Tuesday, August 29, 2017

God's Supernatural Wellspring: When Tomorrow Becomes Today

We are in a famine! There is a drought for living water! The enemies goal is to keep God’s creation from ever experiencing the freedom that comes from drinking at the well of living water!  Amos 8:11 says, "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land-- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”  We have a generation that is dehydrated, stuck in a dry desert, thirsty for living water, but settling a mirage in the dessert called self-satisfaction.

Did you know that Jesus performed at least thirty-seven (37) known miracles, and nine (9) of them had to do with water?  So ¼ of all miracles were tied to water…. JESUS LIKES WATER.  Why?  Because Jesus is our river... John 7:38 says, Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." Jesus is our well... John 4:14 says, “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  

I want to share with you today the story of a man who encountered Jesus at the well and found that the water he thought He was searching and waiting for wasn't in the pool he laid near but was available for Him that day through the true fountain of living water, Jesus.  A man whose tomorrow became his today when Jesus showed up!  John 5:1-6, “Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”  I hear Jesus declaring to the church, “Do you want to get well?”  Can you imagine being so thirsty when you are only steps from the well of life, but being willing to die in a pit called excuses?  Aren’t you tired of excuses?  Aren’t you tired of hearing them?  Tired of maybe even making them.  The man at the well that day had plenty of excuses, but He had met the one person who could move past all the excuses and ask, “Do you want to get well?”  I HEAR a sound.  It is the sound of those that have waited on the sidelines, watching the church be distracted by the moral code of the world – All the while our Savior is asking, “Do you want to get well?” Then it is time to get to the well! I SEE the longing.   I see it in the eyes of a generation for hope to be revealed, and the church must be the reflection in their pupil with its hand extended – saying, “Do you want to get well?”  I FEEL the tug.  A tug of the Holy Spirit saying – Quit making excuses and climb to your feet and lead a revolution! DO YOU WANT TO GET WELL?

John 5:6, When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?” He was stuck only steps from the water, steps from his miracle, steps from his refreshing, but it may as well have been miles! His mindset of blaming others stood in the way of his miracle. It was everyone else fault that he couldn’t get in the water and be healed! Can you imagine? Each day they stared at the water! Each day they watched for the whirlpool! Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months and months to years! These people knew each other by name. They knew each other’s pain. They knew each other’s story. They were a fraternity of people waiting for a miracle! 

Get out of my way I gotta get blessed! It was every man for himself! When the water started bubbling up, the people started diving in! When church becomes about helping others and not ourselves we will see miracles! That is why I love the four guys in Mark 2:1-5. Remember these guys, they busted a hole in the roof to lower the paralytic down to Jesus. It wasn’t about them! But at the pool of Bethesda, it was every man for himself.  I imagine there was hair pulling, somebody probably kicked the other person’s walker…. This was mass hysteria….. They were either lethargic or alive it just depended who stirred the water!  But in their waiting for the movement of the water, they missed who walked into their circumstance.  I wonder how often God walks into our services, but we have never included him in the order of service. They were so busy waiting to get stirred up that they missed the one whom out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)  They were so desperate to be healed that they ignored the healer! 

Waiting, I am tired of waiting and thinking it must be tomorrow.  I am tired of seeing people desperate for more but fail to truly get free.  So often we feel like we must wait for the right moment but can I tell you, I feel like it is time for the waiting to end, Jesus wants us to be free, He wants us to be whole, He wants us to walk in the authority He gave us at the cross.  He doesn't want us to wait until tomorrow for the promises He has given to us, they are for us TODAY!  It is time our tomorrow become our today!  The wait is over! He had waited so long! His tomorrow was about to become his today!  There is one place that will change everything! One place that will restore your joy! One place that will strengthen that which remains!  One place that will stir you to change your world!  One place that will renew your mind and transform your heart!  That place is called the altar!   I have come to tell you that this is your moment! The water has been stirred! Get in the river of God! Do You Want to get WELL?!  Are you Stuck? Blaming?  Waiting for the waters to be stirred? Your tomorrow can become your today.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Get Your Praise On

In prayer this morning, God took me back to something I wrote in my book "Dehydrated". As some of you may know, I have been walking out my faith, believing for a miracle for a herniated disc in my neck. Some days are good and others, well, I praise God for healing me in advance. 

Today, I want to encourage all of you who may be walking through something that you are having to praise your way through. Some of you may be needing a miracle healing or maybe you're walking through a tragedy or a situation that feels hopeless. For those of you who may feel like your life feels more like an empty pit than a life giving well; if your river of joy is not flowing as it should; it's time to do something. When your river is dammed up bring out the dynamite! It will unstop and unclog your river so that joy can flow freely again. That dynamite is PRAISE! Praise demolishes the work of the enemy and sends confusion into his camp. What better way is there to open the dam than to use spiritual dynamite! Jesus said that His people would be endued "with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). The Greek word for "power" is dunamis, from which we get the word dynamite. Dynamite! Do you see what God has given you? He said He gave you power, or dynamite to break open the dam in your life that is blocking your joy and freedom. And when you praise Him, it proves that you know where your strength comes from. When you begin and end your day in praise, it releases freedom in your spirit and opens the windows of heaven. Instead of focusing on yourself and your problems and becoming self absorbed and self centered, praise forces your attention back to God, the very source of dunamis (Dynamite). 

Praise is the key to walking out a life of faith and freedom. Whenever your faith is at an all time high, you will see that praise is present. Praise and thankfulness are connected. (Col. 2:6-7). Our praise is acknowledgement that we can do nothing by ourselves, but with God, we can do anything. Praise builds our faith and strengthens us spiritually and tears down fear and doubt. Nehemiah 8:10 declares that the "joy of the Lord is your strength". Joshua understood this when he led the Israelites around the city of Jericho for the seventh time and ordered. "Shout!" for the Lord has given you the city!" If you want certain walls to crumble in our life or you need strongholds to come down, or you need a miracle today, then I say, "It's time to PRAISE!" It's time to declare freedom in our life and see past yourself and your current situation. You might feel as though life has dealt you a bad hand. It might seem like you just can't get past today, but you can! Praise will push you past your fleshly desert into a spirit realm of refreshing where you can see clearly how much God has done for you. Praise and Worship is my nerve pill! When you feel overwhelmed and anxiety tries to overtake you, turn up the worship and praise God! Soon, everything that had you down is swallowed up in the greatness of God. God inhabits the praises of His people. (Ps.22:3) 

So today...bring out the dynamite...Praise power! to break down the walls of worry, fear, anxiety, and doubt and watch as God enters into your situation and fills you up to overflowing again with Faith and joy and freedom. When you declare, "I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise will continually be in my mouth" (Ps. 34:1) then God will breathe new life into you in the midst of your chaos. Praise Him and the rain of refreshing will begin to fall down and fill you up to overflowing so that you can be a well of life and refreshing to others.  

(excerpt from "Dehydrated" Ch. 8 - "Get Your Praise On")

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Peace in the Storm"

If you are in a storm, READ THIS!

Have you ever longed for peace?  Searched for joy?  As I sit here on our balcony,  during our family beach vacation, I am mesmerised by the ocean crashing against the shore.  I have said on numerous occasions that this is my happy place.  As I look across the beautiful methodical movements in this massive body of water, I know that the seas are not always so calm.  Storms WILL come and disrupt the peaceful scenery before me.  

My devotions today have taken me to Mark 4:35-5:20, when Jesus and His disciples got in a boat to cross over to the other side of the shore.  Once in the boat and on their way, Jesus laid down to rest while a storm arose and began to rock the boat.  His disciples became afraid and worried for their safety and their lives.  I have to admit, I find some comfort in knowing I'm not the only one who, on occasion, worries and frets in the midst of the storm.  However, this time as I read over this scripture, the response from Jesus, took on a whole new meaning to me, as if the light just came on.  It occurred to me that, we as Christians, walk with Jesus on a daily basis.  We talk with Him, experience His power and might and love and grace and freedom.  However, when storms come or the boat gets rocked a bit, our first response is to fret and worry and doubt.  Jesus was in the boat.  Just like the disciples, we immediately move into panic mode as if we have to WAKE Jesus up in our lives in order to be rescued.  We proclaim, "Don't you care if we perish?"  All the while Jesus is with us and hasn’t changed. 

I love what Jesus did in response to the disciples question.  He got up, turned to the storm and rebuked it and said, "Quiet! Be Still!"  And it obeyed and calmed.  Then, He turned to the disciples and asked, “why are you afraid?" "Do you still have no faith?".  This seems so odd because our natural response is to be afraid in the storm, but Jesus has authority over the storm!  I believe Jesus was showing us something so powerful at that moment.  I believe He was showing the disciples that they have been given authority over the storms in their lives.  That even in the midst of chaos, turmoil, fear, and disaster, there is a place called peace that we can reside when we understand that Jesus is in our boat.  

When Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves, there was a bigger picture at play that He wanted the disciples to see. Romans 14:17 reminds us, “The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.  So here's what He did.  He declared "peace!" and "calm!" Not only to the wind and waves but across the waters all the way to the shore, where there was a man who was demon possessed and living in utter torment. A man who had no righteousness, peace or joy. He lived in inner turmoil and chaos day and night.  Jesus wanted to demonstrate that His very presence in our lives can bring that order and unity in our lives. The peace that was declared caused a chain reaction to where it demanded a response. Not only did the elements of nature come into submission to the voice of the one who created it, but on the other side of the storm there was freedom in progress.  Our response to the storm will determine what happens on the other side. Jesus didn't just rebuke the wind and the waves but rather the outcome of the storm.  So many times we get so focused on the storm, we don't see that there will be an aftermath to that storm.  Matthew 6:33 says,  "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  The very declaration of peace caused the storm in the demon possessed mans life to submit and fall at the feet of Jesus when He arrived on the other side of the storm.  Are you seeing this?!  Jesus' very presence in the storm stirred up the desire for righteousness in that man's life and as a result he was set free and he was brought into a place of PEACE and JOY.  We know this because the Bible says that when the people came out to see what had happened, they saw the man who HAD BEEN demon possessed, sitting there dressed and in his right mind (peace).  Then Jesus told the man to go and share what had happen to him with his family so that his family would be restored (Joy). 

What I have learned is that, while storms are inevitable, and circumstances are at times out of my control, I can walk in peace and joy at all times when I understand true righteousness and faith in Jesus being in my life.  The dictionary describes faith as this, "complete trust or confidence in someone or something".  The question we have to ask ourselves is this, "do we completely trust God in all things?" I know I trust Him when life is going great, or am I really just trusting myself?  To fully trust God is to submit and walk in obedience during the great and during the not so great. Seek first God's kingdom and righteousness and peace and joy will be your constant companion.  

On the boat with His disciples, Jesus was speaking peace to the very spirit of man.  He clarified this again when He said in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Our response to fear needs to change, and as a result, the aftermath will be one that brings freedom.  We are called to walk in daily peace no matter the circumstances or situation.  Peace is not an emotion but rather a place in Jesus that our spirits reside.  

Today if you are walking thru a storm, then I encourage you to get up and see Jesus in the storm with you and speak God’s truth and His words and declare "Peace!, Be still!"  Allow the authority that Christ has given you to defeat the plans of the enemy in your life and cross over to the other side into freedom! Learn how to worship where you should have died to get to the other side!  Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."  The storm is not the problem.  It stirs our faith to then respond and activate our faith and trust in the almighty God to experience peace and joy like we've never seen before.  What you call a tombstone, God calls a mile marker!  Life is a great big adventure with God, embrace the journey!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Encounter At The Well

I have traveled across the world speaking a message of hope and restoration, and the statement that I hear over and over again is this: “I’m so dry and exhausted. There has got to be more to this life that I am living.”
There is a cry coming from the throne of God for an awakening to take place in this generation. The busyness and struggle of everyday life can not only exhaust us but also strain our relationship with God! One morning God spoke to my heart and said that the best word to describe how most of us feel is dehydrated!
“We are so thirsty!” Those are the words my family echoed late one afternoon after we had finished a long hike into the mountains. In our carelessness we had not carried enough water for our journey. Luckily we made it out of the woods to the water bottle waiting for us in our car, which was parked at the end of the hiking trail.
Have you ever felt that way—dry, thirsty, and desperate for refreshment? I have learned that, too often, you don’t even realize you’re thirsty or dehydrated until it’s too late in your journey. By that time it has taken a toll on your body, both physically and mentally, and your body screams for refreshment.
The same is true of the life journey. So many people are thirsty and desperately seeking relief for the issues that have left them empty, parched, and exhausted. They are desperately seeking answers!
Life has a way of depleting our spiritual “wells.” It’s time to head back to the well to get refilled. The Bible is filled with the answers we need. In the story of a woman Jesus met at Jacob’s well, the Bible talks about our desperation and thirst, and provides the relief we are seeking.
In John 4:10 Jesus told the woman, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water” (The Message).
So very often, we go to the well out of desperation. With our buckets in hand, we present our cases to God. We pour out everything to Him, dumping our guilt, shame, fears, concerns, insecurities, anxiety, and sins. Rarely, however, do we drink of the life-giving water He wants to provide. That water would keep us refreshed and free from spiritual dehydration; but instead, we walk away still dry and thirsty, without receiving the living water He offers freely.
The “Well Experience”
As a young girl I was lonely, insecure, and hopelessly searching for identity and purpose. One hot, muggy, Florida morning, while sitting alone on a concrete bench in the middle of the school courtyard, I began a journey that would change the course of my life forever. There on that bench, I learned to hear the voice of God as He sat beside me and talked with me.
This is the place where Jesus sits, on the well of Jacob (the deceiver), so that we can see truth clearly and live in continual freedom and joy and peace. That is where I found Him that day, on a concrete bench that became my personal “well experience” with Jesus. Throughout my ensuing years as a wife, mom, pastor’s wife, and evangelist, I have had many more encounters that have led me to taste the living water. Those encounters have changed me from a dry and barren land to a fountain that is able to pour out and lead others to their own well experiences with the Savior.
There is a well experience for everyone. It’s that moment when Jesus sits down to talk with you alone. The Bible says that Jesus sat down at Jacob’s well (John 4:6). In doing so He set the stage for a supernatural encounter with God. The power of the encounter! It is the moment when Jesus silences the voice of the deceiver (the enemy) in your life. It is a divine appointment, a specific time when God “shows up” on your behalf. The moment is marked by His presence, power, and deliverance. It is a realization that change has been waiting on you, and there is more avail- able than what you have settled for in your life so far.
This message is for those who long to walk to the front and worship in God’s presence but feel that the guilt and shame of the past get in their way and keep them chained to their seats. It is for those who feel they don’t matter or don’t deserve to have a real relationship with a loving, caring, healing Savior—those who have become too tired, overwhelmed, and dry to fight the enemy.
God is waiting on you. In the middle of your desert, in a life that might feel like a wasteland, He has streams of refreshing, life-giving water. All you have to do is show up and drink, and you will never thirst again.
Our physical bodies can go without water for only three days before they start shutting down. At that point we become unable to function as we were created to, and our minds start playing tricks on us. In the same way, when we aren’t regularly filled up spiritually, we are unable to function properly as Christians. Because of spiritual dehydration, our hope deteriorates, we lose focus, and we become ineffective in life.
As you take this journey with me, I challenge you to open yourself up to the God encounters, the well experiences that will change you from the inside out. In them, you’ll be transformed for a lifetime, not just a moment.
No matter where you come from or what is in your past, God still wants to spend time with you, so take these words to heart:
Forget all that [is behind you]—it is nothing com- pared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
—Isaiah 43:18–19, NLT
He wants to set you free and give you a fresh start. He issues second chances upon request. It’s time for you to realize that your life matters and that God loves you and has a purpose for your life. You’re not here by chance. He is waiting to have a personal relationship in which He walks with you and talks with you and leads you on an amazing adventure full of life and joy and peace and fulfillment.
Buckle up, because this journey will force you to challenge everything you thought was normal in your weary life. God uses the dirty, messed up, forgotten nobodies; He heals and sets them free and uses them to clean up this messy world. It happened to the woman at the well. She didn’t deserve the kindness Jesus gave her, but He decided that she was worth His time. God had bigger plans for her than she had for herself—and not just for her, but also for those she would encounter.
As you embark on this journey let me ask you: Does God know where you are today? Does He know your circumstances, issues, and struggles? The answer is absolutely! He knows, and He is preparing an encounter just for you and Him to have a conversation about that plan for your life. He has called you to rise up! If you will allow Him, He will walk you through a journey to find freedom, joy, fulfillment, and purpose as you read these pages.
Your journey is both temporal and eternal. There will come a day when you and I will hear these words: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” (Rev. 22:17).
He is waiting to meet with you. Are you thirsty today? Are you dehydrated by the world and the issues of life? Will you come and drink?

You can order "Dehydrated" by Karen Schatzline by clicking here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Quenching Your Thirst

Dear friends,

I have always wanted to write a blog. After years of writing articles and then the release of my new book, "Dehydrated," I decided to begin this new blog. This will be a blog dedicated to seeing lives refreshed. Please help me spread the word. Feel free to leave comments! - Karen Schatzline

I believe that our nation and the whole world are in the greatest famine in history. The famine I speak of is not in faraway sub-Saharan Africa or Southern Asia. It is in our midst - and it is much worse than anything we could ever imagine. This famine is in the hearts of men and women who are dehydrated and desperate for the water of the Holy Spirit. It is a famine for truth, and for the Word and presence of God.

Truth is so despised in our culture that it is now seen as hate speech. In this toxic environment, the enemy of truth is silence. People are starved for truth! My husband, Pat, and I have traveled across the nation, and everywhere we go, we see people at the altars, bent over with the deep longing for refreshing. They are thirsting for the truth - the streams of living water.

The truth changes us. Jesus declared in John 8:32, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." The woman at the well was desperate for the living water. Her encounter with Jesus awakened her to the truth of God's freedom and purpose.

We must awaken this thirsty generation to their season of refreshing! We ought to have a burden for them! There is a prophet in the Bible we rarely hear about. His name is Amos, which means "burden bearer." Amos carried a very heavy burden. He lived in a time when indulgence and perversion had overtaken the people of God. They worshipped God but had very little relationship with Him, much like many people today.

What I love about Amos is that he came out of nowhere. He didn't come from a long lineage of prophets. He was a simple shepherd and farmer who had a word from God.

Amos was a "minor prophet" with a big burden. Amos made clear in his writings that he did not come from a family of prophets, nor did he even consider himself one. Rather, he was "a grower of sycamore figs" as well as a shepherd (Almost 7:14-15). Amos' connection to the simple life of the people made its way into the center of his prophecies as he showed a heart for the oppressed and the voiceless in the world.

Amos wrote about injustice and made sure people knew that God was their Judge. In today's culture, we work so hard to tell people about God's love that we forget to remind them that He is also our Judge. Amos did not make that mistake. He knew that destruction was coming and used word pictures to get his message across. He was like the guy who stands on the corner holding a sign that says, "The end is near!" No on wants to make eye contact with a guy like that, but they desperately need to hear from him.

Jesus told the woman at the well that "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life" (John 4:14). He also said that her people, the Samaritans, did not know whose they were worshipping (John 4:22). They had no idea what to worship. So when the woman met Jesus, she didn't even know what was missing in her life. She was lost and searching for answers because her people, her husbands and even her false religion had rejected her. She didn't know what she believed.

Then she was exposed to Jesus, who knew everything about her. He not only knew her past, but He loved her enough to awaken her future. She was suddenly aware of the living water that He offered and of her own thirst. It's time that we allow God to awaken our thirst again!

As we pursue the living water, we must lead others to it. In our pursuit of God, we should live so purely and passionately for Him that it produces a thirst for more of God in all whom we encounter. The culture is calling us to worship everything except the one true God. in their search for truth, many have settled for the lies that are disguised as the real thing.

We are in constant pursuit of things that can never fulfill us. Without God, fleshly desires, promotion, acceptance and selfish ambition only leave us empty. He is what we really need.

Our fulfillment must be in Him and Him alone. We must allow our parches spirits to engage a living God once again. The Bible declares: "Come! Say the Spirit and the Bride. Whoever hears, echo, 'Come! Is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will, come and drink, drink freely of the Water of Life!" (Rev. 22:17, MSG).