Sent

send buttonThere are times when I hit send on an email or text without really checking it out to make sure the auto-correct feature didn’t goof up something I meant to say. There are other times when I delete the email or text before sending because I’m a bit “fired up” and my words will cause harm instead of being productive. I often wish that I had the same editing privileges on my mouth. I have to watch my words carefully, especially when I’m upset about something.

I came across this passage where Jesus is sending out His disciples to warn the Jewish people that the Kingdom is near. He didn’t “sugar coat” His instructions. Check this out….

16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. 17 But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. 18 You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. 19 When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. 20 For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:16-20 NLT)

 

This had to be a bit scary for Jesus’ disciples. The analogy of being sheep among wolves – they had seen firsthand what wolves do to defenseless sheep.  They were probably going to offend some very important people with their message. They were going to face arrest and prison time. This was not the type of “mission trip” that I have been on before for sure. The last part of these instructions really jumped out at me because I’ve experienced this personally…. “Don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time.”  There have been times when I say something in response to someone else that after I speak, I realize that I’m not that smart or that spiritually astute. The Lord speaks through me when I slow down and press pause on my big mouth long enough to hear from Him.

He has sent me out to live out my faith.

He has sent me out to speak up about my faith.

He has sent me with His Word to deliver.

He is in charge of my life….my words and actions.

I’m praying that the words I speak and all that I do bring honor to Him. I feel responsible to Him because He sent me to be His hands and feet to everyone I meet.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Guarded

 

security guardI have learned to guard my words and my input into certain situations. It’s so easy to be misinterpreted and misunderstood. There are times I feel like I made my position or point clear only to learn that it was misunderstood. I would rather guard my words carefully than to have them splatter all over the place and harm others or cause confusion.

I should also guard my behavior since what I do speaks louder than anything I could possibly say. I am a broken mess most days as I try to live out my faith. I’m learning daily to guard my heart and my mind against the enemy who seeks to destroy my faith and all I have. I realize that my behavior comes directly from my heart so if the Lord can help guard my heart, He is really guarding my life. I loved this passage in Psalms after speaking about the sheer power and greatness of God, the Psalmist speaks of the tenderness of the Lord. Check this out…

10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
    for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
    and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
    and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
    and praise his holy name. (Psalm 97:10-12 NIV)

I feel protected by the Lord even when I’m in the middle of suffering. I feel protected by the Lord even when I’m celebrating a victory. I want to grow in my trust of Him even when I can’t see what is next or how I’m going to make it from here. He knows the future. He holds the future. He has earned my trust because He is so Faithful and Present.  Check this out…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

This is a song we’ve started singing at Southern Hills that came from Passion 2017. You Are Worthy (featuring Sean Curran)

The Lyrics of this song can be found here.

The Lord guards my heart – He guards my coming and going. He guards my words and my actions. He guards my choices.  I constantly need Him to guard my heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne