In Christ Alone

This morning we heard a word about an enemy who has a plan to engage us in a battle. It’s a battle of entanglement to dishearten us from our weapons and the authority that is ours. However, we heard a word about God as our maintainer and our provider. He does not deal in confusion, but in the position of truth. His provision comes as the living word of truth which he watches over to perform wonders. We heard a word that says God is all sufficient and he works at the place of our surrender. We heard a word that says our God in Christ left us a pattern that we should follow, so that at the pattern of the cross we posture ourselves for success not failure. It is a posture of humility by which he will perform wonders before our very eyes. Today he would say, do not be afraid, and do not listen to the voice of the adversary who would discourage your Faith in Christ alone! When you speak those words “In Christ Alone” you make a bold declaration of surrender about who you’re going to trust. By assuming this posture, you will be speaking forth a prayer of great release. Today, let him release you from the fear, let him release you from the things that keep you from realizing what only He is able to produce! I was impressed this week with something someone had given me to read. It revealed a long forgotten story of a man in New York City, who in 1857 called a meeting to gather people with him to pray. In that prayer meeting only six people showed up. Rather than be discouraged by what may have seemed to some as a failed attempt, they would continue to meet weekly for the purpose of prayer. It would be that within the next year, the Spirit of God would move on upwards of 10,000 people to meet daily in churches all over the city to pray. As a result of a little prayer meeting, it is estimated that 1 million people came to faith in Christ during the course of the next year. There are greater things to be had when we pray in agreement with the Spirit of God. Today, find the authority that belongs to you in Christ and never underestimate the power when His saints pray in faith.

A Season to Remember

In this season of remembering the birth of Jesus, we need to remember the witness of our ‘new birth’ into his dominion and glory. We need a re-appearing of Jesus! We need to behold him and behold ourselves as His vessels for holiness. We need awakening–we need a revival. Prayer is the only dimension that will change the atmosphere around you to behold his glory and produce a personal revival that makes you of any use to his kingdom. In this season of remembering, don’t forget prayer, it’s the power to produce the living presence of Christ Jesus in you as the only hope of glory. It is the portal through which the Holy Spirit of Christ will alter how you think about God and change the way in which you live for Him.  Luke 1:32-33

The Rains of Harvest

1798287_670762142981430_2065430413_nRemember Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus? It was the place He could do very little. You’ll remember it to be a place of unbelief and a place that just considered Jesus a common man with nothing special to offer (Matt 13:54-58). It was here He would declare the power of God to release the captive and heal the broken. It was here the foolish thoughts of men raged so as to want Him dead (Lk.4). We need to get ourselves away from the small minded, common thoughts of Nazareth. The Prophet Joel prophesied of a day of power and provision of early and late rain unto a harvest to restore God’s people (Joel 2:23). It would promise a harvest of righteousness and an outpouring of His Holy Spirit. It is however, important to understand what Joel prophesied could only come when men humbled themselves to pray from the heart. James 5:7 says, ‘be patient for these rains like a farmer who waits for the early and late rain to produce what’s precious’. Too often we are thinking of the latter rain of Joel’s prophecy as some clearly defined end times movement, but what about the move of God that awaits us in prayer? I believe the patient farmer does not wait in the hot sun, but after his labor looks to do his waiting in a place of shade with a cool breeze. If you will look with spiritual eyes you will understand he waits in hope for God under the shadow of His almighty power. The patience to wait is found in prayer. “Prayer is the patience God will answer your fears and the confidence that He alone can dissolve your doubts”. Prayer changes the mind and heart of God concerning His people and moves Him to action on their behalf. Listen… there’s a thinking God must revolutionize and even re-new in your life. There is a wound that God must heal. He says to you, ‘I have healing balm which flows only from the finished work of Calvary, but you must open up your heart and trust Me to heal and restore in the humble place of prayer, and the shadow of my presence will refresh you, heal you and send rain to bring precious produce! Stop trying to live out of the movements of others, and start listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you! Stop looking for ‘the Revival” and start living for Jesus in this moment knowing He produces a harvest from His shadow by sending the early and late rain!

Lead Me to the Rock

Psalm 61:1-4

O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer!

From the ends of the earth,I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety,

for you are my safe refuge,a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

Let me live forever in your sanctuary,safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

…In the place of overwhelming difficulty We have this word as an anchor to remind us we can be lead to a place the enemy cannot reach! Our cries are the place of heavenly access… We like David, may feel a long way off from that safety, but it’s placed within our reach when we pray!

 

The Prayer that Makes Perfect

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!’

All Because of the Son

While recently waiting at an airport with my wife and son, I reflected upon a story my wife had told me some 18 years before during a holiday visit home to Texas when we were living in Maine. My wife was always a good-mother to be there for her children; she took great pleasure in seeing our children were well clothed, well taught and well cared for (something I will always honor her for).  Isn’t it interesting in a world that says, ‘woman get out there and make something of yourself’ your real blessing will depend on your children and what they say about you.  On this particular occasion, she was traveling alone with our children.  She would often dress them alike or in coordinated outfits. A well remembered favorite of mine were the little denim dresses my two daughters wore to match my son’s blue denim hat… all that to say, she was making a statement that said to the world around her, “these are distinctly mine”.  As I’d reminisced about the story she once told me, I got her to tell it to me again.   It seems her plane was late in arriving to make a late night connection for Dallas.  When they arrived at the very large metropolitan airport they got turned around and had to run hand in hand to the connecting gate.  When they finally found their gate, the attendant said that the plane had already left. My wife realizing there were no more planes out, leaving her and our 3 children stranded in a strange airport, began to cry as they walked about holding each other by the hand.  The cries were tears of what if, and why, and how come.  As tears continued to flow, my wife felt my son’s small hand begin to gently pat her face. Isn’t that like the son, a loving touch to say, ‘I’m here, it’s okay we’re together it’s going to be alright….’ My son always did have a very good sense of direction!  A short time past and a very important looking man came by and saw her crying.  He was moved as he saw her tears and the children holding hands beside her.  He asked what was wrong and she proceeded to tell him the story.  “Quickly”, he said, “come with me.” Understanding there were no more planes to Dallas leaving out that night and her dilemma, he got on his radio speaking to someone all the while whisking them downstairs and onto the tarmac. She said from there he put them on little cart and drove them at full speed across the runway to board a plane that He had held up to take them aboard.  As she re-told what happened, I had to choke back the tears, but I was moved by the reminder God uses small things to tell one very big story.  He reminded me that while I could not be there, He was able to use my only son to accurately convey His love and sentiments!  I believe He is saying to you, ‘I see you in your tears and I understand your problem, I’m here, it’s okay we’re together it’s going to be alright….trust Me!’.  I believe the Father wants to say, ‘I’m going on ahead of you, moving on your behalf and if you’ll trust Me, I’m holding some things up to get you where you need to be.  It may not be the most comfortable means, but if you’ll trust Me it will be okay.  It will be better than okay, it will be a testimony of My Unseen Power that moves others and moves out ahead of you to change what you cannot foresee.’  ‘You must trust me and receive my touch and the Son of My Love.’  ‘He has the mantle of my blessing and is able to touch you offering comfort in your long standing pain.  Believe Him and trust Me.’  There is and should be a moral to every story, but how seldom we see it as we stand blinded by our fears and our tears.  God says receive the touch and obtain the promise.   What about your story?  God is writing a story on the pages of your life– a story little different from the one I just told.  I’m so moved sometimes when my wife tells me of these little miracles of how she believed God’s hand was moving in her life. Our lives are always better for having acknowledged how the hand of God moves on our behalf helping us in times of trouble!  This little story has been stored away in my files for months; I kept coming back to it, but couldn’t delete it because of the truth it conveys. I believed God saved this story for your benefit, so that you might see in your sorrow, when in your tears, the Spirit of Jesus gently comes alongside you to touch you and say, ‘I’m here, it’s okay we’re together it’s going to be alright… Trust Me!’  Today in your struggle, don’t fail to see Jesus; He’s there beside you; He walks with you; He moves ahead of you, to command your miracle in spite of you, and to open what has been shut, and to shut what has been opened!  He’s waiting for your response of complete trust, and through it He is moving to bring forth your story–a unique testimony of His advancing power that comes in your present circumstance to say to you, “You are distinctly Mine, all and only because of the Son!”  Trust Jesus today and don’t miss this opportunity; God saved it especially for you!

The Safe Place of Prayer

Psalm 61:1-4

O God, listen to my cry!Hear my prayer!

From the ends of the earth,I cry to you for helpwhen my heart is overwhelmed.Lead me to the towering rock of safety,

for you are my safe refuge,a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

Let me live forever in your sanctuary,safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

…In the place of overwhelming difficulty We have this word as an anchor to remind us we can be lead to a place the enemy cannot reach! Our cries are the place of heavenly access… We like David, may feel a long way off from that safety, but it’s placed within our reach when we pray!