He Goes Before You

Towards the end of the Israelites’ time in the desert, God chose Joshua to replace Moses as their leader.  After Moses died, God said to Joshua “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.  I will not leave you nor forsake you.”  Joshua 1:5.

In just a few days after that, the Israelites would cross the Jordan river and begin their fight to take the Promised Land.  After more than forty years in the desert, the people were ready to lay claim to what God had promised.  God was ready too. So, He took time to encourage Joshua and to assure him that He was going before them to clear the way for them.

God is still in the business of going before us today.  No matter what your situation or circumstance may be, He is ahead of you.  Like Joshua, He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He will never fail you nor will He ever leave you on your own for the sake of anyone or anything else.  You are His reason for being.

When He is ahead of us, we are His priority.  The Israelites had spent four hundred years in bondage in Egypt.  And though they didn’t change their location during that time, God was still ahead of them.  Then they wandered for more than 40 years around the desert, yet still God was ahead of them.  He never left them.

Sometimes I find myself in my own bondage or wandering around my desert.  In those times, I often ask the Lord, “Where are you?”  I guess I think sometimes that since I’m still in my challenge I must be alone.  Waiting on the Lord can make you feel like you are alone.  I had to learn that I am never alone.  He is always ahead of me.

So, remember this.  When you are in the middle of what challenges you the most, don’t panic or start to doubt where God may be.  He is a God who keeps His promises to us.  Jesus is always with us.  He never leaves or forsakes us.  He cannot fail.  There is no one more important to Him than you are at the moment of your greatest need or in your greatest joy.

God positions Himself ahead of us because He knows the way out of our challenges is to push through them. He is ahead so that He makes the way for us to follow. Being ahead of us helps Him to position Himself to get our attention so we keep our eyes focused ahead and not around.

We look for God to deliver us from what ails us or what is bothering us, but God often chooses to fix our eyes on what keeps us from living healthy or free even in our sicknesses and bondage.  God stirs the waters of our spirits not just our lives.

He gets our attention and tells us that it is time to stir up our faith and be cleansed of what our challenges will attack.  He wants us to look for the waves He makes more than the waves that come at us by our own making.

Sometimes, He uses the mountain of a problem before us to get our attention and to remind us that He is ahead of us and that we can trust Him.  No matter how high our challenges are, with Him ahead of us, we can always overcome.

Sometimes, when we are in a lions’ den, He may not kill the lions, but He will surely shut their mouths.  He wants us to allow Him to show our adversary that as we believe strongly, He will lead us to live safely in some of the most trying circumstances.

Sometimes, when we are in a fiery furnace, He may not put out the fire, but he will use the fire to show others that He will walk with us no matter where are.  He will not fail us in the hottest moments of our lives.

Sometimes, when there is a wide and deep sea blocking our path, He might not give us a boat.  Instead, He will help us see that if we are patient, He will make for us a way through the deep waters.  

Sometimes, He even uses a goliath to get our attention and to remind us that we must continue to serve Him when others would forsake Him to have the things the world offers us.

You can count on the Lord.  He is with you.  He is always ahead of you.  If you seek Him, He will answer you.  This why you should trust that He is ahead of you.  

He stands at the top of your mountain.  He protects you in the lion’s den.  He is with you in the hot furnace, and He is the One stirring the waters of your spirit, so you don’t waste your life looking for man to make miraculous things for you.

God is always ahead of you to make known the riches of His glory on people like you and me who live lives that are of grace and mercy.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


So It Was

Recently I had the opportunity to attend an arts festival displaying the artistic work of my daughter-in-law Sophia.  As I observed her work, I wondered how it was that she could conceive of something so beautiful from nothing.  She called her work “So It Was.”  When she explained to me how she came to create the piece, all I could do was to thank the Lord for a wonderful daughter with a creative mind.

As I prayed and thanked the Lord for all the beautiful work I saw that evening, I realized God is amazing at how He finds one simple thing that is seemingly nothing and uses it to make the things He treasures.  So it was, He helped me to see that many things that are insignificant to us are treasures to Him.

So it was, as I continued to observe things, it came to me that Sophia was blessed to do a little bit of something like what God does for us each day.  He is the master at taking nothing and making something amazing and unimaginable.  And so it is that even something as meaningless as nothing has value to God! 

So it was, that before there was anything, God created something called the Beginning. And from that beginning, He created the heavens and the earth.  So it is that you and I are here today in this place we call earth.  So it is, we get to enjoy the creation of earth because God created earth as our place to stay for a while.  Genesis 1:1.

So it was, that before there was a man, God had created every man there would ever be in His heart.  So it is that Adam was created and through Adam and Eve, you and I are here today.  We get to enjoy being something from being nothing because God created the first human beings in Adam and Eve.  Genesis 1:26.

Sophia explained how she started and stopped her work, then started again several times before she got things the way she really wanted them to be.  So it was, though man was created in the likeness and image of God, we started to live in what we liked and in our own ways.  So it is, today many of us still start and stop and start again trying to get our lives right.

So it was, that long ago, man’s behavior caused God to be sorry that He had made man at all.  Genesis 6:6. But so it was that God found one man, Noah, who lived in such a way that he found the grace of God.  God established a grace covenant with Noah, such that all men today are given another chance to live in His image and in His likeness. Genesis 6:18.

For many years man struggled to live in the image and in the likeness of God.  We always seemed to find it more appealing to live like we wanted to live, in our own likeness and image.  These ways always reminded God of the times of sorrow He had with man.  God knew something had to change.

So it was, that God decided to put a plan in place for us that would keep Him from ever again being sorry that He created man, especially you and me.  So it is that He devised a plan to help us learn to transform our ways by being born again by water and by the Spirit of God.  John 3:5.

So, it was then; so, it is now!

So it is that God is faithful towards us.  He loved the earth so much that He sent His only Son to us.  That whoever believes in His Son should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16.  We don’t have to start and stop and start again and again at life.

So it is that you may not feel like you know how to live like a child of God.  So it was that God planned for this too by giving us His Word way back in the beginning of nothing.  We have the best teacher we could ever have because His Word comes to live in us to change us.

So it is that you may feel helpless and without a sense of knowing how your life should be.  So it was that God planned for this too.  He tells us He has thoughts and plans for our lives and for a prosperous future for us.  We need only to live our todays guided more by Him and less by ourselves.  Jeremiah 29:11.

And finally, so it is you may feel like your life is a blank piece of paper and you have no idea of what should be written there upon.  So it is that God wants us all to know that we need only to write the obituary of death to ourselves so that He can write the amazement of the new birth of our lives with Him thereafter. 

So it was that we were lost in ourselves like the people of Noah’s time.  So it is that we are now found in Christ Jesus.

God takes something as meaningless as our lost lives and creates them to be of the greatest value they could ever be through the redemptive work of His Son.  So Jesus was, and so Jesus is, and so we are in Him.

You may think you are nothing, but nothing is just the right something God is looking for to create an unimaginable treasure for Himself called you.

Live a Delivered Life.   Love you.


If You Are

The thing most important to how we live each day is to realize who we are.  I don’t mean what are our names or who are our parents or where we came from or even what things we do.  I mean to simply know who we are.

This is important because when we do not know who we are, we allow the devil the best opportunity to control our lives.  The best example we have of someone knowing who they are is Jesus.  The next best is John the Baptist.  We would expect Jesus to know Who He was.  But what about John?

When the Jews wanted to know who John was, they sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?”  John did not respond by telling them his name.  He said to them, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness:  Make straight the way of the Lord.”

John was saying “I am a voice.”  That’s who I am.  And because he knew who he was, he lived out his life with favor.  Just after Jesus was baptized by John, scripture says He was led out into the desert where He was tempted by satan over a 40-day period.

The devil attempted on three occasions that we know of to get Jesus to question Who He was.  In Luke 4:3-12 scripture says this.  “And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’  And again, ‘If You will worship me, all will be Yours.’  And finally, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here for it is written.’”

Each time He was tempted, Jesus responded by showing the devil He knew Who He was and what that meant. But Jesus didn’t simply respond for Himself.  He responded for you and me too.  In each case, He said to satan “It is written…” and, “Man shall not…”  Jesus didn’t need to prove His Being or God’s Word, and we don’t need to do that either when we know who we are.

Jesus was tempted in three areas He knew we would all be tempted to live like we are responding to someone saying to us, “If you are.”  It is certain that at some time we will be tempted in the areas of Provision, of Position, and of Protection.  Provision to have all that we need.  Position in the eyes of other men.  Protection from hurt harm and danger that will always come our way.

When you are a child of God, it means you have the power to live free from doubt about your provision in life, your position in life, and your protection in life no matter your circumstances.

A child of God learns to live in dependence on the Lord for the basic provisions and necessities of life.  A child does not have to turn stones into the bread needed to each day.  A child does not live just by bread but by the life and the provision of the Lord Who is our Bread of Life.

The Lord meets every hunger you will have as a child. If you are a child of God, feast on the Word of God and you will be provided the bread of God.  His Word is the way to all your provisions.

If you are a child of God, learn to reject a life that seeks after the position and the glory of man and what it can offer you.  Children of God are not here to have authority over others or to live above others or to worship and serve the things that others want and desire.

If you are a child of God, learn to live happily with the position in Him that is far greater than any position of glory man can give you.  Live in the position of glory afforded only the child of God. 

If you are a child of God, learn to live under the wings of God’s protection, safety, and security.  You do not have to prove that God is able to keep you safe.  The miracle of God’s desire to protect you and to keep you safe is best seen in the wisdom you acquire in His Word to live in the security and safety of His heart as your home.

When your mouth gets ahead of your life and proclaims your status as a child of God, satan will tempt you by telling you, “That’s not who you are.”  If you are a child of God your life will say to others, “It is written all over me that God is the source of my Provision, of my Position, and of my Protection.”

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.  


A Blessed Life

I routinely encounter people and businesses that pray for the blessings of the Lord in the lives of others or on the work they are doing.  Believers and even nonbelievers have the sense to pray and ask the Lord to bless the work of their hands.

The problem we face with this is sometimes found in the work we want to do.  Sometimes the work we pursue is not the work that should be blessed.  If we are working hard heading in the wrong direction, it isn’t likely we will get our heavenly Father to bless work that will keep us on the wrong path.

God is always ready to bless us and all that we do, but we must make sure we are doing the right work from the right place.  Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

This is a simple Word but it gives us some profound insights.  God blesses believers whose ways of living are pleasing to Him.  He does this because when our ways are aligned with the Lord’s desires, He blesses the things we do so we are encouraged to keep living the way we live.

God blesses how we live.  This is the way others see Him blessing what we do.  Often we get this backwards.  We pray and ask God to bless what we do or what we want though we may not be living blessed lives.

Praying the things we do are blessed looks like this:

  • Loving others the best you can, then asking the Lord to make your love sure.
  • Forgiving others the best you can, then asking the Lord to make others receive your forgiveness.
  • Serving and doing neighborly things for others, then asking the Lord to make your work prosper.
  • Praying for others and for their wellness, then asking the Lord to make them well.

All these things we ought to do for others and for ourselves.  God wants us to pray for others.  But sometimes we don’t always get what we want because we do things from the wrong place or from the wrong paths or in the wrong ways.

Keep doing things you hope the Lord will bless because God will often bless your work.  But there is a better way to live and a better way to bless others by your life.

Blessed living is living that is blessed before you do anything.  It is like going to God’s supermarket and coming home with a full load of blessed living.  It is like a blessed prayer, prayed for others in need of a blessing.

Blessed Living looks like this:

  • It is being a loving person towards everyone in life.  You will always have favor on your life when love is the way you live and the path you take.  This is Blessed Living!
  • It is having a forgiving spirit towards everyone in life.  You will always have favor on your life when a forgiving spirit is the way you are and the path you take.  This is Blessed Living!
  • It is living a life that serves people who are in need.  You will always have favor on your life when you are a servant and a neighbor to others and when serving is the path you take in how you live.  This too is Blessed Living!

A blessed life is one that acknowledges God in the way it lives and one whose path is directed by the Lord.  A blessed life is like an angel of the Lord being sent out to respond to the prayer of need of someone else.  A blessed life always blesses what it is directed to do.

Learn to ask for blessings on the things you do from being a life that is the blessing of God.  God wants us to learn to accept the gift of the Blessed Life.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


A Life Changing Mirror

The book of Acts, chapter 17, tells of Paul’s visit the city of Athens.  Paul saw that the people of Athens were some of the smartest people at the time, but the city was full of idols.  Makes you wonder how that was so?  How could a smart people be so wrong about something that is so contrary to knowledge of the truth?

The Athenians searched for knowledge for the sake of knowledge.  They wanted to know what you did not know.  Acts 17:21 says, “For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.”

In wanting the world to know how smart they were, the Athenians actually showed the world how dumb they were.  Paul even says because of all their knowledge, the people were so religious that they allowed for the worship of any god – even to the UNKNOWN GOD. Acts 17:23. They didn’t want to leave anything out.

Theirs is a case where the knowledge of God made the people ignorant of God.  The people of Athens were so smart that they were too smart to change their ways.  They used knowledge of God and other things to make themselves stand apart from normal things.  They were too smart for their own ways.

God warns us against becoming too smart for ourselves.  In James 1:23-24 we are told, “For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror.  For he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”

The Word of God is not given to us to make us smart.  It is not given to us to make us intelligent.  The Word of God is given to us to reflect what it sees in us.  So, James encourages us not just to hear what God says, like the Athenians, but to do what God says because what we hear God say changes us.

So, what does the knowledge of God’s Word say about you?  Take your Bible and set it before you.  But now, imagine instead of you reading the Bible to learn more about God, open the Bible and allow God to read your life.  Let Him tell you what He finds there that is not what He says in His word.

Let the Word look into your life and tell you what it finds. This is the best type of knowledge.  Life changing knowledge.  The knowledge that works in you to transform you into the thing looking at you.

So, as you look into the Bible and read God’s Word, understand that the Word is as anxious to look into your life and read back to you.  Just as you would read a book to child, let the Word of God read the book of your life back to you so that you will not go away and forget who you really are.

Knowledge is what you get reading what you do not know.  God wants us to be knowledgeable.  But growth and development in Him are what you get when you allow knowledge to read your life and to lead you to change.

The Lord wants to write a book about what He finds in your life.  He wants to help you grow and to develop into a deep mature believer who is filled with insights that only come when you allow yourself to be read daily by the Word and changed daily by the Spirit.

So, I encourage you to never stop reading the Word.  But start allowing the Word to read the book that is your life.

In Matthew 5, Jesus taught the people about the attitudes that we should have that would make us blessed.  We ought to have those attitudes of being.  And likewise, we ought to let Him continually come to us and teach us telling us about what He finds in us.

If knowledge of the Word of God is found in you, it will say to others, “I am fast at work transforming this person from knowing about Me to becoming more like Me.”

When you allow the Word to read your life, it will be impossible for you to walk away from that mirror and forget what that knowledge is saying about you as it works in you.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


All These Things

During the times before, during and after Jesus, most people were poor, at least by the standards we would use today.  They had to depend on a harvest of some sort to survive.  Things like food, water, shelter, work, health, clothing—the most basic of needs—were all daily challenges for most people back then.

In Matthew 6:31, Jesus said to the people of His day, “Therefore do not worry, saying what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear?  For after all these things the gentiles seek. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Things are different now, and things are the same now.  Most of us don’t have to rely on a harvest to meet our needs, but we must still rely on something beyond our own capabilities.  To eat we must work.  To work we must find and keep a job.  To find and keep a job we must have some sort of skill.  To gain a skill we sometimes must pay to be trained.

The cycle of chasing after our needs seems to go on endlessly.  And there are many today who wake up, live, and go to bed seeking all these things.  Jesus invited the people of His day to trust our Heavenly Father enough to seek His Kingdom first as pursue all the things we need to live each day.  He continues to invite us today.

Jesus reminds us continually, just as He told satan long ago, that man does not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  He is saying to us, the way to get all these things is to first get on the right road to live out our lives.

We typically look to get on the road called Wants and Desires when we want to fulfill our basic needs.  But this road leads us to a place of dependency on ourselves for all these things.  The Lord wants us to get on the road called Provision because it leads to a place of dependency on Him for all these things.

Jesus says to us life is easier when we put first things first.  In 1 Kings 17:13 the Prophet Elijah meets an old woman who is in desperate need for basic things.  There was a drought in the land.  There had been no real harvest for the previous three years.  Elijah asks this woman to please bring him a morsel of bread and some water to drink.

She tells him, she and her son are destitute and that she has only enough flour and oil to make one last meal for them before they die.  Then he says this to her.  “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for you and your son.  For thus says the Lord God of Israel:  The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.”

She did what he asked her to do and God did what He said He would do.  Jesus speaks to us like He spoke to this woman.  When we put first things first, we place ourselves in position to have the provisions we need to be provided by the God we serve.  He provides all these things to us.

So, when you wake up each day make sure the first thing that you do is to make it a day that you seek the Kingdom of God.  With your life, make the Lord a little cake and provide Him a little water.  When you do this all the things you need will be provided to you.  Get on the road to provision and you will see the bountiful harvest of all the things available to you.

If it is food you need, the road to Provision will lead you to the Word of God.

If it is healing you need, the road to Provision will lead you to the healing of God.

If it is shelter you need, the road to Provision will lead you to the Arms of God.

If it is work you need, the road to Provision will lead you to the company of God.

If there is anything that you need, the road to Provision will lead you to the blessing and favor of God.

All these things and more He will provide when you wake up and get on the road to Provision. The little water and bread you have will never run short with God when you first get on the road to seek His Kingdom.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Offering Your Best

This as a very difficult message for me to receive.  I have asked myself many times why don’t I give the Lord the best that I have.  You see, giving Him your best and giving Him the best that you have are not the same things.

Do I give Him the best of all that I am, or do I give Him the best from what I don’t mind not having?  I am sad to say that too often I have been more likely to give Him the best that I want to give rather than to give Him the best of what I love the most.

And, even though I know that blessings and favor come to me when I give Him the best of who I am, I often find it difficult to give up my best for Him.  I suppose I love what I have and who I am more than I love giving it to Him.  Instead of giving Him the best that I have, I want Him to accept the best that I am willing to give.

I imagine I am not alone in how easy it is to be stingy towards the Lord.  I have heard it said many times that we can come to the Lord just as we are because He will accept us just as we are.  There is some truth in that statement, but it is also a statement that invites us to be selfish and stingy with Him.

In Hebrews 11:4 scripture says this to us: “By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous.”  This scripture references a time when Able offered God the first and the absolute best of all that he had, but Cain—well, he simply offered something from what he had.

The truth is that both Cain and Abel presented an offering to God.  We know the offerings were different, but why were the hearts of the two brothers different?  I believe the reason is that Cain was selfish and Able was selfless.  Able didn’t just give his best, he raised up his best with the intent to give it up to God.

Abel’s offering was also an acceptable sacrifice.  Cain’s offering wasn’t a sacrifice at all.  God is more pleased when what we offer Him is a sacrifice to us. What we sacrifice of ourselves for Him is the best offering we could give.

Today I am happy to say that I try to be selflessly different in a way that my heart would always please the Lord.  If you can give God better than you have given Him, do that!  Your standard should be giving Him the best and all of what you love the most.

Here are some things the Lord wants to help you see and learn:

  • We should never simply offer the best that we want to offer; instead, we should offer the best of what we want to keep for ourselves.
  • We should be willing to sacrifice what we want for what He wants; if what we offer is not a sacrifice to us then it probably is not an acceptable offering at all.
  • We should only offer to Him things of great value to us and be willing to part with them for Him.
  • Offering Him much from our abundance does not make it our best; sacrificing the best from what we have is what pleases Him.
  • Deciding to be the best so we can give it to Him is what makes it an acceptable offering and sacrifice.
  • God is not simply looking for us to offer our things to Him; He is looking for us to sacrifice the life we want to have for the life He wants us to have.
  • And finally, the best that we want to give Him is hardly ever the best that we have.  God wants to get at the self in us; He wants to help us learn to become selfless rather than selfish.

Sacrificing our best for Him will live with Him always.  He wants to help us learn to see the best as something we don’t have but we obtain just for Him.  He wants to help us learn that He is Holy so we should come before Him in holiness.  When you are offering God your best, you will learn to hold back giving Him what is convenient for you to give.

So, I urge you, that by the mercies of God, present yourselves as a living breathing sacrifice to Him, holy and acceptable to Him.

Don’t give the best that you want to give while holding back what you are unwilling to sacrifice for Him.  Instead offer and sacrifice to Him the best of who you are.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


What You Mean to Others

When I’m coaching people or business leaders, I often tell them this: Learn to be more of a value than a than a cost to your customers or employees.  Do this by what you mean to people, not what you do for people.

Many of us spend a lifetime trying to become important to others through what we do for them.  But this approach to life often means we spend a lifetime failing with others.  People are careful.  They will easily accept what we do for them, but they may never allow us to mean anything more than that.  Unfortunately for us, when we don’t mean much to people, they can easily learn to do without us.

We see this most clearly in the workplace.  People are hired because of what it’s believed they can do.  But the organization will hardly pay a person more than the value of what that person does for the organization.  This will never be best for the individual.  We should learn to be more value to others than the things we do for them.

We also see this in our Spiritual walk.  Many of us place a value on Christ for what He has done for us.  That is good—better to value Him for what He has done than to not value Him at all.  But there is more and better for some of us.  2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  People who believe like this value Christ for what He means to them.

The Spirit of the Lord lives in our hearts.  When we allow Him to have a home in our hearts, it means freedom.  Christ isn’t just about setting us free from a chain or a prison or a stronghold so we can go on our way.  When He lives in our hearts it means we are free from anything that could take away our freedom.

It is better for us to desire what Christ means to us more than to simply live for what He has done for us.  There is no bondage where Christ lives.  When you learn to value Him more than to place a value on what He can do, you will have all that He means.

With the Lord, we must learn to want more than the pearl; we should want the ocean where all the oysters live.  Matthew 13:44 tells of a man who thought like this.  It says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”  This man valued what produced the treasure more than he valued the treasure.

Learn to mean more than simply do more.  When someone comes along who can do what you for less cost, people will value you less.  You must learn to be more value to others than you are a cost to others.  This is more easily and effectively done when you let the Lord live in you and through you.

There is nothing we can do that is bigger than Who the Lord is.  There is nothing we can do that is better than Who the Lord is.  But nothing the Lord does is bigger or better than Who the Lord is and what He means to us.  When we live by the value of who we are to others, it makes what we do for others of greater value to them.

Christ living in us, rewriting the letter of our lives before others, enables us to:

  • Live in freedom in the middle of what tries to make us captive;
  • Live like we have much in a land that has little;
  • Prosper in the middle of a famine;
  • Shine in the brightest sun;
  • Stay dry in the middle of a storm;
  • Light up the darkest darkness;
  • And be joyful in the middle of the most sorrowful moments.

So, just as Christ means all these things to us, we also should work to become the same to the people we encounter daily.  We make life harder than it is because we live by what we can do more than by what we mean to others.

Let the Lord have Life in your life.  Then He will make you the doorway out for people who are in bondage to something.  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, we come to mean more to others than what we can do for them.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.



Sometimes I look at my life and I wonder why on earth would I ever complain about the things I go through.  Nothing that I have to deal with can compare to the stuff Jesus went through for me.  At one point in His ministry, Jesus told His disciples things were about to get tough, but it would be ok.

He said to them, “The Son of Man (that would be Himself – Jesus) is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.”  Matthew 17:22.

Well, I don’t complain too much too often anymore.  I see that Jesus went through some stuff I can’t understand so that I would never be alone in the stuff I have to deal with.  Jesus had to be delivered into the hands of evil men so that He could become the deliverer we need to take us through the hands of the evil we will face.

Our Deliverer was first delivered.  He was delivered so that He could see us through the things we will face daily.

Psalm 18:1-3 says, “I will love You, oh Lord my strength.  The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in Whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I will call upon the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.”

This one thing I know for certain.  Our Deliverer can deliver us from anything that comes against us.  

To say He is our rock and our fortress is to say He is the most solid thing on which we can stand and the most impenetrable thing to surround our lives with.  We are never alone; He will see us through.

To say He is our strength is to say He will see us through anything that is before us when we walk in His strength.  We are never alone when He is our strength.  He makes sure those who come against us knows this.

To say He is our shield and horn of salvation is to say He will see us through anything that the enemy can throw at us.  He stands as a shield that cannot be penetrated.  For us, He speaks loudly the sound as if it’s a horn.  Others recognize He is our Champion.

His horn says He has already won the battle for us.  He will not allow us to be delivered back into bondage after He has Delivered us into His presence.  His horn says to the evil we will face, “Watch out!  You are messing with what’s Mine.”

To say He is our stronghold is to say nothing will prevail against us.  Though some things may come at us over and again, He will not allow us to be defeated by anything.  God will see us through what we cannot get through on our own.  I know this one thing for sure.

Our Deliverer was delivered into all the things that will come against us so that He could become the thing that Delivers us daily.  He will see us through.  We are never alone with Him.  It doesn’t matter what you are facing, you have a Deliverer Who is here to see you through all things.

So, if there is one thing you should know for certain it is this.  God is going to see us through because He is our Deliverer.  In Psalm 18, David is saying, “Lord, I see you at Your best when I realize how weak I am against the things that come against me.”

David was saying, “This one thing for sure I will do.  I will Love you Lord for You are worthy of all love.”  He was saying, “I can do nothing lasting without You, but everything done through You will last beyond me.  This one thing I know for sure.  You are My Deliverer in Whom I will trust.”

Now you may not see the need for a deliverer in the things you face daily, but I hope that you do.  Don’t be mistaken.  The power of God to deliver us is greater than our abilities to get ourselves out of the mess we get into.

If you recognize Him as your Deliverer, He will see you through the things that come up against you.  Praise Him for having been delivered so that He would become our Deliverer.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Prayer: A Conversation with the Lord

Some people find prayer frustrating.  They don’t know if their prayers are effective.  They don’t know if God hears them.  People wonder if they are saying the right things in the right way.

At one point in Jesus’s teaching, the disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray.  They had observed Him as He often withdrew from their presence to have a time and a moment to pray to God the Father.  They wanted to be able to pray effectively like Jesus prayed.

In Matthew 11: 1-4, one of Jesus’ disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”  So, Jesus responded to them by saying, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins,

For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

I suppose many of us have repeated this prayer many times because we believe this is what Jesus wanted us to say.  It is.  But these are more than just words.  Notice these things about prayer that you may not have seen yet.

  • Our Father in heaven.  It does not say my father in heaven.  If you want to pray effectively, and if you want to be heard, pray for everyone more than for yourself.
  • Hallowed be Your name.  Acknowledge that His name alone is too awesome to be spoken of lightly.  You will get His attention.  
  • Your will be done.  Whatever may be your requests or desires, let the Lord know that you seek His will more than your own.  God’s best in your life is better than your requests for your life.
  • Give us this day our daily bread.  Ask for provisions or heavenly manna for the people of the world and your provision will be included.  Don’t put your needs ahead of the needs of others.  Even if it is healing you seek, learn to seek that for the benefit of the people you know and love more than just for yourself.
  • And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.  Acknowledge that we are imperfect people coming before a Perfect God.  Seek forgiveness for your sins just as much as you have forgiven people who may be indebted to you in any way.
  • And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.  Ask that the Lord does not leave us alone to our own ways because this is what satan wants.  Our ways will lead us to satan’s ways.
  • For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.  End your prayer by letting Him know He can do all and more than we can ever ask because all power and glory and kingdoms belong to Him.  Let Him know we want to be His more than we want Him to be ours.

Jesus withdrew and prayed because He wanted to have a conversation with His Father as a part of communicating with God.  Effective prayers are first conversations with the Lord more than they are simply communication with the Lord.

Communicating is typically one way. We say what we want to say, and we hope you hear. Communicating is impersonal. We speak, and we decide when the communication is complete.

Conversations allow for a two-way exchange of thoughts. Conversations are personal; you speak to someone who wants to hear you speak, and you listen to someone whom you want to hear from.

Learn to make your prayers more conversations than communications with the Lord.  Jesus is teaching us learn to have conversations with Him.  He wants to listen to what you have to say, and He wants you to hear what He says in response.

Psalm 55:17 says, “Evening, morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.”

I encourage you to have conversations with the Lord often each day.  If you do, He will hear your voice and He will respond.  Likewise, you must be ready to hear His voice when He withdraws, and He tries to have a conversation with you during the day.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.