Does patience make you see red?

Well, does it?  That could be a good thing.  Seriously.

Here in America “seeing red” is another expression for being angry or bad tempered.

How can that be a good thing – because it is actually a red flag that your patience is something you are trying to manufacture rather than putting on the gift of patience that our Heavenly Father gives us in Christ.

This was an eye opener for me.  Don’t know about you.

As the apostle Paul writes:

But hope does not involve what we already have or see.
For who goes around hoping for what he already has?
But if we wait expectantly for things we have never seen,
then we hope with true perseverance and eager anticipation.
Romans 8:24-25 – The Voice

Does that not sound like a set-up for a situation that would require patience?  But, isn’t it possible if you are hoping for something you may also be a tad bit worn out and frazzled, finding patience hard to come by?  I know in my journey as I wait for my complete healing from Fibromyalgia, that is often times the case.  Not to mention waiting for answers to prayers for the ones that I love.

So yesterday morning I go for my morning walk, and this little guy below is waiting for me in the field in front of our subdivision.  Rather unusual in a town of 90,000 people.

What’s even more unusual is this is not the first time I have seen him.  He has also been waiting in my yard several evenings the past few weeks when I pull in my drive way.  He sits nestled into a mulch pile starring at me as if I’m interrupting his rest.

OK, Father – I know You are trying to tell me something.  What is it about this little red fox that keeps “popping up” in my life that I need to know?

My answer arrived later in the morning when I opened up BibleGateway and this was the verse for the day.

Clothe yourselves therefore
as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives),
[who are] purified and holy and well-beloved
[by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by]
tenderhearted pity and mercy,
kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways,
[and] patience
[which is tireless and long-suffering,
and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].
Colossians 3:12 – Amplified

Where do we get such “clothes” to put on?

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
    my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10 – NRSV

Do you see it?

Everything in Colossians 3:12 and Isaiah 61:10 is what we receive by what Christ has done for us.  We are new creatures that are both human and God dwelling in one being. Before Christ – there never were such creatures.  (2 Cor. 5:17).  It’s not something we do or manufacture, it is who God has made us in Christ, clothed with all that He is.

Back to my original question – does patience make you see red?  If so, take heed of that “red flag”, or maybe as in my case a red fox :) , that if your patience does not come with good temper it is self-made not God provided.

Let yourself off the hook for trying to create in your own life what God has already provided for you by forgiving yourself.  Joyfully come into agreement with our Heavenly Father that in and of ourselves we do not have the power to endure whatever comes with good temper.  Be thankful He is not asking us to manufacture such patience of our own accord.

Invite Him to wrap You in his garments of salvation and robe of righteousness that includes all that His name tells us He is  … Merciful, Gracious, Slow to Anger and Abounding in Loving Kindness and Truth (Exodus 34:6).

Sounds a lot like Colossians 3:12 doesn’t it?  Not surprising.  He made us in His image. (Gen 1:26)

The next time patience makes you see red just stop and say “Thank You Lord for revealing me to me.  I surrender trying to manufacture patience.  Be the patience in me that is Your gift to me and part of Your plan and purpose to make me more fully into the image of Your Son and my brother, Jesus.”  (Romans 8:29).

Why me?

That was my question as I watched the news last night and learned of 21 christians beheaded by ISIS for their faith.

Why would the God of all creation want to be bothered by my needs for things like heat in the middle of an ice storm when there are individuals being martyred for their faith?  A sense of shame started to creep in that I had even had the audacity to ask for help.

The thoughts were barely finished when the red flag went up.  Shame does not come from my Heavenly Father, rather His Word tells me I am blameless, above reproach and before God in love (Eph 1:4).  Jesus has purchased that reality for me at great cost.  Everything I have learned about Father God, know about Him and continue to learn about Him tells me His desire is to interact intimately with every single life (Luke 12:7) and that He is more than enough to do exactly that (Job 42:2).  How utterly amazing You are Heavenly Father!!

What better tactic to separate us from the very One with whom we need to be continually interacting and co-laboring to release His kingdom of heaven on earth (Matt 6:10) than to cause us to withdraw out of a sense of shame.

Do not succumb to the bully’s tactic of putting a wedge between you and the very One who desires and can cause you to …

Arise, shine, for your light has broken through!
    The Eternal One’s brilliance has dawned upon you.
See truly; look carefully—darkness blankets the earth;
    people all over are cloaked in darkness.
But God will rise and shine on you;
    the Eternal’s bright glory will shine on you,
a light for all to see.
Isaiah 60:1-2 (The Voice)

Oh, and don’t let the “worthy” card mess you up either.  That’s just another enemy tactic because it’s not about being worthy.  It’s about God’s purpose in all of this … He’s done it all for His sake because He is soooooooo incredibly passionate about you and to have relationship with you.

So let’s get this clear:
it’s for My own sake that I save you.

        I am He who wipes the slate clean
and erases your wrongdoing.

        I will not call to mind your sins anymore.
Isaiah 43:25 (The Voice)

Nowhere in the bible can I find that if God supplies my needs, it takes away from His supply for anyone else.  He is infinite.  He has no beginning and no end.  There is always more of Him.  (John 1:1-5; Rev. 21:6)

Take heart.  Draw nigh to the Creator of all and co-labor with Him by praying His very Word back into this world to release heaven on earth. (Isaiah 55:11).  Ask and keep on asking!  (Matt 7:7).

So back to my original question “why me”?  Because my Heavenly Daddy says so!

All that "white stuff" is not snow.  It's 2 inches of slush that froze solid and was then covered by 1/2" of ice.

All that “white stuff” is not snow. It’s 2 inches of slush that froze solid and was then covered by 1/2″ of ice.

Click on photo for full-size image.

Sign on the dotted line …

Have you ever asked someone “Do you believe me?”

How did they respond to you?

What was your response to their response?

I’m guessing if they doubted you, your response might have been hurt, anger or frustration with a little  “why don’t they respect me” in the mix.

Where am I going with this?

Every moment of every day our Heavenly Father is asking that very same question to you and to me “Do you believe me?”

Like Abraham – our Heavenly Father shows us what is impossible and tells us “this is what I have for you, do you believe me”.

  • continuous, uninterrupted fellowship with Him because of what Jesus did, not because of anything we did or will do (Rom 4:4-5)
  • our every need supplied according to his riches in glory (Phil 4:19)
  • being blameless, above reproach and before God in love (Eph 1:4) “just-as-if-I’d never sinned” (Rom 5:9)

From that place of absolutely no conflict or discord between each of us and our Heavenly Father we get to live every moment of every day.  That is our launch pad to co-labor with our Heavenly Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit to release the kingdom of heaven on earth (Matt 6:10) until this place is as wonderful as heaven.

How?

By signing on the dotted line.

Faith is my signature and your signature on the contract ratified by the blood of Jesus.  It is an acceptance by both “parties” of sufficient payment for my “just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned” standing with my Heavenly Father.  I’d never seen that before this moment …. faith is my signature — agreeing with and appropriating the promises of the Father as true and as mine, fully paid for, irrevocable.

The terms have never changed, it was the same for Abraham as it is for you and me (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3).  Faith is our signature to take ownership and have put into our account what otherwise would be impossible for us to have.  Such a deal … such a reason to hope.

Faith Is My Signature.001

The Joseph Effect

Does this scenario sound familiar?  You receive a prophetic word either from someone or through a dream of how God sees you or God’s plans for you then within a very short period of time thereafter, the exact opposite transpires in the natural.  (Aside: my understanding of prophecy are words that encourage, edify and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:3)

That’s happened to me 3 times in the past few weeks.

I was having shall we say a “lively discussion” about this with my Heavenly Father to the tune of “what’s up with this” fueled by doubts such as did the person speaking to me hear correctly, did I interpret the dream correctly, did I mis-interpret what appeared to be circumstances aligning for God’s provision accompanied by disappointment in either my actions or the actions of others towards me that seemed diametrically opposed to the message I’d received.

With the caveat that this may be on the verge of TMI :), I share with you that one of Holy Spirit’s favorite times to speak to me is when I’m showering.  It’s like the natural of act of the water washing away the grime of the world and being completely exposed and authentic opens a connection in the spiritual realm for the same to occur.

As I toweled off after a shower, that is when I heard it “the Joseph effect”.   My profound response was “Huh”?  I heard it again “the Joseph effect” followed by seeing Joseph in the bottom of a pit, left to die by the very brothers he had recently seen in a dream bowing down to him.

Ohhhhh …. Joseph had a choice.  Give up on the 2 dreams God had given to Joseph of His plans for him or hold on to those dreams/promises through years of an up and down roller coaster ride to arrive at the dream’s fulfillment.

The phrase “nip it in the bud” just popped into my thoughts and with it the image of Barney Fife from the The Andy Griffith TV show.  When Barney didn’t want something to happen that was his response “Nip it, just nip it in the bud” before something ever had a chance to take root and transpire.

Barney Fife Nip It In The Bud

Hmmmmm …. sound like a possible game plan the enemy may have for you and me, joints heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)?

We can choose to hope in the truth that God’s word contains within it the very power necessary to accomplish itself (Luke 1:28-38) accompanied by God’s faithfulness to complete the work He has started in you (Phil 1:6).  Or, we can capitulate to the enemy’s “nip it in the bud” scheme, i.e., the Joseph effect.

It’s a moment-to-moment, day-after-day choice that is before us … to hope or not to hope.  It is not for the faint of heart.

As we enter this New Year … I offer these 2 quotes to encourage you to choose to hope and turn “nip it in the bud” on the enemy himself:

This is what the Eternal One says,
the One who does the impossible,
the One who makes a path through the sea,
a smooth road through tumultuous waters,
The prophet appeals to a powerful memory: the exodus.
He reminds God’s people—all descendants of slaves in Egypt—
how God liberated them from oppression,
how God devastated the powerful army that pursued them
in order to take them back to the whip and lash, back to servitude in Egypt.
Stories of the exodus have been told time after time for many generations;
they are permanent fixtures in their minds.
The prophet evokes these amazing memories
to comfort them and assure them that what God is about to do
is like what God did do for their ancestors centuries ago.
Eternal One: Don’t revel only in the past,
or spend all your time recounting the victories of days gone by.
Watch closely: I am preparing something new;
it’s happening now, even as I speak,
and you’re about to see it.
I am preparing a way through the desert;
Waters will flow where there had been none.
Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 VOICE

Quoted from Bill Johnson’s teaching 8/18/13

“Nothing will be impossible with God.”
Nothing is two words.
No and the word thing is the word Rhema.
Rhema is a freshly spoken Word of God.
It is different than what is in print.
It is the voice.
It actually carries with it the implication that it is the voice of God that you hear.
So it says no freshly spoken word of God will be impossible.
The word impossible means: without ability.
So it can actually be translated like this:
No freshly spoken Word of God will ever come to you
that does not contain its own ability to perform itself.
The Word of God comes with ability.
It is the Word of God that carries ability.
It is the Word of God that carries divine capacity to perform itself.
Your part, my part is the tender heart,
it is the yieldedness, it’s the embracing, it’s the protecting
.
Mary modeled this beautifully.
The Mother of Jesus would ponder these things in her heart;
she would stop and meditate;
hover over; protect these words and guard these words that God had given to her
through the shepherds, through the wise-men etc.
She guarded them, she protected them, and savored them,
she went over them over and over again.
Why?
Because those were words that needed fulfillment
that she couldn’t bring about,
but she also didn’t want to miss her opportunity.”

Who is this Christmas Gift?

Hope Joy Peace.001In the quiet of early morning, sitting in the light of my Christmas tree I am so drawn to the wonder of the light shining out of the darkness.  For me it is what the composer, John Sullivan Dwight, of O Holy Night  wrote “a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn”.

That is what my heart experiences as I sit here …. HOPE … a light in the darkness of a very turbulent world right now.  It reminds me over and over and over there is a light that shines through the darkness that can never be quenched (John 1:4-5).  From this place I heard the Holy Spirit speak the Name of this wondrous light as given to us in Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I felt compelled to dig deeper into His Name and here is what I found in the Hebrew:

Wonderful –

wonder, marvel
hard to understand thing
wonder ( of God’s acts of judgment and redemption)
something wonderful, admirable, miracle of God
admirable, distinguished

Counsellor

to advise, consult, give counsel, counsel, purpose, devise, plan
one who consults for, i.e., cares for, protector
mighty
a mighty hero, soldier
strong man, brave man, mighty man

God

mighty hero
God with us
the strong among the mighty
The Everlasting
perpetuity, for ever, continuing future
ancient (of past time)
for ever (of future time)
of continuous existence
forever (of God’s existence)

Father

a bringer up, a nourisher
bestowing his benefits like a parent

The Prince -

prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain
chieftain, leader
vassal, noble, official (under king)
captain, general, commander (military)
chief, head, overseer (of other official classes)
heads, princes (of religious office)
elders (of representative leaders of people)
merchant-princes (of rank and dignity)
patron-angel
Ruler of rulers (of God)
warden

Of Peace  — Hebrew Shalom

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
completeness (in number)
safety, soundness (in body)
welfare, health, prosperity
peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment
peace, friendship
of human relationships
with God especially in covenant relationship
peace (from war)

So who is this Christmas Gift ….

He is a wonder, a marvel, a hard to understand miracle of God that triggers within us admiration and wonder as we see revealed the essence of our Heavenly Father’s heart towards us in His choice to send His Son in order to extend His favor, love, mercy and kindness to each of us instead of judgment.  The One who cares for and protects each life as He counsels us with the purposes, devices and plans our Heavenly Father has for us to prosper us and not to harm us; to give each of us hope and a future.  He is a Hero able to fulfill the desire of every human heart to be loved and the desires of our Heavenly Father towards each of us.   He is a brave, steadfast soldier never forsaking us.  He is the strongest of the mighty.  There never has been or will be a time He does not exist nor will there ever be any one or thing greater than He.  As a loving parent gives to a cherished child, He nourishes and blesses all who will receive Him.  He is The Ruler of Rulers whose reign and presence provides completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, quiet, tranquillity, and contentment to permeate every spirit, soul and body; our relationships with each other; and, our covenant with God.

No wonder the soul felt its worth at His coming!!

That is my wish for you this Christmas – for your soul to know its worth and to experience the thrill of hope.  Here’s my expression in song of that wish.  My thanks to my sweet husband for being my recording engineer.

All situations

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It’s literally been a month since I’ve posted.  The reason may seem strange to you … it certainly has felt that way to me.  It’s because I made an exchange with my Heavenly Father … I gave Him my thoughts … Continue reading