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Tuesday, July 31

Is Your Nest Being Unfeathered?

"As we go through life, we each experience pain, trials, unpleasant encounters, conflicts with others, ... and so on. While in these troublesome times, do you ever find yourself wondering to yourself, 'What is God doing?' Let's see how it could be that our Father God is leading you out of your life's present situation so you can enter into a brand new, remarkable season of your life." -- Keith & BrendaLee Shealy, Bennie Nelson, and TowardTheMark Team

To see how this could be the case, consider the amazing method the mother Bald Eagle uses to prod her young to leave their nest. She begins with the materials she uses for constructing the nest. Initially, she uses various sticks and branches to make the foundation, and then remarkably she adds a layer of thorny branches and briars.

After constructing this bed of thorns, the Mother Eagle goes through the extremely painful process of pulling soft down feathers out from under her wings, placing each tiny feather meticulously on top of the briars. She continues stacking the down on top until the bedding is thick enough to insure that neither her eggs nor the eaglets will be hurt by the underlying structure of the nest.

Once her eggs hatch, she begins the job of raising the young birds, eventually urging them to learn how to fly. At this time, Mother Eagle begins removing, little by little, day by day, the soft down feathers from her nest. By gradually uncovering the thorns, she makes the nest more and more uncomfortable for her young, so that if they attempt to stay in the nest, they will be tortured by the exposed thorns which literally puncture the eaglets' soft skin causing them to either leave the nest or bleed out and die.

It is imperative that they leave the nest in order to move on to the next season of their lives. The thorns, then, are not there to be cruel, but instead are intended to help the eaglets mature. The eaglets who follow the instructions of the parent bird will find that the sky is the limit.

Sometimes the pain in our lives comes from God un-feathering our nest, and like the eaglets in our story, we must have trust that our Heavenly Father will give us direction for our lives. For those who trust Him, even the sky is not a limit.

It is, however, crucial to realize that pain in our lives is not always about leaving the nest. Equally as important is the truth that God does not want us to run from the pains we experience as we go through our lives. He will either deliver us from the pain or through the pain, but in every case, He wants us to bring all of it to Him so that He can reveal His purposes and His everlasting Love both in us and through us.

So, is God calling you to move on and leave a painful situation behind you, or does He want you to stay and watch what He does to deliver you through it? In other words, what is God's will for you? Simply put, He wants to reveal Jesus Christ in you. To accomplish this, God the Father sends The Person Of The Holy Spirit to us so that we can partake of the life of our Savoir. As we do, Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of the most high God, reveals to us the Heavenly Father.

How should we respond to this outpouring of divine Love? Jesus commanded us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness. So ask the Holy Spirit to meet with you in the pages of God's Holy Written Word and open the Truth in your heart and mind as you read your Bible. Ask God for wisdom to lead you into His will for your life, and watch what Jesus Christ will do.

It is important to note that, whenever we seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, wicked spirits will oppose us, attempting to deceive us and discourage us from following after the Way, the Truth, and the Life. To overcome these attacks, we are instructed to put on the whole Armor Of God, to resist the devil, and having done all to stand.

Sometimes, however, we must leave, or even run for our lives.  At God's direction, the prophet Samuel anointed David to be the future king of Israel, while he was still quite young. It was not long after that when David faced the giant Goliath and defeated him in one-on-one combat. This victory put David on a collision course with Saul, the king of Israel, because Saul recognized and feared the anointing of God in David's life.

Consequently, for years after that, David had to repeatedly flee from king Saul, because Saul sought to kill David. It was only after Saul's death in battle, in which David had no part, was the will of God for David fulfilled when David replaced Saul as king of Israel.

Leaving our current situation, with all that is familiar, and stepping out into the future with so many unknowns, is like turning loose from the safety of a tree's trunk in order to shimmy out on the limb where the sweet fruit is. We cannot and must not do this on our own. When God calls us to move out, He gives us the faith we need, and if the branch starts to crack under us or even breaks, we have the assurance that He will catch us.

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with His Hand (Psalms 37:23-24)."

It cannot be overstated that spiritual discernment is essential in recognizing when it is God's time for us to leave our present situation. This excludes experiences that are emotionally motivated, such as feelings of intimidation, bitterness, false accusations, hurt, rejection, ... and so on. We are not to run from situations that need to be confronted and defeated in our lives. God has marvelous ways of having us confronted by the same or similar situations until we face up to the "giants" that stand between us and God's will for our lives. Also, He does not want us to fight them on our own. He wants to defeat them through us, by giving us His spiritual weaponry and skills.

Simply running from the past does not get rid of the baggage. God does not want us to carry the bitter fruit of our past hurts, rejections, unrepentant wrongs, etc., into our life's new season. For one thing, He does, in no way, want us to infect those in our new situation with the poison of our past. For another, God does not want us to be so weighed down with past offenses that it will hinder our potential for becoming, not just fruitful, but abundantly fruitful in our new season in life.

Forgiveness is essential for getting rid of the baggage and for being fruitful in Christ. We must ask God to forgive us for the wrongs we have committed, and we must receive His forgiveness and cleansing by forgiving ourselves. In other words, faith accepts God's provision in Christ so that when we come to Him for forgiveness, it is just as if we'd never committed the sin. Also, if we have committed the offense against someone else, then we must seek their forgiveness, as well, even if we know that they will not forgive us. Even more importantly, we must be careful to forgive everyone who has offended us.

"Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you desired it of me: Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow-servant, even as I had pity on you? And his lord was wrought, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one of his brothers their trespasses (Matthew 18:32-35)."

In growing spiritually, we must "confront the giants" that are standing between us and our progress, which includes broken relationships needing repaired, and sinful offenses committed by us, or against us, needing acknowledged and forgiven. This step is crucial to the success of living the life of Christ and being fruitful IN Him! Sometimes we will find that Father God is calling us to leave our present situations so He can lead us in to a new place, sometimes spiritually and sometimes geographically.

"Wherever it is that Father God is leading us, we can be sure it holds for us wonder-filled opportunities to work with Him freely, to full-fill His Vision for us and our life, and to be IN Ultimate Oneness IN Him."

Your friends & servants in Christ, Keith & Brenda, Bennie Nelson, & TowardTheMark Team

To Show GOD BIG in a World that Sees Him small… sums up the reason Keith stepped out in faith to focus on reaching the lost and strengthening believers everywhere, through Toward The Mark, Inc.  Keith and Brenda's prayer is that you will be encouraged and edified by the Secrets from God's Word that Keith recounts in our written and recorded products.  The complete collection of original podcasts, music, blogs, books, CDs, and other resources of Toward The Mark, Inc. are made possible by the prayer and financial contributions of the TTM Support Family.  We'd like to welcome you onboard TODAY!

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