Fortune Cookies and Roller Coasters
by Tina Leonard
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Many times as Christians we tend to look upon our own lives and instead of comparing ourselves to the spirit of truth in Jesus, we tend to compare ourselves to other confessed believers. Or this could go the other way around. There are some people who will accuse you of being “holier than thou” because they are convicted of the things that they have done. Thus, because you don’t struggle with the same things they do, they try to make themselves feel better by trying to make you feel like you walk around like you have no struggles. I’ve never been a fan of drama nor will I ever be. I am certain God is not pleased with it either. He says in Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Life is too short to meddle in things that are unnecessary, and one should be able to have a conversation with another person without it turning dramatic or argumentative. Or so I believe God would have it to be so.
I was blessed yesterday to be able to attend the spirit fest concert at Kings Island. I was able to finally see the first group that pulled me into Christian music realm. I stopped listening to secular music all together after I watched the DVD series “They sold their souls for rock n roll” a documentary put together by Joe Schimmel from “fight the good fight ministries.” I still like some of the older stuff that isn’t suggestive but it is rare.
The Newsboys were the first Christian band I become addicted to. I love their spirit, the music and the lyrics. But most of all I love their heart and the way you can tell they truly love the Lord with all their heart.
The Lord led me to II Corinthians last week and while I was at the concert last night, Peter Furler who is the lead singer of Newsboys ministered to me in ways he will never know. He said, “What do we have to fear when the Lord is near? The enemy would love to keep you in your past in fear, he would also like to cause you to fear the future.” His question was “When God has delivered you from your past, before you knew Him. Why do you fear your future when He is already there?”
He made me realize last night that as long as we walk in obedience, staying truthful and pure before Him that we have no need to fear the outcome of our choices. Even if things get difficult, when we surrender our life to Him, He will work all things together for His glory!
While I was at the concert last night, before the Newsboys came out to minister, my friend and I decided to go get something to eat. I decided to get Chinese food. For some lo mein, orange chicken, beef and broccoli, and a diet coke I paid 14.00. How ridiculous is that? Anyway, that has a point this article somewhere, just hoping this is the right spot! I got a fortune cookie and though I don’t usually open them, I decided to open mine that night and the fortune said, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable, it might get tough!” I took that cookie and said out loud while I was throwing the cookie back on the table, “I rebuke that word in the name of Jesus! What the heck kind of a fortune is that?”
My friend Corinna started laughing at me. My point in saying all that is this.
When you look throughout the Bible from the generation of Adam and Eve all the way up to when the last contributing man of God added the finishing touches was it ever easy for any of them to fulfill Gods purpose and destiny in their lives? On the contrary if I remember correctly.
So as we see in II Corinthians 4:1-12
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.”
I know that is a lot of scripture to write about in one article because there is so much instruction and wisdom in this nugget for us all to grasp a hold of. So I am going to ask you to read this scripture intently before reading anymore of this, read it slowly out loud.
He tells us that because we have Gods grace we won’t lose heart no matter what we face. As long as we denounce secret and shameful ways, walking away from manipulation, deception and distortion of the Word of God to conjure up a way to justify our lifestyle choices.
He instructs us to tell the truth plainly so that our conscience is not seared by the spirit of God. You see we can lie to others making them believe every foul piece of truth that we speak, but if the spirit of God is within you, your actions will slowly begin to eat you alive. The spirit of God will torment your conscience with conviction until you either repent or He turns you over to a reprobate mind. (Romans 1:28, Titus 1:16) You see when we lie to other brothers and sisters in Christ we are being a hypocrite and I would hate to know that I could be one to cause “one of these little ones to fall.” God instructs us not to bear false witness. (Proverbs 19:9 that is one of many)
God wants us to be a light in this world that He can trust to walk in truth in His sight. You see if we lie to man, we have broken a commandment to God. There are many ways to lie to man, deception, manipulation, deceitfulness or anything dishonest. When I read verse three last weekend I was a bit stunned. That was until this weekend. You see when we proclaim gospel out of our mouth and we walk a different gospel the truth to all is hid. But if we walk in the truth of the gospel the only way the gospel is hidden is by those who reject the truth of the Word. I also found it quite odd where He says “We don’t preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord.” We have to be in right relationship with God in order for fruit to be produced from our lives through His glory.
When you continue reading through verse 12 we see the importance of this. The life of Jesus is only revealed through us when we crucify ourselves. Verse 11 says “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” This means we must continually die to ourselves for the sake of Christ. We are the only message God has to spread. It kind of makes you look at all the craziness in the world and wonder if it isn’t partially our own fault that murder and rape and war and disease is running rampant. The body of Christ can’t even die to their own diverse lusts, how do we expect the rest of society to act morally correct?
When someone hard presses you, how do you respond? When circumstances make you feel like you are being crushed how do you handle it? When you are perplexed where do you turn for direction? When someone persecutes you, what is your reaction?
You see that fortune cookie even though I don’t believe in those kinds of things, revealed the truth of each person’s destiny that chooses to walk after Christ.
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable, it could get tough”.
Thank God the joy of the Lord is our strength. Do you want to be an honest witness? Keep it real, keep it open and keep it honest. Count it all joy and when you are faced with a decision that you are uncertain which direction God wants you to go. Trust Him enough to know that as long as you are obedient and stay committed to Him in your actions, He will get the glory out of the situation whether you are hard pressed; crushed; perplexed; but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed!
He knows the plans He has for you. Continue to pray that His will be done in your life, and while you are at it if you would please pray for me as well. Sometimes when others aren’t obedient to God the path that you are on will veer off onto another course that is why you have to trust God and be obedient. Because even when God has a purpose and plan if all parties are not obedient the plan gets changed based on the choice of someone else. We cannot control others actions we can only pray that they surrender to God and then we “wait upon the Lord.”
God took a chance on us and was willing to forgive us many times through our walk with Him, Amen? So why if we are supposed to “carry that treasure in earthen vessels” are we so quick to write someone off when they let us down? Just make sure you don’t cast your pearls before the swine. God forgives people when they come with a sincere heart, and through sincerity develops relationship with them. However, sincerity takes commitment and if someone isn’t sincere they will take your forgiveness for granted and continue to walk on you. Pray for discernment!
II Corinthians 4:16-18
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.”
My friend told me last night, we walk by faith, not by sight or feeling. When we walk in faith, we trust what we can’t see or feel. But that through our faith and whatever we are facing, God will somehow get the glory out of the situation, regardless of what we go through. If we are obedient, He will always get glory from it! If we are disobedient all who are involved will lose out and be accountable one day!
Always be truthful and honest about who you are and first and foremost to God. When you are honest to God about who you are there is a freedom to that, and when you start being honest with man you form relationships that cannot be broken no matter what!
“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Relationships bound together in the truth of Christ are not easily broken.
“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.”
II Corinthians 8:21
“Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”
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