Rely Upon The Lord

Praise at sunsetThere are all sorts of activities seeking my attention every day. I can’t possibly avoid them all. I do think I can keep a proper perspective on all these shiny new objects clamoring for me to take a look. My attention is an important part of who I am. Who or What do I give attention too? I have 24 hours in the day and part of that I’m sleeping. I have to choose what to do with the hours of my day. I have the kind of job that can require a lot of intensity in short bursts and then it seems to slow down. I’ve learned the value of a steady investment into my business each day, even with the bursts of busyness.

I was reminded this morning that who I am and all that I do is really dependent upon the Lord. He is the Giver. He is the Comforter. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the Savior to the world. I must revisit my perspective of relying on Him very often. Check this out…

We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. (2 Corinthians 1:8b-11 NLT)

I’ve tried things my own way and failed miserably. I have ignored His prompting and His direction for my life and had loads of regret. I believe that I need reminded often that relying upon Him is the most profound act of obedience for me. I can do nothing without Him. I used to think I could do nothing of “significance” without Him. I came to the conclusion after several attempts, on my own, that I can really do NOTHING without Him. I want my life to be in harmony with His Spirit inside me. I want the choices I face and the decisions I make to be wholly dependent upon Him. I depend confidently upon Him for each detail of my life. I rely on Him to help me be the best husband I can be. I rely on Him to help me be the best Dad I can be. I rely on Him to help me be the best friend I can be. I rely on Him to help me be the best REALTOR I can be. It’s not super complicated, in fact, it’s simple. I didn’t say it was easy, just simple. I’m leaning today into the two simple verses from Proverbs that speak to relying and trust upon the Lord. Check this out…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Safe & Protected

 

LKR032459I have a security alarm in my home so that if someone comes into my home during the night, I will be alerted. If it is one my family members, they know the code to bypass the alarm. I have to admit that I rest better at night knowing the home is secured. I do have “other means” of security as well, those will remain private.

A few nights ago, the security system mal-functioned just after midnight and I wasn’t home. At that point, it became an irritating and obnoxious system. It needed a “reboot”. It is now working fine.

Jesus explains His position as the Son of God and the keeper of His sheep (followers, disciples, believers). He is like a farmer who knows his livestock and gives them each a name. He feeds them and provides for them. He watches out for the sick or weak. Check this out…

24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.” (John 10:24-30 NLT)

As I walk out my faith daily with the Lord – He and I talk a lot. We talk about everything. We talk about the little things and the big things. We talk about whether I should eat that piece of candy (sometimes I don’t listen) or not. I want Him involved in every facet of my life. He gives the best counsel. He gives the best directions. He leads me where He wants me to go. I’m also listening to Him so that I can say what He wants me to say.

I feel safe and protected wherever I am and whatever I’m doing because I know that the Lord is with me. I don’t worry because I’ve surrendered to His Will and His Way for me. I want my life to bring glory to Him and not to me. I want Him to be noticed in how I live. He keeps me safe and protected for Himself. If I were to get sick, hurt or killed – I want those events to draw attention to my total trust in the Lord. I will die one of these days and He alone knows how or when that will happen. I want my life and my death to bring glory and honor to Him. Having my total trust in Him is the ONLY way I feel safe and protected.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Heads Up

woman creating a frame from fingersI like it when I get a “heads up” that something is about to happen. I do realize that the element of surprise is gone with a heads up, but I can mentally prepare when something is going down that affects me and my family. Most recently we’ve had two storms come our way and the weather predictions have missed the mark significantly. My family was preparing for the worst with the wind, rain and possibly tornados that never came. I was thankful for the heads up from the meteorologist. I must say that it feels like they were a bit over dramatic with some of the predictions, but “better safe than sorry”.

The Apostle John is seeing things he can barely describe. These things are happening in a context that he can barely get his head around. He is hearing voices from heaven. He is seeing these massive angelic creatures. One particular angel had one foot on land and another foot on the sea. This angel made some declarations that were giving a “heads up” of sorts. Check this out…

Then the angel that I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. He swore by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it: “There will no longer be a delay, but in the days when the seventh angel will blow his trumpet, then the mystery of God will be completed, as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:5-7 CSB)

When I look back at the Old Testament and how the prophets tell about the coming of Jesus – He comes. There is consistency with the Lord that comes through His Word and the words of the Apostles, prophets and servants of the Lord. I’ve heard of people predicting when the Lord will come again and they’ve been wrong. I’m not sure when He’s coming again, but the Word says that He’s coming. I think the theme of Revelation could be summed up in a couple of words: “Be Ready”. We don’t know when, but He promised to come. I look at the overall view of Revelation as a “heads up” of sorts. I need to be attentive and alert to the things of God. I need to be aware of His call upon my life. I need to make my life here count for eternity. I should live today like I’ll die tomorrow. I should live in complete surrender to His Will and His Way – I’ll be ready when He comes. I’m going to use this “heads up” wisely.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Manipulation

Man at chess boardI have met people who are masters at manipulation. They use people to get whatever it is they want. They are not the type of people that I want as a friend. In fact they will even manipulate their friends and family to serve them. I have been on the short end of relationships like this and I’ve learned to spot them a good distance away. I can be kind and civil to people who manipulate, but I don’t want to allow them to be close to me or have influence on me.

I see this often in people with power. I believe that some politicians are masters at this for sure. I’ve seen preachers manipulate the emotions of people to try to win them to the Lord. I believe manipulation is dishonest and deceitful. I’ve made decisions in the past under the cloud of manipulation and didn’t realize it until the reality of the decision set in. (aka the payments! J) I’ve learned to speak candidly and frankly with people. Even though I’m in “sales” as a REALTOR, I try very hard to give the facts and information to help the buyer make a solid decision instead of manipulating a quick sale so that I can get paid.

The people of Israel seemed to have lost their way. The office of the high priest was corrupt. His sons were openly wicked and disrespectful to God. The people of Israel are fighting a war with the Philistines and they loose a battle. Someone has the bright idea that if we bring the Ark of The Covenant into battle that God won’t let the Philistines win. This was nothing more than manipulation of God to give them the battle. There is no mention of seeking God and asking for His help, they simply go the manipulation route. Check this out…

4 So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died. (1 Samuel 4:4,10-11 NIV)

I believe that God is totally in charge of this world. He can do anything He wants. He can move mountains into the sea if He wants. As I’ve studied His Character throughout scripture, He doesn’t like to be manipulated or treated like Santa Claus. He wants a personal relationship with me. I’ve made “deals” with God before, trying to get Him to do what I want. I’ve learned to simply ask Him to act and move. I’ve also learned that His Will and His Way are higher than my way. I heard a great quote in our Life Group study yesterday that says, “when we think God has missed the target, it’s because we’re so short-sighted that we can see what He was aiming at”. God ALWAYS has a plan and He wants me to be a part of His Plan. He doesn’t want me to invite Him into my plan – that’s where manipulation enters the equation. I want to totally trust His Plan for me and insert myself into His Purpose and Plan for my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

I Don’t Know

Question and exclamation marksI can use this phrase quite often because there are many things I don’t know. I’m better off saying that I don’t know something then try to give some “hot air” answer. I am educated and experienced in a lot of areas, but there are still things that come up just about every day that I simply don’t have an answer or a solution for. Check this out…

 5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things. (Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV)

  [Read more…]

Submission

Pretty girl praying.This term is defined as “the act of acceptance or yielding to a superior force or to the will of or the authority of another person”. I’m learning the act of submission on a daily basis. There are authorities all around that I’m in submission to. I submit to the authority of local, state and federal government. However, since we serve in a country where our government is elected by us, we can move them out of office if/when they abuse the authority they’ve been given with the office they hold. Submitting to the authority of God is a bit different. Check this out…

1 I lift up my eyes to you,

    to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,

    as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,

so our eyes look to the Lord our God,

    till he shows us his mercy.
3 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,

    for we have endured no end of contempt.
4 We have endured no end

    of ridicule from the arrogant,

    of contempt from the proud. (Psalm 123:1-4 NIV)

I’m learning daily that submission to God is a daily choice. In fact it’s a minute by minute choice. He is the Source of mercy and grace that is much needed in my life. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for His mercy to me. I sometime have to be patient and wait for Him, but He never leaves me or forsakes me. I sometimes question His timing, but He’s always on time. I sometime struggle with my pride, but I’m learning to lay it down and submit to His Will and His Way for me. I don’t always understand the direction He’s leading, but I trust Him – period. I will submit and surrender to the Will and The Way of the Lord.

Pressing On!
Dwayne