Tag Archives: Victory

Weep Not for Me!

chick willow

One of my favorite trees of all times is the willow.  Those billowing, flowing branches that drape the ground are just beautiful! I should have known that those trees would have a purpose and spiritual significance in the Kingdom of God… I didn’t…. but I should have.

Psalm 137, believed to have been written by the weeping prophet himself (Jeremiah, he foretells of the coming destruction of the enemies of God. My mind likes to ponder that thought as I see the modern day enemies of God proclaim their victories in arrogance. After reading and studying this Psalm this morning I pray I’ll never view that tree the same again. What hope we have in that tree!

Psalm 137

1-4 ~ By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?

Thus… the weeping willow!  I get his emotional outcry. It is hard to rejoice and sing psalms when we see the nonsense going on around us that has our country in an uproar, and seemingly captive to doing anything about it. The children of Israel were physically captive and being carried away into Babylon and their oppressors were wanting them to entertain them with their songs of Zion. “How can I rejoice?” Jeremiah asked. But then he encouraged himself to do just that in verses 5-6

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

 And this is where my soul begin to think itself happy. Just as the children of Israel were looking to Zion as that day when their captive souls would be free from bondage and in the arms of God, so should we. Our Lord will not always be mocked and the mockers will have their day of destruction.  Read on weary child of God.

Vs. 7-9

Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

The word “rase” means to destroy! And our enemies, just like the daughter of Babylon who rejoiced in the misery that they inflicted upon God’s children, they’ll be rewarded by God, but not as they believe. They’ll be rewarded with the same treatment that they’re dishing out today. Their arrogance will be short lived on that day.

So as I pass by the weeping willow tree I’ll recall the words of Jeremiah in Psalm 137 and I will rejoice. For we are on our way to a city whose builder and maker is God and death and destruction will be no more. I’ll not hang my harp upon the willows, but I’ll fiddle the tune of Amazing Grace and thank God that I am heading there someday to be with Him.

There’s a Rumor Goin’ round… and the Lord started it!

CHICK VICTORY

Turn on the news, listen in on any number of conversations or watch the trending topics of the internet and it’s bound to be there…any number of headings meant to incite fear or at the least cause alarm; end time warnings, antichrist theories and terrorist threats. Our minds are pummeled with images of destruction and yet those of us in America are blessed to live on a soil of peace, at least for today. I’m dumfounded by either the ignorance of leadership or their willingness to hand over the keys of freedom to a liberal, ungodly lot who have no conscience of evil. That’s a pretty harsh statement, but I’d argue its truth and win. I’m not saying that everyone in Washington is on board… but if they’re not, where in the world are they?

For quite a while it’s been on my heart to blog on this incitation of fear that my own heart has fell to upon occasion, but the words didn’t come until today.

2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” So how is that we can have a sound mind in this chaotic world? Only through the Word of God because it is the only true peace on earth.

In the book of Obadiah, in it’s one and only chapter we find the continuing saga of two brothers at odds; Jacob and Esau. A story that began in the book of Genesis and continues through to today, with Edom (the descendants of Esau) being viewed as an example of the antichrist and Jacob (Israel) the chosen nation of God. A little piece of ground that God chose as His own and is still desired to be the possession of anyone at odds with God. And at the root of it all – the pride of men.

Obadiah 1:1-4

The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.

One thing for certain is if God starts a rumor, it still truth. The antichrist, the “heathen’s ambassador” is for certain in our path. Much speculation has occurred on who it is or will be, but he has yet to be revealed. We are however primed and ready to accept the god of lies because we’re allowing ourselves to be engulfed in this fear that the world would have us fall to. The world is looking for a Savior, Who’s been there all along, yet they desire one with cape and crown that they can see. And Satan will provide it. He’ll provide it by two methods: Fear and Pride.

Fear will come to those who do not know the Word of God. And they outnumber those who do. Pride is the political hierarchy that believe that “they” are the solution.

God says of pride in Proverbs 6:16-17 – These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

The pride of man says “I am in control,” but the wisdom of God says, “I know Who’s in control.”

It was pride that caused Lucifer to be kicked out of Heaven, caused Eve to want to be as smart as God, caused the tower of Babel to be built which got the nations scattered, caused Herod to kill all those innocent babies trying to exterminate Christ, and will cause the antichrist to demand to be worshipped in the end times. But it is the humility of the Christian faith, that acknowledges the power of almighty God and His sovereignty that will bring peace to the soul in this world of woe.

Obadiah 1:18 – And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.

History has proven God’s word again and again and will continue to do so. Yes we live by faith, not sight. But we also have the historical facts as evidence.

When God said that there would not be any remaining of the house of Esau He meant it. The Edomite extinction began around 300 A.D. when a group of Arabs conquered their capital city Petra and continued through other tenemies until they were completely destroyed by the Romans around 70 A.D. And no one today can tell where an Edomite is located.

The spirit of fear that the world would desire Christians to have shouldn’t be there. If we read and understand the Word of God we can know, regardless of what appears to be going on in the world, God still has FULL CONTROL. And there will come a day that the pride and arrogance of those in the world who desire evil against the nation of Israel and the people of God will be as Esau. None remaining. Amen.

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On the Brink of Possession

Deuteronomy 2:31-33

And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land. Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.

The children of Israel, after 40 years of wilderness wandering were on the brink of entering the promised land, and earlier on in chapter 2 God begins the journey with instructions to pass through certain parts of the country that are not intended to be theirs, but then came Sihon… and the Lord said it’s already yours, but not without a fight.

There are some beautiful things in life that I’d like to have. My “wanter” is alive and well. But for reasons, some known and some unknown, I have yet to achieve or receive. So this morning as I read through this chapter and heard God tell Israel, “move along, this isn’t your stop.” my heart sank a little. I’ve had to move along a lot in my 30 some odd years of adulthood. Most of which was for the same reason Israel wandered in the first place, rebellion, plain and simple. But now Israel is about to possess their portion of land, the day is finally arriving that they’ve longed for, but not without a fight.

My first thought was, “Why didn’t God strike fear in the enemies hearts and cause them to run, as He had others, why did they have to fight?” God not only didn’t strike fear in them, in verse 30 it says “But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.” God stirred up a ruckus.

A Battle Strengthens the Mind

God told them in verse 31 to “begin to possess” the land. It was mindset they needed to have before the battle ever began. I’m not a ‘name it and claim it’ gal, but I believe there are some things that God intends His people to have and before we get it we have to make up our mind that it’s ours. It may not be a tangible something, perhaps it’s a position in life, or a victory over an issue, but whatever it is you’ll know. Because God will give you clues in advance. It’s those desires of the heart that are for His glory.

A Battle Strengthens the Man

Much like the physical battle strengthens the physical man, a spiritual battle will serve to strengthen the spirit of man. If God gave us everything we asked for, we’d be weak and puny Christians; but knowing that our adversary the Devil strikes against us every day, I believe that God puts some training maneuvers in our lives to build us for the battle. The battle we’re in may just be boot camp.

A Battle Strengthens the Memorial

How many movies have been made from the wars America has fought? We love reliving those time of Victory. The victories of Israel according to history occurred in 1422 BC, and here we are in the year of our Lord 2014 remembering their Victory. It’s good to remind ourselves of the sweetness of a battle won, it encourages our hearts.

My ‘wanter’ still wants. There are desires in my heart that just may be on the brink of reality, but I may still have to fight. You may too… get your boots on soldier…

Did you see what my God did?

If you’re looking to see God glorified you don’t have go very far into your day to see the failure of self-proclaimed Christian people. I say self-proclaimed because it’s not obvious from their behavior. But what’s the excuse of those of us who genuinely, (not perfectly) try to serve and glorify God. Why is our praise not more evident? Why is it when we win victory over a battle in our life we hesitate to tell the unsaved world Who it is that’s responsible for our Victory? We’ll give God credit for life and death situations because to even the world that’s not unreasonable, but what about the everyday battles.

What about the ‘whew’ moments when you were a few buck shy meeting the bill demands and it suddenly appeared, the good doctor’s report that wasn’t real scary but it was scary enough in your world, the not so bad mechanics report on your car issues, the fall that almost happened, that unexplained blessing that was sent your way today on the job or in the home, what about those times and why is it important?

 A saint of God well known for his praise was David. He penned the majority of psalms, he gave credit to Whom credit was due and not just his fellow warriors were aware but the heathens around him as well, so that all were without excuse; they’d been told God prevailed in David’s life. One example is 2 Samuel 22:47-51

The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me. And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.

This is possibly a reference to the many perils that David had experienced at the hands of Saul, Absalom his son and many others. His friends and colleagues had seen him low, his enemy had assured themselves they’d won the victory over him only to see him rise from the ashes of defeat! He wanted them to know where his strength was derived; and because of that David’s reach was extended. He says in verse 44

Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me.

People whom David had never met would be his servants because they’d hear of David’s God and desire to serve the man who’d had the blessing of God upon him. How much greater of an impact could the church make if we’d praise God more? If we were giving God His just dues for everything in our life, would they not desire to serve that God?

Praise Him for His goodness today, somebody needs to hear!

Grab your timbrel and dance!

So again I’m excited… A new Pastor’s on his way, I’m heading to a ladies retreat in Virginia for the weekend, and Sunday is just around the corner. Woohoo… life is good! This morning I’m away on business so I’m in the lobby of a hotel, thinking about the goodness of the Lord. Grinnin’… probably causing the lady that is setting up breakfast (and not overly happy about it) to wonder why someone would be so joyous at 6:05 in the morning. Perhaps I’ll have the opportunity to explain it to her but for now I’ll revel in the Word of God which has my heart stirred this morning.

I encourage you to read Exodus 15 this morning. What a chapter of victory! Moses is singing a song (and it rhymes, I love that!) Israel is reminiscing about Pharaoh and his band of merry men being swallowed up in the sea and I would suppose that all of us can identify with the feeling of being pursued in such a way that you absolutely thought it was curtains for you this time; only to be snatched from the jaws of death by almighty God! I love that too! Those scriptures of victorious living this morning had me on shouting ground and then I read once verse too far. Actually, I’ll consider it a warning having just come out of a consuming sea kind of time in my life. The warning is this… we’re just a few words from a complaint.

My heart was just about to bust out of my chest when I words of fatality to the song of victory…

Exodus 15

21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.

23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

I almost laughed. You’re worried about water? God just split the sea, walked you through on dry ground, destroyed your enemy with the same water and you’re worried about what you’ll drink? Oh my goodness… I’m pretty sure these people were Baptist! We’re always looking for the next failure!

So God just brought us through, what now?

I want to remember this scripture when the new Preacher arrives and we’re tempted to complain because something is going according to plan. I want to remember the bitter water and remind myself to add a little sugar and drink it any way.

Well… my days starting early… no time to finish this thought like I’d like too, but just a reminder to you and I both, Grab your timbrel and Dance!!!!

Go Up!

Deuteronomy 1:21

Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

In one of our teen camp sermons this week the teens where taught from the life story of David on the giants in our lives. At the end of the session I passed out index cards and ask them to list some of the giants in their lives so that we might pray over them and work on defeating them. One of the giants that was repeated was that of “discouragement.” I loved their honesty. I understood their giant, because I had been up against it too. He has so many tools, but I’m not sure that discouragement is not Satan’s best because it tears at the very heart of your enthusiasm for life; and bit by bit you find yourself struggling to move forward. You can’t get past this valley, it’s an uphill battle all the way.  But God said Go up! I love it in Deuteronomy 1:6 when Moses says the children of Israel “The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:”

I hear that this morning. “Shari, you’ve been in this place long enough, it’s time to move forward. Why is it that once we get in the valley of discouragement it’s so doggone hard to get out of it? I have great attitude toward life. I’m not one that discourages easy. But it happens. Usually when I take eyes off God, and turn my ears toward people. Listen to Israel’s reply…

Deuteronomy 1:28

Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

I guess David wasn’t the only ones with giants in his life was he? And neither are we. Which is what I discovered when those cards came back from the teens. And my first thought was “discouragement? Really? You’re so young and fun with opportunity galore before you, how can you be discouraged?”

For the same reason I’m discouraged. We’re letting people define our purpose. God said “fear not, neither be discouraged.”  Man said “People discourage us.” I’ve come to the conclusion that not everyone wants out of the valley and they sure don’t want to walk it alone. So they share their point of view, and point to the giants as if we hadn’t already noticed them. Some people are satisfied with the valley. The problem for me is I’ve had the mountain top experience before! I’m not satisfied in the valley. People still discourage me, and I still see the giants, but as Preacher Ed pointed out (he’s quite the encourager) we’re looking at the giants from earth, God views them from Heaven. When David went up against the giant in his life he didn’t talk about the giant, he talked about God. All of Israel talked about Goliath. David talked about God. We spend so much time talking about the things that are going on in our life, we forget about what God can do.

When we begin to talk about what God can do, something begins to happen. Our attitude changes, our point of view changes. We begin to think of what can be rather than what is. We see behind the giant. David looked right through him to victory. He heard the people, but he seen God.

Turn the people off. God said “Go up!”

A Victorious Chick!

As I was checking the data on my website one of the top word searches that lead people to my website was “Victorious Chick.” My first thought was, “that’s a cool search;” my second thought was, “Why on earth would that lead them to me?!” I certainly don’t see myself in that light. But I had to wonder… am I? And if so, why? And the greatest question is, if I am, why do I not know? You would think if someone were victorious they would know.

For answers I went back to Israel, I make a trip back there about every day or two because they are the kings and queens of disastrous decisions for which I can identify! So, in a warped way it makes me feel closer to God because His original chosen people likely frustrated Him every bit as much as I do.

Open your mouth and say “Ai”

Joshua 6-8 – the Shari seriously condensed version

After forty years the Israelites had finally made it out of the wilderness! For seven days they marched around the walls of Jericho and when the trumpet blew and the people shouted the walls came down and all but Rahab and her family were destroyed. God had given the orders and they obeyed and it went off without a hitch… until Achan spied a Babylonish garment, some silver and gold and hid it in his tent.  Then Israel went out again to battle and because of the Babylonian britches they got the pants beat off of them. Joshua prayed to God, “Why did we not stay in Jordan Lord, now we are here; our people are chickens and Your good name is ruined.” I told you it was seriously condensed! But then God says “Why are you layin’ on your face. There’s sin in your camp.”

Some of my greatest failures have been because I have had sin in my camp. It doesn’t even have to be great sin, but God’s people are held to a higher accountability. Achan and his family were stoned to death and burnt with fire, guilty by association, and recompense was made. I used to not understand why God took such extreme measures, until I studied the law of Moses. It is not by coincidence that when this event ended Joshua built an altar and wrote the Ten Commandments upon them. God is Holy. He hasn’t changed, but what has changed is that we are no longer under the law, but under grace; which still does not excuse sin, but it covers it with the blood of Christ. The “Thou Shalt Not’s” are still there, but the debt is paid by Christ’s death, not our own, which Achan had to learn the hard way.

After the death of Achan’s family the children of Israel returned to Ai, and beat the pants off of them and God’s great Name was glorified.

So now you say, what does that have to do with you being a victorious chick? I’ve had the victories, I’ve coveted things that were not mine, lost a battle or two and God graciously allowed me to return to the battle field that I’d been beaten on and have victory again.

Over the years I have desired positions and things that God never intended me to have, and when I got them it always lead to disaster. Rather than being satisfied with where God had me at the time or what I had at the time I would move ahead of God’s intended design, and the price was always high. But then I’d repent and settle back into my place and God would slowly but surely bring me back to that place and I’d have the victory. I don’t think it was as sweet as it would have been if I’d have waited on Him.  But it was sweet!

So I guess I am a victorious chick, but not of anything I have done, but as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen! Vctory comes in obedience. Are you in a rough spot, you’ll have to examne your own life and see where you are. There may be sin (if there is, you know) or it may be a waiting time when God needs to see obedience in the wait. Either way, just hold on! God will bring you through!

Share with me your victories! I’d love to hear