Archive for May, 2010

The Extraordinary Life

One of the most extraordinary figures in Bible history was King David. As a young man he showed great courage when he killed a lion and a bear as the protector of his sheep. He became the champion of Israel when he brought down Goliath with one stone from a slingshot and went on to slay thousands of Israel’s enemies… especially the Philistines. While fleeing from King Saul, David became the leader of a small band of mighty men who performed beyond the call of duty and served him even with their last drop of blood. Because he was a worshiper, King David held on to the role of a general in sync with the rhythm of God’s heart for Isreal’s success. Like David, there are Kingdom warriors today with the passion to live the extraordinary life.

 The will to dance and worship as lovers of God, the courage to make declarations with prophetic acts of intercession and the heart to surrender to the One who holds their significance… these are the individuals that bear the marks of an extraordinary life.

 With the heart of David there is the sound of new songs and the dance of a new day. Those who choose the extraordinary life would need to inquire at the gates of Heaven for it is received from the King of Glory. The extraordinary life is a gift, rare and precious… it is the reward of the child who rules their own heart well. Perhaps the greatest words ever spoken of King David were that he was “a man after God’s own heart”.

Effective Seekers

When the Apostle Paul arrived in Athens, a city full of idolatry, he found opportunities to teach them about the One True God. Paul revealed to this region an unfortunate truth… that God was, “an Unknown God” (Acts 17:23). His announcement was clearly that God does not want to be unknown to us or any of His creation. This is why He knit into our being the desire to seek after Him. Our greatest quest is to find God… to know Him as Creator and Our Source of Life! Paul explains this to those in Athens:

“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

God’s Desire:

God wants us to seek for Him, but we all must realize that He is not far away. We can seek after God in whatever way we wish, but there are ways that make our search more effective and will not leave us frustrated and unsatisfied. Let me explain through a story about David. When David planned to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem, the ark was placed on a new ox-driven cart to be transported. During the journey the oxen hit a bump and Uzzah placed his hand on the ark to steady it. When he touched the ark God struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:3-8). You might ask… why? They were doing something that was good (returning the ark) in a way that seemed to them to be effective (on an ox-driven cart). Uzzah’s attempt to steady the ark would have been a natural reflex.

Why was God upset?

It was because God had given a way for the ark to be handled and David hurried in without knowledge of God’s desired pattern. David’s plan side-stepped the will of God, who he really wanted to honor. Notice, David corrects his mistaken actions with sober obedience, “No one may carry the ark of God, but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever” (1 Chron 15:2). Then he calls for the Levites to sanctify themselves and make preparation to carry out their duty in accordance with God’s plan. He says, “…because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order” (1 Chron 15:13). Having the best of intentions were irrelevant and actually lead to the death of David’s friend. The way in which David initially chose to move the ark violated God’s ordinance.

Instruction and Patterns:

Even though this happened in the Old Testament, the point is the same for us… we must seek God according to His instructions, rather than according to the way that seems best to us.

 When we consider our position as “a seeker” it doesn’t really matter if we are a novice or a well trained disciple of Christ, we must always humble ourselves and seek Him with an open and yielded heart.

Drawing near to God in an appropriate way always gets His attention and response. God gives grace to the humble and lifts them up (Jm 4:6, 10). Jesus said, “…seek and you will find” (Mt 7:7). Paul even said that everything he had found in life up to the time of gaining knowledge of Christ, he considered as “rubbish” just to gain Christ and be found in Him… “that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil 3:10).

The Real Goal:

Jesus reminds us that the Father’s delight is to give us the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:9-13). Remind yourself in your seeking that the goal is to host the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16)(Eph. 2:19-22). To make Him feel welcome and valued in your life, family and relationships; means you will need to yield yourself to His preferences. There are some powerful expressions and depths of complete satisfaction when a person seeks God in a way that pleases Him. God’s pleasure is what makes us effective seekers.

Tap into the Wells

Refreshing site

Living Water

In our experience with the love of God we shift and move according to a spiritual current felt deeply in our inner man. The Bible speaks about this in a variety of ways.

Paul said “in Him we live and move and have our very being” (Acts 17:28); also he said God would give us His glory “…to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph 3:16).

Peter said “though now you do not see Him, yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressable and full of glory” (1 Pe 1:8) and finally Jesus proclaimed that “he who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (Jn 7:38).

It’s this “under-current” that stablizes a flow of God’s presence in our lives and offers a resource of “living water” that quenches our spiritual thirst. I have often imagined this flow of spiritual vitality as the wells of salvation that Isaiah speaks about:

“Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isa 12:3).

I have found that these wells are available to every believer and can be discovered and tapped into by a nurtured lifestyle of prayer and worship. Some folks ignore this wonderful experience and find their “christian” life more of a drudgery than a release of joy and fruitfulness. I would like to suggest that this is truly where the life of God is found.

David said, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11).

David was a worshiper who dug deeply into these wells to release the under-current of life giving water that could offer peace and joy and strength in the midst of battles, storms or seasons of weariness. We are to be filled with the joy of the Lord and reflect a life that is abundant and spiritually fruitful… even in the midst of trials. So tap into the wells that reside within your inner man and mine those supernatural resources God has made available to you. I can almost hear a gushing spring coming forth from your inner man. Remind yourself that your Heavenly Father wants to release to you the Kingdom… “on Earth as it is in Heaven”.

Jesus

How You See

I find myself often very confused by people who feel motivated to criticize others. Its not just because I tend to see things more positively, because I am probably more of a realist that an optimist. I think critical people seem to feel a sense of duty and credibility when they project their judgements upon others.

Our society has encouraged this behaviour in that our news reports and highly charged analysis groups spew enormous amounts of negativity across our media outlets. If we are unable to point out the imperfections in Gov. Sarah Palin or President Barak Obama we are considered ignorant or labeled an extreme… something or other. Our Western Culture has come to believe that if we cannot find something wrong with someone, we are abnormal. Are any of us really that good that we have to seek very far to find imperfections.

Paul told us that, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).

It would seem to me that we would become more surprised when a person got “it” right rather than flaunting a mistake or flaw in somebody.

My father used to say “it takes no intelligence what so ever to criticize… its easy to point out the obvious, but can you give me some solutions that show your creative smarts”.

My father was a realist as well I guess, because he believed it was a waste of time to find the flaws in others. He often would explain the difference between problems and opportunities… simply how we see them!

I think that is why I get so tired of critical people, because I was raised to see different. Being a critic is all about how you see! Contemplate this thought for a moment… spending our time seeing the mistakes of others actually causes us to miss our opportunity to witness thousands of moments of greatness that came from good intentions mingled with the grace of Heaven.

The Bible tells us to rejoice when we face various trials of our faith (Jam 1:2-3), because something great is produced in us – “patience”… which is really just a way of seeing. Patience is a way of seeing that waits for something expected to reveal itself. It seems to me that we become more credible when we are patient with others, than when we are critics.

Something to Talk About

Allow God to transform your problems into testimonies. Telling people about the miracles happening in your life makes God more real and believable to the person who is struggling. It causes faith to engage in those who hear what God is doing in you.

“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:10).

People begin to see miracles in their own lives because of what God does for you. As we watch this process develop in others we begin to discover how the spirit of prophecy actively effects those around us. We rarely consider the fact that we have the authority to release God’s mercy to everyone around us… but it is a Kingdom promise for the child of God.

When we read in the Bible that God is able to do the miraculous, it means He has the power to do it; but when we are introduced to somebody’s testimony, it means God has the will to do these miracles in the here and now. The big difference in our perception actually draws us into expectation. We feel invited into the same experiences that we hear about.

Paul said it this way, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17).

Remind yourself that God’s Word is His will for us… its His testimony. God is able! There is no deficiency in His power. The deficiency may not be in your faith, but in your testimony. Believing that He “can do” what needs to be done in our life is not enough, we must be enforcers of a victory that has already been won. He may work in totally unexpected ways, but He will work with supernatural power and give you something to talk about.

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