In liu of the recent election’s outcome, I felt the need to put something in writing to relay how I feel on where our country stands. Mind you, I’m not surprised by the outcome, nor am I upset. Regardless of the outcome, I’ve felt an overwhleming compulsion to pray for the leaders of our country.
It’s difficult to try to partake in a self-examination. To dissect one’s self, to turn that critical eye back upon myself. An honest reflection only aids to shatter a sense of self worth. Works become trivial, devotions seem few and far between, discipline appears lacking. So why should I bother looking inward? Exactly for these reasons mentioned. This carnal man, over a period of time, will begin to think that I have worked myself into a degree of righteousness. This mind begins to presume that I am intrinsically good, and therefore if I continue what I’m doing, I will accomplish my goals. But that mentality only leads to repetition and complacency. And repetition and complacency will ultimately lead to my demise. So long as I believe I alone have accomplished anything, even the slightest good deed, I have robbed God of the Glory He should receive. And in so doing placed a title of Lord over myself.
1O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Sometimes if we are not careful, this internal examination can be flawed from the onset, if we refuse to allow the Spirit to lead this examination, then we might as well avoid self examination altogether. For it is the Spirit that will lead us directly to those areas in need of examination. And it is only by the Grace and Mercy of God, and through the Power of the Holy Spirit that those areas of our lives can be changed. Thou O Lord has searched me and known me….despite my hesitancy to openly admit my faults and failures to my brethren, Lord I can’t hide it from you. For you know my laying down, and my rising up, you understand my thoughts! There is nowhere I can turn that you are not there O God.
8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Everywhere I turn Lord, Your guiding hand awaits me.
11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
There is nothing hidden from you, those dark places within me, in which I would never willingly allow another to see, You O Lord have penetrated even these dark tombs of shame, and you have shone your light upon them. In Your light of revelation, you have opened the darkest recesses of this heart to allow me to lay, even these burdens at your feet. For while we attempt to shroud these things in darkness, they are well within your view. And yet, in Your Mercy, you have given me a chance at redemption. By shining Your love in me, illuminating my sins, You also provided a means with which I can be reunited with You, through Your precious Son, Jesus Christ.
13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Of all the glorious revelations that you provide, perhaps none is more effective than the knowledge that my sins will not be imparted unto me. For my Savior, Jesus, took them with Him upon that cross. And while I was yet in my sin, He chose to offer the greatest sacrifice for me. The ultimate act of Love, so undeserved and unwarranted. And yet, not only did He bear my sins, but has continued to mold me into something beautiful. For He longs to be with me, and I with Him, that He will go to any length to fashion me into the very image of His Son, that image of Love and Compassion. How wonderful to know that my Heavenly Father so longs to be reunited with me in Heaven!
19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
You have given us a promise that if we abstain from sin, from darkness, that one day we will may obtain that crown of righteousness, and as I think of that day when no longer will we have to endure temptations, torment, sickness and disease, no more sorrow, no more tears, no more longing, and groaning under burdens so heavy, I can’t help to but rejoice more in the thought that one day I’ll be given a crown, and I will take that crown and place it at the feet of my Savior! Oh what a day!
23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Continue to prune me Lord, I pray, though it batter my soul and though I can barely stand it…..I know it is for my benefit, and You do so out of Love for me. Lord help me to bear Your admonishment, and to know that You are the God of my Salvation! Search me O God and know my heart….
Recently while mowing my lawn, begrudgingly enduring the high 90 degree weather, I enjoy taking that time to think, speak and listen to the Lord. During this time, and quite possibly motivated by the blazing sun, and staggering heat, I remember voicing this question during my chore. “God, why don’t you answer by fire anymore?” My question arose as I had cast my eyes in the distant sky overlooking my back yard, and my imagination wondered what it would be like to see the pillar of fire that guided Israel through the wilderness. Subconsciously, this feeble mind believed that if God would simply show the signs and wonders that He showed unto the children of Israel, then surely we would see an awakening, a revival break out. And thus my mind said, God why don’t you simply show yourself by fire once again?
Instantly, the Spirit began to rebuke me, and in turn, the Holy Spirit answered in the form of a question. “Why would you think I no longer answer by fire?” I began to ponder the response, and the realization hit me like a ton of bricks, and to be quite honest, had I not been attached to the mower, I would have taken a shout break right there in the back yard. God began to speak to me through the Holy Spirit and I began to worship Him amongst the grass clippings.
My question, while ridiculous, was, if nothing else, an honest question of my desire to see this world saved, simply a misguided question. My God still answers by fire. While my mind envisioned a pillar of fire rising up from the earth, I could only imagine the awe in which those who looked upon it would feel. The power it would radiate, after all, this pillar of fire was the Spirit of the Living God! How insignificant would we feel in its presence?
And yet, the Lord brought to mind another fire He started, one that has yet to go out. That fire began in the book of Acts, and fell upon each of those assembled in the upper room, but not only those, but it fell upon countless others after that point. It fell on me 2 years ago, and since that day, it has burned within me day by day. This Holy Ghost fire still burns today, in those who seek Him diligently. As I began to think and meditate on this, the Lord showed me how each Holy Ghost believer should also radiate the same awe and wonder to this world around us, for it’s the same Spirit that inhabits us that inhabited the pillar in the wilderness! The same Fire that licked up the water on Mt.Caramel lives in me. Do others see that fire in me, and wonder why I have joy even in sorrow? Why I have peace even in trials? Have I allowed that fire to burn as it was intended? This fire in me, it strengthens me to endure the valleys. This fire ensures me victory in battle, it provides hope in despair. It provides light in darkness, and it renews me day to day.
This fire burns and try as it might, the world can’t put it out, Satan has done everything he can to diminish it, to throw water upon it, he’s raged against it daily, but Praise God! It still burns within me and tells me I can make it! Without it I’d have fallen long ago, but I find that I can’t lie still when this fire gets a hold of me, and I understand what Jeremiah proclaimed “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay“.
While at times we might think God isn’t moving in the way we would like, remember, we don’t need the pillar of fire to light the sky before us, for He has put that fire INSIDE us. My God still answers by fire, every time a believer broken before a Holy God is filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, God has once again answered by fire, and He has equipped you with the all the power of Heaven to go forth and show this world that God indeed still does answer by fire.
Ladies, It’s that time again. Community Family Church will be holding their annual Women of Faith Conference on November 3rd, 4th, and 5th at their church in Independence KY.
Speakers will be Martha Tennison, Edna Wagers, and Tommy Bates.
You are sure to be blessed by these wonderful women and men of God. Make sure to reserve your seats so you won’t miss out!
For more information, please see Jeanie Spencer or Karen Pennington, or click the link below. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Morning, 08/07/11, we experienced an unforeseen power outage. Fortunately, we were able to still hold service, unfortunately, We were unable to record Pastor Bill Lamb’s continuation of 1 Corinthians. We are hopeful that Pastor Lamb will be able to bring listeners up to date on this Sunday’s morning teaching. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for your continued support of this ministry!
Welcome to the newly designed Anchor of Hope Church site! We hope the new design and layout will be easier to navigate for our vistiors. Many new features will be coming soon so please check back often. We will also be building up our photo gallery with church events.