Don’t stop climbing, God has good things in store for you!

cropped-sawtooth-mountians11.jpgI began experiencing a whole new adventure growing up once we had moved to a ranch nestled in the midst of some of the most gorgeous mountainous landscape in central Idaho. Though in the beginning, this previous flatlander, was intimidating and claustrophobic, it soon became one of the greatest seasons of my younger life. It was through this experience that I learned many truths from nature and the mountains around. The first was that climbing a mountain is much like going through life, tough at times.

I think most of us can say there have been some mountain peaks and some valleys along our life’s journey. It is like the natural process when you climb to the summit of a literal mountain, you go through some valleys and ravines to get to the more elevated peaks. There seems to always be another valley before another peak, as we move higher and achieve greater heights. Existing in the lower bottoms of life or even camping in the higher plateaus might be more convenient and a whole lot easier, but there is no greater adventure or achievement then getting to the top. If you stay comfortable and not climb you will never get to see the incredible view or breath the fresh air that you do from the summit.

I believe that many, even though they haven’t reached their destiny have made some significant progress as they have pursued God’s will for their lives. We must realize that our walk of faith is a process and doesn’t come over night. Going forward in faith will never be defined as “smooth and easy” but it does hold a promise of achieving Godly rewards. (1 Cor 9:25-26)

Speaking to Christians in Corinth Paul relates our walk of faith as running a race to win not to just nonchalantly participating in it. (vs 24) Also, Paul at the end of his life describes his own journey in 2 Tim 4:7-8 saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness”. Paul shares some of his testimony and journey in 2 Cor 11:23-28, where he lists what he had gone through. His words and life experiences confirm the fact that our journey of faith is anything but apathetical or uneventful, having what we would describe as ups and downs along the way.

If we are not focused during these times in the valleys they can seem like “failures or setbacks”, but if we keep our eyes on Jesus as our Good Shepherd and are surrendered to His will, then we can stand in confidence as overcomers. Paul declares this in Phil 4:13 where he says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

Even when we have gone through extreme and unpleasant situations along life’s climb we can come out better and stronger in our faith on the other side. These low points allow us to see and experience His faithfulness as He takes us by the hand and leads us, as a loving shepherd, through the shadows of death into green lush pastures. (Ps 23)

In Heb10:35-36 Paul encourages the believers to not cast their confidence in Christ away, but to endure in their faith and finish the will of God. Not being hindered by anything that would enslave us and stop us from completing our journey or “running the race” of faith. (1 Cor 9:25) We do this by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. (Heb 12:2) So don’t Stop Climbing Now! God has good things in store for you!

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A life of prayer is a life of Victory!

praying in churchA life of prayer is a life of power! The degree of power in our life is a direct reflection of our prayer life and habits. If you find weakness and fatigue in your faith then you can be sure that you are weak and impotent in prayer. The deeper our intimacy with God the stronger our prayer life will be. Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Our prayer life is strengthened as we get to know Him experientially and understand who He is.

In times of spiritual dryness, we need to be saturated in God. In Topeka, Kansas just before Christmas of 1900, Charles F. Parham instructed the forty students at Bethel College to study the scriptures, to determine what would be considered the New Testament evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which they did. Then these students began to pray fervently that they might experience this same New Testament experience.

Clare Davis in her book, The Move of God writes of this experience. On the watch-night of 1901, they had a hallowed time of prayer for God’s blessings to be upon them in the coming year. During the first day of 1901 the Spirit of the Lord was with them in a marked way, stilling hearts to wait upon Him for greater things. The spirit of prayer was


God doesn’t want you to go through life with powerless prayers but being filled with the life changing power of the Holy Spirit.


upon them in the evening, and about 11:00 p.m., one of the students, Agnes Ozman, asked for prayer that she might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. As the students laid hands on her she began to be filled with more of God. She later stated, “I had the added joy that my heart longed for, and a depth of the presence of the Lord within, that I never knew before. It was as if rivers of living water were proceeding from my innermost being.” Days later Parham, himself and soon all of the students received the Holy Spirit. The news spread quickly and many people were filled with this wonderful outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Parham went to Houston and began to teach this Book of Acts experience.”

God wants every believer to hunger for more of Him. Just as these students desired to experience the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I need to come to that same place of hunger for more of God. The apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy


Our prayer life is strengthened as we get to know Him experientially and understand who He is


saying, “I desire therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting,” (I Tim. 2:8). This isn’t for a select few but for every believer. God wants all Christians to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit so that they can pray effective prayers.

God has so much more for each of His children. He doesn’t want you to go through life verily getting through with powerless prayers but being filled with the life changing power of the Holy Spirit. We need to make powerful prayer a way of life. It’s our life source and spiritual umbilical cord. What’s holding you back today? I encourage you to take time out of your busy schedule and pray, asking God to give you everything He has for you. There’s great power in prayer.

 

 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place?

images-7The multitudes of Israelites made their way through the wildness as they headed to worship their God. These former slaves who had never walked with their heads up, now for the first time walk as free, healthy and blessed people. In a matter of hours their world had been totally turned right side up as the God of their fathers delivered them through signs and wonders at the hands of Moses. Words can’t express the feelings of gratitude that these mothers, fathers and children were experiencing as they made their way through the wilderness to give glory and worship to their God.

But then, we see God instructs Moses in Ex.14:1-2, to turn the Israelites and have them “camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea”. In effect the children of Israel were asked to backtrack and go back in the same direction that


Being in a tight spot without Christ leads to failure, but if we have Christ, there will be deliverance and victory   (tweet)


they had just traveled. Their path would take them in a direction placing them with the Red Sea on one side, and the wilderness and mountains on the other sides. In other words they were going to be in a predicament. This new encampment would put them in a less than vulnerable place before the enemy who was now pursuing them. The children of God were now between a rock and a hard place. What was God up to anyway?

Before these once shackled ex-slaves could even begin to enjoy their freedom, the dust from Pharaohs six hundred chariots and horsemen gave signal of their change of mind and fast arrival to kill and destroy them.(Vs.7-9) In Ex.14:10 it says that God’s children became greatly afraid when they saw the coming Egyptian army.

Maybe the complaints and murmuring of the Israelites were true, that there wasn’t enough graves in Egypt, so Moses brought them to the wilderness to die (Vs.11-15) or was God up to something? It says in Ex 14:4 that God said, “I will gain honor over Pharaoh … that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” We see that


At the Red Sea God would use the vessel of deliverance for his children to also destroy the Egyptian army.    (tweet)


God planned to show that He was God almighty not only to His covenant people but to their enemies also. God had set up this whole scenario for His purposes!

Moses encouraged the people in vs. 13-14 saying, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord”. He goes on to say that after God fights for them that they will never see this enemy again.

Even with the hopeless circumstances to the natural eye, God’s word was to “go forward”! But how could they? The impassable Red Sea was there, and this was way before the story of Peter walking on the water. God had it all planned out and would use the vessel of deliverance for his children to also destroy the Egyptian Continue reading

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Fight Vultures!

imagesNot only is the story of Abram fighting vultures away from his sacrifices captivating in Gen 15, but also has helped me in my walk with the Lord over the years. It demonstrates that we have a responsibility to keep our commitments to God as living sacrifices. This story in brief shows God revealing His promise to Abram through a covenant that both agree upon. Also in Deut. 7:9 Moses shares about God’s covenant, “Therefore know that … God (is) faithful … who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”.

Growing up we have all had childish promises and agreement as friends. Whether it’s a promise to be best friends forever or a promise to keep a secret we have experienced them. But, it’s not until we get older in our life’s journey that we really


Man has proven his inability to keep any agreement without God’s grace and empowerment.   (text)


understand how common covenants and promises between individuals have been throughout history. They were used for territories, peace treaties and passage rights through other lands. Today, we use them in our everyday lives, such as marriage, loans, jobs and etc. Even though most looked much different, all were based on the philosophy of a serious promise. They came with the agreement that if one side or both ever break the agreement it could bring severe consequences.

            In the scripture we see how God’s love for His people is portrayed through His unfolding of His purposes through the making of covenants to individuals through out the ages. Looking at the 9 covenants in scripture give us understanding that God who is the originator of His promises reveal that He is a covenant-making God. He has the right to set up the conditions in which man can enter into or maintain the covenant. He is also a covenant- keeping God. Once He makes covenant with us He will not Continue reading

Getting the Hindrances Out of your life

Felsengruppe Externsteine im Teutoburger Wald bei Horn-Bad Meinberg, Nordrhein-WestfalenEager to get on the way, we loaded the car and began our journey. The crisp Sunday morning couldn’t have been any more perfect. We were scheduled to minister in a church on the south side of Chicago that morning. So we got an early start for the trip from Milwaukee, to insure plenty of time to get there.

We had already gone a good distance when all of a sudden there was a loud noise followed by a lot of shaking. We pulled over to the side of the road only to find the tire was shredded to pieces. Surprisingly, it only took a few minutes to grab the spare and get back in the car heading for Chicago. This little setback seemed only to confirm to us that God had great plans in store for the meeting ahead.

Halfway to our destination, another loud noise came from the tire that I had just changed twenty miles earlier. The car began to shake in the same manner it did earlier. Once again, I pulled off the road and took a look at the tire, finding that it was also flat and ripped to shreds. Knowing that we were all out of spare tires, I began to get a little worked up and agitated. Yet, we began to feel more than ever that it was God’s will for us to be at that meeting. Even though it now looked as if something was hindering us. We began to be stirred up in our faith and began asking the Lord to move in the meeting. Before I could finish the prayer, a car pulled in behind us to help. To Continue reading

Seeing with Eyes of Faith

465104663Are you a person who knows how to pray with expectant faith? In James 5:16–18, Elijah was not superhuman, but was an ordinary person like us. The scripture goes on to say that he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and for three and a half years it did not rain, not even one drop. Then, in verse 18 it says, “He prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

Looking at this story a little bit closer in I Kings 18:41–45 we see, Elijah told Ahab to go back to his kingdom to eat and drink, because in the Spirit there was “the sound of coming rain. Elijah knew what the will of the Lord was for that season, even though it had been a drought for three and a half years. He had been sent by the Lord to declare there was the sound of abundance of rain coming in the land. Now


We must pray with expectancy and confidence as we see with the eyes of faith, and hear with the ears of the Spirit.       (tweet)


, Elijah had just witnessed the power of God in magnificent force on top of Mount Carmel where God had accepted Elijah’s sacrifice before all Israel.

Now, Elijah is back on top of the mount after he had declared the coming of rain to the king. It says that he knelt down in a praying position and I believe, like it says in James, that he prayed with expectancy. Telling his servant to go and look for the coming rain clouds seven times. Six times the servant came back saying, “There is nothing in the sky.” But on the seventh 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