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Category Archives: prayer

5 Words

I’m frustrated. At first I was tired, overworked and overwhelmed by all the wrong things. But I’ve been challenged lately by some amazing pastors. God has been changing things in and all around me. I’ve seen some people accept those changes with grace and they go with the flow. I’ve seen other people rebuke those changes and they fall away. I want to embrace those changes and run with them!

Here’s what I know: I was born a spirit in a human body with a human nature. Bad. God knew that I would never be worthy in and of myself, so He made a way to make me worthy. Jesus. Jesus Christ – the Word of God made flesh – took my human nature and replaced it with His. What is His nature? Love. (Isn’t it amazing how churchy people always want to give a long answer to everything when all you really need is one word?) What do I have to do to access that new nature? Believe. And all I God asks of me? Go.  So here’s the life of a Christian in 5 words: Bad. Jesus. Love. Believe. Go.

Bad: putting up a fight when God tells me to do something, ignoring Him, disobeying Him.

Jesus: walking right beside me, carrying me when I just can’t do it on my own, faithful.

Love: amazing, never-ending, grace, good.

Believe: no questions asked, always – not just when I feel like it.

Go: run ahead with the call of God, no standing still, no easy pace – this is a race and I intend to win it.

I’ve come to learn that I don’t ask for enough. If Joshua could pray for the sun to stand still and God answered his prayer, I’m pretty sure I’ve been thinking too small. But in the asking, also comes obedience. I cannot expect God to answer a sun-stand-still prayer if I’m not standing in the right place. Maybe we, as the Church, don’t see our prayers answered because we are praying the wrong prayer while standing in the wrong place.

Here’s the new prayer – God, show me the right place to be at the right time. Send people across my path who need to know You. Give me faith and boldness to show them who Jesus truly is. Grow my faith. Grow my church. Grow my vision so that I can see beyond my own life because my life without You is of no value. I want to be an asset, not a liability.

When God Comes A-Callin`

Believe it or not, God calls everyone. Yes, everyone. God has a call out there for preachers and teachers and rapists and mass murderers. We are all the same in that respect. But what`s happened to the world then? If God has called everyone, why aren’t we all happy in church? The biggest problem – there are a scarce few who answer the call. Too many Christians are afraid that if they answer the call of God, they will have to give up their jobs and move to a third world country. Not so. I’ve known of preachers who give up their church to join the work force. God needs Christ-like business men as much as he needs preachers in the church and missionaries on the field.

I’m back in Peru and God has been teaching me many things. I’ve learned more about His will for my life and how to walk it out. Truth be told, I’ve been holding back, afraid of what it will mean when I give it all up to live for the cause of Christ. For me, I know it will overtake me. It’s a scary thing, the thought of giving up everything and letting God have his way.

In Bible school I had an instructor who told a story about a man. This story takes place just after the turn of the 20th century. He prayed and he prayed. He wanted revival so badly, it overtook him. God overtook him. There were days when he would be on his way to work and he’d be praying as he walked and he’d have to stop because the weight of God’s presence was too much for him and he’d stand there in prayer hardly uttering a word. People would pass by him wondering what was wrong with him. By the end of the day when people were returning from work, there he’d be still standing right where he stopped still praying out God’s will. He was diagnosed with religious fanaticism. But you know what happened? Revival came and it overtook his entire country for nearly a year. He changed the world by being obedient to God.

When people begin to crave God more than they crave anything else, things are bound to change. But why is it that my story took place 100 years ago? Why don’t I have a story like that taking place last week? Humanity has forgotten what God’s voice sounds like. In a world of free will and feel good what happened to God’s will and God’s good?

For those who are ready and willing God is preparing them for the greatest outbreak of revival in world history. Those believers who really (and I mean REALLY) believe will band together and begin to pray and they will pray with an urgency like nothing before. Lives will begin to change one at a time and then a few more and soon masses will by crying out to God for change. Crying out to God to save their families, churches, cities, countries Those who once opposed God will come running to Him and no one will be able to stop it. The day is coming and it’s coming soon. The church will rise up to stand and take her place.

The biggest question is who will be left behind? I won’t be the one to stand back and watch the world change without having a hand in it. Shame on anyone who calls them self a Christian and does nothing but sit in the corner watching as sons and daughters fall to their knees in prayer crying out for God to change the world.

It is our turn. This is our time. I challenge any and every believer to be a part of what God is prepared to do in every life. Don’t stand back and let it pass you by waiting for another wave. THIS is the wave you need to catch. THIS is the wave that will change the world. If you wait, it will be too late.

I Am a C, I Am a C-H…

I am a Christian…. At least that’s what I’ve been saying for the last twentysomething years. It seems, though that the older I get, the more questions I have. Shouldn’t I be learning more as the years go by? Apparently not. Instead, the more time that passes by, the more I realize I don’t know.

In our church home groups, we have been working through the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This week we discussed chapter 5 – “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God”. Ouch. Immediately, we all assume that this could not possibly be referring to ourselves. It steps on toes and we don’t want it to be our digits crushed beneath the heavy boot of reality. I could be one of many to chose to take offense at some of the things Pastor Chan has to say, but I don’t want to be one of those.

***WARNING: Harsh Personal Opinion to Follow***

I personally know several people who “couldn’t” finish the book. I have a feeling it’s more of a “wouldn’t” finish the book. When the cover plainly states “overwhelmed by a relentless God”, who wouldn’t want to finish the book? It doesn’t matter if you agree with everything or not. In fact, if you did agree with everything, I’d wonder how sincere you truly are. So here’s the challenge to those of you who are afraid to finish or even start reading the book – do it! I dare you. I dare you to make the choice to change your life. Don’t get hung up on the little things, but get stuck on the big thing: GOD IS CHASING YOU! It’s overwhelming because it’s supposed to be! We aren’t supposed to understand it all. We aren’t supposed to know it all. To think we ever will is to deceive ourselves, but to stop trying to understand and know it all is to give up completely.

So here’s where I am… Honestly. I know that I am saved. I was bought with a price and that price was great. I know that I was fearfully and wonderfully made and my Maker has a plan for me and that plan is good. I know that He loves me more than life because He gave his up for me. But what do I do with that knowledge? I go through my life day by day and never think about it. What an insult that is to a holy God.

I walked to work today. I’d been avoiding the walk for a long time. It takes time and it takes effort. But yet, when I force myself to get up early and do it, it’s rather beneficial. I feel better (once the initial pain of long-forgotten exercise has eased), I sleep better and I get that hour and a half of fresh air every day. Here’s my added bonus: I get to spend that time with God. I have 45 minutes in the glory of God’s handiwork to meditate on Him. I’d be a fool not to take advantage of that, but again, it’s forcing myself to do it.

I leave the house with my iPod in hand. Often I’m tempted to listen to a new album, something Spanish and pop-y, some fun jazz, maybe. Instead, I put on worship. I have to force myself to walk and I have to force myself to focus on God. I’m proud to say that this morning, I did. And the amazing part of it all – God met me where I was. All we are required to do is to take that first step toward His presence and God will rush us with wide open arms. He’s waiting, go ahead, give it a try!