More Power Please

Psalm 68: 35

O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!

You are getting a lot of Psalms and Isaiah this week because these two books, along with the Proverbs, are where I go for strength and encouragement. The Psalms are a good place for you to look for our Father in a time of need.

I need strength and power so I journeyed into the Psalms to find a promise I can hang my hat on. I have taken on a bicycle ride that is a bit of a challenge but like every aspect of my life, I expect Dad to be a full partner for this ride. I need Him to supply the strength and power and I will supply the legs. That sort of ends my commitment. Just like in my work, He has to do all of the hard work. This is an arrangement that is working very well for me and is what He wants my role to be. I know because I asked Him. I felt a bit guilty that I was expecting Him to supply all the strength and all of the power but He told me that is where He wants me. He wants me to rely on Him to provide for my every need. Wow!

I have three BIG guys. Why would I want to do the hard labor. That just does not make sense. Father, Son and Holy Spirit have this covered. And, oh yeah, my part? Well, that was praying about it before I committed myself. If Dad said, “No,” then I wouldn’t be doing this.

This applies in every single area of life. When things present themselves, before we say, “yes” we can go to the Father and ask Him. He manages the resources which include our time and energy. He also knows which things move us forward and which will set us back. We are such rugged individualists that we often forge ahead. “Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead.” Well, I am beginning to think that individualism may be at the root of a great many of our social, familial and even personal problems. In fact, I am beginning to wonder if it is sin. Regardless, your Father is here to carry the heavy load for you. He has all strength and all power. He is all we need.

Hey, remember to scratch out the name Israel and write in your own. That is your proper standing in this New Covenant.

Intertwined with Jesus

Isaiah 40: 31

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

When you go to our webpage (www.iveyministries.org) you will see this verse on the leading banner. One might question why we have chosen this verse when there are others which seemingly fit the logo better. Of course, one thinks of John 15: 5, “ I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Yes, I love that verse. It is rich, but so is today’s verse.

To really appreciated today’s verse one needs to look a bit deeper. If you stopped reading this and looked at our website, you undoubtedly noticed a difference. Above reads, “those you wait for the Lord.” The website verse reads, “those who hope in the Lord.” That is the NIV reading whereas for the Word of the Day I used the New American Standard Bible. Which is right? Well, they both are. The God’s Word version deals with this verse well. It says, Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed.” Certainly that adds clarity between the various readings but still, I have not answered why this verse in any version would be appropriate for Ivey Ministries other than it is just a great verse and inspiration from the Lord. In order to reveal the very essence of this verse we must look in the concordance.

When you look up the word “wait” in Strong’s Concordance (Strong’s no. 6960) you find it is the Hebrew word “qavah”. It is a root word which means to bind together perhaps specifically or particularly by twisting. So let’s look at today’s verse in this light, “Those who are ‘twisted together with the Lord’ will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Now, that makes sense, doesn’t it? Let me restate it, “Those whose lives are twisted together, intertwined, with the Lord, shall have great strength.”  One would expect nothing less. The word qavah also implies a sense of expectation. Truly, if we each had a revelation of being inextricably intertwined with Jesus wouldn’t we have enormous expectations of goodness, power, strength and blessing flowing in and through our lives?

That is what I want for you, a life so full of the indwelling presence of the Lord that when you breath, he breathes; when you speak, he speaks. I want the blessing of the Lord to fill you to overflowing. The overflowing grace of the Lord will bless all people you come in contact with. You have the right to walk in the power of the Lord, yes, but also in his majesty. I want you so full that you have the answers, authority, words and power for every situation. I envision each one of you so full of Jesus that he literally overflows from you. All victory, all glory is yours in Christ and that is what you are entitled to. Do you want to talk about entitlement? This is your inheritance in Christ, full victory and glory of the Father. Everything that Jesus is belongs to you through him. He so desired to give you full access to all the glory of God that he chose to go to the cross. Let us not stop short of everything. Let us not settle for anything less than Jesus’ absolute best. This is the Kingdom of God, that we should be intertwined with the Beloved and behold His face. Glory to God and to His children.

Sunshine

Job 11: 16 – 17

For you would forget your trouble, as waters that have passed by, you would remember it. And your life would be brighter than noonday; darkness would be like the morning.

This is how I think it is best to conclude our thoughts and musings over Psalm 35. We have a vindicator. Better still, we have a father who loves us with an infinite love. In the end, we win. There may be sorrow today but the sun will arise in the morning. Then your grief, your woe will be as the waters of the river. Yesterday’s water is long gone and with it your remembrance of yesterday’s distress. The sun will shine on you again. So bright will your life be that even your darkness is as bright as the morning sun.

This is God, the Father’s will for you. He wants to be light in a dark place for you. He wants to rescue you from your deepest depression. He wants to give you wings to that you can change your plight to flight. He will give you wings of eagles with which you cease flapping and learn to soar.

For our part, we have to increase in trust and decrease in control. There is ultimate power in surrender but oh, what a strong person it takes to surrender their will to God. Ego is a sounding death knell and that bell tolls for us.

What does it take to actually install God on the throne of our lives? How do we surrender our will and our brilliance to the degree that there is room for Him to work in our lives? Our miracles are in our cessation of managing our lives. Once we finally learn how to let go and allow Yahweh to actually function as the God of our lives, then we will live in peace, power and harmony. This is my prayer for you today.

Couch Potato

Exodus 14: 15

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.”

I have been having an interesting conversation with a friend of mine this week. The gist of it is that as Christians, we sometimes wait around for God to do things for us when He has already provided everything we need. We live a very passive Christianity when God has in mind a partnership. Perhaps we do not cognitively think that we can be idle and God will do everything for us but our behaviors indicate that we may believe this is the case.

Moses and the Israelites certainly had that mentality. They were backed up to the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army was closing in. Can you imagine the wailing and caterwauling that must have been going on? God said, “Why are you crying out to me?” In other words, “You have and the sons of Israel have all you need for this situation. Stretch out your hand and part the sea.” Wow! Isn’t that something? “You lift up your hand”, God says.

But now, wait a minute. Haven’t we been taught that we are not supposed to be working in the power of our might? Absolutely! But do you really think Moses parted the Red Sea in the power of his might? Of course not. This is called moving in the power of God’s might, using your authority in Christ. This is the secret. We don’t sit on our hands and wait for God to drop things in our lap because He has given us His name and His authority. Likewise, we don’t move in our power or wisdom but rather in His. We are partners with God through Christ Jesus.

I see so many ineffective, powerless Christians and this just ought not be. Our Father is the big guy, the creator, Yahweh but we go around like orphans. Look, if you were the child of Queen Elizabeth would you go around like you had no authority? Of course not but one key is that you would need to understand your authority.

This is a really big deal. We need to learn to walk in the power of God. We must learn to work with the Holy Spirit and live in the blessing of our Lord Jesus. This is a life of balance, neither relying on our strength nor resigning ourselves to the couch awaiting miracles to fall upon us. I encourage you to ponder this subject and send us your thoughts. Perhaps we can have a good dialogue about how this actually works out in real life.

No Shame

Romans 1: 16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Paul was definitely a good evangelist. He did share the good news everywhere he went. I wonder why lots of us don’t tell the good news any more than we do. I think in a sense we are ashamed. Perhaps we are not ashamed of the gospel per se but we are embarrassed or ashamed of sounding like a Jesus freak. Maybe were are afraid of rejection. Paul certainly wasn’t, though, and life could be pretty dangerous for his exhortation of the gospel.

Paul had a revelation of the power of the gospel. Maybe that is what made him so bold and me so timid. Or do we get so caught up in the busyness of our life that we don’t take a moment to be concerned over anyone else. Looming on my horizon is my next twenty to do items and the three big projects sitting on my desk. What will happen in eternity if I get none of that done? I mean, how important are they really? Are my deadlines arbitrary? Does any of it matter that much? When I think of this in light of the eternity of someone’s soul I feel a bit embarrassed. Is it really too much for me to take five minutes to ask my banker if he knows the saving power of the gospel?

You know, I heard a good story the other day about a woman who took the time to notice someone else and when she did she saw that other person suffering. She offered to pray for the woman who’s countenance was forlorn. You know what? Her bravery afforded her the opportunity to meet someone’s need. But I am too busy. Maybe I walked right by that same woman and never even looked at her.

Lord God, give us all the courage of our convictions. Give us joy bubbling up out of us that begs to be shared. Help us to be like Paul and see not the consequences to ourselves but the significance to others. Help us to share the power of the gospel with those who are in need.

Power and Might

Daniel 11: 32

And by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know God will display strength and take action.

God is not raising up a generation of weaklings. He has called us in strength and in the glory of his dear son. There will come those who will lead the weak spirited away. He will trick them by the eloquence of his speech but those who know the Word of God will recognize the lies. 

Jesus was tried by the tempter (See Matthew 4: 1 – 11). He tried to trick Jesus too but Jesus knew the Word. He could not be led astray. He defeated the devil’s scheme’s then and ever since. We learn from Daniel that because we are called according to Jesus’ victory, we too can display strength and we can take action.

Do not be fooled by those who come to you in smoothness of speech. Check their fruit. Are they demonstrating Galatians 5: 22 fruit? If not, step away. You are not required to be friends with everyone; you are only required to love them. Secondly, prepare yourself now for the trickster. We already know he is waiting like a prowling lion, just looking for someone he can devour (1 Peter 5: 8). Feed on the Word daily so that you will recognize truth from the lie and can protect yourself and your family. Adam and Eve didn’t abide in the Word and they were deceived. Look where that brought us all.

Be strong in the might of the Lord and in the power of His Word.

Powerful Implants

James 1: 21

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

The Amplified version of the Bible says that the Word of God, implanted and rooted in our hearts has the ability to save our souls. It is our hearts to which the Word of God must be sown. It is one thing for us to know the Word with our minds and with our intelligence but that is not the way in which we have been instructed. The Lord God is telling us that we must implant the Word into our hearts. Once we do, it has the power to heal our souls. God has not called us to an intellectual relationship with him. He has called us to intimacy through the communion of our hearts with His. Only then can we receive all that He has designed for us. Only then can we walk with him. Only then will we be able to really know him and his plan for our lives. He cannot minister to our deepest needs if he is consigned to our minds and our intellect. He wants to be close and intimate with each of us. When we open up our hearts to Him and to His word, then all the power of heaven comes to reside in our deepest being, leads us and save our souls.

Yesterday’s Word of the Day encouraged us to put on the characteristics of God. Today’s Word has us putting off that which is not consistent with the nature of God. In each case we can only succeed through the power and grace of Jesus. When we fill up with Jesus then we have, within us, the power to put off the negative attributes and put on the glory. Jesus implanted in us is the key to our success.