What are you hungry for?

Often times when a woman is pregnant, she gets strong cravings for particular things to eat. These cravings are believed to be linked to nutrients her body needs to support the baby she is carrying. The more she understands the root of the cravings, the better she is able to make selections to adequately nurture the life with in her. There is a similar dynamic that occurs in the life of everyone in regards to their cravings and desires. We really need to understand the root of our desires to ensure we make choices  that result in promoting life within us.

Many religious orders encourage the practice of ignoring desires in order to live spiritually but I have come to understand that all desires are rooted in a spiritual need. A characteristic of true spiritual living is having an understanding of the true root of our desires. Just resisting or ignoring desire does not lead to a peaceful existence and neither does simply indulging. People often try to satisfy spiritual cravings with physical things. This is an issue because physical things can never fill the need created by a spiritual deficiency. In fact, trying to fill a spiritual need with physical things will always lead to over indulgence, because no amount of a physical thing will satisfy a spiritual need. If you wanna a picture of what I am saying, just look around at all the areas of addiction today. In our day we have drug addicts, sex addicts, pornography addicts, food addicts, shopping addicts, gaming addicts and working addicts to name a few. These are so common, if you are not one of the addicts just mentioned, you have a family member or close friend that is. All of these appetite disorders are rooted in spiritual deficiency.

The Samaritan woman that met Yeshua at the well had five previous husbands and was currently involved with a man that was not her husband. This sounds to me like a person with a need yet having some serious issues trying to get that need met. Obviously men were not the solution to the need she had, yet it appears she was on her way to a sixth husband. When you don’t understand the root of your desires, that is, the real root behind the desire, it is easy to get into some vicious cycles. Yeshua told the Samaritan woman, “If you knew the gift of God and who you were talking too, you would have asked him to fill the thirst you have been trying to fill all these years and he would have given you living waters that would have truly satisfied you.” That is my paraphrase and translation, for the actual account, read the book of John chapter 4. Yeshua went on to tell the Samaritan woman that the water he offers becomes a well of life with in you which springs up to satisfy thirst forever. There are many people in relationships today that are destined to fail because each is looking to the other to satisfy thirst that can only be filled by Yeshua the Savior, also known as Jesus Christ. The living waters that Yeshua offers can break the cycle of addiction and set your appetites in order.

We are spiritual beings, created with an infinite capacity for the knowledge of GOD and it is only when we are in relationship with GOD and learning of Him daily that we are satisfied. Any disconnect in that relationship automatically creates a void that will surface in the flesh as an appetite for something. The Disciples would often badger Yeshua telling Him he needed to eat something and He would tell them, “I have meat that you know not of.” He was full spiritually! While in physical form, whenever Yeshua felt any appetites arising, He would set himself apart and spend some time communing in the Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit with in us giving light so we can discern the root of the motivations that drive us from time to time.

Physical things are only a shadow of the spiritual things we really need. YES…we need companionship, food, and recreation but we need them in the context of spirit and truth. Our Creator intended for us to have pleasure but in the context of life not death. One of my mentors, Edwin Louis Cole once said, “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasure.” A lot of the perversions we see today stems from man’s attempt to solve his own problems; destructive self-medication.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Prov 3:5-6)

The one that created you knows what is best for you. Trust Him with your life and He will lead you to freedom and fulfillment instead of bondage and disappointment. Make a determination today, to reconnect with GOD through submission to the Word. Yeshua saves.

Psalm 145:14-19

14 The Lord upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.

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Satisfying The Soul

The greatest gift you can receive from God is simply His love, via an intimate relationship. God can shower us with miracles and provisions for living but none of these things alone can satisfy the truest craving of our heart. The truest craving of our heart is to know God intimately, to love Him and be loved by Him. Many, many, people have occupied themselves with trying to quench the desire of their heart with all sorts of pleasures and curiosities only to discover that the disquieting desire still beckons. A heart beckoning for the love of God will not give you rest. Like an icy draft from a deep place in your soul keeping you from getting comfortably warm. You are constantly trying to find things to throw on your fire to stay warm however the flames never remain intense enough to give you sustained comfort. In fact, some of the things people seek to build their fire take them so far from the flames that they become cold and hardened. The bible has depicted the Holy Spirit as descending like fire upon the church. I find this depiction of the Holy Spirit very suitable to Her work (don’t be alarmed that I have referred to the Holy Spirit in a feminine tense, remember mankind collectively both male and female reflect God’s image). The Holy Spirit ascends like fire to spread the love of God abroad in our hearts.

God’s love for us is a very fervent love that warms us to our core when we truly receive it. I say truly receive because many people confess that they have received His love however they are not at rest. They are still burdened with hunger and thirst of the soul. In the gospels, Jesus talked about giving special water that would end thirst and special bread that actually gave life. When your relationship with God is healthy  there is a completeness that you abide in that gives your soul rest and comfort. You will find people who have truly received the love of God seem really comfortable in their skin. The comfort I speak of is not one seated in pride or self-assurance but one seated in a tangible awareness of God’s providential love. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the comforter. The Holy Spirit comforts us in many ways. One major way is through leading and guiding us into all truth. This  truth includes the reality of God’s loves for us. The reality of God’s love transcends many of our worldly notions of love. Until we are open to hear from the Holy Spirit on the realities of life and love our deep cravings will remain. On the other hand, if we are willing to empty ourselves of our worldly notions and contrived philosophies of life, then God can satisfy our souls exceedingly and abundantly beyond all expectation. The love of God will usher in a trust that frees you to surrender all that you might TRULY receive everything.

In the old testament of the bible, there is an account of the battle between the prophets of a false god and Elijah the prophet of the true God. The battle was to see which prophets represented the one true God. The prophet that could provoke their God to send fire from heaven to ignite a fire on earth was to be the true prophet representing the one true God. Elijah prevailed as the winner of the challenge because he represented the true God. Only the true and living God can send fire from heaven. May God ignite in your soul with fire from heaven that brings eternal comfort and rest through the knowledge of His love.

Freedom without Liberty

I have found often what the world promotes as freedom tends to bondage. For instance, most people consider freedom the ability of an individual to do whatever he or she wants. If you take a closer look at that you will find that it is very limiting. An individual can only experience or realize what they know of or what they are aware of. That’s like someone giving you a pair of roller skates and telling you that you are free to explore the world. Another example is like giving you an airplane and telling you to go see the world with no manual or pilot training. Your freedom does not extend beyond your knowledge because you cannot enter, fully experience or partake of that which you are ignorant of and don’t understand. In order to become free you have to be educated and empowered. Our Heavenly Father has given us examples to consider for coming to a true understanding of life and the universe He has created. Consider raising a child. When are children able to be free by the world’s definition?…Not at birth, a new-born would die on its own…Not as a toddler nor for that matter as an adolescent. In fact if we equate freedom with independence then we are never really free because we are all dependent on each other. Only God is self-existent! Let that marinate. We are not even free to know what freedom is until we are taught. The devil, the great deceiver, is still up to his tricks.

The wicked forces of this world have deceived people into believing that they are free by empowering them to indulge the appetites of their flesh without restraint. Freedom is sold as having all the food you want, all the sex you want, all the libations you want, all the material things you can gather and so on. This does not lead to freedom; it leads to addiction which is essentially bondage. I know I am throwing lint on some lollipops but many of us have been suckers for too long. How free is the obese person to enjoy an active life style? How free is the sex addict to enjoy the benefits of a committed relationship? How free is the drug addict to enjoy a stable life? How free is the materialistic person to enjoy lasting contentment? In fact, the easiest person to control is the one given to their appetites? This definition of freedom is extremely visible in the mind-set of American citizens. Many Americans I encounter consider even the practice of healthy restraint an infraction of their freedom. Try talking to a smoker about quitting or smoke free public environments. Trying talking to an overweight person about their food selections or portion control. Try talking to a gay rights advocate about the sustainability of the human race. Every individual has to exercise some restraint or freedom deteriorates collectively as well as individually.

Everyone with a valid driver’s license can seem to understand the importance of traffic laws like speed limits, stop signs, yield signs, and traffic signals. All traffic laws are intended to keep us safe on the roads. What if when driving, in the name of freedom and individual rights, we all decided to disregard traffic laws along with every other person on the road and just did our own thing.  It would be catastrophic. It is easy to see the relationship between how we drive on the roads and its impact on others on the roads but it takes a little more consideration to understand the impact of how we live our lives in relation to others in our community and the world around us. You don’t live your life based on traffic law but you do live your life based on moral law that is unless you are an immoral person. We exercise restraint on ourselves through our own morality and values. Restraint is exercised on the general public through law enforcement. Any mature adult can see the importance of laws. The problem occurs when laws conflict with our appetites and desires. Who is qualified to tell us what we can and cannot have or what we need and do not need or what we can and cannot do? Governments all over the world have proven themselves to be unqualified to handle this task, including the USA. In America we have a history of employing the policy of ignorance for control and restricting empowerment to certain races and classes of people. As I said earlier, for freedom to be realized it has to be combined with education and empowerment. The governments of this world can support our freedom but they cannot secure our freedom.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

This is a reference to Lucifer and his hordes.

Ephesians 4:8 says, “Therefore He says: When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”

John 8:36 says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

John 8:31-32 says, “And Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Jesus has won our freedom by triumphing over the powers of spiritual wickedness. As I stated earlier, your freedom only extends as far as your knowledge, so Satan’s plan was to keep us in darkness, ignorant of the truth but Jesus came as a bright shining light and exposed the devil as well as opened our eyes to the truths that make us free. The life of Jesus is an example to follow.

1 Peter 4:1-3 says, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”

The only way we truly become free as a people or nation is by submitting our will to the Lord. I know this is counter-intuitive but it is written in Luke 9:23-25;

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”

The Lord is the only one qualified to govern our lives because He alone created our lives. I am not advocating an anti-government mentality. I am advocating that we do all we can to ensure first that our individual morality and values reflect those of the Lord and secondly that our governing bodies reflect the same. It is only then that every person will be in a position to experience true freedom.

Through The Storm

In the early years of my journey I encountered a picture that was truly worth a thousand words, perhaps even more. In the picture, there was a great storm brewing over the sea with dark clouds swelling in the sky. It was the kind of storm that triggered the instinct to seek immediate shelter. Dwarfed in the picture was a small ship tied to a dock. The caption in the photo read, “A ship is safe in the harbor but that isn’t what it was made for.” As I peered into the picture, I began to understand the call of the storm. The call of the storm is an invitation to learn. In the midst of the darkness, the wind, and the waves, there are things to be learned about the captain, the ship, and the storm. A wise captain will avoid a storm if he can but he also needs to know what to do if a storm cannot be circumnavigated. To know of a certainty that he can navigate a storm, the captain will have to go through one. Just like the challenging circumstances that arise in our everyday life, we avoid them when we can but we also have to be ready at times to set our heading straight into the wind. Storms or challenges are often ordained of God to uncover the treasures of untapped potential buried beneath barriers of complacency. Many people will work out until they sweat but few people will actually push themselves to failure or true exhaustion. That’s why it is better to work out with someone who will push you when you are seeking greater performance. There are glorious qualities we have within us lying dormant and we are reluctant to apply the amount of pressure necessary to break through and awaken them. That is why God orchestrates circumstances beyond our control that puts us right where we have been reluctant to go. It’s about unveiling and knowing your true potential. God created us in His image and when we fulfill our true potential we bring Him glory. The best way to discover your true potential is to put yourself in God’s personal training program. In fact, if you asked Christ to save you that is exactly what you did. One of the first “witness wear” clothing items I purchased after becoming born again was a t-shirt that mimicked the old “Gold’s Gym” tees, however it read, “The Lord’s Gym” on the front and it had a pumped picture of Christ carrying a cross on His back, then on the back it read “No pain, No Gain”. I still have it though it is all tattered and worn.

We should live life to discover our true potential. This means doing things that reveal our weaknesses as well as our strengths. So many people try to stay to their strengths all the time since it is the path of least resistance. This way of living marginalize our growth because we need resistance to make us stronger. Though avoiding resistance may keep you comfortable, it also keeps your true potential unexplored which is like leaving treasure unearthed. We have to mine ourselves for the treasure hidden within. It will take a lot of digging and searching but it is the most rewarding work you will do, second only to helping others to do the same. Bringing new life into the world is always painful. Ask a mother. It reminds me of what Christ says, “We enter the kingdom through much tribulation.” The Kingdom is the place where our hearts are free and we are fulfilled.

We have to learn to live courageously! It is the only way to take the promise land of our true potential. It is important to realize that our courage does not come from trusting in ourselves but it comes from confidence in our Creator. Just like that boat in the harbor facing the storm, we have to have confidence that we were designed for the challenges of this life. We have to know that God is behind the scenes tailoring the storms, just like a trainer designing a workout specifically for us, to help us discover our true potential. The next time you find yourself in the throes of a storm, instead of insisting that God deliver you out of the storm know that God is using the storm to deliver you.