Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Inhale

Have you ever been standing next to someone and as you inhale you can smell their fragrance? 
I have a very strong sensitivity to scents.
I only like specific perfumes. Strong perfumes can quickly cause my head to pound.

When I was young, I remember my dad gifting me a perfume during Christmas. I remember it came in a beautiful box along with other makeup products. I felt so grown up. His purchase came straight from Macy's. For me that was a big deal. To this day if I smell that perfume, it'll bring me back to my early teenage years.

Later, as I grew older, I made my own choices and purchased the scents I liked. We can choose what we smell like.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. “Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. Do not pour it on anyone else’s body and do not make any other oil using the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. Whoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from their people.’” (Exodus 30:22-33)

Exodus reminds us of the Lord’s specific instructions regarding the Tabernacle. There was a recipe involved in the anointing oil. A recipe not to be duplicated for common use. Oil was on the tent, in the ark of the covenant, on the table, and on all the articles. Could you imagine walking by the Tabernacle? The aroma would have been captivating.

Often in reading the Old Testament we wonder why all the specifics. It's a Holy God trying to teach us in our brokenness and need for the Divine.

As I grew older, I got married. My husband also purchased perfume for me. This scent has remained in my collection for daily use. It reminds me then I am loved. My husband also could recognize my entrance in a room by just inhaling. (As long as someone else does not have my perfume on. That would be awkward!)

Unlike perfumes we purchase today, the anointing oil was different. It was sacred. They were consecrated and set apart. The fragrance testified that these men were chosen to serve the Lord.

Today there is a new fragrance upon my life. I have surrendered the stench of death for a new aroma, the aroma of Christ. His life poured out for me and on me.

Everyone has a scent. We are either like Aaron and his sons who are consecrated for the service of the Lord with a distinguished, handpicked perfume from the Lord. Or we just smell like everyone else blending into the futility of this world.

The Tabernacle instructions were specific. Today the Lord Jesus extends an invitation to wear the fragrance of his choosing. A fragrance purchased by his very blood that we would be a distinct people.

Salvation and redemptive life, it has a specific presence. Or at least it should! His death was not in vain. It is a gift that we open, receive, and apply. It's not from Macy's! It comes from the very heart of the Father who has loved his creation and wants us to be his.

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16a)

Inhale and breathe. What does it smell like to be around you?
If you don't like what you smell like, go take a dip in the River of Life!

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, August 30, 2021

It's Loud!

I’ve been thinking a lot about life’s hurdles and opposition. Sometimes my mind’s thoughts can 
be so strong and shadow the TRUTH that I know!
 
I use the word shadow and was very careful. Lies can’t obscure God’s Truth. Oh, for a short time it may not seem clear but as I pursue God there is an unveiling that occurs. Overwhelm may say that lies have overcome and won. 

But praise the Living God who is constantly reminding me of His Word. He is a lamp unto my feet and my source of life, direction, and victory!

Who is my enemy? Sometimes the enemy has a face and that’s all I see. But there is more! “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

A couple of nights ago I was reading a Psalm in God's Word and though I was struggling I kept saying, “I don't have an enemy chasing me like the psalmist wrote about.” Then the Spirit of God who teaches me all things and speaks to me as I am quiet reminded me the source of the fight, of the stress, all the troubles of this world stem from one source.

From the beginning of time the enemy of my soul has brought confusion and especially doubt. Once we begin to entertain whether what God says is true we are about to tread on shaky ground. Go back to Genesis and see what happened to Adam and Eve.

We have 66 books that God has left us as a resource for this life. Skim through the pages and sometimes it seems like it's not applicable to us. Perhaps we're not listening and allowing God to remove the veil that at times obscures God's truth.

So, I began to pray not for the thoughts in my mind but against the enemy of my soul who tries to diminish who I am. His suggestive lies sometimes come across as a possibility truth. After all, I might begin to entertain that indeed I am weak. The problem is not the acknowledgement that I am weak. The issue is if I stay there. But, as I open this resource that God has given me I am reminded that when I am weak he is strong. A mighty wind blows and the enemy of my soul is knocked down. I am reminded that he has no authority over me. Take a deeper look. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring back to your remembrance the Word of God that is locked up within you. It’s a comfort and safeguard to me.  It is a threat to Satan!

Therefore, the issue is not our troubles.  Bring it all to the Lord like a little child with your broken pieces.  Drop it on his lap and let him know your need for him.  His Gentleness and Love will scoop us up and begin to whisper his Truth over us.  I am made in his image.  I am loved.  He has filled me with his Spirit.  I am an overcomer.  My purpose is unfolding.  He will return for me.  I am not alone.

“Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:11-12)

This is not some new revelation. It’s a reminder so we know how to fight. Israel’s problem was a memory issue. They often forgot that God chose them out of all the people’s  of the world to be their God. To fight for them and rescue them out of this dark world.

So, like a snow globe that has been shaken, today I have once again been reminded that God is Sovereign and He Reigns. This is who I am, “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

There will always be hurdles and opposition. But I don’t run this race alone!

Thank you again Holy Spirit for reminding me who I am!

The lie speaks loud but God's whisper shuts it down!  Feel the breeze of his Spirit!

God bless you!~Liz

Saturday, May 22, 2021

What do you see?

Early this week I was visiting my dad who was in the hospital. We had a conversation regarding a painting that was on his wall. While under the influence of medication he insisted that the painting that hung in his room was a dog. My sister and I reassured him that the painting was of a tree.

Praise the Lord my father is doing remarkably well! We repeated the conversation regarding the painting to see how his mental clarity was doing. He insisted that the painting was of a dog. Concerned I backed up to where he was laying down to view the image from his vantage point. Lo and behold the tree looks exactly like a dog!

It's the game that we play when we are kids. We look up to the clouds and we imagine the clouds being something else. We see images in the sky that are not there, but the shapes convince us otherwise. We see rockets, mountains, monsters, cartoons, bugs and people’s faces. Nevertheless, the cumulus clouds are just that – puffy, cotton-like clouds!

Our eyes can play a trick on us.

Sadly, a more deceptive trick is the condition of our heart. The Bible puts it like this, “The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

God knows my heart. A self-evaluation of my own heart will note that though I think my heart is good often sin can creep in.

I may insist that I am well, but the Lord will stand by my side, look from my vantage point and reassure me of the truth. He calls it how he sees it. Sin is sin. In him there is no lie!

The remedy for my heart has been purchased. The Father himself has dealt with the condition of my heart. Separated from him I have now been reconciled through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is clear. In the Book of John 14: 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Deception end there!

No matter what the influence, Jesus knows how to speak and reach us. Can you hear him? Get alone with him. Be still in his presence and let him speak to you. Clarity will come. Truth will prevail and freedom will be attained.

He causes our sight to be corrected and our hearts to be healed. The blind indeed will see!

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, March 29, 2021

Who dares to visit us?

The enemy knows where you pray. He dares to visit the place of intercession between you and God the
Father. He brings false accusations against God’s anointed.

A kiss betrays the son of God. Accused by officials, the crowd, governors, and even his close friend betrays him as a rooster testifies.

But Jesus knew who he was. Indeed, a King but not of this world!

The crowd was always challenged. See the miracles and judge for yourself. “Who do you say that I am?” Peter would testify the Son of God and later deny him.

Pilot would ask, “what is truth?”

In John 14:8 we read Jesus’ words, “I am the way the truth and the life.”

Are you praying? Has the enemy come to taunt you and discourage you? James reminds us that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Knowing what was ahead of him Jesus did not look backwards. He knew that the wages of sin for us was death and eternal separation from God and he was willing to pay the ransom. The choice is ours. Will we take the gift that has paid for our debt?

Prayer is powerful! As we call on the Father, he moves mountains that are blocking the path of the righteous. He hears the call of his children and moves on our behalf even as the enemy whispers that our prayers are not being heard. But glory to God the prayers of the righteous are heard!

So, what is speaking lies today? Face the accuser and remind yourself that Christ died for you. It's the obedience of this man Jesus, the begotten son of the Father who has died for sinners. For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son to be crucified to pay for the sin of all mankind.

"Who do you say that I am?" I say he is my Savior! I acknowledge that he sent his Holy Spirit to live inside of me. He has restored me to the Father.

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. “(Romans 8:34)

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Blood Tells A Story

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Colossians 2:13-15)

Sick and tired. Not feeling well? Off to the physician's office we go. What is the first thing the doctor does when an outwardly physical exam won't tell them what's wrong?

They proceed to draw blood! The blood tells a story.

As a young girl I got very sick. The diagnosis was Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I endured countless blood test. They measured inflammation, the effects of the medication, anemia and on and on. I was a sick girl in need of help.

The blood tells a story!

In Genesis chapter 3, the Lord asks his children, "Who told you that you were naked?" (v11) This was a symptom of their disease. Adam and Eve had come in contact with a sickness that would kill them. God, the Great Physician knew the signs. Their nakedness required a covering. "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." (v21) Blood was shed.

The blood tells a story!

The Fall of Man. Man now crippled with disease.  

The one made in the image of God is now marred with the blemish of sin.  It's internal.  You can't always recognize it from the outside.  It requires and inner search of the heart.  God himself has investigated and said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?" (Jeremiah 17:9) 

Our blood is tainted.  It tells our story.  This Sin has made us sick. It's an inner struggle that requires a blood transfusion.  We are dead.  Dead in sin! It shouts a need to be healed.  "For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." (Romans 7:19) "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" (Romans 7:24)

Like a child in need of medical attention.  God arrives and finds us kicking and screaming.  We don't want the medicine he provides.  We rather die!  Indeed we shall apart from the cure. 

This sickness has led to death.  It requires a blood transfusion.

Our blood tells the story of a sick, rebellious child.  It causes us to turn from God. We are ashamed, confused, and discouraged.  Depression can wrap us like a viper and our pride resists the cure.  

"When we were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of our flesh, God made us alive with Christ." (Colossians 2:13a)

It's not 911, it's 3:16.  No human effort can bring healing.  The paramedics are at a loss for they too exhibit symptoms.  God himself will be the cure.

Anesthesia won't work for they awake the same.  I will draw them by my Spirit. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."  (John 6:44)

Both on the operating table.  The sick child and the Begotten Son of God who is the Cure. Sin has reigned in the children because of Adam.  But, God will send his Son who comes with an abundance of grace. (Romans 5:17)

The blood tells a story!

The spoiled children resist.  God's Son is dragged, beaten and spit on.  Placed on a cross to die. He is willing to go.  Arms stretched wide.  Let the blood flow!  Let it spill on the ground.  Let each droplet tell the story of my love.  "No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down voluntarily. I am authorized and have power to lay it down and to give it up." (John 10:18a)

" I have disarmed the powers and authorities, and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Colossians 2:15) 

Every accusing tongue silenced.  The Law displaying our guilt. 

Read the hospital record.  It speaks of healing and deliverance.  It's in the book.

Surgery is complete and we hear the Son say, "“It is finished.” (John 19:30)

"Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. " (Colossians 2:14)

His blood tells the story!

Praise God from whom a blessing flow!

God bless you!~Liz

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Planning On Building Any Towers?

If you have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, then I trust you are leaning toward Psalm 37:23, “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord”, amen? “

The beginning of a new year is always so invigorating! It's a clean slate; a life canvas waiting to be painted. So, who is the artist?

Coming out of the Ark as generations passed, the people forgot what God had delivered them from. Genesis 11 reads that the people gathered, counseled each other, and decided to erect a tower.

They counseled each other?

Why wasn't God invited to their building project plans? If the architect of the Ark kept the remnant safe as God's wrath was poured out on mankind, could he not erect a tower?

Oh, the heart of humans. Sin is so ugly and sometimes we don't see it.

Like eyes accustomed to the dark, we don't want to look toward the light. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

God's mercy is massive!

As stones were brought forth to begin their project, heads began to shake. Like a bobblehead on the rear window of your car. “Nope, that won’t work.”

They didn't want to use material that God created. Scripture says they baked bricks. They wanted their own hands to construct.

It's the idol of “I”.

As 2021 is unveiled before us what are the plans?

Is there something we want to build? Perhaps there are new roads we want to travel, literally some earth exploration. A new job? A new relationship? Invest in your marriage? Parent those little ones and cause their little hearts to bend toward God. Ministry? Reconciliation perhaps?

What about the thankless list of chores that we do daily? Can we get rid of them? They can be exhausting.

I read a statement today that said do the dishes as if Christ himself was going to eat out of them. Clean the snow covered walk as if his feet were about to walk on it. Wow, I think I just got some energy!

Now that's a perspective!

The generations that came after Noah, gathered together and excluded God from their plans.

Now that's funny! To quote the serial box, “silly rabbit trix are for kids.”

The rabbit may have been silly, but he actually wanted what belong to the children. What is the enemy trying to take away that belongs to you?

We must include God in our ideas. “Acknowledge him in all our ways.” (Proverbs 3)

We must remember the enemy comes to steel, kill, and destroy. (John 10)

Therefore, the place where we make plans must have the Board of Directors present. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit will give us direction. They are the governing body that oversee our every breath.

Let’s not let the enemy pull the wool over our eyes.

They wanted to build something designed by their own hands. There is nothing wrong with creativity. Actually, a creative spirit is a gift from God. His character impressed into us. But when the clay wants to jump off the wheel there is something wrong! It’s the clay telling the Potter what to do.

Lord as the year begins, you who know the end from the beginning, I surrender to you. Lead, guide and illuminate my path. This daughter bends toward her creator. Build and erect your plans for me according to your good pleasure. Amen.

So, what are the plans for 2021?

God bless you!~Liz

Inhale

Have you ever been standing next to someone and as you inhale you can smell their fragrance?  I have a very strong sensitivity to scents. I ...