Glorious uncertainty…that is what Oswald Chambers called it. It is the idea that you are in a situation where you can not see what is ahead but you are certain of God that He will not let you fall. Oswald Chambers puts it this way, “One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God, “Because thou didst keep the word of My patience.” God takes the saints like a bow which He stretches and at a certain point the saint says, “I can’t stand any more,” but God does not heed, He goes on stretching because He is aiming at His mark, not ours, and the patience of the saints is that they ‘hang in’ until God lets the arrow fly. If your hopes are being disappointed just now it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly; one or two things lie unsolved, and the biggest test of all is that God looks as if He were totally indifferent.”

Clouds are one of God’s great tools. It is in these ‘cloud’ experiences that some of our greatest growth takes place. If you will do a study of clouds in Scripture, you will find some very interesting reading. There are seven uses of clouds in the Bible.

1. Clouds are used to teach us about God’s promises.

Genesis 9:13-14
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. [14] And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

The rainbow is a promise to the world. But God said that He would bring the cloud first and that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud. Most of us want to remove all clouds from our experience. It looks as if the clouds are necessary to appreciate the rainbow of promise.

2. Clouds are used to teach us about God’s guidance.

Exodus 13:21-22
And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: [22] He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

God guided His people through the wilderness by a cloud. The principle of faith is the main element here. We walk by faith, not by sight¦ He is still our guide.

3. Clouds are used to teach us about God’s protection.

Exodus 14:19-20
And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: [20] And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

The cloud became a partition between them and their enemy. God will protect us from the attack of the Enemy.

4. Clouds are used to teach us about God’s provision.

Exodus 16:10-12
And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
[11] And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, [12] I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.

God abundantly provides for us:
Abundant Life  John 10:10
Abundant Power  Ephesians 3:20
Abundant Supply  Philippians 4:19

5. Clouds are used to teach us about God’s glorification

Exodus 24:15-18
And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. [16] And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. [17] And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. [18] And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Moses was surrounded by God’s glory in a cloud. Can we see the glory of God today? How? 2 Cor. 3:18 (GW) As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

How can we reflect the glory of God?
By Good Works  Matthew 5:16
By Bearing Fruit  John 15:8
By Consecration  1 Corinthians 6:20

6. Clouds are used to teach us about God’s presence.

Exodus 40:33-38
And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.
[34] Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. [35] And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. [36] And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: [37] But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. [38] For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

Today God dwells in us who are believers; we are God’s temple, His dwelling place on earth. We should practice His presence daily.

7. Clouds are used to teach us about God’s coming again.

Acts 1:9 (KJV)
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Jesus will take us home in a cloud  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Wow-that means when we go to heaven, we will be accompanied by His glory (the cloud).

In Exodus 24 & 25 God’s cloud covered the mountain just before God spoke. Exodus 33:10 & 11 says that from a cloudy pillar the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Thank God for your cloud; this is where He speaks to His friend!!! Be grateful today that God loves you enough to put you in a cloud of uncertainty…He is about to speak. Start focusing on the certainty of God and His promises and listen to your Friend!

Remember to live in such a way that when the world and the church see you, they will know that God can be trusted!

Listening in our cloud,

Billy Daws

Are You At Wits’ End?

Psalm 107 is an awesome Psalm!   The key phrase to the whole psalm is Psalm 107:27b, “…they are at their wits’ end.”  When you are at your wits’ end, you need Psalm 107…and more than that…you need God!  What is wits’ end?  It is that place in your life that there is no possible solution…no human way out…nothing…no ray of hope…no natural means of ending your present situation.  It could be health, finances, relationship, marriage, family, job, etc.

The Psalm begins with a summons:  Psalm 107:1 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”  The summons is issued by the Holy Spirit as He inspires the writer.  The summons is issued to believers: Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”  The main thrust of the summons is that thanks is to be given to God!

Psalm 107 is divided into four parts: 

  • In verses 4-5, we see the wanderers whose souls have fainted in them because they did not know where to go.
  • In verses 10-12, we see the people bound and imprisoned by their own wrong decisions who have no one to help. 
  • In verses 17-18, we see the foolish who have rejected what could of helped…God’s truth…they are afflicted and near the gates of death 
  • In verses 23-27, we see people who are suddenly overcome by a great storm in life and is at their  wits’ end.

Each of these parts are divided like this:

  • the hopeless situationwandering people, prisoners, fools, and storm-tossed people 
  • the cry for help (vs, 6,13,19,28): hurting people cry out to the Lord
  • God’s response
v. 7-9 – He satisfied the longing soul of the wanderers and led them where they were to be; 
v14 – He broke the chains of the prisoners;
v. 20 – He sent his Word and healed the foolish;
v. 30 – He guides the storm-tossed to their desired haven.
  • Man’s Worship vs. 8,15,21,31: thanksgiving for what God has done, telling others of God’s wonderful work.  The crying out is worship (I can’t but You can!)

There are certain things that you need to know.  Each hopeless situation in this Psalm and in your life is ordained by God…that means that God either caused it or allowed it.  Whether God caused it or allowed it does not matter because the result is the same: you are in quicksand and you are sinking fast!  The Sovereign Lord has brought us to Wits’ End for a purpose.  1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”  God wants to produce something in your heart.

How do you get out of Wits’ End?  Two things must take place everytime you are at Wits’ End:

  • Admit that you are at Wits’ End.  Remember this is the place where you realize that you have no human solution. Psalm 107:27 “They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.”
  • Cry out to the Lord in the midst of the stormPsalm 107:28, “Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.

Did you know that you could be prolonging your own storm?  This happens when you continue to murmur, complain, and question the Lord.  This happens when you run to human solutions:  counselors, psychologists, self-help books or tapes.  This happens when you keep looking for the secret, the plan that will deliver you from your pain. 

Stand still. Acknowledge this storm is from God.  Quit trying to figure it out. Cry out from Wits’ End.  Don’t call a friend, a counselor, or a pastor…call God!  Tell Him that you have no ray of hope from any natural prospect.  Admit that God is your only solution.

When the children of Israel were this side of the Red Sea and they saw Pharoah coming, who led them to that spot?  God did it.  They complained and murmur.  They failed the test.  However, God opened up the Red Sea and they were delivered.  On the other side of the Red Sea, they sang a song of thanksgiving.   Where should they have sung that song?  On the side before the deliverance!  God had the same deliverance for them whether they trusted Him or not.  They did not trust and the sea opened.  If they had trusted, the sea would have opened.  But because they didn’t trust Him, an asterisk was placed by their name: 

***Red Sea Test failed – subjects scheduled for repeat test!

So God led them to the bitter waters of Marah.  The waters were too bitter to drink.  Babies crying, old people fainting, and the thirst was awful.  They should have trusted God but, no!…they complained and murmurred which lead to another asterisk by their name and they were scheduled for a repeat test:  

***Bitter waters test failed  – subjects scheduled for repeat test!

Then God took Israel to Rephidim for another water test.  They failed again.  Another asterisk was placed by their name and they were scheduled for another repeat test!  Wow…how dumb are we humans.  The tragedy of Israel is that they never passed.  God led them to wander for 40 years until they just died off and only Joshua and Caleb got to go in because they were the only two that passed the test.

We know that we have had to repeat tests in our lives.  Recorded next to the name of Billy Daws:  

***Faith and Dependence test failed – subject scheduled for repeat test! 

Noooooo! Not again! Not ever again.  We are at Wits’ End…we have no natural  solution, no human way out, no human answer!  We cry out to God who is our only hope!  No more asterisks.  We trust you. We quit trying to figure it out.  We will not read another self help book. We will not call another friend or pastor with the secret, the plan, the way out!  We trust only God!

David Wilkerson made this comment, “I believe the greatest sign or wonder to the world in these last days isn’t a person who’ been raised from the dead. No, what truly makes an impact on the mind and spirit of the ungodly is the Christian who endures all trials, storms, pain, and suffering with a confident faith. Such a believer emerges from his troubles stronger in character, stronger in faith, stronger in  Christ.”

When the subject or subjects of Psalm 107 came to this place, God delivered them from their distresses and the darkness.  They then went into a worship service of thanksgiving.  Maybe you are at your Wits’ End. Admit it. And stand still and watch God work:

Psalm 107:33-38 “God turns rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.  He turns a wilderness into pools of water, and dry land into watersprings.  There He makes     the hungry dwell, that they may establish a city for a dwelling place,  And sow fields and plant vineyards, that they may yield a fruitful harvest.  He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly; and He does not let their cattle decrease.”

Read Psalm 107:8,15,21,31 and hear how God so wants us to give Him thanks! For the next few days try refraining from asking God for things and only thank Him.   Keep a list on the refrigerator of things you are thankful for and have everyone add to the list each time the fridge is opened this week. Have a happy, thankful Thanksgiving!!

Giving thanks for yall,

Billy Daws

Doing The Right Thing!

There is tremendous comfort and joy when you know that you are in the center of God’s will! Most of the time we rarely see that the events of our day are being ordered by one Who is infinitely wise in all His planning. When we can line our lives with His plan, we have reached the ‘sweet spot’ of life. God is preparing situations and circumstances long before we reach the intersections of life. He is pulling strings as a great Puppeteer to bring about his purpose and plan for our lives. Sometimes these things may seem to be out of control or strange and without meaning. But remember this: nothing is by chance; there is no coincidence; and nothing happens without His control!

One of the great works of literature that illustrates this the most is the Book of Esther, which happens to be one of the 66 books that make up what we know as the Bible. Esther is the only book in the Bible that never mentions God but He is in every chapter as the Blessed Controller of all things. There are four main characters in this book: 1. Xerxes who is the King of Persia. 2. Haman who is the king’s right hand man, and the villain of the story. 3. Esther, a young Jewish woman, and the winner of the first Miss Persia contest and the queen of Persia. 4. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle and step-father, who was a prominent member of the Jewish community.

The book of Esther focuses more on Mordecai than on Esther. It is Mordecai who is the most involved and most important human in bringing about the deliverance of the Jews from a planned extermination of them which is the main story of the book. Mordecai and Esther had risen to positions of prominence in King Xerxes’ court. But the king didn’t know Mordecai was Esther’s uncle and he also didn’t know that Esther was a Jew.

Esther 3:1-6 (GW)

Later, King Xerxes promoted Haman. (Haman was the son of Hammedatha and was from Agag.) He gave Haman a position higher in authority than all the other officials who were with him. [2] All the king’s advisers were at the king’s gate, kneeling and bowing to Haman with their faces touching the ground, because the king had commanded it. But Mordecai would not kneel and bow to him.

[3] Then the king’s advisers at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you ignore the king’s command?” [4] Although they asked him day after day, he paid no attention to them. So they informed Haman to see if Mordecai’s actions would be tolerated, since Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew.

[5] When Haman saw that Mordecai did not kneel and bow to him, Haman was infuriated. [6] Because the king’s advisers had informed him about Mordecai’s nationality, he thought it beneath himself to kill only Mordecai. So Haman planned to wipe out Mordecai’s people: all the Jews in the entire kingdom of Xerxes.

Here is another plan of Satan to stop the plans of God by wiping out the Jews and eliminate the lineage leading to the coming of the Messiah! Mordecai didn’t come to the conclusion that he shouldn’t bow down to Haman, all by himself. God specifically stated that in the 10 commandments. As a good Jewish boy, he had been taught this command from an early age. So, Mordecai didn’t have to guess at what was the right thing to do, he knew it based on God’s Word. Mordecai wanted Esther to approach the king on his behalf. Esther was not so instructed as Mordecai, we see this in her confusion and hesitancy in approaching the king.

Esther 4:6-8 (GW)

So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square in front of the king’s gate. [7] Mordecai informed him about everything that had happened to him. He told him the exact amount of silver that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasury to destroy the Jews. [8] He also gave him a copy of the decree that was issued in Susa. The decree gave permission to exterminate the Jews. Hathach was supposed to show it to Esther to inform and command her to go to the king, beg him for mercy, and appeal to him for her people.

Esther 4:10-17 (GW)

Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to say to Mordecai, [11] “All the king’s advisers and the people in the king’s provinces know that no one approaches the king in the throne room without being summoned. By law that person must be put to death. Only if the king holds out the golden scepter to him will he live. I, myself, have not been summoned to enter the king’s presence for 30 days now.” [12] So Esther’s servants told Mordecai what Esther said.

[13] Mordecai sent this answer back to Esther, “Do not imagine that just because you are in the king’s palace you will be any safer than all the rest of the Jews. [14] The fact is, even if you remain silent now, someone else will help and rescue the Jews, but you and your relatives will die. And who knows, you may have gained your royal position for such a time as this.”

[15] Esther sent this reply back to Mordecai, [16] “Assemble all the Jews in Susa. Fast for me: Do not eat or drink at all for three entire days. My servants and I will also fast. After that, I will go to the king, even if it is against a royal decree. If I perish, I perish.”

[17] Mordecai did just as Esther had commanded him.

What are the underlying principles illustrated here?

  • Determine what is the right thing to do based on the principles of Scripture and when necessary, the counsel of godly men and women. Esther valued the counsel of Mordecai because it was based on God’s Word.
  • Take courageous action for I am here for such a time as this! Esther determined to make a courageous step because it was the right thing to do.
  • Leave the results to God: if I perish, I perish!

The end of the story, as far as Esther and Mordecai are concerned, is that Esther was successful. The King welcomed her. Haman was executed for his wicked plot against the Jews. The Jewish nation was saved from annihilation. And, even beyond that, Mordecai became the number two man in the kingdom. What a great ending to Esther and Mordecai’s story!

But what about your story? Are you going to take the safe, secure, easy route? Or will you determine what is right? Take courageous action and leave the results to God?