Missing Out?

Posted by on November 18, 2013 with 0 Comments

Have you been missing out?

grace

We sometimes miss opportunities to display God’s grace to the world around us, because we are looking for that “big” act rather than focusing on the simple, unobserved, not-so-glamorous, every day moments where we may choose to display grace to those around us. Moments like stopping to talk to your lonely neighbor, changing yet another diaper or cutting gum out of your son’s hair, emailing a friend with a word of encouragement, when your daughter steps on that “last nerve”, overlooking a friend’s harsh comment or choosing to forgive the offense of a spouse. All moments that seem so… insignificant but at the same time challenging! Moments that are rather significant to a God who glories in the small things (Zec 4:10).

May God give us eyes… His eyes… today so that we may see where we may dispense His grace to those He has purposely placed in our path and in our sphere of influence today.

Acts 11:22-24 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

Blessings!

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

Broken Hallelujah

Posted by on November 5, 2013 with 0 Comments

This is where I am today. How about you?

Broken Hallelujah – The Afters ( Click on link)

Make sure you go buy their album!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

Who’s The Boss?

Posted by on October 23, 2013 with 0 Comments

Photo-Boss-of-me-girl“You are not the boss of me!” I heard my four-year-old son yell at his older sister.

From the moment he was born, the twenty-one months difference in their ages was more than enough to convince my daughter that SHE was the boss. That was, until my son discovered that he had an iron will of his own and began to exert it! Now, both in their teens and equally able to express their opinions, I still hear many times “You are not the boss of me!”

Every time I hear that phrase, I am reminded to search my own heart and see if I have said those very same words to my Adonai.

Adonai is one of the names God used to reveal Himself. It means Master, Owner, and Lord.

Adonai is the name spoken by pious Jews in place of Yahweh. Adonai is Jehovah. He is Creator and we are the created. Therefore, “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that HE is LORD!”

Adonai is sovereign and has complete authority. The name commands complete possession by the Master and full surrender by the servant.

In other words, when I call God “Adonai,” I am saying that He is my Master; He is my Lord. I am saying I have placed myself on the alter, and all that I have, all that I am, and all that I do and say is under full surrender to Sovereign God (Romans 12:1-2).

Abram had submitted to Adonai as Master. At the age of 75, he followed God, leaving all that he knew with only the directions “Go!” He submitted to Adonai’s care and protection even when he had no clear understanding of God’s plan. Yet, when it came to Abram’s deepest desire – a son, he did not allow God to be Adonai (Gen 15:1-2).

AdonaiHow many of us do the very same thing Abram did?

We call Him Lord with our lips, but deny Him with our lives.

Oh, we will raise our hands in church and sing “Lord Reign in Me,” then, on Monday, when He wakes us up early and nudges us to spend time with Him, we refuse.

Maybe He tells you that the clothes you are wearing today draw more attention to your body parts than His Spirit within you, but you shake it off thinking “Well, everyone else dresses like this,” and off you go.

Maybe He has asked you to restore a broken relationship, but you have refused to submit to His will.

Maybe He has asked you to spend more time with your family and less time at work, but since you offer only lip service when you call him Lord, you refuse.

The truth?

We all want Him as our Saviour. Few of us want Him as our Lord.

Salvation gives Jesus our hearts. Surrender gives Him our lives (Romans 12:1-2; (Romans 14:8).

Forgetting that we were bought with a price and are therefore no longer our own (I Cor 6:19-20), we often yell at God “You are not the boss of me!”

Believe me, we are all “bossed” by something. Whatever “bosses” you, other than God, is an idol.

For some it is money, their home, the hottest fashions, or family. For others it may be food, sex, or drugs. Cell phones, the latest high-tech gadgets, big screen TVs, and cars are what some value. For others it can be ministry or approval.

No matter the idol, normally, the more of it we get, the bigger our own sense of value gets!

The above “things” are not wicked, but when we allow them to control us instead of allowing God to control us, we are practicing idolatry (Col 3:5).

idolsFacts about Idols

1) You do not control your idol. It controls you!

2)  Idols can hide so that you are not even aware they are there…until you go looking for them.

 “If you want to find out if you have rats in your basement, you do not go thumping down the stairs announcing your arrival.  If you do, they will hide before you get there and then you will think there are no rats in your basement. However, if you creep down the stairs and suddenly flick on the light, you will see the rats scurrying away! The suddenness of your approach doesn’t create the rats. They were already there, but now you know where they are hiding.” (paraphrase C.S Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book IV: Chapter 7)

Identifying Idols

What consumes your thoughts?

What consumes your cheque book?

What consumes your time?

What consumes your emotions?*

Recognizing and tearing down idols is not an easy thing, but it is necessary if we are going to live the powerful, abundant life God intends. Idolatry is a serious thing to God (Exodus 20:3-5; Jonah 2:8, I John 5:21, Gal 5:19-21). He does not take it lightly, so neither should we. Therefore, checking for idols in our lives should be something we do on a regular basis.

Let’s start today by searching our hearts and honestly asking “Who is the boss of my life, my finances, my words, and my actions?” “In what areas of my life have I refused to allow Him to be Adonai?” “What idols have I allowed to topple God’s place in my heart and life?” “Do my control issues get in the way of His Lordship?”

Today, let’s stop yelling at Adonai “YOU are not the boss of me!” and start crying “Lord, show me where YOU are not the boss of me.”

*Strong attachments to things or people, so much so, that if you lost them, you would be absolutely devastated and feel that your life no longer has purpose. Also, strong emotional outbursts (anger, resentment etc.) towards people or circumstances if they threaten your idol.

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

Gilligan’s Island

Posted by on October 8, 2013 with 0 Comments

Giligans-IslandHave you ever had one of those weeks? You know, a week where you wish you could change your name and hair color,and move to a whole new place where no one knows you? Maybe sign up for a tour on the S.S. Minnow, and get stranded on a deserted island with the Skipper, Gilligan and crew? (Gilligan’s Island is a TV show from 1964. Google it!) There, where the weightiest thing on your mind would be trying to figure out why the Howes brought all they owned for a three hour outing, or why the Professor, who could make a phone out of two coconuts and some rope, couldn’t fix a hole in a boat!

Gilligan’s Island is fiction. Life and its circumstances are not.

Sometimes, we can be stretched so thin by life’s trials that we feel invisible…even to God.

Have you been there?
Just recently, finding myself in that very place, God led me to read a passage from Ann Spangler’s book, Praying the Names of God.
Here is what I read. May it be a soothing balm to your soul, as it was to mine:

The God Who Sees Me

“The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”
The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to
count.”
The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael
to the son she had borne.”
Genesis 16: 7-15

Hagar meets El RoiAn Egyptian slave, Hagar encountered God in the desert and addressed him as El Roi, “the God who sees me.” Notably, this is the only occurrence of El Roi in the Bible.
Hagar’s God is the one who numbers the hairs on our heads and who knows our circumstances, past, present, and future. When you pray to El Roi, you are praying to the one who knows everything about you.

“From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all humankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.”
Psalm 33:13-15

 Even the most watchful parent must sleep. But scripture makes it clear that God never slumbers, never looks one way while we head off in another, never misses a millisecond of what is happening on earth.

El Roi is a God so watchful that he is said to note even when the smallest sparrow falls to the ground. This is the God who watches over you today, whether or not you recognize his presence.
Aware that you may sometimes find yourself in desolate places, he is always near, helping you find a path through troubles, working out his plans for your future.” Ann Spangler, Praying the Names of God

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

Surrounded

Posted by on September 23, 2013 with 0 Comments

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpwsKRpKS_M

Although fictional, this scene from my favorite book series (The Lord of the Rings) turned movie trilogy always reminds me that God is my Jehovah Sabaoth.  

What does Jehovah Sabaoth mean?

Jehovah Sabaoth means “The Lord of Hosts.” (Hosts: an army made up of earthly and heavenly beings, ready and poised for battle.) In other words, He is Lord over a great power.

“Who is He, this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory” (Psalm 24:10).

“The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold” (Psalm 46:7).

“And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;

His glory filled the whole earth” (Isaiah 6:3).

“The LORD is a warrior; Yahweh is His name” (Exodus 15:3).

Although the Old Testament saints knew Him as Jehovah Sabaoth long before, God chose to reveal this name to a desperate woman living in desperate times (I Samuel 1-2:11). This was a time in Jewish history when idolatry and pagan worship were at an all-time high. Followers of the One true God were few, despite this nation having been chosen by God (Judges 21:25).

In the midst of this darkness, Hannah lived. She and her family were part of the remnant still faithful to God. However, in spite of her faithfulness, Hannah found herself facing despair. In a culture where a woman’s entire identity was tied to her ability to provide an heir, Hannah found herself barren. Though taunted, persecuted, and overwhelmed with hopelessness, Hannah chose to run; not toward bitterness, but to her Jehovah Sabaoth. She ran into the arms of The Lord of Hosts (Phil 4:6-7, James 5:13)!

Did Jehovah Sabaoth alter Hannah’s circumstances?

Not immediately. Yet, Hannah came away from her Strong Tower full of renewed strength and hope, despite her circumstances.

When God doesn’t answer me when and how I want, how often do I choose to run toward bitterness and anger, instead of humbly, as a servant, approaching my Jehovah Saboath?

David, like Hannah, certainly knew to run to Jehovah Sabaoth when facing imposing giants. He knew God was the supreme military commander of a vast army; poised and ready to go at all times. One who at a mere word could summon His army to form a protective rank around His people. Therefore, David responded to the giant’s taunts by saying “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (1 Sam. 17:45). Although Goliath may have been the superior soldier with better armor and bigger weapons, David understood he was not fighting alone. He knew he didn’t need Saul’s sword or armor. He had all he needed. Jehovah Sabaoth was on his side, and The Lord of Hosts guided David’s pebble to Goliath’s forehead, slaying the giant.

The lesson we can learn from David and Hannah is that the task before us is never greater than the power behind us!

Jehovah Sabaoth never stops fighting for His covenant people; He will continue to do so until the day He rescues them, once and for all (Rev 17:12-14)! The Lord of Hosts always fulfills His own purposes, even when His people fail.

Jesus Christ revealed Jehovah Sabaoth. In Hebrew, Jehovah Sabaoth is translated “The Lord the Able (One).” He is also called the Lord Almighty who has power over all things.

Noah and Abraham knew this God as did Job, Joseph, Joshua, Gideon, Elijah and Jeremiah…and all the prophets from Enoch to John the Baptist, right down to us believers today.

Jehovah Sabaoth is the name of God used in Scripture when we reach the end of our rope, so to speak. The Lord of Hosts is the Strong Tower which God has made available for those times when we fail and feel powerless; when our resources are exhausted and we’re faced with overwhelming despair. Jehovah Sabaoth will never abandon us, leave us unprotected, or fighting alone (Matt 28:20).

Are you facing an imposing giant?

Are you losing all hope of victory?

Are you at the end of yourself?

Does the enemy seem to have you outflanked and outnumbered?

Do not be discouraged, Friend! Do not look at the size of your mountain, your giant, or the opposing army surrounding you. Look instead at the size of your God…your Jehovah Sabaoth.

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Did we in our own strength confide,

Our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side,

The Man of God’s own choosing:

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is He;

Lord Sabaoth is His name,

From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

Tested

Posted by on September 9, 2013 with 2 Comments

Abraham and isaacWhat must have been going through Abraham’s mind as he made that journey to Moriah?

“How will I ever be able to look Sarah in the eye and tell her what I did?” “What will the neighbours think?” “God, you promised me that I would be father to a great nation through Isaac. How is that going to happen if he is dead?” “I don’t get this, God. I don’t understand any of it!”

The battle raged within Abraham as it would within any of us. Yet, the voice of Abraham’s faith won over all the others. Despite the consequence, Abraham was willing to sacrifice all on God’s altar.

He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Gen 22:5).

Did you catch that last sentence? Go back and read it again.

Did you notice that Abraham didn’t say “We will worship and then I will come back to you?” He said “…WE will come back to you.” Isaac was included in that “we!”

Abraham had battled through a crisis in his faith, concluding that God would somehow keep His promise. There is no mention of resurrection in the 21 chapters leading up to this moment, but somehow Abraham concluded that God would bring Isaac back to life, even though he had never seen it before.

Isn’t it interesting that when we lay our all on the altar and truly seek God, we get to know Him in a way others miss? (Jeremiah 33:3, I Cor 2:9)

Abraham, carrying the knife and the fire up the hill, walked beside Isaac who carried the wood on his back. Once on top of Mount Moriah, Abraham built the altar, bound his son, and placed him on the wood.

Doesn’t it bring to mind a picture of another One and only Son?

God was about to do something He had never done before. He was going to lead Abraham (his friend) through an experience that He Himself would walk through. For on the same mountain (Mt Moriah), on which Abraham built the altar to sacrifice his son, God Himself would build a cross and sacrifice His Son 2000 years later. God, however, in His mercy, did not permit Abraham to go through it to the extent that He would.

Abraham lifted the knife … God called to him to stop.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” He said. “Do not do anything to him…” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns…” (Gen 22:12-13).

How long had the ram been caught there?

Scripture does not tell us.

Did the ram cry out?

Scripture does not say.

Some poor shepherd lost his ram that day and it “just happened” to get itself caught right when and where it was needed! This ram was not only on time and in the right spot, but it was in the right condition. There were no cuts or blemishes. (Lev 22)

Jehovah Jireh“So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide (Jehovah Jireh)…” (Gen 22:14).

Abraham’s greatest testing became the place where he saw God the clearest!

“To provide” means “to see” or “to see in advance.” Sometimes we say “I will see to it” when we mean “I will take care of it” or “I will provide for it.” This is what God meant when He revealed this name, Jehovah Jireh, through Abraham.

God, who sees all, sees our needs long before we do and provides for them (Matt 6:8). Although events in our lives may take us by surprise, they never take God by surprise.

We need to have Jehovah Jireh etched on our hearts!

You feel tired and weary with life.

Jehovah Jireh will see to it.

Your job is gone, and there is more month than money.

Jehovah Jireh will see to it.

You feel you cannot fight off that sin any longer.

Jehovah Jireh will see to it.

Long before he spied the ram caught in the thicket, Abraham responded in faith.

On the journey up the hill, Isaac asked, “The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Gen 22:7-8).

How could Abraham respond this way?

God did not give Abraham this big faith exam the first week he started walking with Him. Faith needs to be cultivated through trials. Abraham was now at least 115 years old, and he had seen God provide for him in many ways and in countless hopeless circumstances over his lifetime. Thus, Abraham knew without a doubt that Jehovah Jireh “would see to it.”

What does the name Jehovah Jireh mean to you today?

Do you have a need that is like a knife against your throat?

Our trials may be many; they may be difficult, however, they should not destroy us. If we have laid our Isaacs down and are obeying Jehovah and seeking to know Him above all else, then take heart, my friend,

Jehovah Jireh will see to it!

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

What to Wear

Posted by on August 27, 2013 with 3 Comments

Clean heartA few years ago, in preparation for an upcoming conference, I earnestly prayed for months “Create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10 (NIV).

The day prior to my departure, God started to speak and continued throughout the duration of the conference.

The “She Speaks” Conference became “God speaks!”

Jehovah, knowing I am a visual learner, taught me through some painful, but powerful, object lessons that weekend.

Object lesson # 1 – My reflection in my bathroom mirror as I dressed for my early morning flight.

“You are concerned with your outward appearance and have missed some dirt on the inside. Your heart carries blemishes of offense, and as a result, you have become judgmental.”

My heart broke with the weight of the ugliness of my sin. I knew EXACTLY what God was talking about.

Object lesson # 2 – The lockdown of the tiny Charlotte, NC airport for 1 1/2 hours upon my flight’s arrival, due to the finding of a concealed weapon in the luggage of a passenger going through security.

“Take care of the “threats” hiding in your life. The enemy has a foothold in some areas. He will use them to destroy you, and in the process, hurt others as well.”

Object lesson # 3 – Waking up in the wee hours of Friday morning, the first day of the conference, violently ill for several hours.

“A clean heart happens only after I (God) spew out all the ugliness and sickness you allowed in. It is not pretty. It is painful. It is necessary!”

Object lesson # 4 – Saturday morning, I wake up with a sore eye which worsened throughout the morning.

“Your “self” focus has to go. Your eyes cannot be on who you are but on who I AM.”

When my eye did not improve by lunch break, a pity party broke out.

I had come to this conference expecting… good things, blessings. Instead, it was one battle after another! Then, the accuser (Rev 12:10) started picking at me like a crow picks at garbage.

“How can God ever use you?”

“God cannot love you!”

“Look at the mess you are in.”

“THAT sin is unforgivable!”

Quickly, the confidence in my calling, and in the God who called me, evaporated.

Interrupting my pity party, a voice whispered in my heart “Go to the prayer room.”

Several times throughout the conference, we were encouraged to visit the prayer room. There, we would find special cards arranged on tables; each card bearing one of the various titles of God. The conference team had prayerfully placed each attendee’s name (500 in all) around the cards, according to where the Holy Spirit had directed. Knowing that God reveals Himself through His titles, we were to go find our name, to see what personal message God had for us.

With trepidation, I made my way down.

The blanket of God’s presence wrapped around me the moment I entered the room. Printed on the cards were the names “Elohim,” “El Elyon,” “El Shaddai,” “Jehovah,” “Jehovah Jireh,” “El Roi,” and so on. However, nearing the end of the last table, not yet finding my name, disappointment replaced anticipation.

“Look again,” I heard in my heart.

Halfway through my second, much slower search, my one good eye found my name. Holding my breath, I looked over to see which title of God was on the table where my name lay.

I blinked.

I read the name again, letting its soothing balm heal my heart.

With which title of God had women who had never met me – the attendee with the unclean heart – prayerfully placed my name?

Christ on crossJehovah Tsidkenu–“The Lord our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6).

The word righteousness means “declared innocent!”

Of all the names God uses to reveal Himself to us, none is more sweet, comforting and full of hope than Jehovah Tsidkenu.

Like the nation of Israel, I had allowed an evil king (self) to sit on the throne of my heart. Yet, God gave Israel a promise through the prophet Jeremiah, revealing to them a new name. That promise, given so long ago, was for me as well. It was the name of a promised, righteous King.

The pursuit of sinful man’s righteousness began 2000 years ago with a cry from a manger, and it concluded victoriously with the cry from the cross – “IT IS FINISHED!” Jehovah Tsidkenu covers us with HIS righteousness.

Is there any sin too dark that even Jehovah Tsidkenu (my righteousness) cannot cover?

NO!

My righteousness is not based on feelings. It is a fact!

Difficulties arise when, after salvation, we still try to earn our righteousness. We try to keep the law, forgetting that Jesus supplied the demands of the law for us! Many strive, inanely, in their pursuit for perfection, thinking it will keep them in God’s good graces. Jehovah does not ask for us to pursue perfection, but to pursue a perfect God.

We also forget (or are unaware) that upon salvation, three enemies arise to defeat us – the world, Satan and our flesh. Some of us can withstand the lure of the world. Others have no problem in recognizing the enemy as a defeated foe. Everyone, however, struggles with his or her sin nature. Many of us practice crucifying the flesh, but to our dismay, it soon resurrects itself.

It is only through Jehovah Tsidkenu alone that I can win the battle over my flesh each day!

I need to continue to pray “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord” Psalm 51:10.

I need to submit and repent when He shows me my uncleanness.

Believing that the grace that saves me is the same grace that sustains me, I must move to the next step. I need to walk on confidently, wearing my robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10), which Christ paid for with his lifeblood, instead of wearing the shabby robe of condemnation which belongs to the enemy!

robe“In the teeth of all thy sins, believe that He is thy righteousness still. Thy good works do not improve His righteousness. Thy bad deeds do not sully it. This is a robe which thy best deeds cannot mend and thy worst deeds cannot mar. Thou standest in Him, not in thyself.”

  C.H. Spurgeon

Which robe are YOU choosing to wear today?

 

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

The Prayer

Posted by on August 12, 2013 with 3 Comments

cute-funny-animals-24[1]“God, please bless Mommy and Daddy,” a pajama clad little boy prayed, kneeling beside his bed. “And, dear God, take care of Yourself. If anything happens to You, we’re sunk!”

Do you feel like you are sinking?

God had promised to bless Abram and make him a great nation. However, this meant that at the age of seventy-six, he had to pack up and leave his home with no clear direction as to where he was going. God’s only instructions were “leave and I will show you the way.” For eleven years, Abram followed God’s leading, but there was no sign of Him keeping up His end of the deal. Abram and Sarai were still childless, and one could not be “a great nation” without first having a son.

Abram started thinking that maybe God needed some help in fulfilling His promise. Therefore, when Sarai came up with a way that “they” could achieve God’s promised child, Abram rationalized it as being a good plan. Abram wanted things in his own time. He was not willing to wait any longer. Thus, like many of us, he took matters into his own hands; he married Hagai and fathered a child, thinking that all would go well.

Abram played with Ishmael, spent time with him and loved him as any father would. Yet, something was different.

Abram was not walking in the will of God.

Therefore, God was silent.

How bitter were those years for Abram?

Had he concluded, like the little boy, that without God he was “sunk?”

Did he realize that taking things into his own hands, not only hurt him, but also those in his family?

I am sure Abram soon recognized the folly in not waiting and trusting in God.

And, how many times during those years did Abram feel he had disappointed God? How many times did he wonder if he had strayed too far from God?

After thirteen years of agonizing silence, when Abram was ninety-nine, the Lord finally appeared to him.

“I am God Almighty (El Shaddai); walk before me and be blameless. I will

confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your

numbers” Gen 17:1-2 (NIV).

Up to this point, Abram knew God only as El (The One True God), Elohim (The Creator), and El Elyon (The Most High God / The Sovereign God).

Now God reveals a new name to Abram:

El Shaddai2El Shaddai

The All-Sufficient One, The Almighty, The Nourisher. (“Shad” meaning “breasts”– pointing to a mother who tenderly provides nourishment for her child.) 

El Shaddai was reminding Abram that He was The All You Need God.

He was The Almighty who knew exactly what He was doing – at all times! In essence, God was saying, “Abram, for eleven years you experienced me as El Shaddai without knowing it. Then, you decided to trust in yourself. For thirteen years you have been trying to do things your own way. You have discovered, painfully, that YOUR way does not work. Now learn a new thing about me. I am El Shaddai. I will do what I have promised, and I will do it at exactly the right time!”

Abram needed to get this! We need to get this! We need to understand that God wants to bless and nourish His children, and because He is Almighty…He will do just that.

God’s provisions may not look the way we want. His promises may not be fulfilled when we want, but He is El Shaddai. He will do what He says.

It is to Him we must run when we are depleted in our relationships, finances, ministries, and workplaces. He will never turn us away. And, He will be more than enough!

What is the significance of knowing God as El Shaddai?

As our EL SHADDAI, He is not only our Nourisher, He is also our Protector.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High (El Elyon) will rest in the shadow

of the Almighty (El Shaddai)” Psalm 91:1 NIV.

El Shaddai keeps His promises.

El Shaddai is All-Sufficient! He sustains us freely.

Abram lost sight of God as his El Shaddai while he waited.

And?

Abram’s great solution turned into his biggest nightmare!

Have you not also experienced the same thing?

The quandary is that we have refused to see God as El Shaddai and allow Him to be the Almighty in our lives.

The result?

We have kicked Him out of our schools, government, homes, and even our churches, and so our greatest plans have turned to nightmares.

The answer?

bowingBow before El Shaddai, realizing that He is all we need and submit to His way.

Job recognized this (Job 13:15).

Habakkuk clung to this (Hab 3:17-19).

Paul rejoiced in this (2Cor 12:9-10).

Abram learned this, and as a result, fell on his face in worship before El Shaddai (Gen 17:3), submitting to His Lordship. El Shaddai then poured Himself into Abram. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham and made him fruitful at an age when fruitfulness was considered impossible!

When I submit to El Shaddai, as Abram did, He will also pour into me all that I need to be light in this dark world. In fact, the more I submit, the more He will pour, until the overflow pours down onto those around me!

Does your heart echo the little boy’s prayer?

If so, then you have experienced God as your El Shaddai. If not, then may I suggest you get to know Him as your El Shaddai?

He wants you to. Will you let Him?

Video – El Shaddai – Amy Grant

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

The Picture

Posted by on July 10, 2013 with 1 Comments

little girl drawingA mother noticed her little girl sitting at the table, working away with paper, pencil, and crayons. “What are you drawing, Honey?” she asked.

“A picture of God,” the little one replied without looking up from her work, her brow furrowed in concentration.

“Well, no one has ever seen God,” the mother proceeded to explain gently. “No one knows what He looks like.”

“They will when I’m finished!” the little girl replied, looking up at her mom with a confident smile…

We may not be able to describe God’s physical attributes, but we certainly have been given a detailed portrait of His character in the Old Testament, and He is revealed further through Christ in the New Testament (John 14:8-11).

We have seen the snapshot of Him as El – The Strong One, The Over-comer and as Elohim – The All-Powerful One, The Creator, and The Upholder of All Things. Yet our God is so much more! (What’s In A Name?)

We must remember that man does not give these names to God, but rather God has given them to Himself.

What is another name of God?

  El-Elyon The Highest (as in a stack of books…the one on top). The Most High God. The Possessor of Heaven and Earth. The Strongest of the Strong.

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High (El Elyon), Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High (El Elyon), who delivered your enemies into your hand Genesis 14:19-20 (NIV).

To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One” Isaiah 40:25 (NIV).

EL Elyon is used for the first time when Abram meets Melchizedek, king of Salem (Genesis 14:18-19). This name occurs a total of 28 times in the Old Testament, mostly in the book of Psalms (Psalm 78:35, Psalm 83:18).

Simply put, El Elyon means “the Strongest of the strong.”

Therefore, Satan is no match for Him. The enemy can do nothing to a believer without El Elyon’s consent (Job 1:8-12Luke 22:31-33). The only arrows of Satan that God will allow to hit are the ones that will achieve His divine purpose. And, He always removes the poison tip first.

If El Elyon is the Most High God, then what is His perspective on the trials and circumstances in my life?

As God the Most High, He controls ALL things. Nothing can thwart His plans. Not one single detail of our lives goes unnoticed by El Elyon…even those that may cause us pain. Sometimes, we may think God is surprised by the happenings in our lives, but we must remember He is sovereign. Sovereign means that God is in control of ALL things at ALL times!

“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:4).

I might not understand all that is going on around me, but I can trust El Elyon to work it all out for my eventual good (Rom 8:28). The world becomes a much scarier place filled with confusion and disappointment if we try to live without recognizing El Elyon.

     “…if God is not sovereign, if He is not in control, if all things are not under His dominion, then He is not the Most High, and you and I are either in the hands of fate (whatever that is), in the hands of man, or in the hands of the devil.”  Kaye Arthur

El Elyon is our Shelter (Psalm 91:1). If we choose to sit down with Him, dwell with Him and remain under His divine shadow at all times, He will protect us lovingly, tenderly and faithfully, as a mother hen does her chicks.

El Elyon is also our Protector and our Deliverer (Gen 14:18-24).

“And they remembered that God (El Elyon) was their Rock, and the Most High God (EL Elyon) was their Redeemer” (Psalm 78:35 Amplified).

 What's in a Name

Oh, I am rebuked this morning by my own wrong thinking of my God!

How many times have I looked at His love through my circumstances rather than my circumstances through His love? How many times have I thought of Him in human terms?

Yes, He is a personable God, but He is not a person! Unlike us, He is never weak and ineffective or fickle! God never leaves us high and dry.

Even though we may feel He has forgotten us, remember these truths:

El Elyon never forgets.

El Elyon wants and deserves our trust at all times and in every situation.

El Elyon is greater than our greatest problems!

God will make a way

Where there seems to be no way,

He works in ways we cannot see,

He will make a way for me.

(Don Moen – God Will Make a Way)

Oh friend, our thoughts of our God need to be bigger!

May our hearts and voices join with Paul’s as we proclaim, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen (Rom 11:33-36).

He is El! He is Elohim! He is El Elyon.

Is it not time we tear up the one-dimensional picture we have drawn of God and allow Him to show us who He really is?

What a radical difference it would make in how we live, in how we worship and in how we pray!

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

What’s In A Name?

Posted by on June 25, 2013 with 1 Comments

NamesOur names are precious to us. They identify us. They are unique to us and form a personal connection. In other words, if someone knows my name, then that usually means they know me!

In Old Testament times, names were even more significant than they are today. They actually described the person or revealed his character. Names like Esau, meaning hairy, described a physical characteristic; while Nabal, meaning fool, was a description of character.

Like us, God has a name.

In fact, He has many names. He is not an abstract, indecipherable being or a nameless influence. He has a personality. He has character. Throughout Scripture, God tells us His titles, descriptions, and names. Each name not only has a meaning, but also a purpose – to reveal God. Therefore, a good understanding of the names of God will help us to know Him better. Many of us often have a distorted or wrong view of God. This affects the way we live and the way we pray!

Over the summer, we will look at the various names of God and their meanings. I encourage you to learn God’s names and then use them in your prayer life and worship time.

Let’s have a summer of experiencing God like we never have before!

So, let’s start at the beginning….

El – The Strong One. The Mighty One. The Powerful One. The Sovereign One. 

Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing”  Isaiah 40:26 NKJV.

This Hebrew name for God occurs more than 200 times in the Old Testament. It comes from a root word that means “might, strength, power.” In Hebrew, however, El can mean any god. Therefore, Scripture distinguishes “The One True God” from the false gods by adding further descriptive words like Roi or Shaddai. (We will look at this in greater detail later.)

Throughout Scripture, there are many instances where God has written His own name into the names of people and places by using El:

As a prefix, El means God or God is.”

Elisha– God is salvation.

As a suffix, El means “with God” or “for God.”

Immanuel – God with us.

Israel – wrestles with God.

El is a picture of all God is. He is the beginning of everything. He is the source of creation, strength, and wisdom. He is above all and the center of all things. He is the God of all gods!

When I stop and reflect on El, I am reminded that I can depend on my God. I am comforted that He is mightier than the mayhem of sorrow, opposition, care, or illness that I may be facing. Like the Psalmist, we can say, “El arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32) NLT.

El armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet” (Psalm 32:39) NLT.

elohim-0Elohim – The All-Powerful One. The Creator. The Faithful One.

This Hebrew name occurs over 2,700 times throughout Scripture. It is plural in its meaning. In other words, Elohim includes all three parts of the Trinity (the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit).

It was as Elohim that God first revealed Himself in Gensis 1:1Elohim called Moses from a burning bush. The books of Jonah and Daniel use this name almost exclusively!

When I fall on my knees before God, pouring my cares at His feet, may I be reminded that I am speaking to Elohim, who created all things and controls all things! He is the very source of life! Out of chaos, He created order (Gen1:2). He framed the ages by the word of His mouth!

Oh, my friend, are you like me today and need to be reminded whom it is you serve? Have you allowed your circumstances and struggles to diminish your God instead of trusting your great God to diminish your circumstances?

Be reminded today – Elohim sees! Elohim hears! Elohim delivers! (Exodus 3:7-10)

Be strong, and do not fear, for your Elohim is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you” Isaiah 35:4 NLT.

For the Lord your ELOHIM is living among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” Zeph 3:17 NLT.

What glorious truth written into the very names of God!

No matter how “dead” situations and relationships may appear, Elohim can breathe life back into them. He can take my “emptiness” and fill it to overflowing! He will feed me in my wilderness, just as He commanded a raven to feed Elijah in his. (I Kings 17)

 EL!  ELOHIM!

Join me today, bow down before our God, adore Him, for He is worthy of our worship!

The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him” Exodus 15:2.

*Dear Reader, I encourage you to start making a list of God’s names and their meanings. Look up Scriptures where those names are used and list them under each name. Tuck the list into your Bible and use it in your prayer time. If you follow Musings over the summer, you will be well on your way to creating a wonderful resource that will draw you closer to God and help you experience Him in a real and powerful way!

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings