Truth is Relevant

 

Man praying with the BibleI know people that say truth is relative to whatever your situation. I believe in the truth of God’s Word. I do not believe God’s truth can be manipulated to whatever I want it to be. I believe that the Word of God has the answers that I and others are searching for. I do believe that God’s Word is RELEVANT to today. Even though it was written centuries ago, I’ve experience its truth inside my heart.

I have the privilege to teach a class at our church called Equipped To Counsel. We are in the process of equipping fellow Christ followers to help others navigate through life using the Word of God as our guide. The Word of God has the answers to today’s struggle and yet the Word of God was written a long time ago. Its answers are relevant today because the ultimate Author is Creator God. He knows His creation – He knows my needs. He knows the desires of my heart. As I read Psalm 43 this morning, I was reminded of my quest for truth. Check this out…

Send forth your light and your truth,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
    O God, my God. (Psalm 43:3-4 NIV)

These two verses affirm the groundwork of our lesion last evening. The Word of God speaks into my heart. I believe the Lord loves for me to start my day with Him in His Word. I don’t have a bunch of commentaries, just Him and me. I can’t leave out the Presence of the Holy Spirit Who often explains and makes His Word understandable to me.

I need to pray the prayer of this Psalm often because I want to pursue truth. I want to be led by His truth. I want to hang out in the place He dwells.

As I look back on my life journey, I realize how He was leading me and holding me close through the valleys. He was also with me on the mountain tops celebrating great victories. He was with me everywhere in between as well.  The Word of God serves as a compass of sorts, always leading me to His Truth. When I get in the Presence of God, I’m humbled to be there, but at home there too. I belong there in His Presence. I was created just for this – to honor Him and thank Him for His Truth. I want to pick up my guitar and sing a song that connects my heart to His.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Face Of God

Business People Corporate Set of Faces ConceptI am decent a remembering a face. I am not super good at remembering the name that goes with the face. I do work on this a good bit because I do want to get better at remember peoples name and connect it with their face. I am amazed at facial recognition software that can scan the face of someone and remember it much like a finger print. My face reveals a lot about me. It can show joy or concern. It can show sadness or anger. My face reveals volumes about me as does everyone else’s face too.

King David seeks the face of God in many of his psalms or songs. He reminded me this morning of how important it is to seek the face of God every day. Check this out…

4 One thing I ask from the Lord,

    this only do I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

    all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord

    and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble

    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;

he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent

    and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted

    above the enemies who surround me;

at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;

    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;

    be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’

    Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Psalm 27:4-8 NIV)

As I seek the face of God in His Word, He reveals His face to me through other sources. I can see the face of God in His Creation. I can see the face of God in other people. I can see the face of God in circumstances that are in front of me. The Face of God is representative of the Presence of God. His Spirit dwells here and His Spirit lives here. As I seek the face of God every day, He shapes the look of my face and what others see when they look at my face. I want others to see the face of God when they see me. I want them to want the Spirit that lives in me. My facial expressions are forever different because I’m looking into the Face of God for my life’s direction and His Presence here with me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Listen To Whom

Young woman with big funny earsIt really does matter whom you are listening to. I realize that my hearing has slipped a bit in the last few years. I credit some of that to getting older and some of it to the loud music that I enjoy. I do believe that I can listen carefully even without my ears. My eyes can be very useful instruments of hearing. I enjoy reading God’s Word and listening to Him. He speaks to me through His Word. He speaks to me through Creation. He speaks to me through others. I would be wise to listen closely when the Lord speaks to me.

I came across a passage where a prophet was told by God to go home a different way and don’t stop to eat or drink with anyone. An older prophet convinced him otherwise. Check this out…

16 The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’”

18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house. (1 Kings 13:16-19 NIV)

This story really troubled me because one prophet lied to another. Another prophet, who was lying, convinced the prophet who was told by God to go straight home to disobey. This can be very confusing. I can change the channel on my television and find men of God saying different things from a different perspective and even things that I don’t get from the Word of God. A few years ago, I decided that I would let the Lord speak to me through His Word first. He can use other avenues to speak to me, but these other avenues will not contradict what He has already said or is saying to me.

I think it’s dangerous to let others speak into me without checking their message with the Word of God. I’m convinced that there are some people who really mean well when they interpret scripture a certain way, but I’m going to lean into my relationship with the Lord. I will seek answers from the One Who wrote the test. I will put my anchor inside the Word of God. I don’t believe that God acts against Himself. I believe His Word to be reliable, credible, instructional and inspirational. I found the Lord through His Word and I fully intend to listen closely and obey His Word. If what you say to me is contrary to the Word of God, I will respectfully disagree and go with what I know – The Word of God is truth!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Rejecting Counsel

 

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsI have seen instances when a person hires an attorney for counsel on a legal matter and then ignore the advice given them by their own attorney. I have also see people seek counsel from a counselor regarding a deeply personal matter only to ignore the advice given. I sometimes think that the reason people seek advice is to hopefully hear what they wanted to hear. If the counsel or advice is different than what they wanted, they do what they wanted to anyway.

This happened in the case of Solomon’s son Rehoboam. He was Solomon’s successor as king. The people of Israel approached him and asked him to ease up on the tax, labor and military burden that his father Solomon had placed upon the people. Rehoboam seeks the counsel of older men. He didn’t really like that advice so he sought the advice of the young men he grew up with. They told him what he wanted to hear. Check this out…

12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” (Kings 12:12-14 NIV)

This response set off a rebellion. The nation divided against him. Then Jereboam, son of Nebat set himself up as king over Israel and Rehoboam was the king over Judah. This was a sad day in the history of Israel because they both rejected the counsel of God.

I believe it’s wise to hear all sides of the issue before making a decision. I also believe it’s wise to seek counsel on all major decisions. I love what Lou Holtz said at a commencement address: “I’ve been 21 years old before, but you haven’t been 78!” I think there is much wisdom in the counsel of people who are older and more experienced than me. I also believe that there is wise counsel in the Word of God. I see the insight and wisdom of God throughout His Word as I journey through it. I need His Counsel daily and I’m really thankful for His Counselor, The Holy Spirit to speak into my life every day.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Battle

 

Negatives Positives Computer Keys Showing Plus And Minus Alternatives Analysis And DecisionsI am not experienced in military tactics or training. I am a huge fan and supporter of our military. I’m thankful each day for the freedom that has been fought for over the years and is continually being defended. The men and women in our military have made great sacrifices on behalf of our nation and this idea of freedom and democracy.

King David was defending himself and his nation against a coup from his son Absalom. Absalom basically chased David from the capitol city of Jerusalem. David still had quite a force of men fighting on his behalf. He gathered all his men and sent them out in 3 divisions and he gave specific instructions to be “gentle with the young man Absalom…” David’s men fought valiantly and routed Absalom’s men and they began fleeing to their homes, Absalom was fleeing on his donkey and his hair was long and thick and was caught in the branches of a tree. He was hanging there and was found by one of David’s men. He had heard the words of King David about being gentle with Absalom. Check this out…

14 Joab said, ‘I am not going to wait like this for you.’ So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. 15 And ten of Joab’s armour-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.

16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes. (2 Samuel 18:14-17 NIV)

The physical battle was over for David and his men, but the battles faced here were also spiritual. I believe that every day, there are spiritual battles that I face. I can appear to be good and doing well on the outside, but inside there is this constant battle for control of my heart. I must put in place some defensive strategies and make offensive plans to win each battle. Each battle I face with the enemy is part of the big picture of war.

I am in constant pursuit of God’s heart with my heart. I can certainly feel the enemy seeking to kill and destroy my faith and trust in the Lord. As I read the Word, I’m reminded that the enemy has no hope and no future. I would be wise to treat any counsel he offers as futile, empty and worthless. The Word of God speaks volumes of wisdom and truth into my heart and prepares me to win each battle for my heart. Today will be another day of spiritual battle even though physically everything appears fine. The Lord is with me and He never backs down from this fight.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Silence

 

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsThere are times that I love the peace and serenity I feel in silence. Recently my family celebrated my Dad’s 80th birthday. It was a lot of fun with a lot of my family gathered as well as friends and neighbors. I must say that silence was not really part of the celebrating, but afterward I was looking forward to silence. I’ve been both the giver and receiver of the “silent treatment” when someone is angry or frustrated with me. There are times when silence is a blessing and at other times it’s very painful and hard.

The Lord had gone silent on Saul for his disobedience when the Lord told him to carry out His furious judgment on the Amalakites. Saul is on his own and the silence of the Lord is deafening. Check this out….

4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He enquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. (1 Samuel 28:4-6 NIV)

Samuel was gripped by fear and this was magnified when he realized that the Lord had turned away from Him. He actually sought out a witch or medium. This is extremely dangerous territory where the Lord is involved. He wanted to hear from the prophet Samuel who was dead. It is the beginning of the end of Saul’s leadership and I think he knows it.

I don’t want to experience the silence of the Lord. I want my hearing from the Lord to improve as my body ages and my physical hearing slips a bit. I would rather hear from the Lord than anyone else. I’m so thankful that the Lord speaks to me through His Word and through my daily journey of prayer. He gives wisdom and understanding that blows my mind. He prompts and He directs. He speaks and He whispers. He stirs my heart to hear Him more clearly. I’m grateful to be called His kid. I’m grateful that He listens to my heart. I’m grateful that He speaks to me. When I sit before Him in silence, I’m so grateful that He isn’t silent.

Pressing On!

Dwayne