“I’m not listening, la la la la la!!!” Ever hear two children arguing and hurling insults at each other when one of them covers their ears and shouts: “I’m not listening, la la la la la!!!” Not the most effective way of communicating! Yet, there are some of us who similarly respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit in the same fashion. I know, sounds crazy right? Consider this, when the Holy Spirit prods, tugs and convicts us in an area of our life to change…what is our response? Do we continue on the same course without correcting or addressing the issue brought to us? Do we turn a deaf ear and rationalize away the correction as unnecessary? I asked the Lord to show me in my own life how to soar like an eagle with victory and power rather than being a “slow- toed” sloth, who never seems to get anywhere fast! Truth is there are many saints of God who never get where they need or want to be because they are barely creeping along in the mire, sludge and grip of sin. The Lord is asking you and I, do you want to soar or do you want to creep? Do you want victory, or do you want defeat? Of course the natural response we all would quickly answer is “soar!” Yet, our actions communicate a very different answer! If you want to soar in victory you must free yourselves from the chains that keep you land-bound! What area of your life have you ignored the voice of the Holy Spirit? Remember He is in our life to serve as a guide and counselor…to help and empower us to soar. Yet, when we stubbornly ignore His gentle rebuke of correction we are in essence choosing the way of the three-toed Sloth over the Eagle! Then we wonder why we have no victory in our life? Why we are shackled to addictions, sins, defeat and despair? Our Heavenly Father wants to use us in a mighty and powerful way to accomplish His good works through us. The Holy Spirit is given to us to make sure we keep ourselves “usable” which means “available” to be used. Sin left un-confessed and habitually without correction or repentance keeps the saint of God bound up and enslaved into a life without power or hope. My friend the short-term momentary pleasure of sin's allure cannot compare to a regenerated spirit- filled and led life of victory, hope and joy! Let's reclaim our liberty in Christ and return our ear to His Spirit’s voice of correction, so that we can get about His work and begin to soar!
Hebrews 3:7-8 7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,“Today if you hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,”
Thanks for letting me share, Randy Young
Do you look like your Father? If you do…people everywhere will be drawn to you. They will see the love in your eyes, the gentle and sturdy way you go about life with poise and peace. They will recognize the integrity, the truth and the servant’s heart of your Father. In a world of darkness, chaos, and depravity…the light of our Father shines bright on a surrendered believer’s life. This attraction is a working prompted by the Holy Spirit, to rescue all those lost and desperate for hope and new life! Friend, I am talking about our Father in Heaven, as He increases in our life, the more He shines through. You see, I know that inherently I am a wicked, selfish, sinner, saved by God’s mercy! Yet, by the amazing power of Jesus Christ who now lives in me, He is transforming me more into His image every day. How? As I choose to surrender my life to Him, He is able to shine through my brokenness and draw others unto Himself! I am literally acting as the conduit for His might workings! Guess what? There is no greater purpose! I want people to recognize my Father when they see me first and foremost. How does one reach an unbeliever for Christ? Allow Christ to reach the unbeliever through us! Friend, let’s squarely lay the responsibility where it shall go…Jesus. We can’t compel another to new life with just persuasive words and evangelistic sermons. Yet, He can through us by His power! The emphasis is on His power...He is good looking to a lost and hurt world. When they see Him in us…they will be drawn to the message of Jesus Christ. A quick story, when my wife and I first started dating before marriage, there was a day I recall when she said she sensed something different in me and that she was attracted to my "character and integrity". I remember feeling like that was the best compliment anyone had ever given me! Then I was compelled to share why I was the way I was. She was not a Christian and in fact didn’t have any roots at all in the faith. As I started to share my testimony and my first hand experience of my relationship with Jesus Christ and what He did for me on that cross…she abruptly stopped me. She then paused a couple minutes and then said…”I see it!” The Lord had lifted the the scales off her eyes, and she saw a vision of Jesus Christ on the cross for her suffering and paying her sin debt. Friend, moments later she asked me if I would lead her to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior! What a blessing it is to be used by Jesus Christ. I also love the fact that she actually hushed me up at some point because she saw the Gospel firsthand! This should be a reminder to everyone… it’s not by might, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord! He did the work through me and in- spite of me!!! Sometimes we can worry a bit too much about how we’re going to minister, or what are the perfect words to say, etc. Perhaps the most important thing we can do is get ourselves out of the way, and rather than worrying about what we are going to do or say… we should be more concerned that we look like our “Father!” As we decrease by surrendering our will…He increases all the more in and through us! John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” Thanks for letting me share, Randy Young
How big is your picture? The greater it is...the easier it is to see clearly! Tonight, I am not talking about your Samsung or LG HDTV! I'm talking about your picture of life, and how important it is for believers in Christ to think "big picture!" You see it's necessary that we first "think" big picture before we can live it! Let me explain, living each day experiencing the challenges of life, this world, frustrations, temptations, setbacks, etc. can cause us to get really down and without joy, hope or even faith )which is power!) If we're not careful our tendency will be to focus entirely on the immediate struggle and thereby lose sight of the "bigger work!" It's important to remember that we need to step back and get an eternal perspective so we have proper context! How do we "step back?" We surrender to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit empowers us as our great counselor to consider the "bigger implication," the greater good, and impresses these Biblical truths into our heart as we allow Him. His light of revelation sends the dark thoughts of doom and despair running. Friend , as He transports us from our tired, even dire physical or mental predicament we enter to a glorious, wonderful spiritual rest filled with peace, and hope (all without leaving the house!) The power of His Spirit reminds us that our heart belongs to Jesus and not bitterness! He reminds us that our real enemies are not those who insult or hurt us! He reminds us that we are sojourners, not home yet! He reminds us to keep short accounts and keep our hearts pure! Friend, with the working of our Heavenly Father in our lives and the assurance of a future we have the power to think much bigger than our present circumstances! I love how loving, full of genuine mercy, and total compassion Joseph was when his jealous brothers (who had left him for dead, then sold him into slavery) stood desperate before him accused. Joseph had the power of life or death literally given to him by Pharaoh, and rather than inflict personal permanent retribution and retaliation -he ultimately embraced his brothers with tears and forgave them! That is big picture thinking! That is a man that is surrendered to the will of his Heavenly Father! Joseph understood that God had allowed everything to take place for such a time as this! I pray in our life we all will by His power, be able to see these little "stumbling blocks" (trials, struggles) as spiritual "stepping stones" (of maturity in Him) and keep on keeping on with hope and a blessed assurance to a "big picture life!" 1st Peter 1:3 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, amen! Thanks for letting me share, Randy Young
Have you heard the expression “no pain no gain?” As a child I grew up hearing that gentle reminder whenever I needed extra encouragement to keep going and not give up. The gist of the quote is that once you start “feeling” the pain of your exertion and efforts, you are finally making progress…so whatever you do don’t give up. I think the point is that pain is to be expected if you want to go anywhere good in life…it takes hard (painful) work! The bottom line is we shouldn’t be afraid of a little pain! Yet, despite this common truth, it seems that there are many today that will do almost anything they can to avoid the necessary “pain” that is required to grow… This is flawed thinking and it is prevalent even in the church today. Believers want the security of salvation and the liberty from “grace” so long as it doesn’t require personal sacrifice. Let’s get this straight, nobody likes pain…yet, we endure it for a little while with His power and focus on what the “pain” is producing in us! Consider this, physiologically we experienced growing pains as a child that were quite painful…only to experience a growth spurt soon after! Now let me ask you what child would rather stay short to avoid the growing pain? As believers in Christ we also are being stretched, shaped, and molded into Christ’s likeness, as we choose to follow Him down the narrow road. Sometimes it can be downright painful, challenging, and even discouraging! This is a journey and depending where we are the scenery can change! There can be mountaintops and there can be valleys on this narrow road. There will be times we can feel lost or like giving up, and want to stop! This metaphoric illustration of the “road” is also sometimes thought of as seasons of life. There are times we experience the “closeness” of His hand as blessings pour down from Heaven, then there can seem to be a drought! Friend, I don’t much like the drought or the valleys! In fact, I have been known to ask my Lord to please take them away! Thankfully, He knows that although I don’t like the momentary pain (trial) I do want to be more like Him and want to grow! You see, I made Him the Lord of my Life! Lordship means I really want His best will for my life and I sacrifice my own for His! Therefore I shouldn’t be surprised when He stretches me…! Guess what? He also is stretching you as you pray for His will for your life. We would never pray a prayer like, “Dear Father God, please help me to become complacent, help me to stop where I am and stagnate.” That is absurd and ridiculous to even consider right? Yet, we must never forget the pain and trial we are experiencing can have a necessary purpose in growing us. The alternative to growing is stagnation! How can we experience joy in the midst of trials? We know what it is producing in us, we know that we’re growing, and friends if we’re not growing… we’re not going…(down the narrow road)! 1 Peter 1:6-8 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
Thanks for letting me share, Randy Young
"A picture is worth a thousand words." A classic phrase that illustrates the power of a snapshot to define or characterize an opinion or standing on a matter or person. In advertising we see this principle played out constantly in ads in print, TV and other digital media platforms. Ad companies are hired by businesses to build positive pictures and associations with their brands, so you as a consumer hold them in your mind in a good light, etc. In life it also rings true in the way we hold people in our memory. We "see them" when we think of them, i.e.; we recall a past sum of experiences. (What that picture looks like determines their standing with us.) For example, if a person has hurt us, or been vicious in any way we would have a negative picture of them in our mind. Conversely, if a person has been kind, generous, etc. we would have a favorable picture in our mind, right? These pictures are worth a thousand words, so the quote says. These pictures are the summarization of our personal experiences and feelings. Friend, this got me to thinking about how people hold God in their mind and what that picture looks like? Why? Because how we paint that picture determines so much in our relationship to Him. You see some people have a picture of an aloof, distant, punitive creator who isn't tangible or loving painted! They see God as impossible to please, unrealistic or even uncaring. Perhaps these pictures were formed because of disappointments in life, hurt relationships, loss of loved ones, etc? Friend how do you see God in your mind? This picture needs to be accurate! My hope for tonight is to help you see God in the light of His full character and not a distortion painted by lies from the enemy! Perhaps you had a legalistic experience at a church? Maybe you were shunned or shamed by "believers?" Maybe your dad left you or rejected you or was abusive? Don't associate the perfect, pure love of our Heavenly Father with wicked deeds of sinful flesh! When we take the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation and learn about our Holy Father Jehovah God we can definitely paint a picture of Him! Here is my portrait (only some of my thousand words) He is love, He is slow to anger, He is faithful, He is gracious, He cares, He is compassionate, He desires relationship with us, He is present, He is our protector, He understands, He disciplines His children, He restores His children, He loves to bless us, He knows us intimately, He created us and all creation, everything good came from Him! He rewards faith! He is generous, He opposes the haughty, arrogant and proud! He never shames, manipulates, extorts, or leaves us. He forgives and forgets our sins when we confess and repent! He is our rock, our hope! He empowers us to be holy, pure and full of His love, thanks to our personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! There you go that's only part of my picture! That beautiful picture is with me always! It is alive in me because He is alive working through me! Tonight how do you see God? It will determine much about your relationship with Him! I love Matthew 7:7-12 it paints a wonderful portrait of how accessible our Heavenly Father is to us! Ask Him to help you have the right picture of Him! He will! 7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Thanks for letting me share, Randy Young