Did Rahab Shelter in Place?

One of my favorite books of the Bible is Joshua. The book of Joshua is dramatic and contains well-known miracle-filled episodes of the courageous leader Joshua who was used mightily for the glory of the Lord. An important theme of the book of Joshua is repeated in the beginning: “As I was with Moses, I will be with you” (Joshua1:5, 3:7). God assures Joshua He will be with him always. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” This theme is developed as Joshua is compared to Moses, and repeats many of his actions throughout the book. Joshua is a leader without hesitation, valiant and bold. He reminds me of an audacious robin hood type character who is enflamed and empowered by the Spirit of God. Joshua braves impossible feats of courage, rescuing and caring for the meek and helpless, and fearlessly crushing great evil and despair through the hand of God. Joshua is portrayed as a prototype for future Kings and one who keeps the teaching of Moses in its entirety (1:7-8, 11:15). 

The interesting figure of Rahab is introduced in Chapter 2. This chapter reveals the exciting story of a brave prostitute and innkeeper, living in the evil city of Jericho. Rahab was a dauntless woman who risked her life and the lives of her family to hide Joshua’s spies from the King of Jericho. In return for her service Rahab survived the conquest of the city. Joshua’s spies had instructed her to gather her family and stay in her house till the battle and wrath of God passed. You might even say that Rahab was told to “shelter in place.” This reminds me of another passage along the same order in Isaiah 26:20 when God brings judgment on the wicked and protects the people of God. He says: “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.”

Rahab was also told to hang a scarlet cord over her window to distinguish her and protect her. Just as the blood of the lamb covered the doorposts of God’s people in Egypt and protected them, a scarlet cord symbolized the blood covering for Rahab. Today as we “shelter in place” it is the actual blood of Christ that covers us. We don’t need the blood of a physical lamb or a scarlet cord in the window to “shelter in place.” We are covered by the precious blood of Christ. 

Even though Rahab had a really dark and dirty past, her great faith in the Lord gave her a significant role in history. Surprisingly she is later listed in the lineage of Christ. Rahab proves to be a woman of authentic faith: she had heard what the people of God had done in crossing the Red Sea and in defeating other nations. She recognized and trusted that this was the true God who would lead Israel to victory over Jericho and deliver her family from the coming wrath. 

Most remarkably we see the fruit of this faith in the grace Rahab shows her family. Women did not become prostitutes in the ancient world unless they had no other options. It was only if a woman was a captive, had no family, or was abandoned by her family, that she would turn to prostitution. Since we know Rahab’s family was alive and well, the fact that she negotiated for their salvation, despite the fact that they left her to this lifestyle, demonstrates Rahab’s incredible grace in saving them. To risk her life to save her family was/is a sign of her faith in this great God, the one true God. And the spies, far from despising Rahab (a social outcast and traitor to her country), they not only offer her protection for protecting them, but, they offer her hesed. “Hesed” is the Hebrew word used in this chapter of Rahab and throughout Scripture to refer to the kind of love God shows His covenant people. It is not just affection, but it is the loyal, unrelenting love of God. It is God’s love that never stops pursuing His people until they are safely with Him. When the spies hear Rahab’s testimony, they recognize a person of faith and offer to her and her family not only physical protection, but also offer her a place in the covenant community. One might call it an adoption of Rahab and her family into the people of God. 

This is so exciting to me! No matter what terrible mistakes we have made in our lives, no matter how dark the city, the state or the nation we live in, there is hope for adoption in the family of God. Who would have ever thought that Rahab, a prostitute and an outcaste, basically a leper in her own city, would be found in the lineage of Christ. She lived in Jericho, the most evil place around! Horrible influences! Words can’t even describe the depth of depravity there! And yet, through it all, God made a way for Rahab and all of her family. God allowed her to HEAR of Him and His great testimonies. And Rahab, through a thick veil of darkness, dared to LISTEN and HEAR. She saw the LIGHT and dared to BELIEVE! What a merciful God we serve! What HESED! How truly blessed we are! 
“Sheltered in Place” or not, God can cut through the darkest of evil! He can cut through the worst environments! Nothing can hold God back! He can cut through the deepest despair! He can cut through the deadliest of viruses! He transcends time and space! He will use us even in a gripping season like this one. 
Yield yourselves to Him, allow Him to use you even now! 
For He says to His anointed, to all of us who believe in Him (Isaiah 45:2-3):

“I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.

I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”


Inexpressible Joy

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8)

When my son, Jason, was very young, he was a hearty eater. That boy loved to eat! In fact, he ate pretty much everything I put in front of him. As a well-meaning mother desiring to give her child healthy, nutritional food, one day I tried to get him to eat spinach. After all, Popeye ate spinach and Jason loved those cartoons so it should work. Right? –Wrong! He would have none of that. A few days later, in another attempt, I added applesauce and mixed it well with the spinach. As soon as I went to the kitchen and back, I was delighted to find his plate completely empty. The next day while cleaning, to my dismay, I found a huge pile of spinach and applesauce on the carpet under the dining table! Yikes!

That’s a pretty accurate picture of how we can foolishly reject God’s good provision for us. Our Father offers us good, nutritious food — food that will satisfy and nourish and make us healthy and strong — but we refuse it. Occasionally we may try to satisfy our deep heart hungers by overindulging other appetites. We try to satisfy ourselves with excessive food or drink. We pamper ourselves with unnecessary comforts, like never-ending Netflix or mind-dulling social media and games. Some may seek immoral pleasure in another person or on a screen. As God begins to help us see the dysfunction and unhealthy desires within ourselves, we can begin to see more clearly how savoring what Jesus has for us is much more satisfying than anything the world has to offer. It fills, satisfies and brings joy. Consider these four questions regarding your heart hungers.

1. What Do I Crave?

What do you really want? What do you really yearn for? If you are running after anything other than Jesus for your soul’s ultimate satisfaction, then you’ll be left empty in the end — like trying to sustain yourself on junk food. The pleasures of this life surely are many, but only Jesus offers full, everlasting joy.

2. Why Do I Come to Jesus?

How do you come to him? Sometimes we come to Jesus as a means to our own ends — a way of getting whatever we think we want. We place our order, wait, and expect our request to arrive in the package that we define. False expectations defeat us. So again, why do we come to Jesus? Are we coming to him just to tell him what we want or are we coming to him because he is all we truly need? Begin to meditate more on “who he is” rather than what he does for you. Begin to “know” him.

3. Do I Need Praise?

Do you hunger for the praise of people? That can be delicious, a yummy meal! It can also be addictive. You get a little taste of it, and you want more and more every day. In John 5 Jesus exposes the danger of craving praise from others. “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” Do you detect in yourself a yearning for the praise of others? Do you find yourself sharing stories in which you’re the hero? Do you find yourself spinning stories in such a way that you become the hero? Ouch! Not so delicious. Feeling queasy now!

4. What Makes Me Angry?

What makes you furious? What are some of the things that really tick you off? Do you have road rage? Are you often impatient with your kids? Do you get mad over spilled milk? Do you react because you’re idolizing efficiency and productivity(performance-based) or because you’re trying to do too many things? When you find everlasting joy in Jesus, God will grant you a peace that surpasses any earthly understanding. Sure, you’ll still have lots of ups and downs, but you can cast your concerns and fears on him. Think about your anger — whether it is manifest in loud yelling or quiet grumbling and complaining. What is it that makes you feel that way, and how might that indicate what you’re craving, what you’re idolizing?

Pursue Real Joy

Jesus says, “Do not work for the food that perishes.” So much of the food we crave in life is perishing. At the heart of Christianity is the freedom not to work ourselves ragged, in an effort to buy tons of stuff that isn’t going to last or truly matter. Let’s not clamor for the stuff of this world that is going to perish in the end. Rather, let’s seek to hold these things with an open hand as we pursue a nutritious, divine diet. Delight yourself in the imperishable food, the eternal food, and God will indeed nourish your heart with what you truly need. Savor all that Jesus is for you, and he will fill you with inexpressible JOY!

Fruit of the Spirit… Faithfulness

Faithfulness: Do we do what we say we’ll do, even in the smallest matters?

The faithfulness of God consists, in part, of him always doing what he says he will do: “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). The faithfulness of God’s people consists, likewise, in our making every effort to do what we say we’ll do, even when it hurts.

The Spirit makes us strive to say with Paul, “As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No” (2 Corinthians 1:18). The faithful build such a trustworthy reputation that, when they fail to follow through on their word, others do not say, “Well, you know him,” but are rather surprised. If we say we’ll come to small group, we come. If we commit to cleaning the bathroom, we clean it. If we agree to call someone on Thursday at 4:00, we call on Thursday at 4:00. We labor to be faithful, even if our areas of responsibility right now are only “a little” (Matthew 25:21), knowing that how we handle little responsibilities reveals how we will handle big ones (Luke 16:10; 2 Timothy 2:2).
Father, we pray, make us faithful!

The Death of Fear

Imagine the original Eden. Animals roam freely and peacefully. A mist goes up from the earth, watering the green land and blooming flowers. There’s a chorus of chirping birds, and fish dance in the glistening water. Trees offer their fruits for savoring, while flowers delight with sweet fragrances and vibrant colors. Each day the sky’s aglow with handcrafted sunsets and shimmering constellations.

With a whisper, the scene changes. Dissonance builds. Fruit from the forbidden tree is rebelliously ingested and, as promised, the eyes of the first man and woman open. Their bones quake with foreign feelings of shame, humiliation, and overpowering panic. “We disobeyed the God who made us. We’re going to die!”

Adam and Eve heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden and they hid themselves from His presence among the trees. God called to the man and said, “Where are you?” And Adam said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Gen. 3:8–10)
And just like that, FEAR entered the world.

What did this fear cause Adam and Eve to do? Hide. And don’t we still?
We hide in our fig leaves of false security, our caves of caution, and our self-made dams of disbelief, terrified someone might see us for who we really are: dirty, insecure, and weak. It should come as no surprise that our default setting is fear.

Like Adam and Eve, we hide. We bury pain and protect ourselves from feeling it ever again. We cover the blemishes, gloss over the less-than-desirable parts, avoid the shame and guard our hearts. And no matter what we attempt on our own we cannot escape our fears. We need rescue.

At the core, beyond the rising blood pressure, increased heart rate, and heightened awareness, fear tells us we need a Savior. Whether it’s a fear of failure, rejection, death, or the dark, fear sends a signal to our souls that we cannot be the center of the universe. There is more to life than us. Fear whispers of our brokenness and cries for security, for refuge, for something (Someone) bigger to protect us.

Fear prompts us to run, to hide from God and from other people our vulnerability and our weakness. But for those who are in Christ, we are just that—in Christ. We don’t have to hide because we’ve been hidden in the wounds of the suffering Savior.

God cursed the serpent, the man, and the woman, but he wasn’t finished with them yet: “And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). Our merciful Creator gave them a new wardrobe. Just as he graciously made Adam and Eve garments of animal skin, God clothes all who repent and believe in Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice.

This is how we fight the soldiers of fear—we fight them with Jesus. We fight them with the gospel. We have a Savior who pursues us, who made an excruciating sacrifice, and who covers us in robes of righteousness, presenting us faultless before his throne.

We no longer need to hide from God; we can run to Him. He’s our shield, our defense, and our fortress of protection (Ps. 18:2). He’s the One who guards our hearts (Phil. 4:6–7). We don’t have to hide ourselves with garments of self-protection, because he hides us in the shadow of his wings (Ps. 17:8).

The gospel is the answer to insecurities, paralyzing anxiety, and life-sucking fear. The blessed reality of Christ in us tenderly blasts the brick and mortar around our hearts like dynamite. He loves us too much to let any walls remain that keep us from believing we’re safe apart from his protection.

We can let go of fear and joyfully accept the love of our God. He wants all of us; he died to purchase every speck of our dirt in order to display his heart-cleansing, wardrobe-giving, fear-destroying grace.

(Sophie McDonald’s article on Fear modified by Karen Schagunn)

The Challenge of Obedience

As Christians our general expectation is that if we just obey God and do what He tells us to do, then circumstances, although difficult, will somehow work out in the end. In the macro sense, that statement is certainly true. Ultimately, obedience to God is always the best choice. However, it is that little word “ultimately” that causes us to stumble. Taking giant steps of faith in a direction we believe to be right and then watching the results plummet can certainly challenge our faith. Obedience may seem quite unpleasant to us when we try to do the right thing and our efforts seem to explode in our face. We take a giant step forward, obey God with as much courage as we can muster, and still we end up frustrated and wondering if we read Him wrong. It’s easy in many cultures to view ourselves as the center of the universe. We may spend hours seeking God on behalf of our family, our job, our education, and our future plans. But, life simply doesn’t begin and end with us. Our needs and wants should not be the focal points of our lives and our prayers. As the cliché goes: if you start with “you,” you’ll end with “you” and you will accomplish little—starting with yourself and your problems can lead to confusion and to more discouragement. However, starting with God, laying it all at His feet, leads us to the only solid ground we’ll ever know. 

Indestructible Daughters

Mission Obstacles

Unforgiveness is excess baggage, daughters, weighing down our lives and destroying our mission. People need loving the most when they deserve it the least. If Jesus had waited until His enemies repented He’d never have prayed on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Sure, it’s easier to forgive when others acknowledge their offense. But if that’s a prerequisite, you may never experience victory. In his book Surprised by Hope, N. T. Wright, a New Testament scholar says, “Forgiveness, is God’s way of life and God’s way to life.” You may let someone off your hook, but that doesn’t mean they’re off God’s hook. He will deal with them the right way and bring about the right result, which is something you can’t do. Besides, what you don’t forgive—you have to relive. So for your own sake daughters, forgive, take back your lives, and begin walking in the blessing of the Lord. Walking in forgiveness is choosing to live a large life. As N.T Wright puts it, “If we close our hearts to forgiveness, then we close our hearts to God!”

Indestructible Daughters

Bread for the Hungry

My father, a pilot in the Air Force, was killed on active duty flying into French Guiana many years ago. As a result, at 8 years old, I was officially classified by the military as a war orphan. Today I read an interesting article about war orphans. It seems that at the end of World War II, the Allied forces found many hungry and starving orphans. And while they received excellent care and were well fed, the orphans couldn’t fall asleep or stay asleep. One psychologist came up with a solution that worked. Each child was given a piece of bread to hold on to when they went to bed. This allowed the children to sleep soundly, because they were assured they would have food the next day.

Today many people live in spiritual hunger every day and they don’t even recognize it. And many people face types of wars like anger, unrest, temptation, illness, doubt, and unbelief, they can’t even begin to navigate.
My friend if you want peace, comfort and sustaining food for your life, regardless of the battles you may face… hold on to Jesus, He is the bread of life, the bread that fills and sustains, the bread that gives eternal life to all who believe in Him.

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
(John 6:35)

The Real Story

The Real Story of St. Patrick’s Day
Many celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 and hang pictures of shamrocks and mythical creatures called leprechauns. But who was St. Patrick, and why do we celebrate his life on this day?
Patrick lived a full life, but not without his share of suffering and adventure. He was born in Britain, in the fourth century A.D., during a time of great uncertainty for the Roman Empire. The Roman legions that once protected civilized Britain from barbaric invaders were called away to defend themselves in other regions of the Roman Empire. Therefore, Britain was left vulnerable to attacks.
Just before Patrick turned 16 years old, he and his family spent time at their holiday villa by the sea, located outside the town of Bannaventa Berniae, when Irish pirates attacked it just before dawn. Some say the villa was attacked during the day while Patrick played on the beach. Although Patrick’s family escaped, Patrick and many of the family’s workers did not; and soon they were en route to Ireland, where Patrick was sold as a slave to Miliuc of Slemich, a Druid tribal chieftain.
Patrick was given the task of a herdsman. Though raised in a Christian home (his father, Calpornius, was a civil magistrate and tax collector, as well as a church deacon), Patrick never made a decision to follow Christ until he was kidnapped and made a slave. In his autobiography, Confessions, Patrick wrote, “…‘the Lord opened my senses to my unbelief,’ so that, though late in the day, I might remember my many sins; and accordingly ‘I might turn to the Lord my God with all my heart.’” He also wrote about how his faith in God grew as he prayed to Him while he shepherded the flocks: “But after l had come to Ireland, it was then that I was made to shepherd the flocks day after day, and, as l did so, I would pray all the time, right through the day. More and more the love of God and fear of Him grew strong within me, and as my faith grew, so the Spirit became more and more active … In snow, in frost, in rain, I would hardly notice any discomfort, and I was never slack but always full of energy. It is clear to me now, that this was due to … the Spirit within me.”
But Patrick’s devotion to God did not go unnoticed. He soon earned the nickname “Holy Boy” among his fellow slaves.
One night Patrick had a dream. In it he heard a voice telling him, “Soon you will be returning to your own country.” In another dream he received a response to the first dream, being told, “Come and see where your ship is waiting for you.” At the age of 22, Patrick escaped and traveled 200 miles to the coast of Ireland. Of his long journey across Ireland, he wrote: “I turned on my heel and ran away, leaving behind the man to whom I had been bound for six years. Yet I came away from him in the power of God, for it was He who was guiding my every step for the best. And so I felt not the least anxiety until I reached the ship.”
Patrick approached one of the men on the ship that rested on the coast. When he asked to board, the seaman scowled at him. Patrick started to leave when the man called back to him, saying the other passengers wanted him on board. Patrick wrote, “In spite of this, I still hoped that they might come to have faith in Jesus Christ.”
The journey by boat was long, including a stop where they journeyed on land for 28 days. After having run out of food, the captain turned to Patrick and challenged him to ask his God for more. Glad to oblige, Patrick responded, “Turn trustingly to the Lord who is my God and put your faith in Him with all your heart, because nothing is impossible to Him. On this day, He will send us food sufficient for our journey, because for Him there is abundance everywhere.” According to Patrick’s autobiography, when the men turned around, a herd of pigs was standing before them. They feasted for days and gave thanks to God.
Two years later Patrick finally made it to his beloved Britain and into the arms of his mother and father who pleaded with him never to leave them again. Patrick began to settle back into his life in Britain and studied to become a priest and a bishop. But one night Patrick had a dream of a man who seemed to come from Ireland and was carrying a letter with the words “The Voice of the Irish.” As Patrick began to read the words, he seemed to hear the voice of the same men he worked with as if they were shouting, “Holy broth of a boy, we beg you, come back and walk once more among us.”
But church leaders and Patrick’s parents fiercely opposed his plans to return to Ireland. They did not think the Druids were worth saving. His family shuddered at the thought of him returning to barbaric Ireland with the gospel, as the Druids were known to weave criminals and runaway slaves into giant wicker baskets and suspend them over a fire. Of this opposition Patrick later wrote, “So at last I came here to the Irish gentiles to preach the gospel. And now I had to endure insults from unbelievers, to ‘hear criticism of my journeys’ and suffer many persecutions ‘even to the point of chains.’… And should I prove worthy, I am ready and willing to give up my own life, without hesitation, for His name … There was always someone talking behind my back and whispering, ‘Why does he want to put himself in such danger among his enemies who do not know God?’” Patrick had to sell his title of nobility to become the “slave of Christ serving the barbaric nation.”
While in Ireland, Patrick shared the gospel with his former slave owner, Miliuc the Druid. But instead of turning his back on his pagan gods, Miliuc locked himself in his house and set it on fire while Patrick stood outside and pleaded with him to turn to Christ. It is said that Miliuc drowned out Patrick’s pleas by crying out to his false gods.
Miliuc’s refusal to hear the gospel was just the beginning of Patrick’s challenges with the Druids as he spread the Good News across Ireland and taught its people how to read and write. One story that some believe is legend mentions Patrick challenging the Druid wizards in 433 A.D., on the vernal equinox, which occurred on Easter Sunday that year. Patrick challenged the wizards’ power of control by starting a bonfire, which was central to the Druids’ ritual, on a hillside opposite of the barbaric idol-worshippers. Patrick was dragged before the Druid council where he had the opportunity to share about Jesus, the light of the world. While some Druids believed, others tried to kill him.
Patrick continued his journey across Ireland. He preached at racetracks and other places of worldly indulgences, seeing many come to Christ. However, this was not without opposition. The Druids often tried to poison him. One time a barbarian warrior speared Patrick’s chariot driver to death in an attempt to kill Patrick. He was often ambushed at his evangelistic events and was enslaved again for a short time. He had to purchase safe passage through a hostile warlord’s land to continue on his journey. Another time Patrick and his companions were taken as prisoners and were going to be killed, but they were later released. In Confessions, Patrick wrote, “As every day arrives, I expect either sudden death or deception, or being taken back as a slave or some such other misfortune. But I fear none of these, since I look to the promise of heaven and have flung myself into the hands of the all-powerful God, who rules as Lord everywhere.”
Patrick journeyed throughout Ireland, sharing Christ until his death on March 17, around the year 461 A.D. Later Irish mythological creatures known as leprechauns would creep into the holiday celebrations, as well as the symbol of the shamrock, believed to have been used by Patrick to illustrate the Trinity as he preached and taught. Some legends have circulated stating Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Since there are no snakes in Ireland and snakes often symbolize the devil and evil, many believe the “snakes” were a metaphor representing his work of driving the idol-worshipping Druid cult out of the country.
Enslavement, torture, imprisonment and death for one’s faith in Christ were not confined to Patrick’s lifetime. Today Christians in communist nations like China, Vietnam and Cuba are imprisoned if caught sharing the gospel with fellow countrymen. In Sudan, a Christian boy named Demare was kidnapped by militant Muslims and sold as a slave. And in Vietnam, when members of some tribal groups have come to Christ, they destroy the altars used to pray to their dead ancestors. When fellow villagers and even members of the government hear about this, these new believers in Christ are harassed. Some are even imprisoned for turning away from their empty religions of idol and ancestor worship.
We may never be enslaved, imprisoned or beaten because of our faith in Christ, but many may make fun of us for believing in Jesus’ promise of heaven and placing our faith in a God they do not see with their eyes and cannot touch with their hands.
I pray this version of Patrick’s courageous life will inspire you to stand firm in Christ and stand strong for Him as you tell others about the greatest gift we can ever be given – salvation through Jesus!

(VOM Global Ministry)

Seeing God’s Glory

I received this email recently from a former student:
Dear Karen, I’m writing because I would love to hear more from you on what “God’s Glory” means. I was reading my Bible today and the verse in John 12:43 stuck out to me…it says “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God”. I was meditating on that and wanting God’s glory in my life, far above my own glory. But I’m often not sure how I practically live that out or what it fully means for God to be glorified.

By the grace of God I did my best to answer:

What is the glory that Jesus sought? Steve Hawthorne, of Waymakers Ministry, in The Story of His Glory defines glory as the essential worth, the substance, and the radiant beauty of something. Jesus’ life purpose was to glorify His Father, to recognize His intrinsic worth and spread it to the multitudes.
In John 17: 1-5 Jesus looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

On the final night of His life Jesus does not refer to his life in terms of himself. He realized that he had a specific assignment and a mission: His Father’s mission. He also understood and believed that the incomprehensible depth of His sacrifice on the cross was worth it all! To pursue our Father’s glory gives passion for the mission he has called us to do.

John Piper describes it in this way:
Take a look at the scripture: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3).
The glory of God is the manifest beauty of his holiness. It is the going public of his holiness. It is the way he puts his holiness on display for people to understand. So the glory of God is the holiness of God made manifest.

How does it play out practically today?
As a believer you can see the glory of God everywhere. We need eyes. We need eyes more than we need anything. The enemy of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the knowledge of His glory (2 Corinthians 4:4–6). They can’t see what you and I have the ability to see. Abiding in His presence is key. When His presence is on me, I can see his glory everywhere I look. I say to myself, “ That’s it, that’s it over there, I see it everywhere: in the mountains, in the sky, in my living room as I sit on the floor and His spirit washes over me, in the birth of a child, in healing miracles, in the deaf Ethiopian woman whose ears were opened to hear, in the joy on the face of a Somalian woman who just received Christ. His glory also manifests through His gifting, through visions, dreams, word of knowledge, through the scripture. Dear friend pray that the Lord enhances your gifting. You have many gifts. Don’t limit them. Don’t limit yourself and don’t limit God. Ask Him to endow you with all the gifts to be used for the glory of His kingdom. His glory manifests through them.
When I am in His presence, I am alert to see everything that He manifests, therefore I can abide in His glory because I can abide continually in His presence. Begin praying that daily for yourself.
Pray: “Lord help me to abide in your presence. Show me your glory every day of my life.”
Worship more. His presence abides in worship. When I wake up each morning I hear worship in my ears as if He’s singing to me and I know He’s there. It’s such a beautiful touch from my Father. He alters my perspective of everything I see and hear. When His glory is loosed on us, we manifest it to reach and benefit others, then they manifest it and it becomes a gift of glory that we give back to our Father.
My friend, cry out as Moses did, ” Show me your glory Lord. Please use me as a vessel of your glory Lord that I may serve you fully to reach others and then bring that glory back to you. I surrender all that I am to you. May your glory rain over me. In Jesus’ name. Amen”

May His glory rain on you and through you my friend.May you one day stand before him and say:
“My Father, I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”



Tackling Avoidance

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” James 4:17.  
If we know what we should do, the bottom line is … we must do it. God wants us to do our part and He will do His part. He wants us to do what is possible and thankfully He is the one who handles the impossible. This morning I started a new regimen of diet, gym and prayer. Lately, I’ve been feeling compelled to kick it up a notch. Several mornings I’ve been envisioning myself on my knees for a much longer stint than usual. Some of the ideas and tasks that keep popping in my mind are more challenging than I can possibly handle. Regrettably, I know I’ve been pushing the avoidance button on some of these things way too long. So today is a new day and by God’s grace, I’m essentially stepping it up, decidedly doing my part, building myself up for the task, strengthening my inner man, confronting my fears, and trying to do all that I can to prepare for the challenge before me. 

Remember Noah. What a guy! When God spoke to him, he didn’t wait for God to put a boat in his front yard—he did his part and built the boat. So lately I’ve been asking myself, Karen, are you doing all you can to obey God in the latest task he’s laid before you? Are you obeying God’s directions in your life or selectively closing your eyes and ears on some things and hitting the avoidance button on others? Are you really trusting God to do the impossible?
The good news is God wants to work in our lives right now. He wants to use us where we are and just as we are. He’s not waiting for us to be holier, or more educated, or better equipped. It’s His holiness, His wisdom, and His power in us that brings success and victory. He’s just waiting for us to be obedient and take the next step.
What battle or challenge are you facing today? What gifts and talents do you have that God can use to bring victory in that challenge?
Prayer is a powerful weapon. How is your prayer life? Do you consistently cover your life and your family with prayer?
God wants us to start where we are, use what we have, and do what we can.

Today I’m asking him to strengthen each of us to accomplish these principles in our lives. We don’t want to waste a single day of our lives trying to substitute other things for the destiny God has planned for us. God put that destiny inside us. He wants us to live it out. May we not allow discouragement or doubt to overtake us. Regret looks back. Worry looks around. But victory looks up.

Father, may You strengthen us all. May we not hesitate and avoid the tasks You have called us to do. Forgive us Father for avoidance, which is also disobedience to You. May we live in fullness the future you have planned for us.