Monday, August 18, 2014

Faith is Ugly?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

James 1



When is faith really faith?  As Terry Pruett, the well known 'Possibility Architect' and CEO of XMO Global says, "Faith isn't faith until it's tested." Well then if that is the case, if "faith isn't faith until it's tested", then how do we know when we're walking in faith?  The answer to that question is found in a few places of scripture, however one the most well known scriptures is found in James 1. The exercise and the drill to know that our faith is working within us is when we count it all joy when circumstances come our way, especially in those moments we cannot control. 

Counting it all joy? 
Really? 
This causes me to realize that when I count it all joy in the midst of trials and tests, it is because I am intentionally choosing to COUNT on God - my faith is in Him which fills me with joy that is unexplainable.

With that just think, much of the ugly things we will go through, are going through, or have gone through allows faith to get us to experience the grace of God which empowers us by the Holy Spirit's power (Who is Grace) to lift us up; allowing us to keep going when in the natural we wouldn't be able to go on our own.

In those moments when we "say" we have faith we are now able to go to the next step and now choose to use the faith that possesses us and place our faith in God.

The triumphant, victorious reminder is realizing that having faith in things to happen or for things to get better is not what God ever intended! As Mark 11:22 records - that faith is to be placed in ONE PERSON - AND THAT IS GOD HIMSELF.  When we have faith in God, by default our perspective changes - our mindsets are changed - we see from Victory and now we can boldly say to the mountain to be moved because when our faith is in God - doubt has no place!  As our pastor profoundly says, "Get doubt out" - and the answer in getting doubt out is by placing our faith in God. As we place our faith in God, doubt has no place and now we are aware of hope being on the scene and now everything that seemed daunting and even is daunting is now shifted in it's proper place - the mountain is now a plateau because my sights are on God and Him alone! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Broken to Beautiful

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
 Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

Broken glass. Oil spilled. A waste...Or so I thought...



In that moment I was corrected to not look at it as a waste but as a lesson in the making.  I saw these words like a ticker in the forefront of my mind - "Broken to beautiful."


I had things to do - not a moment to waste - and I thought, "Not only was oil wasted but now my time..."

More than anything, that is when I saw the raw, naked truth of allowing God to be revealed in the midst of the broken vessel that once held my olive oil. It was as though I could hear the whisper of the Spirit, "I waste NOTHING - what you see as broken - I have already restored - I Am Restorer - I Am Rebuilder - I Am Redeemer. In that moment, the realization in the broken glass I had to clean up in the physical realm; the beauty of the oil sprawled on a small portion of the floor was uniquely beautiful.  It was as though I was hearing the whisper of the Holy Spirit, "The rich vastness of heaven is what is released when you allow the brokenness to become an exercise of revealing the glory of Who I Am.

I want to be intentionally clear on this - if we're broken because of self-inflicted wounds - then let's quickly repent and ask God to forgive you and begin living for Him - no longer focus on NOT sinning, instead FOCUS on the Life Giver and watch the longing to sin dissipate as you become more in awe of God.

More than anything, recognizing the oil of heaven in the midst of our unforeseen troubles allows us to be aware of the beautiful oil of joy - the strengthening oil of God - the trade currency of heaven on this earth. 

In no way do I ignorantly invite pain - but when pain comes, will I allow myself to recognize the majestic glory of God that is sprawled as evidence that He is right there?

What in your life, in my life that seemed to be a waste is now a triumphant victorious reminder of God's grace?  Let's allow His oil to permeate us with supernatural joy - so every time you are tempted to waver and shake - the oil of God's grace permeates your shield of faith.

 ~ Matthew 26:6-13 ~