Approval Addictions and How to be Free of Them

 

freedom from chains

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12

This past week was a trying one for me.  This week was not looking any better…until today.  Yesterday I was told by a loved one that I was not as loved as others in my family.  I had always suspected this, but never had this person ever come right out and said it.  You can imagine the hurt this brought to my heart.

Today when I awakened, Satan was right there to remind me of the horrid conversation  that took place the day before.  God warned me an attack was coming and to be prepared for it.  I did not remember that prophecy at the time, but today God reminded me of it.  He cautioned me not to fall into offense because if I did it would lead to destruction…my own.

I thank God for warning me in advance.  Thank God I was not blindsided by it.  As I thought about the prophecy today, and the attack that took place on me emotionally, I was grieved by it.  But God had something to say about it all.   He told me something that would set me free and something that will keep me free from the approval and disapproval of man!  Since a blog is a journal, I am writing it down in its purest form to always remind me.

God said, “If I (God) saw you the way you and the world see others, how would I think?  I could easily say that I have been with you all your life.  You were raised in church, but yet you still miss the mark daily and fail me. 

The things you could do for me and toward me you don’t.  You don’t praise me everyday as I have asked you to.  You don’t read the Bible as you know to do.  You make sure you know what time it is every Tuesday so you can be ready for your favorite television program and can sit in deep concentration for a full hour,  but many days I am fortunate to get thirty minutes.  Life is busy right?  How I would love to have the attention you give to everything and everyone else. 

I am not happy.  Your behavior has made me unhappy, and my happiness is contingent on the way you treat Me and what you do for Me.  If you had given Me the attention I have so craved, if you had met all of MY needs, if you would bother to try to understand Me, then My life would be happy.  Your approval is necessary to my happiness and if you don’t give it,  I won’t have it. I have forgiven you time and again, yet you still miss the mark and don’t do enough to keep me happy and satisfied. 

I can no longer take your behavior.  I have decided My life would be better off without you.  I am not going to be around anymore.  You have become unhealthy for me.  I don’t want to see you, hear from you, or see anything that even reminds Me of you.  I have given you grace before and mercy, but you have used it up.  My life would be better without you since you don’t fulfill me or bring the happiness I require. 

I am not going to allow you into heaven because then I would have to see you all the time, and I just can’t deal with that.  You will have to go to hell so I can be happy without any reminders of you and all the ways you hurt Me over the years.  I wish you the best, but I have to love you from a distance, so don’t call Me and I won’t be bothering you.

Harsh words, but true thoughts.  How many times have I treated those who have hurt and wounded me this way?  Oh I didn’t realize it at the time, but today God showed me the receiving end of this stick.  When He did He reminded me of the debtor who owed millions of dollars to his master who he was indebted to (Matthew 18:23-35).   He knew he would be thrown in a debtor’s prison never to see his family again and begged for mercy and forgiveness.  It was given and his debt was wiped out, just as Jesus’s blood wiped our debts out when we came to Him for mercy and forgiveness.

Not long after the man was freed from the bondage of that debt he saw someone who owed him.  This man owed him very little, yet he grabbed him by the throat and demanded payment in full and threatened his life if it wasn’t paid in full (this is the way we are when we walk in the our way instead of God’s supernatural way). 

When the master who was owed the millions heard of this he was furious and called for the man who had been forgiven of his great debt to be brought to him.  Because of his behavior and lack of mercy and grace toward the one who owed so little the master, who forgave much, withdrew that forgiveness and enforced the original sentence to life in a debtor’s prison…what the man had actually deserved.  Thank God for grace which absolves us of guilt and all we deserve.

When we deal with people by holding their feet to the flames, so to speak, we have positioned ourselves for dire consequences as well.  That path leads only to destruction…not the destruction of the person who did us wrong, but destruction to ourselves.  I am responsible for my happiness.  That power does not rest on you, but on what I choose to feel and think.  As I thought about what God was showing me, I cried out to Him for forgiveness.  I had no idea my thoughts and actions had become so ungracious toward others.  Were the ones who hurt me wrong?  Yes, but so was I.  The irony was I was hurting myself worse than anything anyone else had done because I was moving myself away from God’s will for my life, which carries great promise and great reward.

I remember when Jesse Ventura said Christianity was for wimps.  Show me where doing supernatural things in the natural is even possible, much less ‘wimpy’ or easy.  The Christian walk cannot be done without God, it is such a difficult one.  You have to have God’s super on your natural to forgive the unforgivable, to give grace and mercy when maximum punishment is rightfully due.  To pray for those who use you and persecute you to be blessed is impossible to mean if not for God giving us a supernatural ability to do it…yet, it can be done! 

Now when I look at others, I will ask myself if God were to see me and think toward me the way I am thinking and feeling toward that person, how would I feel. Would it be what I would want done to me? So simple…how did I miss it for so long? 

I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders when I came to this realization today.  I don’t have to be concerned with what anyone is thinking or saying about me.  I don’t have to worry if I am loved as much or less than someone else.  My present and future does not rely on anyone’s approval but God’s.  I have His approval and He is the last say on where I spend eternity.  Whether people think I deserve it or not, I will be blessed if I stay in love.  The only one who can stop His blessing is ME!!!  I don’t have to worry where my needs are going to come from and that includes my most basic needs which is love, for God is my Source!  He will open doors people cannot open and He will do it in the face of my enemies…HE sets a table before me in their presence (Psalm 23). 

Far too long I have worried about the approval of people.  I have sought to find my worth in it.  I have mourned and have allowed myself to feel less than when I was found lacking by one or by many.  How frustrating to seek what is impossible to ever have.  No one can make me happy or that my life is of infinite value except God and me

I have to choose to put on the robe of righteousness (His way of being and doing).  I have to choose to put God first, and that means what He thinks above all others.  I have to choose to let my good character speak for itself, and if I am judged or misjudged it is on God’s shoulders to make it right and He will.  But if there are critics that refuse to see what God sees, and their minds never change I still win because I am exactly as I should be in my Father’s eyes and He will cause everything to work out for my good.  You see it is a win/win, no lose situation.  When you truly realize that, you are free to love, free to forgive, you are free indeed! 

Men die for freedom.  Jesus died for mine and yours.  That is how important freedom is.  It removes fear of people, fear of society and its dictates, and fear of never being all I want to be and should be, the fear of disapproval. 

Fear is a heavy weight.  It stops you and hinders you from joy, happiness and contentment.  It hinders you from leading life to the fullest and stepping out in faith because fear produces the opposite effects of faith which is rooted in God’s way of loving and brings courage. 

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  God never intended for me to walk in the wounds of rejection, nor the need for approval of anyone other than Him.  Thank God He set me free to love not just the loveable, but the unlovable…just like me.

 

 

Merciful Adversity

renesha 1

Today I have a special guest blogger with me!  I am so excited to introduce you to her.  Renesha goes to my church and is a precious and mighty woman of God!  It is my great pleasure to have her today!  You will enjoy her post, I am sure!!  Blessings, Juliana

Merciful Adversity

By Renesha Chambers

Adversity.

Just the sound of the word strikes fear into hearts.

But is there a purpose for adversity? Can it be described in terms other than unexpected, horrific, and confusing?

I believe it can. Adversity originates from one of three sources: God, Self, and Satan.  Each of these warrants a discussion of its own, but let’s focus on God-induced, MERCIFUL adversity today.

You probably stopped right there at God-induced and thought I was off my rocker. It is true. God does allow adversity to enter our lives. He can even create circumstances that we must endure in order to achieve His greater glory.

Let’s examine Jonah. God gave Jonah a task. Jonah ran from this task. God could have very easily “smote” Jonah right then and there, but he had MERCY on his servant, and created a Shamu-sized chunk of adversity to get His attention.

Jonah 1:4 “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea and a violent storm arose and nearly broke up the ship.”

Jonah 1:17 “The Lord created a great fish to swallow Jonah and he was inside the fish three days and three nights.”

If it wasn’t for the storm and the great fish, Jonah would not have reached the city of Nineveh for Christ. God helped Jonah get his priorities realigned in the form of the “Whale Hotel.” If being swallowed by a great fish is not adversity, than what is?

The Lord had to put Joseph in a situation that no one would ever want to endure. He was sold by his own brothers and imprisoned unjustly. As a result of this situation, he was ultimately a powerful ruler and saved his own family through the years of famine. I’m sure if you tried to deprive Joseph of his painful heritage, he would fight you for it. He would even give thanks for his adverse young adulthood. In Joseph, the word of the Lord was “tested like silver, tried in a furnace…purified seven times.” (Psalms 12:6) The Lord’s merciful adversity made Joseph a mighty man of God.

Daniel also faced adversity that we have never encountered. When is the last time you were thrown in a cavern of lions licking their chops? This situation resulted in God’s supernatural power being revealed to all. The Lord shut the mouths of the lions and when Daniel was released, the king was overjoyed.

Daniel 6:23 “And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”

So, next time trouble comes your way, ask the Lord, “What are you trying to teach me? How can this problem improve my relationship with You? How will this trial help me to love, assist, and encourage others?”

For after all, without a trial, there is no triumph, and without the valley, there would be no mountaintop to dance upon.

EVERYDAYISSWEETER/Renesha Chambers is “Momma” to two beautiful miracle girls, Sydney and Christa. When not changing a diaper, leading worship for her church, or riding a Harley, she is busy blogging or watching old movies with her husband, Chris, the love of her life.

The Whirlwind

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know I don’t mind “putting myself out there”!  This is another one of those times.  Today as I had been working on this blog and Vine of Life, I just kept feeling the Holy Spirit wooing me to get alone with Him.  God had something for me.  I have felt this many times and told my husband I was going to our room to pray.

When I entered the room, I prayed and wanted to pray in the Spirit, but that was not what God had in mind.  I began to feel unusually fatigued.  I decided to lie down and pray.  When I did, I closed my eyes.  This was not a dream as I was clearly aware of everything going on around me.  Without a doubt I saw a vision.

Now I am not one to walk around and see visions everyday.  In fact, I have had a vision only two other times in my life!  This vision was exactly as this picture depicts except I was higher in the whirlwind.  At first, being a Texan,  I referred to it as a tornado and God immediately corrected me!  “It is not a tornado….it is a whirlwind.”  I don’t know what the importance of the difference of the two, but there is a significant meaning!

I knew I was completely safe in the middle of it.  There was calm and a peace such as I have never experienced before!  This was the first thing that caught my attention.  I didn’t want to come out of it.  I was at the whirlwind’s mercy.  Even though I was in the middle of it I knew what the outside of it looked like and what was happening outside of it.  There was NO destruction!  Houses were not being torn apart, trees were not being uprooted, there was no destruction whatsoever.  Then I saw myself.  On the inside was a total calm.  I was not afraid, but I was curious.  I wondered where this whirlwind was taking me.  Somehow I knew in my spirit this whirlwind was transporting me and I would not be allowed to stay in it.  I did feel realization of that and I felt disappointment it wouldn’t last forever, yet I knew it was necessary for me to come out of it. 

I had no idea where it was taking me and I couldn’t help wondering where the final destination of this whirlwind would be.  I never saw the end of the vision, but what struck me was what I FELT while I was in it!  I cannot explain any of the significance of this vision at this time.  But significance I know it has!

I know God was in control of the whirlwind because peace was there and that is the mark of God’s presence and the fact He is in control of what we are not.  I did not feel anything bad was ahead of me or behind me.  I do feel a little silly telling you this because at this point it really doesn’t have a particular point other than I was to trust God and enjoy the ride.  I have no idea what all of  it means, but as time goes on I do know it will be revealed to me!

Please, keep me in your prayers, dear reader!  Great things are ahead…..pray I have wisdom and revelation!  Abundant blessings to you, dear reader!! I appreciate you!   I will see you soon!

Head Knowledge Versus Revelation Knowledge

17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,[h] would give you a spirit[i] of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the perception of your mind[j] may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.

God’s Power in Christ

20 He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens— 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given,[k] not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put everything under His feet[l] and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.

When I was in college many years ago I was majoring in Elementary Education and “specializing” (I think they may call it minoring, again) in Geology.  We had class time where we learned all about the different types of rocks and how they developed.  We also had  labs in which we had to put our head knowledge to use.  We couldn’t just know about it, we had to be able to practice it as well!  It didn’t take me long to figure out that memorizing notes was far different from being able to identify the rocks and minerals, name them and tell what period of time they came from!  The classroom was the easy part, the lab was where the rubber met the road!!

It is the same with the Word of God.  Anyone can memorize scriptures.  Satan, himself quoted scriptures to Jesus when He was in the wilderness.  Of course he quoted them out of context and twisted the meaning, but Jesus had been practicing the Word, not just quoting it!  He didn’t just know about it, He had many hands on, put it into practice and watch it work “labs”!

There are two types of faith.  Thomas faith and Jesus faith.  Thomas was one of the disciples.  For years he watched Jesus work miracle after miracle.  He saw it with his own eyes multiple times.  He experienced them for himself.  When Jesus said, “Get in the boat, we are going to the other side” and hurricane proportion winds came up the disciples who had just seen Jesus feed the five thousand on five loaves of bread and three fish, were so angry at Jesus because He was in the hull of the ship sound asleep.  Oh, I love that!!  I am like that, too!  I love a good storm it, puts me right out!  The disciples went and got Him and said, “Don’t you care we are all about to die??”  How easy that is to do.  I mean the devil puts on a good show!  I remember some years ago, David Copperfield advertised he was going to make the Statue of Liberty disappear.  Millions tuned in that night including me!  He did all his waving and dancing and this, that, and the other.  He assured us the cameras were not being moved and even showed they weren’t!  After all of his dancing and wiggling and throwing his hands around, he pulls a sheet away and it looked like the Statue of Liberty was gone!  The operative words here are “looked like”!  What he had done was make another sheet that looked just like where the Statue of Liberty had stood and when they removed the white sheet we saw the fake one of Liberty Island in New York Harbor!  There was no Statue of Liberty!  It looked like Copperfield had actually done the impossible!

This is exactly what satan does to us.  He makes this big show out of every little thing.  He plants a thought in your head.  Then he does something that seems to back that thought up.  Then he plants something else in your mind and he does a little more to make it appear he has the upper hand!  What is he doing?  He is putting Thomas faith in your mind which says, “I’ll believe God when I see it!  Right now I am seeing something totally different!”  The people who do this may go to church every Sunday, Sunday night and Wednesday night!  They may be the sweetest things you have ever seen!  They may know the Bible backwards and forwards and upside down!  But, all they have is head knowledge!  When the trial came they were a mess!  Why?  Because they let what they SAW influence what they BELIEVED!  They have not yet required the Word of God as revelation!  In other words, they just haven’t “gotten it”, yet.  This is where our scripture is so important today.  If you are having trouble grasping true faith, or if a loved one is pray the prayer Paul prayed over the church at Ephesus!  This prayer is a prayer of “enlightenment”.  It brings the light of understanding to a mind that is darkened with doubt and unbelief!  I  have prayed it many time and my husband as well and we have seen literal miracles transpire in our family because of it, and actually in us, too!

You, my precious reader, can change what you SEE by what you BELIEVE, too!  You can be influenced in your emotions and mind by what is seen OR by what the Word of God promises!!  People who allow themselves to be influenced by what they see will always have something to see.  I had a pastor once that said the devil loves to put on a show and as long as you watch him and pay attention to what he is doing he will just keep the  junk coming!  That is why our eyes are to be on the Lord and we are to be HEAVENLY MINDED!  Heavenly minded is to have the mind of Christ in operation with our own minds!

Thomas said, “I’ll believe He is risen when I can put my hands in His nail scarred hands and my hand in His pierced side!”  That is what he did!  Have you ever noticed we never hear another thing about Thomas again.  The only thing we hear is the saying, “doubting Thomas“!  The rest of the disciples wrote portions of the Bible and went on to do great things for God!  Thomas just seems to disappear!

Don’t be a “doubting Thomas” today! have faith in God no matter what you see, hear, feel, taste, or touch!  We don’t live by our senses but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God!  As long as we watch the devil’s show, he will put a doozy on for you, as my grandmother used to say!  Keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!!

Blessings to you, precious reader!!  I will see you soon!

What is God’s Grace Exactly?

 

gods grace2

Tonight this blog came about by talking to my husband about a certain “weakness” that really does need strengthening in me.  I have the tendency for people who are Christians and have been for years who still shun the truth of God‘s Word to get me really miffed.  This does more than gets under my skin a little bit.  Well, to make a long story short, I, yes the “gracious” me as you all know me, stirred up a bit of controversy because I did tell the truth about something but I did it a bit harshly.  I tried telling it gently for a long period of time, but for what reason, I am not sure why,  I finally let it fly at a person who just would not “let go and let God”.  As I talked to my husband about how unfair this situation was to me he gave me a really great pep talk that I needed and I am sure will need again!  But, I am determined to learn and I will!  This is what he told me.

Whenever Paul was experiencing his issues of being buffeted by satan, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”  In Paul’s weakness he was made strong by God’s grace.  In other words, grace is much more than just our children’s church definition of “unmerited favor“.  It is also undeserved blessing, free gifts.   The Greek for grace comes from the words joy and rejoicing.  In other words,  we have reason or “cause to rejoice” because God’s grace is all-sufficient for every area of our life.  Paul told Timothy to be strengthened by the grace of God in the midst of his trials and tests.   In 2 Corinthians Paul tells the Corinthian church that God’s grace causes us to have all-sufficiency in all things.  That all- sufficiency  in all things encompasses ALL THINGS, more than just in giving.  Like in Paul’s situation and in Timothy’s situation, as well as our situations.   In other words, God’s all-encompassing grace that provided all sufficiency in all things causes us that are mature in Christ TO REJOICE in whatever situation we face! 

I have to remember that the thing that buffets me, or is a thorn in my flesh are people who should know better than to beg God and plead with Him to answer their prayers and I need to realize they are always going to exist.  In my contact with them, I cannot take on their unwillingness to use their authority in the name of Jesus, and the Word of God.  I have to be responsible, however, to love them and pray that one day the truth of God’s Word will become Spirit and life to them. I must be patient and until it becomes a true revelation!! 

Blessings, dear reader!  I will see you soon!

What is God’s Grace Exactly?

 

gods grace2

Tonight this blog came about by talking to my husband about a certain “weakness” that really does need strengthening in me.  I have the tendency for people who are Christians and have been for years who still shun the truth of God‘s Word to get me really miffed.  This does more than gets under my skin a little bit.  Well, to make a long story short, I, yes the “gracious” me as you all know me, stirred up a bit of controversy because I did tell the truth about something but I did it a bit harshly.  I tried telling it gently for a long period of time, but for what reason, I am not sure why,  I finally let it fly at a person who just would not “let go and let God”.  As I talked to my husband about how unfair this situation was to me he gave me a really great pep talk that I needed and I am sure will need again!  But, I am determined to learn and I will!  This is what he told me.

Whenever Paul was experiencing his issues of being buffeted by satan, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”  In Paul’s weakness he was made strong by God’s grace.  In other words, grace is much more than just our children’s church definition of “unmerited favor“.  It is also undeserved blessing, free gifts.   The Greek for grace comes from the words joy and rejoicing.  In other words,  we have reason or “cause to rejoice” because God’s grace is all-sufficient for every area of our life.  Paul told Timothy to be strengthened by the grace of God in the midst of his trials and tests.   In 2 Corinthians Paul tells the Corinthian church that God’s grace causes us to have all-sufficiency in all things.  That all- sufficiency  in all things encompasses ALL THINGS, more than just in giving.  Like in Paul’s situation and in Timothy’s situation, as well as our situations.   In other words, God’s all-encompassing grace that provided all sufficiency in all things causes us that are mature in Christ TO REJOICE in whatever situation we face! 

I have to remember that the thing that buffets me, or is a thorn in my flesh are people who should know better than to beg God and plead with Him to answer their prayers and I need to realize they are always going to exist.  In my contact with them, I cannot take on their unwillingness to use their authority in the name of Jesus, and the Word of God.  I have to be responsible, however, to love them and pray that one day the truth of God’s Word will become Spirit and life to them. I must be patient and until it becomes a true revelation!! 

Blessings, dear reader!  I will see you soon!

A Handful On Purpose!

a handful on purpose

12 The Lord recompense you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under Whose wings you have come to take refuge!

13 Then she said, Let me find favor in your sight, my lord. For you have comforted me and have spoken to the heart of your maidservant, though I am not as one of your maidservants.

14 And at mealtime Boaz said to her, Come here and eat of the bread and dip your morsel in the sour wine [mixed with oil]. And she sat beside the reapers; and he passed her some parched grain, and she ate until she was satisfied and she had some left [for Naomi].

15 And when she got up to glean, Boaz ordered his young men, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.

16 And let fall some handfuls for her on purpose and let them lie there for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.  Ruth 2:12-16  Amplified Bible

As the holidays approach us something amazing and could only have been “a God thing”  happened to me!  I am a giver!  I live to give!!  If you asked me what I wanted for Christmas I would tell you to be able to give to someone who needed to be given to!  That would be the ideal present for me.

I have to be wise during the holidays.   I have an agreement with certain ones that we will give to the kids and leave it at that.  This year I have been blessed with an added member to our family;  my son’s girlfriend/future daughter-in-love!  I got a call in September that if I wanted a particular project to work on this person could use the help.  It was perfect.  I was able to work from home and it would give me Christmas money I would not have had otherwise.

As Thanksgiving approached I began to ask what each one wanted.  I set a date to get it all done and was thrilled when I was able to say, “Thank you, Father!  Because You opened a door for me, I was able to buy for every single person this year!”

God is so good!  I never expected that person to offer what they did.  I had no idea it was coming.  Last year God did the same thing so my family could have a Christmas such as I wanted to give them!!  Out of the blue, there was an opportunity for me to have “a handful on purpose”.

Ruth did not expect Boaz to favor her.  Because Ruth had been faithful to serve and take care of  her mother-in-law who was related to Boaz, he in turn blessed her.  God sees the so-called little things we do.  He even tells us if we do not brag about the things we do for our neighbor He will reward us openly!  Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing!

He also promises when we are tithers and givers He will cause “men” to give to us pressed down, shaken together, and running over!!  I can tell you for a fact, God makes this promise good!  This isn’t just in heaven but on the earth as well!!  Men don’t give to us in heaven…they give to us in this life on earth!!

David wrote in Psalms he once was young but now is old and he had NEVER seen the righteous forsaken or His seed begging for bread!  God is watchful and faithful to meet our needs and to bless us even beyond that!  He promises us to give us the desires of our hearts when we seek Him first!

Be a giver, dear reader!  First and foremost be a giver as a tither and a giver in the church, but to others in need as well and watch what God will do for you in abundance!  Seek Him first and His righteousness and He WILL add all things unto you!!  What a promise!!  Blessings to you, dear reader!  I will see you soon!!

Ephesians 1…God’s Rich Blessings!

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Greeting

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will:

To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus.[a]

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s Rich Blessings

3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. 4 For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight.[b] In love[c] 5 He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.

7 We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him 10 for the administration[d] of the days of fulfillment[e]—to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.

11 We have also received an inheritance[f] in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in the Messiah might bring praise to His glory.

13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession,[g] to the praise of His glory.

Prayer for Spiritual Insight

15 This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,[h] would give you a spirit[i] of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the perception of your mind[j] may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.

God’s Power in Christ

20 He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens— 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given,[k] not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put everything under His feet[l] and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.

Betrayal

Jeremiah 29:11

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 8: 31-39

The Believer’s Triumph

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? 33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies. 34 Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. 35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.[o] 37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, 39 height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Have you ever been betrayed or as some may say “sold out” by someone close to you, someone you loved very much?  There are three people in the Bible that come to my mind that were “sold out” by people who should have loved them and cared for them, but instead betrayed them.

Esau was sold out by his own mother, Rebekah who helped and plotted to steal away Isaac’s blessing so his brother (her favorite) child could have it.  Joseph was sold out by his brothers because of their jealousy of their father’s great love for Joseph and because God had shown to Joseph He would one day use him mightily.  Jesus, by his own disciple Judas, to be crucified for thirty pieces of silver. 

Betrayal is a hurtful thing, but when it is done by those who are family or a close and dear friend, it is even a more bitter thing!  As the Lord began to speak to me about this subject, I began to research what happened to Esau.  He was the only one I could not remember to the full extent what happened to him after he was betrayed.  His father told him he would have the “fatness of the land and the dew of heaven”.  In other words, though he had no other blessing to give he would still be blessed richly and would have a good life that laid before him. 

Esau was still so angry at what his brother had done he was going to find Jacob and kill him.  When his mother heard the plan she warned Jacob and he ran for his life and had to serve in hard labor for someone for several years.  Esau did become extremely rich and Jacob did as well over time.  But, ironically, Jacob (whose name means “trickster”) was tricked by the man he worked for into marrying the sister of the woman he loved.  He had to work a total of 14 years of hard labor to have the woman he loved dearly before she could become his wife.  He had been tricked and betrayed by his father-in-law, just as he had tricked his father and his brother.  What goes around does indeed come around!

Joseph was sold out (literally) by his brothers.  They hated him so much they were going to kill him and then thought they could sell him and at least make a profit off of him.  Is this where human slavery starts?  I am not sure, but I do know that is exactly what they did!  He was falsely imprisoned, but he rose to the top of the Kingdom in which he served as a slave and became second in command.  As the years rolled on a horrible drought came to the land, but because of Joseph’s position he was able to feed his family and lived a life of richness and luxury himself, even more so than the ones who sold him out to be rid of him.

Next, we find Jesus.  Jesus our Saviour, the Son of God, perfect in all of His ways, yet hated and despised by men!  Judas, His treasurer, sold him out for a mere 30 pieces of silver.  But, we all know how that ended up as well.  At the end of the crucifixion, those who crucified and mocked Him said, “Surely this IS the Son of God!”  Jesus was not defeated.  He went into hell and retrieved the keys to death, hell and the grave and bore all of our sins, sicknesses and guilt.  He bore all things that would steal our peace and gave us His authority and power to continue His work by the Holy Spirit after He ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and His enemies are His FOOTSTOOL!! 

Each one of these who were so betrayed, went on to have full, rich, meaningful lives!  What if they had become bitter and carried out sinful revenge?  What if they had not let God exalt and raise them up?  Their stories would have changed drastically and gone in a very wrong direction! 

Maybe you have been betrayed and feel your life is over.  Maybe it was by your spouse, a child, YOUR mother, like Esau experienced!  Maybe you have not been the favorite of your parents.  That is extremely painful and children, even when they are grown, deal with much rejection, shame, and anxiety due to it.  They think there has to be something wrong with them if the one who was to love them the most pushed them aside for another!  They never realize that it isn’t what was “wrong” with them, but what is wrong with that parent that did such a horrible deed!!

Whoever it is or was, don’t let them steal the blessings of God from you!  God has a good plan for your life and if God be for you, and He is, who can be against you??  Nothing can separate you from the love of God that we have in Christ Jesus!  Love only gives the best!  God is your source not people.  Look to Him and let Him bring restitution to your life.

Blessings in abundance, my precious reader!  They belong to you anyway!!  See you soon!