Yuck—waiting

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Heart pounding, body aching and an irrefutable overwhelming stench of the impossible robbed her of her breath. What now? Would her legs propel her forward? They shook in weakness; unable to stand fully erect she fumbled for the keys. Where to now?

There was nowhere to go…

I have read Exodus, the Israelites miraculous escape from the Egyptian oppressors, several times but it struck me today with a new insight. The power and difficulty of standing still and waiting.

The Israelites flee through the desert only to reach an impassable place, the Red Sea. The Lord does not hide his intent. He on purpose puts the Israelites in a place they can’t escape from and sends a force against them they can’t defeat. What is He teaching us for today?

And then…

“all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.” Exo. 14: 21b

There is no mention of the time required to dry the soaked seabed for all the animals, carts and people to move through or how long before the Egyptians pursued. We can only imagine the terror and panic God’s people felt.

Some of my waiting periods have been hours short, some days long and still others years of groaning. No matter the amount of time, the terror of the “enemy” right behind us is physically present and the glory of the Lord is above us.

I confess there are times I lack the proper amount of trust and awe of the Lord. The circumstance seems too hard. If this is true of you, let me encourage you. Read on further after God orchestrates the miraculous escape.

And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” Exo. 14:30

They didn’t put their trust in Him fully until after His mighty display of salvation was complete. I believe because He shows us this scripture that we can display the faith now for this moment, that will be given to us after we receive our deliverance. God is outside of the restraints of time. We do not have to wait. Do not wait until you see the deliverance to believe it.

Praise now;

believe now

because of who He says He is.

The Israelites had waited for over 430 years for a miracle and their faith was lacking. Even if you haven’t seen a miracle for what feels like 430 years believe for it, anyway. Join forces with other Christ followers who can remind you of the God you serve.

 

Prayer: Let our eyes concentrate on You. Let our focus be on the ever-present God more than capable of a miracle. Silence the terror of the enemy; the disease, financial ruin, syndrome, or our children’s struggles so we might hear Your still small voice. Remind us to remain still and see the glory of the Lord move. Give us the strength to stand, for however long that takes. We put our trust in You. Increase our trust, Lord. Grant us the awe and trust of the Lord at the level of our future selves, who have already walked out on the other side on dry land. Thank You, Jesus, Amen.

 

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Impossible… I don’t think so.

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 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26  (NIV)

I found this little block of inspiration at Hobby Lobby and have it as a reminder above my keyboard. I work for God and not man and with Him all things are possible.

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You have called me to what appears to be impossible. I acknowledge You in all things and believe that You are greater than anything the world has to throw at me. Sustain me during this time and keep my eyes on You. You are my redeemer and savior. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Hope carried.

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My heart is aching, ripped open, and left without words.

The Lord has bound my heart to a sister in Christ, as we walk together neither knew why he was strengthening our relationship. In the wake of a tragedy unfolding—it is obvious now.

There are times we must carry the hope of those we love. Those the Lord has bound us too on this journey of life. Nothing is easy about our walk, the Bible warns we will experience trouble (John 16:33). Yet we are still taking off guard when those we love are faced with what appear to be insurmountable things: death, divorce, and abandonment.

I do not ask Him to take away the pain but ask for spiritual eyes to lift up His will and sovereign plan so that I might agree with Him. I refuse to agree with the enemy’s plan for death.

Rise up caregiver’s heart and stand in the gap, and carry the hope of those that God binds your heart to. Joy will come in the morning.

Prayer: Give us the strength to do what you have called us to do. Help us to say our best yes to You even when we are unsure of the outcome. Teach us how to carry the hope of those who falter. We stand in the gap for our loved ones and plead the blood of the Lamb over their eyes to see Your great work, their ears to hear Your voice in the empty times, their hearts to a depth yet uncovered to receive the fullness of what Christ has for them. Teach us to stand in the pain not unflinching but unrelenting to the lies of the enemy. We say yes to Your sovereign plan. We say yes to provision for our hearts. We say yes to hope and no to anguish, despair, and hopelessness. In Jesus, mighty name. Amen.

 

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:22-23 NIV)

Worship from Revelations

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Taken from the book of Revelations, this worship was spoken or sang by the servants of God, whether that be from the Saints or the angels, it is typed below in the order it was presented.

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come. Worthy are You, our Lord and our God to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.

Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.

Salvation to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.  Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.

We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came and the time came for the dead to be judged and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.

Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear. O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before You,For Your righteous acts have been revealed.

Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgements.

Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;

Because His judgements are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.

Hallelujah her smoke rises up forever and ever. Amen. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

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Then John heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Behold, I am making all things new.”

The last quote is declared from God Himself,  seated on His throne.

I suggest declaring this worship out loud over your household in acknowledgement of His glory and Lordship over this earth.

In the Pit!

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Gasps for air between desperate cries deliver her message without words.

She has come to the prayer group because her child has fallen into a pit.

As we prayed it became evident, her son was in this crater for a moment in time, for his own protection. A short season, to avoid a plummet to death over an unseen cliff. We praised Jesus for the pit and His infinite wisdom and mercy during this time.

Excruciating for a mother’s heart to see but necessary as the Lord instructs and moves. This pit creates a crisis of desperation. In the dark, you are forced to ask where will I turn? You have reached the end of self-reliance, all the old strategies have failed. Now what?  If your child is under the discipline of the Lord do not attempt to “save” them no matter how painful it is for you to watch. Pray for discernment to know when to bind the enemy and when to rest in the sovereignty of His discipline.

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In the Bible see (John 10) Jesus is compared to a good shepherd who wields his shepherds’ hook with mercy and love. Let’s look at a shepherd’s hook. It is a long, brutish device designed to clobber, restrain and move the sheep. Yet when used in the hands of the good Shepherd it guides, protects and disciplines His chosen people. I concede I am a mother completely untrained in the wielding of the hook. There is no doubt in my desire to rescue, I would kill them.

When we attempt to “save” our children impossible questions come to taunt us. At what angle should the shepherd’s hook be created to ensnare the animal’s neck, how will I not crush the larynx in the process? How do you pull them out of a pit without falling in yourself?  You are their mother not their Savior. You were not designed to have all the answers. Your job is to take your desperation and pain to the Lord. We dare not trust in the hook itself but fully trust in the Lord- the good Shepherd.

The Creator has intimate knowledge of His creation; our shortcomings, struggles and the very things we need to survive. His knowledge of us and His wisdom of How to guide, protect and save us should not be bypassed. Do not run ahead and attempt to clear the way for your child, those “obstacles” train their hearts for battle.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3: 5-7

Who or what do you run to when you are in trouble?

If your answer is the Lord you know the process is painful but ultimately freedom will be found. Allow your child to find this freedom.

Prayer: We ask for Your wisdom in this time of anguish to know, is this pit a location for surrender or a plan of the enemy. We submit to Your design for this pit and bind the designs of the enemy in Jesus name. You have our permission to use the shepherd’s hook to guide, protect, discipline, and steady us and our children. We do not know the future but you do. We hear Your voice, help us to obey it. We acknowledge You have the better way. Lord Jesus, we praise You for pouring out Your Spirit on our offspring and for blessing our descendants. So that they spring up like trees amid the grass, their roots run deep to receive the Living water You freely give to Your redeemed. We praise You, Jesus. Amen. (Isaiah 44)

What does chicken have to do with it?

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“Ugh” I lay my head down on the steering wheel. The cold rain spits on my windshield blurring the view of the over-crowded Walmart parking lot. I want to cry.

My four-year-old from the backseat blurts, “What’s wrong?”

“We forgot to pay for the chicken.”

“Okay.” she gleefully announces as she throws off her shoes and demands a drink of water.

“Honey we have to go back into the store.”

“Why mama?”

“We can’t take the chicken without paying for it that’s called stealing.”

The thought of wrestling her back into her shoes and coat before braving the cold spitting rain seemed so horrible. I stopped and thought Why do I need to go back in?  Why is it so important not to steal even if you got away with it? It’s just a chicken. No one knows? Certainly not my oblivious daughter.

So I asked the Lord to help me to understand why sin even little ones are so horrible.

“Because when you choose to sin you choose to spit in the face of Jesus who paid a horrible price for your sin. Do not belittle the great work of the Cross.”

Somehow the misting rain didn’t seem so bad anymore.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for teaching us so much in the little things. Continue to teach us and bless us with Your wisdom.  You give us real-life object lessons to teach our children. Help us to take full advantage of these moments. We repent of the times we have not. Thank You for Your mighty work on the cross. Continue to teach us the full knowledge and power of the cross and Your wonderful blood. I praise You with all my being.  Thank You, for the cross.  Amen.

 

Ouch!!!

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Acts 26:14 (NIV)

 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

They all fell down which means they all felt the power of the Living God but Jesus only spoke to one.

He speaks to Saul the man in active, vengeful and deadly pursuit of those who claim Christ as their Lord. Asking why did he continue to kick against the goads?

Goads are a long stick with a horrible metal hook at the end designed to steer an oxen in the direction he should go. If the oxen kicked against the goad it would impale the beast. This of course would be horrifically painful.

The maker of the Universe was not only interested in stopping the persecution of His church but also  in the life and pain of the man who was doing the persecution.  This kind of love is scandalous, outrageous and absolutely delicious.

From the scripture we can read that apparently Jesus had been goading Saul to go in the correct direction and up until this point Saul had ignored it. Then something drastic happened he was thrown to the ground and was blinded for three days.

I have seen it in my life and in those I love that claim Christ as King that they kick against Jesus’s goads and directions only for so long before Jesus takes drastic action. Blinding us for three days? …  Maybe.

 

Will you choose the pain of the goads or the freedom of Christ? 

Prayer: God, Your mercies are great. We stand in awe of Your love and ask that You deepen our walk with You. We desire to hear Your voice only, loud and clear so that we might respond with immediate and complete obedience. Your will is great, wise and holy. Help us to lay down ourselves so that we might pick up Your greater life. Help us to live a life of worship.  Thank You, Jesus. Amen.