letsloveothers

Love one another as Jesus has loved us.

Light In The Darkness

Blog Logo

MedalofHonorAF

 

The Lord honored King David by singling him out as a man after His own heart. 

Why?

King David practiced repentance on an ongoing basis. Allowing the Lord’s truth— His righteousness to guide and encourage him. Which enabled David to perform great feats that glorified the Lord. 

*****

The adolescent David confronted, defeated and beheaded the Philistine, Goliath. 

Almost ten feet tall, Goliath taunted King Saul’s army for forty days. Every morning and evening Goliath would shout.

“Why are you all coming out to fight? I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! 

I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” 1 Samuel 17:8-10 

For forty days no one had the courage to accept Goliath’s challenge. Not a single man, including King Saul stepped forward. 

One day while delivering provisions to his three brothers and the captain of King Saul’s army. David heard Goliath shout his obscene challenge.

David was indignant. How dare a heathen speak such words to God’s chosen people!

David boldly approached King Saul and announced. 

“Don’t let anyone be discouraged by him. Your servant will go and fight this Philistine!”

But Saul replied, “You can’t go fight this Philistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.”

David answered Saul, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock. I went after it, struck it down and rescued the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur. Strike it down and kill it.

Your servant has killed lions and bears. This uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them for he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”  1 Samuel 17:32-37

*****

David, unlike his fellow Hebrews believed the stories of old.

Believed the Lord is my Strength and my Song, and He has become my Salvation. Exodus 15:2 

Believed He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear nor be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

Believed you must decide once and for all to worship Him with all your heart and soul. And to obey everything in The Book of God’s Law. Deuteronomy 30:10

David’s years of solitude shepherding his father’s flock of sheep trained him well.

The lack of human interactions freed him to interact with his heavenly Father at will. 

Dependence on others was replaced with absolute trust in the Lord. 

By loving and caring for the sheep, he learned to set aside his own personal wants and needs.

The wisdom gained in solitude while shepherding sheep would serve King David well as he shepherded God’s people. He would unite the Hebrew tribes into a strong monarchy, the most powerful and blessed nation of that time. 

King David would also pen poignant prose and poetry. Many of the Psalms are his. Uncensored and transparent, they depict the human condition with all its frailties and failings. Yet with God’s grace and mercy, a life of Kingdom significance is attainable. 

IF 

The foundation of your life is the Lord’s righteousness. 

Believe God’s desire is to help you.

The Lord will not compete for your attention. He must be the focal point of you life. Taking precedence over everyone and everything.

You must…

Learn to silence the desires of your flesh so you can say yes to the Lord’s purposes and plan for your life.

Adopt a worldview based on God’s righteousness— His truth.

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature. Created to be like God— truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:22-24

Believe you can hear the Lord’s voice.

Spend quality time with the Lord in the place called solitude. Here the Lord will teach you how to quiet your mind and emotions. So you hear only His voice.

A voice that is never silent because the heavens are telling of the glory of God. Their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night-to-night reveals knowledge. Psalm 19:1-2

The law of the Lord is perfect. Restoring the soul.

The testimony of the Lord is sure. Making wise the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right. Rejoicing the heart.

The commandment of the Lord is pure. Enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean. Enduring forever.

The judgments of the Lord are true. They are righteous altogether. Psalm 19:7-9

Many fail to hear God’s voice because of their lifestyles. They believe the lie that solitude is something to be avoided, pitied or condemned. Instead they choose to…

Fill their environments with noise because the quiet makes them uneasy.

Settle for relationships devoid of affection and respect so they are never alone.

Treat illnesses with medication instead of rest.

But none of these satisfy the hunger in their souls. A hunger only satiated when you are actively building the Kingdom of God. 

Daily you are assaulted by a multitude of voices. All clamoring for your attention.

But until you learn to hear the voice of the Lord and ignore the voices of this sinful world. You will be vulnerable to the devil’s schemes. Led astray from your Kingdom destiny.

Jesus understood the importance of solitude in spiritual transformation. Prior to beginning His ministry, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. Where water, food and people were absent from His existence for forty days and nights.

During this time Jesus learned how to deny the wants and needs of His flesh by depending upon God’s grace.

Yes, even Jesus had to learn how to overcome the desires of the flesh so His Spirit could grow.

But if Jesus was the Son of God, this should have been automatic— effortless.

Not true! Like us His flesh had a mind of its own. Jesus knew firsthand that the Spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak. He was well acquainted with the pressures and problems that still plague mankind today.

If…

Jesus the Son of God had to continually keep His eyes focused on His Father.

Rely upon His Father’s grace and not His own willpower.

Re-energize His spirit by soaking in His Father’s presence so He would not grow weary or yield to sin.

Then disciples of Christ must also do this.

Only in the place of solitude— separation from the world will you learn the art of surrender. Joyfully posting the “Please Disturb” sign on your heart. Inviting the Lord into every facet of your life.

Repentance becomes not only an act of spiritual maturity but intellectual enlightenment.

GO DEEPER

When you initially gave the Lord permission to be the master of your heart. Did you think you would have to be courageous?

Yes, it takes courage to be a disciple of Christ because the Lord’s thoughts and ways are not always man’s. This truth creates tension within your soul and with your fellow man. 

What desire or God-given promise remains unfulfilled?

Spend time with the Lord in the place called solitude. Wait until He speaks to you about this desire or promise. Write down whatever He says.

(Excerpt from I AM The Change Maker)

I AM The Change Maker e-book

I AM The Change Maker pdf

Blog Logo

Two Sided Heart

Anyone who has attended church for any period of time has heard stories about David, the tenderhearted warrior. 

David, the adolescent would-be-king of Israel who defeated the giant, Goliath, while the army of Israel looked on in disbelief and envy. 

David, immortalized in song as having slain ten thousand men. 

David, who authored many of the psalms that lovingly extolled Papa’s majesty, trustworthiness and faithfulness. 

David, recognized by Papa as a man after His own heart. Doing all that was asked of him. 

David, eternally inscribed in the annals of eternity as the forefather of Jesus.

By dying to self, David’s heart was fiercely and passionately surrendered to Papa. 

You too can have like David’s. A heart that… 

Refuses to embrace the culture’s definition of reality. Those values, priorities and dreams that contradict Papa’s truth. 

Worships only Christ, the Son of the living God. 

Has no illusions of grandeur. Understanding that Papa is sovereign, and His Kingdom is not a democracy. 

Gratefully acknowledges Christ as the Kingdom’s sovereign King.

Your King is waiting for you, His loyal subject to kneel before Him. 

If you are wise, you will re-gift your life— your heart, relationships, finances, dreams, everything! Wrap these gifts in love and gratefulness and lay them at the feet of King Jesus. In return, He promises to treat each gift as His own.

And if it is in the hands of King Jesus, satan cannot touch it! 

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death.

Philippians 3:10 (New Living Translation)

Blog Logo

Evil's Birthplace

Blog Logo

light-beam-3398105_640

jplenio @ pixabay

Papa is the God of second chances. Desiring to forgive us, His prodigal children. The parable of the prodigal son illustrates this truth. 

A man had two sons. 

The younger son told his father,“I want my share of your estate now before you die.”

So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land. There he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him, but no one gave him anything.

When he finally came to his senses. He said to himself. 

“At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.’”

So he returned home to his father. While he was still a long way off his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.

His son said to him,“Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.”

But his father said to the servants, “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast. For this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.”

So the party began.

Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home. He heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on.

“Your brother is back,” he was told, “and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.”

The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied. 

“All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. In all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet, when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes. You celebrate by killing the fattened calf!”

His father said to him, “Look dear son. You have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!” Luke 15:11-32 

In this parable, the man actually had two prodigal sons. The younger son typifies the repentant believer and the older son a religious hypocrite. Both squandered their father’s wealth of love on satisfying personal desires.

Unlike his older brother, the younger son eventually realized his self-righteousness was ugly. Unfulfilling. Unkind. Abandoning his pride. He returned home to seek his father’s forgiveness.

Which prodigal son are you?

Do you seek your heavenly Father’s will for your life? Or chase the approval of man?

Do you invest your time, talents and resources into the building of the Lord’s Kingdom? Or are you building your kingdom?

Do you obey the Lord’s truth? Or is the god of this world– satan and his doctrines of lies your worldview?

Do you trust the Lord? Remaining within the boundaries He has established for your life? Or do you devise a “Plan B”? Taking matters into your own hands when things are not progressing as quickly as you desire.

Do you receive the Lord’s grace unconditionally? Or do you try to manipulate Him with your works of self-righteousness?

Do you walk in peace and joy even in the midst of a storm? Or are fear and hopelessness your sailing companions?

Do you remain steadfast and persevere until the enemy of your soul, satan retreats in defeat? Or do you wave the white flag of surrender when life becomes uncomfortable? Unpredictable? Prayers remain unanswered?

Do you seek the Lord even when He is silent? Or do you retreat into your little world of self-righteousness for comfort and security?

Why did the older prodigal son’s heart remain cold and hard? His pride— self-righteousness created a heart of stone. His heart was incapable of graciously receiving his father’s unconditional love.

He refused to admit that knowledge makes us proud of ourselves. While love makes us helpful to others. In fact, people who think they know so much don’t know anything at all. But God has no doubts about who loves Him. 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 

Yes, all believers were once foolish. Disobedient. Deceived. Slaves to our desires and various pleasures too. We were spending our lives in evil behavior and jealousy. We were disgusting, and we hated other people.

But when God our Savior’s kindness and love appeared. He saved us because of His mercy. Not because of righteous things we had done. 

He did it through the washing of new birth and the renewing by the Holy Spirit. Which God poured out upon us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. So, since we have been made righteous by His grace. We can inherit the hope for eternal life. Titus 3:3-7 

Do not be misled. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father. Who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us His true word. And we, out of all creation became His prized possession. James 1:16-18 

GO DEEPER

You may think that the situation is hopeless, but God gives us more grace when we turn away from our own interests. That’s why Scripture says, “God opposes the proud, but He pours out grace on the humble.”

So submit yourselves to the one true God and fight against the devil and his schemes. If you do, he will run away in failure.

Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. 

Wash your hands. You have dirtied them in sin. 

Cleanse your heart because your mind is split down the middle— your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.

Now is the time to lament, to grieve, and to cry. Dissolve your laughter into sobbing and exchange your joy for depression.

Lay yourself bare, facedown to the ground in humility before the Lord, and He will lift your head so you can stand tall. James 4:6-10 

With God’s grace how can you resist the devil the next time he attacks?

What is one thing you can do today to strengthen your relationship with Papa?

Is there sin in your life?

Are you building Papa’s Kingdom or yours?

If you answered yes to either question, spend some quality time with Papa. Allow Him unconditional access to your heart. 

 

 

(Excerpt from I AM COMMANDER IN CHIEF) 

I AM Commander In Chief e-book

I AM Commander In Chief pdf

Blog Logo

%d bloggers like this: