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Hope for Storms

My prayer is for those that are going through storms – whether there are physical weather or other kind of storms.  Our prayers reach out to you – that our God is with us –

Even though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle
Of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back, I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming
For the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming
For the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You
Still I will praise You

Keep praising God and giving thanks.  Let your church unite in prayer of giving thanksgiving or your family go through a time of thanksgiving of blessings.

Heavenly Father,

We ask based on Psalm 83, to forgive the nation of America for conspiracies against Israel.  Forgive and have mercy upon this nation.  We bless the nation of Israel right now and we pray for favor on the nation of Israel.   You have made Your power known to America.  Divert the plans of the nation against Israel and have mercy upon America.  We know you are working, but we ask for forgiveness.  Thanks for rain where it is needed, but we know that Israel is Your chosen so on behalf of this nation, we Your Church in America, bless the nation of Israel for You said in Your Word, that blessed is those that bless Israel.  Pour out the blessings on all the leaders of Israel, and America and have them line up with Your divine will, Heavenly Father.  Thank You that despite all these things that are going on, You have chosen a remnant in America, and in Israel, who still abide in You, for the rest I ask that they may once again know and experience the love of Christ, and come to embrace the nation of Israel as one of their own.  We know there is a reason, and a plan and a purpose for everything.  Thanks for revealing this to us, and giving us some hope for the future, for Jeremiah 29:11 says Your plans are not to harm us but to prosper us and to give us a future and a hope.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

Music vs. Worship

Many people listen to music and like music.  They listen to it everyday in their cars, on the radios, at concerts, restaurants, and grocery stores.  There’s even the hold music that you listen to on the phone.  It’s all around us and you can’t escape it.  I once took a course in Music Appreciation and there was a belief that all the sounds around you could be a form of music.  The definition of music is – “1. The art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.”

It says in Ezekiel 28 of the type and shadow of satan in the Bible, king Tyre,

“ You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created. ” [NKJV]

So that means that God created lucifer to rule over music in the heavenly kingdom before he fell.  Why does that matter?  Of course you might think that music is perfectly fine and good and a way of expressing emotion.  As a bipolar person growing up I used to listen to all kinds of music because I thought it would comfort my “soul”.  That was before I got born again.  Even until recently I realized after getting more into God and learning about holiness and this one certain thought that I had that changed my mind, “Why be listening to music and singing things that I won’t be singing when I get into heaven?” (I think I did a post on Singing in the Valley.)

Think about it.  Everything was created for the glorifying God and not glorifying what man thinks he needs.  I used to love music so much.  It became an idol.  I thought it was the only thing that could get me through anything.  That no matter what mood I was in, what I was thinking, what I was feeling there was a song to get me through it.  I relied and depended on that.  I depended on that instead of God.  I depended on that because I thought it would comfort my soul.  It was not until later that I realized that the true comfort would be through the Holy Spirit and in God’s Word.

The Bible has a lot to say about music, but most of the music is often referred to in the context of God.  In Isaiah it says that there will be music playing when God takes his “punishing arm” to pour out judgment.  I believe that every spiritual song got it’s birth in heaven and that God gave the songwriters the gifts and abilities to create that music into existence.

Some people listen to only hymns, but the Bible is clear in Colossians 3:16 “16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. ”  It even tells the purpose of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  But for those people that don’t feel comfortable listening to only hymns that is their preference. [NKJV]

Philippians 4:8 says, “8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” [NKJV] That gives another indication on what kinds of music that we should be listening to.

Going back to the definition of music, the expression of emotion, I believe that we should give God more than just the expression of our emotion.  We should give Him the praise that comes from our spirit that is inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring glory back to the Father that created us.

There was a documentary that came out a while back that was saying that some secular music bands say prayers to who knows what kind of spirits over their music.  This is just a theory, but I think that’s why they get so popular so fast because they are essentially selling their souls.  I won’t mention names, but there is a singer, who was a gospel singer when she was young, and because she didn’t have a strong foundation, she decided to take the secular route and is now definitely not living out Philippians 4:8.

Why does all that matter – what kind of music you listen to?  Because our God, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our Heavenly Father, the Great I AM, is a holy God.  He is so holy that the four living creatures are crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy” every time they see Him.  There is a new facet to His holiness.  We are supposed to become consecrated before Him as it says in Hebrews 12.  “But God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness.”  (vs. 10)[NIV]

That doesn’t mean that we can’t listen to all genres of music, but the intent has to be clear.  It has to glorify God, lift up a song of praise in our hearts, get us to a level of deeper intimacy with the Lord.

Some people say that we need secular music to dance to, that you cannot dance without music that praises God.  Well when the Israelites brought the ark of the covenant back to David he began dancing and celebrating so much that his wife, Michal, started hating him.  [1 Chronicles 15:29]

In a sense worship is the expression of emotion, but it goes so much deeper.  While music only affects the soul, worship comes out of the spirit and is birthed in the spirit.  There is a process of sanctification one must go through.  That begins with the Cross and accepting Jesus sacrifice for us.  The next step is to choose how we want to honor our lives for Him, to glorify Him, and to be obedient to Him.   There a some great songs out there that glorify the Lord and many of them take the Scripture and bring it to life.  Once you listen to those songs over and over and over again, they will become ingrained in your hearts and when you are defeated you can lift up a shout of praise.

When you hear about the kinds of music that was playing in Chronicles, and Kings, it just sounds like a divine orchestra, and that is why a lot of people like Classical music.  Classical music is a great way to listen to music that honors God.  They had wonderful instruments in those times much like they do now and you can just imagine what it sounded like.

You can’t escape the music around you, so what do you do?  Keep a new song in your heart, and praise Him.  Not just with noise, but with your attitude, your lifestyle, and your day to day life so you can continue to be a blessing to yourself and others.

 

DISCLAIMER – I was wrong about this – I believe that God can use anything to speak to you it doesn’t have to be just worship – he can use anything to speak to you.

 

Singing in the Valley

I haven’t posted in a while because I have been going through some things.  Some of which may be called a “valley” in my life.  It wasn’t until I heard Joyce Meyer mentioned “singing in the valley” that God revealed to me what to write about.  People go through things in life.  They go through things – ups and downs – physical sicknesses (even though Jesus has already paid the price for them), financial troubles, and just any kind of thing you can think of that the enemy tries to throw at you.  It’s through this time that we must learn to trust and praise God through the valley.  I admit I have been neglecting my “singing” and that’s just the strategy the enemy is trying to use.  He doesn’t want you to praise God in your troubles.  He wants to steal your praise.  He wants to steal your joy too and he wants to steal your praise if that succeeds.  The more he succeeds the more he will try until he’s got you so wrapped around your own suffering and throwing yourself a pity party consumed with grief, that you can’t open your mouth to praise Him [Jesus].

1) Praise is a an act of faith – Praise is one of the many ways that you can express your faith.  It’s easy to sit in church and listen to worship music, sing and dance, and praise.  But when you haven’t been able to keep down anything you’ve eaten or even when you try to pray and fight you are crying so much that you can’t fight anymore or when you are so deep in debt that it would be better for you to go into slavery then to pay off your debt, that’s when it is hard to praise God.  You try so many things to be a “good Christian”, but then you realize that your faith has been stolen so that’s when you must praise.

2) Praise is an attitude – It’s not just about “singing” – It’s a lifestyle choice.  Imagine if you were around a person that had one bad thing after another happen to them and you never saw the smile leave their face.  They smiled when good things were happening and they smiled when bad things were happening, and it wasn’t just their smiling, but it was their whole attitude that was kind, nice, caring, loving, and nurturing, but still human at the same time.  You would think what kind of character does this person have that makes them never complain or murmur or enter into self-pity like that?  I’m not saying that such a person exists , except for maybe David in the Bible or even Joel Osteen (I know some Christians don’t like him and some love him), but wouldn’t it be a great attitude to have where you are constantly praising God for all that has happened-  to know that whatever you’re going through you’re going to get out of it.

3) Praise can deliver you – When Paul was praising in prison there was an earthquake and then all the prison gates opened and they were let out [ACTS 16:25] – Even in your darkest bondage if you lift your hearts to praise Him, then you can be set free.  Whatever you’re going through God can deliver you out of the darkest bondage.  He can create miracles through praise to get out of that bondage.

 

4) Praise when others around you are not praising – You’re fellow co-worker might be talking bad about the boss or about the work situation you can praise God that you have a job.  When your sister is having a bad day and she snaps at you you can praise God that you have a family that loves you and that you are not an orphan.  It’s so easy to praise when everyone around you is cheerful and happy all the time, but how often does that happen?

5) Praise while serving –  Whether you’re washing the dishes, taking out the trash, cooking, or whatever it is that you do to serve you can lift your hearts with praise.  I must admit that this is the hardest thing for me to do.  God does not call you to serve grudgingly or as an obligation, but with a heart of praise.  Often I find myself so agitated I tend to snap at someone or get really stressed out when doing these things, and it’s only afterward that I realize that I should do it with a heart of praise.  So what I do is turn on the Christian radio station and fill my heart with peace and praise so that I can serve with a heart full of praise.  This one is hard for my family members as well.  I think praise while serving changes the whole attitude about serving and can create peace in the atmosphere.

6) Praise God during all the little things – Whether you’re trying to find a piece of food in the way back part of the fridge so that you have to go and take everything out and put everything back in to find it.  Or you’re trying to put the carton of apple juice back in the fridge while there’s no more room left in the fridge.  Or even if it’s making it through the light without getting into an accident.  It doesn’t matter what little things that you do or that happen to you, you can praise God in spite of them or even through them because then you’ll end up being able to praise God through all the big things that happen in your life – like the bondages or things you need to be delivered from.

7) Praise changes your perspective  – You may be looking at your situation from only your viewpoint and not seeing God’s viewpoint, and when you praise the whole situation gets turned around.  Perspective in art and geography can mean two dimensional or three dimensional.  When you put on 3D glasses to watch a movie you feel the realness of it.  You don’t feel like it’s a flat screen and that you can’t really be a part of it.  With 3D it makes the picture pop out for you and it can make it really exciting and personal.  God is multidimensional so when you praise God even when you are going through a valley you can see that there is a mountain at the top and God can move that mountain and make your pathways straight so that you are not in a valley but then you are in a level playing field.

 

One of the songs about Praise I like is “God is good all the time.” :

“Chorus:
God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_moen/god_is_good_all_the_time.html ]
If you’re walking through the valley
And there are shadows all around
Do not fear, He will guide you
He will keep you safe and sound
‘Cause He’s promised to never leave you
Nor forsake you and His Word is true

Chorus

We were sinners – so unworthy
Still for us He chose to die
Filled us with His Holy Spirit
Now we can stand and testify
That His love is everlasting
And His mercies – they will never end

Chorus

Lord I may not understand
All the plans He left for me
My life is in your hands
And through the eyes of Him I can clearly see

Chorus”

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_moen/#share

 

I may not be perfect and I may struggle as we all do, but I know that I have a God who is worthy of praise so through this valley if I go and praise Him then He can move this mountain in my life.