What Cave Are You In?

That is my today as I know that I am currently on a journey…my own journey and lifetime walk with the Lord.  This takes work, courage, tremendous strength and effort.

I preach a new sermon, a real sermon, a now sermon, a sermon of and for today.  It is my life. Because I live this every day and people would never think so.  Our battle is constant and ongoing.

David was a mighty warrior.  Why didn’t they want to follow a king like Saul?

Cause Saul wasn’t a fighter.  He was just a man with a title.

David was a fighter, a warrior, had surrendered to a life of battle, continual lifetime of war and a chase until he became a CHAMPION. He was a true leader.  I don’t want to know about your battle that happened 20 years ago! What is going on today?!  Help me TODAY!  Saul was known over a slaughter that happened over many years of past time.  He also had an issue with obedience and taking out the people God asked him to as a victory.  He didn’t complete any God-given tasks, only man-made tasks.

People don’t want to talk of any issues with a facade of victory never encountering a thing!

They tell you never to share anything!  Don’t talk of intimate issues! You have to pretend like all is well in your house, your job, with your kids, with your finances… everything is always peachy!

But you need help!

If you keep partially telling your testimony it will only partially help others… but when you tell your COMPLETE STORY…your testimony, then others can come to that complete breakthrough. People want to know HOW! How do they get out of this? Where do they go? What do they do? Sisters… these women need HELP! Real help! So let’s get real, be real and start being the vessel that God ordained us to be! If King David had his life on BLAST and still was a man after God’s own heart what makes you an exception to the rule? Like Apostle Paul was slaughtering Christians before he was encouraging them! Another Apostle Peter was lying to them before he was leading them!

Let’s really tell our story! You don’t want to open up because you think you will be HURT! NO! IT IS WHAT IT IS!!! OK! THE DEED IS DONE! By His stripes you are healed and by His blood you have already been set free! YOU’RE SALVATION IS NOT GIVEN TO YOU BY ANY OTHER PERSON BUT JESUS HIMSELF… and THAT is eternal!

thecave_new

David was in the cave of Adullum.  Saul was in a palace eating supper!

David went to Mizpah, Saul sought just 1 man out of jealousy and David sought hundreds and thousands because of the God he served.

Saul had an army of 300,000 of Israel and 30,000 of Judah

David had 1 (Jonathan) until God gave him 400 like him as a start.  They were all in distress. The world was shaken up in the city at that time.  There was no order with all these “kings”.  That is life.  Are you okay? Because it is okay to “not be okay” sometimes when you do find yourself in that cave.

Sounds a lot like today right?  So many Pastors and too few shepherds that smell like, look like their own sheep.  There are pastors that preach the word of God and those that LIVE the word of God.  There are leaders that attract followers and leaders that attract other leaders!  David was that man.

1 Samuel 22

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. [You even got yourself out of something only to find yourself in a cave] When his brothers and his father heard about it – [I am thinking that at this point David must have taken a selfie in the Cave of Adullum.  How else did they hear about this? He checked himself in at the cave like many of us do with the ER hospital wrist bands as “my current status” on FB & IG. In life there are always going to be real followers] All those that were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him; and he became their leader!  About 400 men were with him.

This is beautiful!

From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you UNTIL I LEARN what God will do for me? [Basically what he was saying is that – I don’t know right now – it looks bleak right now, but I have NO clue or NO idea what to do – except fight!] So he left them [his parents] with the king of Moab and they stayed as long as David was in the stronghold.  But the prophet Gad said to David “Do not stay in the stronghold.  Go into the land of Judah.”  So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

Go to Psalm 142.

1 I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
2 I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.

3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.

Just so you can sense that David was bipolar.  David suffered depression. He was a man with a heavy state and case of depression on his life.

Even in Psalm 56 he cries out – Just because he was a good fighter also doesn’t mean that he wasn’t still afraid.  He had to battle that as well.

David was a journalist – this is a person who collects/gathers, writes or distributes news or other current information.  He was openly declaring and writing his case to God and this became the word distributed to the world!

Being broken is not a defeat! It is an admission.  It is your building block.  In your brokenness you will find your breakthrough. Being broken doesn’t mean that you don’t work; it means that you are not functioning PROPERLY and this is exactly where God moves in to do the rest of the work when you surrender your life to him.

Being under some constant attack is also not defeat! It’s not because you are weak!  It is because you are strong, because you are a fighter, a warrior.  Strong walls shake but don’t collapse.  Whatever life throws at us, even if it hurts, we have to be strong through God and fight through it.

Sometimes in these cases our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed and rearranged to bring us to the place we are meant to be.  There are some walls that NEED to be torn down and REBUILT!

There are even people that will hate you for this, rate you, shake you and break you but how strong you stand is what MAKES YOU!!!  This goes beyond all the fancy quotes we have to STAND STRONG, we have to find a place that when all else is fallen, we can stand up in Christ!

Do what you can and God will do what YOU CAN’T!

Remember every flower must grow through dirt.  Unfortunately in life, there is a lot of dirt but it makes us blossom and grow.

I keep looking to this quote often when I came back from a life impacting, life empowering, life altering and life changing retreat…that says:

Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something …BEAUTIFUL.

Just put your trust in GOD!!! Behind those smiles in life is pain, it is hidden strength.  But when you give that to God to uncover all that He will build you up again – better than ever!

A brand new and better you!  Isn’t that what you want!  Let truth be your shield and buckler (Psalm 91).  What is done is done.  It is what it is.  Get over it and move on already and allow that brokenness and the story behind you be your victory.  Be free of all of that – the word of God will always prevail as it states THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!!!

People are walking around with the “blessed and highly favored” face on – that’s the real mask.

If something’s wrong – say it! State that! That is what intercession is for and a true lamenting for change.  To give to God a fill surrendered life and submission for God and that is not always easy.  It is VERY difficult!

To do what you will not to do (Romans 7).   There’s a life of that.  Battling always two wars. I am constantly waging war and it changes day to day.  Whether is the absence of something, missing something, feeling a certain way, battling emotions, battling my past, thoughts, memories, dreams, doubt, fear, anger, frustration…anything that tries to creep up and pull me away from a focused place with God.  It creeps up always.

Jesus was distinct – the outspoken.  The one that didn’t fit in, because he was born to stand out!

We can’t save the multitudes, Jesus did all that.  But we CAN make disciples – that is really the command.

Honestly I’m just wondering, why this constant attack for me. I’m even scaring people sometimes – my family, my friends –is it just me?  Am I really the only one under some constant attack?  Let it be mental, physical, emotional or spiritual! We are at WAR saints!!!

I’m being attacked in my dreams, when I wake, at my job, home is on the horizon, working diligently to have a balance and uplift others when I also need uplifting, but that is my story! That is my life.

When you admit your weakness you place yourself in the strongest position possible! In the hands of GOD!  I find myself weak MANY times!!!  The difference is knowing that and recognizing immediately where God comes in!

Psalm 60:12 Through God we will do valiantly for it is HE who shall tread down our enemies.

He is the one that will validate us!

Refuge in a cave, the cave cannot save him, God alone can bring his soul out of prison as he cried out!!!

Psalm 142: 7 Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.

Remember lamentation is necessary and a lot of times we don’t even want to go there to fully surrender our broken lives to God.  Full!  ALL! Everything!!!!  Let it out – Let it go – Pour out!

We give up in order to really win! What looks like a no-win situation to us is actually a win-win situation to God.

This is where grieving begins – cleanses us on the inside & cleanses our wounds so the healing can begin.  It hurts but He cleanses us, it hurts but He empties us so we can be filled with what God has for us which is far more greater and far more better than any other thing we try to hold on to.

Let go of the past, let go of the memory! Easier said than done – we need to delete the memories for real…we need God for that daily! You know how hard it is for me.  Every day I come in here, I want to pick up that phone, I want to reach out, I want to go back to the place where I felt like my world was the best.  But God says no, God says enough, God says don’t go there, God says don’t go back! And as much as I pout, cry, scream, yell, anger, frustrate, resist… I am being emptied of everything so God can fill me for what He has for me!

We can call it the “perfect storm” sometimes when we feel like EVERYTHING is going wrong –inside AND out.  But it is the perfect place God has for me to show me and teach me that I won’t be moved by it.  It is not going to move me.  Get used to the storm, used to the pain so you KNOW.  You have learned the secret! You have learned the secret Chris—to be content in all things.  When you have no other choice you make a commitment.

Commitment is an act of committing, pledging or engaging oneself.  A pledge, promise, obligation, involvement; to give in trust – pledge oneself, entrust – to do or deliver for treatment “surrender a complete life”.

I can no longer go where I want to go.  I can no longer have what I want to have. I can no longer say what I want to say. I have to go where God tells me; have what He has for me, say what He wants me to say!  It is not about me.  It is about the promise.

There are two types of leaders – one who attracts followers and one who attracts other leaders!

To keep attracting better leader you will have to keep developing your own leadership ability.  It is a stage of constant growing.  You have to practice what you preach.  You have to be that example for real, even if you fall get up, get over it and move on again and again and again.  God is your source!

There is an army rising up that will be formed!

Don’t just spend time with others, invest time in others.  Deposit in them to do …reproduce yourself.

Leaders add infinite weight to their words by reincarnating the principles they teach.

Paul never asked the Corinthian church to do something he never did.

His leadership was on display and open for ridicule, willing to play the fool in order to model the surrendered life.  Endured mocking from others, didn’t waiver, sacrificed luxuries others enjoyed, urged his followers to imitate his life.

Remember at the end of the day there will always be some battle to face, some ongoing war – and the one you will have to confront first and foremost is YOU!

God’s kingdom is not about talk but about POWER!

Demonstrate strength character, humility, grace, love commitment, truth, virtue, and stance – GET BACK UP!  Be free in the truth of God’s Word.

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Blessings to all that are viewing this. My name is Christina Cruz-Mendez. I am a Pastor at Mission United International Church in Yonkers, NY working along side my husband Juan A. Mendez Jr. Senior Pastor. We have been together for 27 years with 2 children that God has blessed us with. Makes us the family of four - "JusChrist4". I have been a Christian and active in ministry for about 19 years now. Through all the rocky and smooth roads in life I am eternally grateful that God has brought me this far in life to share with the world what He is doing in me, through me and for me.

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