Journey

Philippians 1:6

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

God at work

We are called to give God thanks in everything! Some experience a lifelong journey of trials and tribulation. Others “appear” to coast through this life without much turbulence. We are not called to compare or even judge. In fact, we are instructed to keep our eyes on Christ. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” So—what does your journey look like?

I couldn’t help but think about this passage while a physician was injecting medication to block nerves in my eye socket, temples, jaw, and forehead yesterday morning all while experiencing the worst migraine in my life. You see, I’m on a journey (and so are you!). I will give God all the honor and praise even when I’m severely nauseated and vomiting from migraine pain. I will lift my hands to the Father even when I can’t stand up on my own strength, and my wife has to guide my steps. I will call upon His name when the doctor says, “You need another surgery which most likely will leave more scars on your face.”

As my thoughts pondered enduring another migraine surgery and the very real possibility of facial scars, the world grew quiet. The doctor continued to speak but my thoughts drifted to [scars]. Have you ever, truly, thought about the excruciating pain Jesus Christ went through. What about His scars? The one to two inch scars that remain around my head, neck, back, and hip from a previous unsuccessful surgery are nothing in comparison to whips, thorns, nails, rods, and spears.

John 19:1-3, “Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.”

This my friends represents pain, suffering, and scars! Even more, Christ willingly endured this torture, unimaginable pain, and death on a cross out of obedience to the Father’s will. This obedience resulted in our eternal salvation. His suffering, pain, and scars were used for our good! I truly try to apply this in my life. There is nothing happening to me that surprises God the Father. He is in complete control.

Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”

My pain and scars are nothing in comparison to the enteral salvation given freely through nail-pierced hands. I pray not only for a physical healing in my life but for a testimony. I don’t want to be healed just for the sake of being pain free. No, my journey will be a testimony that will draw others to Christ.

What is your journey? When you feel like you cannot take another step or the scars paralyze you emotionally, focus on the One who endured such torture and has the scars to prove it. He sits at the right hand of the Father awaiting to see us face to face. What a glorious day that will be. Tears will be erased and scars will melt away as we receive a new body in His glorious space.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Provider

Genesis 22:1-2; 7-14

Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”

12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” 13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”).

walk

“Where are we going, Lord?” I ask.

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“What’s over that hill? I can’t see Lord?

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Am I lost, Lord? Are you speaking? I am getting nervous.”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“I’m so far away from my comfort zone, Jesus. What is this about?”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Wait! Over there! I see the enemy’s army amass. Are they coming for me?”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“But Lord, the evil is close. They are playing tricks on my mind.”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Why is my focus being drawn away from your voice?”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Have we stopped moving, Lord? It is dark all around, but your light remains bright.”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Do you hear that, Lord? There are voices of angels around me.”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“The scales are falling off; I can see!”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“There is healing in this place – a renewed mind – clarity unfolding!”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Prayer is overtaking the darkness, Lord! Your people call out to You!”

-I DID provide!” He replies.

“The Holy Spirit rushes in like a mighty wind. I know I can see it, Lord!”

-I DID provide!” He replies.

“The burdens are slithering out of my head, Lord! The pain doesn’t exist!”

-I DID provide!” He replies.

“What was once considered personality flaws are now being cast down in Your name.”

-I DID provide!” He replies.

“We stand amazed under your wing!”

-I ALWAYS provide!” He replies.

————————————————-

At just the right moment, the light shatters the darkness, and all is made clear. I am not alone. In fact, I’m surrounded by the voices of many believers. “Jehovah is gathering His people!” they cry. “We are one body in Christ!” they proclaim.

Worship breaks out in one accord, “Praise His holy name. Let all that has breath praise the Lord! You are our provider. Your ways are higher. You brought forth the blameless Lamb, Your Son Jesus, to take away the sins of the world. Evil convinced us that we were walking down a path of shame for our sinful ways, but You alone provided the sacrificial substitution when Satan’s finger was pointed right at us. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!”

Matthew 24:34, “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Who Are You Kidding?

1 John 2:4

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,


I’m truly starting to understand the differences. In one corner you have head knowledge. In the other corner you have heart faith. I have said once before that many will stand before the King and sadly hear, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” 

Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

What does this look like on earth? For starters, I cannot and will not judge. However, the Word makes it very clear that believers should bear fruit! 

Galatians 5:22-23, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Where do you see yourself?

-peacemaker or instigator?

-gentle or harsh?

-calm or rash?

-joyful or sorrowful?

-kind or abrasive?

-humble or prideful?

We are not perfect, BUT the Spirit yearns to produce such good fruit when we actively strive to become more like Christ. We must stop saying, “I know him” but our actions scream otherwise. 

Do you find yourself stirring up trouble? Do you rebel against worship? Do you secretly seek praise and reinforcement to feed your pride even when it comes to “Godly things?” Who is responsible for instigating these evil fruits within you? It’s time to clean house my friends! 

Question: Do you REALLY know your King? Let Him search your heart – for there you will find your answer. 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Burdened 

John 14:1-4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”


We cannot avoid it. We live in a sinful world. The flesh battles against the Spirit daily. There remains an internal struggle in the hearts of every human. Things happen that cause our hearts to be troubled. What does Jesus say about burdens and troubles? 

How can we measure the level and impact of our troubles? The answer lies within your emotional reactions. Jesus clearly states that we should not let our hearts be troubled. Why? He knows HOPE! In fact, Hope = God. Jesus was verbally declaring the promises of the Father! In that, we should be filled to the brim with excitement. You see, our Hope isn’t in this world, people, or things. Our hope is in the Lord. 

When troubles stir, people disappoint, stress abounds, bodies ache, and the mind controls, we should look to the Hope in our Savior. We focus on Him alone for He has gone to prepare a place for us! Do you truly believe? He not only is sitting at the right hand of the Father, but Jesus has gone to prepare our eternal home. He promises, therefore, to return for His children! To that I say – BE GONE burdens! 

Challenge: Dear friends, it’s time to self-evaluate. If you are only on a spiritual high when things are going your way then you need to assess your level of true dependence upon the Lord. Allow the Potter full access. How are you responding to the trials in your life? Are you weary? Are you burdened? Are you depressed? Or… Are you hopeful for the promises to come?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Are You Coming?

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Are You going

I work with some of the most amazing people in the world. God has blessed me with a team that exhibits a vast array of personalities and spiritual gifts. We are beyond blessed to be in a “helping” profession. We get to see God’s work first hand even in physical healing. It never gets old, and I’m always looking for the Spirit. In fact, I listen intently when my team speaks because I want to hear more than the literal terms; I want to listen for God’s message through their conversations no matter how unrelated.

Just this morning, I was blessed to have a spiritual conversation with a new team member. She brings such light, spiritual awareness, and truth. She is gifted and people cannot help but listen when she speaks. Her genuine heart is tangible and visible. She is more than an answer to prayer; she is a gift. This spirit-filled lady made a profound statement today that I couldn’t get out of my head all day. We were discussing the importance and power in worship. We both expressed disappointment when those around us simply appear unmoved and unaffected by His presence. She then stated, “I’m going to the throne room no matter what so are you going with me?”

YES – she gets it! Not only does she “get it” but she helped me understand it too! You see there is power in worship.

Exodus 23:25 – Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.

Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Acts 16:25 – About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

Joshua 6:2-5 – But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.”

I must admit, my friend is right! She’s going to the throne room to worship, and I want to go too! She doesn’t become frustrated when those around her fail to be moved. In fact, this drives her to worship more for she knows the Father is WORTH IT! The Father’s room is deep and wide. His grace and mercy bind us together in one body. The Father yearns for all His children to – come! Don’t delay dear friends. Meditate on the Word; pray without ceasing; and worship like He deserves!

Friends, I’m going to the throne room to worship…are you coming?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Instruction

Proverbs 9:9-10

9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.


How is our society different today than just a few decades ago? For starters, our culture is consumed with a rebellious spirit. I was always taught to say yes sir, no ma’am, and to represent my family’s name with the utmost of integrity-no matter what situation I found myself in. 

Yes, there were plenty of times when I wanted to express my dislike, distaste, or down right disagreement in certain situations. However, I always understood my position. Where do you see our current culture today? How can we glean upon the Word to develop a more mature Christian walk? Don’t get me wrong! I don’t mean pious. I pray that we stretch ourselves into the deepest of God’s understanding which allows us to be better servants! As we see in the passage above, it starts with the fear of the Lord.

We are seeing an increasingly large number of people in this world who lack this fundamental principle – fear of the Lord. In fact, they fail to demonstrate fear of anything because they are driven by selfish desires. This is true sin-nature – the essence of Satan himself. The world teaches us to please “self” at all cost! It also instructs us to step on those who disagree with us or who get in our way…what a stark contrast from the life of Christ! 

You cannot turn on the news without seeing report after report of frustration, hate, murder, abuse, injustice, revenge, and tournament. Yet, I refuse to think things are hopeless. My God is the Author of hope and while the Holy Spirit is still operating fully in this world through believers like you, why wouldn’t we think otherwise. 

Yet, we must exercise our spiritual muscles. They do not become conditioned and exhibit increased endurance without hard work and exercise. We must first fully surrender to the King. We must stop giving the spirit of rebellion and control permission to inhabit us! They must be gone in Jesus name! Then we open ourselves up to the power of the Holy Spirit through fear of the Lord. We gain wisdom and a deeper knowledge of the Spirit like never before! YES and AMEN!

I pray that the Spirit pierces your heart to dig deeper into your relationship with the Father. Start by humbling yourself at His altar! Humility and pride cannot coexist. They are always battling. Dear friends, you hold the power as granted through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. 

So today we say collectively, “Satan, you cannot have our homes and you do not have permission to inhabit my life. I fear Jehovah, God Almighty; the One who has already written your fate evil one! I will become stronger, wiser, and more powerful as I seek the Father’s will above my own. I rebuke rebellion and pride through the blood of Christ that covers me. You can’t stand in the way of this power because you were defeated at the cross. So, get behind me Satan and tremble as I worship and fear the King!” 

Question: Are you giving permission for the spirits of rebellion and control to inhabit you? How will you break the chains now?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta 

Never Alone

Joshua 1:8-9

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

by your side

In our current society, there are not many things that we can rely on. In fact, we are instructed to not place our hope in this world. Jesus Christ is the author of hope, faith, and love; it can never be replaced by anyone or anything.

All too often, we transfer our faith, which is designated for the Father, to people and things of this world. In fact, some of us place more hope and faith in our friends than we do our Savior – the One who came to set the captives free. What I know for sure is that your friends will disappoint you; your family will even disappoint you. Even more, the things you hold close will most certainly fail you at some point; it is inevitable.

Many of us experience feelings of loneliness and sadness when we encounter these moments of failure or disappointment…either from people, things, or yourself. I encourage you to stop placing your faith in these things. We must be still and know that God is always there. He never leaves us. As the passage above says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

If you find yourself struggling with circumstances, people, or things, place your faith in the God who never leaves you. Surrender your control to the One who goes with you wherever you go! You will begin to see your relationships and your world-view in a different light when you look through Christ-filtered lenses. Abandon your former way of thinking, a corrupt way, and place yourself under the authority of the Most High.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Blaze

James 3:2-6

Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

flame

We’ve all been there…with just seconds separating the two episodes, both edifying words and destructive gossip inhabit the same space—your tongue! We have all seen the destructive power of the tongue. Sadly, many of us have been the “lingual pyromaniacs” before!

We know from science and psychology that pyromania is an impulse control disorder where an individual cannot control the urge to start fires. However, I am here today to shed light on the truth that many of us have the same impulse control disorder when it comes to controlling the tongue.

Many of us are never fully aware of how our words catastrophically impact others, situations, events, etc. We simply express negative thoughts, hurtful gossip, and wrongful lies without ever thinking of the whole impact; in fact, we feel somewhat reinforced when we are able to spread information to others, even falsely. This is true sin-nature.

Just as the passage above denotes, your “tiny spark” of negativity and gossip has great potential to set an entire “forest on fire.” To be fully transparent, I was a witness to this exact phenomenon recently. I was approached by a friend who “heard some gossip” about a local leader. These defamatory words were being shared in rapid transformation between multiple parties creating a “forest fire” of lies, hate, gossip, and division! Sadly, the information presented was not even worth sharing, repeating, engaging, etc. However, the devil used just the right people at just the right time to create a fire storm in order to destroy a leader…for what…gossip!

Let’s be real…Does the instigator know that he or she created such a mess? Honestly, probably not but that’s the point! Most of us are never fully aware. I am here to tell you that the impact is always great! Do not assume that impact is proportionate with volume. Meaning, “If I share this hateful speech, negative thought, or wrongful gossip with just one other person and it ‘stops’ there, then it won’t be so bad!” —WRONG.

The damage is done when the language leaves your mouth and travels through the atmosphere awaiting the acoustic clearing into another’s mind. Satan is granted permission to use your “spark” and create a firestorm of destruction. Dear friends, do NOT be used by the evil forces surrounding us. For starters, I strongly want to encourage each of us to focus on the cross, mind our manners, and stop thinking so piously of ourselves.

You may find that you have so much to say about others because you find yourself so important. You begin to find peace and stillness in speech when you humble yourself before the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and make you keenly aware of such sin; repent and allow the Spirit to feed you correctly. If you find that you are instigating such hurtful speech, I encourage you to extinguish such behavior through prayer and worship. Use your speech to glorify the Father, which gives you less time to focus on yourself and what other’s are doing or not doing to your satisfaction. As God is faithful to forgive, I implore you to seek forgiveness from those you have hurt as well.

Question: How are you using your words lately?…[edification or destruction]

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

A Gentle Whisper

1 Kings 19:11-13

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

whisper

“Yes My child?” the Lord asserts. “I’m afraid!” exclaims the broken. “I have had enough,” the exhausted continues. “Enter My presence, and I will restore you!” proclaims the Lord. With reverent fear, the fractured soul walks to the edge. He thinks, “Is this the end of my very existence?” At that very moment, the Lord passes by causing mountains to shake, rocks to crumble, and fire to erupt!”

With jolted spirit, the humbled says, “Thank you Lord for speaking to me in such a mighty display renewing a wavering faith.” Yet, a whisper moves gently across your neck as it peacefully reaches your ear. While the earth is resting from an awe-inspiring display of His majesty, His voice, ever so softly, bends your inner ear in order to force acute concentration to His words…”I wasn’t in the mighty wind, or the earthquake, or the fire. I’m standing right next to you!”

You hit your knees as your brain begins to comprehend the magnitude not of what you witnessed with your eyes but from what you heard. You begin to understand that the Lord’s presence is strong enough to move the entire earth; yet, His voice is gentle enough to draw you away from your deepest fears, anxieties, and heartaches to a place of tranquility and peace…His gentle whisper.

My dear friends, are you watching for God to speak through a “mighty wind” or are you humbly prone listening for a gentle whisper? What a lesson in this passage!

Thought: Awake with a renewed perception of God’s voice and presence!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Heart

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

different

The world is cruel. Society is ruthless. Peers are vicious. However, as believers we are called to a different standard – a higher one! Mark 12:30-31 says, “30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” [Pause]…Did we just read that correctly? Yes, yes we did! Now who feels the conviction? Me!

I have said it before and I will say again…the world does not have a policy problem, it has a sin problem. These two commandments cut to the “heart” of our problem…love and acceptance. From a sociology perspective, we tend to gather around the norm; it’s safe and comfortable. Sadly, we then begin to point fingers at what society labels as abnormal and different. The fundamental principle is that our hearts are all the same; there are ventricles, valves, atria, and aorta. It pumps blood throughout our bodies all day and night. We truly are not that different underneath skin, muscle, and bone. Yet, Satan has convinced us otherwise.

Matthew 7:1-2 says, ““Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” Not only are we instructed not to judge, but Jesus clearly states not to judge based on outward appearance. Jesus is always concerned with the heart! 

One of my most favorite examples from such a cruel account involves the crucification story. In Luke 23:41, the criminal states “…for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” The criminal continued when he stated, “42 Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Ah, this is a beautiful example of a heart judgment by the righteous One; the only One who can truly judge!

Was Jesus concerned with this man’s looks? No.

Was Jesus concerned with this man’s religious correctness? No

Jesus was only assessing the heart! We ought to be ashamed of ourselves for superimposing our judgment over what Jesus clearly states is more valuable – the heart!

So, the next time you feel the need to condemn your fellow neighbor for not living up to YOUR standards, please humble yourself before the Lord and seek forgiveness. The old adage is true, “When you point one finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.” Do not judge for you will be treated as you treat others.  Friends, the only way to change your heart it to allow the Master in! Digging into your relationship with the Father is a sure way of living a life like Christ.

Question: Do you have three fingers pointing back at you? Then put your hand down! Instead, lend a helping hand to those you initially judge or condemn.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta