Archive for April, 2014


Now this isn’t exactly the overcomers of revelation, this is more of my personal struggles and the attitudes I need to overcome.  At least that’s what I felt.

1. His Yoke

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

I once heard a preacher say that the yoke was a common term for Rabbi’s in this age in regard to their teaching.  Disciples would put aside their lives, follow the rabbi, and take on his yoke which was his teaching and understanding.  This gave a little bit of a new twist on the verse.  We take upon us Jesus yoke, His method of living.  And He promises that His yoke is easy.  Why does it seem so hard then?  Because we want our old lives too much.  I need to take on His yoke, which was to do only what He saw the father doing.  In my every action, I do what Jesus would do.

2. His Joy

For the joy of the Lord is your strength – Nehemiah 8:10

I’ve taken on His yoke, I know the action to do, now I need the strength to do it.  That strength comes from His joy.  We are told that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).  Flip that around and you find that by acting in faith, you can please God.  The God of the universe takes joy in us.  So when I hit that struggle, I know that in obedience and faith, I can bring joy to my Lord.

3. Our Joy

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

We find joy in our own struggles, because they bring us to perfection.  Why perfection, because the pure in heart see God.  The more we are perfected, the more we become like our bridegroom, our beloved.

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Again, the big area I seemed to be focused on is practicing his presence. Yesterday I had been going through my day, and it hadn’t been a bad day, on a normal scale I had done well, not stepping into any sins I knew of, working hard, doing good overall, listening to Christian messages on my drive, but around the time I’m headed home I stop and think how I really haven’t walked in His presence. I hadn’t pushed that, taken the time and energy to walk before Him.

So as I drive I go to that place and come before Him and tell Him I’m sorry, I worship Him a little, and then I asked, somewhat to Him, somewhat to myself,

“I wonder why I didn’t seek you through the day, what happened that kept me from doing this till now”

The response was immediate and ahead of where my thoughts had gone.

“Because it wasn’t convenient.”

There wasn’t anger behind it, maybe a little disappointment, but mainly just factual.

I hadn’t walked with God because it wasn’t convenient for me to do so.

I was crushed.

I had no argument. The only cost is my time, energy, and focus. To know that he was there waiting for me, but I had better things to do.

All it takes is to realize that God is a person and has feelings and it changes so much, but that requires us to give up things.

So, Neville Johnson speaks in his message about God knocking at your door, that sometimes when you get this song suddenly stuck in your head, that it could be God that put it there.  Stop and listen to the lyrics and see if he’s telling you something.

Quick history, so I’ve been working on practicing His Presence.  Basically trying to always keep an awareness of Him in my head, thinking of Him, looking to Him, etc.  I’ve had some ok days, but for the most part, not doing that great. It’s very tough.  So on this one morning I had prayed to the Spirit early in the day asking Him to help.  To help keep God on my mind, to help me stay in communion with Him.  At first it was going fairly well(for me), I’m working so I have to focus on other things(my job takes a lot of concentration), but I would come back to the Lord pretty often.  Find myself at about 10am realizing the longer stretch I had done without think of him was less than an hour.  (I was up by 6am or), which is pretty good for me.  Then my focus started to wane and I found the song “Shooting Stars” from One Republic in my head.  I hadn’t listened to that song, I don’t own it, I don’t listen to the radio, but I’ve heard it enough to know some of the words.  So I realize this is happening and now I think, “Lord are you telling me something”  so I pull up the Lyrics and here’s what I find.

 

“Counting Stars”

[Chorus:]
Lately I been, I been losing sleep – I lose a lot of sleep trying to get up early to spend more time with the Lord and just be with Him
Dreaming about the things that we could be – I dream of having a deeper relationship with Him
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard – Yes I have been praying hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars

[Verse 1]
I see this life
Like a swinging vine
Swing my heart across the line – My heart is all over trying to get ahold of this
In my face is flashing signs
Seek it out and ye shall find

Wait, did that just say seek and you will find.  Seriously?  That’s one of the biggest verses for trying to walk deeper with the Lord.

Old, but I’m not that old – I’m in my 30’s, close enough
Young, but I’m not that bold – that can match
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told

I feel something so right
By doing the wrong thing
And I feel something so wrong
By doing the right thing

I feel like I often go against the church, against the way we should do things by reaching for what I am.  I can’t be content with religion.
I couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive
If you want to save your life, you must lose it.  Take up your cross daily and follow

[Verse 2:]
I feel the love
And I feel it burn – There is a burning from God that clears out our lives, that purges the world and sanctifies us
Down this river every turn
Hope is our four letter word – Hope is a regular friend
Make that money
Watch it burn

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive
The more I die to self, the move I feel the life of God.

By the time I finished reading, I feel love.  Like God picked out a song to say so many different things to me, to remind.  For the rest of my work day this song would come into my head pretty often, usually when I’m not keeping the relationship above all.  When I’m not stopping to make sure I’m with the Lord.
It was a love song from God calling me back, back closer to Him.  With One Republic.  Don’t even say God doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Wow, so I just had to throw this out real quick.  I was on a trip lately, and I heard about this group called the Golden Candlestick in a message from Paul Keith, and went and found this book about this group.  The first couple chapters blew me away.  It’s only $3 or so on the kindle, so I’d suggest getting it just to read the first few chapters.  I got about half-way through and stopped right now.  I’ll finish it up sometime.

The author described this as a Harp and Bowl ministry.  I’ve never heard of that.  What I do know is that these people(mainly women) would come together in worship, and Heaven would open up.  The author described how the glory and presence were so thick you couldn’t even see through it.  The experiences he described at first just fired me up about what is possible out there, what God is willing to do.

Perhaps even more was to hear about the woman who was sort of the leader, and some of her journey.  She described how God was working in her through her everyday life.  She talked about how as a mother with kids, she couldn’t get away like many others could, but that God would continually speak to her and work with her through her every day chores.  How she would get revelations while washing dishes and doing all the things she needed to.  That was inspiring to me, since I have a full-time job and a young child and it’s hard to get away for any period of time without requiring so much more of my wife/family.  Sometimes I feel like my circumstances are keeping me from God, but good to see how He does amazing things making use of what you have if you let Him.