Que Sera Sera

Que Sera Sera

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NKJV) Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;
though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

“Que sera sera” is a Spanish phrase translated means “what will be, will be.” You may be familiar with it from the 1956 song of the same name made famous by actress/singer, Doris Day in the fifties. It means that the future is random and whatever happens is going to happen essentially. It is most often used as a fatalistic term referring to a hopelessly unchangeable situation that is accepted. You may be more familiar with the term “it is what it is.” Usually these statements end with a sigh or some other reflective pause. It is a placeholder for whatever comes after that and the resolve that people are powerless in such situations. Do you feel that way today? Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Nothing ever seems to come out in your favor? It seems like you just can’t catch a break? No matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to get ahead. Have you given in to que sera sera? Today – this very moment – could be the defining moment when you change “what will be, will be” or “it is what it is” or even “que sera sera” to Selah! God wants to move your mind from the place of acceptance of all those seemingly hopeless and unchangeable situations to the realm of hope. The entry point is to leave behind hopelessness and step out in faith to the place called Selah.

The word “Selah” is used twice as much as “amen” and three times more than “hallelujah” in the King James Version of the Bible. Why? God’s Word is alive. It is powerful. Sharper than a two-edged sword, the Word of God has the power to do away with the subtle lies that keep us bound by hopelessness so that the Lord can move us into the realm of hope that strips impossibility from our life making all things possible if we only believe. That’s right! If you believe, faith moves mountains. It changes outcomes in our favor. It doesn’t always eliminate the struggle or battle but empowers us to be victorious in all things. Selah marks a turning point. It is found only in Psalm and Habakkuk.

The prophet, Habakkuk, had pleaded with the Lord in prayerful conversation on behalf of the people. The Lord responds to him each time yet the prophet is pressing in for the deliverance of the people. In Chapter 2, he promises to wait in a “watchtower” for the Lord to take action on his request. Sin rampant. Love cold. Sickness and famine in the land. The prophet still cries out for the people in Chapter 3 four times he says, “Selah”. Selah in the Hebrew means “lift up” or “exalt”. I believe “amen” is similar in that it expresses agreement with God by exaltation as does “hallelujah” which expresses affirmation of God with exuberance.

The difference may be as small as a mustard seed of faith but more powerful than any other expression. It is the moment that in spite of the chaos all around us, wars and rumors of war, famine, drought, circumstances, adverse conditions, or even consequences. Or maybe we should get a bit more personal – the infidelity of a spouse, betrayal of a close friend, loss of income, terminal diagnoses, or even death of a loved one – in that moment by faith when I choose to say, “Selah” that it is the very second that His Grace covers me in His Power and He becomes MY Great I Am. Habakkuk 3:17-18 is the prophets declaration as a direct result of his four “selahs”. It took four, mind you, for him to say, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” How many will it take you?

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

For my own peace of mind, I have a list of those things that happen that I just can’t seem to reconcile by faith. Those unthinkables that happened even though God is good and loves us unconditionally. I know that the list will mean nothing when I meet Jesus face-to-face but I had to put the thought, idea, disappointment or uncertainty somewhere in order to keep moving on. I am only human just like you. There will be things that just don’t make sense in this life. His Ways are higher than our ways. His Thoughts much different than my own. Time has resolved some of the items on my list which are now stricken but there will be somethings I never understand. I must have faith that just because I can’t explain it, don’t understand it or even don’t agree with it that God is God. He is the Great I Am. His Love for me complete and comprehensive. Unconditional. His Grace completely unfathomable. I believe that He perfects all that concerns me. It is right there in His Word. I also believe that because I love and trust Him all things work together for my good. Even those things, I try to forget. Don’t want anyone to know. Faith takes us past those things marked impossible and moves them to the column of possibility. When I choose to stop saying, “Que sera sera” and by faith declare “selah” things begin to change.

Psalm 3:1-4 (NKJV) Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

Psalm 4:1-5 (NKJV) Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer. How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? Selah But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

Psalm 32:8-11 (NKJV) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Selah is the affirmative response when God says, “Do you trust me?” I don’t want to flood this message with verses that cause you to not see the clear relevance of trusting God when your situation seems impossible, irreversible and overwhelming. When all hell breaks loose in your life and everything falls apart – the absolute best declaration of faith is to trust the Lord. When you are going through the valley – it is not human nature to sing, “Hallelujah!” When everything is going wrong, who is going to shout, “Amen!” But in our distress, discomfort, discouragement and even disagreement with God’s Way of doing things that moment, to say simply, “Selah” tells God despite all these “things”, God I trust you. I believe that you are the miracle maker. I believe that no matter what the condition, circumstances or consequences that I am facing that Your Grace is enough for me and Your Power will overcome my weakness. It is spoken in the darkness, despair and disappointment as a white flag of surrender that no matter what God I belong to You!

Psalm 61:1-4 (NKJV) Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

Selah is a term that is not easily given. It is an offering of all that I am or have left to the awesomeness of the Lord for His Careful Intervention. It is to take that last sense of control or comfort and burn it on the altar so that His Spirit can take over. I love to shout “amen” when the pastor makes a good point, or the Holy Spirit moves in someone’s life. It’s almost like saying, “You go God, I see what you are doing there Jesus!” I love to sing “hallelujah” even when no one else does because the Lord has been so good to me. My life is not perfect, but I have lived long enough to see His Word and His Way make all the difference in my life. However, I can also testify that my faith has grown more in the moments when all I could whisper was “selah” than any of these other times. The days when nothing seems to be going right and all my hope seems lost yet in my prayer closet, on my knees and through my tears cry out, “Selah, I trust you God!” These are the moments that the tiny seed of my faith grows just a little bit more and my hope becomes more confident than it was before.

I don’t know what you are going through today. I know what it is like to feel the pressure and stress of life bearing down on you. I know the breathtaking feeling of anxiety gripping your heart until it can hardly beat. I also have felt the pain of my heart being broken into a million tiny pieces thinking no one could ever put it all back together again. I know what impossible looks like. I know what the realm of hope feels like. It is the moment the breakpoint comes that breakthrough is possible. Are you there yet? Your life is full of possibility and potential yet to be recognized. How do I know? Put your one hand on your chest. Feel that? Your heart is still beating with life. God’s not finished. Put your other hand just outside your mouth – do you feel that? It’s the breath of God that you are exhaling. He is alive and well in you. Without purpose, God would have stopped your heart and carried you home. If you had no further potential, the Lord would not make you suffer here when Heaven is so much better. The fact you are still breathing means there is potential inside of you yet to be revealed and cultivated in your life. The pressure you feel is faith trying to grow so that you will reach the next level that the Lord has prepared for you. If He allowed you to remain comfortable – complacency would take over and your purpose would never come to pass. So rather than saying, “Que sera sera” maybe if you changed your declaration to “Selah” – all those seemingly impossible things might come to life again. Dead dreams begin to breathe with new purpose. Visions become a reality. See God just needs a little bit of faith and trust from you and me to do extravagant things. So I say, “Selah!”

Psalm 67:1-4 (NKJV) God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, Selah That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah

After This

After This

Revelation 19:1 (NIV)

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God…

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! It is said to be the highest form of praise. Acknowledging the Supremacy and Power of God. While hallelujah is found many times in the Old Testament, it does not resurface in the Old Testament until Revelation 19. It is a praise that celebrates the Lord just as He is exalting Him above all other gods in our life and the universe. Hallelujah is not for everyone. It is for those who have made a choice. Those who have called Him Savior but more importantly those who know Him as Lord. There is power in this declaration because it is decisive. It is produced by the part of those who know God – love Him – need Him and serve Him as such. We should be singing hallelujah today! Every day this should be the declaration over our life no matter what the circumstances simply because we know the ending from the beginning. Confidence in God’s Ability and Power to make it come to pass is the key to unlocking faith that will lead us to the Cross with certainty that all given is received. What is your declaration today? Is it hallelujah or God I hope so? There is more to life than this and hallelujah (praise the Lord) will take us there. We must live for life after this.

I find that many times I use the word “hallelujah” casually as a sign of relief. Sometimes my life is a surprise to me, when things turn out just as the Lord said it would rather than what it looked like it might. Why am I so surprised? There are areas of my life where faith has not taken over fear yet and confidence must destroy doubt. My response to every problem, stressor, circumstance, bad report, and sudden change should be hallelujah. Any other response would be human in nature – but a true Child of the Living God knows the outcome from the beginning. Victory! We walk in total completeness in Christ by faith. We must make praising God the sustenance of our life rather than a sign of relief at the outcome. How we praise now determines what happens after this.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

 

Walking through life with the Lord, it becomes clear evident that there is something more than fate operating in the life of God’s Children. Too many coincidences in one’s favor and unnatural outcomes begin to form a picture of One who is well cared for or at least it should. Obedience opens the door to righteousness that release the Blessings of God. It is not a dramatic overture of some radical event but the commitment of our life walking daily step-by-step in the Light of His Love. It may be filled with high highs and low lows but the one thing that remains will be consistency in one’s commitment to Christ. Suddenly, we realize that things are not ordinary in our life so hallelujah will move from after this to in the midst of it all.

God has a plan for our life that requires one thing. Obedience. But it doesn’t say that…? Oh yes it does. Obedience is the discipline requires to seek God with all of our heart. Those who do will find the Lord. Giving up the pursuit will limit one’s access. We must decide that we want the plans that God created for us along with the future and hope enough to commit our lives to having it. It is a “now” thing so our praise should be in the present.

Judges 20:18 (NIV)

The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?” The Lord replied, “Judah shall go first.”

 

Zechariah 12:7 (NIV)

 “The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah.

Judah means praise. When Leah gave birth to her last son, she called him “Judah” (this time I will praise the Lord). She was in a loveless marriage clearly not favored by her husband without affection, love or affirmation. With the birth of each child, she longed for her partner to fall in love with her but he did not. Finally, she decided to praise the Lord regardless of her earthly situation. Judah – the favored one of God as clear by his consideration of Judah.

Who goes first in battle? Judah to herald the Lord’s Ability and Victory. In every situation or circumstance in life that faith is applied to, the impossible is suddenly possible. Not because of anything we are doing but because it is an invitation for God to take control of the situation. God what should I do in this moment? His Answer will always be “Judah shall go first!” Confidence in God’s Power and Authority is exemplified by faith. To declare victory before the fight is to sing hallelujah before the battle is over. It all comes down to our heart. What do I believe? Is God powerful enough? Does He love me enough to fight my battles and win my wars? To sing hallelujah walking into battle ensures us victory after victory in this life. The walls of Jericho fell after seven days of continuous praise. (Hebrews 11:30) The people didn’t do a thing but praise God. That’s it. No battle. No axes. No sweat and labor. Just faithful praise of a God who can flatten every wall and barrier in our life. It means stepping out of our weakness into God’s Power.

The Lord favors Judah. It gets His Attention because there is faith to work with in the words of those who sing hallelujah through life. Psalm 84:11 says that the Lord God is our sun (shows us the way) and shield (protects us as we go) and that the Lord bestows favor and honor. It goes on to say that He will withhold no good thing from those who walk blameless. Before you go marking yourself off the list, let me encourage you. Sin is going to happen and His Grace is enough to cover it. Those who decide to live blamelessness are those who choose to live in the Light of His Love rather than returning to darkness. It is a life of simple but radical obedience to the Word, Will and Way of God. It is a learning process because His Thoughts are not like ours and neither are His Ways. But if we are confident in the hope that we have and its security, praise will be our precedent. The Lord favors the ones who praise.

Psalm 150:1-2 (NIV)

Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

There is ordinary praise and then there is “hallelujah” praise. It is important to discover the difference. In the Old Testament, “hallelujah” praise is found in the Psalms. Not all of them, but some specifically. It is the highest form of praise exalting God in His Supremacy which has nothing to do with us but is focused completely on who He is. It defines Him as Good. (Psalm 106) It acknowledges Him through exaltation – lifting Him above all things and putting Him before everything and anything in our life no matter what. (Psalm 111) It calls Him all-knowing. (Psalm 112) It celebrates His Constancy and Consistency. (Psalm 113) It speaks of His Greatness. (Psalm 135). It declares Him worthy of all praise. (Psalm 146) It tells of the vastness of God’s Love and His Permeation of our entire life. (Psalm 148) Hallelujah creates renewal and restoration as we move all of our confidence and hope into Who He is. (Psalm 149) But then as quickly as it came it went and hallelujah became silent until the end. After this…

Revelation 19:6-9 (NIV)

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

 

After this…in Revelation 19 marks the end of tribulation and beginning of Armageddon – the fight to the finish. In the moments preceding it in the silence of Heaven that hallelujah breaks out. We know how it ends, it only matters what side you are on. Those who choose to live a life of praise and honor Jesus Christ will be victorious. Does this make you uncomfortable today? Who wants to think about the end of the world anyway?

The world is in the throes of the end times. I am convinced that a revival is coming because the Lord said there would be one. Love is cold. Sin is rampant. Rumors and rumors of war whispered even shouted all around us. Senseless murders and the forsaking of the value of human life from the unborn to the elderly. Just the other day a young man was discovered in the parking lot of our daughter’s high school with a ski mask around his neck and a loaded 22 caliber rifle on the floor of his car. Nobody knows his intentions but praise God for the protection of our children by the Lord. Yesterday, two reporters gunned down live mid report by a disgruntled former coworker. Don’t tell me that Jesus isn’t coming.

What will our declaration be as we see the Bible and the Book of Revelation unfold? It must be “hallelujah”! We must put every bit of our being into the Authority and Power of Jesus Christ to endure to the end. We must stop praising Him for what we need, want or think we should have but celebrate in each moment with every breath that we are invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb! It is time to step up our praise to a hallelujah course that carries us from now into Eternity. It is all about Him. Today I must move my praise from “after this” into all things signing hallelujah for Who He is! He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords – today I must make my words reflect that!

Revelation 19:11-16 (NIV)

 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.