Sunday, June 26, 2016


June 27, 2016
Psalm 10:1  "Why, Lord, do you stand far off?  Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?"

We often question the Lord, wondering why He does certain things and doesn't do certain things.  We wonder why He allows this current scenario to happen or that circumstance to occur.  But we must be certain we are correct in our wondering, making sure we are not accusatory in our questioning.  Too often our perception of the Lord and what we perceive Him to be doing is not actually what He is doing.  Case and point, the psalmist questions why the Lord was so far away from the frustrating situation, why the Lord was hiding Himself.  The psalmist was actually accusing the Lord falsely in his discourse.

If we read throughout Scripture, we understand the Lord will never leave us or forsake us.  The Lord will never abandon us and in fact, we cannot even hide from Him.  The Lord sees our comings and goings, the Lord is ever and always on His throne, the Lord maintains His sovereignty at all times, and no one is beyond His reach.  Our God is big and powerful.  He sees all and has never been chased or run out by His enemies.  But the psalmist slightly accuses the Lord of being far away, almost purposely distancing Himself.  The psalmist accuses the Lord of avoiding the situation by hiding.  There is nothing to suggest the Lord has ever been in hiding or purposely far away from us.  This dichotomy of the situation leaves us to believe the psalmist was incorrect in his perception of the Lord.  The psalmist spoke as if he had an accurate understanding of the situation.  He did not.  What he should have said was, "why do you FEEL so far away and why does it SEEM as if you are hiding."

The psalmist's perception was off and invalid, which led him to a misunderstanding of the situation and consequently blaming the Lord for something He wasn't doing.  But you and I have never blamed the Lord for something the Lord didn't do.  Clearly this is isolated to one occurrence in Scripture, just one time in history.  Or maybe it has happened more than once?  Maybe you and I have an incorrect understanding, perception, of what the Lord is doing and we project that onto the Lord as fact?  Maybe we end up accusing the Lord falsely, which leads to blame, which leads to frustration and anger, which leads to bitterness.  While the Lord has shoulders big enough to handle our misperception, the one who ends up getting hurt is you and me.  We accuse the Lord falsely, thinking it reality, then form an opinion of the Lord and His perceived actions.  We then hold it against Him.  Our faulty perception of the Lord ends up hurting our own lives.

To better handle the situation, the psalmist should have gone one step further and said, " Why does it FEEL as if you are so far off, but nonetheless, I will submit to your sovereignty in this."  Then and only then would his thinking and handling of the scenario been correct.  It is a stance of recognizing we do not have all the facts and allowing the Lord to perform His job as He sees most appropriate.  Wow, how hard is that?  Extremely.  Our rationality of the situation is at its highest in that moment for our finite brains, then we reason there must be no other logical explanation.  This is the trap that catches us every time.  Compared to the Lord's understanding, you and I are but a goldfish, bumping against the glass wall of our small fish-tank perception.  It's time to submit to the Lord's sovereignty and refuse to believe the validity of your perception of this situation.  That is the only way you will successfully wrestle through what is going on in your life.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  2 Psalm 139:7, Prov 16:1-4, Jer 23:24, Heb 4:13

Sunday, June 19, 2016

God's Re-Work

God's Re-Work
June 20, 2016
Philippians 1:6  "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

The Lord is into fixing things.  His specialty, after creating, is fixing.  Throughout Scripture the Lord shows time and time again His willingness and ability to rescue, save, redeem, fix, make new, forgive, start over, refresh, awaken, and bring back to life.  He probably spends more energy rebuilding than He did creating everything from scratch in the first place.  To be clear, the Lord builds in perfection then allows man to enter that perfection.  Man messes up His perfection.  If you're human, you foul up the Lord's design; it's what you do.  If you're the Lord, you re-work things; it's what you do.  The Lord allows you to play in His spaces, knowing you will need rescuing, even if you are doing your very best.

King David, though He was a devout God-follower, still managed to mess up his own life, the lives of his kids, and even the security of his nation.  David's best still ended up in personal failure which led to unnecessary deaths, destruction of his own children, permanent division in his family, civil war within his kingdom, and attacks from neighboring nations.  And David was even considered the Lord's chosen one.  How could David have been given so much, being capable of phenomenal leadership, and yet screw up so badly?  The answer is he was human just like you and me.

You may have not messed up to the scale and degree of King David but undoubtedly you've messed up your life a bit.  You are probably no where near the picture of your life you set out to create.  You are probably no where near the picture of your life the Lord set out to create.  My question for you today is what will you do going forward?  You could live in regret of your history and failures, permanently frozen from moving forward with His plan for you.  That is an option, as most Christians end with choice selection.  You could walk away from the Lord altogether, thinking you're so far from where you are supposed to be that the Lord isn't interested in performing a miracle.  Sadly, many choose this option as well.  You could also do the right thing and pursue a renewed vision for your future, asking the Lord to rebuild your life.  This is actually what the Lord desires for you.

You've undoubtedly tried your hardest in life and yet feel this is not where you were supposed to end up.  I agree with you.  This isn't it; today is not the pinnacle of your Christian walk.  You've either arrived, in which case you'd be in Heaven or there is so much more for you to accomplish.  Very few are fully confident in being finished with what the Lord has asked.  If you are satisfied with all that you've done for the Lord, thinking there isn't much left, then you're either: Jesus, fallen significantly short, stopped trying, given up, or lost sight of His plan.  This isn't meant to pick a fight or offend you, but to suggest the Lord isn't finished with you yet.  He hasn't given up on you.  He hasn't stopped working on you.  He hasn't stopped loving you and He hasn't stopped desiring more from your life.  I promise, if you so chose to continue on with the Lord, there will be heart-ache, failures, frustrations, set backs, and road blocks.  That is your sure sign you are to stay rooted in Him and continually seek the forward vision for your life.

If you have no forward vision for your life from the Lord, then you haven't sought His council.  He has something for you, more for you, and it isn't about blessing, it's about something to accomplish.  But first, you need fixing.  You need re-worked to get yourself back into alignment with His perfect path for you.  If you think you never need re-alignment with the Lord's plan for your life, then you're farther from His will than you think.  My life takes daily fixing.  Ask Him for a re-work, an awakening to what He has for you.  It will probably be filled with work, but will be far more satisfying than what you're doing right now.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  2 Sam 12, Is 43, Eph 5:17, Acts 2:17, Rom 12, Joel 2:28 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

God Mocks

God Mocks
June 13, 2016
Psalm 2:3  "The one enthroned in Heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them."

While the Lord is gentle and kind, benevolent and patient, He is still a multi-faceted being, capable of every emotion instilled in humans.  The Lord gets angry, sad, happy, glad, jealous, and even sarcastic.  It isn't very politically correct to suggest the Lord gets sarcastic, but it's true.  God even teases and mocks, making fun of stupid people.  Before you get the impression it is a good idea to mock someone, being unkind in your thoughts, speech, or tone, consider who the Lord is for a moment and why He might be driven to mock a person.  The Lord never desires to insult someone in a harmful way, if He can build him up instead.  However, the sarcasm and the mocking comes from a point of last resort, to get someones attention when his heart is so hard that wounds from the Lord might actually get through.

Throughout the Bible, it says that the Lord laughs, even scoffs to the point of mocking.  These emotions and actions from the Lord are usually directed at His enemies.  Before you think it appropriate to do the same, you are not the Lord.  The Lord does so from a point of sovereignty and power, not arrogance.  Consider an ant walking across your path, shaking his fist at you and telling you it will take you down.  You are likely to laugh at the absurdity of the power of the ant against yours, the will of the ant over your will.  No scenario would ever play out where an ant would triumph over a human.  It is easy, as a human, to laugh at the idea of an ant overtaking you, to mock the enemy ant's audacity against your position.  This is how it is with the Lord.  He is confident in His power, His position, His authority and any human who suggests going against the Lord's desire or will is going to get mocked.  No human can ever win out against the Lord.

You may not be an enemy of the Lord, worthy of being mocked, however I would suggest you've made some pretty presumptive moves in your life, attempting to take control over a situation when you should have submitted to the Lord.  We've all tried to push against an uncomfortable scenario, in an effort to get our own way, and ended up getting kicked in the teeth.  Maybe that situation you tried to stiff-arm was actually the Lord's will, and getting kicked in the teeth was actually the Lord slightly scoffing at your attempts to assert your will over His.  As a child, this lesson should be easily learned when a parent enforces a house rule or behavioral standard.  The child will try to buck the system meant to keep him safe but it usually ends in futility for the child if the parent is a good parent.  Yet we don't learn, do we?  Even as children, we try to asset our will over a situation and it seldom works out that we get our own way.  Some of you have figured this out, but some of you, even as adults still do this over the Lord.  You think you are in charge of your life and you think you get to call the shots.  I've made this mistake and it has never worked out even in my adult life. 

I don't ever want to be mocked or scoffed at by the Lord, therefore I am determined not to be His enemy.  However, there are more subtle ways I'm likely to get a sarcastic response from the Lord.  Those are the days I tell the Lord I'm going to do what I want, get my own way, and I attempt to take it.  I actually appreciate the Lord's sarcasm a little, because it keeps me in check, lest I carry it too far and find myself being opposed by the Lord.  That never ends up working out.  Remember, anyone who does not obey the Lord is considered His enemy.  His enemies are going to get mocked.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Ps 2, Job 38, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5 

Sunday, June 5, 2016


June 6, 2016
Psalm 33:9  "All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you."

A sigh is a deep, audible breath that communicates either disappointment or relief.  It is a physiological, involuntary response the body makes to reset the brain, induce an endorphin effect, or change irregular breathing.  A sigh can also be voluntary, to intentionally communicate annoyance.  Whatever the momentary reason for the sigh, the effect on the body is increased oxygen, which makes changes that result in a renewed equilibrium for the whole being.  God designed the sigh.  Not only did He design the sigh, but He gets to perceive our sighs as He watches us navigate this life.  You and I express ourselves through a sigh, showing our cards, as our body is obviously in need of a renewed equilibrium of things.  The Lord sees this, whether communicated intentionally or not.

The psalmist uses sighs in the Bible to communicate a form of disappointment, to express frustration with the current situation, exhaustion of emotional status.  You've done this and I've done this, even toward the Lord.  We get disappointed when the Lord doesn't respond in a perceived timely manner so we express our annoyance with the situation by sighing, even in our prayers.  We become emotionally exhausted in the current state of things, needing a renewed equilibrium.  It's OK to sigh, even toward the Lord, if done respectfully.  It's OK to express that you've come to the end of your emotional state, needing a change.  That's why the Lord designed the sigh in the first place.  It is especially OK to express your sigh to the Lord while you pray for a change at the same time, as long as it is not a sigh of disbelief.

When a sigh is expressed in the Bible, it is done from a point of being exhausted in prayer.  While prayer itself is not exhausting, praying the same thing over and over again without an answer to that pray can be frustrating, feeling it deserves a sigh.  This often results in the start of a prayer with a sigh.  King David did this often.  The man who had an extremely close relationship with the Lord, prayed the same thing over and over, often with a sigh interjected in his prayer.  The recorded psalms in our Bible are not chronologically grouped, they are grouped by types.  I challenge you to read David's psalms and find that there are several back to back that express his frustration with the situation and unanswered prayer, or a prayer for the same exact thing time and time again.  You'll find phrases and themes like "when, oh Lord, will you hear by prayer," or "I cry out to you yet again," or "my enemies have come back to attack me and I'm already exhausted."

If the psalmist is allowed to sigh in his prayer, I think it safe to sigh in yours, with one caveat.  The psalmist never expressed his sigh, then stopped praying or stopped believing in the Lord.  The psalmist sighed, and prayed again and again and again.  The psalmist never gave up his belief in the Lord's ability to rescue him.  He found himself on his knees, yet again, to the Lord, expressing his need for help.  The moment you express your sigh and give up on the Lord is the moment He may decide to hold your answer until you've come back around.  It's OK to sigh, just maintain your belief.  I pray your next sigh is a sigh of relief.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Ps 38:8-10, Ps 55:16-19, Is 35:9-10, Is 51:10-12, Job 3:23-25