Archive for June, 2011

Emotional Rollercoaster

Mt Elgon, Kenya

Mt Elgon, Kenya

The Prophet Elijah had experienced a great victory on Mt Carmel, where Yahweh was proven to be the true God. God had answered by fire, just like Elijah said He would. The people had turned their hearts toward God and the Baal prophets had been put to death (1 Kings 18:37-40). All things considered, it had been a great day in the Kingdom of Heaven.

All but that Jezebel thing…

These times of spiritual breakthrough; as powerful as they may appear, also open the door to vulnerable moments… uniquely human moments. Elijah had expended a great deal of energy, both physically and spiritually. It was truly a mountain-top experience, but now he needed to watch out for the valleys that lay below.

Jezebel’s Threat:

As soon as Jezebel heard of the victory of Elijah, she sent her threat and his expectations for revival and reformation were dashed into pieces like a china cup on a concrete floor (1 Kings 19:1-3). Being disappointed, Elijah got his eyes off the Lord, became fearful, and ran for his life down to Beersheba and then beyond into the desert. He was alone, having left his servant behind. He was tired, exhausted and in the wilderness by himself without food and water. And in the emotional state he found himself in, this threat seemed bigger than his strength could endure.

The Emotional Rollercoaster of Expectations:

Of course he was not alone; because the Lord was there, but he felt totally abandon, helpless, fearful, hurt and overwhelmed. He was not thinking from the viewpoint of God’s purpose any longer. As quickly as the victory was gained another battle was exposed. He had now resigned to pray that God would take his life from him. “I’m no better than my fathers” he said, “I’ve had enough.”

Our Father - Our Friend:

Taking the opportunity to ”father” Elijah, God asks him twice, ”Why are you here?” (1 Kings 19:9 & 13) In other words, God was asking His Child to think about what he had been doing. Elijah said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Hosts, and the Children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left and they seek to take my life.” I can almost hear the passion of a frustrated son explaining to his father that he might be missing something.

The Father’s Response:

  • “I’m invested in you Elijah, because I love you.”

To me its the real story of the “still small voice”. God must remind us that the big things are awesome and can get the attention of people, but they are not the point. The point is that God loves us more than what we do! That is the truth that matters most. Intimacy with God is to feel like an embrace and an opportunity to hear the Father’s still small voice. He will whisper secrets that draw us close in times of disappointment, but we need to tune into them.

  • “You are not a failure. Get back on track, I trust your obedience.”

God believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Here we see God demonstrate His loving approval of Elijah by saying, “Go anoint Hazael as King over Syria, Jehu as King over Israel and Elisha as a prophet to follow in your footsteps.” God was saying that He still had a plan and He was not done with Elijah. God wants us to recognize that we are part of a “big picture” and only He knows all that is happening within the frame.

  • “Encourage yourself in the fact that there are things in the spirit I am still revealing to you.”

Then God gives Elijah a secret… ”I’ve kept 7000 faithful people of Israel away from following Baal. So don’t give up, you are not alone.” We must remind ourselves that God is at work even when we do not see it.  Seeing properly means we must see spiritually. The alternative makes us vulnerable to the emotional rollercoaster of living under the threats and poor perception of natural sight.

Father’s Way

Thanks Scott

You inspire me!

This is a Father’s Day testimony I thought my readers would love… it serves to remind me of the simple Truth;  God raises up the humble in due season (James 4:10). I love it when we listen to the Father’s way of getting us into our posture for promotion.

Hey Ron- What a great gift for Fathers Day. For the first time I got to lead a person to faith in Jesus Christ. It is amazing what God will do. As our pastor gave the altar call, up came a young man that had been walking through some very familiar stuff. He was tired of trying to fix something that only God can fix. Pastor pointed to me to pray with him and the Holy Spirit took it from there. So now this up and coming Spirit Filled Southern Baptist Church has a “First Things Class” that I am blessed to teach to new believers and young couples. GO GOD!

It feels like I am just stepping into all that God has been preparing me for when my wings were clipped. Ron, it feels so good. Karen and I heard “I Exalt Thee” on the radio the other day and suddenly my mind went back to worship in your home. From that place I learned to enter in. God has really blessed us all. Thank You.

Making a Difference

John Gebhardt

Picture by Janice Cahn

He is John Gebhardt, a Chief Master Sergeant in the United States Airforce serving in Afghanistan, as high as you can go in enlisted ranks (E-9).

 

 

An Amazing Story:

John Gebhardt’s wife, Mindy, said that this little girl’s entire family was executed. The insurgents intended to execute the little girl also and shot her in the head, but they failed to kill her. She was cared for in John’s hospital and is healing up, but continues to cry and moan. The nurses said John is the only one who seems to calm her down. So John has spent the last four nights holding her while they both slept in that chair. The girl is coming along with her healing. He is a real Star of the war and represents what the combined service is trying to do.

Worth Sharing:

You might not see things like this in the news. Yet nothing happens in the human heart that God is unaware. The world needs to see pictures like this, pictures that tell the story of compassion and hope. Our nation needs to realize that what we’re doing in the Middle East is making a difference. Even if it is just one little girl at a time.

Just Consider It

 

Seeing the New Things

Seeing the New Things

 ”Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isa 43:19)

 

New Things:

The things of God seem to start in small ways; and even though they might spring forth, we must recognize “spring forth” can mean less than what we typically expect. God is careful with the new thing. He causes it to emerge slowly and suggests that we seek it out… make ourselves aware of it. When Jesus speaks of new things becoming manifest, our ears must prepare for change. He desires to keep His secrets within the context of relationship (Jn 15:15). Recognizing the “road in the wilderness” and the “rivers in the desert” always requires more than just simple observation.

Example:

At Bethsaida the people brought a blind man to Jesus for healing. He took him by the hand, led him out of the town and when He had spit on his eyes, He put His hands upon him, He asked the man if he saw anything. The man, looking up and said, “I see men as trees walking”. The second time Jesus put His hands upon his eyes and told him to look. This time the man’s sight was completely restored. He could see clearly! Notice how Jesus speaks to the formerly blind man. Jesus sends him home saying, “Don’t go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town” (Mark 8:26).

Preserving the New Thing: 

New things emerge in a variety of ways, but they must connect to the heart in order for the impact to last. God’s goal is to get us to create testimony so that life is seen in the context of His involvement with us… in relationship. Sometimes when we try to tell others about the new thing God is doing, the devil will use doubts in our mind or cynicism in those we tell, to undermine our testimony. There are times when Jesus has forbidden me to bear witness of a healing or miracle in my body, until my faith is strong enough to stand the testing of thoughts and words that mock my experience. God knows the enemy will try anything to steal our peace, rob us of our joy and discredit the new thing that is emerging in our lives.

Holy Spirit is Speaking:

“Shall you not know it?”

The Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit, to our spiritual perception. ”It’s already here” He says, “but its small right now, really just a seed. Don’t try to interpret it, don’t try to make it more than it is, don’t blow the trumpets. Just consider it. Allow Me to introduce you to it. Allow Me to explain it. Allow Me to reveal what its all about and where embracing it will take you. It’s going to require a shift in your seeing. Are you ready to leave what you know and launch out into the deeper waters of what you don’t know? I’m offering you some mystery… My secrets. I’m offering you, a road in your wilderness and rivers in your desert.”

Discover New Things:

If you are desiring to discover the new thing that God is doing, (in your life, your ministry, in the Church, nation, world etc.) determine to become a seeker, begin to search out the small. Quiet your heart to hear the faint whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Become still and wait for the gentle breeze of God to blow upon your face and then look to where God is directing your gaze. Above all get ready to leave the comfort zone of what you know and allow God to carry you into secret places… places where friends go.

Willing to Heal!

 

Baby suffering with Malaria

Praying for baby in Kenya

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.” (Mt 4:23-24)

 

 

Notice: Jesus healed every sick or diseased person. It is still His will to heal people today. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. (Lk 5:12-13)

If You Are Willing?

This question was enormous and opened the door for a hopeless man to step into his future freedom from disease. You and I must hear the answer clearly for ourselves; because our freedom from sickness or our ability to offer freedom to others, hinges upon our conviction as much as our action. We cannot offer what we do not believe, without being hypocritical on some level. Settling this belief issue in our lives is the first step to being able to offer freedom to those who suffer.

Overwhelming Evidence:

He healed all who came to Him. The Bible does not record one instance where He turned someone down. The record is amazing. No one who came to Jesus, was ever excluded by reason of complexity or severity of his or her illness. Jesus simply healed them all and in one instant He even healed a blind man by praying for him twice. This shows the persistence of a will set on its goal.

Here’s The Point: 

What I would like to propose is that we can see what God wants to do, by the very things Jesus did (Jn 5:19). The truth is; more attention is given to healing and deliverance in the Gospels, than any other kind of experience. Forty-one distinct instances of physical and mental healing are recorded in the Four Gospels. Scripture also tells us that there were numerous other healings and miracles which were not even recorded (Jn 20:30-31).

The Basis For Healing:

… The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. (Isa 53:5)

“…He cast out the spirit with a word and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled what was spoken by Isaiah the Prophet saying, He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Mt 8:16-17)

 Jesus not only suffered and died for our sin. He also suffered and died for the sickness and disease that was unleashed when sin came into the world. Sin released corruption and decay spiritually, mentally and physically. Jesus bore our sin on the cross of Calvary; but, He also bore our sickness in the process of receiving ”stripes” upon His back. He was severely whipped 39 times with a tool that had glass woven into the leather cords. This brutality tore pieces of flesh from His back so that we could understand the full promise of His will. We must carry a conviction that He has made a way for us to experience freedom from sickness and disease and then offer His promise to others.

Archives