A Daily Pandemic Prayer of Protection

A Daily Pandemic Prayer of Protection:

Grant, O LORD, to the faithful and sinner alike,
a shield of armor against this virus
now threatening us worldwide.
Cast an extra net of safety around the weak, the infirm, the elderly;
around all who are vulnerable.
Then, O LORD, send your mighty Archangels, wielding swords of virus destruction,
to surround all in an impenetrable fortress,
keeping us free from peril.
We ask you this, O LORD,
through the Name of Our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ.
May His Name ever reign throughout the earth.
To His Name be all the Glory and Honor Forever.
AMEN

By MMW

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My Lenten Journey – Days 16-19

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.

Days 16, 17, 18, & 19
Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide

Not only does
Jehovah love with an unfathomable unchangeable Love, but He also desires to sufficiently satisfy any and all needs of those He has created in His own image. He wants to be our provider, our healer, our shepherd, etc.

Going forward, we will be learning new names that include Jehovah combined with other words. Together they show us the essence of His Being with an added dimension of a characteristic or attribute.

Our first one is Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide. Jireh is the Hebrew word for provide, yet in the Old Testament, it literally means ‘to see’, and the word see denotes provision. With God, to see is to foresee. He knows the end from the beginning, and in His omniscience, He provides. (You might want to read that last sentence again, and as I like to say… write it on your heart.)

Here, I am going to paraphrase Genesis 22:1-19, but I urge you to read it in it’s entirety, as I will not be able to truly do it justice in brevity.
—God had fulfilled His promise to Abraham in giving him a son (Isaac) through his barren wife, Sarah. In time, God tested Abraham by telling him to go into the mountains and offer Isaac as a burnt offering (a voluntary offering of love). Abraham set out to obey his God. He gathered the wood for the fire, along with a donkey and two of his men for the journey. When Abraham recognized the place God had chosen for the sacrifice, he told his men to wait while He and Isaac went off to worship the LORD.  On the way, Isaac, carrying the cut wood on his back, asks his father why they have the firewood but not the lamb needed for the burnt offering? Abraham tells his son that the LORD will provide the lamb Himself.

At the place God had chosen Abraham built a sacrificial altar, bound Isaac, and placed him on top of the wood on the altar. He had pulled out his knife and was about to slay his only beloved son in the name of the LORD when he heard the Angel of the LORD call to him from heaven.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12)
Abraham looked around and, behold, behind him there was a ram caught by his horns in the thicket. Abraham took the ram and offered it up in place of his son, Isaac, and he called the place The LORD Will Provide. The Angel of the LORD again called to Abraham and delivered this message from heaven, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:16-18)

There are twenty-one chapters written in God’s Word prior to this, yet, this is the first time these three words: love, obey, and worship, are mentioned. Abraham’s story greatly parallels that of God’s sacrifice of His own, only begotten, beloved son, Jesus Christ. For Abraham, the LORD provided a substitute sacrificial lamb at the last minute. With His own Son, He did not. He gave Him life, both Divine and human combined in one being, Jesus Christ. Then, He gave Jesus up to be crucified, to suffer death on the Cross. In doing so, the sins of all mankind, past, present, and future, were also crucified and forgiven. From that same Crucifixion, after descending to the dead for three days, Divine Life was resurrected into Eternal Life. Forever more Jesus Christ shall sit at the right hand of God, His Father, in heaven, to judge the living and the dead.

So, did the LORD not provide for His own son as He did for Abraham’s? Why was there no last minute rescue?
If 
 you look closely you will see there was indeed a last minute rescue. It is all of us, humankind! Through the sacrifice of His own Son, we are saved from death in sin to new and eternal life.
And, it is also Divinity, for the LORD did rescue His Beloved Son through His Resurrection and His Ascension into heaven!  Divinity was protected and restored to its rightful throne.

In other words, Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide, worked all out for the good of all.  Like Abraham before him, who had to fight his enemies and offer his own beloved son in sacrifice, Jesus had to defeat sin, the greatest enemy of mankind, by allowing Himself to become a living sacrifice. Both Abraham and Jesus loved the LORD, obeyed His commands, and through their willingness to sacrifice all on His behalf, worshipped Him in the highest way possible.

My take away…
No matter how deeply you love (someone or something), God may ask you to sacrifice that love on the altar of obedience in order that His name be glorified, in order that He be worshiped as Jehovah forevermore.
The big question is… Am I willing?

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey: Abraham was willing to sacrifice his most precious possession because he trusted in the name of Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide. He called upon His name in His worst moment of life, was heard, and was answered. Search you heart. Is there something in your own life you feel the LORD is asking you to forfeit, or to discontinue? Are you willing? Trust in Him, knowing He will provide in a way that is better for you, and all involved. If you don’t have the willpower, or don’t have that kind of trust in Him, start by calling upon His name asking for both. He truly wants to give you everything good. Remember… He knows the end from the beginning, and in His omniscience, He provides.  🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
Read in its entirety Genesis 22:1-19
🙏🏻😇

 

 

 

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My Lenten Journey – Day 15

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 15
Jehovah, The Self-Existent One

According to the study book, of all the names of God, Jehovah is the name most frequently used in the Old Testament. It’s root word, havah, means “to be, to become.”  Thus, the name Jehovah speaks to God’s being, or essence.

Nathan Stone, another Christian author who has written about the names of God, says, “…we must think of Jehovah as the Being who is absolutely self existent, the One who in Himself possesses essential life, permanent existence.”

In Exodus 3:14-15, as the Lord is speaking with Moses, we we learn who God Himself says He is.
I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”

I personally love the following paragraph from the study book… The underline emphasis is mine. “Jehovah is the self-existent One — ‘I Am WHO I AM.’ He is the eternal I AM, the Alpha and the Omega, the same yesterday, today, and forever. All of life is contained in Him. Why do we look elsewhere? Why do we not rest in His unchangeableness? He has never failed. Would He begin with me or you? He cannot; He is Jehovah, the self-existent, covenant-keeping God.”

Jehovah was used to denote God very early on in Genesis, however, it’s full meaning remained veiled to His people. They didn’t come to understand Jehovah was the name that went with His covenant promise until the Lord revealed all to Moses, in Exodus 6:2-4. “I am the LORD {Jehovah} I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty {El Shaddai}, but by My name LORD {Jehovah}, I did not make Myself known to them. And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned.” (Note… whenever we see LORD in all capital letters in the Old Testament it is translated as Jehovah.)

So, we now know Jehovah, The Self-Existent One to be the beginning and the end (the Alpha and the Omega). We now know He is unchanging. We now know He is faithful to His promises from generation to generation. Jehovah, The Self-Existent One, is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

What exactly does this mean for us?
It means we are NEVER without a name of God to call upon in our need!

Here are some of important examples of when you should run directly to Jehovah, The Self-Existent One, calling upon His name:

A)  Do you have doubts? At times do you doubt God’s very existence? If you can’t see Him or feel Him at work in your life, then He must not be real, right? Remember this Truth, even though you may have doubts, your doubts don’t change the fact that He IS. And He IS forever. Standing on that Truth run straight into His Hightower asking Him to show you He IS.

B)  Have you broken your promises to Him? Have you been living with or in sin? Remember this Truth, even though you may have broken your promise to Him, He can’t break His to you. He remains unchanged forever. His promises stand forever. Holding tightly onto that Truth run to Him in repentance, with a firm purpose of amendment, asking for both His mercy and His forgiveness.

C)  Have you fallen away from Church? Did you listen to the false teachings and promises of errant believers, only later to watch as jobs, relationships, or good health were taken away from you or your loved ones? Have you been told that these situations exist because you sinned, lacked faith, or didn’t believe hard enough, and therefore God is punishing you? Take heart and remember, in Exodus 34:5-7, the Lord proclaims Himself to be “…a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity, continuing his love for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin.” Believing now in this Righteous Truth, run straight into His wide open loving arms, asking Him to bring you Home.

His existence is Eternal. He is Jehovah, The Self-Existent One, Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is the name you can call upon forever.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Read the following slowly and with intent:

God, the great I AM, created me in His image and likeness, entering into a Covenant with me; a Covenant of Compassion, Forgiveness, and Unwavering Everlasting Love.
Now close your eyes for a moment and picture Him signing, with His finger, His Covenant with you and then handing it over to you for safe-keeping. Now file it in your heart.
🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
Lent is a season in which we should reflect on His passion and Crucifixion.
Close your eyes once again. Now imagine that same scene, this time with Christ signing the Covenant with His own blood.

In order for God to keep His Covenant with His people He sacrificed His only begotten beloved Son to die on the Cross. He did this in atonement for all the sins of mankind, mine and yours. In doing so, He gave us the Way to Life in Eternity with Jehovah, The Self-Existent One.

Why?  Why me? Why you?
Because He loves us each with an unfathomable unchangeable Love.
🙏🏻😇

 

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My Lenten Journey – Day 14

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 14
Adonai, Your Lord and Master, Part 2

Day 13 was a whole lot of Truth to take in; even if you are a believer who considers him or herself to be Saved and on the ‘right path’. Throughout our life, our faith journey, we must continually evaluate our situations and assess our relationships with others, and most importantly for our salvation, with our God.

Do you call Him ‘Lord, Lord’ and then walk out the door into your day ignoring His nudges? Do you lean in at all to hear His voice, His commands to you?  Maybe, in your very busy day and life, you just forget to look  and listen for Him. Maybe, you blatantly ignore any nudges or stirrings in your heart, because it is too difficult to do what He asks of you. Maybe, your life is a mess and you are lost. Maybe you truly don’t believe in His promises; that they are for you. Maybe you call Him ‘Lord, Lord’ in lip service because it’s what is expected of you. Maybe you don’t believe He actually exists.

Maybe none of the above examples exactly fit your life or faith situation, only you and God know the real truth of you. No matter what your personal life story is, He wants you. He wants to pour forth abundant blessings in your life. To do so, He needs you to accept Him. Not just as Adonai, Your Lord and Master, but as your loving Creator.

In excerpts from the Old Testament Book of Exodus, we hear Moses pleading with God not to send him as His representative.
“Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
If any being should know this, it is God, who created him! God listens and responds to Moses in a way that should quell all his inner anxiety and fear. “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what your are to say.” Yet, Moses is so lost in his fear he can’t hear what God is actually saying. He continues to ask God to send someone else in his place. “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever Thou wilt.” The next line in Exodus reads, “Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses.”

My first reaction to reading that last line was OUCH! I was right in there with Moses, thinking he wasn’t up to the task at hand, and in humility, asking God to let him off this time. I mean, right? Wrong! Moses was actually slapping God in the face! Please hear me out on this.

Can we not question God? Can we not tell Him we don’t like a situation (for whatever reason) that He is asking to us to go into? Can we not be mad that He would ask such a thing of us? Of course we can, and God welcomes the dialogue to bring us around to His way of thinking. However, after God gives you an explanation and the go ahead command, He expects your trusting obedience. He knows you inside and out. He is Adonai, Your Lord and Master. Making a deliberate choice to disobey Him is to risk His wrath, to risk your very salvation.

This is not to say we can’t and don’t make mistakes through our sinful nature. It is truly hard to relinquish total control. Like Moses, self is often our own worst enemy, which Satan continually feeds. Even so, Adonai, Your Lord and Master, provides a path to our redemption, through our sincere repentance and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Moses, did end up following the Lord’s command to go and speak His message to the Egyptian Pharoh. Anxious and fearful? Probably so, but God gave Him the words to say and prepared the way by opening the ears and heart of the Pharoh. 

I have a personal example to share when, much like Moses, I did not want to go where God was wanting me to.  In His Grace, He literally dragged me kicking and screaming to my own good. I had been teaching art for ten years in a Catholic school.  I loved it.  How could teaching, and sharing Him with His flock, in a school of my faith not be where He wanted me to be?  I was sure I would be there for a long time to come.  However, He had other plans for me.  And, He knew I would not just walk away; something would have to happen.  Knowing that I was not going to be fired, He would somehow have to make me want to leave.  It wasn’t easy for Him, and it wasn’t easy on me.  He decided to make me good and angry so I would want to leave.  It was a process that had to develop over time.  Did I mention He dragged me kicking and screaming to a better place in my life?  Everything changed for me.  I quit and I was very unhappy about it.  I dwelt in the pain and confusion of it for quite some time.  After awhile I began to see, in my new situation, that I now had the ability to be there for my family, for my children, in ways I would not have been able to, except by the Grace of God!

So yes, we challenge and fight our path at times. However, in the very end, even if we are dragged or shoved down the path, when we succumb to His Will for us, we are acknowledging His ultimate dominion and rule over our lives. We come to know Him as Adonai, Your Lord and Master and we find our El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, waiting there for us.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Looking back over your life and faith journey, can you see a time(s) when you possibly tried the Lord’s patience with you? Or even angered Him? Afterward, were you able to see Adonai’s hand at work. Were you able to call Him ‘Lord, Lord’ and praise and thank Him? If not, you still can.
🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
Do you harbor anger toward God for a situation in your life? Do you know how important it is to bow down before Him and ask what He wants or expects from you in that particular situation? Try to if you can. Question Him, scream in anger at Him, cry the tears of pain. Give it all to Him. He can handle it; He welcomes the interaction with you. He will hear and answer you. He promises; even if answers are not immediately heard, even if you have to repeat the above process more than once. He has been patient with you for a long time. Try to be patient with Him while He works all out for the good of all those involved.
🙏🏻😇

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My Lenten Journey – Day 13

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 13
Adonai, Your Lord and Master

Even though we’ve already learned other names, you can never really ‘know’ them until you have bowed down before Adonai, Your Lord and Master. To feel refuge in His loving arms you must first acknowledge His right to rule over you, over every part of your life.
If this is so, then why would we study some of His other names first? The answer is simple. For example, it is much easier to call Him El Shaddai than it is Adonai, Your Lord and Master. Some of us must first be nursed along, must be made to feel it is safe to trust in His promises. Still, complete and total sufficiency cannot be found apart from knowing Him as your Adonai, Your Lord and Master.

Abraham understood what it meant to have a master-servant relationship, for slavery existed in the days of Abraham. A bondservant was a type of slave who was bound in service to a master without being paid wages. Such a slave was actually far better off than a hired servant. This was because the master provided for his every need. It was the master’s responsibility to feed, clothe, shelter, protect, and to give direction (counsel) in his day by day living. Servants for hire had to fend for themselves, meet most of their own needs, when away from the master. It was only a bondservant/ slave, therefore, who could be totally dependent upon a master to meet all of his needs.

So it is with Adonai, Your Lord and Master.
However, be forewarned, to be Adonai’s good and faithful servant/slave comes with great responsibility. Abraham also knew this to be true. Having won a great victory over his enemies, he understood and acknowledged that it was God who brought about the victory; he acknowledged God’s Lordship over him. Did the victory come easy? Not by any means! Abraham had to trust in God’s sovereignty in order to obey His command. Abraham had to fight the battle!

In the book we read, “But does it matter what I do as long as I acknowledge Him as Lord and tell Him I want His free gift of eternal life? Yes, it does, for Lord, is more than a word; it indicates a relationship. The lordship of God means His total possession of me and my total submission to Him as Lord and Master.”

Whether or not you can honestly call Him Adonai, Your Lord and Master, allowing Him complete possession of you and totally  submitting to His Will, well… that is the bottom line, is it not? Putting it bluntly, it is the difference between Heaven and Hell in Eternity.

So many today are unhappy in their Christianity. They claim they are not being fed. In attempt to ‘feed’ their flock many churches are turning to special effects and big media Hollywood-like productions. They send their flock out happy, humming, and thinking they are ready to take on the world. They are definitely turning out an enthusiastic, inspired flock. And that’s a good thing… a good place to start. There is nothing wrong with what they are doing, yet, in the most important way, they are not truly ‘feeding’ the flock.
Why not? Yes, they get the flock to give of themselves and foster many opportunities to do good works. However, it has become more important in today’s culture to feel happy all the time rather than introspectively assess one’s personal relationship with Adonai, Your Lord and Master. There is no accountability. We each need to know and own whether or not we are fulfilling our personal responsibilities to the Lord in a way that we can truly call upon His name and not have Him answer us, “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”(Luke 6:46) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS’” (Mathew 7:21-23)
Being good and giving will not gain you entry through that very last door into heaven. Neither will declaring His name and calling Him your Lord. Only the faithful servant who accepts His sovereignty and does whatever the Lord asks of him, no matter the cost, will be welcomed through to live with our Lord in Eternity.
Not easy at all! So, when I am asked if I am saved, my answer is: Through the Body and Blood of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I am saved over and over again every single day of my life. Simply put… I AM Saved, but I must choose it each moment of my life.

If you have stuck with me this far and not run away, the biggest take away for each of us is that He is with us every step of our earthly life’s journey, from birth back to Him. When we acknowledge, bow down before, give free reign to Adonai, Your Lord and Master, we find our El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, waiting with arms wide open to shelter us. Our God is a great God and we can trust Him to fulfill all of His promises to us!

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Answer these questions honestly in your heart not your head. Who do you bow down before? Who has power over you?
If it isn’t Adonai, Your Lord and Master, call upon His name and ask Him to lead you to Him. He is waiting to bring you home.🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
Do you know what it means to be truly fed?
Reflect on Jesus’ words in John 6:53-58, NKJV:
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
Now ask yourself what does this truly mean? Are you being fed in this way?
🙏🏻😇

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My Lenten Journey- Day 12

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.

El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One
Day 12

This is the other name I mentioned at the beginning as being one of my favorites. Why? The first name, El Roi, The God Who Sees, was a favorite because my parenting heart could always lean on Him. He was my ‘second pair’ of parent eyes. In Him my parent heart could find rest and refuge. This second name, El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, is a favorite for me on a personal level.  He knows the real me; He ‘gets’ me. He responds to all of my needs and enwraps me in His Loving Arms. He is always there for me, even when I don’t know or feel it.

We learned previously that the prefix El, carries the meaning mighty, powerful, and is used to reference gods. The study book, referencing Genesis 31:29, states that El is one of the oldest and most widely used terms for Deity (God/Divinity) known to the human race. Whenever you see God Almighty in the Old Testament it is El Shaddai!

The word Shaddai can also be described as mighty and powerful. But, rather than a power of force and violence, it is thought to mean more of a power of provision, all-bountifulness, or as here, all-sufficient.

We see El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, in the Old Testament clearly at work in Abraham’s life. A childless couple, Abram (99 yrs old) and Sarah (89 yrs old) had given up hope. God seeks him out and changes his name to Abraham, promising (establishing a covenant with) to make him the father of a multitude of nations, from whom Kings shall arise! Abraham, in the waning days of his life, accepts His promise/covenant with great faith in the God he has served an known all his life, both in good times and in bad, his Elohim. It is here, however, he recognizes Him as El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One (God Almighty), falling on his face in complete humility before Him. Oh how his Lord provided going forward! And though not immediately, Abraham continued on if faith and trust, and was eventually given a son, Isaac. Through Abraham’s willingness to trust in all things, even to the point of sacrificing his own son, we can draw a straight lineage line to God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. And we are his descendants, his heirs.

Through Abraham we too are children of God, El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One! He is the ‘Pourer-forth’ of blessings, who says, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” (NASB John 7:37)

The same God who spoke to Abraham thousands of years ago is the same God who  speaks in your heart today. Just as Abraham did, we must renounce our own will. As scary as that may be, we do have a beautiful name  which we can call upon to help us! And when we do call upon our very personal El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, we unleash His almighty, yet loving, power in our own lives. We receive His All-bountiful care; He meets all our needs.

We also see El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One’s, presence in the New Testament when we read Paul’s comments in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Imagine! When you are weak your El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, is made strong! In our weakness, we see once again that His power, all sufficient to meet our every need, will be unleashed. When you call upon His name in your weakness you give Him free reins to make everything right; you give Him free Reign in your life to work all for your good.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Do you feel a lack in some part of your life? Do you lack the willpower or strength to carry on? Or, do you just need to know someone cares about you and truly wants to meet all your needs, wants you to be happy? Please pause for a moment and think what the name of El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, could actually mean in your life, your faith journey.
Please call upon His name and greet Him with a desire to trust in His loving power and bountifulness for your own personal life situation. The desire alone will pull Him right to you. Rest assured. 🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
If you haven’t read in the Bible in awhile, maybe read the full story of Abraham, Chapters 12-25. See how many times can you recognize El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, at work in his life. Try to internalize that the same El Shaddai is waiting to do the same in your life. Write it on your heart. 🙏🏻😇

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My Lenten Journey- Day 11

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.

El Roi, The God Who Sees, Part 2
Day 11

At the very beginning of this study and personal commentary, I mentioned that this was one of my most favorite names to call upon.

We have seen how El Roi ,The God Who Sees can be the name to call upon if we have suffered from abuse or are living in darkness. While I didn’t need El Roi in that particular attribute, I found another most cherished attribute of His to call upon. El Roi can actually serve as our eyes when we cannot see what needs to be seen.

As a parent, you can never be everywhere, especially if raising multiple children. As my three grew into teenagers and were experiencing the many new freedoms that independence and distance from home often presented, I found a need and a confidence to call upon El Roi, The God Who Sees. He could be where I could not. He could see what I could not. He could also see who and what they were being influenced by. He knew exactly where they were and what they were up to every moment. I would often call upon Him and ask Him to watch over them.

Imagine the unimaginable. What if you had a run away teen, an abducted child, an elderly parent or relative who wandered off, or a spouse who didn’t return at the expected time? It would a horrific and terrifying experience to not know where they are or what is happening to them; to not be there to rescue them or to comfort and care for them. Once you have alerted the proper civil authorities, to whom could turn? No human being on earth could calm your mind or ease your fears in those moments of anxiety and fear. Only El Roi, The God Who Sees, has the ability to see exactly where your loved ones are, what is happening to them, and be there with them. It is into His name you can run, asking Him to watch their every move, to make His presence felt, and to guide those searching right to where they are. It is in His name you can run into His Hightower and take refuge in His promises with confidence, knowing no matter what is happening at that very moment, no matter the outcome, He sees the whole picture (past, preset time, and future) and will work all to the good.

These are but a couple of examples where El Roi can be your eyes and see what you cannot. My children are now grown with kids of their own. I still call upon El Roi, The God Who Sees, to be my second set of eyes in times of need.

Today, we have learned how El Roi is The God Who Sees all and is a name of God you can find comfort and rest in many ways. We have also now learned about several of the wonderful names of God. As we learn more of them, you will come to know Him better, and through His names have a greater understanding of the character and attributes, the truths and promises behind each. In His names you will personally come to find healing, comfort, hope, protection, guidance, mental stability, rest, and even vindication. Hopefully, at least one name, if not more, will resonate in your heart and be a name you can confidently call upon in your day of trouble.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Are there things in your life that you need to see, but can’t? Do they cause you worry or fear? Is there somewhere you need to be, but can’t? Try asking El Roi to look in on the situation and show you how to bring stability to it, how to calm your anxieties. Remind yourself that He sees the past, the present, and the future. Remind yourself He intends your situation to be for your good. 🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
Practice seeing through God’s eyes today. Look at a situation and ask, ‘What can I not see?’ Then ask El Roi, The God Who Sees, to see it, and to give you the wisdom and guidance to work it out for the good of all involved. 🙏🏻😇

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My Lenten Journey- Day 10

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.

El Roi, The God Who Sees
Day 10

“Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou Art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou Art there. If I take the wings of dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me.  If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to Thee, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee. (Psalm 139:7-12)

El Roi is the God Who Sees. Nothing can escape His knowing about it, nothing can be hidden from Him. He sees all, both good and evil. The verses from Psalm 139 can be both comforting and disconcerting at the same time. If you live in the dark fearing the light because of things that happened to you in your past, that were out of your control, then El Roi is the God for you. Maybe you were abused as a child, physically, emotionally, or even both. Maybe you were unloved or abandoned by a parent, a spouse, or even your own child.  Maybe you have have locked certain memories away and try hard to keep them there on a daily basis. You may  also have gotten some professional help to deal with the pain, the rejection, the bewilderment of it all. However, you may never have reasoned out the why of it all, or come to terms about it with God. Maybe you hide in the darkness, weary and afraid. You have probably asked in your heart a thousand times why a God who loves you would permit such things to happen. That’s a very difficult question to answer.

Kay Arthur offers her thoughts. Directly quoting from the book…
“God saw it. He knows the sin that was committed against you. And someday He will vindicate you. There is forgiveness, but to those who refuse to receive the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, there is also a day of judgment. And it will be a righteous judgment, for God saw it all.” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)

Continuing in the book… “After you realize that He sees, you need to know that in His sovereignty He permitted it. Therefore, as horrible and as destructive as it seems, in God’s economy it will be used for good if you will but know Him, believe Him, and put your trust in His name, for He does not forsake those who seek Him.” (Psalm 9:10)

Talk about hard to hear words! I have never suffered the kind of abuse or abandonment mentioned. All I can do is share my thoughts on it in relation to this name of God, El Roi, The God Who Sees. I find three very important truths worth repeating to hopefully help in understanding it at all.

First, He saw it all.
He didn’t stop it from happening, but He was there suffering with you through it all. He cried with you and He wept for the sin committed against you. It was not your fault, yet you bear the burden of the lifelong scars. The blame, all of the blame, lies with the sinner who exercised his or her free will to perpetrate evil. Again, none of the blame is yours; not one thing you did, or didn’t do; not one thing you said, or didn’t say, caused it to happen. El Roi knows this.

Second, He permitted it to happen.
This truth is exceptionally hard to hear. In our human way of thinking, it is also exceptionally hard to explain and defend. But, El Roi, The God Who Sees, has a viewpoint, a vantage point,that we don’t. He can see the past, present, and the future of everything that happens in the universe. He sees the big picture of how everything works together. As difficult as it may personally be, He asks us to trust in His name, to believe that He will use what happened for our own personal good, and the good of all. A sinner’s free will interrupted His plan for good, but El Roi, The God Who Sees, will reroute His plan, and His Goodness for your life will prevail.

Third, you will be vindicated.
As hard as the first two truths above were to hear and process in our heart, this truth is easy to understand and is welcomed in our heart. As a believer, a child of God who knows His name, you will be vindicated on the day of final judgment! He saw it all and He remembers every last detail. The sinner, the perpetrator of the evil that befell you, will stand before El Roi. He will have to hear and see every detail of his sin against you and God. He will then be righteously sentenced and punished. In other words, El Roi, The God Who Sees has got your back! 

Tomorrow we will learn about a different set of life circumstances in which we can also call upon El Roi, The God Who Sees.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
If anything here in Day 10 rings true for you, know that you are not alone. Pray to see it in the Light of El Roi’s Eyes. Claim His truths for your own situation. 🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
If nothing in Day 10 rings true for you, it may for someone you know. Either way, if you know someone who would benefit from knowing these truths, please reach out to them. Share it with them either by messaging or a real face to face conversation. Resist the urge to control, influence, or manipulate the outcome. Leave all in His all seeing, all knowing eyes. He will work all to the good. 🙏🏻😇

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My Lenten Journey – Days 8 & 9

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 8 & 9
EL Elyon vs Satan

(Genesis 50:20)
We know Satan to be the evil one, the fallen archangel who dared to defy God’s (El Elyon) sovereignty. After which, a mighty battle led by St Michael The Archangel ensued. Satan was defeated and cast into hell. And yet, to this day He roams the earth seeking the ruin of souls, seeking souls to claim dominion over. He has many to choose from, for there are many weak and tired souls who, not knowing the name of their God, fall prey to Satan’s temptations and false promises of grandeur. It begs the question, “Does The God Most High have sovereignty over Satan?”

We definitely need the answer to that question If we are to believe in all that El Elyon, The God Most High, says He is and to trust in His promises to us. In the study book we are asked to look in the biblical Book of Job.  For brevity’s sake, I will paraphrase the story of Job. Satan had just come from roaming the earth and was having a discussion with the Lord, who brought up the subject of Job, a blameless and upright man in the eyes of the Lord. Satan argued it was easy for Job to be so as the Lord had built a hedge of protection around him and all that was his. He claimed if that protection were removed, Job would curse the Lord. The Lord then gave Satan permission to test Job. He gave Satan power over him, but warned him not to touch Job. In spite of Satan, Job remained remained blameless and upright, even praising the Lord in his ruin. Satan argued again, which led to the Lord giving Satan even greater power over Job, even to touch him, but to spare his life. Covered in skin boils from head to toe and taunted by his wife to curse God, Job remained steadfast in his praise, accepting His sovereignty in both the good and bad circumstances, saying to his wife,
“Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10)

It is important to note that throughout, the Lord remained sovereign, maintaining the ultimate authority. First, Satan had to have El Elyon’s permission each time to penetrate El Elyon’s circle of protection in order to tempt Job. Second, even then the Lord set limitations upon him each time. Yes, He allowed horrible things to happen to His faithful servant. No, He did not withdraw completely from Job. His promise of protection and provision remained steadfast throughout. Each time, Job also remained faithful and trusted in His God’s name and provision, because Job knew who His God was. Even in his terrible trials he had confidence in and boasted in the name of his God! Job glorified God and God rewarded Job.

We see Satan leave empty handed because the name of El Elyon, The God Most High, was called upon!

Another instance where Satan’s involvement proved God’s ultimate and steadfast dominion, is in the biblical story of Joseph.
To recap: Joseph, being the youngest son, and thought to be more favored by his brothers, was sold by them into slavery out of anger and jealousy. He was taken to Egypt, where he suffered many transgressions, even a stint in prison after a wrongful accusation. Through it all he remained faithful and steadfast to his God. (El Elyon). He longed for his family, but he believed God was with him, even if waiting nearby in the shadows to fulfill His purpose, His plan. Over many years, because of his knowledge and trustworthiness, Joseph found favor with his new earthly master, the Pharoh, who eventually appointed him 2nd in command (only to Pharoh), to rule over Egypt’s affairs prior to and during a great famine that threatened all on the earth. Hearing about the stored up grain in Egypt, his brothers traveled afar in the hope of being given some and then returning home to their father. Not recognizing Joseph, they stood before him in their request for grain. When he exposed his truth, they were grieved by and sorrowful for their previous actions. Instead of punishing them or harboring hate in his heart, Joseph said, “And now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life… it was not  you who sent me here, but God… And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis excerpts)

Here we see Satan at work in the hearts of men ripened with anger and jealousy. In the beginning, appearing that his evil rule will win out, we witness how evil minds banded together can reek havoc in others’ lives. However, we then come to see El Elyon’s Hand at work, turning evil into good!

Here again, it is because Joseph knew who His God was. Even in his terrible trials he had confidence in and boasted in the name of his God! Joseph glorified God and God rewarded Joseph.

Once again, we see Satan leave empty handed because the name of El Elyon, The God Most High, was called upon!

This is pretty powerful stuff! Knowing the Truth of God’s sovereignty in our lives should give us the confidence to call upon Him, and then trust in His outcomes even when we can’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak!

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Knowing that El Elyon, The God Most High, has complete control over all aspects of our lives and the lives of all others, and knowing He created you in His Love for you, read the following slowly with intent:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

If you are confused about things going on in your life, and/or the lives of others, try calling upon the name of El Elyon today, leaving all with Him. Praise and thank Him for hearing and answering you, even if you can’t see just yet where all is headed. 💖🙏🏻

Further action if so inclined:
 Reflect on how God turned what was meant for evil into good for all concerned in the above biblical stories. Looking back can you see where God might have done something similar in your life? In another’s life? If so, boast in the name of El Elyon giving Him thanks and praise. If not, keep your eyes and  heart open going forward while asking Him to show His Hand at work, that you might truly KNOW His name! 🙏🏻😇

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My Lenten Journey – Day 6 & 7

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 6 & 7

EL Elyon, The God Most High…

“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His Will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His Hand or say to Him, ‘What hast Thou done?’“ (Daniel 4:34-35 and a direct quote from the book)

El Elyon is our next name to study. It is the name that designates God as our sovereign ruler, as ruler over all the universe. It is the same El Elyon, The God Most High, from the Old Testament who delivered Abraham from his enemies, that today rules over the the affairs of men.

To trust in Him, to know His plans will be accomplished in your life, you must come to know Him as El Elyon, the God Most High. For if He is not sovereign, if He is not in control, if all things are not under His dominion, then where does that leave us? If He is not the God Most High, then we are either in the hands of fate, in the hands of man, or in the hands of the devil. A much better place for sure, is to be under the dominion or rule of El Elyon, the God who created you, loves you, and plans all for your good.

Because of His everlasting dominion over all, El Elyon is a name we can trust in to protect us from dangers, to set us securely on high!

And why? Because He loves us. Remember, we are created by His Love, in His Love, and for His Love. Wouldn’t you fiercely protect those you love and establish them in a Hightower above the dangers lurking below? Of course you would! So would El Elyon!

Listen to His plans to do so in
Psalm 91:14 (NAB):
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.”

In Psalm 91:14, He also gives another reason for His desire to protect us and set us securely away from danger. It fits perfectly with our study! He states implicitly it’s because we have known his name! (El Elyon, God Most High). We cannot ask for a more direct reference!

Remember I previously gave you a little formula to commit to memory:
‘Knowledge + Faith = Confidence’.

In Psalm 91:14 He also validates that formula. To have faith in Him, simply put, is to love Who He is. It is to believe in His sovereignty and provision for us.

Through the name of El Elyon, I am able to bring us full circle, to demonstrate what it means to call upon the name of the Lord. When we learn about the attributes, the character of, each of the names of the Lord, we have KNOWLEDGE. In learning the name of El Elyon, we come to know His sovereignty over all dominions, over all affairs of mankind. We learn His Hand cannot be warded off by anyone or anything. We see examples of His fierce but loving protection for us.

As we come to know Who He is, we come to love His Love for us and His desire to protect us. We begin to have FAITH in Him to be our personal God Most High. When we take this KNOWLEDGE and combine it with our FAITH (even if that faith is newly budding), we begin to trust in the name (El Elyon) and become CONFIDENT in His promises to us. In confidence we can now call upon the name of the Lord. We can run into His Everlasting Hightower of Love and Protection, afterward remembering to complete the circle in thankful praise, to boast in the name of our God!

The book discusses El Elyon, The God Most High over several days mainly using various Biblical passages that show His sovereignty over all. Instead of taking several days, I have tried to keep it to a shorter timeline, combining Days 6 & 7.

Hopefully, I pray to have brought a simplicity to a complex subject. Stay tuned, for tomorrow we will add the element of Satan to the mix.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Remember  that He both desires and commands us to call upon His name. Try to see areas in your life today where El Elyon demonstrates His sovereignty and His Love for you. If you have a need, a fear, or a problem you need Him to take charge of, or set you on high from, call upon Him. He will hear you.,🙏🏻💖

Further action if so inclined:
The word Caim: (kyem) n. Sanctuary; an invisible circle ⭕️ of protection, drawn around the body with the hand, to remind one of being safe and loved, even in the darkest of times. [Scots Gaelic]

Imagine El Elyon drawing a circle of protection around you this very moment. Even draw it with your own hand and say this beautiful short prayer:

“Prayer For Protection”
by James Dillet Freeman

The light of God surrounds us;
The love of God enfolds us;
The power of God protects us;
The presence of God watches over us;
Wherever we are, God is!
🙏🏻😇

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