This song is currently on the playlist in my head, meaning it’s stuck there. This is a good thing as it is a reminder of what a mighty God we serve. No matter what is going on around us, He is a mighty fortress and He is a mighty warrior!
One day I may be blessed enough to lead it!! If the video doesn’t appear, here’s the link for YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACNUDMp8OnU
Like a mighty fortress, is our God
Like a mighty fortress, is our God
When enemies surround us, rising like a flood
They break into pieces, swallowed in dust
He rejoices over us
Like a mighty warrior, is our God
Like a mighty warrior, is our God
His voice is like the thunder rolling through the land
He’s the Lion of Judah, breaking off the fear of man
Upon the Rock of revelation
We’re dancing now, we’re dancing now
No enemy could ever shake us
We’re dancing now, we’re dancing now
THE GLORY OF THE LORD
Indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God (2 Chronicles 5: 13-14 New King James Version).
If we want more of God’s presence and glory in our praise and worship services, we’ve got to become united in our praise and worship of Him. “The glory of the Lord filled the temple as they lifted up their voice as one.” Pay attention to the scripture closely, it reads “and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets”. Notice it says “voice” and not “voices”. They were one voice in their praise and worship of God, united and in synch with the musicians. A church who praises God as one is a church having more of God’s presence in corporate services.
Praise and worship is the one area of the church Satan is always going to attack and attempt to divide. This is because Satan was the worship leader in heaven before he fell, so the last thing he wants to encourage is unified corporate adoration of our Lord. However, true worship is not what some of us think it is. Worship is the attitude of our hearts as we go about our day and when we gather together. When we are in the House of God, our focus should be on God and what He wants to reveal to us. It’s not about how great we sing our songs; it’s not about how eloquent our words are; it’s not about what we look like and what we wear. It’s definitely not about how long we dare to keep people in church every Sunday. Worship is about God, plain and simple. When we gather to give God praise and worship, we are ministering unto the Lord and we must fully understand and comprehend this. We are gathering together to bless Him, to worship Him and exalt Him no matter how long the Spirit keeps us there. The trumpeters and singers were as one, can you imagine the sound one body of people can make when they are as one? It would shake the gates of hell for sure!
Church, it’s time to rethink your services! It’s time to truly tune your hearts to one another and stop being a praise and worship spectator on Sundays and gather together in unified praise and adoration of our Heavenly Father. It’s time to put power back into the Church by seeking the glory of the Lord to fill our temples!
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for another day. You have blessed us with a new “tomorrow” and for that we give You praise! Thank You for the new opportunities to share Your love with someone, to be able to give encouragement to someone, to be Your hands and feet. Thank You for Your glory! Father, may our corporate gatherings become more about You and less about us; may our corporate gatherings be unified and may we praise You as one saying “For You are good and Your mercy endures forever!” Father, teach us what true worship really means and may we have attitudes of worship each and every day. May we always have praises on our lips! May Your glory fill our temples each and every day! We love You, Father, and we seek to please You! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: You don’t have to be at church to have the glory of the Lord come down, for your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. If you quiet your spirit and your mind, you can hear the sound of heaven’s song. You can join with the choir of heaven in praise and worship and the glory of the Lord will surround you! If you desire to change the atmosphere anywhere, it has to start with you first.
Additional Scriptures: Exodus 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10-11; Psalm 133
“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become unity conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life.” ~AW Tozer
GOD HAS YOUR BACK!
The Lord’s promises are pure,
like silver refined in a furnace,
purified seven times over.
Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed,
preserving them forever from this lying generation,
even though the wicked strut about,
and evil is praised throughout the land (Psalm 12:6-8 New Living Translation).
Since Monday, I’ve been doing an intense personal bible study through the Psalms. I’ve read through them many times, but this time I am seeing things I never picked up on before. As I read and reflect on each Psalm, I find I am seeing more of our political climate revealed to me and how I must implicitly trust God during these days. My heart has been hurting for the nations and the people.
We don’t have much time before Jesus comes back. This I believe wholeheartedly. Wickedness and fear permeate this world; I know the devil roams about as a lion, seeking whom he may devour, and we hear more and more of him getting his way. Government corruption and oppression, famines, poverty, wars- all prominent news items now, yet as I have studied the first fifteen Psalms this week, I have begun to understand the deep faith and trust in God the Psalmist had. We must grasp this faith as well! Subscribing to fear because of news reports is not a healthy way to live out our Christian life, nor must we seek out bad news simply to prove our point. We must all wait and trust in the Lord, our lives are His, we are no longer our own. He sees everything going on; there is not one person who escapes His scrutiny. He knows the hearts of every man and every nation. To withstand the oppression we are surely going to face, we must turn to God in intercession for the governments and nations, and trust Him to hear and answer our prayer.
Despite everything going on around us, whether close to home, or across the oceans, God has our back. We simply have to choose to accept it.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of a new day! Your mercies are new every morning and we ask for mercy today so we are able to show mercy. Father, cleanse our hearts and give us a spirit of intercession for all men. Your word commands us to pray for all men, yet we falter in this, forgive us for not seeking Your face and subscribing to fear instead. Father, turn the hearts of the fathers towards the children, and the hearts of the children towards the fathers – let not one soul on this earth be un-prayed for. Burden Your intercessors, prophets and Church to unite in prayer, taking back the ground we have allowed the enemy to gain. Strengthen our hearts to lean on You and trust You for rescue, for provision and for the courage to do what You have called each of us to do. May You have mercy on governments, on the nations, on the oppressors who turn to You. You are God and there is no other, there is none so powerful and mighty as You. We bow low in worship, offering You sacrifices of praise. We love You and trust You for vindication. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Contend for the faith, just because you haven’t seen an answer to your prayer, don’t give up praying. The Psalms are wonderful testimonies to waiting on God and trusting Him for deliverance. It doesn’t matter what you face, God has your back.
Additional Scriptures: Psalm 1-Psalm 15; 1 Peter 5:8; Malachi 4:5-6; Isaiah 52:12
***If you are interested in the bible study I mentioned, follow this link: 30 Day SPA
CLEANING THE HEART
There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear (Mark 7:15-16 New King James Version)!
When speaking, what is the content of our words? Do our words help or hinder? Do they bring peace or confusion? Are they comforting and edifying? Are they wholesome? Do our word choices reflect hope in God? Jesus spoke about what defiles a man, saying, what goes into a man does not defile him because it does not enter his heart, but what comes out of a man’s mouth brings defilement for we speak from our hearts. In society today becoming desensitized to sin and falling into defilement is easy in the ways we speak, react, or even behave. The world promotes sinful lifestyles, determining them as normal, some of them as genetic. There are Christians who somehow cannot seem to differentiate the difference between what the world deems okay and what God deems okay.
Church, it is time for a heart cleaning. What are our hearts filled with? If we exhibit negativity, gossip, complaining, grumbling, rage, hopelessness, or abusive words coming from our mouths, then we are in danger. Jesus loves us so much He will help us clean our hearts and then fill them with Godly things. This process is only as easy as we make it; sometimes in our human stubbornness, we prolong the cleansing causing more pain than God originally intended. Often this cleaning process is brought on by a traumatic situation, one in which God is clearly telling us it is time. Cleaning is not easy; it is a dirty, ugly process. Take oven cleaning, for instance. We don’t really cherish the chore, yet it is something we must do, even though most people would never see the inside of the oven until we open it. For manual oven cleaning, we may have to heat the oven a bit, spray the cleaning solution on, let it sit for a bit, and then wipe and scrub. What do we end up with? Dirty water. So then we rinse and rinse and rinse, and wipe and rinse again until the water is clear. After all the work, we finally have a clean and shiny oven! What do we say almost every time we clean the oven? We’ll get those spills when they first happen. The same is true for our hearts – we often will keep the contents of our hearts to ourselves unless someone happens to peek inside, or we open it up to show others, exposing the inside.
To stand before a holy God, we must be clean. When we accept Jesus, we are bathed in His blood and washed in His righteousness, thus beginning our cleansing. Just as we have to be patient while the cleaning solution works on oven grime, we have to be patient while God begins to cleanse and purge us of our sinful ways and mindsets. If we try to step ahead of God and try to clean ourselves, we end up needing to have Him repeat the process, making it longer and more painful. We can shorten our cleaning time by rejoicing in God, reading His word, praying and making Godly choices. In this, our hearts will be filled with good things and what comes out our mouths will not defile us.
Let’s Pray: Dear Father, create in us clean hearts, and renew steadfast spirits within us. Search us, O God and know our hearts, try us and know our anxieties, remove from us every evil thing and lead us in the way everlasting. Let our thoughts, our words, our hearts be filled with that which brings You glory and edifies Your Church. O Lord, if there is something within us that defiles us- clean us, humble us, teach us patience and endurance. Refashion our ways of thinking to conform to Yours, pluck the feathers of iniquity from us, scrub away the dirt of this world and rinse us in Your living and purifying water. We seek to please You, open our eyes to see the filth of the world and to be repulsed by it, give us the words to say and the desire to act ways that shine Your light and glorifies You in this world. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit to empower us to share Your love and Your commandments with those who are wandering. We give You all glory and Honor, in Jesus name. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Before you open your mouth to speak, think about the words you are choosing. Choose to use wholesome, positive language.
Additional Scriptures: Matthew 15:16-20; Psalm 51:10; James 1: 2-5
THE PROTECTION OF GOD
Have you ever been in a situation where you may have gotten in a lot of trouble, and yet, somehow you came through untouched? Do you run to God when you feel vulnerable, weak, or scared? I know I’ve been in crazy situations, and God has covered me. I’ve learned to run to God for all things. God’s protection is one of the most amazing things He gives us. No matter what the situation, or what we have done, He is there covering us.
He is our Shield:
A shield is described as: 1. a broad piece of armor, varying widely in form and size, carried apart from the body, usually on the left arm, as a defense against swords, lances, arrows, etc. OR 4. a person or thing that protects (dictionary.com).
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Genesis 15: 1 NKJV).
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence (2 Samuel 22: 3).
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him (2 Samuel 22: 31).
But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head (Psalm 3: 3).
The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him (Psalm 28: 7).
Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him (Proverbs 30: 5).
This world stacks the odds against us, but God is for us. It doesn’t matter what people say, how they attack us, or in what way they try to bring us down, God is our shield and protector. He is constantly watching over us, we simply need to trust Him.
He is our fortress:
A fortress is any place of exceptional security; stronghold. God is our fortress, our strong tower. When we run to God, He will cover us. He will protect us. He is our shelter from the storms of life. As we hide in Him, we are safe from whatever attacks our enemies have planned. From our fortress in God, we are able to watch Him thwart and frustrate the efforts of our enemies.
And he said: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer” (2 Samuel 22: 2).
Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me (Psalm 31: 2).
For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy (Psalm 61: 3).
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18: 10).
There is nothing more comforting that to know that God is there for us. He shelters, hides, helps, heals, and protects us. He goes before us, and He goes after us; He is above us and below us. We are engulfed by God and that is the way He wants it. Be of good cheer! Our mighty God is protecting us!!
Greater is He that is in me, than He that is in the world (1 John 4: 4).
Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly (Matthew 6:2-4 New King James Version).
Over the years, I have heard a lot of Christians tooting their own horns. I have heard folks answering the call to be honored by doing kind deeds and then reporting the kind deeds they did. Maybe it’s just me, but I get a bad taste in my mouth when I hear others constantly talking about all the good deeds they do and not giving glory to the Lord for the ability to do those good deeds.
Church, as representatives of Christ, it does us no benefit to allow ourselves to be honored for serving Christ without giving Him the proper honor. We should not be the ones telling others of all the things we do, it can sound arrogant and boastful, unless we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. Proverbs 27:2 says “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” While it’s not bad to answer a question regarding what we do, we have to be careful we don’t elaborate and make it seem as though we are seeking accolades for our performance. It is always better when someone else mentions the things we do for others. If we are only going to do something for someone else for recognition or honor, then we shouldn’t do it at all. The world seeks its own gain, we should not.
By keeping things quiet, we give God the chance to speak loudly on our behalf. It is always better when He speaks for us and rewards us for serving Him. Seeking our own gain and recognition is never as rewarding as the gifts God will bestow upon us when we put secretly serving in its proper perspective.
Let’s Pray: Dear Sweet Heavenly Father, thank You for this gift of a new day! Today we desire to glorify You and give You all the honor that You deserve. Help us to examine our motives as we go about our days; grant us humility in our service to You as we serve others. May we joyfully serve others in secret and not seek to make ourselves known. Father, we can do nothing without You, may we tap into Your power today as we serve. We give You all glory, all honor, all praise and we offer ourselves to You in worship. In Jesus’ mighty name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Let’s set aside time today for personal reflection of our charitable deeds. Do we do them to be recognized? Is our self-worth tied to how we serve? When someone asks what we do, do we answer simply with humility; or do we go into detail regarding every person we have helped, making ourselves seem so much larger than we are? Church, this is a humbling time for us and one in which we have to fully apply God’s Word to our lives. God is looking for secret servants!
Additional Scriptures: Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 29:23; Jeremiah 49:16; Romans 12:16
This morning I was reading in Psalms and was drawn to a few Scriptures. While I pondered them, I decided to paint all of my nails and have coffee. As I was working on this little self project, I began to feel the Holy Spirit fill the room and speak to me. I will try to articulate what was impressed upon me, but even if this sounds a bit disjointed, trust me, I’m going somewhere.
Psalm 33:13-22 (NLT)
The Lord looks down from heaven
and sees the whole human race.
From his throne he observes
all who live on the earth.
He made their hearts,
so he understands everything they do.
The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
for all its strength, it cannot save you.
But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
and keeps them alive in times of famine.
We put our hope in the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
for our hope is in you alone.
Recently, a friend of mine and I were talking, briefly, about politics and the glut of anti-government permeating the internet. I’m not all that into politics and believe God works things out in His time, but it does sadden me to see many of the headlines and captioned photos regarding our government heads. God is love, I know and believe this will all my heart (1 John 4:8), and if we are to live biblically, I believe we need to consider this Scripture wholeheartedly. In all of this political mayhem and corruption, I often think we have forgotten about seriously praying for our leaders. Too quickly, we judge them by their actions and forget the office they hold; too often we jump on the “anti-whatever” bandwagon instead of getting in our prayer closets to pray for them. Regardless of their actions, they hold an anointed office, and we must dig our heels in to pray, in all seriousness, for them while they are in office. David had opportunities to kill King Saul, but refused to touch him for Saul was anointed by the Lord in his office as King. David had done nothing (much like most of us our government decides to persecute), yet because Saul was king, he did not strike him down, nor did he slander him (1 Samuel 24:6). As Christians, there are many lessons in politics we can learn from the story of David and Saul, and we must study this biblical perspective to increase our understanding of politics today. If we have no love for our fellow man, how can we call ourselves by Christ’s name and effectively pray for our leadership?
Often, myself included, we forget others are also human and prone to make mistakes. We see outwardly, but God sees the hearts of all men (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 33:13-15). Because we aren’t able to see the heart of a person, we should not be quick to judge actions and behaviors, condemning them based on what we see. We should not label others based on our perception of reality and surrounding circumstances. Each and every action and thought we have should be heaven-centered and love should be our crown. I understand and know how difficult it is to be love centered; it is, after all, much easier to condemn and walk away from difficult people and tough circumstances. It is easy to leave things to the hands of others and not get into the trenches, but is that what God really wants us to do as a Church? Who are we to condemn the lifestyles, decisions or actions of others? When we speak condemnation into the lives of others, whether directly or indirectly, we risk keeping God from moving in the situation and discourage the Holy Spirit from using us fully to bring glory to God.
Groupthink – this is a term I first heard in college, yet has been popping up a lot lately in my thinking. One definition of it is, according to Dictionary.com:
the lack of individual creativity, or of a sense of personal responsibility, that is sometimes characteristic of group intereaction. With the internet, I am of the opinion that groupthink is more of a reality than a concept, especially within these harsh political waters. We must break out of the habit of following the crowd, and follow our Shepherd instead. We must react to others with Christ-like behavior, and not conformity to what someone else believes. We must test everything we hear, everything we see, everything we do to make sure it lines up with God. I speak to myself as well as to you regarding this. I, too, have been guilty of groupthink, but God has been gradually guiding my thoughts to be more in tune with His Spirit (1 John 4:1).
The other definition of groupthink is
the practice of approaching problems or issues as matters that are best dealt with by consensus of a group rather than by individuals acting independently; conformity. This is where I believe unity within the Church comes into play (1 Timothy 2: 1-3). We must be unified in our prayer for others, not just on a personal level, but on a corporate and national level. We must be unified to pray for heaven to touch our earth, and for God to use us to bring this to pass. In our political climate, regardless of the issue, we must take a posture of love and pray for those in office to have encounters with the living God, and to lead and guide our nation according to His principles and love.
It all comes down to love. When we love as God loves, change happens. When we trust God to change our hearts to love as He loves, we will reap the rewards of such love. Our best example of this was Jesus, Himself. He walked this earth, touching those on the fringes of society, drawing the lost and forgotten to His love. He never condemned anyone; the only people He ever challenged were the religious elite, who themselves condemned others. He died and rose again so we could enjoy reconciliation with our heavenly Father, and He gave us life eternal through this act of love. We are human and as humans, it can be difficult to love those in authority over us, to love those society, and even the Church, deems unworthy of love or unlovable, but we must constantly ask for God to increase our capacity to love as He loves. Colossians 1:8 says, “He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you” (NLT).
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Let us be quick to pray for ALL men with loving and serious hearts. Let us approach the Lord in expectation that He will answer our sincere prayers in the political, corporate and personal arenas, and set our hearts to trust Him and fully love others.
Lord, thank You for Your everlasting love. Baptize us in this love and increase our capacity to love. Help us to overcome the concept of following man, of trusting in man, of trusting and following in man’s reality and strengthen us to forge ahead by trusting solely in You. May You touch the hearts and minds of all the people of this earth, revealing Yourself to us, softening even the hardest of hearts. May we test every spirit, even those within the Body, and grant us greater discernment to know which is from You and which is not. Father, awaken Your Church, bring us to unity and take from us our conformity to this world. We desire for heaven to touch earth, to live by Your Spirit, to be the change in this world You desire us to be. Let us come before You with sincere hearts to pray for all men, to lift up our governments on all levels and to pray as You would have us pray, not to pray from a place of fearfulness, but from a place of trust in You. Father, show us Your glory. Let us be a Church looking ever upward into heaven and be vessels of Your love to those here on earth. Father, You deserve all honor, all glory and all praise for our hope is in You. We stand before You today in the loving name of Jesus, Amen.