Thursday, May 27, 2010

What's Your Mindset?

Romans 8:5

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Sprit have their minds set on what the sprit desires.


Once a person gets their mind set on something it's hard to get them to think about anything else. The younger they are the more challenging it is to change their mind set; the older they get the more rigid their mindset. Oftentimes, my youngest son will ask me the same thing over and over because he has his mind set on something. i.e. “Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet?” LOL

It’s been said, also that men have a “one track mind.” The myth is that men think about sex every seven seconds. According to the Kinsey report (Sexual behavior in the Human Male) 54% of men think about sex every day or several times a day. 43% a few times a week or month, and 4% less than once a month.

The point is that men think about it more than women because their mind set is different, with that being said, it is important to have discipline to change your mindset.

The mindset on the sinful nature have their mind set on what that nature desires and in the end it leads to self-destruction. Your mind set grows by whatever you feed your mind. You have to train your mind by what you program it with. When Solomon warns his son of destruction in Proverbs 5, he talks to him about his mindset. He paints a visual picture of the adulterous woman who’s mouth drips with honey but her way leads to destruction. Then he paints the picture of the young man’s wife as a precious doe or a life-giving stream that should more than satisfy the desires of this young husband. The Father is trying to help his son to see that your mindset determines if you live or die.

When we embrace wisdom and change our mindset on the things of the Spirit we begin to want the things of the Spirit. We can’t please God without his Holy Sprit. Whatever you have your mind set on is what you will gravitate towards.

How do you change your mindset?

1. Read Literature/Bible that shapes your mindset toward the direction what is righteous.

2. Stay off the path of evil and wicked people. Bad company corrupts good morals.

3. Take captive every negative thought and interrogate it. Catch yourself when your mindset is off of the will of God and correct your focus.

4. Look but don’t lust. The first look is for you the second one is for the devil. Look but don’t linger.

5. Renew your mind. Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind(set)

6. Stop watching Channel Zero. TV shows that have no moral standard contribute to a depreciated mindset. Watch something that is going to reinforce a Godly worldview.

7. Meditate on what is good. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Dear God, change my mindset to what pleases you. My ways are always before you and I am an open book. When you read me I pray my content will be pleasing and acceptable, train my mind with your word that my mind will be set on things above and not things below. Lead me to the way of everlasting life.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just Due It!

Proverbs 3:27-28

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.


You’ve heard it said, “you can’t give what you don’t have, but I say to you, that “you can’t keep what you’re suppose to give.” There are times when we all run across someone that is in need. Jesus told the disciples, “the poor will be with you always.” There will always be someone who needs our help. The poor are really on earth to test the humanity of those of us fortunate enough to have something. Yes our corrupt capitalistic system breeds greed and creates conditions where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer but God grants us opportunities to re-distribute the wealth little by little when we practice generosity.

Rather than wait for some government stimulus plan why not commit to God’s Kingdom Stimulus. Do not withhold good when it’s due. Doing good doesn’t always mean giving money but it doesn’t exclude it. We are blessed to be a blessing. Jesus said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” The problem is that when it comes time to give we withhold even though we have it to give. When God presents an opportunity for you to do good, then give what is due at the time that it’s due. Just Due it!

When your neighbor is in need and you have with you what they need give it to them then instead of saying, “come back tomorrow.” Whatever is due then at that time and give them what is Due.

Just Due it…

1. when you see somebody struggling and you can do something to help.

2. when you have the talents or gifts to volunteer your services for someone that needs them.

3. When you have something you’re no longer using and somebody else could use it.

4. When someone who is trying to do what’s right but they need financial assistance.

5. When God blesses you with income give of your substance and tithe so that God can give overflow in your life. Proverbs 3:9

6. When someone is deserving of a compliment open your mouth and give it.

7. When someone does something for you say thank you, give God and people thanks when they bless you.

8. Give credit where credit is due.

Dear God, thank you for sending me angels to bless me when I was in need, now help me to return the favor this week by giving out of my resources when it's due to my neighbor. Show me when good is due so that I can give what I have to bless the least of these and store up riches in heaven.

In Jesus Name,

Amen.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time to Get Your Masters

Romans 6:16
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to righteousness.


It’s graduation time and so many young people are off to start their lives as adults. Many will attain higher education and pursue degrees in colleges and universities. When I went to college I didn’t know that after four years of undergraduate work that I would pursue a Masters of Divinity. But in order to become a master over what I had been called to do (ministry) I had to yield myself completely to the field of study that pertained to my professional development. Not only did I want to master it I wanted it to master me.

As believers, we all graduated with a B.A. degree, Born Again, but in order to grow we need to move on to the Master level. Whatever we yield to is what we will be mastered by. The old song goes: Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin each victory will help you some other to win.

Whatever we yield to becomes our master. If we yield to sin, we become slaves to wickedness. If we yield to obedience to God’s will we become slaves of righteousness.
When Cain was about to graduate he was jealous of his brother Able’s gifts. Able got accepted into a better school because of his sacrifice while Cain didn’t get accepted that year. Cain was angry and jealous. God told him if you do what is right will you not be accepted also? But sin is crouching at your door and it wants to Master you. Cain yielded to sin and murdered his brother as a result he became mastered by sin and wandered in the wilderness.

In order to get your Masters in Righteousness you must:

1. Cease using your members to sin as instruments of wickedness. 1 Corinthians 6:14-16 (New International Version)
14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."[a]


2. Present yourselves to God as those who’ve been brought from death to life. Romans 12:1[ Living Sacrifices ] Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

3. Present your members to God as instruments of Righteousness.

Dear God,
I’m ready to move on to master in Righteousness. It will take a lot of discipline to Master this next level but I’m ready to live out this next season in obedience to your righteousness and put to death sin in my life. May you be pleased with my sacrifice. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. I’m ready for you Master.

In Jesus Name,
Amen

Monday, May 24, 2010

Can I Have A Refill?

Romans 5:5
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.


A good waiter will not let your glass get empty while you are eating. Before you can say, “can I have…” they are there with a refill. There are other times however, when you sit in a restaurant and you run out of your beverage before you finish your meal and you are waiting patiently with that quiet panic building hoping the waiter will come before you have problems swallowing your food. When they delay too long, you will stop the first person you see who looks like they work there and ask, “can I please get a refill?”

In life, we all desire to have full cups. David said, “he anoints my head with oil, my cup runneth over.” There are times when we are operating under God’s anointing and our cups overflow but then there are others when we love to wait on him and our soul is thirsty. The only thing we can do is cry out to God for the wait staff of heaven, the Holy Spirit, to come and give us a refill. The only way we can have our families right is if we can get a refill. The only way we can remain healthy is if we get a refill. The only way we can love our enemies is if we get a refill.

Paul said, “God pours love into our hearts.” I can hear God turning over the pitcher in heaven and refreshing our soul with love as it is poured into our empty cups. What empties our cups is ministry, hard times, conflict, and each time life demands more from us we give away our love in response to the needs and before long even the best of us needs a refill.

God pours love in our hearts through the Holy Sprit.
How do you get a refill?

1. Sit in God’s presence. Each morning wake up for devotion and let God minister to you through His word.

2. Have a receptive and teachable spirit. You can’t pour anything into a cup that is turned over or one that is already full with carnal knowledge. Come with an empty cup.

3. Attend worship every week. You can’t get a refill if you keep driving past the filling station. Worship fills the soul with inspiration and revelation.

4. Retreat. Take about 3 days in a retreat center or monastery so you can hear from God again. Monasteries are very economical and very replenishing for the soul.

5. Rest. The only way to restore your serotonin levels, the chemical that promotes happiness, is to get some rest. Your prime time for REM sleep is between 11pm and 3am. Go to bed early and wake up rested.

Dear God,
I am weak, I am worn, precious Lord I need a refill. I’m calling in to Heaven’s pharmacy for a refill on my prescription to heal me of my emptiness. I’ve given all that I have in my tank and I need you to refill me. Help me to love out of my overflow and not fumes. Let my reactions be from the Spirit and not the flesh. Do not allow me to be overcome with evil but to overcome evil with good.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yes, I Hate It!

Psalm 97:10
Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.


If you wanted to get in trouble as a child in my family just let somebody here you say, “I hate you.” That was the meanest; ugliest word you could say because that was the opposite of love. Hate meant that you were devoid of any kind of connection to that person. You loathed their very existence. Hate brings a wrath where death is not far behind. Hate leaves no room for reconciliation. There is a brutal finality to hate.

In the 50’s & 60’s blacks had to overcome the hatred of white racists. In the 80’s, blacks had to overcome the hatred of one another as gang wars intensified. In the 90’s, we had to overcome the hate and terrorism of gay people. In 2001 and beyond, we had to overcome the hate of the world toward America for acting like cowboys after 9/11 and creating enemies we didn’t have to create, we have to overcome the hatred of “illegal” immigrants while hypocritically using them for cheap labor, and finally we have come full circle with the hate of our President because of his race, policies, and his position. You can almost hear people from opposite ends of the political spectrum screaming at each other like Kelis in her song, “I hate you so much right now!”

Hate is such a destructive word and action but as bad as hate is there is a place for it. We are supposed to love God and Hate evil! The word evil comes from the Greek word, "asebia", which means godlessness. Evil occurs where and when God’s will is hindered by human sin. Evil has a broader meaning than sin though. The Hebrew word comes from a root meaning ‘to spoil’, ‘to break in pieces’: being broken and so made worthless. It is essentially what is unpleasant, disagreeable, and offensive. The word binds together the evil deed and its consequences. In the NT kakos and pon─ôros mean respectively the quality of evil in its essential character, and its hurtful effects or influence. It is used in both physical and moral senses. While these aspects are different, there is frequently a close relationship between them. Much physical evil is due to moral evil: suffering and sin are not necessarily connected in individual cases, but human selfishness and sin explain much of the world’s ills.

John Perkins said we have packaged hate in issues. Give a name to an issue or a person and they are easier to hate i.e. conservative, liberal, blood, crip, homo, illegal immigrant. When we villainize people it’s easier to hate them and we don’t feel the need to repent because “their evil.” John Perkins whose brother was shot during the civil rights movement and he himself beaten by white police officers was asked, “Don’t you hate white people?” He said, “I don’t have the strength to hate, I can’t carry that white man’s sin and mine.” It’s only through forgiveness and love that we are relinquished of the weight of sin.

The Security of Love ought to make us courageous. When we hate evil, that is the act or the action produced by hate, we can begin to turn the tide on evil. Dr. King taught us how to overcome someone’s capacity to be evil with our capacity to love. There is no greater love than this, than he who would lay down his life for a friend. Some would scarcely die for a friend but Jesus demonstrated his love for us in that he died for us while we were yet sinners. He died for us while we hated God but God so loved the world that he gave us Jesus to die for us. When we hate evil by loving God we can’t help but to reverse the effects of hate. Only love can conquer hate. Even when you hate people’s evil ways you can’t allow yourself to hate the person.

When we love God and hate evil, God will guard the lives of his faithful ones and deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Well, what about Dr. King, and even Jesus? They died trying to hate evil and love God. They died when their mission was complete. Their lives were not taken they were given. When we stand for what is right God will guard us until our mission is complete. Now go forth and hate evil but Love God. Hate the sin but love the sinner. Erase Hate and Eracism.

Dear God, give us the strength to love our enemies and to overcome evil with good. Give us a righteous indignation for what is evil without hating the individuals who manifest an evil spirit. Show us how to redeem the good in a person while seeing the bad in a person. Help us to see through your eyes that we might be about the business of reconciliation until there is a world where there is now no distinction between Jew and Greek, Christian and Muslim, Black or White, Gay or straight, but where we are all your children. Teach us how to love each other and hate that which separates us from you.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

They Can't Stay in My House

Psalm 101:7 no one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.

Your house is your sanctuary where you and God keep peace. Each of us try to create a home where there is a drama free zone and love abides. Therefore, it is vitally important as to who you allow in your space. It is a privilege for people to be invited into your home and if they can't respect your space then they have to go!

David said, "no one who practises deceit will dwell in my house." Oftentimes, you will hear someone say, "This is the house that _____ built." you can feel that person's DNA in that house. As owner of the house you don't want anybody misrepresenting your DNA. Whenever you see these reality shows on swapping wives or swapping kids, whatever house they go into there are house rules. It behooves the guest to pay attention to how the house was built. If you cant abide by the rules you should go.

You don't want anybody in your house who is deceiving people in your house. They are saying or doing something to manipulate others into their own agenda. Paul tells Timothy to have nothing to do with these deceitful people:

2 Timothy 3:6 (New International Version)

6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.


David said, "No one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence!"

In the movie Ray Charles, Ray has to fire his longtime friend & manager because he's been stealing from him. He thought since Ray was blind he could steal from him. But he didn't know Ray had inner vision & discernment. Ray's friend protested that he had been loyal & faithful but Ray said, " scratch a lie, find a thief!" in other words if you will lie to me then you will steal from me. I don't have any room in my house for liars or thieves. You got to go! When we allow deceitful people to stay around us they will eventually steal that which is precious. They can't stay in my house.

Dear God, give me discernment as it pertains to the people in my house. Expose any deceit so my home will be free of anyone who would compromise my DNA. Thank you for my house and for being Lord over it. Be it ever so humble there is no place like home!

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heart & Hands

Psalm 78:72 and David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.

Whenever we look for a leader or an employee we are quick to assess their skill level or their gifts. Can they say it? Can they do it? Can they make it? From all outer appearances there are plenty of people who appear to be able to get the job done but internally there are a lot of issues that could be brewing in the heart.

God warned the prophet Samuel of this when he selected David as King. From the outside David didn't look like much but the boy had skillful hands he could handle weapons & he was strong. He had strangled a bear & a lion. He defeated Goliath with a sling shot. He was a great warrior. He could play the harp. He had skills!

If our young people are going to make it in this competitive job market they are going to have to have some skills. It's important & vital to attain a good education but we would do well to ensure that our children & that we ourselves have skillful hands.

I had dinner with the Mayor from Holly Springs, MS Sunday & he was telling the women who cooked our dinner, " I know how to cook too! My mother told me, 'Son get in that Kitchen & learn how to cook so that if you don't get a wife you won't starve!" Here is a Mayor, educated, strong leader but he's also good with his hands.

Every child will not go to college but every child can learn a skill.

Not only was David skilled with his hands but he had integrity in his heart. David said, "I have hidden His word in my heart that I might not sin against God." the bible says David was a man after God's own heart. David wasn't perfect but he loved God & when he messed up, he was quick to repent & not repeat. Read Psalm 51.

Oftentimes, our talent can take us where our character can't keep us because of heart issues. We've got to work on our heart just as much as we work with our hands. How do we work on our heart?

1. Store up on God's Word
2. Confess your sins to God
3. Forgiving one another
4. Being led by the Spirit
5. Watching what you put in your Spirit

Dear God, strengthen the work of my hands and clean my heart. Give me balance between my skill & my integrity. I don't want to just be able to do good (perform) but I want to be good (transform). Thank you for making me a leader from the inside out.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Monday, May 17, 2010

Time 2 Clean House

I Kings 2:2-3
I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments…so that you may prosper in all that you do and whenever you turn.


When going from one season to the next it’s necessary and wise to clean your house. There are things that have been taking up space that need to be removed and things that are offensive that no longer should remain now that we are in a new season. They made sense in the previous season but are obtrusive in this new season. It’s time to clean house.

This is played out symbolically when one administration takes over another in government. All of the people minus a few are replaced with another group of people who will be loyal and proficient for the new administration. You can’t have people whose philosophy and loyalties are with another era. It’s time to clean house.

In your own life there comes a time where God is shifting you and the people who you knew as a prince/cess will not be able to shift with you as ruler of the kingdom. For every new dimension of leadership there is a need for new administration or a new circle of supporters.

When David got ready to die (old era) and hand over the Kingdom to Solomon (new era) he gave his son instructions on how to clean out his cabinet and make his leadership prosperous:

1. Be Strong. As a leader you can’t be too soft when it comes time to make decisions. You must love the people to lead the people but you can’t let them take your kindness for weakness. Solomon’s rival Adonijah wanted the kingdom and tried to go through Solomon’s mother to marry one of David’s concubines to show the people he was an heir of the throne. Solomon could have given in to his mother’s wish but instead he killed his deceitful brother for treachery. Which one of your relatives are trying to undermine your authority? Even Jesus said, “those who do the will of my Father are my mother, brother, and sisters.” In other words blood kin has no priority if they are not acting in the will of God.

2. Be courageous. David told Solomon about Joab murdering two commanders of Israel without his permission and to add insult to injury they were more righteous than Joab. Solomon didn’t need an unethical blood thirsty commander over his army so he sent somebody to take Joab out. Who on your team is unethical and needs to be removed? If someone close to you is unethical it starts to taint your leadership credibility. It’s time to clean house.

3. Keep God’s commands. David also told Solomon about Shemei who cursed David on his way out of Jerusalem with the crisis with Absalom trying to take over his father’s kingdom by insubordination. On his way back in Shemei halfway apologized and begged David not to kill him. David swore he wouldn’t kill him but Solomon didn’t make that promise. He honored his father’s request by sentencing Shemiei to be restricted to a certain town, if he left he would be killed. Three years later he left looking for runaway slaves. Shemei broke the agreement and had to die. Who is it in your camp that keeps breaking covenant and has to go? If they are not keeping their agreement then it’s time for them to break camp.

As hard as it it is, there are some people that cannot stay with you because they have hidden agendas, disloyal, unethical and are boundary breakers. You have to be strong, courageous, and keep God’s commandments. Some will use the argument that we are to suffer along with inept and unethical people because that is the Christian way but it was Paul that reminded us not to associate with these kinds of people in I Corinthians 5:1—12.

As we shift to another dimension and expect prosperity in our lives we first have to check the people in our cabinet and clean house. It’s time for a New Direction!

Dear God, give me the courage to clean house in this new season you are taking me into. I need the Wisdom of Solomon so I can discern who is supposed to stay with me and who has to go. I don’t want to make arbitrary decisions based on fleshly reactions but let me be led by the spirit to create a spirit led team who is passionate about fulfilling your Kingdom agenda. Today, I’m looking at my cabinet to see who needs to stay and who needs to go. Lead me I pray.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Favor for Life

Psalm 30:5
For his anger is but for a moment his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but Joy comes with the morning.


What so many children long for is the love and attention of their fathers. My seven year old pleaded with me the other day, “Daddy come watch me hit the ball.” All he wanted was his daddy to smile and congratulate him on his ability to hit the golf ball across the front yard. When I did give him my undivided attention you could see the Joy in his face from his father’s favor.

When we are our Heavenly Father’s obedient children his favor is with us. Just like an earthly father God also chastises us when we are not obedient.

Hebrews 12:8-10 (New International Version)
8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.


The Word says that he disciplines those he loves, if he doesn’t correct us then we are illegitimate children. David said, “His anger is but a moment.” David knew this because he sinned against God with adultery and taking a census in 2 Samuel 24. What’s wrong with a census? Well for David it meant he had shifted his faith from a God that helped him as a teen-ager defeat a Giant to a carnal man that had put his trust in a vast army. Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. After David counted the men God sent a plague for three days killing 70,000 people but because he loved David and Israel God relented. “His anger is but for a moment, his favor for a lifetime.”

Isn’t it good to know that when you mess up and God disciplines you that his favor outlasts his wrath? Had it not been for grace and mercy we would have been wiped out a long time ago.

I’ve quoted this verse every Sunday out of context, “weeping may endure for the night but Joy comes in the morning.” The weeping is not because of some arbitrary bad events happening to me. Instead the weeping in this context is because of some bad decisions and God is disciplining the psalmist and it’s the favor of God that returns to him the next morning after the discipline in the night.

As a little boy I was very mischievous. My little brother and I set a fencerow on fire playing with matches one evening. My mother, grandmother, and aunts rushed outside to beat the fire out and that evening my mother beat me. I fell asleep crying but the next morning she held me in her arms and said, “Son, I love you but you have got to make better decisions.” Weeping endured for the night but in the morning I got my Joy back. It’s morning time and God let you see another day!

Whatever you did the day before:
1. Repent of it
2. Learn from it
3. Don’t repeat it
4. Receive your forgiveness
5. Make your retribution. To stop the plague on his people David offered a sacrifice to God. 2 Samuel 24:24But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.
6. Forgive yourself
7. Walk in favor the rest of your life.

Dear God, thank you for your favor. Thank you for correcting me and not killing me. I am so happy this morning that you still love me and you are smiling on the work of my hands. I love you more than ever Father and thank you for loving me.

In Jesus Name,

Amen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Got Room Now!

2 Samuel 22:33-34
The God who has girded me with strength has opened wide my path. He made my feet like the feet of deer, and set me secure on the heights.


Sometimes, it can seem like life is closing in on you. You don’t have room to move around, real estate is prime and you can’t afford to expand. I’ve lived in spaces so tight I had to go outside to change my mind. The thing that kept me was that I allowed God to expand my territory little by little and appreciate where I was every step of the way.

I think people who are born in small places have an advantage over people born into expansive/expensive places. When you are born into humble beginnings your world view is expanded at a pace where God is at the center and everything that unfolds does so at a pace that you are sure of who the unmoved mover is.

David was from the smallest clan and the youngest in his family but God took him from being a shepherd to being a King, from small to big.

David wrote a song giving a retrospective look at his life and he said, “the God who has girded me with strength has opened wide my path.” David knew what Jabez knew, God is the only one who can expand your territory. God can take a no name person and put them in a place where everybody knows their name. He only expands you at the rate of your acknowledgment. If he moves you too fast you might forget who did it. That’s why the bible says, “be still and know he is God.”

Not only does God widen our path but he also makes our feet like deer’s feet so that we can ascend to secure heights. Oftentimes, our talent takes us where our character can’t keep us but when God widens the path he also strengthens our legs to make the climb. He gives and expects integrity so we can remain secure at the top. Today, I need you to start walking because God is widening your path and he’s giving you the strength to make it to the top. You just have to watch your step.

1. Let God order your steps.

2. Don’t go beyond the borders God has set.

3. Keep your eyes on the path.

Dear God, thank you for expanding my territory. Everyday new mercies I see. My worldview has expanded because of the places you have taken me. Thank you for releasing new territory to me this week. I will be diligent to live in a way that will not embarrass you or get me off track. Please strengthen my legs, don’t move my mountain but please give me the strength to climb. Thank you God for making a way out of no way. On Jesus Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand all other ground is sinking sand.

In Jesus Name,
Amen

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This Is A Good Time To Get Away

Psalm 55:6

O that I had wings like a Dove! I would fly away and be at rest

I love the Southwest Airlines commercial where something embarrassing happens to a person and the announcer comes on to say, “This is a good time to get away.” And they announce the low fares of Southwest Airlines. We’ve all had those embarrassing and even hurtful moments where if we could fly away we would.

Many of us are stuck between fight or flight. We are tired of fighting because we’ve been dong that for most of our lives but we can’t fly because we don’t have the means. David could have used Soutwest Airlines when he found himself stuck between fight or flight. David had been betrayed by his son Absalom who tried to take over the Kingdom and to add insult to injury, his friend Joab killed Absolom against David’s orders.

Sometimes its easier to fight when the enemy is from the outside but it hurts more when the enemy is someone close that you used to get pleasure from being in their company. You don’t want to fight them but now it's complicated. This is a good time to get away.

When David found out his son, Absalom had been killed after his soldiers returned victorious from squashing the rebellion he wept for his son. Joab came in to remind David that the soldiers risked their lives to protect David and the rest of his family. If David kept weeping like this it would send a message that the soldier’s lives meant nothing to David. As a leader, he didn’t even have time to grieve over his son because politically it wouldn’t look right for him to be upset over somebody that tried to take over the kingdom even though it was his son. This is a good time to get away!

What do you do when you are too tired to fight and too broke to fly?

1. Cry out to God. 16 But I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.

2. God will fight for you .
19 God, who is enthroned forever,
will hear them and afflict them—
Selah

Men who never change their ways
and have no fear of God.

3. Cast your cares on God.
22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;

He will never let the righteous fall.

4. Get away when you can. Even Jesus withdrew to lonely places to replenish himself

5. Take your Sabbath. A day of rest every week where you are not doing any work and you spend time with God.

6. Re-create. Find something fun to do that will recreate you spiritually, whether it’s fishing, walking, riding bikes, running, etc.

7. Find yourself a cheap flight to somewhere beautiful. ☺

Dear God, thank you for keeping me until I can afford to fly. Thank you for fighting for me when I was too tired to fight for myself. I’m looking forward to getting away soon.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't Get Caught Up

2 Samuel 18:9
Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. His head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on.


It’s easy to get caught up in ourselves. In this narcissistic society where it’s all about us, it’s easy to get caught up with an over indulgence of hedonistic pursuits. I think this is caught very well in the movie “Drumline” where the band director reminds the lead drummer that he selected him years ago because he loved the sound of the line more than he loved the sound of his own drum but when Devin (played by Nick Canon) came along the lead drummer shifted to falling in love with the sound of his own drum. He got caught up.

Absalom, David’s son, got caught up in a tree by his hair and Absalom drove three spears in his heart for committing treason but it was way before the tree that he got caught up.

1. He got caught up with revenge when his sister Tamar got raped. 2 Samuel 13: 28 Absalom ordered his men, "Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, 'Strike Amnon down,' then kill him. Don't be afraid. Have not I given you this order? Be strong and brave." 29 So Absalom's men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king's sons got up, mounted their mules and fled.

2. He got caught up with bitterness when his father didn’t want to see him. 2 Samuel 14: 32 Absalom said to Joab, "Look, I sent word to you and said, 'Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, "Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!" ' Now then, I want to see the king's face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death."

3. He got caught up with deception when he won the people’s hearts by misrepresenting his father. 2 Samuel 15:5-7 (New International Version)

5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

4. He got caught up with pride when he took over his father’s kingdom with mutiny and slept with his father’s concubines. 2 Samuel 16:22So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.

5. He got caught up in his own vanity, he got caught up in the branches by his hair and Joab threw three spears in his heart. The very thing that made Absalom distinguished and handsome got him caught up.

How do we avoid getting caught up? By humbling ourselves before the Lord and letting him raise us when it’s time to be raised. Don’t let your vanity get your caught up to where you are no longer grounded. Absalom hung between heaven and earth vulnerable to attack, held by his vanity. Stay grounded!

Dear God, keep me humble and help me to think of others before I think of myself. Order my steps so I will not get caught up by my own vanity.

In Jesus Name,
Amen.