Let’s Quit Talking about It and let’s Fish!

IMG_2453Fishing along the Little Salmon River was incredibly invigorating to say the least. I remember there were days growing up that my father would intentional get off work early and grab me to go down to the river and fish before dust. He seemed to know the right seasons and days that the fish would be biting the best. Thinking back I honestly have to say that those times of fishing were some my most joy filled memories.

Jesus told his disciples that if they would follow Him, He would make them fishers of men. Since Jesus was speaking to men that were professional fishermen it struck home. Jesus was connecting with them through their way of life and how they made a living. We read in Luke 5:6-7 where it says “…they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking“. The disciples after having a bad day of fishing in which they had not even


God wants to turn our vocation into our motivation for winning souls for the kingdom of God. (tweet)


 

caught anything, heeded to Jesus’ direction and went back out to fish again. The result was a net breaking catch. They went from catching nothing to catching so many fish that they needed help getting all of them to shore.

There is a saying that says, “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office”. If that’s true then we should be constantly fishing. My grandmother always kept her tackle box, a chair and a fishing pole in her car trunk. Why? Because she wanted to be ready at any opportunity to fish that might arise along her daily journey. The scripture tells us in 2 Tim 4:2 to be ready at any season to share the gospel. God wants to turn our vocation into our motivation for winning souls for the kingdom of God.

I am so tired of talking about it, preaching about it, going to seminars about it. Continue reading

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Does the Devil Really Wear Red?

red devil 1How many times do we come across different co-workers or associates that say they are Christians yet live a lifestyle below the bar of God’s plan. They seemed to be caught in a red devil theology, blinding them from seeing or fulfilling God’s plan in the earth. Let me explain with a fun but true story.

Some years ago several ministers and I were doing a pastor’s conference in Tampico, Mexico. We would daily drive from the hotel to the location of the conference. On one morning in the midst of the rush hour traffic we came across a man dressed in a red devil costume in the center medium blowing fire out of his mouth. It was quite amusing to say the least. All of us being preachers thought it would be a fun photo opt so we stopped and proceeded to walk over to him.

When the man in the red costume saw us coming and before we could reach him he grabbed his belongings and bolted across traffic and flagged down an oncoming bus heading out of town. We stood in amazement as everything unfolded before us so quickly. Back in the van we chuckled about the way this humorous event had played out saying “we had chased the devil out of town”. Yet, he might have gotten the last laugh due to the fact that he had distracted and hindered us from fulfilling God’s purpose. We were late getting to the conference that we were speaking at.


Some people seem to be caught in a red devil theology, blinding them from seeing or fulfilling God’s plan in the earth       (tweet)


As humorous as this story is, many people if they were honest would say they basically go through their day-to-day journey thinking the devil is nothing more than a sideshow of a circus. I might be stretching it a little but I still believe many people view the devil in a far from accurate way. The fact is the devil is real, even though he doesn’t wear a red suit, carry a pitchfork and stand in plain view making a show for drive by traffic. But on the contrary in Matt 10:10 it says, he wants to steal, kill and destroy individuals.

Paul exhorts believers to not be ignorant and blinded of the devils devices in 2 Cor.2:11. The scriptures reveal he is self-seeking and will do anything to exalt himself. Which includes ravishing your life and stealing your inheritance as a child of God. In 1 Pet 5:8-9 we’re exhorted, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”.

God is unfolding His plan in the earth and desires us to be co-laborers with Him. Yet because of a lack of understanding many have made light of the schemes of the devil disqualifying or derailing them from fulfilling God’s purpose. They have swallowed the lie that the enemy of their soul is only a harmless figure dressed in a red devil’s costume blowing fire for entertainment, which has opened the door for deception.


Jesus has covered us in red through His blood calling us sons and daughters.   (tweet)


When we are aware of his tactics and grounded in who we are in Christ then we are able to oppose him. Jesus has covered us in red through His blood calling us sons and daughters. Therefore as the scripture says “greater is Christ in us then the deceptive devil. We must be rooted and solid in our understanding of who God is and who the devil is not!

Have we become a thermometer instead of a thermostat!

thermostat (outdoor)

It can be shocking to see our society in light of past history. We must see the importance of learning from the course of history. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Anytime a person or a nation winks at sin—allowing it to begin to infiltrate and spread through them—they will always suffer the consequences of it. Godliness will always build up a person or a nation! But it is sin that will begin to eat away, leading to death! Psalms 107:34 brings this to light saying, “A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.” Our land has been very fruitful and prosperous, but unless we take heed to the Word of God, it’s only scriptural that we will become barren.

Has the Church forgotten the marvelous works of God? We cannot separate our godly heritage from our birthing as a country! In every fiber and corner of our society, we can see the fingerprints of our God. Let us not turn aside on the verge of the most incredible end-time revival this country has ever seen. If we sit here buying into the “Big Lie” that everything is fine, we will only begin to write our own ending. Just as the frog, if it is put in hot water will jump out saving itself. But if it is put in water and heated slowly, it will not realize it’s being gradually cooked ending in destruction.


God wants us to become a thermostat instead of a thermometer!   Quote from “Passion for Revival” (Tweet)


Former revivalist Leonard Ravenhill puts it like this: “We appease sin, but do not oppose it. To such a cold, carnal, critical, care cowed church; this lax, loose, lustful, licentious age will never capitulate. Let us stop looking for scapegoats. The fault in the declining morality is not radio or television. The whole blame for the present international degeneration and corruption lies at the door of the church!” Psalms 9:17 says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Have we forgotten the Lord God?

Mario Murillo says, “When the army of God is healthy, it broadcasts a mighty light. Like a catalyst it changes the culture that surrounds it! But in sickness, the church absorbs the odor of the secular thinking near it.” We have become a thermometer instead of a thermostat! The first reads the temperature of the surroundings and the second is a gage that determines what the surrounding will be. As ambassadors of Christ, we should be setting the standard, not being absorbed into the mud and muck of society.

In Ephesians 5:6 it says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience”. The church, has failed to deal with the real reasons for our country’s problems. Man wants to live without any restraints but not have to deal with the consequences. They want their pie and eat it too! As a result, we are merely putting bandages on symptoms, while ignoring the source or root of the problem.

Nations and civilizations do not just pass away. Their leaders and people are first deceived and drawn away, opening up to self-destruction destroying them and their nation.

Is our country being eaten away by the moth and worm of sin? All the while, we are in our local churches and basking in our so-called security.

Any Time is the Perfect Time

clock time The times of prayer can be as different as the places of prayer. Looking back to my childhood I can remember my parents, being involved in many different prayer meetings. Therefore, they would bring different ones of us children with them to the various meetings. In fact, I feel I had the privilege of cutting my teeth in prayer meetings. As I look back over the many years there is one definite fact that I’ve come to realize about prayer. That is, there is no one set time to pray, on the contrary the scriptures reference many different times of prayer.
In Psalm 55:16-17 we read David’s words, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” The religious culture of that day held prayer three times a day. We see this also in Daniel 6:10, “…he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”


The perfect time for prayer is any time that allows you to connect

to the God that loves you. (click to tweet)   


For many years, I have been involved in morning prayer meetings. I started this routine when I was just out of bible school and attending a church in Rockwall, Texas. God used my pastor to stir thousands to pray in the mornings for one hour. The scripture Mark 1:35 was the inspiration, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out …and there He prayed.” This teaching swept through America and abroad. motivating multitudes to get up early and find their place of intercession each morning..
Some churches hold all night prayer meetings. Luke 6:12 tells us that Jesus prayed all night, “… He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” When I was a youth pastor my pastor would call the whole church, to an all-night prayer meetings. Different departments were assigned to lead different hours through the night. As well, I remember a time in Haiti some years back where I had the privilege to attend a prayer meeting. Thirty of us, with the stars as our backdrop, prayed from night until early morning on the housetop.
In 1857 New York City was ablaze with the fire of prayer. God had placed a burden to pray at noon for revival and spiritual renewal on Jeremiah C. Lamphier. This movement of noon prayer spread like wild fire across the city and then the country. At one time the famed newspaper editor Horace Greeley sent a reporter by horse and buggy to count the attendance at the different noon prayer meetings and was only able to get to twelve locations, but counted 6,100 who had come to pray.
We see in the last 10 years across the globe the explosion of 24 hour continuous prayer and praise meetings. Inspired by David’s tabernacle (1 Chr. 23:5; 25:7), where 288 singers and 4,000 musicians that were dedicated full-time to minister to the Lord and serve others. In Luke 18:7 Jesus says that God will bring justice to those that “cry out day and night to Him.
Believers are crying out to God in prayer every hour of the day and night. Whether it is morning, noon or evening, once a week or special times, there is a stirring in the belly of the church to cry out to Heaven in prayer. The perfect time for prayer is any time that allows you to connect to the God that loves you

I Caught Something!

Image   The April sun broke through our kitchen window. I had sleep in my eyes. My siblings and I sluggishly forced ourselves to eat our morning oatmeal. There was nothing uncommon about this morning in 1967. It began like any other typical day. Until, the telephone pierced the silence and brought all of us to attention. My mother answered in her normal cheery voice, but immediately her tone changed. Her cheerfulness went to a devastating, “Oh my God” and from that moment my life changed forever.

Our daily priorities were obliterated by the news that my dad had just suffered a heart attack (that would later become fatal). As my mother hung up she insistently cried, “Everyone go and pray in the front room for your dad.” The sluggish sleepiness that just moments earlier was so prevalent vanished as we all began to cry out to the Lord. In the midst of disaster, we prayed!

Praying became a natural response in times of crises and need in our household, because it was instilled in us as a daily way of life. I can remember how my mother loved to take walks on our ranch in the beautiful Rocky Mountains to pray. On several occasions we would run up the trail to catch her only to find her deep in prayer. It was memories like this that had a profound impact on my life.

I believe some things must be caught not just taught. Joshua had evidently caught something as he followed Moses. The young Joshua saw the results of Moses’ communion with God. He talked to God and then walked in His power every day.  Joshua caught the spirit of prayer and abiding in God’s presence. I love Exodus 33:11 where it says, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” Picture this scene: Moses returned to camp and to his responsibilities but Joshua stayed in the Lord’s presence. Evidently Joshua caught something; he understood that a life of intimate prayer and communion with God will result in a walk of power.

A lifestyle of prayer was birthed in my own life through being raised in the shadow of many great men and women of prayer. Even once I had left for college and then continuing down the road to marriage and raising a family; it seemed that God would always place me in the midst of men and women of prayer. Through colleges and seminaries rooted in prayer such as Christ for the Nations Institute and others. Speakers that taught and motivated us to minister out of the place of prayer such as Dick Eastman, Mike Bickle, Bill Bright, as well as, great Pastors such as Dr. Larry Lea, who were used to call a generation to pray. God was definitely orchestrating in me a lifestyle of prayer.

Over the years I have reflected on many of those days and memories and have been encouraged that I had caught an attitude of prayer to sustain me in and through my life. It has kept me through many trying times and has become a lifelong message of mine as well as a book I have published, “Igniting the Power of Prayer”.  It is my desire to see God’s people live a life empowered through a life of prayer

We Can Do It If We Will

haystack  “In 1806 a group of students at Williams College in Massachusetts sought refuge from a sudden rainstorm in a haystack.  As the rain beat down, they turned their retreat into a prayer meeting.  They asked God to use their lives.  As they prayed, their faith rose to believe God could use them significantly to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission.  When the rain subsided, they left with the rallying cry, “We can do it if we will!” This unobtrusive meeting went down in history as the Haystack Prayer Meeting.  Today this spontaneous prayer time is seen as the beginning of the mission movement in America.  As a result, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was birthed.”[i]

Through a simple small non-organized prayer meeting the world would never be the same.  God used a group of young people that had a relationship with Him to shake the world through missions. Not because of who they were or even that they deserved anything.  It was all because they chose to allow God’s heart to be vocalized through prayer. That small group came in agreement with God’s will and because of it changed the world!

If the believers of God would only understand there is an incredible power when we come in agreement with heaven through our prayers. We could virtually change our surroundings and our world. The question is, will we no matter what the circumstances are find a place and time and begin to pray prayers that will make a difference?  Let us also make our rallying cry as did that small group many years ago

“We Can do it if we will!”

 

[i] David Shibley, A Force In The Earth, Florida: Creation House, 1989 P. 85

There’s Life in the Vine!

Image    There is a definite difference between the life that is separated unto prayer and the life that has separated from prayer. One has the power of God flowing through it and the other is powerless. We must understand that Jesus is the vine and we are only the branches. (Jn. 15:5). As long as we stay connected to the life-source then we will walk in His power.

Paul encouraged the Christians in Ephesus with these words: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” (Eph. 6:10). We walk in His power as long as we are in fellowship and communion with Him. I remember my former pastor, telling the church that some things must be caught not just taught. I believe Joshua caught something as he followed Moses.

Joshua saw the results of Moses’ communion with God. He Talked to God and then walked in His power every day.  Joshua caught the spirit of prayer and abiding in God’s presence. I love Exodus 33:11 where it says, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” Picture this scene: Moses returned to camp and to his responsibilities but Joshua stayed in the Lord’s presence. Evidently Joshua caught something; he understood that a life of intimate prayer and communion will result in a walk of power.

We cannot survive without being grafted into the vine. Joshua was committed in making sure that he was grafted into the vine. It was a daily choice he made. Just as it must be a daily choice in our life to make sure we are connected into the life source of the vine.  As we come into the place of prayer and communion with God, we are strengthening our connection in the vine!