Have you ever heard a minister teach and realize . . . they are speaking my life right now?

We feel that at our church a lot, but a particular service back in August left an impression. Have you ever been touched by God in a service and you knew you were getting closer to finding peace in your condition? You could feel the lead up to that night at the altar as we learned how to offer up burnt offerings — having an immense amount of fearful nervousness rolled together with a deep-in-your-bones type of confidence and boldness that we were about to experience God in way that would leave us changed forever.

Maybe we were fearful of how it would come together and whether God would meet us in a way that we were believing. We were bold in that we were not only asking Him to open our minds, but to pour out His spirit on us. So we listened to the teaching and then we sang—many of us in the middle of struggles, some with fires raging—but we sang with confidence about a victory that wasn’t yet here. On this night, it felt like we stepped out in a new way because our eyes had been opened to deeper truth about conditions, thankfulness, joy, and peace . . . and God blew our expectations.

Can God be on our side and allow a season of darkness to come upon us? Yes, not because of an elaborate answer, but because we will see ourselves, and in the middle of the trial, we will keep singing the song.

Singers can have talent, but worshipers can sing off key, and the enemy (inner me) still has to go. God is not moved by talent—we are. He is moved by a broken spirit and a pure and contrite heart.

Have you had times when things were not working and you didn’t know how God was going to work it out? Most of us have found ourselves in this place. We don’t feel like we have the strength to carry on, and God shows up. Not always to solve anything, but to ask us whether He does or not, are we still going to worship Him and have joy for what He has done for us?

Like Solomon said, time and chance happens to us all. Trouble comes to remind you of your limitations and to redirect you to the One who has the power and answers. Sometimes there is a distance between the prayer we pray and the answer we receive . . . what we do in the middle determines the maturity of our walk.

Sometimes God allows some things (troubles) to linger. If they were not there, many wouldn’t even have a prayer life. Trouble matures us in a way that ease and comfort never can.

Share this with a friend who is ready to grab their Bible and notebook and head out for great services this weekend!❤️️

This is the Time We Must Sing

keep playing that song

“And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel. And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.” -2 Chronicles 29:27-28

Brother Nobles opened with 2 Chronicles 29. The burnt offerings represent trials we go through. When the burnt offering started, Hezekiah told them to play the song.

During the burnt offering, the song kept going. After the offering, they were ready to worship.

When you are surrounded by problems. When the night feels so dark, so overwhelming. When the storm is unrelenting . . . that is when you need your song in the night.

He will never leave or forsake you.

You can rest on that. You might find yourself walking through one of the darkest times in your life, but play the song, and rest assured morning is coming.

It is our tendency to throw up our hands and to give in. That’s why we need a song in the night. We are on a foundation built by faith and hope, and during our trials, we must stand on that foundation. Like Abraham, our faith needs to be strong in God’s promise to us.

Your carnal nature, that inner dialog, will start talking to you:

You can’t do this. What if He does leave you? I thought He loved me. I don’t understand why this is happening to me. Where is He now?

Where is your burnt offering?

When is offering thanksgiving to God a sacrifice? If you just got a million dollars? It’s easy to be thankful when blessings are coming down. How about when you’re in a hard situation and don’t know how you’re going to make it? Giving thanks when things are tough — that is a sacrifice.

If you can be thankful and have joy in the worst moments of your life and in the worst places (a sacrifice of thanksgiving), then maybe the things that have held you hostage—whether they are out of your control or of your making—will have to let you go.

Brother Nobles talks about conditional peace and joy. It’s easy to have these and praise Him when things are going good because the conditions around us are good. But what about when our conditions change? When they are not good anymore? When the answer is no.

Where is your song when it all goes dark?

There is a Peace Far Beyond All Understanding

In Psalm 37, the meek will delight in the abundance of peace. Meek is being able to take instruction. God uses trials to instruct and direct us.

Reading Proverbs 3:13-17, Brother Nobles asked us, “How much is your soul worth?”

Part of my song in the night: I know where I am. If you’re waiting for the battle to be over, you have missed God. (Read that again.) We have to have peace during the battle.

We will have sorrow, but don’t allow it to rule you. Brother Nobles told us to underline this scripture in our Bibles:

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” -John 16:22

What has been framing your year?

Has it been news and politics? Or copious amounts of memes floating around on the internet? Is it framed in fear and anxiety? All that has happened could have tipped life upside down making peace feel impossible to find. Has the haze of negativity and uncertainty, like a low-hanging cloud, kept you from seeing past your condition?

What we come to the understanding of is that these traits—having a song when things are not good—are not transactional. Do we think worship or thankfulness is an ATM? We give them, and then He gives us something. No, thankfulness is what we should give, our reasonable service along with a Holy life because He is our Savior.

You Don’t Want to See Michael in a Dark Alley Coming Toward You.

When Daniel was praying, the answer was already enroute. The angel said Daniel’s prayers were heard right away; however, it took 21 days until Michael (the prince, the archangel, Jesus’s military name) showed up and removed an entire principality. He doesn’t play games. He is the one angel and prince you want on your side.

He is already fighting for us.

Brother Nobles said to thank Him not only while we are going through a hard time, but thank Him for what He is about to do. Keep peace, joy, and faith during the time we are waiting for His answer, and know that He is going to help us through whatever condition we are in the middle of.

Our fight is proportional to God’s favor on us.

When you find yourself struggling, remind yourself God has chosen you to carry a level of anointing by the fact that He called you into the Body of Christ. Overcoming is not easy. Reminding ourselves that we were given a chance for eternal life gives us perspective of why we are in the battle for our lives in the first place.

All of us are set in our ways and want our will, as Brother Nobles just talked about. Our experiences create filters through which we view the world and everything around us. That is why the only way God can change us is through the transforming of our minds. We must look through the lens of the Word and conform to His will.

It Doesn’t Hurt to Have Your Song-in-the-Night Squad.

You can’t bleed in front of everybody. When you find yourself in moments where you are breaking, you better have the right friends and people around you. We have to be wise where we share our pain.

I’ve had key friends that I could call when I knew I was weak, and they prayed with me, stood with me, and helped me walk through a tough time. These are brothers or sisters who have a song in the night. Some songs sooth the soul, some sustain, and some begin to break things up (like strongholds). Find a friend who will fight for you when you can’t fight for yourself and who will pray for you when your prayer life is lacking. If you can find a person to help you when they see you broken down on the side of the road, to get back on the path so you can find your song in the night—stick close to them. They are truly part of your journey home.

Elder Dad

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a moment you didn’t expect? I was in the middle of a moment I didn’t know how to navigate. During this period, my dad (and Elder) told me to call him every day on my drive home from work.

And every day I would tell him I’m weary, and the path has become too rocky and rough.

(Remember the production our young people did, “Pilgrim”? At the end of this post, I have included an excerpt that describes what happened when the path was too hard for Christian.)

I asked if God actually listened. I prayed, I asked for healing, a miracle, not a hundred million dollars, and you’re going to say to me His grace is sufficient? That is a hard answer when we want deliverance. You can find yourself crying in the night saying, God, my life is in shambles. You find yourself at the most broken moment in your life. My soul refused to be comforted, I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Yet, all you hear God saying is His grace is sufficient.

There will come a time when you will feel apathetic toward things. When you feel like that New Year’s resolution was in January, which was a long time ago — I can’t be bothered with that anymore. When you don’t feel like it, that is when you step out in faith.

He told me something that both shocked and stuck with me.

Ministers cannot let their struggles be transparent because they are helping us, but don’t think there are times even they don’t want to take this calling and throw it all the way into the ocean. Because this is not easy. It is not easy to fight for other people who do not understand you are only trying to help them be saved and who, if they saw the reality of your humanity, would walk away in five seconds flat. And there are times you’re fighting for other people’s families while you’re not having time to build your own.

While the Lord anointed Elder to preach the Word and gave him truth and ability to masterfully teach, he gave the instruction to help others, but he still had to go home like everybody else and do the work. He had to live those anointed words and he had to face himself, just as we do. He asked me what has a hold on my life right now? In that moment, a light came on. If I’m striving to overcome, God will sustain me just as He did him, and what could be stronger than that?

Turn to the scriptures.

The power of God, accountability, and a pure heart will begin the healing process in any life. Dad had already faced some of the same things and overcame them.

When you hit that wall, you are left with one choice: your will or His will?

We can choose to have peace and joy through it. We can choose to overcome it. We can choose to put in the work. We can choose to be encouraged (hey, Brother Wright). We can choose to stay on the foundation. We can choose to turn to the scriptures.

A Priest and a Levite Were Walking Down a Road . . .

To get the good ending? You’ve got to get uncomfortable.

You can be comfortable living in the flesh or you can be just as comfortable going to church. We can’t be driven by emotions, nor can we be stuck in indifference . . . the Lord calls that lukewarm. You’re in the middle with your faith. In Luke 10, the parable of the good Samaritan, the priest and Levite passed right by the half-dead man, maybe apathetically figuring someone else would help him. How often do we literally and figuratively walk right past things thinking ‘someone else will do it’, ‘someone else will help’? The good Samaritan crossed the road, got on his knees, and begin to help.

Even when you’re going through a condition, don’t become indifferent. Part of our song in the night is staying part of what is going on and keeping our responsibilities.

Hold Close to God’s Word

How did Jesus get His song in the night? Brother Nobles just talked about the Garden of Gethsemane. What did Jesus do?

He went straight to the scriptures.

It’s easy to sing when everything is going well, but what happens when your life, your marriage, your children, or your family are on the line?

You don’t find your song in the good place. You find your song in the night season. You find your song in prison.

He gave us a seat at the table, and for the rest of our lives, we will embrace that we are a son or daughter, that we have favor, grace, and all the tools we need to overcome and to know Him, and be grateful deep in our hearts for it. Whatever season you are in, turn to the scriptures. Through every condition, they will cause us to say:

We will give Him the remainder of our lives.

We will serve Him and thank Him with the breath left in our bodies.

We will feel peace that transcends human understanding.

The carnal nature will try to take this song out of our minds, our lives, and our homes.

As soon as we start to complain, as soon as we get a complaint in our heart, the carnal thinking comes flooding in with doubt about the very integrity of God, and you question if He is even there for you, and you think that He has somehow withdrawn His hand from you, He’s not faithful to you, and you are not in His mercy any longer.

Some conditions are going to be mightier than us, and they will cause us to forget everything God ever did for us, but as Joshua reminded the children of the wilderness, “Don’t you remember how God parted the Red Sea? How Moses struck a rock and water came out? All those times manna fell from heaven?

We have to remember what He has already done for us.

Paul and Silas in the Darkness of Their Night

Paul and Silas were arrested. The magistrates had them stripped, beaten with rods, and locked up. Apparently, they don’t mess around in Macedonia.

“And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” -Acts 16:22-26

We Love a good Turnaround

At midnight, while Paul and Silas are praying in their cell, they sang praises to God (there’s some real faith and joy for you). There was an earthquake, and all the cell doors opened, and the chains fell off the prisoners. God had arranged another prison break.

When the jailer wakes up and sees that all the cells are opened he takes out his sword so that he can kill himself for letting prisoners escape on his watch. Yikes. Paul tells him that they’re still there and that he should hold off on offing himself. He has so much to live for. The jailer is so impressed by the two men that he decides to believe in Jesus. What a light and witness Paul and Silas were as God delivered them . . . all because when trouble came, they had a song in the night.

I Hear the Chains Falling

There is a sound that gets God on the scene. At midnight as Paul and Silas were singing, the prisoners were listening to them. There is a sound that lets the carnal mind know that freedom is near. We’ve been in bondage, we’ve been in fear, we’ve been in shame. We ask, Lord what do I do? His answer is that now would be a great time to worship, have joy, be thankful, and start singing.

Talk to us Paul; Talk to us Silas

Can we hear that suddenly part again?

Suddenly there was an earthquake and the prison foundation was shaken, the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed. In the middle of our prison, our worst moment — is He worthy of our praise, thankfulness, joy, singing? Or is our song one of convenience, comfort, and what is familiar to us? Can we have joy and lift our hands in thankfulness when we are surrounded by trouble?

What if your prison is one you made? It’s easy to sing in a prison you didn’t make, but what if it was your decision or your immaturity that put you there?

There is a moment of “suddenly” that is coming on us, and that which is holding us hostage will have to let go—things going against us have a time limit when we find our song in the night.

How Does It End?

The jailer takes Paul and Silas to his house and treats their wounds. Everyone in the whole house decides to be baptized. The next morning, the magistrates send word to the jailer to let Paul and Silas go. Paul and Silas head back to Lydia’s house with their heads held high.

Pretty impressive how that song in the night ended.

In Your Worst Situations, God Turns Up

Jacob is one of those people in the Bible who had an action-packed life. His life is inspirational and interesting—he stole his brother’s birthright, a family fugitive, he’s on the run, he has this dream about a stairway to heaven, he wrestles with God—he’s got it all going. In Genesis 34, Jacob’s daughter has been traumatized and his sons were killing for revenge, slaying all the males in the city. Jacob is troubled. And there he is in chapter 35 in probably the worst state he’s ever been in.

And God turns up.

He tells Jacob to get up. Move to Bethel. Jacob had gotten comfortable in Shechem. It’s easy to get familiar in our spirit, to get comfortable where we are. Sometimes we have stayed comfortable in some places we weren’t meant to stay in. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we can even get comfortable in fear, anxiety, and doubt—then all hell can break loose. Let this be the year we step out in faith, regardless of our feelings, in spite of what 2020 has brought . . . and we just trust God.

When the people of God begin to sing, prison doors tend to fly open.

When we are in a dark prison, we need to raise up our hands and begin to sing a song in the darkness of night. The enemy (inner me) who hears this song will have to let go of its hold. This song will begin to shake every foundation. When the people of God begin to sing their song, God will show up. He will use it to be a witness in the lives of those around us. If you are in a season of darkness, turn to the scriptures, lift up you voice, and soon you will hear God’s melody (truth) and you will begin to sing that new song.

Speaking of a new song . . .

Revelation 14 — We need to have His name written in our forehead—so deep in your heart that you are willing to serve Him through every condition. You will do it in the hard times. You will do it when you don’t see the light. The true song will establish you and keep you through trials.

Verse 2 — Can’t you hear that voice? The closer we get, the clearer He becomes.

Revelation 22 — He is still saying, “Come”.

The great spirit of God is still saying, “COME”!

Excerpt from “Pilgrim” I Promised You about leaving the path (It’s Worth the Read)

“As Christian and Hopeful continued along the path, which ran beside the river, they soon found that the path turned from the river and became rocky and rough. The way hurt their feet and made them labor to breathe. Suddenly, Christian noticed a beautiful meadow to his left and a path running beside it, paralleling the path they were traveling. He wanted to go over the set of steps and travel along the smooth path because it would be much easier going. Hopeful, however, wondered whether the path might not lead in the same direction as the path on which they already were. But Christian had no doubts and pointed out that the roads were parallel as far as they could see. So, they got off the path.

They encountered a traveler (Vain Glory) who assured them they were going the right way to the Celestial City. As they followed him, the night came, and it grew very dark. The traveler could not see and fell into a deep pit that was purposed there. Christian and Hopeful heard the noise and groaning of the traveler but could not see in the darkness to help him. It began to storm and rain until the water rose on the path. They searched desperately with all the skill they had to get to the steps they used to leave the true path but could not find them. They became weary and found a small shelter where they fell asleep. Where they lay was not far from Doubting Castle where Giant Despair, walking up and down his fields the next morning, found them asleep and drove them into his castle locking them in his dark dungeon . . . “

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