There’s something going on here…

Many times growing up I remember seeing sequences of violence and destruction and wondering to myself either what it could all possibly be good for or that Jesus was coming along any day now. Now being in a new season of life with my husband and children God is showing me something I have never seen before about these situations.

Psalm 77:7-9 says “Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has his promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up his tender mercies?” (NKJV)

I believe many people in the church think this way today. They look at our society and all the chaos, destruction and pain and think God has taken away his mercies and grace. Possibly even that He has completely forgotten about them in the midst of all this darkness. It is a common consumption to speak what we see instead of what we know to be true. After all, what we see is right there in front of our faces, but it doesn’t mean it needs to be restated and repeated. Look on in Psalm 77:

“And I said, ‘This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.” (vs. 10-12)

David is speaking clearly here. Look closely. He starts out by looking at the current situation with his flesh and finishes his observation in verse 10. This is my anguish–but I will remember. He knows that the outlook is bleak at that moment in time, but he is making the choice to remember God’s goodness and mercy in the past. Also take note here that he says “I will remember” three times. By the third statement he attaches a “surely” in front of it. As you will recall through many passages in the Bible repetition, specifically in sets of three is a pretty important statement. Biblical hermeneutics in this case is the use of emphatic triplets. Also seen in Isaiah 6:3 in the “holy” repetition it is a common use in Biblical time to put emphasis on what the writer was saying. So here, David is re-affirming his faith when he cannot see, so much so that by the third statement he is so convinced that it is almost a “how could I have forgotten?” statement.

Re-affirming our faith is so important. We are called to worship God no matter the situation because if we consistently come to the throne of God no matter how good or bad the situation around us may be, we will be convinced that we are never walking alone, that in life or death, we will always belong to Jesus Christ.

Our God is constant. Never failing. Never changing. If our daily lives are reflecting his grace, if we are constantly seeking Jesus and letting his word consume us, we will begin to see this. So when destruction, comes, unexplainable murders occur…we are not shaken in our observation and belief that a never failing God is doing something that is going to shake the hearts of many and change lives in ways we may never comprehend.

Bring yourself before the Lord so He can cleanse you in His reflection and live knowing you’ve been forgiven and renewed through His sacrifice and walk expecting God to work no matter the circumstance.

“Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.” Mark 6:56

Advertisements

Oh you of little faith, have a little faith.

Faith, faith, faith. The Holy Spirit has been non stop immersing me in messages, lessons, and songs about faith for weeks. I have come to love faith and I want to spend a few minutes exploring why faith should be our lifestyle rather than our emergency chord.

Start in Genesis 12:1-3 (NLT)

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

Keeping this in mind let’s take a look at a few other passages. Hebrews 11: 1-3 (NLT) says:

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

I have loved hearing stories about Abraham since I was in elementary school. To me, Abraham was the obvious beginning marker of Jesus making his way to earth. Now I love reading these passages because I realize how much I have in common with him. Abraham received God’s blessing, not because of anything he did. He lacked faith at times, but in this passage in Genesis in specific, Abraham is told to pick up everything and leave to where God will show him. A few chapters later, Abraham is told Sarah at age 91 will bear a son. It seemed impossible, but God made it happen. In fact as you continue reading Abraham’s story, even when Sarah dies, Abraham marries again and has many more children. The birth of Isaac was merely the beginning of God fulfilling his promises. We see Abraham’s faith grow more after the birth of Isaac. It has to take quite a bit of faith to take your son to be the sacrifice and still know God is going to provide through it. See Abraham started with just a little faith in his journey and that was all God asked for and needed to mold him and help him see the bigger picture.

As the generations have continued since Abraham, all each had to start out with was the stories of faith from their fathers and a little faith that was implanted in their spirits to continue the journey and pass it on to the next generation. Let me make this clear, none of this would be possible without God. You cannot do it on your own without becoming your own lord and losing the lordship that is available through submitting to Jesus Christ.

Put yourself back in the shoes of being a child and listening to the stories of the Old Testament. It planted this seed that God could do anything because he could part the Red Sea and let man walk on dry ground, he could hide his believers in the midst of their enemies and consume the land with his power. He could defeat a giant with one little boy who said “I can’t, but God can.”

This is exactly where we are brothers and sisters. We are the children of God in a foreign land. We are the child up against the giant. There is nothing that God cannot accomplish through a submissive heart when we have a little faith. He never required huge faith and profound speeches from learned men and women. He always uses the willing, the humble, the ones who are not convinced that physical situations supersede the power of the Holy Spirit.

Who will be the Davids? Who will be the Samuels? The Joshuas? If we are counting on someone else to do it, we are letting fear make our decisions. If you have seen the light of Jesus and know the truth of His message on the cross, you have been called according to his purposes. God is moving in our generation. He is raising up his people to see that He is not dead, but very much alive. Just like generations ago heard the stories of faith, He is using these to awaken our hearts and minds to see that no matter the politics and sin and depression, He is working, he is more than capable, because we still serve the God of Abraham, Joshua and David.

Joshua 21:45 “Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.”

Break Every Chain

Perfection for the perfectionist.

Good news for perfectionists! I was reading Hebrews today wondering how I could get my day on the right track in an effort to “live everyday like it’s Sunday”. Now I say this being a recovering perfectionist, but it is not bad to want perfection. In fact at one point our world was beautiful, lacking sin. Unfortunately we never knew life this way. But getting back on track…

Jesus has been teaching me the last few years about inner desires, the ones that come from the spirit. Many times we misinterpret these because we live in the flesh. The need and want to be perfect in the flesh is a dangerous one. However it is the Holy Spirit’s desire to perfect us once He has made us alive again. The only way we are seen as perfect is when we are covered in the perfection of Jesus’ sacrifice.

So the good news for perfectionists? The perfection has already been attained foryou! No longer do you need to perfect yourself in the flesh because by the way this will never happen… But perfection in the spirit has already been attained through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10 1-4 may seem complicated at first, but when the Holy Spirit showed me that it was simply about perfection, it brought peace to my spirit.

“1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, andnot the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”

How fantastic is that? The law is merely a shadow of the good things to come… Not a way to become perfect. Nothing we do can make us perfect, but the sacrifice Jesus did covers us in his perfect, selfless sacrifice.