Wednesday, June 30, 2010

He Will Carry You

"Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, 'The people are greater and taller than we, the cities are great and fortified up to heaven, moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.' Then I said to you, 'Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, Who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.'"
(Deuteronomy 1:28-31)

The Israelites were preparing to enter their Promised Land - Canaan. Remember the story? Spies were sent ahead of them to check it out and returned with frightening reports about the Anakim - giants - who lived in the land. Not only were the Anakim giants; they were the most dreaded inhabitants in all of Canaan. And they DEFINITELY had a problem with Israel.

The Israelites were like, "Uh, Moses, you've got to be kidding, right? You surely can't expect us to go up against these dreaded giants!"

Fast forward to the year 2010..."Lord, you want me to do WHAT?? I can't do that! This is WAY bigger than me!"

And His response is, "EXACTLY! But it is NOT bigger than Me. And I am with you so you need not be afraid!"

This is what Moses told the Israelites! "Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you..."

And then I saw something new. Verse 31, " the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went..." He CARRIED His children! Do you see the tenderness of our Father? He carried them through the floods and they were not drowned. He carried them through the fires and they were not burned.

Are you facing giants? Is the enemy of your soul doing everything he can to defeat you, to terrify you and prevent you from entering into God's purposes for your life?

Then I want you to do something.

Close your eyes and allow the Lord to fill your mind with the image of Him carrying you through the wilderness. Can you fathom His love for you? Experience the warmth of His arms wrapped around you. Listen to His heartbeat. Sense the security, the safety of His strong embrace.

And be comforted, my Child. You are not alone.

Father, You carry us! I can see this clearly. Thank You for showing me this Truth and for using it to comfort me as I face my fears. I need Your strength, Your Presence and that is why I praise You, Lord. I bless You. Open the eyes of my heart that I might experience the knowledge of being carried by You through enemy territory. You are great and mighty and I worship You, Lord.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Word is Very Near

"For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it."
(Deuteronomy 30: 11-14)

"But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it."

Can you imagine? This was written in Deuteronomy - in the OLD TESTAMENT - and yet it is so relevant to us today.

God, through Moses, had just explained the terms of the covenant with the Israelites. In order for them to be in covenant - in relationship - with the Lord God, they had to obey certain rules that would, in fact, make them holy before God. These laws would allow Him to dwell with them. The problem was, without the indwelling Holy Spirit, the children of God continuously rebelled and separated themselves from the Father.

Enter Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God.

The Word - Jesus - lives within us through His Holy Spirit. We do not need to wait for someone to go to heaven or travel beyond the sea to bring the word to us - He has already come!

Now, let me show you something that demonstrates why God's Word thrills me.

Guess what the cross-reference is to this verse? Romans 10:8-10! This is a crucial verse in what we call "The Roman Road" - the series of verses used to lead someone to Christ! And its origin is in Deuteronomy!

Romans 10:8-10, "But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Glorious! Simply glorious!!

God is the same yesterday, today and forever! His Word weaves together a remarkable tapestry of truth and life. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's Law - the Old Testament. We cannot separate Him from the Old. The Old Testament is foundational to our faith.

And as you begin to study and search and hunger for God's Word, you will be amazed at how they are interwoven.

There is a treasure chest waiting for you.

Go ahead, start digging. I know you want to.

Lord, you amaze me. Your Word thrills my soul. I pray for my friends that You will stir up a hunger for Your Word in each of them as You have for me. The more I study Your Word, the more I stand in awe of You. Words cannot express my heart when I try to comprehend Your majesty, Your holiness. You, O Lord are worthy of my praise. I honor You and glorify Your Name.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jesus With Skin On

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison doors to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."
(Isaiah 61:1-3)

Without a doubt, this passage of Scripture is referring to Jesus and to His ministry.

But I want you to think outside of the box.

2 Corinthians 5:18 teaches us that God has "given us the ministry of reconciliation." What does that mean? It means that ALL of us are to be about the Father's business, reconciling a lost world to Him - to God our Father. The Lord expects us to bring others to the foot of the Cross.

That's kind of scary, isn't it?

But here's the good news: it is not US that accomplishes this mandate. It is the Holy Spirit working THROUGH us that draws people to Christ. We need only to be a willing vessel for Him to work through. He has anointed us with power through the indwelling Holy Spirit. We understand the gift of His love, right? We believe that nothing happens by coincidence, right?

Then you can believe that wherever you find yourself and to whomever you find yourself speaking with - this is a God moment, hand delivered by the Father, Himself. Will you answer that sweet whisper deep in your soul?

He just wants you to be "Jesus with skin on".

The Holy Spirit will do the rest.

Father, Give us courage to just "be". Your Light in US shines bright in this dark world. Your love brings comfort and hope. Your peace dispels despair. Forgive us for making the Great Commission so difficult. The more difficult we pretend it is, the more excuses we have to listen to the enemy as he persuades us to lie dormant and quiet - VERY QUIET - about our precious Savior. Lord, forgive us! Let it sink in that we only need to be a willing vessel. The Holy Spirit does the rest. Thank You, Lord.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Hymn of Faith

"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls - YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills."
(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

The subtitle for this passage is, "A Hymn of Faith."

I love that! Habakkuk is making a declaration of His trust and faith in the Lord God - no matter what! His example of faithfulness to his God should grab our attention.

Judah has experienced massive destruction at the hands of the Babylonians and yet Habakkuk comes to the realization that his source of joy is in God and not in his circumstances. Circumstances are temporal. God is eternal - always - forever!

Habakkuk has placed his hope in the Lord.

Oh that we might learn this lesson, dear ones. The joy of the Lord is our strength - our power, our security. Our hope must be placed in Him. Habakkuk's spirit was brought from a place of despair to a place of worship because he yielded his heart to the voice of the Lord. What else did he do? He rejoiced! He took joy in the God of his salvation.

Joy. Gil (geel). This Hebrew word suggests that Habakkuk "danced for joy" or "leaped for joy" because of his relationship with God. He walked in a new understanding because of the difficult situation he found himself in.

He responded to the Lord and was transformed.

We must do the same.

Father, I rejoice in You, O Lord my Savior. You have taken my sorrow and turned it into joy, You have put a song in my heart. Circumstances have not changed. Feelings of being overwhelmed have not changed. But You, Lord, have whispered words of hope and assurance to me. I worship You, Lord. My heart leaps within me at the mention of Your Name. You are precious to me, Lord.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Fragrance of Christ

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
(2Corinthians 2:14,15)

"...and through US diffuses - spreads - the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."

I love this imagery.

WE take the fragrance of Christ to a hurting world.

Why would the Father use the word, 'fragrance' in describing our witness to others? In the Old Testament He often used the same concept of fragrance when describing the sacrifices offered to Him in worship. The offerings were referred to as a sweet aroma, holy and acceptable to God. When Jesus was sacrificed on the cross, He was given "for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." (Ephesians 5:2)

The Lord desires for us to be a living sacrifice unto Him. The life that we live for Him bears the fragrance of Christ - holy and acceptable to God, our Father.

"For we are to God the fragrance of Christ..."

"For WE are TO GOD(!)..."

Are we?


Father, I want to be a sweet aroma to You - I really do. But then I have days like today when I was anything but sweet. No beautiful fragrance here! More like the stench of flesh!! I am so sorry, Lord. I ask your forgiveness - Your cleansing. You mean so much to me...I love You dearly. I want others to see Jesus in me. I want them to wonder what that sweet aroma is that is catching their attention. Make me more like You, Lord. Thank you for my righteousness. It is not because of who I am, but because of Who You are. Bless You, Father.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Abound in Your Faith

"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving."
(Colossians 2:6,7)

We are called to WALK in our faith.

I know, that's not a news flash for a Christian.

But, HOW is Paul telling us to walk in our faith? His instructions are to walk ROOTED, BUILT-UP in Him and ESTABLISHED in the faith. He is not talking about a casual stroll along the peaceful river's shore. He is saying we need to DIVE in - the water is fine!!

Paul wants us to ABOUND in our faith. His use of the word 'abound' stems from the root word sunesis (soon-es-is) or 'understanding', meaning to literally put two and two together so as to comprehend with depth.

Our faith should be vibrant, its roots growing deeper every day. It should not be stagnant. Imagine the pond whose source of fresh water has been clogged with debris. It becomes stagnant, green and slimey! It can no longer sustain life and it stinks!

Hmmm...I believe the scripture refers to the stench of flesh....

Our faith is the same. There must be the flow of Living Water into our spirit just as surely as the fresh water spring must flow into the pond. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. And the Word of God conquers flesh!

Here's the challenge: Ask the Lord to enlighten the eyes of your heart - to give you understanding. He loves to reveal His mysteries to His children. Sit at His feet. Enjoy your relationship. Put away the mask of religion and self-righteousness.

And just be your beautiful self.

Dig. Dig deep. Don't take the Scripture at face value, but ask the Lord questions and then use your concordance (in the back of your bible) and cross-references (along the margins) to find His answers.

You will be astonished at the insight He will give you, if only you will ask.

Dear one, ABOUND in your faith.

And don't forget, ..."with thanksgiving."

Lord, how easy it is to just sit and be spoon-fed. I know, You know, I have been there, too. Stir up a hunger and thirst within us to find out everything there is to know about You - to not settle for less. Open the eyes of our hearts that we might understand you more deeply. Thank You for teaching us. Thank You for making Your Word an absolutely thrilling book, full of mystery, hope, discipline and encouragement. Lord, I have tasted of You and I have found You to be very good. I love You, Lord.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

He Will Give You Rest

"For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them...Then they took an oath before the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting and trumpets and ram's horns. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around."
(2 Chronicles 15:3,4,14,15)

Have you been wandering around in a wilderness, searching frantically for a way out? Are you weary? Disillusioned? Has your rebellion - big or small - separated you from the One True God? You know, the One that you loved so completely only days or weeks ago?

Every Christian journey includes a wilderness. Guaranteed.

But God promises that when we seek Him we will be found by Him. That's a promise. He is waiting for your return. Forgiving, amazing grace abounds for you, His child.

And rest. Did I mention that He will give you rest?

Yep. That's what He said.


Father, Your rest is such a wonderful promise. It is a gift that only You can give. Thank You. Thank You for finding us when we are lost and looking for You. Open our hearts to receive Your love, our ears to hear Your voice. You are the One we adore. Your love is beyond comprehension. Praise You, Father.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I AM the Lord Your God

"I AM the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."
Psalm 81:10)

How easily we forget this truth, OR, at least minimize it.

The great I AM, the Lord our God, delivered us from the bondage of sin and death! He set us free from our painful, empty past.

The Lord our God BROUGHT us out - He did not push us. He did not crack a whip and herd us out of there! No. He BROUGHT us out - leading, guiding, caring for us.

Can you hear your Father's voice? "Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."

In my mind I see a baby bird safely nestled in its nest. The tiny bird, its eyes still closed, senses its parent's presence and instinctively opens its mouth to be fed by the one who loves it most.

Beloved, your Father cares deeply for you.
He knows your pain, your fears, your worries.
He knows everything there is to know about you.

And He loves you anyway.

Bless His Holy Name!

Yes, Lord, bless Your Holy Name! For You, Lord, are worthy of our praise! May we never take for granted what You have done for us. Thank You for setting us free! Thank You for gently leading us into Your Light, wrapped in Your love. You are so wonderful - so faithful. Bless you, Father.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Man After God's Own Heart

"One thing I have desired of the Lord; that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple."
(Psalm 27:4)

As I pondered these words of David, I realized that my heart has begun to enter this same realm. David is saying that everything about him is determined to seek and know his God.

I am becoming aware that I have the same awakening in my heart.

To DWELL in the house of the Lord is to enter into His Presence daily - to abide there. Dwelling is far different than stopping by for an occasional visit. Dwelling infers relationship, comfortableness, familiarity.

Dwelling occurs through praise.

Our praise ushers in His presence where we can behold His beauty - His delightfulness - where we can look upon His face and know His heart. Praise sets us free to love Him and to worship Him.

You know, David was referred to as "a man after God's own heart." This passage of scripture might be the reason why. He clearly has his priorities straight here.

I would love for the Lord to think of me with such endearing terms.

Wouldn't you?

Lord, Thank You for awakening my heart to love You, to seek You and to know You. I believe this is a gift - an answer to my prayers. Thank You for hearing me as I have cried out to You. Thank You for being so faithful to me, Your daughter. I love You, Lord. I don't want to just know about You. I want to know YOU. Thank You for being available to me and to others who want to love You more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Other Little Boats

"On the same day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side.' Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?' Then He arose and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still!' And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, 'Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith!'"
(Mark 4:35-40)

Jesus said, "Let us cross over to the other side."

Most of us are familiar with this passage of scripture. Remember? A storm comes up and threatens to capsize their boat. The disciples become frightened, wake up Jesus, and He calms the storm. He is frustrated by their lack of faith, but nonetheless, He rescues them by His mighty power.

Great story, right? Yes, but look what I discovered.

Verse 36 says, "...And other little boats were also with Him."

"...other little boats..." Oh my goodness!

Other people left the shore with Jesus, skimming along the water parallel to Him. They, too, wanted to go to the other side.

But, Jesus wasn't in their boat.

They were on the periphery, watching from a distance - curious, but not committed enough to get in the boat with Him as one of the disciples.

What a shame! And what happened to the "other little boats" during the storm? Did they capsize? Did they turn back? The scripture doesn't say, but they are not mentioned again. When Jesus reached the other side and began performing miracles, nothing is said about the "other little boats" and the people inside.

Think what they missed by not being in the boat with Jesus. They couldn't hear Him command the storm to cease. If, in fact, they survived the storm, these people had no idea what had stopped it.

They missed the power of God.

I don't want to ever be accused of staying on the periphery. I want to be in the boat with Him - hook, line and sinker!! Living my life running parallel alongside Jesus is not going to cut it.

I want to be the one to wake Him up when the wind and the rain try to capsize our boat.

Lord, I absolutely love it when You show me something new in Your word. How have I missed the lesson of the "other little boats" all these years? Heaven forbid that I should ever be on the outside looking in when it comes to loving You. I want to be near You, Lord. I want You to consider me Your friend like the Father considers Abraham. Lord, I want to be close enough to You to see Your power and to hear Your voice. Thank You for making that possible. You are wonderful beyond measure.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our Weapons Are Mighty in God

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Our mind is a battlefield!

Satan cannot touch our spirit - we are sealed in the Spirit of God once we ask Jesus to be our Savior.

But our mind is another story - it is totally vulnerable to the fiery darts of the enemy. That is why we are admonished to put on the helmet of salvation and hold up the shield of faith to withstand the enemy.

Our thoughts can get us into a heap of trouble. Our thoughts steer our footsteps, rule our emotions. If we are not careful - and aware - our thoughts can oppose the very will of God.

That is why Paul gives the instruction to bring "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." Once you are aware of the schemes of the enemy, you must walk in the offensive. HE is your enemy. Do not play into his hands! Recognize the source of those thoughts and do not entertain them.

I repeat. Do not entertain them!

That's hard, isn't it? We want to wallow in our self-pity, hold tight to those grudges, justify our resentments. I know...I do it, too.

But, God has a better way, if we will obey Him. Confess those thoughts to Him. Bring them under the Lordship of Jesus Christ - submit them to Him - to His authority.

Then you can let them go and watch God respond to your obedience.

Father, thank You for preparing a way of escape for us in all things. You are mighty in our warfare. You are mighty in bringing down strongholds - those things in our lives that would exalt itself against You. Especially our thoughts, Lord. It is amazing how much power our thoughts contain. Help us submit them to Your authority - to not entertain them and give them credence. Thank You for Your power in my life. I love You, Lord.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Overcoming Faith

"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
(1John 4:3-5)

"And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith"

These words make me feel empowered, confident, assured - even comforted. It's not because of anything we have done that has given us the victory. It is because of the One in Whom we have believed - the one in Whom we have faith -the One Whom we choose to love.

Do you keep His commandments? That is an expression of your love for Him. Obedience to the Father is a life-changing lesson. Even being aware of this concept is a life-changing lesson. Choosing to obey Him in all things reflects His Lordship in our lives. There is a distinction between 'Savior' and 'Lord'. 'Savior' promises you eternal life. 'Lord' recognizes His authority in your life. Acknowledging His Lordship is HUGE in the life of a Believer.

It is in establishing His Lordship that we begin to overcome.

Faith is belief wrapped up in action. "Faith without works is dead." This faith-driven action proclaims to the world, "I am His! I love Him! He died for my sins and gave me new life! I have picked up my cross and now I am placing my feet in the footprints of my Lord and following Him!"

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Jesus spoke these words in John 16:33.

He is the One who overcomes. We need only to believe and take hold of His mighty hand.

Lord, teach us to count the cost of discipleship. Teach us to obey you in all things. That seems so impossible, but I know that it begins by obeying You in the little things, first. Then You begin to ask more of us. But it is because of Your love - Your incredible love - that you teach us to obey. I believe that You love to show Yourself mighty in our midst. In my heart, I can see pleasure on Your face when I choose to obey You, count the cost and then find myself wrapped in Your embrace because I chose to honor You. You are an amazing God and I love You very much.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Sacrifice of Praise

"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."
(Hebrews 13:15)

Why would God consider praise to be a sacrifice? The Greek word for 'sacrifice' is thusia (thu-sha). It comes from the root word thuo (thu-oh) meaning "to kill or slaughter for a purpose."

How could something so seemingly violent have anything to do with such a beautiful expression as praise?

OK. Think about it. To truly offer up praise to God, we must die to self - we must "kill" our pride, our worries and fears. We must destroy our laziness! OUCH! (that one hurt me, too). Are we so apathetic about the things of God that we just assume He knows we are thankful; we just assume He knows we recognize Who He is?

May it never be! To praise Him requires action.

To offer a sacrifice of praise is to realize that even when your world is falling apart and you don't think you have anything to be thankful for, you realize that you can still praise God for Who He is. That, my friend, is a sacrifice and it is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord our God.

Offer up to Him a sacrifice of thanksgiving! Offer up to Him a sacrifice of praise!

He is worthy of our praise!

Father God, we DO praise you! You, O Lord, are our Redeemer, our Comforter. You are El Shaddai - the all-sufficient One! Thank you, Lord. I am so thankful that You promise to inhabit the praises of Your people. Come, Lord. Come and dwell in me, in the sanctuary of my praise for You. I long for Your Presence.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Unveiling of the Heart

"Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places."
(Ephesians 1:15-20)

These words were written by Paul to the Church at Ephesus. He was touched by their faithfulness to Jesus and their love for one another. He is encouraging them to continue in their faith and to dig deeper into the things of God.

When Paul prays that the Father of glory may "give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened," he is praying that their hearts would be unveiled to behold the Truth of their Savior. He exhorts them to know Christ more and to understand God's purpose and power in their lives.

Beloved, that is my prayer for you and I ask that you pray the same for me. I want to know my Jesus thoroughly - not just what someone else tells me. I want to KNOW Him completely, with an unveiled heart. I want the eyes of my heart (understanding) to be enlightened so that I might experience the brightness of hope as a result of knowing Him.

The brightness of hope...I like that. I can see that light shining in the dark crevices of my heart bringing everything to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Hope comes with understanding. Understanding comes with a shovel.

We have to dig deep to find the Hidden Treasures of Christ.

Lord, I want to know You fully - not just about You - but to know YOU. Thank You for making that possible through Your word. Unveil our hearts, Lord, that we can see You clearly. Unveil our hearts that we might embrace You as the Bride embraces her Groom at the altar upon lifting the veil. Oh, to see You more clearly, to know You more dearly, to follow You more by day. That is my prayer, Lord.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Soul Thirsts for the Living God

"As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."
(Psalm 42:1,2)

I love the image this beautiful Psalm paints.

I can see the deer bristling with perspiration, mouth open, gasping for fresh air as it leaps over fallen trees and thick underbrush. He pauses and...wait! He hears the gurgling of a brook calling to his thirst. Instinctively, he turns in the direction of the flowing water. Desperation begins to leave his countenance. His frantic leaping calms to a steady walk, and carries him to the edge of the pristine water. Bowing at the water's edge, he drinks slowly and deeply of the liquid treasure. No longer is he thirsty. No longer is he weak.

Do we thirst for our God like the deer? Do we run about frantically - desperately - trying to find the source of the Living Water?

David did. He longed for His God. He knew that only El Shaddai, Almighty God, could satisfy his longing soul; Only El Shaddai could quench his thirst and refresh his spirit.

Do we long for God in the same manner? Are we desperate for Him?

As we run about in our busyness, in our panics and worries, do we instinctively stop when we hear the sound of our Lord calling? Do we even know the sound of our Lord when He calls?

Hmmm...good question.

Here's a better one: What is our response when we hear Him call?

Lord, It seems like all day I have heard You calling to me through the fallen trees and underbrush. And, ashamedly, most of the day (not all) I have resisted Your voice. Why do we choose to wallow in our doubts and fears when Your streams of Living Water are beckoning to us? Why do we do this, Lord? Please forgive me. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Be merciful to my brothers and sisters who also yearn for the nearness of their God, yet stubbornly resist Your call. You are an awesome God. Your love is from everlasting to everlasting. I praise Your Holy Name, Lord.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Future Glory of Zion

"The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful, 'Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.' Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water."
(Isaiah 35:1-7)

This scripture from Isaiah is a Messianic message proclaiming the coming of Christ. In my bible, it is subtitled, "The Future Glory of Zion".

Friends, that is OUR future - it is our NOW!

Once Jesus is asked to be your Savior and Lord, mighty and magnificent things begin to take place. The crooked places begin to straighten, the desert places of the heart begin to bloom. Sorrowful memories become sweet.

Yes, a transformation takes place.

Ask Him to open your eyes that you might see - your ears that you might hear the wonderful things that your Lord God has prepared for you. Your parched ground will become as a pool. Out of your heart will gush rivers of Living Water as you drink from His fountain.

Chapter 35 ends with the following: "And the ransomed (the Redeemed) of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

Are you singing? Maybe it is in the rain, but, are you singing?

Precious Lord, take my hand. Lead me on, help me stand. I need You, Lord. Strengthen my weak hands and my feeble knees. Help me march on for Your Glory. I want to come before You with gladness, singing praises to You. I want all sorrow and sighing to flee away. I stand on Your promises, Lord. Hold tight to my hand.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lord, I Am Coming!

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And the earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever...My heart has heard you say, 'Come and talk with me, O my people.' And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming.'
(Psalm 73:25-26 NIV;Psalm 27:8 TLB)

The Lord gave me this scripture this week as I prepared to speak to some dear sisters in the Lord. The words blessed me beyond measure and I decided to share them with you.

Are you up against a mountain? Are you weary from the daily grind, the insistent pressures? Most of us would answer, "Yes!"

I want you to take this scripture and proclaim it. That's right, go ahead..."Lord, whom have I in heaven but You? You are ALL that I desire! You, O Lord are my strength and my portion forever!"

There, doesn't that feel better? The mountain is still there, but now you have asked God to join the scene. And He is bigger than any mountain!

Listen to the emotion found in Psalm 27:8 from The Living Bible. The Lord sounds as though He is pleading with His people, "Come and talk with me. Let me into your situations. Open your hearts before me."

And how did the Psalmist reply? "Lord, I am coming."

"Lord, I am coming! I'll be right there, Lord!"

That is the sweetness of relationship.

Take time and sit awhile with Jesus. He is waiting for you.

Lord, You are so sweet to me. You, Lord, are all I need. Thank You for desiring a relationship with me - one where we sit and talk with one another. I love you, Lord.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Have You Not Heard?

" 'To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?' says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: 'My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God'? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary. And the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
(Isaiah 40:25-31)

"...but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength..." How many of you absolutely love this scripture? It is a go-to one, for sure. But, how often do we fail to read the message leading up to these powerful words?

"To whom then shall you liken Me? Or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One... "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary!"

Every time I read this passage of Scripture, I feel as though I can hear the Lord's frustration with us. Its like, "Child, how many times do I need to tell you that nothing is too difficult for Me? I put the stars in place, I walk along the wings of the wind. For goodness sake, I made you! Don't you think I know how to take care of you? Don't you know that I, and I alone, orchestrate the events in your life?"

"Yes, Father. But I am so tired. I feel anxious very easily."

"I know that, too. But my Child, I do not grow weary or tired in My caring for you. Wait upon ME. Hope in ME. Come, drink of Me."

"And I will renew your strength."

Lord, I love You so much! My heart feels so full of so many emotions. My body is tired, but You, Lord, have strengthened my spirit. I appreciate that so much. Thank You for Your patience with Me. Thank You for Your love for Me. And thank You for Your rest.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your Light we see light."
(Psalm 36:7-9)

Aren't you thankful you are a child of God? Just think...we can trust Him, we can run and hide under the shadow of His wing when our enemies lurk near by. His provision is abundant and He sustains us with His Living Water.

Why? Why does God, the Father, do these things for His children? Because of His lovingkindness!

Lovingkindness - chesed (ke-said) - translates to steadfast love, mercy, goodness, unfailing love and grace.

"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!" God's love for His children NEVER fails. His mercy is great - steadfast.

I think my favorite part of this passage is the phrase at the end: "in Your Light we see light."

In John 8:12 Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life." Because of His Light, our darkness is dispelled.

And that, too, is because of His lovingkindness.

Dwell in Him. Soak up His love, His Light and drink from His fountain of life.

Father, I am so very thankful for Your lovingkindness! Your mercies are new every morning! Great is Your faithfulness, O Lord my God! Thank You for Your love. I am thirsty, Lord. Lead me to Your river and let me drink. Saturate my spirit that I might celebrate Your goodness in the land of the living. You are precious to me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Show Me Your Ways, O Lord

"Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day."
(Psalm 25:4,5)

These verses are part of a prayer David prayed for deliverance from his enemies and forgiveness for his sins. In essence, he is cleansing his heart before God and submitting to God's authority.

"Show me Your ways, Lord!" Quite often I pray, "Open my ears, Lord, that I might hear Your voice." I believe that the Lord responds to a heart that desires to obey Him. I believe that WE make the act of obedience to His will complicated, not Him.

When we sit quietly before Him - waiting on Him - when we rid our minds of distractions and truly focus on Jesus, we WILL hear His voice. The Lord promises that "My sheep will know My voice." We learn to recognize it when we spend time with Him and LISTEN.

In my bible, the word 'are' is emphasized: "For You are the God of my salvation." David is proclaiming the authority of God in His life. Not only does this proclamation honor his Lord, I believe it also calms David's restless spirit. Recognition of God's sovereignty keeps everything in perspective - it causes us to remember that He is the One who orchestrates our lives.

Trust Him to show you His ways, the path for your life. Submit to Him, acknowledge His Lordship and then listen.

Yes, sit quietly before Him and listen. SELAH

Lord God, You ARE the God of my salvation! Thank You for teaching me this truth. Thank You for giving me understanding of Your sovereignty and thank You for giving me an obedient heart. I know that an obedient heart is more precious to You than sacrifice. Forgive me for making it complicated. Open my ears to hear your voice and give me courage to respond with confidence and enthusiasm. You are awesome, Lord.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Lord Will Do Wonders Among You

"And Joshua said to the people, 'Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.'"
(Joshua 3:5)

Sanctify yourself! Set yourself apart - devote yourself to the purpose of loving God with deep dedication.

Let's put this into perspective. Moses had died and now Joshua is leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. In Joshua 1:11, Joshua told the people to "prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess."

And now, Joshua is telling them to sanctify themselves - to free themselves from sin and devote themselves to God because "tomorrow" - on the third day - the Lord will do wonders among them.

Do you see the correlation to us in this Scripture? Joshua is a type of Christ leading God's people to the Promised Land. They are preparing to miraculously cross over the Jordan River on the third day of encampment. The Lord, once again, is making a way for His children where there seems to be no way.

Wow! Isn't that amazing? Even in the book of Joshua we can find the Lord's plan of salvation and deliverance!

Do you want to see more?

The Hebrew word for "wonders" is pala` (pah-lah), meaning miracle, marvel, supernatural deed. It is something beyond the human ability to achieve. One of the names for Jesus is "Wonderful" (Isaiah 9:6) or pil'iy, which is a derivative of pala`.

Now, let's put it all together...

On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave - He conquered death. The Lord God did pala`for us - He miraculously made a way for us to cross over into everlasting life.

The children of Israel were told to sanctify themselves before they could cross the Jordan. We, too must sanctify ourselves - set ourselves apart and devote ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even now, He is preparing to do wonders among those who love Him.

Set yourself apart and expect a miracle.

Father, I love Your Word so much. Its intricacies amaze me and thrill me! I love to see how Jesus fulfills. the Old Testament and I love to see how everything works hand in hand. It truly is a living book! Teach us why sanctification is so important to Your children. Either You are our One True God, or You are not. Either You are Holy, or You are not. Forgive us for not taking our discipleship seriously. In order to enjoy Your Presence, Your wonders, we must be set apart and devoted to You, and to You, alone. Father, I love You. Cleanse me, Lord.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Lips Will Praise Him

"O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your Name."
(Psalm 63:1-4)

"O God, You are my God!"

Declare it! Proclaim the majesty of your King! Express His Lordship in your life!

"O God, You are MY GOD!" I choose You, Lord. I love you. I proclaim it to the heavens and the earth!

What did David do next? He recognized his need - his soul and his flesh needed a refreshing drink from the wellspring of life.

David didn't sit and wallow. He LOOKED for God in the sanctuary.

Where is the sanctuary? It is the place of God's Presence. David knew that through prayer and praise He would find God - God promises to inhabit the praises of His people - to dwell there.

So David began to praise - shabach (shah-vahch). The interpretation of shabach goes in two different directions: most of the time it refers to speaking words of praise. But there are three references to shabach that refer to calming the tumultuous sea (Psalm 65:7; Psalm 89:9 ~ 'stills') or hushing up things within one's heart (Proverbs 29:11 ~ 'holds').

What a beautiful thought to realize there is a connection between "praising with words" and "soothing with words."

I love the thought that by praising my God, my heart will know peace; the tumultuous seas of life will be calmed.

Seek Him. Thirst after Him. Let your lips praise Him.

And your soul shall be satisfied with life and abundance of joy and peace.

Father, I praise You. I declare Your wonders and Your love. Praise You for Your lovingkindness. Thank You for Your faithfulness and Your peace. You, O Lord are my God. There is no other God besides You. I love You, Lord.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rivers of Living Water

"On the last day, the great day of the feast Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of Living Water.'"
(John 7:37-39)

Jesus spoke these words during the Feast of Tabernacles. Each day during the celebration priests brought water to the temple from the pool of Siloam in a golden pitcher. This was done in commemoration of God's miraculous supply of water from the rock in the desert (Exodus 17). During this priestly procession, the people recited Isaiah 12:3, "Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." This was spoken in anticipation of the coming Messiah and His many blessings.

And now the fulfillment of Isaiah 12:3 stood before the people and said, "Are you thirsty? Come to Me and drink. You will never thirst again for out of your hearts will flow rivers of Living Water!"

Can you imagine? The very fulfillment of Scripture stood before them. I love that! I love how the Scriptures support, sustain and fulfill one another!

When we drink of the Living Water, it has no end. As our souls are revived and our spirits refreshed, the Living Water begins to fill us up. It soon becomes a pool and then a fountain. The more we drink of the Living Water - the more saturated we become with Jesus - the fountain begins to overflow and soon, out of our hearts flow rivers of Living Water.

Please take time to imagine this powerful picture: Out of your heart will flow rivers of Living Water.

Where does the water flow? To the world around you; to the world whose souls are parched and dying; to the world who needs hope and assurance.

To the world who needs Jesus.

Come and drink. Saturate yourself with Him.

Lord, I am so thirsty for You. I have a thirst that only You can satisfy. I long for Your Presence. I long to be filled up to overflowing with Your love so that I might lead others to Your wellspring of life. You are wonderful Lord - too marvelous for words. I stand in awe of You.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Diligently Add to Your Faith

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither useless nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(2 Peter 1:5-8)

ADD to your faith. My goodness, I don't believe I have ever seen this before.

Peter is giving us a progressive list of Christian characteristics that will cause us to be fruitful in the very knowledge of the Lord. If you will notice, these virtues don't just happen; Peter says we must DILIGENTLY ADD them to our faith. Without them we will be useless, unfruitful for the Kingdom.

FAITH -> virtue -> knowledge -> self-control -> perseverance -> godliness -> brotherly kindness -> LOVE.

It is a progression - growth. Line upon line. Precept upon precept.

These traits are born of sanctification (character transformation), allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ through the renewing of our minds. Why? For the purpose of growing in the knowledge of Christ. How? Diligently!

This transformation begins with 'faith' and ends with 'love'.

It is love which impacts the world for Christ.

Father, I know that every Christian is given the same measure of faith at salvation. And I know that some of us choose to develop our faith into something strong and fruitful for You. Thank You for helping me understand that Christ-like characteristics will become evident as a result of sanctification. As I allow the Holy Spirit to work in me, as I allow and desire to be changed for Your glory, these traits will abound in me and they will result in love. I want to share Your love with those around me, Lord. I want to walk in Your love and I want Your love in me to draw others to You. I never want to find myself useless in Your Kingdom. Help me to be diligent and purposeful with my faith.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Transparent Heart

"Then He said to Thomas, 'Reach your finger here and look at My hands, and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.' And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'"
(John 20:27-29)

Doubting Thomas. Bless his heart.

Yet, when we are honest, aren't there times that we stand face to face with the Lord and have unbelief in our hearts?

Sure we do! We see Him doing wonders in our lives and we just shake our heads in disbelief.

Thomas had just witnessed the horrific crucifixion and death of his Lord. When Jesus appeared to His disciples, following His resurrection, Thomas was not there. He did not believe the report. He could not fathom how Jesus could have risen from the dead.

"I will not believe unless I put my finger into the nail prints in His hands and put my hand into His side!" Obstinate, wasn't he?

Obstinate...or transparent? Hmmmm....

Thomas had figured everything out, and a resurrected Lord was not part of it. Thomas seemed content to remain in his sorrow. He had believed Jesus as long as everything Jesus did could fit into his "little box of understanding." He even believed the miracles - as long as he was there in person to witness them. But, rising from the dead? No way! No sensible man would believe this foolishness, would he? He wanted to believe, but could his beloved Savior be alive?

So Thomas voiced his doubt. He exposed his heart.

And Jesus listened.

Was Jesus offended? No. Without Thomas ever asking, Jesus offered Thomas the very thing it would take for Thomas to believe. He told Thomas to "put your finger in the nail prints, put your hand in My side."

Then Thomas believed.

Are you stuck in a place of sorrow, suffering the death of a dream or are you facing an insurmountable obstacle? God's grace is sufficient. His mercy is new every morning! Make yourself available to Him. Be honest with your doubts and then, with all the faith you can muster - expect a miracle.

And remember, the Lord your God responds to a transparent heart.

Lord, I love and appreciate Your grace and mercy. You are not here to condemn us; You are here to set us free from the doubts and fears that besiege us. Thank You, Lord. I am so glad that You respond to our need for assurance when we stop playing our games of self-righteousness and open our hearts to Your love.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

And Give You Peace

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."
(Numbers 6:24-27)

This is such a wonderfully familiar blessing.

It speaks to the Lord's desire to have compassion on His people, to look upon us with favor. God instructed Moses to teach this blessing to Aaron and his sons, the priests of the tabernacle, so that the people would understand Who to turn to in time of need.

I discovered something about the phrase, "and give you peace," that I think will enlighten your understanding as much as it did mine.

What does the word peace, shalom, really mean?

Shalom refers to completeness, wholeness, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, fullness, rest, harmony and the absence of agitation or discord. Wow! That says it all, doesn't it?

Who is our Prince of Peace? Yes. Jesus is His Name. He Himself is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus brings us completeness, wholeness.

"...and give you peace.
" It is a gift. You need only to accept it.


Father, thank You for Your peace. And thank You for giving me a fuller understanding of exactly what that means. You have given me completeness, soundness of mind, tranquility of spirit. You have given me peace that passes all understanding. And now I realize that this blessing of peace - this gift - comes when I invoke Your Name - when I turn to You in the time of need. That is what You were revealing to the Israelites and that is what You are revealing to me. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for Your peace, Your favor and your blessing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bitterness Made Sweet

"So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah (bitter). And the people complained against Moses, saying, what shall we drink? So he cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet."
(Exodus 15:22-25)

After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites wandered in the desert for three days with nothing to drink. Finally, they came upon a pool of water.

Can you imagine how parched they were? Three days in the desert sun with nothing to drink! I can picture them running to the water's edge full of anticipation. Kneeling on the hard earth, with cupped hands, the men and women scooped the liquid treasure to their lips and...spit it out! The water was bitter - brackish!!

But, wait a minute. Wasn't God LEADING His people through the desert? Surely, He knew they were thirsty!! Why, on earth, would God lead His children to bitter water that they could not drink?

Look at verse 25. The Israelites complained about the water so Moses cried out to the Lord "and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters the waters were made sweet."

The Lord made the bitter waters sweet! He wanted His children to understand that only He could take the bitterness of their lives and transform it into goodness and life. That's why He led them to a bitter place. He had eternal purposes in mind.

Has God brought you to a bitter place? Please don't turn away from Him in disgust or disappointment. Run to Him! Ask Him to make your bitterness sweet - to transform your hurts and fears into triumph for His glory!!

A tree turned the Israelites bitter water into sweet, life-sustaining water.

My Savior hung on a cross fashioned from a tree.

Lord, this is such an important lesson to learn. Thank You for teaching me. If I believe You are my God, (and I do) then I believe You are leading me. If I believe You are sovereign - in control - (and I do) then I believe that You are fully aware of everything happening in my life. I want to come to the place where, even when life is bitter, I know that You have eternal purposes in mind. Thank You for teaching me that only You can turn my bitter places into sweet, life-sustaining Living Water. You are too wonderful for words.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Who is God, Except the Lord?

"For Who is God, except the Lord? And Who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and sets me on my high places."
(Psalm 18:31-33)

My heart is heavy today.

In the tenderness that exemplifies my Heavenly Father, He led me to this passage in Psalm 18, "For Who is God, except the Lord?"

He alone is my God. I love Him so. I trust Him completely. The joy I find in Him - that deep, thirst-quenching joy IS my strength. He makes my feet like that of a deer so that I might traverse the craggy, threatening ridges that my journey requires of me. And my God lifts me up to a high place - a place of worship chosen just for me - a place high above the fray, to be with Him.

"For Who is God, except the Lord?"

Only my God could satisfy my need.

I love You, Lord. You are so wonderful to me. I stand in awe of You, Lord for You, alone, are my God.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

His Footprints - Imprinted by His Power, Forged by His Love

"Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway."
(Psalm 85:13)

This scripture evokes childhood memories which take me back to a time spent at the beach with my family. Daddy led the pack, guiding us over the dunes, through the scorching sun, all the way to the cool mist of the ocean spray. Perfectly formed footprints etched in the sand provided a secure place for my tiny feet to land, safe from the ever-present sand-spurs along the trail.

I want you to use your imagination and picture your Daddy God - Abba, Father - leading you on the path chosen for your life. Can you see His footprints, clearly formed, imprinted by His power, forged by His love?

Child of God, He IS guiding us, leading us on our journey. But we have to stay close behind Him. If we let up on our determination to follow and slacken our pace, distance may fall between us. I fear that the harsh winds will scatter the sand and muddle His prints. The clarity of our path may fade.

We need to follow close enough that we can reach up and take His hand when the path becomes steep. His footprints need to be fresh and clear so that we avoid unnecessary pain that comes from missteps.

As you move in and out of your daily routine today, picture the sure and steadfast footprints of the Lord going before you, guiding and leading you into all Truth.

Enjoy being a child. Let your Daddy God lead the way.

Father, once again You have helped me understand Your truth through images that make sense to me. Thank You, Lord. Oh how I want to feel like a child again. I want to trust You with the direction my life is taking. Help me stay close behind You, not caught up in distractions that slow me down. I'm going to stay so close that whenever I feel unsure I can reach out and touch the hem of Your garment. I can see it now blowing in the breeze, revealing Your leather sandals blazing the trail before me. Thank You, Lord.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Your Face, Lord, I Will Seek

"When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face, Lord, I will seek.'"
(Psalm 27:8)

To seek - baqash (bah-kahsh) - to search earnestly until the object of the search is located.

The Lord approached David and said, "Seek my face - My Presence." In essence He was saying, "Child, come and dwell with Me in My secret place. You are my special treasure. I desire your company, your love."

Funny, we don't usually think of the Lord having needs, but the Scripture clearly states otherwise.

He needs our praise. He needs our devotion and love. Yes, indeed, God the Father needs our fellowship and communion.

These things speak of relationship.

Imagine that. The Lord Most High desires that we seek after Him. Remember, He is omnipresent - everywhere at all times. But, in order to enter into the Presence of the King, WE must determine to walk in righteousness. WE must enter His courts with praise and thanksgiving.

We must also learn to listen. "Be still and know that I am God."

In the stillness we will find Him and feel His warm embrace.

Lord, I love You so much. My heart is so full as I ponder Your Word. Hide me in Your secret place, beneath the shadow of Your wing. Let me know Your Presence, Your peace, Your embrace of love. I want my relationship with You to increase, to go deeper still that I might know You more and more. May I never settle for less. You are my King.