Our heavenly Father loves for us to praise His Name! I love praising His Name! It's kind of a spontaneous thing; when I think about how good He's been to me praise just breaks forth! Psalm 22:3 says He inhabits the praises of His people. That means He comes down and occupies your space where praise is going forth. I know that is true because many times my praise turns into worship. You can't help but love a God like ours, at least I know I can't!
There are seven different types of praise. The number seven means completion and perfection. Since our God is complete and perfect that number would be the most appropriate.
Praise is probably one of our deadliest weapons against the forces of darkness. It throws them into a state of confusion, especially when we should be angry or sad. Praise lifts us up out of our circumstances because we are focusing on God and not ourselves or our situation. This is a wonderful place to live and I highly recommend it! Of course, there are days when I don't feel like praising, but if I force myself to give God an "anyhow" praise He comes down and gets in the midst and turns my attitude toward Him. It may have started out forced and not real, but it quickly turns into a hallelujah good time! He is an amazing, awesome, wonderful, glorious God and is at all times worthy of our praise!!!
Rest is essential for our spirit, soul, and body. The Lord had me post this exact same message in five different places. Grace is calling us to rest in Him! That's all.
Ethanayah...Firmly God has answered
Today's title is a word many people are not trying to hear. That's unfortunate though because it ranks quite high on the list to receive from the Lord. Do you reward your disobedient children? Well then, what makes you think He will reward His? Merriam-Webster defines obedience as "an act or instance of obeying". The Greek word for obedience, Hupotasso, breaks this thing down in biblical terms. It defines obedience as:
John 12:49 "I have not spoken on My own, but the Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and how to say it.
John 8:28 "...and I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
1 John 4:17 "...because as He is, so are we in this world."
So, if Jesus can do it, you can do it! The conclusion of the matter is: If you want to live the very best life you possibly can, the life God predestined for you to live before the foundation of the world, then just do what He says!
This morning as I was out for my walk the Lord gave me the title for today's blog. As I sat down to write, He told me to look up the Hebrew meaning of the word "timing". Strangely, there is not one. I was looking in my Strong's Dictionary of Bible Words. He said look it up on the Internet. I typed in "Hebrew meaning of the word timing" and it gave many meanings for the word "time". He led me to look at the very first one which is the word "mowed" which means "appointed place, appointed, time, meeting". So now I am very intrigued because I know the Lord has something very specific to say. The scripture reference for this word is Genesis 18:14: “Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” Oh my goodness! There are no words to describe the God we serve! He told me early this morning to just relax and enjoy the holiday. At first I thought we weren't even going to post a blog today but then He gave me a title and sent me on a quest to receive specifically what He is saying to me. Just as He had me publicly write about my running ahead of Him on Saturday, He is posting His response to me publicly for all the world to see! Matthew 6:6 says, "But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly." Of course, I had already prayed about this and the Lord had already answered me. This is truly a surprise and a gift to me as much as it is to you! He is using this blog to bless me! My Daddy loves me and He constantly shows it! Our heavenly Father blesses us so that we can be a blessing. I want to speak into someone's life today who is waiting on God. This same word is for you! At the appointed time He will fulfill what He has promised you! Hold on to His unchanging hand, don't doubt Him because it didn't happen in your timing, and never give up! Romans 8:37 says we are all more than conquerors through Christ Jesus, and 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, "For all the promises of God are "Yes" in Christ. And so through Him, our "Amen" is spoken to the glory of God." Hold on! Your YES is on the way!
When your desire is to walk in the fullness of what God has called you to, you may have a tendency to move a just a bit before He's ready. Don't dismay, however, that's a good thing. I am convinced that God will never let being on fire for Him not be used for His glory somehow. God will take that same fervency and still bring that thing to pass while developing you in the process. Yesterday I talked about new beginnings and that is indeed a part of what this is because we are all continuing to learn in our walk with the Lord. If we did everything perfectly, we wouldn't need Jesus would we? Today I jumped out ahead of God in His timing for His first group of students for Ethanayah. I'm not ashamed to say it and I don't make any excuses for myself. God never misses it; therefore, the slip up relies solely in my hands. As I just said though, it is a slip up that will bring glory to His name! In all of the things I have been speaking about this past week - being molded and pruned and developed, I am still in the midst of all of these things - and there is no place I would rather be! Mistakes can only make us better if we're truthful about them and don't try to hide them. Sometimes God uses our missteps as stepping stones for the next person to cross over to the other side without having to succumb to the same fate. I am so glad God loves me so much and will not give up on me. I'm also glad I know this without any doubt. I'm certainly not giving up on Him! Because Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good for those who love God, I can be confident that this is already working in my favor.
Walking through this life is such an amazing journey - especially when Jesus is leading the way. He truly takes us from glory to glory to glory to glory, and sometimes you don't even realize it, but you look up and you're in a brand new season of life. I can't speak for anyone else, but this has pretty much been the pattern in my life: I pray and ask for something and He gives it to me. I didn't realize that in my asking and receiving there's more pruning and developing going on while enjoying that portion of the answered prayer that has led me into asking for something else in order to fully complete the first thing I asked for. Anybody else? These are the promptings of God that He knew were necessary, but we didn't. It seems to be a never ending cycle of asking, waiting, receiving, and starting all over again, but I recognize this is all part of the growth process as you continue to have to use your faith in a greater capacity than you did the last time. You are being strengthened and stretched, and with every round it's easier to trust and believe Him, but it still requires more than you thought you had in you to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. I really wouldn't have it any other way because I recognize I'm being developed in each round and taken to a higher place, because my ultimate purpose and the reason I am here is much too much to have jumped right into it at the beginning of this faith walk. Much pruning, molding, shaping, disciplining, instructing, and guiding has to take place, and each time it's on a higher plane. Well, today I am yet at another one of those planes. I am so far out here on faith that I know it is nothing but God keeping me! I'm holding on to the hem of His garment like a baby holds on to their mother's skirt tail! I know if I let go, I'm lost cause I can't see the step in front of me - I just have to trust and believe it's there! New beginnings are always so exhilarating for me. There's no longer any fear because I've come to a place of total trust. There also has to be peace. No peace is an indicator that somewhere I've gotten off track. With peace working for me, I know if He did it before, He'll do it again! I pray this will encourage someone to step out on that new level of faith today. i challenge you to trust God on a higher plane than you ever have before. It is by no means easy, but it is necessary if you want to reach your destiny!
Hebrews 11:1 says "now faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen." What does that really mean though? It says faith is a substance. The definition of substance is: "the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence". The definition of Christian hope derived from the Hebrew and Greek words is: "an indication of certainty" or "a strong and confident expectation”. So you could say that faith is the tangible presence of that thing you are expecting, though it is not seen yet. My definition of faith is "a knowing that you already have the thing you have asked for, with confident certainty". Faith is not a magic pill, however, and sometimes it may take a while for your the thing you're believing for to manifest. It could happen immediately, next week, next month, next year, or 40 years from now, but true faith stands for however long it takes. Hebrews 6:12 tells us to "imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised". There are numerous people in the Bible who had to stand on their faith for years. I know of people in real life who have had to stand for years, including myself. Faith is prepared to buckle down for the long haul. A really really good example of faith is trusting that a God exists that we cannot see. That is faith at its finest. We go decades and decades trusting that He exists without ever laying eyes on Him. Yes, we see evidence that He is real all the time, but we have not actually seen Him. However, absolutely nothing can make us believe He is not real. Am I right about it? So, if you're willing to stand on your belief of an invisible God for as long as it takes for you to cross over to glory and finally see Him face to face, why can you not stand for as long as it takes to receive the thing that you have asked this invisible God to produce? Something to think about, huh? You're not going to say, "Well I'm 85 now and I haven't seen God yet so He must not be real so I'm just going to stop believing He exists." That would be crazy. So would letting go of His promises. I pray that this causes a shift in somebody's thinking to see faith differently and continue to hold on to what you're believing for with everything you've got no matter what comes your way...and no matter how long it takes!
Prayer is first and foremost a privilege. Do we ever really stop and think about the fact that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe invites us to speak to Him about anything and everything...and He not only takes the time to listen to us, but He also answers? Because we are given such an invaluable opportunity, it behooves us to take advantage of it, and to take advantage often! However, there is a specific protocol involved. Psalm 145:18 says the Lord is near to all who call upon Him in truth. In other words come before the Lord with humility and sincerity. Don't think you can come before Him like He's one of your homies! Don't forget He is the Great I Am, who was and is and is to come! He knows everything about you - yes EVERYTHING! He knows you much better than you even know yourself. As a matter of fact Psalm 139:2 says He knows our thoughts afar off. That means before the thought is even formed in our minds He already knew it was coming. WOW! That in and of itself ought to make us all recognize who God is, and we must certainly come to Him correct if we expect to receive anything from Him, let alone for Him to listen! James 4:8 says draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Our God delights in hearing from us and granting our requests, but we must come before Him the right way. Also, we seem to forget that prayer is not a monologue, but a dialogue. When you finish speaking to God, you need to listen for what He has to say to you. Don't just give Him your to do list and jump up and be on your way. There may be a requirement of you in receiving what you've asked for or maybe He just wants to talk to you about something else. Either way, give Him the opportunity to speak. In doing so you will find your prayer life will become more enriched than you could possibly imagine! Life with our Father God through our Lord Jesus Christ is an extremely beautiful thing - one I do not take for granted. Give your all to God in your prayer life, in your thoughts, and in your actions. I promise you your life will never be the same!
At a very early age I remember the desire of my heart being getting married at age 21 and having two children - a boy and a girl. I didn't even realize I was praying because I never spoke these word to God, but He was listening. He did not fulfill that dream in the way that I thought He would, but nevertheless He fulfilled it - and just right now as I am typing this, for the very first time I've received the revelation that He even fulfilled the children in the order in which I spoke them! My son is older than my daughter. Thank You, Lord!!! I tell you God continues to amaze and WOW me every single day! Dreams and desires are placed in us to fulfill the purposes of God. Throughout my 56 years He has placed dream after dream in me and He keeps fulfilling them! There have been some desires that I've had that He eventually removed - they were not part of His plan. Not only has He placed certain dreams and desires in me, He's placed them in each and every one of you! The secret in seeing those dreams become reality is yielding our lives to the way He wants them to go and then having the boldness and the courage to step out and do what it takes by His leading. He is the one that makes them come to pass, but He needs a willing and cooperative vessel! Just because the Lord gives you a dream does not mean it's going to be easy to achieve. In my experience I have found the two most important elements are first of all believing God will do just what He says and secondly believing in yourself that He's already placed in you what's needed to get the job done. Many of the dreams the Lord gives us look absolutely impossible and we know that without Him they most certainly cannot be done. That's how you know it's a God-given dream. Mark 10:27 tells us: "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." Trust the process, keep believing, and no matter what stand on His Word - not the winds of doubt that try and toss us to and fro. God is able! He can and He will!!!
We've all heard stories of how someone could not find their keys, was angry that it took them ten minutes to find them, but realized if they would have left ten minutes earlier they would have been right in the middle of the traffic accident they were able to drive by because of their delay. Or the person pulling right out in front you causing you to swerve to miss them without having time to check the lane next to you, but no car was there. Or realizing you didn't have enough gas to make it to the gas station you originally intended and had to stop at a closer one, only to find out the one you were planning to go to was robbed at the exact time you would have been there. Whether we stop to think about it and whether we choose to believe it or not, all of these are providential acts of God's protection over our lives. There is no such thing as luck. Absolutely nothing in our lives happens by chance. All acts are orchestrated by one of two realms - light or darkness. James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above. John 10:10 tells us the devil comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. People are quick to blame bad things on God, but did it ever occur to anyone that these same types of providential occurrences listed above don't have to be followed in that way and can produce an entirely different result. We are all free moral agents and are allowed to make our own choices. The person who lost their keys could have just used a spare key instead of looking for their own and been right in the middle of that accident. The person who swerved their car could have not been paying attention just at the right time and thus been involved in the accident. The person who didn't have enough gas could have tried to make it to the gas station they wanted to go to and ran out of gas. See, God always has a plan of protection in place for us but we have to yield to the process. He is speaking to us all the time and trying to direct our lives for good. The question is are we listening?