By: Rocco Richardson
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found. Call on him while he is near.
In many ways and many opportunities we find that we must always have a heart in which we desire to seek our Lord. We have so many tempestuous things in which we can find our hearts longing to hear and obey the Lord. I want to bring a testament of an example of seeking the Lord while he may be found in a practical application
One day out of nowhere I heard in my spirit that I needed to re-connect. I was hit with a neurological attack due to meningitis and during this bout of sickness I realized more about the connectivity of our nervous system and its mechanism. I began to understand the design of our nerve endings connecting to the brain and its task of connecting our emotions, our senses and just about everything else. What I found was how I had become disconnected not only in my body functions but spiritual as well. There was however one connection I was not expecting and that was in relationships. You see it is easy to love and connect to those in whom we have no ought or hurt feelings toward. But, it’s not so easy to do so with those who have hurt us, or someone who is close to us. As I began to pray for my own illness I heard the Spirit of the Lord say get re-connected. I began to face my own heart and those whom I had disconnected from.
I found one person in particular that I knew was an outcast by many of my own family members. I knew that to re-connect to that person would present a challenge for me because of those close to me. I had to make a decision to do what was right in the sight of God or to follow my hurts, and disappointments and just let it be and settle for the humanistic view that says God knows my heart and therefore I have forgiven and been forgiven and am not required to do anything further. If we could only understand how blessed we are that Jesus didn’t have that same attitude or mindset. Instead he did something and still does today. You see forgiveness and release was not only for me but fore the person in which I laid my life down for. I knew in my heart that my spiritual growth was weighing in the balance waiting for me to do something or nothing. I am so glad I chose Life.
I chose to seek the Lord while he may be found. Jesus by his spirit is continually breaking the bondage of the influence and deceitful grip that the wisdom of this world has on us. The Lord desired of those whom would follow Him in His Love to publicly acknowledge Him. You see this truth wasn’t just for me but for all of us who seek and obey. This wasn’t anything new under the sun but it was a window of opportunity to please our Lord and liberate or release Him in our lives. After all we are the ones who claim him as Lord and consider ourselves to be ambassadors of His truth.
The relationship between the person I reconnected to; began to blossom once again and our love for each other was free to fill our hearts once again, as well. I thank God for the opportunity and the challenge of laying down my life for his sake. Obedience is better than sacrifice and I understand more now that there is a timing element in which divides obedience from sacrifice. You see that person is now gone to be with our Lord and Savior and the door of opportunity came and now is gone. This does not imply that Jesus does not love or dwell in the midst of us anymore. It shows us that in our hearts we must seize every opportunity during the time of His visitation. It definately brings us closer to Him if we obey in a time that Jesus can be found in a and during a unfortunate circumstance. Judgment is evidenced by what we honestly feel in own hearts. Guilt, shame, and regret lurk in the background waiting for its opportunity to take hold of us. Timing is of the essence when we know we must do his good pleasure. Wasting time, by debating can rob us of pleasing the Lord in his appointed timeframe.
That is why I wanted to present this powerful and yet provoking truth; and that is to “Seek the Lord while he may be found” In our lives we have many opportunities to make a difference in someone else’s life including our own. God opens those opportunities in order to bring us unto himself. When we do good will toward others we do so as unto the Lord. And we are set free because whom the Lord sets free is free indeed. As a practical approach we can see the words “free indeed” as we look closer we can see “in deeds” of obedience we are set free. Just a thought…
Excel in Excellence
We find an interesting perspective according to scripture that David was tempted to increase based on the concept of “the grass is always greener on the other side”. Thus, he thought a relationship with Bathsheba would give him something better than what he possessed. We find this concept to be true from the beginning of time with the fall of Adam and Eve such as the temptation to want beyond their current position. We are always tempted by the thought that something is greater than what we currently have. The excellence I am speaking of today is not to excel into another place or time but to excel in the current life that we have at hand. Not in avoiding but by expanding in the place we are now. We often think that if we just hold on till we go to heaven, everything will be better. However there is something for us to do with our time while we are yet here.
Fantasy will play a huge part in the fulfillment of our lust and those things we covet. Ignoring our reputation and morals that keep us right with the Lord is often destroyed by our own lust and fantasy. Believing in false stories or the idea of the grass is always greener on the other side will reveal that yes, it is greener and yes it’s pleasant to see, but be not deceived, it isn’t always what it appears to be. In most cases we find it will provide yet another opportunity to pick up what we should have embraced in our current position from the start.
1 Thessalonians 4:
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor
So often I hear at work those who wish to aspire to a position of leadership. However they have no idea of the position and its requirements of responsibility and accountability. Those same employees are continually late, gossips, have low productivity, and despise authority, etc. Leadership seems like a great place to be. It can be an opportunity in which we can change what we don’t like about our current position. It can give us the power to rule others. It can bring a bigger income, etc. However we still must ask; are these good motives and do they make me qualified? The other side may seem to be pleasant however it comes at a greater cost. If we have not been diligent in the current position we may struggle in the new. Perfecting ourselves is important so that when the opportunity to excel in bigger things presents itself; we are equipped and ready to adjust into that new position. What makes a good leader is not simply one who inherited the position. It is earned by our ability to acquire the attributes that we need in order to be an extraordinary leader once given the opportunity. In all my working experiences I strived to perfect the current position I held. It was in this that when the green grass on the other side presented itself I had the wherewithal to discern what the cost was and whether or not I was up to the challenge. One element remained consistent in every position I held, and that was being faithful in the little things. This truth is applicable to every aspect of our lives. When we struggle to maintain in the current position we should not be subjecting our selves to something that will require even more diligence and accountability, even though it may seem to look wonderful. I have seen many fellow believers fall into this trap. What happens is we neglect to lift one ounce of integrity or diligence in perfecting our own walk and yet we pursue a ministry in order to perfect everyone else’s walk. This produces advice and council that is wishful rather than knowing. Leaders are a dime a dozen. Extraordinary leaders with the attributes of perfection within themselves are far and in between. Some other examples of application are; what makes an extraordinary loving marriage versus a typical conditional marriage? What makes an extraordinary Father or Mother versus a typical Dad or Mommy, etc. The attributes, are the key elements that define what causes us to excel beyond for excellence. Jesus is our excellence and how we excel in the attributes he has laid out for us to perfect, will determine how extraordinary we have become.
I have seen the “pointless” of life
I realize whatever God does will last forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken away from it. God does this so that people will fear him. Whatever has happened in the past is present now. Whatever is going to happen in the future has already happened in the past. God will call the past to account. What we must listen to is what does God approve of, and call to account. Forgive me for being so empty. All has proven to be humanistic. We seek to minister so lives can be saved and yet we miss the purpose that Jesus is worthy of his sacrifice. We live for God so we can be blessed. I live for God so I can be cursed and yet live. Is it Hell that we seek to avoid or is it our love for him regardless of whether we go to Hell or not. Would we serve him knowing we were going to Hell or if our lives never tasted the sweetness of our labor of love? Forgive me for being so empty. Our lives are so confusing and wrapped up in how we can change others and ourselves. Yet it is for the purpose of thinking we made some special deal with God. We live our lives in sin and then pretty it up with whatever is right to us. The words echo; all is vanity and yet we build and grow in that which produces vanity. Oh Lord I starve for you today. I hunger after your righteousness not mine. The emptiness of my soul is not because the vultures have pecked at my flesh, insecurities or theology. It is because you have opened the eyes of my spirit to see the source of my creation. The life I have been birthed into has become vexed and waxed old. Thy word oh lord has brought destruction and devastation even unto the sacred temple ground I stood upon. The destruction has torn down all that I have stood upon in righteousness. I am barren in the land of milk and honey. Your voice is a sound of running water and yet I thirst. Your spirit is a wind to cool the hottest days and yet I am shaking with heat collapse. Oh my Lord bring me into the height of Zion. Thy will be done I pray; release me from the mouth of the Great Harlot. Her fangs have clamped down on my heart as her claws grip me into her presence by her alluring purple clad beauty and seductive ways. Her sword is at war with your sword. The two clash with thunder in the balance of my life and death. They are the same my Lord. To compare her sword and your sword with the humanistic eyes; there is no difference. The spiritual leaders have been deceived. Forgive me for being so empty. I lay at your footstool my God. I cry for mercy and forgiveness. I anguish for the cause of your people and hurt for how you feel for all us. I in life or death surrender to you. If Hell or High water is my destiny, I will serve you; because you my Lord are worthy. You my Lord are worthy.
To save or not to save “FACE”
If this doesn’t apply to you then simply disregard it, and pray for us who it does apply to.
When we reference FACE it is to identify someone or thing. We ask; what his or her face looks like, so when we see them… we can identify them. However, Identity comes in all shapes and sizes. I want to point out something for all of us to hopefully benefit from. As we face the things in our life we should understand what it is that our FACE is identifying with. Is it in the things that we establish for our own identity, by establishing idols and or images, or is it those things that establish our identity in Christ Jesus? We must FACE the truth in whom and what we have established as our identity.
Years ago when my friends saw my face they knew me by what I identified with. They knew me by my identity with Harley Davidson, Drugs, Budweiser, and the party hardy kind of guy. Outside of that I was just another handsome face. LOL. Today I want people to see a musician, and an all around outdoorsman and free-spirited kind of guy. So what do I do? I wear camouflage shirts and surround myself with things that say this is who I am. This is my face. We are all being changed day by day “Our hope of glory”. You see, we want people to se us in a specific identity or “image” that describes who and what we are. The concern is sometimes our identity is conflicting with our identity with Jesus as a son of righteousness? We so often create our identity and then try to fit Jesus into it. This is where the trouble begins.
The scripture says in Jeremiah:
Declare and proclaim among the nations. Proclaim it and lift up a standard. Do not conceal it but say, ‘Babylon has been captured, Bel has been put to shame, Marduk has been shattered; her images have been put to shame, her idols have been shattered.’ For a nation has come up against her out of the north; it will make her land an object of horror, and there will be no inhabitant in it. Both man and beast have wandered off, they have gone away! In those days and at that time,” declares the LORD, “the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the LORD their God they will seek.
They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.
Jesus will destroy our Babylon and her images will be utterly confounded. Where we so often struggle, are in the illusion of our images; we lose face with the one we should be identifying with the most. I know so many just like me have created their own face. Such as: status of maintaining and giving the appearance of success, career, wanting everyone to see and believe they have it all; a house, car, dog, and MONEY or the identifying with Alfonzo or specific Mafia organizations “Sicilians”, or eras like the 50s 60s 70s 80s, etc. we all have our images. We sometimes establish these false illusions and other idols and images by the influences of money, and dare I mentionHollywood, Television, etc. Empty and alone isn’t a pleasant place to be. We don’t want to be left out and un-accepted so we feed each others worldly creations. Are you empty at night when you lay down to sleep? Idols and images are one of our biggest enemies. What makes them so powerful is our indulgence is so established that we interpret and measure the word of God according to those standards. I remember back in the early eighties I had a visitation from the Lord in which he had challenged me to allow him to destroy myBabylon and to break down the image and idols I had created. The term was this; I was to go through my house and remove and destroy all that which did not glorify him. It’s sad to say how much compromising went on however, I submitted to his righteousness and, at the end of the day it almost left me with an empty home. All the things on my wall, my music selection. dishes, and clothing were identified with drugs, porn, whiskey, and yes Satan. I filled trash can after trash can. One of my friends felt so bad for me that he gave me some of his clothes. You see Jesus wasn’t just concerned with my spiritual home he was concerned with the influences of my idols and most of all my images. In my obedience he then was able to establish his identity in my life. And what I learned and grew into was the liberty and knowledge of hearing and seeing him clearer without other voices and influences. This is a continual process in which we as Christians walk.
So today let us; who want to be more like Jesus, fix our face on the one in which we want to identify with more. If your identity is more into the creation you designed; then empty out your trash and wash your face. There is liberty when we let go of everything we try to hold onto, in order to JUST SAVE FACE. Just a thought…
The lord has spoken and yet we dismiss his word. The Lord has delivered and yet we return to our place of captivity. The Lord has loved and yet we continue to show ill toward each other. Is it not enough that the world will hate us? Is it not enough that the wicked seek to kill the righteous? Is it not enough that our traditions and theologies have corrupted our sight of the living God? I say this by spirit of our Lord; Stop devouring each other in harshness and discouragement. Rather build each other up in the doctrine of which brings eternal life and love toward one another. It is written the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth? Yet we seek the council of man to resolve the things of the spirit. Listen and take hold of this truth. Do we not believe? Knowledge puffs up and yet we seek more and more only to give a daily dose to our brethren. Be not as those hypocrites who dwell in buildings built by the hands of man, only to show their own glory and pride. Where is the word hidden in our heart rather than stored up in our mind. Don’t we know that one word spoken by God is more powerful than millions spoken by men? We must humble ourselves in the sight of God, not man’s approval. Do we not understand that we are the temple of God and he will establish his kingdom within us, and not in this world? I say we must submit ourselves to God and his righteousness. Stop complaining and murmuring toward each other for it is also written that even though we have all these gifts; what good are they if we have not love. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of our mouth, but that which is good, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God but be ye kind to one another. We are as sheep being lead into diverse false doctrines and I would say the Great Shepherd hears our cries and he is standing in the midst of the flock beckoning us to change direction. We should be careful not to be lead into false doctrine and theologies that corrupt the word of truth. Be not conceited in our own eyes thinking man may not see; for surely the Lord see’s and know the intent of our hearts. Pride produces covetousness, even of our own works and creation. Therefore I say, set not your hearts on those things that cause us to stumble and fall when God swings his sickle. Surely he will plow; and re-plow our steps from one glory to another, each time emptying us out of our ways. Religion will cause a covering up, God will cause an un-covering. For those of us who have fallen on the rock we understand that God has given us a new identity, and has established us in his council and his footsteps in the chambers of his kingdom not ours. We have need of repentance in order to obtain mercy from the Lord as we walk in love one to another. My days are numbered by God and my work is outlined by the life Jesus lived. There is no greater love than which we lay down our lives for each other. The more we see ourselves in relation to his death; the greater it will impact those around us in his powerful resurrection. Selah… Just a thought…
“Can Satan read our thoughts?”
It’s a question many Christians have asked. I have often asked that same question because my thoughts are both Godly and wicked. It’s a tough question. I can’t give you a clear Bible verse as an answer. I can however say that there aren’t any verses that I am aware of that says Satan can read our thoughts. And there is nothing in the Bible that indicates that Satan is all knowing. We do know that Satan is very clever by the way he tempts us. He probably can predict our behavior based on experience, the same way we can sometimes predict others behaviors. He is likely to be great at predicting human behavior because he has seen so much of it. I think he can make pretty accurate guesses about our thinking as well as use that to his advantage. I think it is more important to take on the mind of Christ so if in the event Satan can read into our thoughts he will hear and see that the word of God is ever present. So rather than be concerned with Satan being able to know our thoughts lets yield our thoughts and intents of our hearts to God and his word. Satan knows your weaknesses he also know your strengths. As he tries to destroy us he can easily find how we think by the way we respond to his temptations. Our reactions and responses say a lot about how we think. But I still don’t believe that Satan is all knowing.
God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. For out of the heart proceeds thoughts
A few years ago the tree in the Garden of Eden experience hit me when I was stricken with meningitis. It was an eye opener to the fact that all things are intended for the good pleasure of God. What I learned is when we listen to the deception such as the question of “Did God Say” or “Why Did God Say” it seems to bring the opposite of the good that was intended. The key mistake is questioning what God created for us. I once had a good friend say Roc one day you will see that what was once black will be white and what was white will be gray and both will have a tint of red that covers it. Of course he wasn’t talking Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues here. LOL.
What I came to realize was; as we see ourselves in our worst state of being, God is calling out “where are you’? He didn’t hide Himself from us even though we polluted the good He intended. Our view is often manifested in the bad or the polluted perception of what is God going to think of me now. We often feel that way when we ruin something of importance that someone else gives us or does for us. We begin to slip into a place where we hide from God and each other. However God actually seeks to find us in what we know as our darkness because He created all things for himself. Even the tree in the Garden “he created all the trees in the garden”. His plan was to preserve us from the pain and suffering of evil. We screwed up however God didn’t, He still sees us as his children.
What is deceptive; is our mind will say God is not in this place and yet we experience just the opposite. When do we find God the most? We most commonly find him and each other when we are under the grips of evil. Why? Because he is there in that crisis or evil grasp; calling out where are you? The beautiful thing is we may have pain in the knowledge of good and evil; however, it is in the ability to know good and evil that God has given us “free will” to choose life and be free from evil. Even through our disobedience, God sees us in the light of good and continues to call our name unto his perfect peace. The challenge to us is this. The big word during my illness was GET RE-CONNECTED. The meningitis had caused my nervous system to shut down and the specialist couldn’t figure out what strain of virus had taken over my neurological system. The nerve endings were damaged and the signal processes could not connect properly. Even though I had the spoon in my hand I could not connect the process of getting it to my mouth. However the good in the midst of the bad was God calling out, where are you? It was there in my crisis that God revealed to me that there were relationships that I had to re-connect to and obtain forgiveness as well as give forgiveness. My mouth was the word and faith. The spoon in the hand was my works. What I realized was faith without works is dead and I needed to take the step forward in resolving these matters. There is power and inspiration in the garden if we would just stand naked before God rather than hide and cover up our sorrow our fears and our insecurities. This breaking down of pride, hurt feelings, sadness, and or other fearful feelings; is not limited to God and the garden, but to each other in our everyday lives. Just remember all things were created by God and all things begin and end there. We should often re-connect with God in the garden and obtain the fullness of Gods presence, in a place of both obedience and disobedience. Lets not turn away those things and people that God has placed in our lives; and most importantly God Himself. He will be the one calling out your name, where are you my child” Just a thought..
- What happened to the Tree of Good and Evil after Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden (wiki.answers.com)
- Man’s Free Choice to Separate from God (brighthub.com)
- Why did God not want Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (wiki.answers.com)
- Good Bill Paxton vs. Evil Bill Paxton (tommennaindustries.wordpress.com)
- “Redefining evil – it’s just a lack of empathy” and related posts (nzconservative.blogspot.com)