Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the deadPsalm 86: 11-13
Clichés are my favorite because although they are grossly unoriginal, we continue to let them live on because they have seemingly immortalized relevance. The old saying ” it gets worse before it gets better” starts us out on an appropriate note here. My gentle hearted reader, although I don’t know exactly where you are at in this moment, it is my hope that the voice of our father will reach you where ever you are. That you will find renewed strength and encouragement in this reminder of our Fathers never ending faithfulness towards us.
I’ve been having these dreams lately. This has occurred at least two or three times; different scenes, different people but they all share one distinct commonality. I am with a friend that is possessed with an unclean spirit, as I lay hands on them and pray in heavenly tongues; they immediately respond by speaking back at me in demonic tongues. It’s always quite distracting, in this dream realm I can almost feel the effectiveness of my prayer fade away as I listen in and try to understand the other side. It is a very natural reaction to give ones attention to a threat or problem, to seek to understand. I believe our Father is asking us to stop this.
About a week ago, I had intentions of sharing a very different post with you. Thankfully the Lord did not allow me to finish, as he did not yet finish his work in me and anything that is done without his finished work is honestly worthless. So, I had a real “problem” I wont get into the “problem” because it’s unimportant, but for the sake of providing context I’ll simply say there were some recent relational conflicts with a very close friend of mine that had left me feeling a little betrayed, heartbroken, confused and just plain bitter. I can take a good look around me, situationally nothing has changed. Yet, internally everything changed when our father gently led me to truly repent from glorifying the conflict at hand within my heart. Then, by his grace alone, my heart was free to place power back into the rightful hands of our Father. Usually when the term idol is mentioned most of us would associate it with something we regard in a highly positive manner. Surprisingly, I’ve come to find this is not always the case.
Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in themJeremiah 51:17
An idol can be anything -whether we deem it to be good or bad- that we make higher than God in our hearts. The fear of the Lord should never cease to reign over the fear of man. We have no power to remain completely free of idols in the flesh, it is by his power alone that our hearts can remain undefiled. There is nothing too useful in us to pull from in times of distress, our strength and power can only be found by looking to him as our beginning and end, the Supreme Ruler and Maker of all.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.Romans 12:9-19
When I was at my absolute worst. Dwelling in a place where my overactive imagination paired with paranoia were busy at work creating conspiracy theories, trying to give reason to the reasonless, understand the attacks against me and how best to fire back. It was around this time that I met these beautiful words in the book of Romans. I was lit on fire with desire for my heart to become everything mentioned here and more. Deeply drink in these words! No matter what your battle is looking like, stand firm in Love for there is no Glory reserved for the darkness. Why should we worry about or try to understand something so futile? This is a time to surrender the fight that was never meant to be ours in the first place, repent and ask the Father in faith for a new heart. He does not hesitate to provide, bless and renew. With a new heart, comes a fresh pair of new eyes.
Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence.Joshua 5:13-15
We can all collectively agree the enemy has been working overtime to cook up a big ole pot of division. Pay those loud noises no mind, we belong to the peace that surpasses all understanding. Let us all come together as one and humbly meet our Father in this place. This is the place where the face of your cold-hearted enemy becomes the face of your beloved, blinded and wounded brother or sister. Where confusion yields to clarity. Where your side and my side of the story can bow down in reverence before God’s side of the story. This, is where love wins.
Love covers a multitude of sins1Peter 4:8