Friday, July 31, 2009

The Bare Soul - God's Longing - August 2, 2009

Isaiah 30:18 - Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Few things captivate a child's desire as longing for the first day of summer vacation. Once April gives way to May, an anxious girl or boy knows they can make it through those last few weeks to finally experience the bliss of June, July, and August. The only other time that might come close to the anticipation of summer vacation anticipation is Christmas vacation. This, however, is just a short recess in comparison to the eternity of summertime fun that lay ahead of a young child once the school year has ended. I vividly remember one particular last day of school. It was at the end of my 6th grade year. The bell sounded to excuse us from the interminably long last day. I raced out of the building and through the play ground to the grassy hillside leading me through the park to our house four blocks away. On that day I must have been feeling a bit too exuberant because I took a tumble down the hill and realized when I had quit falling that my hand was bloodied by a busted soda bottle. I anxiously ran home where I was rushed to the emergency room for several stitches. My desire and longing for summer and the fun I would have took a turn for the worse that day. While my buddies were joyously refreshing themselves for the next several days at the local pool, I was sulking and feeling like I had been cheated. More than anything, I was angry at myself for not controlling myself and my joyous desire. Within a week, however, my hand was healed and I was resuming my unfettered summer fun, albeit a bit more cautiously.

God has wired all of us to have desires and longings. It might be for a simple childhood wish as the end of school, or possibly a long awaited trip to an exotic destination as an adult. Of even greater importance is the innate longings that we have for one another in our relationships when we are apart. Having been created in God's image, we are merely displaying a bit of His DNA when we have godly desires. The prophet Isaiah wrote in both a poetic and visual manner when describing how the Heavenly Father desires to bestow his compassion on His children. The New American Standard (NAS) version captures chapter 30, and the beginning of verse 18 with poignant drama regarding the original Hebrew. While several versions translate this text as ... the LORD waits to be gracious to you..., the NAS beautifully states ... the LORD longs to be gracious to you ... . The Hebrew word in this instance is chakah (khaw-kaw') which literally means "to adhere to, or to await for with longing". Beloved, if we are in Christ Jesus and have been born again of His Spirit, then we have been welcomed into the family of God. As a loving father that desires nothing but love and goodness for his children, so the Heavenly Father is watching over us with an anxiousness to bestow upon us His eternal compassions. However, there is an important caveat to God's longings -- He desires us to long for Him with a passionate desire that provokes Him to action. When my children were small, they would often get excited when they saw me come through the door after a day at work. Nothing provoked me more to want to sweep them up in my arms when I saw their delight that I was home. Similarly, I see that today in my year old grandson. We have grown very close and I know that there is a longing and desire on both our parts to spend time together. When I enter a room where he might be playing and he sees me, he often squeals with joy and comes crawling toward me with abandonment.

Nothing gives God more joy than when we long for His company. However, life often has a way of keeping us from His presence. Whether it be the necessity of school or work or any number of daily tasks that require our utmost attention, a believer can many times sense a distance between them and God. The Lord understands that we have earthly responsibilities that we must attend to. He merely wants us to long for Him when we sense His absence much the same way that He is constantly longing for us. Everyday, He stretches forth His hands of compassion toward all humankind. His delight is when we reach upward toward Him. James, the brother of Jesus wrote in chapter 4, and verse 8 of his letter: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you ... (James 4:8). It is a spiritual axiom that God will suffer the heartbreak of rejection rather than moving with impunity on a soul that continues to rebuff His love. His greatest desire is for a man or a woman that will desperately seek Him out, longing for His appearing in their respective lives (II Chronicles 16:9). The prophet Isaiah states that we are "blessed" if we have this type of desire for His presence, for God will speedily bring about the justice of His compassion if we will but continue to seek Him (Luke 18:7).

It is within both our carnal and spiritual natures to long or to desire after any number of things. God's desire is of course that we would long for Him and the things of His kingdom. As the nature of man is corrupt by sin, the flesh desires a plethora of unholy lusts. Likewise, the regenerate man or woman who is born of the Spirit of God has been given the blessed opportunity to long for and pursue His grace and compassion. Sometimes, in our youthful exuberance we may rush headlong and "bloody" ourselves with our own pursuits as we fall momentarily from grace. Other times, we will experience the Father sweeping us up into His arms as we delight in His presence. The more we long for and pursue Him, the more He will make known His compassion and demonstrative grace within our lives. May we all long for His appearing, both now and at the end of this present age.

Heavenly Father, may we long for You with a passion and a fury not born on earth, but one that is imparted from Your Divine Life. Fill us with desire for your presence. For as we long for You, surely you will reveal the longings of Your eternal grace toward us who would but trust and believe. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Bare Soul - A Firmer Foundation - July 26, 2009

Matthew 7:25 - And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

Colorado is one of my favorite places on earth. Our recent visit allowed me to spend some "quality time" casting artificial bugs and flies in some of the state's pristine waters. It's an invigorating experience standing knee deep in the middle of the Big Thompson River in Estes Park Colorado as it flows from Olympus Dam, fly fishing rod and reel in hand. One feels the power of the river as every attempt is made of keeping one's feet firmly planted so as not to be carried away by the current. The power of the moving water regards nothing in its path as it makes its winding journey down through Big Thompson Canyon as it has for millennia. I somberly respect the power of water as I have seen its devastation in this locale first-hand.

The date was July 31, 1976. On that day, Colorado experienced its worst natural disaster when 145 people lost their lives in what would come to be known as "The Big Thompson Canyon Flood". The water came with such ferocity after record rains that residents and visitors to the canyon could not escape. Hundreds of homes were either lost or damaged along with the incalculable loss of life. It would take months and years before folks would recover from the devastation. I arrived in Estes Park in October 1976 to attend Capernwray Bible School at Ravencrest Chalet. Perched high above Estes Park, the school was not in any danger of flooding yet the impact of the flood was inescapable to many of us attending classes that fall term. There was still much needed assistance in clean-up in the canyon, so several of us volunteered with a grass roots effort sponsored by the local churches of Estes Park - the Inter-faith Task Force of Big Thompson Canyon. During my volunteer trips into the canyon to assist, I was dumb-founded by the magnitude of destruction. Often, we would show up to help someone stack debris and the homeowner was just so overwhelmed they didn't know where we should start. It was a frightening scene even four months after the disaster. It made us tender-hearted toward those we were helping and gave us all a deeper appreciation for how life can be swept away in but a moment of time.

Quite often, it was evident which structures survived the flood by looking at their foundations. There were three foundations primarily used in the canyon -- masonry foundation walls consisting of either block or stone and concrete foundations. A third was timber. Of the two masonry foundations, the concrete or "solid" foundation had less failures than the cinder block or stone masonry. This was due to the density of concrete versus the pieced together mason work (masonry is only as strong as the mortar which holds it together). Of the three, timber foundations were overwhelmingly those which experienced the most devastation. As many of these were built on the sandy soil of the canyons basin, they were crushed under the overwhelming power of the torrent that rolled through the canyon.

In Jesus' parable of the two foundations in Matthew chapter 7, He tells us the familiar story of a man who built on sandy soil and one who built on the rock. As those in the Big Thompson understood after the flood the prudence of a dense, concrete foundation, so Jesus understood that one must build one's life on a depth of character typified by the solid rock. In doing so, one would be assured that the floods of life would not cause the irreparable damage caused by life's torrents. Flooding is quick and sudden and is not a respecter of anyone or anything in its path. Jesus warned us that the floods will come. As those in the canyon, many are given the opportunity in this lifetime to rebuild on a better foundation. Often, lives may be ravaged in both the physical and the spiritual sense. However, as long as we are still alive to rebuild there is always hope of recovery if we will but put our faith into action. Just as those in the Big Thompson pieced their lives back together little by little, so Jesus has given us all the opportunity to rebuild if we have built on faulty foundations. Some of us may take pride in our church membership, yet Jesus told the Pharisees that belonging to a religious order would never take the place of a relationship with the Living God. To build on anything other than Jesus' sacrificed life is to build on a foundation that will one day fail. Have we put our trust in money? This foundation also will fail us. Jesus said that to gain the whole world without Him in its center is the equivalent to building a foundation of timbers on sandy soil. It's not a matter of if it will fail but when.

While many of us may never experience the disastrous affects of a flood such as the Big Thompson in 1976, it is a guarantee that all of us will be buffeted by spiritual storms that will test our respective foundations. Jesus wants to "wreck" our lives spiritually if we are not founded upon Him. For while we are alive, there is hope of rebuilding upon a firmer foundation that will one day reveal to all our true character. Are we trusting in shoddy construction that is not reliant on the life of Christ that desires to dwell within? Or have we given over our lives to the Master Builder who desires to form in us a depth of character that only can come from Him? The storms of life, beloved, will reveal our true foundations. May we all rejoice in the strength of the Rock of our salvation, for there is salvation from life's floods in no other!

Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are the Solid Rock. In You, there is no firmer foundation in heaven or on earth. May we look to You to build our foundations according to Your will, trusting in no other but You. In Your name we pray, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Bare Soul - Fools Rush In - July 19, 2009

John 18:10 - Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave's name was Malchus.

English poet Alexander Pope once stated: For fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Quite possibly the 17th century poet was referring to a juxtaposition between fear and faith. For with the spiritual eye of an angelic or supernatural being comes an eternal perspective, while a mortal fool can only grit his teeth, close his eyes and charge ahead not knowing the outcome. Impulsive behavior is not characteristically thought of as faith-driven, as demonstrated by Peter when he went into defense-mode for the Lord Jesus. While Peter's sudden burst of zeal to protect his Lord might look courageous and full of faith in the moment, we soon find that his supposed show of strength was nothing more than his own fear of accepting the stark reality of this dark hour in time. Jesus' admonitions to His disciples about His betrayal and death had become more emphatic and pronounced the weeks leading up to this fateful night. However, the true horror of the moment had not gripped any of Jesus' companions until that evening in the garden when they came for the Savior with torches and weapons. As the co-leader of this band of followers, Peter somehow must have felt a responsibility to "act", for certainly to do nothing would be a denial of the Lord Himself. Or would it? Oftentimes, the very act of impulsiveness or the need to "work for the Lord" can betray the very faith that we might claim in knowing Him. Actions often times speak louder than words, but not in this case. Peter's faith was aborted that night not by merely an impulsive act, but more poignantly by denying his Lord three times.

It is much easier to die for Christ than to live for Him, day after day. Death brings about a sense of the heroic sentimentality where our sympathies are drawn out toward those who would give their lives in the spirit of a martyr. Yet, giving one's life is final and complete whereas living daily for Christ requires a fortitude of courage and will that is uncharacteristic of the drama of this type of death. Jesus Christ did not dramatize His impending demise to His disciples, but merely stated its certainty. However, Peter conceived in his own mind that Christ's death could not be divorced from an earthly struggle, hence he took impetuous action against those who had come to arrest Jesus, in particular Malchus. (It's ironic that Peter lacked the "ears to hear" the Master's plan regarding His betrayal and death, and this is what the apostle took from the high priest's slave in his zeal.) Peter could only imagine dying for the Lord and not living without Him beyond that night. However, Jesus had planned that Peter would come to the end of himself that evening and to be stripped of his fear of abandonment by His Friend and Lord.

Impulsive actions and reactions often have their roots in fear. In personalities such as Peter, they manifest with a sense of bravado yet they are very much selfish in their origin. Often times, the desire is to "fix" something that might be broke or as in this case to reconcile a situation that has gone askew. Insecurity and fear of losing something becomes the touch point of this inward struggle that manifests in impetuous ways. As leaders in our homes, many men often feel powerless in the face of what seem to be overwhelming situations. We grow accustomed to making decisions and acting abruptly because we often feel that is what the situation warrants. However, there are other times when we need to step back and reassess. What if one of our teenage children becomes involved in something illegal and gets arrested, whether it be for underage drinking or drug use or any number of other things? Or, what if our unmarried daughter comes to us and announces that she is pregnant? How do we react, or better yet, act in such a situation. Oftentimes, as parents, we know it is best not to react or pass judgment in the moment. As a father raising teenage children, I came to a point where I would often defer "decisions" until the next day or possibly later. This was against my nature because I am not a procrastinator but I like to keep my proverbial plate clean at all times regarding life's decisions. By deferring action, the Lord was teaching me important lessons regarding self-control while I was not rashly saying or doing something that I would later regret. Death of self was coming in daily doses when I had to deal with such situations. It would have been much easier for me to rush in and appear that I had the whole affair under control, but this would have been merely a ruse and a dramatic flourish. Like Peter, I needed to learn that the drama of Gethsemane was not to be played out with weapons to inflict harm, but that the garden scene needed to be waited out until the perspective of the morning.

Beloved, we all have our areas of influence whether they be over our homes, our businesses or merely over our own souls. We must train ourselves through the Holy Spirit to not move impulsively but to wait on the Lord and His guidance. For some of us, that will be easier said than done. We must control the temptation of "fixing" something that very possibly might have a different perspective the following day. A night's rest has a remarkable ability to restore perspective as well as give us the grace to proceed in a spiritual way (Lamentations 3:22-23). While Peter's grief of acting rashly and denying the Lord was profound and life-changing in the end for the disciple, we can learn from his misplaced loyalty to his own self-centered agenda. We, as followers of Christ, must stop and reassess the situation when the "darkness of Gethsemane" surrounds us. For truly, the light of dawn will come which will give us new eyes to see what He desires. Then, and only then can we move forth with stalwart wisdom rather than the impulsiveness that is the hallmark of the foolish.

Lord Jesus, thank You for your wisdom and that we don't need to foolishly rush into life's problems that come our way. Help us to step back, take a breath, and come at the problem with Your faith and grace. If we must defer to the wisdom of the following day, Lord, give us the patience to do so. For only in your will shall we be successful and full of victory in any given situation. We thank you and glorify You. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Bare Soul - God's Power - July 12, 2009

The following is the message text and audio recording of a sermon titled "God's Power" delivered to the homeless at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on July 9, 2009.

God's Power - July 9, 2009

Acts 1:8 - "... but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Another Independence Day has come and gone. I remember as a youth loving the excitement of fireworks. For me, it wasn't much fun watching a display but I wanted to be the one to light the fuse and then scurry for cover. There was a sense of suspense and titillation as my pals and I waited for the impending BOOM! Occasionally, there was the deafening sound of silence as the firecracker refused to ignite because of bad powder or a faulty fuse. While we as youngsters felt empowered when the explosion was predicted and then engaged, to the same degree we also felt disappointed and impotent when the explosion didn't occur. Our enthusiasm over the previous blast would be darkened by the "dud that would fail to blow". Oftentimes, we would cautiously creep toward the seemingly benign popper only to have it explode when we least expected. This would send us into whoops and hollers and the enthusiasm would peak once again. Although I no longer indulge in this bit of Independence Day Americana by setting off "crackers", I certainly understand why others spend small fortunes to indulge themselves in this way. Americans spent more than $925 million in 2008 on legal fireworks. In the coming years, many believe that we will eclipse a billion dollars on fireworks annually for both personal and public displays. So, what is the fascination with making things go BOOM in the night? Is it an inner desire for predictable power in our often times unpredictable, powerless lives that makes us want to ignite the spark to release this might? Or, have many of us now grown accustomed to others putting on their "displays" while we sit back and enjoy at a distance? While many of us are content to be spectators, others of us wish to be handling the "power". As in the physical, this is also true in the spiritual.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus uses an incredibly demonstrative word when using the word "power". The Greek word that Luke (the author of Acts) quotes Jesus using is dunamis, which means power of a miraculous ability. The implication of context is one of explosive power -- power that is not of this earth but is supernatural. Dunamis is where we derive our English language word of dynamite. Jesus is saying in this scripture that life will never be the same for the disciples once the Holy Spirit has come upon them. Something explosive was about to happen to them and all those whom they touched. On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 souls were awakened from a deep sleep by a supernatural BOOM that resounded throughout Jerusalem. These unregenerate souls were literally made to stand upright out of their spiritual slumber as they were transported from the kingdom of darkness and translated to the Kingdom of Light. These newly awakened believers joined the 120 of those in the Upper Room to begin the New Testament church (Acts 2:41). Within the space of a few weeks, 5,000 others were added to the church through the healing of the lame man by Peter and John (Acts 4:4). On that day, the Holy Spirit released the "Heavenly TNT" through the grasp of Peter as he pulled the lame man to his feet. Ah, but this was only the initial explosive charge. The true explosiveness of power manifested when Peter addressed the crowd and the Holy Spirit worked like a demolition expert as the apostle preached, imploding from within the spirit of religiosity from all those who heard. For centuries, the nation of Israel had listened but did not have ears to hear because their hearts were hard and unyielding to the truth. In the space of a few weeks, the early church experienced a seismic explosion that broke through hearts of stone that had beforehand stood unyielding to God's call (see Ezekiel 11:19-20).

Today, God's power is just as near as it was in the early church as told to us from the book of Acts. One might rightly say, "I have never experienced, seen, nor even heard about the kind of power related in the book of Acts! Oh, if only God would move like that, then I would believe and have faith!" Beloved, God's power is there to move as it did 2,000 years ago. The sad truth of the matter is that we don't NEED God to move. If we did, He would. As the ancient Greek philosopher wrote: Necessity is the mother of invention. In the same way, if we truly needed God to move out of necessity then He would move heaven and earth to bring it about. Truly, in our ultra-modern, super-technological age we have missed the opportunity for God to move demonstrably because of an idolatrous substitution for science and intellect. We have shoved God into a small corner of our existence only to call on Him on Sunday mornings or at the noon meal afterwards. God has been relegated to a place of impotence by our reliance on other "gods" more suited to our "modern" liking. However, what we have sadly found is that these expressions of a "god in a box" are nothing more than "duds" that can never unleash the dunamis power that only He can give a humble and contrite people. As the collective Body of Christ in western civilization, we have been lulled back to sleep by week after week of living with impotent power all around us. Our present-day solution and cure to this self-induced stupor comes by confessing along with the Laodiceans the indictment that Jesus spoke against this first century city-church:

Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see ... (For full context, see Revelation 3:14-22).
Beloved, when we truly believe Jesus and wait for His power from on high out of a sense of true need for Him to revive our lives, our cities, our countries, and our world -- then and only then will He once again unleash His dunamis or dynamite power upon our western civilization. While we languish for God in America and western Europe, areas in Africa and Asia are seeing incredible growth of the Church with signs and wonders. Why? Because they need Him. They have no other recourse but to wait upon the Lord until He would demonstrate His power amongst them. While many of us in America are experiencing a lack of divine experience due to our acceptance of the supernatural impotence that is on the Church, many in other countries throughout the world are finding and experiencing a God of power. Many of us might be titillated by the anticipation of power to come only to find that what we have been waiting for is a "spiritual dud" because it has not been bathed in need through a humble and contrite heart. We may sit as spectators and view the move of God from afar, but that is not my desire. Like many of you, we should all desire to see His power or God's dunamis moving from His heart and through our own hands. Even as many can relate to unleashing the power of a firecracker by lighting its fuse, so should we all desire to be used in a profound way to transfer God's miraculous healing and restorative power to a dying world. That, my friends, will only come when we truly need and desire for Him to fill us as He longs to make us strong in His might.

Lord Jesus, there is only one true power and that is through your Holy Spirit. Send Him in a way that we have never thought or imagined. Invade our lives with your miraculous power to save, heal, and restore. We need you, Lord, and will ever say this until you move in true fashion that befits your Person. Come Lord Jesus. In Your Precious Name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Bare Soul - Praying God's Word - July 5, 2009

So often I hear believers say something to the effect as that they don't know how to pray. What a travesty! God's Holy Word is filled with those who teach prayer not only from a direct lesson as Jesus taught His disciples (Matthew 6:9-13), but also those who teach from example. The apostle Paul gives us a wonderful treasury of prayers to pray back to the Father in His Son's name. Paul was not ashamed or timid when speaking to the churches that they should follow his example and imitate him in all his ways (Philippians 4:9). Whether he was instructing them in person or through one of his letters, Paul was a living example of not only how to live but how to live a life of unceasing prayer. He must have known through the Holy Spirit that by writing out his prayers that he was instructing his beloved churches regarding how to both supplicate and intercede with a Godly focus.

There are many such examples in the Pauline letters, but we will look at just a few. The depth of Paul's wisdom and understanding of God should not intimidate those who would desire to pray as Paul prayed. For example, Ephesians 1:17-19 (New International Version) states:

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
The apostle's words may seem flowery and lofty, yet they can be easily broken down to better understand their intent. Here is one possible way that a believer might pray back Paul's prayer to the Father:

Holy Father, I am going to keep asking you over and over for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Lord, I don't fully understand what that means but I ask you to show me what wisdom and revelation mean in my heart and in those hearts that I am bringing before you today. Fill us today, Lord. Father, help me to visualize in my spirit how you are opening the eyes of my inner person to understand the important job you have called me and others to complete. With that calling, you have provided all the resources and power to accomplish these great things if only I will but believe. Help my faith, Lord, to believe that you are backing me up to complete this work by your incredible, unlimited power.
The preceding passage in Ephesians is only one of several specific prayers that Paul prayed for instruction to the early churches. Others include Ephesians 3:14-19, Philippians 1:9-11, Colossians 1:9-12, I Thessalonians 5:23, and II Thessalonians 1:11, just to name a few. These prayers contain specific prayers for the churches as Paul laser-focuses his petitions for specific out workings of the Divine Spirit in their midst (e.g. love, wisdom, knowledge, power, and sanctification for the equipping of the saints).

Not only may we be aware of stated prayers such as in the Pauline letters, but we may also take numerous scriptures throughout the Bible and turn them back around as prayers of supplication, intercession, or thanksgiving. For instance, Paul states in I Thessalonians 5:18 to ... give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. One could just as easily turn that into a prayer and say, "Lord, help me to give thanks in all things because I know this is Your will for me!" As we begin to pray back God's word to Him, we find a greater ability to continue to breathe out prayers as we meditate on His word. We further understand that our lives can truly become a life of unceasing prayer as we memorize and repeat His word back to Him. Note also, that praying the word is not merely relegated to the New Testament. Many of the Psalms are wonderful, heartfelt expressions of prayer and thanksgiving for God's wonderful dealings with writers such as David and Asaph. These scriptures are "living and active" and as relevant to be prayed back to God as they were 3,000 years ago (Psalm 102:18). Isaiah is one of my personal favorites. This learned prophet wrote in an eloquent, poetic way with a heart of passion for Israel. I invite you to look especially at chapters 40 through 66 as you personalize Isaiah's prayers for our contemporary lives. They have just as much power today when we substitute in prayer the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem for the current Body of Christ -- His living church.

Beloved, my challenge is that we would all embrace the power of praying God's word. Through an earnest desire to know the depths of God's word through prayer, the Holy Father will reveal His Son in ways that we have never imagined. By asking Him to open up and reveal the depth of wisdom in the scripture in prayer, we too can experience an understanding equal to Paul's that may have once seemed distant and improbable. The apostle admonishes us in Romans 12:2 to not be conformed with the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How much better for our minds and our hearts to be changed then by Him speaking to us His holy word? That is only half the exchange. He earnestly desires that we would take that word and speak it back to Him. God desires a holy conversation of humble prayer and supplication with His bride. He has given us the words to speak if we would but offer them back to Him with a desire to please Him in faith and love.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick