Close enough to start a war
All that I have is on the floor
God only knows what we’re fighting for
All that I say, you always say more
I can’t keep up with your turning tables
Under your thumb, I can’t breathe
So I won’t let you close enough to hurt me
No, I won’t ask you, you to just desert me
I cant give you what you think you gave me
It’s time to say goodbye to turning tables
To turning tables
Under hardest guise I see, ooh
Where love is lost, your ghost is found
I braved a hundred storms to leave you
As hard as you try, no, I will never be knocked down
I can’t keep up with your turning tables
Under your thumb, I can’t breathe
So I won’t let you close enough to hurt me
No, I won’t ask you, you to just desert me
I cant give you what you think you gave me
It’s time to say goodbye to turning tables
Next time I’ll be braver
I’ll be my own savior
When the thunder calls for me
Next time I’ll be braver
I’ll be my own savior
Standing on my own two feet
I won’t let you close enough to hurt me
No, I won’t ask you, you to just desert me
I can’t give you what you think you gave me
It’s time to say goodbye to turning tables
To turning tables
Turning tables, yeah
Songwriter(s):Adele Laurie Blue Adkins
Copyright:Melted Stone Publishing Ltd.
Lyrics from <a href=”http://www.elyrics.net”>eLyrics.net</a>
1)It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog − Archie Griffen.
2) Nothing lasts forever. Not even your troubles − Arnold H Glasgow
3) There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle − Albert Einstein
4) Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave – Mary Tyler Moore
5) Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections − Margaret Woodhouse
6) If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place − Nora Roberts
7) I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed − Michael Jordan.
8) The only place you find success before work is in the dictionary − May V. Smith
9) Where hope grows, miracles blossom − Elna Rae
10) A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing − George Bernard Shaw
11) Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent − Eleanor Roosevelt
12) It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes − Sally Field
13) I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn’t fall down − Allen H. Neuharth
14) Hope never abandons you, you abandon it − George Weinberg
15) Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you − Ralph Waldo Emerson
16) Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust − Jesse Owens
17) People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within − Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
18) Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance − Bruce Barton
19) Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it − John Maxwell
20) Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway − Mary Kay Ash
Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
– Leon Joseph Suenens
Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.
– Ralph Blum
If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.
– Thomas A. Edison
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
– Dale Carnegie
Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.
– Napoleon Hill
Don’t waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window or break down a door.
– Brooke Shields
Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you ready or not, to put this plan into action.
– Napoleon Hill
Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.
– Victoria Holt
Inspiration and genius – one and the same.
– Victor Hugo
The future depends on what we do in the present.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Put your future in good hands – your own.
The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.
– Vince Lombardi
If you only do what you know you can do – you never do very much.
– Tom Krause
Whatever you are be a good one.
– Abraham Lincoln
Everyday is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.
Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
– Lao Tzu
Misery is almost always the result of thinking.
– Joseph Joubert
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.
– Jimmy Johnson
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
– Mahatma Gandhi
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
– Chinese Proverb
You can always become better.
– Tiger Woods
There are three words I like to repeat to myself, glass half full, just to remind myself to be grateful for everything I have.
– Goldie Hawn
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
– Japanese Proverb
I have enjoyed life a lot more by saying yes than by saying no.
Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.
– Ralph Marston
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
– Napoleon Hill
You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
– Christopher Columbus
Happiness is the best face lift.
Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.
– Ann Landers
Think of the beauty still left around you and be happy.
– Anne Frank
If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.
– Morris West
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.
– Henry Ford
I never need to see the sun again, there enough light in your eyes to light up all the world.
People can live one hundred years without really living a minute.
Live your life in the manner that you would like your kids to live theirs.
– Michael Levine
No Matter what you do there will be critics.
Eighty percent of success in life is showing up.
– Woody Allen
Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.
– Samuel Johnson
Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.
– Stephen Kaggwa
Many say I am just one to try. I say I am one less to quit.
– Diego Marchi
Thought of the day: “TRUE HUMILITY IS ALWAYS CHARACTERIZED BY THANKFULLNESS’’ (Ang tunay na pagpapakumbaba ay nailalarawan o naipapakita sa pamamagitan ng pasasalamat.)
Benefits of Lifestyle of Thanksgiving unto GOD
Benepisyo o kapakinabangan ng pamumuhay na laging nagpasasalamat sa Diyos.
Intro: God wants us to thank HIM not for us to look religious, spiritual or holy but with a purpose or reason and that is to reap the benefits of it.
1 Timothy 4:8 KJV-For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Thankfulness or Gratefulness is a form of Godliness. Ang pasasalamat ay pagiging maka Diyos.
Tagalog- Ito ay sapagkat kung sinasanay mo ang iyong katawan, mayroon naman itong kaunting pakinabang. Ngunit ang pagiging maka-Diyos ay may kapakinabangan sa lahat ng mga bagay. Ito ay may pangako sa buhay sa ngayon at sa buhay na darating.
Ang pamumuhay na laging nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon ay may kapakinabangan sapagkat :
- Lifestyle of thanksgiving brings about joy and contentment in our lives.
Ito’y naghahatid o nagdadala ng kagalakan at kakuntentuhan sa ating buhay.
Ang ating nakikita pag tayo’y nagpapasalamat sa Diyos ay yung mga bagay na mayroon tayo at hindi iyong mga bagay na wala tayo na meron ang iba.
Walang mababang uri ng pagpapala mula sa Panginoon sapagkat ang lahat ng iyon ay biyaya mula sa Kanya. Hindi mababang uri ang mga pagpapala na mayroon ka ngayon, doon sa mga pagpapala na wala ka na mayroon naman ang iba.
The Bible clearly teaches us to “be content” no matter what our circumstances are.
Hebrews 13:5-6 (King James Version)
5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have (and be satisfied with your present circumstances and with what you have) for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Hebreo 13:5-6 (Ang Salita ng Diyos) Ang pamumuhay ninyo ay dapat walang pag-ibig sa salapi. Masiyahan na kayo sa mga bagay na taglay ninyo sapagkat sinabi ng Diyos: Kailanman ay hindi kita iiwan at kailanman ay hindi kita pababayaan. 6Kaya nga, masasabi natin na may pagtitiwala: Ang Panginoon ang aking katulong. Hindi ako matatakot. Ano ang magagawa ng tao sa akin?
Philippians 4:11-13 Paul said, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content”. 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
…Natutunan ko nang masiyahan anuman ang aking kalagayan.12Naranasan ko ang maghikahos at managana, ang magutom at mabusog ngunit natutuhan ko ng harapin ang ano mang katayuan.13Ang lahat ng ito’y magagawa ko dahil sa lakas na kaloob sa akin ng Panginoon.
Being content does not necessarily mean giving up all your dreams, desire and wants from God. Mark 11:24, Psalm 37:4, 1 John 5:14.
- Lifestyle of thanksgiving brings about a change of attitude in our lives.
Ito’y naghahatid o nagdadala ng pagbabago ng ugali o pananaw sa ating buhay.
Not only change of views, being optimistic or having positive outlook in life.
Hindi lamang po nagbabago ang ating pananaw o tayo’y nagiging positibo, maganda ang pananaw sa buhay. Kung hindi tayo rin po ay natututong magpakumbaba.
Thanksgiving leads to humility. Ang pasasalamat ay patungo o humahantong sa pagpapakumbaba.
Proverbs 29:23 – man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Ang magpapabagsak sa tao’y ang kanyang kapalaluan Ngunit ang mapagkumbaba ay magtatamo ng karangalan.
A thankful person is a humble person—gratitude and humility go hand in hand.
Ang taong mapagpasalamat ay taong mapagkumbababa sapagkat ang pasasalamat at pagpapakumbaba ay hindi maaring magkahiwalay. At ang biyaya ng Panginoon ay mag-uumapaw sa ating buhay at makikita natin na ito’y may kabuluhan..
Because the more we are thankful or grateful to God the more we become humble, and it causes the GRACE of GOD to increase and abound towards us and it makes our lives significant.
James 4:6-10, 1 Peter 5:5.
- Lifestyle of thanksgiving brings about wholeness in our lives.
Ito’y nagdadala o naghahatid ng kakumpletuhan o kaayusan sa ating buhay.
Halimbawa: A. dati rati ikaw ay sakitin ngunit ngayon ay hindi ka na nagkakasakit at nararanasan mo na ang kalusugan. B.Hindi makatulog dahil sa sobrang pag iisip ng problema ngayon ikaw ay may kapayapaan na at nakakatulog ka na ng mahimbing. C. Namumuhay sa kasalatan ngayon ay sa kasaganaan, D. parating may sama ng loob ngayon ay mapagpatawad.
Luke 17: 11-19
Wholeness – Used as an adjective, the word whole comes from the Greek words of holos and holokleros meaning all, entire and complete. These two words come from the noun holokleria meaning completeness.
- Lifestyle of thanksgiving brings about miracles in our lives.
Ito’y nagdadala o naghahatid ng himala sa ating buhay.
How old was Abraham when God promise him a son?
75 years old – Genesis 12:1-7 and Isaac came When he was a 100 years old
Genesis 21:1-5, Abraham and Sarah waits for 25 years for the promise son, which is Isaac. What did Abraham did while waiting? Verse romans 4:20- He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, GIVING GLORY to GOD.
Thanking the Lord is giving glory to God.
- Lifestyle of thanksgiving brings about increase or multiplication in our lives.
Ito’y nagdadala o naghahatid ng pagdami o pagdagdag ng biyaya sa ating buhay.
The Lord Jesus multiplies 2 fishes and 5 loaves.
He give thanks first to God before the increase and multiplication happens.
Matt 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14.
- Lifestyle of thanksgiving brings us into reality that we can do nothing and we don’t have anything apart from His LOVE and GRACE.
Ito’y nagdadala o naghahatid sa atin sa realidad o katotohanan na wala tayong magagawa at wala tayong natatanggap na anumang bagay kung hindi dahil sa Pagmamahal at biyaya nya.
The Vision Without Which People Perish
“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .”
– Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
Proverbs 29:18 may be one of the most misapplied verses in all the evangelical church today. Many a church leader has used it to spiritualize his strategies and blackmail followers into supporting his entrepreneurialism. Vision statements are cast. Mission statements are crafted to serve the vision. A list of values is composed to serve the mission. An array of programs is developed to serve the values. A stable of leaders is recruited to serve the programs. An army of volunteers is inspired to assist the leaders.
Much of what goes on in our local churches serves to make sure the church machine keeps running. In less healthy — but sometimes very big — churches, the entire machine is designed to put on an excellent weekend worship service. All of this would indeed perish if that vision were not cast.
But what if a leader’s good idea for church growth or success was not the vision Proverbs 29:18 had in mind? What if we aren’t free to insert anything we come up with, no matter how spiritual or “inspired by God”?
The verse is longer than is usually quoted. Proverbs 29:18 (in the ESV) in its entirety reads: “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” The vision is “prophetic vision”; what is in mind here is the revelation of God to his biblical spokesmen. Where there is no vision shared with us by the prophets, to whom God revealed the mysteries of the ages, we like savages run wild. In other words, we may have a vision, but if it is not the one given to the biblical representatives of God’s revelation and the forecasters of God’s coming glory, it is not to be conformed to. “But blessed is he who keeps the law.” The latter part of the verse implies that when the vision of the prophets is held by the people, the blessing of living God’s way ensues.
The world would have us know a billion other things. The church would sometimes have us know many other things, as well. But those who have beheld the life-changing vision of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ know better. Here is what Peter says:
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:16-19)
You will do well to pay attention. We have something more sure, more true, more bright, more majestic, more powerful. He is the only surety, the only truth, the only light, the only majesty, the only power.
This is an excerpt from Chapter 11: The Blessed Fixation from my book Gospel Wakefulness.
[In chapter 13 we find “The More Excellent Way Of Love” carefully and
beautifully defined for us. Paul’s discourse on love is divided into
three parts, the first being…]
I. THE NECESSITY OF LOVE
A. DESCRIBED BY PAUL…
1. Necessary in the exercise of spiritual gifts – 1Co 13:1-2
2. Necessary in the exercise of great sacrifice – 1Co 13:3
— Without love, such things are of no value!
B. APPLIED BY US TODAY…
1. Without love, any ability we have is of little value (such as
teaching, preaching, etc.)
2. Without love, any knowledge we obtain will only hurt us – cf.
3. Without love, any service rendered is not pleasing to God – cf.
— Love is truly a necessary virtue!
[But what exactly what is love? That leads us to the second part of
Paul’s discussion of “The More Excellent Way Of Love”, in which he
II. THE QUALITIES OF LOVE
A. LOVE’S POSITIVE QUALITIES…
1. Suffers longs – endures slights and wrongs patiently and long,
like God Himself (Ps 103:8) – B. W. Johnson
2. Is kind – obliging, willing to help or assist – Complete
B. LOVE’S NEGATIVE QUALITIES…
1. Does not envy – is not jealous of what others have or have
become – Pulpit Commentary
2. Does not parade itself – does not brag or boast of one’s
abilities or possessions – Barnes
3. Is not puffed up – swelled with pride and elated with a vain
conceit of himself – Gill
4. Does not behave rudely – to behave in an ugly, indecent,
unseemly or unbecoming manner (cf. 1Pe 3:8, “be courteous”)
– The Complete WordStudy Dictionary
5. Does not seek its own – does not seek its own happiness to the
6. Is not provoked – does not fly into a rage, but keeps the
temper under control – B.W. Johnson
7. Thinks no evil – puts the best possible construction on the
motives and the conduct of others; not malicious, censorious,
disposed to find fault, or to impute improper motives to others
8. Does not rejoice in iniquity – Does not rejoice over the
“vices” of other people; does not take delight when they are
guilty of crime, or when, in any manner, they fall into sin. It
does not find pleasure in hearing others accused of sin, and in
having it proved that they committed it. – ibid.
C. LOVE’S POSITIVE QUALITIES (CONT.)…
1. Rejoices in the truth – lit., “with the truth”; truth is
personified as is love, and when love sees truth manifested in
the lives of others, love greatly rejoices along with it, cf.
2. Bears all things – lit., “covers, protects”; but as used by
Paul elsewhere, it can also mean to endure, suffer (cf. 1Co 9:
others, there is willingness to bear with them patiently
3. Believes all things – in regard to the conduct of others, there
is a disposition to put the best construction on it; to believe
that they may be actuated by good motives, and that they intend
no injury; and that there is a willingness to suppose, as far
as can be, that what is done is done consistently with
friendship, good feeling, and virtue. Love produces this,
because it rejoices in the happiness and virtue of others, and
will not believe the contrary except on irrefragable evidence.
4. Hopes all things – that all will turn out well. This must also
refer to the conduct of others; and it means, that however dark
may be appearances; how much so ever there may be to produce
the fear that others are actuated by improper motives or are
bad people, yet that there is a “hope” that matters may be
explained and made clear; that the difficulties may be made to
vanish; and that the conduct of others may be made to “appear”
to be fair and pure. Love will “hold on to this hope” until all
possibility of such a result has vanished and it is compelled
to believe that the conduct is not susceptible of a fair
explanation. This hope will extend to “all things” – to words
and actions, and plans; to public and to private contact; to
what is said and done in our own presence, and to what is said
and done in our absence. Love will do this, because it delights
in the virtue and happiness of others, and will not credit
anything to the contrary unless compelled to do so. – ibid.
5. Endures all things – bears up under, sustains, and does not
complain. Bears up under all persecutions at the hand of man;
all efforts to injure the person, property, or reputation…
The connection requires us to understand it principally of our
treatment at the hands of our fellowmen. – ibid.
[The final quality of love introduces us to the third and last section
of “The More Excellent Way Of Love”…]
III. THE PERMANENCY OF LOVE
A. LOVE NEVER FAILS…
1. Love never fails – to fall away, to fail; to be without effect,
to cease to be in existence.
a. While other endowments of the Holy Spirit must soon cease
and be valueless, love would abide, and would always exist.
b. The “argument” is, that we ought to seek that which is of
enduring value; and that, therefore, love should be
preferred to those endowments of the Spirit on which so high
a value had been set by the Corinthians. – Barnes
2. Spiritual gifts (e.g., prophecies, tongues, and knowledge) will
fail, cease, vanish away – 1Co 13:8-12
a. Such gifts were to reveal and confirm the Word – cf. Mk 16:
19-20; He 2:3-4
b. Once the Word was completely revealed and confirmed, the
B. LOVE ABIDES…
1. Along with faith and hope – 1Co 13:13a
a. Spiritual gifts like prophecies, tongues, and knowledge
b. Yet the virtues of faith, hope and love would “abide” (Grk.,
meno – remain, dwell, continue, tarry, endure)
c. Implying a period of time between the cessation of spiritual
gifts and the fulfillment of faith and hope
2. Greater than faith and hope – 1Co 13:13b
a. We now walk by faith, not by sight – 2Co 5:7
b. We now hope for what is unseen – Ro 8:24-25
c. When Christ comes, the need for faith and hope will be no
1) We will then walk by sight, not faith!
2) We will see that for which we eagerly await, and no
longer need hope!
d. Yet throughout eternity, in the presence of Christ, “love
1. Love is truly “a more excellent way” (1Co 12:31), what Paul
describes elsewhere as…
a. The fulfillment of the Law – Ro 13:8
b. The bond of perfection – Col 3:14
2. When properly defined and understood, love is also “the way of
a. For in Paul’s description of love, we see a picture of the
character of Christ
b. As disciples of Christ, we are to walk in the way of love as well
– cf. Ep 5:1-2
3. How does our conduct measure up to Paul’s description of love…?
a. In our dealings with others, whether they be friends or foes?
b. Remember, without love, our labor means nothing!
Are we committed to walking in “The More Excellent Way Of Love”…?
There is a place of rest available for every New Covenant believer: We can cease our own works and enter into the life Jesus has given us through the cross.
Rest – a word that often seems beyond the grasp of people living in a hurried, ever-pressing, stressful world. The demands of daily life consume our time and energy, but God has assured us that there is a place of rest for the people of God.
Hebrews 4:1 – “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”
The demands of daily life consume our time and energy, but God has assured us that there is a place of rest for the people of God.
There is a rest for God’s people; a place in the Spirit where we can live with knowledge of the abundant life and supernatural power that Christ has given us. There is a place of rest where we stop from our own works and enter into the life Jesus has given us through the cross.
The Promised Land
Hebrews 4:2-3 goes on to say: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest…” This text is speaking about an account in the Old Covenant found in the book of Numbers chapter 13. We can read how the Lord spoke to the children of Israel and gave them this “promised land.” The Lord told them to go explore and see the blessing. So they chose twelve spies who were sent in advance to look over the land that God had promised. In their journey they discovered walled cities and giants, but also found abundance of blessings!
Ten of the spies came back with a fearful report; they did not believe the Lord had given them the land. Only Joshua and Caleb refused to believe the evil report and later entered into the land of promise – a land flowing with milk and honey or in New Covenant terms, abundance and prosperity. Those were the two of that generation who entered into rest!
Do not believe the evil report, but believe the Gospel and enter into that place of rest, peace, prosperity and health.
This “promised land” is available for every believer; it is a land flowing with health, prosperity, and every good thing. This “promised land” is not a location on a map, but a state of being. It is a place in the realm of the spirit world that literally affects how we manage “life” and our state of being through the challenges that life hands out. The life that Jesus came to give surpasses a basic, maintenance level existence that so many Christians settle for.
Believe the Gospel and enter the place of rest
This place of rest is total peace and victory in every area of our life and it is found in believing the Gospel – the news that is too good to be true, yet it is true!
John 6:28-29 – “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” To enter into that place of rest we must believe the Gospel. Believe Jesus is the Savior, the healer, the deliverer, the provider. Believe He is our Great Shepherd leading and guiding us in every area of our daily life. To work the works of God, we must believe! Believe He has conquered all the powers of the enemy and that we are seated with Him in heavenly places.
There is a place of authority – a position of knowing that we know that God is with us.
We fight the good fight of faith to believe as the winds and waves of adversity rage against our life. There are so many voices speaking in the world today – the voice of the media, the voice of circumstances, the voice of broken relationships, the voice of addictions, the voice of fear and many more. All of them can have some kind of effect on our lives. Some can even become so huge in our thinking that it is as though a giant is looming over our lives.
That is why it is so important to hear the voice of the good news of the Gospel! It is the news that reveals God’s incredible and immeasurable love for man in that He sent His only son, Jesus, to come from heaven to be the Redeemer of man. As man, Jesus became the perfect, acceptable offering for the sin of mankind. All the wrath of God for sin was poured out on Jesus! We can rest in that reality. Jesus paid the full price for our sin, for our peace, for our healing, provision, for our friendship, wisdom, and gave us complete and total victory over all the powers of the devil!
Seated with Him in a place of rest
There is a place of authority – a position of knowing that we know that God is with us. We understand that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word, so once we hear the “news that is too good to be true yet it is true for my life,” embrace it, hold on to it, believe and declare it – then rest in that truth! Do not believe the evil report, but believe the Gospel and enter into that place of rest, peace, prosperity and health.
As Joshua and Caleb entered into the land of promise with the next generation, their own generation, who did not believe and did not enter into rest, died in the wilderness.
We are seated with Him in a place of rest where we have overcome the world by faith in His finished work.
Hebrews 4:9-11 – “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
Enter into what Christ has accomplished for us. He is seated in heavenly places; He has won the victory and given it to us! We are seated with Him in a place of rest where we have overcome the world by faith in His finished work.
Sometimes it seems like the answer is beyond our reach and that there are huge walls between victory and us. Those giants can loom large and we feel like grasshoppers before them as our life is weighed down with problems, but that is the time to enter into the place of God’s rest. We can settle down in heart and mind and reach beyond the veil of unbelief and rest in what Christ has done – we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus above all principalities, all powers and every name that is named!
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Embrace the promise of God and declare that, through Christ, that place of rest is ours.
Scripture: Psalm 32:1-6a
Have you ever gone through a spiritually dry time in your life? Call it a spiritual funk. Call it the spiritual winter blues where life seems dull and going through the motions of a daily routine doesn’t bring much satisfaction. Have you ever felt your prayer life seems meaningless, or your devotional life seems fruitless and all the pizzazz has gone? Do you ever fear there might be something wrong with your spiritual walk with God, or you lost something along the way, your spiritual edge and desire? Or maybe you are filled with questions and doubts leading to feelings of uncertainty which makes you doubt yourself even more. Have you ever felt like hanging it all up – saying goodbye to your Christian walk all together. I mean if it is going to be this difficult, with so much work involved, let’s forget about it. Let’s move on to something else and avoid the emptiness and depression which sets in when dryness comes our way. We have wandered long enough in the desert searching for water, but our bucket is still bone dry and dusty and we question whether the energy put forward to keep on going is really worth it when nothing we have tried in our spiritual bag of tricks has worked thus far.
To all of these feelings and multiplied experiences, let me make a blanket statement to cover your spiritual wounds and minds with hopefully some peace.
Spiritual dryness is a normal experience we all encounter – we simply don’t like to talk about it very much because we think it makes us appear less Christian somehow. And though spiritual dryness may be a normal experience we all go through, it certainly doesn’t feel normal because it hurts, it seems foreign to our systems. Why? Because as Christian disciples we get use to a certain level of intimacy with God, and dryness puts a kibosh on things doesn’t it? We feel separated from God and no one likes to go through separation because it can be painful and lonely. When I attend annual conference, I say hello to many colleagues and enjoy the renewal of friendships, but my heart still misses my family back home, because it doesn’t feel normal to be away from them.
During times of spiritual dryness, the enemy will try to convince us we are all alone in this. No one else but you is having this problem. I mean – you never hear other Christians talking about spiritual dryness now do you? There must be something wrong with me, or I must be doing something wrong, and if I could just find the right ingredient to add to my spiritual disciplines or attend the right retreat or seminar, I could fix this thing. However, the reality is, spiritual dryness comes, and it simply may be a clue it’s time for you to slow down and re-evaluate what’s happening in your life.
I recall living in Kentucky one year when the State was experiencing a serious drought and the farmers were praying for rain while dairy men hauled in water for their cows. The lakes were drying up and boaters were left high and dry at the docks while the grass burned and became brown like straw. The people of Kentucky had no control over the dry conditions, all they could do was wait it out, make the best of things, and believe better days would return.
Well, in a similar way, our spiritual walk with God goes through phases, things we don’t always have control over. Let’s face it, sometimes in life we feel like we are on top of the mountain, and other times we feel like the mountain is on top of us don’t we? Then, there are periods where life seems very daily, almost boring, depressing; and though we appreciate the security of a regular routine, our hearts cry out for something more.
Today, I want to share seven possible reasons for experiencing spiritual dryness in our walk with God. Perhaps you will identify with several of these. My hope today is that this message will be something you find very practical as we begin a new year together.
1. The first reason for dryness we usually jump to before all others, refers to the issue of unconfessed sin in our lives. We read passages of Scripture such as Psalm 66:18; Psalm 32:1-5; Lamentations 3:40-42,44; Isaiah 1:15; and Isaiah 59:2 which explain to us God does not hear our prayers when there is iniquity in our heart. And why is that? Because sin causes a barrier between ourselves and God. It breaks our fellowship by grieving and quenching the Spirit of God from working in our lives. So, if unconfessed sin is an issue, if it is where we are at – then to resolve things, to get back on track with God, we must agree with God where we have blown it and restore the relationship, the connection with God.
But if you have already prayed to God about this matter, you have confessed any known and unknown grievances to the Lord and the Holy Spirit is not revealing to you any more barriers or convicting you of any sin, then sin in not the main issue and you do not have to carry around with you a sense of false guilt that you must be a bad Christian and doing something wrong. You could seek forgiveness a thousand times over, but that will not cure things. So the answer must be elsewhere. Which leads us to some other possibilities, I’m numbering 2-7.
2. A second cause for spiritual dryness ties in with our emotions or feelings, what we refer to as an affective breakdown. We may not feel alive to God, but it does not mean God is not alive to us. From God’s perspective, the Lord still treasures our fellowship. And the good news is, God’s presence remains, though we may not feel it.
Example: Within our families, we do not always feel loving toward all of our family members at all times do we? We may need some space for a short season of time. Perhaps there is an issue that needs to be resolved to clear the air, or someone including yourself, needs an attitude adjustment. But none of these things stops us from loving our families now does it? Feelings come and go, but the love remains just as God’s presence remains with us.
Then of course we have mood swings, both up and down. They could be caused by hormonal changes or related to our present circumstances. When you are having one of those rotten days where everything is going wrong or the news is bad, it’s difficult to stay upbeat. We must remember, we cannot always live on the mountaintop, most of our living will be done down in the valley. I’m sure Peter, James and John would have enjoyed staying longer with Jesus on the mountain when He was transfigured brilliantly white before them. I’m sure they would have liked to have stayed longer to see Moses and Elijah and to hear God speak. How exciting that must have been. They were the only three guys out of the entire planet who got to experience that moment. What a privilege and honor and blessing. But normal life is not spent on the mountain tops with our heads up in the clouds. Real ministry often has road bumps along the way and our hands get messy. Yet, this is where God has chosen to use each of us on a practical level – down in the valley where everyone else lives and where real growth takes place.
3. Another cause for spiritual dryness can be physiological. Do we really feel like praying when we have a cold, or sinus problems, or allergies, or feel run down, or are exhausted from lack of sleep? When we physically are not at 100%, it affects our whole being. I read a case of a man who every 16-18 days felt down, very depressed for no apparent reason, and he could not understand why. He later discovered it was related to his body’s hormones. We with our western minds have a tendency to divide ourselves into little compartments with a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual side. We usually do not consider how they are all intertwined and how one impacts the other. For instance, when you go to a medical doctor and explain the symptoms of your sickness, you might receive a prescription. Take this pill, drink plenty of fluids and rest to help your physical body get in a position where it can heal itself. Though the medical doctor’s expertise focuses on the physical component, is it possible there could be stress factors (mental, emotional, spiritual) impacting the person’s health as well? Absolutely.
So, if it makes sense to you that we are wholelistic beings, that an imbalance in one area can affect another area, we can examine our physical lives to see how it might influence us spiritually. We need to look at things such as keeping a proper diet – our nutritional levels. Are we getting enough sleep? Do we feel sluggish from a lack of exercise? What level of stress are we dealing with? How are we presently coping and managing with life’s pressures? What about the busyness of our schedules? [Are you running your life or is your life running you?] Sometimes we get this odd notion we are irreplaceable, that things won’t get done unless we do it, so we try doing it all. Then life no longer becomes fun. Instead of enjoying our lives we resent them because we feel trapped in a pattern where we can’t break free.
4. A fourth cause we could identify as underfeeding -starving our souls. Perhaps our walk with God is a hit and miss relationship. We have a devotional time when we can fit it in with our hurried schedules. But most of the time – God gets squeezed out of the picture. We lack the intentionality and regularity of communing with the Lord. Now what would happen if we missed some of our meals for a couple of days, or perhaps an entire week? Well, in a similar way we need spiritual food to feed our souls. As the saying goes – seven days without prayer makes one (weak). To have quality time, we need to spend some quantity time. You can’t sit down and say I am now going to spend 10 quality minutes with God, just like you can‘t say I‘m going to spend 10 quality minutes with a loved one. In the midst of quantity time, those quality moments rise to the top, but you cannot plan them to happen. We need to practice the minimum spiritual disciplines of reading the Bible (to hear from God so we can learn) and praying each day. Why not begin the day and end the day this way, or make it a pattern to talk to God while you drive your vehicle or do your errands. By doing this we are developing holy habits that will allow us to maintain a spiritual balance and rhythm.
5. A fifth cause is trying to imitate the pattern of someone else. The good news is, we can get some great ideas from others, it’s not necessary to always reinvent the wheel. But our spiritual formation is personalized to fit us. What works for someone else, may not work for you and me. For instance, someone may enjoy getting up at 4am or 5am to start their day with the Lord. Well, if you are a morning person that is great. But if you are a night owl getting up at 4am will kill you. We must find those patterns, those disciplines that work best for us. Our spiritual formation must reflect our own uniqueness. And something we will find is the need also for variety. With each new year, we may try adding or deleting something with our personal quiet time with God. You don’t have to do the same thing for 10 years in a row. The idea is to maintain a vital connection, a relationship with God, not fill a spiritual quota.
6. Sixth are life changes. Things such as a death in the family, a life-threatening disease, a severe illness, moving to a new area, changing schools, establishing new friendships and saying goodbye to old friends, divorce, unemployment, pregnancy, newly married, the birth of children and so on.
In our spiritual formation, we must not omit these life changes, because they will affect our lives and how we relate to God and to others. They will impact us. In 1990, after Lisa’s father passed away, I remember Lisa’s mother telling me she could not read the Bible, she could not follow her routine she had before. I advised her to take things slowly, to put her Bible away for a season of time and when she was ready to start up again, to try small doses of Scripture; reading for briefer periods of time just to begin the habit of getting back into God’s Word.
When we encounter life changes there are some helpful things we can do to address those life changes. Such as journaling your thoughts and prayers (that is, pouring your heart out to God on paper), reading helpful materials or listening to the counsel of others where God may lead us. Sometimes the Lord will use Scripture to directly speak to us. At other times God may use a certain gifted author or radio personality to touch our lives and help to bring wholeness and understanding to our minds. God knows everything about your life changes, so the Lord is ready to work with you at the pace you can handle.
Lastly, #7, I mention spiritual changes. The book of Hebrews in chapter five (5:11-14), discusses the need to move from the milk of the word to the meat. As we grow deeper in our relationship with God, we can’t stay where we are at. That will not satisfy us. We will need to try something new or move to a new area of spiritual learning where we will be stretched beyond our comfort zones. Or God might be saying to you in your situation, that is enough studying for now, you need to apply some of your learning so I can teach you more. Think of your spiritual life and walk with God as a sponge. A sponge, as we know, can only absorb so much. It needs to be squeezed out to absorb again. For us to receive more from God, we must share ourselves with others so God can refill us. In our thinking, we need to move from having a devotional life, to living out a devoted life.
The good news is, if I am going through a period of dryness, the rivers of life will flow again. My task is to remain persistent, to practice the spiritual disciplines faithfully, whether I feel like it or not. I am to expose myself to God’s Spirit, allowing God‘s grace and anointing to touch my life. Whether I sense the growth or not, as long as I place myself in the Sonshine with plenty of water, like a plant, I will eventually grow. I must remind myself always, God has not left. The Lord is more eager for my fellowship that I am of His.
As I close I make a suggestion – asking you to consider two things.
1. Ask God – what would be the best thing for me now in this present stage of my life. Lord, what would You have me do? Ho would You have me pray and study? What do You want me to read or watch or listen to? Do You want me to rest and be still for now? See how God answers and leads you.
And then 2. Try the example of Moses. In the book of Numbers, chapter 9, verse 8, the twelve tribes were in the midst of their wilderness wanderings when they looked to Moses to answer their question. Instead of offering common sense advice or earthly wisdom, Moses said, “Wait, and I’ll listen to the Lord for instructions on this.” Moses took a spiritual time out. He chose to wait on God in prayer and listen for His will. And I think we in turn must get ourselves in an unhurried and quiet position to listen for God’s instructions on whatever matter we are dealing with. We need to learn to listen instead of guessing at what the answer might be.
As a final thought, listen to this beautiful promise from the Lord – “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8) God promises to not only remain with us and watch over us throughout our lifetimes, but God promises to direct us as well along this journey we call life with all of its challenges and surprises, its opportunities and disappointments, its sad times and blessings. But through it all – God remains with us and for us and in our last days will lead us home.
Ministry: How Real Servants Think
By Pastor Rick Warren
CBN.com – To be a servant you must think like a servant.
My servant Caleb thinks differently and follows me completely. Num. 14:24 (NCV)
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. Phil. 2:5 (Msg)
Servanthood requires a mental shift, a change in your attitudes. God is always more interested in why we do something than in what we do. Attitudes count more than achievements. King Amaziah lost Gods favor because “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a true heart.” Real servants serve God with a mindset of five attitudes:
Real Servants are Self-Forgetful
They focus on others, not themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. Paul said, Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. This is what it means to “lose your life”- forgetting yourself in service to others. When we stop focusing on our needs, we become aware of the needs around us.
Jesus “emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant.” When was the last time you emptied yourself for someone elses benefit? You cant be a servant if youre full of yourself. Its only when we forget ourselves that we do the things that deserve to be remembered.
Unfortunately, a lot of our service is often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals. That is manipulation, not ministry. All the time were really thinking about ourselves and how noble and wonderful we are. Some people try to use service as a bargaining tool with God: “Ill do this for you God, if youll do something for me.” Real servants dont try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes.
The quality of self-forgetfulness, like faithfulness, is extremely rare. Out of all the people Paul knew, Timothy was the only example he could point to. Thinking like a servant is difficult because it challenges the basic problem of my life: I am, by nature, selfish. I think most about me. Thats why humility is a daily struggle, a lesson I must relearn over and over. The opportunity to be a servant confronts me dozens of times a day where Im given the choice to decide between meeting my needs or the needs of others. Self-denial is the core of servanthood.
We can measure our servants heart by how we respond when others treat us like servants. How do you react when youre taken for granted, bossed around, or treated as an inferior? The Message paraphrase of Matthew 5:41 says, If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.
Real Servants Think Like Stewards, Not Owners
They remember God owns it all. In the Bible, a steward was a servant entrusted to manage an estate. Joseph was this kind of servant as a prisoner in Egypt. First, Potiphar entrusted Joseph with his home. Then the jailer entrusted Joseph with his jail. Eventually Pharaoh entrusted the entire nation to him. Servanthood and stewardship go together since God expects us to be trustworthy in both. The Bible says, The one thing required of such servants is that they be faithful to their master. How are you handling the resources God has entrusted to you?
To become a real servant, youre going to have to settle the issue of money in your life. Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters… You cannot serve both God and Money.” He didnt say, “You shouldnt serve both,” but “You cannot.” It is impossible. Living for ministry and living for money are mutually exclusive goals. Which one will you choose? If youre a servant of God you cant moonlight for yourself. All your time belongs to God. He insists on exclusive allegiance, not part-time faithfulness.
Money has the greatest potential to replace God in your life. More people are sidetracked from serving by materialism than anything else. They say, “After I achieve my financial goals, Im going to serve God.” That is a foolish decision they will regret for eternity. When Jesus is your Master, money serves you, but if money is your master, you become its slave. Wealth is certainly not a sin, but failing to use it for Gods glory is. Real servants are more concerned about ministry than money.
The Bible is very clear: God uses money to test your faithfulness as a servant. Thats why Jesus talked more about money than he did about either heaven or hell. He said, If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? How you manage your money affects how much God can bless your life.
I believe people usually fall into one of two categories: Kingdom Builders and Wealth Builders.
Both are gifted at making a business grow, making deals or sales, and making a profit.
Wealth Builders continue to amass wealth for themselves no matter how much they make.
Kingdom Builders change the rules of the game. They still try to make as much money as they can but they do it in order to give it away. They use the wealth to fund Gods church and its mission in the world.
At Saddleback church, we have a group of CEOs and business owners who are trying to make as much as they can, so they can give as much as they can to further the kingdom of God. I encourage you to talk with your pastor and begin a Kingdom Builders group in your church.
Real Servants Think About Their Own Responsibilities, Not What Other Servants are Doing
They dont compare, criticize, or compete with other servants or ministries. Theyre too busy doing the work God has given them.
Competition between Gods servants is illogical for many reasons: were all on the same team, our goal is to make God look good, not ourselves, weve been given different assignments, and were all uniquely shaped. Paul said, We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Theres no place for petty jealousy between servants. When youre busy serving, you dont have time to be critical. Any time spent criticizing others is time that could have been spent ministering. When Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was not helping with the work, she lost her servants heart. Real servants dont complain of unfairness, dont have pity-parties, and dont resent those not serving. They just trust God and keep serving.
Its not our job to evaluate the Masters other servants. The Bible says, Who are you to criticize someone else’s servant? The Lord will determine whether his servant has been successful. Its also not our job to defend ourselves against criticism. Let your Master handle it. Follow the example of Moses who showed true humility in the face of opposition, as did Nehemiah, whose response to critics was simply, My work is too important to stop now and visit with you.
If you serve like Jesus, you can expect to be criticized. The world, and even much of the church, does not understand what God values. The disciples criticized one of the most beautiful acts of love shown to Jesus. Mary took the most valuable thing she owned, expensive perfume, and poured it over Jesus. Her lavish service was called “a waste” by the disciples, but Jesus called it “significant,” and thats all that mattered. You service for Christ is never wasted, regardless of what others say.
Real Servants Base Their Identity in Christ
They remember they are unconditionally loved and accepted by grace, so they dont have to prove their worth when they are threatened by lowly jobs. Most of us are too insecure to be servants. Were afraid our weaknesses and insecurities will be uncovered so we hide them with layers of protective pride and pretensions.
One of the most profound examples of serving from a secure self-image is Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Washing feet was the equivalent of being a shoeshine boy, a job devoid of status. But Jesus knew who he was, so it didnt threaten or bother him to do it.
The Bible says Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God…so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist…
If youre going to be a servant you must settle your identity in Christ. Only secure people can serve. The more insecure you are, the more youll want people to serve you, and the more youll need their approval. On the other hand, when you base your worth and identity on your relationship to Christ, you are freed from the expectation of others. You are freed to serve.
Servants dont need to cover their walls with plaques and awards to validate their work. They dont insist on being addressed by titles and they dont wrap themselves in robes of superiority. Servants find status symbols unnecessary and they never measure their worth by their achievements. Paul said, You may brag about yourself, but the only approval that counts is the Lord’s approval.
If anyone had the chance of a lifetime to flaunt his connections and “name-drop,” it was James, the half-brother of Jesus. He had the credentials of growing up with Jesus as his brother. Yet in introducing his letter, he simply referred to himself as “a servant of God and the Lord Jesus.” The closer you get to Jesus, the less you need to promote yourself.
Real Servants Think of Ministry as an Opportunity, Not an Obligation
They enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry. They “serve the Lord with gladness.” Why do we serve with gladness? Because we love the Lord, were grateful for his grace, we know serving is the highest use of life, and God has promised a reward. Jesus promised, The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me. And Paul added, He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians.
Imagine what could happen if just 10% of all Christians in the world got serious about their role of being a real servant. Imagine all the good that could be done. Are you willing to be one of those people? Albert Schweitzer said, “The only really happy people are those have learned how to serve.”