Monday, January 12, 2009
"Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?- Exodus 15:11
If you look at the things going on in our world today, you might become discouraged. In June 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that the number of unemployed has reached 8.5 million with a rate of 5.5 percent and that number is still growing. Many are worried how will they continue to provide for their families even in the most basic needs. I have to tell you I too am concerned with what is happening. Yet what I do and continue to learn to do is look not at my situations but at the one that can control my situation.
God is the only one that can control my life. I would love to tell you God is going to eliminate all the conditions you face in life, but that does not always happen. What God often times does is give us the strength to go through them. He provides for us what we need so that we can stand. Why does he do that and not simply change our bad situations? I can only tell you what I have learned. God allows those difficult times in our lives to grow us. The change us from being selfish, immature children only able to digest "milk". He allows us to go through and uses our situations to glorify himself.
So today let us not look at our situations or circumstances because God already knows them all. Instead, let us look at the wonder of God. Who is like God is the question asked. In all the multitude of gods worshipped in the time of Moses there was not a god that could stand up against the true God. He is majestic in his holiness and he is glorious and his wonders never cease. This week, let us focus on the holiness of God.
Prayer: Lord, you are holy. Truth, purity, righteousness, beauty and wonder are all a part of your attributes. God today I ask that help my focus not to be on the ugliness of my situations or circumstances but help me to see your beauty even in the midst of the ashes. You are the one that can turn ashes what is destroyed into something beautiful. I release my situation into your hand so that you can make it into something beautiful. Amen.
ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. - 1 Chronicles 16:29
As I look around me today I want to see God's hand in action. We have two ways of viewing our situations. We can see it in a negative way or we can see things from the positive. I woke up Monday morning and I was tired. My first response was to look at the negative of my day. I was tired so I did not want to get up. I knew we were going to be running late because we were all slow in getting started. After I dropped off my entire family I looked at the gas tank and the needle wasn't even on the board let along somewhere that I was comfortable with. My first response was to get upset with my husband for giving me the car without any gas in it. I could have continued in this vain and my day could have been one complaint after another.
Yet, that is not what I seek to do this year. I do not have any intentions of allowing myself to look at my life or circumstances in a way that will discourage me. Instead I made the choice to look at my situation and say, thank you Lord. You allowed me to get my to school and work and back home safely. The first gas station I stopped at I couldn't get gas, but thank you for the second one that I was able to make it to.
I began to ascribe (give) God's name the glory it was worthy of. I began to change my focus on what was going wrong and began to thank him for what was going right. What was going right is that I am still his and he is still mine.
So I brought an offering and came before him to worship him in the beauty of his holiness. What offering did I bring? Like the requirements of the Old Testament, I brought the "first". My first words would not be misused, but used to praise God. My first thoughts would not be misspent on ugly wrong thoughts, but on the goodness of my God. My first words would not be squander on negative things but on honoring God and his mighty works. Today, let us bring an offering of praise before the holy God experience his presence.
Prayer: Lord I offer myself to you today. I offer all my first to you. I offer my first words, I offer my first thoughts and my first praises go to you. I offer you my best. Help me to give your name the glory due you. Amen.
After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." - 2 Chronicles 20:21
Jehoshaphat was faces with a difficulty situation. He was surrounded by his enemy and could not see how he was going to get out of this situation. He did what was the most important thing, he made the choice to talk to God. When he did, God told him to have the singers to go before the army and that God would take care of the battle.
This had to be a difficult answer to accept, but Jehoshaphat did. The scripture says after consulting with the people he chose individuals to sing and go before the army to sing the praises unto God and praise him for his holiness and his unending love.
Did you know sometimes you are called to go before the people of God as one praising God for the victory in the lives of others? God sometimes calls us even in the midst of difficulties to be the forerunner for others. This difficulty was upon all the people. Yet, some made the choice to go and stand on the front line against the battle that was soon approaching them. They decided to praise God for the victory in the lives of others.
Today I stand in my own concerns and difficulties and say praise God for he is worthy of all our praise and may my praise mixed with those others standing on the front line release the victory into our lives. May we stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
Prayer: Today as I pray, I first say thank you. Somebody doesn't think they can make it. The battle is all around them and they are losing hope. Oh but God we are praising you right now for your love that never ends. We will continue to praise you and stand before you as we wait to see your hand deliver us from the enemy of our soul. Release today someone in bondage. Financial bondage, emotional bondage, relationship bondage. We stand in praise as we wait to see the salvation of the Lord. Amen.
And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.' - Ezekiel 38:23
There are some that doubt what God can do. And this is not the unsaved, but those that call themselves believers. Some have waited for their blessings to come and they seem to never be coming, so they begin to doubt if God will make a difference. Sometimes we do not want to call it doubt because that says we lack faith in God. So we give it other names. We say things like, "it isn't God's will." or we say, "Maybe God does not want to bless in this way." These sayings make it easier for us to process the fact that what we are in need of is not coming.
However, it isn't that God does not want to meet the needs, he simply will do things in his own way and in his own time. Sometimes we go through the process and time does not seem to be on our side. Yet, as I look at this scripture it says to me that my God is greater than I can even imagine. God will make himself known and sometimes that way is through the lives of his people and how he delivers them. God sometimes lets us go through somethings because he wants to reveal to the world around us he is God.
Have you ever been in a situation that seemed as if it had reached its final destination and that nothing or no one could change it and then at that moment God opened up the answer you had been seeking? What happened around you? Those that thought you were gone were amazed and had to wonder in their own hearts, this surely must have been God's hand in their life. God does these things to make himself known to the world and also to his own children. Some of my most profound times in the Lord have been at those times he spoke to me through my situations.
Prayer: Lord you will make yourself known to the world. I am your child and you often times allow the situation in my life to show to others your goodness and your mercy. Lord help me even in my difficulties to be shown as a bright light and evidence that you are God. Amen.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. - 1 Corinthians 1:30
The ultimate purpose God has for all people is to be one with him through his Son. The Holiness of God is imparted to us through his Son. I started this week talking about the unemployment facing our country and how some are concerned or worried. Our situations can be overwhelming to us and that can sometimes shift our focus.
However, our focus has to be on what is the most important thing to God. The most important thing to God is that we are redeemed from sin, that we are righteous because of his righteousness we can live as we should and because of his holiness we can live holy lives.
What this says for us is this, we are not dictated to by our situations. My lack of money is not who I am. It is a temporary situation but what is most important is I am God and he is mine. I can call upon him not only for myself but for others. I can stand in praise and glorify his name and wait for him to save me from my situation. I can praise him and know that in his time he will prove himself in my life and show the world he is God. My lack is only another opportunity for God to show his abundance. His storehouse of blessings are not depleted. He has all things and all power in his hand. Today, offer him all your first as you seek him in his beauty of holiness.
Prayer: Lord I want to keep my focus on you and your ultimate purpose for me and others. Your ultimate purpose was for this world to know you are God. Help me be a light in this dark world. So that others when they see me, they see you. Amen.