You know the saying; as one door closes another opens. What doors of opportunity are you needing to be opened so that you can enter? And sometimes it’s a question of why wait for the door to open if you can just knock it down?
When I studied King Solomon I was intrigued by what so many taught of him; mostly his wealth and status and wisdom. Sure all of that is wonderful except I started noticing lost opportunities. Opportunities to do more than show off the wealth that he had. It brought me to a question in my own life of lost opportunities? How often throughout this year did I miss opportunities of greater outpouring? Was I more like Martha than Mary?
King Solomon may be known to have it all; yet what did he have? A city of wives and concubines? Ok. That went against the command of the Lord. Idols built to false gods? Ummm… that too goes against the Lord. Opportunity to witness the goodness of the Lord to Queen Sheba. Missed that opportunity too. In Kings 10:1-6 we read:
“And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. 2 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.3 And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built,5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her.”
Yes she knew King Solomon had wisdom; there is no doubt. He had great wealth too there is no doubt. But he had opportunity to share and he didn’t. He missed the opportunity to talk about his father King David, the holiness of the Lord, or even the faith of Abraham. Where was his focus? It was clear on the servants and all the material possessions that in the end share ‘her spirit left her’. We don’t know if it was in awe although one would think if there was much brought to her that her spirit wouldn’t leave her.
The question today then is what opportunities have you missed because of wrong focus? Have you been so focused on everything that isn’t as important and not one what is most important? You see; it isn’t a question of placement to bondage but rather one of reflection with Christ so that going forward; better and more abundant opportunities can be utilized at a more enhanced level entering into the new year.
You can have all the wisdom and wealth; although missed opportunities are still missed if they are never noticed. Pray entering into this new year not only for opportunities in the name of Jesus but also for the awareness of them when they appear so they aren’t missed. And you will be witness to the greatness of the Lord in ways you’ve never seen.
For more about growing in Christ visit www.julieblair.com
Dr. Julie went from homeless to hope-filled in Christ. To have her speak to your church or business please visit www.julieblair.com Her tv and radio program ‘Living in Forgiveness’ airs nightly at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork. Check your local listing.
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While many talk about peace during this time of year; it is possible to live in peace every day of the year regardless of season, holiday or current events. It is a matter of purposing to do so.
When I became a Christian I had no idea what to expect; none. I didn’t really even know what it meant to be a Christian I just wanted something more than what I had- which wasn’t much. And so I became a Christian yet much in my life didn’t change. I did go to church every week yet for 18 years still had no peace. I Still didn’t the victory that I thought would come by default for being a Christian. I see many falling into that same trap. There is no peace and for many no wonder why.
If you are a Christian living by default to a world system there is no peace. If you are a Christian living by default in a church system; there probably isn’t much peace there either. Peace will only come through Jesus Christ; not through any man made system of any kind. It can’t. John 14:27 tells us, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’
Getting, keeping and living in peace will require action. Action to get it, action to keep it and action to live in it. Society will do everything it can to take it, keep it; and prevent you from living in it. The world system is quite contrary to the Word of God and nothing of it produces fruit; only busyness. And busy friends is simply ‘bound under satans yoke’.
Take an inventory of your life today. Examine carefully what level of peace you truly have and make the necessary changes with the Lord to live in that level of peace He desires for you. Inventory your life. Examine the following in your life:
1- Clutter. Do you own your stuff or does it own you? How much is it robbing you of living because it’s always surrounding you; reminding you of the past, more chores; or whatever else. How much of your thoughts is the clutter stealing? Ask the Lord to reveal to you what items you need to give, what He may have you sell; and what items you have that need to be prayed over. You may have some items that you did not annoint that are bringing no peace and you need God to reveal those items to you. You must purpose to be on the offense in keeping your peace and not allowing any attachments of stuff steal it from you.
2- Your relationships. What we allow in from other people will have an impact. Are you allowing in trauma and drama? Are you creating ungodly soul ties or godly ones? Is gossip entering into your life? What boundaries do you have in place that you live by that bring peace? Remember if you aren’t setting boundaries then anything can enter and that means the enemy has legal right. Close the door to unhealthy relationships that aren’t producing fruit. Pray the following in Jesus name: “Father in the name of Jesus I ask that You distance me from the people in my life that I need distance from. I ask that You bring the relationships in my life that I need for this season. I ask that You increase my discernment and sensitivity to Your Holy Spirit during this time. I pray that as people are moved out of my life that they are blessed in the name of Jesus and I thank you for the peace that comes with this. I pray all this in Jesus name. Amen.” What you want to pay attention to is when people are transitioned in and out of your life that you thank the Lord for answering your prayer. You may be tempted to freak out over a period when it appears no one is in your life; although it’s the Lord answering your prayer and bringing the peace that you ultimately are seeking. It’s a blessing!
3- Your Order. God is a God of order. The enemy is all about chaos and disruption. When your life is out of order it’s because something internally is out of order. Ask the Lord to reveal to you where you are out of order and He will. Perhaps your sleeping patterns are out of order which is causing you to spend less time with Him. He is of order and when you are in order your level of peace will increase along with your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Ask in Jesus name, ‘Father in Jesus name please forgive me for the areas of my life that are out of order. I ask that You reveal it to me in a way that I can understand what is out of order and what my steps are to restoring order. I thank You for the peace that will come with order in accordance with Your Word. I pray all this in Jesus name. Amen.’ Remember that disorder cannot bring peace.
4- Your living within in your means. Current society is setup for failure. The world system is corrupt. We don’t need to examine that as one can look around and see it. The question is are you living within your means? The enemy has mastered the art of tempting people to live beyond their means. For many the increase in job title means increase in salary and of course; an upgrade in vehicle, home, and debt. A larger home, more vehicles and bigger wardrobe does not equate to peace. It never will. Ask the Lord to reveal the areas of your life where you are living beyond your means and as He answers what is revealed will forever change you. ‘Father in the name of Jesus please forgive me of all my sins. I come before You asking You to reveal to me the areas of my life that are outside of my means and that it’s in a way I can understand. I ask that You show me how to live within my means and provide a solution that will bring the peace in You that I desire. I thank You for all this in Jesus name. Amen.’ You will find that the excess of shoes, purses, tools; books, ATVs, watercraft; and 7.00 per day coffee isn’t as necessary at all and that you actually have more than you think without everything else.
5- Am I living my purpose? Living the purpose God has for you will bring peace. It brings clarity and will change your life without a doubt. One easy way the enemy ruins people lives is by giving them a false identity. A false identity denies anyone from living the real purpose that God has in store. In Jeremiah 29:11-14 it’s clear, ’11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listento you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…’ If you want peace in your life go before the Lord and ask Him what He created you for. It’s much bigger than you can ever realize. ‘Father in the name of Jesus I ask that You forgive me of my sins. I come before You because I know Your word is true in Jer 29;11 that You have a plan for my life. I ask that You reveal that plan as I come before you and please do so in a way that I can understand. I thank You that You chose me before the foundation of the earth for this plan and I thank You that it will be revealed to me. I ask for an increase in faith to receive it. I ask for an increase in hearing and that all distractions, hindrances, obstacles and lies are removed from me and my path that would prevent me from understanding, knowing and following Your plan. I thank You that You have made it so easy to seek You and I pray all this in Jesus name. Amen.’ There is more involved in getting the full plan and operating in it; although moving in the direction toward it will bring more peace than living the false life given by a false god who is not of peace.
Living in peace with the Lord requires purpose. It does not and will not happen by accident. The enemy knows the tactics and how to operate in them and sadly; he does it better than most Believers. If you want the fullness of His peace moving in you, to you and through you; then purpose for it. Purpose to get before Him. Purpose to make peace in Christ your protocol and your personal code of conduct. When you do you will enter into a new way of life and one that can’t be taken away from you.
For more about growth in Christ please visit www.julieblair.com
Dr. Julie prayed at age 5 that Jesus would be her escape and when she was homeless at age 15 by the hands of her adoptive parents she knew God had bigger plans. She now helps others get out of the bondage of the enemy to live free in Christ. Her television and radio programs ‘Living in Forgiveness’ airs around the world to approximately 3 billion daily. You can watch a new episode tonight on the UANetwork at 9:30pm CST. Stream live at www.uanetwork.tv or check your local tv listing.
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Before you judge; keep reading. Perhaps you have been there and didn’t know what it was or how to talk about it; or even how to deal with it. It’s one of those not so talked about things like most things of importance in Church. The reality of what many people go through in their relationship with the Lord leaves many trapped and seeking help; yet because God is God may are told just go back and read some scripture and you will just fine. And while true; there is much more to it and when we grasp the full reality of a relationship with the Lord there is much to be gained.
You see; for me personally it was you are a servant of Christ. I was under the authority of a former Vietnam Veteran who’s wisdom and teaching has changed my life in ways unimaginable. Growing in in the Lord and understanding my role and position in Christ and what it means to be a servant is one where was related to military. You are an order taker. You are in rank that of a E-2 and of course ask no questions. You are not worthy of such things because well; you are where you are and God is as well. You are there to serve and take orders as commanded. What you think or want is not important; nor relevant
I got it. I learned much and took orders and grew exponentially. Everything became a status update of ‘I want whatever you want me to have Lord’ and that was how I lived. After all it’s God with the purpose for my life and I am just the one to fulfill that particular role and ask no questions. No opinion necessary. I climbed the ranks and of course as you climb the ranks what you get to do gets better. Increase territory means more fun missions and increase in hearing from God; which also means you are a more lethal target to the enemy. And I loved that part of it. I was battle ready and moving forward.
A few years later I listened to a pastor talk about the difference between being a servant and a friend. There are rewards due a friend that a servant doesn’t have access to. The servant; well rank E-2 has the access that only he is allowed to have and let’s face it it isn’t much. I started to wonder at that moment why I wasn’t thought of us as much more than a servant in the eyes of the Lord.
I searched and started reading the scripture in a new way. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus ‘What do you want’ and he replied ‘I want to see’ that was life changing! It meant that Jesus actually cared more about was someone wanted than the orders given and followed. He wanted interaction! It was also a challenging time to recognize that I could be in that type of relationship with Jesus and that it was ok to actually have an opinion about what I wanted; something that I hadn’t experienced before. And also a challenge because I didn’t know what I wanted; because I had never been asked. Through the process of digging and talking with the Lord I transformed from being the servant rank to being a friend who served and as such knew I was climbing the ranks for the Lord. It was an amazing time of growth with the Lord to say the least.
Well; as with any relationship there are ebs and flows and yes the Lord knows the desires of our hearts and for me it was a husband and family. Knowing that God’s Word is clear in may places in the Word that it’s not good for man to be alone, that He puts the lonely in families, that when you ask believe and don’t doubt, that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord; and I could go on and on. I knew that God answers my prayers because now there are 5 women whom I’ve prayed with for husbands who all have them and within months of the initial prayer.
I listened to a woman say that she is married to the Lord and I asked her what that was like. She said what I expected; God is her provider, she loves Him and all is great. I wondered what really her role in that relationship was or if it was just the proverbial answer that so many recite yet don’t take any further. I reflected on my relationship with the Lord and it wasn’t even close to being a super marriage. In fact I was miserable. Miserable. And I felt worse by even admitting it.
You see; what I saw in my marriage to God was that I was the one doing all the work. I was the one cooking dinner, doing the dishes; and waiting for Him to arrive. I was the one barely making ends meet, driving the vehicle with 160k miles while believing that God will provide. He is after all God right? I was the one in ministry asking for help every which way and getting nothing but the proverbial answers; and then going back to prayer only to leave with less than what I entered with. Where was my husband? Where was the love? Where was the touch of intimacy? I was a wife starving for something- anything from the One could deliver all yet I was completely alone and alone in every way. I felt abandoned, neglected; forsaken. I was begging for something; just a clue that I wasn’t alone. And I was sick of reciting the scriptures as this was’t just a go and read the Bible again answer that so many give. Perhaps you too have been to the depths with the Lord seeking that response that only can come from Him. Press in and keep pressing.
It wasn’t that I didn’t love God. Not at all. It wasn’t even that I wanted to divorce God or walk away. Oh no. We are in this for life and there is no walking away. I am beyond that and didn’t come this far to walk away. I am all in! There is a purpose for my life and regardless I will fulfill because after all; I am more than an E-2 (although we all start somewhere and nothing wrong with starting there) and there is no going back once you go forward. There is only forward. There are no knobs on the other side of the door even if you wanted to go back.
Maybe you’ve been there; where it feels like a stand still with the Lord. You feel like you are doing all that you can and that it isn’t enough, you aren’t enough; and that you can’t get to a place of enough. That is where I was. I started resenting God for who He was in my life because I couldn’t quite grasp how the God who loves me and created me couldn’t even show how much He loved me. I started to resent the fact that God created me in the first place because this was just a joke. Most of my life started looking a joke and a bad one all at my expense. Sure you can judge all you want and say ‘well sister He will never leave you’ and sure I know this. I’ve heard all the religious sayings and the word of faith bla bla bla and that brings more bondage than anything I’ve ever heard. It has people having more faith in the words they speak than in the God who delivers and for me I wanted answers. I wanted to feel love. I wanted to feel cherished. I wanted to feel anything other than forgotten, forsaked and a fool. That’s all. I wanted to feel alive!
Think about your marriage for a moment. Think about what it was like when you first got married; the excitement, the love, the passion, the hope for the future. Then fast forward. Do you ever feel forgotten, not important, or completely unnecessary? Are you an important part of your marriage or are you just in place of it to bake more cookies and pot roast? It’s a lonely place and something much change. And quick before you lose what you have. I had to make a change and quick for the sake of everything And maybe you do to.
I took my issues to the Lord as any wife would take her issues to her husband. And let me say this; if you do have issues with your husband don’t not address them. He and you and your marriage are deserving of that. Of course timing is everything and I told the Lord how much I love Him, respect Him, and don’t want to ever be away from Him- and just how much I resented Him for everything. I resented that He found it ok for me to drive a vehicle falling apart, I told Him I resented Him for the things that He allowed to happen that left me worse off than I had been in years and that as I felt that He as my husband wasn’t protecting me. I told Him everything. Everything. And whether or not my perspective was ‘correct’ didn’t matter. It was how I felt and that was important- just as it is for you. Trying to hide behind religion is what will hurt you more than anything. Just be you and spill it. I had to. And if you are in such a situation- so do you.
You see; what many fail to recognize is that a relationship with God is that- a relationship. A marriage is a marriage and it requires open communication. If you cannot communicate and be honest you are simply living a lie- and most people will simply lie to themselves to they can master the lie to others. Eventually though it will all crumble.
When I reflect on my relationship with God and where we started and the growth over the years I can tell you that Regardless of what you are going through- go to the Lord and share it with Him. If you don’t- what you are going through will only burden you further and that burden will separate you.
When I shared everything with the Lord it changed our relationship entirely. It freed me to just be who I am without the pretense of all the ideologies of what people think a Christian should be. It freed me from the bondage of how I should behave, and how I should approach the Lord; and how I should seek, ask, knock. I stopped worrying about the ‘you can’t say that’ to ‘well; I did and the Lord still loves me’ I went to the Lord based upon ‘my’ relationship with Him and got to the root of the issues I was dealing with and was free. I didn’t want anything in my marriage causing problems and anything evident not dealt with will only increase separation and I didn’t want that any longer- and I’m sure you don’t either.
I share all of this to say that the Lord loves you. He understands what you are going through at every level and when you share with Him your deepest feelings and desires it will not only transform you but also your relationship and your heart toward Him. It changed my level of intimacy as that is a key component in any relationship. If you are struggling with anything in your relationship with the Lord- share it with Him. Deal with it. Open the doors of communication so that you can move toward what’s next with Him and know that you will never be the same in Jesus name.
Dr. Julie is president of Julie Blair ministries helping people grow in Christ. Her television and radio program ‘Living in Forgiveness’ can be heard daily at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork.
To have Julie speak to your congregation or business visit www.julieblair.com.