Sep 26 2014

No impossibility

Think about this for a minute.  When you became a Christian, God placed His Spirit within you.  You literally walk around every day with the Spirit of God inside of you.  What does that mean?  In a nutshell, it means that there should be no impossibility for you.  Jesus never encountered anything He couldn’t solve. Sickness, death, demons, walking on water, multiplying food, and a lot of other miracles were commonplace with Him because he knew the power and authority that was inside of Him.  Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 that “all authority” had been given to Him.  Flip over a few pages to John 20:21 and you’ll see Him saying “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”  How did the Father send Him? With all authority! We can heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, and perform other miracles because we have been sent with all authority. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us (Rom. 8:11) and that give us the ability to do what Jesus did, and even greater things (John 14:12).  There is no impossibility with God and when we live from the perspective of knowing who we are we suddenly realize that we have the opportunity to start making the world we live in look like heaven.

Sep 19 2014

Your focus determines your reality

There’s an old Jewish proverb that says “you choose your habits and your habits choose your future.”  It’s an interesting phrase because it makes the point that the things we choose to do on a daily basis can impact us for many years.  For Christians this can take on a variety of different meaning but I like to think that if we establish “God habits” like passionately pursuing His presence on a daily basis and studying the Bible with a desire to understand what He is speaking to us then our future will be much brighter.  Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely.  What could be better than to focus some of our time and energy each day on the things that exude these qualities? Stephen Covey has made a fortune sharing a similar habit idea and has made many people successful as a result. His ideas were likely birthed by the Spirit of God (whether he realizes it or not) so that we could have a clear understanding of the importance of forming good habits.  Start today and watch how quickly your future changes to line up with God’s purpose for your life.

Sep 12 2014

Come Holy Spirit

“Come, Holy Spirit!” This phrase has popped up in some streams of Christianity and is often used within those streams to invite God’s presence into a service, room, situation, etc.  But to some it can be confusing because God is already omnipresent so why would we need to invite him into our midst? I have also heard people pray with the opposite focus using phrases like “God you are already here so we don’t need to invite you.” So which is it?  Do we need to invite Him or not?

In Rev. 3:20, Jesus says that he is standing outside the door, knocking, and waiting to come in.  He is waiting to be invited in.  He is everywhere and yet he is also waiting for an invitation. There is a difference between His omnipresence and His manifest presence. Omnipresence is God’s natural ability to be everywhere at once but there are different levels of his manifest presence. We see this reality in Moses’ interaction with God on the mountain, God’s presence in the holy of holies, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the upper room just to name a few.  Read any book about what happened at Azusa St. and you will also see examples of a more intense level of his presence.

We invite Him because we want to experience deeper levels of his love and more tangible levels of his presence. Sometimes the air starts to feel a little thicker as if you are standing in a cloud. And in these thicker levels of his presence we often experience the attributes of God in a much deeper way.

So I say, “Come, Holy Spirit!”

Sep 5 2014

Let it go

Throughout life we often encounter situations where someone wrongs us in a way that leaves an emotional wound or hurt to such a degree that we have a lot of difficulty forgiving them for what they did.  Forgiveness is a big deal.  Jesus said if we don’t forgive other we will not be forgiven.  He made the point about how inappropriate it is to ask God for forgiveness and then turn around and not forgive someone who wronged us?  But there is more to the story.  Unforgiveness often leads to anger and bitterness and then over time will turn into hatred.  I have met a lot of people who have been carrying unforgiveness for many years and as a result they have turned into bitter hateful people.  Not because they want to be that way, but because the unforgiveness changes them to a point that it pushes others away.  It’s easy to hold grudges and it is difficult to forgive but we have to recognize the damage we do to ourselves when we hold onto those grudges.  It’s better to just let it go and let God deal with the situation.  He’s a way better judge anyways.