Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for anyone who comes to God must believe that God is a real person and that He desires and will reward anyone who diligently seeks Him. (Heb.  11:1&6)

This is an invitation! An invitation to come up higher, to come in deeper. Jesus gives invitations constantly to those who have ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart that is not cowardly. What will you do with the faith invitations of God? Did you ever think that His invitations of faith are really invites to receive more of Him? They really are if we will have the courage to accept them.  Stepping out in faith involves a risk but the consequences for not stepping out in the invitation are even more risky. It is important to know that all that will accept the invitations of Christ will not walk out life as “business as usual”. Your life will be disrupted..your plans will be unsettled, your routine will be constantly challenged. We are being asked to take steps in the invisible realm while remaining in a visible world.

The reality is that all of life involves risk and change.  Nothing in this life remains the same or goes unchallenged…so we get the choice.   We can either change according to the world’s invitations or change according to the ebbs and tides of walking out the faith journey with the Lord. Truly, accepting His invitations of faith will cause us to be stretched in many ways. There will be choices we are offered through daily circumstances and some will involve making life changing decisions to accept His invitation but these choices don’t seem so daunting when we realize all of these decisions come down to how much do we trust Him with ourselves?

Taking faith steps to diligently seek Christ requires focus and purpose.  It is not something you can do “on the fly”. It will involve putting some lesser things away in order to gain the greater things of Him. It will involve redirecting time and living life different.  All this is part of accepting the invitation to walk the faith journey with Him, all the while knowing that He is totally worth the challenges that may come.

Recently Jesus has extended an invitation to me to walk a different faith journey with Him than I have in the past.  My invitation to come up higher, learn more of what it means to live in Him, walk in His provision and trust Him in deeper ways.  It involves lots of risks but I have determined to walk it out.  I am starting to realize that if I really want to see Jesus move in supernatural ways in my life I can’t do this while living the “daily routine” of life as usual. Seeing Jesus move differently in our lives involves us living life differently.

May we each enjoy the journey!

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THE LEADERSHIP OF GOD IS PERFECT –

But it doesn’t always make sense

We say it so easily..”Lord, I trust your leadership. Your leadership is perfect”. But the reality is that the perfect leadership of Jesus rarely makes sense to the natural mind or nor does it fit into our plans, dreams or ambitions we have for ourselves.  There are many examples of this in the scriptures.  Many stories of people’s lives changed forever due to the ‘perfect leadership of Christ’.  I think of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  We must remember she was in the perfect leadership of God when she was found to be pregnant and wasn’t yet married.  Ever wonder how many actually believed this story of her being impregnated by the Spirit of God?  Not many from what we read in the scriptures.  Even Joseph, the man she was to marry didn’t believe it at first and had to be convinced by an angel, Gabriel, that this was indeed God working through Mary to bring forth His Son. (Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 2:26-38)  Wonder how that must have felt to Mary..being misunderstood, talked about, having to endure the ridicule and stigma of being a “fallen woman” when she knew the truth of her pregnancy but no one believed her.  – Your leadership is perfect Lord, but this makes no sense!

What about Isaiah, the prophet?  “Isaiah, I want you to take off all your clothes, including your shoes and I want you to walk naked and barefoot for 3 years as a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia”. (Isa. 20:1-4) Ever think of the problems that probably caused Isaiah with everyone else in the community when he walked in obedience to what God called him to do?  I am sure it must have been much more than uncomfortable to submit to the leadership of God in this way…but he did it. Isaiah endured the shame, ridicule, misunderstanding and emotional pain.  –Your leadership is perfect Lord, but it makes no sense!

Take a look at Hosea. “Go marry a prostitute, Hosea, and have children by her as a testament that Israel has committed great harlotry and departed from Me.”(Hosea 1:1-9) – Even wonder how many young men would want to walk that assignment of the Lord out in their own lives?  Not many men are open to the idea of sharing their wives with one man let alone with many men as it seemed this was Gomer’s profession both before and even after she was married to Hosea. Ever wonder how Hosea felt about the “perfect leadership of God” under these circumstances?  A flood of emotional challenges come to my mind when thinking of this…both for Hosea, Gomer and their children. – Your leadership is perfect Lord, but it makes no sense.

Lastly look at Esther, pulled from her home to become latest queen of an ungodly king. She would be queen to a man who had just dismissed his last wife due to her refusing to parade herself as a piece of property to a group of drunken men.  Ever wonder what was going through Esther’s mind when she was being prepared to be presented to this egotistical king so he could make his choice of which young woman he would choose to be his next queen.  (Esther 2)   Pretty sure this was not what she had envisioned her wedding day to be like.  – Your leadership is perfect, Lord, but it makes no sense.

Each of the examples given were leaders being led by the Great Shepherd. Each was faced with a choice when it came to stepping out into the seemingly impossible realm of walking in obedience to God, The Father in the realms of faith.  As leaders each of us will be faced with what will look like “impossible” circumstances..Indeed many of us have already faced some or many of these.  Remember there is “no idle thing” each act of obedience creates an atmosphere for Christ to work. This brings deliverance, healing, salvation, and supernatural realms of faith to be walked in.  As leaders, we take nothing lightly for we know that everything we do is seen by God and man as either an act of the flesh leading to destruction or an act of faith leading to deeper revelation.  We get to choose by how we live and how we obey.

My prayer and desire for each of us is that we will take those seemingly impossible steps of faith and see them for what they are…divine opportunities to the glories of Christ.

Venetia Carpenter

Ecclesia International Ministries

ecclesiaministries@sbcglobal.net

 

 

ECCLESIA INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES

Presents

 

WOMEN ARMED FOR KINGDOM PURPOSES

Monthly Meetings beginning in May 2012

 

PURPOSE: To provide spiritual and emotional support for women leaders through prayer, fellowship and biblical instruction. To provide a place for leaders to come be refreshed, receive ministry and share with other women leaders in a context of unity, love, and service with Holy Spirit. To allow Jesus to come among us filling us with more of Himself as we go out to minister, serve and equip others.

 

WHERE: Various venues – to be announced each month.  Each session will include a meal/snacks, short teaching/exhortation, prayer and ministry time.

 

RESOURCES:  Prayer support (face to face, via phone and email), connections with other women leaders, traveling companions (short or long term), One on One meetings, Skype connections, monthly WOW blasts – Holy Spirit lead.  Conferences and connections with other women leader’s ministries.

 

WHO:  Strong women leaders. Women who want to learn from other women in a spirit of humility, service and love. Women desiring to link arms with other women leaders in the city. Those seeking refreshment, support and encouragement.

 

CONTACT:  Venetia at ecclesiaministries@sbcglobal.net for more information.