Dance with Me

Psalm 63:3-4

Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Singing with the King (67) – Joy! | Singing with the King

Oh Bethlehem star…you shimmer in the midnight sky announcing the newborn King. The sky cannot contain your radiance as the heavens sing all around you. A virgin mother holds her infant son as she sways so tenderly to the sounds of lowing cattle. Exhaustion is replaced with expectation. The announcement is repeated between galaxies, and the stars come out to see the newborn King. Light illuminates the arrival of our Savior in the lowest of places as His mother places Him in a manger. His cries reveal His humanity, but His presence reveals His Deity! She picks Him up and kisses His head…

~”Dance with me,” she whispers to the newborn King!…and she weeps.

He came to seek and save the lost. His mother knew He was different – sent from above with wisdom and love. Yet, her heart didn’t want to see her son hurt. His ministry exploded as demons fled, healing overcame, and salvation prevailed. She watched as He was stalked and ridiculed by the religious leaders. The enemy forces crawled to Jerusalem in hopes of extinguishing the Savior of the world. “Not my will, but yours be done,” He cries out in the garden. Bearing all of our sins on a blood-soaked cross, the perfect Lamb says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” His mother knew of His obedience, but she was witnessing His ultimate sacrifice, unto death on a cross. Memories flood her mind of the man she knows and the God she loves…

~”Dance with me,” she whispers to the dying King!…and she weeps.

The earth quakes and the sky revolts…the enemy laughs in false victory. A rock and a tomb was not His final destiny. Eyes open…and the stone is rolled away. Reconciliation for all as the enemy fades. Seated on high in all authority, He sent His advocate, the Holy Spirit, in the upper room to teach and to remind – He comes with fire and truth! Roaring wind fills the space and hearts are aligned. Years have passed, but He remains the same – yesterday, today and forevermore. He intercedes in my quiet place, and shows me a deeper song of embrace: power, utterance, gifts, and discernment. In those quiet times, He reminds me of His birth and His mission…

“Dance with me,” the Savior whispers to the newborn Christian…and he weeps.

So we dance! – as a child standing on His father’s feet, we dance! Unashamed or unabashed, my feet begin to sway reminding me of His mother’s lullaby. Communication so intimate that only the Spirit can interpret. We dance to His promises. We dance to His protection. We dance to His forgiveness. We dance to His Salvation. The world fades away in the arms of the Savior – protected in the shadow of His wing. His eyes are my eyes and His vision is my vision. Every heart aligned to the same calling: [Matthew 28:18-20] Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus “Rejoiced” In The Spirit - Praise On Fire Missions !

Challenge: This Christmas, may you find Jesus! – not the story but the relationship! I pray that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit this season and find joy everlasting. May you enter the Holy of Holies with confidence of true forgiveness and redemption – and dance with the Savior.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Freedom

Freedom in Christ

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36)

Galatians 5:1

5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 3:12

12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Psalm 119:45

45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Freedom Archives - Generations Church

[Poetic Interpretation]

You hung around far too long…

I never understood what was wrong.

The invitation, unwanted, multiplied and divided…

causing fear, anger and pain which never subsided.

The mask grew in complexity as you suffocated me…

I wanted you gone but you said you would never flee.

You lied to me and called me a friend…

but you hugged me and stabbed me repeatedly in the end.

You made me believe something was wrong…

I couldn’t sing, dance, or shout; frankly, I stopped hearing a heavenly song.

Chains grew – weights were pulling me down…

Friends and family noticed the smile, now a frown.

Shame and anger had their way…

clawing through the light; it just couldn’t stay.

Until one day, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords met me in that place…

Waiting patiently – Jesus grabbed my hand and held my face.

He walked with me the entire time…

He called me His child and boldly proclaimed, “I left the 99.”

I fell to my knees and grabbed His feet…

I felt the scars as my fingers ran deep.

Visions of love flowed from His eyes; He called me His friend…

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

With His warm embrace and my complete surrender…

Jesus became my whole-hearted defender and redeemer.

Chains melted and demons fled…

Freedom rushed in and the Holy Spirit took control just as He said.

Tongues of fire and songs of praise erupted like a spring…

Gifts of the Holy Spirit rebounded back to the King.

Oh, Lord, we thank you for your promises, they are true…

Freedom rushed in, and it can happen to you.

SPIRITUAL FREEDOM

Challenge: This message is for all the believers who are still living with chains: fear, anger, abuse, control, guilt, etc. It’s time to live in spiritual freedom!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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So We Praise

2 Chronicles 5:7-14

The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and covered the ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends, extending from the ark, could be seen from in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.

11 The priests then withdrew from the Holy Place. All the priests who were there had consecrated themselves, regardless of their divisions. 12 All the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives—stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang:

“He is good;
    his love endures forever.”

Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, 14 and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.

This passage is a whole meal so chew slowly; you will want to savor each bite. The Holy Spirit has definitely been peeling back the layers of praise lately, and I find myself back where it all started…at His feet.

When I went to FaithWalk many years ago, my experience could easily be summed up by the phrase, “At His Feet.” Every song, every lesson, and every prayer reflected this common theme – for me at least. His presence was real and filled the room that weekend! Something I’ll never forget. However, we often allow the distractions of this world to pull us away from such encounters.

When I read this passage in 2 Chronicles this week, I was brought all the way back to my FaithWalk retreat. In this passage, the people were celebrating the return of the Ark of the Covenant, which had been placed into the inner sanctuary of the Temple -the Most Holy Place – after the Temple was built by King Solomon.

Specifically, the Levites who were musicians celebrated with instruments and praised God with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” And then…

The glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God. When the people lifted their voices to praise God, He filled the Temple. Oh…we must get this!

We can spend a lot of time discussing Old Testament and New Testament, but I want you to get one golden revelation – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 

As a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes down and fills YOUR temple. God does not change and neither does His power. We cannot miss this. As believers, raising our voices in praise fills “up” the temple!

Thank the Lord that He lives in us. Yet how many simply take this for granted? The enemy wants us to forget! I want to end by sharing one major difference we have that the priests in the Old Testament didn’t have. As it states in 2 Chronicles 5:14, “The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.” Now that God indwells inside our heart [temple], we are able to continue our celebration and praise. May your praise never cease and may the Holy Spirit continue to fill you completely.

~When you feel defeated, praise and fill the temple.

~When you’re all alone, praise and fill the temple.

~When you have nowhere to go, praise and fill the temple.

~When your friends abandon you, praise and fill the temple.

~When life continues to throw punches, praise and fill the temple.

~When the enemy lies to you, praise and fill the temple.

~When storms chase after you, praise and fill the temple.

~When God releases His storehouses of blessings, praise and fill the temple.

~When Jesus heals you, praise and fill the temple.

~When salvation spreads throughout your community, praise and fill the temple.

~When demons flee by the powerful name of Jesus Christ, praise and fill the temple.

~When deliverance comes to the oppressed, praise and fill the temple.

~When chains break, praise and fill the temple.

~When encouraging words lift a broken soul, praise and fill the temple.

~When tongues of fire fill the air, praise and fill the temple.

Challenge: Let us all lift our voices and praise: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” Then, may the Holy Spirit fill YOUR temple, daily.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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It’s Not Me

Romans 15:2

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

No one really wants to talk about the hard stuff. It’s true. It’s safer on the surface where the nerve endings are just out of reach. But what happens when you are bruised, pierced, or cut? The flesh encourages you to do one of two things: fight or flight. Sadly, both of these responses can lead to unhealthy spiritual consequences. Fighting leads to anger and retreating leads to bitterness.

Operating in the Spirit shatters these physiological responses.

~Praying for your enemies shatters demonic strongholds.

~Encouraging those who scoff you testifies of God’s love.

~Giving more to those who take from you opens the storehouses of blessings.

~Rejoicing in your neighbor’s success even when you are struggling ignites inner revival.

It’s not about you! Whew! Now that we got that out of the way, let’s really dig in. You are born into this world internally focused instead of eternally focused. The enemy of this world wants nothing more than to keep your eyes inwardly focused. However, Hebrews 12:2 instructs us to fix our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. When you do this, you cannot help but to encourage others, even when it hurts!

[Interpretive]

So I see you, dear friend, with your chin pointed down and a tear-soaked collar. Your eyes glisten from new tears, and they flow in cadence with your heartbeat. You are backed into a corner where the light dissolves into darkness. The rays search for you but you are fading away. Disappointment, resentment, and pain stream through your head like a banner flying high in the air. You watch the inauguration, and the new queen is announced. Her crown sparkles on your tears. You wipe them away, but you cannot escape the sound, “Long live the queen!” You bow in respect and pray, “Lord, bestow your protection, blessings, and wisdom upon her.” You turn around to walk away wondering what’s next for you when the enemy whispers, “It’s not you! You’re not good enough.” But then…you feel a hand on your shoulder. You know instantly as it’s the touch only a queen can give.

You meet eye-to-eye and she says, “Thank you for always showing me kindness and encouragement. You paved the way for this very moment. Thank you for allowing God to use you to plant the seed.” Suddenly, light breaks forth and shatters all forms of darkness.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Inside Out

1 Samuel 16:7

But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”

[Interpretive]

You call from the heavens like a burst of light reaching deep within my soul. I listen to your voice and follow your lead; my steps are guided and ordered by your lamp. You sent a spoken seed and dropped it deep within my heart. A warrior stands guard day and night protecting your breath as it sprouts and begins to grow. Your very presence provides the right amount of light activating the cells within; it cannot fail because you spoke it.

However, the enemy can see it growing now, Lord. The evil one fires off darts in hopes of destroying the anointing. I see the fire in his eyes – one, two, three flaming arrows are released before I can blink. The first arrow screams “failure” as it flies through the air. The shield of faith extinguishes the arrow without any trace of residue. The second arrow howls “fear” as it bolts through the air. Yet, the sword of the spirit cuts it down with ease. The third arrow was the largest and fastest in Satan’s bag. He released it and it laughs “rejection” as it soars straight for my soul. Yet, it turned around and headed back to its owner shortly after it was released.

“Lord?,” I asked, “What happened to the third arrow? I saw your helper destroy the first two, but why did the third turn around?” The Lord replied, “My son, rejection is the strongest of all condemning fiery darts. Yet, you are the righteousness of Christ – washed in my blood. The enemy wants nothing more than for you to feel rejected by man in hopes that you would feel rejected by Me…but look at these hands and look at my feet. My blood was poured out for all to bring salvation, atonement, righteousness, justice, favor, grace, mercy, healing, and power. This arrow saw Me in you and had no other choice than to turn around and to be destroyed.”

Challenge:

~May God’s light transform you from the inside out.

~May you truly know how God feels about you each and every day.

~Do not spend all your time trying to win the approval of humans.

~Keep your eyes fixed on Christ and live a transformed life from the inside out.

~Life will definitely throw you some curve balls and disappointments especially after the Holy Spirit drops a word (i.e., seed) into your soul. Take heart and do not be afraid! Be courageous and walk in stride with the Lord as your shepherd. You will see that word come to fruition in a complete and bountiful harvest.

~No matter what your senses are telling you…trust only what God reveals…and remember – you are a child of the King, a warrior, a powerhouse for the Kingdom! Be blessed.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Catching Raindrops

1 Chronicles 29:14

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

[Interpretive Vision]

~Why do I sense raindrops when I pray with opened hands? The return is heavier than I expected, Lord. Each drop filled with expectancy, urgency and gravity. The drops rolling around like marbles along the palm lines from a weary grip.

~Fingertips weak from opening clinched fists where fingernails had turned white from tension. Blood rushing through my hands and tickling my senses while awakening a part that had fallen asleep.

~You demand service, giving and faith, but why the raindrops in return? The wilderness has cracked my skin and caused pain when touched. Yet there’s still water in the desert. The voices are quiet and the storehouses are shut but you send the rain.

~I never knew how hard it was to catch a single drop until I tried. However, I was able to watch it for a season as it danced along before falling to the ground. I tried to give them back to you but I cannot catch them all; there are too many and it’s really heavy, Lord.

~As I closed my hands and focused on the rain, the Lord spoke, “You’re not catching weighted raindrops my son…”

“You’re catching the water I washed my hands in while I prayed a blessing before a meal now pouring over you.”

“You’re catching the water I turned into wine, drawing you into new wineskins, pouring over you.”

“You’re catching the waves I told to ‘be still’ and who knows my name now pouring over you.”

“You’re catching the sweat from my brow when the soldiers beat me now pouring over you.”

“You’re catching the water when they pierced my side now pouring over you.”

“You’re catching the oil from my anointing as I sing over you in the presence of my Father as we await your arrival.”

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Aftermath

Psalm 119:105

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

The Living Bible translation: 105 Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me and keep me from stumbling.

I must say…reading the Bible in complete darkness while juggling a flashlight in hand might be my new favorite thing! Let’s start from the beginning. I live in southwest Louisiana where our entire community was not simply smacked but rather steam-rolled by hurricane Laura one week ago. While many were sleeping or carrying on with their day-to-day activities across the globe, the residents of southwest Louisiana were witnessing deep-rooted trees with long history slowly falling to the ground and some on top of homes in the middle of the night. The moonlight struck the fierce winds in almost a strobe-like cadence. The sights were both frightening and hypnotizing. Hundreds of thousands are now left with complete destruction: electricity, water, shelter, and food.

So…I sit here, in the middle of my kitchen, reading my Bible where the flashlight leads. I started reading The One Year Bible many months ago; yet, things are different now. I’ve lost the conveniences of lights, air-conditioning, resources, and time. The only thing I can hear is the roar of generators as the darkness battles against all the senses. Based on our recent events, the Bible has become more real to me than anything else in my life. My most recent reading passage brought me across Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I literally broke down!

You see, I could only read as the flashlight led. I needed to see this – we all do. So many promises rushed into my mind blanketing my thoughts like a warm embrace. What overwhelmed me the most was basking in the Word as it “came to light.” Normally when we read, our brains are able to anticipate words (i.e., language) and look ahead for comprehension and contextual clues if you will. This is how we put sentences and paragraphs together for understanding.

Yet, while reading in complete darkness with a flashlight, I realized this was much harder. I simply couldn’t look ahead; I couldn’t anticipate what was next. I had to rely on what I could see in that very moment – Ah! What life application! Psalm 119:105 says it very clearly, “Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me and keep me from stumbling.” It IS that simple. While I finished reading for that evening, I was also reminded that while things around me/us appear to be in utter chaos, God is truly in control! He is truly with us. The loss of my conveniences do not compare to those around the world.

~I’m reminded of families in southeast Asia learning to read while sitting on dirt floors just wishing they had indoor plumbing and electricity.

~I’m reminded of African children walking miles to school while carrying water to and from struggling to survive.

~I’m reminded of missionaries in war-torn Middle Eastern countries sacrificing their lives to bring the Good News to a thirsty population.

~I’m reminded of the small communities along the Amazon River who fight flood waters seasonally and have to rebuild often.

I know we do not have to look very far to be reminded of our many blessings. However, as we rebuild in southwest Louisiana, I do pray that we never forget that God is with us just as it was illuminated in Joshua 1:9. We will rebuild stronger than before because God is our Banner – Jehovah Nissi – and our cornerstone. May God bless those who have lost so much and are dealing with the aftermath. May He open our eyes to the hurting and may God be glorified in the serving.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Trees

Ephesians 5:15-16

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Genesis 2:17

17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Tree of Good and Evil

[Interpretive]

Death sits silently beneath the singing leaves! Your lies have caught up with you as the sword of the spirit rips you apart. I stand amazed at the years you stole. Better yet, I stand in awe of the Almighty who takes back and restores. You will remain in decay and ruin – rotting in your own deception – while I sprout above you.

I lean down with the breath of God to count the knowledge around your rings. I’m sad to see reflections of those you still imprison – each knowledge ring a strong man’s chain. As I lean in closer, I am reminded of your stench. Your bark is infested with condemnation, fear, insecurity, and rejection; yet, modern-day pharisees still convene at your trunk to protect your image. Religionism and traditionalism are your strongest branches they vow to uphold. Yet, these branches remain lifeless on the ground. Past failures and regrets echo from your hollowed arms.

Freedom comes from the Spirit of the Lord and that’s where I want to be [2 Corinthians 3:17]. I saw your light and smelled the fresh dew. You opened many doors when you shook the ground of vast root explosion, which allowed chains to be rattled and demons to flee. You reminded me that choices have to be made, and I choose to clothe myself in the presence of the Lord [Romans 13:14]. Cover me under your wing and set me high above. Plant my feet in your vine and wash me in your cleansing blood – removing worldly debris.

Prayer:

~May His leaves of grace fall on your head and bless you.

~May your eyes be unveiled to a true Christ-centered relationship.

~May you grow in truth and love.

~May opened doors lead to larger trees of life.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

While I Wait…Pray for Suriname

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

universe

We have waited for this day! You see, a mission group is traveling to the small country of Suriname, which is located on the northeast coast of South America. Even though many of us are not there with them physically, we have committed to pray for them daily.

Gods hands

I was overwhelmed this morning during prayer when God revealed a special vision…He was waiting at the end of the runway. He has always been there! Listen closely, God was waiting for this mission group to arrive in Suriname at the same time He spoke life into the universe! He had them on His mind even then. What a powerful image. The God of creation waiting patiently on you – to arrive!

In the passage above, the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. As humans, we truly cannot fathom His boundless protection, grace, mercy, will, and breath.

SpiritBreatheInMe

While I wait…I will pray for my friends and this team, and I ask that you do the same. I pray that the Holy Spirit invade their entire beings to where the rivers of God flow swiftly through them onto this land.

While I wait…I will thank God for His promises of going before them and preparing the people of Suriname. May the breath of God Himself fall heavily on this land to where miracles and salvation will ripple for eternity.

While I wait…I will pray that no weapon formed against them shall prosper [Isaiah 54:17]. I pray that God will place a hedge of protection around them. I pray for health and safety as God wraps them in His mighty wing.

While I wait…I will seek the Lord on behalf of this mission group and the people of Suriname. I pray that the Holy Spirit give us all discernment through prayer.

While I wait…I pray that these spiritual warriors stepping onto a foreign land receive the Lord’s blessings through humble hearts. I pray that their families receive protection and peace in the name of Jesus. May the gifts of the Spirit come together and be used to glorify the might King!

While I wait…I pray right now that the entire group will see Jesus waiting for them in this land!

Challenge: While you wait…please commit to pray for this mission team and the people of Suriname.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Affirmation

John 13:35

35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

family in christ

I’m reading a wonderful book titled Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter. In this book, the author reignites her love for Jesus and His people while traveling through Brazil. I am not here to do a book review; however, I do strongly encourage you to pick up a copy and dive into the deep waters of this beautiful book and watch your church walls be turned inside out!

On one hand, I am pained, deeply, by the blinded consciousness of our fellow Christians (me included) who sit comfortably in climate controlled churches yet complain that some new visitor is sitting in OUR spot. Better yet, how in the world could someone place THOSE flowers in the front of the sanctuary because they are simply tacky. Even more, churches have abandoned the only way to worship when they gave up their hymnals.

[Sting a bit?]

After reading this book, I would say more beautiful conviction follows. So let’s dig deeper. As Christians, I am sure we are entitled to go back and express our deepest anger to the coffee barista who failed to not only put the extra shot of expresso in our latte but failed to substitute almond milk for whole milk costing us to lose points on our diet challenge at the exclusive fitness center. Hum, actually, I don’t think that was mentioned in God’s Word as permissible behavior for His children. Do I hear entitlement? Do I sense a pretentious spirit? Do I hear pride?

O.K.! I hear you. The shock factor is over. Yet, the truth is still the same. The revelations from this book have unveiled some very good points about our culture, lifestyle, and Christian walk. The truth is…God wants us to love Him and to love others; the rest falls into place.

For 2019, I am seeking relationships that are purposeful and on point for God’s kingdom. This may look different than your goals. We most certainly are not here to compare. I am seeking opportunities to make an impact by simply listening and doing. This only comes from constant prayer and communion with the Holy Spirit.

My prayer for you is to grow in love, not just fall in love, with your Maker. In that, grow in faith, passion, expectation, love, kindness, patience, peace, and gentleness. Does this mean that you will remain in your four-walls? NO! Does this mean that you won’t explore? NO! How else did Kelly Minter get on a boat in the middle of the Amazon? Does this mean that you are bound by only one building? NO! The hurting are waiting outside.

~The greatest mask remains seated, cloaked, unmoved, and divisive.

~Built, sharpen, grow, develop…THEN BLOOM!

Questions:

Where are you and why?

Where are you going and why?

Who is holding you back?

 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta