I went to my prayer closet…

So, I went to my prayer closet today…and heaven didn’t open with angels ascending and descending on a ladder illuminated by light and heavenly choruses of “hallelujah”. So what now?

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The Need to be Still

In my last post I spoke about the need to be productive. Now I would like to briefly consider our deeper need to be still.

It’s not that we don’t have a calling and purpose in this life that ought to be diligently and intentionally pursued, but rather that being still is the greatest thing we can “do” in this life to prepare us for life and eternity and to empower us to make our lives count for something.

When we are constantly busy and working, we will find ourselves continuously drawing from our own strength, our own wisdom, our own experiences and therefore our own limitations. To draw from ourselves as the source of what we need is a frustrating and ultimately fruitless prospect. We are limited at our best; at our worst we are corrupted, double minded and selfish; neither our best or our worst is  the well we ought to be drawing from for inspiration, fulfillment and empowerment. This is where being still comes into play. Continue reading

Keeping in step with God’s abiding Spirit

Here is the reality for a believer in Jesus Christ.

If you have come to faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then God Almighty has indeed saved you. If you have confessed your sins and repented of your former way of living according the ways of the world, then God has forgiven you and cleansed you and imparted to you His Holy Spirit. This is the gospel. This is true.

Furthermore, if you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, then His Spirit is within you. This is a promise from God’s word, and this is a reality.

But why then do we find ourselves in times and seasons of life where we are not fully obedient to all that God has spoken or why do believers find themselves exhibiting characteristics, traits and behaviors that are not of the Holy Spirit who abides within?

The question, indeed the challenge every day is whether or not we will obey every word that has been spoken to us by God Himself and is fulfilled by His indwelling Spirit. Will we remember that He is not a God who is far off, but rather one who is near. And not only is He near but He is within the very hearts of His children. Will we believe and obey God’s words?

If we are impatient or unkind, lacking grace or mercy, or in any other way living like the world, the enemy or the carnal self, the reality is that we are not living according the power and the promise of the indwelling Spirit.

Does this mean that God’s promises have not come true? Does this mean that God’s assurances that He is making us new and that He is putting His love and law in our heart and lives coming to naught? NO! Rather it is we who are out of step with the Holy Spirit. The power is present, but we are not tapping into it. The promise is true but we are not acting on it. We must repent. We must confess. We must give God everything so that we can begin to live in the fullness of the Spirit of God. When we totally consecrate ourselves everyday, then God is able to do what we formerly thought impossible: change us!

So this week, today, this moment, if you are feeling weak, selfish or wordly: don’t live there. Stop. Pray. Confess. Turn away from these things. And then ask the Lord for help by His indwelling Spirit and live as if He is working: HE IS! He is answering your cries for help. He is providing the kindness you have asked for. He is supplying the gentleness and patience that you need. God Himself is pouring out His faith, mercy, joy, peace and love that you know you need. Even if you haven’t asked, God is still reaching out to you with hands full of every supply you need. That is His prevenient grace (the grace that goes before our asking). If you have asked, His hands are not only extended with the blessings that you need but His hands are literally pouring forth the supply you are so desperately in need of. Will you receive it? Will you accept His free, gracious and bountiful gifts to you?

How do you receive these gifts? How do you accept them? Simple: just walk, talk, act, react as if your prayers are already answered. Treat your neighbor with the patience you have asked for. Treat your enemy with the kindness you have asked for. Speak to people with the kindness you have asked God for. And trust me, in the middle of you living as if you have already received God’s bountiful supply, you will realize that indeed He has and is perpetually pouring out all that His children need for life and godliness.

Believer. Beloved. Child of God. Please receive the help and keep in step with the Spirit of God that is at work in your very heart.

 

What the world needs now

It’s that time again. You know, when men and women begin to politic and proclaim what they believe about something, because they are certain that their particular political convictions are the hope of America. The rhetoric, the campaigning, the promises, the slogans. All of this and more has begun as the presidential hopefuls seek to sway the opinions and therefore votes of the people in order to get into office, presumably to make us a “better nation” and “help us move forward” and whatever other promise of hope they brand along the way.

But I am here today to tell you that what the world needs now, what America needs now is not another politician or political promise. We don’t need another piece of legislation or a better judicial ruling. What we need is Jesus. We need to have an encounter with God. We need to see God and begin once again to know the fear of the Lord. We need to recognize Him as Sovereign and humbly bow before Him in repentance and confession and plead for His grace and mercy in our desperate time of need! Continue reading