The Work of Light

“Do not despair when you see darkness and godlessness all around you, for I tell you honestly that the deeper and more profound the darkness, the more prevalent your light. Shine on!” [From Small Straws in a Soft Wind by Marsha Burns (11/19/12)]

As I read this thought this morning, it dawned on me, what does light do except reveal the things hidden in the dark. The closer we are to God, the stronger His light will be both in and through us. Don’t be discouraged when you realize the godless places in and around you. That only means that Light is doing its job. If the godlessness revealed is within you, clean the house. If it is around you, ask the Lord what you are to do with regard to the things revealed. Do as He instructs and press forward in faith, realizing that God is on His throne and you are in His hands. Godlessness has no victory where Light resides.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

http://spiritlessons.com/Documents/Jesus_Pictures/Jesus_Christ_Pictures.htm

Word of God, Speak

 

“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens Me morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught]” (Isaiah 50:4, AMP).

Do you read the word of God, realizing and believing that it is breathed by Him through the men used to author it? Do you enjoy the privilege of allowing God to highlight passages for you that just fit your need in your day? This is one such verse for me.

It has been difficult in this season of dealing with my parent’s paranoia. It has caused me to be clinically depressed, which increases one’s sense if inadequacy in negative ways that hinder one’s ability to feel they can be of use to a Holy God. About two years ago, God highlighted this passage to assure me that I can trust Him still to speak to and through me to the need of others, despite this current pain in life. And today, as it comes up in my journal for review, He gives highlight within the highlight.

Another problem that comes with depression and health issues like fibromyalgia, and with having a lifestyle right now with hubbies work that is in opposition to my internal clock, is sleep issues. I am a morning person that loves rising early to spend time with my God, but all these issues work to hinder my ability to wake and have brain cells to function. It has been a source of struggle and subject for prayer since this new cycle of life began. This morning, as I read and thank God for its truth once again, He highlights promise for my need: HE wakens me. He wakens me morning by morning. He wakens my ear to hear.

I don’t have to fret over when I rise. I don’t have to struggle to hear. All I have to do is rise when I awake and be faithful to listen with earnest expectation and hope in God who promises it is He who wakens me, and He gives me an ear to hear.

Trust God today, beloved. Be faithful to be in His word at every opportunity. Know that He will highlight His word for you, just as he does for me and others.

“Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]. For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:11-12, AMP).

Word of God, Speak – Mercy Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8cJQMU9Q-U

The Miracle

Three Rejoicing
Uncle JD and Aunt Shirlen
Uncle JD and Aunt Maxine

These are my favorite pictures of Aunt Maxine, Uncle JD, and Aunt Shirley because of the miracle.

Planning a trip to the Dallas area to see family, hoping to take Aunt Maxine to see her brother while there, I call to set the plans with Uncle JD and Aunt Shirley. They are excited about the possibility, but at the same time, a little leery.

You see, Aunt Maxine was Schizophrenic and, more often than not in those days, she was in her own world, which was very difficult to see. So Aunt Shirley asked me to please not bring her if she was in bad shape. Assuring them I would comply with their wishes, the conversation ends, and the prayers begin.

Finally, the anticipated day arrives and I go to get Aunt Maxine. Though she is responsive to me, I can tell she is not in good shape mentally, but she is good enough to remember that we are supposed to go visiting and she wants to go. Looking to God, I say, “O Lord! What do I do? I promised to not bring her if she was bad like this.” Clearly to my mind, the Spirit of God says, “It will be okay. Go.” So we got in the car and headed to Tyler.

All the way there was silence. I tried to engage Aunt Maxine in conversation several times to no avail. So all the way there, I would cry out again, “O Lord, I promised not to bring her if she was bad, but I am trusting You.”

“It will be okay. Go.”

Arriving at Uncle JD’s, they head up the drive to meet us. As they do, the Light dawns. Aunt Maxine’s face lights up and, practically jumping out of the car, she greets Aunt Shirley, then Uncle JD with open arms and bright smiles. Thanking God and continuing in hope, we head into the house. The three of us watch Aunt Maxine in total amazement throughout the entire visit. She laughed and cut up like the Aunt Maxine I remember as a child. She kept up with the conversation and took part in it. She smiled with that old twinkle in her eyes. And we three stood watching in awe and amazement.

At the end of the visit, hating to leave the moment, we said our goodbyes and headed back to Grapevine. The minute we were out of their drive and on the road, my beloved Aunt disappeared back into her world, and we rode silently home. But my heart was not silent. It was filled with the glory of God.

I will miss you, Aunt Maxine, but I look forward to laughing with you, Uncle JD and Aunt Shirley again when we all meet together with other loved ones in the sweet by and by.

Shhhh….do you hear it? There is the sound of laughter and joy round the throne as these three beloveds and many others enjoy company in the worship of Glory. I am rejoicing with you, Aunt Maxine. No more silence, only joy, everlasting. Thank You, Father.

Thoughts from Isaiah – Chapter 8

A Believing Remnant

“The Lord of hosts—regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him]. And He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him]…” (Isaiah 8:13-14a, AMP).

In the New American Standard version of Isaiah 8:9-22, this passage is subtitled “A Believing Remnant.”  That phrase is vital in the days we see unfolding before us, for “the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now” (Romans 8:18-25, *22).

God is up to something in the earth. I see His Spirit moving, sweeping out to fight a battle for those who will believe; a battle that is already going in the heavenly realms as the forces of God fight the evil hosts for dominance. I see that things are going to get difficult in the days to come as we see in the earth what is already going on in the heavenly realm; and God is calling the remnant to stand. Are you numbered in His remnant?

“The Lord of hosts—regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety]….” The Remnant rise as they call God alone Holy and honor His holy name, regarding Him as our only hope of safety in these precarious days unfolding. Is that you? Is it me?

“…let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him]. …” What makes you quake as you watch and see what is going on in the earth? The thing we fear reveals where our faith and trust and reliance on God lies. If we quake at the news of wars, more wars, and the rumors of war, we will meltdown. Our eyes on the Lord with fear only in Him bring us His strength to stand and stand firm when the earth quakes before us. The remnant of God stand firm, by faith, believing.

And He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him]….” The remnant has reverential fear and trust in the Lord, believing Him, that He is working a good plan. We see it unfolding before us. And though we do not fully understand where we are going yet or what the outcome of this season will look like, we know that God, the Father, is in complete control, however out of control things look to the naked eye.

“…a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2).

By the Spirit of God we see Him at work especially when things seem at their worst. We look to the Lord, take our stance on faith in Him, stand at the ready to move as He dictates, allowing Him to fulfill His purpose through us, and watch to see what He will do. Beloved, are you in His remnant today?

Read Psalm 91 today and take heart, beloved.

A Call to The Elect

“For the Lord spoke thus to me with His strong hand upon me, and warned and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, ‘Do not call conspiracy [or hard, or holy] all that this people will call conspiracy [or hard, or holy]; neither be in fear of what they fear, nor make others afraid and in dread. The Lord of hosts—regard Him as holy and honor His holy name by regarding Him as your only hope of safety, and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him. And He shall be a sanctuary, a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him; but He shall be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Isaiah 8:11-14, AMP; brackets removed for easier reading).

We are in precarious days as a nation and indeed, the whole world, facing many and diverse challenges. As I watched things unfold over these weeks of the election season, the Sandy storm thundering its bolt upon our land, God has spoken many things to my heart.

He often speaks warning to me of things to come, and through these weeks of waiting and watching for Him, He again warns of difficult days ahead. The true election of our day was and is “God” or “not God.” Not only was that our true choice where our vote for a President was concerned, but it is our true choice with every decision and every potential path throughout every day of our lives. As for the Presidential election, the days ahead will reveal our vote.

One thing God is making clear to me as I consider all He is revealing is that I am not here to cause further dread, calling things a conspiracy, giving way to paranoia. I am not to give focus to the hard things ahead, or call things ‘holy’ that this world calls ‘holy.’ Instead my cry is to the possessed of God, those truly belonging to and surrendered to Him. My cry is a call to look up; look up to the Lord, your shelter and strong stay; and look down, look down to your feet and check your stance. Where are you standing on this issue of God and His ways. “…Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you…” (2 Peter 1:1-10).

Our stance on the issue of God and His way is vital to our nation and to each individual professing faith or no faith in Jehovah—Yeshua. “The Lord of hosts—regard Him as holy and honor His holy name by regarding Him as your only hope of safety, and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him.” I believe we are a nation heading into the winds of adversity right now, but God is our help and hope. “…And He shall be a sanctuary, a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him….”

“…but He shall be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” At the time of the writing of Isaiah 8, Israel and Judah were failing to honor and follow God. They were coming under the disciplining hand of God and Assyria was raining down on them. God allows such adversity in the lives of those who are His chosen, who refuse to heed His instruction that is given for our good, His glory, and the fulfilling of His purposes.

The days ahead will call each individual to make our choice. Will we look to and stand in the shade of the Mountain of God? Or will we look to and follow the dictates of the winds of adversity coming down off the hills of false hope?

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler” (Psalm 91:1-4, AMP).

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If you would like to join a prayer force as we watch to see the Lord’s opinion of the recent election, join us on Facebook at Living Worshipers (http://www.facebook.com/LivingWorshipersPage?ref=hl).

 

Rejoice!

I love this picture depicting the character of Christ. He was a man of many sorrows, yes. He had a lot of heartache come to His life. But I do not believe He was a sorrowful man. I believe He laughed often, for He lived the Word of God and God’s word says that a joyful heart (laughter) is good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22).

 Our nation is going through hard days right now. We have a lot of heartache come into our lives. But we, too, as God’s people, need to take care that the sorrows coming at us do not make us sorrowful people.

God’s word in Philippians encourages us to live lives of rejoicing in the Lord. When we look at our problems in life, when we focus on the struggle, the hardship, or evil’s progress, we are crushed and destroyed. It is vital in these days that our focus be on God, and our hope be strengthened by His every word that tells us who He is at all times, even when life seems hard.

Paul says it. For our encouragement, I repeat it; “Rejoice! And again I say, ‘Rejoice’.”

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“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle, forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:4-9, NASB; See also the AMP version).

Worship: Positions From the Heart – Prostration

“So I fell down and lay prostrate before the Lord forty days and nights because the Lord had said He would destroy you” (Deuteronomy 9:25).

Prostration: laid out, face down, in complete and utter surrender, laying one’s life down to be had by the One before whom we fall down.

Pastor Marshall at my church tells of when he finally surrendered to God, receiving Christ as Savior. He tells of going for months and months, unable to get through a service at church upright. He was so overcome by gratitude to God for saving him that he prostrated himself, feeling his absolute destitution without God and totally surrendering himself to Him.

Prostration is the greatest form of worship I can imagine. It again begins in the heart, for true prostration before our Holy God must be wholehearted and sincere. It pours forth from a heart that knows our lives belong to Him and He will do with us what He will. Our surrender and cooperation, in complete agreement with Him, is necessary to the heart that prostrates itself, laying life and limb before His throne. If ever we need to prostrate ourselves in complete surrender to God, laying our lives out before Him, it is now.

Our nation and indeed the world is in dire need of God’s work in our midst. God can do more in and through one person that is totally and completely surrendered to Him, than a thousand can do without Him. We want to impact our world for the glory of God and see Him victorious in our situations and circumstances? Fall down before Him in complete and utter surrender, realizing, “I cannot, but You can. I cannot unless You do.” Surrender all to Him and see Him high and lifted up in you.

Take Me In – Kutless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vG9Cx767mc

Worship: Positions From the Heart – Throughout our day

“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).

Part of worshiping God is telling others, especially our children, of His precepts and of our experiences with Him. God is alive, but people who do not know Him are too often blinded to His existence. It is important that we remember to praise Him and tell of Him throughout our day to day lives. This passage in chapter 6 of Deuteronomy speaks of four strategic worship stances: sitting, walking, laying down, and rising up.

Sitting to me pictures relationship. We often sit when we visit with someone. Giving them our focus and taking every opportunity to speak trust in God into their situations is a vitally needed form of praise and worship.

Walking depicts comradery, walking together through life. We all know in this life we do not always see eye to eye. But we can learn to walk together even in our differences and to share God’s presence and how He reveals Himself to us as we walk together for His glory and to His purpose.

Laying down: I see rest. We best worship and honor God when we enter His rest. Too often, in our moments of rest, this life, its struggles, things of the past and worries of the future hinder our laying down times. Such hinders our testimony of God, keeping others blinded to His reality, when they see us as stressed and uptight as they are. It is the greatest form of worship when we can go through this life that can often be difficult, facing those challenges from a stance that is rested in Him.

Rising up: when life does knock us down, what greater worship can there be than to get back up again and carry on with faith in God.

Worship is not a here a little, there a little, word of mouth and sing along action. It is the day in and day out living with earnest expectation and hope that is rested on the reality of our loving, life-giving God.

Here With Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74CNUExD4I8&list=PLFF54F40EEBC31260&index=1&feature=plpp_video