Sunday, September 30, 2012

Psalms for Sunday, LX

How far can my heart be lost in your heart? I can’t fathom, I can’t understand the depths of your love, the depth of your goodness to me.

You are abundance. You are extravagant. You are luxury.

Your name is everything I need; your name is everything I want. Your name makes me complete.

I will praise, I will worship because you alone are worthy of my praise.

I am lost in you. I can only be found in you. I can never run away.

No one stands before the Lord and denies you. They will not see you, the fool who mocks the name of the Lord. You name is precious to save but the fool will be cast away for they have not believed the truth.

Friday, September 28, 2012

He Makes Us Look Good

Does God have something to say to everyone?

People, especially church people, ask this question a lot regarding prophetic tent ministry. The simple answer is yes. Yes, he does have something to say to everyone.

Psalm 139:17, How precious to me are your thoughts [of me], O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.

Job 33:14, For God does speak – now one way, now another – though man has not perceived it.

God is always thinking about us and he is always speaking. Because of that we are able to have a dialogue with God.

Jesus is the Word of God. It’s hard for him not to have something to say. ~Bill Johnson

It amazes me that God, the Creator of the universe, speaks to us (me), but what amazes me even more is that I’m privileged to hear God for other people, when they haven’t been able to perceive the word themselves. It’s definitely not because I’m [self] righteous or more holy and spiritual than anyone else.

A couple of years ago, I was getting ready for church on a Sunday morning. Our church had two services and I taught Sunday School for the first service and was part of the prayer ministry team for the second service. As I was getting ready for church, I was debating whether I would stay for the second service because I wasn’t feeling spiritual – I had gotten up late and didn’t have time for my morning ritual with God. I was feeling spiritually dull. Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

As clear as someone speaking audibly to me, I heard the Lord say, “I’m not going to show up because you’re feeling spiritual, I’m going to show up because I love the people who come for ministry.” It changed my perspective on prophetic prayer ministry. We will never be qualified by my own merit, but God, in the mystery of his love, chooses to use us as broken as we are, and he makes us look good doing it. Mind baffling, wouldn’t you agree?

Not only do we get to partner with God to bring his message of love to others, but he makes us look good while we do it. After I’ve prayed with people, they are saved, healed and delivered and many are grateful to me - as if I had anything to do with it.

Jeremiah 33:3, Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

When someone comes to the tent, or the prayer line, wanting to hear something from God, he delivers because he promises, and he always keeps his promises. I may not be feeling spiritual but their desire to hear God pulls heaven out of me and releases a new word for them. Even when I’m not in the prayer tent, sometimes someone will stand in front of me, desperate to receive something from the Lord and I start to see a picture for them, or the Lord gives me words to encourage them, even though I had no previous intention of doing that.

The Lord makes it easy, for a heart willing to listen. He makes it easy and he makes us look good. What, then, are we waiting for?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby Steps

It’s been a few years since I was around a toddler, but I remember being so glad when my Boy finally started walking. He was about 11 months when he took his first steps but the months prior were spent building the framework for him to walk into. It started with sitting upright. At first we had to prop him up but soon after, my Boy was able to prop himself up from a lying position into a sitting position. Then came crawling, walking along furniture, free standing and finally his first teetering steps. It was so exciting but it didn’t stop there. My Boy became confident with walking and he started to run and climb. Even to this day, my Boy is continuing to explore new heights with his pogo stick, skateboard and BMX bike.

Every milestone is a stepping stone to the next phase and is important but by the emphasis we put on walking, one could come to the conclusion life is at the pinnacle when you start walking. But ask any mother and they record (and celebrate) all the milestones. My Boy started sitting at 5 months, crawling at 8 months and walking on furniture at 9 months. He started riding a 2-wheeled bike at 2, and got his first skateboard at 8.

Likewise, sometimes I feel Christians celebrate a new believer’s conversion as the pinnacle of their spiritual life and conclude our job is done. Jesus didn’t command us to make converts, he commanded us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Every step toward reaping the harvest (point of conversion) is important and every step should be celebrated. The miracle is not only reaping the harvest but being able to sow the seeds, too (John 4:37-38).

Two weeks ago, I was doing prophetic tent ministry at Awake Arts Festival. The organizer is a Believer and after the day, we shared some testimonies with his wife, including one new salvation story. Afterward, I received an email celebrating the conversion but he made no mention of the other stories. Yes, it’s true, even the angels celebrate when a sinner repents (Luke 15:10) but God celebrates and remembers each milestone along the way.

A young woman in her late teens came to the tent; she came in broken, confused and beat down but the Lord covered her in his presence and we physically saw a change in her countenance. It was remarkable to observe. She encountered the God of Love in a very real way, and it is a milestone for her. Another gal in her early 20s came to the tent. She was already a Believer but through our team, they created a space for Jesus to manifest himself to her and she heard and saw him (with her spiritual eyes and ears) for the first time. It was amazing and she exhibited so much joy because Jesus was more real to her after the experience than he had been before.

That’s a good testimony right there. How many know the best salesman is a satisfied customer? She’s going to share her testimony, encouraging others who are starting their path of righteousness. (Notice I said path of righteousness, not path toward righteousness because the moment we are in Christ, we are made righteous and the Father sees us as the righteousness of Christ – but that’s another message.)

What’s my point? The point is, celebrate everything God is doing in someone’s life and appreciate his grace towards us to be a witness of it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What's your [holy] Habit?

If you’re waiting for a nice life, buy a comfy La-Z-Boy, grab a long book and be prepared to wait. But know this, it’s not gonna happen because while you are waiting for our nice life, real life is happening and often, it’s not nice. Not counting how often we sabotage ourselves, stuff (crappy stuff) happens to us – stuff that threatens our peace, our sanity and even our safety. So what do you do when life happens? What’s your secret to self care? What are your habits?

Daniel had a lot of crappy things happen to him – he was [probably] forcibly removed from his family and taken to another country, in school he was taught evolution theories instead of creation, and whenever he thought he was getting ahead, his colleagues manipulated the King and tried to have him killed. What would you do? Probably what most of the young exiles did – conform to the pattern of their world by worrying, fretting and seeking self preservation (there’s a reason only 4 of the thousands are named). Daniel didn’t do that. Daniel 6:10 says when he learned about the new law (to worship King Darius only for the next 30 days), he went home and prayed on his knees, just as he had done before.

He had a holy habit – to pray. No matter what was going on around him, he did as he had always done. We all have habits and we all have our ‘go-to’s when life throws a wrench in our direction. Some console themselves with food, some with drugs or alcohol, some with pornography, some with TV, some even with scrapbooking. Me? I worship.

It’s true. Don’t hate me because I’m spiritual (just kidding). I wasn’t always like that but I can honestly say, over the past 3 years I’ve worshipped my way through problems. For the past year we’ve been dealing with relational issues with close family, job issues which will affect our future, and financial issues. I also help carry the load for others but I can’t carry it all without unloading and I do that through my worship. My Man knows it; when he tells me about [yet] another problem, I listen to him and help him unload and then I go outside and worship for as long as it takes my heart to become still.

A while back, I wrote a post, Offering a Sacrifice of Praise, and I recapped the effect of continual praise and worship even when it’s a sacrifice – it’s the fruit of lips that continually confess that his name, Jesus. It becomes a holy habit, just like Daniel. Do you have any holy habits? Do you want to develop some? Habits are habitual – keep doing them and they become a habit.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Psalms for Sunday, LIX

I am swimming in the sea of your goodness; buoyed up by your favour. Your face is turned toward me, and I’m warmed by your glance. Your eyes bore my soul; I am naked but not exposed for you cover me with love.

Show me more, O Lord, let me run into eternity seeking but not finding the end of your goodness. What I have and who I am can’t contain it, like a 2nd helping of my favourite dessert, there is no more room but you remove me and place me where there are no limits. This is your place of favour for those who love you and give themselves in surrender to you.

I am yours, totally and forever. My life is lived in worship for you, my King. There is no place you go where I won’t follow because I am protected in your shadow; it’s the only place I’m safe.

Run away with me; let’s go to the caves and hide out there. The birds will feeds us and the streams provide our drink. Let me trace my fingers on your face, even in the dark I will know you.

You have yielded yourself to me, as I have to you and we will be together forever. Amen.
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