Saturday, August 22, 2015

Living in the Shadow of His Hand

For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” – Psalms 18:28

We all go through times in our lives that it feels like we have a black cloud over our heads.  We feel like our lives are an empty pit of sorrow.  The stress of everyday living just sucks the joy out of us.   Everything just gets jacked up on two wheels.  We feel like we’re dredging through life.  There are days filled with tears, and days where we are too low to have any emotion at all.  In those days of darkness you sometimes just pray to sleep through the day because in all honesty you don’t want to live it.
The old song says “the sun will come out tomorrow”.  Hearing those words on one of those dark days may make you want to smack somebody because they obviously don’t understand how you feel.  But as cliché as it may sound, it is true. 

We relate those down days as “dark days”, and the good days as “days of sunshine”, which is an analogy that the Bible uses.  In the Bible, the sun represents light, and light is used to represent God and good.  But darkness is used to represent evil and times of sorrow.  Here’s some verses that show that representation:

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20

“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” – John 3:19

“But when I looked for good, evil came to me;  and when I waited for light, then came darkness.” – Job 30:26

In Him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1:4

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:5-7

For children of God, there can only be days of shadows, not utter darkness.  While we may feel like God has left us, abandoned His children to the darkness of life, the truth is – it’s only a feeling.  His light remains in us, and His light overcomes darkness.  In fact, it is the only thing that can.

In Genesis 1:4 it says that “God divided the light from the darkness.”  This isn’t just a statement about the universe and the sun and moon.  God separates good and evil through His Holiness.  He is the one that determines what is holy and what is evil.  And just as you cannot have pure good and pure evil at the same time, you cannot have pure light and have pure darkness at the same time. 

But you cannot have shadows without the presence of light!  If you have His light, in your darkest days, you’re only living in the shadow.  He has promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5).  His light is in our hearts - His Holy Spirit.  For the child of God, there are days of shadow, but never days of true utter darkness.  The sun really will come out again (don’t slap me!).  His promise is for joy and peace, not sorrow and depression. 

We can accept the shadows because the light never leaves us.   As Michael W. Smith says in his song 'You Won’t Let Go', “No shadow comes without the light making a way”.  God allows us to endure the shadows from time to time.  In those times, our response should be to draw closer to Him.  Only light overcomes darkness.  Only good overcomes evil. 

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” – John 8:13

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” – Ephesians 5:8

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” – Psalms 23:4

For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” – Psalms 18:28

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:3

Back in 2004 when God first asked me to write for Him, He gave me a title for what I then thought would be a book and later became this blog.  The title was “Living In The Shadow of His Hand.”  It was only today that He showed me the true meaning of “living in the shadow of His hand”.  I praise God that I only live in the shadow of darkness, and know that utter darkness will never overcome me.  He is with me, and will never leave me.  His light overshadows my life, and floods my soul.  I love you Father God.  You are an ever present help in time of trouble, the love of my life.

Friends, if you don't know Him as you Father, seek Him.  Seek out who He is, not just to know Him by name, but to KNOW Him and be known by Him.  He promises that if you do, you will find Him.  He is our source of joy, of hope, our light in the darkest of times.  Only when we embrace Him and His love do we really know what love is...unfailing, undeserved, unconditional love.  God be with you is my prayer for everyone who reads this.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


“He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.  Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” – Psalms 46:10

It’s funny how God can take a memory and bring it to mind with a verse that seems absurdly separate in meaning.  This morning in my time with Him He brought to mind the three rules of the Genie in the movie Aladdin.  I know them by heart, thanks to two small children that could watch the movie day after day without blinking an eye while it was playing. 

The three rules of the Genie were:
1. He couldn’t kill anybody.
2. He couldn’t make anybody fall in love with anybody else.
3. He couldn’t bring people back from the dead.

(The video is below if you want to hear it in the words of the Genie, Robin Williams, as I did.)

As human beings, we have an innate nature to try to control things, to step in and fix things – even if they’re not broken sometimes!  As Christians, we feel like we have to always be DOERS of the word.  Yet there is a time that we should just BE STILL, as God tells us in Psalms 46:10.  There are times that things are out of our control.  In those times we are dependent on God to fix them. 

One of those times is when you love someone and you just cannot understand why the love isn’t returned.  Another is when you want to choke the living daylights out of someone, and just like the Genie, you can’t kill nobody…and you shouldn’t want to.  The other is when you want so badly to have that one more conversation with someone who has passed away. 

These are all heart problems, and nothing we can do can change a heart – not even our own.  You can’t make someone love you, you can’t stop loving someone even when they’re gone, and sometimes, you just can’t find the way to forgive and turn off the anger you feel toward someone. 

But God can.  With God nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26).  God can create a clean heart inside a person (Ezekiel 36:26), and it is okay to ask Him to do that (Psalms 51:10). 

Psalms 46:10 says that He makes wars come to an end.  When we hear the word “war” we usually perceive it to be between nations.  But a war can occur on a much smaller level, in a family, in a job, or even in a single heart.  None of those are omitted from the wars that God can end.  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is peace.     

So if you’re hurting from the need to resolve one of the Genie’s three rules in your life, reach out to God in prayer.  Ask Him to do what you cannot do.  Instead of asking him to take the wheel, ask Him to just take the whole thing.  And then, BE STILL. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Power of Elijah


But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.  For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.  And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.  He will also go before Him in the SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”” – Luke 1:13-17 

And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, ELIJAH IS COMING FIRST and will restore all things.  But I say to you that ELIJAH HAS COME ALREADY, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that HE SPOKE TO THEM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.” – Matthew 17:10-13

Now ELIJAH took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of YOUR SPIRIT be upon me.”

So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.  

He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over.  Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The SPIRIT OF ELIJAH rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.” – 2 Kings 2:8-15

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. ELIJAH WAS A MAN WITH A NATURE LIKE OURS, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” – James 5:16-18

These are the days when we need more like Elijah, "to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord".