Energy Drink

Psalm 63: 2             TPT

I’m energized every time I enter your heavenly sanctuary to seek more of your power and drink in more of your glory.

This is another Psalm of David’s. He did not write every psalm, but he did write a good many of them. Verse one reminds us why God said David was a man after God’s own heart. It reads, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Isn’t that good?  From this beginning point David goes on to expressing two important thoughts. Notice though, that he begins in adoration of the Father. I believe that may be a significant fact explaining David’s success.

Verse two goes on to reveal that David believed he routinely entered God’s heavenly sanctuary. That’s quite a statement! How did he enter the Father’s heavenly sanctuary? It must be that in David’s times of meditation he visualized himself entering the Father’s haven. Selah, pause and consider that. David is matter of fact about this part of verse two. It is just the set up for what he wants to say. That tells me that to David this was routine and nothing worth commenting upon. It is just what he did. He entered into the Father’s presence regularly.

I have noted that modern Christians often pray for God to invade our space. First, it shouldn’t be an invasion. He should be welcome here all of the time. The bigger point, though, is that we seem to be keen on inviting the Father into our space but perhaps not quite as intentional about visiting him. There is nothing wrong with asking Dad into our activities. That’s a good thing. It seems clear to me from this passage, though, that we should regularly visit Him at His house.

Second, it must be okay to seek God’s power. It is right here in a psalm. Father didn’t correct David for going to the throne room seeking more of His power. In fact, He apparently granted David’s request in ever increasing amounts. David drank in the Father’s glory. He looked upon the Father in His grace and majesty and was renewed, physically, but likely spiritually, emotionally and mentally as well. David came away from His time meditating WITH the Lord, energized. Wow! Is this going off as loudly in you as it is in me? We gain energy from hanging out with God at His house. Moreover, we are allowed to go to His sanctuary to stock up on energy and seek God’s power and glory.

I find this an empowering verse and I certainly hope you do too. We don’t have to continually, nor solely, pray for God’s glory to infiltrate the earth. That’s great but any time any of us wishes to bathe ourselves in the Father’s glory, we have a standing invitation to the Throne Room of Grace which is full of mercy and refreshing. You can show up and drink in His glory. That is astounding to me. Are you thirsty? I know I am. Let’s see how God’s glory satisfies.

Literal Truth

Psalm 44: 3

Our forefathers didn’t win these battles by their own strength or their own skill or strategy. But it was through the shining forth of your radiant presence and the display of your mighty power. You loved to give them victory, for you took great delight in them.

The writer of this psalm seems confident in his statement that their forefathers’ victories were not the result of their own strength, skill or battle strategy. The triumph was not the result of their own wisdom, experience or knowledge. Instead, the psalmist would have us believe that victory came through God’s presence and might. Can we believe this? And, if their victory really was the result of Father’s presence can we enjoy the same kind of outcomes?

This is a little hard to believe, isn’t it? I mean, at a philosophical level, no. It is easy to accept philosophically. We can rationalize that it is God’s strength within us which leads to victory. It is the gift of wisdom which He gave us that results in triumph. The psalmist seems to differentiate from this analytical conclusion though. Is it possible that when he wrote this psalm he was being literal? The psalms are songs. Might he have written these lines in celebration of a literal truth?

I believe the answers to these questions can challenge us at a very deep, almost primal level. If we believe the psalmist meant for us to take these words at face value rather than as a poetic nuance of real events, then it presents for us a dilemma of faith and trust. If it really was the presence of God which carried the day, then we need to understand and appreciate this kind of faith walk. Most of us don’t have enemies shooting at us, or armies bearing down on us but we have challenges pertinent and relevant to our day and time. However, let us not forget that while most of us are safe, we do have sisters and brothers who actually are in danger for their lives and some of them, like the ancient Israelites, specifically in danger because of their faith. Selah – pause here and consider and maybe even offer a prayer of safety for them.

One might conjecture that we are better equipped to walk in the power of God’s grace, mercy and power on this side of the cross than our faith forefathers. We have the testimony of Christ and his example of a life lived in the manifested wisdom of God. We also are on this side of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit is the power of God. We are better positioned to live in his power than the generations which went before. Jesus ushered in a new way of living with God. Have we, though, actually learned what this means and found how this life is lived? Are we still stumbling in Old Testament theology unversed in the revelation of Christ?

I fear this is the case. It seems to me that we live a hermetically sealed life where our reach is stunted. Nothing seeps into our box and we do not extend ourselves in exuberant faith, risk or trust. We live safe lives but not passionate lives. We live within limited boundaries so that we do not have to extend ourselves. We are not forced to trust God because we take life in this limited capacity. We don’t listen to the voice of God within us because he may ask us to do something that is risky. We don’t believe the Bible and don’t take it at face value because we may have to face some uncomfortable truths. Best if we rationalize away these uncomfortable passages, relegating them into the province of fantasy.

We should be living above the miracles of the Old Testament. We should be experiencing works beyond what Christ did. That’s what he said anyway (John 14: 12). We should be a people unlike the world has ever seen. The mighty hand of God ought to be evident in our lives and infecting all we come in contact with. I want this life. I want to know what the life Jesus anticipated for us looks like. I want to be a Christ disciple and actually walk as he did and live according to his faith in me. The life Jesus died to give us must be grander than the life most of us Christians live today. What is necessary for us to live our destiny? Our God is so much bigger than our lives. His plan for us is full of His faith.

Our Father, be our mighty warrior; be our strength and wisdom today as we turn to you. Teach us to walk in faith and trust. Lead us in your ways and create us to be a people who bring you glory.

Angels Sing

You know the lyrics to the famous Christmas Carol, “Hark the herald, angels sing, glory to the new born King!”  A herald is a bringer of news, an official messenger.  Hearken to the voice of the messenger, in other words, for he is bringing you good news of a great joy, so joyous, in fact, that the angels sing, “Glory, Glory!  The King is born!”  Think of that, angels celebrating with uplifted voices because the savior has arrived.  I guarantee you they are singing, “Glory, glory,” even until today.

There are many images of Christmas and we have many demands placed on us at this time of year.  People who are essentially loners are forced into more social gatherings than they can bear.  The social creatures must restrain themselves so they have time for the necessary to do’s.  Amidst all the holiday furor, where is there time for Christ?  Even going to church on Christmas Eve becomes one more thing we have to do.  Even as outgoing as I am, there are moments when I, too, want to run away to Christmas Island with Jesus.

The images of boxes and bows, of Santa and the reindeer begin to crowd out the image of angels crying out with loud voices about the coming of the Christ child.  Our own voices are muted by the stress of the season and our hears fail to hear the Angelic chorus.  Maybe, though, you can sneak away for a few moments.  Maybe you can find solitude in the shower or perhaps you need to take a drive in the country.  A long walk might be the best medicine you can take.  In any event, I pray that you can take some moments, steal some time out of a busy schedule to celebrate Jesus’ birth and what that birth means in your life.  Maybe you can put a Christmas CD in the player of your car and crank the volume so loud that it drowns out your own voice.  Then, perhaps, you can sing with abandon.  This I will promise you, the angels will join your joyous, vocal celebration.  You don’t even have to sing on key because all they hear is the beauty of praise lifted up to the king.  All that is important is that your heart sings.  Believe me, if you will let the joy and the love of the Lord radiate from your spirit, you will stir up the heavenly host.  Isn’t that exciting?  They will join their voices with yours to celebrate the king.

I pray, in the name of our Lord and King, that you have a very blessed Christmas.  I pray that the image of that little child, born 2000 years ago, touches the tender parts of your heart and brings you great joy.  I am going to take off the rest of 2018 and heed the advice I give you.  Until next year, be blessed!

 

God’s Place

Psalm 26: 8              Passion

Lord, I love your home, this place of dazzling glory, bathed in the splendor and light of your presence!

Yesterday we were introduced to the private place our Father has reserved for us, a place where He meets with us and discloses the secrets of the universe, and even of the earth and your life. Today we get a picture of that private place that only those who love God get to enjoy. It literally glows with the glory of His presence. His glory saturates the wood and upholstery so that everything in His home radiates the joy and splendor of who He is. It is a place where the glory of Jesus synchronizes in a melody of warm colors. Music emanates from every surface and angels join in a holy chorus of perfect harmony.

The splendor, the light, the absolute glorious radiance of His presence floods our bodies and spirits as we hang out in the dazzling glory of His holiness. It is a place where we are welcome, so welcome, in fact, that you will feel even more at home than in your house, even more comfortable than at your mother’s hearth.

It is said that everything vibrates, and each material vibrates at a specific frequency for that substance. The resonance of God’s place is the perfect frequency for your heart. It is the rhythm of your spirit. That is why you feel weightless, light, in God’s presence. There is no weight upon your spirit when you are with Him. Your spirit literally floats on His.

There is healing in His presence because every molecule of your body is caused to vibrate and its perfect frequency. It is like molecular song, every organ pulsating at its perfect rate, at its specified wave length. Disease and malfunction are jarred lose and sent away. They can’t exist in the perfect rhythm of life which flows from Father, Son and Spirit.

I’ve seen some beautiful homes in my life, as I am sure you have, but nothing compares with the splendor of God’s place. It’s not that it’s palatial. It’s not the beautiful furniture and ornate décor. God’s magnificence, His beauty and brilliance make His home the most delightful and comfortable place to be. And the good news is, because you love Him and are called by Him, you have an open invitation to visit Him anytime you desire.

To some unapprised people, this sounds allegorical, but you know it is not. This is literal, and God’s place is a very real place where you can abide as King David well knew. It is the place where your heart is at home and at perfect peace. And the best news of all, you can access this special place from anywhere in the physical universe. So, come, all who are weary and heavy laden. Come, all you lovers of God. Come rest and refresh in God’s presence, in His home.

Shield of Faith

Psalm 3: 3 – 4

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.

In verses one and two David decries the number and aggressiveness of his enemies. This psalm was written when David’s son was chasing him. How forlorn David must have been. His own son had turned against him in a grab for power. Though David spent the first two verses lamenting his dire situation, by verse three his spirit arose to declare the goodness and faithfulness of God.

He recognized Yahweh as a shield which surrounded him, guarding him from the menace of his many enemies. Though he must have gone around for some time with his head hanging low, God embraced him and held his head high. There is no shame because our God is our Father. He causes us to hold up our head when others would be bowed low.

The Passion translation of verse 4 is beautiful, “I have cried out to you, Yahweh, from your holy presence. You send me a Father’s help. Pause in his presence.” This is a good place to pause and consider. David had real trouble, real enemies. His problems eclipse most of ours. At least most of us don’t have people pursuing us to kill us. Despite his troubles, and in the very depth of them, he recognized the voice and hand of a loving Father. My point is that if David can receive the love of God in the midst of his dangerous circumstances, then we can too.

David triumphed over his enemies time and time again because he recognized that God was his hero. He trusted in God as his shield and that brought him the victory. Though he may have spent a little time mourning his situation, he never remained in that pitiful state. He would always put his mouth to work declaring God’s goodness. In the end, it was his belief in God’s faithfulness that delivered him. It will work for us too.

The Result

Isaiah 58: 8

Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Do you want to know what precedes the above? What comes before your light breaking out like the dawn? It is verses 6 and 7 which were from yesterday, doing for others. God does not ask you to do things for others for their sake only. He is trying to get something to you. God knows the law of sowing and reaping. He knows it is the principle by which he created the earth. He also knows if he can get us to sow a little seed, he can make it grow into a glorious dawn. Think of what the light of dawn is like. Have you seen a dawn recently? It is glorious. Moreover, it cannot be held back. It lights the earth as far as you can see and beyond. That is how God wants your light to be. Your righteousness, which you have in Christ Jesus, will go before you and God is going to bring up the rear. How glorious is that really? In the middle is everything you need and more than you can think or ask. God wants to sandwich you in His goodness and he is showing you how to enable Him to do just that. Give and it shall be given unto you (Luke 6: 38).

Grace and Glory

Psalm 84: 11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

There is much substance in that small verse. Our Father, God, is all things to us. Is that not enough, that He is all things to us including our sunshine and protection? For Him it is not. He then gives to us all good things. All of us who choose to be called his own; that is. He even gives to us grace and glory. Didn’t you think that glory was reserved for Him? It is not. We are to give Him glory but he also gives His glory to us. Not only does His grace cover us, we all have heard that and accept it but he actually gives us His grace. Now what do you suppose we are to do with his grace? Spread it to others perhaps. Even as He has given all good things to us, let us give good things unto others. As we become more and more like Him, this will become our very nature too. And while you give good things to men, don’t forget to spread around a bit of that grace God gave you.