Tag Archives: God

Today I Lost My Job

Today I experienced something that I’ve never experienced before. I was laid off from my job. How ironic that I posted the following blurb in my last post before I left for work this morning:

People at your job may be being laid off right and left. But you need to stand on the promises God’s given you, knowing that even though “a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, [that no such thing will] come near you.”

And I admit, it’s good advice. But what if you’ve already been laid off? What if you’re like me? Well, first of all, if you have been laid off, I’m sorry. I am so sorry. But not so sorry that I’m going to let either of us stay in this mess. God has not abandoned us. He hasn’t left us. We’re going to stand on His Word. We aren’t going to stand on our confusion or our worries or fears of questions. None of those things will get us out of this mess we’re in.

Let’s journey to Romans 4:17-18 where we read about Abraham and how he held on to what God said.

We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

Let’s do as Abraham did. Even though everything may look hopeless in the natural, we’re going to believe God anyway. And because we’re going to be coming in agreement with God, like Abraham, we’re going to receive exactly what God’s promised us. God’s has a mighty calling on your life. And we aren’t going to settle for some dead-end, low pay, miserable job — just so we can “have a job”. Of course you need a job. We both do. But let’s not scrape by with the bare minimum. Let’s believe for ALL God has for us. Let’s believe God to move us into a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity where we can use the giftings He’s given us and be radically blessed financially at the same time.

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Filed under God's Promises, Tough Times

Prosperity in the Midst of Famine – part 2

A friend from work was telling me the other day about a certain church that sat right next to the World Trade Center twin towers, before they were tragically destroyed on 9/11.  Do you remember seeing the news coverage of people running from the towers, running from stores and shops and businesses that were blocks from the towers?  Especially when the towers toppled down.  It looked like destruction spanned for blocks and blocks.  But that church I just mentioned — it was completely unscathed.  It wasn’t destroyed by the debris.  It didn’t topple over.  No, it was fine.  In fact, that church went on to offer food and supplies to the people whose lives were turned upside down by that devastating event.  That church became a resting place for the fireman and emergency workers working non-stop to save people from the debris surrounding the towers.  As my friend finished telling me this story, she reminded me of Psalm 91:  A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only observe with your eyes.  …  If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways (verses 7-11).

What an amazing illustration of God’s promise to protect His children.  And we can apply those same promises to the economic disaster that looms over our country and many countries around the world.  Imagine yourself — like that church, propped up right against destruction, and yet remaining completely unscathed.  In other words, people at your job may be being laid off right and left.  But you need to stand on the promises God’s given you, knowing that even though “a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, [that no such thing will] come near you.”  Are your stocks plummeting?  Did your spouse lose their job?  Have you lost your job?  Have you received a foreclosure notice in the mail?  Are you laying awake at night, in fear, of all of the negative reports on the news?  Get your eyes off the circumstances!  The righteous walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7, Hebrews 10:38).  Stop putting your trust in hearsay, in news reports, in polls and lift your eyes to God.

Because he loves Me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”  (Psalm 91:14-15)

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Prosperity in the Midst of Famine – part 1

God wants His children to prosper in the midst of famine.  Isn’t that good news?  Especially as economies around the world are taking a very big hit.  So wash out of your mind right now all of the negative words the media may have spoken into your heart.  The drop in your income that they told you to expect?   Stop expecting it.  Or maybe you’ve already experienced that drop in your income.  If so, get ready for it to turn back up in the right direction.  Maybe you don’t even have a job or you’ve just lost your job.  Stop worrying and get ready for things to change.  Why?  I’m going to tell you why.

“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” That’s what King David said (in Psalm 37:25).  And I think coming from a king, those words mean a lot.  David may have started out all alone, shepherding some sheep in a big empty pasture, but he sure didn’t end that way.  It’s just like today.  You could pluck some average person out of obscurity, someone who doesn’t pay attention to the news or the economy or the job market, and that same person could say what David said with relative ease — that they’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread, but it’d be easy to chalk it up to the fact that that person simply never gets out, never watches the news, isn’t up with the current economic situation.  But now let’s turn the tables.  And let’s think of the candidates that we, in the United States, have running for President.  They may have not heard much flack personally about the economy prior to running for President.  But now these same people are traveling all across the fruited plain, hearing everything there is to hear, from every possible angle, about the economy.  Why?  Because two of them (a President and Vice President) are going to be elected to get our country out of this mess.  That’s what leaders do.  They lead us corporately in a direction that we, ourselves, don’t have the direction or the power or the means to go.  And it wasn’t much different back then.  David was king over an entire nation.  He saw a lot.  He knew the condition of his people.  And even he, in all of his experience and knowledge as a king could say: I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

Ok, now I want you to remind yourself that Psalm 37:25 is not just some quote from some person that we read about in a history book.  Yes, it’s something David said.  But where do we find it?  In God’s Word.  And God’s Word is alive, it will accomplish what it’s been sent out to do, it doesn’t return unto Him void.

Start declaring what David said over your own life.  Declare that God will never forsake you, that your children will never be forced to beg – for work, for food, for anything.  Find scriptures you can stand on concerning finances.  The righteous walk by faith, NOT by sight (2 Cor 5:7, Hebrews 10:38).  That’s not a call to deny reality.  It’s a call to a greater reality — God’s Word, because it doesn’t return void.  You can wish and hope all day long, but there’s no guarantee that anything you wish or hope for is ever going to come to pass.  But God’s Word?  It doesn’t return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11).  And God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).  Take Him at His word.  And watch how your finances change for the better.

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Filed under Economy

Wielding the Sword

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:32

The Bible is powerless in my life if I don’t believe it.  I can hear the truth, I can read the truth, I can copy the truth onto 3 by 5 notecards and tape them on my mirror, I can memorize the truth, I can shout the truth over my situation, but until I know the truth… I will not be set free.

More than anything else in life, I want to know the truth.  I don’t just want to read it.  I don’t just want to hear it.  I don’t even just want to think about it.  I’ve got to know it.  Because when I know it, I will be totally and unquestionably free.  Free from the every lie that tries to creep into my mind.  Free from intimidation and worry and confusion and fear.  Free from every symptom of sickness that ever tries to turn into something more.  Free from debt and insufficiency and lack.  Yes, that’s what I want.  I don’t just want to have the word stored away in my heart.  I want to live it!  Because it’s not enough for me to just read stories of victory and triumph, of nations being won for Jesus in a day, of the dead being brought back to life, sickness and disease vanishing.  I’ve got to live it.  I can’t stand to live another day hearing names like parkinsons and cancer and heart disease and hiv and standing back to make way for them — or seeing others gawk in fear towards them.  No way.  I’ve got to be in a position of such confidence in Jesus, in complete awareness of the authority I have in Him,  that I can stand and look down upon these ugly, horrible names that represent such demonic torment — not looking up at them in awe or intimidation, but looking down upon them in complete hatred and a complete lack of amazement.  They’ve got to be ants beneath my feet.  I will no longer make them to be anything more.  Jesus didn’t.  Jesus was not impressed with sickness like we are.  The Bible says that when He cast out a demon, He refused to even let it speak.  People today are not only letting the enemy speak to them and overwhelm them — they are speaking back.  I won’t stand for it.  Sickness and disease, cancer and hiv, tuberculosis and strokes, colds and flus — they are all Goliaths in our society.  Will we be like King Saul who cowered and fretted over this uncircumcised Philistine?  Or will we be like David? David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” I think we’d start seeing a lot more victories in our life if we treated sickness and torment and debt — and all of satan’s devices like David treated Goliath.

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Something Wonderful is about to Happen

The other day, as I was driving, I came up behind a car with a bumper sticker that read: Something wonderful is about to happen. I smiled. I had just lived through another one of my Really Bad Wrong-Turn episodes. I was driving home from the mall, which I stopped at after work. This mall is quite a stretch from where I live, but I’ve been there a million times. And every time, I always take the same highway home. But somehow, I ended up exiting on the wrong street and taking some wrong turns, and pretty soon, there were signs introducing me to a whole different highway. A highway I don’t like. A big, big highway. A highway that’s 5 lanes wide. But I wasn’t scared. If I was, I would have pulled a U-turn and gotten myself out of that mess. Instead, I whispered to myself, “Oh goodie, this way may get me home even faster!” In the last few years, I must have spent 10% of my life sitting in traffic. Thus everything is about find a faster route, a better way to avoid traffic. It was false hope though. I just didn’t know it yet. I planned to get on the big, big highway and then exited onto the highway that I always use to get home. But, turns out I had gotten on too late to merge onto the highway. Instead, my only option was to go south…. and I did go south. Until finally, I knew my only hope was to exit at the next city and pull a U-turn. So I did. And then I had to figure out how to get back on the same highway but going in the opposite direction. So I pulled into a gas station and drove around it three times until I figured out what to do. After three times, I still hadn’t figured out what to do, but I saw a couple of people pointing and laughing at me, so I got right out of there. Then I got to a stop light. Maybe I should call my Dad. I always call my dad in situations such as these. And he always knows exactly where I’m at and guides me back on the road that leads to home. I pulled out my cell phone. The light turned green. I got ready to turn. Then a guy, from the middle of nowhere, comes driving right at me. Silly guy. He was in the wrong lane to go straight. I slammed on my breaks. My cell phone flew off my lap and onto the floor. Guess I won’t be calling dad. When I did finally get back onto the right highway, the highway that I love and know, the highway that leads me straight home, I found myself in a log jam. A million cars, bumper to bumper, moving at a snail’s pace.

Yes, it was before this incident that I saw my favorite bumper stick of all time: Something Wonderful is About to Happen. And though nothing wonderful did happen (apart from finally getting home), I am no cynic. I fully agree with that bumper sticker. I fully agree with God. I fully believe the promises He’s given me. There are some that I’ve been holding onto for years. There are some promises He’s given me that I see no sign of at the moment. All I see is the complete opposite happening. But I believe Him. There are days when I may feel like Joseph, chained up in prison, hoping he’d be remembered, hoping his release would come. But Joseph’s release came. He never gave up. And I won’t give up either. I know my time is coming. I know the release of His promises is coming. I don’t care what it looks like in the natural. The righteous walk by faith — not by sight.

Something wonderful is about to happen. I can feel it.

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Political Confusion

I was just brushing my teeth… and I had a thought. I haven’t been to the garden in a while. My heart fluttered. How could I go so long without visiting? The garden, unlike the dentist, is not some place I’m supposed to visit every six months (though, if you’re like me, you’ve been meaning to call for the past year and just haven’t gotten around to it). No, the garden, isn’t somewhere I have to or am supposed to visit at all. And that’s a good thing, because… let’s face it: if someone told me that I needed to go, I probably wouldn’t. It’s like cleaning the bathroom. If someone would simply say to me, “Please stop cleaning the bathroom. Please don’t ever do it again!” I would. I would clean the bathroom. Probably that very minute. But instead, I’m always hounding myself to clean it – and well, I rarely do (I am being generous with the word rarely). Or… if my English teacher would have told me, all those years ago, to not bother reading To Kill a Mockingbird. To just take it home and look at the front cover and maybe, maybe read the back cover… but only if I really felt like it, then by golly, I probably would have scoured the whole thing from front to back. Curiosity would have got the better of me. But it was the exact opposite. And curiosity and wonderment had no part in it. As a result, I was drawn into the arms of Spark Notes. I didn’t even read the back cover. Oh, but I did watch the movie (sorry, Miss Aden… thanks anyways for the A though).

But as I said, the garden is nothing like any of the obligatory things I just mentioned. And so, as I set my toothbrush into its little tray and wiped my backwash off the mirror (just being honest), my heart was drawn. I could see Him waiting at the gate for me.

Do you hear that? He whispered. Hear what? I asked. Listen. Do you hear that? He continued. I paused and listened carefully. I could hear it. Something. Something which was very quiet at first, but became louder as I stood there. It was a rushing noise. Like water. And waves crashing. Then I could hear the pounding of rain and the boom of thunder and lightening. I looked around me. This wasn’t the garden anymore. It was a torrential downpour — in the middle of a huge body of water. I was sitting in a small canoe by myself, trying to paddle my way out, but failing miserably. The sky was so dark and the rain was so fierce, I couldn’t see land in any direction. I couldn’t see fifteen feet in front of me.

Where am I? I asked.

Political confusion, He answered.

We were back in the garden. The sun was radiating, casting warmth on my back. We were standing in a beautiful field of tall grass. I collapsed onto my knees — the way I always do when He speaks. The way I do when I want to ask questions, want to change the subject, but can’t. I know what He means. I’ve maybe never heard such a thing in my life, but when He speaks, darkness flees. Confusions flees. Lies flee. There’s no gray area. There’s nothing to question. There’s no confusion. His words cut like a knife — through everything that must be cut away.

I simply stood before Him, my eyes flooded with light, and nodded. Then I walked into His arms. He grabbed me and pulled me tight. I’m so sorry, Daddy.

I didn’t have to pull out a list and name all of the things that had vied to tug my heart away from Him — political opinions, strong political opinions, extremely strong political opinions. Pride. I hate pride. I would like to put another word in its place, but it’s really the only one that fits. No, there was no list. There was no naming names. There was just collapsing in His arms and forsaking it all instantly. How? I don’t know. It’s not that I had such restrain or resistance against these things that I could just drop them and not care to ever go back. No, I like my opinions. But I like Him more. And when He spoke, I couldn’t turn away. Not because I didn’t want to turn away. I was absolutely, physically incapable of doing so. His word cut through everything that would have kept me from Him, from truth.

The political spirit that looms over this country right now is very blinding. It’s exactly like the picture He showed me — of sitting in the boat, the storm so loud that you can’t hear, so dark that you can’t see anything — but yourself. Maybe I started out on the shore, but once I put my boat in the water, the tide pulled me out. I couldn’t resist it. The political spirit is strong, alluring, enticing.

Does this mean I can’t fight anymore? I asked Him this. And do you know what He said? No. What a wonderful Daddy! I can still fight. But He told me to fight from the garden — our secret place, where I can see everything clearly. He told me to stop fighting from that old boat that’s stuck in the eye of the storm. I can’t see anything out there. I can’t tell east from west from north from south. All darkness is the same at night.

So, I will continue to fight — for righteousness, for justice, for a godly leader who will pass righteous laws and stand for justice — for those who cannot defend themselves. 40 million of them. But I will do so from a place of far greater power and influence.

Help me, LORD. Please keep my hands frozen to the sword.

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