Hello friends of Sacred Ramblings – Earlier this year I opened an Anchor on Spotify account to periodically post my writings in an audio podcast format. Because today is Palm Sunday – I pulled Jesus the Unlikely King out to read on Anchor, plus adding to it a recent account of what I believe to be a sign that the Lord wanted to me to share regarding Jesus.
Still quite new to this “podcast thing”, I know that this will become easier over time and frequency of posts. I hope that you will listen to today’s rambling posted to my Anchor account: Tracy Gatewood’s Sacred Ramblings –
New heaven and new earth
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I’m making all things new.” He also said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “All is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will freely give water from the life-giving spring. 7 Those who emerge victorious will inherit these things. I will be their God, and they will be my sons and daughters. 8 But for the cowardly, the faithless, the vile, the murderers, those who commit sexual immorality, those who use drugs and cast spells, the idolaters and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues spoke with me. “Come,” he said, “I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 He took me in a Spirit-inspired trance to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 The city had God’s glory. Its brilliance was like a priceless jewel, like jasper that was as clear as crystal. 12 It had a great high wall with twelve gates. By the gates were twelve angels, and on the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel’s sons. 13 There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 The city wall had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the Lamb’s twelve apostles.
15 The angel who spoke to me had a gold measuring rod with which to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 Now the city was laid out as a square. Its length was the same as its width. He measured the city with the rod, and it was fifteen hundred miles.[a] Its length and width and height were equal. 17 He also measured the thickness of its wall. It was two hundred sixteen feet[b] thick, as a person—or rather, an angel—measures things. 18 The wall was built of jasper, and the city was pure gold, like pure glass. 19 The city wall’s foundations were decorated with every kind of jewel. The first foundation was jasper, the second was sapphire, the third was chalcedony, and the fourth was emerald. 20 The fifth was sardonyx, the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was chrysolite, and the eighth was beryl. The ninth was topaz, the tenth was chrysoprase, the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was made from a single pearl. And the city’s main street was pure gold, as transparent as glass.
22 I didn’t see a temple in the city, because its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. 23 The city doesn’t need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 Its gates will never be shut by day, and there will be no night there.
“Moreover, ( let us be full of joy now ) let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character produces salvation. ” Romans 5:3-4 AMP
An invisible speck has created a global hysteria that has impacted every breathing thing, bringing misery, destruction even death to many. The fallout has sown division between friends, families, governments, economy’s, universities; in fact every system of societal culture as defined by the seven mountains of influence: Religion, Family, Media, Arts and Entertainment, Business, Government, Education, have all been impacted. This “re-set” is rewiring many organizations, businesses, families, people and relationships while testing capacity.
Capacity defined is the maximum amount that something can contain. Consider a glass of water that is filled to capacity; straining against the top lip of the glass while appearing to overflow yet doesn’t. A high-capacity person confidently and successfully manages the tension between competing priorities, juggling a high number of urgent situations through an ability to expand and perform under extreme pressure. This person uses laser discernment coupled with innate wisdom to prioritize then execute solutions. I believe that God is developing the highest capacity in His remnant to illuminate the way to success for His people and His Kingdom. This swatch of Christ following set-aparts are trained to navigate rapids with no raft, compelled to identify then move securely onto the “big rocks” as these rocks arise in the river to provide safety. Prophetic Priest and King cartographers will be necessary to map the way through the deep caverns of the reset whose issues will be no match for metes and bounds focused in faith on Jesus, the knowledge of the love of God and prayer.
“And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character. And character produces salvation.” This section of Romans 5 could be interpreted to be eternal salvation, living with Christ in heavenly places for all eternity although one cannot earn their way to eternal salvation. Do Good – Get Good is not a formula for salvation. If we could be good enough, we would not need a Savior in the first place. When one authentically accepts that Jesus is the Son of God and paid a debt of sin that no one could pay they are rewarded with a grace gift from God called eternal salvation.
Salvation in the Greek holds a treasury of meanings. Biblical salvation is defined as material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension; preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness. Personally, I love this definition of salvation. Apprehension (or dread) is a subset of fear and involves the mind. Healing and soundness also relate to the health of the mind (the soul) and the physical body. Restoration could be physical, mental or even financial. Endurance, fortitude and grit works out the dross in overheated silver, allowing it to rise to the top and be seen for what dross is; impurities. Fear, anger, temptation to quit, debt accumulation, rage, resentment, jealousy, covetousness, are a good working list. As the building out of character purifies the soul when developing capacity, it allows negative emotions to burn off in an upper atmosphere that no longer has time or desire for nurturing negativity. When God is developing capacity, He is also building out the soul (mind / will / emotions).
Successful high-capacity living demands a whole and healed soul.
” Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [ that your body] may keep well, even as [ I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.” 3 John 1:2 AMP
The condition of the mind / will/ emotions has undeniable impact on the health of the physical body. The two are inextricably connected and this is scientifically proven. One cannot move at a pace required for a high-capacity lifestyle without a healthy body. Once character is firmly established, this provides for a quieted soul, which aids or even insures sound physical health and well-being.
The process of moving through a stretching that allows for ‘the greater’ requires super gluing your soul to faith. At its very core – this is the purpose for the capacity bootcamp. Being successful at Special Forces missions requires unwavering, steadfast levels of sustained faith. Not just flashes of hope; confident expectations of good, but a true leaning of one’s entire personality on God in all situations. This is faith.
By way of personal illustration, I have worked on a multi million dollar commercial transaction since 2018. Due to Covid, the entire deal went offline for all of 2020, then in early 2021 made a miraculous return to the stage, front and center. After a grueling 7 months of city meetings, planning, back and forth – the deal collapsed in mid November and with it my well-earned six figure commission. Three years of work, down the drain and financial devastation all around. After a few weeks of turmoil and despair, during my morning quiet time I had a “Come to Jesus” with God over this transaction that had failed by no fault of my own. This was a calamity by any measure financially and professionally.
Every morning I pray Psalm 91 (https://sacredramblings.com/2017/05/29/psalm-91-amp) in its entirety aloud. The Psalm clearly states that “because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, There shall NO evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent” AND “Because he has set his love upon ME, therefore I will deliver him, I will set him on high, because he knows and understands my Name” AND lastly, “He shall call upon Me and I will answer him, I will be with him in times of trouble, I will deliver him and honor him, with long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” I reminded the Father of all of these things then stated that I was not going to accept calamity – that His Word stated that I would not have calamity come near me and that His Word could not return void. I said much more but you get the picture. Respectful but authentic, frustrated, desperate.
Within one hour, my phone rang with a broker resurrecting a high dollar transaction that I had considered long gone – good money and enough to throw out a significant lifeline. I smiled and hung up the phone, thanking God for His goodness, mercy and dedication to fulfilling His Word. Although there is much work ahead, the call stirred my faith and showed me once again that God hears every word. “My God will supply ALL of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus“. Philipians 4:19 This is my sure confession.
“For I am the Lord, I do not change; that is why you, O sons of Jacob are not consumed” Malachi 3:6
The Remnant and The Reset
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Hear a reading: https://anchor.fm/sacred-ramblings/episodes/The-Remnant-and-The-Reset-e1c68ko
A Transformational Leader has extremely high aptitude in mining gifts and abilities of people while focusing them on a specific goal or higher calling. These actions will result in significant change in an environment; organization, city, nation, etc. These leaders are visionaries with dynamic ability…
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“The King said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, are you able to make known to me the dreams which I have seen and the interpretation of it? Daniel answered the King, The [ mysterious] secret which the King has demanded neither the wise men, enchanters, magicians nor astrologers can show the king;
But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what it is that shall be in the latter days (at the end of days). The dream and the visions in your head upon your are bed are these: ……. ”
Daniel 2:27 – 28 AMP
In the 6th Century BC during the Babylonian reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, lived a youth born into Jewish nobility whose name was Daniel. The King had asked the head eunuch to bring to his court youths from Israel that were “without blemish, well-favored in appearance, and skillful in wisdom, discernment and understanding, apt in learning, knowledge, competent to stand and serve in the king’s palace – and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans” Daniel 1:3-4 It was the King’s intention to train these children up in the way of his own culture and for them to serve in his kingdom court. Daniel was in this group of Jewish youths that had been taken from all that they knew – loved ones, temple, rabbis, friends – and brought to a nation with a completely different set of rules, laws, gods and cultural way of life. It is in this context that we must study just how remarkable Daniel truly was-
Upon their arrival, the king set out out to change the palates of the young Jewish boys by serving them his “dainties” or rich foods and wine. Daniel wisely requested of the king’s eunuchs that he and his friends might not defile themselves (Dan. 1:8), but that instead might be allowed to consume a diet of vegetables and water. The eunuch consented but placed a restriction of 10 days on the request. After the 10 days, the young men were noticeably looking better and “had taken on more flesh” ( had gained weight). God rewarded their obedience to his laws by “giving them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all kinds of visions and dreams.”
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king asked them, he found them ten times better than all the learned magicians and enchanters who were in his whole realm.” Daniel 1:20 AMP
One night King Neb (who was given to violent rants and raging ) had an unsettling dream. He called in all of his wise men; the enchanters, sorcerers, diviners to come to the palace to interpret his dream. If they were unsuccessful in the interpretation – then all of them would be killed and their homes would be covered in camel-poo; a “dunghill”.
Daniel, after speaking to the king’s guard to gain understanding, then went to the king to ask to be allowed to be given more time to hear from God. “Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of Heaven“. Daniel 2:19 Daniel then gave God all praise and worshipped Him for answering the request of the king in the interpretation of his dream. He gave an accurate interpretation to the king, thus saving his friends and the wise men from certain destruction. The dream occurred in the 2nd year of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign when Daniel would still be considered a youth having only been in Babylon one full year.
Throughout the life of Daniel, there were a number of well known biblical accounts of hardship, persecution, and near-death experiences. God would continuously move to save Daniel, his friends; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and at least in the beginning, other wise men in the inner court of the king. Well into his 80’s, Daniel remained true and his convictions steadfast to his God. There probably was not a Jewish temple in Babylon. Daniel & Friends worshipped God and not the idols of that day. How did Daniel maintain this spirit of excellence in the matters of the spiritual without consistent formalized training and the support of teachers and rabbi’s in his surroundings ? The only answers that I can derive from reading the book of Daniel is his strong, intimate relationship with God through a discipline of prayer and remaining in close fellowship with friends and fellow Jewish believers.
From quite an early young age, Daniel must have been introduced to the stories of his forefathers; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and the great history of the people of Israel. Even as a youth, Daniel’s knowledge of God’s laws and commands were on display as he was decisive in matters of diet, maintaining a consistent discipline of daily prayer, honoring those in authority and possessing overall a spirit of wisdom and discernment in many matters. His childhood exposure to prayer would unveil living proof that the Great God of Israel would hear and respond if he released his needs and desires to heaven. Although the scriptures chose not to pull back the curtain on Daniel’s earliest upbringing, we can be confident that he was brought up in a culture that deeply esteemed and revered the One True God of Israel.
It is important to note that the Holy Spirit did not dwell within Daniel. He (Holy Spirit) was not released until after the resurrection of Jesus, hundreds of years later. (see Acts 2:1) In fact, Holy Spirit did not dwell within Abraham, Sarah, Esther, Ruth, King David, Joseph, Isaiah nor any other Jewish Old Testament Hero. The scriptures state that God was with Abraham, David, and Joseph but His Spirit did not reside within them. Old Testament heroes did not have the advantage of the Spirit’s power and might to help them accomplish the will of God as the redeemed do today.
Hundreds of years later, the beloved Spirit’s power flowed effortlessly through Jesus and his disciples in frequent displays of healing that were demonstrated across entire regions, displaying God’s heart and the depth of His concern for the oppressed. This is the same Spirit-power that raised Jesus from the dead, Who would heal the sick and the infirmed, and deliver the mentally ill and the addicted. Healing, which is typically associated with Jesus, is documented in the Old Testament, occurring in specific, infrequent circumstances and by God’s direction. The first mention of prayer occurred when Abraham was directed to pray for Abimelech and the wombs of the women in his household were healed. Genesis 20:17 ( https://sacredramblings.com/2015/12/05/prayer-and-the-law-of-first-mention ) It is interesting that God never directed Daniel to pray to heal Nebuchadnezzar in the 7 years he turned the king into a yard animal. Daniel 4:25-25
Now more than perhaps ever, it is the disciplined, excellent spirit displayed by Daniel that is required to impact our broken and failing world. It is time to stand and to wisely lead in our marketplace, in our families, and in our communities and our governments as servants of hope and agents of God. We must not only be know-ers of His word but unconfused, confident doers. Daniel was uniquely gifted by God to be His prophet for that season. It is doubtful that Daniel asked God for foretelling of futures or the ability to interpret dreams – that is why it was a gift – but it was the obedient, strategic utilization of these gifts that carried Daniel to greatness. It is the knowledge and use of your own gifts that will carry you to yours.
Recently, I heard a pastor’s excellent teaching on angels. Most, if not all, of this information I had never heard previously. On my long drive home, there was ample time to ponder all aspects of life. My mind turned to the sermon and then the Lord brought this thought: If Lucifer, an Archangel, could convince one third of all the HOLY angels to follow his direction, how much easier could we mere mortals be convinced to veer off road and into this same predicament?
We know angels are beings created by God. They were ALL with Him in heavenly realms. God created all the angels even before the world was formed – there is no record of them being created in Genesis during the 6 days of creation. If they had been created in those 6 days, they would be under the authority of Adam and man but God created the angels to serve Him and to bring His purposes and desires to pass.
Hebrews1:14 – “Are not the angels all (ministering) spirits, sent out in the service of God for those in the assistance of those who were to inherit salvation?”
God does not need angels any more than He needs us but we were created for relationship and purpose for Him and by Him.
What could have made them find Lucifer so appealing that they allowed themselves to be recruited into assignments that were not of their Creator? Perhaps they even communed with God daily but clearly there were questions about His authority or some level of discontent or uncertainty. Why else would they have left in the first place? The angels fell with Lucifer (now satan) before the beginning of humanity- Jesus stated that He saw satan fall like lightning (Luke 10:18). This was before He returned to earth as a Man. https://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-fall.html See also: Ezekiel 28:13-19
Angels are spirit beings. Although others may disagree, I would assert that they must also have a soul because they have a will and mind or could not have made the decision to align with Lucifer. I do not purport to possess an all encompassing knowledge of angels, but I am exploring them to gain a deeper understanding of how they think (or if they think at all or only obey and respond to God’s commands.). We will be needing them in much greater measure in the coming days and I don’t know about you but I could use a few.
But again….why would they go with Lucifer in the first place? Was there a power that blinded them? Were there promises made if they left ? Did he cut a deal? “Ha- ha come with me and we will be the great disruptors on the earth, torment the children of God and derail the plan of the Creator of the Universe! He really isnt the Almighty, He really is not the All Sufficient One. We will run the world! ” Hmmm – I do not associate angels with poor judgement but this well….. judge for yourself. What could have been their motivation to leave, of all places……. HEAVEN? Streets of Gold, Pearlie Gates, no lack, constant sunlight and Heaven lit by Jesus Himself, happiness, total health -(I guess they were never sick) joy, dancing, God’s economy where everything is FREE, every day living among all the amazing people mentioned in the bible 24/7 and no worries. SO WHY I ASK – would they make an intentional decision to derail their God given assignment ? To be eternal holy servants of God……… was this really such a bad life ?
Interestingly, so are we made by God, the Almighty, Creator of the Universe. Although we do not see God, we can. If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He paid a sin debt for which we could never pay – the Spirit of God will live within and inhabit us. Eternal life in Heaven will not be ours until we pass from this earth but we can experience eternal living right now because we have the power of God living inside of us. Angels do not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. They depend on us to learn about God and to see more of God. They listen to us as we pray and respond to our prayers because they are responding to the Word of God
I believe (and this is just musing ….. ) that angels may need us just as much as we need them. They need us to pray the Word of God and move out in the faith of God doing His will for His glory and the building up of His Kingdom on the earth. We need them to make a way in the wilderness, to part those Red Seas – to bring people into our paths that help us get to where we need to be so that we can do what we need to do! How tragic to have angels ‘on ready’ yet on the unemployment rolls waiting for an instruction to assist and then never receive.
If angels can get off track, then certainly so can we. How do we remain focused and on track and out of confusion, hopelessness, fear and despondent thinking ? Enacting the following will make you #stableandfixed in the upcoming days:
1) Read the bible daily and invest in at least one devotional. Have a consecrated, set apart time each day to renew your mind.
2) Make daily declarations and speak them aloud [I am always the head, and never the tail, I am always above and I am never beneath!)
3) Pray, pray and pray some more. And then pray again.
4) Pray aloud God’s word (The Lord is my Shepherd (to feed, guide and shield me), I shall not lack! )
5) Don’t be a lone ranger, be in community with like minded believers thru a small group bible study (cell or community group)
6) Commit to a church where the Pastor preaches in an expository style – verse by verse of the bible – preferably with minimal behavior modification teaching. The Spirit of Jesus will transform your behavior from the inside out when you remain focused on Him.
7) Commit to a church where the Pastor concludes the message with an invitation to receive Christ and frequently teaches Jesus.
8) Steer clear of fear. Whatever you have to do to keep your mind stabilized (no nightly news, not talking to certain friends) then do it
9) Understand that you are righteous (in right standing ) in the sight of God, not because of anything that you have done or can do – but purely because of what He has done for you. Because of this you owe your life to Jesus – find purposeful ways to serve Him.
10) Gain deeper understanding of what His sacrifice means to and for you.
Angels are God’s watchers and helpers, sent to us to serve His purposes. Attract them through speaking His word and only speaking positive confessions about your circumstances – what His Word says about you not about what you might be seeing in the natural. We are all, in our own unique way, in the same company of angels – on assignment, to fulfill God’s will and purposes on the earth.
The Company of Angels
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Article: The Company of Angels
Sharing Link: https://sacredramblings.com/2021/10/25/the-company-of-angels/
Church of His Presence: http://www.churchofhispresence.org/Media Message Title: Help Is On The Way (This msg set will be available in November)
Psalm 91 #stableandfixed https://sacredramblings.com/2017/05/29/psalm-91-amp/
” So faith comes by hearing (what is told) and what is heard comes by the preaching (of the message that came from the lips) of Christ the Messiah Himself.” Romans 10:17 AMP
“But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:17 NKJV
Recently (like very ……… this morning in fact) I heard a respected evangelist state that the ONLY way someone can have faith is through hearing the Word of God. This means that a person cannot have faith for anything unless they can attach a person (Jesus), or a scripture verse to their circumstance. I found this comment to be very interesting.
Faith is a very powerful force for without it, we cannot please God, in fact it is impossible. (Hebrews 11:6 ) Because we are living in such challenging, even urgent times, most all of us need to have an All Access Pass to Faith.
Well what is faith ? I use this definition from the Amplified: The leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, Wisdom and goodness. The assurance, confirmation and title deed that are possessed when we trust Him.
So what do the unchurched have in their emotional arsenal since they cannot possess true faith ? They have HOPE. Hope is a confident expectation of good in every situation. Hope is a great thing to possess. Actually I believe that Hope is probably second only to faith however hope is based in emotion which is tied to the Soul. (Mind, Will, and the Emotions) Although very useful, being hopeful can still be like being ‘positive’ . No One paid a price for your Hope but a BIG price was paid for your Faith. Faith is tied to the Spirit. Hope Helps but Faith Wins.
Faith is actually anchored into someone real – JESUS. One can actually bolt themselves onto the knowledge that they are God’s Beloved and He is working behind the scenes to bring all circumstances to good for those that love Him and that are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28 ) (News Flash: We are all called according to His purposes if we have accepted His Son as Savior).
The understanding that the only way to obtain true faith is through hearing the Word of God should expose renewed urgency to the cause of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As if it were not already urgent enough, for people to actually mentally survive natural disasters, losing homes, deaths of loved ones to Covid or other maladies, and economic misfortunes – the only way to survive these extreme challenges is to rest in an unwavering faith, secured by the most powerful substance available and that is the Blood of Jesus.
To gain understanding of the payment made with the Blood of Jesus is to realize the level of sacrifice directed by God the Father to the only One that could make the exchange for our sin to save me and you. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, a virgin. (Luke 1:26-38) This allowed for a bypass of the blood line of Adam, which was a bloodline of sin. Jesus’ bloodline was required for Him to be without any sin – He had to be perfect. This was the only way that He could qualify to be the once and forever sacrifice to God on behalf of you and for me.
Jesus accepted this assignment while in Heaven from the beginning of time. He was not murdered, He laid down His life. He was/ is omniscient (all knowing) and knew exactly what would happen to Him. This is just one of the many, many reasons that we worship and exalt the name of Jesus. He is Lord and Savior of all and He earned the office of Christ – the Anointed One. This is why He was called Christ Jesus after the Resurrection, when He officially ascended into the office.
1 In many separate revelations [[a]each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets,
2 [But] in [b]the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].
3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the [c]out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,
4 [Taking a place and rank by which] He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs.” Hebrews 1:1-4
Faith is a gift reserved for those in relationship with the Almighty. Let us remain acutely aware that the sharing of our faith in Jesus is the only conduit by which the people that do not know Him, may access the sustained promises of the Divine.
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Sharing Link: The Urgency of Faith – https://wp.me/p1zoxs-2Vy
Anchor Podcast Audio Link: https://anchor.fm/sacred-ramblings/episodes/The-Urgency-of-Faith-e1ce6je
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Him and said to Him, Teacher, we desire You to do for us whatever we ask of You. And He replied to them, What do you desire Me to do for you? And they said to Him, Grant that we may sit , one on Your right hand, and one on Your left hand, in Your glory, (Majesty and Splendor). But Jesus said to them, You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism (of affliction) with which I am baptized? And they replied to Him, We are able. And Jesus told them, The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. But to sit at My right hand or at my My left hand is not Mine to give, but (it will be given to those) for whom it is ordained and prepared.” Mark 10:35-40 AMP
In the Greek there are two primary meanings of the word compete, or competition. One means strive or to out-do, the other relates to taking part (as an individual or team) in a competition. The first has a total focus on self – the other implies a desire for excellence to be the best, a leader, in a particular category. The latter could be a team with a business or athletic team, unified with a specific purpose. No stand-outs or rockstars, but a crew of souls rowing in the same direction to a rhythm that only they can hear.
In the above passage, the two disciples, James and John attempted to get the inside track on acquiring the most important real estate anywhere – the seats to the left and to the right of Christ Jesus. After all, isnt it always about location, location, location? What better location of power and authority could there be other than being seated in Heaven right next to Jesus Himself. Jesus informed James and John that these location decisions were not His to make but those of the Father. The Father is always the One that decides then orchestrates promotion, both then and now.
At times, I feel like I live in what must be the most competitive place on the earth. Where ‘for-no-reason’ competition abounds, including on the low end of the scale stomping the gas peddle when the light turns green to be first or racing below the yellow turning to red street light to be the last car through an intersection. These actions are irritating but the competition that I see among people is far more unsettling and a life disrupter of the highest order. A zero sum game with a goal that goes nowhere is to desire to be someone other than yourself. This seems to occur mostly in people (hate to say it but mostly women) that believe they have fallen short of a desired outcome for their life, or people going through a season of failure. There are a number of reasons why no one should succumb to the spirit of competition (envy).
It is the Holy Spirit that fashions and then enables specific gifts, skills and talents bestowed on each individual –
” All these (gifts, achievements, abilities) are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same (Holy) Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually (exactly) as He chooses. ” 1 Corinthians 12:11
Notice that the gifts, achievements and skills that one possesses are …. as He chooses. The Spirit of God Himself has designed each person with precision and in a way that He has desired them to be equipped and outfitted for life.
“And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [ Who is served]. And there are distinctive varieties of operation (of working to accomplish things), but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the [ Holy] Spirit the (evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit) for good and profit. ” 1 Corinthians 12:6-7
If the Spirit of God, the exact source and force of power that hovered over the earth to form it ‘In the Beginning, has fashioned each person with very specific skills and gifts that are placed there to benefit them for both good and profit, why would people not focus on perfecting their own gifts ?
For it is the Holy Spirit Who knows the specifics of God’s plan and purposes (Romans 8:27-28). He also is the One that determines your assignment (Acts 13:2-4). Spending times of intimacy in prayer, reading God’s Word and listening are the best ways to get to know His plans and what He wants for your life, through what He has given you. What is magnificent, is that the God that created the Universe even has a specific plan and purpose for each life. Remarkable!
Yet there is one more crucial element to understand about your plan, purposes and giftings. It is Jesus.
Because of the completed work based on Jesus’ sacrifice, every person that embraces Him as their Savior can look “unto Him” with expectation of finishing well and being a success in the eyes of God. Your victories are based on the knowledge of what Jesus did for you, over and above your own natural abilities and certainly over the natural abilities of others. The natural is important – these are how God has equipped you – however they are less than the supernatural transformation and breakthrough that will come when focused on Jesus.
God can and will place you into position to utilize your greatest gifts, skills and talents and can suddenly, even supernaturally open doors on your behalf.
These open doors are ‘doorways of grace‘ that cannot be forced but swing from their hinge in the perfect time and pre-ordained season to utilize your gifts for higher purposes. (At times ,this means in other geographic areas for the purposes of “special forces”.) Your personal experiences are also very beneficial in the decisions of plans and life purposes. Many people have lived through serious difficulties and the successful navigation of these unique experiences can be used to minister to many that are currently walking that road.
There is danger in the distraction of remaining mentally focused on a perceived competitor – always looking to the left and the right, overly concerned about the abilities of another. Striving to always be in competition is very counter productive and is guaranteed to steer a person off course – away from God’s desired direction. This will sound too simplistic but focus on Jesus and let everything in the periphery fade to black. Keep Jesus in the forefront and concentrate on what He has given you to do – this is the way to win your race. When people feel that they are not where they should be or experience failure, the spirit of competition can creep in and steal or derail God’s best, veering the unsuspecting off course. Envy, listed as one of the 7 deadly sins, is the root cause of the spirit of unhealthy competition. It is critical to remain vigilant against this spirit.
There is no reason to envy the abilities of others when the Father has something just as wonderful for you. The purpose of these skills, gifts and abilities that are knitted into the fabric of each person by the Holy Spirit is for the use for service of others. If you are properly engaged in serving others, there simply is not enough time to look at anything else. Serve well friends, serve well.
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The Distraction that Destroys A Destiny
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
Available on Amazon and through Parson’s Porch
Related Article: The Assignment