What has Robbed your Passion?

images-26When the new wears off and normal comes into play many lose their passion and fire. As most of us have experienced over the years in our own lives, our passion for different things comes in and out almost as often as the Sun rises and then sets hours later. I remember my siblings and I having thoughts of making big money shoveling driveways every first snow. Yet, halfway through with a mountain of snow still in my shovel the enthusiasm and passion quickly faded and before long we gave up and were all back in our warm home.

In reading the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18 -19, we see his passion and zeal for the God he worshipped and served. He had just been used by God to turn the hearts of Israel back to Him. Through his obedience and faith, God had showed His power


Don’t run from God into what you think is a cave or safe place, when the enemy means it to become your tomb.     (tweet)


and might on Mount Carmel in front of Baal‘s prophets and Jezebel’s chaplains, as well as the nation of Israel. Elijah’s boldness and eradication of the prophets and chaplains after God worked a great victory through him demonstrated his fire for God.

But then there is a drastic shift in the story as we see in 1 Kings 19:4 where Elijah is asking God to let him die. He says, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” He compares his life with those that had turned from God even after seeing God work mightily in there midst. This mighty prophet of God goes from a mountain top experience to the valley of discouragement. One moment he has a fiery passion for the things of God and the next he is nothing more than a smoking wick of a lamp. The fire had gone out in his life and there was only a faint stench of smoke. Elijah even sinks to the depth of despair by running into the wilderness and hiding in a cave. What happened to this bigger than life passionate prophet? What made him lose the fire of God? What made Him hide in the pit of life? A cave is nothing more than a tomb waiting to be shut!

What has robbed you of your passion for the things of God! Remember back when you had your first encounter with God? It was just like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus when Jesus joined them and talked with them. (Lk 24:13-32) They said “did not our hearts burn within us?” God starts His fire with in us! But then as we go through life we allow things to quench that fire! We lose our passion for the things of God!

Elijah allowed fear to come in when the evil queen Jezebel threatened his life. He began to isolated himself and have a pity party. He believed the lie that he was the only one serving God. He forgot what God had done in his life already. (1 Kings 19:1-10) Therefore, he ran from God to a desert place, into what he thought was a cave or safe place, but the enemy meant for it to become his tomb. God never left Elijah even when he was running but sustained him, empowered him, spoke to him and guided him all the way to victory!

As Matt 12:20 says, God isn’t going to let your fire go completely out even if its just smoking. He will intervene and draw near to you. But will you respond to His whisper? Letting Him rekindle your fire?

 

 

 

I Have Fallen and Can’t Get Up

images-11Have you ever gone through a tough situation and cried for help and no one responded? It can be very discouraging. How about when you cry out to God and it seems He is not hearing you. You might feel a sense of despair and all alone.

David recorded many of his emotional valleys in his Psalms to the Lord. In Ps 39:12 he says, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears”. I believe many people can relate to his cries for help. David like many others have come to a place that they are desperate for God to hear their cry for help. It reminds me of an incident I heard where I grew up.

A adventurous hiker was hiking up a rugged Idaho creek some years back. He was going down the path all by himself enjoying his journey when the rock he stepped on shifted and sent him tumbling down the steep rocky ravine. As his body slammed up against a tree and settled in an outcrop over-looking the creek, He knew


God hears the cry of His children and as a earthly parent responds how much more will your heavenly Father answer!         (tweet)


that his leg was badly broken. Unable to walk and being much to far to even crawl he lay hopeless in the back-country of the Rocky Mountains with the curtain of the day closing.

Barely surviving the frigid cold night he began to yell for help until he hardly had any voice. His journey had come to an abrupt stand still and his future was becoming more hopeless as the day went on.

Then, across the creek and up the ridge came the noise of a chain saw cutting wood for the soon coming winter. The man collecting the fire wood was getting frustrated at his kids who were constantly interrupting him as he cut the fallen tree, shutting off his saw he began to scold them. As his children defended their case they said, “we thought we heard someone yelling for help”. He listened and heard nothing so he continued with the chain saw.

The hurt and almost lifeless hiker knew this was his only hope and began to scream even more. The wood-cutter’s kids knowing they heard a cry for help risked getting in trouble and interrupted their dad agian. Seeing the urgency in their eyes he stopped and walked to the edge of the ravine. He listened and moments before he gave up he heard the faint cry for help.

Though this story ended with a good ending it is unfortunate that in our society there are multitudes of individuals that are crying out for help. Many have gone down a path in their life thinking they are fine and then abruptly interrupted by tragedy. These circumstances will bring the most independent person to cry out for help in desperation. But will there be a answer?

We read in Ex 3:7-8, where God speaks to Moses saying, “I have surely seen the oppression of My people … and have heard their cry … I know their sorrows.” God had heard the cry of His people and understood their sorrows, for they were in bondage to the Egyptians as slaves. God sees the oppression of those that are in desperate situations. In this passage God says, “So I have come down to deliver them”. God hears the cry of His children and as a earthly parent responds how much more will your heavenly Father answer! (Lk 11:11-13) If you’re in that place now, hang on for He hears and will deliver.

He Just Wants Us To Be By His Side

images-5My mother always had me dressed up with a little bow tie and suspenders as well as my hair being slicked back with a gigantic wave in front. I looked like every mothers dream little boy as she took me to Sunday school. I would sit on the small bench with a handful of other kids hearing stories about how much God loves me and that He had a plan for my life. Those flannel graph lessons planted seeds of faith that have grown and bore fruit in my life.

Scripture says in Rom 8:39, that nothing, “shall be able to separate us from the love of God”. Paul gives us a list of things in the earth and outside the earth that clarifies that there is nothing that can separate you and I from His love. Many years


God has always been forthright in showing His intent of being with His people.   (tweet)


later, though I might not be wearing suspenders or a bow tie with a wave in my hair, those foundational truths of God’s love have become an anchor in my life. Yet, His love is so much more than a one-time story that inspires us.

From the front cover to the end of the Bible we see God’s intent and love. In Gen 3:8-11, we read the first story of mankind where we see God walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the midst of the garden. It was a perfect scenario, God wanting to commune and be with His creation. Then at the back of the book in Rev 21:3 where John’s revelation of Jesus gives us a picture of the end of the age we read, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people”. From the beginning to the end of time itself, along with thousands of years in between God has always been forthright in showing His intent of being with His people.

But unfortunately, when sin entered the world through the disobedience and self-will of Adam and Eve in the Garden it separated us from God. Sending all of mankind in a tailspin in need of a redeemer. At the end of this story in Gen 3:21 we see


One of the greatest truths of Scripture is the fact that God desires to commune with His creation.   (tweet)


God’s heart in the midst of mankind’s epic failure by His immediate covering of them with the animal skin, foreshadowing the shedding of Christ’s blood for our sin, as they were banned from His presence. God began at that very moment to passionately Continue reading

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

Who Left the Gate Open?

The unprecedented news quickly exploded through every news outlet of the 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision favoring same sex marriage. The highest court has single handily redefined marriage, opposing the words of Jesus (Matt. 19:1-9). In spite of this country’s Godly heritage, it now seems that America has opened the gate to turn away from being one nation under God.
Different opinions spread on social media such as, “Love Wins” making it look as if this was a debate of love or hate for the gay community. This decision is not about love and hate, but about keeping the statues of God so that we can live a protected and blessed life (Ps. 33:12).
The Bible teaches us that Jesus died on the cross because He loved mankind and wanted to redeem us. (Jn. 3:16-17) It goes on to say that He didn’t come to condemn but to save us. In other words Jesus didn’t go to the cross because He hated certain individuals, but on the contrary it was because of His love towards them! Yet, many people interpret His purpose and message as hate and condemnation. Let me try and explain this with a story.
When my children were young we lived in an older part of Chicago where the streets are narrow and very busy. I had given my sweet little toddler a kiss and slipped out the back door to start mowing the yard not realizing that the door hadn’t latched behind me. Once I was finished in the back I moved to the front yard leaving the gate open making it easier to get the mower back to the garage. Unbeknownst to me this made for a perfect storm.
Moments later I looked up in complete horror to see my daughter getting ready to step out into the busy street. She had innocently gone through the uninhibited doors and gates unaware of any danger. My fatherly instinct provoked me to yell with urgency “Stop”. Causing my naïve toddler to uncontrollably cry thinking I was upset at her. She misinterpreted my love and desire to keep her safe for a dissatisfaction and anger towards her personally. My yelling was out of desperation to keep her from proceeding into a dangerous road where she would most assuredly get hurt. I had been so preoccupied with the work at hand that I left the gate wide open giving opportunity for her to possibly get seriously hurt.


Real love won on the cross over two thousand years ago (tweet)   


In like manner, this debate is not about God or God’s people hating certain ones, but about maintaining the boundaries He has set. Making sure that there isn’t any gate left opened in our society. Real love won on the cross over two thousand years ago. In 1 Jn 4:7-8 it says that God is love and those that follow Him need to reflect Him through love even while we stand for truth. Jesus went to the cross to free mankind from dangerous actions and lifestyles that would bring bondage. God is not a “Cosmic Kill Joy” wanting you to miss out but a loving Heavenly Father who wants to protect us and give us abundant life. He has set healthy borders that will produce a life of blessing if we follow them and will insure that we don’t begin down a slippery slope leading to destruction. God loves the person but came to deliver them from the works and deception of the evil one. (1 Jn. 3:8)

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.

I Want It Now!

200157668-001A society surrounded by the convenience of instant everything, brings a slow death to the tenacious spirit. Many people want prayers answered before their lips stop moving, unfortunately, many times, it doesn’t happen that way. The scriptures teach us in Colossians 4:2, “to continue earnestly in prayer,” and in Romans 12:12, it says “continuing steadfastly in prayer.”  We are exhorted to be persistent in our prayer life.

Jesus shares a parable in Luke 18:1-8, driving home the point of persistent prayer. It says, “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily…”

                        A society surrounded by the convenience of instant everything,                                   brings a slow death to the tenacious spirit.    (tweet)

            When I was young, I was told that if I asked or prayed for something more than once I would be praying in unbelief. That’s totally contrary to scripture! The continual knocking or coming to the judge brought the widow’s answer. The Bible does say in James 1:6-8, that we must have faith when we pray, but being continuously in prayer doesn’t mean you have unbelief. On the contrary, I think it indicates that you do have faith in God. Your action of continual asking shows you believe He will answer.

I like what Marilyn Hickey says, “Prayers are like seeds that are watered daily. Different ones take different lengths of time to sprout and to grow.” If you think about the farmer’s process, he plants his seed then waters it day after day until he sees a sprout breaking through the soil. The farmer is like the diligent believer who plants his seed and then through continual prayers of faith waters it until the answer breaks through and comes to pass. Keeping with this analogy, if praying continually is wrong then the farmer watering his seed daily would also be wrong.

                    Many people want prayers answered before their lips stop moving,                          unfortunately, many times, it doesn’t happen that way     (Tweet)

            Let’s look at I Kings 18:41-45. We see Elijah telling Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of an abundance of rain.” Then Elijah went to the top of Mt. Carmel to pray. That’s when this story gets very interesting. After Elijah prayed, he sent his servant to look for rain clouds. Six times his servant checked and didn’t see anything, Elijah continued in prayer. The scriptures say, “Then it came to pass the seventh time that he said, ‘There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!’ The downpour from that small cloud broke three and a half years of drought. This all happened because Elijah wouldn’t quit praying—he had faith to be steadfast in prayer.

            Living a life of prayer will always be a life of adventure and power. Ephesians 6:18 tells us, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication … with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”  In other words be tenacious and persistent in prayer. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the answer to your prayers immediately. Keep knocking on Heaven’s door.