Wednesday, May 20, 2015

An Invitation Extended

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”Revelation 4:1

I'm reading a book called the Hallelujah Factor, it's the second time around. It describes the importance and even the imperative state of worship that I must be in. God is worthy of praise and praise makes a way for God to work! Hallelujah!

The description of Satan needs to be highlighted so we can see how much God inhabits our praises (Psalm 22:3) and how much Satan despises it.

A created being made to worship God. He has not always existed, he was created like everything else God has made. His task was to worship God, but when pride settled in, this creature decided he wanted not only to be like God--he wanted to be God.

The bible describes him as having precious stones that adorned him and his body was so that even every moment produced if you will a sound (Ezekiel 28:12-17) that brought worship to God who sits on the throne and is forever praised.

As we move forward we see Satan fall (Isaiah 14:12).

We have been created by God to worship him. It's the creation made in HIS likeness (Genesis 1:27).

I'm going now straight to the Throne Room of God (Revelation 4).

John the Apostle who has been exiled to the Island of Patmos has received a revelation from God that is part of this great manuscript that God has left us; we find his testimony in the book of Revelation.

This is what the Lord revealed to me.

I wondered what John was feeling, what emotions and thoughts were going through his mind. Was John ever depressed at times or in despair; did he wonder about the other disciples and their demise? He is alone on this island. I assume fishing alone must have reminded him of the time he walked with Jesus. He walked with Jesus, saw him beaten, crucified, and put in a tomb. He saw him resurrected, walked and ate with him again and saw him taken into glory. Could he still be despondent?

I wonder this because we all go through times that are challenging. We hold on to the promises of God and search within to cling to hope.  

There is a Door, take a peak. Hallelujah!

John sees a door that compels him to enter. This door was not closed but beckoned him to come in. As John takes a peek and walks through this door he sees things that were even difficult to describe. He sees creatures and elders bowing before the Throne; flashes of lighting and thunder; the sound of praise being lifted up to the one who sits on the Throne. 

You see, this throne is not empty---on it is a King who's Kingdom has no end!

I have often heard this scripture quoted with many who have elaborated on it. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). What the Lord ministered to me is that the Lord gave John a revelation that he wrote down for us to read over and over again. This door that was open, John got a glimpse at EVIDENCE that the invisible world is REAL!

See, John who was alone and afflicted has now seen the invisible Kingdom that is the reality that we hold on too. This prisoner has now been encouraged one more time. 

Hold on John, I'm coming again (Acts 1:11)

Therefore, if I find myself downcast, if my countenance has been afflicted and Satan has come to bring discouragement and torment, I MUST remember that the same open door that John saw is available to me. I take my focus off this temporary world and look to the invisible which is my reality and begin to praise my God. I join all creation to bring God glory! 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6). I have been reminded one more time that praise releases my God to work; to cause my focus to shift; to cause every part of my body to bring God praise. 

It's not Satan who stands before God in worship. No, it's me the one created in HIS image; the one that was redeemed by his precious blood. The child that was rescued and given a new song to sing. 

Who will separate us from the love of  Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)


When life seems difficult, when Satan is trying to steal my joy, I am reminded that God himself, the fullness of who he is lives in me! 

I will praise him with all I have. 
The invisible Kingdom that is eternal is what I will fix my eyes on! 
This world that I see with my natural eyes is fallen and temporal. 
God is eternal and is worthy to be forever praised!

Walk through the door--there's a celebration going on!

The invisible it our reality!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

All Aboard?

To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear.
The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. Jeremiah 6:10 (NIV)

It's a bumpy ride.  You can sit or stand and it will still get you there.  I often chose to look out the window even though it was dark and I could see very little.  Periodically a light would shine and I would get a glimpse of my location.

I was a fourteen year old girl riding the NYC subways.  I would have to get up early to ride the IRT line of the subway to reach my destination.  While some students could role out of bed and walk to their High School, I had to take the train to get to the Brooklyn Bridge stop in Manhattan. Just thinking about the trains reminds me of the subway musty scent.  If you grew up in the city you know what I mean. Can you smell it?

I remember I would station myself in the front car of the train where the conductor was.  Living in the South Bronx for me meant extra caution.  I figured if I was closer to the authority on the train, I would be safer.

As I engaged my eyes and looked out the front door glass of this moving train I could see the tracks.  I sometimes could predict the next stop based on the old shut down stations that we would pass by.

I remember the ride like it was yesterday.

As the train traveled  it seemed to me it was always going straight. Then without much warning green lights turned red.  This conductor would gently reroute this 10 piece passenger train. Well actually, sometimes the turn was sharp and would remind me what those silver handles were meant for.  To hold on! Where is he going?

The tunnel is dark; a few sparkles of white lights could be visible from time to time.  The traffic signals in this tunnel changed causing the conductor to strategically go in different directions until he got me to my destination.

What if life is like this?  What if there is a Conductor steering my life?  What if in the darkness there is a glimmer of hope?  What if I am convinced that the road I am on is truly correct and then a red light appears? What if I ignore the "do not enter" sign that warns me to stop and re-evaluate my route?  Will I run through the red light and not heed caution? 

The Bible tells us many stories of God warning his people but they did not listen.

He knew the way to the Promise Land!

Will I miss the shift that indicates go this way or the red light that yells "stop & change course?"

God is always trying to get our attention to keep us on track.

Often he will bring up the bright red light to indicate STOP but we keep going. He warns us because we are in sin and not obeying his directive.  Warnings because he knows best.  

In his love, he will exile us; have us wander in the desert, a place that is dry, where fruit can not grow. He'll send us to Egypt and allow us to go back to our own devices; he'll send a whale to get our attention and ultimately he'll send his Son to the cross!

Imagine if I knocked on the conductor's door and said, "hey, you are going the wrong way".  That would be ridiculous! After all he has been given the task to bring me to the Brooklyn Bridge station safely. He knows the way!

There is One who leads and is THE ONLY WAY!  

Sometimes I find myself waiting on life's platform not sure which way to go.  There is One who loves me, his name is Jesus and will stop at nothing to get me to my destination. Even in my failures he still finds a way to put me back on track if I allow him. 

I decided long ago to hang up my "conductor's hat" and allow the Great Conductor to steer my life.

He knows where I need to go and how to get me there.  The dangers of this world and the evil that lure me have been intercepted!  The tracks have shifted and my life re-routed.

This straight and narrow road has been designed for me.  I traded up for the One who knows where I need to go.  All aboard?  

Everyone gets an opportunity to ride with this Conductor, don't miss yours!

God bless you!~Liz


 Acts 9:32-34 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas,...