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Monday, May 6, 2013

Skin is NOT in

Now I lay me down to sleep.... We can all finish that prayer. From very early on we learn as kids to pray for God to protect us, to bless our food and to help us in times of trouble. I am learning so much about prayer. Expectancy really comes from the depths of our faith. When we have little faith we also expect very little. When I pray for protection and then live in constant fear I am saying God this prayer is my daily ritual to you and my words are simply empty. I have walked in doubt before to the point of questioning Gods sovereignty in my life and because of that I may never know what could have happened if I would have just obeyed and walked in the promise of His yes and not the doubts and "concerns" of others.
In 2 Samuel 10:1-4 David is extending kindness regarding the death of Hanun's father. This is a simple act of kindness right? I mean when people die we go to the visitation to show the family support, if your baptist you send food and if your David you send your servants to offer condolences. This next part really allows me to see how important it is for me to surround myself with people who aren't quick to speak but are quick to seek God on my behalf. I use to jump and say yes to everything and everyone and after experiencing exhaustion, loneliness and defeat I am now learning to shift my "yes sure I can" to pressing into just Jesus and from that I am finding freedom from the bondage of what everyone expects from me. In verse 3 it says this "the ammonite nobles said Hanun their lord, "do you think David is honoring your father by sending men to you express sympathy?" 4 So Hanun seized David's men, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their garments in the middle at the buttocks, and sent them away." Oh my word!! I blushed for those poor men. Look how quickly things got out of hand simply because of the doubts and fear of humiliation those nobles placed in Hunan's head. In a world where "skin is in" this may be extremely hard for us to understand. Imagine with me if you will this scene where skin was not in and modesty most definitely was. Even in the new testament the pharisees clothed themselves with clothing that represented their holiness. They wore tassels that brushed the top of their feet to remind them of their deep commitment to God but the depth of their rule following also kept them from seeing the truth of who Jesus was. These nobles not only exposed those poor servants backsides they brought war on and over 40,000 died because of their empty and paranoid words. We have to seek God first in every single decision we make. The effects of our decisions will not only determine who sees Jesus clearly but also just how deep our faith is. If we offer up empty words or shallow prayers that usually reflects how shallow our faith is and sadly those are the steps we begin to take. It's time to change your thoughts " if I just pray then God will." Yes He provides and yes he heals He is the Great I AM! However He has also gifted you and equipped you to carry out the purpose He has for your life. Those steps often require blind faith. That means seeing nothing and just going for it. Today what is it that your so afraid of? God has called each of us out of darkness, redeemed us in order to carry out His perfect will. You have to trust that He is bigger than the insecurities that haunt you. Your insecurities give birth to weaknesses and before you know it you feel so far from becoming who you know you are called to be. We hide behind religious duties and allow other people to speak untruths to us. Your life is marked by choices and the words we speak or do not speak. That voice speaking to you even now telling you to pick up a pen to write, chase that dream that is within reach, surrendering and letting go of unforgiveness. There is so many words we can choose today and just like those nobles changed the course of history by causing bloodshed in war your words also carry so much weight. Maybe it's time you and I fell to our knees or even positioned ourselves before the throne with new words of surrender. I believe that God sees the posture of our hearts and bodies and delights in it.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (Philippians 2:9, 10 ESV)

His name should stir emotions and bring us to a place of constant worship and surrender. When we are faced with tragedy and pain it's in us to fall to our knees. What if we chose to get down on our knees with a heart fully abandoned to our ways and yet fully surrendered to His plans. Guilt and shame only comes from the enemy. It's time to move in the direction of Gods redeeming love. Let His words transform your thoughts and the way you view your circumstances. The season you are in is not by mistake even if someone else caused you to be there. God hears you and wants to carry that pain. Lets bow before Him with arms stretched out wide and hearts positioned as we lay every joyful thought and heart wrenching pain before Him and wait with expectation for change.

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