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Out of the shadows
by Bernie Ziebart
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If nothing changes in your circumstances, could you be supremely happy and joyful? Or are you waiting for things to change; including your relationships, finances, events and weather to dictate your joy.

Can you approach any person, any place or any thing with peace, joy and love in your heart? Or are some people or places a trigger for fear and anxiety?

If you canít honestly answer yes to either question, you need healing.

There is one common theme from Genesis to Revelations and it is that you can experience overwhelming peace and joy regardless of your circumstance. And if your heart is not filled with peace and joy, nothing out there is going to change it. The only change you need is a healing; spiritual and emotional healing.

David was able to write in Psalms, ďThe Lord only is my joy, my song and my salvation; whom then shall I fear.Ē He did not write this while he was sitting in a palace enjoying all of the luxuries that life could offer. He wrote this while hiding in a cave in the desert as King Saulís troops and dogs were closing in on him; ready to kill him. The sounds of the barking dogs hot on his trail and the marching soldiers caused him to temporarily forget about the hunger pains he was experiencing, the oppressive thirst and sleeplessness. He was rejected by his King, his country and his family and was surrounded by outlaws, criminals and societyís rejects. Yet he was singing about the overwhelming joy that flowed out of him. And as he experienced hurts and wounds he became incredibly sensitive to those who were hurting around him and brought healing to them. And this is why David was called a Ďman after Godís heart.í

David did not believe what he saw with his natural eyes or senses; he only believed what he saw through his eyes of faith. God gave him a picture of who he was and who God was and David clung to that picture no matter what he saw with his physical eyes. He knew as well as anyone, that our physical senses only deceive us.

What is real to you? Is your crumbling marriage real? Are lifeís pressures real? Is your lack of finances real? Or is your hope in Christ and his abundance real to you? You can only carry one picture with you; which one will it be?

We know that we want to get to that place of healing, peace, rest and joy, but we donít have a clue of how to get there.

There are two stories in the Bible that lay out the roadmap to abundant living; the story of Israel as they left Egypt and headed towards the Promised Land and the parable of the Prodigal Son.

In both cases, the people involved had to come to an end of themselves; the end of their pride, the end of their denial, the end of their fear, performed an honest assessment, acknowledged where they were, stepped out of denial and stepped into the warmth of Godís light.

But the big truth that we need to understand from both of these stories is that God did not provide abundance while Israel was in the desert or while the prodigal son was in the pig pen. If God gave them abundance while they were in that condition, God would essentially be enabling them to stay in that condition.

God is not a God who enables us to stay in the pig pen. God is not a co-dependent enabler. God is a healing God who gives us the strength to get out of the pig pen, heals us and gives us the abundance that we desperately want.

We will never have abundance while we live in the desert. God will only provide our basic necessities; food, water, clothing and shelter. We will not have anything to give to anyone. In fact, this lack of basic necessities provoked jealousy and envy in the Israelites. They had followed God into the wilderness and had nothing, but the people living in Egypt still had plenty. The Egyptians still had all sorts of clothing, luxuries and comfort. This added insult to their injuries.

There are two of Satanís lies that we buy concerning ourselves. First, we are in a really bad condition, outside the hope of change. And the second lie is that we are fine, we are normal and our responses are normal; there is no need to change because this is the way it is. As a result, you donít take responsibility for the condition of your heart, but seek to blame circumstances and others for your problems.

You have prayed and prayed for things, circumstances and other people to change, but God has not answered your prayer. The reason that God hasnít answered is because He wants your heart to change, not your circumstances. If you have been saved for more than 15 minutes, it should be abundantly clear to you that God is not at all interested in your comfort; He is interested in your character. And your character will not change unless you stop denying your condition, come to an end of yourself and step into the light of Godís love.

Come out of the shadows. Come out of your hiding place. Come out of your self-delusion, loneliness, denial and fear and into the cleansing presence of God.

You may ask why I am so passionate about this. I am passionate because I love you and I know the abundance of peace, joy and love that waits for you. You donít have to stay where you are. Bible is full of hope that we can be transformed and it provides the promise that we will be transformed, if we believe.

The Bible gives another motivational tool to help us get out of the barren land and into the Promised Land; the place of rest.

Psalm 95
If only you would listen to his voice today!
8 The LORD says, ďDonít harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,
as they did at Massah in the wilderness.
9 For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
even though they saw everything I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with them, and I said,
ĎThey are a people whose hearts turn away from me.
They refuse to do what I tell them.í
11 So in my anger I took an oath:
ĎThey will never enter my place of rest.íĒ

These were Godís people who had left Egypt, the place of sin and slavery. They trusted God enough to follow Him into the desert, but they didnít trust God fully. They murmured and complained every time they were uncomfortable. They didnít want to go back to a life of sin nor did they want to trust God to provide; they were stuck. They couldnít go forward nor could they go back. They failed test after test; finally Godís patience ran out with them and He did not allow them to enter His rest.

God is calling you out from where you are; but He will not wait forever.

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