Walking the Path of Faith

Album Notes: Paths of Faith Christian Prayersongs Inspired by the Holy Spirit

It is with a humble, grateful heart that I announce the publication of my 29th musical album to God’s precious children, inspired by His Holy Spirit, who enabled me to create it through the risen Lord Jesus Christ within me, to the glory of our Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name.

Paths of Faith is an appropriate title for this album of prayersongs, the first vocal album the Lord has inspired me to release since Paths of Mercy in 2019, just before the Coronavirus Pandemic broke out in December of that year.

In 2009 the Lord gave me the gift to sing and create instrumental music. He had to ask me three times if I would sing for Him so reluctant was I to be a musician for His glory.
I had been a visual artist all my life and art was my passion. I had always prayed to be an excellent artist, illustrator, and children’s book writer for His glory. When He asked me to sing for Him, He said that He needed my voice of all things!~I felt I needed to remind Him that my little boy had howled when I’d sung Him “Jesus Loves Me” once.
Undaunted, the Lord would not give up. He wanted me to surrender my will and to walk a new path with Him by faith.
I loved the Lord so much. He had given up everything for me when He suffered and died on the cross to redeem our souls. How could I not now give up everything for Him? Though it felt like dying, I said I would sing and make music for Him. I hardly knew what I was getting myself in for, but trusted that my Lord Jesus Christ would never do anything to hurt me.
At first I felt like I was being thrown to the lions. Having been a professional in one career, now He was plunging me on a path where I would be like a baby learning to crawl, following Him, whom I could only see and hear by faith.
What is faith?
The Bible tells us “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear…
But without faith it is impossible to please (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Hebrews 11:1-3,6 – KJV

I knew nothing at all about the music industry but trusted God to guide me every step of the way. He instructed me to do everything the opposite of the way the world does things. Which made no sense. All He would say was, “Trust Me, My child.”
After all, it was His music. I had not up and made myself a musician~ the Lord had. He knew what His plans for it were.
I learned that the Lord wanted to communicate to His children through His music. I should have known that from the beginning. Duh.
The songs were inspired by His word through His Holy Spirit.
They were motivated by prayer and worship from abiding in my Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus had said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 – KJV

The Lord told me that the songs were to be “Musical Conversations” with His children. If they would take the song titles and go into their prayer closets with their bibles and look up the reference that the title referred to in their bibles and meditate on the verses or bible story and study the word of God and pray to Him and abide in Him alone, that He would speak to them what He wanted to say to them.
The important thing was that His children should get back to their prayer closets and abide in Christ and return to studying His word, allowing HIM to teach them through His Holy Spirit.
The Lord was seeking a personal relationship with His children. He said they were distracted by many things and had lost sight of Him. They had gone after the world. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 – KJV (Mammon means money or the world or anything that makes the soul’s heart beat faster than Jesus or God~ mammon therefore is another word for an idol.)
Anything that takes the Christian’s attention away from the Lord Jesus Christ can become an idol whether it be a relationship, a hobby, social media, a ministry, an organization, politics, any pursuit whatsoever that seems right but misses the mark ever so slightly. In fact another translation for the word “sin” is to “miss the mark.”
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable
, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 – KJV

The Path of Faith is one in which we keep our eyes on our Master who is the Author and Perfecter of our Faith, who is the Lord Jesus Christ and we surrender our wills and lay our lives down for Him.

Christians must not keep our eyes on this world. No matter what is going on.
Paul lived under the malevolent emperor Nero of Rome of whom it was believed that he torched the city to justify building a more magnificent one. Because of the intense criticism he received, he devised a plan where he blamed the followers of Christ for the crime. In A.D. 64 brutal persecution erupted there against the Christians.
Tacitus (c. A.D. 60-120) a Roman Historian, wrote in his Annals (XV.44).
“…Besides being put to death they were made to serve as objects of amusement; they were clothed in the hides of beasts and torn to death by dogs; others were crucified, others set on fire to serve to illuminate the night when daylight failed.
Nero had thrown open his grounds for the display, and was putting on a show in the circus, where he mingled with the people in the dress of charioteer or drove about in his chariot. All this gave rise to a feeling of pity, even towards men whose guilt merited the most exemplary punishment; for it was felt that they were being destroyed not for the public good but to gratify the cruelty of an individual.” ~quoted from http://christia
ncourier.com

Despite this horror, what does Paul say when he mentions the government? He wrote: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 – KJV

Peter wrote, “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:16-19 – KJV

Both Peter and Paul mentioned in their epistles that our true Kingdom is not of this world. It would have been truly foolish and dangerous for them to go about writing “our true Emperor and King ~the Only Lord and God Jesus Christ to whom we alone pay honor and allegiance….and we don’t obey any laws but His…” Instead, they wrote as the Holy Spirit led them. They must stay alive and preach the Gospel which was their true mission therefore they must be peacemakers so they could carry out the Lord’s work, keeping Christ’s command to walk in love.
James the Apostles wrote: 17 “But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: “First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others.“ ERV James 3:17

Jesus told Pilate when asked if He was a king, “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight…” John 18:36
The apostles did not go looking for a fight. Paul wrote, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4 – KJV

Their true commitment was to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whom they loved with all their heart, soul and mind and strength. If a worldly law conflicted with God’s Holy Law, of course they must obey God.
For example, in the Old Testament when the Pharaoh commanded all the baby boys to be drowned Moses’s parents did not comply with his edict but obeyed the Lord to save their child.
For the Lord Almighty is our true King and His commandments must prevail and this is what the word of God teaches.
The apostles imply this even when they don’t come right out and say it for the danger it might have presented.
They walked a Path of Faith ~ surely Peter had trod this Path with Christ on the Sea of Galilee when he’d briefly walked on its waters with the Lord before taking his eyes off his Master, then sank beneath the waves. The Lord had quickly rescued his Apostle when Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!”
The Prayersong on my album “Thy Voice Comes Over The Waters” was inspired by this Bible story and it deals with trying to recognize Christ in the gray areas of His word.
Peter wrote, “Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul. (*Sinful desires are any desires opposed to God’s will~not exhibiting the love of Christ is disobeying Christ’s will for Christ said, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 –
CSB)

Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day He visits.
Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority or to governors as those sent out by Him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good.
For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:11-17 – CSB

Paul wrote: “Let everyone submit to the governing authorities,
since there is no authority except from God,
and the authorities that exist are instituted by God.
So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command,
and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves…” Hebrews 13:1-3

Eventually because the early Christians trusted Christ and walked according to the word of God and the path of faith, they obeyed both Christ and His word to submit to human authority for the sake of the Lord, by the third century under the Emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire.

Christians had but to obey Christ their true King for this to happen.
They had to always be abiding in Christ to know and understand His will. Paul wrote, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:17 – KJV

Jesus said, “But when you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father. He is there in that private place. He can see what is done in private, and he will reward you.”
 
Abiding in Christ is getting alone with our risen Lord and Savior by faith and reading His word and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us apart from the distractions of social media, friends, or work, or anything else.
It is a very private, sacred holy affair between you and the Lord and the only way we can will grow closer to the Lord.
Jesus said, “ I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”

Christ may lead us down a thorny path.
No one can or should judge any child of God for the Path that Christ leads them to follow. Never judge a child of God by their afflictions.

“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.” ~James 4:11 – KJV

Who are we to condemn the child whom Christ suffered, bled, and died to redeem? My prayersong “Father, Forgive Me” deals with how our sin hurts others and Christ ultimately.

The Path of Faith may lead to persecution or martyrdom. Paul wrote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 – KJV
Jesus said, “And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of Me will find it.” Matthew 10:38-39 -CSB

The Path of Faith is the path that leads with Christ to the cross. It is a path of suffering. But if we go to the cross with Christ we will also rise with Him in His resurrection!
For we are being conformed to His image on this journey.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 – KJV

Along this path we must learn to let go of our own will and say to our Heavenly Father along with Christ, “Father, not My will, but Thy will.”
We must pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
But those who will not love as Christ loved us, who will only read Christ’s words and filter out the parts they do not agree with, do not truly love Christ for Christ said,

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.”
John 14:23-24 – CSB

The word parse means to break down, analyze, or scrutinize and is the opposite of accepting by faith as a little child.
One cannot parse a cup of water Christ gives them to drink. We either drink it in front of Him or pour it on the ground and say “No thank You, Lord, I don’t trust it.”

Christ and His Holy Spirit are the Living Water of Life. We receive the Lord by faith. We receive His words by faith. If we fight and rebel and scrutinize, analyze complain, revile and scorn, we don’t love the Lord or keep or believe His word.

Paul wrote that Christ was the Rock in the wilderness, where Moses got the water for the Israelites and they grumbled and grieved God over their unbelief.
“Now I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless God was not pleased with most of them, since they were struck down in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:1-5 – CSB

“Today If You Hear God’s Voice” Vocal Prayersong is a song the Lord gave me on my new album to witness to that Bible story.
Listen to the song or to a clip. Then go into your prayer closet with your bible and look up and read the story in the scriptures it refers to.
Pray and ask the Lord to help you hear His voice and to walk His path of faith.

There are many prayersongs on this album that refer to bible stories and concepts. Please use the songs to let God speak to your hearts through His Holy Word, and abide in the Lord Jesus Christ, our True Vine.
He is speaking through His word, through His Holy Spirit in these songs He inspired from His Word.
May He help us turn our attention towards Him and away from all that distracts us in this world.
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses
surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,
keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up.
In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Hebrews 12:1-4 – CSB

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for this new album of beautiful prayer songs inspired from Thy word. Thank You for encouraging me to walk Thy path of faith with You even though its been so difficult, for You have been with me all the way and so faithful even as You promised. Please encourage Thy children to walk with You down the path of faith and to trust You in the way You are asking them to and never to doubt that You keep every promise forever. Help each one to hear Thy voice speaking to them in their hearts today and through Thy holy word and may You guide them with Thy wisdom and discernment, and fill them with Thy holy love and mercy and grace, In Jesus’ name, amen. Thank You, Lord, we love You.

More Encouraging Scriptures

Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble.
Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes.
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath,
because it is written, “Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay,” says the Lord.
But If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.

Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
Romans 12:16-21 – CSB

Let everyone submit to the governing authorities,
since there is no authority except from God,
and the authorities that exist are instituted by God.
So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command,
and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.

For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.
Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority?
Do what is good, and you will have its approval.
For it is God’s servant for your good.
But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason.
For it is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong.
Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath but also because of your conscience.
And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s servants, continually attending to these tasks.
Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.

Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another,
for the one who loves
another has fulfilled the law.

The commandments, Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not covet; and any other commandment, are summed up by this commandment:
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Love does no wrong to a neighbor.

Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:1-10 – CSB

Jesus Loves You 🖤

Paths of Faith Album Notes: Copyright © 2021 by Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved.

Album Cover Paths of Faith Christian Prayersongs Inspired by the Holy Spirit Original Illustration by Suzanne Davis Harden Copyright © 2021 All rights reserved.

Through the Indwelling Risen Lord Jesus Christ, Inspired by The Holy Spirit, to the Glory of God the Father, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Scripture Quotations: King James Bible: Public Domain/ The Christian Standard Bible: Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers/
ERV (Easy To Read Version Bible) Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International
 
History Quotations from Tacitus (c. A.D. 60-120) Roman Historian, Annals (XV.44) christiancourier.com

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