Show Notes Coming Soon!
on Instagram @janlburt
Show Notes Coming Soon!
on Instagram @janlburt
On Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 Ravi Zacharias went home to be with his Lord.
What a homecoming it was!
In this episode of The Burt (Not Ernie) Show we're taking time to remember a life well lived & grabbing hold of a healthy dose of encouragement to live our lives well by listening to a few of Ravi's own words.
So, let's remember Ravi...
It is a stunning rarity for one person to have both intellectual prowess & great wisdom (you can have one without the other, but Ravi had both in spades!). It is even more stunning in it's rarity to find an individual who had mastery of both & the ability to love others well & with true humility...all while holding fast to personal belief of who Jesus is. Ravi Zacharias was all of the above. Truly remarkable!
Let me share a few quotes from Ravi's work & ministry & writings:
"We have a right to believe whatever we want, but not everything we believe is right."
"Teaching at best beckons us to morality, but it is not in itself efficacious. Teaching is like a mirror. It can show you if your face is dirty, but the mirror will not wash your face."
"The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a bucket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them."
"You'll never get to a person's soul until you understand their hurts."
"What you applaud you encourage, but beware what you celebrate..."
"I remember the time an older man asked me when I was young, 'Do you know what you are doing now?' I thought it was some kind of trick question.
'Tell me,' I said.
'You are building your memories,' he replied, 'so make them good ones.' "
"There is no greater discovery than seeing God as the author of your destiny."
"I do not believe that one can earnestly seek and find the priceless treasure of God's call without a devout prayer life. That is where God speaks. The purpose of prayers and of God's call in your life is not to make you number one in the world's eyes, but to make Him number one in your life. We must be willing to be outshone while shining for God. We hear very little about being smaller in our own self-estimate."
"Beginning well is a momentary thing; finishing well is a lifelong thing."
"One often sees a call only in retrospect. This too is God's design. God often reinforces our faith after we trust Him, not before."
In this episode I briefly mentioned Peter walking on the water ~~~ specifically, how it was Peter who sought Jesus to tell him to come out on the water...he was super clear on what he wanted the Lord to do for him. And the Lord did exactly what Peter asked him to do. I'm going to share the reference where this can be found in the Gospels & encourage you to take a look at it for yourself and see what the Holy Spirit has to say to you as you read God's word.
And lastly, let's ponder something from the New Testament book of Hebrews.
The fourth chapter of Hebrews is about "The Believer's Rest" & in this chapter we read, "For we who believe enter the rest God has for us..."
Ravi, enjoy your rest.
on Instagram @janlburt
Psalm 106:24 & 25 (Amplified)
Then they despised the pleasant land (Canaan); they did not believe in His word nor rely on it, but they sulked and complained in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of the LORD.
Rebellion is nothing new.
People have always had a rebellious streak & that's not likely to change anytime soon.
But God is our Deliverer, and He is able to deliver us from our rebellious tendencies.
The hope, the promise, in these verses is tied to the warnings that are listed in this psalm. Don't be intentional in continuing with your rebellion, but also don't ever forget that it is the Lord who delivers you when you need to be delivered.
Our Deliverer delivers. Actually, He over-delivers.
Psalm 106 lays out a brief history of some of the ways God delivered His people, the Israelites, in the early books of the Old Testament. It also contains great praise and adoration for the Lord's mercy and loving kindness toward them. (Reading Exodus 14 is a great faith-boosting, God-praising chapter that I highly recommend reading as soon as possible!) And then this psalm goes on to describe how they forgot God's goodness toward them. Envy took over their hearts, minds & emotions and polluted their environment. Idols were crafted and Moses spent time in powerful intercession before the Lord, asking Him to spare them in spite of their sinful behavior and wicked hearts.
As if that were not enough, after all of that (and all of that is quite a lot, actually!) then they despised the pleasant land which the Lord had in store for them...they hated their inheritance...they sulked & complained and did not listen to the voice of the Lord...
Then...after that...they despised...they did not believe...they did not listen...
My question for you today is this: What is your "then...after that" today? What has the Lord done for you that you have forgotten? What works of the Lord have you oh-so-quickly forgotten about?
Hard question to answer honestly, isn't it?
Listen, when we choose to wait on the Lord with patience, to wait for His counsel & His guidance, for His path forward through whatever Red Sea we find ourselves backed up against...when we wait well, expectant and in total trust in our good & loving & personal God...then we will discover that not only does He have a plan for our pain, He has a purpose for it, too. (And those can be 2 markedly different things - give it a little thought!)
God has a purpose for your situation and in your situation. In each and every situation in your life, actually. But we can easily miss it by failing to wait for His counsel.
But the promise for us is the exact opposite...when we do wait patiently for God's counsel, then we will see His purposes being unveiled and revealed in those exact situations and circumstances. How awesome is that?!?
Remember, jacked up thinking leads to jacked up behavior. It causes us to despise the pleasant things God wants to bless us with...
When we will not wait with patience for God's guidance we almost certainly will not believe in nor rely upon His promises or His Word.
We end up sulking and then complaining in our own homes (basically, living with misery by extending it an open-door invitation) and eventually stop listening to the Lord altogether.
As I said earlier...OUCH.
Let me end this episode with a challenge - and I really encourage you to take me up on this!
It's terribly easy to slide into a place of not believing God for anything anymore...one day at a time, we gradually end up somewhere that is pretty dismal (i.e. The Land of Unbelief).
So, my challenge is this: Let's all get caught in the act of believing God as often as we can.
Just get caught in the act of believing Him. That's it! Nothing else, just believe Him today!
God has so much good for you - some of that good is for today, and then there will be more good for you tomorrow, and so on. Believe Him for it!
Today, grab some of that good stuff & refuse to let go!
Lord bless - catch ya back here next time!
on Instagram @janlburt
Daniel 7:14 & the dominion of our Lord.
Jesus has total & absolute dominion over everything - over all of it.
All means ALL & that should provide us with tremendous comfort.
Nothing is exempt from "ALL". Because all really does mean every single thing.
Daniel 7:14 (Amplified) -
And to Him (the Messiah) was given dominion (supreme authority), glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and speakers of every language should serve and worship Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:14 (King James) -
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Jesus has reigned, does reign, and will continue to reign over all things.
Philippians 2:9-11 (Amplified) -
For this reason also (because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself), God has highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW (in submission), of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11 (King James) -
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The verse from Daniel is completely clear on this point: the Messiah was GIVEN dominion (complete authority).
Here's the thing about being given something...whether it's an inheritance or a gift or a throne. That which was given can be taken from the recipient only by someone who is stronger / more powerful / wiser & there is absolutely no force in the universe stronger, wiser, more powerful than Jesus. Nobody's nobody can take His dominion & complete authority from Him. He will never abdicate His throne or His authority! (Martin Luther said that even the devil is God's devil...and that's a pretty amazing truth to think about, isn't it?)
Our Lord is THE Lord. What has been given cannot be taken away from Him.
John 15:16 (Amplified) -
"You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name (as My representative) He may give to you."
John 15:5 (Amplified) -
"...apart from Me you can do nothing."
Jesus' statement that we had not chosen Him but He has chosen us is tremendously important.
The one who does the choosing - the CHOOSER - is the key figure, not the one who has been chosen. Jesus chose us. He appointed us and placed us and purposefully planted each one of us. Does that sound like He desires for us to live willy-nilly, random, find-a-need-and-fill-it lives? Or does it sound as if He who chose and appointed and purposefully planted us has a call for each of us that He would like us to fulfill? He says clearly that He wants us to bear fruit and keep on bearing - fruit that remains. Fruit that lasts.
To me, this sound more like "Hear the Lord's call & obey it" than "Find a need & fill it."
Daniel 7:14 says we are called to serve and worship the Messiah. Do that by seeking His call, which is His purposeful planting of you in this world, and then obeying that call. And expect to see His sovereignty play out in ways you have never even dreamed of!
If you want to see more of God's sovereign hand in your life, you need to do life His way.
You will discover your call from the Lord by abiding - not by striving.
With abiding comes fruit bearing.
With abiding comes powerful answers to prayer.
Abiding is better by far.
Jesus is Lord. He is Sovereign. What He has been given cannot be taken away and will not be given away.
His work and role for your life in this world is solely up to Him - it is not in the least random or left to chance or even left to logic.
You have been planted on purpose for a purpose, which is to serve and worship Jesus. A big part of that is learning how to be an active abider.
The dominion of our Lord & King will never, ever end.
And that means none of His power is lost on your current circumstances.
He has dominion.
You are going to be A-Okay.
Keep believing that God's promises - they are for you!
Go through your life grabbing as much of the gusto (the promises of God) as you possibly can. Don't leave anything on the table!
Lord bless you today!
on Instagram @janlburt
God's promises are LIFE for us as His children.
The words of this psalm can impact, improve and enhance our lives..help us to grow, be more functional, and become more like Jesus.
Psalm 1:4, 5, 6 (Amplified)
The wicked (those who live in disobedience to God's law) are not so, but they are like the chaff (worthless and without substance). - Therefore the wicked will not stand (unpunished) in the judgment, not sinners in the assembly of the righteous. - For the LORD knows and fully approves the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish.
It is crazy vital for us to remember that we don't obey a list of rules and regulations and do's and don'ts - we truly do have freedom in Christ. We obey based on these words Jesus spoke in John 14:15, "If you love Me, you will obey My commands."
This psalm promises that we are rooted, like a tree firmly planed by streams of water. We are settled and established and secure. We are in the right place during feast or famine, come rain or shine. Whatever life brings our way, no matter what season we find ourselves in. We are blessed and protected and will grow and bear fruit in all seasons. What a profound promise!
The Lord knows. He knows all the ins and outs and details of our lives. Life changes on the horizon? The Lord knows. Going through a big trial or enjoying a big blessing? The Lord knows. Take comfort in His knowing.
This week, write Psalm 1, verse 6 on a sticky note and post it someplace where you will see it often. Let it lay the foundation of your life each day for the next 7 to 10 days. I really do believe that focusing on this one verse (or better yet, all of this psalm!) will have an impact that is positive - your trust will grow, your hope will flourish, your heat will be more at ease.
Also, my latest book will be available as an eBook on the website JanLBurt.com this week. The price is just $7 and since it is a digital product, you have immediate access to your purchase. Grab a copy or send one to a friend. It's titled "So Long, Guilt & Shame" and I am very hopeful that this eBook will make an impact on those who read it & I am thankful to have it all ready to go.
Thanks for checking out this episode of The Burt (Not Ernie) Show - see you back here next time for a look at the dominion of Jesus.
on Instagram @janlburt
Words in red.
Whenever we read words in red in our Bible, it's terribly important to slow down, take pause, and pay close attention. Jesus is speaking, not just to those in His presence a couple thousand years ago...but to us, you & me, right now this very day.
So let's take a look at some important words in red that are very fitting for us in this day & age.
Matthew 6:31-34 (Amplified) - "Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) saying, 'What are we going to eat?' or 'What are we going to drink?' or 'What are we going to wear?'. For the (pagan) Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; (but do not worry) for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right - the attitude and character of God), and all these things will be given to you also. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:31-34 (ESV) - "Therefore, do not be anxious, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heaveny Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, an all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Resonate with anyone today?
These are unprecedented times - masks in public, working from home (if you still have a job, that is!), student loan payments at 0% interest, long lines to get into the grocery store, total uncertainty as to when it all will end... & how it will alter the landscape of society in the future. Unprecedented. As in, we have no precedent to look at as we go through this.
And yet, through is the only way we'll get through, know what I mean?
So these words of Jesus are so fitting for all of us. Let's draw encouragement from them & live believing Jesus' promise here that He will - absolutely will! - care for us. Let's be certain to put His kingdom first, to choose His way of doing and of being right, and make a decision live faithless today.
These words are concrete proof of just how much God cares for us - just how greatly He loves us.
We are not forgotten or abandoned or alone or set aside. No, rather we are tucked away.
When you feel the tension of stay at home orders & quarantines starting to rise up within you, remind yourself that you are tucked away...not set aside. And those are not at all the same thing.
Do not be worried, anxious, uneasy or distracted by what you are going to eat or drink or wear...or any need that is real in your life. Don't live like someone who has outright rejected God, because that isn't who you are. Live in belief, because of your identity as a child of God.
The reality is that each and every day brings with it's new dawn enough...enough trouble & stress for that day. You and I have no idea what tomorrow will bring in terms of trouble & difficulty, but it will be enough...
Enough is enough, if you catch my drift.
Let the enough that Jesus said will be in each & every day be enough, and no more. Do not add to it by pondering tomorrow. Don't give in to the temptation to contemplate what is honestly incomprehensible. Just don't go there.
Enough is enough.
And when it feels as if enough is too much, on those days hang tight to the truth that Jesus is always, always more than enough.
See you next time -
Jan L. Burt
(And hey - my new website it up & running! Check it out at JanLBurt.com, if you'd like!)
Taking a look at Psalm 1 ~
Psalm 1:1-3 (Amplified) Blessed (fortunate, prosperous and favored by God) is the man who does not wlk in the counsel of the wicked (following their advice an example), not stand in the path of sinners, not sit (down to rest) in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers). But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law (His precepts and teachings) he (habitually) meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planed (and fed) by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season; its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers (and comes to maturity).
Psalm 1:1-3 (CSB) - How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the LORD's instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither; whatever he does prospers.
First a really quick but important reminder about the book of Psalms - Psalm 1 is the first book of the psalter, and it sets the tone for all the rest of the psalms. Anything else you read from the psalms, anytime you see a verse from psalms shared on social media or via an email, when your pastor preaches from the psalms or a book you are reading references particular verses from psalms - basically, anytime you read anything from this book of the Bible, keep in mind that the foundation is laid right here in Psalm 1. All that follows is built upon what we are going to look at here.
When we read the first few verses, of course we gravitate more toward the blessings that are mentioned. But before we can receive these blessings, we have to be willing to take a hard look at our lives and see if we might be doing any of the things that verse 1 tells us we ought not to be doing.
We don't just fall into these blessings like we might fall into a ditch. They do not happen by osmosis. I, as in me, myself, and I, must decide that I am not going to walk in the counsel of the wicked (meaning I won't be following their example or taking heed of their "advice" or wrongly believe that God may speak through them into my situation - which He won't because He doesn't violate His own Word).
And just in case you might be wondering how to know whether or not someone is "wicked" (the word used in this passage), let me just remind you to not pretend not to know what you already know. In other words, you pretty much know when something is wicked. Life is short & eternity is long, so please don't play coy & pretend you don't know what you do know. Wicked is wicked - evil is evil - and you can recognize it and not make friends with it and reject its counsel and advice and not be a "judgmental" person.
I mentioned in the podcast the words of Jesus that people so often quote ~ which is to judge not lest you be judged yourself. I encourage you very strongly to read ALL of Matthew chapter 7 (and probably all of Matthew chapter 5 & 6, too). We need to be careful to take God's Word as it was intended, as it was written, and not misconstrue single verses to fit certain situations.
Listen, the honest truth is that a lot of the time the reason we throw Matthew 7:1 around is to either A) get ourselves out of the position of telling someone the honest truth, which is that something they are doing is really bad for them & for others or B) to give ourselves a pass regarding something we are doing that we know is not the Lord's best for us (and the whole "don't judge" thing lends itself naturally to "don't judge me, cuz I ain't judging you", which prevents people from speaking into our lives).
Be very careful how you use this verse...and at the very least, please read it all in context.
To be blessed, favored, fortunate then we are going to have to decide not to take advice or follow the example of those who behave in wicked ways, and also make up our minds that will will not stand in the paths of the sinful. Don't be hanging out with them, listening to them spew filth, doing life with them...maybe don't binge watch that series on Netflix because they're telling you it's funny if you know you don't need to view that sort of content.
First we walk, then we stand, and then we sit down. Once we stop walking, we are spending a lot more time engrossed in their world. And when we sit down, we are staying in their world for an extended period of time.
The order here is important - first we walk, then we stand, then we sit. And the way this is phrased reveals that God takes very seriously the behavior of those who are scoffers, mockers, ridiculers. Mockers get a lot of coverage in the Bible, so we can't just make light of this. We need to take seriously whatever God says is worth taking seriously, and not being a mocker or spending time intimately with mockers is pretty serious to Him.
And you know that you know that you might like to get a good laugh from whatever it is the mocker/scoffer is talking about today...but you sure don't trust them with your darkest secrets or struggles. They aren't your role models and you never would encourage your kids to grow up to be just like them. So, keep that in mind before you try to excuse away what I am saying here. It's important enough for you to keep things private and out of their supply of cannon fodder, so it's important enough to just not sit with them and receive their "counsel".
The path to the promised blessing is this: choose to delight in the law of the Lord (in His teachings and His grace and His Word). Start your day thinking about God and His Word, and end your day the same way. That is one simple and sure-fire way to get on the fast track to the blessings promised in Psalm 1.
This right now moment in time is exactly the moment when you and I need to be firmly planted and continually fed by our God. He is our living God, He is our right now God for this very moment. So this very moment is when He is firmly planting us and sustaining us.
If you know Jesus as your Lord, then this is your season to bear fruit. This is the day in which more change, more upheaval is happening than ever before...and this is the day in which people are more open to hearing about God, allowing you to pray for them, listening to what God's Word says than at any other point in modern history, perhaps. This is your season to bear fruit. Your leaf will not wither - if you share God's blessings and love with those around you who need it, God's not going to leave you hanging with just one dried out, brown crusty leaf. Your leaf will not wither - that's a sure promise for you right now.
This is your chance - so what will you do with it?
I hope you go and bear fruit now, because right now is your season.
Now in the episode I mentioned that when this is all over, when coronavirus has done it's total damage and we can look back over all of it, what will that be like for us as Christians? What do we want to see upon reflection? We can make a choice, right now today, about what our hindsight is going to be like. Let's do things today that will make it easier to reflect well without wincing in regret.
(And I mentioned a thing called the "Flowbee" in this episode - here is a link to a commercial from the 80's about that strange oddity...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nztfGEXMMw0)
Have a blessed day & thanks for checking out Episode 21 of The Burt (Not Ernie) Show. I'm thankful for you!
See ya next time!
on Instagram @janlburt
These are very strange and turbulent times, are they not?
And the one thing that I have to offer you via this podcast, the one thing of any real and lasting value, is hope.
What a powerful and life-changing little word that is: HOPE.
Real hope only comes from Jesus, of course. So if you don't know Jesus personally, as in He is your own personal Savior who paid the price for your own personal sins & secured your freedom from those sins and opened the door for you to have eternal life as well as free life right here and now, then please seek Him today while He may be found, because He is not far from you at all. Ask Him to forgive your sins, bring you into His family, and guide you through His Word, through prayer, and through this crazy, topsy-turvy time right now. And if you do know Jesus personally, then the hope you have in Him should be the loudest thing in your life right now.
That's the whole goal for this episode...to just throw hope around like glitter, because boy oh boy do we ever need it!
Can you take a moment and answer this question?
How has your life, your world, changed over the last week or so?
Guys, it’s been a lot...and it’s okay take a moment, draw a deep breath, and acknowledge that it has indeed been a lot.
Can you take a sec, pause and look for God's hand going before you in advance of all that has happened re: the coronavirus global pandemic?
If you look for His hand, you will find it. Little and big pieces that He was putting in place weeks or maybe even months ago. Ways He led you to cut back, to start working from home, to handle that work situation and make that work trip or schedule those large group meetings that maybe seemed a bit premature but in hindsight were taken care of in the nick of time.
Hey, maybe you bought a couple of books and didn't have the foggiest idea that you'd have ample time to sit down and really read them (by really read, I mean read at a relaxed pace which allows you to learn and enjoy those books to the utmost). Or did you start a new at-home workout routine...and that's already an established habit that won't be impacted by the YMCA shut downs.
Big things or little things, can you take a moment and look for God's hand going ahead of you, to see what He already had in play far in advance of all...of...THIS.
This is important because where you can find His hand in your life, you simultaneously find His heart for you. His hand at work is raw evidence of His great love for you...and don't we all need to know how much He loves each one of us right now?
Look & see where the Lord's hand has been shifting and positioning and pivoting and preparing a way for you. Be assured that each bit of evidence you find is solid gold proof of how much He cares about you. He sees and He knows and He is here.
This is your personal God giving you personal comfort and personal assurance in a very uncomfortable time.
Now let's take a look at His Word -
1 Peter 5:6-7 (Amplified) -
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God (set aside self righteous pride), so that He may exalt you (to a place of honor in His service) at the appropriate time. (vs 7) casting all your cares (all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares about you (with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully).
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV) -
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may liftyou up in due time, cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Okay, let's dive in and see what all is promised to us here ~~~
Can you think for a second about God’s strong right hand? What that represents from His Word? It’s referenced when He rescues His people - when describing His power and His authority - His dominion and His sovereignty over all things - It is a powerful image to ponder.
Now, humble yourself under that strong right hand of power. Submit in total trust to Him in every area of your life that today feels scary and bigger than you and out of control. Just bend the knee and say, “Lord I trust you completely”.
Can I ask you to do this little exercise real fast? Think of someone you know in real life who is genuinely a humble person. Now think of someone you know who is pretty manipulative? I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that you probably did not think of the same two people...because we are not truly humble and truly manipulative at the same time. Those two things don't dwell together very well.
Here’s my point - it is very, very unlikely that you will be trying to work your angle when you are opting to stay truly humble underneath God's very capable hand. Just make the decision to tuck yourself right there under His right hand of power, and to be humble enough to trust Him fully and to believe His word His promises are true. None of these current circumstances change His promises - they have no power or ability to alter even one single promise of the Lord. That’s our working definition of humbling ourselves in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic of the year 2020.
When we do that, He right here promises to lift us up in due time. So that’s actual patience working itself out in real life. And don’t tell me you don’t have any patience. If you know Jesus then you have the Holy Spirit within you. (Ephesians 1:13 from the ESV says, "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.")
So trust Him to lift you up at just the right time in just the right way if you’ll do what He says here and humble yourself under His mighty hand. Also, to be under His hand means you need to be right by His side. Get by the Lord’s side and remain by the Lord’s side and don’t run off! Stay there and stay safe. Don’t be doin’ all the things the CDC says and fail to do what God says. Get there & stay there in humility and trust. Because if you don’t really really trust God then I am not sure you are really really humble.
(You can read Matthew 11:29-30 to see what Jesus says about being yoked to Him and not being overwhelmed by the weariness and budens we're all feeling right about now.)
And remember that verse 7 tells us to cast all of our anxiety on the Lord - and the word all really does mean ALL. He has broad shoulders. He can handle all your anxiety.
There is comfort upon comfort for us in this verse. It’s all ours for the taking, all ours for the having, if we just choose to accept that what the Lord is saying to us here is true - this is our truth. This is my truth - this is your truth.
And lastly, but for sure not least of all, this verse promises - promises!!! - that God cares about you...not just about the whole world, which of course He does, but about just you right here in this mess.
And it even tells you how much He cares in pretty explicit detail. With deepest affection.
Finally - He promises here to watch over you very carefully.
What does it look like in real life when you do something very carefully? Very carefully does the Lord God care for you.
So stay by His side, under His mighty hand of protection, believe He will lift you up at the right time and don’t hang on to even one ounce of anxiety, worry, fret or fear in this season. Keep talking to Him and keep seeking Him and loving Him and trusting Him.
This is your coronavirus promise. And it’s mine, too.
Hang tight, friends. We are one day closer to Jesus’ return and we are here now to show His hope to a very frightened world.
Lord bless you - see ya soon!
Can I pray for you?
Email me at JanLBurt@outlook.com
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In 1 Samuel chapter 17, we read the inspiring and very well-known true life story of David defeating the Philistine giant Goliath in the Valley of Elah.
It's a story for the ages of epic proportions that gives us hope for those impossible situations that loom larger than life in our own modern day moments...right here on the plains of Kansas rather than the ancient Valley of Elah.
But the point the Lord made to me was as much about chapter 21 of 1 Samuel as it was the 17th chapter.
It was as much about my own fears as it was about fearless David-type of living.
Maybe you've dealt with fear recently?
Maybe you have, at some point in your life, defeated your personal Goliath & now find yourself unsure about why you're so fearful right now when you've already seen the Lord do the miraculous on your behalf?
In chapter 21, David is on the run from King Saul. While he was once the hero in the battle for Israel (against Goliath and his people, the violent and oppressive Philistines) he is no longer the darling of the kingdom, at least not in the eyes of the jealous & rage-filled king.
After being the go-to guy on the battlefield when every other solider was quaking in their sandals, David was now on the outs. Ain't that just the way sometimes? The phrase "No good deed goes unpunished" comes to mind!
So David, in his haste to escape Saul's death threats (which were far more than just threats...he fully intended to act on them!) fled with no weapons or food. He ended up fleeing to the city of Nob, and there he met with the priest Ahimelech. Now, this priest was no fool and he was very afraid that David's presence there in Nob could lead to trouble if he were there of his own accord, especially if he were, say, running for his life.
But David told a lie and said he was there on the king's business...and Ahimelech had compassion on David, giving him food (not just any food, either...) And then David asked the priest if there was, by chance, a sword or a spear he could use. And there certainly way! The very same sword that had belonged to the now deceased giant Goliath...in fact, the very same sword David had used to cut off Goliath's head after he had sunk a rock deep into his forehead.
So, here's where the Lord spoke straight into my heart from this passage.
In verse 9 of chapter 21 of the book of 1 Samuel, when the priest Ahimelech tells David that he has access to Goliath's sword, here is David's response: "There is none like it; give it to me."
Those words floored me. All in the blink of an eye, I understood that I had done what David had done...and it wasn't good, what I had done.
When Goliath bore this exact weapon back in the Valley of Elah, he would have wanted the very sight of it to strike fear in David's heart, to render him petrified with fear. But, of course, it did no such thing. David loaded his sling, aimed true to his mark, and used that fear-weapon to remove the giant's head from his shoulders. Boom.
And now, just four chapters later, David is picking up the very weapon that his enemy had intended to use against him...
In the podcast I share the story of 2 events in my life that were similar yet different...and how I took the weapon my enemy tried to use against me during the first event (that weapon being FEAR) and tried to use it in some weird manner to move God's needle to answer my panicky, fearful prayers during the later event involving my health...I was not in the least bothered by the enemy brandishing "FEAR FEAR FEAR" in stage one...and in stage two, I picked up that same weapon of "FEAR FEAR FEAR" and found my prayers being driven by fear and not by faith.
Fear based praying robs God of worship He deserves.
Fear based praying leaves us empty and self-focused.
Fear based praying is the equivalent of using Satan's weapon to try and influence God's response to us.
It is gross.
And it had to be expelled from my life.
I traded it out and now pray from a place of rest - and the peace Jesus gives me is amazing and refreshing. And it's available to you, too.
If you have an area of your life where you have taken up the weapon your enemy used against you in the past and now find yourself fighting with that same weapon today, can I encourage you to lay it down and just opt to rest in Jesus?
Trust Him enough to refuse fear a place in your prayer life.
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