"…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

The Year of Transformation

This time of year, the Internet is overflowing with articles and tools designed to help people break old habits and embrace new ones. From fitness tips and calorie trackers to budgeting programs, reading plans, DIY projects and self-help guides, they all share one aim: to foster positive change.

Most Americans enter into the first weeks of the year full of enthusiasm, proudly proclaiming their New Year’s Resolutions. I will admit that I’m no exception. In addition to reading through the Bible in one year (something I have done previously and enjoyed), I intend to work out at least 5 days/week with the goal of building muscle, improving my cardiovascular strength, and (of course) losing 10 pounds.

As I thought about ways to increase my chances of long-term success, I started to consider the root of the word “resolution.” When we make a resolution, we resolve to do something, what does that really mean?

Random House Dictionary defines the term resolve as, “to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something).” Those words are key — definite, earnest, determine(d). There’s no ambiguity there. When we resolve to do something, we are serious.

In addition, the dictionary includes two more definitions that I believe are worth noting:

  • to reduce or convert by, or as by, breaking up or disintegration (usually fol. by to or into ).
  • to convert or transform by any process (often used reflexively).

Making a resolution is a transformative process — we are breaking with the status quo and converting to a new system (whether that is following a healthy eating plan, using Quickbooks for accounting, or allocating 10 minutes each morning to prayer).  When we make a New Year’s Resolution, the ultimate goal is to be transformed.

“Resolution” also shares the same root as “resolute,” which means to be firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion. Again, we are firm in our convictions and set on a path toward positive change. When we make a resolution, we should be unshakeable.

With the Christmas season having just passed, I am reminded of the resolve demonstrated by Joseph, perhaps one of the greatest unsung heroes of scripture. While traveling with his young fiancee, Joseph is presented with a difficult and very emotional choice:

Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18-21)

Bear in mind that in Joseph’s day and age, Mary could have been stoned to death had she been found to be pregnant out of wedlock. Stoned to death. Her life was literally in his hands. What’s more, Joseph could have been cast out of society for choosing to stay with her — and here an angel was telling him to take Mary as his wife and accept the child as his own?

Think about the magnitude of that decision. Think about the conviction it takes to accept that burden — to take that risk — and walk in obedience. Joseph demonstrates this kind of resolve:

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1:24-25, emphasis mine.)

Joseph made the ultimate New Year’s Resolution: he resolved to trust God. After Jesus was born, Joseph was again visited by an angel of the Lord, first telling him when to flee with his family to Egypt, and later telling him when to return to Israel. Each time, without hesitation, Joseph obeyed. He was set in his opinion that God is trustworthy. He was earnest in his decision to follow God’s directives, and because of his resolve, his life and the future of all mankind was transformed.

This year, as you write down your resolutions, I encourage you to put God on the list. Make a commitment to spend some time with the Lord, getting to know Him and asking for guidance.  Jesus tells His followers, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

Resolve to ask, seek and knock this year. I promise, you will be transformed.

January 1, 2011   1 Comment