September 8, 2013

Revelations to Remember

Passage: Psalms 34
Service Type:

Bible Text: Psalms 34 | Preacher: Pastor Mike | Series: David: Committed Living
Revelations from God are testimonies that should be remembered and shared. They’re personal encounters with the one and only, almighty living God… That can give a believer strength and encouragement to face the day!
Today I had the privilege of taking my guitar and singing prophetically over my friend’s mom (who recently suffered a stroke) in her Vanderbilt hospital room. When I began to worship she could not lift her right hand or foot off the bed at all but by the time I finished, she was raising her hand above her head saying “Praise the Lord” as well as moving her right foot/leg off the bed. She kept saying over and over that she was feeling better and that the weight she had felt for days had been lifted. Not only did He restore health in her body but He restored her HOPE for the first time since it happened. WOW!! JESUS IS SO GOOD!!!!!! It’s incredible what He will do with a small act of obedience. My favorite part is that I can’t take any credit, all glory is His! What an honor it is to be a vessel of His amazing power and love.
The Lord Listens
Psalm 34:4-8 I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me; he freed me from all my fears. 5  The oppressed look to him and are glad; they will never be disappointed. 6  The helpless call to him, and he answers; he saves them from all their troubles. 7 His angel guards those who honor the LORD and rescues them from danger. 8 Find out for yourself how good the LORD is. Happy are those who find safety with him.
1 John 5:14-15 We have courage in God’s presence, because we are sure that he hears us if we ask him for anything that is according to his will. 15 He hears us whenever we ask him; and since we know this is true, we know also that he gives us what we ask from him.
Let me tell you about someone I know… that you might even know too.
Richard has the joy of the Lord… but it wasn’t always like that for him. Until about 3 years ago Richard was struggling: Drugs, Alcohol, Homelessness… Life was really dark for him.
But one day… something stirred inside of him and he cried out to the Lord to be saved from the life he was living. You can talk to Richard about what happened next…
But the short version is… God heard him and provided for Richard the very things he needed to turn his life around… And brought about a reconciliation to the relationship that had once been broken between him and God.
The Lord Provides
Psalm 34:9-10 Honor the LORD, all his people; those who obey him have all they need. 10 Even lions go hungry for lack of food, but those who obey the LORD lack nothing good.
Meet Sarah Bollinger and her three year old son Eli. The Bollinger family (as some of you may remember) used to come to our church… But a little while ago had to make a move to the Seattle area. This is a family that loves God… but even more so… They are a family that lives for God… And recognize their dependence on Him to meet they’re family’s needs.
Just recently Sarah shared on her family’s blog site, how God had brought a much needed provision for her son. Since Eli was 18 months old, he has been receiving services through an early childhood program. They have been working with him on his speech, sensory processing, and motor planning areas, and from the time he was 2, he has been in an integrated preschool classroom of 2-3 year olds to help prepare him for the basic routine of school.
Now here’s where their testimony of God’s provision starts to take shape… The program that was providing these services would expire the day he turned three… And because of Washington State law… Eli would not be eligible to start kindergarten for 2 years… because of where his birthday lands on the calendar. If Eli were to go 2 years without these specialized services… his mental growth would likely slow down dramatically… And by the time he’d reach kindergarten… he’d be significantly behind the other kids his age and would need to start over with even greater help that would cost their family a lot financially. But as they sought God in prayer… with the understanding of who God is and His ability to provide… Where one door was closing… God was opening another. There was another program that was available… But in their eyes it was a long shot… because the program was for severely delayed children and they thought Eli wouldn’t meet the qualifications.
(Side note: the local school district would have to approve a special bus pick of their son… due to their inability to provide transportation)
In reality… the Bollingers were struggling with two things.
they were praying that God would deliver their son from a life filled with the problems that come from having a delayed mental state
their son really did need these services to help him move forward.
Sarah admitted that from their perspective, there was a lot that was stacked against them… But God redirected their focus off of their circumstance and back on to Him.
Long story short… After all the praying, interviews, waiting, and hoping… Not only did Eli get accepted into the school, not only did the local school district authorize a bus to pick him up… The panel of experts who did the interview told Sarah and her husband that Eli’s delays weren’t going to affect him long term… and that this program would really just be a “Beneficial Boost” in getting him ready for kindergarten!
The Lord is Good
Psalm 34:11-16 Come, my young friends, and listen to me, and I will teach you to honor the LORD. 12 Would you like to enjoy life? Do you want long life and happiness? 13 Then keep from speaking evil and from telling lies. 14 Turn away from evil and do good; strive for peace with all your heart. 15 The LORD watches over the righteous and listens to their cries; 16 but he opposes those who do evil, so that when they die, they are soon forgotten.
1 Samuel 22:1 David fled from the city of Gath and went to a cave near the town of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of the family heard that he was there, they joined him. 2 People who were oppressed or in debt or dissatisfied went to him, about four hundred men in all, and he became their leader.
Another recent testimony comes from someone whose family is dear to mine… and might be to yours too.
Michelle shared with me:
My season to and in Tennessee has been painful. I lost my son, my dreams and desires for other things and heard God ask… “Will you still love me? Will you still choose me? Am I enough?” This desert season was trial after trial and the most pain I’ve felt ever.
When we arrived to the Mississippi River there was a huge torrential downpour. Our windshield was so wet we couldn’t see anything in front of us. As we slowly crossed that river the rain lightened up and there was the biggest most perfect rainbow from left to right shining in the background of the rainy sky. I took a picture of it. Looking back I see this as a picture of what was to come… and what has come. That following The Lord requires faith and trust, that serving Him means you forsake all others and lay down your Isaac and you choose to follow in spite of the outcome. While He slay me, I still choose Him. While I wait for His redemption and healing and answers, I stand on His word of truth. While He leads me gently back home I heard Him whisper “well done daughter. You have lived your faith out loud in front of your children and all your friends in spite of the outcome”. While I wait, I know it’s for His Glory.
Michelle would later share a quote from the book of John…
John 13:7  …”You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.”
The Lord is Near
Mat 28:18-20 …”All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”
Matthew 28:20 “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.”
~ GOD ~
In April of 2000 I was in a horrible car accident. I drove my car off of a bridge at over 65 miles an hour (at least that is what the cops said I had to of been doing). I blacked out and ran off the road. To this day I have no recollection of what happened, before the wreck or after the wreck for about 8 hours. All I remember from the wreck is that it felt like 2 arms had reached out and pulled me back. I woke up right after the wreck and tied my shirt around my neck and proceeded to call my dad and girlfriend to come get me. I always equated those arms to my step mom and grandmother who had died a year before the accident.
10 years later I was sitting in IHOP-NW and was praying and talking to God about my life and I was wondering where God was when all the bad things happened.
He told me that when the wreck happened, it wasn’t my stepmom or grandmother that saved me but Him. This freaked me out because I was not living for Christ during this time. Just this past year, I have been seeing a counselor and have been asking God about my life and He has revealed over and over again, just where he was when all these bad things happened. He has revealed that He was always there comforting me, doctors, and parents, as they had to face the challenges of me getting injured.
He showed me that when my mom walked away from me all those years ago, that He was there comforting me and her… as she made a hard choice. God has revealed to me over the last 6 months, that He has never left my side, even when I’ve tried to runaway.
1John 5:5 (GNB) Who can defeat the world? Only the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Luke 10:19-23 (GNB) “Listen! I have given you authority, so that you can walk on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the Enemy, and nothing will hurt you. 20 But don’t be glad because the evil spirits obey you; rather be glad because your names are written in heaven.“ 21 At that time Jesus was filled with joy by the Holy Spirit and said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen… 22 “My Father has given me all things. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 23  Then Jesus turned to the disciples and said to them privately, “How fortunate you are to see the things you see!”

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