Personal Private Suffering II

1 11 2009

man-praying

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” James 1:12

I just read a blog I posted some time back. Man it hit me so hard. I have been going through one of the hardest trials in my life and have forgotten how to practice enduring until God has done what He needs to do to get His glory out of the trial.

BLESSED

Consider the very fact that you are in a trial is the very evidence that you are divinely positioned in the will of God. Often times we look for signs and prophetic words to give us evidence that we are in the will of God. I believe that God does give signs and uses men and women in a prophetic manner but often times the most powerful evidence we have  that we are divinely positioned in the perfect will of God is that all hell is breaking loose against us. The very evidence of trial and affliction is the evidence that God is divinely at work in our lives. The apostle James considered the man who was in the midst of affliction and trials as a man that is blessed and loved by God. I guess at this point in my life I am extremely blessed and loved by God.

ENDURETH

The dictionary defines the word endure as, “To undergo (as hardship) especially without giving in: to suffer without giving in.” It is one thing to understand the definition of endure and another thing to understand God’s spiritual purpose for allowing affliction and hardship in our lives. The revelation is this, “God allows us to endure things that are often to hard to bear so that He would bring glory out of our tribulation”. God will literally strip us and chastise us to prove to us that He is the one in control, that He is the one that blesses, that He is the provision, that He is the source of our joy, our peace, our strength and if anything ever gets in the way of that and begins to take credit for who He is and what He does He will strip us of it.

ENDURING

Enduring isn’t a pleasant thing to undergo in our christian lives but it is God’s divine tool for forming us and chastising us. It is the very evidence that God is at work in us. The funny thing about enduring is that you cannot run from it and the reality is that if you do try to run from it you can often times extend the timeframe for which you must endure. It is hard to endure, it is hard to undergo God’s chastening, ” No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT). Enduring is painful, it hurts, it often times is confusing because we have so many questions which go unanswered by God during the time of affliction. But regardless it is the divine evidence that you are in the perfect will of God. We must all stubbornly or peaceably learn to endure while God is at work in our lives.

HE SHALL RECEIVE

What a promise! James says that the man that endureth shall receive. We might not receive what what we want but we shall recieve what God had intended. There is not a man or woman alive who can stop the perfect will of God in your life when you come into a place of complete surrender and trust to God. Someone told me recently, ” You cant reason with God” that is so true. We often times in the affliction try to reason, to bargain or deal with God. We give Him the big “IF” if I endure this will you give me what I desire, if I stick around will you bless me with what I want, that is not trusting God during your time of affliction. To trust God is to say, God I hope yet I dont hope, I want yet I dont want, I wish yet I dont wish. In other words whatever the outcome of this enduring my heart will be content with your perfect provision in my life. To trust God is to honestly say, “God I leave it all in your hands whether it seems to work in my favor or not, I will trust that your provision is perfect and far better than what I could have planned or desired for myself. The promise is clear that once you have endured you shall receive Gods intended provision for your life.

PRAISE HIM IN THE PAIN

Praise Him in the pain, because one day the pain will end but the praise will have been stored up in heaven as treasure. Praise Him in the confusion because one day the confusion will end. Praise Him when you have no answer because one day He will give you an answer. Praise Him in the discipline because one day the discipline will end. Praise Him because you shall receive. Praise Him because the prophet said, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

MY FAVORITE QUOTE

“It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born and God’s greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you’ve been through” Wintley Phipps

© 2009 Apostolic Messenger





Resolved to Pray

1 01 2008

Well I back from the holidays and ready to get back to my blog. December was a pretty crazy month for me. It started by me getting really sick; a combination of the flu, bronchiits, allergies and being really busy. It really put me down for almost the entire month. Despite this I was able to still enjoy the holidays with family and friends. I thought I would start the New Year by pointing out a couple of things that happen when we pray.

Five things that happen when we practice prayer:

1. We humble ourselves in the presence of God

2. We practice faith because we are praying to a God that we cannot see

3. We practice obedience because we obey God’s command to pray

4. We practice trust because we trust God to hear and answer our prayers

5. We practice spiritual relationship with God because we speak to Him in prayer

Three things that happen when we pray:

1. We are ushered into the presence of God through prayer

2. We are quickened made alive (spiritually) through prayer

3. Our minds are able to percieve the spiritual things of God

The power of Prayer:

1. Prayers are answered

2. We can see the power of God manifested in our lives

3. The will of God is known and accomplished

4. The carnal man is crucified and spiritual man is at liberty to live the fulness of the spiritual life.

The benefits of prayer are many and the truth of the matter is we cannot have success in our spiritual walks unless we practice prayer on a daily basis. Prayer releases the Spirit of God to work freely in my life; emotionally, physically and most importantly spiritually. It is for this reason that I am completely resolved to pray more faithfuly in the year 2008. I encourage all my brothers and sisters in the Lord to make a covenant with the Lord this year; a covenant to pray, to have fellowship and relationship with God it is a resolution you will not regret.

God Bless





A SPIRITUAL STRATEGY

13 12 2007

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“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it” Luke 14:28 NLT

Jesus Christ teaches us that before you begin a great work you must first sit down and consider whether you have the means and the abilities to accomplish the task that is before you. Once you have consider the cost, what it will cost you personally; whether it is your time, money or personal change you must then sit down and form a strategy or a plan to ensure that you are successful. This principal applies to both the material world and the spiritual world. In either endeavor you must have a plan a strategy that will guide you in accomplishing your task. To many times we fail in our walk with God because we do not follow the strategy, the plan He has given us, we have not taken the time to stop and consider what it is that we really need to do to bring about effective change in our lives. So often times we are excited and motivated but because we did not have a strategy our plans often end in failure. What is it that you want to do for the Lord? What changes would you like to see in your own personal life, whether it be spiritual, financial or relational? Do you have a plan? Have you counted the cost? Before you embark on your next task or great change take time to consider the personal cost and challenge that it will require. Consider taking these intentional steps before embarking on your task:

1. A SPIRITUAL STRATEGY: Nothing changes by accident; you have to work at it. And this is where some Christians have a problem; we are taught to pray but we are not prepared to suffer, to go through hard times, to stick with the plan the strategy that God has given us. We need to look hard into His Word, ask the Spirit for guidance, evaluate where were at spiritually and form a spiritual plan according to His Word.
An example may be: Your not growing in the Word of God, you understand this is detremental to your spiritual growth. You may first consider some scriptures that command us to study God’s Word, such as Paul’s exhortation to Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved…” then you sit down and consider what it will take for you to have a positive time of biblical study daily. What personal sacrifices will you have to make? What materials such as a study bible or concordance will you need to purchase? What areas of your life will you need to change to ensure proper devotion to God’s Word? This is what it means to sit down and consider and to form a strategy.

2. BIBLICAL POSITIONING: If you study spiritually successful people, you may notice they don’t just work hard in a focused way, they position themselves. They position themselves in the will of God? Are you lined up in the will of God? Are you confident that it is God calling you to this task, calling you to make this change? When reading Ephesians chapter one you will notice that one of the words that Paul uses frequently in the chapter is the word ACCORDING. He is simply trying to express to the church that if we are going to be spiritually productive and successful in God’s Kingdom we must do everything according to His will. We must pray in the Spirit and be sure that we are living and positioning ourselves according to the biblical principals that God has ordained for us.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: This is best exemplified in a marriage. In a successful marriage partners hold each other accountable to a spiritual, financial, relational strategy that they have formed. Being faithful to their plan in both the good and bad times will help ensure that their marriage is a success but often times one may want to do something that is not part of the strategy and that is where the partner help the other be accountable to what they have promised. Likewise their are also other partners that can help you be successful, partners that will counsel, will advise you and will look over your shoulder and consider what is best for you. Such partners are your Pastor’s, parents, professional counselors people who wil have your best interest in mind. Consider having a partner whether it’s a pastor, a friend or a professional counselor who can give you sound, unbiased advice and keep you accountable to your plan.

4. SPIRITUAL PLANTING: Whether you are planting a garden, trying to start a business or beginning a ministry you have to believe that what you are planting is going to be productive. Planting takes faith, a belief that it is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. You don’t plant seeds in stony hard ground. You must consider whether the place you are about to invenst your time, energy and resources are going to bring a spiritual harvest into the Kingdom of God. This is not in reference to God’s Word (because the Word of God must be sown everywhere) this is in reference to where we choose to exercise our time and energy into the work of God’s Kingdom.

5. CULTIVATING SPIRITUALLY: We must continue to work the ground where we have planted the seed, continue to water it with the word, with faith,with worship. Invest time and effort into what you have set out to accomplish. Faithful cultivation is the key to ensuring that whatever you have planted has the greatest chance to grow and be fruitful Many ministries die not because it was not God’s will but because they did not continue to cultivate the ministry, the calling with the Word of God, with Worship with personal consecration and discipline. These are key to allowing the Spirit of God to water the ground you are working on. We must understand that we are doing a spiritual work and this spiritual work must be watered by the Spirit. Cultivating the spiritual ground allows the water of the Spirit to find its way into the ground and cause spiritual growth. The only biblical way to cultivate of break the ground is through prayer, the Word and consecration. The reality is that this is where most people fall short.

6. DISCIPLINED PATIENCE: Remember your job is to plant the seed and to cultivate it but only God gives the increase. We must be disciplined and patient as we wait for God to bring the increase. A grapefruit tree has a certain time that it brings forth its fruit. Until then it is up to us to be patient, to continue to work, to be disciplined in our spiritual lives. If we are patient in our work for the Lord, whether it be winning souls, building relationships or trying to bring about personal change in our lives; God will give the increase.

God Bless,





Heaven what kind of place is it?

8 12 2007

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Mans imagination cannot fathom the immense greatness of heaven. Our minds are limited in their ability to perceive supernatural things such as heaven. What is heaven, where is heaven, how does heaven look and who will be in heaven these are some of the questions that man has attempted to answer regarding heaven? Words cannot describe such a supernatural place neither can the mind perceive such divine things in our present carnal state. The only answers we have regarding heaven are the divine scriptures which have been given to us by God. Surely it is a great, awesome, unimaginable wonder.

SCRIPTURES DESCRIBING HEAVEN

The Father’s House:

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

A Heavenly City:

“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16

A Holy City:

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

The Throne of God:

“Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” Revelation 7:15

A Place of Holiness:

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27

 

A Place of Divine Joy:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

A Place of Prestine Beauty:

“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Revelation 21:18 

A Place of Worship:

“And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:14

A Place of Perfect Light:

“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:23

A Place where God Dwells:

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revealtion 21:3

Meditate on these scriptures and consider whether it is worth living and suffering for the Creator of the heavens and earth. Consider that one day you shall see God as He is; in His perfect beauty and holiness. Remeber we are only pilgrims in this world, sojourning till we find a city whose builder and founder is God. It will be a glorious day the moment we meet our Father in heaven. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Precious Book of Life? Are you ready to stand with God and behold the wonders and the beauty of that city called New Jerusalem? It is going to be a glorious day when the bride meets Jesus in Heaven.

We Shall Reign with Him:

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21

God Bless,

 

 





Call to Devotion

7 12 2007

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“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 

If there is one thing that we as Christians lack in our spiritual lives it is a daily-consecrated time of devotion to God. To many times we look at our devotional time as a hard arduous task and I will admit that praying is not easy but it doesn’t have to be something that is looked upon as rigid. Our prayer time or devotion time to God should be the most beautiful refreshing time of the day for us. It is in devotion that God restores me, forgives me, speaks to me and strengthens me. It is for these reasons that my time of devotion to God should be the most important part of my spiritual walk. There are no spiritual secrets to learning to devote yourself to God in prayer and spirit. It is a matter of practicing it daily until it becomes an habitual part of your spiritual life. The need and rewards of daily prayer are to many to list and the reality is that to few Christians really practice a life of daily devotion to God; it simply is the greatest need in the church today. If you are struggling in your prayer life I want to encourage you to start again, ask God to give you the strength.
Here is a sample of a one-hour devotion you could practice:

10 minutes of your favorite worship music
10 minutes of reading the bible
10 minutes of worship (no music)
5 minutes of confession
10 minutes praying for need of the church and others
10 minutes praying for your own needs
5 minutes of worship

Remember the idea is to get into that daily habit of prayer. As you grow in your prayer life you will find your own way of praying. For example when I first started praying I used to listen to worship music to help me concentrate but I eventually grew to the point where I needed to pray in a quiet atmosphere. Now my devotion is pretty simple, I read the word of God for about 10 minutes and then I pray. I spend the first part of prayer in simple worship to God and then I usually start my confession and petition for forgiveness. I then begin to thank God for all He has done and provided. I then begin to intercede for others; praying for the needs of the church, needy, family and those in authority. I usually end my prayer by praying for protection against the enemy and worshipping God for hearing my prayer. For me this easily fills up an hour of devotion. I believe that if the majority of Christians would practice this hour of devotion in their daily lives they would have no problem living in the fulness of God’s will.

“And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41

The greatest growth I have had in my spirituality has come through the practice and power of daily devoting myself to prayer. The secret to overcoming temptation is found in finding God’s strength in prayer before the temptation comes. If we wait till the temptation arrives to pray then it is proably to late. Overcoming and being victorious are found in gathering up God’s strength and grace before the moment of testing and temptaiton comes. If you want to grow, if you want to know God more intimately you must learn to devote yourself to God in prayer. Their simply is no other way.

God Bless,





PRAYER THAT STIRS

30 11 2007

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Satan does not care how many people read about prayer if he can only keep them from praying. – Paul E. Billheimer

I ran into an article today about a prayer that was ministered by Pastor Joe Wright in the Kansas House in Topeka, Kansas. The prayer was so stirring and powerful that it caused some people to walk out of the session. How could a simple prayer offend so many and how could a simple prayer stir the hearts of so many. Prayer is the single most effective tool that God has given us in His kingdom as a matter of fact Paul’s exhortation to the church was to “Pray always” to “Pray without ceasing”. It is awesome to understand what God does through the power of prayer most of you probably have heard the old saying, “Even when weakest of saints gets on their knees to pray, satan begins to tremble”. Do you want to stir up the kingdom of God, do you want to make your enemy feel uncomfortable (satan), do you want to see God really move in your life then the answer is simple, the act is simple and maybe even the words you may say are simple, the answer is pray.

THE ARTICLE

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:Heavenly Father,We come before You today to ask Your Forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ”Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our Spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values. We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism; We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism; We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle; We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery; We have neglected the needy and called it self preservation; We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare; We have killed our unborn and called it choice; We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable; We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem; We have abused power and called it political savvy; We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition; We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression; We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.I ask in in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on “The Rest of the Story” on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

PRAYER THAT STIRS

This is the kind of prayer that we as Christians should practice. Prayer that moves the hand of God and prayer that angers our enemies. We should have such faith that when we pray we are sure that God will move on our behalf in regards to the prayer we have prayed in His will. If their is one thing that our enemy wants to keep us from doing it is praying. He understands that in prayer our mind is sanctified, our spirits are uplifted, our faith increases and our boldness for God is magnified. Prayer simply put begins to shatter the power of the enemy – prayer that is truly prayer will always bring supernatural spiritual results in God’s kingdom.

PRAY IN FAITH

Pray believing that it is God’s will for you to pray. Pray believing that it is God calling you to pray. Pray believing that God hears your very voice and thoughts when you pray and pray believing that God will answer your prayer.

Prayer is asking for rain; faith is carrying the umbrella. – John Mason

The great work of the church, the saint is to pray and find God’s will. How can we know God’s will if we don’t pray? How can we practice our faith if we don’t pray? If the Apostles and the early church relied on prayer as their source, their connection to God and His ordained power then how can you and I neglect the need to pray?

“Prayer does not equip us for greater works – prayer is the greater work.” Oswald Chambers

DEDICATION TO PRAYER

Maybe your prayer life has not been as strong as you know it could be. Maybe life and the holidays have kept you real busy and it has affected your devotion time to God. Maybe its just been a spiritual struggle that you cant explain or it could be the enemy has been working against you in your prayer life. I would like to just encourage you to know that you can rededicate your prayer life to God today. You can come into His presence ask Him for forgiveness, ask Him to restore your prayer life and through His Spirit He will reknew the strength and the passion you need to continue in your desire to pray. Maybe you have a strong devotional life, pray that God would encourage and empower those who are struggling in their walk with God. Pray that God would use you to remind and encourage the saints on the supreme necessity of prayer. Remember a church that prays together is church that stay together. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” this is true if you pray but if you don’t pray Christ can not strengthen you. We are in the last days and the hour is near and now more than ever my brothers and sisters we must pray fervently in the Kingdom of God.

God Bless,