Month: August 2014

Adrift in The Psalms

Have you ever woke up from a dream with a message that overwhelms you, so much so that it consumes your entire day?

It is so easy to stray off into the woods when the message is so simple, it requires no further thought. I don’t know if that is I did today after I woke up from a dream just as I received a message to read Psalm 101 but I believe the message wasn’t just for me.  So here it is:

“I will sing of mercy and justice; to You O LORD, I will sing praises. I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him will I destroy; the one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, him I will not endure. My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who tells lies shall not continue in my presence. Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD”. (Psalm 101: 1-8)

I am confident that you will take something away from this Psalm of David but I would like each of us to ponder a few things.  Some of which I been pondering since sharing my dream with a friend.

•Do I wake up singing of God’s mercy and justice?

•Do I sing praises to God throughout the day, everyday?

•Is my behavior always acceptable in His sight?

•Do I restrain myself from indulging in vile entertainment?

•Do we as individuals and as a people seek righteousness and walk according to the standards of God?

I hear people complain more than we sing songs of praise; something I am very much guilty of. We try to redefine that which God has already defined in scripture and set in place our own standard of measurement for sin, morality, ethics, justice, etc. Even this post reads as a long list of complaints, even if it intended as a compilation of reflective thoughts aimed at embracing the grace of God though Christ Jesus. A grace that I still do not fully understand but will bring me into full understanding by Him who gives it freely and without measure.

In the middle of writing this I received a call from a brother in Christ. He shared my dream with someone who confirmed a shared experience with the theme of this Psalm today. Wow! Don’t you just appreciate how God uses us to confirm his message with each other?

Look around, do you see perversity thriving? Do you see pride slowly chipping aways at us and at the world? Is slander not a thriving business that dominates the daily news? Still, by the grace of God through Jesus Christ, we will dwell with Him in eternity.

An imperfect man wrote this psalm; a man who yielded to desires of the flesh even in his intimate knowledge God. Yet, by grace he is saved and God, being faithful, still acts “for the sake of His servant David”.  God calls us to walk in a perfect way with him, knowing just how imperfect we are. He calls us to flee deceit, lies, wickedness, and all the sins of this dying world to enter into a covenant relationship with Him. Will we heed his call or bend to the dying attractions of this world? Will we be faithful witnesses for Him or seek out the fame and approval of friends and family?

Remember God’s promise to those who transgress the land. It is time to open our eyes and confess our transgressions against one another and against God. We continue to transgress the land which He gave us to care for and time is running out.

God’s grace and mercy will endure forever and His justice is certain. Will you approach to His right or to His left?

Let’s Pray Together

I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. My help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2).

For those who have looked beyond the image in the mirror, the reality of worldwide chaos is very evident.  Even then, so many still refuse to believe in the Triune God; the only One who can save us from what is coming.  We sit in our bunkers, safe from the violent persecution taking place in areas like Iraq and Syria, barely considering what is happening.  Many of us only consider the things that affect us personally, turning our heads to the affliction of others.  No, I am not saying that what we deal with daily is not important.  I am saying that what is happening next door or across the seas is not so detached from us as we think.  Soon and very soon, we will all experience judgement.

Don’t look so intently in the mirror.  Even in this “my way” world we cannot steer the course of destiny to satisfy our own wants and needs.  All that we have and all that we are have been given to us by God. It is He who allows the wicked to prosper and preserves salvation from the poor and destitute.  Stop looking around at the buildings and technological advancements saying “how beautifully adorned they are and how great man is”.  Stop treating man as though they are gods and look to the only God for your salvation.  This world and all that is in it is passing; the tribulation clock is speeding up and we are in the final countdown.  Lift up your eyes and realize that our salvation draweth nigh; the King has mounted His horse and the clouds of heaven have bowed to His command.  

“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm 127: 1)

Why do we continue to put our trust in the work of our own hands?  How is that any different than bowing our heads to gods of wood and stone?  Who among us has the power to save us; to bring our souls into eternal salvation?  Open your eyes!  Don’t you feel the rumbling beneath your feet?  Don’t you feel the gnawing in your skin?  Don’t you feel the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart?  Can you see the angel of light, the fallen one, going about deceiving the world and causing chaos?  We cannot save ourselves and neither can those to whom we give our votes.  There is only One who can save us and “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever” (Ps 125:1).  

Look to the hills; raise your heads to heaven and take your cause to Him who is able to save us.  Let us raise our voices in prayer to God, though Jesus Christ, for our brothers and sisters.  Let us bring our petition before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Let us raise our voices in one accord for the redemption of this world.  Let us pray for the just and the unjust; for a revival and the movement of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of everyone.  Let us turn our eyes from the mirror and acknowledge the pain and suffering beyond our walls.  Let us pray together!

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do  hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning. Yes, more that those who watch for the morning. (Psalm 130:1-6)

Share Your Testimony

Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples (Psalms 105:1 NKJV).

I’m often guilty of not sharing how God has worked in my life, even after He answers my prayers. I was permitted the opportunity over the past few weeks to hear others share their testimonies and to share some of what God has done in my life.  I have also seen how we often neglect the work of God; ascribing much of what happens either to our own strength or the work of other people.

The Psalmist tells us to:

  1. Give thanks to the Lord
  2. Call upon His Name
  3. Make known His deeds

The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4 to rejoice in the Lord; to let our gentleness be known to all men; to be anxious for nothing but by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

The themes here are the same.  We are called to first give thanks to God, to call upon his name, and to testify of His deeds, which are all good.  Yet so many times we only call upon his name and only when all else seem to evade us.  As I examine my own actions, I also implore you to do the same.  Do you give thanks in all circumstances and before calling upon God to bring you out of whatever difficulty you face? Do you recognize His hand in your life and share your testimony with others?

It is easy to find something to complain about; After all, this world is currently in the hands of the fallen one. But Christ has promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us.  If you know Him, you know that His words are true and His truth will comfort us at all times.

You are right, I do not know what you are dealing with. I do not know what challenges you face nor do I share the same experiences you have. But God…………….He who created us is able to save us from all things and will cause all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:16).

We often seek answers from the natural world for things supernatural.  We employ a scientific mind for spiritual interventions and become discouraged when the answers seem too farfetched.  Our testimony may bare the answers someone else may be seeking.  Our testimony may be the vehicle which God has chosen to answer another person’s prayer or to reveal his grace, his mercy, and his love for us.  Do not be blinded by the obstacle that stands before you when greater things wait just beyond it.  Don’t allow your complaints to block the blessings that are set in place for you by God.  There is defeat and discouragement in complaints, especially when brought to the wrong source.  Only God can resolve the issues we face; it is Him, through the resources he provide that takes care of our needs.

So today as we tackle those things that have been plaguing us, let us remember to give thanks before we begin to complain.  Consider His grace when we bring those complaints to Him, and believe in your heart that he has already answered your prayer.  Leave your burdens at the foot of the cross and be patient; lift up your eyes to the horizon beyond the current obstacle and consider all His good works.