“And the parched ground shall become a pool…”(Isaiah35:7).

“For the hurt…of my people I am hurt. I am mourning; Astonishment has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health…of my people?” Jeremiah 8:21,22).

The cry, the prayer:”Rain down healing Lord. Like a dew on the parched ground, rain down recovery and rest.” We cry out for Your children, “Rain down Your goodness and mercy, the truth and all the rest!”

There is a Great Physician. There is balm to bring healing…The Word of our Lord Jesus, the Son of God: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…”(Isaiah 61:1).

There is a ‘balm in Gilead’, as with tears we turn the pages…words of comfort, words of healing spring forth throughout the ages: “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees, Say to those who fearful hearted, “Be strong, do not fear!”(Isaiah 35:3,4).

“Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.” (Isaiah 35:4).

“…the waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water;” (Isaiah 35:6,7, emphasis mine).

“A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others…And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain…

they shall,

obtain,

joy

and gladness,

and sorrow

and sighing…

shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:8,10, emphasis mine).

There is a ‘balm in Gilead’, as with tears we turn the pages…words of comfort, words of healing spring forth throughout the ages: “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees, ” walk on believing, even in this, the Great Physician has a remedy for all of your pain.

And there will be a day, when you take a breath and speak, the testimony of the Lord: “He has lead me beside the still waters. He has restored my soul!”

How do we pray?

 Trouble has come for many in this day- our hearts break for the hurting, our minds are silent. It is as if in a moment’s time the Lord allows many to experience an unexpected darkness.

And, often,there are no words when praying over the afflicted. Times like this, it seems like the Bible on the shelf weighs 100 pounds. It is just too heavy to pull off the shelf.

When eyes are blinded by tears and heart ache. Lord I pray ears are open to hear Your song:
Zephaniah 3:16,17, “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The LORD you God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you in His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

There might be change and trial, but the hymns bring back melody in our heart to hear: “Through every change, He faithful will remain.”

Through every change, He faithful will remain.
This is truth.
Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Everything may have changed, but He remains the same.
“Through every change, He faithful will remain, Be still my soul…”

Perhaps the prayer of the afflicted today looks like Ps.6:6-8,
“I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
It grows old because of all my enemies.

But the song: “Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake.” (Be Still My Soul).

We are shaken! We become moved.

But the song: “Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake…” draws the broken-hearted to the songs of Psalms: Ps. 62:1,2, “Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense;

I shall not be greatly moved.”
“Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake…”

And we pray for the afflicted, “Lord give them grace to ‘wait silently for God alone.’
Lord, that they hear Your song of faithfulness and that they wait on You as they heal:
Ps. 62:5-7,
“My soul, wait silently for God alone.
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.”

The hymn reminds us:  “All now mysterious”

So we pray that they may be strengthened to:
Ps. 62:8, “Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
and that they would know that,
God is a refuge for us. Selah

“All now mysterious...” – most certainly:
Ps. 62:9,10, “Surely men of low degree are a vapor,
Men of high degree are a lie;
If they are weighed in the balances,
They are altogether lighter than vapor.
Do not trust in oppression,
Nor vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase,
Do not set your heart on them.

God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.”

“Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake…”

We are reminded yes, “All now mysterious” BUT they “shall be bright at last.”

We pray for ourselves and the afflicted,

“Be still my soul, the waves and wind still know
His voice who ruled them
while He dwelt below!”

Lord, our prayer for the afflicted is increased hearing during this time of darkness, an increase in hearing of Your song over them, hearing of Your Psalms and Hymns to enable them to Be still and know again and again, over and over:

“God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.
Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy…”Psalm 62:11.

And we would have a new response:
“In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.”

“In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

‘Still Be My Vision…’

 “…heart of my own heart, whatever befall…still be my vision, O Ruler of all.” (Be Thou my vision, 8th Century Irish Hymn).

The final words to one of the oldest recorded hymns ever written, are foundational…’whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all.’

The entire hymn, verse after costly verse build ‘stone upon stone’ a foundation in which, we, believers in Christ can build our ‘temples’ on : “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”(1 Cor. 6:19). And it is most important that we remember, to keep in our ‘vision’ the word of the Lord: “For you were bought at a price…” (1 Cor. 6:20).

For some, there is no time for ‘religious stuff’, and these words just bring strife. So focus is on the immediate, the urgent in  the day to day life.

For others there is too much busy-ness, even in   ‘serving the Lord’ to ‘rest’. What are the foundations of our thoughts and actions? Do we desire to build relationship stone by stone, step by step?

Do we lose our focus in the whirlwind of life? Do we desire relationship with the Ruler of all and our Creator.

Did you know that the foundation of the Temple in Jerusalem was COSTLY?  “Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work,”(of building the Temple of the Lord), “three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work. And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house…” (1 Kings 5:16,17).

Great and costly and hewn stones were brought in to lay the foundation.

I speak in the present tense.  I speak to myself. The cost is great in laying the foundation.  And really? Who would use ‘costly and precious stones for a foundation that’s not even seen?

Foundations are seen by One, and One only. God sees. His vision is clear.

Believing that God cares about all the parts of me that no one else knows, and know one else sees, that’s foundational. And when everything I can see, everything on the outside, starts falling apart- (our temples, our physical bodies),  then the FOUNDATION is all that’s left!

When this world rates us and scores us at ‘zero’ , God sees our faith and rates us as heroes!

So, what are great and costly stones? What are ‘hewed stones’ in the building of the temple of the Lord? in our own bodies? The Chief Cornerstone. Everything rests on the Cornerstone.

We discover the importance of ‘foundations’ and ‘focus’ when trouble comes and great brokenness. It’s not all bad – in that we cry out and hunger for increased faith and focus -God uses it for good.

“Be Thou my vision, Lord of my heart. Not be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best thought by day and by night. Waking or sleeping Thy presence, my light.”

“Be Thou my wisdom. Thou my true word. I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord. Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son, Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.”

Costly stones are FAITH : “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1). It is costly to have faith. BUT, we must be reminded, “For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” We can’t ‘see’ faith, but we can see the evidence of it in the testimony, in the story! AND, it is recorded, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him,(God), for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! (Hebrews 11:6, exclamation point, mine!)

No one can see the great costly stones in the foundation, but God can, and God does! He’s got us in full view, and we best keep Him in full view as well, and then, we can stand on the Stone, the Chief Cornerstone no matter WHAT is going on in our world and sing with courage and trust:

“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise. Thou mine inheritance now and always. Thou and Thou only, First in my heart. Thou King of Heaven my treasure Thou ART!”

“High King of heaven , my victories won. May I reach heaven’s joy, bright heaven’s SON. Heart of my own heart…

whatever befall… STILL BE MY VISION, Oh Ruler of all.” (Be Thou My Vision, 8th Century Irish Hymn).

The foundation? Faith – costly, sacrificial, precious faith – in the ‘High King of heaven’, my victories won. He wore a crown of thorns, so that one day…I can wear a shiny one. And that shiny crown I will receive, I will give it to Him and lay it at His feet!

 “Lord, help us get focus. Help us keep focus. Give us hunger for relationship with You, the Father Who cares, the Father Who guides, the Father Who loves and shows us through His Son Jesus Christ. Forgive us for sin, forgive us for losing focus. Fill us today with the Holy Spirit and let us walk in faith that You, our Precious Cornerstone care and hear and Love us!”

When our thoughts are the enemies…But God!

 When we’ve experienced  brokenness, or loss, or even a ‘falling’. We wrestle with God. We are tempted to ask, (and we do ask), in our hearts, “Why God?  Why!?”

With hearts that still beat, but with each pulse there is pain – we lie broken and weak, under dark clouds and then… we cry… we cry and we cry, and then the mind fights against sense. Our thoughts are the enemies that line up… against –  against the foundations that were laid from the beginning: “Jesus loves me this I know…”

and in the whirlwind of thought – anger and fear, reappear rhymes that were told us from times past:  Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again”.

In the confusion of it all, seemingly spinning in the mess, comes the temptation of… hopelessness. Even believing Humpty Dumpty’s plight in our own restlessness.

What a horrible rhyme! Yet, universal in learning! But now, in the wrestling, something deep down inside, whispers ever gently: ‘This is a life without GOD! Lift up your eyes. There is a King, with a capital ‘K’,  that rises above all kings.  A King who knows, and is able, and can do all things!

There is always hope! Don’t believe the rhymes without God – so dark and empty and ending in shame – but here is the rhyme written with God as His friend: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Humpty Dumpty shouted “AMEN” God will put  me together again!” (Christian Nursery Rhymes).

Let us repeat this and teach this rhyme to the young!  We are all Humpty Dumpty! Deceived with Eve, and eaten forbidden fruit with Adam. We’ve all missed the mark- we’ve all had a great fall!

And we try every resource and rely on ‘king’s horses and king’s men’, and we find we just can’t do it ourselves.  But God meets us with mercy,  and when…we heed the deep whisper of hope in our heart, we begin to realize. “Jesus loves me. And He has from the start.”

God speaks. He’s not silent. When feeble hands open the words on His pages: “Then the LORD descended in the form of a pillar of cloud and stood there with him, (Moses), and passed in front of him and announced the meaning of his name: 

“I am Jehovah, the merciful and gracious God,” he said, “slow to anger and rich in steadfast love and truth. I Jehovah, show this steadfast love to many thousands by forgiving their sins; (literally forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin),(Ex. 34:5,6,7, Living).

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. But God comes  – not to put broken pieces together – but to create a new creation altogether!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?” (Isaiah 43:18,19).

“Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”…”And I will heal him.” (Is. 57:19, NKJV).

He knows what we are made of. He’s knows how very fragile we are. And He knows, we have been broken…“Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt…”Jer. 31:3.

Know the truth, it will set you free. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. (Jer. 33:3).

 “Behold, I will bring …health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.”(Jer. 33:6).

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,… ” (2 Corinthians 5:18).

“… that is, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

“I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.” (Jer. 33:8).“Then it shall be to Me a name of joy,…” (Jer. 33:9).

A name of joy, even ‘Humpty Dumpty’ who had a great fall. But God will put him back together again! God uses everything! He gave us His Son to pay our debts in full and by believing in Him, we are made new and whole!  And we can shout out  with out voices “Amen, Amen, and Amen, Let it Be! Jesus loves…even me!

“I have your new shoes.”

“Take off the sandals from your feet.” The voice of God from the burning bush speaks.

Remember the story of Moses told in the Old Testament story? When he turned aside to see a bush, not consumed, but burning! (1).

But when the prodigal son returns home in the New Testament story, the Father runs and hugs him and puts new sandals on his feet.(2).

When reading the Bible today in the Song of Songs, God’s word to the prince’s daughter says, “How beautiful are your feet with shoes…”(3).

“Oh Lord, teach me something today, so that I am not confused!”

“Moses, take off your shoes!” God’s Law was given through him. Moses and the  10 commandments, familiar to all.

But the prodigal comes home in desperation to his Father.  Jesus  Himself, tells  us the story. The prodigal receives grace and forgiveness and… shoes for his feet.

“Take off your shoes!” God’s word is Holy. He alone can keep the law fully. Don’t think for a minute we can stand on our works. We’ve all missed the mark! We’ve all been wrecked by the fall! (4).

“I am in great need. I am in great desperation. I must return back to my Father in heaven!”

If this be our cry, the Father’s  heart hears. He’s been watching and waiting. The Father runs –  with arms open wide. Abounding in grace, in love, and forgiveness – and so much more besides – He comes with shoes and carefully puts them on our feet.

“My blood was shed on the cross that day to cover your sin from beginning to end. Come to Me. Trust in My work. Come to Me, Jesus, I have new shoes for you. Come to Me, let Me put on your feet, My love, the Gospel of Peace.”

“How beautiful are your feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter!” Song of Solomon 7:1.

O LORD, we must take off our shoes and not stand on the ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ of the Law in our walking!  We must stand on the finished work of the cross and love, without stopping!

(1). Exodus 3:5.

(2). Luke 15:22.

(3). Song of Solomon 7:1.

(4). Romans 3:23.

“Help I Need Somebody!”

“Help! I need somebody! Help, not just any-body! Help! I need Somebody! HELP!”

We’ve got melody to our cry, thanks to the Beatles!

And when our hearts cry out these words of desperation, somehow, finally, our prayers are being answered –  because eyes are open and our heart is soft and our ears are prepared to listen, and a peace even draws near – as  God shows us He’s nearby. Oh, not at once, like we wish, but a ‘journey begins’ of seeking and discovering: ‘He uses all this!’

The sky is amazing and huge and it speaks. And the ocean is powerful and reminds us we’re weak. But the beauties of creation don’t speak words of consolation. “Help I need somebody! Not just any-body! Help!” …continues our cry of desperation!

God speaks through creation! Yet my cry remains the same. After spending time with the sunset sky, the questions continue, “Who?”, “What?”, “When”, “Where?”, “How”, and “Why?!”

For some, we need a ‘Knight in shining armor!’ For others, the need is a ‘double edged sword!’ Still others need a Great Physician. And others need their ‘daily supply’. Some need a cleansing bath in Living waters. We are thirsty and ill from all the ‘lie-ing! Help! Not just Anybody, We need Somebody… to HELP!” (Yes, All caps and italicized!)

So The Book is given, when the cry is at last desperate. The pages are opened to the end of The Story, to see if in fact it’s filled with the ‘often-told’ glory:

“Then [the angel]said to me, Write this down; Blessed – happy, to be envied – are those who are summoned (invited, called) to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me [further], These are the true words -the genuine and exact declarations -of God.” (Revelation 19:9, and indeed, Amplified).

All of a sudden, there’s a party being planned, and we wonder, “Am I invited? Could this be the ‘invitation’ that I hold in my hand?”

The Story continues, in brokenness we read, “Then I fell prostrate at his feet to worship -to pay diving honors- to him, but he [restrained me] and said, Refrain! – You must not do that! I am [only] another servant with you and your brethren who have [accepted and hold] the testimony borne by Jesus.

Worship God!

For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy – the vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching…” (Revelation 19:10, Amplified), (and we must admit, the words are often a mystery in part, unidentified!)

But we keep reading on in great hunger we eat: “After that I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse [appeared}! The One Who was riding it is called Faithful (trustworthy, loyal, incorruptible, steady ) and True, and He passes judgement and wages war in righteousness – holiness, justice and uprightness.”

This is when we get ‘afraid’ knowing we are ‘not’ all this, but we read on as one who seeks to quench  their thirst: “His eyes [blaze] like a flame of fire, and on His head are many kingly crowns (diadems); and He has a title (name) inscribed which He alone knows or can understand. He is dressed in a robe dyed by dipping in blood,

and the title by which He is called is The Word of God.” (Revelation 19:12&13, Amplified. Mysteries, multiplied!) But the words, they come in like a flood, reminding us of His death: ‘He was dressed in a robe dyed by dipping in blood.’

“And the troops of heaven, clothed in fine linen, dazzling and clean, followed Him on white horses. From His mouth goes forth a sharp sword with which He can smite (afflict, strike)the nations, and He will shepherd and control them with a staff (scepter, rod) of iron. He will tread the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath and indignation of God the All-Ruler – the Almighty, the Omnipotent.

 And on His garment (robe) and on His thigh He has a name (title) inscribed, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:14-16, in the Amplified Version has us asking, “”God what is all this? Words unlike any other!”

So naturally, (I wonder if God always knew), we turn to the very end of this Best Selling Book, and our eyes catch the words, because He’s speaking right to us:  “I, Jesus, have sent My messenger (angel) to you to witness and to give you assurance of these things for the churches. I am [both] the Root (the Source) and the Offspring of David, the radiant and brilliant Morning Star.”

“The (Holy) Spirit and the bride [the church, the true Christians] say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let every one come who is thirsty [who  is painfully conscious of his need of those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported and strengthened]; and whoever [earnestly] desires to do it, let him come and take and appropriate (drink) the Water of Life without cost…” (Revelation 22:16&17 – Read aloud, somehow …change our heart).

Could it be, when opening The Holy Book, that we discover, that it’s an open invitation to ‘whosoever’ will hear, and that our Prince in shining armor is calling us near.

“Help, I need Somebody! Not just any-body! Help I need Somebody!”… and He is here!

The Words would never have been read  -out loud no less, unless many of us were in ‘great desperation’. How glorious it is, when ‘poor spirit’ and broken, Jesus Himself speaks His Revelation.

So The book has been opened, and the Book is Transforming. The Word of God is Comforting, and Fulfilling, and Restoring, but not only that The Word is right here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Eye’ will not worry!

We love a picture, so we hang it on the wall to look at over and over again. We love songs and listen time and time again. Well, I have a speech that moved me and inspired me and so, I put it down, so I can read it anytime, over and over again, when I get overwhelmed or worried.

The speech is a bit of an anatomy lesson of the eye, thanks to a nursing graduate at her pinning ceremony:

“Did you know that there are 47 different structures that make up the human eye that all have a unique function? Did you know that there are 6 extra-ocular muscles, 4 cranial nerves, and 1.2 million nerve fibers in each optic nerve.

Did you know that when light waves touch my eye, without even thinking about it, I blink to protect them from too much exposure.
And when that amount of light changes, my pupillary light response reacts without a thought, so that only the right amount of light is let into my eye.

Did you know that there are four-out of the twelve- cranial nerves that work specifically for the eye, so that they can not only allow me to focus on an object and read it, but also so that they can move in different directions.

There are 9 different structures that all play a specific role in receiving light messages before they even get to the brain. And it is not until those messages get to the occipital lobe of the brain that I can interpret what I am actually seeing.

The eyes receive millions of light waves and messages everyday, but my brain has a specific area that lets only the important and significant messages through so that the brain doesn’t get over-stimulated.

And did you know…

that the God who told me to cast all my cares upon Him, and that He will never leave me nor forsake me, that I should be anxious for nothing, was the very one who designed this whole system and hundreds like it! So that we can live and move and breathe every second.

And did you know that He didn’t have to lift a finger,
and He didn’t sweat a drop to think of it.
He just breathed on one man, and He knit us together and formed us in our mother’s womb
before you were even a thought in her mind.

And now tell me,
What are you worried about?
What will you be worried about when you come up to those hurdles that are bound to cross your path?

I want you to think of your EYE! and tell me,
that your situation, your problem, your worry is too big
for the God who created you and the world you live in
to handle.”

A young graduating nursing student  gave this speech on her mom’s birthday.  “What are you worried about? I want you to think of your eye!”

We can’t hang it on our wall, but we can read it over and over and over again. And share it with others that we might not be tempted…ever again,

to worry.

 

 

He says, “Follow Me”. So today, we choose…

Who’s the ‘He’? He’s the One who created me. He’s the One who knows all things. He’s the One who knows our name! Why else do you think God put all those names in His word? He certainly doesn’t think we’ll read each  one – but as we glance past them all, as each has a part in His Story- and He impresses on my heart, “You’re name, dear one, I call. Come, follow the Son.”

So, what happens when I make the choice? Not just once for Salvation, but every day to hear His voice?

He starts making everything ‘crystal clear’, as we choose to walk with Him through the Gospels. Somehow, He answers questions  that we have both far and near – as we hear Him speak – just to me, just to you, as if He’s right here:

But there is an enemy that likes to mess us up because He hates God and hates me and hates you and hates all! He whispers thoughts like, “This is so boring” and “no-one can understand,” “it’s always talk about blood…”,  and “you need more than Jesus” and “who has time for all this!”

But God is greater! God is able! God is amazing and He’s working still. He ‘skips on the mountains’ that make our hearts fail. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). This is what He tells us in His word, that we might KNOW His will!

There are no guesses!  When we think, “Well, maybe God loves me.”

When we get our eyes in His word and hear Him speak, the message is clear: God is love. He loves. He provides. He sees…“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that  maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Lev. 17:11 KJV), 
and that is why He had to die for me.

“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.” (Matthew 11:28, emphasis mine!)

“Come to Me.” Jesus says. (Matthew 11:28). “… and I will give you…”

“I will…” (The Creator of the Universe and Creator of every cell in our heart, soul and mind),

“I will give to you…”, (Speaking in relation, knowing our names, knowing our pains, knowing all that’s going on in our minds),

“I will give to you rest for your souls.”

“Follow Me.” (This is Jesus. The One who speaks. The One who can make us whole).

“But what will others say? What will others think? “…day by day and week by week? “(these thoughts wrestle inside each one of us). What is the choice? What is it we seek?.

But today, Jesus passes alongside where you are and calls you by name. Can you hear Him call: “Follow Me.”  It’s recorded – the stories of others who chose to follow,  in His Word, His (magnificent, #1 bestseller ):(Mark 1:16-18), “Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.  And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[ And immediately they left their nets and followed him.”

“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.” (Matthew 11:28, emphasis mine!)

Today, He calls us to lay down the yoke of strife and compulsion and anxiety and dread, and take His yoke. Learning of Him and knowing more what He said; investing time in His word that we might have not strife, but peace instead!

 

To Do: “Rest”

 

“There is a place of quiet and rest,…there is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God.”This is the first line to a hymn titled, “Near to the heart of God.”

When ‘Rest’ is on the ‘To Do List’, this is where we needs meet: ‘Near to the heart of God’.
When asked the question, “How are you?” The only reply near to the tongue is,
“I’m tired.”
Today, I read the words aloud of an unfamiliar (to me, that is), hymn:
“O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God.”

“Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God!” (emphasis and exclamation, mine.)

‘Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God.’ So, I think of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles. Do you remember him? Well, I remind myself today of his famous prayer from 2 Chronicles 20:12: “O our God, will You not judge them?” (Them? The enemy that came out to battle. We won’t battle with the people of Moab, but we will battle the enemy of fear every day. And the enemy of doubt, which makes no delay, and the enemy of ‘control’ which depletes breath and life and unity- and the enemy of addiction to things that destroy…etc., etc., etc!) “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

King Jehoshaphat had gathered all of Judah, with the little ones, their wives, and their children, and they stood before the LORD to pray this prayer together.

And they received an answer because the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of … who was the son of …, (a reminder that God knows our names!) and the response was recorded,(after you get through all of the names) many, many years ago, for you and for me – today. It’s in 2 Chronicles 20:14-17.

“Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves,
stand still and see the salvation of the LORD,
who is with you. O Judah and Jerusalem!”
(and repeated a second time, he continues,) “Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.”

Jehoshaphat then bowed his head to the ground and worshiped the LORD.

“Position yourselves,…”
And Jehoshaphat showed us how: King Jehoshaphat ‘bowed his head to the ground and worshiped the LORD’.
“Near to the Heart Of God”
“There is a place of quiet rest, Near to the heart of God; A place where sin cannot molest, Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God.”

“There is a place of comfort sweet, Near to the heart of God; A place where we our Savior meet, Near to the heart of God.

“There is a place of full release, Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace, Near to the heart of God.
O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,

Hold us, who wait before Thee, and speak dear Jesus, as we rest we listen, and even more than that, we choose to hear: “I AM the True Vine and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit – that stops bearing – He cuts away (Trims off, takes away). And He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.

You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the Word which I have given you – the teachings I have discussed with you. Dwell in Me and I will dwell in you. – Live in Me and I will live in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. 

I am the Vine, you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me – cut off from the vital union with Me – you can do nothing.

If you live in Me -abide vitally united to Me – and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you…”(John 15: 1-7, Amplified).

“O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God.” 

Hold us and speak to our tired hearts and show us the way to overcome the and bear fruit TODAY, as we rest, we bow our heads in position of worship, speaking hymns and Your word and receiving Your love! Revive us O Lord, in these last days, give us rest and hearts that Praise. In Jesus Name, and we all say…

 

 

 

I want fruit, but how?!

Every branch wants to bear fruit. That’s the plan from the beginning. But, ‘unless a grain of wheat fall into the dirt and break down'(1) – it remains alone, bearing no beauty.

Unless a grain of ‘anything’ fall into the ground and ‘die’- it forever will stand on its own with no flower – oh sigh!

God’s Word in the Gospel of John, chapter 15, had me in the middle of a garden thinkin’ of all kinds of things:

Abide in the Vine of Love never-ending. A river of life will continually flow. With gentle power, when we walk in the Spirit and put a stop to our flesh as we go!” This reads so ‘flowery’, so ‘easy’ so ‘sweet’…

But we must not be mistaken – the path is not all ‘rosie!’ We won’t ask for troubles to come, oh no, but they do! We have sunny days and cool breezes, but then the north wind blows… and the dark clouds roll – ‘What then! What then! What then must we do?

We must speak to our soul the words of a song. We must sing a new song – now of faith, not of fear. God abides in our praise, let a worshiper’s heart appear:

“What have I to dread, what have I to fear? Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms…

“What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the Everlasting Arms. What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!”

The answers! The answers are written right here- now …to just keep singing, just keep singing, as the north winds blow so near.

John 12:24-25 “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”

“What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms! Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
  Leaning, leaning,
  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

 

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

 

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
I have peace complete with my Lord so near,
  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!” 

(1) Joh 12:24.

(2) Everlasting Arms, Elisha Hoffman.