Tag Archives: strength

Four Reasons to Stay on the Wall

In the book of Nehemiah, a mighty religious leader of the day received word of the remnant of the Jewish people that are left in Jerusalem. Their wall of protection is destroyed, the gates have been burned and Nehemiah sits down, weeps, fasts, prays, and then then begins his conversation with God.

Before we take our stand atop our wall there is a few preparatory measures we need to take. First talk to God, make sure it’s your wall to stand on and fight. I cannot tell you of the times I have climbed to the top of a wall that was built on someone else’s ideas instead of God’s. Second, take accountability for the brokenness if it’s yours. And third remember, you are one of the Redeemed! That in a nutshell is Nehemiah Chapter One regarding the state of Israel and Nehemiah’s prayer to God. If it’s your wall, don’t come down.

God is the God of Action. Unless it’s for a time of prayer or preaching, nowhere in scripture do you find God’s people sitting still and being productive. If they’re sitting still (like King David) they’re apt to fall into sin. Busyness isn’t always a sign of productiveness, but it’s certainly a better sign than never being found doing anything.

I cannot summarize the story of Nehemiah and the wall into a few sentences. So much happened and the entire book is so worthy to read. But for bit of encouragement for the both of us I’ll use this scripture from the book to encourage you to stay on the wall.

Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry: for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Israel had just heard the word of God afresh. They were mourning for the state of their nation. But Nehemiah gives them (and us) these words of encouragement.

We have a Reason to Celebrate

If God’s people can’t rejoice, who can? The wall was rebuilt in spite of the opposition they faced. And for those of us on this side of the New Testament, we are blessed with the Word of God that has stood the test of time and has proven itself as truth no matter how many times an angry world has tried to tear it down. We can eat the fat and drink the sweet of His glorious word and feel the Spirit in our soul as we do. The world may not know… but we do. That is reason to celebrate! Stay on the Wall and Celebrate what God completed at the empty tomb.

We have blessings to share

Nehemiah reminded them that their blessings were not their own to keep. Neither are ours. I looked around my home this morning at all the goodness of God and His graciousness to me who is so unworthy and I feel shame that I don’t share more than I do. I feel shame that I don’t take the time to thank God and stay in constant prayer that His mercy abounds in my family and friends. You too no doubt have blessings uncounted and gifts in your life that you could encourage someone with today. Stay on the wall and share God’s goodness that world may see what He’s done in your life, and that even the unsaved will glorify God for you.

We serve The Lord Most High

I loved when Nehemiah said “Don’t be sorry.” I believe he was telling the Israelites to move past regret. I am so apt to stay in an attitude of unworthiness because of my failures. I do it to the point of yet another failure; because God has proven I am worthy by His death on the cross. Was not that enough? We serve a risen Savior who took every sin; past, present and future upon His shoulders at the cross so that we could live in victory! We serve the Lord Most High, there is no reason to be low. Stay on the wall and serve in the victory you’re afforded and don’t cower to the demons of Hell that tell you you’re not worthy. You are worthy by His blood.

We have His Strength to Go On

That strength is found in His joy and His joy is found in our service. There is engrained in the child of God a desire to serve. When that desire is fulfilled it brings with it a joy unspeakable and that joy floods the body and soul with strength to go on. Yes, we’ll have some days of doubt, we’re human. But we can look back on the joys of serving God and the fruits of our labor, just like Nehemiah and children of Israel must have looked back on the rebuilt wall. Look what you’ve done in the strength of the Lord! Can He not do more? And will you not continue to stand and fight for those who have yet to make it to where you are in Christ?

I have family and friends who have never experienced life atop the wall. They’ve never known the victory of Spirit filled leaving and confidence in Christ. I’m not done until God says I’m done. Stay on the wall and continue in His strength that others may experience it too.

The wall of Jerusalem was nothing more than bricks and mortar. The Rock for which we stand is indestructible. Stand Strong in His Might!

Hallelujah! There’s no calendar in Heaven… Remembering 911

911I feel as though my soul has come under attack this week. At every turn I’ve been bombarded with unsettling thoughts and attacks from within and without. Frustration would mount and tears would well and as best I could I would shrug it off and not give the Devil the satisfaction of seeing me fall apart. This morning before my feet hit the floor his mind games started and so when I opened the Word of God, I found the Lord to be the faithful all knowing that He is when He lead me here…

Psalm 94:17-19

17 Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.

19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

I highly recommend you read the entire chapter, especially on the anniversary of this most troubling of days, 911. With the attacks on Israel,  ISIS threats and America Leadership falling short of what we know it should be it’s disheartening to watch the news and see every other social media post laced with hatred, fear and frustration. My soul hallelujah! does not dwell in silence. God speaks volumes of peace if only I’ll listen.

His Word is as relevant as today’s headline…

94:1-7

1 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.

Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.

Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

They break in pieces thy people, O Lord, and afflict thine heritage.

They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.

Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.

Is that not the nonsense that the enemy utters? But read on dear friend and don’t lose heart.

22 But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off.

I left out many verses that you need to hear today. That whole chapter will cause your soul to rejoice in the fact that we serve a God Who is not mocked. This world is full of sin and sorrow which many men think they control, but only One is in control and that is Jehovah-Jireh (my provider). The mask is off of that terrorist in the courts of Heaven. God knows his name. 911 knocked the feet out from under America but did not destroy the foundation; our president may say we are not a Christian nation, but he’ll be corrected someday. There’s more than a few of us left.

God’s word encouraged my heart today. My struggles did not catch an All Knowing God off guard. Today is September 11th on earth, and we remember the heartache; but in Heaven there’s no calendar. The enemy desires the final word, but what he desires he cannot have because that is in God’s power and control. Whew! Amen for that.

Exercise Don’t Come Easy

exercise

Ecclesiastes 1:13 ~ And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Ol’ Solomon. Or so tradition has it. Some believe Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon in his youth, the book of Proverbs in his middle age, and the book of Ecclesiastes when he was old. His entire life he’d given to search out the wisdom of God, and it was often a burdensome feat.

I get that. Especially this week, only it’s not a burdensome feat, but rather burdensome feet that have got me in sore travail. Another crazy antic in the life of Shari found me in nothing less than a Physical Education teacher class with PE teachers being trained to implement SPARK curriculum. Shari… the blogger… who exercises her mind, not her body, although I should have been. Shari… the out of shape blogger has had 3 six hours days of jumping, dancing, hoola hooping… (don’t go there, not a pretty image) and now has a sore heel due to the “cute” little flat sandals I wore the first day, not knowing I was going to be actually in this class, not just helping to set it up.

How much better it would have been had I been studied up. Or at least thinner.

I fear there will be those taking the tests of life, and especially the final, unprepared and sore vexed for answers from their lack of exercise of faith. Solomon himself said it was a hard task to study the things of God, even before the days of Facebook and Twitter and all the other gadgets and activities that consume our time. How much more now… are these gadgets and activities a trial or blessing. We need time to prepare.

It’s not only preachers who need to “study to show themselves approved” (2 Timothy 2:15). Studying scripture is not for the bible scholar, although they need it, but for every common man, woman and child so that when the trials of life come upon them they’ve had an exercised faith that’s ready for the work out. Someone dies, someone’s ill, financial struggle, broken hearts and all of life’s frustrations are covered in the training manual. And practiced in the lives of saints if you’ll watch them every day.

During this training a young man sat down at our breakfast table before the day started and out of the corner of my eye I watched him bow his head and bless his food. He not only had trained his body, but trained his mind in Spiritual things as well. I was so grateful! I had wondered that morning if my own faith would be understood that day, and God sent another of his warriors to the table as if to say… you’re not alone Shari.

Perhaps to day you’re in the midst of exercise of faith. Train on. God will strengthen you in the trial.

So… what if today you stood before God taking the final, are you prepared? Would you have the answer if He ask, “Why should I allow you to enter Heaven?”

I’ll even give you a cheat sheet. The answer would be given by Christ when He said, “They’re mine. They’ve claimed Me as their Savior, trusted me for their Salvation. They ask me into their heart at the age of _____.”

Could you fill in the blank? If not you’ve failed, and that’s one exam you can’t afford to fail, because there’s not a do-over. Eternity in Hell will be the penalty.

A loving God will not make you prepare, it’s your choice. I hope you’ve made it! If you’d like to know more or you’re unsure, follow this link: http://thejesuschick.com/the-road-to-salvation/

Determination for the Day!

A Psalm of Determination

Psalm 27:13-14 ~  I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

I highly recommend you read the whole Psalm 27, only 14 verses, but it help you gain an understanding of where David’s coming from. He’s determined in his heart that, come what may, “God’s got this.” The whole world can walk out on him, family can leave him, the enemy can set their mind on destruction but he will continue on doing what he’s called to do and he’ll do it in confidence. Not because he’s a mighty warrior, but because he serves a mighty God. Not because he’s got great wisdom, but because He serves the God of all wisdom. David said he’d have passed out if he didn’t believe that he would see the goodness of God, the victory!

Been there? Where you just want to “wake up when it’s over.” Frustration has mounted to the point that you think it’s going to topple over and crush you. It’s blocked your vision of all else, especially hope of a good end and then you hear…“Wait.” A four letter word in the vocabulary of someone like me who doesn’t understand why anyone would want to wait, when you could leap. So God says it again, because He knows I likely won’t listen to the first one. “wait, I say, on the Lord.”

This is a very short blog post this morning, I have to be on the road at 5:30 a.m. But I didn’t want to start my day without an encouraging thought. I’ve had a couple of hard knocks this week. Nothing major in the scope of life, but none the less a thorn in my side that I really would like God to remove. But I hear “wait, I say, on the Lord.” I’d still rather jump. But if I put my confidence in Him (that’s courage) He’ll give me strength to wait. Waiting takes restraint. Again… something I’m not very good at. But I’ll wait. Because God said, “it’s good, not I’m good.” He knows me, and praise His Holy Name, I know Him.

You have power in His Name. Are you Ready?

Acts 3:1-16

I shared with my youth over the weekend how it was for me as a young person when I had to stand before my peers and give an oral report. I would absolutely go into hysterical, uncontrollable laughter until my teacher would see that it was futile, give me a mercy grade for my attempt and allow me to return to my seat. So imagine my surprise when God called me to sing and speak! He has such a sense of humor!

When Peter and John arrived at the gate called Beautiful a lame man sat begging, waiting to receive the mercy of provision. I highly doubt he sat in the arrogance of entitlement that many sit in today; he most likely sat in humility for having to rely on others for his livelihood. So imagine his surprise when Peter said in verse 6 ~ “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” And then he did! He didn’t just walk, he got leapt up! He went into the temple, leaping and shouting Glory Hallelujah!

The Name of Jesus gave him Mobility

Acts 3:16a  ~ “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong.” He on his own went into the temple. He may have never been in the doors of the temple before, but this time he went in shouting the house down! When God laid it on my heart to sing and speak I had to move on it! I began studying the word of God, making it known that God had called me into this field, because just like the beggar, I was so thankful that I no longer had to  but was now in the service of the Lord. If God has called you to do something you have to get mobile! Start moving on it. Sometimes it happens all at once, but other times it’s a slow process, but get moving!

The Name of Jesus gave him Reliability

Acts 3:16b ~ “Whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness.” Soundness can be defined as reliability. They knew what he was, but now they could see what he is. This man no longer had to depend upon them for sustenance and survival but he could now provide for himself, and so can you! If God has called you to it, He will  walk you through it

The Name of Jesus gave him Ability

Acts 3:16c ~ “in the presence of you all.” There he stood on the porch with Peter and John ministering to the people. I love where it says in Verse 11 says  “the lame man which was healed held Peter and John.”  They didn’t hold him, he held them. He was no longer dependent upon someone to hold him up but he could hold up someone else. The people were in awe at the miracle, but Peter and John quickly reminded them, it’s not the miracle, it’s the Master! Don’t be surprised at what you can do when the Lord’s in it. If He can breathe the very life into our bodies, why are we shocked when He can place ability in them?

All Jesus requires is Availability

The beggar was at the gate ready. Are you?