Revelation Thoughts


john-in-heavenCompelled Church is going to jump into the Book of Revelation.

I have immersed myself inthis book.  I have never paid much attention to the “prophecy” preachers. “People don’t even know how to serve Jesus today.” I would say a little snarky when the topic came up.  But I really felt strong during our week of fasting and prayer that I should embark us down that road as Jesus has a lot to say to us in this last book of the Bible.  He specifically gave the messages to the Seven Churches and we will spend most time there.  I don’t believe the churches are different “ages” of the churches through history. I believe they communicate the heart of Christ and give some amazing messages.  The book of Revelation also give 33 descriptions of Jesus and many eternal rewards to the faithful. I think some of the book has already been fulfilled, and some is yet to be.

The messages to the churches then are quite germane to us now.  They Apply.  The problems which God’s people then, are really quite the same.

The church is America is in trouble.  We are shrinking and being nudged out of society, the marketplace, the schools, and businesses.  We are hiding our faith too much. Many believe the church,  is antiquated, and irrelevant.  The messages and methods of the church are boring, and not interesting.

I am not going to believe that, quit, or become one of the spiritual leaders who cry about the state of the church in America, as a reason we can’t get our act together.

I am just not giving in to throwing in the towel.  If Jesus is building His church, and He is according to Matthew 16, and if Revelation is true, and it is, then there is a lot of hope, and a lot of help from the Holy Spirit.  We all just need to grow and really be followers of Jesus, not just nominal believers who belief stuff, but live differently.  Sin needs to bugt us, convict us, and Christ’s love and his blood (Revlation 1.5) needs to free us!

Bring your Bibles and your journals to services.  Grab the notes, and be ready to learn for transformation of our lives, not more information.  Jesus wants to change us, and grow us.  We can be spiritual babies forever. He is calling us to Spiritual Maturity!

Ready to Rock

Pastor Nate

If you have lost your way


Lost your way.? Life is meaningless? Do dark clouds surround your heart? Hope seems lost, mistakes are  magnified, discouragement is heavy?

As the group “Selah” came on my playlist this morning this song stopped me immediately during my writing and reading.  As I looked up, listening intently, these words were sung.

“You are for hope when our hearts have hopelessly lost our way.”  Selah

I don’t know who may be reading this, but I felt very led to write this.  Jesus is your way.  He loves you, just the way you are.  Broken, lost, discouraged, maybe so lonely. He is with you.  A prayer, a cry from your spirit may usher in a change internally within you.  The return of hope.

I did this, yes, many years ago.  A kid with very  little happy things going on in life, no motivation, broken home and broken heart.  I lost my way, and was living everyone else’s way. I needed to be loved so badly, their love, anyone’s really.  Then I met him, I resisted love and hope for a bit.  I rejected God, based on all my wrong assumptions, but He doesn’t give up on us easily.  One wonderful summer day, I gave up, gave in, surrendered and asked Jesus to help me.

His immediate presence in my life was so real to me even though it was invisible to everyone else.  He brought me hope, and meaning.  I was on a new course in life, a new journey, with new goals, and a new best friend, Jesus.

Yes it’s mysterious.  It’s terribly wonderful to believe in the Lord and serve him so strongly when He eludes our physical senses at times.

If you have lost your way.  Return to your faith in your Lord.

If you have lost your way.  Jesus gives healing and grace.

If you have lost your way.  He will heal your broken heart from everything that broke it.

If you have lost your way.  Nothing you drink, swallow,smoke, watch, or sweet talk will give you true hope.

Jesus is the hope, when we have none, when we have lost our way.  Remember, “Everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10.9

Here is a link to that song.    Wonderful, Merciful Savior by Selah

Pastor Nate

 

Submission, the Lost Discipline


gardenAt Compelled church I have been teaching on the spiritual disciplines in our series called “Making Room”.  This weekend I will teach on the discipline of submission. As I study and read and realize this is definitely a concept we don’t like to talk about and surely struggle to live out.  But it is a discipline of the heart nonetheless.

Submission comes easy to me when I want to submit, serve, and obey.  Maybe I will be noticed for it, or I will be thought of highly for submitting or serving in some “public” way that others can see.  Submission is really deeper than that. It is of the heart.  To give up perceived or even real “rights” is hard for our flesh and not thought of as honorable in our culture.  We truly believe we have a right to do whatever we want and if anyone disagrees or questions us they become enemy #1.

Submission has been abused by religion, leaders, churches, and organizations, but that does not mean it is not a virtue still.  Jesus had to submit, “not my will but thine” (Luke 22.42). Paul’s teaching to the Philippians show the submission of Christ, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (Phil. 2.8)”.  He submitted to the plan of the Father, to us for our freedom from sin, to death which God should never experience, and He submitted to how that will happen,  on a disgusting cross.  Do we think we do not have to submit, serve, obey, and give up our rights, when our example did, and He did for us.  

Submission of the heart to the ways of God is the deepest and most secret act and posture of our heart. Our jealousy, offense, hate, bitterness, all the things we believe we have a right to have, and to feed, must be forsaken for the sake of the love of Christ and His desire for our soul to be spiritually healthy. It is also an act of love for others.

Submission of our souls, and lives to the truths of the Bible, the moral compass, God gives us, and the love he wants to shower us with.  When we do not truly give him all areas of our life, we forfeit an awareness of His love and presence.  Our relationship turns into religion and our hearts can turn to stone.

The true mark of a child is they must have their own way.  Submission is a virtue for the mature.  We love others more than ourselves.  Just like Jesus did.

Read the teachings of our Savior,

Mark 8:34-36  “And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his [b]life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”

May the Lord helps us submit, which is the deep virtue of love, and our world needs this so desperately, as does our families, spouses, children and community.

Pastor Nate Elarton

Being OK with Doubts


Matthew 28:17 “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”

Jesus in his resurrected body, was worshiped but some doubted he was truly alive.  Even some of the worshipers might have doubted.  This brings up a good topic. Can we really love God and wrestle with doubts?  Yes,   Of course. We are all on a journey of faith. Our faith grows through our life.  We are learning, we are worshiping, and sometimes, even doubting.

We must be like Thomas who said, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9.24).”  We do walk in what we are not sure of for a lot of our faith; that is why it is faith.  As I grow older in age and in Christ, my doubts are disappearing and there are less of them, but I have also found contentment in the mysteries of the Kingdom.

I am good with the Lord’s mysteries.  I am OK if I can’t “know” and fully “understand” everything in my spiritual life with Christ.  I mean it is heavenly and I am earthly.  I won’t get it all and understand it all.  I don’t mind that anymore.  “I don’t know,” is  a statement I was ashamed to say, but now embrace it.  I don’t know a lot, but I do know the Lord and he is good.

If you have some doubts about the things of God, that’s OK.  We work through the things we don’t  understand, and at times must settle on being good with not knowing. If we can’t comprehend all mysteries of the Lord, His Scriptures, and spiritual concepts, as long as we know Christ, trust our lives with him.  Through the mysteries I can still grow in my love, my faith, and my devotion to the Lord.  These do not prevent faith, but actually spur us ahead.

I think of that older hymn “Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand, but I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand.”  That is so very true. Have a great tomorrow.

Pastor Nate

I Know who Holds my Hand by Allison Krauss

A Steadfast Heart- Psalm 108:1


I really took time to think upon this verse this morning.”My heart is steadfast, O God;I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul (Psalm 108.1).”

The word “steadfast” caught my attention.  It is a Hebrew word, “nakon”. This word means “established, fixed, stable, and secure.”  That is a heart in the Lord.  Our hearts can get flaky, uncommitted, weird, and insecure.  The Lord wants to establish our heart.  Fix our hearts solidly upon Him.

With a steadfast heart we can withstand the storms (read Ps. 107.23-32). We can get through times of change  and the seasons of life. With a steadfast heart on God we won’t turn back to the world for attention, and we won’t embrace the carnal values of a system without God.  With a steadfast heart we will survive through tragedy, heartache, and sadness.

With a steadfast heart we can sing with not only our voice, but our soul.  Our life and our soul will sing of God’s goodness to us.  We won’t go through life waffling with our faith, sinking into serving the Lord and then out again, over and over (I see this so much.).

Ask the Lord to establish your heart so our hearts will always be “nakon”. May nothing shake our heart.

P. Nate Elarton
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ps 108:1). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Advent at Compelled Church


Advent-2018This year at Compelled Church we have chosen to celebrate Advent:   Advent is a Latin word that means “coming”.  The season of Advent focuses on Christ coming into the world as a baby born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.

Every Service we will light an Advent Candle and have the Scriptures for Advent read. The Scripture readings will have to do with the themes. The themes are all Christ-centered. He is the reaons.

Hope-Peace-Joy- and light. The Lighting of the candle symbolized that the Advent of Jesus brings these to life and they are available for our lives, and families.  During Advent we will remember our Savior stepped out of eternity into time to take on flesh so He could off his life for us, dying for our sins and rising from the grace.

At Christmas don’t just celebrate that He came, we celebrate why he came.

He came because of His love for us and the fellowship and friendship that God wants with His creation.  Sin broke that relationship and Jesus came to “buy us back” or “redeem” us by being the sacrifice for sin, thus repairing and making a relationship with the Godhead possible.

It is going to be a month to remember at Compelled Church. Both of our locations will be celebrating, and anticipating the coming of Christ.

Pastor Nate Elarton

Nine Ways to get your zeal for Jesus back


Many are struggling with the level of passion for Christ.  Some have drifted back into old patterns and old ways.  The zeal and fire for Jesus can easily grow dim.  Is that happening to you?  Do you know your love and passion for Christ and His purposes is diminishing in  your life, thoughts, and heart?  What can you do? Can you receive back a white hot focus on the Lord?  Yes.  Here are some of my practical suggestions.

  • Identify and admit you are in need of being close to Christ. Once you know it, the victory is almost there. Most deny their true state.
  • Spend some time alone.  Solitude is a good thing. No TV, no Phone, no Screens, just you and the Lord.  Take a walk and invite the Holy Spirit to just speak to you.
  • Respond to the Lord.  Make a commitment to respond.  Respond in prayer, to his voice, to messages, to altar calls, to being obedient. Just move in response. Don’t allow your heart to get cold or hard. Respond.
  • Ask for help.  The Bible says “We have not because we ask not.”  This morning I prayed that God would set me on fire for Him, more than ever before.  I feel that. The Lord immediately began to flood my heart and mind with thoughts, messages, vision, people.  Ask for Help.
  • Stop  Procrastinating.  Get that Bible back out and that journal and read, and receive.  No excuses, no whining, no wimpering. It is what you need. He is who you need.
  • Put the phone down. Yep, put it down. Kill the OCD that thinks we need to have the phone near us, constantly looking, scrolling, pinging, alerting.  Gosh, what an interruption. I have turned off all alerts, notifications, deleted facebook, and I am making an effort to not be addicted to my phone. It is wasting my time.  It is interrupting my efforts for the Lord.  Just put it down.
  • Watch what you watch.  Our addiction for new things, new movies, new posts, new pics, can get us watching things that will steal our zeal for God.  Watching swearing, violence, sex, dirt, and vileness on TV/Sling/Netflix/prime/cable/youtube will steal your desire for Jesus away.
  • Just receive His love. He loves us and wants to be close to his children. He wants to encourage us, strengthen us, love through us, and reveal more of Himself to us.
  • Enjoy Jesus.  He is contentment. He is our all in all.

Verse page

” data-hasqtip=”1″ aria-describedby=”qtip-1″>1 Corinthians 15:58

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

He is faithful, even when you feel He has disappointed you


I will sing of the lovingkindness of the LORD forever;
To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth.
2 For I have said, “Lovingkindness will be built up forever;
In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness.”  Psalm 89.1-2

As I ponder these 2 verses this morning my heart is drawn to the potential to worship God in song for his great lovingkindness for me.  This “lovingkindness” is the Hebrew word “Hesed”. This is the merciful, kind, and good love that our Father has for us. He shows us this love by His faithfulness.

His faithfulness is  interpreted by us incorrectly so much through our lives.  We decide if God is faithful by what He has done for us, and has He met our expectations? Has He done what I have asked? Has he made my life free from sadness and tragedy? Has he answered my prayers the way I told him to?  His faithfulness promises us none of these things.

God is faithful. He is faithful to Himself. To his covenants. He is faithful to his promise and the extent of his faithfulness will not be completely known or experienced on this side of Heaven. Are we faithful to who He really is, or have we deserted that because he has not been who we wanted him to be?

I know He has been faithful to me.   I have not received all I have prayed for.  He did not always choose to intervene in life circumstances to get me what I wanted, or deliver me from situations and sadnesses I did not want.    I will tell you this, that He has never left me.  I felt and still may feel distant from Him, but He is not distant.

He has been faithful to save me and cover me with his grace. He has been faithful to give me strength during the toughest times in life. I was not delivered but he helped me persevere.  He has been faithful to give me wisdom when I lacked it. He has been faithful to love me and give me grace when I have failed.  He has been there to comfort me in mourning. He is faithful He has been faithful, in spite of me, to be God.

I must sing of this love. I must tell my kids and the younger generations.  I must not conclude he is not faithful because he has not met my expectations. He is faithful to His Word and Words, not my opinion of how He should be.

He is faithful to you also. He is faithful by not being a wishy washy god, doing what we want, fulfilling all our desires, and being bossed around by His creation.

Please consider these questions:

  • Have you concluded He is not all that loving and faithful because of a tragedy, disappointment or experience you  have had and you hold the Lord responsible.  It may be time to let go of that and to love him with all your heart.
  • Do you sing and worship?  Do you express your love to Him in many ways?
  • Mom and dad, have you talked about the faithfulness of God to all the generations?  To your children?  Are you active in increasing their love and faith in God?   Do you pray as a family? Do you discuss what God is showing them. Do they know about your faith, salvation, love for God?  Please don’t let the next generation falter.
  • How can we make know of His faithfulness more?  Be bolder about talking about His goodness?

 

 

Selah, Nate Elarton

Need Some Help?


Psalm 121 (NLT)   “I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there?My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”

When life gets rough for a number of reasons, we often look for some help. A quick fix to ease our broken heart, upset emotions, or dilemma.  unfortunately we turn toward something that we know we like and may make us temporarily feel better.  Shopping, a Netflix binge, an addiction, or the such.

But true help, deep help comes from the Lord.  Through the tough times He is speaking, teaching, guiding.  We want relief, peace, and no suffering.  He wants us to listen, embrace the moment, and deepen our spirits.

Psalm 121 is on my mind this morning.  I read it over a few times. The words feed my soul.  As I read it slower, pray about it, reflect and listen to the Holy Spirit in silence and solitude, faintly, I begin to hear the voice of my Father as “deep calls to deep.”  I want to move on, get about the day, but I must, force myself to wait, to patient my spirit, and listen, for my help is coming. I can’t miss this.

Many times I have not benefited from hard times, because I can’t stop, listen, and patient my spirit to wait for the help that my Father’s voice brings me.

-Natefog

Up ↑