Awakened in my Faith!

“Aroused by faith, Moses, when he had grown to maturity and became great…”  Hebrews 11:24

It is interesting that Moses had to be aroused by faith.  The word “arouse” means to be awakened; to be stirred up and awakened from slumbering.  We can get so consumed and overwhelmed with the struggles of life that we become discouraged to the point that our spirit slumbers, or shuts down and sleeps.

When you give in and are overcome by discouragement, you have a slumbering spirit.  An awakened spirit keeps you focused on what God is doing; even in the midst of trouble, you see the light.

There is so much bad news today that many are overtaken with discouragement. We need to ask God to awaken our spirit. All those who are called to be a modern day “Moses” need to wake up. Those who are called to be a modern day “Elisha” or “David” all need to wake up and take their post. It is not a time for some to sleep and some to work; it is a time for everyone to wake up and do what they were born to do. We were born in this time in history for a reason. It is time for everyone to face this reality and embrace who they are, and what they were called to do. (Romans 13:11)

Prayer: Wake me up Lord – I want to discover my divine calling, and know what I am to do in the work of the Kingdom.”

Rend Your Heart

Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts;
    they have turned aside and gone away.
They do not say to themselves,
    ‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains in season,
    who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’
Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
    your sins have deprived you of good.
– Jeremiah 5:22-25

In September, the piercing truth of those verses above were devastating to my soul.  All of the first 20 or so chapters of Jeremiah were that way for me.  The back and forth between the Lord and Israel, and the prayers and pleas of Jeremiah were intense and raw.  The reality and how close these situations hit home in my heart was overwhelming.  Yet there was so much truth in this book of Jeremiah that I continued reading chapter upon chapter non-stop for a few days while the Lord deeply rebuked, convicted and comforted me during that time.

My emotions have been all over the place since then.  I would have periods of dropping into the depths of shame and despair, end up wailing on the floor and in my spirit with major outward expressions of grief and repentance, only to have the Lord lift me up and cradle me in His arms in greater comfort and peace.  We would wrestle for a while many times before I would ultimately accept what He was pouring out over me.  His incessant amazing love continues to prevail – far beyond my finite understanding… and I am so thankful!

In a way, back in September was probably one of the first real times that I began to actively “fear God” and those deep seeds were beginning to be sown into my spirit.  The first part of a prayer from Jeremiah in chapter 10 was something I felt very strongly connected to and it became a prayer of my own:

I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
Correct me, Lord, but only with justice—
not in your anger,
lest you reduce me to nothing.
– Jeremiah 10:23-24

If there is one thing that I now can comprehend more deeply than I have previously… it is that the Lord is still and always faithful.  He answered my prayer and has not corrected me in His anger, but with justice… He has not reduced me to nothing, though the correction and discipline is still very painful.

I’ve been in a season of rending since September.  It’s also a time of correction and discipline from my Father, but rending has been my response to it (that is, after the initial stubborn resistance).  I couldn’t fully describe what kind of season it’s been until last week when I read the book of Joel.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever paid attention to the word “rend” before – but I immediately noticed and began to digest it.

“Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
– Joel 2:12-13

To me, this goes along with Jeremiah and all that the Lord has been bringing me through.  It is only by His grace that He’s brought me to this place and it’s incredible!  This is definitely not a place I would ever be able to conjure up for myself.

When I was in rebellion, not truly fearing Him but had elevated MAN and people above Him by literally fearing THEM and letting others’ dictate my life instead of His Kingship… I was bitter, resentful, and in constant chaos.  Yet those were just the effects of my disobedience – the deeper sin and issue.  I was blinded by so many things though, and in the Lord’s faithfulness, He opened my heart and eyes to more of His truth.

Rend means to “tear”.

I’ve used the term “fillet” in regards to the heart before, and it’s along those same lines… filleting the heart open before the Lord is necessary for the relationship.  But I’m really liking the “rending” term too!  Filleting is a cutting process that often uses a sharp utensil of some kind.  So in a sense it’s a more sophisticated method… while tearing is using your hands and a much more crude method.  It’s using what you already have access to – something raw and natural.  The process is unrefined and desperate… more human.  Maybe that doesn’t really make sense and I’m putting more thoughtfulness into that than is necessary.  But I tend to observe things that way though and process more allegorically so it feels important to me.

From my limited understanding, the culture of the Jewish people and many other Eastern cultures of Biblical times was to tear their garments when upset or in mourning.  Just remembering from off the top of my head (I’d have to do further investigating to be totally sure), I believe plenty of prophets and other people mentioned in the Bible tore their clothes when hearing devastating or upsetting news or in repentance of their sins, etc.  This was a surface expression of how upset they were – an outward show of their deeper emotions.

Anyone can tear their garments and put on an outward show though, even without the deeper things going on… if you pay closer attention the verse in Joel, it is so clear in requesting a rending (tearing) of the heart and NOT the garments.  In other words and how I take that, tear things deeper and not just superficially or on the surface.

Each of us has the capacity to deceive ourselves… we can go about our lives with an outward superficial show of repentance or appear as if we are fearing the Lord, when in reality and in the deeper parts of our souls – we are not.  When we’re being disobedient or deceptive in the deeper parts of our hearts, we might can successfully fool everyone around us, but we can’t fool the One who created us and who has everything laid out wide open before Him.  That’s why we have to trust God, and not our own selves.

We all need a time of heart rending before the Lord… if we’re opposed to it and satisfied to just carry on with our superficial lives, not trembling in His presence, being stubborn and rebellious, not returning to Him with our whole hearts… we will bring the Lord and ourselves more grief.  The Lord knows what is best and good for us… that’s why He’s gracious and compassionate, abounding in love and slow to anger!  But He is also JUST and that’s why correction and rebuke is necessary and good.

We each need to wake up and be sensitive to pay attention to His heart, because it’s typically after a good rebuking and responsive rending that our hearts can be changed since we’ve become open, broken, and soft enough to listen to Him… I feel like the Lord begins to reveal Himself more clearly in that time and it’s all in preparation for the Day of His return.  A great, dreadful, amazing day that will be!  We need to be ready for it and not grow cold, weary, or lose heart.

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.
– Malachi 4:1-2

I don’t know about you but I want to fear God, take His correction, be obedient and rend my heart… returning to the Lord, revering His name, so I can be with Him in eternity and see that amazing day of Jesus’ return.  I don’t want anything of this world, my flesh and sin nature, Satan’s schemes or whatever to detour me from obtaining the prize of Jesus and being with Him forever.  Holy Spirit, start revival!

He is My High Tower

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.    Psalm 18:1-2

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10

Everyone needs a place where they can feel secure and safe. In Psalms 18:1-2 the Psalmist describes the Lord as a fortress, a place to go for safety from an enemy. The Lord is also a high tower. A high tower is high off the ground where you can see what is going on all around you. Some times we need to get in to the high tower, a shelter, a safe place. In a high tower we can look at the situations of life from a different perspective, a higher perspective. In biblical times a watchman manned every high tower.

Today we can get above the situations that we face in life and seek the Lord. We can also share concerns with others who are devoted to watch and pray like a watchman.

The Path: Find a safe place to share your heart and receive prayer from others.


Worship is the Key

Surely or only goodness, and mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord (and His presence) shall be my dwelling place. Psalm 23:6

The Psalmist David devoted his life searching for the presence of God.  And he found what he was in search of.  Once he found God’s presence he never wanted to leave.  He wrote many times of his desire to dwell in the presence of the Lord all the days of his life.  He said that being in the presence of God was a dwelling place, a house that you know when you enter into His presence.

David loved to be in the presence of God, in the house where the glory dwells. David was a worshiper and he discovered that as he worshiped God, he would experience His presence.  He found the key that unlocks the door to the house of God.  The key is worship.

God inhabits praise and worship.  Worship builds the house, and God comes down and fills the house.  Where there is praise and worship He is present. As a worshiper David built a house for the presence of God. He discovered he could be in God’s presence all the days of his life as he worshiped Him. Worship therefore is the key to dwelling continually in His presence.

Lord I love the habitation of your house the place where your glory dwells. Psalm 26:8

One thing I have asked of the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord (in his presence) all the days of my life…Psalm 27:4

The Right Path:  If you are in search of His presence and desire to dwell in His house then worship and sing praises in your heart to the Lord. Put on a CD in your heart first thing in the morning and sing and worship the Lord all day. You will discover as David did that you can dwell in the house of the Lord (in His presence) all the days of your life.

The Signs of His Presence

“…The sign of your presence; You make the places where morning and evening have birth shout for joy” (Psalm 65:8).

Have you ever traveled down an unfamiliar road, earnestly looking for a sign that says you are on the right track?  I have.   It was such a relief to finally see the sign and to know that I was going in the right direction.

I would like to share with you a wonderful discovery that I saw in God’s Word this morning.  In Psalm 65, David said that we can see with our own eyes a sign of the presence of God.  It is obvious from many other Psalms, such as the Twenty Third Psalm, that David liked the beauty of God’s creation.  He gained revelation of God from observing all He had created. I like to follow David’s journeys and gain insight from his Psalms.

We all enjoy reading books and magazines that capture the beauty of rolling hills and beautiful gardens, as well as colorful birds and grazing flocks on the hill side.  But, David saw something different; what he saw as he looked at the beauty of creation was the sign of God’s Presence.  In Psalm 65:6-13, he says: “God’s Presence is in this place.”

In Psalms 65:8, David describes a special place he has discovered where the morning and evening give birth.   In this special place, he could see the beautiful sun rise and enjoy the beginning and the ending of each new day.

In verse 9 he says he sees God’s presence in the well watered ground that has been enriched with rain from heaven.  He goes on to describe how the well watered furrows and ridges are covered with soft green grass and abundant vegetation.

Then in verse 12 he says he watches and listens as the rolling hills actually come alive as they sing for joy.   In the last verse he says, “The meadows are clothed with flocks and the valleys are covered with grain; they shout for joy and sing together.”

Look all around and you can see, hear, and feel His presence in the beauty of His creation