Monthly Archives: January 2016

Getting Real

Meditation Journey Day 22

Hi Friend,

Getting RealWhat a privilege we have tofind the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:5) Our Father in Heaven invites us to know Him and through that knowledge we begin to truly know ourselves. Finding the knowledge of God is finding knowledge that is His. We must remember He says in Isaiah 55,For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”

His knowledge contains the facts, truths and realities that embrace the spiritual world and the natural world. His knowledge is about Himself and also about us; how He thinks of us, knows us and loves us. I am sure He finds delight in revealing the mysteries and the beauty of the universe to us. I am also sure there is much He cannot reveal to our limited minds, yet He delights in instructing us and being known by us. The proof that He delights in being known by us is that He has made Himself known to us! Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed (about God) belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

Old BuildingFinding the knowledge of God was never meant to be simply a walk through a theological museum. It is a very personal journey into the heart and mind of God as He draws us close to Him to instruct us in whom He is and who we are.

God is revealed in the Bible as being: A Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is Self-existent, omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present), omniscience (all-knowing), holy, just, full of goodness and love. These are just some of the theological attributes that describe God.

Knowing He is all-knowing is impressive, yet it becomes life changing when I experience the awareness that He knows me! Learning He is a unity of fellowship of the Father, Son and Spirit, called the Trinity, is inspiring; yet my joy becomes full when I begin to experience that fellowship personally.

We can mentally ascend to these great attributes of God, but we will never know them in their transforming power until we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal them to us. This is why Father God instructs us to receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search His Word.

Friend, please keep in mind, our lack of faith and obedience never diminishes the reality of the knowledge of God. Nor does our faith and obedience make Him real. He is real. Our humble broken faithfulness to obediently “find the knowledge of God” makes us real.

Observation: The Knowledge of God is God’s secrets. We will never understand ALL he knows, but we can know what He reveals to us.

Interpretation: The knowledge of God is part of the reward for seeking Him. It is more than just the great theological truths about Him. It is experiencing the great truths about Father God that impact my life personally. My faith and belief does not make God real, it makes me real. My unbelief and faithlessness does not diminish the reality of God; it diminishes my reality!

Application Prayer: Father thank you for the mindboggling privilege to know You. The invitation to seek You through Your Word is precious to me. The more I know You as You are, the more I know who I am. Thank You… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Advertisements

Are you seeking the knowledge of God?

Meditation Journey Day 21            

…and find the knowledge of God.

Hi Friend,

Proverbs 2:5 also promises us that we will find the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God Prov 2is more than data, facts and information about God. The knowledge of God is a Biblical term loaded with spiritual life. Paul cries out in Romans 11, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”  He prays that the Church “may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that (they) may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God Col.1 In Peter’s second letter he greets the churches with this salutation: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord…” Paul also teaches us our new man “is renewed in knowledge (of God) according to the image of Him who created Him. Col.3

In summary these verses tell us the knowledge of God is deep and that we are expected to increase in our knowledge of Him. It says grace and peace will grow in our knowledge of Him. In Colossians 3 we begin to understand why the knowledge of God is so important to us personally. We learn through it the Holy Spirit renews us and transforms us into the image of His Dear Son. Romans 8:29

To have this impact the knowledge of God has to be more than just theological points Surrenderknowing about God that changes anything. We must know Him in the spiritual equivalent to Adam knowing Eve. We grow in the knowledge of God as we yield our minds and hearts to Him. It is only when we surrender our whole being as a living sacrifice (Romans 12) that we truly begin to know Him.

This reward, of actually knowing Him, is the final gift of seeking God as instructed in Proverbs 2:1-4. It does not come quickly or easily. That is why we must be diligent in daily seeking God through His word. Yet the reward is great. The more we know Him the more we are able to experience the heights on His love and have grace as we transverse through the valleys of life.

Observation: The knowledge of God is the reward at the end of diligently seeking God through His word. There are many great benefits in knowing God. As we know Him more His grace and peace grow in us and we are transformed into the image of Christ.

Interpretation: Gaining the knowledge of God is more than knowing about God, it is personally and intimately yielding your whole being to Him.

Application Prayer: Father God, I so desire to know you. Thank you for revealing yourself through your Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. Help me, Lord, to be diligent in seeking your face to reach your heart.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Becoming Perfect in Love?

Meditation Journey Day 20

Hi Friend,

…then (and only then) you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:5 promises us the understanding of the Fear of the Lord if we Perfect loveactually do what verses 1-4 instructs us to do. We have learned from many passages that living in the Fear of the Lord is a blessed state for a believer.
Yet, the term “Fear of the Lord” is confusing to many because they do not like the idea of fear and God being associated together. In 1 John 4 we read,
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Let me defuse this confusion quickly. The fear John is writing about in this verse is the fear of rejection at judgment. When we understand whatCross of Christ great love Jesus demonstrated at the Cross and all that He accomplished for us there, fear is replaced with confidence. The Bible tells us that Jesus’ death pays for all the debt I owe, satisfied all the righteous requirements of God’s Law and removed God’s wrath from me. This love casts out all fear of God ever rejecting us.

The Fear of the Lord is different. It is a reverential honor of God. It is the attitude of awe/honor and reverence that should emerge in me as I realize the great love, mercy, sacrifice and grace He lavishly pours on me. Fearing God gives me a deep sense of peace knowing His Sovereignty is working everything together for my good and His Glory (Romans 8). It is the attitude of humble joy that erupts after I realize the depth of His forgiveness for my sins.

The “fear of the Lord” is the proper “anxious concern” we should have of ever violating such love and grace.

There is a place for fear when thinking about God. To reject God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ results in eternal damnation. Even Jesus said in Matthew 10, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

So how does one understand the proper kind of fearing God? Do you remember what “understanding” means? “Understanding” is the practical doing of what God’s wisdom says. When we actually do what we are instructed in verses 1-4 we will be walking in the “Fear of the Lord”!

If I actually reverence God in holy fear then, I will be receiving His word and memorizing His commandments. I will be turning/applying/tuning my inner ear to be attentive to His wisdom and inclining my heart to doing His will. Yes, I will be crying over my sin. Hungering and thirsting after His righteousness.  My continual attitude would be to search for Him and His wisdom as the greatest possession of my life. I would be setting my focus on the Lord to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and body.

The more I walk in this disposition, attitude and behavior the more I “Fear the Lord”. The less I think, live and act this way the less I fear Him.

Simply put we understand the proper fear of the Lord as we humbly follow His Word and do His will. We end here with the words of King Solomon as written in Ecclesiastes, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”

And this is how you become perfect in love!

Observation: The Fear of the Lord is part of the reward for seeking God. It is an attitude of awe/honor and reverence and a proper “fear” of violating His gracious love for me.

Interpretation: Understanding the Fear of the Lord comes as we do His will by living out His wisdom in humble faith. The more we do this the more we actually “fear/reverence God”.

Application Prayer: Father God, I humble myself before you knowing howFreedom inadequate I am to do Your will. My faith and confidence is in Your grace to work in me to will and the do Your good pleasure. (Philippians 2) Teach me to properly fear You as I walk in Your truth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Got Direction?

Got Direction?

January first 2016, Ken and I sat in a cold gray morning on a rise in the wilderness of Rocksprings waiting for dawn to come in hopes of shooting my first deer. In the light of a filtered sunrise through damp gray clouds the shapes of several deer dimly appeared before us. Ken, my guide and mentor, motioned me to prepare to shoot. From one hundred yards or more the Texas White Tail deer looked small in the scope of his 30-06 rifle. Through the cross-hairs of the scope the moving mature doe was a challenging target, yet with even breathing, I slowly pulled the trigger.

When the bullet shattered the quiet of the morning, the targeted doe seemed to fly as she bolted away from the area. It violently jumped and twisted in midair to run as far as possible from the awful sound and fear of the powerful rifle. From the distance of our blind, it was unclear if I had hit the deer or merely shocked it with a missed bullet. Had I wasted a shot and my chance to kill my first deer, or was it severely wounded? Yet as we approached the place where the deer had stood, it was obvious the bullet had inflicted a mortal wound. The deer’s blood was sprayed on the ground, but she was nowhere to be found. All she left was a faint trail of blood.

Now the tracking began. The cold and rainless morning was not only good for hunting, it was ideal for tracking a wounded animal. Without rain the blood trail would still be visible and the cold would help preserve a dead animal. Ken the experienced hunter, began to quickly look for traces of blood on rocks, grass, twigs and brush. His keen eyes picked up on the smallest of detail. I on the other hand, inexperienced and ignorant of the process, concluded the deer could not have run far with THAT much blood loss! I quickly and foolishly ignored Ken’s methodical detailed experienced tracking for a quick solution and walked in circles! He graciously cautioned me to look for the blood as it was the only sure sign we had, and also not to trample on any possible evidence as we could easily lose the fallen animal. Yet I, the novice, scanned the whole field smugly thinking surely a bleeding deer could not have gone far. I continued to walk in circles as Ken systematically called my attention to yet another drop of the deer’s red life on a blade of grass or rock.

Finally I began to listen. Ken had me wisely mark the last sure proof we had found of the deer’s path. I placed a “duck” in the location of the bloodRock marker2 spot before we moved on. This gave us assurance we were on the deer’s final run. [A trail “duck” is three rocks pile up in an obvious man-made pyramid with the largest rock on the bottom and smallest on top.] The deer had run beneath cedar trees, through brush and yuccas giving us a challenging path in its attempt to elude its inevitable death. Her hundred plus yard scramble took her about a minute, yet it took us thirty to forty minutes to find her final resting place in a yucca patch.

IMG_0735Ken skillfully field dressed the deer, and I now have fresh venison in my freezer. Yet as I reflect on the hunt and specifically the tracking of this beautiful animal, my lack of skill was in sharp contrast to Ken’s experience and knowledge. In searching for the direction of the deer’s path, Ken knew what he was doing, and I was ignorantly lost. Without his guidance, I would have never found the animal. Through this experience, I was reminded about the way God leads us … or tries to lead us!

If you want direction from God you must understand it is a process. Just as I needed Ken’s expertise in tracking the wounded doe, we all need God’s guidance to receive spiritual direction! In my lack of knowledge, I walked in circles trying to find the deer until I started listening to Ken.

Ken, like the Spirit of God, was patient to show me what to look for and then to mark it with a “duck” so we could establish the last point of truth. Each time a new spot of blood was located we looked for more in the same direction, but if the trail ran “cold” then we marked that spot to regain our confidence until we found the next bit of evidence. This was an accurate albeit a tedious and detailed process. In the end, it proved the desired results. Slowly with Ken’s guidance I became a tracker helping to find the way instead of someone circling about with good intentions wasting time lost in my own ideas.

God wants us to be a good “tracker” of His Spirit, learning to follow His thoughts and ways. If we want the best direction for our lives we need God’s direction for us. 

In Galatians 5:25 Paul wrote, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” We who are believers in the Living Christ need to understand the discerning of His direction and stay in step with His Spirit. We need to learn to listen to our Guide and to mark the last sure word God has given us. Then, when we have our “ducks in a row” we will be able to move with Him and in the power of His Spirit.

Are you lost walking in circles? Are you seeking God for direction? If you are willing to follow His guidance He will lead you to the Word of Truth and reveal His path for you. You must learn how to mark the truth with a spiritual “duck”. For you, just as the “duck” had three stones piled up, there are three parts to marking God’s trail.

First we must receive God’s word as a WORD from God! If you want the Word to lead and guide you, you must receive it as personally from Him. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 makes it clear that when we receive the Bible as God speaking to us personally, He is able to work His will into our lives.  It reads, “And we also thank God continually (for you) because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”  Too many people read the Bible like any other book. The Bible is God’s book and is alive and active in us when we trust the God who wrote it.

Second, Psalm 199:11 tells us that we must “hide it (God’s word) in our hearts”. Memorizing God’s word is not an option if you want to know His will. If Ken had not insisted on marking the trail we might still be seeking a downed deer. But by now it would be lost to me as a consumable food. How often do we lose the nourishing Bread of Life because we do not “hide it in our hearts”? Only as we memorize and reflect on His thoughts repeatedly do we begin to comprehend what God is saying to the deep places of our hearts.

Third, we need to act by waiting. No, that is not double-speak. Isaiah 40:31 tells us to “wait on the Lord”. When we feel our way is hidden, then we need to wait on God’s grace to give us direction before we act.

“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for 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.”

If we trust our Guide by receiving His Word and marking it with a spiritual “duck” meditating it into our minds and hearts, God’s direction for our lives will flow in and through us.

KenIMG_0739

Me

IMG_0740

Meditation’s Reward?

Meditation Journey Day 19

Hi Friend,

Today we begin to unpack verse five of Proverbs 2:1-5.

My son, if you receive my words and hide/memorize/treasure up my commandments with you, turning/applying/tuning your inner ear to be attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry/call out for Wisdom/insight/knowledge and raise your voice for (the grace to do His will and get) understanding, if you seek it/her like silver/gold/rubies or precious jewels and search for it/her as for treasures hidden by unbelief, then (and only then) you will understand the fear/awe of the LORD and find the wisdom/knowledge of God.

It tells us the reward for seeking God, as directed by Proverbs 2:1-4, is that you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Up to this verse we have been handed tools of a process to dig into God’s Word. Now the “more than silver” and “hidden treasures” are uncovered.

Lion 1The term Fear of the Lord” is confusing to many because they do not like the idea of fear and God being associated together. In 1 John 4 we read, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” Yet the Bible repeatedly uses the phrase the Fear of the Lord in many positive ways. Read through these verses and notice the many benefits of “Understanding the Fear” of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Psalm 19: 9

Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. Psalm 33:8

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth, I hate. Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened. Proverbs 10:27

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14: 27

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

Given this list alone, understanding the Fear of the Lord seems like a very Lighteningvaluable asset. I can understand why Father God wants us to gain proper fear. So does Godly fear conflict with God’s love? Remember what “understanding” means as you reflect on the phrase “fear of the Lord”. I will explain this more in the next blog entry, but until then, what is the Spirit saying to you through the Word about the Fear of the Lord?

Observation: Understanding the Fear of the Lord is part of the reward for seeking God. The idea of fearing God seems to contradict the idea of loving God.

Interpretation: What is the Fear of the Lord? The Bible associates it with great blessing; therefore does it really conflict with God’s love? The key to understanding the Fear of the Lord … is to get “understanding” right!

Application Prayer: Father God, as we ponder these verses, teach us what it means to Fear the Lord. You say it is an attitude all the world should have in Psalm 33. Father, do I properly “Fear” You? Teach me your ways. I desire to walk in your truth.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.