Treasure In Earthen Vessels

Discovering the Indwelling Holy Spirit

What Revival Looks Like ~ May 4, 2018

Filed under: Christian Growth — Janie Kellogg @ 3:10 pm
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The man of God plows deep this week. Things buried beneath the surface far too long are turned upward, exposing them to the Light of the World. The Sun of Righteousness has work to do in His field.

There is a stirring—a breaking up of what is not in clear sight. Yielding to the sharpened plow, hidden things are disturbed and dislodged from their dark, comfortable places. With each subsequent pass the heart-soil is tilled over and over—pulverized until useful once more—and made ready for good seeds to sprout, grow up, and produce a harvest.

Somewhere in the process an exchange is made: uprooted feelings, grudges, mindsets, opinions, and prejudices are replaced with repentance, compassion, mercy, love for more than one’s own, and a gut-level desire to serve rather than to be served.

Seeds of hope are planted within that freshly cultivated ground—hope of being alive again and fit for the Master’s use.

Thank God for plowing His field. ~ Janie Kellogg

 

 

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Revival ~ Will it come and when? April 8, 2014

Nearly all of us say that we want Revival to come. We want an outpouring of God’s Spirit on us and others. We’d like to see huge masses of lost humanity turn to God. Our nation could certainly use a sweeping move of God, resulting in a return to moral values, honesty, purity, and goodness. Who among us wouldn’t like to see our churches filled to overflowing with people hungry for God? Bring it on! But will it ever come and, if so, when?

 

Good questions that I would like the answers to. Just this morning I was seeking God for that very thing, and in His faithfulness, He spoke to my heart. Afterwards, I wasn’t so sure I really wanted to hear the answer, but I wrote it down just the same.

 

I had been thinking about what is the greatest battle in my life. I determined that it is not the struggle to climb the corporate ladder, to make great financial gain, to store up for retirement, to become a VIP (very important person), or to have a huge influence anywhere for that matter. The biggest battle in my life is overcoming self. We must remember who self is or none of this will make sense: Self is Satan’s representative in my life and yours, inherited from the fall in the Garden of Eden.

 

Please bear with me for another writing on self. It’s not that I’m obsessed with the notion of dying-to-self; but since the awareness of who self is, I have gained clearer understanding of many of the gospel writings. It has been revolutionary, to say the least.

 

Now back to the garden—I can’t help but wonder if Eve had known who the serpent was, would she have made a different choice? If she had known that she was dealing with God’s greatest enemy, disguised as a serpent (the most beautiful of God’s creation) would she have even given him the time of day?

 

What about us? What about me? How often in a day’s time do I listen to God’s greatest enemy by way of his representative inside me? Is that not high treason on my part? Does it not align me on the wrong side of things? How can I knowingly choose to fight on the opposing side of right? Or am I like Eve, I don’t know who I am talking to so I take the bait? And like Eve, if I had just known it was Satan, I might have made a different choice. Really?

 

O God, open our eyes and let us see who it is that we are listening to! Is he not clothed as an angel of light? Does he have some slick story for me about how mistreated and abused I have been, and how, if only I would listen to him, things would get better? Will I look back and think with regret “If I had only known I was listening to a deceiver!”

 

It is actually quite simple to sort out who we are listening to: If our thoughts feed or benefit self in any way, we are listening to the voice of God’s enemy! Satan’s representative is actively trying to get us to fall for selfish lies and untruths. I am quite certain that we are listening.

 

Only you and I can determine if we are going to continue to listen to God’s enemy and our enemy. If we continue to feed on thoughts that lead to accusations, resentment, unforgiveness, ugliness, hatred, and evil of any kind—WE ARE BEING TRICKED!  We have yielded our members as instruments of unrighteousness (Romans 6:13), and we have aligned ourselves on the wrong side of right. What we need most is not sympathy from our friends, understanding for those who feel our pain, or for God to fix a bunch of other folks. We need a trip to the foot of the cross for repentance while we plead for a heaping portion of God’s great mercy!

 

We are more valuable to the Kingdom of God, not when we know the answer or preach the answer or write the answer, but when we BECOME the answer. How long has it been since we have been on our knees repenting before God for yielding our members as instruments of unrighteousness and begging for God’s forgiveness; actively and purposefully forgiving others; and then if necessary, asking those we have offended for their forgiveness as well?

 

God made it very clear to me this morning: When this happens among My people, revival will come.

 

We say that we long for REVIVAL and REST. Please don’t miss the word rest here. Yet, God offers it to us—if we are willing to do the hard work of repentance. But wait, God said that we don’t truly want it:

 

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength; but you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30:15)

 

The answers to the questions: “Will revival come and when?” are clearly up to us—God’s people—not the unsaved, or the ungodly, or those sinners. I know where I’m spending the afternoon. “Oh, the cross; oh, the cross; the cross is my confession.”1

 

Thank You, Dear God, for not giving us rest until we have done what you require of us! ~ Janie Kellogg

 

1Kari Jobe, The Cross is My Confession

 

 

Doing something is what we are about ~ even if it doesn’t work January 20, 2014

Filed under: Vision — Janie Kellogg @ 8:37 pm
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It comes as little surprise to anyone that doing nothing is not the best option for almost any problem we face. Actually, the only time that doing nothing is acceptable is when God says to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” In those times, it is totally in our best interest to do nothing.

 

But instructions to do nothing are rare. God most often gives us something to do, and our greatest challenge is to hear from Him what that something is. While God’s Word is full of commands and guidelines in any given situation, we humans have a tendency to make up our own rules.

 

When God says “believe,” we doubt that believing will be enough.

When He says “trust,” we try to change the circumstances.

When He tells us to “wait,” we rush ahead to accomplish our own goals.

 

As proactive get-er-done people, doing something is what we are about—even if it doesn’t work!

 

In fact, we are so busy doing what we think are the right things that we don’t have time to find out what God actually wants us to do. I fear that is the case in restoring America, repairing our communities and schools, reviving our churches, salvaging our families, and most importantly, saving ourselves from the demise of overload, both physically and spiritually.

 

The truth is—we are tired. We are tired from doing all the many things we believe will fix our problems; yet the things we have spent our energy doing haven’t worked. For starters:

 

  • We hear a Politian commit to fix the nation’s problems; yet all too soon we are vastly disappointed. We quickly look for the next Politian.
  • We participate in an improvement program in our community or school, and eventually see that the task is too big and our resources too small. We set out to recruit more people and raise more money.
  • We get excited when our church announces a new trendy campaign to revive it members, but after it has come and gone, little had changed. We don’t understand why it failed, since it seemed like such a great plan.
  • We commit to spending more time with our family, but when work, school, and sports scream for attention, we yield to their      demands. Family relationships suffer, and we whine because it has to be so hard.
  • And then there is our personal time with God—what we call a “quiet time.” Since there’s no quiet time to be had in my life, surely God understands and will let me off the hook. I’m sure I’ll do better next year, or when the kids grow up, and definitely when I retire.

 

Does any of that sound like your life? It does mine. So why is doing what seems to be perfectly good ideas not working for us?  Here’s why:

 

God did not tell us to look to political leaders for the answers.

God did not promise that our communities and schools will be better through humanitarian efforts.

God is not obligated to bring revival to His people through any manmade campaign.

God said that we will reap what we sow, and family relationships are not exempt.

God does not reveal Himself to those who want to spend time with Him—only to those who do.

 

Be assured that God has something for us to do! Doing nothing or doing the wrong things will never yield the right results. Our nation, communities, schools, churches, families and personal lives are suffering today because we have done too much of the wrong things.

 

It is surprising when at last we discover what it is that God wants us to do. It is not hard, or difficult, or impossible. We would not give our children something to do that was beyond their capability. And neither would God!  ~ Janie Kellogg

 

My Three New Year’s Wishes January 8, 2013

Filed under: Encouragement — Janie Kellogg @ 7:29 pm
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As the first day of 2013 dawned last Tuesday, I found myself wondering what the year would hold for me and my family, my nation, and my world. At the dismal close of 2012, it seemed as if the whole world were spinning out of control. Even while reading Christmas card wishes for a “Happy and Prosperous New Year,” I doubted that happy and prosperous were likely, in light of such gigantic problems.

 

In my quiet time with God that sun-sprayed morning, I focused on what things could make this a happy and prosperous year. My Holy House Guest led me 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter is commonly known as the love chapter, because it defines what love is in real terms, not what Hollywood or country music say it is. We should re-read it often. The writer also speaks of things that will go away after Jesus returns to earth, but what caught my attention were the three things that will remainfaith, hope, and love. As I pondered the uncertainly of the next 365 days, I wrote in my journal that faith, hope, and love were my three New Year’s wishes for both me and my troubled world.

 

My first wish is for faith. Personally, I wish for faith to write God’s message with power and clarity, for faith to win the lost to Christ, and faith to move mountains of fear and unbelief anywhere I encounter them. Within the body of believers, I wish for faith that results in signs and wonders, healings, miracles, and demonstrations of power, as experienced by the 1st Century Christians. I wish for faith that delivers people from the bondage of sin, restores families and marriages, and gives children a safe environment both in and out of the womb. I wish for faith that brings an awakening to righteousness in our country, causing establishments of sin to shut down as they did in days when Charles Finney preached across America. I wish for God’s own people to repent of our sins, our friendship with the world, and our indifference to the things of God. Plainly stated—I wish for REVIVAL in America!

 

With the world crumbling around us as nation after nation falls into turmoil and unrest, my second wish is for hope—hope in the “God of hope” (Romans 15:13). I hope for a cure for cancer, Lou Gerick’s disease, and every other life-sucking disease. I hope for the end of wars, world hunger, and sex-trafficking. I hope for men everywhere to hate what is evil. I hope for world leaders to stop killing their own people and to work together for the good of all. I hope for truth and righteousness to be restored in governments around the world—especially in America. I hope for integrity to trump political parties, denominations, and union affiliation; and for godly character to motivate actions rather than personal gain or ambition. I hope for the Church of Jesus Christ to be clearly recognizable as the people with the answers.

 

Last, but most importantly, I wish for love. I am reminded of the words from a once popular song: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love; that’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…not just for some, but for everyone.” I believe love would solve all of the world’s problems—but only if it is LOVE FOR GOD. If all people loved God and lived to please Him alone—not bowing to other gods, leaders, governments, religion, or people—the problems of the world would disappear. I wish for a world in which love rules over fear, hatred, greed, and selfishness; a world where pride, prejudice, jealousy, unforgiveness, and revenge are dismantled and replaced with love. Oh, how I wish for love, sweet love—not just for some, but for everyone.

 

Is it realistic to wish for such optimism in our world? Of course! Did not Jesus teach us pray to our Heavenly Father, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?” These are the very prayers God will and does answer. The Bible says in Revelation 11:15: “The whole world has now become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever” (NLT). That, my friend, would make 2013 a very happy and prosperous year! Let us not just wish; let’s start asking. ~Janie Kellogg