A New Song Rising
a I rarely listen to the actual radio anymore. I usually have music playing through my phone that connects to my car as soon as I start the car. Last week I wasn't feeling the playlist I had in motion, and turned on the actual radio. As I was driving to the various errands I had for work that day, I started scanning the channels and landed on one that seems to play songs from the past 4 decades. As the songs played, my heart was immediately tugged and my mind flooded with memories. Song after song, memory after memory, I actually sat in my car for a few minutes, allowing a song to finish up because I wasn't ready to part from the memory that was replaying in that moment.
It is funny, really. My memories are tied so very strongly to music. Within 2 to 3 seconds of a song starting, I know it, I know the words, I know where I was specifically that ties the song to my being. Music seems to be a universal language for people. It can bring you to just about any emotion. Music has a way of unifying groups of people and encapsulating them and that specific moment. Think about it, 35 years ago, where were you when "We Are The World" debuted? (For those who may be too young to know the song.....you should look it up...still quite fitting for today) I can tell you exactly where I was, the exact spot of the road as my mom was driving me to deliver Girl Scout cookies. It is like the music brands the memory into my DNA.
As I was driving, I began talking this out with God. What will the song of this time be? What song, twenty years from now, will send images of face masks and empty store shelves into my mind? Will it be "The Blessing?" What songs are being written right now, or what songs are waiting on the tops of finger tips to be played out and solidified? How many people are about to write a song that could become the remembrance anthem for this moment in history? As I sat on that thought, I started praying. Praying for those who hold those songs to have the distractions leave and the songs begin to flow out. Praying for the confidence of the Lord to cover them as they begin pouring the words and melodies out, and for boldness to move them into the world, to share their gift.
We are in a time that I think we need to push the boundaries, we need to leave the safety behind. The Lord is whispering words, He is singing melodies, He has songs for us to cling to for hope. He has songs to remind us of His faithfulness and His goodness. He is nudging His people and He is offering a new song.... I am excited to hear these new songs, and pray that they begin to flood the social media pages.
What songs are you clinging to now? What songs could He be planting in you for such a time as this? If music is your gift, are you leaning in for a fresh song? If you have other gifts, how are you leaning in for a fresh perspective to use it?
Psalm 40:1-5 The Passion Translation (TPT)A Joyful Salvation For the Pure and Shining One
A song of poetic praise, by King David
I waited and waited and waited some more,
patiently, knowing God would come through for me.
Then, at last, he bent down and listened to my cry.
He stooped down to lift me out of danger
from the desolate pit I was in,
out of the muddy mess I had fallen into.
Now he’s lifted me up into a firm, secure place
and steadied me while I walk along his ascending path.
A new song for a new day rises up in me
every time I think about how he breaks through for me!
Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until
everyone hears how God has set me free.
Many will see his miracles;
they’ll stand in awe of God and fall in love with him!
Blessing after blessing comes to those who love and trust the Lord.
They will not fall away,
for they refuse to listen to the lies of the proud.
O Lord, our God, no one can compare with you.
Such wonderful works and miracles are all found with you!
And you think of us all the time
with your countless expressions of love--
far exceeding our expectations!
Where are my people?
The past few weeks has brought about reflection of 'who my tribe is,'yet again... Over the past year, I have struggled with finding the answer to this question. Last year began with a group of people I was committed to and by the end of the year I was standing in the presence of a group of very different people. I asked God to show me who my tribe was. I wasn't prepared for the truth to be revealed in the way that it was. Now, a year later, I find myself asking the same questions. I am also reading a book and following along with Jo Saxton (yes my 3 o'clock tea break) and she is posing the same questions. Who is your tribe? Then, following up, how do you build a tribe? I believe there are probably a few layers to that answer. I have been leaning into the Father for the answers on these questions and this week seems to have some new shed light on the matter.
With the current state of the world, I think that there are many people who are asking the same questions. With lockdowns and isolation, it is much more difficult to ignore the lack of relationships, or the lack of depth within them. In the world we knew, it was easy to have conversations that would go just far enough, and yet not deep enough to really give away our truest of identities. What I am seeing right now is that with the new weight and new EVERYTHING, it is more difficult to hide the lack, and it is more difficult to hide the truth of brokenness.
We keep talking about the "new normal." The most reoccurring topic I have heard and also been a part of discussing is this emotional bankruptcy that seems to come out of nowhere and pull a knockout punch. I have seen many posts with red swollen eyes, with puffy faces and those tears just below the surface of the forced smiling faces. Our minds are in overload, our families are being stretched into unknown territory at paces faster than our brains seem to compute. There is a constant rebooting, not only of zoom meetings, but of our mindsets and our daily schedules.
I think that our tears may be the healing balm. I think speaking the truth and letting it out helps break the broken moments. I think that we find our battles shift when we let the tears flow and seek the Father and get real with what is going on.
Psalm 56:8-12 The Passion Translation (TPT)
You’ve kept track of all my wandering and my weeping.
You’ve stored my many tears in your bottle—not one will be lost.
For they are all recorded in your book of remembrance.[a]
The very moment I call to you for a father’s help
the tide of battle turns and my enemies flee.
This one thing I know: God is on my side!
I trust in the Lord. And I praise him!
I trust in the Word of God. And I praise him!
What harm could man do to me?
With God on my side I will not be afraid of what comes.
My heart overflows with praise to God and for his promises.
I will always trust in him.
So I’m thanking you with all my heart,
with gratitude for all you’ve done.
I will do everything I’ve promised you, Lord.
This week I was literally bankrupted. I broke and then I broke again. I think I cried myself out of tears. It was so many things and yet I had so many things that I was thankful for and grateful for. Such a strange place to be. I felt alone. I felt isolated and forgotten. I reached a place of crying out and within 28 hours, God not only responded, but he sent confirmation of Words He has given to me over the past few years, one by one. Most people probably had no idea what weight their words held, most had no idea that I was even in a place needing a lifeline. But God knew. God holds onto every tear we shed. God is greater than any of the forced newness that we are trying to power through. God also, in His greatness takes the time to look down and touch you directly, to say "I see you, I hear you, you are not alone." He sends people to your corner and says "jump back into the fight, it isn't over yet!"
Today I am going back to 1 Thessalonians. I am reminded of this passage and I am reminded to take the time to pray for my leaders and to have grace for my leaders. To have grace for those around me. To look to see how I might expand my tribe, even while in quarantine. We have a choice. We can run and hide away from the fight, or we can cry it out, give it back and jump back in.
I am praying for quiet spaces, even within the full houses, the over stimulated places, that you would find the wing of El Shaddai and rest underneath it for just a moment to catch your breath and let Him remind you of the identity He has sealed upon your chest.
It is okay to not be okay. It is not okay to stay there. Find someone to pray for this week, whether they ask for it or not. Ask God to show you who might need it most right now. (Look for the one who might be the "doer" the one who might seem to always "have it together." I am guessing that she probably doesn't right now...or maybe she does today, but she may need it for what tomorrow brings) And TELL them that you see them, tell them that you are praying for them. Tell them that they are not alone.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
Dear brothers and sisters, make sure that you show your deep appreciation for those who cherish you and diligently work as ministers among you. For they are your leaders who care for you, teach you, and stand before the Lord on your behalf. They value you with great love. Because of their service to you, let peace reign among yourselves. We appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, to instruct those who are not in their place of battle. Be skilled at gently encouraging those who feel themselves inadequate. Be faithful to stand your ground. Help the weak to stand again. Be quick to demonstrate patience with everyone. Resist revenge, and make sure that no one pays back evil in place of evil but always pursue doing what is beautiful to one another and to all the unbelievers. Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.
You've got the Rhythm
This week I joined Jo Saxton for tea time breaks and the conversation and questions that came out of that time have filled my thoughts and minimal conversations this week. One of the topics, as I touched on yesterday was the idea of 'What does your wartime rhythm look like.' I will list out the questions that were flushed out during that conversation.
What preparation was in place in me before walking into this season?
Have you noticed that God prepared you without you realizing it? I can tell you that I had felt an urgency to be more present for my daughter and a need growing around flexibility to take care of her needs. I am now working and homeschooling, and without the preparation I would be fighting it tooth and nail. I also had a long season last year of being stripped down and finding the 'who' and 'what' that were most important and had to let go of the other. I am now seeing how God already cleaned out my house to be fully present in what needs to matter in this time,
What do you need to let go of in this season?
WOW! This one seems to be a doozy. We like to hold tight to things, even when we know they aren't working. The thing I am feeling is that when we walk out of this we will all be different, life as we know it should not go back to the way it was. We won't be going back into spaces as business as usual. We have changed, jobs have changed, the world has changed. We have the opportunity to lay some things down right now. For me, it is laying down my strictness with my daughter. I have had the "pleasure" of being the hammer in the good cop/bad cop parental scenario. In this time, it is actually a time to be filled with grace and flexibility as we are figuring out how to do all that needs to be done. I am also letting go of insecurities as I am walking into new spaces that require me to use my voice and be seen and heard differently.
What needs to change or be added to this season?
There is such a plethora of additions in this time. We are all learning new things and doing it at a crazy fast pace. Our work environments have changed and new ways of communicating have been added. My daughter is using 4 different sites right now to complete her schooling. How we are shopping, how we are living together, how we are communicating is all within this category. I have had several different prayer groups on Zoom now. That is definitely a different way to seek the Lord. I would also say that how we find ways to disconnect, to take some of our hats off, unload our burdens is changing as well. I am still working on finding ways to not be "on" all of the time. I am finding new ways to decompress and silence my spinning thoughts, and honestly I haven't quite figured it out yet.
We are left with the question to ponder, how will your environment be changed by the end of this?
I find that this is a very important question. If we are truly taking the time to chew on this question, as well as the others, it allows us to process what is taking place within us. It gives us the ability to be apart of the changes of our rhythms. Awareness within ourselves is such a big part of healthy living. If you are prepared for the changes, you can bring them before God and really strengthen your positions. If you look for the places that God is putting His finger on in this time, allowing Him to work in and through you, the person coming out on the other side is going to be amazingly strengthened in the Lord and ready for the new battles ahead with Him.
What are your rhythms right now?
The Word for the week seems to be around war. Some may not realize it, some may not think about it often, but the minute we gave our lives to Christ, we joined his Army. The battle has raged for several millennial now, many great figures throughout the Bible have fought this battle, and only one has defeated it.
The thing about this Army that we have joined, it is very different than the military that we know here in the earthly kingdom. God's Army runs very differently, it seems to be upside down and backwards from that of the masterminds of war here on earth. God removes warriors instead of adding them. God promotes leaders that most men would never consider. God destroys the enemy and credits and honors other's for winning the battle. God's battleplans require HIM, much more than they require us.
My word for this year is FIGHT. I was very displeased by this word and asked for a new one. I feel as though I have fought for the past 6 years, and the last year was especially a difficult battle after battle. The word remained, with the addition of Exodus 14:14. Be still and I will fight for you. The Amplified version: "The LORD will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm." This may not be my strongest gifting....to remain silent and calm and let someone else do the fighting... I have been a fighter my whole life. I don't back down, even when it makes no sense for me keep fighting. The "what" that I am fighting has changed, and the "how," but none the less, I still dig my feet into the ground to hold my position with my sword ready.
This week the idea of our rhythms of wartime mindsets has come up and I just keep circling it. I have gone at it from several different angles. We are at war, we are at war against an enemy we can't see, but is very real. We are strategizing and maneuvering when maybe we should just become silent and remain calm. We have an opportunity to dive deeper into our relationship with our Father, to grow deeper with Him. We have the ability to let Him draw up the battle plans, to let Him even the field. We want to complicate it, God just wants us to become silent and remain calm. Our warfare is not as complicated as we make it. Our warfare is established by God, with God's protection and God's training, if we will just listen. Maybe just maybe we need to rethink our battleplans. Maybe we realize that He has equipped us, that He has empowered us with the tools and strength to fight. Instead of asking Him to come and do everything, are we asking how we can do it with the weapons that He has trained us with?
Psalm 18:33-36 TPT
You’ve trained me with the weapons of warfare-worship;
now I’ll descend into battle with power
to chase and conquer my foes.
You empower me for victory with your wrap-around presence.
Your power within makes me strong to subdue,
and by stooping down in gentleness
you strengthened me and made me great!
You’ve set me free from captivity
and now I’m standing complete, ready to fight some more!
In this new time I have found myself listening harder than ever before. The instructions I hear, the battleplan laid out, I do not question my inadequacies(much), I just continue forward with my yes and an expectation for God to prepare the way ahead of me. I am finding myself in new territory daily, I am outside of my comfort zone by miles. My comfort does not rely on myself, my comfort comes from the Great Comforter. My prayer is that as we move into this new season of warfare, that we would all lean in and listen to what our part is. My puzzle piece is different than any of the other pieces to this picture. We all have a part to play, we all have a specific role. I pray for faith to take the step out, the doing it even when it is scary, even if you can feel your pulse in your throat and seeing what God will do with all of our yes's.
Let It Rain
Well, good morning! I sit with my computer at this very early hour thanks to the crashing thunder that felt like an actual punch to my chest. With the rain pouring and the storm covering the city, I could feel a smile growing on my face, an anticipation that has been growing. Let it rain, let it cover this city. Lord, the seeds that you have been planting all of this time, let them begin to sprout up from the ground.
The wheat is growing during this time. The people, now sitting at home have the ability to be growing in relationship, drawing closer to God right now, listening for His Word. His people can be filling themselves up within His Word and His presence, worshiping Him day and night without fear. This is the time that has been set aside for His church, His bride. This is the time for us to position ourselves in Him. God is good and He did not send this foul sickness, but won't He use it for His good? He isn't surprised by it, and in knowing that, isn't there a preparation in hearts that has already been taking place?
How many feel like they were created for such a time as this? How many can feel their faith rising, that the continuous rain on us during this time is watering that small seed and that mustard plant (tree) is beginning to grow out of the ground? Can you feel the electricity in the air?
Matthew 9 is such a great reminder. So much happens in this chapter, it begins with healing the paralyzed man, while forgiving his sins. The next thing we see is Jesus calling Matthew, the tax collector. Once we grasp the fullness of that choice, we see Jesus on his way to heal a daughter and a woman steps in and receives healing by the faith she has to reach out and touch his robe. While dealing with the woman, the daughter dies, and yet, Jesus wakes her from her slumber. Next, he heals the blind and mute. That is the first 34 verses, leading up to this next passage.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
Jesus showed them, Jesus talked about it and then Jesus sent them to do what he was doing. The workers multiplied. (after he told them to pray for the workers, he sent THEM as the workers) The workers were given identity and authority and they were given a specific plan of action.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
We have been given the keys to the kingdom. Jesus told the disciples to teach others what he had taught and shown them. We have been given the same authority and identity. We have been given the power to bind and the power to loose. We have been told to go and proclaim the kingdom of heaven is near. We have been told to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse leprosy and drive out demons.
When this quarantine ends, (YES IT IS GOING TO END) are you going to be ready to harvest what has been growing? Are you going to be ready to partner with God, and take your city with Him by your side?
The more I pray, the more certain I am that our eyes have moved and our prayers need to shift back into place. We keep asking God to do EVERYTHING. We keep praying for revival. We keep praying for a great move of His Spirit. I keep seeing that revival is the direct response to the people of God getting into that quiet place with him, filling up to overflow and taking it out into the world. Revival is the response to our overflow. We must be right with God. We must reposition our eyes to Him, and let Him direct our paths instead of us creating the perfect formula. He has positioned us to lean in, take a rest in Him, reposition ourselves back into rightness and to then take it back into the world. A world that needs hope, a world that needs something that doesn't change, SOMEONE who doesn't change, yesterday, today or tomorrow. A world that needs to be released from the bondage of fear and anxiety. A world that needs people filled with the Spirit, living out their identities, not for themselves, but for the Glory of God to be seen and known.
We keep asking God to do a lot of things. My question is, what has God given you the authority to do, and are you doing it? We complicate things, Jesus said, take nothing with you, and go and do what I have shown you. The message hasn't changed. Leave your programs and your plans behind, and just take the good news that Jesus is still reigning on the throne, and He loves us enough to die for us, and even more, to give us a new life in Him that lasts an eternity.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
What is He telling you right now? If you are having trouble hearing through all of the noise, pick up your Bible and read only the red letter words. What are you going to do?
Peace in Worship
This has been a week that no one could have dreamt up. Driving home from work on Thursday (where there were 4 additional people besides myself, out of nearly 100) It was eery to see all of the empty parking lots, empty roads, the quiet sitting over the roads. Surprisingly, I saw more families walking along the sidewalks than I think I have ever seen on a Thursday evening.
This is a time of very few answers, but many questions. This is a time that we need to take a breath and maybe just maybe, we turn off the news. Maybe just checking it once or twice a day will begin to help with the level of anxiety growing over homes. Many areas are under restriction and are requested to not leave their home, sooner than later, I expect to have that same restriction where I live. It has me thinking about how I am going to fill the quiet of my home.
God has been showing me the importance of true worship over the past few years, growing in importance and volume, especially these past 3 or 4 months. There is something that happens when you take a group of people and lead them in worship. If you were to talk to each individually, they may have different denominations, different ways of doing things, but when you lead them in worship, everyone is suddenly looking up, with one eye, one voice, to the ONE God. I have seen it happen time and time again. I have seen a room of very different women all come into agreement as they worship. I have seen rooms full of people come into perfect unity as God was being lifted up and exalted. The temperature of the room changes, the weight of his presence comes in becomes noticeable.
A friend of mine got on her Instastory this week and talked about the weight of other's fears mounting pressure that she could feel, and as she spent time worshiping it all fell away. It is something that we forget sometimes. When you take the time to look at God and acknowledge who he is, it changes everything. When you raise your voice and heart in worship, HE comes and changes you.
Thankfully, in the world we live in right now, you have more songs at your fingertips, ready to be played and sung over around the clock! Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, just to start....find some songs that speak to the Holiness, the Oneness, the Goodness of God. Acknowledging WHO he is, and sing them to him.
There are more verses about worship than can be contained in a single blog, Psalms is full of calls to worship, I have gone back and forth on which to use. Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8-11 are what keep coming to mind today.
Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty--
the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,
“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
What are you listening to during these times? What songs are you playing? What are they speaking to your heart?
Awakening our Faith
Wow! What a time to be living. Just a few short weeks ago our world looked much different. The stock market was reaching record highs, unemployment was at record lows. And in a moment, our entire world is now at a stand still. It has left me thinking about a lot of things. Some people are watching stock prices fall and they are realizing their plans for the future are getting smaller by the moment. Some people are watching reruns of sporting events due to the sudden stop of all things sports. Las Vegas has shut down the strip for the most part and all "gathering places" are becoming restricted. We went from knowing nothing but freedom to suddenly having our freedoms being dictated, day to day. Schools, churches, work, ect…
The thing about all of this, the part that keeps my pulse at the normal rate and my blood pressure in check is that I know I am not promised an easy life. I am not putting my faith into earthly establishments, but I am keeping my eyes on God.
Several years ago I spent a lot of time digging into Matthew 8:23-27. Jesus gets into a boat with his disciples and they begin to cross the lake. Jesus was exhausted and fell asleep. There was a violent storm that suddenly over took them, waves flooding the boat, yet, Jesus slept. The disciples woke Jesus up screaming "Help! We are going to die!" Jesus reprimanded them and then he rebuked the storm. My prayer was to have peace to sleep through the storm. My prayer was to find that peace that would allow me to go to sleep even in the midst of a storm. (Jesus was actually already asleep when the storm came, so my prayer needed refining, and don't you know that the Lord brought just that.)
As I prayed over this scripture and prayed for the peace that surpassed all understanding, the faith to deal with the storms, and the ability to sleep in the midst of the storms around me, God gave me Jonah 1.
Jonah 1:4-6 New International Version (NIV)Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”
Jonah went below deck and fell into a deep sleep. Jesus had already fallen asleep, prior to the violent storm developing. Both Jonah and Jesus knew what to do to calm the storm, and both calmed the storm. The question then becomes, where do these storms originate, and what kind of authority do we have over them?
The storms brewing today, are we asleep and being awoken to deal with them or are we running away from the storm and trying to sleep it away? What does it look like to wake up and take authority over the storm? What does it look like to say "be still" and know that your words have the ability to quiet the waves and wind?
There are a lot of people who are stirring up with winds and waves, creating panic and worry. There are a lot of voices pushing fear and panic. There is one voice that quiets everything, even the most violent of storms. There is a whisper of a voice that can pour peace over the questions and the "what-ifs." It seems time to remember that we need to take the time, make it a priority to listen for that voice.
This time can be seen as hardship, or this time can be seen as a gift. The distractions are growing smaller. Time with family can be time spent on your devices or it can be time building a deeper relationships, actually TALKING and eating together. This time can be time spent praying together and corporately, bringing God back into some of the areas that He may have been pushed out of. This time can be spent looking for ways to take care of others that may not be able to do as much. Checking in on the elderly, those with big families, those who are single parents. Share a meal, share a conversation. Take time to see people again. Take time to be present. There aren't so many things to keep us occupied, it is now a personal choice. Will you take the time to refocus your eyes?
I am expecting to see a great bounce back in the next few weeks. All of the busyness will have the opportunity to come back and take over our lives again. This is a time to rest. This is a time to reprioritize. This is a time to take a breath and remember that it isn't just about us. Are we ready to speak to the storm? Are we ready to find our voices and our faith? Jesus said it only takes a speck of faith (size of a mustard seed) to move a mountain, how much will it take to move a virus? How much faith will it take to unite a city and a nation? How much faith does it take to see the beginning of a movement growing in our cities?
During the next few weeks of "isolation" what will you be doing? We are in a season of awakening to use our faith. How can you flex your faith?
January 30th, 2020
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says.
I have been wrestling with this verse over the past several days, after having a specific conversation. I take this verse very seriously, it has been a big part of constant conversation between my husband and I over the past 7 years. I believe that the commands Jesus gave to his disciples are just as relevant of a command directly to me today.
Jesus said: " Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!" (Matthew 10:8)
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other." (John 13:34)
If I then implement the verse from James, what does that mean exactly?
It was pointed out to me this week that I am a "doer," and not everyone falls into that category. It really got me thinking. Thinking about what the Bible tells us to do. What do we put into practice? What do we dismiss because we might feel unworthy, or uncomfortable, or uninterested? Then once looking at the answer to that question, is it Biblical?
I believe that the disciples were not able to raise their hands and say, "Uh, so, Jesus, I really don't want to go pray for that person over there, they haven't bathed in months, and I really just don't feel comfortable." "I am not really in the mood to deal with demons today, do you think you could let me sit this one out?" "I don't really feel like sitting with them and listening to all they have going on right now, I have been away from my family and friends for along time and no one is asking about my issues." "I will just sit here in the back if that's okay with you, keep my options open."
The thing is, we are supposed to look different. We are supposed to sound different. We are supposed to show up and be DOERS. We are supposed to have kingdom eyesight, kingdom hearing. We should be looking for people to bless with Jesus, not waiting for someone to bless us. We should be focused on the LORD, one eye, fully and solely engaged on the King.
We are called to be DOERS, not just HEARERS. We are called to GO, we are called to live a life that others notice and want. If we talk the talk but find ways around walking the walk, then we are deceiving ourselves. Jesus commanded us, and we should respond. Jesus didn't call the qualified, he qualified the called. Throughout the history of the Bible, people were qualified as their faith grew and their actions followed. Jesus is walking into every room, every circumstance with you, as he lives IN you, so you are fulfilling these commands with his help, and often I have found that without him, I could not have done the tasks set before me.
We need to become DOERS of the Word. We need to become people living out the gospel. Our lives should draw people in, living out of relationship with him.
The question today is: Are you a doer? If not, what is one thing you can do today, one thing you can do tomorrow, ect to become a doer?
Unity Through Love
1 Peter 3:8-12
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters.[a] Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. 10 For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”[b]
To be completely honest, this one has been difficult for me over the past several days. I work very hard to be a person who forgives, to be a person to continually turn the other cheek. I have seen what prayer does to a relationship that looks tattered beyond repair. Prayer for the person, prayer of blessing, prayer of healing, prayer of life. It changes things, and bringing them into it most regularly changes the atmosphere and brings healing that only God can provide.
There are those few moments that everything seems to cut to the deepest parts of you. That person that you have worked so hard to stand in the gap for, that person that you continue to pray for and check in on. That person who shows no regard personally for you, that person who can only see your flaws and imperfections. That person who does not value you or what you bring to the table. That moment when your defenses are at their lowest and the flaming arrows land so deeply that you realize that you have begun questioning your own self worth and disappointment sets in for allowing your shield to fall and yourself to be injured. You reach out for prayer and the first response is Psalm 35 and the second is a prayer reminding you that you are to become love and it's attributes and you are to give it all to God and forgive. OUCH.
It is easy to get pulled into having the "right" to be hurt, and being justified for having the feelings you are having. The thing is, THAT is not what we are called to do. We are not called to justify anything, we are called to show Christ's love, to be tenderhearted and be humble. We are to bless those who hurt us. We are called to find peace, and to do what is right and we have faith that He will fight for us.
My prayer tonight is for our hearts to be pierced with his love and that it would flow through us into all of the spaces and places that we walk into. That we would humble ourselves and allow God to work in and through us. That as a body of believers, we would be known for our love and not for how we took offense or allowed ourselves to be rooted in our hurts. I pray that we would find a way to bless everyone that comes our way each day, regardless of their thoughts or actions towards us. Lord, help us to walk out your peace and love in our worst moments as well as our best ones.
Isaiah 35 New Living Translation (NLT)Hope for Restoration35
Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
2 Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendor of our God.
3 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
4 Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”
5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
and unplug the ears of the deaf.
6 The lame will leap like a deer,
and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
and streams will water the wasteland.
7 The parched ground will become a pool,
and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.
Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish
where desert jackals once lived.
8 And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
It will be named the Highway of Holiness.
Evil-minded people will never travel on it.
It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;
fools will never walk there.
9 Lions will not lurk along its course,
nor any other ferocious beasts.
There will be no other dangers.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
They will enter Jerusalem[a] singing,
crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
Bold prayers. Bold proclamations. Bold expectations.
The Word tells us that we have not because we ask not. What does it look like for a group of people to really boldly rush the throne of God for a region? We pray for other countries and other people groups, but it is becoming very apparent that our local areas are in dire need for the bold prayers to revive and renew our own land. We have allowed the world to dictate what is acceptable and our expectation to see the move and might of God in our own areas is sadly very small. What does it look like to pray in unity and boldness?
There is a movement beginning in Kansas City asking churches to begin covering each day of the year. It is probably one of the most important things that we can do for our city. We need to involve EVERY church in the city, we need to give opportunity to all of the members of the "C" Church of Kansas City to come together and pray specific prayers, pray scriptures over our city. It is time we come together in a new unity that creates the space and expectation for God to really come and display his glory. There is also a group coming together and allowing God to lead through worship and prayer. PrayKC is uniting the church of Kansas City, and they have another evening coming up on January 17th. Will you join in with us and unify this city?
My prayer today is for the hope of restoration over our city to come in like a lion. That our wastelands will rejoice and singing and joy will abound. I pray that the LORD would display His glory, the very splendor of our God would fall over this city and that we would be changed for eternity. That our eyes would be opened, our sick healed and His Holy Spirit would flood the fountains and waterways. That our Highways would be names Highway of Holiness, that evil-minded people would not be able to travel on them. Danger would be removed because the Spirit of the LORD resides in our city. That the good news would be on the lips of everyone who claims Christ as their savior. That we would no longer worry about the 'weird factor' and not missing the opportunity would be more pressing. In Jesus mighty name I pray.
What is your big, bold prayer for today?
I am a wife and a mom of two and a prayer warrior. I love Jesus and love wrestling with the Word of God and finding how my life fits into His story.