Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ready Yourselves

I know that without any doubt, hesitation or reservation that the end is drawing ever closer. I have within me a deep urgency to truly be the church and not just do church. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Can anyone out their relate? It is a matter of life and death, eternal life and death and I do not want blood on my hands. Instead I want to be a partaker of the blessings in being God's messenger of hope. I have been personally called to take the key of Christ and unlock prison doors so that captives may know true freedom. Called to take the salve of Christ and place it on the scars of the wounded. Called to bring the Joy of the Lord to those in mourning and deep sorrow. Called to stitch up the broken hearts. May the Spirit of the Lord be upon us all to go out.

I truly believe even more than ever that God is up to something huge at my church, Jackson Park Baptist. Over and over again He has confirmed to me personally in our times together that the old things are gone behold a new thing is about to spring forth. I am so ready. He has also told me that I must be ready for the new thing. I am to ready myself for what He is bringing. Henry Blackaby says in Experiencing God, "I cannot stay where I am and go with God." I want to go with God. How about you?

A song that has reverberated with my soul in recent days is the new one by Casting Crowns. I love the words and they express so much better the battle cry I am sounding to my fellow servants of the Lord.

Lord I want to feel your heart
and see the world through your eyes
I want to be your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leads

ready yourselves
ready yourselves
Let us shine the light of Jesus in the darkest night
ready yourselves
ready yourselves
May the powers of darkness tremble as our praises rise
Until the whole world hears Lord we are calling out
Lifting up Your name for all to hear the sound
Like voices in the wilderness we're crying out
as the day draws near
we'll sing until the whole world hears

Lord let your sleeping giant arise
Catch the demons by surprise
Holy nation sanctified
Let this be our battle cry


we'll sing until the whole world hears
we'll sing until the whole world hears

Want to be your hands and feet
Want to be a life that leads
To see you set the captive free

Until the whole world hears
and I pray that they will see more of you and less of me
Lord I want my life to be the song You sing
Until the whole world hears Lord we are calling out
Lifting your name up for all to hear the sound
Like voices in the wilderness we're crying out
as the day draws near
we'll sing until the whole world hears
we'll sing until the whole world hears
we'll sing until the whole world hears
we'll sing until the whole world hears
we'll sing until the whole world hears
we'll sing until the whole world hears

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SS After thoughts

Interesting that we just finished on faithfulness being a fruit of the Spirit. In my Quiet time a couple of verses stood out in relation to the lesson we had this past Sunday. Since they can also pertain to the previous blog I wanted to share them here as well as with my class (the most wonderful class ever)!

Isaiah 36:5 (NKJV)
I say you speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me?

We that have been give the truth are now accountable to and responsible for the truth given. We cannot just let these truths of God shared become just mere words because God clearly says that would be a personal rebellion against Him. I don't want to go there do you? We must BELIEVE GOD. It is not enough to recognize we are in a battle and to agree that it isn't easy nor just plan on ignoring it. We must enter into the battle with our shield of faith, BELIEVING GOD for the victory and the conquering of the kingdom that stands against God.

Ephes. 1:19 (NKJV)
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

We are not in this battle alone. Do you see the promise here for those of who are willing to take God at His word and believe it so that it changes the way we behave and think? Exceeding great power toward us. I could use more of His power in my life and circumstances what about you? Let's BELIEVE GOD.

Remember that we have to go "through" and not around. We don't want to take the long way around nor do we want to give up because there is so much at stake. Look at this verse and see what is at the other end of the battle:

Psalm 66:12 (NKJV)
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.

Rich has the meaning of satisfaction and running over

What shall be our battle cry? God be glorified, Jesus exalted and the Spirit manifested! Who is ready to fight?

Shield of Faith

The first piece of armor that our young people are to put on is their 'shield of faith". Note that I said their "shield of faith." Our young people cannot ride the faith of their parents. Even in battles where the shield was used it was made to cover one person and each person going to battle had to pick up their own personal shield to be covered. You didn't go into battle without one hoping if the arrows came your way you could jump behind someone's shield and find safety; there would not be room for two because it is a personal shield. Just as each person must individually take responsibility for their own sins and seek personal forgiveness so each person must have their own personal faith.

More about faith in a minute. The shield that was used most in biblical times was a large shield around 4ft tall and 2ft wide. Some were even curved to give the most coverage of protection. Scripture tells us that God is our shield! He is our coverage of protection but we must seek His refuge when the enemy comes at us. The shield was often covered with linen and leather which had been saturated so that when the flaming arrows were hurled they would be quickly extinguished.

Let me give an analogy; God Himself is our shield, the saturated linen and leather is the truth of God. Having them in our arsenal is great but unless we know how to use them we are in trouble. A Scripture God showed me in preparation for my SS lesson shows this:

"When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle."

They were armed for battle...just as we have been fully given every piece of armor we need for battle. But having armor doesn't mean we are fit for battle nor that we know how to skillfully use the armor. We need (parents, grandparents...) to know how to use the armor and then train our young people likewise.

So back to the analogy, If God is our shield and the leather and linen God's truth how do we effectively use it? We must hide behind it. We must stand behind it. Now in day to day living how is that accomplished? That is why it is called the "shield of faith." We must have faith.

Faith is pistis and it means "firm persuasi1on, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or faithfulness."1 It means simply to believe God. Our shield will protect us and put out the enemies lies when we believe God's truth! When we believe God. When we take God at His word. When we take God's word over every other word that sets itself up against God's word.

We must believe God and train our children in the reality and sureness of God's word. It is the word that is the lamp to our feet and light to our path. It is the only way to overcoming the darkness of this world. Give your young people more and more light! Be and example before them by standing behind your own personal shield of faith. Be a light give the light. Believe God!

See You At The Pole

Today is a very important day for students across the United States. Many sold out Christian young people gathered early this morning at their school flag poles to pray.

1 Tim. 4:12 (NKJV)
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Father God, I humbly pray for this young generation that they will believe you exist and that You are a rewarder of those who earnestly seek You. God I pray that they will seek to flee temptation and not even put them selves in places of possible temptations. When they find them selves in situations that could be harmful I pray Lord that you would reveal to them clearly the escape route you have placed there for them out of Your great mercy and love. I ask that you will give them a heart to delight in You, a mind that hungers for the truth and a soul that thirsts for Your presence. O Lord that You would give them pure hearts and clean hands. I also ask that they would hear Your Spirit within them and they would respond with, "Yes Lord." Help them to be leaders with courage and not followers. Lord give them discernment to recognize lies being taught, shared as truth and sold as good and right when they are wrong and bad. Help them not to fall into the pit of political correctness over Your holiness. God fill everyone of their deepest needs, wounds and longings with Your unfailing love that they not seek to fill their emptiness with anything but You. God give them supernatural power to be more than conquerors that they will be the generation to turn this world upside down. God without You this generation is dangerous. Please Lord hear our prayers today that all may see and know that You alone are Lord God. Jesus rules and by His blood and life we pray. Amen