Americans: Change Your Perspective

I’ve been reading the Bible in chronological order. Tonight as I read Deuteronomy 2:7, I stopped and thought, “Wait, what did Moses just say?”

“The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.”

Lacked nothing? For 40 years the Israelites had nothing but the clothes on their backs (miraculously preserved, Deut. 8:4), manna and water. Lacked nothing? Are you hearing me? God’s perspective (through Moses) = they lacked nothing. THEY ATE THE SAME THING FOR 40 YEARS!

This parallels with the Sermon on the Mount where the only things Jesus mentions as needs are food and clothing:

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ for after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” Matt. 6:31-32

I just keep thinking, “I am so American. I am so ridiculously selfish and short-sighted.” God knows my needs and He considers my needs to be only food, drink, and clothing. How he must look at me when I complain that I don’t have the comforts that I want! How much do even the middle-class in our society border on God’s standards of repulsive self-indulgence?

I’m not trying to say that all God is doing is looking at us and shaking His head in displeasure. I think He does have compassion on us, and I also think that Deuteronomy has reminded me that I can never blame God for not getting my wants, because He has always supplied my needs.

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The Best Bible Study Advice I’ve Ever Heard

Being in a prayer room for 40+ hours a week for over 3 years now, I have heard almost everything there is out there on ways to study the Bible. The quote below takes the cake for the best advice I’ve ever heard and the one I try to implement in my own studies:

“Study the Bible with blank paper. When youโ€™ve exhausted your own research, then turn to commentaries. Always spend more time in the Word than human words.” – David Pawson

Sรฉrie de Priรจre: Meditation

What is it?

While Eastern meditation attempts to empty the mind, this kind of meditation is an attempt to consume it with God. Biblical meditation is setting yourself before the Lord to receive revelation from His Word. The purpose is to receive more of the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5 says how to get the knowledge of God and this is the first step: receiving God’s words and treasuring His commands.

There is nothing quite like taking an hour to meditate on a short phrase (like “Our Father in Heaven”), asking the Holy Spirit to teach you about it, and receiving your own revelation on it (and then feeling silly that you didn’t see that before!)

Practical Steps

Everyone who practices meditation does it a little differently. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Pick a verse you want to meditate on (or a portion of Scripture you want to take a few weeks to go through).
  2. Worship for a bit.
  3. Begin to meditate on the first phrase of the first verse (e.g. if the phrase is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” try just meditating on “In the beginning”).
  4. Repeat the phrase over and over.
  5. Thank the Holy Spirit for the truth of the verse (e.g. “Thank you that You were in the beginning”).
  6. Ask questions – lots of questions. Write down any answers you get.
  7. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal more to you

Meditate for 20 minutes before you move on to the next part of the verse. Once you get the hang of it, try going for 2 hours on one phrase. It may seem impossible at first, but it’s amazing how long you can stay on one phrase when the Holy Spirit is speaking!

I’ve made my meditation page available for download here.

Recommended Reading

Revelation through Meditation by Kirk Bennett is a great method for meditation (listen to the teaching too)

Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ by Madame Guyon is a book written in simple language to make meditation approachable for everyone

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This post is a part of a series on different types of prayer. Click here to read the rest of the series.

Romans 15:1-4

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification…For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

I saw these verses through a different light tonight. I was reading Romans 15 with the intention of praying for the church of Roseville (using Paul’s prayer in verses 5-6 and 13), but I quickly saw that I had no idea why Paul was praying to, “the God of patience and comfort”. When I asked the Lord about this, I felt like the answer was elsewhere in the chapter. What I discovered pleasantly surprised me: I began to see that in the first 4 verses of the chapter, Paul was speaking to the mature Romans and encouraging them to be patient with their immature companions.

I have to laugh when the Lord reminds me of how closely He is watching me. I have been reflecting recently on how I have matured in the past year and been a little embarrassed when I see where I was then. I even told one of my leaders that I am amazed at the grace he had for me when I was so immature! Now, I am around some people who are in the exact place I was 1 year ago…Do I have grace for them? Well, I will admit that most of the time I just get annoyed by their immaturities.

With that insight, I’m sure you can get a little humor out of the Lord showing me this verse tonight. It’s nothing new that I get annoyed at people who are less mature than me. Paul advised the Romans to have grace for them, to edify them, and to remember patience and comfort (encouragement). This was the Lord’s answer to me also, and revealed to me why Paul prayed to the God of patience and comfort for unity within His Church.

Reflections on Water

Call me a dork for getting Biblical revelation from Lord of the Rings, but I watched The Two Towers last night and you know the scene where the Ents flood Saruman’s castle? I was watching that scene and thinking about how water is usually portrayed as good, even in secular society.

So that led me to do a little study on how water is referenced in the Bible…

About a year ago, Amber did a thematic Worship with the Word on water (affectionately known as the “water set”). The verse we always started with was Rev. 22:1: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” I never could figure out if that water was the Holy Spirit or what.

Looking through verses in Scripture on water, I found that water is never referred to as a bad thing. It is always quenching dry ground, flooding to purify, etc. This rings true with Eph. 5:26 and the “washing of the water of the Word.” We subconsciously think of water as that which purifies.

I probably shouldn’t even post this as it has no conclusion. I apologize for the aimlessness of my blog…I am working on that.

A Perfect Love

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. there is no fear in love; but perfect (mature) love casts out fear, because fear involves torment (correction, punishment, penalty). Because he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:17-18

Daddy, would you fill me with love so that fear is forced to leave. Cause me to have that child-like faith which runs to you never wondering where the next thing I need is, because I know my Father will take care of me, because it would never enter my mind that He wouldn’t provide for me. Daddy, I need to be filled with this kind of love. Yet I know, I know I must behold love to become love. Father, lavish your love on me.

2 Timothy 2:23-25a

The Lord was showing me these verses a couple days ago. Do you qualify as a servant of the Lord?

“…Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition…”