Eye Of God

 

Blue woman eye macro shotI always described God as having regular human attributes. I thought that God has a head complete with eyes, ears, nose and mouth like me. I often think of being able to put my head on His chest while He comforts me. I definitely think of God as my Dad, in the most respectful and reverent way.

The people of Judah had been given permission from one king to rebuild the temple and the city, but the next king told them to stand down. The people who were their neighbors tried to scare the king describing them as rebellious and troublemakers. He told them to stop. The prophets realized that they actually had permission to be there and rebuild. The current king would be changing a ruling by the previous king and that was pretty big deal. The leaders and the prophets went back to building. Check this out…

3 At that time Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates went to them and asked, ‘Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?’ 4 They also asked, ‘What are the names of those who are constructing this building?’ 5 But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received. (Ezra 5:3-5 NIV)

The one line encouraged me: “the eye of their God was upon them.” I want the eye of God all over me today.

I want Him to protect me.

I want Him to provide for me.

I want Him to lead me.

I want Him to help me make good choices.

I want the eye of God upon my family.

I want the eye of God upon my church family.

I want the eye of God upon my business.

I want the eye of God upon my friends.

I may be up against impossible odds, but if the Lord is leading me then I want to have the courage to go where He leads – wherever that place is. Even if I’m in a comfortable place, not stirring things up, I want to be right where He leads me to be. I want to be doing what He leads me to do.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Unique Provision

raw vegetables in wicker basket isolated on whiteI can still remember my college days when I was broke as a joke and struggled to stretch the money I had as far as I could make it go. It was quite a challenge some times because I really wanted to have fun with my friends who always seemed to have plenty of money to spare. I learned some valuable lessons during that time about money management and trusting the Lord. There’s a direct relationship with how much money I spend on fun stuff and how broke I am after a few days. I knew that money didn’t grow on trees, but when I had my freedom, I feel like I tested that concept.

I remember one time going home that I had car trouble on Jellico Mountain on I-75. I was broke down on the side of the road and wasn’t sure what I would do. Another student at the same college I was saw me broken down and stopped to help. He took me to get some water to put in the radiator to limp the car home. I have had multiple events like that happen over the years, right when I needed help – here it came. I have walked with the Lord long enough to learn to trust His Provision. Sometimes it comes in the most unique ways.

The Israelites were under siege to the Aramean army and their provisions inside the city were quickly drying up. They were desperate and it was getting pretty ugly. The Lord provided in a unique way. Check this out…

3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, ‘Why stay here until we die? 4 If we say, “We’ll go into the city”– the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.’

5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, ‘Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!’ 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. (2 Kings 7:3-7 NIV)

I think it’s a bit comical that the Lord provided through the very people who were causing them harm. I was reminded that the Lord can do anything He wants at anytime He wants. I sometimes box Him in by what I know or what I believe about Him. He is not bound by time and space. He has no financial limitation. He is not bound to the physical world that I can see. He has more than enough resources to provide for me at any time. I would be wise to walk in step with Him as He provides for me in unique but effective ways.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Protection

For God so loved the world... God holding world with crossThere are protections all around me. There are also forces that I can’t control that can always threaten my safety. I have always felt very safe in the places where I’ve lived. I’ve heard stories of people being robbed inside their home or they felt threatened by bad people. I also take precautions to protect myself in my home. I feel safe in my vehicle, but if I were to get hit by a large vehicle, my safety is relative to a lot of other forces.

There have been things in my life that have happened that are simply beyond my control. I could not control one of my kids getting cancer. I could not control one of my kids having an automobile accident or another falling from a tree. I’ve learned that since I can’t control all the circumstances of my life, I should lean on Someone Who can do anything He wants. I was reminded of His protection this morning when I read this passage in Scripture of when Elisha was telling the king of Israel the next moves of the king of Aram. The king of Aram was frustrated and sent a large number of soldiers to capture Elisha. Check this out…

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?’ the servant asked.

16 ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’

17 And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all round Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15-17 NIV)

I needed to be reminded that when it seems there is not a way out of some tough situations that the Lord can show up and show out. The Lord’s resources are not tapped out. The Lord’s resources are impossible to count. While I can’t always see the resources of God, I can walk and move in confidence that He is there. I love the phrase: “When I can’t trace His hand, I can trust His heart”.

I needed to be reminded this morning that God is more powerful than any army that can come against me. The Lord is more powerful than ANY force that seeks to harm or destroy me. The Lord is stronger than the forces of nature – He created them. With the Lord on my side, I don’t need to fear what others can do. I simply need to walk with Him in faith. I can’t see all that He’s doing to protect and provide for me, but I know He’s there. If my eyes could see beyond the physical realm into the spiritual realm, His Power and His Strength would blow me away even more.

I’m asking the Lord to open my eyes of faith that I might see His Power and His Presence. I’m asking Him this morning to give me insight and understanding to His Presence and His Protection of me. I’m so thankful to know Him and to feel safe and protected in His Presence.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Prepared Provision

Making a planMy family and I love to go camping. We have to plan the dates when we will be off work and then my wife plans the menu. We also plan for s’mores (one of my favorite parts) and then finally the trip arrives. When we plan and prepare we can have a more relaxing trip. There are times when my best plans still don’t work the way I envisioned them.

Elijah had told King Ahab that the Lord had said there would be no rain or dew for the next several years. Then the Lord hid Elijah in a ravine and had the ravens bring him food. When the brook he was drinking from dried because of the lack of rain, he instructed Elijah to go somewhere else that He had prepared. Check this out…

9 ‘Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have instructed a widow there to supply you with food.’

13 Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.”’

15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. (1 Kings 17:9; 13-16 NIV)

I love Elijah’s relationship with God. The Lord told him to go to the ravine beside the brook and he would have food from the ravens and water from the brook. He then told Elijah to go to this widow because the Lord had instructed her to supply him with food. It was scary for the woman, because she was down to her last portion of food. She made a cake for Elijah first and the promise of provision came true.

I am so thankful for the Lord’s provision for me and my family. I remember times when I was scared about not having enough money for food. I have been amazed at how the Lord provides WHEN I trust Him to provide. My best-laid plans are sometimes laughable against His plans. I believe provision is a daily experience. I also believe that He prepares me to receive His provision. He often works way ahead of me. I’ve learned the value of trusting in His plan and His provision. My part is to trust Him. I trust Him through giving and living. His provision and His favor are invaluable to me. I love when He blows me away with both.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Go Ahead

 

go aheadOne of the things I do first thing in the morning is to think about and plan the day that is ahead. I look over my calendar to see what all is scheduled for this day already. I then prioritize what needs to be done to be ready for each appointment or meeting. I have learned over the years before I plan my day or even look over my schedule –my first meeting of the day needs to be with the Lord. I need some time to be quiet before Him and allow Him to speak into my heart. The Lord has permission to completely rearrange my schedule. I want to be on His calendar rather than just have Him on my calendar.

The prophetess, Deborah was leading Israel. She was meeting with people and holding court to help give counsel and advice to people with disputes. She was following the Lord and leading her people. The Lord gave her instructions to speak to a man named Barak. She told Barak to gather ten thousand men and go to Mt. Tabor that the Lord was going to deliver the army of Sisera into his hands. Barek obeys this charge and he gets the men upon the mountainside of Mt. Tabor looking down. Here comes Sisera with his well organized army with iron plated chariots, and hundreds of troops. Check this out…

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?’ So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. (Judges 4:14-15 NIV)

The Lord did go ahead of Barak and delivered his enemy. The Lord goes ahead of my all the time. I arrive and things are in place because the Lord came ahead of me. I also know that the Lord is beside me (both sides) and watches out for me. He directs my steps and protects me. He also has my back. I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, but the Lord’s protection is all around me, under me and over me. I don’t want to go anywhere that the Lord does not go before me. I want to walk out my faith in confidence. I love this song “Whom Shall I Fear” (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin.

You hear me when I call

You are my morning song

Though darkness fills the night

It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

 

You crush the enemy

Underneath my feet

You are my sword and shield

Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

 

I know who goes before me

I know who stands behind

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

 

The one who reigns forever

He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

 

My strength is in Your name

For You alone can save

You will deliver me

Yours is the victory

 

Whom shall I fear

Whom shall I fear

 

I know who goes before me

I know who stands behind

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

 

The one who reigns forever

He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

 

And nothing formed against me shall stand

You hold the whole world in Your hands

I’m holding on to Your promises

You are faithful

 

Pressing On!

Dwayne

New Menu

menuI enjoy going to a new restaurant and gazing at the menu. I should confess that I also like to look at the pictures. Some of my favorite restaurants are the ones with the simplest menus. I do like choices and I also like to mix and match the sides to make my meal what I want. If I go to a restaurant where all they have is one thing, there is no need for a menu. I have a couple of breakfast restaurants where I enjoy breakfast and I never need a menu.

The people of Israel have just crossed the Jordan (on dry land) and are at Gilgal. They are about to start their conquest of the land with the city of Jericho. I didn’t realize that all this time, the Lord had still been providing manna every morning. Check this out…

10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan. (Joshua 5:10-12 NIV)

The Lord provided manna for years and years, but now their dream of a new land and new food choices was coming true. I think it’s cool to branch out every now and then to try new menu choices. I’ve learned that there are some things I don’t really prefer to eat, if I have a choice. Food is needed to sustain our physical body. I am blessed to live in a land where food is plentiful. I was moved by the way the Lord was faithful in providing the manna even though it wasn’t mentioned for a while in scripture. The Lord was providing all those years and now He’s provided differently.

The Lord is creatively providing for me all the time. I’m grateful every day for His Provision and Presence. I’m grateful for choices. I’m grateful for His Spirit in me that helps me notice His Presence. I am blessed beyond words with the Lords provision and while His provision might change, it never stops. (All this talk about food has made me hungry for breakfast- lol!)

Pressing On!

Dwayne