Being Confident Begins with a Personal Relationship

 Exodus 20:19 “And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (KJV).

The people of Israel enjoyed hearing God’s message delivered from Moses but were afraid to hear from God directly. I can remember a time when I was so captured by listening to my weekly sermons that I failed to focus on my own personal time with the Lord. I have learned through the years that the most important portion of my Christian walk is to spend time with the Lord. My personal time of study and reflection has to come first. My walk must begin each day with time in His word, prayer, and study.

I believe it is important to discuss our spirituality with other Christians and share our faith as well. But if we focus too much on the external we might become like the people of Israel. There is a balance that I believe exists between our internal personal relationship and the external. Our walk of faith begins with our personal relationship with the Lord, it is the foundation that called us to salvation and it is the rock that is the solid footing of our faith. “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6, KJV).

My point is simple, be careful and ensure that your daily walk with the Lord begins with him. Do not rely or place your faith entirely on the wisdom of man. While it is important to seek spiritual counsel and share our faith with others, it is crucial for us to grow in our faith by seeking Him on a personal level. If our faith is based on what others tell us, then we are bound to fall short. Of course this does not mean that we should not listen, heed, and cogitated on wise counsel. Again, my point is that we should always balance the worldly wisdom we are given with the only form of absolute truth, which is found in His word.

Here are a few verses that reminded me of what Moses witnessed with his people. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23, KJV); As much as we would all like to trust people with great spiritual wisdom, we must always remember that we live in a fallen and sin filled world. Satan wants nothing more than for us to stop reading our Bibles, praying and speaking directly to the Lord. That way he can use others to implant his deceptive plans into our hearts. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2Tim. 3:13, KJV).

1 Corinthians 3:18-19 “18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a food, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain” (KJV).

Most of the time we fall short of the mark because we just decided to aim low and miss the target, we aim without taking into account the truth, such as the wind or distance. Sometimes we miss the mark because we haven’t searched the Scriptures to see what the Lord has declared about such concerns, or we may simply be too busy and seek the counsel of others, while this may provide us the right answers to those specific areas we face at times. We still need to take the time to balance any worldly wisdom with what the Bible has to say.

I have had the privilege of sitting under some great pastors and they constantly remind us to perform a checks and balances of what they are preaching with the Word of God. They are humble enough to admit that they could have made an error or a statement did not come out right; meaning the sermon could have been taken out of context. 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (KJV).

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17, KJV).

I know this is a long posting and my prayer is that someone can relate to what I am trying share. Not only did the Lord lay this in my heart today for my own personal reminder, but I have a feeling that someone out there needs this reminder as well. Maybe you are dealing with a difficult situation where the amount of influence and outside wisdom has you feeling overwhelmed. I pray that the truth the Lord has laid on my heart will help you find peace.

In Christ,

The Silent Preacher

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Step Counter!!!

Joshua 1:7-8 “7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (KJV).

Joshua is given a powerful promise. Each new step that Joshua is about to take and lead the nation of Israel will be prosperous. No matter what challenges and difficulties encountered, they are promised success. What a wonderful promise and there is no doubt that hearing this promise would allow Joshua to take each step with strength and courage.

The only stipulation for cashing in on the Lord’s promise; Joshua must remember his previous steps and those of Moses. The stipulation was to continue to observe the law. This made me think of the phrase “remember where you came from”; a phrase often used when someone advances to a higher leadership position.

When we remember the law, we look back at our past in a humble manner. The law is also a reminder of the steps that lead to the Cross. We remember that our authority comes from the Lord. As a leader it is easy to become power-hungry and use that power to gain glory from those under our authority. This is an area where I have seen great men of God fall into Satan’s traps.

As a leader in any profession, we must always remember that the Lord has blessed us and entrusted us to be in such positions. We must be careful to conduct ourselves in a manner that brings honor and glory to the Lord.

Spending time in His word becomes a greater challenge when serving in a leadership position. Leadership usually requires more responsibility and consumes more of our time. It becomes difficult to find time to focus on our personal spiritual growth, but we must also seek spiritual guidance and wisdom for others.

As we look at Joshua, we begin to see how important it was for Joshua to spend years preparing. Before Joshua could take over, he spent years training and developing his spiritual maturity first. He had to be mature and well prepared spiritually before he could add the additional responsibilities in leading the nation of Israel.

I am reminded that “we” as believers are all filling a leadership position. We are all responsible for the most important job of all ministries; sharing the Gospel with others. Of all the ministries and leadership roles, being trained and ready to lead others to Christ is and should be our number one goal. I don’t think anyone would say that they witness perfectly to others and don’t need to grow spiritually in this area. I know from personal experience that everyone is different when they hear the Gospel message; the excuses for not believing may be the same, but that person has a unique and deeper reason for either rejecting the message or not understanding it. The more we study and grow in the Lord, the better prepared we are when the Lord opens the door of opportunity for us to share His message.

In Christ,

The Silent Preacher

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Step Up!

 Joshua 1:1-2 “1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel” (KJV).

The death of Moses must have been difficult for the nation of Israel. Moses led the nation for years and through many trials. As the nation wandered in the wilderness, it was the great leadership of Moses that helped guide and provide for them, through the Lord’s direction.

As we begin the New Year, maybe we should be watchful of new opportunities and challenges. Much like the changing of leadership that Israel is about to witness under Joshua.

Joshua had spent years training and the Lord instructed Moses to prepare this young man for such a moment as this. Maybe you have been sitting under a great leader who has been training you for years. And maybe this will be the year that you begin to take on new challenges. This may be the year that the Lord has been grooming you for.

A great leader is someone who lifts you up in times of trouble; they encourage teamwork, excellence, growth, and unity. Like all great leaders, there will come a time when the torch needs to be passed down. If you have been filling a leadership role for years, ask yourself “have I been training someone to fill my shoes”? All too often, I have seen great ministries come to a halt because the leader moved on or was called to a new ministry.

I believe it is important for a leader to train younger generations, preparing and grooming them to take over. Just as important is the willingness to be “trained”, this responsibility does not rest on the leader alone. Those who serve should be ready to take over a ministry in a moment’s notice. Moses listened to the wisdom of the Lord; trained a younger generation. At the same time, Joshua was willing and ready to be trained. “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses” (Deut. 34:9, KJV).

Remember that all ministry work is to bring honor and glory to the Lord. Leadership is not about being selfish or power-hungry; it is about leading others, for the honor and glory of the Lord.

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (KJV). It’s not about me; it is all about Christ…

In Christ,

The Silent Preacher

Numbering Our Days

 Psalm 90:12-17 “12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. 13 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. 16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it (KJV).

Moses is the author of this remarkable Psalm. It is also recorded as the oldest of all the Psalms written. I covered the first 4 verses in a previous post titled “Dwelling in History”. Moses begins his petitions to God in verse 12. He is not praying for himself but for God’s people. He prays that God will allow his people to learn from their past mistakes; not only to learn from past mistakes but to take them to heart.

When we take a look at our past mistakes, we have a few options:

  1. We can learn from them and never make the same mistakes.
  2. We may forget about them and continue making the same mistakes.
  3. Or we may dwell on them, allowing them to be a constant reminder of our failures.

I believe Moses’ prayer gives us some wisdom and instructions about handling past mistakes. Numbering our days is a great illustration of the Lords forgiveness, grace, and mercy. When we number our days, we have the power, ability, and authority to change. We are wise to remember our past mistakes, but foolish to think that the Lord replays them over and over. Those past mistakes are gone, they are numbered and that number can’t be replayed, unless we forget to number them (Repent).

In verse 13 we are reminded of the need to repent from our mistakes. After we repent we can rejoice and be happy. The day of salvation is such a wonderful day for new believers, so wonderful that angels in heaven rejoice. Jesus said “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” Luke. 15:10, KJV).

Numbering our days allows us to reflect on how important it is to repent our mistakes and learn from them. Think of it as a negative and positive. Those past mistakes are negative moments is life. When we repent we turn a negative into positive, and a positive points us to the cross +. Dwelling on your past mistakes will only hinder you from being all that you can be for Christ. We do not know how many days we will be able to number. Live for Christ today and be all that He desires for you to be.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (KJV).

In Christ,

The Silent Preacher

Dwelling in History

 Psalm 90: 1-4 “1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (KJV).

This Psalm is recorded as the oldest Psalm written. Moses the author and man of God, provides us with a reminder of God’s eternal power and presence. He begins this prayer by addressing God as LORD, “Adonay” God of Power, Creation, and Ruler.

To the ancient people of Moses’ day, mountains symbolized something lasting and dependable. To the Jews, mountains spoke of the everlasting God of Israel. There were six generations between Abraham and Moses, each generation was guided by the Omnipotent God who is All-Powerful (omni = all; potent = powerful).

“Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men”. It is amazing to see how advanced modern medicine has become. How life has been preserved and technology has made these advancements possible. But one thing will always remain the same; we will one day return to the dust of the earth. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19, KJV).

 The older we get, the more we comprehend how short life is. Days, months, and years seem to pass by faster and faster. I can remember my teen years, anticipating and eagerly awaiting tomorrow. We do not have the ability to “undo or redo” our past, but we do have control over what we do today. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet. 3:8, KJV). God does not look at our past mistakes. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isa. 43:25, KJV). “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psa. 103:12, KJV).

“Time”, something many struggle to find more of, squeeze more into our busy days. It may be something we regret, wishing that we could go back in time and do things differently. We may worry about tomorrow; looking into the future may cause anxiety, stress, or depressed emotions. I am reminded that “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8, KJV). He teaches us that we can learn from our mistakes and not dwell on them.

Proverbs 24:16 “For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (KJV).

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (KJV).

History is a record of times past; some of history is filled with great discoveries and some of man’s greatest accomplishments. It also contains some of man’s worst moments. But we have today, this very moment. Today … let go and let God; write his-story of your life. If we attempt to write the story of our lives, it will be nothing more than an old dirty, dusty, and soon forgotten book. But, if we surrender ourselves to the One that is in control, we become the clay and He the Potter. He will mold, carve, and create exactly what He desires us to be.

“But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isa. 64:8, KJV).

In Christ,

The Silent Preacher