Hey y’all, good morning. I hope everyone had a good week and that you’re all continuing to fight the good fight out there. It seems like everyone I’ve talked to over the past couple of weeks is really struggling in some area or another, and we have to understand the spiritual war that’s waging behind the scenes. This is only going to grow in intensity, so we must keep our armor on at all times and use the weapons of warfare that God has given us. His Word, prayer and supplication in the Spirit (both for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters in Christ), our faith, the truth and peace of the Gospel, righteousness, the helmet of salvation to guard our minds and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and I would also add the Body of Christ here. It’s not one of the pieces of armor listed in Ephesians 6, but it’s a very important part of our walk and our battle against these forces and powers of darkness that we are up against. We should all be building ourselves up in our faith while we can in all of these areas. This has been on my mind and heart and in my prayers for my brothers and sisters a lot lately. In fact I’m thinking our next podcast episode should be about spiritual warfare and I’m going to be praying about it.
Anyway, I just wanted to kind of follow up to my last blog post and tell y’all what’s been going on over here in my world. I’ve been asking the Lord all week if (and what) I should write about, but nothing came. So I’ve continued to just seek Him and stay off of social media and go on about my day-to-day life, pressing in and doing the good works He’s laid before me. I must tell y’all, I’ve had a peace this past week from shutting out all the clamoring voices and tuning into the One that I want to always guide and guard my heart and soul. And today I have a message to share. I really want to write a poem soon, so hopefully that inspiration will also come. But for today, I wanted to give my thoughts about a portion of my Bible reading from Deuteronomy chapter 8.
Yes, this is Old Testament. Yes, it is to Israel. And yes, it’s still important to us today. Same God. Same children OF God (us…grafted in, remember?) So I would say we can take these spiritual parallels and apply them to our own lives all these centuries later as well. Side note: I have never (nor will ever) professed to be a Biblical scholar, but I am a daughter of the Most High God, bought with high price of Jesus’ blood and my aim is to glorify Him in my life and body and entire existence on this planet. Did y’all know that, as the Westminster catechism says, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?” Yeah, that’s some history from our “reformed”/VERY legalistic days of our journey in Churchianity, BUT that statement is true and I’ve never forgotten it. We’ve learned so much over all these years, even in all the manmade rituals, doctrines, denominational divides, etc…God is so good!!!! I know I’m kind of getting off on some rabbit trails here but it goes back to some things I’ve heard lately that just haven’t sat right with me. You know how the Holy Spirit just gives you that soft nudge when you hear something erroneous? That’s what I’m talking about. I remember not too long ago, that a brother in Christ said that we can’t glorify God. And I think what he meant was that we don’t bring anything to the table (we understand from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount/the Beatitudes that this is true—we must be poor in spirit to come to Him…spiritually bankrupt), but we absolutely CAN (and are EXPECTED) to glorify God in our lives, as followers and disciples of Christ. The majority of the New Testament is chock full of commands, rebukes, encouragements, and exhortations as to how we can do just that, so there was a lot of ink wasted if the former is true. And we know that’s not the case.
But back to today’s reading. I’ve entitled this blog post exactly what my (KJV) Bible has titled chapter 8–“an exhortation to obedience and remembrance.” Y’all can probably already see where I’m going here, but I think it’s important that we go there. I would like for you to read this chapter on your own because I’m not going to list every Scripture here (it’s a short chapter-only 20 verses), and let the Holy Spirit lead you and teach you through it and help you apply it to your own life. Don’t ever take man’s interpretation, including mine, over the infallible Word of God coupled with the application of His Spirit that God wants to reveal to you specifically. But since I’m the one writing this post, I’m going to share a few verses and thoughts that stood out to me.
“And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.” Deuteronomy 8:2 KJV
I wrote in my Bible that this sounds like sanctification to me. God wants us to REMEMBER His faithfulness which He has shown in our life—to lead us through the “wilderness,” to humble us, to (test and) prove us, to know what’s in our hearts, whether we would keep His commands or not. Is this not the process that every born-again believer must go through in our walk with the Lord? It’s so important for us to remember His work in our life. He taught the Israelites that “man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV. So this goes back to my little disclaimer I gave above, that we MUST stand on the Word of God in all things and be taught of Him, as this is our sustenance and the way to Life.
Moses reminded them that God provided for every need that they had during these 40 years of wilderness testing, that He disciplined them as a good Father does, as He brought them to the Promised Land, and that “therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.” Deuteronomy 8:6 KJV
Doesn’t this spur your thoughts toward how God still works in this way with us too? It does mine. He’s doing this in each of us—bringing us out of “Egypt” (sin and bondage), unto Himself, through this “wilderness” of trials and testing (life!!), where He disciplines and provides for us, but shows us that we don’t live on bread alone but by every Word that comes from Him, as He leads us toward the Promised Land!!! I love this!!!! Meditate on that some today, would you? I plan to.
But let’s keep reading. Here comes the warnings. Oh boy. Do you know how many warnings are in God’s Word?? It’s like God knows how prone we are to wander and forget, huh? Yikes. Nothing new under the sun. Anyways, Moses tells the people that when they come into the Land and have eaten their fill and have enjoyed their prosperity, they were not to become prideful and self-sufficient, thinking that they had done all of this themselves. I’m actually going to put the rest of the verses from the chapter here now because they are so important to hammering home this point.
“then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.”
Deuteronomy 8:14-20 KJV
As I said earlier, God knows how forgetful we are and how we have such a tendency to wander away from Him. It is imperative that we do whatever it takes to remember His promises, His faithfulness, His character, AND His expectations. God is looking for those who are obedient to His commands. For those who He is able to test and try and prove. That our hearts are His, that we desire no other god before Him (idol worship…and as humans, we can literally make ANYTHING an idol in our lives). If you haven’t had a chance yet to read/listen to my previous blog post/audio message, “What’s Consuming Us,” I hope and pray you will make time to do so, as it goes right along with this one and is an open and honest, heartfelt message about what God showed me last week.
I believe this is ALL part of our journey. Part of the sanctification process. The same God of yesterday is the same God of today, and He is working in the same way. He wants to make a people for Himself—called out, set apart, hearts tested and tried and proven to be true to the glory of His holy name. He will not share His glory with another. He’s looking for those who worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Let’s be found faithful and obedient “unto the voice of the Lord our God.” Amen? Amen.
So much has changed for me and in me this past year, I would say. And I think this is the beauty of growing in our walk with the Lord. Up to a couple of months ago, I couldn’t stand the KJV of the Bible. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. It brought to mind those early days in our walk of staunch legalism that I alluded to earlier in this writing, where we were taught so many doctrines of men that are blatantly contrary to what we read in Scripture, and I honestly felt that it was stumbling block. God is now using it in such a way that I no longer feel like this about it and have actually come to thoroughly enjoy my time in it every morning, reading it just as fluently as I do any other translation. And I praise God for this.
Another area He’s grown me in is in the gifts of the Spirit. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about it, but this was another realm of confusion for me for many years because of our experience in the church system, from one extreme to the other. We have to truly be willing to submit ourselves to the authority of God’s Word, and as I have said many times, allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and not men. So many well-meaning men have it SO wrong. And I’m not saying I have it all right…by no means!!! I’m learning and growing every single day and that is the awesome and exciting thing about our pilgrimage in this foreign land, don’t you think!? We must keep a humble spirit and recognize where we’ve been wrong, confess those areas if they’ve led to sin (pride, self-sufficiency, idolatry, etc.) just like we saw with the Israelites, and keep going…keep growing…keep moving forward with our faithful God.
Lastly, and I’m going to close with this, I have always hated my voice. I’ve never ever in a million years even pretended to think I could carry a tune in a bucket. I mean sure, I will belt my heart out to God in the car or the shower, just like anyone else…but that’s about as far as it’s ever gone. Until now. And I must admit I’m scared to death!!! But our sweet and outgoing-as-all-heck brother in Christ who is in our home fellowship and plays the guitar, has recruited me to start singing with him!!! Like I said, I’m scared to death!! So please pray for me. I want to honor and glorify Him in ALL that I do, and as Sammy keeps reminding me, it’s another way to lift up and praise His name. And He gave me my voice, I know that. It’s just another struggle within myself though. I have these in a lot of areas and I know that my faithful God will see me through. Same for you. A year ago, I’d never have thought I could actually write a blog that would reach nearly 7,000 people so far, and to me that’s just incredibly humbling and all glory to my Father above!!!
I love you all and I am going to leave you with two songs that popped into my mind as I wrote these words today. I’ve shared both of them here before, but I pray they will bless your heart and draw you to worship the Father today. This first one is the one that Sammy says will be our debut (lol). I absolutely love it and I think it goes great with today’s message.
And this one is just a great reminder about our faithful God:
Hope you all have a very blessed Saturday and if you’ll please keep us in prayer, we are heading out to Planned Parenthood to fight for life and souls. Thank you all!!!!