My Lenten Journey – Day 40-41

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 40 – 41
Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There (Part 2)

The LORD may be slow to anger, but He does get angry and His anger has consequences. His chosen people had chosen the world over Him, and so He chose to place them in captivity to the Babylonians for seventy years. The city of Jerusalem would be invaded by the Babylonians three times, each time taking more captives.

The Study book tells us how in biblical times a name usually described an individual’s character. The first reference to the name Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There, is from the LORD Himself in the Book of Ezekiel.
—“The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).
In Ezekiel the Lord lays out very detailed plans for a city, a new Jerusalem, for the old was to be destroyed. By naming His city using the word shammah, which literally means ‘there’, the LORD is assuring His people that He will come. He will be there in the new Jerusalem.

The reference to the name Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There, is actually the last sentence in the Book of Ezekiel. We also read in the Study book that Ezekiel can basically be broken into two parts; the LORD is NOT there (Chapters 1-32) and the LORD IS there (Chapters 33-48).
It was written for those Jews who had been taken into Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel was taken in the second invasion and was not called to prophesy until he had been captive for about five years. It was clear the LORD’s judgment of captivity had not brought about the repentance and reform so necessary for His people to be reconciled. The same sinfulness and idolatry followed them from Jerusalem into captivity. In fact, they thought Ezekiel’s prophesy about the impending destruction coming on the city of Jerusalem was not believable. They couldn’t accept that the LORD would give the Babylonians world dominion, especially over them. After all, they were His chosen people. Falsely believing all was well, because they had the ‘necessary credentials’, they made no changes in their wayward lifestyle. (Think saying I am Saved because I believe, and then living life outside of His commandments.)

So, in the first part of Ezekiel, the city of Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed. But the people had greatly angered a jealous LORD (Qanna).
—“You shall have no other Gods before me… You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children…”(Exodus 20:3-6)

In Chapter 10, after repeated warnings to the people, and right before Jerusalem fell in battle and was to be destroyed, Ezekiel actually witnessed, and recorded, the glory of the LORD departing from the temple.
—“Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them” (Ezekiel 10:18-19).

It’s hard to accept that we could anger the LORD so much He would depart from us. Idolatry will trigger a jealous God’s anger about as quick as anything. We must remember though that His is a holy and godly jealousy.
He created each of us in His image and likeness. There is no room, nor reason, to bow down and worship any other God, be it spirit, or worldly. We must be careful to whom or what we give reign over our lives, lest we become like the captives and see Him depart from our temple.
“—and God acted according to His name, just as He had warned His people He would. He left Jerusalem”(2 Corinthians 11:2).

When Ezekiel fell on his face and cried out to the LORD asking if He was to bring the remaining remnant of Israel to a complete end, He gave a message to take to the people.
—“Thus says the LORD GOD, ‘I shall gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I shall give you the land of Israel.’ …And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:16-19).

So, our name is still Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There.
Yet, today we have learned that He can also not be there! Keep in mind here, that while we may be wandering or captive to our own evil ways; while we may have angered Him so that He has departed from our temple, He has not left us without hope, without a vision for our future… where He is already there waiting.
Still, today we haven’t quite reached that point of fully understanding the name of  Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There.
And yes, we will continue to seek that full understanding as we go forward.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Can you think of a time you know made the LORD angry? Did you feel cut off or abandoned? Did you regret it? Did you repent, confess, and try to make reparations? If not, it’s not too late. He is there waiting. He lovingly forgives all.

Further action if so inclined:
Do you believe the LORD sent this virus into our world? Is He holding us captive within our own homes? If so, what is He asking of us? Think this through honestly and decide, either way, what you will change. How will you be different or better, when set free? Who will you thank and praise? Hopefully, Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There.

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My Lenten Journey – Day 39

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 39
Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There (Part 1)

“Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18).

We are a ‘live for today’ world. Many of us want, actually believe, we are entitled to instant gratification. Many believe it is a ‘right’ (Not talking Constitutional rights here) to be personally happy, personally satiated, no matter the situation; even at the expense of others. As a result many have blinders on; have lost their vision of the future. As a result many live in captivity, held there by their repetitive refusal to leave behind their self-serving ways; captives to their world of selfishness and sinfulness.

In Biblical days, the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, wandered for forty years in the wilderness, captives to their own evil hearts filled with lust and debauchery. The LORD had rescued them from the chains of slavery they suffered under the Egyptians, only to have them turn to idolatry instead of to Him. After warning them multiple times through His trusted Prophet, Jeremiah, and promising them a righteous path to salvation, He allowed them to enter Canaan, the Promised Land of Milk and Honey. And what did they do amid all this beautiful and fertile land? They went right back to their evil ways! They also had the gall to believe in false prophets and this greatly angered the LORD. He enslaved them to the Babylonians for 70 years! However, not without hope, not without a vision for the future:
“This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile” (Jeremiah 29:10-14).

These verses from Jeremiah 29:19-14 hold within them some of the most well known and often used Biblical phrases from our LORD. You often see verse 11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
It is a beautiful and comforting verse no matter how it’s interpreted. I wonder how many know it in it’s true context, though, as a vision for the future, as a hope given from the LORD, that a release from their captivity was forthcoming, albeit in His timing? (As everything IS!) There would be many hard lessons to learn while banished into Babylonian captivity, but this was a promise the righteous could hold onto through it all.

Another you often see is verse 13:
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Many seek Him, but not with their whole heart. He doesn’t want ‘lip service’ (repeated memorized prayers with the feeling and intent long gone from them). He doesn’t want ‘tongue in cheek’ words or service (seeking the approval of men without real concern or selflessness in giving).  He doesn’t want ‘words from both sides of the mouth’ (professing one Truth, but living an entirely different one). He wants none of that. He wants a heart that has been wandering, or in captivity, to yearn for, to desire only the love, rest, and comfort being with Him can provide. No other idol, man made or spirit, can have a root in the heart that seeks Him. It must be uprooted and thrown out, that He May abide in every space therein.

Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There, is our name. While we haven’t quite reached the point of full understanding, and we will for sure going forward, for today let’s stop here. We have learned that while the LORD may be slow to anger, (Think Patience with a capital P!) it is possible to anger Him. He may even set us aside for awhile, wandering or in captivity, but He does so while leaving a vision for the future in our heart, a hope for His redemption. If His hope is in us, His Spirit is with us. He IS there!

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
I once read a great spiritual meditation on verse 13 above, which I will share with you. It’s from a devotional book, “A Deeper Walk” and this particular one is called, “Life’s Breath”.
—An inquirer went to a wise hermit who was known as a man of God. “Tell me the way of salvation,” he asked. The hermit led him to the river. There he grabbed the inquirer and held his head under the water. The man fought desperately to get free, but the hermit was strong and held him under. Finally, when he thought his lungs would burst and he had nearly lost all strength, the hermit released him. As the man coughed and gasped for breath, the hermit said, “When you want salvation as much as you wanted air, you will find it.”  God knows that we will not truly come to Him until we realize that our lives depend on it. When we recognize that we need God more than anything, we will seek Him desperately.

Ask yourself what it is you desire most?

Further action if so inclined:
Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt His presence in a strong and very personal way?Remember, dwell in the memory of it, and then thank and praise Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There.

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My Lenten Journey- Days 37-38

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 37-38
Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness

“Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

The LORD made His Covenant with Abraham—that his descendants would be fruitful and multiply; they would become many nations and would bear great kings.  He kept His Covenant—for His promises endure forever.

The LORD delivered His people of Israel from their bondages of slavery in Egypt, even parting the Red Sea for their safe passage, all with the intention of leading them to the ‘promised land of milk and honey’, Canaan.

However, as they journeyed many fell away into the depths of sin and idolatry, eventually becoming more and more corrupt in their evil ways. Because of their evil hearts and their refusal to listen to God’s words to them, He left them wandering in the wilderness for forty years. He could no longer accept them as His people and nothing less than repentance and a return to righteousness would restore them to Him.

He sent His prophet Jeremiah to warn them of His impending judgment.  Even when presented with a path back to holiness and sanctification, they declared themselves hopeless, saying they would continue to follow their own ways according to the stubbornness of their own evil hearts.
A lost cause if you ever heard one, right?

Through His prophet Jeremiah the LORD chastised them:
“The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse—who can understand it? I the Lord test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land (Jeremiah 23:5).

So, His original Covenant was being threatened by the unholy ways of His own people. And yet, He was Jehovah-raah, The LORD My Shepherd! These were still His Sheep. And as we learned previously, He searches out and tries to bring home His lost sheep.

As Jehovah-Jireh, their Provider, and in order to fulfill His Covenant with Abraham and His Promise to David, of a King and a kingdom that would endure forever, He established a righteous Branch—One who would reign as king, and seated at the right hand of God, The Father, judge the righteousness of the deeds and the hearts of every created being, when on that final day of judgment each would stand naked before Him.

His name is Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness!
Through this righteous Branch comes the fulfillment of the LORD’s promise to David, and with it the promise of a New Covenant to replace the old. A New Covenant of Grace.

Because of this New Covenant, none of us are a lost cause. You might want to read that again… NONE, Not one, not even YOU, are a lost cause. No matter how far away you have wandered; no matter how many times you ignored Him calling to you; no matter how many times you refused His attempts to bring you home; no matter what evil deeds you have committed, He waits patiently, with ever-loving arms open wide to welcome you back. He Promises, and His Promises are forever.

How is this even possible? And Why?
The why is the easiest to answer, as it is because He loves us with an Everlasting Love. As Elohim, Our Creator, He made us by His Love, In His Love, and for His Love, and in His own image and likeness. Because of that deep abiding love, He is willing to give us as many do-overs as it takes, up until the day He calls us home and has to decide where we will live out our eternity: in the Grace of Everlasting Life with Him in Heaven, or enslaved with Satan in the fires of Eternal Hell.

As to how it is possible—
He leaves the choice to us, and yet, in His Merciful Forgiveness, provides the path to Sanctification and Holiness (Remember Jehovah-mekoddishkem, The Lord Sanctifies You?). It is through the Branch of Righteousness, His only begotten Son, The Lord, Jesus Christ, The Good Shepherd Who lays down His Life for us, that we are given the Holy Gift of The New Covenant—a New Life.

Here, again we see how all the names we have studied are coming together as a never ending circle ⭕️ of Life. Through His names all is worked to the good of all His children.

So, the name is Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness! It is a name to call upon when you have succumbed to your own evil ways, a name through which righteousness can be restored, no matter how wretched a sinner you are.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Do you wish you had a reset button, a do-over, for certain areas of you life? You do, but you must go through (call upon His name) Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness. Ask him to point out any and all areas in which you need to be made righteous. Then seek His unending Mercy and unbinding Forgiveness. Then, in thankful praise, give Him your firm commitment to do and be better. It’s a process that must be often repeated, but a necessary one to be made Sanctified and Holy.🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
Are there sheep you may be leading astray through your words and actions? Or maybe through words left unsaid and in-actions?
Search your heart on this very important point, for the LORD says,
“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture! (Jeremiah 23:1)

We are not only accountable to Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness, for our own actions (sins) but also for the sins we lead others to commit. That’s one of those hard to hear declarations. One none of us likes to think about.
If you search your heart and find areas that need action or correction, call upon both Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness, AND Jehovah-nissi, The Lord Is My Banner, to lead you to right solution, to the one that is for the good of all.

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My Lenten Journey – 35-36

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 35-36
Jehovah-raah, The LORD My Shepherd

23d Psalm:
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most beloved prayers for those who need guidance, those who need comforting, and those who need hope. Just reading through it makes one feel feel loved, protected, and peaceful.

For the LORD to be our shepherd though, we must be His sheep.
“For this reason the Father loves, Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. . . . But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;” (John 10:17 and 26-27).

How do we know we follow the right shepherd and not an imposter?
He tells us in His own words in the following excerpts from John 10:
—Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. . . .
—The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy. . . .
—He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. He flees because He is a hireling and not concerned about the sheep.
If we are not following the right shepherd we will not feel love, protected, and peaceful. Instead, we will feel insecure, fearful, and distressed. We will wander through this earthly life aimlessly.

To be one of His sheep is to be known by our name. When He appears at the gate, He calls each of His sheep by name, and they follow wherever He leads them. Even if a strange shepherd calls out to them they will not go to him, because they do not know His voice. They do not trust what they do not know to be true.

There are other sheep outside of His flock, who do not understand, and in their ignorance have followed a different shepherd. Because our LORD is the Good Shepherd, He does not want to leave them behind. “I have other sheep, which are not of this flock; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd” (John 10:16).

What happens when we are part of His flock and we wander off, or go astray?
He comes and finds us! And if we refuse to come, He waits patiently throughout our earthly life for us to realize our mistake and return.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:4-7).

What if we repeatedly wander off?
One tool a shepherd has in his arsenal, to keep a repeat wanderer close by, is called a ‘leg brake’. Note the spelling, brake not break. He has a way of putting the brakes on the sheep, lol. It’s similar to a ball and chain. The shepherd attaches a weight to the sheep’s leg, but only heavy enough to slow its gait. In this way the Shepherd has a better chance of seeing and stopping the wanderer before it gets too far away. While the sheep may be a bit uncomfortable, it remains safe and protected within the shepherd’s care. In time the sheep will come to trust its shepherd’s care and will no longer yearn for greener pastures, so to speak. The ‘leg brake’ can then be removed.
Throughout this Study we have seen how the LORD sometimes renders His people helpless or brings them to their knees in order to make them realize their need of Him. He uses that ‘leg brake’ when we stray because He wants us to return to His loving care, to return to His flock and be safe.

How does the Good Shepherd protect His sheep from harm?
He lays across the gate opening so that nothing can get in and harm them without first going over or through Him. Nor, can the sheep get out without doing the same. He protects them with His own body.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one” (John 10:27-30).

So, the name is Jehovah-raah, The LORD My Shepherd. It is a name to be trusted, a name to be called upon when we wander far from the Truth, or lose our way because we can not hear His voice in our heart.

Jehovah-raah, The LORD My Shepherd, is also the name by which we we enter the gates of heaven. He lays down (in the gate) His life for His sheep…
—“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).
—“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Are you feeling insecure, fearful, and distressed? Who do you look to for shepherding? A parent, a friend, a counselor? Maybe they aren’t enough.

Read John 10 in its entirety and claim His Truth. Call upon the name of Jehovah-raah, The LORD My Shepherd! He is searching for you already. He will hear you ‘bleating’ from the wilderness and come to find you. He PROMISES, and His promises neverchange.

Further action if so inclined:
Read Psalm 23 again…

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

It’s a great prayer to memorize! I did so many years ago and have found great comfort and refuge in it.

(As an aside: Whenever you find Jesus saying ‘Truly, truly I say to you’ in the Bible, sit up and take note for what follows is always very important to our faith, aka a Truth. I have marked it all through my own Study Bible.)

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My Lenten Journey- Day 34

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 34
Jehovah-sabaoth, The LORD of Hosts

‘Wit’ is a noun meaning mental sharpness and inventiveness; keen intelligence. It can also mean a keen sense of humor. Personally, I believe the two go hand in hand. At least in this family they do, lol. And, it’s been handed down from generation to generation. The LORD must have a great sense of humor! He most definitely has keen intelligence as He is Omniscient. He knows all! (If you have a sense of humor, He is a Know It ALL!)😁🙃

Have you ever been at your wits’ end? At the very limits of your emotional or mental capacities? Have you ever been so completely exhausted you can’t put one foot in front of the other? Have you ever been so lost you had no idea which way to turn? Have you ever been in a fight and felt you were out numbered? Some might say yes, and that’s when you tighten up your suspenders, roll up your pant legs, and ball up your fists. But, what if that isn’t possible because you are running out of time? Or you can’t see the demon you need to fight?

In the Bible, the Hebrew word ‘host’ is usually translated as ‘army’, but can also mean a great number or a multitude. Jehovah-sabaoth is both! He is the largest, strongest army there can ever be. His army is filled with His own mighty, battle tested angels!

When you seem to have no other recourse for deliverance, when you find yourself failing and powerless, you will come to know the name of Jehovah-sabaoth, The LORD of Hosts. It is the name David called upon when he faced the Philistine giant, Goliath, saying: “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted” (1 Samuel 17:45).

David defeated Goliath with one rock from a puny slingshot. And, it makes for very interesting and exciting reading. Here are a few excerpts from 1 Samuel:17.
—And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid…
—And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron…

So, if a true believer, with one rock and a puny slingshot, can muster the armies of the LORD of Hosts, how can we not believe He will do the same for us in our time of desperate need?

In the Study Book we learn that Jehovah-sabaoth, The LORD of Hosts, is not a name for those at their wits’ end who cease to fight, who give up. It is a name to run to when the battle is raging and there is no help on the horizon, but the fight is righteous in its cause. It is then you bow down the knee and call upon this name.
“Nations rage, kingdoms crumble;
the earth melts when He lifts His voice.
The LORD of Hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:6-7).

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Do you have a Goliath, a giant to be defeated, in your life? Be it a physical, mental, or sinful giant, Jehovah-sabaoth, The LORD of Hosts, has all the power needed to defeat it. Call upon Him in your youth and weakness, take aim with your rock and puny slingshot, and watch. His army will prevail.

Further action if so inclined:
Exactly who was David?

1 Samuel 17:55-58
—As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

Exactly who was Jesse?

Isaiah 11:1-2
—There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Putting it all together we realize that Jesus Christ comes from the lineage of Jesse, and through the son of Jesse, David. Can you see how David’s defeat of Goliath foretells the defeat of sin on the Cross by Jesus Christ? Our Salvation History is a remarkable, and sometimes violent story. Like Wit, where intelligence and humor go hand in hand, the Old Testament and the New Testament do also. The Old foretells and explains why the NEW.

If you have never spent any real time in the Word Of God getting to know your history, it would be a valuable thing to do.
Knowledge + Faith = Confidence!

As an aside, I am in awe of how the past couple of days in our Study, He seems to be bringing us full circle ⭕️ by tying things together, by showing us the relationships, the connections, between all these beautiful names! I hope you are seeing it too.

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My Lenten Journey – Day 33

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 33
Jehovah-shalom, The LORD is Peace

Philippians 4:4-7
—Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

What does it mean to be at peace? A world at peace is a world without war. Real world peace is not just the absence of war between nations, but rather nations and peoples coexisting within the spirit of Jehovah-shalom, The LORD is Peace. Without Him, there can be know earthly peace.

This earthly life can be tough at times. Many are filled with an anxious spirit over things they cannot control. Many are fearful over the unknown. Many worry about things that may never even come to pass. Anxiety, fear, and worry can rule our lives and actually make us physically ill. They can rob of us our health as much as any disease. They make peace elusive in our personal lives.

God does not want our hearts to be ruled by those three peace robbers. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2nd Timothy 1:7).

If we find peace elusive then we may not be walking in His Spirit.  Remember in the previous post that when we accept/allow His indwelling Spirit to fill us, we change both inwardly and  outwardly. We also receive the fruits (Think Gifts) of His Spirit within us. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).

Just as Jehovah-shalom, The LORD is Peace, is the one who gives peace to the world, He is also the peacekeeper who stands guard at the gates of your heart and soul. He is the name you can call upon in the darkness. He is the one who bids you time and again to not be afraid for He is with you.

Also, remember learning in this study that the LORD is steadfast in His promises and never changes? His Peace is the same. Regardless of your circumstances, regardless of your inner demons, His Peace never alters and never falters. It is a constant. When you open your heart it comes rushing in. When you walk in His Spirit it takes up residence in your soul.

That peace which transcends all understanding and guards your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus can only be found in Jehovah-shalom, The LORD is Peace.

Times are especially tough right now with this Pandemic Virus threatening all worldwide, but most especially within our own communities and our own homes. Once again, as He has throughout Salvation History, The LORD may be sending this awful virus to all His people to bring us to our knees. Remember how Jehovah-rapha, The God Who Heals uses such things as plagues to heal His people of their disobedient ways? We are His people! Can any one of us say, as a whole, we have been heading in the right direction? Is the world growing closer to the LORD or running in the opposite direction?

So, if Jehovah-rapha, The God Who Heals, is orchestrating this pandemic, and we are being brought to our knees, we are likely to fall victim to the three peace robbers of anxiety, fear, and worry. If so, we are in desperate need of Jehovah-shalom, The LORD is Peace. Are we not??

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Have the peace robbers stripped you bare?Does peace elude you? Can you name your biggest anxiety, fear, or worry. If you can then look back at the names of the LORD you have learned about so far. Is there one that speaks directly to your situation. If so, great! Call upon that name! But also call upon Jehovah-shalom, The LORD is Peace, and ask Him to fill you with His Peace.

Further action if so inclined:
He reminds us often that we are in this world but not of this world.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Even if just for today, fill your heart and soul with the things He gives you. Thank Him and treasure them, for they are your link to all that is good and peaceful in this earthly life.


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My Lenten Journey -Day 32

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 32
Jehovah-mekoddishkem, The LORD Who Sanctifies You

By definition the word sanctify means:
—to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use. (Think Consecrate)


—to free from sin. (Think Purify)

To be holy is to be perfect in goodness and righteousness. (Think Saintly)

In Leviticus 20:7-8, The LORD commands, “You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. And you shall keep my statues and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”

Do you even think it is possible for you to be sanctified? If not possible, why would God bother to call us each to holiness? And, why would He want to sanctify us, for we are weak, and we live in wretched sinfulness.

In the Study book we read that the purpose of our redemption is to make us holy. Read that again… The purpose of our being redeemed by Christ on The Cross is to make us holy. And why do we need to be holy? Isn’t being a good person good enough?

The LORD has said holiness is not an option. And, Jehovah-mekoddishkem, The LORD Who Sanctifies You, wants you to be sanctified for one very important reason, because only holiness can abide in the presence of the Most Holy God. There IT is. You might want to read that again also. For, if we hope one day to see the LORD, to be welcomed into Eternal Life with Him, we must be made holy. A pretty tall order for most of us, right?

But I am Saved, you say; because I believe, because I have accepted Him, I am Saved.
God most definitely wants you to accept His Son as your LORD and Savior, and commit your life to Him. That is the necessary first step to being made holy. With that acceptance, though, comes a transformation (Think Makeover) of the heart and soul. When we accept Him and commit to Him we awaken a craving within to be more like Him. When we welcome His in dwelling Spirit, we change, not only on the inside, but outwardly too. We walk differently (Think With Purpose), we speak differently(Think With Intent), we even look differently (Think Healthy Glow), because we are different. We have become a new being (Think Born Again) through Jehovah-mekoddishkem, The LORD Who Sanctifies You. Remember, we are created in His image and likeness to reflect His glory!

When God calls us to be holy, He does so by laying out a path to holiness. We don’t become holy, we are made holy by Jehovah-mekoddishkem, The LORD Who Sanctifies You.

In Exodus 31, upon Mount Sinai, the LORD spoke to Moses: “…speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you’… ‘It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.’ “

.After thus speaking, He gave Moses the two tablets of stone, written on by the finger of God. On those two tablets were The Ten Commandments, our path to holiness, to His sanctification of us. He stresses that we are to keep holy the sabbath, and that the whole purpose of the sabbath is to know (Think Keep Us Aware) that He is the LORD who sanctifies us.

If holiness then is not an option, if it is part of His perpetual covenant with His people, with Israel, and with His Church, we can say we are Saved, but to truly be Saved we must walk the path of holiness laid out in His Commandments.

The path to holiness is never a straight line. We try, we falter, we sin. We repent, we confess, we seek forgiveness, and we begin again; and through His mercifulness, again and again. Each and every time we turn back to Him, He welcomes us with wide open loving arms. Hopefully you are beginning to see that you cannot become holy on your own. You are made holy. You are sanctified.

How then does He sanctify us?
“By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified (Hebrews 10:10-14).
So, by His offering of Himself we are redeemed and sanctified through His Death, through His Body and Blood.

Just to recap: The LORD calls us to be holy; a necessity so that we may return to Him in Heaven at the end of our earthly life. It is in the Book of Leviticus that the LORD maps out for the people of Israel the path they (we) must follow to be made holy, so that they may be sanctified. Knowing full well our humanity, and how we will falter, he provides redemption, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Without redemption there will be no sanctification. Without sanctification there will be no Glorification. And, remember, He created us to glorify Him!

He is Jehovah-mekoddishkem, The LORD Who Sanctifies You. His is the name you call upon in order to be Redeemed, to be truly Saved.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
God has sent you a personal invitation to be Saved. It requires an RSVP. How will you respond?

Further action if so inclined:
Read the two Scriptures below:

—Luke 22:14-20  When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

—1st Corinthians 11:27  Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.

Reflect on:
The  day after this Last Supper, He was beaten and whipped to within inches of His life. They needed him alive enough to carry His own crucifixion cross up to Mount Calvary. They spat on Him and crowned Him with a halo of thorns as a spectacle to be seen by His followers. He faltered and fell to the ground three times because He was weak and the Cross was heavy. The Cross was heavy with the weight of every sin you and I have ever committed or will commit in the future; heavy with the weight of every sin ever committed since the first original sin by Adam and Eve. They drove nails into His Hands and Feet and then raised Him up to hang there on that cross of our sins unto His death. He died, was buried, and on the third day He was Resurrected to Life and Risen into Heaven. By His Death, by His Blood, we are Redeemed.

We all falter. It’s what we do after we falter that helps us travel the path of holiness. Repent, Confess, Accept Forgiveness, and be made holy so that you may be redeemed and then sanctified by Jehovah-mekoddishkem, The LORD Who Sanctifies You.


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My Lenten Journey- Day 29-31

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 29-31
Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner

I mentioned in my Break Day post yesterday, that today’s name presented a bit of a challenge for me. I personally can think of many ways Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, is just that. And, I will share some of them. First, let’s roll with presentation in the book.

The author presents this name as one we can call upon to overcome sins of the flesh. She is definitely correct. She states, “A perpetual warfare is raging in our bodies: ‘For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please’ (Galatians 5:17). We can’t do the things we please; rather, we must constantly be on the alert, ever cognizant of the promise that if we walk by the Spirit we ‘will not carry out the desire of the flesh’ (Galatians 5:16).”

The first example given is that of Esau in Genesis. He was the first born son and rightful heir to Isaac. (Remember Isaac-The son Abraham was willing to sacrifice to God?) Esau’s birthright was forever linked to the Covenant given by God to Abraham (to prosper him among nations and bring forth a king {Christ} from his lineage.) Esau had little respect for his birthright and what it would mean for his future. In a rash decision he sold his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob, for a bowl of pottage (stew). Say what? In other words, he allowed his hunger, a mortal craving of the flesh, to take control of his senses, of his mind and his body. He traded what had eternal value for what could only give him temporal satisfaction.

I find all of the above very easy to understand and connect to the need for Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, in our lives. From there, I find the study book to a bit difficult to follow. I will try to simplify it, even if just for me, lol. By selling his birthright, Esau’s lineage was no longer connected to the Covenant. (Think Black Sheep of the family!) They still multiplied into a nation, as did Jacob’s lineage. Esau’s son, Eliphaz, begot another son, Amalek. The nation of Amalek became the nation of Israel’s (God’s Chosen People) bain of existence, attacking them at every turn as they fled Egypt. Amalek had no fear of, or reverence for, the LORD.

In the Book of Exodus, the LORD declared war against Amalek and his nation. He sent Moses and the Israelites into battle against him. Previously, He had Moses form a fiery serpent and attach it to a staff (pole) to serve as a reminder to the Israelites to always look up to it, if bitten, and they would live (a foreshadowing of Christ’s death on the Cross). As Moses held up the Serpent Staff in battle, so fared the Israelites. If he let it down they floundered. This is the first time that we see Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, mentioned. Under His Banner the Israelites prevailed!

My take on this…
If we give into the flesh we lose our heavenly birthright. Whether it is the literal sins of the flesh such as: lust, pornography, adultery, or the worldly sins of the flesh, such as greed, money, or material gain, we trade our heavenly future in for a self-gratifying temporary present.

A banner in biblical days was not necessarily a flag. It could be a standard (pole) with an object atop, such as a serpent headed staff like that of Moses, or a shield placed in front for protection. The standard bearer is the one we follow into battle. So, when the world is our temptress, when we find it difficult to keep it at bay, we need a standard bearer, a banner to fight under! We need to call upon Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner!

I mentioned earlier that I could think of some additional ways I would call on this particular name. There are times when we know something is wrong, that we, or someone we love, or even just someone we have a connection to, is doing wrong.

—Maybe they are taking advantage of a situation, not in a Christian way, and we are going to be put in a situation where we have to stand up for what is right by pointing out what is wrong.

—Maybe we are being asked to participate in an activity that is wrong or sinful.

—Maybe we know someone who is cheating, on a spouse, or in a sport, or cheating the company they work for.

I could go on and on, but I think you can see where I am headed. When something is wrong it should be made right. However, there is not always a clear path to do so. First of all, we must stop and determine if  the cause is righteous in the eyes of the LORD, if any action at all is truly needed. We must pay attention here and be sure, for some situations have a way of righting themselves through cause and effect. So, if you have a situation and have determined it needs to be made right, then ask the LORD to place you under His Banner as you seek to correct the situation. If your cause is not righteous, neither will be your outcome. Only in the Righteous Name of Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, will righteousness prevail in any situation you decide to intervene in. If unsure, it would  be better to call upon El Roi, The God Who Sees, and leave all in His Hands, than to act without confidence.

Here is one of my favorite ways to call upon this name. When you have conquered a sin, or followed His Will in a circumstance or situation, you will find all the needed support and help to continue doing so by walking in confidence while holding His Banner High above and out in front of you. In terms of Moses battling Amalek… as you hold up His Banner, so shall you fare in battle! When you are righteous and living in His Will for you, your best chance of continued success is to boast in the name of Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner!

We are ‘in’ this world but not to be ‘of’ this world. That is the real crux of life. How can we live a fulfilling life here on earth with our flesh fighting our Spirit at every turn? Only with our Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, out in front of us battling our temptations with us.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Are you in constant battle with the flesh, or the things of this world? You are really only passing through this world to get back home to God. Figure out your trigger points. Find something to keep you from trading your eternal birthright for temporary gratification. Maybe picture your hand as Satan’s hand before you click on that ‘site’, be it a porn site, a shopaholic site, or some other ‘bad for you’ site. Or, maybe put a sticky note on your computer monitor with Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner on it.

Further action if so inclined:
Choose one bad habit, sinful or otherwise, and ask Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, to help you defeat it, even if just for a day. When you defeat it, hold His Banner high and continue to conquer!

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My Lenten Journey- Break Day

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You”, by Kay Arthur.

Break Day – From Studying
Because Rest Is Also Productive

I heard myself telling a coworker yesterday that writing this Lenten Study was taking hours each day, that in fact, I was growing weary and ready to be done.

Why would I tell you this! Definitely NOT because I want you to stop reading what I’m writing. We all need to be fed (including me), if not just to satisfy our yearning, our desire, to feel a stronger connection and closer relationship with our LORD, but because Knowledge + Faith = Confidence! In these trying times we can all use a confidence boost. We need to know we are not alone, and especially like to feel others feel the same, or have similar issues.

I think reading or participating in studies such as this helps build our ecumenical community. God belongs to all of us regardless of our church affiliation. He didn’t just create me, or you, but every single being or creature in existence. Yes, He belongs to us all! There may be some real and important differences in our beliefs, and it may be a conversation to have sometime. (Some of you know I am Catholic. I love that the word literally means universal, all-encompassing.) However, that is not what this study is about! It IS about the God who belongs to us all; His unceasing Love for us; and some beautiful meaningful ways we can connect with Him in our daily faith journey.

I know I said above that I am ready to be done. Please believe me when I say that I regretted it the moment I said it. I am just tired, and wondering who am I, that I should be writing about God to anyone!! Satan knows me well. He takes my tiredness and self-doubt and stirs them into an elixir to rob me of the Grace of writing.

You see, I love to write, I love to create art in many ways, and I love music, the music of my life. But, God has chosen writing, and has led me, urged me, to write for Him. Actually, to write on His behalf.

Years ago, (2010) when I began my very personal Journey Through The Stillness, I asked Him why me? He told me then, and in no uncertain terms, that “I was His daughter, and what daughter would not speak out on behalf of her Father!”
So, if you asked me just who do I think I am, that’s all I would be able to tell you.

I have not been writing for some time. So why now? I have actually been in a spiritual desert for a long time, but I won’t go into that here. In hopes of rekindling my spirit, I began reading in one of my Journey Through The Stillness journals from 2011.

The first post for this study was February 26th. The corresponding journal entry from 2/26/2011 and read earlier that morning, was all about how the LORD, along with Mary, and all the Angels and Saints in heaven are arrayed to help me in this earthly life. (Think Communion of Saints!) In silence before Him, He said to me, “See child, we are your family. We are here to help in many ways. Learn more of us. Learn our specialties and call upon us in your times of need. We are your support system, your-all powerful , all-merciful, all-loving support. You need never be alone. Whatever the need, it is the specialty of one of us. We await, no we anticipate your every need, but await your plea for help. You are never alone unless you choose to be.”

The book, “LORD, I Want To Know You”, by Kay Arthur came to mind. I decided I would use this wonderful book, which had touched me years before, as my own personal Lenten study this year. And so I began, but with no intention of writing, let alone sharing. As I began reading I knew immediately I was going to be doing both. And so I did the first Day and posted it. And the next. And then self-doubt took over, lol. I was thinking this might be more than I can handle, more advanced, too overwhelming. And then, the corresponding journal entry that morning from 2/28/2011 just happened to be about that very thing. Back then I was publicly sharing my private journal on these very same sites. Here is that entry in its entirety:
“Today I am filled with doubt. I am questioning many things. I wonder again who am I that I should be writing and putting all these things out publicly. There are so many others more fitting, more educated, more worthy.  Knowing the work and words are not mine but His, I cant help but wonder is it reaching anyone, helping anyone, or am I really just writing for me. If it is for me, okay, because I want to write, I need to write. It is just that I approach it seriously, like it is my job. I spend hours a day at it, and at times it is overwhelming. I feel the weight, the great responsibility of my (His) words to others. It truly frightens me, as I would never, ever, want to lead anyone astray! It seems He has chosen to not allow much human feedback, and rightfully so, as I must fight the sin of pride and vainglory with every fiber of my being. And so I continue to follow what I sincerely believe to be His Will for my life. After all, I am His daughter, and what daughter refuses to speak out on behalf of her Father.” (After writing this I sat in silence before Him.)
In The Stillness, He said, “ I see you, child, fighting through your self doubt. I am with you. From the very beginning I have been here. Let it be enough. Continue to do my work. I am in control of it. Let your heart be mine and all will be as it should.”
Even reading this now, I just sit and think, wow. And I am so very humbled, I cry. Everyday, since I began posting the Study, the corresponding daily journal entries from 2011 have reinforced that I am doing His bidding.

Why am I sharing all of this today with you? Remember how I started out with my telling  a coworker yesterday that writing this Lenten Study was taking hours each day, that in fact, I was growing weary and ready to be done? Well… read today’s journal entry from 2011:
”Lately, I have been so pressed for time with appointments that when I come to The Stillness I am a bit resigned, a bit frazzled. He says to me, “Do not come out of obligation or fear. That is wrong and you will not be wholly open to my Spirit. You must come in desire of Me. You must come for love of Me and the knowledge that you need Me. A spirit that comes in love receives love. There is no hindrance to the back and forth flow of spiritual love. Remember, child, I am where you are. Come to me there.”

So today we take a study break. Instead, I’ve shared a bit of my personal faith journey with you. I’ve let you have a glimpse at two of my own demons, self doubt and pride. You wouldn’t think they go hand in hand, but believe me they do. I need to call upon El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, way more than I do!

And, about the spiritual desert I said I’ve been in for a long time. It is not one of lack of faith or prayer. It is one of learning to keep on coming to Him in The Stillness even when I feel nothing, receive no consolations, or tangible discernment; for in the beginning there was all of it. Now, it’s about learning to be there only because I love Him and He loves me. In other words, to just be me IN Him, and let Him just be IN me. Not always easy for me.

And, a bit of clarification about the Study. I am using the book to follow the order of His names used, and giving you the ‘gist’ of the author’s content in the meanings and background of each. However, much of the content is my sharing what I believe He wants said about His name. Sometimes I give ‘My Take’ on it, but it too is what I feel led to write. In fact, I have greatly surprised myself at the depth to which it goes. I read it afterward, and think, ‘Whoa, where did that come from?!’ Then I realize it wasn’t from me at all. So, I am learning too, right along with you.

Anyway, if you want to give this a ‘Like’ or share some of your own thoughts (and they are always welcome!), I’d love it. I ask that you don’t give me any accolades, for none of the content is truly mine. It’s only my hand writing His words. You don’t have to go so far in believing that as I do. I just hope the content of the Study brings you to a closer and stronger relationship with Our God.

Have a blessed day everyone. Tomorrow we move on to our next name. I’ve already read it and the content is somewhat of a challenge. I’m curious to see where it leads!

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My Lenten Journey – Day 26 – 28

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 26-28
A Short Review Thus Far

From the study book:
— In 1 Corinthians, the resurrection chapter, verse 46 reads, “However, the spiritual is not first, bu the natural; then the spiritual.” The primary subject in 1 Corinthians 15 is the first and last Adam: our body through the first Adam is a natural body, and through the last Adam, Christ, it’s a spiritual body. Within this statement is a principle—even in our reactions the natural will precede the spiritual. In other words, because we live in a natural body we can expect the natural impulse of the flesh to be first in our reactions!—

We often react to circumstances rather than respond to them through knowledge of our Lord. When we know our LORD (His names), when we walk in His Ways (call upon His name), we become filled with His Spirit. Filled with His Spirit, we respond rather than react. We respond through the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So far we have studied 8 beautiful names of the LORD. Here they are, each with its full meaning:
Elohim, The Creator
El Elyon, The God Most High
El Roi, The God Who Sees
El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One
Adonai, Your LORD and Master
Jehovah, The Self-Existent One
Jehovah-jireh, The LORD Will Provide
Jehovah-rapha, The God Who Heals

Because we live in a natural body, our natural instincts will always try to override, overrule, our spiritual inclinations.

Our goal in learning these beautiful names of the LORD, is to cultivate within ourselves a spiritual response mechanism, one that causes us to immediately turn to Him; to first call upon His name in whatever our need may be, rather than act impulsively on our own.
Remember “the name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righty runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

In the study book days 27 and 28 provide information on a certain method of study. I am skipping over them and will continue on to our next name in the study tomorrow.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Use your hand to cover the meanings of the names listed above. Read each name aloud. Can you say it’s meaning from memory? If not… try to memorize each. It’s much easier to call on El Roi, when you know His attribute of seeing all.

Further action if so inclined:
Think back over the past few days. Can you recall any instances where you had a gut reaction to something and responded accordingly?  If you would have first called upon a name of the LORD, and responded from His Spirit within, would the outcome have been different?

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