Offering classes on how to memorize Scripture using mnemonics.
Scripture is our most powerful weapon. It increases our faith and spiritual growth, gives us victory over sin, is our weapon against Satan's attacks, and it nourishes and heals our body.
There is no man-made weapon that is able to fight the demonic, evil, enemy we are up against. There is only one weapon for this task....the Word Of God.
Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word Of God, the Bible, is sharper than a two-edged sword. Ephesians 6 says it is our sword of the Spirit, that the enemy we are fighting is not of flesh and blood.
The Book of John says Jesus is the Word made flesh. We must know this Word. We must know Jesus. He is our weapon. Scripture memorization should be one of the greatest desires of those who follow Jesus.
Be Armed and Dangerous!
Please go to my Contact page and email me for additional information.
There are many Scriptures that can speak into whatever our current circumstances may be. There are also Scriptures that speak into the subject of our health. If we would just learn these Scriptures, letting them work their way down into the depths of our soul, we would be so much healthier.
Proverbs 4:20-22 - "My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings, let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh." Oh man, this is a good one. We are to read the Word of God and make sure our ears hear what it is saying. We are to keep these words before our eyes and in our heart. When we do this, these words give us life and healing to ALL our flesh. This is powerful! This is true healing!
Here's another one: Proverbs 3:7-8 - "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." We can go about our lives not giving the Lord any of our time or any of our thanks. In doing this, we make ourselves out to be God, taking all the credit for what we have and what we can do. This is being wise in our own eyes, and it never turns out good. But, if we turn to the Lord in recognition of what we can do, giving Him thanks for what we have, our bodies will be healthier, and our bones will receive nourishment. You want this kind of nourishment? I know I do!
Side Note: In the King James Version of the Bible, Proverbs 3:8 reads, "It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." A woman's navel is the lifeline to her children, so this health also includes our children. The marrow in our bones is what produces blood and blood is what gives us life. OH, MY GOODNESS!! You want healing?? This is it!!
Another great health Scripture is Philippians 4:6-7. You can look this one up for yourself, but let me tell you, the peace of God which transcends all understanding is the only thing that will give your body health....your whole, entire body.
Right now, you may be finding it very difficult to grasp any type of peace. If this is so, then saturate yourself with the Word of God. Feel the peace and healing that you will only find in His presence. I guarantee, there is no better place to be.
So, how's your health?
The definition of harm is 'physical or mental damage; injury; hurt; affliction.' I think I can safely say that none of us like to feel harm, injury, hurt, or affliction. However, these things are all a very big part of each of our lives. Since we know this to be a fact, then what about what Jesus says in Luke 10:19? "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you." Yes, these critters can cause pain and fear, but in this verse they are an analogy for all the things that come into our lives to cause pain. So, what about the 'nothing will harm you' part? How can this be true?
This is one of the amazing things about being a follower of Jesus and learning from Him and His life, to model our lives after His. He faced snakes and scorpions when people tried to kill Him as an infant, when they tried to stone Him, when they chased Him out of their towns, when they called Him a liar, when they severely tortured and beat Him, and when they....well you know the rest. Was He able to overcome the power of His enemies? Yes! He kept His eyes, His focus, on His Father in Heaven, giving Him complete control of His life and all that was happening to Him. He knew He would be victorious in the end. "OK, but the Scripture says nothing will harm you. Jesus was harmed! He endured physical and mental damage, injury, hurt, and affliction!"
This is another thing about being a follower of Jesus. As we allow Him into our life and begin learning exactly who He is, then all things, including harm, injury, hurt, affliction, even sickness, aging, and death, become less important to us. Yes, they're all things we have to contend with, but they no longer have the power to bring us down, as our focus goes onto Him and the victory we will experience later. We are living in what is called the in-between. We find ourselves in the middle of 2 kingdoms, the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. While we are here, Jesus takes the pain and fear and replaces it with His peace. A peace that transcends all understanding.
Now, let's read that Scripture again, "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you."
Why would anyone want to live their life any other way?
So, are you experiencing any type of harm?
I don't think we really realize what power we have been given from God through our gratitude.
It's very easy for us to feel gratitude when all is well. But if we can feel and show gratitude while we are in the midst of a great trial, this brings God into that trial in a totally different way. We usually bring God into our trials by asking Him to alleviate them. But if we bring Him into them by thanking Him for them, with a heart of gratitude for that trial, whatever it may be, He then gives us a power beyond all our understanding to be able to deal with that trial and to overcome it. His power comes to us in our recognition of our own powerlessness. It is impossible for us, in our humanity, to give thanks to God in the midst of our trials. It is only through His strength that we are able to do this. Our humility will bare and put on display to Him the depth of our trust in Him and our need for Him, causing a major change to take place in that trial. This heart of gratitude will also punch Satan right in his gut, as all he wants is for us to be in pain and to spiritually fail.
The Word says we are to give thanks in ALL circumstances. That the peace of God should rule in our hearts. We are to sing to God with gratitude in our hearts. We are to devote ourselves to prayer, watchfulness, and thankfulness. We are to give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. That we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken, so let us be thankful. To always give thanks to the Father for everything. We are to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. That when we sacrifice thank offerings, we honor Him.
Luke 22:19 says, "He took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'" Jesus' body is the bread for which He gave thanks to God. Then He broke it. He broke it while giving thanks. When we are broken, we need to continue to give thanks. We need to have a heart of gratitude....all the time....in everything.
Are you broken? How's your gratitude?
One of the definitions of 'goodness' is, 'the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something.' So, let's take a look at the goodness of God as nutritious, flavorful, and beneficial.....because it is all of these things, and more.
God's goodness oozes out of Him to each of us every day of our lives. Of course there are many examples of this in the Bible, one of them being found in the Book of Ruth. If you are not sure who Ruth is, she left her people and the only culture she ever knew to go with her Mother-in-law, Naomi, when Naomi lost her husband and decided to return to her own people and culture. Upon their arrival, Ruth began following the workers in the fields, gathering what they missed, so her and Naomi would have something to eat. The owner of the field told the workers to intentionally leave more of the grain on the ground so she would have plenty to gather. Here are a few versions of the verses found in Chapter 2:
The ESV says, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her." The NIV says, "Let her gather among the sheaves and don't reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her." The Message Bible says, "Let her glean where there's still plenty of grain on the ground - make it easy for her. Better yet, pull some of the good stuff out and leave it for her to glean. Give her special treatment." But my favorite version is KJV which says, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not; and let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not."
Oh, yes! Handfuls of purpose! Handfuls of the goodness of God! This is exactly what He gives to each one of us. Jesus had handfuls of purpose and so do we. What a blessing and honor to be able to open our hands to God and watch as He fills them up. Fills them up with the nutritious, flavorful, and beneficial part of Himself; love, mercy, and forgiveness. He caused Ruth's hands to overflow with His goodness. Do you not think for one minute that He will do the same for you?
Gather up handfuls of purpose by opening your hands to the goodness of God, then hang on for the ride of your life!
A divine crescendo? You are probably thinking, "OK, I know that a crescendo, usually a musical term, is a gradual increase in volume. But what is a divine crescendo?" Well, let's take a look....
When we go to God in prayer, it is usually to get something fixed that is broken or to take something from us that has caused some kind of pain. Also, when we give a testimony about what great things God has done in our life, it is usually about those broken things that He has fixed or about the pain He has eased. We have no problem at all allowing Him to take what hurts us and causes us pain. But, do we ever go to God in prayer asking Him to take away the good things in our life? Well, of course not! Do we ever give a testimony about how great it was when He took something good out of our life? No! So, what about this?
Life works both ways. The good things in our life will all come to an end. I have watched this happen in my Mother's life and I have experienced it in my own. Age sets in and our abilities start to fail. Good things must be given up! Ouch! But, given up....to God. This is a divine crescendo. The parts of our life where we decrease, but God, His presence and blessings, increase. Most of the time these things are not given up, but taken from us, through health deterioration. However it happens, it is something that we all have to face. Will we view these losses as part of a divine crescendo, an increase of God in our lives, or as a decrescendo, a decrease in the our happiness with nothing to fill the void but bitterness and pain?
We cannot forget that Jesus is with us to the end of the age. No matter what in our life comes to an end, He does not. These are the times in which, if we allow Him to, He will increase! This is His desire for our lives. As our abilities fade, our friends pass away, and our worldly honors cease, we find ourselves alone, like John who the Bible tells us was sent alone to the island of Patmos for testifying about Jesus. But what happened to him out there all by himself? He had the most glorious revelation of the Lord Jesus that anyone could ever have! Oh Yes! This is what I want. Glorious revelations! Bring them on! I have found that as my life decreases, He increases. He wants to, and will, replace all that we think we have lost in aging or in health. As this happens, the things of this earth grow smaller and smaller while He grows larger and larger. Oh! Hallelujah!!
The Word tells us to be happy in the good times, but to remember that God makes the bad as well as the good. To rejoice always, in all circumstances. To look to the Lord and His strength. To take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. That our comfort abounds through Christ. That He is always with us, even to the very end of our age.
So, let your life be a divine crescendo, regardless of other changes that occur. Learn to praise God for the good things...and the bad. Allow Him to increase as you decrease. Embrace with abandon the changes that happen in your life....abandon them to Jesus.
So, has He taken anything good from you lately?
In the Message Bible, Genesis 1:27 states, "God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God's nature." Genesis 5:1 states, "When God created the human race, he made it godlike, with a nature akin to God." The definition of Godlike is: 'resembling or having the qualities of God; divine; holy; supernatural.' Oh Yes! Supernatural! Let's break that one down! The definition of supernatural is; 'of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature; attributed to an invisible agent; uncanny; unearthly.'
Jesus' life was Godlike and definitely supernatural. He was related to an order of existence beyond what everyone else could see. He departed from what everyone considered to be normal, transcending the laws of their nature. He attributed His life to an invisible agent. He was definitely uncanny and unearthly. We are all made with the ability to be just like Him. What? Me supernatural? Yes!
Just like a child learns by spending time with their parents, we learn by spending time with our Heavenly Father. The Word does say that we are to become like children (Matthew 18:3). We can become so close to Him that to others it looks as though we are, indeed, supernatural. "Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes." - Proverbs 24:16. With the same power as Jesus, we are able to face circumstances that others would consider impossible. This 'supernatural' ability will be like a punch in the gut to those around us. They will look at us like we're crazy, while wondering how they could possibly have this power for themselves. We begin to view the adversities of our life as great opportunities in forwarding the kingdom of God while we reside on this earth. Oh, yes, this is supernatural power!
So, just how 'Godlike' have you become?
The definition of excommunication is 'exclusion from fellowship in a group or community.' I love reading different versions of the Bible and I know that every story in the Bible is there for us to learn from. The different versions will sometimes give me a new perspective from which to view a certain story. I have been reading the New Testament from J.B. Philips Modern English version. When I came to John, Chapter 9, the word 'excommunicated' was used. This caught my attention, as I have not seen this word used in any other version. Let's have a look:
John, Chapter 9, tells the story of Jesus healing a man who was born blind. Since He performed this healing on the Sabbath, the Pharisees tried to say He was not from God, that He was just a sinner who was not keeping the Sabbath. Also, they didn't believe the man was born blind, so they called in his parents, asking them how it was that he was now able to see? The man had already told them that Jesus was the one who healed him, calling Him a prophet. The parents refused to answer and told them to go and ask their son. As the parents, wouldn't you think they would be ecstatic, jumping up and down with joy because their son had received his sight?
The J.B. Philips version reads 'His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews who had already agreed that anybody who admitted that the man was Christ should be excommunicated. It was this which made his parents say, "Ask him, he is a grown-up man."' The word 'excommunicated' stood out to me, saying the parents were refusing to acknowledge Jesus as Christ because they were afraid of being excluded from the fellowship of the Pharisees. But, in not admitting that Jesus was Christ, they were actually excommunicating themselves from the fellowship of God!
How about you? Are there 'Pharisees' in your life? Are you afraid of being 'excommunicated' from their fellowship? Being a follower of Jesus, if you were told you could not acknowledge Him as being the Son of God and King of your life, what would you do?
Would you 'excommunicate' yourself?
A 'fool' is 'a person lacking in judgment or prudence; a harmlessly deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding.' My husband listens to 50's and 60's music in the car. The other day the song by Leslie Gore, called 'She's A Fool' came on. Here are some of the lyrics:
"She don't know that she's a lucky girl
Got the best thing in the whole wide world
Got a love that's hard to find
Got the boy I wish was mine, but
She's a fool
She's a fool
She has his love but treats him cruel
He don't know it but she cheats on him
With a boy like that it's such a sin
I would never be untrue
I would never make him blue."
The girl in this song was a fool in the way that she treated someone who loved her very much.
The Bible says quite a lot about someone who is a fool. Someone who lacks judgment. Someone who is harmlessly deranged or lacking in common understanding. These people take no pleasure in understanding. They despise wisdom and instruction. Their mouth pours out folly and brings ruin, while inviting a beating. Their lips are snares to their soul and bring them strife. They rage and laugh, having no quiet. That anger lodges in their bosom. In their presence you will not meet words of knowledge. They are a grief and ruin to their father and despise their mother, being a sorrow to her. When they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent. They mock at making amends for sin. They revile the name of the Lord. A fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
Do we know how blessed (lucky) we are? To have the best thing in the whole wide world? We have a love that's hard to find. We never have to say, "I wish He was mine." Are we fools? Do we have His love, but treat Him cruel? Do we cheat on Him, knowing that this is such a sin? Have we promised never to be untrue? Never to make Him blue?
Are we fools?
What a great oldies song!
Drunk? Yes, drunk! As in 'having the faculties impaired by alcohol; a period of drinking to intoxication; besotted; high; lit up; plastered; wasted.' Have you ever been drunk? I have, and thank the Lorrd, I found out real fast it's not all it's cracked up to be.
Being drunk is referred to several times in the Bible. In Genesis 9, it tells about how Noah got drunk and passed out naked in his tent. I love in Job 12 where it tells how God deprives the leaders of nations of their reason, making them wander and grope in darkness, and making them stagger like drunkards. Sound familiar?
But the Word also talks about another form of drunkenness. The definition for this is 'dominated by an intense feeling.' The miracle of Jesus turning the water into wine depicts this. Jesus takes the plain, tasteless, water that makes up our lives and replaces it with His wine, the wine of the Holy Spirit. This should make us very drunk, but drunk on the Spirit that is Jesus. I can say there have been times when I can get to talking about my spiritual life and I am sure those listening to me have thought that I was drunk on something. Well, praise the Lord, because that is just what I am!! Like at Pentecost in Acts when the Holy Spirit descended on those who were there. The people said, "They're drunk on cheap wine." (Acts 2:13, Message Bible). But it wasn't on cheap wine, it was the wine of Jesus. "Don't drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him." - Ephesians 5:18 (Message Bible).
Right now, in the times in which we are living, it's so very important for us to be drunk! Oh, Yes! Drunk on the Holy Spirit! These times are calling out to us to drink heavily! Big, huge draughts!
"A sober church never does any good. At this hour we need men and women drunk with the Holy Spirit." - Leonard Ravenhill.
So, what's in your bottle?
The definition of 'filled' is 'to put into as much as can be held or conveniently contained; to cause to swell or billow; to raise the level; to stop up; obstruct; feed; satisfy; fulfil; complete.'
Are you 'filled?' With what? This word is used numerous times in the Bible. In Genesis the earth was filled with violence. God told the grumbling Israelites they would be filled with bread. The Spirit of God filled people with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. In Deuteronomy 28, God told the people if they followed all the words of His law, their lives would be filled with blessings. However, if they did not follow His law, they would be filled with dread both night and day. In Ezekiel the cloud filled the temple, the streets were filled with the dead, the people were filled with fury, drunkenness, and violence. But also, at times, some were filled with the glory of the Lord.
Then came Jesus. Jesus, who taught us how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Filled with awe. Filled with joy. Filled with wisdom. Filled with compassion. Filled with wonder and amazement. Filled with the fruit of righteousness. Filled with fire. Filled with hope. Oh, yes! Filled to the measure of the fullness of God!
Let's look, again, at the definition. Is the Holy Spirit only conveniently contained in you? Or are you swelling up with it? Are you just satisfied? Or are you working to become complete? Are you so full of the Holy Spirit that the fullness is able to obstruct all else from getting in?
I have found that as I age and parts of my life are taken from me, that if I keep my heart open to Jesus, He fills the voids that are left. He raises the level of Himself in me. I receive more of His peace, His joy, His comfort, and more faith and trust in His promises. So, I figure that when the time comes that He takes the last thing from me that I have, which is my life, I will be so swelled up and completely filled with nothing and no one but Him.
What do you think?
What are you 'filled' with?
I know you're probably thinking, 'OK Moe, what is fearless fear and imperfectly perfect and where are you taking us with this? It doesn't seem to make much sense!' Just bear with me. There's a method to my madness!
Fearless means 'free from fear, brave, bold, courageous, gutsy, undaunted.' The meaning of fear I want to zero in on is 'to have a reverential awe of.'
In Genesis 22, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son whom he dearly loved. Abraham did not argue with God, he just set out to do exactly what God asked of him. God stopped him just as he was about to slay the boy and provided a ram for the sacrifice. In the Message Bible translation, this reads, "Don't lay a hand on that boy! Don't touch him! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn't hesitate to place your son, your dear son, on the altar for me." Do we 'fearlessly fear' God? Do we show boldness and courage, along with an honorable and respectful awe, in trusting Him as the person we all know Him to be, with every aspect of our lives? This is exactly what Abraham did. This is exactly what Jesus did. And this is exactly what He teaches us to do.
How about 'imperfectly perfect?' A human analogy would be marriage. Most marriages are imperfectly perfect. No marriage is without disagreements and misunderstandings, but the couple continues to love each other. Our walk with Jesus is imperfectly perfect because, as Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." None of us is, or will ever be while on this earth, perfect. In our humanity this is impossible. But, through our walk with Jesus, we have hope for perfection. 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, "Inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
If we give our life to God in fearless fear, we are made imperfectly perfect through Jesus. It takes physical and spiritual strength to do this. If you think you don't have the strength, well, "I can do all things through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13.
So, how's your 'fearless fear?'
Are you being made 'imperfectly perfect?'
Do you have enemies in your life? Anyone seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound you? Most of us could answer 'No' to this question. We feel the friends in our life are just that, 'friends.' We feel our family members love us as family members do. No, no enemies that we can speak of. Well, don't become too comfortable. If you are a follower of Jesus, if you call yourself a Christian, you definitely have enemies. Yep, those who want to injure, overthrow, and confound you. Now that we know we do have enemies, what do we do with them?
As Christians, we would consider those who are our enemies to be the 'lost' ones. Luke 19:10 says Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Matthew 5:44 says we are to love our enemies and pray for them. What?!?! Pray for my enemies?!?! I don't think I can do that! Well, 1 Timothy 2:1 says we are to intercede for ALL people in our prayers. Shouldn't this include our enemies? Isaiah 59:2 says that sin separates us from God and hides His face from us. Do we really want this for others? 2 Peter 3:9 says God is patient and doesn't want anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. Isn't this what we should want for everyone? Psalm 145:20 says the Lord watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. Should we really want to see anyone destroyed?
So, let's do what it says in Romans 12....Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Instead, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. By doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Oh, Yes! burning coals! Now that sounds like a very good idea!!
So, do you have any enemies?
The definition of 'praise' is 'to glorify especially by the attribution of perfections; an expression of approval; worship; extol; magnify.' The Bible tells us we are to praise the Lord continually, so continually would also include when we find ourselves in times of sorrow. When we are faced with pain, sadness, heartache, and despair, for whatever reason, the last thing we feel like doing is praising. Oh, yes, we are totally incapable of doing this in our own strength. To be able to continually praise we need divine, heavenly strength. A type of strength that is beyond any measure of our human comprehension. So, where can we get this strength? We seek it. We go after it. We desire it, above all other desires in our life. We ask our heavenly Father to fill us up with it.
The Bible says to praise the Lord for His mighty deeds and greatness. For His steadfast love and faithfulness. To make a joyful noise to Him. That praise should be continually in our mouths and the fruit of our lips. We glorify Him, as He is our strength, our song, and our salvation. He is worthy to be praised and we are to sing to Him as long as we live.
If we do this, He becomes our refuge, our hiding place, and our stronghold in all the times of our lives. He keeps us in perfect peace. His presence is always with us and gives us rest. He goes before us, not failing or forsaking us. Just like Paul and Silas, whatever prison or chains we find ourselves in, we will be able to sing praises to the Lord. This is only a part of the power we receive from on high, but it's a part that we all so desperately need.
While God does not need our praises....He wants them, He desires them, and He loves hearing them, especially from the midst of all our troubles. When our praises go up to Him, He hears, and He heals. Our praises to Him become our greatest weapon against despair, anxiety, negativity, and doubt, bringing healing to our body and our soul. What else do any of us really have that we could offer to Him?
So, when are you praising?
The definition of 'emergency' is 'An unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action; an urgent need for assistance or relief; crisis; breaking point; zero hour.' The definition of 'exit' is 'A way out of an enclosed place or space; to go out or away; depart; bail out; quit.' Of course, we all know what an emergency exit is. For our safety, these signs are placed in strategic places in almost all buildings. When we are visiting a facility for the first time, it's always a good idea to know where these exits are.
But what about in our spiritual life? Are there emergency exits here? Should we seek them out and know where they are, just in case we need them? Will there be unforeseen circumstances that call for an immediate action of escape? If so, to where would that emergency exit lead? Let's see what we can find.
When Jesus' followers began to leave Him, saying His teaching was too hard and He asked the disciples if they were going to leave Him too, they said, "To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." The disciples realized they had no emergency exit. The Word says if we escape the sins of the world, but then become entangled in them again, we will be worse off than before. That our sins separate us from God, hiding His face from us so that He does not hear us. That our old ways become a snare and a trap, causing us to perish. There are no emergency exits as there is no other place for us to go.
Yes, but what about when we face persecution? The Word says that if we desire to live a godly life in Jesus, we will be persecuted. That the world will hate us. That we should love, pray for and bless our enemies. These things are just way too hard! Isn't there an emergency exit for escaping from all this? Well, is there? No!
The Word also says that we should consider ourselves as blessed when we face persecution for righteousness sake. That with the Lord as the stronghold of our life, we have nothing and no one to fear. That, yes, we are to love, pray for, and bless our enemies. That we are to take up our position and stand firm. That if we do not stand firm in our faith, then we will not stand at all. He is our protection. He is our refuge. He is all the strength and courage that we will ever need.
All emergency exits have been closed and locked. And what a great blessing and gift this is!
So, are you still looking for a way out?
To be a dropout is, 'to withdraw from participation or membership; quit; to withdraw from conventional society; one who abandons an attempt, activity, or chosen path.' Have you ever dropped out of something? A group, club, or maybe school? Most of us, at some time in our lives, have probably dropped out of something. Usually it's because we don't like it, or it makes us uncomfortable like we don't fit in, or maybe we think by dropping out of one thing, we will be able to enter into something more satisfying or comfortable. How about your Christian walk? Have you ever dropped out, or thought about dropping out, of this?
In the Word, the Israelites dropped out of following God on many different occasions. In fact, this is pretty much the entire topic in the Old Testament. In the Message Bible, Isaiah 1:4 says, "Shame! Misguided God-dropouts, staggering under their guilt-baggage. Gang of miscreants, band of vandals - My people have walked out on me, their God, turned their backs on The Holy of Israel, walked off and never looked back." Proverbs 15:5 says, "Moral dropouts won't listen to their elders; welcoming correction is a mark of good sense." They had a hard time learning where their secure place was. They were constantly trying to drop out.
In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve allowed sin to enter, God expelled them from their secure place and even barred the entrance so they couldn't return. They became wanderers. They became lost. This is how each of us comes into the world, and this is the life of which we need to be a dropout. Only through Jesus have we been given the way back.
We all need a place where we belong and feel secure. Psalm 84:1 says, "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God" (NIV). This is our place. This is our security. "He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts." - Isaiah 40:29 (Message).
No one can be a dropout from the courts of the Lord. Why?
Because there's no place to drop out to.
Do you have a dog? I have a dog. She is a blue heeler and her name is Lacy Joe. She is my little girl in a dog suit. I lost my first heeler, Mille, when she was 12. Don't ever let anyone tell you dogs don't go to heaven, as I have it on divine authority that they do. I can honestly say that Lacy is MY dog. She does show affection for my husband, but she is definitely mine. While spending my usual morning time with Lacy and thinking about how my heart swells with love for her, I suddenly realized that my relationship with her is very much like my relationship with God....
Lacy (God) is with me all the time. She (God) literally follows me from room to room in our house. If I leave her (God's) presence, she (God) does not like it and lets me know this. However, I know she (God) will be there when I come back. She will lay staring at the door, waiting for my return. She (God) is always glad to see me return. She (God) loves me unconditionally. If I get upset with her (God), it doesn't matter. Her (His) love for me is just as strong as ever. I have a great responsibility to care for her (God). I feed and water her (Serve). I spend quality time with her (God). And if for some reason these things don't get done, well, my day is just not complete....and neither is hers (God's). I will sometimes hide from her (God) at which time she (God) runs through the house hunting for me, not satisfied until I am foun
So, it goes without saying, that when I go to my 'room' to pray, she (God) is always there, laying beside me. When my emotions show during prayer, she (God) will get up and nudge me, as if asking me if all is ok. Then she'll lay back down. But this morning, as my emotions were very visible, she got up, came to me and nudged me. Then she did something very different from all other mornings....she walked outside the door, turned and stared at me, as if to say, "You have finally figured it out." Then she turned and walked out to the kitchen and laid down, leaving me in there by myself. It was as if she was telling me, "Yes, someday I will be gone, but you will never be alone."
Losing Lacy is always in the back of my mind. But I know that I know that I know that I know in whose arms she will go....and this gives my heart great peace.
So...do you have a dog (God)?
Direction, as in 'the line or course in which something is pointing or facing.' We all know directions are north, south, east, and west. Although many of us, myself included, would rather be directed to left, right, forward, and back. But, what about when you pray? What direction are you headed or facing? In the Book of Daniel, Chapter 6, the people were told by King Darius that they could not pray to any god or human, but only to him. When the decree was published, Daniel went to his upstairs room, opened the windows and prayed toward Jerusalem. Call me silly, but when I pray, I face the East.
However, with all that is happening around us, in the time that we are in, the prayer requests are increasing. More and more of those in our circles are needing prayer for reasons that have never surfaced before. Intense prayer. Fierce prayer. In battle type of prayer. So, for the last couple days I have decided to face the West when I pray. Why? Why would I face West when Jerusalem is East of here? Because the battles into which Christians are heading need divine backup. We need the army of God behind us, pushing us forward, and giving us power. Yes, God's army is all around us, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them" - Psalm 34:7, but as Christians, we should be wearing our armor as we move forward (Ephesians 6), knowing that God is protecting us from behind.
In 2 Kings, Chapter 6, God opened the eyes of Elisha's servant so he could see the army of God that stood with them. In addition to Psalm 34:7 above, Deuteronomy 20 says when you go to battle, seeing an army greater than yours, not to be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified of them because the Lord is with you. That He will fight for you to give you victory. Deuteronomy 31 says to be strong and courageous, for the Lord is with you, He will never leave or forsake you. Psalm 68 says the chariots of God are tens of thousand and thousands of thousands.
This is the army I want backing me up when I go to prayer against the enemies who are attacking those I love and care for. Enemies who are increasing with each passing day.
In what direction are you facing?
Does anyone have your back?
The definition of 'Desire' is: 'to long or hope for; to express a wish for; need; request; ask; invite; craving; a longing in our heart for something we do not have.' There is another word for desire, which is my favorite, and that is 'hunger.' When you think of hunger you probably think of your favorite food, or maybe your favorite restaurant. Physical hunger always creates in us a desire to eat. But this is another form of desire and hunger...Spiritual. Spiritual, as concerning your walk with, and your relationship to, Jesus.
If you have become a child of God, then you should be experiencing a spiritual desire, a spiritual need, a spiritual hunger. If you are not feeling this, you might want to take another look at this area of your life. Spiritual desire is proof that you are a new creature in Christ. Your soul has been renewed and you are very hungry for more. More knowledge and more wisdom that will bring you closer, always closer, to Jesus and to God, the Father. Hebrews 10:22-23 - "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings." To draw ever nearer to God, we follow, and learn from, Jesus.
This is a continual, daily, desire. It should never waver. It should be longed for and hoped for. It is something that should be requested in prayer. It is something we did not have and now our desire. our need, our hunger to obtain it should be, and this is no lie, greater than any other in our entire life.
Our Pastor stated in a previous sermon that Jesus is our Source. Our Source for what? He is our Source for nourishment, knowledge, wisdom, peace, unity, and truth. He is our Cure for disease, sickness, loneliness, sadness, emotional upheaval, confusion, and fear. He is everything we will ever need in this life. So, I pray that each of you are experiencing this 'desire' and that it is renewed in you each and every day. Take this desire straight to the Source where your cup of 'want' will run over with more than enough for all your needs.
So, what are you desiring?
I have been reading the Word of God from the Message translation. I find it very interesting as at times it uses different words to make a certain point. One of my devotions directed me to read Psalm 2 where I found the word 'demagogue.' I couldn't remember seeing this in any other translation, so I checked a few. Sure enough, this word was not there. The definition is 'a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power; agitator; exciter; inciter; instigator; rabble-rouser.' Oh yes! That surely explains it!
Here is Psalm 2 from the Message Bible:
Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots peoples? Earth-leaders push for position, Demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks, the God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers; 'Let's get free of God! Cast loose from Messiah!' Heaven-throned God breaks out laughing. At first, he's amused at their presumption; then he gets good and angry. Furiously, he shuts them up; 'Don't you know there's a King in Zion? A coronation banquet is spread for him on the holy summit.' Let me tell you what God said next. He said, 'You're my son, and today is your birthday. What do you want? Name it: Nations as a present? Continents as a prize? You can command them all to dance for you, or throw them out with tomorrow's trash.' So, rebel-kings, use your heads; upstart-judges, learn your lesson: Worship God in adoring embrace, celebrate in trembling awe. Kiss Messiah! Your very lives are in danger, you know; His anger is about to explode, but if you make a run for God - you won't regret it!
Well, I think there is nothing else that needs to be said on this subject.