I’m Salty – Sorry. Not Sorry!

Jesus was clear about our purpose on the earth in Matthew 5: 13:

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

All other purposes or visions for our lives should spring from this main purpose.

We were commanded to mix and mingle and share our faith. 
We were created to constantly remain the transformational agent in every scenario.

We are called to be the “salt of the earth” even when we are upset and bitter or caught up in our emotions. 

How does this command manifest itself in our everyday lives?

Salt must be mixed with other substances to work. “Salt must be mingled with the substance to which it is added; it must penetrate and infuse in order to preserve. So it is through personal contact and association that men are reached by the saving power of the gospel. ” Ellen G. White. Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 36. We must show ourselves as friendly and mingle with others to make a lasting impact in their lives. 

Salt preserves. Are we helping to improve a situation and keep decay from happening? 

Salt is valuable. Are our actions, adding value to our relationships?

Salt purifies, softens and melts hard ice. Are our actions bringing out the best in others?

Salt heals. Do our words or actions heal others or prevent the toxicity in their lives from destroying them?

The command to be “salt of the earth” is a high one. Still, it is our main purpose for being. We are to enhance and give meaning to life, and the lives of others. This is why it is imperative that we ourselves be personally transformed from the inside out. For, if we have not been changed, we cannot bring out the “God flavors” of this earth or more realistically within our own every day engagements and interactions.

Unfortunately, if we run from our calling to be salt, we will lose our influence as followers of Christ and be “trampled on”.

“Salt that has lost its savor is like a fruitless tree. It occupies needed space, and it raises false hopes-causing both waste and disappointment. How may we, then, avoid becoming as savorless salt? From the beginning, peoples who have been set aside to be special representatives of God have had a problem keeping God at the center of their faith. And without His being at the center of our lives, we become the center of our own lives. And that is the sure way to unfaithfulness. We are utterly tasteless without the life of Christ flavoring our lives.” Anon.

This week, I am partnering with God to add a little flavour to my friendship circle, on my job, in my relationships, my neighbourhood and in my church. I challenge you to do the same.

Love,

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette

Who’s the Messenger?

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed” is a saying that my mother constantly references.

It simply means that if you know about something before it happens, you prepare yourself for it.

And God in His great love for us always gives us adequate warning and insight to prepare for an impending trial or circumstances that have the potential to shake the very core of our faith, if we are caught off-guard and unprepared.

Several references are made throughout the bible of God providing deep insights to common individuals about something that will happen in the future. These individuals were tasked with warning or sharing the revelation that they received from God with those within their circle of influence.

Some well known examples include Noah, Jeremiah and Nathan.

Noah was tasked with warning the heinous society that he lived in about the impending flood (Genesis 6); Jeremiah was also called to minister to a decaying nation and preach a word of reformation and revival. Still, his message was mocked and ignored and he received more failure in his ministry than success; Nathan also served as a messenger with a harsh truth to King David in the midst of his adultery scandal.

Each of these messengers had two things in common:

1. They were given a message from God

2. They obeyed God, even if it risked their lives, brought them little success and disfavour from those around them

In 2 Chronicles 20, we encounter two types of messengers.

1. The people who told Jehoshaphat that the armies were encamped around the city and were preparing for war. It was the message from the small group in the beginning of the chapter, that alerted Jehoshaphat of the danger ahead and led him to call a period of fasting and praying throughout the nation.

There was also Jahaziel, son of Zechariah, who was filled with the Holy Spirit and declared a promise of comfort in the midst of the emotional uproar:

Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation;

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you. (Versus 14 – 17)

It was Jahaziel’s revelation that provided Israel with the comfort and direction they needed to defeat those who were coming against them.

God used these messengers to speak to Jehoshaphat. And He still uses messengers in our lives to alert us of something that we are unaware of. He also uses messengers to offer us spirit-led direction and comfort so that we can face our varied warlords without fear and in confidence.

These messengers are mere tools in God’s plan to always keep us one step ahead of the enemy and ahead of those who work against us.

Interestingly sometimes, we mistrust the messenger and receive the message with skepticism. Other times, we reject the message entirely.

I want to encourage you to allow that skepticism to direct you to genuine prayer with God so that His Spirit can confirm what the messenger shared.

When God reveals, He always confirms. And what He confirms, always aligns with His word.

My testimony: A few weeks ago, God ushered a messenger into my life with a message of an impending plot against me. I was stunned as I was hurt. And like Jehoshaphat, I rallied my prayer circle and we fasted and prayed about what was revealed. Throughout that period, God confirmed that the alert that I received was genuine; He also revealed clear instructions that I would have to follow. Since then, I have followed His instructions and He is still dismantling and disrupting the plans that were strategically set to harm me.

This situation has deepened my appreciation for the creative ways God forewarns and forearms us.

Your charge: There is a messenger in your life who God has equipped to speak comfort and wisdom into your present situation as well as the next. Embrace those messages. Spirit-proof them through prayer. Remain obedient and comforted and remember, this battle is not yours to win, but God’s.

Love,

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette

Positioning Yourself to Win like Jehoshaphat

If you’ve ever had opposition from external forces desperate to destroy your life, your reputation and your faith, you could relate to Jehoshaphat’s crisis found in 2 Chronicles 20.

His enemies, the Moabites, Ammonites and the Meunites joined forces to make war against him. The vandal horde was planning an invasion to destroy Judah and humble the nation in the eyes of the other nations.

News of this plan of invasion reached a messenger of Jehoshaphat who told the king of the startling news:

“A huge force is on its way from beyond the Dead Sea to fight you. There’s no time to waste—they’re already at Hazazon Tamar, the oasis of En Gedi.” (verse 1, 2)

Shaken, Jehoshaphat prayed.

This courageous leader, who had spent years strengthening his armies to meet any enemy, recognized that this crisis warranted a different fighting approach. To win this battle required earnest prayer.

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Alfred Lord Tennyson

Jehoshaphat poured out his soul to God in prayer and he ordered a nationwide fast and prayer. And, the people of Israel united themselves to seek God’s help through prayer.

“Then Jehoshaphat took a position before the assembled people of Judah and Jerusalem at The Temple of God in front of the new courtyard and said, “O God, God of our ancestors, are you not God in heaven above and ruler of all kingdoms below? You hold all power and might in your fist—no one stands a chance against you! And didn’t you make the natives of this land leave as you brought your people Israel in, turning it over permanently to your people Israel, the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived here and built a holy house of worship to honor you, saying, ‘When the worst happens—whether war or flood or disease or famine—and we take our place before this Temple (we know you are personally present in this place!) and pray out our pain and trouble, we know that you will listen and give victory.’ “And now it’s happened: men from Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir have shown up. You didn’t let Israel touch them when we got here at first—we detoured around them and didn’t lay a hand on them. And now they’ve come to kick us out of the country you gave us. O dear God, won’t you take care of them? We’re helpless before this vandal horde ready to attack us. We don’t know what to do; we’re looking to you.” (verses 5 – 12)

As their united hearts were lifted toward heaven and waited for a word from God, Jahaziel, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit declared from the Lord:

“Don’t be afraid; don’t pay any mind to this vandal horde. This is God’s war, not yours.” (verse 15)

When they heard this word, with a grateful heart, Jehoshaphat knelt down and thanked God in prayer. All who were present did the same.

The next morning, Jehoshaphat sent out the army and appointed a choir to lead the army.

As soon as they started praising, God set ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir and in a state of confusion, they attacked each other and all ended up dead.

When Judah came to the wilderness of Tekoa, they saw only dead bodies.

God had won the battle for them as He had promised.

This will be your testimony.

Although external forces will come against you to destroy you or bring you to shame, they will not win. Because, they are not fighting against you. They are fighting against God. And any force, group, body or person that comes against God loses.

“There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, Nor are there any works like Yours.” Psalm 86: 6

They may seem stronger and more powerful than you. Even still, they will not hurt you. Because they are not fighting against you. They are fighting against God. And any force, group, body or person that comes against God loses.

“Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.” Exodus 15: 6

Like Jehoshaphat, even if you are terrified and shaken…pray.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5: 14, 15)

Summon all of heaven and pour out your heart to God. Don’t skip any detail. Tell Him everything and most importantly take hold of His promises.

When you’ve done this, start praising God.

Move through your days as normal, but still praise God.

And while you praise Him, God in His powerful way, dismantle the plans of those who are working against you. He will confuse their efforts. He will stop them in their tracks, killing any plan that was in place to hurt you, destroy you and shame you.

This is the comfort we have as believers: even when we are surrounded by adversity and sheer wickedness, when we genuinely pray, God will do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves: Win the war.

Love,

Dee

Wee Little Man

The chief among publicans was detested by many for his fraudulent practices (he stole from the poor to support his selfish desires). Still, even defined by his abhorrent actions, there was room in Zacchaeus’ heart for more – something that was honest.

Jesus’ words, through the preaching of John the Baptist at the Jordan, provided that “more” and honesty that he was looking for. He was stirred through conviction to repentance. He was stirred so greatly that he begun the process of righting his wrongs with others. That is, giving back to the poor four times as much as he stole from them.

Zacchaeus’ path toward restoration did not end with rebuilding the broken relationships he helped to create. It led him to seek the presence of Jesus.

This took guts. It takes gut not to become satisfied only in restoring our relationship with others. It takes guts to move beyond that peace and satisfaction and take a daring course of action to gain a clearer view of the Savior or move into a deeper encounter with Him.

Zacchaeus had guts.

His search for a clearer view of Jesus came at the right time as Jesus was scheduled to pass through his home town. Zacchaeus climbed a tree to glimpse the Savior and when their eyes connected, Jesus instructed him to come down because He was going to his house.

Jesus, the Holy One was going to the house to spend time with one who was far from holy.

Let’s pause. Long before Zacchaeus was led to climb that tree to see Jesus, God had already carefully planted that tree and nurtured it until the day it was needed. He provided a way for Zacchaeus to gain the advantage of seeing the Savior long before he even acknowledged his heart’s desire to see the Savior. That was grace in all its glory then (love given when he didn’t deserve it, before he needed it). And this grace is still working behind the scenes for us in this moment.

It’s comforting to know that when I am finally honest with myself and the Holy Spirit, God will provide a solution or way to help me gain a clearer glimpse of Jesus. For, only when our hearts are susceptible to divine influences and awakened with a genuine desire for a life that is better, can God begin aligning people, places and opportunities in our path, according to His will, to lead us closer to Him.

Shell-shocked, Zacchaeus made his way down and led the way to his house.

Salvation had come to Zaccheaus’ house as stated by Jesus.

The Savior’s visit and blessing not only fell upon Zacchaeus but it touched and impacted all who lived in his house too. That’s how far reaching the power of God’s love is – when we allow Jesus’ love into our homes or “hearts”, He not only blesses us but those whom we interact with daily as well. His blessings to us, overflow to those within our circle of influence.

If there be some relationship that we have sustained with everything but integrity, the Holy Spirit is able to come within us, transform our thinking and being, so that we can right those relationships or restore them to complete health. But before this happens, our desire for change must be genuine and our hearts must be open and vulnerable to the Spirit’s convicting, leading and healing. And even before that happens, God has already provided a solution before there is a need. His love brings what He does behind the scenes, what the Holy Spirit does in our lives and what we do in the lives of others, together….beautifully and perfectly.

“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6: 8

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette