Don’t Mess with the Man!


© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved

 

“He is your praise and your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.” Deut. 10:21

Moses spoke these words to Israel prior to their journey into the land of promise. He had placed the tables of stone into the ark as God had commanded, and now it was time for Israel to prove their mettle.

“Go in and possess the land which I have sworn unto your fathers.”

Moses exhorted Israel to:

Fear the Lord
Walk in all His ways
Love the Lord
Serve Him with all your heart and soul
Keep His laws
Circumcise the foreskin of your heart
Be flexible
Love the strangers among you
Trust the Lord

The exhortations above sound quite familiar, don’t they? As Christians, we hold to each of them in our daily walk with Christ. Moses was admonishing Israel to remember all that God had done for them and to cling to this great God who had brought them out of bondage. We too need this reminder.

It’s all too easy to interact with God as if He were a sugar daddy or an easy mark. NO! He is the awesome God of Israel, the great I AM! Don’t mess with the MAN! Fear Him, respect Him, stand before Him in awe, and esteem Him. He’s number ONE.

Walk in ways that reflect His love and mercy to others. Love Him with that bone-deep, heart-booming passion born from a worshipful spirit. Serve Him heartily, wholly, with all the gusto you can muster. Keep His commandments and you’ll reap many rewards. Discipline yourself, lean into the yoke and pull hard. Right next to you on the other side is Jesus. Just remember that.

Love the stranger among you, for you were once strangers also. Cling fast to the Lord and He will always be with you.

Make it a practice to praise the Lord–-with thanksgiving and a humble spirit. Think back to the wondrous moments He lightened your life. Ponder what He is doing for you right this moment. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him . . . our wonderful Redeemer!

Amen

The Dust of Broken Promises

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© 2016 Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

2 Chron. 7:14  If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven  and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 We are living in troubled times, not merely in America but the world over.  Wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines and pestilences and earthquakes in various places, all these are shaking up the dust of promises we have broken between our Creator, almighty God.  He admonishes us to “humble ourselves and pray . . . seek his face and turn from our wicked ways.” 

Humility combined with the fear of the Lord brings honor and life.  

Proverbs 22:4. 

It brings into awareness a true and right relationship with God.  The Bible contains many references regarding humility in the concordance at the end of the book.  Reviewing these examples of how actual people developed a strong union with God may help instill in us this same humility.  They lived moral lives, worshipped God in awe, yet prayed and fasted,  repented of their sins and asked God for forgiveness.

Another source of godly living is following the lives of strong Christian leaders in today’s world.  Listen to their words, watch their actions, and pray for their relationships with God.   We can learn from true followers of Christ as they demonstrate their love for Him.

A minister of the 1900s who vividly expressed a deep and humble adoration through his prayer life was A. W. Tozer:

Lord, I would trust Thee completely; I would be altogether Thine; I would exalt Thee above all.  I desire that I may feel no sense of possessing anything outside of Thee. I want constantly to be aware of Thy overshadowing Presence and to hear Thy speaking Voice.  I long to live in restful sincerity of heart.  I want to live so fully in the Spirit that all my thought may be as sweet incense ascending to Thee and every act of my life may be an act of worship. Therefore I pray in the words of Thy great servant of old, “I beseech Thee so for to cleanse the intent of mine heart with the unspeakable gift of Thy grace, that I may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee.”  And all this I confidently believe Thou wilt grant me through the merits of Jesus Christ thy son.  Amen.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way!

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.

(~John Sammis)

 

Humble ourselves and admit it . . . we’re broken.  Let’s pray, folks.

Betwixt . . .

brothers

© Jeanne E Webster – All rights reserved.

 

 

Galatians 5:16-17 “This I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary the one to the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would.“

 

“Within my earthly temple there’s a crowd;

There’s one of us that’s humble, one that’s proud;

There’s one that’s brokenhearted for his sins

And one who, unrepentant, sits and grins;

There’s one who loves his neighbor as himself

And one who cares for naught but fame and pelf.

From such corroding care I would be free

If once I could determine which is me.”

~~ Edward Sanford Martin

 

The above verse is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? I would imagine that it holds true for most us. This body, for a Christian, is quite hard to control, to rein in, and to subdue. To put it frankly, the Christian life is a battlefield. The flesh desires to sin; the Spirit is constrained to obey the things of the Spirit. Every day we are made aware of the constant battle between the two natures.

Paul continues with a stark comparison of the two natures:

The works of the flesh are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, sexual excesses, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings….

[Paul adds some powerful drama here with this warning…”As I have told you before in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”]

But the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…. The differences are startling.

As in any war, action must be taken in order to achieve victory. The finger points at each one of us, dear Christians. Will we remain passive and continue to tolerate the works of the flesh within us? Or shall we rear up off our sanctified haunches and give way to the power of the Spirit to crucify this flesh? The victory has already been won; we merely have to give the “Charge!”

“Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

Just a Little Bit

 

©Jeanne E Webster

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“We can only see a little of the ocean,

Just a few miles distant from the rocky shore;

But out there—far beyond our eye’s horizon,

There’s more—immeasurably more.

 

We can only see a little of God’s loving—

A few rich treasures from His mighty store;

But out there—far beyond our eye’s horizon

There’s more—immeasurably more.”

…been thinking about this today and wanted to share it with you.  I like this little poem—have no idea who wrote it, much less who thought these words.  As human beings, we are so limited in abilities to fathom the greater attributes of God’s creation.  As the little poem points out, we can only see a few miles down the shore, or a tiny speck of the ocean—but there’s so much more.

I had trouble sleeping last night and tried to zoom in on these thoughts.  My mind came up with perhaps a few inches farther down the shoreline but not much more.  I wondered why I couldn’t reach further, as I struggled with deep thoughts and strains.  I finally concluded that the span of understanding and perception is nigh impossible to the human mind.  It is beyond our comprehension, and I don’t need to waste my time dwelling on it. 

Aha!  I think King David already told me that, in Psalm 131:1 “Lord, my heart is not proud nor my eyes conceited, neither do I concern myself in great matters or in things too profound for me.”

Thank you, Father, for your answered prayer last night.  Perhaps we could again take up the thought when viewed from a different perspective…heaven!

Shalom

 

 

 

 

 

I Hear You Now

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Broken, humbled to the dust by Thy wrath and judgment just,

Let my contrite heart rejoice and in gladness hear Thy voice.

From my sins O hide Thy face, blot them out in boundless grace.

~from the Psalter, 1912, God, Be Merciful to Me

©Jeanne E Webster

Joel 2:12-13 “Therefore now, says the Lord:

Turn to me with all your heart and with fasting and with weeping and with mourning. 

In addition, rend your heart, not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, full of loving-kindness and hating punishment.” 

 

How do I “rip apart, break open, or tear up” my heart, Lord?  My heart is already torn and broken–from the things of the world.  You ask me to do this to myself?  Oh, the pain of it all!   It will cause the bleeding to begin anew, and the pain will be overwhelming.

Nevertheless, Father, you ask this of me and I cannot refuse.  It will be done.  I know my broken heart will be in good hands, for you are gracious, merciful and slow to anger…and so very kind and gentle.  And you will not harm me.

Yet, I need Your help to do this, Lord.  Please teach me to rend my heart and mourn my awful deeds.  I am blinded to their severity and too weak to endure the pain.  The world has had its way with me, numbing me to the very core of my discernment.

Awake within me the stirring of the once gracious and innocent spirit lost somewhere in this scarred, aging body.  Help me to get home…before it’s too late. 

Amen