Tag : as-father
Tag : as-father
Like many of us in Texas, I was worn out from the repercussions of the frigid temperatures and snow that slammed into our state.
The rolling blackouts that lasted several days were enough, but then water began gushing into our garage because of a busted water pipe. Until we could get a plumber to the house, we were forced to turn the water off (Digging through the snow to find the turn off valve was an adventure) or our home would suffer a lot of damage.
We were without running water for several days but there was hope! A plumber was scheduled to come out on Saturday morning, but when he didn’t show up, I was beside myself.
While we were able to get someone else out to fix the pipe later that day, by the time I made the drive to church, I felt like I needed a nap. It had been a rough week and I wanted to make a u-turn and return home, but it was my bad attitude that made the turnaround. When all of us church volunteers were gathered in the pre-service meeting, one of the pastors said, “This might feel awkward, but I want us all to pray silently and ask God to show us what we were supposed to learn from everything that happened this week.”
I learned that I don’t like being cold and not being able to take a shower. No, that was my thought but not what God wanted to say to me. When I bowed my head, I heard a different message: There is no other. Skeptical me wanted to make sure I heard right and asked, If this is you LORD, will you say it again? Then I heard it again, There is no other.
So I pondered this word from God and I did a search of There is no other in the Bible and this is what I found:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:5–7).
I believe God was reminding me He allowed this storm—for some it was a disaster— and instead of thanking Him for the bad and relying on Him to guide me through it, I was saturated with worry and putting all my faith into my husband, plumbers, the electricity and the water supply. If all that is stripped away, what’s left?
There is no other.
He is the one who creates the storm but strengthens us in the midst of it.
He allows the lights to go out to see if we’ll gaze into His light.
When the flow of water stops, will we drink His living water?
Sometimes He takes things away to get our attention.
By the time I walked into the church service, I was a different woman and when I praised God through the worship song Raise a Hallelujah, I meant it.
I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar.
When crisis hits, we need to remember There is no other. There is no one who loves us more, who cares more about our well-being and who can provide strength when our soul is weary.
I pray I remember this when the next storm blows in.
When Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, I thought they were commandments blanketing all of the Israelites as well as us. Hey Everyone—“You shall have no other gods before Me.” All of you—“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.” Listen up people—“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Commandments to all people for all time.
However, yesterday in Hebrew class, I saw the Ten Commandments in a different light while studying imperative verbs. Our professor, Dr. Stuart Chepey, showed us how all of these commandments were written, not in the plural, but in the singular. In other words, the LORD was talking to each of us individually. These ten laws spoken to Moses on Mount Sinai were personal.
From the very beginning, God created us to have a one-on-one relationship with Him. He and Adam and Eve were lodging together until sin came in and separated them. It’s not about your mom or your dad or your sister or your brother. He wants to know you intimately. The Hebrew word for “know” is yada. It also means to know someone like a husband knows a wife. It’s a covenant relationship similar to marriage that God chooses to have with us. Close. Just Him and you in a room. He wants to be your best friend, Abba Father, the One you share everything with.
How about another imperative in the Bible?
The Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is also written to you rather than the crowd. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (NKJV).
Through this imperative written to you, singularly, The LORD of Hosts is zeroing in and asking you to love Him first and with everything you have inside of you. After all, he created love.
For many years as a Christian, I’ve talked about having a “personal relationship” with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who bridged the gap that sin created. However, what I am realizing now is that the LORD has always desired a one-on-one, vertical relationship with His people, even after “the fall.” Today, will you spend some time with the God who loves you and who desires for you to know Him better? He is waiting to have a conversation—with you alone.
I am a movie buff, and often, after my brain is fried from the day’s work I ask my husband, “What movie can we watch?”
This week, we checked out a 2017 release, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, called The Circle. It’s about a young woman (Mae) who lands her dream job working for a large tech company (The Circle) run by Hanks (Bailey). However, The Circle has invented a small camera, that placed everywhere, gives the company the ability to monitor the goings and comings of all people. Mae agrees to wear this camera during waking hours and her life and her friends and family’s lives turn into a reality show, with not so good results.
It’s a scary concept, but let’s put a positive spin on this idea of being watched 24/7. It’s actually what God does in our lives. There’s no camera attached to our clothing but the eyes of God are on His children around the clock because, like a doting father He cares about us and does not take a night off. Scripture says “Nothing in all creation is hidden in God’s sight” (Hebrews 4:13).
King David understood the omnipresent God when he penned Psalm 139: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139: 7–10 NIV).
So the good news is you might think you’re alone, but you’re never alone. You might believe no one sees your pain, but God wants to hold your hand through the trials. You could think you’re not loved but out of His love for you, God has a watchful eye on your goings and comings. In Matthew 28:18–20 Jesus promised to be with us always. The Greek translation of “always” is “all the days.” Jesus doesn’t take a vacation. He’s with us every day—all day.
But even though our heavenly Father never leaves us we often act like God is absent and do not acknowledge this gift of His continual presence in our lives. This year, I am being intentional about recognizing His nearness. I am thankful for the tracker he’s placed on me, and from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep, while I often fail, the goal is to please the Father with all my actions and words.
After all, He’s watching.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Margaret Feinberg wrote in her book, More Power to You, that “power awaits in believing, speaking, sharing, and declaring the transformative truth of God’s Word…[because] when you acknowledge your fears in light of God’s truth, you gain the confidence to move forward in spite of your fears, thus undoing fear’s enslaving power.”
The Lord commands, warns, and soothes us all 365 times in scripture to not be afraid, fear not, fear no evil. As we continue to struggle through our daily lives, I am excited with hope and filled with peace because I know who is in control. I know my path has been perfectly laid out before me. I will not worry about the mistakes I will make because I know my Heavenly Father will teach me with each step and misstep.
Each of us have the power to take control of our lives with gratitude, positivity, and grace that we extend to ourselves and to others. Our lives can be riddled with fear, or we can take the power that we have been given with our words and the Word of God and transform stress into opportunity and worry into gratitude. I choose to use my power for good. How about you?
Need a spiritual lift? We’d love for you to join us for our next POP Chat, Wednesday, January 27th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST. Our guest speaker is former Principal, Current Life Coach and Ministry Leader, Starlet Bell, and her topic is “Praying and Fasting for a Turnabout Year.” Our guest Worship Leader is Author, Singer-Songwriter and “Bible Chicks” Podcast Host, Carole Brewer. It’s one hour of Worship, Teaching, Discussion and Prayer. The entire Pearls of Promise Team will be there as well! Here’s the link to sign up:
You don’t see as many bumper stickers these days but yesterday I was behind a car that had something written on its window. I got a little closer to see what it said and I read, “Do you follow Jesus this close?” I had to laugh because I felt like it was a confirmation that my word for 2021 is “close.”
Earlier that morning, I had worshipped to the song, Draw Me Close to You. I wondered at that time if me word for the year was “close” so God used a creative way to let me know.
Why “close?” As the world gets increasingly more unstable, we’re going to need to draw even closer to the only One who can provide the security we need, Jesus. Hebrews 4:14-16 says,
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
And I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m in a time of need right now. I want to cling to the throne of grace with confidence that my God will supply all my needs.
And God wants us to take the first step in moving toward Him. James 4:4 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. The Greek word for draw near means an “extreme closeness, immediate imminence—even a presence.”
What would it be like if we were so close to God that we felt His presence every minute of the day? Every decision. Every step. Every thought passes through the LORD’s hands. That is the kind of closeness I am seeking, so close that you hear His words of encouragement whispering in your ear when the world tries to take you down. So close that you feel His strong hands steadying you when you can’t take another step. So close that nothing can shake your faith because you know the Father is with you.
Have you ever super-glued something back together that has broken? You know it works. We’re in a broken world right now, and I desire to be super-glued to God in 2021—that’s about as close as it gets. What about you? How close do you want to be to God this year?