Who Is Your Savior?

WHO IS YOUR SAVIOR_

Here in the United States of America, our churches have cancelled services all across the country during one of the most important times of the Christian year. This being, our reflection on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of our faith. If Jesus did not shed his blood, as the ultimate sacrifice for all of us, there would be no redemption for our souls.

In the last 100 years, somehow American’s have gotten caught up in the idea that only doctors can save our mortal bodies. They do whatever the doctor tells them to, and take whatever medication is prescribed without a second thought.

It has gotten so bad in Western society, if you even question the medical community – which we all know is severely imperfect – you’re automatically labeled anti-science, and written off as an idiot.

God established perfect order for the world, even to the point He gave us plants that would heal our ailments and illnesses. Ailments and illnesses we have because of the Curse.

The Creator of the Universe loves us so much He planned every last detail of our Exile.
As I sit and write this, my heart is overwhelmed with joy and sorrow by this concept.

Christianity in the world today is a ritual. We go to church, we sing about God, we go home and we do not include that same God in our daily lives.

We don’t ask Him if what we do is good for us, or if what the doctor has given us would be best for our bodies. We put more Faith and Trust in the snake on the staff, than we do our own God.

Many times in Scripture, Jesus addresses the Pharisees at the core of the issue – they are not acting in the interest of God, they are acting on behalf of their own idea of God.

Matthew 15:1-20 is where we’re going to start.

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.”
He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ ((Isaiah 29:13-16))”

Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.”
Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?”
He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.”
But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.”

Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Kind of an appropriate place to start in this current plague, the Pharisees come up to Jesus and they’re like, “Hey, why don’t your disciples wash their hands before they eat? Because- it’s what we teach, and it’s one of our traditions.”

Hygiene is very important. Let’s all stop and acknowledge this. Road signs off the highway currently tell us to wash our hands. Washing hands prevents the spread of disease and keeps people healthy. BUT! Jesus doesn’t care about the washing of hands, Jesus cares about their motives.

His response to them is, “why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your tradition?” In the recording of this story in Mark 7, it says Jesus also added “You neatly set aside the commandment of God to maintain your own tradition.”

What traditions do we follow in our society that set aside the Commands of God?

You might be saying, “Jesus fulfilled the Law, the Law doesn’t matter anymore” and according to some denominational teachings, you would be correct in your perspective. However, if you further study on your own outside of leaning on the understanding of your pastor and denominational doctrines, you will find this is untrue.

Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice and therefore we no longer have to sacrifice animals for our redemption, but through the law, Paul says, we become conscious of sin.

Jesus re-established during his time on earth, it is not the law that matters, it is how WE interact with GOD that matters.

Paul is pretty concrete when he says you can’t serve two masters. You have to pick one.
Either GOD is most important, or the Traditions of Man is most important.

Satan is an evil, frustrating demon. From the beginning of time he has been looking for the opportunity to become greater than God. Each time he has ascended to “greatness” God has knocked him right back down through the Glory of His Goodness and supreme reign over the Universe.

So, along comes the Serpent to establish a new, fresh way of conquering God and His people. Their health and wellness.

Let’s talk a minute about the Snake on the Staff. The real one, of course. From the Bible.

Read with me in Numbers 21:4-9

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

Ironic, right?

Jesus references the snake on the staff is a symbol of HIS own death and salvation.

In the beginning of His ministry, one of the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked Him who He was and what He had been sent by God to do. ((John 3:1-21))

We’re only going to look into a small part of the passage for right now:

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

vs 13-16

Our salvation is entirely dependent on the sacrifice of Christ, who was lifted up on a cross to shed his blood for US.

Is your faith and trust dependent on the medical community “finding a cure” or “creating a vaccine”, or is it in the God of the Universe who has already planned ahead of time this would happen, and gave us the cures to our illnesses in nature?

This Resurrection season, it is seriously time to focus in on who your savior is.

If it is Christ, Serve HIM.

Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says:

“Because you have rejected this message,
relied on oppression
and depended on deceit,
this sin will become for you
like a high wall, cracked and bulging,
that collapses suddenly, in an instant.
It will break in pieces like pottery,
shattered so mercilessly
that among its pieces not a fragment will be found
for taking coals from a hearth
or scooping water out of a cistern.”

“Go up to Gilead and get balm,
Virgin Daughter Egypt.
But you try many medicines in vain;
there is no healing for you.

The Lover

There was a Lover who created a garden.
Perfection displayed in brilliance.
To the trees He said, “Bear fruit of many kinds, for my Bride is coming, and she will need nourished.”
To the ground He said, “Bring forth vegetables to sustain her, and satisfy her hunger.”
To each plant He said, “Bring forth vitality, to protect and heal her sickness and ailment. She will find healing in you when complication may arise, and where I destine that you cannot heal her, I will renew her body.”
Then, He created and brought forth animals to be companion and friend, for cheer and play.
He looked in awe of the splendor of His hands and said, “All is ready, and it is good.”
Finally, crafting with His own hands, He formed the Glory of His Creation, His Bride, to live in the Garden He had prepared.
Together they communed in peace and happiness. The Lover had never been so full of joy….
But soon, the Bride was deceived by a great Enemy and cast out.
The Lover, broken and filled with sorrow watched as His Beloved drifted farther and farther from Him.
To the trees her offspring said, “Your fruit is too sweet and not good for our bodies, we will not consume it.” And they limited their children from it as well.
To the vegetables they said, “You are too high in starches, and the rest of you are meager. We do not wish to consume you, either.”
Turning to the beasts given by the Lover to be companions, they ate of their flesh and drank of their milk, abusing them to satisfy their thirsts and hunger.
When they became sick, and forced sickness on each other, they trampled down the plants the Lover had crafted, and said, “We will grind the rocks instead.” Pulling from mines and refining chemicals, using the waste from different sources-even from the dead, saying “surely these will heal us!” These did not heal their sickness, and made them worse. They dug for more stones and strained through more waste, and more of the dead, to find their cures.

The Lover watched as His Bride trampled down the beauty He had given them, overcome with sorrow and anger. He sent floods to wash out their crops, frost to ruin their trees, fires to burn their vineyards, storms to display His glory – but His Bride made excuses, “It is us, we have done this, our hands are causing this to happen.” Some yet said they themselves had managed to create these disasters to destroy each other.

So few turned to Him, delighting in His gifts.
To those who did He blessed them with health and peace, for they looked to Him and said, “Your Creation is enough for Me, and I will Delight in you, all of my days. I will eat and make use of your Garden. For you created the world in Perfection and I praise you for providing for My needs, and designing them by hand to prepare a place for Us, before you even made us.”

With All of Your Heart

Worship should be emotional.

You hear worship pastors, pastors, and conservative Christians say worship is not about “a feeling”.

And it’s not.  But that doesn’t mean that worship of a Great and Mighty God should be flat and stagnant either.

The only way to sense the Presence of God is with your Spirit, which often could be confused as an emotional experience, because we only sense the things of the Spirit with our Spirit, and the entity of our Soul lives inside the hollow shells of flesh.

Jesus says to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind.

Our heart first of all, because it is the foundation of all our emotions.

Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.

Desperately wicked.  Deceitful.
Two words we wouldn’t consider to apply to our hearts.

And yet, so fitting.

When I searched for the verse reference using “The heart is deceitful” a French movie popped up before the verse in Jeremiah.
From what I researched briefly, the movie is about a boy named Jeremiah who lives with his very worldly mother and pretty much hits on every point of sin.

Our society is heavily saturated with worldly pleasures.

We love them.

We revel in them.

We desire them.

And God tells us first in Deuteronomy to love Him with our desperately wicked heart.

Jesus Christ tells us to love him with all of our deceitful heart.

To desire Him.

To revel in Him.

To chase after Him.

Worship should glorify God.  It should magnify God.  It should be a time when ALL of us reaches out to ALL of Him.  Engaging Him from the depths of our heart, with all of our emotions and fixing our hearts entirely on the Living God.

Emotions that otherwise seek out sin, SHOULD be focused 100% on God.  It’s why He asks for our hearts first.  Our heart is full of desires, longings and wants.
Hone in those desires, longings and wants and center them entirely on Christ, and worship of our Triune God.

Sometimes the perception of the Holy Spirit could be a feeling.  A drawing, an awareness that something is moving us.  To someone who does not understand how to explain this concept, they may describe it as a “feeling”.
There is nothing wrong with this.  They’re expressing an experience they have had with their God.  It should be celebrated!  Teach them later what it means.

Worship God, with all of your heart, your soul, and your mind.  Move in the Spirit, allow the Holy Spirit to move in YOU, love Him, adore Him, fall to your knees in awe of Him, allow the entirety of your being to reach out and Glorify the One True God.  The Holy Spirit is our Gift, sent to us by Christ Himself, and it is beautiful to give yourself over to Him in worship.

How to Pray as the Spirit Leads

Jesus tells us we don’t pray as we ought to at the very beginning of his ministry (Matt 6:5-18).  But, thanks to Pentecost and the descending of the Holy Spirit, we now have direct access to the Father through the Spirit who is continually interceding on our behalf. (Romans 8:26)

People pray all of the time.  We pray for little things, we pray for big things, we pray when people are sick, we pray when we don’t have enough money, we pray when we feel we need something and God doesn’t seem to be providing.

“The Lords Prayer” is a simple version of trusting and relying on God for the bigger things.  And it’s quoted daily and weekly by different groups of people.

Are you praying that prayer for ritual?  Are you praying in the Spirit? Are you meaning every word as you say it?  Do you even know what that prayer means?

What does praying in the Spirit look like?

Is it in tongues? Is it quietly in a closet where no one can see? Is it knelt down in mass together for meaningless repetition of Scripture references turned into prayers?

Praying as led by the Spirit is simply a quiet heart before God, and open ears ready to listen as He moves in your heart.  And it can be in any setting you’re apart of, whether you’re in a prayer group, or in church, your heart and mind are open to pray as the Spirit directs.  While everyone else is chattering on in tongues, or while everyone else is ritualistically repeating words written over 500 years ago, even in the middle of a crowded sidewalk, you can stop and pray as the Spirit leads.

People say, “The Holy Spirit is always with us, we don’t have to ‘invite’ him to join us.” But this is not true.  Inviting the Holy Spirit to join you is an intimate experience that invites people to encounter God.  Being entirely directed by the Holy Spirit gives God room to move as He wills, and when God is on the move, hearts are changed, lives are reached, needs are met.

The Church of Acts had everything in common, because the Holy Spirit was in their midst and they were open and willing to be used by God, to worship God, to spread the message of Jesus Christ, and to help each other out as they had need.

The modern church lacks so many of these essential characteristics.  Satan got ahold of the church far too early into the game, and it took 1500 years for God to change the face of the Church, through Martin Luther, who became a catalyst for the Holy Spirit to get back into the doors.

Sadly, there was already a mindset established, and so many denominations have yet to break free from the “roots” of traditionalism to fully embrace God as He desired us to.  As the Early Church did.

When the Holy Spirit shows up, there is a definite Change in the atmosphere.  The presence of God is sweet, and refreshing, like living water to soothe the soul.  The air is fresh, you can smell the sweetness of heaven.  Those with the gift of Discerning Spirits can sense the presence of Angels in the congregation.

The Holy Spirit can show up anywhere.  Anytime.  His presence is undeniable.  When Jesus said His sheep know His voice, it’s true.  Especially when the Believers are pressing in together in prayer, entirely focused on Him, the Holy Spirit is undeniably in the midst.

Sadly, the Flesh can wrestle against the foreign voice, and impose it’s own will over the Spirit. (Genesis 32:22-32)  We’re taught to question the things we supernaturally sense, hear and feel, with good reason! (I John 4:1) Look at the Charismatic branches of Christianity!  The “slain in the Spirit”, the “drunk on the Spirit”, mass babbling on in tongues, and false prophecy is not of God.

However, when you KNOW it is God moving, it is so important to listen.
I have personally witnessed in my Spirit when people have wrestled against the Holy Spirit and imposed their own Will over church.  I’ve been called to intercede on behalf of pastors, when God wanted to change the sermon last minute, or do something different in service– and the pastors missed it.  I even stopped going to a church because of this, and God led me to a different place, one that I most certainly needed during that time in my life.

So how do we pray as led by the Spirit when so many different perspectives of Prayer and the Holy Spirit exist?

It’s simple.  Just listen.  Give your heart directly to God, and seek His voice.  And then be willing to pray as He directs.

Even if it means you’re praying against what you would wish for.  While everyone else in the room is praying for healing, and stumbling over their words, and you know you’re supposed to pray that God will provide for the people who are going to be left behind.  ((I’ve done this.  It is heartbreaking, but praying for God’s Will includes praying for the hard things.))

There are other times when we can get wrapped up in praying and focusing in on the things that are extremely important to us, and God has already done them!
A great example of this kind of praying is when the Believers are gathered together petitioning on behalf of Peter, and Peter was let out of prison by an Angel, and was at the door knocking, and they were so wrapped up in their prayers and petitions they didn’t even believe the servant girl when she said, “Peter is here, guys…..” (Acts 12:1-19)

We don’t know the mind of God.  We can’t see the bigger picture.  The Holy Spirit guides us in our weaknesses, even our weakness in prayer and not knowing what or how to pray.

There is a time to pray in tongues.  I pray in tongues from time to time.
There is a time to be still before God.  There is a time to petition Him with all of your heart.

Jesus told us to pray for His Will.  And His Will is most important.
To pray for His provision.  To pray for His forgiveness.
To pray for His Kingdom to grow.

And thanks to the Holy Spirit, we have a helper who can guide us into deeper, stronger relationship with God, to have glimpses of the Mind of God, in order to pray for the things we need, the things He wants for us, and the things we know those around us need. (Luke 24:45; John 14:16-18; Romans 8:2-6)

The veil has been removed, the Temple curtain torn in two.  We have access to GOD!  Why would you not take advantage of that, and draw into a deeper, personal, meaningful relationship with Him, by the overwhelming and glorious presence of the Holy Spirit?

If you are His, and He is in you, the Spirit is with you, and the Spirit will not guide you wrong.  Listen.  Quiet your heart before God, and give Him the ability to direct.  To speak. To move in your heart in a way you’ve never known before.

The Lord is in the silence.  (I Kings 19:1-15) This is why Fasting is so important.  To give up of yourself and your needs to press into an intimate and quiet time with God.  Honing in completely on the Voice of the Shepherd.

You do not always need to fast to have an intimate moment with God, however, fasting is powerful and necessary.
When driving out demons one time, the disciples went to Jesus and asked why the demons wouldn’t leave, and Jesus said some only come out through prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:14-29)

Why do you think that would be?

Because when you wrestle against spiritual warfare, Jesus Christ is the only way out.  Pressing into Christ without distraction, or futile satisfaction is imperative to overcome.  We can fulfill our bodies needs and desires, but only God can satisfy our spirit.

Why would you NOT give that part of yourself to Him?

The beautiful thing about God, He will not establish in your life anything outside of Himself and His word that has been passed down since the Early Church so that you may see and know His excellent works, know His will, and know the depths, height, love and power that He desires to have over your life.

We were created for His glory.  Giving of yourself entirely to Him is the best sacrifice you can make, after the Sacrifice Jesus Christ made of Himself for you.

Streams of Living Water

Ezekiel 47:1-12

Where God has established His name, and His Glory, there are rivers of living water flowing from Heaven.  And they exist to bring the people Life.

There was a time I had a vision of waters flowing down from heaven, and these waters spread in four directions, as they fell to the platform and flowed out to empty room that would soon be a sanctuary.  The ceiling opened up to heaven, for God had established that this would be a place people would come to seek Him, and His Glory would dwell among the people.  It was a beautiful moment, in the middle of worship and intercessory prayer, to know that God had blessed this time and established the church to be His hands and feet!

…But one of the streams of water became murky when it left the platform.

The Kingdom of Heaven is for everyone.  The blood of Christ was shed for everyone.
The Prince has entered the gates, given his life as a sacrifice to the people He represents, and come out again as King.

Are the Living Waters that flow from heaven into your congregations being stirred?  How are they becoming murky?  In what ways does the misinterpretation of God’s word cloud the judgement of mankind?  In what ways has man stripped the Glory of God and all the wonders of His Fullness, to meet their own agendas?

Jesus Christ gives the living water.  Anyone who drinks of it will never thirst again, (John 4:13-14) for the Holy Spirit brings the Living Water and it flows freely to all who believe (John 7:37-39), and are sealed for the day of Redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14).

A Letter to God

Dear God, it’s me.

I don’t know if you remember who I am. But I remember you.

I’ve kind of fallen back, and as I’ve fallen, found my faith gone slack.

I’m trying to find who I am, out of who I used to be.

Times have changed. I’m divorced, but I’m still a parent, and I’m about to be a bride again.

I’m afraid of your grace, and your judgement. Trying to find your plan in all of this– it isn’t easy to set aside all that I’ve been taught, and trust you.

I want to trust you, but every time I do, something seems to go wrong. Do I do it?

I’ve not been looking for you, while I’m finding myself. I don’t know what’s wrong with my failing heart, losing hold of everything I love.

Motivation, desire…. I fade slowly into nothing. The corner of the room is right where I fit best, self-inflicted woes to bear my scars out loud.

This is not who I was, and it’s not who I want to be– help change me to who I am meant to be. Because all I know is I want more than this hollowed shell I’m existing in.

Consume me. Make me yours.

Finding Love Again

Just when a broken, frustrated heart wants to throw in the towel, love can come from the most unexpected of places.

Life kick-dropped you to your knees, all one can do is breathe around the pain.

On the edge of a parking garage, temptation reaches out – it whispers to jump.  Tears roll slowly down your cheeks as you consider who would actually miss you.

No one. The voice in your head assures.

Closing your eyes, two small children flash through your mind. Almost convinced they won’t even remember you in three years.

The person you chose to marry is a selfish liar.  Your heart screams for hope.  But hope has faded.

What once was yours, belongs to someone else.

All of the dreams you had, lay desolate as wasted space in your head.

Darkness clouds your hopes, you gave up on wishing for this to be different.

However, something keeps you from jumping tonight, and you return home to the baby who needs to nurse and the toddler who screams for their grandma instead of you.

Lonely nights in an empty bed, lying next to shadows on the wall.  Anxiety imagines they’re alive.  Anxiety fed to you by the man who says he loves you.

The same one who neglects his children and only needs you when it conveniences him.

As life continues to turn to rust, the bridge down the street calls out.  You imagine the water embracing your weary soul as it runs steady along the edge of another lonely town.

And that’s when you cry out for help.

The holidays pass.  The following year does not improve, and you find yourself standing on that brink again.

In your weakest moment, a hand stretches out, beckoning you from the brink of catastrophe.

A voice of reason and hope snaps you into reality.

Strength gently draws at you.  A promise that you’re going to be okay.

Two very specific prayers reach the Heavens, and within the next few weeks, you’re moving out of the darkness into a field of sunlight you didn’t even know exists.

Fear. Guilt. Anxiety. Each demon gnaws at you, pressing you to turn back.

The hope and love you found?  You’re not deserving of them. The voices snarl.  You’re an adulterated whore who “gave up”.  What makes you think you’re allowed to be happy without him?  The man who says he loves you?  The one you married?

Wrestling with searing guilt, doubt rises.  You question the God who rescued you.  You question your worth while holding the hand of the one who called you out of the darkness.

Gentle assurance warms your heart.  Love peaks for the first time.  Hope for a future where you’re adored.

After being used and forgotten.  Manipulated.  Tormented with fear.  Riddled by anxiety.  Reasoned into doubting good people exist.  Convinced people are watching your every move.  Terrified by suggestions put in your head.  Lied to countless times.  Blindsided. Emptied out and frail.


Degraded.  Berated. Forced to swallow your own hurt to take on someone elses.  Never being good enough. Questioning your worth.  Ignored.  Looked over.


What hope does a shattered soul have left for themselves, when everyone succeded to take it away?

Making excuses for the people who hurt them.  Trying to change and forced back by someones illusion of authority.

How terrifying it is to be left weak and helpless.

Without him, I wouldn’t have made it this far.  Someone to hope for me, when I didn’t want to hold on anymore.

Someone to persuade my worth was greater than I believed and I was worth holding on to.  Even when it hurt him.

How difficult it was to step out of the box and believe God wanted more for me than the mess I made for myself.

We are not without Hope.  The struggle is real.  But it’s inevitable that this broken heart was meant for more.

And love got me through.  Love I felt unworthy of.  Love that was persistent and strong enough to hold me, when I couldn’t hold myself.

That man who became my best friend, gave my broken heart something to live for.

Me.  My purpose.  My hope.  My own strength.

Nurturing and growing me when I had given up on my own dreams.

I struggled long and hard with the views of God we all know.  God hates Divorce.  God hates adultery.  God hates sin.

Yes.  It’s true.  He does not like these things.

But he is also a loving God, and does not want us to live abused and neglected.

I prayed specifically for God to remove me from the marriage I hated.

He did.

What do you need from God?