Tag Archives: Hope

I Want Out but There’s No Bench

I was on the road home from the shop talking to God about my business. The stresses of paperwork and accounting mostly. To some that may be a piece of cake, but for me it takes tremendous effort. “Father can I just give it up? Take a tent into the woods and be a hermit for the rest of my life. To permanently assume the fetal position.” To which He responded with a no and the quintessential affirmation that I am His son. It was in that moment I realized that I had been under spiritual attack. And I was allowing myself to lose. Anytime I have desired to assume the fetal position I have heard God say rise and walk. Most would say when you feel that way you should crawl into the Father’s arms and be loved by Him. Yet we are told to enter boldly into His presence. When we feel this way is when God goes into “tough love” mode. When He pours out identity on you, and you are forced to believe it or drown with what you’re holding onto. The Father’s arms are a place for comfort and rest, but He loves you too much to coddle you through life. He will not keep you from growth. These are also the times when the enemy is most prevalent in pouring out lies. Like “God is not with you through this.” I was reminded of Daniel in the Lion’s Den, and my eyes were opened to the greater application than just a children’s story.

Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.”So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius!We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. Daniel 6:3-7 NLT

Even though he did he everything right and had incredible character traits, his enemies found reason to hate him. And perverted the law to kill him. There will soon be, if not already, laws like the ones that these administrators and high officials made. Designed solely to find you at fault for your faith. This will not be a time where we need to be coddled in the Father arms, but a time to stand in confidence of who you are. Remember this, Daniel did not search for a way around the law of the land. He continued in the discipline of his relationship with God. Seeking His guidance, while not hiding to appease the law.

But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10 NLT

Why did God not honor Daniel’s faithfulness and not allow him to go to the lions den? We often highlight the end of the story of Daniel surviving the lions den. But we forget that Daniel still was put in a lions den. We believe God will save us from the lions den, yet when we get in it we get devoured. Forgetting the faith we had to be saved from it to get through it. We try to bend God’s will to our circumstance, rather than our circumstance to God’s will. We want to be saved from the very thing that will strengthen our trust in God. A hypothetical faith that has not been tested cannot be proven. A faith that says you will be saved from every storm is no faith at all. But a faith that says that God has complete control through the storm is mighty.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

God is not the author of bad things. The administrators and high officers authored the law that put Daniel in the lion’s den. You see Daniel’s purpose was greater than his circumstance. This is how we must face every lion’s den, with the purpose God has set for our lives. You wonder why you keep getting devoured in the den. When you let the den define who you are then the den determines the outcome. But when you let your purpose define who you are then the den has no power. God used Daniel’s den to expedite the purpose He had for him.

Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you! “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people;he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Daniel 6:25-28 NLT

So often we are unwilling to walk through the den to the miracle. As I titled this, there is no bench in this life. You can either walk in such a way that you avoid the lions dens of this world and see very little miracles, or you can charge forward into the dark places and see miracles illuminate your path?

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Easter the Great Love Story

“Dad, I’m in love and I want her to be my bride.” “Tell me about her.” I remember the first conversation I had with my Father about you. It’s a moment that has never diminished in excitement for me. I look back and laugh at the fact that I am more in love with you now than I was then. “Well Dad, I must admit she’s not perfect. Actually, she’s dying and will never be able to reach me. But I can’t stop thinking about her. The very thought of our separation consumes me. How do I win her over Dad?” “I know who you speak of, they are as dear to me as they are to you. There is only one way. You have to bear the very thing that is separating the two of you. You have to give your life in place of their’s. Son, to take on all of this mean to be separated from me.” When I heard these two things I realized, the breadth of this task and that you were worth all of it. To be separated from my Father. I always knew what this meant, but the reality of the agony is beyond comparison. Even greater was this pain to being beaten. You have to understand the intimacy of my Father and me. I have be with Him from the beginning, when He started I was there, and when He finishes I will be there also. We never do anything apart from each other, and I had to be forsaken by Him. The one thing that got me through it was the thought of you. I look back on those three days with pure joy, because I knew that I would be able to invite you into what my Father is doing. That you would be able to do greater works than I ever could. “Son, the only way for this to work is for you to overcome death.” “I know. I have a plan for that too.”

Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning,just at sunrise, they went to the tomb.On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” Mark 16:1-3 NLT

The plan to win your heart has been in place for eons, and it’s never changed. To become everything that is keeping you from His Love. To take what you deserve and replace it with what you can never earn. Today you may feel the Jesus wooing your heart, but there is something in the way. Here is the truth when they went to the tomb, they also wondered who would move the obstacle in their way. Just as the stone was rolled away for them, so also is anything you may feel is in your way. You don’t have to be good enough or straighten up. This is Love, ready to fight for your heart before you have reciprocated. He is inviting you in. Not into just an empty tomb, but resurrection power. All you need to do is invite Him in. Admit that you have a sin in your life and repent. Believe that Jesus is your savior. Confess that He is Lord of your life. Don’t worry about the all rules. Love and be loved, and listen to His voice and obey it.
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Open Letter to Singles

Stop writing open letters to your future spouse. You marry the person so you can share things that you can’t share with the rest of the world. If you’re willing to share these thoughts intended for your future spouse with the world, what else are you willing to share? As we wait on the gift of being able to share here’s is how I would aim to be single. There are two types of single people. Single and loving it or single and hating it. If you’re single and loving it, then I write to you in hopes that you’re loving it for the right reasons. If you’re single and hating it, then I write to give you hope. You are single for a reason. Learn that reason and have a happier life. There is selfishness in our life that we tend to ignore. We don’t want to let those parts of our flesh die. What I’ve learned from being in relationships (dating, post-dating, friendship and family) is that they will draw those things out of us. In a healthy relationship, those things get called out of and you have help in the battle. Your selfishness will kill your relationships. This is especially true with marriage and children. Now my point is not to make your goal in life to be “marriage material”, but to live up to who God has called you to be. Yes, singleness is a gift, but it’s not an excuse. If your friends have seen your worst and not called you higher, then you need better friends. They are not being friends, but being tolerant. If you feel called to be single, be willing to make people jealous of your singleness. Be a great example to others of how to love well. Jesus was single, but He was also desirable. He is the greatest example of who a husband should be. Clearly He knew how to navigate thirsty people without hurting them. There are wells inside each of us that need to be filled. There is one that thirst for eternity and Jesus is the living water that satisfies its thirst. But there are other wells for relationship and purpose. The well of purpose is only filled by you doing what you’re designed to do. The well of relationship is filled with friendship and family. And a well especially to be filled by your spouse. The depth of these wells are up to you, and being single is your chance dig deep the well of your marriage’s beginning. As unmarried christians we tend view singleness as the season of finding the right person. A wise man told me that dating without intent is practice for divorce. Without intent you get together until the benefits run out then you go your separate ways. I would add that dating with too much intent is practicing for divorce as well. I was ready to marry every girl I was interested in. I thought I was being honorable in doing so. Honorable to the girl, maybe so. Honorable to God and the call He placed on my life, not so much. I was fully committed to girls that I was not supposed to be committed to. The gift of singleness is not happiness up until you find a date or marriage, but to fully engage with what God has placed before you. It is being able to go to coffee without planning the wedding. It is being able to lead and serve without expectation. It’s being able to genuinely tell the opposite sex that you love them without them thinking it’s weird or you want something. Where the motives of your actions come from love and not manipulation. You don’t need to impress someone for them to really love you. Dating should be an invitation to join with you in what God is already doing. Willingness to risk rejection to make the invite can only come from the security of sonship. Don’t wait until you’re married to stop being selfish. Who you are before marriage will be who you bring into it. The truest gift of singleness is preparation for marriage, whether on this side of eternity of the next. The gift of singleness is not a ticket out of marriage. Don’t miss your opportunity to get yourself together before you multiply or step into eternity. The gift of singleness is something you offer your spouse at the altar. What have you saved and prepared to offer them, and ultimately Jesus. Thus the gift of singleness is the sacrifice of marriage without the benefits. Do you still accept this gift? What we need to be asking ourselves daily is, how can I be a living sacrifice today? Blameless and holy, worthy to present myself at the altar. We will all present ourselves to Christ, but some will also present themselves at the altar to a spouse. I know what I offer will never measure up to what I receive, but all the more I will cherish the gift. For I aim to offer my very best. The best I have is all of me, seeking to become more like Christ.

1 John 4:10
1 Corinthians 7:7
Ephesians 1:4

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I’m Still Here, Keep Going

Yesterday I failed miserably. Before that I had many great successes, but still more blundering failures. Yet I am here today to tell the tale. Still the greatest thing I have to repent from is the comparison of my faithfulness to God’s. I tell God “whether you come through or not, I’ll remain faithful”. Then I turn my back on Him like it were a normal part of my daily life. In His kindness, He says “thank you” and actually follows through with His Word. I wake from my slumber and take another breath of the air that He has granted me. Often forgetting to thank Him with the very breath He put in my lungs.

Take a deep breath.

He can’t stop loving you. Imagine this. Your sitting in the Fathers arms. You crawled there from your latest stumbling. You look up, maybe expecting a scold. But all you see is a smile. “Wait, don’t you know what I just….” you say as you look back and see nothing there. Your past is gone. You can’t experience both Grace and your past. As you sit in His presence you begin to feel Him move away. He says “Come play, make, create. You’re not made for what you’re leaving behind, but for what I have set before you. Step into it. Get up again and again and again.”

Keep Going

Here I am saying these things, being the voice I was meant to be. I have many failures, but a bigger future. I must admit I was weighed down from my failing for a some time, almost enough to keep me from writing this. But God, in my greatest desperation says come on. Write it. Say it. Do it. You are righteous, and the righteous rise again. From the greatest defeat He rose from the grave, now in your failing you’ll rise again. Don’t stop to listen to your past. Listen to my voice and I will lead you the path of righteousness. I can’t help but give you hope. Take it with you wherever you go.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. Proverbs 24:16 (ESV)

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (NLT)

The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and merciful,slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. Psalm 103:6-13 (NLT)

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Love the Adventure

So you want to go out and change the world? Have you changed the place you’re leaving? We want to go on great adventures and make an impact on the people we come in contact with. We want to give prophetic words and heal people. But have you loved? Can those you’re in touch with now say they’ve been loved by you? We think healing and prophesy is hard when it’s not. When you love, those come easy. It’s loving that is hard. To love someone is to give yourself to that person. To love God is to give your life up to Him, and to love another is to give what He has given you. We love only because He first loved us. We expect there to be a change when we leave one place for another. But unless we are first changed we are never really leave a place. And places where you experienced change never really leave you. Two things that travel with you, your pain and your love. The key is to choose what to do with them. We have to carry one and face the other. The one we face causes us to carry the other. What you carry is what you offer. Until we carry Love we cannot face the pain of others. Are you offering them pain or Love? When we face our pain, Love is placed upon us. When we carry our pain, Love gets in our face. Love will not let you carry your pain, for Love desires to be carried. Every place you go, Love wants to go with you. Until you come face to face with your pain, no matter where you go you will experience it there. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love goes with you where you carry your pain. Staring you in the face not with shame or guilt, but with the desire to see your pain healed. Love wants to see your pain, and turn it into compassion. Where you’ve experienced healing, take it to the hurting. Dive into the adventure that is Love. Adventure is all around, not just around the globe. Don’t miss out on the adventure of who is in front of you. The where of adventure will always be there, but the who of adventure may not be. See the sights, but neglect to give sight to the blind. Desire to prophesy, but first love. Change the world one heart at a time.

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Don’t Quote Me On This

On my way out to Cali in the Spring I shared my faith with the guy I sat next to and prayed for my Uber driver. When I met up with some of my friends I told one of them about it and he said this to me “You would!” Now there’s nothing wrong with what he said, in fact I found it rather encouraging. But here’s the reality, I wouldn’t. Even as a Christ follower, before then I rarely shared my faith. Not even starting the conversation. You stay in your seat and I’ll stay in mine. Because you sat next to me, by osmosis my faith will rub off on you in my silence. Yeah, that’s not prideful at all! My flesh was still alive and breathing the air my spirit was supposed to be. If not for Christ I would not have done these things, I would’ve stayed silent. My spirit would suffocate while my flesh breathed the still silent air. But I did. I let the Spirit breath in these instances, then my spirit came to life. Possibly changing the direction of these men’s lives even by a fraction.

Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. ‭James‬ ‭3‬:‭1-5‬ (NLT)

Many would say that taming the tongue is simply the control to not let bad things pour out from it. That is simply the beginning. If we can control our tongue we can control our whole body, if we can train the speech of the church we can get it to move in the right direction. Training is not simply the control of what doesn’t come out, but also of what does come out. Have you ever been in a situation where you know you should say something but you lack the confidence to say it? You have to give value to everything you say. If the value of what you have to say outweighs the weight of silence, then you must say it. The weight of your silence will begin to bear down on you if you don’t. We might have fallen silent for a while, but God is raising the Spirit in us to say something. We’ve grown tired of what is being said over us as well as what is not being said. We have something to say about it. We will be silent no more. Our voice has to be heard. We have to speak out what God has for our generation.

But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD?Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” Exodus 4:10-12 (NLT)

He will put the words in your mouth. Your voice will not be quiet or weak but strong and resounding. How often do we experience God, but don’t have the confidence to share that with someone else? He can put the words in us, but it is up to us to give it a voice. We all have a story to tell, that which our Father has put in each of us. So often we miss the chance for God to move simply because we don’t open our mouths for Him to speak through. You don’t believe that you have anything to offer, when all that is being asked for is your voice. The strongest voice in our generation is not the guys that are most quoted. The strongest voice in our generation is yours. Your voice will carry where no quote can go. Hearts will never be penetrated by quotes. Especially not in the way a word from a friend can penetrate your heart. Be a voice to your friends, you likely are exactly what they need to hear. We will be known not by what we say to the multitude but in how we speak to each other. Your voice can lead someone out of Egypt. Can we change a generation by changing our speech? If we can change the direction of the tongue we can change the direction of a generation.

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Followers

Why do you follow me?
Is it because of what you see?
Do you believe I am what you need me to be?
Is it because you’ve seen the man set free?
I wish to remain unseen, reduce my visibility.
I’ve conquered no enemies.
I’ve won no victories.
Unless you see what my savior sees.

He brought my death to its knees.
He came down and set me free.
Lost, now found.
Blind, now see.
Do you get what you are following?
I’m a dead man walking, He’s does the talking.
My flesh may decay away, but there are no chains on me.
If you want to follow me, find me at my saviors feet.
If you want to follow me, open your eyes to see.
I am the one following.

The light in me can live in thee.
He has no biased or proclivities.
All willing can follow my adopting King.
Adopting you as He adopted me.
Father to the father free.
Answering the orphan’s plea.
Someone please, please hold me.
Do not leave me in this captivity.
Do not turn a blind eye to me.
If you want to follow me, practice setting captives free.
If you want to follow me, open eyes to see.
I’m not the one you’re following.

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The Success of Submission

Why are we so afraid to submit? We view submission as being subdued or under someone’s thumb. We are afraid that what we submit will be taken from us. That if we give this new thing in our lives to God, that we really enjoy, He is going to take it away from us. If we give up control of it, it will never turn out to our benefit. We view submission simply as giving something up. The contrary is true, submission is receiving what we could not earn on our own.

Sometimes submission is used as a cop out for what God has for us to do. We simply submit it because it’s to difficult and walk away. God never intended submission to be giving up but coming under. Submit to God, but still do your part. Submission is not being chained but set free. It allows you to walk in what God has intended for you. Submission is not a covering to have God move where your supposed to, but where you can’t. Submission takes action in doing so, as a result giving the authority to take action. Submission takes courage and gives authority, to both the one yielded to and the yielder.

I think of Joseph in Potiphar’s house. Joseph could have submitted to his circumstances and sucked at everything he did. Instead he chose to stay submitted to God, leaving his dream in the Fathers hands. Because of this the Lord was with him and he succeeded at all that he did. This caused him to be promoted at a rapid pace. Joseph’s dream wasn’t his calling, pleasing the Lord was. It pleased the Lord to bring success to Potiphar’s house through Joseph, so he submitted to the house and allowed his success to profit from it.

Side note: Christians shouldn’t suck at their jobs but should be easy to promote.

Submission breeds a invulnerability to seduction. Because of Joseph’s submission to pleasing God, he was able to run away from the seduction of Potiphar’s wife. Because of his submission to the house he gained favor with Potiphar. In ancient Egypt, the punishment for adultery was death. The fact that he was sent to prison instead implies he was believed over Potiphar’s wife. I find it interesting that Potiphar’s wife is never named in this story. She was submitted to her impulse and remained unsuccessful at reaching her goal. She must have been really pretty, for she was definitely not submitted to her husband. You will never make a name for yourself without submission. She will always be known as the wife that tried to cheat. I’d rather remain unmentioned than poorly viewed or be a stumbling block. Who’s story are you trying force yourself into? Instead of trying to make a name for yourself, submit yourself to the Lord and allow Him to make your name.

Submission empowers. Joseph was given complete authority over the house he submitted to. He was successful at all that he did. His desire to please God produced an excellence in his work. When you are submitted to God, others will see that God is with you. If you focus on pleasing God, those in authority over you will be pleased and promote you. Your promotion will only go as far as your submission, complete submission equals complete authority.

Submission saves. Joseph was saved by his submission to Potiphar. Because he had gained the trust of his master his life was spared. Not only that, he achieved the same success in the prison he was sent to. His demotion was redeemed by his submission. In the same way we are saved by submitting ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Instead of gaining trust, we are learning to trust. Though we deserve hell, because we submit, we are given eternal life.

I actually did submit these thoughts to an authority in my life, this is what he said. There are two types of submission, willful and forced. Willful is like, a cop asking you to get on your knees and put your hands up, then you doing so. Forced is like, you refusing the request of the cop and him putting his knee on your neck and twisting your arms into submission. Are you putting yourself under authority or are you being put under authority? All authority is from God and all authority is submitted to. It is our choice to how we submit. How we do so will determine our success.

Genesis 39

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Finding the Sparkle

I was recently faced with two starkly different situations. I was working with pictures for a set and one of them had two girls laughing. This thought crossed my mind, if they were the only two girls in the world which would you choose? I would’ve chosen to stay single. I know sounds pompous, but that is a loaded question based off a picture. I simply was not attracted to either one. The second situation was party where there were lots of single girls. That night I literally did choose to stay single. I was attracted to some of the girls there, but it was still only based off an outward appearance. I’ve pursued girls based off physical attractiveness and it lead no where. These two situations got me thinking.

How often do we settle because we think they are all there is? We put ourselves in a box of finding the person we’re attracted to and trying to make them fit the personality we want. Or finding someone with the personality we’re looking for, but we find them unattractive. What do we do? This conundrum makes me want to pull my hair out. Which side of the coin do we put the emphasis? Do we really have to go though life flipping this relational coin, until we decide heads or tails? (metaphor unintended) We can get so caught up in either one.

We are willing to set aside the physical if they just love Jesus with all their heart. If they’re passionate about what God is doing in there life, I can see past the warts. The trouble in this is that some days they aren’t going to be quite the Jesus you thought they were. Because you went after someone you’re unattracted to, bitterness has a greater chance to creep in. “Why am I in this realationship? I don’t like the way they treat me and I wasn’t even attracted to them to begin with.” This is not to say attraction can’t grow over time, but come on don’t settle. If your not attracted to them by the time you get married, there’s a good chance that attraction won’t grow. Don’t get caught in the lie that just because you find them unattractive that everyone else does too. You’re not the authority on who’s hot and who’s not. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Oh, here is where people will say “See past the outside to who they are”, and I agree, but it doesn’t mean you have to marry them.

The far more dangerous settlement is to set aside character for beauty. We think we can lead them into who there meant to be. I just thew up a little, because I’ve been that guy. Talk about immense amounts of pressure. Can you imagine having the responsibility of developing someone else’s character besides your own. Without the infrastructure of integrity in a relationship the greater the chance of compromise. Physical based relationships lead to physical results. Are you willing to risk what God has for you because of self fulfilled desire? God knows the desires of your heart. Don’t think for a second that He’s has someone for you to settle for. Second best is not in God nature, He created Eve just for Adam.

Take some pressure off yourself and your future spouse. Media advertises the unacheivable and porn steals our gift. We are told to look for perfection and find ourselves lost in the search. We try to make someone fit a mold when they are supposed to shaped by a potter. The gift is stolen in two ways, it’s unwrapped and given under the wrong name similarly it is given wrongly to the receiver then the giver is exposed. Pressure is removed by leaving the gift wrapped, or rewrapping, and allowing them to be themselves, even with the flaws. The beauty of getting to know people is, we get to see the heart of the gift before recieving the gift. Go after the heart not the body. Allow yourself to go after the heart of someone your attracted to, allow them to say no if they’re not.

A great example of this is when Jacob married Leah and Rachel. The bible says that Leah had no sparkle in her eye. I’ve heard that interpreted to mean that Leah either had poor eye site or wasn’t pleasant to look at. I would add that it could also mean that her eyes didn’t light up when she saw Jacob or she was unsure of who she was. We assume that Leah was attracted to Jacob and it was just not reciprocated. Let us assume that Leah was attracted to Jacob just as much as he was to her. They’ll never put a smile on each others faces just for walking in the room or should I say tent. Jacob will never be able to put that sparkle in her eye and he knew it, that is why he chose Rachel. The bible also says that Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. Leah and Rachel were sisters, chances are that they looked alike. I believe Jacob went after a heart and reaped the benefit of a beautiful body, he went after the one with the sparkle in her eye.

Have you ever looked at someone in the eye who lacked confidence in who they are? It’s near impossible, because they won’t maintain eye contact. They are afraid you see the sparkle in their eye. They are not afraid to show the sparkle, they just believe there is no sparkle. They believe that what they are showing is just a dim light and that is what will be seen. But the reality is that if they would really allow themselves to be seen there would be a sparkle so bright that darkness would never extinguish it. There is nothing more attractive than someone who knows who their heart belongs to and is willing to expose it. If we search through the lens of the heart rather than body or personality, someones sparkle will catch your eye and you will be willing to work 14 years just to let it light up your room or tent.

Jacob marries Leah and Rachel

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My Last Hope

Have you ever wanted to kill yourself? I must admit I have to answer yes to this question. Though those thoughts were very brief for me, they still went through my mind. I can clearly remember the thought of ending my life, but not the reason why. I can say for a fact that the situation I was up against passed and I lived through it. I say this not to gain the sympathy of the reader, but to bring to light an attack that has been forged against our generation. I never went through a period of depression or did anything to cause concern among friends and family. I only have a minute understanding of what someone being oppressed with suicidal thoughts goes through. If only your battle was as easy as I make it sound. I say all this to share who helped me though this small battle and my big battles as well.

“A single thread of hope is a very powerful thing” – Author unknown

I saw this quote and immediately thought of Rehab on the wall of Jericho. The only hope she had, was in the faithfulness of God, when she put the scarlet rope out of her window that her house would be protected. The rope itself was not what saved her, but the belief that in doing so God would see her faith. I’m sure she had her doubts. How is a rope going to save my house? This seemingly small act proved to be exactly what God needed to see and to move on her behalf. She had a small glimmer of hope that she would be seen. She believed that if God was big enough to tear down the walls around her, He is big enough to keep her house intact. She knew that even though everything around her fell apart she would be kept intact. This was the security of an entire nation. In putting the rope out there she not only said God would protect her but acknowledged He was going to tear down the walls. She moved her hope from the walls that had been put up to a God that could tear them down.

“No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!” Job 17:16 (NLT)

Rehab had the same mentality of Job. If the world falls apart or I even die, I will die with Hope in my heart. When everything I have has turned to dust, when my hearts desires seem to slip from my fingers, when the world tells me the darkness is light, it is Hope that I hold on to. When we have nothing to hold on to and we think all is lost hold on to Hope! Not in the hope that my situation will change but in who Hope is, the Hope that conquered the grave. The Hope that gives you a reason to live! Job is not professing that suicide is his only hope, he is saying I will lie down with Hope. I will rest is in knowing that Hope has me in His hands. That until the day I do die I will rest in the confidence of who Hope is. I will rest in Him until the dust settles. Who cares if all is lost? A life without the desires of my heart is livable, but a life without Hope is no life worth living. Find your value in who Hope is not in what you long for. Here’s the deal though, Hope cannot be contained and walls cannot come down without Hope. If we will open the door to Hope’s knock, we can allow Him to knock down our walls and be seen. Asking someone to bring their walls down without Hope is like asking a building be demolished with a pack of toothpicks. No matter how much you poke at it every toothpick will break before the building does. You have to be exposed to Hope before you can be seen. Allow God to see you and He will know your desires, allow yourself to see God and you will know His desires, allow yourself to see you how God sees you and you’ll desire what He desires for you.

The running theory on the fall of Jericho is that there was an earthquake that caused the foundations to give out. To the skeptics, earthquakes are considered an act of God. If we will simply allow God in to shake our foundations, strongholds will fall and the enemy will be defeated. Wait, isn’t Jesus supposed to be my strong foundation? Well I’m glad you asked. Yes. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (NLT) The foundation of Jesus is laid by Grace, by Hope, not by our works. We have all laid foundations of our own, that is what the Father wants shake. So that when the dust settles we are left holding onto Hope. Build your foundation on Hope and others will be able to build on that same foundation; there are others that depend on the foundation of Hope that you build.

The greatest story of Hope is when God shook the foundation of Jesus Himself. The night that Jesus put all of His hope in the human race. I say this in the sense that He went to the cross with no guarantee that anyone would accept Him, that the plan of God would even work. This is the real beauty in salvation, we get to choose it. God took everything from Jesus even though He did not deserve it. If anyone, Jesus had the right to curse God. He was betrayed by a friend, deserted by the rest and wanted for a crime He did not commit. On top of all that He was rejected by His Father. In the end all Jesus wanted was to be seen by His Father and accepted by His friends. Knowing all this would happen He still submitted to the will of God. He became the foundation of sin and allowed God to shake it till all that was left was Hope. Jesus could not become the Hope of the world until He answered the knock of sin. The knock of sin is not the act of sin but the consequence, to answer that knock is to open death’s door. He answered so we would not have to, He now waits knocking instead. To answer the knock of Hope is to open Life’s door.

Your Father is knocking
Faithfully knocking
Waiting knocking
He knocks again
This time will you let Him in?

If are having suicidal thoughts please put out your scarlet rope! Call a friend, a family member or a pastor. At the very least call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255. Talk to someone, find Hope!!

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