“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Angela Monet
Archives For faith
Every time my wife and I take our four kids to a hotel, the first thing they do is run around to every room and explore. They jump on the beds, check out all the cool things, play with the hair dryer (even though we have one at home) and gawk at the outdated TV. They love to explore new things and are in a state of wonder when we go to new places. It is actually pretty cool to watch them flutter around discovering amazing treasures.
Matthew 18:3 says “And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”
Children live in wonder. Where anything is possible. Remember those days? The days when grabbing an old towel and wrapping it around our neck instantly turned us into superman and we were able to fly. When our toys came to life… When our playroom became an amphitheater and moms cooking pots were our drum set begging to be played for a sold out crowd.
Being adults makes us jaded and hard over time and we lose the wonder. The grace and mercy of God started well before we thought and it goes on forever. Because of Jesus and his great mercy we are adopted orphans of God. We now have access and can approach with boldness the King of kings. Such mystery and wonder and yet our calloused souls forget all about it.
Imagine God is like that hotel… We race around and go from room to room and learn more about Him. We explore in excitement, share our findings and discover God had planned greater things than we imagined. In a normal hotel, once all the rooms have been explored the fun is over, but With God the rooms are never ending.”
Job 11:7-9 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.”
Every time we think we have God figured out another door in the “hotel” opens. May we NEVER lose the wonder.
God doesn’t want our pious or petty denials of self (be it food or creature comforts or whatever), he wants our hearts! Lent is not about fasting or self-denial; it’s about serious participation—here and now—in God’s divine forgiveness with all his people. It doesn’t change God, it changes us. It changes our hearts.
-One of my favorite priests Fr Ken Tanner
At our 1Prayer meetings in Newport RI we have been battling for 4 years now in prayer and worship for our community at the same time watching the Bride of Christ fragment week by week. Churches rise and fall by transferring congregations to each other. The lighthouse is not a city on the hill but instead a representation of something historical and with no lifegiving relevance. The church continues to tell the pillar of fire to follow US instead of us getting in line behind GOD. This is not isolated to our area either. Many of my friends around the country are dealing with this as well.
We need to repent of our dis-unity.
We need to repent of our isolation.
We need to seek transformation. YES!!
But it starts with the bride.
We can’t even begin to tackle apathy in the community when we are not willing to tackle apathy in the Bride.
We can’t begin to fight depression in our city when we are not praying for the JOY of the Lord to return to our Churches.
I keep hearing people say “the battle belongs to the Lord”. I know there is biblical truth to it but that line is NOT an excuse to no longer fight. It is our orders to march behind Him in battle.
One of my least favorite songs these days is “White Flag” by Christ Tomlin. While i know the lyrics are meant to portray that the battle belongs to the Lord and we need to surrender all I can hear is:
“We’re laying down our weapons now. We raise our white flags. We surrender all to you”
We do need to surrender to God and let Him use us, but guess what… He will use us as His instruments of peace. He will use us as His weapons of warfare against principalities and rulers in spiritual realms.
Let me suggest something other than living in a happy land of gumdrops where the church is no longer ruffling the feathers of satan.
Joel 3:10 says “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.”
This is not the time to lay our weapons down. It is time to fight, but we have to make sure we are fighting the right thing. The ONLY thing that unites the bride is Jesus. We need to be fighting to spread the word to all the believers that JESUS is ALIVE… That ASLAN is roaring in our communities calling the armies out of the caves to join together as different tribes under the banner of the ONE TRUE GOD!
If you are a Christian you were called to be a missionary. You were called and commissioned to preach the Gospel and spread the good news and then disciple people. Sometimes we take it for granted. Sometimes we are intentional about it and sometimes God brings a person into our life that He wants us to plant seeds into.
I was recently talking to a youth pastor in CT as he was telling me how difficult it is working with the youth because you don’t always see the fruit of your labor. People seem to go from being on fire for God to hating everything about Him as we minister to them. It can be rough. I told him about a kid I used to work with in 1994 who was a mess. He had substance abuse issues, violence issues and a lack of respect for God. He was one of those kids that never seemed like he would turn around. We parted ways when I moved from NY to PA and I never knew what God was doing there. Did my seeds fall on good soil? Was it my responsibility?
Last year I got a friend request on facebook. It was that kid. He was now married, turned his life around and works with other kids who were like him. How awesome is that! Not only is it cool that God did a great work in him, but It is amazing that I was able to see the change 15 years later. God burned him into my heart…
4 years ago I ran a youth service called “ignite.” It was a pretty edgy service and we welcomed anybody in no matter how they were. It was an exciting time. It was a seed planting time and I had no clue what God was doing because when it ended it almost felt like it had never started.
There were 3 girls who attended that service. All 3 were hurting and broken. They needed a real encounter with God and we prayed hard for them. I could not shake thinking about them and I still can’t. I don’t want to divulge too much about them or their lives, but I do want to say how great God is.
God burned these 3 girls into my heart…
2 years after ignite ended I got an email from one of the girls who was now in college. She told me she found God again, was attending a great church, and was leading worship with a young adult group. She asked me if I remembered her. Of course I did.
Another girl who I prayed for all the time had a rough home and struggled finding her identity in Christ. We didn’t talk much after the service, but God was working. When she got pregnant she called me scared to death and wanted to discuss her “options.” God moved. The baby was born and while life is tough still she now knows the love God has for her far surpasses the love she feels for her newborn son.
The last girl has also had a tough life. Misunderstood, used and mistreated. She is strong, but needs Christ. I can’t ever get her out of my head because I know God wants to save her from her life. I have not seen her in 3 years. Last night she walked into a multichurch prayer meeting I co-lead with my bro Adam. Adam was speaking on God’s goodness at the time and I realized once again that God burned these 3 girls into my brain (heart) because he HAS begun a new work in them and He WILL be faithful to complete it.
Having a daughter now has made me pray harder for these girls because I want for them what my princess has. A family in Christ that is in love and has no condemnation.
Are there any people that God has burned into your heart? Anybody you just can’t shake out of your mind?