Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lord, my Lord

Imagine that you and I are sitting at the kitchen table at the end of the day drinking an ice cold glass of water.  We are having a good discussion regarding our day’s accomplishments and feeling good about it.  Then I ask you, “What were the two most important days in your life?”  After a short pause, your answer might be; the day I met my spouse; the day I was married; the day our first child was born; or the day I received the promotion I was praying for.  I believe the two most important days of our lives are when we were born and the day we discovered our purpose in life; everything else in one way or another is impacted by purpose.

 Your true purpose can only be revealed after you discover your creator. God has created you and He has called you. It is God who gives you life and only He can give you meaning in life.  Knowing and understanding this, leaves no doubt that He will guide you into fulfilling your purpose.

I would like to share some things I have learned in thirty years regarding God’s guidance in our lives. God will supply your spiritual and natural needs as long as you are in the place and position where He wants you to be. His power and peace exist in this place. Examples of God’s guidance are written in the Old Testament. Consider Abraham, Joseph and the Israelite’s stories.  Remember Elijah who was led to a brook where God used the ravens to supply his food?

 It is important for us in Christ to note that the understanding of spiritual provision has been lacking in much of Christianity.  We’ve set our eyes on the physical, natural and material and have not understood the real purpose for which God called us.  Look at the spiritual help the apostles gave as they led the church through times of perplexity, problems, and circumstances. They emphasized the spiritual principles which would lead the church until the end of time.  God’s desire is to guide us and make sure that we fulfill His purpose.  Psalms 32:8 reads, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.  I will counsel and watch over you.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.”  Isaiah 58:11 reads, “The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land, and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, whose waters never fail.”  John 8:12 reads, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  These scriptures are like street signs. They are points of reference or absolutes which never change. God’s grace has allowed these promises of guidance to be recorded in His Word. History shows us how important they are. 

Next, I want to note several factors in our lives that can distract, derail and hinder us. We must seriously judge our motives in our decision making.  What are our motives?  I often state at conferences, “It is not what we do for the Lord that counts, but WHY we do what we do.” Jesus says in Luke 11:34, “Your eye is the lamp of your body.  When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light.  But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.”  It would be impossible to discover God’s purpose if there is any thought of personal gain, compromise, or man’s praise. Our will must be totally surrendered to the will of God.  Jesus said in John 5:30 (KJV), “. . .  my judgment is just, for I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” In other words my will is surrendered to the will of my Father.  It is recorded in John 6:38 (KJV), “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my will, but to do the will of Him who sent me.” Did you know you and I were also chosen, anointed and sent into this world to do the will of Him who sent us? Our Lord said in John 17:16-19 “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” The Word is clear, there is no doubt God has sent us into this world the same way our Lord was sent.  The Holy Spirit reminds me of Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and you don’t do the things I command you?” How many times have we missed His guidance because we have not surrendered or submitted to His will? 

Another factor in our lives that can distract, derail and hinder us is lack of information; information for our minds, our thought processes.  God’s Word is filled with biography and history. It is filled with facts and reliable information.  The Holy Spirit will use God’s Word to renew our minds.  There is no crisis in the Word which is not in some way similar to what we go through.  We can glean from the scriptures and see God’s hand bringing clarity to our minds.   There is nothing new under the sun.  It is written in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  We must make time to read the scriptures if we are going to find fulfillment and be satisfied.  I have discovered God teaches and guides us, even on our jobs.  He is determined to help us arrive at His desired end. 

 Our lack of prayer is another factor. We have to pray.  Prayer is not always on your knees. We can be in prayer while washing dishes, washing the car, at work, on the computer, mowing the lawn, welding, or cutting pipe.  Praying is not always petitioning God, it can also be expressing your worship, praise and delight in Him. Psalms is filled with supplications for clear directions.  Psalms 86:11 reads, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”  Psalms 25:4 reads, “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”  Psalms 25:9-10 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.  All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.”

Another factor is providence.  Providence is God’s care for you.  God’s word is impressed in your heart, so never step ahead without a peace in your heart.  The Holy Spirit comes and lives in us to guide and direct us into all truth.   If there is not peace in your heart for the next step, wait; wait upon the Lord. His word confirms the impression in your heart.  We must be very careful not to be moved by the suggestions or impulses of others.  An example is when I started traveling to Mexico, some brothers brought me food and clothing to take to the needy. I so vividly remember the day that I crossed the border with those provisions. The Holy Spirit convicted me by saying, “I have not anointed you and raised you up for this. I have anointed you and sent you to take my Word.  I have raised others to do this job.” After that experience I stopped taking food and clothing; not that it is wrong but for our ministry the time had not come. Don’t misunderstand me; God said He called others for that purpose.  Several years ago, God connected us with a very special brother. Pastor Jorge Luis Urra pastors a wonderful church in Miami and has a heart for orphans.  God has joined us with this ministry and we have been working with him to supply food and clothing to orphanages throughout Central America, South America, and Thailand. Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” We must be careful to not step out of the measure where God has placed us.  John 8:29 reads, “The one who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.”  Do you want to know why the Father said, Matthew 3:17, “… This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” There’s your answer, “I always do what pleases Him.”  Remember the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7:1-6, “After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews were waiting to take his life.  But when the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles was near Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”  Human nature is acting here. Verse 5 reads, “For even His own brothers didn’t believe in him.” Jesus does not respond to human nature. He goes on to say in verse 6, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.” We must never forget that God’s ways are of greater importance than his works.  The Old Testament records that Israel saw His works but Moses knew His ways. 

These are factors that have been a tremendous help to me after 30 years.  It took time for me to discover them, but they have kept me on course.

 If you have not experienced the forgiveness of sin by Jesus Christ, I invite you to consider what you have read. To see the kingdom, the dominion, the power, the peace and the righteousness of God, “You must be born again.”  

Now let me give you two scriptures that make it very clear why God created us; one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament.  Isaiah 43:6-7 reads, “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!” and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back. Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-everyone who is called by my name, who I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Ephesians 1:5-6 says, “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”  Please read them very carefully and let the Holy Spirit bring you into the glory and joy of His Son.

God’s Servant,
John Casarez