THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: STAY CALM AND CONFIDENT, AND GIVE GOD TIME TO WORK

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 5: Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work. 

Moses said to the people: “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” ~Exodus 14:13-14

If there was ever a reminder I needed to hear everyday it is this one. With all the unrest in our world, family, financial and health issues… I need to be reminded almost on a daily basis to…

Stay calm, confident and give God time to work!

It’s Not MyJob To Find The Solution

Like most people, I’m always trying to find the solution to my seemingly impossible dilemmas and life dramas. But I must remember God specializes in the impossible.

With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God. ~ Galatians 6:9

God Sees Our Impossible Situations

Cornered by the Egyptian army at the edge of the Red Sea, the Israelites faced impossible odds. Scripture tells us God doesn’t show favoritism. Meaning that I am just as important to God as the Israelites were. My impossible situation is just as important to God. Just like the Red Sea opened up for the Israelites, my impossible situation can be solved by God. It’s up to me to stay calm, confident in whom I trust, and wait for God to work the solution out in HIS timing.

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! ~ Hebrews 10:35

Join me in recommitting “Red Sea” situations to God.

Let’s take a few minutes and prayerfully listen to this beautiful song by Hillsong Worship. Trust God to do His work.

THE NEW LIFE :: SPEAK TRUTH

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world applications.

Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old self with its evil practices.~ Colossians 3:9

In this portion of our study the Apostle Paul reminds us that because we’re walking a new life we must strip off our old ways and words.

From Anger and Deception to Peace and Truth

Before Christ made us new creatures we were spiritually dead. Our old self would put on anger and deception to manage ourselves and others. But now with Christ enlivening us we can live in peace and truth.

The Ultimate Voice of Truth

Christ, the ultimate Voice of Truth, speaks into our spirit. It’s up to us to listen and believe; to allow Him to live and speak through us to others.

Live Up to The Higher Standard

As Christ followers we hold to a higher standard–we must intentionally put off our old words and ways to walk in this new life. Others are watching and waiting for us to live up or fall down. Let’s live up to Christ with the Voice of Truth in our mouth!

Listen / watch this classic song by Casting Crowns as you contemplate the Voice of Truth living in and through you today.

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: STUDY

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

 

STUDY: the intentional process of engaging the mind with the written / spoken Word of God and with the world God has created; conforming the mind to that on which it concentrates. 

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~ Psalm 119:105

At the foundation of all The Spiritual Disciplines is God’s Word. The best way we can learn more about God and grow closer to Him is to study the Bible. As a young boy Jesus studied the Torah. Scripture records him spending time with the teachers in the Temple. We must follow Jesus’ example and spend time studying Scripture. What we study becomes implanted in us. And the best way to be transformed from the inside out is to not just study but meditate on and even memorize Scripture.

Quality Time With God

When we spend time alone with God in His Word we can learn about God’s love for us and the truth that will bring us salvation. Through our faithful study of God’s Word we will be taught, directed, protected and even healed. God wants a relationship with us and a healthy relationship takes time to build.

Be Intentional About Study

The Spiritual Discipline of Study encompasses more that just learning about God from the Bible. We can spend time in nature and with other valuable books to grow closer with God. What’s most important is that we are intentional about what we study, making sure that where we spend our time and energy, what we focus and meditate on, is what we want to be planted in our heart, mind and soul. We will become like what we meditate on.

Transformation Will Come

God’s Word can speak to our circumstances/pain/heartache in the most mysterious way. However, for that to happen requires that we sacrifice our time to study. When we do, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the Living Word of God will bring about the transformation that’s needed.

Watch/listen to this touching song by MercyMe and allow the Word of God to speak to your heart today.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. He’s not just giving them a prayer to recite, but a model prayer for everyone of us. Join me on the first Friday of each month in 2020 as we study this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bring fresh application to our lives today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

The Lord’s Prayer is Jesus teaching His disciples the priorities of prayer. Thus far Jesus has addressed the importance of us setting God apart as holy and treating Him with the highest honor. Jesus reminds us that we are called to pray for and work for the continual advancement of God’s kingdom on earth. And most of all, we should pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Our Daily Bread

In today’s portion of The Lord’s Prayer Jesus focuses on daily bread, which was a necessity of life for Him and the disciples. When we pray “Give us this day our daily bread” we are acknowledging God as the provider of all we have. We depend on God to provide for our every need not just our food.

Our Daily Life

We can take the analogy of daily bread and use it to address our need for God’s Word daily in our life. God used manna in the wilderness to teach the Israelites their need for God daily. Jesus tells us that we’re not to live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

“I am the true Bread of Life.Your ancestors ate manna in the desert and died. But standing here before you is the true Bread that comes out of heaven, and when you eat this Bread you will never die. I alone am this living Bread that has come to you from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever. The living Bread I give you is my body, which I will offer as a sacrifice so that all may live.” ~ John 6:48-51 

When we depend solely on God for our physical sustenance, seek His face and Word daily we’re doing what He wants us to do. This will benefit for both today and for eternity. Time spent in prayer and the presence of God will sustain us more than the best meal of food made by any human hands.

As you listen/watch this beautiful classic song by Michael W. Smith contemplate on God being the provider of every thing you need. Even our very breath comes from Him.

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: PRAY!

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 4: PRAY!

When Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. ~ Exodus 14:10

As we’ve seen in our previous lessons, God purposefully put the Israelites in this place of crisis. We don’t know all the reasons why. But we do know that He was working to build their faith and trust back in Him.

After four centuries of slave labor to the Egyptians, not only were the children of Israel not prepared to serve God, they weren’t equipped for any battle that faced them. Finding themselves pinned against the Red Sea by Pharaoh’s soldiers they were filled with great fear. To their credit they did the right thing and cried out to the Lord.

“When we can’t press forward, move sideward, or step backward, it’s time to look upward and to ask God to make a way.” ~ Robert J. Morgan, The Red Sea Rules

PRAY SWIFTLY

Pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready. Never give up. ~ Ephesians 6:18

Don’t waste a moment! In times of crisis call immediately upon the Lord.

PRAY SINCERELY

The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.~ James 5:16

Be honest with God about your needs. After all, He knows already.

PRAY SURELY

They cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. ~ Psalm 107:28-29

Trust that God hears you and will answer in His perfect way and time.

 

As you reflect on your prayer life, take a few minutes to enjoy this awesome song by Tauren Wells!

 

 

THE NEW LIFE :: NEW TALK / NEW WALK

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study in Colossians with real world application for today.

In your past evil life you did wrong things. But now you must put these things out of your life: anger, bad temper, doing or saying things to hurt others, and using evil words when you talk. ~ Colossians 3:7-8

This earthly life brings challenges in our daily interactions with other people. These challenges may surface old negative patterns in our inner attitudes and our outer behaviors that were part of our old sinful life. In our new life God wants us to have a new way of talking and walking with others.

NEW TALK

Our attitudes, good or bad, show up in the words we use in difficult situations or with difficult people. When we’re reborn in Christ, God is remaking us from the inside out. This means our attitudes and words should be the first noticeable evidence of our new life to others who know us.

Our old life is dead and we are walking in new life with Christ. We must see our old self, our old attitudes and our old behaviors as dead. Our death to this earthly life must be made real in the way that we live every day.

NEW WALK

We aren’t walking this new life journey alone. Jesus has sent His Holy Spirit to live within us, to strengthen and guide us. We can trust that He is walking with us in our daily battle. He will help us in all areas of our life.

We are being made new in Christ every day. Our creation process is ongoing. It will only be fully completed when we cross over to Heaven one day. Until then, we seek God’s will and God’s ways by reading His Word, praying and listening to His guidance.

God promises He will never leave us or forsake us!

Let’s put on our dancing shoes and celebrate the good news that no matter how we’re talking and walking God will never walk away from us! Enjoy this awesome song by Elevation Rhythm!

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: CONFESSION

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’ll be learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns will post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties. But rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

CONFESSION: Sharing our deepest weaknesses and failures with God and trusted others, so that we may enter into God’s grace and mercy and experience His ready forgiveness. ~ The Life With God Bible

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.~ James 5:16

The Spiritual Discipline of Confession is a difficult one for most of us. We’d rather hide our sins and weaknesses from ourselves, our friends and God. We think if we ignore them maybe they will go away.

We’re Not Alone In Our Sin

We often believe we’re alone in our sin. Satan whispers in our ear that we can’t possibly tell our secret to anyone. We feel if someone knows the truth about us they won’t like or love us anymore. This is when we need a friend or counselor who will listen to our heart in confidence without judgement.

“We are sinners together. In acts of mutual confession we release the power that heals. Our humanity is no longer denied, but transformed.” ~ Richard Foster

Release Your Burden to God

When we’re living under the burden of hidden sins, it holds a power over us. Rather than carrying this burden alone we must ignore the devil’s taunts and cry out to God and share our weaknesses, pain and heartache.

If we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. ~ 1 John 1:9

We mustn’t be afraid of offending God with our confession. After all He already knows about it. Confession is more for us than for God. It is a great opportunity for deep internal and spiritual growth.

*For a good confession three things are necessary:

      1. An Examined Conscience: Invite God to move on our hearts and show us where we need His healing and forgiving touch.
      2. A Sorrowful Heart: A deep regret at having offended the heart of our Father. Being sorrowful in emotions without a godly sorrow will destroy our confession.
      3. A Determination to Avoid Future Sin: In confession we seek the will to be delivered from sin. We must desire to be ruled by God. If we do not desire it, ask for the desire to desire it. This desire itself is a gift of grace from God.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. ~ Philippians 2:13 

Following the steps above. Prayerfully examine your heart and conscience. As you listen to this beautiful song by Chris Tomlin lean in to the Lord. Ask Him to give you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. God is here for you.

*These three points on Confession are taken from Richard Foster’s excellent book Celebration of Discipline.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: AS IT IS IN HEAVEN

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray, giving them not just a prayer to recite, but also a model prayer for us all. On the first Friday of each month in 2020 we will study this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bring fresh application to our lives for today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN

As believers we are not of this world, we are citizens of an unseen heavenly kingdom. We’re in two realms at once. Our physical bodies inhabit the earth while our spirits are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Armed with the important truth that heaven dwells with in us, we must live each day reminded that we may be the only example of heaven that people around us see today.

Earthen Vessels Filled with Heaven’s Breath

Our bodies are made from the dust of this earth. Our spirits are from the breath of God. Our bodies are drawn to earth yet our spirits are drawn to heaven. When our spirits have been reborn by the saving power of Jesus Christ, we experience a battle between our flesh and our spirits.

For now we must make the best of this earthly battle. Walk in wisdom by seeking God’s word, faithfully praying for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We want our earthly bodies to walk out heaven’s will with God’s power to strengthen us and His Spirit to guide us.

Earth Bound Yet Citizens of Heaven

As citizens of heaven we’re called by God to live high and holy lives here on earth. To proclaim the excellencies of God who called us out of our darkness into His marvelous light. We are no longer our own. We’ve been bought with a price. We are God’s people, citizens of an unseen heavenly kingdom but yet living as earthly servants of God and for His glory.

“On the earth as it is in heaven

Let it be here with us right now

 Where Your word is fulfilled

And your glory’s revealed

Let it be here with us right now.”  ~ As It Is In Heaven Lyrics

Enjoy this beautiful song by Corey Voss.

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ENEMY BUT KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE LORD

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED friday OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 3: Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.

Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. . . .  So the Egyptians pursued them. ~ Exodus 14:5-9

Satan Pursues Us

Like Pharaoh’s army pursued the Israelites, Scripture tells us we too have an enemy ceaselessly pursuing us.  We mustn’t take this lightly because Satan certainly doesn’t. He is like a roaring lion seeking whomever he can devour. And like a lion in the jungle, the easy prey are the weak or those who let down their guard.

“Satan doesn’t surrender his prey without a fight. He comes racing after the converted soul, chariot wheels churning the dust, seeking to discourage, you to defeat you. He pursues you with the intensity of Pharaoh. . .  Acknowledge Satan’s activity, but don’t be intimidated by him. You can resist him in the power God and by the blood of Jesus Christ. . .  When we resist his wiles, when we shake off discouragement, Satan falls from heaven faster than lightning. He is drowned in the Red Sea of the blood of Jesus Christ.” ~ Robert J. Morgan

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. . .  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” ~ James 4:7-8, 10

Don’t Be Easy Prey

We can’t foolishly live as easy prey for Satan. We must be aware and always on our  guard. To prevent ourselves from succumbing to the enemy’s attacks we must humbly submit and draw near to God.

As we humble ourselves before God He will lift us up. Even in times of confusion, when we feel blocked by a seemly dead end, God will protect us. He provide an escape just in time!

“We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 (TPT)

Contemplate the many victories you’ve had in God with this powerful song by Bethel Music.

THE NEW LIFE :: ELIMINATE SINFUL BEHAVIOR

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world applications.

Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient.~ Colossians 3:5-6 (CSB)

The Scripture reading for today may seem somewhat harsh or unsettling. However, what it is teaching us is critical to living a victorious new life in Christ.

 

Behaviors Driven By Desires

Because we have  accepted Christ as our Savior, we have died to our old life and have been raised to walk a new life in Christ. Living this new life will require changing the habits and behaviors from our old lifestyle.

Our old behaviors were driven by old desires which originate within various parts of our physical body: mind, eyes, ears, touch, taste, etc…  We allowed the desires of our body to dictate how we lived our life.

 

Feeding Habits Keeps Them Alive

Paul tells us we must kill what belongs to our earthly nature. And the best way to do that is to starve it… Don’t feed it anymore! Instead, we must feed our spirit by keeping our hearts and minds set on things above where Christ, is, not on the temporary things of this world.

After committing adultery and murder, King David composed probably the most famous psalm of repentance. Having owned up to his past sins in previous verses, we now see David asking God to make him a new creature.

Create a new, clean heart within me.
Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you.
May you never reject me!
May you never take from me your sacred Spirit!

Let my passion for life be restored,
tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me.
Hold me close to you with a willing spirit
that obeys whatever you say. ~ Psalm 51:10-12 (TPT)

Changed Focus Means Changed Life

When we focus on the things of God, earthly desires begin to fade away. By spending time with God and experiencing a new found joy our desires begin to change. Little by little our thoughts change and our bodies will no longer crave old destructive habits. Soon we will have separated ourselves from the sins that caused us to walk in disobedience.

To stay in right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ there are things we must not do or think. By humbly submitting our lives and diligently reordering our behaviors we will walk in joyful obedience to God.

BY GOD’S GRACE WE ARE CHANGED!

Celebrate how God changed you with this awesome song by Jordan Feliz