Living Out Our Lives In the Anointing

SCRIPTURE STUDY:  AMOS 3:7-8 (ESV)

WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW AND UNDERSTAND –

VERSE 7:  “SURELY the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secrets to His servants the prophets” (AMP).

We know that we can prepare boldly for what is coming because Jesus gave us the prophetic signs of our time.  He told us what we should look for and because of His words, we know that we’re living in the LAST DAYS because prophetically the Bible has shown us where the CHURCH will be in the future.  We know that it will end in glory and will end strong and not weak.

The Laodicean Church, one of the 7 churches mentioned in The Revelation to John (Rev. 3:14-17).  In this passage of scripture, Jesus spoke about the last days but it will not be the final church because the LAST CHURCH will be united and strong and will grow into the full stature of Jesus.

God is equipping and preparing us for great and mighty things so we will finish strong!  We will take the NATIONS for Jesus’ sake by PREACHING the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth!!

The DEVIL has already been defeated and although he will exert great power on the earth, his reign of terror will end in the lake of fire.

THE ENTIRE WORD OF GOD IS PROPHETIC…meaning “foretelling,” and “forth telling.”

But it is also apostolic because the word “apostolic” is a DOING word.

James 1:22 (The Message Bible)

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other.  ACT on [or “DO”] what you hear.”

To be apostolic means we must be “doers”: acting on what you hear!  And what we do should extend beyond the four walls of our church by extending to the ends of the earth.

An APOSTLE is a person who performs the Word IN DEED.

At Pentecost, the disciples became apostles because they were ANOINTED to do ministry.

Jesus’ ministry was apostolic because of what He did (Acts 10:38).

[38] How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the [Holy] Spirit and with strength and ability and power; how He went about doing good and, in particular, curing all who were harassed and oppressed by [the power of] the devil, for God was with Him  (AMP).

And since Jesus gave us the command to “go then and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19), as fellow disciples we are ANOINTED to do ministry.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (AMP)

[21] But it is God Who confirms and makes us steadfast and establishes us [in joint fellowship] with you in Christ, and has consecrated and anointed us [enduing us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit];  [22] [He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].

The definition of an APOSTLE is, “one who is sent forth” to represent another.

And as the ANOINTED, we, as believers are sent by God to represent heaven on earth.  We are to be the answer to a distressed world.

The true definition of the apostolic ministry is “Someone who is anointed by God [not man] to perform a supernatural task on earth by adding to God’s Kingdom.”  It implies that we can ALL be apostolic through the indwelling Holy Spirit’s power!

But are we really “doers”?

God has always been building His Kingdom or building His church which is the same thing.

Some Terminologies in the WORD May Change.

The first time the word “apostle” was used was in the New Testament.  It was never mentioned in the Old Testament, but its meaning carries the same function in the Old and New Testaments–because God has always sent man and woman to represent Him and to perform work for Him.

There are ANOINTED people who are DOING in the name of the Lord but they are not sent by God to do whatever they’re doing.  If we are not sent by God we will not be acknowledged by Him.  So it is important to DO only what God directs us to DO.  That’s what Jesus did.  He never did anything without God’s permission.

God has called each one of us to work with Him and He is building His Kingdom with us and through us.

GOD IS THE BUILDER!!!

Colossians 1:15-17 –

From this revelation in Scripture (God’s Word), we can see the great apostolic power of Jesus as the Creator and because He created everything, He has POWER and AUTHORITY over everything He created.

Those who have an apostolic anointing are also creative and the things they BUILD for God are a testimony against the kingdom of darkness.

Matthew 16:18 (NIV)

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

What God BUILDS will defeat the devil and the things we BUILD with God cannot be destroyed by the enemy.

To be APOSTOLIC…and I know there are those reading this blog who are uncomfortable using this term…is being sent in BUILDING SOMETHING that exults God and overcomes the enemy.

Anything that was built by God and His workers in the Old Testament, by definition, is APOSTOLIC and anything built by God and His workers since then is APOSTOLIC.

GOD IS NOT YET FINISHED BUILDING HIS KINGDOM!

For example, He has not yet created a new heaven and a new earth which He will do in the future.  That’s part of His future plans and we are part of His present plans.  That is why we need the BLUEPRINT for today.

God has ANOINTED every one of us to BUILD apostolically.

Everything we see in the physical or natural environment responds to WORDS.  That’s the way God’s creation is designed:  “God said…God saw”  (Genesis One).

God has given us the ability and the authority to frame our world with His Words.  Prophetic Words have POWER and can be spoken into our circumstances in order to shape our world so that it reflects the MAJESTY AND POWER of God’s Kingdom.  So watch your words!

When these spoken words are applied to God’s creation, there will be a response.  However, there’s a time to SPEAK and a time to DO things.  That’s why we need both the APOSTOLIC AND PROPHETIC ANOINTING.

Any impressive building has a CORNERSTONE to show that it is valuable.  It usually contains inscribed the names of the Architect, the Master Builder, and the Visionary.

All that God BUILDS is valuable and JESUS is the Chief Cornerstone of everything He builds (1 Peter 2:6-8).  If Jesus isn’t part of the building then it’s not worth building.  And if it is not built by Him, then it’s not His building.

When Jesus is the CORNERSTONE, what we build, whether it is our spiritual life, our marriage, our home life, our career, our businesses, the name of Jesus will always be a stumbling block to those who oppose Him because the CORNERSTONE will reflect heaven.

God wants everything to be built on His apostolic BLUEPRINT.

The reason being that it can EXALT Jesus who is the Creator and the greatest example of the APOSTOLIC ANOINTING.

Hebrews 3:1 (NIV)

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

God wants every family to have an apostolic blueprint so that they can be built according to His plans with Christ Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone.

When others see the building, not necessarily a physical building…God will be given the GLORY.  God wants to be glorified in our families, our ministries, our businesses, and every other aspect of our lives.  But He can only be GLORIFIED if things are built according to His design.

When His name is on the building, it becomes a stumbling block to the kingdom of darkness, but LIFE and HOPE to the world.

Every Ministry Should Have An Apostolic Blueprint to Succeed.

In order to fulfill our the requirement, we need to find the BLUEPRINT of the cities and nations that God is giving us to REBUILD.  And because anything that hasn’t been built according to how God wants it built MUST be broken down and rebuilt.

AND…there’s nothing wrong with rebuilding.

Rebuilding because there are things that must be redesigned, restructured, and repositioned so that God can be given the GLORY.

If your life, my life, is not offending the kingdom of DARKNESS, that means that Jesus is not the CORNERSTONE because the Cornerstone will be the Rock of offense to everything that refuses to bow to Hum.

The laying of the CORNERSTONES is in accordance with our apostolic built-up anointing because God wants us in our ANOINTED lives to place Christ back in the cities and the nations.  And when the building is complete, Jesus is going to be the CORNERSTONE of that city or nation.

Revelation 11:15 (AMP)

The seventh angel blew [his] trumpet, and there were mighty voices in heaven, shouting, The Dominion (kingdom, sovereignty, rule) of the world has now come into the possession and become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (the Messiah), and He shall reign forever and forever (for the eternities of the eternities)!

WHEN WE BUILD THINGS FOR GOD He places us into the foundation of that building as a TESTIMONY for eternity.

The New Jerusalem – Revelation 21:12 & 14 (NIV)

[12] It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates.  On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.

[14] The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The names of the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles are etched on the FOUNDATIONS of the New Jerusalem that contributed to the building.  God advanced His Kingdom through the TWELVE TRIBES of Israel who possessed the Promise Land and laid down the FOUNDATION for the nation of Israel performing their apostolic part.

After Pentecost in the New Testament, God built the CHURCH through the early apostles and they laid down the FOUNDATION of the New Covenant for Believers (that’s us) to build on and they completed their apostolic part.

Ephesians 2:20 (AMP)

You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.

What we do for God today means something and He remembers the names of those who have worked for Him and with Him.  God doesn’t merely use your life and resources and then forgets about you, but He remembers your name and blesses you and your children up to the THIRD and FOURTH generation.

When we operate prophetically and apostolically in our lives God will make sure that your name is in the FOUNDATIONS for all to see and He will send others to BUILD on that Foundation generation to generation.

You Have An Unique Anointing – 2 Corinthians 6:1 (AMP)

Laboring together [as God’s fellow workers] with Him then, we beg of you not to receive the grace of God in vain [that merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence on souls and turns them to Christ, keeping and strengthening them–do not receive it to no purpose].

That unique anointing should express itself in you PASSION.  And as an example, if you have a PASSION for seeing people HEALED…God will use you for healing.

Remember, we can’t do anything without Christ because He is the SOURCE OF THE ANOINTING.  ALWAYS!

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CREDITS FOR THIS BLOG:

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

Commentary:  What is the anointing?  What does it mean to be anointed? – gotQuestions?.org.

PHOTOS:  Google Image search, using the referenced Scripture verses.

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

 

 

 

 

Christmas In October, Really?

Scripture Study – NUMBERS 24:17

Okay, it may be a bit early for a blog-POST about A “STAR” at Christmas, especially since I’ve been reading and studying in the Book of Numbers in the OT of the Bible.  I don’t believe in ‘happenstance,’ so before venturing down a dead-end road I prayed and asked God for some answers to the timing of this POST.  Why had God’s Spirit given me this particular verse at this particular time?

Here is how He answered my questions:

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV Bible)

[8] “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  [9] “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

So after meditating on God’s answer from His Word, I began to consider our Saviors birth and the details knowing that Jesus’ birth is amazing at any time of the year and not just during the Christmas holidays.

CONSIDERING THE DETAILS OF JESUS’ BIRTH…

Would we have planned it that way?  None of us would choose to lay our newborn in a trough where animals had fed.  I wouldn’t have.

BUT THAT WAS GOD’S WAY FOR HIS SON!

Maybe we would have thought, “Yea!  Let’s send some angels!”

Would we have sent them to no-name shepherds, out in the country where no one else could see them?  I wouldn’t!

GOD’S WAY IS NOT OUR WAY!!

But God’s Way Does Not Fail!

That’s something for us to take heart to, especially when tragedies in the world recently make us want to cry out,  “Why God, why this way?  It’s too hard for me to understand!”  But His Way doesn’t fail!

With that thought in mind, look closely now at this PROPHESY from NUMBERS 24.  I think you’ve heard this Prophesy many times before and you know how it’s fulfilled in JESUS.

But after looking at the CONTEXT of the verse, God’s Way becomes all the more AMAZING!

His Way Amazes!

This PROPHECY didn’t come about in the usual way.  It wasn’t spoken directly by the LORD when He promised the Savior to Adam and Eve or to Abraham.  The words weren’t unspoken by a BELIEVING PROPHET of Israel–Isaiah or Micah.  It was spoken by someone whom we would call a Sorcerer.  His name was Balaam, son of Beor.

As the story begins, the LORD had brought ISRAEL out of Egypt about 40 years earlier.  And now was the time to enter the Promised Land.

On the east side of the Jordan River, Israel’s armies had defeated Sihon, king of the Amorites and Og, king of Bashan.  So when the people of Moab saw this, they became terrified!  Can you imagine over 601,000 combat-ready troops approaching the city where you live?

Then king Balak, son of Zippor took action.  If the Amorites couldn’t stand against Israel, he figured he couldn’t either, so he tried another tactic.  He sent an envoy to Balaam, son of Beor in Pethor.  He wanted to employ Balaam to CURSE Israel.  If they were CURSED, perhaps the outcome of the battle would be to their favor.

That night the LORD told Balaam not to go and he sends the envoy back to king Balak the next day.  But Balak was persistent and sent more princes who were more distinguished and promised Balaam with even greater rewards.

That night the LORD allowed him to go, IF, and only IF, he did exactly what the LORD would tell him.  As Balaam sets out, he apparently had decided in his heart, not to do what the LORD would tell him.  You know, the old crossed fingers behind the back tradition.

The angel of the LORD stood in his way and would have killed him on the spot, except Balaam’s donkey saw the angel and went off the path around him.  Since Balaam couldn’t see the angel, he became angry with his donkey.  Finally, for the third time, there was no room for the donkey to go around and it sat down and Balaam beat the poor animal.

AND THEN THE DONKEY SPOKE:

“Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day?  Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”  (Numbers 22:29 NIV)

And the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel, agreeing to speak ONLY what the LORD told him.

Now King Balak readied seven altars with sacrifices in preparation for Balaam to curse Israel.  But instead of a CURSE, Balaam spoke a BLESSING instead since those were the words of the LORD.

King Balak had Balaam try again at another place and again he blessed Israel.

They tried a third time and instead of resorting to SORCERY as he had on previous occasions, Balaam continued to BLESS Israel as the LORD had told him.  By now, King Balak was furious!  But before he left, Balaam spoke some more words with a BLESSING and PROPHECY, including the Text for this BLOG-POST in Numbers 24:17 (NIV) – 

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near.  A STAR will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.  He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.”

His Way Brings Hope!

People have looked to the STARS for hope throughout the ages past.  Ancient astrologers tried to predict the future from the Stars.  Modern science looks to the Stars to find new planets, a new hope when the earth is dried up.

Then we have celebrities, movie stars, and people look to them for hope and inspiration.  But how they disappoint!  All those different kinds of STARS are FALSE Hope.

But these words in Numbers 24:17 are spoken from such an unlikely source, these words were spoken almost three and a half millenniums ago, these words are THINGS spoken that don’t disappoint.

For God’s Ways Do Not Fail!

That STAR did come at the right time and was laid in a manger.

 

How many years had passed for God’s way to work out according to His schedule of GRACE, not our schedule of instant gratification.

“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not now”

Numbers 24:17 (NIV).

Almost 1500 years after these words were spoken before THAT STAR came.

But He did come!  The LORD keeps His Word!  And that should bring us all HOPE.  Hope doesn’t disappoint or prove false.

For the LORD keeps His Promises.

In Moments of the Darkness of Sin…what does the Hope of the Star Bring?

How dark the night can be!  But even in pitch-blackness of night, doesn’t even compare to the DARKNESS of Sin… the shroud of DEATH.  And since everyone is born into this DARKNESS [Romans 3:23; 5:12; Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5], our natural self-thinks that it’s normal.

But God didn’t make us be creatures of the night; rather, He wants us to be His children of the Light.  Now, this goes against our inherited nature.  We don’t want to be seen by others as naked; our hearts laid bare, our secret sins exposed, our self-imagined goodness.  We cling to artificial lights to make us feel good by our own efforts, running from the TRUE LIGHT.

BUT DARKNESS AND SELF-IMAGINED LIGHT….end in Death and Hell.  NO HOPE, NO JOY.  Only the weeping and gritting (gnashing) of teeth [Matthew 13:42].

BUT LOOK!  A STAR HAS RISEN!

And this STAR shines into the DARKNESS…THE TRUE LIGHT!

This Star has worked a marvelous change in you and me–that worked a NEW BIRTH in us– A REBIRTH!  We who had been born children of darkness, we were reborn:

John 1:13 (The MESSAGE Bible)

“The Life-Light was the real thing.  Every person entering Life, he brings into Light.  He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice.  He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him.  But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.  These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.”

SO THIS STAR brings you and me HOPE!

He has shattered the DARKNESS OF SIN, bring the LIGHT of forgiveness.  Thar was God’s Way to save you and me, namely to send His Son into our DARKNESS, so that He took our guilt upon Himself and died in our place as the SACRIFICE for our sin, and so ransomed us with His blood.

How far above our ways!  God’s Way doesn’t fail!

His Way Prevails!

COMFORT comes with this Prophecy when it talks about the SCEPTOR.

God’s Way will not fail, for that STAR who shines into the darkness to SAVE US, is the SCEPTOR.  He, JESUS, is the KING who has redeemed us to be His people.

HE IS YOUR KING…for He ransomed YOU with His blood!

He carries the SCEPTOR, for He has conquered SIN, Satan, and Death for you, risen from the grave in Victory and Glory for you.

He carries the SCEPTOR, for He is the Almighty God and He reigns over all at the Father’s right hand.

I thought about that for a minute.  Think of it when said and done.  When a foreign King. a pagan Sorcerer plotted to undermine God’s plan for His people, the LORD used a dumb donkey to set things right.  GOD’S WAY DOESN’T FAIL!

He even used that pagan sorcerer to speak a wonderful promise of the Savior.  A PROMISE that stirs HOPE in our hearts still today…each and every day of the year.

So whatever you are facing right now, whatever the circumstance you find yourself in, look to the STAR in the manger. see His Scepter, follow Him in HOPE!

“The peace of God that surpasses all understanding

keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Amen.

Philippians 4:7

 

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You might enjoy this Music Video at the end of this Blog-Post from YouTube:  A STAR IS BORN!  “Mary Did You Know?”

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CREDITS –

Photos:  Google Image Search – Settings, Advance search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV), unless stated in the text.

A “CAVEMAN’S” TESTIMONY!

Biblical Cavemen

THERE IS HOPE FOR CAVEMEN:

Our Bible tells us quite a bit about CAVEMEN; and  by simple definition, it is a person who lives in a CAVE.  The PURPOSE of this study is not an attack on the cavemen and dinosaur theories but to show from the Scripture… there’s always HOPE when in it comes to living and being like a CAVEMEN.

HOPE Needs to be Demonstrated.

Crystal Cave, Sequoia

I can remember my first cave experience when I was about 10 years old.  My folks often invited my grandparents (my mom’s parents) along with us when we would go on vacations every year.  If my granddad had his way, he would just putter around the old farmstead during the summer months, complaining that it was a waste of money to go on vacations; there was better uses.  But with a little coaxing, he would reluctantly go.  Honestly, I think he really enjoyed the family trips and…the coaxing, the ‘please come granddad’.  It just wouldn’t be a vacation without granddad and grandma!

One particular year, mom and dad wanted to go on a camping trip to Sequoia National Park located in California.  Before we arrived at the campsite, dad notice a well-marked sign that read:  CRYSTAL CAVES.  We had to stop, and of course grandad had to make is usual observation as we pulled into the visitor’s parking lot: “Here is another Chamber of Commerce trick to get your money.”  And dad’s response, “Are you coming dad (granddad) or not?”

Grandma stayed behind with my baby brother (7 years younger) while the rest of us, including granddad, headed one mile on foot…straight down into a canyon.  We all gathered together at the cave’s entrance and waited for the park ranger to guide us through the caves.  Stalactites (lime deposits formed at the caves ceilings–‘tight’ to the ceiling; and Stalagmites (lime deposits on the cave’s floor–they ‘might’ get to the ceiling).  It was damp and cold, yet beautiful as the man-located lighting positioned in the cave shone all about the cave.  Everyone in the family thoroughly enjoyed the time spent in this vast cavern including…granddad!

CAVES ARE A DARK PLACE!

Many caves that are explored for the first time are dark and full of shadows.  Inhabited by bats, roaches, lizards and other vermin.  In my daily Bible reading in The Book of Isaiah, I ran across this verse launching my new investigation on A “CAVEMAN’S” TESTIMONY! 

Then shall [the stricken, deprived of all in which they had trusted] go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth…In that day men shall cast away to the moles and to the bats… To go into the caverns of the rocks and into the clefts of the ragged rocks before the terror and dread of the Lord…  (Isaiah 2:19-21 AMP).

No One Should Have to Live in a CAVE!

But for a CAVEMAN, this dreary existence represents his final refuge to a hostile world.  While CAVES make wonderful places to explore on an adventurous vacation, it becomes a sad depressing refuge from trouble for some—not a luxury resort but a ‘last resort’.

At some time or another, most of us want to crawl into a hole and pull it in after us.  Our troubles get so overwhelming we yearn to withdraw from  human society and go hide in a CAVE.

Of course, few of us actually do this but occasionally Scripture relates the real story of REAL CAVEMEN–a man who hides in caves, escaping some horrible circumstance to the outside world.

A BIBLE STORY OF DAVID:

SO DAVID departed and escaped to the CAVE of ADULLAM:”  (1 Samuel 22:1 a).

DAVID has now left the land of the Philistines and returned to his native area of Judah.  The location of this CAVE has been disputed by scholars.  It may very well have been one of the desert hideouts not far from Bethlehem which David was familiar with during his days as a lonely shepherd boy.

You can see in the picture above how rough and rocky that region is and it made for a good hideout.  But this is certainly the lowest moment of David’s life to date in the Bible.

He is hiding in a CAVE–all alone at the moment, without security, without food.  He is away from everything and everyone he loved–everyone except GOD!

If we really want to know and understand how David really felt, all we have to do is read the Psalms he composed during this period.

A Prayer In a CAVE:

I cry to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord do I make supplication.  I pour out my complaint before Him; I tell before Him my trouble.  When my spirit was over-whelmed and fainted [throwing all its weight] upon me, then You knew my path.  In the way where I walk they have hidden a snare for me.  Look on the right hand [the point of attack] and see; for there is no man who knows me [to appear for me].  Refuge has failed me and I have no way to flee; no man cares for my life or my welfare.  I cried to You, O Lord; I said, You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.  Attend to my loud cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I.  Bring my life out of prison, that I may confess, praise, and give thanks to Your name; the righteous will surround me and crown themselves because of me, for You will deal bountifully with me”  (Psalm 142 AMP).

That is how David felt as a CAVE DWELLER!

“I don’t know of a soul on earth who cares for my soul.  I am brought very low.  Deliver me, Lord.”  Can you feel the darkness and dampness of that CAVE?  Can you feel David’s hopelessness in his thoughts, his words?

Yet in the MIDST of the DARKNESS, David has not lost sight of his GOD.

He cries out to the Lord for deliverance, so that he might praise the Lord and be a leader of the righteous.  It’s this part of David that GOD knew; it caused GOD to choose him and call him a man after His own heart.

David has been brought to this place where GOD can truly begin to shape him and use him; use him to His glory.  When GOD brings us to the bottom of a CAVE, a place that seems hopeless, it’s not to destroy us but to rebuild us.  Sort of like ‘Stalagmites” on a cave’s floor; stretching and building, reaching for the heights.

DEPRESSING CIRCUMSTANCES:

TROUBLE brought frustration to David’s personal plans and ambitions.  We’ve all been there: unemployment, financial binds, broken relationships, our illnesses and the illnesses of those close to us in the family.

David was experiencing the same emotions:  Michal–the same wife who’d helped him escape–separated and re-married another man.  Where David was once, a young man climbing the social ladder of success in the king’s court.  Now…his prospects were nil!

No wonder his PSALM FROM A CAVE contained distressing words, “I cry to the Lord…I pour out my complaints…my supplications…Bring my life out of prison…”

Uncertain Thoughts Visit This Caveman.

David wonders, what did I do wrong?  Where did I miss God’s will?  I tried to be a good guy but look where it got me!  No man wants to know me.  I’m ABANDONED, BETRAYED, DESERTED, ALONE, and NO MAN CARES!

PSALM 142 reminds me of an old nursery rhyme my mother would recite to me (or a variation), when my lip would curl because of my feelings of rejection by my playmates:

Nobody loves me

Everybody hates me

I think I’ll go out in the garden

and eat worms!

The nursery rhyme was shortened over the years to…”Just go outside and eat worms!”

In Times of DEPRESSION:

We can all identify with David’s words from a CAVE.  AND, we too can honestly complain to our Heavenly Father; tell Him where it hurts, how we feel about the way things are going.

SULKING in our personal CAVES, we are tempted to self-pity and lethargy.  We stare at all the shadows on the wall.  We listen to our own glum thoughts, while the bats, spiders and lizards dart back and forth in our imaginations.  We feel worthless, alone, deserted and lost and we can certainly empathize with David’s circumstances.

David did feel overwhelmed in his CAVE.  Yet his Psalm, although it details the symptoms of DEPRESSION, reveals a ray of Son-shine, of HOPE while he was a CAVEMAN:

“When my spirit was overwhelmed and fainted [throwing all its weight] upon me, then You knew my path”!

When your spirit is overwhelmed in a CAVE of DEPRESSION, then the Lord Jesus knows where you are and how you feel.  He knows what its like to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

JESUS knows what a CAVE looks like from the inside out; He was buried in one!  He was tortured to death for us; He was crucified dead and buried because of His LOVE for us.

When your spirit is overwhelmed, crushed within you, THEN Jesus knows where you are and how you feel   He also knows how you entered the CAVE.

Some Paths Leading Into CAVES:

JESUS knows the path that led you into this particular CAVE that you have found yourself in.  He came into our world in a human body and understands physical limitations.

NATURAL CIRCUMSTANCES can lead into a CAVE of DEPRESSION.

Shortly before Adoniram Judson (Baptist missionary to Burma) started meditating daily before his open grave, his dearly-loved wife had died.  JESUS understands circumstances that can make you weep–He did.

Sometimes we fall into this CAVE of DEPRESSION with no reason apparent to us.  Something triggers a response to an incident that happened so long ago, you’ve forgotten what it was; but your emotions still react with vague and unreasonable responses, leading your life into the dark cave of depression.  What a bummer!  You’re DEPRESSED and you don’t know why.  But even if you don’t know the PATH leading you into the CAVE…JESUS does, so trust Him.  “For if our heart condemns us, God is GREATER than our heart, and knows all things.”

Graham Cooke says, God strengthens us with His presence in our low places.  He does not give us strength.  He becomes our strength.”

What Happens Next In The CAVE?

GOD has a definite purpose for CAVEMEN!  All the circumstances of your life in the past has prepared you to be God’s person in this CAVE–and the CAVE EXPERIENCE prepares you to be His man/woman in the future.

“So David departed and escaped to the CAVE…and when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him”  (1 Sam. 22:1).

GOD used David’s cave-dwelling experience in affecting his reconciliation with his family.  The tensions between David and his brothers were HEALED in a CAVE!

You can let God use the depressing circumstances you are facing to heal the petty resentments and bad feelings that exist in your family.

“And everyone in distress or in debt or discontented gathered to him…”  (1 Sam. 22:2 a).

Because of David’s own experience, he had empathy with other depressed men–other CAVEMEN AND CAVEWOMEN.  They knew he understood their problems because for a time, he lived as a CAVEMAN too.

Many times in my work life over the years, I too found myself as a CAVE-DWELLER.  Over a 40-year career in the construction industry, I had been let go, laid off, and fired numerous times.  Sometimes the time was short, while other times I sunk into the deep cavern of depression.  And yes, I asked God…why me, why now?  And then one day, long after I had retired, He said,  ‘Mel, you need to use your experiences of unemployment, of struggling to fulfill your responsibilities as husband and father.  You can’t do it by yourself!’

Once before, a time of playing the harp, and now…

While playing the harp in king Saul’s Court, David had contacted successful, up-and-coming young men.  While he was in that DEPRESSING CAVE, he met another class of people–those in distress, in debt, and discontented…and it wasn’t just a few.  It was over 400 men!

GOD used these very people as the nucleus of the army that supported David, King of Israel.  All the time David was overwhelmed in the CAVE…God was working–drawing these distressed people to the man after His own heart.  God had promised David a crown and He used the DEPRESSING CAVE experience to bring His promise to pass.

“So, GOD Has Placed You In A CAVE…”

Your spirit right now is perhaps overwhelmed by your current circumstances.

Then JESUS KNOWS YOUR PATH!

…HE KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE!

…HE KNOWS HOW YOU GOT THERE!

AND HE KNOWS WHERE TO GO FROM HERE!

No matter how dark your CAVE seems to be:  How distressing your circumstances; how depressed you might feel; how bleak the outlook seems…JESUS KNOWS and UNDERSTANDS.

HE CARES,

HIS HAND IS UPON YOUR SHOULDER,

HE HAS NOT ABANDONED YOU,

HE OFFERS HOPE–even for a CAVEMAN!