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Archive for February, 2016

Everybody needs something from God – some more desperately than others.  The question that begs to be asked is, how do we get God to answer our prayers?

There are those who believe that you can just “name it, and claim it”.  Poof!  Bingo-bango!  It’s a done deal.  You find them running around, laying hands on everybody, and claiming all sorts of things in the name of Jesus, but the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. Belief does not constitute Faith. There’s more to it than that.

Others believe in a doctrine of works, but that can get real tiring after a while.  You can count beads, light candles, say what amounts to “magic words”, do good works, and walk little old ladies across the street, but does that amount to winning clout with God to get some answers?  You might end up feeling good about yourself, but how does that add up when you are desperate for a move from God?

We know that the Book of James tells us that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  He speaks of Elijah as a prime example of a man who could get answers from God, but isn’t Elijah the same guy who laughed all day long at the Priests of Baal who were jumping around, screaming and yelling for answers from a deaf god?  No, there’s got to be something more to it than making an outward show of religion.

There is a crucified, broken walk in God that speaks loudly to Him of a heart that is more yielded to His eternal will than anything else.  He searches hearts, not heads.  There is a depth of poignancy in our hearts that He looks for that goes past everything that is seen on the outside.  He looks past our desires to see needs that are colored with a willingness to yield to the will of God in our lives.  He looks for hearts that are broken for Him.

Some may say that the Sabbath has to do with the observance of a day of the week.  I say that the Sabbath is a place of rest from our own works that can only be attained through a crucified walk in the depth of the Spirit of God.  Total subjection; unquestioned yielding; complete trust in God. There is a high price to pay to get to that place.

Creation was not a finished work after seven days — it was finished on the Cross.  As Jesus rested on the Cross, so also does God labor to bring us to that same place in Him – a broken, yielded spirit that is completely given over to the will of God.

Then when we call, He will answer.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”   Psalms 91

 

 

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“… I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing …” (Rev 3:17)

I was at a High School baseball game not long ago, and as I was looking around at the crowd, I noticed how many people were fat. Not just “beefy” or “heavy”, but plain ol’ fat!

This is not an isolated scene, but is endemic across America. How’d we get so fat? I don’t remember it being like this when I was growing up, or even as recently as 20 years ago. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but regardless, Americans have lost that image of being lean, mean, tough, and hard-working. At some point we were paying attention to something else that captured our attentions, and we became soft and fat.

Our physical condition is a perfect reflection of our spiritual condition. A generation or so ago, our pastors preached a different message and our congregations were much more vibrant with a solid spirit to them. But now, our preachers have turned into nice guys and our churches have turned to mush. We’ve become soft and fat and lazy.

I’m sure lots of church-oriented people will object to that, just as those who have given up looking for a good church will probably agree with it.

I spend a lot of time in Africa where the people are desperately hungry to see the power of God working in their church – so much so that they will walk for up to 10 to 12 hours, sleep on the floor of the church, and be content with rice and beans just so they can hear the Word of God preached under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Americans are not that hungry, neither are they willing to pay that kind of price for anything.

As a result, in Africa, souls are getting saved, getting supernaturally healed, and getting ignited with the Fire of God. Churches there are being transformed from sleepy little country churches to on-fire Spirit-ignited soul winners. Revival is beginning to break out in Africa … but not in America.

I’ve noticed that almost everyone in Africa is skinny. Hmmm.

We used to be just like them once upon a time. What happened? Did we get so comfortable that we no longer needed God? Did our blessings kill us?

Did our fat plug up our ears so that we can no longer hear the reproof of the Word of God, and so instead of snapping out of it, we justify our religious institutions, our spiritual slackness, and our decided lack of the Fear of God. We have plenty of alternate theologies to explain away our spiritual laziness and justify our apostasy. Our leaders are all graduates of theologically correct institutions and are armed with libraries of scholastic credentials, so they must be right … aren’t they?

But our ears are plugged with our fat, and we can no longer hear the searing reproof of the Word of God. We have become scorners who are deaf and can no longer repent.

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”  (Isaiah 6:9,10)

 

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