God IS Up to Something

(I love it when God shows me a spiritual insight just for me. Yet, I was totally taken by surprise a few days ago when I was working on this blog post—thinking I was writing it for others—and the Holy Spirit told me to apply what I had just written to a recent development in my own life. Sure enough, when the newest blow to my faith was analyzed in light of this new truth, I had to walk in my own words of instruction. Ouch! Sometimes these growing pains just plain hurt.)

 

Ever wonder if God is up to something? Ever think that maybe this hard place where we currently find ourselves is God’s doing? Most of us have a tendency to blame all of life’s ills on Satan, and rightly so, as he is the source of all evil in the world. But God in His extravagant love for us uses even the works of the devil to accomplish His purposes. It is a fact, that in the life of every Christian, God IS definitely up to something.

 

In order to discern the difference in Satan’s attempts to derail believers as we walk with God from God’s holy intent to bless us, we must use our spiritual eyes and ears. A scripture from the Old Testament story about Joseph confirms that God uses bad things for our good. Many years after Joseph’s jealous and conniving brothers sold him into slavery, he told them: “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

 

Read the following statement carefully. Every trial God allows to come our way always has two purposes:

1)  To reveal the power and glory of God at work in the world, and

2)  To conform, train, and mature us to be just like His Son, Jesus.

 

Knowing the objectives of God’s dealings with us will make it easier for us to endure and even use these trials to our advantage. Furthermore, God promises that nothing He allows will be too hard for us, but He will make a way through every trial we face. He even provides an escape hatch in case we find ourselves in water over our heads (1Corinthians 10:13).

 

We can be assured that whatever is going on in our lives today, whether we see it as small and insignificant or gigantic and overwhelming, God IS up to something! He has a plan to make something of eternal value out of our lives, and He is using this very circumstance to shape us for that perfect plan. Actually, He fully intends for us to do the same works that Jesus did (John 14:12). We ask, “What works did Jesus do?” Jesus continuously did two things while He lived on earth—He always pleased His Father, and He always brought glory to God. God expects no less from us.

 

The ability to see and understand that God has a purpose for everything that comes our way is a giant-grown-up step in learning to trust Him. When we learn to truly trust God, we will find the rest and peace that we have longed for. We will begin not only to believe that God is good, but that He is good all the time, even when things appear to be going against us. With our new-found confidence in His love for us, we will soon be able to rejoice in this very trial, and “in everything give thanks for this IS the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

 

Never doubt that God IS up to something! As we move forward, we will study more about what He is up to and how we should respond to Him. God earnestly desires that we discover His goal for our earthly lives and how to tap into His resources to help us reach that goal. Oh, and by the way, when we do, we’ll have found what Jesus called the abundant life. ~ Janie Kellogg

The Biggest Scam Ever

We Americans love our goals. We come in all varieties from record breakers, to trend setters, to fund raisers, to weight losers, to mass marketers. Modern technology helps us track our goals; Facebook and Twitter enable us to announce our successes to the world. Seems if we don’t have goals, we may not accomplish much. But if we believe goals serve a purpose, doesn’t it makes sense to have our sights on the right ones? If goals have power to move us in a new direction, isn’t it important that we’re headed in the right direction?

 

As promised, we are going to take a closer look at the goals of the Apostle Paul, perhaps the greatest Christian ever. His number one goal was clear. We read it in Philippians 3:8 “I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus,” and again in Philippians 3:10 “That I may know Him.” Excellence means superior, better, higher, past supreme; and know means to be aware of, feel, perceive, be sure, and to understand. When Paul wrote Philippians, he was no wet-behind-the-ears, greenhorn convert. He was a mature Christian imprisoned for preaching the gospel. After years of serving God, I hear Paul say he was reaching for a superior, surer awareness, feeling and understanding of God than he currently had. Now don’t misunderstand—he already had plenty, but he wanted more. He wanted it so desperately that he counted everything else a lost cause.

 

I doubt my goals would have been the same as Paul’s in that jailhouse circumstance. No way! I’d be clanging my cup against the bars hollering “Someone get me out of here!” and “Can’t I at least have a cell phone?” or maybe “How about a little decent food around here!” It would not be a pretty picture as I demanded some rights.

 

Paul could probably have walked out of that jail at any time, if he had denounced Jesus as the Son of God and returned to being a Pharisee. But Paul’s aim was higher than physical freedom. He wanted to know God more than he wanted to breathe—literally! Ever wonder how he arrived at that goal or what about God made Paul willing to give his life for Him? (A topic we will explore later.)

 

I believe the biggest scam ever has taken place in our generation! Christians have been conned into seeking the good life rather than seeking God Himself. We have been deceived, as Eve was deceived, causing her to make a bad choice. By the way, deceived people don’t know they are deceived. We too are fed continuous lies about God. They sound something like this: “God isn’t a good God. He doesn’t really love you. His rules keep you from finding happiness.” Satan tempts people to settle for anything but God’s plan. Maybe you’ve heard him cleverly whisper to you: “Take this substitute; it will be better than God’s plan.” I certainly have.

 

Here are some of the substitutes I believe Satan has sold to modern-day Christians. Like Paul, we are encouraged to seek something bigger and better than what we have, but the object of our goals are very different from his. We are coached to reach for our destiny, a more successful career, a larger paycheck, more expensive houses, cars, and vacations, a greater ministry or larger organization. We’re told that bigger is better and better will make us happy. It is all skillfully packaged as the “abundant life.” I’m confident that Paul had none of these things in mind, yet our bookshelves are filled with books on “how to.”

 

We have indeed been scammed! Yet God longs for us to discover the truth about Him, His extravagant love for us, and His real plan for our lives. He wants us to drink deeply from the well of Living Water and eat of the Bread of Life. My spiritual life and possibly yours are starving for the real thing. Hear Jesus say, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water” (John 4:10 NLT). What are you asking Jesus to give you? ~ Janie Kellogg

My One Political Paper of the Year

(It is an election year, so why not? At least one political paper should be expected from most any writer. So here it is—my one political paper of the year. I apologize for its length, but I got on a roll and could not help myself. Whatever you do, don’t miss reading this one and sharing it with a friend. I promise you will be blessed!)

 

For months, I have been watching all (and I do mean all) of the news coverage on the 2012 Presidential election. I came through the two national conventions with my sanity somewhat intact, but shortly thereafter, I began a downward spiral. I found myself sick at my stomach, my nerves on edge, and my head pounding. I was mad at everyone who had anything to do with the mess our nation is in. I continued to rant and rave, wondering why other people don’t think the way I do. It was beyond my comprehension why all Americans cannot see our over-the-cliff and down-the-slippery-slope demise. And furthermore, the non-stop-over-the-top accusations that filled the airwaves were enough to throw me into hysteria.

 

Finally, I realized that I had worked myself into a tizzy, and knew that I probably could not physically, mentally, or emotionally endure another two months of the dirtiest political campaign in history. It clearly was time for a change, so I called on God for divine direction to guide my out-of-control thinking.

 

In the next few days, it came to me from several directions that in order to survive this election and its results, I must keep my eyes on Jesus. I cannot look to the right or the left, but only look up. I must not focus on circumstances, but on God, His power, and His promises. Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep him (her) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he (she) trusts in You.” Anything less will cause me great distress.

 

In trying to keep my eyes on Jesus, I found myself crying out “Lord, help me do this! How can I stay focused on Jesus with the noise of the world blaring around me?” The Apostle Paul gave some good advice in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” To me this means that I should carefully review all thoughts, words, ideals and actions in the light of God’s Word, and reject the ones that don’t pass the test. Clearly, I had some practicing to do.

 

As the week progressed, I spent more time in prayer and in God’s Word, and I replaced news programs with Christian programming. I slowly began casting down some of the heated political arguments of the day with principles from God’s Word. Instead of allowing troublesome current events to exalt their importance, I began to declare God’s preeminence over all things. I gradually realized that a new perspective was emerging in my mind and in my spirit. I had turned a corner.

 

Today I openly confess that I belong to another kingdom, not a kingdom of this world. It is a heavenly kingdom whose ruler is King Jesus, and the government squarely rests on His shoulder. His kingdom is not in disarray; it is not confused, divided, or in debt. The economy there is booming, particularly the housing industry as a large influx of new citizens is expected to arrive any day. Unemployment is non-existent; everyone is in the employment of the King. Because of the King’s priority to provide for the greatest citizens in the kingdom first—the multiplied millions of babies and children—the job market is saturated with well-paying, rewarding jobs to nurture and train them. There are no illegal immigration problems since there is only one Door into the entire kingdom, and no one is allowed to enter unless their name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. There is no lack of food or water, as the Bread of Life is plenteous and Living Water flows freely. There is no sickness or disease, therefore no one cares what’s in the healthcare bill. There is no IRS, ICE, DHR, DOL, DEQ, or EPA. Because no one grows old and retires, there is no need for Social Security, 401K’s and IRA’s. Death and sorrow are unheard of, and no gravestones mark the hillsides as the residents live forever. Neither are there any prisons since everyone has been declared not guilty and set free, making the DOC, DOJ, CIA and FBI completely unnecessary. The Supreme Court is unequivocally supreme having only one Judge. Enemies are no threat to King Jesus; rather they serve as His footstool. Peace permeates throughout that kingdom because the Prince of Peace resides there. Oh, the best part of all is that there are no term limits. Christ shall reign forever more and of His kingdom there shall be no end.

 

It is true! “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard…. what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). This kingdom is more wonderful than my mind can conceive and my heart can believe, mostly because I am still locked into this earthly form. In the limited state I am currently in, I can only imagine!

 

So, dear Christian brothers and sisters, it is time to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, the One to whose kingdom we belong. We have nothing to be depressed about or afraid of. Unlike earthly rulers, King Jesus always makes good on His promises. His record is impeccable! The best use of our short time left on earth is to focus on our next step. It is, in fact, time for us to prepare ourselves for the transition, help as many others to prepare as we possibly can, and then look up for our redemption is drawing very near (Luke 21:28). ~ Janie Kellogg

Goals ~ Do They Matter?

“If you want to succeed,” our teachers, coaches, and mentors tell us, “setting goals is essential.” We are taught to define our goals in some sort of mission statement, write them on brightly-colored post-it notes, and stick them on the refrigerator door, the bathroom mirror, or anywhere we can read them often. It is believed this repetitious programming of our minds actually works.

 

I can mostly relate to that scenario in the area of dieting. God only knows how many times I’ve set a goal for weight loss, either with an organized group of dieters or by myself. I learned early on not to set my goal too aggressively, because experience had taught me that I probably wouldn’t make it.

 

Throughout my life I have been a goal-setter, and I have both successes and failures. But whether our goals are major life-changing measures or simply something to amuse us—like New Year’s resolutions—how seriously we take them determines our chances for success. If we take a casual approach to them, failure is inevitable. I believe that in today’s culture, we increasingly embrace an “It’s OK to fail” policy, and toss our goals out the window.

 

One place where it is definitely not OK to fail or take a casual approach is in our relationship with God. There we should have clear goals, take them seriously, and recognize that failure will have consequences. Does it seem to anyone else that we’ve lost all sense of consequences for our choices or actions? I’m not talking about criminal actions; however, it is not uncommon these days to see people getting by with murder and walking away scot-free. What I am talking about is a trend in our Christian beliefs that God loves us so much that it doesn’t matter what we do. Thus, we take casually our actions and sometimes even our commitments to God, and then assume that He does too. We assume wrong. (See Deuteronomy 23:21; Ecclesiastes 5:5.)

 

So what are the right goals for Christians? Should we view them with a “hit or miss” approach to success? Does God care what our goals are? Does He want us to succeed? Will we be better Christians if we have the right ones? Those are all questions we will tackle in the coming weeks. But first I want to share with you the goal of one of the most admired Christian authors/teachers of modern times—Oswald Chambers.

 

            My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace,

            Not even blessing, but Himself, my God.

 

I have been a reader of Oswald Chamber’s best-selling devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, for 10+ years. I read it every day, realizing that much of it goes poof—straight over my head. But because his writings speak to my thirst for God, I’ve stuck with it. Anyone familiar with his works recognizes that he was a rare saint who had an exceptional walk with God. Next, we will breakdown his goal statement and compare it to the goal of the Apostle Paul and also to our goals as 21st century Christians.

 

Goals matter. Having the right goals will make a difference in how we approach God and our ability to discover His vast treasures for our lives. God wants us to succeed at the right things. It helps when we know what they are!  ~Janie Kellogg

Ask Gabby Douglas

Not long ago I wrote this statement in my journal: What did the Apostle Paul know that I don’t? That was three months and the 2012 Olympics ago. Today I think I know the answer. The Apostle Paul clearly knew the goal of Christianity, as well as his own personal goal. They were the same for Paul, and that fact alone is part of our problem with goals—we have too many!

 

If we were to ask Gabby Douglas what goal brought her to victory in the 2012 Olympics, what do you think would be her answer? Would she tell us that she didn’t have a goal? Not likely. Would she say that her goal was to visit London? I doubt it, since anyone can buy an airline ticket to get there. Could it be that her goal was to be a celebrity? I don’t think so, because doing even senseless things can elevate a person to celebrity status. Was her goal to be on Television? Probably not. We can see people who commit heinous crimes on TV every night of the week. I doubt she would even say that her goal was to possess a gold medal—as you can likely buy a replica. While I don’t know for sure, I suspect that Gabby would say her goal was to be the best gymnast in the world! All the other things are mere by-products of reaching that goal. I dare say that had she been focused on any one of those other things, she would not have won the gold medal. I think Gabby clearly knew her goal, whatever it was, and she never strayed from it, drifted off on some lesser vision, or yielded to thoughts that it was too difficult. That is how I believe Gabby won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics.

 

I also believe that most modern-day Christians, including me, do not have a clear idea of the true goal of Christianity. And not only do we not have a clear idea of the goal we are supposed to be striving for, I believe we have had our eyes on the wrong goal altogether. When the prosperity—live-the-good-life-now—message hit the airwaves several decades ago and Christians bought into it, we made a huge mistake. We settled on the wrong goal, and we’ve been paying the price ever since. We have actually attained some of these wrong goals. For instance, we look prosperous, alive, and busy, but we don’t look like Jesus. Why? We have the wrong goal. It seems that God has blessed us abundantly and we appear to be spiritual, but our lives are void of God’s power. Why? We have the wrong goal. We can quote scriptures about God’s promises to us, but our words don’t match the reality of our lives. Why? We have the wrong goal. There are convincing arguments for these statements in the book of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, Christ’s letters to the churches. I challenge you to read them.

 

If we are genuinely thirsty for the times of refreshing that come from the Lord, we must find the right fountain to drink from. Drinking from other sources simply will not quench our thirst. My feeling is that the church has been drinking from the wrong fountains for a long time, yet we are starving for the living water that Jesus spoke about. Finding that fountain of living water has everything to do with having the right goal.

 

Can we learn something from Gabby Douglas? I think we can. I believe it will benefit us to take a clear look at the superficial goals of the church today and then define what the right goal is for the church and for us personally. Until we have the right goal, the goal of the Apostle Paul, how can we possibly “go for the gold?” We can’t. Anyone thirsty? Stay tuned! ~Janie Kellogg

Some Refreshing Please!

I recently heard someone say they are tired of politics as usual. My first thought was: Who isn’t? At this point, I’m wondering if I can simply endure until the November election is over. Are we not all tired of the blame game, the partisan hullabaloo, the despicable name calling, and the smear and slam strategy? And where has it gotten us? We are a nation more divided than ever before, and at a time when we most need to stand arm-in-arm against the enemies of our freedoms, our values, and our heritage.

 

But then I am also bold enough to say that I’m tired of Christianity as usual. Do we not have some of the same blame-game characteristics in our ranks? How about the denominational hullabaloo or the despicable name calling among Christians, not to mention the smear and slam strategies used against our own church members? Is it possible that the Church of Jesus Christ is more divided today than ever before? And is it not at a most critical time in which we should be standing arm-in-arm against the enemies of our religious freedoms, values, and heritage?

 

I am personally ready for some refreshing from the Lord! I’m ready to be part of the Lord’s army fighting to win the battle against the devil and not against my fellow Christian soldiers. Let’s take a look at a refreshing promise found in Acts 3:19 ~ “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (NAS)

 

When I first read this, I didn’t think it was the verse I was looking for. I searched for others, but the Holy Spirit brought me back to it encouraging me to take a closer look. Finally, I saw it. Read it again. There is a prerequisite to getting the times of refreshing from the Lord—repent and return.

 

Does Christianity ever feel like a set of rules to follow or some formulas that only work part of the time? Ever get thirsty for something fresh from God? Do we not long for a cool drink of spiritual water for our dehydrated souls? If so, we have a clear directive: repent of our sins and turn away from them. But you say, “That is a hard word.” Maybe not. It could be a loving and encouraging word. Think about it—what if you are lost in a desert without water and growing weaker by the minute? Suddenly you see a sign pointing in a clear direction that reads: “Water well ahead.” Would that not be a loving and encouraging word? Certainly! So it is with God’s Word pointing us to His refreshing.

 

Tired of politics as usual? There’s not much we can do about that except to pray for godly leaders and vote accordingly. Tired of Christianity as usual? There is something we can do about that: repent and return! Repent of how we’ve judged others. Repent of things that cause disunity in the church. Repent of our acceptance of sin in our culture. Repent of our slackness in worship and reverence of God’s house and His Word. Repent of following after other gods. Then turn to God, draw close to Him, get into His presence, ask for cleansing, and pray until you feel His love and forgiveness flood your soul. Let Him refresh you with the life-giving Spirit, and don’t stop short of the rivers of living water that flow out of your innermost being  (John 7:38).

 

God’s presence is the only place to get the refreshment we so desperately need—the refreshing our hearts cry out for. He has clearly told us how to get it, and now the rest is up to us. Why, I already feel a cool splashing of spiritual water on my dry and thirsty soul! ~Janie

Where Did the Summer Go?

Where in the world did the summer go? You are probably saying, “My thoughts exactly!” WOW, it skimmed by me so quickly that it nearly left my head swimming. Well, it’s either that or my age that makes me a little light-headed these days. Now let’s see, there was Vacation Bible School, Youth Camp, Kids Camp, Family Reunion, and by now you’re thinking my list sounds a lot like yours. I have news for those of you who haven’t quite reached my age. In just a few years, you are going to look back over your entire life (like you now look back over the summer) and ask “Where in the world did my life go?”

 

I love the credit card commercial on TV that says: Life comes at you fast. Boy does it ever! Yet, memories were made, accomplishments celebrated, friends and family cherished, and I wouldn’t take nothing for any of it. Would you? Life is to be lived and that is what we did.

 

However, I must admit my writer’s blog has been rather stagnant. One precious friend called to ask if I was still writing. She thought perhaps she had been dropped from my distribution list because it had been so long since she’d seen anything from me. The truth is that time simply was not available for such luxuries. Now don’t get me wrong. I have been writing, and writing a lot, but not perfecting anything well enough to publish on the world-wide-web!

 

It has been a summer of learning and growing in my relationship with my Savior, and I trust it has been for you, too. Time is too precious and certainly too short not to be growing closer to Him. My hope is that none of us left Him at home while we were having our fun, nor ignored His gentle calls to speak with us in the quiet moments. If any of us did, now is the time to renew our relationship with our Lord. Any time we come to Him, as He always bids us to do, we only have to turn towards Him, admit our failures, and ask for His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us (I John 1:9), and the next thing you know, we are back into that wonderful life-giving relationship right where we left off. Oh how He wants us to turn to Him and let Him renew, restore, and refresh us. The truth is, He has missed you too.

 

I have written much throughout the summer that I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. As usual, it concerns that secret meeting place with our God that I am learning—ever-learning to access and enjoy. It all hinges on a powerful word called “surrender.” I can’t wait to share it with you. My heart is heavy for the bill of goods that God’s people have been sold. Actually, you could say that the church has been scammed by many of the religious teachers of today. But God always has a plan. God always has a people, a remnant that hasn’t bowed down and worshiped the gods of this world.

 

So stay tuned for more. I am ready for the times of refreshing that come from the Lord. How about you?  ~Janie

 

“Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19 

 

Reflections ~ The Race Called Motherhood

We just celebrated Mother’s Day, and I like to think that we genuinely celebrated Mothers—young and old alike. During a beautiful day spent with my children and grandchildren, I had some time to reflect on this incredible journey of motherhood that I’ve been on for over 40 years. In some strange way, it feels like I’ve been running a race—with all the components that a race entails.

 

The young woman who thinks motherhood ends after nine months of pregnancy and a traumatic trip to the hospital is in for a big surprise. That is only the beginning. Actually, it could be considered the starting gate for the horse race of her life.  It is a race that lasts for many years, and around each turn lays yet another stretch of track with totally new challenges. And I think she probably won’t cross the finish line until she says her final good-byes to her offspring here on earth.

 

This is a race in which she will not compete against other runners—she simply strives to run the best race she can. There will be many winners standing in the winner’s circle, holding the winner’s trophy, and wearing the winner’s wreathe. Like all races, this one also requires strength and endurance, the desire to win, and the willingness to pay the price for preparation and readiness. She needs to know in advance that the condition of her heart is highly important, as a weak heart will never do. Only a strong heart can endure the stress, the work, the sweat and the tears that motherhood demands.

 

The prize in this race of motherhood is neither money nor fame, but it is more akin to a deep sense of accomplishment—although the benefits and the glory will go to someone else.  A successful race may even go unnoticed by many; her hard work passed off as expected, or simply, as her duty. But she will know when she has run a good race. No one will have to tell her anything. It’s a calling fulfilled and an assignment completed. And when at last she reaches the end of her race, the next step will be to hear her Lord say those most desired words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” ~Janie Kellogg

Mothers

In the beginning God made the world, and said that it was good.

All things worked in perfect order, just as He knew it would.

To be sure His creation was complete, God looked all around.

But in all that He had made for man, a helper was not found.

 

 

God decides to make a helpmate, who’ll be the Mother of mankind.

He’ll create her with rare qualities, like jewels hard to find.

Loving-kindness will crown this woman, which so carefully He will make.

He knows that He must make her strong, for the times her heart will break.

 

 

This woman will wear many different hats; be everything to everyone.

She’ll tenderly care for her family, from the time her day’s begun.

Her role will be an unselfish one, as she gives herself to others.

But then that is what God expects, of those He will call Mothers.

 

 

Bearing children will be her greatest task—carry a body inside her own.

Yet God will give her sacrificial love, which comes from Him alone.

She will rock a crying child to sleep, and dry each tiny tear.

She’ll know how to comfort a little one, whose heart is filled with fear.

 

 

Her gentle kiss will soothe the hurts, and help to make them well.

She’ll bake them homemade cookies, and bedtime stories tell.

At night she’ll tuck each child in bed, and teach them how to pray.

And tell them of God’s perfect love, so they will never stray.

 

 

The family chauffeur she will become; between siblings, a referee.

She’ll be asked to help with homework, when she is too tired to see.

With nightlight on she’ll be waiting up, as her teenagers start to date.

And prayer will become her closest friend, when they stay out too late.

 

 

She will help her children to succeed, as she gives to them her best.

With pride she’ll stand to cheer them on, as each one leaves the nest.

They’ll grow up and call her blessed, and this will be rightly so.

She’ll have given them great values; taught them most all they know.

 

 

This special creation that God did make, has blessed the entire earth.

For nothing else that He created, compares to a Mother’s worth.

Her qualities are unsurpassed—her patience, her love, her smile.

So in His vast eternal wisdom, God gives a Mother to every child.  ~Janie Kellogg

Who Said Whitney Houston Couldn’t Sing?

I was recently shocked and saddened by the death of Whitney Houston, perhaps the greatest female vocalist of our time. I was even more shocked to learn that for much of Whitney’s career she struggled with thoughts of inadequacy, such as “I can’t sing good enough,” or “I’m not pretty enough.” Someone tell me how that happened.

 

As a singer and choir director who barely makes the grade—that would be me—I can’t even go there. Those thoughts are absurd. Whitney Houston had a voice to die for! You know what I mean. It’s the same thing those of us who are cheesecake lovers say about cheesecake—cheesecake is to die for! We say that about something we really desire. I can’t help but wonder how many young girls around the world would give their two front teeth to sing just half as good as Whitney Houston, me included.

 

A Whitney-Houston-kind-of-voice will come along perhaps only once or twice in our lifetime. Her perfect pitch, sharpness of tone, incredible range, and the soothing melodious sounds that came from her voice were unmatched. It was angelic in many ways—perhaps the greatest vocal gift God ever bestowed on a human being. And it was truly that—a gift from God.

 

Why then did Whitney think she couldn’t sing good enough? Good enough for what? When you are the best, who is there to compare yourself to? Would you like to know who told her she couldn’t sing? There is simply one answer to my question:  a gross lie of that magnitude could only have come from the father of lies—Satan himself. Yet, it seems impossible that someone as talented and beautiful as Whitney Houston could have doubted her amazing gifts. If we do not yet grasp the power of Satan’s lies, we need only to look at the tragedy of Whitney Houston’s life.

 

Remember that we are in a war—a war of words. God speaks words of love and life to His created sons and daughters, and Satan comes along and announces that God is not believable. As it was with Eve, the resulting outcome of our lives depends on who we choose to believe: God or Satan. When we choose to believe God, we can have the abundant life Jesus promised to believers. When we choose to believe Satan, our lives can be difficult, troubled, and eventually taken from us. The Bible says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). His tactic to take us down always begins with a lie.

 

Please don’t miss my point:  It is critical that we know which voice to believe, because that is the voice we will act on. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed.”  Do you know who you believe? As our beliefs and values are currently being shaken to the core, it is essential that our lives are built on a solid foundation—a foundation of truth. A life built on sinking sand has only one destiny—destruction. Whether we realize it or not, every life is built either on truth or on a lie. There is no neutral ground. If you do not know God’s voice today, you have a great deal of homework to do. The day of testing is upon us, and we must clearly know WHO to believe.  ~Janie Kellogg

 

Note: If you have questions or desire help in knowing God’s voice, please feel free to contact me through the comment feature on my website. Your comments can remain confidential.

Discovering the Indwelling Holy Spirit