“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. 2 I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame. 3 When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.” Psalm 138:1-3
Embolden – to give someone courage or confidence to behave a certain way
My sweet Lord I’ll praise you All day long With all my heart For all you’ve done Before man Or any god
My loving Lord I’ll sing of Your praises From the depths Of my soul Before man Or any god
My forever Lord I’ll bow down With all my being Praising your name Before your throne Before man Or any god
After I praise you After I sing of you After I bow down I then will dance Out of gratitude And love Before man Or any God
Your unfailing love Your faithfulness Your forgiveness Your healing Your comfort Your mercy Your grace Are forever
You are Exalted Dignified Sanctified You’ve Surpassed Your fame
With all your Glorious deity You lower Your heart To me and When I call You always Answer me
You my Lord My loving Lord You and No man Or any god You alone Lavishly Embolden My heart
Lord, I will praise you With all My heart, My soul, My being, All the days I shall live
To believe, sometimes, one must take a step into an overgrown area of disbelief.
One walks cautiously removing what isn’t true to see facts, learn new truths, forming a path of belief. At times, one must trust on what they’ve been told in order to move forward to continue to believe. Trust to believe removes fear, concerns and falsity.
Let’s read, Hebrews 1:1-4.
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.
3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. 4 This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.”
There is no consensus on who’s the author of Hebrews. The possibility could be St. Barnabas or Paul. Whoever wrote this book had much knowledge of how God communicated in the Old Testament to those with great faith and belief.
The author knew the Jewish history well enough to understand how the Lord spoke to God’s selected. He must have been well-versed in the Tora and the great stories of old during and after the fall of the Garden of Eden. But knowing wasn’t enough, he believed what he read, the stories and what he heard from God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Let’s re read and focus on the first two sentences of the passage above.
Belief is the main focus here. Its importance is not only in what we read about God, but the new revelation Jesus spoke to anyone who would listen. Jesus teachings were something this author took to heart. In the further chapters in Hebrews, we will see how he connects Jesus’ teachings to what he knew to be true of God’s dealings with his children.
For now, let’s take a giant step back in time when God spoke to men through the prophets. The author of Hebrews wrote, “many times and in various ways” our Heavenly Father conversed with those mention in the Old Testament. Wait, maybe we shouldn’t take such a big step backwards yet.
Let’s read John 9:28, “Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.””
If you need to refresh your memory of the investigation by the Pharisees of this man born blind, whom Jesus healed, read chapter 9 from verse one. It is a cool story. Back to the Pharisee’s statement to the healed individual.
In this verse, the Pharisee confirms of God talking to his Prophets, like Moses, whom they followed. As far as I know from research, God spoke to Moses over two thousand times. Makes me wonder how many more times God spoke to Moses which no one recorded.
If you like to read about God and Moses flip the pages of time and turn to Exodus 3 and linger in the far past for a little. Be aware, as you stay in the yesterdays of the Old Testament, keep your ears tune to hear God’s voice in your todays.
Now, let’s flip a few pages back in the book of John. There’s an important word, which I pointed out earlier that we need to dwell upon in our mind and heart.
The word is belief.
John 5:46-48, “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”
We, you and me, today must not only believe what we read, but we also must believe what we hear. Yes, we do need to be careful of what we are hearing, for many things said are to tickle our ears and not to set our heart after God. What is written has an importance and its place. But hearing God, the Lord and the Holy Spirit today is of great importance.
There’s an invisible rope with knots of truth that one can grab to climb through Biblical history. It’s there to not only take us to the past, but to help us understand a time we didn’t live in or know anyone who experienced life in that time frame. We depend on the historical writings of the scriptures to teach us what was and happened in the years before and during Jesus days. We accept those facts and teachings as God’s truth.
Much like the Jews, who studied the works of Moses, we study the works of Jesus. They didn’t believe Jesus, even though Moses wrote about him, which made it challenging for the Jews to climb on the rope of understanding in their present day. They didn’t believe in the words Jesus spoke or recognized them as God’s truths. We need to be watchful for ourselves of what we once understood. We shouldn’t allow unbelieve to creep in about the Holy Scriptures. Otherwise, unbelief will keep us from understanding the scripture and not hearing the truth God want us to hear today.
Let’s be watchful or we may find ourselves like the Jews not trusting the rope before us even if there are knots of truth in our grasp. We’ll then hesitate to climb, not only because we don’t know its truth bases, but we don’t believe what we’re hearing or grasping. Disbelief in what we hear today may come from not having God’s newness of the Lord’s experienced in our lives. It could come because we are not following his teachings. It may come because we are set in our ways, not allowing the Holy Spirit to change our heart with the newness of the Lord’s love. Disbelief comes from not hearing God ourselves.
It could be that we haven’t received the sight, the miracle like the blind man. Yet, Jesus calls us to walk by faith and not by sight. Why? Because he knew we base facts, truths by what we see and experience. God’s truths permutate throughout our life as we faithfully keep grasping the rope even though we don’t feel the next knot of truth.
With this thread of thought how can we today hear God, who we can’t see? How did Moses, other prophets, even Jesus hear God whom they didn’t see? First, we must believe in what we’ve read, ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand what we’ve learned. Then listen intently to God’s whisper and in what the Holy Spirit has to reveal to us. One more thing, we must take the step in faith into the crowed space of unknown, uncertainty, and at time unbelief.
When we have been given understanding and know the truth when the Lord comes and reveals something new to us, we will believe. Always quiet ourselves, listening carefully, paying attention to the details of life around us. Like Moses did when he saw the burning bush.
We, for sure, are not Jesus, but we are much like Moses. God can speak two thousand times to us and more. He has been talking. Are we believing what we hear? It’s our unbelief, our hurriedness, our concerns which keep us from hearing God’s soft whisper clearly.
On a spring day, my husband and I walked through a wooded area in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s an area where black and brown bears’ roam. Anxious and fearful, I talked staying alongside my husband. The possibility of encountering a bear in the woods was possible but not so much probable.
Other people were around. I just couldn’t see them. My husband tried to calm me by telling me that we would be alright. We had the protection of spray and a gun in case we faced danger. Which we didn’t. We only encounter runners, hikers and their dogs.
Because of fear of not knowing and not trusting in what my husband said, I missed out on stopping to pay attention to the birds in the area. There were signs along the path, suggesting stopping for a while and listen. On the sign it told to listen for how birds communicate. I couldn’t stop myself. I missed out on the birds along with the joy of God’s creation. All I wanted was for the trail to end and get back in the car.
When it’s time to go walking or spending time with God, let’s not allow fear of what we don’t understand or anxiety of what we can’t see to stop us from slowing our body down, calming our mind and resting our heart with Jesus. Otherwise, we won’t pay attention to the sound of God’s whisper. He may just be singing along with the birds, trying to get us to draw near to hear his whisper and his loving song.
God speaks today. It may not be through a burning bush, a donkey or a prophet, but his whisper can be heard in church, at home, in the car, or outside as we enjoy God’s creation. Ask the Holy Spirit to quicken your spirit and teach you to hear God’s whispering voice. Then believe.
Remember what the scripture teaches, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”” Psalm 46:10
Once we are calm and listening, believe what we’ve learned from the patriarchs of the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ, then we won’t have such a hard time seeing the truth of the Holy Scripture along with hearing the truth God is telling us today. His message today, will not contradict who Jesus was and is.
Christ is as the verses 3 to 4 say. “He is One who—imprinted with God’s image, shimmering with His glory—sustains all that exists through the power of His word. He was seated at the right hand of God once He Himself had made the offering that purified us from all our sins. This Son of God is elevated as far above the heavenly messengers as His holy name is elevated above theirs.”
Next time God whispers something that is new to you, the scriptures will verify it. The Holy Spirit will remind you and the Lord will help you with the newness. It’s to help us see what we’ve been blinded to see on our own. Jesus still purifies us from all our sins, our ill, our weaknesses. Every time our Lord renews us it’s a form of elevation by His Holy name to present us to our Heavenly Father as forgiven and pure.
Let’s learn, listen and trust. Then our understanding will be broaden to grasp what we couldn’t believe before God changed us. Now we move forward today with a testimony of who changed us and belief in, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
In the Old Testimony God spoke through His prophets. In the New Testament God spoke through Jesus, His Son. Today God speaks to us through His Son’s Holy Spirit. He can chose to speak to us through a burning bush, a donkey or one of His present prophets. But, as a loving Father, he desires personal time with us. Listen for his soft whisper, He’s ready to speak truth into your heart, mind and soul.
Will you believe what you hear from God today? Will you trust His Son’s word in spite of your fears, concern, falseness? Will you trust the Holy Spirit teachings? Will you speak of what you know to be true about God, His Son, the Holy Spirit to those who want to hear? It’s a choice.
Oh my Heavenly Father, hear my aching heart. Listen to the words my lips cannot speak to you.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
From the end of this rope I’m holding onto without sight of stability, I call only to you. My cramped fingers are stuck to this hard, dry-out rope. Don’t allow my heart to grow faint. Please come. Rescue me. When you arrive, don’t leave so quickly. I need your leadership. Guide me to the rock that is much higher than me.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
Lord, you’ve been my faithful refuge for many years and a strong tower against the foe, day and night. He’s back. He torments me in my relationships during the light of day and in my dreams in the darkest of night. With great persistence he prickles my fingers, trying desperately to break my grip.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah
Oh how I desire relief, to dwell in your presence, in your tent forever. There I would find the refuge my soul seeks, in the shelter of your beautiful comforting wings. Yet, Lord, I don’t believe is time for my story to end. No, not yet.
For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
As for my vows, you know each on. They’ve been recorded in the holy of holies, your heart. O God, you and you alone, through your Son, Jesus Christ, you’ve given me the heritage of those who feared your name. Now, that I’m your daughter, and with that honor, I wait for your fatherly hand to take mine.
Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations.
Give me more days of life on this earth, if it’s part of the story you’ve written for me. Either way, if my last chapter is coming to a close or more to be lived, bless the years of the many generations which you’ve brought forth and will continue through my lineage.
May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.
May I and those of my family line be establish in your presence forever. Appoint your love and faithfulness to protect us all.
Then will I ever sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
Then and now, I will sing praises to your name as I fulfill my vows day after day until the last chapter of my life comes to a close.
Thank you Father, for your written Word. In Jesus, my Lord and Savior I cling to your promises as I wait for your hand of assurance and help. May each day I live bring glory to your Name, the name above all names.
Woke up with the phrase, “thoughts can kill you or heal you,” and it wouldn’t leave me alone.
Seeking undestanding, I ask the Lord, “is this a theme for a story or something else?”
As I spent my quiet time, the phrase return and it brought another idea along. Not finding the proper words to put on this feeling, I looked for a photo to help me identify what the Holy Spirit was telling me.
When I saw the leaf, a question formed, “Is the leaf giving up or letting go?”
Knowing how God works and moves me or should I say pushes me to act upon what He sees in me, I knew a reminder was being handed for my mind.
Will I be giving up what has been done in me? Or letting go and accept the change which is in hand?
Many times, I fight thoughts which push me to give up and let the dream die.
It’s a real, true struggle within me!!!
One which produces melancholy even after workouts, walks and being out in nature for hours. Usually God wakes my spirit and soon I get myself moving by doing my duties of laundry and cleaning or paying bills.
My self talk goes something like this, “Lidia, you’re a grown woman, just keep taking steps. How else can you be a witness of what you’ve said you are in Christ?”
Why am telling you this? Because I’m not alone fighting a battle which we’ve been told it’s won. Yet, no relief has come. It diverted and missed us. Well, it feels like it has for what ever reason.
Instead of standing strong against the enemy. I do as he wants, be in the front battle zone fighting for my right to be who God said I am.
For many of us, the war exist in our head more than in our heart.
We struggle with thoughts which are killing us, inside out. Once our will is done with, we have no reason to exist. Meditate on God words, are daily pills, but our thoughts of redemption and healing remain dried up. (Rom. 12:2)
Then the dagger hits home, Hope is for others, not for me.
I shared my reoccurring waking thought with a friend over coffee this morning. I mention that I wasn’t sure if it was for a story. She suggested to write a story about twins, one with the name Ican’t and the other Ican.
After she left, I had my quiet time. It was them when I saw these twins, joined by one heart, in me.
Who will win?
The one who will remain standing strong and walk in the newness of who she has become.
Is it easy? Nope. I will confront that solid steep mountian God told me about.
It will seem unclimbable before me, but with the Lord’s help, I will get to the other side which is labeled, “accomplishement.”
Not sure what you’re struggling and doing battle with today, but be assured you are not alone even though it’s a lonesome road.
Today will you chose with me to dwell and meditate on the Victory which the Lord conquered for us through His resurrection?
Let’s encourage each other today as we stand with the banner of victory on our spear then walk in faith on what has already been done and accomplished in us. (Heb. 3:13)
You maybe on a different road, but we’re facing the same enemy. Let’s keep in mind the enemy is not only finished but CONQUERED! (John 19:30)
With the sun behind me and covered by snowing clouds, this photo caused me to ponder. where did this light come from? It reassured me of my belief of, I’m never alone.
And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from Heaven. 2 Thessalonians 1:7 NLT
Do you believe in what can’t be seen or explain? Are you expecting miracles today or in 2019? Will your heart belief when Jesus appears from Heaven to bless you with his Light and gift you with a miracle?
Remember, as children when we got in trouble, we were sent to timeout?
As a parent, I would tell my kids to think about what they did wrong. While the child sat, they would have to stay there until they, themselves, identified their error and understood the correct manner of behavior. Which I had already explain to them, but they had to own their choice and decide to make better choices in the future.
Without knowing why, today, my soul was troubled, I had the urge to go for a drive and have a timeout. Expecting to learn the error of my ways I desired to find a place out in nature to listen to what God had taught me and seem to be trying to remind me. Eagle River, Alaska came to mind. Being a place where bears are cited, I invited a friend and off we went. (We didn’t see any bears, which we were thankful after learning that this was the time for brown bears and grizzlies to be passing through to feed from the salmon runs.)
Before leaving my place, I took time to read my devotional. As soon as I read the verses, I had the urge to leave, now. Without reading any further, I left with three questions packed in my heart. What should I be asking? What should I be seeking? And where should I be knocking? Eagerly I drove, expecting to hear definite answers from God at some point on the hike but, none came.
For those of you who know the passage, the verses were from Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” They’re familiar verses in the Christian community, but for me this time they had something new to teach me. I just didn’t know exactly what that lesson was, because I hadn’t identify where I stood with God.
Seating and pondering on my day in Eagle River, which I didn’t receive answers or clarity of these verses or my errored ways, I read the rest of the devotional. It reminded me to be persistent in asking and that Jesus doesn’t recommend for us to ask, He commands for us to ask. Now that’s something to think about for my future timeout from my day.
The devotional also said, that asking isn’t quite sufficient from Jesus’ point of view. He wants us to take it up a notch. We should seek out what we need from God and we will find it. Well asking is much less work than seeking, because one doesn’t have to do anything. While seeking takes our effort not just God’s. There are times, I just want the answer without much work on my part.
Do you remember asking your mom for something you know she could easily give you, but she sent you out to find it yourself and then get it on your own? Well I’m wondering if that’s what God was trying to tell me, when I rather for Him to just hand it to me. I still wonder, what is it that I truly want? I sense I must go on to the third question maybe I will receive clarity.
Knocking on the door is the final step. Well the devotional reference that the door is heaven’s door. It also mention that our asking and seeking takes us to the very doorsteps of heaven. Once there, we shouldn’t just stand there and wait, we should knock on the door. Well to tell you the truth, I’ve been afraid to knock on the door. Why? Because of what God has to offer.
What if God gives me my heart desire only to be taken away. Maybe, I don’t want to feel that pain again, so I will not knock, then I keep what I long for in the longing place of my heart. No wonder I felt like a timeout. I needed to see the error of my thinking and correct it with truth. It is better to have had it for a short while than not to have it at all. Besides, who told me that it will be taken again and why bother having it in the first place? Who have I been listening to? Whom have I followed? I’ve listen to the voices of Doubt, Disappointment and Fear.
They misguided me because of the troubles that have come and taken the good things my husband and I have been blessed with in Vancouver. We placed our house on the market and sold within twelve hours. We had to leave quickly that we didn’t have time to say good-bye to our friends. The move-out happened in less than two weeks from our return of our working travels. Our belongings were stuffed in storage and off we flew to Alaska to work again.
Now, we are homeless and have no idea where to plant our life and allow roots to grow. You see, I have lived in almost twenty places in thirty-five years of marriage which includes less than ten city moves and seven states covering from Texas to Maryland to Montana to Washington and now Alaska.
Do you see why I’m shy to knock and ask where should I be seeking residency? At the moment, we’re staying in an Airbnb in Alaska provided by my husband’s work. When he’s not working we’ll be staying with my daughter in Seattle, Washington.
I know once I knock on the door of heaven, it will be open. God will meet me and He will provide the answer. But, will it be the answer I seek? Or will He offer me the answer which is best to produce the fruits that are needed? I also know, that God will hand my husband and I not only what we need but gift us with more, with the purpose of sharing. All things do come from his storehouse and he will place the gifts into our hands for us and for us to share.
I understand. It’s not about finding residency, a house to call home or having a dwelling place. It’s about asking and seeking where does God want us, my husband and I to bear fruit. Like the devotional said, all of our persistent asking, seeking and knocking shows God that we are serious and sincere about our desire to bear fruits like John teaches.
John 15:16 “You have not chosen Me, I have chosen you. I have set you apart for the work of bringing in fruit. Your fruit should last. And whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.”
Am I ready to ask, seek and knock? I am. I’ve recognize the error of my ways, listening and believing the voices of Doubt, Disappointment and Fear instead of the voice of my Shepard, Jesus himself. I should trust Him with our future, my husbands and mine as a couple and mine as an individual.
Father, In Jesus name I come and ask to show me the way my husband and I should go and where to plant our lives to bear fruit, so that you can feed those who hunger after your precepts and desire to draw closer to you plus, to learn about your Son, the one who saves, died and rose again, Jesus, who conquered our sins, who forgives without our cost. for He paid it all. Thank you for choosing me. In Jesus name I ask, seek and knock. And in His name I wait to find a home to share of what God has in store for my husband and me.