Posts tagged ‘Faith’

“Helping” the Helper?

Something interesting happened to me last night. I was journaling, just free writing about things that were weighing on my mind. Something else had come up, and in my venting, I wrote about how useless I felt, because I was having to add more to the “prayer pile” of things that we absolutely need to happen in our lives. Thinking about it now, it’s rather laughable. But, I was writing these things down, and really, in my emotions I really felt helpless…and I felt like there was something wrong with me for not being able to help God with the things that we need. I’m a helper. It’s my nature, but as it translates to my relationship with God, my journaling allowed me to see in the past, I’ve really tried to help God be God as it relates to the things that happen in my life…often to dire results. See, what I understand is that when we say we are helping God, we are really taking whatever burden we had released to Him, back onto ourselves. In a sense, we are telling God that we are more adept at handling the issues in our lives than He is, and as I think about the mounting list of things that we are really believing God for, if I’m honest, there is nothing that i can do about any of those things. Thus the helpless feeling.

Here’s the kicker…..there is something about realizing that God is the only one who can fix a situation, or answer a desperate prayer, that puts you right in the sweet spot of His will. The only help that God requires of us is to have faith, and be obedient when He tells us what to do. There is nothing we can do to help God move further along, faster, in His will for our lives. This truth is something that we tout quite often, and quote in our churches, but is it really something that we constantly act upon? I don’t. It’s hard. I see our needs. I know how the odds are stacked up against us. I know how many attacks have come our way since we made the conscious choice to trust God for the things that are deep in our hearts.  You see your needs, and no doubt you have ideas of how those things can be fixed. In truth, though, would your ideas really fix the entire situation or only muddle things for your future?

Our prayer pile is HUGE. It is GINORMOUS! It is so large that just looking up at it makes me shake, but the beautiful thing about that bountiful mountain of needs is that we have to look UP. It is forcing us to look past it’s peaks into the Heavens where my Abba resides and stands ready to move in His timing according to His process and will. He knows what we need, and no matter how big and important these things are to us, they are infintismally small and easily doable for Him. We just have to wait. And believe.

 

And stop trying to “help”.

The Power of Words: top ten ways we speak death

Isaiah 59:1-3- surely the arm of The Lord is not too short to save, not his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God. Your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, you tongue mutters wicked things.

1. Lying- Proverbs. 6:16- these six things The Lord hates…..a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil…

Proverbs 12:22- lying lips are an abomination to The Lord, but those who deal truthfully are his delight.

When we lie, we go against His very nature.

2. Sowing discord- Proverbs 6:12-14- a troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart- he sows discord. Therefore….he will suddenly be destroyed without remedy.

If we sow it, we reap it.

3. Gossip-spreading intimate or private rumors or facts

Proverbs 20:19- a gossip betrays confidence, so avoid anyone who talks too much.

2 Corinthians 12:20- separate yourselves from those who gossip.

4. Slander-false or malicious statements or reports about someone.

Psalms 140:11- May slanderers not be established in the land; May disaster hunt down the violent.

Proverbs 10:18- whoever hides hatred has lying lips

5. Tale bearers -proverbs 11:13- a tale bearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.

We must create an atmosphere where we can share freely without fear of hearing it again from another source. We must pick each other up when we fall, and not condemn them and spread that around. When we break confidence with another, we lose that connection sometimes for good.

6. Cursing- Romans 3:13- their throats are open graves, their tongues practice deceit..”

Psalms 109:17- he loved to pronounce a curse-May it come back on him. He found no pleasure in blessing. May it be far from him.

If we want to walk in the blessings of God, we can’t curse.

7. Blasphemy- using Gods name in an unscarred way

Ex. 20:7- you shall not take the name of your lord in vain, for The Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

we use Gods name as a curse word, and we also use God’s name to get what we fleshly want. We can easily learn to insert God where we want our will to move. There is a fine line here. God is not to be used to manipulate anyone or anything.

8. Filthy Language- put off all filthy language out of our mouths.

9. Contentious speech- a hurtful, hateful, malicious, disagreeable, and argumentative speech.

Proverbs 21:9- better to dwell in an attic than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

Proverbs 26:21- as charcoal is to burning coals….so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

10. Unbelief coming out of our mouths- what’s in our hearts comes out of our mouths.

Hebrews 3:12-13- see to it that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily.

Faith is not denying the facts, but it is stating the truth. Faith looks at the mountain and sees the mountain mover!

Change Your Sound pt 3

Gen 4:2-8- now Abel kept flocks and Cain worked in the soil. In the course of time, Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to The Lord. And Abel also brought an offering…..the Lord looked favorably upon Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. the The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to he brother Abel, “lets go out into the field.” while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Worship revealed our moods. We can never enter into the presence of God without our true selves first being revealed. When He casts the mirror back upon us, then He begins changing us into His image.

Last week, we learned that Leah named her kids the way she did because the wanted the attention of her husband, but when she named Judah, it was because the wanted Gods attention. What she didn’t realize was that she already has His heart and love.

In the same way, we see this week that God had already put in place a way to worship Him. It wasn’t a way to earn His love, because He already loved us fiercely. But Cain doesn’t bring a blood sacrifice, which was required. He brings fruits from his field. This indicates the struggle of man with worship.

Thus, the question is asked..” will we worship God His way, or our way?” God has instituted ways in which we should worship Him. It may look differently, but the heart of it is the same. There must be some sound associated with it. When Paul and Silas were in jail, they began to sing and make a sound while they were chained. First their chains fell off, and then e doors opened in every cell.

Your praise not only sets you free, but helps set others free around you. Paul and Silas praised, but everyone was set free! Our praise is NOT simply for us. It can inspire others to worship freely.

Just because we call ourselves a church doesn’t mean that God is here. There must be a sound for God to inhabit. If there is no praise going forth, then this is not a holy place!

Just because you give it to God doesn’t mean that He has to accept it. He accepted Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s. He requires our best. Sometimes our best is a struggle. Other times, we give God our leftovers and wonder why we don’t see a return. God deserves far more than just our leftovers. Give God everything that you have in your heart to give!

God doesn’t reject us. He rejects what we bring Him. He rejects our leftovers. Cain didn’t bring God what He wanted because it would have placed him outside of His comfort zone. It would have stretched him. He was a farmer, not comfortable with animals. Fruits were easy for him. But worship is not a personality issue. It is an obedience issue. Too many times, we just bring God what is easy.

There should ALWAYS be a sound of praise ready to come out of our mouths.

2 main things happen when we praise.

-we are set free
-we kill our pride.

It’s easy to let emotions take us into praise when things are going great. If the week is good, we have our praise music going and we are in a zone. You’re in the zone.

James 5:13- is anyone among you in trouble?…..let them praise.
Psalm 42:3-5 – my tears have been my food all day and night, while people say to me all day long, “where is your God.” These things I remember as I pour out my soul; how I used to go into the house of God under the protection of the mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why my soul are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and My God!

The sound of our services should never change! In good, PRAISE Him. In bad, Praise Him. This is why we were created.

I’m a Survivor: Is Your Mind Made Up?

Job 1:1-3;6- there was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and he was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. He had 10 children and vast possessions. He was the richest. Of all the people of the East. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before The Lord, and Satan also came among them. And The Lord said to Satan, “from where do you come.”

True greatness is not measured by possessions, but rather by what you have inside of you. Job did not come from wealthy beginnings. He made wise decisions and put God first, thus God blessed everything that he did.

Matt 7:13-14- enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

You can’t reach heaven by following after the crowd. Job decided to cling to what was good and shunned what was evil. Job walked in favor, but understood that what he had did not make him. He understood that his source for everything was God. The sooner we take on n attitude of clinging to the goodness of God and shunning evil, the sooner we can walk in God’s favor.

Two things determine what we will become in life:
1. Our decisions
2. Our response to God

God lets us decide how we will live. He gave us a choice.

We have the power to make our own choices, but our choices have the power to make us.

Ecc 12:1- remember now your creator in the days of youth, before the difficult days come,

We cannot choose the environment we are born into, but we can choose our reaction and our response.

You don’t wait till you’re in the middle of a storm to make your decision to follow Christ. How you respond to Him now will determine how you handle your battle or storm.

Gideon

I found this among my things and thought it was worth sharing. be blessed and have a great weekend!

 

In my reading over the weekend, I read about Gideon. I’ve heard about him before, mainly him testing God with the whole fleece deal. But, what I didn’t know was how many times he had God proved Himself and that He was calling Gideon to be a hero for Israel. He practically made God jump through hoops, and God jumped through each and every one of them. He encountered the Angel of the Lord underneath the tree and had him wait while he ran back to his house to get some meat and bread so that the Angel could perform a miracle. All my life, I’ve heard people say that we shouldn’t test God or ask for fleeces because that shows a lack of faith, but this morning I was thinking about Gideon and a question came to mind.

I asked God why HE allowed Gideon to put Him through all of those paces. The whole fleece deal to me seemed like Gideon was stalling while trying to find a way out of that responsibility on one hand, but then God reminded me of something. Gideon was a part of that next generation of Israelites who no longer remembered the great miracles that God had performed for Joshua’s and Moses’ people. He couldn’t relate to the sun staying in the sky or the Red Sea parting, or even the conquest of Canaan. I can only imagine Gideon sitting in an environment of idol worship all around him, even in his own household, then hearing the voice of God coming through loud and clear calling him a man of great valor. When God spoke those words to him, it spoke volumes to me. God spoke to Gideon as HE saw him, not as Gideon saw Himself. It’s apparent that Gideon had a very low opinion of himself, or else he might not have been so hesitant to obey, but God saw beyond the present state towards the created state. So, it’s only right that God spoke to Gideon in the light of what he had been created to be in order to shake him from the stupor of what he was! But, I digress. When I asked God why He allowed Gideon to put Him through all of these tests, God answered me. He told me that because of Gideon’s environment, it required actions outside of the way that He was choosing to move at that point in time. Gideon was not used to living a life of faith the way his forefathers had, so in order to get his attention, God moved in a way that Gideon could perceive with his natural eyes that strengthened his spiritual awareness. Each time that Gideon had an encounter with God; it moved him further and further along in his faith to the point where he moved with fervor to accomplish God’s plans.

I’ve always heard that God meets us where we are and seeks to bring us up to His level. God has shown me this so clearly in the life of Gideon. He used whatever means were at His disposal to raise up a new Judge for Israel.

How great is a God who is willing to exhaust His inexhaustible resources to reach a people who have turned their backs wholeheartedly on Him. As unworthy as we are, His grace and mercy still seek to reach into our hearts and grip us; never letting go.

There is a purpose for you that goes beyond what you can see with your physical eyes. God has placed a mantle of greatness on your life. An ordinary life will not do for one of God’s chosen. This world needs extraordinary, and that’s what God’s grace will enable us to do if we will listen to His voice and be willing to step out in the knowledge that God will never leave us, and that God will never lead us wrong. Have faith in God.

I pray that God will continue moving among us. Lord, wake us up from our drunkenness. Awaken us to who we are in You and what you have predestined us to accomplish in Your name. Your mercy is great, but Your love is greater still, and if you have chosen us for a purpose, Lord please love us with such intensity that our hearts burn within us to accomplish the will of our Father, which is in heaven. Amen.

I’m a Survivor: are You Ready to get in the Faith Fight

Numbers 13:25-33- and they returned from spying out the land after 40 days. Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation…..then Caleb said,” let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. But the men who had come up with him said, “we are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”

Even though your faith fight might seem like a one on one fight, it’s really a team effort. God’s agenda is not an individual agenda. His agenda is a corporate one.

God doesn’t just want to bless one. He wants to bless all. We get so focused on singular thinking that we lose focus that God is not just for me, rather he is for all. We are the Body of Christ, not merely a limb. We all have a role, an important role.

We are a household of faith.

John 10:16- “I have other sheep too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. ”

The singular mindset is against the Kingdom of God. It is an infestation of selfishness.

God wants to strengthen your faith individually, so that your corporate faith will be strengthened. When our individual faith rises, the entire Body is elevated.

The enemy is not trying to destroy your life because of you alone, but he fears what we can do together,

In the key verses, 10 spies saw obstacles. 2 saw opportunity.

The difference in those who obtain the promise and those who don’t…can be found in how you handle the opposition. We have to fight to obtain every promise that God has set aside for us.

Caleb and Joshua had a different spirit. They were ready to deal with the adversity and believe in God’s promise to them. They were ready to go all in with God.

There is a false doctrine that if it is God’s will, then it will automatically happen. We engage God’s will by faith. He has an agenda for us all, but we must actively engage it by faith in order to accomplish it.

2 kings 18:1-6- Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, began to rule over Judah……he remained faithful to the Lord in everything and carefully obeyed all the commands The Lord had given Moses.

When you fight for God’s agenda, God will fight for your agenda.

I’m a Survivor: What is your faith level?

Heb 12:1-2- therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…..

It takes consistency to build endurance. Condition yourself.

By faith we access everything that God has for our lives. Those things don’t just come by hard work or by random happenings. Faith determines how God responds and if He responds.

How do I perceive God? What is my depth and breadth of who He is? How we perceive God affects our faith.

Mark 6:3-6- the story of Jesus back home in Nazareth- his family could not perceive Him as God. So, He chose not to do miracles there, because of their lack of faith. But He did heal a few sick, because even among all of the unbelief, He responded to the faith of those who hd it. They accessed it when most missed it.

There are only 2 things that moved Jesus: compassion and faith

Luke 17:5- the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, and then Jesus tells them a parable about faith.

Rev. 12:11- and they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.

It’s one thing to know and believe, but to hear another tell you about it is empowering!

We should always be ready and willing to share what God has done in our lives.

2Cor10:5- casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Provoke your faith by crying out to God!

God will so,strikes remove crutches in our lives that we didn’t realize we’re crutches, so that we learn to lean on Him.

God doesn’t just want you to have your mothers faith, He wants you to have YOUR faith!

We have to cast aside every thought that will keep us from having faith knowledge of God.

The strength of our faith is determined by the reliability of the object we put our faith in. That’s why it is important to know God.

Our faith level will never outgrow our knowledge level.

Trust comes when you know who HE is.

Romans 10:17- faith comes by hearing me earring by the word of God.

5 things you need to know about God

1. Existence- Heb 11:6- he who comes to God must believe that HE iS!
Rom 1:12- through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities….so they have no excuse for not knowing God.

2. Gods nature- Heb 13:8- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

3. Character- Heb 6:16-18- god also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change His mind…..it is impossible for God to lie.
Rom:4:17- ….God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which do not exist as though they did
Rom 10:23- for He who promised is faithful!

4. His Ability- Gen 18: 13-14……”is anything too hard for The Lord?”

5. His Willingness – Matt 7:7-11