Friday, January 29, 2016

Green Grass...Just Follow

He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its
venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. Deuteronomy 8:15-16 (NIV)

We’ve all heard the phrase, “the grass is greener on the other side”. What does that actually mean?

Am I not satisfied where I am; is jealousy rising up within my heart; is envy causing my eyes to see things differently?

Ever wonder if perhaps its insecurity or fear that utters these words; we are alarmed about the possibility of something different? We get in a rut and believe this is it; this must be my life!

Could it be that the grass is greener on the other side but we are just not sure how to get there?

The Bible gives us a story about a people who wanted freedom; they wanted the “greener life” but often their disposition was more like, “is the promise real; is it on the other side”; at times a heart of mistrust.

When God delivered His people out of bondage; out of a place of oppression and slavery, the Bible says he took them through the desert; actually it reads though a “vast and dreadful wilderness”, a “thirsty and waterless land”. I’d almost agree and wonder about the promise; Lord, this grass does not look greener!

God is bringing them through an awful, scary, frightening road not to leave them to die but to help them to live. He gives them water from a hard rock, makes provision for them and calls out, "trust me".

The great story that unfolds is that of a Father teaching his children how to trust him. Envy, jealousy, strife, idol worship, pride and every evil practice had to become undone.

God took them through the worst way, the road less traveled so that the people would learn to rely on him; to depend and have their faith increase if you will.

This happens to us today. When our situations seem grim or we hear ourselves saying “the grass is definitely greener on the other side”. Perhaps it is!

That should not cause an alarm in our hearts. It must cause our hearts to trust that God will see us through. What do I need to learn Lord? Did I miss you God? Teach me your ways Father.

This is an opportunity to dig deeper into the heart of the Father; to investigate His Word and search for riches that we ourselves have buried and not believed.

Take heart, He leads by His Spirit. No matter where we find ourselves we must welcome the leading of the Spirit of God; the grass is greener on the other side....just Follow the Leader!

I will Trust by Lauren Daigle

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, January 25, 2016

Outstreched Arm | Do not Cross

“So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.” (Deuteronomy 26:8)

I love the language used in the Scriptures that describes how God delivered his people. It reads, “with a mighty had and an outstretched arm” he fought for them.

I get a visual of arms being used almost as a border, like a police yellow line that declares to all around, “do not cross”. Who would dare fight the Mighty Hand of God?

This is the God who fought for Israel in the days of old. He is the same God who fights for all who have bowed the knee to him and have declared you are my God! For every heart that has been transformed by the Son; for every ear that has heard the message of the Gospel and responded, this is the same God that goes forth on our behalf.

When I need help, I call on the Name of the Lord. He is the One that rescues me when it seems like defeat is imminent. Let my heart be right, and he is my defense.

He is described as having a mighty hand of strength and arms stretched out. I imagine my God bending down to me and stretching his arms almost to encompass all that I am; he says, “she is mine, my beloved.” (Song of Songs 6:3); an announcement to every demon in hell; she is mine!

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.” (Psalm 138:7)

The truth is that God is always on his Throne. He is forever worshipped, the Judge and King.

It’s an “invisible” army that eyes can’t see, but is fighting for us. 

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121

He fights for us when we are in obedience. 

I’ve also read how in His mercy and love for us, he will allow discipline with that same “mighty hand and outstretched arm.” Let’s be careful to obey and honor this loving God; who has loved and demonstrated his heart by fighting against death itself and winning!

”When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-15)

He is my Judge and my King! The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Give us this day....

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he
satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9

Ever wonder why the Israelite people asked for manna (bread that rained down from heaven)? The Lord, with a Mighty Hand (Exodus 6:1) delivered the his people via his servant Moses out of the grip of the enemy, Egypt. He parted the red sea and his people with fear and trembling walked across the dry land. Their promise was becoming reality.

Victory, Yes!!

So why the grumbling?

Their calloused, sinful hearts had invited a new journey route. Their 10 day journey turned into 40 years. The God who allowed their clothing not to waste in the desert had made provision for them to eat, but their sinful ravished hearts and their whining invoked a lesson from God that needed to be learned.

When sin has a hold on us we do not see clearly (Isaiah 6:9). I'm thirsty (Exodus 17:6) and he provided life saving water out of a rock. I'm hungry. Hungry? Did they not just leave Egypt with plenty; The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. (Exodus 12:36) Would the God who delivered them leave them to starve in the desert?

The issue here might have been greed, lust for more and a love for "the world"; never satisfied with the provision God had already made.

This week I named the wilderness experience the "desert fast"; a humbling exercise; a much needed lesson to study.

During the last 21 days of fasting, I began to think about the "desert fast". 

You might ask, "what is the desert fast". Let's be clear, I said "desert" not "dessert"  :)

Whining, complaining, never satisfied could describe any of us at times. Ouch! Sometimes is takes a "desert fast" to humble the heart.

The God who is always providing and loving us often just gets grumbling in return.

Day after day, manna from God's hand was delivered; ironically the same thing over and over. He instructed them to take only the day's provision; in other words, don't horde; there will be plenty for today and tomorrow. (Exodus 16:11-20)

In Numbers 11 we read the whining reached God's ear. We read God providing quail for the grumbling hearts.

I remember as a young girl one of my cousins asked my grandma for juice. They did not want a cup of juice; that would not satisfy them. They insisted they wanted more. It wasn't that we lacked juice, but I believe my grandma recognized greed in the heart. I remember her saying, " you want juice, juice you will have". She sat my cousin down and poured juice until she could not drink it any more. It sounds harsh but no one got hurt, except perhaps their pride.

Here the Lord pretty much does the same thing. 

"They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ (Numbers 11:13b) 

“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” (Numbers 11:18-20) 

The hearts continued to rebel against the Lord; so much so that an entire generation was lost in the wilderness. More than pride was hurt here.

My people, learn to depend on Me. My beloved, I am your Provider. My children (disobedient at times) I will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5 ). The heart had to be changed.

This "desert fast", a place where God provides but also examines the heart. His desire is to cause the heart to change; to see God as Deliverer and Provider.

During our times of fast, this is an opportunity to have God purge out our selfishness, pride, arrogance and every evil thing that rises up, like a defiant fist that in as much says, "hey God I need it my way".

I have learned and continue to learn that God indeed loves me. Kill the flesh and let the Spirit of God arise in us!

Jesus went to the cross to destroy it; Sin. He was victorious and desires for us to overcome it, Sin.

He was obedient to the Father all the way to his death that sin would be dealt with once and for all. 

It is finished!

We seek your face Father; humbly we come to you and say we have only sinned against You. Purge, eradicate, and eliminate sin in us. Like an enemy, extradite him, banish him from our hearts. Teach us to obey.

I do not want to go to the desert. I rather be worshiping at your feet!

I give thanks to you oh Lord for your unfailing love and your wonderful deeds you have done for me. Yes you satisfies the thirsty and fill the hungry with good things.

Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.
He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow.
He rained meat down on them like dust, birds like sand on the seashore.
He made them come down inside their camp, all around their tents.
They ate till they were gorged—he had given them what they craved.
But before they turned from what they craved,even while the food was still in their mouths,
God’s anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel. In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
Psalm 78:25-32

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

"Little Jose was chatting with his mom; "mom do you want some pizza"? His mom, Maria said, "no Jose I can't eat that". Jose replied, "mom, is it because you are on the "quick". His sister said, "the quick", what is that? You could here mom giggling; "you mean the fast son, "the fast".

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Voice

Have you heard it; the Voice that calls to you to turn around and acknowledge the One that loves

I couldn’t help but think of the current reality show that features judges who can’t see the one whose full attention is captivated by the audience; all they can hear is the voice. After a few notes or sometimes the full length of the song, judges have an option to turn around and acknowledge the singer. Their goal is to win them over, train them and inspire them to achieve.

When God's people were in the desert with Moses, a voice from the mountain of the Lord spoke.

You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. (Deuteronomy 4:11-12)

Here God spoke to his chosen people and poured out his heart. He warned them about falling into idolatry.

You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:15-19)

He sings a love song to us (Zephaniah 3:17) in hopes we will turn around and say yes to him. His heart is exposed and his words will come to us tenderly; sometimes we hear them as harsh but they really are a warning so we won’t fall away from him. His devotion is to win us over, equip and train us for the fight and remain until he returns.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.(2 Corinthians 10:3-6) 

 He will inspire us by the Holy Spirit not to give up or see ourselves less than what he already speaks over us. He speaks life, joy, liberty, peace; he calls out to us to endure and persevere. Yes he is the Judge whose heart turns to us. He draws us by his Spirit.

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time. (Deuteronomy 4:39-40)

Do you hear the Voice? Turn around he is calling for you.

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Image

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

What if it was easy to pick and choose what we want to believe from the Word of God? If I like the Scripture and it does not disrupt "my life" I'll apply it.

Photoshop a very popular photo editing program does wonders; even miracles if you've seen some of these remarkable photos. The problem is that its not reality. 

I recently had my photo taken by my son, a skilled photographer; a creator of beauty in his own right. When it was all done, he placed me in the middle of NYC; the incredible thing is, I have not visited NYC in years.

We live in a world where we want everything to be approved by us and for us. This is part of "the fall". The creature disobeys his Creator; not content in the world created by Him chose to entertain temptation and was removed from God's perfect Sanctuary.

Imperfection in the image. The image is too dark; let's fix it. Too many wrinkles; let's lighten it up. I wish I was in NYC and there I am! Photoshop at the click of a button has placed me there.

The Word of God causes imperfections in me to rise to the surface. It causes me to be uncomfortable. It challenges me to change and not remain the same.

I can't just push a button to fix it all. As I obey the Word of God it's miraculous how I am transformed.

If I find myself in darkness; I call on the Light who will illuminate my path.

Life has left me dry and parched, like a wrinkled wind tossed leaf; He can drench me and restore life by the Holy Spirit.

I wish I were somewhere else; by the very Word of God he allows change to occur in me. The Bible says that I am seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6-7).

This is reality! This does happen and can remain.

No picking and choosing; no selective obedience; just submitting to the Master.

Let's take a look at ourselves in the Word of God; it's like a mirror and it's reflection is True.

Don't like what you see; let the transformation begin. No buttons, no tricks; just the Truth of the Word of God washing and restoring me. It's the full counsel of God. My true identity, my image is transformed by the Spirit of God.

He is the True Creator!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, January 8, 2016

Do you see the Light?

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.Proverbs 12:15
There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 14:12

God speaks through anything and anyone.

Yesterday as I was going to work a tracker trailer with the word "Shammah" was in front of me. I smiled to myself because I remembered that Jehovah-Shammah means the Lord is there. It was comforting for me.

This morning yet another truck with the words "follow me". There was other language but that's all I read.

Follow me, the Lord is there. Wow!

As my eyes glanced at the toll both lanes, inevitably some are marked with a green light and other clearly have a big red "X".

God speaks through anything or anyone.

As we make decisions, often we battle which way to go; what direction to take; how to decide the matter.

The man who's heart loves the Lord will seek council from God but how often do we still make the wrong decision. Why?

I believe sometimes we are hasty and if we are honest have decided the way to go and somehow justify it saying "this is the way" the Lord wants me to go.

Paul thought he knew the way until the Lord blinded him on the road to Damascus. With blinded eyes a new opportunity was given to him so that he could really see.

Balaam was halted. An angel of the Lord appeared causing his donkey to stop and speak like a man to get Balaam's attention; he had followed the wrong road.

Decisions: a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration. What are we considering? Who's council are we following? Will my way honor God? Are my choices reflective of my worship and pledge to the Lord?

Like a green light at the toll booth, lets be sure we are in the right line because sometimes the light changes quickly and we are forced to switch lanes.

Sometimes waiting is the answer until we are sure.

Wherever the road leads lets make sure we are following God's instruction; we'll find that he is there to meet us! Do you see the Light?

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Supplier

In the beginning of time the Word of God says that God created vegetation, seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it. (Genesis 1:11)

Today is a new day. It has never existed before.

It’s interesting that the Lord created all these plants with seeds; more fruit to come via the seed, yet the Bible says that the Sun was not yet in place. The nourishment that would be needed supplied by the sun that would allow the plants and trees to bloom and thrive was not yet created. “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars”. (Genesis 1:16)

God was this an afterthought? Did God make an “oops” and then realize that he quickly needed to make the Sun?

I think I would have done this the other way around. Good thing I am not God.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

We often read the Bible and see this great revelation of God unfold. This is an awesome experience to see God move through time; is as if he already knows the need and meets it.

What we forget is that God has always existed and that it was for his pleasure that he created us; a great love he has demonstrated throughout the ages and continues to do so today.

God is Sovereign, He knows all and nothing he does is a mistake.

God indeed has started something great in us and he will supply all that is needed to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)

We often look at our lives and see all that lacks. I don’t have enough money, my skill set is deficient; my energy is depleted; we say things like “there is no way I can do that” or “that could never be me”.

We are not a mistake; we are created in the image of Almighty God and we have been designed with purpose! (Genesis 1:26) Even more so, God sent his Son to the creature he made in his likeness, who choose to disobey, to ensure and reestablish a right relationship with himself.

The God who created everything is more than able to meet us at our need; like a plant without a sun.

The full plan is within HIM. We just see glimpses but it’s coming.

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly”. (Psalm 5:3)

He is able. Fear not. Be still and wait.

JUST WONDERING: The vegetation never wondered where there nourishment would come from. I don’t read about plants uprooting themselves from where God planted them and searching the earth on their own for their supply. They waited and God provided. These are plants, how much more us who are made in his image, to reflect his glory. We are his pride possession.

God Bless You!~Liz

Friday, January 1, 2016

Run the Race

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press onto ward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

I remember growing up my mom saying to clean up because the New Year was about to begin. As an adult now I understand that was my mom’s way to encourage my sisters and I to clean up our room. I’m not sure it had anything to do with the New Year but she used it to her advantage. Perhaps it was just tradition, passed down from my grandma; “no dejes que el ano viejo te encuentri asi” (translation: Don’t let the old year find you in that state) the state of being unkempt. This was my mom’s approach to make sure the New Year started clean!

So many years later and it still echoes in my heart. What can I do different this year. The whole world is speaking on “new”. New beginnings; new workout, new diet, new, new, new.

Are there old habits that are keeping me distant from the Lord? What have I elevated above the Lord that has become an idol; anything that captivates me and I find myself saying, “Lord I’ll read later”, I’ll sit with you in a bit and then the day escapes me.

Every morning when God wakes us up is an opportunity to thrive, to excel and glorify God in all we do.

Whatever held me last year I must call on the Lord to help me overcome. I must remember that He is my prize and run toward that goal.

A familiar piece of Scripture in Philippians but like my mom I must encourage all who are reading; “quickly do let the new year find you in disarray”. Today is a new start and a new opportunity to paint the landscape in our lives a little different. A breath of fresh air bringing in a fragrance that yields life!

There is a race, there is a goal and there is a prize. The goal is to stay on the road. Did we divert? Quickly, get back on!! There are those that are cheering us toward the finish line. Can you hear the cheer!!! Liz, it’s a day---run the race!!

Happy New Year 2016
God Bless You!~Liz


 Acts 9:32-34 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas,...