Shadow Security!

Shadow Security!

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. Psalm 91:1,2; 9,10 NIV

When the shadows fall over the land, we can either feel security or fear. There are so many stories about our reactions to shadows that one blog post would not do it justice. There are times when shadows have caused people frightening experiences when they did not realize that tree branches and plastic bags caught on branches can give the allusion of something else that is far more sinister than what it is.

And then there are times when dangerous acts have been defeated because of the shadows alerting others of the dangers contrived by those who are evil.

But there is security in the knowledge that those of us who believe that the shadow of the Almighty is with us, daily. We can trust in the security of that shadow knowing that nothing by any means shall harm us when we dwell in His presence.

I started to title this post, shadow boxing–because that is what many of us do when we’re trying to overcome mindsets that keep us from enjoying the benefit of belonging to God. We feel we must always fight back–boxing our imaginary opponent that only exists in our heads–and yet we never win. Though shadow boxing has its benefits for those who are training to be boxers, there is no win since we are actually boxing our own shadow. And every time we move–in the right conditions for shadows to exist–the shadow moves and looms larger than we are.

So, too does God’s shadow–loom so much larger than we are and therefore we can trust Him to protect us. If we truly understood what dwelling in the shadow of His presence meant, we would indeed–fear no evil that conspires against us. We would boldly travel the paths He sets before us and not concern ourselves with the mediocrity that attempts to distract us. His shadow–on every side–because He is Light and where there is Light, His shadow is present.

Remember–when Peter passed by some and those who were enveloped in his shadow were healed. David said though the shadow of death was always present, he would not fear any evil coming upon him.

We do not have to fear shadows–unless we are in the wrong place for all the wrong reasons. Living in God’s shadow–we are fully protected and have no need to fear.

On The  Journey–Pe!

On The Journey–Pe!

Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them.

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.

Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts.

Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees.

Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed. Psalm 119:129-136 NIV

The 17th letter and stanza–an expression of trust and sorrow.

If we look at this stanza and see the heart of the writer, we detect an appreciation for God’s Word and acknowledgment that continued study and meditation upon His Word opens understanding so that even the simple–unlearned person–can understand.

Have we reached that place yet–where we get it–and appreciate God’s love for us in that He has provided the means for us succeed–in spite of what the enemy does or who he influences?

The steps of a good man (person) are ordered by The Lord and He delights in his way (the way he obeys). Psalm 37:23. In the 37th Psalm, the writer acknowledges that God has already ordered the steps of good person and in this Psalm, the writer acknowledges they fall short and need God to direct their footsteps–according to His Word–so sin will not reign in their lives.

Are we there yet? Do we recognize that our steps are indeed–planned by God when we obey His Word?

Considering the rule of the day (historically) by men who chose to be barbaric in their positions to control and oppress people, we can understand why the writer wants to be redeemed–saved from the oppression men tend to burden people with in their religious tyranny.

Religious tyranny is a practice we see all around us–when men think their traditions and rules are more important than God’s Word. The traditional rules governing many religious people have led to people committing suicide and murder in the name of “religion.” Jesus tells us that because of our “traditions” we have made the Word of God of no effect. We need to conduct ourselves–according to God’s Word–and not man’s dictates which change as often as some of us change our underwear. This is the danger of our society–the fickleness of man–not adhering to God’s Word.

Like the writer, tears have flowed down my face on more than occasion if I dare listen to the news. I cry for the children whose parents have been killed. I cry for the parents whose children have been killed. I cry for the masses of people who have lost hope because of religious tyranny and I cry for all of us when we allow government officials to twist God’s Word to accommodate sin. A “twisted” truth is still a whole lie.

It is past time for all who Believe to open their mouths and spread the Gospel or to use social media networks to promote the Gospel. We will be held accountable for what we do and don’t do when it comes to God determining our level of obedience. We can and should use every avenue created to promote the Gospel--especially when we know so much hatred and bigotry are being promoted with the use of social media networks. What the enemy intended for evil, we can turn into something good and Godly.

On The Journey–Nun!

On The Journey–Nun!

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

I have sworn and confirmed
That I will keep Your righteous judgments.

I am afflicted very much;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.

Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD,
And teach me Your judgments.

My life is continually in my hand,
Yet I do not forget Your law.

The wicked have laid a snare for me,
Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.

Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,
For they are the rejoicing of my heart.

I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, to the very end. Psalm 119:105-112 NKJV

The 14th letter and stanza–gratitude for God’s Word in the direction our lives take.

How is God’s Word a lamp for our feet and a light on our path?

When we consider how paths were lit before streetlights or lamplights were invented, foot lamps were used along a public path, set into the ground so people could see where they were going or any hazard in their way.

God’s Word is indeed a light–it illuminates truths so we can see where we’re headed if we don’t obey and when we obey. In God’s Word, we discover when we’re on a path that may be hazardous to us, if we pay attention. When I remember what was said to Joshua, I can see how the writer has come to this conclusion. “If we keep God’s commandments, whatever we put our hands to will prosper and we’ll have good success.” On a path to success, if we obey, we’ll make it and if we don’t, we won’t.

Have we made a commitment to keep God’s Word–primarily to love Him and everyone else? If we love Him, we’ll always do what is right and pleasing in His sight; if we love others, we’ll not do things that could harm them. This is the commitment to keeping God’s Word!

And when we have made that commitment to keeping God’s Word, we can better handle the attacks by the enemy. Unless our lives are threatened, we don’t have to worry about stooping to the level of the enemy; we just speak God’s Word over our lives and pray for our enemies that they will become enlightened by God’s goodness. For we know–because of the testimonies given by others and how God sustained them, even in the midst of adversity–that He will do it again. He is the same God–yesterday, today, and forever and we can count on Him.

Have we totally submitted our hearts to God in keeping that commitment alive? Have we opened our hearts to receive all the love He has for us so we’ll have more than enough to pour out on others?

If we have no love in our hearts, we certainly cannot hope to have love for others. We cannot give what we do not have. Before we can keep His Word, we must receive His Word and all the love that comes with it.

The Dead Have No Light to Shed!

“When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? Consult God’s instructions and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this Word, they have no light of dawn.” (Isaiah 8:19,20 NIV)

Consulting psychics through “whatever medium” they advertise is a waste of time and money. Why do people believe other people more than they believe God? Human nature has a tendency to only believe what they can see, touch, or smell–use of their five senses, but we have another avenue to journey through the guidance and direction of Holy Spirit who knows all things. And that is the problem for some–they think people know more than God and when they act on what they think, they ignore what is right before them–God’s Word.

Now, there may be some people who have been gifted with discernment and unfortunately, they choose to use God’s gift-given to promote Him, to promote them. We know that God’s gifts are without repentance–He won’t take them back once given, but we will suffer the consequences of our actions when we misuse or misrepresent Him and the gifts He has given.

When people “supposedly” consult those who are dead for any reason, we can tell they didn’t understand God’s Word because we are told, “the dead know nothing.”

At the same time, those who claim to be “seers” or capable of predicting the future are simply trying to bring glory and honor to themselves because if they could predict the future, they would be in a better position in life so they wouldn’t have to “fleece” people with their lies.

I’ve never understood anyone calling 800 numbers to speak to a psychic when they could open their Bible and consult God’s Word. I’ve never understood how anyone could have faith in “tea leaves” and any patterns they form when they settle in the bottom of a cup. I’ve never understood how the lines in a person’s hands or face could represent anything other than what they are–skin cell formations. And I certainly have never understood how “Tarot” cards could do anything, but perpetuate more nonsense in superstitious environments.

If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we must let go of all the darkness and dark things that keep us living in the light. The dead have no light to shed upon anyone or in any situation. The dead cannot speak, hear, see, or smell. They cannot advise us–who are yet living–about anything pertaining to life–lived in the light.

The truth of the matter is that some people would rather hold onto their superstitious traditions that to allow Holy Spirit to guide them. These are the people who do not know or understand how God the Father, came down to earth in the person of God the Son, and after being resurrected, sent His spirit back as God Holy Spirit so we would never be without wise counsel, comfort, and guidance in all things. It’s sad when unbelievers don’t understand this, but even sadder when Believers engage in superstitious nonsense–thinking the dead have any power. God’s not dead–He’s yet alive and He lives in the heart of every Born Again Believer who trusts Him.

So when I see people promoting “psychic” engagement to Believers–I know they are simply preying on human nature’s fallible need to have hope in something other than themselves. But God will have the last word in everyone’s life–judging their deeds based upon what their mouths confess. We cannot profess to Believe God and believe we can consult the dead or “psychics” about anything pertaining to holiness and righteous living. If we do, then we are truly living in darkness and not in the light of day.

Destruction!

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:13-15 NIV)

We are a family of human beings–we are all created uniquely individual, designed to socialize–needful of one another, so why is there so much animosity between us?

Forget for a moment that Paul is specifically speaking to Believers and let’s broaden the outlook to all people–from all nations–across the globe. If mankind originated from one man and woman–Adam and Eve, then all human beings are related in one way or another. We all need to eat and breathe to live and we all need clean air and drinkable water to survive all of the toxins created by man’s inventiveness. So, if we need one another–wouldn’t it make sense for us to be considerate of one another–at all times?

Who is our neighbor that we should love them? Anyone with whom we know as fellow Believers–for starters. But that doesn’t mean we cannot love those who do not believe as we do. We can and should love all–even those with whom we disagree. For if we are incapable of loving others; especially those who are not like-minded, we create a void that needs to be filled and if not filled with love, it will be filled with hate. Either we allow Holy Spirit to influence us to love or Satan to influence us to hate. How do we know Satan’s influence is running rampant in the earth? Just look at all the hate!

Satan’s entire mission is to destroy mankind because God loves us. In order to achieve his goal to destroy, he instigates superiority in one group of people over another–making them feel everyone else is wrong and they’re the only ones who are right. He stirs up hatred and division to keep us from socializing and communicating like civilized persons. He feeds our bitterness, frustration and disappointments with negativity and distrust–guiding us to an abyss where he can leave us to drop into the hate-filled void of darkness with no way out. Soon, because people do not recognize Satan’s influence in their lives, they kill each other for little or reason, wiping out humanity until all is lost and there is no one left, but the spirit of darkness and doom.

However, there is hope and the hope is our faith and belief that we are “the light set upon a hill” so others can and will know love because of the love we show to all. Where there is love and light–hate and darkness cannot abide. If darkness is dispelled by the light and love of those who love Christ, destruction can be deterred and the enemy will slither away, biding his time until the next round. And there will be a next round by the enemy to destroy, but we can let the love of God overwhelm us and flow onto all we meet and see that where there is love, we defeat destructive forces.

We can change what is happening in our society–one person at a time by dispensing love as freely as the air we breathe. With love, there is no destruction–on construction of loving relationships, determined to sustain humanity until He comes to take us home.

Fellowship With Light Every Day!

“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (I John 1::6,7 NIV)

Walking in darkness–directed by the “dark one” who influences all evil, under the cover of darkness or hidden agendas, means we cannot be in fellowship with God.

When our relationship with God is right–we have fellowship with Him, live to please Him and not self, and receive the bountiful blessings He has for us. If we are walking with Him (abiding by His Word at all times), we will not want to sin because He is with us and everything we do, is done in broad daylight (in full view of all) because we have no reason to be fearful or ashamed.

Picture this, if you will. We get out of bed and He is right there by our sides. Whatever we do, He is with us–through all the morning rituals (whatever they may be), breakfast, commute to work or sitting right next to us as we enjoy the view of a glorious morning with our first cup of coffee.

Us: Good morning, Lord! Thank You for waking us this morning! It’s going to be a good day.

God: Yes, my child it is going to be a good day for every day with me is good.

Us: I am so thankful that I am Your child. Thank You for loving me in spite of me.

God: My child, I want You to know that I am right next to You at all times. I know your thoughts and I know when you’re going to ignore me. Sometimes, the only way a person can learn to live right is by making mistakes. When you mess up–I see the repentant heart and forgive when you ask me. I love you and that’s what good parents do.

Us: We love you, even when we sometimes go astray, but Your mercies, new every morning, help to keep us going in the right direction.  You are so awesome!

God: What would you like from me today? When you please me, I give you whatever you want.

Us: Lord, point out everyone that needs an encouraging word, everywhere we go. Give us the courage to speak Your truth, not ours so the land can live in peace.

God: When you pass by those on your way, smile and tell them I love them and everything is going to be all right, when they seek me first.

Us: Really? That’s all we need to do to have what we want?

God: That’s it. As long as you remember I’m right here, seeing what you see, feeling what you feel and your desire is to please me, you can ask for anything and I’ll give it.

Us: Lord, if we’ve found favor in Your sight, speak to hearts and heal the land of all hatred and violence.

God: Is that your request of me?

Us: Yes, Lord.

God: Then as we walk throughout this day, people will see you and know that are mine and I am yours and by what you do, they’ll believe in me, accept my love and the hatred will cease.

Us: Thank You, Lord! Are Your ready to go?

God: I am always ready to go where ever you go.

Did we get it? He’s always there, right beside us, in the midst of everything we do. He sees, He knows, and He blesses our efforts to live right before Him. As long as we remember He is right beside us, we cannot go wrong–especially if we want to stay in fellowship with Him.

Can we do it? Can we walk in the light as He is the Light? Can we shake off the dark thoughts and cease to walk in darkness? There is no fellowship with God in darkness because Light dispels the darkness and all is exposed in the Light.

Lord, Thank You for leading us along the path You have prepared for us and for being with us throughout the journey, keeping us safe, protected from all harm. Give us a nudge any time we want to stray from the path, reminding us that You are right there with us.

What Type Union?

“And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16 NIV)

The case presented by Paul as to why we should be careful about the connections we make or the unions we establish is pretty clear. He makes a strong case as to why Believers and Unbelievers won’t make a solid union. This one verse–could not possibly say it all, so I encourage everyone to read the entire chapter for clarity.

Paul cautions us to not establish unions between good and evil, light and darkness, idolaters and Believers. While some have in the past attempted to make a case for segregation of races because of skin color or ethnicity, this is not what he’s saying. He’s warning us about intimate involvement when those who don’t know God or establish policies that are in opposition to God’s Word. By intimate involvement, I mean close ties or relationships with those of dissimilar beliefs. This is not a reference to sexual relationships of any kind.

Why do we need to be wary about those with whom we associate and have close ties? The old adage, “birds of a feather flock together,” comes to mind. We develop bad habits faster than we develop good habits and when we’re around people who have “bad habits” we tend to emulate them rather than them emulating us. Why? Some people will do whatever they have to do to “get along” with others, not having the backbone to stand firm on what they know is right.

This is how gangs operate in neighborhoods and schools. It is our politicians function–they say anything to get a vote, but then do whatever is popular with their cohorts, not willing to cause waves, even when decisions are made that are contrary to their beliefs. This is how the insecure function in our society–they simply go along to get along in order not to be alone. This is how abusers keep their victims under control, but if the victims understood their own worth, they would not have been involved with the one who abused.

Anyone who uses intimidation to control or manipulate others is a tool of evil. There is no light in them, so why would anyone walking in the light and love of God have a relationship with them? They shouldn’t. When we, who are walking in the light and love of God, walk into a situation, evil should run and hide like roaches when a light switch is turned on to dispel the darkness.

Remember, manipulation is what Satan does, not God. Deception is what Satan uses to convince, not God. Destruction–tearing down is what Satan does, while construction–building up is what God does. And there is no union possible with the works of Satan and the works of God.

So, why we would even attempt to be in any type of union with the unbelieving? We shouldn’t, for God has said every man’s work will be tried by fire and only those works that are firmly established in Him and by Him, shall withstand the heat. We want to avoid the stain of evil that spreads like wildfire when we unite with it.  

Not every one we meet is good for us, nor do they have our best interest at heart, so move cautiously in determining who will be close enough to persuade or influence who you are and not who they are.

He Sees It All!

“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” (John 3:21 NIV)

What we do in the dark,

Always comes to the surface,

Whether, evil or good, truth or lie,

He sees it all!

What’s the point of doing things under the cloak of darkness? Do we not understand that not only does God see it all, but He knows our hearts, and whether our thoughts are good or evil? Is it because we think we are wiser than He?

For the Believer who knows the Truth and has been brought into the marvelous Light of Truth, we know nothing is hidden from Him. But for those who choose to not believe, they think their unbelief will shield them from God’s sight. Nothing is ever hidden from the One who created all things and without Him, nothing was ever created.God has said in His Word that He created the evil for His purposes. In this way, He has allowed us options. Choose good or choose evil. Whatever our choices are, they will the basis or foundation for the verdict we receive at the end.

I want to be found guilty! Guilty of believing everything God says; guilty of giving my heart over to Jesus; guilty of living a life that was pleasing to Him, guilty of presenting the Gospel to others at every opportunity; guilty of loving all unconditionally; guilty of standing tall and refusing to budge in agreement with His Word; guilty of proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, our Redeemer and Risen King! Guilty as charged! That is all I want Him to see!

Others who disavow His existence will hear another verdict–especially when they had opportunity to hear, but refused to accept. That is their fate because He sees it all!

No Believer can ever determine where anyone will reside for eternity–that is not our role in life. Our role is simply to tell all we meet that God is and forever will be–the only One who has established the verdicts we will–whether we walk in darkness or in the Light–He knows–He sees it all!

If anyone reading this post is yet walking in darkness, I pray they will allow the love of God to fill their hearts to overflowing and make a decision today, to walk in the Light as He is the Light!

Our GPS!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

While we wander, lost and unsure

If we seek Him, and allow Holy Spirit

Navigation–our God-Planned-Solution,

Even when we go astray, He’ll nudge

Our spirits, “Hear Me and Endure”

The end is not yet, stay on the path

He is directing, arriving at the appointed position

In His timing, not our own; steering clear of the broad way,

Staying on the Narrow Path, not listening to what others say,

Renewing faith, day-by-day, hearing Him Speak

Making Hearts glad, being obedient, ensuring the devil

Being mad, at the loss of a soldier he used, abused,

But Jesus, Our Healer, Our Deliverer, Our Savior

Loved us enough to save and place us in the Army

Of The Lord, armored up, ready for battle, knowing

Victory is ours, in Jesus’ name, not fighting for glory

Or fame, but to let others know, we don’t have to go,

Our own way and be lost, Because Jesus paid the cost,

For you and I and whosoever will Believe

That He is and forever will be our Risen Savior,

Instructing, directing, by His Holy Spirit He knows,

The way to heaven, our mansions already built,

No more worries, pain, sadness, just joy while

We praise His Name forevermore. His love grows

And grows in our hearts so love, we’ll have to share

With everyone else, whose burdens we’ll bear

Until we reach the far-away shore, we’ll be the light,

The beacon the world needs, shining bright, igniting

Assurance and boldness in reaching our destination,

Unscathed, wiser and ready, knowing He’s our GPS!

Never in the Dark!

“You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” (Psalm 18:28 NIV)

If a person has ever found themselves in total darkness, blackness, where not even a pinpoint of light is present, they know the importance of having access to light. When a person is in total darkness, hope diminishes, faith fades, and panic erupts.

Does this sound like the position we find ourselves in when we are cloaked in the darkness of sin?

Even though some succumb to the clutches of sin, ever struggling to get away from it, if they see a glimmer of light, they remain hopeful. Hope is what we have in The Light and with hope, faith can soar and we can know peace and calm in the midst of any situation that arises in our lives.

Darkness–in a number of instances in The Word is symbolic for sin and the influence of Satan. Light and lamps are symbols for hope and faith in God. Light and lamps are mentioned 248 times in the bible and darkness 142 times; light overrides and dispels darkness, every time.

Can a person accomplish anything in total darkness? What can be accomplished when the light of truth is spread all around us? One method of torture used by those seeking information in times of war and terrorism is darkness–when a person is kept in total darkness for specific amounts of time. In darkness–our imaginations rule and every possible horrible thing, invades our thinking. Once we see the light–even the tiniest point of light–shine, we begin to hope again.

Jesus reminds us that we must work while it is day–the light of the sunshine–helps us to see, for when darkness comes, no man can work.

Keep struggling to get out from under the cloak of darkness that invades and leaves you hopeless! Receive all who bring truth as a light unto your path and allow hope and faith to reign, never in the dark, again!