I know it has been months since I have written anything, and for that I apologise. It has not been because I had nothing to say but basically because I felt I needed to stay quiet and wait. Today I woke up at 2.30 am, and knew today was the day. This is a combination of lots of the ideas I had wanted to post in the last few months. It won’t be a long one so don’t be put off.
We are coming to an amazing time of the year. CHRISTMAS!! It is a time of paradoxes for me personally. I both love it and loathe it at the same time. It is both Hallelujah and Bah Humbug. I loathe it because the world celebrates the birth of the most amazing person ever to walk on the earth without actually acknowledging Him. I love it because it gives me the opportunity, as an entertainer, to sing to people about God’s lovely gift to us in sending Jesus without them closing their minds and thinking I am evangelising when all they came to do was listen to some nice music!!
Anyway, that is not what I want to write about. At Christmas we often give our loved ones presents. How many of you, when buying the present, choose the box for the present to go in first? Do you go out and look for the box and then choose the present to fit the box? Do you say, “They would love that but it won’t fit in the box, so I will have to keep looking” Of course we don’t. We buy the present we know they would love, regardless.
I once was given a puppy for Christmas. Can you imagine my parents saying, “We can’t give him that because we can’t wrap it up”? Yet, we do this with God all the time. Let me elaborate.
Often when we meet together as Christians we say to God, “Okay! Here is our gift box come and fill it but I am sorry you can’t go over the limits we have set”. Of course He comes and is with us but He doesn’t move past the box walls we have erected. If this resonates at all with you, I want you to stop reading for a moment and ask God what He wants you to do about it………but don’t go yet keep reading for a moment!! If you are the leader of the church there is no problem here but if you are a beautiful cog in the wheel, like me, you cannot go above your leadership. If you have the urge to tell your leaders that God has told me you should do this, I can assure you it is not God speaking to you. We have to honour our leadership! He will give you the way forward and for each of us it will be different. We are all unique and God will use our uniqueness for His advantage. Alright, you can go and pray now but come back and make sure you write down what He tells you!
If this is not resonating with you, that’s okay, perhaps you might like to keep reading anyway just to see what I am getting at. I take a bit of getting used to I know. Welcome back to those who have prayed!!
The point I am trying to make is this (at last I hear you say!!) …….. we serve a very, very, very, very, very, very BIG GOD! Somehow to understand this very, very, very, very, very, very BIG GOD we have put constraints on Him mainly so we can understand Him. Let me tell you something…….. we will never understand the workings of our God because He is a very, very, very, very, very, very BIG GOD!!!!
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.“ (Isaiah 55:9 NKJV)
“Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.“ (Psalm 147:5 NKJV)
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.“ (Isaiah 40:28 NKJV)
“In fact this next verse tells us not to rely on what we understand,Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6 NKJV)
Recently I was reading Psalm 23. This is my go to scripture. I love it so much. I think it is the Psalm that most people know. There are hundreds of versions all over the world in every form you can think of. Does any one remember the fantastic British comedy, ‘The Vicar of Dibley’? Psalm 23 is the theme song for that! As a child it was one of my favourite hymns. You may think it is a strange thing that a child would love a hymn but I was brought up in Wales, a country in the United Kingdom. It is called the Land of Song. Still today, hymns can be heard at sporting events!! I digress………. I know the Psalm very well
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. “ (Psalm 23 NKJV)
It is the the only Psalm I know off by heart but this particular day I only got as far as
“The Lord is”
I couldn’t go any further. It just hit me like a train. That’s all we need to know.
“The Lord is”
Say it to yourself….. “The Lord is” “The Lord is” “The Lord is”
This needs to be the foundation of everything. HE IS!!
So often there is this little voice that says but what if He isn’t? We need to know that HE IS!! We need to declare My God Is! Nothing else matters, He is. This is not head knowledge but a deep knowing in your soul. My God is. He exists in all His entirety, power, might, omnipresence and omnipotence. If God is, then what are we worried about? We don’t need to know much more. God is therefore let’s rest in Him.
Can you see how simple this is? We make everything so complicated. We start at this point. When we have our times of quiet, start with acknowledging He is. When we meet together, start with acknowledging He is . Praise, Worship, Prayer starts with acknowledging He is.
Can you let that sink in. It is not for your head but for your heart and soul. What does it mean for you ? We always have to start at that point. I know this is basic but I honestly believe we forget the fact that God is.
When Moses encountered God at the Burning Bush God introduced Himself as ‘I Am’.
“And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” ” (Exodus 3:14)
The starting point for Moses was ‘I Am’. He was to tell the Israelites that “I AM has sent me to you.” This would resonate with them! It is our starting point, “I Am”. He Is!!
Let’s get back to our Christmas Box. (You’d forgotten all about that hadn’t you???) Just to jog your memories….we don’t first by the gift box and then find the present to fit the box. When it comes to God we often start with the box. Let’s have a look at our Sunday services as an example. How often do we start with a format and then ask God to fit around it. “Here you are God we can only do 60 minutes today or it may be 90 minutes because we have to get home and we can’t forget the poor people looking after our children, God, we have to relieve them of the burden”!! I understand that in the society we live in there are time restraints but are we sure that these restraints are not restraining Him. Seek first the kingdom of God.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.“ (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)
We may put the box first in the way that we think of God. We may say God is ,,,,,,,, my shepherd, my healer, my provider, my lover, my all in all etc etc All these are fantastic but, you see, God is all these and an infinite amount more. Google ‘My God is, bible verses” if you want just to see. He is everything! My God is too big for a box. Way too big. We cannot understand Him. Remember me telling you about the puppy I had one Christmas. Could you imagine trying to wrap him up!! Even if you put him in a box he couldn’t stay there for long. We, I do feel, have put God in a box for far too long. Myself included. Let us stop putting the dots after God is. It is not God is……….. There are no blanks to fill. God is!!! I AM!!
I need to bring this to a close. Let me wrap this up!!! (Did you see what I did there??) I believe that God is pouring out New Wine. There is definitely a new outpouring. Please don’t try and put that new wine in an old wine skin. Let’s get rid of the boxes and say to God come and be I AM! Let us be the ones who are prepared to shout on the roof tops. “Get rid of your boxes, He is!!”