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Silence is Golden Sometimes

About a week ago, God highlighted this verse to me: “But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.” Luke 1:20 (NLT)

Abba has been using this verse to make it clear that I’ve not been careful with my words.  I’ve not been considering the power and weight in them.   I’ve not been acknowledging what Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.”  (AMP)

Ever since God reminded me, “Your words are powerful.” I’ve been singing  “Oh be careful little tongue what you say. Oh be careful little tongue what you say.  For the Father up above is looking down with love, so be careful little tongue what you say.” (Note:  Author of this lyric is unknown so I cannot give credit as I normally would).

More thoughts on the power of that little tongue of yours…

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” Proverbs 21:23 (NIV)

If someone believes they have a relationship with God but fails to guard his words then his heart is drifting away and his religion is shallow and empty.” James 1:26 (TPT)

A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!  It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.” James 3:3-6 (MSG)

Whoever wants to embrace true life and find beauty in each day must stop speaking evil, hurtful words and never deceive in what they say.” I Peter 3:10-11 (TPT)

The angel Gabriel delivered a heart’s desire promise to Zechariah.  He told him flat straight out, you’re going to have a son, and he’s going to be a big deal. (Take a minute to read Luke 1 to hear the full promise).  Zechariah was an older man.  He wasn’t a 20 year old kid who just got married to his fertile 20 year old wife.  He’d probably gotten to the point where he’d given up hope of having a son.  So his response was the “um…okay well prove it” response.  It’s the response that the majority of us probably would have had, if we were in his shoes.

Zechariah asked the angel, “How do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is too old to give me a child. What sign can you give me to prove this will happen?”

Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel. I stand beside God himself. He has sent me to announce to you this good news. But now, since you did not believe my words, you will be stricken silent and unable to speak until the day my words have been fulfilled at their appointed time and a child is born to you. That will be your sign!”” Luke 1: 18-20 (TPT)

If this passage doesn’t illustrate the power our words have, I don’t know what will.
Gabriel muted Zechariah so he wouldn’t speak against the promise God gave him.
Literally.
Muted him.
As in Zechariah did not utter a single solitary word until after his and Elizabeth’s son John was 8 days old. Think about this.  He’d gone to do his annual service.
“See ya in a week, Elizabeth.”  Then he shows up at home a mute.
Then Elizabeth gets pregnant, just as Gabriel said she would.  Nine months go by.  His son is born.  8 days later, Zechariah is finally able to speak when He speaks to confirm his son’s name. The name Gabriel told him the boy’s name would be.
He was only able to speak when he was confirming the promise!
What?!  Come on people!  That’s amazical!

 

This passage just blows me away.  This promise to Zechariah and Elizabeth was a dream they thought was not even possible.  And this dream meant everything to them.  And when God made the promise to them, through Gabriel, it mattered so much, that God allowed Gabriel to mute Zechariah, so he couldn’t speak against the promise God had given him.
Silence is golden sometimes.
I think sometimes it might be better for me if Gabriel would show up and say, “Hey Jill.  I’m gonna have to mute you for a while so you don’t speak against your dreams and God’s promises for you.”

A few short months after Zechariah’s experience with Gabriel, he visited Mary. Mary’s reaction was decidedly different. ““I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”” Luke 1:38 (TPT)

Now Mary’s situation was just as out there as Zechariah’s.  Both of them were told not to fear and received a mind blowing prophecy.  Both asked questions that were answered.  But their responses to those answers were opposite.  It might be that Zechariah had much more experience with disappointment, while Mary had no negative experiences.

Whether you’re seasoned like Zechariah or young like Mary, your words are powerful.

How are your words right now?  Are they something that Gabriel would mute you for?  Or are they more “bring it on” like Mary’s?

In my life I’ve experienced some “What in the bluebells is going on here?” seasons.  The “Where are you, Lord?” seasons.  And even the “I can’t do this anymore. It hurts too much.” seasons.  I’m sure you have too.  The times when things are not logical.  The times when you’re looking at the situation and your rational mind is blown.  Times when you don’t understand why bad things are happening and keep happening.  Times when promises aren’t coming to pass the way you expected them, and disappointment starts to shift your perspective into the negative.

These are not the times to go off at the mouth.  This is when you need to remember silence is golden sometimes.  Like Mary after the birth of Jesus…

But Mary treasured all these things in her heart and often pondered what they meant.” Luke 2:19

If you cannot muster your faith to speak in agreement with God’s promises, remember silence is golden sometimes.  Ask a trusted friend to pray for you, and shut your mouth.

In recent months, I’ve been in a season of this hurts to much.  I’m not sure I am capable of believing anymore.  But I know in my heart God is faithful.

So difficult to be between the full understanding that God is faithful, and looking at your situation and thinking…how is this even possible anymore?

If you’re in a rough season with me, I’m going to tell you how I am handling this really difficult place.  I texted (I didn’t trust myself to speak) 2 trusted prayer warrior friends and simply said, “I cannot speak positively on this topic.  I don’t have the faith to believe in this specific area right now.  I need you to pray and speak for me.”  And they are reminding God of His promises to me, for me.  They are speaking the faith words missing from my vocabulary right now.  And I’m praying and believing with them in their promises, because my faith to believe for them hasn’t been affected by this season.

Maybe that’s not how everyone would handle it, but I sure appreciate my friends who are willing to stand in the gap for me.  They are even more golden than the silence.

Point to ponder while you wander… Gabriel muting Zechariah is the same lesson as what Thumper’s Mom was teaching him about silence. (Bambi, 1942).

thumper

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Power Definitions

But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Grace- Christ’s power that enables us to do what we cannot in our own strength.

Sufficient=To be in posession of unfailing strength.

Power=Strength, miraculous power.

Perfect=to complete, to accomplish, to consummate, to finish, to fulfill.

Weakness=in want of strength.

When Jesus left earth, He sent us Holy Spirit to empower us to do even more than He did. Right?

Right!

So let’s look at this verse as a declaration!

I am empowered with the unfailing strength and miraculous power of Jesus. His strength and miraculous power partners with me in the areas I am in want so that I am able to thrive and do what I couldn’t do on my own. I refuse to be embarrassed by my weak areas, because in those weaknesses Christ’s power is fulfilling its purpose.

Happy Thursday!

Point to ponder while you wander…

The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT

Hey Judas! You need a Heart Check.

Elijah’s List posted this recently.

WOW! Heart check!!!

Seriously though, take a minute and ponder that.

I’ll wait….

When I pondered…I thought of the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. When Screwtape tells Wormwood to focus the patient’s attention on petty things while he was at church. So the patient wouldn’t focus on the Word and how it applies to himself.

Judas did focus on the petty. The negative. And he remained a sceptic despite seeing miracles right before his eyes. He didn’t read about the miracle of the fish and bread feeding 5,000. He actually ate the bread and fish! He didn’t read about blind eyes being opened, he watched it happen.

Truthfully I feel bad for Judas. He didn’t enjoy His life. He clearly didn’t like himself. Seriously. Judas was with Jesus Himself for 3 years, and never actually absorbed anything about who Jesus was. Jesus was, is, and will always be love personified.

Who spends 3 solid years with Jesus, and comes out worse than where he started?

Truthfully…a lot of people.

What? Why? Who? Sacrilege!!

I know. Because I was one.

I confessed Jesus as my Savior at 16. And promptly tried to be perfect (as in without flaw) and do all the right things. I focused on behavior and looking the part.

Nothing reached my heart.

I couldn’t be perfect. And it frustrated me. My life didn’t change. No miracles happened in my life. And I was disappointed.

I ended up flipping around and going absolutely in the opposite direction. I became more critical. More judgmental. I loved less.

And it took a good 7 years before I gave it another shot. At 16, I shoved the Word at people…but at 25 I started applying the Word inward. I began to deal with my heart issues. My broken places began to heal. It was a process that still continues. It’s a day to day walk.

I can tell you that it’s much easier to point fingers and throw rules at people than it is to love them. It’s easier to criticize, scoff & judge.

But…if you take that pointing the finger and judging everyone path. You won’t heal. You won’t grow.

I think that’s what happened to Judas. I think he allowed his natural skeptic to dismiss miracles. He chose not to receive the love and teaching from Jesus. He chose not to heal and grow.

We have a choice too. Perspective and attitude are everything. Being open isn’t alway easy. Neither is change. Not for me. Not for you. Not for the disciples either.

Let’s be real…the 12 disciples are like us. They screwed up. They didn’t always understand. They acted without thinking. They lost their tempers.

But the difference between Judas and the other 11 is that the 11 grew and changed. They applied what Jesus taught them and walked it out.

Were the perfect? Um…definitely not. And neither are we. Neither are your leaders. We are all human. Doing our best. We are all given a choice.

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT

Judas got to choose too. Unfortunately we all know how that worked out. (Spoiler alert…it can’t get much uglier).

Judas was bitter. I don’t want to be bitter, but some days I see myself heading in that direction.

Judas was a cynic. I don’t want to be an eye rolling cynic, but sometimes I am.

Judus had a greedy, selfish & negative outlook. Sometimes I do too.

I don’t want to be a complainer or a gossiper either. But some days I am.

So this is a heart check for me. To go back to Jesus on the rough days. The days I’m more Judas-like than Jesus-like and ask Him to show me what is going on in my heart and head so I can deal with the root of it and have a better attitude and perspective.

Especially with all the chaos in my life right now…I need more Jesus time. More worship. More Word. And less judgmental attitude. Less pessimism.

Point to ponder while you wander…..

A Whole Hearted Life

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His Holy Name.” Psalm 103:1 NLT

If we’re praising with our whole heart, then we hold nothing back from Him.

Whenever I think of whole heart, I remember Caleb. Caleb was one of two who gave a good report, the other being Joshua. Caleb wasn’t the military leader of the Children of Israel like Joshua. But he loved the Lord wholeheartedly.

But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” Numbers 14:24 NIV

Numbers 14:24 shows the result of a whole heart life.

Point to ponder while you wander…

Praise isn’t just singing songs. We can praise with our lives too. Our gifts, talents, and strengths were given to us by God to steward, grow, and use to impact those around us. When we do, it honors the One who gave them to us.

The Principle of Happiness 

This is a statue honoring George Mason that I discovered whilst wandering in D.C.. Despite being a lover of history, I had no idea who George Mason was, but I have quoted (or misquoted) him on occasion.

You may have also.

So here’s a quick top 10 on the other George..

10. He has a university named after him. George Mason University… obviously.

9. One of the founders of Alexandria, Virginia.

8. He said: “Don’t wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy, and do it. Because everything else is all just background noise.

7. George and his wife, Ann, had many children. Nine of which survived to adulthood.

6. He grew up as a neighbor of George Washington.

5. Was one of three who helped draft the US Constitution at the US Constitutional Convention in 1787. But was not happy with the amount of power the government had, and thought it needed edits. He said, I would sooner chop off my right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands.” He stood his ground with 2 other dissenters, and never signed it.

4. Drafted the Virginia State Constitution. Other states used his draft to draft their state constitution.

3. Leader in Virginia during the Revolutionary War.

2. George was a driving force behind the Bill Of Rights, and died about a year after it was ratified.

1. He said: All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety.

Point to ponder while you wander…. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came to give life and life abundant. Sounds a lot like the right to pursue happiness. Doesn’t it?

His Love is Changeless

“My God is changeless in His love for me, and He will come and help me.” Psalm 59:10

He is passionate in His love for you! Every single day! He empowers you & partners with you to do what you could never do solo. #youarenotalone

Continual Nourishment

I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.” John 15:9 TPT

Jesus wants to nourish our hearts, continually. Not just once. Not occasionally. Not just when He feels like it. But continually!

But the kicker here is we have a choice whether or not to receive His love and let us nourish us or not.

How do we receive nourishment from His love?

1. To get the love nourishment we need to grow, we need to read and study about His love in the Word.

So what does Jesus’s love looks like? Check out the gospel of John.

What does love mean? I Corinthians 13 for the Biblical definition of love & I John is good too.

2. Then we need to believe He loves us. Not just know it as trivia or a random fact. But to believe it so much, meditate on it and marinate in it so regularly, that it changes how we see ourselves.

Let it give you confidence in who the Father created you to be, and help you grow into the very best version of you.

Point to ponder while you wander… Today ponder what nourish means in the context of John 15:9 TPT

nour·ish (verb) to provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition