Saturday, November 3, 2012

O LORD, open His eyes So He May See

Reference Text = Elisha 6:17 -  And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Remember this story in the bible? The story where Elisha was basically being ambushed by an army. His servant was extremely afraid because he thought it was the end for him and Elisha. However, Elisha prayed that God would open the servant's eyes so that he would know that there was more that were for them than those that were against them.

Although, their enemies were all the servant could see, the reality was that God had sent hills full of horse and chariots of fire; an army of God sent as protection, to come against Elisha's enemies.

The ability to recognize the things we have working in our favor (especially in the midst of bad situations) is something that can be so helpful to us. To be so consumed in fear and worry sometimes makes it EASY for us to overlook the opportunities, blessings and provision that has already been provided for us!

I recently heard a preacher preach from the story of Hagar. In this story, Abraham sends bondservant, Hagar and their young son away from their home and Hagar eventually runs out of water and thinks the son is going to die of dehydration! The bible says she put her son under a bush because she didn't want to witness his death. But then God came and made a promise to her then opened her eyes and she was able to see there was water near her all along!

The Bible says in Gen 21:15-19:
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. ...”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
The bible doesn't say a well of water appeared or that an angel came and created a well of water for Hagar. It says God opened her eyes and she was able to see the well of water that was there all along! Previous to the encounter, she couldn't see the well because she was so sad and depressed by her current situation. But God opened her eyes, just as he opened Elisha's servant's eyes, so they could see that in the midst of their worrying their was provision for them all along!

An optimistic attitude is not a cliche thing created to make you lie to yourself or trick yourself into believing everything is ok when its really not. On the contrary it is a way for us to take the scales of fear and worry off our eyes enabling us to see that the One who is for us is greater than the problems that are against us. He has already provided springs of water and chariots of fire for us in order to deliver us from the traumatic situations we have been facing! Our worrying, sometimes stops us from seeing that.


A Letter from Blogger

Dear Readers,

I haven't been able to write to you all in some time. Nevertheless, thank-you to everyone who has been sharing and visiting links of previous Revelation Revolution blog posts.

Please pray for Revelation Revolution's continued success and capacity to share some of the beauty that is treasured in the Word of God with others.

With Love,
Revelation Revolution

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Word Became Flesh & Dwelt Among Us

Reference Text
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory 
-John 1:1 & 14

As seen in John 1, our reference text, the bible specifically says that the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. This chapter is clearly referring to Jesus Christ as the Word of God who became a man and dwelt among us mere human beings.

With our knowledge of the fact that Jesus Christ literally is the word of God, let's try something new. Every time you are reading the bible and you see "Jesus" being mentioned replace His name (or the pronoun equivalent) with the phrase "the Word" or "the Word of God"

For example: In John 15:7, Jesus says
If ye abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Since we know Jesus Christ is the Word of God (who became flesh), we can replace the pronoun "Me" in this scripture with the phrase "the Word":
If ye abide in the Word, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Likewise, we can apply the same strategy to our bible reading whenever we see the phrase "the Word" or "Word of God" in the bible. Simply replace the relative phrase with the name "Jesus Christ".

For example: Luke 4:4 says
It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but [also] by every word of God.
Since we know the "Word of God" is Jesus Christ, we can replace the phrase "every word of God" with the name "Jesus Christ":
It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but [also] by Jesus Christ.
Interesting right? Here are some other examples:

John 14:6
****Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." 
****Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through the word of God."

Hebrews 4:12a
****For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword
****For Jesus Christ is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword

Ephesians 6:17
****Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
****Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is Jesus Christ.

Remember: "the Word was God... and the Word became flesh & dwelt among us" as Jesus Christ

Monday, August 20, 2012

How to Freely Forgive

"...Freely you have received, Freely give" -Matthew 10:8

Many times, as Christians, we are hurt by associates, people in churches, or sometimes loved ones who we feel should have been more loving or less spiteful to us. Lack of forgiveness is very present among Christians because hurt hurts no matter how holy you are! It's never easy to let go of pain, especially when that pain is still hurting you. However, in life I've learned an easy step by step home remedy that serves as an instant cure to the pain of un-forgiveness and I would love to share it with you:

Think about every wrong thing you've ever done. Consider the sins you have committed, your inadequacies and the many times you have fallen short of the glory of God. The bible says even our righteous acts are seen as filthy rags to God. That's understandable because, if we're honest with ourselves we'd admit, there our times when even our good deeds are tainted with bits of ulterior motives, unwillingness or false humility.

Jesus did not die because he was killed by the religious people who didn't believe He was the Messiah. He died because you killed Him! Those religious men did not have the power or the authority to beat, abuse, spit on, degrade and kill the King of kings. Jesus said it perfectly when He said "No one takes my life, I lay my life down". The fact is, the King of kings laid His life down because of your inability to be righteous!

Factually speaking, there were things that your unrighteousness made you entitled to. Sickness is a punishment of your unrighteousness. Poverty is a punishment of your sins. Lack of peace and all these negative things is what you deserved as a person who constantly fails and falls short of perfection. 

When God saw that you were failing Him and (being the just God that He is) knew that you deserved pain, lack of peace and death as your punishment, His heart could not allow for that to be your portion. The bible says that in sending Jesus to the earth, He was PEIRCED for the transgressions that were YOURS, He was CRUSHED for YOUR INIQUITIES; the punishment that brought YOU peace was upon HIM (meaning He took the punishment you deserved), and by His wounds you are healed.

When, I really became honest with myself and thought about how much of a failure I was... always making mistakes and never able to be perfect in pleasing God, even though I genuinely tried... and then when I learned the true extent to which God doesn't care how imperfect I am because the price for my unrighteousness was taken care of by Him, I couldn't understand why He thought I deserved that type of treatment. Nevertheless, I was grateful for His love because I knew had it not been for his undeserved mercifulness and unconditional faithfulness to me, I would have been dead and in an eternal punishment of torment a long time ago.

When you really understand that all that you have in life is undeserved; when you really come to learn that had it not been for the grace of God (which you and I don't even deserve to be entitled to) you would not even be alive, you would realize that your imperfect brothers and sisters are equally entitled to that unconditional love. Technically, none of us deserve it. You might not have committed the same wrong that person who hurt you committed, but in the eyes of God all sin is equally unrighteous. There is not one person who is more or less deserving of forgiveness because ALL OFFENSES ARE OFFENSIVE!

I've reached the point where (sometimes) when people hurt me, I see the glory of God in it. I examine a person's mistakes and it takes me back to the fact that if I forgive that person, I am giving them forgiveness they do NOT deserve. That mere thought reminds me that without Jesus, I am nothing but an imperfect, undeserving sinner on my way to punishment and death. I see myself in other people's short-comings and am reminded of the scripture verse quoted above: Freely I have received so freely I can give. Out of the abundance of forgiveness I've received from God I can freely give forgiveness to others. You will know when you are truly conscious of how much God's love for you is unconditional when you are able to freely give forgiveness to others the way He freely gave it to you so you can live and have the right to live happily.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

All Things Work Together for Good

One of my favorite promises in the bible is Romans 8:28 where Paul says to the Romans:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
This is a line that is quoted in churches all the time, but I always think it's important to look at memory scriptures, like this one, in context with the chapter it is found in to find out its intended meaning. So let's do that with this verse.

In Romans 8, Paul is talking to the Romans about being led by the Spirit and not walking after the flesh. He is not talking to a group of people who he is trying to convince to stop walking after the flesh. He is talking to a group who already walk in the Spirit. We know this because of verses like verse 9 where he says to the people, "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit". Or because of verses like verse 23 where he says to the people, "we... also have the first fruits of the Spirit".  In this chapter, Paul constantly is referring to the Romans as people who already have the Spirit of God. If you read the entire chapter (up until Romans 8:28, our reference text) you will see that even when Paul is talking about people who walk after the flesh, he refers to them in the third person; inferring that those types of people were not numbered among those he was speaking to.

Paul even goes on to say in verse 26-27

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now [God] who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because [the Spirit] makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Here, Paul is talking about the Holy Spirit's ability to pray the perfect will of God for the lives of those who walk in the Spirit (when they pray in the Spirit/speak in tongues). 

So it is clear that Paul is exclusively talking to a group of people who have received and ALSO are led by the Spirit of God.
Then AFTER Paul points out the Holy Spirit's ability to pray the perfect will of God for our lives, He THEN says our reference text; verse 28:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
We can conclude in this context, (and through reading the whole chapter,) that Paul is referring to those who are led by the Holy Spirit as the ones who "love God and who are called according to His purpose".

Paul is trying to inform the Romans that because they seek after and have the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will always lead them to the right places at the right time, put the right people in their life, take the wrong people out, open the right doors, close the wrong ones etc. Since the Holy Spirit's role is to be our advisor and advocate to be led by the Holy Spirit means you are operating in the perfect will of God. So even when seemingly bad things are happening, a person led by the Holy Spirit can rest assured that even that bad thing will work together with God's plan for their good.

Paul wraps up this concept so perfectly by letting the people know that no matter what bad is going on around them, because they are in the will of God (by having the Holy Spirit) all things will work together in their favor. In verses 31-39 he says this:
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ... 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? ... 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 37 ... we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These are the promises to those who love God and are called according to His purpose, to those who are no longer walking in the flesh, but are led by the infinite wisdom of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will always lead you to where you need to be. So remember, seek first the kingdom of God (which is described in the bible as righteousness and peace of the Holy Spirit) and all your needs will be added to you! All things work together for your good when you are led by this Spirit.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Christian Meditation (Pt 1)

Meditation can be a taboo thing in Christianity for the fact that when we think of "meditation" we automatically think of nature soundtracks, positive affirmations, hypnosis, and other worldly things. Nevertheless, meditation is actually a concept the world has taken from the bible and made their own! Now we find that Christians rarely ever meditate because they don't want to be like the "world". However, it was a practice that started in the bible!

Sometimes in the Old Testament, when the word "meditate" appears, it was literally meant to mean, "tune out" or be unaware of your surroundings. In Isaiah 33:18, the scripture reads “Your heart will meditate on terror”. In the literal translation of this scripture the term “soliloquize” is used in place of the word “meditate”. Soliloquize means to utter in a soliloquy. By definition, a soliloquy is an utterance by a person who is talking to himself or herself and is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present.

We get the idea that to be disregardful of one's surroundings means a person is in an intense state of meditation or concentration. The way the word meditate (or soliloquize) was meant to be used here shows a deep level of being consumed by one's thoughts: to "meditate on terror".

In comparison to the way the term meditate was used in some other parts of the bible, to soliloquize means to be in a deeper state of concentration. For example, David says in Psalms 145:5, “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty”. Here David is implying he will think about or reflect on something. This use of the word shows less intensity than being consumed by thoughts of terror as seen in the above scripture, Isaiah 33:18.

Interestingly enough, the intense version of the word “meditate” is also seen in one of the most popular Old Testament scriptures where the word is used. Joshua 1:8 reads:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous”
In this scripture the word “meditate” was, once again, literally translated from Hebrew to the word “soliloquize”. Unlike common belief, this scripture does not simply mean to read the word or reflect on the word every day and night. It literally means to utter repetitively to oneself, with such a level of concentration that the person becomes disregardful or oblivious to his or her surroundings. This scripture was actually a suggestion for Joshua to engage in actual meditation in order for the book of the law to be a subconscious lifestyle for him. Doing this is what was suggested to Joshua as the way for him to make himself successful and prosperous.

Meditation has become a practice that is almost barely used in Christianity. In fact the world has taken meditation and trivialized it to become a worldly concept with an almost evil connotation. However, just because the world has trivialized meditation this does not mean it is something that should be removed from Christianity. (The world has also trivialized music, but as we know, music is something that was created in heaven!)

Nevertheless, believe it or not, meditation is actually used in Christian churches more than we realize. Every time a congregation is directed by a leader to repeat a certain phrase, especially when the people are asked to repeat the phrase over and over again, this is a form of meditation. When a preacher says the same phrase or idea to a congregation in more than one different ways, this is a form of getting the people to meditate on what they are being told. Meditation literally is the act of concentrating on and rehashing a concept or thought in order to reach a heightened level of awareness (almost at a subconscious level) so that the concept can automatically come back to your remembrance whenever necessary (in times when you're not "meditating"). 

Click Here to Read on to Part 2 of Christian Meditation
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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Benefit of Having God on Your Side

Studying the life of David, I became curious when I read that King Saul's ashes were buried under a Tamarisk Tree after He died. So, I did research to figure out what the significance of a tamarisk tree is when used in the bible and found it's a beautiful thing to those who are numbered among God's people.

Firstly, the tamarisk tree is only mentioned four times in the bible.
  1. Genesis 21:33 
  2. 1 Samuel 22:6 
  3. 1 Samuel 31:13 
  4. 1 Chronicles 10:12 
Now before I even mention the tamarisk tree's significance in the bible, let me explain the nature of the tamarisk. The tamarisk tree can  pretty much be described as a "selfish tree". With extremely deep roots, a tamarisk takes in about 1000 liters of water a day! This makes it hard to care for a tamarisk tree in the sense that it depletes the water supply for those in the region surrounding the tamarisk. Not only that, the leaves and branches of the tree cause for the ground surrounding it to be covered with a salty residue that disables other plants from growing around it! As if that weren't bad enough, this salt increases the risk of fire in the area where the tamarisk grows. However, the tamarisk not only survives such fires, but it also causes them to multiply being that hundreds of seeds PER TAMARISK TREE are now able to grow in a nitrogen/salt filled environment; suited for the growth of tamarisk trees. The only considerate thing that tamarisk's provide for non-tamarisk's is shade and nesting places for some species of birds.

So you see, when I say the tamarisk is a "selfish tree" what I'm saying is that it is hard for people or other plants to dwell in an area where tamarisk's are planted/growing. Yet, the same things that make it hard for others to dwell in that area are beneficial for the growth of tamarisks. This is interesting in the sense that the first reference of the tamarisk was in Genesis 21 when Abraham planted one. This comes after Abraham had lied to Abimelech and told him that his wife was his sister. The bible says Abimelech "took" Abraham's wife and God came to him in a dream and said "Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”

Abimelech had no idea that Sarah was Abraham's wife and it was because of Abraham's dishonesty that Abimelech had taken Sarah in the first place! Nevertheless, you see God selfishly preparing an environment for His own people to dwell seemingly having no real remorse for the lives of the people around them. 

God then says to Abimelech in the dream:
 “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.  Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
Fearing his life, Abimelech follows God's orders and goes down to meet Abraham. Now 2 things should be noted here:
  1. Abimelech was a king in that region; THE king of that region
  2. And Abraham had come into HIS TERRITORY; not the other way around
Nevertheless, when Abimelech went down to Abraham (following God's orders), Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech and then planted the tamarisk tree. This signifies that this region is now on God's side and Abimelech (and his people) are now, by association, a part of the favored clique that is God's people. This is similar to the way the tamarisk tree provides a safe dwelling environment only for other tamarisk's and some species of selected animals. It is way better to be on the side of the tamarisks than it is to be consumed by their very presence!

On the flip side, in the last three instances where the tamarisk tree is mentioned, this is when King Saul was trying to kill future King David. First Saul is sitting under a tamarisk right before murdering all of God's priests. Then, when Saul finally dies in war His ashes are buried under a tamarisk tree (the three scriptures where this takes place are the last three scriptures listed above). As we know, Saul wasn't exactly favored by God in either of these instances. This signifies the negative aspects of being around a tamarisk tree while not being one of the tamarisks. It is not beneficial.

Saul was trying to kill David the first time he is mentioned to be under a tamarisk. The mere mentioning of the tamarisk was a symbol of the fact that Saul was not going to prevail against God's favored servant. Since Saul was no longer numbered as one of God's people, being under a tamarisk only means that damage was inevitable for him. As suspected, Saul dies in war without ever harming David. Metaphorically, he is then burned and his ashes are buried under a tamarisk! Eerie...

So the mentioning of the tamarisk tree in the bible, shows God's loyalty and unmerited favor towards his people and those who his people are at peace with. Remember, the bible says that no weapon formed against you will ever prosper and every tongue that rises up against you will be condemned. You can rest assured that the battle is not yours; the battle is THE LORD'S and if the King of kings is on your side, victory is assured!

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