Monthly Archives: March 2012

My Story For Your Glory

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. Isaiah 61:7

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this month. The Lord has reminded me of some places I’ve been. It’s not as if I had forgotten any of these places, but He was vividly bringing these places to my memory. These places use to be places of shame. They use to be places of regret. Today, as I view the slide show of my past, it is no longer a place of shame- it is a place that has been healed. Instead of a dark room, there is a window with the Son shining in.

I was watching the show on A&E called Intervention. Many people I know watch that show with horror and disgust. How could anyone reach so low? But I watch with sadness and am always rooting for the treatment to work so these people can start living. I am often saddened when I find out at the end of the show that they relapsed or have gone missing. My heart breaks for them and for their families. I want to shout (sometimes I do), “Don’t do it!” or “Take the help they’re offering you!”

You see, a lot of times our passion comes from something we have been set free from. Thus passion turns into compassion. I am no stranger to addictions. I grew up in a household with an alcoholic and drug addicted mom. I also watched many of her boyfriends come in and out of our lives and abuse alcohol and drugs. I started experimenting with alcohol by the 7th grade. Then when that wasn’t enough, I moved on to drugs. By the time I was in 9th grade I was addicted to the rush of drugs and alcohol. I was blacking out all the time. My life was one game of Russian roulette after another. I didn’t care. My friends and I had no trouble getting what we needed. Anything to numb the pain of reality would do.

By 10th grade the pain of my everyday life was more than I could bear. I moved away from my family from Sacramento, Ca. to Palm Springs, Ca. (I will save that story for another article). I was living a life no 10th grader should be living. I had seen and done so much already. By the time I was 18, I was heavily involved in drugs. Completely out of control. This is where my memory gets a little shady. I would have to be picked up early from my job by my roommate because I was unable to work. I was paranoid and not in a good frame of mind. I would come to work hung over all the time, spiraling down a life of addictions.

By 19, (I had a fake ID), I was a regular at all the local nightclubs. They all knew me. I remember how important I felt when we walked up and they had a huge line to get in, and they opened the rope to let my friends and I in. Now I look back in complete shock that I drove home every single time completely drunk. It is ONLY by the grace of God that someone (myself included) was not injured because of my reckless lifestyle.

As I write about these addictions that completely gripped every area of my life, I almost feel like I’m writing about someone else. Because truly, I am not the same person that was overcome by these addictions. When I gave my heart and life to Christ Jesus at the ripe age of 20, that person from my past was dead. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, ”Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” (AMP). I also love this verse in Isaiah 40:2: “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” This is my story for His glory. Satan tried to do his best to keep me because the reality is, if God can heal me from a life of addictions, there was no way I was going to stay quiet about the goodness of God!

And I no longer need a bouncer at a club to tell me I’m a VIP, because truly in God’s eyes, we are His Very Important People! He fills every area of my heart that used to be so empty.

Recently the Lord took me to Isaiah 61:7. I had read it before, but lately He’s really been speaking to me through this particular passage in regards to my past.

Let’s dig!

Isaiah 61:7- (All information studied from John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible)

“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion.” When the Jews were converted, they no longer carried that reproach; shame. This verse represents double honor in matters civil and religious. Also double portion means to be in great esteem with Christ and all His people.

“And instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.” It was a promise for the Jewish people as it is for us today. Our inheritance or portion means Christ as our portion and ALL of the spiritual blessings we will see ourselves blessed with in Him. We will now have the spirit of grace and supplication poured upon us, and all the gifts and graces of the Spirit bestowed on us, all which will be cause of joy and rejoicing to us.

“And so you will inherit a double portion in your land.” There it is again, double portion. This passage means double honor and restoration. We shall enjoy great plenty of all kind of blessings, temporal and spiritual. Zech. 9:12: ”Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” “And everlasting joy will be yours.” This was also a promise to the Jews that they would no longer be carried captive. That’s for you and me. We will no longer be carried captive!

Look at these verses with me:

Isaiah 35:10: “And the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

Isaiah 51:11: “The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Psalms 126:5: ”Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”

There are some of you reading this that the Lord has showed you a particular area that you still feel shame. Would you allow Him to enter into those places and by the power of His Holy Spirit, ask Him to cleanse you, forgive you and restore those areas? He already knows why we did the things we did in the past; now it’s time to take back what the enemy has stolen. If there’s one thing I know, it is that He will use our story for His glory! God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them (Romans 8:28).

Lord, we come before you now and say, if not for your grace & mercy, who knows where we would be right now? Heal our past so that we can bring glory and honor to Your name. It is our heart’s desire that people would look and see, and say, “Wow, look what the Lord has done.” Take it all, Lord, and use it for kingdom purposes. Today we receive Isaiah 61:7 as our promise from You: A double portion of all that You have to offer in our lives, and no more shame. Let us rejoice in our rich inheritance! Overtake us, Lord, with everlasting joy! Amen!

By the way, if you’re wondering if I have any addictions now, I do. I am completely addicted to Jesus!

Survey Says

Let’s take a little survey. Which voice do you listen to most?

The active voice says- Let’s start our day with some quiet time with the Lord and a little workout or run

The passive voice says- Not today, I have so much to do

The active voice says- Clean house first, then if I have time, maybe my favorite show

The passive voice says- I’m going to watch my shows, then see how much time I have for cleaning later

The active voice says- Even though I don’t ‘feel’ like getting up early, I have so much to do, I know I will be glad I did!

The passive voice says- I was going to wake up early to get stuff done.. maybe tomorrow

The active voice says- Okay kids, let’s play for 20 minuets, then I have to go back to cleaning.

The passive voice says- I can’t play with you tonight, I have too much to do.

The more we listen to the active voice in our head, the easier these decisions are to make. We train our brain on what is the wise choice and the more we do it, the easier it becomes. On the flip side, the more we listen to the passive voice in our head, the more it’s going to feel like moving a bag of bricks anytime these choices come up. In reality, we will see a much more fulfilled life if we do the things we know we should do before all of the other things.

I compare this to listening to the Holy Spirit. Ask the Lord to help you be led by the Holy Spirit through-out your day. But remember, He is a gentle God, not a forceful God. He will never force His will on you. It begins with little things. The more we obey the Holy Spirits leadings and promptings, #1- the easier it will be to recognize the Holy Spirits prompting and #2- the more we say yes & obey, the easier it will be to say yes more and more to the Holy Spirit.

So who’s voice are you listening to today? If you’ve been living your life, allowing your ‘feelings’ to dominate you, it will be hard in the beginning. I’ve had to flat-out tell myself, “Celeste, no!” Joyce Meyers said, “The more you say no to the flesh and yes to God, the more freedom you will have”.  We can choose today life or death. What will you choose? Your Spirit man is like a muscle. The more you exercise Him, the stronger He becomes in you. And the less you listen to Him, the weaker He becomes. Say no to the flesh today and yes to life!

  Galatians 5:16-18- So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateveryou want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Caution- Fasten Seat Belt- Turbulence Up Ahead

turbulence ahead

This journey may be bumpy at times but keep your eye on the destination

When your on an airplane and it starts to get bumpy, you can’t jump off or scream to stop the ride- so why do we try to do that in life? Just think of all the destinations we would have missed!

The Bible represents your seat belt. When life get’s bumpy and you don’t know what to do or who to turn to, may I suggest reading God’s Word? This book is full of life saving devices!

Keep traveling to that sweet place regardless of the turbulence; your destinations are always different: to get a baby to sleep through the night, that promotion, peace in your heart, disciplining your kids, working through marriage issues. You will get there- just hold on. Don’t  try to jump off. Fasten your ‘seat-belt’. And endure the rough patches to get to your sweet spot.

Lord, I will be the first to admit that sometimes when things get tough, I’m quick to look for the exit sign. Looking back, I’m so glad I didn’t jump or take the next stop at Easy Street. Help me when times get tough to fasten myself to Your Word. And I know that as I remain faithful and endure the bumpy spots, that there is a destination that will be much sweeter than anything I could have ever dreamed or imagined.

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7