Whom Shall I Fear?


Today’s journalists have learned the craft of sensationalized news, so they can reap great fear among their readers.  Their truth (and I say embellished truth) serves the purpose of arousing terror in the hearts of man. They are only successful when we succumb to their fear by holding up their information as holy when we should only regard God as holy.

In Isaiah’s day, he experienced the same type of amplified dread coming from the people of the land. The Lord encouraged him with His mighty Spirit…

“This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people: ‘Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread…’” (Isaiah 8:11-13).

Is anything too hard for Him? We have no reason to fear even if we have the wrong man in our Presidential Office, or if the national debt is so high we can’t climb out of its demise, or if the evil agenda that presides around us seems successful; even if the overall national downfall hits us personally, we have no one or no thing to fear but our Great God. God is our holy place to dwell. When we set our mind on the Spirit of God not the flesh of man, we will have life and peace a midst the death within our borders. (Romans 8:6).

When we fear flesh, we hold it up as holy. We set the “news” apart from God’s power and make it our god; we give the people’s report power to align our emotions, our decisions and our direction according to its path. When we live according to the flesh, we will not please God and sadly, we will create a terminal end to our joy. I strongly urge you to…

Stand upon the waters of the Great Unknown where God’s Power is Your Only Strength.

The reason all that we hear, read, and see in our flesh is so weak is because GOD. IS. SO. STRONG!

Isaiah chose to see the visible distress through the invisible yet powerful God. He says with the utmost of certainty, “I will wait for the Lord…I will put my trust in Him.” (Isaiah 8:17). His confidence was not in his surroundings, instead he believed in the power of God who has all things in the palm of His right hand.

When climbing above the fear of our land, it’s a struggle to trust God; in these times of struggles, pray the wonderful lyrics by Hillsong, “Lord, ‘…keep my eyes above the waves…help my soul to rest in Your embrace…for I am yours and You are mine…’” (Oceans). Yes, we live in a world where people fail everyday. But we also live in the hands of The One and Only God whom NEVER FAILS!  The waves of sensationalism will come; they mean to terrorize you and me and bring us dread, but we will not allow it to infect our heart. We will keep our eyes above the waves, and see God as HOLY. We will hold Him as our HIGH GOD. The only dread that will come is His winnowing fork of victory over evil! This is the dread we can look forward to! So…

 PATIENTLY TRUST…FOR VICTORY IS COMING…IT’S A SURE REALITY.

 

ID-10014452

 Image courtesy of graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advertisements

4 Ways to Quell the Conflict in the Home


Two boys arguing with each other take it to an all-time level with fist fights. Two sisters pull and scratch each other’s hair, brother and sister upset the home causing even the dog to hide under the bed. Then mom and dad are at each other’s throats, before you know it the whole house comes tumbling down. Jesus was quite specific with His message toward this kind of contention as He wrote through John, “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him” (1 John 3:15).

At the root of conflict in the home is the sin of jealousy and pride. The antidote for this ill behavior is Jesus’s new command, “…Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). We are to follow the example of Jesus! Sadly too many siblings and parents follow the example of Cain (Genesis 4).

Cain’s actions toward his brother revealed an evil heart. God instructed Cain that if he would continue to not do what is right, sin would always be crouching at his door. He further explained that even though sin’s desires haunted him, he needed to master it and rule over it. Cain had the upper hand, but he did not listen to God.  In the end, his jealousy and pride led him to kill his brother and ultimately be cast away from the Lord’s presence. This is such a sad ending!

If we do not address conflict between siblings at the beginning, they (and their parents) will bond in hatred instead of love. Nothing pains me more than to see children grow up among hatred, jealousy and discord. The worst is to see parents engage in the squabble, too. The temptation for parents is to simply separate the two in conflict and not deal with it. This may bring a temporary peace to the problem, but it rarely solves it. At some point the conflict has to be painfully confronted.

Some suggestions in how to make a happy ending? Parents…

  1. Don’t take sides! The only side to take is God’s. Using 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, teach your children that love is a decision and a commitment.
  2. Damn the sin!  Teach your children to repent for their conflict first to God and then to their sibling. Nothing frees us to do what is right like true repentance.
  3. Die to self! Teach your children to be friends. Give them opportunities to give up something they want for the sole purpose of making their friend happy.
  4. Deliver the goods!  Encourage your children to put their love to action. Nothing is more hateful than to see a brother or sister in need and then see their sibling ignore it when they have the power to help.  Actions speak louder than confessions.

Discord is a dangerous thing in a family. It’s heart breaking enough to see it in families, but we see it in church families, too! Not solving sibling rivalry in the home often bleeds into the family of God. It just gets uglier!

Conflicts are hard to solve. We need to remember that it is not our power that forgives and grants grace, it is the Holy Spirit in us that works through all.  Remember, reconciliation is a God-work, not a man-work.

Be encouraged as you read Corrie ten Boom’s words below. If anyone had the right to hate her enemies, she did. But not giving into her ‘right’ she gave into God’s power to love instead. If she can do this with her enemies (and they were treacherous), we can do the same within our family!

“Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”    

ID-100227464

Take the new route, the route that God has deemed, the one where His eternal life resides: teach your children to love one another through the deed of reconciliation. Do this hard work, my parent friends. In the end, you will reap the harvest of lifelong relationships. This will not only bring peace to your home, it will bring joy to your heart!

 

Related Scriptures: 1 John 3:11-18; Genesis 4:1-16; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Living in a World of Greed, Our Heavenly Father Writes…


Dear Son and Daughter,

You have gone after so many things that appeared beneficial, but they have brought you much pain and discomfort. Seeking more has robbed you of joy! When will you remember that I, the Lord am your provider?

I have so many things to tell you, but one thing for sure that I want you to get today, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Remember you brought nothing into this world and you will take nothing with you when you leave. I have given you food and clothing, the basic essentials to live your life here in this temporary place. Enjoy it! Don’t seek to be rich, for in doing so you will miss the full life that I have sacrificed for you. If you keep seeking riches (more than you have) you will sink like a ship in the waters of ruin and destruction. You will miss the thrill of living! 

It is sad for Me to watch you go after such devastation. Every time you give your ear to the advertisements of your day, you trade your joy for a lie of false happiness. Advertisements do not inform, they tempt your greedy flesh. Remember that when you walk through the stores. Sadly,the world’s provision is fleeting, deceptive and callous. It disappoints as it cold-heartedly continues to spur in you lethal desires for more and more. The money I have given you is not evil, it’s your desires that rush you into evil. Don’t feed this monster! If you continue this path of greed, you will wander from the faith and be pierced with many a grief.

As my son, Paul has learned the secret of being content in every situation, I want you to learn this same lesson. No matter how hard life may seem, know that I am teaching you and my strength is enough to see you through til the lesson has become your practice.

Come away with me my dear child. I have a special offer.

ID-10020352Yes, My way involves a dry morsel at times, but with it is the riches of peace.  The dry times of materialism in your life provide a full time of My presence. In this place there will be nothing to distract you from My heart. The truths and peace that I plan to give you will not only fill your days here on earth, they will fill your days for all eternity. They are yours now and forever.

Just remember that the righteous are the content. They eat from the table of peace, comfort, calm and tranquility – the richest of fare. On the other hand, the wicked that lack contentment are always hungry, living in strife finding they are never satisfied.  Steer far from them and their way.

I love you my dear child…listen to Me,

Jesus

Related scriptures: Philippians 4:12, 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and Proverbs 17:1

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net