Salt

But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26

The story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah depicts the full wrath of God as it was poured out on those who chose not to accept His grace and mercy. Repentance was far from the people’s hearts as they refused to acknowledge and turn from their wicked ways.

Abraham, introducing the power of intercessory prayer, attempted to change God’s mind (God’s mind can change, but His character forever remains the same) and spare the city if righteous people could be found. However, even Abraham’s influence was not enough for God’s perfect justice to be served.

Many lessons can be gleaned from the words of Genesis 19. God’s abundant mercy and justice are very evident. God plainly displays His love for His people and His intolerance for unrepented sin. The fact God allows man’s freewill to take precedent over His own heart speaks volumes about the character of the God we serve.

Through all of that, there is one aspect of the story that is often not seen in its fullness. Remember Genesis 19:26 tells us, “But Lot’s Wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

What an image these words have seared in the minds of believers. We can all picture a pillar of salt in the form of a woman whose head is thrown back as she strained to allow her eyes – and heart – one last look at her old life. The angels guiding the group away from the destruction implored them not to ‘look back’, yet even the prodding of angels could not deter one fleeting glance toward the dying city.

Lot’s wife paid for her disobedience with her life. With that one look, she was turned into a pillar of salt instantly.

It is interesting to note that salt has been used as a preservative for centuries because of its ability to draw water out of cells via the process of osmosis. When water is removed from the cells of whatever is to be preserved, the result is a form of suspension of the normal life or death cycle. Whatever is preserved remains in a stable, or unchanging, state indefinitely.
This is actually a form of death.

Perhaps God chose a pillar of salt as the final resting state of Lot’s wife because it symbolizes a timeless principle that is foundational in the development of one’s spiritual life.

Recalling John 4 which details Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, Jesus describes Himself as living water. He further states the water He gives “will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Lot’s wife made a fateful decision to refuse the living water when she peeked back at her old life. She had been granted a reprieve – a second chance saturated with God’s grace– to move away from the destruction of what was familiar to her. Yet as she turned around the gift of living water was drained from her.

The living water that had flowed through her body was instantly drawn from every cell resulting in a lifeless form of salt.

Now it is true that tangible pillar of salt people are not a common sight in our everyday life, but can we become like a ‘pillar of salt’ when we allow the living water -Jesus- to leave our hearts and minds?

The principle of the story of Lot’s wife can indeed be applied to any believer’s life. We are often led by the Spirit to ‘not look back’, yet often have a difficult time leaving a season of life that has run its course. We may feel the Spirit’s nudge to go, but leaving the familiar is scary and uncomfortable so we often remain.

Fear can turn us into a ‘pillar of salt’ causing us to be forever struck in a place, or mindset, we are no longer meant to be. The living water that is designed to flow through us and push us further on our faith walk becomes stagnant, eventually running dry leaving us as symbolic salt pillars.

Even when we do more forward, how many times are we tempted to ‘look back’ causing us to doubt that the way ahead really is better for us?

With each seemingly innocent peek back do we lose more of our ability to discern it is time to move away from the old? Does each glance back drain a bit more of the living water from us?

When a feeling of stagnation creeps into your soul, make sure the living water is being allowed to flow freely within you. If a feeling of paralysis overtakes you when the Spirit is nudging you towards a new season, make sure your focus is on things ahead, not behind.

The words of Luke 17:32-33 reveal the irony of our life of faith, “Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.”

Lot’s wife tried to keep her old life within her sights. As a result, one simple glance back forever kept her from flowing into the new life God had ordained for her.

Focus forward and allow the living water to sweep you toward all God desires for you.

Find

“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22 NIV

Our culture today is obsessed with enhancing quality of life and finding the answer to get perfect health. It is amazing how much time, effort and money goes to pursuing physical, emotional and mental wellness.

People often assume a more expensive or advanced remedy is automatically better, thus feeding the cycle of discovery. The hunger to find a path to a satisfying life and the accompanying thirst to perfect our health consumes far too many of us.

We wonder how our lives will be viewed as we age. Will our life have the same meaning as when we were younger? Will our health keep us from things we desire to participate in?

We have allowed society to set the standard for what life and health must look like. So we set out to find whatever it will take for us to attain that artificial benchmark.

Proverbs 4:20-22 points to the true standard of life and health.

Ironically, the words of this scripture verse do not specifically define what life and health encompasses in tangible terms. Instead the passage directs us to a foundation truth in which life and health are built.

That truth is the Word of God.

The reader is first instructed to ‘pay attention’ to what is about to be revealed. The author of the passage leaves no doubt as to the importance of conveying this timeless principle. They engage our ears, eyes, and hearts to make sure complete and proper focus is given to the impending declaration.

The most intriguing facet of the passage is the use of the word ‘find’.

To find is to put forth effort to make our pursuits lead to greater revelation.

Matthew 7:7-8 also illuminates a similar use of the word find as seen in Proverbs:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks and receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Both of these scriptures convey a very vital part a believer must play in order to build upon their life-giving faith.

We must take an active role is hearing, seeing and internalizing a worldview that honors the one true God, Creator of the universe.

We must listen and discern the sound of the Shepherd among the many voices that compete for our attention.

We must direct our focus only on things that honor and glorify God.

We must open our hearts and allow the truth of God’s Word to be seared within it.

As we seek out Truth with humbled submission, we will find it.

We are led to the ground in which our life should be rooted in by pursuing faith with our ears, eyes, and hearts.

Our standard for life and health are now grounded in the unchanging Word and not in a fickle, ever moving worldly view or earthly remedy.

When we put forth the effort to find God’s Word and put it at the forefront of all we do, we will be given life in abundance (John 10:10). It will be “health to your flesh and strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8).

Provision

Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

One of the most touching attributes of God is His tenacious desire to provide for the body, soul and, spirit of His beloved children. He is our Jehovah Jirah – the Lord who provides.

Unfortunately, we can misinterpret what it truly means for God to provide for us.

When we fail to grasp the true dimensions of God’s all-encompassing provision, we lose the full benefit of what He desperately wants to bestow in our lives.

Our concept of provision tends to focus on what we perceive as ‘good’ – what will benefit us in tangible or quantifiable ways.

The provisions of ample money, a safe home, or good health are all blessings from our Father. We miss out on the full spectrum of provision He desires for us if we only see God providing for our material needs.

As both physical and spiritual beings, it would make sense that provision would also be physical and spiritual.

Provision on a spiritual level is often overlooked because it can be misunderstood or even disregarded in the fallen world we inhabit.

Ironically, provision from God can also come in the form of desires that are not fulfilled. For example, a new job that seems perfect could be really a dangerous path to take. Rejection from a loved one could be God’s provision of protection from that person.

As we truly submit our entire life to God, we invite His presence to move uninhibited in all areas of our being. Therefore, His provision on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels will flow freely in the course of our earthly journey.

God readily displays the provision He makes available to us through His Word. The entire Bible is full of illustrations of His provision in circumstances concerning body, soul, and spirit.

From the manna the young Israelite nation received in the wilderness, to the sacrifice of His Son on the cross, God exposes His heart’s desire to care for us.

My hope is that you will be challenged to redefine what provision from God is, and begin to view it from a spiritual lens which reveals His heart for you. Allow His sweet Spirit to deepen your understanding of the tender ways God intimately and perfectly provides for all your needs.

Pursuit

Genesis 3:9 “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’”

This Bible verse is one of my absolute favorites because I believe it summarizes the immensurable and endless love God has for us as His beloved children.

These words often get overlooked by all the chaos going on in the Garden that is recorded in the third chapter of Genesis.

Recall, Adam and Eve were enjoying the paradise of the Garden God had placed them in when their lying enemy showed up in the form of a serpent.

Lies and deception are the calling cards of Satan, and that is exactly the hand he played for Adam and Eve.

When it was all said and done, the Garden had been lost and all things on earth became a twisted version of God’s original intent.

Before creation of mankind, Satan himself had been cast out of the paradise of Heaven along with a third of heavenly angels. He rode his pride right out of the Throne Room of God in the blink of an eye.

Jesus describes it in Luke 10 when He declared, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

The experience of that extraordinary fall might have been one of the motivations Satan had for deceiving Adam and Eve right out of their Eden.

Satan was banished from paradise and was forever designated to be an enemy of God.

Satan sinned; God banished. A love bond was forever broken.

Imagine what Satan thought when He first peered into the newly formed Garden and saw all the beauty God created. I am sure it reminded him of the splendor of his former Heavenly home.

Imagine what he felt when he saw Adam and Eve, God’s beloved children, walking in the cool of the day with Him.

The enemy witnessed the Creator and His new creation interacting in perfect communion.

No doubt his pride rose up once again and he devised a plan to separate what God had intended to bless forever.

He formulated the scheme to deceive Adam and Eve into sin, hoping to cause their exile from the God-created paradise of the Garden.

Sin, banishment and another love bond broken forever.

For a while all seemed to be going according to his devious plan as Adam and Eve fell rather quickly into sin.

Once that fateful bite was taken, Satan surely was sitting back and waiting for all hell to break loose in the Garden.

Satan sitting and waiting and listening.

But what he heard first was not the sound of the creation crumbling under the weight of sin. Satan heard three words out of the very mouth of God that revealed His great love and the fullness of His character that initiated the story of our redemption.

Where Are You?

These are the words of God seeking Adam and Eve AFTER their sin.
I wonder what Satan thought when he learned he once again underestimated God.

I wonder what Satan thought when the weight of those three words broke into his reality.

I wonder what Satan thought when he realized God was going to pursue His fallen creation.

I wonder what Satan thought when he understood that the love bond God ordained between Himself and mankind could never be broken.

These three simple words established a powerful truth that needs to be understood by every child of God – and that includes everyone on this planet without qualifiers.

God is pursuing every one of us because He desires a relationship with every one of us.

Because of the fall in the Garden, a sin nature corrupted the original design by the Father.

A Holy God cannot walk in the cool of the day with sin-inflicted man simply because darkness disappears in the presence of light.

Adam and Eve’s sin did result in consequences that mark all of humanity, and we all became responsible for paying the heavy price.

But in the midst of all the chaos that followed the fall in the Garden, we have our Father reaching out to us, knowing exactly where we are among the sin and brokenness of our life.

God saw His broken humanity and sent His own Son to our fallen world to rescue us.

Jesus came to earth to reestablish the Garden relationship.

God still sees each one of us whether or not we believe He does, or even wants to.

It does not matter how far we stray from Him or how unworthy we feel.
God is pursuing each one of us.

When, with submitted hearts, we utter a gentle “I am here, Father”, He draws us close and clothes us in His righteousness.

He banishes our shame and restores our place in the Garden.

God orchestrated and activated His redemptive plan because He looks forward to the day when His beloved children will once again be able to stroll with Him in the Garden.

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” – Leviticus 26:12

Training

Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”

This verse reflects God’s answer to the prophet Jeremiah when he questioned why his life was filled with trails, yet he saw the wicked-minded around him flourish in amazing ways.

Even though this exchange between God and prophet took place several millennia ago; it reveals a timeless reflection that is rooted in every human heart.

Jeremiah’s question to the Lord is often found on the lips of every submitted believer at some point in their faith journey.

I have wondered on many occasions why my attempts to move forward in my faith were often meet with fierce opposition.

I could grasp why that would happen in a secular setting, but deep frustration and discouragement set in when the resistance came as I attempted to advance God’s Kingdom.

My lamenting to God concerning those situations was usually delivered with both questioning and genuine anger.

Often I did not see the purpose in all the distractions that would pop up, and the extra steps that were needed to resolve those issues before I could move forward again.

I was perplexed by the smooth road some were given even though their motives were not Kingdom minded.

Why wouldn’t God want to keep those with pure motives toward Him encouraged and edified by allowing what is pleasing to Him prosper quickly?

Jeremiah felt this frustration in the same manner as we believers feel it as well.

But I just love it when God shows up, answers our questions and leaves us with a sense of peace that only He can deliver.

God did not answer Jeremiah by stating that He was going to make immediate adjustments to injustices.

Further, God did not insist that Jeremiah stay silent and not reveal the issues troubling his heart.

God not only answered Jeremiah, but He also brought forth a truth of His character and gave a glimpse of the depth of love He has for His children.

God’s response was a reminder to Jeremiah that He did see that trials and tribulations the prophet was enduring now. He knew of the wickedness and deception that was plaguing Jeremiah’s situation.

With the response, Jeremiah was reminded that God, the Creator of all, was omnipresent. God saw the faithfulness of Jeremiah in the same way He sees the hearts and desires of those submitted to Him.

Amazingly, God’s response also showed how delighted God was with Jeremiah. God knew Jeremiah to be faithful and true to His Word.

God delights in that faithfulness and, paradoxically, that is what often times brings about difficult circumstances.

I do believe that many of the trails and tribulations that God allows in our lives are because He trusts that we will remain faithful regardless of circumstances. That is not to say we will not question, but He knows we can be trusted to stay the course.

Through His response, God reveals the trials and tribulations that face believers are methods to strengthen and stretch character and faith in order to accomplish feats far greater than can be imagined.

God helps us to stand firm and true in the midst of the raging battles of our physical environment and spiritual realities.

He trains us through injustice so we grow strong in His character.

He trains us through trails so we can stand firm in the midst of chaos.

He trains us through tribulations so we can fight the good fight.

2 Timothy 4:7 reflects the condition of a heart completely submitted to God when the apostle Paul looks back on his ministry to the Lord, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.”

God will not send us out to do His work knowing we are not prepared properly. He loves us too much to do that.

The Lord knows what our future holds as we continue our faith journey. He sees the entire picture and understands what will be needed in order to stand firm in the midst of adversity.

In order to finish the race with God honoring Kingdom results, we must allow God to train us in His ways and acknowledge His sovereignty in all circumstances.

God will teach us how to overcome the footman so we will be strong enough to prevail among the horses.

God will instruct us how to expand faith that is easily accessible in peaceful days into faith that is victorious in seasons of battle.

God desires that we become victorious and prosperous in all areas of life regardless of circumstances.

Allow the Lord to equip you for the ministry He created you for.

Embrace trails in life as God revealing His delight in your faithfulness and trustworthiness.

Anchor

Hebrews 6:19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

Webster dictionary defines an anchor as “a heavy device that is attached to a boat or ship by a rope or chain and that is thrown into the water to hold the boat or ship in place.”

It further identifies an anchor as “a person or thing that provides strength and support.

In Hebrews 6:19, the author uses the term anchor because it was a very relevant object used in the lives of first century Christians. An anchor’s function was easily understood and the absolute importance of it was very apparent.

Likewise in today’s culture, the term anchor holds the same understanding and functional importance.

Believers throughout the centuries have used anchor as a way to describe the grounding effect a relationship with our Creator has to all aspects of life.

As we anchor into the grace and mercy God delightfully bestows upon His children, we are provided protection from drifting aimlessly through life searching for a safe harbor that cannot be found.

As I have grown in my faith over the years, the understanding that only God can be a true anchor in this life has become a foundational truth for me. If my thoughts, words or actions are not rooted (anchored) in the living God, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, then they truly hold no eternal value.

Imagine my surprise when, although confident I was anchored properly, I found myself confused and disappointed at certain points in my faith walk.

Impatience began to walk hand in hand with my enthusiasm for writing projects to blossom.

Disappointment settled into my soul when I perceived my spiritual progress slowing.

Confusion crept into my spirit as I wondered if I was focused on things I was truly called to do.

My anchor was properly in place, yet I felt like I was drifting out of place.

I prayed about my feelings, and reaffirmed to God that my desire was to dwell in His shelter and rest in His mighty shadow.

I believe He acknowledged my prayers as I sensed His peaceful approval concerning the direction I was walking in.

But He also impressed upon me that, although my anchor was in the proper place, I was allowing myself to be swept into areas of spiritual life that He had not yet prepared me for. I was walking outside of the timing (and the areas) He had ordained for me.

I received a mental picture of me tethered to an anchor by an unusually long rope.

I chose God as my anchor and received blessing from that, but I also allowed myself to choose the length of rope that attached me to my Anchor.

Because I allowed that rope to stretch into places that I truly was not spiritually ready for, I drifted into areas that housed impatience, confusion and disappointment.

I made the choice to allow myself access to places that God knew I would be overwhelmed by. Places that I was not spiritually mature enough to understand and act properly upon.

I believe the length of our ‘rope’ that extends from the Anchor is tied to our spiritual maturity.

As we press into God and learn all that He desires to teach and empower us with, He lengthens our ‘rope’, which in turn allows us to venture into the new places, experiences and opportunities that are ordained by Him.

We often believe that as long as we are truly anchored in the Lord, it is safe for us to ‘lengthen’ our rope as we see fit.

But Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

A desire to serve God with our whole heart and soul is what believers strive for, but we must be mindful that all aspects of the relationship must be submitted to Him.

We cannot ‘decide’ to walk into an area because it seems appealing to us, or offer help in a situation when the timing is convenient for us.

We must be called or directed to the areas that God has ordained for us to bring His life and love to. It is within this act of submission of our will that the spiritual climate on earth is impacted for the glory of God.

God showed me that my intentions were good, and He was pleased I was submitted to Him as my source of life. But He also allowed me to experience the consequences of stepping past the boundaries of His placement and timing.

If impatience, disappointment, confusion or any other feelings that dim the desire to live out faith begin to fill your soul, check the length of the ‘rope’ that anchors you to the Savior.

Ask God if you have drifted outside of the scope and timing of the ministry the Lord has for you.

Ask God to give you a renewed vision for the season you are in.

Ask God to help you retain your focus on the Anchor and submit the length of rope He has provided to you.

Once done, you will know your soul is firm and secure in the Good Father and He will lead you to your ordained places in His perfect timing.

Hands and Feet

Luke 24:39-40 “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When He said this, he showed them his hands and feet.”

We, as believers, often talk about the hands and feet of Jesus.

It is usually in the context of being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Within the Christian faith, we are taught that we are now the tangible force on the earth to carry forth the good works Jesus did in His humanity.

Our faith holds that we become the hands and feet of Jesus when we display compassion and love in tangible ways which help ease the burden of others.

It takes our hands and feet to show Jesus to a fallen world by partaking in acts such as feeding the poor, cleaning up areas after a natural disaster, or maybe just a random act of kindness to a stranger.

I love that the Christian faith calls us into action in a way that reflects the compassion Jesus had for all people.

Wanting to understand this concept a bit deeper, I searched the Bible for the words “hands and feet”, believing it would take me to scripture verses that would bring me to a new revelation of reflecting Jesus in my own life.

Surprisingly, I searched and found no verses containing that particular phrase.

I tweaked my search for anything that might even remotely show the popular concept of the meaning of that phrase.

I found nothing.

I was confused because for years I had heard the term “be the hands of feet of Jesus” used so much, and in so many situations, I was sure it was a Scripture verse!

Troubled, I brought my concern to a small group of believers I meet with weekly.

After detailing to them my search, a friend responded: “When you say ‘hands and feet of Jesus’ my first thought goes straight to the cross.”

I was floored by that observation.

I had never tied the concept of Jesus’ hands and feet and the cross together that directly.

Being the hands and feet of Jesus usually allows us to act out our faith in ways we enjoy the most. Our actions working in this capacity often elicits gratitude from people.

We see tears of joy directed to us and warm hugs of appreciation filling our souls.

For the most part, when we are the hands and feet of Jesus, we aren’t being criticized or mocked for our faith.

Given all of that, I wondered why the only specific reference to Jesus’ hands and feet in the Bible was in relation to the cross.

I begin to focus on what exactly it was that Jesus was doing with his hands and feet at the cross.

Obviously, Jesus needed his hands to carry the cross and His feet to walk to the place of crucifixion.

But the only common function both His hands and feet had was to receive the nails need to hold Him to the cross.

Practically speaking, the hands and feet of Jesus were submitted to the cross.

I believe this is very symbolic of Jesus being submitted to His Father and His Father’s will.

Jesus’ hands and feet on the cross give us a visual of the very foundation of obedience to the earthy charge He was given by His Father.

Perhaps this then becomes the foundation of the meaning of ‘being the hands and feet of Jesus.’

When we display our faith to the world in tangible ‘hands and feet of Jesus’ kind of ways, without remembering the most important role played by His hands and feet at the cross, something very powerful is missed.

The concept of being the hands and feet of Jesus must first be developed from a place of submission to our Creator and the will He desires in our life.

The question becomes, “Can we truly be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world if we have not totally submitted our own will to God?”

How often do we live out our own desires or agendas under the guise of faith?

How often are we frustrated when our ‘good works’ do not play out as we had hoped?

Because we live in such a fallen world, it is difficult to surrender our lives to God trusting totally in His grace and mercy alone.

But, this is exactly what we are called to do in order to have the same eternal impact on the world Jesus had during His earthly ministry.

The image of Jesus on the cross with nails in His hands and feet is a powerful declaration of His willingness to submit to the Father.

Through this picture, we are given the key to truly being the hands and feet of Jesus.

It is by submission and obedience to the Father, our works as the hands and feet of Jesus truly give a heavenly touch to the world.

Walk

Genesis 3:8 “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

Genesis 5:22 “After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God for 300 years and had other sons and daughters.”

Genesis 6:9 “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”

Genesis 48:15 “Then he blessed Joseph and said, ‘May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day.”

The verses above all list a common relational thread between God and some of His beloved children.

Starting with Adam and Eve, we can follow this sweet pattern as it embraces Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Isaac.

The surprising element that ties all of these pillars of faith together is simply that they all walked with God.

Webster defines the verb walk in several ways, but there are two usages that best reflect the relationship between the Creator and His creation.

To walk can mean “to come or go easily or readily” and “to pursue a course of action or way of life”.

Of course the story of Genesis tells us that before the fall, Adam and Eve physically walked with God in the cool of the day.

What an incredibly sweet image that is!

Although there is debate as to whether or not the others physically walked with God, the word walked is still used to describe their relationship with God.

The term walk again implies to come or go easily.

Adam and Eve did not chase after God.

Enoch did not strive for God.

Noah did not search for God.

Abraham did not run after God.

Isaac did not hunt for God.

They all walked with God.

The pace they all kept with God was one that allowed them to come or go easily and readily within the relationship.

When walking with God, there is no need to hurry to a fixed end or rush to meet an undefined goal.

God met them at a tempo that would provide the best opportunity for them to savor the time they spent with Him and to grow in His grace.

I believe God intentionally set a ‘leisurely’ walking pace because He knew it was at this speed life and relationship is best enjoyed.

We find a similar pattern in the New Testament as well.

Jesus called men of various vocations to follow Him as disciples. Each had a unique job that carried with it a particular life rhythm. Yet these fishermen, tax collectors, and tradesmen, after encountering Jesus, took on His rhythm of life.

He showed them a slower pace of life that allowed time to engage and encourage people. They learned how to bring the good news of the coming Kingdom in a calm and purposeful way, unshackled from the striving and searching they had known before.

The more they walked with Jesus the more they began to pursue a course of action and way of life that was different than what the world taught and expected of them.

The new way of life was one in which walking with their ultimate Savior replaced chasing, striving, searching, running or hunting for what the world offered.

Through these examples, God is inviting all of us into a similar pace within our relationship with Him.

As we slow down and remove ourselves from the frantic tempo of the world, we are better able to experience relationship with our Father that is unhurried and life-giving.

During the times you feel far from God, check the pace in which you are moving through this life.

Perhaps you have fallen into a rhythm that is out of sync with the movement of God.

Pause long enough to hear Him calling you into a leisurely, life-giving stroll with Him.

Slow down and allow yourself to find rest within His gentle steps and easy stride.

Make it a life goal to come and follow in the footsteps of Adam, Eve, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Isaac by walking faithfully with God.

Obedience

“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22

The above verse conveys the response Samuel posed to Saul (King of Israel) after Saul disregarded God’s specific instruction concerning how to deal with an enemy of Israel’s.

When Saul’s misstep was pointed out to him by Samuel, Saul’s’ response was to justify his disobedience by trying rationalize it with a sacrifice to the Lord.

At first glance, this might not appear to be a big deal at all. Saul was ready to present a burnt offering sacrifice to God as proof that he was following God.

But God did not ask Saul for an offering, God asked Saul for his obedience.

Although I have read this account in Samuel as few times before, I never fully grasped what Samuel was trying to teach Saul here until now.

I have been reminded through this timeless exchange that God has His specific way to do things for very good reasons.

Isaiah 55:8 tells us that God’s thoughts and ways are His alone. As much as we would like to understand why circumstances occur in life, we are just not capable of comprehending the same big picture God sees.

God knows how much fear of the “unknown” in our lives can overwhelm, and even paralyze, us.

God choose to deal with our fear by assuring us that obedience to Him will ultimately trump anything that attempts to discourage or destroy us.

Total obedience to God and His Word is hard, especially in light of the confusing, strange and even tragic circumstances that life presents daily.

When I doubt full obedience to God is the answer to a situation I find myself in, it is vital I remember that I am only seeing a small, worldly view of the situation.

I must remember I am experiencing life in the limited dimension of earthly time, thus my reactions and decisions will be based on a small portion of the entire process God sees.

I also remind myself that God’s glorious plan of redemption for the human race includes my specific and unique life!

Saul viewed his circumstances within his limited lens, and because of that he missed out on the glorious victory God had planned for him and all of Israel.

Saul believed he could circumvent obedience to God by offering a sacrifice to God that He never wanted.

Yet the reality is that anything we give to God, whether it is our works of service or our sacrifices on any level, will only become acceptable as they become an outflow of our obedience to God.

Our obedience is the foundation of the relationship we need to have with our Creator in order for Him to bring His desired plan for our life to fulfillment.

Our acknowledgement that God as our one and only true source of life is demonstrated by the obedience He desires from us.

Allow God to bring about every good thing He desires for your life, both earthly and eternal, through your submitted obedience to Him.

Words

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)

During the course of my spiritual journey, God has shown me that how I define words is not necessarily the same way He views them.

In Isaiah 55:8 God declares to us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”

Now that verse certainly is true, but sometimes I think we take practical, everyday words and assume that God’s understanding of them are just the same as ours.

Words like provision, love, security, eternity, good and blessings.

Over the years, I can see how much of my frustration with God was due to the fact that I simply never acknowledged that God does not use a worldly dictionary.

I tended to let my earthly world around me define the meaning and value of words.

I was taking natural words and trying (really hard!) to fit them into a supernatural relationship with my Creator.

Think about trying to convey your heart to someone who understands the meaning of some words in a whole different way.

That leads to a disconnect resulting in frustration and discouragement!

In order to move forward in my relationship with God, He had to take me back to a very foundational place.

He had me focus on His true character…who He says He is, and not who the world tries to convince me He is.

Once I was able to perceive His true character, He taught me to view events and situations from His perspective as well as mine.

In doing that, I began to see how some of my natural words changed in their meaning when I defined them within God’s economy.

As I allowed His meanings of words to take precedent, much of my world fell into place.

It was as if I received different shaped puzzle pieces that easily fit together giving me a clearer picture of my situations.

My confusion and disappointment with circumstances fell away as the truth of God’s words renewed my mind.

The word blessed in Psalm 34:8 is a great example.

This verse does not tell us that blessed is attached to a tangible element of our world.

Now a blessing CAN BE manifested in something tangible, but here it is simply tied to the word trust.

Blessed is the man who trusts Him!

Not the man who is rich, or has perfect health, or has great wisdom, or has a great job, or has healthy children, or so many other tangible things we tie to blessing.

Blessed is the man who trusts Him!

This blessing comes from simply trusting the Lord.

This type of blessing takes us far beyond the circumstances of our earthy existence and right into the promise of our future heavenly home.

We might think we have nothing concrete to show the world for this type of blessing, but the blessing is felt as we reflect the image of our Creator with our trust.

Try changing the understanding of other words such as good, provision or love by truly meditating on how God uses them.

Use Scripture, the inspired Word of God, as your new dictionary.

Ask God what He wants you to understand about certain words, and use that as your standard.

Allow the Lord to give you a whole different meaning to your vocabulary that puts the focus on eternity.

Trust God to give you new revelations concerning the use of your language and be blessed by them!