God Is Faithful

Man Hand writing Living a Thankful Life with black marker on visI have learned about this word faithful over the years. It is a good word that describes some good people. It’s also a strong word that describes The Lord Himself. This word carries with its definition the following words: true to one’s word, promises, vows, steady in allegiance or affection, loyal, constant, reliable, trusted and believing. I am thankful to have had some heroes of the faith who were very faithful in their journey with the Lord. These “spiritual mentors” displayed loyalty and trust in the Lord. They weren’t perfect, but they were consistent in getting up from failure and returning to their pursuit of His heart.

Ethan, the Ezrahite penned a great psalm chronicling the journey of the people of Israel. He speaks very clearly about the faithfulness of God. Check this out..

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
    through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
    that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long;
    they celebrate your righteousness.
17 For you are their glory and strength,
    and by your favor you exalt our horn.
18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel. (Psalm 89:1-2; 14-18 NIV)

If there is one attribute that I know about the Lord – He is faithful. He has NEVER left me or ignored me. He is ALWAYS there for me. I wish I could find the words to describe the faithfulness of God – that really articulates and describes how consistent and faithful He is.  I have been on a journey with the Lord since I was in 3rd grade. I’ve been unfaithful to Him many times. I’ve ignored Him even when serving in ministry. I’ve lived through seasons of life serving from my own skills and abilities – ignoring the Power and Presence that God could bring. He was there. He never left me even in those times.  His Patience and His Pursuit of my heart blow me away. I’m so thankful for His faithfulness to me despite my rebellion and unfaithfulness to Him. This passage of scripture reminded me of all that the Lord brings to my relationship with Him – All I can bring is a humble and contrite heart. I am nothing without Him. He is the ONLY reason my relationship with Him works.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Intentions

 

3D Vision Intentions CrosswordI really intend to start that exercise program very soon. I intend to come for a visit real soon. I intend start my diet next week. Intentions really mean well but without the “follow-through”, they are just thoughts or words with little meaning. I remember someone telling me years ago that “the road to hell was paved with good intentions.”

As I read the story of Solomon building the temple this morning, I realized that he started his reign as king in a really strong way. The Lord offered him anything he wanted and Solomon asked for wisdom and discernment. The Lord poured out not only wisdom and discernment, but also riches beyond his wildest dreams as well. Solomon became the builder of The Lord’s Temple. David had dreams and intentions, but the Lord wanted David’s successor to build the temple. As I was reading this morning, there were a couple of verses among all the descriptive items of construction that jumped out. Check this out…

11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

14 So Solomon built the temple and completed it. (1 Kings 6:11-14 NIV)

I do believe that he had really good intentions as he was building the temple. He was walking with the Lord. He becomes known as the wisest man to ever live. The fact that I know how his life goes further down the road sort of skews my thinking right now. I realize that Solomon fully intends to walk with the Lord and follow Him fully until the day he dies. This is not how the story ends. Solomon does stray from following the Lord. He marries women of other cultures whose religious beliefs are in direct conflict with him following Jehovah God.

This passage created a sobering thought to me. I don’t want to just follow the Lord for a season of my life. I want to follow Him the entire rest of my life. I don’t want to just trust Him when things are good; I want to trust Him when everything is a wreck as well. I want to keep seeking His heart. As I typed these words, I realized that this is my intention. I intend to follow the Lord fully all the rest of my days. I don’t want to be enticed away by hollow promises or “fake feelings” – I intend to keep seeking and keep pursuing God’s heart.

He inspires my intention to follow Him.

He empowers my intention to follow Him.

He doesn’t operate in the world of intentions – He keeps every promise. My actions reveal what my intentions were in the first place.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Looking Back

Time For Reflection Message Means Ponder Or ReflectI’m not sure when I started looking back and reflecting so much. I think it happened somewhere around my 45th birthday. I realized that I was over halfway home. The years behind me were more than the years ahead. I believe it’s very valuable to reflect on my past to not only learn from it, but to be inspired by it. There are things in my past that are incredibly painful and tough. There are things in my past that I still can’t describe the joy with words. I can look back and see the hand of the Lord in my life. There are so many times when I’m in the midst of a struggle and it’s hard to see or feel the Lord’s Presence. I know from my past that He is always here though. He never abandons me.

Joshua was well advanced in years and about to pass from this life into eternity. He gets a bit reflective and draws upon the inspiration of the nation of Israel’s journey with the Lord. Check this out…

3 You yourselves have seen everything the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the Lord your God who fought for you.

6 ‘Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.

8 But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.

9 ‘The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. 10 One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. 11 So be very careful to love the Lord your God.

14 ‘Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. (Joshua 23:3,6,8-10,14 NIV)

I don’t want to spend too much time looking back and reflecting but I do see the value in learning from my past. I have made mistakes in my past that I don’t want to make ever again. I also don’t want to miss the celebration of the “wins” in my life. It’s often easier to dwell on the losses than the wins. My life’s journey today is shaped by the “losses” and the “wins”. I am more determined than ever to keep walking in step with the Lord because as I look back, my losses would have been way more painful and devastating without the Lord’s rescue. It is so easy to get stuck and beat down in the shadow of defeat rather than pushing through into the great lessons that can learned from journey.

I want to stay close to the Lord and trust in His Promises and His Presence as my future continues to be written into daily increments. I want to be very careful to love and honor God with my whole heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

My Word

WordsI’ve heard that talk is cheap. If talk is not followed by action, then it is indeed quite cheap. There are people who “talk a good talk”, but then they don’t deliver. I’ve learned over the years to be suspicious of politicians – they seem to say whatever the people want to hear so that they can get elected. They make promises with their mouth that they have no intention of actually keeping. I believe that the Lord really hates lies and deceit.

In this litany of miscellaneous laws and/or regulation that Moses is speaking prior to the conquest of the Promised Land, some simple rules regarding vows or promises made are issued. Check this out…

21 If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth. (Deuteronomy 23:21-23 NIV)

My word should mean something.

I can say words from my head and they lack passion.

My words come from my heart where my passion lies.

For me to live a life of integrity, there needs to be unity between my words and the activities of my life.

I can say I respect you, but my actions often scream so loudly that you can’t hear what I’m saying. Talk that is not backed up by action really is cheap.

If I make a promise – I should keep it. I should not “just intend” to keep it. I need to let my words have weight, passion and power to them. My words should come from The Word!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Promise Made – Promise Kept

Lies Have Speed Truth Has Endurance SpeedometerI remember growing up and learning the value of a promise. I remember making “pinky promises” and “cross my heart and hope to die” promises. I’m sure that I had to be guided and taught the value of telling the truth and keeping my word. I know that when a person makes promises that the mean what they say for the most part. For example, when a politician makes a promise to a certain group of people, he or she fully intends to keep that promise. (I realize that I’m being fairly optimistic! I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.) If I make a promise and then don’t keep it, I’m pretty much a liar.

The family tribes of Reuben & Gad approached Moses and asked for the land where they were camped. They liked what they saw and didn’t really want to go into the Promised Land to settle. They promised that they would get their families all set up there, but that their fighting men would go with the rest of the nation and fight for their inheritance. Moses knows that he will not be alive to see this promise kept so he issues a gentle but firm warning. Check this out…

23 ‘But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

31 The Gadites and Reubenites answered, ‘Your servants will do what the Lord has said. 32 We will cross over before the Lord into Canaan armed, but the property we inherit will be on this side of the Jordan.’ (Numbers 32:23, 31-32 NIV)

Looking back at history, these two tribes along with the half-tribe of Manassah did complete their promise.

When I connect with someone who is honest and trustworthy, I can put my trust and confidence in him or her. They will not tell me just what I want to hear; they will tell me the truth. I remember my Mom telling me as a kid to “be sure my sins will find me out”. She was trying to underscore that when I sin in secret, it will be found out. The Lord is my Accountability Partner. I can do nothing without Him knowing it. I can’t be sneaky and get away with anything. There are no secrets with the Lord – He knows everything and He sees everything. It’s really wise to take responsibility for my screw-ups and my sin because He forgives my sin and He dispenses grace like crazy. Sometimes I think the Lord is way too extravagant with His grace until I’m the one who needs it.

I want to be careful to do what I say and always keep my word.

I want to be honest before God and therefore anyone else for that matter.

I want to make promises carefully so that I can keep them completely.

Pressing On!

Dwayne