Is it still a secret if you tell someone? Some people are like a book –they are easy to read. Others are somewhat mysterious. If someone confides in you, they trust you.
They may divulge some painful past experiences. One is moved with compassion by these shared wounds that were inflicted. You feel connected, and it’s easy to pray for them, especially if you’ve experienced somewhat of the same.
Secrets are truths we keep from being exposed. We guard them, conceal them, hide them. We keep them hidden, afraid we will be judged or rejected. For some reason, the truth is more difficult to face than keeping it secret.
Some things need to be kept secret. Look at Samson, for example. And Esther kept the secret that she was a Jew until the plot against her people was revealed.
God has some secrets He desires to share. God was about to destroy Sodom when he said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do…” (Genesis 18:17)
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God…” (Deuteronomy 29:29). He wants to tell you His secrets. Can He trust you?
“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.” (Isaiah 45:3)
I can’t think of a better place to hide something than in the dark. If it seems you have been groping in darkness, it’s time you tell God ALL your secrets.
“Hast thou heard the secret of God?” (Job 15:8)
Share your secrets, He may share a secret with you.
I once was young, but now I’m getting older. How do you know you are getting old without stating your age? When your sentence starts with, “I used to …” Yes, you had more strength, more stamina, and more hair. However, now you have more wisdom. What I used to call lazy, I now call“energy conservation.”
The adversary is ruthless. He looks for weakness and goes for it. Sometimes, it’s just little jabs that don’t hurt too much but take a toll on you.
We have the Word of the Lord, “The sword of the spirit.” (Ephesians 6:17)
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”(Hebrews 4:12)
Since I tire out a little quicker than I used to, maybe I shouldn’t waste time trying to fight battles on my own. You would think I would quit listening to the enemy of my soul. The Sword of the Lord does no good if I leave it in its sheath.
Let’s wield the Sword of the Lord and defeat our enemy
How do you feel about servers? (waiter or waitress)
A good restaurant always warmly greets people as they enter.
F: Friendly – We want someone friendly to be our server. Even if someone else does a good job, this server makes us feel good because they are friendly.
A: Attentive – We like it when a server sees our needs without us having to flag them down for a refill. If you are eating something messy, they bring you extra napkins. They will describe the entrees if you’ve never eaten there, as they know what they serve.
S: Speedy – We want a server who is aware of the time and doesn’t waste it. Your food is delivered while it’s still hot, not sitting on the counter getting cold. They are quick to respond to your needs.
T: Thoughtful – The server brings young children a cup with a lid on it without you asking. They know if a child needs a booster or a highchair, and they may even get you a wet paper towel or a wet wipe if needed.
Since I once worked as a waitress, I can relate to the servant. Many times, a servant’s role is disparaged. On the other hand, being a server can be rewarding. It’s not a glamorous job, but it can be a great experience.
Jesus showed us how to be servants by example. Mark 10:44-45, Philippians 2:7, John 13:1-15
F: Friendly – Our churches are like restaurants. People come because they are hungry. The first thing we need to do when they walk through the door is to greet them with a friendly smile. They could have gone to any church, but they are with us,and we are glad. We want them to KNOW we are so happy they are here, like the wonderful aroma of good food; may they smell the sweet aroma of praise to our God.
They might not understand the menu (i.e., the Word of God). We desire to help them get what they are hungry for. We have what they need: Love, understanding, caring friendship, and people who will help them find what they need in Jesus
A: Attentive – We need to discern their needs. They might be unaware of their own needs, other than that they need God. We need to be watchful when they are ready to place their order, so to speak. Timing is everything — too soon, they will clam up; too late, we missed it.
S: Speedy – We need to respond quickly. We don’t know if they will be back again. We must try to reach them. “Quench not the Spirit…” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Move quickly when the Lord speaks to you, or you’ll talk yourself out of obeying.
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)
T: Thoughtful – If they are alone and you click with them, sit beside them. Anticipate their needs. Do they need a tissue, a handshake, or a hug? Always a warm,genuine smile. Rebecca served the camels water, and we know she took many trips. I probably would have served Issac’s servantand left him my bucket thinking, “He’s lucky he can use my bucket and water his own stinky camels.” (I need a little more of a servant spirit.)
When Jesus went to Gethsemane, the Bible says, “he went a little farther.” We need to give them what they haven’t found at church before. Visitors should never walk out our door after service without someone telling them, “I’m so glad you came.” At MyChurch, we are here to serve.
“…and the house to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, famous, and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparation for it. So David made abundant preparations before his death.” (1 Chronicles 22:5)
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
Jesus like David also prepared before his death.
Humor me a moment: Jesus said, “in my father’s house are many mansions,” so the mansions were already there. When He said, “I’m going to prepare a place for you,” He may have been thinking of Calvary, a place where we could meet Him — at the cross.
It’s always hard to lose someone to death, and I’m very sorry if you are grieving. When we can prepare beforehand, it does help. You get to say goodbye, bringing some comfort and closure.
Today, we are the temple of the Holy Ghost. If I want someone to visit my natural home where I live, I want it to be very welcoming. I want you to feel comfortable. I don’t want to have to hide something before you get there. If Jesus came to my house,my temple, would He be free to search in my closet, under my bed, in the safe?
Sometimes we have things hidden in our hearts. We don’t want to pull them out or have anyone find them. We have buried them, just like the person who suddenly lost someone dear to them. You didn’t get to say goodbye.
It is time we dig deep into the secret recesses of our hearts. Things you have buried so long ago you may have forgotten. “Search me, O God, and know my heart…” (Psalm 139:23)
It is time to find that which you have hidden. Take it out, say goodbye, and bury it at the foot of the cross under the blood,never to be seen again. Then as in John 14:3, “…that where I am, there ye may be also.”
I’ve seen rock gardens in Colorado, flower gardens in Hawaii, and vegetable gardens in Louisiana. However, none of these intrigue me like the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Yes, it was full of olive trees. Olive trees are known to live 5,000 years. Some of the very trees Jesus prayed under could still be alive today.
The olive tree was held in very high esteem. We first heard the word “olive” after the flood when a dove brought an olive leaf back to Noah. After that, we heard of olive oil used for anointing and burned to give light, and olive wood used for doors and posts in Solomon’s temple, as well as angels carved from olive wood, also in Solomon’s temple.
The name “Gethsemane” is Aramaic for “olive” (Gat) and “press” (semane). Within the Garden of Gethsemane was an olive press where there would be crushing and bruising. Without it, there would be no anointing and no light.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” ((Isaiah 10:27)
The disciples went with Him, but Jesus went “a little farther” to pray. He was sorrowful to the point of death, and His sweat was as great drops of blood. He succumbed to His father’s will in a place of agony, betrayal, and death to His own will. Would there have been a Calvary without a Gethsemane?
Of all the gardens I have seen, I long to go a little farther, break my will, get a burden for the lost, and go to my garden of Gethsemane
Elijah went face to face with “… prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.” (I Kings 18:19)
He mocked them at mount Carmel after they spent hours of sacrifice, worship, leaping, and cutting themselves until their blood gushed out.
Though near the latter end of a draught, Elijah dug a trench around the altar and filled it with precious water. (I am clueless about where it came from, but that alone was a sacrifice.)
He uttered a 63-word prayer, and fire came down from heaven. The fire not only consumed the sacrifice, but wood, stone, dust, and all the water. They killed the prophets of Baal. Then Elijah prayed for a long-awaited rain. Talk about a victory dance! Yet it only took a few words from a woman to send him running into a cave. “Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.” (I Kings 19:2)
Then God spoke to Elijah and told him to stand on the mount. Then came a great wind that broke rocks, an earthquake, and a fire. What power! Wind can be frightening. How well does anyone near the coast understand the winds a hurricane can produce? I’ve not been in an earthquake; I have felt a tremor. The folks in California can tell us all about earthquakes, as well as about fire. If you have ever witnessed someone lose their home to fire, you understand the fear and destruction it brings. However, God wasn’t in any of those things.
Today, we hear and see things that shake the ground we stand on. Fear seems to be gripping people’s hearts, consuming our courage to fight this spiritual war. The winds have caused a waver in our faith. So what is greater than these acts of nature? That still small voice of God. What we see and hear is no more than a distraction, making it difficult to hear God’s voice.
Turn off the news for a bit, get out of Facebook and get in The Book, the Bible. Take a little more time in prayer, linger a little longer and give God an ear to hear.
“He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 2:11, 17, 29 3:6, 13, 22)
God is speaking! Don’t let the calamities of this life affect your ability to hear His voice
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee…” (Genesis 12:1)
I can imagine what may have gone through Abram’s mind:
“Say what? Are you sure, God? You want me to leave my Daddy’s homeland? I’m 75 years old, and Dad is up in age; shouldn’t I be caring for him?”
“I know some of his income is from making idols. He is a general* to Nimrod and has always provided for me. Sure, he worships the idols. Yes, Dad tried to get me to sell them. Nimrod even wanted to kill me because I refused. Perhaps Nimrod saw I was nothing like my Dad.”
“I’m not sure I’ll make it. What if the people hate me? Where will I live, and how will I provide? I feel like I’m walking blindly without direction.”
No wonder Abraham is called the father of the faithful. God had confidence in Abraham. He wanted to make a great nation out of him. However, Abraham had to get out of his comfort zone.
Maybe we, too, need to get out of our comfort zone. Surely things aren’t like they used to be. We need change. ‘Reminds me of the disciples; they followed Jesus for 3 1/2 years. After He was crucified and rose from the dead, he told them, “Go ye into all the world…”
Let’s leave our comfort zone. No, Jesus is not physically walking with us, but He is in us. It might require a different job, a move, or getting away from some folks that want to hinder your advancement in the kingdom. The need is everywhere.
If God is speaking to you, go ahead and take the plunge. Get out and do whatever He is dealing with you to do.
You have heard a word from God or received a promise. How long has it been? A couple of weeks, perhaps months? A few years, possibly decades?
Okay, I know you have prayed, or you wouldn’t have heard from God. It’s only been a few weeks, and I know you have praised and thanked Him. The years are passing, and I’m sure you’ve been fasting. Now it’s been decades. What else do you have to do? You’re at your wit’s end.
It’s just too simple: Believe! I say I do believe, then why am I questioning? Why am I like a yo-yo? Up and down, sometimes I feel like the “Around the World”trick.
I’ve been reading the story of the siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus leaves his dear friends. Lazarus gets sick. They send for Jesus, but He tarries. Now Lazarus is not only dead but has been in the grave for four days. Talk about a grave situation! I feel for Martha and Mary. They had to watch their brother suffer, all the while knowing Jesus could heal him had He been there. Lazarus dies, and they are left to make arrangements and bury their brother. Pretty sad.
Jesus always has a plan: “…This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby…. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; [talking to his disciples] ….
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? [speaking to Martha] …. but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they [the multitude] may believe that thou hast sent me.”
(John 11:4,15, 40, 42)
Jesus is quite upset that those He loved, Mary and Martha, and His disciples and others, didn’t believe Him.
“When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.” (John 11:33 NLT)
I believe He was upset about their lack of belief. Hebrews 11:6 says, “he that cometh to God must believe that he is.”
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
“…But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find people on earth who believe in him?” (Luke 18:8 ERV)
“…Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.”(Mark 5:35-36)
The valley of dry bones — talk about an adventure! So in the valley lay a multitude of very dry bones. They are scattered abroad. Was the whole army destroyed? How many survived? I wonder why this exceedingly great army wasn’t buried? In ancient times, the burial of the dead was considered very important.
When we are born again, we become soldiers of the cross. We are in spiritual warfare. Ephesians chapter six speaks of the armor of God
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
So what happened to this army? Something went wrong. They were in a valley; were they ambushed? Did they fall asleep?
We have warriors who have been overcome in battle. Some were weary in the fight; others received and believed a lie. Perhaps they were ambushed or fell asleep. Is this why they didn’t get a burial?
Still, they were warriors. What happened to “leave no man behind?” Ezekiel prophesied to this army, and God brought them back to life. Shouldn’t we also prophesy to the backslider who lost a battle? Wounded warriors are all around us. They have covered their wounds, but they haven’t been healed. Some have buried themselves in devastating lifestyles. It’s time to speak life to those wounded in the battle.
“Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon this slain, that they may live.” (Ezekiel 37:9)
This wind is likened to the breath God breathed on Adam when he became a living soul in Genesis 2:7, as well as the mighty rushing wind (or breath of God) on the day of Pentecost when men were born again. (Acts 2:2)
Breathe on me, oh God, breathe on the backslider, restoring and healing him to be made whole, ready to fight the good fight of faith.
Some people love to stir the pot; they are confrontational. You know the type: “Don’t go to bed mad; stay up and fight all night.” I don’t like to fight; I avoid fights and usually walk away. However, some things are worth fighting for.
“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him…But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself…” (II Samuel 11:1-2)
Most are familiar with the passage. If not,this is where King David makes a terrible mistake. He takes Bathsheba in and gets her pregnant. ‘Tries to cover it up by bringing her husband, Uriah, home from war. When that doesn’t work, he sends Uriah back to the battle with his death warrant to be killed. The baby he has with Bathsheba dies. Nathan, the prophet, pronounces judgment upon him. Sure enough, David paid a high price for this act. One of his sons rapes his sister; another son kills the brother that did so. Then another son sleeps with one of his wives and brings rebellion against King David. Why? Because he committed adultery? Possibly, or maybe it was because he chose to have an evening nap instead of going to fight.
If I choose not to fight this war, who all will die? Will it be the actual death of a person, or will it be a soul who will be lost for eternity? If the person I’m fighting for is healed of an incurable disease and goes on to win many souls to the kingdom of God, isn’t that worth fighting for?