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Posts Tagged ‘God’

WHAT IS YOUR EYES ON?

“I will keep my eyes always on The Lord; with Him at my right hand I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

In this world where our attention can be so easily and quickly diverted; who has your attention? When we keep our eyes on God, everything else falls into place. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Choose God!!

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I Samuel 17 tells the story of David & Goliath. Stop, get your Bible, and read this true-life tale of how a young man slayed a giant because He knew and believed His Friend, God. In particular, focus on verses 45-47. This story is one you and I have heard so many times, we miss the jewels that are hidden in these verses. We go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.  This little runt of a man comes up and against this giant and kills him with only a rock and a slingshot.” Then we say to ourselves, “I know it’s a story about the weak overcoming the strong.”

However, take a really intense look at chapter 17 and discover the pearls hidden in these verses.  Before we get started, we must look at some solid facts. Goliath, according to Scripture is between 9 and 11 feet tall. The American Standard Version states he is 11’3″. His armor weighed 5,000 shekels or  approximately 125 pounds. The iron point on his spear alone weighed 600 shekels or about 15 pounds. While David’s height and weight are not revealed, historians place him to be about 17 years so they feel he was around 5′ tall give or take a few inches. In all probability, David probably didn’t weigh anymore than Goliath’s armor and spearhead!! One of Goliath’s legs more than likely equaled the person of David in height and weight. Noone believed David could defeat this giant. His own brother thought he was being a conceited braggart. The king even questioned his ability to slay this giant. Finally, in the 40 days this Philistine taunted the Isrealite army, there is not one mention of anyone consulting God. No priest, no prophet, no sacrifices were made to receive God’s instructions. How many times, as we are facing our Goliaths, do we not even think to talk with God?

God has given us six steps to slay our Goliath. First, David knew his God. It is easy to say “Duh!” at this point but for 40 days several thousand men faced this giant and quaked in their boots. They cowered in fear. Why? They looked at Goliath with their physical eyes and not their spiritual eyes. What is your Goliath? Who is your God? David’s God was all-powerful. This giant was nothing in comparison to God. Is your Goliath more powerful than God?

Second, David believed God could do exactly what God says He can do. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of The Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day The Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth….” David knew what God would do for his children, the Israelites. Too many times, we forget our Father is the all-powerful God What is your Goliath? Who is your God?

Third, David remembered his past experiences with God. When asked by Saul if he could slay this giant; David replied, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep.  When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear.” David knew God had given him the means to kill these animals. This gave David the confidence to know God was going to give him the means to slay this giant. What is your Goliath? Who is your God?

Fourth, David knew God worked in uncoventional ways and was willing to be obedient. David had probably heard how a farmer named Noah had built an ark on his property even though there was no water anywhere in the vicinity. Why? Because God told him to. The result, Noah became the second father to the human race. David, every Passover, learned how a prince of Egypt had murdered an Egyptian official, fled to the wilderness, listened to a burning bush, and eventually led the Isrealite people to freedom. Are you willing to do whatever God tells you, even if it doesn’t make sense? What is your Goliath? Who is your God?

Fifth, David had the right perspective. Everyone looked at this giant and said he was too big to defeat. David looked at this giant and said he was too big to miss. Too many times we look at our Goliath with our physical eyes rather than our spiritual eyes. What is your Goliath? Who is your God?

Finally, and most importantly, David was not killing this giant for his own personal gain. David was killing this giant for God’s glory. David states, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that The Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands.” Why are you wanting to overcome your Goliath? For your own personal benefits or to show others what a great, loving, caring God we have?

God has given us in these verses our own personal plan in overcoming our Goliath:

1. Know your God. Study your Bible daily.

2. Believe your God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

3. Remember  those times you’ve seen God work in your life.

4. Keep your focus on God. Stop looking with your physcial eyes and start looking with your spiritual eyes. Is Goliath stronger than God?

5. Ask yourself, “Is this for my  glory or will  I  tell others how God has slayed my  Goliath?”

Look at your Goliath and tell him you “come against him in the name of The Lord Almighty…This day The Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.” Maybe Jesus was remembering this incident with David when he looked at his disciples and said, “Have faith in God…I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” (Mark 11:23)

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IT’S NOT IMPORTANT

Once upon a time there was a young man and a young woman. They lived in a garden and their Creator provided everything they needed. This garden had every kind of fruit, every kind of vegetable, every animal they would ever need. However, in the center of this garden were two trees, one of them the fruit appeared to be an apple. Pointing to this tree, their Creator told them, “You can eat the fruit from any tree in this garden, but don’t eat the fruit from this tree because if you eat it, it will make you very sick and you will die.”

Being obedient, they obeyed their Creator for a long, long time. But then, one day, an ugly bully entered the garden. He watched the man and woman as they went about the garden and soon discovered the woman was easily persuaded to do everything the man desired. One day, when the man was tending the plants and animals of the garden; this bully slithered up behind the woman while she was sitting under this very same forbidden fruit tree. In his most charming manner, he started a conversation with her. “Boy, that fruit really looks good!! I bet its the most delicious fruit in this garden. Let’s have one!!” The woman protested saying, “Oh no!! My Creator says I can eat fruit from any of the trees in this garden EXCEPT the fruit of this tree!! He said it would make me very, very sick and I would die if I eat it!” “Oh surely, He was exaggerating!!” the bully said in a conjoling manner. He continued, “I can’t believe just one little apple from this tree would kill you!! Anyway, it’s just one little apple, IT’S NOT IMPORTANT!! It won’t even be missed. He’ll never notice if YOU eat just one!” The woman thought about what the bully said as she looked at one of the fruit from this forbidden tree. She thought to herself, it really does look good. “Well ok. After all, how important can one little apple be. I mean, come on, how sick can one little, itty- bitty, teeny-weeny apple make you. Enough to kill me? I don’t think so!!” And, with that, she took a bite. It was sooooo good, she ran to find the man. When she found him, she told him how good it was. “See it didn’t hurt me, I’m not dead. The Creator must have been mistaken because I’m still here!!” So, with that, he took a bite from the apple. And, thus began an often fatal disease called IT’S NOT IMPORTANT.

This disease has been passed down from one generation to the next for several thousand years. With each generation, it gets stronger and stronger. Unfortunately, it kills more and more people each generation. The really scary part of this disease is it affects everyone. This same bully or one of his minions spreads this lie from person to person, from city to city, from state to state, from country to country, from father to son, from mother to daughter. Not one person who has ever lived has escaped being affected by this dreadful disease. Like all diseases, it starts small. Almost unnoticeably. One of the first symptoms is one begins thinking, “It won’t hurt just this once if I …” The “just this once” can be a piece of candy, one more helping of food, a piece of gossip. All of us knows what our “just this once” is. Before we know it, the illness has progressed to the next stage, the “I can do it later” stage. This stage quickly progress into the full-blown “It’s not important” often times fatal disease.The “it’s not important” disease shows itself in many different ways. “It’s not important” if I don’t pray today, “It’s not important” if I don’t study today, “it’s not important” if I’m not obedient. The last and most fatal stage of this horrible disease is the “it’s not important” if I believe God.

Now, here’s the wonderful news!! The Creator loves each one of us soooooo much, He gave us a cure for this dreadful disease. It is definitely a wonder drug. It works every time!! It’s realizing we are not the ones in control, He is!! It’s when we surrender ourselves or our circumstances to Him that we find that perfect peace we have been seeking so intently. You see, no matter how upsetting the situation, how difficult the circumstances, how much we have believed the bully’s lies; it IS important to pray, it is important to study, it is important to believe God, it is important to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, it IS important to know God loves you, it is important to know God will never leave you, it IS important to know God is in control. For you see, in this parable the Creator is God, the woman is Eve, the man is Adam, and the bully is Satan, and the tree is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Let me say one final time, it IS important for you to know God is in control and God wins. God wins every time and no matter what the circumstance!!

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STRONGHOLDS

image2Corinthians 10:4-5–“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Sometimes, do you wonder how or why God doesn’t just give up on us? Not that I’m stubborn or stiff-necked or dense (smile), but really; this stronghold of the enemy took almost 9 years to totally demolish. Every time , I thought God and I had dealt with it, the stronghold was back and it had a stronger grip on me.  Finally, I had had enough. I cried out to God, “PLEASE LORD, GIVE ME VICTORY OVER THIS STRONGHOLD!! DEMOLISH IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!! SHOW ME WHAT  IS HAPPENING SO I CAN REPENT, AND LEARN FROM IT, AND SHOW ME WHY SO IT WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN!!” At last, I was teachable!! God could work with me and what He showed me was not easy to accept but “with God’s righteousness going before me and the glory of The Lord as my rear-guard (Isaiah 58:8) and the 2 Corinthians Scripture, God demolished the stronghold. God also gave me a marker, a memory, I will always be able to point to and know Satan can’t attack me there again.

We can be assured a stronghold occurs because we are not believing God. We are not believing He can love us if He knew this one horrible sin, or He can’t work through us, or what He’s asking is too hard….the reasons are many and varied. However, it all boils down to “I DO NOT BELIEVE GOD CAN DO WHAT HE SAYS HE CAN DO.” In essence, we are calling God a LIAR. And its when we realize this, our heads snap, the alarm bells sound, the sirens blast and we know we have been had by the greatest liar of all times, SATAN.    God tells us in Isaiah 45:19, “I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” Do you have an area you and God are dealing with it repeatedly? It just never goes away. This is a stronghold. Recognizing it is the first step in demolishing the stronghold. PRAY!! Talk with God. Not with fancy words but from your heart. Second, we must repent and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to God’s Truth. Then, get into God’s Word. Let Him speak to you. Let God lead you to a study where He can teach you. God, “the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of The Lord, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Finally, let Him lead you to verses that will fight this stronghold and put them on index cards or write them down in journal, someplace where you can refer to them often. God wants to teach us, allow Him. Isaiah 50:4 says “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”

God has left us an instruction manual in how to handle every situation life hands us.  It is called the Holy Bible. Do you have a stronghold? Fight it with His weapons, they are divine and they are powerful.

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Business/Busyness

Originally uploaded by susan.house
 

 

Once again, here’s where one letter can make a big difference. Just a little advice: Don’t let your busyness keep you from doing God’s business. If Satan can’t break your relationship with God, he will keep you so busy doing this and that, you don’t have time to spend with God. The business or purpose God has for you will never hurt your relationship with Him. You will always have time to spend with your Friend each and every day. Put your business (work, career, calling, purpose) in the hands of the Master so it doesn’t become busyness.

Hear from Jesus what he had to say about work from John 6:27-29: “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you….Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”

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Surprise! I’m back!! It’s a new year and I’m doing things a little differently for now. I won’t necessarily have a picture with my post.

Have you ever asked God for sign so you know you are doing what He wants you to do? I know I have several times in my walk with Him. Many times I’ve said if this, this, and this happens then I’ll know it is Your will and I’ll go ahead and proceed with the task You asked of me. He then does this, this, and this and what do you do? You question!! Okay, is it really You Lord? I can just see Him up there shaking His head, saying You asked Me to do this, this and this so you would know and now you question if it’s Me??!?

Well, one of my goals this year is to read The Message from Genesis to Revelations. It was so comforting the other night as I was reading about  Abraham asking his faithful servant to go to his homeland and choose a wife for Isaac from his father’s family. When the servant arrived in his master’s homeland, he prayed to his master’s God, please do this, this and this and then I’ll know this is the bride for Isaac. So, God did just as the faithful servant asked and what did the servant do? The NIV says, “Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.” However, I love how The Message says it, “The man watched, silent. Was this God’s answer? Had God made His trip a success or not?”

What a comfort it is to know as early as Genesis there was someone pondering the same question: Was that you Lord? It’s important for us to realize though, soon after the servant questioned he realized it was God and proceeded with the assignment he was given by Abraham. When God answers and events unfold in the manner in which we requested then we must be reassured and fulfill the assignment He has requested of us.

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Frog/Fear




Frog/Fear

Originally uploaded by susan.house

What do these two things have in common? Well, looking at the picture, it may seem as though the frog may have a great deal to fear. So many times we have been in the same position as this little guy; seeming to be hanging on for dear life and our future not looking very hopeful. In a Beth Moore study I’m doing on Esther she spent two sessions talking about fear and how to overcome fear in our lives once and for all. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, it’s totally and completely possible. A relationship with Jesus Christ is the answer. By accepting the salvation He has for you if you’re not a follower and getting to know Him more if you are a follower.

Okay, what does fear and frog have in common. They both deal with our relationship to God and whether we truly believe He can do what He says He can do. You see, they are an acrostic for: Faith Expressed Against Reality and Forever Relying On God. Now, before you tell me I have the first acrostic wrong, this is my take on it. Everytime we are faced with something that creates fear in us, it is because we are not forever relying on God.

Beth Moore stated in her DVD session to create a scenario where you ask “What if such and such happens then what will you do?” She finally points out that no matter what your “what if” is, your “then” will always be God. I truly believe this, when my motor home which I lived in was totalled the answer was God. As my relationship with God has grown closer and closer, I have discovered when my answer is God, my fear is gone. However, the other night when I developed a health condition that would require medication that caused great pain in my knee for several months the last time this happened, fear overtook me. That fear lasted until the next morning when I was in the church sanctuary preparing to listen to Beth Moore when the words “What if, then God” raced through my mind. Once I affirmed that what if the doctor gave me the same or similar medication then God will be there to either prevent the medication from harming me or God will be there to walk me through it; my peace returned. No matter what you’re facing, the answer is God. So, you see, when Faith Expressed Against Reality you are Forever Relying on God.

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