The Weight Of The World

 

Businessman lifting somethingThere have been times when I’ve been serving in leadership and felt the weight of the world on my shoulder. In 2008 I served as President of our West Metro Board of REALTORS. The economic downturn was coming into full effect my profession and many good friends who were in the business. I found myself trying to help people whom I couldn’t help.

I also remember when I was a student pastor many years ago and a student would come talk to me about their particular situation. Some students were victims of abusive families. Some students were very desperate to win their family to the Lord. Some students just couldn’t figure life out and made some really bad decisions that they would spend the rest of their life paying for. I couldn’t help carrying some of these situations home.

The Lord instructed Moses to make some special garments for the high priest. He has special linen made for robe and tunic. He had a special breastplate made and every piece had special meaning. I found the placement of these two stones very interesting. Check this out…

9 ‘Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel 10 in the order of their birth – six names on one stone and the remaining six on the other. 11 Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings 12 and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord. (Exodus 28:9-12 NIV)

As high priest, Aaron had a tremendous responsibility for the people. He was God’s representative to the people. He was the access point for the people before God. I can only imagine his daily schedule of counseling and meetings.

I think leaders sometimes feel the weight of their responsibility on their shoulders. I always think that when a person serves as a leader of our country that they age really fast as they make the weightiest decisions of just about anyone on the planet. No matter what they decide, it will have a positive or negative effect on millions of people. They make decisions that can even cause the deaths of thousands. I can hardly imagine the weight of all of that on my shoulders.

When Jesus died on the cross, His shoulders had the sin of the world on Him. He is strong enough to handle any of the stuff that stresses me out. He actually helps me as a leader bear the weight of responsibility of that position. There is nothing too heavy or too complex for Him to handle. As I find myself in leadership positions now, I no longer stress, because The Lord is doing the heavy lifting of the weight that would normally be on my shoulder. That relieves a ton of stress and worry off me. He’s strong. He’s stable. He never gets tried of lifting and carrying the weight from my shoulders.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Secret Strength

 

Strength Level Measured on Thermometer Ultimate StrongI’ve seen weight lifters lift a lot of weight and I imagine what their joints are going through. I can usually see their muscles and know that they have obviously worked up to that lift. The joints are mostly like everyone else, but the lifting is sure putting pressure on them. There is really no secret to their strength, they worked out; they trained and prepared for the lift. I have a feeling if I met Samson from the Old Testament that he would look fairly ordinary. As we know, he contained amazing strength and power in his body. His strength and power was a gift from the Lord.

There is another strength that is not always visible because it’s “inner strength”. This strength really doesn’t show out until a crisis or deep pain. I remember when my heart was broken a couple of times years ago and the pain seemed unbearable, but somehow I made it through. Zerubbabel was about to rebuild the temple after Israel’s captivity in Babylon. His skill and his strength as a builder was well known and when he shows up the people got excited. Check this out…

6 So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.

7 ‘What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of “God bless it! God bless it!”’

8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. (Zechariah 4:6-9 NIV)

I think inner strength is more important than physical strength. My physical strength will continue to diminish with age, but my inner strength gets stronger as my relationship with the Lord gets stronger and stronger each day. I believe that inner strength is directly related to my journey with the Lord and my walk through His Word. I would really like to have physical strength and inner strength because I really need both. I want my inner strength to keep growing as I grow older. I want to face each day with the Spirit of God in me supplying me with incredible inner strength!

 

Pressing On!

Dwayne

I Will Not Fear

hope erase fearFear can absolutely paralyze me. I am generally not a fearful person, but occasionally something happens and I sort of lock down or cower in fear. As I grow closer to the Lord, the instances of fear are much fewer and farther between. I can’t be describe or explain how much confidence that I have in the Lord. I’ve seen Him do the impossible and I’ve seen Him stand down. I’m learning more and more to trust His call on any situation that I face.

The King of Assyria who had a much larger army was threatening the King of Israel and his army. The odds were that Israel would be defeated and captured. King Hezekiah reached out to Isaiah to bring this matter to the Lord. Check this out…

6 Isaiah said to them, ‘Tell your master, “This is what the Lord says: do not be afraid of what you have heard – those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.”’
31 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah
    will take root below and bear fruit above.
32 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,
    and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this. (Isaiah 37:6-7;31-32 NIV)

 

When I reflect on all that the Lord has done for me and through me, I should never fear what anyone can do to me. I serve at His wishes. I work for a much higher calling. The time I have on this earth belongs to Him. As I seek to earn a living, I must remember that He gives me the strength and the courage to face suffering, trials and even tragedy that comes my way. I can’t explain it very well, but He Who holds the world in place is also holding me in place. I will not fear because God is with me and He has this!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Stand Off

warThere are times when two opposing sides reach a point where they can’t agree or work things out and a conflict is about to begin. There are times when diplomacy reaches the end of its rope. In Isaiah the Israelites were faced with a serious threat from the King of Assyria. Their situation was challenge by an envoy from the King of Assyria. Check this out….

18 ‘Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, “The Lord will deliver us.” Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 20 Who of all the gods of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’
21 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, ‘Do not answer him.’ (Isaiah 36:18-21 NIV)

 

There are times when I have to stand with what I know in the face of fear. The Lord is stronger than anything I could possibly face or fear. I sometimes just have to wait on Him to show me where and what to move.

One thing I do know about God is that He is not limited by my view of Him. He is much stronger than I could possibly know. His love is deeper and wider than I can fathom. The longer I walk with the Lord the more my confidence in Him grows. I was reminded of a passage in 1 John. Check this out….

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4 NIV)

 

I will not be afraid.

I will be strong.

I will wait upon the Lord.

I trust in Him with all that I am.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

 

Save The Day

Sunset worshipThere have been many instances in my life when the Lord simply saved the day. I was down and out because it seemed like my day had been one continuous train wreck until He stepped in. I think sometimes the struggles and trials I go through are a test. I don’t believe that God uses bad situations to test me or try to trip me up. I do believe that the enemy is around and He’s all about trying to take me down. I think the Lord allows me to push through struggle and pain sometimes in order for me to grow. I do believe that at the right time He will show up and save the day. Check this out…

3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
    ‘Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.’
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10     and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
    everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 35:3-7a;9b-10 NIV)

 

The Lord is strong and powerful to defeat the strongest enemy. There is nothing He can’t do. I am a recipient of His Strength and Power when I needed it most.

He NEVER leaves me.

He NEVER forsakes me.

HE ALWAYS is available.

HE “Saves The Day” for me in more ways than I can count.

When He “arrives on the scene”, my weakness is strengthened…my hope becomes strong. The struggle and problems gets smaller when He is present.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Stick Together

Friends enjoying coffee togetherI’ve often heard that two heads are better than one. There are many instances in life when this is very true. I can do things by myself, but there way more times in life that it’s better to have help. I was recently helping build some props for our band program. I then went out of town for two weeks in a row. I came back to find that they had feverishly been working to get things done. My help was needed. When tow people work together as one it’s almost always a better scenario. Check this out….

9 Two people are better than one.
 
   They can help each other in everything they do.
10 Suppose someone falls down.
 
   Then his friend can help him up.

But suppose the man who falls down doesn’t have anyone to help him up.

    Then feel sorry for him!
12 One person could be overpowered.
 
   But two people can stand up for themselves.

    And a rope made out of three cords isn’t easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10,12 NIV)

 

I believe this to be very good counsel. I should never try to do everything on my own. After all, I’m not Superman. The Lone Ranger had Tonto. There is great strength in working together. I can collaborate with others. I can accomplish more with help. I’m a better leader with help. There are some areas where I’m weak and a helper or co-leader makes up for my deficiencies.

All the good things I’ve been able to accomplish in my life were the result of others helping me. I need to be that type of friend and companion to others. The Lord is a companion that sticks closer than a brother – I need Him every hour of every day.

Pressing On!
Dwayne