I Surrender all !!
The song I Surrender All by Clay Cross was one of the most
popular Christian songs back in the day. This was one of the first cassettes I personally owned as a young adult. I would pop it in my cassette player as I would be getting ready before church on Sunday mornings. I absolutely loved this song, and the words would just jump out at me and grip my heart every single time I played it. It's a beautiful depiction of those who have totally left and laid aside all life's worldly pleasures and false hopes, promises, and dreams to follow the one true and only God. The Lyrics to this song are not just powerful, but they are so true, relevant, and real to so many who have found themselves in a struggle to relinquish every aspect of there life into the hands of the one who ultimately gave them life.
I have wrestled in the darkness of this lonely pilgrim land
Raising strong and mighty fortresses that I alone command but
these castles I've constructed by the strength of my own hand
Are just temporary kingdoms on foundations made of sand
In the middle of the battle I believe I've finally found
I'll never know the thrill of victory to I'm willing to lay down
All my weapons of defense and earthly strategies of war
So I'm laying down my arms and running helplessly to yours
I surrender all my silent hopes and dreams
though the price to follow cost me everything
I surrender all my human soul desires if sacrifice requires
That all my kingdom fall I surrender all
If the source of my ambition is the treasure I obtain
If I measure my successes on a scale of earthly gain
If the focus of my vision is the status I attain
My accomplishments are worthless and my efforts are in vain
So I lay aside these trophies to pursue a higher crown and
Should you choose somehow to use the life I willingly lay down
I surrender all the triumph for it's only by your grace
I relinquish all the glory, I surrender all the praise
Everything I am, all I've done, and all I've known
now belongs to you, the life I live is not my own
Just as Abraham laid Isaac on the sacrificial fire
If all I have is all that you desire I surrender all.
It was one of the most coldest days of the year, on the 18th of January in 1997 that would have forever changed two young lives. With Snow on the ground, and the blast of the bitterly cold frigid air upon us, two young lives were becoming as one that day. All the planning and preparation for so many months prior had finally come to an end and we were now ready to begin our new chapter together as husband and wife. The anticipation of what life God had planned for us could not have been more exciting. The thoughts, and dreams of a future together, our children, our home, and what ministry the Lord would be leading us into in the future were constantly running through both our minds, as we were finally stepping into a life that we would be finally having together.
We found that our dreams of a beautiful home, and family for both my husband Nick and I were finally coming into fruition, and we were just starting to live out that long awaited dream. Nick and I were very hard workers who were more savers then spenders. Before I left my career to stay home and be with my children, I worked at a Full line Insurance Agency in Manhattan and was an Account Executive in the Malpractice Department there. I commuted back and forth from Long Island to Manhattan each day for many years. Nick at that time was working with his family doing Landscaping before he launched out and started his own business. We knew the value of money, and what kind of life we wanted to have for ourselves, our future, and family. All our hard work, and savings paid off when it came time for our custom home to be built after we had our first child, and pregnant with our second. We hired an architect to draw and sketch us up plans for the perfect home that would suit our growing family perfectly. We found that our dreams of a beautiful home, and family for both my husband Nick, and I was finally our reality, Or So We Thought. !!!
In the Autumn of 2002 we were living an enormously busy life with two toddlers, and an infant, and we were involved with multiple ministries at our local church. Even with all the hustle and bustle in our every day life we couldn't have been more happier, and content at that point. After all we were living that white picket fence life so many have always dreamed of right ? Until one day everything came to a screeching halt.
In the midst of cleaning my home one morning, I had the most profound experience with the Lord I had not experienced ever in my life up until that point. As I was literally wiping my counters tops, the lord spoke to me words that were so powerful I never forgot them. The Lord pressed upon me "It's time you will be headed into ministry. " My first reaction was "What Lord are you kidding me right now ?" "NO I said, like No, No way, No how, I'm not leaving my family, we just moved into this new house we just built, we did't even finish painting all the rooms yet". I argued with God for a while that day, and quickly found out that arguing with God never works. I obviously did not win that argument. That experience was so overwhelming, and so amazingly undeniable, that I had to drop everything I was in the middle of doing to call my husband. I could have easily ignored it, and not called my husband that day and went about my business as usual, but I just could not escape that powerful experience, and I had no choice, I was compelled to call him. As I began to share my experience of what just occurred, on the other end of the phone I heard words come out of my husband mouth that I was truly not prepared to hear. "What are you kidding me right now ,and are you serious?" "I've been dealing with the lord impressing on me the exact same thing, but I've been ignoring it and trying to brush it away". We spoke a little more about the shock an awe of what was actually happening in the both of us at that very moment, and what God was about to do. As I hung up the phone that day, so many things were just rushing through my mind as I was still in disbelief.
You see we were a couple who had been on the run from a clear call from God for a few years, and were set on trying to do life, family, and ministry our own way by any means possible. We knew we had a calling years prior, and we did make a faint attempt to see what that Ministry life would mean for us when our first child was a year old. So with our child being watched by our family, and our bags packed in the family van, we headed cross country for a time of seeking God's face and will for our life in Ministry, and what that would entail for us as our family would grow. We made certain to pack light because we wanted it to be a quick weekend trip so we can get back as soon as possible. We didn't want to be away from our daughter more than we had to, and my husband Nick at that time had a Landscaping business he was running that was just starting to bloom, so we had to get back quickly. The both of us had made every excuse anyone could think of on that long ride home from our trip. In fact, by the time we pulled in the driveway from our exhausting 23 hour trip back, we had already talked ourselves out of Bible College, or ever even going into any full time Ministry outside of State. The online Berean study courses, and ministering in our local church seemed perfect for us. Honestly we were just not ready, or willing to let go, and give up our ways, our comfort, our family, friends, our newly built home, or business for the Lord at that time.
But a thriving business later, a brand new home just built, and three children , we knew The Gig Is Up. God had finally broken through our thick skin, and exhausted us to a point of full surrender, and submission. But this time we had no choice to but to surrender fully . We did it, we finally made that hard decision. This time we did not plan on turning back. We sold the business, our home, said good bye to family and friends, had a good cry, and with trucks packed with all our possessions, and our three children loaded in our family van, we once again headed cross country for the Ministry and life God called us to. You do not want to be one of those who had to learn the hard way, that running away from the Lord just is not worth it. Running the opposite direction of God, or from a clear call or leading on ones life can surely lead to pure exhaustion, as my husband Nick, myself, and others have experienced. As we have seen in the life of Jonah he experienced that running from God is never the option to choose.
Jonah 1:1-2 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come before me." Jonah was the son of Amittai, and came from the town called gath-hepher, near Nazareth in the area that later came to be know as Galilee, he was a prophet during the reign of Jeroboam 11. Nineveh was the capital of the largest most affluent cities of the ancient Assyrian empire and is at this present- day Mosul, Iraq. (modern day Iraq). This city said to have had about 15 massive gates that penetrated its walls. They were known for their tremendous wealth, power, and their worshiping of idols, along with there horrific cruelty, and wickedness. But despite the fact that Nineveh was known for their wickedness, and their dislike of the Israelites, and was often at war with them, Jonah had many other reasons to run from God's call. Jonah was enraged because he knew what kind of people the Assyrians were, and hated them. Jonah knowing Almighty God is full of mercy, grace, forgiveness, and abounding in love, thought that if he went to warn them, they may just actually repent and God may forgive them and he didn't think they were worthy of it.
Jonah 1: 3-4 Jonah ran from the LORD and headed to Tarshish. He went down Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the Sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to breakup. Do to Jonah's disobedience, and fleeing from the Lord he was then forced to face a tumultuous chain of events before he finally surrendered in full submission to God's will. Jonah 1:7-9 Then the sailors said to each other, "Come , let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity." They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, "tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?" He answered I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land." Jonah he was the cause of it compelled the men on the ship that day to toss him over board. After trying to do their best to row back to land and couldn't they came to the conclusion that it may just be there only way of survival and did as Jonah asked and tossed him over board. Isn't it funny how we can be running from the same God we are claiming to serve and many of us have found ourselves in similar situations.
In the middle of the sea God provided a whale to save the prophet Jonah. Jonah 1:17 And a "great fish," appointed by God, swallowed him and Jonah was in the belly of that whale for three days, and nights until he prayed and pleaded to the Lord for help. Finally In the belly of a whale, and in a pit of despair Jonah surrendered and called out to God. Jonah 2 :1-9 From the inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. "In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.' The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever, But you, Lord my God, bought my life up from the pit. " when my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. "those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, 'Salvation comes from the LORD.' " Jonah 2:10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. The lord spoke to Jonah Again to go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." The result of Jonah's obedience then led to the salvation and repentance of the city of Nineveh.
As Jonah and many have found out, there is no where you can run to that sovereign Lord is not. Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on him. Psalm 65:24 Before they call I will answer: while they are still speaking I will hear. We serve a Mighty God who is Omnipotent and Omnipresent. Jeremiah 23:24 Can a man hide in secret places where I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence ? If I go up to the heavens, you re there; If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Instead of running away from God we need to run to him.
Because of a heart of disobedience, selfishness, anger, hurt, fear,or simply the vein pleasures of this world, you could find yourself running in the opposite direction of what God was actually leading you into. You could be like a Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles who found himself denying the same Jesus he professed to go to prison and death for. It wasn't until after the death and resurrection, and before he ascended into heaven that the Lord met with Peter on the Sea of Galilee and called and restored him him back into ministry. Or a David who was a man after God's own heart, and close to the Lord had found himself in a situation of adultery and murder. Not until the Prophet Nathan who was sent by the Lord confronted him regarding his falling away from God by his adultery, and murder, did David break down and confess. Though he had consequences for his sin, he was forgiven and restored. You may be like so many others who have found themselves struggling to laying aside their possessions, and desires.
Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with having money or obtaining great wealth, it should never take priority in our life over God's will for us, and should never stop you from stepping forward into what God's planned for your life. Mathew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. We must guard our hearts because our hearts are such a central core of who we are. Mathew 15:18 But the things that come out of a person's mouth comes from the heart, and these defile them. And in 1 Tim 6:10 it says For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for the money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Let's remember that the pleasures and all the treasures of this world we accumulate are all fleeting.
Ecclesiastes 1: 3 What do you gain from all the toil under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. 8 All things are wearisome; more than one can express; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing. 9 what has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:4 I made great works; I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 8 I gathered for myself silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had spent in doing it, and again, all was vanity and a chasing after the wind and their was nothing to be gained under the sun. 20 So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes some who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. Ecclesiates 5:10 The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth , with gain. This also is vanity. 19 Likewise all to whom God gives wealth and possessions and whom he enables to enjoy them, and to accept their lot and find enjoyment in their toil-this is the gift of God.
Let's not let the pleasures, the vanity of this world, or your own greed, or selfish desires,or fear hold you back from walking fully in the path God is calling you into. You cannot take any of it with you into eternity. Being obedient, and having a heart after God's own heart is so precious to him. Instead of running from God we should be running right into the arms of a God who holds our future and every step we take in his hands. Who knows but that due to your willing heart of obedience, full surrender, and sacrifice to what God could be calling you to do, you very well could just save a Nation !!!
We have heard the saying "Don't look back your not going that way" many times. It can be so easy for an individual to see another persons situation and be quick to analyze, and or judge someone else's life without ever having to have walked in their shoes. More often it can be difficult to fully trust the Lord in your life and trust where he is leading you. Our nature is to often look back and contemplate or dwell on our past surveying every detail of our experiences weather good or bad. Too often looking back and dwelling on our past can cause us to not move forward in what God has ahead of us. God calls us to move forward in life and press on towards what God has planned for us. Through struggles or hardships in life God can give you the ability to keep moving forward. Taking that step of faith and coming out of our comfort zone and forging ahead in what the Lord has for you can be a struggle and can very often be frightening to do.
Philipians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
As the Israelites were leaving Egypt they had to face terrifying situations, through it all God instructed them through Moses to move on. In the midst of what looked impossible, God says Move On In the midst of concern, and worry God says Move On. In the midst of the sounds of terror all around and what looks like an impossibility, God says Move On . When the chariots are headed their way God says Move On. In the midst of looking to their left and to their right and the fear engulfing them from every angle, God says Move On, and Forge Ahead. The one thing we know for sure is that we have a heavenly father who is in full control of every situation in our lives.
The Israelites has suffered tremendously under the Egyptian rule.
Exodus 14:1-31 The Lord hardened Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, Who were marching out boldly. The Egyptians-all Pharaoh's horses and chariots, horsemen and troops-pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pharaoh, opposite Baal Zephon. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified. and cried to the Lord. They said to Moses, "Was it because there was no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, ' leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"
Isn't it sadly true that for so many when we are backed up against a wall and cannot see a way out of a horrible situation automatically we tend to want to freeze up and not move an inch out of our comfort zone. Way to often we tend to not take that step forward but instead we settle and be complacent right where we are. God created us to be continually growing, and moving forward in Christ. Many times God will call us out of our comfort zone to stretch us beyond our capacity in what we normally may not be comfortable with to cause us to rely on him and trust him to do what we cannot.
Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. It can be so difficult to Stand firm in the midst of trials and tribulations that can be surrounding you and to standing firm is very often easier said than ever done. The Definition to Stand firm is to refuse to change a decision ,position, and is a military term for holding onto a position. The word "Stand " is translated from the Greek histemi, and its meaning is to continue, endure or persist." It can be so difficult to Stand firm in the midst of trials and tribulations that can be surrounding you and to stand firm is easier said than ever done. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will Fight for you; you need only to be still." The word still is a translation of the Hebrew word Rapa -meaning to slaken, let down or cease. Then the LORD said to Moses , "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to MOVE ON Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen." Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided,and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians Pursued them, and all the Pharaoh's horses and chariots and horsemen followed them in the sea. During the late watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, "Lets get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt." Then the Lord said to Moses stretch out your hand over the Sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen." Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and at day break the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it , and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horseman and the entire army of Pharaoh that has followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelite saw the mighty hand of the Lord. God is faithful in every situation we may find ourselves in and he will fight you. God's word says I will contend with those who contend with you. God will receive the Glory in all circumstances. What God promises he will surely bring to pass.
The promise God made to the descendants of Abraham did not die along with Moses. That promised was then thrust into the hands of Joshua to forge ahead to possess that which was promised to them. The Hebrew translation of the Promise Land is ha'aretz hamuvtakhat which means The Land Flowing with Milk and honey. According to the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible/old testament. The phrase promise Land" expresses an image that would be related to a restored homeland for the Jewish people. The land of Canaan was an ancient region between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. Canaan was known as fruitful land flowing with milk and honey. The Hebrew word for Egypt is mitzrayim, that means "narrow places." So God's promise was literally taking his people out from a place of the yoke of slavery, bondage,oppression, and restriction in Egypt into a land of freedom, liberty, and abundance.
In Joshua 1:2 it reads "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the Land that I am about to give them-to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the dessert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates-all the Hittite country-to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be Strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. "Be Stong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this book of the law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua was told to be strong and courageous and do not be afraid many times.
When God brings you to a place to obtain a victory, a promise and blessings in your life he will never leave you empty handed or abandoned. He will be with you upholding you, encouraging you, and strengthening you along your journey. The definition to be strong is to be able to withstand great force or pressure. In Greek, the "words be strong" can be translated to the word "endunamoo," which means "dunamins" or "inherent power." God will fill you with that strength and power needed from day to day and he will remove any and all fear as you rely on him and place your trust and faith in him.
There may be a cost to possessing the promises God has for you. It's moving forward and forging ahead not being afraid of what you may see in front of you. It does not matter what Jericho you may face or other nations that may seem to be mightier than you in your life. It's taking that leap of faith and putting your feet to action and crossing that Jordan to enter in and gain that victory in your life. That Jordan in your life may have to be crossed, and you may look with disbelief and think that the situation ahead is to deep and wide for me. Walls built up may have to be torn down, and giants may have to be defeated. You may say "I can't get passed this situation in my life because it's just too big for me." But God calls us to continue to move forward and to have the faith to believe him to do great and mighty things in our life. You do not want to be stopped, halted, or put out from ever obtaining all God has promised for you because of your unbelief. Let's remember there were those who could not enter in because of their unbelief. You do not want to be one of those wondering in your own dessert of unbelief for years in your own life full of fear, unbelief, and hardness of heart that will ultimately result in you never obtaining, or reaching God's full potential, plan, and blessing, he has for you.
But rest assured that if God has brought you to it, he will surely bring you through it. God calls us to continue to move forward and calls us to come up higher, to have faith ,and believe he can do great and mighty things in your life. Move On ,and Forge Ahead, winning that race, obtaining that prize, and gaining that Victory that Christ has already has won!! Knowing God will always be with you wherever you may go, and he will be your strength and source.!!!!
Knowing your worth
So many have heard the saying Know your Worth. But how do we really see ourselves? Do we really see ourselves as valuable or worthy? As pastors, my Husband Nick and myself have truly seen both sides of the coin on this one through our years of ministry. We have seen the affect on those who have been overbearing, and over doting. And we have sadly seen the affect on those who have been neglected in those areas due to poverty, stress and many other issues.
Studies show that as children grow from toddlers to adulthood, so does their self-esteem and self worth. When children feel loved, affirmed and accepted, uplifted, safe and valued, they are more likely to succeed in life in more ways than one. Researchers at MIT, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania found that one of the best things parents can do for their children is frequent back and forth exchanges with them. Doing that at an early age will help develop, foster, and improve what is perhaps one of the most important skills that contribute to success in life.
We serve a God who is our Heavenly Father, who sees us so valuable. And we serve a God who does love, affirm, uplift, and value us. Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind and planned you for his divine purposes.
Isaiah 44:2 "I am your creator you were in my care before you were born."
John 1:12: "Those who received Christ and believed in his name, God gave the right to become his children."
In Christ alone is where our self-worth is truly found. His plans and purposes for you far exceed and go way beyond what you could ever ask for, think of, or even imagine. Your gifts and calling in this life are irrevocable. What God started in your life, he will accomplish. Often, we base our self-worth on what we believe others may think or feel about us. God doesn't look and judge the way people do. We have all been guilty of wrongly judging others based solely on appearances etc. So many make the mistake of putting too much trust in physical senses rather than the spiritual ones. It is God alone that can read our hearts, minds, attitudes, and our motives. Samuel was reminded that God sees not as we see but God looks at and sees the Heart.
Samuel was a prophet and son of Elkanah and Hannah born at Romathaim zophim in the hill country of Ephraim, which was located six miles or so north of Jerusalem. The name of the town means "the heights of the view." It was said that it also came to be his resting place.
1 Samuel 16: 1-13 The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as King over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be King." But Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me." The Lord said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate." Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, "Do you come in peace?" Samuel replied, "Yes in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the Lord." But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The Lord has not chosen this one either." Jesse then had Shammah pass by, But Samuel said, "Nor has the Lord chosen this one." Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, " The Lord has not chosen these." He asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered. "He is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; this is the one." So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.
God's ways are not our ways. When Samuel first saw Jesse's oldest son he thought surely its him. Not only did God reject him but he rejected everyone that was brought before him until David was brought before him. Acts 13:22, " I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart who will do my will." David had a heart after God, and God saw in young David what many people probably wouldn't see.
Our value and self-worth is and never should be found in material things such as our financial worth, our outward beauty, body image, relationships, or stature. Nor should our value be found in an individual. So much of the world's desires, temptations and pleasures are all around us and can be very consuming at times. Our value is and should solely be rooted in Christ Jesus. In the Lord is where we truly find our whole worth.
In Christ, we are made in his image and in Psalm 139:13-16 it reads: "For you formed my inward parts: you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works: my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance: in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Luke 12:7 "And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows."
In Ephesians 2:10, it reads "For we are God's handiwork." Other translations say that we are God's accomplishment, workmanship, or masterpiece. A masterpiece is considered to be a work done with extraordinary skill; especially: a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement. If our Heavenly Father sees us as valuable and calls us his masterpiece, how much more should we not only see our value and self-worth, but the value of others!!!
KNOW YOUR WORTH !!!
Being audacious is not something that comes easy to many. In fact, being strong, Bold, taking great risks in life or stepping out in faith without knowing the full outcome takes courage. As believers in Christ we are able to come to the one who is able to give us that strength to do the what we may feel would be impossible.
2 Tim 1:7 For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self control.
In Deuteronomy 31:6 it say's to "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, trusting and relying on him that goes before you; and so take heart, be of good courage." One story of audacious faith was done by the women with the issue of blood found in the Gospel of Mark.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon possessed, those having seizures, and paralyzed: and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
It was on the Northern Shore of the Sea of Galilee in Capernaum where Jesus was met yet again by more crowds of people. Jairus who was a leader of the synagogue came to Jesus and begged him to go with him to heal his daughter. The multitudes of people were pressing in on him as he was making his way to Jairus's home. If you can just imagine the enormous mob of people that were crowded around Jesus as he was on route to Jairus's house that would have caused him to be pressed in on all sides.
A women who was suffering from hemorrhages for 12 years came up and touched his garment.
Mark 5:26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. " Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" "You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered," and yet you ask, 'who touched me?' " But yet you kept looking around to see who done it. Then the women, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
That took what I call audacious faith on her part. She would most definitely would have had a good reason to be trembling with fear. At that time, they followed the Levitical law. The Levites were the descendants of Levi, which was a son of Jacob. Moses was from the tribe of Levi and by calling it the Levitical Law they in essence were recognizing that God revealed the law through Moses, a Levite. According to the Levitical Law of that time, Lev 15 :19 "Whenever a women has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her during that time will be unclean. until evening." In Lev 15:25, if a women had a flow of blood for many days that is unrelated to her menstrual period, or if the blood continues beyond the normal period, she is ceremonially unclean. As during her menstrual period. The women will be unclean as long as the discharge continues. Anyone or anything she touched would be considered unclean. She could have had severe consequences for touching him that day.
Can you imagine this was a women who went through such extreme hardships and suffering. This was a women who was considered to be ritually unclean, she couldn't be around others, and could not worship with anyone in temple. She desperately sought help from physicians and no one could help her. All her money was gone from trying so desperately to get some help and relief from physicians, but it just got worse. This women went through this immense suffering for 12 long years. Her total desperation and bold faith in the healing power of Jesus is what caused her take a supernatural leap of faith that day. It caused her to rise up and take a great risk by going through the mob of people just to touch the hem of his garment (prayer shall).
The garment Jesus wore was a prayer shall (tallit). Many Jews wore them as a reminder of God's Law. In Numbers 15:37 "The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'Throughout the generations to come, you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lust of your own hearts and eyes, Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt to be your God."
The tassels she grabbed were attached to the 4 corners (or kanaf) of his shall. In the scripture of Malachi 4:2 it reads, "But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in its wings. The Hebrew word for wing is "kanaf " which means wing, corner, or the hem of the garment (Tallit)." Mathew 14:35-36 says: "And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed." In Mark 6:56, "Whenever he entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might just touch the hem of his garment. And as many as touched him were made well."
There is so much controversy right now concerning the topic of does God still heal today. Well of course we serve a God who still heals today. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jehovah-Rapha (The God who heals). The Hebrew word Rophe or Ropha means "heal, "cure," "restore," or "make whole." But we can't think he is like a genie in a bottle, which way too often people will tend to do. We cannot come to God and want him to grant our wishes and then put it aside until we are in need again. God desires for his children to come to him with our concerns and requests. Our Heavenly father longs for us to have a relationship with him.
Mathew 11:28-30 : "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
We are to bring our requests to God, whatever they might be, in full confidence, knowing he hears our prayers.
Hebrews 4:16: "Let us then approach God's throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in or time of need.
Philippians 4:6: "Don't be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Have that audacious faith to cry out to the one who bled and died for you, knowing full well we serve a God who loves us and hears those prayers, also knowing he is in full control and has all authority in Heaven and on Earth. His will always be done in our lives.
Jesus is the reason for the season
The best gift ever
Have you heard the words to the song Happy Birthday Jesus by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir?
Happy Birthday Jesus
I'm so glad it's Christmas
All the tinsel and lights
And the presents are nice
But the real gift is you
When my husband Nick and myself took our first Assembly of God church in Wading River, NY, we put on many Christmas plays and skits on during those first years we Pastored there. This song was sung by our eldest daughter Delilah during one of our Christmas specials when she was just a little girl. Christmas in the DeRosa household was by far the best time of the year for us. Not only was it enjoyed with our Church congregation we pastored, but it was for us also as a family. The excitement on our children's faces Christmas morning was priceless, and we have many of those memories caught on video. Though we ourselves as a family enjoyed, and still do enjoy, all our family gatherings, the food, fun, laughter and so many memories past and present, we made sure our children knew the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. The story of Messiah's birth is the most beautiful story ever told.
The real reason why we celebrate Christmas is a true gift from our Heavenly Father.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son , that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world , but to save the world through him.
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on Davids throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Mary the mother of Jesus and Joseph were both from Nazareth, which was a city in the Northern region of Galilee. They were engaged to be married to each other. Mary was specifically of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Mary was also descended from King David, Boaz, and Nathan.
Luke 28-33 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings , you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.
Joseph's lineage traces back to the Tribe of Judah and King David.
Isaiah 11: 1 And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jessie ( David's father) and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
Although Mary and Joseph are both descendants of the line of David, Mary through Nathan and Joseph through Solomon, there was a curse placed on Solomon's line that God had placed.
Jeremiah 22:30 Then God pronounces a curse : "Record this man as if childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, none will sit on the throne or rule anymore in Judah."
The right to rule on David's throne was passed onto Jesus through his mother Mary's line and conceiving him through the power of the Holy Spirit. When hearing of Mary's pregnancy Joseph did not want to marry her .
Mathew 1:19-25 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law , and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to to fulfill what the Lord has said through the prophet: "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us"). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Luke 2:1-7 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own hometown to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem to the town of David, because he belonged to the line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to Married to him and was expecting a child. It would have been about a 90 mile journey to Bethlehem (called house of Bread) which was a city in the central west bank of Palestine south of Jerusalem. Bethlehem is identified as the city of David where he was crowned King of Israel. while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room available for them.
Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
The Passover took place during the lambing season. Sheep are seasonal breeders and Lambs were mostly born in the spring. The lambs born and raised in Bethlehem were used for the temple sacrifices. After the lambs were born they would be wrapped in swaddling cloths (just trips of cloths from clothing). It is said that those lambs would then be laid in a manger for calming reasons and to protect them from being trampled. The job of these shepherds was to raise animals that were healthy and without blemish for sacrifice. During the Feast of Passover, the lambs that were to be sacrificed had to be one year old and without blemish. The feast was one of the main Jewish holidays and was celebrated to remember God's deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. When the Lamb's blood was spilled for all our sins, it was said that the priest then would turn to the people and proclaim that, "it is finished" or "It is accomplished."
Luke 2:9-19 An angel of he Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Lets go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told to them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
How beautiful it is that our Heavenly Father sent us his one and only Son as the True Lamb of God. He is the true and ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He came, bled, and died to pay the penalty for our sins for all those who believe in him. Christ was raised again on the third day and holds the keys to death, hell and the grave.
John 10:17-18 Jesus says, "The reason my father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and take it up again. This command I received from my father."
When Jesus died, he died according to his own timing, when he gave up his spirit". Christ was raised again on the third day and hold the keys to death, hell, and the grave.
Revelation 1:18 Jesus says, "I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." Possessing the keys of death" means that the risen Christ has control and authority over death.
May we focus solely on the the true meaning of Christmas and the precious gift our Heavenly Father has given us!!
Getting back on Track
Rising Up Again !!
Have you ever heard the quote, "Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more...And grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less...Grace means that God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love."_Phillip Yancey
Who hasn't failed at some point in life, or made choices we wished we could take back? Who hasn't said something we so wished would have never slipped out of our mouth, and afterwards had to suffer the consequences for it? We are all in the flesh and have been born with a sinful nature.
Galatians 5 :17: For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and desires of the spirit are against the flesh, for these are apposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Romans 7:18 says: I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out.
The apostle Peter is a beautiful example of how we can experience God's grace, mercy, and restoration after immense failure. It was during the Feast of Unleavened bread, called the Passover that after they had eaten that Jesus would have to strongly correct Peter after boldly professing his love and alliance to him.
Luke 22:31-34: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you , that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Peter said to him "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death," Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny me three times that you know me."
The phrase "sift as wheat" is the process after wheat is harvested. It needs to be threshed or sifted. This process is done to remove the inedible chaff from the usable edible grain. The wheat stalks were taken to the threshing floor. The wheat stalks were beaten or trampled to loosen inedible chaff from the pure wheat. Some would have donkeys, cows, or oxen walk in circles over the stalks. The winnowing fork (pitchfork) was used to gather all stalk on the ground. They would throw them in the air so that the wind could blow away the chaff. All the good and usable grain fell back to the ground. The wheat then was placed into filtering sieve to remove remaining chaff, any dust or tiny pebbles. They would violently shake the sieve to create the sifting process.
He was saying Peter you are going to be going through a process of being violently shaken. Jesus knew Satan demanded to sift Peter and that what he was about to go through would be severe enough to not only shake his faith but possibly even lose it. He knew that when the sifting was over he would be able to use what he had gone through and experienced to strengthen others. It's hard even to imagine or see ourselves in a bad light. Or even imagine we could deny the Lord, the one who loves us the most.
It came to pass exactly what Jesus had spoken to Peter. After Jesus was seized, Peter followed Jesus closely behind and sat down in the courtyard. Peter's first denial was in Luke 22:56-57: "Then girl noticed him and said , "This man was with him." But he denied it, saying, "woman, I don't know him." Peter's second and third denial was found in Luke 22:58-60: "And a little later someone else saw him and said, "You also are one of them." But Peter said "Man I am not." And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, "Certainly this man also was with him for he too is a Galilean," But Peter said, "Man, I Do not know what you are talking about." Just as he was speaking the rooster crowed." Luke 22:61 "The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: " Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly."
After Jesus death and resurrection, it would be a span of 40 days before he ascended into heaven. Within that time frame, Jesus appeared many times to the disciples and others. One of those appearances to the disciples was by the Sea of Galilee. After Jesus death Peter went back to his old way of life before He met Jesus.
John 21:3-17 "I'm going out to fish ," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "we'll go with you." so they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said, "Throw your net on they right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped in the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have caught." So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It as full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come have breakfast." None of the disciples dared to ask him, "who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" Yes, Lord, he said, " you know I love you." Jesus said feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He answered, "yes, Lord, you know that I love you," Jesus said, "take care of my sheep." The third time he aid to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me? Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said feed my sheep.
When he called him Simon he was referring to his name before he changed it to Peter. In essence what he was saying, "Simon, right now you are a small stone but you will become a rock." Mathew 16:18 "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."
Once we become a Christian and serve God, it does not mean that we are excused from any trials and tribulations in our life. Whatever we will go through and face in life we can be sure of this, that our God will lever leave us nor forsake us. We serve a God who loves us, who pursues us, who seeks us out and chases us down. We serve a God who desires to finish what he started in each and every one of us. God can take any mistake, or failure in life and turn it around and get you back on track again for his glory.
Romans 3:23-24 "for everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Jesus Christ when he freed us from the penalty of our sins."
Philippians 1:6: " Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Trusting God through crisis and adversities sometimes is easier said than done
Trusting our Heavenly Father through crisis and adversities is not an easy task, especially when you may be confronted with this giant right in front of you. The story of King Jehoshaphat in the Old Testament is such a gripping story of faith, hope, and trust when your back is up against the wall and you have no other options other than crying out to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
In 2 Chronicles 20 tells what Jehoshaphat faced
Jehoshaphat ascended to the throne at age thirty five. He reigned for 35 years. Jehoshaphat's father was King Asa of the Kingdom of Judah. Asa's father was Abijam or also pronounced Abiyah. Abijam's father was Rehoboam and King Rehoboam's father was King Solomon. Solomon was the son of King David who most know through the famous story in the bible of David and Goliath. King David was the King of Israel and Judah. King Jehoshaphat for the most part was a King who sought after God's own heart. Previous Kings sought for the help of Baal. Jehoshaphat, instead, removed places of worship to foreign god's. He fortified Israel's defense against their enemies. He built forts in attempts to help the kingdom prosper financially and so much more. I say for the most part because he made mistakes along the way that later he would have to suffer consequences for.
An alliance was made between Jehoshaphat and King Ahab. Jehoshaphat gave his son to be married to Ahab's daughter Athalia. Few years after Ahab enticed him into forming a league to retake a disputed city in Northern Israel. He wanted to seek the Lord first on whether he should stand with Ahab on this matter. They called 400 prophets who would only favor what sounded pleasing to the King. There was one called Micaiah who stated "I'll only say what my God tells me to say". When Micaiah spoke he prophesied that death would come to Ahab. After he was done speaking he was struck on the cheek. So many cannot handle when truth is spoken. Jehoshaphat's heart was right but he definitely was not led by the Holy Spirit because he went along with Ahab in spite of what the one true prophet had spoken. He unfortunately paid for that mistake by barley escaping death. Ahab had been struck and killed in that battle just as Micaiah had prophesied. He was rebuked by Jehu when he returned back from battle. He asked him "Should you help the ungodly and love those who hate the Lord? and in doing so bring wrath on yourself?"
Jehoshaphat was given news that three armies which were the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites were coming to attack him. Jehoshaphat was frightened and didn't know what to do. Can you imagine being put in that position. Here was a King who was called and appointed to protect his Kingdom and now finds himself facing such a terrible crisis. I absolutely love that the first thing that Jehoshaphat did was to cry out to God for guidance and gave orders of a fast to be observed throughout the country. Showing his true heart for God, Jehoshaphat stood in front of the assembly and prayed out loud to the Lord his God. He cried out saying for we have no way to face this vast army that is coming to attack us. We do not know what to do but our eyes are put on you. God was faithful in answering their cry because while they were praying and crying out to him he gave a word of prophecy through Jahaziel. He said: "Listen, King Jehosphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's...Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. The word that came through the prophet Jahaziel actually came to pass when the armies that were once set out to destroy and conquer Jehosaphat turned on each other and destroyed themselves.
Have you been in a situation in life that it looked like there was just no way to get through the situation you suddenly found yourself in? There was absolutely no way in the natural you could see what you were going through turn around. As you survey your situation everything around you says, "Sorry, there is just no way." BUT GOD steps in. We serve a mighty mighty God who is all knowing, all powerful, who loves you unconditionally and who never leaves us or forsakes us. Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on him. Psalm 65:24 Before they call I will answer: while they are still speaking I will hear. In this particular passage God spoke through Jasirael and gave a specific word to Stand Still.
Easier Said than Done
What? I am going through this right now. I am facing this situation in my life right now and your saying Stand Still? You may be saying Lord you know all things and you know what has been done against me and you want me to Stand Still ? The word Still is a translation of the Hebrew word Rapa-meaning to slake, let down, or cease. In some instances the word carries the idea of to drop, to weak or to faint. Be still is a command repeated in scripture and it needs to get our attention. The literal translation taken from the Greek is Hush or to Shut Up !!
It can be a struggle to Stand Still through adversity coming at you from all different angles and from many situations. When you have been attacked, used, abused, mistreated, and misunderstood your first reaction is to protect and defend yourself by any means possible. When your character was misaligned, or something was stolen from you. If you were lied about, gossiped about, if you had plots against you. Your flesh wants to automatically rise up. God says, "No let me fight your battles." There is a time to Shut Up! A time to talk, and a time to confront. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and watch God move on your behalf!!
Road of life
We serve a faithful God who will navigate us through life!!
Along life's journey you may feel like the road your our on has bumps, bends, twists, pot holes that are slowing you down from getting to your destination. As the Israelite's stood at the threshold of the promise land, they were confronted with obstacles that stood between them and their destiny. Right before they were getting ready to enter it they knew that they were going to have to rely on God to conquer that which was way mightier than them. In John 15:5 it says "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
What a sobering reminder of of how great our God truly is. We need to remember this when we face obstacles, and situations in our own road of life we are traveling on. Believe me we sure have them in our life don't we? But in Psalm 18:2 it says The Lord is my rock, my fortress and and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
He is our ever present help in time of need. We serve a God who desires to complete what he started in us. In some cases it's our willingness to let go and let God. Sometimes we can cause our own road blocks due to choices, or personal decisions that will ultimately halt, or delay us. Philippians 1:6 being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Put your faith, hope and trust in the Lord as he navigates you through your life's journey.
Welcome to Grace Abounds, the blog of Debbie DeRosa.
Debbie is a pastor's wife who loves sharing devotionals that are relevant and real.