Monday, July 18, 2011

I finally get it

I have had one of those weeks, months, years, when the message from God's throne is coming at me from every source that I value and receive from. ( Dreams, visions, circumstances, the pulpit,the word, my own spirit)  It is the message that I most need to hear so that I am the most effective.  The message is to Pray. It doesn't make me feel condemned or ashamed anymore  when I am reminded to pray because I now value prayer more than ever before after discovering that it actually works. I really get it now that all structures are built up or torn down in the spiritual realm ( 2 cor. 10)  we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.  Yelling at your spouse or children does not accomplish what you really want, but taking out the spiritual entity that is causing the problem through prayer does.
        I have realized only just now in my mid forties that I accomplish so much more for the kingdom, my family and myself by speaking to God about things than speaking to the people and/or situation from my own viewpoint. I get it that I don't have to make a public announcement or force my will or make anyone else aware except for God and that makes the answer that much sweeter.  3 years ago, I never would have dreamed that my main ministry to the Lord and people would be ( prophetic) intercession and I believe that God is calling alot of us to this ministry.  I planned my whole life to be a preacher and a teacher, but I am most fulfilled and see the most fruit as I remind God of his word in faith through prayer.  As I was recently reminded all the great leaders ( visible or not) from Moses to Jesus himself were intercessors. 
        I was listening to a very popular evangelist share a story this morning about a ministry trip to Africa  a few years back.  He was so amazed at the incredible anointing, miracles and response from over 50,000 people who attended an African crusade. As he was recounting it all to the organizer of the event, he was asked, " Well you know why all this happened don't you?  The intercessors came two weeks ago and have been praying from 4 am until dark everyday until evening and they left before you came to go pray for another event.  They didn't need to see the miracles happen, they already saw them take place ahead of time in their intercession, they pulled it down."   The evangelist was humbled and went to the shack that smelled like sewer where they had been praying.  The presence of God still remained. 
      When I pray for an individual, or my local church or my region or for the nations, thats what I am doing.  I am praying until I know in my spirit that something has happened.  Many times what we pray together on Saturday happens on Sunday very clearly and the intercessors rejoice knowing that they were co-laborers with the angels that were released.  I want to share some encouragement to those that want to be effective in their walk through prayer. If we want to be closer to God, prayer draws us into intimacy with God's heart like nothing else can and unifies us with his heart for God's people while at the same time changing us and transforming us.

*  Dont' just think about it or talk about it- pray it-  James 4:2- " you have not because you ask not"
*  How do we know what to pray for?
1. God initiates what he wants us to pray by declaring it in his word, to pray better we need to know his word better. ( John 15:7-8) If his word abides in you , you will bear fruit.- develop an action plan to read through the whole bible over and over. The new testament can be read in one month if you read 10 chapters a day.
2. We respond in obedience and prayer to that initiative reminding God of his word and promises.
3. God's response is set in motion, even if we don't feel the power.
* Pray in the spirit to receive revelation  ( I cor. 14:2, 4)
* Develop a written prayer list to avoid deer in the headlights syndrome, when you actually do pray

Sunday, July 3, 2011

You can't google God

 I hate waiting just as much as you do.  The word itself is like a cuss word and offends me  when its thrown at me - 'just wait"!- by anyone- including God. Don't you know I have things I have to do that are important?  I hate waiting in the line at the grocery store, while the people are digging for the coupons or checkbooks.  I hate waiting for my computer to re-boot when I am already late for work and I have 386 e-mails to sort through and packing lists to print out.  I hate waiting for people to respond to my "important" calls so I e-mail, text, and facebook them too.  I hate waiting in the doctor's or dentists office for an hour past my appointment time or for the package to come in the mail that should be here already. If I need to know right away,
I google it.  That impatience and inability to wait sinks down into the soul level too, and gets translated into accusation and blame towards the people that make me wait if I let it.  I even question their motives for making me wait, if it is someone that has authority over my life to make me wait (like God) .  The waiting is even harder when the stakes are bigger, like waiting for the return of prodigal children.  Waiting for the provision to come in for the step of faith you took.  Waiting for the answer to your prayer for healing, direction, peace and calling.
     If you are like me, you go through through the checklist to see if you have missed anything  and try to negotiate with God. ' I am generous, I pray and fast and go to church.  I floss, recycle, tell my wife I love her.  I am a good person-I did everything right!  ' why wont you do this for me?-  What did i do or not do to deserve all this?  
    I have learned that is the wrong question.  What we do or don't do most of the time has little to do with the waiting process.  We are told via the prophet Isaiah that if we 'wait on the Lord we will renew our strength"  We cannot google God.  He is in control not us or our circumstances. He has our best interest in mind when it comes to the timing.  When it seems like there is nothing happening above ground is when the roots are growing underneath.  Book of James says, "let  patience have its perfect or completing work.  The root has to go down deep enough to hold the weight of the fruit when it comes. 
      I have also learned that I am not an exception.  Usually its the bigger the promise, the longer the wait. I am reminded that Moses tended sheep for 40 years before he delivered Israel and David waited 14 years between recieving the promise to be king and actually taking the throne.  The processes during the wait of tending the sheep and hiding out in the caves made them who they were because their response was to wait.  Sometimes waiting is the highest form of faith and remember thats how we renew our strength.
       While we are waiting, the enemy of your soul will attack the foundation of your hope that God is good and that God sees your circumstances and is working in it. This is foundational that he is good and his mercy endures forever.  Jesus went about doing good and healing all, the devil is the one who steals, kills and destroys.  In God's omnipotence and omniscience and because of his great love, he is able to weave all of our life's experiences together, good and bad (Rom. 8:28) and work them out to our benefit.  He is more committed to your benefit and blessing than you  are.  Phil 1:6 says that 'he who began a good work in you will complete it.  Just wait and see.