Dozen of articles. Improve your lifestyle now!

Choosing Personal Responsibility rather than Blame

I never saw this in the Word before. Did you know that Moses blamed the people for his anger? Deuteronomy 1:37 As Mark and I were pondering it this morning I began to see that not taking responsibility for your behavior can keep you from going into the Promise Land. We know that Moses struck the rock twice in his anger. He was tired of the people complaining after many years, and God tells him to strike it once for water to come out (a typology of Christ being sacrificed once only). But he strikes it twice and as a result, messes up God’s visual of His plan to only sacrifice Jesus once. I have always been taught that is why God would not let him go into the Promise Land. But I see something much deeper here. Moses was not truly repentant. You can not be truly repentant if you are blaming someone else for your anger or sin. Could this be the real reason Moses did not go in? Did his lack of personal responsibility keep him out of God’s best?  In comparison, King David, the only man in the bible called a man after God’s own heart, did repent when he was confronted. The kingdom was not ripped from him because of that. Yes, he suffered some consequences but he was still King and did much more for God. In comparison, Adam and Eve. They also blamed each other or the serpent. Rather than taking responsibility for their sin. As a result, they were not only put out the garden because of the original sin but so many more curses upon them and one of their kids later killed the other. Could this also be because they never took responsibility for their sin? I do believe that blaming others for our sin will keep us out of the promised land!!

By Dr. Lisa Winchell

2019 Word, from God’s word

Do you hear Him calling you, this first day of the New Year??

“Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling. Come away with me!
I have come as you have asked to draw you to my heart and lead you out.
For now is the time, my beautiful one.
The season has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone.
The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers. The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived. I hear the cooing of doves in our land, filling the air with songs to awaken you and guide you forth. Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purposes and plans are bursting forth.
The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere. The fragrance of their flowers whispers, “There is change in the air.”
Arise, my love, my beautiful companion, and run with me to the higher place. For now is the time to arise and come away with me.” (Song of Songs 2:10-13 TPT)

50 Shades of Grey and Abusive Men

I am seeing a strange likeness in 3 things, the fascination with 50 Shades of Grey, the church helping abusive men keep their wives trapped, and sharia law trying to sneak in our country. What is the likeness? The utter degrading, despising, and not covering and protecting woman. Woman that God created to be precious daughters of His, to be treasured and loved. The interesting thing is from the 3 above, the first is considered “sexy”, the second is considered “Christianity”, and the third I believe most in our country would deem a twisted law and despicable. The church needs to get unconfused about what is abuse and what is not, and how God hates violence as much as He does divorce (Malachi), and what is adultery and what is not. (pornography and flirting are both adultery, ask Jesus in Matt, 5:28) I have said many times that the Church carries a great authority on this earth, If you open up “our” (church) closet and find abused, sexually used and psychologically destroyed women in there with their abusive husbands that “we” have put our stamp of “god” on, then we lose a level of authority on this earth to drive out the darkness being pitched to our daughters in things like Shades of Grey. Remember Satan is an opportunist, he will always find an open door to keep the church powerless and him pressing his agenda. Ask yourself and your leaders have we opened that door for him, or have we stood with the daughters of God, as God Himself would and allowed abusive men to receive their consequences, and be buffeted by the enemy (1 Corin. 5:5, or 2 Timothy 2:25), so that they too may be delivered!  Many men would repent and turn around if someone would allow them to have a wakeup call and face the abuse they learned from the enemy and their wounds of the past.  We need to stop getting in the way of the Holy Spirits’s work in their life, and start allowing them to face the truth with their consequences.  A repentant heart is seen in a man who understands why he no longer has a home to live in, until he gets the help he needs.  A repentant heart puts the pain of the family before his own inconveniences of having to attend counseling weekly and pay for it.   A repentant heart will stop at nothing to bring healing to those he has wounded, once he realizes how badly he has wounded them.

This is a tremendous read from another Christian Counselor.…/enough-enough-church-stop-enablin…/


by Lisa Winchell

The Strengths Hidden Behind Your Weaknesses


We believe temperament is inborn, and God given.  According to Psalm 139, God formed your inmost being.  He knit you together in your mother’s womb.  He put the strengths, and traits in you that would lead you to what He has planned for you. You were not created to be someone else.  You were created to be YOU.  You have been created in His Image. You are able to bear His image to the world around you, through your individual traits.  If you try to be someone else, the world around you is going to miss out, and you are going to miss out on enjoying the person you are.


You might say, “Hey, what about those weaknesses, and failures I regularly have?”  Weaknesses are not fun. But our goal at In His Image Counseling, is to help you to see your weaknesses as the strengths God meant them to be.  When I review your temperament profile with you, we cover strengths and weaknesses that are in your unique God given temperament.  But according to the Word, every good gift came from above.  God does not give us weaknesses. So where did they come from?  Consider this, Adam and Eve were created with their own unique temperament as well.  Let’s say, maybe Adam was a melancholy and maybe Eve was a sanguine. Adam would have been very analytical, sitting under a tree for hours thinking about what to name each animal and plant. But when Eve came in from hanging out with all the cool animals, and hugging on them, and wanted to spend time with Adam he would have been happy to put everything down and forget about his task to enjoy his wife.  When it was time to go to sleep he rested easy.  Eve would have enjoyed, the animals, and engaged them and her husband in lots of fun conversations and exciting thrill seeking activities in the garden.


Before they allowed sin in their hearts, there was no fear in their hearts, therefore there was no impatience, fear of failure, offensiveness, or self-centeredness. When sin entered, fear, shame and guilt were the first negative feelings they felt.  These weaknesses would then cause Adam to start tossing and turning, because of concern that someone may not understand why he named that animal what he did, 100 years later.  Eve would have become, “it is all about me”.  “Adam, you never listen to me, I need you to pay attention to me, all the time”. :). This would be coming from her insecurities based in fear.   These may be a little exaggerated. But the point is that sin, causing fear, shame and guilt is what causes the traits God gave you to be weaknesses in your life.


So what we do at, In His image Counseling, is help you discover what strength each of those weaknesses were meant to be.  Such as, a melancholy deals with perfection issues. So what strength could be hidden in that trait?  God gave the melancholy the passion to be excellent, in all that they do.  They love to do their best as unto Lord. That passion is led by love and faith. Perfectionism is driven by fear.  All we have to do is work on letting go of the fear, and excellence will replace perfectionism.


Sanguines can have a tendency to walk away from people when they are speaking, because the sanguine is no longer interested and prefers another conversation.  Could there be strength in that?  Sure, God made a Sanguine to be able to shift from one thing to another to keep things moving and interesting.  When they are operating in self-centeredness/sin/fear they follow the flesh and use that to meet their own needs only. When they are operating in the Spirit, and love, they are honoring to people and listen well, and move on to the next person or thing with grace which draws the whole room into enjoying the sunshine the sanguine has brought into the room.




By Lisa Winchell

You and me, conceived by God!   What an awesome revelation!   I received this revelation one day while in a counseling session.  My client brought up the issue of how much a baby in the womb is affected by the rejection of a parent, especially when considering abortion or adoption (I understand that adoption is not usually an act of rejection, but one of deep love).  We did not have much time to discuss the subject, but as I was praying for her at the end of the session the Lord just started praying through me.

“Thank you God for the deeper understanding we have in this age of all that goes on in the womb.    But, many are going back to the womb to find out where they first began to experience rejection,   They often get their identity from that place.   But, Lord if we are going to go back to the womb to find our identity we must go back even farther.  We must go back to where we were really conceived, by You”.

My client, you, and me were conceived by God.  We came from His will, His heart, and His perfect plan.  When He dreamed you up, He sent you to earth from His heart with a perfect plan for your life, with all the acceptance and love, and goodwill towards you that you would ever need.   There was no rejection in your beginning.

When born, we all entered a world of sin, were born with a sin nature, and were entrusted into the hands of human beings with a sin nature.  These are the places where the pattern of rejection, fear, etc. began.   We all must encounter this world of sin, until Jesus’ enemies are made His footstool.  Even more the reason we need to understand that God still loves you as much as He did when He dreamed you up.  He still has that great destiny for you to fulfill.   He has been reaching out to you all along, to draw you out of the pain this world has brought your way.

You must answer His love.  You must be willing to quit identifying with the pain of the past.  Quit blaming God and your parents.   Get free, through God’s glorious plan of forgiveness and restoration.  He put those in place for you and I, before sin even entered the world,  because He knew the choices man would make.  It is not easy to quit nursing the pains of the past, because they become our “friends”.   Many do not know any other way of living.

Oh, but if you can grasp what your real beginning is, and start anew with that revelation, I believe you can get free from the past.  Knowing that the sin and rejection that the enemy sent your way were all efforts to steal the great love and acceptance your Father placed in you at conception (his first thought of you).  Satan knows that you have been called to greatness, and he knows that being full of love will get you there.  That is why he works so hard to deceive us, through the deception of sin, fear and rejection.

Enter your rest in the perfect love of God.   He not only conceived you in that love, He has sent His Son Jesus to confirm it, and deliver you out of the enemy’s lies.  Read the Word, you can’t miss His love spread all over the place.   Get the revelation and do not let go of it!  It is the real truth!

Remember, before any man or woman spoke a word over you, God the Almighty, the Creator of the Universe, the loving Heavenly Father thought you up and perfected you in His heart and placed greatness in you!

To contact us:  813-684-7927

Suggested Reading:  A New Kind of Love  by  EW Kenyon

Bondage Broken  by Craig Hill

Walking in Love and Enjoying the Benefits

There is a three step process for a happier, more loving, and fulfilled life with your family, friends, and church. The first step is getting rid of the offense/strife. The second step is finding a common cause to move forward in together.   Where there is purpose and unity we can accomplish anything together. The third step is honor, seeing and calling out the good in others.


Let’s start with overcoming offense and strife.   That is only possible if you CHOOSE to live free from these things. We need to make an all out war on offense and strife in our homes, and churches.  War meaning, the battle you must commit to, inside yourself.  We can not make others be non offensive.  But we can release them to the Lord, and surrender our own hearts to Him.  Choose today, to say no to offense and strife.  Choose to be quick to forgive, and unoffendable.  Titus 2:12 says God’s Word teaches us to say no to ungodliness.  Therefore we know where to get truth that will drive out the lies that lead us into offense and strife.  You may say,” how is it lies.  That person really did act mean?”.   Yes, I am sure they did, and many more to come may as well.  But their meanness has no control over you, that you don’t give them.  Jesus Himself determined to walk in love, yet many around him were offensive towards Him.  Jesus is our model, and He also lives in us through His Spirit to empower us to walk the way He did.   Your offense, is a defense mechanism, to protect your sense of value and identity. When you go to the Word, and develop an intimate relationship with the loving God revealed in the Word, you will begin to receive your value and identity from Him, not from others.  When you meditate on scriptures telling you who you are to God, and who you are in Him, you can retrieve those truths right at the moment you feel that offense rising up.  Stop, drop, and roll.  Yep, it works here too.  Stop those thoughts, drop to your knees (surrender to God), and roll in the truth of how much God loves you and how full of His love you are, and let those truths consume your heart.  Quickly your emotions will be at peace and whatever you say will put out the fire, rather than stir up.    One of the best books I have read on offense is The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere, Check it out. Literally, from the library.  J


Second step to loving and unified relationships is finding a common cause. We see several examples In the Word of God of the power of unity in purpose. In the book of John, Jesus prays to the Father that the body of Christ would be one with each other, and with Him even as Jesus is one with God.  Why? So that we can reveal God to this earth.   Which means we will not complete our mission without love and unity, in our families and body of Christ.  We see at the Tower of Babel, God Himself said, because they had unified in purpose that nothing they put their hearts to do would fail. Wow!!! That is powerful!!  Unity works for good and bad. Therefore the enemy uses it as well.  If you and your husband are in agreement daily that you will continue to accept the strife in your home, guess what?  Nothing strife wants to do will be impossible.  Kick it out now, and agree with God!  Agree with love, and nothing Love wants to do in your family will be impossible. In the book of Nehemiah, we see another story of what unity can accomplish.  Actually it is a good story for all three of these points.  We see repentance of offenses, we see favor come to him, then a common cause, and honor that he continues to give.   You too can rebuild the walls of your family, your church, or even of the larger body of Christ, even as Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.


The third step is honor.  You will only become consistently unoffendable, if you on purpose become the one who brings honor to each situation.  Honor is an outpouring of love and humility in your own heart.  Ugh, did I say humility?  Yes, humility is a stronghold for our Christlikeness.  Everything that we are, we are in Christ.  We are presented holy and blameless in Him, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, we are seated in heavenly places in Christ.  We are only fallible human beings, apart from Christ.  The greatest step of humility we can take is to come to God each day, to His Word, to worship Him, and lay ourselves before Him to honor, praise and allow Him to do what He wants in us.  When you do this, it creates greater humility in you towards others. Because you know where your strength comes from, and without Him you would be a much different person.  Stop coming to God praising yourself, wanting yourself built up.  Come to Him to worship Him, and your flesh will die and your spirit will be built up. Then when something comes to your mind that is negative about someone else, choose on purpose to think and speak a positive thing about them, behind their back and in front of them.  Sometimes we think if we praise someone who is screwing up, then we are enabling them to keep screwing up. Those of us who have experienced that, have a real issue with control. Yep, we think we are somehow in control of this person’s destiny.  Let them go,  to God, and start doing what God does towards them, and you will really affect their destiny. Let your love be revealed to them, and honor them.  Love never fails, but control, manipulation, fear, and criticism always fails.  If you walk a life of honor, then God may at times have you speak something to someone, in love.  Do you know how to know if that is what Is happening?  A good way to tell if God is really telling you to do that, is to check your heart.  Is it gushing with compassion for that person?  Are you hurting for the place they are in? Is that really your first thought, or the one you bring up to excuse your judgment?  Take that issue to God, saying “God do you see what they are doing?”  I remember something God told an author Francis Frangipaine.   “Yes, Francis I see that, and I gave my life for them.  Now go do the same”.  That is honor at it’s best.


I have an excitement that those  who set themselves on this track, will be tremendous ambassadors for Christ, revealing God’s great love to those around them and shifting the attitude, moods, and atmospheres around them.  This is when the Kingdom of God will spread to every nook and cranny of this earth, and we will see even greater works of God on this earth.              by Lisa Winchell

Identity Struggles

So what are God’s thoughts about identity struggles?  I am sure we would all agree we don’t know all of God’s thoughts, but we would equally agree that He has laid out most of his thoughts about mankind in His Word.  In his Word, identity is a big thing to Him. So much so, that He started out this whole world with making us in His Image!

So what is your identity? Is it where you live, what you wear, where you work, what you look like, who you hang out with, or how well you succeed?  If your answer to any of these is yes, then you may have just found the reason why your sense of self value is ever-changing, and you may be trying to be someone you are not.  Because each of these potential sources for identity, and your perspective of them, are ever-changing.

How important do you think your identity is, to your life and your sense of fulfillment, happiness, and success?   If God started the existence of the human race off with creating us in His Image, making our identity in Him, than that tells us that identity is a powerful force in our lives. The Word of God says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7.  Interestingly, neuroscience is discovering more every day about how much our thoughts of ourselves control our life.  How you see yourself, will be who you act like in life, how you feel, and where your perspectives come from.  The more you follow this truth, in the Word of God, you will find His Word chock full of who He created us to be.  You will also find in there who mankind decided to become as we listened to lies and not His truth.  But His answer to our slipping way, was to restore our identity, through Christ Jesus. At least 50% of the New Testament is about who we now are in Christ Jesus.  He restored us to our original image, through Christ!!!

God created us to live from our identity, and gave us the identity that would make us most fulfilled, happy, and successful. That identity is His image, in us.   He knows our happiness can only come when we get back to that core identity, being created in His Image. Then all other parts of our identity will come into balance and peace.

It takes being transformed by the renewing of our mind, to these truths, to begin to walk in the freedom this identity brings us.  It never changes, it is always who we are, we are forever valued as God’s chosen race, to be created in His Image.  His Image is love, peace, joy, and holiness.

In the press lately we have all seen much about Bruce Jenner and his identity struggles. I would like to say first, that we have all had identity struggles.  They may not always be in sexuality, but we all have dealt with or do deal with a lack of value, insecurity, uncertainly of who we are, and many more value issues.  Many in this world reject themselves every day, by never being able to say no, or by being prideful, and unwilling to change for their own success, or by not loving on those around them and thus producing an environment where people give them a hard time, or by never forgiving, and by putting themselves down, condemning themselves, people pleasing, being someone for someone else, and many more ways.

Could it be that Bruce Jenner moved into the ultimate self-rejection?  That He never accepted himself, his own identity? Therefore, convinced himself he wasn’t supposed to be who he was, and turned away from his masculinity, and male gender?  The unfortunate thing is that when any of us turn away from who we really are, we never find peace until we deal with our core identity issues, rather than our sexual identity, or financial identity, or social identity, etc.

I have spent my career helping people find freedom in life, through their true identities in Christ.  Which always leads them to loving themselves and building stronger, more loving relationships.  It is a glorious transformation!!  It is what God intended, for transformation.  Our path to being happy with ourselves, is not to reject who God created us to be. But it is to embrace who we are in Him, and be transformed by His love, peace, and joy in every other area of our life and identities!

Holiday Blues

The Holiday Blues!  Many around the country know what these blues are.  Some have no idea.  All the glitter, and fun, and smiles and presents, and family getting together.   Why would anyone have the blues? It is the happiest time of the year!  Isn’t it?

For some, it sure is. In fact, for many it was at one time.  But for others it truly is the saddest time of the year.  Those of us who have lost someone whom we spent every Christmas with for years, feel grief and the pain of the loss more during this season than any other.  Those who take on the stress of having to get the “perfect” gift for someone, or even for everyone, tend to dread this holiday.   We cannot forget to mention those who feel “forced” to spend the holidays with some unsavory character in their family, or many unsavory characters.   Just mentioning each of these things, I can hear many of you calling out, or even crying out, “please Lord, let the holiday pass by fast”.   You may even be setting your mind on the New Year, as a way to avoid thinking about this month, at all.

So is there an answer, or a hope for this month to be more than what we presently experience?  What do you think?  If there was, would you want to know what it is?  If your answer is yes to the last question, then I propose an answer.  As soon as I say the answer, you may think, “I know, I know”.  But do you really KNOW?

So what is the answer? Who is the answer, is the real question.  JESUS, He is yours and my answer!  Now WAIT a minute, don’t go anywhere.  I have more for you.  No not more than Jesus.  There is no one or nothing more than Jesus.  But there are empowering ways to receive the Answer.  What do I mean by that?  I am glad you asked.  LOL.

Well, if I were to tell you that Mr. Grace, down the street was your answer to a joyful holiday, would you need to do something to receive that answer?  Yes, you would need to go talk to Mr. Grace, right?    Now when you get there, Mr. Grace is going to tell you how he is your answer.  He starts out with, how amazing you are!  He goes on to say, “I am thinking every day, how I can bless you with my peace, love and presence and make your wonderful smile shine”.   He goes on.  “You are the apple of my eye.  Did you know that I designed you perfectly for the world you would live in?”  He says, “You are my son, my daughter for eternity, and I can’t wait to walk with you in my gardens one day.  But now we can walk together on this earth, as I watch you open each new “package” I have for you along the way.  Remember, every good and perfect gift comes from Me, and you have many more of those to open here on earth.  You have this twinkle in your eye that reminds me of the day I created you and all the amazing things I put in you that day.  Your eyes, your nose, your heart for that passion you have, and so much more.  I knew how much you would need me close to you, so I came down here on earth, and put on an earth suit just like yours.  I lived, I felt the pain you feel now, I died for you, and I broke the chains of the enemy from off of you when I rose from the grave.  I took the sting of death, of fear, and of sin so you would not have to.  I ripped the veil, so you could talk to me freely, and receive great truths from me that remind you how valuable you are to me, and who you are in me.  My son, my daughter I am right here, and you need my comfort more now than any other time of the year.  Come to me, come close to me. Hear my voice, and I will tell you new things.  I will give you greater revelation of my love for you, and for those around you.   I am holding your dear loved one right now, the ones who died and the ones who expect so much out of you this season.  Now, I want to hold you.  Cozy up on the couch with me, get a warm blanket, some tea and let’s make some special times together this season.  I know you miss your loved one, I know that pain well.  So how about this?   I am going to bring someone or a group of someones to your mind this week. When I do, I want you to call them up and open your heart and your doors (doors of your life) to them.  I am going to share life with you this season, and I am opening the door for you to do the same with others, as we make new memories for the Christmas season, together.  Honey, you can do this, I am with you now and always”.

Do you feel better?  I do!!  Because the answer is Jesus!  But He only becomes our answer when we sit down and hear His voice and spend time with Him.  That is the place we have relationship.  Relationship that far surpasses any on this earth, and fulfills to the depth of our soul.  So I don’t ask you to forget your love one.  But I do ask you, instead turn your focus to Jesus, on purpose, use this season to pursue a new and fresh relationship with Him,  and that one, or more that He sends your way.   Then when the season is over, email me and tell me about how Jesus helped you create new Christmas memories, with Him!

In Christ’s Love,

Lisa Winchell

Pursuing My Options for Training

So you know that God has called you to counsel, and it is time to consider your options.   Where do you see yourself in 3 years?   Is it in a private practice, for a church or ministry, or do you see yourself working in state programs and institutions?

If you know that you will be setting up your own practice or ministry, or working for someone else’s  ministry, then receiving training, degrees, and licensure through In His Image Counseling and Training would be an excellent choice.   Your cost will be less than 1/4 the cost of a college program, you will have a governing institution in which to be accountable (National Christian Counselors Association), you will learn a counseling model that is 96% successful, and you can be done with your licensure work in 2 years or less.  This allows you to go onto your Masters and Advanced Board Certification in the area of your choice (e.g. Marriage and Family Therapy, Adolescent Therapy, Crisis intervention, etc.).

Also, during Phase 1  you will begin your practicum by administering and interpreting the Arno Profile System (APS) to ten individuals.  This is the most in depth and Christ centered temperament analysis available, providing greater insight into the root of issues that could otherwise take 5-10 sessions to identify.  This will allow you to touch peoples lives through the interperting of their APS, until you are licensed and able to counsel and set up a fee schedule.

If you believe you may have to or want to work in a secular setting, or in a setting that is going to require a degree from a state accredited college,  than a program like In His Image Counseling and Training will not work for you.   You would need to look into a Christian Liberal Arts College.   If you want distance learning you still may be able to do that, because there are many colleges now that offer that option in their counseling departments.   Some of those Christian Liberal Arts Colleges are  Liberty University, Regent University, and Bethany College to name a few.  The cost is greater, the time is longer, but you will finish with a degree from a state accredited college, and be able to sit for a state license.   There is also government financial aid, which will consist of grants and loans.  Most people have to get loans which have to be figured into your future debt.  Many are looking for the fun of the “college experience”.   You want to consider how important that is to you, as well.

One other consideration is that if you are considering working for a church, you want to know that some look for only Counselors trained in the Word, not secular psychology, like our program.  But, some also look for state degreed and licensed counselors.  With the program at In His Image Counseling and Training, you will recieve your BA degree through Calvary Theological Seminary, and your MA and PhD through one of the colleges, of your choice, affiliated  with our program.

These colleges are accredited by the top Christian accreditation agencies as Bible Colleges and Seminaries, not Liberal Arts colleges.  You will be a Christian Counselor, agent of the Church not of the state.  Your training will give you a deep understanding of human behavior, insight on how to be led by the Spirit of God while counseling the hurting, and wisdom in applying the Word of God in ways that lead your clients to victory.

Your licensure and credentials as an “agent of the church” allow you to legally  counsel and set up a fee schedule even as your secular counterparts do.   Also, there is lobbying going on in legislation to initiate the recognition of the insurance companies for the work of Pastoral and Christian Counselors.  Success in this area would allow insurance reimbursements for our clients all the time.  Presently, there are still options available that allow reimbursement for Pastoral Counseling.

This article is meant to give you a clear picture of your options, and the wisdom to make a great choice.   If you want to know more about the program at In His Image Counseling,  please feel free to call or write us at 813-684-7927, or

Sit and Walk

Years ago a man named Watchman Nee wrote a book called Sit, Walk, Stand. I have not read it personally, but recently I heard that statement come up again in someone else’s message.  I was refreshed to hear that the whole body of Christ has not moved from walking (doing) to only sitting (believing).  I am one of the first to teach on believing to enter your rest. Hebrews chapter 3 and 4 are very clear that the Israelites did not enter their rest because of their unbelief, and neither will we. It says disobedience than clarifies what the disobedience is, unbelief.   Disobedience always starts with unbelief.  That is why we must “sit” first.  The Word of God  tells us that the “just shall live by faith”, and “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he”. He spent a large portion of the New Testament telling us who we are as a New Creation. This is so we will meditate on it, think upon it and see ourselves seated in heavenly places with Christ.  That is us learning to sit, in our identity in Christ.  From that place we then walk. Walking according to His ways is very hard unless you first see yourself as righteous in Christ, presented holy and blameless in Christ, totally forgiven and accepted and deeply loved by God. Wow! From that place Christ’s power and love flow through you so much easier and walking in obedience becomes a longing in your heart.  So you read and study and ask God to change you and make you more like Him.  When you get back out in the flesh, you repent and get back in the Spirit.

You see, we labor, as Paul tells us, to enter our rest.  The labor is learning to believe that what God says is true, and being determined to keep all doubt out. But, then the New and Old testament are full of how to live (walking).  There is a part we play in walking out who we are.  There is a dying to the flesh in the believing and in the doing. James is very clear that faith and works go together. Jesus is very clear in the gospels. I heard last year that the gospels are part of the Old Testament and what Jesus had to say was to be considered law.  LOL! I must laugh at that concept.  Let’s think about it for a minute. The King of kings, God of gods, spends 3 years teaching people information that will be obsolete as soon as he dies and rises again.  Really??  I am believing God is so much wiser than that. We have to be careful to not get on the bandwagon of what itching ears want to hear.

The grace and glory of God is amazing and I love living in the center of them both!  But living there is work. God says, “seek me and you will find me”, “Love me and love your neighbor”. etc.  When He created us He said we are created in God’s image, that is what we “sit in”, rest in, believe in.  Then He said “till the land”, work!  I always say if you want to check out a theology go back to Genesis in the garden of Eden. That is where God created His perfect plan, and in Jesus’ death and resurrection He gave us back God’s perfect plan. He did not erase it for some sloppy grace, and image of God as our candy machine. We already have it all in Christ, But, you and I will not experience it on this earth unless we are willing to walk it out.

As most of you know I could add over a thousand scriptures to this article to make the point that we are to believe and to do.  But, I encourage you to get in the Word and read it for yourself, not just through the messages of those you listen to. My first pastor always said, “don’t just listen to me, go back home and study it out in the Word”  I think among many other things that is one the best things he taught me as I ventured into the world from underneath his pastoring.

Remember,  from Genesis to Revelation there is a message of grace and work. Grace is actually the empowerment to work, not the eraser of work.