Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Struggles that come with the Calling.. A collection of thoughts

  “If God wanted to use you to impact your world for Jesus Christ, what circumstances would have to be created in order for you to respond to His call? Would prospering you materially encourage you to this end? Would a major change in what you are presently doing be necessary? What would your response be should God and the angels conclude that the only way to move you into a position of fulfilling God's purposes was to remove some things that might be very dear to you? Would you agree with their plan if you knew this would be the only way you would achieve the purposes for which God made you? Hard questions, aren't they?” Os Hillman
  This is the very thing God does in many who have been called for a special mission. Joseph sold into slavery. Locked in prison, being falsely accused, and then forgotten about for years. Moses lost his position in the royal family and was sent to the desert for 40 years tending sheep. Paul a Jewish leader and fast rising star, gets knocked off his horse and goes blind. The disciples are called to leave their jobs and family to follow Jesus, not knowing where they were going or what they would be doing.. Imagine what kind of disruption this had on their lives. There are many examples of God bringing major upheaval in the lives of those He called for His purposes. Why?

“ The reason is that we do not seek God with a whole heart in times of prosperity and comfort. Prosperity and comfort tend to breed complacency and satisfaction. It is rare to find the man or woman who seeks God with a whole heart who does so simply from a grateful heart. We often must have pain or crisis to motivate us. Eventually, that crisis bridges us to a new calling, and we embrace that calling if we are open to the Holy Spirit's work in us. We can actually thank God for the change that was required to get us to this place, but it is not without anguish of heart.” Os Hillman

Author Ken Gire wrote in Windows to the Soul.
Help me, God,
To realize it is in being crippled that I learn to cling,
and in limping that I learn
to lean,
that victory comes not in how courageously I struggle
but in how completely I surrender,
and that this is how I am to grow,
by being defeated,
by constantly greater things.
Help me to understand that Your power is perfected in weakness,
so that when I am rendered weak,
You are given the opportunity to be shown strong.

  We Grow “by being defeated decisively, by constantly greater things.” So if we are experiencing a lot of loss, A lot of Crippling defeats, it is because God is doing a work in us to bring about a death to ourselves so that the Life of Christ will be manifested in us. “For it is God who is at work in us both to will and to work for His good Will.”
  Are you wanting Miracles? Do you want more of God? Or does God want more of you even if you aren’t seeking him? Sometimes we don’t have a choice in this. For it’s His plan, not ours. Sometimes we are in the way and he has to strip us of everything.. How do you teach others to lean if you aren’t leaning? How do you comfort others if you never need comforting? How are you going to show what surrender looks like in your life, if you never have to fully surrender? How are you going to tell people to walk by faith if you have everything worked out and planned? “If anyone wishes to come after Me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. If anyone wishes to save his life he will lose it. If anyone losses his life for My sake will save it.”

Friday, November 25, 2011

You were Born for This..

  I, like so many, struggle with Purpose. When I talk about purpose I'm talking about the God Dream inside of you; that which is deep down that surfaces as certain times and brings that smile across your face. It gives you energy and passion when you think about it. It brings a Hope. Life.  But then you shove it down, bury it deep, because you see no way of that coming to pass. Not just yourself doubts come,  you have all the people doubting you as well.  "You can't." "No way." "That's Crazy!" "Impossible!" "Where are you going get the money?"
  Deep down there is a hurting and a struggle, for you know what's on the inside of you that no one else does.  We struggle with an inner battle, Why would God plant this seed in you when He wouldn't make a way possible to do it? Is He such a cruel person to give you dreams that can't be accomplished?  Does He delight in seeing us fail?
 "For I know the PLANS I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Hope and a Future." Jeremiah 29:11 
   So Why do I feel like I'm fighting against God to fullfill that which is in me?
  See, My dream is to preach, teach, motivate, and to speak life into people. But no one is knocking on my door, or calling me to come preach. Not only do I have people doubting me, but I have all my surroundings shouting at me that this Can't Be Done.. I want to quit. I want to give up. But I also know that in doing so it doesn't take away the pain in the Soul. As Paul wrote, " for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" Jeremiah also wrote in chapter 20, when he was doing what God had called him to do, he was beaten and locked up in stocks, he just let out his complaint to God in Vs 7 "You deceived me. You over come me and prevailed, I have become a laughting stock, everyone mocks me."  And when he wanted to stop and quit, what happens, VS 9 " but if I say, "I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name, Then in My Heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones, I become weary of holding it in and cannot endure it."
  Have you ever felt like that with your Dream?  I know I have, and am now. I just can't sit here and let another day pass. I can't just wait for something to happen. I have to DO Something. My own Soul depends on it. Not only that but there are people waiting for us to Fullfill that which God has put into us. For when we do, they will be released to do that which is in them. It's a snowball effect. People are waiting for us to be that which we are made to be. They are bound by fear, other people, circumstances of life, needing to know that there is a better way, A Way Out..  Isaiah 61:1 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has Anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind and heal the broken hearted, to Proclaim liberty to the captives and Set Free them that our bound." 
  Go forth and be that which you were meant to be.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kingdoms and Castles

 Are you Building a Kingdom or Castle?? What a great thought. I was in a conference not to long ago and we had this discussion in a break out session. It was so moving, and as I have been typing out the notes from that converience I wanted to share what has moved me.
  We all want to live in the Castle. That's where it's safe. That's where the Rulers Live. That's where everything is easy because you have people doing stuff for you. Here is a few things I have jotted down about Castles.
Castles:  1.) Are Strong holds  2.)  where the ruler of that land stays  3.) where the Ruler is served by others  4.) The Ruler determines who can come in to the castle and who can leave  5.) Castles have Barriers to keep certain people away 6.) Castles don’t move.  7.) You make the Castle nice and decorate it for the benefit of those in it  (Come up with as many more as you can and share..)
   But the people live in the Kingdom move about the country.. Kingdoms - 1.) Kingdom expands over a wide territory  2.) The Nature of a Kingdom is to convert that land into the Mother Land  - Change and influence that group to be like the Mother land   3.) Unlike Castles, Kingdoms affect everything outside the walls. 4.) Establish rules of the mother land,  5.) Brings things of the mother land into that culture
   I love this thought.. Now compare churches as Castles and the Kingdom as the Kingdom of God. Churches have become like Castles.. Jesus didn't tell us he gave us the keys to the Castle but the Keys to the Kingdom. He said "Thy Kingdom come.. on Earth as it is in Heaven." He called us "Kings, and Priests." "Royal Priesthood." and "Ambassadors".  So as Ambassadors we are to bring the Kingdom of God to our Culture. We are suppose to change our world to the imagine of our Mother Land. As Ambassadors are we representing Christ in establishing His order around us, or are we trying to play it safe in the Castle and be served?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Walking by Faith, feeling it's by Stupidity

In Walking by faith,  I left my job in February, not knowing what all I would do, but believing that  I was called to the youth here in Decatur, TX. What has become of this?? I find my self without a Church, and with out a Ministry now. Having stepped down due to the leading of the Lord, and wishing for the betterment of my own family. So now I am here, no career, no clear direction, struggling as a man for my idenity. My concern is, (A) am I doing right for my kids now, and (B) how have I left the youth I have been ministering to?  Clearly we walk by faith, so I have left with out knowing.. And in not knowing, The Still Small Voice echos that "this is the way walk ye in it." But everything in the world SHOUTS, "You're an Idiot, a Looser and a Failure."
  So in my reading today, I stopped, and began to prayed. I asked God to bless my sons. That a door would open for them. That a way would be made for them to use their hearts desire and giftings for the Kingdom, and that I would not cause them harm by not being able to afford to give them stuff this year or really provide for them as I have in the past. Also, to help us financially during this time of change.
  After that, and writing in my Journel, I started Reading in a obscure page in the bible, as I wasn't normally reading in Psalms, but the Bible was opened to it, and I started reading in the middle to the end starting with Psalms 37:19 And what happened next seemed like God spoke directly to me.. "The days of famine they will have abundance." Didn't I just pray for my kids because I couldn't meet their desires? Didn't I just pray because I don't know how I will provide?
Then Vs 23: "The steps of a man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in His way." Wasn't I asking God to open a door for my kids to use their gifts, to make a way for them to follow Him?
Vs 24: "When he falls he will not be hurled head long, because the Lord holds his hand." The lord is going to watch over my kids for me? Really?? Are you now speaking this plainly to me?
Vs 25: "I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread." Wasn't I just questioning everything before I started reading??? How will I provide for them?  How will I take care of my family? ??
  Psalms 42:5" Why are you down cast O my soul, why are you disturbed with in me?  HOPE in God for I will yet praise him for the help of his presence." 
  Yes, God does speak. Yes God is real. Yes He does use His Word to speak to us. Yes, "He is faithful who has made the Promise, He will also Bring it to PASS."
 Trust.. Rely on.. Be Confident in. Be Assured. Rest on.. And Know that He is God.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Love of the Father..

Someone sent me a Quote the Other day.. "The world has it backwards, Things are to be use and People are to be loved."   Then last night at Church the scripture that came up was 1John 2:15-16 " Do not Love the world or things of the world, for if anyone loves the world the Love of the Father is not in him. 16For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world."
  And it dawned on me.. What is the Love of the Father???? The love of the Father, God, is the Lost. The People.. "For God so LOVED the World, He gave his only begotten Son that who so ever believes in him shall not perish." Jesus said, "I didn't come to call the righteous but the sinners" Luke 5:32 . The greatest commandment is ," You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart Mind and soul, and You shall love thy neighbor as thy self."  WOW.. The love of the father is towards people. Not Items, possessions, cars, houses, money, fame, or anything else.. So if you love or pursue anything other than the care and welfare of the people, particularly the Lost and the poor, the Love of the Father is not in you.  
  People are the greatest things on earth. They are to be loved, things as in possessions and items are to be used to promote the Love God has for his people. Anything else is sin. This world flashes everything out at us, for what? For the purpose of drawing us away from the Father heart of God, "Seeking to save that which is lost." Luke 19:10  Thats why Jesus said, "Store up your Treasures in Heaven not  on the earth." What Treasures are in Heaven?????? PEOPLE.. Its all about People. So where is your Heart? Where is your Treasure? Do you have the love of the Father?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hope - An Anchor to our Souls

Romans 5:2 "We exult in hope of the Glory of God" and Verse 5 "Hope does not disappoint for the love of God has been poured out with in our hearts through the Holy Spirit."
What is this hope? A Wishful thinking? "Oh, I wish for a million dollars." No, hope is translated as Expectation, Trust, a Confidence, an expecting..
"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast " Hebrews 6:19
This shows that hope is not like the world's hope but that which is sure and steadfast. Unmovable. Reliable. Trustworthy. The word of God is filled with "his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature" 2 Peter 1:4
How we live and how we talk reveals in us and the world around us how we view God and His word.. Do we Expect God to Act? Do we Trust that He will deliver? Do we have confidence in his Love that He will not fail us? The world sees hopelessness. At Best the world wishes.. But as for us we know. We Believe. We Trust. We Expect. We have Confidence.. "Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the World." "I will never leave you nor forsake you." or "Peace I leave you, My peace I give you, not as the world gives." "And their Faces shall Never be Ashamed."
As Psalms 42:5 "5Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6my God."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Passion, Deep Passion

Passion, fervor, fire, or zeal.. These nouns denote powerful, intense emotion. Passion is a deep, overwhelming emotion. It was said of Jesus in the Old Testiment, " Zeal for my house has consumed me." I sometimes find myself not so zealous, or passionate about my Father's house or even better, his Kingdom. For I know, ""'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?"
Jesus was so passionate about that which represented His Father, and what are we passionate about? Sports, our big game of the week? Our Tv Shows? Our kids activities??? But Jesus had one Passion.. His Father's Business.. So now we have been given this Mission.. "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." Now, how are we comparing to the example set before us?
Does our compassion, zeal, fervor, fire, or Passion look like Jesus'? "As you have received Christ Jesus, so walk in him." Our walk, our talk, our passion should be that of the things of God. Our Zeal should be to make him known. Our Love should be to make his love real to others.
Our talk should be that of His greatness and power.. It should consume us..