Body Beauty and Health

There is a link to an amazing story at the bottom of this post.

Artists have long appreciated the human body. Scientists have studied how our bodies function, documenting their findings. The medical profession has tended to our body’s health, or lack of, from the inside out, observing its complexities. Lovers have written songs, poems and odes expressing fascination about the design and allure of the human form.  I doubt anyone would deny the value of a healthy and fit body.

Even causally observing the genius of our design, it is easy to appreciate our Creator. Our appreciation deepens as we understand that God has replicated the design of the human body in His design for His church. He calls us the Body of Christ. We, His Body, were designed and purposed to act like a healthy body.

Each body needs a head. My body is available to respond to the directives from my head, my mind. I tell my body to sit, stand or walk and each part acts in agreement to make my efforts coordinated….or at least most of the time. 🙂 Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ. Following the leadership of Jesus coordinates His Body.

A healthy body needs a flowing circulatory system to pump blood into all the parts of the body, and the Body of Christ needs the flow of His Holy Spirit to support His life in us.  The health of each body part ensures a better quality of life. The same is so with His Church, His Body.  Our arms, hands, legs, feet, fronts, backs, internal organs and external appearances, should all receive adequate respect as we care for our body. Granted, a hand and a big toe function differently and definitely view life from different positions. However, both are vital for efficiency in life. If we respect our bodies, we care for each part, and experience health. The Body of Christ is healthy when we do the same thing.

1 Corinthians 12 (NLT)12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Understanding that we all have body parts, there is no need for us to walk around with labels for each body part. We recognize the design of the body or body part, without the labels. If we become familiar with God’s design for His Body, through His Word and His Spirit, we are able to recognize and respect other parts of His Body, without using denominational labels. Another aspect of body life is that we don’t normally tell an arm to remain motionless and inactive. We give freedom for that arm to respond spontaneously, as it is led by the head. By allowing an arm to act as an arm, there is greater ability and a continual flow of healthy life.  In contrast,  consider the disadvantage of wearing a sling or a cast on an arm. A hand must work as a hand, freely moving in its designated  purpose, and should not be required to act as a foot, or worse yet, to be made  immobile.  As each body part acts in its own diversity of function, there is a higher purposeful, efficiency for the whole body.

The same is so with His Body. There is diversity of gifts, callings, and ministry emphasis, within the Body of Christ, given by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  There are parts of His Body focused on healing, deliverance, and miracles. Some parts of the Body deal with prophecy, wisdom, knowledge ministry, declaring His truth as revealed by His Spirit and His Word. Others are all about teaching, evangelizing and preaching. There are those called to revival awakening, prayer, tongues, faith and worship while other parts of the Body are serving, ministering, giving and providing. Each part of the Body of Christ should have respect.  Yes, there may be overlapping assignments, like you use your toes to pick a sock up off the floor, but it is your hand that you predominately use for picking up and carrying. In like manner, we all need to pray, but some parts of the Body of Christ are set apart for intercessory prayer as their main focus.

By trusting Jesus, our Head, and as His Holy Spirit flows through us, we can freely allow each part of the Body of Christ to work in the distinct function and purpose designed by God.

Each local assembled Body of Christ needs to have fully functioning Body parts  to be able to act in vital roles for His Kingdom life.  Denominational labels tend to restrict certain parts of the Body, depending on their viewpoint and interpretation of God’s Word. Removing those denominational restrictions allows  greater freedom for the Holy Spirit to tell an arm, a foot and a back, in that particular assembled Body of Church, how to move and flow in God’s ordained purpose. Also, when labels are removed, the tendency to only use certain parts is diminished.  Jesus did not recognize or approve of  denominational labels or division among the members of His Body. He desires whole Body Life.

   Jesus Forbids Sectarianism

Mark 9:38-41(NKJV) 38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Several years ago, I took off a denominational label, one that I had worn since childhood. It was not an easy thing to do. I was hesitant to give up what I perceived to be a comforting place in a denominational position. But God opened by eyes to understand a little more clearly His Body design. Now I am able to look at the Body of Christ, as a whole. It is far more satisfying to embrace  a complete and healthy Body, with all the parts visibly active. Removing that label has freed me to love more, and to love more of His people.

As we face increasing tension, turbulence and stress in our world, this is surely not the time for the Body of Christ to be dismembered and divided. We need to line up under our Head, with all parts in action. A whole Body displays a larger reflection of His love, peace and grace, and a greater salt value to the world.  We can’t afford to face the future as a maimed Body, wounded by amputation. The Holy Spirit is able to heal, make whole, and unify the Body of Christ…we just need to listen and obey Him.

I’ve included a link to an amazing story about a friend from Russia. You will be greatly moved by this true story, and what happened to her body, physically and spiritually.

connecting, with love


Overcoming the fear that cuts down our blessings

Dealing with fear is common to all humanity, in one form or another. Some fear is healthy, warning us of danger. A healthy fear or respect is due something potentially dangerous  like fire.

  • Fear is a kind of bell, or gong, which rings the mind into quick life and avoidance upon the approach of danger. It is the soul’s signal for rallying.   Henry Ward Beecher

Fear of God is justified. Fear of man is not.  A good fear is a reverence toward God, and Him alone; it is awe inspired devotion, to who He is, and to what He does.  With gratitude and thanksgiving, we are drawn by His great love and our hearts are filled with desire to please Him. In His loving wisdom, the Lord knew that denial, of His will and way, would only bring loss and grief. God  provided a way, through Jesus and His Spirit, for us to avoid being outside of His will, His favor, and vulnerable to fear. The Holy Spirit, within us, beckons if we begin to move outside of His protection, and points the way back to restoration. His power is able to defeat that which alarms us.

  • Happy the soul that has been awed by a view of God’s majesty. A.W. Pink
  • The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One. Paul Chappell
  • To win the war against fear, we must know the true God as He is revealed in the Bible. He works to give us lasting peace. He receives joy, not from condemning us but in rescuing us from the devil. Yes, the Lord will bring conviction to our hearts concerning sin, but it is so He can deliver us from sin’s power and consequences. In its place, the Lord works to establish healing, forgiveness and peace. Francis Frangipane

The opposite of healthy fear is irrational, worrying, faithless fear. This anxious fear leads us to focus too heavily on our circumstances and the dealings of the enemy, and to doubt God’s goodness and faithfulness.  As it creeps into our lives, it robs us of freedom, health, peace and joy.  As surely as a sharpened ax or power saw can fell a tree, so this type of fear can cut down our blessings. Experiencing this robbing fear, your body reacts to its presence. A sickening chill running down your spine, a queasy, churning stomach, clammy or cold hands, headaches, a stiff neck or other muscle tension, weakness, confused thoughts, heart palpitations, panic attacks, shallow, rapid breathing, trouble sleeping, depression or dread….one or several of these reactions might be warning that fear has arrived.

  • Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Fear can be real or imaginary.

  • Imagination frames events unknown, In wild, fantastic shapes of hideous ruin, And what it fears, creates.Hannah More

If  our confidence is in the goodness of God, His faithfulness and everlasting love,  and we rely on His Holy Spirit within us, Who leads us to appropriate the power of Jesus’ name and shed blood, fear will surrender to faith.

  • How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, In a believer’s ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear. John Newton
  • God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst… will be quiet in the middle of alarm. F.B. Meyer
  • If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me; if I say, “Just what I expected,” if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love.  Amy Carmichael
  • Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. Corrie Ten Boom

To accept what the world, the enemy or self says, over God’s word, is to invite fear to enter your heart.

  • Our lives are full of supposes. Suppose this should happen, or suppose that should happen; what could we do; how could we bear it? But, if we are living in the high tower of the dwelling place of God, all these supposes will drop out of our lives. We shall be quiet from the fear of evil, for no threatenings of evil can penetrate into the high tower of God. Hannah Whitall Smith

The door to fear is closed by detecting the first signs of anxiety and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring that hopeless despair into submission before God’s truths.  The Lord has said “Fear not” over and over because He has only good things planned for us and God’s heart is a heart of perfect love.

  • 1 John 4:18 (NKJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
  •  The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident. Max Lucado
  • Giving in to fear alters God’s best plan for your life. So use the power of God’s Word to do what He wants you to do…even if you have to do it afraid! The rewards are great. Joyce Meyer
  • Beloved, I say, let your fears go, lest they make you fainthearted. Stop inspiring fear in those around you and now take your stand in faith. God has been good and He will continue to manifest His goodness. Let us approach these days expecting to see the goodness of the Lord manifest. Let us be strong and of good courage, for the Lord will fight for us if we stand in faith. Francis Frangipane

The thievery of  anxious fear is defeated by meeting it head on, in the power of the Holy Spirit, never denying nor hiding it. Fear can not be medicated away.  Victory over fear comes through God, by trusting in Him, plain and simple.

  • Never turn your back on your fears. Woodrow Kroll
  • Are you facing fear today? Perhaps you are afraid of losing your job, of developing cancer or being left by your spouse. At times all of us experience fear. But don’t allow fear to keep you from being used by God. He has kept you thus far; trust Him for the rest of the way. Woodroll Kroll
  • Hebrews 10:35 (AMP) Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.
  • John 14:27 (AMP)  Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

I yearn for a greater understanding of our Father’s heart to fill our churches, and draw the lost to His salvation. Without a doubt, our world faces many occasions for fear to knock on our door. A reverent fear of God assures our hearts of His love and His Holy Power,  providing us with freedom from fear .  This blog is a montage of thoughts and quotes gathered together for emphasis, because one voice joined by others declares a message more clearly.

connecting, with love



Getting personal about my Father

Yep, this is my dad and me, circa 1956.  No doubt, I loved my Daddy, and still do. Even though I could dwell on the love and blessings I received from both of my parents,  for now,  I want to focus on Dad.  Mom is definitely another blog!  Dad was my problem solver, fixer of broken toys, and source of answers for all my questions. Believe you me, I had some very interesting and tough questions!  He never lied to me, or made me feel I had asked a silly question,  nor did he ever hedge around the truth. He was straight forward and unfazed by my questions.  He wasn’t always able to come up with a solution or a ready answer. I know, because of work and other commitments in life, it wasn’t humanly possible for him to have always been there,  but my memory testifies of his willingness and availability to help me every time I expressed a need, and after all, memories are like a library, with shelves for the realities of our past.

Not only was Dad my problem solver, he was, and still is, fun to be with. We have family videos of me running to jump into his arms, leaping in faith, knowing he would always catch me. Those videos also recorded Dad swinging me around and around in fast circles, my face full of assurance in the strength of his hold on me. He did this neat trick of mysteriously causing his wedding ring to disappear and then reappear in my ear. He was, and remains, a competitive card player, but with lots of humor. Whenever he faces the possibility of having a big loss during a card game, he is known to calmly declare to his opponent, “I got you just where I want you”.

He helped me through scores of homework assignments and those dreaded science fair projects with resourcefulness and enthusiasm. He taught me how to ride a bike (I remember seriously damaging an azalea bush in the process of learning to apply the bike’s brakes) and how to drive a car (fortunately I didn’t have to run into an azalea bush, or anything else, while learning about car brakes). My appreciation for reading books,  beautiful scenery and music came through his influence. I loved listening to him whistle a tune from time to time during the day, and still appreciate his happy whistling, to this day. He loved to dance with Mom.  He didn’t hesitate when it was time to sing. I will always associate Old Spice aftershave with a loving hug from my Dad.

The benefits I gained from being the daughter of this wonderful man are many. To name a few, by Dad’s example, I learned the importance of prayer, and matter of factually accepted the reality of conversation between God and His children.  Dad continues to have an active prayer life at the age of 86. He studied and believed God’s word, encouraging me to do the same. He made me feel safe, protected and well cared for. I have never doubted that he loves and accepts me, even if I make a mistake or am not perfect. Trust and love have been easy to experience, and to give. The security Dad enforced around us gave chase to fears.  I was taught to appreciate  values like respect, honor, responsibility, dignity, consideration and generosity. Dad’s loyalty and devotion to Mom, and us kids, taught me about stable, loving family life. Dad loved talking about God and I still enjoy frequent conversations with him about God’s goodness. Whatever he said, I believed, because he never attempted to mislead me.

Bottom line, I first believed and trusted my Dad, and then as the Holy Spirit led, was able to easily believe and trust my Heavenly Father. Because Dad is a human father, he isn’t perfect, and mistakes were made,  but he has accomplished, by the help of the Lord, the tasks assigned to him as a husband and father.

 Along with Dad, I have studied examples of other good fathers, and I have observed these common traits:
  •  blesses
  •  loves unconditionally
  •  instructs
  • respects
  •  guides and warns
  •  trains
  •  rebukes for corrections, but does not provoke to anger
  •  nourishes and supplies needs
  •  protects
  • encourages and enables
  • knows how to communicate with kindness, while being firm and consistent
  • examples right living
  • speaks with honestly and keeps promises
  • joyful and hopeful
  • spends time with family
  • wise

Whether you enjoyed a good father-child relationship, and reaped the benefits, or you missed out, for whatever varied reasons there are, the Great Equalizer, Jesus Christ, levels the playing field among us. In the Kingdom of God, which Jesus made available to all willing to receive it, we are offered the privilege of adoption into the family of God, the blessing of becoming beloved sons and daughters of the King of Kings. He shows no favoritism. His love is offered freely to all, but must be received by trusting Him.  He is worthy of trust because He is not a fickle God.  What He says He is, is Who He is. There is no deception in His heart. His Word says He is good, and it is so. Some of us may have jumped into the blessings of this divine adoption more readily than others because a good father-child experience caused us to hear the call of the Holy Spirit more clearly. However, we all have the opportunity to experience that same wonderful relationship with our Heavenly Father, and to know a Father’s love that always seeks our best interest.

He calls to all, but many avoid, or are intimidated and fearful of a relationship with a father figure because of past pain. News headlines decry the abuse done within the church, in schools and homes, as leadership has corrupted God given authority by walking in a maligned image of a father figure.  Some, because of  a damaged perception of God refuse to seek Him. When we receive this gift of adoption, by accepting the salvation and Holy Spirit of Jesus, all that is damaged or missing is restored.  God offers healing for crippled emotions caused by painful relationships.

Ephesians 1:3-6 (The Message)

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

If you struggle with faith in an Invisible Father, seek His Word to discover the reality of Who He is, and the goodness of  His Heart. It is revealed from Genesis to Revelation in His love letter called the Bible.  Don’t rely on chopped up portions of scripture to guide your understanding and don’t settle for hearsay,  half truths, misrepresentations or distortions of God’s character. His complete Word and His unrestricted Holy Spirit will guide you to the Truth, and will dispel any confusion.

My Heavenly Father has proven Himself over and over, year after year, decade after decade, to be my Forever Faithful Father. Memories of past encounters, and new daily experiences with Him,  testify of His perfection.  Life worth living is when we fully accept His love, and then through His love, experience the freedom to love fully.

connecting, with love


Dove/Daylight, Cinnamon/Cassia and Darkeyes

You called, You cried, You shattered my deafness, You sparkled, You blazed, You drove away my blindness, You shed Your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for You.   Augustine

Job 42: 1-6 (The Message) Job Worships God –

I Babbled On About Things Far Beyond Me

 Job answered God: “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.    Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,  ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,  made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.  Let me ask the questions.You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

In the last chapters of the Book of Job, God stepped in to mercifully initiate communication with Job, who was struggling in his suffering.  Hearing God personally, Job became aware that his previous knowledge of God was based on rumor and hearsay, void of personal encounters with God, lacking in an ongoing relationship. All during his ordeal, Job fought to understand God and wrestled with self-righteousness, pity and hopelessness, because  his confidence in God was not developed by experience with God. He hung on to a thin thread of faith and hope, which were enough to cause God to intervene.  As Job “sees” God for the first time, his awareness of God’s goodness and greatness, moved him to humble himself before God. God then abundantly restored Job.

Job’s restoration foreshadows blessings found in the Kingdom of God, established by Jesus Christ. As God redeemed and restored Job, and his friends, He gave instructions for a sacrifice, and a prayer by Job, for his friend’s behalf, so that they would not face what they justly desired.  Jesus, later in history, became our Complete Sacrifice and Loving Intercessor, offering us redemption, and sparing us from what we justly desired.

The account of Job’s restoration mentions that God gave him, among many other things,  seven sons and three daughters. The number seven represents, completeness, spiritual perfection and rest, all part of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. It is interesting to note the recording of the three daughter’s names. The first daughter’s name was Jemimah, which means either Daylight or Dove. Commentators have suggested this was a testimony of Job’s plight from the darkness of suffering into the light of restoration. Daylight or a dove often represent the Holy Spirit. The second daughter’s name, Keziah, means cassia or cinnamon. Again commentators have attributed this as testimony of  the sweet aroma of restored health, after the stench of sickness. Cinnamon and/or cassia are ingredients for compounding anointing oil, which also symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The third daughter’s name was Keren-Happuch, with a meaning somewhat harder to explain. Boiling it down, the meaning refers to a vivid black coloring used for painting the corners of women’s eyes, enhancing their beauty by creating dark eyes.  God’s Word states in Isaiah 61:3 (KJV) –

  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified

David, who was a man after God’s own heart, was noted for his beautiful eyes  (1 Samuel 16:12). The indwelling Holy Spirit, the Third Being of the Holy Trinity, beautifies us, our eyes,  with a radiance that reflects the joy and life He brings within us.  We can experience all the blessings listed in the inspired meanings of these numbers and names,  blessings provided by God, accessed by Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

One last thought about Job. The daughters were given an equal inheritance with the sons, something unheard of in that culture and during that time. I believe this   points to God’s Kingdom life,  offered by Jesus for all who are willing to receive it.  Men, women, young or old, rich or poor, all have an equal inheritance through Jesus Christ. This isn’t addressing the biblical roles men and women need to follow, it is just stating we all have access to Jesus, as co-heirs, to the inheritance He has promised us, equal opportunity for a personal relationship with Him, to His Holy Spirit, with the ability to hear Him and to speak with Him, vessels empowered and made ready for His glory. There is much more to this inheritance, but again that’s many more blogs.

connecting, with love


Hidden Mountain of God’s Love in the Book of Job

What if you hear confused thoughts, in conversations about God’s heart and His character? What if, when tragedies and disasters occur, doubts about God’s goodness  and power are often voiced? What if prayer is offered without faith and trust that God is willing and able to answer? What if during your own struggles with faith, as troubles and pain invade your life, you discover dimensions of God’s love that affirm His faithfulness and goodness; that during these times of personally dark experiences, He begins to reveal His loving heart. Then, as you study His Word, you realize your experiences line up with what God revealed about Himself.  This is why I am willing to write this blog, even if it’s figuratively like eating a whale. I am totally aware that there are minds far more brilliant than mine, who are able to answers  these difficult questions,  with answers more adeptly written, and justified by scholarly endeavor.  But what if, knowing this, you press on, because, as the world  becomes more troubled and chaotic, your heart yearns to give assurance that God, most definitely is, a loving, merciful and faithful God. The Holy Spirit is able to teach, even the simple, of things that appears too difficult to fathom.  Therefore, by faith in my Teacher, the Holy Spirit, I take one bite at a time, of this whale sized truth, writing one word, then one sentence, and progressing to a paragraph, while what is whirling around within me takes form within this blog.

Many, including myself, have striven to understand what transpired between God and the enemy in the Book of Job. Just that Satan asked God for access to harm Job and it is seemingly granted, can cause us to have a confused understanding of our Father’s heart. We are tempted to lose faith that God is good and fearful of the “what ifs” in life. Unless our relationship with God is established on a correct assessment of His goodness, we will be subject to unrest of soul, distrust in our Creator, and unwilling to seek Him fully. Ultimately, it will cause us to be more vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy because unbelief and disobedience will move us out of God’s protective umbrella.

Now it’s time to take a bite of this enormous truth.

In the Garden of Eden God’s perfect plan was created and established. He watched with delight as mankind, Adam and Eve, walked, in freedom from fear, harm, sin, sickness, and attacks from the enemy. They strolled together with Him in the cool of the evening, relating to God, uninhibited, and assured of His loving care and provision.

God desired, and continues to desire,  for humanity to voluntarily love Him, to willingly obey Him and joyously pursue Him.  We know, as humans, forced relationships are insincere, and never satisfying.  Thus, in His wisdom, God gave Adam and Eve a choice. When the enemy proposed his tempting options, they could choose to continue in that perfect plan of unity with God, free from defeat, a plan protected by their obedience and faith in Him. Or they could choose to receive the enemy’s erroneous  suggestions about God and walk away from that protection. We, collectively, with Adam and Eve as our representatives, chose the latter. I say, we, because Adam and Eve’s choice is the same choice we all have the potential to make.

With their sinful decision, to disbelieve what God had told them, humanity lost much.   Focusing on one of the losses, the world became vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks. When Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, the history of our warfare with the enemy began. The Word of God states in 1 Peter 5:8.. the enemy roams like a lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Here’s a  list of a few of the enemy’s names:

  •  the accuser of the brethren, Revelation 12:10;
  • a murderer, liar, father of lies, John 8:44;
  • a tempter, Matthew 4:3;
  • a thief who kills, steals and destroys, John 10:9-10;
  •  the power of death and darkness, Hebrews 2:14 and Colossians 1:13.

When you look at this list, it is easy to see why our suffering and pain has been perpetuated. Job was at the mercy of the enemy because of the choice that Adam and Eve made. He was vulnerable to attacks,  as well as blinded by the inner sins of his heart, like self-righteousness, and pride in good works. It never was a question that God lacked love and concern. The end of the story proves God’s motives of love, when Job is more than fully restored.
As the enemy continued prowling to harm, God, knowing when the time was ripe, sent us a Redeemer Savior,  His Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus walked on earth as man, He faced temptation from the enemy, which He overcame by the power of the Holy Spirit in Him. He offered His prayers and encouragement,  and a hope for restoration, for those like Peter that the enemy had targeted.  Luke 22:30-32 AMP…. Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain, but I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren. 

Throughout His time as Man on earth, at the cross and after His resurrection, Jesus succeeded where humanity had failed. Not only did Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, walk free from sin and self,  He resisted the enemy’s ploys to rob Him of  victories He desired for God’s glory, and for our behalf.  1 John 3:8 AMP…The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible)was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil has done. Colossians 1:13 – He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love .

When Jesus died, and rose again, He returned to heaven seated at the right hand of the Father. He gave, and still offers, those that are willing to receive it, His salvation. All that His salvation provides, including salvation from sin and self, would take many blogs. But concentrating on the victory He attained over the enemy, He won that battle because He believed and obeyed the Father, the opposite of what Adam and Eve did. After He had finished His work as Man on earth, He sent us this very same Holy Spirit, if we accept Him, to dwell in us. The Holy Spirit makes us able to conquer the enemy.  Accusations are not received by God for those who have received what the shed blood of Jesus gave.  Through His work in us, hearts are becoming willing to love and serve Him. This is still a voluntary love. It is something we can choose to receive or reject. Those who embrace the worth of that Life given in Love, now have the power to resist the enemy, to become more than conquerors. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory{making us conquerors} through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:57

God had a plan,  all along, to redeem and restore, freeing us from the claws of the enemy, sin and self, bringing us into His Kingdom.  Through all the storms of life, He is there ready to love us toward His perfect plan. When a rain cloud hovers over the mountains, it is hard to see the outline of the mountain slopes. In that same way, when the rain clouds of life hover near us, it is difficult to clearly see the Love of the Father. But His love is there, has always, and will always, be there.  Realizing this whale sized truth sets us free from fear about life, and even death.  He has done what was needed, to conquer the enemy, and given us the Holy Spirit to help us do the same. Now we have opportunity to continually put the enemy under our feet, and to experience His victorious kingdom life here on earth.

Isaiah 30:18 AMP

And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!

Romans 8: 38-39 AMP

 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

connecting with love