Renown

Worship to GodThis is not a word that I use every day, but it carries with it some level of respect, accomplishment and fame. The dictionary uses word like “widespread & high refute as well as fame to define the word. I have grown up thinking that the Lord is renown and worthy of my worship, respect and obedience. It is important for me to give Him the honor and respect due Him. He is Creator and He also saved me from my self-destructive journey.  I want to make Him famous and renown on the earth.

This passage in Psalms was written by an afflicted man. His perspective is powerful. Check this out…

12 But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever;
    your renown endures through all generations. (Psalm 102:12 NIV)

When I think of God being “renown”, I think of His Presence and His Power. He doesn’t depend on me for His renown, yet I can certainly make Him known to others. I can talk all day about what He has done in my life over the years. His Presence and His Power has absolutely changed my perspective and my destination many times over. I’m sometime so “hell bent” on doing things my own way and He is so patient as I figure out that His Way is ALWAYS best. My life can be a wreck, but He is still renown. He never stops being renown. He is famous for being Creator, but I know Him best as Sustainer. He helps me navigate through difficult circumstances. He gives me wisdom and discernment that only He can give. His “renown is profound” to me for sure.

I’m thankful that the Creator of the Universe – the renown God, wants to know me and wants me to know Him more. This blesses me and humbles me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

The Famous One

Speechless

 

Man holding microphoneIf you know me personally, you probably know that I can talk. I’m not super shy, but I’m a little introverted at times. If I’m put on the spot at a moments notice to speak, I can pull it off. I have learned to trust in the Lord to give me the words to speak and the confidence to speak. I can’t remember a time that I’ve been absolutely speechless. When I’m in the presence of someone who is powerful or famous, I might be more careful with what I say. Because of my confidence with the Lord, I usually contribute to most any conversation.

Job had not been speechless until now. The Lord speaks to him, but Job’s response is one of profound respect and honor. Check this out…

1 The Lord said to Job:

2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?

    Let him who accuses God answer him!”

3 Then Job answered the Lord:

4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?

    I put my hand over my mouth.

5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—

    twice, but I will say no more.” (Job 40:1-5 NIV)

I was taught as a youngster to respect those in authority. There may have been times when I’ve been pulled over and presented with a “safe driving award” (aka speeding ticket) and I’ve learned that the best response to the officer in charge is “yes sir or yes ma’am – total respect. I’m being reminded that what I’ve been doing is unsafe to other people on the road. He has the power to make my life very hard. People in authority over me are worthy of my respect. There are some protocols in place if a person in authority abuses that authority.

The Lord created me and wired me for friendship and fellowship with Him as well as my fellow man. He wants me to trust Him without fear. He wants to have a relationship with me and He even made a way. I can talk with Him. I can ask questions. I can petition Him for help and He shows up. There are times though when I’m in His Presence and there are words to adequately describe Him or with which to thank Him. He is certainly worthy of my feeble attempts to thank Him and praise Him for Who He is to me – my Savior, my Redeemer, my Friend.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Wise Beyond Years

Group of students talkingI have seen young people who at age 15 or 17 think like they are 25 or 30 years old. They seem to have an understanding of life a lot earlier than others their age for sure. I have also learned that it is unwise to dismiss others ideas and opinions just because they are young. I do believe that age gives a person a myriad of experiences. I also believe that age and experience often lead to wisdom – but not always.

This fourth guys who shows up to speak into Job’s life regarding his suffering and loss is a younger guy. These other three guys had not been able to convince Job of his sin before the Lord. This young man actually speaks very respectfully starting out acknowledging that he is younger and therefore he waited until last to speak. Check this out…

6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:

‘I am young in years,

    and you are old;

that is why I was fearful,

    not daring to tell you what I know.

7 I thought, “Age should speak;

    advanced years should teach wisdom.”

8 But it is the spirit in a person,

    the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.

9 It is not only the old who are wise,

    not only the aged who understand what is right.(Job 32:6-9 NIV)

This young man comes out of the gate speaking pretty strongly and profoundly. He shows proper respect to the older men, but then he starts speaking from his conviction. At this point I agree with the things he is saying. I’ve seen young people full of the Spirit of God teaching older people great truth. I believe the Holy Spirit can level the playing field so to speak. If a person comes to know the Lord and starts seeking God’s heart, the Lord can reveal things to Him that someone who has known the Lord for years hasn’t seen yet. I don’t believe following the Lord is magical or mystical, but it does require discipline and faith. I can’t see the Lord, but I know He is near. I can’t be convinced that He’s not real because I’ve felt His hand upon my life. I’ve followed His lead. He has made me wise beyond my years on many occasions.

I want the Lord to continue to give me insight into things that are beyond me. I want Him to make plain the sayings of wise people. I want Him to use me to lead and influence others for His sake. I don’t want to be smart just for the sake of being smart. I want to grow smarter so that I can bring honor to Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Learning

Concept of learningI have learned a lot in my years here on earth. I’ve learned some really obvious lessons over the years. I’m pretty sure I’m learning something new every day. I would say that some new things I learn have a profound affect on me, while others are fairly mundane and simple, but new nonetheless.

As I make my journey through the Word of God, I learn or “re-learn” some new insight into God’s heart and His character. He teaches me in simple terms because I consider myself a simple man who loves the Lord and wants to follow Him.

Job was a follower of God. God has blessed him. He has followed the Lord with his life. Job was so devoted and devout that the Lord allowed Satan to test him extensively. He could not attack his soul, but every other part of Job’s life was available for the test. His family was taken; his livestock and his health were all taken from him. He did not curse God, but he has lots of commentary and discussion about God’s role in his struggles. Check this out…

11 Does not the ear test words

    as the tongue tastes food?

12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?

    Does not long life bring understanding?

13 ‘To God belong wisdom and power;

    counsel and understanding are his. (Job 12:11-13 NIV)

I was reminded that I must test the things I hear compared to the truth the Holy Spirit speaks into me. I believe that the truth of God is revealed in His Word. I also believe that He speaks into my heart through His Word. I also believe that the Holy Spirit prompts me to action and activity. I believe the Holy Spirit can explain and interpret deep and complicated truths for me.

Job’s suffering was intense and I’m not sure that his friends were helping encourage him much. He hasn’t lost his faith or his mind. He definitely feels the pressure from his profound losses, but he still doesn’t curse God. I think he clearly blames God for this, but he continues his respectful posture before the Lord. The Lord teaches me deep truths about himself in the middle of suffering. He has my attention when I’m suffering. I don’t like suffering, but I like the long-term effects upon my heart – it softens my heart and grows my ability to understand the suffering of others. I have so much to learn but not crazy about this “Academy of Experience” where I’ve been in school at since I was born.

I would love to be a life long learner of the things of God. I want Him to teach me, to lead me and to hold me close to His heart. I also want to remember and recall the lessons I’ve learned.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Consistent Respect

RespectI grew up being taught good manners. My parents taught me to say “Please” & “Thank You”. They also taught me say Ma’am & Sir when replying to someone with respect. I remember being taught to bow my head and close my eyes when praying. (I must confess that I checked to see if they were actually doing this as well J – they were.) I can probably make quite a long list of “respect responses” that I was taught growing up. I almost forgot to mention that my Dad also taught me how to be a gentleman – to open the door for ladies.

I remember being taught further in Sunday School and youth group functions about respecting God. I learned to respect His Word and the people who taught His Word. I actually put them on a “pedestal” and really shouldn’t have. I do remember standing up when reading the Word of God publically.

When the people of Judah were finally finished with the rebuilding of the wall and the Temple, they assembled on the first day of the 7th Month. They asked Ezra, the scribe to read from the Law of Moses. He obliged and I can feel the respect and reverence that these people were feeling. Check this out…

5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read. (Nehemiah 8:5-6; 8 NIV)

I believe that my respect for the Lord should be consistent. I don’t think it should matter where I am or what I’m doing – my respect for Him, His Word, His Word and His call upon my life should be steady and consistent.

I want to be keenly aware of Him speaking to me through His Word.

I want to be keenly aware of Him speaking to me through another person.

I want my respect toward others to come from a profound respect for God Who created all of us. I want to worship God from a place of profound gratitude and respect. I want this to happen without giving much thought – in other words, I want to be consistent in respecting Him and others.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reverence & Respect

 

Abstract Silhouette PrayingThere are some people that I will always show respect for because of the office they hold. There are still people who serve in high levels of government that are worthy of respect for sure. I respect people who have gone on before me and been willing to share the mistakes they’ve made as well as the secrets to their success. I’ve also seen people who are very worthy of respect treated with tremendous disrespect. Respect is a delicate but important character trait. People who don’t respect others as a general rule, probably don’t even respect themselves. I’m pretty sure that I learned a lot about respect when I went to kindergarten. I learned a lot about respect in my first job opportunities. Respect for others can build lasting relationships for sure.

Nehemiah learns that some of his fellow, wealthy, countrymen are taking advantage of the poorer people among them. They are leveraging their land and abusing them financially instead of helping. He gathers together a huge meeting and calls them out. They accept his challenge of dropping the mortgage liens on their fellow countrymen and return all that they’ve taken from back to them. He is then appointed governor and chooses to lead by example. Check this out…

14 Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year – twelve years – neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. 15 But the earlier governors – those preceding me – placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. 16 Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. (Nehemiah 5:14-16 NIV)

I do believe respect and reference are related terms. I do believe however that reverence is reserved for God. I don’t think that I should have more reverence to any human on the planet over reverence for God. I also don’t believe I can show reverence for God without respect first. I do believe it’s honorable to show respect and reverence before God in everything I do. I also believe that I should live my life out of respect and reverence for God. Check this out…

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

I can look at my task list or things to do much differently when I’m living and working out of respect and reverence for God than when I’m just trying to “check everything off”. I want to live and work out of respect and reverence for God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne