Blog Rss Feed When God Says Take A Break //

Today the lyrics of a song are playing in my head. It is the phrase, “It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by You,” from Fight My Battles by Elyssa Smith.

Elijah was one prophet who had to fight a few battles. God told him at one point to hide because the rulers wanted him dead for pronouncing a famine on the land. He sent Elijah to an unlikely refuge: Zarephath in Sidon, the heart and soul of Baal worship.

Elijah needed to be taken care of. He needed to eat. God picked out a poor widow in Zarephath for the job. In essence, God prepared a table for Elijah in the middle of his enemies. He was surrounded…but safe.

God is in the business of providing such tables. He has prepared one for us. It is a matter of perspective. We can focus on the ruckus or we can focus on His promise to defend, guard, provide and strengthen.

Today I’m focused on the fact that He fights my battles. I can sit down at His table. Rest. Take in the joy His presence gives because it may look like I’m surrounded. But I’m surrounded by Him.


Here is a link to one version of the song. Let’s praise Him for providing us a table.

Image by Ben White courtesy of StockSnap

Tue, 25 Sep 2018 17:56:39 GMT //
Why You Should Praise God When Your Life Is In The Hole //


Praise. God calls it a sacrifice. Psalm 50:14 says, “Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the Most High.” Because sometimes life sends us down a long road. Reasons vary.

Peter and Silas went down one of those roads. They were paying, but in a different way. Because they had freed a young girl, they were caught, gripped by sturdy, violent hands. They were accused, stripped, whipped without a legal limit and beaten. To make sure they could do no more magic, they were dragged into the belly of the prison, the deepest, most difficult place, a labyrinth of locked doors and bars from which escape was impossible. More punishment was guaranteed.

Around midnight they came to. They sat bleeding, bruised and cold. In stocks. In impossible. And they sacrificed. They sang. Up from the belly of their spirit, up from the belly of the prison, praise swelled. A sweet sacrifice, the sound of trust, fell upon the ears of other prisoners. The scent of their sacrifice, love, swept away the stench of death and gave it no place to linger.

Psalm 50 continues in verse 15, “And.” You sacrifice and... “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” 

Paul and Silas pressed into that promise. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God.” (Acts 16:25)

God responded with an act that shook the foundations of the threats, the matter that made up a false pride. An earthquake shook the prison. And... the chains fell off and the doors opened.

Praise is sacrifice when it turns us from ourselves. Our capabilities. Our thoughts and worries. We sacrifice everything that is flesh, throwing it on the fire as rubbish. And... we fix our spirit on the word. We absorb it with our eyes. We breathe it out in language and song. We fling ourselves upon it like it’s a raft, and we do not let go. We determine not to be like those who “hate to be taught...and toss My Words behind you.” (Psalm 50:17)

Because we know faith without action is admitting there is a life raft without ever using it. No matter how deep the hole we’re in, God wants to deliver us. Because we know His invitation stands, if we are willing to act on it.

Praising God with you!


Image by Tim Marshall courtesy of StockSnapi.o

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 18:49:30 GMT //
Healing? What About Job? //


If you delve into the topic of suffering or healing, it won’t be long until you meet Job. His story is usually pointed to as proof that God uses sickness to teach you a lesson. Persecution for a religious stance is not sickness. It is a fight against the god of this world, and as followers of Jesus it comes to us.  We must not confuse the two in a discussion on Job.

But there is a huge flashing neon sign, THE BIG PICTURE, believers fail to see. Let’s take a look at Job.

Job lived after the flood and before the Law.  One of his friends seems to be a descendant of Esau, Eliphaz the Temanite. To understand the first chapter of the book of Job, we need to understand what happened in the Garden. It will help us clarify the idea of God as sovereign. God is sovereign, but He gave the earth to man. Adam. The agreement went like this: it is yours; if you need help, let Me know. But Adam never asked for help. He gave the earth to Satan. He didn’t know the consequence of breaking his agreement with God and entering into one with Satan because Satan kept that part a secret.

Here is what happened. God became a third party on the outside of earth’s dominion. God honored Adam’s decision and did not step in to override it. Then Adam found out he lost his dominion because Satan, his new master, wasn’t about to let him keep it. He wanted it and took it. Man was demoted with no authority. God promised Adam a future Redeemer to set him free.

In the first chapter of Job, Satan shows up in heaven. Not long ago, he had suffered defeat through the flood when God stepped in and said, “Enough.” Recently, however, he was feeling smug after the rapid increase of rebellion and the Tower of Babel. Then God pointed out Job.

Satan complained. He had never gotten a shot at Noah, and here was God continuing to set up bubbles over men. He considered the bubbles of blessing and favor illegal. He most likely considered the flood illegal. The earth was his, his resources under his rule. God said, “Fine. All he owns is in your power.” There was no disagreement. 

But Job stood loyal to God anyway. Then Satan reminded God Job’s flesh was of the earth, Adam’s seed. It was under his dominion. “Fine. But you cannot kill him.”

This was rough. Job got tired. Angry. Confused. He blamed God because he didn’t know his real enemy. He pleaded for a Mediator. He longed for the promised Redeemer. But he remained loyal to God, trusting.

God ended the suffering under Satan’s hand. The point had been proven to Satan. The spirit of a man chooses, not from his stuff, not from his flesh. The spirit of a man is God’s if that man chooses God. God had done nothing illegal.

God’s next step was the Law and a full blown covenant of blessings to anyone who chose Him. There were Gentiles that wanted in. And it was a proven legal system on the earth. There would be no more Jobs. No more of Satan’s whining of an unjust God who did not abide by His word.

The covenant was imperfect, but it was a beginning. The next step was Jesus. Satan had no idea what Jesus’ death would mean. God kept the consequence a secret. If Satan would have understood, he would have never killed Jesus. Paul called it a mystery. Jesus in us our hope of glory.

What was the result of Jesus’ death on the cross? A new covenant agreement based on better promises. Jesus’ death included all the benefits of the old covenant plus a reborn spirit and a promotion as co-heirs with Jesus. Man got his dominion back. It is his free, if he knows it, wants it, knows how to use it and enforces it.

Our struggle is in enforcing our rule, opposing Satan. We are enforcing his defeat. We live in the acceptable year of the Lord. Jesus told us what His first coming brought in Luke 4:17-21. Part of it is to set free the oppressed. God has provided that there should be no more victims like Job.

Job became famous. He lived  to be over 200 years old. He saw his great-great grandchildren. This hadn’t been witnessed since Abraham’s great grandfather. He was a celebrity for a reason. He remained in God. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or the assurance of forgiveness and without any spiritual authority.

We have so much more than Job had.

If there are still those out there suffering like Job, they may not know their enemy. They may be blaming God or think He wants to teach them something. No. He doesn’t use sickness. He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher. We have new wine. Jesus said we can’t put it into old wine skins. Let's not live in the past. 

If there are Jobs today, they may not know their authority, their rights, who they are or can be in Jesus. 

How about we tell them? His blood is able to give us life abundantly, and it heals all our diseases.


Image by Sasint courtesy of StockSnap

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 18:04:59 GMT //
How Living Inside Out Creates the Order We Crave //


Authors are a diverse group. No one technique or style defines them. It is their goal that unites them. They desire to communicate, to say something.

Achieving their goal requires focused attention. The B.I.C. approach as I have heard one author explain it. Butt In Chair. 

I have taken that advice recently concerning one of our latest projects, Noah. I haven’t disappeared; I’ve focused, taken the opportunity God gave me every morning to be single minded, to finish. At least the rough draft.

Jesus was single minded in the midst of crowds, chaos and the demand on his attention. His modus operandi was simple: He only said and did what the Father told Him. He tells His followers this three times in the book of John. John 5:19; 8:28; 12:49.

“Jesus therefore answered them, “Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.”
(John 5:19 WEB)

Nothing by Himself. What? He was GOD. But He needed the Father to be in the Father’s perfect will.
Jesus’ work on the cross begins with salvation, but it doesn’t end there. Asking Him into your heart is the gateway to relationship, abundant LIFE.

He lived His life in constant walking, talking, doing partnership with the Father from the inside out. Spirit leading the flesh to do.

Jesus advises us to live the same way. Inside out. He shows us how. He said, “I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4 WEB)

This is Jairus’ “Believe only.” Paul’s “Fix your eyes on Jesus.” Remain, stay in one place. In Him. In His word. In His love.

Wherever you find yourself today, listen to His voice. Live inside out, not just pulled here and there, but led with purpose.

When we pursue Him, not the chaos, then order comes; peace comes. We bear, carry and bring the fruit, the thing we are hoping for and working toward for those around us and ourselves. 

And fruit is a desire that unites us. We can only accomplish true fruit in Him.


Image by Lisa Fotios courtesy of StockSnapi.o

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:06:07 GMT //
Blood  Moon NOT the End...Yet //  

I’ve seen the buzz on the internet concerning Friday’s blood moon and what the media reports as a doomsday prophecy.


Time for some facts. The blood moon does not signal thee day the world ends. The Bible clearly states that we do not know the day or the hour, meaning specifically. But we can know the season. We can know what to look for. And yes, a blood moon is one of the signs.


The Joel verse that is being quoted says that it ushers in the time. “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2:31)  The day or the tribulation comes later. We don’t know how much later.


We are in the last days. This is a fact that brings derision because Christians have been saying that for a lo-ong time. About two thousand years. Skeptics wish we’d give it up for crying out loud.


But here’s the truth: we’ve been in the last days since the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples and the Bible says so. Disciple/Apostle Peter said in Acts 2:16-18, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”


Yeah, he quoted Joel too.


But there are some things that have to happen first. For the world to come under the unrestrained rule of man controlled by demonic power and create havoc everywhere, Christians have to be absent. They have been given all authority over Satan. Another reason is the Bible says the Church has not been appointed to wrath. Because of this, many believers think the rapture comes before the end.


They also believe that the rapture will come at a time of great harvest, meaning born again souls not soybeans. So if thousands of people disappear and you are left standing in the street listening to crickets? Then you can panic.


But more facts. Ezekiel 38 and 39 speak of an alliance in the Middle East against Israel never seen before. Gog, Magog and company. Left out of this alliance are major enemies of Israel. When Ezekiel spoke this, the nation of Israel didn’t exist. Its enemies had conquered it.


But in 1948, when Ezekiel’s other prophecy about Israel came true, Arab enemies surrounded the fledgling nation to annihilate it. Except they couldn’t. These Arab countries tried for years. Couldn’t be done. 


Do you realize today Arab leaders are scrambling to become friends with Israel? They want Israel’s protection from a new enemy. Who is this enemy? The alliance Ezekiel said would come at a time when Israel’s security was so secure they wouldn’t need to put walls around their towns.


That alliance is Russia, Turkey and Iran. This alliance will attempt to invade Israel. It is referred to as Ezekiel’s war, and it will be stopped by God using an earthquake among other things. With the alliance camped at the Golan border and rumblings of seismic activity in the Holy Land, I understand the concern.


Where does Ezekiel’s war fit into the end times? We may find out. The Bible says there is a year of the Lord’s favor and a day for His vengeance against His enemies. See the pattern? Long time; short time. It has been a long time by design. But there is a day coming. 


Here is the takeaway: have you asked Jesus to come into your heart, to forgive you, and help you live for Him? If you haven’t, it is a good time to do so.


Want to learn more? Click here.

Image by Jens Mahnke courtesy of

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 17:45:18 GMT //
We Are the "Tent of Meeting" //

One thing the Bible teaches us is that God wants to meet with us.

In the Garden of Eden, heaven and earth became one as God walked with Adam. The Onkelos Targum translates the Genesis 3:8 passage as Adam heard “the voice of the Word of the Lord God walking.” John says, “In the beginning was the Word.” He goes on to say the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John1:1,14) John is telling us that the Word is God and Jesus is God.

When God gave Moses instructions for the tabernacle, it was to be called the Tent of Meeting. Israelites watched as Moses entered the Tent and the Pillar of Cloud descended as Moses and God met and talked. (Exodus 33:8-9)

Met and talked. Like friends, confidants.

Here is evidence during three time periods in the Bible of God’s desire to meet with His people.

Today, the time after the cross and resurrection, we are the tent of meeting. If you are a born again believer, Jesus, the Word, lives in you. It is pure love that we are given this privilege.

Jesus calls to us; waits for us amid all the distractions. His desire is for us to be taught, comforted, encouraged and to be shown what is to come.

 But he leaves the act of meeting to us.

If God seems distant, praise. Thank Him for the smallest graces He sees to in your day. Thank Him for the grander blessings you enjoy. Praise is the signature of gratefulness.  It puts us in a state of humbleness. It makes us realize God’s involvement in our life.

James says, “Do not err...every good and every perfect gift is from above  and comes down from the Father...” (James 1:16-17)

God says He inhabits the praise of His people. But not for His benefit. It is for ours. The benefit is what His power is able to overcome by our praise: fear, doubt, worry.

Breathe in the air He has given us, and exhale it as praise back to Him.

Let the “meeting” last all day. Acknowledge it when you wake up at night.
Allow heaven and earth to become one as you walk with God. Keep it up all week. All month. All summer. Every day for the rest of your life. 

Let us take full advantage of the gift the cross has given us.

I’m praying this over my life and I invite you to join me: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness... For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.” (Colossians 2:6-7 and 9-10 NIV)

Image by Ken Cheung courtesy of StockSnapio

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 21:35:54 GMT //