Life and Health

Proverb 4:20-22

20 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.

By now, probably most of us are convinced that God’s Words have healing power in them. I hope so. This tells us that God’s words are life to our bodies. Now, what is hard to understand about that? The challenge is in the preceding verses and even the preceding phrase.

First, we must find God’s Words. Okay, how hard is that? We know the Bible contains a whole lot of stuff God said. Additionally, this devotional sends you a “word” from God every day. What?! That is the power of this devotional. You don’t have to be in love with what I write because you are getting a dose of what Yahweh said every single day. I just love that.

The second piece of this life in the words is that we must not let them depart from our sight. So, find God’s words and hang on to them. Put them as your screensaver on your computer. Write out a 3 X 5 card with each one of these healing verses. Man, that would make a great deck of cards! Just sayin’ . . ..

Keeping these words of God in our sight is how we keep them in the midst of our hearts. You really must rehearse them. That is most easily done by having them where you can read them often. What if you made a list of all of the verses from this series and read one each day? Hmmm, there’s an idea.

Lastly, pay attention! You know what, that is easier said than done. One really has to be intentional about this. Pay attention to God’s words by keeping them before you. It is so easy to read a verse and then move on. God is saying something specific here. He wants us to manage our lives according to His words and we cannot do that if we are not continuously paying attention to them.

So, here we go . . . dust off that Bible because that is how you find God’s words to begin with. Second, maybe do something with all these verses you are receiving. Many of them work for more than healing. All the Lord’s words bring life to every facet of life. Hey, if you are still working on that New Year’s resolution to lose weight, I’ve got your answer right here. His Word is the answer. Speak these verses over your weight loss and believe God. Find His word for your situation and then pay attention to it by keeping it in front of your eyes and in the midst of your heart. They are life and health.

Seek and Go Find

1 Chronicles 28: 9

If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.

We have a lot of different ways we worship God. There are many different religions and even in Christianity there are many different beliefs and denominations. Be that what it may, the real crux of the whole thing is embraced in today’s passage. Whether you are Jewish, Baptist, Pentecostal or any of a myriad of belief systems, it all comes down to this quite simple principle. It is all about you finding Him. That is what it has always been about to God. All He has ever wanted is to be our God and for us to be His people. He has chased us from one end of this globe to the other seeking to have a personal relationship with each and every one of us. It really doesn’t matter what faith, religion or belief system you claim. What matters is that you seek God with your whole heart and with honesty. If you do, you will find Him.

Don’t go around looking for a church that believes like you do, or friends that will agree with you. It is not about the church. It is about God. Seek Him, not religion. It really doesn’t matter if you are Methodist or Lutheran to God. That is all stuff and non-sense to Him. These churches are for our comfort zones, not God’s. And guess what! There will only be one church in Heaven so you might as well get used to the idea now.

So many people have failed because they look from church to church and religion to religion seeking satisfaction and comfort. You were never supposed to do that. You were supposed to seek God and then He will lead you to a worship center that is right for you. Right for you, by the way, does not always mean the one that is most comfortable for you. He didn’t want you sitting on your laurels in the first place. He wants to feed and nurture you. He will, therefore, lead you to a place that will do just that, if you will listen.

And even if you believe you have found the right type of worship for yourself let me tell you that it is subject to change as you grow. But it was never about the kind of church you go to. It was always about your heart seeking God with all your might. That is what matters. If you have a good church home, congratulations. But don’t stop in your seeking. Don’t get so comfortable that you stop reaching out to God. Stir up that passion that you had when you were first saved and go after God with all your strength. He has already promised to let you find Him.

Hovering Near

Isaiah 55:6

Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

This is one of my favorite verses. It is very present tense. What I like is not only the bit about seeking God. That is great stuff, of course. What draws me to this verse is that God is near. That shouts at me and just makes me happy.

I have encouraged, begged, pleaded and cajoled this congregation of believers to continually seek God and, further, to seek Him with all your heart. Today is a nurturing reminder that God is hanging around wanting to be engaged. He is like the friend who is awaiting a phone call from you. He is the Father who longs to help you but knows He cannot intervene unless invited. It sounds like a Hallmark movie, the best friend or parent kept on the sidelines of our lives awaiting the call to enter the game. Just call, just seek Me and I will immediately spring into action.

There is also a moment of trepidation in reading this verse though. There is a hint that if we do not seek Him while He is near, we may not find Him. That is a very uncomfortable thought for me, but it motivates me, not out of fear but out of a sense of urgency. I know our Father will never abandon us, but it is best to form firm bonds with Him now, while He is hovering near so that in the day of great need, He is as close as a breath.

I guess the moral of this story is seek the Lord today. I dare you to write that down on your to do list for today.

Comfort and Assurance

Jeremiah 29: 12 -14

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes.

Comfort and assurance, those are the two feelings I want to transmit to you today. It is my hope that these verses reassure you about the God who wanted to be a Father. He longs to be found by you. He wants to hear what you have to say. He is listening.

How many people simply long for someone who will listen to them? We have a Father who desires conversation with us. I think of how we pray and I wonder if it is what He has in mind. Further, I don’t think it is even what we want. Is it fulfilling to recite our laundry list of needs and wants or do we really crave talking with Him and having Him really hear us?

I think of Yahweh Father sitting in the middle of a large room. We, like small children, have been arranged in a big circle around Him. We have our eyes closed. Then He says, “Okay, come find me!” My word! We open our eyes and He is right there in front of us. It is so easy. But then, we become adults and we can’t find Him. Are our eyes wide open and yet we cannot see Him? I can see our adult selves roaming all over the room looking and asking each other, “Do you know where He is? Have you seen Him?” It must be frustrating to be God. He keeps saying, “I am right here; right in front of you.” And I say to my neighbor, “Did you hear something?”

When we were children, in our hearts and chronologically perhaps, we opened our eyes and, with great glee, ran to the Father and jumped all over Him. Let’s do that again. Let’s be five years old and not care, or even think to care, what others think. Let’s go talk with Dad and tell Him all the things which are on our minds and hearts.

Three for One

1 Chronicles 28: 9

If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.

I was looking through some notes yesterday and found this note, “Seeking God builds relationship with Jesus and the Spirit.” There wasn’t much else on the page. Apparently, it was an epiphany I had one day and felt inspired to write it down.

I can testify to the veracity of today’s verse. If you seek Him, you will, without a doubt, find Him. Once upon a time, I had a decent relationship with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit. I had a block, though, when it came to the Father. When I was in High School, I believed a bunch of bunk about God growing me through pain and disappointment. Even though I came to understand, intellectually, how foolish an ideology that was, in my heart I still blamed God for the bad things that happened in those years. Knowing Jesus, though, and continually seeking Him brought me to a revelation of the lack of relationship with the Father. Ultimately, that formed the basis of reconciliation with my Father.

Seeking any one of the three persons of the Trinity brings us into greater harmony with the other two. We might rewrite this verse to, “If you seek Him, He will let you find Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.” That is the New Testament rendition of this verse. Each person of the Trinity longs to bring you into a deeper relationship with the other two. Each one brings specific benefits and relationship characteristics. We, therefore, need a healthy and well-developed relationship with each of them; Father, Son and Spirit. Seek Him and you will find them.

Seek and Find

Luke 19: 10

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

I am re-reading probably my favorite Christian book of all time, The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J. M. Nouwen. In chapter 8 the author hits on what I believe is a critical distinction. He writes, “The question is not ‘How am I to find God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be found by him?’” (Image Books, 1994, P.106) Many of you read my own story recently in a Word of the Day entitled, Lost and Found. About that momentous event in my life I often say, “I chased Him until He found me.” It’s so true. Father wasn’t holding out on me. I needed to lower a couple of walls and I needed to accept Him.

It is so enlightening that we spend so much time and energy talking about judgment when Jesus explicitly said, “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world,” (John 12: 47). He came to seek and save the lost. He meant us. He isn’t judging us; he is seeking us. We were lost and now we are found. However, that is not the end of the story. We think of this as a salvation message and that is not wrong. It is not the fullness though.

Remember in my story, I was already saved. So, why was God seeking me? He had already found me, right? Not completely. I was saved, spirit filled and going to heaven, none the less, I was separated from Him here on earth. It was not as if I did not know the Father at all. In fact, if you had known me before the fateful trip to Anaheim, you would have said I was a pretty religious person. However, there was much more for the Father and I to share, much more that He wanted with me and for me. It makes me wonder; despite our closeness now, how much more does He still want to give me? Does He still wish to “find” me in new ways or at new levels? Is there more Father?

This is the reality I want us to ponder and question. Though we have come to know the Father, have we really allowed ourselves to be found by Him? Are we allowing Him to speak to us, express Himself to us, love us? Though you may have been saved for fifty years now, I think the need of seeking Him has not lessened. It seems the more of Him we have, the more we can have and even the more He longs to give. The closer we get to Him the more of Him radiates on us. Therefore, my admonition to you is, “Seek and be found.”

Lost and Found

1 Chronicles 22: 19

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.

I want to tell you a little story today. It is about when I set my heart and soul to finding the Lord and the effect that had. It was July 2005. I was very frustrated at not being able to hear the Lord clearly. I was getting dressed one morning and had Christian programming on the TV in the other room. I heard this minister talking about when he first got saved. In the middle of his story he told about something he heard God speak to him in those early days. He was newly saved, a baby in the things of God and yet God spoke to Him. Worse yet, he heard and recognized God’s voice. That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I was incensed that a babe in the woods should hear God’s voice so clearly while I struggled. In no uncertain terms, I told God what I thought, and I did not mince words.

There was a conference coming up in Anaheim. I knew God would be there, so I bought a plane ticket, made a hotel reservation and put God on notice that I was “going to get Him.”

Now when we talk about setting one’s heart and soul, or seeking God with all our strength brother, that described me. I was determined to go to Anaheim and get God. I pursued Him. The result? I sought Him and He found me. I went to get Him, but He got me. He must have been laughing in heaven at my threat to “get Him.”

The end of the story is that I came away from that conference having seen the Holy Spirit with my own eyes, had a prophetic dream, had prophetic words pouring from my mouth and more, more than I can describe. My life changed dramatically because of that event. You can imagine that it would. It turned out that God wasn’t holding out on me. Instead, I had a block in my heart that I couldn’t see but which he resolved through the dream. God touched me and it all began because I sought Him with all my heart and soul.

He is a good God, loving and kind. He wants an intimate relationship with you but as I learned during that week in 2005, we are in the driver’s seat. That is why the scriptures tell us to seek Him. He leaves the power in our hands.

Seek Him with all your heart and soul! What does that look like? Well, there must be persistence in it, right? There has to be determined purpose. I didn’t pray just once. I sought Him with absolute determination. And let me say, the rewards have been well worth the search. More than anything, I now know that God is attentive. He is listening to me but also listening for me. He is awaiting the sound of my footsteps approaching His throne room. I know that if I seek Him, I will always find Him. My desire, now, is for each of you to have this same kind of experience or if you have had one, to have another. Seek Him with all your heart, soul and mind and enjoy the rewards.