If You Have Seen Me

I have spent decades of my life praying for my country. I love the United States of America. It is the greatest country, the most free and diverse land of opportunities. It is a nation that has spent billions of dollars to help less fortunate countries. It is now under attack at its very foundation, so lately I have been praying for her like never before.

A few weeks ago I gathered with others to pray first for many nations around the world, and then to end our days of prayer praying for the United States. During that time of prayer I saw something. I saw in my mind a large stone monument of the Ten Commandments being removed from in front of a government building. I saw the Ten Commandments being removed from classrooms. I saw the Ten Commandments being removed from homes and even some churches. Before the historical monuments were removed, they first removed the Ten Commandments.

I remember hearing people say that the decline of this country began when God was removed from our schools and government. As I prayed I searched for the words to invite God back into this nation. The words that I found caused me to love God even more.

You see laws on a stone monument have never changed a person’s heart. Evil in a person’s heart will not be stopped or changed by a set of laws. We see it everyday as the news is filled with people perpetrating evil in most of the daily headlines. To those who do not already know God, laws on a stone tablet may make them think of a legalistic demanding God. Many think of Him as a vengeful Old Testament God. However, what changed when Jesus came in the flesh?

He introduced us to God as Father. He showed us a compassionate, loving, caring, and merciful Father. So as I prayed I let go of those stone monuments in my heart and I invited God, as Father, back into our schools, government, prisons, hospitals, churches, homes, and hearts.

The people in this nation and throughout the entire earth are in need of a demonstration of the Father’s love. Let’s give it to them. Let it be said of each of us, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

“Jesus replied… Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9)

“…one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.” (Luke 11:1-4)

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

Let Me Hear Your Voice

Do you remember a time when you were separated by a great distance from someone you loved? Your parents. Your spouse. Your child. Do you remember those phone calls you waited for. You picked up the phone and said, “It’s so good to hear your voice.”

We love to hear the voice of the ones we love. God loves you and He loves to hear your voice.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. [So I went with him, and when we were climbing the rocky steps up the hillside, my beloved shepherd said to me] O my dove, [while you are here] in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (Song of Solomon 2:13-14, Amplified)

He wants to see your face. He wants to hear your voice.

This morning I was up before my husband. By the time he woke up, I had discovered a problem that needed attending to. As he entered the room I was about to tell him and I had this thought, “I don’t want the first thing I say to him, the first thing he hears from me to be about some problem.”

As I sat with Daddy (God) this morning, there were things on my heart that needed attending to, but I just spent the morning telling Daddy thank You for loving me and telling Him how much I loved Him.

As I sat and let Him see my face and let Him hear my voice, I began to see His ‘face’ and hear His voice.

And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. (Exodus 33:11, Amplified)

As I simply sat with God and talked to Him, I began to see answers to my questions, provision for my needs and I hadn’t even expressed them to Him. I was just letting Him tell me of His love for me as I was loving Him.

In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart]. (Psalm 5:3, Amplified)

…When you pray, say: Father… (Luke 11:2, NIV)

Let your Father hear your voice today.

Small Stuff

A few weeks ago I received a call from a family member. She was upset. She was a little frantic. She asked for prayer. Why? She had lost her husband’s very nice camera and was leaving for a trip with him the next morning.

She said she remembered using the camera the day before to take pictures of the wildflowers on their property. She said she remembers bringing the camera in and putting it in a ‘safe’ place. Sound familiar?

She had spent all morning searching the house and all her safe places, but still no camera.

I told her that I loved her and that if I knew where the camera was, I would tell her. Then I told her that God did know where the camera was and that He loves her more than I do.

I told her we were going to ask God to show her where the camera was and that was exactly what He was going to do. Ask anything in My Name and the Father will give it to you (Jn 16:23).

I also told her that God is love and to let His love drive all that fear out of her heart over this situation. Fear has a very loud voice that puts pressure on us. I told her God’s voice, Love’s voice, is a still small voice, and to hear it you must get quiet on the inside.

So we prayed and I told her to stop trying to find the camera, go finish her packing, and that when she heard that still, small voice in the form of a peaceful voice in her heart, to then follow it.

We hung up. She called me about 3 minutes later and said, “Guess what.” I said, “You found the camera.” She said, “I found the camera.”

After we got off the phone she headed out through the garage to her yard in order to move her sprinkler. As she walked through the garage she had a thought about a place she had been in the garage with the camera. She looked and there it was. It wasn’t in the house in a safe place. It was in the garage and she hadn’t even considered looking there. But her heavenly Father loves her. She asked for help and he helped her.

Today, I realized I had misplaced my favorite Bible highlighter. I began searching for it in all the places I keep it or use it regularly. I looked and looked. I began to get a little frustrated. Then I remembered what I had shared with my family member. So I asked Daddy God to help me find the highlighter. I stopped looking for it and headed into the kitchen to make breakfast. As I stepped into the kitchen I had this question cross my mind, “Did it accidentally get put in the kitchen drawer?”

I’ve never put it there before, but decided to check. There it was. I found it less than a minute after asking for His help.

So why did I tell you all this? Because this doesn’t happen every day? No, He’d like to help us this way every day.

I told you all of this, because it amazes me and blesses me that the King of the Universe, the Creator of all life and all things, God Almighty cares about helping one of His children find a camera or a highlighter. He cares about this, because He cares for us and He cares about the things we care about.

When I take note of these little ‘miracles’, it helps me to trust Him more and more with the big stuff. But in reality it’s all small stuff to Him. Nothing is impossible with God.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7, NLT)

At His Side

From Jeanne Guyon’s Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ:

Why do converts remain basically unchanged despite so much effort? It is because those over them have dealt only with the outward matters of their lives. There is a better way: Go straight to the heart!

Laying down rules and trying to change the outward behavior will not produce a work that will endure in the life of a Christian.

As I read these words this morning it stirred in my heart what I’ve always believed. It is not my responsibility to teach people everything I know or to tell them what to do. It is my responsibility to lead people to the One Who taught me everything I know.

I don’t have enough time in the world to teach others all the Bible. I’m still learning much of it myself. I also know that for many, my just telling them is not enough. It would just be information in their heads, not wisdom that penetrates deep into their hearts producing true and lasting change. But what I can do, is help others develop a relationship with the One Who is the Bible.

The are things no man alone can teach that you will only learn while sitting at the Father’s side or as Mary did sitting at the feet of Jesus, where the Holy Spirit can bring light and knowledge beyond the knowledge of this world.

If we help others develop a relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, we have given them so much more than just a lesson, just some rules, just a little knowledge. We have given them the key to all they will ever need. They will find it in Him.

I tell the things which I have seen and learned at My Father’s side… (John 8:38, Amplified)

Teach Them His Ways

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all… (Romans 4:16, KJV)

…that he might be the father of all them that believe… (Romans 4:11, KJV)

A childless man believed God, it was counted unto him righteousness, and he became the father of us all, the father of faith.

The promise he received from God was that he would become the father of many nations. Why Abraham? I think a very important clue to this is found in Genesis chapter eighteen.

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD… (Genesis 18:19, KJV)

For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord… (Genesis 18:19, Amp)

Abraham’s faith was important, but what was also very important was that he would teach his children to trust and believe in God. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he is called the “father” of us all. What is a father to do? Teach and command his children.

Proverbs 22:6 tells us that we are to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (KJV).  What was the way that God knew Abraham would train his children? “In the way of the LORD.” God’s way. And let’s not forget God is love (1 John 4:8). When he taught his children God’s ways, he was teaching his children love’s ways.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7, KJV)

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up… That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children… as the days of heaven upon earth… diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to cleave unto him… (Deuteronomy 11:18-19, 21-22, KJV)

As parents there are many things we teach our children, but the most important thing we can teach them is about God, Who is love, and His ways.

Teach them to love the LORD their God with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their soul and with all their strength. Teach them to love their neighbor as they do themselves. Train them in the ways of God, in the ways of love and they will not depart from it.

When we read through the Faith Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11), we see men and women of faith doing mighty exploits. We see Abel, Enoch, and Noah. We see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (He did teach his children.) We see Sarah, Joseph, Moses and Joshua. Gideon, Samson, David and Samuel and many others. By faith they did mighty exploits, but let’s not forget that without love faith won’t work (Galatians 5:6, 1 Corinthians 13:2).

…if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). (1 Corinthians 13:2, Amplified)

Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8, NKJV)

Teach them to love and you have taught them to walk in ways that never fail. For with God, with Love, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37, 1 John 4:8).

Daddy Said So

Let’s take a look at one of my favorite words in the Bible. It’s an Aramaic word and for whatever reason it was not translated in the Bible to its English meaning, but simply transliterated. It’s the word ‘abba’. It occurs three times in the Bible. Let’s take a look at its use in Romans 8:15 (Amplified).

For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!

So why the use of this word ‘abba’ which means father right before the Greek word for father? I had an idea due to previous teachings on this, but to make it official I turned to my trusty Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. I also looked it up in the not so trusty Wikipedia (I hear teachers won’t accept papers that reference Wikipedia 🙂 ). So here is what I learned about this word ‘abba’.

Abba is the word formed by the lips of infants, and betokens unreasoning trust; “father” expresses an intelligent apprehension of the relationship. The two together express the love and intelligent confidence of the child. (Vine’s)

It was the intimate name used by children for their fathers and combines some of the intimacy of the English word “papa” while retaining the dignity of the word “father,” being both informal and yet respectful. It was, therefore, an endearing form of address rather than a title and was among the first words a child learned to speak. (Wikipedia.org)

Jesus uttered this word in the Garden of Gethsemane. As He faced the most difficult situation of His life, as He agonized over what He knew was to become of Him on that cross, He cried Abba, Father.

And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father…

In the midst of the most trying time of His life, Jesus called on God not just as His heavenly Father, but as His “Papa”, His “Daddy”.

Many people believe I am very naive. They think that I don’t live in reality. I’m not afraid of anything. I don’t worry about anything. (At least not for more than a moment). Why? Because My Father, My Daddy loves me. And I trust Him.

I remember a time when my husband and I had just bought a house. We began to be stretched financially. We wondered if we made a mistake. We wondered if we should stay in this home or sell it. One day I was talking to My Heavenly Daddy about this and I asked Him what we should do. He spoke these words in my heart, “I will keep you in this house.”

All the fear and worry and questions drained out of my heart. I ran and told my husband. He said, “What does that mean?” I responded with, “I don’t know other than I know He will keep us in this house.” Over the next few years with changes in the appraisals and tax rate in our city, our house payment went down every year, until our house payment was lower in this home, than in our previous home which was much smaller. My Daddy kept us in this house. We were no longer stretched financially and we got to stay in our home.

My Daddy loves me. I say this all the time. I believe this all the time. When I look in His word and see His promises, I believe them. Why? Because Daddy said so and He is faithful to do what He said.

Love Gives

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16, KJV).

Love compelled our Creator to give His Son. Love compelled the Son to give His life.

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” “The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” “No one takes it away from Me. On the contrary, I lay it down voluntarily.” (John 10:11, 6:51, KJV; John 10:18, Amplified)

Through His death and resurrection Jesus gave us eternal life (John 10:28). The Bible tells us in Hebrews 13:8 that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus still loves. God is still love. And love is still giving.

“He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? (Romans 8:32, Amplified)

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Luke 11:1-2. It reads, “And it came to pass, that as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name…”

I love Jesus’ response. The Bible tells us that Jesus only said what He heard the Father say. So this response is the one He heard from heaven. God wanted to be known as and addressed as ‘Father’. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the awe of knowing that. God the Creator of the Universe wanted to be known as Our Father.

So what does this have to do with giving? In Matthew 7 Jesus said, “…what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, Amplified).

We are living in hard times. The financial world seems to be collapsing around us. Many are predicting “famine in the land” and they’re scared. I’m guessing they don’t know My Father, My God. He doesn’t want to just supply my needs (Philippians 4:19). He wants to give me my desires.

He wants to be your Father too. He wants to take care of you and give you the desires of your heart. Delight yourself in Him.