Tag Archives: Hebrews

What to Do when the Lines are Blurred

The Christian life is forever a grand adventure. That’s a quote from my friend Chief. He and I have one common ground that forever gets us into trouble. We leap believing a net will appear. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. But it always an adventure. Sometimes those adventures take their toll on me spiritually because the line between living in faith and living in the flesh is sometimes blurred for a personality such as mine. You see, my first action is reaction to any thought. Any. That’s a problem.

God said in Philippians 4:6 ~  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Be careful for nothing means to “not worry.” It doesn’t mean don’t be cautious, which is often how I live my life. In ministering to myself this morning I need to unpack a few scriptures to get myself back into the adventurous living of Christ. The issue is this, if you leap enough times and the net doesn’t appear, the impact is painful.

The impact of broken dreams

I’m a dreamer. Oh my stars am I a dreamer! And if I’m honest being a dreamer is often an escape from reality. But when those dreams lie shattered on the ground because they didn’t come to pass as I thought they would, the impact is often for me to physically and emotionally shutdown. I usually do one of two things. (1) I shut down. Turn off the world and retreat inside my head which can be a very scary place. (2) Make someone else’s dream happen, in a very small sense of the word. Meaning I take on a thousand projects of a thousand people who are readily available to ask me to do something. (3) Quite often my last resort, I turn to the word of God. It’s where faith and flesh collide.

The impact of broken confidence

I’m familiar with failure. It’s a part of the life of someone who lives the “leap and the net will appear” mentality. Failure has never stopped me from trying again. But what will most assuredly shatter my confidence is when my leaping appears to the world as recklessness. And sometimes to me as recklessness. I restore that confidence in remembering the countless miracles that God has done in my life, but even they too were often God rescuing me from a not so very well thought out plan. So thus, it’s a vicious cycle. God however has confidence builders on call, like my best friend and biggest fan, Gloria. Or my friend Jessica, who spurred my spirit on by recalling how I had made a difference for her as she spoke at a ladies meeting Monday night.  And my friend Dewey who calls just to check on me, who consoles my spirit and reminds me quite often that The Jesus Chick needs to stay on the path God designed. Confidence too is where faith and flesh collide.

The impact of broken spirit

Probably the hardest of all is when the flesh wins out over faith and I feel uninspired to go on. It’s when I’ve taken a hit from several directions. It’s not that the Word has let me down or that the encouragers in my life have let me down, it’s when the world has taken its toll and I don’t even have the desire to walk to the edge, never mind jumping off to another adventure. It’s where I’ve been of late.

So how do you fix a broken spirit?

Psalm 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

You offer it to God. Part of being in the ministry is realizing the paycheck doesn’t look like the 9-5 job. There’s usually not a paycheck. The pay is presenting the gifts that God has given you to Him and through Him, and allowing Him to tell you your worth.

Paul (the writer of Philippians) and David (the writer of most of the Psalms) had much in common. Both understood that the power behind the child of God is in prayer, supplication and thanksgiving. It is with an attitude of brokenness and contriteness (remorse) that God can use us. It’s where faith and flesh part.  The flesh wants no part of regret or remorse. The flesh wants no part of being broken. But in that state is where I find my strength to leap again. Because in that state I realize that my dreams, confidence and desires are through Him, and it will be through Him that success will come. And it will.

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

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When Is Nothing Enough?

contentTo tell you “I struggle with contentment” could quite possibly be the understatement of the year. And while there is a spiritual truth in the fact that we should be constantly growing toward Christ and never content with our spiritual state, there’s also a very humanistic ideal that nothing is enough. What an oxymoron! How could nothing ever be enough?

I’ve heard it again and again that God put the emotion of desire in our hearts, but the first mention of desire in scripture is in Genesis 3:6 where woman saw that the tree was “a tree to be desired to make one wise,” and so she took the fruit. Well… that didn’t end very well for us did it? Obviously there are boundaries for which our desire should or should not be acted upon. The world tells us to “go for the prize,” which I guess that’s okay if it’s the “prize of your high calling which is Christ Jesus” spoken of by Paul to the Philippians, but what about the desires in life of a non-spiritual nature. It’s where guilt enters the picture for me.

I am blessed beyond ridiculousness when it comes to having the desires of my heart met. And yet I have things in life that seem to be out of my reach at all times. Spiritually speaking I feel like I need to “drain the swamp” in my own life and get rid of some things that have me bogged down and fighting to stay afloat. As you can tell, my mind this morning is a battle between the principalities of the air and the Holy Spirit within. God set me on a journey and in this present state of mind I feel like the path is a thick brush that I’m having to hack my way through; I’m so tired from hacking away at it that by the time I get to a clearing I collapse… and the brush has time to grow again. Dramatic? Yeah, I guess so. But that’s life too, always dramatic! So I determined this morning to slow down… not let the monotony of life take the few minutes that I have this morning, and make it mayhem.

Hebrews 13:5-8

Look at what you have

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Looking around my home this morning I can tell you that there are things I want. I can also tell you that there is nothing I need. That statement can lead a conversation in two directions: covetousness or contentment. One will lead to a feeling of resentment and the other will lead to a feeling of resolve. It’s not hard to see which conversation is healthy, but we know it’s not that simple. It would have been healthy for me this morning to have oats and toast for breakfast, and yet I chose a cherry ®Pop Tart. Healthy isn’t as convenient is it?

Look at Who can help you

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

My time lately hasn’t been mine. And I’m not speaking of the time I spend serving others… although that is a decent portion of it. But I speak more to the time that I spend trying to figure out life. Oh my stars! It’s insane how much time I waste pondering what to do, what not to do, what I should have done, how I’ve failed, how I’m going to fix my life… Ha! And then I read verse 6 and see “the Lord is my helper.” Boy, have I missed the mark.

Look at who you’re listening to

Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

I spend way too much time listening to Satan and his minions tell me I’m a failure to which I reply, “Yes, yes I am.” Why do I do that? Because it’s convenient. I can go there and it costs me nothing. But in order to hear the positive words of positive people that God has sent into my life I have to put forth an effort. Read the word of God, find a sermon podcast, etc. Church is a no brainer for me. I wouldn’t even consider not going to church, but come Monday… it’s Satan’s playing field.

Look at the Real Reality

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day3, and for ever.

Back to my first thought, “how can nothing be enough?” The reality is, no “thing” will ever create contentment. Only Christ leads to contentment because He never changes. There’s always an upgrade on the things of life, but it gets no better than Jesus. So this morning as I try to make sense of the chaos I call life I need to look:

Look at what I have – Jesus (all knowing) He understands where I am

Look at Who can help – Jesus (all powerful) He understands what I need

Look at Who I’m listening too (all present) He understands I am weak

Look at Reality – Jesus is all. He Understands

Do You Feel Under Attack?

confidence

A few days ago a friend asked, “Do you feel under attack?” My first thought was “do I? O my stars, I feel like an army has been unleashed on my home, in my mind, on and in my body. Everything is a struggle. Physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually I am under siege. So I now ask you, “Do you feel under attack?” If the answer is yes, come along with me on this journey of reclaiming the ground that’s been taken.

That’s how it feels to me when Satan robs me of the peace in my life and I feel like I have to fight for every inch of ground in the day. Peace is not only an emotion it’s a physical place for me. It’s where I feel happy and secure.  And it’s a very easy ground for Satan to claim from me, but not so easy to reclaim. Getting into a cycle of depression, frustration and aggravation is a slippery slope and I go down fast. And coming out of it is like trying to walk up a muddy, slippery bank… every step is a struggle and gravity is not my friend.

The gravity of the matter. . .

Why we have to get back on solid ground?

A couple of reasons really, People are watching and People need us.

The writer of Hebrews 10 says this:

32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

In a conversation with myself this morning I told myself, “Child of God, your people need to see you victorious.” Yes, I’m a gazingstock,” and no I don’t like it. It’s hard enough going through the trials without feeling like you’re in a fish bowl. But it’s a truth I needed to hear. And the second part of that conversation was, I’m not alone.

My friend was under attack and so were many other friends. And praise God I didn’t have to buy the lie of the Devil that I was on my own. God knows we’re in this battle, He did not leave us nor forsake us, nor is it without purpose. And so the writer reminded me to think back about other times that I went through a harsh time; what was the end result? I was victorious. This time will be no different. And regardless of the struggles that I face down here, there will be a day that I’ll have the perfect life I long for; and if I want my friends and family to join me (who are lost) they need to see the difference being a child of God makes in the struggles of day to day living.

How we get back on solid ground?

Read on:

35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Confidence is not my strong suit… unless it’s when I’m confident I’ll fail. So Satan has me on shaky ground and it’s a part of my battle. So how do I reclaim my home, my mind and my emotional and spiritual state? How do I climb back up that slippery slope?

I have to get some traction and I have to quit pulling back. Confidence is that stick-to-itiveness that I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength. It’s planting your feet in the word of God and standing there (patience) until God starts pulling on the rope, and then rather than falling backwards, (don’t draw back) Believe that God is going to bring us through and be glorified in what we’re struggling with.

I know… that’s not easy when you’ve just been slammed with another reminder that life is harsh. But this morning as I read these words I was encouraged that this is not forever. And regardless of how much or how long we endure hard times, Satan cannot remove us from the family of God. It may feel like the world is against, But God owns the world. Think about that!!!

Boldly Go

Hebrews 4-16Nothing will drive you to your knees like heartache, worry and sorrow. And that is where God would have us be, but He’d much rather it be a daily diet of prayer, rather than a conversational last meal as you’re passing through Death Valley. The conversation then is in angst and there is guilt upon guilt because you know you’re not where you need to be with God. You stutter for words, wanting to say just the right thing, failing to understand that your needs were already spoken in Heaven when God watched you suffering and sat waiting for you to come to Him. He reached out but you hid your face because you knew you were unworthy to be in His presence, but He said “Child did you not read where I said come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”  in Hebrews 4:16.

Boldly; meaning with a brave heart and with freedom of speech, not with trepidation, but come to the throne wherein grace is found, prepared to obtain mercy. It’s found no other place than when we come to Him. The world will give you situational and conditional mercy, if it sees fit. But God’s mercy is undeserved yet freely given because we’re His children. This is why God wants daily walks and talks, He’s not a situational God, He’s the God of all times. He knows when you’re headed for trouble. How much sweeter are those times in His presence when we can run into His arms rather than crawl to His feet.

Satan will tell you, “you’re not worthy, God’s not listening, you’ve gone too far this time.”

He’s a liar and a loser and he needs put in his place. But don’t try doing it alone, that’s God’s job. Even Michael the archangel left Satan for God to deal with him in Jude 1:9 when it is said

 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Don’t argue with Satan, especially in times of weakness. He’ll get the better of you. Run into the throne room of God… He’s waiting.

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Zero Tolerance Christianity

zero tolerance1

While I will agree there have been behaviors by self-proclaimed Christians that should not be tolerated, I would not tout them as Christian behaviors. Therein lies the difference and a misconception of the world that all Christians are alike. But in all honesty I don’t think the world cares that we’re not alike, it serves their purpose to collectively lump Christians into a group of extremists trying to take over society. And yet we ignore a real group of extremists who have set their minds to violently take over the world and call them a religion of peace… seriously? “Oh but there’s just a few ‘extremist’ in the bunch that give the religion a bad name,” they say, and then those same “theys” will complain because a Christian organization wrote scripture on a cup and gave away hot chocolate on a college campus. Is this a Sunday morning rant? I sure hope not. It’s not my intent to rant, it’s my intent to give you something to ponder about your own toleration.

We have only ourselves to blame for the intolerance in the world, because we (collectively, as they like to judge us) have been tolerate of their intolerance of us. They say we cannot pray in school, and we say “okay.” They say gay marriage is acceptable in the sight of God, and we say “okay.” They say killing babies is not killing because the baby has yet to be born, but a drunk hits a pregnant woman and kills the child and is charged with murder, and we say that that   hypocritical thinking is “okay.” A Muslim religious ritual can be conducted in a public school and it’s “okay,” but we dare not bring a Bible into a classroom. We have a President who has 10 more months to finish his anti-God agenda  and the liberal’s hiss like a snake at conservatives who dare object.

Is it any wonder we’ve become tolerate of our own sin? We’ve certainly accepted everyone else’s. God is viewed by socialistic society as an angry God of judgement because He doesn’t tolerate what destroys society. Sin destroys us from within. America is proof of it. They have not had to fire the first shot on our soil to have us cowering to their way of belief. That same notion that has been accepted nationally now knocks on the door of every home and most open the door and offer it cake and coffee, followed by cake and ice cream for the kids because we want them to grow up being tolerate of intolerance.

All the while there are sects in the Church who are removing the blood from the gospel because it seems harsh and intolerant and the God of the New Testament doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings because he loves everyone and accepts them as they are, even Muslim. Yeah… that’s how far we’ve come.

For the record, Christians are not all the same. There’s still a few of us left who believe the inspired Word of God as it was written and without apology.  The Old and New Testaments explain that God does not change. Old Testament scripture says in Malachi 3:6

For I am the Lord, I change not

New Testament Scripture says in Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

It’s not God who wavers on His word, it’s man. And before we, who have not changed, get on our high horse and shout to the top of our lungs, “preach that!” Because we’ve stood firm on our foundation… have we also stood firm on our foundation personally?

  • What words crossed our lips (or minds) this week?
  • What attitude did we share with friends, coworkers and family?
  • Did we have God’s stamp of approval on every decision?
  • Did we turn away from ungodly images or thoughts?
  • Did we love others as ourselves?
  • Did we tell someone about Jesus?

At what point does God tolerate sin? On our minimal sins or the world’s maximum sin?

Neither. God has no tolerance for tolerance.

Will we sin, yes, we’re human, 1 John 1:8 says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

But the difference in Christians should be that it’s never tolerated nor accepted. If every Christian in America would get back to that basic belief-ism and stop allowing the double standards that liberalism has placed our country in II Chronicles 7:14 would come to pass. I’m not ready to give up on America…

  • Search yourself and ask God to shine the light on darkness.
  • Never accept sin as an acceptable standard.
  • Pray that Christian Americans will stand up for God’s word.
  • Never stop talking about Jesus.
  • Pray with purpose

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When healing won’t come, trust His heel

trust His heel

This morning has been a time of worship and praise… I’ve sat with my guitar for over an hour, I’ve listened to worship music and I’ve wept over heart aches and illnesses. Heaven some morning’s seems too far away. It’s not that I’m wanting to die… no I want to live!!! I want to live for Jesus and tell the world of His goodness, but Satan is right on my heels every second of the day. Trying to defeat my witness, he can’t defeat me because Christ is within me, but he can sure do some damage the outer being of who I am. I know that my Savior has his head under His heel because the scripture says so in Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

I need that image in my mind… the image of the victory! Satan does his very best to cover it with the grief of the world when healing seems impossible, or distant. I follow the story of Joey and Rory Feeks and my heart aches for them; I want God to take away this heartache from their family and friends and heal her. That’s the kind of “heal” I want today, but it hasn’t come. And so I sing about Heaven and thank God for those songs of praise that cause my heart to rejoice, otherwise it would be in despair and I’d be of no purpose for encouraging you. My heart breaks for children that I minister to who don’t live in the best of circumstances and I want to show them that image of Satan’s head beneath our Savior heel and tell them to hang on. Christ will win their victory. I have friends in the faith whose children have broken their hearts and I want to tell them to keep praying!  God can turn those situations around as quickly as it appeared to get out of control. He’s got this. He will have victory over every evil plot that Satan has devised to bring us down.

So what do you do when physical or emotional healing won’t come? Trust His Heel.

Hebrews 13:5 says Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Content… at ease.

My heart is breaking… allow the balm of His words to soothe it. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I don’t have the strength to get through… then He’ll carry you. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I’m all alone… that’s a lie from Hell. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Nobody understands… yes He does. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I’ve been hurt so deeply… so was He… beyond our imagination and by us. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I’m a failure… no, you’re human. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

It’s not fair… Nothing about this world is, but there’s a better world coming. Until then… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Thank You Jesus, that in the pits of my despair, You are there. I feel Your presence and Your Spirit well up within my soul as a reminder that You are truth, and Satan is a liar. Thank you for the gift of music that draws my mind into worship and help my friends Lord, to understand that You’ll bring them through. And in the end we’ll see you destroy that demon and his forces that cause us heartache today. And from that day forward there will be only Joy!  Great joy…

Trust His Heel. He  will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

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The Best Weight Loss Program Ever!

Ready2Run Chick

If you’re like myself, who constantly battles weight gain, that headline caught your attention! Or perhaps you seen right through my ruse and knew that it would likely be a spiritual application; either way, I’m glad you’re here. Because I believe my words today will help us all, thin, thick or in between people. The Word of God is one size fits all… really. Not like the apparel size which is anything but truth. Our scripture toda y is found in Hebrews 12:1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Let me say I’m not a runner and I have no desire to run. It wears me out just thinking about it and runners wear me out talking about it. I love that quote that says, “If you see me running you should run too because something is obviously chasing me, and it can’t be good.” True story. I’m not a runner in the fitness sense of the word, but spiritually speaking, its game on! I’ll run that race. Apostle Paul was a runner… a spiritual fitness buff. I want to wear his line of apparel which no doubt would be done in the coolest of colors because his eyesight was poor so he’d love the bright shades. The fabric would be just the right blends of materials, it would have appeal to the Jew as well as the gentile and would no doubt be made by the prison population with all proceeds going to the Rock of Ages ministry. I know Paul was a tent maker but in these modern times he’d have branched out. And he was a tent maker, so plus size apparel would have most likely been his niche. Just sayin’. Okay… I may have over thought that point.

But back to the race…One of the reasons I don’t like to physically run is the same reason that stops many of us from running the spiritual race, or at least slows us down. It’s the weight! When you’re carting around unnecessary baggage it’s impossible to run with proficiency and good health.

The word beset is not a word that you’ll find us using too much in today’s vocabulary but its synonyms are very familiar – problem, difficulty, afflict, torment, oppress, trouble, worry – sounds like an average day in the neighborhood to me. And not the Mr. Rogers kind of neighborhood. Those are the things that hinder my race, most of which are brought on by me. Just like the weight that clings to my midriff, the things that beset me both physically and spiritually were brought on by poor decisions and lack of discipline. Not all… but most.

So how do we lay it aside, not that I’ve laid it on every side?

We have to run…that means move. We can’t un-sin any more than we can un-eat that bag of chips. We can only move forward to hopefully better choices with better results. What’s hindering your ministry? I know what’s hindering mine… bad decision making in the past. I need to move forward and run with patience… meaning to take my time and do it right. See… Paul didn’t think going fast was a good idea either. I love that guy!

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His Wonderful Word!

chick word

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Air I Breathe

It wasn’t long after salvation that I realized the Word of God was as vital to my spiritual growth as air was to breathing.  If I was going to understand God, I needed to read His Word. As I began to read it, something else happened; I realized it was alive! That’s what the word quick means – Alive! The very breath of God breathed into my life and as He did a passage would come off of the page and take root in my heart. Something I had just experienced in real time would be written in historical time on those pages just like my experience. It was amazing… I was hooked!

I later learned that the Living Word of God would become my counselor, friend and confidant. When it seemed the whole world had walked out on me, God never left my side; speaking peace to my soul day in and day out. If I was living in a manner that did not please God, His Word became brought conviction into my heart and the peace would be gone until sin had departed. It was never any wonder to me why Satan has used every method possible to destroy it in futility. He can no more destroy the Word of God as he could destroy God, for they are one in the same.

The Awe I Believe

Powerful! Oh my goodness. Just by speaking His Word deliverance can come. By uttering nothing, God can answer the unspoken cry knowing just what’s needed. I’m in awe at the prayers that I have had answered. From the serious cries in the darkest times of my life, to the silliest prayer of asking for a parking spot close the mall ~ God has answered. God’s not in to formality. A prayer is a conversation between you and the best friend you’ll ever know. Have there been occasions where my prayer was not answered as I had desired, oh yes. But not one time has God’s answer been wrong, but my request on more than one occasion was not as it should have been.

I’ve asked in pure selfishness that God leave people on earth that needed to go be with Him. I’ve asked Him to pull someone from a fire that needed it for purification and the end result would have been disastrous. I’ve also prayed for innocent people to be delivered from ugly circumstances and they were not… and I cried in frustration. But I still believe that when I get to Heaven I’ll stand in awe of why it was so.

The Armament I Brandish

From nothing of my own I have been given the Words of God to share and encourage others.  A task that I’m more than a little uncomfortable with knowing that the weight of my words can serve to discourage as well as encourage if I’m not tuned in to God’s plan. Praise Him that He is the discerner of my own heart and that even when I fall short, He fills in the gaps because I’m a willing vessel. I pray that the words I write are forever His.  And I pray that they bless your soul.

Thank you for the past responses and the use of your words to encourage my soul in return. I’m grateful. I don’t need them to be “puffed up” in pride but they sure come in handy on the days I’m discouraged to feed my soul with your goodness.

I hope this morning finds you blessed!

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But Now…a Trip to the Wood Shed for this Chick

chick woodshed2

1 Samuel 2:30

Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

Eli the Priest had two sons that would have followed in his footsteps, but the scripture is clear on who they had become in 1 Samuel 2:12 “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.”  They were unsaved, idolatrous men that certainly knew better. They and Eli were aware of what the responsibilities of leadership was, and yet the sons took their disrespect of the house of God to the furthest extreme and because of it they had caused the congregation of the Lord to sin. Eli knew of this and confronted them in verse 24 when he said Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.” But that’s as far as Eli took it. He continued to allow his sons to be in a position of authority and influence until finally God had had enough and killed them both. But now…judgment had come and Eli had lost his sons. God’s point was made, and the punishment was doled out. For the sons it was death, for Eli it living with the fact that he contributed to their demise by treating his sons’ sins too lightly. It’s a harsh lesson in leadership this morning for me because I too have been guilty of taking the righteousness of God too lightly and not wanting to offend someone.

A lesson in the teen class this week had us examining the question of whether or not our relationships with our earthly father influenced our attitude with our Heavenly Father. I believe whole heartedly that it does. My earthly father was one of the sweetest men you’d ever know, and a pretty passive fellow. He stood his ground on what he believed but he was not a strong disciplinarian nor was he very confrontational. I’m pretty sure I’ve viewed God much the same. I don’t take Him nearly as serious as I should. Please don’t misunderstand… I’m not blaming my Dad for my transgressions, I am without excuse. But I do believe as leaders we have to be careful about imputing our ideas of Who God is from our earthly role models.

My Dad as wonderful as he was, did not have the power of life and death in his hands. He could not change a man’s fate for the better or worse. He did not have the power to elevate someone or lower their estate. But God does! He’ll honor those who honor Him, and those who don’t… well…. You might be in trouble.

But now, the Lord saith and we should listen. Call sin, sin; in your life and those you lead. Don’t justify it, deny it or overlook it. That’s not honoring God. The “But Now” study has once again hit pretty close home for me which is why I write. It’s therapeutic and cleansing. I just take you along with me like a kid in trouble going to the wood shed; hoping their father won’t embarrass them by tannin’ their hide in front of their friends. That never works for me; it didn’t work for Eli either.

But Now… are you willing?

chick content

Judges 6:13

And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

Far be it from me to be disobedient to God and then wonder why I feel forsaken. (…yeah right) And I have on more than one occasion claimed the latter part of Hebrews 13:5: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” ignoring the prefix of that statement where it says  “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have” and then it says “I will never thee, nor forsake thee.” I for certain want God not to forsake me, but I don’t want to have to do without stuff! That was a side bar on the Gideon story, but the truth of the matter is, God had allowed Israel to get into bondage again with the Midianites because they had traded Him for the gods of the world. Tell me that doesn’t ring familiarity to the church today and in our individual lives.

We want God in a crisis, “but now” that’s it’s over we’ll see what we can do about penciling Him in. We don’t have to ask ourselves why the circumstances of America are playing out as they are; it’s because the nation as a whole has turned their back on God. Gideon hadn’t turned his back on God, because God called him a “mighty man of valour.” So why then was Gideon the mighty man of valour hiding in the wine press to thresh wheat? The logical answer for me is, because he was human. Even those of us who desire to stand up and fight against the wickedness of the world find ourselves cowering down somewhere because the enemy seems too much and we seem so insignificant by comparison.

Through God’s counsel Gideon and Israel had victory but there were a few steps in between.

He questioned God’s judgment on using him.

Vs 15 – behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

To country quote it, “I ain’t got any money, and I don’t have the strength to fight that battle Lord.” God doesn’t’ need our money or our muscle! He wants a man willing to use what He’s equipped with. That’s why in Hebrew 13:5 Jesus tells us to be content with what we have, because that’s what God needs. What we have.

Gideon didn’t have much, but what he had he was willing to give to the Lord. In verse 18-19 of Judges 6 Gideon said. “Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.”

 In reading chapter 6 we discover that he sacrificed what he had, sought God’s counsel, and followed His instruction. The very same thing that we too have to offer God.

  • What we’ve been given… a little, or a lot doesn’t matter.
  • Time in His presence (costs nothing)
  • And obedience to His instruction (and He’ll equip us with the rest)

But now… America is here. But with a few Mighty folks of Valour, willing to be content with what we have, and listen to God, we could be a far better nation. Are you willing?