His Presence

As a read in Joshua, I am reminded of God’s Presence….. In Joshua 1, the Lord says over and over again to be strong and courageous. He cautions us to obey His Word, to meditate on it day and night, not turning from in, and that prosperity is the fruit that comes.

In Joshua 3, Joshua tells the people to consecrate themselves. CONSECRATE: (v) set apart, dedicated to the service of a deity. The arc of the covenant, which held God’s written commands and evidence of His provision in the wilderness, would go before them and they were to follow. The arc of the covenant was the physical representation of the Living God’s presence amidst His people. Holy, revered……. to be handled with specific , delicate, reverent care. Further he tells them the Lord will do amazing things among them. The priests (the intercessors between God and the people, for repentance) stood on dry ground as they moved forward to cross the Jordan river….DRY  GROUND!! This was Holy ground… it was miraculous…. only explainable because of GOD doing something that otherwise could not happen apart from Him….

And so I think about what that means TODAY.… Jesus Christ interceded on my behalf to settle the debt of sin. The Spirit of the Living God lives within the life of EVERY believer — HIS PRESENCE resides within ME!! His presence is with me EVERYWHERE I go; into every new and unknown place, every battle, every promised land, every season of my life. His presence gives assurance of His miraculous ability, reminds me that where I stand is dry and Holy ground! There is NO FEAR in His perfect love…no giant He cannot defeat nor battle He has not already won…  I can look at the history of accounts of ALL the Lord has done… from the beginning of recorded time to my own journey through life. He is FAITHFUL!!

And so I choose….. will I walk with reverent confidence as He calls me into unknown seasons, unknown lands, unknown relationships? What about the known lands and seasons I am currently in? Will I be dedicated to living my life, day-by-day, to the service of what HE calls me to? Will I love others as He has called me to? Will I let go of the offenses of others and trust Him to resolve the war within the hearts of others? Will I simply honor Him as I interact with every element of the life He has given me? Will I reflect who He is to this world, being salt and light? Will I remember all He has done and dwell on His character and trust Him? Will I remember that this life is NOT about me at all, but about HIM?

Evangelism

We are all evangelists…. don’t believe me? Walk into a setting of Football ( or soccer, or basketball, or any other sports) talk…. Everyone evangelizes about their team, their favorite player, the coaches, certain plays, etc. Or what about our families? We evangelize about our kids and their faithfulness toward school or activities, as well as the results of us believing in their ability to do well… These aren’t the only settings where we see this, but we can all picture the evangelism attitude or approach to life in these settings.

What are you passionate about? What do you feel compelled to tell others about? What brings encouragement to you? What brings security to your lives? What do your conversations mainly revolve around?

God created humanity to have relationship with Him – To ENJOY Him!! Sin stands in the way of us enjoying that perfect relationship. He gave HIMSELF (through His Son) as the perfect atoning sacrifice to redeem us from sin…. but we must each CHOOSE to receive that gift…. This gift is one that NO ONE could satisfy independently…. Upon receiving this precious gift, we must choose to no longer live selfishly for what we want or what makes us temporarily happy (it eventually turns to dust, when the selfishness dominates) ; we must choose to walk with Him, talk with Him, enjoy Him (and all that He created to sustain us), and abide in His ways…. Evangelism is simply talking with others and sharing with them (through word, actions, attitudes, and lifestyle)  about the things that make your heart sing… the things that God designed you to be passionate about…. eternal things…. specifically people…..

The Way of Wisdom (Part 1)

When we think of the word “wisdom”, several images come to mind…. white hair, elderly, an owl, life struggles…. think about each of these images….white hair and elderly are images of age…. an owl is often silent with its small mouth- sees much with those large eyes and head that can rotate nearly 360 degrees…life struggles usually create a myriad of opportunities to know what NOT to do…

Let’s look at scripture [Proverbs 9:1-6 AMP]

WISDOM HAS built her house; she has hewn out  and  set up her seven [perfect number of] pillars.  She has killed her beasts, she has mixed her [spiritual] wine; she has also set her table. [Matt. 22:2-4.]  She has sent out her maids to cry from the highest places of the town:  Whoever is simple (easily led astray and wavering), let him turn in here! As for him who lacks understanding, [God’s] Wisdom says to him,  Come, eat of my bread and drink of the [spiritual] wine which I have mixed. [Isa. 55:1; John 6:27.]  Leave off, simple ones [forsake the foolish and simpleminded] and live! And walk in the way of insight  and  understanding.

Wisdom is built… layer by layer… think about building a home. Foundation, structure, walls, ceiling, roof, windows, doors. Then comes the filling of the home, with furniture, decorations, personal style. The foundation of our life is built also… intentionally or unintentionally, it is still built. Structure is involved. Our covering (roof) protects us from elements of nature. Windows allow us to look out and others to look in. The doors represent the ability to allow others in as well as let others leave. The home provides safety and security, as well as peace and serenity. Our home is where we can be completely ourselves.

Wisdom, as defined by dictionary.com, is “the quality or state of being wiseknowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.” Wisdom does not just “happen”…. it involves learning, but also incorporates what is true or right with insight, discernment  and just judgment. Often times life seasons provide opportunity to gain understanding which lead to wisdom. Dedication and perseverance are elements necessary in the journey… 

So, I ask myself, “Am I intentionally building the foundation and structure in my life to become wise? What is the covering I am trusting in daily to keep me safe and secure? Am I clearly displaying to others looking into my life an honest representation of my heart or am I putting on a front outside for all to see? Have I brought some inside that the Lord has called me not to? And have I left some out that He whispers to invite in? Am I constantly looking around with intention to speak to those needing to hear?” So many questions…. but I need to have them ever-present to not loose sight of the master design and purpose….

Lord, I pray that others see You when they look at me, when they see my life… that there is no hidden agenda or secret plan deviating from what is seen. I pray that I live authentically, and wiling to to be transparent, as a window that is crystal clear… You are my hope, my strength, my security…. You are the Firm Foundation that my life is built upon. Help me to live out the wisdom that I have been given by You….. ~Amen

I am Enough…

For a while now I have felt the Lord urging me to begin sharing my devotional thoughts… Sure, I share some of them on Facebook and short ones on Twitter, but share a blog? “I’m not qualified for that… there are so many others who have what it takes to be a blogger (Ann Voskamp is a favorite of mine)- surely I should just leave that to them…” I value those who share their heart for the Lord and it encourages me to be more open and vulnerable with what He is showing me…. but I have never felt qualified for blogs. After all, the world will see it and surely judge…

Yesterday, and again today, Christ whispers into my soul “You, my child, are enough…” 

Now listen, I am often a slow learner in things that are unfamiliar…. I watch others, gain insight and grow through their bold obedience… Often, I choose to wait when I feel God calling me to something bigger… something unfamiliar… something requiring Him and my simple obedience…. But when I set aside my feelings of inferiority and inadequacy and choose to just move in the direction He leads me without stopping to contemplate it all, He does a much greater work through me than I could have mustered up myself. 

Isn’t this the point? Isn’t it when we are weak, He is made strong? Isn’t He already strong, but we get in the way of His strength being seen because we are trying to show our own strength, aside from Him? Cannot we go further and do more with His Spirit driving us? Why is it that I so very often stop, dead-in-my-tracks, analyze my own capabilities and only move forward in what is tangible? I must equate it to the battle between the flesh and the spirit… The flesh “My way” vs. the Spirit “His Way”… [2 Corinthians 12:5-7]

And so, today I choose to move aside, die to my own agenda and will, pick up my cross and follow the path He leads me in… it isn’t about me… He CHOOSES me to be a part of what He is doing… 

Therefore, I declare… I AM Enough….