God Arises

God arises. His enemies scatter, and those who hate Him flee from His presence.

-Psalm 68:1
Do you see God arising?  We pray, “God arises!”, as a declarative prayer.  He is arising, and we bless what we see the Father doing (John 5:19) just like Jesus.
“God arises”, is a statement of truth; like saying, “God is on the move”.  We are not petitioning God to come, but we see that he is already here.  We are announcing that God is here, so that we can do something.
We see and do.  We do not just see and enjoy the sight, nor do we just see and learn, all in the thinking realm.  Real learning is in the participation.
I declare, “God arises”.  Do you see?  I will help you see if you do not see God arising.
Can you see, can you hear, and can you sense God arising?   If so, what do we do?
When we see God arising, we:
  1. Repent.  Jesus message was not to accept him into your heart as your personal savior.  Jesus message was not to believe in the cross and what he did (would do) there.  Jesus message was, “Repent: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand”.  To repent means to change, to change your mind, to change your purpose, to change your direction.  God does not give a catalog of sins we should stop doing, because ‘sin management’ has never been the message or God’s way.  Repent also means ‘reform’: Reform or die.  You must change and re-purpose your life or you will die: you are signing off on your death notice.  Many people are the living dead, because they refuse to repent when the call to do so has been given clearly.
  2. Get out of the way.  There is a dance that reverences participating with God and in God, without ever taking God’s place of headship.  Jesus modeled how to be submissive to Father’s lead and rely upon the power of the Spirit.  He is the model for how to live and the only way to live.
  3. Join in on what God is doing.  We get to participate with God in what God is doing in the earth.  We are co-missioned into God’s mission.  He calls us child, friend, and slave; and we get to learn how to enjoy life in those three roles or dimensions with God.  Jesus gives us authority and we need to know what it is and how it works and our responsibilities for and how we use our authority.
When God arises he gets himself between you and his enemies.  When God comes into a situation his enemies are exposed and must flee.  Selfishness and sinfulness in people will not stand or live in God’s presence either.
Every person that Jesus encountered, during his years of ministry, after he left the family’s business; had issues that came up, that Jesus had a word for, a key to help then unravel from selfishness, hopelessness, delusions, or misconceptions.  This same Jesus who preached the general “Repent!” message to all, had helpful counsel and instructions for individuals.  So, God calls us all to repent and he also has compassionate, loving, care filled counsel and instruction for us as individuals.
When God arises we do not want to delude ourselves to think, “God is on our side”.  It does not work that way, because “Repent” means that we all surrender to being on God’s side, realizing that God is the king and we are all his subjects.  Some people have not realized this or taken action to bow to the king yet.
If you have surrendered and have become a subject and child of the king, it means you are in the kingdom and under and on the side of the king.  The only other side is the side of God’s enemies.  People are either with God or with God’s enemies, even if they don’t know it.  When God arises, the enemy is exposed and must flee and the peoples who are not in the kingdom, under the king, but have been captives in the enemy’s kingdom, get to be delivered or set free.
And when God comes, people get to choose if they are in or out, get free and become king’s kids, or stay in bondage.
I declare, let God rise up!  God arises!  Up with God!
-This post was previously published on 8/2/16


And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

-Matthew 9:17

My wife and I have been getting rid of old books.  We got a bunch of new books for Christmas.  I saw Lance Wallnau, yesterday, on Facebook live, talking about this very thing, and then quoting from Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings.

Yesterday, I got out a tool, that has been been broken for about 5 or 6 years.  It was finally time to fix it, because I need it for a project. 

For half the afternoon, I tried to fix it. 

I finally gave up, and made plans to go to the store, and buy a new and improved version of the same tool.

This was a necessary ending.

Lance said that a key for many of us, as we enter 2019, is to let go of the past. 

We have to end something in order to start or participate in something new.  It is like when a person goes out with a new person, but they are still thinking and talking about their previous relationship.

I have seen this with Christians and churches or churching.  They can not join something new, because they have not ended the old.  We are either bitter or nostalgic and both hinder our entering into the new.

With everything we do when we get married.  From the engagement, the period of time before the wedding, with all the prep and perhaps some counseling.  Then everything about the wedding.  And finally, the vows, made before friends, family, and God.

All that is not just a beginning, but an ending.  It culminates in the line, spoken at some weddings, “forsaking all others.”

As we move into 2019, it is very applicable now to consider endings.  New wine needs new wineskins.

Here are some quotes from Henry Cloud’s book:

“Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.”

“In the language of Ecclesiastes, are there situations in business or in life where you are trying to birth things that should be dying? Trying to heal something that should be killed off? Laughing at something that you should be weeping about? Embracing something (or someone) you should shun? Searching for an answer for something when it is time to give up? Continuing to try to love something or someone when it is time to talk about what you hate?”

“Pruning is strategic. It is directional and forward-looking. It is intentional toward a vision, desires, and objectives that have been clearly defined and are measurable. If you have that, you know what a rose is, and pruning will help you get one of true beauty.”
“Failing well means ending something that is not working and choosing to do something else better.”

“There is a difference between helping someone who is disabled, incapable, or otherwise infirm versus helping someone who is resisting growing up and taking care of what every adult (or child, for that matter) has to be responsible for: herself or himself. When you find yourself in any way paying for someone else’s responsibilities, not only are you stuck with a delayed ending, but you are probably harming that person.”

“You can’t prune toward anything if you don’t know what you want. You have to figure out what you are trying to be or build and then define what the pruning standards are going to be. That definition and those standards will bring you to the pruning moments, wherein you either own the vision or you don’t.”

“first, accept life cycles and seasons; second, accept that life produces too much life, and third, accept that incurable illness and sometimes evil are part of life too. Taken together, these three principles will help you to make peace with endings, so that when their time has come, you will be able to do what you need to do.”

“Many people wish for a different universe than the one in which we live. They want one where every day is harvest time and there are no long laborious summer months to go through in order to get there. And when the harvest is ripe and they are thriving, they want no approaching winters where they see that the harvest is over and a cold death is looming.”
“Sometimes there is bleeding when you cut out a cancer.”

“Great is the art of the beginning, but greater is the art of ending. —HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW”

“If we accept the premise that pruning is necessary but still notice that we have an emotional misalignment with that premise, we will struggle to realize our vision of the future and our potential. But if you can become aware of your resistances and internal conflicts now, then you can begin to face them and work them through.”

“So if you feel resistance about executing a certain ending, figure out what two or more desires are in conflict, admit to yourself that you can have only one, and then ask yourself this question: Which one am I willing to give up to have the other one?”

You have to break through the comfort level that you are in, where you are settling for living in hell just because you know the names of all the streets. Remember, you were not designed to cope but to thrive. But just like a rosebush, you can’t thrive without pruning, which means your necessary endings truly are urgent. Let’s look at how to get there.”

I found all these quotes, from Henry Cloud’s, Necessary Endings book, on Good Reads.  Over 1000 5 star reviews.  Many people said it was their best book of that year.

Grace, Favor, and Mercy Bestowed

For the music director; to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm, a song. May God show us his favor and bless us! May he smile on us!

-Psalm 67:1 (NET)
Psalm 67 is an invitation to partake of God’s favor.
The song is a priestly blessing.  We can say this to each other.
“May the Lord bless you!”, and we answer back, “May the Lord bless you!”
Where did this gracious blessing start?  It started with Abraham.  God said to Abe that he would be blessed and the whole world would be blessed through him.

The Lord told Abram, “You are to leave your land, your relatives, and your father’s house and go to the land that I’m going to show you. I’ll make a great nation of your descendants, I’ll bless you, and I’ll make your reputation great, so that you will be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you, but I’ll curse the one who curses you, and through you all the people of the earth will be blessed.”

Abraham was as good as dead, yet from this one man came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
-Genesis 12:1-3 and Hebrews 11:12 (ISV)

It is a good guess that this is what Psalm 67 has in mind.

Psalm 67 is a missionary Psalm.  It is about God’s mission to save all people.  The blessing of God on our lives is for saving the world.
Each of us are not saved in a vacuum, but through God’s blessing on other people.  That is what the blessing of God on your life is for.  And the more we realize this and let the blessing work for others, the more we will be blessed.
May God show us favor and bless us.  Other translations say, ‘show mercy’ or, ‘be gracious’.  The Hebrew  carries with it the idea of grace, mercy, favor, and kindness.  And to be blessed by God encapsulates all four of these.

I learned from a faith leader, to sign notes with ‘blessings’.  Blessings means, ‘grace, mercy, favor, and kindness to you’.

May God show us his favor and bless us! May he smile on us!

God Will Restore Your Lost Inheritance

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “since I intend to show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all your grandfather Saul’s fields, and you will always eat meals at my table.”

-2 Samuel 9:7
Many people have lost inheritances that God is going to restore.  
You have thought about it and you have also worked on coming to terms with it, as your history, your story. 
I believe that God does restore lost inheritances.  God’s kindness and graciousness knows no bounds with his children.  This is illustrated in the story of Mephibosheth, in 2 Samuel 9:

David asked, “Is there anyone remaining from the family of Saul I can show kindness to for Jonathan’s sake?” There was a servant of Saul’s family named Ziba. They summoned him to David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

“I am your servant,” he replied.

So the king asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul’s family that I can show the kindness of God to?”

Ziba said to the king, “There is still Jonathan’s son who was injured in both feet.”

The king asked him, “Where is he?”

Ziba answered the king, “You’ll find him in Lo-debar at the house of Machir son of Ammiel.” So King David had him brought from the house of Machir son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.

Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, fell facedown, and paid homage. David said, “Mephibosheth!”

“I am your servant, ” he replied.

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “since I intend to show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all your grandfather Saul’s fields, and you will always eat meals at my table.”

Mephibosheth paid homage and said, “What is your servant that you take an interest in a dead dog like me?”

Then the king summoned Saul’s attendant Ziba and said to him, “I have given to your master’s grandson all that belonged to Saul and his family. You, your sons, and your servants are to work the ground for him, and you are to bring in the crops so your master’s grandson will have food to eat. But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, is always to eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do all my lord the king commands.”

So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table just like one of the king’s sons. Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. All those living in Ziba’s house were Mephibosheth’s servants. However, Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem because he always ate at the king’s table. His feet had been injured.

This is the greatest illustration of grace in the Old Testament.  Chuck Swindoll said that.

Mephibosheth was about 5 years old, when his dad, Jonathan and his grandpa, Saul; were killed.  At some point, when he was little, he was accidentally dropped and both of his feet became crippled.

He was a special needs kid who also lost his dad and most of (all?) his family.  They died in the tumultuous war.  His grandpa was also in a civil war with David, his dad’s best friend.
It was unknown, in the years that followed his dad’s and grandpa’s deaths, if Mephibosheth was loyal to his grandpa, against David.
Mephibosheth was born into a messy time, with a good dad, but also had a disability, due to an accident.  If things had gone differently, he would still have his dad and be in the royal family.  But the reality was very different.
Misfortune upon misfortune seemed to be Mephibosheth’s fate.  Despite these, he found a wife and now had his own son.  When David summoned him, he might have imagined that this is it, he was about to be executed, since he was Saul’s heir, and his son was about to become fatherless, just like he was.
But that is not what happened.  Instead, David reinstated Saul’s lands to him, ordered a group of people to work that land for him, and gave him a place at his table (the king’s table) permanently.
Reversal of fortune is what we call this.  Probably totally unexpected.  Kindness given, grace bestowed.
In this chapter, we have this word ‘kindness’ three times.  It is in Hebrew, hesed, meaning ‘loyal love’.  This word is also used in Lamentations 3, where Jeremiah talked about just how bad things are, but then remarks that in the middle of this grief, that God is still good, dependable, and worthy of putting our faith in: 

Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!

-Lamentations 3:22-23
This is what happened to Mephibosheth, encapsulated in 2 Samuel 9:7:
  • “Don’t be afraid”, David said to him, 
  • “Since I intend to show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan”. 
  • “I will restore to you all your grandfather Saul’s fields”, 
  • “And you will always eat meals at my table”.

Four things, four points of interest to note here.

Don’t be afraid.

    • God wants us to fear not.  Be at peace and be still.  You are not being punished.  What Mephibosheth went through was not punishment, but misfortune.  When God moves in your life, do not be afraid.  God loves you.

God is the kindest person you will ever meet.

    • God is kind and invented the concept.  Whatever you have been through or was taken from you, God’s kindness has you covered.  God has been kind to you and is going to show you his kindness in a big way, when he restores your lost inheritance to you.

God restores what is lost.

    • This is a theme throughout the whole story arc of the Bible.  And this particular story emphasizes that again.  How and when God will restore and in what way, I can not say.  But what I can say is from the Bible, is that God restores.  Expect it and look for it.

To have table fellowship daily is one of the best parts of restoration.

    • This reminds us of Jesus story of the two sons.  The one asked for his inheritance early and squandered it.  When he came home, he realized that being with his father was the greatest reward and that his real inheritance was bigger than he imagined.  And the second son, who stayed home, lived with his dad and took him for granted and did not know how loved he was and what a treasure that sharing life and meals together was.
    Something to think about is that God does not ‘make it go away’, as in putting us in a time machine, or turning the pages back and giving us a different history.  Instead, God redeems the bad things and restores us in relationship to him and restores the inheritance that was taken or jilted from us in misfortune.
    Mephibosheth still had the disability and he still missed his dear dad.  But he was given back his life and got a new living, from David.  And he did not have to fear anymore.
    He was about 5 years old when he lost his dad, and went into seclusion.  He became a nobody.  From royal family to pauper.

    He may have been about 20 years old when David summoned him.  15 years had passed.  Despite the misfortune, he married and had his own little boy.

    He had managed to find some joy perhaps, after so much loss.  How do you think he felt about God?

    God is kind.  God is gracious.  This is a story of God’s kindness and graciousness.

    David loved Jonathan and I imagine he missed him.  I think he never had another friend that he loved so much.

    And David was loyal.  He remembered who loved him before he had power.  He wanted to do something for someone, in the name of his friend, Jonathan.

    God really cares and notices our loyalty to him and to each other.  Loyalty is a big deal.

    Mephibosheth suffered losses that were no fault of his own.  He was in a certain family, and that family suffered losses.

    His dad had been very loyal to David.  Mephibosheth’s inheritance was lost when his dad died.  David gave that inheritance back and gave Mephibosheth a permanent place at his table.

    I believe that God is going to restore our inheritances that were lost.  Because God is kind and gracious.

    And I have seen God do it.

    God is kind.  David illustrates or puts on display God’s kindness.

    The highest type of kindness, that is the kindness of God that we want to emulate, is spontaneous and self-motivated.  God’s kindness or godly kindness in us, is based on who God is.  God in God and God in us.

    We are not kind to people because they earn it or have shown themselves somehow to be good candidates for it.  Kindness is gracious.  We are kind and gracious, because of something internally in ourselves.  It is internal and self motivated.

    God is kind because God is kind.  I am kind because God is kind.  And I want to have God in me, influencing me to be kind.

    This is what Jesus was saying when he said, “Be merciful, because your Father is merciful”.  We, who have experienced God’s mercy are to be merciful to others.

    David echoes God, in his actions towards Mephibosheth, in his kindness.  This is our lifestyle as well, to echo God.

    The best basis for benevolence is the experience of the mercy of God.  Human organizations like charities that come to mind, that are not based on God’s mercy are not the best.

    Some people will be indifferent to your lost inheritance.  They will be content for you to stay in obscurity or in hiding from your destiny.  You might even be ‘blessed’ with friends like Job had, who tried to reason out how Job must have brought his misfortune upon himself.

    Or you might be married to someone who totally does not get you or what God is doing in your life, like Job’s wife, who urged Job to, ‘curse God and die’.  And remember when Sarah was eavesdropping on the Lord speaking to her husband and cracked up, laughing at the absurdness of them having a baby, at their age?  These stories are actually very encouraging, showing that God works with weak people and loves them and puts his faith in them.

    God is kind.  God is kind because God is kind.  And God is kind to us because of who God is.

    David not only reassigns Mephibosheth’s inheritance to him, but gives him a place at the royal dining table.  He is given the inheritance and promoted to a new level of relationship and intimacy with David.

    It is the same for us with God.  God restores our lost inheritance and gives us an intimate relationship with him.  He does not just give us gifts, but ‘he does not leave us as orphans’ and takes us to live with him.

    But wait, there is still more.  The inheritance re-assigned to you comes with provision.  Your inheritance comes fully staffed.

    This is what happened to Mephibosheth.  A crippled man, with a wife and a small child, was not just given a large farm estate.  David also assigned a group of people to work it for him.

    The name Mephibosheth means ‘dispeller of shame’.  Dispel means to make disappear.  Perhaps this was Mephibosheth’s destiny all along.

    There was a lot of shame in being in the family of Saul.  He was very dysfunctional and acted crazy.  Like a rageaholic.

    You might have an inheritance that you lost, that was supposed to come to you, from dysfunctional persons.  Maybe even a rageaholic.  To be raged at or to see someone in your family rage is shameful.

    Growing up, while trying to process and understand what happened with your grandpa, who failed on an epic level, might give you some shame.  If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, you might identify with this.

    God heals our shame.  That’s good news.  Jesus came to heal up our shame.

    Mephibosheth does not have to be ashamed anymore, and you won’t either.

    This story also illustrates how God loves the fatherless.  We are all fatherless in a sense and get adopted into God’s family, as His children.  But God particularly loves people who are orphaned.

    He does not love them more, but there is more to love.  Deep wounds, deep healing, from deep love.

    God is huge on covenants.  Covenants are very important.  David made a covenant with Jonathan before Mephibosheth was born, to be loyal to him, no matter what.

    David missed his friend and his heart was tugged by that love and desire to do something loving and kind in his memory.  That is what started the ball rolling that resulted in Mephibosheth getting these blessings.  Covenant love.

    This is illustrated in our lives today when we show kindness to our friends children.  Especially when our friends die and their kids come into some hard times.

    I remember my dad’s best friend, who tried to help me, because he loved my dad so much.  I really had no idea at the time.  But now I realize.

    I was just a young man.  And he loved me, because he deeply loved, and honored my dad.  Wow.

    His name was Gus.  He had a beard.  I first met him when I was very young.  I asked Gus if I could touch his beard.

    Gus loved me and took an interest in me, because he loved my dad.  I had no idea at the time, except I liked him back.  He asked me to dinner one time, when I started working in Los Angeles.  He came and met me at a Sizzler.  He wanted to help me.  He was so kind.

    God is kind.  God remembers.  God takes notice of when we have our inheritance lost.  God restores things to us that were lost.  And God provides for how it will all work.  He does not leave us as orphans.  And he gives us a permanent spot at his dining table, where we can continue getting to know him and his family and ask questions and become known.

    God restores.  God is kind.  God is gracious.  And he dispels our shame.  Just look and you will see.  And it will happen to you.


    For many days neither sun nor stars appeared, and the severe storm kept raging. Finally all hope that we would be saved was disappearing.

    He believed, hoping against hope, so that he became the father of many nations according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be.

    Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

    And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance,  endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.  
    This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.

    When I became a man, I put aside childish things.
    For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.
    Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.
    Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.
    But the greatest of these is love.
    -Acts 27:20, Romans 4:18, 5:1-5; 1 Corinthians 13:11-13
    I was thinking about hope.  We have hope.  Hope in God and hope in Christ.  And the Spirit of God is a hopeful person.
    In Paul’s sea adventure story, he recalls a point where, ‘all hope was lost’.  Hope was disappearing.  Chances of surviving were running out.  But the end of the story was that everybody survived.
    Another story about hope is told in Romans, about Abraham.  He kept waiting for his promise to manifest.  He hoped for it, even when hope was running out.
    In the next chapter of Romans, we learn that we become hopeful people through enduring suffering.  The Christian life is about becoming like Christ, as we suffer, learn to love and live from God’s provision.
    In 1 Corinthians, there is this idea that hope, along with faith and love, will go on; after the second coming.  Out of everything in the Christian life that we get to participate in on earth now, we get to continue experiencing faith, hope, and love.  There will not need to be any more prophecies, because we will be living in fulfillment.
    Hope is a continuous, ongoing experience in our lives.  We hope and hope sometimes seems like it is running out and hopes are often fulfilled.  Hope that goes on a long time, without being fulfilled, can give us serious heartache.  
    We need to be on-guard to not get bitter.  Disappointment always is the time of ‘His appointment’.  We must learn to lament our disappointments and grieve or losses.
    Hopes die and losses happen.  But God always has new hope for us.  God has a ‘plan b’ when things do not work out.
    New hope is renewed hope in God.  God is the God of death and resurrection.  Don’t be afraid of failure or a hopeless situation, because God resurrects dead things and brings new life where there has been death.
    And the Spirit of God is the wisest and most optimistic person in your life, as well as Jesus number one supporter.
    Hopeless means God has something for you, a gift or a compensation that is hidden in your trial.  Hopeless means that God has a ‘plan b’ or a resurrection of dead things.  Hopeless means the gift of having special fellowship with Jesus that you might have missed out on, if you had unlimited success.
    If you are hopeless, God has something in store for you.  Let hope be refurbished in your heart and out into your life through the grace of God.  Be hopeful again

    I Can See Clearly Now

    Arise, my darling.
    Come away, my beautiful one.
    For now the winter is past;
    the rain has ended and gone away.
    The blossoms appear in the countryside.
    The time of singing has come,
    and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land.
    The fig tree ripens its figs;
    the blossoming vines give off their fragrance.
    Arise, my darling.
    Come away, my beautiful one.

    -Song of Songs 2:10-13
    I can see things clearer now.  Did the Lord heal me?  Did I do something?  Or did the season change?  Yes.
    What if the ‘move of God’ in your life is a simple sight adjustment, like focusing a lens?  What if the move of God for you is more about you seeing God and knowing God sees you?  What if the move of God was about the atmosphere having changed in your present time and then you living differently, because you now see?
    When I was thinking about this poetic idea of, “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone”. I thought about the stories of when Jesus healing various blind people.  And then I looked at Jesus word, to remove the logs from our own eyes, so that we can see.

    We can see clearly after we take the impediments to seeing out of our eyes.  Those ‘blinders’ are things like bigotry, sectarianism, racism, classism and judgmentalism.  What if we began to see life through love?

    What if we got an upgraded ability to see ourselves as loved by God and then began loving ourselves and loving others and seeing others through the love of Christ?

    The Bible is filled with stories, with object lessons about seeing.  Seeing has to do with sight and understanding.  Our hearts and minds impair what we can see and Paul even makes the statement that non-believers have been blinded by the god of this age.

    There is a saying, “This too will pass”, that is said to someone that is in the middle of a loss or a struggle or a challenging situation.  It is a word that is comforting to hear or read.

    Every winter ends and turns into spring.  We crossed over, into the season of Spring, ten days ago.  It is funny that Saint Patrick’s Day is three days before spring.  On the friday of Saint Patrick’s day, we went through a weekend of season change and came out in spring on Monday.

    The winter has past, it is behind us.  The rain was good for the land, but it made it hard to see and get around.  The rains finished and ended and now there is green everywhere.

    The air is cleaner and sweeter, because of all the plant life.  All of the wildlife is out and about as well, beginning to enjoy the springtime.

    The change that has happened is that heaven is closer to earth.  Neither moved, but is is about, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,”  We now are living in more heaven on earth.

    God has not taken us somewhere new or brought new things to us.  God has changed the atmosphere, here and now, where we live today.  And we can see and experience life differently now, because of what God has none.

    If you have been waiting for something or for God to do something, God says, “now is the time”.  God is saying that now is the time when He is changing your life’s atmosphere, so that you can see Him.  We first have to begin to live in seeing the Lord and then the rest will fall into place.

    Every person has secret and not so secret needs and wants, requests, wishes, desires and unfulfilled dreams; that God is fully aware of.  Our Father is a good father and takes good care of us.  I remember running into a close friend, who was unemployed and then underemployed and he said this exact thing.  Today, he is fully employed.

    You might know this, but God is more concerned with how we are on the inside, in our hearts.  And our hearts affect our minds.  God has always been after the transformation of our hearts.

    God has changed the atmosphere, just like how the seasons have just changed, so that we can see and live differently.  Do you remember that moment in The Wizard of Oz movie, when it goes from black and white to color?  That is what God is doing,

    The purpose of the change that God has brought on, is so that we can be closer to Him.  When you are closer to Him, He will either make your dreams come true or He will change your dreams, and both are good.

    For me, personally; I have a good list of dreams, requests, desires and wishes.  And I know that God: My Father, My Lord Jesus and The Holy Spirit are intimately aware of these.  I also know that what they want to do in my life, to me and through me; is bigger and more wonderful that my lists and even my imagining that reaches beyond my cognitive abilities.

    What I see God doing now, is giving us vision to see more clearly:   To see God and to see that God sees me and to see all of the circumstances in my life with God.  I previously knew all this was possible and wanted it in my life, while I was calling out and longing for my dreams, requests, desires and wishes to be granted.

    And this is what Song of Songs 2 is about.  We can absolutely learn things about our romantic relationship with our spouse in Song of Songs.  But the main point of the book is Jesus Christ and His Bride.

    Here is what Brian Simmons writes in his introduction to his translation of Song of Songs:

    The divine poem embedded in this romantic book tells the story of our journey of divine romance as bride of the Bridegroom-King, Jesus Christ.  It speaks of the journey every longing lover of Jesus will find as his or her very own.  (TPT, Song of Songs, p,10)

    Here is what Winn Griffin wrote, in his, ‘About Song of Songs: Romantic Love’, page in his book, God’s Epic Adventure (p. 139-40):

    Its interpretive history is intriguing.  It has been read and understood in many different ways over the centuries.  Very few, if any would have interpreted the book as God’s sex manual within marriage in the middle ages.  To do so would have caused excommunication.  Today it is most commonly interpreted as a book about the erotic passion between spouses…

    …The Song of Songs does not appear to be an allegorical or typological message through which one can view God.  It does however, appear to be a bold presentation on the wholesomeness and biblical balance of the extremes of sexual excess and asceticism…

    …While God is never mentioned by name in the Song, the book teaches by inference, using the marriage metaphor, that God and Israel have a marriage covenant which promises exclusive allegiance to God and does not allow Israel to commit adultery against God by sleeping with other gods.

    And here is what G. Llyoyd Carr wrote in his book on The Song of Solomon (p. 23-4):

    The assumption that the Song is purely allegorical has been widespread amongst English-speaking  evangelicals for many generations.  Their devotional writing on the Song has sometimes been of a high order, but that does not, of course, settle the question whether their basic approach is true to the text itself.  The recently published comment of the renown Reformed theologian, the late Professor John Murray, provides an admirable summary of the general difficulties raised in this approach: ‘I cannot now endorse the allegorical interpretation of the Song of Solomon.  I think the vagaries of interpretation given in terms of the allegorical principal indicate that there are no well-defined hermeneutical canons to guide us in determining the precise meaning and application to guide us in determining the precise meaning and application if we adopt the allegorical view.  However, I also think that in terms of the biblical analogy the Song could be used to illustrate the relation of Christ and the church. If the Song portrays marital love and relationship on the highest levels of exercise and devotion, then surely it may be used to exemplify what is transcendently true in the bond that exists between Christ and the church.  One would have to avoid a great deal of the arbitrary and indeed fanciful interpretations to which the allegorical view leads and which it would demand.’

    I believe The Song of Songs is both a book that informs us about God’s design and plan for erotic and romantic passion and devotion between married spouses, and a book about the divine romance between Christ and his people, the church, His bride.

    In the garden of our lives, we see Christ, who is calling us to come away with him.  We have been waiting for and wanting him to come and bring something to us.  But He calls to us and makes a way for us, to come to Him.

    The atmospheric, season change, is making it possible to see and be closer the God.  God comes in Jesus and draws us to His heart and leads us out into life, our lives and into the world, with Him.

    He is saying, “Now is the time”.  He is saying that it is a new day and new season and a new beginning.  A fresh start is here, if we will take Him up on the offer.

    He has come to set us free and end our barrenness.  He has come to bring us out of hiding.  Jesus wants to cleanse us and bring us into union with Him for life and His purpose.

    The time of sadness and a loss for words has past and it is now a time for singing.  He has put a new song in our hearts and we will sing it.

    Our day of destiny is breaking out all around us.  To be with Him and walk in Him and know Him has always been our destiny and we are walking into it now, because He has changed the season and transformed the atmosphere, so that we can now see clearly.

    I See The Lord Now, Today

    This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    -Psalm 118:24
    I see the Lord now, today.

    Today is the day of salvation.  Today is the day of deliverance.  Today is the day to trust God.

    Today thank God.  Today trust God.  Today see God.

    The Lord is here.  He is on the scene.  The Lord is working.

    I see the Lord.  I see Him now.  I am glad, thankful and filled with joy about what I see God doing in my life and in those around me.

    This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  There is no better day than today, to begin praising God.  There is no better time to trust Him.
    Today is a day to choose to worship Him.  Today we have the opportunity, like no other day, to express our thanks to God.
    Today is a day to begin trusting God.  Today we can begin to see God as good.  Today is a new day.
    Every day is a day with God.  Every day is a day for God.  Every day is a day God made that we can choose to rejoice and be glad in.
    Today is a day when I will choose to see God’s goodness.  Today is a day like no other day.  This day is a day to rejoice in because the Lord is my God.
    I see the Lord as good and loving, kind and gracious, filled with mercy and faithfulness.  My heart is glad when I consider God.  Today I will be be filled with joy, because of the Lord.
    I am no longer waiting on the Lord, but I now see the Lord and what the Lord has done already.  I am filled with thankfulness today.  I am going to live in today, knowing that God is at work, in me, around me, and in the lives of the people dear to me.
    I see the Lord today and I am thankful.  Today is the day that I am letting joy flow.  I am no longer waiting for a breakthrough, waiting for the heavens to open, waiting for a miracle.  Instead, I see the Lord today, where I am.  And I see the Lord in all the people I know.
    I am celebrating today.  The Lord is here.  The Lord is mine today.
    The Lord has made my day.
    I am thanking God and living in what He has done.  I will no longer discount today and short circuit my happiness.  I now see God and will live in today.
    I see clearly now.  I see today as the day when the Lord has acted and intervened.  It may have happened yesterday, last week, last year or even many years ago; but I see what the Lord has done now, today.
    A seed planted has sprung forth.  A plant planted has flowered.  A tree now is filled with abundant fruit.
    I see it now.  I see the Lord today.
    It did not happen today, but I see it today.  I am glad today.  I have been waiting for God while God has been waiting for me.
    I have gotten up and gotten out and looked around and I now see all the good things.  My heart has changed and I am no longer pessimistic, cynical or negative.  I’m not judging things anymore.
    Where I thought I saw ‘impossible’, I now see ‘possible’.  On the hardest places, I now see the Lord and his encouragement.  I sense the Lord saying something like, “If I am with you, you will be ok”.
    I don’t don’t sense the Lord saying, “You can do it”, but, “I will be with you”.  I also have a strong, I mean overpowering sense that the Lord says, “I have been with you and I am with you today”.
    Don’t misunderstand me,  I am not saying that I sense the Lord saying, “You can not do it”, but I sense the Lord saying that He is with me and has been with me.
    I saw one note on Psalm 118, that told me everything: “This is the psalm or “hymn” that Jesus likely sang after the Passover supper with his disciples, before making his way to Gethsemane and Calvary” (TPT, Psalms, p, 253).  
    This is the whole backstory on Psalm 118, from Thomas Constable:

    This is the last in this series of the Egyptian Hallel psalms (Pss. 113—118). It describes a festal procession to the temple to praise and sacrifice to the Lord. The historical background may be the dedication of the restored walls and gates of Jerusalem in Ezra and Nehemiah’s time, following the return from Babylonian captivity, in 444 B.C.[474] It contains elements of communal thanksgiving, individual thanksgiving, and liturgical psalms. The subject is God’s loyal love for His people. The situation behind it seems to be God’s restoration of the psalmist after a period of dishonor. This would have been a very appropriate psalm to sing during the Feast of Tabernacles as well as at Passover and Pentecost. The Lord Jesus and His disciples probably sang it together in the Upper Room at the end of the Lord’s Supper (cf. Matt. 26:30).

    And this is what Derek Kidner wrote, in his commentary (pp. 412-13):

    “As the final psalm of the ‘Egyptian Hallel’, sung to celebrate the Passover . . ., this psalm may have pictured to those who first sang it the rescue of Israel at the Exodus, and the eventual journey’s end at Mount Zion. But it was destined to be fulfilled more perfectly, as the echoes of it on Palm Sunday and in the Passion Week make clear to every reader of the Gospels.”

    And, I am always interested in seeing the context of a verse.  This is the immediate context, of the previous two verses:

    The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
    This came from the Lord; it is wonderful in our eyes.
    This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    Am here it is, with the preceding five verses, for more context:

    Open the gates of righteousness for me;
    I will enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
    This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous will enter through it.
    I will give thanks to You because You have answered me and have become my salvation.
    The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
    This came from the Lord; it is wonderful in our eyes.
    This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    This is a twenty-nine verse psalm.  It starts with the words,

    Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His faithful love endures forever.  

    And the center verse, verse fourteen, echoes the song of deliverance, from Exodus 15:

    The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.

    These two verses, one and fourteen, are what this psalm is about.  This is what rejoicing in the day that the Lord has made is all about.  Every day is the day of deliverance, with the Lord.

    At every Passover, from the days of Moses, up to the night of the last supper; people worshipped the Lord for that day, the day, today: this day.  Every day is the day of deliverance, because that is what God is all about.

    We live in the kingdom of God.  The kingdom is already and not yet.  We know this, and neither live in the triumphalism of an over realized eschatology, nor in a futurist theological mindset that says, “it’s all future, so I will just wait”.  Wait for the rapture or wait for God to do the next big thing.

    Triumphalism and futurism are both errors and extremes, detrimental, unhealthy and dysfunctional (and fattening).  The kingdom life, the Jesus life, is lived in the already of the kingdom, while eagerly anticipating the not yet and seeing the not yet breaking into today, while still being held back as not (fully) yet.

    This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.

    I see the Lord now.

    Today is the day of salvation.  Today is the day of deliverance.  Today is the day to trust God.

    Today thank God.  Today trust God.  Today see God.

    The Lord is here.  He is on the scene.  The Lord is working.

    I see the Lord.  I see Him now.  I am glad, thankful and filled with joy about what I see God doing in my life and in those around me.

    Happy Days Are Here, Again

    Happy days are here, again.  We are in a new season.  A road is opening up.

    We are in a time of God’s favor.  We do not have to wait any longer for the new time.  It is here.    

    God is doing turnarounds in the lives of people.  What people have been waiting for, saying, “how long oh Lord?”, is happening.  Authentic desires, requests and dreams that have seemed impossible are happening right now.

    Optimism is overcoming pessimism.  Belief, trust and hope will drown out cynicism.  Mourning will give way to dancing.

    Dreams are coming true.  There is an open invitation being given, for a happier life.

    From 2 Corinthians and Isaiah 49:

    Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.” For He says:

    I heard you in an acceptable time,
    and I helped you in the day of salvation.
    Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.

    This is what the Lord says:

    I will answer you in a time of favor,
    and I will help you in the day of salvation.
    I will keep you, and I will appoint you
    to be a covenant for the people,
    to restore the land,
    to make them possess the desolate inheritances,
    saying to the prisoners: Come out,
    and to those who are in darkness: Show yourselves.
    They will feed along the pathways,
    and their pastures will be on all the barren heights.
    They will not hunger or thirst,
    the scorching heat or sun will not strike them;
    for their compassionate One will guide them,
    and lead them to springs of water.
    I will make all My mountains into a road,
    and My highways will be raised up.
    See, these will come from far away,
    from the north and from the west,
    and from the land of Sinim.

    Shout for joy, you heavens!
    Earth, rejoice!
    Mountains break into joyful shouts!
    For the Lord has comforted His people,
    and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.
    -2 Corinthians 6:2, Isaiah 49:8-13

    We are in a time of favor.  But some of us, and that may even be the vast majority of us, have not recognized this.  We are still shaking off the old season.

    It does not work to act like it is winter when it is spring, nor summer when it is fall.  We are going to be like bear cubs, who were born during hibernation, who are awakening to a whole new life.

    Some us are afraid of the new time, because we are so full of disappointment, from the old season, that we are afraid of being permanently passed over.

    God is saying to us, “I have never forgotten you.  I have never stopped loving you.  I have been with you through all the suffering.  Your sorrow has been befor me all along.  Do not worry.  Continue to grow in trust.”

    Take a look at the next three verses, in Isaiah 49:

    Zion says, “The Lord has abandoned me;
    The Lord has forgotten me!”
    “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    or lack compassion for the child of her womb?
    Even if these forget,
    yet I will not forget you.
    Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
    your walls are continually before Me.
    -Isaiah 49:14-16

    We are realizing that God has been with us in unhappiness.  He never turned away.  This process or realization is like a catapult.

    The more I know that God has been good to me, the more that I can enjoy Him and what He has for me in times going forward.  If I do not know that God has been with me in the desert, I will not know how to walk and receive and lay hold of the life God has for me in the land of promises fulfilled.

    Happy days are here, again.  A time of favor is here, again.

    Be consoled.  Your dreams are not cancelled.  Your prize or reward has always been God’s love.

    See your life in God’s hands.  What will God do?

    Happy Mourners

    Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad.

    God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
    -Matthew 5:4 (CEB, NLT)

    Have you wept lately?  Have you wept over your sin?  Have you wept over the sins of others?

    That is a mark of an authentic Christian.  If you are not mourning over your spiritual bankruptcy then do not claim to be a Christian.  Grieving your hopelessness is the path of Christ that we walk on.

    Being grieved over the sin around us is also the way of life for the disciple of Jesus.  The message of Jesus Christ to the world dying in sin has always been, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand”.  This is the message that Christ followers carry into the world today and we carry it and communicate it from broken hearts.

    God is not angry at the world, but grieved and broken hearted for a people trapped in sin.  We have the privilege of sharing God’s heart of mercy and compassion for the lost.  Our lives are filled with immense joy and sorrow.  Joy over the found and sorrow over the lost.

    Anger is not the path to God.  Anger is not the path to righteousness.  But we get very angry at our own sins and the sins of others and are grieved by the hopelessness of lives without God’s intervention.

    Have you wept over you sinfulness lately?  Mourning yourself is not a bout of self-pity.  Mourning yourself is the cry of your heart for God’s salvation to change you.

    Imagine that I cry for myself over a failure in my life, saying, “You can do better than that!”  And then I promise myself I will not do that again.  That is not the way of Christ.

    Imagine that I weep and testify about how others hurt me or slighted be.  I am entitled to be offended and tell anyone who will listen about my story of aggrievement.  That is not the way of Christ.

    Getting stung by unrighteousness in myself or from others and living in the grief of the hopelessness, with my face towards God: that is the way of Christ.

    When we seek to cover up our sin, that dressing is our reward.  When we blame or shame we stay the same.  But when we grieve it and leave it to God, we are his children.

    God’s children rely on God.  God is the only hope for God’s children.  God’s children look to and receive comfort in their sadness over the hopeless wreck of sin.

    Children of God live lives of repentance and rest in Father and are saved.  Children of Father always know that God is good.  We know that Christ has made us his disciples to know his father.

    The only way to be saved is to let go of saving myself and turn to God to save me.  The only way to deal with my sin and the sin of others is to turn to God.  The only way of happiness or comfort from sin, poverty of spirit and sheer hopelessness, is God.

    The way has been made and it is the way that Christ calls his followers to live in and walk in.  We live our lives in grief and the happiness of the comfort of God.  And we share that life and invite others into that life of comfort and happiness from the grief and hopelessness that sin brings.

    We are all beggars showing other beggars where to find the bread.  We are carriers of happiness in sad times.  We carry God’s comfort to the grieving.

    Mourning and comfort, grieving and being made glad go together.  We are not comforted or made comfortable apart from our mourning.  And we are not made glad or truly happy apart from our grief.

    We are neither just happy all the time and never sad, nor are we in permanent gloom mode.  But we are continually having our mourning turned into dancing, through the transformational work of God.  This is the inheritance of the people of God.

    We are designed to mourn and grieve when things go wrong, when there is death, dying, hopelessness or rot.  We do not avoid the experience of grieving or mourning.  We do not at all ‘glide above it’, or, ‘steer away from it’.  But believers mourn and grieve often.

    Have you wept lately, over your sin or the sins of others?  Have you mourned the lack of righteousness in yourself and the ones around you?  Have you met with God in your grief?

    When we are no longer babes in Christ, who only drink milk and need diapers, we walk in the school of Christ, with Christ, as his learners.  And life with others is the class room.  Along the way and even immediately, we will suffer.

    There is a saying that says, ‘suffering will make you either bitter or better’.  We know that the better way is the way of God, where we look to God in our suffering and God comforts us or makes us glad.

    Something bad happens.  A loss, a death, a sin; and you turn to God in what is hopeless and God comforts you.  This is not a ‘dashboard Jesus’, or, ‘I said these affirmations and felt better’, sort of thing; but a touch from Father.

    I have learned to call it being, ‘strangely comforted’.  It does not make sense.  I don’t think I am in denial about what just happened.  But I am comforted and even happy, while still sad about the loss.

    The highest walk that the road of discipleship leads to is the fellowship in sufferings with Christ that are his.  The shortest verse in the New Testament is one of the most meaningful ones: ‘Jesus wept’.  His tears were not out of control, but they also were not just wet eyes.  He burst forth in tears.

    Jesus also wept for Jerusalem, about the sinful blindness of missing their day of visitation.  He wept over what he saw coming for Jerusalem.  We would do well to follow Jesus example in mourning for the lost and being sad about the fruits of sin.

    The same people called to the mission of spreading the good news about Jesus, all Christians, are a broken hearted people.  We both carry the good news and proclaim it to a lost world and we weep and mourn and live in grief over our sinful state of hopelessness.

    We never look down on sinners, ourselves or others.  But love is the name of the game.  The life of Christ is not a life of trying to do the right thing and then feeling ashamed I didn’t cut it and then shaming all those out there and in here, who also aren’t cutting it.

    Shame is when you feel bad and identify yourself as bad.  Shameful Christians feel bad for their sins and try to make others feel bad for theirs.  The shame game is not at all the way of Christ.

    The difference is that we do feel bad for our sin and we do feel hopeless about the sinful condition, but we do not identify or take on the identity of being bad.  And while we do realize and sometimes say that what others do is bad, we do not identify them as bad.

    But we see people as loved and in need of redemption, salvation and transformation that all comes through God’s love in Christ.  In seeing people beginning with our own selves, through love, God’s love; we are always vulnerable to being broken hearted over unrighteousness and spiritual poverty or sinfulness.

    And we are learning to feel it.  We are learning to experience the sadness in our hearts, from God’s heart.  We are living lives where we often weep and mourn and continually turn to God for consolation.  Our lives are full of sadness, as Jesus’ life was; but we are also truly happy, like him, because of the love of our Father.

    Vindication and The Presence of God

    A prayer of David:

    Lord, hear a just cause; (Listen to me, Lord.)
    pay attention to my cry; (It’s my piercing cry for justice!)
    listen to my prayer— (My cause is just and my need is real.)
    from lips free of deceit. (I’ve done what is right and my lips speak truth.)
    Let my vindication come from You, (Lord, I always live my life before your face,)
    for You see what is right. (so examine and exonerate me.  Vindicate me and show the world I’m innocent.)

    -Psalm 17:1-2 (HCSB, (TPT))

    I believe in vindication from God.  God is going to avenge or do revenge on the enemy.
    It seems to me that the key strategy of the enemy is to weave lies into the world to stop the progress of the kingdom and the saints.  There is a whole spectrum of lies that are told about God, about faith and about each one of us, to stop us and hold us back.
    I can not tell you what you or those you love need vindication from.  But I can tell you that I believe God is about vindicating.
    I can tell you that vindication is not something we do for our selves.  Vindication is when God avenges and takes revenge on the enemy.  
    He does it all the time.  And it is something that we can expect and do not need to help God do.  He will do it and we can see God do it.
    We dwell in God’s presence and God exacts revenge, vengeance and vindication for us against the enemy.
    And this is about the enemy and God’s war on the enemy.  This is not about revenge on people or war on people.  Governments and armies and human warfare is a different thing.
    Our brothers and sisters are never our enemy, even if they act like our enemy.  The enemy is the demonic realm, headed by satan.  That enemy is involved in mischief, all sorts of lies, murder and destruction in the world, against humans and God’s kingdom.
    The enemy has done a whole host of bad things, and God is all about turning that destruction and those lies and the bondage around into freedom and blessing.  Vindication is the word and vindication time is upon us.
     Here are some resources on what vindication is all about.
    From vocabulary.com:

    Vindication is a sweet thing — when you get vindication, you’ve been proven right or justified in doing something. Everyone accused of a crime craves vindication.

    Vindication is good, but it can only come after something bad, like being accused of something you didn’t do. If a teacher thought you cheated, but then announced to the whole class that you didn’t, you’re getting vindication. An accused criminal who is exonerated — cleared of the crime — gets vindication. If you believe something crazy — like that your underdog sports team could win a championship — and it comes true, that’s a vindication of your beliefs.

    From, etymolgy.com:

    vindication (n.) late 15c., “act of avenging, revenge,” from Old French vindicacion “vengeance, revenge” and directly from Latin vindicationem (nominative vindicatio) “act of claiming or avenging,” noun of action from past participle stem of vindicare “lay claim to, assert; claim for freedom, set free; protect, defend; avenge” (related to vindicta “revenge”), probably from vim dicare “to show authority,” from vim, accusative of vis “force” (see vim) + dicare “to proclaim” (see diction). Meaning “justification by proof, defense against censure” is attested from 1640s.

    From Thesaurus.com:

    Synonyms of Vindication:  (Primary) exonerate, revenge.  (Secondarily) justification, exoneration, exculpation, acquittal/acquittance, mitigation, apology, compurgation, amnesty, dismissal.

    Here is a vindication prayer:

    From David’s prayer:

    “Lord, hear a just cause; pay attention to my cry;
    listen to my prayer— from lips free of deceit.
    Let my vindication come from You, for You see what is right.”
    (Ps. 17:1-2, HCSB)

    And from  a song of David’s:
    “They all will stand awestruck, over what God has done,
    seeing how he vindicated the victims of those crimes.

    The lovers of God will be glad, rejoicing in the Lord.

    They will be found in his glorious wrap-around presence
    singing songs of praise to God!”
    (Ps. 64:9-10, TPT)

    About Psalm 17, my first thought was that this is a declarative prayer that asks God to vindicate us:  Asking God to prove we are right.

    But then I thought, maybe it means something about being vindicated in relationship with God?

    This prayer is asking for God to examine me and exonerate me, showing others that I am innocent of any false charges that have been leveled against me.

    In other words, the prayer might be asking for those who would believe something untrue to see the goodness of God in me and in my life, even though I am just a human being who makes mistakes and gets it wrong sometimes.

    Is that it, or part of it?

    There is also a prayer that says, “Deliver me from the lust of vindicating myself”.

    The word, “From your presence let my vindication come! Let your eyes behold the right!”, means; “let me continue to abide in you and somehow in however you, God, choose; let me be in the vindication that is in Christ.”

    When I see Jesus Christ as the definition of God.  And when I see Jesus’ death on the cross as the definitional lens from which I see God; it gives me perspective of my life in Christ.

    In time, and eternity; Jesus Christ has been vindicated.  And I am vindicated as I am in Christ.

    When it says, “From your presence, let my vindication come”, it means that, “In abiding in you, I am vindicated: so let that be, let that come, and let that happen in my life.”

    The work or intention of my life is to abide in Christ.  And everything in my life is about my relationship to God.  God is intensely relational.

    Every challenge I face, every trial, every argument, every disagreement and every disappointment are occasions or opportunities to trust God, know God, have faith in God, be loved by God and come to know again that God is good.  That is the presence of God from which my vindication comes.

    The presence of God is the face of God.  “Lord, I will always live before your face.” (Ps. 17:2)

    The presence of God is in the face of God.  Where God faces, God’s presence is.  I want to be before God’s face.

    Getting in someone’s face is something we say when we really tell someone off.  But the Bible concept of this is that we want to be in God’s presence.  Seeking God’s face is the intention to be in God’s presence.

    To seek God’s face is to ask for an audience with the King and to ask for an increase in God’s presence in our place where we are.

    To say, “Vindicate me in your presence”, is to ask God for a transformed life.  We do not know how our vindication will work out or play out with others, but our vindication is what we desire and ask for.

    When we say, “Vindicate me!”, we are not telling God to do it or how to do it.  We are giving up our right to do it and agreeing that God is the vindicator.

    I am putting all my trust into God to be my judge and make all the right judgments about me and for me.

    I don’t think we have to convince God that we are right.  Instead, we are going to live in asking for God to put His gaze on what we are doing and what we are saying and to make it righteous.  Maybe that is what living before God’s face is all about.

    “Vindicate me”, is asking God to turn around the false accusations and mis-judgments in my life.  And the “From You”, part means that I want God’s presence in my life.  I want to kisses of God on my face.

    To live before God’s face is to live in transparency and honesty.  We are asking God to give us a clear and blessed relationship with God manifested out into the world we live in.

    I want to live in God’s embrace so much that when I am accused or mis-judged or slighted in any way, real or imagined; that I just have to look into the face of God and then it is not my problem.  My prayer is that I will live in God’s presence, and all the settling of what is unsettling will come upon me from God.

    I want to see God do vindications, vengeance and revenge on the enemy.  The ministry of Jesus, setting captives free and turning lives around is known in the non-believing world.  The fear of God will be known to all and all of us will be in awe at the turn arounds that God does in the lives of people who have been falsely blamed, charged, guilted, disapproved and indicted by God’s enemies.

    The wrap-around presence of God and the glory of God is where vindication comes from, overturning the works of the enemy.

    We will not just praise God for what we believe, but what he is doing now.  Our praises to God will be for actual works of God in our day to day lives, where in God is vindicating his Children.

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