Posts Tagged ‘normal’

His Word to You

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28)

Here we have the amazing story of how Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who told her she would become the mother of the Messiah. Naturally Mary was shocked and asked how such a thing could be, since she was a virgin. The angel did not go into a longwinded explanation, but simply told her “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Lk 1:35). That was good enough for Mary and she responded with a powerful declaration of faith: “Let it be to me according to Your Word”.

Discovering Favor:

That simple reply is at the heart of the mystery of answered prayer. Mary came to believe that as a virgin she would become pregnant and give birth to Israel’s long awaited Messiah. There were probably a lot of young Jewish women that might have hoped for that privilege, but Mary didn’t just hope it – she lived it. She knew a secret, because God had revealed His Word to her. Yet, she would come to live it out, only as she discovered her favored estate with God. For Mary to have felt favored by God would seem normal and expected in Jewish households, but a divine revelation from the angel Gabriel would have certainly emphasized its reality.

Favor Establishes Faith:

Now there would be nothing absurd about Mary’s belief in God, because she was finding His favor in His Word to her. It was rooted firmly in the Word of God’s supernatural encounter. God’s Word to her made faith… reality and had made the ridiculous… reasonable. As the angel told her, “With God nothing will be impossible!” I can almost hear a shout of “Amen!” as she embraced the words. “I am Your maidservant! Let it be to me according to Your Word.”

Receive His Favor:

Most of us are not likely to experience a visitation from Gabriel, but we have encounters with the Holy Spirit waiting for our embrace right now. The Bible is filled with words for us from God and there are angels that accompany our activities everyday. As Kingdom Agents, we are designed to walk in the favor of God and establish an atmosphere around our lives that allow His voice to become recognizable.

Like a fragrance, Mary found that favor longs to be discovered. You can be told that it is there, but it must be received and experienced, to be sought out and appreciated. God’s Word to you is like Mary’s secret, dependant upon your willingness to recognize His favor.

Healing & Deliverance

…a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at His (Jesus) feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
“First let the children eat all they want,” He told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Then He told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. (Mark 7:25-30)

She was expected her daughter to experience freedom… and she was not walking away without a word!
So many wonderful accounts of faith in action, desperate and unrelenting. Did you catch what Jesus said about freedom from demons? He referred to spiritual freedom as the “children’s bread”. In other words, deliverance is the rightful, normal, expected substance of the Children of God. It’s their inheritance!

Deliverance is our Inheritance:

I have found that many Christians are really not sure if deliverance belongs to them through God’s redemptive plan of salvation. This uncertainty is always an open door for the enemy to sow confusion. Its a breeding ground for fear, doubt and unbelief. As believers, we need to have our feet planted upon solid ground, knowing with certainty all that belongs to us, so that we can apply the Word of God in any given situation and receive the promised benefit.

The Promise is for the Child of God:

Where do you stand? Are you a Child of God? Have you asked Jesus to become Lord of your life? If you answered yes, then the deliverance you need is yours today… right now, in this very moment. Just as it was then, it is still the Children’s bread today.

Biblical Faith:

True Bible faith can only act where the will of God is known. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). That’s why we have the Bible, so we can know His will in written form and act upon it daily for the sustaining Bread of Life. Jesus makes this truth very clear when He stood before Satan and said “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4) Drawing upon what has been written and living by what we know to be the Will of God is the pattern of faith.

Revelation Activates Faith:

This woman had a revelation that Jesus was the Messiah, that He was not only able to deliver, but that He was willing to do so right then. Based on that understanding, she was not going to let Jesus pass her by. She had bold faith that was based upon knowledge and she acted on it. In one sense she was saying – “I know the truth and I will not be denied!” Her desperation was turned into boldness simply because she had a revelation.

Hesitation Exposes:

Most people would have looked at their own inadequacy, their own unrighteousness, their own shortcomings and would have been stopped right there – but not her. She was not stopped by her lack, instead she was moved by His supply. She got her eyes off of herself and onto the Author of Life!

If it matters to us… It matters to God!

There’s no mistaking the fact that it was her faith that stopped Jesus in His tracks. It was her faith that pulled Him into her desperate situation. Faith that knew of God’s will to deliver, would call her to the feet of Jesus. Faith is what makes the heart posture itself against impossible odds and dare to believe in the power of “crumbs”. Faith makes all the difference and moves a person past the obstacles. She may have been a “little dog” in the eyes of the world, but she understood herself to be in line for God’s love to touch her daughter. If it matters to us, it matters to God… Its faith that makes this true!

The Children’s Bread

 …a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at His (Jesus) feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
“First let the children eat all they want,” He told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Then He told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. (Mark 7:25-30)

In July 2011 she was not expected to live!

Here is a wonderful account of faith in action, desperate and unrelenting. Did you catch what Jesus said about freedom from demons? He referred to spiritual freedom as the “children’s bread”. In other words, deliverance is the rightful, normal, expected substance of the Children of God. It’s their inheritance!

Deliverance is our Inheritance:

I have found that many Christians are really not sure if deliverance belongs to them through God’s redemptive plan of salvation. This uncertainty is always an open door for the enemy to sow confusion. Its a breeding ground for fear, doubt and unbelief. As believers, we need to have our feet planted upon solid ground, knowing with certainty all that belongs to us, so that we can apply the Word of God in any given situation and receive the promised benefit.

The Promise is for the Child of God:

Where do you stand? Are you a Child of God? Have you asked Jesus to become Lord of your life? If you answered yes, then the deliverance you need is yours today… right now, in this very moment. Just as it was then, it is still the Children’s bread today.

Biblical Faith: 

True Bible faith can only act where the will of God is known. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). That’s why we have the Bible, so we can know His will in written form and act upon it daily for the sustaining Bread of Life. Jesus makes this truth very clear when He stood before Satan and said “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4) Drawing upon what has been written and living by what we know to be the Will of God is the pattern of faith.

Revelation Activates Faith:

This woman had a revelation that Jesus was the Messiah, that He was not only able to deliver, but that He was willing to do so right then. Based on that understanding, she was not going to let Jesus pass her by. She had bold faith that was based upon knowledge and she acted on it. In one sense she was saying – “I know the truth and I will not be denied!” Her desperation was turned into boldness simply because she had a revelation.

Hesitation Exposes:

Most people would have looked at their own inadequacy, their own unrighteousness, their own shortcomings and would have been stopped right there – but not her. She was not stopped by her lack, instead she was moved by His supply. She got her eyes off of herself and onto the Author of Life!

If it matters to us… It matters to God!

There’s no mistaking the fact that it was her faith that stopped Jesus in His tracks. It was her faith that pulled Him into her desperate situation. Faith that knew of God’s will to deliver, would call her to the feet of Jesus. Faith is what makes the heart posture itself against impossible odds and dare to believe in the power of “crumbs”. Faith makes all the difference and moves a person past the obstacles. She may have been a “little dog” in the eyes of the world, but she understood herself to be in line for God’s love to touch her daughter. If it matters to us, it matters to God… Its faith that makes this true!

Coming Home

Play in the leaves...

As much as I love vacations and traveling abroad, I really like coming home. I think about the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 - the time away was never going to suffice as a place to call home. It may have been a season away from the routine, the responsibilities, the pressure and the stuff we call normal, but it was not home.

Home is where Father is:

What we all are learning is the tension between Father’s love and Father’s discipline (Heb 12:7-11). This place of relational development is the greatest place to discover Sonship and the grace that helps us recognize the value of  home. Grace is experienced while learning new things still living in an atmosphere permeated with discipline. 

Normal:

What the Bible calls ”normal” is getting lost in our day, because family structures are splintering and we have embraced so much of secular society’s values. I would propose that the most under appreciated thing we have available to us… is our family routine. According to the writer of Hebrews, it is the environment most conducive to produce “the peaceable fruit of righteousness”. Normal is anything but wasted time if it is lived in the Father’s heart. The Apostle Paul encourages us to redeem time by being lead by the Spirit. He reminds us that there are influences of evil that will steal our values if we choose to live like the Prodigal Son, in foolish endeavors like drunkenness (Eph 5:15-18). Breaking free from normal is living without the canopy of a Father’s discipline. Paul tells us to find out what pleases the Father.

Canopy of Grace:

Time with family, making a schedule, eating at a common table, trying things that allow failure and success; all of these things are designed to be done beneath a canopy of grace. These are things I enjoy coming home to. I believe these routines give us our stability, by training us and creating opportunities for growth in grace. There is grace in our home, because there is a wealth of relationship that nurtures our lives beyond the natural routine. 

Joshua’s Discovery:

The great leader of Israel – Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” (Josh 24:15) This declaration was not just a line he had drawn in the sand, it was his passionate conviction that he had found a home in God’s grace. He had discovered that God had positioned him to stay beneath the canopy of grace… and it was settled in his heart while coming home.

Archives