Work Hard

A Christian, when walking in the Spirit, is blessed with an excellent work ethic.  It’s a good and perfect gift for those of us who look to God for our salvation.  Although, it’s easy to fall into monotony, then frustration, then despair.  When the daily grind starts to get to our souls, our God-given work ethic starts to seem less appealing.  That’s when we need to fight for it.

You see, I used to be a pessimist.  I didn’t see any glorious future for me, and I would curse myself with phrases like, “I suck at life.”  At least, when something good happened to me, it would be an unexpected joy.  It was even thrilling at times, but I’d locked myself in a cage.  Eventually, I realized that God is a whole lot better than what I thought.  His Kingdom is very real and active in and around me.  The true revelation of His goodness broke off all kinds of weight from my mind.

Lately, I been realizing that I need even greater revelation.  I need to know, not just who He is, but who I am.  When my life gets long and tiring, I must be reminded that He is living in me, and I am His friend!  He doesn’t just help me in my weakness; He takes me to places I could never go without Him!  Faith makes dreams a reality.

Why would we ever give up when we know that the Creator of the Universe is on our side?  In fact, we can never fail at life when we believe.  Every day becomes an exciting adventure when we do it with God.  In the midst of the painful trials of life, we have complete and total joy.  Let’s get up, set our feet to the path and rejoice!  It’s going to be an amazing life.

“Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.”–Luke 13:24

Powerful People

I am a powerful person.  The power is not from me, but it’s in me just the same(2 Cor. 4:6-7).  It’s my responsibility to exercise it and release it.  God has entrusted me with His Spirit, and I will steward Him and His gifts well.  God intends to bless the world, and He’s made me a light to shine into dark places.

If you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, then you too are powerful.  God has blessed you with an amazing gift.  You are approved by God to live and act according to His pleasure.  He has made you righteous and upright, and your destiny is His glory.

We speak powerful prayers.  We know this because of Who God is.  In our relationship to Him, in our complete dependency, we trade our weakness for His strength.  Thus, our appeal to the Throne of Heaven, coupled with His love for us, produces a release of incredible grace on the earth.

We believe powerful truths.  How incredible it is to know that God will never leave us, always provide for us, forever love us.  We each declare wholeheartedly, “He chose me as His own!”  We are secure in the facts of eternal life.  We will never die, so we are not afraid of anything.

The love of God changes things, and we have that powerful love living inside us.  Jesus commanded us to love, not for our sake only, but for the healing of the entire world.  The light in us is infinitely more powerful than the darkness around us.  When we love, we shine that light, and darkness dissipates.  We have an opportunity, a life to live brightly.  We must find and agree with the will of God.  His perfect purposes become our powerful reality.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”–Proverbs 3:27

Mourning

As I prayed this morning in front of the Supreme Court, I saw the flags at half mast.  They really stood out to me, waving in the wind, the red stripes symbolizing the blood shed on the battlefield for our freedom.  We as a nation are mourning the loss of six of our citizens, brothers and sisters of many.  Their blood was shed needlessly and heinously by a deranged man.  Contrary to what some say, his thoughts weren’t created all on his own.  The ideologies of this fallen world, doctrines of demons and powers of darkness combined in such a way as to make a murderer.  That evil man is just as much to be pitied as to be blamed.  Can we still love him, our public enemy?

As I saw the flags at half-mast, I received a hopeful thought: some day soon, when our nation receives the conviction of spirit needed to see its error, we will mourn the loss of our unborn.  On this day, 8 days before the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I dared to imagine a time of mourning called on by our President, 38 days for a lost generation.  Dream with me and see the soft heart of America, weeping over her millions of murdered children who had no chance at life.  Can we forgive ourselves and each other for what we’ve done?

“The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.”–John 1:4-5

Ask/Listen

What does God want to tell us?  Something amazing, I believe.  He wants us to know Him; He loves us so deeply.

It takes a lot of humility to ask God for secrets.  For you must admit that there are some things you can never find out on your own.  There is knowledge you can never discover in your own human strength.  Pride would say, “Look to man’s science.  Look to man’s recorded history.  Everything you need to know about humanity and the universe is found therein.”  It’s just not true.  Yes, there is a lot to learn about the world through our God-given senses and powers of observation.  But human perception is easily skewed and twisted into anything the devils want to show us.

What, then, is reality?  How do we know real truth?  I believe we should ask the One Who is Truth.  Our God is omniscient.  That means He knows everything.  Who better to ask than Him?

Of course, we also have to listen.  Sometimes we run our mouth in prayer not really expecting an answer.  I’ve been guilty of that at times.  Jesus wants to show us things, to tell us His secrets, to lead us on in the light.  And we get distracted.  When we push through the fog, seeking the dawn, taking up our crosses, casting away all that hinders, we will find Him.  He promised that He’d be there.  He’s standing at the door of our hearts, knocking.  We have to let Him in.  He’s like a friend, whispering in your ear, “Listen to this!”  We have the opportunity and the responsibility to obey.

“Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”–Jeremiah 33:3

Dreaming of Revival

For two of the past five nights, I’ve had dreams of revival.  I’m not sure exactly 100% what that means, but I’m going with the obvious for now; revival is coming.  I need to get ready.

A few days ago, I started reading this classic lecture series by Charles Finney.  It’s just something I was led to do.  Anyway, it’s just blowing me away with its insight.  Back in 1835, the Church in America had the same exact problems that it does now: complacency, unbelief and a tragically skewed view of God’s sovereignty.  But our God today is the same God who sent the Second Great Awakening.  We can have the same faith in Him Whose goodness lasts forever!

That’s ultimately what I think these dreams are for: evidence for my prayers of faith to reference.  The Spirit is stirring this desire inside me, this desire to see a city turned to God.  Can Capitol Hill meet the Lord face-to-face?  God is certainly great enough to make it happen.  Will I have the faith to ask Him for this great blessing?  I know I will, as long as He lives and His Word remains in my heart and on my lips.

“Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.  Selah“–Psalm 24:6

Satisfaction

When praying for your daily bread, do you expect it to come?  When it comes, are you satisfied?  Jesus wouldn’t tell us to pray for it if it wasn’t coming, and no blessing from God falls short of perfection.  He will provide for every need every day.  All we have to do is ask.

Something amazing happens when we humble ourselves enough to get on our knees and cry out to an invisible person.  We realize that He’s not just an invisible person, but our loving Father.  As the Father, He knows how to give good gifts to His children.

Another facet of this: Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”  Jesus also said, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”  So then, His food is doing God’s will, and our food is Him.  We will be most satisfied by Him when we are in the center of God’s will on earth.  We can both feed Jesus and feed on Him!

All I’m saying is, make your life a prayer.  Do what gives God pleasure.  Live in radical holiness, extreme generosity.  Don’t be legalistic about it.  Live out of love for Him!  When you extend love to this broken world, you’re actually loving Jesus too.  You’re feeding Him, visiting Him, binding His wounds.  It’s not karma.  His gifts to us are so much greater than we could ever hope to give, and when we’re faithless, He remains faithful.

He satisfies every desire when you seek first His Kingdom.  When you’re truly satisfied, you’re grateful.  Thinking of it that way, I think we the redeemed should be the most thankful people in the universe.

“You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.”–Joel 2:26

Our Answer

A priestly call goes forth: “Lift up your hearts.”
Our Answer: “We lift them up unto the Lord.”
Another call: “Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.”
Our Answer: “It is meet and right so to do.”

These quotes are from the Book of Common Prayer in the section on Holy Communion.  I was led to them after reading about the Lord’s supper in Mark 14.  I started thinking about Jesus.

There is a blood covenant in which we take part, and it was paid for by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  Christian Churches worldwide honor this act by the taking of the Eucharist or Communion.  This is usually done by the ingestion of some form of bread and some form of wine, and the saying of a reverent prayer of thanks to God.

Is there more to it than that?  Of course.  The outward act should be a manifestation of what’s going on in our hearts: the giving of ourselves to God.  While there is mystical power in the Eucharist, it only exists because God is involved.  And since God is involved, we are impacted.  We are compelled to answer Him.

Communion means intimacy with God.  When we remember His love, we come close to Him.  This is why some people died when they took the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way.  What Christ has done captures our very lives.

Whether we eat unleavened bread and wine or any other thing, Jesus has paid for our lives.  He is our true sustenance.  The one reason God came to earth was to get us!  He deserves all our heart and all our praise.  May we live and breathe in a manner worthy of His name.  We will give everything.

“Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?”–1 Corinthians 9:7