Fixed Eyes and Heart

What does the word fix or fixed mean? In the dictionary, we read things like, “to make firm, stable, permanently, to direct the eyes or attention to. So, when we read this scripture in Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” What comes to mind? What are we as Christians’ supposed to be doing?

 

As Christian’s our eyes should not be focused on man or what man is doing. We should not have our eyes focused on Social media or the news for our source of help or truth.  Man will always lead you into an anxious and fearful state. The problems are magnified and spread around like it is the gospel. When you fix your eyes on this world it drowns out the voice of the Lord. It causes panic to rise inside of you and you start wondering how and if we will ever recover from all the chaos in the world around us.

 

If it were not important for us to keep our focus on the Lord, we would not have been told to do so. Every word in scripture is there to help us and guide us into all truth, life, and peace. It is meant to give us hope, and to remind us of our future.  People are flawed, they tend to be led astray by every passing wind. Everyone wants to join a cause and scream it loudly until everyone believes just as they do. Because if you can get people to listen to you long enough, they start believing that narrative.

 

In Psalm 42:7 we read, “Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.” What is this deep that is calling to you, to us the believers in Jesus? It is the Spirit of God reaching deep into the spirit of believers, His children.

There is so much noise in the world that we can get lost in the hearing of it all. But may I suggest that you sit quietly before the Lord, you read and meditate on His word and allow it to fill your mind, your heart, and your senses. Let the deep spirit of God move in the deep places of your spirit. Speaking truth above the noise. Let it settle in and give you “that peace which passes understanding.”

 

Do you know that God can quiet your uneasiness no matter the storm around you? God longs to show you great and mighty things. God longs to move you from fear to peace. He longs for you to focus on the hope and promise before you. We as believers have this promise that our Lord has prepared a place for us, we will one day rule and reign with him. No longer will there will be no sickness, death, destruction, and lies all around us. We who are “the called” of God have an eternal destination before us. We have a heavenly Father who knows our every need, and Jesus who intercedes for us constantly. Romans 8:34 “Who is he that condemneth? It is Chirst who died, yea rather, who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

 

Jesus wants us to rise above all that is going on, He wants us to fix our hearts and minds on him. He wants our spirits to stand strong and firm and to go deeper into his word and in our relationship with him.  It is in the fire of testing that we are purified. Not on the mountain tops and the sunny days of life, but in the hard times when we have to dig deep and trust. God is in control. God will see us through, and God will lead us home. We have those promises written all through scripture. Fix your eyes on Him, dig deeper into His word and let it refresh your soul and grow your faith as we await that which he has promised us. He is a good, good Father, and He loves us with an everlasting love.

 

Turn off the news and turn your gaze to Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the Life. John 14:6

Let him give you all that he has…let deep calling to deep have its perfect work in us. And remember, this world is NOT our home!

Fully Surrendered…He Will Fight For Us

This morning as I was reading in 2 Chronicles these verses jumped out at me. I think they are good verses for us today to remind us that we need always to live for God, call on him, and understand that He will fight for us when we do. He sees everything at all times and is looking for those who will stand firm in their faith and live each day fully surrendered and obedient. Getting rid of any sinful ways that we allow to linger.

We need to search our hearts and let the Holy Spirit show us anything no matter how small it may be that could be delaying our prayers, things we have decided are really not offensive to God, but in truth are and they rob us of the power we need. I for one want to be fully surrendered in every aspect of my life. God will fight for his people and give them victory! He is faithful! Let this be our prayer and our position.

 

2 Chronicles 14:11 “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name, we have come against this vast army. O Lord, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you.”

 

2 Chronicles 15:2,4″The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” 4 ” But in their distress, they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.”

 

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

We Have a Firm Foundation…Fear Not!

Troubling times are here. People are naming, blaming, tearing down, living in fear, wounded in their spirits, uncertain, and lots more emotions. Our world is in a panic it seems. First, the Covid-19, then the shutdowns, then the stay at home order, and now riots and looting.  People are spewing hate and venom from all places. Of course, some people are trying to keep the peace and going about things the right way. Peaceful protesters who are marching asking for fairness and security; these folks just want to live life without fear and in fairness, as they should. All have been created by God, all have red blood flowing through their veins, all live and move and breathe the same way.

 

Today I want to address the fear that so many are living in. Because of this virus, people have taken upon themselves to be mask shamers. They are afraid and feel everyone should do as they do and if they don’t the other person is wrong. Some feel they need it to walk out their doors and others judge where they are and if they feel it is needed.  Each person has to decide how much fear they are willing to let rule their lives.  Every time I get on social media I am shocked by some of the things I hear coming out of people. Of course, being able to type something and send it out into the atmosphere is far different than speaking it face to face. There is a certain amount of safety involved when it is hurled through a screen.

 

Why are people especially Christian’s so fearful? Why is this time any different than when the flu or pneumonia is going around? All can kill you if you get the right strain. Lots of people die every year from the flu and pneumonia. Covid-19 is a nasty bug. When some people get it, it destroys them and sometimes leads to death.  But walking around afraid to speak, afraid to be near others is crazy. The word is very clear in telling us that fear IS NOT FROM GOD! ‘FEAR NOT’ is used over 80 times in the Bible, so it must be important.

 

We need to be wise in our going out. We need to wash our hands like it is our job. We should observe caution in our interactions with others to a certain degree.   But the biggest thing and most important thing we need to do is this: “We need to love others always!” We need to have sympathy and empathy for others. We need to treat others how we want to be treated. There are lots of things to do, but God tells us that “LOVE NEVER FAILS.”  Did you catch that, “NEVER!”  Before we do anything else we are to love, if we do not, we are just a sounding board and that goes for both sides of the issues. ( 1 Corinthian’s 13:1-13)  I suggest if you have not read those verses lately, you need to do it now.

 

But let me get back to fear. God’s word tells us we need not live in fear. We are not to fear man, we are not to fear anything. God is with us always in all things.  We are told that God knows our needs, he sees better than we what is transpiring in our world and is allowing it, for His purposes. (Isaiah 35:4) “say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution, he will come to save you.” Then in (John 14:27), we read: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  (Psalm 34:4), “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

 

God is with you. If you are His child, he is with you at all times. When you are awake, when you are asleep, when you go out or come in, He is always there. He knows what you need before you even ask.  Nothing will come near to you unless God decides to let it. NOTHING!

God does not slumber or sleep, he is vigilant at all times.

(Psalm 121:2-4) “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”  God watches over his people.

 

I want to leave you with a few verses to ponder. If you are afraid please know that God does not want you to be. He tells us over and over to trust him and to rest in his goodness and love. (Psalm 46:1-3)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the  mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”  No matter how terrifying events are we can trust God. Nothing can shake us out of his hands. Nothing can make him leave us alone.  (Psalm  91:4-5)

“He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.” God can and will protect you from all fear and anxiety when you bring it to him. When you choose to sit under his wings and let him cover you.

 

This world cannot give you peace. The news is putting fear out at every turn. They bring only the worst of things into your home. They spread partial truths at best. They are there for ratings not to save you. Nor can they.  In (Luke 14:27) we read: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” God longs to quiet your fears. He longs to sit with you until your mind is settled. He will not demand you give him your fear, but He will tell you to go to his word, read what he wrote. Let your heart come in prayer and surrender, trusting that He is who He says He is. He is faithful and trustworthy. If He says not to be afraid and anxious, why are you? Is it that you are listening more to the  TV personalities than you are to Him and His word?

 

I am going to leave you with just a few more verses to ponder. I pray that you will read them, and as you do that you will feel the peace of God settle over your mind and heart. I pray you will release your anxiety and fear into the hands of the one who holds you and never leaves you or forsakes you.

 

(Isaiah 41:10) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

(Psalm 56:3-4) ” When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise- in God, I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

 

(Isaiah 41:13) “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

 

 

God loves you, God is with you, God hears

Perfect Timing

Rioting, looting, Racism, and Pandemic, unemployment, unsettledness, pride, wickedness, are just a few of the things we are seeing and living with in the world today. You name it and it seems to be happening. We who belong to the Lord are crying out for his help, his direction, we want him to stop all of it NOW!  We don’t like being uncomfortable, we don’t like seeing those we love and care about affected. Their hurt is our hurt.

 

God seems slow, He seems to be silent on issues that hurt us. We long to be back in our church buildings in corporate worship, with freedom and abandon. We long to hug the necks of friends, sit down at a table, and fellowship with laughter and fun. Some have started to go out and take life back, others are still cowering in fear and uncertainty.  Questions arise like: “if you can walk shoulder to shoulder in a riot or protect, why can we not go to church and sit shoulder to shoulder in worship?” Valid, questions I think if we are looking narrowly.

 

I can assure you God is not slow. God is aware of all that is going on and is allowing it for purposes he alone knows. I suspect some of those purposes have been to wake up the complacent church, to shake the hearts of his people. God wants us looking up towards heaven, down into his word, and on our knees in prayer. He wants us to focus on him and who he is, not this world which is passing away. He is also sifting the wheat. Not all are his. They may have sat on a pew, but their hearts have never been surrendered to the Lord.

 

Psalm 75 “We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds. 2 You say, “I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly. 3 When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. 4 To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns. 5 Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak with outstretched neck.’ ” 6 No one from the east or west or from the desert can exalt a man. 7 But it is God who judges; He brings one down, he exalts another. 8 In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs. 9 As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob. 10 I will cut off the horns of the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”

 

God will act when he is ready. He alone knows the perfect timing. He alone is allowing all that is going on for his purposes. He has not lost control. If God were not still holding back evil none of us would be able to stand, no one would make it through. God’s perspective is not ours. We see through human eyes those things which seem out of control, too much, but God sees perfectly, and he will not act until even evil has fulfilled the purposes for which he is allowing it.

 

We want everything NOW, we want the ease and comfort of our lives back. We want “happy news.” We are tired of the hate-filled words we are hearing, even from Christians. We want to feel safe again going out. WE WANT, WE WANT is our thundering cry. But I repeat, God has perfect timing, and when He decides it is over, trust me it will be! He is the final Judge and Jury to the wicked. He has the final say in all things. God will come against the wicked. Right now they think they are winning, they think that time is on their side. They have not been stopped thus far, so…Unless these whose hearts are dark and full of evil repent, they will get their reward one day. Eternity in hell is a very long time…matter of fact, it NEVER ENDS!

 

If what we are seeing is just a glimpse of what awaits those who are lost, then we who are saved need to pray for them. When all the evil of hell is unleashed on those who die without Christ…just imagine if you can how truly horrible it will be. Theirs is not a sweet cup they are drinking from; it is bitter all the way to the grave. God will bring down and exalt whomever he chooses.

 

Our job is to seek him, daily go to his word, daily prayer, and praise. We are to keep our eyes, our hearts, and our minds fixed on Jesus. We are to be the “light in dark places,” “the city on a hill,” for those in need. We are to look and sound different than the world. If we are looking and sounding like the world, we need to do a ‘heart check.’

Do you believe in Jesus, have you bowed your head in repentance and submission. Are you fully surrendered to his Lordship? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself.

 

At the right time, in the right way, God will act. He will accomplish all that he intends to, and until he does, He can keep you, He will bless you, He will help you, He hears your cries for help and mercy. God will walk with you and even talk with you when you read and pray. He can give you peace even in the midst of the storm. STOP looking at Jesus through the storm and start seeing the storm through Jesus!

 

Waiting…it is not something we like to do. But God assures us that our waiting is not in vain and He will answer!

 

Blessings to you as you seek “The Kingdom of God” first and choose to walk in love regardless of what the world is doing. Let the waiting be your friend : )

 

Are You Anxious? Fearful?

I am seeing so many who are experiencing fear. Our world has been undone by a virus; a germ has caused our economy to shut down, people to be closed in at home, news outlets are constantly bringing bad news; numerous statistics that put fear into people.  People feel this germ is lurking around every corner ready to pounce on them.

 

I agree, there is a very serious illness making its way around our world. We need to be cautious when going out. We need to be courteous of others. But being fearful is from the enemy. God does not want us to live in fear. We can have peace it comes when we read and pray. Philippians4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

As we read through the pages of God’s word, peace fills our hearts, minds, and souls. We see through these pages that He is a faithful, loving Father. He desires are that we rest in Him. He longs to comfort us and to shelter us, and He invites us to come and sit with Him; to eat from the table of His word spread before us, to bow our heads in prayer, with praises and petitions. When we do this, the Holy Spirit will quiet our minds and hearts. Our faith becomes sure and our stand firm. In Isaiah 26:3 we read: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

 

Do you trust God? Do you want to trust God more fully? Then the answer to your fear and anxiety is to read His word, let it seep deep into your heart, mind, and soul. Let the scriptures remind you of His goodness and faithfulness.  Read about the many times He touched a sick body, or He opened blinded eyes. Read about how He brought His people out and cared for them for forty years in the wilderness, their clothing and shoes never wore out! Deuteronomy 29:5 “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot.”

Only God can do that!

 

If we constantly feed on the negative, the numbers, and the news media, our hearts will grow more fearful, our minds will race with the “what if’s.” God wants to bring peace to you, He wants you to realize that He is in control, not this virus, not the President or another country, He is. He is allowing it for purposes only He knows. I believe it is to awaken His people and to draw others to himself. It would not be happening without His say so.  He is the one who hangs the sun in the sky by day and the moon by night. He is the one who holds all things together. Colossians 1:17 “And He is before all things, and by Him, all things consist.”

 

For many, they find themselves with more time on their hands than they have had in years. What are you doing with your time? Get busy digging into God’s word, go to Him in prayer, seek the peace He offers. It can be as close as a whispered prayer. And stop believing everything you hear. Ask God for wisdom and guidance, I promise He will give it!

 

I am going to leave you with some verses to look up and meditate on. Let the peace of God overwhelm you, let His word guide you, and rest in knowing that “He’s got this!” It will not last one day longer than He says so! He is Sovereign and in control, He hears you, He sees you, He loves you, and He will hold you.

 

1 Chronicles 29:11

Job 12:13-14

Job 42:2

Psalm 115:3

Proverbs 16:33

Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

Isaiah 45:7

Philippians 4:7

John 14:27

Joshua 1:9

Proverbs 1:5

Proverbs 4:6

Proverbs 9:11-12

James 1:5

 

Read it, pray over it, hold it close…do not be anxious or afraid.

Blessings to you!

Sing, Shout, Wait and Fear

Psalm 33

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; 2 Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.  3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.  4 For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. 5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. 9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 10 The Lord foils the plans of nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. 13 From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on the earth-15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. 16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength, it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.  20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”

Where is your hope? What have you been doing to keep your mind grounded in truth and your heart full of joy?

As I read this Psalm, I was reminded that I am to sing joyfully to the Lord, not because things are perfect and going the way I want, but because He is worthy to be praised. If you are a child of God, then you should be able to lift a song into the air and praise him. He does not say it has to be perfect or even in tune but offering praises to the Lord in song pleases him.  Shouting joyfully pleases God. The upright should shout to the Lord. Have you ever reared back and just shouted an undignified exuberant (in the eyes of man) shout of praise to God? If not, I highly recommend it! Just the act alone will bring a smile to your face!

During these unprecedented times, what have you been doing to keep your mind focused on truth? I can guarantee the news is not filled with truth it is full of half-truths at best.  The only source of complete truth is God’s word. Are you reading it daily, getting your daily dose of God’s medicine for the soul? It will remind you that He is faithful, He is able, He hears your cries for help, He knows you and He can do more than you can ask.  (Ephesians 3:20)

I am reminded that God created everything we see. He knit you together in your mother’s womb, He ordained your days. He formed the heavens and the earth, and by His power, it is all held together, and by His power, you are held together. God decides what touches us God decides the duration. God decides if a nation rises or falls, it is all in God’s hands.  Men tend to put their faith in armies, in man-made things to get us by. We need to put our trust in the One who is all-seeing, and all-p0werful. God’s word will stand, when all else is falling, God’s word is faithful, and it is true. His purposes no one can stop! I do not care what nations rise against another unless God wants that nation to win, it will not!  His plans stand forever!

We as a nation need to return to God. God will bless the nations whose God is the Lord. Do we want the blessings of God in our nation and more importantly in our own lives? Now is not the time to turn away, to put our hope in anything a man can do. God sees us, He knows what we need before we even ask. (Matthew 6:8) God is the ruler of all the nations, God filters everything through is loving hands. He does not promise us as Christians that we will not experience pain, hardship, illness, loss, death, and much more, but He does tell us that He will never leave us or forsake us! (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Whatever we are experiencing or walking through right now, God is with us. His word can strengthen us, encourage us, and remind us of His faithfulness. It reminds us that God is Sovereign in all things and over all things. Satan cannot do anything to you unless God says so, and if He does say so, then He filters what can be done and for how long. Satan is not Omniscient or Omnipresent, Satan’s powers are limited by God. You need to remind yourself of that! When it seems the enemy of your soul is winning, I can assure you, he is not! His time is short!

God sees us and He considers everything we say and do. He is looking for people who will stand firm! He wants a people whose hope is in him, whose joy does not come from being comfortable, or from having everything just the way we like it. He wants a sold-out church, one that clings to His word, His promises, whose hope is in Him and Him alone. A church that spreads joy and gladness and does not get caught up in the cares of this world! A church that remembers that God is faithful, we are never left to fight the battles of life alone, and no matter the path we are on; if it is loneliness, isolation, loss of income, loss of a friend, death of a loved one, our job, our kids, whatever it may be, He is right there waiting for you to sing a song of praise, shout joyfully to Him, remember that He was, He is and He will ever be. To lean in close, read and pray and seek Him with your whole heart; and when you do the things of this world will no longer hold you captive, they will no longer keep you afraid and bound by wild imaginings. When you focus on the Lord and allow Him to fill all those places inside of you, peace reigns in your heart, mind, and soul.

We do not know what tomorrow holds, but God does, He is already there, preparing our way, guiding us and hearing our cries for help.

The news and world leaders give different accounts almost daily because they do not know what is coming. Theirs is a limited view and often a skewed view, a worldly view. What they say is meant to bring the worst-case scenario to keep you spellbound and afraid.

I refuse to listen to the news. I do not want to hear the partial truths, the scare tactics. I am told to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, to look to him for help. He tells me that my help comes from the Lord the one who made the heavens and the earth. (Psalm 121:1-8)

We are to be waiting for deliverance from the One who can give it. The One who can make a nation rise or fall, the One who can give healing to the sick and sight to the blind. The One who holds all things and knows all things. If we keep our hearts, our minds, our ears attuned to Jesus the cares of this world will lose their hold on us. Our hearts can rest in knowing that “God’s got this!” He is allowing it for His purpose, and it will not last one day longer than He says so!

If you trust in Jesus, then you should have a joy that cannot be quenched by this oh world. If you call yourself a child of God, then you need to be in His word, you need to seek Him and Him alone instead of what man says or can do. Ask for wisdom, ask him for help, and know that is will see you through. Even if you lose your life on this earth, you will wake up in glory, staring at the face of Jesus, the One in whom we believe.  Often when we pray for a loved one to pull through and they do not, especially if they are a child of God, we see it as God not answering our prayers, when in reality He has just given them a perfect healing, perfect sight, perfect understanding and an eternity in heaven.

We as believers should be able to bring a calming presence to a world in need. We need to be the salt and light, the city on a hill that God has called us to be. We should not sound like the world and be a part of the problem! (Matthew 5:13) How about this, let’s all start listening more to the Holy Spirit, keeping our faces in His word, our hearts and mind fixed on Jesus and just see what a difference we can make to someone in need, someone who does not have His peace. Be the difference to a lost and dying world, hold high the banner of Christ, walk confidently in the Lord knowing He is with you, He sees you, He hears you and He loves you!

We need to have a Holy fear and reverence for our God. Marching forth into battle remembering He is Holy, He is mighty, He is Sovereign, He is God! We can do nothing without Him. You, His children are the army of the Lord, let your war cries of praise be heard throughout the land and your joy be evident in even the ordinary and mundane. Walk worthy of the calling my brother’s and sister’s, walk worthy! (Ephesians 4:1)

Read, pray…pray, read, and repeat! When you do peace will flood your soul and mind and your anxious heart will rest secure. God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)

Perfect and Flawless

Psalm 18:3-36 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who rake refuge in him. 31 For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? 32 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. 36 You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.

 

There are far too many believers out there that do not believe that God’s ways and  His word are perfect. They want to argue scripture when it does not line up with what they want or think. Rather than prayerfully reading God’s word and accepting the full counsel of God, they try to make it fit with their lifestyles and water it down. And many unbelievers think that Christianity is for the weak and needy.

 

God’s word prepares us for this world. It gives us a roadmap on how to live in an evil world. It guides us as we walk in a land that is not our home.  He tells us that we are not of this world, we live here, and we work here, but our true home in Heaven with him.  His word gives us strength, courage, truth, help, and protection. His word is life to believers. His word is where we can go to refill our “soul tanks” when they are running low. When life gets overwhelming, we can find peace for our souls in His word. We gain strength for life’s journeys in His word.

 

Reading His word builds us up, it makes us able to endure and oftentimes to even thrive during trying times and hard trials. Yes, hard times will bend us all, hopefully to our knees, seeking, asking, and leaning on the everlasting arms of our Savior. When a believer falls it is into the loving and kind arms of God. He never tells us we will not endure trials, heartaches, and hurts during this life, as a matter of fact, we are promised those. But we are told that He will go with us, He will encourage us, He will give us peace when we ask when we seek.  Reading His word reminds us that God has set us in the place we are in, He is the one who has ordered our steps, He is the one who decides what does or does not touch our lives for either good or bad. God is Sovereign over it all. We can rest in knowing He has a plan and we can trust God.

 

When we read His word, we are reminded that we are already victorious in Him. Regardless of what this world looks like, or even thought at times, it seems the devil is winning, trust me when I say he is not. God is allowing the prince of the air to have his time, but even in his time, God is holding him back, He is extending his grace and mercy to us. We are overcomers because of God and we remember that when we read His word.  Knowing God brings peace. We who claim Christ understand that he really does work all things for our good, for His glory. It may not always feel good, but I dare say that if we truly look back over our lives we can trace the hand of God, even in the very worst of moments. I can. I look back at some of the hardest days of my life and I can clearly see God’s mercy and grace, actively working in my life and seeking me out.

 

What we need to remember is this: If God never challenged us; if God never made us uncomfortable, or sad. If God never allowed us to experience loss we would never fully know how very deeply we need Him. How very fragile we are without God. How very good He really is.

 

Maybe right now for you, life is hard, things are different, you are uncomfortable and maybe even angry at how things are going. I will say it again, “read God’s word, seek him in prayer, surrender everything to him,” and you will find your faith growing, your heart glowing and peace flooding your soul. He tells us to come, He invites us into the throne room of Heaven to sit at His feet, learn of him and find our way even as we walk this rugged terrain called life on earth.

 

God’s word is flawless, His ways are perfect, His heart is kind and He love’s you. Come friends enter in and receive salvation, peace, hope, and the greatest love you will ever know.   Nothing compares to it. No other book has life in it, no other God is like our God. Get to know him, use this time to draw near, learn of him, and find your way and who you are.

God Has Many Names

Elohim Ozer Li, Here is one of the names of God, do you know what it means?  God has many names, this one means, “God is my helper.” In Psalm 54:4 we read, “Surely God is my help, the Lord is the one who sustains me.”

 

Are you being sustained by God? Are you crying out to him during this time of trouble? He is with you, He hears your cries for help and He is a helper. He hears the prayer of repentance that the sinner offers up and is mighty to save. He hears the cries of the sick and brings healing and comfort, He hears the cries of the anxious and is faithful to give them peace. Any sincere prayer lifted to heaven is heard by God, and answered, it is either yes, no or wait.  It does not matter how many millions are speaking at one time, He hears you, He desires to comfort you, to minister to you.  God is not powerless, He is all-powerful, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Sovereign, Holy, Mighty, full of Grace and Mercy, He is the forgiver of sins and the Savior for all who call on Him, and He is our Strong Tower, and Help in time of need.

 

If you need comfort today I encourage you to go to His word, dig into those passages that talk about our loving God, our helper who is always with us, always fighting for us. Perhaps you need

“Elohim Machase Lanu-“God our refuge.” God is a safe place to run when all the world is falling apart. He is a safe place to run when you are feeling anxious and scared. He will shelter you and give you peace when you run to him and ask. Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge,” and Psalm 46:1 ” God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.

 

God is the one place you can go and be completely honest, he already sees into the very deepest recesses of your soul and being, He more than anyone knows what you need, when and how you need it. He alone can give you refuge from the world and its hardships and hurts, He alone can give you the strength you need to fight your battles whether they are physical or mental or spiritual. Friends and family often fail us in our times of need, but God never does and never will.

 

Perhaps you need to be reminded of Immanu-El, “God is with us.”

God never leaves us, when we belong to Him, He is with us throughout every moment of our days. Matthew 1:21-23 “She sill give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet. 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, “God with us.” He has always been and will always be. Much will change in our world from moment to moment, but God stays the same, you can rest in knowing you are never alone. Often in times of trials, we feel as though God has left us to handle it on our own, but His word tells us something different. Hebrew 13:5 “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”

 

Maybe you need of Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord will provide.”

Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.” Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Psalm 34:10 “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing,” and lastly, Matthew 6:31-32 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”

 

Perhaps you are anxious and filled with worry. You spend far more time watching the news and listening to other people tell you all the bad news they can think of. Your peace of mind as been shattered. I say return to Jehovah Shalom, “The Lord is Peace.”  This world is not a place of peace, this world is passing away. Hour by hour you can hear about one bad thing or another, people groups at war, racism, pandemics, etc. We in our human hearts and minds can find ourselves if we are not careful dwelling on all the bad, all the chaos. But God can give you peace, a ‘peace that passes understanding,’ even in the midst of all that is going on when you ask.  Here are a few scriptures about peace. Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” 1 Peter 3:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

If you are feeling anxious, worried, or alone, go to his word, remember who it is that is with you. Remember that God is your help, God is your peace, God is always with you. Fortify your souls with the food of his word. Let it seep into your hearts and minds to give you all you need at the moment you need it.  It cannot feed you if you never open your Bible. If all you are listening to and believing are the new people or false prophets of this world, then you are going to feel unsettled and scared all the time. God has many names, why don’t you go to His word, ‘the food for our souls and minds’ and dig deep and remember not only who He is, but who you are in Him.

 

Here are a few passages for you to look up, I pray you will and I pray you are encouraged today.

 

Psalm 29:11

Psalm 119:165

Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 54:10

Matthew 11:28-30

John 16:33

John 14:27

Romans 15:13

Hebrews 13:6

Psalm 63:7

Psalm 12:12

Galatians 3:26

Galatians 4:7

Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 2:4-5

Galatians 2:20

Romans 8:38-39

1 Peter 2:9-10

 

These should keep you busy for a while…Blessings my friends and may you continue to fight the good fight of faith!

Man Can Do Nothing, Unless…

 

Do you realize that anything you do or that comes to you comes from a Sovereign God? I love to learn about and keep in the forefront of my mind, that God is Sovereign over every detail of our lives; anything that touches us has been filtered through his loving hands.  I have written several blogs about the Sovereignty of God, I think if you can nail this point down, it makes everything else clearer, and it will grow your faith and hope, just as it has done for me.

 

Many scriptures teach us about God’s Sovereignty.  Take Psalm 135:6 “The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” Did you catch that, “The Lord does whatever He pleases?”  Let’s go on, Psalm 7-14 “He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. 8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants. 10 He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings-11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan and all the kings of Canaan-12 and he gave their land as an inheritance, an inheritance to his people Israel. 13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, through all generations. 14 For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.”

 

Last night it stormed, the winds howled for hours. I could hear limbs being tossed onto my roof and wondered how things would look this morning. As I am typing I am listening to the wind, this verse speaks volumes to me. The wind I am hearing came from storehouses that God has. Have you ever thought of what would happen if God let everything he holds back and keeps stored up come at us? (One day His wrath will be poured out.)

God drove out other people groups, conquered nations so that his chosen ones would receive the inheritance he had promised them. Even today he is fighting the enemy and protecting and providing for his children. He is working on our behalf to bring about the inheritance he has promised to those who believe in him and have been saved. There is a future day out there when the last trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise first and we who belong to him will be caught away into the air to meet him. However, those who do not know him will experience that final wrath being poured out because of their unbelief.

 

In Daniel 4:35 we read: “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” God created all we see, and he created man. Without God having breathed His very own breath into man, man would not be here. He made man a living thing. Genesis 1:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; man became a living being.”  We, His creation has become such an arrogant lot that we think we have a right to question those things God brings our way, whether illness, death, loss of money or properties, etc.

 

Without him, we are nothing and have nothing. We do not get to choose what God does or does not do. Romans 9:19-21 “One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?” “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’

21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” God is not saying that some are of more worth, but that he, “The Creator,” has control over all he has created.

 

So, knowing that God controls all we see and all we are, what should our response be? We can do nothing without Christ, nothing. None of our so-called plans could come to fruition unless this Sovereign God decided that they would. He is the one who puts inside of us the will and the drive to accomplish anything that comes our way. Our response should be one of a humble and contrite heart, one who fears God and understands that God’s ways are higher than ours. Our response should be to bow our knees and seek him in all we do. Our response should be one of repentance. Our response should be to read his word and pray, to seek him daily for all things, to seek his kingdom and his righteousness.  Matthew 4:4 “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

 

Do not deceive yourself into thinking that you are in control. Do not think that just because you “got away with it,” that you did. God sees and knows everything going on not only on this earth but inside of us. He can see even the thoughts and intentions of our hearts and minds. Nothing is hidden from this Holy God. Jeremiah 17:10 “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruits of his deeds.”  So, you did not “get away with it, God allowed it to be used in your life.

 

Do you want to receive blessings from God? I know I do. And because I do, I read his word and meditate on it, I seek his counsel in prayer.  I want to walk worthy of the calling he has set before me, in the big things of life and even those little things that no one else may see, God sees.  Even in the depths of my heart, where no one sees but God.  I used to think that I had some say in my life, and I do, but not as much as I thought. My free will is not so free. I was bought with a price, and that price the blood of Jesus.  God has allowed me to make stupid decisions; he has allowed me to fall hard and he has used those things to show me his faithfulness and goodness. To do a work in me that would otherwise not have happened. God hates sin, but he allows it.  Even sin is under God’s Sovereign authority.  Sin and the devil have to bow to God the maker of all things.

 

Right now as we are walking through these weeks-long restrictions many are getting angry at God. Questioning his reasons for allowing it and some do not even recognize that He has control over it. They still don’t get it. They are continuing to exist in fear and look to man to make it all better. If a man comes up with an answer to this virus, it will be because God put it in their mind and heart to find an answer.  Man still thinks he is in control, “he’s got this.”  God has allowed it, and His word tells me that he is in control. I can rest in that. I can trust my Creator to do what is best for me. Does that mean that no ill will can touch me? No illness can harm me? That death may not claim me?  No, it means simply that God has a plan for my life and he will work it out His way, and in His timing. We have been promised trials and tribulations in this life. John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” God allows them to strengthen us, to make us bow the knee and to lean in a little closer, to look up and see our need of God.

 

God can give you “a peace that passes understanding” even while you are going through trials and tribulations. We can have this confidence if God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

 

I will leave you with a little homework. Get in the word, dig it out for yourselves, realize that God is in control and He is with you and will give you the strength and peace you need when you need it. He never leaves us, and He hears us always.

 

James 4:7

Hebrews 10:35

Romans 12:12

Romans 8:35

James 1:2-4

Philippians 4:6

Isaiah 41:13

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Romans 5:3-4

Jeremiah 33:3

 

Be blessed, my friends. Remember who is in control, He is Sovereign over every detail and He is able.