When God is Silent……

thR1PM2F9TSometimes the hardest thing about prayer.

Is not getting a no.

Harder still is the silence.

The silence leads us to question God.

The silence is used by the tempter to get us to doubt God.

In my Bible reading today I came across a verse that stopped me in my tracks.

David says in Ps. 22:2-5 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. Yet You Are Holy, O you who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them, To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.”

As I read the first verse, I was thinking, finally someone I can identify with.

After spending morning, noon and night praying and still no answer.

But it was the next line that struck me (thus the bold print) Yet You Are Holy!!!!!

And I thought this is it, this is key.

When God is silent, when you pray and plead with God and still have no response.

What are you to do?

Give up, quit, get angry, become afraid??

No, no, no!

We are to remember that He is holy.

Regardless of the outcome of our prayers, regardless of our circumstances. He is Holy and He is worthy of our praise.

Easy to say, hard to live.

Often, when God is silent, our description of God is not that He is holy.

Instead, our hearts cry out that He is unfair, uncaring, blind to our needs.

Yet, the Psalmist says, Yet, You are Holy!

He was not seeking God only for an answer, He was seeking God for who He is.

He is Holy, He is righteous, He is Mighty, He is Marvelous, He is Awesome in His Deeds, He is Faithful.

So, when God is silent and when it just doesn’t seem He cares.

Remember who He is! And never forget that just as others have trusted Him in the past.

We too are to trust Him.

Just as He delivered them, He too will deliver us.

May we like the angels declare our God, Holy, Holy, Holy and never lose sight of why we serve Him.

Casting out Idols

IMG_0489I still remember vividly walking through the streets of Nepal.

And still my heart breaks.

Everywhere you went, you saw idols.

Some made of gold or silver and some wooden.

One day we were walking through a tourist area and the streets were seemingly lined with idol shops.

Each store filled to overflowing with statues of gods who could neither hear nor speak.

Incense filled the air as they offered up sacrifices to these gods.

Fruit and flowers were placed daily before them as they sought to please their gods.

Heartbreaking indeed, but back here in the States I’ve realized we all have idols.

Not all idols are statues, not all idols are sold.

But all idols are worshipped and bowed down to.

Here in America, our idols are wealth, homes, jobs, children, sports, hobbies.

Because truthfully an idol is anything we place before the Lord.

Anything that consumes us more than Him.

And honestly all sin at its root stems from idolatry.

When we are afraid, worried, anxious, angry, jealous etc… if we delved underneath and got to the cause, we would find idols.

Exodus 20 says, “Though shalt have no other gods before me.”

The Bible calls God, Jealous.

He will not share His glory.

He will not settle for second best in our lives.

The Lord is to be Lord of all, otherwise, He is not Lord at all.

This is very convicting because so often my focus in on other things.

So I chase after these things and God lets me.

Then in His unrelenting love, He lures me back.

But like Gomer (in the book of Hosea), I keep straying and have to learn the hard way.

Idols can even be good things but these good things when placed above the Lord are none other than sin.

So what are we to do, how do we battle against these idols in our lives.

In Nepal, in order for a new believer to be baptized at a certain church, they have to burn or destroy all their idols.

This shows they mean business, that they are the real deal.

In the same way, we too must cast out, throw out, destroy the idols that wage war in our hearts.

My prayer is that the Lord will be my satisfaction.

Oh, I’m not there and there are numerous idols I must deal with regularly.

But in order to move closer to Him, in order to please the Lord.

I must, we must, deal honestly with the idols that consume our lives.

He will not share His glory.

He will be first.

Turning Our Eyes Heavenward

182922f82a4e567746cc892f337e7811So often my focus is on me.

So often my focus is on the issues in my life.

But today the Lord said enough!

He said, Stop focusing on yourself and instead focus on Me!

So instead of focusing on how tired, weary, and worn I am.

I will focus on how great, mighty and strong He is.

Instead of believing I can’t.

I will focus on the fact that He can.

Instead of seeing all the impossibilities.

I will remember that I serve the God of the Impossible.

Instead of grumbling and complaining.

I will lift up holy hands in praise to the Great I Am.

Instead of believing the lies of the enemy.

I will hold fast and stand upon the truth of God’s Word.

Instead of being afraid.

I will remember that I can trust and believe God.

Instead of loosing sight of Christ.

I will fix my gaze on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.

Instead of listening to the world.

I will listen to the Lord’s still small voice.

Instead of focusing on me, it is time…..

That I focus instead on the Lord.

How about you???

Storm Warnings

thL67A7PVLLast night our storm radio went off again and again.

Alerting us to thunderstorm warnings, tornado watches and flooding.

Each time it went off, we checked it out to see what the alert was for.

Because if we needed to head for the basement, we wanted to know ahead of time.

As I was reading the account of Jesus calming the storm, the Lord showed me some storm warnings as well.

1. Storms will come and they usually are unexpected.

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. Mathew 8:23-24

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. I Peter 4:12

2. Storms can lead us to unbelief

Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? Mark 4:38

Lord, save us! We are going to drown! Mathew 8:25

Master, Master, we’re going to drown!!! Luke 8:24

3.  Storms lead us to doubt who God is

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:40

He replied, You of little faith, why are you so afraid? Mathew 8:26

Where is your faith? He asked his disciples. Luke 8:24

4. Storms cause us to question God and His character

They were terrified and asked each other, “who is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him?” Mark 4:41

What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him? Mathew 8:27

Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water and they obey him? Luke 8:25

5. Storms reveal how little faith we have

It is through the storms we realize how little faith we have.

It is through the storms we are forced to depend fully on God.

It is through the storms we see what kind of foundation we have.

The truth is, we all have storms in our lives. Some are worse than others, yet the pain and suffering that accompany each storm are real. And when placed in the storms or the fiery trial, the enemy wants nothing more than to get us to quit on God, to question God and to doubt God.

In the midst of storms, the enemy will tempt us to turn from God.

Therefore, we must take heed to the warning signs of the storm. We must be on alert for the enemy who prowls about like a lion seeking whom he may devour. We must rely completely upon the Lord, for our flesh is weak.

So when the winds blow and the rains begin to fall. Go to the Lord and cling to Him until the storm has passed.

“The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed. A stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name will put their trust in You. For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:9-10

Captivated By His Love

thERGYCZTNBeing real with God and others isn’t easy. In fact, it’s hard.

We long to appear “good” to others and if not careful we come before God with a heart of pride.

I use to read about the Pharisees and think how could they miss it, how could they act that way?

Yet, the closer I get to the Lord, the more I see my own pharisetical tendencies emerge.

I have always been a good church girl.

It’s what has always been expected of me.

And when I compare myself to others, I appear pretty spiritual.

Yet, the reality is, I can always find someone to compare myself to that will make me look good.

This is what the Pharisees did, they measured their spirituality based on doing and by comparing themselves to the tax collectors.

The Lord never intended we compare ourselves with others, instead He says, “Look at Me, Look at Jesus!”

When I look at Jesus, no longer do I have anything left to boast in.

No longer do I appear so “good”.

Instead I see my sinfulness.

Yet, if I’m not careful, I try to excuse it or blame it on my situation or on others.

This doesn’t work either. All it does is make things worse.

It is only when I see myself through the eyes of God, that I can fully begin to grasp how much I need Jesus.

That I can begin to fathom the amazing grace placed upon my life.

As I begin to see my sinfulness, I see my great need for Christ.

As I look to Him and realize He has done it, “It is finished.”

I stand amazed at His love for me.

As I get a taste of this amazing love.

I am then and only then captivated by His love and want only Him.

And when I am captivated by Christ love, I am then compelled to live a life worthy of Him.

Unlike the Pharisees then, I’m not serving to earn favor with God.

I serve Him and live for Jesus because I already have favor with God.

God’s love for you is the same on your best day as it is on your worst day.

It doesn’t change. That is why its called GRACE!!

Where do you go for help?

th4N0HWF7MI have always been very independent.

Wanting to do things by myself and hating to ask anyone for help.

I’ve seen this same attitude in my daughter.

A shear determination to do things on her own.

In the eyes of the world, this is a good character trait.

But in the eyes of God, it is sin, simply put, its pride.

Pride that says, “I don’t need anyone or anything.”

Pride that says, “I am dependent on no one.”

In our world, needing the help of others shows weakness.

In our world, depending on others is wrong.

But this vastly contradicts God’s Word and the way in which He has made us.

He has not made us to be islands, but to need Him ultimately and others.

The Bible says, “God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

The humble one, knows they need God.

The humble one, understands that their help comes from the Lord.

The humble one doesn’t try to do it themselves, but is desperate for God to do what only He can do.

The proud one says, “I have it all together.”

The humble one says, “without God, I am a wreck.”

As I was reading the Psalms today, I read Psalm 121, which says,

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains, from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1).”

So often I am consumed with doing. Consumed with trying to figure things out on my own.

Lately, the Lord seems to constantly remind me that “He is God” and I am not.

When my heart grows anxious, I hear Him whisper, “Cease striving and know I am God (Psalm 46:10) .”

Letting go of my pride that says I must figure things out.

I fall into His arms and cry out to Him for the help only He can supply.

Just as a newborn baby is utterly dependent upon their parents, God longs for us to depend as completely upon Him.

But in order to do this, we must let go of the pride and confess it as sin.

And come humbly before the God of the Universe and look to Him for our help.

Which one best describes you??

Let us be like ones described in Psalm 123:1-2

To You I lift up my eyes;

O You who are enthroned in the heavens.

Behold as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,

As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,

So our eyes look to the Lord our God

To The Weary Soul…..

IMG_0711To the weary soul, the one who is tired and worn.

To the one who doesn’t think they can keep going.

God knows and He understands.

To the broken heart whose dreams have been crushed.

The Lord shares your heartache.

And praise be to God, He is always faithful.

Even when we fail and are too tired to try.

God can and does bring us through!

No situation is hopeless. No situation is impossible.

So, to the tired and weary soul.

To the one who just doesn’t feel it is possible to keep on keeping on.

The Lord wants you to know you can keep going, but you must.

Remember He is God and He is able to do far more than you could ever ask or imagine (Eph. 3).

Like Paul, you must remember who you were and never forget what Jesus has done on your behalf.

You must set your gaze on Christ, who humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2).

Get your eyes off the storm. Don’t look at the wind, the waves or the rain. Look at Jesus!

Then never forget, He can and will see you through. Go to Him and allow Him to carry you.

Allow Him to do in and through you what you in yourself can not do.

I know it’s hard at times to walk the narrow road. This is why few travel it.

But God will always be faithful and He will always lead you through.