Faith

Sing to Me your Song


My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of my hand. – Jesus – (Joh 10:27-28)

My mind wanders, Lord. Bring me back to you.

Like a sheep in the wilderness, my heart wants to stray.

The grass looks tasty there, but you know what I need.

Lead me and keep me on your fruitful ground. Pull from my food the weeds that poison my thinking, my moods, and my heart.

Restore my hope, my joy and the love you have shown me.

Show me your tender mercies and sing to me your song.

I crave the sound of your voice and covet your ways.

Lord, lead me, my Shepherd.

Love,

David

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Faith

A Long and Awkward Silence – Part II


Lost and Confused Signpost

God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. II Chronicles 32:31 (NASB)

DO IT, CHECK IT!

Jalia was a formidable boss.  She was former Army.  A former Drill Sergeant. She earned her jump wings when women weren’t supposed to do that sort of thing.  Jalia was one of the most efficient fighters I knew. I watched her take down a man who easily outweighed her by 150 pounds.  Said man was no slouch as a fighter, himself.  She had a real “Can Do” warrior’s mentality.  At 5’2”, she was a presence that filled a room.

Jalia was responsible for turning all of us wanna-be programmers into real programmers.  Her standards were very high, almost impossibly so.  She suffered no fools, and expected you to catch on the first time.  We drilled and drilled and drilled till we could write code in our sleep.  We had to be very good at this because of the nature of what we did.  Our work was to be performed under the pressure of all hell breaking lose around us.  We had to be the coolest under fire, and the smartest people in the room.  We were not allowed the luxury of folding under pressure.  Whining could get you kicked off the team faster than you can blink.  She was so inspiring a leader that we wanted to exceed her standard.  We wanted to be better than the best.

Her mantra was, “Do it, Check It!”.   During drill, we practiced, re-practiced, did it all again, and took it all apart to make it even more efficient.  “Assumption” was one swear word never allowed on our Team.  While we drilled, we practiced under a simulated “Hot Environment”.  Murphy’s law was the rule during these drills, and we had to cope.  Failure after failure was simulated.  Every conceivable distraction that could exist did exist.  We had to be observant enough that our after action reports included even the most trivial events, including all the distractions, but we were expected to stay on task, get the job done, and not make two attempts at getting it done.  There were no do-over’s when thing were getting real, so there was no mercy when she drilled us.

Then came the tests.  We never knew when these little tests would happen.  There was no way to tell the difference between a test and the real thing.  All hell would break lose, and we were to saddle up and get the problem solved yesterday, if not sooner.

It was during these tests that we discovered what “Do it, Check It” actually meant.  At the end of the test, we analyzed every little detail, no matter how trivial.  When failure was discovered, Jalia did not resort to being the typical drill sergeant.  She had us note the failure, learn from it, and don’t do it again.  We did the drill, checked the outcomes, and learned what we need to do to be better at it.

Always, our baseline was Jalia and her amazing skill.  She was a living legend.  No one had accomplished the things she had accomplished, and no one had discovered the way to get it done like she did it. Her hell was that she had to turn ordinary human beings into people who could be as creative and cool under fire as she was.

Although Jalia was very hard on us, there was never any condemnation when we failed, only encouragement.  She helped us discover what we did wrong, what we can do right, why we hesitated, and how to stop hesitating.  We learned from our failures.

We dreaded drills, but we learned from them.

GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US, EVEN WHEN HE ISN’T

The Spirit of God will always be with you.  If you are Born again, the Holy Spirit fills you, guides, you, and leads you in all truth, and develops your character so that, in the end, you will be the very image and likeness of Christ.

There will be times in your discipleship where God will step back to see what you do.  This isn’t to trip you up.  God is not like that.  He loves you enough to discipline you and grow you up.  When God steps back, it is to see where you need shoring up.  Where your defenses are low.  Where you need refining.  We go through this because we are at war.  Very few people pass boot camp, but all His children are called to serve.

When God steps back, this is where you discover how well you have learned what you are supposed to have learned during this last evolution of training.  Until you pass completely, you do not get to go to the next step.

While religions and other ilk try to convince you that it is up to you to make God in your image, and then attempt to please that false God, the real God is looking for people who really want to relate to Him as an individual being.

There will be times where, paradoxically, you will be left alone, while He is there the whole time.

Don’t fight this testing.  Learn from it.  Rejoice that you are about to pass another test and grow some more.  Do not give up. Never quit.  God will, ultimately, not let you fail.

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A LONG AND AWKWARD SILENCE FROM GOD, CHANCES ARE, YOU ARE IN A TEST!

When He steps back to test you, remember your lessons.  Remember, you cannot do this without knowing Him through Jesus Christ.  Remember, the Spirit of God will be your strength.  The fist thing you have to learn is, you do not have the strength or ability to do this on your own.  God gets the bragging rights.  You get His character.

The reason you will go through this should be obvious.  We are at war, and, right now, it appears as if the enemy is gaining ground all around us.  We are to keep our heads when all hell breaks loose, and keep doing what we are trained to do.

All hell is about to break lose.  Many who think they are Christians will fall away from the faith.  Who will survive what is coming?  Those who welcome the training and rest in the completed work of Jesus Christ.  Those who know that apart from God’s grace, we are powerless to do anything.

This is why God tests you.  Not to trip you up, but to strengthen you for what is coming.

We are to grow in all ways to be like Christ Himself.

LET’S BE ABOUT IT!!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Whom God Chooses…Part 2a – Blessed Assurance




 

Going From Called To Chosen Means Having Your Faith Tested – IT IS PART OF THE PLAN

STATEMENTS OF FAITH

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1Pe 1:6-9)

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have her
perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (Jas 1:2-4)

A MESSAGE FROM GOD

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11)

WHAT JESUS HAD TO SAY ABOUT IT

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (Joh 15:2)

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (Joh 14:21)

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (Joh 14:18)

 Training Wheels

Having the faith of the chosen means having absolute assurance you are in God’s plan. We are dealing with faith in God’s plan, meaning we may not always see what it is that God is planning.

It is not difficult to see you are in God’s plan when things are going exactly as they should. For example, when Moses threw down his walking stick and it turned into a snake and ate up the snakes of the High Priests of Pharos court. That is a dead giveaway that what God said would happen is what would happen. Recall that Moses and God rehearsed that on Mount Horeb.

Moses had been chosen. What do you do, however, when you are in training to be chosen, and circumstances show up? Is it any different from when God prepared Moses for his call?

God will use circumstances to train your faith.

The faith comes in when you do not see the plan, or even God in your circumstances. Sometimes the plan you thought you saw is not the plan God had in store for you.

This is the time for your faith to be tested in the fire. This is good news. It means you are being strengthened. Circumstances are a time to rejoice. Circumstances mean that God is about to reveal Himself.

When we are in the crucible of our circumstances, we are in a position to discover we either do not want to answer the His call, or to discover we want to answer His call regardless why we are in that circumstance.

Circumstances are where you get to know God better, and you get to see where God is in your life. It is where the Spirit of God will reveal places in you where you get to grow to be more like Christ.

No circumstance or problem will exist in your life that will not also come with a revelation of who God is in your circumstance. This is the crucible where you are smelted and purified. This is the table where the potter molds the clay. And where the clay is fired.

The goal here is that you are made into the image of Christ, so that God’s ultimate plan can be fulfilled through you. That plan was laid out by Jesus Christ at the end of the book of Matthew. We are to go in to all the world and teach and make disciples. We are all asked to answer that call.

If you are in this crucible, then you are already walking the walk of a chosen one. Here is where your faith grows and your joy in the Lord increases.

What We Will See

Part Two of this series will reveal God’s plan in our circumstances.

We will go from the confusion of our circumstances to the absolute assurance that we are in God’s plan.

Part One was about understanding that we have to be less of ourselves and more dependent on the strength and grace and power of God through Jesus Christ. This takes faith in the one who called you.

This part will explore how that faith is developed to the point that you begin to see the truth in this promise of God:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

(Rom 8:28-30)

We will see that, even though God did not bring on your circumstances, He, in His wisdom, used this circumstance to grow you up. Therein lay the difference between the called and the chosen.

This will not happen in a vacuum. It will be public, and sometimes painful. But it will always be to the best good God has for you. You will become a Godly person, in the image of Jesus, and others will be drawn to Him through your life.

Many are called, few are chosen.

Let’s be about it!

Stay tuned for Part 2b.

 


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