked many times lately about intimacy with Jesus and I always tell them one of the many components to walking with Jesus so intimately is to deny yourself, not all at once. The Lord works with us all in stages and by layers, its one day at a time waking up to say I choose you Jesus today above my desires, my plans and my comforts so will you  make a decision and choose Jesus every time? Ask him for the grace to make you willing to be made willing!

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

-From Jesus With Love