Something made me think of my Grandmother the other day; she would often call and say, ‘I don’t know nothing….I just called to find out how you were doing’. She was a busy woman, probably too busy, but I was amazed that she could find the time to do the things she did. “I don’t know nothing” may not be good english, but it made me think about her and the love she had for me. It makes me lovingly think of others I care about and how I should find the time to reach them. The truth is, I don’t have much to offer and I really don’t know much… but, for the grace of God I am nothing and I have nothing. While in that momentary thought of, ‘what little I could offer anyone’, I found myself praying; God save my children, save my family, God save me, and Lord save others through my life…oh, how I need Your power.’ Your life is a powerful thing, a tool created really for only for one purpose and that’s to be used by the power of God to influence others for His cause. Your life is to become a living testimony made by what only the Holy Spirit can reflect upon you, so others could be saved. I love the place where Jesus says, ‘Come to Me all you who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest….’ The word says, Jesus lives at the right hand of God (Mk16:19). Residing in power, He lives to make intercession for us’ (Heb7:25). He lives to call us to rest ourselves in His finished work and be connected to His life and power by the Holy Spirit whom He sent as our Helper and His agent of extra-ordinary benefits. He lives to bring you into a restful place to stop thinking there’s anything you could do for Him. He lives so you might realize it’s in only what He can do for you– to reflect His life by powerful changes in your character and demeanor. The Spirit of God moves in the place of prayer connecting us to the will and intention of His heart. While men search for the perfect; the perfect life, a perfect home, the perfect love, it can only be found in the perfect heart of God, known only by time in the presence of His own dear Son. E.M. Bounds one said, “Prayer is far reaching in its influence and worldwide in its effects. It affects all men, affects them everywhere, and affects them in all things. It touches man’s interest in time and eternity. It lays hold upon God and moves him to interfere in the affairs of earth. It moves the angels to minister to men in this life. It restrains and defeats the devil and his schemes to ruin man. Prayer goes everywhere and lays its hand upon everything.” It’s prayer that makes us behold Him who is perfect, so we should reflect His glory. The enemy would have you weak and giving up over the things you see, but Jesus would have you pray and He says, ‘come to Me!’
The Valley of Deliverance
The anointing God gives is powerfully useful to advance His kingdom. It becomes however, a matter of vision and focus to properly use what God gives. I think of men like Samson who with the strength God gave, delivered a nation, until he became focused on his own pleasure and his strength failed. When men choose to look away from God, their faith becomes paralyzed by fear. In the book of Samuel, David stands as a picture of faith and focus. He becomes God’s tool to set the record straight for us there in a valley between two mountains of influence. David stands against that Goliath in your life that has continued to degrade your faith and usefulness to God’s kingdom. Have you misused your freedom in Christ because you were looking the other way? Your wayward look has brought you under a yoke of fear and bondage keeping you from advancing where God would have you go. No war was ever won with decisive victory by talking the enemy to death. No sir, victory will requires decisive action. It’s the obedience factor to the word which we hear. God wants to use us, but not until fear is gone and the enemy is silenced. In some real sense our Christianity has become too much a product of our culture. Our reality based TV shows have influenced ‘real life‘ for too many believers. It’s like everyone is in the same pot of water and it is beginning to boil watching the same images that promote real-life moral decay in a society that says they are ok with everything while standing for nothing. Everyone is drinking out of the same bottle and it has made them drunk with the wine of immorality; time is past for passivity and not speaking up. It is time for God’s people to act and to move with Him. Where the enemy taunts, God calls to action. The questions are these: Will you be caught looking with the masses the other way, or will you recognize the anointing God has bestowed on you? Will you move with God to behold the situation that lies before you with the eyes of faith and focus? Will you expose the enemy’s lies to you–about you–sent to defeat God‘s purpose in you–so that you fail to possess that inheritance He’s given you? I believe God wants to bring you to a valley; it is a valley of decision, it’s a valley of deliverance. The valley is to address your passivity and blindness. In 1 Samuel 17, David represents here a type of Christ, sent to deliver a nation because he was not afraid to enter the fray. Unafraid to move forward there in the valley of decision–in the valley where forces collide. There is a valley in your life of two opposing forces, one of God and the other contrary to His will and His way. In that valley there is a very real enemy who taunts and scoffs at the things of God and at those who find themselves on His side, however timid they might be. He calls out to you; He taunts in this very hour. The word says, ‘Goliath, the champion came out to Israel and taunted God’s army’. Goliath, the word says was over nine feet tall. He was big, just not as big as the lie he and everyone else had believed, but David would not be part of that culture of fear. He had come from outside that culture–from the sheepfolds and a place where he had witnessed God’s ability to deliver from death. You see the enemy is a champion of fear; he champions fear by telling lies that he will prevail and not you. He looks to cast aspersions on your character and ability by telling you, ‘you’re not mature enough, not big or strong enough’. All of those things being what they are, still he underestimates the greatness of your God when you stand in the window of opportunity and say what God says. The word says, David ‘ran quickly to the battle line’ and took decisive action because the time for talking had past, and the need for swift action had come. Deliberate action in faith gets God’s attention and His favor, so that you do not act alone. His awesome power will move with you, bringing you to see victory and the prevailing word of God that will bring all those around you under the influence of His word and power. When you move in faith through your Goliath, you create a testimony God then uses to publish His fame in a way like you could never imagine. Your single act of obedience creates a single spark…but driven by a great wind that spreads the power of His name like wildfire. David in his youthful zeal would serve at God’s pleasure to tell a story of timeless influence proving, if but one thing, that God needs little more that your readiness to be His instrument. You see, man has a fame that awards himself, but God rewards and uses those who lay self aside–there on the battle line of His reputation to call forth glory in the face of the foolish. Are you listening to the Enemy’s degrading taunt? How’s it working out for you? Run to the battle line of obedience and sling the truth of God’s word letting it fly with boldness to declare the Greatness of YOUR God who slays the champion of fear.
A Tale of Two Trains
I received a vision of a train–one bound for nowhere, the other for glory. From the station they appear to run along parallel tracks; one however, merely circles the city while the other moves swiftly and westerly out from all that looks like progress through a valley and then on to a mountain summit. It is really a picture of faith. Take for example the story of Abraham and Lot. One wanted the city, the other took the heights. Abraham, if you will, took the outbound train for glory by faith to believe God that glory was in moving out and taking possession rather that circling that which he could never fully possess. Scores of believers are literally being taken for a ride on the inside track. It is a ride of deceptive influence where the enemy is the “Thief Conductor”. He makes his passengers comfortable and happy and there are many stops along the way. All the lively excitement enriches the senses, but leads the spirit of man nowhere and for no cause greater than self. In Mark 8:17 Jesus asks His disciples, ‘do you have a dull and insensible heart?’ Repentance will be the mark of true believers in these last days–sin however, will keep you with an inflated view of the obvious missing the discerning influence of the Glory Train–its riders are under the influence of faith because they are hearing a word made more clear as they have a seat by the window with a view of the God inspired not the man-made. Riders of this outbound train have taken the seat of faith for a ride that would seem less certain in its destination, yet the word of the Conductor has a settling effect as they move away from the familiar to experience a revelation God himself could only reveal. David Wilkerson has said, many have knowledge, but no revelation of Jesus. One train deludes, the other reveals. Which train will you ride? One is content only with knowledge, but never finds repentance from circular things. The other is a train of trust where passengers ride because God says, ‘I have greater things for you, and your confession of My Lordship will be your release to board’. Do you find yourself on the inside tracks going round again? You know your are on the wrong train being taken for a ride when God shows you something, but it serves you little benefit. It means you have a thief for a conductor. Truth is, as believers we have all spent far too much time riding the inside rails and not the outbound train. God says don’t be foolish; get off at the next stop and make the connection for the Glory Train. There is one leaving from a stop very near where you live….