Pastor Jay Jones has served as the senior pastor of the Pentecostals of Kentwood for the past 14 years. He is a proven leader and one of 10 key directors within the Pentecostal movement of West Michigan. Jay also serves as a strategic adviser to ChristLife, a ministry to pastors and leaders.
For those unfamiliar with sheet music, the fermata is a small mark that looks like a period with an arch over the top of it. It’s just a small instruction from the composer to the conductor that means, "Hold the pause for as long as you'd like."
In this symphony of life, it’s important to take a pause and cherish your moments in the presence of God... the "Fermatas" of life. You'll find them in prayer, in worship, in praise and thanksgiving; during community worship experiences, or serving other people.
Take your time with God... savor the moments... don't rush through the song. When you step away from the hurried pace of life to stop and connect with God, take advantage of the Fermata… the instruction from the Composer… and just hold the pause as long as you like.
It's the same question I was asked every time I'd gone there. Medium... or Large.
I knew I didn't want to pay extra for the large let alone eat that much food, so I said, "Medium.” Then I said, “Wait a minute... do you have a small?”
Not only did they have a small, but it was even cheaper and closer to my appetite.
This is actually a marketing tactic where ALL the options are purposely not presented, causing a person to default to the least risky option... since, apparently, they have no other choice.
The reality in this scenario is, there absolutely is another choice. This is often the way Satan tempts people…
He doesn't present the option to NOT click that link... or to talk it through instead of fight it out... or to pray instead of indulge... or to go to church instead of increase your distance from God... or to give a gift instead of teaching that person a lesson... or to lift the load instead of watching them suffer... or to think about your blessings instead of wallow in discouragement.
The sad thing is... sometimes we're willing to settle with medium or large when a better option actually exists... If we look for it.
Now, instead of giving prophetic insights, God begins talking to Ezekiel about how He wants to be worshiped... What things to bring to worship, the manner in which way you bring your offering. What types of offerings to bring...
It's almost as if God has moved away from the prophetic to the performing. The supernatural to the structural. But watch... God is still speaking about supernatural things.
Mankind was never intended to go through this existence alone, and this is made painfully clear by the hurt of isolation. But on the flip side, we also see the value of togetherness when we share the joys and even the struggles of life together.
In Psalms 133, David spoke about this togetherness when he wrote: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron. Running down on the edge of his garments. It's like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.
David spoke about unity as being like the anointing oil of Scripture. Interestingly, God has a special recipe for this anointing oil, outlined in Exodus 30, and it was so special he outlined a penalty if it would be used for any other purpose than anointing. The oil was to be made of different ingredients like pure cinnamon, myrrh, Calamus, Cassia, and olive oil.
One follower of Jesus named Peter quickly went from faith to fear right in the middle of a miracle. One night Jesus told his disciples to get into a boat and travel to the other side of the sea. But along the way, a storm rose up and started tossing Peter’s boat. While the disciples were in fear for their lives, Jesus came to them defying the laws of nature, walking on the water. In a surge of faith, Peter asked Jesus to let him come out and walk on the water with him, and when he stepped out of the boat onto the sea, he found himself suspended on the surface of the water! But when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the waves, he began to sink into the very storm he has just walked on!
What he didn’t realize was there was no reason to fear the storm, because Jesus had already instructed them to go to the other side of the sea, not to perish in its waves. It was when he refocused his gaze on Jesus... the Greater Purpose... that the water rejected the laws of nature and suspended him above his trouble.
When you're going through a trial in life, don't allow the storm to steal your faith. Begin to turn your focus to the one who called you to the other side. You weren't called to perish in your problem, but to prevail in your purpose!
In Genesis 26, Isaac was in a very similar place. He was stuck in the land of Gerar, where there was a famine in the land, just like the famine before it. And in verse 3 God tells Isaac, “dwell in this land and I will be with you and I will bless you”.
Sounds difficult, doesn’t it? When everything inside you is saying “I don’t like this… I want to find another place to be…” God said, “I want you to dwell in the famine. Stay in this place you’re in, and I'll bless you.” Sometimes it feels like the best thing to do is escape out of our trouble, but when God says stay put, we’ve got no other option, and there's no better blessing.