A Revival within God’s Promises

While revival can occur at any time of a persons’ life, my most recent experience is one that I believe is one of those in my life that has topped the charts.  In the last few years, I had been reading and studying the book of Revelation while referring to scriptural references from prophets such as Daniel and Ezekiel.  For most of that time, I found it as a refuge where I knew God’s Word would be hidden in my heart for a time that I would later possibly understand a bit better. 

About 6 months ago, I began to study Revelation in a verse-by-verse study and even at one time reading it backwards – chapter by chapter.   Interesting concept, but it worked.  I printed out the entire book of Revelation, placed it is a binder along with the lists of references so that as I read the book, I would be able to refer to other passages easily and organize my thoughts in the hopes to see the book come to life.  What I found was that it encouraged me to reach deeper into the Word to experience more of God.  It came alive in ways it never had before, and it took me through a season that would help unlock a mystery and many more to come.

After completing my study of most of the book of Revelation, I felt God lead me to a study in Romans.   I had read the book of Romans before, but at that time of my life, it seemed wordy.  As a result, it was somewhat hard to grasp to its fullness.  While it was very important to me, I knew it as the book where I could find the Romans Road plan of Salvation.  Therefore, since I had a good experience in the way I studied it, I began to study Romans in a similar manor as I did Revelation.

What I uncovered was certainly nothing more than a revelation in itself.   Romans helped me uncover a different perspective of Gods’ plan.  Romans 4 tells us about how God made a promise to Abraham that he would become the father of many nations.  It turned out to be something that would more than ignite a passion in him. 

God made a promise, but it would be necessary for Abraham to believe in that promise, and his acceptance of it, for the fulfillment of that promise.   His acceptance meant that he would live in anticipation of it.  Without this kind of faith, Abraham would have likely chosen to go his own way.  It was through this kind of faith that he was credited righteousness, and because of Abraham’s faith, he was able to receive the promise. 

Abraham first received the promise by seeking God, second by believing God, and third by following through by faith – continuing to believe.  God gave him the strength to live in anticipation of it, but also to accept the pace for which God chose for it to come to pass. 

Just think of all of the promises that God has made to us in his Word!  Because of this passage, and in light of my study in Revelation, which strengthened my knowledge of God, I have been encouraged to reach out to each of God’s promises and claim each one for myself. 

Those promises are now more than just promises; they are promises for me and anyone else who chooses to claim them for their very own.  I truly believe that when we claim the promises of God, our faith grows, and we experience revival just as I experienced God’s Word being revived in me.  

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When The One You Love Doesn’t Love You Anymore: A Journey of Self-Discovery

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When The One You Love Doesn't Love You Anymore

A Matter of the Heart

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

                                                     -Matthew 6:21 NIV

In the past weeks, I created a blog post entitled “What It Means To Me To Be A Christian.”  It was a synopsis of my experience on the surface as a follower of Christ.  It is my simple answer, and there is really so much more to it than that.  I love Proverbs 20:5 NIV which tells us:

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.”

There is something about our hearts that is very deep, and to ponder the heart means that we will be walking out into the deep to understand it.  There is so much that we can find hidden within our hearts, oftentimes, a lot of what is there can be very painful to face.  I believe that this is often why we stay busy and don’t search our hearts, because what we face can be dark and cold.  When we draw out those “purposes” that Proverbs 20:15 NIV speaks about, what we find is a reflection of who we really are.  That reflection cannot be hidden or covered up.  There are usually signs that we miss that reveals the true condition of our hearts.  In Matthew 15:18 NIV, Jesus says, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart…”

This was Jesus’ response to the Pharisees who were seeking to trap him.  He responds by referring to a prophesy recorded by Isaiah,

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”

-Matthew 15:7 NIV

The Pharisees were leading the people astray by their teachings.  As a result, the people were honoring and worshiping God “in vain”.  I find it very interesting that despite what the Scriptures foretold, the Pharisees still sought to trap and kill Jesus.  This was evidence of the state of their hearts.

I am by no means bringing this to light to judge as that is just what the Pharisees were doing.  It is up to us to search our own hearts and find those “purposes” in our hearts.  Those purposes are two things, a purpose that we formed by our experiences in this world and a purpose that was placed there by God.  What the Bible tells us is that we should seek out those purposes so that our hearts can heal and so that God’s purpose can be revealed in us.

Simply put, becoming a follower of Christ is a heart matter and an act of surrender.  It is not the kind of surrender you might see on a cartoon when a character waves a white flag.  It is an admission to yourself and to God that you live in darkness and choose to walk in the light.  What is the light?  Walking in the light means that you let everything be exposed to God so that it can be placed into his very compassionate and merciful hands— our cares, our worries, our mistakes, our anger, our hatred, our selfishness, our unforgiveness, our bitterness, and even our deepest, darkest secrets; these are all burdens, and your acts in them are sin.  This is what the Pharisees could have done but refused because they had their own beliefs and agendas.  Even though they sought to trap Jesus so they could justify his crucifixion, they still could have found entrance into the light and found forgiveness for their wicked plots to kill Jesus.  Jesus wants to carry our burdens, because the weight of those burdens are too great for us to endure.

So nothing can change without a heart-change, and that cannot start without God’s help in searching the deep water of our hearts.  Once we do, everything comes into the light of God where miraculous things can happen.  We can experience deliverance from addictions, from broken hearts, from oppression, depression and so much more.  It is a place where miracles happen.

Go forth and be blessed, my friend.