Simple, Spiritual Self-Service


 

1.Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (NASB)
Self-service kiosk
Self-service kiosk (Photo credit: melitroncorp)

Self service is a common part of human services that we realize throughout the course of every day. Whether it is at the ATM, airport, gas station, supermarket, workplace, etc., there is always some type of self service facility where you can serve yourself.  It has become the basic standard of service that we as Americans have come to expect. It is a simple, time and cost effective service tool which provides us with a new level of independence.  You can go, choose what you want and quickly keep it moving. It’s that simple!

 

The key to spiritual self-service is the acceptance of Christ’s unconditional service to humans, through His birth, life, Earthly ministry, death and resurrection, thereby establishing and fulfilling a Divine plan of redemption through the forgiveness of sin.  His Service to us At the Cross was unconditional work because He was born to provide us with the means of spiritual salvation  that we all can benefit from Eternally.  Whether we choose to believe in Him or not, His service to us is forever established. When we surrender our bodies to our Heavenly Father because we need forgiveness of our sins on a daily basis, we begin the process of spiritual self-service. True holiness is realized through your own personal identity with your need for forgiveness.  Spiritual self-service is that simple!!

 

There is Spiritual power of unknown proportions available to you when you are willing to present your body to God on a daily basis, totally surrendered to His Sovereignty over your life. His Power is revealed in your walk, your talk and your manner of life. Through every opportunity that makes up your day, you can experience the spiritual freedom of the conqueror lifestyle.  You see, when you choose to start your day, or in some cases re-start your day, by surrendering yourself under God’s authority, you are securing His leadership over every aspect of your day.  However, if you go through your day without this simple, spiritual self-service,  you are living a life that is solely reliant on your own abilities. Every idea, desire, motive and goal is born out of a spirit that is quenched by a soul that is sickened by unconfessed sin. Your body becomes a host for evil rather than God’s goodness. Unconfessed sin is a breeding ground for a swarm of complications that are designed to continue to distract you from His goodness as the world’s appeal demands your attention.

 

Your life can greatly benefit from the simple, spiritual self-service of surrendering to the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ daily.  The reasonable service begins with a mindset to pray without ceasing, having a thankful heart and mind willing to submit your body, mind i.e soul and spirit to Him all reliant on His will for your life from day to day.  A healthy prayer life and daily attachment to His Word completes the simple, spiritual process. It is a simple process that can humbly begin every time you wake up from rest you are blessed to realize. It gets you going spiritually!

 

Find out how I was trained to realize the importance of this self-service model in my new book     “A Conqueror In Training

 

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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.

 

If You Believe……..



Imagine Her Cameo Perfomance in "The Wiz"

“If you believe
Within your heart
You’ll know that no one can change
The path that you must go
Believe what you feel and know you’re right because the time will come around when you’ll say it’s yours…………That’s why I want you to believe in yourself right from the start. Believe in the magic right there in your heart. Go ahead believe all these things not because I told you to. But believe in yourself; If you believe in yourself; Just believe in yourself as I believe in you.” source:http://www.lyricsondemand.com/soundtracks/w/wizmusicallyrics/ifyoubelievelyrics.html

The Wiz was released on October 24, 1978. I was entering the preadolescent stage of development. My toddler aged sister was with my mom and I when we saw this groundbreaking movie. This was during a tumultuous season in my history as the dysfunction of my family was negatively impacting my maturity. The imagery of Ms. Lena Horne‘s performance singing “If You Believe” was a breathtaking moment as she entered the scene with an entourage of small, black babies, adorned in identical, purple outfits, complete with head coverings, as Ms. Horne captivated the screne and a stellar display of sparkling stars illuminated their background. At the close of her dialogue with Dorothy, the orchestral score initiated the transition and Ms. Horne delivered the soul stirring vocal captioned above.

How does this timeless portrayal of Glenda the good witch tie into this month’s theme – spiritual integrity? Here at ConquerorShots we maintain the definition of integrity as the quality or state of our spirit being complete or undivided. We stand on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and rely on the finished work at Calvary to realize spiritual completeness. This is the foundation of our belief in the power of God, NOT THE “MAGIC” IN YOUR HEART, through the Holy Spirit working in and through us from day to day. The results of which are a cumulative source of power to spiritually conquer our biggest enemy – sin.

The lyrical content of “believe” in the song has a strong identification in one’s self. However, ConquerorShots maintains that “self” needs a Savior in order to be its best. The Word clearly defines the condition of our heart i.e. “self” as “deceitful and above all desperately wicked…..”So, today the lyrical content helps to apply the principle of spiritual integrity in a defining way where we can attain belief in “self.”

When you have “Blessed Assurance” in your heart – not in your mind – about the finished work at Calvary and how it serves your spiritual needs from day to day, you are NO LONGER left with the task of being the source of your own destiny. God has provided all of the Mastery of ordering your steps before you lived your first day. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works, which God has prepared in advance that we should walk in them.”

The spiritual principles of Honesty, Hope, Faith and Courage, all stemming from a healthy spiritual appetite for the Word of God and prayer, serve our daily belief system in “The Christ in us”. If you believe in yourself from this prospective, as God believes in you because He CREATED you, you have a ROCK SOLID foundation in spiritual integrity that can NOT be shaken from day to day.

Experience the blessing of SECURITY in CHRIST which yields FREEDOM to be who GOD created you to be IF YOU BELIEVE.



	

Have You Heard………?


Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

In the Book of Joshua the 2nd chapter you can read about the story of Rahab.

Rahab and the Emissaries of Joshua
Rahab and the Emissaries of Joshua (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The mere mention of her name elicits the world of prostitution. Her Biblical story reveals that she was a ‘working girl’ who was willing to help 2 Israelite men who Joshua sent to spy on the land, including Jericho. The fact that she was willingly accommodating to these young, viral men could suggest the theory she was preying on their vulnerability giving rise to an opportunity for her to capitalize and get paid. The human mind will also fantasize about the origins of the spies ending up at a harlot’s house. In fantasy they may have deliberately ended up there to “blow off some steam.”

In the story’s enticing opening the reader will want to find out what happens. This is a great read in and of itself. However, the emphasis for this “shot” is on what Rahab heard and how she responded. As she takes the liberty to check on the spies she divulges her true nature. Here we see that the word was spreading about God‘s power being demonstrated through the chosen Israelites. The news worthiness of their trek through the Red Sea and the conquering of 2 kings was a source of awakening in the hearts of many. Rahab’s awakening is clearly stated in verse 11″When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath .”

Rahab heard what God had done and her heart awakened to TRUST IN GOD. The Israelite men were God’s men. She did not view them as objects for capital gain. Instead she was IN POSITION as a vessel for God to use as He deemed necessary. It is this design for FAITH THAT WE WILL NEED TO REALIZE IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN A CONQUEROR LIFESTYLE. We live life from day-to-day under the auspices of God’s Sovereignty. NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, HAPPENS BY SURPRISE IN THE CREATOR’S WORLD. Yet human beings are constantly attempting to act as “the controlling force” of their destiny. Psalms 24:1 says the Earth is the Lords and the FULLNESS thereof. If you are ever going to be of use to anyone it is because of God and God alone. God is ALWAYS UP TO SOMETHING GOOD BECAUSE GOOD IS ALL HE DOES.

You have to hear about God’s power; hear about God’s grace; hear about God’s love; hear about God’s faithfulness; hear about God’s Sovereignty. Have you heard that Jesus Christ SAVES to the UTMOST?

Hear how He provides, protects and preserves His people. Hear how He can DO ANYTHING BUT FAIL. You can hear it from Genesis to Revelations as you read about the Mighty God we serve. All the while your heart will awaken to a continuous cultivation of FAITH in all that you hear about Him. As this faith matures, a newness in the way you think and respond to ANY life situation erupts. You will say things that you thought you would never say, do things you thought you would never do and life will take on new meaning. This and more is likely when you HEAR of his goodness, strength and power and discover He is always available for you. Faith comes by what you heard and what you hear from the Word of God.

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!