God Purposed Justice

Looking at several scripture passages today I ran across Isaiah 30:15-18 where God enlightened my heart regarding His idea of justice.

“For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing, And you said, ‘No, for we will flee on horses,’ Therefore you shall flee! ‘And we will ride on swift horses,’ Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift. One thousand will flee at the threat of one man; You will flee at the threat of five, Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top And as a signal on a hill. Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him” ~ NASB.

Wow. God desires us and wants to provide for and protect us, but He will not force himself on us. God’s justice is this, if we choose to flee His will and purpose for us, He allows us to experience life without His presence and care, suffering all the consequences of running from Him, His will, and His way. When we trust Him, desire and seek Him, following His lead, His justice is that we have Him, His presence, His provision, His power, His protection. All that He is He justly gives to those who seek Him.

Beloved, every storm tossed moment in life is opportunity to choose. Will we seek and follow God, or will we run our own way and leave the path He has for us? Every road upon which He leads us to traverse has one purpose, that we may know Him. As we discover Him on the road, we learn of His ways for us. He leads us safely through every storm when we trust Him and choose to follow His instruction to us.

“Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left” ~ Isaiah 30:21.

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, “No, that’s not the road we want!”’” ~ Jeremiah 6:16, NLT

Do you fully believe and trust that God is with us and for us at all times, in all seasons, and in every place upon which we put our feet, having a good purpose in all things we walk through in this life? Do you know that He desires us and His greatest desire for us is Himself? Is God your greatest desire, keeping Him of first, most vital need and necessity, so much so that you will trust Him in the fire, knowing that as long as you have Him, all is good and very good? These are vital questions we must answer and make firm within self today, for the days are storm-tossed and we will be lost at sea if we are not standing with Him. Say “Yes” to God and see what the Lord will do.

Thank You Father. We need YOU. Instruct our hearts and help us to follow Your instruction. In Jesus, amen.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification… that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5.

The Heart-Song of Godly Promotion: Introduction

“There is no security on this earth, only opportunity” ~ Neal Caffrey character on the TV program, White Collar.

Several weeks ago, reading Philippians, I noticed something that caught my attention in a deeper way. I noticed the example of Christ with new understanding. Mulling over these passages in these weeks, while finishing the study of life at God’s side, asking Father the direction He desires we go as we look at these verses, my heart landed on one word: Promotion.

“For this reason also, GOD HIGHLY EXALTED HIM, and BESTOWED ON HIM THE NAME which is above every name” ~ Philippians 2:9 (read Philippians 1-2).

Promotion has long been a big word in this world. Many people desire to come up higher in life, be a recognizable Promotion03somebody, do something big, and find security in the journey. More and more in the Christian community that one word rises up within bodies of believers. Many Christians watch for their promotion to higher ground in every area of life. They work toward it, long for it, some with undying resolve, others stumbling away from faith when their expectations go unfulfilled.

As I look at the example of Christ and think of the example of Paul, the author who penned the Philippians letter, I wonder if we are looking for promotion in all the wrong places and all the wrong faces. In light of the understanding flowing to me as I ponder these truths, “There is no security on this earth, only opportunity,” resounds with a wisdom that humbles me.

As I consider this saying from a secular crime show in light of the spiritual wisdom unfolding to my heart from God’s word, I can only hope and pray to write these thoughts with a clarity that helps us all to know the true prosperity God desires for us. As we share together this journey to discovering “this reason” that brings promotion, feasting on these words we will cover in Philippians, I pray we each desire and find the promotions in life that come from God alone.

I have a problem that sometimes loses friends.

I am saddened today as a result of losing a friend because of my problem. Here is my problem: I believe fully and completely every word within these covers…

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The Bible of Christianity is not a “politically correct” book in our day. Essentially, it says this…

“There is Only ONE”:

  • One TRUE God
  • One Savior, the Son of God, Jesus
  • One Spirit who unites believer to Father, Son, and each other for all eternity
  • One truth
  • One Righteousness
  • One pathway to heaven
  • One gate to the…
  • One kingdom of God
  • One Door to the Father of all eternity
  • ONE and only ONE

I believe these things, not because my momma told me to; not because of the circles of people I run with; not even only because it is what I choose to believe. I believe this word…

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…because I have experienced Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a way that compels my belief and strengthens my faith through the experience. It is what gives me courage to speak up and risk rejection, persecution, and alienation.

This word instructs me to understand that the greatest love is to deny fear of losing a friend so-as-to share these things I believe true with those who I do not know have ever heard; and to encourage the faith of those who struggle to believe. From my standpoint, the greatest act of hate is to remain silent about this faith I possess in this truth I believe because, from my understanding of these pages, there is only ONE.

If the Atheist is correct and the truth is, “There is no God, no heaven, and no hell,” we don’t have to worry about it. One day we will die, turn to dust, and be none the wiser that we were following the wrong truth. If the Pantheist is correct and there are many Gods and many ways to heaven, we don’t have to fret. We are each on a path and will meet up in eternity. However, if this word is the ONE…

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…dare I be silent when given opportunity to say, “I believe…because…”?

It is my understanding that every devil behind every false belief has one goal: to keep as many as possible away from the ONE way, truth, and life.

As one who truly and fully believes the God of Holy Bible is ONE and only ONE, showing us the way, the truth, and the life, I cannot stand silent about what I know. I try never to push my beliefs on others, though my excitement and commitment may come across that way. Pushing would do no good, for God says we each must choose. However, I do have to share my beliefs as opportunity comes, for to do less is to participate in someone being separated from ONE for all eternity. If there is no interest in what I share, they made their choice and I move on to love them anyway, being the best friend I can be in the situation. If my sharing my faith insults another, I hate the insult, but I love the person too much to fail to share what I can.

One of Elvis Presley’s brothers spoke at a conference I attended. There he shared complaining to Elvis about his girlfriend continually telling him about Jesus and trying to get him to go to church with her; to which Elvis’ reportedly replied, “Brother, if someone loves you enough to tell you about Jesus, they REALLY love you!”

If my sharing plants a seed of truth that God later uses to help even one person find the path, I win a brother or sister. For me, as one believing the things I believe to be true, remaining silent is the true “hate crime”. In light of this, though I hate losing friends, I make no apologies for the faith I believe and proclaim because I truly love each one I am privileged to meet.

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In the Light ~ Step by Step

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life’” ~ John 8:12, NASB.

Each year God gives me a focal scripture to meditate on and grow in throughout the year. John 8:12 is the verse for this year, and, wow, what freedom is coming to me that is so very badly needed in this season of my life.

Not only is my life not exactly what I pictured it being when I was younger and thinking forward to my elder years, but there are constant challenges coming at me to hinder plans made in each day. Here, in this verse, God instructs me to trust Him to light each step before me and not fret the paths that do not light up and make themselves accessible to me the way I think they should.

That brings to heart another scripture that says, “The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Here is something I am learning: disappointment, discouragement, and depression that comes when life gets in the way of our plans comes from failure to trust God, who directs our steps. God never promised a perfect life here in this world. Stuff happens, trouble comes, just as promised by Jesus, and the storms of life throw us off the course we lay out for ourselves (John 16:33).

God is never surprised or disturbed by the storms. He knows what is coming and why He allowed it. He has plans and purposes in 082all things. The true question is do I trust GOD to know the plan, lead the way, and work His purpose out in me, especially when the seas around me rage? Do I believe His presence and power to work the good He desires when the path around me is dark, shadowed, and gloomy, and all I can see is the Light that brightens my next footfall?

This is one thing I am learning as I focus my heart on the wisdom of John 8:12: Walking in light! What freedom that brings to my heart. It is the next well-lit step that I am to take. Whatever is out there…in the shadows, belongs to God. I don’t have to fret it. All I have to do is take each step as He lights it up before me, knowing with sincerity of trust’s faith that He is working His purpose into my life. As I follow His footsteps lighting the way before me, I see in each day His glory working the good in and through me that He has planned and purposed for my life. The path may lead to a cross for me to bear, laying down my will for His, but that cross will bring forth His glory, shining a light for others to step into His footfalls laid out for them. Thank You, Lord.

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We Thrive at God’s Side ~ Conclusion

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand” ~ Colossians 3:1, NLT.

This series has been a challenge to write, with the busyness of life making it difficult to press forward from one post to the next. I wonder of the need of concluding thoughts, but desiring to bring full closure, we press to the finish line together, realizing that God honors us with the privilege of His right hand.

Today, as we close this series, let us rejoice with the realization that, because of Christ, we have the privilege of life lived with God, Thriving at His Side. Today, we take one final look at the life available for those with…

Sights Set and Kept Steady

As we set our minds and keep them set on the things above where Christ is (AMP version of Colossians 3:1), we take our stance as the people of God’s Own possession. We stand at His left in complete dependence on Him for what He will do. We stand at His right in complete reliance upon Him, made ready for what He would do through us. Knowing we already are the eternally established people of God’s Kingdom, representing Him and His interests in the world as God’s royal priesthood, ambassadors of Christ in the world, we draw near to His side for…

Abundant Life

“…13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. 15 She (Wisdom) is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast…” ~ Proverbs 3.

It is wisdom to us when we learn to live life to the full at God’s side. Wisdom is vital to life with God, discerning His will and way for life abundant and full. To His right is longevity of life, for we can trust His care and provision to establish us on the path He designed us to walk. To His left is provision and the protection of those honored to set securely in His presence. There is abundance of life that supersedes every hardship for those who learn to grasp hold of godly wisdom that brings the good fruit of wisdom’s abundance to us (James 3:13-18). Of this wisdom, we are advised, “Happy (blessed, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who holds her fast” ~ Proverbs 3:18, AMP.

Powerful Life

“Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left” ~ Judges 16:29.

As I read of Samson’s final triumph, his use of both arms, strategically placed for one last victory, I realize the true source of Samson’s strength and supply. His ability to rely fully on God for all he needed and to apply God’s provision wisely is a picture for us of a powerful life in God. When we face life with faith in God and reliance upon Him, realizing where our strength comes from, we too have power for a life that accomplishes God’s purpose.

Another beautiful picture as we consider the life of Samson is that no matter the pit of despair our unwise choices put us in, we can finish strong when we set our sights on Him and learn to thrive at God’s side.

Protected Life

“Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you may not turn asideJesus-Bride006 from it to the right hand or to the left” ~ Joshua 33:6.

As I read this use of the right and the left hand, I see the protection available to us when we choose to walk the path of God, each step taken at His side. This passage warns us to take care not to turn to going in one’s own way or to surrendering self to other gods. There is protection at the side of God that keeps us from personal harm and from harming others. A stance that keeps God as God, trusting, relying upon, and being well established in Him, equips and enables us to fulfill His purpose in life.

Refusing to turn to the right says to me that we do not fall to trusting our own strength and ways over God’s. Refusing to turn to the left says that we know from Whom our supply comes and do not trust our own or give credit to the conduit of God’s flow. Example: we know that though our job provides money for living (job = conduit of supply), God provides our job and our ability to work (God = Source of supply).

God receiving the glory due His name provides us with His protection, for it is He we rely upon and His name is on the line. He will not fail to do all His says He will. He is faithful to respond to even our mustard seed of faith in His good word and promise.

Embraced Life

Jesus-Bride008“Let his left hand be under my head and his right hand embrace me” ~ Song Of Solomon / Song of Songs 2:6 & 8:3.

All of this teaching on thriving at God’s side has my heart throbbing, so it speaks of intimacy in our relationship with God. It speaks of the journey of a couple who truly enjoy their companionship. God desires relationship with us. Thriving at God’s side happens as we love Him above all and, desiring to please Him, we stick close on His heels, ready on the spot to move at His command for the accomplishing of His purpose, fully trusting Him who is faithful in all things, being faithful to Him as He is to us. Intimacy comes to us as we walk at His side and rest in His arms.

“The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’” ~ Deuteronomy 33:27.

Father, I pray for all reading this series to be established by You as Your beloved, adequately equipped to Thrive at Your Side. In Jesus, amen.