You Call Me Lord

You call me Lord and you say that you love me                             But I can see your disguise                                                                You want the victory that I can give to you                                                                                   But you don’t yet realize                                                                                                           That I must be conqueror, ruler and King of you                                                                       Savior in the midst of your strife                                                                                           Comforter, counselor, Prince of Peace                                                                               Creator and giver of life

How many know that if God wakes you up to these words, you would do well to pay attention?  Now, I had written the lyrics for this song some thirty-three years ago and have sung them from time to time.  But, for the most part, despite the catchy tune, the words are a little to convicting and I haven’t played it in a very long time.

But God reminded me of it.

I would like to think that He wanted me to tell you the words, to convict you, to let you know who He is.  It would be nice to think that I’ve grown to where I preach at someone else.

Not today pal.

So again I ask myself, what do you want to be?  What should I look like when I’m all grown up? What type of man do I want to be known as?  Do I want God bad enough to want EVERYTHING He offers?

I want my legacy to be a life lived for Jesus.  I want to live as a warrior for my King.  I want those around me to know me as a servant, someone who loves deeply and puts his life on the line.

And, I want to know my God.  I want to believe in Him in a way that goes beyond my words.  I want His life, His plan, His love.

The Year of Jubilee

In the Old Testament there was a law that every fifty years all debts were cancelled, all slaves were set free.  It was supposed to be a time of great celebration.  But it was lost.

It was a pretty “normal” practice for those that would get themselves into debt to pay off the amount owed by becoming someone’s slave.  There were regulations written down for how it was supposed to work, amount owed years till Jubilee, stuff like that.  But, the wealthy of the land forgot about it.  Owed money meant slave for life.

Satan has taken this attitude toward people all over this world.  “You sold your body for that moment of pleasure.  You sold your heart for what was promised.  You gave away your birthright as children of the King to have your own way.  Now you’re mine.”  And we go through our days never expecting victory, never expecting freedom.

I’m just one small guy.  I don’t know how it all works.  I don’t know what year it is on the Jewish calendar.

But in Jesus name, I’m calling for a year of Jubilee.

God has set me free.  The debt I owed to satan and the weight of the condemnation he sets over me is cancelled.  Captives, slaves are no longer bound to him.  I am no longer bound to him.

And I know this, I speak with the authority of God Himself because He never created us for slavery to addiction, He never designed us to live for another.  He spoke us, each one of us, into existence for freedom, for joy.  He brought us from our mothers to live for Him and there is no greater freedom than this.

We just have to live it.

Snake Tails

OK, I admit it.  I’m a little strange and my imagination gets the better of me sometimes but humor me for a bit.

Moses receives the call to go get his people free.  He balks and turns into a whiny little coward. One of the signs he was given to prove that God had sent him was that he could turn his staff into a snake.  I love the detail that’s given, “Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. (Exodus 4:3 – NIV)”  Then God tells him to pick it up, grab it by the tail and pick it up.

Now, some of you may be snake charmers or Steve Irwin look-alikes, but for me, that’s where I’d be questioning God.  Whoa, Lord, can’t I just give a command?  And, I can see God’s humor in the snake coiling up and facing Moses.  Moses reaches out his hand and the menacing reptile hisses and spits at him but doesn’t bite.  Moses finally works up the courage to touch the thing and it immediately straightens and turns into wood.

After this experience, and the hand turning to leprosy trick, you’d think that Moses would be set to go.

But, he’s like me.

The wonder of God, His amazing attributes, His holiness, his power and voice in my life, often remind me that I’m nothing.  I am left knowing the limited resources that I possess and the stark reality of my consistent failure at life.  Whatever confidence I may hold onto evaporates in His presence.

We sing in our worship of being “undone” in God’s presence.  Though we criticize Moses for his responses, I would submit that they are entirely appropriate.

Ah, but what we feel inside is not the end of the story is it.  Despite what he felt, Moses still had to reach for the snake.  Despite his resistance, he still had to go.  Beyond all hinderance and obstacles, he still stood before Pharoah, he still spoke, he still was used to set his people free.

Maybe you have some snakes in your life.  I know I do.

Grab that tail.  You can do it.

Victim or Victor?

Thracian peltast 5-4th century BC. Drawing - b...
Thracian peltast 5-4th century BC. Drawing – ballpen on the white paper by Dariusz t. Wielec. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Victim, a slave under someone else’s control and dominion.  Unable to make decisions for themselves they accept abuse and criticism, they allow others to ruin or bless their every moment.  When things go wrong, it is easy to blame and silently accuse those above them for they see no fault in themselves.  At best they are petty and useless in their rebellion, often succumbing to passive aggression to show their anger and hurt.

 

Victor, the person who stands and fights.  Interestingly, even in our movies, the hero does not conquer without receiving his fair share of wounds.  He just “wants it” so much that he or she will push past the pain, the injuries, to rise above the evil that they face.  To receive no wounds, to not get dirty, sweaty, tired or hurt is unrealistic.  We can’t relate to those heroes.  They are not honored or loved because they are not worthy.

 

The victor fights against the abuses hurled at them.  When they fail, and they do fail, they accept the fault that they played and fight on.  They go beyond the criticisms they feel, not because of pride but because they love, they value something greater than themselves.  There is nothing passive about their behavior, their attacks on their enemies.  And they openly accept that they may die in the conflict.  So much better to die fighting than to die on an altar to some master of hate.

 

So which one am I?  I get to choose.  I get to choose everyday, every second.  What will I be?  Will I accept?  Will I lay down in the mud and be trampled?  Will I give up, give in to what others have for me?  Or will I choose to put my armor on, choose to lift my sword and shield, choose to FIX my eyes on Jesus?  He is the only one who would choose victory, real victory for me, for my life, for my family, for my friends, my brothers and sisters.

 

But, He leaves it up to me to decide.

He leaves it up to you.

 

 

 

I Am a Saint

Could I share with you all the thoughts that run through my mind?  Would you hear me and know me better if you could see the murder, the depravity that wells up inside of me on a daily basis.  I think not.  I lead worship and pray with men.  I am overcome by God’s presence and His power in my life.  I talk with Him, hear His voice, walk with Him through my days.  But still fail and struggle and wrestle and whine and pout and ….

Satan whispers in my ear, shouts to my heart, “You are a loser.  You will never matter.  Your life does not and will not make a difference to anyone.  When you die, you will simply disappear and no one will mourn your passing or notice your absence.”  He goes on for a while and I’ll not bore you with all that he says.  But understand, it is a lie.

Does he say things like this to you?  Does his voice of condemnation crush you with its lying truths?  Do you see in yourself the hopelessness of your life and know that you have failed.

Good.  We all need to be humbled from time to time.

Now, stand up.  Put on your armor.  Lift up your sword.  Shout out this battle cry.

“I AM A SAINT!!!”

“GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN ME THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD”

We are His children, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.  We are not condemned for our sins were paid for on the cross of Jesus Christ.  We stand covered by His blood, washed clean, filled with the Holy Spirit.  Warriors of the cross that live victorious who overcome the evil one by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.  This is truth.  This is the reality that cannot be removed or shaken by anything other than our unwillingness to believe it.

I AM A SAINT