The Voice of Truth

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Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. ‘Boy, you’ll never win!’
“You’ll never win”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again “boy, you’ll never win!
“You’ll never win”

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don’t seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

This song by Casting Crowns has been playing a lot on the radio.  It is such a wonderful reminder that we are surrounded by voices inside our heads and outside of our heads and the truth is that, oftentimes, those voices are not the voice of truth. The voice of truth is often quiet, almost imperceptible in the myriad of voices we hear daily.

What is the step of faith you want to take? What are the giants telling you that it can’t be done, at least, not by you? Do you get reminders of the past, the times you let yourself down, the times you let others down? What would it take to silence the giants and stop the recording that plays your defeat song?

I love this phrase, “When I stop to listen to the sound of Jesus singing over me”.  Stop, look and listen. In my work with kids, this is the phrase I use to get their attention. Stop, look at me, and listen, really listen. What if we did that with Jesus. Stop, look intently at Him, and listen, really listen. Push pause on the track in your mind and just be still. Let the still, small voice of Jesus sing over you. Choose to listen, choose to believe His voice of truth. It comes down to a choice, and the choice is ours.

Lord, when the voices are drowning out Your voice, help me to be still and listen. Draw me to Your word, help me to read with fresh ears and a quiet heart. When the giants are telling me that I can’t, would You remind me that with You, I can.  Thank You Voice of Truth for being my constant companion and my Counselor. I choose to listen, I choose to believe, grant me the grace to do just that, I ask in Your name, Amen.

picture credit: sevennotesofgrace.com

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Rock, Solid Truth or Not

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Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

This part of this song by Hillsong United got stuck in my head. Day and night, I was singing this, only sometimes out loud.  I changed a word in it inadvertently. I sang where my faith is without borders.  Over and over and over again.  One day I heard the song on the radio and heard them sing “my trust is without borders” and my first thought was – they must be wrong. Right – the people that wrote the song, sang the song and made it famous got the words wrong. I held onto some of that thinking until I got home and looked up the lyrics and realized I had been wrong. By this time, however, I had sung that song so many times that it was hard to break the habit of saying faith instead of trust. Not really such a big deal, but it made me think of other times when I am wrong in my thinking and don’t realize how deeply ingrained in me that thinking is.

I think that sometimes, my approach to God’s word is a little like that. Perhaps I hear someone teach on a particular passage, perhaps I hear that preaching from other people over the years and I accept it as true. When I read something though, in the Bible that doesn’t jive with that teaching, sometimes my first thought is well, I must be reading it wrong, or maybe God is wrong. It takes a while for my thinking to move from that to accepting that perhaps the teachings weren’t spot on and I have believed wrongly.

The way that we think about something, especially if we think it over and over again, becomes so ingrained in us that it is hard to see it as wrong sometimes. When confronted with the truth we tend to defend our position rather than consider we might be wrong.

The importance of lining our thoughts up with truth is critical to our successful journey on this earth. We are told to that we need to be “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”  I Corinthians 10:5

I think one thing I have learned in this healing journey is that I can’t think wrongly about God’s word and have it work in my life the way God intended it to work. I have to bring every thought captive and ask, does it line up with the word of God or not? If the doctor says you have a congenital problem here, but God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, which comment will play again and again in my mind until I accept it as rock, solid truth?

Lord, I know Your word to be what preserves my life, what sustains me, what strengthens me and heals me. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. Thank You for standing behind Your word. Help me to bring every thought captive so that it becomes obedient to You, to Your word. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who leads and guides me in truth and for Your rod and Your staff that comfort me. Amen.

Truth or Consequences

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Remember that old game show?    In this game show people were randomly picked from the audience and asked a trivia question that was chosen to be unanswerable.  Contestants who could not answer the question were forced to pay the consequence which was to perform a stunt designed to be crazy and embarrassing.  It was funny and many contestants deliberately answered wrong just to get to do the consequence.

Throughout the Bible, God’s people were constantly going back and forth and back and forth in their decision to take the truth of God’s word and apply it into their lives and reject it (and God) and go their own way.  The consequences for rejecting truth were painful.  God no longer protected them from their enemies and they were defeated again and again and ultimately taken into captivity.  In spite of their stubbornness, God was constantly wooing them back through the prophets.  The prophets reminded them of God’s love and warned them of the consequences of rejecting His truth.  When the people turned back to God, He forgave them and welcomed them back only to watch them wander off again.  It reads like a bad novel at times, certainly not as funny as a game show.  The first time I read through the history of God’s people, I couldn’t help but wonder at the people who would turn away and equally, I marveled at the God who forgave and welcomed them back.

I couldn’t help but see myself in there.  I love God, I love His word and yet at times, I wander.  To date, I have not found anything that satisfies the deep yearnings of my heart like His Word and His presence do.  But yet…

There are consequences for wandering.  Just as the Israelites were left exposed to enemy attack, I become vulnerable also.  My enemy is not some invading clan of people, but it is arthritis, chronic pain, allergies, carpel tunnel, lack of peace, strife, stress, relational problems, financial problems, disease…  Am I saying that all these things leave the instant I begin to put God in His proper place in my life?  No, certainly not.  But I am better able to stand against the attacks of the enemy when my God is in my life big time.  Chris Tomlin’s popular song says, “I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always on my side”.

Clinging to the truth of God’s word is far better than rejecting it and suffering the consequences alone.

God of angel armies, thank You for surrounding me with Your protection, thank You for purchasing my healing, my deliverance, my peace, my comfort, my joy and my ultimate victory by giving Your son to do battle in my behalf.  Thank You for the truth of Your word and Your faithfulness to Your word,  When I wander, please forgive me and please never stop wooing me back.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Fickle Feelings

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When my daughters were young, one of them used the word feelers for feelings.  We thought it was cute and never corrected it, in fact, we all adopted that word.  When someone was hurt, they would say “that hurts my feelers”.  For young children it was cute to confuse feelings with feelers, but for an adult, it isn’t so cute.  Antennas or feelers are used by some animals to guide their path; to help them find their way.  It’s how God made them.  For me to use feelings as feelers though is not why God gave me feelings.  Feelings are a part of being human, good feelings and the not so good, but they aren’t intended to be what guides our life.

In the years since I became a Christian, there have been times when I have not felt saved, or redeemed or forgiven or even worthy of love. But feelings are not what guides my faith. The truth from the Bible is that I am saved, redeemed, forgiven and worthy of love only because of what Jesus did on my behalf. I have to take that by faith regardless of how I feel. In the same way, I have to take by faith that my body is healed regardless of the feelings it may have at the moment. So when pain rears its ugly head, I have to remember the truth and that is that Jesus is Jehovah Rapha, the God that healeth me!  The feelings I have are not the truth; feelings are fickle and subject to change.  God’s Word is the truth and if He says by His stripes I am healed, then I am healed and these feelings have to line up with that truth.  And I believe they will.

What about you?  Are you being led by feelings and not by faith?  Are you feeling unworthy, unlovable, unforgiven?  Can I just say that feelings aren’t a reliable guide to the truth about ourselves, but God’s word is and it changeth not.  God changes not.  He is the same – yesterday, today, forever.

“Being healed is being saved in a physical sense.”  F.F. Bosworth

Jehovah Rapha, my God who heals me. How merciful and gracious You are to me.  Thank You for Your unchanging Word, for Your unchanging character and Your unchanging love for me.  Thank You that my body lines up with the Word of God and I am healed.  Thank You that whether I feel forgiven or not, Your word tells me I am.  In Jesus’s name. Amen

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com

Happy Hour

Today, as I was driving to the river for a swim, I caught bits and pieces of a conversation that my son and his friend were having in the back seat.  What I heard went like this:

Khris:  When I used to live over here, I would walk there every day for Happy Hour.  Happy Hour was from 2:00 – 5:00.

John:  Yeah, I’ve been here for Happy Hour.

Khris:  They really have some good drinks here.

At this point, I am ready to slam on the brakes and get to the bottom of this story.  Why are they talking so freely about Happy Hour and I am sitting right here???!!!  These boys are 13 and 14 years old.  Happy Hour – really???!!!

But then John says:  I just love their cherry limeades.

Phew!

Turns out they were talking about the Sonic Drive In but I was too busy watching the road to notice it.

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Taking Bible scriptures out of context can lead to some wrong assumptions just as surely as overhearing that conversation led me astray.  It is funny to me now, but at the time, I didn’t think it was so funny.  When I was young and married to my first husband I didn’t know too much about the Bible.  My husband and his family did and they let me know this regularly.  They were of the belief that women should not cut their hair, should always wear dresses and that TV was of the devil.  I did cut my hair, I didn’t wear dresses and I loved TV so there were some disagreements.  I felt at times like the Bible was being used as a weapon not to conform me into the image of Christ, but to conform me to their image of the ideal wife and daughter-in-law.  I was too strong willed and rebellious to fall into some of their stuff but I bought more than did me good. Not knowing scriptures hurt me.  The Bible says that for a lack of knowledge, my people perish.

Without trying to be critical here, I would like to point out that that continues; people using the Bible to manipulate others and if we aren’t careful, we can be led astray.  Because I have been pursuing the topic of divine healing, I have read many articles, books, scriptures and encountered many different takes on the subject.  I am not an expert on the subject, but I have read enough to know this:  whatever  may be said about divine healing,  it behooves me to build my theology on the word of God and not exclusively on the teaching of others or on the experience or lack of experience of myself or others.  I need to know what the Bible says, what Jesus says and build my faith and my trust on that.  I need the whole counsel of the word of God, not just one or two verses of scripture pulled out to serve my purposes.  What I see when I read from Genesis to Revelations is a God who desires wholeness and healing for His people, those who have chosen Him to be their God.  He seems to be a God of restoration, healing, deliverance to those who call upon His name.  But don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself, please.

Father God, You have revealed Yourself to us in so many ways, reveal to me any truths I believe about You that simply aren’t true.  Teach me through Your word, help me to discern the truth when I am listening to others and grant me the grace to accurately handle Your Word as it brings truth and revelation and healing into my life.  In Jesus’s name, Amen.