Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Battle Belongs To The Lord By Reba Altizer

The Battle Belongs To The Lord By Reba Altizer

Have you ever said, "I am done with this"?  Then later, pick it back up, rehearse what happened, and began plotting what you were going to do about it. It is such a battle to just let things go.  God wants to fight our battles if we let Him. He has many examples in The Word how He helped His people overcome in their battles.  None of the stories emphasize the strength of the person.  Rather, it is the power of God that enables them to overcome or win. These days, we live with so much of our focus on the "YOU".   "You can do it" -just work harder, get smarter, and look a certain way, and you will make it.  Not much is said about putting your eyes on Jesus, spend time with Him, wait on His instruction, humble yourself, and He will help you.  That just sounds to easy, but that is truly where the answer lies. We have our part in getting through stuff in life, but we have to get ourselves out of the way.  We must listen to The Lord..

It is said that the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the promise land was only an 11 day journey.  However, it took them 40 years, and still some of them never entered because of their stubbornness.  They refused to submit to the ways of God.  Instead, they continued trying to do it their own way.  So, we get to make a choice. I do not want to keep circling the same mountain. God help us to go to you and quit trying to do things in our own strength. He loves us, and we need to give Him all the Glory when He does help us. We have to remember that when the Israelites finally did arrive to the promise land, they allowed the 10 negative reports to talk them out of what God wanted to give them. The two positive guys Joshua and Caleb were begging the people to believe they could overcome the enemy with God, but the majority believed the negative report.  Because of this, they did not get to enter the promise land.  They couldn't see how in their power they would overcome.  Instead of looking to God, who had done so much for them up to that point, they kept trying to do things their way.  This brings me to my first point:

1. Remind yourself how God has seen you through other times, when you face the mountain. In the story of Jehoshaphat, there are three things that were very important that help him face a difficult battle.  A battle he he knew he would not win unless God helped them. 1) He admitted that he had no might to stand against his enemies. 2) He admitted that he did not know what to do. 3) He Said that his eyes were on God.  By doing these three things, he put himself in position for a miracle.

2 Chronicles 20:15-21
New Living Translation (NLT)
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”

18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.

20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”

21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:

“Give thanks to the Lord;
    his faithful love endures forever!”

I love this story and our God still will go before us and we will succeed! The second point I received out of the story of Gideon.

2. Gideon felt very inadequate, but he did listen to the Angel of The Lord.  God was patient with Gideon.   He started with instructing him to get some things in order.  Next, He confirmed to Gideon that in fact he was the one God was going to use.  He even caused Gideon to hear the enemy talking about a dream they had of being overtaken by Gideon.  This really let Gideon know he was on track and confirmed God was with him.  Last,  Gideon heard the strategy to victory which was nothing like what he would of thought.  Gideon was careful to give God all the glory when they overcame their enemy!  The whole story is found: Judges 6-8.  It is really awesome to see how God accomplishes what he desires through open vessels.

Judges chapters 6 : 11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”

And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”

This is a great story of God's mercy at work. He used Gideon in spite of all his short comings. God being with you is the main point. You want Him on your side, but you have to be open, have a heart to hear God, and willing to be obedient to anything He says without reasoning Him away.  He shows He will be patient with us. I believe even though Gideon did not feel adequate, he still listened to the angel of The Lord, and God encouraged Him and saw him through.

Trust The Lord, wait for His instruction, and do what He says. He sometimes speaks to our heart or directly through the Word of God.  Sometimes He will even speak through a friend, loved one, or perfect stranger.  We have to stay open to hear Him, and give Him first place in our heart. Sometimes, I wonder how I can sit in a service and really feel like God is speaking to me, and someone in the same service feels nothing. The point is, God is always with us. We make the choice to just watch God work in others lives, or allow Him to work in our live as well.  He is for us!  He is no respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of faith. Are you open to Him? He loves you, He is for you, and He is ready to work through you.

If you haven't heard Hill's Surrender, do listen now.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bloom Where You Are Planted By Reba Altizer

When I read this last night, a couple of scriptures came to mind:

Jeremiah 17:7-9
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord. And whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water.  That extends its roots by a stream.  And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leavs will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought, Nor cease to yeild fruit.

Psalms 1:1-3

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.  Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.  He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.  Which yields its fruit in its season.  And its leaf does not wither;  And in whatever he does, he prospers.

As long as we are planted in Him, we can bloom anywhere.  Kasse D.~

Bloom Where Your Planted by Reba Altizer "Bloom where your planted" I read this quote on a picture when I lived in Italy as a missionary.  When I arrived in Italy, I began serving in a Christian resource library.  This assignment was very different than what I had imagined I would be doing.  I was trying to learn the language and began to doubt if I could really make an impact in my situation.  One day a week, I was responsible for cleaning the apartment.  Feeling a little frustrated, I came across this quote.  It made me think about my real purpose- serving God. If God had sent me, He knew the obstacles and frustrations I would face.  My real purpose was to allow God to work through me in what ever situation He placed me.  These next three steps have helped me, and I know they too will help you "Bloom Where Your Planted".

1. Obedience brings blessings!!
Sometimes, because we feel The Lord has lead us to a place to work or do ministry, we think it should be an ease and everything should just work.  He never promised ease, but He did say He would be with us. We must look to Him. We must remind ourselves He loves us, and He wants the best for our lives. It is defiantly one thing to say, but another thing to believe it and live it.

Deuteronomy 28:8
The Message (MSG)
8 God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he’ll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you.

2. Face Obstacles with Perseverance
Testimonies come through testing!

No one really likes tests; But how do we measure our growth without them?   Reminding ourselves what the Word of God says, makes all the difference.
We have to remind ourselves while being tested; This test will pass and others have passed similar tests.  We can too!

1 Peter 5:8-11New International Version (NIV)
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
I love the above scripture.  It reminds me Satan is always prowling around trying to trip me up, but God says if I resist him, I will overcome!

Man calls you according to your gifting but God gifts you according to your calling.
3. We overcome
A Spiritual experience is not better than a spiritual exercise.  Sometimes it seems if we could just have some super natural intervention or experience, everything would be better.  These experience's are amazing, but they will not build the strength we need in life to do all God has called us to do. I love the experiences I have had with The Lord.  Some have been life changing, but the spiritual exercise of doing the right thing when my flesh doesn't want to, does something that causes real growth in my walk with The Lord. The exercises give me the that I can do all things in Him!

1 Timothy 4:7-8New International Version (NIV)
7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Romans 12:21New International Version (NIV)
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Be encouraged in whatever place you are in your life.  We can bloom in the desert with God. It might feel dry and lonely, but with God you can bloom and be a blessing to others.  Trust that He loves you, He is with you, and you will make it to the next season in your life with Him.

Reba Altizer is a member of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Ok. She graduated from Christ for the Nations in Dallas TX with a bachelor degree in Practical Missions. She has been involved in missions and evangelism for the past 20 years serving in 28 nations. The past 10 years she and her husband have worked at Victory Christian Center as the Coordinators of the Victory World Missions Training Center which is a school to help prepare students for full-time missions work. She has lead women's teams to Italy several times, Slovenia, Finland & Estonia. She has a real desire for women to know they are valuable and to fulfill their God given purpose.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Trust and Obey by Reba Altizer

Trust and Obey
By Reba Altizer

I want so badly to share Big Daddy Weaves version of Trust and Obey, but I can't get my copy feature to work.  So, you'll have to go listen for yourself.  Have a great week.  Trust and Obey.
~Kasse D.

This song Trust and Obey has been going through my mind.   It seems in life, when I go through a tough time, the songs that I sang as a a kid come up in my heart.   When I would sing them as a teenager, they really did not have the weight they carry now when I sing them.
The first verse helps me reflect that it is a journey and truly we are running a marathon not a sprint with The Lord.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

The second verse of this song reminds me there is nothing that His grace can't carry us through. It reminds me of what a little time with the Lord can do. When we walk through things in this life that are not so comfortable, why does it seem easier to talk then to sit in the presence of The Lord and Trust.  I see Trust as the same as surrender. It is easy to feel helpless, but really we need to stay hopeful, when we have truly released everything to The Lord in surrender. He is enough and can get us through to the other side in victory.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

I love this last verse.  It just takes me to that place where true peace comes. John 15 talks about abiding in the vine and without being connected to the true vine we have nothing.  He loves us and believes in us and will give us the strength and courage to walk out the perfect plan for our lives as we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

I always love to look back and read where the history behind the song came from.  This one really blessed me, because it was not some great revelation.  Instead, two men had heard a simple testimony from a young man.  This young man didn't know much about theology, but knew in his heart he must trust and obey. This sparked the song to be written. Sometimes we might feel a little intimidated by people who we feel know much more than us, but nothing can compare with true revelation from The Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:27
New International Version (NIV)
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

In 1887, just following an evangelistic meeting held by Dwight L. Moody, a young man stood to share his story in an after-service testimony meeting. As he was speaking, it became clear to many that he knew little about the Bible or acceptable Christian doctrine. His closing lines; however, spoke volumes to seasoned and new believers alike: I'm not quite sure. But I'm going to trust, and I'm going to obey.

Daniel Towner was so struck by the power of those simple words he quickly jotted them down, then delivered them to John Sammis, who developed the lyrics to Trust and Obey. Towner composed the music and the song quickly became a favorite. It remains popular with hymn singers today.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

He Arose So We Could Arise: By Reba Altizer

 I love what Reba has shared today.   I personally relate to the woman at the well.  I love, "When you truly have an encounter with God, no one has to tell you to go tell others."   God is as Amazing today as He was then.  If you've never encountered Him, just ask Him.  You won't be able to keep from telling what happens next.  Love you all.
~Kasse D.

He Arose so we could Arise

  Easter is such an amazing time when I reflect on the price that He paid for me and all of humanity. I remember when I was 18 years old at a church camp.   I was so desperate to know what was real.  Because of hurts in my past as a child, I began questioning what was real. I grew up in church and had heard the Gospel; I had asked Jesus in my heart but something was keeping me from All God had for me.  I believe God knew how desperate I truly wanted to know Him because when I walked behind the chapel that night, I truly had an encounter with The Lord. Outside, with no one around, I raised my hands to the Lord.  My first question I cried out "are you real God?".  Three hours later, I knew that He was real and the pain of my past was healed.  The openness and communion I felt with The Lord changed my life. My second question to The Lord was, "What do you want me to do with my life?".  Clearly, I heard, "missions and evangelism will be your life". I am convinced if people truly receive healing in Their heart, nothing will keep them from a close relationship and they will want to know and fulfill thir purpose on this earth. When that encounter with The Lord was over, no one could ever convince me God was not real.  Because of the healing He brought to my heart, no one could stop me from wanting to give my whole life in total surrender to Him.

1. Arise to your Healing

I was reminded in the Word of several ladies with similar stories.  The Lord reveled to me when I was 30 years old,  if I had not allowed Him to heal my heart when I was eighteen,  I would be married and having a lot of issues in my life from a unresolved past. God wants to heal us so we can arise and live our life for Him.  The first story God brought to my mind was the story of the lady with the issue of blood. She had used all she had and was at her end. She took what little strength she had and pushed through the crowd of people to finally grasp the hem of His garment. We must truly want healing and be willing to press through to receive it. God sees your heart.  He knows what measures you are taking to be healed and He will meet you right where you are.

Luke 8:43-48
The Message (MSG)
43-45 In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”

When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”

46 Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”

47 When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.

48 Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”

2. Arise to your calling

I love the story of the women at the well. When I read this story so many things pop out. One thing that really struck me, she was doing what she did on a daily basis. Sometimes, I think we feel we need to go to a conference or a retreat to really hear from The Lord about our life direction, but she was going to get water when she met Jesus.  When it comes to divine appointments, I don't just pray for them, but I also want to be one for someone else. When Jesus spoke with her about water, He made it spiritual when He spoke that He had water she did not know.  This drew her in to Him.  Then, He told her stuff only He could know by the Spirit. I love the next verses because they show if you truly have an encounter with God, no one has to tell you to go to tell people. She not only went and told, she brought them to Jesus for Him to minister to them. She found her calling in evangelism that day. A women Evangelist.

John 4
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus

27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

Arise to love

This Easter our illustrated production brought out and highlighted one of the most wonderful and memorable stories in the Bible.  Mary Madeline a prostitute living a Godless life had an encounter with Jesus that changed her life.  She showed her desperate love by pouring her expensive perfum on Jesus' feet and using her own hair and tears to clean His feet.  This is the same act of humility and love we need to show in our lives as we commune with The Lord. I remember when The Lord healed my heart years ago, I thought how can I not give my everything to Him.  When Mary Madeline washed Jesus' feet that day, Jesus told the onlookers, "this act is more than the others had done and to the one who sins are many love much more".

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

I included the stories of each of these accounts, so as you read them, the Lord could minister to your heart and He could show you what He wants for you to receive.  His Word can set you Free To Arise...