New Threshing Sledge

Isaiah 41: 15

Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; you will thresh the mountains, and pulverize them, and will make the hills like chaff.

The aspect of this verse which is so profound to me is that our heavenly Father said that He has made us a threshing sledge. He said that within us is the power and the ability to thresh mountains, to pulverize them and to make hills as chaff. That power is within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. No thing is now impossible to those who believe because the Spirit of God has come to live inside of each of us.

There are two cautions I would give you in regards to your ruminations about this verse. First of all, some wish to argue, foolishly, that this verse was meant only to the nation of Israel. Well, my first argument to refute that is, “My name is Israel” and so is yours! We are now standing in the shoes of Israel thanks to our Lord, Jesus.

Secondly, why is the book of Isaiah in the Christian Bible if it isn’t for Christians? Let’s get a revelation here and cease with foolish semantics. Your God had you in mind before there even was an Israelite nation, even before there was an earth, so doesn’t it seem downright stupid to suggest that He didn’t mean these words for us?

The second caution I would give you is not to minimize these words or to make them so metaphorical that they lose all their power. So the mountains in your life might be a mountain of bills or medical issues. That is to look at these mountains metaphorically and that is okay. A mountain to Isaiah might be a relationship challenge to your or me. However, I want you to allow you mind to expand to encompass exactly what this verse says the way God gave it to Isaiah. I sincerely believe He was talking about real, physical mountains and that if we understand and embrace who we are in the Kingdom of God that truly there is nothing impossible to us.

So, consider what mountains you are facing today. Are any of them too big for your Dad? Now, the really big question, are any of them too large for you? Your father has given you power from His own hand to make you a “new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges.” You don’t have to let the mountains loom over you and weigh you down with their shadow. You can, and should, rise up and tell that mountain to jump into the sea and if it doesn’t, then thresh it, pulverize it, take it down! You are the power of God in this earth through His indwelling Spirit. Let that truth fill you.

Quail Quandary

Numbers 11: 23

And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

Okay, so who knows the end of the story? We all do, don’t we? God’s word carried the day and Moses witnessed miracle upon miracle. I wonder, though, how Moses felt or what he thought when God posed that question to him. Honestly, it makes me a little uncomfortable.

What preceded God’s question was Moses’ doubt. The Lord seems to be calling Moses on his lack of belief. I find myself feeling guilty as I read this because I feel that doubt in my own soul. How many issues have I faced, prayed over and still carried doubt in my heart?

The people of Israel were on their protracted journey to the Promised Land. They complained about the lack of water and God gave them water gushing forth from rocks. They complained about not having bread so He gave them manna from heaven daily. Then, not satisfied with the manna, they complained about not having meat. So, God promised to give them meat enough for a whole month. Moses questioned God about how He was going to feed 600,000 people with meat enough for a month. Today’s verse was God’s response.

The story is fulfilled when God sent enough quail to the Israelites that there was literally quail on all sides of the camp three feet deep. It took the Israelites two days to gather it all.

That is the way I want us all to live with God. I want us to experience His bounty. More importantly, I am sure that God wants us to live in His abundance and in the constant expectation of the miraculous. If we can learn to believe in God’s ability and willingness even against overwhelming odds, we can see these kinds of outlandish miracles in our lives too.

The thing you must know about this story, though, is that Moses shifted out of doubt into belief. When he left God’s presence he went to the people and proclaimed God’s promise. There is our key. We must believe if we are to receive. Practice today believing the Word of God. The Bible is loaded with personal messages to you. Let God fill you up as He did Moses and receive your bounty.

Power Line

Zechariah 4: 6

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts.

God tells us to rely on the power of His Spirit instead of trying to accomplish matters in our own strength. It is so easy to get caught up in your own skills, talents and even education and not turn matters over to the Father. I should know because I have been around this mountain more than once. This goes to the theme of doing things the easy way or the hard way. We can struggle in our own strength but it is a much more difficult way to live and a life less successful. God’s way is for us to walk in love and prayer and leave the heavy lifting to him. He will make your ways straight if you will only release your work and problems to him. Give him the situation in prayer and then let go of it. He will work it out and lead you to solutions while you spend your time in prayer and thanksgiving. Pray for the situation. Pray for the people involved and then thank the Lord of the Harvest for your solution.

Knowledge is Power

Ephesians 5: 17

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

I have an expression I like to use which is, “There is an easy way and a hard way to do everything. When possible, use the easy way.” Paul said, “Do not be foolish.” Okay, so understanding the will of the Lord is the easy way to live and to succeed. Knowing God’s will is like taking the inside track. The converse is trying to figure it out for ourselves.

I am all for education. As a matter of fact, a friend’s mother chides me that I will be the most educated person in the graveyard. Well, I’ve never put a lot of stock in ignorance. However, no amount of human education will ultimately equip us for the battles of life. Ignorance won’t either but there is another choice. We can live in the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord. Actually, that was the original plan.

God did not call us to Him so that we could toil and worry. His calling is so that we can step into our positions as His beloved and live in the fullness of His provision. If we aren’t living in that abundance yet, then we still have the need of more understanding. Of course, the pursuit of understanding the Lord’s will is the journey of this lifetime. Those who are wise instead of foolish will seek His will every day, really every minute. When you know the will of God you will have the confidence to release His power and authority in every aspect of life. You will truly be unstoppable. For those who persist in seeking and knowing God’s will, nothing shall be impossible.

In absolutely everything you do today, pause and seek the Lord. Seek His will. Let Him guide you in every single step. Even the smallest matters are of importance to Him. You will find that you save yourself time and a great deal of effort. Knowledge really is power but only when it is the knowledge of God’s will for you.

The Robe of Love

1 Peter 4: 8

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

God is love. You know that. Because He is love then the pursuit of life is love. Seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him (Jeremiah 29: 13). When you find God, you have found love. Love is the one thing. It is preeminent. It’s all about love.

When you dwell in love, when you make it your abiding grace, then your actions will be colored by love as well. However, we know that none of us are perfect. We still fail. We still make mistakes but love covers them. If we have made it our life’s ambition to live by love then love is our guard and shield. It is our hiding place in the time of trouble, like a strong refuge. Love protects us.

Think of this too. Love is also our redeemer. Wouldn’t you say that is true? Wasn’t it love which sent Jesus for us? Wasn’t it love that nailed him to a cross? Love restored our souls redeeming them from the pit of hell and placing us in glory with our Lord. As is so evident, love is power. 

We have such a small revelation of love. We cling to the might of God’s strong hand but fail to see that love is the power behind His might. Whenever we fall, it is love which picks us up but we cannot know God or the power of His might until we yield our hearts to this power, the power of love.

When we envelope ourselves in God, His love becomes a covering for us. Not only does it protect us but it redeems our mistakes. It covers the errors of our ways. That is not to say that we entertain debauchery. No, as we live in love we always seek to give God our very best. We never intend to cause Yahweh sorrow by sinning for in truth to sin against God is really to sin against ourselves. We do not harm God with our iniquity. We injure ourselves. However, when we live a life dedicated to love, God covers our iniquity so that we are safe, secure and forgiven. We live with contrite hearts always seeking to express purity. However, when we do fail, when we do err, God picks us up, dusts us off and sets us back on our feet. 

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your friends, boss, employees, family members and the nut on the freeway as you love yourself. Forgive everyone who has harmed you. Pray for and bless them. And let selflessness be your guide.

Grace and Power

Acts 6: 8

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

If you don’t know Stephen’s story you might like to read the rest of this chapter and chapter 7. He was remarkable in his faith.

This eighth verse really struck me today. I am always interested in hearing about the great signs and wonders being performed because I am passionate about us interacting with the world in such a fashion. We are disciples of Jesus every bit as much as Stephen so we should walk in and exhibit the same power and anointing that he did.

The reason this verse arrested me is because of the word grace. Stephen was full of power. We know that because of the many signs and wonders he performed. But what of grace? Why is grace mentioned in conjunction with a declaration about signs and wonders? Could it be that grace is a critical component of miracles? We know that Jesus was full of grace and compassion and we also know that the miraculous was common with him. 

I believe that the miracles are simply the release of God’s power into the earth through the person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus worked hand in hand with the Holy Spirit and as you read about Stephen you will conclude that he did too. So, is it by the grace of God, then that we all are able to not only receive the Spirit of Jesus to live within us but also to release the love and compassion that is in His heart? And you see, if grace is a key element then that takes our cleverness, creativity and holiness out of the picture entirely. It is only by grace that we are saved and by grace we can walk in this awesome power. Because God’s grace is the fuel then we do not have to be anything other than willing. We only need be vessels of grace. However, being vessels of grace means that we cannot be instruments of judgment and condemnation. That stands to reason doesn’t it? Grace is the unmerited favor of God. It is unearned; willingly given by a loving God. Therefore if we wish to flow in God’s power as did Stephen, then we must learn to flow in grace. We cannot be critical and judgmental while letting love flow. A critical, judgmental nature will cut off the flow completely.

Let us abound in this grace that so empowered Stephen. Let love honestly have a place in our hearts and thoughts. And, let us extend the precious love of God first to ourselves. Be not critical of who you are but rather revel in who Christ has made you. You are hidden in Christ and a glorious creature. Now let that glory flow to others.

Powered by Quiet

Isaiah 30: 15

In quietness and trust is your strength.

How is that for a counter-cultural statement? I don’t think many of us associate strength with quiet? I think we connect strength with activity and energy. Walking with God requires us to learn an entirely new model. In the quiet, contemplative moments is where we actually find our strength. It is there that we forge the bond of trust.

Probably most of learned that when a problem presented itself it demands that we “do” something. And for many of us I don’t think that meant to go to a quiet place and meditate. No, we are doers. We apply action to problems. I cannot even count the number of times I have inquired of God, “What do you want me to do?” “Nothing,” He says to me. Are you kidding? Do nothing? That is not the way we are programmed but I am learning that God knows what He is talking about. I am most effective when I slow down and pray. I want to do something active to confront an issue but God is teaching me that the power is in the stillness. He has legions of angels poised to handle problems and frankly, they are much more capable than I. What I have, though, the thing which distinguishes me, is prayer. If I can be disciplined enough to quiet my heart and calm my mind then Father God will show me the way. In that stillness are answers. Not only that, but there is also encouragement and strengthening through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

If we will retreat into our prayer closet when confronted by a problem then our dear Father will meet us there and will subsequently meet our need. When we open our heart and our ears He is faithful to pour Himself into us. And when you have been touched and filled by the Father don’t you think you will have the courage to trust and find great strength? If you need strength it is found in the quiet attentiveness given to the Holy Spirit. Settle yourself and seek God’s face. Look to Him with your inner being in the calm assurance of His love. Love never fails but it can be difficult to touch when you are in an energetic rampage. Calm down, settle yourself. In the quiet of your heart your strength will be renewed.