The Greater Song

Depositphotos_5228339_s-2015

Blog by Kristen Hicks

I am mad….YES, mad! I am fired up! And I am NOT going to apologize for it!

There has been this theme, this lie, this piece of crap idea, running rampant lately. The thing that I’ve noticed is that it isn’t just in me either. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people even in the last week and they have all had this common thread running through them.

Anxiety.

Ugh!!! In my head, I am kicking the dirt, and mumbling frustrations, possibly hinted with implied cuss words under my breath, at even the thought of this word. I am sick of it!!!

Let me clarify, by saying, I am NOT sick of the people dealing with this. That is not who I am calling out. NOPE! I am declaring war on the enemy! Yep, you heard me, mr. satan, himself. It’s on dude!! I’ve had enough!!! It’s hurting too many people that I care about! This has gone too far! It’s gone so far, that I’ve literally heard some of these amazing people say, “This is something I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life.”

NO!!!!! HECK NO!!!!!!

That lie is coming straight up from the PIT OF HELL itself!!!!!!!

This isn’t some midlife crisis, a season to embrace, and it sure as heck isn’t coming from The Father that loves us. It’s coming from the false father, the father of lies. I’ve said it before, fear isn’t something to get comfortable with. It isn’t something to embrace, it isn’t something that is protecting you. All the enemy does is steal, kill and destroy. You know this! So what this fear is doing, is it is stealing your inheritance, it is killing your joy, and it is destroying your heart, your life, your worth and your destiny!!! Do you hear me?!? Do you understand? Can you see this?

This is not the time to lay down and retreat. Because the enemy is vicious. HE HATES YOU! He is trying to take you out. Not just for a moment, not just for a season, but FOR GOOD!!!! He wants you isolated, he wants you depressed, he wants you laid over in the fetal position, so that he can kick you again and again and again. He wants you to feel helpless, to feel alone, to feel dirty, disgusted with yourself—with your life. He wants you stressed, busy, so busy that you have no time to even notice what’s going on, or what he is doing. Business that blinds, that distracts, that takes over everything in your life so you have no time to be reminded of the Father’s love. So that you have no time to even hear the Holy Spirit, calling you, drawing you, singing over you. No, the only song he wants you to hear is the song of noise, the song of hate, the song of bitterness, the song of defeat. Over and over and over, this is what you hear, until finally one day, you begin to sing along with it. You come into agreement with it. You begin to believe it. To believe that it’s the only song out there, and therefore, it must be the truth.

This, THIS my sweet friends, is only a fraction of what we are up against. Here is the thing, what I just wrote about, is from my own experience, not someone else’s. Although, I am very much aware that the enemy has no original material. Therefore, you might be thinking, I am talking about you. Once again, we have found ourselves in only another deadly trap of comparison, of twisting, of envy, of self-centeredness. And the thought might have crossed your mind that I am “judging” you with this post. No…stop…just stop…

Stop, singing along to the song that that is literally killing you, as well as poisoning everyone around you. Stop, coming into agreement with the lie, that who you are right here, right now in this moment, is who you are going to be for the rest of your life. Stop, believing that where you are right here, right now, in this moment is where you are going to be for the rest of your life. Stop, buying into this culture that says that in order to be the “best you,” means that you have to be better than someone else. Stop, labeling people as the enemy and let the fire of the Holy Spirit burn within you against the true enemy.

COME INTO AGREEMENT WITH THE GREATER SONG!!!! 

This is the song that sing out one thing and one thing only. HOPE. Hope that at the end of the day, no matter what has been thrown at us, that we can stand firm in the TRUTH, that we are Sons and Daughters of the MOST HIGH GOD! Hope that sings out the song of a SAVIOR, JESUS, who NOT ONLY took our sin upon Himself and paid the price for it but also, stays WITH us throughout our own struggles, our own screw ups, and teaches us in the midst of the process. Hope that goes so freaking far beyond our own understanding, that it gives us the courage to even dream again. It gives us the courage to believe that we are made for more and that we have a destiny and a purpose. Hope sings of a Father that truly does love us more than we could ever understand. It sings of a friend that we have in the Holy Spirit, that was given as a gift to swallow up loneliness once and for all. This song is one of redemption, one of peace, one of power. It has the power to heal, ACTUALLY HEAL! It has the power to not just change your circumstance or situation, but it can actually change your perspective. It will wreck your heart and at the exact same time be putting it back together, the way it was meant to be. Hope sings of LOVE. Period. Do you hear me?!? Do you understand? Can you see this?

You can say no, to the lies! You can say no, to the exhausting banter within your mind that constantly tells you that you aren’t good enough. You can turn off the noise of the song of bitterness and defeat. This is YOUR life! Take it back from the enemy, and let the strength of the God who fights FOR YOU rise up within you as you choose to surrender to and worship HIM! You can choose to stand firm on the Word, choose to not just believe IN Jesus, but to actually, BELIEVE HIM!!! TRUST HIM!!!!! Find your HOPE IN HIM!!! Know that His grace is sufficient, no matter how many times you mess up! And come into agreement with THE GREATER SONG!!!! JESUS!!! OUR TRUE HOPE!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ni1DaRZbEhttp://

Love Like That

Colorful typographic motivational poster to raise faith in yourself and your strength. The series of business concepts on a textured background of an old love. VectorIt blesses my soul to see an elderly couple who are still in love with one another after years of life together. I see something in them that I want. I think what I see is genuine love and respect for the other.  I must confess that I’ve got some ways to go in cultivating love that lasts a lifetime. I believe that love is a choice. I can choose to love whomever I want. I can also choose to hate. I believe that hate does way more harm to the one hating than the object of their scorn. I believe that as a follower of Jesus, the only hatred that should be in me is hatred for sin. Jesus teaches me to love others.  John reiterates this in his first epistle. Check this out…

16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18 CSB)

When my children were young, I read a quote that said: “Love is spelled T-I-M-E”. The message was clear that my time was spent investing in my children – just being with them is very important. As I read this simple passage this morning, I realize that Love is spelled G-I-V-E. The Lord calls me to put my money and resources where my mouth is.  One of my life goals is to live a life of significance. I want to invest in the lives of others to pay if forward on behalf of the people who have invested in me.

I love the parallel here with John 3:16:

 16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (Spoken by Jesus)

16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (Spoken by John)

If Jesus did anything while He was here on earth, He loved and taught us to love. If I’m called by His name, love must be obvious in me. I want to love like He loves. He loves me profoundly despite my sin and His love compels me to leave sin behind and pursue love with all that I have.

How He Loves by Jesus Culture

Pressing On!

Dwayne

I Know What I Know

 

i want to know moreI find it hard sometimes to articulate my faith in God. My journey is personal and subjective. I have experienced things with the Lord that is hard to explain. This faith that I have in the Lord is not meant for me to just keep it to myself. It is good news for the whole world. Jesus came to seek and save all mankind. His mission was to make a way to restore our relationship with God. He did that and more. He gave us an amazing gift to help us in this journey. The Holy Spirit gives great wisdom and insight.  The Holy Spirit provides great strength to manage suffering and hardship. The Holy Spirit is a Presence that is hard to explain. I feel incredible peace in my soul with the very Spirit of God dwelling in me. It is His Promised Comforter to me and I know He’s here. These are things that I know and I’ve experienced. I have a hard time explaining, describing or teaching these things I know. John speaks to how I know Him by following His instructions – living out my faith. Check this out…

This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked. (1 John 2:3-6 CSB)

“This I Know” – Crowder

I try to start every day acknowledging the blessings from the Lord and thanking Him. I want to hear from Him in His Word each day. I’m certainly not trying to “earn” my salvation. I do want to walk out my salvation with Him each day. I want to walk just as He walked. I want to love as He loved. I want to serve as He served.

I wish I could explain more clearly how I know what I know. It is not super complicated – it’s simple, but sometimes hard. It’s not always easy to walk in His way when it seems like very few people are walking this path. I know that this is where He called me to walk. He has changed my life forever. I’m honored to walk in His way. I’m honored to serve Him. I’m honored to be called a Christian or Christ follower.  I am still very much a “work in progress”, but I know things that are simply not negotiable with my journey in Him.  I want the activities of my day to day to be “in step” with His call upon my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Own It

 

Praying ManOne of my pet peeves is when someone is responsible for something and it goes badly and they look for others to blame instead of “owning it”. Taking responsibility is sometimes hard, but it’s a sign of maturity. The blame game is easy and the rules are very relaxed – just find someone else to place blame for the issue instead of the person who should own it. For example, if I get pulled over for speeding and I was speeding, it’s not my truck’s fault or the officer’s fault for doing his/her job – it’s on me for driving over the posted speed limit.

I believe that taking responsibility or “owning it” is a sign of humility. It is me admitting that I messed up and I will take responsibility for my behavior. Confession is good for my soul. Check this out…

 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 CSB)

The Lord knows me fully. He knows everything I think. He knows everything I say. He knows everything I do. He knows when I lay down and He knows when I get up. He knows what I’m doing next. He knows what I did in October of 1969 even though I might not remember. He knows all there is to know about me, yet He forgives me and chooses not to remember my sin. I am profoundly grateful for His grace that compels Him to forgive and forget. I have much more to gain by confessing my sin than by denying my sin. I think it’s good to own it as soon as I’m aware of it. His grace is enough to forgive the biggest sin and He removes it from me. I may still have some consequences to pay, but the debt to the Lord has already been paid. When I own my sin, His death covers it in the present tense.

I’m grateful for this arrangement, because without His grace, I’d be doomed to hell many times over.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Time Table

 

Organize Agenda Planner Reminder Calendar To Do ConceptI still learning the value of time. This is a precious commodity of our existence. We all have the same number of minutes and hours in a day, but we have no idea how long we have on this earth before our “time” is up. I work from a calendar every day of my life. If I’m going to connect with a friend for coffee or lunch, I must first check my calendar (aka schedule) to make sure I’m not scheduled to be somewhere else. It is simply my attempt to manage my time while showing proper respect to others for their time. If someone gives me their time, they are giving me a special gift and I should be wise in managing that.

I sometimes wonder how my life will end. I have another birthday celebration on the horizon and I do think about aging, sickness and even death. I can’t really control much of my time table. I can work at eating healthy and exercising, but in the end, I still have little control over the length of my life. Peter reminds us that the Lord’s timetable exercises great patience over His return. Check this out…

Dear friends, don’t overlook this one fact: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9 CSB)

I don’t know if I’ll be alive when it happens, but I believe that Jesus will return to take His people out of this world prior to its destruction. I’m so thankful for the Lord’s patience in punishment. I’ve deserved punishment many times, but the Lord’s Grace is exhibited in patience. He gave me the time I needed to “come to my senses” and repent of my stupidity and rebelliousness. I do believe the Lord’s Grace is immeasurable, unrealistic and ridiculous. Since I’m a recipient of His Grace, I’m profoundly grateful that it is all those things.

As I get older, I find that I can be more patient with myself and with others. I don’t have to have everything exactly on my time table. I’m learning that not everyone works at the same speed or is even cable of working the same pace. I’m thankful that the Lord’s timetable comes out of His Grace and Mercy instead of His justice & punishment.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Empty Lies

 

The Truth Hidden Among Lies Pyramid of Stacked BallsThere are people who could be called “professional liars”. They will tell you whatever you want to hear or they will tell some tall tale that distracts and distorts the truth. I have often said that I can work with the truth, no matter how hard it is to hear. I get extremely frustrated when I’m lied too. I would rather be honest and poor than to be dishonest and rich. I am not a perfect person and it would be a “bold-faced” lie to say I’ve never lied. I will say that I see all of life not with eternity in view and any lies that I could tell would be pure foolishness considering my future hope.

I wonder what would happen if everyone told the truth – no matter how hard.

I wonder what it would be like if politicians always told the truth.

I wonder what it would be like if attorneys always told truth.

I wonder what it would be like if people in sales always told the truth.

I wonder what it would be like if husbands & wives always told the truth.

I wonder what it would be like if parents & children always told the truth.

Truth is not relative to the situation – it is absolute. I’ve heard it said: there is his version and her version and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. People who are lost in sin, often seek to convince others to join them by telling elaborate lies. They appear to be having a blast, but their soul’s are empty and corrupt. Peter speaks to this. Check this out…

19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them. 20 For if, having escaped the world’s impurity through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in these things and defeated, the last state is worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them. (2 Peter 2:19-21 CSB)

I confess that I’ve had my feet under the table of the Lord only to turn away to the lies of the enemy. The enemy makes sin make sense just long enough for me to go for it.  I would rather repent than live a life of regret and remorse. I would be wise to quickly repent than to justify my sin with more lies. If I tell one lie, it takes a lot more just to try to keep the lie somewhat believable. God’s Word is truth and He makes it clear that He wants no part of lies. I couldn’t trick or deceive Him with a lie if I tried. He’s always listening and watching if I lie to another person. I want to live my life in truth no matter how painful and hard. I believe the fallout from a lie is way more painful than dealing with the truth. The truth always seems to find its way out anyway.

Pressing On!

Dwayne