"…for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 8:11)
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Walk in Authority

I have been a believer in Christ for 15 years. I did not start walking in true authority until the past few weeks. That’s not to say that I haven’t had strong faith or shared the gospel. My faith has sustained me through the most tumultuous seasons of my life, and I do not hide my light beneath a bushel. But, I lacked boldness. I struggled with fear. I didn’t fully grasp the true power that I have as a child of God. And, you have it, too.

From the moment John stepped onto the scene until now, the realm of heaven’s kingdom is bursting forth,
and passionate people have taken hold of its power.
(Matthew 11:12 TPT)

Thousands, if not millions, of Christians are passive in their faith. They are comforted by the thought of eternal life with their heavenly Father, but they are ignorant of their charge while here on earth. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are “Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20). That means we represent His kingdom, we speak on His behalf, and we have full access to all of the resources of the One who sent us. As ambassadors, we walk in authority. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, according to Ephesians 1:3, and each of us has a unique purpose here on earth.

The apostle Paul instructed the disciples, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19) Many interpret this passage to mean that we’re supposed to abstain from sex outside of marriage or make sure that we work out at the gym regularly. Although sound advice, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Paul means this:

In all that we are and in all that we do,
we are called to give glory to god.

Your Maker gave you unique talents and skills for a reason. Your life is not your own; rather, your abilities and experiences are all meant to help others. That’s why you’re here–to help somebody else. More than that, you possess the ability to do remarkable things! Jesus went about healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and casting out demons. Then, He says to His followers:

“For sure, I tell you, whoever puts his trust in Me can do the things I am doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”(John 14:12)

Did you catch that? Trust in Him, and YOU can do even greater things! You have the Holy Spirit indwelling you, you are an ambassador of Christ, and you have access to the same resurrection power as our Lord and Savior!

The devil will hit you with everything he can to keep you from fulfilling your mission: addiction, illness, financial lack, pornography, sexual sin. He’ll even tempt you into binge watching Games of Thrones or Downton Abbey or The Walking Dead. Satan is determined to distract you and keep you focused on your own comfort, so you are too preoccupied to step into the position of authority for which God has called you. Don’t let the devil win. Our mission is clear in the words Jesus taught us to pray:

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven”
(Matthew 6:10)

You’re on assignment. You’ve got what it takes. You have the Holy Spirit as your counselor and an army of angels at your disposal. We are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, and our job–the purpose for which we were created–is to bring heaven to earth.

What does that look like? Simple. It looks like love.

“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”
(John 13:34-35)

***

Dedicated to my husband Craig Thompson, who taught me to be brave.

November 4, 2018   No Comments

A Father’s Love

Today marks one year since my father passed away. He was only 65, and died of a stealthy cancer that had already taken up camp in his body months before it was finally recognized.

My dad was angry about this, and felt robbed of the comfortable retirement he had neatly planned out. After four decades of teaching at the university level, he was looking forward to taking the first of many ocean cruises with his wife of 28 years, Regina. Instead, he made his first of many visits to the hospital for bloodwork and PET scans and chemotherapy treatments intended to ward off his disease.

I miss my dad with a deep ache in my heart. But I am deeply blessed by the time we spent together during the last year of his life, and the knowledge that we became closer and loved one another more than we ever had before.

You see, my father was something of a stoic. He raised me as a single parent for 11 years before he remarried, and although he loved me deeply, he wasn’t one for outpourings of affection. We were more like roommates, each going about our daily routine and carrying our weight in keeping up the household. He was also a strict disciplinarian, especially when it came to academics, and as a child I regarded him with equal parts adoration and fear.

More importantly, my father was an atheist. And, despite all his best efforts to teach me to be a “free thinker”, I became a born again Christian at age 34.

We never talked about religion, except once several years prior, when I was attending Catholic church. Having never been taught about God at all, Catholicism was a comfortable stepping stone in my journey of faith. It was also anathema to my father, who was raised Jewish and — although he was a theology minor in college — later chose to abstain from any religious doctrine or belief in a higher power. The conversation was laughable, like a child at her First Communion trying to explain the precepts of faith to a Ph.D., when she had only encountered a feltboard Jesus.

We never discussed religion after I was born again, and left the Catholic church in New York for a pentecostal congregation in Dallas, Texas. We never talked about what it meant for me to accept Jesus into my heart, or how the Holy Spirit truly transformed me from the inside out, softening the hard edges and filling me with joy, faith and compassion.

But he saw it.

I flew to North Carolina to visit my father several times during the last two years of his life, knowing — if only in theory — that our time together was suddenly limited. And, although I never witnessed to him or shared the gospel in conversation, I lived it. I demonstrated Christ’s love to him in every way I knew how, which sometimes meant just being there to encourage him with my companionship. I asked him to tell me stories about his accomplishments in high school and college, and I helped him organize the myriad photos, awards and papers that would mark his legacy. I assured him that my husband and I were happy in our marriage and financially secure — two things that mattered deeply to him.

And I told him that I loved him. Whenever I came to visit, and whenever we talked on the phone, I made sure to tell him — and as time went on, I felt it deeper and deeper in my heart. Despite the battles of my youth and our divergent worldviews in my adulthood, I respected and appreciated my father more than ever. Nothing could take away the pain and bitterness of his sickness, but he knew that he was loved, and there is no greater balm.

My husband Craig put together this wonderful video tribute to my father’s life to play at his memorial. I’m adding it here to honor him.

I love you, dad.

[media id=1]

Dr. Jay Rosenberg
1942 – 2008

February 21, 2009   3 Comments