Posts Tagged ‘thankfulness’

I Am Strong

Biblical Truths often seem backward and contrary to common sense… even crazy. Sometimes this is because they are stated in paradoxical ways, like the parables Jesus taught. Even when these Truths are stated in a straightforward way; they still strike us as odd, because they do not conform to worldly thought patterns we have to negotiate.

Perhaps our greatest challenge as Christians is to understand the Biblical principle of strength being released through weakness… notice the following verses.

“Consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that he might nullify the things that are, that no one should boast before God.” (1 Cor 1:26-29)

“(God) has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10)

Worldly wisdom says that power is rooted in natural resources like money, good looks and intellegence. Since these resources are limited, true power is always limited to just the few individuals with access and favor.

God’s wisdom says that true power comes from the Holy Spirit and has no correlation with prestige or riches, that are hinged to natural resources. A persons influence in this world is not some kind of license to heavenly influence. True power; as it relates to the Kingdom of God, is accessible to anyone who depends on God. Jesus was the personification of this principle… anointed as the “Christ” or “Messiah”. He was the Prince of Peace; even without religious ordination or title, yet His power was directly connected to His anointing from heaven. His perfect obedience to the Heavenly Father released His influence in the Earth.

The early Church had great power, not because they had access to money or political influences; but because they were filled with the Holy Spirit! It is dependence on God; through faith, that lays hold of real power. We must believe and place our trust in the Holy Spirit to release power into our lives.

God longs for people He can wear like a glove!

Living His life through us, is how the power of heaven comes into the natural realities we so much want to see change. By the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, He demonstrates His power, He transforms culture and makes His Kingdom visible in the Earth.

It might just sound a bit strange to boast in weakness, until you begin to participate in the transformation first hand. Then you begin to see how something as simple as prayer, praise or thankfulness, can tear down walls and crush strongholds of fear. Only when we begin to understand spiritual realities; though unseen, are more powerful than the natural, will we become convinced that… ”when I am weak, then I am strong”.

God Will Answer

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”  (Jer. 33:3)

“Call to Me - I Will Answer You”:

The Lord promises to answer the prayers of Jeremiah. Why? Because it is God’s priority to show His sons and daughters great and mighty things, which they do not know. Of course, God can do His will without us, without our asking and without our involvement. But when we ask connections happen and partnership emerges. With God, all things are possible… and by including us, it does’nt make anything less possible. He is still God and He is still sufficient in all that He puts His hands to accomplish.

Why Miss the Opportunity?

God answers prayer in a variety of ways! He is under no obligation to say, “Yes” to everything we pray… which I think is probably a very good thing. He can say ”No” much more easily than we, because He sees the big picture. He can say “Wait” with something we know is in His will, but requires an element of patience on our part. He is fond of telling me “Grow”, because I tend to get my heart tangled up in difficult problems that overwhelm my sense of duty.

But, of all His answers I like the one where He becomes still… it pulls me in, captures my attention and helps me realize I need His Presence even more than just His revelation. I know that sounds odd, but really should we not listen more for His breath than His voice. I love His voice and tend to run passionately to the closest ears I can find to spout off the latest and greatest that God is speaking in my “quiet times”. But, His Presence is our life!

Notice: Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Mt. 6:6)

A Sacret Place - A Place of Secrets:

There is stillness waiting… in the secret place. There is Presence and abiding Glory that God has intended to be the most refreshing reality of “answered prayer”. The atmosphere gets permeated with the fragrance of fellowship… of worship (Jn. 12:3). Praise and worship arises and thankfulness offers a sense of peace that cannot be duplicated any other way. God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3).

The Mingling of Hearts:

I am reminded of how often God has responded to the desires of my heart without a word ever spoken (Lk. 12:30). Because He sees… He does not just hear our prayers, He sees us! He knows us and is consistently making Himself vulnerable to our need. It is so transforming, just to sit at His feet and look into His eyes (2 Cor. 4:6). You see, we need this fellowship (1 Jn. 1:1-4). We need this atmosphere more than we need a perfect answer or a powerful revelation. We need His heartbeat to register on the basic foundations of our character. We come to a God who is completely holy and often get the idea that the best thing He has to offer is “answers”. But the best thing He has to offer was proven at the cross. He offers Himself… His love and His embrace.

He Sees in Secret - But Rewards Openly:

Honestly, I pray to get my mind blown more than to get answers that fit the smallness of my asking. I have learned that God wants to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). The God who sees in secret is the same God who wants to reward me openly. His rewards however, are things I do not know, things I cannot wrap my mind around and things that bring me to my knees (Rev. 1:17). Like Jeremiah, I find myself feeling a fire in my bones that cannot be put into words (Jer. 20:9). And yet, that is precisely where He wants me… in a place that requires me to be still and know that He is God and I am not (Ps. 46:10).

God still answers from the secret place and when He does, it releases into greater Kingdom destiny!

Unlocked Secrets

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search out a matter.” (Pr. 25:2)

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jer. 33:3)

“Call to Me – I Will Answer You”:

This is the Heart of Revival! The Lord promises to answer the prayers of Jeremiah. Why? Because it is God’s priority to show His sons and daughters great and mighty things, which they do not know. Of course, God can do His will without us, without our asking and without our involvement. But when we ask, connections happen and partnership emerges. That is the most important secret ingredient of revival! With God, all things are possible… and by including us, it does not make anything less possible. He is still God and He is still sufficient in all that He puts His hands to accomplish. The key is to understand – He wants to do the impossible with and through us!

Why Miss the Opportunity?

God answers prayer in a variety of ways! He is under no obligation to say, “Yes” to everything we pray… which I think is probably a very good thing. He can say “No” much more easily than we, because He sees the big picture. He can say “Wait” with something we know is in His heart, but requires an element of patience on our part. He is fond of telling me “Grow”, because I tend to get my emotions tangled up in the drama of difficult problems that overwhelm my sense of duty.

But, of all His answers I like the one where He becomes still… it pulls me in, captures my attention and helps me realize I need His Presence even more than just His revelation. I need to be revived in my heart! I know this might sound odd, but really – should we not listen more for His breath than His voice. I love His voice and tend to run passionately to “secret places” to catch all that God is speaking in my “quiet times”. But, His Presence is our life!

Notice: Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Mt. 6:6)

A Secret Place – A Place of Secrets: Intimacy!

There is stillness waiting that will revive the heart… in the secret place. There is Presence and abiding Glory that God has intended to be the most refreshing reality of “answered prayer” – His delight is to be known. The atmosphere gets permeated with the fragrance of fellowship… of worship (Jn. 12:3). Praise and worship arises and thankfulness offers a sense of peace that cannot be duplicated any other way. God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3).

The Mingling of Hearts:

I am reminded of how often God has responded to the desires of my heart without a word ever spoken (Lk. 12:30). Because He sees… He does not just hear our prayers, He sees us! He knows us and is consistently making Himself vulnerable to our need. It is so transforming, just to sit at His feet and look into His eyes (2 Cor. 4:6). You see, we need this fellowship (1 Jn. 1:1-4). We need this atmosphere more than we need a perfect answer or a powerful revelation. We need His heartbeat to register on the basic foundations of our character. We come to a God who is completely holy and often get the idea that the best thing He has to offer is “answers”. But the best thing He has to offer was proven at the cross. He offers Himself… His love and His embrace.

The best thing God has to offer is Himself!

He Sees in Secret – But Rewards Openly:

Honestly, I pray to get my mind blown more by the intimacy of the secret place; than by the answers that satisfy the smallness of my asking! I have learned that God wants to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). The God who sees in secret is the same God who wants to reward me openly. His rewards however, are things I do not know, things I cannot wrap my mind around and things that bring me to my knees (Rev. 1:17). Like Jeremiah, I find myself feeling a fire in my bones that cannot be put into words (Jer. 20:9). Now that sounds like revival! And yet, that is precisely where He wants me… in a place that requires me to be still and know that He is God and I am not (Ps. 46:10).

God still answers from secret places and when He does, revival fires emerge… and release hearts into greater Kingdom destiny!

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