Truth is Relevant

 

Man praying with the BibleI know people that say truth is relative to whatever your situation. I believe in the truth of God’s Word. I do not believe God’s truth can be manipulated to whatever I want it to be. I believe that the Word of God has the answers that I and others are searching for. I do believe that God’s Word is RELEVANT to today. Even though it was written centuries ago, I’ve experience its truth inside my heart.

I have the privilege to teach a class at our church called Equipped To Counsel. We are in the process of equipping fellow Christ followers to help others navigate through life using the Word of God as our guide. The Word of God has the answers to today’s struggle and yet the Word of God was written a long time ago. Its answers are relevant today because the ultimate Author is Creator God. He knows His creation – He knows my needs. He knows the desires of my heart. As I read Psalm 43 this morning, I was reminded of my quest for truth. Check this out…

Send forth your light and your truth,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
    O God, my God. (Psalm 43:3-4 NIV)

These two verses affirm the groundwork of our lesion last evening. The Word of God speaks into my heart. I believe the Lord loves for me to start my day with Him in His Word. I don’t have a bunch of commentaries, just Him and me. I can’t leave out the Presence of the Holy Spirit Who often explains and makes His Word understandable to me.

I need to pray the prayer of this Psalm often because I want to pursue truth. I want to be led by His truth. I want to hang out in the place He dwells.

As I look back on my life journey, I realize how He was leading me and holding me close through the valleys. He was also with me on the mountain tops celebrating great victories. He was with me everywhere in between as well.  The Word of God serves as a compass of sorts, always leading me to His Truth. When I get in the Presence of God, I’m humbled to be there, but at home there too. I belong there in His Presence. I was created just for this – to honor Him and thank Him for His Truth. I want to pick up my guitar and sing a song that connects my heart to His.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Battle

 

Negatives Positives Computer Keys Showing Plus And Minus Alternatives Analysis And DecisionsI am not experienced in military tactics or training. I am a huge fan and supporter of our military. I’m thankful each day for the freedom that has been fought for over the years and is continually being defended. The men and women in our military have made great sacrifices on behalf of our nation and this idea of freedom and democracy.

King David was defending himself and his nation against a coup from his son Absalom. Absalom basically chased David from the capitol city of Jerusalem. David still had quite a force of men fighting on his behalf. He gathered all his men and sent them out in 3 divisions and he gave specific instructions to be “gentle with the young man Absalom…” David’s men fought valiantly and routed Absalom’s men and they began fleeing to their homes, Absalom was fleeing on his donkey and his hair was long and thick and was caught in the branches of a tree. He was hanging there and was found by one of David’s men. He had heard the words of King David about being gentle with Absalom. Check this out…

14 Joab said, ‘I am not going to wait like this for you.’ So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. 15 And ten of Joab’s armour-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.

16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes. (2 Samuel 18:14-17 NIV)

The physical battle was over for David and his men, but the battles faced here were also spiritual. I believe that every day, there are spiritual battles that I face. I can appear to be good and doing well on the outside, but inside there is this constant battle for control of my heart. I must put in place some defensive strategies and make offensive plans to win each battle. Each battle I face with the enemy is part of the big picture of war.

I am in constant pursuit of God’s heart with my heart. I can certainly feel the enemy seeking to kill and destroy my faith and trust in the Lord. As I read the Word, I’m reminded that the enemy has no hope and no future. I would be wise to treat any counsel he offers as futile, empty and worthless. The Word of God speaks volumes of wisdom and truth into my heart and prepares me to win each battle for my heart. Today will be another day of spiritual battle even though physically everything appears fine. The Lord is with me and He never backs down from this fight.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

The First Test of Leadership

Follow Lead Buttons Show Leading The Way Or FollowingI remember asking the teacher if this information that she was giving was going to be on the test. If it wasn’t on the test, then what’s the point of learning it? I was a bit of an obnoxious student and I wasn’t interested in learning as much as passing the class. There are tests that come around in life that have much to do about the lessons I’ve learned previously. These tests can also challenge my character and my values. Every now and then a situation comes along that really has frustrated a member of my team and it requires a decision on my part. This is not always easy and often neither side ends up satisfied with the decision. I’ve learned that sometimes you don’t have all the information you need to make a decision, it just has to be made based on the information you currently have.

I’m not sure about the time between Saul’s anointing and this first incident. It seems that Saul when back to his regular life of helping his Dad on the farm. When the Ammonites siege Jabesh Gilead, things changed pretty quickly for Saul. Check this out…

6 When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. 7 He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, ‘This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.’ Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one. 8 When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand.

(Saul and the men of Israel complete obliterate the Ammonites and freed Jabesh Gilead)

15 So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration. (1 Samuel 11:6-8,15 NIV)

My favorite part is: “The Spirit of God came powerfully upon Him”. Saul was open to the Spirit of God using Him to lead. Saul passed his first test in a big way. He was successful because of the Presence of the Spirit of God, not because of his amazing military genius.

I think that leaders sometimes start thinking that they are as good as everyone says they are and humility flies out the window. I believe that Godly leaders should give the Lord the credit for their decision and their leadership gifts. All good things come from Him anyway.

I want the Spirit of God to be all over me as I lead in my family, in church and in my work. I don’t want to make flippant decisions that affect anyone else with out the powerful Spirit of God on me. I don’t want to be self-centered. I do want wisdom and incredible discernment. I believe that I can pass any test of leadership no matter how big or how small if the Lord’s Spirit is all over me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Preparation For Presence

 

God's mercy at the CrossI remember as a kid joining Boy Scouts. I learned the motto at the first meeting – Be Prepared. Preparation is something I do to get ready for something else. I like to be prepared for work and any meeting I have. I like to be prepared when I’m taking a day off or several days off. Preparation is a really important part of today, as I get ready for something in the future. In fact, some choices I make today will really shape my future.

Moses had given all the instructions to the people as well as to Aaron and his sons, who were to serve as High Priests. The day is here when Aaron and his sons begin their ministry. There were lots of preparations to be done. There were lots of sacrifices and rituals to be completed according to the Lord’s commands. They carried out each sacrifice to the letter. Then – it happened – the Lord showed up. Check this out….

23 Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown. (Leviticus 9:23-24 NIV)

I want to always be prepared for the Presence of the Lord. I want His Glory to be over me and in me. Today is Sunday and I look forward to joining my church family in worship. I think it’s important to prepare for the Presence of God in me every day of the week. Today should be extra special because of the appointment of worship with my church family. There is something special when I join my brothers and sisters in worship. His Presence is always there – sometimes He’s way more obvious than at other times. I believe the Lord is ALWAYS where His people are.

As I finish writing this I listened to the song: “Holy Spirit” by Bethel Church. I want the Lord to know that He is ALWAYS welcome in my heart. Sometimes, I really need to clear some stuff out of my heart to make sure He has room to take over my heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Cloud Cover

Beautiful Blue Sky with Clouds and Sun Rays.I find it interesting that the people of Israel built this huge tent that would take some time to set up and take down, yet they didn’t seem too concerned. So things were finally all built and they were put into the place where they would be in the tabernacle. Moses was putting the final touch on everything. Check this out…

33 Then Moses set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and altar and put up the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard. And so Moses finished the work.

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels. (Exodus 40:33-38 NIV)

I can relate somewhat with set-up and tear down. My family and I love to camp. In fact we are headed to a KOA campground for a few day up near Tennessee. The whole process of set up and tear down goes quicker the more experience we have doing it. It also helps having a couple of teenagers to help with the process.

The One think I pray for as we camp and just do life in general is, Id love to have the Spirit of God to completely fill my little tabernacle/camper. His Presence is a significant game changer. I’m learning that the more I surrender to Him, the closer He and I become. I’m not necessarily ready for the rainy crowd covers of the past few days, but I really want the Presence of God all over me, my family and Metro West Realty too!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Canopy

ShelterThis word implies to me covering – whether it’s a tent to shelter me from the sun or the shade from the upper branches of trees. There is protection implied here for sure. I have been without the protection of a canopy and the elements of the weather beat down on me. A canopy can shelter me from the sun and the rain. If it’s a strong canopy it might even protect me from hail.

I was reminded this morning that the Lord is certainly my canopy of protection from the elements of this world. Check this out….

In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding-place from the storm and rain. (Isaiah 4:2-6 NIV)

 

I can’t think of a better place to be than under the canopy of the Lord. I need His Protection and His Presence both day and night. He washes away my sin and cleans me up. I can’t imagine my life without Him. I want to be in the shade of His right hand. I want to know that Protection and Power is close at hand – both are always part of Him. I can relax and rest under the canopy of the very Spirit of God.

Pressing On!
Dwayne