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No Corners Cut, No Pacifying, No Round-About Way

“STOP YOUR CRYING!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Whatcha Crying For…. Don’t you know that one reason why God allows us at times to be disappointed with our fellow human beings is so that we might learn to stop leaning on man. He desires to free us from such idolatry. So when God orders your circumstances in such a way that you are disappointed on every side, don’t be discourage, just know that God is weaning you away from the arm of flesh so that you might learn to live by Faith in Him. Many times when we experience discouragement the real problem is that we don’t understand God. Romans 11:33 tells us: How impossible it is for us to understand Gods decisions and His methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking?” God’s purposes are far beyond our comprehension. Listen, God did not save you so you could rest yourself in other people and in things. God saved you to walk in absolute and utter dependence upon Him. And when He sees you leaning on everyone and everything but Him; you can count on His teaching you the lessons you need so that you might learn to lean on Him alone. “Stop Your Crying!” The same God, who opens doors, is the same God that closes doors. A big part of Faith is trusting God when you don’t understand it. If you’ll have this perspective, and not only thank God for your open doors but thank Him just as much for your closed doors, you’ll pass the test. You’ll see the exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond future that God has in store for you.

So thank God for the supporters, props, crutches, or whatever you want to call them that God has placed in your life to help you make it, but don’t get it twisted, make no mistake about it,  it is Jehovah- Jireh, who provides, not them.  As David learned, when you become so dependent on them rather than God, God is going to start shaking up everything around you. There’s going to be some uprooting, tear-downing and destroying going on. Every person upon whom David leaned in his life was taken away. Every dream, every lofty goal, every hope had been dashed to bits at David’s feet. He had nothing and no one on whom he can lean. He was alone, afraid and alienated. God had brought David from the very top to the very bottom of life. Why? Why did God do this to David? God did this to David so that David would learn to lean on the Lord and not on all the other props he had constructed in his life! And believe me, He will do the same to you too if your support system develops to the place where it can take the place of God in your life. God will start dismantling everything around you. Oh, how we need to hear this truth! All the way through life we lean on one thing and one person after another. We trust and look to our parents, teachers, friends, jobs, and money…forgetting a very important truth, that Jesus is our everything! Stop Your Crying!

It’s not easy to take, but the truth is when the Lord finds us leaning on everything else in our lives instead of Him; He will begin the painful process of dismantling our support system one prop at a time. He does not do this to harm us; but to help us learn to lean on Him alone! In the end, David learned that the promises of men did not amount to much. But for those who had learned to lean on the hand of the Lord, they saw every promise of God fulfilled in their lives. (Psalm 119:38). I tell you this leaning business hits pretty close to home for me. There are plenty of times I find myself leaning on things and/or people instead of the Lord. But I have also found that when I lean on other things and/or people in my life; God will systematically and painfully remove every crutch I have. He will bring me to the place where I am leaning on Him and on Him alone. That is where He plans to bring each of us. We should not fear what the Lord is doing in our lives. He is merely growing us and teaching us that He is all we need. He is all-sufficient; more than enough; He is God Almighty, and He will never fail us, leave us or let us down. He wants us to learn this truth: When we have Him, we have all the support system that we will every need! (Psalms 46) Sometimes it’s not what we’re going through that’s intolerable. The thing that is intolerable is the lack of meaning. We’re not sure why we’re suffering like we’re suffering. If we only understood God, it wouldn’t be as painful.  I don’t know what you’re going through in your life. But I can guarantee you that God is big enough to handle your disappointment. God is big enough to handle your questions. We need to be reminded throughout our lives that if God is all I have at this moment, then He is all I really need! Stop Your Crying, and learn how to lean and depend on Jesus. He’s your friend and He’s your guide. Trust Him and find out that He will provide. Oh, what a fellowship; what a joy divine; what blessedness; what a peace of mind; leaning on His arms.  {Lee WilliamsPraise the Lord!

 

 

 

“YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman 

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…” Prosecutor Opening Statement…. Your Honor and ladies and gentlemen of the jury; the defendant has been charged with disobedience, backsliding, unbelief, unfaithfulness, breaking of vows, rebellion, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, pride, foolishness, blasphemy, malice, slander, arrogance, idolatry, jealousy, hostility, selfish ambition, division, envy, drunkenness and folly. The evidence I present will prove to you that the defendant is “Guilty as Charged!…. The event took place in an open air arena beside the Jabbok River as it were with Jacob. In one corner stood the defendant {insert your name} and in the other corner of all people was God Himself… You versus God… You versus Jehovah…  Who would want to take on God, one on one, in a wrestling match…? How could one every hope to win… “How foolish,” you say? Well the truth is that all of us at some point in our journey have taken on God. We have all stepped into the ring with God and wrestled with Him about life. Matter of fact some of you are wrestling with God right now about some situation, some problem, some difficulty or some injustice in your life. It would behoove you though to sit down in your ringside seat and learn the lessons from Jacob’s wrestling match with God. You see God preserved the historical event in Jacob life to teach us lessons concerning our own struggles. Because just like Jacob we all have the tendency to wrestle with life, to take things in our own hands, to set our own agenda, and work things out in our own strength… Your Honor, I would like for this to be marked as People’s Exhibit #1… I will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty as charged and should be convicted. All because you, the defendant wanted to do things your way and not God’s way. The Lord has set this hearing. God is letting you know just what happens to us if we refuse to do things His way. He knows how to get our attention. He knows how to deal with us that we might know we’re not doing it the way He wants us to do it. ”Guilty as Charged!”

Listen, God wants to be quick to bless and slow to wrath. He doesn’t want to go to war with you! Solomon said in Proverbs 21:30,There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.” In other words, anybody who goes against God is a Fool! What we need to understand is that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, can stand against God. From the beginning God had standards.  Eve decided to fight it and Adam decided to join the fight and because of that, all of us are cursed. God had a standard for sacrifice. Abel obeyed it and Cain fought it and was cursed. God had a standard for morality. Noah kept it. The rest of the world fought it and drowned. God had a standard for spiritual priority. Jacob bought it; Esau fought it and lost the blessing. Saul went about ravaging the church, seeking to destroy this new sect who followed Jesus Christ. Until of course, Jesus Himself appeared to him, blinded him, pinned him to the ground and said, “Saul, it is hard for you to kick against the goads.” In the end God won and Saul lost. There is no way to fight God and win! True, it mays seem like someone is opposing God and getting away with it temporarily, but when ultimately it spells eternal disaster. The story of Herod exalting himself and how God judges him. Herod and God are prominent in both stories. But in both stories, God comes out the winner, and Herod the loser. You can’t fight God. It does not work! If you go to war with God, you will surely lose. Do you see that it is madness? You lose! God wins every time! Instead of opposing God, His Word, His Law, start surrendering. Because the only way to true happiness, joy, fulfillment and satisfaction is in surrendering completely to God, and allowing His Spirit to live through you. In the end, Jacob did what we all must do. He confronted his failures, his weaknesses, his sins, an all the things that were hurting him, and faced God. Jacob wrestled with God all night. It was an exhausting struggle that left him crippled. But it was only after he came to grips with God and ceased his struggling, realizing that he could not go on without God, that he received God’s blessing (Genesis 32:29).

What we can learn from this remarkable incident in the life of Jacob is that our lives are never meant to be easy. This is especially true when we take it upon ourselves to wrestle with God and His Will for our lives. God wants to put a stop to our old way of living so that we might experience His restoration and know His love just like in Paul’s life, as he was busted, arraigned, convicted, sentenced and finally restored. Jesus wants to arrest you by His love. He wants to get a hold of your life and make something wonderful out of it. Can I tell you that when it was all said and done, Paul saw himself as being under the direct sovereign of God Himself and he understood the truth that God was the Master of all the paths of life? Who’s your Warden today… Will the jury foreperson please stand…Has the jury reached a unanimous verdict… Yes, Your Honor….The jury finds the defendant…. You fill in the blank {guilty/not `guilty} … Court is adjourned!

 

“Nothing From Nothing Leaves… Nothing!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.” Tony Robbins said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!”  It is insane to do the same thing over and over again knowing it has never worked out well before, but thinking maybe this time will be different…  Like I said, “Nothing for Nothing Leaves… Nothing!” Jesus said, “If new wine is put into old wineskins, then the new wine will burst the wineskin, and both will be lost.” Follow me I’m going somewhere with this.  The reason the old bag could not contain the new wine was that it had already held wine, and had already been stretched as far as it was going to be stretched. It had become dry and cracked and inflexible. It simply could not withstand going through that expansion and fermentation all over again! Jesus said that instead, anyone making wine would see to it that it was poured into a new, fresh wineskin… In other words, “…forget the former things… God is always doing something NEW! His works of grace are always NEW and FRESH!

You know it is so easy as a Christian to get into a rut; to always sing the same songs, always read the same Bible verses, always associate with the same people, and always do the same things – never being challenged by Christ to venture out into the unknown to experience the untold blessings God has reserved for us. We hear about the riches in glory in Christ Jesus but we never really experience them because we are afraid to take a step in a direction we’ve never been before. But to change the results you have to change the path. Different results require different action. If you are going to receive the answer God has for you, you are going to have to do what he says, when he says it and where he says to do it.  You see, in your relationship with God success follows obedience, even when what God is asking you do to seem ridiculous to you. Let me remind you that you are not smarter than God. You can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. You can’t rebel against God, go against what he is telling you, and expect success. You can’t do all the wrong things and expect good things to happen. It doesn’t happen that way. Success comes as you are willing to listen to Jesus and do what he says. This involves humility. The disciples were professional fishermen. They knew all about fishing, so they had to be humble enough to do what Jesus said rather than trusting what they had personally learned about fishing. If you are going to fish, you have to put down your net where the fish are. I told you I was going somewhere with this.

If we seek first God’s Kingdom, his rule and his values, then our current crises fall into perspective. Whenever you want to see a different result, a positive change, you have to do something different from whatever you are currently doing. God’s indwelling grace is active. It leads you and influences you. It brings change to you and within you. When I experience difficulties in my life and in the world around me and the questions I ask leave me empty handed, I find there is always one question that jolts me back to reality similar to the one Jesus ask Peter in Matthew 16:13-20: Who do you say that I am? And Peter responds: You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.” Bottom line: Jesus is God. God is at work. God has not abandoned his people. God has done what God had promised. God is with us! What we have to remember is that God has the blueprint for our whole life already… All we have to do is just fit in with His plans for our lives. There are only two choices in life. Having God to order our steps in His will, or ordering our own steps by our own will.  And we all know what Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 tells us, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death….. “Nothing for Nothing Leaves… Nothing!”

Now the Bible talks about divine direction in the Scriptures. And the declaration of Scripture is that God cares about each of us and wants to direct our lives. Our responsibility by God’s own direction is to entrust our way to Him for His direction and leading. Only the eternal God who is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, has the infinite wisdom and power, love and mercy needed to direct the affairs of man’s life. We need to understand that God’s leading is always right. And when you allow the Lord to lead you and guide you there will be peace. There will be power. There will be victory. There will be joy. When you allow the Lord to order your steps, lead you and guide you, you will have something to shout about, because when the Lord order your steps, you will be blessed going in and blessed coming out. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. When you allow the Lord to order yours steps, you will be the head and not the tail, you will be above and not beneath. Why would we want it any other way? I tell you, “Nothing from Nothing Leaves… Nothing!”