Monday, June 30, 2014

Hosting God by Christina Rich~ The Warrior's Vow ends July 7th

Please give a warm welcome to my friend, Christina Rich. Christina has an awesome and inspiring post for you today. Answer her question to be entered to when her book, The Warrior's Vow. Be sure to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.
 
Hosting God
I hope you’ll excuse me while I take off my writer’s hat for a moment. There has been something pressing heavy in my spirit lately and since this blog is called The Sword and Spirit, I figured this was just as good a place as any.

Before I’m a writer, before I’m a sister, a daughter, a mother, a wife… I am first and foremost a Christ-bearer, and if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you are a Christ-bearer, too. Galatians 2:20 says Christ lives in me. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

Did you read that? Did your spirit jump with excitement? The Spirit of God dwells in you. Your body, your physical body, hosts the presence of God.

Now that I’ve given you a moment to process that bit of information let me ask you this, how hospitable are you toward the presence of God in you?

In Genesis 18, Abraham is visited by three strangers. I have no doubt Abraham knew he hosted the Lord, because it had not been the first time God had appeared to him and Abraham had a calf prepared. If you glance at Leviticus 4 and 9:2 you’ll see that calves were used as sin offerings. We also see Abraham standing near, beneath a tree, while the strangers ate curds, milk and a prepared calf. He waited to see to their needs. He hosted them with hospitality.

Sarah, not so much. She hid behind the flap of the tent, which was customary as women did not typically dine with the men, but she was eavesdropping, which I imagine was not customary for the woman of the household as she would have been ensuring all was in order to keep the hospitality flowing, especially knowing the Lord dined at their table.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with her wanting to hear what God had to say. In fact, it is clear the words were directly for her, not Abraham. However, in verse 12 ‘Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’

Her response wasn’t so much in disbelief that she could become pregnant in her old age, but in that now, after all these years of longing and waiting, when she was worn and tired, would have the pleasure.

Abraham was quick and eager to share his hospitality. Sarah, on the other hand, was quick to mock the Lord. It’s funny, perhaps Abraham had the calf prepared as an offering to the Lord because he knew of Sarah’s bitterness. Perhaps, that is why the Lord did nothing more than call her out for her lying tongue after she denied her laughter.

I suppose you are wondering at the purpose of this post. Abraham and Sarah both knew who they were hosting. Abraham sought to honor the Lord, to glorify Him. Sarah did not. Instead, she harbored bitterness for her bareness and mocked the Lord. Shocking, yes?

Is it any more shocking than what many of us do day to day? I know I long to glorify the Lord in every aspect of my life, it’s my heart’s cry. In everything I do, in every conversation I have, in every word I write, in every word I read, in every encounter I have with another human, I want to glorify the Lord. However, I know I fall short. There are moments when thoughts come to my mind that should not. There are times when I want to scream ‘idiot’ to person driving the blue SUV, the one who cut me off and nearly made me ram their bumper. Yet, I know that word, neither builds nor edifies anything in the kingdom of heaven.

I don’t want to offend or point fingers, Lord knows I’m not perfect, but I see Christ-bearers posting all sorts of stuff on face book that shouldn’t be. Things that call out and tempt the sinful nature of others, and well, obviously if Christ-bearers are posting then they are being caught in the temptation as well. And let’s be honest, if I’m fully aware that Jesus is standing next to me, I wouldn’t speak anything less than what I believed He was worthy of hearing. I wouldn’t read fiction that drew out my lustful nature. I wouldn’t gossip, I wouldn’t belittle another, right?

Do you get what I’m saying? Christ isn’t standing beside you. He’s inside you. He’s in you!!! You host HIM!

So, my question to you is, are you a Sarah-type of a host or an Abraham host? 




He Was Hers to Command

Swept away from her home and into the desert, Abigail is as much a prisoner as she is a princess. A ruthlessly ambitious captain of the palace guard intends to force her into marriage and rule Judah through her. Yet the badly beaten soldier Abigail rescues offers another choice—if she dares trust him.

She is royalty, yet Jesse is surprised by the gentle compassion Abigail shows him as he heals. In return, he will help her escape to Jerusalem, protecting her life with his own. But Abigail’s rank and Jesse’s deadly past makes any future impossible, unless forgiveness forged by love can triumph over all.





More about Christina:
Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research, take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus. Her debut novel, The Guardian’s Promise, released from Love Inspired March 2014. Her second novel, The Warrior's Vow releases July 1, 1015.

17 comments:

  1. This is something we need to always keep before us, in all we say and do...but so often we don't. Thanks for this reminder, Christina.

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    1. Patty, I believe that is why we're supposed to keep our eye on Christ. We are to be imitators of him. What did he do? He communed with our Father, and then he encouraged his disciples, he healed the sick, set captives free... you know the whole thing. John 14:12 says that those who believe in Jesus will not only do the works Jesus did but will also do greater things.

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    2. exactly!! The more we focus on Him and spend time with Him, the more this becomes real to us--that He is INSIDE us. It's such a sobering reality.

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    3. For sure, and when we bow to His leading and become obedient to His voice.... whoa! :)

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  2. Wow, you've given me a lot to think about as far as what type I am. And it probably has to do with how much I am a human being riddled with weakness. Interestingly, this is what my pastor brought up as part of his sermon yesterday. What I am is a work in progress, and I pray He continues to help me along my stumbling path.

    Thanks for posting this, Christina. Thanks, Debbie, for hosting Christina.

    estock(at)fairpoint(dot)net

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    1. Elaine, you are so much more than you think you are. You are a shining light for all to see. We are all works in progress, we are all learning to seek God's face. Go forth and shine your light and trust that He goes before you and hems behind you.

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  3. I loved this post! It is hard, in this world, to remember we have Christ's spirit inside us! I think I am right in between the two as far as being a host. I'm very introverted and quiet, so I certainly don't go out of my way to speak to others or be noticed. But, I am a very pessimistic person, thus my bad habit is criticizing others. It's a constant struggle for me, but I try hard to be the Abraham host!
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

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    1. Father God, I ask that you show Susan, right now, at this moment, how you see her. We introverts like to hide behind the potted plants, but Lord, you have a way of pulling us out and placing us where you want us. And, Father, as you show her how you see her, I ask that you reveal how you see others too. Show her your love for each individual who crosses her path. My she not only host your presence without struggle, but fully embrace your Spirit within her.

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  4. Christina, thank you for sharing this post.
    It is very thought-provoking. I hadn't
    thought of Sarah having a bitter reaction
    before, but I guess just human and
    struggling with doubt. This makes me
    wonder if I am reacting with bitterness
    sometimes when I don't even realize it
    and probably a lack of thankfulness.
    I hope that I can become better at hosting
    the Lord--with thankfulness, repentance and
    more lovingly! Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Lord, you hear Kathleen's heart, you know her prayer. Show her the areas in her life that she needs to move out in order to move more of you in.

      Kathleen, I read something this morning in Ezekiel 3:12 -- May the glory of the Lord be praised in his dwelling place. Pretty, deep, huh? Praise him. Thank him. Consistently and heartfelt for his presence in your life. :)

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  5. Congratulations on your book. It looks like a great read. :) Can't wait to read it!

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  6. Not sure if my first attempt at a comment went through.

    This is a very thought-provoking post. I feel like we all need this reminder at some point. Just like we all need the reminder that we've been set free and no longer need to sin. Thank you for this and I look forward to reading the new book.

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  7. Thank you for stopping by, Deb. I know I needed the reminder.

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  8. Hmm I'm afraid I'm closer to a Sarah type of host some of the time but I try to be more like Abraham. Thanks for this great giveaway!

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

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