Pleasing God

(Judges 3:4-6) The Lord left them to test Israel to determine if they would keep the Lord’s commands He had given their fathers through Moses. 5 But, they settled among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perrizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 6 The Israelites too their daughter as wives for them selves, [and] gave their own daughters to their sons, and worshiped their gods.

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What if God steps back just far enough to see if we actually live out our faith, If we are genuinely grateful for the transformation taking place through His Holy Spirit? Time and again, the Lord, our God, has come to our rescue and restored us back to His grace, Only for us default to our own devices.

ISRAEL’S SINS: Within a period of 250 years, God allowed Israel to fall to adversarial forces four times. Gideon, the fourth judge, was tasked [by God] to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Midianites, yet again. The nation of Israel chose to defy God’s commandments by giving in to their proclivities.
ADAM and EVE MOVED AWAY. Their defiance gave birth to a generational sin: Genesis 3:6) Then the woman saw the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of it’s fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

WITH HEART, MIND, and SOUL: When we feel the urges of our cravings, We need to lean harder into the Holy Spirit, To draw from the well of His sovereignty, and strength: (Genesis 49:24) Yet his bow remained steady, and his strong arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.

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The “Least” likely

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“Why me Lord?!!” Almost always our first response to God in our season of circumstance, And yet, 66 books of the Bible give more than enough reason to respond,”Why Not me?” In my contemplation, I am lead to look at three areas that impact my faith, and maturity in Christ: How I view myself, How others see me, and What I might look like if….Let’s track together and see what the scriptures reveal about our disciplines in this area:

Gideon is called: (Jdgs 6:11-12) The Angel of the Lord came, and He sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Albiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in the wine vat in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: The Lord is with you mighty warrior.

“Gideon” A military commander, judge, and called to be Prophet to once again deliver His people from under the hands of the Midianites. To turn them away from the worship of Baal (Asherah), and back to Him.

(Isaiah 55:8) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. God will use the “Least likely” to accomplish great things.

He doubted his worthiness, and capabilities: (Judges 6:14-15) The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not sending you? 15 He said to Him, “Please Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.

Others didn’t think so: (1 Samuel 17:33) 33 But Saul replied,”You can’t go fight this Phillistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.
Even Moses doubted his ability to finish what God Almighty had already ordained(Exodus. )

..But you’ve been conditioning all along for this moment: (1 Samuel 17:33-34) David answered, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock 33 I went after it and struck it down and rescued the lamb from it’s mouth.

Samuel, son of Elkanah and Hannah; His appearance was certainly a divine appointment: (1 Samuel 1:27-28) I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord. Then he bowed down in worship to the Lord there.
First served in the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:18) The boy Samuel served in the Lord’s presence and wore a linen ephod (hip length sleeveless garment). His duties included making certain the lamps remained lit until the sun rose, and opening the doors of the tabernacle.

In all instances, None knew where there paths would lead and the impact they would have. Gideon doubted, David was believed to be inferior to the task, Moses was both, and Samuel had no clue whatsoever. The common thread was in their obedience to move pass their limitations, and through their circumstance. The season you are in is your conditioning for your next assignment. Aloha, God bless

Restoration

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My prayer for restoration: (Matthew 5:29-30) If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
(Hebrews 12:12-13) Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened kness, 13 Make straight paths for your feet, so what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead.

Pray with me: Lord, I come to you seeking forgiveness for the thing I have done; “Help me” to escape this bondage that causes me to stumble, and forsake Your name. Lord, take these feelings of condemnation from me, and fill to over-flowing with Your Holy Spirt of mercy and grace. “Lead me” to repentance; “Restore” Your child, and “Move me” fearlessly toward my assignment. I love You, and worship You in all Your splendor; I turn back all praise, honor and glory back to You. In the name of Your son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Know Peace, know God

Working out our salvation; “Peace”

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So then, my brothers you are dearly loved and longed for- my joy and crown. In this manner stand firm in the Lord, dear friends Phil 4:1

Manifesting vs Manufacturing

Peace n. State of tranquility or quiet; as freedom from civil disobedience
Grace n. Unmerited Devine assistance given to humans

Peace is the product of a journey that begins with us, but can never be of us.  Why? Our biases and flaws undermine our greatest intentions. Therefore, “Genuine”peace must be rooted in, and driven by a power much greater than ourselves; God’s character into whom we are being fashioned:

Peace comes from “Faith.” 1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Romans 5:1

Peace comes from “Grace.”12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

And,

Peace comes from submission “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes his enemies to be at peace with him Proverbs 16:7

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

Phil 4:2. In his letter, Paul addresses the contention between these two; He was afraid that because of the positions they held in the church, their un-resolved conflict would filter down to the congregation.

..to be of the same mind in the Lord. Peace is of the Lord, and rooted in Him.

And, (Jn. 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Finding peace in turmoil, and in our circumstance:

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Realizing peace could not be further while we are in our season of turmoil; Our natural instinct is to respond to the chaos in panic, rather than embrace the peace of God:
Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping Matthew 8:24
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:38

Ascribing to His peace, is to have faith in His promise:

Jn 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you will have peace. In this world of trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world
“Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you. Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid J. 14:27 “God’s peace”

Servanthood

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(2 Timothy 4:7) I have fought the good fight, I gave finished the race, I have kept the faith

(2 Corinthians 5:9-10) Therefore whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him. 10 For we must appear before the tribunal of Christ so that each may be repaid for what he has gone in the body, whether good or worthless HCSB

In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul addresses an area crucial to maturing as a follower of Christ; Our attitudes in doing work for the kingdom. The theme of Paul’s ministry was to glorify God by bringing His gospel forward and doing so with the humility of a servant’s heart.

On the surface, one might say,”We are good Christians because we keep His commands and do His work. While this is all good and well, This passage of scripture cuts deeper into the heart and soul of the believer.

Our conduct matters:(Deuteronomy 5:9a) “Whether home or away” Meaning, our conduct in our earthly vessel, as opposed to our spiritualty. The score is being kept:
10 For we must appear before the tribunal of Christ Gk (Beyma); The quality of our work is subject to the Lord’s discretion. The master craftsman who builds on the foundation of Jesus Christ might use the finest materials and metals, but his work will escape being fire tested, just as his integrity will be challenged (2Corinthians 3:10-15). caveat: Our good works is for favor, not our destination.

We cannot seek validation, Because our works are never be about ourselves

(2 Corinthians 5:12-13) We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who take pride in the outward appearance rather than the heart. 13 For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we have a sound mind, it is for you.

For your sake, Our pain is our ministry:

(2 Corinthians 1:5-6) For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it s for your comfort, which is experienced in your endurance of the same sufferings we suffer

A servant’s heart

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And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritence among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32)

(2 Corinthians 5:9-10) Therefore whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him. 10 For we must appear before the tribunal of Christ so that each may be repaid for what he has gone in the body, whether good or worthless HCSB

In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul addresses an area crucial to maturing as a follower of Christ; Our attitudes in doing work for the kingdom. The theme of Paul’s ministry was about glorifying God by bringing His gospel forward and doing so with the humility of a servant’s heart.

On the surface, one might say,”We are good Christians because we keep His commands and do His work. While this is all good and well, This passage of scripture cuts deeper into the heart and soul of the believer.

Our conduct matters:(Deuteronomy 5:9a) “Whether home or away” Meaning, our conduct in our earthly vessel, as opposed to our spiritualty. The score is being kept:
10 For we must appear before the tribunal of Christ Gk (Beyma); The quality of our work is subject to the Lord’s discretion. The master craftsman who builds on the foundation of Jesus Christ might use the finest materials and metals, but his work will escape being fire tested, just as his integrity will be challenged (2Corinthians 3:10-15). caveat: Our good works is for favor, not our destination.

We cannot seek validation, Because our works are never be about ourselves

(2 Corinthians 5:12-13) We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who take pride in the outward appearance rather than the heart. 13 For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we have a sound mind, it is for you.

For your sake, Our pain is our ministry:

(2 Corinthians 1:5-6) For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it s for your comfort, which is experienced in your endurance of the same sufferings we suffer

What does it means to fear God?

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Deuteronomy 7:9) Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands

(Deuteronomy 10:12) “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God by walking in His ways, to love Him, and worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul

(10:20) You are to fear Yahweh your God and worship Him. Remain faithful to Him and take oaths in His name.

(6:2) Do this so that you may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may live a long life

What does it mean to fear God? When the scriptures say, “Fear God” it means to “Love” God, To honor and respect God, To have the highest reverence toward Him:

(Deuteronomy 6:4-6) “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. 5 Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all you strength. 6 These words I am giving you today are to be in your heart.

To not have any God before Him(Deuteronomy 6:4-5); He is singular, He is God alone-There is no other-This is the God we shall worship.

It means keeping His commands and honoring His covenant. (Deuteronomy 6:13) Fear Yahweh your God, worship Him, and take oaths in His name
(6:2) Do this so that you may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may live a long life

Think of Him, Always. Memorialize His commands, keep them with you: (Deuteronomy 6:7) Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road. when you lie down, and when you get up.

A stern warning: (Deuteronomy 5:32-33) “Be careful to do ad the Lord your God has commanded you; you are not to turn aside to the right or the left. 33 Follow the whole instruction of the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, prosper, and have a good long life in the land you will possess.