Archive for May, 2011

Praise Him in the Dance!

http://youtu.be/ADWKZrzyobw 

Praise Him with the Dance

Praise Him in the Dance

Moments in the Glory:

There just are no challenges big enough to stand in the way of a dancing army. Its a release of joy in the power of the Holy Spirit. Watching these Kenyan worshipers display their deep love for God shakes off the inhibitions and makes me want to join in. I can still feel the energy.

Celebration is Excessive:

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His Glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods.” (1Chron 16:23-25)

Let God Define Your Expression:

Expressive celebration of our Lord Jesus is not only tolerated, but encouraged! We love Jesus and we must let it show! Remind yourself that you did not join a Religion, but a Divine Romance! Psalms 150 tells us to, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His heavenly dwelling; praise Him in His mighty heaven! Praise Him for His mighty works; praise His unequaled greatness! Praise Him with a blast of the trumpet; praise Him with the lyre and harp! Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with a clash of cymbals; praise Him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that lives sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!” Sometimes you just gotta dance!

 ”God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Jn 4:24)

Habitation

Although God is always with us, there are times when His Presence is more obvious and we find ourselves experiencing God’s intimacy in more tangible ways. I am convinced that we can have as much of God in our lives as we want. We can create a place of habitation for His Presence that will enrich our lives and please Him. God’s love can be enjoyed as we come to Him in prayer, worship and listening for His voice. Its this habitation that changes us and reveals the Glory of God. Like Moses, God wants to go with us wherever we go (Exod 33:14).

Inviting the Presence of God:

God reveals Himself to those that earnest seek Him (Deut 4:29). If we want to walk in the Presence of the Lord, then we need to practice and develop a place of habitation for Him. In the Old Testament the Tabernacle and the Temple were places where God’s Presence would be sought; but in the New Testament, Jesus refers to His own physical body as the new dwelling place for the Presence (Jn 14:21-23). He would also declare that this Temple would be a House of Prayer and that there was jealousy; a zeal in His heart, for this relational environment (Lk 19:45-46)(Isa 42:8).

Nurturing Intimacy: 

One of the most effective ways we can nurture intimacy is through time spent in real worship; the kind Jesus said the Father enjoys; in Spirit and in Truth (Jn 4:24). By placing ourselves before Him in a place of adoration, we make room for Him in our hearts and lives. God has promised that as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). This is why I would say we can have as much of God as our hunger will seek after; but it will mean adjusting to His pleasures, rather than our independence.

Abiding in the Word of God:

In order to abide in the Presence of God, we must practice living in His Word and becoming familiar with His voice. Jesus said, “if you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you will ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you” (Jn 15:7). This is because; abiding in Him, nurtures an atmosphere of relationship and responding to the Father’s heart. The Holy Spirit is always present with God’s Word. The Promises of Scripture and the prophetic flow of the Holy Spirit bring an increase in the way we value the Temple (1 Cor 6:19). There are enormous Truths that transform the way we think and reveal the motives of our heart (Heb 4:12). Renewing the mind is as important as washing our clothes; because we must become aware of our “stinky thinking”, in order to sustain His place of habitation.

My Suggestion:

Don’t wait, discover the joy of His habitation. You will never be the same. Living in the secret place with God is the Promised Land we have longed for and the Resource we have thirsted after. King David said it best:

“Oh God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You, My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the Sanctuary, to see Your power and Your Glory, because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your Name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. (Ps 63:1-5)

Example: George Muller

Being sent by God!

The conviction of “trusting God alone” for provision in the ministry comes from Scripture. People like Abraham, Moses, the Prophet Elijah and even the disciples of Jesus were carried along by trust and supernatural miracles of Divine provision. The Apostle Paul said, ”My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). The supply was in the Glory… some just knew how to go get it.

God’s Supply is a Lifestyle:

Living by faith

Trusting God

This was the lifestyle evidenced by the spiritual leadership of George Muller. In the 1800’s, Muller was guided by God to begin an orphanage in Bristol, England. He continually proclaimed that the impossible is only acheived by faith in the promises of God.

He sought God:

He made no appeal for funds; but instead, sought God to move in people’s hearts. Almost like clockwork, people would give toward the care of the orphans. Muller’s testimony to God’s faithful provision influenced Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, and later C.T.Studd, founder of WEC (Worldwide Evangelization for Christ), who began his missions career with Taylor in China.

The words of Muller:

 ”Over the years the Lord has faithfully taken care of us financially in our work of caring for the orphans by constantly raising up new supporters. God’s promise is, they that trust in the Lord shall never be put to shame (Rom 10:11). Were we to lean upon man, we would inevitably be disappointed; but, in leaning upon the living God alone, moment by moment, we are beyond disappointment and beyond being forsaken.”

Learning to Stand with God: 

How precious to have learned to stand with God alone in the world and yet to be happy and confident, knowing “no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps 84:11). This kind of confidence draws God’s attention and invites Him to display His Goodness in the midst of our impossible circumstances.

Faith Invites God’s Help:

Some who read or hear of Muller’s adventures of faith say, “Oh, he had a very special gift of faith, but I couldn’t live like that!” Muller argues, “It is the same faith which is found in every believer. Oh, I plead with you, do not think me an extraordinary believer, having privileges above others. Just stand still in the hour of trial, and you will see the help of God if you trust in Him.”

Defining Home

One of Jesus’ disciples came and asked a very interesting question of Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered with this statement: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (Jn 14:22-23)

Obviously, “home” is more than just an address. Jesus seems to say, home is the best way to define fellowship in God’s Kingdom. Its the place where hearts rest secure in the knowledge that: 1) Love is within reach, 2) Trust is without risk and 3) Presence is the highest value. In a real world, where it can feel overwhelming just to wake up each morning, Jesus tells His disciples of a place called home.

Love is within reach:

While I was in Kenya my greatest quest was to make the love of God as tangible as possible. I wanted to walk in such a way that hungry hearts would see a resource made available to fill their emptiness. Preaching and teaching was not enough to reach the deepest spiritual need. Somehow I wanted to see God crush all that had bound a people to the orphan heart.

At the top of Mt Elgon, I was deeply moved by the action of nineteen widows.

Blessing Widows

  As we ended our second session of the day, the altar was opened for prayer and these precious ladies came to forgive a neighboring tribe that within the past 24 months had brutally killed their husbands over land rights. I watched as the fresh wounds were re-opened, tears gave way to surrender and God’s love began to come within reach of their brokenness. Nobody moved, except God as He washed away the bitter pain of loss and confusion. I was witnessing a courage of supernatural magnitude and all I knew how to do was bless it. This was the moment I was looking for; a sight that I hope I will never forget, where forgiveness opened the door for God to demonstrate His goodness and love.  

 Trust is without risk:

Everyday in Kenya, I made a goal to document a significant moment in a journal.

love with skin on

 I’d like to share a moment from one of the first few days. As I sat with Pastor Wycliffe’s brother (Alex), I noticed one of the little boys pulling up close to me and rubbing my arm as if to feel the difference between white and black skin. I would be told later that it is common for skin to be a curiosity for the children, because typically white people have more hair on their arms than do black people.

 This fact was far from my thought process however, for in this moment I was moved by the desire to experience someone else’s skin. So much activity was being done to make me feel welcome that this struck me as a gesture of warmth and trust. It was as if this little boy was allowing himself to experience my friendship and trust my acceptance through the connection of “skin”. My skin was serving as a bridge for trust to be experienced and develop.

Immediately my mind shifted to Christ’s sacrificial gift of His skin. It strikes me as significant that God’s Only Son would put on skin and dwell among us. His skin received the abuse, the spitting, the bruising, piercing and whippings. It was His skin that carried the marks as a bridge of trust and without argument He gave it willingly to capture my heart. His risk makes my trust feel as though it is easy to offer. But if my heart gets distracted by this world’s loves then I lose focus on who really risked it all.

I must stay connected to the skin of Christ if I am to understand this place Jesus called ”home”. It really is a place where trust has had the risk removed. The Apostle John said it best when he told us, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be (to carry the risk) the propitiation (substitute) for our sins.” (1 Jn 4:10) Like this little boy who allowed trust to break past all risks; so also, we must appreciate the opportunity we have been offered to experience trust where Christ carried the risk.

Presence is the Highest Value:

Each day in Kenya carried its own wonderful surprises and challenges, yet one such surprise made me recognize more deeply the greatest joy that “home” offers… God’s Presence is the highest value. On the Monday following our visit to the Broderick Falls, Pastor Wycliffe took me to the hospital to pray for his ailing great grandmother. She was in her early 90’s and had been ill for about three months. I was not prepared for this experience, in that there were people everywhere, all were black and many were in very deep need of physical help. I could feel that I stood out with my white skin and goofy pastoral smile. As we entered the female ward, it was obvious that there were two in many beds and those around them, although family and friends, they had little to offer. I prayed for Pastor’s great grandmother, but that was not enough, so we prayed for all of those in the facility. We went from bed to bed offering hope and the message of God’s love found in Jesus Christ. When all was completed we noticed the countenence of both patients and family were lifted and appreciative of our prayers and encouragement. Hope was being restored, because God’s Presence was made available.

Jesus makes it clear that the goal of God’s mind is to come and establish a place of residence in the human heart. He wants to live within us in such a way that we will experience the same oneness that Jesus had with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amazing things happen when God begins to visit and visit He will, if we will make room for Him. 

Jesus tells us that this is how He defines “home”… a place where Father, Son and Holy Spirit come to take up residence. 

Breakthrough in Eldoret, Kenya

Seeing the Master of Breakthroughs

   Friday was a new day, a new city, and new walls that stood in the way of  the Glory.  Ron’s schedule was changed slightly.  They were having the Pastors Conference in Eldoret, Kenya, but no crusades at this time.  The conference would be on Friday and Saturday with 4-5 sessions per day.  Several Pastors from nearby African countries had contacted Apostle Allan to let him know of their arrival. Yet on this first day, many were absent.  As the day went on the number attending each session grew, but there was  a sense that breakthrough was not happening and the  release of what God wanted to do was not being fulfilled. Ron experienced a few spiritual attacks (physically) and as he returned to his hotel room, began to ask the Holy Spirit what needed to happen for breakthrough. 

Ron praying for Pastors in Eldoret

On day two there were pastors from Uganda, Mombasa, Nairobi and Eldoret, at the start of the first session. After Praise and Worship, Ron began to sing “Shekinah Glory” by Cory Asbury (International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO). The longer he sang, more of the glory began to permeate the room. Soon Pastors were sensing the overwhelming Presence of God. They knew then that the Master of Breakthroughs had shown up! When these Kenyan folks recognize breakthrough, they begin to rejoice. Immediately joyful dancing and praise arose for the God of the Breakthrough… We danced until all were free, then we danced some more! The release of God’s Presence in that session opened the doors wide for good things among the Pastors and leaders for the rest of the day. This convicted me.

  There are many times I have recognized God breaking things off of my life or establishing new ground for me. I want the Kenyan response! I want my first reaction to breakthrough to be one of worship, praise and dancing. 

There were many testimonies of what God had done in the lives of those attending and Ron shared one story that really touched my heart. A young lady from Uganda got off work on Saturday and having heard about the conference in Eldoret, became determined to get there. She believed a breakthrough awaited her. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive, but as she caught rides along the way, her hunger for God grew. She knew that God had something of value for her and she was not stopping until she got it. She arrived in time for the last two sessions and God met her there.  She received the breakthrough she was looking for and the celebration began… again!

   “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord and I will bring you back from your captivity.”  Jeremiah 29:13-14

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