We are declared innocent and forgiven of all of our sins simply based on our identification with and our appropriation of Jesus’s substitutionary death on the cross in our place. We allow that he died in our place, knowing that the punishment that he bore was actually meant for us. We may know this, but maybe we can never know it too well. Maybe this truth can never become too dear in our hearts or too clear in our minds. For our default beliefs are that we have to earn everything that we get in life, that life is cruel, and that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”
Our faith in Christ does the same thing for Our Heavenly Father’s heart that a child’s faith in his earthly parents does for the parents’ hearts. There is nothing more valuable in a parent’s eyes than the faith of their child, for they have the foresight to know that the child’s faith in them is going to be vital in the well being and maturation of their beloved child. Likewise, our faith in Christ thrills our Heavenly Father’s heart for he knows that it means a lifetime of blessing and an eternity of unspeakable bliss for the believer.
Faith is even the unspoken language of good business. People like to do business with those whom they can trust. Faith is the lifeblood of all healthy relationships, for without a fundamental trust in one’s friends, communication becomes strained and fragile. It is written: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.”
Faith in God is a gift from God that he eagerly waits for us, his children, to discover and then willingly activate by our heartfelt surrender to his loving heart.
Move… I’m not sure why this word is on my mind this week. There are many different directions this word can be used. Let’s start with a few verses:
Deuteronomy 19:14 “You are not to move your neighbor’s boundary marker from the place where people put it long ago, in the inheritance soon to be yours in the land Adonai your God is giving you to possess.
Proverbs 22:28 Don’t move the ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.
Acts 17:28 ‘for in him we live and move and exist.’ Indeed, as some of the poets among you have said, ‘We are actually his children.’
Revelation 6:14 The sky receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place.
The world is moving in a strange way right now. The verses above from the Old Testament show us that God does NOT want us to move our boundary markers. The instructions God gave us need to be our foundation. When He plants us, we do ALL that He requires us to do.
As we know from the teachings in Torah, the Children of Israel were moved when God moved them. They had the cloud to follow and when He needed them to go to a new area, the cloud moved. I’m sure there were times that the Children of Israel did not want to go to a new place, but when God said, “Go!” They needed to go.
When we are following Him, we do “live, move, and exist” in ALL that He asks us to do. As His children, we must LISTEN to Him and follow His lead. It isn’t always easy being as “flexible” as He requires us to be. And in the world we live in today, it becomes more challenging.
The verse in Revelation is the “finale.” There is an end coming. We do not know how everything will play out, but movement is happening. The mountains and islands will shake. We are beginning to see this happen. There are earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wars etc… it is time to watch and observe what is happening around us.
I believe we need to be ready. I believe we need to live like the Children of Israel and MOVE when He says move. It is time to be on our guard and KNOW that He is God and that HE is in charge of ALL that is happening. Don’t “move” your foundation from His Word, but be ready to move yourself when He calls.
Thank HIM today that HE KNOWS the best plans for you. Give Him PRAISE that HE will only MOVE you to places that HE wants you. Prepare yourself the best you can and be READY at all times to GO when He says go.
Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. —Psalm 105:19 (NASB)
Oh, this verse!!!
I have struggled with this verse in the past. I have struggled, because I just could not grasp why the Lord would make a promise to someone and then TEST THEM until the full promise manifested.
Isn’t He a GOOD GOD? Why would a good God say that He would do something, and then test someone until He followed through?
When I read this scripture last week, I felt the draw to just pause in His presence and allow Him to speak to me through this verse. As someone who has been waiting on a few promises from God for a great deal of time, I had several questions on my heart regarding Psalm 105:19. “What do you mean by this, Lord?” I asked Him. “Please explain Your heart to me, because I just don’t get it.”
He first directed me to look at the Hebrew meaning of “word” in this scripture. The meaning of “word” (h0565) is simple: The utterance of God. Basically, I felt a challenge from the Lord to remember what He has actually spoken to me in the past. He gently guided me through several promises I have yet to see, and all of the scripture, prophetic words and words that came directly from His heart to mine in the years that I have been waiting.
“What have I said to you?” He asked me.
I use the word “ask,” but really, His question felt more like a challenge.
As I sat in His presence, recounting all of the things that the Lord had spoken to me about my promises, I began to ask again about the word “test.” He led me again to look up the Hebrew meaning (h6884), and I found that this word does not mean something that’s unbearable or cruel. It means refining, yes; but the word also means “to cast,” specifically in fire. To cast something is not just to burn it – a “cast” is an object made my shaping molten metal material in a mold.
According to Google, the things that are cast most often are TOOLS, WEAPONS, and JEWELRY.
Here is what the Lord spoke to my heart when I realized the weight of this “testing”: Every promise is for an appointed time, with an appointed purpose. Psalm 105:19 refers to Joseph, who was “tested” while waiting for the fulfillment of the dream he had regarding leading his brothers. Joseph needed that time of molding and casting so that he could be the EXACT SHAPE NEEDED to lead a nation. Joseph was given a word – an utterance of God through a dream – and needed to be WEAPONIZED before the word of the Lord could come to pass in his life. Joseph needed to be weaponized because the Lord’s word to him was about more than just Joseph.
Some translations make it clear that Joseph’s character needed a refining. I am sure that is true! But if we focus on “refining” of character, we may miss the point entirely.
Joseph needed refining not because something was wrong with him or because he wasn’t good enough or lacking. Joseph needed refining because what God chose him to carry was of such weight, such greatness and such importance, God needed Joseph to be fully weaponized to walk in the glorious promises that the Lord had for him and for his nation.
Every promise of mine and yours has a Heavenly purpose, and that purpose is larger than we are. I would encourage those who are in the waiting and being tested to go back to the Lord and ask Him to lead you into the truth about your promise. Ask Him to open your eyes to see beyond yourself and beyond the fulfillment of it, and ask Him to show you what “shape” He is casting and refining you to be.
Chances are, the word that He has spoken to you is weightier and more magnificent than you could even imagine.
Whether you are a weapon against the forces of darkness, or a tool to smash through lies and strongholds in others, or a jewel to display the splendor of the King of Kings….do not despise this season of testing while waiting on the utterances of God to manifest in your life.
Surrender to the “casting,” and allow Him to shape you for maximum Kingdom impact. And hold God to His word while you wait – He loves your faith!
To be happy, we must live a balanced life—equal parts work, play, rest, worship, and prayer. We are not one dimensional; we are equal parts body, soul, and spirit.
We must exercise our bodies with work and rest them with sleep; we must develop our souls with relationships, and exercise our spirits with prayer and worship. We need both life disciplines and free form recreation, both routine and serendipity.
It’s not easy, nor does it come naturally to stay balanced; we tend to lean one way or the other—all play or all work, all rest or all stress, all relationships or excess isolation.
We desperately need The Spirit’s help to keep our life both disciplined and fun, both productive and restful. Like any good parent, Our Father keeps his eye on us and guides us into all of his truth, both the hard truths about the human condition and the inspirational truths about his undying and everlasting love for us.
The secret to a balanced life seems to be to determine our priorities early on and then to let all the peripheral and incidental aspects of life find their place after the important issues have been settled and our life is stable. Has our eternal destiny been explored and determined? Has Christ’s claim to deity been given due consideration?
Have we discovered our role in the building of the kingdom? Have we found a nurturing family? Once the foundational issues have been settled, then we are free to develop all the beauty and diversity of a life well lived, replete with healthy relationships, rest, recreation, and productive work.
“Mine” – one of the first words that a child learns right after he learns the word “No”. We all know the down side to the use of these words, for they can be signs of selfishness. However, they can also be healthy signs of proper boundaries, too.
Certain things in life are “mine”, and sometimes it is essential to say “no”. Learning the proper place for these words is just as critical in life as learning how to use the words “ours” and “yes”. One of my favorite scriptures says that “everything is yours, you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” 1 Corinthians 3:21-23.
So, everything now belongs to us, if we are indeed co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
To be happy in Christ, we must learn what is ours. For one thing, we must learn what he has gifted us to do, if we are going to be able to participate in the life of the church. Living the Christian life as a spectator is absolutely dreadful, and you can see it in the bored expressions on the many faces of the mature believers who have sat through one too many church “services”.
From the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, we were created to work with God. Rest loses its significance when we have been denied the right to work. Ephesians, Chapter 4:11-16, gives a clear mandate that church leaders are to prepare the saints for the work of the ministry.
“Ours.” Ours is the kingdom—Luke 12:32. Ours is the work of the ministry. Ours is the church family. Ours is this time in history. Ours is the earth—Psalm 115:16. Ours is heaven. The early believers were motivated to have all of their possession in common because they realized dramatically that there was a change of covenants. Gone was the old covenant of living by the letter of the law. Jesus Christ had arrived revealing that our eternal destinies are secure and that our faith and hope are rock solid, supported by the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
As it is written: “Now is the time of God’s favor. Now is the day of salvation”—2nd Corinthians 6:2.
I started this blog with the word “clean” on my mind. We have been busy cleaning inside and out lately. Our house. A friend’s house. It is not easy work, especially when it is hot. However, the end product is definitely beneficial.
When I started looking for verses about clean, I found many. The list is quite long. Most of them we have probably heard before…
Psalm 51:12 (in most translations it is verse 10) Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit.
James 4:8 Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded people!
The list could go on…
Then I read these verses in Ezekiel. Reading the prophets used to be difficult. When I began to understand Israel in a new light, they became more real to me. The verses listed below are amazing promises from Adonai to His people. They can become very real for us today too.
Ezekiel 36:24-27 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you from all the countries, and return you to your own soil. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws, respect my rulings and obey them.
Read these words with a NEW heart and a RENEWED mind. When we TRUST Him we can KNOW that His Promises are REAL.
He is going to take care of His people. As I have been reading through Matthew (blogs are written almost daily), I realize more and more that He is going to send His angels to remove the evil. At some point, we will be clean. New bodies. The evil gone. The initial promise to this is from the prophets.
I know I am excited to be a part of ALL He has planned. I look forward to the day when He brings ALL His Promises to LIFE. Until then, I want to walk with a clean heart and new mind. I want to be so in touch with Him that I have His Spirit to walk with and lead me.
May we daily cleanse our minds, wills and emotions from any junk that doesn’t belong. May we find HIS peace in all that we do.