Greetings from our churches! We’re hoping this post finds you, your loved ones, and your friends safe and well.
We’re asking God,
“Where are you?”
And the Lord looks back at us and asks,
“Where are you?’
Brother Nobles recently mentioned a time when the men were gathered in the dining room before service, and the Elder gave an answer to a question someone asked regarding people leaving church. Brother Nobles said Elder’s answer had always stuck with him:
“Well, I’m sorry they did not see it. God brought them here to show them.”
How many people pray for God to lead them to His church, but when He does, they find little things not to their liking? If you pray for God to lead you to His way, open your door because He will answer you. It’s up to you to not miss it.
What we’re plugged into lately: last Wednesday evening’s service. It was great, and we’d like for you to be blessed and learn a few of the things we learned.
Friends don’t let friends trim their lamps poorly. It creates a flame that is dim and smoky as opposed to the flame from a well-trimmed lamp, which is clean and bright. Share this with a friend who knows it won’t be long (til the Bridegroom Comes).
Brother Nobles taught on how to open doors with God and keep them open. We open doors through prayer, but how do we make sure we leave the door open? One way is meditation. Not just a ten minute session thinking about God and what is good and lovely, but more of a righteous thought pattern. The door is open, but when you return to your thinking, you just closed the door.
We will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. When that is not our thought pattern, we close the door on God. In the middle of tribulation and conditions, concentrate on God giving you deliverance and helping you get through it. That door that we worked on so diligently to open, we let it close when we do not keep our thought pattern where it should be.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. -Philippians 4:7-8
Don’t Leave Your Prayer in the Prayer Closet.
We are not here to overcome our neighbor, our husband, our wife, or our friend. We are here to overcome the person in the mirror. Remember years back when Elder LaFleur taught on the laws of prosperity? Part of the requirement was writing down what you were praying for or trying to overcome, looking at it (visualizing), and meditating on it.
Prosperity, like all other forms of success, is created in the mind first. When you imagine things in your conscious mind, you are actually programming your subconscious mind to manifest them. In other words, it becomes who you are and how you think. You begin to have fervor in your prayers and thinking. Fervor is not loud. It is intensity and passion inside you.
These laws certainly work in our physical life, but Elder taught them so our souls could prosper. Knowing the truth of the Word of God builds conviction in your life. Meditating and changing your thought process leads to conviction. The strength of your conviction shapes your choices. Your choices shape your life.
Don’t Know Much About Geography
That’s okay, we’ve got you. Revelation 14 talks about us following the Lamb “withersoever” he goes. We don’t need GPS. Withersoever means to follow Him through all of our conditions, no matter what situation or what we are going through — follow Him.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. -Revelation 14:4
when we get behind closed doors.
You open the door for God, and you get in the right mindset. Then, you go back to a bad mindset, closing the door. Once again, you return to righteous thinking, opening the door. When you keep coming back to the right thought process, the door will begin to stay open longer, and you will won’t close it as frequently.
It’s called fighting the good fight.
Pack Your Bags and Pack Up the Station Wagon.
The Israelites were doing some traveling in Numbers, following the cloud. When they finally got to the Promised Land, Moses sent twelve spies to check it out and report back. Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, were excited to take over their new home, but the rest of the spies and the people weren’t so tickled. It seems that they’re going to have to go to war against some pretty burly giants to get a hold of this new land. The other ten spies were convinced that God was trying to get them stabbed to death by crazed giants with swords, and in their minds, there was no way they could pull this one off. Their carnal thinking proved contagious and caused everyone to panic.
They closed the door.
Joshua and Caleb saw the same things the other spies did in Numbers 14. While the reports of the ten spies highlighted the glaring doubt and mistrust they had in God and being able to take the land, Joshua and Caleb had a very different report. They were two men of great conviction who stood their ground in the face of opposition. When the Israelites were fearful of what stood between them and the promised land, Caleb and Joshua stood on God’s promise. They knew God was on their side, and when faced with what seemed impossible, only Caleb and Joshua saw through the natural circumstances to what God could do. They trusted in the Lord. No matter what Caleb saw, he knew it was not bigger than God.
Leaves the Door Open: “I don’t know how God is going to do this, but I know He will.”
Closes the Door: “I don’t know if God is going to do anything.” You just closed the very door God was about to use to deliver you.
Let’s Talk About Progress
Let’s. Keep the door open, and you will start to see growth. One way to do that? Go back and look at your spiritual history and landmarks in your life.
See how God helped you. Remember when He delivered you? Look at all the times He answered prayer and all the times He came through for you. And how you knew without a doubt, He walked with you. And those quiet times it was just you and Him, and you felt His love wrapped around you. Or when a child was sick and you didn’t even think twice about trusting Him.
Go back and pull these times from your history. Revisit old landmarks.
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” However you think, that is how you are. Your reaction reflects your thought pattern. How you react is based on how you think. Reactions are quick and reveal a lot. To respond, you have time to squelch the wrong thing, but it still comes out.
On numerous occasions when Elder was in the hospital and people came to visit, soon after greeting them, he immediately started talking about the Lord and gave a Bible study to lift them up and get closer to God. Sometimes later, he would wake up and not remember giving a Bible study until we reminded him that he did. As Brother Nobles said, the messages he gave were always sound, solid, and strong. How could his mind jump to teaching the Bible as he lay in a hospital bed enduring a condition?
The right thinking and mindset of the Lord and righteousness was so embedded in his thought process, it was where his mind and reactions automatically went. It had become his default.
Paul didn’t start out being content in whatever condition he was in. He had to learn to be content by thinking on good things.
caught in a time warp
Time warp — to remain unchanged from a time in the past although everything else has moved on in time.
We get it. You were the star quarterback of your football team. You were the prettiest cheerleader. You were a lead in a musical that one time. You threw one of the best parties that one summer. You drove a new Mustang that everyone envied. All of these things are great to have as memories, but don’t let it be all that you are. Don’t let your high school memories define your identity, or worse, stamp a date on the moment you stopped thinking and growing.
High school can bring some great moments of our lives. But, when you’re older, it should not be the best four years of your life. If it is, you are mentally and emotionally stuck there and unable to move on. People get stuck in this web of memories of their glory days that they miss far too much, and they’re too focused on the past to move on to a better future.
I met a guy one time on a flight. He was in his early 40’s (I’d guess). He was friendly and did most of the talking, telling me about his high school days. His school was just a couple miles down the road from the town we were flying out of. He had been an All-State linebacker on his championship team, and ran track as well. He had been popular and had lots of rich and entertaining stories about his escapades with his buddies and pretty girls, most of whom had left the area. He got married right after graduating, took some business courses at the community college, and now he owned his own business, and he seemed fairly successful.
Still, the best years of his life were behind him.
I was saddened by his life story. Here was a man at middle age, still looking back nostalgically at his time as a boy. Nothing wrong with remembering days gone by or being nostalgic. But like Brother Nobles pointed out, something bigger was at play. Had nothing else happened in the intervening years to eclipse his young fame and popularity? Was it all downhill from those peak experiences of high school? He was stuck in that time period, and his thinking had stopped there.
If you think you have the door open because you are in church every service, unless your thinking has grown and progressed, you can become the eternal high school senior.
When did you stop growing and progressing? Where were you in your life, and at what point did you stop moving forward?
If we get stuck and stop progressing, we miss out living in this moment and cannot fulfill what God has called us to do.
It’s Just us In Genesis 6:5, Going About Our Normal Day.
Sorry if you were expecting horns or a Darth Vader voice, but our definition of evil does not always match God’s.
Genesis 6 is just your everyday people, living it up in their carnal nature. When we give ourselves free reign and don’t control our thoughts, we are the people in Genesis 6:5.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
The continuance of carnal thinking leads to death.
What Do You Think?
Have we closed the door on love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, or temperance?
Have we opened the door in Matthew 5:28?
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Thinking something and the action are different. However, if that is your thought process, you will act on it — unless you close that door.
Remember When We Used to Storm Off and Slam Doors?
Maybe that wasn’t such a bad idea. Our carnal nature doesn’t slam the door on God. If it did, that would be a good thing. It would be loud and startle us. It would jar us, so we would realize what we had done and ask God to please forgive us for shutting Him out. We could open the door again.
Instead, we start closing the door real easy, a little bit at a time. Slowly. Quietly. By the end when we close it, there is barely the faint sound of a click.
That closed door is the most dangerous.
Stay in the Righteous Battle
We ask God for wisdom and then revert to our own thinking. We close the door on His wisdom.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. -James 1:5
Keep fighting the good fight, and we can be at 100% peace. Right here. Right now. No matter what condition.
Never forget the sacrifice He made that changed everything for us. Never forget that He won and defeated death. This memory is significant for all of us! Let’s continue to gather with huge expectation for what God has in store!