Imagine a deer who is out in the scorching sun, wandering looking for a shade and a drip of water in the summer.
Now, feel the palpitation and throbbing heart of that same doe in her all consuming thirst for the water brooks.
Imagine the soldier and his wife who have been apart during his deployment. Their souls longing to be united and their thoughts occupied with each other.
Now, picture the glorious homecoming and the elated lover fainting at the sight of her knight in shining armor. Heart and flesh crying out with overwhelming love and passion.
Imagine your 8 year old self on Christmas Eve. Your tiny frame possessed by excitement and anticipation for the opening of your gift the next day. Your bed is no longer a place of rest and solace, but rather a temporary holding ground to contain your restless energy. Sleep is impossible and improbable.
Apart from the contemporary references that I added, thats how David described his all consuming, passionate obsession and fixture with his creator, lover, King & God!
Psalms 42:1-3, Psalms 84:1-2, Psalms 132:3-5
Are you hungry for God?
Have you tasted enough of his goodness to want to have more? “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Do you desire to fellowship with the Holy Spirit? “Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.”
Are your waking up and laying down marked with praising Him? “From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
Come and drink from the living water. Come all you who are weary and heavy laden, he will give you rest. Come and let the Holy Spirit take residence in you.Come and let him fill you with divine peace, joy and light. Come to Jesus.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with Joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” – Psalms 16:11
Some people can’t wait to be at a football game. They anticipate it and get excited thinking about it, they are exhilarated and ecstatic at the moment and they look back and cherish the memories and get excited again!
To others it might be a TV show, a concert, a family reunion, a trip across the world, a reunion with friends or a party. I don’t know about you, but I know what excites me the most. It’s none of those things.
“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.” – Psalms 27:4
When I think about being in His presence I get excited thinking about it, the amount of Joy that I have when I am in his presence is out of this world! ( Well Duh, it’s heavenly :)) and as I reminisce of all the times where I traded my sorrows for joy, where I came with a heavy heart and the Lord made me forget all my troubles I start to sing:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
In the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
There is no one holy like the Lord;
There is no one besides you;
There is no rock like our God.” – 1 Samuel 2:2-3
Beloved every other God is an Idol. If it takes priority or comes first place before God, it’s an idol. sports, family, education, money, career, relationship, people, ministry, popularity — idol. There is one true God and his name is Jesus. He doesn’t want to just be your savior. He wants to be your Lord and Savior. He doesn’t want to give you a part of Himself, but he wants to dwell in you and live in you. And as we willingly submit our wills, desires and affections to him, he fills us with Joy in His presence.
Just as He did for my King, he will do for you as well. Come and taste the goodness of the Lord. Come and bask in the Shekinah Glory of God. There is fullness of Joy in His presence 🙂
“You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” – Psalms 45: 7
Lord Jesus, I thank you that you are a God of Joy! Lord you desire to fellowship with me your child and to share the Joy and fellowship you have with the Father and your Holy Spirit. Lord I am laying down all my idols and coming before you desperate, saying I need you God! Teach me to desire your presence more than anything else. Draw me to you and I will respond. Remove any thing that has exalted itself above you in my life in Jesus’ Name! Thank you papa! Amen!
What keeps you awake at night? What’s that thing you’re so passionate about that sleep escapes you? What’s the first thing on your mind when you wake up at the crack of dawn? What’s the last thing on your mind when you hit the sack? What’s that thing that gets your juices flowing and your heart pumping when you think about it?
You’ll get different responses depending on who you ask. For some people it’s becoming successful & making lots of money. To others it’s being popular and everybody knowing who they are. Some wake up every day motivated by changing the lives of others, very unselfish of them. And others are motivated by becoming better looking, or getting that partner who’s good looking to boost their self-image or self-esteem. So this is my question to you:
What keeps you awake at night? What’s gives you life when you think about it?
Here’s a story about a guy who was so passionate about a cause that he couldn’t sleep. He thought about it day and night, sun rise to sun set. His heart was fired up for something and it became impossible to sleep.
“Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house,
Or go up to the comfort of my bed;
I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
Until I find a place for the Lord,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” – Psalms 132: 3 – 5(NKJV)
David was a King in Israel living as he put it himself “in a cedar-paneled home” while the Ark of the covenant, which signified God’s presence “was out there in a tent”. David was not ok with God’s Ark of the Covenant being out there in a tent, while he was living comfortably in his palace. This bothered him and he couldn’t sleep as we see in Psalms 132.
No wonder God said David was a man after his own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)
So let me ask you again. What keeps you awake at night? What is that thing that you are so passionate about that sleep escapes you?
Is it earthly and material things that never satisfy? Is it power, fame & popularity that will never quench your thirst? Or are you like David consumed with a desire to Honor God in your life?
May it be the latter!
Lord I have not desired to Honor you in my life to the point where I am losing sleep. God I have been complacent and comfortable, that I have neglecting seeking your kingdom first. Father I ask that you would change my desires and that my priority would be to Honor and Glorify you in my body, my words, my actions, and in every situation. I want to be consumed by a passion for your kingdom and your Glory! In Jesus’ name! Amen
Jesus you are worth it! You will be glorified in my life and death! The Lamb that was slain is worthy!
“4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a[a] thousand years.” – Revelation 20:4
There is only one who is worthy of worship and adoration. There is only one whom heavenly creatures worship day and night saying “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come”. There is only one who was found worthy to open the scroll and loose its seals. There is only one who is the firstborn of creation, the image of the invisible God and reigns supreme over all creation. There is only one way to the Father. He is eternal Life and the way to eternal Life. His name is exalted above all other names and at the mention of His name every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under earth and every tongue declares that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
“They didn’t love their lives to the death” – Revelation 12:11
He died a criminal’s death, but the grave couldn’t hold him. He rose a victor and is sitting at the right hand of His Father. Many have considered His sacrifice and considered their life nothing without Him. And to those who received Him, He gave the right to become children of God. He was hated by the world, and since we are His, we consider it an honor to be mistreated, insulted, persecuted, and martyred for His name’s sake. A servant is not greater than his master or a student than his teacher. The Life He gives, costs nothing yet everything at the same time. You can’t do anything to earn His grace, but it will cost you everything you hold dear.
Yesterday a video surfaced online of 30 brave Ethiopian souls who “didn’t love their lives to the death” and “did not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but feared Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” A few weeks ago 147 Students were killed in Kenya, because they wouldn’t denounce Jesus even at gun point. Many have been slaughtered, burned, imprisoned, and separated from family members for Christ’s sake recently. Yet, what those who persecute us do not realize is that they are preparing us for a bigger honor and greater glory than anything here on earth.
The many brave children, young men and women, fathers and mothers who have been slain for Jesus’ sake join an elite group of men and women who have chosen to suffer with Christ, in order that they may also share in His Glory.
Martyrs’ Hall of Fame
John the Baptist – beheaded in prison and his head presented to Herodias’ daughter by king Herod.
Stephen – Stoned outside the city while seeing the heavens open and seeing Jesus and the Glory of God.
Peter the apostle – Considering himself unworthy to be crucified as Christ, died on the cross upside down.
Matthew – became a missionary to the Persians, Parthians and Medes. Legend has it that he died a Martyr in Ethiopia.
Thomas – After preaching in Persia, died a martyr in Persia or India.
James Alpheus – thrown down from the temple by the scribes and Pharisees. He was then stoned and his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.
Jude (Thaddeus) – He taught in Armenia, Syria and Persia where he was martyred. Buried in current day Iran.
Andrew – He preached in Greece and Asian minor. Reported to have been crucified in Greece.
“12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:12(NKJV)
So Friend, do not be discouraged when you hear news of fellow believers dying for His name’s sake. But rather rejoice, knowing that His return is near. The world is not worthy of these men and women, who have crossed into glory to be adorned with white robes and be in the presence of their savior!
“12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” – Mark 13:12(NKJV)
“24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” – Mark 13: 24-26(NKJV)
Maranatha Marantha! Lord Jesus Come quickly!
“20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” – Revelation 22:20(NKJV)
Thank You! I appreciate it! You’re awesome! Good Looking out! Your input was valuable! You are welcome 🙂
Words, Phrases & Expressions of gratitude that take mere seconds to utter yet have the ability to do leaps and bounds in encouraging people, building relationships and keeping those relationships.
Have you had someone thank you for something that you did that was seemingly small and left feeling great! Or how about the opposite case where you sacrificed your valuable time & energy to help someone out and you didn’t even get a response or a thank you? Ouch….
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
In Luke 17: 11 -18 we see the story of the Ten Lepers.
11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”[b] And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
10 needed help. 10 were desperately crying out to Jesus. All 10 of them got miraculously healed. 9 of them forgot about the man who helped them. Jesus.
1 man was so touched by the kindness he had been shown that he returned to give thanks!
The best way you can express your gratitude to God, in addition to thanking him in your prayers, is to appreciate the people he uses to impact your life. God rarely meets your needs by dropping manna from heaven (Although he has done that and he still can). Instead, he uses people to impact you.
I want to encourage you during this season of Christmas, when we celebrate the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, to show your gratitude and appreciation to the people in your life.
Send a card to an old friend! Smile more often and bigger! Hug tighter and love bolder! Be liberal with your appreciation and gratitude and reserved with your criticisms! Use your words to inspire and encourage others! Don’t hold back a thank you from someone who needs to hear it 🙂
Father, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus Christ: Emmanuel, the messiah, the Lamb who takes the sin of the world, the ultimate gift. Thank you for loving a wretched sinner like me and sending your son to reconcile me with yourself and restore me. Lord, allow me to bless others through my words and actions. Lord, help me to say thank you and show gratitude, even when my pride and my sinful flesh want to take all the credit. In Jesus’ name! Amen 🙂
“For if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? “– 1 John 4:20(NLT)
It would only be stating the obvious to say that a great spiritual darkness is covering the earth right now. There is a demonic movement coming out of the Middle East that is hell-bent on destroying the church and any remnant of God’s people off of the face of the earth. There is so much perversion and loss of purity in the church in the west right now. There’s so much focus on “self-improvement” instead of “self-crucifixion”. Where is the first love the church had for the Gospel and for God’s Kingdom? Where are the worshipers? Where are the Nazarites who will consecrate themselves to the service of the Lord?
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.” – Isaiah 60:1-2(NKJV)
The church is asleep. The church is not ready if the King were to come back today.
We need to wake up!
We need to Arise!
“Jesus will lift you up from the deepest pit. But He will not lift you out of your easy chair”– Reinhard Bonnke
If we who have the Light of the world, Jesus, the Hope of Glory in us shrink back and cower, how great will the darkness be on the earth? If you are in a dark room with no light and the only lamp or candle in there is snuffed out, it will be pitch black in there. That’s what happens when we shrink back because of fear and complacency.
“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” – Romans 8:19(NIV)
God is asking you to rise up today! He’s not looking for anything other than a willing and obedient heart. He will do the equipping, if you are willing. Moses felt Inadequate when God called him. He said he was not eloquent. (Exodus 4:10) Guess what? He stood in front of the most powerful ruler at that time, pharaoh, and led God’s people out of captivity! Jeremiah said he was too young and didn’t know how to speak. Guess What? That didn’t stop God from using him. (Jeremiah 1:6-7). Gideon was in hiding when the angel of the Lord appeared calling him a mighty warrior (Judges 6:12). With a handful of men, Gideon conquered his powerful oppressors (Judges 7)
God doesn’t need your education, your skills, your knowledge or wisdom to use you. He only needs your heart and your obedience!
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”- 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31(NIV)
I am saying “Here I am Lord, Send me”! How will you respond? Will you be content with your once a week Christianity? Will you be ok with holding the Good News to yourselves and watching cold-heartedly as your friends, family, and the world around you is perishing? Will you be content with your Christian friends and your “Christian bubble”? or will you go out into the darkest places carrying the light of Christ? Will you be sent out like an arrow carrying the love of the Father, through the Son into all the world?
Arise Son! Arise Daughter! You have the Light of Christ inside of you. Let the whole world see 🙂
Have you ever touched a hot pan or a stove accidentally? Or maybe you were ironing a shirt and your fingers unintentionally touched it. What was your reaction? You reacted by immediately removing your hand and maybe letting out a terrified shriek as well. Hello? It’s hot and it burns! That’s the same way our God is! When we are in His presence, His Fire melts away our coldness. Unless part of your body is paralyzed and you have lost your senses in that part of your body, an interaction with fire always warrants a reaction!
Look at how Scripture describes God and his fiery nature!
“14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” – Revelation 1:14 -17(NKJV)
“28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may[j] serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29(NKJV)
“3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts 2:3-4(NKJV)
“38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” – 1 kings 18:38-39(NKJV)
God is Fire! Fire gives light, warmth, burns, ignites, melts away coldness, is contagious, sets other things ablaze, purifies, and describes passion, fervor, intimacy. Fire also consumes what it touches; it gets your attention, it’s explosive and dynamite! Beloved, that’s the God we serve! He who has eyes like flames of fire (Revelation 1:14) and who makes his servants a flame of Fire (Hebrews 1:7). John the Baptist said, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire” (Luke 3:16). Jesus himself said, “I came to bring fire on earth” (Luke 12:49). Jeremiah said that” His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.” (Jeremiah 20:9). When Jesus walked with the downcast believers on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection, they said afterwards “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”(Luke 24:32).
What the Church (Ecclesia) desperately needs today is the Fire of God! When the Fire of God is not present in our meetings we try to fill the void with potlucks and coffee and snacks. But when the Holy Spirit and His Fire come in our lives, it becomes so simple. It’s no longer about programs or church activity or religious rituals. But we become empty vessels who are hungry for God. We marvel at His beauty and radiance and brilliance every moment. We are hungry for His Fire to burn inside of us! It takes humility to know that this walk of faith is too hard on our own, we need His Fire! May He ignite us even today!
Abba, Father, Father of Lights, you who answers by Fire and have eyes like fire! Lord Jesus, you who are enthroned in light! Whose face shines like the sun and all of its brilliance! God I need your fire today! Lord we need your Holy Spirit and Fire to fill me up and ignite me! I am tired of religion and church as usual. I want to burn for you! Lord, do the necessary work in me to purify me and consecrate me so I can be a vessel of righteousness and light! May you give me grace to endure the discomfort that comes with going through fire! Lord, give me a renewed awe and fear of you today! Father, take me deeper and higher into your glory and heart! I need you more today Jesus. Baptize me in your Holy Spirit and Fire again. In Jesus’ name!
Have you ever felt that you were in a wilderness? A quick search on google for the definition of wilderness gives you these 3 definitions.
1) An uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.
2) a neglected or abandoned area of a garden or town.
3) A position of disfavor, especially in political context
Wow! I feel like that describes the spiritual wilderness I felt like I experienced these past few weeks/ month.
An uncultivated, uninhabited and inhospitable region? Check. The Lord has been pinpointing areas in my life that I thought were cultivated and surrendered to him and exposing them to let me know that He’s still working on me, his son!
A neglected or abandoned area of a garden or town? Check. I had neglected my prayer walk with Him! I had neglected seeking His will in His word diligently. See, I used to get Joy from reading His word and I never read the bible out of a sense of religious duty or some holy ritual. It was always because the word of God was life to my soul!
“The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63 (NKJV)
What do you do when you feel like the Holy Spirit is no longer speaking life into you? It’s scary. Nothing is worse than to feel like that God has abandoned you or His Holy Presence is not tangible anymore. So it is very easy in those times to abandon your secret place of prayer and seeking His face on your knees.
37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Mark 14: 37-38 (NKJV)
It’s so tempting and easy to hit the snooze button, when you feel like you are in a wilderness where God’s presence is absent.
The third definition of wilderness was a position of disfavor, especially in a political context. If I were to modify the definition to apply it to this context, it would read something like “a position of disfavor in the context of God’s kingdom, where the Lords face seems to have turned away from you, and his joy, peace and grace feel to have disappeared”.
However, I am learning that the wilderness (literally or metaphorically) is God’s favorite place to work on His sons & daughters. Take a look at John the Baptist:
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’” – Matthew 3: 1- 3 (NKJV)
Jesus would later speak of John the Baptist saying that in Matthew 11“among those born of women there has not risen one greater than john the Baptist…”
And as we also see in Matthew 4, Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit before he started his earthly ministry (Matthew 4: 1). So the wilderness, although it may not feel like it, is a place where God is preparing us. He is emptying us out of worldliness and purging everything that is not from him. He is teaching us to completely and utterly rely on His every word and voice for our sustenance. He is giving us revelation for what’s to come. He is showing us that He is still with us even when it doesn’t feel like it.
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20 (NLT)
The desert or the wilderness is a place of death and oblivion for a lot of plants. But Friend, Just as Jesus spoke in John 15, if we abide in him and remain in him we will live and flourish even in the wilderness. There’s one plant that is different from all other plants in its ability to withstand dry and arid conditions with minimal water. It’s the cactus. The person who abides in God’s will and trusts in Jesus even in the dry seasons and the wilderness is like the cactus! Actually, that person is much better than a cactus and more like a tree planted by streams of living water!
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)
May you become like a tree that is planted by a riverbank! May El Shaddai, the all sufficient one sustain you in the coming days, weeks, and months! May Jehovah Jireh, your provider, provide all your needs according to His riches. (Phil 4:19) May Jehovah Rohi, your great shepherd, lead you by still waters ( Psalms 23, John 10). May Jehovah Rophe, God your healer, heal you from all pain, ailments, sickness, disease in Jesus name!( Isaiah 53:5)
He hasn’t abandoned you! He sees you, He cares and His love is powerful than the wilderness you may be going through right now 🙂
We are made to worship, sing, adore, dance, praise, exalt and rave! We will either worship things, other people, our careers, money, even church or worship the true and living God. Worship is an expression and an overflow of what has filled our hearts. That is why the first commandment out of the 10 commandment deals with worshiping God above anything else. (Exodus 20:3) and Jesus said in Matthew 22: 37 – 38 that the entire law and the demands of the prophets can be summarized with “Love your God with all your heart, all your soul, and your entire mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment.” The greatest commandment is to worship God and adore God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. The second one is an extension of the first. When you can love God with all your might and all your strength and all you soul, he enables you to be able to love your neighbor as yourself.
“1 I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!
Young and old will hear of your faithfulness. 2 Your unfailing love will last forever.
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.
3 The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant.
I have sworn this oath to him: 4 ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever;
they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” Interlude 5 All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord;
myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness. 6 For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord?
What mightiest angel is anything like the Lord? 7 The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God.
He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne. 8 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies!
Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord?
You are entirely faithful”. – Psalms 89: 1- 8 ( NLT)
This past weekend I was able to attend awaken the dawn which was hosted by Fredericksburg House of Prayer! You can watch the recorded streams here. It was an amazing time of worship and singing and dancing and just being in the presence of Abba, Father, Papa, and Daddy! The atmosphere was electric and charged with dancing and worship and laughter and Joy and resembled an EDM concert more than your typical “church” service. However as peter said in Acts 2:15, “These men are not drunk, as you suppose…..” and if we were drunk, we were drunk with love and filled with the Spirit of the Lord!
Ray Hughes during one of the sermons explained it to us this way. Hallelujah is two Hebrew words that are put together. “Hallal” means to shout, shine forth, radiate, rave, boast, praise. “Jah” is a shortened form of “Jehovah”, which means the Self-existent and eternal one. So Hallelujah basically means Praise God and go crazy in worship doing it!
Our worship and praise has the power to shift the spiritual atmosphere. When Saul was being tormented by evil spirits, David would play the harp; Saul would feel better and the tormenting spirit would go away (1 Samuel 16: 23). In Joshua 6 the Lord said to Joshua that He had given the Israelites Jericho. They were commanded to carry the ark and march around the town once a day for six days with the soldiers and seven priests walking ahead of the ark. On the seventh day they marched the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. Joshua 6: 20, “when the people heard the sounds of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.” They worshiped God for 6 days, and on the 7th day they shouted at the top of their lungs bringing the town to nothing but rubble. Worship and Praise is this powerful!
There is something about a soul which has been freed and delivered by Jesus that makes it wants to sing and praise all the time. When the spirit of the Lord touches you, you can no longer sit idle or indifferent but you will be ignited and on fire in worship and break out in singing! Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5:19 exhort us to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and make music to the Lord in our hearts with thankful hearts.
“16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” – Colossians 3: 16-17(NLT)
May the Lord put a new song in your hearts today! May He fill you with such joy that you won’t be able to contain it! May He fill your hearts with melodies from heaven! May you dance and sing and worship your Lord freely and without inhibition as David did! May the spirit of the living God fall upon you like fire and ignite you burning away the coldness and sparking a flame of worship and praise in you!!!
Sing to the Lord today! Sing to Him a new song! Sing to Him your own song! It’s all beautiful and he hears it. Daddy is proud of you and is smiling down on you from heaven 🙂
Many of us have heard the call of God in our life, but instead of obeying immediately we have put it off for a more convenient time.As we read in Luke 9:59, when Jesus invited this man to follow him, he didn’t say “No Lord I won’t follow you.” He added a precondition to following Jesus. He said, “Let me first go and bury my father”.
“57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”
58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9: 57-62
At first glance, it might appear that this man’s father was dead and he wanted to pay respect to his dad before he followed Jesus. However, we have no reason to believe that. He may as well have been saying he wanted to wait until his dad was dead and buried to receive his inheritance before following Jesus. His father may have been sick and he wanted to wait until he died before following Jesus. It’s also possible that He may have thought that Jesus will be in Jerusalem for a long time preaching, so he didn’t see the urgency of following Jesus right away. Little did he know that Jesus would be crucified a few months later and he had just missed a huge opportunity!
“The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity” – Leonard Ravenhill.
In contrast, Simon and his brother Andrew heard the same call of Jesus to follow him. And their response was much different than the man we read about in Luke 9.
“16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men.”18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Mark 1:16-18
They didn’t say, “Yes, Jesus I will follow you. But let me first bid farewell to my family”. It says, “They Immediately left their nets and followed him”. That is radical obedience!
When we read down further, we see James and John doing the same thing. They left their dad and the family business to follow Jesus! They were also at their job in the middle of the day, but when they heard Jesus calling they gave it all up!
“19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.” – Mark 1:19-20
In another passage, we see Bartimaeus hearing Jesus call him in Mark 10: 46-52. When he heard the call, he threw aside his garment and went to Jesus. This blind man has been sitting on the road in Jericho begging those passing by. When many people heard him cry out to Jesus, they told him to be quiet. But he refused to be quiet until Jesus heard him. His cry got the attention of the King, his request was heard and he was able to receive the sight he desperately wanted and started to follow Jesus. That’s what happens when you immediately obey and follow Jesus!
Friend when Jesus calls you, it’s for something better than you already have. It’s to open your eyes like He did to blind Bartimaeus. It is to make you a fisher of men that brings the good news to the lost and dying. Proverbs 11:30 says, “He who wins souls is wise”. When Jesus calls you, it is because he wants to make you wise by making you a worker and partaker in the harvest to his kingdom. After all Romans 16: 27 states that God alone is wise, so do not be wise in your own eyes, but obey immediately because God alone knows what is best for you!
Finally let’s look at John 11 to see what obedience to Jesus’s call brings about. Lazarus has been dead and been buried for four days, when Jesus came to Bethany. When Jesus finally came into town, Martha went out and met him but Mary was in the house. After talking with Jesus Martha went inside and called Mary saying, “The teacher has come and is calling you” As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to him.
Mary could have been bitter and angry at Jesus for not coming to see Lazarus when he was still sick. Martha had said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Mary heard that she was being summoned by Jesus , she could have held a grudge at Jesus because He didn’t come to heal her brother and refuse to come. But that wasn’t the case. The text says in John 11: 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to him. She obeyed right away and was able to receive her brother back from the dead.
Some of us are mad at God because of things that happened in our lives. We blame God for the hardships we have suffered, or for a loss of a loved one and when we hear God’s voice we refuse to obey. But who am I to refuse the king of kings? Who am i, the created being, to disobey the creator? Although I may not always understand His ways, I know God is Just in all that he does( Psalm 145:17). And as we saw in the lives of Mary, the 4 disciples that followed Jesus and Bartimaeus immediate obedience has a great reward!
Food for thought:
Have you heard the call of Jesus, but have put it off for a more convenient time? Or are you the one to obey Jesus immediately when he calls you? The enemy knows if he can get you to postpone obedience till tomorrow, he can get you to postpone it till next week as well. And if he can get you to push it off till next week, he knows you won’t obey eventually. That’s why it is urgent and crucial that we respond to Jesus’s call immediately. What is preventing you from following Jesus today? Is it family? Is it your dreams or your education? Is it your young age? Maybe you’re thinking I will follow Jesus when I am a bit older and after I have enjoyed my young age. Maybe you think you have tomorrow to obey the Lord. However, tomorrow is never promised friend. All we have is today!
You don’t lose by following Jesus. And even if you lose brothers or sisters, friends or parents, loved ones and anyone for the sake of Jesus, He promises that you will receive more than you lost for God’s kingdom’s sake.
“29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[k] or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” – Matthew 19:29
So ask yourself what’s stopping you from following Jesus? What’s more important than following the call of God in your life, that you have pushed it off till tomorrow?