Blinders

24Put away from you crooked speech,

and put devious talk far from you.

25Let you eyes look directly forward,

and your gaze be straight before you.”

Proverbs 4:24-25 ESV

Let your eyes look directly forward. It is amazing what we can do when our eyes are constantly looking forward. Think about it, during a race, horses wear blinders and most of us may not even know why. However, horses wear blinders because the Jockey’s don’t want them to get distracted during the race. The horse is there to run its own course, not to worry about what the other horses are doing in the other lanes, that is the Jockey’s job. The Jockey is there to guide the horse, to tell him when to run faster, the Jockey is there to watch the other lanes and control the pace of the lanes.

I do not find it ironic that we, in life, are told to have the same perspective. It is stomach aching how many times we as believers get ourselves caught up in drama and/or gossip that does not involve us. We become so consumed with everyone else’s life that we lose focus of our own purpose in life. God has set us all in our own lane, to run the race he has set for us and he tells us the best way to pleasing him is to keep our eyes looking forward.

In this chapter the author is urging the readers to listen to the wisdom and insight he is providing, meaning God is urging us to listen to the wisdom he has provided to through his word. Yet we never seem to be satisfied with what God has to offer us, thus we always want what other people have or listen to what other people are saying, as if what they have to offer is more satisfying. In Proverbs 4 the flow is, listen to wisdom or beware of the dark path you may end up walking down. It’s amazing how quickly good Christians can take a turn for the worse by getting entangled in other peoples business, other peoples relationships, marriages, bank accounts and desires.

God has set us on this beautiful earth to worship him, to glorify him and run the race he has given to us. Paul tells us in his epistles that no soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits (2 Tim. 2:4) and he also tells us to press forward toward the upward goal for our life (Phil 3:14).

It is clear, God has set us on a path to bring him glory, to reflect his character, God has called us to run and let him do the guiding and protecting. Let God worry about what is going on around you today and trust in him to lead you on a path of righteousness.

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The Righteousness of Dogs

Psalm 42:1-2 (ESV)

“1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”

Pant – to breathe in a labored manner; to long eagerly.

Have you ever witnessed a dog running on a hot afternoon? I have two dogs and many friends with dogs, so I have came across this situation many times. The dog runs around in blistering heat and then when it stops to cool itself down, the first thing the dog will do is look for water. However, if the dog cannot find water it will begin to PANT. This panting is an attempt to cool itself down, while also letting everyone around know that it is thirsty. If not given water fairly quickly this panting can become rather extensive. The heart begins to beat inside of its chest at an abnormal rate, common to the symptoms of a humans anxiety attack. The fact is that this dog is over heating and recognizes the fact that it desperately needs some water to cool down.

By now you are probably wondering where exactly I am going with this. Well in this Psalm, David is crying out to the Lord and uses a rather abnormal term to describe his spiritual state. This word really stood out to me as I was reading the scriptures. The first thing that came to mind was my dog, who pants regularly, then the thought of humans panting came to mind. First was how many humans actually pant and then how many humans should be panting. Some of you may be saying, well that’s because I’m not overweight so why would I pant? However, the question is how many of us should be panting?

When we get thirsty we merely get up and walk to the fridge and grab a cold beverage. On the other hand, what are we doing when we are beginning to over-heat spiritually? Do we recognize this type of over-heating? Do we believe it is a state we can control on our own, by changing our environment, or do we seek the LIVING WATER?

The Word of God tells us in Psalms chapter one that if we stay planted near the stream of water we shall be sustained, not in want and in due season shall bear fruit. To stay planted near that stream, we must take time to give thanks (worship), pray (honor), and water (read HIS word).

There are going to be times when the enemy will attack you, some days more than others. None the less, the devil is always on the prowl, we must continuously pant for more of the Lord in our life. It through Him and through Him only that we will be sustained, that we will be prosperous and through Him that we will spend eternity in Heaven. Strive to see His face a little clearer today! God Bless.

Watch Out For Snakes

Psalm 18:1-3 (KJV):

 1 I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
         My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
         My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
         So shall I be saved from my enemies.

        When a child is told not to play with fire, what is the first thing that child asks himself?  “Well why can’t I play with fire?”  When my oldest younger brother was 3 years old he was told not to touch the curling iron because it was hot.  Sure enough as soon as he knew my step-mother was not looking, he went for it and grabbed it.  The result was a trip to the emergency room and a severely bandaged hand.  My brother cried, said sorry and never touched a curling iron, hot or cold, ever again.

        With the evolutions in our society, people become curious and are encouraged to test their limits.  Encouraged to “play with fire”, however, they do not realize that there are some fires that are inescapable.  There are parameters that the Lord places around us because He knows, although they may not have an immediate effect, we can become consumed and burnt to the core.  The Lord will allow us to go through some fire as it is, but as prideful humans we believe we can handle more, while the Father already knows the outcome of certain actions.

        This subject came to mind the other day as I was hiking with my girlfriend and a couple of my Christian brothers.  As we were hiking there were noises in the bushes that sounded like Rattlesnake rattles.  In the beginning when I heard these noises I just kept walking, wanted nothing to do with them.  However, as we continued on the hike I started to become curious.  I had reached the top of one of the hills before the other three and as I was attempting to catch my breath I heard the same noise in a bush nearby.  So I started to get closer to see if the noise was truly a rattlesnake or just the wind hitting the brush.  So I was cautiously getting closer I began to think, if it’s not a rattlesnake I’ll have the comfort of knowing that these hills are not infested with rattlesnakes and if it is a rattlesnake, I’m just going to end up running away anyway, unless it’s too late and I get bit.  However, there was also another option, stay put cause they are not bothering me as it is and I’m safe.  So I became curious no longer.

       The Lord will protect us and even when it feels that we are being persecuted it is never a situation that He is not involved in.  Trust in the Lord because He is our Rock and keeps us protected under the shadow of His wings.  Although it may seem hot, the Lord is there to cool us down and refresh our spirit. We must discipline ourselves to stay away from the traps the devil attempts to lay down in our path.

Make The Call

Psalm 12 (ESV)

“1Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
2Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
3May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
4those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?”
5″Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the LORD;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
6 The words of the LORD are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
7You, O LORD, will keep them;
you will guard us[b] from this generation forever.
8On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.”

With the condition our country is in, concerning the economy, the faithful leaders we look up to seem to be disappearing. It seems like everynight there is another government official who appears in a controversial news story, another professional athlete who is breaking some kind of rule or attempting to cheat the system.

All the “role models” that Americans once used to look up to, are being swayed by the economic state of our country, they all are trying to find a way to stay ahead of everybody else, no matter who they have to step over to get to the top. People are constantly looking for an easy fix to their problems and sometimes they work but only for a short period of time. Then they end up in a bigger hole than the one they started in.

People are constantly looking for a solution but fail to recognize the only solution adequate is to call upon the Name of the Lord. Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known”, we look only to the things that we see for answers and totally subtract God from the equation. When the Lord tells us that He has treasures, blessings, breakthrough’s, awaiting us if we call out to Him with all of our Heart.

Today I petition that we all take any concern, heartache, stronghold or any burden that is hindering our daily life to the Lord. Make the call and cry out to God because He is listening! God Be With You…