Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Have you ever walked through a trial in your life? Maybe you’re in one right now? Someone said to me recently when experiencing of time of difficulty, “It’s like I am climbing a great big cliff, it’s so high and so scary.” When I thought about this statement, I was lead to researching what exactly a “cliff “ was on a mountain. Right now, many of you are saying to yourself, duh, it’s the side of the mountain Devin, you know, where you don’t look over the side, or get to close, because of falling rocks, hello…
Ok so friend clear your mind of your definition of a cliff, let’s see what a little research and God says. First, I want to talk about the true defintion of a cliff. A cliff is a significant vertical or rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms. Now, read this next sentence carefully, we are going into depth of our study, starting now. Cliffs are USUALLY formed by rock that is RESISTANT to erosion and weathering. Did you get that? Let me repeat that…USUALLY cliffs are formed by rocks that are resistant to weathering and erosion. Even the process of erosion or weathering is very slow and takes many years to be completely effective in the erosion or weathering process. Let’s continue on…another part of a cliff is called an escarpment (scarp), this is a type of cliff formed by the movement of a fault or a landslide.
Ok let’s apply what we have stated previously to our present spiritual condition, (the cliff dweller, what I’d like to call us) Someone who is on the cliff presently. We feel sometimes God has brought us to an ending point, a cliff, spiritually. There is no where to go, no where to run, because if you do….Your going to take a nose dive off the side of a mountain. So point number one. To get to a cliff, you must be on top of the mountain. When everything seems to be going well in your life for the moment, or maybe God is really using you in a certain ministry and you are dwelling on top of the mountain. Your hiking through life’s greatest moments, suddenly a cliff appears. What do I do, God? Why now? Why would I have traveled this journey to be brought to the side…where I have no option, no choice to keep going? See, when we arrive at those thoughts, we must ask ourselves, Do I fully trust God right now? You begin worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong. What if it rains? I have no shelter. What if someone or something tries to attack me? I have no where to run. These are all lies the enemy wants us to feel spiritually. Take a minute and apply those questions to your spiritual life. Instead of rain, think about hardships that come along. Instead of something attacking you, let’s plug in the enemy attacking you. When we think of know where to run, let’s plug in feeling hopeless or giving into the enemies schemes and thoughts.
Friend, listen to me. God has shown me some things that may help you understand just how wonderful that cliff may actually become. Let’s repeat the verse written at the top again. Its found in Psalm 104;18-‘The high mountains are for the wild goats;the cliffs are for the rock badgers.” One more fact to think on real quick about cliffs before I begin on scripture, most cliffs feature rock shelters and waterfalls. Ok, Devin, why didn’t you just put that sentence with the rest of your paragraph on cliffs earlier. Well, because you friend need to focus on that sentence as we dissect this verse. Ok, now the verse. High mountains= wild goats. Wild goats live in flocks together of about 500. Which to me screams, they travel together all the time. However, they are very destructive in new areas. WOW! Who does this sound like? Well, how about the church? When things are going good after revival or maybe in our personal lives, we share it with others, right? We will proclaim all the good going on in our lives with no hesitation. We flock to groups in spiritual highs. Everything is going great and wonderful. This is a great thing, don’t misinterpret what I type. However, if something bust our spiritual high and everyone else is still going strong, we become sort of quiet. We can even become destructive. We think, this is un fair, I want to be fine again. Why is this happening to me? ( I could stop typing right now, fall on my face before God, as this is speaking to me so heavily) We become destructive to those around us. We do this by not seeking God’s face. Not praying for others around us. Failing in our duties to God. Although, not everyone respond in this manner. Some just remain quiet. They don’t want to hinder the group. So, they keep to themselves for the most part and pray they’re way out of this pain they experience.
You may be saying to yourself, ok, so whats next. What about the rest of the verse? It says, ‘but the cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers”. Rock badger? I had never heard of such an animal till tonight, however, when I begin researching this precious animal, I think I have known him all to well for at least the past five years. The rock badger is considered “a rare little animal” , “curious”, and he makes his home in the I quote, “crevices” of the cliff. Such a home is ideal for the badger. Automatically I think of a verse along with a sweet friend, named Corrie Clay blog she shared with me not to long ago. It talks about a special crevice you need to be familiar with. The story takes place in Exodus 33, a story about Moses seeing God’s glory. Please read this chapter then, come back to this. I want to focus on verses 19-23. The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, “the Lord”, to you. I will show kindness to anyone I choose, and I will show mercy to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live. The Lord continued, “Stand here on this rock beside me. As my glorious presence passes by, I will put you in the CLEFT of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed. Then I will remove my hand, and you will see me from behind, but my face will not be seen.”Did you catch the ALL CAPS word in God’s word, Yes, that would have been cleft. Do you remember where God said in his word that badger finds refuge…YES!! Your getting it now…the crevice. So, wait a minute, your telling me when I feel like I am on a clift, God has a place for me to hide from the rain or the enemy, YES!! Its called a crevice. Now, stay with me, let’s keep diggin. The badger is also slow moving. Much like us in a spiritual sense. Sometimes, we just can’t get going, or maybe we are afraid of what god may do if we really asked him to use us. Well, because of this little badgers speed he becomes a major target for his biggest enemy, the BLACK eagle. Hold up just a second. Think about this. When we become lax in our Christian walk, we slow down learning about God. We may even experience a slower pace because we fear our next step. Well, you can’t, yeah, I said it. You can’t! God has given you something to help defeat this problem. One: SALVATION- The price he paid for all your sins and fears on calvary when he died on the cross for you. Second: He gives us the Armor of God. Look in Ephesians 6, starting at verse 10. He lists a shield for us to cover each part of our bodies.
So when we feel ‘slow” spiritually, God has given us equipment to get through these times. Just like this badger he speaks of in his word. The badger has amazingly key eyesight! He can detect movement miles away. HELLLLLOOO are you getting this. There’s another promise of God. He tells us the enemy roars around like a lion waiting to devour his prey. However, God gives us the gift of conviction and of discernment to know when the enemy is preying on us. We can detect the enemy if we are truly seeking after God. Anyway, the badger has special membrane features that allow him to look directly into the sun, he can still see the movement. This is symbolic to show us, sometimes, when we are staring life in the face, and walking truly with God is when our enemy tries to hide behind something bright, something beautiful, something that indices us to look. But, we can still see him coming because our sun, is our heavenly Father. But friend, what do we do when we are scared? Do we cry out to God? YES! We should! When we do, God comes to our rescue. Just as that little badger does. When he sees or senses the danger he gives off a warning call and then he scatters down to he crevice. Oh how beautiful this picture is for you my friend. God has given us the crevice to run too. Our hiding place. Our shelter, our shield. I don’t think it’s a mistake by God of the comparison he used in these verse. He knew this night, this hour, for Devin Smith, she needed to know: That CLIFF has a crevice for you to hide in, and I will place my hand upon you, my child. I can almost physically hear God saying these words to me as I type..
Ok, promise last point! In this inhospitable environment it ensures the badgers enemies to keep their distance. I had to look up what inhospitable meant (not gonna lie to ya) When I did, I wasn’t surprised. Inhospitable means: unfriendly, no growth, no life. OF COURSE. Satan wants to enter that place on just the mountain top, because its unfriendly, no life. However, the cool part is, that crevice is made just for you friend. Its designed perfectly by God for us to have a resting place, a shelter. Satan can’t enter. He may can stand on the mountain top, but when your in the crevice, God’shand is covering you…and the enemy won’t be able to touch you!
In conclusion I want to tell you this. Personally, I know if a climber is skilled you can tell in a few different ways. The climber always knows the handholds and footholds. They know where they can bear most of their weight. By the way, almost all rocks can, it just knowing the ones to trust. Finally, a cimbers motto is this…Climb high, sleep low. How amazing! We climb high in our day to day battles. When we reach our mountain top…we gaze at the beautiful sight we see, but then our focus becomes hazed by whats around us, The height, the weather, the slippery rocks. But you sleep low. I see that statement as something like this speaking spiritually. God has provided that little spot in the crevice for you…Call out to him for your warning signal, then go, go sleep, go rest in that place he prepared while your shaking and scared of the enemy flying overhead. Let God handle him! God is faithful, but the question I have for you today is…Will you let the fear of the cliff overtake you, or will you call out your warning cry to your Father, then go take your place in the crevice, which will you choose?
Isaiah 42:13 “The Lord will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal, with a shout he will rise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.”
What is a warrior? Someone who is participating in battle? Ephesians 6:13 say, “Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” Yes, scripture did say, “So you will be able to resist”…See God supplies the equipment the surrounds our body defending our flesh from being pierced. Then, scripture goes on to list each part of the armor we are provided with per the Lord. Friend I am telling you, you are in a battle and yes; you are a warrior for the Lord. The definition of warrior is a man engaged in some conflict or experienced in war, or in military life; a soldier; a champion. We are warriors facing spiritual warfare everyday in our own lives. It may be sickness, financial burdens, persecution, etc. Friend, we can praise Jesus for supplying us with an armor that can’t be pierced by the enemy’s arrows. Armor is a protective outer shell and defense covering the body. However, the dictionary doesn’t stop at “a man in war”…it continues to define warrior as a champion. How amazing? When examining the verse in Isaiah 42:13 we see the beginning as a beautiful picture: The Lord marching out as a mighty man. He is going to battle. Can you picture the King of Kings marching out with his armor strapped down? From head to toe on our Lord, the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, sword of the spirit, the belt of truth, the shoes of peace, the helmet of salvation. Then the verse says, “like a warrior he will stir up his zeal and with a shout the battle cry will rise.” I believe what he is stirring up is his strength. He is gearing up for his battle. I can imagine the most muscular of all men, his head looking up, daring the enemy to look at him. Then, suddenly hearing his shout, the battle cry. Just as a lion roars to warn off predators, you can hear his roar for miles. This signifies to the predator this is his territory. The female lion may roar to protect her cubs. This is such a beautiful depiction of what our Heavenly Father has set out to accomplish. He warns the enemy to stay away because we are his children and this is his territory. Friend the enemy can’t have you if you’re focusing on the Lord’s face and he lives inside your heart. Finally, the completion of this verse says, “and he will triumph over his enemies.” Don’t forget the definition of warrior; it also says, “Champion”. The Lord declares himself as the champion. His word shows us over and over his triumph in many ways. However, Jeremiah 20:11 said, “But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior, so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. The will fail and be thoroughly disgraced, their dishonor will never be forgotten.” In conclusion, friend, God is fighting for you. Don’t miss out on inviting the greatest warrior in history into your heart. If you are reading this today, consider something? As we face difficult times daily, who is going to battle for you? Jesus Christ wants to equip you, but more importantly, become your warrior. He battled for you years ago on a cross so you could have forgiveness. Will you allow him to be the champion? Or do you want to fight your own battle, alone?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
“My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children.” Hebrews 12:5-6
My friend Sammy called me on a Sunday afternoon on his way to the beach with his family and as we were talking, a bad thunderstorm was affecting our conversation. You could hear the rain slamming down on the windshield through the phone. His grandson, Canaan was with him and he could hear us talking about the rain from the backseat. All the sudden you heard his little voice in the background say, “Paw-Paw, it’s raining like little jelly beans on my window.” Sammy and I both chuckled at that precious little statement from a five year old. However, at that moment, something came to me. When it rains we see that as sort of a “set back”, especially when we are traveling. Why? It makes the roads slick, no one wants to walk in the rain, your feet get all soaked and if your need to walk outside or get out of the car…its just majorly inconvenient!
Well, can you think of a time that’ was an “inconvenience” in your spiritual walk, for you personally? I can! When I as a Christ follower, or Christian, has veered from the right path, which is following Christ. You see, the only solution when a child does something wrong, is to discipline them! Why, because you LOVE them. God states in his word in the scripture above, “don’t ignore the Lord, he only disciplines those he loves”. See as Christians, sometimes we see the Lord's discipline as an inconvenience to us. But, some, who are more mature spiritually, may only see his discipline as a simple correction, (just a shower of soft rain), however, others may see it as tough correction that hurts when it hits the skin or heart, like “jelly bean” rain. See Canaan described the rain on his window like jelly beans, which to me seems it was big drops, and loud when it hit the window. Although, Sammy and I just saw a slight shower of rain passing through. So plug yourself in now. If you were sitting in the spiritual seat of life looking out the window in the midst of your storm, what would you say about the rain? Is it a soft rain? The type when you’ll get wet, maybe some slush in your shoe, and a little irritated or do you see it as “jelly bean” rain, a loud, scary, pour down, completely soakin’ wet and a MAJOR disruption of your life.
Friend, I’m here to tell you something. When God brings about his discipline to our lives, usually it is because we didn’t take him very seriously to begin with or we seem to think we can handle what the enemy throws at us ourselves. So, because Christ loved us enough to walk up a hill and hang on a cross for us, so our sins can be forgiven, he deserves to orchestrate a little correction I think(John 3:16). If he didn’t care about each of us personally, he wouldn’t waste his time dealing with each of us personally. He would make one major correction to everyone. However, he cares enough to make it personal.
So, whether you think your traveling through soft rain, or the hard, loud rain, remember: If Christ didn’t love us, there would be no need for correction. He would let us go on about our lives. Next time the Lord sees fit to draw your attention or administer discipline, just be thankful you know you are a child of God, and its only because he LOVES you that much to see you stand corrected.