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Beauty For Ashes

By Pastor Doris Sykes
Staff Writer - There comes a time in our lives when we out-grow the space in which we live. We have a sense of urgency, a drive, and a push that something is changing within us. It's almost as if someone has flipped a switch. We know that change is inevitable. We find ourselves compelled by an inner genetic code that this is the time to make significant, life-changing decisions. It's like the caterpillar making his journey to just the right position because he knows that change must come.

That is the way it is for you and me. God our Father has given each of us an unction, a sense of knowing that if we don't allow the process of change to take place, we will never reach our full potential.

Jesus is calling, "Your time has come. The transition can be smooth or turbulent. It is for you to decide. It is time to leave worthless things behind -- weights and unnecessary burdens, and thoughts that have hindered you as they make their continuous cycle in your mind."

Like the caterpillar making his metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly, God has designed your transformation to take place.

If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. (Job 14:14)

There is no doubt about it, we are changing all the time. Let's grow upward into our next level of expression of His potential within us. Like the butterfly, ready to push his way out of the cocoon, it is time to break-free from our fears, insecurities, apprehensions, the false evidence appearing real (lies), etc.

We must shed this cocoon. It is no longer useful because it represents hidden perceptions about you that are not true. We find ourselves carrying around negative, false conclusions about ourselves. They can become a great weight and a burden. We are to lay weights and burdens aside.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)

The cocoon is like the strong man's armor (Luke 11:21,22). The enemy of your soul will tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, strong enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, intelligent enough, tall enough, nor small enough. You name your armor (your cocoon). You've heard the arguments in your mind. Paul says in II Corinthians 10:12 that it is not wise to compare ourselves. Once Satan's deception is exposed, the binding, lifeless hindrance loses it strength and we are able to take flight.

Sometimes we have to push, stretch, and then relax a moment like the butterfly coming out of the cocoon. He must make his exit from that tight space, much like Lazarus coming out of his grave clothes. Lazarus, with the help of other human hands, was able to get unwrapped from the grave clothes.

And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. (John 11:44)

There are times when God will allow people to help us. There are times when only God will be your coach. If human hands were to help the butterfly by cutting him out of the cocoon, his wings would be drooped and unable to take flight. My friend, God knows what is best for you. He knows just how much push, stretch, and relaxation you need to bring you out.

He wants to give you "beauty for ashes." Ashes are the useless things in your life that no longer serve a life-giving purpose. Allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to blow them away.

We may weep and we may mourn, but the Word of God says:

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5b)

Too much mourning can make the heart sick-- like hope deferred.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)

It is okay to laugh, to hope, and to allow change. God said He will take away from you the heavy burdened and failing spirit.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. … To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1a,3 Amplified)

Unnecessary thoughts from the past can weigh your heart, hopes and dreams, down until they are unable to take flight and breathe the breath of new life. Like the butterfly breaking out of his cocoon, it is time to take flight. Everything comes to full maturity in its time. Look up! It is time to rejoice! Your change has come!


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