Thursday, August 21, 2014

Names of God: Week 6

I am sad that this study is ending. I have enjoyed it so much. I feel as though it has stretched me and brought me closer to God. It came into my life at a very critical time, and I know it is what I needed. 

Jehovah- shalom the Lord is peace
When the hour is dark and the situation desperate, we finally long for God's peace. 
So often I don't even consider God's peace to be necessary when things are going well in my life. Yet, when things begin to unravel, I beg God for peace. Just a little. Just a glimpse of hope. God desires to be my peace through it all. In the tough times and also in the good times. His peace should cover my day to day life. 
True peace cannot be found except in a right relationship with God. 
My relationship with God is far from right. Am I seeking His will? Am I obeying what He is telling me to do? I know that I must come before Him with a heart of repentance. Except His forgiveness and walk in a right relationship with Him. 
He gives us a peace that does not alter, regardless of circumstances. 
Jehovah- sabaoth the Lord of hosts
From God's perspective, it is name that reminds His people of exactly who He is- not only the One who delivers, but also the One who judges. 
This name of God meets failure and offers deliverance. 
Jehovah- rahh the Lord my Shepherd
What makes the difference in sheep is the shepherd. 

God created sheep to be defenseless, "dumb" animals. He created them so that we might see our need for Him. To show us our total, absolute poverty of spirit, and to show us our need of a shepherd. 

We are the sheep and God is our Shepherd. Without His guidance, we will destroy ourselves. We are to know His voice and follow Him. How many times have I entered into situations without heeding to the voice of God? Many. And greatly due to the fact that I did not know His voice. 

Jehovah- tsidkenu the Lord our righteousness
Righteousness is more than goodness, it is a right standing with God. But righteousness is man requires a new heart. 
The only way for us to become righteous before God is through receiving Jesus. He is our Branch that makes us righteous before God.

Jehovah- shammah the Lord is there
The future seems so uncertain, so helpless to most people that they have lost their vision. 
God was and always will be there. He hasn't gone anywhere. It is us that have lost our faith in Him. 
Jehovah-qanna the Lord is jealous

God is a jealous God. He commands us to have no other gods before Him. He only is to be worshiped. From His jealously comes justice.

Sin does have its own harvest. 
We are to live in the expectancy of "His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come." 1 Thess. 1:10
Although God gave left Jerusalem, He had to come back. He is Jehovah, a covenant-keeping God. 
I'm so grateful that God keeps His covenant with us. 

The one thing that I have relied and the most from this study is that God is I AM and He alone is enough. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Names of God: Week 5

Although I haven't been on track for the exact days for this study, I am still encouraged weekly by every ones post. When this study started I gave up the pressure of having to "do it right". That mentality has been my stronghold for past Bible studies. I'm so glad I let that go. The things God has been showing and imprinting on my heart have for been worth the pressure of getting things right.
This week's study has shown me a deeper level of how to breakdown and understand the passages better.

Observation is the most valuable step in inductive study. 

Jehovah-nissi: The Lord is my Banner

A banner was an ensign or standard. Many times I don't allow a standard to be first in my life. Often, I even lower standards to fit my current need. This shows that I am not allowing God to determine what should be the standard for my life. I'm selfishly seeking to please my flesh. A banner was typically symbolised by a rod.

The flesh must constantly be put to death. It can't be tolerated, catered to, or spared in any way. If it is, it will devastate you. I can not begin to tell you how many times I have been absolutely devastated by the consequences of the own choices. Many of these things could have been avoided had I listened to what God was saying.

In Samuel 15:-23 it says "to obey is better than sacrifice" and "Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king."
At times I feel like I will be sacrificing a whole lot if I were to obey God. Some things seem hard to do. I would have to do something hard. It would change my course of my life. One time, I knew that I should cut ties with a friendship that was negatively influencing my life. Yet, because I was afraid and good see benefits of keeping this friendship, I didn't let it go. In the end the bad terms that ended our friendship were worse than if I had obeyed God several months before. When I reject God, how many blessings have I also rejected? I may never know of the incredible things I could have been doing instead of crying over heartache.

We want salvation, but not warfare. This is completely true for me. I want the end result without working for it.

It is the Lord's battle; victory depends on His rod being lifted up. Without the banner of God, we will lose every battle that comes our way in this life. When we put God's banner first, we are assured victory.

Only be abiding under the power, the standard, the banner, the ensign of your Jehovah-nissi can you have victory over the flesh, the world, and the devil, your enemies and God's.

What would our lives look like to have God at the forefront of EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR BATTLES? How differently would we live knowing and resting assured that we have victory?

Jehovah- mekoddishkem- the Lord sanctifies you

Sanctification begins God began when we ask for forgiveness- salvation.

To be sanctified by God is for Him to make us holy. Only holiness can abide in the presence of the Most High God. Holiness is not an option, it's a requirement.

Throughout several scriptures, we see that God has detailed a life for sanctification for us. We are to be sanctified in truth, by the Peace of God, abstaining from sexual immorality, the love of Christ.
I can guarantee you that I am not living a life of sanctification even in these few ways.

Sanctification continues with redemption from God. Redemption is not the end of us. Rather, it is sanctification that prepares us for glory.

There is no sanctification without redemption. However, redemption always produces sanctification- to one degree or another. 

I have always seen my life story as one of redemption, yet never paired that with the sanctification work of God.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A year

I can not believe it has been a year since my grandmother took a last breath here on earth. Today, the memories from her last few months have been so vivid and strong in my mind. I remember painting her toes red for the last time. Hearing her laugh the Christmas before. Holding her hand. Trying anything and everything to get her to eat. Putting pool noodles on the side of her hospital issued bed. Bringing her cold wine because that's what she asked for, only for her to spit it out. She meant grape juice. The memory of her entire family at her house for Memorial Day. The noises she made. The silence that was sometimes present. The voices of just PawPaw, her kids, and grandkids in the room singing Jesus Loves Me when we knew we only had moments left. I was sitting by her side when she left this world. I climbed in the bed and held her body just like she did me when I was little. She was my biggest supporter and cheerleader. She loved me. I loved her. I still carry her love with me.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Names of God: Week 4

Yes, this post is getting posted late. A week late. This past week has been difficult to say the least. A close and dear friend lost her husband. He had several strokes and was in the hospital for 16 days before he went home. Those are the exact words that I received in a text- David went home. We prayed for healing. We prayed for peace. We prayed for deliverance. We prayed for medical understanding. We prayed.

As a side note, on Friday as I was helping Chonda get dressed for the second night of visitation, there became a moment of "losing it". Not knowing how she could get through this. I did what came natural for us. I wrapped her in my arms. As we both had tears streaming down our faces, I began to voice the names of God over her. It was a special moment that I will never forget. The last thing I said to her (right then) was that God promised He is enough. He is I AM.

Our wounds are great. No matter where they are, they are great. Our sins, others' sins, and God's judgment all affect our sickness and healing.
Sin affects our spirits, and the spirit can cause sickness of our emotions and our bodies.

Only one Physician can heal the ills of our souls. Why look elsewhere? So often in my life I look to doctors and medicine for healing. I don't automatically turn to Jehovah-rapha. I want an answer to my illness. I want a solution. I want to be healed. Yet, what if God is allowing sickness so that He may be displayed?

Health, healing, and obedience go together. Over and over, Scripture shows that through the obedience of the people, God provides healing. (2Chron 7:14, Jer 30:15-17, John 5:5-8, 14) Is my disobedience prolonging my healing?
God always meets us at the point of our obedience. I know that through obedience to Him is where I find my healing.

One of the biggest things for me this week was about healing through counseling. Sometimes the counseling has been ineffective because the counslee simply would not walk in obedience to godly counsel. This has been proven over and over in my life. Arthur talks about how even counselors should seek Jehovah-rapha. They should seek to deal with the spiritual problem. I've been on both sides of this in my life. At times, I know that God has spoken to a therapist about what issues I needed to deal with. I've also experienced when a therapist doesn't seek godly direction from God. God often uses us as His instruments of healing. Yet, the instrument is powerless without the Physician's power.

God's healing goes far beyond just our physical bodies. He offers healing into every fiber of our being.