Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"How To" or "Go To"

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

Intimacy causes us to know our authority in Christ and in that place is where we experience God's power to overcome. It's not a "how to" as much as it is a "go to"...Who we go to will reveal the how.

WHO are we going to when life gets scary and uncomfortable?
Are we running to self?
Or are we running to God?
Who are we talking to?
Are we unintentionally talking to the enemy?
Are we constantly yelling at the enemy to go? I'm finding out that this is just a twisted form of "prayer" - when we keep giving him credit and glory, this is when we will be more aware of what the enemy is doing versus being more aware of what God has already done. In this defeated perspective, by default, when we confess and declare that we are being "attacked" we have just fallen into the strategy of the enemy. And what is his strategy? Yet again, the enemy's mode of operation is to distract us so we keep our eyes off God Who is our Victory. The facts are, we are being attacked, but have we ever focused on the TRUTH that God has gone before us? Is our focus on what the enemy is doing or what God has already done?

Are we impatiently waiting for what we hope for OR are we waiting on The One Who is Hope by praising Him for Who He is. But what if we don't know Who He is? Then we can find out by simply asking Him and watch His Holy Spirit lead you to His Word to reveal His character as He is Faithful and Steadfast!

Or how about when unworthiness or doubt come in or let's say I have a thought that I know is NOT truth, then I say out loud: "God! This thought I give over to you - bless this moment Lord that could have ruined me Lord. Bless that person who the enemy tried to use to detour me - they need your Mercy Lord. Bless them Father in Jesus name!" This is "how" we release people and situations to Him. Again, it is that simple. Amazingly enough it is not about being "ready" it's about, "are we willing?" As my daughter said Sunday, "Willimgness determines readiness. Readiness does not determine willingness."

Perhaps my mind has been filled with depressing thoughts...most likely it's about me praying for someone else who I may not even know and saying, "Lord! Whoever is feeling this way, Father, I release your Joy to Strengthen them and then begin to have a FAITH LAUGH  - laugh out loud ON PURPOSE and say, My God is bigger and I know You God are my Strength! Whether we feel it or not, I press into Him BY speaking that...that's an example of "how" to live a victorious life AWARE OF WHO LIVES IN ME AND WHO I LIVE IN.

Another thing is remembering all the GREAT things God has done...thanking Him by faith for (As Pastor Chris says) your faith in Him, thanking Him for your family, thanking Him for your finances (Even when you see lack, speak thankfulness for what you have) and thanking Him for your future in Him!

Intimacy comes from a place of just saying, "I submit to You Father" -
submission is the tool that causes us to resist the enemy. 

If all we do is attempt to resist the enemy, we will most likely not submit to God because we are so busy resisting and in that we get tired, cranky, ungrateful, depressed, and worn out, but JOY comes in submitting to the Father! 

What also helps quite often is when I play the "Fathers Love Letter" or when I begin soaking in worship music to assist me in drawing close to the Lord and then suddenly gratefulness flows!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Milestone Marker of Another Year...2016!

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


As I sit here writing in my classroom/office, papers scattered and not many of my things placed where they should, intoxicated by my little world of "to dos", disconnected from the world around me. Yet at this very moment as I realize my disconnection, it's as though you're witnessing me climbing out of my little box called, "Me, Myself and I" and intentionally daring to venture out, pondering the thoughts of my neighbors and beyond.

Straining my mind as I am intentionally compelled to think past my little world, I intentionally wonder, "Did someone around me just receive amazing news that they've been expecting and anticipating?  Have they been pleasantly caught off guard by the overwhelming blessings that they never dreamed before?  To the other spectrum of asking, "Did someone around me just receive news that has caused their world to implode by devastating news they never imagined they would have to face?"  "Did a loved one pass on unexpectedly - with no time to say, "Goodbye" - as they positively knew they for sure they would see one another before the day ended...the cliche of "We have tomorrow" ending abruptly.

Cliches of Happy New Year have been ushered in and yet in all reality, today is just another day that just so happens to be a "milestone marker" of another year that is part of our realm of time.  As we look back upon the "milestone markers" of the past and look forward to the ones to come, may we also realize that the following scripture is not another cliche but truth that must be declared to awaken our awareness of the God Who longs for us to long for Him...and here it is, "This is the day the Lord has made - let us rejoice - be full of joy and be glad in this day that He has intentionally made." - Psalm 118:24

Meanwhile, the sweet whisper of the Holy Spirit reminds me of His guarantee of nothing, but this very present moment - and to choose in the "right now" to recognize Him as He is everything I am hoping for...my misplaced hopes now cause me to be aware of Who my Hope is and it is He Who is my ever Present help in time of need. Then those moments of misplaced faith causes me to be aware of Who I must have faith in and that is my Faithful God to being aware of my misplaced resolutions being turned from intentions into reality as I thank God for His grace to help me follow through.  There's so much more and yet to be intentionally focused on Him so that resolutions become what they were meant to be which is part of every day living in victory.  No longer a slave to what can't be done - but free to posses what is done and if and when we step from the stepping stone of knowing to finally hopping into the vehicle of doing - we will see God's Victory in our own lives, not just daily, but moment by moment.

A triumphant, victorious reminder that comes to me in these moments is how our awareness levels are heightened to seemingly more hateful people coming our way - this awareness will make us think there's more hate than the day before - but truly the more aware we become to the love of God is when we become more aware of the hate in this world and this is where the joy of the Lord comes in giving us strength to see  our opportunity of allowing God's love to overwhelm people.  The how is in utilizing the tools of His kindness and humility. It's getting to play heaven's game against the influences that attempt to distract us from the goal of staying in and abiding in Who God is.  This victory is made manifest when we become more moved by what the King of kings has done for us versus what has come against us! May we remember that in this understanding, there will never have to be a day that we don't know what it's like to be in His overflowing presence of Joy...for remember God's love resulting in joy, peace and beyond is truly recognized when hate, anxiety, chaos and the things of this world are attempting to break us down.

Today I am reminded that the supernatural peace of God is truly recognized when life seems to be in shambles. God's supernatural Joy is recognized when life seems to be overwhelmed by mourning and depression and God's Holy, supernatural Love is recognized when hate seems to be intimidating and shouting threats of hell's curses to convince us that it has us surrounded - but may we see the Truth in the midst of it all for today I declare by the authority of Jesus Christ and the refreshment of God's Word with the Holy Spirit's power - "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness." - Isaiah 43:19