Drowning out the Whispers

•April 3, 2006 • Leave a Comment

58 Lord, you are my lawyer! Plead my case! For you have redeemed my life. 59 You have seen the wrong they have done to me, LORD. Be my judge, and prove me right. 60 You have seen the plots my enemies have laid against me. LORD, you have heard the vile names they call me. You know all about the plans they have made — the plots my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long. Look at them! In all their activities, they constantly mock me with their songs. Lam 3:58-63NLT

Do you notice how subtle the enemy is? Here in Lamentations the authors says “the plots my enemies whisper of mutter against me all day long”. It is the subtle things the enemy resorts to in order to throw us off track. Satan tries to divert our attention away from our Generals commands.

Whispering is quiet and stealth in nature, muttering contains a lack of clarity. Muttering will let you hear something but you may not be sure exactly what it is. This usually happens in the midst of a battle where there is plenty of other clatter so when he mutters or whispers it is subtle. This in not how the Lord operates.

When you are focused on Him, He speaks clearly and amplifies into our hearts the promise He has given us. The Lord directs us in battle with Loud, clear and concise commands for action. You see the Lord is Confident in His (and ours) battle plan, the enemy is fighting a losing battle and becomes stealth in nature since he is speaking in a defeated language.

I have learned that the only true control I have in life is the pursuit of his presence. I alone am the only one who controls my passion to be near to Him. I also know that if I am in this position the Lords amplified commands more than drown out the enemies subtle mutterings. Only I can stay focused and plugged into His heart, which is the amplifier of Life.

And if you leave God’s paths and go astray, you will hear a Voice behind you say, “No, this is the way; walk here.”
Isa 30:21 TLB

Criticism

•April 3, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken beyond repair. Prov 29:1 NLT

When we fail to accept criticism, advice or the wisdom of those with more knowledge or life experience than we have, we open ourselves to destruction. If I am unable to accept advice from anyone, no matter the age or position, I well never learn.

I have a cousin who like me is mechanically challenged. Several years ago he bought a car from my Father. My Uncle and Father kept drilling into him to watch and check the oil levels and other routine maintenance. After quite some time and even some perceived criticism from the older more experienced men his car seized up on a highway on a cold Toronto night. When the tow truck and my uncle came to pick him up they were moving items out of the trunk and my uncle pulled out a full case of unopened oil. Here were 12 quarts of the very substance that would have kept the engine from being destroyed or damaged with intense repair needed.

Instead of letting pride or obstinacies stop me in accepting criticism or sound advise we need to endure and heed the subtle warnings or advise from the people that God places in to our lives. So whether it’s a Sunday sermon, a lunch with a co worker or just a random conversation with a friend. We need to learn to not only to accept advice or wisdom but to let it pour into our lives so it can lubricate and protect our inner workings.

Lord, thank you for sending various men and women into our lives that are always willing to teach or give me godly advice. Help us to digest and absorb this info so that we may always be in impeccable working order.

Robin Hood Faith

•March 30, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Robin Hood Faith

Filed under: Life Lessons — Jason Simmons @ 7:47 pm Edit This

34 An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops, and the arrow hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of his chariot. “I have been badly wounded!” 35 The battle raged all that day, and Ahab was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran down to the floor of his chariot, and as evening arrived he died. 36 Just as the sun was setting, the cry ran through his troops: “It’s all over — return home!” 37 So the king died, and his body was taken to Samaria and buried there. 38 Then his chariot was washed beside the pool of Samaria, where the prostitutes bathed, and dogs came and licked the king’s blood, just as the LORD had promised. 1 Kings 22:34-38 NLT

When we are focused on God’s word and His direction for our lives there is always divine placement. In this story, God used a random arrow to fulfill His promise. The soldier in 1 Kings just pulled back and fired and God directed the arrow to the precise location that would have the most effective impact.

If we worry less about where our arrow will land and simply be more obedient to just fire (do what God says) it will help us to learn how to trust Him in all circumstances. This is important because it makes us more reliant on God to direct the arrows path so His divine placement will come about.

Too many times I get so focused on where the Arrow will precisely hit that I don’t even fire. It leaves me valuable to an attack. In my quest to have the perfect shot I have gone from being offensive minded to being without defense because of the position I am in while holding the fire position for a length of time.

My friend Kyle Kloppell in Seattle is an avid hunter. When we were neighbors I would run over to his place for a tool or some advice about a project (really so he could come an fix something). I could usually find him in the backyard building or working on a project. He had a deer target back there and would use this to practice his archery skills. Every time he would shoot the arrow at the target he never held back the bow for too long. He would pull back on the bow, find his placement and fire (always on target). He could do this because he was constantly practicing with this equipment (The Word). The same is true for the Word in our lives. We must continually practice with the equipment (The Word) that God has given us.

As we develop our “aim” we can be secure in knowing that sometimes we just need to pull back and fire when God is asking for us to get involved. Let Him direct the path to sustain the maximum impact.

Lord teach me to be a Robin Hood of faith. Teach us to rely on your divine paths for our families and our lives knowing you with control the final destination

Chains of Life

•January 3, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Chains of Life

Filed under: Life Lessons — Jason Simmons @ 11:02 am Edit This

For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ.
Phil 1:13-14 NLT

Paul mentions that everyone knows he is in chains because of Christ. Yet because of this circumstance many people have gained confidence in spreading the Gospel.

I have always had a negative concept of someone being chained. Being in chains limits movement or restricts our actions; it does not allow us to be free to move in our desired direction. I don’t know about you but I don’t like to be restricted, I like freedom.

Have you ever seen a child at a store with a harness or leash type device while out with their parents? You probably have noticed that many times the child is stretching the tether trying to go in their own direction, away from their Father or Mother. It looks like they are struggling for freedom doesn’t it? We all know what would happen if they were set free. You would hear an announcement over the intercom of a lost child, or you would hear the cries of this child running down the isles looking for their parent, they would become lost in search of freedom. They have yet to understand the value of their freedom and the limits of safety. After reading this verse, perhaps it isn’t so negative.

In Paul’s case it increased ministry and set an example to the guards and the people. His restrictions of physically being chained in prison helped others who were physically free to become bold and multiply the teachings of Christ. If he were not chained he would not have been in this divine placement to be an example to others.

Many times when God is setting up guidelines to follow I feel that I’m restricted or it’s stopping me from freely moving on my own. Perhaps it is more of a harness than a restraint. A harness will help to guide and keep you on the path or direction God is leading us to. Only God in is infinite wisdom knows how to direct our paths

There have been many times when I feel “restricted” and didn’t understand why I was not moving into a direction that I thought was best for me and my family. Only after I looked back did I understand that God was truly guiding me in the right direction.

I pray that we are able to distinguish the positive chains we are in, that we have the patience and understanding to follow God’s leading in our lives. Help us to recognize.

Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.
Rom 8:24-25 NLT

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. Ps 119:45 NLT

 
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