Friday, November 9, 2012

God Is in still on the throne and He is still in Control

Jeremiah 17:5 says, "This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD."

Our Presidential elections were held this week and there has been lots of chatter on the internet about God's providence in the selection of President Obama for a second term.  Many have made the claim that God put Barak Obama in office for a second term.  Let's be clear.  The citizens of the United States elected Barak Obama, not God.  Now, did God know it was going to happen?  Of course.  Does God have plans for Barak Obama.  Yes, just like He had plans for Moses and He has plans for you.  

 I bring this up because our faith must be in God and not in man.  Jeremiah 17:5 says, "This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD."  Don't put your trust in man, keep your trust in God.  Now, you may be thinking, "Wait a minute You were talking about Presidential elections and you then shifted to Moses.  What's the connection."  The connection is twofold: it is about providence and grace.  I will briefly discuss each to give us something to meditate on for the weekend.

Providence:  When Moses was out in Midian, minding his own business, thinking that he had wrecked his life and aborted his dreams, the Lord sought him out.  The Lord initiated the contact because He had plans for both Moses and Israel that had not been completed.  At the burning bush the Lord shared with Moses some of what He wanted to do for His people (Israel).  The Lord then shared with Moses what his part was going to be in the overall plan.  Some of what the Lord shared with Moses would not happen until Moses was dead; driving home the point that this was more about God than it was about Moses.  God had plans for the nation and for the individual.  Likewise today, God has plans for our nation and He has plans for the individuals in the nation.  So no matter who wins or loses an election, at the end of the day, our confidence must be in God and not in man.  While God DOES NOT DO everything, He surely knew everything that would happen and He made plans accordingly.  That's providence, and it applies both to the United States (corporately) and to you (individually).

Grace:  Moses had a tremendous assignment in life.  Leading Israel from Egypt would be no easy task and then leading millions of people through the desert would be even harder.  But before Moses was born God had a plan for his life and if you see how things worked out for Moses you can see God's fingerprints all over him.  Even when Moses made a major mistake (murdering a man) and he seemingly derailed himself from his destiny, God still had plans for him.  Since God already knew Moses would mess up, before he did so, Moses' mistakes had already been taken into consideration when God made plans for his life.  Said another way, God does not expect you to be perfect in order to fulfill His plans.  If that were the case, none of us would qualify for anything, because we all make mistakes; even major ones.  God made plans for Moses and He worked with Moses to bring them to pass by His grace.  Moses could not earn God's plan for his life.  Moses had to receive it by grace and seek to fulfill it by faith.  The same can be said of President Obama (because he is not perfect and many of his policies do not line up with the Word of God), and the same can be said of you (even though we may have never met, I know you are not perfect).

 God uses imperfect people by grace.  

 Father, I thank You for this reminder.  When I look at how Your Kingdom plans and purposes were manifested for both Israel (as a nation) and Moses (as a person), I find hope for myself and our country.  When I think about our nation and the challenges we face, and I then think about my life and the challenges I face, I have to put my trust and confidence in You, not in man, and not even in myself.  Man will surely fail me and I will even fail myself, but You will never fail me.  While You don't do everything, You know everything and You made plans - for nations and individuals - according to that foreknowledge.  Thank You for Father for making plans for me and my country.  And thank You Father for not making those plans contingent upon my perfection.  If I had to be perfect for Your plans to come to pass, then they would never be realized because, as You know, I am far from perfect.  But by Your grace You chose to use me and for that I will never cease to give You praise!  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

This is Today's Word!  Apply it and Prosper. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

12 Scriptures for 2012

I believe it is the Year of the Word of the God and God of the Word! It is a time when the office of the teacher (Ephesians 4:11) or the teaching gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:7) will be re-emphasized in the body of Christ. It is a time when a convergence of the School of the Word and the School of the Spirit takes place. That is why I released a Bible reading program at the first of the year. It's ever too late to participate!

With this conviction in mind, I went to prayer and asked the Lord for scriptures for 2012. To my delight, I felt the Holy Spirit highlight the following 12 Scriptures for 2012 and Beyond all with the address of 20:12, 10:12, 12:12 or 12:20. I hope you enjoy this innovative way of gleaning from the Word of God.

Exodus 20:12 - Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. We must cultivate a culture of HONOR! Everyone wins and the Supernatural flows freely in such an atmosphere!

Proverbs 20:12 - The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them.  Communion with God including a greater diversity in the prophetic will be welcomed as there is an increase in both the Seer and Hearer anointing.

Ezekiel 20:12 - Also I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. The Holy Spirit is emphasizing REST! It will be a tool of healing for many. Some will be called into a time of "sabbatical rest", extended vacations and celebrating the Sabbath.

Job 12:12 - Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding. The Spirit of Wisdom (Isaiah 11:1 - 3) and the gift of the Word of Wisdom (I Cor. 12:8) will be emphasized as part of the solution for the times we are moving into.

The Greatest Trophy in David's Tent

1 Samuel 17:54 After David slew Goliath the scripture says, "David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but put his armor in his 'tent'."

As we look at the armor of Goliath, I am persuaded to believe that David had to stretch out his tent a bit to hold it all.

Goliath was believed to be about ten feet tall, so quite a bit of armor was covering his body.1 Samuel 17:5-7. "And Goliath had a bronze helmet on his head ( remember Goliath had a big head ) and wore a coat of mail ( a flexible body armor made of small overlapping metal rings).  This coat weighing 5,000 shekels of bronze is believed to be about 125 lbs. Verse 6. He had a bronze skin armor on his legs and a bronze javelin ( a light spear for throwing ) across his shoulders. 7. And the shaft of his huge spear was like a weaver's beam (approximately 3 inches in diameter ) with the spear's head weighing 600 shekels or about 15 lbs. And a shield bearer went before him. David probably took the bearer's shield also.

The Trophies Inside David's Tent Created the Atmosphere of Worship!

With all of Goliath's armor in David's tent he would never forget what the Lord had done for him and the nation of Israel. What I am about to express is my creative opinion and is not a definite word from God. But would you stretch your imagination with me to see what else may have been in David's tent causing it to be stretched into a tabernacle of thanksgiving and praise? Besides Goliath's armor, I believe there were other trophies. Memories of the legacy of Israel's past history of crossing that Jordan river overflowing all of its banks lingered in his tent. (Joshua 3:7) The testimony of those 'stones of remembrance' was commanded by the Lord to be handed down through Israel's generations. ( Joshua 4:7 ) David heard about those 'stones of remembrance' from his father. I believe that is why when David went to face Goliath, he got to thinking, 'I'd better find me some stones." So he went to a brook. Picking up that first stone, he relived that miracle crossing of Jordan and his faith began to rise. Picking up the second stone, he remembered that bear.  That bear was gone except for the bear skin rug. Reaching for the third stone, he remembered that beautiful lion rug on the floor of his tent. In the evening David would often lean back in his 'bear' chair and rub his bare feet over the back of that lion's fur. What came to take him out was so sweet under his feet! Gripping that fourth stone, he remembered, Goliath had a brother with three sons. He thought to himself, "I'd better make that five stones in case the family shows up! And as he picked up that fifth stone, he saw Goliath's name written all over it and a shouting spell broke over him, "I feel a giant killing anointing coming down all over me, Saul, let me go kill him!" It was 'faith gone wild!" I believe the four stones that David didn't have to use were kept in his tent also.

It seems reasonable to believe that David had to keep stretching the curtains of his dwelling place and lengthening his tent stakes to hold all the weapons and trophies the Lord was giving him through his enemies. David's tent became a tabernacle of ongoing praise and worship making him a full-time worshipper, part-time shepherd! Even in times of discouragement, his past victories caused him to 'believe to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

The Greatest Trophy in David's Tent

Last but not least, I believe David's biggest trophy in his tent that created such an atmosphere of violent worship was himself. It flowed out of him from knowing he was God's trophy of grace. Even later with David's failure with Bathsheba, knowing he was a great sinner, he knew he had a great savior!

The Greatest Weapon in David's Armor

"Remembering" was perhaps the most powerful weapon David had as his armor. His remembrance made him a giant killer.

"Remembering" is perhaps a nation's most powerful weapon against her enemies. When a nation remembers her past victories, she rises again becoming unstoppable. Even remembering our past tragedies such as 9/11 brings forth a unity and resilience in our nation to overcome our next impossible odds.