God is everywhere

The psalmist ask a personal question, “Where can I escape from Your spirit?” The answer brings confidence, comfort and strength to those who desire or need a deeper relationship with God.

Go back and read verses 7-12 from Psalm 139. You may have read them in the link on the God knows everything post.

Whether I am in heaven or hell, it doesn’t matter. You are there. The extremes of bliss or terror do not keep You from seeing me and being beside me. Your presence may effect me very differently in those place, but You are with me.

Whether I run the east or west, it doesn’t matter. East and west describe the unending boundaries of our sphere. You have no boundaries. You are always in front of me and behind me. You are with me wherever I go.

Whether day or night, it doesn’t matter. Darkness cannot hide me because Your ability to see and know what is happening is not helped or hindered by light. You see just as well in the dark as You do in the brightness of sunshine. Nothing is hidden from Your sight. Even when I seem to be hidden away from others and this world, You are still with me.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your consistent, continual presence. Help me became more aware. I can’t be in all places at all times like you, but wherever I am, help me reflect Your goodness in the world around me.

Where do you need Him today?

GOD knows everything

It’s human nature to want to be recognized, known, and loved. God put that in us – and He is able to meet that need.

I invite you to go read the list of the ways God knows you personally in Psalms 139:1-18. The Passion Translation is beautifully written. Find it HERE

Couple this with His great love for you and the fact that He does not change . . . and you can’t help but conclude with the psalmist: Such knowledge is too wonderful, too great to understand.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for knowing all about me and loving me – flaws and all. Thank You for loving me even when I didn’t love You. Help me to respond to Your love with an open heart and open hands.

At the end of this chapter, the psalmist invited God to do even more (Psalm 139:23-24). Will you invite Him to help you, too?

God is immutable

Mute is an old word meaning “to change.” God’s character and His love for us will never change. So when it seems He has, what is really happening?

Let’s start with the original definition of the word immutable. Its root is mute – a verb that first meant “to change”. Immutable means “not having the ability to change.” The Psalmist writes that everything God created will change, decay, and wear out, but He will never change. When this earth is gone, He will still be good and loving, just as He is today and just as He was at the beginning of time. It’s a comfort to know that God’s goodness and His love for us will never decay and disappear. He will never become less of Who He is.

We use the word mute differently now. Mute is the button on a remote control which turns off the volume of our electronic devices. We often ask others to mute things – to turn them down so the volume is lower or off. Does this fit God? Is God not-mutable? Yes. We cannot turn down His communication with us. He continually talks to us and consistently reminds us of His love for us. He always warns us of things that will hurt us. Unfortunately, we often turn up the volume of many things around us and tune into competing voices. He has not changed. We have.

Heavenly Father, Help me to remember that You are immutable – You never change and Your messages of love, hope and peace never fade away. Help me turn down the volume of the things that compete with Your voice and listen intently to You. I want to hear You above the chatter and clatter of this world. And Father, even as my body slowly decays and my memory fades, keep reminding me that You are always the same.

What have you found to be helpful in muting the competing noises in your life so that you can hear God’s voice?

GOD IS The God of Peace

More than ever, we need to know the God of Peace, Jehovah-Shalom.

Lessons Learned from Gideon’s Call:

  • Listen when Jehovah speaks your name and your title. He called Gideon “Valiant Hero.” But Gideon wasn’t valiant, he was afraid. He wasn’t a hero. He was hiding. God sees what we are capable of, what He has made us. He calls those things out of us so we can accomplish the tasks He has prepared for us.
  • When we remember God’s faithfulness or stories of His faithfulness, let’s tell Him. Ask Him to show us why we don’t see it at this time. It’s okay to ask. Sometimes He answers those questions. In those cases, let’s respond to what He reveals to us. Sometimes He just continues to speak of His plans.
  • Listen to His responses to any questions. His instructions often include His promises. At any time, we can accept the assignment given to us. But if we need more information . . .  
  • It’s okay to ask “How” questions, but don’t be surprised when the answer is His presence. Remember, though, that asking “how” reveals that our thoughts are on trying to determine how we can accomplish the task rather than how He plans to do it.
  • He knows sometimes we need a sign, so He doesn’t mind revealing Himself to open, honest seekers. When He gives a sign, we will know it is from Him. It might be scary. If it is, be honest and then listen again. If it is from Him, He will reassure us. He wants our reverence, and true reverence has an honest bit of fear it in.
  • Peace doesn’t come from seeing the sign. Peace comes from His presence and hearing His calming voice. When we are at peace with God, we are encouraged to obey. We recognize we can rely on Him and His character. We don’t argue with Him or give excuses for delayed obedience or or ask Him to reconfirm things we have already heard. We understand He is God and He is with us. Our response is to allow Him to work.
  • Peace with God often means that we are at odds with others, particularly unbelievers. Maybe our first decisions must be: “Where does my peace come from? Who would I rather be at peace with – the Prince of Peace or those who promise peace in this world?” All our responses (both actions and words) to those who don’t understand should directed by God. He knows how to bring peace to those folks as well.

Heavenly Father, Help me to listen carefully to Your words to me. Help me remember that all You do is focused on bringing peace. Your Son is the living, walking, working Prince of Peace and Your Holy Spirit grows this fruit in my heart, mind, and life. Your peace is eternal and much grander than simply a lack of strife, struggling, and heartache.Your peace calms my heart. Your peace makes me strong. Your peace helps me do things that I could not do on my own. Let me live a life ruled by your peace!

Do you know the God of Peace?

God is Jehovah-Jireh

All God’s promises to Abraham started with a promise to see and provide what Abraham needed. God promises that to us, too.

The story of the name Jehovah-Jireh is hard to read. How could a good God tell Abraham (the man He made great promises to) to take Isaac (the only son who could make those promises reality), go off, build an altar, and sacrifice him? When the story is told out of the context of Abraham’s life, it doesn’t make sense. But, long before this day, Abraham had heard God tell him to move away from his family and go to a far off country “that I will show you.” The Hebrew word “show you” can also be translated “see or provide.” (Genesis 12) Abraham obeyed, went, and God provided.

In Genesis 22:1-19, Abraham got up and took Isaac to the place that God showed him. Along the way, when Isaac begins to question, Abraham answers, “The Lord God will see and provide.” Abraham says this in faith (trusting obedience to God). Then, he made preparations to obey God (even when it seemed contrary to God’s original words and promises). This was the hardest part . . . it was a test of Abraham’s heart: Would he trust Jehovah (our infinite, omnipotent [all-powerful], good, loving God) or spare Isaac (the child he loved more than anything else and the one in whom many of the other promises resided)? Abraham decided to trust God and God interrupts him and tells him to stop. God had already seen the need and supplied the sacrifice in Isaac’s place. In verse 13, Abraham sees a sacrificial ram caught in the thicket. God wasn’t out to destroy the promise. He was testing the heart of a man.

Abraham’s test is a foreshadowing of Calvary, where God gave His only begotten Son, In that place, there was no other option. For each of us, God sees the need and provides the Answer. Our response? Lay ourselves down first.

Heavenly Father, Help me remember that when I am tested, Your promises to me do not change. Your words do not change. You are faithful. You keep Your promises. Help me keep my eyes focused on You and obey – even when it’s hard. Help me remember Your faithfulness. I know you respond to yielded hearts.

Are you in the midst of a hard place? Remember God – Jehovah-Jireh – sees all and He will provide.

GOD IS LOVE

Let’s be very clear about this one. God’s nature is loving and kind, but sometimes we confuse God’s nature with the lie that Love is God.

First, let’s clear up some potential vocabulary problems. In English, we use the word “love” for everything – as a heart emoji on social media, to describe our enjoyment of a tasty pizza, or the delight of receiving wonderful unexpected gift, or to share our feelings for a cherished friend or the depth of our feelings for our children and spouse, all the way to the gratitude we have for the One who created us and gave us everything. But, the original language doesn’t lump all these things together. Greek has several words that mean love and we are going to talk about the love God has for us (agape, pronounced aw-gaw’-pay) and the love He calls us to have for others.

God’s agape-love for us started before we were created. This part of His character compelled Him to create a perfect world for His children with good things for them to experience and good plans for them to complete. This part of His character causes Him to continue to create unique sunrises and sunsets for us to enjoy, to continue creating for us.

When mankind disobeyed His instructions: “You can have everything but this one. Don’t eat this one. When you do, you will die.” God planned a way to deliver us from the spiritual death we earned and to bring us back into a relationship with Him that provides spiritual life. This agape-love knows there are limits and boundaries that must be maintained. This part of God’s character keeps Him loving us even when we reject Him and working within the limits and boundaries to make things right.

The penalty of death never changed and God’s words didn’t change. He didn’t take them back. Instead He willingly sent His Only begotten Son, Jesus, from heaven on a mission to take our place and suffer our death. And because Jesus loves the same way the Father loves, Jesus willingly came to live as one of us and die on the cross at Calvary so that we could have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The most appropriate response to this kind of love is to love others the same way. We understand limits and boundaries exist to keep us safe. We follow the laws God has established so that we are blessed with His presence. And we love others as He loved us.

Dear Heavenly Father, This side of You can get very sticky with us humans. We often have a hard time balancing whether we should follow our head or our heart. We often think of love as a heart thing. But our hearts are deceitful and often, when we listen to them alone, we are highjacked into relationships and situations never meant for us. Help me understand Your agape-love for me. Help me remember, always, that it started with You and any agape-love I have must be first in response to You and then shared with those around me. Grow this fruit of the Spirit in my life. Help me remember that the most loving thing to do in each situation is first to place it in Your capable hands and then listen and let You tell me what to do. Your ways are higher than mine. Your rules are better.

Have you experienced the agape-love Your Creator has for You? Why not think Him for it?

GOD IS good

An infinite, all-powerful god who is not also good would be a frightening thought! Our God is good.

We serve a God who is good. But, what exactly does that mean?

Have you ever needed a pair of shoes for a special occasion? Let’s imagine that you were going to the barn, a working barn and you needed a pair of shoes. You go to your closet and you find all kinds of shoes. Converse Chucks are there and they are pleasing to the eye and fit you well, but you know the barn is full of muck and you don’t ruin your vintage tennis shoes. So you move on. There is a pair of house slippers, they are very comfortable and they protect your feel from the cold floors in the winter. When crushed acorns are brought into the house on the sole of shoes, these slippers protect the bottom of your feet from the pokey bits. But are they really the best shoes for the barn? What about your Sunday best? You move on . . . you are looking for something: pleasant (fit your feet correctly), agreeable (suit the occasion), beneficial (protect your feet), with integrity (without holes), not hurtful (won’t impede your walk because they’re too big or too small), and helpful (help you do the work needed without creating unnecessary problems.)

Heavenly Father. Thank you for remembering how You made me and working with me in a way that is perfect for me. Thank You for meeting me in each situation and providing what I need. Thank You for saving me from my own destruction – when it has come from my own decisions or carelessness or the decisions or carelessness of others. Thank You for being faithful. You leave no holes, nothing unaccounted for. Thank You for not calling me to do things that are too far beyond my ability to work with You, and thank You for preparing me (teaching me and training me) for the things You know will come in my life. Thank You for being the One who is always helpful – the One who does not create problems, but the One who makes a way through the problems in this life. Help me continue to trust You, learn from You, listen and wholeheartedly obey You, and delight in and hold dear Your words.

What other way would you describe God’s goodness?

GOD IS omnipotent

In a world where we don’t always have the ability to do what is needed or desired, it’s comforting to know we have a God who is all powerful.

Consider this: The God who has no limits, the One breathed the breath of life into man, the One who created the blue marble we live on with just His words, the One who spoke the stars into existence, the One with no beginning nor end – He still speaks. He is still at work. And, not a thing we can think or imagine is too hard for Him.

So why do things seem to be wrong so often? Why does it seem I can’t see Him at work?

Heavenly Father, Could it be my fear that keeps me from seeing Your work? Could it be that I’m afraid You want change me and will ask me to do things that are too big or too hard for me to do? Help me remember that You are still the one who has no limits and, with You and only You, I can do whatever You ask of me. Let me have the faith of Mary so I can say, “Nothing is impossible for You. I am Your servant.”

What holds you back from trusting the One who can do things beyond what you could even think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)?

GOD is infinite

We are locked into time and space. God is not.

When it’s hard to describe what something is, it’s helpful to start with what it isn’t. It’s the same when we are talking about God. There are things about Him we can comprehend a little more fully, but there are many things our mind can only catch glimpses of. Jehovah is one of those characteristics and the infiniteness of God is another characteristic.

In a world where riches, fame, expertise, and intellectual knowledge are prized, it is comforting to know that beyond all we can gain, know, or understand is Jehovah, the eternal Self-Existent One. He has more than I can imagine. He is always wise in His decisions and His plans. No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to figure Him out. I’m okay with a God who has some mystery about Him. His word makes another promise to me – He loves me and has good plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11).

Jehovah is infinite! He has no boundaries and no limits. He cannot be distilled into little bits of information or data. He can do above and beyond what we could ever ask or think.

Thank you, God, for being bigger than me and bigger than anything I can see or imagine! Help me take You out of any box I have placed You in and help me remove any limitation I have placed around You. Let me let You be You to me.

The next time you are out in the evening . . . look up at the stars. They are so far away that we measure their distance in multiples of light-years (how long it takes light to travel in one year (5,878,625,370,000 miles). The God who loves you is greater than that! Tell Him how amazed you are and thank Him for leaning down to take care of you here on the Earth He created.

GOD IS Jehovah-M’Kaddesh

In the middle of Leviticus where the laws are given to the Israelites, God describes Himself and tells what He does so that we can do what He wants us to do.

“So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the LORD (Jehovah) your God. Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the LORD (Jehovah) who makes you holy.” Leviticus 20:7,8 (NLT)

God is so gracious that when He tells us what He wants us to do, often He also shares what He will do to help us.

Here’s what the instruction and command from these two verses in Leviticus looks like:

My part? Consecrate myself (dare, set my heart) to be holy (clean, different from the world around me). Observe (keep guard, attend to) His regulations (the things He has prescribed for me) and obey (do) them.

His part? HE is Jehovah, my God, the self-existing One. He sanctifies me. We don’t use that word often, but it means “sets me apart and makes me clean.” When I wash dishes and put them into the cabinet to use them at the next meal, I have sanctified them for their next task. God knows that there’s a lot of things in this world that can mess me up but He promises to come into my time and space and become involved with me so that my life can be different. He gives me directions to keep from the harmful things around me. He displays His lovingkindness and goodness through nature. His Holy Spirit speaks to my soul and comforts me, reminding me that the Eternal God loves me and wants me to turn my face to Him.

How do I do my part? Remember He sets me apart. He starts the process and He gives me what I need to live “set apart/different.” Is it easy? Not always, but He never leaves me. If I forget to do my part, He is always willing to accept my sincere remorse and start again. When I live within His boundaries and follow His directions, my life may have its shares of disappointments, sorrow, and suffering, but it will also be a joyful, creative, purposeful life that helps draw others to His wonderful plan for their lives too.

Have you every experienced this promise God makes to you?