Sunday, March 25, 2012

Processing Need

PROCESSING NEED I have a pressing financial need that I want to bring to God. He is my supply! He promises to supply all that I need through his riches and glory! The word tells me that his yoke for me is easy and that his burden is light! So why do I feel like I am carrying a heavy burden? I am going to bring this need to the Father. I am going to ask him for a miracle. I am going to ask him to bring water from the rock for me as he did for the children of Israel in the desert. Lord you are my supply. You are my everything. You know that my current need exceeds my perceived resources. But I also know that I have everything I need in you! You promised Abraham and his descendants (which I am by faith) the whole earth. So I have, by your promise, access to everything on earth. This promise is based on faith, it is based upon relationship with God. You God, bring into existence that which did not exist before. So, God of supply, even as you brought water and provision into existence in the desert for the children of Israel, I ask you to do it for me. I believe that you are not only able, but that you have promised to do it for me!  I have been made right with you God, by Jesus. He has brought me into this place of highest privilege. I am standing before you confidently and I am full of joy! It is awesome to be standing before you, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. My problems seem to melt in comparison to this glory of yours that I perceive. Yet when I go face the world my need will still need to be met. I have this need, this problem, this trial, and it is good for me because it teaches me to endure. The reason for it is not only to teach me to endure, but it is also to develop strength of character in me.   It is this character that is strengthening my confident expectation of provision. This expectation will not allow me to be disappointed. I know this because you have already given me Holy Spirt who fills my heart with love. Now as I perceive my trial and my need, I can see that yes you could provide for me as you did in the wilderness when your brought forth water from a rock. However, I do not want to limit your hand in how I am to  receive your provision. You are a creative God and you want me trust that your ways are not my ways. I can see areas of pride where I do not want to humble myself. Perhaps you want me to humble myself. You have told me to do everything I can, and then after having done so to stand. As I am bringing my need to you, I am realizing that I have not done everything that is available to me. My full need does not have to be met tomorrow, only a portion. Only a part of the need must be met and there is a way that I can ask people for help that will require humility on my part and I sense you want me to humble myself not just before you, but before others. So here I find myself in this place of asking for and wanting a miracle, yet Holy Spirit is nudging me that if I humble myself (wow my pride is strong), he will make a way. This need is designed to draw me into his presence, to get me to spend time with him, and to help me to become like him. He is the most humble person I know, this God whom I serve, and this trial are designed to make me more like him. Darn, and I wanted an instant miracle! So here is the deal. God has shown me that I have something else to do before I am completely out of resources. In the mean time he has other work for me to do that will help to move me along the path of provision. I really would like to see this entire need met tomorrow by a miraculous move of God on my behalf, but he is more concerned with my character and my learning to endure than he is with me having instant gratification. Oh the ways of God! So now I  have concluded that tomorrow I need to humble myself and do a couple things I really don't want to do. Yet this is necessary obedience on my way to my miracle. I still have a great need.  Now however, my confident expectation is that God is able to meet it, wether it is by a divine intervention, or through faithful, daily, simple, obedience on my part. God wants me to be like him. He is everyday faithful, his ways are simple, he is not a show off (he is meek). Yes he can make water come from a rock, but usually he just allows the stream to flow. My confident expectation is that my need is going to be met. It will be met in his timing and not in mine. He knows better than me. His ways are not my ways. Do I still believe for the big miracle? You bet! But by spending time with him today and asking him for the miracle, he has shown me that his peace is sufficient for me. I have never missed a meal, I have never had to beg. He gives peace that passes understanding. I have off-loaded my perceived heavy burden, and replaced it with his yoke, which is much lighter and much easier to bear. I'm not 100% happy about this, I wanted an instant miracle! I wanted all my problems to go away! However, the fruit of this, is this short little teaching that perhaps will help you to process your need before God! Do you have a need for a miracle today? Take some time to spend with your heavenly papa. Grab a Bible and a note pad and let God speak to you. I just happened to be reading Romans 5 as I processed my need and you see how God spoke to me. The peace that passes understanding is a blessing that will never fade away!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breakfast Group Thursday

 Some thoughts I shared with a small group of people I meet with: Where we going? What are we doing? I don't think we need rules, but we do need direction. We are on a trip to the promised land. We are on the yellow brick road! There are lions, and tigers, and bears, and even witches! Principalities and Powers that want to defeat and discourage us! You people have no idea the impact you have had on my life the last 2 years! I have faced stuff I never dreamed I would have to face. We are continually going to be facing trials and tribulations, because to whom much is given, much is required. We are going to be tested!  We are going to be tried! We need a group-not necessarily this group, but a group to hold us up. We have learned to go deep, and to share unimaginable promises that have come straight from the throne of grace. We didn't make this stuff up. God did! I can't fathom some of the stuff God has said to me. But if He said it then I am going to believe it! So here is my heart. I am not interested in trying to keep something alive that doesn't have life in it anymore. So if there is life here I am going to show up. We vote with our feet. I have spoken to other business people I know, that I would like to get to know better, and I would like to invite them to this group, or else I'm going to start another group if necessary.  How do we get hundreds of hope centers if we don't multiple our numbers? God appeared to approve of the church growing. God wants us encouraging one another,  and we can't allow ourselves to get isolated, because that is when we get picked off. We have friends that need us! We need to give them hope! We need to remind one another that no matter the circumstance, God surrounds us like the air we breathe. His presence is our atmosphere wether we feel it or not. We know because He said so. He is going to walk with us. When those in this group are struggling we need to give them our attention. We need to intervene on their behalf. We need to stand against the enemy. We can't prevent one another from sifting, but we can pray that their faith will remain. You guys helped my faith to remain through the lean season. Now, I need tools and help with what is beginning to look like may become an abundant harvest.  Each circumstance has its unique challenges. I each circumstance we can ask God:  What are you wanting to show me in this season? We can invite Him in! We can ask for wisdom together! I want to ask God for wisdom on behalf of those in need! I want to ask Him for favor for them. Wisdom, strength, revelation, patience! If you are onboard,  then let's figure out how we can get deep each time we meet. If you are struggling, then the time is yours to share your need. What is God showing you? If it is for all of us, then share it so we can process it together. Pray I continually hear the same message in my spirit. It is God who gives us the ability to gain wealth. Cease striving and know that I am God. You cannot serve two masters. My life, even my business life must be about worship and building the kingdom. forgetting what lies behind I press toward the mark of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crafted Prayer

Father I invite you into my life again today. You are the creator and initiator of life, salvation, healing, and good works done for your glory. You have given me the gift of life through your Son, who offered himself for my sin, the sin of my family, friends, and of the world. Oh what a good God you are! You are worthy of praise and thanksgiving! I exalt your Holy Name! Intimacy with you is my secret to abundant life flowing like a river from within me! You have created me a unique person in this world for a specific purpose, and you are conforming me to the image of Christ as I walk through this life. I embrace the circumstances of my life today as a gift from your hand to conform me to this image. Where I sense you leading me to lay down my life as your Son did to serve others, I ask for grace to do it lovingly. Where I sense the enemy bringing confusion and temptation to my mind, my, circumstances,  and my flesh, I ask for discernment and a willingness to run to the battle lines to stand against the attack. Help me Lord to choose to employ the weapons of our warfare that you have given to us, your body. You have given us these wonderful gifts: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. I choose to put these on as your armor for me. In addition to these,  you have given us the choice to forgive, to love, to walk with joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Help me to choose to access your Spirit to produce this fruit in my life. Help me to rest and trust you, in and with all circumstances! Lord I ask that you would help me to love those I come into contact with today. Help me to be emotionally present with them, and to be open with them. Help our hearts to connect with you and with one another. I ask that I could be as Jesus to my wife and children. The life of God begins at home, so let me treat my family with as much or more respect that I would anyone else I was trying to impress. Let me not take them for granted, as life is short, fragile, and unpredictable. In my work Lord, may I trust the results to you! You have given me a skill set unlike any other person, so help me to find it and use it for your glory. May I not become frustrated at failure, lack, or overwhelmed with too much to do. Help me to remember that you are the redeemer, builder, supplier, and wise God. Lord help me to remember that the point of my work is to serve others for your glory, and that sufficient for each day is the trouble therein. May my business be a hope center for those I employ, and for our customers and vendors. Lord, my old nature is selfish and stubborn, but you have given me a new nature that is holy and blameless in your presence! Help me to walk in this new nature, in confidence that Christ lives in me, and that I share in the riches and glory of Christ, in whom lie all the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge. May my roots grow deep in this revelation so that I will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in truth, and that my life would overflow with thanksgiving for all you have done. You have nothing against me because you see me through the blood of your son, holy, blameless and without a single fault. Oh how good you are! I praise you and exalt you! What a wonderful God you are! Chris

Friday, March 9, 2012

Seeing our Future Face

I want to review some of the things God has spoken over the last couple years. He isn't going to keep dumping information on us until we get what he has already given us. I want to re-cap what he has said about seeing our future face, and how that applies to us today. Papa wants us to laugh, and sing, and dance and have hope in this world.  Even though we are faced with many challenging circumstances, he has promised to meet our needs. Have we ever really done without? Has our fretting about anything ever gotten us anywhere? He gives us greater grace. See your future face. God has not shown you your future face for you to create it in the image that you think you can bring it forth in. God is the one at work to bring it to pass. Think of a project that an artist or builder is doing. It is a mess, under construction and incomplete, being sculpted and chiseled, added to and cut away constantly, until completion. This life,  is God constructing you into his image. You are not a failure. You are his workmanship created for good works in Christ. He is forming his character in you. You are only complete in him. Let him have his perfect work in you. Rejoice in trials and tribulations. Laugh at your circumstances that seem so overwhelming. You are on the road headed for the promised land. Rest in the fact that he is the driver, the author and finisher of your faith. He has you in complete control. I am reminded of a family taking a vacation. The travel to the destination can be full of stress and bickering, or it can be part of the adventure, embraced as part of the fun. What is your perspective? Are you going to sing on the trip, or argue with the ones you are going to relax with? God has made it abundantly clear that he wants us to embrace our journey with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-contol. These are the fruit of His Spirit living inside of us. Let Him manifest himself in you, through you, and out of you! He is a good God! He is taking you to a destination. It is into Him. He has given you a glimpse of your future. Now let him bring it to pass. Cooperate. This thought makes me happy! Even in the last few days, papa has helped my perspective too. I have been remembering the days after I first got saved. The peace, the joy, the revelation that I am going to heaven to be with him forever! I couldn't stop smiling! He wants us to live like that every day! Enjoy life! Don't always have a perspective of grief. He wants us to belly laugh, dance, and sing each day! We are the kings kids! It doesn't get any better than that!

Lessons from Psalm 78

Listen to God to learn hidden lessons, the parables that can't be understood without paying attention!Teach these truths to your children, and teach them to teach their children.Tell of his power and his mighty miracles, so that each generation can set their hope anew on God.Remember his miracles and obey his commands-it's that simple.Teach them not to be stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.Remember the warriors of Ephriam, who though fully armed chose not to enter into battle. They turned their backs on God when the day of battle came. They refused to live by his laws, forsaking the ways of obedience, faith, and trust. They chose not to confront their enemies but gave in to them. They forgot the former miracles God had done for their ancestors.But God has not forgotten. He went with the people through the Red Sea. He split the water for them and led them through. He splits our circumstances and leads us through. In the wilderness of suffering he splits our hearts, and living water begins to flow. Even as God passed through the offering of Abram, he passes through our offering of ourselves as a living sacrifice.This is well pleasing in his sight!We must not refuse to battle the enemy. When we give into sin, we are refusing to battle the enemy. We are being like the warriors of Ephriam who turned their backs on God. We are always faced with that choice. Turn to God or turn away! Trust or rebel. Do we test God in our hearts and demand what our flesh wants? Or, do we ask him for what we need? Do we speak against God and complain, or do we praise him and make known our needs without complaint? Do we accuse him of performing miracles in the past but not today? Believe that God cares for you today and trust him!He can open the doors of heaven, he did it in the wilderness! He rained food down upon them. He gave them the bread of heaven (the Word of God?). They ate the food of angels, all they could hold! He let them satiate their greed and they stuffed themselves to judgement. They kept on sinning, they refused to believe his miracles, and so their lives ended up in failure and years of terror!They forgot about his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. They forgot his miraculous signs and wonders. Remember them!Ten times he judged the enemy, but the enemy refused to budge, and yet God was at work even as the circumstances of the people grew worse. But he led his own like a flock guiding them safely through. He kept them so that they were not afraid. Do not fear, perfect love casts out fear! The sea closed on their enemies and it will close on your circumstances. Just walk through the circumstance and let him bring you to the promised land, the land that he will win for you! He will bring your inheritance and settle you in the home he has prepared for you.God does this for you. Do you continually test his patience? Do you turn your back on him and refuse to follow his decrees? You need simply to turn to God, embrace the battle, simply hear his voice and respond in obedience. Don't bow down to other Gods, things that feel good but bear the fruit of shame and guilt. Embrace his Presence, not the things that turn his Presence away.The Lord will rise up like a mighty man, like a warrior is he. He will rout your enemies and send them to eternal shame. The Lord does not choose those who turn their backs on him, but those who turn to him in faith and trust and embrace the battle for holiness! He is building you into a towering sanctuary of his Presence, solid and enduring. Run to the battle, do not turn away!