What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Only Believe...

Yesterday was a full day.  Started out by attending a simulcast at our church with Priscilla Shirer as the speaker...Wow! That's what I say!  The topic was a study of Gideon, from the book of Judges chapter 7.  Read this chapter, and think about what God did that day in the life of Gideon and his 300 warriors...pay attention to the details, and you will see why I say, "Wow!"...Of course, Priscilla Shirer delivered this message with such power and anointing from God, I came away from there with a new sense of purpose and enthusiasm for what God can do and wants to do in my life...I'm still trying to digest it all.This is a link to more information about this dynamic Bible Study., "Gideon: Your Weakness, God's Strength".

From there I went to a concert at the church where I work, which was put on by the Director of Music, David Levi Bedenbaugh, who was introducing his new CD, "Winter Is When Things Grow".*(see below for more info)  Just the title makes you think, doesn't it?  Think about the times of your life that would appear to be "winter"...you know, times of being set aside for awhile due to unemployment, illness, family stresses, moving away from home, loss of loved one or friend, divorce, depression, feeling trapped at home or in a bad situation...anytime that you have felt alone or afraid in life.  Winter, often seen as the time when things die, go dormant, hibernate.  The time in our lives when we feel unproductive, lacking purpose, confused, frustrated, lost.  And yet, my friend chose this title for his new album because he discovered that the "winter" of life is oftentimes the very time that God chooses to begin a new life within us...to plant His seeds of growth and purpose in our hearts as we strive to seek His face in our times of sorrow, darkness, and uncertainty.  

The underlying themes of both ministries yesterday was to believe...believe God when He tells you, like Gideon, to just take 300 warriors against the 100,000 plus Midianites,

"Then the Lord said to Gideon, 'By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.'" Judges 7:7

(Read the whole chapter to get the whole story...it is marvelous)...

And like Jesus said to the man who was possessed by a demon in Mark 9:23:

"If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes..." 

And also like Jesus said to Thomas, known to us as "doubting Thomas", in John 20:26-29...
"And after eight days (after Christ's resurrection) His disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them.  Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, 'Peace to you.'   Then He said to Thomas, 'Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side.  Do not be unbelieving, but believing.'
"And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'  Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'" 

I think of the old hymn, "Only Believe", written by Paul Rader in 1921: (verse three in particular:) (and also quoted in one of David Levi's songs, "Only Believe"....)

"Fear not, little flock,
whatever your lot;
He enters all rooms,
the doors being shut.  
He never forsakes,
He never is gone-
So count on His presence in darkness and dawn.

Only believe, Only believe;
All things are possible,
Only believe.
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe."

"Whatever your lot...count on His presence in darkness and dawn..."  (Where have I seen that word, "presence" before?...hmmm....my theme word for 2013....)

If you are currently in a "winter" season of life...up against huge odds....(100,000+ Midianites against 300 unarmed soldiers)...feeling lost and alone, fearful, doubting like Thomas of old...perhaps this message is for you today.  Oftentimes it's not even the BIG things that throw us, but perhaps it's the smaller things that trip us up...disappointments, a feeling of unworthiness, lack of self-esteem and confidence...the feeling of "Why would God choose to use me for anything special?" "Who am I?"  We need to look at Gideon, the demon possessed man, and "Doubting Thomas", to see that God works in mysterious ways even during our time of feeling like we are set aside...the winter of our lives...to start a seed growing beneath the surface.  And then when the sunlight of His love shines upon us, when He sends His rain of hope and encouragement through other servants of God...whether it be through music, simulcast Bible Studies, God's Word the Bible, a devotional reading on a blog or a book...whatever it takes...in His time, He causes the seed to push through the frozen ground and blossom into something lovely for His glory.  Are YOU ready to rise and shine?

"Only believe...only believe...All things are possible, only believe..."
*If you are interested in obtaining David Levi's CD, "Winter is When Things Grow", please let me know. It is not available on the open market just yet, but if you are interested, copies are available for sale.This is a fun and informative link about his concert, which tells more about his music.

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