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the start of this song just seems to capture the intent of my heart… i stand in awe before God, wowed by who He is… i’m so glad His mercy and grace cover me, that His blood has made me innocent, righteous, acceptable and clean, and my prayer is that He would draw me to Himself and set my heart on fire for Him afresh… i pursue Him and determine to know Him…
I stand before You, Awed by Your Majesty
Covered by Your mercy, Your blood has made me free
Draw me to You, and set my heart on fire
I want to Know,
Your my one desire
I give you my worship
All of my Passion
I give you my whole heart
All my devotion
Grace never ending, Your hands they carry me
Your body is broken for all the world to see
My heart is held by love so unconditional
You captivate me
Your the lover of my soul
I give you my worship
All of my Passion
I give you my whole heart
All my devotion
Here I will bow down
Say that I need You
Here I will worship
Say that I love you
Oh how I love you (4x)
I want to know You
Let Your Spirit overwhelm me
Let Your Presence overtake my heart
He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites—a head taller than any of the others. 1 Samuel 9:2
Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” 1 Samuel 9:21
They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place. Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader over my people Israel; he will deliver my people from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked upon my people, for their cry has reached me.” When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.” As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here awhile, so that I may give you a message from God.” 1 Samuel 9:14-17, 27
i like the way in v16 that God said “about this time tomorrow I will send you a man” – how many of us know that tomorrow can bring change? what looks like an obstacle today is an opportunity in the making. God has our lives and seasons and days in our hands. Behind the scenes God was bringing a man to Samuel, the man who would be king. Behind the scenes in our lives God is at work to open doors, to connect us with people, and to see His purposes fulfilled. take confidence in God’s hand and God’s work.
When Samuel talks to Saul, Saul reply indicates that he feels insignificant and unworthy of such a call. “Am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin?” part of me thinks, wow, Saul is being humble, what a great heart characteristic for a king, and part of me questions if this response is sincere, since he is also described as an impressive young man without equal. Was it false humilty? Did Saul know the right words to say, but not have the right character on the inside?
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:15-17
Jesus warned us to watch out for fakes. To watch out for those who seem to have it all together, but dont deliver but instead deceive. Jude 1:12 describes them as “clouds without rain” – showing a lot of promise, but not the authentic real deal.
Was Saul the real deal? Did he start of humble and then get corrupted by power? Did he neglect to continue to grow and draw close to God, forming the right kind of character for the position he was placed in?
The most interesting thing to me is that Saul was simply following through on the mundane task of finding donkeys when he came to the revelation of his destiny. God had spoken to Samuel earlier that he would meet "a man from the land of Benjamin" at the exact time that Saul (from Benjamin) did run into Samuel, with the intention of asking where his donkeys were. Clearly God ordained this meeting of destiny between Saul and Samuel, but it would not have occurred if Saul had gave up on seeking out the donkeys. I think that’s a lesson about being faithful in the little things. Sometimes we want God to reveal our fantastic-sounding life plan impatiently, when we should be focusing on the day-to-day needs before us, trusting that God will reveal His plan at His appointed time. Maybe even in the midst of the small things! youversion note
his is yet another example of God’s wonderful sovereignty and how he takes either the seemingly innocuous or inconsequential to execute His master plan. The people of Israel asked their leader, the Prophet Samuel, to ask God to establish a king. God complied and to manifest this gift for His people who adamantly wanted a mighty and glorious ruler to lead them in battle and conquest of their enemies… God steals the donkey of a small insignificant Benjamite family.
I think God is just one of the quirkiest people I’ve ever met. In His great omniscient wisdom, having this one donkey wander astray, He would have the young man, Saul, so search for it, knowing full well this search would take his path to cross with Samuel. He already forewarned Samuel that He was bringing the man whom He would anoint as king over Israel. This wasn’t some arbitrary incident where a feeble minded beast of burden wanders off on its own. No, God said He is bringing Saul to Samuel.
Imagine being Saul right then and there–the complete dumbstruck feeling he must have had when his mind was focused on trying to figure out where his missing donkey was and then this holy man tells him he’s called to lead the nation of Israel.
How about the missing donkeys of our lives? Do we act in thanksgiving as we are told to give thanks in all things? Or do we gripe and complain that something important is missing, broken, lost, stolen. How quickly do we forget the simple fact that God is still on the throne of the universe? Let us all try this next time; when something goes all screwed up that throws our plans out the window and shatters whatever schedules we have, when we feel all worked up and stressed about finances, relationship strains, property damage or loss, and when we want to shake our fists at the heavens for the turmoil around us… simply try thanking God. It’s all a gift, and though we cannot always or immediately see the good outcome He has planned, we have to have faith. That’s why this whole life is a life of faith. It’s not blindly believing in God, it’s believing He has it all covered and we can cast our cares on Him. youversion note
In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on his God alone. When his ship is about to capsize, and no human deliverance can avail him, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God.
Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this!
O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone!
There is no getting at our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends, but when a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn, he flies into his Father’s arms, and is blessedly clasped in them!
When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to anyone but his God, he may be thankful for them, for he will learn more of his Lord then than at any other time.
Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives you to your Father! Now that you have only your God to trust in, see that you put your full confidence in him.
Do not dishonor your Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears, but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that your God is worth ten thousand worlds to you. Show rich men how rich you are in poverty when the Lord God is your helper. Show the strongman how strong you are in your weakness when underneath you are the everlasting arms.
Now is the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord your God shall certainly, as surely as he built the heavens and the earth, glorify himself in your weakness and magnify his might in the midst of your distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye.
May the Holy Spirit give you to rest in Jesus this closing day of the month.
Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, "No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles." Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the LORD’S hearing. The LORD said to Samuel, "Listen to their voice and appoint them a king." So Samuel said to the men of Israel, "Go every man to his city." 1 Samuel 8:19-22
Here Israel are asking for a king, so they can be like everyone else. so they can be the same as all the other nations.
they exchanged the very thing that made them unique – that they were God’s chosen people and that He was their God and their ruler. Their king in effect.
they exchanged the invisible for the visible.
maybe because it was easier.
its sometimes easier to see a king who is a man rather than a king who is Almighty God.
its sometimes easier to take advice from someone you can see, than from the Great Shepherd and Lord of our life.
its sometimes easier to follow someone, even in the wrong direction, than to keep our steps in with the Holy Spirit.
but sometimes easier isnt necessarily good.
what IS good is following God and surrendering to Him and training ourselves to hear His voice and obey His commands and leading. to develop a relationship with Him.
nothing can take that place. no human, no leader, no book, no nothing.
nothing compares to Him. it may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
also: find your worth in being a child of God, been different, not the same as everyone else. find your value in who you are as a loved saved person. as christians we are aliens and strangers, in the world but not of the world as paul often says. its as if we are a different species. this is not an excuse for a superiority complex but so many christians lean the other way, bowed under by peer pressure. one of the most valuable lessons we can learn as christians is to have God’s voice as the most important and valued opinion in our lives… that we would live a life pleasing to Him.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:1-2 AMP
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. Romans 12:1-2 MSG
It is really sad to see in this passage of Samuel a desire that is so rampant and destructive even today. Israel had such a unique relationship with the Divine Creator God. There was/is no other nation like it – yet, like so many people I know and even myself in part and at times have done and do, we trade the divine for terrestrial.
We have the potential to commit ourselves and become great for the cause of Christ. Many of us even begin on that path, but are soon met with frustration. In turn, it is that frustration that makes us think back on our Egypt (old way of life). And sadder still, many of us will make the effort to go back to that old way of life – normal, ordinary and comfortable; when in fact we are called children of the Most High King (aka princes and princesses), friends of God (He’ll let you borrow that cup of sugar), world changers (don’t like what you see? You can fix it!) and miracle workers (she’s not dead, she’s asleep!).
We could bring so much fame to His name if we stuck with it and chose the divine over the normal – chose to stick it out instead of give it up – think outside of ourselves to bless the rest of the world!
Israel gave up their Divine Ruler for a man.
What have you given up on lately? youversion note
“Jesus had already forgiven what i could no forget and that He had already forgotten what i still regretted. when i realized this there was such release. the walls i had built to protect my feelings and to hide the guilt in the past became less and less needful. all along i felt i was keeping people from getting in but in actuality i was prohibiting myself from getting out. an invisible wall trapped me.” Sereta Jakes – quoted in Extravagant Love by Darlene Zschech
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was, that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, "Here I am." Then he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call, lie down again." So he went and lay down. The LORD called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he answered, "I did not call, my son, lie down again." Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him. So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy. And Eli said to Samuel, "Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.’" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 1 Samuel 3:1-9
Did you notice at the start of that passage that the God speaking was a rare thing in those days? We do live in a different age – the Holy Spirit lives within each believer – but there is something we can learn. Samuel was a rare child – he grew up dedicated to God. He was different from the other kids and other people of his generation who lived for themselves and forsook following God.
Learning to recognize the voice of God is part of learning to hear the voice of God. It is just like when a friend rings on the phone – if they are a new friend you may have to ask who is on the phone, but when they are a good friend you recognize their voice. It takes time and conversation.
God wants to fellowship and communicate with us. That’s two-way communication. Why? Because you can’t really have a relationship unless there is true dialogue. How do we get to know a person? By communicating with them. By talking and listening. God wants us to know that He loves us and how to follow Him.
It’s the same with our relationship with God. He talks, we listen. We talk, He listens.
God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to take our place and to die for us. He did this so that we could once again have fellowship with Him. In the book of Hebrews we see that we can have access to God’s very presence, "…having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way…" (Hebrews 10:19-20a).
God speaks to us. We are His children. We also have the revelation of the Word of God that we can trust in and follow for instruction for life and knowing God.
The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice." John 10:2-5
The Holy Spirit lives within us to reveal God to us – 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. John 16:13-15
We are led by God – because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14
Does the Holy Spirit live within you? Are you a Christian? Are you a son or daughter of God? Then YOU ARE LED by God. God guides you. God speaks to you. That is the promise of God and the reality we live in. It may not be with flashes of lightening and angelic revelation but nonetheless God is speaking and guiding and it probably wont be until we see our lives from the other side of eternity that we see just how much God was speaking and leading us.
Are you confident and secure in the truth and reality that God speaks to YOU?
God spoke to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3), Habakkuk knew the sound of God speaking to him (Habakkuk 2:2). Elijah described it as a still, small voice (I Kings 19:12 ). However, I have found that usually, God’s voice comes as spontaneous thoughts, visions, feelings, or impressions.
For example, haven’t you been driving down the road and had a thought come to you to pray for a certain person? Didn’t you believe it was God telling you to pray? What did God’s voice sound like? Was it an audible voice, or was it a spontaneous thought that lit upon your mind? Or in a conversation you feel prompted to say something or to encourage a person? Or when praying for someone you get a picture or a thought that just seems random and that just popped in there?
Hearing the voice of God is as natural as hearing your best friend talk to you. He speaks to us in the natural moments of life. Do you want to hear God’s voice? Then you must be ready to listen.
And as we trust God to speak and trust that what we’ve heard/thought it God the easier it will be to discern His speaking as we listen.
read more from HEARING GOD SPEAK
i love THE 99% – INSIGHTS ON MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN site… and really clicked with this article about FINISHING YOUR MASTERPICE. “Finishing masterpieces is daunting. Over time, motivation and desire fade unless we make deliberate strides toward our goals every single day. But getting into the mindset of being deliberate with our work is a paradigm shift. Being deliberate means that when we are working, we are always working on something with an end goal in mind. Finishing masterpieces is daunting. Over time, motivation and desire fade.”
love my spunky girl! she’s full of style and full of personality. she is delightful.
me and my husband are rewatching fringe. i love it. i missed all of season 2 because it was on too late or conflicted with something. we watch at least an episode a night. its good hanging out time too. last night was my fav episode which i had already seen, where walter tells olivia about taking peter from the other universe. awesome.
this arvo we took the bikes to school and had a good ride around. evangeline “had forgotten” how to ride. yes seriously. we took her trainers off last September but since then perhaps she hasn’t done it enough but she had totally spooked herself. we tried here at home the other day, unsuccessfully, to get her mojo back… but within about 4 seconds at the school, with lots of room to ride, she was away sailing! because she was so brave, and we always love to have an excuse to celebrate, we had ice creams. i had for the first time the cornetto enigma. and yummo!
and as always. i love Jesus with all i am and all my heart and all my soul and all my days. For His glory and the building of His kingdom and the rescue of the lost.
so what are you totally loving this week?
… check out what other peeps are loving whatever day of the week it is over at Paisley Jade
i’m working on our church magazine at the mo and busy finding images for each article. i love when someone writes a science/creation type article. lots of inspiration out there.
Romans 1:20 says, For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
The natural world, its intricacy, its order, its beauty reveal to us things about who God is.
When I look at creation I am reminded all the time that God is creative. And big enough. Creative enough and big enough to deal with my life and sort it out.
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. Ruth 1:1-5
what a difficult situation. famine. a strange land. foreign wives. death.
i bet this wasn’t the future that Naomi had dreamed of. i bet it wasn’t what she had worked her life for, what she had hoped for her sons.
life throws us unsuspecting curve balls.
i see this in my life, in my parents lives. the things they had worked for taken from them because of injury and pain.
but i also see, in Ruth’s story how God is at work. Ruth is in the lineage of Jesus.
would Naomi have met Ruth apart from the famine? apart from the marriage of her son?
would Ruth have met Boaz apart from the death of her first husband and the leaving of her own lands to follow her mother in law into unknown territory?
the account of Ruth reminds me that God has my life in His hands. He has a plan and purpose. even for the famine. even for the sorrow and loss.
my response is to trust Him. that He will be my God and that where He leads i will go.
We belong to God’s story which is bigger than ourselves.
God is intricately involved in the lives of His people, working for their good and His glory. He was intricately involved in Ruth’s life to bring her to a place of hope and redemption.
We need to be transformed by the love and God in the same way that Ruth and Boaz are. Like Ruth, we can find ourselves in a place of fullness even after tragedy. At the end, she sits with a child on her lap and a husband by her side. We are reminded that in the midst of trial, we can trust His plan and care – not because we know how he story ends, but because we know that ultimately our inheritance is secure in our faith genealogy written ultimately by Christ. David, a man after God’s own heart is a descendant of Ruth, but is actually foreshadowing the provision of a Most Righteous King, Jesus Christ. This love of God is embodied in Jesus Christ, David’s greater Son, the One who has comes to save us from our sin so we might become children of God. youversion note
I also love that God delights in redeeming unlikely people and using them for His purposes. Ruth the Moabite woman. Rahab the prostitute. Samson the flawed judge. Peter the hot headed fisherman. Paul the persecutor. David the murdering adulterer. Me.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labour] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:28 AMP
As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek. Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The Lord be with you!" "The Lord bless you!" they answered. Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, "Who does that young woman belong to?" The overseer replied, "She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter." So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Ruth 2:3-8
i like the way Boaz greets his workers. He strikes me as a God honouring man, a God conscious man who walks what is inside his heart.
Because Ruth is a foreign woman, Boaz technically shouldn’t have given her a second thought or look. But there was something about Ruth that caught his eye.
and did you notice the beginning of verse 3… as it turned out… as it just so happened… a divine moment, a divine connection… God had ordered Ruth’s steps to Boaz’s field, the one person who could redeem her and bring amazing change to her life, the man she would marry and have children with, including a son who would become King David’s grandfather… it is one of those unmistakable God-ordained moments when everything falls into place. God set it up for Ruth and Boaz to cross paths.
Such an ordinary beginning – such an extraordinary moment of significance in her life. She was at work, gleaming in the fields. But it was a specific field that God had led her to.
At the end of the story of my life, I think I will look back and see so many as-it-turned-out moments. So many things that just-so-happened. But that would mean I’m living in an as-it-turned-out moment right now. If I believe God is directing my paths, then…
…every moment is divinely orchestrated.
…every moment is strategic.
…every moment is God-directed.
If you knew that this moment was a divine moment, how would you live differently? If you knew this was an as-it-turned-out, God-directed moment, how would you respond? Craig Owens