National Poetry Month – Mountain of Life

DerrickMountain of Life

By Derrick Collins

I feel a strong wind blowing across my forehead,

The thought of what I’d live my life to be.

The pressure that I fear is coming faster,

And sometimes when I close my eyes I see.

Future lights shining my name boldly,

And past forgotten, all except my friends.

But sometimes the lights are dim and dirty,

And in the race for life my sorrow wins.

The few years that I’ve lived I’ve learned some lessons,

The first like on the bill, “In God We Trust”.

I’ve also learned of passion and perseverance,

Focus, don’t be distracted by every lust.

When it seems you’re all alone remember Jesus,

He’ll lead and guide as only Jesus can.

But don’t just turn your back on every person,

For God to make it work He uses man.

Make sure that care and love reflect your image,

Don’t be afraid to show what’s deep inside.

Realize that each mistake is just a lesson,

And learn, don’t get deceived by foolish pride.

Remember as you travel up life’s mountain,

That love’s the prize possession that you own.

And with your faith, your strength and God the Father,

At the top of the mountain you will set your throne.

What Good is Prayer?

By Robert Burk

prayerSome experiments have been done to test if prayer works but this is not what this article is about. The question here is “What good is prayer?” Usually we already have the answer given us in Scripture.  At other times the answer is our head and two arms. We know what God wants. We have the information in the Bible and the tools in all the good things He has given us. Often all we need to do is to obey.

So, what good is prayer?

Prayer will not change the Laws of God; it does not change the Great Commission. Prayer does not alter what the church is or how we are to act with one another. After we pray, the words in the Bible remain as they have since dictated to the prophets.

Prayer does not change things. God’s Plan will unfold. It is the one certain thing in this universe. Yet, we all pray and many believe this is the main focus of a Christian’s life. But what good is prayer if it does not change anything?

Prayer does not feed the hungry. Prayer will not put a roof over a homeless person’s head. Prayer does not give those who are lonely a friend. Prayer does not introduce the lost to Christ. God works through us. What good is prayer if we are not the answer? We pray that lost souls should be saved but what is the point if we do not seek to save the lost?

What is the point of prayer to make the world a better place if we are not living as we ought? There is a right and wrong in this world, if we are not living right what is the point in praying for things to get better? God has given us our instructions and everything we need to carry them out. The Bible tells us how to live.  Why pray and ignore what He has told us to do?

What good is prayer when we are the answer? We are the way God answers prayers. If we are not the answer to prayer then what good is prayer? God made us to be an answer to each other’s prayers. If we were the answer to prayer, life would be far different and far better.

If the world does not believe prayer works it is because we do not do what we are meant to do.  We are not answering prayers and we are not doing the work of God.

The church prays but the church does not answer prayer. How then can prayer change anything? We were given a head and two hands for a reason.  If all we are to do is pray, Scripture would be far less demanding and contain fewer instructions. If we would focus on being an answer to prayer, we could and would change the world. We would create a church that is one body under Christ. Denominational difference would melt under the light of our love. And no one would be asking, “What good is prayer?” for they would see us and know the answer.

About the Author – Robert Burk is a writer and consultant on motivation who studies the Bible as a document that provides real clues to how we should be living and organizing our business and economics. http://www.rationalexchange.com/

Voices in a Crisis

by William Higgins

Crises are a part of life. If you aren’t experiencing one at present, you can be sure someone close to you is whether you know it or not.

healthelandDeath of a loved one, a family member in prison or living on the street, news of a debilitating illness, loss of a job; they all bring pain and added stress. The pain you feel is real. The stress you experience is real. And they aren’t to be minimized. They won’t go away with just a few words, or a few days. It will take time. And the time will be a challenge to your well-being and your faith.

Others go about their lives seemingly without a care in the world. Life’s a breeze. Everything’s great. But you’re dying inside!

During this time there are numerous voices clambering for your attention. Which voices do you listen to? Which voices do you give credence to? Do you listen to:

The voices inside your head? This voice challenges you to make it on your own. You say to yourself, “I really don’t need others to help me with this, I can do it.” You don’t want to rely on others and appear weak. You want to pretend that all is well and carry on as you always have. You are proud after all. This voice could also present the other side; you just can’t make it through this pain. You won’t survive.  However, in listening to these voices you’re denying what Christianity is all about; helping others and being a body as described in I Corinthians 12. Don’t listen to these voices.

The voices of others? These voices tell you to try this miracle cure, or that exciting moneymaker, this magical remedy, or that amazing counselor. While Christ does tell us in Luke 16 that the people of the world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind, you must weigh what these voices are saying. Too often they’re acting only on worldly wisdom, humanistic philosophy and easy escape routes. Weigh what these voices are saying on the scales of scripture to see if they have value or not. Don’t just listen to them and do what they say.

The voice of God? God is there in times of crisis. He is there to carry you through it. But His voice isn’t easily heard. His voice may be drowned out by the other voices you hear. You need to pay attention to what He’s saying, and how He’s saying it. Learn from the prophets of old.

Elijah was in a crisis. He had told Ahab of his wickedness and God’s punishment in the coming drought. He further angered King Ahab by defeating the prophets of Baal. He had a contract on his head thanks to Queen Jezebel. So he did what any of us would do; he ran. Forget the victory over Baal. Forget how God had taken care of him in the past; he just ran for his life man! Forget even trying to hear God’s voice. Doesn’t Elijah sound just like us?

But was this man trying to hear from God, or just running away from his crisis? You read the story starting in I Kings 17 and you decide. Even in Elijah’s running God took care of him. First, ravens fed him. Then a widow helped him out, an angel brought him food, water and comfort. But that wasn’t enough. Elijah kept searching for what he couldn’t seem to find. He went to the cave, he went to the mountain; but didn’t find God. He looked for God in the tornado, in the earthquake, in a firestorm, but God was not there. We look for God also, but fail to hear His voice.

But God finally got his attention in a gentle whisper. C.S. Lewis says, “God screams in our pleasure, but whispers in our pain.” God challenged Elijah to remember His faithfulness, encouraged him to retreat and spend time alone with Him, prompted him to reflect on how God had been there in the past, and directed him to re-establish relationships. These were the keys to Elijah’s renewal and are your keys to a renewed relationship with God also, and to handling a crisis.

Other biblical characters faced crises also. Joseph was a spoiled son to whom his father Jacob  presented a beautiful coat, which only added to how his brothers felt about him. They hated him and Joseph didn’t do anything to appease that hatred. He flaunted his dreams in their faces, so when they had the opportunity they threatened to kill him. Instead of killing him however, they sold him to a band of wandering traders. The traders in turn sold him to a high government official in Egypt where he worked as a slave. He was then thrown in prison as a result of a false accusation, where he spent the next ten years. You could say Joseph had a crisis, and his went on for over 13 years!

But we catch a glimpse of the fact that God was at work in him and for him even during the crisis. His story starts in Genesis 37, and in Genesis 40:2 you find a phrase that is repeated over the next few chapters, “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered…” We don’t have a lot of detail in the chapters starting in Genesis 37 about what Joseph did and didn’t do to find God blessing him, but what we do find is that Joseph was true to how God had made him, and he was true to his God

When he couldn’t see what was happening, Joseph was true to himself and to God. When he did what was right and still suffered, Joseph was true to himself and to God. When his crisis went on for years, Joseph was true to himself and to God. You can read more about Joseph and how God worked on his behalf in a soon-to-be-released book; Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search (www.MindWarePublishing.com).

You can make it through your crisis; not just by listening to yourself, not just by listening to others, but by listening to God. He is there, and He knows your pain. He may not be visible. He may not be audible. He may not reveal Himself in miraculous ways, but you can trust that He is there and is working on your behalf.

The way Joseph and Elijah handled their crises is also your answer to how to handle your crisis and what voices to listen to. Learn from Elijah and remember God’s faithfulness, retreat and spend some time alone with Him, reflect on how God has been there in your past, and re-establish relationships to help you through the crisis. And learn from Joseph and be true to yourself, how God has made you, and true to God by believing that He is still in control even when you can’t see anything to prove that.

He is working and He’s not finished yet!

About the Author: BILL HIGGINS is currently the Managing Director of MindWare Incorporated, an independent training and career coaching consulting firm. He previously served on the pastoral staff of churches in the U.S. and Canada, and worked in a managerial capacity for industry leading organizations. Bill is a graduate of Biola University and Talbot Theological Seminary.

A Prepared Place

From the book: “The Promises of Jesus” By Vanessa Collins

Scripture Lesson

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

 John 14:1-3

Prepared PlaceMeditation

It was a strange day the disciples probably thought.  It was just all kind of strange.  Jesus was acting strange, Judas was acting real strange and now it just all seemed, well, strange.  First Jesus washed their feet at dinner, then Judas abruptly leaves and now Jesus was talking about leaving, again.  He had mentioned this leaving thing before, but this time it was different.  It seemed more imminent now.

Moving and travelling was something that the disciples were used to.  For the last 3½ years, they had been on the move.  But now Jesus was talking about going somewhere that they could not go.  They had worked together as a team for the last 3½ years, and they had left everything and everybody they knew behind. To the disciples, it was apparent that there was still a lot of work to do.  This gospel of the coming of the Kingdom of God had to be preached everywhere, including Rome and places even further away.  This was no time for the leader to bail out.  Besides, who was going to do all of that work?

It is here that we find our promise for today.  Jesus told them, in the previous chapter, that they could not go with Him.  This news was heart breaking.  However, Jesus encourages them to not allow their hearts to be troubled.  It was now time to believe, not just in God but in the power of His Son, Jesus.  He told them there were many mansions in His Father’s house, real mansions.  He told them that He would prepare a place for them and that He would return to receive them unto Himself so that they would be where He was.  Not only did they not need to fear His death, they did not need to fear their own.  They would spend eternity with Christ.

That same promise is also for us that are born again.  We will have eternal life with Jesus Christ.  Because of that, we don’t have to worry what will happen when we die.  Will we stay in the grave until the rapture?  Does our spirit immediately go to be with Christ?  Is there a holding place somewhere?  Will we be in heaven or will we be on earth?

You can have lots of fun proving or disproving the many theories there are associated with the afterlife, but there is one thing that is for sure.  When it is all said and done, we will be with Him.  That is the only thing that is important.

Affirmations

Jesus has prepared a place for me to be with Him forever.  As a born again believer, I will have eternal life.  I do not have to worry about dying.  I rejoice and I am grateful for the promise that Jesus will come again and receive me and that where He is, I will be also.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Truth Forged in the Fire

From the book: “Truth Forged in the Fire”  By Michael D. Daniel

TruthForgedintheFire_VCIn what continues to be a perpetual cause of concern for the body of Christ today, is the glaring absence of New Testament truth emanating from our pulpits. Uncompromising men of God that once flourished in the church just a generation ago are now only a fading memory. Saintly men that graced the pulpits like A.W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead and Watchman Nee, once set the bar of Biblical truth at a benchmark determined by God Himself. These stanch men of God knew nothing of concession, and would have gladly laid down their lives in defense of their sheep; their God; and their love of the truth. But where are their kind today?

 

The measure by which God tells us to judge anyone is by their fruit, and the fruit of a preacher must be evident almost immediately within his selfless humility. His life of surrendered obedience to God will only be exceeded by his complete hatred for anything that brings recognition to himself or his ministry. Like his Master, he will not shy away from the unpopularity that truth brings; but will embrace any hardship that counts him worthy to suffer as his Lord did. He will have a dedicated love for his sheep and will suffer with them through every affliction. In everything that he does, his life will be completely transparent, giving no place to the enemy or man to accuse him of questionable conduct. And most importantly, he will never neglect his time with God; his time in the prayer closet will be his most precious time of the day and will always exceed his time spent in the company of men.

 

Men of this caliber are not made by other men in the seminary, but are hewn out of a divine building material reserved exclusively for those saints that were chosen long before the foundation of the world; men that God knew would one day be willing to lay down their life in humble obedience to do His will. The great weight of their cross will never be relinquished for a minute, but will remain a constant source of self-renunciation as they surrender every hint of friendship with the world and the love of comfort that so easily ensnares those of a less noble character.

 

In contrast, what we find today is the product of a generation of politically correct crowd pleasers. The benevolent humility of the preacher’s heart has long been sacrificed on the altar of ambition, as he yields to the pressures to build bigger and better sanctuaries. The cross has become little more than a small piece of a vast curriculum learned by rote in the seminary classroom, and has never gained entrance into the preacher’s heart. The price for this costly sacrifice will be felt as soon as he opens his mouth to preach.

 

The greatest loss however to the body of Christ is not to be found in their loss of time sitting through hours of lifeless sermons, but in the loss of something much more costly; namely their relationship with Jesus Christ and the experiential knowledge that comes from an intimate revelation of New Testament Christianity.

 

The primary objective of every true shepherd should be to impart a vivid understanding of the sufferings of our Lord; the death of the flesh associated with His cross; and the spiritual maturity that is to be acquired on the other side of that suffering. But this kind of lesson can only be taught by someone that has carried his own cross and born his own stripes. Anything short of this experience will make the shepherd a product of his own design, and the sheep he feeds no closer to God than himself.

 

Those holding on to the teachings of Christianity without suffering, are those that have not examined the teachings of the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the Hebrews were promised material blessings in exchange for their obedience (Deut 28:1-14). In the New Testament, Christians are told to be content with their basic needs being met (1Tim 6:8). In the Old Testament, believers were provided treasures here on earth (Deut 8:13). In the New Testament, believers are told to store up for themselves treasures in Heaven (Matt 6:20). You cannot claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ and expect material prosperity in this lifetime. What you can expect is to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29), who was meek, lowly, humble, and homeless! (1Co 4:11)

 

That’s not to say that a Christian can never be financially blessed; but before God would trust one of His children with something as spiritually lethal as wealth, he would first have to destroy every desire that the Christian might have in attaining that wealth!

 

This is the message of New Testament Christianity; deny yourself and take up your cross! Jesus set the example for those that wanted to follow in His footsteps; does anyone have the right to teach anything other than this (Gal 1:8-9)?  If your church makes no effort to teach the meekness, humility, and hardships that identified the followers of Jesus Christ, then this is not a New Testament church. It is one thing not to know the truth and be mislead, it is quite another to follow the crowds that choose to believe the lie!

 

Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Choose to be one of the few; surrender all affections for the world, and fully submit to the chastening hand of your Heavenly Father. The hearts of the saints are being tested my brethren; the Lord is separating the sheep from the goats, and sealing His remnant for the final harvest. Stay close to God, stay long in your prayer closet, and only pursue those treasures that will be laid up for you in the Kingdom of God!

 

About the Author – Michael Daniel was born in the early fifties in North Texas and raised in Southern California.  My career went the way of professional salesman and motivational speaker. God has since broken that man, replacing unquenchable pride with abject humility. Homeless now for 18 months.  http://www.whollysanctified.com (personal ministry website) michael@whollysanctified.com (email)

Evidence of Your Faith

From the book: “Intensive Faith Therapy” by Vanessa Collins

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

court supremeWe will focus on the second part of our scripture today.  According to the author of Hebrews, faith is the “evidence of things not seen”.  It is by our faith that we stand on the promises of God, even when we do not see the actual manifestation.

In our judicial system, evidence is very important in legal matters, especially criminal and civil cases.  If the system is running correctly (which, unfortunately, does not happen all the time), the party that can prove his/her case by the preponderance of evidence wins the case.  The stronger your evidence, the more likely you will have a ruling in your favor.

The best evidence you can have in a courtroom is factual, tangible evidence.  If you can, so to speak, produce the “smoking gun with fingerprints”, you have something that, in most cases, the judge will allow you to admit as evidence.  It will be admissible in court.  Admissible evidence leads directly to something else.  You can trace it to a logical conclusion.  You do not have to infer or guess where or to whom it points.  It is direct.

Sometimes, factual evidence is not available.  In this case, the lawyer may have to refer to circumstantial evidence or even hearsay.  In most cases (again, where the system is running properly) one rarely gets a major conviction based solely on circumstantial evidence.  The bigger the issue, the more evidence is needed in order to get a ruling in your favor.

How does this relate to our study?  Faith is the evidence of what we do not yet see.  How strong is the evidence that you will receive the promises of God that you are seeking?  Are you standing on strong, factual evidence or is your case weak, based on hearsay of what you think God might do?

What factual evidence do we have concerning the things of God?  Our biggest “smoking gun” if you will, is the Word of God.  As Christians, we believe that the Word of God is true.  We also have a true and righteous judge.   Psalm 96:12-13 tells us that the Lord shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.  Therefore, we can stand on the Word of God as evidence to that which we seek. God even instructs us to put Him in remembrance of His Word (Isaiah 43:26).  If God says in His Word that He will do something, you can depend on that Word.  In Isaiah 46:11, The Lord tells Isaiah;

…I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

The Word of God is our strongest evidence that God will do what He has promised.  When this evidence is presented, a favorable ruling can be counted on.

What other evidence can we use?  Lawyers often rely on the testimony of witnesses to convince the jury and judge to rule in their favor.  The best witnesses are those that are credible and are basing their testimony on actual facts that they have experienced.  If they can say, “I know this happened because I saw it”, your witnesses will have a great impact on the case.  However, if they say that we were told that something happened but they did not actually witness it, it may be ruled as hearsay and not viewed as strongly as other testimony.

What testimony are you using to build your case and build your faith?  Proverbs 14:5 tells us that a “faithful witness will not lie”.  Are you listening to the witness of the “faithful” in God?  You need to surround yourself by those that will give you ammunition for your case.  Leave the doubters alone!  You need people in your life that know that God will make a way.  You will then have a faith that is strong and able to withstand the scrutiny of the courtroom of life.


For your edification, answer the following questions.

What type of evidence would a lawyer rather have in a courtroom, factual or circumstantial?

 Answer the following questions in your own words.

Why is the Word of God strong evidence for the Christian?

Why is the testimony of a faithful witness important to you?

 We want to not just hear the word, but put it into action in our lives.  Answer the questions below to help you apply this lesson to your life.

What is one of the major promises that you are seeking God to fulfill in your life right now?

What evidence do you have in the Word of God that God will do what you are seeking?

Name the “faithful witnesses” in your life that you are using to build your faith.

What is their testimony relative to your situation?

Lesson Summary

Court is now in session!!!  We know that our faith must be tried and the evidence must weigh out. We know that we have solid, truthfully evidence of God’s goodness and faithfulness to His people in the Word of God.  We are going to search out the scriptures and find our evidence.  We believe that God is a faithful judge and that He is no respecter of person.  We have no time for doubters and unbelief.  We believe God’s Word and we are building strong faith in Him. God is faithful and He faithfully takes care of His children.  See you in court!!!

I Am the Lord That Maketh All Things

From the book: “The Promises of God” By Vanessa Collins

Scripture Lesson:

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

Isaiah 44:24

makeallthingsMeditation

There is nothing more frustrating than depending on a promise that is later broken.  Many times people have good intentions and they try their very best to fulfill the promises they make but they are unable to.  They really meant to call but ran out of time.  They had every intention of coming but the car broke down.  They really meant to do it but something beyond their control happened, and as a result, they were unable to keep their promise.  When this happens, we understand.  We, too, have been in this position where we intended to do something, but for whatever reason, we were unable to fulfill the promise.

 

What about when you are deceived?  Sometimes people make promises that not only do they have no intention of keeping; they have no authority to make.  A salesman can promise to lower your payments, but if he does not have the authority from the manager or owner, it won’t get done.  Sure, I can promise to sell you a mansion for a $1, but if I don’t own the mansion or have authority to sell the mansion, I would not advise you to start packing.  I would have made you an empty promise.

 

God does not make empty promises.  His promises are not empty because He has authority to act on any promise He makes.  As He clearly states in today’s promise, He makes all things.  He can make the promise because He owns the stuff.  As He states, He is our redeemer.  He formed us in our mother’s womb.  He made the heavens and the earth by Himself.  Because He owns it all, He can declare a promise and it be fulfilled.

 

Many theologians today have major problems with the idea that Isaiah authored chapters 40 through 66 of the book that bears his name because of the prophetic nature of these chapters.  How could Isaiah know the specific name of the king that God would use 150 years before?  Easy.  Just as an author can tell you how their book will end before they have actually written the words on paper, God can tell Isaiah the specifics of these incidents.  God is the author.  As stated in Isaiah 44:24-28, it is He (God) that can confirm the word of His servant and perform the counsel of His messengers.

 

In this volume, we have looked at some of the most precious promises of God.  Some that many may believe are too good to be true.  Can God really fulfill these promises concerning life here on earth and eternal life to follow?  He surely can.  He is the maker of life.  He owns life.  He designed life.  He has the authority and the power to fulfill every promise made.

Affirmations

The God I serve is all powerful.  He is able and has the authority to keep any and every promise that He makes.  He is the maker of all things.  I am gratefully for God’s Word.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Power to Make It Happen

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

 Joshua 1:8 KJV

fist sunCan you imagine what it would be like if you had no way of doing anything at all?  What would that be like?  I am reminded of the young girl who had a sincere desire to paint but she was born without any limbs.  So she would use the muscles in her hips to maneuver her way around and use her mouth to hold the paint brush.  She is recognized as one of the more passionate artists today.  I am also thinking of the young man who lost his legs in the war and was able to enter into the Olympics after returning to the U.S.  He was given alloys in place of legs and was able to participate in the Paralympics with great success.

Well, in the supernatural, there are things that may seem like they are handicaps and will hold you to not having success.  But, when you are totally engulfed in the Word of God, this is not the case.  Today’s scripture explains that it is when the Word of God is spoken, meditated on, and adhered to, prosperity and success ensue.  Friend, trust God at His Word and just follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction.  You will always find that no matter what situation has arisen in your life, it will not stop what God has ordained just for you.   He has already provided the power that you need to make your way successful daily.

Prayer:
Heavenly and Gracious and Almighty God, glory to Your name.  Glory to Your Son Jesus, the Absolute Truth!  Glory to You, O Holy Spirit.  Thank You God, for giving me everything I need to make my way prosperous and successful each and every day of my life.  Even when things present themselves in my path, you have given me power to believe and speak victory over it.  In Jesus’ name, it is so.  Amen.

About the Author:  Juliet Bramlett, Co-Overseer of Queen JB Ministries in Chicago, IL, is a Christian teacher, psalmist, and writer.  She is married with 2 children.  Follow her Facebook page – Queen JB Ministries

Commanded to Trust

Coco CayWe are commanded to trust God.  It is not a suggestion. It is not a request. It is a command. Not to do it is sin. Not to do it indicates character flaws in our Christian personality. Therefore, if we are having trouble trusting God, He is obligated to give us situations in our lives that force us to trust Him. He wants us to mature. He loves us that much.

Let us look at a few of the scriptures that command us to trust God. First, we find Psalm 4:5. In this Psalm, David instructs those that are observing him to offer sacrifices of righteousness and to put their trust in the Lord.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
Psalm 4:5

We are often challenged to trust God in the area of integrity. We may cheat a little on our taxes, or even fudge the expense report a little. It is often hard to walk in integrity with God when everyone else seems to do the opposite. We are admonished here in Psalm 4:5 to offer sacrifices of righteousness and put our trust in the Lord. We must strive not to be as the world. Just because “everybody is doing it” does not mean that it is acceptable to practice unrighteousness. We must make up in our minds and show by our actions that we want to live upright before God. Only when we do this will we see His awesome power at work in our lives.

Look at Psalm 62. In this Psalm, David proclaims his trust in God for deliverance. In verses 1-7, David realizes that his only salvation and defense is in God. Therefore, he promises to wait on God. Then, in verse 8, those that are listening to this song are told likewise to trust God.

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.

We are to trust in God at all times. It tends to be easier to trust God when things are going well. When there is money in the bank and our loved ones are well or when we are in good physical and mental health, it is not hard to trust in the delivering power of God. But when the money runs out, when our children are cutting up or when we are in excruciating pain, our trust in God begins to waver. In this verse we are commanded to trust God at all times, during the good and the trying times.

How do we bring ourselves to trust God in trying times? We may have a desire to trust God but just cannot bring ourselves to do it. How do we get past this barrier?

One way is given to us in the verse, “pour out your heart before Him.” We must seek true relationship with God. In true relationship, we have trust. Think about some of your most trusted friends. If that relationship has grown over the years, many times there were a lot of “heart pouring” sessions that took place. They would cry on your shoulder and you would cry on theirs. Over the years, you have built a relationship with that person and, for the most part, you have a sense of trust in them.

We must pour out our hearts to God. God wants us to. Although He knows our situation, we are still commanded in scripture to keep lines of communication open with Him. Why? It is through communication that we build relationship. When we pour out our hearts to God, we let our defenses down. Therefore He can be a defense for us. When we go to Him seeking deliverance, He will deliver us.

Do you want to be mature in God and trust Him for deliverance? Good.  However, there is only one way to develop that kind of trust. He must deliver you and in order for Him to deliver you, you must be a situation that requires deliverance. How can we trust God to deliver us if we never have problems that require deliverance AND we never seek His help? One thing is for certain; life will continue to give us problems that require deliverance. The question is will we continue to seek our deliverance from God.

For your edification, answer the following questions.
In Psalm 4:5, what sacrifices are we instructed to offer to God?
According to Psalm 62:8, who are we to pour out our hearts to?

Answer the following questions in your own words.
Why is it easier to trust God when things appear to be going well?
How do you think one can offer “sacrifices of righteousness”?

We want to not just hear the word, but put it into action in our lives.  Answer the questions below to help you apply this lesson to your life.
Take a few moments to do a little personal inventory.  Are there areas in your life that the Holy Spirit has brought to your attention where you are not exercising righteousness?  List them here.
Ask God for guidance as to how He would have you handle these areas.  Most of the time God has already told us what to do, but we are afraid.  Describe the actions you should take in order to resolve the issues you have listed above.

Lesson Summary
Trust in the Lord! The command is clear. We are to put our trust in God. We have already tried trusting other things to no avail. Therefore, we have no one else to trust but God. God is all-powerful.  He is able to handle our situation. We may not understand why we are where we are right now but we must believe that God is on our side. We can trust Him. He wants us to trust Him. He requires us to do so.

It Shall Be Done – The Law of Agreement

Scripture Lesson

 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 18:19

shallbedoneMeditation
Agreement on earth is a powerful thing.  Nations have risen and fallen just on the power of agreement.  The word “agree” means to concur or to consent to as a course of action.  We have often misunderstood the word “touching” as used here to mean physical touch.  The word translated here is “peri” which means about, concerning, on account of, because of, around, near.  So we are told by Jesus in this scripture that if two people shall agree on earth concerning anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them.  What a powerful promise!  Is God really prepared to back this up?  We can come up with some pretty wild stuff.  Does Jesus really know what He is saying?

Well, God has found himself in some very interesting positions because of this law of agreement.  Now this law did not just come into effect when Jesus spoke about it.  It has been in effect since God gave man freewill.  And it as made for some very interesting times.

One of the most memorable is the Tower of Babel mentioned in Genesis 11.  Although you may have heard differently, the Bible does not tell us that these people were wicked or that their motives were bad.  We do know that their desire to build a city and a tower got God’s attention and that He “came down” to see what they were doing.  Since the word “heaven”, used here, also means sky, God was not concerned that they would build a tower that would reach to where He abode. We have many skyscrapers today, so I do not think God has a problem with tall buildings.  God seems to be concerned with the fact that these people, being on one accord, would be unlimited in what they could do.

So did God take their power away?  Did He cancel the Law of Agreement?  No.  He scattered them by changing their language.  Did He tell them that they were wrong? No.  He did not send a prophetic message to them.  He just caused them to move.  Guess what? They got with people of their own language, and they moved to other areas and did exactly what they were going to do there.  They built cities and towers all over the world.  Perhaps it wasn’t what they were agreeing to do that was the problem.  It was who they were agreeing with.

Maybe you find yourself in the same place.  God may be stirring things up not because of what you are believing Him for, but maybe it is who you are agreeing with.  If the language people around you are using is becoming confusing, perhaps it is time to move on.  Since we have been on this journey of renewing our minds, I am sure that our language has become confusing to many.  We are not talking about lack and sickness and the works of the enemy.  We are proclaiming the power of God in our lives.

Affirmations
I agree with the Word of God.  I am who it says I am.  I have what it says I have.  I will seek God’s wisdom when I agree with someone concerning their prayers.  I rejoice and I am grateful for the promise that when we agree concerning anything, it will be done for us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.