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!
 

 

 

 

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A Confirming Breeze


Mostly everyone has a light switch   on the wall of an entryway into their home. When you come in at night it is customary to hit the switch to “light up” the darkness of the dwelling. This action is an unrealized willingness to exercise faith in what you can NOT see. Electricity is the source of power that runs through the domiciles of the world to provide a “power source” to run appliances, heating/air conditioning gadgets and the most important element – light. What does electricity look like?

A building without electricity is like a dead body. On the outside it looks fine – absent of decay – but on the inside there is no activity because there is no power. Unseen electrical currents in either source provide for the presence of power and the opportunity to experience life. We come to rely on the power of electricity so heavily that we pay for it no matter what the cost.  We need power to run our homes, businesses, churches and society. Conversely, we NEED the power of the Spirit of God to experience the abundant life Jesus spoke of. Joh 10:10 “10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”NASB  The power of God is confirmed daily and the abundant life is possible because of the finished work at Calvary.

Like electricity, we can NOT see God. Yet, as Christians, we exercise a faith in His presence from day-to-day. We come to rely on His presence through the affirmation of His power revealed in us and through us. His power is most assuredly realized through the gospel of the Grace of God. Titus 2:11 says “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” Romans 1:16 adds For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” NASB       Human beings find it easier to trust in electricity more than they can trust in the power of God. 

For nearly 20 years, June 15th marked the beginning of a series of annual celebrations for me – marriage, birthday and Father’s Day. Today, like last year, the celebration is no more. The affects of divorce have taken the celebrations I learned to anticipate. Instead, there is a willingness to “show up” and live life one day at a time, a desire to realize the love of Christ which enables me to experience a “conqueror lifestyle,” and a spirit of liberty which fuels a pursuit to “accept what God allows” everyday. I thank God that in the midst of my losses He is my gain. A summer breeze confirms His power.

Change is difficult sometimes but the results of the difficulty are “working together for the good of them who love the Lord;to them who are the called according to His purpose.” It(change) has given rise to darkness and uncertainty on many occasions. I love the song Amazing Grace for many reasons, all of which consume my spirit with a realistic appreciation and gratitude for God’s uncensored grace abounding richly in my life.

Phlox subulata 'Amazing Grace'
Phlox subulata ‘Amazing Grace’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The heat in Atlanta can be brutal. When I moved here from the north, a conversation with a deacon in the church about the lack of cool breezes during the hot summer days enlightened me. At that time I had a large amount of grass that I would maintain in the afternoons. Deacon Knuckles told me that I was going about it all wrong. I had no clue and so he offered me some of his Georgia bred wisdom.  His explanation yielded a new-found awareness and appreciation for the early mornings and late evenings in which we inevitably experience a breeze outside. His recommendation was to rearrange my schedule for landscaping to coincide with these times of the hot summer days. It worked.

A breeze made all the difference in my experiences working outside. A few years later, the tribulation of having major surgery changed my life forever. During the first 6 months of recovery, and learning how to walk again, it was a time of darkness. I was overcome with despair, grief, heartache, uncertainty and an unusual amount of physical pain. My days and nights were consumed with loneliness, fear and anxiety. Even though my children, wife and mother-in-law were there with me, they could NOT offer me any power. They tried by being there and doing for me the simplest tasks that I could not do for myself and I appreciate them immensely.  But I needed more.

My home therapy included using my walker and walking in intervals of 5 minutes. Over time I was up to 15 minutes. That progress allowed for me to exercise some courage to go outside to my driveway. There I would work to increase my walk time. The backyard is decorated with an assortment of tall trees – oak, dogwood, cedar and maple – in the large wooded area. Prior to my recovery, I only appreciated their response to wind when stormy weather hit our neighborhood. The motion in the trees would “speak” to me in a way that I knew when the weather pattern was threatening.

One day while struggling to walk my routine I experienced the blessing of a confirming breeze. I was stuck physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As the tears rolled down my face on the beautiful summer day while standing in my driveway on my walker, God’s presence was once again realized as the cool, confirming breeze swept over our subdivision. The natural response of the trees yielded a heralding sound of the leaves response to the force of the breeze. The trees began to sway with ease as the unclouded sky revealed the splendor of the sunlight. It was majestic, unlike all of my earlier exposure to the outside elements. It said to me “I am here…..fear not…..”

My tears dried up and my body was overcome with a spirit of amazement as I realized God’s presence being confirmed in the breeze of a summer day. It forever heightened my appreciation for God’s grace. You can’t see the wind but the breeze makes itself known through the responses of all the matter of the earth. You can’t see God’s presence but you can experience all the fullness of His power that can change your entire prospective and outlook on life. God uses change to confirm His presence, His power and His grace. I made it back  inside and picked up my dusty Bible and the Lord’s confirming power was further revealed in this popular passage:

Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. KJV

Experience the blessing of a confirming breeze.

The Sweetest Gift


The Sweetest Gift

posted Dec 18, 2011 1:06 PM by Darrin Payne

When I was a child I loved to eat tootsie rolls and Swedish fish.  I would go to the corner store or Mr. Buddy’s and get me some penny candy.  A quarter would get me enough for myself. $.50 was enough for me to share with my friends.  I loved to eat that candy.  When I became a teenager I did not eat candy that much and even today I don’t eat candy often. However, I graduated to eating cakes, pies, cobblers and cookies.  That is my weakness.  I have learned to modify the quantities so that I am not killing myself through hefty indulgence.  But I love well-prepared, home-made desserts.  Oh, and then there is the occasional indulgence for ice-cream.  Lord knows that is a “guilty pleasure.”   Umm umm umm!!!!!


Yesterday, I participated in a fund raiser and I baked cookies for the first time.  To my surprise I have good skills in this area of food preparation.  The event was not well publicized and we did not have a steady flow of patrons.  Yet the ones who did buy and eat the cookies in my presence, they all seemed to really enjoy them.  There was one patron who actually ate one in front of me and ended up buying 4 more.  There was mild over-indulgence going on. 

 The idea for this entry came to me during a particular exchange yesterday.  A lady was eating the cookies and she said now this is a sweet gift. ” I could buy these and give them out”, she stated.  However, she hesitated because of her concern about eating them all herself.  That got me to thinking.  She coined my cookies as a “sweet gift” because of the pleasure she got from eating them.  The reason for my love of sweets is because of the instant gratification I get the moment that food hits my tongue.  My love affair for sweets is in effect at that moment.  There are times when it is so good I don’t want to swallow – but I have to so I can eat some more.  When it is good – the more I get the more I want. 

 Ephesians 2.8 says ” For by grace you have been saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God NASB

During this holiday week ahead, it is really important for me to realize I have the “Sweetest Gift” of all – JESUS CHRIST. I was introduced to faith in Christ at an early age.  It was good for me to have the knowledge of Christ and my Salvation early but it was also a hindrance.  I took it for granted.  I thought that because of my salvation I was free to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and however I wanted and I would still go to Heaven.  No one could separate me from the love of God and  nothing could make me loose my salvation.  That type of “spiritual irrationality” kept me sin-sick for MANY years.

  I needed to have the experience where the knowledge of salvation begins initiating a desire for my salvation spiritually.  
Knowing about Christ is not enough to live a victorious Christian life.  Conquerors, walk by faith and not by sight.  Faith comes by hearing and receiving the Word of God in your spirit – not in your mind.  Whenever the Word of God is heard and processed in the mind it is on the same basis of acquiring knowledge from any literary or reference source. We read and hopefully comprehend the material.  While comprehension happens in the mind, the spirit of man is not necessarily influenced by the words – only the soul.  The new life begins as the information travels from the head to the heart.  Some say that distance is further than a trip from NYC to LA!!!
When you get to where you have developed a desire in your spirit for the salvation you know about to actually be at work in you via spiritual regeneration, you experience the sweetness of Christ resonating in you from the inside out.  One example may go something like this:
You thought you were going to get a check in the mail that would be used to buy groceries for the family.  The check does not come. You are tempted to call up the issuer and “bless them out verbally” but your spirit moves you to turn the problem over to the Lord in prayer instead.  You may even cry over it to the Lord in prayer.  Afterwards, during the continued course of your day you notice a flyer that is in your mail. It informs you that there is a free ham and groceries for a week and a $50.00 gift certificate available for you if you go to the location at a certain hour.  The sweetness of your Savior is manifesting.  Then you get there and to your surprise there is no line.  You just walk in and get what the flyer advertised.  However, in addition to the expected outcome there is an additional bounty of goods that is more than what you could have even imagined.  The sweetness is now making you have visceral responses – praise in your mouth, hands, feet, etc.  Then you get home and begin to put the free groceries away and someone starts knocking on your door.   One of your neighbors comes by to hand you mail that mysteriously showed up in their box.  You thank them and close the door. On your way you discover that the check is there after all.
NOW THE SWEETNESS IS OVERWHELMING!!!!!!!
Jesus is the “SWEETEST GIFT” ever.  Once you receive Him “for real for real”, He is the kind of gift that just keeps on giving.  Just like I used to eat candy, and still enjoy eating desserts, I LOVE TO TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD.  It is a blessed experience to have when you TRUST in Him.
Remember to keep Christ in your Christmas celebration.

Faith Works When You Work It


Being more than  conquerors is a spiritual principle that keeps you hopeful on a daily basis.  It requires continuous action.  Faith is the action Conquerors use daily. With all of the issues we deal with today – economic uncertainty for one – discouragement, by way of distraction, is a design to disrupt faith.  Dismay breads fear. It is extremely common for me to walk through the course of any given day and get overwhelmed by some situation that is not going the way I expected it to. Any circumstance with designs to overtake my faith and replace it with fear becomes an opportunity for new faith to develop.
Atlanta Skyline
Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Here in Atlanta 

the traffic can create varying results. Anger, stress, rage and distraction are in the forefront for me. Using MARTA does have its advantages. When I have left home two hours earlier to get to my destination on time and I have to encounter “a parking lot” on the interstate, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  No matter how much I try to control the outcome and be efficient, I am forced to STOP! It is in this state of “stop” that being more than conquerors begins to minister to me. The traffic, i.e. hindrance to get where I THINK I need to be at the time I THINK I need to be there, is an opportunity to reaffirm who I am in Christ and my real purpose through allowing His Sovereign will to “be” the driving force in and over my life. Can you relate?

I must remember that I am “more than a conqueror through Him that loved us” by any means necessary.  I can live victoriously, not arrogantly.  Victorious living is derived from my spiritual condition and my spiritual position; arrogance is directly linked to my ego.  Biblical truth keeps my ego in check and it keeps me sane.  We can actively engage in ALL that we do as  “more than conquerors.” God has given us this infinite gift – JESUS CHRIST our LORD.

The scriptures will continue to serve you as a source of encouragement in these perilous times we live in.  I have created this site to actually assist you. Keeping my commitment to defining the “conqueror lifestyle” is a goal that God has given me and I will share it with you in various ways through Conqueror Ministries. This work is getting done one person at a time, one day at a time.  Your support by regular use of ConquerorShots and your personal willingness to learn to live a conqueror lifestyle will serve others as well as you. 
I am excited about hearing from you and learning how this principle works in your life as well.  Tell your friends, acquaintances and loved ones to join in.  Together we can stay in the race. 
Endeavor with me to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.