The Place of Prayer

I believe the Lord is saying, ‘You know some things, BUT you must pray!’ Prayer is awareness! The spirit of prayer will be the corrective lenses thru which God’s view of the word is opened up to you. Prayer changes our posture from haughty to humble, from sinner to saint! Prayer unlocks the Mystery of Christ to you, within you and through you! Prayer will be the defining mark of what you have come to know and what you truly believe. Recently, I heard the question asked this way, ‘How is it that you believe in a supernatural God, but don’t believe in the supernatural?’ Prayer is the key to the mystery that changes your thinking to recognize Jesus is at the spiritual place of God’s right hand of power pleading for you! Don’t tell Him He’s changed and no longer moving in supernatural power. He is there interceding for you to grasp the concept of an open heaven so you might boldly come asking to receive His grace and power (Heb 4:16).  I tell you truth, it is easier to listen to other preachers, read enlightening books, listen to spiritual music, and even read the Bible, but harder still to pray. Don’t misinterpret what I am saying, those things are good and necessary, but without the spirit of prayer, your life will be rather one dimensional missing the dynamic that can transform what you know in your head to what gets ahold of your heart!  Psalm 40 is a psalm of powerful awareness in which David’s ears are opened in corrective fashion to realize the resources afforded him by the King of heaven. What do you have need of today?  You must in faith believe “God IS, AND HE IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO SEEK HIM”.  What is it that you seek?  You will accomplish it in the place of prayer.

“Are You Saved”

images“Are you saved?” I can remember as child a Baptist preacher saying every week without fail the words; ‘Are You saved?’ I believe those 3 words are possibly Baptist’s greatest contribution to the faith. You may know a lot about Him, but do you know Him? If there is no grieving or sorrow over your sinful condition…no witness of the Spirit, then you don’t know Him. For Jesus to truly save you, you must believe you are drowning and in need of saving—otherwise the broken cry for a savior is not heard and He cannot save. It is a matter of need…do you need Him? Do you see your very real need of His love and forgiveness? Or, do you see yourself ‘pretty good’– never considering that one sin…it’s rebellion like witchcraft that has you under a spell of deception never considering yourself that bad; it is your only weak link, but it is powerful enough to destroy your whole life with that one unredeemed failure. I see God is not mocked and sin must be atoned for. What are you doing and where are you taking your sin for atonement? Because what He takes, He covers–what He covers, He redeems, what He redeems He changes, and what He changes He keeps for Himself with a movement of the Spirit that directs my steps to increase as His disciple and witness. So, I ask you again, “Are You Saved…Are You Really Saved?”

She’s Only Asleep

Lk 8:49..; (amp) ‘Your daughter is dead!’ came the word to Jairus, ‘Don’t bother and weary the teacher anymore’, they said.  Jesus addresses that situation and those words by saying to him, ‘don’t let your heart be seized with alarm and struck by fear, simply believe that I am able and she shall be made well’. There’s just something about His name, His presence and believing that He can make a way when everyone else gives up hope! They said, ‘don’t bother Jesus’, that sounds just like the ‘spirit’ of the the enemy who want you to ‘stay away from Jesus’.  I mean really, consider the alternative as staying away from Jesus so the devil can have the power over your life to keep you bound and alarmed by fear–really? I don’t see Jesus settling for that alternative.  Jesus instead urges Jairus to a simple faith and nothing else. He is not interested in mere casual relationship that only wants an encounter with Him because of an urgent or pressing need. He wants to prove Himself to you by arresting your fears resolving them to simple trust by faith in His ability to call back the spirit and say, ‘My Child live!’  He’s interested in the relationship that changes your life and revolutionizes your world changing your belief system, so that in the face of what people say is dead and gone, you see and experience His power over ‘life as we know it’! The little girl in the story had died, her body lifeless, yet Jesus knows how to call her spirit back to life. When Jesus says in Luke 8 (nlt), ‘she’s only asleep’, He meant it. It wasn’t that He didn’t recognize death, but He was ‘The Life’  and her condition was not fatal in His hands. The enemy is likely saying to you right now ‘don’t bother Jesus..don’t bother with Him anymore.’ Jesus, on the other hand would say differently; He would say, ‘seek Me now, I Am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will live though he dies.’ Look it up, (Luke 8:50) Jesus is saying, ‘do not be afraid any longer only believe’ which is to say, put away your fears of failure, loss, or your lack of ability to change anything and walk with Me and watch and see!

The Cross that Gives Me Life

I sometime get that sense of God’s purpose for humanity and truly experience a desire to be used to reach others for His kingdom. In the middle of one of those thoughts, God brought a revelation to me; ‘you have abilities, or you think you do, but it’s not your abilities I need; it’s not your charm or charisma, not your personality or persona, no matter if you think it’s strong or weak. No, reaching men has nothing to do with your good intentions, or even what you think! Remember, ‘I told you to come to the cross and surrender your thoughts, intentions, and abilities or lack of them. I told you in My word to reckon ‘yourself’ to be dead, so I could live. This world doesn’t need to know who you think you are, it needs to know Me and who I Am! Surrender your thoughts to Me! As long as you live ‘your life’, you cannot reproduce Mine! The Apostle Paul said, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me….’ He further says, ‘whatever things were gain to me, I counted as loss that I could know Him and the power of His resurrection life!’ God says, ‘live My life and others will see Me through your surrender. They will see a brokenness that is evidence you serve me and not yourself, and you will prove to be my disciple whose actions reach many because of Who I Am!’

The Faith that Comes to Life

To my children I often feel compelled to ask, ‘have you been in the word today, or even lately?’ That is a good question to ask yourself. You may say sure, I listened to the greatest radio preacher on the way to work today, or I am reading the latest, greatest Christian book, or I was in church just yesterday and the pastor was talking about the word. Anything remotely similar to those responses, really misses the point of the question. I mean, no doubt the radio preacher, the Christian author, or the pastor all base their life and message on the word. But, are you spending time in the word of God for yourself, or are you for the most part a ‘word-less Christian’? You’ve made a commitment, but have done little to build upon it. Have you become, according to the book of James, ‘a forgetful hearer, but not a doer of the word.’ Commit yourself to spending time daily in the word of God. Look for the word to move you, to speak to you, to change your thinking by hearing and doing what God says. Let the word of Christ bring forth His mind as it opens your heart and unblocks your thinking to view things as God sees them.  The Bible says God’s word is ‘living and active’. It states that this word is further able to cut right to the heart to produce a testimony of Jesus. It was for this reason the Apostle Paul could say, ‘for me to live is Christ….’ The heavenly Father desires for His children to be His living witnesses. You simply cannot do that without this ‘living Word’. Or said another way, you cannot be His disciple without living in, and living out this word by your faith.  Faith depends, trusts and relies on the word, and without it you will not be able to stand in these days. So activate your Christian life today by looking with expectation for the move of God through His living word. Finally, pray over this word asking God for the spirit of soberness and truth and you will receive a deeper revelation giving you eyes to see and a faith come to life!

The Promise of Peace

Jesus says in John 16:33; ‘These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace…’ The peace Jesus speaks of here in John’s gospel is directly related to what He says a few verses before about asking God things in prayer. It’s in a place of prayer I begin to understand the source of my frustration with others. I realize waiting on men and not leaning on God is really the fear of man and not the fear of God. This will leave you frustrated and angry with people as they fail to meet your expectations and demands, and it will miss the peace Jesus promises those who lean into Him.  Peace is a powerful word of promise, we all want it, but it can escape us when we fail to deal with the fear that keeps us from wholly leaning on Jesus name.  Fear will keep you from a Godly mandate to move forward in your circumstances. Others are not the problem, but failure to wait on God in prayer is. Prayer is the pathway to lasting peace with God and it holds promise that I can be part of restoring others rather that being bothered by their perceived failures.  The words of an old hymn, ‘learning to lean on Jesus’ encourage us to trust Him in every trial, finding the peace He promises.  Jesus went on to finish John 16:33 AMP; by saying, ‘I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have prefect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer…[take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted!] For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] Peace, is the victory Jesus gives and He calls us to pray, so we can overcome in the face of every fear.

‘Jesus, The Only Door’

Jesus plainly tells us in Matthew 11:28 to come to His rest!  In John 10:7 He says, ‘I’m the door you must enter through.’ All too often we fail to see the open door Jesus has made for our entry into His House of Rest! This past spring a red bird appeared in the window at our house of worship.  At first, everyone was pleasantly distracted by his coming to the window.  However, over the course of the next few weeks he would make it his mission to attack every window on our building repeatedly becoming a nuisance to everyone.  I found myself thinking, ‘that stupid little bird…’, then God said to me, “you’ve been like that little bird”.  The truth is, we have all been just like that little red bird.  He might have found the door of entry, but he was too busy fighting his enemies, or so it would seem!  In reality, he wasn’t even looking for the door.  What are you seeking?  Is it the open door of Jesus that brings you into a place of rest, or are you like the little bird?  Just what does he see in the glass that keeps him coming back to the place of futility?  He sees himself, but he is most deceived thinking it’s his enemy.  In his zeal to fight, he is bound by a deception that allows the real enemy to steal what God says is rightfully his. There is a ‘little red bird’ syndrome bound in the nature of all our flesh. The little bird is fighting against his own image though he doesn’t see it.  Your image will always make you angry, frustrated, and captivated by Your-SELF and the image IT produces.  There is a blindness only Jesus can remove.  He says to you, ‘I’ve an anointing that can heal blind eyes so you can see the door of rest.’ It is a place of recovery, it is a place of release and abundance.  Any attempt to use something other than the door will leave you beaten and bruised.  There is hope and healing at the Open Door of Jesus!  His lessons are the cure of our Red Bird syndrome!  He is saying to you, ‘Son/Daughter, use the door! It represents the only legitimate way to my service and pleasure and by it you will produce My glory and not your own!  Use the door, and you will be able to move freely in my presence where there is fulness and joy.  It will be a fulness that will keep you from robbing Me and being robbed of what I alone have given you to possess!