Thursday, January 23, 2014

Worship and Ministry

I’ve had the most incredible week of worship.  I’ve been listening to this one artist over and over, like I can’t get enough of this music, it is so anointed.   On YouTube, David Wesley, the God of Angel Armies:  Between this song and Speak, O Lord: I’ve  been so totally blessed.  I’m definitely getting filled up!   Loving it.  

It all reminds me of having God’s light shine through us – Luke 11:33-36: “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.  The lamp of the body is the eye.  Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light.  But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.  Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.  If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

David Wesley sings these songs, shares from the light within and is such an incredible blessing.  When I get filled up with God’s Spirit, I can’t help but share as well.  This has been such an interesting week, both up and down, but having this beautiful blessing resonating throughout my body has kept me up.  That’s what praise and worship music does for you – lifts you up, to help you look up to the One who shows you how to crush the enemy under your feed – the enemy who tries to feed you negativity and bad.  Don’t listen to him, but rather, look up to the One who has ALREADY given you the tools to defeat him!

In working with various people this week, We’ve had to speak the words of Paul:  Romans 12:1-3 “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”  This then leads into Phil. Chapter 2.  That is part of worship – sing praises to God and transform your whole outlook by refreshing and renewing your mind in the Word – no one can stay down after that, no matter what comes against you!

Also in working with people this week, we find that people stay trapped and unable to grow when they don’t do the above, but most importantly, when they don’t forgive.  This brings me to some devotionals from last August:
The Dove Daily Devotional, Aug. 15-16, 2013, Heb. 11:6 & Phil. 3:14
Getting unstuck:
“Ever notice how icy winters cause multiple car pile-ups, leaving drivers in ditches waiting for tow trucks to rescue them?  In life, we each have different reactions.  Some surrender to feelings of being powerless, others get frustrated and deepen the rut they’re in.  But the wise think rationally of steps they can take to get unstuck.  Getting stuck isn’t always an option, but staying stuck is!  Good news:  no matter how long you’ve been stuck, the right attitude can get you moving again.  So here are some attitude changers: 1) Forgiveness.  The guilt that follows failure can immobilize you long-term, but forgiveness liberates you – freeing up your energy and creativity.  Forgiveness is two-dimensional: first, you must receive God’s forgiveness for your failures.  Things you’ve done: betrayal, angry words, dishonesty, broken promises, etc.  Things you haven’t done: love unexpressed, responsibility avoided, a child, parent or spouse neglected, the truth withheld.  Heartfelt confession always brings God’s forgiveness!  (See 1 John 1:9).  Second, you must forgive those who’ve failed you – parents, siblings, children, bosses, spouses, friends, enemies, etc.  Severing the chains to your past restores your options for the future.  2) Faith.  When you’ve been stuck a long time, forward momentum can seem impossible.  You lack direction, energy and confidence.  What to do?  Getting traction requires a willingness to act in spite of your feelings.  God calls this “faith,” and He always responds to it!  “He rewards those who earnestly seek him.”  When you act like you believe, God will reward your faith – and the feeling of faith will follow your action!”

“Though you’ve settled the issues of forgiveness and faith, getting unstuck involves more challenges.  You will need to learn: 1) Flexibility.  When your faith runs into obstacles, your flexibility keeps you in the race.  You need the ability to “roll with the punches,” to bend without breaking.  Don’t marry your methods!  Be willing to make a mid-course correction when it’s needed.  Flexibility, however, isn’t ambivalence or wishy-washiness.  Flexibility is: a) An attitude of determination to adjust to life’s challenges and stay on course; to trust God for wisdom; to fine-tune your responses to changing circumstances.  b) A commitment to take action.  A positive mind-set alone won’t get you unstuck.  You have to ‘do something!’  Remember, big doors swing on little hinges; taking small steps of faith will move you forward!  2) Firmness: resolve not to quit.  You’ll encounter problems that leave you no option but to stand still, like the Israelites between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army.  In the tightest of spots, they receive this five-fold counsel: a) Don’t give in to fear.  Don’t let it decide your response. b) Stand still.  Stop your irrational, emotion-driven behaviors. c) Quit talking.  Don’t talk yourself into defeat d) Look for God’s way forward.  Expect Him to take action that will get you unstuck.  e) Be ready to move forward when He opens the way.  These are simple but powerful steps you can take when you don’t know what to do.  And what about when you blow it?  Acknowledge it.  Re-label it as ‘Valuable lessons learned,’ and put it in your ‘What not to do next time’ file!”