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

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: SOLITUDE

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 Spiritual Disciplines series we’ll be 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.

At the time of this writing we are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Thankfully God is protecting my husband and myself. We are healthy and safe.

When preparing to write this column I found it quite appropriate that Solitude was next on my schedule. While often silence and solitude are taught together, today we will focus only on the Spiritual Discipline of Solitude.

SOLITUDEThe creation of an open, empty space in our lives by purposefully abstaining from interaction with other human beings, so that freed from competing loyalties, we can be found by God.    ~ The Life with God Bible ~

Jesus said, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” ~ Mark 6:31

Many times in Scripture Jesus draws away from people:

    • Alone in the desert for 40 days He prepared to begin his ministry.
    • He spent a night alone in the hills before He chose the Twelve.
    • After feeding the five thousand He went up to the hills alone.
    • As He prepared for the cross He sought solitude in the Garden.

Solitude Prepares Us for Fellowship

We see the pattern that Jesus shows us of filling up in God’s Presence to prepare Him for His next ministry work. Each time, Jesus is being refreshed by precious time of solitude with Father God.

During these challenging times we must discipline ourselves to practice true solitude. To not only draw away from others but to find a quiet space where we can hear The Divine Whisper speaking to our spirit.

Having refreshed our spirits with God in solitude, when we are in the presence of others we will be more able to enjoy their company and better prepared to minister where needed.

“Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment… Jesus calls us from loneliness to solitude… If we possess inward solitude we do not fear being alone, for we know that we are not alone.”~ Richard Foster

Over the next few days find some time to be still with the Lord. You may want to listen to the relaxing instrumental music of the video or you may choose rather to simply be still in silence. Either way, I pray you will be blessed in your refreshing time of solitude with God.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: THY WILL BE DONE

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 is teaching his disciples how to pray, giving them not just a prayer to recite, but also a model prayer for us all. This series will be published the first Friday of each month in 2020. We will be studying this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bringing 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 sometimes seen as a familiar prayer taught in childhood to recite before bedtime. As we’re learning in this series it is much more than that. For many of us it’s very important, even a critical prayer during times of uncertainty and struggles.

Come To God With A Child’s Heart

Much like a child would go to their earthly parent seeking permission or direction, we can go to God when we pray for His will. God is for us as well and wants to help us. However, like a loving parent, Father God is looking for a good attitude and a submissive, obedient heart.

Heart Softened with The Word

If we catch ourselves dealing with a bad attitude our hearts and minds may need some refreshing by the water of The Word. Spending time in Scripture, for me specifically the Gospels of Jesus Christ, helps transform my heart attitude in no time.  The more time I spend in God’s Word, the quicker my heart will align with God’s will.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. ~ 1 John 5:14-15

Confident Prayers

After spending time in Scripture, my heart is now softened, my mind has been transformed and I can now be confident that the prayers I pray will be more in alignment with God’s will.  My prayers have a better chance of being answered because I know better my Father’s heart and desires for me.

Take a few minutes to prayerfully seek God’s will as you enjoy this beautiful song by Hillary Scott.

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: BE MORE CONCERNED FOR GOD’S GLORY THAN FOR YOUR RELIEF

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 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 2: Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief.

“Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, “They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.” Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.~ Exodus 14:3-4

God Delivers Us In His Way and In His Time

When God led the Israelites directly to be blocked in by their enemy at the Red Sea shore, I’m sure they were wondering what God was thinking. After all, hadn’t He just rescued them from Egypt? Just like the Israelites didn’t understand, we’re often clueless to God’s reasoning for our circumstances.

” God deliberately orchestrated the Exodus events as an occasion for demonstrating the power He wields over both His enemies and the elements.” ~ Robert J. Morgan

The Exodus Story Teaches Us:

        • God doesn’t waste suffering.
        • If God leads us in He will lead us out.
        • God delivers in His time and in His way.
        • God can use every impossible situation for His glory!

See Difficulties as God Opportunities.

If we could see our difficulties as an opportunity for God’s grace to shine on our behalf we would maintain a more balanced perspective and give God more glory in the middle of our struggles.

During our difficult times it would be good to remember Jesus’ submissive prayer after The Last Supper as He was looking ahead at the coming hours:

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.Father, glorify your name!” ~ John 12:27-28

Give God Glory by Turning Problems into Praise.

Today instead of asking God to get me out of the mess I’m in, I’ll ask God how can I bring glory to His name in the middle of my mess.

Take a break from your trying times. Rise and shine with this energetic worship song and give God glory despite everything you see and feel.

THE NEW LIFE :: HIDDEN IN CHRIST

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 application.

Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ.  ~ Colossians 3:3 TPT

When we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior we made a declaration of that new life and displayed it publicly by the act of water baptism. Submerged under the water we are buried with Christ. Lifted up out of the water we are raised to walk a new life in Christ.

Just as we know that our old sinful life is buried and dead, we can see our new life hidden safely in Christ. We are protected from the sting of eternal death that sin brings and from anything the Enemy tries to attack us with.

CHRIST IS IN ME

I AM IN CHRIST

CHRIST IS IN GOD

Using the image below as a visual example, we can imagine how this new life hidden in Christ works. With nesting containers, the smaller one fits inside the next larger size and so on until all the containers are inside the largest container.

Visualize yourself as the second container, with Christ (the top container) in you. Then with Christ in you, you are also in Christ (the third container). And together you are both in God (the bottom container).

With Christ inside us giving us peace, strength and direction we are protectively hidden in Christ and Father God’s hands. Not only are we safe from the Enemy’s sneaky tricks and hateful attacks, we are fully surrounded by God’s love.

Contemplate what being hidden in Christ means to you with this sweet song by United Pursuit .

 

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: SIMPLICITY

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 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.

 

SIMPLICITY: The inward reality of single-hearted focus upon God and His kingdom, which results in an outward lifestyle of modesty, openness, and unpretentiousness and which disciplines our hunger for status, glamour and luxury. ~ The Life With God Bible ~

It requires determined intentionality to live a life of simplicity amid the growing chaos of this world. The importance of the spiritual discipline of simplicity isn’t just about our mental and physical health. It is intrinsically connected to our ability to hear from God and enter into His Kingdom.

…Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom.  ~ Matthew 18: 2-5 (MSG)

When we think about a very young child, one that has yet to be influenced much by society, we can recognize their simplicity of thought and behavior. They exhibit a sense of wonderment and an ability to enjoy even the simplest of things. This is what Jesus is asking us as adults to do.

Let’s break it down…

Simplicity of Body: Examine yourself as you are today, accepting your body as it is not as you wish it could be.

Simplicity of Mind: Lean into the uncomfortable quietness of a moment without social media distractions or entertainment. 

Simplicity of Heart: Embrace contentment in anonymity without desiring attention and acknowledgement from others. 

Simplicity of Spirit: Experience the presence of God in nature; walk among the trees, listen to the birds, watch the clouds, smell a flower.

As with all the spiritual disciplines simplicity must begin with an inner heart change, one that is focused on God and His Kingdom. The result will be a sincere, uncomplicated lifestyle that has a deep appreciation for creation, and by refusing to be a slave to anything but God becomes free of the attachments to material possessions.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

~ Matthew 5:8

Following the words of Jesus, let’s come with the simplicity of a child’s heart and worship God with this beautiful song by Rend Collective.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: THY KINGDOM COME

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 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

 

Old Testament Kingdom Expectations

Through Old Testament Scripture the prophets taught that God’s Kingdom will come. Because of this Jesus’ disciples and many of the early believers were expecting Jesus to come and rule as an earthly king like the Hebrew nation had for centuries.

Believers Represent The Kingdom

Today, Jesus’ Kingdom is represented in this world by His body of believers. I believe when we pray THY KINGDOM COME we’re asking for more of God’s presence to come by way of the Holy Spirit through the body of believers. For God to show out more and more to the unbelieving world in a way that they will know Jesus is the only Way and the only Truth!

“Grace and peace to you from the One who is and was and is coming, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the faithful witness, the first among those raised from the dead. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.

He is the One who loves us, who made us free from our sins with the blood of his death. He made us to be a kingdom of priests who serve God his Father. To Jesus Christ be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” ~ Revelation 1:4-6

Jesus Is Sovereign Over All

Jesus is the sovereign King and His saving work — His death, burial and resurrection — established the beginning of His kingdom. But Jesus’ Kingdom won’t be fully completed until His second coming.

Until that time comes we are to worship The King of Kings in spirit and truth, while sharing His message of love and redemption to everyone we can. Let’s start today with this beautiful song by Hillsong Worship.

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: GOD MEANS FOR YOU TO BE WHERE YOU ARE

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 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 1: Realize that God means for you to be where you are.

“God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon.” ~ Exodus 14:1-2

DEAD ENDS AND QUESTION MARKS

In the first Scripture of our study we read that God tells Moses to turn the Israelites around and make camp on the shore of the Red Sea. I’m sure the Israelites were wondering why they turned around and are going back from where they came instead of going away from the Egyptians.

“Worry is putting question marks where God has put periods.” ~ John R. Rice

It’s easy to get bogged down in worry and wonder why we are in the situation we are in today. We may even begin to think we are at fault for some reason.

In times like these it’s important that to realize that God has everything under control. He has either put us here and will get us out. Or if we have put ourselves here, God will still get us out and good will come from it.

WHEN FACING A TOUGH SITUATION REMEMBER YOU ARE:

    • In God’s Assignment: We are here for a reason.
    • In God’s Protection: We are being kept safe.
    • In God’s Education: We are learning something for our future.
    • In God’s Plan: It all works together for good one day.

As you ponder life’s hills and valleys enjoy this beautiful song posted below by Tauren Wells.