God Goes In Deep


“I had to be STRIPPED of it.” This is a quote from a friend of mine who recently posted a piece on her blog entitled “The Blessing Is In The Pain.”  I was leaving a comment when the inspiration to write this piece  showed up.

No human being likes to lose. Losing anything from a wallet, to a bet, to a track meet, to a loved one (OR EVEN A WELL-PUBLICIZED COURT DECISION) is never something to get happy about. (at least in the early stages of the loss anyway!)  Let’s state the obvious here, “LOSING SUCKS.”  It is painful beyond words.  Yet it is in the pain that God reveals the POWER OF THE RESURRECTION AND THE GLORY HE IS DUE.

Your human nature is NEVER going to buy into this spiritual truth.  The only way to arrive at a place of inner humility under His mighty hand is to SUFFER.  In our suffering GOD GOES IN DEEP and begins to excavate through all of the sin that is exposed in our human nature and  renews us through His Spirit, HIS WORD, HIS PLAN, HIS POWER all at work IN US!!!!!   

Philippians 3:10 My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death,
 3:11 and so, somehow,to attain to the resurrection from the dead.  NET

Nothing makes a cushion for suffering better than the CROSS.
Nothing makes a cushion for suffering better than the CROSS.

 

As God begins to strip us of our cushions of materialism, idolatry, pride/ego, etc., you begin to mourn the loss. The pain increases in this God-ordained cycle.  However, at the point when you realize you had to be stripped, as Portia so wonderfully wrote, the blessing is in the pain.  In that moment your gratitude for God’s OMNISCIENCE has bloomed through all your suffering.  Then you can see how GOD will change you as you continue to humbly surrender to His SOVEREIGNTY on a daily basis. YOU BEGIN TO LOVE THE RESULTS of being “more than a conqueror through Him that loves us.” The Conqueror Lifestyle  is achieved and your winning begins.  YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO TRY TO FIX UP WHAT HE HAS ALLOWED TO BE  BROKEN. TRUE HUMILITY IS REVEALED IN YOUR WILLINGNESS TO RELY ON GOD’S ABILITY TO PUT YOU BACK TOGETHER AGAIN, PUT THAT LIFE BACK TOGETHER, THAT BROKEN HEART BACK TOGETHER, THAT HOME BACK TOGETHER, THAT CAREER BACK TOGETHER……….   Ultimately the losing is your catalyst to surrender which is the gateway to REAL WINNING!

Paul’s aim to know Christ intimately was a direct result of intense suffering. The suffering revealed God’s POWER in Paul’s life in a mighty way. This SAME power is available to you and I. ConquerorShots was born out of intense suffering. I am so grateful for all He has done and ALL HE IS UP TO IN ME AND THE LIFE HE HAS CALLED ME TO. ARE YOU??????

Consider the comment I was compelled to share with Portia.  God bless you my sister.  THANK YOU LORD FOR KNOWING HOW DEEP I NEEDED YOU TO GO ! 🙂

Losing all the "stuff" that the flesh "THINKS" it needs is painful but OH SO NECESSARY. Your post today reveals TRUTH that provides your readers with depth. God goes IN DEEP with us in our personal lives for the purpose of exposing our human nature & all the inadequacies which cultivate a desire from our core to realize the spiritual renewal we need to be His instruments. He resides in the depths of us. You can't stand for Him UNTIL He "goes in deep." Yes He knows the plans for us because HE CREATED US. How is it that humans don't get that TRUTH????? It's simple. They live after the flesh rather than the spirit. Well, I thank God that you do and that you exposed it here in this piece. To GOD BE THE GLORY FOR HIS GREAT PLANS REVEALED IN AND THROUGH US.

 

Healing Hope


Jesus in Pray
Jesus in Pray (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The Son of God called on “Daddy”

 

Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”(NASB)

 

 

 

I have a friend who I met a few years ago. It was at a time when I was devastated by the effects of separation from my wife and kids which ultimately led to divorce and continual estrangement from my children. During the first year of our friendship he would listen to me as I became willing to share my pain, misery, heartache and despair that plagued me daily. He too knew the suffering associated with a life dream of marriage bliss becoming a nightmare of perpetual horror disguised as divorce.

 

He listened.(Thank you Lord for giving me a friend who understood and listened!) He offered very little verbiage to the phone conversations at first. As I began to hear the words that were describing my issues, he would then share his awakenings with me. I had no idea how to begin to process any resolutions. It seemed that my ability to think rationally was completely destroyed by the constant barrage of emotional torpedoes that simultaneously connected to the unimaginable bull’s eye attached to my heart by my trials and tribulations. He instinctively knew when I was rid of the debris. Every time I had the wisdom to listen to his experience I opened myself to the origins of HEALING HOPE.

 

The first time we spoke in this manner I asked him to pray for me. I had no prior knowledge of his prayer life but I knew he possessed an  awareness and relationship with the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. To my surprise, gratefully so, he obliged. It is not uncommon for me to appeal to others for prayer particularly when I am too weak to pray earnestly for myself as in those prior months. Yet I was ALWAYS mindful of my personal need for prayer – even if the words were simply, “Lord, have mercy. In Jesus name Amen.”  There were many times when that was ALL THAT I COULD SAY………  My friend however, was primed and ready to offer prayer on my behalf. He began in the most prolific and personable manner – “DADDY!”

 

I sat straight up in the chair as he yelled with conviction this opening to prayer that was soul-stirring. His tone of assurance that God, HIS HEAVENLY FATHER, was listening and ready to attend to the specific needs he would offer which included a particular instance of thanksgiving that soothed my battered heart. My friend knew how fragile my spirit was. He was also aware of the constant associations that were in my immediate surroundings that intensified the matter. The manifestations of fear and bondage had greatly overtaken me then. His prayer reminded me of the depths of “ABBA FATHER aka DADDY.

 

Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  It is for these results spiritually, mentally and physically, which are the direct result of my personal salvation, that I can call Him Daddy.

 

Calling God “Daddy” helps me get in touch with His Fatherly love for me. I was not fortunate to know a healthy human father/son relationship. I struggled greatly with the identity of this necessary human dynamic. It is no coincidence that God would ultimately have to demonstrate His Fatherly qualities to me over the course of my life – specifically my teens, twenties and thirties  It was during these years that I became a father myself. I remember the concerns I had as my oldest son was born and I realized how inadequate I was to be called his father. It was then that I became personally acquainted with the HEALING HOPE associated with “where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.” This is true even more so as God reveals His Heavenly designs of fatherhood in my life. God allowed for ALL my deficiencies in order for HIS SUFFICIENCY to have weight and depth IN my life.

 

HEALING HOPE is an extraordinary gift from God that originated in the beginning. Hope is Eternal when we realize how Heavenly salvation really is. However, knowing “DADDY” also provides HEALING HOPE when life happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed Delay


 

 “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalms 27:13-14

Delayed
Delayed (Photo credit: Aquila) WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THERE IS A SUDDEN DELAY?

Recall a time when you were in need of DELIVERANCE and instead of an “IMMEDIATELY” result, you encounter a significant DELAY. Nothing is more dreadful than having to wait for a particular outcome you KNOW you need. The difficulty you face as you MUST “endure the hardships” of the circumstances can work in one of two ways:

 

 

1. The delay can distract you from the plan and purpose of the circumstance. This personal response fuels hopelessness and despair as you move away from God.  You will find human alternatives that can serve you like band aids on a bleeding wound.
2. The delay can propel you towards the plan and purpose of the circumstance. This personal response fuels hope and faith in God through prayer and reading and studying His Word. "His word is a lamp unto your feet and a light to your pathway." DARKNESS OR DESPAIR WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HINDER YOU. You will find His power and peace to preserve you while you "wait" and His Heavenly purpose will ALWAYS be revealed,BLESSED DELAY results in His Faithfulness.

I am blessed to have the gift of “waiting on the Lord” in my spiritual arsenal. However, I did not always consider the delays that God allows as a blessing. In fact, there was a particular delay in my life in which I thought I was receiving NO additional Godly intervention. I believed that it was God’s will for this particular matter  in my life and HE WAS NEVER GOING TO ALLOW FOR CHANGE. I WAS SO WRONG! While this was a painful reality for me to accept, it FORCED ME TO DRAW CLOSER TO HIM BECAUSE OF A PERSONAL NEED FOR HIS POWER TO SUPPLEMENT MY POWERLESSNESS. “His STRENGTH IS PERFECT WHEN OUR STRENGTH IS GONE!” Through the process of getting closer to Him He eventually allowed for MORE change. “GOD’S DELAY IS NOT A DENIAL.”

The more I realized #2 at work in my life the more HOPE I REALIZED AS IT WAS MANUFACTURED IN MY SPIRIT DURING THE BLESSED DELAY. All the while I could experience the goodness of the Lord through His continual provision for me, His peace in me and His plan for me. The essence of Him presiding over the “NEED” also manifested in the lives of my loved ones all around me. The song writer wrote “He Keeps On Doing GREAT Things For Me.” Ultimately, the presence of HOPE in my spirit yielded a fertile ground for SEEDS from the WORD OF GOD to cultivate IN ME. 
You too can experience “THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.” HAVE FAITH IN HIM and ALLOW for a BLESSED DELAY in your life. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart. PLEASE WAIT ON THE LORD!
 

 

 

 

Not Outside Then Inside………


God gave us the cogent example of the Pharisee in the Gospels to demonstrate how human wisdom and human interpretation of God’s word leads to spiritual blindness. The Pharisees were experts in the letter of the law but they did not have a clue about the significance of Christ – whose identity originates in the Old Testament to prophets like Moses, who wrote the Torah.

Consider the lesson contained in the reaction Christ demonstrates towards the Pharisees.

Cup and Saucer
Cup and Saucer (Photo credit: Cookieater 2009) WHAT GOES INSIDE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE BEAUTY ON THE OUTSIDE

If you too are so focused on keeping your outside clean for others to think you have it all together, yet you continue to neglect God’s goodness to your spirit, through his love, forgiveness, grace and mercy at Calvary, then, like the Pharisees, you too are guilty of hypocrisy.



Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law — justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others.
 23:24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel!
23:25 "Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites!You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside may become clean too! (NET Bible)

Silent Forgiveness


Shhhhh....
Shhhhh…. (Photo credit: Valerie Everett)

Saying “I’m sorry” is the first act of humility that can bring about a life changing experience based in forgiveness. The person who you wronged may spend months, years, even decades desiring to hear these words. While waiting to hear these words, fueled by a spirit of anger, resentment, loss, fear and pain,his/her life can be greatly affected by the elements of negative behaviors – drugs, alcohol, crime, etc. Whatever the actions which brought about the wrong needing correction with  an apology, the overall damaging affects can never be erased. There are no words that can efface the subsequent issues wreaking havoc in his/her life because of what you said, did or did not do.

How does silence help the healing in forgiveness? How can silence be a catalyst to forgiveness? Can there be a visceral response to inaudibility? Of course, the answer is yes! How? This question would likely follow. Here is what I know today.  When there are elements of disconnect that create boundaries which prevent a needed verbal exchange of apology, silence is your best alternative. When you try to communicate to the best of your ability and all your efforts to apologize are not welcomed, silence is your defensive ally. When you have the opportunity to communicate remorse and you are quieted by his barrage of anger in reply to your effort to apologize, silence speaks forgiveness more than any words.

It takes an ongoing spirit of humility from a renewed heart that becomes willing to apologize for wrongdoings. However, your willingness to speak an apology must be met with a willingness to hear the apology. If the opportunity is constantly unavailable because of those boundaries the sufferer has positioned in his/her life as a means of protection from any additional pain from you, the solution is silent forgiveness- not from the sufferer but from you. You must be able to continue to “accept the things you can NOT change.” Silent forgiveness begins in you. The sufferer will become a recipient of your forgiveness of yourself for your wrongs and the sufferers actions that are fueled by fear, anger, hurt and pain that you caused. This is the epitome of love.

The best example I have to cite is the suffering of Christ. Here we delve into the sometimes controversial aspect of His Deity during His earthly ministry. We learned that at the time of His baptism, John the Baptist declared Him to be “the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” That was His mission. At the time when the Hebrews rejected Christ, they turned on Him and supposed that His claims of being the Son of God was criminal. They wanted Him dead. But He was God in the flesh! He knew more than just what was seen at the time of His earthly ministry. He was on a mission and that was prophesied in Isaiah 53 – that of being crucified.

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

 

All of the times when He made attempts to gain their faithfulness as a Nation, His desires went unmet. They took all they could get from Him but in the end they did not want Him around. Instead, they wanted Him to be nailed to a cross, hanging, bleeding, suffering unto death – the most horrible, degrading form of death known to them. And He did it willingly. He did not need to plead his case, retaliate against his opposition or “change their minds” about who He is. He was fulfilling a mission that was determined even before the world began. The essence of His “Silent Forgiveness” is realized when, while hanging on the Cross, He uttered “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Your silent forgiveness is motivated by the same source of love resting firmly in your spirit as a direct result of knowing who you are in Christ. Your willingness to make right the wrongs of your past to him/her is based in your love. You can not experience unfeigned, self love if you have not accepted Christ’s undying love for you and the sufferer. Acceptance of the “finished work” at Calvary and the resurrection gave you the opportunity to become a “joint heir” with Him today. You, a wretched sinner who inflicted pain and misery in loved ones’ lives because of your own selfish desires and the sufferers who have their own crosses to bear because of your actions, are ALL forgiven under the blood that Jesus shed at the Cross. God gave His only begotten Son to suffer, bleed, die and resurrect just for you! And not just for you but for all who would by faith believe in Him. That’s the love that every soul in need of a Savior desires and every spirit washed in the precious blood of the lamb experiences daily.

This love is the catalyst for a “new creation in Christ… old things are passed away and behold ALL things are new.” This is a process that overshadows any obstacles that sin can attempt to block God’s will. Therefore, since you have been redeemed by the precious blood of the lamb, you do NOT get to determine what actions you can give/receive forgiveness for and which ones that you will never be forgiven for. Forgiveness of sins is not on a sliding scale! At the Cross, ALL sin is forgiven once and for all! Silent forgiveness then is the act of receiving the forgiveness that resulted at Calvary and being willing to forgive others without ever speaking a word. In God’s time he/she will also forgive you. God is able! TRUST HIM AND LIVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE IN HIM!

LOVE NEVER FAILS


We all  experience  the presence of buoyancy time and again. Whether I am enjoying the simplicity of an afternoon of fun and relaxation in the park, a social gathering in the community or an intimate get together with friends/family, I have found that the term “I love……” is used far more frequently today. The statement “Oh my God, I love………” is a popular phrase  both young and older people have coined into their mode of expressing this powerful emotion.  Quite honestly, I hear the phrase “I love…….” being used so often that I have begun to question the nature of the sentiment.

Do you ever find yourself asking the question, “Are you serious? You don’t even know________?  This inquiry seems to really surface when I hear people describe artistry – music, art, poetry,

John Legend~Get Lifted
John Legend~Get Lifted (Photo credit: bamalibrarylady) There’s More to It!

dance, etc. – as people are describing how what they see and hear affects them to their core. John Legend is a gifted male musician/vocalist. His timeless hit “Ordinary People” moved many fans to listen to that song over and over again. We could not hear it enough when it hit the airwaves; we bought the CD in bulk to give to friends/family as gifts; we flocked to his concerts to hear his live version and I am sure that even now, after many more tunes he may perform, nothing will stir the crowd more than when he begins to play the opening cords to “Ordinary People.”  If you ever found yourself caught up in the storm that was “Ordinary People” you may have said “I love John Legend.”

I can not begin to understand why love is such a flippant expression. Personally, I believe that my own personal entanglement with the human elements attached to the expectations of “love” have challenged my perspective on how I receive the term when I hear it.  Today I am not so quick to readily apply my personal understanding of love to another person’s expression of love. It is fair play to naturally navigate through the varied currents of love with a relative outlook.  But one thing that I can understand about love, no matter how trivialized, over emphasized or grandiose it may be is this – LOVE NEVER FAILS.

People fail. Systems fail. Every aspect of human experience has the potential to fail. How can you love something or someone else when you don’t love yourself through your own failures?  A battle between the intellect and the emotion continues. But God is LOVE! He is the solution to every issue with love. Everything that He Is is LOVE. From the onset of Creation until today and beyond, FAILURE IS NOT IN HIS repertoire. His example is not to be understood but instead, trusted.

We ALL need Love and we NEED to be able to express true, unconditional love.  Life breeds love of all types. Often times, the love that I hear about and even describe today is absent of depth. It can be turned on/off at a whim. This is dangerous.

An assessment on the state of the heart (https://conquerorshots.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/check-up-on-the-heart/) will reveal the subsequent harm done to a person’s core if you are willing to be honest about what love truly is. (I Corinthians 13) There can be an enormous debate over the fluidity of love. Because it stems from the core i.e. the heart, human interpretation is subject to many differences of opinions.

Here at ConquerorShots we are united in the belief that if you want to understand, practice and experience true love, God is the reference source. Specifically, if ever you are perplexed over the idea of what love truly is, what it does and how to give and receive it, we recommend a trip to Calvary and all of the details including the Resurrection for the most honest, revealing, life-enriching display of love. It will shape your life’s existence of true love and provide you with wisdom to know otherwise.

Love Is Giving and Receiving a Clean Slate


 

 

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. That whosoever believes in Him should  not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

 

Try Jesus. He satisfies!