Friday, September 13, 2013

On our whiteboard today...

Here’s what’s on our family white board today…

"He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death." Proverbs 11:19

What stood out to me was the word “steadfast”.

I think of a runner or athlete that is in a competition for the prize. Can you imagine how easy it would be to throw in the towel and give up when the race gets difficult? Or just think how quickly you could get distracted when you’re on the smooth path where everything is easy and where there are not many obstacles. But the smooth path is when you can get distracted with temptations and various weights. We have to be on high alert when things are going well and when they are not. Remember King David? It was when he was idle at home that he fell. I bet things were going well for him.

But with the help of God, we will be enabled to stand firm and endure till the finish line (the end of our lives here on earth).

Steadfast means to be “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.”

The idea is "steadfast loyalty".

I looked up the synonyms:

Help us Lord to be these things and thank you that when we are not, you are faithful to Your covenant.

Phil 3:12

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ambushing Satan through Song

HI Friends,

I've been meditating a lot lately about 2 Chronicles chapter 20 where Jehoshaphat is told that a vast army is coming against him from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea.

The text indicates that he was alarmed or afraid by the news. So he immediately resolved to inquire of the LORD and proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. So they sought help from the Lord. Then Jehoshaphat prays to the Lord out loud for the people of in front of all the people from Judah and Jerusalem. He praises the Lord for His greatness and then declares their weakness by saying, "We are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us." Then he goes on to say, "nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

What struck me about this short but powerful ending to his prayer is that he is in front of the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem and he doesn't act like he has it all together. He doesn't pretend to be in control or say that he has a game plan to defeat the enemy. I'm sure it must have been humbling to admit that he didn't know what to do. He doesn't try to be a fearless leader that has all the self confidence needed for the moment. Instead he says that "power and might" are in God's hand and verbally admits that they are "powerless," that they "don't know what to do" BUT that their "eyes" are on God.


What a great example of true power under submission when we look away from ourselves and look to God. It reminds me of another leader, namely, Peter. Remember when he did something that was humanly impossible? He walked on water when he was looking at Jesus (Matt 14: 22-33). And then when he looked away from the Lord he sank. I'm sure Jehoshaphat could have been tempted to look to other resources to win the battle, or be so afraid that he scrambles to try anything that may solve the problem but he didn't do that. Instead He looked to The Source of strength to win the battle.

It is when we are weak that He (God) is strong (2 Cor 12:10). His strength is made perfect in weakness. It's so opposite of what the world tells us, isn't it. The world says, "pull yourself up by your boot straps." But no. God says, "Humble yourself and He will lift you up." (James 4:10)

Keep looking to the Lord. Fix your gaze on Him. He is mighty. Worship him through song and watch what He will do. Perhaps there is a battle going on in your life, maybe it's spiritual, maybe it's more tangible like something at your work or at school or in your family. Worship Him. Cast your cares on Him. He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

Last month I found myself playing certain worship songs over and over. Sometimes 10 times or more. Okay, that's conservative, more like 20 times. During that same time my friend Nancy emailed me this message from John Piper called, "Ambushing Satan through Song."

It's a powerful message that unpacks 2 Chron 20.

If you want to know what happened with Jehoshaphat and who won the battle, click here and read the chapter in it's entirety

God bless and have a great day at church!