Stir Me Up Lord!

Stir Me Up Lord!: April 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Psalm of Praise to God

"Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"  (Revelations 7:12)

What wisdom does God have for His children?  What lessons does He hope to instruct?  What blessings does He cover His own creations with?  What mercy does He offer His humbled children?

The foolishness of God is greater than the greatest of man’s wisdom. The instructions of God are detailed in His Holy Word. The blessings of God are far beyond our greatest dreams and hopes.  The God who created us: He is Love - love that is never ending; He is Faithful - faithfulness that lasts forever; and He is Mercy -  mercy that knows no bounds.

How can we worry, when the God who spoke the universe into being has our name written in the palm of His hands?
How can we wander, when God’s Word is a light upon our path?
How can we waste a single breath, when every creation with breath was created for praising God?

All praise and honor belong to God, every perfect and good gift is from our Heavenly Father, He showers His children with favor and grace.

The Lord our God is the Great I Am, His Majesty and Power never end, He is the Holy of Holies, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow - He is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Fortress, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Immanuel, the Way, the Truth and the Life, all praise and honor and glory to Him!

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

God, I was Just Kidding...

Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them. It’s time to stop bringing grief to God’s Holy Spirit; you have been sealed with the Spirit, marked as His own for the day of rescue. Banish bitterness, rage and anger, shouting and slander, and any and all malicious thoughts—these are poison. Instead, be kind and compassionate. Graciously forgive one another just as God has forgiven you through the Anointed, our Liberating King. (Ephesians 4:29-32 Voice)
I had recently made a pledge to my family that I would stop cursing (not that I do it all that often, but the occasional shock or injury has been known to cause me to slip up - although I’d like to blame my colorful vocabulary on my time enlisted in the Army, I know that wouldn’t be completely accurate). I had started the pledge because I have been reading Beth Moore’s “Believing God” (excellent book for growing your faith).  When she approached the topic of controlling our tongue, I was instantly convicted and I was naive to assume just the occasional swearing was my sin - no it was much more than that. Today God showed me, it’s all my words - whether spoken or posted that needed to be tamed.
If you put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you have become a role model in all things religious, but you can’t control your mouth, then think again. Your mouth exposes your heart, and your religion is useless. (James 1:26 Voice)
My pledge has changed from simply 'not cursing' to 'weighing my words' - thinking about what I'm about to say.  I've eaten my own words enough, to know that I prefer to keep my foot on the ground, and out of my mouth.  It breaks my heart to think that words I have shared could hurt others - thank God for His grace and mercy, I'm moving forward with a better focus on my words! 
Our words should only be used to build up and encourage; when our words are used sarcastically, in frustration, or even to just ‘vent’ some thoughts - we are creating an environment that isn’t honoring God, but instead we’re laying out a ‘Welcome’ mat for the enemy.  
If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; for when you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27 TLB)
We live in a society where it’s acceptable to be sarcastic and even crude, if we follow with a “just kidding” or “just saying”.  What might be an off-handed remark or not a big deal to us, might be a sentence that brings tears to someone else.  Regardless of the intention, our words matter and once they are spoken - they might be forgiven, but they are not always forgotten. 
The other day I was teaching our sons that they carry the family name; that a name is more than who your parents are, it is a representation of our character - and that name goes with them in everything they do, whether they are speaking to someone or helping out with a task.  In teaching this, I realized as a child of God I'm a reflection of my Heavenly Father, we carry His good and holy name as Believers and as Christians.  Every day we are examples to others, we are Ambassadors of Christ - we show the world Christ, whether we're at work, at home, on social media, or out and about in our town - even on vacation - there's no time off, we're always God's children. The words we say have value, but are we using them as currency in this lost world or in God's Kingdom?
But no man has ever demonstrated the ability to tame his own tongue! It is a spring of restless evil, brimming with toxic poisons. Ironically this same tongue can be both an instrument of blessing to our Lord and Father and a weapon that hurls curses upon others who are created in God’s own image.  One mouth streams forth both blessings and curses. My brothers and sisters, this is not how it should be. (James 3:9-12 Voice)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

God Knows the Details

My sons and I were reading in Exodus (Exodus 35-40) today about the construction of the tabernacle, ark of covenant and altars. A theme came across to me, God knows the details: He knows what we need long before we realize that we might have a need for them. 

Did you know that while they were in the desert and God told the people to build each of these very specific items (down to the exact detail of material and measurement) including:  gold, silver, and bronze metals; precious stones as well as blue, purple and scarlet threads. My oldest asked how did they have these items, it’s not like they could head to Home Depot and pick up what they needed. I didn’t have to hesitate in my answer, I reminded him we had read that when the Israelites left Egypt, God gave the Egyptians favor upon His people by having the Egyptians give them (Hebrews) gold and other items from their homes as they left. God knows the details.

Did you know that the colors of thread required for the tabernacle were all considered colors of royalty (perfectly fitting for the glory of the Lord God Almighty) because they were rare and special threads. Blue was likely obtained by shellfish, purple was likely created by the secretions of a murex snail and scarlet was likely created by certain scale insects. Now when I imagine this scenario I have to consider, how do you suppose these very insects and critters came to be exactly where they needed to be in the middle of a desert at the base of Mount Sinai, exactly where the Israelites were at the time the Lord told Moses to construct His tabernacle? 

I can’t help but see the many intricacies that God has planned for His people, the materials needed to build the very items used to worship and meet with God - He gave to His people the skills needed, the materials required, and set at the perfect timing to worship - construction was completed at the beginning of the first month, when Passover was to be celebrated.

God had the details planned, not just the threads needed for the embroidery, but the posts for holding the curtains, the bands, and the hooks needed to construct these items, over 7.25 tons of precious metals used in all the construction. Every spice and oil needed to create the incense or for the lampstand, so many specific requirements, yet everything was already given in advance - not a single item was lacking! How awesome is our God!!!  I'm reminded that God knows the end to the beginning - there is no detail, no thought, no word, no action, no event that He hasn’t thought of - so why do we worry, why do we come up with scenarios that might mess up our plans, when God knows the details.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

God, You are My Portion

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
 his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.
(Lamentations 3:22-25 ESV)

God is so good to us, He always gives us just the right portion that we need at just the right time - My prayer is that we would recognize this in all situations, that we would have eyes to see His portion and the ears to hear His portion (from Proverbs 20:12).

We’ve heard these words before, we’ve clung to these verses and memorized the lyrics to the worship songs repeating these promises time and again - but there’s a special moment, when something clicks between our mind and on the inside of our heart, when we realize that it all makes perfect sense and that is one of our defining God moments.

So many times we pray and ask God repeatedly for the same thing, on the same subject, even with the same words - but we don’t stop to listen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not preaching, I’m saying from experience - I’ve been guilty of this so many times and I’m sure I will make this mistake many times again!  When we pray, really pray, we need to stop and make a practice to hear from God, instead of just telling Him what we want, we need to listen and even realize that sometimes God has already given us His answer.

I haven’t been writing any posts because I’ve been waiting on God to lead me, not sure of what He wants me to do.  I know when we seek God’s will, we can’t go wrong - my whole point to my writing was because I felt led to and lately I haven’t been sure of what was God’s will and what was mine.  I don’t ever want to make the mistake of writing ANYTHING outside of God’s will, so I admit, I’ve been scared of taking any steps but I think those first steps  - are actually the steps of faith - that God has been waiting on me to make. 

God knows our purpose on this planet long before we were born, before we were conceived, He knew the parents we needed to be born to, the time we needed to be born in, the friends we need to make, and even the time we would need to come to the Lord. It’s amazing to think that each and every one of us might not have been ‘planned’ by our parents, but we were planned by God. If you were like my parents and born into a family that consisted of abuse and terrible trials, know this - God didn’t plan that for you; those were humans that chose wrongly!  God has the perfect plan for us, whether we cooperate and follow those plans - those are our own flesh driven choices.

Sometimes God has given me a direction, that I know without a doubt - was God speaking to me and no they haven’t come with an audible voice, but I KNOW were God:  the decision to be a stay at home mom (with the specific purpose of raising our sons to be the men of God that God intends them to be) and then the decision to homeschool our sons. So when I struggle to find answers or direction, I may have to make a decision that I don’t get as clear an answer as I have in those instances - but none the less, I know the bigger picture has already been set in motion. These details I’m praying on, might only be discerned through trial and error, but won’t alter the course.  So when you’re praying on something and haven’t received an answer, search God’s Word!  We can be confident knowing that the scriptures are God’s best advice for us, His Word won’t ever steer you wrong and sometimes you’ll find the answer written directly on a page in your Bible.

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