God, in your Sovereignty bring back the days of old. Take us back to the time when we were eager to experience your presence. Take us to a time when you were pleased with our presence. Maybe some day we will experience the ‘Prayers of Old’. Wouldn’t you like to have been at this meeting?
“I invited him to attend the meeting. He came, and prayed in such a way as I never heard a person pray before nor since. The people in the meeting began to shudder and sigh, and then such a dreadful hush came over us all, that we could neither sing, speak, pray, nor move. We all appeared to be transfixed with power from on high, and in that condition we remained for many hours!”
“My meetings often lasted until 11 p.m. I could not get people away who were seeking the Lord every night in the week, indoors and out. Of course, I had to commence earlier now on the Sabbath, as the day was not long enough for my work, so I commenced at six in the morning. As a consequence, I found it hard work, but precious work, to toil at twenty-one meetings each week. My day’s strength was given according to His promise, and in a short time hundreds of souls professed conversion to God;”Click to read more of REV. JAMES OATEY 1881
Cora and I attended the Grace Point Advance Retreat for church workers. Dave Galbraith challenged us to identify what hinders God from doing his best work in us and take it to Jesus. God really made it clear to me that my low self esteem is keeping me from being as effective as He wants. I pray for God to continue to build me into the new creation He desires. I feel like I am in ‘Basic Training’, again. I was torn down and now Christ is building me back up in His image. I am excited to know that God cares and He has a future designed for me in service to Him.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us“. Hebrews 12:1
“This is totally from God. We have no say in the matter, either yes or no. Rebekah is yours: Take her and go; let her be the wife of your master’s son, as God has made plain.” Laban and Bethuel
Isn’t is awesome you have the opportunity to know that you know that God has spoken. There is no struggle to discern God’s will and whether He has spoken, when it comes straight from the Word. The validity of God’s Word is not determined by your agreement. It’s kinda like the saying, when EF Hutton speaks, everyone listens.
Years back, I had the opportunity to spend the day, ‘one-on-one’ with Mr. Ned Patterson, the son-in-law to EF Hutton and senior VP in Allen & Company, NYC. When I received the invitation, I didn’t have to wonder. God made the adventure plain. I pray God will make your adventures in following Him, equally plain.
Many say Bobby Fisher was the best chess player of all time. Others recognize Sir Hillary as the best mountain climber of all time. But what they have in common is they both met face to face with the Creator this week. Fisher is known for losing his US citizenship and applauding 9/11.
Hillary is known for modesty. He is known to have said, ‘I am a modestly good mountain climber with a strong determination’.
After all this, God tested Abraham. God said, “Abraham!”
“Yes?” answered Abraham. “I’m listening.”
Abraham had a mountain to climb. God was testing him. God wanted to know if he was willing to give up his most valued possession and follow in obedience. The request was seemingly nonsense. Surely God would not ask Abraham to sacrifice his son to demonstrate his unqualified love for God?
An unusual request is not unusual for God. I have been looking for examples of humor in the Bible. Where does it say, Jesus laughed? I think I may have found His humor. His humor is found in all the examples of God asking us to do seemingly ridiculous stuff. This last weekend a couple guys from the life group, ‘The Tribe’ slept outside on their patio concrete deck to experience the suffering of the homeless. That seems a bit ridiculous. Were they being obedient? Did God touch them? You will have to ask them.
Likely you have noticed that God is a God of creativity. Look at the forming of the world. Look at life given a new born. Creativity is everywhere. It is what God does. He creates freshness and new life in a world of darkness. But, have you noticed God is a God of repetition. Take Noah’s story for example:
Noah was a good man, a man of integrity in his community. Noah walked with God. Mankind chased after their own selfish lusts and ignored the God that created them. So, God chose to destroy them by flooding the earth. God said to Noah to build and board his ship, him and all his family. Out of everyone in this generation, God knew Noah to be the righteous one.
Noah did everything God commanded him and when the flood subsided, God blessed Noah and his sons: He said, “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Earth! I’m putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth.
… never again will floodwaters destroy all life.
God is a God of repetition. God looks continuously down on the earth. He doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t take a break. He sees me and knows me intimately. As God chose Noah, God chose me.
As destruction comes to those that do not know God, a repetitious promise of life came to me. God has promised to never leave me. He has promised to never destroy me. The question is, “Will the floodwaters in your life destroy you or create life in you?” Without God there is no hope. With God there is a rainbow waiting to be formed in your life. That same God and his repetitious promise is available to you. Choose God. Choose life.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Last night, I met with the EPIC life group for fun, fellowship, worship and prayer. Did I miss anything? We had a great time. During prayer, Janette thanked God for my wit. I was really blessed. Have you noticed how significant prayer is when you hear someone praying for you? She was going around the room including different people in EPIC in her prayers. I found myself anxiously waiting to hear how she would lift me to the Father in her prayers. Wit is a good thing. It’s nice to know all is not lost to my quirky sense of humor.
Like I told her afterwards, it’s better to have wit than to be witless. That’s suppose to be funny.
There has to be humor in….
He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw.
I met with the EPIC men for prayer this Saturday morning. Dave brought tacos and Jeff brought orange juice. We were just getting going with our wakeup chit chat when a guy showed up to do some electric work. I invited him to join in with the group. He accepted and we had a great time of prayer.
Monday his wife will be having surgery and we prayed for grace in the procedure. I look forward to seeing the Great Physician do a mighty thing in he and his wife’s life.
Let’s watch for a God Spot.
“Then Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his maidservants, and they started having babies again”. Genesis 20:17
I’ve got a great friend that I neglected contact with for the past few years. You know who good friends are when time and distance doesn’t impact the confidence in your relationship. He found me yesterday and allows me to share in part….
“Brother – today i find myself at a desperate place…on the edge of stepping into destiny, but facing one of the darkest hours of my life….the realization that at my core, I’m unable to manage money…unable to steward, and I’m a liar….owing debt far beyond what I’m able…..making promises I cannot keep…..this keeps me from doing everything God wants from me….I MUST overcome…..
But…I received the call (anonymous) like you speak of in your blog (which by the way was God’s answer to my prayer tonight…no where to turn, I searched for you online and found the glorious story you tell in your blog) Archie, it was the Lord leading me to hear your story – God in your story….I have hope”.
Isn’t God good. Always there to help at a time of need. Gracious to prepare us for the work He has planned. He desires obedience from us and we can expect miracles in our life from him. Hang on friend, God is working something special in your life. Be faithful and true to Him.
“We are intimately linked in this harvest work. … Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty,….” Matthew 10:40-42:
I am flabbergasted! What a great word. I think I’ll say it again. Flabbergasted. Ever been flabbergasted? The definition is: “To cause to be overcome with astonishment.” Yep! That’s me. I’m flabbergasted that God cares even about my lost keys. I had looked everywhere. I had retraced my steps. I couldn’t find them. I was getting really frustrated. Then duh! I thought, ‘God. Please help.’
I turned my head to the left and there they were on a shelf.
“So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not.” Numbers 11:23
Caller Id is a great invention! When my cell phone rings, I have a special ring assigned to Cora. When I hear her ring, my spirits are immediately uplifted. I know she will be encouraging, engaging and treat me like her hero. I look forward to her special ring. It makes my day!
Other times infrequently, my cell phone will ring and there is no caller ID. I don’t know who the caller is. Sometimes even when I answer, the caller doesn’t identify who they are. My immediate response this last year would be instant anxiety. It would trigger a slide toward a depressive attitude that required a spiritual battle of sorts to defeat. Really! It took focused deep prayer with begging of God to see me and pull me out of the dread I was experiencing.
God would be faithful and the anxiety would lift. I would acknowledge that God was in control and He would bless me supplying all my needs in an abundant fashion.
Much to my surprise when I received one of those no caller Id calls yesterday, I smiled. There was no anxiety. I thought, “God you are awesome. You have blessed me with peace even before I asked“. It may seem like a small thing, but receiving God’s blessing even before I fell on my face and cried for mercy is huge!
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul”. Psalm 94:19