He is Risen!!

Matt 28:6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Thank You Lord!!!

Because Jesus is no longer in that grave; we’ve been redeemed!

I’m so grateful, because I’m a mess, yet because He’s Risen, i am the righteousness of God in Christ!!!

Celebrate the fact that He did what He said He would do.

It’s For Your Own Good 

Jer 24:4-7 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.

There are 66 books in the Bible and of the 66 there are some that when you are reading cover to cover that you just don’t look forward to diving into. Now I hear you “Blasphemy” you say; and as i sit here in the airport, I feel bad for even saying it. But I’m just being honest.  Jeremiah is one of those books for me.  I love God and I love His Word (Jesus), but I really don’t enjoy this book.  

Now it holds some of the most famous promises in it (and I know that), like 1:5 God knew us before we even got here or 29:11 God’s plans for us.  If I were to dig deep enough as to why I feel this way, there are probably a few reasons. Maybe its because the book is so long, it feels like it will never end.  Or, maybe because it’s a highly emotional book, with a lot love, hate, anger and forgiveness; and I’m while im working on my emotional intelligence, it’s honestly a struggle.  Or maybe it’s because of the fierce anger expressed throughout the book followed by loving and encouraging words then anger again; its a reminder of the anger remembered as a child an the mentality to duck for cover (working on that too).  Two separate messages all together. 

With all that said, this scripture stands out to me in the midst of many declarations of judgement for the actions of the children of Israel and their repercussions of disobeying God, there is hope.  They are experiencing judgement for worshiping other idols and neglecting the law; and yet here are some words of comfort.  The Lord is letting some of those being exiled know that He has his eyes on them and He is actually using this situation to get them out of a bad situation and will be drawing them to Himself.  Let’s look:

  1. He Sees the Best in You:  “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah……For I will set My eyes on them for good.  Good Fruit; that is what God is looking for and what He seeks in all of us.  It is what He sees in you and I.  Now our current situation, may not look like it; it couldn’t possibly be what He sees; but God is trustworthy, you can believe what he says (Always has been and always will be).  Sometimes our situation is  being used to put a little “fire” under our behinds, to motivate us or to push us a little closer to Jesus.  Notice, He says that we are good fruit; He did not say we are acting like it or that we deserve to be good fruit.  We are not righteous because of what we’ve done, we become righteous when we accept Jesus Christ as savior.  Our righteousness is based on Jesus’ actions and not ours.  God, just like in Jeremiah’s day, is looking beyond the current situation and deeper than their current actions and seeing their fruit.  Be encouraged, He’s looking beyond your faults and shortcomings to see His fruit (in You).
  2. He Knows What’s Best For You:  whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans.  Often God will move you, change your current circumstances, get you out of a bad relationship, even though you may not agree.  Yet God’s ways are not our ways (Isa 55).  We cannot trust in our heart and our opinions, we have to trust in the Lord (Pro 3:5).  God has already created the end of our story, His screenplay is completed and He’s confident in how it will play out.  Trust Him to know what is best for you and your family.  Believe me God wants better for you even more than you do.
  3. He Will Restore and Strengthen Youand I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them upChange always produces growth, sometimes that growth hurts, causIng great pain and teaches lessons that we did not even realize that we needed to learn.  Change sometimes leads to loss; loss of relationship, money, reputation, etc.  When a boxer looses, it often leaves him/her flat on the mat; completely spent, disoriented and physically drained.  I’m sure that even those of us who are not boxers have felt this same type of pain when we encounter change.  
    Loss often leaves a void and it is a void that we thought we could fill; only to now comprehend, that this void can only be filled by God.  Which is why He promises to build us back up and bring us back to where we once were, but He also plants us there which means that we will have to continue growing but now in an environment where we can excel and thrive.  God will never leave us where we were, He’s always desired for us to be where He’s planned for us and not where we’re comfortable.  
  4. He Wants to Win Your HeartThen I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.  When God changes your heart it is through something that He has done on your behalf.  After all it is the goodness of God leads you to repentance (Rom 2:4). Whether it is a miracle that you’ve been praying for; The Holy Spirit opening your eyes to see His plans for you; maybe God has rescued you from a negative situation or He’s moved your heart to feel more of what He feels.  The text says that God will give them a heart to know Me.  The word “know” here is multifaceted so I will not go to deep into it.  Let’s just say that the heart God gives us will allow us to learn more about Jesus; perceive what He sees and feels; discriminate or distinguish between what is Jesus and what is not; to experience Jesus like never before; to acknowledge all that Jesus is doing in your life and so much more.  You will forever be God’s, because you now have a heart for Jesus and you will never know a greater love.  This new clarity will make you All In for God and don’t worry He will do it uniquely geared to you so don’t try to be like someone else, just let God dictate who you are becoming in Him and most of all Enjoy the journey.  . 


A Proven Method

Jn 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

The beauty of the book of John is that Jesus’ Lordship is being interpreted.  Jesus was indeed a King (Matthew), a Servant (Mark) and the Son of Man (Luke); but here in John’s Gospel, Jesus was portrayed as the Son of God. He’s The Word, He was with God at the very beginning and even though He could be seen throughout the Bible I many forms (Sacrificial Lamb, Angel of the Lord; Pilar of Fire, etc); it is the book of John that prepares us for Jesus’ coming in the flesh (the living epistle or living Word of God).  

God sent His word to the earth in the Old Testament, through Moses in the form of the Law (The Commandments) Jn 1:17 For the law was given through Moses.  Now His Word is coming in the form of Jesus Christ.  I want to focus on how how The Word entered the earth; Jn 1:17 … but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  Many Christians don’t follow Jesus’ lead; grace and truth.  Many lead with Truth, which often comes in the form of a “hammer”, a “Holier than I” attitude, or a judgmental presence.  Jesus is the Way and Truth (Jn 14:6), and He could easily come in judgment of everyone of us.  However, He leads with Grace first.  I like to think of grace being a pillow or fluffy mattress that the Lord allows us to fall on.  Regardless of how far we fall, God’s Grace gives us a soft landing spot. Rather than hammer us for not meeting God’s righteous standard, Jesus gives us Grace first, demonstrating His love for us.  After all, it is his goodness that leads to repentance (Rom 2:4…not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance).

We need to remember that God’s goodness is what opened our hearts to Jesus. It is a proven method that the Lord has demonstrated to perfection for centuries and if we want to win others to Christ, we need to learn how to lead with Grace.  If we desire to share Jesus, the least we can do is share Him the same way He does.

Flow in Your Gifting

Before we jump into this message you should take a look back at Anointed and Waiting, this message is from the Man After God’s Own Heart series; which looks at the life of David to learn the principles to help us live After God’s Own Heart.  Now back to the message.

(1 Sam 16:21 So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer). What should David’s expectations be after being told he would be the next King. When do I leave this shepherds field; what will I wear at the palace; how will I know what to do being so young; will my father come with me?? Many questions must have been flooding his mind. So, when he received the call that he was wanted at the palace. 1 Sam 16:19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” He must have thought this is it; it’s beginning to happen when all of a sudden; he’s playing the harp for the current King.  

You see David was a gifted Psalmist and musician; he had honed his craft and was one of the very best in all Israel. God had given him an amazing gift and now he was going to be using it for the King. What gift has God given you that will allow you to serve the King?  Everyone has a gift specifically given by God; James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights….Find that thing or things God gave you that without being arrogant, you do just about as good as anyone. Be careful, your gift might have been perfected out of fear or hardship, so you may not see it (or appreciate it) as a gift.

One of the gifts God has given me is the ability to flow, fit-in, maneuver and thrive in any environment. Take in my surroundings, see what needs to be accomplished, work with different types of people and eventually use charisma to become dependent on or lead. I hear some of you say, that’s not a gift, you sound shady; and honestly, some have seen it that way. However, that ability has put me in rooms with leaders at work and in ministry and have given me opportunities to share God’s principles and love with people that did not know they needed it; lead men to know Jesus and fulfill a calling to disciple men on numerous occasions.

But do you know how that gift was perfected? Being an only child for quite some time; having to stay with different people, while my parents went to work; moving to and attending different schools than the other kids in my neighborhood; staying with different relatives for long periods of time in the summers; dealing with a lot of different (types) of people; all as a scared little boy trying not to be afraid.  However, being very keen to my surroundings and able to “gain acceptance” by others easily.  I became great at it though, because while I felt unsafe in those environments, I knew that if I had an ally, I would be able to survive.  So, I developed and fine-tuned this gift of winning over people and it became a gift that produced much fruit in my life and career.  However, later it would become a stumbling block to finding out who I was (my identity and purpose) and not who I could easily become or transform into (another message at another time). 

David could have very well perfected his praise out there alone in the fields with the sheep. Imagine the cold lonely nights with only his voice and a makeshift instrument; hearing all sorts of probably scary noises and his way of drawing comfort was singing/playing a song for God.  He did it to renew his strength or to find some refuge.  However, he perfected it, and that gift was being called upon by the King. If he did not have this awesome gift; David could have remained in the fields with nothing but sheep, without an opportunity to learn all that he did before becoming King.

The great Kobe Bryant once told a story in an interview about moving from Italy to Philadelphia. When he got there, he only spoke Italian. He found it difficult to communicate, understand and connect with the kids in this new town. Therefore, Kobe said I can connect with them through Basketball. So out of fear of not speaking the language he used basketball to show them what he could not tell them with his words.  Kobe focused, trained, and perfected his gift until that gift took him to a legendary status.  My question to you is what gift have you perfected because it helped you deal with a fear, something that hurt you or a setback in your life??  God can and desires to use it, will you let him? 

The Key to Change

Job 42:10  And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed, the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

For anyone who remembers the Story of Job, a man who loved God and trusted him greatly was known by God.  Yet, in less than a few days Job, lost all his children, his many possessions, and even his health.  He went from the ultimate high to the lowest of lows in an instant.  While there is so much more in Job’s story, I cannot help but call out this verse in chapter 42.  We see here that God restored everything that Job lost and more, he then blessed him with double the amount he had before.

WHY????  Why was Job so blessed originally?  Why was everything taken away? Why did God then give him double?  Why????

God Loves Job, his love for Job is no more or less than the Love God has for each one of us.  He loved Job and Job received that love as he feared God (Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil).  God loves to bless His children and He wants to do it big.  

Satan is very jealous of the way that God loves us and truly believed that if God took away all the blessings that like every man, Job would turn his back on God.  Satan went on to say; “vs 10 Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”  Ultimately, God allowed Satan to attack Job and put the devil to the test.  

So, we know why Job was blessed and why he was attacked; but let’s focus on what it was that changed Job’s circumstances.  Prayer, the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.  There were a couple of things that jumped out about this one verse, that I wanted to share with you today.

1.    What We Focus On:  If we can take our focus off our problems, circumstances, desires, and needs and focus on the needs of others; we leave a door open for God to bless us beyond our wildest dreams.  What it takes to focus on others when you are going through a struggle requires great selflessness. However, when you’re able to ask for God to help someone else you’re also able to see him moving on your behalf. Jesus was able to pray for all of His disciples, all of His followers, and each one of us that would one day become followers (John 17); all while knowing that He was about to go to the Cross.

2.    What We Look Beyond: Here’s something else I noticed; “he prayed for his friends” but in this book of Job we have to remember that these we’re friends that Job felt had betrayed him; thought poorly of him; humiliated him; they really hurt him and they did it thinking they were doing it for his good.  Are we able to pray for those “friends” that have failed us or turned their backs on us or like Jobs’s friends have judged us for something we’ve shared with them in confidence? This takes humility; to forgive the wrong of others and be willing to not hold against them their faults. Jesus was on the cross and if you’ll recall, He prayed for those who were crucifying Him (Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Job helps us to see just how we can shift our actions and become a KEY to changing our situation.  When it seems like everything is against us, we can remember that Jesus is always for us and as a matter of fact He’s already prayed for us that we might make it THRU our current circumstance.  Trust Him and His prayers to become yours as we lift up the needs of others, then we’ll see the CHANGE we are believing for. 

David’s Desire 

Psalm 27:4-6a 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. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle, He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.  And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me.

We’ve just finished a fun and much-needed holiday season; I hope that you indeed enjoyed it. Every year when the holidays come around, like many people I really enjoy the environment created by the season.  I enjoy the weather (although now I live in TX), the sweet treats, the lights, and the smiles.  While I enjoy the season for many reasons, there is one thing that I truly desire around Christmas & New Year is Egg Nog; much to the chagrin of my wife.  I used the term desire because it is defined as a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.  I have strong feelings of wanting the Egg Nog and wishing for something to happen so I can get some for myself.  It causes me to go seeking after it and spending money in order to obtain it. My desire in this case played a heavy role in my behavior.   

Now in the spirit of continuing our deep dive into David, the one known to be the Man After God’s Own Heart, let’s look into what it is that David desired.  In this 27th Psalm, David uses the same word desire, however, its meaning is completely different.  This Hebrew word sa’al (shael), actually means to inquire or to request.  Much different than the strong urging I had for my sweet nectar; David is asking God for something.  David is inquiring about something very important from the Lord, so let’s dig into David’s Desire a little deeper. 

David Desired:

  1. To Live with the LordOne 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.  David is seeking to dwell, or inhabit, or abide with the Lord in His home.  He is seeking to be wherever God is and I believe that is one of the things that sets him apart from so many others.  David desires to be with God all the days of his life.  Every second, every minute, every hour.  While many just want to spend an hour with him on Sunday, maybe a few minutes during the week.  I see why this attitude is so pleasing to the Lord, His son is desiring to be with him all the time.  Being with Jesus that much means that David is opening his entire life to the Lord’s (Jesus’) presence.  This level of transparency requires changes to bad habits, unhealthy attitudes, and dysfunctional behavior.  Are you willing to open yourself up to Jesus?  Because His love will not allow us to remain the same.  
  2. To Behold the Lord’s BeautyTo behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.  While David desired to open himself up to the Lord, he also desired to see the Lord’s beauty.  However, it goes beyond just seeing, the word behold or “haza” is to see, to perceive, prophesy.  Therefore, David asks to see His beauty; to notice, observe and appreciate the beautiful savior; to receive revelation from the Lord’s beautiful plan for him.  David was seeking the beautiful face, heart and soul of the Lord, ultimately gaining God’s insight and perspective.  What a beautiful thing.        
  3. To Hide in the LordFor in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle, He shall hide me.  The last thing I want to look at is David’s desire to find protection in the Lord.  We talked earlier about God’s Hiding Place, and David is revisiting God’s protective nature.  Here he talks about being protected in time of trouble.  The Lord’s secret hiding place is labeled His pavilion or His tabernacle.  The interesting thing that I noticed was that His hiding place was not a castle or a fortress, but a much more easily mobile space.  Both the are pavilion (hut, lair or booth) and tabernacle (tent) are portable; able to be moved, shifted and transformed.  The tabernacle is actually symbolic of wilderness life; meaning David and each of us often lives our lives in the wilderness trying to get to green pastures. 

David’s Desire really shows us how a seemingly simple request can draw us so close to the Lord Jesus.  His desire to be open and transparent with Jesus the Healer, who will not allow us to stay the same, gives us the opportunity to be healed and changed in His presence.  David’s desire to gain insight and perspective from the Lord gives us a chance to observe the beauty of Jesus.  And the desire David shares for feeling protected while out in the wilderness is something that we all should be able to relate to as we live out life as a Christian in today’s world.  And if you’ve not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, what a beautiful opportunity to see that you can welcome Jesus into your heart today and begin to live with the Lord and see His beauty as He’s hiding you in the secret place of His tabernacle (Just ask Jesus to come in…He desires to live in you).

God’s Restoration

1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace (chairō), who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. NIV

Peter in this text wanted to let us know that God desires to restore our Hearts Mind & Bodies.   Just before this declaration, Peter warns us to be humble because God opposes the proud; he also warns us that the devil seeks to devour those who will allow it.  It is as if he knew that we would fall short, we’d be fooled by the devil and we would have to go through a challenging time.  Then reminds us that after suffering for a little while, God would RESTORE US. 

As we receive God’s love, His grace (this Greek word chairō means to be joyful and to rejoice.  His Joy is our strength; Nehemiah 8:10) will saturate us; we will heal and recover from the suffering over the last few years.  We’ll recover from Spiritual isolation, Emotional hurts, and Physical pain.   

As God is restoring us, He will also be building spiritual strength within us, by confirming our purpose, giving us succinct direction, and grounding us in His firm foundation of love/peace:

  • make you strong: a Greek word (stērizō) meaning “turn resolutely in a certain direction.”
  • firm: a Greek word (sthenoō) meaning “confirm in spiritual knowledge and power.”
  • steadfast: Greek word (themelioō) meaning “lay the foundation/remain grounded.”

God’s going to restore us from the suffering we’ve briefly experienced and as He restores us He will also build us up spiritually allowing us to be able to stand against the devil’s attempt to devour us.  Trust God to accomplish His word!!!!

Trust God Again

Trust in the Salvation of the Lord; To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

PSALM 13: How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.  But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

 Have you ever felt like God has forgotten about you?  Like the very person that told you, “You are special; you are my prized possession; you’re my child; I will never leave you or forsake you;” has completely turned His back on you.  So maybe it’s just me, well me and David at least.   If you have ever felt this way, then David and I are here to tell you that it is time to Trust God Again.  

You see David was lamenting; this was a psalm of lament, which means that the style of the psalm was to express deep sorry for the individual and for the nation; it is a plea to God to intervene.  David wrote this psalm to express his deep sorrow of the pain he was in and the attacks he was under; while at the same time begging for God to step in and do something.  After all, He was God; the God that David had faithfully served and who had been on his side so many times in the past.  David felt God had to step in because he did not deserve the situation that he was in and this just wasn’t what God told him would happen.  

I think that you can hear this clearly when reading in the Passion Translation of this Psalm: vs 1 I’m hurting, Lord—will you forget me forever? How much longer, Lord? Will you look the other way when I’m in need? 2 How much longer must I cling to this constant grief? I’ve endured this shaking of my soul. So how much longer will my enemy have the upper hand?

David acknowledges that he’s in pain and that he feels betrayed by God.  I can attest, to feeling this way a few times.  It always seemed to me that just when God started to use me in ministry our church, my family, and I would be uprooted and moved to my next duty station (I’m retired military).  Just when it looked like His promise for me was about to move toward fruition, the rug would be pulled from under my feet.  We would move, spend months trying to find a church, attempt to get plugged in, and right when things started moving in the direction that I thought it was supposed to happen, boom!!  It was time to move on. 

I did not realize how much that bothered me; you know I was a Christian so I could not possibly accost God about His injustice for my situation.  That would be disrespectful and not Godly.  Right??  Wrong, David cried out to God, “How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?”  What an indignant accusation!!  Who was David to do such a thing?  And who was I to feel that way and say it to Him?  I have a son and I am a Son; I recall the times when my parents would scold me or tell me to do something I did not like or make a decision that impacted me in what I felt was negative.  My son will also get mad with me but will not say anything directly, he will walk around the house upset, not talking (not that he talks a great deal when he’s not upset), showing frustrations in his actions but all while never saying a word to me or anyone about it.  I’ve done that!!! I’ve done it with God, with my wife, with my parents even with my kids.  This is what I’ve found, they all seem to go on with their lives and I’m the only one upset.  If you’re deciding to be upset and you’re the only one mad then there is a flaw in, your decision-making.  

David was upset so he expressed it to God, he did not humbly come before the throne of Grace, body bowed and on his knees.  No, he came with an attitude, with disgust, and with aggression.  If you ask me it was with great disrespect, and yet God did not smite him.  As a matter of fact, God had him write this down and allowed it to become a part of the Bible that many hundreds of millions of people would one day read.  

God is not like us; if my Son had come to me that way, rest assured it would not be very positive from my end (aren’t you glad God is not like me).  God already knows what we are going thru and how we are feeling (Ps 139:1-3); so we cannot hide it from him.  We only hurt ourselves by being angry with Him.  Even when we don’t realize it’s him, we are angry with him.     

Just like David, we can turn it around.  God hears our hurts and pains then we remember who God is, what He has done, and how much He loves us.  David did that and then He trusted in the Lord and in His Grace.  But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. When we trust in the Lord, He gives us direction (Pro 3:5-6); and He keeps us in perfect peace (Isa 26:3).  

Dial 911

Psalm 91:1
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High.  Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

We live in a day where one thing after another is coming against us.  COVID and its many variants; School Shootings; Hate crimes; Police shootings; and random acts of violence or it could be identity theft; predatory lending so many things are constantly targeting our mental and physical health our financial and family’s security.  The first step should any of these things happen around us is to immediately Dial 9-1-1 (the emergency services number).  With all this chaos around us, don’t you just want to go and find a place to hide?  Well, it turns out that we do, a secret place.  We have our own 9-1-1 call that we can make when we’re in trouble: Psalm 9-1-1.

Now while the authorship of this psalm has been under a certain level of debate as to who wrote it.  We’ve been talking about diving into David, who is a Man After God’s Own Heart, and while some say that it was David that wrote this psalm while others say that this is one that Moses wrote.  Regardless of who wrote it, we know one thing, they tapped into the heart of God.  Honestly, this entire psalm is one that everyone needs to keep close by because it is so rich.  But even in verse 1; there are some significant truths that can benefit us significantly.

1. God Wants Us to Dwell:  He who dwells in.  The word dwell means to sit down, settle down, abide, or live in something; some might recognize it to mean “to set up shop.”  He is not looking for us to be drive-thru Christians, where we are in and out of Church.  Sometimes we read and study and sometimes we don’t.  Depending on the crowd that is around us, dictates just how saved we are.  We need to sit, settle down be still, get quiet.  Can I be honest, from the time I get up in the morning till the time I finally close my eyes I can find something, anything, and many things to do.  I could do them and think nothing of the Lord whatsoever.  It’s a very clever technique that the Devil enjoys using on us.  Let’s face it the busier we are, the more important we feel, the more in control we feel that we are.  God wants us to dwell with Him, we are His favorites, and we should want to dwell, spend time, and just sit with God.     

2. God Wants Us to Know His Secretthe secret place of the Most High:  The very fact that the place is secret means that not everyone knows about it or have access to it.  This a secret place of Ēl ʻElyōn the Most High God.  One can only imagine what that place is like, if God has made a hiding place for us it has to be super special.  Here’s the thing, I’m a bit nostalgic, and just about anything that happens in my life, if I think hard enough, I can relate it back to a song I used to sing growing up. There was a song by New Edition called “My Secret.”  The song was about a young teenaged boy teasing a girl about his secret, the secret was he had a crush on her.  I cannot help but think of the same thing here, God has a crush on us, each one of us.  He loves us so much that He gave up His only Son (Jn 3:16) so that we could be with Him forever.  Yet he does not keep that a secret and just like this secret place He’s told us all about it in this psalm and now we have a place to get away from all the craziness this world has thrown at us.  It’s a secret no more, we just need access to this hidden fortress.

3. God Wants Us CoveredShall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  Living under the shadow; or in the shade, the defense of the Almighty.  “El Shaddai” is the Hebrew term for the Almighty God or God Almighty; the all-sufficient one; Can you imagine just how large that shadow is?  He is our defense, a shadow we can all hide behind. Living under His shadow means we have access to God’s protection (Ps 91:4), power (Ps 91:15), and peace (Ps 91:16).  Abiding or living under the Almighty’s shadow gives us cover from the storms of life.  Literally, like an umbrella protects us from the rain.  Another aspect of the Almighty’s covering that is vital for us is the posture of being under authority.  Whenever we buck authority, we find ourselves vulnerable to our own heart (Jeremiah 17:9), desires (Jam 1:14), thoughts & ways (Isa 55:8).  This is because our hearts are desperately wicked, we’re tempted and drawn away by our desires and our thoughts and ways are nothing like Gods.  We open ourselves up to unnecessary attacks and the consequences of any of these decisions.  My wife and I have set boundaries for our children and when they submit and trust that we are not just being mean and controlling but we’re protecting their best interest; they are kept from hurt, harm, and danger.  In the same way, submitting to God provides protection for us and gives us access to His Secret Place.  Submission requires complete trust; this is trust that overcomes our fear of the danger we face.  It is normal to have concerns about what we are going thru but Trust in the Lord will allow Him to become our Secret Fortress, Psalm 91:2 God I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”  This trust in Ēl ʻElyōn/El Shaddai changes our attitude about the situation and we then speak well of God; He then becomes our place of refuge, the place we go when we need protection, restoration, or just need to be refreshed.  The key to really taking advantage of this special place our Father has made available to us; is in what we say of the Lord, “My God, in Him I will trust.” 

Anointed and Waiting

What Do You Do When You’re Anointed to be King, but left Waiting in the Field?? That is where we find David, tending his sheep before that faithful day came. The day that his Father Jesse called for him to the house after the Prophet Samuel had evaluated all his brothers to see if God had selected them Kin of Israel. The day he was anointed with oil and declared to be the next King. And immediately after that historic and magnificent day, David was back in the field waiting…with the sheep.

How about you? Have you ever found yourself in a fairly mediocre existence, desiring more yet not sure how it would happen? Then out of nowhere, God speaks to you, either directly, through a message or messenger, maybe even during your personal praise. A Word that declares your future or anointing of your God-given gifting. Wow, this is incredible; it is exactly what you’ve hoped for; it’s got to be a miracle….and then You find yourself back in the exact situation. Was that Word true; did I hear God right; was I mistaken? Yes, it’s true; God cannot lie (Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began).

Once God declared it; it’s up to Him to accomplish it. Isa 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. However, that means that we have to wait for His timing. Ouch, that four-letter word might as well be like those other curse words. Because if there is one thing that Christians (and everyone else for that matter) hates, it is waiting on anything. I hate waiting in traffic; waiting for my food at a drive-thru; waiting in the waiting room for an appointment that I was on time for. There are many other things that fit this list as well. So, imagine what it has to be like to wait on the Lord to fulfill His promise. And what David must have been thinking about the promise that was made, while scooping up some sheep dung?

It would be more than 15 years before David would become the King of Israel, but unlike most of us, David shows us why he is known as a Man After God’s Own Heart. It was actually pretty simple, yet very complex; while David waited…he served. David shows us in the book of 1 Samuel that when we are waiting on God’s word to come to pass, we will Serve in the following ways:

Flow in Your Gifting: (1 Sam 16:21 So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer).

Feed His Sheep: (1 Sam 17:20 Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp).

Fight For the King: (1 Sam 17:45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied).

We will treat this as a few blog posts from the past; we will dig into the three points below a little deeper over the next few posts.  Have a great Thanksgiving