Humbling Myself….

“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:10

Humility, as defined in the Holman Bible Dictionary is, “the personal quality of being free from arrogance and pride and having an accurate estimate of one’s worth.”  One’s worth. Humility will allow one to review themselves and their work.  This is true in the secular world as much as it is in the spiritual.  However, the spiritual is and should be the main and absolute most important area of examining our worth. 

The Psalmist David asked the Lord God to search him.  Search his heart and his ways and his thoughts.  David knew his worth to God and the love of His Father for him.  All the many mistakes David had made and the Lord loved him deeply.  David’s love was ridiculous for his God in return, so much so that he danced in the streets nearly naked before his Lord to honor and praise HIM.  He didn’t care what his wife or others thought about his act of worship.  He chose to worship.  Like a madman who was thought to be drunk! I desire that type of worship for my Lord. To be willing to worship with abandon and be ridiculous in the sight of others if my worship is pleasing to my Jesus.  That’s my hearts’ desire. 

Yesterday was a humbling experience for me.  It was placed on my heart to sing a song which demonstrated the power of Jesus name.  You see it is easier for me to sing without music.  If I forget words or miss a note then I can pause and resume without the music running ahead of me.  For years I had chose to not sing in public because fear and pride would strike me.  I allowed the yoke of the enemy to weigh me down with “what if” fear.  What if I sing off key?  What if I forget the words?  I made so many excuses to not sing for my Lord, other than in the privacy of my bathroom or in the car.  I would even stop singing in front of my husband for fear of ridicule.  Fear trapped my thoughts and works.  Fear is from pride.  Pride produces fear.  So when the Lord liberated me from so many things this past March, I chose to use my gift to sing in public again.  For HIM.  To worship HIM.  To encourage other believers in song.   I refuse to let the rocks cry out in worship ahead of me!!! 

So I had a couple of days to listen to the song on youtube and practice.  I couldn’t get through the song without tears flowing, snot running and falling on my face in worship to Jesus.  I wasn’t certain if I could get the song out at church without all three happening.  If it does then it does, I thought.  So yesterday I took my cell phone up to the podium and had my words pulled up as back-up.  Asked the Lord to accept my gift of praise through song to Him and began.  I forgot some of the words and sang off key at some points.  I had to stop and get back on track with a word to finish on the correct note.  Fear.  It hit. I was being tested.  “Try me and know my anxious ways.” Oh boy did He try me.  Was I going to continue in the song or quit because it wasn’t perfect….NO!  Am I going to allow fear to yoke me again from worshipping Him in public through song?   NO Way!!  Thankful my knees were not knocking this time while singing so I could walk–straight –back to my seat.  I sat down, patted my sweating forehead with a Kleenex and prayed.  Silently I prayed….”Lord, I pray that the imperfect attempt at this song will be perfected in your sight…..In Jesus name, Amen.”

I left as quickly as I could from the auditorium after an awesome message from the Pastor.  I didn’t want to be told, “Good Job”, or even worse, “Beautiful Song”, because I was humbled already in front of the congregation.  I tried not to think about it anymore, hoping they would forget I had messed it up.  It was meant for my Lord anyway……though I really wanted it to sound good.  Then something amazing happened.  A praise team member thanked me!! Then an honest gift from the heart of a lady in Sunday School class said it was a beautiful song. Then after I got in the car a text came from another dear sister in Christ that said, “amazing song.” What was happening? My Father’s hand telling me He allowed hearts to hear how majestic HE is through the message…..not the bloopers?  He took my act of worship and created praise for Him.  Elohim.  The yoke has been broken Satan…..the yoke has been broken. 

Dear brothers and sister in Christ.  If you have been given a talent or gift from the Creator, don’t hide it.  Even if it isn’t perfected….give it to the masterpiece maker. “For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10  Give your praise to Him Christians……He perfects the gifts of the heart.  Thank you Jesus for humbling me so that you could show me your strength through my many weaknesses.

 

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Grace, Grace, God’s Grace…..

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow….” (Isaiah 1:16-18 NKJV)

I had an idea of what I thought my two school age boys would be wearing for Easter service.  All white including shirt and pants.  I cleaned them up, dressed them, and then commanded them to wait for me as I got ready myself.  I specifically said, “DO NOT GET DIRTY”.  After a few minutes of hearing them whine–because I made them sit still on the couch until I called for them–I decided to send them out to the car to wait for me there.

As I polished myself up with last finishing touches, my oldest son brought his little brother in d-i-r-t-y!!  “I told him not get on his bike but he didn’t listen to me”, he stated in exasperation.  The youngest was crying and ran to me grabbing a hold of my legs.  “Nathan!  I told you to not get dirty.  We don’t have time to clean you up and change your clothes.  We are going to be late and won’t ever find a seat!”  I said in my fury.

As Nathan looked up at me with tears in his eyes, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me in His loving wisdom. “Daughter, this is exactly how I do you, the Lord whispered.”  I get you all cleaned up, sparkling white and then send you out into the world.   Then you come back to me crying and dirty.”  That was all it took.  My whole demeanor changed from fury to humility.  I kissed Nathan’s face then wiped away his tears.  I changed his clothes then left for Easter morning service.  (Josh, however, was waiting and hoping that his little brother would get a spanking.)

The Lord taught me so much from that moment.  I learned the meaning of grace.  Our Lord is preparing our eternal home for us and instead of staying clean and waiting on Him in patience and obedience; we get very anxious and do our own thing, getting dirty in the process.  Never has my Heavenly Father turned me away with tears in my eyes.  He has always loved me, dirt and all.  He has never told me how bad I was but sent me back on my way in His loving mercy that is new every morning.

I am so grateful for the lessons my Jesus has taught me and continues to teach me.  I don’t remember what the bike looked like.  I don’t even remember if we were late for church but what I do remember is the lesson of Grace the Savior taught me through dirty clothes and the failing of a little boy to be obedient.  By the way, his older brother still thinks he should have gotten a spanking.

Dear Lord, teach me to see circumstances with my children as a daily reminder of the grace you show to me, Amen.

Contact Information for Michelle Hawkins:

michelle.hawkins2003@gmail.com

I reply to each response on the blog website.  I appreciate all comments and I appreciate you for taking the time to read my blog.

“Do You See What I See?”….

“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.” (Psalm 119:18, NLT)

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalm 119:18, KJV)

Recently I challenged my Disciples In Disguise class to take a journey with me.  About 16 women loaded up in our church van and headed to our designated locations within our city.  The assignment was to purchase a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and once seated to simply observe inconspicuously.  What were they observing you ask? People.  The clerk behind the check out counter, the customer who was waiting for their order or the family who was seated next to them.

They were instructed to not act on their own but wait for the prompting– or instruction–of the Holy Spirit before they said or did anything. Just pray and write down what they saw.  Some noticed the kindness of the customers and their patience with the servers behind the counter.  Another noticed how parents interacted with their children as they ate and yet another how the servers exchanged comments with one another.  One even noticed the love of Christ between our group members.  Each of these can be used by God in some very significant way.

One sister in Christ, however, noticed one thing in particular that warrants mentioning.  She moved completely away from our group and chose to sit in the children’s play area where a father shared his meal with his child. She prayed for direction and as she was about to get up to leave–because she begin to feel uncomfortable with the foreign situation–the man  turned to her and spoke.  (Isn’t this typically what we do? Try our best to stay in our comfort zone?)  She then said “YES LORD” to Jesus in her heart.  She recognized His prompting.

They shared a conversation about how his child beat all odds for his health and was told he would never walk, yet even then in the children’s area the child was running and playing.  My sister in Christ allowed the Holy Spirit to direct her words and a connection was made.  She was sharing her faith and showing the light within her that only one can give….JESUS.  She said “YES”, and the Spirit said “Well Done.”

She is a disciple….disguised as a woman at rest.  She chose to SEE what many Christians don’t take the time to see. She yielded to  the Holy Spirits direction and glorified her Lord.  Not to glorify her works but only to glorify her Master.

What will Jesus do with this encounter? Only He knows.  Maybe one day my Sister in Christ will be given the opportunity to see how her act of faith changed a life, two maybe three lives….endless possibilities. Her faith touch Heaven and her simple obedience, in Jesus name, can and will change the earth.

“But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without your deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (James 2:18, NIV)

The “Fitting” Lesson 5

“And take the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NASB)

(Friends, I apologize that this post is late.  I am preparing for my 22 year old sons wedding and yesterday was devoted to this.  I thank you for your understanding.)

When you first received Christ unto yourself, He brought you into your salvation through the shedding of His blood as penalty for your sin.  He gave you the helmet of salvation to place upon your head.  You wont lose your salvation if you don’t use it, but you will be OPEN for a defenseless attack.  The helmet is there for your protection.  Recognize this as you draw closer to Christ through the reading of the word of God.  When you do, He will draw nearer to you and you will obtain the mind of Christ.  You are in Him and He is in you. You will begin to “imitate” Jesus, begin to “look” more like Him to others through your day to day life.  So if this is true–and it is–you begin to have the mind of Christ.  The word says “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But WE have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV)

Be prepared dear one. As you begin to grow, He will prepare you for the battle.  These are schemes of the enemy, and these schemes will become apparent to you.  Be alert and you wont be caught off guard.

He will teach you how to use you “SWORD”–the word of God–to defeat the devil.  Remember, your struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)

We learned that believing every word of the bible is in fact truth and cannot fail. When the enemy tells us a lie what do we do?  Declare out loud what the real truth is.  Use your sword!!  In order to use it you must study it.  Its all right there for you.  Waiting to be picked up and worn.  So pick it up.

We have come to the end of the Armor of God lessons.  Don’t stop here.  Allow the Holy Spirit to continue to speak to you,  molding your thoughts to be submissive to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

If you have “happened” upon this blog site and feel compelled to continue reading it, know that it isn’t a happenstance but a “Kingdom appointment.” He is drawing you closer to Him.  Embrace Him.  I will pray for you.  Praying for strength and courage for you to try the FULL ARMOR on.

“Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10)

In His Love,

Michelle Hawkins

The “Fitting” Lesson 4

“In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16 NASB)

Faith. Plain and simple?  It means to trust.  Can a person trust someone or something they have not seen? For some this is a very tough question.  I have heard people say they have much trouble with this concept.  Others have said they do not have blind faith.  You see, blind faith, dear one, IS faith.  If we have to “see it to believe it” first–it isn’t faith.  The word says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (KJV)

Lets go back to the day you received Christ.  You had to hear the gospel in some way, right? Once you heard it, you had to understand it.  Once you understood it, you accepted it to be true.  You didn’t see the actual event of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Savior to know in your heart that this is true.  You took it on faith.  You don’t see God but you love Him.  This is faith.

The enemy will again and again aim at you with his fiery arrows of deception.  Everything the devil says or does is a lie.  He is the father of all lies and the truth is not in him.  Everything that he speaks is a lie. (paraphrased from John 8:44 NLT) Therefore if anything that you “hear” or “think” in your mind, if it isn’t consistent with who Christ is in you, then it is a lie from the devil.  One way the Lord made a provision of protection for His children is by the shield of faith.  So when the enemy throws these lies in your direction you can “catch” him in the lie, take the thought captive and make it submissive unto the Lord your God.

Can you imagine in your mind’s eye an arrow made of fire? Can you imagine it coming straight for you?  If it were you would duck fast.  So would I.  But take it to the highest authority, Gods authority, and use the shield that the Lord provided you to extinguish it.  If you throw back the word of truth, by saying truth out loud, the enemy will run from you.  He is hoping you will be too afraid or weak to battle him.  If you are ready with your shield of faith to knock down the lie then the very next move is to use your sword which is the word of God.

The sword and the helmet is lesson 5 for tomorrow.  We will learn how to gain practice using it.  Read Ephesians 6:17.

In His Love,

Michelle Hawkins

The “Fitting” Lesson 3

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”  (1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV)

Standing strong with our feet firmly planted to “The Rock”, even if we get a little rocky, so to speak, we will not fall.  The enemy will try to push us over.  He will do whatever he thinks will knock us off course.  BUT, we have the assurance that when our feet are shod, or “equipped”, with the preparation of the gospel, we will overcome.  In fact the verse in part reads like this; “And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace….” (Ephesians 6:15 NASB).

If we don’t prepare by soaking our minds with the knowledge of the word and take time to pray, pray and pray some more, then how could we EVER be prepared? Scholars, philosophers and professors will tell you that preparation is the key to success.  Learning, reading and absorbing knowledge will prepare you for exams, debates or discussions of any kind.  I am no scholar, philosopher or professor. I am a child of the King and I know in order to combat the enemy–in the form of those who do not know Jesus, try to debate the word of God or twist its meaning to fit their lifestyle–WE MUST BE PREPARED.

The Lord tells us in Luke 21:15 that the Lord will give us the words and wisdom that none of our adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.  We don’t have to prepare a “speech”, which brings anxiety, but HE will gives us the words to say.  We can do nothing apart from Him.  So don’t try.  You will find defeat.  I know this because in my growth as a Christian too many times my flesh would be the one talking.  This will not glorify the Lord, nor is it a “gift” acceptable to the King.  Just bring Jesus.

Tomorrow we will discuss the shield of faith.  You will find this in verse 16 of Ephesians 6.

Disclaimer: My precious and loving editor, my husband Steve, hasn’t been able to edit these posts within this bible study because he is at work before I get them written.  So just focus on the content and not the errors.  It is my hope that Jesus will “cover” this too.  After all, He is the message giver….I just type it in obedience to Him. 🙂

In His Love,

Michelle Hawkins

The “Fitting” Lesson 2

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)

I hope the first lesson of The “Fitting” was helpful to you.  It reminds me each day that we are at war with the spiritual forces in the heavenly realms.  If it were not so, our Lord would not have told us this.  We “feel” defeated because we are not prepared for battle.  I know this yet I still sometimes will pop up out of bed–AKA oversleeping– and let some of the morning go by without my “battle” prayer.  The soldiers never went out to war unprepared, we must not either. 

Just as important as it is to know that the belt of truth is the absolute understanding that the word of God is true it is also foundational that we understand that Christ through the Holy Spirit, once we have received salvation though His death and resurrection, LIVES in us.  God’s indwelling Spirit IS IN US and moves supernaturally in and through us to fulfill our God given destiny or plan for our life.  He is in us and we are in Him. This is a security we can hold on to.

Lets dig in to the next piece of equipment.  The BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.  (I wish I could figure out how to put a picture of the armor on this post.  A dear sister in Christ gave me a figure of the armor, waiting to be put on, as a visual demonstration of its significance.  It is an amazing visual.  The protection that it provides is apparent and is ready for us to take). We will consistently go through very difficult circumstances in our life.  These circumstances will illicit fear, anger, sadness, dissatisfaction or frustration.  How we CHOOSE to respond to this will be determined by our preparation.  The enemy wants to catch us off guard so that in these circumstances we will react in sinful ways.  Ways that are out of the character of Christ, who lives in us. Instead we have the ability, THROUGH CHRIST, to resist the devil and he will flee from us.  (James 4:7-11 NKJV).   Through this prayer and preparation we can withstand the enemy and instead of reacting we can respond in ways that glorify God.  Does this mean we will never sin? No it doesn’t.  But it does mean that we CAN through our growth in Christ become more like Him.  When we mess up, we know our Father is there to hold us.  His blood has covered our sin.  However, He places a desire within you to walk closely with Him. The closer you walk with Him–or in my case cling to Him–the more you understand Him.  The more you understand Him the more you desire to honor Him, in word and in deed.  This is true because you love Him, and you love Him because He FIRST loved you precious one.

Re-read the passage again in Ephesians.  Tomorrow we will discuss your feet being prepared with the gospel of peace so that you may stand. 

In His Love,

Michelle Hawkins