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

Psalm 17:1, When You Pray

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A prayer of David. Lord, hear a just cause; pay attention to my cry; listen to my prayer— from lips free of deceit.
-Psalm 17:1

When you pray, be honest.

Don’t lie when you talk to God.

Tell the Lord the truth.

Don’t be deceptive.

Be sincere, genuine, real, and true.

Be without guile when you pray.

Present your honest story of injustice to God.

Tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth.

God is listening.

The court is open.
Ask for justice.

Be completely honest.

The judge is listening.

Get your hearing, plead your case, now.

Stop defending yourself, in your own mind.

Stop worrying that God doesn’t hear you.

You will never be turned away by the righteous judge.

Are you a believer?

You have standing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Your cry to God is the prayer of Christ.

God hears the voice of Jesus.

Peter Craigie’s notes on Psalm 17:

Psalm 17 is:

  • A prayer
  • An individual lament
  • An innocent person’s prayer for protection
  • A royal prayer
  • Depicts an innocent person under extreme pressure
  • A morning prayer (night testing, v. 3; awakening, v.15)

Charles Spurgeon wrote these notes on Psalm 17:1:

“Attend unto my cry.” This shows the vehemence and earnestness of the petitioner; he is no mere talker, he weeps and laments.


Synonyms for vehemence

Synonyms for earnest

Spurgeon continues:

Who can resist a cry? A real hearty, bitter, piteous cry, might almost melt a rock, there can be no fear of its prevalence with our heavenly Father.

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A cry is our earliest utterance, and in many ways the most natural of human sounds; if our prayer should like the infant’s cry be more natural than intelligent, and more earnest than elegant, it will be none the less eloquent with God. There is a mighty power in a child’s cry to prevail with a parent’s heart.

Hear the right, O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
-Psalm 17:1


“Give ear unto my prayer.” Some repetitions are not vain. The reduplication here used is neither superstition nor tautology, but is like the repeated blow of a hammer hitting the same nail on the head to fix it the more effectually, or the continued knocking of a beggar at the gate who cannot be denied an alms.

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“That goeth not out of feigned lips.” Sincerity is a sine qu non (essential element) in prayer. Lips of deceit are detestable to man and much more to God. In intercourse so hallowed as that of prayer, hypocrisy even in the remotest degree is as fatal as it is foolish. Hypocritical piety is double iniquity. He who would feign and flatter had better try his craft with a fool like himself, for to deceive the all-seeing One is as impossible as to take the moon in a net, or to lead the sun into a snare. He who would deceive God is himself already most grossly deceived. Our sincerity in prayer has no merit in it, any more than the earnestness of a mendicant in the street; but at the same time the Lord has regard to it, through Jesus, and will not long refuse his ear to an honest and fervent petitioner.

A prayer of David.
Lord, hear a just cause;
pay attention to my cry;
listen to my prayer—
from lips free of deceit.
-Psalm 17:1

The call to prayer is often a calling to pray for yourself.

This is not inherently selfish but relational.

We come to God, as we are, perhaps purely selfish, and God relates to us.

The sign “Start Here”, means right now, where you are.

God wants to hear from us.

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Believers are God’s children and children talk to their mom’s and dad’s.

We have been adopted and are being cared for by God.

We might have been babies at first, who could only cry and sleep.

We might have been small children who were afraid.

Maybe we might feel like older children who were adopted and are learning to be loved.

Sooner for some and later for others, we start talking to God.

And it is easy, because God is the best listener and shows loving attention towards us.

There are a lot of other voices and “Sirens” in the world that want our attention.

But God is always the “true north” magnetic pull on our hearts.

No matter what your situation or no matter how long it’s been going on or how hopeless it seems; God wants to hear about it and wants us to ask for help

You might ask, why doesn’t God just fix it, without my having to go through it, suffering, waiting, and asking; maybe over and over?

I don’t know.

This thing, God allowed.

What we have to settle, in our minds, is that God is good.

But God allows suffering.

This is humbling.


Saying and believing that God is bad, cursing God, is a severe error and makes things worse.

Wrestling with your circumstances, before God; is the right thing to do.

We can say, “this circumstance and your goodness do not add up, and I am confused!”

We can say, “I am hurt and angry”, or, “I am sad and losing hope”.

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A prayer of David.
Lord, hear a just cause; pay attention to my cry; listen to my prayer— from lips free of deceit.
-Psalm 17:1

  • When you pray
  • God is listening
  • Tell your story
  • Be raw, unedited
  • Treat God with respect, but as a real person
  • Cut loose, don’t hold back
  • Be unfiltered, completely honest

Peter Craige, Psalms 1-50
Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David

Give Me This Mountain

Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day.

-Joshua 14:12a (NKJV)
Have you asked God to give you your mountain?  Have you considered that God has a mountain with your name on it?  Do you have a big dream that God has put in your heart that you are waiting to be fulfilled?
Joshua, chapter fourteen, tells the story of Caleb asking for and being given his inheritance.  That’s the mountain.  He is saying here, to Joshua, that he wants that particular mountain; and that it is what God promised to him, long ago:

Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”

And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim).

Then the land had rest from war.

-Joshua 14:6-15 (NKJV)
It was not rude for Caleb to ask, it was assertive.  Being assertive is a good thing. 

Jesus always responded to people who asked for things and teaches us to ask God.

Caleb was asking for something he wanted and that God had promised him.  Somehow at some point, long ago, Caleb saw that mountain and maybe God said something to him, in his heart, that was like, “that’s yours”.

Stop and think about it.  God wants to give cities, companies, blocks, buildings, and spheres of influence to his people.  What God has for us is so much more than huddling in church and having a great relationship with Him in private.

It is notable that Caleb was 85 years old, and that he was not born into one of the tribes of Israel, but was a proselyte.  Caleb was a descendent of Edom, who were descendants of Esau.  Caleb was a Gentile, adopted into Israel, into the tribe of Judah.

Caleb is part of the list of heroes in the Old Testament times, who were not born Jewish.  Two other renown people, who end up in Jesus family line are Rahab the prostitute, who was an Amorite, and Ruth the Moabitess, who gets her own story of redemption written up in the book of Ruth.

You might be concerned that you don’t have the right pedigree to be used by God, because your life’s resume is unconventional.  But the truth is that God’s story in your life is what qualifies you, and not your resume or connections.

Today, there are people over 40 who think they are too old, when the complete opposite is true.  Every age has advantages.  There is a reason why the government does not draft people to be in the armed forces, during times of war, who are over a certain age.  Young adults do have the most energy.

But, as you get older, you gain a lot of other things.  Life experience and wisdom are gained over time.  Every person should have older people, a generation ahead; who are in their lives for guidance, mentoring, and counsel.

Your older friends should be your most valuable relationships.  If you are in your twenties, look for people in their forties or fifties.  If you are in your thirties, look for people in their fifties and sixties.

When we visited and became a part of a church 7 or 8 years ago, I went straight to the oldest person in the room and sat with her and became her friend.  I usually do that at any gathering.  My oldest friend is 93.

I didn’t come up with this idea, but have been prompted by God and just said yes.  The oldest people are the ones with the most gold in terms of wisdom and life experience.

Caleb’s story excites me, because I believe there are many, many people, who are over 40; mostly in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s; with a few in their 80’s and 90’s, who have yet to receive their inheritance of destiny and ministry on earth; whom are about to receive it. 

Many of us, who are over 40; with probably the highest concentration of people in their low 60’s, received a call or got a vision of their destiny or inheritance, from God, years and decades ago, that has not really come forth yet.

A bunch of us are like Caleb.  Like him, we have waited and been faithful to God.  Many, most, or all of our friends or kin, that we started with are gone, but we are still here, before God.

Now, the time finally comes to claim our promised inheritance, from God.  That season is upon us.  I don’t know how it will happen or exactly when it will happen, but I believe that this is what is going to happen.

I am encouraged and want you to be encouraged, especially if you are over 40 and have lived with the feeling that maybe you missed it and your inheritance is lost.  Whether you just turned 40 and are saying “now what?”, or you just turned 90 and gave up long ago; God is faithful.

Caleb is not the story of an extraordinary man.  It is the story, like many others, of God’s faithfulness.  God was faithful to Abraham, Moses, Caleb, David; and you and I.  That is His story. 

The story here is that Caleb saw something, a piece of land.  And he had an experience with God, where God said, “that’s yours”.  Then, a bunch of time went by.
Finally, the time came when everyone in Israel was going in to take the promised land.  Various tribes were being assigned portions of land.  In that context, Caleb spoke up.
Here is the application that this has for us.  We may have had an experience with God, a dream, a vision, God’s voice, a prophetic word, or a strong ‘knowing’ that has been refined over time and is still strong.  That experience was when we heard or saw, from God, our mountain.
Your experience, long ago was perhaps not super clear or maybe is was clear, about your mountain.  And then time went by, years or decades.  It was forty-five years for Caleb.
These long periods of time for the Bible characters teach us that it is never too late or that we are not alone, if it has been many years and even decades for us.
The time for the fulfillment of the promise does finally come.  In those forty-five years, it is very possible that Caleb forgot about his promise or was not sure about it, based on all of the negative things that happened over that time.  But he was faithful to God over that time.

Faith does not mean you understand.  It means you trust.

It was never up to Caleb to fulfill the promise or make it happen.  Only when the time finally came, was it up to him to step up and say, “I want what God promised me, long ago”.
We can be encouraged that the time is coming, when we are finished with our waiting period in the wilderness.  The promise has always been for a time, in the future.  And the future will finally come into the present.
One week, one year, or tens of years after hearing God’s promise; Caleb may have prayed, cried out to God, “Give me my mountain!”  And nothing changed.  He was stuck with his obstinate people, for over forty years.
But, over that time, a whole new generation was born and grew up.  They heard about the past, about Egypt, but they were born in the wilderness and that is the only life they knew.  And maybe they heard about the promises of God, about the land of promise.
The time finally came, when all the people were called by God, to enter into the promised land.  That is when Caleb claimed his promise.  When the time finally comes, we can claim our promise too.
The mountain (some translations say ‘hill country’, or ‘mountain region’) is your assignment, your place of work, your place of opportunity, or your area of service.  There is a mountain with your name on it, yet unclaimed.
Your mountain is your assignment.  Your mountain is where God has designed you for and destined you to be.  Your mountain is your ministry, your calling, and your sphere of influence.  Your mountain is your inheritance.
Like Caleb, we must ask for and claim our promise.  There is a continuous discernment process and refinement of what our mountain is.  And we must ask for it.
God give us gifts that are complete surprises, that are like a package sent to us.  We receive it and open it and enjoy it and are thankful for it.  But, with promises, we often have pursue God and go after it.
Babies get total care.  Children get lots of care and begin to take responsibility and be held accountable.  And adults still get a lot of free gifts, but mostly have to work and totally be responsible for their lives and well being.
Inheriting our destinies takes some work on our part.  That work is not legalism or works righteousness.  It is endurance, faithfulness, courage, and bravery.  This might be what, “many are called, but few are chosen”, means.

What I am saying is that there is a paradox, in that we do have to work to inherit the promises; but we do not inherit them through works.  Faith is never passive.  Real faith is an action.  Real faith is tested in refining trials.

It’s all grace, but with courageous perseverance.  That is the faith.

God has unlimited resources, but we limit ourselves in what we ask or what we believe for.  The problem is not on God’s end.  But there is not some lever that we get to pull, and what we ask for appears.

Faith is made real through faithfulness, which is faith acted upon, based on the belief in the faithfulness of God.  Faith is not faith unless it is faithful.  And faithfulness involves living out your faith

If we do not pursue God or pursue his promises, we probably won’t get much extra, beyond the baseline.  But if we go after the promises and pursue God, something may happen.  I personally believe that something always happens, when we pursue God, but it might be invisible to us our outside of our knowing.
God sees and hears every prayer and all our pursuits of him.  Exercises of faith are noted and have effect.  And if you pray for the wrong reasons, God deals with that.  James says that we have not because we ask not and that sometimes when we do ask, we don’t receive, because we ask with the wrong motives. (James 4:2-3)
Here are some points to pray about your mountain:
  • Give me my mountain.
  • Let me see my mountain.
  • Bring me to my mountain.
  • Bring my mountain to me.
  • Let me ascend my mountain.
  • Give me the place you have chosen for me on that mountain.
  • Give me a home on my mountain.
  • Let me receive a living on my mountain
  • Let me stand on my mountain.
  • Give me sherpas, guides, or angels; to help me climb my mountain.
  • Let me breathe the air on my mountain.
  • Let me be on that mountain.
  • Give me the ministry on that mountain that you have desired for me.

Silent Night, Holy Night

Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still.

-Psalm 4:4
The Psalms are the Bible’s book of prayers.  The Psalms teach us that God listens and we need to learn listening.  And the Psalms ask us to be brutally honest with God.
These are three things I have learned recently about the Psalms, the Psalms of David particularly.
Blessed rest and sweet sleep are connected to not sinning in our anger, open-hearted hurt process, living ‘honest to God’, and being in union with God, no matter what.
Psalm 4 has some advice about silence and anger.  When we are angry, we want to vent it out and a common way of venting is with words.
First of all, anger is not taboo.  We are allowed to be angry.  But be angry and do not sin.
Things like being abusive or destructive, being vengeful or vituperative, and just punishing others because you are angry, is wrong.  Anger is a secondary emotion.  We get angry when we suffer a loss.
Beneath the anger is hurt and sadness that needs expression and processing: grief.  The ungrieved losses that give rise to anger become bitterness.  The anger at your loss is understandable, but you must take the time to feel the pain and suffer your loss, feeling it and grieving it; in order to heal and not add sin to your loss.
The person who does not do this instead takes on the role of being forever angry.  That becomes their identity.  Instead of being for something, whether it is that they want to make something better, in a role or a job, they instead are the angry person, that is against something.  
We constantly have reason to be and opportunities to become angry, because we constantly face losses and infractions upon our will or plans.  But, we must learn how to have healthy angry, to be angry but not to sin.
For nice, Christian people, this might be hard.  The nice, Christian person’s ‘anger problem’ is not yelling or rage, but sadness and passivity.  The hurts of life that give rise to anger are suppressed into an inner sadness.
Silence is really what I want to share about.  It is a discipline of your self, to remain silent.  God is listening, but am I listening?
Go ahead and be angry, but also reflect on your loss and let it go.  In the silence, let the hurt that is beneath the anger, come up and out.
What I see is a discipline of taking your hurt self, your self who has suffered a loss or injustice, to God.  And the deepest and most profound and mature thing you can do is to take your self to the cross.  Bring yourself to Christ to be crucified with him (Galatians 2:20).
That thing you lost or you do not have that you want.  What was taken from you or that you think is yours that you do not yet possess.  You hurt about that and want God to give it to you.
You want breakthrough or breakout.  But, what God wants to give you right now is break-in.  God wants you and Him to be together right now in whatever space or place you are in.  That thing or situation you desire and hurt over so much that you’ve got all this anger about not having it.  And some of it even gets directed at God.
But you know God is good and God loves you and is a good Father.  So, you feel confused and you go back and forth, blaming yourself and consider blaming others who have blocked you or held you back.  And this whole thing you are in has affected your sleep.
Your worries and thoughts are keeping you up at night.  You sleep, but you don’t sleep well and you don’t wake up refreshed.
God wants to be with you where you are at right now.  Jesus wants to have table fellowship with you and communion (Revelation 3:20).
I have learned recently that the Psalms of David teach us that God listens and we need to listen better.  I have also learned that the one thing God wants, that God requires of me, it to be honest with Him, brutally honest.
And that is what Psalm 4:4 is about: being honest to God.  Sit on your bed or couch and be silent.  Let God speak and let the words of your heart well up, in silence and find their way into communion with God.
Go for the highest aim, the highest road; which is union with God.  And then let everything else in your life fall into place.  God is listening, so speak honestly; from a cultivation of your own listening to the inner regions of your heart.
Have no thing, no thought, no obstacle of resentment, disappointment, fear, judgement or hopelessness that would block your union with God, your papa.  Come as you are and sit in his lap.  Laugh, cry, snug and hug; be loved and let your destiny as his child be formed in you.
Sleep in heavenly peace.


All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron,and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness!

-Numbers 14:2
We live in a complaining culture and most Christians complain constantly.  Have you ever wondered why complaining is a constant thing for many people?  I think it is one of the easiest ways for us to be taken off-track, off-point, fouled-out, de-commissioned or sidelined.
Many years ago, I went to a conference.  And between sessions, we heard people in the halls complaining that the bathrooms were not well stocked.  Many times, in later years I noticed that we could complain that the music was too loud, too soft; or that the a/c was too cold or too stuffy and a hundred other things.
And that is just complaining in church, where all sorts of good things are happening.  We complained a lot more during the other six days of the week.
There are many Bible verses that say that we must have faith.  God does many things, the biggest of which was sending Jesus.  And our little job is to have faith or believe.  We had a saying when I was a boy, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!”
Complaining kills or puts a wet blanket on faith or ‘faith-ing’.  Two people are encountering the same difficulty.  One has faith, holding God in their heart; while the other complains, and turns away from God.
When we complain, we are not having faith, and we are making a choice that is turning away from God.  To pray to God about the difficulty is a whole different matter and is completely endorsed by God, because when we pray, we are exercising faith and turning towards God.
It is wise to turn your complaint into a prayer.  In the story cited in Numbers 14, all of the people complained about Moses and Aaron.  The ‘about’ is the problem.  The better way that would have been if they cried out to the Lord.
They could have said, “God, this looks impossible; what are we going to do!”, or anything along those lines.  And it is the same thing today, with us and our difficulties.  I always think of this line from the song, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”:

Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

We are so accustomed to constantly complaining.  Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, podcasts, and ‘news’ articles; are often:

  • Complaints
  • Criticisms
  • Grievances
  • Taking umbrage
  • Seething discontent: murmuring or grumbling
So, as Christians, when we do life, we complain.  And then we wonder why our lives do not work, why we have no power and little authority.
When Christians gather, whether in a tiny group of two or three, or in a small group at a house, or with a larger group in a building; we come with our complaints and grievances, oftentimes against leaders or authority people.
The story told in Numbers 13 and 14 explores the themes of God offering a great gift, that to some seems too good to be true.  And unfortunately, some people take a gift from God a despise it.  They do not accept it and ridicule it as being a cruel joke.
A man or a woman hears about and is given the gospel of Jesus, including what He did on the cross and what that means about God and for us.  And that man or woman rejects the gospel and despises the gift of God.  We might say, “they don’t get it”, “they aren’t ready”, or even, “they aren’t chosen”; and we know that there is this issue of Satan blinding the hearts of people, so they can not see the truth of the gospel.
But what about people who are already saved and delivered from the spiritual blindness that Satan inflicts on non-believers?  What about people who cannot or will not grow up and move on to maturity in their Christian lives?  
What about the figurative mountain of maturity that people refuse to scale, that has gifts for them waiting on each higher level; and many believers choose to live their whole lives in the valley, looking at the mountain before them as being ‘too hard’?
All of Exodus and the first 13 chapters of Numbers, looks forward to the people of God getting into the promised land.  After all that build up and expectation, as a people, they say, “no”.  They turn God down and don’t believe.
They don’t trust God.  A foundation of the life is trusting God.  The Israelites had all those signs and wonders in their history, but when the final exam came or at the moment of truth, their trust was not there.
How does the story of the rejection of God and the promises of God that go all the way back to Abraham and Sarah, apply to Christians today who complain?  Maybe the common denominator is covenant.  They were in a covenant with God that they broke that day and we also are in a covenant with God.
In a covenant, each side promises to do certain things.  It boils down to God saving us and us saying, “yes”, or “yes, I will let you save me, which entails my surrendering my whole life to you”.
When they said, “It’s too hard!”, and when we say the same, we are forgetting the covenant where God says that He does the saving and we do the obeying.  When we begin to talk ‘about’ God and ‘about’ how what God is asking of us is ‘too hard’, we are in trouble.  Another way we do it, is that we talk ‘about’ all our problems and leave God out of the equation.  
We become ‘unbelieving believers’ (oxymoronic).  We do a whole variety of Christian activities, but we constantly express unbelief and covenant breaking through complaining.  We seethe with grievances.  We have little of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
We belong to the community of believers, but we don’t believe.  The story of the Israelites refusing to go into their land of promise is a very tragic and sad story.  And why is it in the Bible, both for the pre-Jesus people and for us?
It is a lesson on faith and obedience.  It is a lesson called “Trust God”.  Back then, under the Old Covenant, and now, under the New Covenant; God brings us to Himself, for His glory; and we must in turn, reciprocally give over our lives to Him, in trust and obedience, by His grace and through faith.
Instead of complaining, pray.  If you are a ‘cry baby’, at least cry to God and let God love you.  If you are fearful, turn to God for comfort and strength.
When someone complains, love them and say, “let’s pray”.  If they have a story and praying with them just is not going to happen, then be like Jesus was with the woman at the well (John 4): listen to her and listen to what the Spirit of God is saying and gives you to say to her that will bring her closer to God.

Day After Day, Loving God

I will sing praise to your name forever, as day after day I fulfill my vows.

-Psalm 61:9 (CJB)
The place that we are living towards, with the Lord, is being His bride.  The place where we are going to is marriage with Jesus.  All of our lives bring us into union with Him.
Our lives are lived day by day.  Believers live in the present with God.  The gospel message in not just good news for the future, but good news for now.
The vows we make to the Lord, and fulfill daily are like wedding vows.  The promises we make and keep are rooted in love.  When we get married, we make vows out of our love for our bride or groom.
But the vows we make to Jesus are all because of his love.  When we see, hear and experience his love; it is perfectly natural to love him back and make vows to love him and serve him.  
Our vows we make are completely free will.  They are freely given offerings expressing true love.  You get to write your own vows.
Your vows to God are your free choice to make and say as you will, from your heart to God’s.  Our vows are not some sort of payment or contractual obligation.  To make a vow in order to procure God’s favor is wrong and foolish.
The vows we make to God, to Christ, are made from love and from a life that is already under His care.  Our vows are given in the context of already having begun to experience God’s faithfulness.  Making vows or giving offerings comes out of and from knowing God’s faithfulness and goodness.
Everything we do in the kingdom is inspired by the king.  He is good, so we are good.  He loves, so we love.
We don’t do anything towards God to get God to do something.  But we do things towards God because of what God has done and is doing.
When I endeavor to keep my promises to God and make every day a love gift to God, I find fulfillment.  True peace and tranquility comes from loving and serving God.

God, give your justice to the king

God, give Your justice to the king and Your righteousness to the king’s son.

-Psalm 72:1
What do we do with verses like this?  Isaac Watts wrote a hymn called “Jesus Shall Reign” based on this psalm.  These words are attributed to Solomon, who was asking God to help him to be a good king.
Solomon and his words anticipate Christ.  Christ is the ultimate dispenser of God’s justice and righteousness.

But these words are also real requests, written in real time, for that present time and for this present time (2 Tim. 3:16).  These requests of Solomon echo his request to God for wisdom, when God appeared to him in a dream and asked him what he wanted (1 Kings 3:9).

Today, we can say, “God, give your justice to the king and Your righteousness to the king’s son”, and apply it to our president.  Christians should always be praying for those in authority:

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
-1 Timothy 2:1-4

The specific prayer, in Psalm 72:1, is for justice and righteousness: the ability to make just decisions and the ability to make fair decisions.  This is the gift of wise rule and the gift of just rule, that is being asked for of God, for the king.

This is how believers can pray this, for President Trump:

“God, we ask you to give President Trump the ability to make just decisions.  God, we ask that you give President Trump the ability to make fair decisions.  God, we ask that you give President Trump the gift of wise rule and the gift of just rule.  God, give Your justice to President Trump.  God, also give Your righteousness to President Trump.  God, we pray for Your righteousness, Your justice, Your vindication, Your deliverance, Your fairness and for Your integrity to come to bear through President Trump.”

When I went to a non-denominational Christian college, in the 1990’s, I stood up one day and addressed the student body and said that I think we should pray for President Clinton, and I was booed.  But, I loved my peers and became close friends with a number of them.

Jesus’ humanity, Simeon "Your slave" & Anna "a prophetess"

Rembrandt:Hannah and Simeon in The Temple (public domain) 

I like the fact that the story that I am going to reflect on next, happened eight days after Jesus’ birth.  The story unfolds in days, weeks, months and years.

If you are like me and have been excited about the new year, with all of its possibilities, you might also be vulnerable to disappointment or being overwhelmed about just the thought of your dreams coming true.  Your feet come down to touch the earth so to speak and you wonder if your dreams will ever come true.

The thing is that your future or destiny is not just about you and your dreams, desires and imagination.  It is about God taking you beyond your dreams, desires and imagination into His for you.  Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and now here Simeon and Anna lived their lives one day at a time, in humility, and God did something spectacular, which is recorded in the book.

We do dream, we do imagine, we do plan, but we do it all with God and God takes us into something and through and it happens in minutes, hours and days that become weeks, months and years.  God is in the present and the future, walking with us in the present and preparing us for the future.

We never need to be worried about tomorrow, but live each day with God.  If I worried constantly about the future, I would never be able to participate with God in the present, where He is preparing me for the future.

What if your past was a mess?  You missed opportunities, failed at things, ruined relationships, got fired, lost money, betrayed people or were painfully betrayed, suffered losses of any or many kinds and have had a blown up and shredded life.

Not a problem for God.

God deals with us in the present and heals us, forgives us, delivers us and saves us from all our sin and all the sin that has been done against us.  Then God has a future for us and hope always and begins to change us.  He will help us with our regrets and give us comfort in our grief.

Luke, chapter two:

When the eight days were completed for His circumcision, He was named Jesus—the name given by the angel before He was conceived. And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons).

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said:

Now, Master,
You can dismiss Your slave in peace,
as You promised.
For my eyes have seen Your salvation.
You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to Your people Israel.

His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for 84 years. She did not leave the temple complex, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had completed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The boy grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace was on Him.

-Luke 2:21-40

Fully human

In this part of Jesus’ story, the overall picture is how Jesus fully entered into humanity.  He went fully in so that he could fully take sin out.  And he did all these things or had all these human experiences not because he had to, but because he wanted to.
Jesus is the key of God that unlocks mankind from sin and opens the way to relationship with God.  To do this, God’s way is the incarnation, where Jesus lived out a fully human life.  An in so doing, Jesus is fully in touch with humanity, not just a God The Creator, but as part of his own creation, entering into it to redeem it.
Jesus was born in the usual way and was also circumcised as was usual and dedicated to God, as was usual for every firstborn male.

Simeon, Your slave
The appearance of Simeon and Anna was unusual and unexpected.

Simeon represents the old order welcoming and blessing the new order.  This is the proper or honorable or dignified way that the old should treat the new.  But so often, even in Jesus time and up through today, the old is hostile, having dishonor and showing contempt and murderous jealousy towards the new.
A couple things about Simeon’s words:  Simeon had the highest relationship with God, as slave to master.  When we walk with God, as his slaves, we are walking in an intimate trust, because God is the ultimate good master.
So much of our relationships with God is wanting God to do what we want God to do.  And we hope, pray and believe that most and maybe all of it is good stuff, that we want God to do.  But that really is not a slave to master relationship.
When I am God’s slave, I live crucified in Christ, at God’s beckon call, forever and always waiting on and looking to God.  I am not bitter, because I am so aligned with the hope of God.  Simeon was awaiting the consolation of Israel and today’s slaves of God are awaiting the rise of the bride of Christ.
Simeon rightly identified this baby as God’s Salvation.  Jesus is God’s salvation.  God was not after starting a religion or the best philosophy, but about saving us.  And Jesus came to save Gentile and Jew: everyone.  It’s salvation for all ya’ll.
And Simeon’s word to Mary is momentous:

“Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Jesus causes, will cause, many to fall and rise in Israel.  Jesus promotes nobodies and says “I don’t think so” to a lot of fakers.  When you see Jesus or are confronted with or by him, you ave to make a choice and it will either be promotion or demotion, a rising or a falling spiritually.

Jesus will be a sign that will be opposed.  They ended up killing him and then later killed his followers.  And today, it still goes on that people are being killed because they follow Jesus.

The real Jesus

We in my culture and in our time, I think have by and large misrepresented Jesus and how he fits into history and how that works out today.  I was recently reading Philip Yancey’s book, The Jesus I Never Knew; and I am interested in another book by Patrick Henry Reardon, called The Jesus We Missed.  In these books, the authors talk about the historical Jesus.

What that means is that they try to get at what he was really like, based on the texts of scripture in the contexts of the times and and the culture.  In Bible interpretation, this is simply called exegesis: bringing out of the text what the text means.  We also want to get into the text, so that we can see, hear and smell the world that the text comes out of.

For example, when we see a film on Jesus or when we present Jesus to a group of people, are we going to make Jesus smile all the time, be tall and handsome, and have very clean clothing, skin and hair?  The Bible does not say he smiled all the time, nor does it say he was tall and handsome, nor does it say that he had long, flowing and glistening brown hair.

This is a testimony of a man, a very intelligent man, who met Jesus in mid-life, after having had many life experiences, and his conversion is authentic in my opinion.  And this man was a broken man, like we all are; who followed Jesus for the rest of his like, in his brokenness:

I was absolutely thunderstruck by the reality of the man I found in the Gospels. I discovered a man who was almost continually frustrated.  His frustration leaps out of almost every page: “What do I have to say to you?  How many times do I have to say it?  What do I have to do to get through to you?”  I also discovered a man who was frequently sad and often depressed, frequently anxious and scared…. A man who was terribly, terribly lonely, yet often desperately needed to be alone.  I discovered a man so incredibly real that no one could have made Him up.
    ….The Jesus of the Gospels– who some suggest is the best-kept secret of Christianity– did not have much “peace of mind”, as we ordinarily think of peace of mind in the world’s terms, and in so far as we can be His followers, perhaps we won’t either. (M. Scott Peck, Further Along The Road Less Travelled, p. 160, 1993)

How do we stop portraying Jesus and a smiling, winsome, happy-go-lucky man who enjoyed hugging people?  Let Jesus take you into real life and then show and tell Jesus there.

Anna a prophetess

Anna was a prophetess, a daughter, a wife and a widow for the vast majority of the life: she was very old, especially for the first century times.  She was addicted to God.  Her life was fasting and prayer, at the temple.

Don’t let anyone tell you that women can not preach or have ministries that go public.  Anna was a prophetess and she was a woman.  Notice that she was a prophetess and she constantly prayed.

Prophets are intercessors and intercessors are prophets much of the time or at least some of the time.  Do you love to pray?  My guess is that you may very well also be prophetically gifted and you may not know it or recognize it.  Are you prophetic?  You probably are also gifted to be an intercessor.

In a common sense sort of way, God does not give prophets prophecies just to play with or think about or speak about or write down or publish.  We do all those things, but we also must pray about the words or pictures that God gives us, as prophets.  Talk to God about what God talked to you about and God might tell you more.  That is prayer.

And the pitfall of both intercessory prayer and prophetic ministry is getting mad and judging the people or God, when your prophecy is not taken up or is not agreed with or is not seen to be coming true, or coming to pass.

Another side-note is that perhaps 50% to 90% of personal prophecies, given to Christians by well meaning other Christians are false.  Think about how the best hitters in baseball get a hit one third of the time.  That mans that everyone below that top tier gets hits one fourth, one fifth, one tenth or less of the time.

We wildly celebrate those guys that get a hit one third of the time and strike out, fly out or ground out two thirds of the time.  New Covenant prophets miss it often too.  But they get it right sometimes, so we live in this paradoxical tension in prophetic ministry.

Many prophecies are false today, but prophets who prophesy falsely are not false prophets.  There are false prophets, but prophetic people who miss it or get it wrong are not false people and it is a massive mistake to get rid of, discount or despise prophecies.  The reason we have that verse, “despise not prophesying”, is because we are tempted to.

This all boils down to the conclusion that “there must be a better way”, and there is.  The better way is not to eliminate the gift of prophecy, but to develop it and support it.

Also, God can give a prophecy that does not come true, because it was an invitation that a person or a people did not answer and sometimes negative prophecies are a call to intercede to stop a bad thing from happening.

Also being a prophet has nothing to do with being a teacher who talks about Bible prophecy.

And I don’t believe that Anna was like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah or John the Baptist.  She was not writing the Bible nor called to speak to a whole nation.  But she was the real deal and genuinely a prophetess, because the Bible says so.  I trust Luke and his sources.

We don’t have to debate whether women can have a public ministry, the same as men.  It has already been settled by the scriptures, cover to cover; and the answer of course is “yes”.

There is also a difference between being called by God to do something and calling yourself.  It has been hard always in most places for women who are called by God to go do something where men have mostly been called, many men called by God and many more men who have called themselves.

There are women that God has called to public ministry who are given a hard time by men who actually have not been called to those public ministries, but have called themselves.  Then there are women who have mistakenly called themselves to a public form or role of ministry, who God has not called, of whom men who have also not been called to that office, role, or function are calling into question.

The way I see it, is that women, like Anna, who was perhaps known in some circles as a prophetess, are authentically called by God and are living out that calling in private mostly, but also ministering in their gift in public at times, maybe rarely and maybe frequently.  She might make men who don’t see women ever as being in that role, uncomfortable.  They might say she is the exception to the rule.

Fair enough, we say.  So, we have a list of women teachers, healers, prophetesses, preachers and evangelists.  These are all exceptions to the “men only” rule.  As time goes on, other girls and ladies receive a calling to public ministry and we say, they are also exceptions.

It also depends on how you define ‘exceptional’.  I hope that each day is exceptional, but many days are not great.  And a percentage of the population is exceptional in some way.  That is how I see ‘exceptional’.

Some people believe God does not heal miraculously today and the gifts of the Spirit died out with the apostolic age or the first and perhaps second century.  Many of these people believe God can and sometimes does heal today, but it is the exception to the rule.  Except with extremely narrow minded people, these people would definitely pray for God’s healing for themselves or for someone else in need of help in their bodies.

With that same mindset, some people see an Anna as ‘an anomaly’.  Others might say that since Anna was a prophetess and remember the sermon from Joel 2 that Peter gave on the birthday of the church and women sharing the prophetic ministry, that all women can prophecy and I totally agree.

My point is that yes, women can and do have special callings and ministries.  And there are more than five offices that God can and does call people into.  The question is what is God calling you into??

There is this ongoing debate about women in ministry.  But the real question is on an individual basis, what is God call you to do? I understand what you want to do and that is fine and I know God understands your desires, but what is God calling you to do?

That is the question.  I am assuming that Anna was not what we call a “wanna be”.  She was a prophetess.

Your ministry

If you feel or believe or are coming to believe that you are called as a prophet or a prophetess, then start using your gift and when you move from prophesying to the boards in the garage or the trees in the back forty, then move up to prophesying to the pets in the kitchen, you will be ready to try it on people.  When you do, get some feedback and circle back to your secret place of prayer and live in God’s presence and try it some more with the boards, the trees, the pets and then with open hearted, forgiving and loving people who don’t offend easily.

Get a sponsor, a coach, a father or a mother in the faith who themselves is either prophetic or has a heart for the prophetic.  Practice your humility before your gift, so that it is natural for you to say, “I’m not sure this is God… “, or, “I don’t know what this means, but…..”, or, “I saw or heard _____, and I don’t know what it means”.

Realize that you can have pure and real revelation but have no idea and easily mistake the application.  Also realize that you as a prophetic person can take in false revelation, and it does not make you a bad person or a false prophet, but human and a small ‘p’ prophet, and it is probably a good idea to not ever even call yourself a prophet.  Let others say that.

I think an applicable song to close with is Be Thou My Vision:

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.

Living Today In My Future House With God Forever

I will live in Your tent forever and take refuge under the shelter of Your wings.  Selah

-Psalm 61:4
Living forever with God, beginning now.  Being sheltered under Gods care.  This is what I need.  And this is my ambition.
This is what I desire.  This is the one thing.  This is my request.  I want to abide in God.  
I want to dwell where God lives.  I want to go there and live there.  That is where my home is.
God’s dwelling place is my refuge.  God’s house is my safe-house.  His place is my bomb-shelter.
God’s house is sanctuary for me.  That is where I always want to Go.  
God’s house is my north-star.  His presence and place is where I am always wanting to go.
Wherever I am on earth, I point myself toward where God is.
My trust is in God.  God’s care of me.  God watching over me.
I am protected from everything by God.  I trust in the secret place of God’s wings.
God hides me and I am hidden in God.  I am under God’s protective care.
In my misfortune, in my time of banishment, I ask God to let me live in the house of God.
People have rejected me.  People have not noticed me.  But God sees me.
I ask God to let me live in the house of God, now and forever.
In this forlorn place, this dry place, this desert place; I set my will to live with God now and forever.
I am making my loss into gain by declaring that living with God is my goal in life.
My desire is to find God’s house, in my life time.  I want to go to God’s living place and visit.  This is the journey that I am on.
My purpose in life is to find God and be protected by Him.  
I desire to worship God, with other people and by myself.  I desire to worship God inside a structure I can see and also in God’s invisible structure.  
I desire to be a worshiper wherever I am.  
I will be restored to worship and prayer with people, in visible structures.  But today, in this distant, obscure and hidden place; I worship God.  I wholeheartedly commit my life to God, seeing my future in God’s house forever.

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