When I am Weary, He Gives Me Strength

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By Dawn Bennett

Weariness can develop in multiple ways – spiritual, emotional, mental or physical. Sometimes it can be a heaviness upon us, a tiredness in our day, or a nagging about us. But our first response when we start to feel this way needs to be the remembrance that The Lord renews our strength. Isaiah 40:31 says “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” He tells us to wait on Him, and He will give us strength. Wait on Him and He will bring us high above the circumstance. Wait on Him because He is always there. Verse 28 of the same chapter says “The Lord is the everlasting God………He never grows weak or weary.” Even when we grow weary He does NOT!!. He is there to give us all the strength we need. Verse 29 goes on to say “He gives strength to the weary and increases power of the weak.” He gives us power even in our weakness! When we are weak He is strong. We have to remember the promises God gives us. No matter what we are feeling, no matter the circumstance, no matter the burden. He is able and willing to give us strength through it all.

We can receive strength in many ways…..Encouragement from others, direction from The Word, words from a song, intimate time in prayer; and one of my favorites is by helping someone else in their weariness. Often times when we put ourselves out there to encourage someone else and to pray for them, we then become encouraged and strengthen. The Bible says in Job 42:10 “and the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends…”. And it says in 2 Corinthians 1:4 “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us”.  When we are in the practice of praying for others, our own heaviness becomes lighter, our own worries become joy, our own weaknesses become strengthened, even our own unanswered prayers become answered.

Instead of trying to figure out a way to fix your weariness, allow God to do it. His ways of doing things are way more effective. Get into prayer, get into the Word, pray for others and wait on Him and see what happens. If God promises it, it will happen!!!

Intimacy

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By Dawn Bennett

Last week we talked about truly worshiping God as one way to get closer to Him. This week I would like to talk about another way; being intimate with God.

For a moment I would like you to think about a married couple. Now suppose both spouses are home all the time, never are they apart. But now suppose that one spouse is in a particular room of the house. You are aware that they are home with you but you don’t really say much or go into that other room. They are just kind of always there. So now maybe you pop your head in for a second to say good morning and then maybe again in the afternoon and say oh I’m having trouble with this can you fix it. Then maybe again at dinner. Thanks for providing this food. And then if you’re really being nice maybe you pop your head back in one more time before you go to bed, to say good night. How do you think that person in the other room might feel?  How would you feel?

That person in the other room might think….If only they had stayed just a few more minutes, I could have told them this, or if only they spent a little more time with me, I could have shown them that. If only they had listened for a moment, they could see….

If you ask me this doesn’t sound like a healthy marriage. How could you ever really get to know that person? Do you think you could build a real, lasting, strong relationship with them? It would leave open doors for the enemy to come in and try to destroy. It’s the same thing with God. How can we ever know God without spending real time with Him? We can not pop our heads in for a moment or two and think that, that will be enough. We must build a relationship that the devil can not penetrate.

It is necessary to spend time in prayer and in the Word to build an intimacy with God. He longs for that intimacy more then we could ever imagine. More then our need to feel that with another person. His love for us is greater then any love we could give. Our desire needs to be to get to that place with Him. Although we all lead very busy lives we have to put aside time for God. I’m reminded of a song called A Little Longer, in one of the verses God is speaking back to us and He says…” you don’t have to do a thing. Simply be with me and let those things go. They can wait another minute. Wait this moment is too sweet. Please stay here with me and love on me a little longer. ‘Cause I’m in love with you.” He is in love with us and wants to spend time with us, don’t miss out on what God has for you in those intimate times of just you and Him. Spend time with God and build a strong, impenetrable, lasting relationship with Him!

James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

Worship…or Just Another Song?

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By Dawn Bennett

Why do we play songs at the beginning of a service? Is it just to fill time until everyone that comes late gets there? No! We play and sing these songs as another way to get intimate with Christ.  God has given us many ways to come into His presence, this is an important one. James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God. Worship is an essential way to draw closer to Him.

These songs are not just words to sing, and chords to play, they should be a declaration, a prayer, a crying out from our heart unto God. In the song Like a Fire we sing “Jesus I’m desperate for you, Jesus I’m hungry for you, Jesus I’m longing for you. Lord you are all I want…..” but  are you really desperate for Him? Is He really all you want? When you sing those words are you really crying out to Him saying God I need you now, I’m totally completely desperate for you, to get to know you, I’m longing to be close to you? Is that your heart’s desire or are you just singing a nice song? In the song Enthroned we sing “You are worthy, Lord of all” again are we really declaring how worthy He is? The song Here’s My Heart we sing “You are strong, You are sure, You are Life, You endure, You are good, always true, You are light breaking through.” Another example of speaking out who God is to us.  So many songs declare His goodness and mercy. His love for us, His might and power.

Misty Edwards said “The only thing that makes ‘worship music’ worship is that we are talking to God; other wise its just music.” I thought that statement was so true and something good to remember as we enter into praise and worship times. So here’s the choice, we could just sing songs on a Sunday morning because we like the tempo, tune or words. Or we can make it true worship by talking to our Savior. I challenge you to make each and every song an intimate time between you and God. See what a difference it makes when you choose to truly worship your creator opposed to just singing a song.

Psalm 100:1-2 “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.  Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”

1 Chronicles 16:23-25 “Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.”

Psalm 95:1-6 “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”

Your Past Is For Your Future

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By Johanna C. Tompkins

Let’s face it, we all have a past. Some are good, some are ugly and some are just plain reprehensible. The great news is that we don’t actually live in our past anymore. We live in today; the present! At times in our walk we can all look back disdainfully with regrets, condemnation and a sense of failure. The truth is, God, in all his infinite wisdom uses our past for our future. He uses it to show His Glory, His Forgiveness, His Mercy, His Healing Power, His Redemption, His Deliverance and His Restoration. For each of us, He chooses how He will display who He is!! It is Satan the accuser of the brethren who reminds us of who we were, what we have done, what we didn’t do etc. (Rev. 12:10). Satan is a legalist, a bully; he is always trying to disqualify Gods people. That is why; it is only Through Christ that we are qualified!

Isa 43:18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?  I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

I am always amazed when I look at who God chooses in the Bible! They all have a past! Moses was called to be a deliverer of an entire nation and yet he is labeled a murderer, rightly so before the Great Exodus. If he would have only focused on what he did in his past then he could have never moved forward. A whole nation would have remained in slavery had he not become the Deliverer he was called to be. Rahab, a prostitute, helped aid and hide the Israelite spies. Due to this righteous act the children of Israel were able to take over Jericho. Her past could have condemned her forever but not so with God. Her righteous act of Obedience was an invitation to salvation, deliverance and a new beginning. She then went on to marry one of Israelites, Salmon and then became the Mother of Boaz!

Why does God do this? How does God take a murderer and make him a Deliverer? Or a prostitute and then bring the Seed of Christ through her lineage? It is simple. It is called Redeeming Grace. We all need it. Some receive it. Some choose to stay stuck in yesterday. You cannot change your yesterday but you can Rest in the finished works of God. I didn’t say repeat your mistakes or keep going in the wrong direction. Learn from yesterday and say goodbye to it. Don’t let your present slip away because of things and places in your past that don’t exist. They are gone and buried forever if you are truly repentant! Learn from them but don’t carry them into your future!

Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

We are righteous by Faith in Christ! We rest in knowing that we cannot add to Heavens plan of Salvation for mankind. All we can do is receive what our Lord and Savior did. We simple come in agreement with it. This is so hard for the “fixers” of life because we are always trying to “make things right!” God says, “Let it go” When Jesus hung on the Cross, God made everything right! It’s not that we should never sorrow over errors or make course corrections. We just don’t stay stuck in a time and place that is gone. You only have today! God wants us to stay in stride with the plans of today and future. Would you want your growing and mature teenager to stay upset about mistakes they made as a toddler??? Sounds ridiculous, right? That’s what we do to Him. The truth is we are not the same people from our past. That person is not there. Truly we are New Creatures in Christ! Your Future is Brighter than your past. God paid way too high a price for your future! Never let today be in vain. You choose.

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)