Sunday, January 27, 2013

Psalms for Sunday, LXXIII

Men and women approach the Lion of Judah, as though he is a mellow kitten. They say, “Here, kitty, kitty,” and dress him up like a doll and teach him to do tricks for their entertainment. There is no fear, there is no reverence or honour. They teach their children to do the same. They create their own god, who is like them – meek and without power.

But the Lion of Judah is getting ready to roar. It will be great and glorious and will surprise the nations. The sleeping lion rouses from his rest and make things right. Those who believed will rejoice and be glad but many will mourn, for their lamp has gone cold and they have no more oil to burn.

The King is mighty, and knowledge of his fame will spread to the nations. Already the nations wait for the news, eagerly lapping it up. The nations receive the King, and worship but I am among a people, a nation which despises the word. Oh how great is our sin, but how much greater is the mercy and goodness of the King. He sees those who are committed to him; those who have waited, with a single focus – to see his glory spread.

The enemy has been defeated. Dance and rejoice, let the party begin as we welcome the King.  Sit down at the table and watch as the enemy retreats, like a wounded animal with his tail between his legs. Laugh because the plans of the enemy are no more. Love has won, and listen to the nations proclaim, “Lovers gonna love.”

How good is the Lord and how worthy he is to be praised. All the earth, worship his holy name and sing, “Holy, holy, holy, Holy is the lamb who was slain.”

Dance and sing and rejoice because the Lion of Judah roars.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Psalms for Sunday, LXXII

I climbed onto my papa’s lap to snuggle close to his heart. With restrained might, we held me close and whispered in my ear,

You are my happy thought.  I said your name at creation, and thought of you when I died. At the resurrection, your name was on my tongue.  This moment, right here, right now, is the moment I’ve longed for since time began. You are precious. I love you, not because of what you do, or who you know but because I created you to be loved by me.

Put your ear to my chest and hear my heart. It beats for you. Listen, and I’ll tell you my secrets and share the mysteries of the age with you. Press into me and I will receive you. It’s for this reason I died.

Then we stood and he placed my feet on his feet and we danced. Oh, how we danced. We moved and sailed, dancing the beats of his heart, to the movement of his Spirit. The wind caught my hair and he twirled me around and made me to shine, glorious and free.

This is the fullness of his love, and I am enraptured. I am completely at rest. The distance we covered and my legs did not give out and my feet were never tired.

My papa looked at me again, with intensity in his eyes and said, “You are my happy thought.”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Don't Put Out the Fire

My theme for 2013 is gratefulness; I shared that with you on January 1. I want to challenge myself to have 365 days of grateful. Truthfully, I am already grateful – by and large, most of the time I’m grateful for my life. When I’m asked the question, “How are things?,” or “How are you?” I answer, “Awesome,” because I mean it and I can list off a number of reasons why it’s true that day. Most people will never see my enthusiasm for life wane. Occasionally, I can be overwhelmed by life, but those moments are more the exception, rather than my normal experience and I bounce back quickly. The situation may not change, but my attitude changes.

Over the last couple of years, time and again I’ve received prophetic words and words of encouragement that my turmoil has been seen by the Lord and he is rewarding me, that my tears will be turned into laughter. The first few times I received words like that, I discounted. That’s not me. But I as I continued to receive similar words, I began to get a sense of foreboding.  I had to ask the Lord, “Are these people giving me a future prophetic word? Is my life going to make a turn for the worse, but in it, I’ll know the faithfulness of the Lord because they don’t seem to be describing me very well?”

The Lord answered me by showing me the weight I’ve been carrying – the things others see and feel burdened in their spirits for me, and yet, I’ve not felt overwhelmed by it. The reason, the only reason, I’m not overwhelmed is because I’ve been hidden under the shadow of the Almighty. I’ve made his sanctuary my home and I’ve made his Presence my single desire.

The challenge I made to myself to be grateful isn’t because I am currently ungrateful but because I understand the correlation between thankfulness (gratefulness) and quenching the Spirit’s fire (1 Thessalonians 5:18-19). I want to be intentional about cultivating a grateful heart because I want to fan the flame that burns bright inside. I want his fire to burn away anything not worthy of eternity. Problems aren’t going to be there anyway, so why not get the party started early?

Problems really aren’t problems when you rest in his holy Presence, filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Yesterday I had a familiar conversation with a dear, close friend whom I admire so much. Many areas of her life are a struggle. One area, in particular, seems to be a constant struggle and I suggested she look for ways to be grateful in that area. I’ve talked with her at other times, when she is full of the Holy Spirit, full of fire and nothing seems to faze her when she’s full of the Presence. We talked about the correlation between expressing gratefulness and maintaining the bonfire of the Holy Spirit.

I know you know this already. Gratefulness is important but what comes first? The fire or gratefulness. It’s the great age old question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” Really, does it matter? Put yourself in the place of his Presence and be intentional about being grateful and the rest falls into place.

I used to think Paul was arrogant when he said, “follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) I no longer think Paul was arrogant; he simply knew where he had personal victory and encouraged others to reap from his inheritance. Likewise, I say, follow me into gratefulness, as I have learned how to be grateful and thereby not put out the Spirit’s fire. Live in his Presence, where every battle outcome is already settled in our favour.

Be blessed!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Psalms for Sunday, LXXI

Blessings flow from your hand like spring run-off into the Cheakamus River. The righteous enjoy the endless bounty.  Your chosen ones enjoy the spoils from the enemy, because it was first stolen from them. Your love is sweet and it conquers the adversary. He cannot stand against what he does not have.

I am grateful, and you make me love life because every blessing flows from heaven. You are Light and where you are, there is no darkness; there is nothing unturned and everything is exposed. Even then, there is no shame for your Light is like a blanket – it warms, it protects, it covers.

Facts are not the truth and reality is not the end. Your Word continues to eternity, always expanding, always growing and always truth.

Delight me, O God. Surprise me with your goodness and let me walk in the fullness of your love for me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Are You Going To Do About It?

It’s 4:20am and I’ve been up for awake for more than an hour and up since 3:30am. My Man is awake too and the coffee maker is already on. I’m on my 2nd cup of coffee. I know I’ll be tired later but right now my mind is thinking a lot of thoughts – mostly reflecting on the past year and wondering what God is up to for 2013.

At the beginning of each year, I ask God for a verse, a promise and a theme for the year. Last year his promise was that he was faithful to his word. I was really excited about that word. I have a stack of promises and prophetic words I’ve kept dating back more than a decade and I have yet to see them fulfilled. I never disbelieved the words as I received them but most were so far out there, I couldn’t possibly imagine how they would be carried out. As 2012 unfolded, the dots seemed to be connecting and my hope soared but now at the end of the year and the start of a new one, I feel like progress took one step forward, only to take three steps backward.

Relationships that were strained previous to 2012 continue to be (and more so); even relationships that were solid seem to have tension now. My family’s health and wellness problems are no closer to healing and recovery (with or without medical assistance), and our expenses keep increasing instead of decreasing. Where is the favour I was promised? Where is the restoration that was prophesised? Why hasn’t the financial breakthrough come?

One scene, as if from a movie, keeps replaying in my mind...Will Smith (it’s always Will Smith in my mind’s movie), scratched and dirty, walking victoriously through the carnage of destruction.

As I contemplate these issues, my one question to the Lord is, “What are you going to do about this?” It’s not my problem, truly. He promised, so let him make good on his promises.

Currently, I don’t have any testimony or precedents in many of the problems in my life and in the lives of the people around me. Even where there might be a testimony it is so far removed, it’s become like an urban legend. It’s enough where many people will give up and think the situations are hopeless but I think that’s what makes it exciting. I love adventure and I’m on a great adventure. I have no idea of the path or journey, but I do know the end result – victoriously triumphant in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14).

What do you need God to do for you this year? What have you been promised that you are still waiting for? Remind God about his promises to you, like Moses and David did. Ponder the prophesies you’ve been given, like Mary did. And be blessed, because you have believed that what the Lord has said to you will be accomplished (Luke 1:45).
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