Jul 29 2016

Different aspects of God’s nature

We are in a season of time where God is choosing to reveal himself in a lot of new ways and, for some people, these new ways are too far outside of the box of what they are used to. Manifestations of the Holy Spirit might freak you out a little bit or maybe even make you feel a little uncomfortable. That’s perfectly understandable if it is new to you but if you hang around God long enough, you will quickly discover that he likes to show up in a lot of different ways. I tend to think that if God always did things the exact same way, we would create a theology out of it, and scorn anyone who chooses to think differently. Take a look at church history, it has happened a lot of times and is one of the reasons we have so many different denominations.

The Bible very clearly teaches that God does not change, he is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8) but I am confident that no one on the planet knows everything about God so we can’t possibly assume that we know every detail of his personality. There are aspects of his nature that we have never experienced and when we experience him in a new or different way it could be that he is revealing a different part of himself to us. I don’t know about you, but I get excited whenever the creator of the universe reveals himself to me in a new way because it takes my relationship with him to another level. For me, it’s exciting to discover something new about the God I love and serve. For others, it may just freak them out, but we have some great Biblical examples that prove this point.

God revealed himself in a burning bush in front of Moses, he used a cloud and a pillar of fire with the Israelites, and lightening surrounded the top of the mountain when the law was given; God chose a handful of different ways to reveal himself in just the first few books of the Bible so why would we ever think that he isn’t continuing to do the same thing today. What if Elijah ignored the still small voice because he was looking for a burning bush? What if the Israelites ignored the Messiah because he didn’t show up the way they expected? Oh wait, a lot of them did. Maybe that proves my point. Here’s the deal, there’s no logical reason to think that God won’t continue to show up in new ways today and I think it is very wise to ask him for the discernment to recognize when it is him so we don’t make fun of something that he is doing.

So here’s my point, don’t discount what God is doing just because you have never seen him do it in a certain way before. He is as infinitely creative as he is eternal and there is so much more to this relationship with him than we will probably ever fully realize on this side of eternity. Ask for more of him, and expect him to show up in a new way. You just might be surprised at how excited he is to reveal himself to you in a real, tangible, personal way.


Jul 22 2016

Catalyst

Can one action be a catalyst for changing a life, a neighborhood, or even a nation? What happens when someone is so impacted by an event in their life that it sparks a desire to do something different or be someone different? I have this idea that if we can be the catalyst that shifts the perspective of someone else’s life, we can create a chain reaction of catalysts that can eventually change the world. And if we can be that catalyst in a handful of lives, we could change the world pretty quickly. Something I try to do when I meet someone new, especially when doing ministry is to give them an encounter with God that they will never forget. We have this amazing opportunity to partner with God and, essentially, get people what they need by pulling it down from heaven. So when someone standing in front of me has a need, I want to show them how much God cares about them by making sure their need is taken care of. So within the realm of supernatural ministry, that could mean a physical healing, inner healing, or deliverance that brings about an immediate change to their lives. That’s a great catalyst. If someone has cancer and suddenly the tumors disappear, it is an event they will never forget and they will most likely go tell their friends and family about what happened. One supernatural event in one person’s life can change their life forever and can easily become the catalyst that changes many more lives. The story in John 4 about the woman at the well is a great example of this. She spent a few minutes with Jesus and then went back into town to tell everyone about this encounter; and, as verse 39 shows us, many people believed in Jesus as a result. One event. One catalyst. Many lives changed. You too can be the encounter that creates the catalyst that changes you neighborhood, city, state, or even nation.


Jul 15 2016

Prophetic Faith

If you have been around churches or church conferences where prophecy is common, you have more than likely received a few prophetic words. It can be fun and exhilarating to hear someone recount God’s plans for your future but these events often leave a few blazing questions in our minds not the least of which is the question of when it will happen. It’s pretty rare for a prophecy to come true instantaneously and most people who receive promises from God in this way tend to go through a season of waiting before the promise becomes a physical reality. There’s a lot of precedence for this in the Bible; Abraham and Sarah waited more than a decade for Isaac to be born, the Israelites (and the rest of the world) waited for thousands of years for the Messiah to be born, and all Christians continue to wait for the promise of the return of Jesus.

Waiting isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially if you have been holding onto a promise for a long time. I know that I personally have a list of promises I have been waiting on for many years so I understand the waiting game very well. But is seems to be so common that, as we wait, we start to wonder if something happened along the way that kept the promise from occurring. Here’s a scenario for you to think about; Bob goes to a conference and while he is there the speaker picks him out of the crowd and prophesies that God is going to do something very specific in his life. This is exciting for Bob! He writes down what the speaker said, takes it home with him, thanks God for it, and declares it over his life on a regular basis. But after a year goes by Bob begins to wonder why the promise hasn’t happened yet. He starts to wonder if he did something that kept it from happening. He ponders if maybe he didn’t have enough faith to see the promise come about. Doubt really sets in, and Bob becomes discouraged, the complete opposite of how he felt a year earlier. This is a common occurrence and I’m sure many of the readers of this post will be able to relate to at least part of this scenario.

So here’s the deal, if God makes a promise, he always keeps it, and, unless he puts a condition on his promise, it is guaranteed to happen. I don’t believe that we can do anything to keep God’s promises from being fulfilled in our lives but we often get confused when a significant amount of time passes without anything happening. And we start to think that we did something wrong, or didn’t have enough faith, or that the person who gave the prophecy was wrong. Hang in there and don’t stop believing. Many people have walked this same path before you and God has always proven himself to be faithful. He will do what he promised.


Jul 1 2016

Playground Experiences

Imagine the kingdom of heaven as a giant playground where you are free to explore God’s creation.  Think about that for a minute. Jesus said we need to become like little children to enter into the kingdom (Matt 18:3) and what do kids love to do more than anything else? Play! I remember as a little kid loving to play on monkey bars or any other playground equipment; I even fractured my arm once taking the risk of getting on the tall ones and then falling off. Kids are fearless until someone teaches them to be afraid. So what if we took the same approach of entering the kingdom of heaven with childlike abandonment and with no fear of how high the monkey bars are, or how difficult the challenge seems to be. The Christian life is supposed to be about risk. It’s supposed to be about taking the risk of partnering with God in faith with an expectation that something amazing will happen as a result. But the risk should be fun. If we take this playground approach, kids take risks but they are having fun while they do it. I love engaging with complete strangers on the street because I get to deliver a gift that only God can give. The only real risk I am taking here is to be rejected but I have learned to ignore that element because the reward of seeing a life completely transformed is worth the small risk of rejection. So the kingdom of heaven has become my playground and playing on the playground brings joy, happiness, and excitement as we discover all that God has planned for us.

So what are you waiting for?