Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Do You Really Want to Go Deeper?

There is a cost to going deeper. You will not be particularly popular for you will have to withdraw from the day to fray and choose your time carefully realizing that it can never be regained.
It may mean turning off the computer and the p-hone and just listening to the Father. can we be still that long without any results for the world to see?
You see the things that are wrought deep in our heart may not show for weeks or months. It isn't a microwave experience but a slow cooker one.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11
You may even be deemed unfriendly as you withdraw to spend more time with the Father to fully receive His love not just for yourself, but so that yu may heal and pour out that same love on others.
There is a cost. Do you really want to go deeper?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Leaving things behind

Corrie Tem Boom once said, "Hold everything loosely, because it hurts when God pries your fingers open."
When God calls you to a task, there are things that must be left behind. The inability or unwillingness to do that keeps us from receiving His best for us. Some call that His permissive will. I am not convinced that a permissive will really exists. I think it is more likely our rebellious version of what He really called to do.
The older I get, the more rebellion I see that still needs to go. Why is absolute surrender so difficult? Part of it I think is cultural. We have performance and drivenness and no one exceeds Americans in competitiveness. That unfortunately is not God's mindset, but the enemies. As long as we compete, we are at odds one with another.
Let's skip through the Bible and see who God called and what they had to leave behind:
Beginning in Gen 12 we see God calling Abraham. "The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.'" (Gen. 12:1)
God told Abram to leave his father's house, bid farewell to his relatives, leave his country, and move to a country to which God would lead him. To man's way of thinking, what God asked Abram to do was extremely difficult, but God had plans to greatly bless him.
Through out the Old Testament men and women were called to leave what was familiar and follow God. You didn't have to be royalty or notable. Rahab, the prostitute, left everything familiar and became part of the lineage of our Lord.
In the New Testament, Jesus continues to call people out. He calls Matthew, the tax collector, the fishermen, the woman at the well, the beggar. After Jesus' death, Saul is called out.
The call has never stopped.
And in a way that only God could perfect, when we lay down those things so precious to us, we find true freedom and a peace not known before when we clutched those things. When we open our hands, we no longer struggle. We surrender to His will. There we find peace and the fullness of His perfect will.
I so encourage you to read and meditate on Ephesians 3. Ask the Holy Spirit how to reach that exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. He says it is "according to the power that worketh in us..."
What is He calling you to leave behind to follow Him?

When We Know Our Father Loves Us...

There is a new commercial for Publix that I adore. Publix has some of the best, most wholesome commercials centered around family values.
This one is called First Game. The little boy comes with his parents to his first soccer game. The Dad is more nervous than the son.
If you watch it closely, you will see how all of the time the Dad spent with his son to prepare for that game gave the boy incredible confidence.
Each time I watch it, I think that is the way I should trust my Heavenly Father. If He is watching (and He is) what is there to fear?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When we don't understand

Rick and Mary Pat are my bosses though they cringe when I say that for they see us as team members. Nevertheless, in the past 18 months, Mary Pat has lost a son, a mother and this morning her last son after a 13 month struggle for his life after an auto wreck.
I have seen them pray and stand. I have seen God move on their behalf. I was not prepared for last week's turn of events. I do not understand, but I know my understanding would pale to the Father's. So I release it all to Him.
Please keep Rick and Mary Pat in your prayers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are in the Desert?

In God's order nothing is ever wasted. I have done some pretty inane things in my lifetime. Not all am I proud of, but all have proven to be threads of a tapestry God is creating of my life.
What seemed like wasted time has often proven to be seeds of insight to help another or to avoid an even greater pitfall.
Moses was in the desert for forty years. I get impatient if nothing is happening immediately. But just as you cannot rush the rising of bread or the slow-smoked pork butt, you cannot rush the fulfillment of God's plans.
If you break open the chrysalis of a butterfly or crack the shell of a baby chick to allow them to experience freedom sooner, they will be crippled and die an early death.
Should we not be content to stay where we are until God makes the way for us to move forward?
Os Hillman in his daily devotion, TGIF, says, "The time frames may not be quite as long. But the characteristics of the training are still the same. Do not try to shortcut the desert time of God. It only leads to cul-de-sacs, which force you to revisit the lessons you are meant to learn. Embrace them, so that He can use your life for something extraordinary."
Ask God how to maximize your desert time. Very importantly, make it a time to spend with Him getting to know Him intimately and in a very honest relationship.
That relationship will guide your future.
Hillsong has released the Desert Song. Here are the lyrics:
This is my prayer in the desert
When all thats within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise Ill stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favour and providence flow
I know Im filled to be emptied again
The seed Ive received I will sow.

Here is the music for you to play: