Thursday, April 23, 2015

Have the things of God become a god?

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


What a reminder...to never let the "things" of God become my idol...

- The focus was never meant to be solely on the Ark of the Covenant...but THE ONE WHO took up residence within the Ark.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on the Cross but THE ONE WHO hung on that cross.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on the tomb but THE ONE WHO WAS RAISED OUT OF THE TOMB.
- The focus was never meant to be on prayer but THE ONE WHOM WE PRAY TO and WHO PRAYS TO HIS FATHER FOR US...THE GREATEST INTERCESSOR OF ALL.
- The focus was never meant to be about church but THE ONE WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH and imitating HIM as we are the church.
- The focus was never meant to be on the gifts of the Spirit but THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO HAS GIVEN THE GIFTS.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on the Bible but THE ONE WHO IS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on faith but THE ONE WHOM WE HAVE FAITH IN...AND THAT IS GOD.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on healing but THE ONE WHO IS THE HEALER.
- The focus was never meant to be on the enemy but on THE ONE WHO HAS DEFEATED the enemy!
- We stay fixed on JESUS...it's all about an incredible relationship with HIM...not an incredible system that occasionally refers to HIM.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blame...

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


Let's just say you have a sneaky suspicion that your child is about to do something contrary to what you have taught them pertaining to what is right, just and godly - and upon that warning you talk to them and lovingly encourage them to do what is right - yet they continue on and they end up committing the wrongful deed and perhaps worst off - they even end up living in a lifestyle of sin - even after ALL the urgent pleas and fervent prayers.

So the question is - "Are you to blame?"

Of course not...right?

So in the same manner we must no longer blame God for things that others are influenced to do by the enemy rather than the Holy Spirit...let us remember that Jesus said it Himself, "The enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy BUT I have come to give life and life more abundantly!" I hear that scripture with such deep victory: "Teresa! The enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy but listen to Me...the enemies do not have the last word - even when you see evil happenings - do not let their actions convince you that they have the final say and here's WHY - because I have come, the Overcomer of death, hell and destruction for the purpose of bringing not just life but life of abundance that are without limits!"

Triumphantly and victoriously I am reminded today instead of blaming God and asking Him, "Why?" as if He is to blame for the awful things that happen because of the influence of the "god" of this world - let us instead  praise the Almighty, One True God and allow Him to blow us away with His supernatural goodness in the midst of the ruin and devastation of other people's choices influenced by darkness and let us reveal the Light of God by allowing our choices to reveal the influence of Life to pulverize the lies of, "It's over...it's too late...I'll never catch a break..." How exciting to know we are equipped to be MORE THAN OVERCOMERS IN CHRIST echoing His words of life revealing the Abundant Life Giving God by confessing, "They said this, but God what do you say about that?"

We want to blame God for something?
Let's "blame" Him for:
- making a way when there seems to be no way
- causing our crooked paths to be straight
- being the Creator of the endless heavens and the universe He has displayed
- sending His greatest gift to bring us back to Him
- giving us His Promised Holy Spirit to be able to walk in His Supernatural Love
- breathing continual Life into us in the midst of heinous and hopeless situations

The conclusion? Instead of blaming let's keep praising!


Scripture references:
John 10:10
James 1:17
Romans 5:13-15
Isaiah 45:2
John 3
Isaiah 11:2
Acts
Isaiah 61:1-3


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Looking back on my blog entry from December 31, 2009

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

Repost from December 31, 2009 entry...



"And when they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison charging the jailer to keep them safely. He, having receiving so strict a charge, put them into the inner prison (the dungeon) and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened."...
~ Acts 16 (Excerpt from Acts 16:23-26) ~

A fellow blogger wrote on his post, "...I sat, rather laid, much of today just in this coffin of depression, self-worthlessness, and soaking up the cloudy skies even though the sun was quite brilliant today."

Descriptive feelings so real with confusion. Are you familiar with such overwhelming feelings? Personally, I know these feelings all too well.

I distinctly remember a vivid moment a few months ago, being in this state of mind...darkness seemed to prevail all around. It was a subtle fog that slowly constricted my ability to function. I remember feeling as though a dark cloud was moving above and upon me about to grip me as I could hear the chains of hopelessness follow closely behind. SUDDENLY I heard a 'still small voice' in my 'spirit'...yet it seemed to be a SHOUT. I heard, "Praise ME now as though your life depends on it." I thought with great bewilderment, "WHAT?" "This is the last thing I 'feel' like doing...however as my husband says quite often, "I was dumb enough to listen and smart enough to try it."

Needless to say in this overwhelming feeling of great depression the few words proceeded out of my unwilling mouth...My mouth formed the words with great effort, "I praise You Lord! I praise You Lord! I praise You Lord!" This was said over and over again for a few minutes...it seemed much longer...yet, it was truly only a few minutes and then SUDDENLY it was as a RUSHING RIVER flowing literally out of my belly spilling forth out of my mouth. The words that were being declared were allowing the Holy Spirit on the inside of me to speak forth the awesome praises of Almighty God. The SUDDENLY moment literally dispelled the darkness. The SUDDENLY moment effects of praising God obliterated the 'coffin' of depression that I once laid in and resurrected from.

As I am reminded of the great weapon of praise unto Almighty God; I must sound the 'Trumpet of Triumph' making the beautiful sound of encouragement.

Today, at this very moment, whatever is facing you, praise the Almighty God for Who He is. You aren't going to feel like it. You aren't going to want to. Every part of who you are is going to want to 'kick and scream' and have no part of it. Your circumstances at this moment may be so overwhelming to even think about...however God wants to overwhelm you with His powerful Love, Mercy and Grace to get you through this.

God is the Lifter of Your Head. He is the Overwhelming Light that would melt the flesh off our physical bodies as His Glory is eternally beyond what we could ever imagine or dare try. Let us follow the praises of our 'forefathers' Paul and Silas unto Almighty God and see the chains of despair and depression be annihilated and obliterated in a suddenly moment.

If we're going to be overwhelmed today, let's be overwhelmed by Who God is. You are loved, as He has not left you nor has He forsaken you, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Paradigm Shift

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



How often have I prayed for Love, Joy, Patience, etc...?

Investigators, counselors, leaders in many industries are taught not to just ask questions, but to ask the "right" ones.

The same goes with prayer...am I praying to get answers?
Or am I praying to draw closer to The One Who is The Answer?
In this awareness I begin to pray differently - prayer becomes communion versus a list of requests and "Get out of jail" pleas.

So here's an example...I became aware of Galatians 5:22-23 in my constant need of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control...especially this past weekend.

A situation, actually a few situations of life this weekend caused stuff inside of me to come out that God so gently highlighted in hind sight. His gentleness surrounded me as He took me back to the scenes of different real life scenarios which allowed me to see my heart in sweet surrender.

The question that surfaced:
"Teresa, did your heart and actions reflect Me?"
And I was able to honestly answer - "No".

No matter what my surroundings were or what people I barely knew were doing or not doing, saying or not saying did not give me the right to say or behave with a poor attitude reflecting actions of plain ol' peasantry.

Later, as I reflected back on the weekend  I said to my husband, "Babe, looking back I know I needed to stir up patience in those situations." And my husband also reflecting - with a pause - he also agreed. Yet moments later the Holy Spirit whispered, "Daughter, it was not patience that needed to be stirred"...then there was a pause to awaken insight in me...the Holy Spirit continued, "Patience is not what needed to be stirred...it is ALWAYS My Love THAT must stir you - Teresa, the only way My Unfailing, Faithful, Endless Love can be stirred within you is when I am the One stirring you within the moments of intimacy. From that place in Me is where the Evidence of My Presence permeates your heart as I Am Perfect Love. From the place within Me is when loving compassion arises and when My royalty overrides and stirs within you - stirring out every tendency of peasantry. Do you see Daughter? Teresa Ann, Grace Empowered Reaper of the Harvest. You are Mine - will you let Me have all of you, so ALL of ME can overwhelm you to overwhelm  them with Myself? You don't need to pray these prayers for more evidence of Me whether it be love that is needed, or joy or patience...You just need to be AWARE that I Am here - I Am within you - I possess even your mortal body...I Am...Now will you let Me flow through you?

Teresa, I urge you..,no longer praise, worship or pray in The Spirit because you need My tools to get you through...Teresa...praise, worship and pray in The Spirit because You want Me as I Am The One Who gets you through - those "tools" are Me! Watch and be aware of what happens...You will see Me and as you draw closer to Me you end up resting in My heart where revelation and understanding automatically come at warp speeds.

Remember daughter..."The Fruit" of The Spirit is none other than "The Evidence" of My Spirit stirring within you. The Evidence is Me Who is Endless love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control and The Evidence declares you belong to Me!"

Triumphant Victorious Reminder in Scripture:
"But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way."
~ Galatians 5:22-23 ~ The Message