VIDEO The Stand

The Stand – Hillsong

The full lyrics are in the video.

I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of The One who gave it all
I’ll stand my soul Lord to You surrendered all I am is Yours

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NO SECRETS FROM GOD

“You have been unfaithful … Now, confess it to the LORD.” EZRA 10:10–11
“If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!” 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

Have you been there? Have you felt the ground of conviction give way beneath your feet? The ledge crumbles, your eyes widen, and down you go. Poof! Now what do you do? … When we fall, we can dismiss it.

We can deny it. We can distort it. Or we can deal with it …

We keep no secrets from God. Confession is not telling God what we did. He already knows.

Confession is simply agreeing with God that our acts were wrong …

How can God heal what we deny? … How can God grant us pardon when we won’t admit our guilt?

Ahh, there’s that word: guilt. Isn’t that what we avoid? Guilt. Isn’t that what we detest? But is guilt so bad?

What does guilt imply if not that we know right from wrong, that we aspire to be better than we are …

That’s what guilt is: a healthy regret for telling God one thing and doing another.

from A GENTLE THUNDER

Too Blessed

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! —Psalm 107:8

On my daily commute to and from the office, I have plenty of time for reading—bumper stickers on cars, that is. Some are surly, others clever, and still others downright distasteful. One bumper sticker I saw recently, however, gently challenged my heart about the way I often engage life. The sticker simply said, “Too blessed to complain.”

I must confess that I felt convicted as I pondered those words. Too often I find myself lamenting moments in life that don’t go my way, rather than focusing on the wonderful gifts my heavenly Father has given me. Reading that simple message that day brought me a renewed commitment to be more actively and intentionally grateful because my God has been good to me in more ways than I could ever count.

Psalm 107 is a song that seeks to rectify thankless thinking. The psalmist (who many think was King David) makes a plea to hearts grown cold with ingratitude, repeating four times, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (vv.8,15,21,31). Even in the worst of times, we have much to be thankful for. May we learn to thank God for His goodness to us! by Bill Crowder

Count your blessings—name them one by one;
Count your blessings—see what God hath done;
Count your blessings—name them one by one;
Count your many blessings—see what God hath done. —Oatman

We don’t need more to be thankful for, we just need to be more thankful.

A Still, Small Voice

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)

Elijah was in hiding for his life, even though God had spectacularly answered his prayer with fire from heaven. Jezebel, however, had not been intimidated by Elijah’s victory and swore she would kill him. He fell into such depression that he wanted to die. If Jezebel could not be impressed with fire from heaven, how could Elijah ever hope to defeat her and her armies? Not even an angel could remove his doubts.

But then was sent “a great and strong wind,” and “after the wind an earthquake” (1 Kings 19:11). But the Lord was not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. God finally reached Elijah with “a still small voice,” and that voice assured him that God was well in control of all circumstances. Similarly, Moses told the children of Israel, as they faced the Red Sea: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD” (Exodus 14:13).

It was prophesied of the Lord Jesus that “he shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.” Nevertheless, it was also promised, “he shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth” (Isaiah 42:2, 4; see also Matthew 12:19-20).

In our human impatience, we think God should always move immediately in great strength. Unless there are large numbers of converts and displays of power, we grow discouraged, like Elijah. But God more often speaks in a still, small voice and works in a quiet way. “And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, . . . And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:18, 21). HMM

Then believed they his words

“Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. They soon forgot his works; they waited not for his counsel; but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psa. 106:12-15.)

WE read of Moses, that “he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Exactly the opposite was true of the children of Israel in this record. They endured only when the circumstances were favorable; they were largely governed by the things that appealed to their senses, in place of resting in the invisible and eternal God.

In the present day there are those who live intermittent Christian lives because they have become occupied with the outward, and center in circumstances, in place of centering in God. God wants us more and more to see Him in everything, and to call nothing small if it bears us His message.

Here we read of the children of Israel, “Then they believed his words.” They did not believe till after they saw—when they saw Him work, then they believed. They really doubted God when they came to the Red Sea; but when God opened the way and led them across and they saw Pharaoh and his host drowned—”then they believed.”

They led an up and down life because of this kind of faith; it was a faith that depended upon circumstances. This is not the kind of faith God wants us to have.

The world says “seeing is believing,” but God wants us to believe in order to see. The Psalmist said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Do you believe God only when the circumstances are favorable, or do you believe no matter what the circumstances may be?—C. H. P.

Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.—St. Augustine.

His camp is very great

“His camp is very great.” Joel 2:11

Consider, my soul, the mightiness of the Lord who is thy glory and defence. He is a man of war, Jehovah is His name. All the forces of heaven are at His beck, legions wait at His door, cherubim and seraphim;, watchers and holy ones, principalities and powers, are all attentive to His will. If our eyes were not blinded by the ophthalmia of the flesh, we should see horses of fire and chariots of fire round about the Lord’s beloved.

The powers of nature are all subject to the absolute control of the Creator: stormy wind and tempest, lightning and rain, and snow, and hail, and the soft dews and cheering sunshine, come and go at His decree. The bands of Orion He looseth, and bindeth the sweet influences of the Pleiades. Earth, sea, and air, and the places under the earth, are the barracks for Jehovah’s great armies; space is His camping ground, light is His banner, and flame is His sword. When He goeth forth to war, famine ravages the land, pestilence smites the nations, hurricane sweeps the sea, tornado shakes the mountains, and earthquake makes the solid world to tremble. As for animate creatures, they all own His dominion, and from the great fish which swallowed the prophet, down to “all manner of flies,” which plagued the field of Zoan, all are His servants, and like the palmer-worm, the caterpillar, and the cankerworm, are squadrons of His great army, for His camp is very great.

My soul, see to it that thou be at peace with this mighty King, yea, more, be sure to enlist under His banner, for to war against Him is madness, and to serve Him is glory. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, is ready to receive recruits for the army of the Lord: if I am not already enlisted let me go to Him ere I sleep, and beg to be accepted through His merits; and if I be already, as I hope I am, a soldier of the cross, let me be of good courage; for the enemy is powerless compared with my Lord, whose camp is very great.

Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” Exodus 14:13

These words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness.

Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time.

Precipitancy cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once—we must do it so we think—instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.”

But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand still”;—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”