He is Keeping You!

23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].
24 Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. — Psalm 37:23, 24 (AMPC)

Our Daddy God is so very faithful! Every moment, He is watching over us, blessing and keeping us! His angels and Holy Spirit are guarding us moment by moment–and with eternal perspective, for He Who was and is and is to come knows all things, sees the end from the beginning, and thus goes ahead of us to thwart the plans of the enemy, as we observe and obey spiritual laws. And still, even when we are ignorant and disobedient many times, His grace and mercy cover us!

Friday afternoon I was tired, after a full week at school. I had reached my home city, and was at the light in the left turn lane ready to make the last turn before a couple blocks to my driveway. I was looking down, writing a note about something, and wishing the light would change. I was first in line. I glanced up a few times. Still no green. (Sigh.) I wrote again.

Then when I looked up, the left arrow was green.

Finally! And I bet the people behind me wish I would go! I thought.

Then, just before I started to turn, a car thrust through the intersection–through the red light–wayyyy past when it should have entered that area!

In other words, God protected me from what could have been a horrible wreck! If I had been impatient, or even not looking down writing, I would have been in the wrong place!

He is faithful to help us every moment, if we will let Him and be sensitive to His leading. I fully believe, upon reflecting about it, that He brought those thoughts to my mind–knowing I would want to write them down so I wouldn’t forget. He orchestrated even those tiny details to preserve me from evil; to keep me safe.

HE LOVES ME!! And HE LOVES YOU TOO!  Why don’t you look up and THANK HIM TODAY FOR HIS FAITHFULNESS!!

 

Choose Joy

22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge]. —Gal. 5:22-23, (AMPC)

“It’s joy!” I said, and laughed gently some more, watching my sweet fourth grade students giggle and look around at each other, delightfully confused. They had just come into my afternoon  class, and some started laughing for no apparent reason.  I could tell that they were not trying to be disruptive, nor were they scorning one another–I just let the LORD have His wonderful way!

Happy tears  came to my eyes also, and they noticed. “Look at Mrs. Taylor! Her face is red!”

Indeed it was, and I my heart felt so good. I could not stop smiling, and the kids smiled back.

As I’ve told them, we feel better when we smile. We get more oxygen, and it’s just so much better than a frown!

Part of my joy was thankfulness;  it is so wonderful to have the Presence of God with us always!

Many of us laughed gently a few minutes, then they started to settle down.

“What is joy?”one asked.

I love it when Daddy opens doors like this!

“It’s part of God,” I said. “A fruit of the Spirit!”

“Oh!” he said, and smiled. A few had not laughed, and my heart ached for them to experience the freedom and lightness that comes when the true Spirit of Joy, the LORD Jesus Christ, rises among us.

Truly, this Season, we have so much to be joyful about. Let us sing for joy to the One Who is faithful forever, for He died so we could live with joy!

Sing for joy, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion upon His afflicted.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, yes, sing praises!

Secure or Not?

I have noticed, as I’ve been posting on my blog and otherwise building this River Rain Creative Arts site, that at times, the screens I’ve been on–although they look exactly the same otherwise–have sometimes shown the words, “Not secure.” I could not figure that out for a couple days. Then the LORD gave me wisdom and  I realized that, as Apostle Tracy Harris preached to us yesterday, there are various doors, and we must be careful to come through the correct ones.

Obviously, there were times when I would transition (unknowingly, till the LORD made me aware of this and showed me how to prevent it) from a “Secure” page where I could modify the site, to a “Not Secure” page, where others might oversee the sensitive information.

That will not happen anymore, however, because the LORD has made me aware of the difference and now I make sure to only enter my information on the Secure pages.

It all has to do with coming through the correct doors, and in order. It was when I tried to “save time” and not come through the correct channels that the “door” (or, portal, which is what computer websites are) led to a place that could be compromised.

As Dr. Bill Winston says, we in the true Church must “rise with no compromise.” We must come through the correct door, at the correct time. We must stay in the right place, then we will be secure.

Prayer: LORD, help us be sensitive and obedient to Your Voice! Spirit of Truth, lead us into all truth!

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber.

Jesus Himself is The Door (the only one!) to the abundant life of peace on earth, and eternal life in Heaven after this body dies.

I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.

Elaborating on Covenant Culture

John 3:3-6, and 1 6-18, AMPC

Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born?

Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [[a]even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God.

What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]

What is Covenant Culture? It is a spiritual thing. It is living out of one’s spirit (the true, eternal, real you!). It is living in the Covenant of Grace, provided for us by LORD Jesus Christ, when He shed His pure blood for us on the cross over 2000 years ago, to pay the penalty (that we could never pay!) for all we would ever do wrong in our lives. He did this so that we would not have to suffer in any sense, because He loves us. Never did He want us to experience pain nor hardship nor lack of any kind! He came to restore to us what is ours, through the perfect Plan of God. But we must ask Him for it, and know that He is good and wants us to have it.

So Covenant Culture is living in the Original Plan of the LORD, the abundant life (John 10:10). This is the overcoming life, where we have peace and joy in spite of being in this world and experiencing less-than-heavenly circumstances. It is the life where we know that the Word and Spirit of God alone are our strength, and our faith (believing His Word, both in the Bible and as He speaks to our spirits from within us) are our victory!

The verses below will help you understand more.

Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)

[ Place Your Life Before God ] So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Also, Proverbs 18:4, AMPC: 

The words of a [discreet and wise] man’s mouth are like deep waters [plenteous and difficult to fathom], and the fountain of skillful and godly Wisdom is like a gushing stream [sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving]. 

Ask the LORD Who is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:15-17, John 15:26-27, I John 4:4-6) to teach you more about Covenant Culture, and how to live in it, for it is your privilege, honor, and right, when you receive Jesus as your Savior and LORD!

Peace Like a River

For the first 9 weeks of my new teaching position this fall, I somehow forgot Isaiah 48:17-20 AMPC, and had much stress.  I was working long hours and not spending much time in prayer or reading the Word, although I was still attending church twice a week and glancing at the Word some before I went to bed.  When I did take time to actually sit down and read an entire passage, I would feel great peace. Tears would even come to my eyes, and I prefer to think it was thankfulness to God for His eternal Word, rather than just physical relief.

Much stress equals very little peace. But the sweet, gentle Spirit of the LORD reminded me to cast my cares on Him and start resting more. He also brought to mind that, contrary to my carnal thinking that “I don’t have time to exercise,” I needed it. Thank goodness I have many stairs to walk up every day at work, am almost always on my feet during teaching time and beyond, and walk about a quarter mile round trip taking the kids to the cafeteria and back. Some is better than none.

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go.

18 Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea.

19 Your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like the offspring of the sea; their name would not be cut off or destroyed from before Me.

20 Go forth out of Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing declare, tell this, cause it to go forth even to the end of the earth; say, The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!

However, I still needed to improve in relaxing more in Him and get rid of strife within–some of which was being frustrated over discipline challenges with my (most moments!) sweet, smart 4th graders.

Our dear faithful Father knows us better than we know ourselves! He wants us to rest, and He knows us better than we know us. So I repented of the pride of trusting in myself and allowing stress (read: fear!) to harass and bother me! I started going to be earlier and rising a bit later, and just practicing staying in peace.

So now I’m doing much better at following His peace, His rest. I quote Hebrews 4 verses 1 and 2 over myself as I’m led (You can never go wrong quoting the Word over yourself, as His Spirit Who knows all things guides you!):

Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [to distrust it], lest any of you should think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it. For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest
Obey the LORD today. He loves you, so rest!