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  • Audio Issues April 19, 2012
    Last week I wrote about the filters we all use every day, including the one in our brain.  Our brains filter an enormous amount of information every day, and if that filtering ability is compromised that leads to some very annoying consequences.  Well, I now know specifically what information my brain isn’t filtering correctly.  Sound.  […]
  • Filters April 13, 2012
    Motor oil, air intakes, vacuum cleaners, and coffee pots all require filters.  Filters are a great way to allow what we want or need to flow through, while blocking what we don’t.  They work great when we change them regularly so they don’t get plugged.  When we don’t change them they tend to plug, and […]

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What the Nail Feels

July 1st 2010

When we pound a nail we so often think of the sound the hammer makes, bang bang bang.  We never think about what the nail would feel if it could.  A sharp impact and the pressure of hammer upon it, driving it into another object.  The force it feels at it cuts a hole in the object it is being held against.  The repeating pounding to keep the pressure going.  Then finally, quiet, as it rests completely in the object it was pounded into.

We are that nail, and sometimes we feel that pressure.  That pressure may come from the things we are experiencing, or it may be coming from God’s hammer.  As God molds us He sometimes finds it necessary to pound His hammer on us so we can feel the force of the impact.  He does this so that we will eventually rest in the place He desires for us to be.  Like the nail feels the repeated pressure of the hammer until it rests where the hammer holder stops pounding, we can feel the pressure of God’s hammer until He stops pounding because we have reached the point He intended us to.

Sometimes a nail does not respond to the hammer holder the way he intended it to.  A nail will sometimes slip off the object, it will sometimes bend to one side after it is partly pounded in.  If we do those things when God is trying to mold us the molding takes longer because He must first straighten our course.  We will feel the pressure of the hammer as it corrects our course and starts pounding on us again.

God intends for us to come to a place of rest where we are finally molded into the likeness of Christ.  That happens when we are with Him for eternity.  While we wait for that day we must allow the hammer to pound on us so that we will be closer to that likeness.  When we feel pressure we must ask ourselves is it God’s hammer trying to correct our course?  Are we being a stubborn nail, slipping and bending, or are we allowing God to hold us up straight and allowing Him to decide where we land.  If God’s hammer is pounding us straight we ought to rejoice and thank Him, for it God who keeps us straight on that course.  If we are bending and slipping, then we are being distracted by the world, and we ought to ask the Lord to correct our focus, so He can continue His molding process.

A nail has never asked the hammer holder to pound on it, it has no choice in this matter.  We however have a choice whether we allow God to use His hammer on us.  We must choose to put ourselves in the position where He can mold us, for God does not mold those who have not put themselves under His hammer.  That position only comes through Christ.  When we have trusted in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross we are choosing to allow God to mold us into the likeness of Christ.  We must then choose daily to allow Him to continue that process of molding us with His hammer.

Take It Away

December 31st 2009

When we are grasping for lifelines, when we are in tears, when we feel that our lives are unraveling, in those very moments when we most need the Lord to intervene and change our lives the most dramatically we often make the statement "Take it away Lord!"  In the most difficult challenges of our lives we look to God and often ask Him to take it away, to erase the trial, to change the circumstance, or to take us out of it.  Yet, He most often chooses to leave it as it is, to leave us in it, to make us endure the trial.  We must therefore ask ourselves why He does this, because when the Lord does something there is a reason.

I asked God to do that for me in the midst of my trial, more then once, and I asked Him why He didn’t, why He made me endure it.  His answer every time was to stop asking Him to take it away and to start depending on Him for the strength I needed to endure it, and to allow Him to take away the fear I had that made me ask Him to remove it.   It is fear that forces us to ask Him to do this, because we fear we will not endure.  He was forcing me to depend on Him rather then on myself for what I needed to endure the trial.  He was answering the promises He had made to give me strength, comfort, peace, and shelter.  He was changing who I was while I was enduring the trial, He was changing me more then ever before during my walk with Him.  He was molding me into who He desired me to be.

So is He going to take us out of the trial or change the circumstances around us when we cry out desperately to Him in trial? Only if that is what will give Him the most glory. U sing every circumstance to mold us into the person He needs us to be, to do what He wants us to do for Him is what He chooses instead. Molding us is His desire.  As we become more and more like Him our fellowship with Him is more intimate. He died so that He would once again have fellowship with us. Why would He remove that which allows Him to mold us the most?  Molds us the most? Yes, admit it, trial molds us the most. At least I can admit that, for I know that in the years I have faced my trial with the Lord I have learned more about the Lord and His desires for my life then in all the years I walked with Him previous to that.  As a result of that my relationship with Him is more intimate, and that is His desire.

So the Lord chooses not to remove us from trial in order to mold us, to teach us, to show us how He works in our lives, so that we will depend on Him so that our level of intimacy with Him will increase immeasurably.  I know that the Lord is molding me in the midst of trial, that He is fulfilling His promises while doing that, and that He so desires to have fellowship with me that He died to gain that.  I am certainly not going to squander that, I am going to lay myself upon God’s Anvil and allow Him to make me more and more like Him every day so that my fellowship with Him can become more intimate. For I know that as that fellowship gains intimacy I gain more insight into who my Lord is, what He desires of me, and how I can fulfill that. After all, pleasing Him is my most ultimate desire.

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What Perseverance Isn’t

December 1st 2009

I have to be honest, there have been times the weight of my trials have just brought me to tears before God. What about you? If we are all honest we can likely say yes.  Then there are those times we refuse to cry because perseverance is the ability to withstand the pressure of a trial and remain strong under it.  Is that really the truth however?

Have you ever thought about that question?  What perseverance isn’t.  It isn’t faking, it isn’t putting on a mask and pretending.  It isn’t a vain attempt at pretending we are capable of holding up under pressure and stress while we are collapsing on the inside, unable to ask for help in an honest way even before God.  What?  If we are not honest about the pressure, honest about what it is doing to us, then we will not be honest about the need for help.  If that is the case, then the pressure continues to build because we have now put ourselves in the way of receiving the help we so desperately need.  Often it is us that needs to get out of the way so we can get what we need.

At the same time we need help, we block it from coming.  By making ourselves believe we are doing fine by lying to ourselves, and to others, we are the cause for our own suffering.  Yes the world can be cruel, it can be difficult, and it can be the source for trials.  However, there is available to us help, but if we do not allow ourselves to be honest we will not receive what we are need of.

This help, the Lord.  Yet He is not going to force upon us a solution we do not ask for, or a will we do not want to follow.  He has for us promises 0f comfort, peace, strength, shelter, and help.  Yet if we are not honest about our need, we are not going to accept what He is offering to help us for those needs.  It is much like the independent child refusing the needed help from the parent, when the parent knows they have what the child needs, and the parent knowing they cannon force the child to accept it.  God has what we need, but our refusal to be honest about our need blocks His ability to give it to us.  We need to get out of the way of the giving

What excuses might we use?  I am sure you have your own, I have had mine.  Our emotions can sometimes wreak havoc on our ability to admit our need.  Maybe you say I just don’t cry, I can’t cry it will show my weakness, I refuse to show my anger, I get too angry, I am depressed, I am overwhelmed with grief, I am burdened with sorrow, I am extremely lonely, or some other overwhelming feeling that you don’t know how to express.  Remember this–Christ felt every possible emotion you have ever felt when He walked this earth, only He felt it pure and unchanged by sin.  That means He understands that emotion even better then we do ourselves.  As well, the Lord created us with these emotions, so His understanding of them is perfect, so His help will be the perfect help we need in that moment.

What we must do is go to Him in honesty, with a full outpouring of our emotions and what we need.  He is listening, and wants to know our burdens.  He is not fooled by our masks and our attempts to hide our inner most thoughts, desires, and needs.  We must always go to Him honestly if we expect to gain the things that we need the most, for He has not only promised them, He desires to give them to us.  We must get out of the way of the giving.

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Perseverance

September 18th 2009

Perseverance-the ability to withstand the trial we are now facing, and the ability to face the trial we are about to endure, while remaining steady in our faith.  Is perseverance something that happens to us, or something we become capable of doing?  I am going to borrow an acronym from my pastor who shared this with us this past Sunday:

P ursue

E verything

R elentlessly

S hirking

E xcuses

V aliantly

E xpecting

R ighteous

E ndurance

Using those words it sounds like perseverance is very active!  Perseverance is not something that simply falls upon us.  In 1 Timothy 6:11 Paul tells Timothy to pursue endurance, amongst other things.  If endurance is something you pursue, than it certainly isn’t something that just happens. Pursuing is active.  Pursuing something is what we do when we want something more than anything else we might give up while on that pursuit.  What might be the "everything" referred to in this acronym"?  In 1 Peter 3:10-12 we find the word pursue again "he must seek peace and pursue it." Peace, a good thing to pursue, but why stop there, why not pursue all the fruits of the spirit! (Gal 5:22-23 )

The opposite of pursue would be to get away from, to purposefully and diligently do all we can to avoid something in our lives.  In this acronym the word Shirking is used.  Good word when it comes to Shirking Excuses!  Someone who has perseverance is not going to use their trial as an excuse to shirk their responsibility to others.  But most especially they will not use it to shirk their responsibility to God.  When the Lord is faithful to us in trial, how much faith are we showing when we use our trial as an excuse not to do what the Lord is asking of us.  Look at Paul in Acts 21:10-13 , if anyone had the best excuse it was Paul, he knew what was coming.  Yet he refused to use it because his faith was bigger than the trial he would face.  Once again perseverance becomes active, because we must choose to act on our knowledge that God has made promises that He will keep, and that his plan is for us to prosper.  We must act on our faith, our perseverance becomes active when we make decisions based on what we know about the Lord rather than the situation we are in or are about to be in.  That is what Paul did, he made his decision to act based on what he knew about the Lord.  Active perseverance.

Paul’s decision was based on what he knew about the Lord because he knew the Lord would act on His promises.  The Lord promised never to leave us, to always be with us. (Matt 28:20 )  He was expecting righteous endurance, an endurance based on what the Lord had promised him, not on what he could do on his own.  In the same way Paul acted based on what he knew about God, so must we.  When we act based solely on the circumstance we are in we fail to recognize that the One who is in us is greater then the one who is the world, and that He is able to do far more then we ask or imagine. (1 Jn 4:4 , Eph 3:20 )  Endurance is acting on what we know about the Lord rather then our circumstance.

Endurance is active, active in attitude and in action.  We should pursue it, we should look to act on what we know of God rather then our circumstance when we make decisions.  Sometimes we need to do the opposite of pursue-but that is when it comes to excuses and we shirk those, because our trial is never bigger than what God has planned.  Perseverance is not going to just happen, it isn’t just going to become part of you, make a decision in your trial today based on what you know about God rather then your situation and that is perseverance.

It Isn’t Automatic

August 15th 2009

When we are enduring a trial we need to remember that it isn’t about the suffering it is about what we gain.  WHAT?  What an odd thing to say.  What we gain from the suffering?  "How do we gain anything in suffering" is most likely what you are thinking right now.  I will be honest, I didn’t always think I would gain anything in a trial either-it was a lesson learned through suffering.  Yet it is a lesson I learned-that there is something to be gained in suffering.

If we look at Christ and what He endured for us on the cross, we have to say–it was much suffering!  When we look at Matthew 26:36-46 Christ asks not to endure this suffering.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"


Christ asks the father if the burden that is about to be placed on him can be taken away.  He is deeply troubled, deeply sorrowed, and yet he still tells the father that he will do the fathers will.  He knows what He is about to endure, the pain that will come with it, and He is feeling the human emotions that come with that knowledge.  Those emotions are felt with an intensity we can never feel because they are pure from sin, and yet he still tells the father that He will do the fathers will.  Pain, sorrow, and intense suffering will come from doing the fathers will.  What can come of that?

We know that since Christ was willing to do as the father asked we are able to be forgiven through Gods mercy and grace, because that was the Lord’s plan, for us to once again come into fellowship with Him.  For God that is joy, and for us the only way to experience joy.   So out of terrible suffering, the worst suffering in history, the suffering of Christ, comes the greatest joy.  So if that is the case then how can we say that suffering is worth nothing.  Christ, who would endure the greatest suffering, was willing to follow the father’s will because He knew God’s plan would bring the greatest joy.

The question for us becomes how we find joy in suffering.  If, through the greatest suffering ever there was joy, should there not then be joy in our suffering.  We are told in James 1:2-3 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. " (James 1:2-3 )  It isn’t automatic, we must consider it so.  Even for Christ it wasn’t automatic.  He asked to have the cup removed, he had to choose to do the fathers will, choose to follow the father even in suffering, choose to see Gods plan over the suffering.  That is what we must do.  Choose to do the fathers will regardless of our suffering, choose to follow the Lord even in of our trial, and choose to see what the Lord is doing in our life through trials and suffering.  That is when we find joy in trial-when we choose to see what God is doing in and through the suffering, when we focus on Him and what He is doing.

The Hammer Holder

July 23rd 2009

Have you ever held something in your hand and hit it with a hammer? You feel the blow of the hammer, every vibration.  The hammer holder always feels every vibration of the hammer as it hits it mark, even if what the hammer is hitting isn’t in their hand.  This is no different when God is the hammer holder and He is molding us on His Anvil.  As He uses His hammer to mold us He feels those vibrations, every bit of it because He is not only holding us, but He also lives in us.  As believers the Holy Spirit indwells us (1 Cor 6:19 ), so as God is molding us, He is experiencing the molding process along with us.  More so even still, as the process effects our life, He knows exactly what the process feels like to us in an intimate and personal way.  How is this possible?

God in His infinite wisdom made it possible.  Jesus Christ lived on earth fully man and fully God (Jn 8:48-59 ).  He felt every emotion from love to pain, hurt to joy, each emotion that we feel in the molding process as humans.  Only, when Christ felt these emotions He felt them with an intensity we cannot understand because they were pure, not clouded by sin.   So, as Gods hammer molds us He knows the exact way it makes us feel each time in each moment.

We can never say to God that He is giving us more then we can bear as He holds the hammer in the molding process.  First, because He promises He won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.  (1 Cor 10:13 )  Secondly, because He feels each hit of the hammer as He molds us.  Any emotion you can name, He is not going to give you more of it then you can bear.  He is experiencing the molding process along with you, and knows how this process is effecting you.  If there is a pain, sorrow, frustration, anger, hurt, or any emotion you are holding out to God and saying "Why?" remember that He is bearing it with you, that He knows intimately and personally how you feel (Heb 2:18 ).  Rather then asking Him "Why?", consider crying to Him "Help!"  Since He has experienced all of it, and has infinite wisdom, He is the best source for the help you need.

Coming Home

July 1st 2009

Whenever we go on a trip we get so excited, we plan ahead, we make all the arrangements, we talk about it for weeks, sometimes months.  We tell others about it, we pack ahead of time, we might even buy new things to take along.  For those few days leading up to the trip it consumes our time.  When we arrive we enjoy all of it, we take it in because our level of excitement for the going was so high that we want to soak it all up, not miss anything.

We all go different places for different reasons, but we all do this don’t we?  It is true, maybe to a different level or degree depending on where we are going and why, but we do it.  Then that point comes where we say.  "I can’t wait to tell so and so about this".  Why is it that we can be on the most amazing trip and still think of home?  Because regardless of where we are home is where we have emotionally attached ourselves to.  You can be on the most exciting trip to the most exciting place you have ever been, but have you ever noticed that it isn’t complete somehow until you have gone home, sat in your home, reflected on the experience and then shared it with the people who are in your life.  That completes the trip because it connects it to the life you live everyday, it attaches it to the people and the place you are emotionally attached to.

All of our experiences in life are the same way.  When something exciting happens in our life, we want to share it with those closest to us to have someone to celebrate with.  When something not so good happens, we go to those closest to us to get support, help, encouragement, and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on.  The people we think of on those trips and say "I can’t wait to tell so and so about this!" are likely the same people who hear about all the other things in our life every day.  So here is a question-Who is that person in your life?

For every one of us there is someone who is waiting to hear about everything.  About our trips-yes.  About our experiences-yes.  Whether good bad indifferent-yes.  Even if we have bags we packed years ago in our life, and have carried around on this trip, we can unpack them, talk about them, even cry over them if we have to.  Every experience, every moment, He is waiting to listen.  It is just a matter of coming home and desiring to share it.  Even if you haven’t talked to Him in prayer for a while, He is still waiting because like those in your life who want to hear about your trip, He wants to hear about your life and all that is in it.  The Lord is always there, always listening, and always understanding. (Ps 139:7-12 , Heb 4:15-16 )  So, like coming home, go to the Lord in prayer, tell Him what has been happening, what you have been experiencing.  Celebrate with Him, receive the help strength and shelter you need from Him. (Heb 4:16 , Ps 18:31-33, Ps 91:1-2 )

The Luggage We Leave

June 14th 2009

I am packing my luggage today to go on a trip.  I can only fit so much in one bag, and I only have so many bags to put my things in.  Then I will need to be able to carry whatever I take with me.  Then we face the airline, who puts restrictions on what we are allowed to take, and we all know that has only become more restrictive recently, not less.  I do not plan on over packing, stuffing my bags and taking to much along with me, I am go to leave behind what I do not need to take with me.  Of course there is always the opposite of that, leaving something and not realizing it until I get where I am going, and then it is too late to do anything about it.

When we drag our bags around with us from life, we often would like to leave certain things behind, forget them on purpose, leaving them on the side of the road, at our house, work, or in our old town, or even in the taxi.  The problem with that theory however is, they don’t really get left there, they only become stuffed together into the smaller bag we think we are carrying until it becomes too heavy and overstuffed to carry.

With God we start to think He doesn’t want certain parts of our luggage, like the airline who tells us "that bag is too heavy", we think God is going to tell us He doesn’t like certain pieces of luggage from our life, that they won’t fit on His Anvil.   So we leave them there, to sit, unattended to until they become a burden.

The reality is however that God tells us exactly the opposite of this.  In Matthew 11:28-29 Christ says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  He wants to take those burdens, He wants to give you rest from that luggage you have been carrying around, that has been burdening your life.

The anvil of God is big enough for whatever luggage you have, unlike the airline, He will not reject whatever burden you bring to Him.  He desires to give you rest from that burden.  Is there a piece of life’s luggage you left somewhere that is burdening you that you thought God didn’t want, that you thought you couldn’t bring to Gods Anvil to be changed?  Bring it to Him, place it on His anvil, so that like the Psalmist you can say "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. " (Ps 68:19 )

Changing The Sound

May 16th 2009

When we swing a hammer and hear that ping ping ping, we know we are hitting the mark.  Those times we hear a thud, a hallow sound, and when it hurts, we know we have missed the mark and need to re-aim the hammer.  Why?  Because the only one who can correct the error is the one swinging the hammer.  When we are swinging a hammer at an object and miss, it is our judgment that has caused the miss to occur.

When God is the one chiseling at us, and the sound of the hammer hitting our life is not the sound we want to hear, it isn’t God who has to re-aim His hammer.  His judgment is not at fault for causing His hammer to miss its mark.  We must act to change the sound of the hammer, because the sound of the hammer is directly related to where we are standing in our relationship with the Lord.  The different reactions we have to the hammer may be caused by a wide variety of things in our life-according to us-but at the core they are all caused by our need to be in Gods will.  What do I mean by that?  God intends for us to have a relationship with Him that is intimate.  If the hammer is missing its mark we have moved away from the one who is swinging it.  This  relationship requires time, energy, and sacrifice on both ends.  He has given that to us, and is giving that to us, on a constant basis.  God promises us His constant presence (Ps 46:1 ), which means He is giving us His time.  He promises us shelter, strength, comfort, and to be our sufficiency. (Ps 61:34 , Ps 28:6-8 , Ps 23:4 , 2 Cor 12:8-10 )  That requires much energy.  He has already given us the sacrifice of His son so that this relationship with Him is possible. (1 Jn 4:10 )

Time, energy, and sacrifice.  What time energy and sacrifice is He asking in return, for we could never give to Him what He gives to us.  What He asks is that we spend time in prayer and in His word.  If the sound you hear is a thud-softening is required.  A softening only the Lord can give. (Ezek 11:19 )   This can only be gained by spending time in communication with Him in prayer.  The hallow sound can only go away when you are filled with something, filled with the things that the Lord desires for you.  How do you discover those things?  Spending time in His word, reading those things which He has promised, the wisdom He gives to us, and the instructions He imparts.  If the hammer hurts the only way to heal that is to be honest with God in prayer and to allow Him to comfort heal shelter and strengthen you-allowing Him to fulfill the promises He made.

Time-time in prayer and time in Gods word.  It requires energy when sometimes we think we do not have it.  It requires a sacrifice, because when the hammer doesn’t sound right in our life we may not always want to do it, so we give up what we "want" for what we need. When the hammer doesn’t sound right in our life we may not feel like spending that time, but we should want to change how the hammer sounds.  Why?  Because that is how we are molded and changed, and if the hammer isn’t hitting the mark squarely then the molding process isn’t happening in the most effective way.  When the hammer doesn’t sound right and you just don’t "feel like" spending that time ask yourself this question "Is what I am doing in place of praying or reading Gods word going to change the sound of the hammer?"  If the answer is an honest "no" then the next words should be "Lord-help me to do what I need rather then what I want".

Ping ping ping ping THUD.  Over and over the hammer falls, hits its mark, and a sound is heard.  The sound that is heard depends much on what material the hammer is hitting.  Have you ever built anything and listened to the hammer as it hits the nail, then misses?  What sound is heard when the hammer suddenly misses it mark?  Most often a thud is heard, usually because a hammer is used to hit nails into wood.  Now if you happen to hit your thumb, that ensues quite a different response.  If you are hammering a nail into a wall to hang something, you might even hear a slightly hollow sound as the hammer makes a hole in the wall as it sinks into the surface when it hits.  If you take a hammer and pound on brick or stone and you will hear a chip chip chipping sound as pieces come off with each point of contact.

As the hammer does the job it is meant to do-hitting things-it always makes some kind of noise.  It doesn’t do its job silently because it always has a point of contact, that moment when the hammer comes into contact with the object we swing it at.  A hammer cannot do its job when there is no sound because that would mean it made no contact with its intended target.  God uses hammers to mold us: His word and His will.  If we are expecting to have those do their job without having some noise in our life then we are fooling ourselves, because a hammer cannot do its job without some noise.  If Gods hammers are making contact in our lives there is going to be some noise, because that is what happens when a hammer makes contact with its intended target!

Now a physical hammer may go ping, or even thud, when it hits its target, but what kind of noise will God’s hammers make?  First we must look at what God is using His hammers to do.  God intends to mold us into who He desires us to be, transforming us into a new creation intended for His glory.  (Eph 4:22-24 , 2 Cor 3:17-18 )  For this process to take place He must remove the things that are not like Him, and replace them with the things that are like Him.  1 Peter 2:9 tells us "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."  We are called out  darkness!  Verse 1-3 says "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."So what is that hammer being used for?  To replace our nature with the things of the spirit.  Looking at this we can only do that if crave spiritual milk-if we seek God, if we are craving spiritual milk we are allowing Him to mold us, to use His hammer to shape us.

So what does Gods hammer sound like?  That depend on us really.  If we are avoiding the hammer, God is still going to use His will and His Word as His tools, however the noise it makes in our lives is going to be much different then that of a hammer hitting its mark!  Think of not only the sound of an actual hammer missing its mark, but the feeling made in your body- rhythmic when it hits its mark, but when missing the mark the vibration of the hammer feels completely different, even hard, harsh or painful.  When we are avoiding God’s hammer that is what happens in our lives.  The molding process still occurs, but it will begin to feel harsh, hard, or even painful.

If you are hard, like a piece of wood, then you are going to hear and feel a hard thud in your life.  The molding process is going to feel like a constant pushing, banging, and pounding.  This is when you need to allow God to soften you through time in prayer asking Him to help you realize His will for your life.  If you are empty you are going to hear and feel a hollow sound.  The molding process may seem useless, like it is taking you nowhere because you do not understand the hope of His calling.  This is when you need to pour your time into Gods word allowing it to fill your mind and soul with His promises.  If the molding process hurts like the hammer hitting your thumb, that is when it is time to remember Gods promises by reading them, and by going to Him asking Him to be your strength, shelter, comfort, and healer.  As the molding process goes on in our lives we will feel a chip chip chipping away in our lives, at the same time those things will be replaced with the things God desires us to become, and He will complete the process to the end.

God is going to mold us, change us, and make us new, what that sounds like in our lives will depend on how we respond to the hammer.  Ask yourself what sounds you are hearing in your life through the molding process.  Does what God is doing sound like a thud,  does it sound hallow, feel painful?  If you are avoiding the hammer in any way,  go to God and ask Him to help you change the sound it is making in your life so that the molding process can become one of joy.  That is the sound God wants the molding process to make in our lives, the sound of joy! For there is no better model for our molding process than Christ!  Being molded by God’s hammer can be a joyful process if we are not avoiding it and we allow God to do what He desires in our life.

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