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

Shoreless Influence

Throw a pebble into the lake, and a wave is formed; and another and another; and as they increase, the circle widens, until it reaches the very shore.

So it is too with our influence.

Beyond our knowledge or control, our influence is as far- reaching as eternity.

It is either a blessing or a curse to those in our lives. For, we are all surrounded by an atmosphere of our own,–an atmosphere, that may be, charged with the lifegiving power of faith, courage, and hope, and sweet with the fragrance of love or heavy and chill with the gloom of discontent and selfishness, or poisonous with the deadly taint of cherished sin.

By this atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come into contact is consciously or unconsciously affected.

So what can we say of our influence?

Is it enhancing our inner circles?

Is it reforming or preserving power in the world?

Is it counterworking the destroying, corrupting influence of evil?

Is it reflecting the Spirit of Jesus to those in need?

Ellen G. White says, “Every act of our lives affects others for good or evil. Our influence is tending upward or downward; it is felt, acted upon, and to a greater or less degree reproduced by others. If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same beneficial influence upon others, and thus hundreds and thousands are affected by our unconscious influence. If we by acts strengthen or force into activity the evil powers possessed by those around us, we share their sin, and will have to render an account for the good we might have done them and did not do, because we made not God our strength, our guide, our counselor.”

If for some reason you still believe that your influence is insignificant and your obedience to God goes unnoticed, consider our first Shero of the week – Belshazzar’s grandmother.

Belshazzar, king of Babylon and son of Nebuchadnezzar, was in the midst of a raucous party in Babylon, surrounded by a thousand of his lords, his wives and his concubines. In the mist of the party, Belshazzar saw a hand that began to write on the wall with long and elegant strokes. With his knees knocking and his face growing pale and terrified, Belshazzar was unable to understand the mysterious writing.

It was his grandmother who then instructed him to call on Daniel, the faithful Jewish visionary who had guided her husband, King Nebuchadnezzar, through many trials, including hallucinations, dreams and insanity.

Daniel, now an old man, was found, and read the message on the wall.

Belshazzar had forgotten Daniel but because of Daniel’s great influence, the grandmother of the king, remembered him a time of need. And because of her great influence, Daniel was called to the king.

Belshazzar’s grandmother remembered that Daniel had given the king, her husband, a sense of order and God’s presence through his difficult trials back in the day. She had seen Daniel and his friends walk through flames and not be burned; she had seen hungry lions lay down before him when he was thrown to them for food. She knew he was a holy man, one of God’s people.

When everyone in the kingdom had forgotten the influence of Daniel, one woman remembered him and His God.

When everyone was carried away by the terror of the evening, one woman, sober and quietly, used her influence for good.

I am comforted that God always registers the silent good work I am doing. Even though it may not be advertised or broadcasted.

I am also glad that in the right moments, He brings wise counsel to my mind to share with those in need.

No act that we commit is without notice or influence.

And if for some reason you believe that you are too young, too inexperienced to influence an older peer; or too poor, too ordinary to influence someone who is wealthier than you are; or you are too shy, or too uncultured to be used by God, consider the story of Naaman and the servant girl, our second Shero of the week.

Naaman, was a high-ranking military commander, yet it was his servant who led him to be cured of leprosy.

The young servant girl urged Naaman to follow the prophet’s Elisha’s orders to bathe in the Jordan River and because of her influence, Naaman obeyed the prophet and was restored to health.

Ellen G. White says, “Every person is exerting an influence upon the lives of others. We must either be as a light to brighten and cheer their path, or as a desolating tempest to destroy. We are either leading our associates upward to happiness and immortal life, or downward to sorrow and eternal ruin.”

God doesn’t need us to have a high ranking status, qualifications or years of experience to exert a powerful influence on His behalf to others.

He just needs your heart as He needs mine.

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

Ambush Predator

Like the lion that waits until the right time to pounce on its prey, the devil waits until we are vulnerable to strike his hardest.

He lays in wait to tempt us with assaults of varying degrees to frustrate , discourage and distract us.

Sometimes, he remains hidden while he lurks and waits for the right time to attack and many times he camouflages himself through other people whom we trust.

Whatever his strategy, he patiently waits to devour us.

Just ask Jesus while He was tempted in the wilderness.

The devil waits until we finally begin to believe our daily affirmations to inject half-truths into our minds through persons of influence around us. He waits until we finally take a leap of faith to frustrate us through doubt-feeding situations. He waits until we can “finally breathe” to knock the little wind we have left with a disappointing unfolding.

This is how the devil operates – it is no wonder we are counseled in Matthew 26: 41 to “watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation….” For, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

And because of this sobering reality, we cannot afford to become comfortable, careless or irresponsible or give into trifling emotions, for, without permission or notice, we will be devoured by the devil.

Still, thankfully, even when we become vulnerable or complacent and lower the guard of God around our lives, giving the devil ground to pounce and attack, God has a hand behind the scenes – controlling every single move.

Nothing happens without His knowledge or permission.

Love,

Dee

(c) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette