7 Day Prayer Series: Day 7

Day 7.

Reveal yourself through me

“Show me a sign of your favour, that those who hate me see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me” (Psalm 86:17)

To be a Christian is not only to have our personal prayers answered, but also to make a statement to the whole world. While prayer begins with us for our situations and circumstances, it should extend to a prayer for God to reveal himself through us so that the world may see and enjoy him. Yes, we must first come to God and pray for his listening ear, joy, strength and all the other good things but move prayer outside of ourselves and into what God desires. We must pray for our light to shine through all the world.

The world is watching us Christians: we should respond by wanting our faith and our whole life to mean something to the watching world. We want unbelievers and sometimes believers to know that our God is the one and only God, to come to him and be saved.

Let us transform our prayers from asking God to do for us into a desire for him to do in us something dramatic that moves the hearts and minds of others. It is important to move beyond our selves and into the world, something that can only be done when God works through us.

Thank you for staying tuned in and praying with me this week. I pray this series stays with each of us for this week, this month, this year, forever.

Blessings ❤

P.S If anyone has any prayer requests please make them known via comments or email and I’d be pleased to make my requests for you known.

7 Day Prayer Series: Day 6

Day 6.

Unite my heart to you

“Unite my heart to fear your name” (Psalm 86:11)

This world is full of division and our sinful heart’s are no different. More and more of us are divided between wanting to resonate with God’s heart, and fulfilling rebel desires and impulses. Unity becomes a word instead of a way of living. However, to be a Christian is to kill sin and stay on the side of righteousness, united with the Lord.

Sin divides our attention and affection to the Lord, but there is a way to move into unity. To counter the effects of this divided world our frequent prayer should be that God rid us of spiritual divisiveness, that we may not be hot and cold so God can unite our hearts in him.

Tune in for Day 7 (last day) tomorrow with a prayer on favour.

Blessings ❤

P.S If anyone has any prayer requests please make them known via comments or email and I’d be pleased to make my requests for you known.

Help Comes First From the WORD Not the World

Happy Music Monday friends ❤

A few days ago I was contact by an ex-friend, someone I thought would be in my life for a while. Before responding to this former friend, I took a moment and asked the Lord why it hadn’t worked in the first place. Instead of responding, a went to the Lord in prayer and he met me in my dreams.

Last night as I closed my eyes preparing for a night of rest I tossed and turned and while I dozed off at 4 in the morning, a sweet slumber did not meet me. The dream, a nightmare at most, I had was a weird one that honed in on one of my real life friendships. In this nightmare I was able to see many real life situations where I compromised my faith, my relationship with God, and my wellbeing for the good of this particular relationship. Throughout this dream I was met with a version of myself and this friend, I was an outsider looking in. I saw the two of us dining, dancing, and laughing, our time consumed with each other like it had been for all my other friendships. It looked as though myself and this friend were having a good time, but as I looked closer I saw something didn’t seem to fit. It was a snake. This friend transformed before my eyes from a human into a serpent. The serpent turned to me, as I observed, and said “you’ve allowed your worldly relationships to replace God. You’ve replaced the Word with the world.” Then, I woke up. I gasped and thanked God it was all just a horrible dream, but I still felt uneasy. It occurred to me that maybe this was a sign. Did God put this dream on me to allow me to see that the reason our relationship ended before was because I used this particular friend as a way of replacing him? Did he use the serpent to reveal that like the enemy, I’ve allowed this friend to stop me from seeing, both literally and spiritually what God was trying to do in my life? So, I received my answer… no , this is a relationship not worth mending. It was a rather dramatic answer, but necessary nonetheless.

Friends, don’t allow the enemy to use you nor should you give him the key to use any of those around you to craft his plan of separation from you and God. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy and sometimes we make his job easier when we hold on to the world and not the Word. Anything that you are holding onto right now, or idolizing over God, the enemy is there. May you learn to open your eyes to the areas God is calling on you to return to, like he did me. My prayer is that you call on God and rebuke the enemy’s plans to separate you from God. Don’t make the mistake I did and look to your worldly relationship as your help and strength, when all of your help comes first from God. Put God at the centre of your life, your job, your school, and your friendships. While I ended the friendship with this person several years ago, I almost lost my footing and started what was proven to be a bad relationship – I almost gave the enemy the keys to separate me from the Lord like I had done before.

All of our help comes from God, whether it’s conscious or subconscious! Allow Him FULL access to your life, your situation, to YOU.

Father, we believe you are granting us your perfect peace as we keep our mind stayed on you and put you first. We will not allow the enemy in or allow him to believe our help comes for the world instead of the WORD.

This week’s song is All Of My Help by Geoffrey Golden

Lyrics:
All of my help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you
My saviour
All of my help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you
It comes from you
All of my help comes from you
You are the one that my heart is drawn to
In time of weaknes, my strength is renewed
My help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you

So father, we believe that you are
Renewing our strength as we wait on you
Father, we believe that you are granting us
Your perfect peace as we keep our minds stayed on you
You are our hope, you are our strength
You are our life, father. And so we are gonna lift this together

You are my refuge and strength
My present help in times of trouble
I look to the hills from whence cometh my help
My help comes from you

It comes from you (it comes from you)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
All of my peace (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
And all of my joy, (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)

You are my life (yes)
You are my light (it comes from you)
Can’t make it without you (yes)
Don’t wanna do it without you (it comes from you)
Father, we need you (yes)
Father, we need you (it comes from you)
Father, we need you (yes)
Father, we need you (it comes from you)

All of my help (it comes from you)
All of my peace (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
For you are (yes)
The source of my strength (it comes from you)
And you are (yes)
You’re the strength of my life (it comes from you)

I love you, lord (yes)
You paid my price (it comes from you)
And pitied (yes)
Pitied every throne (it comes from you)
Long as I live, (yes)
As troubles rise, (it comes from you)
I’m gonna race, (yes)
To your throne (it comes from you)
You are my refuge and strength

Love God with Your Everything

There are few things so universal and yet so challenging. Love. Most importantly, love for God. Jesus says in Mark 12:29–30, that to love is the most important commandment as it is necessary to enjoy God’s sustained favour.

There are many substantial examples of God’s sustained favour in the face of great love. Moses asserted, “[Yahweh] keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” but he “repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them”(Deuteronomy 7:9–10). Similarly, Paul declared that “All things work together for good” only for “those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

There is no room here for divided affections or allegiance. As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). God demands total loyalty from you. A loyalty that starts with the heart.

Being loyal is defined as “Being faithful to one’s oath, engagements or obligations. Being faithful to one’s allegiance to a government or state or to a person conceived as imposing obligation”. Loyalty comes out of love, devotion, dedication and commitment to the well being of another. As lovers of Christ we are to prove ourselves loyal in regular devotionals, dedicated time and a commitment to stay faithful through the course of the relationship, choosing God over the world.

We are not to simply reserve God to the weekend or worse, a single day of the week – often Sunday’s and occupy the rest of our time with the pleasure of the world. As important as loyalty is in this day and age in our relationships it serves the same importance to our Maker who reminds us not to let “steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you” but to “bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

Loving God with all our Heart
From the heart “flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23), and without one’s will, desires, passions, affections, perceptions, and thoughts rightly aligned, the life of love is impossible. As a result disloyalty beings and God no longer becomes the source of our love as we go out giving out our love to others.

Loving God with all our Soul
Along with our hearts, we are called to love God with all our soul. In the first five books of the Old Testament the “soul” refers to one’s whole being as a living person, which while it includes one’s heart, it includes so much more. It is not only the heart that we live and have our being but also our souls that has a closer meaning to “living being”. For example,   in Genesis 2:7 we are told that “Yahweh God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living [soul] creature.

So we are to love God with our everything, beyond our heart. We are to love him with how we talk, and what we do with our hands, and how we utilize our talents, and how we react to trials. Our entire being is to display that we love God.

Loving God with all our Might
What it means to love God with all our might not only points towards the strength a person has, but also what he has at his disposal. This means that the call to love God is not only with our physical muscle or the strength we have in the moment, but with everything we have available for honouring God. Our might is not reserved to what we possess but all that we have around us – which includes our house, our jobs, our time, our family.

Therefore, we must love God with our everything because He is our everything. To love God with our everything includes our heart, soul and might. We are to let the love we feel expand to the love we show. Whether we’re eating or singing, jogging or blogging, texting or drawing – our love for God is to be in felt and seen.

Let us not reserve God to a “side thing” in a time of disloyalty, instead let us remain faithful to God.

This week’s song is You are Everything by Todd Dulaney

Lyrics:
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)

You are alpha and omega
You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything
(You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything)

You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything
(You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything)

You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)

Resolutions Into Realities

As we end one year and look to a new one, we pause to take inventory. In a rare moment of reflection and honest self-assessment, we admit our failures. We pledge to learn from them and move toward a better future.  We all want to be better, to live our lives fully and to love one another more selflessly. So, we make resolutions.

As we repent for the failures of the past year we resolve to do better in the coming year. We face the reality of sin and make attempts to correct them. We know that our resolutions to change often end in failure. We are prone to making wrong choices in daily life. But the difference between resolutions and reality is Christ.

In and through Jesus Christ, there is a path to being made new. He walked that path up the mountain of Golgotha, and through the tomb to the Resurrection. That promise of being made new, being born again, is at the heart of the Gospel, the Good News! St. Paul reminded the Christians in the City of Corinth – and reminds every one of us – “whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

New Year’s resolutions can be an important first step to change, but they are a far cry from real, lasting change when we rely wholly on ourselves and forget the One who makes all things new. On many occasions we hear people’s promises that this year will be different, “New Year, New Me”; they’ll own that new car, get that promotion, etc. yet we see no change. It’s not our circumstances that need to change, but our mindset, our way of thinking – we need not to walk another year outside of the path of righteousness.  If we really are resolved to see our hopes and resolutions for 2017 become a reality, we will do well to keep several basic truths in mind at the outset of a new year.

1. The Fewer the Better
The excitement of a new year, and desire for change often leads us to bite off much more than we can chew for one year. If you have too much on your plate chances are you’ll be left with leftovers of unresolved resolutions.

Consider one focus (or maybe a couple or three items) for the new year, or just the first three months of 2017, or even just January. A year is a long period of time in terms of habit-forming; typically we would do much better to just make one resolution at a time than to attempt many things and for so long a period as twelve months. Commitment to several things for a long period of time scares many and with that fear comes the breaking of resolutions.

2. Be Specific
Bible-reading, devotionals, and prayer are likely too broad. Give your resolution a more specific focus like reading the whole Bible this year, or not just devotionals but daily devotionals, or not just prayer but a prayer journal that you spend time writing in each morning, or before bedtime.

3. Craft a Realistic Plan
On many occasions our biggest let down for the new year is ourselves. We often devise unrealistic plans and end the year with disappointment because it didn’t come to fruition. I’ll be honest, last year I told myself I’d read the entire bible in a year. I tried to commit to reading 5 books of the bible a month for 12 months. As I’m sure you could already tell that did not happen. It was an unrealistic plan. While it worked all the way until September when I had more time, with the start of school came the end of my resolution. Map out clearly and concretely what it would take for a full month to cultivate your desired habit. Think long term and make sure it’s realistic given the things in your life. Part of being realistic is accepting a measure of modesty and patience to your goals.

4. Flexibility
If not now then eventually. Your resolutions don’t need to start in January and end in December. Some resolutions don’t need to take all year while others require more than a given year. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Like life your resolutions need to be flexible.

5. Cover Your Efforts in Prayer
In prayer, we re-consecrate ourselves again and again to pursue our resolves “by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). We would be fooling ourselves if we made regular efforts into new habits without explicitly asking God to make it truly fruitful.

And so we pray – not just act, but ask – “that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

Happy New Year! May the Lord bless you all in the Year of 2017

**I want to thank EVERYONE for tuning in, reading, encouraging, commenting, sharing, liking and following my blog. I am entering this new year with so much peace, love and happiness thanks to you all**

xo

For the Cause of Christ

Hello lovely subscribers, bloggers, friends, family, and passers-by let me preface my blog post with an apology. I have been, as the teens say MIA – missing in action. The last two weeks have been, busy to say the least. I am in my final years of my undergraduate studies and with the end being so near so is the pressure, the assignments and the tests. But, this week serves as my last week of exams – can I get an amen? So, here I am. Back to my love of leisure, unbiased, unstructured and God focused writing!

This morning I want to tell you why I feel hopeful and optimistic in the midst of exams within what appears to be a world that seems to be collapsing under the weight of its unprincipled and God-ignoring ways of thought and life.

Being submerged within a world that devalues God and all he stands for is difficult to say the least. We all face it in our workplaces, secular relationships or school. I have been taught in almost all my university courses that “God is dead” or the Bible serves as the worst piece of literature out there. In spite of all the critiques, and criticism I am the first and sometimes the only voice against the odds and superiority. Professors, and Teaching Assistants are more concerned about how one writes or even speaks on the institutions beliefs as opposed to a person’s individual truths. Doing this was not easy as on many occasions my grades took a beating along with my hope.

Now why am I optimistic and hopeful in the midst of all this? It’s because there are signs that even here on this earth God has a saving and reforming work to do. His work is not only restricted to a few scattered individual lives or the education system, but in the larger social fabric of this world.

What I know is that God has taken decadent, self-destroying societies and remade them by the power of his Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel of the grace God, and through the social impact of thousands of remade men and women, but he needs us.

God is calling us. All the things we experience in life and the questions we have of God pails in comparison to the reason we are on this earth. We are going to go through difficult things, but the cause of Christ is what it’s about. The Lord says to go out into all the world and preach the Gospel of the good news of the Cross. This means taking up our cross although we might not fully understand what we’re going through. We might not fully understand the pain we experience, but we should want Jesus more than we want to understand. For this cause we’ll live, for this cause we’ll die. We surrender everything for this cause, there’s joy found in Christ.

My favourite verse of this weeks song says:
“It is not fame that I desire
Nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life
That I lived more to build Your name than mine”

If we all take this stance in our life we realize it’s all about God, it’s about worshipping and bringing fame to the Glory and the name of Jesus. Whether you’re leading worship, or in the pews the real challenge is to say “God no matter what it’s for your Glory and not myself”. At the end of the day it is for the cause of Christ that we live – even if our grades, our relationships, or our reputation takes a beating.

This week’s song is The Cause of Christ by Kari Jobe ❤

Lyrics:
The only thing I want in life is to be known for loving Christ to build His church, to love His bride
And make His name known far and wide

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

He is all my soul will prize
Regardless of the joy or trial
When agonizing questions rise
In Jesus all my hope abides

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

Jesus my Jesus
For Your glory for Your name
Jesus my Jesus
I will only sing Your praise

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

It is not fame that I desire
Nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life
That I lived more to build Your name than mine

 

I Don’t Look Like What I’ve Been Through!

Dear friends,

I would be lying if I told you that I have never been hurt, broken or that I’ve never experienced being betrayed or alone. The truth is I’ve experienced that and more, but you would never know unless you asked me. Because of Gods grace there’s no evidence of my past. I’m so glad I don’t look like what I’ve been through.

Two weeks ago yesterday I was rushed in the ambulance to the hospital. Lying there at my church, unconscious for a few odd hours from overworking myself and leaning on my own failing strength. I struggle even now to share this, feeling as though I’ll be judged, looked down upon or pitied. I allowed myself to believe I looked like what I’ve been through. But, yesterday I returned to church since the incident and was greeted by some who came up to me smiling and saying “you don’t look like what you’ve been through.” With those few words I changed my walk of shame to one of victory, I certainly did not look like what I’ve been through – God’s grace covered all the scars, hurt and shame.

For every day I’m alive I thank God. Now there’s a smile where I cried.  As I was laying in the hospital bed, weak and unsure of how I looked I was forced to open my mouth and declare that God is good. Despite being in that hospital bed, IV’s plugged in, heart monitored, drugged, I could say VICTORY IS HIS.

Psalms 30:5 says “….weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”   When trials and afflictions are the most severe, pressing or heavily upon us, we rejoice that we are comforted by His promises in His Word and by His presence that His light cannot nor will not be overcome with the darkness of our situations.  

So instead of looking stressed out, beat down, worn out, despondent and talking defeat, believers realize that “though we be cast down we will not be destroyed” and maintain hope eternal as we go through any fiery trial surrounding us.

I can smile today because of what I went through.

Wherever you are right now just take a minute to think about some of the things you went through, some of the things you had to endure. Yes, while we’ve been through hell, we don’t look like the hell we’ve been through.

Happy Music Monday ❤

This week’s song is I Don’t Look Like (What I’ve Been Through) by Deon Kipping

Lyrics:
I don’t look like (I don’t look like)
What I been through (What I been through)
I don’t look like (I don’t look like)
What I been through (What I been through)
(2x)

I lift my hands now (I lift my hands now)
I open my mouth now (I open my mouth now)
Everything’s new now (Everything’s new now)
Because I went through (Because I went through)
(2x)

You don’t look like (You don’t look like)
What you been through (What you been through)
You don’t look like (You don’t look like)
What you been through (What you been through)
(2x)

There’s no weapon (There’s no weapon)
That shall prosper (That shall prosper)
It may form now (It may form now)
But it won’t prosper (But it won’t prosper)
(2x)

I can smile now (I can smile now)
No longer mad now (No longer mad now)
Everything is new now (Everything’s new now)
Because I went through (Because I went through)
(2x)

There’s a smile on my face, because I know where I came from. I remember when I was depressed, now I have joy. So many times I was confused, now I have understating. At one point in my life I was so stressed out, and God gave me peace. There is a reason why I’m smiling, he is the reason why I am smiling, and I’m so glad I don’t look like what I been through

I can smile now (I can smile now)
No longer mad now (No longer mad now)
Everything’s new now (Everything’s new now)
Because I went through (Because I went through)

I am free now (I am free now)
No longer bound now (No longer bound now)
Victory is here now (Victory’s here now)
Because I went through (Because I went through)

I lift my hands now (I lift my hands now)
I open my mouth now (I open my mouth now)
Everything is new now (Everything’s new now)
Because I went through (Because I went through)
(2x)

I lift my hands now (I lift my hands now)
I open my mouth now (I open my mouth now)
Victory is here right now (Victory’s here now)
Because I went through (Because I went through)

Because I went through (Because I went through)
I’m alive today because (Because I went through)
I can smile today because (Because I went through)
Oh, because I went through

P.S If you have a pressing testimony you’d like to share, please feel free to contact me and share your “I Don’t Look Like What I’ve Been Through” message.

 

Busy Bees to Busy Knees

The other day when scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I came across a post from a friend and it wrote “thank God you’re busy. Many people wish they had something to do.” I sat staring at my computer screen for what felt like hours, baffled. Is this really what the world has come to? A desire for busyness? For what? To prove worth, importance? Have we started valuing our worth by how busy we are, how little time we have for others?

Many of us fall into the trap that to be busy is a good thing. It means you’re doing something with your time, making something of yourself and not falling into the issue of idleness. Webster’s Dictionary describes it as: “to lose or spend time in inaction, or without being employed in business.”

In Matthew 12:36, it means empty and fruitless. The “idle word” which Christ condemns, is a word morally useless and evil.

All in all, to be idle, many of us know is a bad thing. But the opposite doesn’t prove any better.

With an influence by Professor Bruce Hindmarsh it is clear that busyness is moral laziness. God has given us just enough time, every moment is a sacrament — these are massively important truths we need to soak in.

We are a performance-driven people, which means we are busy people. 15 hours — 2 hour of commute (to and fro), 2 for eating (sometimes skipping meals), 9 for work (school work included), 2 for Netflix (we’re all guilty of it), brushing our teeth in the car. We barely have time to pause and observe our surroundings, or acknowledge our Creator.

And God-forbid we aren’t busy. There’s then the fear that people see us as a failure. You’re not busy? You must be lazy. A nobody. We wouldn’t say it, but we behave that way, someone takes a year off school – a lazy nobody (I never directly heard that but I felt it on my break from school).

If you question where you stand answer this, have you ever taken out your phone and roamed through it in a waiting room or on the bus just to look like you’re busy? To be bored was once an inconvenience — now it’s treated like cancer: something to be treated with busyness. Some go as far as to fake a phone conversation.

We must take Jesus as our example. He was a very busy man with a God given plan. Fast-paced Jesus. Early-in-the-morning Jesus. Carpenter Jesus. Busy man, working man, preaching man, leading man. The difference lies in the fact that his busyness was in his spiritual life – he never let the mundane nature of the world entangle or keep him too busy.

Jesus takes a pause, he isn’t concerned about his busy schedule and tight deadlines on many occasions. Take his interaction with a blind man for example, “as he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth” (John 9:1). Day after day, the man sits and begs (John 9:8) — a man without a schedule, without plans… He’s not busy. Jesus did not judge this man who spent his days without a schedule but he helped, given his own schedule – he paused.

It might appear we aren’t sure how it is we relate to a needy blind man with nothing to do but we are him – we’re blind. We are born into work. Blind to the schedule we are beholden to.

I urge us all to PAUSE and revamp our TO-DO list, to change our busy bee nature into busy knees – finding ways to WORSHIP. Even if we were to get rid of all requirements for a long period of time and spend our days worshipping we’d still be far from an idle life.

TRY THIS:

  • Before you open your eyes in the morning, seek God’s face and bask in his presence. “Awake, my soul. Turn my eyes, Lord, from things that are unworthy.”
  • Before you climb out of bed and let your feet hit the floor, confess your sins and weaknesses and mentally lean on him.                                                                               “Carry me, Lord, so I can accomplish your goals.”
  • As you get dressed, beg God to cover your unworthiness with Christ’s righteousness. “Lord, clothe me with your armor, because I need your power and protection for the dark parts of this day.”
  • Before you gaze into a mirror or look at any screen (phone included), pray that he will “Show me your glory and goodness. That I will see it. And that I will reflect it.”
  • As you sip your morning coffee or fill your belly, ask him to fill you with his Spirit and the joy of your salvation. “That I would taste and see that you are good. That you would hunger and thirst for him.”
  • As the world and the day get louder and louder, remember to stop and listen for the Spirit over the noise. Learn to recognize him. “Let me hear your Lord.”
  • When you find yourself growing weary, run to God. Not to the world for a distraction, but to him. “Let me run to you instead of work when I feel weary.”
  • Don’t let a single hour go by without asking God to sustain you. Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now. Set an alarm if you have to until it starts to come more naturally. Like breathing.
  • As you climb into bed, look back and identify God’s providence.

(http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/busyness-is-not-the-problem)

“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28

Be still, your soul

This week’s song is Never Too Busy by Bryon Cage

Let Your Words Be Few

Words play a large part in our world. Words can get us out of trouble or make us a bed in destruction. If only our worship was as extensive as our words or we valued words the way Our God intended. We see the great use of words displayed in our God, the Bible tells us that the universe was created by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3) and that he holds it together by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3).

Even given the Lords extensive words and teachings I was made aware of the importance of the size of the Bible by a friend who asked, “Have you noticed how small the Bible is?”

The definitive book intended to gather and guide from the all powerful, authoritative,  accumulated written record of God is tiny. There are sixty-six “books” with some only a few pages long.

To help put this into context here are rough numeral estimates of popular books or authors (DesiringGod):

  • William Shakespeare: 960,000
  • Harry Potter: 1,084,170
  • The Bible: Only 750,000

Numbers like these simply make us pause and wonder why God chose to use so few words.

Our wonder grows larger when we consider that the average person can speak 20,000 to 24,000 words a day and Jesus, the Word that became flesh, can only be quoted a few odd times. There was more he could speak but he guarded his mouth, speaking carefully, only when it brought teachings or deliverance.

It can be argued that the one voice that we hear throughout the Word is Satan’s, he has filled the airwaves, cyber-waves, print-waves, brainwaves, and every other wave of human communication with lying words (DesiringGod). He is the father of lies (John 8:44). He is working to exponentially increase words, and in doing so, to increase the snares of human transgression. After all, it is our words that are our greatest enemy. Our words, when used out of context or without the consent of the Father exposes us to dangers. The human tongue is now considered a world of unrighteousness.

Many of us are guilty of speaking out of turn, using hurtful words, or putting in our “two cents.” But we also need to speak less. When speaking to God, perhaps we need to take more seriously these few words of counsel:

“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few”
(Ecclesiastes 5:2)

We see in the Word that Jesus limited himself to speaking only what the Father gave him to speak, he could have said more at times but held back, what does that mean for us? If you’re anything like me you use words as your weapon. Physicality’s don’t interest you as much as words when it comes to defending yourself or getting your point across. Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do or had others define you untruthfully? What was your response? Did you respond? Jesus didn’t. He didn’t need to. Not because he didn’t have the words to respond or didn’t know what to say but because of the importance of keeping words few. I challenge us this week to be “slow to speak” (James 1:19) and to “let no corrupting talk come out of [our] mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Some things aren’t worth a response if not given the direct say from God.

Our God is a speaking God. He is not silent, “listen to him” (Matthew 17:5). We would do well to listen more and speak less and when we do speak, to only speak what he gives us the say.

Let your words be few but your worship be LARGE just by listening.

This week’s song is Are You Listening by United Pursuit feat. Brock Human

 

After You’ve Done All You Can, STAND

Happy Monday! A day of new possibilities. A day that sets the tone for the week.

To be “strengthened” by the Lord is an often overlooked aspect of successfully standing in the day of evil. Yet it serves of great importance. When David faced the loss of his family and possible stoning by his friends, the Bible says that he “strengthened” himself in the Lord his God. When Paul stood before the emperor after being deserted by those closest to him, the Lord stood with him and “strengthened” him. These two great figures, after doing all they could do allowed the Lord to use them as they stood, not using their own strength but that of the Lords.

This post comes a little later in the day than the norm but that’s within reason. This morning I woke, accepting a new day as it was given to me and ready to STAND through the storm, hurt, pain and rain (as it’s forecasted to rain today). Well the Lord definitely heard my prayer the night before and with another 8 hours to my day I’ve faced ALL of these.

This morning was like no other. Name calling, disputes and spats is what I had for breakfast. Not your average waffles, eggs, french toast combo. Instead, I was served a great big dish of hurt and pain with a side of storm. As I tried to swallow the misfortune I called my morning it was leaving me sick. I was physically unable to rid the taste from my mouth from that wretched breakfast. I was physically weak in the knees, trembling, waiting for my inevitable fall. I was ready to throw in the towel, allow what happened this morning to break and define me. BUT, God said in his words “take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). 

How do we prepare ourselves for spiritual battles? How do we position ourselves so that we are beneficiaries of God’s might, power, provision and protection in the face of attacks, in the face of enemies who are out to destroy us? The answer is found in Ephesians 6: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the (1)belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the (2)breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your (3) feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the (4)shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the (5)helmet of salvation and the (6)sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And (7)pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” 

Although we may prepare ourselves for spiritual battles we cannot predict them. However, because we belong to Him, He dwells in us even in the unknown. When all your strength fails you, when the hope you once had has fled, when others hurt you, or you get sick and can no longer stand or fight for yourself, it is then that God gives you His strength, His agility, His boldness, His wisdom and the confidence to stand, until you finish the race.

We must stand on holy ground and that can only be done once we make ourselves available and are determined to put on our spiritual armor, to fight the good fight and to finish the race that He has set before us, then and only then will we avoid a great fall. And, if we get weak in the knees and fall He is there to meet every one of our needs, His Word confirms that. He will never leave us nor forsake us because we are His and He cares for us.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

This week’s song is Stand by Donnie McClurkin

Lyrics:
What do you do,
When you’ve done all you can and it seems like its never enough.
And what do you say when your friends turn away and you’re all alone.
Tell me what do you give,
When you’ve given your all and it seems like you can’t make it through.
Well you just stand when there’s nothing left to do,
You just stand watch the LORD see you through.
Yes after you’ve done all you can, you just stand.

Tell me how do you handle the guilt of your past,
Tell me how do you deal with the strain.
And how can you smile when your heart has been broken and filled with pain.
Tell me what do you give,
When you’ve given your all and it seems like you can’t make it through.
Child, you just stand, when there’s nothing left to do.
You just stand watch the LORD see you through.
Yes after you’ve done all you can, you just stand, stand and be sure.
Be not entangled in that bondage, oh you just stand and endure.
GOD has a purpose, yes GOD has a plan.

Tell me what do you do,
When you’ve done all you can and seems like you can’t make it through.
Child, you just stand, stand, you just stand, stand, stand, stand,
Through the storm, stand, stand through the rain,
Stand, through the hurt, stand, yeah through the pain, you just.
Don’t you stop, stand, and don’t you bend, stand, don’t give up,
Stand, no don’t give in, you just.
Hold on, stand, just be strong, stand,
GOD will step in, stand, and it won’t be long, you just.
After you’ve done all you can

After you’ve gone through the hurt,
After you’ve done all you can, after you’ve gone through the pain,
After you’ve done all you can, after you’ve gone through the storm,
After you’ve done all you can, after you’ve gone through the rain,
After you’ve done all you can, prayed and cried, after you’ve done all you can,
Prayed and cried, after you’ve done all you can, prayed and cried,
After you’ve done all can, prayed and cried, after you’ve done all you can.
After you’ve done all you can, you just stand, oh, oh, oh, oh.