Code Is Clear

 

Clicking a redeem button, 3d renderI have walked with the Lord for a long time. I was introduced to the Lord at a very young age and I grew up living off the faith of my parents and grandparents. It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I owned my faith. I remember the night that I believed in God for myself. I didn’t make a public display, but the Lord moved in my heart and I still remember it like it was yesterday or last week. I pray that my kids own their faith. I pray that God speaks to them.

I read one of the “Psalms of Accents” this morning that was a bit confusing. It was obvious the writer was feeling frustrated from the oppression that had been upon Israel. I did find a nugget that spoke into my heart. Check this out…

But the Lord is righteous;
    he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.’ (Psalm 129:4 NIV)

I have been picked on and put down by some strong personalities. I confess that I’ve struggled to care about those who hate me. It feels like the wicked and hateful people are dictating how I feel and where I go from here. The Lord directs my path. He will help me experience freedom from the people who wish to harm me. He will protect me from them. He will expose them. The Lord rescues and restores my heart all the time – often daily. He knows me like no one else. He knows when I hurt and when I’m down. He takes my fear and worry off my shoulders and carries it on His shoulders.

When I’m in the middle of struggle and frustration, I must remember that The Lord is ALWAYS strong and righteous. He is mighty to save. He never forgets about me. He releases me from the clutches of the careless and He restores my heart and soul.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Revive & Restore

Abstract Silhouette PrayingThere are times when it starts getting daylight and I went to bed way too late – the struggle to get up and face the day. On top of all that it’s raining outside. I made it up because I need to get my day started with the Lord. I’m moving slower than normal, but it will be ok. I do love Saturday’s when it seems like my work week takes a short breath and my family is home. As I woke up this morning and opened the Word, I was on Psalm 80, written by Asaph. He was a bit discouraged at the trials and tests that his people were enduring. He was crying out to God to revive and restore. Check this out…

17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
    the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
    revive us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved. (Psalm 80:17-19 NIV)

I need to be revived when I’ve been sluggish or dead in my walk. I need to be restored when I’ve wandered off the path that He’s set for me. Revive makes me think of someone getting CPR and restored makes me think of a piece of furniture restored to its former state.

My heart needs revived and restored daily. It seems like I can get off track and sideways very easily just living my life. I want to honor the Lord with my life. I want my life to bring a smile to His face and glory to His name.

I don’t want to do anything today unless His hand is upon me. I want His face to shine on my life so that I’m walking in the way He’s called me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Create – Renew – Restore – Grant

Man praying with the BibleI like new technology and new ideas that enhance my ability to work smarter and serve my customers and clients more efficiently. I sometimes think that all these time-saving ideas should generate way more margin for a deeper relationship with the Lord, my family and my friends. I think the time-saving devices have simply made me busier and I’m able to accomplish way more in less time.  I’ve been working hard recently at creating more margin or space in my calendar to connect with Lord, my family and with others.

I read David’s repentant Psalm this am and it always stirs my heart. I can relate to David in that I’ve sinned and need to repent. I notice some things I had not seen before in the requests that David was making of the Lord. Check this out…

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12 NIV)

Create – David was asking God to build something that had not existed yet – a pure heart. I sometimes think my heart is pure, but unless the Lord creates it – I’m not sure it’s anywhere near pure.

Renew – I think David remembered what a steadfast spirit felt like. I like to use the word stead as a synonym for steadfast. I so want a steady spirit every single day.

Restore – The joy of my salvation is not automatic. I think the joy of my salvation comes because of a pure heart and steady spirit.  I want to relax knowing that the Lord has saved me and I have no worries about my destination after death.

Grant – The willing spirit comes when I can push the temptations and traps of the enemy to the side. My willing spirit is an obedient spirit. I love the word “sustain” that David uses – this is a long-term benefit of a willing spirit. I can continue to operate at a strong sustainable level with a willing and obedient spirit.

This Psalm has moved me over the years because of my sin and stupidity. David is profoundly repentant from his sin with Bathsheba that shook his faith and harmed a lot of people. There have been times that I have pushed my faith to the side to get what I want even when the Lord is advising against it. I have sinned without counting the cost or even caring about the costs to my relationship with Him.

God is so faithful. He is so forgiving. He is so patient. He is so full of grace. He is so full of mercy. I’m not sure how to love like He loves. This repentant heart is a strong example of what a convicted sinner looks like. I can’t help but believe this was a huge turning point in David’s life – because he became known as a “man after God’s own heart”.  I don’t ever want to quit pursuing a pure, steady, restored heart with an obedient spirit before God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Comeback

Worship to GodThe main meaning of this word is a return to former position held or former glory. I sometimes wish the teams I follow would make a comeback to their World Series form of a few years ago. When it comes to a team sports and them making a comeback, there are a lot of moving parts to the team. The coaches and leaders can really want a comeback, but everyone else has to “buy in”.

Josiah was only 8 years old when he became King of Judah. He started a “comeback” of sorts. He really wanted to be a leader that followed the God of Moses & Abraham. He was aware of the way things were supposed to be. They were supposed to be a God-honoring and God-following kingdom. The kings and people before him had started to follow other gods and turning away from the One True God.

Josiah prepares to celebrate the Passover, a long-time tradition to commemorate their forefathers leaving Egypt in a hurry. It was a celebration that shown the light on God’s provision and His Presence as they endured the hardship of slavery in Egypt. Josiah becomes a spiritual leader as well as the King. He was only 28 years old when he led in the huge celebration of this spiritual feast and celebration. Check this out…

16 So at that time the entire service of the Lord was carried out for the celebration of the Passover and the offering of burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, as King Josiah had ordered. 17 The Israelites who were present celebrated the Passover at that time and observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; and none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah, with the priests, the Levites and all Judah and Israel who were there with the people of Jerusalem. 19 This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign. (2 Chronicles 35:16-19 NIV)

I love the scene here, this young man restoring spiritual order to God’s people. He seems to lead from a heart that is deeply devoted to God. Josiah was the leader of a significant “comeback” of God’s people.

As I journey through the Word of God, I find myself coming back to Him. I’m coming back to simply let Him speak into my life. I’m coming back to simple yet powerful worship of Creator God. I love the words to Matt Redman’s song: “The Heart Of Worship”.

When the music fades

All is stripped away

And I simply come

Longing just to bring

Something that’s of worth

That will bless Your heart

 

I’ll bring You more than a song

For a song in itself

Is not what You have required

You search much deeper within

Through the way things appear

You’re looking into my heart

 

I’m coming back to the heart of worship

And it’s all about You,

It’s all about You, Jesus

I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it

When it’s all about You,

It’s all about You, Jesus

 

King of endless worth

No one could express

How much You deserve

Though I’m weak and poor

All I have is Yours

Every single breath

 

I’ll bring You more than a song

For a song in itself

Is not what You have required

You search much deeper within

Through the way things appear

You’re looking into my heart (©1999 Matt Redman)

I need to daily return to The Heart Of Worship.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Repentance & Worship

Worship to GodI have grown up over the years understanding both of these words in terms of my faith journey. Repentance is like step 1 to knowing the Lord. When I look at my life even now, I find myself needing to repent often. I also learned about worship at a pretty early age. My view of this concept as expanded over the years as I realize that I often worship more than God. I often worship myself. I choose me over Him way too often.

I was reading about when Hezekiah became king of Judah and he really wanted to follow God. On the first day of the first month of Hezekiah becoming king, he started to repair and restore the temple. He didn’t waste anytime. The people cleaning up and restoring the temple took 16 days and Hezekiah prepared a time of repentance and worship on the 17th day. Check this out…

27 Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the Lord began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed.

29 When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshipped. (2 Chronicles 29:27-29 NIV)

I believe that repentance should happen pretty frequently. As I meander through my day, I sin quite often. It might be something stupid and seemingly insignificant. I see sin as “missing the mark”. I know that I’m not perfect and I miss the mark way too often. I’m so thankful for the Grace of God. He forgives me. He restores me and puts me back on my feet. I think it’s really pretty natural for worship to flow out of repentance. My heart is so thankful to be forgiven that I can’t help but say thanks. Worship is my hearts affection and my minds attention focused on the Lord. I don’t deserve to be in His Presence for worship, but He loves it when I come before Him with a heart of repentance and a heart for worship. This really should happen every day. I don’t need to go to church to repent or worship.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reinstate

This word carries with it “restoration of a person or people to their former position or condition”. It also implies that there was a time when the person of people were taken out or removed from this certain position of place. God had punished His people significantly for their disobedience and irresponsible behavior. He is now rolling out the plan to return them to their position of prominence and power as His chosen people. Check this out….

6 ‘I will strengthen Judah

    and save the tribes of Joseph.

I will restore them

    because I have compassion on them.

They will be as though

    I had not rejected them,

for I am the Lord their God

    and I will answer them. (Zechariah 10:6 NIV)

I believe that the Lord wants to reinstate me and restore me no matter how far away I’ve strayed from Him. His Grace is ridiculous and unlimited. He wants me to follow Him. He wants me to trust Him. He wants me to hold on to Him. He wants me to pursue His heart.

I have been far away from the Lord. I have even been far away when I appeared to be close to Him. Walking with the Lord is deeply personal and private. I can fake it with others, but He knows my heart. He knows me like no one else. He knows my secret thoughts and sins. The amazing thing He restores and reinstates me while erasing my sin. He loves me with a love that is hard to comprehend and sometimes understand because it is not deserved. I deserve punishment and strong consequences yet I receive grace and love that is crazy ridiculous. Wow! #thankful

Pressing On!

Dwayne