I WILL Wednesday 4/1/2020


It’s I WILL Wednesday!

I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.  Psalm 52:9

In today’s passage, David ends Psalm 52 with a beautiful, yet powerful statement of praise and faith to God. It comes after God delivers David from Doeg, the Edomite who was chief herdsman to King Saul and responsible for the deaths of a large number of priests (1 Samuel 21, 22). When David realizes that deliverance had come, he says to God, “I will praise you forever, because you have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” In those few words, David said so much concerning his faith in God, his dedication to God, and his trust that God can and will bring forth deliverance. Let’s look deeper at the parts of this verse.

“I will praise You forever.” Not only was David making a declaration of his allegiance to God, but he was also speaking to his posture in difficult situations. He says, “I will praise You forever!” In the good times and the bad times; in the happy times and in the sad times I will praise You. David was making a commitment that his posture would not change. Just like David, our posture towards God should not change. No matter what the situation, we should have a posture of praise, and a posture of reverence to God at all times.

“You have done it.” When David proclaimed this message he was talking about his deliverance from Doeg, but we too can say the same thing, “God, You have done it!” You delivered me from my pain.You have delivered me from shame. You have delivered me from all types of trouble. When we take a look back on our lives whether it was years ago or even minutes ago, God has done it (His work of deliverance), in each of our lives. He has delivered us from things we had no idea how we were going to get out of. He provided for us when we had no idea where we would get our resources from. Just like David, we all can say, “You have done it!”

“And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” David’s love and dedication to God was never hidden from the public eye. This is the same King who danced out of his kingly garb in the middle of the streets! He was not ashamed of Who he depended on, He was not ashamed of Who he belonged to. The last part of the verse says, “I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” This is so amazing! He was saying in every situation, he could wait on God, because God never let him down. I’m sure we all have people who said they would be there for us, but unfortunately they ended up letting us down. But not God! His is a name you can depend on. No matter the situation, hold fast to the trust and the faith that you have in Him. He will not let you down, He will be there right on time.

Isn’t it a wonderful thing, to know that God is faithful in deliverance, faithful in His love, and faithful to supply our needs. Oh yes! He is faithful indeed. So like David, make the declaration “I will praise You forever,” and no matter what “I will wait on Your name.”

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Standing on the Word 3/30/2020

I heard a song this morning that reminded me of this beautiful passage (another one of my life verses). Grief, mourning, and heaviness are weights that we can carry, but there is a beautiful exchange our Savior offers to us all. In exchange for the ashes of life, He gives us a crown of beauty. For mourning and grief, He gives us His joy. For our sorrow, heaviness, and sadness He wraps us in a garment of praise (oh that garment of praise!). And then we will be like trees that stand firm in a storm. And not just stand firm, but stand for righteousness because we have been planted by the Lord and we stand in His glory. Are you standing in what seems to be the ashes of a life gone up in flames? Are you consumed by grief? Is depression pulling you down into a bottomless pit? Well, there is a Savior who offers us a great exchange. Our broken, useless, shattered pieces for His wholeness, love, and beauty.

“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

 

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The Fear Factor

In the old show, Fear Factor, contestants would come face to face with extreme and bizarre challenges. In the end the contestant that successfully faced their fears and overcame the challenges emerged as the winner and the host would say, “fear is not a factor for you!” Exciting stuff!

But, truthfully, fear is a factor for us all. It is one of the enemy’s most used tactics. It keeps us from truly walking in the things of God. It can stop us cold in our tracks and keep us right where we are with no hope of moving forward. We’ve heard all of these things before. But what HOPE can we give someone who is truly afraid? David shares His heart in Psalm 56. This beautiful song, filled with transparency, can bring hope to anyone who feels fearful.

Psalm 56 was written during a time when David was running from Saul. He ran to the Philistines. He fled from one enemy to escape another! David found himself in an overwhelming crisis! This account is found in 1 Samuel 21:10-15.

David fled from Saul because he was afraid. David acted like a madman to escape the Philistine king because he was afraid.

David was afraid.

And sometimes, so are we.

In the Bible study Trustworthy, author Lysa Terkeusrt makes this profound statement, “I can sometimes feel afraid, but I don’t have to live afraid.” Yes! Fear is something we all feel at times. We can’t, however, allow fear to consume us. Before we allow fear to paralyze us, we can reach to Our Father.

Psalm 56:3-4 shows two coexisting realities for David, fear and trust. Yes, coexisting. David says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” David couples two thoughts to combat the fear he felt.

The two thoughts could read like this:
When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.
Because I trust in You I will not be afraid.

David doesn’t deny that fear exists. Instead he tells us what to do when we feel fear—trust. That trust in the middle of a storm leads a courageous life—because I trust You, I will not be afraid.

Let’s read Psalms 56:3-4 again, in The Voice Translation
When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone.
In God I place my trust, I shall not let fear come in.

Courageous living is not the result of the absence of fear, but it is the result of confident trust in God even when we ARE afraid. Leaning and depending on the only One who calms my fears blocks out the fears that attempt to destroy my security.

Is fear a factor for you? If so trust God!
Pour out your heart to God! Tell Him what you are feeling. Run to Him, trust Him and then fear will no longer be a factor for you.

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I WILL Wednesday 3/18/2020

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me.” Psalm 44:6

Today’s I WILL passage is more of an I WILL NOT.  Like many other Psalms, this one was written by David. David was a highly skilled warrior and experienced many victories in battle even as a teenager. In fact, his big introduction to the world was on a battlefield when he defeated Goliath with a slingshot and five smooth stones ( 1 Samuel 17).  Here we see David speaking opposite of what a warrior would say when he says “I will not trust my bow, neither shall my sword save me”.

Wait a minute, David was a highly trained and skilled warrior! When opposing kings heard that David and his army were on the hill or in the valley waiting to come in and wage war, knees trembled, fear rose, and people fled for their lives. Just the thought of David’s anger being turned in their direction caused people to retreat and rethink their actions.

You would think this would produce an arrogance in David, but instead, this great warrior humbly admits that his many victories are not gained through physical warfare. David could boldly say this was because he knew his victory was not in the sword or the bow. His victories did not come from having the best strategic plan in the battle.  People greatly admired David and would wonder “how was he so successful in battle?” David gives this answer in Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Even though David was a warrior among warriors, he knew that he could do nothing without God. It didn’t matter the size of the enemy, the victory would only come from God.  It didn’t matter how much planning he did, the victory would only come from God.  It didn’t even matter if it looked like the win was “guaranteed” the victory would only come from God.

We should say the same thing in our lives today.  No, we don’t go around with a bow and sword (except for the Word of God). However, we are tempted to place our trust in the things we have or the things we’ve obtained. Nothing we have, be it education, skills, knowledge, or financial prosperity—NOTHING can secure our victory apart from Christ. Therefore we should not place our trust in these things. I’m not saying don’t use these things, because we should. David would never go out into battle without his sword or bow, but he didn’t put his trust into those things, he put his trust in God alone. The only one who can save us and secure our victory.

1 Corinthians 15:57 says “But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

So, as you face situations in your life, especially amid this COVID-19 pandemic or any other thing that may be plaguing your lives, confess like David, I WILL NOT put my trust in my bow.  I WILL NOT put my trust in my sword!  But I WILL trust God!

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Write the Word 2020

Hello Sparrow’s Song Family!

It has been one year since the launch of the Write the Word Challenge and we are celebrating how God has sustained us, revealed Himself to us, and has never failed us!

We have been blessed to become acquainted with some wonderful people who have become members of our Sparrow’s Song community from all over the world!  So to ALL of our newcomers, WELCOME!

Now let’s get down to the Word. This month we are kicking off Write the Word with a study of the major themes of Ephesians.  Ephesians is a foundational book that tells believers key truths about our position in Christ, our walk with Christ, and how to stand against spiritual attacks from the enemy.  I will also add last year’s guide so that you can choose from the two, or feel free to use your own.

Just like before we are just writing the word. This format is just a guide for you. If you wish to write different scriptures please don’t feel like that is not okay BECAUSE IT IS!

One last thing, if you are new to Sparrow’s Song Ministries, we invite you to join and follow the Sparrow’s Song Ministries Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/sparrowssongsong/#
Here you will be able to join an online community where people are striving for a closer relationship with God, receiving encouragement from others, and also encouraging others who are in their own personal journey in Christ.

So here we go… Let’s write The Word!

~ Erica

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A Fresh Yes (Vision 2020)

2CC44279-339D-4975-8D3F-49F7DE182724“But, have you moved yet?” This is something I used to say to my children, as I reiterated my initial directions. Even after the eager “Yes ma’ams” the assigned task would STILL go incomplete. See, I can tell my children to do something and they can say yes, but if they don’t make a move to do it, has their heart really said yes? I had to really think about this. Is that how I treat God and the things of God?

In moments of worship, prayer, and meditation (and sometimes in moments of emotion) I will say, “yes!” But when I look back on many of those moments I see that I’ve done little to nothing in efforts to accomplish what He’s told me to do. In some cases, I’m sitting on my “yes”, and haven’t even moved.

God still wants a “yes” from His children! But our “yes” should be coupled with actionable steps of obedience. When you say yes, go ahead and take that first step. Put feet to your faith!

What is truly keeping you from walking in obedience? Is it the money? Lack of support? Fear of the unknown? Has too much time passed? None of these things can limit our God. When He calls you, He equips you with everything you need to accomplish the task.

It’s time to evaluate. Are you sitting on “stale” yeses? Are you walking in delayed obedience (which is disobedience)? Have you lost momentum? Has fear and doubt paralyzed you? Do you think too much time has passed? Be assured, God has not changed His mind.

Take heart friends! Jonah did not obey God immediately. The Word tells us that Jonah heard God’s call, but chose to walk in disobedience. He totally went the opposite way! (Jonah 1-1:3). After a storm, being thrown overboard, and 3 days in a big fish, Jonah decided to do it God’s way. The third chapter of Jonah starts with a beautiful, redeeming phrase, “The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time” (Jonah 3:1). Ok, so you haven’t been swallowed up by a big fish, but it can seem like fear, timing, and other ‘hope thieves’ will swallow you up.  You need to break free!

Break free by saying yes! A yes from the heart. Then walk in obedience. Take an actionable step of faith and watch God move. Whether it is inhibitions, fear, or that you just don’t know where to begin, start by giving God a fresh yes, then take the first step.

Like Sparrow’s Song Ministries on Facebook! Sparrow’s Song Ministries

Check out the other blog posts in this series:

Write the Vision (2020)

The Limits of Your Best

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings

You Were Made For This

Don’t Throw It Away (Vision 2020)

 

Write The Word Challenge 2020

 

Whoohoo!

It’s the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY for Sparrow’s Song Ministries/The Word W.O.R.K.S.’ Write the Word challenge.

For a year now we have been putting the Word of God above everything else. Through this year God has blessed us so much and there’s no going back now!So for those of you who are new to Sparrow’s Song, I challenge you to branch out with us and Write the Word. And for those who have been in the journey for some time now, let’s keep going!

The Word of God is so important in our lives. It’s more than words on pages, it’s living and life giving.

The Word of God is a wellspring to a dry and thirsty soul.

The Word will strengthen a weary heart.

The Word can redirect your focus towards purposeful things.

The Word brings comfort to wounded souls.

Yes friends, THE WORD (STILL) W.O.R.K.S.

Starting March 1st (for the second time), with one verse, or as much as you want, we’re going to journey into the Bible together. We’ll do it little by little, with no pressure! No study guide or workbook. Just the Word. How? By writing it. When you write the Word of God in your own handwriting, it helps you get a better understanding of what you’re reading, and it helps you to remember it. Studies have shown, writing makes it easier for our brains to store, retain, and recall information. What better content to store, retain, and recall than the Word of God.

Join me in our Write The Word Challenge. For the next 31 days make the Word of God a priority. The challenge will run from March 1-31, 2020.

I hope you decide to join us (or rejoin us) in this challenge! Invite your friends! We are excited to continue diving into God’s Holy word with you all.

It’s so easy to sign up, just enter your first name, email, and comment the words “I’m in 🙋‍♀️”, down below, OR comment on our Facebook Post, and we’ll send you suggested templates, and scriptures to get started, as well as other helpful resources and encouragement.

Also, like our Facebook page and follow us at http://sparrowssongministries.com

Don’t know what you’re going to write in? Try Sparrow’s Song’s Scripture Writing Journal. https://www.amazon.com/dp/108124285X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_

 

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I WILL Wednesday 2/19/20

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

I WILL Wednesday is all about speaking the Words of God to change your life, but this week is a little different. This week is about knowing when to keep quiet and declaring that you will do just that!

“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” Psalm 39:1

There are times to speak and there are times when our words fail us. Then there are times when we are full of emotions and the words we speak have the potential to betray us. We misspeak or are misunderstood because we speak impulsively from a place of despondency. David knew this feeling well. That’s why he vowed to keep watch over his ways—be careful and cautious—not to sin with his mouth.

This is so important. 2 Corinthians 10:5 admonishes us to demolish every argument and pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and to take every wayward, negative, ungodly thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Sometimes, however, we let those thoughts become words and those words have the power to reek havoc in our lives. Instead of speaking the wrong things, be like David and say, “I WILL put a muzzle over my mouth!” Ok, I’m not saying that you should use a device designed for animals. But I am saying you should take it that seriously. Do all you can to prevent your lips from causing destruction, in your life and in the lives of others. When your heart is overwhelmed and your emotions are in overdrive, learn to muzzle your words, and instead, speak the Word of God.

David was especially cautious “in the presence of the wicked.” There are those who seek to cause trouble for you. We also have a very real enemy who seeks to devour, and he will use your words to do it.  Proverbs 18:21 says “Words have power in matters of life and death” (The Voice). Your words can build, influence, inspire, and encourage. Likewise, your words can tear down, defame, impair, and destroy.

Which will you choose? In the heat of the moment, don’t allow complaining, cynicism, gossip, anger, or bitterness to flow from your lips! Choose to speak words of life, or say nothing at all! Put a proverbial muzzle over your mouth and declare like David, “I WILL watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin.”

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Don’t Throw It Away (Vision 2020)

It’s the second week in February, and it’s time for a vision checkup! We all started the year strong, but where are we now? Are we still going? Has discouragement set in? Have you given up?

What ever point you find yourself at today, I’m writing to encourage you. I’m also writing to encourage myself. It’s with tears that I write, but this Word of God is burning in my heart “do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”   Hebrews 10:35

The writer of Hebrews wrote this passage to Christians who had become discouraged. They were contemplating giving up their belief in Jesus and going back to Old Covenant methods and customs. But God gave this gentle reminder.

Confidence, in this passage, in its truest translation, indicates bold faith in what God has promised. It is strong confidence that what God promised, He will do. Don’t throw that confidence away, because it is what you need to endure.  Verse 36 explains, “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.”

Whoa! What I NEED is confidence, bold faith in God’s promises. It keeps us going so we can’t throw it away.

When it looks like you have failed, don’t throw it away.
When friends walk away, don’t throw it away.
When growth is slow or stagnant, don’t throw it away.
When doors close, don’t throw it away.

The second part of Hebrews 10:35 gives us reason to hold on. When you hang on to your confidence, you will be richly rewarded. What has God promised? What vision has He given you? Can you see it in the Spirit? Can you grasp hold to it with your faith? The glorious reward from the Father will be more than you think or even imagine. As verse 38 explains, “the just shall live by faith!” Because we believe God, we should live with confident expectation. When we live By faith, we don’t concern ourselves with what it may look like, but at each step of the way, ask yourself “What has God said?”.

Please, dear friends, don’t throw away your confidence! There is a rich reward awaiting you if you just keep going.

Pray with me,

Father, help me have bold faith to hold on to the promises You have given me. Come what may, help me to keep going until I see the evidence of everything You’ve promised. You are faithful and Your Word will never fail, so Father, help me believe.
In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Confess:
I WILL live by faith.
I WILL stand firm on every promise God has given me.
I WILL not be moved by circumstances that come against me.

Read other posts in this series, Vision 2020

Write the Vision (2020)

The Limits of Your Best

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings

You Were Made For This

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I WILL Wednesday 2/5/2020

I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.  Psalm 35:18       

Psalm 35 was written during a difficult time in David’s life. It speaks about an enemy who desires to kill him.  However, this wasn’t an ordinary enemy. This enemy was close to David and was able to hit him harder than any of the other enemies he’d faced before.

Why do I say that? Well, looking at the life of David, he was normally quick about confronting an enemy.  For example, Goliath was a problem for David for less than a day (1 Samuel 17).  Nabal scoffed at David and as soon as David heard the news of how Nabal disrespected him, he immediately jumped into action.  I believe Nabal would have fallen to the sword of David that day if it were not for God moving through Abagail (1 Samuel 25).  This happened to almost all of David’s enemies, with the exception of King Saul and David’s own son Absalom.

Unlike his other enemies, these two were able to cause David serious amounts of pain on all levels; mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually, to the point where he cried out to God for help.  They wanted to see him dead (v.4); they mocked him and plotted evil against him (V. 12, 15-16); they lied on him and desired to discredit him (V. 20-21).

This attack came out of nowhere.  Nothing David did can be attributed to the reason for the attack (V. 7, 12-14, 19).  David finds himself looking over his shoulders constantly trying to protect himself, but this enemy is slowly breaking David down and he needed help that only God could give.

Sometimes we find ourselves in this type of situation where we are attacked on all levels, and sometimes, like David, we don’t know why.  No matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, the attack just doesn’t seem to stop.  Just like David, we find ourselves broken mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually.  But it’s in these situations when we should do as David did and cry out to God, for He is the only one who can help.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10a

It is so important that we trust and rest completely in God and believe that He truly cares about us even during our most dire situations. David could rest in the knowledge that God would deliver him from his enemies, He would fight his battles, He would give him victory.  We can trust these promises too!  God loves us and protects us.

Where David praised is also important here.  In public, he praised God.  In front of haters, naysayers, enemies, and even friends.  He put the attention on God and not on his problems. His praise became a testimony of the awesomeness of God!  Hallelujah!

We, like David, may find ourselves facing a vicious enemy, a dire situation, or a problem that seems insurmountable.  That is when we should turn our attention from our pain to God’s praise while repeating the words David said, “I WILL give You thanks in the great assembly! I WILL praise You among many people. Psalm 35:18      

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