The God Who Guides!

“For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end” (Psalm 48:14 NIV).

The Sons of Korah had a revelation about which God truly has power. They knew the history of the Israel who had been caught up with worshipping gods made–with the hands of man–whose only power was in the superstitious belief of the people. But now, they understood that there is a God–one whom man had not created and could not be seen with the natural eye–who had power to change the course of things and did. With the discovery and understanding, they praised Him for His mighty acts on their behalf and submitted to His guidance.

How many gods are people worshipping today? Are they worshipping the gods made by the hands of man–cars, careers, money, status, power–their idols (trophies, certificates, degrees, all which can be seen and touched) and for some–their spouses? What real power do any of these things have? How can they guide a person anywhere? How can anyone really put their trust in these things or people and expect them to last forever?

At one time–as recorded in the history books and in the bible–images were made of men and things (animals in particular) and the things were given power by the imaginations of the people. The best record of their total impotence is the story of “their gods” pitted against God with Elijah and the “fire consumed everything” in the troughs and around them. No magic, just the power of a God who created all things and without whom, nothing was created. The Sons of Korah got it–have we?

We should not expect our God to act like a magician when we need anything, but we certainly need to learn to listen and hear Him when He speaks so He can guide us into the direction in which we will receive all we desire. The true power of God lies within us and in our obedience to God. As He told Joshua, “if we will keep His commandments, then everything we put our hands to would prosper and we would have good success.” Are we obeying? Have we made any effort to accomplish anything?

When we don’t receive the answers we want from God, perhaps we should look at our responses to Him when He speaks to us. Can He count on us to do what He asks us to do? Will we obey Him even when we don’t understand what it is He wants us to do? Have we clearly demonstrated that our trust is in Him and Him alone?

Consider the “things” that you have amassed. What power have you given them? Do you trust them to guide you in all things? Can they provide you with answers to questions that arise in your life? Are you building a kingdom in which you want to reign or are you a Kingdom Builder–leading others to the God who reigns forever?

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to be as wise as those who have gone before us in recognizing that though there may be many gods that people worship; You are the only God who guides–forever. Amen!

Which Way Are We Going?

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).

When we are reminded  through The Word that “every parent is responsible” for the behavior of their children, we really need to revisit parenting skills.

The Word admonishes us to “start children”–from the time they are able to comprehend language–train them.  Teach them what hot and cold are by placing their hands in warm and then cool water. Don’t scald or burn them or cause them to have freezer burn. I’ve been appalled by people who teach their children what hot is by burning them with a cigarette lighter. How cruel is that? And what does that say about those who “parented” them?

Talk to children from the time they are born (some believe even before then) so they will get used to hearing language.  Forget the “baby talk” that does nothing but confuse.  In fact, I’m beginning to believe that some parents never learned anything beyond baby talk themselves. Not speaking to children in normal, conversant language could lead to delayed development and a subsequent diagnosis of being special needs, when they are not.

Demonstrate–in front of children and even when they are not in front of you–how they should conduct themselves in any situation.  Provide structured play time–when they have to sit still for a prolonged time.  Teach to share and not be selfish. Encourage them talking to you–not yelling or cussing at them, but in actual conversation–about their toys, their dreams, their future careers, their favorite story–anything; just talk to them and allow them to respond.

Let them see you reading a book and not just sitting in front of a television set. Read to them–from a children’s bible or other stories–just read to them. Allow them to turn pages and follow your finger while reading to them. This gets them prepared for school and structured learning.

Teach them selflessness. Telling a child “no” prepares them to understand they cannot have everything they want.  Establish means for children to “earn” things; don’t just give them things. One of the reasons we have a problem with invasions and robberies is that people have not been taught that they cannot have what they have not earned. Children can earn privileges by doing chores and maintaining good grades.

When children see parents steal and hear them plot how they’re going to steal, or destroy the property of others, they learn to do the same thing. Most of what is wrong with our society right now is that very few people have understood how to parent and they keep having kids and can teach them absolutely nothing.

The saddest commentary in our society today is to see the realities of a lack of parenting skills–babies have babies and the grandparents (sometimes as young as 28)–who did not finish school or learn a skill by which they could earn a living–think it is cute. Generational delusions about parenting and self respect result in societal ills that may never be fixed and we all become the victims of “no one having trained children in the way they should go.”

We cannot go backwards, but we can start where we are to seriously look at what may become of us and our society.  Parents need to train their children to respect self and others. When children lack understanding of respect–their lack of respect mushrooms into the societal nightmare we now see. Be people of integrity and obedient to God’s Word–train your children in the righteousness of God and even if they stray for a moment, they will remember it when they get older and return to it. Plant the seed now and water it until it grows into the fruit of goodness. If we don’t take the time to teach them, our children will do the time–within institutions of society’s choice–the justice system.

Lord, help us today to see where we are going wrong in the training of children and help us to get it right.

The Lord is My Refuge!

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11 NIV);

Who will command angels to guard us? The Lord will, if we say, “The Lord is my refuge” (vs. 9) and make the Most High our dwelling place, “The Lord” will make sure no harm overtakes or comes near us.

If He is our refuge–our shelter from harm–and we live within the safety of His arms–we have no need to fear anything. Not only will He make sure that nothing harms us, He won’t let disaster come near us. Say it now, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When Wall Street comes tumbling down or soaring high, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When doctors give us an uncertain prognosis, “The Lord is my refuge!”

In the middle of storms of nature or emotions, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When it seems like all hope is gone, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we cannot see solutions because of the problems, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we have more questions than answers, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we have more bills than money, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When spouses don’t act right, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When children or grandchildren get on our last nerves, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When lawmakers don’t do their jobs, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When preachers won’t preach the Truth, “The Lord is my refuge!”

This should not just be a mantra, but a way of acknowledging who we believe and trust because when we make this acknowledgment, He will encamp angels all around us to keep us from harm. He will remind us that by His Spirit we have access to all truth and He will direct our paths. He will bridle our tongues before we say anything stupid if we just say, “The Lord is my refuge” first.

Our angels have been given an assignment, to protect us and guard us in all of “our ways” so no harm can come before us. If we will do what He says, He will do what He has promised. Are we going to do it? No weapon formed against us shall prosper because our angels will intercept and deflect any of the fiery darts that the enemy sends our way. Hallelujah!  “The Lord is my refuge!”

Who Do You Trust?

“Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever” (Psalm 125:1 NIV).

Most mountains won’t budge of themselves, but we have witnessed mountains being re-conformed whenever it suits man–for their purposes.  More specifically, I’m thinking about the mountains in West Virginia that have been carved out for highways, bridges–all for the benefit of man–with man-made equipment (explosives and bulldozers). So, when I read this verse, I get an understanding about the endurance of a mountain–as long as we leave them alone.

Of course, there are some instances in which earthquakes have caused mountains to shift and rocks to slide, but the base of mountain–for the most part remains intact. I say this without knowing the full destruction of every earthquake and I’m simply trying to make a point. The point is–we should be like the mountains–steadfast, immoveable, unshakeable when we our trust is in God.

However, when we “quake” at the negative reports–from doctors, the media, whoever; the implication is that we cannot be trusting God and are relying upon either our trust in man or self. Can we really trust in ourselves? Are we infallible beings worthy of trust? Or are we just as fickle as the next person, constantly changing our minds, our values, our morals–just to go along to get along? What have we done that makes us think we are trustworthy? How do we know we cannot trust self or others for any extensive time? Look at our reactions to an economy out of control.  Look at our reactions to the news reports that seldom report anything positive.  Look at what we do in front of our children and then expect them to do something better. Look at how we treat each other–with hatred and disdain and then expect someone to love us. This is what happens when we “trust” us and others.

Trust in the Lord! Commit all your ways unto Him and allow Him to direct your paths. Submit to God, resist the devil and the devil and all his demons will flee. Trust in the report of the Lord when doctors tell you you’re never going to get well. The Lord’s report says, “we are healed by His stripes.” When watching the news, remember what the Lord has said: “These things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

Trust God to keep all of His promises and never quake in a moment of doubt.  Stand firm in your trust and commitment to God and watch Him work things out in your favor. Be like the mountain–unshakeable in the midst of turmoil and don’t let man’s ideas, plans and thoughts re-conform you! Know–don’t just believe–know that God will do whatever He said He will do–to His glory and our benefit!

 

He Sees and Hears!

“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

Have you ever felt like someone was watching every move you made? You’re not alone in that feeling.  In fact, we are all being watched–the righteous and the wicked alike--by the One who sees and hears all things. However, when the Lord sees the righteous in trouble, He hears their cries unto Him and responds.

Who are the righteous? Every person who has a relationship with God and is doing what is right in His sight is the righteous. We know that His eyes are in every place, seeing the good and the evil. When we care about maintaining our relationship with Him, we do not do the things we know would displease Him. For when we delight in the Lord (take pleasure in pleasing Him), He gives us the desires of our hearts (when they align with His Word).

We can rest assured in the knowledge that though we will go through trials and tribulations, we will come through them victorious because Jesus forewarned us, through John’s Gospel. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem fair that those who live a righteous life suffer the same things as those who don’t know God. But if we never had to suffer, never felt persecuted, never been subjected to ridicule and scorn, we would not have a testimony to share with others about how good God is. If we never knew how He can deliver us from evil, how would we be able to share it? If we never knew about His healing virtue, how could we tell someone else?

God–in His infinite wisdom–allows us to “go through” things so He can develop us and then use us to “get through” to others when we can magnify Him in all things. Glory to God! Use us Lord to Your glory! We will come through all the trials, triumphantly–gladly singing His praises and having a testimony about how awesome He is.

If we never had a trial, would we call upon the Lord? If our lives were perfect in every way, would we be able to say, God is good, all the time? If we never had a reason to talk to Him about self or others, would we do it? Think about it! God wants us totally dependent upon Him, as His children, so He can provide everything we need–proving Himself to be a great Father! Oh yes, He is God and He is God all by Himself and I am so thankful and grateful for His love that I would not have my life any other way–depending on Him for everything!

Father, in the name of Jesus, we thank You for the trials and tribulations that You allow to come upon us to make us strong so we can tell others of Your goodness. We thank You for loving us enough to come down to our level and for saving us from ourselves. We thank You for providing for us–everything we need and our hearts’ desires. Help us to stay focused on You and to be willing to share–our testimonies so others will come to know You for themselves. Amen!

Stupid Arguments (10/25/13)

Worth the read and the application.

THE RIVER WALK

Read: Jeremiah 44:24-47:7, 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17, Psalm 94:1-23, Proverbs 26:6-8

Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.
(2 Timothy 2:23)

Rembrandt

Relate: I was tempted to pull out some quotes. I was really tempted. It would have been really easy. You see, at last check, I’ve got 970 facebook friends. I figure at least fifty of them have no business owning a facebook account. Why? Because they just can’t help but get involved in all kinds of foolish, ignorant arguments and facebook is a breeding ground for such nonsense. I’ve got fundamentalist friends who will post nonsense about how all pentecostals have bought into the kundalini spirit. I’ve got pentecostal friends talking about how all dispensationalists don’t know how to read their Bible. I’ve got republican friends trying to convince the world Obama is the antichrist and liberal friends who say all republicans are…

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What’s In Your Heart?

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11 NIV).

When I first acknowledged God’s calling on my life for ministry over 25 years ago, I said to Him, “You have to teach me Your Word before I can teach it to anyone else.” How naive is that? God knew what I knew and He knew that I would not attempt to tell anyone something that I did not understand. After all, He created me and knows everything about me.

At any rate, I studied–not just read–the bible. I read various translations and spent hours in the library getting an understanding of history–the culture, dress codes, military protocol, everything pertaining to the era of the Old Testament and The New. I spent tons of money on books, comparing and aligning what was said to the bible. And while I was studying, I was praying--“Lord, what does this mean? How can I make sense of this in one place, when you seem to say something different in another? I need insight and confirmation to make sure I’m on the right track.” I said a lot more than this, but I don’t have time or room for all the conversations we had.

But because He is God and because He is good, He always responded to me. He led me to a school of study. He constantly provided me with revelation into His Word and even now, He is yet revealing Himself as I continue to study. By year three into my studies, I began to understand how “hiding the word in my heart” would keep me from sinning against God. When the Word is so deeply embedded into our hearts, every time we think about doing something that is not of God, the Word rises and convicts. If we think we have forgotten, but are willing to hear from Holy Spirit, He will remind of us everything we have been taught.

Now, if we haven’t been taught anything, if we haven’t studied to understand, if we haven’t sought God to make sure we’re on the right track, Holy Spirit cannot bring anything to our remembrance. Nothing in–nothing out. We have to make sure that there is a constant “deposit” of the Word in our hearts, so when we need to make a “withdrawal” we don’t come up having “NSF” (insufficient information) to ward off the attacks of the devil.

When I see some of the things that people say in their conversations online, I know they have not sought God for understanding; they are simply mimicking what someone else has said. When I hear preachers mangle the Word in a message, I know they have not sought God and they certainly have not studied The Word. When people say or type comments about the bible being contradictory, I know they do not understand who God was speaking to and why–for that particular time in history. The bible is not contradictory.  God is not a man that He should lie or contradict Himself. When we understand mankind’s history, we get a better understanding of who God is and just how much He loves us.

Want to do yourself a favor and others and fight off every attack from the enemy? Get into the Word and get understanding so when you’re tempted by the lust of your flesh, you’ll have something to fight with in the spirit and win!  When the Word is hidden in our hearts, you will immediately recognize the counterfeiters who change God’s Word and lie to accommodate themselves.

Nevertheless, Lord pour out understanding upon all who are willing to receive and place desire in their hearts to want to know Your Word and You better.

Laugh A Lot!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV).

With everything negative that is going on in the world today, we all need to find something to laugh about–just to take the edge off–so we can live to see another day–to laugh a lot.

What can we do to make our hearts cheerful? We can find a reason to laugh, even in the midst of uncertainty or sadness. Laughter makes the woes of the world seem not so bad.

What if–everything negative news report was presented in the media by drunken sailors who hadn’t shaved for months. Every time they opened their mouths, moths would fly out and eventually create a wall that moves with every sound. As they attempted to chase the moths, their pants would fall down around their ankles and they would trip each other. Can you picture it? Laugh out loud!

What if–we spent our time finding things to laugh about rather than focusing on those things that could make some of us cry.

What if–we pictured God and Jesus having a blast with the angels in heaven playing their version of (Wii golf) and when the angels win, they get a chance to do a silly dance!

What if–you sat back and remembered all of the things that have made you laugh–baby’s antics, teenage angst, in-laws–whatever it is–find something to laugh about. Take a picture of you doing something outrageously silly and post it on your refrigerator. Then every time you get depressed about anything–look at the picture and laugh out loud.

Smile more, pray more, laugh a lot and do your heart good; just don’t sit and be depressed about anything. God is too good to us and for us to remain in a depressed or saddened state for too long.

If you can’t think of anything to make you laugh–picture this--I’m sitting here typing with my hair askew, miss-mated socks, dentures sitting beside me making faces at me, with a growing desire to make pull out nose-hairs and glue them to my husband’s balding head, while he sleeps.

Not! But did you laugh?

Go ahead, laugh it up! Forget about the world and all of its problems–laugh at everything the enemy attempts to do to you and imagine the look on his face, when everything you desire shows up–in an instant! Laugh at the devil, laugh at yourself, laugh at anything and everything–just laugh! Time will come soon enough to be serious again, but for right now–let’s hear it–a really deep, belly laugh that lasts for at least five minutes. Feel better now?

 Lord, help us to learn to laugh, even when we feel like crying and when we’re laughed out–put a praise in our mouths and joy in our hearts, never doubting Your love for us!

 

 

Immovable Faith!

“I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8 NIV).

No matter what happens in life, we must remember who we are and what we have in Jesus!

Throughout the course of any given day, the enemy attempts to get our focus off God and to keep our focus on a situation–usually a challenge–over which we really do not have any control. If we focus on the challenges, instead of focusing on the One who can overcome any challenge, we often begin to doubt and lose faith. Whenever we start saying things like, “if this happens…” or “this might happen” or “maybe this will happen” we allow the enemy room to place doubt in our hearts and doubt and faith cannot reside in the same place at the same time.

No matter what “it” is, we can say with confidence that “God will” take care of us.  We might not be able to see how He’s going to do anything, but we must stand immovable in our faith that “He will” do it. We must change what we say about our situations.

When we get a negative report from a doctor, we must say, “Jesus, I am healed by the stripes You bore on the cross. Your healing virtue is flowing through every part of my body right now and I receive it.

When the bank account gets low and we don’t know what to do, “God, You are more than able to handle my finances because all the riches are in You and You have given me the power to get wealth.”

When friends turn their backs on you, “What a friend I have in You, Jesus. You never leave me alone and will never forsake me!”

When it seems like all is lost, “God, You know everything there is to know about me and I trust Your love for me. All is well!”

We must speak to our situations, based upon the Word and then allow God to have His perfect will in our livesStand, with immovable faith on God’s Word and watch how He brings about changes that no man or woman could ever perform.

Keep your eyes on Him and know that He is always, right by your side. No matter what the situation is or what it looks likeGod can handle it and with His strength, we can do all things well, to His glory!

What Will You Receive?

“To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God” (Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV).

The writer, who most conclude to be Solomon before his health failed, provides us with nuggets of wisdom and insight that pertain to all–whether in relationship with God or not.

Sometimes, we don’t want to hear both sides of the story and there are usually two sides of every story.  We love to hear all the good stuff–the prosperity, fame, victory, etc., but there is another side of the story which will happen whether we believe it or not. In more than one place in scripture (in the Psalms, Proverbs, Zechariah, etc.) we are told that those who gather wealth–outside of a relationship with God–will see those in relationship with God, enjoy their riches.

God has stated in His Word that He has given us (His Children) power to get wealth and when we please Him, we get to enjoy it. When we don’t please Him, we won’t.  At this stage of life, here on earth, we must be more concerned about pleasing God, than pleasing man. Man’s favor may last for only a moment, but the favor of God will last as long as we please Him.

What to do, what to do? For those in relationship with God, there is but one answer. Our conduct and our lives must demonstrate what it is we want to receive from God–from which side of the fence (or the story). Our history–can be written with one of two endings–we lived to please God and enjoyed the abundance of His goodness or we lived to please self and suffered the consequences of our actions–sowing, but never reaping!

In which reception line will you be found? Receiving the wealth by pleasing God or watching others enjoy the fruit of your labor?

O God, help us to stay in position to please You and receive all of Your many benefits that we may be a blessing to others as You have blessed us.