His Glory In Everyday Life


Glory is one of those words you’ll repeatedly hear in Christian circles through songs and testimony.  The Believer’s heart desire is to “bring glory to God.”

What does that mean?

Like so many words we use in our faith, it is spoken or sung from a sincere heart but little depth of practical meaning.  The more we are specific in our understanding, the more powerful the actual reality in our lives.

Hebrew Words (Old Testament):  Kavod.   Comes from a word that means weight.  By implication, it is used for something having great honor.  The opposite word means to make light of or dishonor.

The second Hebrew word is Shekinah.  The words Shekinah Glory are used when it refers to the glory that has an emotional or physical response.  The feeling that comes with perceived beauty is often the fruit of God’s felt presence.

Greek (New Testament):  Doxa.  As with many attempts at translation from one language to another, doxa is a word that cannot be understood with one description.  Magnificence is a word that brings the meaning to light.

Whether or not we are speaking of the Hebrew or the Greek words for glory, they all are very similar in description.

Practical Results

Translating academic understandings of ‘glory’ into practical, daily demonstration is what brings value.  What God desires is that we learn to ‘practice His presence’; another way of saying ‘giving God glory.’

The essential definition of who and what God is, according to the Scriptures, is Love (1 John 4:8).  I will leave the study and meditation of the Scriptures to discover the depth, height, and width, of love’s details for yourself.  Suffice it to say that God’s love is an infinitely faceted diamond.  It is deep feeling that drives practical action.  To reduce the idea of God’s love to “being loving” without clear, practical description is the reason so many people have the belief that God loves, but are not able to hold on to it for themselves.

Search the Scriptures.  Search on-line study helps.  Ponder over and ask the Holy Spirit to give you supernatural, personal, practical understanding.  Ask yourself and the Lord the question, “What would love look like in my life.”

Love and Glory

Glory looks like God’s love manifested in and through you.
(Be specific…being general isn’t helpful and won’t bring about God’s and your desired change) 

May the beauty, magnificence, delight, and weight of His glory be a demonstration of His love in your life.

Gary

 

 

 

 

Waiting On God: What Does It Mean?


The idea of “waiting on God” is found multiple times in the Scriptures.  Unfortunately, a great many Christians have interpreted the meaning ‘waiting’ solely using Webster’s English Dictionary and contemporary culture rather than the Scriptures.

To ‘wait’ is typically thought to mean:  the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.

Notice that I previously used the word ‘solely’ as a modifier.  The typical meaning is not inaccurate; but incomplete.

Biblical Perspective

Scriptural insight on what it means to ‘wait on the Lord’ is far richer than I will point out in this blog post.  However, I’d like to polish a couple of the facets that you may not have seen clearly:

Wait for – Hebrew: qâvâh,

This is the Hebrew word you will typically find translated, ‘wait.’  It includes the idea of ‘standing still’…but not in a depression, stress, or frustration.  From God’s perspective, waiting doesn’t mean to ‘white knuckle it’ till things get better.

Other words

Wait is not the only way qâvâh is translated into English.  Other words that are used include ‘hope’, ‘look for’, and ‘gathered’.

As I’ve explained in other writings, ‘to hope’ from God’s perspective is often different than what many people mean when they are hoping for something.  Many (and maybe you) have reduced the idea of hope to wishful thinking without any sense of surety.  However, to hope in the Lord is a thought of confident expectation.

It is also important to point out that looking for is focused on the Lord’s faithfulness and not looking for circumstantial change.  We must turn our eyes away from circumstances and unto the Lord.  (Hebrews 12:2)

Circumstantial change will come when we are not obstructing our faith by looking at circumstances.

Gathered

The first mention of qâvâh/wait/hope is found in Genesis 1:9,

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Waiting on the Lord includes the idea of gathering together, thinking upon, and declaring to ourselves the character and faithfulness of God as seen in His Word.

I declare (out loud) statements like Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is where my life is safe so that
I will be afraid of no one!”  I’ve learned to keep my tank full rather than waiting for a crisis and only finding fumes to burn.

Besides Scripture verses, I intentionally remember testimonies (mine and other’s) of God’s deliverance, and manifest answers to prayer.

Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (NIV)

Waiting for the LORD is what makes us strong with the ability to take heart.  When we wait on, hope in, and gather up remembrance of God’s character and goodness, we receive a spirit-level transfer of strength and confidence that transforms our emotions.

Waiting on the Lord, from God’s perspective, will totally transform the way you face life.  It has mine.

Gary

 

 

 

 

The Soul’s Anchor: The Sacred Space

We try to point to circumstances.  We say, “I wouldn’t be drifting about crashing into things if it weren’t for (this or that).

The real reason we float precariously about has one cause:  Our soul’s anchor has come loose from the Rock that held it secure.

How we “set the anchor” has been called all sorts of things.  Devotions.  Quiet time.  Meditation.  It is sometimes called in the Scriptures, “The Secret Place of the Most High.”

I happen to call it, “My Sacred Space.”

No other soul can go there with me.  The “sacred space” is a time that is private.  It is the place my anchor is secured.

It is not a complicated issue.  A child can find and enter the sacred space…alone.

How do I enter my sacred space?

Different days, different ways…if we’re talking “steps.”  There are no formulas.

I normally include a little quiet music while I munch on my favorite scripture of the moment.  I then simply stand still, cover my eyes, and with anticipation and patience wait for “the dove” to land on my still shoulder.

(Covering my eyes isn’t a religious ritual.  It’s blocking out external light and helps the eyes of my spirit see more clearly impressions that light on my imagination)

Unmeditated impressions, images, and inner feelings gently light.  I pay attention.  Paying attention is an art that is learned only by practice.

That’s my sacred space.  I enjoy it more every day.  At times “nothing” seems to happen and I probably get too impatient and disengage.  But, I find that patience grows with practice.  I make the choice to wait for the “dove” to light.  The Holy Spirit does all the “work.”

Honestly, it’s so simple an approach to relationship with the Lord that it offends many of the “more mature.”  But, I like being a Kingdom Child.

You, too, have a sacred space designed – uniquely for you – by God.  It is the anchor for you soul.  It is a miraculous haven of peace and power for your life.

Gary

 

 

 

 

Powerful Faith: Where It Begins


“When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, there heaven has begun right here on earth.” – A.W. Tozer

Jesus, connects the act of Mary of Bethany (sitting at the feet of Jesus) as essential to the spread of the Gospel world-wide.  Between her quiet devotion, and Martha’s busy activity of service, Jesus said that Mary’s choice was the best.

It’s important to note that Martha was, in fact, a woman of faith.  In the record of John 11:22-23 we read, “Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give to You.”

Her faith in Jesus was not the issue.  She had faith.  And she demonstrated her honor for Him by great service of hospitality.

But, her faith and her service was not the part that Jesus connected to the heart of the Good News.

Jesus connected Mary’s passionate love and devotion for Him as that which would remembered where ever the Good News was proclaimed.

She “delighted herself in Him.”

If you (we) desire a transformed and transforming life that produces transforming good news in our sphere of influence, it is essential that we be like Mary, not a perfect woman without flaw, but a woman of singular devotion that delights ourselves in Him.

It is from that essential connection with Jesus that we take on his “favor and aroma.”  It is from that fundamental oneness with Him that our lives are transformed into sons and daughters that truly reflect and re-present Him.

We become effective and powerful on multiple, practical, daily levels of life as we, as the moon reflects the sun, become the kind of clay vessels that reflects the treasure that is within us.

He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond any and everything we could ever ask or even imagine according to the power that works within us that’s been activated by our intimate devotion with Him.

And now abides, faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love which is rooted in our love relationship with Him before it becomes acts of love to those around us.  Without the intimacy of relationship where we love Him with everything about ourselves, we stand zero chance of re-presenting His love.

What is required is the choice to separate oneself on a regular basis of intimate devotion until the choice morphs from duty to delight.

 

Hope Changes Everything

Does your walk of faith seem not to be working as well as promised?  Are you even “faith tired”?  It’s possible that you’re missing a vital ingredient in the activation of your faith.

Your missing ingredient may be hope.

Another word for hope is the word anticipation.  The New Testament version of hope includes another word, ‘confident’.  In other words, hope is ‘confident anticipation’.

There is also a natural (or world-view) description.

The view of hope in worldly wisdom has two sides:

  1.  Wishful thinking.  I hope so thinking.
  2.  Negative anticipation.When we have either (or both) of those feelings about hope, then we are not functioning with hope as the Bible puts forth.  It is important that we adjust our thoughts and feelings about hope to harmonize with God’s supernatural description.

    Faith vs. hope.

    When I was first learning about the importance of walking by faith and not by sight, I felt like I had just been born again…again.  The message of faith was so revolutionizing in how I approached my relationship with God.  But, mixed in with the ‘faith message’ was often a negative slant on the idea of hope.  What many of the faith teachers – I listened to – emphasized that faith is not hope.  The idea was that hope looks to the FUTURE, and faith is NOW.

    In a real sense, that is true.  However, as with many spiritual principles that are taught, the thoughts are not inaccurate, but they are, often, incomplete.

    Faith AND Hope.

    The tricky part to get one’s head around is the fact that Western thought likes to separate concepts for individual examination.   Truthfully speaking, that method doesn’t work well with many things spiritual.

    The Bible description of what hope (as we said above) is ‘confident anticipation.’  That sounds a lot like a description of faith, doesn’t it?  We use the word confidence as a way of describing faith.  Anticipation describes hope.  Like bacon and eggs, faith and hope go together.

    When I write, I use the program Grammarly to as a spelling and grammar ninja.  If it ‘decides’ I’m overusing a word, it will point it out.  Case in point, it advised me that I was over-using two words; faith and hope.  It suggested alternatives.  Do you know what they were?  For faith the word hope, and for hope the word faith.  Even a computer program realizes the mixture 🙂

    Faith and hope must be ‘peas in the same pod.’  One without the other effectively cancels out the other.

    A quick word about negative hope (anticipation).

    Anticipating the negative i.e.: ‘something opposed to a promise’ will deep six the ability to receive the promise.

    Somebody who was trying to believe for the healing of a leg condition said to me one time, “When I’m laying down I feel good, but I know when I get up my leg is going to hurt.”  We’ve all been there – and are there – in some area in our lives.  Instead of criticizing ourselves, or someone else, for not being in faith, we would be much further ahead to examine the reason behind the statement.

    A deep-seated habit pattern from negative experiences.

    In the case of the person in my illustration, they had a childhood filled with anxiety over the actions of a parent who had been mentally disturbed.  During their formative years, they were alway on edge about what the parent was going to do next.  That fear developed a pattern of thinking and feeling that acted as a barrier to positive anticipation.  As a result, hope became more of a “hope so” without confidence.   Although the individual was sincere in their desire for God’s healing, their ingrained default always pointed them to current negative experience (let pain when pressure was applied).

    It sounds rational to think that way.

    The leg hurt whenever weight was applied.  That was real.  That was rational.  But, it is also logical that the negative anticipation would road-block faith to receive something outside of current experience.

    The revelation of hope.

    A person can’t ‘get hopeful’ just by trying hard.  The God kind of hope (being spiritual in nature) takes the work of the Holy Spirit to make it real and receiveable.  Only with the Holy Spirit’s gift of spiritual insight (revelation) will a child of God receive the necessary ‘hope beyond hope’ that it takes to change the way a person thinks.

    One of the first places to start is by meditation on hope scriptures.  Here are just two:

    Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (or a hope-filled future)

    Psalm 25:5, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

    We receive what we focus upon.  If we set our faces like flint on the area of our need, and take the Gospill “Hope” pills (from His Word) for at least 10 days, then the virus of negative anticipation will weaken until it disippates.  This is, of course, by way of illustration.  There’s now 10 day law here.  However, the principle of focus (as we do in many thing natural) will bear the benefits.

    Hope Changes Everything.  You likely don’t need more faith (cuz you’ve actually got all you need already).  You need the God kind of hope that comes by the working of His Spirit with His Word.

    Finally, as you meditate on hope, do so not as a doctrinal belief, but as a emotional reality that the Holy Spirit’s work begins producing in your heart.

    May the eyes of your heart be flooded with His glorious hope!  Faith will cease being such a struggle!

    Gary

 

How To Know God’s Love For Yourself

In the twilight of waking this morning, this thought settled upon me, “Pursuing God is to pursue loving God first.  All the rest will follow.”

As I began to roll that thought over in my mind, several things occurred to me:

MY FOCUS IS ON THE SOURCE

I Corinthians 14:1 instructs us, “Pursue love…”  More often than not, we assume those words are telling us to make our highest goal to love the people around us.  However, the greatest commandment includes loving one’s neighbor, but it is initiated by loving God with our whole being.

I began to realize that loving my neighbor was a resulting fruit of my love pursuit of God.  Btw…this is a supernatural pursuit.  Therefore, it takes supernatural help.  That’s the job of Holy Spirit.  Always ask for His help.  When we make our highest aim the pursuit of loving God, the “eyes” (perceptions) of our heart begins to love how He loves.

I DISCOVER INNER REST

When I pursue God, a supernatural rest begins to envelop my soul; my thoughts, my emotions, my innermost parts. Supernatural peace begins to overshadow me.

HIS LOVE FOR ME

When I (we) pursue loving God, the knowledge of His deep love for us chases us down; no attempting to convince yourself that God loves you.

A WHOLE NEW WORLD

I begin to experience what I thought I knew but had never actually “seen.”  Instead of attempting to believe God for (you name the need), You begin to see your challenge as He sees and feels about it.

Pursue loving God, first.  Instead of trying to convince yourself of His will, His love will convince you of His solution.

Let fresh peace begin!

Gary

How To Have Peace Of Mind

Is it possible that you are very strong in belief, but those things you are believing are from a source that doesn’t know how to give you peace of mind?

This erroneous source thinks it understands where your peace can be found and how to find it.  However, for some reason, the locations it leads you to are like ‘clouds without rain.’  Fluffy images of peace appear, but then disappear without giving you any promised refreshment.

You believe and believe, but where’s the substance?  Where’s the promise of peace fulfilled?

Perhaps it’s because the source of belief you’ve been counting on is your own firm declarations about life, love, and everything in between.

THE SOLUTION:  Don’t believe everything you think.  Exit the highway of ‘Self Opinion and Speculation.’

It’s not that everything we think is wrong.  The problem is in the attitudes with which we hold our opinions and speculations.

The Scriptures reveal the weakness of understanding reality:

1 Corinthians 13:12, “We see as through a glass unclearly.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with your heart and not your own understanding (what you think you know)”

It is true that we need to have personal convictions.  We need to have a strong foundation of beliefs that we can stand upon.  But, when all is said and done, what does the Lord require of us?  Isn’t that the bottom line?

Micah 6:8 – He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

So, why am I saying, “Don’t believe everything you think”?

Because our thoughts are strongly influenced by a great many factors that are ultimately as firm as sinking sand.  Those elements have been established by the questionable wisdom of the world we live in (and have lived in).  They are padded with biases, prejudices, and deep emotional investments.

Our emotions play a very strong role in what we think on.  The more we are emotionally attached to the issues we rehearse in our minds the further from the truth we potentially slide.  In psychological terms, it’s called ‘confirmation bias.’

Truthfully, confirmation bias can be our ally if our emotions are deeply rooted in truth on the issue.

THE KEY:  Developing an ever-increasing intimacy with the Living Word (Jesus) within your heart.  Let that relationship convert the written word of Scripture beyond academic principle to active spiritual reality.  That transformation will contain a deep emotional attachment that is God-driven rather than the fleshly demands of personal opinion.

HERE’S HOW YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EMOTION THAT IS GOD DRIVEN AND FLESH DRIVEN:

God-driven:  Feels like joy, peace, patience, love, etc.
Flesh-driven:  Anger, frustration, stress, jealousy, etc.

Believe what you think if it has the character and nature of Jesus on it.
Don’t believe everything you think if it contains the character and nature of the flesh:  Anger, pride, stress, pride, etc.

Thinking like Jesus brings peace of mind.  If your life is littered with fear, anxiety, stress, confusion, etc., you’re on the wrong road.  Take the next exit to a more connected relationship with the Prince of Peace.

Gary