September 16, 2023
Thank you for opening and reading this email. Your time is valuable, and I appreciate that you are here.
We have been examining 2 Chronicles 7:14:
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
So far, we’ve learned who God wants to engage with (My people), what He wants them to do first (pray), and how (humility). I want to add another layer of understanding to that posture ofpraying in humility by asking this question:
Who Do We Bow To?
Before responding with “God,” I want you to think about your initial heart reaction to “praying for your enemy.”
– Who came to mind immediately?
– How did you feel about praying for that person?
Did you sense a subtle rejection of the idea that you must humbly pray for their health, healing, and happiness? I know I did.
In my heart reaction, I saw all the hurtful things said and done. I also saw the unfairness and injustice of having to humble myself further to pray for this person. For you, it may be a work situation, a relative, a history of suffering and oppression, or even a political party.
“How can God ask this of me?
Sometimes, the effects of what we have suffered at the hands of others place us in the darkest Valley where we feel alone in our struggle and as if nothing will ever change. I’m not going to tell you that the Valley isn’t real. I won’t ask you to deny what you feel “by faith.”
I want to share a story.
I saw myself walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death full of fear, anxiety, moments of anger, and long looming shadows of helplessness. This time was different. The Valley, emotions, and fears were the same, but I saw it through another person’s eyes. He was praying the words of Psalm 22, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” But in Psalm 23, He surrendered, “Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, For You are with Me.”
My friend, look down. Jesus stood right where you are standing. He felt what you may be feeling and prayed what you may have prayed so many times because it’s the same Valley. Jesus came to this Valley in the same obedience to God’s will – to save His enemies – us. And He did!
And He will destroy in this mountain, the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up Death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces.
You know what? As hard and as lonely as this Valley seems, we don’t die here.
The Way Through The Valley
In His perfect love for you, Jesus cast out the reason for fear! This Valley is not yours. The Promised Land, where “every tribe, nation, and tongue” is celebrating together, is your land! Revelation 7:9-10 is a group selfie of Heaven in the future, and you are in the picture! Hallelujah!
You are His. Sit down and eat like you live here. Taste and see. (Listen to my song, here)
You cannot lose your seat. Your seat at the table is by relationship. You are His chosen. No one can take the place He has given you. No one can come between you (Romans 8:37-38).
There is only one Table. By sharing a seat, you are bowing to the Lord at the head of the table and honoring the One who paid for every seat.Your enemies can see the table spread for you. Some of your enemies (not all) are human.There is no other place for them to find living bread and living water. There is no other Name. When you pray for your enemies, you act as Jesus would (John 13:34).
Jesus is yours, and He is enough to share. The best is already here.
To those who respond to these emails, I love hearing from you!
It encourages me greatly. Thank you and I always look forward to hearing from you.