>Stagnant Water Stinks

>

I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river in my soul!
I’ve got love like an ocean,
I’ve got love like an ocean,
I’ve got love like an ocean in my soul!
I’ve got joy like a fountain,
I’ve got joy like a fountain,
I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul!

Hmmmm…. have you ever noticed it doesn’t say I’ve got peace like a pond in my soul? 
Peace, love, and joy all coming from flowing, active, bursting bodies of water.

“For thus says the LORD,
“Behold, I extend peace to her like a river,
And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
And you will be nursed,
you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees.”
(Isaiah 66:12)

As I was working on my lesson for this coming Sunday morning from Luke chapter 2 the Lord zeroed me in on what “the boy Jesus”(Luke 2:43) was doing in the temple. 
When we look at Luke 2:52 we read that “Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” What? Jesus had to increase in wisdom? He had to increase in favor? We must never forget that Jesus is our example. He lived it all, so that He could indeed sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 2:14-18).
So now the question is how did he do it? What was His process of increasing? What self-help point plan did He follow? I believe His how is all right here in these few passages that the divinely inspired, God-breathed Word of God has given us.
I believe the point plan has only two points. It has always only had two points. The point of the points is do you carry out the points?

So what are the points?

Point 1: Love God
When we look at Luke 2:46 we read that Jesus was in the temple “sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.” Jesus was seeking God. He was discussing the Scriptures. Notice He was both listening and asking.
Let me ask you… can you ask questions in “big church”.
No you cannot. You only listen. What if in your listening you misunderstand? What do you do with your questions? Do you have them? Oh I hope so. Questions are part of seeking.
What we see here in this example of Christ is we need small groups. Did the disciples of Christ only sit in the crowd? No they followed Him closely. They sat with Him in small groups and asked Him questions and Jesus reasoned the Scriptures with them. This, my precious one, is how we increase in wisdom. It is not in just listening alone, but in asking questions. This is how we love God. By loving His Word enough to seek to understand it. So that we might obey it. And in obeying it we bring ourselves to point 2.

Point 2: Love others
When we look at Luke 2:51 we read that Jesus “continued in subjection to them (Joseph and Mary).” What? Jesus was in subjection to man? Yes. He obeyed the Law of God. What merit would God have if He broke His own Word? Jesus humbled Himself to this point. He laid aside who He was in order to obey truth. Here He is the Creator of the entire universe and He is saying “yes ma’am” and “yes sir”. So at any point and time should we ever think that our position in life negates the common decency of showing respect to another human being? No, it does not. How do we love others? How do we increase in favor with God and man? We show them respect and love. God tells us how to do this in His Word. You can find it all broken down in Exodus 20. He then showed us how as the person Jesus Christ. The commands of God show us how to love Him and how to love others. This is why they are not a burden, but indeed they are a treasure.

Well how does all this relate to where I began this post with peace like a river? As we look at Jesus He is increasing… he is continuing. These are words that are in motion. If we want peace like a river, and love like an ocean, joy like a fountain, then we can’t be a pond. We cannot be stagnant in our Christianity.

Stagnant water stinks and grows gunk. 
We must keep the living water flowing through us.
We cannot dam it up.

We must not just sit in the crowd. We must put ourselves where we can both listen and ask questions.
Come let us reason together… (Isaiah 1:18). 

The living water, the Word of God, must flow through us. It must come into our heart and out of our lives. The Prince of Peace must flow like a river in us. Sending peace to others. Flowing down from the mountain into the deepest valleys.
The love of God must go deep within us and rise up and crash onto the shores of those around us.
The joy of our Christ must spring forth praise out of our mouth with shouts like a geyser from the fountains of the deep and also with the gentle flowings of fresh spring fountains.

Love God. Love others.
It starts with God and spills on to others.

Oh Father, Let me be one that increases and continues…

>Overcomers

>”Jesus Christ, who went through hell for you, can give you the power you need to overcome the worst kind of condition in your life.” (Chuck Swindoll)

There is no greater peace than knowing that Christ is on my side. When I am in the pit of frustration for whatever reason He has never failed to pull me out. I can have my moment of panic. I can cry. I can even scream. I can even be angry at my God, but as I bring all this emotionally fleshed out ick to Him, He never ceases to amaze me how He turns my ick into peace and my peace into praise.

I realize that as I look at my life I am so extremely blessed.

I am loved and I love.

I have the absolute great joy of teaching the truth to whoever will let me.

I know and have experienced the overcoming power of the grace of God that is available in Christ alone.

I know that no matter how bad I may feel the condition of my life is at any point in time Christ is greater still. His grace abounds.

I believe part of the mercy of our God is letting us know that “In the world you have tribulation” (John 16:33). God tells us “When you pass through the waters… When you walk through the fire,” (Isaiah 43:2). He says you have not you might. He says when not if.

Then He says, “but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). And God also says “I will be with you” (Isaiah 43:2).

So my dear precious one, whatever your struggle has been today… whatever it might be tomorrow… know that in Christ you have the power to overcome. I have learned that overcoming doesn’t necessarily mean the problem, the struggle goes away, it just means that this struggle will not destroy you. It will indeed only make you stronger.

When we look at our Savior’s message to the church in the book of Revelation as He exhorts the churches to overcome He never says He will remove the issue they are told to overcome. He simply says overcome.

So the question is how do we overcome?

The answer:

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;
and this is the victory that has overcome the world–
our faith.
Who is the one who overcomes the world,
but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
(1 John 5:4-5)

>God Knows Best

>This morning I dropped off my babies. Shelby is spending the day and night with a friend and my Bekah is headed to Louisiana with my wonderful in-laws to visit with our relatives down even further south. This is her first trip down and she is so excited. It is also her first trip away from Momma and Daddy… praying it goes well. She is the one child we have who is really attached to home. The other two will go as long as they are invited and as many times as we say yes.

So with my husband at work and my girls gone, it’s just been me and the dog. Who presently is snoring on the rug beside me. I had every intention of spending the day in this quiet house writing. I planned to work on Devotions From Exodus, planned to work on transfering the study I am writing on the book of Luke from my spiral notebook to the computer, and planned on working on the Judgment scene and the Hell scene script for our church’s fall drama the Judgment Seat.

That was my plan.

However, I believe God has had another plan for today. I think He just might know that I have not quite recovered enough from my past week and a half to attempt to step into the mind of Satan today and write this script. Yes, that will wait for tomorrow. So prayers are humbly requested for tomorrow.

The goal in writing these two scenes is in the Judgment scene to make sure those who witness it are left with a clear understanding that those who are being judged are receiving their judgment solely on their rejection of Christ and not for any particular sin they committed and also to share the good news of the gospel. In the Hell scene it is to clearly expose Satan and his lies and the way he worms them into our life and also somehow in the midst of this have Satan himself deliver the gospel one more time to those who are going through the drama. You also have to soak yourself into each of these characters lives as to accurately speak for them. Our youth minister forms the character and… well… I get to send them to hell. Yay me…lol.

So, anyway, God know best. My partner in, “Oh yeh, God we can do one more thing right.?!?.” has called and I am heading to her house to work on Homeschool Co-op stuff. A very important thing that must be done and taken care of and can be taken care of with some much needed sisters in Christ time.

So I won’t have to send anyone to hell today.
I’ll do that tomorrow 🙂

>Enemies

>If you ever want to know what the voice of the enemy sounds like I recommend reading Isaiah 36-37.
After you prayerfully read these chapters I promise you will better recognize his slimy little lies. It truly is a must that you learn to recognize his voice… because he will speak to you. No one is exempt. If Jesus was not exempt why on earth would we ever even consider that we should or would be?

As you read to learn his voice, you must also pay close attention to how we are to respond to his voice. The only way to fight the voice of the enemy is with the Voice of Truth, the Word of God. Jesus showed us that. Hezekiah shows us that in Isaiah 36-37.

What’s important to know as you look at Isaiah 36-37 is the condition of Hezekiah’s heart before this enemy was permitted by God to approach him. You see only a short while earlier Hezekiah had become deathly ill, but he prayed to God and asked God to heal him… and God did. However, the Bible tells us that “Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 32:25).

So God permitted this enemy to come against Hezekiah.
It can be hard to swallow can’t it?
It’s hard to believe that this God that loves us so much allows our enemies to come against us. It can be hard to take in that it was indeed God that allowed this calamity, this enemy, this illness, this voice that hurts to the core and shatters you to the bone.
Many refuse to believe that.
Even men from the pulpit many will try to convince a congregation that a God of love wouldn’t do that… to say that is to negate much of the Word of God. For God clearly says “…I am the LORD, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.” (Isaiah 45:6-7) 

Many will hear God in this light and say well, that’s not my god. To that I must say, then you serve a false god. 

So why would God allow “calamity”? Why would He allow an enemy to come against us? Why would He allow an illness into our lives? We must learn “that an enemy is more than an enemy and an illness is more than an illness. It has been permitted by God for our good.” (Kay Arthur)

Here is some insight, some life lessons, to hold on to that I learned while studying these chapters of Isaiah with Kay Arthur through Precept. These insights will help you learn how to recognize the enemy and also how to understand how if you have faith any enemy or illness becomes a blessing:

-> An enemy wants to take you into captivity
-> An enemy challenges your faith (faith just is not faith until it has been tested)
-> An enemy tests your loyalty (he will offer compromise and compensation and even rewards if you will just come on over to his side)
-> An enemy can talk with God talk (yes the devil can quote Scripture)
-> An enemy talks will test your knowledge of God’s Word (the enemy always speaks God’s word out of context and he uses words of truth but perverts the truth)
-> An enemy will challenge your ability to hear God’s voice for yourself (you know, “well God told me that…”)
-> An enemy attempts to rule you by fear
-> An enemy seeks to divide and separate
-> An enemy will drive you into the presence of God and cause you to remember who God is
-> An enemy will drive you to your knees in prayer
-> An enemy will cause us to remember our dependence upon God

The thing about enemies is that they can blindside you. A lot of times they can come out of no where, well personally I think most of the time they come out of nowhere. Life can be great and wonderful and then BOOM!

So when these enemies come we have a choice, to quote Kay again, “we can faint or we can wait”.

We can fall down and faint before this enemy or we can stay silent and wait on God to fight for us or for God to tell us clearly how to respond. What we cannot do is respond out of our flesh.

I have learned that my biggest challenge in this process is not the attack, it is not staying silent or waiting for God to tell me how to respond to the attack, it is what I do with the hurt. I have a tendency to stay silent before the enemy and then become an enemy myself to someone else. I can just see the devil rolling over with laughter when he accomplishes this in me.

So why does God allow enemies and illnesses and calamities in our life?
To make us more like Him.
That is His goal.

I have learned that it also is to prepare us for the future. Before David ever faced Goliath he first faced a lion and a bear. If God has plans to use us for great things in His kingdom we have to be ready for the battle. Jesus tells us that we are not greater than our Master and if they hated Him they will hate us as well. If we are on the side of God we have just made an enemy of the world, our flesh, and Satan himself.

However, let us never forget…

“If God is for us, who is against us?” Romans 8:31
and
“But in all these things
we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 
For I am convinced that neither death,
nor life,
nor angels,
nor principalities,
nor things present,
nor things to come,
nor powers, 
nor height,
nor depth,
nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 3:37-39 

>Waiting in the Wilderness

>“And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.” Luke 1:80

What happens in the wilderness?
As we look through the Scriptures what we see is that testing and trials happen in the wilderness. Temptations by the enemy of our soul happen in the wilderness.
Why does God allow this?
And yes He does allow it.
(“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat” Luke 22:31)
Let us not forget He is sovereign. Satan has to have permission to touch you and even then he can only go as far as God allows (Job 1:6-12)

In the wilderness God allows us to face trials, temptations, and testing so that we may grow strong in spirit. We can think we believe something. We can think we could stand in a certain situation. We can think, but we just won’t know until we are in the midst of it.
Have you ever let your mouth boast about how you would do something if it was you and then… it is you? In the real situation, not the hypothetical one, how did you respond?

The wilderness is used by God to show us who we really are. In the wilderness we learn that we cannot trust our hearts, our emotions, our flesh. We learn that we are completely dependant upon God.

In the wilderness we also, most importantly, learn that our God is completely dependable.

We learn that if we trust in Him, He will never fail us. We grow strong in spirit, so that in the day of battle, in the day that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we truly will fear no evil, and no one and no thing will be able to crush our spirit, because we know our God.

It didn’t matter who came against John. It could be the king, it could be a religious leader, it could be soldier, it didn’t matter. He was strong in spirit. He knew his God and nothing would stop him from crying out the the truth. Nothing would keep him from calling out in the wilderness, “Repent the kingdom of God is at hand” Everyone had to repent. His shout didn’t change according to who was listening. In the desert he had learned who his God was and he feared no man.

John waited in the wilderness, growing in the knowledge of God and becoming strong in spirit, and he stayed there until God knew he was ready. Not until he thought he was ready.

The wilderness may not be a fun place to be… but the benefit of it lasts until all eternity. If you desire to be a mighty soldier, a mighty servant of God, to be used by Him to shine the Light of the gospel of our God to those who are hiding in the darkness, then you better be ready for some wilderness training.

You will not learn to speak with bold confidence any other way.
Building a strong brick house with a solid foundation takes a little more sweat and effort than throwing together a grass hut on the sand… but which one is going to stand through the storm? 

>Surrender

>I never knew surrender could be so free,
I never seen such meekness in majesty…
And now I sing freedom for all of my days,
it’s only by the power of the cross I’m raised…
The King of Glory rescued me…

I’ve had this song in my head for about a week now. I have noticed that I begin to sing it when I begin to try to take control of life again. Isn’t it mind-blowing how we can know beyond the shadow of any doubt how freeing surrendering into the sovereignty of God can be, yet we still find ourselves fighting it.

I know with all that I am and all that I ever hope to be that He is faithful.
I believe with all that I am and all that I ever hope to be that what He has spoken will come to pass.
I trust with all that I am and all that I ever hope to be that my past, present, and future are in His hands.

Yet still I constantly find myself in the same place as the father in Mark 9 as I come to God with my petition.

“But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:22-24)

Although my faith has moved past the “if You can” I still struggle with unbelief. Unbelief that I even deserve to have Him answer me with a yes to my request. I am fully sure of His ability. I know all things are possible with God. I know what He can do, it’s just the will do that I struggle with. So I too cry out, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

So many times my prayer, (or more accurately called pout, or as I shared before whine), is “God I know You can do this if You want to, so why haven’t You done it? Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? I don’t understand?”

I can have a petition before my God, then out of the blue an idea will come to me on how to fix it… and then I will get irritated because my response to my thought is, “Well great… Yep that sounded all good and all, but since it popped into my head I know You are not going to do it that way. So just strike that as not gonna happen.”

So many times I come up with what I consider to be a brilliant plan and then I just pass it on up to the Creator of the Universe and ask Him to put His God stamp on it and call it good… you know, “Dear God could You please submit to my will… k… thanks”

So many times, God whispers let Me help you, and I put my hand in His face and say, “No, that’s alright God. I got it.”

I mean really, is that the kind of attitude to have before a holy God?
I would think probably not… so then comes the thanking Him for the promise 1 John 1:9 and then immediately putting it into action.

How I wish that I could just always remember that I am to trust.
I am to surrender.
I am to submit.
Not my will but Your will be done…

Jesus came that we may have life and freedom. For whom the Son has set free is free indeed. This freedom is meant to free us from the worries of this world, so that we might rest in our God and just focus on worshipping Him. Not that worries won’t come, but they are not to consume or control us. This sweet surrender of our life is a freedom like none other. It is freedom that is full of grace and truth and hope when we choose to rest in it. It is a surrender into the incomprehensible sovereignty of a Most Holy Creator God. It is a surrender to the unknown by faith in the One who is slowly revealing Himself to us because we could not handle Him any other way.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. “Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” (Isaiah 26:2-4)

I so look forward to the day that I will know as I have been known.
(1 Corin 13:12).

Until then I will keep praising and thanking Him for what He has allowed me to know and keep praying that He will continue to let me know Him more and more.


>Speak Kindly

>So as I shared some of my overflow from my Sunday morning class I thought I would also share some of the overflow from my Sunday night class… Oh yes let me proclaim His excellencies!

On Sunday nights I currently am leading a Precept Upon Precept class from the book of Isaiah. This past Sunday we looked at Isaiah 40-41, the Lord has had me in Isaiah 40 for months. He just keeps pulling me back there to soak in His truth. And that is perfectly fine with me, Isaiah 40 is a wonderful place to be.

Isaiah 40 begins with “Comfort, O comfort My people“. You really cannot grasp the mercy in these words if you have not looked through and read the previous 39 chapters in Isaiah. In the first 39 chapters comfort is the last thing that the Lord is calling out for His people. You see they had already found themselves too comfortable as it was. So comfortable, that they had forgotten their God. They had forgotten His holiness. They somehow thought they were now above His law and no longer had to do more than go through the motions of religion and appease Him.
God, the Holy One of Israel, the Lord of hosts, then decides it is time to deal with his wayward children. The first 39 chapters sound very familiar as you read through them. You see it sounds just like our nation today. It sounds just like much of Christendom today. Read it sometime and see for yourself…

So the previous 39 chapters are filled with God revealing the wrath that He is going to bring on His rebellious children. Those who have forgotten that He is holy. Those who have forgotten that He is the Creator God, the One enthroned above the cherubim, the One who holds all the waters of the universe in the hollow of His hand, the One who breathes their very breath of life in their nostrils.

Oh friend, have you been there?
His child… yet somehow managing to forget how very big He is and forgetting that He is holy.

Then we turn to Isaiah 40 and we see how our loving Father will hand out His discipline, He will indeed remind us who He is, but then when the discipline is past, He gathers His children in His arms and tenderly holds them close to Him and says “Comfort, O comfort…” 

God then says, “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:2)

Not only does He forgive us, and cleanse us, and gather us into His arms, but he looks at the other children, those who did not stray in the way that we did, He looks at them and He says, now comfort, O comfort my child, speak kindly to this child of mine. Yes, she has received my discipline. She has paid double for her sins. She received it at My hand. She needs no more from you. You comfort. You speak kindly. She is My redeemed. She has repented. Her iniquity has been removed. I do not condemn her, neither are you to condemn her.

How merciful is our God.

I cannot even type this post that speaks of His mercy without tears brimming my eyes, because I know the great mercies He has shown me. I know the times I have fallen. I know the consequences I have endured from my sin. I know what He has forgiven… and not just forgiven, but chosen to take this broken vessel of clay and restore it, instead of trashing it. And then to take it, me, and use me to hold His righteousness, His holiness. To call me His treasure, to call me precious in His sight. Oh what do I know of this love?

I love this song I have added to this post, What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road. It reminds me of myself, how just when I think I have a grasp on this Christian walk, just when I think I understand my God and I have Him “all figured out” He never fails to blow my mind and put me in my place and remind me that even after all eternity has passed I still will not have a full grasp of this God of everlasting endless love…

I know nothing of His holiness.
I just know I want to know.

Is He fire? Is He fury? Is He Sacred? Is He Beautiful?

Yes, yes He is…

>Mary’s Sweet Sixteen

>I am teaching through the book of Luke in our Sunday morning small group class. We are not even out of the first chapter yet and God has already overwhelmed me with Himself. He is such an amazing God. I love how God sends Gabriel to Zacharias with His message and how God picks up right where He left off 400 yrs before in Malachi. God has Gabriel speak to Zacharias as though He had just spoke through Malachi 4 days before not 400 years before.
Why shouldn’t He?
His word endures forever and it does not whither or fade and Zacharais was a priest, a man of the covenant and He was to remember the words of the covenant and to live them and teach them to others… so this message of God given through Malachi should have been right on the tip of Zacharias tongue and at the front of his mind as if it had of been spoken just 4 days before. 

As is should be with us… after all man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Then as we go further into the first chapter of Luke there is that wonderful message that Gabriel delivers to Mary as he is reminding her who her God is, “For nothing (not any word) will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37).

Once again words of truth that we should hold to, live by, and teach to others as though God just spoke them 2 days ago and not 2000 years ago… for His word endures forever.  

Then Elizabeth full of the Holy Spirit declared, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” (Luke 1:45)

How could Mary help but respond with praise?
I call Luke 1:46-55 Mary’s sweet sixteen. I call it this because in her prayer of praise she gives us sixteen amazing facts about our amazing God.
So here it is:

 Mary’s Sweet Sixteen
1) He is Lord
2) He is my Saviour
3) He has regard for the humble state of His bondslave
4)He is the Mighty One
5) He has done great things for me
6) His name is holy
7) His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him
8) He has done mighty deeds with His arm
9) He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart
10) He has brought down rulers from their thrones
11) He exalts those who were humble
12) He has filled the hungry with good things
13) He sends the rich away empty handed
14) He has given help to Israel His servant
15) He remembers His mercy
16) He keeps what He has spoken forever
I adore this prayer of praise. Just remembering one of these sixteen can keep my mind steadfast and in perfect peace because I know that He is faithful and His word endures forever. So as the dreaded Monday quickly approaches, I encourage you to begin your work week with Mary’s Sweet Sixteen and may you too be blessed because you have believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to you from the Lord…

>Praying with Persistence or Shut Up and Trust

>How are we to know when to keep praying with persistence about the same thing or when to shut up and trust that God has heard us and move on?

As a parent I have kids who constantly are asking for stuff, to have stuff, to do stuff, to get stuff… always wanting stuff. My youngest who is seven at this time is dying for her own email account. We have told her to wait and we would set it up when we thought she was really able to handle one. However, even though we have already given her an answer which was to wait, she continues to constantly come to us and ask “But when?”
To which we have chosen to reply, “Every time you ask the time gets pushed back further.”

Hmmmmmm, now I wonder, is that my Father’s reply to me as well?

You see I ask for stuff, to have stuff, to do stuff, to get stuff… always stuff. It’s all reasonable stuff. Our house to sell. Foreign mission trips. Book sales. Ministry opportunities. Financial issues. Confirmations of prayers. You know good reasonable stuff.
And I have heard Him many times give me the answer, “Wait and I will give it to you when I know you are really able to handle it.”
However, I still find myself constantly coming to Him and asking, “But when?”

So I wonder is God looking at me and saying “Every time you ask the time gets pushed back further.”?

I try to justify my constant “But when’s” with the parable of the widow before the unrighteous judge in Luke 18:1-8, but my request are not going up before an unrighteous judge are they…

“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not lose heart,” (Luke 18:1)

So how do we know when to be persistent in prayer and when to shut up and trust?

I’m still working on this one, but I think when the prayer is actually a whine… it’s probably time to shut up and trust. If I am whining, have I lost heart? Is a whine even really a prayer request? I tell my own children, “Excuse me, but I don’t understand whine language, when you can address me in english, we’ll talk.”

So if I am whining am I really trying to emotionally manipulate God? (Like that’s going to work!) Am I really just doubting that He heard me or is going to do what He said He would do? Is it that I am not trusting that He has my best interest in mind at all times? 

“will not God bring about about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8) 

God is not going to delay in answering my request, even if and especially if the answer is wait. He will bring about His will quickly, as He said He would. Did you know that this word “quickly” is showed as only being used seven times in the Bible by the NAS Greek Lexicon?  In Luke 18:8, Acts 12:7, 22:18, 25:4, Romans 16:20, and Revelation 1:1, 22:16. The word is tachos in the greek and it means quickness, speed.

Perhaps what God is telling us many times, is wait, and when I answer I will answer with quickness and speed. You will have no doubt that it is Me. No doubt that your prayer has been answered according to My will to accomplish My purpose in you. So My dear precious one, My beloved, when I come with My answer to your request, will I find you waiting in faith…

So are we to pray with persistence or shut up and trust?
I think the answer just might be both.
A little phrase that I have coined… “when in doubt, pray about”

However, maybe, NO WHINE LANGUAGE ALLOWED 🙂

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14)

>Interpretations of Grease

>As I was spending time with a dear friend and sister in Christ this week we ended up on a discussion about music lyrics and movies. We were at a public place where random music was being played and a lot of that music was songs we listened to growing up and we would find ourselves singing the lyrics before we even realized it.

Then our girls would say “what’s that song” and we would then move into diverting them with a, “well it’s just an old song that was out when we were growing up.” And we would move on not really wanting to encourage them in learning the lyrics themselves. After all they’ve already got “Baby, Baby, Baby, Oooooh” stuck in their head. They don’t need “Shot to the heart and you’re to blame, baby you give love a bad name” added to their minds rolodex.

After the song lyric discussion it moved into the movie realm and the movie Grease came up. We both remember watching that movie as a child and loving it, I have to admit I still enjoy watching this movie.
What I recall as I watched this movie as a child was that I just focused on the fun of it. The catchy songs, the silly things that made me laugh, like the pies in the faces and the pink hair. I really never caught on to what the whole concept of the movie was about.

Then I watched it as an adult that was now deep in the study of the Word and was now focused on being holy as He is holy and being a slave to righteousness and not the slave to sin that once had me bound. I watched this movie with these new eyes in Christ and sat there with my mouth open in the “Oh my word!” expression.

As my friend and I discovered, this movie was horrible. The message of it, the lyrics of the songs, we both recalled the shock of discovering what we had really been singing. Wow!

The verse “Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) comes to my mind.  

This movie takes this good, pure, wholesome young lady, everything that we are desiring our daughters to be, this young girl who stands strong through the ridicule of friends because of her goodness and then this movie brings her down and ends with a celebration of her degradation. The girl compromises her convictions, the truths in which she has been taught, in order to get the object her desire… a boy. She shows up at the end of the movie in tight black leather with a cigarette hanging out of bright red lips.

What hit me this morning in the shower is what the boy had showed up in at the very same ending…

When this young girl met her fellow, he was not with his peers. His personhood was not affected by the company he kept… he was himself. This is who the young girl gave her heart to. Then she meets him within his peers and he is different. However her affection for him has not changed, nor has his for her.

What happens when this young man lays eyes on this young lady again? Well first he becomes a confused fool, torn between what he wants and who he is supposed to be. The young girl refuses to be intimidated by him and stands her ground to not be less than who she is, no matter who makes fun of her. As we watch the movie we see this young man realize if he is to have the object of his desire, he must change. He begins to do so… little by little… he begins to become a man.

The problem… the young lady. Here in the end she grew tired of waiting and she compromised. She threw it all out the window in order to get what she wanted. She lowered her standards and now is pretending to be someone she is not in order to get what she wants.

However had she just waited, had she just continued to stand her ground, this young man was rising to the occasion. He was becoming a man in order to earn her trust, her respect.

The truth hidden in the songs and fun of Grease, the moral of the story you might say that I believe is written in between the lines maybe…

Young ladies wait.
If you will wait, he will rise.
Do not compromise what you know is right, stand firm, hold fast, if he loves you he will rise to meet your standard. His desire is to earn your respect.
Let him.

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9)