Hiding in God, Not Behind Him!

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:8-10 NIV–emphasis mine)

There is such a great difference between hiding in something rather than hiding behind something. I was reminded of an Internet exchange with someone who accused me of hiding “my bigotry behind my religion.” This was in response to an article that I, once again, stated an obvious truth, that many did not want to accept. But when asked a question about who he would allow to mentor his high school, if he had one, Joshua Jordan never responded. Instead, I was told I was hateful and hiding behind religion.

However, I don’t see speaking God’s Truth as hiding behind religion; especially when I’m not religious, but in relationship with Him. That’s the difference that many doubters and unbelievers have not figured out yet. When we’re “in” relationship with God, we don’t need to hide behind anything for He speaks to our hearts and we hear and obey. In another passage of The Word David tells God, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” If the Word is hidden within us, we have no need to hide behind anyone or anything. For when we open our mouths to speak truth, The Word should bubble up in us and spring forth like that fountain of living water we were told we would be.

I do recognize the “hater” tactic employed by any who disagree with God and promote living in opposition to His Word. They are always attempting to put us on the defensive because they cannot stand our offensive stance in The Word. Let me try putting this another way. If we are hidden in a tree and our enemies search for us, they will not see us–they will only see the tree. When children play “hide-and-seek” they usually hide behind other things and are seen, or found eventually because they are not completely hidden. In the tree, we are completely covered; Behind the tree, we can be caught. So, I’d rather be hiding in God so the only person people see is God, than hiding behind Him. Glory to His name!

Paul tells us, “Let this mind be “in” you that is also in Christ Jesus. Notice, he didn’t say, “let this mind be “behind” you. We are to abide in Him–live in His Word so when people see us, they see Him and not us. Are we capable of hiding in Him, forgetting about ourselves, wanting others to see only Him and not us?

I believe we can hide in Him and we demonstrate that when we boldly, courageously, speak God’s Word no matter how many times we are attacked for our boldness in Him. The haters really hate themselves for they have nothing or anyone in whom they can completely trust or hide themselves in–except what the enemy feeds them–hatred of all who disagree with them. That is so sad on so many levels that my heart hurts for them. With all of the love God has for everyone willing to receive Him and His purpose for our lives, there should be no room on earth for hate or haters of any kind. And this is why, we can rise every morning, knowing how much we’re loved by God, and keep going–doing His Will.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for all those who are hurting because they have not received Your love. I ask You to fill them to overflowing, washing away hate and creating in all a desire to hide in You, trusting You completely, and not hiding behind anger, frustration, and hatred of anyone who promotes You and Your love. Cut  away the anger and bitterness that have embedded themselves through experiences with those who did not know You and heal and save them, now. Amen!

Advertisements

The Lord Is!

The Lord is my my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for name’s sake.(Psalm 23:1-3 NIV)

A familiar passage of scripture reference should always be re-viewed for fresh introspection and although what I am inspired to say today may not be fresh for some, it will encourage others. We have no need to fear what the enemy might do when we know–The Lord is–everything we need.

Since David was a shepherd caring for his father’s sheep, he knew exactly what a shepherd’s role was–as a caretaker for the flock which would later provide for the family.

So what does a shepherd do? The shepherd’s role is to make sure the sheep–all of the flock–are kept safe from harm, led to good grazing areas and by water. The shepherd makes sure that the sheep lack for nothing and when some stray or fall off cliffs, the shepherd is there to lead them back to safety or to rescue them, making sure they get back in the sheepfold unharmed.

Considering the fact that most leaders in the churches are supposed to model the role of a shepherd, are they doing so? Are church leaders feeding the sheep or fleecing the sheep? Are they concerned with the welfare of the sheep or do they only care about their own well-being? Are they guiding the sheep along right paths–The Word of God–or are they pimping The Word, selectively, to make the sheep think they are more than they are and emptying the pockets and bank accounts of the masses?

If we truly understand the picture that David paints for us of the role of a shepherd, we’d have to admit that many of our church leaders are not good shepherds–with a heart to please God. And this is why so many congregants are mislead, misused and abused by those in leadership for their hearts are far from God and when they distort The Word of God for personal gain–the enemy gets a foothold in the heart of the building which influences the sheep and they are lost.

But if The Lord is–our Great Shepherd–we are confident that all of our needs are met in Him. We know that He will never lead us astray, but will always lead us to rich pastures (or passages in The Word) so we’ll be well fed and have our thirst quenched by The Word. When The Lord is our Shepherd, we can sleep at night without worry about tomorrow because we know that angels are guarding us throughout the night and we have nothing to fear. When The Lord is our Shepherd–He speaks those things to us that the Father says and we develop a desire to please the Father–knowing how He wants us to live, thrive and survive the attacks of the enemy.

The Lord is–our healer, our comforter, our provider, our counselor, our teacher, our guide through all the muck we face in life and when we hear and obey–we are victorious and nothing the enemy does, no weapon tossed our way, will have any effect on our lives or our desire to please God. The Lord is everything we will ever need and He will lead us to those He has anointed and appointed to lead His sheep–in all truth, according to The Word.

We need to know The Word for ourselves so when we hear someone say something that is not The Word, we’ll know it and not be led astray, opening the door for the enemy to step in and destroy our lives. Know The Word–Know The Lord. If we don’t know The Word, any fool can lead us astray when they make sounds like they know The Word, when they don’t even know The Lord. Be wise, knowledgeable and realize that wolves (in shepherd’s clothing) disguise themselves with just enough Word to get close enough to devour. If they are not saying what The Lord says and reminding people who The Lord is–run and don’t look back!

Those Who Understand, Have No Need of Control!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” (Psalm 32:8,9 NIV)

God’s response to David’s entreaty was that He, Almighty God would instruct him, teach, and counsel him and at all times, would keep His eyes upon him. Our great and awesome God is the same God that spoke to David and He is yet speaking to us--He will instruct, teach, and counsel us–we have no need for those who have no understanding of His ways to teach us anything, provide us with instruction of anything and they certainly cannot counsel us about anything that pertains to God and His ways.

Those who are looking to men’s legislation or judgments are really wasting their time. The only thing that will be proven by the interception of men in the wake of God’s way of living, is that men and women will constantly be jerked around by the whims of men. God’s instructions have been written–not only in the book most know as a bible, but in the hearts of all who have a relationship with Him. Holy Spirit dwells within the consummate Believer who knows God cannot lie and He said what He meant and meant what He said. It is Holy Spirit who provides us with understanding as He hears from God to direct us and counsel us at all times. Without God, we become like those who have gone before us–lost and wander around like mindless creatures, not having a clue as to which direction to take.

But we see in current events that whenever the flesh is tickled or set ablaze with lust within those who have no fear or reverence of God, all must be embroiled in the mindlessness and only those who are standing firm in their faith, will survive to see the glory of The Lord prevail in all things. We are warned in The Word that flesh and spirit are enemies–we either allow flesh to dictate what we do or we allow Holy Spirit to dictate what we do. Holy Spirit will not force His will upon anyone and neither should man.

Judgment, for all who sin and especially those who lie, has already been determined and unless the guilty parties change their ways and see the need to have God in their lives, their end is established–in the lake of fire.

Those who stand firm have no need for godless men with no understanding to instruct us in the ways of a living God, who is yet keeping watch over us. It is the godless who need to be careful and watchful of the mighty hand of God. The same Hand–who comforts and protects His children, also delivers a blow to those who mislead God’s children.

Be encouraged! We are not like the horses or mules with no understanding that need others to lead us around when they have no direction. We know the way–and Jesus is the way, the Truth and the Light!

Better Than Life Love!

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” (Psalm 63:3 NIV)

People may have a number of different opinions about David and I’ve heard many of them. He was a hero, he was murderer, he was adulterer, he was callous, he was… and the remarkable thing about David is that he was probably all the things many say about him, but he was also quick to repent when he was wrong and he had no problem remembering who God is and praising Him, even in the midst of trials.

In this Psalm, David is in the desert and begins it my talking about how his thirst is quenched by God even when there is no water in the land. Jesus reminds us that when we hunger and thirst for righteous we will be satisfied.  But when we are lacking in the natural substances–food and water, are we praising God simply because His love is better than life?

We are so quick to complain about current circumstances rather than praising God for His love that we sometimes lose our focus and become bitter and angry and our faith wanes. David is our example of how we should treat those moments (and we all have them) when things are going exactly the way we want them to go. Instead of complaining, let’s sing a song of praise, even if we have to create one–just for our moment. When we sing praises to God, it lifts our heart and the weight of circumstances become lighter. If we would just remember that every trial is only for a season and we can determine–in that season–how we respond to it.

I’ve often said out loud when trials come that appear to want to take me out, “Devil, I will come through this and even if I don’t, I get to go home sooner so I still win!”

If we exercise our lips to lift our hearts, we will experience the love of God that truly is better than life–just surviving it– and know that God’s love will help us get through anything.

Exercise for the lips to lift the heart:

You, O God, always know what I need when I need it,

You, O God, are the creator of my life, know my every thought and deed,

And You, O God, love me enough to life me from the bottom of the pits in which I fall,

In the face of all those who would scorn me and You shower me with favor so they understand,

Just how much You love me and that Your love is better than life,

Because it is You, who makes life worth living!

And I praise You, lifting Your name higher than any trial that comes my way,

You, O God, have already established victory as the end result! We Win in the end!

Saved From Enemies!

“I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.” (2 Samuel 22:4 NIV)

When people have been saved from disasters and they know The Lord, they understand God’s saving grace in situations beyond their control. David knew The Lord and knew that it was The Lord who had saved him from Saul’s relentless pursuit to kill him.

Let’s step back for a second review the relationship between David and Saul. It was David who struck Goliath with a stone from his slingshot. It was David who was able to soothe Saul with his music ability. It was David who was loyal to Saul beyond measure and refused to kill him, even though he had a chance when Saul sought to kill David out of jealousy. The real issue here with Saul was his jealousy, which reigned over logic in his head and led to his destruction. Jealousy–the monstrous emotion resulting from insecurities that blinds people from seeing reality and is a tool of the enemy–Satan.

When Samuel anointed David as the next king over Israel–predictively–David was put on the road to notoriety and acclaim. He was a hero to the people, but a pain to Saul because the people exalted David–because of his military success over Saul, who was king.

How can someone who claims to love a person become their enemy? When a person is influenced by demonic influence, love won’t stand a chance if the person who is influenced would rather express their desire to hold onto negativity.

Instead of taking the opportunities to kill Saul and become King as prophesied, David ran, formed his own armies, still fighting on the side of Saul’s reign, but keeping far away from him. Throughout Saul’s pursuit of David, David’s faith in God did not fail and he knew he would be saved. When Saul was killed, David sang praises unto The Lord. In fact, during the pursuit, David wrote and sang many songs and we have access to some of them in the Psalms.

Now, the bigger question for us today is, when we are pursued by an enemy, do we sing praises unto our God or do we cringe in fear and hopelessness? Do we sing when we know we have been delivered and saved by that enemy that influences our fear and makes us feel abandoned?

I’ve learned to sing God’s praises, no matter what is happening in my life. I may take a moment to be sad, but I straighten my back, hold up my head, and bellow the songs that are deeply embedded in my spirit--knowing that God has the last word over the things that happen in my life and I know–through Him, I will be victorious in the end. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus for victory in every situation in my life–no matter how dark the night may be, morning is coming and with it–Sonshine (The Son will shine brightly and dissolve any despair in all types of weather) and new mercies! Glory to God! I am saved from my enemies!

Unfailing Love!

“the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11 NIV)

As we approach the day many celebrate as a demonstration of their love for another (Valentine’s Day), we see that God’s unfailing love is not like our “temporary interest” love.

Of course His love for us is not “Eros” but “Agape” and God’s love cannot be measured in time or by our standards. His love towards us–is infinite, immeasurable, enduring, no matter what. He did not “fall in love” with us, so there’s no falling out of love with us–as we do with others. He simply–loves us!

The Lord delights in those who have a “reverential” fear (hold Him in reverence as an authority in their lives) and know that His love–will never fail. Do we dare have that kind of love for any other human being? I think not! Human beings do not have the capacity that God has to love us–no matter what we do.

The problem with our society and its understanding of love is that it has confused the word “love” with “lust” and this is why “romantic” relationships–sometimes flounder. We are attracted to other people because of one attribute or another, but it is primarily based upon our reaction to people that is stirred below the waist, not a heart-response. That is the lust in us for another.

The “romantic” relationship that begins with the heart (and no other body part involved) is the one that is more like God’s love towards us and it means we love the person simply because we are to love them–whether we like what they do or not. Let’s face it–none of us are perfect and we all have our shortcomings and habits that may annoy someone. But are the habits and shortcomings enough for us to “stop loving” the other? When we understand God’s love towards us and allow His love to fill us to overflowing, that love should be overflowing onto everyone we come into contact and when the heart connects to another heart of like-minded interests, the love should stand the test of time and strengthen the relationship.

So, while planning the perfect celebration for your love interest, make sure your love is based upon The Word of God, you have received His unfailing love, and you are in a position to hear Holy Spirit to have the very best celebration that demonstrates your unfailing love. When we do things God’s way, He delights in us and gives us the desires of our hearts–even to overflowing, unfailing love, coming our way!

Wait For It!

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13,14 NIV)

How many times have we heard the phrase–wait for it? Usually, the phrase has more to do with some spectacular event about to unfold and because it was spectacular, we’re never disappointed. And we won’t be disappointed as we wait to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living–this side of heaven.

How will we see the goodness of The Lord? When every born-again believer truly walks in their calling–whatever that might be and do the greater works that Jesus said we would do–the entire world will see the goodness of The Lord in everything we do!

Are we not created in His image? Are we not His children? Are we not able to do all He has put on our hearts to do, to His glory? When we become living epistles, read of men, others will see The Lord in us because we won’t be able to hide the light of His love under a bush, but we shall shine brightly, as a beacon, drawing all the lost to The Lord by the love we show them.

Showing others love does not mean we compromise The Word of God by condoning sin in any matter. We must encourage people to live according to The Word, not in opposition to The Word.

Within the next few weeks, I am re-distributing a book on Amazon that will sound an alarm in the hearts of many and be a wake-up call to the Body of Christ. Some will hate the book (and probably me), some will love it, and some will be wary of the intent. The intent of the book, quite simply is to remind all of God’s Word, what He has said about sin, and our what our response should be to those who propose to promote sin rather than godliness. And we can do this–showing love–not displeasing God in order to win people to us.

Our ability to win souls should never be about winning someone to be in our cheering section, or church, but encouraging them to repent, be forgiven, and develop a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Are you ready? Okay, just wait for it and wait for The Lord to see His goodness–through us–to overwhelm the land!