Posts Tagged ‘labor’

Sudden Breakthrough

Scripture: “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30)

Thought for Today: “Releasing Suddenlies”

Every person I know needs a breakthrough in some area of their life. I am no exception. I need breakthroughs all the time. I find myself stuck or tempted, confused or confined and in need of wisdom and revelation. The challenge for most of us is that getting a breakthrough means changing how we see. I often hear people say, ”You might have to get serious about spiritual disciplines if you want to see any impact in your life”. What I would like to propose is that the key to getting your breakthrough is more about striving for rest, than fighting for your life (Heb 4:9). Jesus said, “Come to Me… and I will give you rest. Take My yoke… learn from Me… and you will find rest for your souls.” The key is to stop relying on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5-10)

Trust God!

What I have seen repeatedly through the years in Scripture, personal experience and the testimony of others, is that prayer and fasting produces great spiritual results. Yet those results were tied to trusting God. When we give ourselves to intense seasons of seeking, we must lean on Jesus, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the counsel of God’s Word. God is always up to something and your breakthrough is on His mind… in fact, He wants it more than you do!

Enter In:

I want to encourage you to stop leaning on your own understanding. You might never discover how problems or difficulties will be resolved in your life. Try to enter a season of rest. Go to the Throne of Grace and let God love you. Let His mercy pour out upon your heart and just soak it in… stay there and begin to enjoy His Presence. Let Him wash away your worry, cleanse you of all fear and wrestling. Now simply direct your trust toward Him… speak it out. Tell Him that you love the way He meets your needs and praise Him in this moment in the midst of all that is going on around you.

Suddenlies will Begin:

Then… what was offering no impact, suddenly does. What was making no difference, suddenly will. That unwanted situation or mountain that stood in the way, suddenly is removed. The relationship that was broken, suddenly gets restored. The pain in your body, suddenly is healed. The job that hadn’t come through, suddenly opens up. Suddenlies are God’s specialty!

The Reward of Seeking: Believe that God is the “Rewarder” of those who diligently seek Him. (Heb. 11:6)

Its the anointing that breaks the yoke (Isa 10:27), but it must settle in on us. Its God’s power that releases the suddenlies in our lives (Acts 2:2). Those miracles, the breakthroughs and the revelation of purpose, did not show up simply because we got the words right in our prayers last night. It was because God moved on our behalf. We sought Him in a season of prayer and fasting – yes, but it was God who showed up, brought the breakthrough and the suddenly you needed.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)

Appreciation

“I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied. For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.” (1 Cor. 16:17-18)

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thess. 5:11-13)

This morning I opened my email to find 2 wonderful notes thanking us for the work we do in Africa, and that made me think how wonderful the smile that emerged upon my face was to my faith. It was like a breath of fresh air! I could almost hear God say, “I want you to have a smile on your faith!” The Apostle Paul tells us that it doesn’t have to be complicated; we should appreciate the labor of others – tell them… and esteem them very highly in love.

Appreciation is like oxygen for the soul!

How would you describe someone who knowingly withheld oxygen from someone? Then why do we find it so hard to express our appreciation to people who add value to our lives? And by the way, if there’s no one in your life that you appreciate… that says more about you than the people around you.

Emotional Leprosy:

Beware that you do not become an emotional leper or self absorbed, “lone ranger”. Remember the malady of the leper was that they would lose their ability to feel. It is possible to become so obsessed with your success that you stop noticing others around you. Your ministry is not yours and never will be. And can I tell you the truth – God wants it back so it can increase!

Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). Do we truly understand that we can do nothing in terms of lasting fruit without Him? And second; have we come to terms with the concept that the word “branches” is plural? Jesus wants us to abide in Him as a people in loving fellowship with each other!

Being Grateful:

At its core, appreciation is rooted in gratitude. A selfish, self-centered, and self-obsesses person has no capacity to be grateful. What people do for us must never be overlooked or expected, as the other person’s job or duty. Recognizing the achievements of others begins when we esteem them more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). Let’s notice the riches of other people and stop letting our desire for personal gain or success rule our heart. Its a grateful heart that unlocks the pleasure of fellowship! Tell someone that you are proud of them, today… tell them you see their effort and that you appreciate them for who they are in your life.

And you know what? You might find a smile awakening in their… faith!

The following note was written by my oldest daughter – JoHanna Bateman.

“That moment when you finally clean out your purse and you find a note (you forgot to read) from a girl in youth group. And you just sit there staring at it, reading it over and over and crying your eyeballs out. Realizing that just simply praying for someone and being their friend, can change their life and impact them forever. I never thought simply asking someone how they’re doing every Wednesday could impact their life so much. It helps us believe in a God we have never seen. How beautiful it is, when the love of Christ is shown through people. Is that not what I was made for? To reflect the glorious face of Jesus?”

Two things I encourage you to do today:
1. Ask people how they’re doing… and care about the answer.
2. Clean out your purse. You might find a long lost note that will awaken a smile.

I’m so proud of you, sweetheart!

Held

  • Psalm 37:23-24 If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
  • Psalm 94:18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your love, O Lord, supported me.
  • Psalm 145:14 The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
  • Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
  • Philippians 4:11-13 …for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Knowing how to be content is one of the most undiscovered disciplines in the Christian world. More than any other skill or ability I can perfect, more than any passion I can muster and more than any amount of influence I can carry; this one character trait puts my life on solid ground. Yet, being content is not a natural thing for me. I’ve had to learn how to cooperate with God and listen for His footsteps in the cool of the day… and all too often I’ve heard His voice cry “Adam, Adam where are you” (Gen. 3:8-10). 

  I am learning to be held by God.

To be held is to discover the secret place in Christ, where the past is settled and the future is secure. Being held is more than just feeling that all is well. Its knowing, with an inward assurance, that even when storms or problems arise, there is a God who walks with me. Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30).

Rest for the Soul:

This is the contentment… the rest for our souls, that every follower of Christ must aim to learn. To be held by God is to delight in the perfect fit of this “yoke” Jesus speaks about. God wants to uphold us by His mighty hand and support us with the power of His love, but we must come up into the yoke for ourselves. Like a life jacket, we must learn how to put it on in rough waters, become familiar with its fit and rely upon it so that it becomes our favorite piece of spiritual clothing.

His Strength Upholds:

I am so amazed at how dependable and constant the Lord is in taking care of His own. Even though I am His child and seek to please Him, He knows that I am weak and imperfect. He says He will “make my steps firm and though I stumble, I will not fall”. “Though” does not mean ”if” but “when”. He knows that I will stumble in my walk with Him. He knows that there will be times when my foot will slip. And yet, in those times when I am weak and falter He does not abandon me, He strengthens me. He stretches forth his hand to catch me and hold me up. He supports me so that I do not fall completely. He bears up under me to keep me upright. He reinforces His love for me and tells me not to be afraid or discouraged. He reminds me that He is my God and encourages me to continue on. He whispers, “Do not give up, I am here to hold you”. Even with all my weaknesses and shortcomings He loves and accepts me.

How awesome is my Lord and Savior! How wonderful is His grace to me! For I am learning that it is far better to be held… than to be strong.

Releasing Suddenlies

Today is day 10 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-10
Thought for Today: “Releasing Suddenlies”

Every person I know needs a breakthrough in some area of their life. I am no exception. I need breakthroughs all the time. I find myself stuck or tempted, confused or confined and in need of wisdom and revelation. The challenge for most of us is that getting a breakthrough means changing how we see. I often hear people say, ”You might have to get serious about spiritual disciplines if you want to see any impact in your life”. What I would like to propose is that the key to getting your breakthrough is more about striving for rest, than fighting for your life (Heb 4:9). 

Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30)  

Trust God!

What I have seen repeatedly through the years in Scripture, personal experience and the testimony of others, is that prayer and fasting produces great spiritual results. Yet those results were tied to trusting God. When we give ourselves to intense seasons of seeking, we must lean on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and trust in the counsel of God’s Word. 

Enter In:

I want to encourage you to stop leaning on your own understanding. You might never discover how problems or difficulties will be resolved in your life. Try to enter a season of rest. Go to the Throne of Grace and let God love you. Let His mercy pour out upon your heart and just soak it in… stay there and begin to enjoy His Presence. Let Him wash away your worry, cleanse you of all fear and wrestling. Now simply direct your trust toward Him… speak it out. Tell Him that you love the way He meets your needs and praise Him in this moment in the midst of all that is going on around you.

Suddenlies will Begin:

Then what wasn’t making an impact, suddenly does. What hadn’t worked, suddenly will. That unwanted situation or mountain that stood in the way, suddenly is removed. The relationship that was broken, suddenly gets restored. The pain in your body, suddenly is healed. The job that hadn’t come through, suddenly opens up. Suddenlies are God’s specialty!

The Reward of Seeking:

Its the anointing that breaks the yoke (Isa 10:27), but it must settle in on us. Its God’s power that releases the suddenlies in our lives (Acts 2:2). Those miracles, the breakthroughs and the revelation of purpose, did not show up simply because we got the words right in our prayers last night. It was because God moved on our behalf. We sought Him in a season of prayer and fasting – yes, but it was God who showed up, brought the breakthrough and the suddenly you needed.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)

Unashamed

“I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The lines have been drawn. I have stepped over the edge. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Christ, a Son of Righteousness; and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present is secure. My future is unstoppable. I’m finished with boxes, business as usual and safety nets. The days of breakthrough have come and I am no longer willing to settle for limited passion, small vision, safe plans, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed ideas and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, position, promotions, popularity or applause. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.

My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my Guide is reliable and my mission is clear.

I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus, the Christ; who was, is and forever will be the Anointed King of Glory. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear and my character will be clean! This is my claim without regret, this is where I stand… unashamed.”

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