His Whispers

If I’m not careful, I’ll miss it.

I’ve missed it before.

God speaking to me.

Just like with Elijah in 1 Kings, God doesn’t speak to me in a terrible blast of flying rocks or in an earthquake or in a fire.

God often speaks to me in a whisper – a faint breeze of truth and light that flits through my mind.  I have to stop, concentrate and reach out to catch it.

If I’m not careful, it’s gone.

If I’m not purposefully opening up my spiritual eyes and mind, the spark moves on.  And I’m left wandering, ‘When God is going to answer my prayer?   When will I see him move?’

When I am quiet,

when I am focused,

when I don’t let distractions derail my time with God, I hear him loud and clear.

God’s Word is alive – he will underline passages (you wouldn’t see it but I do), he will change the font of a sentence to bold or he will read the words to me in my head to make sure it’s his voice I hear, not my own or anyone else’s.

There are situations where he simply opens up my eyes to how he has already answered my prayer.  He has taken care of the issue and moved on.  Keep up!

That’s when I realize how much I miss when I’m not quiet,

when I’m not ‘zoned in” enough to hear the whispers and feel his breeze of truth ruffling the pages of my Bible.

Please open my eyes, open my ears, Abba Father.

Meaningless

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, ” completely meaningless.”

Do you ever feel that way?

Obviously this emotion is spreading rapidly through our culture today as we see the suicide rates and mass shootings multiply.  To many people, tomorrow seems to be meaningless and not worth sticking around for.

“What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? ” asked King Solomon, the Teacher.  He was the wisest man who ever lived and he wrote Ecclesiastes.

“I observed everything going on under the sun and, really, it is all meaningless – like chasing the wind.”

Pretty depressing, isn’t it?

The futility of pleasure – fleeting and never gives us lasting  contentment.

The meaninglessness of work –  we put so much effort into work that we leave behind to others who have not worked for it.

The injustices of life – evil is very real.

The futility of wealth – those who love money will never have enough.

The limits of human wisdom – “wisdom is difficult to find.”

Death comes to all – “the same destiny (of death) awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad.”

Solomon’s final conclusions are that we should enjoy life while obeying God – real freedom and happiness come exclusively from him.  Evil and injustice will always in a part of life on earth.  We should live in faith knowing God wins in the end and will judge all things.  We are responsible for our own actions in relation to the evil of this world.

Meaning and purpose will only be found by being faithful to God.

That alone is not meaningless.

Thank you for giving my life meaning and purpose, Abba Father.

How Happy!

Have you heard about the Queen of Sheba?  She is pretty famous in ancient secular history so its interesting that she also shows up in Biblical history.  In 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, God tells us about the Queen of Sheba’s visit with King Solomon.

King Solomon’s reputation as the wisest man on earth had spread over the known world so the Queen of Sheba came across the desert with her huge entourage to test him. (I can’t imagine what this journey was like)

She asked Solomon all of the questions she could think of and he answered them all.  Then she said, ” How happy your people must be!  What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day listening to your wisdom.”

How happy!

This makes me think about how happy I am when I’m around people who care about honesty, good character, loving God and loving others.  Being positively influenced and encouraged by them feels good.  It’s a privilege to be around people who stand for doing what’s right and use God’s word as the one true compass in their lives.

How happy!

I am reminded of one of my ‘mom lectures’ to my son and daughter as they were growing up in this confused and crazy culture we live in.  I told them (several times) that peer pressure is not always a bad thing.  There is such a thing as positive peer pressure – encouraging and challenging those around us to be better, to do what is right and focus on making our world a better place.  That’s the kind of peer pressure I expected them to have on the kids around them.

That’s the kind of peer pressure God expects me to have on the people around me.

We all have influence on the people we touch in our world.

Is it good?  Positive?  Based on God’s truth?  Helpful?

Or not?

It’s our choice.

Please help me have a positive influence on the people in my world, Abba Father.

How Often?

How often do I kneel before God as I pray?

How often do you?

In 1 Kings, King Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived – kneeled in front of the altar of the newly built Temple of the Lord as he dedicated it to God.  Solomon did this in front of the entire Israelite community with his hands raised up to God.

What a sight!

What a statement of Solomon’s submission to God and worship of him!

I have to admit – I don’t kneel in prayer as much as I should.  For several years I was a part of a Bible study group which started every meeting praying on our knees.  I really liked it.  It put everything into a better perspective for me.  God created all things, he owns everything and he is in total control.  Humbling myself before my Eternal God makes sense and feels right.

I have precious memories of my mother kneeling beside her bed every night as she prayed.  Without fail – every night.

My mother had a series of clinical depressions the last 40 years of her life.  When she was depressed she was a sad and quiet person – so different from the happy, people-loving woman she really was.  After going through several long periods of depression, she realized that seeing a good doctor right away was the only way to deal with this issue positively and not lose years of her life to this problem.

Even through the darkest days of her depressions, I would see her kneel before her Father God every night.  It gave me hope.  God was working on this.  There would be an answer.

And there always was an answer.  Slowly, with God’s help and the doctor’s help, she would return to the amazing woman that I knew as my mother.

For me, I have discovered that laying face down on the floor before God is a good way to get an answer when I really need it.  After I lie down on the floor, I totally give my concern to him – “God, I have a decision to make and I need to know what you want me to do.  I don’t care which way this goes and I don’t need all the details – just tell me the direction I need to take with my next step.”  And he always answers.  Sometimes he opens up my mind so that I can see how he has already answered.  Other times, right after I say “Amen” something happens that tells me which way to go.

Either way, I know that showing humbleness and submission to the God of the Universe works.  God honors it.

I need to remember that.

Thank you for the reminders you give me in your Word, Abba Father.

They are Gone

I’m amazed.

As I read several of the Psalms David wrote, it is unbelievable how in tune he was with the Holy Spirit.  David writes about several topics that nobody else really understood at the time.

David wrote about salvation which would come from God.  David didn’t know how God was going to do it, but he was totally confident that God was going to make a way to save his children from eternal separation from God.  God was going to make a way for his children so he could take them home to live with him forever.

I also love the line in Psalm 103, “He has removed our sins as far from the us as the east is from the west.”

David lived in the time before anyone discovered that the earth was round.  He wrote those words probably looking from the east to the west, thinking that was a long way.  He didn’t realize the truth that you never go west if you keep going east.  East and west never meet.

David didn’t know that but the Holy Spirit knew that those words would make even more sense to us today.  He is telling us that our sins are forgiven.  They are gone – nonexistent.  And, if anybody tells you differently, that is not the truth.

When we accept the salvation God offers us through Jesus, all of our sins – past, present and future – are gone for all time.  There is nothing else to be done – Jesus did it all.  That’s what grace is all about.

Amazing!

Thank you, Father, for your Living Word which, through the Holy Spirit, made sense to David and also makes sense to us today.

How Does This End?

Wow!  God is talking loudly to me about his truth in Psalm 39.  First, he reminded me that life is short.  Got it!

Now – what is my legacy?

In this Psalm, David is talking to God and he says, “We are merely moving shadows, and all of my busy rushing ends in nothing.

Nothing?!  My busy rushing ends in nothing?

How worthless is that?  That’s not what I want my life to be about!

Do you?

I know – it’s all about priorities.  We all have 24 hours in each day – it’s the great equalizer.  So, when someone says they didn’t have time to do something or they don’t have time to something else, it really means it’s just not a high priority for them.  Because they have time – we all have the same 24 hours in a day.

How do I spend my time and treasures?  What am I busy with?

How about you?

God is very clear that my priorities need to be loving him and loving others.  I have written this truth in this blog probably hundreds of times and I will write it hundreds of more times – because it’s the truth.

And God’s truth does not change.  It doesn’t change over time and it doesn’t change for different people.

You have the same priorities.

And I am very confident if you and I spend our fleeting time on this earth loving God and loving others, God will bless our actions and our lives will have much more meaning than ‘busy rushing which ends in nothing’.  God has a purpose for our lives and, after we have walked into heaven, he wants to be able to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Dear Father, Please help me keep my priorities lined up with your’s.

Psalm 27, 2019

LORD, you are the light of my life.  You have saved me – so I am not afraid.

You protect me from danger.  There is no reason for me to tremble.  When the Evil One and his team attack me, trying to tempt me and distract me, they will not win.  Your mighty army of angels surround me and I am not afraid.  Even when my path gets tough, I will remain confident in you.

The one thing I desire most of all, LORD, is to spend my life with you, delighting in you and listening to your voice.

You hold me close when trouble comes.  I hold my head high even when trials come my way.

I praise you, LORD, with songs and shouts of joy!

I know you hear me, LORD.  You answer me, showing great mercy.  You say, “Come and talk with me”, and my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

I know that you never turn your back on me in anger – you are always ready to help me.  You never leave me or abandon me, O God of my Salvation!  When everyone else leaves me behind you are here, holding me close.

Teach me the right way to live my life, LORD.  Lead me down the path you have prepared for me and do not let me wander.  Help me avoid the pain and consequences of rebellion.  Do let me give into the temptation to act as the evil ones act.

I am confident that you are walking beside me – loving and guiding me – here on earth.

Dear Father, I am waiting patiently for you to lead me.  I’m not going to take one more step without you.

Psalm 19, 2019

Day after day your heavens speak to us, God, telling us how glorious you are.

Night after night, they teach us about our awesome Creator.  They speak without words or sounds – yet their message is seen throughout the entire world.

Your sun bursts from the skies with joy and radiance.  Each day the sun rises according to your plan and travels across the sky, providing warmth for us all.

The instructions you give us in your Word are perfect, Father.  They revive our spirits.  We can trust your commands – they are simple but wise.  They bring joy to our hearts while they show us the right way to live.

The respect we have for you, God, will last forever.  Your directions are true and fair.  They are more valuable to us than money.  They make our lives sweeter – we see you blessing our lives when we obey you.

Close my heart and mind to rebellion and sin, Father.  You are in control – help me submit to your will so I will be innocent and free of guilt.

May everything I say and do please you, O LORD, my Rock and Redeemer!

Psalm 16, 2019

You keep me safe, God.  You are my refuge.  You are my master!

Every good thing I have comes from you.

The faithful people around me encourage me and they are my true heroes.  I see so many others who spend their time and treasures chasing after things that aren’t you.  Their problems grow.  I will not join them in their worthless pursuits.

LORD, I only want you.  You guard my life and bless me.  Everything I have you have given to me.  You are a wonderful Father!

Thank you for guiding me through the darkest times of my life.  I know you are always beside me and, because that is true, I will not be shaken.

My heart is glad!  I praise you!  You have shown me the way to eternal life with you where I will have the joy of living with you forever.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Our Prayer of Praise, 2019

If King David was leading us today in the prayer of praise we read in 1 Chronicles, it would probably sound something like this –

Oh, LORD, our God, we will praise you forever and ever.  You are so great, God!  You have all power, glory, victory and majesty!

Everything in the heavens and earth is your’s Father.  This is your kingdom and we adore you.

All wealth and honor come from you – you are the King over everything.  You control all power and might.  You decide which of your people are made great and are given strength.

Thank you, God!  We praise your glorious name.

But who are we, God?  We can’t really give you anything because everything already belongs to you. 

We are here on this earth for merely a moment – this is not our home.  We are but a passing shadow on this earth – quickly gone without a trace.

Everything belongs to you, God.  We know that you see our hearts and rejoice when you find faithfulness and integrity in them.  You know if our motives are good and if we give willingly back to you with joy.

Oh, LORD, please help us obey you.  Help us love you.  Give us a hole-hearted desire to live as you want us to live.

When David was finished, the entire assembly praised God.

We join with King David today to praise you, Father.