What Can I Do? PRAY!

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There are times in life when we feel so entirely helpless. We see violence all around us and live in a state of heightened awareness. This could have been us, our church, our family, our friends, our pastor. Our hearts are heavy.  We grieve for those we didn’t know and because of the Love we know, we long to do something, anything to help.

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. I Timothy 2:1-3 Message

Pray! Seems that’s the message Paul was trying to convey to Timothy in these verses. Just pray! Pray first, not last. Pray like your life depends on it. Pray for those who rule over us that they would be filled with wisdom. Pray for pastors and parishioners. Pray for mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. Pray for your neighbors, those struggling with what they hear and see. PRAY!

We’ve gone so far away from this simple instruction. A single word that has the capability to change a nation. We tend to pray in crisis but how many of us make a daily routine of prayer? So few actually take a moment to give thanks for their food, but it’s what Jesus taught us to do.

Prayer is enough! James says it makes much power available to us. Peter says that the eyes of the Lord on on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers. Pray people, pray! Pray when you rise up and when you lay down. Pray on your way to work and while you’re going about your day. Mothers, teach your children to pray. Fathers, set the tone in your home. PRAY!

Father, stir your people to cry out to You for the lost, the hopeless, those who need to hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus. Pray like it was their moms and dads on a slippery slope to hell. Oh Father, we cry out for the lost, COME BACK TO GOD! We cry out to sons and daughters, COME BACK TO GOD! For those struggling with addiction, COME BACK TO GOD! For those who have murder in their heart, COME BACK TO GOD!

We ask that Your Holy Spirit begin to woe them. Speak to their hearts and cause Your people to rise up and pray again. To put more time into praying then they do watching TV or going to parties, or going to church. Give them a heart to pray, Father. To love others that much! It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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What I Was I Am No More

Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.  When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they *called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.  And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!”  And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. Mark 10:46-51

What is it that you’ve been crying out for? Perhaps those around you are telling you to stop already! God’s busy! You’re bothering Him! God doesn’t heal anymore. He’s just passing by, and you’re insignificant.  You’ve been blind all your life, just accept it! Yet you keep calling out, “Jesus, have mercy on me! Jesus, have mercy on me!”

Then Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” What did he do next? He threw off his cloak. That cloak or uniform, labeled him a ‘blind beggar’, it was his identity. He never went anywhere without it. But the moment Jesus called to him, he threw it off. Interesting. The very thing that identified him as a blind beggar, he left behind in pursuit of Jesus.

There was nothing wrong with Barts legs or his hearing! He did what he could do and followed Jesus’ voice.  He didn’t wait for Jesus to come to him, he went to Jesus.  Stop waiting for God to do something for you. Right where you are, get up and do something for Him. Keep trusting Him, keep believing in Him, but listen to Him and keep moving.

There are some reading this today that are still wearing their old identity, their comfy clothes, the familiar, still crying out for their miracle.   But Jesus has been calling you to Himself for a long time. You can’t get what you need by staying where you are.  You have to get up out of your comfort zone and step out in faith toward the life changing power of Jesus.

When ‘Bart’ told Jesus what he wanted, Jesus gave it to him and he followed Him. If Jesus gave you what you’re asking for, would you follow Him? Would you change your vocation, your residence, would you give up your life for Him? It’s easy to say ‘YES’ when you’re desperate, but when things go back to normal, would you still follow him?

Those who cry out, “Use me!” who are willing to do what needs to be done, those are who God is looking to work through. The imperfect. The young. The old. The silly. The untalented. The failure. The smoker. The drinker. Those who have fallen on the mercy of Jesus and realize it has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with Him.

God has a job to do in the earth and wants to do it through you. He’s not looking for you to have it all together. He’s looking for those who are willing to give up their own agenda, their own goals and dreams, their ‘retirement plans’, to pick up HIS plans and follow Him.

Jesus, have mercy on me. I’m in need of You. I’m desperate for my miracle, but until it manifests, I will focus on You. I leave behind my old identity and take up Yours. I throw myself under Your mercy and grace today.  There is nothing too hard for You, so in the process, I present myself a living sacrifice for Your service. Change me into someone who thinks more about Your plans then my own. It’s in Your name I pray, Amen.

 

 

 

Questioning God

I was led to read the last few chapters of Job this morning. I know, right? Job 38, 39, 40  & 41, where God speaks and man shuts up. It reminded me of how God’s wisdom is so unexplainably great and ours is so puny that it doesn’t even show on the same scale.

We do this, don’t we? Question God like He has no idea what He’s doing in the earth. Silly us! How can we be so full of ourselves to think we know the mind of God, his plans and purposes. Instead we should be laying on our faces asking for Him to show us mercy and grace in our time of need.

Then Job answered the Lord, and said,  “I know that You can do all things. Nothing can put a stop to Your plans. ‘Who is this that hides words of wisdom without much learning?’ I have said things that I did not understand, things too great for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear now, and I will speak. I will ask you, and you answer Me.’  I had heard of You only by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.  So I hate the things that I have said. And I put dust and ashes on myself to show how sorry I am.” Job 42:1-6

Perhaps this is the stance we should take today as we hold out judgement of such a great God who alone created everything and still knows our name, every hair on our head and loves us enough to give His son to die and redeem us back to Him so that we can commune with Him.  Perhaps we should stop focusing on ourselves and just place our trust in the God who holds the worlds in place with His word.

Thank You Father God that You indeed love us and have such great plans for us. We give You all the praise, glory and honor for You alone are worthy. We worship You and place our total trust in You. We humbly thank You that we belong to You and trust Your plans. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Right Friends Matter

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Are you a friend of Gods? Do you value His Word above all others? If so, did you know that God loves to reveal His secrets to you? Psalm 25:14 TLB says; Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.

Elisha was a friend of Gods, and in 2 Kings 6:8-22, we read about the king of Aram making war against Israel. He would tell his leaders to go to a certain place so that when the Israeli army passed by, they could ambush them.  But God would let Elisha know and he would warn the king of Israel and they’d avoid the ambush. The bible says that this didn’t just happen once or twice, but several times.

The king of Aram was very upset about this and stated they had a spy, leaking information to their enemy.  But one of his captains spoke up (verse 12), “My lord and king, not one of us is a spy. Elisha, the prophet from Israel, can tell the king of Israel many secret things—even the words that you speak in your bedroom!”

What happened next? The king of Aram was told where Elisha was, so he sent an army (for one man, mind you), which arrived at night and surrounded the city.  When Elisha’s servant woke and went outside, he saw the army and was scared spitless (Sandy’s version).

Elisha told him, “Don’t be afraid, there are more with us then there are with them.”

Then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, I ask you, open my servant’s eyes so that he can see.”

The Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and the servant saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire. They were all around Elisha. (Read verses 18-22 for the rest of the amazing deliverance).

This spoke to me this morning for a couple reasons. One, I absolutely love a good story! And two, God knows the plans of our enemy and wants to reveal them to us so that we can avoid things that could harm us.  How sweet is that?!

You ask how can we know Gods secrets?  You must position ourselves to hear.  John 14:26 says;  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 

Moses was constantly on a quest to know God. He spent time with God, seeking Him with all his heart. When he told the people to gather because God wanted to speak with them, they were afraid and told Moses, “You go and hear, then tell us what He said.” It’s become far too easy to place our trust in a pastor, priest or prophet, when we were meant to hear God’s directional voice ourselves.  I’m not saying that their words aren’t valuable, but we were meant to hear God for ourselves, they are merely to confirm or disconfirm what God has already spoken to us.

If you know God’s Word, if it’s hidden deep in your heart, then the Holy Spirit in you will lead you into all truth.  He loves for you to know the Father! He reveals parts of God that you’ve never seen or experienced. The depths of His love become a dramatic explosion that spills over onto every relationship, physical, emotional and spiritual.

Father, help me to be so filled up with Your Word, that I spill over onto others what is in me. May they know You simply by knowing me.  May they experience Your love through me.  May they experience miracles through me. May Your light shine brightly in all I do and say, and may it draw others to Your side so they can know You too. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Pressure to Treasure

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As I was talking about the Lord yesterday morning, I discovered this; pressure can do many things to many people, but pressure was designed to press us into treasure.  A piece of coal was only coal, used to created warmth it has purpose. But apply extreme pressure over a period of time and you have a diamond.  Now you’ve created something much more valuable!

I’m not sure what you’ve been experiencing in your life, but my journey’s been rough! There were times I wanted to give up, throw in the towel, move to a remote island, hide, curl up in a fetal position, but what kept me, was the knowledge that there was so much more! I kept hearing the voice of God say, “Come up higher! Leave this world and it’s cares behind and come, spend time with me! There are things I want to teach you, things you won’t learn from a school. If you come, I will show you all you have access to and prepare you for the life I have for you.”

That’s where I go. It’s the life I’ve longed for since I was young.  The confident assurance that I was created for more! That there is more, but it’s not in this world or it’s riches or substance, it’s only found in Him. Because I want to be like Jesus, full of love, full or hope, full of favor, full of power.  I want my life to reflect Him in everything I do.

Ever want to ride out a storm in peace? Ever want to see the ‘greater things than this’ we would do? The signs, wonders and miracles that followed Jesus? Ever want tell the mountain to move and see it quickly obey? Ever want to say, ‘Be healed!’ to a quadriplegic and watch them leap out of their chair? Well God does too! But he’s looking to see who’s ‘all in’ and stays serving Him after the miracle happens, after the provision comes, after the peace arrives.

If you truly want more of God, turn loose of what has your heart until your entire heart belongs to Him.  Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal your secret agenda’s, your pride, your wrong thinking and your wrong believing. Get in His presence and don’t leave-ever! Do life with the knowledge that Christ is in you via the Holy Spirit, and he will NEVER EVER leave you. He can’t! It’s as impossible as taking water out of coffee. If He goes, you go!

Now live your life with that knowledge. He’s in you! Every decision you make, consult Him. It may sound silly, but it’s what pleases Him. Being a part of your life is what He created you for. You can’t have the goods without the relationship. It’s like being married, you can’t have a great marriage serving yourself. You can’t be in one day and out the next. It’s for the long haul and you give 100% all the time because the law of sowing and reaping always applies.

Proverbs 8:18; I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.

God is not hiding from you. Pursue Him and your life will be forever changed. I know, because that’s what happened to me.

The Decision in Question

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I’ve been openly criticized for staying through Hurricane Irma in our 3rd floor condo. The creepy manipulative posts of friends who share their ‘concern’ or ‘wisdom’ of staying is at times a bit disconcerting for sure. But what they don’t realize is the fact that I’m not alone and I’m not staying for me. I’m not staying because I’m trying to prove a point, look like I’m more ‘holier than thou’.  I’ve weighed all the options and continue to hear the Lord say stay! Why? I don’t know, but I keep looking, keep encouraging, keep searching for those who will hear what the Spirit is trying to say.

I have a real peace deep down in my heart that nothing and no one can take away from me.  I choose to put my faith in play and trust in the Lord with ALL my heart, lean not on my own understanding or practicality, and just acknowledge that it is God who directs my steps.  If I live or if I perish, I will not fear! Fear brings torment but faith in God moves mountains (or hurricane’s for that matter)!

I’m not confident in my own abilities at all. I’ve prepared-made a list, checked it twice, totes filled with water are sitting in the shower for flushing and washing up, plenty of food, ice made and in freezer, cooler ready in case we lose power, flashlights, batteries checked, kerosene in lamps, lighters in place.  All the things I can do to get ready are done! But I refuse to sit on hands doing nothing. I will practice what I’ve preached lest I myself be a cast-a-way.

I will focus on the Lord, trust in Him, seek His face, do what He says. In seeking, I find Him. He’s always first and foremost on my mind and in my heart. I magnify the Lord and exalt His name forever. Will you come magnify the Lord as well? Because that word magnify means to enlarge or increase in size. When you make God bigger then Hurricane Irma, it’s subject to His power not the other way around.

 

The children of Israel were constantly living in fear. Fear of the Red Sea before them, but God split the sea and they walked across to dry land. When they crossed, they had no water, God provided and they drank. They had no food, God rained down manna from heaven and fed them, they still complained. If we can’t learn from our history that we serve a God who is well able to deliver us, frankly my friend, I’m not sure you really know the Lord.

Because there’s head knowledge and there’s heart knowledge. When you trust God, He becomes more than a name on a page. He becomes your water in drought, your peace in the storm, your food when you’re hungry and you’ll never be afraid or lack for anything. My friend, you too can know Him this way.  The bible says to believe in the Lord and you’ll be saved. If that’s enough for you, it’s ok, you’ll get to heaven.

But if you want more, there’s so much more!  You won’t find it doing your own thing. It will take sacrifice and discipline, but if you want more power in your life, plug into the only source of power that will turn you into a transformer.  He will transform you from just saved, to someone the world will run to in crisis. They’ll run to the light in you, the fire in you will warm others. It’s not so you can be bright, it’s so that you can make disciples of others who are making the journey to God.

I refuse to just talk about the God who can.  Christ in me gives me access to so much more.  I want people to talk about me long after I’m gone as someone who started fires all over the world. Who pushed people to burn with passion for the all powerful God who is well able to deliver us in time of need.

God Will Finish What He Started!

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I remember when I was very young, my parents took us on a little trip to a ‘surprise’ destination. They didn’t tell us where we were going, just that it would be a ‘surprise’.  I don’t remember where we went, all I remember is not knowing where we were going. To keep us from asking the infamous, “Are we there yet” question, my mom would read a book to us, something to distract us on our trip.

When I got in the car with my dad and mom, there were some things I just didn’t pay attention to; I didn’t think about the gas it would take to get there, or what we would eat (because trust me, I was a growing girl!). No, there was an element of trust there. When they said we were going, we went. If we had a flat tire, it got changed. When we needed gas, they stopped to fill the tank. And when I was hungry, they fed me!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve encountered this scenario so many times in my journey with God. He tells me I’m going on a journey, but doesn’t share where or just how long it will take, or what I’ll encounter when I get there.  The only thing I know is that we’re going together, that He’ll take care of me, and that I can trust Him.

When I’m hungry, He’ll feed me. When I’m sick, He’ll heal me. When I have a need, He’ll fill it. I TRUST HIM! And to keep myself from constantly asking questions, I read His Book. It tells me stories of His faithfulness. I see Him doing it for others and know He’ll do it for me. I TRUST HIM! I’m His child and He takes care of me. I do what He says and rest in His promises, because He’s a good Father and regardless of what happens around me, I TRUST HIM!

Isaiah 55:8-11 Message says this; “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree.  “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.  Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, so will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed.  They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.” 

You’re thinking way to small if you think that the God who hung the stars, can’t take care of you.  What you’re going through right now, it pales in comparison to what He has planned for you. Just because you can’t see your destination, doesn’t mean He’s forgotten where you’re going. Let Him drive and care for you because YOU CAN TRUST HIM.

Father, I declare today that I trust You. Thanks for the reminder that there is nothing too hard for You and that my worry is simply a huge waste of time!  Every day I will thank You. Every day I will Love You. Most importantly, every day I will trust You, my Father. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.