Thursday, August 25, 2016

Doing My Job

I must admit that I have a bit of an issue relenting control sometimes. There are times when I feel that if it is going to get done then I just have to do it. Last year about this time we were planning our family reunion. At the time I was working 7 days a week and ususally 12 hours a day, with almost an hour commute each way. I had no time but I was local so they asked if I could plan it and I said yes. Because of cost and the fact that 80% or more of the family did not live locally it was decided that we would self-cater. I had a plan and it was a good plan (if I do say so myself) but I didn't have time or energy to really implement the plan so I had to do something that was very uncomfortable to me... I had to delegate. I had to ask my daughter to make about 50 pounds of pulled pork. I had to ask people to make side dishes and desserts. Then I had to ask one of my sisters to decorate the social hall. I was very much out of my comfort-zone. But you know what... everything got done and it was beautiful and lots of fun. It didn't take me having control of every single facet of the reunion for everything to be perfect.

About 20 years ago I worked in a warehouse. Regularly we would get container trucks in and it was the warehouse staff's job to unload it. The boxes weren't heavy as they were just boxes of gloves so we would create an assembly line and toss them out. My job always seemed to be inside the truck and tossing them to one of the guys. So I would pick up a box and toss it to him and he would catch it and stack it on a pallet. My job was not to toss the box, run down to the end and catch it and then stack it on the pallet. My job simply was to toss the box to my co-worker and he took it from there. Amazingly it worked out perfectly, even without me being in completely control of the process.

Several months ago I was praying about what I should do. My job, though making very good money, was slowing killing me spiritually, emotionally and physically. I was working too much with no choice about it. Every day it seemed that the first things out of my mouth were, "God, what am I to do?" Every day there didn't seem to be an answer. Day after day my heart and soul cried out to God wanting to know what I was to do. For what seemed too long there didn't appear to be an answer. Then there was THE MOMENT when God spoke to me. He told me to do what I am supposed to do and he would take care of the rest. A deep sense of peace came over me and I knew that regardless of whether I was to stay at that job or go somewhere else I would be content knowing that it wasn't my responsibility but God. So I stepped out in faith and applied for jobs, praying that God would close any door that I was not supposed to go through. But I knew that having a different job was only one aspect that needed to be changed in my life. I needed a deeper understanding of God's word and people in my life that would challenge me, teach me and encourage me to stretch out of my comfort-zone and pursue that which God called me to do (whatever that may be). God directed my path and put the people in my life that I needed. And it wasn't but a few days after that the interview call came and then the job offer and then the job. The job and the people are exactly right for this stage of my life but it still isn't easy. I now make about 1/3 of what I used to make so money can be a bit tight at times. My drive to church is farther than before (see the previous sentence about making less money). BUT it is still the right thing for me to do.

When I think about how I can only control what I can control and only God can do the rest, I realize that my job is only to do the right thing. My job isn't to provide for all my needs. My job isn't to make sure that I stay safe and secure. My job isn't to make sure everything happens exactly as logic says it should. My job isn't to fix everything. Rather, my job is obeying Christ today. My job is to pray for those in my harvest field today. My job is be in God's will today. My only job is to do MY job. My job is simply to do that which is right. Once I do my job it is then up to God to do the rest. It is God's job to provide for my needs. It is God's job to put people in my harvest field. It is God's job to protect me. It is God's job to heal those that He leads me to pray for. It is God's job to do everything that is not my job. The stressful part of life is when we start taking ownership of a job which is not ours. When we start trying to take responsibility for a job that only God can do, then we start feeling overwhelmed and stressed. So instead of trying to do the job of God, focus on doing YOUR job. Focus on doing the right things and relinquish the job of God to the Creator of the Universe. I believe He is big enough to handle it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Taking the Fight to the Streets

Today as I was headed to church I was praying for the city and asking God for revival. But my desire and prayer wasn't just for the local church that I attend but for every church; that God would reveal His Word and there would be a mighty move of His Spirit throughout the city. While praying I knew within my soul that if we are to have a mighty revival we must go to battle in the spirit. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." We must put on the armour of God and go into our harvest fields, our cities, our places of work and bind the spirits of darkness that has a strangle hold on our world. We are not going to impact our communities by staying within our safe little congregation and having well-organized church or special programs. The only way to truly reach the harvest field is through entering the spiritual battlefield that is uncomfortable, unpleasant and doesn't smell too nice. If we truly want to change our world and see a change within our cities, we have to vow to take this spiritual battle to the streets. We must be committed to doing what it takes to bind the spiritual powers that seek to destroy our children and young people. We must unite in fervent prayer and fasting as Jesus told his disciples in Mark 9:29 "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting." To reach our families, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, or those people in cities and countries that you will never step your foot in; we must do what it takes to fight in this spiritual warfare. So I challenge you to take your prayer to the streets. Claim the promise that God gave to Moses and to Joshua "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses." (Joshua 1:3) Pray while you walk through your neighborhoods. Pray through your work place. Pray as you walk the halls at school. Pray on your way to the bank. Pray while shopping. Wherever you go and whomever you see, pray. Pray... that is how the battle will be won.

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through god to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

"And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Luke 18:1

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

God's Friend

"But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend." Isaiah 41:8

"And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." Exodus 33:11a

Whenever I read the scriptures of how God spoke with a Moses as a man would talk with his friend and how God referred to Abraham as His friend, my heart is filled with longing to have that close intimate relationship with God. My own humanity immediately tells me that my desire is one of impossibility because Abraham and Moses were pillars of the faith. Abraham had such great faith that it was given to him as righteousness. And Moses... well... he led the children of Israel out of Egypt, brought water from the rock, and parted the Red Sea and so many more big important things. My own thoughts tell me that I am just a mere mortal with so many flaws and so many short-comings that surely God doesn't see me as a friend, surely God doesn't long to talk to me face to face. My own unrelenting insecurities tell me that I am too flawed to be more than an acquaintance of the Creator of all and I should just be content with that. But when I continue to read on in the Word, I understand that God is more faithful and more merciful than my insecurities. When God robed himself in flesh and came to this world He showed the world, and me in particular, that it is possible for me to have that intimate relationship with Him that I long for. Scripture after scripture, He tells me that I loves me specifically and calls me friend. "The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!" Luke 7:34  Jesus came to be a friend of sinners, just like me.  He didn't come to save the righteous but to save people like me. Proverbs 17:17 says "A friend loveth at all times," and God has shown me time and time again that he loves me, even when I am unlovable. Even when I do not deserve His love and mercy, he still loves me... just like a friend does. When I have failed to be His friend, He has been faithful to be mine. The ultimate declaration of His love and desire to be my friend is His willingness to become flesh and bear my sin on His sinless back and die in my place. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend" John 15:13 Jesus picked up that cross and carried it up that hill, bearing the sin and shame that was mine to bear, and allowed them to kill His body simply because He loves ME. I have no reason to doubt that the Creator of all, and the Savior of the world love me, in particular.

When you start feeling small and the thoughts in your mind tell you that God is too big to really care about you or to even notice you, just remember that He died on that cross because He longs for you to be His friend. He loves you specifically and there isn't anything that is too big to keep you from Him.  Regardless of any mistakes you have made or any temptation that has overtaken you, He loves you enough to forgive and still be your friend. Simply trust His Word when He says, "Ye are my friend, if you do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:14)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Getting God's Strength

When you commit your life to God and the Biblical plan of salvation, your life doesn't suddenly become perfect. You might get a flat tire, or get sick or have relationship troubles. Following God does not make us immune to the storms of life. The Bible says in Matthew 5:45b "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." There are things in life that happen that we cannot necessarily escape. But during those difficult times we need the strength of God. It takes strength to be a Christian. It takes strength to forgive. It takes strength to turn the other cheek. It takes strength to have a soft answer. It takes strength wrestle with principalities and powers. It isn't ordinary strength that we need but godly strength... strength that only comes from the only Omnipotent one. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1 "Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:" Isaiah 26:4 "it is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect." Psalm 18:32 "...the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God." Psalm 68:35 Time and time again throughout the Bible do we learn and know that God is the strength that we need.

We know he is our strength but how do we access that strength? How do we tap into the power of His strength. 

1. "Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that  you may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;" Deuteronomy 11:8

The first thing we need to do is obey. When we obey the Word of God, that is the first step of receiving the strength that God has for us. When we surrender our own will and follow God's plan for our life, He is right they handing us His strength. 

2. "Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary." Psalm 96:6

When we join together with other believers to worship God and to hear God's Word preached, then we can claim more of the strength of God. It is when we come together in unity as the body of Christ that we have strength to face those difficult things that come against us in life.

3. "Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore." Psalm 105:4

It sounds simple but simply ask the Lord for strength. In Matthew 7:7-8 it says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto  you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." So when we seek the Lord and His strength with our whole heart we can be assured that we will find it. 

4. "My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word." Psalm 119:28

It is through the reading and applying of the Word of God in our lives that we gain God's strength. Without knowledge of the Bible then we do not have the understanding of all the promises that God has given us in His Word. It is through His Word that He guides us and gives us strength. 

5. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

After all of that we must simply wait/serve the Lord. We must have the mind-set of "God what can I do for you? Jesus, who can I minister to for the Kingdom's sake? Lord, I want to serve you." We must have the mind of a servant because it is in that serving and waiting that we find strength without fainting.  

If we follow these five Biblical steps for tapping into the strength of our Heavenly Father, even before the storms of life come our way, then we have nothing to fear. 

(This article was inspired by the teaching of Rev. J. Maki in Valparaiso, IN)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bible Study Inspiration - Romans 4

"(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither the deadness of Sarah's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;" Romans 4:17-20

Have you ever thought about Abraham and Sarah? Have you thought about the biology of a woman and how after a certain time in their life they are not able to conceive (at least without some medical intervention). Not only the idea of a 90 year old woman conceiving but being strong enough in body to be able to carry the baby to term, go through the painful process of delivering the child and then raising that child. It was an incredibly beautiful thing to have the faith that your beloved wife of many, many years would, even long after menopause, conceive and bring forth a child. When Abraham was busy having faith, he didn't think or worry about the fact that Sarah was long past child-bearing years. His faith didn't waver nor was it shaken by unbelief. God promised and he simply believed.

It is an awesome thing to believe without wavering that something we KNOW to be a physical impossibility will be fulfilled just as God promised. But that is the kind of faith that we need to fulfill the mission and calling that He has placed on our lives. Convenient or easy faith will not bring us the revival or the harvest that we long to see within our cities or communities. If God has given you a vision of reaching your city, even if crime escalates and sin seems to abound, do not stagger at that vision. Do not allow your faith to be shaken by focusing on the sinner but be fully persuaded that God will perform that which he promised. "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." Romans 4:21 " God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repend: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? If God said it you can stand on that promise and be not staggered by unbelief. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Newfoundland Calling... can you answer?

Today I read an article about Newfoundland. When I come across an article or pictures about Newfoundland and Labrador, it is very bittersweet. I am torn between reading/looking at it or avoiding it all together because the yearning is so great to go. It has been just over nine years since I went to Newfoundland for the first time. I don't know at what moment I fell in love but I fell completely and totally in love with this beautiful, rugged, sometimes lonely, sometimes barren, almost always remote paradise. I have only been able to return two more times since that first visit, but a large part of my heart was left there. My favorite visit was the last time I visited five years ago. Since I drove up there by myself I was able to see places that I couldn't see with a group and visit for longer times in a relaxed and unhurried pace. I was able to walk through towns chatting with anyone who would chat (which is just about everyone). I talked and listened for extended periods of time to people building boat by hand or the woman at the post-office, or the people at a Tim Horton's. It was during that visit that I was able to go the Spree by the Sea festival in Baie Verte and meet people that need Jesus just like I do. I was able to see places, which I love to do, but it was the people that I met that impacted me the most. That trip was incredible but it was also on that trip that I had my most heart breaking moments though. When I would drive into a little community and I would see a population marker and yet not see a church that shares the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus, my heart would cry because those people are just as important as the millions in urban environments. Take the community Come by Chance, NL, the closest church that teaches baptism as the apostles taught is 2 hours away. Jesus died for those 265 people just as He did for me. Hant's Harbour is almost 2 hours away and have a population of 346 and Jesus' blood was shed for them too. These two example communities aren't even very remote at all and yet they are so far from a Jesus name assembly. To my knowledge there is not one church that teaches water baptism in Jesus name in the whole Labrador portion of the province. The area the size of Arizona, 113,000 square miles, without one person (to my knowledge) that is baptizing as the Bible commands. Is there not a call? Is there not a purpose? O, for someone to see the need, for someone to carry the burden, for someone to pick up the mantle and go love these people and share with them the joy of the Holy Ghost and fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

"Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37-38

Monday, August 15, 2016

So Shall It Stand

"The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand." Isaiah 14:24

There are so many times in life when storms come our way and we start feeling uncertain, fearful and wonder how we are going to make it through. We feel that the storm has created havoc in our life, we can't see where we are headed and nothing seems to make sense. Earlier this year I was driving down to Kentucky to see my parents and it rained almost the whole way. Driving in constant rain is not my idea of a good time but, though annoying, it doesn't bother me too much. I was around Dayton, Ohio when all of a sudden it started raining so hard I couldn't even see the hood of my car. I quickly turned my hazard lights on and my mind started racing about whether I should stop or continue to drive. Mentally I was in full panic mode. Instantly feeling frightened and worried about what response the drivers cars around me were going to choose, I was in pray through mode. I had no visual references at all. Suffice it to say, it was a harrowing and terrifying experience. It may have been 3 minutes or 30 minutes (my terror did not recognize time) but somehow I managed to keep it together through that storm cell and come safely through to the other side. You know what would have been great? What if I had someone who could have seen through the torrential rains and told me exactly what I needed to know to drive safely through the storm? If I had complete faith in their ability to direct me where I needed to go and how fast I should drive, my fear would have dissipated. My driving would have changed based on what this person told me, perhaps I would have veered to the left or right or slowed down or sped up but I would have been able to do those things KNOWING that they could lead me to safety.

It is no different in our spiritual walk. We get slammed on one side or the other (sometimes both sides) by the storms of life. Perhaps it is the loss of a job or your car breaking down. Maybe someone spoke poorly of you or ignored you. The storms in life come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and while we are directly in that storm we can't see past where we are. For all we know there is a spiritual tsunami headed straight for us that will destroy us or there may be blue skies and still waters in just a little while. We don't know but we do know a God who does know what lies ahead. He knows where he wants to take you and knows exactly the storms that you must go through to get there. We just have to have faith that whatsoever he has purposed, it will stand. When that storm tries to overwhelm you just draw closer to the One who can see on the other side of the storm.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" Philippians 1:6

Monday, August 8, 2016

Desires of the Heart

"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4

That verse is a favorite among most every Christian. We love to hear how God will give us those things we desire. We believe God for a new car, a new house, a new job and the list goes on and on. Our foundation for having faith enough to believe for those things is Psalm 37:4 "and he SHALL give you the desires of thine heart." There is something highly energizing about a "name it and claim it" sort of faith. It is easy to go around telling people what God is going to do because you "claimed it." After all you are just holding God to His Word, because we are good, happy Christians and we delight in participating in the things of the church and of God then "he SHALL give me the desires of my heart." So any day now that new car is going to be pulled into your drive or that new job will come to fruition because that is your desire.

Let me share with you the next verse. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5. Perhaps your response to that verse is, "Whoa there... what do you mean commit? I am not prepared to make a commitment about this. No, all we have to do it be happy with God and He will give us what we want. That is what it says and that it what I am counting on." Committing your ways to God is more than just getting a good feeling about going to church or giving a few bucks to that homeless person down the street. Committing to God is surrendering ourselves to Him. When we commit our ways to God then our desires will naturally become transformed.  Our desires will start looking more like God's desires when we are fully committing our ways to him. After we have committed our ways to him then just trust Him. Lean into His presence and be confident that He will fulfill that which He promised.

"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give the the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:4-5

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Surrendering Your Way Out of the Storm

It has been one of those days. One of those months. One of those years. One of those times in life in which you feel overwhelmed and unsure how you are going to take the next breath let alone the next step. Your faith is battered and it feels to be completely broken. You can't see past this very moment, not even thinking of tomorrow or next month. Brokenness, heartbreak, loneliness, grief... that is all you can see. Everything appears bleak and hopeless. Thoughts of a future full of joy, ministry and prosperity were dashed against the rocks when the storm of life hit you. You go through the motions of life but inside you want someone to notice that you are drowning and save you. The weariness of fighting the storm is too much for you and you wonder where God is and why He hasn't pulled you out of the storm. I know what you are going through and it isn't easy but let me assure you that God is right there with you. He is waiting for you to welcome Him into your situation. He is desiring you to surrender not just the current situation but your future into his very capable hands. God is longing for you to allow Him to be your light and salvation. Many times we get in these storms of life and we want rescued but we are unwilling to let go of the sinking boat. The very things that are keeping us in the storm sometimes are the things that we can't seem to surrender. The bad influences that we choose to surround ourselves with and whom we are unwilling to let go of, could be the very reason that we are still in the storm. The unwillingness to surrender our time to prayer and reading the Word, could be the reason that life continues to be a struggle. The key to getting out of the storm starts with surrender. Surrender to His Word. Surrender to His Plan. Surrender to His calling. Surrender to His Will. Full surrender on our part will bring the full power of the hand of God to our rescue.

"When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Psalm 27:7

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kicked Out

I am a person who feels secure in routine and plans. Though I don't always live by my plans, when things get chaotic, I can stop and go back to the plan and get back in my comfort zone. When making plans for a trip I probably over research. I make tons of lists of all of the things to see and do. Due to time and money restrictions most of what I find to do gets gets left undone. I remember taking a trip 5 years ago this month to Newfoundland. I felt God had told me for months that it was His will that I go. He provided the money, the time and the transportation. I had this trip planned out, where to stay, what to see, where to eat but.... But God had different plans. I left 24 hours later than I planned. When I was only 11 hours away from North Sydney, Nova Scotia I called to get ferry reservations only to be told they were sold out for the next two sailings. This whole change threw me right out of my comfort-zone and I started questioning whether I was supposed to even go. As I sat in that little motel room I felt like God said, "it's okay. I have this planned out." It wasn't easy but I made the conscience decision that I was going to let things happen as they happened and not get caught up in the "but that isn't what I planned." As I went down to the motel office to ask about a place to eat, she started telling me of places to see and do while I was waiting the 24 hours for the next ferry. That evening as I explored North Sydney, Nova Scotia, I knew that God had a plan and His plan was better than all my planning. The next morning I visited the Fortress of Louisbourg (which is absolutely awesome) and talked to the woman at the visitor center of the City of Louisbourg for probably a couple hours. We talked about God, family and life. I left there and went to get on the ferry. As I was waiting for the couple hours in the loading area I struck up a conversation with the lady in the lane next to me. She was traveling to Newfoundland with her children. We talked for quite a while and then it was time to load the ferry. As we were in different lanes, we weren't loaded together so we parted ways. After loading I made my way up to the restaurant. I had no sooner started my meal when the children came over excited to see me and then the mother came over telling the children not to bother me. I told her they were no bother and  invited them to join me. She then told me her story. She told me of her husband passing and how life had gotten so hard and she was moving to Newfoundland to get away from it all. We sat at that table and talked for a long time and I could tell that as we talked she grew more confident and hopeful of her future.

What if God hadn't kicked me out of my comfort-zone? Who would have shared with the woman in Louisbourg? What person would have been there to offer hope and prayer to a mother and her children? Would I have been changed? Would I have been able to see that other person as a soul and not just another face? Our lives are not usually impacted while we are in our comfort-zone. Typically we are not impacting and spreading the love of Jesus while we are nestled down into our comfort-zone thinking only of ourselves. I think that God is calling the church to get out of those four walls we have built around ourselves and out of the many plans we have made and allow Him to use us to impact that one lady, that one man, that one child. That one person that you impact may be the one who reaches their neighborhood. That one woman may be the one who saves the life of someone who prays revival into your city. You cannot know the impact you will have on the world when you make the very conscience decision to allow God to kick you out of your comfort-zone.  Outside of that comfort-zone is where he can anoint and utilize you for His Kingdom.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Seeking Right Counsel

Isaiah 30:1-3 "Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion"

When I read the above scripture I was convicted. I cannot count the times that something terrible has happened and I first sought the counsel of my parents, my sisters or some other respected individual. Seeking counsel from godly men and women is not necessarily bad but many times we do not go to God first. We do not allow God to speak to us directly first but rather seek the counsel of others. Why is it that we count on these respected individuals to have a word from God for us but we do not count on God's ability to speak to us directly? Have we become so hardened and rebellious in our own way and desires that we can no longer hear the voice of God? Have we allowed the voices of this world to become so loud in our lives that we are not longer sensitive to the nudging and direction of the Spirit? Are we counting on the counsel and strength of ourselves or those around us that we no longer NEED God? Have we become so self-sufficient that God is no longer our fortress and strong tower? According to Isaiah 30, when we make the decision to rely on the strength and counsel of this world then it will become our shame and our confusion. Is it any wonder that this world is such a confusing mess? We have come to rely on ourselves, our governments and our money and leave God out of our decision making. Isaiah goes on to say in verse 4-5, "For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame and a reproach." The earthly things that we take our strength and counsel from will fade away and all that we are left with is shame and reproach. It is time for us to let go of our rebellious nature, seek and take the counsel of the Lord. Shut out the voices of this world and seek the Lord and His strength. Cry out to God, he will hear and answer you.

Isaiah 30:18-19 "And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep not more; he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee."