megmariem

a heart, longing for more of it's Lover.

Archive for the category “Holiness”

Editing People

I am a photographer. I see beauty in things that many others cannot see. I am told so often that I am crazy for stopping to take a photo of a specific scene and when I turn my camera (or phone) around with the captured moment, there is an instant of wonder in the eyes of the beholder as they see what I had to stop and photograph. This happened yesterday as I quickly pulled over at the lake to capture such a moment. I saw the sun rays spilling onto a patch of yellow flowers and stopped. My friend followed me, bewildered, and watched as I stooped down onto the ground to freeze the moment of God’s glory.  When I showed him the photo – he was beside himself with the beauty…and kept exclaiming how crazy it was that I could “see” the shot before I pulled over.

Image

I do not say any of this to portray myself as a fabulous photographer. In fact, the more I learn about photography, the more I find there is to learn! I am still a newbie. I say this because as I was editing earlier, I had a thought. I’d like to share it with you.

Photographers not only “snap” your shots in your session. We do a lot behind the scenes that you may not know about. When I slip the memory card out of my camera and into my computer, there are a plethora of choices I must make – edits I must apply to turn the raw images into beautiful shots that will resonate in the heart of the client. I can soften the image, smooth out wrinkles, brighten eyes, whiten teeth, bring the vibrant colors to life, or change colors to black and white or sepia. Many other changes can be made to the photos to impress the viewer.

Sometimes in life we encounter people who think they are like the photographer. They try to “edit” people, if you will. Do you know what I mean? I am talking about the people who try to change others to fit into what THEY think is an acceptable lifestyle. I may be able to make touch-ups on a person’s photo, but I CANNOT change a person’s inside. I cannot tweak a personality, fix a person’s spiritual life, or change someone’s lifestyle. Nor is it my place to try to do so. Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit of God who has the power to do this, and it also relies in part on the person’s cooperation and willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in their life. Condemnation and judgment is NOT our purpose.

That being said – we ARE to encourage people in the ways of the Lord. I hear it said SO often, “The Bible says not to judge, so don’t tell me that what I am doing is wrong.” Whoa. The first part of that statement IS true. We are not to judge. But what about Galatians 6:1, when it says; “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” The key here is “gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.” The difference in judging and what this verse is speaking of?

Love.

Love makes all the difference. If we operate in the love of Christ, we will not be condemning. Christ Himself hung on the rugged cross and asked God Almighty to forgive His condemners. If we strive to align our lives with the life of Jesus, He will continue to teach us how to operate in His perfect love…and we will find that instead of being judgemental – or even being completely “hands-off” to avoid being judgemental – we will have opportunities to point people to the One who redeems. The One who saves. The One who can change them. Then all of a sudden they ARE willing and cooperative with the Holy Spirit. He can “edit” them and conform them to the image of Christ.

You see, when we try to do the work of God instead of rely on His Spirit to do it, we become instruments of destruction to the Kingdom of Heaven. When we strive to be true followers of Christ – aligning our lives with the instructions in the Word of God – our lives become instruments of peace and love that are used by the Holy Spirit to increase and bless the Kingdom of Heaven.

What kind of instrument are you? Are you detrimental to the work or are you a vital part?

And He opened their understanding…

“And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Word.”
(Luke 24:45) 

The disciples were full of doubt when Christ was buried after the crucifixion. Mary and the other women who witnessed the empty tomb and delivered the angel’s message couldn’t convince the men. Neither could Peter, who ran to see if the women were telling the truth. Not even the men who encountered the Lord Himself on their journey to Emmaus! Jesus finally appears to the disciples all together – and even with them standing around Him, He STILL had to prove He was alive! After the men had touched their fingers to His hands and feet, and watched Him eat some food, they finally believed that their Christ had risen from the dead. Jesus begins explaining to these men the Gospel and the fulfillment that His life became for all the prophecies concerning the Messiah…

…”And He opened their understanding…” 

I love this so much. Can you imagine how Christ felt as He explained the Master’s perfect plan in the greatest detail for His followers to completely grasp the Victory that His Death and Resurrection purchased for their souls at Calvary? The wonder and amazement that had to fill the eyes of the disciples as they FINALLY realized the perfection in His plan must have brought much joy to the heart of Christ! Oh, the cost He had paid for these men and for every man who will ever set foot on this earth! IT WAS ACCOMPLISHED!

All too often, people do not understand the Scriptures and give up, all too easily defeated. If Satan can keep believers from reading the very Word of God, they cannot accomplish much, if anything, for the Kingdom of Heaven, so he (Satan) is not worried at all.

Many of these who do not understand the Word struggle because they don’t realize that our understanding can be opened!

“And He opened their understanding, that they may comprehend the Word.”(Luke 24:45) 

Jesus has ascended into Heaven and is sitting at the right hand of the Father, but He did not leave us to try to live this life (or understand His will and His way) on our own! He has given us His Holy Spirit (when we choose to follow Him) and HE opens our understanding to comprehend the words of the Bible. We MUST ask for the Holy Spirit to speak to us and help us understand so that we will know the spiritual things that God intended to show us when He inspired it’s writing!

The Word of God is ALIVE. We can gain knowledge by reading a book with our intellect. But when we are depending on the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher, the words in the Bible convict us. They change us. They encourage us. The Holy Spirit administers hope, joy, peace, strength, and more as we dwell and meditate on the Word.

We will not understand every mystery of God. He is infinite and we are not. When you arrive at a passage in the Word that does not make sense, ask the Spirit for revelation and wisdom.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”(James 1:5-6) 

If after awhile of TRUE seeking, (not half-hearted seeking) then you could ask for some guidance in understanding from a strong believer that you know. You also should study other portions of scripture. That passage may be brought to light in your understanding at a later time by the Holy Spirit. Whatever you choose to do, do not forsake the Scriptures. Do not close and stack your Bible on a shelf because you do not understand it or are discouraged. That is one of the worst possible things that a follower of Christ could choose to do. It is your “sword of the Spirit” according to Ephesians 6, and without it, you will not accomplish anything or become any stronger in the faith.

Ask Him for wisdom. It brings Him pleasure to answer that cry. You will be changed.

Blessings and prayers, friends.

Sometimes God lets us feel His heart for a moment…

I don’t know how else to explain what happened to me yesterday morning at church (2-24-13). I am on the worship team at my church and have been on this journey of seeking God about the severity and seriousness of consecration. Consecration (or sanctification) is not something that ended when Christ died on the Cross and brought the New Covenant into play. If it had, that would mean that something in God’s character had changed. We know that He NEVER changes…He is the same yesterday today and forever…so consecration is just as crucial now as it was before the Lamb of God fulfilled His purpose on the Cross.

So — that’s where I have been. I have been asking the Lord to teach me how to live a consecrated life unto Him. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it’s been fulfilling thus far as I have been learning from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

Yesterday, I was on the platform for the second time that morning, singing with the others in the praise team after the Lord had delivered a powerful word about true worship through our music leader. As we sang the words “You are holy, oh so holy, You are holy, Lord of all,” I asked the Lord to let me see Him in His glory. I wanted to know Him deeper. I wanted to be overcome by His Presence.

In a moment, I was on my knees. I do not know how to express in words what happened inside of me, except that I was overwhelmed with the holiness of our Sovereign God. I saw Him as the One who sits on His throne and the train of His robe filling the temple, with the angelic beings around Him crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God of Hosts.” Praises flowed from my lips in awe of Who He is. At some point, I moved down to the altar and found myself looking up at the cross that adorns the wall behind the worship team. While I was praying there, I literally began to weep uncontrollably. I was overcome by the grief that is in God’s heart for how we (His children) defile ourselves. We allow so much sin into our lives without even fighting it. And not even just sins, but we tolerate things that we have become desensitized to (like dirty movies or television shows) to flow into us every single day for hours at a time. Then, when it’s time to go to church, we go to the Lord and plead His blood over us – asking for His forgiveness…rushing into the Holy of Holies to talk to God for awhile, and then go back home to willfully sin and tolerate more and more of things that break His heart. More than that – things that defile the holy state that we are to strive to live in!

Friend – this cannot be! The lifestyle of a Christian is to be 100% for Jesus Christ. It is all or nothing. ALL. Every single last moment of our lives should be weighed to be sure that it reflects the glory and majesty of a Holy and Just God.

Let me encourage you. Ask God what you are allowing in your life, what things you might be tolerating without even being aware. Then ask Him to help you strip it away. You will be able to run that much faster after the Lord. The sacrifice may be great — but if you are measuring the sacrifice, you have not yet seen His worth. There is no sacrifice too great.

Love and blessings.

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