Prayer of David

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, and the ship was like (about) to be broken.

Then the mariners were afraid and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them, (threw everything possible overboard to lighten the ship).

But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship, and he lay, and was fast asleep.” Jonah 1-5

This is the final post in the series dealing with the thought of spirit versus flesh.

In “Magic” button we looked at Peter and the disciples, who succumbed to emotional exhaustion and  the sorrow caused by the dread of the uncertainty of what was about to take place.

And Paul, who definitely had a predisposition to violence was constantly imprisoned, and ridiculed and was quite honest about the struggles that he faced as he allowed the Lord to teach him the reactions God wanted him to display and he did, one of the many proofs of this came after he and Silas were miraculously freed when God sent an earthquake and opened ALL the prison doors.

Paul alerting the jailer to the fact that they were all still there just as the jailer was about to commit suicide because of their escape.

Paul’s unexpected display of love and mercy being one of the things God used to bring conviction on the jailer, saving him and his entire family.

And with “Kidron calling” we discussed the tear filled journey taken by many including David, whose comfort and complacency directly led him to the place of temptation which Bathsheba. 

David should have been in battle with his men, and his fall to that temptation gave way to what would send him and those faithful to him fleeing toward the wilderness.

And finally Jonah whose just simply allowed his flesh such control that he really believed that he could outrun God. 

Most know the story, when it became evident that he was the reason this storm had come upon them ALL and asked to be thrown overboard with which the storm ended for those on the ship but it still took a horrifying ordeal to convince Jonah that he would do as he had been told.

And still, Jonah held on to enough of his flesh that he actually got mad when God showed mercy to Nineveh and revoked his judgment after they had repented, Jonah was mad because he wanted them destroyed to fulfill his prophetic word.

He could have had his own insecurities as prophets are usually hated and ridiculed, maybe he thought if he sleep long enough and ran far enough someone else would do his job for him and God would somehow “forget” that he had given Jonah this job, and unfortunately,  there is still a lot of that going on today.

These stories have many common threads but one that is really prevalent is how all these examples affected other people, from the hurt and heartache Jesus suffered when his friends couldn’t even stay by his side and would go on to run and even deny him and being betrayed by one who knew him so well and had held such closeness with him that he knew exactly the spot that he could hand Jesus over to his enemies.

Of course, Jesus knew all this and still loved us enough to go on over that brook of CALLED.

And the story of David filled with weeping upon weeping as we all “take people with us”, whether we want to believe that or not, we do.

Our decisions, just like in Jonah’s story, can affect and endanger others, as he laid comfortably sleeping  while those on the ship were in fear of being absolutely destroyed. Jonah oblivious to what was going on around him, and as with the fare price, he did indeed pay a much higher price and STILL had to do his job.

That is what happens when we allow denial to convince us that everything is really just someone’s else’s problem that they’ll just have to deal with.

God has given us the Bible and all the stories of those before us to be examples to us of many things and often what to do and a greater blessing of what NOT to do and how NOT to handle our problems.

In starting this series I had that thought over and over in my own heart as I have been trying to deal with my own struggles after losing my Mom and I have found that to be true so many times, we all struggle with something at one point or another in life.

We can choose to be big fakes and try to hide those struggles and put on our “churchy christian” faces (yeah, someone actually called me that a few weeks back ;), I was thinking, “If you only knew”…, obviously they had no clue to the battle I was having just staying on the boat!) and we can chose to pretend that we are all together and fa-bu and all kinds of groovy.

But that is not real and God hates that, actually His word says this, and I have quoted this verse probably thousands of time during my time with the Lord and His word never fails:

James 4:7-10: “SUBMIT yourselves therefore TO God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh unto you.

Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts ye double minded. 

Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep:

LET your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). 

HUMBLE yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

So with all the troubles in life that can sometimes TRY to lull us back into those old comfortable places where we can just go to sleep hoping to wait out the trip of the dreaded, now uncertain future ahead, so afraid of tearfully crossing that brook ahead of us, that we can forget the promises, and the blessings, and the fulfillment of the callings that are just on the other side of that brook…if we will make that journey.

I want to end this on the note of David, this is the answer for us if we have struggled with these issues or even if someone wasn’t thrown from the boat, they had just temporarily “fallen off”!

That is one of the innumerable beauties of God, it’s not about falling off the boat, or having to be thrown from the boat, it is all about climbing back on board and trying your best to sit down, shut up and trust the Captain.

I love the boating terms, always will, and I have put this is past posts, but back in the day when our late Pastor, who had been a Navy man, would hit us with a particularly toe stepping message, he’d always end it with this, “Shape up or ship out!” and then he’d smile really big and finish with, “And these pews don’t have oars on them!”

Still pretty good advice, we can’t go backward there is nothing there except heartache and death, so we have to go forward, even if we are going without human companionship. 

Imagine the disciples once they were “on their own”, they really had to put their faith to the fire and as Jesus told none of us are above any of us and all of our work will be tried in that fire.

This is David’s prayer after he had been confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his sins with Bathsheba and the “murder by war” of Uriah.

It is a wonderful prayer and even to be broken down and prayed by certain verse over our specific struggle, we can all find hope, help, and healing in the word of God.

                                                         Psalm 51

“HAVE mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speaketh, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. 

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite (crushed) heart, O God, thou will not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018

 

Funny thing about forgiveness

Dig this. Picture yourself in a hospital waiting patiently on a loved one to emerge from the ER, a person is brought in bloody and beaten and as they wait to be seen and being prompted by sympathy mingled with curiosity, you strike up a conversation, the person goes on to tell you the horrific story of what they had just endured and finally they end by pointing to another person, that sits handcuffed, staring angrily at the floor as a policeman stands watch over them, the person goes on to nonchalantly say, “But it’s okay, I just have to get well now because we have a trip planned for next week.”

We would have serious questions, wouldn’t we? We would want to know why someone could be hurt so badly and yet in the next breath treat the other person as their BFF. And we would question the sanity in putting themselves in that situation yet again.

So why do we, as Christians put so much undue pressure on ourselves in the area of forgiveness? And No, don’t get all mad at me BEFORE you hear me out. I KNOW Jesus said that if we do not forgive God will not forgive us.

BUT forgiveness can be a funny, funny thing. Too often people are pressured into the statement of “I forgive them” but deep down inside what is really going on? God SEES it all, He sees our hearts, He sees our pain and He sees the hurt someone else has caused us AND He also sees the exact moment that we WILL forgive, TRULY forgive that person and the funny thing is, we usually don’t even know it ourselves until it has already happened.

But we when feel that we NEED to SAY we forgive for the sake of forgiving all that really happens is words have come out of our mouth but that dagger is still lodged in our heart. That is not freedom and we should never feel that we have to put on a “brave” church face and hide what is slowly killing us inside, because God already knows and even when you feel pressured by others to feel, think, and act a certain way, God wants the real you, tears, pain, and all because that is what He works with.

He wants you to have joy, and peace and sometimes that requires getting our feet bloody and scratched up walking through briers to find the true path. PROVERBS 18:14 : ” The spirit of a man (person) will sustain his infirmity (sustain them through sickness) but a wounded (broken) spirit WHO CAN BEAR?”

NO ONE, no one can bear it. I know there are those who have achieved that level of oneness that sticks and stones truly don’t break their bones, that they can truly rejoice in persecutions and truly bless those who hurt them but this is for the other 99.999% hurting in the world, feeling like they are not quite where they should be in the kingdom because they keep fighting the same battle with this giant.

Let me show you two sides to this coin. ROMANS 12:17-21: ” Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. IF it be possible AS MUCH AS LIETH IN YOU , live peaceably with all men.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord.

Therefore IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM; IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK: FOR IN DOING SO THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD. Be not OVERCOME with evil, but OVERCOME evil with good.” 

Notice this verse said ENEMY, never said a person who is just misunderstood. No, we have real enemies, and because we are all wired differently, we are told, IF, IF it is possible AS much as we are mentally, spiritually, and emotionally capable of to live peacefully with ALL people.

IF we can and if not, “RESIST the devil and he WILL flee from you” “Give NO PLACE to the devil” and there is nothing scriptural requiring us to us to be ran over and over and used as a doormat and proclaiming long-suffering when JESUS came and died on the cross to GIVE YOU LIFE and LIFE more abundantly!

Sometimes we just get so chummy with the giants that we fail to see what they really are. IF he’s hungry feed him, IF he is thirsty, water him, and the reason for this is that they hated Jesus “without a cause”, when He came in mercy, and goodness, completely sinless, NEVER harming anyone, they HATED Him.

So when you are faced with your enemy and you show kindness rather than hate, God will use that when He brings them under judgment and conviction for their actions against you. The treatment you have suffered will be brought back to their mind and they will have no excuse, no reason, not one example of what YOU have done to hurt them, that they can give to the Lord in explanation of their behavior.

And that can lead to repentance and at the end of the day, if you asked yourself this question, if you COULD see that person eternally, condemned to the fire of hell, forever and ever, to be tormented without end, would you REALLY want that to happen to them? No, mercy rises up and that is where true forgiveness begins.

The flip side is this, what if your enemy is of the “church”, well, like my old favorite, not all that glitters is gold, a lot of it is a hefty coat of glitter covering up some seriously tarnished metal that needs a good cleaning, but anyway, they will be hindered in their own journey UNTIL they make it right with you, they may run on for a while but when the time comes and it gets down to the nitty-gritty in the area of their gifts and calling in the Lord, this will happen:

MATTHEW 5:23,24: ” Therefore, if thou bringest thy gift to the altar, and THERE rememberest that thy brother HATH OUGHT AGAINST THEE; LEAVE there thy gift before the altar, and GO THY WAY; FIRST be reconciled to thy brother, and THEN COME AND OFFER THY GIFT.”

Jesus will remind them at that moment, no one can say that if you have been hurt that deep or that offended that they do not know they caused it. He will remind them and then they can choose to obey God in making things right or they can leave that gift THERE unused at the altar, but it will not be accepted until they do as He commanded. And that is for ALL of us.

So, we have covered the bases on the why, and the how’s, either way, your pain has not been overlooked by the one who sees all and in both instances, enemy of frenemy, they will be dealt with but hopefully for the good and for a higher purpose.

Now to get through the waiting period. LUKE 23:33,34:” And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the two malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.”

Forgive them because the price of their actions would be incalculably beyond what they could ever imagine. And the blood HE SHED, is the blood of the lamb by which we now overcome, and the testimony of what the shedding of that blood has purchased for us is the good by which evil IS overcame. 

Unaddressed issues and hurt will ruin our hearts, our spirits, and destroy us from the inside out that is why Satan sends so much of it, but I want you to know this, do not beat yourself up if you are having trouble letting go of something.

Do not allow the enemy or others to tell you how you should feel or how you fast you should overcome, a lot of people are really good at giving advice, and it is mighty easy to judge when they have never been in those same shoes, and those people you need to avoid like the plague! If they are gonna talk to me with advice from the first pew, they’d better have some scars to show me or they can just talk to someone else, because you do not overcome unless you have had something to overcome.

May sound harsh, but too many are hurt, wounded, and left out in the field to die because they are made to feel like if they have problems, or can’t smile every waking moment, or make one mistake that they are not kingdom material and if they have overcoming that must be done on that journey they will be viewed as outcasts. Who did Jesus come to save again? The hurt, the wounded, the lost, something went seriously wrong along the doctrinal lines with that thinking when people are shamed for feeling, lost, hurt, abandoned.

Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and ALL these things shall be added unto you.”

Trust Jesus, pray honestly, openly, He knows your hurt and He is a great listener, part of healing is talking about it and “getting it off our chests”, there is such freedom in that alone, and be honest, ASK him to take away the anger, the hurt, and allow you to overcome by His blood and pray for that person WHEN you feel led, when it can be a sincere, honest prayer, ASK God to allow you to SEE the troubled soul BEHIND the person that has hurt you and you will be amazed what can happen once God turns on the compassion from Him inside of you.

And then just try to “live peaceably”, forget what happened, try to not think about and one day you will be shocked when you discover “it” is simply not there anymore, you can be faced with the one who hurt you and have absolutely no apprehension or hurt, or anger because part of that righteousness of God, as you SEEK Him, is the overcoming in areas that we can never overcome alone. Trust, Trust, Trust.

MATTHEW 29,31: ” Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them SHALL NOT FALL ON THE GROUND WITHOUT YOUR FATHER.” “FEAR YE NOT THEREFORE, YE ARE OF MORE VALUE THAN MANY SPARROWS. Be honest with Him and He will not let you fall!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

 

"GO FOR THE GOLD BUT PLEASE, HOLD THE JADE"

Ah, Jaded. What a lovely word, normally a beautiful stone used to adorn beautiful things. but in the right context, not quite so lovely on us.
We are to press toward the mark, to earn the crown of righteousness to one day lay at the Master’s feet, beautiful I am sure, pure gold just like His word and His truth that refines our souls purer than the purest of all gold.
But if that crown happens to be embellished with a little jade, what’s it going to hurt?
Well what was to be made of precious metal will now consist of hardened stone.
What should have shone with heavenly brilliance and reflected the Fathers light will now dull and now have an odd color and an indifferent feel.
That crown will be inferior and will tarnish and once that happens it will never be presentable before a King.
All that work, all that heartache, tears,and sacrifices, whatever had been involved in winning that crown will now be useless and disallowed and burned with the stubble in the fire in which all things must be burned away in that purification process of the soul.
So what causes us to go from that ecstatically exuberant joy that we are bathed in the day of our salvation to the “j” word over the course of that salvation?
I have pondered it, in myself and in others and I have come up with a couple of reasons.
In my circle our favorite subject is “Christendom of Yore” I know that they had problems, I know they had battles, and that females were to sit quietly and express no thoughts or opinions, to which I am thankful to be in the present day or otherwise my heart would explode!


Jaded: Deadened, injured, weary, tired, apathetic, blunted, blasé (indifferent or unimpressed) dispassionate, half hearted. Remember apathetic.
So how does our beautiful golden crowns become inlaid with flat, dulled jade?


#1 Fatigued, battle weary
We are in or nearing, in my belief, “the wearing out of the Saints” it seems no matter who they are, rich, poor, married or single that Christians are being constantly bombarded with a steady stream of attacks from the enemy unlike ever before.
Usually people would face one battle at a time but now it seems many fight multi battles on different levels and I am reminded of Nehemiah 4:17: “They which builded on the wall, and they which bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work (working) AND WITH THE OTHER HAND HELD A WEAPON.”
Trying to “work” on our building for the Lord, and whatever he has called us to do being carefully on guard against attacks at all time, never a moment to rest, never a moment of ease by not having to look over our shoulders because this work must be done and many want it to cease.


#2 Blasé and unimpressed 
 “Heard it, believed it, didn’t happen, not buying it again”
I want to be very, very careful how I say this, but one huge problem running amok over the last few years is “Believe it, receive it, Doubt it and do without it” I am ALL for faith, and I know what scripture teaches on believing for what we do not see, but miracles and healings are in a special, special league all their own.
Miracles are instantaneous and the moment that you are healed you know and there has been such a free for all of proclaiming healings over people and “feeling” like the “Lord is saying” that some teach that all you have to do is proclaim it and “believe” (which is actually different from faith, belief is in your heart and faith is knowing come what may He is God and He is sovereign) and when people are hurting, love ones are dying and they are told this and someone actually proclaims that they are healed then they die and the bewildered family are told they just did not have the faith or that they received the ultimate healing.
And no one admits to maybe having misspoke or trying to pray “in faith”, often people want to reach out to others but in this area it is best to pray the Lord’s prayer, “deliver them”.
( I do understand that Paul perceived that the man had faith to be healed BUT Paul was filled with the HOLY GHOST, he KNEW when the anointing came that GOD would grant his request FOR THE GLORY TO THE LORD, not so he could win preacher of the year!) 
BUT NO,NO,NO, NO! When they have believed based one what they were told by Christians that they trusted and if it DOES NOT happen, this leads to apathy and causing them to lose more faith than what would have been lost if they had known the truth, this has caused many to leave church completely.
But IF GOD truly says it, it will come to pass.
#3 Apathetic and Blunted:
“They don’t care, why should I?”
The beginning of the journey all fired up, feeding off on another’s anointing, iron sharpening iron, the spirit bearing witness.
Now that is good, but when things start to change and the one you once loved to listen starts coming against you for whatever reason, what was once a beautiful flow will become a dangerous hindrance in the spirit world.
Two swordsmen fighting each other with equally dangerous weapons and that unspoken carnage will spill over onto the entire congregation.
And the swordsmen are prime to have the Lord to take both their swords. 
And that once sharp iron will become dull and blunt rendering it absolutely ineffective against the enemy.
That apathetic “blah, blah, blah” attitude will breed into so much more than a covering of jade.
When this hit me, I knew the meaning of jaded, I wanted a clearer list and broader understanding and as I kept defining meanings, two fascinating words appeared,
stemming FROM the jaded definition of apathetic, LUKEWARM and LAODICEAN.
Yeah, and we all know what that means, so all these things left unchecked will lead to being lukewarm and we also know that is the condition in which Jesus said he will spue us out.
So how do we clean that jade off before it takes hold of the gold?
Renewing, renewing and renewing  our minds, “let this mind which is in Christ Jesus be in you also” renewing our minds through scripture back into the word of God. Reminding ourselves repeatedly of every single promise that we have been given.
As Nehemiah prayed that God would “strengthen the work” of his hands so must we.
He will never allow us to break, when we are weary, it is His right hand that holds us up, when our heads are bowed in discouragement it is His left hand that lifts our face.
When we desperately, desperately need a word to hang onto or a glimmer of hope, remember “What time that I am afraid I will trust in thee” and that He will be with us “even unto the end of the world” and sometimes that can be when we feel that our world is ending, but He will never leave us.
Remember our first love and “remember thy love more than wine” and know that even though we don’t always feel it, the only approval we need is His.
 No one can zap us into heaven and no one can deny us heaven if we don’t let them, no matter who has hurt us it is still up to us to “work out” our “own salvation” if that means finding another church, then do it because God is not the author of confusion.
Forgive those that have hurt you, just let it go and go on and don’t even try to understand it, God doesn’t want us to waste time over analyzing and ever analyzing what went wrong yesterday, because He already knows what tomorrow will bring.
I have found in my own life that every painful path that I have had to walk down led me to a more beautiful place and at the end of that road I may not have liked the circumstances that lead me there but I have always been thankful for the journey because of the  blessings in that valley that He has given me and I know that I would never received that on a mountain top.
Sharpen that sword and  get that crown polished because no matter how tired, how weary, lethargic or depressed you may feel, you’ve been furnace fired to be pure gold and that jade is just never gonna look good on you!
Φλογίζω / NBJ/ All rights reserved 2015