Monday, April 30, 2012

Psalm 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 16, 19, 21: Through Dreams

Psalm 16:7-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 I will bless the Lord, Who has given me counsel; yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.

8 I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

I have always been an active dreamer. Even as a child, I remember having dreams, more aptly described as night terrors. These night images would be so terrifying that I would cling to my dear mother as she lay next to me. To be honest, dreams weren’t high on my list of things to do for a good time. I would even be frightened to go to sleep because of these horrible dreams, BUT God changed all of that!

It’s been about 12 years since I have taken my dreams seriously as a form of communication from my God, and I have learned my own dream language in these last dozen years. It’s been an amazing and sometimes terrifying ride, but I am thankful that God loves me enough to direct me in this way.

Through dreams, God has warned, directed, protected, given wisdom, shared His secrets and my favorite, encouraged me.

Not all of my dreams are from Him, but I am learning to differentiate between the dreams of living this life and those from Him. It is a learning experience, but worth it!

Thank You, Lord, for instructing me in the night seasons through my dreams. I appreciate all that You do and have done for me! Your beloved, Beautiful Grace.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

2 Samuel 1-4: Loyalty to God First

King Saul and his son, Jonathan, are dead and David mourns for them. He mourns for the man God had placed as leader over Israel, and his dearly loved friend. In his mourning, David asked the Lord for direction as to his next move, and God instructs him to go up to the cities of Judah, where David is anointed King over the house of Judah. Meanwhile, Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son is made king over the remaining portion of Israel.

This was a set up for strife as Israel’s loyalties were divided between men.

I wonder how much strife would be avoided today if our loyalty would remain true to One King, the Creator of the Universe? Think about it…from secular politics to business practices to even God's beloved Church, loyalties have been divided among mere men, causing verbal altercations, wars, broken friendships and shattered hearts. How much better would it be if our whole-hearted loyalty would be given to only One? This One would then direct us in our next move, just as He did for David.

I know man’s leadership structures are imperative in order to prevent chaos, but ultimately, God is Sovereign! Our loyalty must be to Him first, and out of respect and obedience to Him will flow respect and honor to the leaders He has placed over us.

My whole-hearted loyalty is to You first, Lord. You are the my King! Speak clearly so that each of my moves are in response to Your direction. In the name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

1 Chronicles 1 & 2: Faceless Names, Not Forgotten

Name upon faceless name, but these people did have faces and lives. Gone for many years, but not forgotten in the pages of God's Holy Word.

What caught my attention was those individuals having a sentence to describe them.

Nimrod: "he began to be a mighty one upon the earth."

I wonder how this might was manifested.

Genesis 10:8 describes Nimrod. "he was the first to be a mighty man on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord."

Sounds like Nimrod used his might in a way that pleased the Lord.

Peleg: "because in his days [the population of] the earth was divided [according to its languages]..."

I wonder if this is describing the incident at the Tower of Babel when men decided to build "a tower whose top reaches into the sky, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered over the whole earth"? (Genesis 11:4)

Achar (Achan): "Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the matter of the devoted things." (Joshua 7)

I don't want to be described in this way.

Nahshon: "Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah." Prince of a tribe of praisers (Judah means praise).

I'd love that description.

Bezalel: "Bezalel [the skillful craftsman who made the furnishings of the tabernacle]."

See Master Carpenter Artist.

Hezron: "Later, when Hezron was sixty years old, he married the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, and she bore him Segub."

Wow, a new husband (his 2nd wife) and dad at 60! Sounds like God to me. :)

I wonder what sentence God will use to describe me? :)

Psalm 121, 123-125, 128-130: Where Does My Help Come From?

Psalm 121 describes my God Who watches over me when I sleep, Who protects me from all evil, Who doesn’t allow me to slip and empowers me to stand, Who helps me, and Who directs me wherever I go.

I am never alone, because My God is with me!

Psalm 130:4-7

4 But there is forgiveness with You [just what a man needs], that You may be reverently feared and worshiped.

5 I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope.

6 I am looking and waiting for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, I say, more than watchmen for the morning.

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is mercy and loving-kindness, and with Him is plenteous redemption.

Words cannot express the gratefulness I feel for the Lord’s forgiveness! I wait for You, Lord, to fulfill the promises of Your word. I appreciate all that You have given me, and have done for me thus far! You are full of loving-kindness and mercy! There is no one like You!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

1 Samuel 28-31; Psalm 18: Light Up the Darkness

Psalm 18:28
“For You cause my lamp to be lighted and to shine; the Lord my God illumines my darkness.”

How amazing is God that He would cause us to shine into the darkness?

The movie ***”I Am Legend” depicts this concept as the main character, Dr. Robert Neville, races to find the cure for disease caused by a mutated virus, which has devastated the human race.

I really liked this movie because of its prophetic parallels and science-based theme. The character, Anna, showed up at just the right time to save Neville’s life, because she was following the voice of God. The main character (Neville) had lost his faith in God, but in the end followed God’s direction in order to save the remnants of humanity. In the end, Neville sacrifices himself to protect the antidote by “Light[ing] up the darkness,” and saving the human race from extinction.

“I Am Legend” is a fictional movie, but its prophetic symbols remain true and applicable to us. God can even use a secular movie to inspire us to allow His light to shine through us even in the darkest situations!

***Parent advisory link is listed if anyone is interested. I definitely would not allow a child to see this movie as some of the images are really scary.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Psalm 17, 35, 54, 63: For Dear Life

Turmoil and trial induce us to cling "for dear life" to Jesus. Clinging to Jesus during difficult seasons can result in the production of spiritual fruit and activation of spiritual gifts.

Psalm 63, describes David's response to the intense season in which he found himself. King Saul wanted David dead. If I were David, I might have had these thoughts racing through my mind.

*I just want to play my lyre and sing to God, but I am forced to run, hide, and fight.

*I only have wanted good for my king. I sang and played for him when he was distressed. Why does he want to kill me?

*Lord, I don't understand. A leader is suppose to protect, not attempt to harm his subjects.

*You see my heart, Lord.  Why can't Saul see my heart?

David rightly took his complaints, heartaches, and troubles to Abba, the only One able to straighten out the mess.  He admitted his great need for God, knowing that only God could console his agitated soul.

David sets an example for us to follow during seasons of warfare.  However it manifests, the remedy remains the same as it was for David...

*Recognize our great need for God.

*Trust in the Lord's protection.

*Praise Him for all He has done and will do.

*Worship the Lord with all of our heart, mind and strength, no matter what!!!

Empower us, Holy Spirit, with tenacity to cling to Jesus, no matter the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  We trust You, because You are worthy of trust!  Thank You for all the instances in which You have intervened on our behalf.  We love You!  AMEN

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1 Samuel 25-27: God Brings the Justice

My friend, Daughter of Encouragement wrote, "Lord, let me not linger on the things that were! Like Abigail, help me to humbly walk with you so that you will guide all of my steps froward. I trust you!"  

Yes, Lord, me too!

Again, David spares the life of King Saul, trusting God will avenge him of the horrible injustices heaped upon him. 

 1 Samuel 26:9
Amplified Bible (AMP)
"David said to Abishai, Do not destroy him; for who can raise his hand against the Lord's anointed and be guiltless?"

There have been times in my life when I trusted God to work on my behalf within instances of mistreatment, however, sadly there also have been times when I took up my own defense.  When I attempted to protect myself, it made me look like the "villain" rather then the "victim."  Oy vey!!!  :(

In the end, King Saul, the longstanding, murderous enemy of David, admits his own foolishness.

1 Samuel 26:21
Amplified Bible (AMP)
"Then said Saul, I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have erred exceedingly."

King Saul then goes on to prophesy David's destiny.  Saul did prophesy having the Spirit of Prophesy come upon him at various times, and this was one of those times.

1 Samuel 26:25
Amplified Bible (AMP)
"Then Saul said to David, May you be blessed, my son David; you will both do mightily and surely prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place."

Those who allow God to act on their behalf, without taking matters into their own hands can expect the same destiny as David..."you will both do mightily and surely prevail."

However, there is the wisdom of God that one must draw upon in abusive circumstances.  I don't believe God intends for abuse, whether emotional, physical or spiritual to be perpetuated against us, without some sort of response.  In my case, the "abuse" so affected my soul that my emotions clouded the wisdom God had given me.  It's one of those situations in life when I desperately clung to Jesus.  The good that the Lord brought out of this terrible season was that desperation drove me to a much higher level with Him.  That, my friends, is wonderful!

Lord, always do I require Your wisdom!  I don't want to react according to my emotions, even if it is justified according to man.  I want to trust You ALWAYS, no matter what injustice befalls me.  In the name of the Perfectly Just One, Jesus, AMEN!!! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Psalm 56, 120, 140 & 141: My Tears in His Bottle

Psalm 56:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle–are they not in Your book?”

This verse has given me the comfort I needed during a time in my life when tears were my food. What a wonderful promise that the Most High God would take the time to not only notice my tears, but to number them, noting the wanderings that precipitated them. My Friend collects my tears and places them in His holy bottle. He cares about everything that injures my soul, because He loves me!!!

Psalm 42:3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, Where is your God?”

Psalm 141:4
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Incline my heart not to submit or consent to any evil thing or to be occupied in deeds of wickedness with men who work iniquity; and let me not eat of their dainties.”

From Barnes Notes on the Bible
“Incline not my heart to any evil thing – Hebrew, to a word that is evil; that is, wrong. The connection seems to demand that the term should be thus explained. The expression ‘Incline not’ is not designed to mean that God exerts any ‘positive’ influence in leading the heart to that which is wrong; but it may mean “Do not place me in circumstances where I may be tempted; do not leave me to myself; do not allow any improper influence to come over me by which I shall be led astray.”

Keep me from situations which tempt, Lord. Empower me to hold fast to the righteous robe You have given me. I will not shun the wicked, but lead them to You by my words, my deeds, and Your glory shining through me! I will befriend the sinner knowing that You love him as much as you do me, BUT I will not participate in the activities that separate him from You (eat of his dainties). For the love on One Man, Jesus! AMEN!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Psalm 7, 27, 31, 34 & 52: You are My All in All

Raw, unfiltered emotion directed towards God, talking to Him about every detail of life, both the painful and the beautiful and praising Him in the midst of it all, Psalms is the kind of book that encourages my heart!

Psalm 34, is packed full of the encouragement I received from many yesterdays in my life, but it is also an encouragement for today and the days to come. The Lord has proven He is trustworthy many times in my life. He has delivered and is delivering and will deliver me from ***all*** that stands against me!!!

Psalm 34
Amplified Bible (AMP)

[A Psalm] of David; when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him out, and he went away.

1  I WILL bless the Lord at ***all times;*** His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2  My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad.

3  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.

4  I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from ***all my fears.***

5  They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame or be confused.

6  This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of ***all his troubles.***

***7[a]The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers.***

8   taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.

9  O fear the Lord, you His saints [revere and worship Him]! For there is no want to those who truly revere and worship Him with godly fear.

10  The young lions lack food and suffer hunger, but they who seek (inquire of and require) the Lord [by right of their need and on the authority of His Word], none of them shall lack any beneficial thing.

11  Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you to revere and worshipfully fear the Lord.

12  What man is he who desires life and longs for many days, that he may see good?

13  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

14  Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it!

15  The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly] righteous and His ears are open to their cry.

16  The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17  When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of ***all their distress and troubles.***

18  The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.

***19  Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.***

20  He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

21  Evil shall cause the death of the wicked; and they who hate the just and righteous shall be held guilty and shall be condemned.

22  The Lord redeems the lives of His servants, and none of those who take refuge and trust in Him shall be condemned or held guilty.

I WILL bless the Lord at ***all times;*** and His Angel encamps around me!

He has delivered me from ***all my fears.***

He has saved him [me] out of ***all his [my] troubles.***

He delivers them [me] out of ***all their [my] distress and troubles.***

Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them ***all.***

I have sung that the Lord is my all in all. He delivers and saves and comforts and loves and confides and provides and empowers and irradiates me; Yes, He is my all in all!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

1 Samuel 21-24: Good's Power Over Evil

King Saul had entertained jealous thoughts; these thoughts affected his emotional state and ultimately resulted in the murderous actions of a man once chosen by God to lead Israel. Jealousy opened the door of Saul's heart to fear and rage. 

Saul well knew David's kingly destiny and feared him because of it. In those days, it was customary for the reigning king to kill the previous king and all of his relatives, but David was a man after the heart of God; he lived his life differently then the prescribed societal box of that time. David knew King Saul had been anointed by God. David also knew that his own destiny involved kingship, but David's heart was so knitted to God's heart that he regretted his act of cutting off a piece of Saul's robe. David spared the life of one who would have killed him in an instant. It was this act of godly goodness and mercy that caused the darkness of evil deception to be momentarily lifted from Saul's sight.

1 Samuel 24:17
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"He said to David, You are more upright in God's eyes than I, for you have repaid me good, but I have rewarded you evil."

For a moment, Saul's understanding was filled with God's truth, the truth that David repaid Saul's evil with good. David had a working understanding of good's power over evil.

Romans 12:21
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good."

The root of King Saul's fear was revealed in verses 20 & 21 of 1 Samuel 24.

"And now, behold, I well know that you shall surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hands.

Swear now therefore to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house."

In verse 22, David responded to King Saul's fear with more goodness.

"David gave Saul his oath; and Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold."

No wonder God's favor rested upon David! David's heart transcended the societal norms of the time.

My heart's desire is be so in tune with God that the traditions and societal norms of today do not prevent me from expressing God's heart in every situation, even if that situation involves a murderous enemy.

Lord, empower me with Your heart. Every situation is an opportunity for me to express You. I have a long way to go, but have come so far. Please don't allow fear to mute the expression of Your heart through me. In the Beautiful Name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

1 Samuel 18-20 and Psalms 11 & 59: A Loving Spanking?

1 Samuel 18:10
Amplified Bible (AMP)

10The next day an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved [madly] in his house, while David played [the lyre] with his hand, as at other times; and there was a javelin in Saul's hand.

1 Samuel 19:9
Amplified Bible (AMP) 

9Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand; and David was playing [the lyre] with his hand.

Unless the original Hebrew has been incorrectly translated, these verses are crystal clear. God does command or send good and evil spirits to do His bidding, BUT personally knowing God’s heart gives me a different perspective on His motives.

Romans 2:4
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repent ([a]to change your mind and inner man to accept God's will)?"

Could it be that sometimes an obstinate attitude requires a firm spanking in the form of "depression"? God loves us so much that He will go to any lengths to save us from ourselves. Sometimes the only way a person can give up independence is by hitting rock bottom. Often, it is in this place that we realize our deep need for God to be our Master, be the One to call the shots. We realize we have no strength apart from Him. Truly, it is a kindness from God to assign or allow evil to have its way with us. He wants us with Him for eternity, and if it takes temporal punishment to accomplish this, then He may employ it.

I think this is where the "open door" theory comes to play. It is said that we may have an open door in order for this to happen. Saul had an open door. He entertained thoughts of jealousy towards David. Entertaining sinful thoughts do "open the door" to a firm spanking from our Daddy. A Father Who loves His children will discipline them!

But just because someone is suffering with depression, it does not automatically mean that person has an open door. We cannot presume to diagnose someone's difficulties. It is up to us to love like Jesus and help that person through the rough spot. We must NEVER shun a person who is suffering because we think we know what's going on in their heart. That is having a judgmental attitude and that thought process will also require a spanking from Daddy!

Our view of God is much too black and white. He cannot be locked in the box of our understanding of Him. His ways are always higher...period!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

1 Samuel 15-17: No Saul Traps!

1 Samuel 15:22
Amplified Bible (AMP)

22Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Yea, Samuel!!! It’s a moment by moment, personal decision to obey, and that is spiritual worship!!! Externals should only be the result of that personal, spiritual worship.

1 Samuel 15:24
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“And Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.”

Worrying what others think…ouch! Saul disobeyed God because he feared (worried about) what the people said!

How many times have I modified what God has told me to do because I thought it might offend the religious? Lord, have mercy on me and cause me not to fall into the “Saul Trap.” I want to be like David who runs after Your Own heart, not caring what the religious onlookers think!

I will be one of those worshipers whose heart is like David, impacting the secular masses. These people are looking for something real, a real heart to heart relationship with God, not a dead tradition. They crave true love, not the fake, saccharine substitute of love.

I am less like Saul today then in the past, but still there is farther to go. Jesus reminds me of how far I have come and runs along side of me towards the finish line of faith. He’s the best Coach!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

1 Samuel 13 & 14: Presumption or Faith

1 Samuel 14:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“And Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, Come, and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For there is nothing to prevent the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

Jonathan was either exhibiting impulsive presumption or bold faith. I know when I read, “For there is nothing to prevent the Lord from saving by many or by few” my spirit leaps!

God’s deliverance from enemies has nothing to do with sheer man-force numbers or battle battalion logistics. God’s power to save does not hinge on man’s ability!!!

I used to worry if my steps were ones of faith or presumption. No longer. My heart is connected to His; if I misstep, He will show me. I remember the advice my awesome earthly father gave me not too long ago, “Jesus is in your heart. I’d go with what’s in your heart.”

I think Jonathan was going with what was in his heart.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Atmosphere of Worship

I asked the Lord what the spiritual realm looks like around me as I dance.  

I felt the purple streamers was God clothing me in royalty. 

As I dance, new life (represented by the green) is birthed. 

Before I started, 
I felt God tell me to coat the paper with water (Holy Spirit) 
and apply white (purity) over all of it as a base.

The gold is His glory being poured out upon me.

1 Samuel 9-12: Ruining the Harvest?

The Lord was not thrilled that Israel insisted on a human king. God showed His displeasure by sending thunder and rain during the wheat harvest.

1 Samuel 12:17 & 18
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call to the Lord and He will send thunder and rain; then you shall know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord in asking for a king for yourselves.

So Samuel called to the Lord, and He sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.”

I ask myself, “Is there a symbolic application of this action?”

These are my thoughts…

Israel didn’t place their confidence in God’s leadership; they placed their trust in man. It happened to be the wheat harvest season, which symbolizes the harvest of souls.

Rain during harvest time ruins the crop. A quote from a contemporary farmer, Guy Gagen, explains,

“But farmers can’t get on with the job and they are starting to get anxious and frustrated that their crop is ready but they can’t get it in. It is almost impossible to harvest it in the rain. The grain would be all soggy and mushy and would clog up and jam the machines. It will take two days of dry weather to dry it out and then two to three weeks of similar conditions to harvest it. It will probably stand out for another few days, maybe a week” (Bread Prices Could Rise as Rain Hits Wheat).

Knowing that rain disrupts the harvest, and that the people are depending on themselves instead of God, brings me to the conclusion that the harvest of souls today would be detrimentally impacted if we trust in our own strength to get it done. Man using his own strength to get people “saved” uses scare tactics, intimidation, and join the group techniques. I wonder how much “wheat” is ruined when man does things his own way?

What’s awesome is that if we fall into the “our own way” trap, God is waiting to empower and deliver.

1 Samuel 12:20-24
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“And Samuel said to the people, Fear not. You have indeed done all this evil; yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve Him with all your heart.

And turn not aside after vain and worthless things which cannot profit or deliver you, for they are empty and futile.

The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake, for it has pleased Him to make you a people for Himself.

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.

Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for consider how great are the things He has done for you.”

Thank You, Lord, for not forsaking me when I have done things my own way. Holy Spirit cause me to remember Your greatness. The awesome things You have done for me will be written in my heart forever. I trust You to lead me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1 Samuel 4-8: Rare and Precious Words

1 Samuel 4:15
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Now Eli was 98 years old; his eyes were dim so that he could not see.”

I believe the physical mirrors the spiritual. Eli’s poor eyesight symbolizes the spiritual condition (spiritual sight) of that time as noted in 1 Samuel 3:1.

1 Samuel 3:1
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“NOW THE boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; there was no frequent or widely spread vision.”

A question I ask myself is, “Why would the word of the Lord be scarce?”

Some thoughts that come to mind are the ignoring of blatant sin issues may have cause spiritual ears and eyes to become dim. We are told in 1 Samuel 2:22-25 what was occurring with the spiritual leadership in Israel.

1 Samuel 2:22-25
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel and how they lay with the women who served at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

And he said to them, Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.

No, my sons; it is no good report which I hear the Lord’s people spreading abroad.

If one man wrongs another, God will mediate for him; but if a man wrongs the Lord, who shall intercede for him? Yet they did not listen to their father, for it was the Lord’s will to slay them.”

Active, unrepentant sin has a way of hardening and closing off a once tender heart. A heart in this condition has difficulty hearing and responding to the stirrings of His Spirit. This heart often does not desire to know what God thinks, because it’s only interested in doing what it wants, in its own way.

I believe God speaks all the time in many different and varying ways, if we will just listen and ask to hear and see with a tenderized (repentant) heart.

Back in Joshua 24:25-27, we read how a stone could be a witness. Again, in 1 Samuel 6:18, a stone is referred to as “a witness,” and this time as a witness of God’s superiority over the false gods of the Philistines. See 1 Samuel 5-6.

I wonder how many inorganic substances have been a witness to situations in our own lives and what we did and said in response to them. Not accounting for the fact that God witnesses every word we have uttered and also every thought left unuttered. Ultimately, who we are in the core of our being, is known by God.

Lord, allow no thing block off my spiritual sight and hearing. Let everything I contact, whether inorganic or living and breathing be a witness to Your glory through me. In Jesus’ name. AMEN!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

1 Samuel 1-3: Rivalry's Roots

Why do women fight women? Women look to other women to set the standards for there own life. If dysfunctional, then rivalry can result. The root of rivalry is jealousy, which is the fear that a person can be replaced.

Peninnah and Hannah were both married to Elkanah. Peninnah had children, Hannah did not. But, Hannah was favored by Elkanah. This was a setup for rivalry rooted in jealousy.

1 Samuel 1:4-6
“When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give to Peninnah his wife and all her sons and daughters portions [of the sacrificial meat].

But to Hannah he gave a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had given her no children.

[This embarrassed and grieved Hannah] and her rival provoked her greatly to vex her, because the Lord had left her childless.”

Another verse that grabs my attention is I Samuel 2:25

“If one man wrongs another, God will mediate for him; but if a man wrongs the Lord, who shall intercede for him?”

This verse is an encouragement for those who are being wronged by man. It has been a comfort to me in my life, and I have experienced God's mediation in the midst of strife with men. He knows the hearts of all, thus making Him the Perfect Mediator!

When my sons were young, at times I needed to confront poor behavior. I remember telling them that God would hold me accountable, if I allowed them to do whatever their fallen nature desired. I told them the story of Eli and his profane sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

Today, was a holy mishmash of thoughts!

Lord, even a collection of seemingly unrelated thoughts can glorify You. I thank You for taking these thoughts and writing the principles of holiness on my heart. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ruth 1-4: Skilled and Caring for Others


While reading Ruth, I was mentally picking out the admirable character traits found in this amazing woman.  ;)

Another thing that I noticed was the meaning of the name Mahlon, Ruth's first husband.  Mahlon means invalid...interesting!  An invalid is "one who is incapacitated by a chronic illness or disability" as defined by

Could it be that Ruth's husband had some sort of chronic illness or disability?  If so, this may shed light on yet another positive character trait of King David's great-grandmother.  A person can't be self-centered and compassionless if loyally caring for an invalid husband.  Ruth may have had much more heartache then what is described in the Bible.  Of course, there is no way to substantiate my thoughts, but it is interesting to meditate on this alternative line of thinking.

I propose to you that Ruth was not only loyal, but compassionate and skilled in caring for others.  Maybe that's another reason why she insisted on staying with Naomi, in order to care for her.

Lord, I thank you for Ruth, for her character could have only been birthed by You!  Holy Spirit, please empower me with every character trait that brings glory to You.  In the name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Judges 19-21: Vile Indeed!!!

Vile indeed!

I have this thought written in my Bible,

“Lord, these chapters are so gross and disgusting. It shows me what human beings are capable of without a leader. Without a king, we fall to our sick human nature. Like animals, we follow every whim of instinct and desire, BUT You are our King, the King of Kings. You guide us and strengthen us. We don’t have to be a slave to our fallen nature, because You have given us a new nature! Thank You!!!”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Judges 16-18: Right in Our Own Eyes?

Judges 17:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes."

Last time, I wrote about Samson's eyes eventually causing his death. Today, we see that Israel as a whole was using their eyes (spiritual judgement) inappropriately.

Israel already had a King! God was their King!!! When the only Perfect, Powerful One in the universe rules, why would Israel need an earthly king?

Could it be that Israel, wanted to do things their own way rather than God's way? How often are we tempted to do things our own way?

My God and King...I want to do things Your way always! I trust in the power of Your Spirit to rise up in me every time I am tempted to go it alone. I know I can't live this life according to my own eyes. I must have Your wisdom, Your strength, Your guidance!!! I submit everything that I am to You, my King!!! In the name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Judges 13-15: Righteous Sight

The verses that stick out to me are those referring to Samson's eyes and how what he gazes upon eventually gets him into a heap of trouble.

Judges 14:2-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"And he came up and told his father and mother, I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.

But his father and mother said to him, Is there not a woman among the daughters of your kinsmen or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said to his father, Get her for me, for she is all right in my eyes."

Skipping ahead to chapter 16, Samson continues to use his sight to feed his flesh.

Judges 16:1
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"THEN SAMSON went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her."

Finally, Samson loses his eyes by the hand of his enemies, the Philistines.

Judges 16:21
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"But the Philistines laid hold of him, bored out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with [two] bronze fetters; and he ground at the mill in the prison."

But more is going on here then just the misuse and loss of physical sight. I believe Samson's spiritual sight also was being negatively affected as Samson misused his God-given gift of sight.

What was Samson thinking when he became involved with a harlot from Gaza or with Delilah?  Spiritual sight would have instructed him to steer clear of these women.

The story ends not only in the death of many Philistines, but also the death of Samson. I am convinced that if Samson would have made a covenant with his eyes, God would have used Samson in another way to bring destruction to Israel's enemies, one that didn't result in his death.

Job 31:1-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"I DICTATED a covenant (an agreement) to my eyes; *how then could I look [lustfully] upon a girl?

For what portion should I have from God above [if I were lewd], and what heritage from the Almighty on high?

Does not calamity [justly] befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity?"

By Your Spirit, teach us how to use Your God-given gift of sight, knowing that our gaze affects our soul and our spiritual sight. There are always consequences for unrighteousness and sin, full grown ends in death. Thank You, Jesus, for sending Your Spirit to guide and empower us and for taking the eternal consequences of sin through Your sacrifice on the cross. In Jesus' name, Your Beloved. AMEN!!!

*This goes both ways, ladies.  We also must use our sight righteously!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Judges 10-12: "Because I Trust You, I Will..."

Fleshly passion can overrule Holy Spirit sense causing a person a world of hurt and heartache.  Jephthah, judge of Israel, made a foolish vow to the Lord.  Be very careful if you interact with God with an "If You, then I" statement.

"If You heal my body of disease, then I will serve You all of my life."

"If You pay my bills, then I will tithe."

"If You give me peace, then I will go and be a peacemaker."

 Japhthah's "If You, then I" statement is written in Judges 11:30-32.

"And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, If You will indeed give the Ammonites into my hand,

Then whatever or whoever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites, it shall be the Lord's, and I will offer it or him up as a burnt offering.

Then Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight with them, and the Lord gave them into his hand."

This "passion without holy sense" vow ended poorly.  Japhthah's beloved daughter came through the doors of his house to meet him.  OUCH!!!  See Judges 11:34-40.

Let's be careful not to place conditions on our obedience, service, and devotion to the Lord.  Instead of  "If You, then I" statements, let's use "Because I trust You, I will" declarations.

"Because I trust You heal my body of disease (even if the disease still manifests), I will serve You all of my life."

"Because I trust You to help me pay my bills this month, I will tithe."

"Because I trust You have given me peace, I will go and spread that peace to others."

These statements declare the character of God and how we should respond to that character.

Maybe Jephthah should have said, 

"And Jephthah spoke to the Lord and said, Because I trust You will empower me to defeat Israel's enemies, the Ammonites, whatever or whoever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites, I shall consecrate to You, and I will bless and sing Your praises with him."

Lord, help me not to place conditions on my obedience, service, and devotion to You.  I am yours, period!  You are worthy of my whole life, because You are God!!!  In Jesus' name, Amen!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Judges 8 & 9: The Bramble Reaps

After murdering all of his seventy brothers, except Jotham, Abimelech weasels into the position of king. Jotham responds with the following prophetic parable.

Judges 9:8-15

“One time the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, Reign over us.

But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, by which God and man are honored, and go to wave over the trees?

Then the trees said to the fig tree, You come and reign over us.

But the fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go to wave over the trees?

Then the trees said to the vine (grapevine), You come and reign over us.

And the vine (grapevine) replied, Should I leave my new wine, which rejoices God and man, and go to wave over the trees?

Then all the trees said to the bramble, You come and reign over us.

And the bramble said to the trees, If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon."

Jotham knew that Abimelech’s treacherous ascent into kingship would not end well for his people. Abimelech’s reaped what he sowed. He killed his brothers and reaped his own demise.

Galatians 6:7

“Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.”

Lord, empower us to sow the fruit of Your Spirit into others, that we may reap more fruit as a consequence. The more fruit we manifest, the more we look like You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Judges 6 & 7: What God Sees

Judges 6:34a “But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself and took possession of him,…”

Gideon has been portrayed by himself as insignificant, and by implication, powerless. Yet, God sees, a “mighty man of [fearless] courage.” (Judges 6:12) God knows that when He empowers a person for battle, they will be courageous! They will be victorious!

Making Gideon’s story personal, I remember when a frightened little girl faced a mountain of adversity, an emotional battle with seemingly epic proportions, and a situation which isolated her from the support of man.

God took that little girl and not only clothed her with His Spirit but filled her with His Spirit, and that frightened little girl was transformed. It didn’t occur in a moment. It took years of filling and refilling and the process is still, in process, but no longer is that little girl frightened of adversity as she once had been. She has risen above, knowing that her peace and strength are authored by the Lord alone.

The only assignment remaining is to worship and obey. If the Lord leads her into battle, she knows by experience that He goes before her, and His glory is her rearguard. She comprehends the importance of hearing His voice and responding to His heart. Placing her soul at the feet of Jesus, she knows that He is all she needs for this life on earth and for the eternity to come.

I am that little girl.

Gideon, the little girl, and you are all vessels for His fearless courage! Stand firm in the battle that rages, climb that mountain with holy tenacity, be victorious, we have His Spirit making us into what God sees…a mighty warrior!!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Judges 3-5: Sing a Song of Passion

Judges 5:31

"So let all Your enemies perish, O Lord! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it rises in its might. And the land had peace and rest for forty years

I love You, Lord, and therefore I receive the promise to be like the sun in its mighty splendor. Your glory radiating through me draws others to You. What a privilege to shine for You, my Jesus!

I receive Your word to me for 2012, as a year of greater rest and peace. You are so good to me!!!

Sing a Song of Passion
by Beautiful Grace

Lord, make me like Deborah, a mother for Your people.
And like Jael, who destroys the evil in her tent.

Rise up in me, Oh Holy One of Israel.
Make me shine for You.
Empower me this day to face all that crosses my path
In righteousness and power and love.

May Your name be glorified as people contact me, Jesus.
You deserve all of the glory and all of the praise!!!

Touch each person reading these words
In ways that can’t be explained by this world.
Make a Spirit to spirit connection,
Causing eternal life to spring up
Affecting all those in its wake.

Jesus, Warrior King,
Your beauty is limitless.
Each facet of Who you are reveals the complexity of Your perfection,
Yet the singleness of heart in Your acts of devotion.

With every breath, I praise You.
No thing will silence the praises for my Beloved!!!

I will dance for You, here on this earth and into eternity.
My personal prayer, to dance my way from this earth and into heaven.
No pause, no stopping, no hesitation…
A great testimony to Your grace.

Everything around me vibrates with praise of the One Creator.
My soul is stirred for You, Jesus.

Your beloved bride awaits You.
Dance with me, my Teacher,
Gracefully gliding over the battles and cares of this world.
Victorious are we together, forever!

Emotion spilling from my eyes.
Gratitude welling up in my soul.
Unknown words of praise pouring over my tongue.

I am Yours, and You are mine!
Love beyond human comprehension,
A heavenly experience.

Never will I be the same.
Your touch changes me to the core of my being.
The strands of DNA, determining my physical characteristics,
Likened to You.

The glory seen in me, is You!
Beautiful Jesus,
No man is like You in Your holy perfection.
I am humbled that You choose me to love.

Holy passion whirls.
Tears flowing for the One I love,

Wow!  Writing those words weren’t my original intention, but how beautiful it is to speak (write) words of love for Jesus.

All for the love of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Judges 1 & 2: Prove Me, Lord

Judges 2:20-22
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; and He said, Because this people have transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and have not listened to My voice,

I from now on will also not drive out from before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,

That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk in it, as their fathers kept it, or not."

I think of the process of proving gold when reading about how the Lord allowed the Godless nations of the Promised Land to stand in the midst of Israel. Is the gold of their earthly vessels pure or impure?

This holy act of proving gives Israel chance after chance to choose to worship God single-heartedly. Each time Israel turns away from God, the fire of oppression causes them to turn back to the One and Only. Each time they turn away, more fire, more oppression, more purification. The proving continues...

Each temptation gives us the opportunity to choose God, to show Him we love Him more than the things of this world. When barraged with temptation, we often feel worn out (at least I have felt that way).  BUT each time I rely on the power of His grace and chose God, I become stronger. The next time temptation comes, it is easier to say, "NO!" In allowing temptation to face us, God shows His wisdom. He is training up strong sons and daughters...warriors!

Skipping ahead to Judges 3:1 & 2...

Judges 3:1-2
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"NOW THESE are the nations which the Lord left to prove Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not previously experienced war in Canaan;

It was only that the generations of the Israelites might know and be taught war, at least those who previously knew nothing of it."

Thank You for teaching me to know war, because without the battle, I cannot be a strong warrior for You. All praise be to God Who stands high and above the battles and temptations of this world. Raise me up to You as I fight the good fight here on earth! In the wonderful and powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Joshua 22-24: Matter is Our Witness

Joshua 24:25-27
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.

And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God; and he took a great stone and set it up there under an oak that was in [the court of] the sanctuary of the Lord.

And Joshua said to all the people, See, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words the Lord spoke to us; so it shall be a witness against you, lest [afterward] you lie (pretend) and deny your God.”

I heard an interesting teaching several years ago by David Van Koeverling about matter having a memory. The majority of stuff in this physical world is made of matter. Matter is composed of various configurations of atoms, linking up in most cases to form molecules. These atoms are not static. They have electrons whirling around them; the wooden desk upon which my computer sits is made of atoms linked up together as molecules. Even though my desk is stationary, the atoms/molecules that compose it are not. They are moving, vibrating, causing a disturbance in the atmosphere where they reside. Knowing this scientific theory helps me to understand just how a stone can hear and be a witness.

When we speak, air molecules (air is matter too) passes over our vocal cords, causing them to vibrate. This vibration forms a sound wave which travels through the air until it reaches a person’s external ear, which collects the waves and funnels them to the ear drum causing the small bones in our ears to vibrate. They, in turn, vibrate the cochlea, which causes vibration of the fluid inside it. The auditory nerve picks up this vibration of fluid and changes it into an electro-chemical form which travels to the brain for interpretation.

I believe the covenant words spoken by Joshua were a sound which traveled through the air to the stone, whose molecules’ vibrations were altered in response to those words. The configuration of the molecules in that moment were changed (electrons knocked out of place) and thus “remembered” what was said. The stone was a witness to the promises made that day. Wow!!!

Jesus, Your creation is awesome, because You are the Author of AWESOME!!! Empower us to use sound to shape creation in ways that are pleasing to You! Holy Spirit teach us. In the name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

This video was created by my son, Consecrated. It explains how we hear.

This video reveals the power of sound
The teaching of David Van Koeverling, start at 19:00.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Joshua 19-21: Apportioned Overflow

Joshua 19:9
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Out of the part assigned to the Judahites was the inheritance of the tribe of Simeon, for the portion of the tribe of Judah was too large for them. Therefore the tribe of Simeon had its inheritance in the midst of Judah’s inheritance.”

Here is an excerpt from an email I wrote several months ago…

“The tribe of Judah, which means praise, was given an inheritance by the Lord that was too large for them. They were overflowing with praise, and their brother tribe, Simeon, gained their portion from within the boundaries of Judah. Wouldn’t it be awesome if our lives were so full of praise that our brothers’ (or sisters’) praise was apportioned from our overflow?”

Joshua 21:44-45
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“The Lord gave them rest round about, just as He had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies withstood them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hands.

There failed no part of any good thing which the Lord had promised to the house of Israel; all came to pass.”

This verse touched my heart because at the end of 2011, I asked the Lord what was in store for 2012. He told me a greater rest than I have ever known. Yes, I receive. 2011 held such peace for me! 

Yes, Lord, take me even deeper into that deep pool of love with You!!! And touch my friends with this rest, the rest that sustains even in the midst of difficult circumstances, the peace that floats the soul, and the joy of the Lord, which is our strength! In the beautiful name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Joshua 16-18: Clear the Forest

The Jezreel Valley as Seen from Mt. Carmel

Used with permission from

Joshua 17:14-18
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"The tribe of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, Why have you given [us] but one lot and one portion as an inheritance when [we] are a great [abundant] people, for until now the Lord has blessed [us]?

Joshua replied, If you are a great people, get up to the forest and clear ground for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the Ephraim hill country is too narrow for you.

And Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and to Manasseh, You are a great and numerous people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot

But the hill country shall be yours; though it is a forest, you shall clear and possess it to its farthest borders; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong."

Looking at these verses symbolically, I see...the Josephites desiring to have their inheritance enlarged but being intimidated by the strength of man as represented by "iron chariots."  Joshua responds by assigning an extra lot, then encourages them by speaking these words of victory.  Though it is a forest (unknown territory to be claimed) you shall clear and possess it, and you shall drive out the Cannaanites.  

God's strength trumps the strength of man every time.  If we follow His lead and listen to His encouraging words, we will be victorious in claiming our inheritance as well.

Thank You, Lord, for Your encouragement and strength.  Although I am weak, with You, I am very strong!  AMEN!