Leb Blog

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Metal Sounds & Flinging Stones

1 Samuel 17:49 (NIV)
Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.


I don't believe in coincidences. Early this week my ear was giving special attention to metal noises. This may sound strange, but as I was driving I could hear metal; sharp sounds, not sure where they were coming from; perhaps they were coming from outside--hmmm maybe even my car, I hope not.

Well, this was one of those challenging weeks where you FEEL the intensity of the war we are in--spiritual war that is! Monday night as I got together to pray with women who love, serve and fear the Lord; they encouraged me and in the midst of our conversation we discovered that many of us are in the midst of this battle. We prayed, encouraged one another and the story of David and Goliath was once again ministered and my heart was lifted up; I was reminded of this fight, these scrimmages I call them; struggles that try to cause confusion and defeat; they are real but temporal. We are not of this world and one day we shall return home.

Wednesday morning as I was arriving at my office, once again a piercing, sharp, metal noise was harnessed by my eardrum. This time, I smiled! I believe God was trying to get my attention; he has been doing that all week. This battle we are in, that I do not see with my eyes--IT IS REAL! There are armies fighting, good and evil trying to conquer my thoughts, my physical body as well; you see if I stay and engage in a spiritual war with my physical body I have no chance to win. The weapon that God has given me is prayer and worship; my sole reliance on the God of Angel Armies that fights for me; Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord God my Banner; we are holding each other's hands until the victory comes.

There is an armour that he has given us; a helmet, sword, breastplate, belt and a shield to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:13-17). Ever wonder about this armour? It seems to cover us as we move forward; it shield our "front". So who has our back? Hallelujah, it is God himself.

When David went to face Goliath his resume went like this; “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” (1 Samuel 17:34-37) And indeed God was with him!

David refused the kings' tunic, coat of armor and bronze helmet. Interesting, a young man whose resume speaks only of conquering animals and wild life; no armour for you? He must have been equipped with armour from God himself; an allegiance to honor God, to keep his Name Holy, to remove the disgrace that the Philistines were trying to impose on God's people. The description is incredible. When the threat carried away a "sheep" he hunted the enemy and rescued the sheep from its mouth. So even when I feel like I am being conquered, even carried away, my defender is on his way! He will have to encounter my Defender and the Word of God tells me he is a shield all about me. So hear the sharp metal sounds, listen to the clings and clangs as the battle goes on. Those noises are sounds of victory!

Even as Goliath and his "shield bearer" came toward David; tried to intimidate him; it's interesting that he says, Am I a dog that you have come to me with sticks (1 Samuel 17:43). Hmmm....call yourself whatever you want, I have a resume and it says that I conquer all kinds of enemies, wildlife, bears, lions and yes even dogs!

It's not just the training that David had; he was the keeper of the sheep, but is was the reverence, respect and fear he had toward God that lead him in victory.
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. (1 Samuel 17:45-50)

When Goliath came down, David took the enemy's own sword; listen as he pulls the sword our of his scabbard with purpose and victory. Perhaps it was metal and as the sword is taken away from the enemy you hear that metal resonance, a sound of victory.

God has a way of teaching me, with ordinary life events; even using the senses he has given me; this time my hearing--just to get my attention.

So the next time you find your self in a battle, pick up the phone, call someone who can fight with you in the "heavenlies" ; begin to pray, sing a song unto your God, give him reverence, honor; come to him like a little "boy" or "girl" and ask your Defender to help you. He is able to move mountains, even cause them to come down, make valleys rise up and rough ground level; let the Glory of the Lord be revealed and prevail!
See our fight is not a physical one but a spiritual conflict.

Last mention: Our enemies sometimes hearken to the voice of God and submit; Saul became Paul. We who serve the Lord were enemies of God at one time as well. The enemy of our soul wants us fighting against everything and everyone. But Jesus has commanded us to pray for our enemies. So we cry out to our God to help us and help those who try and bring distress to us. We pray that God would reach them and draw them to himself.

It's a strange place to be in....we want victory not just for ourselves, but for those who are held in darkness too.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Awaken My Soul to Sing

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”


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This morning I watched a video on GodTube; a little baby no more than 10 months, sleeping in his carrier seat in the car. As the family is driving, music is playing in the background but suddenly the song changes and this little baby awakens from his deep sleep and begins to "dance". Every member of his body, moving; both legs, arms, his head rocking back and forth; if he could escaped the seat belts, this little boy would have been spinning and enjoying every moment, free and filled with joy!

I love to worship and I love to sing. When my focus is on God; when my words that I express point to the Lord; when my every member is engaged to bring God praise, when I am striving to connect, please and encounter him--he makes his presence known to me!

When the seat I sit in, while reading the Word of God is somehow transformed and I get a sense that the seat is no longer holding me; somehow I feel like I can fly, something has happened! When the song that we sing somehow penetrates deep inside no longer controlled by the tongue that articulates it, oh....somehow I have engaged with something bigger that me, the words of the song no longer fully describe what is occurring or who I am singing to. He has made his presence known to me.

The God of all creation is allowing me to commune with him. My spirit is engaged and nothing compares to this overwhelming feeling, emotions and even tears as they stream down my face. Their is a sense of bravery, a courage that rises and somehow I feel invincible; I can dream and even believe that which God is leading me to do; more than a conqueror the Word of God says. Worship a weapon for the believer; a tool that we can wield that causes every evil spirit to fall at the presence of God Almighty; now that is worship and like the little boy in the seat, I hear my Father in Heaven; no longer do I want to be restrained by any fear, discouragement; death is not a threat to me; the only famine I dread is not to be in his presence. 
 
I don't want to be separated from Him; the joy that fills my soul--well he is the only one that can do that! He has somehow, even in the few moments, in that time frame, I have been deeply changed and moved once again. It's an experience I want to have everyday. I don't want it diluted, I don't want it to be altered or distorted, I want to stay in his presence! I will not yield to the flesh that leads to death, but to the Spirit that has brought me into life! When words are not sufficient; when expressing what has filled you and surrounds you can't be communicated; well, it's a place that's not mapped here on this earth! I have encountered something beautiful that words can't even communicate. As a new songs begins to rise and words become limited, we pray, we sing, with wordless groans the Bible says (Romans 8). Yes that's true and beautiful!!!

Try and contain me, try and restrain me, YOU CAN'T! It's a mighty rushing river moving through me. The small barriers of life can't dam this flow. Satan will try and build a wall; use mortar and bricks made of fear, guilt, unworthiness, feelings of incompetence, try to silence my tongue that sings, but he can't! 
 
There is a song that is heard on earth; in the airwaves, the prince of the air sings it! He is in charge of keeping us from God. He does not like us, actually he envies us and would like to kill us!
My Father loves me; has demonstrated it to me even as I now sing my song to him. Nothing can separate us--for I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (v 38).

We are part of the redemptive plan that God has put in place; sending his son Jesus to redeems us back to life, to himself; a state where our soul is "awaken to sing" !

See, once your life has been redeemed you can't help but sing! It's a yearning like a deer panting for water ( Psalm 42) At night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life (vs 8).

Sing, sing, sing! Let your worship rise up to our God in Heaven...then welcome his presence; the King has arrived!