Be Encouraged

BibleLet the people of God be encouraged!  The unrighteous decision of the US Supreme Court this week is an affront to God as well as to His people, and it is surely one more nail in the coffin leading to His judgements on man.  But His purpose in judgement is to cause people to look to Him and be saved, not to pour out His wrath on the righteous.  We must come into agreement with His plans and purposes to draw all men to Himself, even if it takes very severe/difficult/unpleasant circumstances; and in the midst of it all we must stand in faith and rejoice that our God is on the move!

I have sort of been in mourning for a few days over the increase of evil that has been unleashed, with a heaviness of heart over it all, but this morning the Lord directed me to three Psalms that brought things into perspective for me.

First, Psalm 131, just 3 short verses, but they pack a punch, and I believe show the way to the first thing we need to do, which is to quiet our soul and rest in Him. What peace!

Second, He directed me to Psalm 75, which speaks of judgement, and there are some truths there we need to hold onto. In verse 2, we see that in the set time that He appoints,  He will judge with equity.  Wow!  From our calm place of rest in Him, we can be assured of the righteousness and justice of His judgements, for God is the One who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another, and as He does, the wicked will be cut off but the righteous will be lifted up (verses 7 and 10).

Third, was Psalm 35, David’s prayer the God would “contend with those who contend with me and fight with those who fight with me.”  We must realize we are at war, and it’s much bigger than just the “gay agenda.”  It’s an all-out attempt by all spiritual forces of evil, aided by their physical allies, to overcome the world.  But it’s simply not going to happen!!!  Jesus has already won the victory, and even as we witness the terrible consequences that come in any war, we must commit to the attitude of verses 27 and 28:

Let those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad
and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
and of your praise all the day long.

In the midst of the judgment that God will undoubtedly be pouring out, is our opportunity to tell those who are deceived of His righteousness, of His grace and mercy; it is an opportunity and a call for righteousness such as we’ve never had before.  There no hope except in God, and we are the ones who know the truth and are equipped to deliver His hope to those who are desperate.  Let those whom He has called rise up and joyfully enter into battle, for our commander in chief is Jesus, our Soon and Coming King!!!

He told us repeatedly not to be afraid, so heed His words.  He wouldn’t have instructed us to be fearless if it were not possible, so kick fear out the door and focus on Him.  Remember the power of obedience and praise, and watch from His rest as the present-day “walls of Jericho” are taken down.

How Shall We Pray?

BibleWhen Jesus walked the earth, his disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, and He responded by giving them the Lord’s Prayer.

Today, God still shows us how to pray, and such direction may occur in many ways; it may be a still small voice, an impression, a thought, a dream or vision–whatever way He chooses to speak to us.

This morning, I got up pondering a dream I’d just had in which it was obvious that someone was plotting against me.  As I prayed about what it meant, the Lord quickly showed me who it is and what is happening.  I asked Him how I should pray because He is the only one who could possibly intervene in the situation, and I remembered that in my dream there had been a reference to Psalms.  I knew then, that I was to pray as David prayed, and was led to Psalm 35 and 59. I wrote the prayer in my journal:

Lord, I choose to bless this person who is coming against me, for You have told us to bless our enemies.  But Lord, I now pray your scriptures:

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! Psalm 35:1

Kill them not, lest my people forget;
make them totter by your power and bring them down,
O Lord, our shield!
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,
let them be trapped in their pride.
For the cursing and lies that they utter,
consume them in wrath;
consume them till they are no more,
that they may know that God rules over Jacob
to the ends of the earth.  Psalm 59:11-13

As soon as I finished writing, The Lord impressed me to go back and pray out loud the entire text of the two chapters.  I did, and almost immediately I heard these slightly re-arranged words from Psalm 23 :

Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me in the presence of my enemies
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

As I pondered what had just happened, the Lord also impressed me that these are the prayers I am to offer for our country tomorrow, the National Day of Prayer.  It is a welcome instruction, because to say that our nation needs God’s intervention ranks right up there with the biggest understatements ever made, and I’ve about run out of the words to pray.

Please consider how the Lord wants you to pray, and join with others across the nation and around the world to pray for the USA.  We need Him desperately!