Posts Tagged ‘wages’

Change is Coming

Scripture: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Thought for Today: “Welcoming the Crucible”

God knows the secrets of the heart (Ps 44:21). In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. Yet we still feel a bit vulnerable yielding our lives to change. We ask God to use us and we know changes are coming, but being in the crucible of spiritual discipline can feel uncomfortable even to the most mature Christian.

Our Resistance:

When God tests and tries our heart, there are always things that firmly resist, because they have become our safety net. We have relied upon ourselves and trusted in own strength at times when we could not see clearly. The Apostle Paul tells us that many have exchanged the Truth of God for lies by serving and the worship of things that offer no real peace (Rom 1:25). He reminds us that we have all gone astray and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). These issues represent the baggage of idolatry and must be rooted out for us to enjoy the freedom found in Christ.

Real Transformation:

As much as we would like to believe we can change, transformation is not really something we can do for ourselves. It takes the power of the One who knows us best. We can change habits and shift our focus, but it is God who changes the human heart. When we step into the crucible of prayer and fasting, we make the most important move toward God’s best for our lives. The refining process frees us from sinful behavior, renews our thinking and enables us to discern the will of God more clearly (Rom 12:1-2).

God Loves and Receives Us:

Transformation happens in the safe place of His Presence, where the Holy Spirit gains access to those things that hinder our progress. God knows what is best for us and He always acts in our best interest by treating us as sons and daughters (Heb 12:4-11). We are reminded that when we are chastened by God, it is because He loves us and receives us as a father cherishes and loves his child. Remind yourself today that God loves and receives you as His very own son or daughter.

“Why do you spend money on what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isa 55:2)

A Mercy Seat

Where His Glory Dwells

Ark of the Testimony

“Now when Moses went into the Tabernacle of Meeting to speak with Him, he heard the Voice of One speaking to him from above the Mercy Seat that was on the Ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubim; thus He spoke to him.” (Num. 7:89)

When we hear of Moses walking into the Tabernacle to speak with God, it is almost unbelievable at first. Our heart wonders of the sight… a face-to-face with the Creator of the Universe. And yet, something important comes to mind as I read and re-read this verse. God’s voice comes from a position above the Mercy Seat!

The Tabernacle of Meeting:

It is there and only there, that we find a mercy seat. It is not that way with man’s natural environment. In the world around us or even in nature, there is no seat of mercy. Yet in the Tabernacle of Meeting there is a Throne, a seat if you will, established at God’s initiative, that invites the seeker to see himself differently than the world’s perspective. The Tabernacle of Meeting was designed to be a place where God meets with man, to transform how he sees everything. It was to be where man was able to fellowship in God’s Glory, get his needs met and sense the embrace of a loving Father (Phil. 4:19).

This place offers the revelation of God’s true heart toward our deepest needs! We need this environment, this fellowship - before we have our lives put together. We need to be loved – before we are healed. We need to be loved in our rags and our wrestling. We need a place that has a Mercy Seat!

Our Father’s Heart:

To pull from the parable of the Prodigal Son… must I first hear music and dancing before I can arise and go to my Father’s house? That’s the way that it would work if Religion were my father, but my Father calls out to me in His fullness… an invitation to the orphan heart:

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters;
And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk, Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.” (Isa. 55:1-3)

Thankfully, the One who sits upon the Throne doesn’t call the white-robed crowd, but those clothed in sackcloth. I don’t have to wait for the music or the dancing. I don’t first have to receive the ring or the robe. I can come dirty. In fact, I must come hungry, seeking and poor.

In the Midst of Glory:

The Voice comes from above the Mercy Seat, where the Shekinah Glory rests above the Ark of the Covenant. Make no mistake, this is a supernatural experience that is not duplicated any other way, but standing before the Presence of God. In His Presence is fullness of joy!

Don’t wait until you’re well. Don’t delay until you can find suitable clothes. Don’t put off having this meeting until everything is just right. Come now! Come just as you are! Don’t wait for just the right robe, come in your “grave-clothes”.

  • Mercy means - You will not receive what you deserve!

In my mind, this is one of the greatest truths taught in the Bible. It is in reality the Gospel of the Kingdom! Jesus Christ has offered us the experience of a Mercy Seat… and in so doing He continues to destroy the works of the devil. (1 Jn. 3:8)

Consider Your Ways

“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:4-7)

This frustrating lifestyle is often felt among Christians who are in the midst of life’s greatest tests. You see, I believe in the God of supernatural provision… the God who calls Himself “Jehovah-Jireh!” (Gen. 22:14); which means “the-LORD-will-provide”. I have seen it in my life and have no doubt that God tests me often to make sure I focus on His provision rather than any human reasoning or manipulation.

Here we can clearly see the Jewish Prophet Haggai, challenging people to consider their ways and their harvest, in order to evaluate the issues they are puzzled about, when it comes to provision. Why were they consistently overwhelmed and living in lack? Well, its like the Apostle Paul tells us… “do not be deceived, what you sow, you shall also reap” (Gal. 6:7). When a professing believer never seems to have enough and his money bag seems filled with holes, it is time for him to consider his ways before the Lord, because something is not adding up!

After all, our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and is well able to supply all our needs. In context, Haggai is rebuking the people of Judah for tending to their own welfare and neglecting the work of God. “Is it time for you, to dwell in your paneled houses, and this house [the unfinished temple in Jerusalem] to lie waste [broken down and forgotten]” (Hag. 1:4). It might be helpful to understand that the Temple was the place that housed the Glory of God. It was a special place designed by God to meet with His people and fellowship among them for their good.

The Eternal Principle:

We need to recognize the zeal of the Father’s heart is for fellowship… not just a get together; but a spiritual experience that leads to knowing His heart. Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of things” like food and drink and clothing. But, He also calls us to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:32-33). In the midst of the directive is a promise! If these necessities of life are not being provided, we urgently need to consider our ways. Are God’s Kingdom and His righteousness really our first concern?

Accessing Promise:

We often quote the wonderful promise, “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). But we must remember that this promise was given to a group of Macedonian Christians whose “deep poverty [was not a hindering mindset] abounded in the riches of their liberality” [their giving], because “they first gave themselves to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:2-5). That is how the Glory Realm is accessed and our needs are met in Christ… surrender and obedience to the Father’s heart.

In the Crucible

Today is day 9 in our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Scripture: Psalm 139:23-24
Thought for Today: “In the Crucible”

God knows the secrets of our heart (Ps 44:21). In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. Yet, we still feel a bit vulnerable yielding our lives to change. We ask God to use us and we know changes are coming, but being in the heated crucible of spiritual discipline can feel uncomfortable even to the most mature Christian.

Our Resistance: 

When God tests and tries our heart, there are always things that firmly resist, because they have become our safety net. We have relied upon ourselves and trusted in own strength at times when we could not see clearly. The Apostle Paul tells us that many have exchanged the Truth of God for lies by the serving and worship of things that offer no real peace (Rom 1:25). He reminds us that we have all gone astray and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). These issues represent the baggage of idolatry and must be rooted out for us to enjoy the freedom found in Christ.

Real Transformation:

As much as we would like to believe we can change, transformation is not really something we can do for ourselves. It takes the power of the One who knows us best. We can change habits and shift our focus, but it is God who changes the human heart. When we step into the crucible of prayer and fasting, we make the most important move toward God’s best for our lives. The refining process frees us from sinful behavior, renews our thinking and enables us to discern the will of God more clearly (Rom 12:1-2). 

God Loves and Receives Us:

Transformation happens in the safe place of His Presence, where the Holy Spirit gains access to those things that hinder our progress. God knows what is best for us and He always acts in our best interest by treating us as sons and daughters (Heb 12:4-11). We are reminded that when we are chasened by God, it is because He loves us and receives us as a father charishes and loves his child. Remind yourself today that God loves and receives you as His very own son or daughter.

“Why do you spend money on what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isa 55:2)

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