Deal with your Rebellion before it deals with You!

169372603In the midst of the quiet night my wife shot out of bed with a crying scream, “I am in so much pain”! Those who have experience a dry socket will immediately remember the excruciating pain it can cause. It was after my wife had finished getting a wisdom tooth pulled that she was released to go home and recover with the needed medication. Well, at the crack of dawn I was rushing her back to the dentist’s office because of the unbelievable pain she was in. It didn’t take long for the diagnosis of a dry socket to be made and dealt with.

Once the initial tooth distraction was done and the open wound began to heal on the surface, a small piece of chipped tooth was left and produced infection that quickly spread within the socket causing pressure and a throbbing pain that can bring


Too often people allow their hearts to be defiled and conceive a spiritual cancer that spreads throughout their lives.   (tweet)


a grown man to his knees. The solution is to open the wound and clean out the infection and apply medication down deep so that it can heal from inside to out, instead of healing just on the surface, leaving a festering infection on the inside.

In 1 Kings 11-13, we are introduced to Jeroboam who had a similar problem. We see that because of his giftings and abilities that he was one of King Solomon’s upcoming leaders. In verse 29-39, he is given a word through the prophet that God Continue reading

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Desperate Times call for Desperate Prayer

477907061The Lord answers King Solomon’s prayer with incredible hope. It says in 2 Chron 7:14-15, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” It was after the dedication of the temple that the King had an encounter in the night from the Lord. King Solomon had asked the Lord in the dedication prayer to forgive the people of God if they repent from going astray from Him and finding themselves being carried away into bondage.

God’s answer was if His people would cry out to Him with humility and prayer, there would be a radical change. He wasn’t talking about a sweet little prayer before we eat or bedtime but a heart felt, gut-agonizing prayer for God’s intervention. We have relied on our own abilities to gather a crowd and just talked about prayer without much praying.


It’s time to humble our-selves and pray! Not just speaking eloquent words to be heard by man but to cry-out in desperation to God.   (tweet)


It’s time to humble our-selves and pray! Not just speaking eloquent words to be heard by man but to cry-out in desperation to God.

The answer to our problem is not in the politicians, it’s not in building physical walls and it’s not just in gathering a group for the sake of unity, the answer will only come from our Heavenly Father’s response to His people’s prayers. We have moved from acknowledging that God is our only answer to focusing on our own ability as the answer. It’s that same independent controlling attitude that says, “We can Fix it Ourselves”, that we also see as we read the account of those building the Tower of Babel in Gen 11:1-9 . They were going to do it their way not Continue reading

Who’s Going to Blow the Trumpet?

trumpetThe abrupt and sometimes screeching sounds of the trumpet would definitely wake all that were sleeping. Even though some would put their heads under pillows and others would moan at the startling noise, the job of arousing the sleeping was done. It was my friend who had what we referred to as the privilege to blow the trumpet at “Kids Camp”. He was admired by some and despised by others. One morning I was given permission to go with my friend to blow the morning trumpet where I quickly realized it wasn’t just a fun time, but was a serious job with huge responsibility. If we overslept or were late there could be serious consequences for many people.

Whether it’s a city’s tornado siren or all the way down to a household security system, the sounding of alarms have been strategic in guiding people throughout our society for many years. The scriptures themselves reveal the importance of sounding the trumpet or alarm.


It’s time to take our head out of the sand and blow the trumpet of truth in our land.  (tweet)


In the book of Joel we read where the prophet says, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!” In the midst of judgment and devastation in the southern kingdom the prophet Joel exhorts Judah not to get side tracked at their current tough situation but to sound the alarm. Gathering the people together to fast and cry out to God. They were moving away from the ways of God and now being called to return back to the Lord.

In the same manner the church is called to be a trumpeter to our generation. It says in Isa 58:1 “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression”. We have been commissioned to be God’s alarm in the earth.

It’s time to take a stand and blow the trumpet of truth in our land. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to diagnose the deteriorating symptoms in America as the result of self-indulgence and rejecting God’s statues.


We are not responsible in how they respond to our message but we will be held responsible if we do not sound the alarm!    (tweet)


We live in a time of history where confusion and immorality run rampant and is becoming the norm. Therefore, it’s time for every believer to get their head out of the sand and be about God’s business. God is calling His people to shout the warning cry and wake up those that have fallen asleep spiritually. We must line Continue reading

Called to be a Voice in the Wilderness

mlk_speech200-e6f9328d7f9b491c0a5dbcfccba1993f18ec856f-s600-c85In the midst of a busy diner the manager who evidently is having a rough and stressful day, begins to down grade and insult a breastfeeding young mother. The belligerent manager assumes that she is disturbing other customers around her and proceeds to kick her out of the establishment. As the tension in the room rises and different customers begin to react, some try to ignore what’s going on and others just shake their heads while out of the blue a young man stands up for justice and defends the young mother.

Then out of nowhere, enters the news correspondent John Quinones and his camera crew to interview onlookers. To everyone’s surprise they had been apart of the filming of a popular TV show. The actors are revealed to the stunned customers and shown the hidden camera. “What Would You Do?” is an intriguing television show that holds the watchers attention and makes one wonder what they themselves would do in a situation such as is being portrayed in each episode. The different weekly subject of the show always gives place to how different onlookers will each respond. More often then not people turn there back on justice and standing up to defend the defenseless.


We will either be a voice crying in the wilderness or in the wilderness crying for a voice! (tweet)


We read in the Gospel of Matthew about a man who was called by God. He came preaching in the wilderness. It defines him by saying in Matt 3:3, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight”.           John was a messenger of hope to a people in a spiritually dry and desolate land. Though he might not have looked the part, being clothed in camel’s hair synched up with a leather belt and munching on wild honey covered locust. God had anointed John the Baptist to be a voice to that generation. He was sent to sound an alarm and to wake up the apathetical church.


We are ambassadors for Christ, so Stand Up, Speak Up and be His voice! (tweet)


Down through history God has raised up voices to bring hope and justice to our land. One such voice was a young preacher named Martin Luther King, Jr. Along with being a minister he was an activist, humanitarian, and lead in the Civil Rights movement. He became a voice for justice to his generation. His Christian beliefs motivated and fueled the advancement in using nonviolent actions. Though he was wrongly assassinated his message of hoped lived on and produced fruits of righteousness.

Another voice in the midst of a spiritual wilderness and horrific injustice was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. As a German pastor he opposed the evil conquest of the Nazi regime. He was known for being openly vocal and courageous concerning his opposition to Hitler’s persecution and programs of euthanasia and genocide against the Jewish people. He soon was arrested and imprisoned which ultimately lead to being accused for being associated with the plot to assassinate Hitler. On April 9, 1945 Bonhoeffer and others were executed by hanging shortly before the Nazi regime collapsed and came to an end.

The scriptures declare in Rev 12:11, that the believers shall overcome the onslaught of the evil one through Christ’s blood, which also gives them a confidence for the greater glory, not loving their lives even unto death. God is still calling you and I to be a voice in the wilderness of our day for justice and righteousness. Paul declares that we are ambassadors for Christ, so Stand Up, Speak Up and be His voice! (Cor 5:20)

 

Help, There’s Water in my Boat!

562785703Doesn’t it seem to come crashing in all at once? The storms of life, such as, a vehicle breaking down unexpectedly and maybe being laid off your job or even a death of a loved one can set your world in turmoil. Life at times can become very overwhelming to say the least. The Psalmist says in Ps 107:28-29 says, “they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. “NKJV

When God’s people have a right understanding and trust in their Heavenly Father they will cry out to Him in what I call storms of life, with confidence of His leadership. Yet on the other hand, when God’s people or those that have been around church most of their lives, but are shallow in their understanding will be disillusioned and possibly offended at the Lord.


It’s when we begin to look at the waves and wind that our eyes get off of Jesus and fixed on the circumstances around us.        (tweet)


   The disciples were faced with this scenario in Mk 4:37-41, where it says a great storm arose as Jesus and his disciples were traveling across in a fishing boat one evening. Jesus had just finished ministering to the multitudes about growing in the things of God and encouraged His disciples to go to the other side with Him. And wouldn’t you know it, in the midst of their journey arises a great storm. The wind began to blow and the waves beat against the boat, filling it with water. Water in your boat is never good and would make most passengers very uncomfortable. Well, the disciples being concerned came to inform Jesus that they had a major crisis. The story progresses letting us know that they found Him at the stern of the boat sleeping on a pillow. In their dismays they woke Him with fear in their voice, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing? In other words, because Jesus was at peace and


We forget that He is the one that speaks peace to storms and everything becomes calm     (Tweet


comfortably sleeping, they thought He didn’t care whether they perished or not. But Jesus answered their accusations by speaking peace and a calmness to this storm. He then addressed them asking why they were so fearful and had no faith? He was letting them know if they would have really trusted in His guidance there was no reason for fear because He will bring peace to the storm.

More than not, we all fall into that same category as the disciples when in the midst of our storms. Unfortunately, we also at times can get offended at Jesus when we aren’t confident in His leadership. We forget that He is the one that speaks peace to storms and everything becomes calm. Jesus wants us to find the same place of peace in the midst of chaos that the disciples found Him in. Not in a pit of denial but a place of total confidence and trust. He wants you to have peace in the midst of the storms of life. In Isaiah 26:3 we are exhorted that if we keep our eyes on Him, He will keep us in perfect Peace.

It’s when we begin to look at the waves and wind that our eyes get off of Jesus and fixed on the circumstances around us. Peter had great faith in Matt. 14:24-31 when he stepped out of the boat in obedience to the word of Jesus. But it was when he began to focus on the storm that his lack of faith began to sink him.

 

Excuses, Excuses People have them Everyday!

525985625An excuse is an attempt to be forgiven and release oneself from any obligation or responsibility by circumstances. We live in a culture that I have termed as a chronic excuse syndrome society. We are to easily given over to breaking any commitments and responsibilities that we may have.

The excuses such as, “I forgot” and “That’s the way we have always done it” or even “I just don’t feel like it” have become commonplace in our lives. Oh and let us not forget this one, “that’s not my job”. The long list of excuses that we have allowed to slowly decay our society has also begun to seep into our Christian journey.


God knows our imperfections and still chooses to use us. (Tweet)


Years ago the Kingsmen Quartet sang a song called “Excuses”. The opening line went something like this “Excuses, excuses, you’ll hear them every day. And the Devil he’ll supply them, if the church you stay away…” As comical as it may sound, the truth should shake us awake.

George Washington Carver said, “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” Carver was no stranger to adversity and could have easily made excuses throughout his life. But against all odds he overcame his environment. Despite being born into slavery, he worked hard developing hundreds of products made from crops such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. This he did under the oppression of segregation, yet he never used it as an excuse to abandon his passion.

Carver is mostly known for his scientific contributions, but is also recognized as a devoted Christian who boldly declared that the God of the universe was his source of inspiration. Therefore, he refused to allow any excuse to hinder him from a God given purpose.


To often we allow Excuses to stop us from achieving our destiny in God (Tweet)


To often as Christians we allow excuses to stop us from achieving our destiny in God. Moses who tried to accomplish God’s purpose by himself ended up in a desolate desert. Yet, God still had a plan for him.

We read the dialogue in Ex. 3:10-11 of God’s calling of Moses, as well as his reply. Moses responds with his first excuse saying, “who am I that I should go…”. He saw himself as a failure and a “has been” which he thought justified himself in giving an excuse. Again in the following chapter we read two more excuses that Moses gave to God. Out of a rejection complex he told God, “What if they don’t believe me” and then finally “I am slow of speech and tongue”. Moses looked at himself through the eyes of insecurities and therefore felt that he wasn’t a good speaker.

The scriptures reveal that God has a plan and a purpose for us. But just like Moses, we begin to offer up excuses for not fulfilling God’s plan, which can limit or even abort the plan of God for our lives. God wants us to whole heartily trust Him and not let insecurities, hurts of rejection or even fear of failure cause us to be disobedient to His plan. A person’s excuses come from looking to their own lack of abilities and not looking to God’s omnipotence. When Moses continued making excuses even when God reprimanded him as his creator, we read that the Lord’s anger was kindled.

Our excuses to not obeying His purposes are nothing short of a lack of faith in God. Let us respond in faith and not be quick to find an excuse.

The Paralyzing Grip of Fear!

Fear1Ten out of the twelve spies who went into the Promised Land saw the inhabitants and were gripped by fear. It was a tormenting fear that not only skewed their vision but spread to many others. The Biblical account that we read in Num. 13:26-30 continues to let us know that the other two, Joshua and Caleb, had an attitude of a warrior. These two did not succumb to spreading fear but kept their eyes on God’s promises and declared with boldness, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it,”. Their tenacious heart revealed their victorious attitude for the battle that lay before them. Yet, the majority of the spies were affected by fear just like a big part of God’s people.

Let me share with you six facts about fear that every believer should know: First, fear is a tactic of the enemy that will grip and paralyze you. Fear is your imagination running wild. It asks the question, “What if?” and answers with the worst-case scenario, picturing a future without God’s Intervention.


Fear is a lack of understanding in who God is, as well as, a lack of trust in Him. (tweet)


     Second, fear will stop you from being effective for God. Have you ever seen someone who is afraid to try anything new? What about your child and broccoli? All the disciples were in the boat but only Peter ventured out and walked on the water (Matt. 14:29). Fear held the others back from having that same supernatural testimony. Too often we are hindered from moving forward in God because of this enemy.

                  Third, fear can spread to other believers and limit their impact. In Num. 14:1 it reads, “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried”. Why did they cry? Because fear had spread to everyone who heard the spies say that they lacked the strength to go up against their enemy. Fear will sweep across others like a wildfire on a dry prairie.


Fear held the other disciples back from having the same supernatural testimony as Peter who walked on the water.   (tweet)


              Fourth, fear is a serious defect in a warrior. In Deuteronomy 20:8 the commanders were suppose to ask their troops, “What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.” Being fearful and faint-hearted will affect and impact many. The fainthearted Christian will melt in the face of a spiritual battle.

Fifth, fear brings bondage. Romans 8:14-15 declares, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear…” Many Christians walk around in bondage because they live in fear. Fear is a lack of understanding in who God is, as well as, a lack of trust in Him.

                  Sixth, fear is a torment that can hold you back from fulfilling God’s purposes. Elisha’s servant was overcome by fear when he thought he was outnumbered by the encircling enemy (II Kings 6:15). The apostle John assures us, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love,” (I Jn. 4:18). A Christian who is tormented by fear is a Christian who is not grounded in God’s love.

Knowing these six crucial points about fear will help you not be distracted from serving the Lord. A prayer warrior must be aware of the effects of fear in the realm of intercession. If fear grips us as we move into spiritual warfare then we will be limited in our prayers and impact to those around us.