Monday, September 28, 2009

The Rear View

As a cautious driver, I try to keep a constant watch on what's ahead of me, what's around me, and what is behind me. The rear view mirror shows me not only what is coming up behind me, but it shows what I've already passed.

I have a couple of sweet ladies in my life who I get to see several days a week when they keep my children at the gym. I know they work hard for what they have and they even have second jobs they do after they leave the gym. Last week, I felt compelled to give them both a monetary gift, but something was trying to talk me out of giving them money on that day. You see, it was raining as we had drove into the gym parking lot. The thought of grabbing my three children, my iPOD, the umbrella, my keys and the money I was going to give them just seemed like too much for me to carry in. "I'll give them the money tomorrow, maybe it won't be raining then," I told myself. But the Holy Spirit kept telling me, take the money. Finally, after going back and forth in my heart, I pushed the money down in my sports bra (real lady-like, right?). But I had no more free hands.

We all made it inside and I handed the children off to them. "The Lord told me to give you this today," I told them as I handed each of them the money. "I know it's not much, but it's what I have at the moment." They stood there with their mouths wide open. Then one of them started jumping up and down, crying, like she had been offered a contestant's spot on "The Price Is Right". One told me, "I had a bill due today I knew I couldn't pay. This will take care of it!" she said. The other looked at me and said, "I can't believe this. I drove here today on empty. No gas in my tank," she said. "I figured after work, I would just pray myself home and hope I made it without running out of gas on the road. The Lord knew that!" she said with excitement. "This is gonna fill my tank!"

When I walked out of the room, I realized God had just done a miracle for those two ladies. But in order for that to happen, I had to get out of the way.

Sometimes, you can't see what God has done until you look in the rear view mirror of your life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Are You Grafted?

If you've ever had a favorite plant that was diseased and you wanted to save it, you've probably grafted it with another plant of the same kind. One form of grafting is called bridge grafting. Bridge grafting is used to "bridge" a diseased or damaged area of a plant, usually at or near the base of the trunk. A portion of the plant is sliced, then inserted into the healthy plant. Over time, the two grow together and form one healthy plant. The disease is gone because the once former sick plant now takes on the characteristics of the better plant.

Someone mentioned this week to me they didn't understand what I meant by "identifying with Christ" or knowing who you are "in Christ". You and I better know who we are in Christ because I can assure you, Satan knows if you know your identity! Here's an example....

Acts 19 tells the story of the seven sons of Sceva. The Apostle Paul was preaching hard at Ephesus. The Bible says God was doing many miracles using Paul's hands. The people were amazed at what they were seeing and this group of men decided they could perform just as fancy miracles as Paul could. Verse 19 says, "Then a certain group of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, 'We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.' And the evil spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?' And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded."

These men didn't have a relationship with Jesus (which would have given them authority to use His name) and they tried to use the name of Jesus to cast out evil spirits. One of the evil spirits thought it was rather comical: "Jesus I know and Paul I know; but who are you?" Because they didn't know their identity in Christ, "they fled out of that house naked and wounded." Paul knew who he was in Christ and so did the evil spirit ("and Paul I know" verse 15). Because the men weren't "grafted" in Christ, the evil spirits knew it and had a field day with them!

When we become one in Christ, He will totally change the way you see yourself and the way you see your life. And even better, Satan will know who he can pick on and who he can't.

My hope is that evening morning when my feet hit the ground, the devil screams, "Oh no, she's awake!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Revelation Knowledge

When we truly understand our identification with Christ in his death and resurrection, then we "get" the heart of the Gospel. Many churches aren't focusing on this because they are trying so hard to deal with everbody's personal problems. Our churches today are busy trying to keep people from having nervous breakdowns, teaching people how to love their husband or wife, how to manage their finances, how to discipline their kids and how to get their needs met. If you preach on your identity with Christ in some churches, they will look at you like a dog looks at a new bowl! They say, "You don't understand! I'm trying to make ends meet, I've got pain in my hip, I'm dealing with emotional problems, a broken relationship and you are talking about identification with Christ? That's not what I need!" Oh, but an understanding of our identity with Christ is EXACTLY what we need.

Christ living in us is based on our revelation knowledge of the Word and our mixing faith with it. It is based upon our willingness to yield to the Holy Spirit because the Spirit reveals Christ to us. The greater our Word intake, the more Christ will be manifested through you and me.

In February of this year, I shared how I had been challenged to pray Ephesians 1:18-23 for six months for myself, every day. I finished that challenge in July and I can tell you, I gained revelation knowledge. As humans, we are taught to go with our sensory knowledge in using our five senses. Revelation knowledge comes when the eyes of your spirit are opened up; when God's truths are revealed through your spirit. You see something that no one else in the natural realm sees. You see God has done something that is not natural.

Identifying oneself with Christ makes no sense for those relying on the senses. But for those who are searching for revelation knowledge, identifying with Christ is all they'll ever need. Revelation knowledge opens up the Word to you and me!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Change Of Heart

I wrote Monday about the importance of knowing who we are in Christ and the identity change that happens when we do. Up until the last few weeks, I'd never thought about this.

Simon's name was changed to Peter, which means "a piece of the rock," which is a revelation of who Jesus is. When Peter had his light bulb moment, he looked at Jesus and said in Matthew 16:16-19, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus turned and looked at Peter and said, "Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you. My Father revealed this to you." After Peter identified Jesus, Jesus told Peter in verse 18, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Jesus changed Peter's name, his character, his destiny and his possibilities in life. Everything changed for Peter.

The moment we see who Jesus is, He tells us who we are. And being a Christian is not about having a behavioral change every day, but having a heart change.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's In A Name?

Ever known someone who had an identity crisis? I've known people who believe they are what they do. If they lose their job, they suddenly lose who they are because they were so wrapped up in what they did. I've told my husband and close friends that if I ever think I'm more important than I am because of what I do, it's time for me to quit my job!

Just because something has happened to you doesn't mean that is who you are. Ever known someone to say about themselves "I'm divorced"? Your identity if different than your behavior. That is the point in which it becomes important for us to realize who God says we are. God identified us with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. So the strongest revelation in the Bible is who we are in Christ Jesus.

It's no wonder why people have an identity crisis when so many voices are trying to tell us who we are and what we are from the time we were born. But God is the Creator, so He deserves the right to tell us who we are and what we are like, right?

All through the Bible, God changed people's identities. Sometimes even they did not recognize who God said they were! It is the same with us. We have heard so many things about ourselves that when God tells us who we are, we are surprised.

God called Gideon "a mighty man of valor" when was hiding from the enemy. God changed Abram to Abraham which means "father of many" when he had no children. Jacob means "deceiver" and God changed his name to Israel, "prince of God". See a pattern here? They had to have an identity change to carry the spiritual inheritance God wanted them to carry. We all must have a change in identity to fulfill the destiny and dream God has for us.

God often calls us something even though there is no physical evidence to support it, but He is God. He reserves the right to reveal to us how He sees us and what He sees in us.

I'll discuss more about this on Friday's blog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Desire Isn't Faith

I've learned something else this week about prayer. There is a common thread in some scripture I've found.

Mark 9:23 says, "All things are possible to him that believeth." Matthew 21:22 says, "All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." And Mark 11:24 says, "Therefore I say unto you, all things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Did you catch the word that ties all of these prayer verses together? Believe!

Many times when we pray, we are wanting something so bad: a new job, better finances, the healing of a broken relationship. But desire and want are not faith. Desire may at some point lead you to faith, but wanting something bad enough is not faith.

To believe that God can answer, that He is able, that He does possess the power to do it, is not faith. It is to believe 100% that He will, that He is on the edge of doing it and that even now, the answer is on the way.

Remember, faith is not believing God can, faith is believing God will!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Barbie is taking the day off from the blog today due to Labor Day. She will return this Friday!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Believing God Will

Since the last couple of blog entries regarding prayer and faith, some have posted their comments here. Others have sent me personal emails. I'm not hear to preach to anyone but myself. This blog has always been personal in nature--a place for me to type what I'm discovering in the Word and in my prayer time. If I'm learning something and, thus, writing it here helps you, that is the Holy Spirit speaking to you; not Barbie Bassett.

It's been said before, faith is not believing God can. Faith is believing God will. But the reason why so little is accomplished in our prayer life is because we expect so little. We believe God can, but we don't believe that God will. There is a big difference.

Matthew 9 talks of Jesus' healing of the blind and the mute men. Two blind men were calling out to Jesus for mercy. They wanted to see! Jesus asked them one question in verse 28, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" And they both said yes. Jesus told them, "According to your faith, will it be done to you."

But as Christians, we sometimes subscribe to the belief, "According to how much you want it, so be it." That's not what Jesus said. Notice it is according to how much we believe God will give it to us--that is faith. We cannot tell God what we want and then try to fit Him into our plans.

You never see miracles performed for people in the Bible who didn't have faith before they asked for healing. The faith they had in Jesus came before their miracle. The miracle was just a by-product of their faith.

Our prayers are the same way. Faith comes first, the answer comes second.