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Day 1: A Nail in a Sure Place - The Faithfulness and Single-mindedness of God

Do you struggle with doubts, unbelief, and confusion?  Do fear and hesitancy inhibit your steps of faith? Do you feel like you waver back and forth on matters?  Do your thoughts race like a hamster on a wheel but leave you exhausted and no further ahead? Do you feel tossed to and fro or struggle to make decisions and then keep them?  These are symptoms of double-mindedness and you are not alone. Don’t worry! It is treatable and you can become single-minded and full of faith!

Now, here’s the truth-the real deal.  Everyone experiences doubt, but it’s possible to stop wavering and even grow strong and steadfast in your faith! Look at Abraham of whom it is said:

No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God

—Rom. 4:20, ESV

He grew!  He grew! He grew!  He grew strong in his faith!  And so can you. Now that’s Good News! God desires His children be single-minded, unwavering, devoted to and loving Him with “all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.”  God uses Isaiah the prophet to illustrate what stability and single-mindedness look like saying, “I will make him like a nail in a sure place” (Is. 22:23). A nail in a sure place does not waver but remains both fixed and firm.

A Nail in a Sure Place

The phrase “a nail in a sure place” which is woven throughout this series comes from a beautiful passage written by the prophet Isaiah:

And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.”

— Isaiah 22:22–24, KJV

The word “sure” in Isaiah 22:23 is the same word aman, meaning “to believe” is defined as: firm, fixed, committed, established, trust, trustworthy, and fidelity. Some translations use the words “firm" place, but it is still aman. It is God who drives the believer into a “sure” place. But what is that sure place? What is God driving or fastening in the believer into?

In the same way, God drives or fastens followers of Jesus like a nail in a sure place. The nail is strong, but it is what the nail is buried in that is more secure. What the nail is fastened to is what allows it to withstand great pressure and not break loose and drop what it is holding. The peg is useless unless it is fastened to something steadfast and immovable— something trustworthy. The Lord and His character is that sure place. The nail—the believer—does not need to do a thing but rest in the mortar or beam of God’s unfailing character and love.

On Display for the World to See

God used the word aman in Isaiah 22:22–24 as a word picture for His people. In ancient times, stakes were driven into the timbers or fastened and secured into the mortar/concrete of a home. These stakes were permanent, and they could not be moved. They were so steadfast and immovable that they could bear extreme burdens without budging or coming loose. A nail could possibly break off at the point where the wall was, but it could never come out of the wall. Those nails were used to glorify and beautify the house. From them, families would hang decorations, useful vessels, armor, shields, and swords from previous glorious battles.

Picture by @Glenda Frey

When God drives you into His character and you become steadfast, battle glories (the trophies & prizes of winning skirmishes in the battle for your faith and destiny) and other evidence of His goodness and faithfulness will be displayed in your life for all to see. The glory of your Father’s house can “hang” off you as you rest in the powerful beam of His character. That word “glory” is Hebrew for kabowd (Strong’s H3519). Kabowd means, “goodness and excellence of character splendor, weighty and honor.” The more God “hangs” off you, the more people will see His goodness and be drawn to His mercy. He wants to fasten or drive you into the revelation of His character so that no matter how weighty the things are that God hangs from you; you will be able to display them. He longs to drive you into Him so that you are not tossed about by every circumstance, wind, or doctrine that blows.

As you believe His promises, you can step out confidently and obey whatever He prompts you to do. As you do, the weighty glory and splendor of the spoils will be hung on you for the world to see. It may be that book He told you to write that becomes a bestseller. Maybe it’s obeying Him and sharing Jesus with people who need salvation. Perhaps it means starting that business your faith is prompting you to start. As you rest, fastened into His character, the spoils of obedience and the goodness of God’s character will be hung on you.

Trusting God’s incredible character will bring inner stillness and peace. Those internal arguments between faith and unbelief will be silenced as you fully rely on God who is committed to bringing His promises in your life to pass. 

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

— Isaiah 26:3, NKJV

Look at this incredible verse declaring the single-mindedness of God.  When He speaks something to your heart, He means it:

God is not a man that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

— Numbers 23:19, NLT

I, the Lord, speak only what is true and declare only what is right.

— Isaiah 45:19, NLT

Think on each of these verses.  Meditate on them. Meditate means to mumble the words over and over as the words and their meaning take depth inside of you.  It’s like swishing them around in your mouth and your mind until the magnitude of the flavors are released into a full and satisfying experience.  Savor the depths of what it means to become a nail in the “sure” of God, who loves you and is driving you into Himself- The Single-minded, All-Loving, Almighty and Unfailing Father who cannot lie.  Those who know God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits for God (Dan. 11:32, AMPC). And, my friend, you are about to know your God!  Let Him drive you into Himself.

Grab a coffee my friend, and don't forget your favorite pen, and a journal. Ask the Holy Spirit walk through these questions, they are the foundation to our journey From Double-minded To Destiny! Tomorrow

Reflect with the Holy Spirit

  1. No doubt made Abraham waver at the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.  What thoughts do I have about this verse? What feelings do I have? Lord, what do You want to say to me about this verse and how does it apply to me?
  2. God, do You want to drive me into Your good character?  What do You want to say about being at rest in You? What “emblems” of battle glories are You wanting to hang off of me as I walk out of double-mindedness into my destiny?  What “emblems” am I hoping You will hang on me for Your glory?
  3. By trusting in You, what area of my life am I hoping to gain peace in?  What areas are You longing to bring peace to?
  4. What areas of “wavering” can I expect to change as You “drive” me into Your unfailing love and character?
  5. God, is there anything else You want to say to me?

This teaching devotional is part of a series based on Tyrelle Smith's book: From Double-Minded To Destiny. Each week we will publish more on how you can remove doubts and insecurities and fulfill God's plan for your life in a greater way.

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Two Tongues, Two Fires

One day I was out walking in the winter cold and I thought to myself, “What am I to preach to the church I have been invited to speak at?”  Immediately, the Holy Spirit filled my mind with a field and and a forest behind it completely ablaze.  Everything was burning fiery orange embers that glowed against the dark night sky.

I asked the Lord what it meant and He spoke to me that man can set a fire ablaze inspired either by Hell with his tongue, or Heaven through the Holy Spirit.  And we must have the Holy Spirit!  We must have an increase of the Holy Spirit for Jesus’ sake.  How can we set regions ablaze with His Heavenly Fire?  He longs to cast fire to the earth and how He wishes it were already kindled.  But how do we get it?

Jesus shows us all things as our model and having become a man, He showed the way for all mankind.  Jesus, our sinless Savior, went into the waters of the baptism of repentance, not for Himself, but for all the world, turning sinful man - God’s children back to their Father. Under the water Christ went, and left beneath the ripples, an era where sin, death and Satan reigned since Adam and ended it!

He rose from the water on behalf of man, God Himself parted the Heaven’s and released His Spirit declaring, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:17)

The last time the pleasure of God was spoken like this was over a sinless Adam, whom He blew the wind of His Spirit upon and filled and declared that Adam, His son, was very good.( Gen. 1:31)

After Adam sinned, the Holy Spirit would come and go upon, or seize men and women for tasks and prophecy and they would speak, work or war for God under the unction of His Spirit, such as Gideon, Samson, and Samuel. The Spirit would come and go- but upon Jesus, the Spirit remained (John 1:33).  From that moment on Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).  He was about His Father’s business and the Spirit of God was upon Him to preach the Gospel to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim freedom to the captives.(Is. 61)

He opened prison doors, cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, raised the dead and cast out devils.  He did what He saw His Father doing and spoke what the Spirit of His Father told Him too.

Although, Jesus’ disciples baptized with water, Jesus did not.  No, from that point on, baptism would become a symbol of a clear conscience towards God through repentance.  But Jesus came to bring a new baptism - the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matt. 3:11)  Oh, yes, it involves repentance to receive.

“Each one of you must repent and turn to God for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:28)

There is a difference between filled and baptized!  A mighty difference that God has put forth in the anchor of His sure and steadfast Word. Jesus says to His disciples,

'As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit."'  (John 20:21-22 NIV)

The difference is like this.  When you pour water into a glass, it is full.  When you put the glass in the pitcher of water, it is baptized.

Tyrelle illustrating Holy Spirit Baptism
Tyrelle illustrating the difference between Spirit-Filled and Spirit-Baptized.

The word baptism comes from when a dyer of fabric wants to change the color of the fabric.  He takes the fabric to a vat of water full of purple dye.  The water is hot.  The dyer is the baptizer and he holds the fabric in his hands and plunges it into the hot dyed water. When he lifts it, it has taken on the qualities of the dye.  They are one.  You cannot separate the dye from the fabric.  They are one.

Jesus is not baptizer of fabrics but of the children of God.  Amen!  As we repent, He holds us in His hands and baptizes us in a river of Fire, the Fire of God- The Holy Spirit.  He is an All Consuming Fire and when we are lifted from that river of fire, we have taken on the Fire of God and the character, power and qualities of God Himself!  You cannot separate this dye of fire from the fabric of our souls.  They are one.  First Corinthians. 6:17 conveys it with authority and beauty:

He who is joined to the Lord is one Spirit with Him

You take on the character of God for relationships, life and the power of God Himself to overcome sin, temptation and adverse situations.  You take on God’s power over sickness, death and disease and over all the power of the devil.  You take on His boldness and courage.  The Holy Spirit does not have a single ounce of fear in Him, and back down to no one and nothing.  He is righteous and the righteous are as bold as lions (Prov. 28:1)

Jesus told them to wait, to tarry and they would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, and they would become His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and unto the ends of the earth.  The word witness is from the greek word martus, (Strong's G3144). It means one who testifies even unto death, martyr, a faithful and true witness.  

In a courtroom, a witness can be a living piece of evidence bearing the marks that something has occurred.  When you are baptized with the Holy Ghost, tongues of His fire fall upon you and you are a living piece of evidence and like Jesus, the Spirit of God is upon you to preach the Good news with fire like Jesus did, and go around doing good and healing all who are oppressed by the devil.  It will make you strong in God’s might to speak for Him.  The baptism changed cowering and fearful disciples into apostles unto death.

There is another fire that can start a raging fire and it only takes a tiny ember:

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And the tongue is a flame of fire.  It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body.  It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.  No one can tame the tongue. (James 3:6-8).

Jesus said that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks (John 6:45).  And although no one can tame the tongue, we can tame the heart with God’s help.  He bids us to purify our hearts in James 4:8.  We purify our hearts with repentance.

Sometimes what we have repented of is difficult to stick with, but God is abundant in mercy and makes us this promise:

I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you.  I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender and responsive heart.  And I will put My Spirit in you so that you will follow My decrees and be careful to obey My regulations.  (Ez. 36:26, 27)

And I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit within them.  (Ez. 11:19)

Look at Isaiah, one of the most powerful, and prophetic preachers for God in history.  Mark carefully in your heart his experience as he encounters God in a vision and is commissioned to speak for Him.

Isaiah’s Vision

6 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said,

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,

The whole earth is full of His glory.”

4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said,

“Woe is me, for I am ruined!

Because I am a man of unclean lips,

And I live among a people of unclean lips;

For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

Isaiah’s Commission

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people:.....

When he repented, God did the work with fire and then sent him out to speak.  Likewise, as we wait on the Lord and tarry with repentant hearts, He will send us His Holy Ghost fire.  As Jesus is, so are we in this world and as the Father sent Him, so He sends us.  Sends us to do what?  To represent the Father with the characteristics and miraculous power of Himself by His Spirit into every oppressive situation mankind faces.  This is the Good News.

And why, on earth do we need the Holy Spirit?  It goes all the way back to Genesis 1 when the Spirit of God was hovering over the world- over the deep darkness, the void.  What was He hovering and waiting for?  He was waiting for the word of God to be released.  He said, “Let there be light”.  The Spirit of God was the power of God to make it a reality.

Jesus was the word made flesh and when the Spirit came on Him and remained, the Holy Spirit was God’s power to confirm the words with miracles, signs and piercing the heart of His listeners.

In Mark 16:15, 20 Jesus bids them to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone.”  Verse 20 shows their reply, “They went everywhere and preached and the Lord confirmed the word with many miraculous signs” because as the Father sent Him to be the Word and speak the word, so he sends us to be the word and speak the word.  His word in our mouth becomes as powerful His word in His mouth.

When we look at each person God has made, He spoke a unique word that created that person.  It will never be repeated again in history.  God’s word is eternal therefore each person in our towns, cities and nations is eternal.  They will either live forever in heaven or live forever in hell and God has set eternity in their hearts.  When we preach the Gospel, it is an echo to what they already know.  No matter how hard people want to think otherwise, deep down they know it.

Revival is when the word of God in your mouth is given flight as flaming embers, burning its mark into the hearts of men and eternal lives are saved.  Revival is when He confirms who you say He is with miracles, signs and wonders.  

To Jeremiah and us, the Lord says, “If you will speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be My spokesman” - meaning he would have the high honor of speaking for the Lord.

We can set our regions on fire by hell or by Heaven for Jesus Christ.  The fire will surely fall either way- but you and I get to choose which fire.

-All for Jesus and for souls,

Tyrelle Smith

 

"I will quieten you with my love and rejoice over you with singing." --Zephaniah 3:17

 

Jesus spoke after I had been fighting with my husband.  What I did not realize was how it would revolutionize my heart for evangelism and teach me the Fishy Song!

It was not unusual for me to think the worst of his beautiful heart and accuse him before the Lord intervened that day.  I was sorry, but the damage had been done.  I had wounded him again.  I decided to go outside and sit by the fire pit sans flame.  My shame was hot enough.  While my feet were up, I waited on the Lord and it wasn’t long before He whispered, “You don’t sing in harmony with Me.”  Jesus spoke Zephaniah 3:17 to my mind, “I will quieten you with my love and rejoice over you with singing.”

The scriptures began to knit through my soul as if by a master weaver on a fast moving loom - correcting and teaching as He spoke.

Tyrelle, I spoke words to create your husband, My son.  Out of the abundance of My heart, My mouth spoke.  My heart is pure, powerful, beautiful, wondrous and fully and completely love.  I speak only what is good and declare only what is right (Is. 45:19)  I decided long ago what I wanted My son to be and he is good.  He is the overflow of My heart.   I can not speak anything bad or wrong for there is none of that within My being.  I do not speak anything I do not desire to say.  I have planned every word from the beginning of time and have fashioned countless realities.  Your husband is a treasured word, a treasured name and I rejoice over him.  My word does not return to me void, it is eternal therefore He is eternal and I wanted him forever.  I am not a man that I should lie or the son of man that I should change my mind about him.  I spoke and I acted and I said and I made it good.  I rejoice over the work of my hands.  Sing in harmony with me.

He opened my mind to understand.  His words did not just create the world but also the man I love.  They were perfect words.  And The Lord was singing.

He showed me a melody joined in harmony by another.   When one voice sings out of tune or time, everyone feels it and the beauty is interrupted and everyone who hears it feels the awkwardness of the moment.  But when the song is resumed, the beauty flows once again as it should.

My words and views would come out of my heart and sing a song that was not reflective of the One who had invited me to live a life of harmony with Him.  With the revelation that my husband was words from His perfect heart, I could no longer accuse or show him less value than God who spoke only the words He wanted to create this eternal being.  

It only took moments to realize each person is eternal, created by an eternal Father with eternal words.  They would live eternally in Heaven or eternally in Hell.   When I share Jesus Christ, I carry with me the revelation that they are His living words spoken with love out of the abundance of His heart.  I release His unconditional love  Their walls melt like wax in the presence of the Lord they are quieted in His love.  

As I sing His song with Him, the fishies swim into the eternal nets of Jesus’ arms.   Without love, the song it is nothing.  With His love, it will never fail.  Fishies love the fishy song and I love to sing it.  Here fishy, fishy, fishy!

Evangelism and JusticeA ping pong ball goes bounces back and forth across the table batted by two eager paddles vying for victory, only I am the ball.  I bounce daily, weekly and seasonally between two callings; preaching the gospel and justice for those who have been sex-trafficked.  

Isaiah, the prophet, said, “The Spirit of the Sovereign God is upon me because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free." (Isaiah 61:1)  The same Spirit that anoints us to share Christ everywhere we go is the same Spirit that also anoints us to set captives free and heal their hearts.

At times, I long to rest quietly at one end of the table, preferably the evangelism end.  If I had to choose a mountain to die on, it would be that one.  Souls safe in their Father’s arms for all eternity and the Father overjoyed to have them within His dwelling.  Forever safe from hell.

But then, those who are living in hell made by man, are ever in the heart of the Father also.  Righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne.  He gives us His righteousness but then expects us to participate with Him in justice.  Justice is simply this- loving your neighbor as yourself.  Injustice is man participating with Satan and filling the earth with hell.  Malachi the prophet speaks for God saying, “You have wearied the Lord with your words…. By saying….. Where is the God of Justice?”  God is there, but he has given us  the task to:

seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow (Is. 1:17 NRSV)

Am I not compelled to fish for those as well?  

God has given us all that we need to bring justice.  But the thing that stops us most is fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of a lack of finances, fear that we will be put to shame when we try and fail which we probably will a few times, and fear of not knowing how.  Our God can overcome all of these obstacles, even if we are not.  International Justice Mission describes it this way.  It is like a Father and child who need to bring in the luggage.  The child says, “I can’t carry the heavy ones!”  The Father replies, “Carry in the ones you can, and I will take in the rest.”

And see to it they are also delivered from a horrendous and torturous hell?  I wish I could leave it.  I wish I did not have to do these things in my heart.  But the only other option is disobedience.  I know that we are to serve the Lord with gladness, but the problem is not as thrilling to solve as souls getting saved and angels rejoicing in Heaven over one saved sinner.  But is there really less rejoicing over one trafficked person rescued, healed or delivered?  Of course not.  And this is where our gladness must come from.  The joy of making God joyful at one little girl rescued, or one bonded slave or shrimp fisherman set free.  Is it not also salvation?

First Thessalonians 5:23,24 remind us that God wants to set us apart spirit, soul, and body.  Jesus died for our souls to be healed, our spirit to come alive and our body to be healed.  Isaiah 61 also describes the anointing and gospel is for the body to set captives free, the spirit to be alive through the preaching of the good news and the soul to be bound up and healed after it’s been broken.  Physical freedom is the salvation of body and ought not to be separated from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So it must be that I and many others will ping and pong across the table between the paddles of preaching the good news and setting the captives free.  I must remove the net dividing the table.  There is only one wonderful saving gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is for the whole tri-part person, and it is a joy to play the table.

Which cause are you drawn to the most in your life?

--TC Smith

 

“I still have many things  to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:12-13 ESV)

 

Interestingly, Jesus did not promise that we would be catchers of men but fishers of men!  This is an important concept if we are going to understand what success is.  There are times when we catch and times when we wait in the boat with our Father just like when we were kids.  The catching is exciting and the waiting difficult. But the worst day fishing with your dad is still better than a regular day not fishing.

Last week I was at a hospital with one of my kids.  I needed to fill a prescription for him for a tooth infection.  While I was handing over the doctor’s note to the pharmacist, a young man sat down.  He was red-faced from crying.  I felt Jesus move with compassion inside me.  His heart ached for the young man.  So, I asked the young man, “Are you okay?” and he responded emphatically that he was not.

I sat down immediately and put my arms around him and hugged him tightly.  He hugged me back hard and cried.  I rubbed his back and mothered him, telling him everything was going to be okay.  I knew this to be true because I sensed the Holy Spirit say so.  I asked his name and shared mine. We had the same last name which was perfect for mothering.  His story began to spill out that he had received an incurable infection from his partner which also revealed that his partner had been unfaithful.  He was completely devastated.

I said, “Sweetie, if I threw a twenty dollar bill on the floor and stepped on it, how much would it be worth at the till?”

He replied, “Twenty dollars.”

“Right!  What if I crumpled it, or spat on it?  What would it be worth at the till?”

He said, “Twenty dollars.”

People are still valuable when they are mistreated.

God’s Spirit began to reach him with truth, “Sweetie, your worth and value does not change based on how others treat you, by your mistakes in judgment or sin. You worth is based on the fact that God made you and loves you very much.  This is non-negotiable.  Value is also based on two other things.  First, is rarity.  There has never been another one of you or ever will be ever again.  You are rare and valuable and the only representation of God’s image in this particular likeness to be on the earth in history.  Secondly, worth is based on what someone is willing to pay for it.  Honey, you were paid for with blood.  Jesus’ blood.  He died for your sins so that you could live forever with Him and your Heavenly Father by removing the offending sin between you.  Do you know who Jesus is?”

“Yes, my whole family prays.”  I was surprised and yet not.  So much compromise has filled the church and the world. Never before had I wanted to set everything in order in one short conversation.  I wanted to put every puzzle piece of life in place with one short conversation.  After all, this was wrong.  I knew the answers-I could fix this!  But God’s precious Spirit reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a friend.  She told me of a new believer she knew had been attending church for about 6 months and one day rushed into the pastor's office aghast at a new revelation from God’s word saying, “Pastor, did you know that pornography is wrong?”  To the pastor’s credit, he kept his face passive and welcoming, “Yes, actually I did.  Tell me how you came to find this out”

With shock he said, “I was reading my bible and the Holy Spirit pointed out the verse that to look at a woman lustfully was the same as committing adultery so I asked my wife if that’s how she felt when I watched porn and she told me yes!  I can’t look at porn now! That’s wrong!” (Matt 5:28)

The pastor was pleased, to say the least!  This is a picture of where things are at right now in society.  Like Nineveh - some do not know their right hand from their left.  But God is still moving by His Holy Spirit, leading people into all truth, even on things we think they know but don’t.

This story flashed through my mind, I knew that the Holy Spirit was saying that this young man was traumatized and would not be able to receive correction about his choices.  Today he was bleeding out and Jesus wanted to stop it and keep this young man from making the ultimate decision to end his life due to the pain, hopelessness and confusion he was experiencing.

God reminded me also of Jesus who said to His own disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:12-13 ESV) Even Jesus could not put all the puzzle pieces together when He wanted to.  He had to leave it to the Holy Spirit for later when they could bear it.

God had this same strategy for the young man and I said, “Sweetie, you have a lot of decisions to make based on what has happened and you will need to put some boundaries in place based on your worth and value.  You also need to get back into God’s word.  It will help with your new decisions and know the Lord better.  But before you even open your bible, ask the Holy Spirit to come and teach you the word.”  He agreed and cried as I held him in God’s consoling love.  I knew that his life was safe and God would begin to move on His word to show this young man the right way to go, away from premarital sex and homosexuality.

We prayed together for his life and then God spoke to my heart, “He hasn’t been to church for a long time.”  So I said, “Honey, God says you haven’t been in church for a long time.  It’s time to go back.”  I had to trust the Lord that he would one day walk into a pastor’s office declaring that he knew what was right and wrong because of God’s Holy Spirit.

I wanted to lead him in a recommitment prayer.  I wanted to tell him so much and put all the pieces into the right places and fix everything at once.  I hated not having the conversation I really wanted to have.  But I love Holy Spirit and His wisdom and timing.  I had to wait until he could bear it.  Love is patient and kind.  It believes and it endures, even the waiting.

Today fishing was not catching.  Today fishing was waiting for the fish to be a little hungrier, a little more ready.  Today, fishing with My Father in Heaven was waiting in the boat and loving.  One day soon, another fisher of men will come and that fish will be ready.  Today, waiting in the boat with My Father was still better than a day doing anything else.

 

--TC

 

 

Every evangelist thrives on the rush of adrenaline that comes with the gusting wind of the Holy Spirit snaps our sails and suddenly we are moving toward the fish God is prepared for us to catch.

I recently went into a shop and saw a young lady. I immediately felt the love of Jesus crash over my soul and I smiled!  I began to pray because 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “The god of this age (the devil) has blinded their hearts and minds from receiving the true light of the gospel.”  I bind the enemy from influencing her and I call on the Lord to release Holy Spirit to declare Jesus Christ and lead and guide her into all truth!  

I feel His pleasure as I ask Him to draw her to Jesus!  He began to radiate His pleasure in this precious one He created.  I sensed Him picking her up on His lap and before I knew it, her story began to unfold and Jesus and I were doing my favourite thing in the whole world-fishing!

Laced within her story, we're gorgeous F-bombs, S-bombs and other four letter words.  I could feel my Father beaming with joy over her value, nodding His appreciation over His handiwork, nodding as if to say, “Do you see her?  Isn’t she amazing?”  To which my soul nods in smiling agreement, “Oh Yeah!” and like any true fisherman, I added, “She’s a beauty!”

 

Soon she begins asking me all about God and how she can know Jesus. She'd been googling how to "Do this God thing right. After all, it's like a marriage!” She said, “This is a lifetime commitment, ya know!?!”  

Ya, I did know. It was at lifetime commitment that caused me to keep my sails up and ready, because my God turns fish into sheep and sheep into lions.  But always – the fish come first!

She continue to talk and her speech continue to be peppered with still more four lettered words – my favourite words!  $&@#!  

You see, when you’re catching a fish and it's coming out of its life in the water it gasps as it changes environments and atmospheres. It's body flips, flops and fights indicating it's need saying, “Help, I need something here, something is wrong! I'm hurting, I'm dying!”

The four letter words are indicators of what is impacting them as they enter the atmosphere change of our God’s affirming, loving and peaceful presence. They are safe enough to indicate their struggle and that they are simply fighting for life. The authenticity in their language shows me where the Holy Spirit wants to touch, restore, forgive, heal or change. He releases His wisdom and declares who Christ is and can be in their life because He intends to release love into their gasping and desperate being.

In only moments, when they surrender to being caught in the loving nets of Christ – they are changed into sheep by the Lord and they soon breathe with new life in the atmosphere they were meant to as sheep!

He loves fish, He loves sheep and has destined even these gasping, four letter word spewing fishies to one day become a glorious lions who will expand His territory through his authority, power and love to other gasping and writhing fish. They will stand there one day with the Lord like I am, smiling and saying like a true fisherman "Yeah! She's a beauty!”

I love fishing!  So does He!  What a day!

--TC

15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ

                                                --Romans 8:15-17(NKJV)

Faith works through love.  When you know that you are loved unconditionally, it will help you to believe all things, endure all things, hope all things because love never fails.  Love is a person.  God is love.  We love God because we are first loved by Him.  How many of us enjoy building friendship with people who liked us first and pursued us.  We continue to grow in our love, affection and commitment to them based on their love for us and we return that same love back to them.  Our faith in them works through the love we have for them and them for us.

I want to invite you to discover you great worth today to someone who has pursued you from eternity past right through to your eternity future.  When you grasp this, your heart will sing a new song.  It’s titled “I’m so loved!”

When your Father in Heaven imagined you with His perfect and limitless imagination, He knew He just had to have you.  When He could think of nothing more beautiful, creative, intuitive, intelligent, powerful and sovereign than Himself, He fashioned you in His image.  You are literally a chip off the old block.  The chip is the same as the large block it was chipped from.  No different.

It was a like Father, like Son moment.  Image in Hebrew (H6754 tslem), means phantom and conveys that when Adam and Eve walked in the Garden, creation saw a phantom image of God and basically did a double take!  They would have said, “Hey there’s God walking in the Garden. Oh wait, that’s Adam.”  That’s literally what image meant.  You were an exact representation of His being, just like Jesus, that is before the fall. You were created from the best possible template.  God- Love!  Whoa, right?

So He spoke you into being.  God’s words, we know are eternal, that is why we have an eternal destiny and live forever.  Where we live eternally is up to us.

But in order to be truly created in His image you and I needed to be sovereign as well.  So, God gave us a free will.  He’s got one too.  And He knew what you and I would do with it.  Sin.  The wage of sin is death and whoever commits sin, becomes a slave to it.  Alarming isn’t it?  Why would God create you and I if He knew we would sin?  Because He wanted kids who could love Him back by choice.  We want kids so we can enjoy them for our whole lives and God has kids so He can enjoy them for His whole life.  And that’s eternity!  The thought of having you not having a will to love back but be a robot was not an option for Him.   Having you in eternal death and separated was not an option either so here comes the awesome plan.  Being adopted!

Paul used the beautiful picture of Roman adoption to explain to every believer in Rome about their brand new salvation!  Everyone in that day would have been like, “Whoa!  That’s what this is like? Thank you Jesus!  Thank you Father!”  father son roman adoption

In Roman law an affluent adult man who wanted an heir would adopt a male, often a slave to be his son.  This was common because there were a lot of Roman soldiers who did not marry among other reasons.

Adoption was one of the few ways a slave could come into something called the Patria Potestas.  That is greek for The Power of the Father.  The man adopt one that was currently in his house or he could go to the slave market and purchase a slave. Here is where it gets amazing!!!

Colossians 1:13 says that He has delivered us from the powers of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins.  The word redemption actually means purchased from the slave market of sin, never to be sold again.

The purchase price was death and blood.  Jesus was the exact representation of the Father (Heb. 1:13).  Good Fathers, if they have an ounce of love in their hearts for their kids, would die for them.  So as Jesus died for sin, it was to represent to you what the Father would do.  Doesn’t this give new meaning to the verse in 1 Pet. 1:18-19.  You were not purchased with perishable things such as silver and gold but with the precious blood of Jesus.  

When the price was paid, you and I were freed from the authority we were under - bondage to sin, fear, death, Satan’s power and legal dominion in our lives.  He who the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).

Next the one who purchased the slave would go to the magistrate who would ask the Father if He wanted to adopt the slave as a son and He must say “Yes”.  Then he would ask the slave, “Do you permit it to be so?”

He had to say, “I permit it be so.”  Seven witnesses were required to be present.  The reason for this was, it would be easy for a few people to say the adoption never took place, that the new son was not free and had no inheritance.  But it was impossible to get 7 people to agree to do that.  The Holy Spirit is the Sevenfold Spirit of God.(Revelation 1:4)  Cool eh?  

Rom 8: 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ

Take a look at what the slave would deal with and contrasted with the son.

 A Slave                                                                                    An Adopted Son

Considered illegitimate The possession of the Father John 1:12.  Whoever believes in Jesus has the right, (magistrate and jurisdiction and super human) to be called a child of God
Without honor The Adopted Son was expected to bring honor to the family name and legacy.  By this my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit.
Heavy labour A son was free but served the Father, the Family.  Come to me and all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Matt 11:28
Sexually exploited or beaten.  Under the dominion of a task master In Christ we go from being powerless and harassed by the enemy to being in under the power of the Father.
Considered to be without family In Christ, we are in The Family of God and are members of His body.  We are accepted in the beloved.  Eph 1:9
No access to the Father For through Him we have access to the Father by the Spirit.  Eph 2:18

We approach the Father with boldness and confidence Eph. 3:12

Must give access to the family resources.  God does not deal in “requirements”  It is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.

Must give affection.  The Father loves you even as He loves His Son Jesus.  John 17:22

Indebted Col 2:14 Jesus paid our debt and removed the handwriting that was against us.

The son lost all rights to His previous life.  Romans 6:11 Reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God.  

The old life has lost all rights legally to the adoptee.  Satan is not allowed to speak to you about your old life or condemn you.  Your old life has literally been wiped out by the magistrate and you have lost to right to even discuss it with the enemy.  It has ceased to exist.  You are now, before the magistrate a different person with a different identity.

 No influence of the father The Father has same control of Patria Potestas, the Power of the Father over the adoptee as the natural son including property, acquisitions, controlling relationships, having the rights to discipline.  Heb. 12:5-8

The Father was liable

for sons actions.  Each owed duties to each other.  The Father: gave name, protection, status and inheritance.  Son owed honor the name and legacy.  Matt 16:15 Go into all the world and preach the gospel- making more children of God

No rights Adopted son has the same rights and a natural born son.  That’s why it says in the word that we are seated in Heavenly places in Christ and we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.

The adopted son had one advantage over the natural born son.  Every person living in Rome would have understood this as Paul shared.  A natural born son could be disowned but the adopted son never could be.  

When did all this become possible?  Even before the foundation of the world the lamb was slain.  Rev. 13:8

For God so loved you and the whole world that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16.    When? Before He created you and me.  We were predestined to adoption and blessed with every spiritual blessing in Heavenly places.

You have not received the spirit of slavery again that you should be in fear, but the Spirit of adoption.  You are in the power of the Father and fully endorsed to live from the place of a son or daughter in His house to be the exact representation of His being, once again, with exactly the same mandated as Jesus our brother.

Jesus did it all and says to you today,

As the Father sends Me, so I send you.  Receive the Holy Spirit.  And He breathed on them.   

All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me, therefore Go into all the world.  Matt. 28:18-20

Heal the sick raise the dead and cast out devils.  Matt. 10:8

Be blessed today brothers and sister in the Lord.  Represent Him everywhere you  go!

--Tyrelle Smith

PDF Version of Roman adoption

Going into all the world actually means going outside the church - anywhere around you.

lunch menu
A divine lunch appointment

I went to see my son in the city and had decided to treat him to a fabulous lunch. I felt impressed for weeks to go to a specific restaurant. As we sat down, our waitress smiled and introduced herself. She had the most beautiful face piercings and was simply lovely. I immediately felt the love of God for her.  As she turned away from us, the Spirit of God spoke and said “She is in a crisis right now.” I watched her come and go from our table with smiles but every time she turned away, I saw something was not right.

At the end of the meal, I asked her if I could talk to her and she said yes. I patted the seat next to me and she sat down. I said, “The moment I saw you, I felt the love of God for you. He says you are in a crisis right now.” Her eyes filled with tears. She had gotten a medical call that morning and would need surgery. She had survived cancer 2 years earlier. She asked me how I knew and I said, “God is your Father in Heaven, He knows everything about you and sent me here today, just for you. Do you know who Jesus Christ is?” She said yes and that her grandmother had been a woman of great faith. I said, “Do you know today is your day to come home to your Father in Heaven?” She nodded and received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. We prayed for God to heal her or get her through the medical challenges. It has been a delight to stay in touch with her.