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Judging Ourselves Rightly

Judging Ourselves Rightly

In my last post, I talked about discerning the times we live in. Jesus rebuked the people of His day for not seeing that it was the time for Messiah to arrive. Then, by knowing this, they would see that He was the long-expected Christ.

The Lord continues this thought a little further.

Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?”

Luke 12:57 NIV

This is an important principle for us to understand. We need to be able to look at our situation in relationship to God’s Word – and decide what’s right. The Jewish people failed the test and paid the price for it.

Jesus warned them about what was coming.

As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

Luke 12:58-59 NIV

Jesus talks here, about someone you’re in disagreement with. You think that you’re right and he’s wrong. That’s how the leadership of Israel was viewing their Messiah.

They didn’t like what He was teaching them. They were upset over the fact that the Lord pointed out their inconsistencies. They were at odds with Him on many levels.

Jesus tells them that it will take hard work, but they need to be reconciled with Him. This involves changing the way they think about their lives and ministries.

Now was the time for them to repent and change. There will come a day when it’s too late. Jesus Christ, Himself, will change from being their Advocate and will become their Judge.

I don’t believe that the Lord is talking about the final judgment here. That’s because there will be a payment the person in prison can make in order to be released.

There are those who have a point of contention with Christ and His ways. They like the fact that Jesus is Savior, but they don’t want to acknowledge Him as Lord.

That was the problem in ancient Israel. They wanted a Messiah who would free them from bondage to the Roman Empire. They weren’t looking for a spiritual leader to free them from the bondage of sin.

We’re much the same in our generation. We want to be freed from sickness, depression, fear, and poverty. At the same time, we don’t want the Lord to mess with our internet time, TV binge-watching, or social calendar.

In the above verse, the phrase, try hard literally means to work at it. This means that changing our attitudes to the Lordship of Christ is hard work. In our humanity, we want to set the agenda for our lives.

The Lord warns us that there’s a price to pay for doing it our own way. We find ourselves “locked up.” We can’t seem to enter the abundant life spoken of in the Scripture. Many times, there are hard decisions and actions we have to take to get back on track with God’s will for our lives.

Many times, people have asked me why they keep having to deal with the same problems over and over again. Sometimes, it’s because God is trying to get your attention. He wants you to see that you’re heading in a wrong direction.

James tells us that problems are trials of our faith (James 1:2-3). If you fail a trial, you may have to go through it again. Your best solution is to learn the lesson and pass the test. That’s why we’re told to test ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Learn the lesson of Israel. Follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Wholeheartedly listen to and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit working in you. That’s the best route to a fulfilled life.

Question: How do you view the Lordship of Christ?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2022 in Faith, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Lord?

Lord?

We’ve been going through the Gospel of Luke. This post will finish our discussion of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gives us a powerful conclusion to this message.

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Luke 6:46

This is one of the most important questions that we, as believers, need to answer. We all call Jesus Christ, “Lord”. But, what do we mean by that?

To many Christians, “the Lord Jesus Christ” is simply His title. It’s what you call Him because that’s what it says in the Bible. They have no attachment to the words.

We really need to grasp the significance of this word, “lord”. According to Webster’s Dictionary, lord means – one possessing supreme power and authority.

Having an understanding of this word shows us the foolishness that many believers find themselves in. If you truly believe that Jesus Christ is Lord – supreme ruler of the universe – then how could you ever possibly ignore or defy His commands?

The most impossible statement to ever make is, “No, Lord.” If He’s your Lord, then you can’t say “no”. If you can say “no”, then He’s not your Lord. This is the truth of our situation.

Jesus goes on to describe the results of our decision to obey or not.

I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Luke 6:47-49

The fact is that we’re all in the building process. Every one of us is building a shelter from the ravages of sin in the world. We know that trouble is coming. The only thing we can do is prepare for it.

Let me explain the problem that many of us have with Jesus’ teaching. To the casual observer, there’s no difference between the two. Both houses look the same.

The difference is below the surface. It’s all about making a secure foundation. And that’s where the road separates.

Building a foundation is a slow painstaking process. In the Lord’s day, it required back-breaking labor. There were no excavators or jack-hammers to break through the tough terrain.

Then, large rocks for the foundation needed to be moved and dragged into position. You had to use a horse, or many people working together. Either way, it was a labor intense operation.

I’m sure that in those days there were many people who wanted to go the simpler route and build the house immediately. They decided to forego the foundation, to get into their house quickly.

The deception is, that for a long while it looks like building the foundation was a wasted activity. That is, until the once in a lifetime monster storm breaks out. Then, suddenly, the easy path turns out to be deadly.

It’s like that in the spiritual as well. For the most part, we can weather the minor “storms” of life without the power of God. But, the fact is, there will come problems that are far beyond our ability to contend with.

In times like that, people run to the Lord, expecting a miraculous exit strategy. The problem is that what we’ve built to that point was not according to the Lord’s pattern.

Many times God allows the life-structure that we’ve built to be destroyed. His desire is that when we rebuild, we’ll be wise enough to do it His way.

Don’t let the troubles of life destroy you. Don’t just call Jesus “Lord” out of lip service. Build your life on the proper foundation of His Word. Then, you can rest assured that your destiny is in God’s hands. He’ll bring to pass what He’s promised.

Question: What have you done to provide a secure foundation for your life?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2022 in Encouragement, Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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Mercy for Healing

There are certain words that we use in the church that have become watered down.  We use them a lot without really understanding their Biblical significance.

As we continue through the Gospel of Mark, we will talk about one of these words – mercy.

Then they came to Jericho.  As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging.  When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Mark 10:46-48

The first thing I see in this passage is that this man believed something about Jesus.  His faith was so strong that a crowd of people couldn’t turn him from his course.

We need to know the whole story.  There’s a reason why we’re told that he was the son of Timaeus.  The Hebrew word, timaeus, means to be spiritually unclean or defiled.  He had carried the stigma of this his entire life.

The crowd looked at him and saw the son of a defiled, worthless father.  They couldn’t see any reason that Jesus would bother with someone like him.

What made the difference was that Bart knew the truth about the Lord.  It’s manifest in the words that he shouted.

“Jesus, Son of David.”  That was the title he used in calling the Lord.  That was a Messianic title.  It means that Bart was trusting Christ as the Messiah and Savior of Israel.  He was coming to Jesus because of who He was, and not just because he wanted a healing.

This blind man had been praying and meditating on the words of Christ.  How do I know this?  Even the disciples of the Lord only knew He was Messiah because of a revelation from God (Matthew 16:15-17).  So, in spite of his blindness, this man was spiritually sensitive.

“Have mercy on me!”  This is the key to the whole passage.  He wanted to be healed, yet asked for mercy.  Our generation has no concept of what this word means in the Bible.

Mercy is the favor God shows to His obedient sons and daughters.  It’s the privilege of sonship.  For a more detailed teaching on mercy, click here.

What this shows me is that Bart did not choose to identify with his earthly, unclean, father.  Instead, he found his place as a son of Abraham.  Thus, he had the right to call upon the Messiah as his Lord and Healer.  The Lord responded to his cry.

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet!  He’s calling you.”  Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Mark 10:49-52

This is very applicable to us in our generation.  How do we approach God?  Do we come to Him based upon our need?

We should come to Christ on the basis of who He is.  Lord, Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, etc.  We should also see ourselves correctly – as a child of God – holy and righteous in His sight.  This makes all the difference.

Question: How does your view of Jesus and yourself affect your ability to receive from God?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Faith, Healing, Sonship

 

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Born into Freedom

In my last post, I talked about Paul’s illustration using Abraham’s two sons.  We saw that Ishmael, born into slavery, was Paul’s example of viewing the Law as our covenant.  He’s adamant that we were saved into freedom.

But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.  For it is written: “Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”
Galatians 4:26-27

Paul explains to us that our spiritual mother, the one that birthed us into God’s family, is the Jerusalem from above.  We also know it as the New Jerusalem that Christ is preparing for us.  But how can a city be our mother?  To answer that, we need to look way ahead to the book of Revelation.

This is what the Apostle John describes as taking place after the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Revelation 21:1-2

He talks about the New Jerusalem as the bride of Christ.  It should be obvious that Jesus isn’t marrying a city.  It’s the inhabitants of that city who are the bride of Christ.

In the same way, Paul is not talking about the physical city being our mother.  The Jerusalem that is above is referring to the bride.  We were brought into the family of God by those who were fulfilling their calling.

A member of the bride of Christ spoke the Word of God to us.  When we heard this Good News, faith was birthed in our hearts.  We then responded by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.  In that sense, the New Jerusalem is our mother.

Because we were birthed through faith in the Word, we are born into the freedom of Christ.

Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
Galatians 4:28-29

When we accepted Christ we were born by the Spirit of God into the promise.  What promise?  The same promise that Isaac was born into.

Now that the addendum of the Law has been fulfilled by Christ, we are under the renewed covenant of Abraham.  We are now entitled to all the blessings that were promised to his family.  If you don’t believe it, then let me remind you of what Paul already told the Galatian church just a few paragraphs before this.

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:29

Don’t let anyone try to tell you that you’re still obligated to follow the Law.  My blessings are not contingent upon my performance.  They’re based on God’s love for me and my family relationship with Him.

Having said that, we understand that we’re in a covenant relationship with Christ.  Therefore, I want to spend quality time with Him through the Holy Spirit.  I want to know Him in a deeper way.  I want the Spirit to make me more and more like the Lord.  In this way, I can experience all the blessings that Christ purchased for me.

Question: Why do some people seem to be so attracted to the Law?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2017 in Faith, Legalism, Sonship, Spiritual Walk

 

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A New Reality

ButterflyIn my last post I started talking about what happens when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It all started with a simple prayer and our trust in Him.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10

In that moment when you accepted the work of Christ, a supernatural, miraculous work took place in you. In my last post I said that all of us were born onto a path that led to death. There were no exits and no way for us to turn around.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

But when you received the life-changing work of Christ, something you had no access to was suddenly opened up to you. There’s a second path; one that leads directly to life.

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
John 5:24

In the Spirit, the Lord picked you up from the path leading to death and He placed your feet firmly on the path leading to life. It’s just like a computer game that my children used to play years ago. It was called Rollercoaster Tycoon.

In that game they would build an amusement park with rides that the virtual gusts would be excited about. But as my children watched the people in the park, it became clear that there were sections of it that nobody went to. In order to remedy the situation, the game had a claw that would pick up a guest at one end of the park, and place them in another section.

That’s what happened to us in the spirit. God picked us up from the path of death and placed us on the path of life.

In Christ, you didn’t just “turn over a new leaf.” You’re not just trying harder. You’re in a whole new reality. You’re in a new place on a new path with a new direction. You’re not the same person you were only a moment ago. Everything has changed.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Now we’ve been given a totally new way of life. That’s why the world should see something different in us. We’re no longer headed in the same direction as everybody else.

Question: How is living in God’s Kingdom different than living for the world?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2016 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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How do You View Jesus?

JesusDo you know that how you view your relationship with Christ determines your walk? As I was reading Paul’s introduction in his letter to the Romans, it stood out to me. It made me stop and assess how I view the Lord.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:1-4

There’s so much here that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was that Paul talked about Christ’s human nature as being descended form David. I wondered about that. As a Jew; why not a descendant of Abraham?

I started to look deeper into it and found that this was a big part of Paul’s message.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…
2 Timothy 2:8

The fact that Jesus was in King David’s family was a big part of Paul’s message. It seems to me that Paul placed this on even par with Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The two go hand in hand in the Apostle’s preaching.

This truth is the key to Paul’s attitude toward the Lord. It’s something that we need to return to in our generation. Jesus Christ is King, Lord, and Sovereign. There’s no authority higher than Him in the entire universe.

We like to refer to the Lord in a number of different ways. We call Him Savior, Redeemer, and Friend of sinners. These titles are all true of Christ and speak to us of what He’s done for us. But I refer to them as “safe” titles. They carry with them no inconvenience to us.

Notice how Paul introduces himself in relation to Christ in that first verse. He doesn’t call himself a follower of Christ. He doesn’t say he’s a believer, a minister, or even a disciple. He refers to himself as a servant of Christ Jesus.

This means that above all, Paul’s mission in life was to please his Master. It wasn’t about doing something for the Lord “when he finds the time.” His life was devoted to serving Jesus.

This is the attitude we need to return to in this generation of the church. We need to once again discover the place of servanthood to Christ. Yes, He is our Redeemer, our Savior, our best Friend, and a whole lot more. But we live to please Him.

As we live the life of a servant of Christ, this is one of the fastest ways to receive His power and authority in our lives. We must pick up this attitude – “Lord, not my will, but yours be done in my life.”

Question: What role does servanthood play in your walk with the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2015 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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A Prophecy for 2015

 

2015I’ve found that the Psalms have lined up with current affairs since the year 1901. Over the past 10 years or so I’ve preached from a Psalm each year and it’s been amazingly accurate. The Psalm for the New Year is Psalm 115.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1

We need to start 2015 on the right footing. It’s all about the Lord’s glory and not ours. Sometimes we miss that in the quest for bigger ministries. Yes, we want the move of God to attract people, but it’s the name of Jesus that should be the goal.

Moving on from here, there’s a bigger issue at stake. I believe that 2015 is the year of the big question. It’s what we should have been asking long before now.

Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Psalm 115:2

Wow! Could there be any other question more appropriate for our present generation of believers? Notice that the question isn’t, “Where is their God?” It’s more a question to us, asking what are we doing that blinds the world to who our God is.

Why is the nation unaware of our God? Why do they believe that God is irrelevant to our lives? That’s the question of the hour.

The next part of the Psalm gives the answer to it all.

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
Psalm 115:3-8

We’ve forgotten the simple truth that our God is Lord over all. The things that the world runs after can never give life. These things can never help us in our time of need.

Money, entertainment, social media sites, and all the rest are merely distractions keeping us from experiencing the best God has for us. In their right place – under the authority of Christ – they can be beneficial. But when they take time away from our walk with the Holy Spirit, we’re headed for ruin.

We can’t afford to fill our lives with the world’s distractions. It’s time for God’s people to press into the place of intimacy with Him. That’s where the true source of power is found.

You who fear him, trust in the Lord — he is their help and shield.
Psalm 115:5

This year we need to remember where our allegiance should be. The rest of the Psalm is a blessing upon those who are willing to take the time to seek the Lord’s presence. Let 2015 be the year we turn things around. Make it the year that the world sees that truly there is a God who works in and through His church.

Have a blessed and prosperous New Year in Christ!

Question: What are you trust God for in this coming year?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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Quartermaster Ministries News July 2013 #revivalnow

It’s a new day!  God is doing new things with me!

This is the first of monthly newsletters that I’m starting today.  My goal is that it will come out the beginning of each month, on a Tuesday or Thursday.

This is to update everyone on what’s happening in the ministry.  I expect new things to be taking place on a regular basis.

First off…

I have joined the Twitter community!

You can follow me @RevNickZacc.  Hopefully, it will encourage you with short thoughts throughout the day.  Sometimes I’ll retweet things that are encouraging me.  Also, you’ll find that I’m starting to use # in my titles, since they’ll be posted on Twitter as they are released. (They are also posted to Facebook and LinkedIn)

Speaking at Churches

I feel the Holy Spirit pushing me to get out and do more speaking (outside my home church).  I feel a need for the body of Christ to be prepared for the coming revival.  The Lord has blessed me with insight into how we should be getting ready and what to be ready for.  Because of this I have a spiritual pressure in me, that won’t let me keep it to myself.  So as these opportunities open up, I’ll start posting my schedule as to when and where these events will be.

Prayer

As a result of all of this…I ask you to pray.  Pray with me for revival to rock the church in the USA.  Pray for the lost to hear the clear message of hope in Jesus Christ.  Pray for me to faithfully follow the course God has for me.  I’ll pray for you, the followers of this ministry, that you would experience the highest and best God has for you in Christ.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Newsletters

 

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Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness

FlyingAs I was reading the Bible the other day, I came across a Scripture that caught my attention.  It was describing Christ and how He was revealed to the world.  It got me thinking about our relationship to God.

…and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:4

Jesus Christ was shown to be the Son of God.  Not just by someone’s testimony.  It was an act of power by God raising Him from the dead.

That in itself was not news to me.  The part that really spoke to my heart was who did the declaring.  The passage says that it was through the Spirit of holiness that He was shown to be the Son of God.

That’s what I found to be interesting – the Spirit of holiness.  Why did Paul not call Him the Holy Spirit?  Isn’t that the more common term?  Actually, this is the only place in Scripture where He’s called the Spirit of holiness.

Holiness is something that this generation of believers really needs to come to grips with.  It seems that we tend to back away from any mention of holiness.  We find it boring and old fashioned.

This is a subject of great importance in the Bible.  It’s found throughout the New Testament.  We are to be a holy people before God.

Holiness is related to separation.  It means to be set apart for God’s purpose.

It’s like this.  When Christ found us, we were like a dirty, cast off piece of pottery in the trash heap of the world.  When we turned to Him as our Lord and Savior, He rescued us from that place – that’s our salvation.

He then took us as His own and placed us on display in His household.  We are now to be exclusively used for the Lord’s purposes.  That’s holiness.

As we remain in His house, Christ continues to clean us up and restore us.  That’s our sanctification.

By using the term Holy Spirit, we mean the Spirit of God who is set apart from the world and the things of the world.  The phrase Spirit of holiness brings it to a whole other realm.

He’s not only the Spirit who is set apart – but the Spirit who sets us apart.  He is the Spirit of God who makes us holy.  That’s where we try to water down the truth.

We like to think of the Holy Spirit as the power source of the church.  Miracles, healings, signs, and wonders always draw a crowd.  But separation, on the other hand, sounds too much like commitment.

This generation seems to want the power without the holiness.  I believe that it’s time for us to seek the Spirit of holiness.  At the place where we are separated for God’s exclusive use, we will find all the power we need to live victoriously and win the lost.

Question: Have you seen examples of the Holy Spirit setting you apart for His use?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Encouragement, Power of God, Revival

 

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Do You have a “Move On” Attitude?

BootGod is calling His church to a higher level in Christ.  The return of the Lord is very close, yet sometimes the church seems to act like we have all the time in the world.  Are you complacent about where you are spiritually?  Or do you want to see a greater move of God through your life?

At one point in his life, Moses had a similar choice to make.

Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.”  So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt.  And he took the staff of God in his hand.
Exodus 4:19-20

Moses had been away from Egypt for a long time.  But in this time of his life, God was calling him to return to his former home.  The difference was that this time he had a mission from God – to set his people free.  Even so, it still required a long wilderness journey.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to start.  The planning and organizing are usually pretty easy.

I enjoy hiking.  There are times that I have spent a few days on the trail.

When morning comes and it’s time to move on, thats when the truth of this is made real.  It’s not that tough to break camp and put things away into your pack.  But when you finally put your pack on, and stand there with your trekking poles in your hand – a subtle transformation occurs.

Suddenly, without warning, the campsite that you’ve called home for the past twelve hours is no longer yours.  Now you’re a part of the trail and looking for a new destination.

We may be very satisfied where our life is right now.  But this isn’t our destiny – the Lord has a greater work He wants to do in us.  When God calls us to a higher level, we can never be satisfied this way again.

Remember that we need to be a people who are packed and ready to go.  This world is not our home and the things of this world will never truly fulfill us.

Sometimes we just need to go before the Lord and reiterate to Him our total commitment to following His path for our lives – no matter where it leads.  We need to thank Him for the destiny that He has prepared for us.  Then, we need to be open and listening for any course changes He may speak to us.

It all depends on our attitude.  Am I satisfied where I’m at, or do I hunger to see what God wants to do in these last days?

Question: Do you desire to move up to a new level in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Return of Christ, Revival, The Church

 

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