Friday, October 29, 2010

Living Dangerously for God - October 31, 2010

The following is the message text and audio recording of a sermon titled "Living Dangerously" delivered to the homeless at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on October 28 2010.

Living Dangerously - October 28, 2010

I Corinthians 15:30 (Amplified Bible) - [For that matter], why do I live [dangerously as I do, running such risks that I am] in peril every hour?

Most of us have heard the saying: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We would probably concede to the notion that life is full of risks. Some of us are better than others when it comes to weighing out our particular options, for instance, whether it is better to make a wager or not. Many of us probably know someone who seems to have a knack for judging a business opportunity whether it is a good risk or not. Often, we look on with amusement as they more than likely make the right decision and come out smelling like the proverbial rose. For most of us, this "high-wheeling" lifestyle is a foreign concept. However, some have learned the secret of trusting in their own instincts to carry them through to success. We often regard these as "risk takers" but if you asked them they would say that the real risk is not in action but rather inaction. They have learned that through their mistakes they've made a way to success. For them, winning comes through failures and how they're reacted to and mitigated over time.

Paul was certainly one who knew how to take risks for God, and some might say that he encountered more failure than he did success. Festus the governor of ancient Palestine made such assertions, calling the prisoner Paul a lunatic who had wasted his life propagating a false religion about a dead Man crucified by the Roman government whom Paul claimed was now alive (Acts 26:24). However, Paul was so certain whom he had believed that it didn't matter one iota what others thought or said regarding his faith. The apostle understood that to risk his life for the Gospel meant that he would appear carelessly reckless and dangerous to many. The truth, however, is that he was carefully abandoned to the Keeper of his eternal fate, so there was little that man or devil could do to shake him from his divine mission. As an apostle who had been commissioned by the Lord Himself on that fateful day while nearing Damascus (Acts 9:3-6), Paul understood that he must abandon himself to the Lord and His calling. In so doing, he allowed himself to become the "scum of the world" in order to fulfill Christ's Great Commission. He deliberately hurled himself in harm's way to walk the path the Lord Jesus Christ had ordained on his behalf. This missionary who "turned the world upside down" in Asia Minor tells us specifically what it takes to do so as he maps out his personal "risk analysis" for the Corinthian church. Risk and danger, to Paul's understanding, were his greatest credentials as an apostle. In his first letter to the church at Corinth he writes:
For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. (I Corinthians 4:9-13)
Paul must have felt that the Corinthians needed some more convincing regarding his apostleship. Apparently, they didn't equate his hardships on their behalf to be proof of his love toward them, and equally important, his clout as the apostle who fathered them in the faith. Defending himself against "imposters" that were trying to raise themselves up in the Corinthian's esteem, Paul reveals his apostolic resume' with proof of his love for the church. In the 11th chapter of II Corinthians Paul states:
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ?--I speak as if insane--I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. (II Corinthians 11:22-28)
In the space of a few short verses, Paul not only tells us about the beatings, the imprisonments, the shipwrecks and such, but he also mentions eight times the various dangers that were continually plaguing his journeys. In short, he was telling the Corinthian church that persecutions, danger, and risk were the true credentials of anyone calling themselves an apostle. No other apostle in scripture gives us such a look at what it really means to live so dangerously for God. Paul set the benchmark high, but not out of reach. He was merely confirming his own words to Timothy his beloved son in the faith: Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (II Timothy 3:12)

So is Paul's faith anything like any of us can ever hope to attain? From what is shown in scripture, I believe that a life that is sold out for Jesus -- one lived dangerously for God -- can only start through a revelation of Jesus Christ. As Isaiah saw the Lord, high and lifted up (Isaiah 6), and Paul saw the Lord on the road to Damascus, so also others can find that starting point to begin living a life of fraught with danger through revelation. We may not have that "burning bush" moment that many of the patriarchs and prophets experienced. However, God has given us another way. Paul understood the paramount importance of the revelation of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, he gave us instance after instance throughout his letters teaching us to keep asking for revelation and the knowledge of God (Ephesians 1:17-19; Ephesians 3:19; Philippians 1:9; Colossians 1:9). To the depth of revelation will come the careful, calculated risk of giving ourselves to Him who gave everything on our behalf. When we surrender all through the knowledge of His surrender on the cross and His risen life within us, then we too can begin to live in a way that seems dangerous and full of unnecessary risk to the unbelieving. Ironically, what appears dangerous to the world is in actuality the safest place to dwell. The risk and the danger has all been mitigated by His divine plan for our lives. All we have to do is hear and obey: Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

Heavenly Father, give us eyes to see You, hearts to believe in You. Then, allow us to live recklessly abandoned to you, ready for every danger that might come our way as we submit to Your perfect will. Give us courage and strength to seek You in a new way with new passion. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

The Bare Soul Archives

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mining God's Secrets - October 24, 2010

The following is the message text and audio recording of a sermon titled "Mining God's Secrets" delivered to the homeless at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on October 21 2010.

Mining God's Secrets - October 21, 2010

Deuteronomy 29:29 - The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

The world watched with elation as 33 Chilean copper miners were pulled to freedom through a half mile mine shaft. The remarkable culmination of rescue and recovery was broadcast to millions throughout the world as they emerged from the dark hole which had been their unwilling home for the past two months. The joy of family members was evident as they emerged one by one. What a treasured day of restoration in mid-October 2010 as these men were reunited with those whom they doubted would ever see them again. While it is unclear at the time of this writing what exactly was the cause of the accident, it is probably safe to assume that a full understanding of what went wrong would be forever hidden if the miners had lost their lives. What might have been a secret, buried a half mile below the earth, will undoubtedly be revealed with the help of these men's testimonies.

Humans have been mining the earth for millennia, searching for valuable metals that lay on or beneath the surface of the earth. As early as Genesis 2:11 we read that gold was a prized metal that was abundant in the land of Havilah, which was in close proximity to the Garden of Eden. If man could not easily obtain these precious ores in streams or canyon walls, he soon learned that mining would often yield rich veins of these precious metals. However, with excavation came the danger that precludes digging large holes and caverns in the landscape. Often the risk was worth it if the pay out was sizable. At other times, men most certainly paid with their lives. In the spiritual sense, mining for precious "payloads" require a steep price of those who would seek out these secret treasures of God. The cost is a focused passion and a surrendered life to mine God's secrets. As stated, sometimes gems and precious metals are easily found on the surface, in creek or stream beds for instance. Both the California Gold Rush and the one in Alaska's Klondike 40 years later began because of rich finds of gold ore scattered throughout rivers and tributaries. Often, God will likewise allow us to find spiritual treasure right below our proverbial feet. Our spiritual eyes discern these treasures and we most gladly scoop them up and cherish them for what they are. However, it takes a man or woman of vision to discern where God's deeper secrets lie. That is the difference of being a mere son or daughter of God and allowing God to manifest our royalty as sons of the Majesty on high. Proverbs 25:2 tells us: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

As mentioned, a child of God must have the desire to go beyond scooping up an occasional spiritual "nugget" in plain sight if they are truly to know the deep things of God. And what are the deep things of God? King David and his son Solomon help us to understand the things we should desire to mine from the depths of God. In Psalm 25:14 David says: The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant. Simply put, what we should desire above all is the fear of the Lord because that is the very thing that will perfect us into God's image, sanctified for His glory (II Corinthians 7:1). Holiness, beloved, is God's aim for us both in this life and the one to come. (Hebrews 12:14) However, to learn the fear of the Lord we must first obtain the knowledge of who God is and what He has done for us. Solomon understood that vision and discernment come at a price. They are part of a strategy to continually beseech God for His "spiritual excavation" plans. He states: For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:3-5) This king of Israel understood that in order to understand God, one must first see God with true "heart revelation". Another who saw God, both with his eyes and more importantly with his heart was Isaiah the son of Amoz. To see God, in all of His glory, as Isaiah the prophet did at his calling created a life totally surrendered to God. Even as the angel touched the prophet's lips with the burning coal from the alter, so God desires to touch all of our lives -- first with the revelation of who He is and secondly to purge us from our selfish ways (see Isaiah 6:1-8). The culmination of an encounter such as this is a fear of the Lord that will keep us forever focused on God and His desire for our lives.

God promises us through his prophet the gift of revelation if we will but seek Him. In Isaiah 45:3, the Lord says: I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. Just as those in Chile and millions around the world waited for the revealing of those trapped miners, so the Lord longs that we too would wait with the same expectancy for His treasures to be revealed in our lives. However, we must act with deliberateness and patience as we seek God's perfect plan. To extract God's treasures means we must be willing to sell out to God only, to compromise not, and to act with passion and vision (Matthew 13:44). When we seek God and value Him with all our heart, then we are sure to find His most precious revelation -- a vision of Himself. How those miners must have felt when they once again walked upon this earth, filling their senses once again with life! That, beloved, is what the Almighty desires for each of us, that we have spiritual eyes to see all the wealth He has given to us in His Son. However, we must, seek it, mine it, and then treasure it for us to truly experience the depths of His riches. May we all seek Him as the treasure He is!

Heavenly Father, help us to be miners for Your hidden treasures. Help us to cry for understanding, wisdom and discernment until we too are perfected in holiness by the fear of the Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

The Bare Soul Archives

Friday, October 15, 2010

Everlasting Love - October 17, 2010

Jeremiah 31:3 - The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness."

To find that someone special to share your life with is a magnificent thing. When we fall in love with our respective soul mates, we no doubt promise to love them forever and ever. While love between a man and a woman may sometimes falter, God's love and fidelity is never in question. He embodies eternal love that has always existed for His beloved. While our love will certainly deepen for our spouses as the years go by through a nurturing relationship, so also those who know Christ and His affection will continue to grow in love. Love is a creative power that will not be diminished over time but will continue to flourish through mutual relationship. So therefore, why shouldn't love grow throughout eternity? We are told in Psalms 89:2 that "lovingkindness will be built up forever". What a marvelous thought, that God's love will continue to deepen throughout the borderless realm of timelessness! As love on earth is dynamic and always growing, we have the opportunity to continue to grow in the very nature of God throughout everlasting. Just as God is love (I John 4:8), so we too have become heirs of His nature and will partake in His heritage of continually growing in the love that flows from His Divine Nature through time and eternity.

Unlike humans who find the love of their lives in a variety of ways, God Almighty never "fell in love" with us. The Lord has always loved us from all eternity. There was never a time when He did not think about us or yearn for our love. God has always held us with the greatest affection in His heart, loving us with an everlasting love. The Triune God has looked forward to this moment throughout eternity, when we are now alive and being turned into the likeness of His Son. There was never a time when God did not know that we would be brought forth as a son or a daughter. One might conjecture, "Why did God wait so long to bring forth a people that love Him? He has been in eternity waiting for this time to manifest, so why now?". One thing we know about God, is that He is patient. We are told in I Corinthians 13:4 that God's nature is patient as well as possessing the nature of love. The Lord knew the perfect time to bring forth sons and daughters and He waited patiently to do so. His nature would not allow Him to behave otherwise.

Not only did God know those who would accept His Son's redemption, but He also knew the struggle many of us would have in getting to that place of surrender. He has forever known which of us would rebel most doggedly against His lovingkindness. Throughout eternity, He has always known how we would live lives in self-absorbed sin, constantly rejecting His merciful hand as He stretched it out to us in love. (He saw me in my alcoholism and my drug addiction, through those years of overt hedonism that resulted in my complete moral, spiritual, and physical bankruptcy.) He hand-picked people like you and me, no matter what our past lives resembled, and gave us His love in an unremitting manner. Beloved, his love for us had neither beginning nor will it have an end. I believe from the testimony of God in scripture that He is delighted beyond words that those of us who call Jesus as Lord are participators in His love. Isaiah tells us that He is continually looking down from heaven and longing to engage the sons of men with His loving nature (Isaiah 30:18). Truly, God is a lover, looking for a lover. He patiently waits for us to be found by Him.

What is our destiny beloved? What is our calling in this life and the one to come? Clearly, from scripture we can see that we are to grow in love and to share it with all those we might come into contact with. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sharing the everlasting love of God that He has patiently been waiting to bestow on you and me. The marvelous reality of experiencing His love is that it will first of all never end, and secondly that it will continue to grow. Oh, that we would continue to pray that God would reveal His love to our souls! That we would experience the Spirit of Revelation as He reveals the very nature of love within the Father's heart toward His beloved. God has patiently done all the waiting for this very day -- the day when we can experience His everlasting love that has been stored up for all eternity. May we all rejoice in our high ranking regarding His eternal plan!

Heavenly Father, thank you for Your everlasting love. Thank you that You patiently waited for this very day when we might seize Your hand and Your heart through the love You've bestowed on us all through Your Son's redemption. Thank You Lord! In Jesus Name, Amen!

For God is a Lover
Looking for a lover so He fashioned me
God is a Lover
Looking for a lover so
He formed my heart
(From lyrics "See the Way" by Misty Edwards)

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

The Bare Soul Archives

Friday, October 8, 2010

Negotiating with God - October 10, 2010

I Corinthians 6:19 - Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

Many people try to make so-called "deals" with God. Invariably, these are self-centered attempts to improve one's life by a supernatural intervention. When I drank alcoholically and would create frequent messes in my life and in others', I would often try to bargain with God. "If you just get me out of this scrape", I would plead, "then I'll sober up and do this or that and so on and so forth!" Well, seldom did these promises ever reach fruition. They were simply ego-driven efforts to improve a seemingly hopeless situation that I had engineered out of my own self-indulgent lifestyle. Generally speaking, God does not bargain with selfish individuals. However, it is scripturally sound that He does negotiate with selfless believers. If the negotiation touches self-interest, I believe that God is not interested in it unless it will affect His larger purpose. If, however, it is about others and their eternal welfare then God is profoundly interested in listening to an argument that will enlarge His kingdom for those He loves. Two such biblical examples that epitomize those who negotiated with God are Moses and Abraham.

Moses became a self-imposed fugitive after murdering an Egyptian and going on the lam somewhere in the land of Midian (Exodus 2:15). We know little about this man for the next 40 years as he shepherds his father-in-law Jethro's flocks in the barren desert of the Sinai. But then something happens. Moses encounters the Living God in the burning bush and becomes a changed man (Exodus 3). As an exile returning to the scene of his crime, Moses goes boldly before Pharaoh and secures the release of his people through many signs and wonders. However, once on the move and away from the relative security of Egypt, Moses finds that he has inherited an obstinate, sinful people. When he descends from Mount Sinai with the stone tablets, the Lord tells Moses that the people have quickly turned away from their devotion to the Most High. In Exodus 32:9-10 we read: The LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation." However, Moses would not take this as God's last word. He had grown in such a relationship with God that his heart became consumed with love for both his Creator and His created. What follows is probably one of the greatest examples of turning God's heart and intention due to the selfless intercession of Moses:
Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, 'With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth'? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'" So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people. (Exodus 32:11-14)
Often critics focus on the fact that God changed His mind and ascribe this to weakness of character. I believe it demonstrates just the opposite. The Almighty is desirous to do good for His children. Isaiah tells us that "He longs to have compassion on us" (Isaiah 30:18). The Lord God is bound by two great forces of His character that are both driven in love. The first is justice and the other is mercy. God will always function from either of these two dynamics as they are fueled by love. He looks for those that would stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30), much like Moses did, so that He would be moved to mercy. That, beloved, is what he desires to do, but He needs men and women with passionate hearts for others to move Him in that direction.

Abraham's intercession on behalf of Sodom is not unlike that of Moses. However, with Abraham we get the privilege of witnessing this remarkable dialogue between Abraham and God regarding the fate of this doomed city. In Genesis 18:17 we read that God had decided to reveal the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to his friend Abraham. In the following verses, we see a spiritual, heavenly negotiation being played out in the natural as Abraham bargains with God for those in the valley below. The patriarch beseeches God, saying that if there are 50 righteous in Sodom then He surely wouldn't sweep away the just with the wicked? The Lord agrees and does so again and again until Abraham reduces the number of the righteous to ten (Genesis 18:24-32). We know from the following chapter that the Lord does bring down His judgment upon Sodom, for there was only righteous Lot (II Peter 2:7) and his family which accounted for less than the agreed upon number of ten. What if Abraham would have asked God to spare Sodom for five souls? Would it still be standing today? We are not to know. However, Abraham does show us how a life surrendered to God can move the heart of God to mercy. Unfortunately for Sodom and Gomorrah, their sin fell to God's justice. One can speculate that by this act of justice, it led to the salvation of many who recognized God's mercy for not destroying them likewise.

We have all been bought with a price -- the very blood of Jesus Christ who died for us all. We can either choose to live selfish lives that seek to bargain with God for our own ends, or we can die to self and negotiate for others. As Paul said, if we are believers and we call Jesus our Lord, then we are not our own. We have become temples of the Holy Spirit to allow God to intercede through us on behalf of others. There are no loop holes in God's word and no room for making a deal with our Creator. The only "deals" He wants are the ones we engineer for others in prayer and deeds. If we are living for ourselves, we too will die in our respective wilderness of Sinai or be consumed by proverbial fire and brimstone. If, however, we are living for Him and others, we will be consumed in the brightness of His fiery love that will never be quenched, either in this life or the one to come.

Holy Father, thank you for the Spirit who dwells with us and in us. Help us to see that any bargaining with You must be a pact for others -- to bring them to You. Give us hearts that spurn any deals with the flesh or the world but souls on fire to plead with You for the lives of others. We ask this in Jesus Name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Friday, October 1, 2010

Intercessory Praise - Part III - October 3, 2010

Psalm 51:12-13 - Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You.

David's life was one steeped in prayer and praise. Jewish history ascribes 73 of the 150 psalms to this King of Israel. These are a rich library of his many conversations with the Lord Jehovah including melodic prayers of petition, supplication, and intercession. David's tender soul resonates in the poetic verses of one psalm as he rejoices in God's victory, and then in another he is in the depths of despair. Although David arguably ruled the most powerful Middle Eastern nation in 1000 B.C., the humanity he displayed in his writings becomes something very real to most of us who can relate with the everyday struggles that beset mankind. His brutal honesty is probably not equaled elsewhere in his writings as it is in Psalm 51 where he pleads for God's forgiveness after his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. The prophet Nathan exposes his king to the injustice he has created by first sinning with this married woman and then having her husband put to death by proxy (II Samuel 11). In this psalm, David seeks forgiveness for himself, but also for what he has done to the trust between God, himself, and those of his kingdom.

In the first nine verses of Psalm 51, David outlines his defense to the Lord which is a case for mercy. He knows that he has sinned and asks the Lord to forgive him for his iniquity. Psalm 51:10-13 becomes David's request to God for complete emancipation from sin's effect which will ultimately lead to God's glorification. In verse 10 he first implores his Maker for a clean heart, to disown any remnants of the sin that he once harbored. Also, the penitent king asks that God renew a steadfast spirit within, to enable him to remain focused on his fidelity toward God. In verse 11, he does not assume that just because his spirit is right that God will desire fellowship with him. He specifically states: Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Finally, in verse 12 we see that David understands that forgiveness without restoration is moot if he is to rule effectively as king. He knew better than anyone that in God's presence there was fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) which would give him the strength and the ability to stay focused to turn from future sin. At the beginning of verse 13, we see the remarkable conjunction "then". At this juncture, David knows that if the Lord grants his request he would once again be in that position to intercede for others through the testimony of his life as an intercessory worshipper. He would be restored in the eyes of his nation to lead them as one who had failed but was now a living example of God's redemption. The King of Israel would no longer be a hypocrite in their eyes but someone who praised God for delivering him from the pit of sin and despair. His praise to God would once again resonate between earth and heaven for his kingdom.

Chronological to Psalm 51, King David's next psalm was probably written shortly after the Bathsheba affair. The overall theme of Psalm 32 is one of reflection concerning the mercy of God for his sin and forgiveness. This is particularly evidenced in the first seven verses. David opens the psalm with a declaration of God's love and redeeming grace, stating: How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! (Psalm 32:1-2) In the next five verses, he tells how hard it was to conceal his sin. However, once he confessed it he was filled once again with the presence of the Lord. Once again, God had become David's hiding place (Psalm 32:7) as he had been so many times in the past. One might assume that the king had forgotten how close the Lord was to him as he hid him from Saul's wrath when he pursued young David. Now, he could once again find God in that secret place of "hiding" that kept him safe from the onslaught of the enemy's lies. For surely, the devil came to him and told David that his sin really wasn't forgiven and that he didn't deserve to be king. The restored king could turn from Satan's accusations and look in the face of his Redeemer with great joy of redemption and say: You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Psalm 32:7) What follows in verses eight through eleven is a vivid example of David's restored position as an intercessory praise and worshipper. He instructs the wicked to not be as he was but to be set free by obeying God in all things. To continue in wickedness, he states, is to continue in sorrow; but the righteous, David says, are "surrounded" by lovingkindness. His intercessory worship for others comes to a crescendo as he ends this psalm with the high praises of God: Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart. (Psalm 32:11)

Beloved, if we call Jesus Christ our Lord then we should recognize that we are made of the same stuff as David. The only thing that sets us apart from this ancient king is our ability to arrest our sin through humility and ask forgiveness as he did. If we walk in the light as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with God and man and the Lord is faithful to forgive and cleanse us (I John 1:7). The devil would desire that we hide our sin as David, because then we will not be effective as intercessory worshippers. If we can't praise God for his deliverance in our lives and others, then the devil has won the victory. If, however, we can lift up the Name of Jesus in thanksgiving and praise for not only our salvation but for others, then we put the enemy to flight. Everyone of us who call ourselves Christians have this responsibility, to praise God for the finished work of Calvary with hearts that are free from sin. Through that applied revelation, we will see the power of the evil one crushed and the high praises of God accomplishing great things all around us. May the Lord do so in all of us this day as we submit to Him!

Lord Jesus, thank you for the redemptive power of Your blood that makes us mighty to do intercessory battle. May the high praises of God be on our lips as we set the captive free through the intercessory praise You have ordained for all of us who call You Lord. In Your Name Most Holy Jesus Christ, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,