HIS HAND EXTENDED
By: Donna J. Kazenske

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We've all had times when we feel inadequate regarding the call of God that's upon our lives. There is one major detail that we must remember if we want to succeed in the things of God. That detail is this: "We are nothing without Him, but with Him we can do exploits for His kingdom."

We must never underestimate what God can do in us and through us. We must not underestimate the potential that God has placed on the inside of our earthen vessels. Most of us have come to the realization that in our own strength we can do nothing. We need His strength and His power in order to move into that deeper level of intimacy and fellowship with Him.

1 Cor. 15:9 - Paul says, "For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."

Paul, the great apostle, felt unworthy. He called himself "the least of the apostles." Paul was one who preached with the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. He was the apostle who testified of Jesus before governors and those in high positions of authority. Even though he did exploits for the Lord, he still considered himself unworthy. The remembrance of how he persecuted the followers of Christ never left his mind. But, in spite of it all, God chose Paul as an apostle to the Jews and Gentiles alike. He didn't choose himself. He didn't ask to be a five-fold minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord had ordained his apostleship from the foundations of the world.

Our flesh cannot fathom the depths of God's love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Our flesh cannot comprehend the realms of the Spirit. The Spirit of God must lead us, not our emotions, or human reasoning. Our flesh will not take us very far. It is the Spirit of God that will lead us into a deeper relationship with our creator and redeemer. It is the Spirit who will lead us up to the mountain of the Lord where He will teach us of His ways and manifest His holy presence to us. It's not because we deserve it. It's not because God owes us something, but because He has chosen us.

When I think of the Apostle Paul, I understand somewhat of how he felt when he called himself "the least of the apostles." Before I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, I was walking according to my flesh seeking the things of the world. I was bound by alcoholism and drugs, not fully understanding the path that I had chosen for my life. I didn't deserve God's love, but yet He never gave up on me. His hand was upon my life even when I was living in sin.

I can remember times when I would hear His voice speaking to me, warning me not to do specific things. I didn't know it was the Lord's voice at that time, but today it's perfectly clear that is was He who was forewarning me of things to come. Sometimes, I listened to His voice and was saved from much affliction and trouble. Other times, I neglected to heed His voice and found myself in terrible circumstances. The Lord continually delivered me from death and destruction. Did I deserve it? No.

God's love, mercy and grace go far beyond our finite understanding and human wisdom. The truth is, we don't deserve anything, but God's grace is continually reaching out to us from all directions. Much like Jonah in the belly of the whale, we cannot escape from His manifest presence and love.

People may see our faults and weaknesses, but God sees our hearts. God sees what others cannot see. He sees beyond the outward appearance of our earthen vessels. He knows both the beginning and the end. He created us in His image to fulfill a divine call and purpose. We may not understand it all at the present time, but that doesn't change the fact that God's love is extended to saints and sinners alike. It doesn't matter what we are "feeling" emotionally. Feelings are a part of the soul realm, which needs to be transformed by the power of God. Feelings can deceive us and lead us astray.

We must come up to a higher place and see ourselves through the eyes of Jesus. He's already paid the price. He's equipping us for the work that He has called us to do. We can choose the path of life or we can choose the path that leads to death and destruction.

2 Cor. 12:10b - Paul says, "For when I am weak, then I am strong."
When we come to the end of ourselves and begin to cry out to the Lord, He hears and responds to our cries. He takes our weaknesses and uses them to bring Him glory and honor.

You may feel inadequate for the task that is set before you, but I tell you today that God's ways are so much higher than our ways. When we begin to see things through His eyes, we will find great strength and power. When we begin to think like He thinks, we will be able to overcome the attacks of the enemy and live a victorious Christian life.

We must never lose sight of who Jesus is. We must never lose sight of the cross of Calvary and the debt that was paid for us there on the hill of Golgotha. The cross is more than a token or charm that we so many times wear on a chain around our neck. It's more than just a wooden emblem of Christianity. It's a representation of a life that no longer lives for itself and it's fleshly desires. It represents a crucified life that is waiting for the resurrecting power of the Most High God to breathe upon it and raise it from the dead.

There's no limit to what we can do for the Lord and His kingdom. He will raise up those who are desolate, defeated, and dying and cause them to be more than conquerors through Him. He will take the least and make them great as they submit to Him.

God loves you my friend. His love is not dependent upon what you do or say. It's unconditional. He loved you even when you were yet a sinner. He died for you when you didn't deserve a thing from Him. His hand of mercy is extended toward you today. It is He who will forgive you. It is He who will empower you and equip you for the work of the ministry. In yourself you can do nothing, but with Him you can do all things.


Prophetic Word:
I have called you to serve Me, saith the Lord, and Me only. I've called you to fellowship with Me and sup with Me at My dining table. I've called you to partake of Me and receive from Me all that is yours because of what I have done for you. You've not been called because of your abilities or talents. You've not been called because of anything within yourself. You're called by My choosing, saith the Lord. I haven't made a mistake. I haven't missed it. My ways are perfect and My plans are divine. Respect the operation of My Spirit within you, saith the Lord. Respect what I have accomplished in your life and reverence Me for who I am within you. The road ahead is long and narrow. Follow it as I lead you into greater glory and better things. I will light your path and show you the way that you should go. Don't allow human reasoning to detour you from the path that I have set before you. Keep your eyes upon Me, saith the Lord, and I will cause you to shine as lights in a dark and dying world.


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