Stir Me Up Lord!

Stir Me Up Lord!: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Proverbs 31 Woman

Verse 21 (NLT)
She has no fear of winter for her household,
For everyone has warm clothes.

I learned a new appreciation for verse 21 after our Pastor’s wife, Joy, enlightened myself  on ‘fear’, ‘winter’ and ‘scarlet’ on verse 21.
She has no fear of winter for her household.
Winter: the cold, blustery winds that howl at us (trials, situations and tribulations)
Without realizing it, we can create a fearful environment for our family. Our family can sense when we are distracted or not focused, whether we verbalize it to them or not, they know something is causing fear. So whether it’s our intention or not, if we are anxious or unsure about a situation, we are creating an environment that causes ‘fear’.
In the NKJV it says, “…For all her household is clothed with scarlet.”
For everyone has warm (scarlet) clothes:  we are covered by the blood of Jesus.
The Proverbs 31 wife is calm because of her trust in GOD, she has been saved by the blood of Christ. She believes that HE will provide and her prayers will be answered. She creates an environment of hope and peace that can keep her family warm during those wintery storms.

Verse 25 (NLT)
She is clothed with strength and dignity,
And she laughs without fear of the future.
The NKJV uses the words “strength and honor” instead of “strength and dignity”. My Bible shows the Hebrew word (hadar), used for Honor, which is translated to splendor, honor, glory, adornment, magnificence, beauty. According to the use of this word, we are clothed with characteristics, all the world desires, we have something in us, that many will seek out. Why should we be able to laugh at the future? Because we are not afraid, if God is for us, who can be against us (see Romans 8:31)? Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  What confidence it shows when we are able to laugh in the face of adversity, that is true strength! In Psalm 126:2 “We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “what amazing things the LORD has done for them.” We are called to be a light unto the world, how much more can we shine our light, when we have joy, a smile on our face, and laughter, regardless of the situation we are in; the world will look at us and want to know why we are different.

Verse 26 (NLT)
When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindess.
Proverbs is filled with instances with our words bringing life and death, but it’s not only the words we say, it’s how we say those words. Sarcasm or throwing in “I was only kidding “, can cut as deep and as disheartening as a hurtful word.  Other translations substitute, ‘her words are wise’, with ‘She opens her mouth with wisdom”.  Proverbs 17:28, Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. How many times do we say something and then wish we could take back those words, wisdom can be just restraining ourselves and holding our tongues. Wisdom is not based on how many college degrees you aquire, the Bible often refers to 'fools' as those who do not acknowledge GOD and that Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7).

Verse 27 (NLT)
She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
Verse 27 shows us that the wife’s role in the home, she is the manager of the home. Watches (tsaphah, Hebrew) is also translated, “watchman”.  What does a watchman do, they are always on the lookout, always vigilant, and always keeping an eye out for anything that might cause harm, and not just the physical, but emotional and spiritual as well. A wife that watches ahead; thinks about what this decision or action will cause now, but also, what might this choice cause down the road?  Will this be good for the future or might it cause repercussions? Proverbs 24:27 Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. This is not the same as worry, this is using wisdom, being prepared and not making a ‘foolish’ mistake.  If you noticed, I put the word ‘always’ in front of those examples for a watchman, why, because the Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t suffer from laziness, she is the manager of her household and she is ALWAYS on guard!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

It is Well with My Soul

Today our church was blessed to have Natalie Grant perform during our services. She ended services with the most beautiful rendition of “It is Well with My Soul”, that left me in tears. What is even more inspiring is the story behind the lyrics written by Horatio Spafford.

Horatio G. Spafford was a lawyer in Chicago in the late 1800’s, he experienced loss first hand at the death of his young son to scarlet fever, followed shortly after with the loss of their home to the great fire of 1871. A few years later his family was going to travel to England to assist the famous D.L. Moody in an evangelistic campaign when his wife and four daughters set sail before him. The tragedy that would befall him cannot be imagined, the ship wrecked and only his wife survived. Horatio upon discovering the news, set sail to meet his wife, and it was while he was crossing the Atlantic where his daughters had drowned, he penned “When sorrows like sea billows roll…” The hymn “It is Well with My Soul” was born.
One would imagine after suffering so much loss that a person would not be able to write such beautiful lyrics saying that, it is well. Yet through these tragedies Horatio was able to cling to the only person who could comfort his soul. It is when you fall into God’s bottomless love; you lose your worries and cares and are only surrounded by his grace, mercy and love.  How beautiful that in the following stanzas, Horatio reminds us there’s more to this life, whatever trials and tribulations we encounter here on earth, will fall to the ground forgotten and be forever erased from our minds with the glorious returning of our savior and King, oh it is well with my soul!!

It is Well
by Horatio G. Spafford
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Healing by Faith

1 Peter 2:24
He personally carried our sins
      in his body on the cross
   so that we can be dead to sin
      and live for what is right.
   By his wounds
      you are healed.

Did you catch that last sentence in this scripture; By his wounds you are healed. By faith we accept Jesus as our savior and by faith we can accept our healing.  One of my friends pointed out before, Jesus isn’t going to crawl back up on the cross and die for you again, HE’s already done it once, and it’s your job to accept HIS healing by faith. 

Isaiah 53 shows the Messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus 700 years later. Isaiah 53:5 But HE was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, HE was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.  The Bible shows many instances where Jesus healed people of their sickness and before Jesus went to the cross, HE told his disciples that those that believed in HIM could do as many miracles and good works as HE had done.  “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12 NLT) 

My Bible has this blurb about ‘The Walk of Faith’: A key word in John’s Gospel is “believe”. Faith is important to our understanding of Scripture and to the Spirit’s activity in our lives. Faith, like love, evidences itself in obedience. Faith approaches God boldly to receive from HIM.

GOD’s word and faith in HIS word heals, but you have to put it in you. When you go to church (hear the word, be stirred up, apply to your life, be encouraged by others around you), read your Bible & meditate on those words (get the word in you, pray for God's revelation on HIS word, dwell on HIS word), speak the word (in prayer to God , yourself and to others, encourage and uplift) and BELIEVE the word (when you read it, say it out loud, speak it BOLDY), then KEEP the word in you (when you have doubts, repeat a scripture you're clinging to and believing in, as a promise for you). 

Now saying all that is simple, doing is not, that is why; it’s a constant step of faith. One of my most favorite authors, Kenneth E. Hagin, refers to God’s Word as God’s Medicine. His example is that if you went to the Dr. because you were sick, the Dr. gave you a prescription for medicine, you went and got the prescription filled, then set it on your nightstand but never put it in you, you wouldn’t get any better would you? 

Proverbs 4:20-22
My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.  Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.  For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.

Attend to my words:  (concentrate on, devote oneself, keep one’s eye on, heed, look after, look on, mind, note, notice, observe, occupy oneself with, pay heed, see to, watch) HIS word.
Consent and Submit: don’t just read the word, listen, believe, and then DO what HIS word says.
Let them not depart from your sight: Repeating again because it's so important to keep HIS word with you ALL the time.
Keep them in the center of your heart: In your most inner being, keep near and dear to you.
For they are LIFE to those who find them, HEALING and HEALTH to ALL their FLESH!!

Sounds to me like GOD’s plan is for us to use HIS word to heal us, wouldn’t you agree?

My Pastor gave us the example that if our earthly father, being a good father, would never purposely injure his child to teach them a lesson. He gave the lesson of burning a child’s hand on the hot stove to teach them it’s hot and to not play near it. If we know a good father, would never do such a thing, then why do we believe our Heavenly Father, who loves us SO MUCH MORE, would do such a thing? (Read Matthew 7:11 AMP) That’s why it’s another lie of the enemy, that GOD wants us to suffer. You cannot believe that GOD is love and believe that GOD gave you (or someone you love) a sickness, if you are stuck on that, then healing cannot be yours.

The enemy would have everyone believe that healing isn’t for them, that God chooses people to suffer through these sicknesses for HIS teaching. But that’s not the case, HE (GOD) doesn’t want us to suffer, the devil (who comes to steal, lie and destroy) is the one who wants our suffering. The devil knows that if he can keep GOD’s people down with sickness that he can keep them from GOD’s purpose and glory. Even though the devil can bring tribulation into your life, remember, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called accordiing to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJV)  GOD can take whatever the enemy meant to destroy and bring new life and purpose, if you would only BELIEVE and have FAITH.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Trials by Faith

1 Peter 1:7
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

It says in the Bible we will have trials, after all we are living in a world that doesn’t follow GOD. It doesn’t say that GOD gives us these trials, no these trials have either been brought on by our own foolish mistakes, other people, or the devil.  To believe that GOD gave us these trials, that’s a trick of the enemy, in the Amplified Bible in John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”  

Jesus told us we would have struggles and tribulations [Tribulations: thilipsis (Greek word used) means Pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress. My Bible refers to this word as spiritual bench-pressing and is also used in reference to crushing grapes or olives in a press]in this world, but HE also told us to “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) It doesn’t seem natural to be of good cheer while going through a storm does it? But when you have GOD with you, the storm doesn’t seem so big, you have his peace, comfort and strength, so you feel a lot more like David standing against Goliath with just a sling shot in your hand, completely confident that you can take down that giant (trial, storm, tribulation) !!

When you’re going through a trial you have a choice, you can stop right there and stay in it or you can give it to GOD. Giving it to GOD is when you use your faith, it’s much easier to sit in the midst of your storm and feel sorry for yourself, wonder why this is happening to you or even point fingers at others and say you don’t deserve it. But that whole time you’re not getting anywhere, it’s like spinning your wheels.

BUT if you stand up and say, “God, I don’t know what’s going on, but I do know you GOD, and you didn’t do this to me, so even though I’m scared and unsure, I’m going to put my trust in you GOD, take this faith of mine and strengthen it Lord so I can make it through this and bring you glory”. If you take that first step of faith, God will lead you out of the storm. I’m not saying the storms going to stop right then and there, no, I’m just saying HE will be with you and when HE’s with you, though the wind may blow and howl and the walls fall down around you, you can have a peace and a joy that this world can never give you. 

When you get to the other side of the storm, you will have increased your faith and strength in GOD. Write down that experience (or even better, share it with someone, be an encourager to someone else going through their storm), write down how you were scared at first, but when you asked for GOD to help you, HE was there (HE was there with you the whole time, before you even asked, HE was just waiting on you) and how you got to the other side. By writing it down, you have a way to look back and see that GOD got you through and how much stronger you are now!

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