~ SPIRITUAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT! & SPIRITUAL GROWTH! 1 ~
~ “IF you have any encouragement from being united with CHRIST, IF any comfort from HIS LOVE, IF any fellowship with The SPIRIT, IF any tenderness and compassion, then make my JOY complete by being like-minded, having the same LOVE, being one in Spirit & Purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others!” Philippians 2 ~ WORD FOR TODAY! ~
~ THOUGHT FOR TODAY! ~
The real purpose of life is to daily draw closer to the LORD. To diligently seek HIS WILL & HIS WAY above everything & everyone. We know not what tomorrow may bring? But we can have complete confidence in the Lord as we grow in His Grace & Love.
We can build a strong firm foundation upon the Word of the Lord! Believing His Word and embracing His principles in our daily life are key. As we Trust Him we walk by Faith. We also continuously grow in His Grace. His Wisdom, Knowledge and Peace will manifest and multiply within us.
Here in Philippians we find the Apostle Paul giving us further insight into what is very important. Spiritual unity was the desired goal. GOD knows where each of us are coming from. HE KNOWS why we do what we do or do not do. His Word teaches us that; “Whatever you DO, DO it as unto The LORD!”
Sometimes we as Believers need to show a contrast to whatever the world is doing. Know this;the wheat & the tares are growing together. Nowadays it can be hard to distinguish on a surface level between the world & GOD’S CHURCH. Therefore we must PRAY for DISCERNMENT!
It is not the broad crowded road that leads to the LORD but the Narrow path where fewer travel. It was the majority that opted to kill JESUS CHRIST. Notice how JESUS was so misunderstood… Humility means at time taking a back seat. Humility means at times others will misunderstand you. Humility means sometimes we have to wait. While we are waiting we acquire patience. Patience is a virtue few understand. We must resist responding hastily and learn to trust God. When we compare ourselves to JESUS we ALL fall short! It is only by HIS GRACE we are SAVED!
Humility is not a position of weakness. It is a position of strength. It is a position of self control… Many often mistake humility for low self esteem. Many live for others to validate them. DO NOT let the world determine your fate or your lifestyle. Live each day before, “An Audience of One,” knowing that GOD is everywhere you are. HE will never lead any of us to do anything that goes against HIS WORD! It is so very important to know God and His Word for yourself. THANK YOU LORD for YOUR WORD JESUS CHRIST & YOUR HOLY SPIRIT YOUR COMFORTER! ~
“TRUE MINISTRY IS NOT just about how well you CAN sing, dance, preach, proclaim or teach GOD’S WORD; for many, can do that. GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE!!! It goes far beyond the surface… The depth and dimensions of His infallible Word is without limit. Ministry is about carrying the TRUTH of HIS GOSPEL to the world at large… To share HIS WORD & MISSION to individuals,families and communities ALL throughout this world. Today there are many ways and resources in which we can do this…
Christianity is a daily lifestyle. Please do not limit this to your geographical location, assembly or denomination of choice. Live GOD out LOUD for the world to see… “O MAGNIFY the LORD with me. Let us EXALT HIS NAME together!”
MINISTRY is NOT just causing the masses or an individual to go into a multiplicity of temporary moments escaping into emotional despair or a frenzy… This will only result in a temporary fix. Quite often it will cause an ongoing continual series of emotional roller coaster ups and downs. The person is often compliant to participate in the moment because they have a great need to feel accepted.
I am ALL for whole heartedly praising the LORD! But know this “GOD IS NOT the Author of confusion!”
True worship means to “WORSHIP the LORD in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!”
MINISTRY is often inclusive of displays of heartfelt emotions. It should usher you into the spiritual atmosphere known as the PRESENCE of the LORD. Here your awareness is heightened. This is where strongholds are broken and many or one can be truly delivered, healed and set FREE. We must sincerely invite the infilling presence of the Lord within and seek His direction. MINISTRY is about how effectively you can encourage others to TRUST & BELIEVE in the LORD without manipulation. MINISTRY is dependent upon HIS HOLY SPIRIT. This should not be orchestrated or just for a visual effect. The intent is to make others aware of the Omnipresence & Omniscience of our Omnipotent Lord & Savior. To encourage them to seek to freely Worship our Lord in public corporate worship as well as private worship! We as His Ambassadors are to encourage individuals to desire to want to embrace THE TRUTH of HIS WORD into their daily lives!
We need His Holy Spirit to continually open our understanding to become enlightened. GOD IS HOLY! There is no other written text that compares to HIS WORD. To grow in His Grace, Knowledge, Love, Wisdom & Understanding. We must submit to His Will & His Way. We must readily submit and seek the Lord for direction while in the Valley of the Shadow of Death which is the earth. God’s Church is universal. LORD, “YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE on earth as it is in HEAVEN!”
KNOW GOD’S WORD for yourself! Therefore, FOLLOW JESUS and be lead by HIS SPIRIT! SALVATION is about living to be FREED from sin reigning in your life. It is very important to spend personal time with the LORD in HIS WORD
~ GOD WANTS TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR DAILY LIFE ~
GOD WANTS each of us to render ourselves up to HIM as a vessel. To live out as well as IMPART HIS TRUTH via song, dance, preaching & teaching in such a WAY that the infilling power of HIS HOLY SPIRIT is quickened within or enters the hearts & minds of those who HE desires to reach…. HIS HOLY SPIRIT IS HIS COMFORTER!
“PRAY without ceasing” ALL throughout your day. This is how you STAY CONNECTED to the LORD! YOU NEVER KNOW what a DAY may bring. Therefore, prepare EVERYDAY to take some TIME in the PRESENCE of the LORD to “BE STILL & KNOW!”
~ LIVING AS CHILDREN OF GOD ~
~ BE RIGHTEOUS AS CHILDREN ~
“If you KNOW that HE IS RIGHTEOUS you KNOW that everyone who does right is born of HIM! How GREAT is the LOVE the FATHER has lavished on us, that we should be called Children of GOD! And that we are!
The reason the world does not know us is that it DID NOT know HIM!
Now we are Children of GOD, and what WE WILL BE has not yet been made known. But we KNOW that when HE APPEARS we SHALL be like HIM. for we SHALL SEE HIM as HE IS,
EVERYONE who has this HOPE PURIFIES himself, just as HE IS PURE!”
~ SINNING IS CONTRARY TO FAITH ~ I JOHN 1
With GOD at your side you CAN become ALL that HE has created you to be! You CAN learn to discipline yourself and sin less with the aid of HIS Holy SPIRIT. Self~Control is part of the Fruit of His Spirit! He will manifest and multiply the Fruit of His Spirit within you. You CAN become stronger as your own unique self. Live a life of ministry. Daily ask for the infilling presence of HIS HOLY SPIRIT. Let the LIGHT of our LORD shine through you for everywhere you are HE IS with you. SURRENDER, BELIEVE & TRUST GOD. For only with GOD the impossible becomes POSSIBLE!
Grace, Joy, Love & Peace in the Lord!
God wants us to become complete in Him
God is omnipresent therefore everywhere we are God is there. As believers our body is a temple where God’s Holy Spirit resides once we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts as Savior & Lord. His Word is Spiritual Food for our souls. There is miraculous cleansing power in the blood of Jesus! God wants us to daily draw near to HIM with sincere hearts. Here is how we begin to move toward spiritual wholeness.
When we are connected to the LORD He will help us become all that He wants us to be. In an ongoing growing intimate personal relationship with the Lord we can discover everything that we will ever need for life & living. God never intended for us to be dependent upon others for our security and significance. He only wants us to be dependent upon Him. This is why we need to disconnect from the world and connect and stay plugged into the Lord! This is also why He encourages us to “PRAY without ceasing.” This keeps us focused upon HIM! God is omniscient. God is the source of everything that is genuinely good. If we all were ALL dependent upon Him this world would be a much better place to live. HIS CHURCH, our marriages, our families, our homes, neighborhoods, cities, towns, states, countries and the world at large would all be a lot happier and healthier.
God wants to continuously open our spiritual eyes and provide abundant living in every area of our lives. He wants the Fruit of His Spirit to manifest and multiply within our daily lives. When we are connected to the Lord we are even more cognizant of the world and what is happening all around us, yet we worry less as we learn to trust God more. Our discernment is sharper, our inner peace enhanced and we also become more spiritually enlightened.
Life on earth is designed as a continuous experience of lessons that can help us to grow spiritually. We can elect to grow closer to God or we can grow further away from Him. Anything that is not growing is dead! I was taught by a wise loving mother that, “We are forever becoming, and we never arrive.” This simply means that there is always something to learn as long as the Lord has us on this side of Heaven. We never get to the place that we do not need the Lord! God is the ultimate Father and He can feel as well as fill the void, resolve any despair as well as correct and heal any dysfunction that persists. God loves us and wants what is best for each of us.
GOD allowed His Son Jesus Christ to die in our place. The past, present & future sins of the world were placed upon Christ on the cross. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew NO sin; that we might be made the righteousness of GOD in Him!” 2 Corinthians 5. He overcame sin in the flesh for us and has given us His Holy Spirit to help us live better God centered lives. Jesus Christ died so that we could become FREE from habitual sin! As we grow in His grace, understanding, knowledge & wisdom and apply His principles to our own lives we should begin to sin less. We are to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ! After we complete the course of life we who are believers return to Him to live through eternity. Each day we are to live on earth as though our Lord was going to return!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to SAVE the world though HIM!” John 3 Everyday: “To GOD Be The GLORY!”
GOD designed us to be controlled from the inside out by HIS HOLY SPIRIT! This is why when we accept JESUS CHRIST as SAVIOR & LORD HIS COMFORTER comes to abide and live within us! HE is our Internal Spiritual Teacher that can lead us to ALL TRUTH! HIS WORD does not say; lead us to some of the TRUTH! This is why: “The true worshipers worship the LORD in SPIRIT & in TRUTH!” We should have;”A GREAT HALLLELLLUJAH” time whenever we worship & praise HIM knowing all that the LORD has done for us. It is our choice to live each day to please GOD or live to be accepted by others and conform to the ways of this world. “The Word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the Word of Faith we are proclaiming; that if you confess with your mouth that “JESUS IS LORD!” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you WILL be SAVED. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says; “Anyone who God trusts in Him will never be put to shame” Romans 10
You do not ever have to be ashamed once you truly realize the anointing cleansing POWER of HIS HOLY SPIRIT when you are walking in the LIGHT of HIS WORD! Don’t ever let anyone make you doubt GOD’S OMNIPOTENT POWER!
When God created Adam He placed within him everything that he would need for life and living. God realized that Adam needed a life partner. He then placed Adam into a deep sleep and took out of Adam one of his rib bones and made Eve. Adam was created whole! It was sin that weakened him and separated him from God and made him doubt what God had said. Jesus made it possible for us to once again become whole. We must become sleep to the ways of this world and awakened to the things of God. We must allow Him His rightful place as our Creator & Maker within our hearts, lives, homes and places of worship. We must let Him bring forth a better way of living and ignite our hearts to sincerely “Worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” Through Jesus Christ we can once again become whole!
If you do not have a spouse don’t feel left out, partner up with the LORD! You are not alone. Everywhere you are He is there! He wants you to be content and complete in Him! Live before an “Audience of One!” There is nothing wrong with wanting a spouse. Your natural desires make you who you are. Continue to ask the LORD to give you a spouse who you can grow together with if you so desire.
God saves us through the Power of His Holy Spirit so we can be saved from the temptation of sin reigning within our lives. You can be physically strong yet spiritually and emotionally very weak and unstable. God wants to transform us by the renewing of our minds through His Word! God wants us to be or become happy married or if you are single. He has placed within us a void that only He can fill. We can have a Gethsemane experience when we commit to spending time alone with the Lord in prayer and meditating upon His Word! God wants us to repent of our sins. It is through the power of His Holy Spirit that we can be spiritually refreshed refueled & renewed. God wants us to become whole!
We can share our thoughts and ideas as well as manmade approaches to seeking wholeness. There is a degree of good in some of the philosophies of man. However one must pray for discernment to better understand the will of God. The infallible Word of God and His principles for life & living will always remain superior. It is important to keep in mind that God is our Creator and Maker of this world that we live in and knows what is best for each and everyone of us at all times. He did not make us to be robots. He made each of us uniquely. Once we truly accept Jesus Christ into our hearts His Holy Spirit is awakened within us. His Holy Spirit internally resides and becomes our Spiritual Guide and Comforter. He is the ultimate wonderful Counselor!
God does not want us ignorant of His ways. He has not left us alone to struggle here on earth. One just needs to sincerely and diligently seek Him and His Word above all else. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the FAITH as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than in Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the Head over every power & authority.” Colossians 2
We must live or begin to daily live our lives to please Him. “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God! This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to rest and approve what God’s will is ~ His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12. God’s will for us is to become whole! We have no righteousness of our own. But through the power of His Holy Spirit we can be cleansed from all unrighteousness. GOD does not and cannot lie. HE IS The SPIRIT of TRUTH! He can daily renew our hearts and our minds. We in turn have to offer ourselves unto Him and embrace and implement the Truth of His Word within our own personal lives. Therefore we pray; “Your kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!” Grace, Joy and Peace to you in Jesus Name. Yes GOD can make us whole! Yes we can strive for spiritual perfection! Yes we can become complete in HIM!
The Journey Of Life By Julian M. Ogans II
I hike my way up the mountain of self-confidence
Fighting through the bitter cold blizzards of brutal honesty
Wondering what awaits at the top
But very quickly do I lose sight of the trail
and fall down into the river of disappointment
The water reflecting nothing more than my past sins
I slowly drift into a cavern of darkness
The pitch black enveloping me in a dark cloth
Suffocating me with the toxic smell of failure
Whispers from my past slowly invade my mind
Growing louder and louder echoing inside my head
A ray of hope cut through the darkness
But it didn’t reach me
For a dark hand pulled me under the water
And drowned me in self pity
I open my mouth to scream, but the black water rushed down my throat
Choking me with all my fears
I gave into my self pity and allowed it to pull me into its deep dark
depths where all my broken dreams lie
Each one shattered into a thousand pieces
The gravity of my self-doubt pushed me further down towards the bottom
While carnivorous nightmares ate away at my body and feasted on all
They tore away my eyes, preventing me from seeing any sign of hope
Ripped away my ears, stopping me from hearing words of encouragement
And cut out my tongue so that I couldn’t scream for help
Little did I realize that not all of my forgotten dreams were broken
Blind, deaf, and muted to the world I grab on to one fragile dream
And use the one weapon that no man, monster, or rushing water
can’t take away
My hands began to grow warm as the dream came to life and sent confidence shooting through my veins
I felt the water rise and part as it shot up in the air
Breaking a hole in the ceiling of the depressing cave
I felt a brilliant ray of hope come down from the sky
Restoring my vision, hearing and my voice!
I rose up from the ground and entered a valley of happiness
Where dreams grow on colossal trees of endless imagination
However, my days here are numbered in this land of prosperity
For I am just one soul, embarking on the journey of life!!
GOD is LOVE! GOD is the GIVER of LIFE! We are SANCTIFIED by HIS PRECIOUS HOLY SPIRIT! HE has a PURPOSE and PLAN for each of HIS children! I implore and entreat you to seek HIS WORD and allow HIM to define what LIFE is ALL about for you! It is only in Him you will find the TRUE meaning of LIFE! He is “THE REASON FOR EVERY SEASON!” LIFE, begins in heaven our earthly transition commences in the womb! Conception is defined as the “process of becoming pregnant or beginning! An unborn baby has “The RIGHT to LIFE!” I BELIEVE ALL HIS WORD! What and who do you believe!
THE LORD’S WORD is so POWERFUL! If one would only seriously listen and accept HIS definitions to LOVE, LIFE, SANCTIFICATION and HIS PURPOSE! We would be in such a better place worldwide! If you ever wondered where you were before being here on earth, or who you belong to listen to the Prophet Jeremiah. “Before I FORMED you in the womb I KNEW you; Before you were BORN I SANCTIFIED you; I ORDAINED you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1
In the wonderful Book of Jeremiah the LORD confirms where life begins! Take a moment and ponder and camp on this thought! Before you were in your Mother’s womb the LORD knew you! Long before you were ever conceived! From the very beginning the enemy has tried to redefine and discount the validity of God and His WORD!
When you think on love what comes to mind? Quite often many think about what makes them feel good. What you do or do not do for them, many have an erroneous idea of what love truly means. Love often means in this case supporting wrong. Letting me do and say to you whatever I want to do. For many often that erroneous love turns to verbal, physical and emotional abuse!
God instills His Love within us. When a baby is born it readily needs to be nurtured and loved! Remember “GOD is LOVE,” GOD is eternal HIS LOVE LASTS FOREVER! In HIS WORD you will see the manifestation of His Love all throughout His WORD! GOD IS THE ULTIMATE FATHER! Whenever you think on terms of loving someone think about what God has to say and what He does! He never supports them in ANYTHING that goes against HIS WORD. No different from NOW in Corinth the people had become mixed up about LOVE! Many were confused spiritually blind and very carnal… What does GOD say about LOVE ?
In I Corinthians Paul describes true LOVE!
“LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE DOES NOT delight in evil but REJOICES IN TRUTH. It ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS preserves. LOVE NEVER FAILS!
GOD is the GIVER and Sustainer of Life! In the very beginning God said “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them.” He gave them HIS breath of life! It is through this union of man and woman coming together that He designed more life to come forth! We were created for GOD’S GLORY!
Sanctification is the process of when one who grows in the DIVINE Grace and Knowledge of the LORD, due to accepting Jesus Christ as LORD! You are set apart for GOD! As a believer, a Christian, a child of God we should embrace the sanctity of life! It is a fundamental principle of God’s WORD! There is an incredible story in the Bible, when Mary was pregnant with Jesus. John the Baptist leaped in the womb of his mother Elizabeth just being in the presence of JESUS who was still in the womb of His mother Mary. Listen to what the Word says :
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb I PRAISE YOU because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes SAW my unformed body. ALL the days ordained for me were written in YOUR BOOK before one of them came to be…” Psalms 139
Abortion is not of God!! !t is the way of the world! Abortion is not only about death it is about LIFE! GOD is the GIVER and SUSTAINER of LIFE! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may HAVE LIFE, and have it more abundantly…” John 10 JESUS is the GOOD SHEPHERD ! He came and laid down HIS life so we could have a rich full balanced life!
What has been done cannot be undone! But you can start wherever you are going forth in the LORD! Know HIS WORD for yourself! Women who have had abortions are in need of inner healing. God is a loving forgiving God! Great is HIS LOVE for us! Repentance opens the door for restoration! Open your heart to the Lord. When you really give your heart to Him! He will fill that void. Don’t continue to use sex, manipulation or anything else to get your way. Begin to seek Him above all else and learn His WAY! I assure you In Him you will find the “security and significance” that is only found in Him! In Him you will find your purpose! Great is GOD’S FAITHFULNESS!
Abortion goes against the WORD of the Lord! It is easier to think of a precious baby, an unborn infant as a mere fetus in order to justify abortion. Remember, the baby feels and what you eat and drink they do too!“The TRUTH sets you FREE!” Remember GOD knows the TRUTH! So let’s be TRUTHFUL ABORTION is murder! If you believe it or not it’s so! What we say, think or do, does not change or alter what GOD has said is so. We are finite and GOD is OMNISICIENT meaning ALL KNOWING. If only we would listen to Him? Man continues as from the very beginning to be deceived by the devil. GOD IS A GOD OF LIGHT!!! Many discount, pervert and attempt to redefine what GOD has said in order to justify and manipulate getting their own way! The scriptures tells you that in the long run it never works! We are accountable to God for what we do or do not do!
God has a plan for each of His children from the very beginning and life is about discovering Him and living out that PURPOSE. Purpose is what gives life meaning! We on the other hand have to accept JESUS CHRIST as our personal SAVIOR to SAVE us from being overcome by the wickedness and the darkness that wants to dim and extinguish the LIGHT that the LORD wants to shine through us! God not only creates life, HE Blesses it! JESUS went through many things for us! HIS PROMISES ARE ALL TRUE! It ALL continues to work out for our GOOD when HE is in control of our LIVES!!!
Here is a story about an unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas who is 21 weeks old still in his mother’s womb: Baby Samuel’s Mom, Julie Armas is an obstetrics nurse who was told that her child has Spina Bifida! Spina Bifida is a very serious debilitating birth defect that causes a split spine. It causes the spinal cord to stick out; if not repaired it can cause a plethora of problems… His Doctor, Dr. Bruner is the operating surgeon. Keep in mind Samuel’s mom Julie had already suffered through two previous miscarriages!
It is during a C-section a small incision is made in order to do the surgery! As the surgery was completing baby Samuel reaches his little hand out and grasps the finger of the amazing Dr. Bruner! Dr. Bruner says that this was the most emotional moment of his life! He was stunned and immobilized! This is what is going on in this photograph above! Samuel’s mother Julie cried tears of Joy for days! Samuel was born completely healthy and the surgery was 100% successful! The picture speaks for itself! God is AWESOME!!!
I start each day with; “This is the Day that The LORD has made! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it! O LORD SAVE us; O LORD grant us success. BLESSED is he who comes in the Name of the LORD. From the House of the LORD we BLESS you.The LORD is GOD and HE has made HIS Light to shine upon us.” It is interesting how we can sometimes take it for granted that there will be another day after today! Think about it for a moment! Who but GOD can make a DAY?
As each new year draws near and end I am quite Thankful! There have been many things to take place this year throughout the world! Many who started the year out with us have passed on to the other side! There have been numerous earthquakes and natural disasters that have ravaged the land! The magnitude of the world’s overall dwindling economy has reached catastrophic proportions! Many countries are suffering… Yes some have begun to rebound but the aftermath is residual. The plethora of terrorists attacks are insane… For many things will never be quite the same. The ongoing cycle of wars ending and wars beginning seem endless…
I realize that the holiday season can be a time of great anxiety for many! Memories of loved ones that have passed on and distressing times seek to vigilantly rob you of your joy! But look you are still here! You still have more time! Time is priceless! Try to think about some of the happier moments and times that you shared with them and dwell upon the fond, humorous, tender and warmhearted memories! Build new and cherished memories to hold on to! Honor their memory now as you keep them close to heart! Live live to its fullest. Set new goals and forge ahead seeking ways to accomplish your goals! Look forward to an improving quality of life no matter how long or short… Change is always on the horizon! Anything that does not change is dead. Celebrate life itself as you continue to move forward!
I can personally think of some very unpleasant moments, times of grief, illnesses, deaths, distresses and calamitous disasters that have taken place but I do not want to dwell there! Nor do I desire to camp in denial! I pray that the Lord will continue to open my eyes to TRUTH! Knowing that He will lead you or I as we are willing to submit to His Will & Way! I so want to continuously “Abide in the Shadow of the Almighty…! ” Psalm 91. This verse assures us that His protection is always available… Time waits on no one! Well I must say that The Lord can and did allow time to be turned back for a moment… “
King Hezekiah was a great example! Here we learn that God keeps His promises! With Him even the impossible is possible! “Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of The Lord on the third day from now?” Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what He has promised; shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?” “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” The prophet Isaiah called upon the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.” II Kings 20.
What are you saying; King Hezekiah was faithful to the Lord! He became sick and to the point of death. He turned his face to the wall and humbly and sincerely prayed to the Lord asking the Lord to heal him! As a sign he asked if the shadow could go back ten steps! The stairway of Ahaz is a sundial. The Egyptians made their sundials in the form of miniature staircase. Shadows moved up and down to tell the time! The Lord honored Hezekiah’s request! “On the third day from now you will go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life…” II Kings 20. Here we can see that time belongs to GOD! Evidently Hezekiah had not yet fulfilled his purpose on this side of heaven and the Lord extended his time! He granted Hezekiah another fifteen years of life!
My point here is that time is so precious and sometimes we just never know from moment to moment what will be… Even in the face of death we can turn to the Lord! We can begin to relish each moment and seek to have happier moments! To sincerely make an attempt to deal with life responsively even when it becomes unpleasant despite what is going on about us! To live life to its fullest! I believe if you reach deep enough inside, and think broad enough anyone can find something to be thankful for no matter how infinitesimally small it might be! Life itself is a precious gift! Our good days can outweigh the rough times… You may have to take it moment by moment during the difficult days when you can’t see your way through… Just know someone somewhere has more or less yet, no matter how large or small or seemingly insignificant we can express thanks! Memories are priceless! God is bigger and beyond anyone, anything or any situation we may ever encounter! He will see you through!
If you have been depressed for a long time, it’s time for things to change! God really does the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT to flourish within all of our lives daily! Know that it is the devil who wants to keep you bogged down in regrets, fear, doubt, shame and hopelessness. To make you feel so bad that the pains of life have you down and overwhelmed! To separate you from the Lord and to get you to focus on your pain! Don’t let your emotions continue to get the best of you. Exercise some self-control! Reach out to the Lord! Cry out to Him He can meet you right where you are! There is light at the end of the tunnel you may feel lonely but you are not alone! God can reach over your abyss of torment and bring you through to start anew! Know that today is a gift from Him!
God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from sin. Sin is anything that separates us from GOD! Jesus came to earth to give us hope for a better life with the Lord! He never sinned and did many marvelous miraculous healings, signs and wonders! He even fed thousands of people with a small lunch of fish and bread shared by a generous young boy! The Book of John even tells us that the world could not contain the books of all the miraculous things that Jesus did WOW! Look at GOD! HE IS AMAZING! Although JESUS helped many, He was still horrendously mistreated! He was beaten, spit upon then nailed to the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb! It was borrowed because He did not plan to stay there! What happened to Him was a part of God’s plan for us! Jesus redeemed us and paid the price for the sins of the world with His life! He arose with all power from the grave declaring power over sin and death! GOD IS AWESOME!
“But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death the KEEP its hold on HIM. David said about Him:
“I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue REJOICES; my body also will live in HOPE, because you will not abandon Me to the grave. Nor will you let your HOLY ONE see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with JOY in Your presence!” Acts 2.
Today is a gift from God! Draw closer to the Lord and shift your focus to Him! He will and can make all the difference in the world in your life! Everyone who is willing to invite Him into their heart can receive His Holy Spirit! He is the Inner Teacher, Guide, Wonderful Counselor and Comforter! Do not let life just pass you by! Ask the Lord to fill your heart and lift you from despair and fill you with His JOY!
No one can be a better you than you! Don’t allow man to take you down the primrose path that leads to destruction… Don’t allow the devil to make you live in regrets… What has happened cannot be undone! But you can always choose to go forward from where you are with the hope of building a better tomorrow! You can live eternally with the Lord! Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of Hope! Seek God for yourself! We can always have Hope in the LORD! Faith is what inspires Hope! Trust GOD! This is why an ongoing intimate personal relationship with The Lord is so very important! God is Love! He is the Great Equalizer! This is why He gave us His Son JESUS CHRIST! To accept Him into our hearts and let Him become our personal SAVIOR & LORD! With Him your age, race, address, bank account, medical condition, state of mind, societal status, IQ, what you have or do not have, does not change His Love for You! In Him you can discover everything that you will ever need! He can help you be the best you! He can fill your inner void and give you His PEACE that surpasses the understanding of man! PRAISE GOD!!!
God has created each of us for a purpose! “And we KNOW that in ALL things GOD works together for the GOOD” Romans 8. In HIS time! Life is about living and discovering whatever that purpose may be. All the signs of the last days are all about us! “ “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:25-28. Knowing this we can be thankful as time draws near! Prepare today! JESUS IS COMING SOON!
In Him we can have blessed assurance! It is “in HIM we live and move and have our being!” Acts 17. Yes be Aware! Yes express your doubts and fears! However make Him your focus! Not in a legalistic religious way! God wants us to enjoy life on this side of heaven! Spend time in His presence, meditating upon His Word! Allow Him to write His Word upon the tables of your heart and trust Him to bring it to your memory when needed! His Word is precious Spiritual Food for our souls! You have as much time as you need with the Lord, because time belongs to Him! Draw closer to the Him regardless of what is happening or not happening about you! Despite what is happening in this world know that He is still in control! His Word is being fulfilled!
Make it a point to spend time in His presence today! Be Thankful today because tomorrow is not promised! We know from His Word that even when your days may be few if it is His will He can extend time! If your Faith is dwindling and your heart troubled ask the Lord to rekindle your FAITH! Surrender your anxiety, depression, sadness,doubt, regrets or sickness to Him and let Him restore your JOY! Recommit or commit to His will and His way! God is our Protector, Healer and Deliverer we must continuously learn to entrust our wellbeing to HIM! Allow Him to be your Refuge and Fortress! God has already given us the Greatest Gift ever which is JESUS CHRIST!! We can Celebrate Christmas, New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving , Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays and everyday knowing that “”The earth is the LORD’S and everything in it the world and them that dwell therein!” Psalm 24. Trust God for brighter moments, days and precious memories ahead! He CAN and will supply ALL of your needs in CHRIST JESUS! GOD TRULY IS ABLE!! Prayer and Faith go together! Each day is a day to be Thankful! “This is the Day that The LORD has MADE! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it!” GOD BLESS YOU!
God not only knows the very hairs that are on our heads. He determines how long we inhabit the earth. He is the ultimate Master Creator and Designer who weaves everything together in His magnificent canvas of life. When we grow in His grace, truth and knowledge He gives us the ability to spiritually discern. Spiritual discernment lights the foreground of our canvas as we venture through this valley of the shadow of death. His wisdom grooms our being so as children of light our life’s canvas commences to reflect the light of His presence in our life.
Quite often we adapt to the world and employ personality traits that are in general socially acceptable. Personality is used in typical dictionary definition to distinguish behavioral, emotional and attitudinal tendencies, character traits and habits. It is by these traits that one is uniquely recognized. We as people are fundamentally a complex integration of physical and non-physical dimensions and attributes.
The spiritual facet of us should reflect the God like qualities within our nature. Interpersonal dynamics and environmental influences are primary, but not exclusive to developmental determinants of our personalities. As human beings we are living, learning and growing organisms. When parents have properly nourished us by providing sufficient freedom and are generous in positive reinforcement, children will achieve a sense of personal autonomy. On the other hand if parents have modeled much faulty behavior themselves, were too overprotective, demanding, too permissive or critical, emotionally, mentally and physically or sexually abusive children will learn to have doubts about themselves. They will become harnessed with feelings of shame. In God’s eyes we are all ageless children. His Holy Spirit’s presence in one’s life is able to override any inappropriate learning experiences which we all have to a certain degree. God who is the ultimate Sovereign Creator can paint new life onto our life’s canvas. The Holy Spirit works in believers to give us a new nature.
When I studied “Art Appreciation” in school I acquired a respect for the various art forms. When I saw an original Picasso Abstract, my first reaction was “I don’t like it”. After studying Picasso’s work I learned he was able to paint with a childlike simplicity. He was able to go inside, vicariously share and interpret on canvas the depth of his feelings. From an exterior posture for one to understand his work, a surface summation would not properly render what he was trying to relay. Despite the possibility of no one understanding he did not allow that to hinder His work. Whether he was aware of it or not He was given a God-given talent. It was largely after his death that the world really began to appreciate and understand his unique gift.
Our life can be quite like an abstract painting. Especially by those who really don’t know us. People usually fear what they don’t understand, or tend to label it negatively. Webster defines Abstract as; difficult to understand. Insufficiently factual. Expressing a quality considered apart from an object. Impersonal having only a generalized form with little or no attempt at precise representation. Quite often as Christians we too must risk being misunderstood. We must learn to tenaciously pursue our God given talent(s) with a steadfast devotion. Thank You Lord for making me “peculiar!” it should always be our first priority fo live each day to please God not man. I assure you, you will be a lot happier!
Each day that passes what we say and do and how we respond paints an array of events on our personal canvas of life. Much of our life’s paint is applied erroneously when we wander aimlessly about. When we stray from the narrow path that God has designed. God’s world is awesomely vast. A marvelous abstract spiritual venture awaits those who are obedient. Faith and Trust in Him are required companions that confidently paint the unseen path before us! It is easy to deter from our course because God allows us so much freedom. He has given us the power to choose. Other wise each individual canvas would yield a duplicate reproduction!
But once we really discover that life has purpose the strokes on our life’s canvas should be guided by our Creator.
There is nothing in our life that has transpired that we can unpaint. When we find ourselves somewhere we don’t want to be, or saying or doing something we don’t want to do, what do we do? Do we continue to allow pride to lead us anyway? No, it will only lead us somewhere we don’t really want to go.
The hues of pride darken the spiritual path. It keeps the light of our direction deep in the background. So do we just waste precious time and continue to stumble around? Do we employ passages of scriptures to justify our sometimes wrong position? Do we erroneously mislead and gather others to support us in our wrong position? Ask yourself, do you hear a faint unspoken voice beckoning you to change your direction? Although painful, it is far better to move towards the Light. God knows your true motives. Do you know it is more important what God knows rather than what people think! God is OMNIPOTENT and HE can change your life in a miraculous way.
God our Creator knows all of our faults, shortcomings, misunderstandings and insecurities. His arms are wide open. But too often, pride, guilt and shame keeps us at His arm distance. It keeps us in the dark away from His marvelous Light! Too often we just don’t want to admit that we are possibly wrong or were wrong to ourselves especially not someone else! We are so reluctant to tint our canvas with the magnificent brilliance of humility! We would rather allow pride to paint our canvas and take us to a place that we will eventually dread!
If you are at a point in your life you don’t want to be, or if your life seems to be headed in a direction of uncertainty; If you have done something or said something you should not have ( and we do from time to time) seek God’s direction. Really dedicate some time to being still and sincerely do some deep soul searching. Have your self a Gethsemane experience. Get quiet enough so you can actually hear what God is saying. Now that you have gotten His attention. Sincerely render to Him what is on your mind and in your heart. Remember He knows anyway. Once you have lightened your load. Ask Him for direction. Admit and repent (not repeat) of anything that is hindering your spiritual path. Now step out on Faith and move forward trusting God and soliciting the presence & power of His Holy Spirit to lead you in the path of righteousness.
“PRAY without ceasing,” all throughout your day and begin to allow God’s yoke to be spiritually connected to you. Watch and experience the beauty of Him lightening your burdens. I assure you He will direct you! Just know it may not be in a direction you want to go. You may just have to apply some humility to your life’s canvas. Humility can harness anger and impulsive rage will have to flee! Instead each painful step in His direction will be accompanied by His unexplainable peace! Did you know that when we are at our weakest point it gives God the opportunity to create a great work in us? Proceed cautiously knowing that anger and pride wants to darken it’s hues on your life canvas. They want to deceive you and keep you walking in denial and disobedience. They only want to suppress and cover up the Light that wants to shine on your life’s canvas!
Once we humbly admit to God we are wrong, a flood of Light appears. It opens the door for the cleansing power of His Word to wash us thoroughly. God in His infinite wisdom is totally aware of the minutest speck of sin on each of our individual canvases. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory”. But this does not give us the right to continue in sin. Christ did not die for us to be slaves to any sin in our lives. He even told us except we become as children we will not enter into His kingdom! He is the only Sovereign Master Designer! He can make each stroke of circumstances whatever they may be; mold and shape us into a vessel of beauty and honor in His sight. God has an unlimited wealth of transformation power! Always remember it is what GOD knows about us is what matter most! You/we are “forever becoming” we never arrive until the Lord calls us home to Him. Commence to allow His Holy Spirit to guide you as you paint your personal canvas knowing that the Lord is by your side for “it is in HIM we move and live and have our being.” Acts 17 Our life truly is “A work of art in progress!”
Today we are living within an upside down world. In many instances what is wrong is embraced as right and what is right is embraced as wrong. This is why it is so very important that you get to know the TRUTH of God’s WORD, firsthand, for yourself intimately and personally! This way you will not be so easily towed right along with everything you hear and see. Paul wanted to alert the Church to see how to recognize and confront “false teaching”. Paul wrote to the Church extensively because he was so concerned that so many were getting caught up with the bureaucracy and the traditions of man. Paul encouraged the Church to preserve, model, embrace and live out Christian principles in every area of their daily life. Today right now we too need to be mindful of these very same things.
Quite often when one reads and visits the corridors of Scripture they see the characters and situations as merely historical and sometimes fictional. This can often cause one to become far removed from the wealth of applicable practical wisdom endowed within the Scriptures and respond in an aloof manner to the lessons presented and overlook the wisdom lessons intended. The people, prophets, priests and kings were real genuine people, from every facet of life with authentic issues no different than what we see today. God really is the same God who always was and always will be! He is eternal; in Him through His Son Christ Jesus we have the gift of eternal life. Time belongs to Him. We have all the time we need to do whatever it is He has created each one of us to be!
The Book of Ephesians is an excellent Book to indulge your mind in for spiritual enlightenment. The Church became embroiled in endless questions, arguments, politics and controversies that took them away from studying Scriptures. We must be mindful that it is so important to not get side-tracked from the intended purpose. It is important to sincerely desire and ask to be filled with His Spirit in order to glean the true intended meaning of the Scriptures so we can rightfully divide and apply its intended purposes. Many strive for popularity, prestige and recognition rather than seek for God’s approval. These things within themselves are not bad, but we must know that man is fickle and inconsistently changes very easily. Therefore it is important to know that through the Lord we really have everything we will ever need. He really does know everything we think, say do or do not do!
Although it may not be readily tangibly present. We can rest assure that His power is always accessible. Ephesians tells us “Jesus Christ has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight…….” Ponder on this passage of Scripture for a while and go deeply into its contents to glean the intended benefits. Let this reinforce within you the security and spiritual significance that rings forth. It says not some but all spiritual blessings. There are benefits in knowing and having a personal intimate relationship with the Lord. These blessings are not always visible where one can see. But they are available and accessible in the eternal heavenly spiritual realm. This means that they are eternal. God chose us and we belong to Him. This all took place way back before any of us even existed. Our little finite minds cannot conceive the totality of God. We are just minute particles in His whole scheme of things. No matter how small, large, visible or unseen it is all relevant to Him.
When any scene or situation presents itself on our life’s canvas we must seek His direction to properly apply and paint the intended strokes. Having the proper attitude about God is necessary to deal with any present injustices. Persecution and misunderstanding will attempt to take a dominant position to etch insecurity and doubt onto the forefront of your life canvas. Yielding subdued hues and shades of gray to subliminally overshadow the main theme. But as you always keep in mind that God knows you, His Light will shine forth in the midst even when darkness tries to impose itself upon you. We cannot predict the future precisely. But we can focus, trust and put our faith in God our Creator and Maker who knows us and will watch over and protect us living in and upside down world.
God allows both good and bad times for all of us. “He is not a respecter of persons.” We must learn to consistently lean and put our faith and trust in Him. In order to not be pulled into whatever is suddenly hurled into your direction even though intended to snarl, derail, discredit our credibility or entrap us, our focus must be on HIM! We must learn how not to allow insults, injustices or any storm or seasonal moment in time define the totality of our existence. When you spend time in His presence you can abide under the shadow of The Almighty because you know that He knows and that is what ultimately truly matters. Ecclesiastes tells us that, “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.” The point that I am trying to make is that life has a much deeper meaning than what man sees. Many seek first as a top priority to be affirmed and recognized in the eyes of man. Momentarily this may satisfy an inner longing, life on this side of heaven is short, there really is a much deeper meaning to life.
If all the wisdom, prestige or power that the world has to offer were available it would be but a minute particle in regards to the infinite wisdom and power of the Lord. Perhaps this is why Jesus Christ made Himself of no reputation? Yes we are “in the world but it is Him we move and live and have our being.” Although often unrecognized or accepted by the masses Jesus did not deter from His life purpose. He remained faithful and committed to the will of His Father in and often, cruel, often harsh upside down world.
God sees and knows it all. It is not merely how things appear or seem. We all will have to stand before an all knowing all wise God who knows where our hearts and minds are as well as our intentions. Know the Lord and His Word so you are not towed along with the “false teaching” of anyone. Ephesians says “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything is exposed to the Light becomes visible, for the Light makes everything visible…” God tells us to live as children of the Light. When you are walking in the Light you know that whatever darkness tries to overshadow your life’s canvas, that your Creator, Your maker, Our heavenly Father is omnisciently aware! You can surely trust Him to keep you right side up, living in and upside down world.
Notice how most animals walk on all fours. God Created us as His children to walk uprightly, our hands should be readily available to reach up and Praise Him! It is important to be aware of what is going on about us. We do not want to live in denial neither is it healthy. Life without God is futile, meaningless. God’s Word is our life manual and essential intrinsic tool to help us navigate through life. We can find hope in the midst of sorrow, joy in the midst of sadness, comfort in the midst of pain, encouragement in the midst of persecution and peace within the midst of an upside down world. Make it a priority to spend some time in His Word not only on Sunday or whatever your designated Bible Study night may be. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us ” Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.” Yes we should be aware living in an upside down world, but not totally alarmed. Through the eyes of God we can see and recognize life problems and realize that God does have a plan to take us through whatever comes our way. Through faith we can trust God and always seek His will for our path forward regardless of where you are in life. God has a plan for the lives of all of His children. God’s plan simply is to live for Him. Ecclesiastes ends by telling us that “Now all has been heard here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE, DUTY OF MAN. For GOD will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” This is true even living in and upside down world.
This is a splendid, impressive, awe-inspiring Psalm! It starts with a complaint, progressively takes you on an expedition of distress and at its conclusion you find hope & relief! What a marvelous spiritual journey! As David did quite often, know we too can earnestly cry out to the Lord at anytime! Here we can find comfort knowing that in even our darkest moments we can find respite and solace in the Lord! Whatever you may be going through you can rest assured that God is totally aware of whatsoever is happening! You are not alone! Although David complains at first he eventually launches into a powerful heartfelt prayer!
What is so beautiful about the Lord; you can just be who we are! If you are not in a good place ask Him to help you! We can’t fool God! He sees us from the inside out! We are ALL totally transparent to Him! Therefore it really is best for us to sincerely confess how we are feeling and what’s going down or happening in our life and then ask the Him to help us be where we need to be.
One of the fabulous wonders of life is; the ability to be able to grow spiritually is lifelong! Discovering who you are in the Lord can bring “Joy” for the journey! Joy is part of the Fruit of His Spirit! God is beyond able!
David goes through some tumultuous moments, days & years! No doubt there is a plethora of responsibilities and numerous challenges with him being the King, a father and “a man after God’s own heart!” I Samuel 13. He was the greatest king ever to rule over Israel! He was a man of great character and had steadfast trust and faith in the Lord! Yet it is clear with all that wisdom, and power he still needed the Lord! There were times of great distress and notable times he succumbed to his weaknesses… Yet he repented genuinely and pressed forward. His heartfelt confessions and accolades of praise inversely permeate throughout the duration of these Psalms!
Here he presents a question to the Lord! “How long?” We never know how long or short our test or trial will be but we can during the process; “Trust in the LORD with ALL our heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and HE WILL make your path straight…” Proverbs 3. God will direct our path through whatever circumstance that presents itself! We however must position ourselves to hear Him and see clearly the narrow path. We can trust His Word!
There are many amazing and glorious stories of David’s plethora of experiences and turbulent times! However his good days outweigh them all! He was an exceptional king! Here in the Word of God we have a brilliant reliable record that the Lord brought him through each time! Therefore we can REJOICE knowing that this is the same God that we love and serve! Holy and Mighty is the LORD our GOD! He is the “GREAT I AM!” God truly is able!
~ PSALM 13~
Book of Praise Lesson Highlights
“A Psalm of David.” The Prayer For God’s Answer – NOW!
Theme: Praying for relief from despair. We must continue to TRUST GOD even when He doesn’t answer us immediately.
The 6th of seven “penitential” Psalms
Here David’s soul is in calamitous anguish! He vociferously cries out in the midst of his troubles! His heart is heavy laden and his mind is bothered! He heavily contemplates upon what will be the duration of his current dilemma that seems to be without end!
David desperately wants to hear from the Lord! He apparently is beginning to feel apprehensively anxious and impatient. So much so he asks the Lord if He has forgotten him? Here we get a glimpse of the close intimate relationship David has with the Lord! He candidly expresses the depth of his inner feelings! He is being beleaguered by his emotions! He wants some answers and is beginning to display much impatience… “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?”
David is so beside himself that his mind is heavy with thoughts! His confidence is diminishing and he feels that his persecutors appear to be winning triumphantly over him? Everyday his heart is burdened more and he is now simply anxious and weighed down with worry! Many lessons here for us to learn!
The Word of God is so vitally important! In the New Testament in Philippians, the Apostle Paul tells us; “DO NOT be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God which transcends understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4. When we are going through we must make a sincere effort to focus on the Lord and allow Him to lessen the load in His time. This of course can at times be easier said than done… Through Jesus Christ He has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit to be our Teacher & Comforter! When we remain focused on Him He can and will guard our hearts and minds! “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
David feels so bad that he is pleading with the Lord to relieve him! The pain is so ghastly he fears death! The pressures of life are making Him feel so hopeless he is overcome with worry! He feels as though his enemies will overtake him and over power him and that they will soon celebrate his downfall. “Look on me and answer, O LORD my GOD. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say; “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.”
As soon as David expresses his doubts and fears his load is lifted to the point he is now rejoicing! His trust and confidence in the Lord takes the forefront! How appropriate because the Lord time after time has brought him through. David now feels the Lord will save him! Here we too can rejoice in this life lesson because; “The Lord is Faithful!” He will deliver us and keep us as well! We in turn must keep our focus on Him and not the situation! We too must learn to trust Him! Like David we can be confident in the Lord!
Behind ever dark cloud there is light! This is why we must go to the Lord and invite Him into the “messiness” that life sometimes hurls upon us! He will make our path straight! Yet we must position ourselves humbly into His hands in order to hear Him! Although David commences this Psalm complaining and feeling forsaken he does not camp there very long! He does not allow himself to be pulled into the pit of endless depression!
Life can certainly be overwhelming at times! It can appear as though you are all alone and everyone and just about everything is coming against you. But when you have the Lord it is important to know that you are never alone! “This too shall pass!” David shows us in this Psalm that there can be an immediate turn around in your situation. Or if not’ while going through you can acquire more patience! This is why we need a Savior! To save us from the power of sin reigning in our lives and keep us connected to the Lord!
Sin separates us from the Lord and doubt wants to make you worry and weaken your connectedness! When this happens it is the perfect time to seek the Lord’s presence! Invite Him to come even closer and see how He will reveal Himself to you! He can make a way out of no way! At the same time He can cultivate His Fruit within you! This is why while going through we must learn to focus on the many bountiful blessings and promises in His Word! We don’t have to stay in the “How Longs?”The Love of God is powerful! “But I TRUST in your unfailing LOVE; my heart REJOICES in Your SALVATION.” Thank God for Jesus Christ and His precious Holy Spirit! The Lord truly is GOOD! HE IS AWESOME!
This Psalm concludes by saying: “I will sing to the LORD, for He has been GOOD TO ME!”
Life is Not FAIR but GOD IS!
Habakkuk is a wonderful short, sweet, powerful Book in the Old Testament that is packed with wisdom. The prophet Habakkuk asks God, “Why are things not fair? And why does God not do something? He prophecies during the final reign of the Assyrian Empire and right when the Babylonians began to increasingly grow in power to control and dominate the world. The Chaldeans were being sent to judge Judah. The key scripture is: “Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”
This miniature book illustrates just how powerful God is, consisting of only three chapters! God can use any situation to demonstrate His mighty power! God eventually answers Habakkuk; this is why this book is so valuable. God tells him to “Look among the nations and watch~ Be utterly astounded!” For a season God allowed the cruel treatment to take place. It is here He uses the unbelieving decadent Babylonian pagan nation to reprimand His rebellious nation of people! The Babylonians in time would also suffer punishment for their wickedness…
The Book of Habakkuk boldly demonstrates that our complete Faith and Trust must be in God! We can have complete confidence in Him! When there is much pain, sickness, trouble and distress one must turn first to God and not man! Allow Him to direct you! Remember “Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your path.” Proverbs 3 Although we can study and learn intellectually what actually opens the door to our spiritual wisdom and understanding is our relationship with the Lord. It is so important to know God’s Word! It is here through the Divine power of His Holy Spirit; The Comforter and Teacher where learning the essential keys of life resides! Despite everything that goes on in the world it is important to keep in mind “God is STILL in CONTROL!” God alone deserves to be worshipped, honored and PRAISED!
Habakkuk cries out to the Lord for help! There is very little known about Habakkuk, there is less personal information recorded on him than any other prophet. There was much going on about him. Just like it is in the 21st century today! Like Habakkuk we too can turn to the Lord in times of distress. He tells us “Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed.” Look how applicable this is today! Remember, although “bad things are happening to good people” God has not forgotten us! When you know that things are not right, when you know that there have been injustices against you it is important to know God in His time will vindicate you! Sometimes you just have to be patient and humbly wait! Knowing that what is important is that “God Knows,” in the meantime draw close to the Lord! You must learn to put things in their proper perspective!
How often have you heard someone say; “That’s not fair!” What does it mean to be fair? According to Webster’s’; pleasing to the eye or mind a flawless quality; clear legible, unbiased or impartial. What makes anyone think that life is fair? Life is not fair, but God is! God is ALWAYS right! As Habakkuk says; “The righteous will live by Faith!” The Apostle Paul also says this in Romans and again in Galatians! It is also once again confirmed in Hebrews! The question is often asked; “Why does bad things happen to good people?” Really, in essence the TRUTH is only God is good!
Judah, God’s people had a series of wicked kings that did not subscribe to God’s way, they rejected Him and His principles they adopted the ways of the world. Judah had a young King Josiah, he believed and trusted in God but his successors did not. King Josiah tried to turn their hearts back to the Lord but it only lasted for a season. He had instituted significant spiritual reforms in Judah! Eventually they were finally invaded and taken into Babylonian captivity under King Nebuchadnezzar. During captivity they were oppressed, persecuted and their possessions were taken away. The Babylonians were a strong military force they were a nation that plundered the goods of many. Does any of this sound familiar? Habakkuk was aware that the Babylonians were being used to punish Judah. He realized that there were some things that they would experience that did not seem fair…
Habakkuk realized that the people were actually being disciplined. He prays to God on their behalf and asks for mercy. He did not quite understand why this was happening but He trusted God anyway! “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in your day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Regardless how things look or appear and no matter what happens God always does what is right! There are many things in our little finite minds that we will never quite understand. But we can surely always lean and Trust on an all knowing Infinite God who knows exactly what is going on! Habakkuk knew that God would triumph. We too can be reassured He will in His time vindicate us when we are sincere and faithful to Him! We must learn how to patiently wait for Him. We must focus on God and not the circumstance. Our strength and Joy comes from the Lord! Even though it may appear that the wicked prosper at your expense sometimes, in the long run they really don’t !
Today when many are turning away from God’s principles, When right is yoking up with what is wrong, When the world is saying this is right and the scriptures is saying that is wrong… When nothing seems to make sense; “wait on the Lord!” We never get to the point that we are not susceptible to spiritual attacks and oppression no matter how much we plan or grow spiritually. This is why we have to continuously pray and daily seek God’s face. This is why we need a Savior! Praise God! Hallelujah anyhow!!!
One can be encouraged as Habakkuk reminds us how “the sun and moon stood still in their habitation!” This happened when Israel gained victory over the Amorites at Gibeon the Lord made the sun stand still, during a battle for Joshua! (See Joshua 10) Although we cannot see what God is doing we have to learn to trust Him! We should always consult God and let Him know how we are feeling even though He already knows! God will take us through the test and trials designed by man and over the landmines put in our path. Look around today and see there are many economic difficulties, families in crisis, marriages resulting in divorces, sickness, diseases and natural disasters! Know God is Able! God is here to help us endure any hardships that may arise in life! It is to Him we must look to, He is Sovereign and greater than any situation! Habakkuk concludes with an illustration of a deer! Notice how a deer can manage to scale and climb up the rugged terrain of seemingly impossible mountain and doesn’t slip! As Habakkuk says: “Yet I will REJOICE in the Lord, I will be JOYFUL in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my STRENGTH; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” Keep looking to the Lord! It is here in Habakkuk we find “The Lord is in His Holy Temple. Let all the earth keep silent before Him” Praise God!