Posts Tagged ‘Walking with Jesus’

A spoonful of sugar

In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap, the job’s a game
And every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake
A lark, a spree, it’s very clear to see
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way

~Marry Poppins

The morning was chilly as I poured a steamy hot cup of coffee before I sat down to read my bible and pray. I breathed in its aroma- mmm . . . and took a small sip. It was slightly bitter. For a moment I thought I would add my vanilla flavored stevia to sweeten it just a bit and then I just decided not to and headed for the lounge chair. But the Lord stopped me for an opportune object lesson that was to extend throughout my weekend.
“Liz, why not add that stevia to your coffee? The coffee is bitter. The stevia will sweeten it up a bit. There are no calories in it- nothing unhealthy about it. Go ahead. Add a little sweetness to your morning cup of coffee.”

So I went back and added a few drops to sweeten my coffee.

Recently, my youngest daughter and I watched “Marry Poppins” and so the song “Just a Spoonful of Sugar” came to my mind and I smiled to myself as God’s loving light began to spread its warmth throughout my soul once again.

In the past couple months, the course of my life has majorly shifted. My spiritual foundations have been broken. This has been a very emotionally difficult process. It as if God took pruning shears and pruned my spiritual life-tree back to the stump and I am in the winter waiting for the new growth. Needless to say, it is a painful time in my life, but full of hope and anticipation.

So throughout this weekend God spoke to me about the “spoonful of sugar” many times over again. I have had to pray much to keep my emotions in check and I have been praying about the restoration of the Joy of the Lord into my heart and many other burdens. That little bit of sugar that began in my morning cup of coffee, started popping up all throughout the day as God opened my eyes to the “spoonfuls of sugar” he gives us everyday.

It could be a sunrise, a cool morning breeze, a flock of geese flying overhead, beautiful billowly clouds shimmering in artistic majesty as we drive along the highway. The golden sunsets. A word of encouragement from one dear friend. Really they are innumerable. There really are bowlfuls of sugar all around us. But we need only to take a few spoonfuls to make a difference in the flavor of life.

“You see Liz, the sweetness is always there. Just like the stevia was there all along for your coffee. But you had a choice. You could drink your coffee bitter, or you could partake of the sweetness and add it to the coffee and when you did, it made the bitter sweet.”

Yes, life has much bitterness, much heartache, much woe and care. But all along the way are spoon-fulls of sugar, that if we keep our eyes open to, we can add them into our cup and it will help the medicine go down, in the most delightful way!


“The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord”

Psalms 33:5

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carved woman

Yesterday as I sat in a doctors office waiting for an appointment, directly across from me stood a two foot, beautiful carved wooden Native American woman. Her eyes seemed to pierce right through my soul and my imagination got the best of me. The artwork so cunningly worked, I had to avert my eyes away and I shifted in my seat, feeling uncomfortable beneath her constant stare. Curiostiy pulled my attention back to her again and these scriptures came to my mind:

“He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. “ (Is. 40)

“Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? .  .  .   He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.  Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.  He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:  And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.  (Is. 44)

I have never been exposed to an idol worshipping religion and so reading these scriptures in the past and thinking about people worshiping carved images has always seemed like such foolishness to me.  But now, as I sat here  in the office under the realistic and intense glare of this artistically crafted wooden woman an understanding came into my heart that had not been there before; And I always praise my Jesus for these precious moments of insight, for the door of understanding is a door of freedom and growth, first for oneself, and then to share with others.

I began to feel the strong hold that such an idol could take on a people who did not know the one and only true God. It has been said that the imagination is the stongest nation and that is why the apostle Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 10: 4 & 5  when he says, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; “

But even beyond that, another lesson came through to my heart. The Lord spoke to me clearly and said that if a wooden idol could have such a pull and quickly take such a strong hold of fear on the imagination of a vulnerable soul, how much more a man or woman that has life energy flowing out of them. When they stand behind a pulpit, high above the rest of the people and take an “authorative” position, how great an influence does that have on vulnerable souls? Now add to that, a man or woman that shouts, gets angry, pounds on the pulpit or stomps; What an impact!

You see, life is a mystery and the imagination and fear are very powerful. All through history we have untold accounts of brutal genocides all done in the name of “beliefs” or “God’s” or some powerful man that got behind some form of a pulpit and began swaying massive amounts of people. And just like that wooden woman, the people are drawn in, because they are not listening to the true God- the God of love, peace, joy, humbleness, meekness, goodness, mercy, etc… They are unsure of themselves, and unsure of life. This unsurity and insecurity in man leaves him vulnerable to be taken captive by whatever comes along claiming to be the “authority of God.”

One thing I am learning- truth will produce something inside your heart. If you are sinning, it will produce conviction. There may be some fear that you are missing the mark with God. But truth will also produce abundance of mercy. It will pave a beautiful road right to the cross of Christ to have those sins forgiven, removed and cast into the depths of the sea.

Truth will produce love. Truth will produce peace and joy. Truth will set you FREE! Free from the corruption of sin and all its ugly vices. Free from religious forms and rituals. Free to be a child of God and all He created you to be. Free to grow in Christ. Free to have His spirit in your heart teaching you and leading you. Free from all the opinions of men. You now have Christ alone as your head and your advocate.

But if your “faith” is filling you with fears, doubt, confusion, hatred for certain groups of people, if it is drawing you into men causing you to obey voices outside rather than instilling the voice of the Holy Spirit within and helping you to trust and follow that voice, it may very well be you have an earthly idol set up somewhere. It may be a religious system. Religious systems will either cause you to be zealous in a wrong way- usually for their system,  or it will sap you of your spiritual zeal. It may be a pastor- you may be idolizing, worshipping, obeying a pastor or some man that you hold up as a “man of God.” The bible teaches us that in Christ, we are all priests. None of us is above another. Pastors are there for our service and help alone. They are not our rulers nor dictators.  It may be your own life- things you know that God is not pleased with but you are not willing to give up.  God knows and an all loving God can help you understand and conquer it in Christs name.

You see, idols can take an extremely strong hold in our life. I know. I have been battling many of them in my own life, and by the grace of God, He is helping me conquer them. That is how I am getting these lessons- through experience. And let me tell you, “the FEAR of man brings a snare.” Many so called “heathen” people have been mocked and laughed at over their intense fear of wooden idols but so much more do we have to battle the intense fear we ALL have of the fear of men. When we stop bowing before their idols, their systems, their ideas of what thier own imaginations have set up as “God” we will not be liked.

But we can take courage. Because so it was with Jesus. Our Lord Jesus Christ deliberately, carefully, purposefully, openly, broke the rules of the Pharisees! He followed one- the voice within- the Holy Spirit.

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

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If you judge people

Years ago a visiting minister to our congregation would not sing along with us several of the songs from our hymn book because they were written by what he believed were false christians, though why he set himself up to be their judge I have yet to understand. However, I remember our pastor later mentioning the absurdity of that kind of thinking, and well it was. The songs were very edifying and godly.
Yet its strikes me funny that we see this type of thing going on amongst us all the time in other ways. I see perfectly good sound and edifying articles posted on face book that hardly anyone hits the “like” button on and I know it is because of “WHO” wrote the article rather than anything to do with the “content” of the aritcle. The people are already judged and condemned and so is anything they have to offer. How sad. It reminds me of the parable that Jesus told:

And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself; “God I thank you that I am not like other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and I give tithes of all that I possess.”
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.  Luke 18:9-14

Many people said of Jesus that he had a devil. But others said, “Can the devil open the eyes of the blind?”

Jesus said, if you are going to judge, at least judge righteous judgement. If what you read is good, it is good. Give God glory. Be thankful for the vessel that was utilized to bring forth a good word in due season. God has even used a donkey to bring a message to a man once. If we refuse a message because of the vessel it is delivered in, even though the messsage is perfectly sound, we are a respector of persons and God says if we have respect of persons we are sinning.

If we are claiming to be living a “sin-free” life, then we should not be having respect of persons. Respect of persons is holding someone up so high that they are almost God-like- unreproachable.

You can gossip all you want about the person who “left your congregation” but woe to the one who says anything about the mighty one in holy robes who stands behind the pulpit. That is respector of persons! That is not right and God will bring judgment upon that.

People are people. Gossip and slander is wrong no matter who it is about. And if someone has left your “congregation” if you are the true body of Christ, your burden would be to see that person reconciled with the body. But cutting them off and treating them as if they are no longer part of your family is not right. That is pushing them further away and sealing them out permanently because you are not showing love but rather wounding them so deeply they will never be able to trust you again. Even God said to his back slidden church, “I am married to you.” (Jeremiah 3:14)

Our message and burden to every soul should always be reconciliation. But reconciliation never comes through the pompous, proud religous minded groups. They either lock you in to a religious system or lock you out because you wont bow to their written or unwritten creeds. Jesus would not be locked in and so was locked out.

Lets stay free! Free from sin, free from Pharisee thinking, free from religious pride, free to love souls so we can truly help them be reconciled to God and/or his body!

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feet washing

The Lord showed me in my sleep tonight, the reason for washing feet- it is not for ritual. It is for a lesson.

Peter asked him, “Lord are you going to wash me feet? No way I will not let you wash my feet.”

But then the Lord replied, “If I do not wash your feet, you have no part with me.” 

Then Peter said, “not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”

Then the Lord said, “They that are cleansed need not but there feet washed.”

(John 13)

 As long as we are here walking this earth, we will need to be cleansed because we are going to get dirty- our feet get dirty as we walk the earth and they must be washed. This is symbolic.

While we are in this earthly taberbacle we will have human faults and we must be willing to bow to one another and help one another by humbly cleansing one anothers “dirty feet.” We must be willing to humbly help one another in our faults and failings.

 There is a difference of handing someone a pail of water and soap and bending down ourselves and washing their feet. Their feet is the lowest and dirtiest part of their body. But human tendency is to say, “Gross, you wash your own stinky feet.”

It is easy to get lifted up and to look down our noses at one another. Christ does not want anyone to be lifted up higher than anyone else. This is why he gave us this example and said:

Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

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And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16

We are all teachers. Everyone has something they can teach someone else no matter who you are, what your station is in life or your age. You have something to teach and you have many things to learn. The Lord wanted us to edify one another to come to the fulness of Christ.

God gave us all gifts that we may edify one another.

Christ taught his disciples when they were arguing who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God;

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:25-28

Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10: 42-45

The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Luke 22:25-27

It seems to me that the spirit of the world is to be in a position just above someone else. This spirit can be very subtle, or it can be very blatant. But mark it down when it shows its ugly head, its not from Christ.

Christ made his entrance into this world in a barn with a feeding trough for a bed. His parent were very poor. He was a carpenter by trade and not considered an “educated” man. During his ministry he walked the streets and had not a place to call his own. He died a poor man,  next to common criminals, in the most disgraceful way known to man.

He was the Son of God. He was the Prince of Peace. He lead us by example. He taught the people to love God, to trust God to give all to God.

I am convicted in my soul today, that the reason such confusion abounds in the religious world, is because so many want to be the teacher or the preacher; They  want the show, the pomp, and the reputation. But they do not want to do the one simple thing that God said, search for HIM with ALL their heart.

Everyone is calling, “Listen to me! Listen to me! I have the right answers!”

Or, “Come to my church, hear my pastor, go talk to this man or that man!”

But you know, everyone has something they can teach us, no matter who they are.  But if we want to find God, we must be still and know, God says, “I AM!”

We must get alone with God. We must search for him with all our heart. We must search for HIS mind, HIS heart, HIS spirit. We must put aside our own understanding and allow him to take us to new dimensions.

So many seek for him for awhile and they become “enlightened” and get excited but they begin to follow the source of the enlightenment rather than God himself. They begin to worship the lamp and forget that the lamp is just a vessel that carried a light. What they need is the light that is in that lamp, to illuminate thier own vessel, then the Bible says, “You have no need that any man teach you…” (1John 2:27)

You see, there comes a time that you come to the fullness of Christ yourself. Christ is the light within and there is no need of the moon nor the sun- the old testament nor the new, for Christ himself giveth thee light. (Revelations 21:23)

In God’s true kingdom- the kingdom that is within you, there are no popes, powers and authorities. Christ is our head and we all teach and edify one another. We are all royalty. Believe it. God said it was so!

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And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. . .
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition
Mark 7:9, 13

In the Christmas Season, there are many traditions that are practiced in which, if we as Christians are not careful, we can make the “word of God of none effect.”

Idolatry:  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14

Idolatry is taking something that is not real and making it to be reverenced and worshiped. To worship something is to give it power of influence over your life. We have to be careful we are not putting this stumbling block in our innocent children’s path with Santa Clause. We are not teaching them that Santa is the rewarder of Good and evil- that he is the one we must please.  Which leads to the next area of making the word of God of no effect-

Lying  and deceiving: Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:25 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13

Telling your children that Santa Clause is real, is lying to them, hands down! It is deceiving them and that is against the Spirit of Christ. We can tell our children the story of Santa- as a myth. Be honest with them.  You wont deprive them of any joy and they will always adore and respect you for your honesty.

Coveteousness:  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Ephesians 5:3

The word of God puts coveteousness right in with fornication and uncleaness. To have coveteousness is to strongly desire something you really dont need. It is to think about it a lot. The dictionary says: “To wish for longingly.” Our tradition of having our children make a list of what they want needs to be tempered so that it does not lead to coveteousness. It is okay to want something, and to give something. But we need to be careful not to breed a spirit of coveteousness in them. Make sure they realize we are giving gifts to one another in honor of Jesus’ gift to us. Make sure they are involved in giving as well as getting.

It is in times like these that we prove our faithfulness to Christ. Christ is not a “fair weather friend.” There are times when we must forsake and sacrifice in order to follow him, and that includes forsaking some popular and well accepted traditions. Christians are always talking about putting CHRIST back into Christmas. The best place to start is by being faithful to his word. Traditions can be fun and something to look forward too. Make new ones! Make traditions that honor the Lord Jesus Christ!

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People have ears for many different things. What one has ears for, is what one it attuned to, or pays attention to. Christ is looking for souls that have ears to hear the Word of God.

“And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables…And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4: 1, 2, 9

Jesus did not present the gospel to this multitude of people, in a super easy format. Instead, he told a parable. A parable is a story with a moral or a principal being taught. It needs to be deciphered. Why did Jesus teach in parables?

“And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Mark 4: 10-12

Jesus was not just excluding some, because he said in verse 9 “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Those that really had ears to hear, or, in other words, those that truly had a heart to understand the will of God were the ones that he said, “unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.” They had ears to hear, which is shown by them coming to Jesus and asking what the lesson meant.

Jesus told us, “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you…” and then God says in Jeremiah 29: 13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” These disciples came to Jesus and asked; they wanted to understand, and Jesus explained. They desired to hear and they acclimated their ears to hear the pure words of Jesus.

When you are looking for God with an honest and true heart as in the parable above, you will have ears to hear- you will be attuned to the things of God.

But many people, oh so very many people, are not attuned to the word of God- which is Jesus Christ. They have other things that are more interesting to them; Things that their hearts desire. And so, they only tune in to what they like and they tune back out when it doesn’t fit their personal religion or agenda for life. They are not seeking God with all their heart.

Some came to Jesus questioning His teachings, but not because they believed in him, or sincerely wanted to understand. They simply wanted to argue and disprove his words and undermine his authority.

And is that not how it still is today? People have ears, but they will not listen to the truth. They tune it out, and attune themselves to something else. They find other religions, or even create their own religion and call it Christian; But they are not following Christ, they are following their own heart. Many are fighting today to discredit the Lord Jesus Christ. Many are trying to lump him in with all the other religions of the world. But it will never happen.

If we want to really know the Lord Jesus Christ, and truly understand the truth, we need to begin with our heart. We need to bring our heart to God and ask Him, by the power of the cross of Christ, to cleanse it and to give us a new heart. Only then will we be enabled to acclimate our ears to God and His Son Jesus Christ. Our ears need to be opened to His truth.
“lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” -or unless at anytime they should turn from sin- repent; Then their sins would be forgiven; Then they will be able to hear.

Too many just have ears for what they want to hear; If it doesn’t fit into their repertoire of what is acceptable, they just ignore it or discredit it.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

They don’t want the truth, or sound doctrine; They have “itching ears.” They are wanting to hear something alright- they are interested in hearing the newest philosophy or fable; they want to feel “enlightened” but only if it makes them feel good- they itch for someone to tell them what they want to hear- and turn to other Gods and lies, allowing themselves to be deceived. What a sad picture. How careful we must be.

The wisest man that ever lived became wise because he had ears to hear the word of God and a heart towards the one and only true God. King Solomon began with the truth, but, ended with a lost soul because he let the influence of the world around him turn away his ears from the truth and he turned to the many fables and false beliefs of the world.

Jesus said, “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28

Its not enough to just hear something. Putting it into practice, is what differentiates the one that has ears to hear and the one who does not.

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AT AGE 42 many things in my life are getting old; they are loosing their original luster. I am reminded of that fact when I first set out in the day. It is more difficult to get up and going in the morning. My reflection shows signs of fading youthfulness.

MY ONCE EXCITNGLY new van is now making strange noises and being put in the shop regularly for repairs.

OLD FRIENDSHIPS, though still highly valued,  are becoming more distant.

MY LITTLE CHILDREN are maturing,  sprouting their wings and getting ready to take flight;

YES, CHANGE IS in the air…

YET ONE THING that never has lost its luster, that has been as consistent as the sunrise, is the Beauty and Wonder of serving the true God of the universe in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  In fact, not only has this treasured relationship not lost its luster, but it has become more precious, beautiful and completely glorious, day by day.

GOD TRULY HAS been an ever present help in time of need; (Psalms 46)  His mercies have never failed to be renewed day by day. (Lamentations 3:22-23) His eye has never slept nor slumbered but He has kept a close watch over all my ways;  (Psalms 121)  He has been a Mighty God in my midst, a valiant warrior. (Zephaniah 3:17) He has supplied my every need and lavished me with special love-gifts from heaven. (Ezekiel 34:26) He has ravished my heart; my heart is fixed on Him (Psalms 108:1) He has placed his banner of love over my head. (Song 2:4) Yes, he has become brighter and brighter inside my soul with each passing year; (Proverbs 4:18) My God is an AWSOME God!

WHEN I OPENED my Bible and read from Psalms 96, my heart reflected, and magnified and rejoiced with the words, as if their source had come from my inner being:

O SING UNTO THE LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.

DECLARE HIS GLORY among the heathen, his wonders among all people.  For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

HONOUR AND MAJESTY are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.

O WORSHIP THE LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD:

FOR HE COMETH, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”

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THE KING OF A CERTAIN COUNTRY was growing old, and he had no son to succeed him. He announced to his people that he would choose an heir to the throne from among the young men of the country by a competitive test in which would give all an equal chance. On the day appointed a great number of young men presented themselves.  A certain test was made, and some failed while others passed. Then other tests came, and each time some were rejected till at last only three young men were left.

They were put through test after test, but all seemed equally able to meet them, so the king announced through his heralds that on the next day the would be decided by a foot race.  The course was marked off, the judges were at their places, and all was ready.  Just at this time a man came up to each of the contestants and said secretly to him, “The king is taking special not of you.  Do not run when the signal is given until the king gives you a special signal.” The three took their places eager for the race.  The signal was given, on bounded forward quickly, then hesitated and stopped: then another sprang forward after him, upon which the first started forward again and they ran for the goal with all speed.  The third stood looking anxiously at the king and at the two runners, murmuring to himself, “I can make it yet, I can make it yet.” The king gazed at the runners and gave no heed to the one that was standing.  The waiting man thought himself forgotten and soon realized that it would be impossible for him to win the race.  He felt that all was lost for him.

The two runners ran on at top speed, reaching the goal together.  They were brought back, and all three stood before the king.  To the first he said, “Were you not told not to run until I gave you the signal?  Why then did you run?”

“I forgot, “ said the man.

Of the second he asked the same question.  His reply was, “I thought it would be but a moment till you would give the signal, and seeing the other running I ran also.”

To the third he said, “And why did not you run?”

“Because you did not give me the signal, sir,” he answered.

“My son,” said the king, “I knew that you could run, but I did not know that you could wait.”

So the young man found that the test was not of doing, but of waiting.

Wait on the Lord:

  • Pray
  • Wait– in the spirit of praise
  • Do– only what He bids you

Our interference hinders His working.

Sow- till- wait- trust! It takes God time to answer prayer.

Cowardice says, “Retreat, go back!”

Precipitancy cries, “Do something; stir yourself!”

Presumption boasts, “March forward; expect a miracle!”

Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up!”

But FAITH hears GOD say, “STAND STILL! Keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action- cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice.”

“Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.” Luke 5:4-7

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done for you!” John 15:14

“If ye ask anything in my name, I will do it!” John 14:14

Ask! and it shall be given to you;

Seek! and ye shall find;

Knock! and it shall be opened unto you!:

For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened..” Matthew 7: 7-8

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10: 35-36

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalms 27:14

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grains of sandThey were living unto themselves; self with it hopes, and promises and dreams, still had hold of them; But the Lord began to fullfill their prayers. They asked for contrition, and had surrendered for it to be given them at any cost, and He sent them sorrow; they had asked for purity, and He sent them thrilling anguish; they had asked to be meek, and He had broken their hearts; they had asked to be dead to the world, and He slew all their living hopes; they had asked to be made like unto Him, and He placed them in a furnace, sitting by “as a refiner and purifier of silver,” until they should reflect His image; they had asked to lay hold of His cross, and when He had reached it to them it lacerated their hands.

They asked they knew not what, not how, but He had taken them at their word, and granted them all their petitions. They were hardly willing to follow Him so far, or to draw so nigh to Him. They had upon them an awe and a fear, as Jacob at Bethel, or Eliphaz in the night visions, or as the apostles when they thought that they had seen a spirit, and knew not that it was Jesus. They could almost pray Him to depart from them, or to hide His awfulness. They found it easier to obey than to suffer, to do than to give up, to bear the cross than to hang upon it. 427067502_a342d220f6 But they cannot go back, for they have come too near the unseen cross, and it’s virtues have pierces to deeply within them. He is fulfilling to them His promise, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32)

But now at last their turn has come. Before, they had only heard of the mystery, but now they feel it. He has fastened on them His look of love, as He did on Mary and Peter, and they can but choose to follow.

Little by little, from time to time, by flitting gleams, the mystery of His cross shines out upon them. They behold Him lifted up, they gaze on the glory which rays from the wounds of His holy passion; and as they gaze, they advance, and are changed into His likeness, and His name shines out through them, for He dwells in them. They live alone with Him above, in unspeakable fellowship; willing to lack what others own (and what they might of had), and to be unlike all, so that they are only like Him.

http://www.public-domain-image.com (public domain image)Such are they in all ages, “who follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth.”

Had they chosen for themselves, or their friends had chosen for them, they would have chosen otherwise. They would have been brighter here, but less glorious in His kingdom. They would have had Lot’s portion, not Abraham’s. If they had halted anywhere- if God had taken off His hand and let them stray back- what would they not have lost? What forfeits in the resurrection?

But He stayed them up, even against themselves. Many times their foot had well nigh slipped; but He in mercy held them up. sunshineNow, even in this life, they know that all He did was done well. It was good to suffer here, that they might reign hereafter; to bear the cross below, for they shall wear the crown above; and that not their will but His was done on them and in them.

~Stream in the Desert

“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross or our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal. 6:14)

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