Tag : arise
Tag : arise
There is no escaping the hurricanes of life that can blow in unexpectedly. Illness, deaths of loved ones and betrayal can happen in an instant. The uncertain times we are living in can turn us upside down. If it were up to me, I’d stay in bed and pull the covers over my head—but that is not what God calls us to do. In 1 Corinthians 16:13 Paul said, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
I took Hebrew last year. I had always wanted to learn Hebrew and while I do not remember all the words I studied, there is one word that stuck and it is “hazaq.” It means “strong.”
This word “hazaq” is used in Joshua 1:9. You probably know the verse: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Be “hazaq” and of good courage; do not be afraid. God was encouraging Joshua because he was about to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land and there would be a lot of opposition and war in order to capture the territory.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is a lot of opposition in the world today and we need to be hazaq. I believe we are living in the end of the days prophesied in the Bible. What a privileges to be alive in this season but God chose us for this time in history because we have Chutzpah. Chutzpah is a Yiddish word for the confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others. In our case, we as believers should not afraid to speak the truth! We will not back down from what we have seen and heard in Christ Jesus.
The prophesy about end times is happening in front of us. Isaiah 5:20 says people will call good evil and evil good. We are seeing that in our own country. The police are bad. Lawlessness is good. Morality is bad. Anything goes is good.
Daniel received many prophecies but in Daniel 12:4 he was told that in the end of time many will run back and forth and knowledge will increase. We’re not living in the Little House on the Prairie anymore. We are over extended. I know I am and running to and fro, to this meeting and to another. On zoom for school meetings and in person for others. Juggling a thousand different things. I am a learner and I love using search engines to look up facts about something I want to know more about. We don’t have to wait for the morning paper to arrive to find out what is going on in the world. Do you remember those days? When the newspaper didn’t show up, you felt disconnected from the world. Those days are gone and now we simply navigate to www.foxnews.com.
It’s all a sign.
Persecution and censorship is also increasing for Christians. Our words and actions are under scrutiny—we can only stand for truth with the undergirding of the hazaq of the LORD.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, that he’d rather boast about his weaknesses, so that the power of Christ would dwell in him because when he is weak, then he is strong. Isaiah 40:29 says God “gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Psalm 73:26 encourages, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
We can only arise in God’s power. The pandemic, now the war over in Ukraine. The crazy weather patterns, the lawlessness. It is a scary time in which we live. It would be easy to shut down and hide in a corner. But as men and women of faith in these last days we have our marching orders.
I played competitive tennis for about ten years, but I knew when it was time to stop when I started tearing every ligament in my body. One day, I pulled my back muscle and I could not get up. It took two women to help me walk. So humbling.
And that is how we need to be in these End Times. We cannot stand alone. We cannot walk one step without God raising us up. We also need each other. Let’s drop the competitiveness and unify to accomplish the work of the LORD.
We have to humble ourselves, fall to our knees and let the LORD infuse His hazaq into our being. It’s the only way we will survive. It’s the only way we can be used as a mouthpiece that glorifies Him.
It’s the key to arising in His power.
2. Rise Above Circumstances
The Jewish name on my father’s side was “Adler.” Adler means “eagle.” And like an eagle we need to look at circumstances from a higher perspective.
Here are some of the characteristics of eagles:
The war between Ukraine and Russia is one example. We are all distressed by what is going on, but what I see is that prophecy is being fulfilled as many Ukrainian Jews are headed to Israel to find refuge. Jeremiah prophesied about this: “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and I will gather them from the ends of the earth—among them the blind and the lame, the pregnant together with she who is in labor with child. A great throng will return here. With weeping and supplications, they will come” (Jeremiah 31:7–8). At a recent Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast a political leader from the Israeli Knesset said 500 are declaring Aliyah every day, with 10,000 waiting in a nearby country for entry into Israel. It’s a sign of the end of days!
How does God see the irritating person in your life?
I met a woman once who was sharp with me more than once. My first thought was to stay clear of her, but then I decided to meet with her and ask questions. I found out about the emotional wounds she experienced in her childhood. It was then that my heart poured out to her because I began to see her from God’s vantage point, not my own.
It takes God’s power to enable us to rise above circumstances. We cannot do this in our own strength. So today if you have something trying to take you down, ask Him to give you an eagle’s vision of the situation. It could be a perspective that will provide healing.
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
My word for the year is “humble.” I’ve been asking myself: “Is that a humble way to act?” “Is that a humble thing to say?” “Is that a humble thought I just had?” I have caught myself many times in prideful thinking and the process of eliminating it reminds me of getting a facial. Before you receive the relaxing massage, you have to go through the extractions, which can hurt a little. God has to extract pride (and it may hurt a little) in order for us to be a more beautiful vessel.
James 4:10 says, “Humble yourself before the LORD and he will lift you up.” 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”
Sometimes the way God removes pride is to allow humbling circumstances in our lives. I’ve experienced that recently. Over Easter weekend, I badly sprained my foot. While helping to set up a conference near Atlanta over the weekend, I strained my back when lifting a box of books. After that, I could not carry anything heavy and was a little off-balance with both a sprained foot and a bad back. When it was time to leave the Atlanta area, I had to have help taking my suitcase down the stairs. For an independent woman like myself, that was very difficult.
I’ve been reading a Jewish spirituality book called Everyday Holiness by Alan Morinis. Morinis says one way to be humble is to make space in our lives to listen to others, even ones who happen to hold a lesser station, rank or intellectual attainment. He then told the story of a rabbi who made what appeared to be an arrogant statement. The rabbi said, “I’m smarter than a thousand men.” However, after saying that, he followed with: “Because of that, my obligation to serve God is also that of a thousand men.” The greater our capacity, the more we need to use for God’s glory. He wants our gifts to spill out to others.
God’s kingdom is upside down. The way up is down to our knees placing our lives at the feet of Jesus. When we do that, he raises us up in His power.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).
Will you consider taking the pride test for a month? Ask yourself the questions I ask myself daily:
“Is that a humble way to act?”
“Is that a humble thing to say?”
“Is that a humble thought I just had?”
This practice has changed my life and it could transform yours as well.
Will you join me for POP Chat tomorrow night from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CT? I’ll be sharing a message I believe God gave me called “The Majesty of His Mercy.” Our worship leader is gifted flautist Katherine Legg. If you would like to sign up for a wonderful time of teaching, worship, fellowship and discussion, just click on the link:
 Alan Morinis, Everyday Holiness, (Boulder: Trumpeter, 2007), 51.