Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 206-210 of 283
April 22, 2017, 5:00 AM

God always answers our prayers, but He retains the sovereign choice of timing.

I’m no different from anyone else.  I want what I want from God right now, but that’s not how God operates.   I’m not perfect, but I’m learning more and more to trust God with the results.   If I’m praying according to God’s will, entrusting my future in God’s hands, the only thing between me and “yes” is time.  God always answers our prayers, but He retains the sovereign choice of timing. So we pray unceasingly, and we wait patiently.  Yeah right, I know I sure have trouble with that, how about you?


This is the place where most of us struggle it’s hard to wait for an answer from God.  When God doesn’t meet our demands immediately we often think that means that His answer is “no”.  But that doesn’t mean He’s said no, it’s quite possible He’s said “yes”, but just not right now.  It may be that what we’re asking for we’re not mature enough to handle yet or that He’s got something even better in mind.  Whatever God’s reason for wanting us to wait, it’s His reason, and He is going to make it happen when He wants it to. Usually that doesn’t stop me from arguing with God on His timing.  My momma always told me I would argue with a fence post.  I can get it in my head that I’m right and there is no changing it.  Listen, it’s an absolute waste of time for us to argue with God to change His timing and agree with us because we believe we’re right.  But that don’t stop us from it, does it?


Let me say this as clearly as possible.  There’s never a time when we’re going to know what’s best for us or our lives, because there’s never a time where we’re going to be able to see a full picture of our lives.  All we see is what’s in front of us at the moment.  We have no idea how what we might be seeking God for is going to affect us 6 minutes, 6 months, or 6 years later.  That is why when God says yes but wait, the Bible has some very interesting things to say.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31


The point here is that waiting for God’s answer is sometimes inevitable.  I know that in this microwave culture we want what we want when we want it and we want it now.  However, God’s not obligated to operate on our time-table at all.  He’s got all of eternity to make decisions, but He’s always going to make the decision that’s best for us, when it’s best for us, and never before. I used to hate it when I’d hear people say, “God’s never late, and He’s never early, but He’s always on time”.  I said I used to hate it, until I realized it’s the truth.  God’s timing is always the right time, therefore when it comes to waiting upon an answer from Him I’ve learned that I need to just ask and let it be.  I don’t need to constantly remind Him that I asked Him for a better door to open.  I just believe that there’s going to be a better door open somewhere when God’s ready for me to move on from this one.  I understand that God has me exactly where He wants me at this point in my life and if He wanted me somewhere else I would be.


You see when I take my restrictions off of God, and allow Him to be God, and then I’m never really disappointed when things don’t happen when I think they should.  It’s not up to me to know God’s methods and timing, it’s up to me to have faith, trust, and believe that His decisions are always going to be in line with what He knows is best, even when it comes to waiting or not getting what I’ve asked for at all.   The important thing is to never stop asking, because in all reality James is right.  The reason we don’t have is because we don’t ask, and I don’t know about you but I have missed out on enough. So I’m gonna ask from now on and leave the results to Him!  How about you?


This is my Prayer:  God I know You hear my prayers, and that You always answer them.  Lord help me to remove any restrictions I have tried to place on You or Your answers.   Jesus I know see the full picture of my life and Your timing is always right.  Lord I trust Your answer is always better than I mine, even if Your answer is no.  You have my faith and my trust.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 21, 2017, 5:00 AM

God is not obligated to do anything beyond what He’s already provided for us through the Cross. 

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”  James 1:5-7


I believe that God answers every prayer. But it’s crucial for us to remember who we’re talking to in prayer. We are talking to God!  The very person responsible for giving and taking away the very breath we have. I think that we as a whole have forgotten who it is we’re seeking the face of.  We don’t have life without Him. We’re not giving Him orders and He’s not at all hesitant about the way He answers. 


Yet, many times we try to order God to do things in their lives the way we want it and have no desire to do anything God’s way.  We give Him this laundry list of things we expect Him to do for us on our terms, and when He doesn’t do them we blame Him for not honoring our shopping list.  However, God is not obligated to do anything beyond what He’s already provided for us through the Cross.  We are told to come to Him in faith.  How many of us actually do that?  You see there are only two answers God gives, yes or no, never maybe. 


Out of the two answers, “yes” is the most frequent answer you get to prayer. I have never asked for strength and not received it. I have never prayed for wisdom and not received it, but I have often not prayed for wisdom and then regretted the decisions that I made. When I’ve applied James 1:5 “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”, and recognized my lack of wisdom and asked God to supply, He has delivered! 


Most of time, the reason we don’t receive “yes” is because the context of our prayer life.  We need to get to a place where we’re no longer asking if God can or will, but thanking Him that He’s already done what we’re asking Him for.  It applies to strength, wisdom, healing, deliverance, and certainly more.   God isn’t deaf to our sin, but He is deaf to our unbelief.  When we approach God without faith James says that we shouldn’t expect to receive anything.   The Bible says that God will not bless unbelief.  Friends, I’m convinced if we approached God more by thanking Him for what He’s already done, and that He’s already provided whatever it is we’re seeking from Him.  We’d see more results from our prayers, because Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen.  We’re asking for what we don’t see, but our faith gives us the substance to be able to take God at His Word.


God’s second answer to prayer is “No.” That’s why James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” But the only time you get a “no” is if you pray for stupid stuff or if you pray for good stuff with a timeline. I have found God very unresponsive to my ultimatums. God doesn’t respond to blustering, bluffing, or threats. If we’re praying foolishly, we’ll get a “no.”  The other reason we don’t receive what we’re asking for is because we don’t ask.  We tell God that He needs to bless us with this, and give us that on our terms.  That’s no asking that’s telling.  As James says that we have not because we ask not.


The point is who do we think we are to demand anything from God?  Yes, we can approach His throne with boldness and confidence, but God’s under no obligation to do anything because we throw tantrums, issue Him ultimatums to meet our timelines, or ask for foolish things like a winning lottery ticket.  If I’m praying according to God’s will, entrusting my future in God’s hands, the only thing between me and “yes” is time.    


This my Prayer: God thank You for reminding me who I am talking to, that Your ways are right, and that Your plans are always best.  Lord teach me to come to You with humility and respect.   Teach me to seek Your wisdom in all areas of my life and my prayers.   Jesus I thank You for what You provided for me through the Cross.  I know that you keep Your promises.  Lord I’m resting in You as I wait to see Your answers to my prayers.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 20, 2017, 5:00 AM

He’s faithful, and will always do His part, even when we fail to do ours. 

Have you ever thought, “I have failed Him so many times, I wouldn't blame God for not coming through this time.”?  God does His part even when we fail to do ours we can’t match anything God does for us. We’ve already heard that there are no natural remedies for spiritual conditions.  We need God to break those things off our lives, and the only way to get Him to do that is to accept His invitation to call to Him in our time of need.  He’s faithful, and will always do His part, even when we fail to do ours.  That’s good news for all of us.


You probably have felt like I have at one time of another.  There have been many times over the years that I messed up bad, and felt that God’s disappointed in me.  I can honestly tell you that there were many, many times over the last 30 years of my life I felt like I was on my own, because of my failures.  I thought since I messed up so badly that there was no way that God could ever use my life to make a difference, and I bought into the lie that I had messed up so badly that God was done with me.  All that did was cause me to live my life worse, and the worse I lived the more I knew that God was up there shaking His fist at me.   Eventually I thought that God had thrown up His hands in disgust and was finished with me once and for all, and I decided since He was done with me, then I would be done with Him. 


However, I can tell you that the greatest thing that God ever did was tell me He loved me, and that I was valuable to Him.  In fact, there was a time in my life, much like Moses,  He showed me that in order for me to reach the Promised Land that I was going to have to continue to walk through and fight the giants in my life, but that He was going to walk right beside me.  One of the giants I had to conquer was the thought that I had done such bad in my life that He couldn’t use me.  Another of the giants was simply getting off the sidelines and into the ministry He had called me into. I’m almost ten year into what God’s called me to do, and He uses a lot of what I’ve been through in life to help me illustrate things.   He also uses what I’ve been through to encourage others that if I can go through all of that, overcome, and be used by God so can they.  I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am God’s. I belong to Him, and that there’s nothing I can do to remove myself from the palm of His hand.  “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28


Did you know that?  That’s the meaning behind Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Friends, I don’t know your life’s stories, but I do know that there’s nothing between you and God that is keeping you from Him other than your own belief that you’re ineligible to approach Him.  You are eligible if He is your Lord, and He can and will help you but you have to call to Him. 


Paul captured how this works in 2 Timothy 2:11-13, “If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.”  God has made a way for us and He will not deny Himself. This is greatest news.  I’m going to close this message right here because I feel like we need to pray and I’m going to simply ask you to pray with me.


This is my Prayer: Lord You know my heart and everything about me.  There isn’t anything that I’ve done or anywhere that I’ve been that’s unknown to You.  You know the areas of live that I struggle in.  I know, Lord, that You have set me free from my past.  You have forgiven me Lord, help my unbelief.  Jesus help me to see that there truly isn’t anything or anyone that can separate me from You.  I accept Your invitation to Call to You and I thank You for help me in my time of need.  Thank You God for all that You’re doing in, with, and through my life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 19, 2017, 5:00 AM

Anyone other than me ever thought, “Because of what I did, it’s over with me and God.”? 

Anyone other than me ever thought, “Because of what I did, it’s over with me and God.”?   Have you thought that you had blown it so bad, and that the way you lived your life was so horrible that there’s no possible way that God would ever want anything to do with you again?  Have you ever thought that you’d disappointed God so greatly that He threw His hands up in disgust over you? 


If you listen to enough people you will definitely come to that conclusion.   Combine that with the fact that the devil wants you to buy into that garbage.  All you will hear is things like God cannot hear you when you pray over your sin or that in order for us to really be able to connect with God we need to clean up our lives before He’ll listen to us.  But that is exactly what it is, garbage!


First of all if we are in Christ, God isn’t counting our sins against us anymore. 2 Corinthians 5:19 “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” If that is so, then how is it that He can’t hear me over something that He’s not even counting against me?   He said that our sins are removed from us as far as the east is from the west.  He said that when we confess our sins that He remembers them no more.  So if it’s clearly stated that as believers our sins aren’t keeping God from hearing our prayers, then why do we keep hearing it?  Because it sounds religious, it sounds holy, but the truth is it’s a lie straight from the devil to keep you from talking to God.


Secondly we can’t clean up our own lives.   Have you ever decided to quit smoking, drinking, or doing anything that you felt like you needed to quit on your own?  You couldn’t do it could you?  Yes, I know some of you may have had success for a while, but eventually we all go back to those things.  We cannot break strongholds off our lives by willpower alone because strongholds aren’t physical they are spiritual in nature, and therefore in order to break them we cannot do so with natural means.  There’s no natural remedy for spiritual conditions, the only way to break and heal spiritual conditions is through the Holy Spirit.  The only way to receive His help is to communicate with Him.  “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”  2 Corinthians 10:4


When we have those kinds of things in our lives that we feel are keeping us from approaching God, that’s the exact time we need to run to God!  If I become aware of a stronghold in my life, that’s the time I need to approach God’s throne.  What’s going on in your life that you need to boldly approach God to help you?  What are you trying to clean up on your own?  What are you trying to do without God?  What spiritual conditions are you trying to cure with natural remedies?   


This is my Prayer:  God I come before you today and confess my mistakes and my sins.   Lord help me to see past the lies of the world and the tricks of the devil.  Help me not loose communication with You.  Holy Spirit I need Your power to over these strongholds in my life.  Teach me to seek Your help and not try to do it on my own.  God I know I can’t do it on my own; I place it all in Your hands.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 18, 2017, 5:00 AM

Do you ever find yourself stuck saying: “I can’t”?

When I hear the name Moses, I picture a great giant in faith with arms outstretched performing miracles of God. But I think I identify more the Moses of early Exodus. A younger Moses who tried to accomplish his calling in the flesh, ending quickly with a corpse buried in the sand. Then forty years later God gave Moses a second chance but he seemed stuck with one response, “I can’t.” In Exodus 3, God appeared to Moses “in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” (v.2) that burned but was not consumed. In response to God’s call, Moses refused to be God’s messenger of deliverance. Instead he tried to wallow in his own inadequacy. I’ve done that too; have you?


I’ve told you before, that it took a decade before I was ready to step into the vocation in which God called me to? I was stuck with that same response. I kept finding myself stuck on saying: “I can’t”. I found myself again and again looking at my qualifications, and feeling disqualified to do what God was calling me to do. I’m telling you all this again, because there’s been a transformation in my thinking from “I can’t” to “as long as God shows me, I can.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 I’ve come to understand that I really can do all things through Christ and that’s the key. I know there are a lot of you who are reading these messages that know and sense that God’s called you to use your gifts and talents for His work, but you are like Moses and I, you are stuck looking at them through your own eyes and you're saying: “I can’t.” You’re right, you can’t. But if you’ll surrender to God and allow Him to show you, you’ll be able to do things that will blow your mind.


A.W. Tozer said “True faith requires that we believe everything God has said about Himself, but also that we believe everything He has said about us. Until we believe that we are as bad as God says we are, we can never believe that He will do for us what He says He will do.” This is why our prayer lives suffer. We tend believe what God says about us is all bad, but when He says that we’re bad that doesn’t mean that we’re unqualified to serve Him or approach Him in prayer. In fact, He means just the opposite. It means we realize our true need for Him and that our only hope is in approaching Him.


I spent 10 years refusing to believe that I was a pastor or that I could be of any good to the Kingdom of God at all. I was certain that no one would listen to me or be helped by anything I have to say or that God would want to use me to say anything. I was wrong and you are wrong too. I found that when I approached Him about my inadequacies and my fears, “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. He showed me how to change my mindset, and it helped me to understand that the reason I was qualified to do what God called me to do is because He gave me the ability, and if He gave me the ability then He would see to it that my ability was developed. The only way for my ability to be developed was to begin to use it. It’s the same with you!


This is my Prayer: Father God, you know my struggles, how I refuse Your call and even try to run away from it. Lord when I get stuck with “I can’t” remind me that Your call always comes with whatever else I need to do it. Jesus show me the steps I need to take to do what You ask of me. God teach me always approach You in my weakness and rest in Your power. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 206-210 of 283