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John 8:12(CJB)

1Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life.”

God Is With Us!  I was reminded in our weekend service that as we seek direction and look for signs and wonders it is all meant to point us to Jesus and give evidence that God is with us.  We are seeking to see the Hand of God at work in our lives, in our families, in our vocation and ministry.  If God is not with us then perhaps we are not where we should be.  Seeking the signs and wonders is not really what we are after.  We are pursuing the source of Life.  We are living examples of living a life of love.  We are empowered to live out God's plans and purposes for our lives and bear the light which gives life.

We can move so quickly through each day, each season and like a young child whether from excitement, passion, eagerness or fear push forward not paying attention to the signs around us.  We get so focused that sometimes we need to stop and seek the light.  We need to seek which way the Spirit is leading and not rely on the routine, what we thought we were after when we started or where we think the road is leading.

God is With Us!  He is the One in whom I live and breathe and have my being (Acts 17:28)...He is the One whom I am serving...

He is the One I will seek as I look at where I have come from and where I am going.

Psalm 46:8-11 The Passion Translation (TPT)

8–9 Everyone look!
    Come and see the breathtaking wonders of our God.
    For he brings both ruin and revival.
    He’s the one who makes conflicts end
    throughout the earth,
    breaking and burning every weapon of war.
10 Surrender your anxiety![a]
    Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.
    I am the God above all the nations,
    and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.
11 Here he stands!
    The Commander!
    The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side!
    The God of Jacob fights for us!
Pause in his presence

 

May your eyes be open to see where the light is !  May you surrender your anxiety and stop your striving! 

May you pause in His presence to find your place!

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My heart each week is to share with you the testimony of one living out the hard and imperfect road of walking in love and experiencing the Father's faithfullness.  Through all the seasons of my life and all the relationships there have been hard struggles, times of walking in the dark and unbearable and hurtful separations...one of the promises I hold onto and return to is found in 1 Peter 5.  I want to let the truth of this passage be for you today what you can cling to, cling to the promise that our Father God, himself  will and is in process of perfecting, establishing, strengthening and settling you.  When you find walking in the darkness as the light and sharing in the hurts, the pain, and the struggle of others has in some small way become yours too, He will be there with you.  There is no way to walk into the places where others have experienced and been touched by evil and not wrestle through seasons of hurt and suffering.  There is, however, no safer, better place to be than in the Father's love. He is making a way for all men to hear, to see, to respond to His love and asks us to willingly go into the darkness assured that He will settle, secure, affirm and confirm us every time, in every season, through every struggle within and without. 
He Himself will do this!

1 Peter 5:8-11 (CJB)

Stay sober, stay alert! Your enemy, the Adversary, stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand against him, firm in your trust, knowing that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kinds of suffering. 10 You will have to suffer only a little while; after that, God, who is full of grace, the one who called you to his eternal glory in union with the Messiah, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you and make you firm11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11 (NIV)

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lionlooking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11 The Message (MSG)

He Gets the Last Word

8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

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Ephesians 6:11-12 (CJB)

11 Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. 12 For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.

Romans 13:11-12 

11 Besides all this, you know at what point of history we stand; so it is high time for you to rouse yourselves from sleep; for the final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to trust. 12 The night is almost over, the day is almost here.

So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and arm ourselves with the weapons of light.

 

In the middle of the battles we face in living out our faith, in seeing the value of life honored and restoration of biblical truth in our laws and communities we tend to keep on our armor and turn on each other.  YES, We are called to battle.  YES, We are called to be outfitted with weapons of warfare, YES, we are called to walk in authority and rouse ourselves. YET, we are called to walk it out in love.

When I was learning to play the piano and it was time to learn to use the foot peddles I had a teacher say to me I "would spend half my life learning how to use them and the other half learning Not to use them."  I have spent years of my life learning how to walk in authority, gathering tools of wisdom, understanding and experience, using my voice and my words to share truths...but now I face the reality that as I have increased in strength and confidence I need to intentionally drop my armor when facing the person in front of me.  The weapons I have been given are not to put up barriers of self protection, they are meant to defend and to press our cause (2 Corinthians 6:7).  The weapons I have been given are to tear down enemy strongholds not to self-righteously make others do what I think is right.  The weapons I have been given are the most useful and only fully realized when surrendered and used with a heart of love, not wielded in fear.

May you be able to drop your armor to love the person in front of you! May you grow in the grace and love that binds up!

May you know and surrender only to the Love and Lordship of Jesus!

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Isaiah 30:18(CJB)

18 Yet Adonai is just waiting to show you favor,
he will have pity on you from on high;
for Adonai is a God of justice;
happy are all who wait for him!


[weyt]
verb (used without object)
  1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often followed by for,till, or until ):to wait for the bus to arrive.
  2. (of things) to be available or in readiness:A letter is waiting for you.
  3. to remain neglected for a time:a matter that can wait.
  4. to postpone or delay something or to be postponed or delayed:We waited a week and then bought the house. Your vacation will have to wait until next month.
  5. to look forward to eagerly:I'm just waiting for the day somebody knocks him down.
verb (used with object)
  1. to continue as one is in expectation of; await:to wait one's turn at a telephone booth.
  2. to postpone or delay in expectation:Don't wait supper for me.
  3. Archaic . (of things) to be in readiness for; be reserved forawait:Glory waits thee.
  4. Archaic . to attend upon or escort, especially as a sign of respect.

Sometimes reviewing the definition of a word puts it in new perspective.  Notice in the above definition wait can be used "without an object" and "with an object."  There is a small difference in waiting with a known purpose and without.  I find this fascinating and such a picture of what my heart has gone through in facing a challenge and an unknown outcome.  I have been willingly and unwillingly presented with an opportunity to return and rest and wait in quietness and confidence [saiah 30:15]. It has been for me another process of decision.  Will I accept that Adonai has been purposely waiting for me to turn to Him and will I accept and trust His favor and defense on my behalf.  Just as the setting in Isaiah 30, I am in the middle of an unseen spiritual battle unsure of the path before me and the inward pull to self-defense, blame, finding my answers in another source and continuining in misunderstanding tempt me to wait anxiously, not keeping my eyes on Adonai, neglecting and delaying entering into real rest. 

So many seasons have brought me to this place of decision...waiting with purpose and choosing to rest OR waiting without purpose clawing, scheming, defending and missing what Adonai has for me.  This time I choose to stand " as one in expectation and in readiness for " and choose to wait for Him! 

May you choose to enter rest when facing your challenges!  May you know the favor of Adonai!  May you find purpose in the wait!

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28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Then do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, because if you pull up the weeds, you might uproot some of the wheat at the same time. 30 Let them both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest-time I will tell the reapers to collect the weeds first and tie them in bundles to be burned, but to gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Matthew 13:28-30
 
I find sometimes I get lost in the weeds thinking my job is to identify and pull every single one...this busy task is not really my job and leads down roads of distraction, frustration and blocks the flow of unhindered love.  Much like the parable of the sower my job is to prepare the soil, sow the seed, tend the fruit, watch for readiness and bring in the harvest.  I cannot always prevent where the seed falls on unprepared soil, or a patch of weeds or rocks and if I focus on the places unprepared I will miss tending the fruit that is growing, needs pruning and is preparing for harvest.  This often looks like focusing on trying to control responses, diverting resources to a single issue, or beginning to believe that my efforts are futile because no matter what I do there are still weeds growing with the wheat and the fruit cannot be good.
 
May you not get lost in the weeds! May you see the harvest that is prepared!May you not grow weary of doing good! 
  

Galatians 6:9 (CJB)

So let us not grow weary of doing what is good; for if we don’t give up, we will in due time reap the harvest.