Like all relationships, a personal relationship with God is a progressive thing. This simply means that over time it expands, deepens, and strengthens. This is the only way we can grow closer to (and through) the Lord. And I believe there are four key components that allow this evolution to take place within us.
4. And last, but certainly not least, Sharing.
I’d like to talk a little about each of these four actions, and how they have a supernatural ability to unlock the kingdom of heavens, and all God’s power, to all who choose to do life with Him.
The Bible tells us in so many ways that the one way to unlock the abundant provision of God (sometimes referred to as the Universe) comes from the all-encompassing action of having unwavering faith (sometimes referred to as positive thinking). I am here to tell you right now... there is no grand or elusive Secret. There is only God… and His truth (that we are fortunate enough to have through His word) that demonstrates time and time again, the mysterious link between our thoughts and our reality.
Take the children of Israel for example. Even after God had broken them out of the bonds of slavery that had oppressed them for hundreds of years in Egypt (through a series of almost unbelievable miraculous events), they still lacked the one essential thing that they needed to open themselves up to receive all God’s wondrous generosity for their lives, and that one thing was faith as they followed Moses (who was lead by God, Himself) through the wilderness.
Not only did they grumble and complain profusely, but they also expressed grave distrust in God’s ability to fulfill His promise to deliver them into a land that was apparently so darned wonderful, it was described as “overflowing with milk and honey”. “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.” – Exodus 3:8
Jesus once told an officer, whose servant was deathly ill, after he humbled himself before Him and asked for a miracle to save him, "Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you." And his servant was cured that very moment.” – Matthew 8:13
But unfortunately the Israelites did not possess and demonstrate this kind of necessary faith. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" - Exodus 14:11-12
As you might have guessed, Jesus’s words rang true here as well… and just as they believed, so it was done for them. They believed they were going to die wandering through the wilderness and sadly, that’s exactly what ended up happening. Not because it was God’s plan for them. Not because He had failed them… but because they failed to put their trust in Him. Because they failed to believe. Just to be clear, the trip from Egypt to Canaan should have (and could have) taken 11 days. Let me say that again… only 11 days. But because of their own mindset… their fear, ungratefulness, rebellion and general disbelief… it took them 40 years to arrive. 40 effing years! And as a result, most of the first and eldest generation died before they ever got there. But true to His nature, God still kept His promise by leading their children safely into the same land He had offered all of them. #thesecretisout
But what does this mean for us today? It means God is ALL POWERFUL and we have access to His power through our faith. Jesus said, "For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” - Matthew 17:20
Brothers and sisters, when Jesus says “nothing”, believe me when I say… He. Means. Nothing. So, the most important thing we can do during our time on this planet is to believe… and believe fiercely. We must believe in Jesus… that He was the Messiah… and that He died on the cross to save us with grace only He could extend. But we must also believe in the sovereignty of God… The Great I Am, who is not only the ruler of the heavens, but Who is also sovereign over our lives every minute of every day. He holds the entire earth in his loving hands, along with every other planet in our solar system, our galaxy and beyond… past, present, and future… to infinity. Forever and ever… True righteousness comes by faith alone, and with God’s righteousness comes unlimited possibility. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26
ASK & RECEIVE
The last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about Gideon, and I think it would be good to revisit his story again at this juncture because he was a man who did some serious asking and receiving from God. Just a little recap… Gideon received a divine encounter with an angel of the Lord, astonishing signs from God for the purpose of increasing his own faith, as well as supernatural protection and guidance during the biggest battle of his life, as well as during his entire reign as King of Israel.
Lucky guy, am I right? Well, brothers and sisters… hear me when I tell you luck had nothing at all to do with it… and everything to do with the gifts of love the sovereign God bestows on all His children. In God’s kingdom, divine encounters aren’t just reserved for the elite. And miracles the likes of what can be read about in the Bible, weren’t just performed by Him from the beginning of time, through the birth and resurrection of Jesus (and birth of His church)… they happen each and every day on this planet in the lives of His people.
I am here to testify that each and every human being that walks the earth is capable of having mind-blowing experiences with the Creator of all things, the first of which is spiritual salvation, which is freely given to all those who believe in Jesus and ask to be saved by Him through the washing away of sin. All we have to do, just like Achsah, is ask boldly… and wait with a spirit of humble expectation to receive. Just as Jesus tells us, "Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8
Okay, so now we fully believe in the miracle of Jesus. We’ve asked for forgiveness and received salvation as well as full access to God, His kingdom and all His power though the Spirit. But then what? The Bible tells us that all who truly believe are to share the good news of Christ.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'” – Mark 16-15
“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” – Psalms 96:3
“Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
As we’ve discussed, the Bible provides us with a history of God’s consistent and reliable, albeit unpredictable, reign over the world. It highlights all the #amazing things He has done since the beginning of time. But also, it reflects the limitless way God can work in our lives today. This is the way God wants us to know Him and remember Him… but also, the way He wants others to come to know Him through our shared stories and testimonies about our experiences with Him. And that’s the beauty of it. Something that God did specifically for you… can forever change the world and the lives of others… as long as your story continues to be told.
“Hear this, you elders; listen, all you inhabitants of the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors? Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation.” – Joel 1:2-3
Why? Because sharing is caring, my friends… and caring is how we spread the love of Jesus and answer His most important call to us. “He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-40
With that, I would like to tell you about an upcoming addition coming to www.achsahliving.com that I am super excited about called Achsah Stories. Achsah Stories is where I will feature you and all your miraculous encounters with God. “For I want very much to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” – Romans 1:11-12
While all of us may not be natural born writers, this is a gift I believe God has given to me. And, it is my greatest hope to use this gift to help you and others fulfill God’s call to the glorious kingdom gift of sharing Him.
I am as certain as I am breathing, that there are some of you out there with amazing stories that are just waiting to be told… and that need to be shared… so they can go to work for the kingdom of God.
So, if you find yourself reading this right now, and that unbelievable story “of how He” just jumps right out of your heart… great. Email me about that! But some of your wheels are still spinning, let me impart some further clarification that may trigger a breakthrough….
How about that time He parted some kind of impossible Red Sea for you…? Or, like in Achsah's case, when He turned a life-threatening lack into an overflowing of abundance? Or that time something wonderful and unforeseen happened, that had His miraculous fingerprints all over it? Or, that time He supernaturally guided you with a sign… or by an occurrence too flipping fantastic to be chalked up to coincidence? Or… that time when He clearly answered a question you desperately need answering? When some kind of clarity He imparted to you yielded an audible “Holy-WOW!”. Or, that time that when you clearly heard Him speak to you… or HE revealed Himself to you… or loved you in a way that would have otherwise been impossible?
If God has rallied and shown-up for you, whether in a small (but miraculous) part of your day or in a large (and big picture) way, and you’d like to proclaim the tale of His loving-kindness to the world, to be a light and hope for others… won’t you please walk those beautiful feet of yours up to the nearest mountaintop or computer desk and email me? And tell me… what’s your story, my friend?
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the herald, who proclaims peace, who brings news of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”” – Isaiah 52:7
Written by J.C.