People Break Walls With More Than A Shout

I say:
I'm ready to break walls with my shout.
Waiting for God's strength to break forth through me.
Thou voice in me, I command you, SHOUT!

But He whispers:
"People break walls with more than a shout."

Really? How do they do that? What about the walls of Jericho? Surely, they broke down those walls with a shout. He whispers again. It's barely audible, but I hear Him. "You need more than a shout."

Most of us are familiar with the song that goes like this, "the walls of Jericho fell down flat, the walls of Jericho fell down flat, when the children of God were praising the Lord, the walls of Jericho fell down flat."

That song has this unmistakable vibe to it. It makes me feel like I'm about to destroy the devil's camp, like I'm part of a marching army, a though a movie director is in the background shouting to me from the other side of the set, "Lights. Camera. Action!" I'm dressed for the scene and all I need to do is SHOUT when the trumpets sound. Fiction or not, some walls are going to have to come crashing down.

Wait, wait, wait. Hold up! Rewind!

People break walls with more than a shout!

There are some important things we need to do before we even dare to shout.

I) Know the plan. Before Joshua executed this idea of marching around Jericho and 'shouting', He knew the plan. God had already told Him that they would take over the city. And even after that, Joshua sent two spies into the land to confirm if it was time to move. The men came back and said, "The people's hearts are fluttering because they've heard stories about God parting the Red Sea for us." Aha, that confirmed everything. So Joshua was certain that God's hand was in this and that He wanted them to get this territory. He had already paved the way by allowing terror to fall on the people. The road was zoned, the map plotted. The plan was set. If God is not in it, your shouting ain't gonna crash any walls.

People break walls with more than a shout!

II) Follow the instructions. The truth is many of us love shortcuts. I mean, we have shortcuts for everything under the sun. We have drive-throughs at banks, vending machines at work, pre-packaged lunches from grocery stores, and millions of Apps for our smart-phones. We're in a microwaveable generation where it's always time to go! But God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still wants us to absorb the moment and take solid steps (not shortcuts), take in the entire process and build our character/personalities while we're at it. The instructions for taking down Jericho were: 1) Pack food and water because you will need it. 2) Cross over the Jordan River on dry land (it took them 10 days to walk through the river). 3) Every day (for 7 days) wake up in the morning and walk around the walls of Jericho 7 times (if you calculate the amount of times they walked around the city in those 7 days, it would be 7 * 7 = 49). 4) On the 7th day (and the 7th walk) when you hear the trumpets, give a loud shout (this is when the "shout" finally surfaces).

People break walls with more than a shout. But they also take over cities with more than broken walls.

III) Go in and fight for victory. What many of us miss is the action after the prayer. The fighting after the shout. The doing after the talking. The execution after the strategy. We're all puff and no smoke most times. If the children of Israel had only shouted, the walls would have crashed, yes, but the city still would not have been taken if the people had not actually fought the battle. (For full story, read Joshua Chapters 1-6)

So people break walls with more than a shout. But they also take over cities with more than broken walls.

I am so excited about this lesson that I am looking forward to applying it to my life soon. I hope you are too. Let us break down walls with more than our shouting, and let us take over cities with more than broken walls. Dear Readers, I hope you understand this. May God bless you and empower you to achieve victories by listening to Him for valid instructions this year.

5 Shocking Things That Make Us Forget

You finally find yourself on the fantasy vacation you've been purposely orchestrating for the past fifteen months. As you climb out of the yellow taxi, you hold your two luggages tightly in each hand, and then a smile breaks forth upon your face. You suddenly feel like dancing to a melodious tune, even while still standing out there on the side-walk. Alas, you made it.

As you step into this beautiful place, you're almost in tears because deep inside, you know how you had to jump through hoops to secure this two-week get-away. It wasn't easy, yet somehow you managed to do it. You're here. You're here! You can hardly believe it. After 6 years of working for the company, you could finally afford this luxurious vacation. A dream come true.

And so you wake up late the next morning and decide to take a stroll down the beach. Maybe take five minutes of your morning to do a personal inventory on your life so far, you tell yourself.

You put your hands in pockets full of cotton and walk down the beach with nothing but your bare feet, a pretty dress, and the sun kissing the tips of your shoulders. You pause once in every few steps to pick up sea shells and throw them against the lures of the wind. It feels so warm beneath your feet, and you feel you're far away from the evil throes of winter. Far away from storms, protests, tornadoes, or even earthquakes. It's just you in this quiet place, a rented island.

After walking for a while, you decide to sit on a tiny plot of the purest, whitest beach sand you've ever seen on this side of the Pacific, and then you raise your eyes to the sky to see how blue it is, and you smile for the second time today, because you just know...that you're in bliss right now and you don't ever want to forget this moment. A moment like this comes only a few times in one's lifetime, if not just once. An experience like this does not fade away easily. And if there's ever a place called one-mile-from-Heaven, this is it. Right here.

Your personal inventory reads like this: In the past year, you've lived in one of the largest, busiest, and most lucrative cities of the world. Check! You bought a house last year (not just a house, but a 2000ft home). Check! Furniture fit for a queen. Check! Employed a landscape architect to put olive trees in the backyard. Check! Water fountain. Check! Gated home. Check! Security. Check! Good pay. Check! Plus, being married to a man who loves you (and who is also made). Check! What more could you ask for? Your dreams have been fulfilled and are still being fulfilled even right now in this very moment. It's been challenging and life has not been perfect, but you can still say "Look, I have achieved all this."

But you, my dear, seem to have forgotten one critical thing. That it was God who brought you through this journey and you would never have been able to do it on your own without Him.

* * * * * * * * * *

Today, dear readers, I want to remind you of something that might not be a constant part of your memory. You see, before we were all born, God spoke the world into existence with a Word. And there was life.

Nothing exists in this world that was not framed by His word. All things belong to Him and originated from Him. He begot life and all that life has to offer. He is the ultimate Architect, designing the world to the standard of His majesty. He is the Author of Intelligence and everything intelligence produces, including our works (and the wealth these works provide) are from Him. By His Spirit, we also are moved to go out there and create beautiful things and attain conquests. There's no journey that we go through in this life that He has not orchestrated and allowed, so to Him all the glory must be 24 hours of every single day.

I read something this morning that reminded me of how we often forget the Source. In Deuteronomy Chapter 6, verses 10-12, the children of God were being reminded about 5 things that could make them forget about the miraculous journey God had brought them through:

“So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities (1) which you did not build, houses full of all good things (2), which you did not fill, hewn-out wells (3) which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees (4) which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full (5)— then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage."

Did you spot the 5 things? Large cities (or inheritances), houses full of good things, hewn-out wells (or sources of water), vineyards and olive trees (or natural resources), and the biggest one - FOOD. These things, which came from God Himself, can make us get carried away if we're not careful, such that we forget the Source of all things. So today, take a stand to REMEMBER. And remembering where we come from and how far God has brought us (even in the midst of challenges) causes us to break forth into praise. You won't be able to stop His worship.
What do you think about the things that make us forget? Sound off your thoughts in the comments. Lots of love, me. 

The Opinion That Matters The Most

[Image by Philippe on Flickr]

It took thirty-eight critical years for an invalid to know whose opinion mattered the most. He had been paralyzed for 38 years and was finally approached one day and told to pick up his bed and WALK.

Are you kidding? First of all, in all his 38 years of sickness he'd never heard of that sort of nonsense. "Pick up your bed and walk." Just like that? Secondly, here comes this man, called Jesus, telling him to do this on the Sabbath day of all days, a holy weekly observation when people aren't supposed to do so much as lift a finger.

Yes, He said it. "Pick up your bed and walk." And boy-oh-boy, if He was bold enough to command a 38-year old paralysis to leave this body on the Sabbath, then this invalid was definitely willing to take a crazy shot at faith. And guess what? He did exactly what was asked of him. And it worked! He suddenly found himself taking beautiful strides beside the pool in front of which 38 seconds ago he had laid there paralyzed. So whose opinion became the most important to Him? You guessed it right. Jesus! (See John 5).

So later when the keepers of the law came to meet this man saying, "it is the Sabbath. You are not authorized to take up your bed," he looked them dead in their eyes and boldly replied, "The man who healed me, that man said to me, "Take up your bed and walk."

At that instant, He realized that no other opinion in the entire universe mattered more to him than the one which restored his life back to him along with the 38 years he'd been defeated.

"The Man Who Healed Me." His opinion had become higher than anyone else's.


Dear Readers,

In the recesses of the powerful phenomenon known as 'The Mind,' we humans have piled up such unbelievably immense amounts of subject matter. In this generation of crushing technology, information is only found at the flick of our finger-tips. Who could have foreseen that the Internet age would make it so easy? Due to this age of technology, we have voluminous amounts of opinions from countless resources all fighting for a second of our attention span.

But this year, I want to challenge you to take a different approach to the way you select the opinion that matters. Let's be like the man who was healed by Jesus, who said, "But the man who healed me, that man said to me, "take up your bed and walk." All of a sudden, all the information in that man's brain became streamlined to just one source. Every object in his mind pointed to Jesus, and all his thoughts became subject to the love of Christ ("what manner of man is this who chooses to heal me on a day like this?")

You can make that choice too, no matter what you're going through. Choose the most important opinion and stick to it. Be ruthless with your choices this year, because they will affect the potential of the rest of your life. It is only 13 days into 2012 and a lot of transformations have already taken place in the world to set the pace for the rest of the year.

In whatever you do, choose God's Opinion

Because He is God and holds time in His hands, the opinions of how my time would be spent this year will not be dictated by the standards of the world but by God's standards. Because the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, I will choose to occupy whatever territory He places me in. Because His Word is true, I will choose to seek what He says before I take any actions. Because He is the center of my universe, I will choose to hold on to His Word more than holding on to gravity or fickle political sabotages. Because He places kings and princes in charge, I will choose to respect authority. Because He is a refuge for the oppressed (Psalm 9:9), I will also trust Him to set at liberty those who are currently being oppressed in the world today. Whatever the case may be, we must be careful to put His Word before ours, and His will before ours. His opinion is what matters the most above all else. So when I take my stance on world affairs, I want it to be planted in the Word of God first.

So friends, whose opinion will matter the most to you this year? I pray that even as you #occupy your territories, you will choose Him first and let His Word direct your every move in these perilous times. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). What do you say? 

There's Much More To The Fact (A 2012 Musing, Part Deux)

[Image by Meredith]

"Let us go up at once and occupy the land, for we are well able to overcome it."~Caleb. Numbers 13:25-31

Let us go up into their midst
In full force
Broad Daylight
Let us do the unthinkable
The Unexpected
Like roaring lions on a fixed mission
Let us rise up and do the bidding
Shock them beyond comprehension
Break through the confines of limitations
And finally let go of our myopic views
To grab a hold of a brighter day
To see the original truth, and nothing but the whole truth
(by me)

Dear readers, let me ask you an important question. Do you think Caleb was so blind and stupid that he could not see that the men of Canaan were way bigger than himself and the rest of the Israelites? 

Today, I want to introduce the fabulous idea that he was not blind or stupid like you might think. He was there live with the rest of the eleven spies, and while the rest were marveling at the appearances of the giants, he was also being flabbergasted at their heights and the way they were so strongly built. He probably even shivered at thoughts of having to fight for the land with these strong giants. But you see, what I want to bring to the table here is that there was a difference to the way he was thinking. There was something else that he had which the others lacked woefully, and it was the 'complete truth.'

While the other spies only saw the giants, Caleb also saw a God who could WIN regardless of how tall or strongly built they were. While the others only saw fresh grapes, Caleb's mind had already fast-forwarded to how it would soon be him eating those fresh grapes and enjoying the milk and honey.

Fact + Facts:

You see, there are facts, and then there are "complete facts." You cannot take a fragment of a story and call it "The Story." We become our own destiny-killers when we can't see the full story. Most times our views are so myopic that we set up limitations for ourselves when there never was supposed to be any. 

It's time to break free of your limitations...

We see only 20% of the story when there's 80% more to be deciphered. We see only a fragment of the real deal when there is the whole substance waiting to be unveiled. There was once a myth that portrayed human beings as only having the ability to use 10% of their brains, and although this is not true according to reports from MSN Health, I dare-say some of us hardly utilize the full capacities of our intelligence. 

There's more to the basic facts, friends. There's more to the Spirit. There's more to life. There's more work done behind the scenes that we can ever thank God for in the physical. It would take having the eyes of a man such as Caleb to understand that whenever we see facts, we can rightly divide those facts against the complete truth (which ultimately is the Word of the mighty and living everlasting God). 

In 2012, may God open our eyes to not just see the giants in our lives, but to also see the God who is able to train us and skill us so finely that we will be able to take out these giants with only as much as the sounds of trumpets. Amen.

Sound Off your thoughts in the comments...
Happy New Year again...LOVE, me.