Living In Little, Staying In Small

A Study In Genesis 19:17-38 [You will need your Bible]

ZOAR – “Zoara,” the biblical Zoar, was previously called Bele (Genesis 14:8), and one of the FIVE “cities of the plain” – a pentapolis apparently located along the lower Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, plainly mentioned in the Book of Genesis and other Bible passages as well.

 

Regardless of your opinion of the JUDGMENT of Sodom and Gomorrah, you have to admit that it was a tragedy and a trauma to the three known survivors.

TRAGEDIES HAPPEN.

Your character determines how the substance of a trauma directs your life.

A large event has energy attached to it and it can propel you.  Yet the direction in which it propels is mostly up to you.

As an illustration, in the Columbia tragedy over the Texas sky on February 1, 2003, the stunned NASA officials who tearfully spoke of Columbia’s horror, were not hesitant to remind the watching world that it wouldn’t stop adventures into space.  In fact, the tragedy actually spurs on the survivors of the team to continue with greater vigilance and excellence.

A natural response to TRAGEDY/FAILURE/LOSS is to withdraw, to reduce. This response shows up in the characters of this study in Genesis 19:19 –

[19] “Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life.  But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die.”  [NIV Bible]

The FIRST FOCUS of Lot was:  “I CAN’T” –

Then in Genesis 19:20 (NIV)

[20] “Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small.  Let me flee to it–it is very small, isn’t it?  Then my life will be spared.”

AND, the FIRST FALLOUT of “I Can’t” is, it ties up God in the process.

Lot had a bent toward little.  (ZOAR means “little”).

SURPRISE!  Divine Behavior isn’t natural! “I don’t want to go there!”

(Genesis 19:20 NIV)

[20]  Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small.  Let me flee to it–it is very small, isn’t it?  Then my life will be spared.

(Genesis 19:30 NIV)

[30]  Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar.  He and his two daughters lived in a cave.

In each move (vs. 19, 30), Lot’s motivation was FEAR.

  • It was FEAR for the angels’ well-being, not hospitality, that motivated Lot to invite them overnight. [vs. 2-3]
  • It was FEAR that caused Lot to wrongly offer the COMPROMISE of his daughters as an appeasement to the mob that appeared at his front door.
  • It was FEAR of change that made Lot almost late in leaving the city, “when he hesitated” (vs. 16)…and the angels took him out of the city.

Lot was AFRAID to make a LIFESTYLE CHANGE and his wife’s hesitance made her infamous.

“REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE” – Jesus’ words (Luke 17:32) as He explains to the disciples what it will be like on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.

Lot’s issue was to still be in a ‘city’.  Afterall, he was an urbane man–a ‘city’ kind of guy.  You know the old expression, “You can take the boy/girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy/girl.”  Well, in Lot’s case, I’m going to change one word:  “You can take the boy out of the ‘city’, but…”

Lot and his family had earlier been abducted in a military raid on the city and had been rescued by his uncle Abraham.  Even then, Lot and his family remained in Sodom.

The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 2:7 that Lot was considered a RIGHTEOUS MAN and that the behavior of the people of Sodom infuriated him (“distressed him” – NIV).

There’s a terrible silence when it doesn’t tell us how he acted on his infuriation…his ANGER, his DISGUST, to the surrounding culture.  Maybe it was out of fear.  In fact, Scripture reveals that Lot assimilated into his culture, even as what might have been called, a city leader in Sodom.

Often, city leaders, government officials, would be positioned at the gateways of the town. (19:1)  Sort of like members of the local  Chamber of Commerce for the city–a standout in the community; a civic leader.  Someone you would know if his name appeared in the local newspaper or the church bulletin.

Lot’s thinking over time took him to the place where he believed he could not live away from a town.

Living in SIN will blind you to true reality and cause you to start believing the cultural LIES!  

EXAMPLE: “Quit fighting it!  Cultures change over time, so you might as well just accept the changes!”

Has FEAR of LIFESTYLE CHANGE blinded your thinking into believing a false reality?

FEAR WILL MOTIVATE YOU TO MISS BLESSED OPPORTUNITIES –

Lot was afraid that he couldn’t live in the mountains (vs. 19), but the irony is, he had spent years living a prosperous life in the mountains with his uncle Abraham.  If he had gone to the mountains as the angel(s) had said, God would have provided again, perhaps to restore to prosperity.

Moving to the same mountain later, however, after the open opportunity presented itself, wouldn’t recapture a prior promise.

LIFEPOINT:  Delayed OBEDIENCE is NOT Obedience!

Sometimes, you can press God and get what you desire (or think you did, anyway!). But sometimes the worst thing you can have is to have your own way.

An illustration came to mind of an old episode from the TV series, The Twilight Zone: “The Man in the Bottle”.  It’s where the man gets 4 wishes from a genie and the last wish being Hitler in the bunker.

“We Better PRAY First.”

In 1980, I was given the job opportunity to relocate from Southern California to the Grand Pacific Northwest.  My wife and I both decided this was a good move for ourselves and the family.  No state income tax, clean air, beautiful green trees, etc.  And yes, we better pray about it too.  We had already made our minds up that pulling roots up, leaving friends and family behind was what God must want for us.  “But we better pray first!”  Did we get what we desired?  For the most part, we did, in spite of being disobedient in relational PRAYER first.

IF YOU AREN’T TRANSFORMED, LIVING IN LITTLE WILL LEAD YOU TO LESS –

Genesis 19:14 (AMP)

[14] And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will spoil and destroy this city!”  But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be [only] joking.

Genesis 19:30 (NIV)

[30] Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar.  He and his two daughters lived in a cave.

The ROOT of the Hebrew word for CAVE is “naked”, that is, to have nothing.

The Lot who went to Sodom was a wealthy rancher, with herds and servants.  He was a man who walked with God, who had a young family and a bright future.

The Lot who left Sodom was a man whose light-weight LIFESTYLE had made his spiritual impact on those close to him seem like a joke.

He fled from there an impoverished, fearful widower, finding himself now as the single parent of two daughters who had lost their finances when their life was literally obliterated!

Living with SIN in your life will slowly strip you of your stuff, trample your treasured possessions and parch your purest pleasure–your relationships.

Words determine your THINKING; Thinking determines BELIEF; Belief incites EXPECTATION; Expectation forecasts ATTITUDE; Attitude is what motivates BEHAVIOR.  It’s BEHAVIOR that creates the outcome.  (John Maxwell)

LIVING IN LITTLE, STAYING SMALL CAUSES PEOPLE TO…settle for the way things are–to base their lives on the low levels of circumstance and customs.

John Maxwell and the man who went to the fortune teller (45 years of misery then you’ll just get used to it.).

Genesis 19:31

THE GIRLS, Daughters of Lot…

Lot’s daughters chose to settle for what was, to make do with what was convenient, rather than BELIEVE God for what was right.

FAITH doesn’t deny reality but believes beyond reality.

Remember, just because a thing can be, doesn’t mean it should be.  Basing our lives only on our circumstances and customs results in our destiny being directed by SIN.

And when you start in SIN you launch its CAREER–and the consequence to follow can be far-reaching.

The offspring of this conspiracy to commit two counts of aggravated sexual assault and incest (the modern charges that would have applied) were TWO NATIONS of people who became enemies of God’s people, a major influence in their perversion of WORSHIP (idolatry).

Ultimately, the DESTRUCTION of the nation of Israel and the termination of a PROMISE of God, ” a nation of priests to bless the world” (19:6).

God has also in His plan made us as true believers in Christ Jesus to be “A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS” to serve God (Revelation 1:6).

It all started when a FEARFUL MINDSET of ‘living in little’ wasn’t transformed.

At the time of this writing in The Book of Genesis, they knew of MOAB and AMMON but had not interacted with them as enemies, yet.

 

Thoughts lead to BELIEF…to EXPECTATION…to ATTITUDE…to BEHAVIOR…to PERFORMANCE.

Here is another way of putting it:

James 1:13-16 (AMP)

[13] Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one.

[14] But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).

[15] Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.

[16] Do not be misled, my brethren.

If you’ve been reading all of this and convicted in making a move…from living in little, settling for small, then it’s time for a change in direction.

IN STOPPING SIN IN YOUR LIFE!

You need to move out of the “Little”, and not leave your forwarding address.  Quit basing your life on CIRCUMSTANCE and CUSTOM, get out of staying in SMALL, being mentally naked.

I will look forward to reading your REPLY on your decision and desire for transformation in the COMMENT section of this page.

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CREDITS ~

John C. Maxwell:  50 Inspirational John C. Maxwell Quotes, by Addicted2Success

The Columbia Tragedy:  Wikipedia.

PHOTOS:  Google Image search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP), or where noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s A Time And A Place For Everything!

SCRIPTURE ECCLESIASTES 3:1-15

I have always been musically inclined, from a small boy pretending to direct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in front of my parent’s radio that rested 4-ft. high on the floor in the 1940’s to singing in choirs in elementary school and then in church choirs as an adult.

So in preparing for this study in Ecclesiastes, a tune began playing on my memory’s turntable of a 1961 classic Marty Robbins song:  A Time And A Place For Everything [See Footnote [i] ].

There’s a time and a place for everything

So let’s pretend we’re not blue.

There’s a time and a place for everything

Someday our dreams will come true.

A TIME FOR EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN –

We Christians tend to sing happy songs about God, and His blessings, and His goodness, and our relationship with Him.

I like happy songs; I’m in favor of happy songs.  The world’s songs, on the other hand, are often not so happy.  Even the ones that sound HAPPY and peppy are often not so happy when you listen carefully to the lyrics.

ECCLESIASTES sounds more like popular music today than the happy Christian songs we tend to sing.

We need to be careful.  Sometimes it is really easy for us to enter into a Christian cocoon.  Christian music, Christian friends, Christian decorations for our homes, and we even speak “Christianise”, as a pastor once mentioned in a Sunday message.

Now I’m very much in favor of all these things…but there’s a DANGER if we become so isolated that our message, even our lives, become irrelevant to the world around us in which we are to be salt and light.  We have to be careful we don’t become so isolated, so deaf to the regular questions of living and struggles of life without God, that we become MUTE to our neighbors and coworkers and families.

IN THESE TIMES…

More and more people are struggling to keep their heads above a rising tide of PESSIMISM about future prospects.  Of course, there are exceptions from a handful of optimists, predicting a better and brighter tomorrow.  Still, the larger portion of humanity is less convinced.

A hundred years ago [in the “modern era”], FAITH in human reason and progress was probably at an all-time high.  TODAY, it [seems] as low as ever with growing doubts whether the world can ever solve its problems on its own.

ECCLESIASTES speaks to this condition.

It expresses the intense disappointment that people feel when they realize, “Life should be better, but it isn’t.”

There is a classic rock tune that was released a year after I was married.  The group, The Byrds, in 1965, came out with “Turn, Turn, Turn” – YouTube has the original recording if you want to listen.  Apart from the title, all the other words in these lyrics were pulled directly from Ecclesiastes 3.  52 years ago, the Byrds understood that these words in ECCLESIASTES would resonate with the regular people.

[1] There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven;  [2] A time to be born…and a time to die.

Of these fourteen couplets…the FIRST THREE are along the same lines:

  • Born – Die
  • Plant – Uproot
  • Kill – Heal

We ALL have a time to DIE.

I know this isn’t a popular subject but try as we might to deny it, ignore it, avoid it, put it off…these lives as we know them, in these bodies, will come to an end.  We ALL have a time to die,  We just don’t know when that is.

Well, actually, we can know if we’d just visit http://www.deathclock.com.  Out of curiosity, I visited and answered a few simple questions and found out “Your time has expired.”  

The good news in all of this is the actual timing of my life here on earth is known only by God!

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-4 – New English Translation ( NET Bible)

A Time for All Events in Life

3  For everything, there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth;

  • A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted.
  • A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and time to build up.
  • A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

The TEXT says that there IS a time and a season for everything!

EVERYTHING, a full rich life with all kinds of experiences, a robust life, lived fully.

It seems to me the trick is to get the TIMING right.  We sometimes seem to get things backward and we’re doing the opposite of what we should be doing.

When you say “time” to a musician, I think in terms of RHYTHM.  There is something wonderful about locking into a groove.

LIFE ought to be like that…A RHYTHM to die…  But get that RHYTHM OUT OF SYNC, it becomes like clapping on the wrong beat.  We get out of sync.  When we should be PLANTING Encouragement and UPROOTING Discouragement, we get out of SYNC and do it the other way around.

When we ought to be putting to DEATH our old, rotten, selfish ways and nursing RIGHTEOUSNESS and HEALTH in our lives, we get out of SYNC and do it the other way around, killing righteousness and nursing back to health our rotten sinful ways.

We LAUGH at what’s disgusting and evil when we should WEEP.

So, when should we DANCE?

Here’s an idea:  Believe we can get ‘circumstantially’ out of rhythm in life.  For an example, this very CIRCUMSTANCE:  CHURCH.

When we are together reflecting on and our singing about God’s goodness and greatness, we probably ought to DANCE, but some of us seem habitually out of SYNC and rather MOURN in church instead (at least the look on our faces seem mournful).

FOURTEEN COUPLETS OF POLAR OPPOSITES…and each has a time.

Some Bible commentators say that the numbers here of 14 couplets (7x2x2) is a significant indication of COMPLETENESS.  From BIRTH to DEATH and everything in between.  ALL of it intentional…ALL of it work!

AND NO, IT’S NOT YET TIME FOR ME TO BE SILENT (v. 7).

Our country is torn today in regard to whether this is a time for PEACE.  The TEXT brings back to this rhetorical question seen before in Ecclesiastes.  “In the grand scheme of things, what good is all the toil?”

HERE, THERE IS AN ANSWER:  “GOD HAS GIVEN US A BURDEN (TASK, CALLING, WORK) AND HE HAS MADE IT BEAUTIFUL (OR GOOD) IN ITS TIME”  [VERSE 11].

The verse continues and explains that it’s God who put ETERNITY in our hearts, our soul and spirit, a longing to know something beyond time in this life, in this world, and in these bodies.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (b):  “…yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

When, all is said, we only have a spark of eternity in our hearts; we cannot fully comprehend ETERNITY.

So, when you get right down to it, IT IS A GIFT OF GOD–

  • WE HONOR GOD BY ENJOYING THE GIFT HE GIVES US
  • WE HONOR GOD BY LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND BEING SATISFIED WITH HIS GIFT!

This becomes a reminder that God’s SOVEREIGNTY is powerful:

Ecclesiastes 3:14 (AMP)

[14] I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor taken from it,  And God does it so that men will [reverently] fear Him [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is].

It reminds us that any part we have in ETERNITY comes from our being in step with God; our soul’s attitude is in alignment towards Him with the help of the Holy Spirit in our life.  We are reminded that we are neither puppet nor parasite.   We are not merely running in program mode that’s set in place by a grand puppet master.

And…we’re not without resource to add or subtract from our lives and enjoyment.

We are invited to join God in His work, not adding nor taking from His work, but joining Him.

So, what exactly can we take from this PASSAGE of SCRIPTURE?

I know what I came away with, you, maybe something else.  It seems clear that the passage, like all of Ecclesiastes, meant to make think to ourselves.  It’s meant to call us to a REALITY CHECK.

We are called to wrestle with out humanity, this fallen world around us, and what God has to say about it.

NO ESCAPE!

It’s all about LIFE in a  fallen world.  ECCLESIASTES says we can deny it, fight it, hide from it, even try to make sense of it.  BUT…we can’t escape it!  The only response is to LIVE IN IT one day at a time, fearing God and cherishing as best as we can the STUFF of which life is made–food, family, work and not in that order.  These are GIFTS of God’s hand.

So we are to ENJOY THE GIFTS God gives us.

We WORSHIP Him by living abundant, robust, even happy lives.

We examine ourselves and the rhythm of our lives.

We should ask ourselves, honestly, are we honoring God by living full lives well?  Are we treating this GIFT OF TIME as a PRECIOUS GIFT?  Are we living in Relationship with God, or are we working for ourselves…which ends in VANITY, meaninglessness?

More importantly than asking ourselves…let’s ask our Heavenly Father.  Let’s be open to God, through His Holy Spirit, to speak to us, revealing where we can LIVE more fully and thus honor God.  And let us RELY on Holy Spirit to GUIDE, and STRENGTHEN and give us COURAGE,

Now it’s normal, I believe, when we stop and think along these lines, to have REGRETS…to wish we had done some things differently, to have different priorities over time.  BUT the GIFT we have right now, THE GIFT OF TIME, we are enjoying today and will enjoy tomorrow.  YESTERDAY is gone!

So where different priorities are often called for, we’ll need to make a FRESH START today!  I’m going to, will you?

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CREDITS:

Footnote [i] :  There’s A Time And A Place For Everything – songwriters Benny Joy Edidson –  Published By – Unichappell Music, Inc., Elvis Presley Music.

Photos:  Google Image, Advance Search Setting.

Bible Translations:  New International Version NIV), unless otherwise stated.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Time For A Good Old Neck Stomping!

Bible Text: Joshua 10:24-25 (NLT)

24  Joshua told the captains of his army, “Come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.”  And they did as they were told.  25  “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men.  “Be strong and courageous, for the LORD is going to do this to all of your enemies.”

pic DAVID CRUMP.NEWS XMAS SPECIAL WORDS STEVE WRIGHT. CITY OF LONDON POLICE NEWLY DISCOVERED ARCHIVED PICTURES ON TRAINING TO APPREHEND BURGLARS ROBBERS PIC TAKEN OVER A 100 YEARS AGO 1907.
pic DAVID CRUMP.NEWS XMAS SPECIAL WORDS STEVE WRIGHT. CITY OF LONDON POLICE NEWLY DISCOVERED ARCHIVED PICTURES ON TRAINING TO APPREHEND BURGLARS ROBBERS PIC TAKEN OVER A 100 YEARS AGO 1907.

God says, it’s time for us to put our foot on it…

Someone who has been feeling down, somebody who has been feeling distressed, or disappointed, and confused needs to hear this message.  Somebody who has felt something so heavy in circumstance that it felt as though a foot is on one’s neck trying to choke the living daylight out of you; not killing you, but cutting off your breath, making it hard to breathe, taking the JOY out of your life.  We’ve all felt this way at one time or another in life.  Maybe right now.

But now is the time to change!  Hopefully, after reading this blog-study and reading the words in Joshua.

You will begin changing positions –

You are going from being under the circumstances to being on top of the circumstances.

From being under pressure, to being the one applying the pressure.  You are going to put your foot on it!

When you put your foot on it– it means you are in charge.  It means that you are on top of it, it means you are in control, it means that whatever it is you are facing right now… has lost its power to affect you, it means that you have won!

The FIVE KINGS in Joshua –

The FIVE KINGS mentioned in Joshua 10, can represent anything–

Represent financial problems, or marital problems, or physical problems, or spiritual problems.  It can represent debt, or sickness or even some personal problems like addictions–drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc.

Whatever it is, it’s time to put your foot down.

“And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with you”  (Romans 16:20).

AMEN!

Satan has already been defeated, and Jesus has stripped him of his authority and power.

“[God]  disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]”  (Colossians 2:15).

The devil has NO POWER over my will…

NO POWER over my mind…

NO POWER over my spirit.

It doesn’t matter what the devil does, he cannot take me out of God’s hand!  That said…

Don’t make the tragic mistake–

To believe that the devil has no power; that Satan is weak and helpless, that is a tragic mistake.

The devil is defeated from a God perspective, but he is not dead.

While he cannot affect my standing with God, he can definitely mess with my circumstances, my emotions, and he can manipulate people and things.

He can attack through people, through sickness, through financial problems, through attacks on people I love.

It’s one thing to know JESUS defeated Satan and it’s another thing to see that manifested victory in my own personal experience.

I want more than just a revelation of how JESUS defeated the devil (I want that devil under my feet).

JOSHUA’S Message to His Captains:

Come near and put your foot on their necks.

Why the command for a ‘neck stomping’?  I believe it was to demonstrate that the victory was real.  It was personal, that the enemy was under their feet.  That domination over the enemy was being displayed.

Joshua said to those men, this day is your day.  Instead of running from it, crying about it and even praying about it.

Today, you’re going to put your foot on it.  (And when you do, you’re going to choke the life out of it!).

Waiting for God to Move In and Do Something?

Many times we find ourselves waiting on God; to move in some great supernatural way, and with one swipe, wipe out all our enemies.

But the truth is, to a large degree, God has done everything He is going to do until we do something.

SPIRIT GUT CHECK:  He has given us,  (His Word), (His name), (His Spirit), (the power of Praise), (the Armor of God).

2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

3  For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according in the flesh and using mere human weapons.  4  For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood],  but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds [nourished thoughts: The Word Detective’s insert].  5  [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

NOTICE that Joshua himself did not put his foot upon the necks of the enemy kings, but rather let his captains do tt.

This was to represent the fact this VICTORY belonged to every single Israelite; that every single one of them had defeated their enemies that day.

That means that you and I…

We have the AUTHORITY,

We have the POWER,

We have the WEAPONS (Ephesians 6:11-17).

Quit complaining about it and instead…PUT YOUR FOOT ON IT!  TAKE YOUR GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY!

Luke 10:19:  [Note: Insert your own name when you see the word “you”]

Behold!  I have given you [Mel] authority and power to trample upon serpents and [physical and mental] strength and ability over ALL THE POWER that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you [Mel].

Bringing the Enemy Out of Their Caves

We see Joshua and his men bringing out the FIVE KINGS from their hiding places (Joshua 10:3).

Before you get the VICTORY over that which has burdened you, robbed you, oppressed you, bring it out of hiding.

You have to admit it and identify it.  You have to quit pretending it doesn’t exist, or it isn’t that big of a deal, or that you can handle it yourself, keeping it hidden in a cave.

THINGS THAT CAN GROW IN THE DARK

Fungus growing into mushrooms in a cave
Fungus growing into mushrooms in a cave

The fact is:  Whatever you keep in the dark, grows, and intensifies and multiplies eventually bringing you into slavery–bondage–and if not dealt with–it will DESTROY your life.

Before you can put your foot down and stomp on it, you have to identify it.  Recognize it for what it is.  Expose it.  Get honest with God about it.  And HATE IT, and want to be rid of it.  I don’t want a “fungus” growing in my house, do you?

For twenty years I smoked a pack of cigarettes per day.  I told myself that I couldn’t quit! (No, I didn’t want to quit, because I loved it.)

I hid the evidence from my family; I wouldn’t smoke at home.  And yes, even lied about my tobacco addiction to my wife:  “It’s all the smoke from the office on my clothes and hair that you smell.”

And then one day, I put my foot on the neck of my addiction.  Literally.  I spoke out loud to that pack of cigarettes in 1983,  “I HATE YOU!”  Then I threw the nasty habit on the floor and stomped on it!  The desire was gone…forever.

You Will Never Quit anything If You LOVE IT!

—  You will never quit drinking if you love it.

—  You will never quit lusting if you love it.

—  You will never quit overeating if you love it.

—  You will never quit over spending if you love it.

—  You will never quit quarreling and arguing if you love it.

—  You will never quit holding grudges if you love it.

HOLY HATRED – Psalm 139:21-22:

21 Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?  And am I not grieved and do I not loathe those who rise up against You?  22 I hate them with perfect hatred; they have become my enemies.

In other words, David here was speaking of a hatred born out of love, his love for God was so strong, it made him hate the things opposed to God.

Your love for God must prove you to HATE the things that adversely affect your relationship with Him.  My FLESH may want to learn from a particular direction that it desires, but if it is harmful to my relationship with God, then my spirit man HATES that.

Before You Can STOMP ON IT, You Have to HATE IT!

You can’t tolerate it and conquer it!

You can’t stroke it and conquer it!

You can’t cover it and conquer it!

You can’t deny it and conquer it!

You have to HATE IT…Holy hatred and when you do…go after it to destroy it.

When you passionately hate it, not only will you want VICTORY over it, but you’ll want everyone to have victory over it (a “reformed smoker”);  You’ll want to destroy it!

I don’t know what’s in your life right now that you are fighting.

I don’t know how big it is, or small it is.  But IT’S TIME!  Time for you to put your foot on the enemy’s neck.

When you do, something supernatural is going to happen.  God almighty is going to FIGHT with you.

JOSHUA said to these men:  If you will just turn and fight your enemies, then God is going to fight with you and not one of your enemies will stand against you.

After putting their foot on the enemies’ necks…(Joshua 10:26)

JOSHUA took those FIVE KINGS and killed them on FIVE TREES till the evening so everyone could witness the VICTORY over the defeated foe.

‘If He did it for me, He will do it for you.  Here they are but they are dead now, they have no influence, no power, and no authority over my life.’ 

It is Time to Put your foot down on it –

It might be something like being STUBBORN (believe it or not, stubbornness is not a spiritual gift); it is an offense to the spirit of Christ.

Or, it may be something like being SARCASTIC.  The Bible says that our speech is supposed to be kind and gentle–suppose to minister GRACE to the hearers.

You may say:  Well I’m just telling the truth; I’m telling it like it is.  (Yes, but when you speak sarcastically, you’ve made the “truth” offensive and you become an instrument of offense instead of grace).

I have been guilty of this very thing.  When younger, even while teaching God’s word, I found myself in the cave of SARCASM.

I thought of it as a strength, not as a weakness in my character.  I’ve had to deal with it in my life by admitting it, exposing it, and then hating it.

God can help me conquer that area of PRIDE–self-centerness that raises its head occasionally…if, I put my foot down and stomp on it.

Achieving the Victory –

I don’t presume to know what (“it”) is in your life, but it’s time for you to get victory over it.

It’s time for you to have a good old neck stomping on whatever (“IT”) is.

 

VICTORY WON!
VICTORY WON!

CREDITS:

Exerts from “Put Your Foot Down” by Shelley Wilburn.org

Bible Translations used:  Amplified Bible, except where noted.

Photos:  Google Search (Images); Photo Pin

 

 

The Importance of the “Muster Drill” in Life

5153669326_13321d38f2Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia tell us what a “muster drill” aboard ship is:  “A muster drill (also sometimes referred to as a lifeboat drill or a boat drill), is an exercise conducted by the crew of a ship prior to embarking on a voyage.  The purpose is to prepare passengers for a safe evacuation in the event of an emergency while on board the ship.  In this MUSTER DRILL, passengers are educated on the use of Life Vest and escape routes from the ship.”

My wife and I have been on two different ships for a vacations in the Caribbean, and yes, the muster drill was mandatory before leaving the dock.  All we wanted to do was to get underway, not stand on an outside deck railing, waiting for instructions, with a life-vest on.  I always felt like a kindergartner, standing in line, holding hands with other kindergartners , then going out for RECESS.  All I wanted to do was go out on the swing sets or Monkey Bars to play.  But somehow, we muddled through the well-meaning information on each trip  (some had to “muddle” more than others).

Scripture:  Habakkuk 3:17-19 (New International Version).

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”

CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE WAY:

In today’s world we see overwhelming number of people moving from one position to another at the drop of the hat.  When life’s circumstances get a little tough…the water gets “choppy” and we see the white caps from the gale force winds increasing around us; everybody wants to immediately ABANDON SHIP!  There are very few who will stay the course and get through the bad times.

More Bad News!

FEAR grips the hearts of the UNSAVED, the heathen, with the release of every bad news article; the Stock Market will crash because of one day of business.

The question is this: Will we, as God’s people, stand for Jesus when everything around us is failing?  When jobs fail, when the economy goes under, when sickness strikes, when shortages occur or when storms are on the horizon,  will we stand up and be counted as Faithful in Christ?

Habakkuk said,  “We’ve got troubles, but I think I’ll just thank God anyhow!”  It seems evident to me, the Prophet had been to the “Muster Drill” before.  He knew what to do in case of an emergency…when the alarm bell sounded aboard the ship and the Captain gave precise instructions in exactly what to do.

The Captains Instructions Given, but Not Heard and Understood!

And on that day, when evening had come, He [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”  And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was in the boat; and other boats were with Him.  And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.  And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him,  “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”  And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.”  And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.   And He said to them, “Why are you so timid?  How is it that you have no FAITH?”  (Mark 4:35-40 NAS).

The Captain had already conducted the “muster drill” when evening had come.  His  instructions to the crew and passengers before stepping one foot in the boat was,  “Let us go over to the other side”; the instructions were perfectly clear–WE ARE GOING TO THE OTHER SIDE…and yet, when trouble came their way in the middle of the journey, they forgot the Captain’s promise; and their lack of understanding, their FAITH, had abandoned them in the midst of the storm.

Sunset on the Sea of Galilee
Sunset on the Sea of Galilee

It seems amazing to me how life plays itself out; one moment everything seems to going so smoothly and then…

Rembrandt Painting
Rembrandt Painting

Habakkuk Knew that Difficulties Were On the Horizon–

The mention of the fig tree, the grapevine, the olive, the grain, and flocks covers the entire range of agricultural produce on which the nation depended on.  It is reasonable to assume the failure of the crops would be due to the Chaldean invasion.  Enemy troops not only lived OFF the land, but deliberately destroyed what was left behind.

In these last days, we know that times will become more difficult.  We’ve already seen many economic problems and shortages arise causing fear and panic in our society.

When the Scriptures say that in the last days, men’s hearts would be failing for fear, they mean what is said literally.  We are truly living in a perilous time this world has ever seen and yet…the worse has yet to come.

Are we going to praise Him when the times get tough for us?

Satan will bring circumstances that will sometimes overwhelm you:  [a] Financially – bill piling high [b] in your marriage [c] with your children [d] in the Church [e] in your witness for JESUS.

Will you praise Him when people turn against you?

Habakkuk knew that when God’s judgement fell on Judah, it would also include him.  He would not be spared because he was a prophet of God.  In fact, he could be treated worse than any other prisoner because of his trying to warn Judah of its coming doom.

It seems people you meet these days, just don’t believe that times could get any harder.

People seem to be sticking their heads in the sand and try to ignore the problems.  I want you to know that it can and will get worse!  We are living in a dangerous World–just let on Hurricane or Typhoon come, and see how fast the shelves empty.

THE “FAITH BOAT” IS READY TO SAIL:

"THE LOVE BOAT"
“THE LOVE BOAT”

I was a big fan of the American television series set on a cruise ship.  It aired from September 24, 1977, until May 24, 1986.  The one-hour sitcom was usually set aboard a Princess Cruises cruise liner nicknamed, The Love Boat.  Each episode contained several simultaneous story lines of the passengers on board; people’s romances, their failures, disappointments, etc., and were all played out by guest actors on The Love Boat.

Embarkation Instructions…

When the world turns on you, will you still praise Jesus?

When your friends won’t have anything to do with you, will you follow the crowd?

When your family won’t have anything to do with you because you are just “to religious”, will you quit and abandon ship?

When the community you live in turns against you, will you want to put one foot on the ship’s guard-rail and bow to political pressure?

Habakkuk Knew the Importance…

Habakkuk knew when it was all said and done, GOD was the only real salvation he had…his life-preserver was secure and tight.

Habakkuk knew that GOD would be his strength:

Vs 19…”and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet

and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.”

GOD WILL deliver us through every trial, every test, and every circumstance and He will lift us up above the rocky shores.

A Little Deer…

A HIND was a little deer able to climb even the steepest of cliffs, walk through the roughest places, and leap over deep chasms.  The HIND lived in the high mountains and cliffs and always stayed above all circumstances that involved people on the ground.

GOD has the POWER to lift you up, right where you are, today.  POWER to change your lemons into lemonade and make your tests and trials into greater victories.

A BAR OF STEEL:

A $5 bar of steel cut into ordinary horseshoes is worth $10.

A $5 bar of steel cut into needles is worth $350.

The same bar of steel cut into delicate springs for watches becomes worth $250,000.

So the next time you get discouraged at what God is putting you through…you’re about ready to abandon The FAITH Boat…think of that BAR OF STEEL.

The “Muster Drill” of Instructions Have Already Been Given!

Have you been in the valley long enough?  Are you ready for a change of scenery, perhaps even an Ocean Cruise?

We can dwell above our circumstances and live on a higher plane than the rest of the World.  We don’t need to be concerned with those things that threaten to destroy the World.  It begins with a spiritual REBIRTH; a “born-again” life experiences that will set you on course.

GOD is our refuge and strength; our High Tower; the Captain of our ship of FAITH.  He is our Deliverer and will get us safely to our final destination!  So, let’s get aboard the FAITH BOAT and experience the LOVE Cruise of a lifetime!

The Yacht REBORN or The FAITH BOAT
The Yacht REBORN or The FAITH BOAT


www.powerandmotoryacht.com/megayachts/broward-reborn/