Memory

I’ve often heard that God doesn’t have a good memory, by choice. He forgives our sin and choses to not remember them. I have a hard time forgetting my sin or the sins of others against me. God, however, forgets on purpose.   Asaph is very concerned that God’s memory has failed Him and that He needs to remember the people He has chosen for His own. This must be after Israel is taken captive or certainly been defeated. Check this out…

15 You opened up the springs and streams
       and made the flowing rivers run dry.
 16 Both the day and the night are yours;
       you made the sun and the moon.
 17 You set all the limits on the earth;
       you created summer and winter.
 20 Remember the agreement you made with us,
       because violence fills every dark corner of this land.
 21 Do not let your suffering people be disgraced.
       Let the poor and helpless praise you.
 22 God, arise and defend yourself.
       Remember the insults that come from those foolish people all day long.
 23 Don’t forget what your enemies said;
       don’t forget their roar as they rise against you always. (Psalm 74:15-17; 20-23 NCV)

I know that God doesn’t need to be reminded of what He can do. I think sometimes He allows things to happen to us that remind us of our need for Him. He is all I need. He created me. He sustains me. He directs my steps. I think it’s amazing that Creator God cares about me in such detail. His Spirit is in me.

When I turn from Him, it feels like He’s turned from me. I believe God allows consequences for sin to happen to us. I believe that God will not leave us or forsake us. We are His kids. If we choose to do life without Him, I believe He steps back and allows us that freedom.  I think that I’m the one who needs a better memory. I need to remember all that God has done and continues to do in my life.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Jealous

I must confess that I’ve been jealous of others.  I’m not going to lie about it. I’ve been jealous of wealthy people.  I’ve been jealous of famous people, who became wealthy because of their fame. I’ve been jealous of wildly successful business people who had a great business concept that earned them millions. There’s probably a pretty thin line between jealousy and envy.  I have to confess – I’ve been both.  Asaph, David’s music guy shared some honest insight on this. Check this out….

 21 When my heart was sad
       and I was angry,
 22 I was senseless and stupid.
       I acted like an animal toward you.
 23 But I am always with you;
       you have held my hand.
 24 You guide me with your advice,
       and later you will receive me in honor.
 25 I have no one in heaven but you;
       I want nothing on earth besides you.
 26 My body and my mind may become weak,
       but God is my strength.
       He is mine forever.
 27 Those who are far from God will die;
       you destroy those who are unfaithful.
 28 But I am close to God, and that is good.
       The Lord God is my protection.
       I will tell all that you have done. (Psalm 73:21-28 NCV)

When this life is over, the balance in my checking account won’t matter to my eternity. My material possessions will immediately become the possession of a family member. My wealth won’t matter when it comes my time to meet the Lord.  What I do with my money now does reflect the depth of my faith in the Lord. I must learn to trust Him with EVERYTHING I have and everything I earn. I want to honor God with my possessions, my talents, my gifts – all of me.  When I focus on honoring God with who I am and all I have, there is not time to be jealous of others.

My Mom used to remind me to keep my own back yard clean and then I wouldn’t have time to worry about someone else’s back yard.

I don’t want to be jealous; I want to be faithful!

 

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Prayer For The King

As I study the Word of God and read the words of the Psalmists, I’m reminded to continually pray for those in leadership over our country, our state, our city, our county and our schools. These are people in positions of leadership elected by the people, but ultimately they all answer to God. I pray that each leader would listen to the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit to guide their decision-making. Solomon had a great prayer for the King. I think he’s praying it over David, but it could very well be he’s praying for his own leadership, as he becomes king. Check this out….

 15 Long live the king!
       Let him receive gold from Sheba.
    Let people always pray for him
       and bless him all day long.
 16 Let the fields grow plenty of grain
       and the hills be covered with crops.
    Let the land be as fertile as Lebanon,
       and let the cities grow like the grass in a field.
 17 Let the king be famous forever;
       let him be remembered as long as the sun shines.
    Let the nations be blessed because of him,
       and may they all bless him.
 18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel,
       who alone does such miracles.
 19 Praise his glorious name forever.
       Let his glory fill the whole world. Amen and amen. (Psalm 72:15-19 NCV)

 I really appreciate people who are willing to lead. They are willing to sacrifice precious time from their life to make the lives of others better. I’m grateful to God who listens to our prayers on behalf of our leaders. I pray that they are willing to listen to Him. I pray that more leaders who seek the heart of God will rise up and lead.  Maybe, I should lead in the place I live and work. I believe God calls His people to lead. I believe I should lead by example as I let the Spirit of God lead and direct my path.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Consistent

The only thing that is really consistent about my life is change. It happens all the time and often many times in a day.  There are changes to my work, changes happening to my family and friends.  I’m so grateful that I serve a God who is EXTREMELY CONSISTENT. 

I became a Christian as a very young man. I wanted to serve God with my life. My parents were excellent examples of what it meant to be a follower of Christ. I now consider myself to be old (since my kids think that) and I often catch myself reflecting on my journey with the Lord. I’m not sure if David wrote the “old person’s prayer” in this Psalm or not. Check this out….

5 Lord, you are my hope.
       Lord, I have trusted you since I was young.
 6 I have depended on you since I was born;
       you helped me even on the day of my birth.
       I will always praise you.
 7 I am an example to many people,
       because you are my strong protection.
 8 I am always praising you;
       all day long I honor you.
14 But I will always have hope
       and will praise you more and more.
 15 I will tell how you do what is right.
       I will tell about your salvation all day long,
       even though it is more than I can tell.
 16 I will come and tell about your powerful works, Lord God.
       I will remind people that only you do what is right.
 17 God, you have taught me since I was young.
       To this day I tell about the miracles you do. (Psalm 71:5-8; 14-17 NCV)

I remember getting my Pappy (Grandpa) a card once that said, “the older I get, the smarter you get”.  My Pappy loved that card, because he knew that he knew things that I would have to learn on my own or from my own experience. His response to the card is what made me never forget the contents.

I’m so grateful for the heritage of faith that my parents passed on to me. I want to be consistent in my journey with God until I breathe my last breath here and look on Him there.   I want to hear God speak into my heart while I’m here. I want to display His Presence by how I live and work. I want to be consistent because He is consistent! 

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Impatient Prayer

Usually when I pray, I’m asking God to act on my behalf or behalf of someone else. I don’t always pray with patience. I often pray for God to fix things immediately or instantly. I don’t have time to wait for things to unfold. I want immediate results. I had no idea that David was like that too. Check this out….

1 God, come quickly and save me.
       LORD, hurry to help me.
 2 Let those who are trying to kill me
       be ashamed and disgraced.
    Let those who want to hurt me
       run away in disgrace.
 3 Let those who make fun of me
       stop because of their shame.
 4 But let all those who worship you
       rejoice and be glad.
    Let those who love your salvation
       always say, “Praise the greatness of God.”
 5 I am poor and helpless;
       God, hurry to me.
    You help me and save me.
       Lord, do not wait. (Psalm 70:1-5 NCV)

What’s crazy about this to me is, that I don’t think an impatient prayer ticks God off. I believe He will still act according to His will and His purpose. I do believe that prayer affects the heart of God as well as the actions of God. I believe God can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants.

I think sometimes I am impatient because I’m nearing the end of my rope. I’m struggling to hang on through the crisis and I need immediate and decisive help. God has provided that kind of help in the past, so I’m seen Him in action.  God does teach me through patience. He’s also teaching me through quick responses to my prayers.  Even if He doesn’t answer my “impatient prayer”, I’m still going to pray for immediate action on His part. I must learn to trust Him for what is best –period.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Desperation Prayer

There have been times in my life when I’ve been so desperate that the only prayer that comes out of my mouth is, “Help”. I have so been there and I understand the fear that comes from not knowing what is next. It’s during those times of desperation; I learn volumes about trusting God. He teaches me much more through struggles than on easy street. I can so relate to David’s desperate prayers. Check this out…

 13 But I pray to you, Lord, for favor.
    God, because of your great love, answer me.
       You are truly able to save.
 14 Pull me from the mud,
       and do not let me sink.
    Save me from those who hate me
       and from the deep water.
 15 Do not let the flood drown me
       or the deep water swallow me
       or the grave close its mouth over me.
 16 Lord, answer me because your love is so good.
       Because of your great kindness, turn to me.
 17 Do not hide from me, your servant.
       I am in trouble. Hurry to help me! (Psalm 69:13-17 NCV)

 I’m learning to pray and seek the favor of God on my life and on the life of my children. I would rather have the favor of God than all of the riches in the world. I would rather have the favor of God on my children than the best of career choices. God’s favor can protect me. God’s favor can shield me. God’s favor can rescue me. God’s favor can direct my path.  I believe God’s favor can settle in my spirit and lead me to choices that honor Him.  In my desperation, I cry to Him for His favor and He responds!  I’m so grateful for His favor and His Presence.

 

Pressing On!
Dwayne